Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thanks Sibs!!!

I totally opened my birthday present early - I'm so tacky.

I loves it! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Something to look forward to

What did I do today? I mailed these:
Birthday presents for some people (and returning mom's book). I sent them priority mail, so they should reach their destinations in a couple days.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Merchant of Venice and Sarah's Birthday

I've gotten a little further on MG's birthday sweater. It has a little lace so I have to really pay attention to the instructions. The yarn is super soft and a beautiful shiny shade of purple. I realized after the fact that it's so soft and shiny because it's a mix of merino, silk, and bamboo, I think, so it's hand wash only. Not a very practical yarn for a five-year-old's gift, but sooo nice!
Also, as you can see from this picture, the Kindle is very handy for reading while knitting. No needing to hold open the book and just hit a button to turn the page.

Last night I went to the Shakespeare Theatre with Ami to see The Merchant of Venice, the last play of the season. It was the very first performance, since our tickets are the Tuesday of preview week, but it was really good! I didn't get home until about 11pm, though, so I just about went straight to bed. It was very hard to get out of bed this morning!

Also, happy birthday to Sarah today!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dear Catherine,

So, just checking to see if this works, because you know I don't know what I'm doing. Things have quieted down a good bit since you left, both work-wise and other craziness. I've been trying to catch up with friends and do some sewing. This past Friday I had a picnic dinner with Marisa, Jonathan, and Micah at Yards Park. It's a really cool park down on the waterfront kinda near the baseball stadium. It opened last summer, but it was in the too hot to think about going outside period, and I had never gotten around to checking it out until now. They had a band performing, and all kinds of fun stuff - a water fountain for kids to run around in, waterfall, water everywhere, benches and lounge chairs, and a bridge that looks like something out of Star Trek. Really, I expected to see shuttlecraft shooting out of it. We had a nice walk around and then took refuge under the pavilion as a wall of crazy rain blew through. This is the view from under the waterfall. You can see the bridge in the background.

Here, I hope is a cute picture of Micah:
We walked by the site of Marisa & Jonathan's new house (still to be constructed) and back to 8th Street, and then I biked home! Here is what I saw on my way home - sun setting behind Eastern High School:
I did a bunch of sewing and reading and knitting this weekend as well, but no pictures of that. I finished the top, back, and binding for one quilt and made about half the blocks for another, and I finished the baby sweater I'd been knitting. I cast on for a birthday sweater for MG, though considering your weather it looks like she could use it even this summer! My only hint - it is purple. And I had a flat tire, fortunately discovered as I was leaving home so I was able to pull into the alley and AAA came and changed out my six-month-old tire. Uncool.

So, this wasn't too hard so maybe I'll do it again!

Monterey Beach, Jack's Peak, Dennis the Menace Park

The closest beach to us is Monterey State Beach. Its just about a 5 minute drive away, and where we park is across the street from NPS.

We have been told that its one of the best sand-castle building beaches around, and the kids quickly put that to the test.

Its a nice place to see the peninsula stretching out into the Bay.

Supposedly its also one of the best beaches around for "paddling," although you won't see me me sticking a toe in. I'm still getting used to hoodies and jeans at the beach in June! Coffee helps. 

This past Saturday we headed out to nearby Jack's Peak County Park. A hiking co-worker told Joe that it would be a good place for hiking with kids. There were several short (under 1 mile) trails that offered sweeping vistas of the Monterey Peninsula and Carmel Bay - assuming clear weather. Of course the fog rolled in after we got to the park, but the view was still pretty nice from the Skyline Trail:

Joe lamented that the children have forgotten how to be quiet in the woods. We hiked quite a bit in Maryland, but haven't been out much since last fall (winter + spring spent in moving upheaval). They were very excited and probably disturbed the local wildlife with their squeals of glee. On the upside, they probably kept us safe from meeting any Mountain Lions.

On this particular hike, I had asked the kids to watch out for interesting natural items to take pictures of and to examine. Mg brought her magnifying class.

Here they examine a rock outcropping showing the shale that makes up the Peak.

 I was pleased that Shannon remembered that pine cones contain the trees seeds.

MG shows me tiny pieces of shale

Connor was disappointed that I wouldn't let him bring armloads of the larger shale chunks home with us. 
I can just imagine the plans he had for them.

Jack's Peak has one of the only three natural stands of Monterey Pine in the world. 

We also saw some enormous Coast Live Oaks (we have a smaller tree of this variety in our backyard)

Another impressive Monterey Pine

This is the view looking out to the neighboring hills - the girls insisted the trees on the
 other side looked like a rain forest. 

Jack hanging out in the sling.

Sunday afternoon we spent a few hours at a nearby park I've been taking the kids to several times a week - Dennis the Menace Park. I don't have pictures of the whole park, as everyone pretty much scatters when we arrive, so here is the portion of the post devoted to Jack being adorable.

Everyone sends hugs!