Approaching Pike’s Peak

June 26, 2007 at 2:03 pm | Posted in 4th of July, blogging, Blogroll, charity knitting, country living, dating, dogs, faith, family, food, free knitting patterns, gifts, health, Holidays, knitting, love, marriage, pets, photography, recipes, relationships, romance, volunteerism | 7 Comments

From Sea to Shining Sea

Thank you to everyone who gave me a warm welcome home. You are such good friends; your well wishes always make my day.

Pikes PeakBeing home again is an interesting experience, considering this has only been “home” for a little over a year now. What a feeling of “home” though. Oddly enough, knowing this place as home helped me feel more relaxed and happy visiting Los Angeles. The traffic jams did not annoy me in the least (and I drove in much traffic); the heat didn’t get me down (in fact, it was cooler in LA than it was on the farm much of the time I was away); and the people did not seem so cranky after all.

Whatever LA was, whatever it had to offer, I knew I was only a visitor so I did not resist what I was experiencing and it was not bad at all. (My eyes did sting from the smog, but that is my only complaint.)

What you see in life, truly is dictated very much by what you project … even when it doesn’t seem to be so. I am much more in control of my life, my feelings, my joys or concerns, than I would have thought at times.

While I was in LA I stayed with my son at his home in Studio City, north of Ventura Blvd. I loved the feeling of that neighborhood because there were always people walking by, riding bikes, walking dogs, taking children to and from summer school. Happy, friendly people who often paused for a moment to smile, admire my son’s adorably feisty English Bulldog, and say to hello. The work I was doing was very hard and stressful, but I loved the moments of decompression in his yard with the pooch seeing the happy, healthy people going by. Of course, the best decompression time were the evening times I spent just hanging out with my son.

View from Pikes PeakWhen I returned home I found the hard drive on my computer had crashed. That was scary, but we managed to get it repaired. Now we are awaiting the arrival of two very large hard drives, one to replace this one that faltered (just to be safe) and one to use as an external hard drive for photo storage.

Between staying an extra few days in LA and coming home to a hard drive crash, I am now behind on blogging, writing emails, and coordinating the Pike’s Peak Project. However, I will be emailing each of you over the next couple of days (“you” being those readers who have left comments over the past couple of weeks and have received no reply as of yet).

Meanwhile, here is an update on the Pike’s Peak project:

So far, 19 21 states out of 50 are represented. Some states have multiple writers–which I think is awesome. I would love it if there were half a dozen writers for each state so that there would be plenty of variety. Although it is unrealistic to get there by this 4th of July, we can make it there over time.

Pike’s Peak Project 2007 LogoI have posted a page with links (where they are available) to those who will be writing “From Sea to Shining Sea” posts on July 4th. Each writer should send me the actual address of the specific post for their “From Sea to Shining Sea” post, so that others who direct people to their pages will send readers to that specific post.

The Pike’s Peak page will remain a permanent page on my blog, so if you write for the project you should get some traffic over time to your blog from mine in addition to the traffic generated from other writers in the project.

I have made a logo for the project as well; if you would be so kind as to display the logo on your blog in order to direct others to the project I would appreciate it very much. I’d like to get as many states represented by this 4th of July holiday as possible. Beyond that, I would like people to continue joining in the tribute after the holiday has passed. So, spread the word if you would.

Summit at Pikes PeakKnitting News: I will be posting two patterns later this week for very cute little scarves that would be enjoyable summer projects in preparation for winter gifts. I am in the midst of knitting a pair of socks of my own design, titled “fireflies” appropriately enough. Photos will be posted later in the week.

A note about today’s photographs: they are not my work. Here are some photo credits in the order the shots appear:

  • Pike’s Peak Panoramic View: Chris Hutchison
  • Pike’s Peak with rock formations in foreground: Steve Krull
  • Beautiful view from Pike’s Peak: Lange Photography
  • Summit at Pike’s Peak: Gary Hampton

Have a beautiful week. May you create beauty in the world around you.


Home again, home again, jiggity jig jig

June 22, 2007 at 1:36 pm | Posted in 4th of July, blogging, country living, dogs, faith, family, food, knitting, love, marriage, pets, relationships, romance | 17 Comments

When I was a child, my family lived on a dead-end gravel road off of Independence Highway, some miles outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Our little street was situated by a stand of woods that I spent many, many happy hours in playing alone in the trees and running barefoot on a thick woodland carpet of pine needles and brown leaves.  Our house was a two-story red brick on about a half an acre of land (as best I can recall).  We had a stand of pines running at an angle in our backyard where my mother had a clothes line strung because we had a washing machine, but no dryer.  Beyond that stand of trees was a large flat area a perfect size for football, soccer, and baseball games.

Most every home on the street had at least one child resident, but many had three or four children … five in our case.  There was always someone to play with, any day of the week, any time of day.  Little kids, not-so-little kids, teenagers, and even some college aged people.  I remember one college age neighbor who “baby” sat for us one evening when our parents went out.  This guy made all five of us sit in a row on the sofa and be quiet all night.  It was so weird to us, we didn’t object too much because it seemed such a funny game.

Often on a summer night someone would start phoning around the neighborhood getting up a game of kick-the-can.  We would all meet, usually in our yard, and the game would begin.  Kids of all ages would scatter here and there, hiding in their favorite spots.  I was particularly good at hiding, and had a particular spot up inside a shrubby tree in our front yard where no ever did find me.  After everyone else had been found, I would quietly climb out of my spot and creep around the corner of the house then run around the back and let the kid who was “it” catch sight of me as I made a mad dash for the can.  I must say, it was a perfect execution on my part each and every time.

I never did disclose that place, my best-ever hiding place of all time.

Both of my grandmothers had farms up in Mt. Airy and in the summer my brothers and sister and I would spend some time at Grannie’s farm (that was my father’s mother) most likely to give our parents a vacation.  We would have a wonderful time playing in the sun, helping to bring in crops, watching my grandmother can vegetables and make jams and preserves.  I loved hot summer afternoons sitting on the porch snapping beans into metal bowls, listening to the gossip and other conversations of the adult women.  Sometimes I would pluck a hot tomato off the vine and eat it like an apple.  Then there was strawberry day, when we were sent off to the strawberry patch with bowls and buckets and stern instructions not to eat a bunch of the strawberries.  I wonder now if my grandmother truly believed you could prevent an unsupervised child from eating a tummy full of strawberries in the sweet summer sun.  Watermelon afternoons were gracious reprieves from sweaty work, when my two older brothers could go out and fetch any watermelon of their choosing for us to chow down on out on the lawn.  The dark green melons split open easily with a big knife, cut into long wedges from end to end and passed out among the five of us.  We would salt them liberally and eat away getting watermelon juice all over our faces, arms, and legs.

Each and every time we would arrive at the turn to our little gravel road after visiting up in Mt. Airy, we would say together, “Home again, home again, jiggity jig jig.”  I loved that little ritual recital because it meant that soon I would see our dog, feel my bare feet on our own floors, and feel the comfort of my own pillow, and covers, and bed as I drifted off to sleep remembering the good times at Granny’s or Grandma Johnson’s place.

This week after my husband picked up at the airport in Buffalo after my ten day trip to Los Angeles, I quietly said it to myself when we turned onto our street and I saw our farm … our home.

“Home again, home again, jiggity jig jig.”


Decisions, decisions

June 14, 2007 at 5:54 am | Posted in 4th of July, blogging, charity knitting, country living, dating, dogs, faith, family, food, free knitting patterns, Holidays, knitting, love, marriage, photography, recipes, relationships, romance, volunteerism, yarn | 7 Comments

I am still in California, getting my belongings organizerd for shipment: hardwork,, long hours, and today it got up to about a hundred degrees in LA. Smog burned my eyes. Traffic crowded the streets.

However, the city moved along pretty smoothly, and regardless of the crowded streets and high degrees, I am accomplishing quite a bit each day. There are many decisions to be made about what to keep and what not to keep. If I were moving within the LA area, I’d keep everything I had in storage. It was already the clarified version of my material life, broken down and simplified until it fit within the confines of a 10′ x 10′ storage space.

Not my task is to break it down and simplify it to the point where it will cost about $1,000 to ship everything 3,000 miles to my new life on the farm in New York rather than $4,000.

By the way, if any of my readers in the LA area know of anyone who owns or has an influential position at a manufacturing firm in the Southland … if I could find someone with a pallet that some of my dear pieces of furniture could be loaded on for freight shipping, I could keep some precious things that I wish I didn’t have to get rid of.

Oh well.

Alas … decisions. Decisions.


P.S. We need more states represented in the Pike’s Peak Project. I don’t have the spreadsheet here where I am keeping track of the participants, but I know we don’t have all of the states spoken for yet. Please help get the word out and let’s show ourselves and anyone else who is watching just how beautiful our America is. Some of the states we still need are South Carolina, Virginia (I could be wrong about that), Washington State, Arkansas, Louisiana, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Iowa … there are more needed, but this gives you a taste.

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