Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm off to the windy city.  If you'll be at CHA this week, stop by to see me at one of the many places I'll be hanging out.  You can't miss me, I'll be one of the crazy girls dressed in orange from head to toe.  Here's a link to my schedule.  I'm so excited about this trip.  I hardly slept at all.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I love the giant slide.  We took a break yesterday and ran away to the fair.  The weather cooled off just enough to make it a beautiful day out.  The baby pigs were born yesterday morning, so we got to see them on their birth day.  They were adorable and a bit wobbly in the legs.  I had to go back later to check on them because the little runts weren't getting food and I worried about those little cuties.  The volunteer  assured me she takes them home to bottle feed at night until they can get in there with the others.  I feel much better about those sweet little piglets.  So, about the food.  I had a giant cinnamon roll that was just as good as it was when I was a kid.  We also ate hot dogs at Pinks.  It's a hollywood landmark and they have a mini Pinks at the fair.  The best ever hotdogs.  We bought things we didn't need at the vendor market.  We oohed and aahed at all the amazing artwork and quilts and flowers and quirky collections that people submitted.  We marveled at the abundant garden displays.  We enjoyed all the FHA animals with the kids who raised them lounging in the pens with their charges.  Kyle and his friend ate every disgusting deep fried thing they could find and rode all the crazy rides.  We finished the day at the Train concert which rocked my world.  They were so engaged with the audience and the music was top notch.    It was a great day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I came home from my amazing vacation to a package from Fiskars. It's the new Everywhere Window Punch System. I tried punching everything in the house with it while I came up with a new video tutorial for you. I'm happy to report that it punches through cardstock, patterned paper, shipping tags, and those thin metal sheets used for papercrafting. It's shipping, but I can't find it online anywhere except as a pre-order.  A little bird told me that it can be found in some Joanne's stores. Here's the youtube video:

Thanks for watching. Now, I really do need to pack my bags. I leave before the sun comes up tomorrow morning for a visit to Fiskars headquarters for a planning and training extravaganza with my co-fiskateer leads. I'm going to try hard not to make a fool of myself, but I'm sure the excitement of it all will find me jumping for joy and giggling like a crazed fan of the orange handled scissors.  I'm now blogging in two places, so if you don't see me around and wonder what the heck I'm up to, you can also find me at the Fiskateers Blog here.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The finale.  We drove up into Oregon and stayed in Medford for the night.  The next morning we drove into Ashland which is a place we've dreamed about for 15 years now.  I must digress to tell you that my husband was offered a job there and we almost took it, but decided to stay where we are.  I never regretted our decision, and then we drove into Ashland.  Oh my goodness, what a pretty little town.  It started with a stop at a groovy little coffee house and a walk through the downtown.  Curtis visited the fly fishing shop and Kyle and I went into the independent book store.  People were walking and biking all over town. The houses had lush gardens and there's a beautiful university in town.  It's also home to the Shakespeare Festival and has gorgeous architecture.  It just felt like home.  We have put it at the top of the list of places to retire to, now.

So, then we pushed on to visit Lassen NP which was quite different from Volcanoe's NP, but still full of amazing geography.  The mud pots and really cool stuff were still covered with snow, so go in August if you go there to see that part.  Curtis fished in a lake there and was happy.  We then drove on to Redding for the night and pushed on home the next day for a 10 hour drive. It was good to get away and it's good to be home.  I think we go on vacation just so we can appreciate our own bed when we get back.  Thanks for reading the saga of the vacation.  It wasn't the vacation we planned, but it held some wonderful surprises along the way.  Oh, and I did score some coconut m&ms here and there.  Have you found any yet?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Part 2 of the vacation saga.  Andi was right, we picked up the boy and continued on our vacation.  We went farther north.  First I have to go on a little about rugby camp, though.  It was such a treat to be able to visit Cal Berkley and see the tournament the kids put on for the parents.  There were high school kids from all over the world at the camp, a total of 190 boys who were all focused on the game and not a single one was texting or playing a video game.  They were all watching the matches even if they weren't in that particular game.  It was so inspiring.  Kyle plays the lock position, which means you can only see his socks when the play begins.  He's in this huddle of guys called the scrum.  I'm learning all sorts of new things, but I think Kyle learned more.  It helped that he was wearing yellow socks.  I tried to get photos, but I don't know if any of them turned out.  I'll be downloading photos soon as soon as I deal with laundry.  Oh, and Kyle's team made it to the final match.  He's still chatting about things he learned in those few days.  I think rugby is a very solid part of him now.

So, we got in the car, fed him a huge pastrami sandwich and drove while he slept.  We visited the giant redwoods and stayed the night in a tiny little community called Fortuna.  I was grateful for the microbrewery across the parking lot from our motel after my little fall earlier in the day.  I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I'm not very graceful.  (stop laughing Mom)  We kept trying to get a place to stop to look at the Eel River.  They guys are fishermen and are all about water that contains things with scales.  So, I said there was no way I could get out at the first place we stopped.  Too much rock scrambling.  The second place had a small dirt slope down to the water.  No problem.  I slipped on my sneakers and trucked on down the hill.  I made it about 5 steps before I slipped and went down on a tree limb.  My poor shin looks like I've been in a really good bike accident.  Maybe I should tell a wicked mountain biking crash story if anyone asks.  It was a rocky or splintery start to our northern trek, and my dignity was injured as much as my skin.

The next day was filled with wondrous sights.  We began with breakfast at the Samoa Cookhouse that served loggers back in the day.  That was followed by a trek out to the sand dunes and a windswept beach.  The beaches in northern CA are so different from here.  First of all we didn't see another living soul and secondly there was driftwood all over the beach along with rocks and crab remains.  It was gorgeous.  We then drove further north and admired many herds of elk along the way in amongst towering redwoods.  It's hard to describe the grandeur of giant redwoods.  The world becomes a much bigger place under a redwood.  Oh, and banana slugs.  Those are some wild looking dudes.  We thought we were going to stay in Crescent City and had dinner there, but decided it was a little rough.  So, we went to a place we've only dreamed of until now.  We pushed on into Oregon.  We stopped at the Smith River for a little fishing and frog catching on the way.  Whew, ok, more to come tomorrow.