Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I Like #23

Well I missed I like last week because I was in Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks for a long-planned multi-family camping trip.

So a double dose of things I like:

1. I like being someplace with no cell reception.  It was wonderful to be truly disconnected.  I realized (by virtue of the absence) how often I just check-my-phone-real-quick, or just-look-something-up, and it was really nice to just have to talk to people!

2.  I like playing games!  We played a lot of games on the camping trip, everything from go fish, old maid, memory, and uno with the kids (9 kids ranging from 1-10) to catchphrase, settlers of catan, spot it, and quiddler with the older kids and adults.  Quiddler is especially fun- I wish I had more game playing friends around here.

3. I love camping (especially in the fifth wheel with my parents), and I love National Parks.  Of course there are many beautiful state parks, national forests, and wilderness areas which have lots of hiking and camping opportunities with fewer people, but I still love the National Parks.  I hope one day to see them all!

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone

Grand Tetons, Grand Teton National Park

 4. I love hiking.  It's my favorite way to see National Parks, and we got to do more of it than I had expected on this trip.  Lots of easy but beautiful hikes the kids joined on and then later one nice longer more strenuous hike with some of the adults.

Grand Tetons, Heron Pond

Grand Tetons, from patrol hut at trail junction in Death Canyon

Death Canyon Glacial Valley 

Waterfalls from the Death Canyon/Phelps Lake trail junction

5. I love wildlife spotting.  We got luck with some fairly good moose and bear sightings on this trip, and luckily Mike gave me a good camera with a nice long zoom a few years ago.  But by far our best sightings were of yellow-bellied Marmots, of which we saw many and which often posed for us most dramatically.  Of course one of the funny things is that things which, at home, would be considered nuisances (I'm looking at you geese-that-chase-me-at-the-lake, squirrels-that-knock-over-the-birdfeeder, and elk-in-dad's-yard-eating-the-trees, coyotes-that-catch-our-cats) suddenly become "wildlife" and thus worthy of pictures.  Oh well, it's all fun.

Baby bison and their mommies crossing the road.  Bison jam!

Juvenile yellow bellied marmot.

A posing marmot!

A different posing marmot!

A final posing marmot!


Grizzly bear!

6.  I love wildflowers.  June really isn't the best time to visit these places from a crowds standpoint (it was very crowded) but the wildflowers were phenomenal, more different types than I could ever take pictures of, and more colors mixed together than an artist could capture.  Certainly my pictures don't do any of it justice.

7.  I like canoeing!  I don't care too much for kayaking, though I've tried it several times.  I do like canoeing though and Mom and I rented a canoe one morning and explored the coves and inlet of Jackson Lake with some friends who brought their own canoe.

7. I love catching up with friends and family.  Just a blessing.

Thanks to LeeAnna as always!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I Like #22

Welcome to another week of I Like!

1.  First up this week, I like the British Library's archive of/blog about it's digitized medeival manuscripts.  Some of you may know I'm working on a series of quilts inspired by illuminated manuscripts (e.g. here and here and here and here and here)  and I was super excited a while back to stumble onto the British Library's blog on the subject.  In the first place, it turned me on to a new resource of online manuscripts to look at, but it's also so interesting to learn a little about the manuscripts and about how they're preserved and digitized.  One of the posts this week about a manuscript containing a cut-out astrolabe was really cool, you should check it out!
2. I love our new-to-us palm tree!  We have a little area in our 7th floor lobby where I have plants (that's where my friend the red geranium lives), and recently we inherited a palm tree from a floor that didn't want it anymore.  I think it looks great and makes a wonderful oxygenating addition!

3. I love Mike and Bentley (and all the dogs)!  This is of course true every week, but Mike recently sent me this picture of Bentley photobombing his selfie by peering over the backseat of the jeep, and I thought it was too cute not to share.  It was after a long car ride, I think they were both ready to be done in the car.

4.  I love sailing!  Last night was our first race of the season.  It actually started about a month ago but for various boat and schedule related reasons last night was the first time we were able to get out and race.  We had to race in the non-spin division because our crew needs a little more practice getting the spinnaker up and down, but we had an absolute blast.  No pics during the race, but I snapped a few heading out (and back in).  It was a great night to be on the water, just windy enough, warm but not too hot.  Hopefully it'll be a great racing season!

Here's hoping everyone is hanging in there and thanks as always to LeeAnna!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

I Like #21

Yet another week has gone by in which I've not posted anything.  I promise I'm still sewing, although progress lately has been very slow and incremental.  In any case, as I find myself still struggling with general malaise, I'm once again thinking up things that I like!

1. I like crocheted dishcloths.  I've pretty much stopped using store bought dishcloths entirely.  I love the scrubbiness and thickness and general feel of crocheted dishcloths.  I've made a bunch in different patterns, basically all just different crochet blocks, but most of the ones I had were getting holey and long in the tooth.  They hold up really well, but after several years, it was time for a refresh.  So last week I whipped up two new ones using what has turned out to be my favorite pattern for dishcloths.  Very scrubby.  And bonus, I got to use up a bunch of scrap ends from previous projects.  If you've never used crocheted or knitted dishcloths I urge you to consider it (just make sure to use 100% cotton yarn, not acrylic or something).

2. I love my plant window.  A few weeks ago when my dad was here, we repaired and refinished it, the wood was in terrible shape from years of water damage.  As part of that I had to cut all the plants way back and clean the whole thing up, and now whenever I see it it makes me smile.  Nothing's blooming just now, but all is growing nicely.

3. I like our bunny!  He comes every morning, and at first I thought he did it just to taunt the dogs, but now even they ignore him.  I don't know what he eats, maybe he likes the grass that grows thickly under the bird feeder (I think it's because the birdseed gets chronically spilled there).

3. I like potlucks!  We routinely have departmental or church potlucks, but today we're having one just for the 7th floor.  The floor I work on is sort of a catchall, with people from lots of different departments, so we don't all interact very much.  To help combat that we decided to have a 7th floor potluck, so people could get to know each other.  Always so much good food and fun.  I'm super excited to see the food tables fill up!

4. I like our janitorial staff!  They work nights so we don't usually see them unless we have to come in for weird time points, but I came in this morning and saw they had left us an extra trash receptacle!  I'm sure they saw the signs for the potluck and knew we'd need something more than the small trashcans routinely there.  I was grateful for their consideration!  We'll leave them a plate of cookies and brownies so they can participate (if only virtually) in the potluck.

5. I like Pentecost.  It's the final Sunday the choir sings before the summer break, but the fun part is that we do the second half of the service outside in our church's courtyard.  It's a really fun blend of traditional and choral for the first half and then more like Eucharist at summer camp for the second half.  We had great weather (not guaranteed) and it was a lovely note to end the choir season.

I hope you guys are finding things to like this week!  Thanks to LeeAnna for keeping us going.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

I Like #20

Lots to like this week as I got to travel with my mom to Ohio for the opening of Quilt National 2017, in which she had a quilt this year!  Super congrats Mom!!!!

1.  I love my mom and traveling with her!  We travel very well together, and always have a fun time.  Here she is in front of the historic Dairy Barn where Quilt National opens every two years.  It was a really outstanding show this year, and if I get organized enough I'll write a separate post about the show.  She's standing with her quilt, part of her really cool flying geese series.

2.  I like finding local beers.  I'm a beer drinker and love trying new local beers when traveling.  While Mom was at an artists only event for QN, I wandered into Athens and found a local brewery called Jackie O's.  Their IPA was great, but their Bourbon Barrel Black Maple was even better, easily one of the best beers I've ever tasted.  These two dogs were sitting on the patio, very easy going and friendly, until their people went inside to get another drink, at which point they became very sad and cried.  No worries, their people came right back.  :)

3. I like hiking.  Mom and I got to go to two cool places on our trip in addition to the quilt show, one was the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park, and the second was Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  The Hopewell Park was really interesting, we learned all about a Native American culture that lived in the midwest about 2,000 years ago and created these huge earthworks.  Pretty different from anything I'd ever learned about before.  And Cuyahoga Valley was fun.  We learned all about historic canals in Ohio and got to do some hiking.

4.  I like cool rocks and patterns.  I think this is something I have in common with lots of quilters and artists, but I love seeing cool patterns in nature.  These were rocks we found on one of our hikes.  Hopefully my dad can tell me why there are all these little holes.  The rest of the rock, in non-holey places, looked like some sort of amalgam embedded with little pebbles, so I hypothesized that these holes might be places where the pebbles fell out and the holes just got bigger, but I have no idea whether that's correct.

5.  I like wildlife!  We didn't see much big wildlife at Cuyahoga Valley, which is very urban as National Parks go, but we did see lots of small wildlife, and wildlife families, including baby geese, baby ducks, baby grackles, and this turtle family (among others), all in the beaver marsh.

Hope everyone had a good week, and thanks to LeeAnna for linking us up!