Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gondolas and Flumes

Now, where I last left off, I told you mom and I rode a gondola and hiked a flume.

No no no, not this gondola:

THIS gondola:

This is the Cannon Mountain Gondola at Franconia State Park. It lifts you up over 4000 feet, nearly to the summit of Cannon (you have to hike the rest of the way, which I did). Here are some more views from the gondola:

The walk to the top of the mountain and the observatory is about 1/2 mile up. Once you get there, and your heart is pounding and the air is a bit thinner, you then climb about 50 steps to get to the top of the observatory where you are eaten alive my midges, gnats and other flying nasty.

Needless to say, I took the "short road" back.
Next up was the flume.
Again, not this kind of flume (which, by the way, scares the bejesus out of me):

This flume is a natural wonder; a walk up a steep, narrow, granite gorge of rushing water leading up to Avalance Falls at an elevation of 1600 feet.

After all of this outdoor adventure, we were SPENT. We did pay homage to the Old Man in the Mountain site which is also part of the Franconia State Park. My mom saw the "old man" when she was here on her honeymoon 39 years ago...I'm sad I didn't get to see it.

So now we are back on Cape. My sister and Mike arrive today, along with Aunt Kakky and Uncle Ed. It will be a family extravaganza I'm sure.

On a knitting note, I actually managed to get through the center section of short rows in Maude (and did it right!) and am now decreasing...could I POSSIBLY finish it? We shall see...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Road Trip Part Deux

Mom and I just returned from two days in New Hampshire. I didn't really understand why my parents had bought into a time share---but now, having reaped the benefits of such time share, I forgive them.

We stayed at a resort on Loon Mountain. Included in the redemption of my parents time share points was our two bedroom, two bath condo complete with fireplace, balcony, full kitchen and jacuzzi tub. We also had access to the resorts indoor and outdoor pools and hot tub.

On the way up we stopped at Patternworks.

I'll have to photograph the swag later and post. Mom and I found some goodies, including Mission Falls, Wool-Pak (for the Afghans!), Koigu and more. It is hard to believe that the catalog we receive from Patternworks comes out of this fairly small shop. But it is bright and airy and flows well. The people who work there are lovely too.

We then hit the local outlet malls (I know, MORE outlet shopping?) and then headed for the Kancamagus Scenic Highway from Conway New Hampshire to our condo.

The weather was GORGEOUS! The trees in some spots are already beginning to change color! Hints of fall were everywhere. I can't even imagine how amazing the colors will be in about a month.

We had a lovely, massive Italian meal and honkered in for the night. We had a big day planned for Tuesday.

We headed out early to conquer the Mt Washington Auto Road. Mt. Washington is the highest peak on the east coast; part of the Presidential range and the Appalacians. The auto road is an eight mile treck up a very narrow road with no guardrails to the 6288 foot summit.

Yes, included in the admission price ($20 per car plus $7 per each additional passenger) you get a CD tour, a certificate of completion and this nifty little bumper sticker.

The views were spectacular. Mom was chatting up a woman who works in the gift shop who said they have about 5 days a year like the one we had. Usually it is rainy, foggy, windy and gross. The highest wind ever recorded was here, at 231 MPH. The ride down was scarier as there were many blind spots. I was happy to have had all that driving experience from Scotland and Ireland under my belt.

The view of the mountain from below is just as captivating

And of course, I bought a cheesy hat:

Im going to break the trip blogs up, as I don't want to jinx blogger's photo uploading capabilities. More later from Franconia State Park where we rode a Gondola and hiked the flume...

Friday, August 24, 2007

The end

This is last day at HUP

11 years, 2 months and 19 days later.


Tomorrow we are off to the Cape for the sabbatical...

I spent the day at VHUP yesterday and I am feeling confident and excited and super psyched.

More from the Cape!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ravelry Update

You signed up on June 29, 2007
You are #11590 on the list.
2131 people are ahead of you in line.
15157 people are behind you in line.
35% of the list has been invited so far

Well I'm getting there...
Until then, you will have to keep reading my long winded, pointless, beagle obsessed blog posts if you want to learn about me and my fiber. HAHAHAHA

5 More Days at HUP!!!! Giddyup!

I visited the stash tonight too...preparing for "the purge" which is going to happen soon (hint hint hint to all who "want" to help). I found some nice singles of Manos and one of Malabrigo that I'm going to use to make stuff got Afghans for Afghans...Ms Kelsey's favorite charity knitting project. She's got a group going on Ravelry for this and there is a BIG PUSH to send something like 30 cartons of stuff to Afghanistan this October. So, if you can help...knit a hat, a pair of mittens...socks...please do. Let me know if you need more information.

Also, speaking of Ms Kelsey...we (and Beth) went to see SuperBad today and it was Super Silly. A lovely way to spend a rainy Sunday.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

SP 11 Contest 1 Questions and Answers...

1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without?

I love my knit picks chart keeper. It is a powerful, portable chart keeper with magnets to mark your place in any lace pattern.

2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If so, how much and what type of project?

Planning the yarn I'm taking on vacation is often more difficult then planning the clothes I'm bringing...and I always bring TOO MUCH! I usually pack socks, a scarf and a lace project. And a few extra balls "just in case." I almost always buy MORE yarn on vacation too and plan ahead my itinerary to visit shops

3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favorite spot? I've traveled to Alaska,
Scotland, Ireland and England and all over the east coast (as far west as St Louis). I've also been to Canada (Ontario and Yukon).

My favorite places are Glen Coe, Glen Etive and the Isle of Skye...All in Scotland

4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it?

I love Last Minute Knitted Gifts...probably because I've acutally made many of the projects in this book (not just one or two) and keep going back to this book over and over again. Yes, I own it. I also love Purl. I always work a visit into this store when I'm in New York City.

I also find myself "reading" Barbara Walker's stitch books over and over again. I own these (yes volumes 1-4) too.

5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)

I haven't been listening lately...but when I do, I listen to Cast On. I used to do a podcast...I'm knittyd of KnittyD and the City. Yes, our podcast is now defunct but it was fun while it lasted....

Re-Visiting the Bridge

In Loving Memory of Murphy Brown Bach who died today, in the garden at the Joy House, surrounded by his mother (aka Murphy's Bitch), Barbara, his pops, Little Petey and his Beagle Brothers Harry and Luther.

Murphy fought a brave battle versus lung cancer since March '07. Mom and Dad focused on comfort and quality of life. Just three nights ago, Murph got his jollies on one last time with Maggie. He had developed a keen love of his diet of roast beef. Murphy was a special dog, who hated feet and the sound of raspberries (not the fruit, the noise you make with your lips). Mom and Dad gave him a wonderful life for the last 10 years after rescuing him from an abusive situation.

Allison (my sister) said today was really an appropriate day, because it is the anniversary of Elvis' death...the connection you ask? Murphy was the King and he ain't nothing but a hound dog.

I'm comforted to know that Molly, Max, Murphy, Casey and all the other dogs that have touched are lives are together, at the Rainbow Bridge, waiting for us.

Love you Brownie!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I need help...

I am completely, utterly, hopelessly, crazily obsessed with "So You Think You Can Dance."

Tonight is the dancing finale and tomorrow night, we find out who is "America's favorite dancer." Going into the show I was routing for Sabra and Neil---but now I've seen three routines and I'm shiffting to Danny or Lacey. OH MY GOD!

Seriously. Is this what heat, humidity and the final countdown of this dead end crappy job have done to me?

But wait, it gets worse.

I bought tickets to the tour..FOuRTH ROW SEATS to the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE TOUR.

I figured my view won't be obstructed because everyone else at the show (Other than me and the three other ADULTS who are going with me) will be 12 years old and 4 feet tall.

So, 7 work days left at HUP. I'm feeling very very ready to let go and begin the next chapter of my (career )life. These docs who I've been working for for the last 9 years are FINALLY starting to show their gratitude towards's amazing that I had to resign to get them to do that.

7 days of work left also means that I'm going BACK to Cape Cod next Saturday for TWO WEEKS of knitting, reading, sleeping and cooking. KICK ASS.

Speaking of the yarn...

I've got way too many Koigu shawls going...3. Of course I screwed up Maude...AGAIN. Actually it wasn't my fault, it was Maggie and Luther's fault. They jumped on me in the middle of a row and down went a few yarn overs...and a few stitches. What totally cranks me out about this, was that I was two(2) eight (8) row repeats from the center/turning short rows and then begins the decreases. Robin tells me the short rows/decreases go "much faster." But, I can't help but feel this project is jinxed. Has any one else ever had a jinxed they messed up 72 two times and just couldn't finish? What happenend?

Shawls two and three have just got to MOVE ALONG. So, I've decided to focus first on my variation of the Sarah Blanch shawl (Folk Shawls) and plow through the rest of it. I mean for ****'s sake I started it in Scotland in's got to get done. So maybe I can finish this during the first week of my sabbatical and then...

Focus on Koigu shawl #3 the Dale of Norway "Rectangle Shawl." This shawl needs a better name...please help. This will be the focus of week two of sabbatical.

Also needing to JUST GET DONE, The "Hunter's Safety Stole" in Black Bunny Lace Weight. These are the three projects that will be going on vacation with me. That's a lot of lace. BUT (big but) if I can finish them all by mid-late September that CLEARS the way for the dreaded HOLIDAY KNITTING. I'm putting the socks away for a bit. I hope no one else gets pregnant anytme soon...beacause I need to focus on me and my lace knitting.

I'm dying to go to Rosie's and check out the new Rowan fall collection and maybe get something for my secret pal...maybe this weekend.

Summer is winding down, and so is this blog.

Monday, August 13, 2007

This week's must have....

Michael Vick Chew Toy

a must for animal lovers everywhere...

The Dirty Dog

Yesterday was bath day here on the Cape.

When I visit, it is my duty to throw the dogs into the outdoor shower and counter the lovely hound dog smell that permeates from them. Everything was going really well...I did the twins first (Maggie and Luther), and they were thrilled they got to shower together. Then game Harry, who is just the BEST in the shower. Finally, it was Gussy's turn. Gus did pretty well; he likes the massage that comes with the shampoo rub down. When I was finished, I let him out of the shower to his grandmother for drying. Just a few short moments later, mom announces, "Chris, Gus is coming back in." Not willingly, I thought. No, he was FILTHY! Gus had decided to roll around in a hole he had dug beneath the kitchen windowns. I have never seen a dirtier dog. So, into the shower he went again. This time, when released into the wild, we kept him OUT of the giant hole and clean...for about 5 minutes. Gus then proceeded to hide in the "upper echelon" of the back yard, rolling around in dirt gleefully. When he resurfaced to come back in to the house, he looked like a pig that had rolled in shit....again. Mom and I were taking no prisoners this time; we brought Gus into the service kitchen and gave him his THIRD bath in the sink. THREE BATHS FOR THE DIRTY DOG!!! I wish we had photographed the carnage, but the camera was no where near; and I was covered in dirt and dog hair myself. So, the lesson we learned, Gus gets bathed in the kitchen...always.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Reasons Cape Cod Rocks

1) Experimental Cooking with Barbara
-Last night we made Salmon with a dijon-honey-ginger-soy glaze and sweet onion and feta risotto...all from Cooking Light. One word, YUMMY.

2) Cooler temps and lower humidity. 'Nuff said


4) Beach days

5) Watching the Phillies in the hot tub

6) Lots of time to idle away knitting (working mostly on Maude this weekend), reading (Currently reading Julie and Julia), napping and generally making fun of the silly things my father right now, mowing the lawn when the grass is wet, overfilling the hot tub, putting 17 tennis balls under the covers in my get the picture

7) Mom's breakfast left overs...thanks to a very busy weekend at the B and B; today was breakfast pizza and scones.

8) Did I mention the beagles? Blogger is not cooperating with uploading photos. Let me just say they are SUPER CUTE...Maggie and Louie were playing in the fountain and chasing each other...Gus likes to lay in the sun.

9) Cut-throat Scrabble games. I lost twice last night.

10) Quality outlet shopping with Mom and Steven.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I've arrived on the Cape and compared to the 106 degree heat index in Philly today it is DOWNRIGHT CHILLY! The trip was uneventful and the beagles and I are happy to be "home." Much to all of our surprise (or not), Murphy totally perked up when Gus and Maggie arrived! Mom has been anticipating that it is almost time to relieve his suffering...tonight I said, "not yet." I think if we hadn't separated them, he would still be chasing his girlfriend around.

Much more to come...I'm planning on catching up with photos...knitting...blogging...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Secret Pal Questions and Answers

The Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I am a self proclaimed yarn snob. Favorite yarns include: Koigu, Silk Garden, Socks that Rock, Zephyr, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock and Helen's Lace, Cashmere anything

I think Angora is lovely, but as soon as it gets up my nose I'm done for...allergies! I also tend to gravitate more to wool. I'm getting into the "green" movement and am interested in using more organic fibers. I haven't knit with bamboo yet, but it is on my to do list.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have the knitpicks interchangeable knitting set with its storage binder. I also have Ashland Sky needle cases. I use my BELOVED label maker on everything.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learned to knit in 2001 and don't think many days have past since when I haven't done something related to knitting. I would consider myself an intermediate knitter.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Nope.

5. What's your favorite scent? Lavender and Fabric Softener

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Oh god yes. Reses's Peanut Butter Cups, Baby Ruth. More important is my coffee addiction though. I have my office hours for my students at Starbucks.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I am a scrapbooker (mostly I scrapbook my travels). I enjoy photography. I don't spin and don't really want to learn.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I will listen to anything. I feel as though I am single handedly supporting Itunes. I like to knit to mixes of music including jazz, classical, folk, hip hop and alternative. I really don't like death metal much, but my brother in law does and at times I've been known to watch Pantera videos with him.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
These days I'm gravitating towards turquoise, brown, lavender/lilacs, pinks and green. I am blessed with a decent colored complexion so I can wear almost anything EXCEPT for YELLOW. I am not a yellow person.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am happily single. My life is run by my two rescued beagles, Maggie and Gus. I could be adding another dog in the coming months. I have a very small family and we all have spread out.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I love lace. It took me forever to figure it out, but once I finally did, I was done for. I'm proportioned in a strange way, so I don't really enjoy making sweaters or fitted garments. I also enjoy socks, cabled and entrelac patterns and making stuff for all my friends kids.

13. What are you knitting right now?
3 Shawls, all in Koigu. 2 Pairs of socks.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? sure!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum. I prefer circulars. I'm loving the addi lace needles but REALLY ADORE my knit picks set. I can't say enough good stuff about their needles.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? (I don't know how these questions got out of order). Yet to scarves, hats and mittens. Not so much on the poncho's.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? yes to both

17. How old is your oldest UFO? 6 years old; my first sweater. It's all knitted, just needs to be sewn up! How pathetic!
18. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween( Im going as Scooby Doo this year), my birthday and Christmas

19. Is there anything that you collect? Yarn, I've got a room full of stash.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? see question 1. I subscribe to Interweave. I don't read Knitters.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Fair Isle...I want to make the fingerless mitts in the Fall Interweave

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? yes, but for others, not for me

23. When is your birthday? 5/20

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? Here's my latest update from Ravelry:
You signed up on June 29, 2007
You are #11590 on the list.
3503 people are ahead of you in line.
11736 people are behind you in line.
34% of the list has been invited so far

I'm not holding my breath that I'll be on anytime soon.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Proof of Hot Balls

Yes, that is right...I've found the proof that it is

Now in reality that is me being cheesy with some giant red concrete balls outside or OUR NEW TARGET! Yes it is finally a reality! The Target on City Line Ave has opened. It was huge, crowded and they have BIG CHEESY GIANT RED BALLS outside. Oh and did I mention the Starbucks IN THE TARGET?!

The heat is getting to me...

Did some MAJOR damage at the Rosie's Sidewalk sale to follow, including socks I started in the new Kaffe Fasset Regia far it is pretty yummy.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The wait is over

I've been waiting to write this entry for a while.

I've been a ball of anxiety for weeks which has rendered me able to do very little when not at work except for lay in front of the air conditioner playing "Snood." Add to that a raging summer sinus infection and horrible insomnia and I think you get the point...I've not been too much fun to be around.

I've been anxious because I've been interviewing for a new job and today I found out I got it.

I have accepted the position of Social Worker at the Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. I'll also be doing research in the Center for Interaction Between Animals and Society at Penn. Yes, it is a dream work and could I miss?
I'll be focusing much of my work on acute grief/crisis mgmt and bereavement. I'm also interested in focusing some time developing a curriculm for Vet students (as teaching is part of the job) as well as support for pet parents coping with chronic pet illness.

After I received the offer today, I collapsed into my bed and slept like I hadn't since my vacation in May. It is bittersweet though...I've only ever worked HUP...11+ years---so this is a big move and as excited as I am, I am also terrified.

So bare with me for a is a time of major change for me. My last day at HUP will be 8/24. Then I'll have a little R and R in Cape Cod before starting the new job in early September. To all of those who knew of my pursuits for this opportunity, I thank you for you support and encouragement through this, it's time to CELEBRATE