25 May 2009
The sitting area for the "living room" was kind of small, but it was no matter. We had a large flat-screen television there. The eating area off the kitchenette was tiny and would have been cramped for more than 1 person, but we didn't use it for eating. My DH set up his computer there.
The staff were marvelous!
We traveled between the hotel and the airport via Airport Express. We had in the past thought it would be fun to just drive to Chicago. After this trip we are convinced it would not be a good idea. Parking was hideously expensive, presuming you could find it, and traffic was thick. When we arrived on Friday afternoon it was during one of the heaviest traffic times and at the start of a holiday weekend. It took 2 hours to get from the airport to the hotel, and that was with an experienced driver who knew how to take side streets which would avoid the express ways which had turned into rolling parking lots. It was a sort of impromptu tour of the parts of Chicago that aren't always on a tour!
As we were in the city -- either on foot or riding in a cab -- we found the city to be comfortable and clean. It has a lot of green spaces and trails for pedestrians as well as joggers, walkers, and sight-seers. There are spacious pedestrian walkways under the major streets.
I'm tired now. I need something to eat before I head off for my workout. But I wanted to post about the trip a little bit. We had fun. I'm glad we went.
Yep, that's the ferris wheel. It takes about 7 minutes to go completely around. The only one larger than this is the British Airways London Eye (in London, England, of course).
Did I mention that this thing is really big?
Here's one of the Thorne miniatures (click on it to enlarge it). The scale is 1" = 1'. The rugs were done in 30 ct petit point. The chairs are carved from the wood that would have been used for such chairs — all of the details are meticulous and real. When you look through a doorway you can see to another miniature room that has been furnished as beautifully; the outdoors (see through windows) are finished as well, complete with backdrops that are painted to show what the rest of the neighborhood or city might have looked like. It was magical.
Did we go to the Museum of Science & Industry for the cool model train that travels through a magnificent model of downtown Chicago as well as mountains and prairie? No. (But here's a photo you can enjoy.) Did we go for the cool display on genetics and to see baby chicks in the hatchery? No, but we stopped in nonetheless. Did we go for the U-505 submarine, the 747 jet, the locomotives, the mining town, the soda shop, the toy-maker??????
No, we came for the Harry Potter exhibit. This is the first US city in which it has been displayed. There were props, sets, costumes — all kinds of great things! But no photos inside the exhibit (the white tunnel in the photo led to an outdoor tent of sorts that houses the exhibit).
But this lovely Ford Anglia (used in the 2nd film) was on display where we waited in line for the museum to open. It's in the ticketing area (but purchase your tickets ahead of time because they allow only a set number of people into the exhibit at a time.)
23 May 2009
Fortunately, these are only short sleeves.
Fortunately, this is the smallest size.
Fortunately, I have enough yarn to do it over.
Well, as consolation (I should get consolation for my own short-sightedness?) we are going to visit at least one yarn shop today (two if I can convince my DH that it's not that far away).
14 May 2009
12 May 2009
Oh, I'm wondering whether I should spoil all and reveal to you how this season/series of House has turned out.
While I ponder that, you have to sneak over to Franklin Habit's blog and read his perspective on the newest Star Trek film. I absolutely loved this film and I'm sure it will reinvigorate the franchise, but you have to admit that Franklin has found an entirely new direction for this to go without the necessity of time travel.
I'm still reeling from the roller coaster ride that started last Thursday and continued through today. If it isn't the customers at the part-time job (honestly, you'd think that parents wouldn't wait until the last minute for party invitations when they knew for the last 8 months that their child would be graduating in May), or the four knitters-of-the-apocalypse at Knit Night, or the grand pubahs of the corporate office handing down another make-work edict, it's the dryer that won't work, the cat litter that still isn't changed, and rooms in the house that still need to be sorted out despite the fact that I'm aching from Monday's tour-de-cleanse.
My DH is complaining about a spasm in his back from the yard work he did on Monday, but, no, he won't put ice on it. Yes, he bought cat litter from the store last week; no, he didn't change it yet; and now he can't because his back hurts. I ache all over, but I'm not having back spasms so it must be OK for me to do this.
How well do you think any of this bodes for actually knitting?
I do have a clever new pattern for a shrug called a gym wrap by local designer Phyllis Campbell. I also have some Jo Sharp yarn in bulky weight that I think will be perfect for knitting it. And I'll get to that as soon as I finish . . . . . OK, I absolutely have to finish the Sweet Honey pullover (one I'm designing -- I have just one more sleeve to go), and then I need to at least cast on the second sock from a pair I've been knitting in my favorite waffle pattern. And I suppose I should make more headway on the cotton intarsia cardigan for my grand niece Katie. It would help if I worked on the short jacket that's in the works for my sister Mary. And none of this counts the Ab-Fab throw that I keep coming across as I trawl through the yarn stash.
I need to be three people again. Or four. I'd page Dr. House, but I'm afraid he's unavailable at the moment. But I won't tell you why. Unless you *really* want me to tell you. And even then, well, I don't know if I should really spoil it for you. ;D
05 May 2009
Have you been keeping up with House season/series 5 on hulu.com? Last night’s episode was muy caliente! Next Monday is the season/series finale, and God only knows (well, the actors know already since they’ve finished filming for this season) how they’re going to top it! And, to bring back the refrain, Hugh Laurie is a God! What an actor! What a character! *sigh*
OK, enough of that.
Suspense has also been mounting as I’ve been sorting out the sleeves for this latest pullover I’ve been designing. Not only did I work out the basic directions, but I figured out how I want to work the increases in the sleeves while emphasizing the pattern. In fact, I probably should have done this in the body of the pullover, but I’m not going to re-think that part. Not now. Not after all of that work. Alas, one learns a lot through the actual knitting. And then sometimes it takes until the end that a more brilliant insight comes.
At any rate, I’m nearly to the halfway point of the first short sleeve. The second one should be even faster since I won’t have to be stopping to work out the pattern details as I knit. I’m looking forward to having this one done. It has been a long slog. And I really can’t post photos until it’s done.
We’re having beautiful weather here. I hope you’re enjoying the springtime, too.
04 May 2009
03 May 2009
I don't know whether you have this saying on your side of the pond, but over here it's kind of popular: "Put on your Big Girl Panties [knickers] and deal with it." It means quit whining and act like an adult. I've had to do this very thing over the past couple of days.
My house is looks like it has been inhabited by roving bands of slovenly teenagers who help themselves to food but never clean up afterward and leave their plates wherever they finished with eating. Everything has been in disarray. The clothing that is clean has been piled haphazardly in baskets in the living room -- if I need something without wrinkles in it I have to toss it back into the dryer for about 10 minutes. I won't even attempt to describe the bathrooms. I considered putting out a distress call to all friends and family, then decided that it was time to put on the Big Girl Panties and deal with it.
But first I was going over to my mom's the sew.
I was telling my mom the "Big Girl Panties" philosophy. Now, my dear mother has always worn heavy support hosiery. Lately, however, when her gastro-intestinal system has been feeling poorly, she hasn't pulled up the panty part of the hosiery all of the way (don't worry -- you'd never know it unless she told you this was the case). She refers to them as being "at half mast."
I hope you're laughing as hard as I was at that point. :)
But, you know, I was thinking that it's a good analogy in a way. Some days I'm trying really hard to be an adult and to cope with all of the stuff going on around me, but I don't quite make it, so it's like my Big Girl Panties are at half mast.
This would be adequately describe today's sewing session. I worked only 4 of the log cabin squares because I kept making mistakes. OK, it didn't help that I was laughing pretty hard with my mom (does one salute the panties at half mast?), but I was actually tired and screwing up things -- using a light piece when I should have used a dark one, using the wrong size, sewing to the wrong part.
My husband's family has a saying: "Three moves equals a fire." It meant that things get lost every time you move from one house to another, and after three times it was like you'd had a house fire because so much of the original stuff you remember has gone missing. Well, for my sewing today the saying could have been "Four errors equals Quitting Time." I carefully undid my last error (you have to be very careful to not tear the tissue paper foundation), finished the remaining pieces correctly, then put it all away for another day. No whining; just admitting that it wasn't my day to get it all done.
When I drove home I wasn't certain what I'd find but I expected that the house would still be a pig sty and my DH would still be in bed and dealing with end-of-term exhaustion/depression. But, I was going to cope with it as an adult, which meant I was ready to do what I had to get done in order to stay a little sane.
Good news: As I drove up to the house, he was working outdoors. He had mowed all of the lawn, trimmed out all of the weeds, done all of the edging work, and was in the process of trimming several bushes that were getting out of hand. Before I could say a word, he apologized that he hadn't tackled his indoor chores yet, but he'd wanted to get the outdoors done before it rained.
It's going to be OK. I changed lightbulbs, tidied up the bedroom (including the closet), and now I'm going to deal with the laundry.
Oh, I have been knitting. I've got a waffle sock at the gusset (this is the first of a pair), a stocking cap nearing the crown, and I've finally gotten a sleeve started for the latest pullover. But there are days when you have to just put down the knitting in order to get other things done.
Hugs and happy days to you!