Because I'm cool like that...

The adventures of a knitter in Tucson, AZ.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Saturday Sky

Sorry it's late. The pictures were taken yesterday, I just didn't get a chance to upload them...

It has been raining alot!! I am so excited. Except now, it is still raining, and the desert can't abosrb anymore. The Santa Cruz is running, and other washes are full. Sabino Canyon is flooded. But it is raining!!!

Saturday, July 29, 2006


The "welcome to The Gambia" book I have has a couple of lists for me. One is a list of what will be in the medical kit they will give me...I know some of the stuff I will have to change out because I am allergic to latex. Some of the things on the packing list I have, or know I will change or something. But if anyone has any ideas of stuff to add to the medical kit, or stuff to add to the packing list, or any advice espeicaly if Mike Sheppard reads this. So awsome that someone who was in The Gambia last year commented!!! The list is in text, my coments are italixs. So, any ideas, comments, suggestions, etc will be greatly appreciated

Medical Kit Contents
-Ace bandages
-Acetaminopen 325 m (Tylenol)
-American Red Cross First Aid & Saftey Handbook
-Antacid tablets (Di-Gel)
-Antibiotic ointement (Bacitracin/Neomycin/Polymycin B)
-Antifungal cream (clotrimazole)
-Antimicrobal skin cleanser (Hibiclens)
-Baby powder (Johnson's)
-Band-Aids will probobly take some of my own to be on teh safe side for non-latex
-Butterfly closures
-Cepacol lozenges
-Ciprofloxacin 500 m
-Condoms ???? um....ok, besides the obvious, which I don't do and have no plans to do in Africa, I know that they can be used to keep water out of your M-16. BUt since I won't have a M-16....????
-Dental floss (waxed and unwaxed)
-Diphenhydramine HCL 25 mg ( Benadryl)
-Erythromycin 25 mg
-Hydrocrotisone cream
-Ibuprofen 400mg
-Insect repellent
-Latex gloves (one pair) will replace with non-latex gloves
-Lip balm (aloe vera)
-Oral rehydration salts
-Pepto-Bismol chewable tablets
-Pseudoephedrine HCL 60 mg (Sudafed)
-Soap (dial)
-Sterile gauze pads
-Sucrets loznges
-Sunscreen (SPF 30) wow. I haven't seen SPF 30 in years...that will be replaced with my SPF 50. Or maybe my SPF 75. I don't think you can find 30 in Tucson...maybe I will send it home as a curiousity for people to see...
-Tetahydrozaline eyedrops (Visine)

Packing Lists
Genreal Clothing
-Lightweight, waterproof jacket
-Sweatshirt or sweater
-One or two bathing suits
-Bandanas or handkercheifs
-Hat I have one wide brimed from COlumbia, and I like that brand, so will probobly get a second one too
-Jeans are jeans really a good idea? I was wondering about the humidity and chaffing...
-Lightweight cotton pants
-Lightweight long shorts except on my kayak, and not even all the time then, I don't wear you think they they are really a good idea? Or capri pants would be better?
-At least one dressy outfit for official PEace Corps functions and outings in the capital

For Women
-Several good bras, including sports bras
-plenty of sturdy cotton underwear
-a variety of casual and dressier dresses
-capri pants

-Durable shoes for work I went to Summit Hut today and got fitted, found a boot that is mesh and leather, so it will dry easier, by Merrell
-Sturdy Sandals also found a pair of Chaco's that I liked. I heard that they give a discount to PCV's, so will check out their website
-All purpose shoes for walking, hiking and biking

Personal Hygine and Toiletry Items
-3 month supply of perscriptions
-good sissors
-skin lotion
-two pairs of eyeglasses
-lip balm (if you have a favorite brand)
-a small supply of femine products
-favorite brands of shampoo, shaving cream, toothpaste, deoderant I don't have a favorite brand, so will take enough to get me by until I find out where to buy whatevery they have
-Makeup I don't wear makeup, so won't even worry about this

-Packaged mixes, eg. sauces, salad dressings, soups, soft drinks I am not sure what to take...I don't drink soda...probobly a lot of garlic which I put in everything, and maybe some other spices that I am used to but probolby won't find, like chili powdwer. ANy other ideas...
-good can opener
-measuring cups and spoons
-rubber spatula
-plastic freezer bags
-small plastic food containers

-Shortwave radio
-inexpensive, durable, water-resistant watch with extera batteries
-swis army knife or leatherman will drop by the base probolby
-reliable alarm clock and extera batteries
-biking gear such as padded shorts, gloves, toe clips, water bottle and cage
-small or medium size daypack without frams
-camera (35 mm are best for travel) I know they say 35, but I like my digital
-film and extera bateries batteries, yes. And 2 extera memory cards I think
-pictures of your home, family, and friends
-magazines and catalogs with pictures of clothes you might want to have copied...clothes have never been a big thing for me, so prooblby not
-world maps and travel guides
-a supply of good pens
-journals or diaries
-Tape, CD or MP3 player and music and speakersI am thinking both. A CD player with copies of my cd's and an MP3 player. Either way, will need to get them
-plastic sturdy water bottles
-art supplies yes, this will be yarn. And needles. And maybe one or two pattern books and copies of others
-softball glove (Peace Corps/Senegal has an annual tournament with other WEst African countries)
-Combination padlocks
-Duct tape
-good flashlight or headlamp
-phone card for international calls

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Mesa Adventure or: My visit to the Yarn Harlot

Yesterday, The Yarn Harlot was in Mesa, AZ on her book tour. So, I got off work early and drive up there. I assumed 2.5 hours would be enough, but didn't factor in cross town traffic. I also got lost when I got to Mesa, so I got there about 6:30, and the talk started at 6. I hate Phoenix, and my hatred is spilling over onto the suburbs of it. Afterwards, noone would let me over to get the exit that would take me to I-10, and I missed the Florence exit (need to take someone with me in the future to watch for exits while I try not to be killed by other drivers), and the next way to go south was in Globe, an hour out of my way. So m drive home was 3.5 hours. It's ok, though. She started a little late, and I was there for the rest of the talk. It was great!!

I was sitting behind a stand of yarn. On teh side I was looking at all nite was some really nice, expensive wool. Wish I could have afforded it.

She showed the sweater that she made for the Knitting Olympics. Very nice.

I used my dad's camera, since he has the ability to take 15 second vidios as well as stills. Unfortunetly, I have no idea how to load the vidios on my blog, if I could. I might be able to e-mail them if anyone wants. She is hilarious!!

It was a great day, finding out where/when I am leaving with the Peace Corps, and meeting Stephanie!! She knew me!!! She recognised my name when she signed my book!! And took my picture (which is on her blog!!! She took a pic of me holding the traveling sock!!! And put it on her blog!!!!)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Peace Corps Update

Well, I got my invitation today.

The Gambia. 20 September (less than 2 months away...exactly 8 weeks...). Environmental. Wow!! SOOOO EXCITED!!! SO much to do!!!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Knitting...yes, I knit...what? Socks!!!

I didn't really do a lot of knitting on the vacation. I can't knit in the car, and we did a lot of driving.

This is the original sock for my step-dad. It fit's me, and since it will now be mine, I need to decreese for the toe. I will get around to that. I might rip back a little before then though. Not sure yet. It is Fortissima colori 75% superwash wool, 25% polyamide

This is the new socks. I am being smart, and doing 2 socks on 2 circs. It is...I am not sure where the ball band is right now. It is wool superwash blend.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu was hot. Like, 120 F. Sweat just pouring off me. It was kinda gross. Also, we kayak, and Havasu isn't really a lake for kayaks. There were a lot of motor boats and jet skis (I've never actualy been on a boat with a motor, unless you count ferries. One going down the Rhein and one crossing from Ireland to Wales).

At Lake Havasu is the London Bridge. It was moved there in 1974 I think.

It was too hot. We got to our campsite, in a state park there, and set up. THen we put on our vests and floated in teh waves near the shore. That was nice. Even though the water was warm.

It was to hot to sleep in the tents, so I pulled my pad and slept on the picknic table for a bit. Then was ficiously attacked by a bug or something (my dad thinks it was a kissing bug), so moved into the car. Whatever bit me, when I got home and took a hot shower, the skin sluffed off my bottom lip. It was gross.

The next morning, we got up at dawn and went to a wild life refuge and kayaked that. Really the only place we could paddle.

Do you know what this is?

There was a sandbar that we got out and fooled around on. THere were these huge masses of giant fish. As big as your arm. We weren't sure if they were mating or sturing up the bottom looking for food. Then I got out of my boat and was walking aorund in the water, about up to my knees, and I was swarmed!!! I think they were stirring up the bottom, and when I was walking around, they were trying to see if I was edible. That is a bunch of the fish, thrashing about and trying to flip my boat.

Well, that was the end of my vacation. Tomorrow, we will return you to your regularly scheduled knitting content.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday Sky

This is today's sky, here in Tucson, AZ. It is only 106 F out. Thanks for the clouds. Since I have no idea what the heat index is...I can't say that for you my dad says that the heat index is something that noone cares about except during the summer monsoons, so we really don't pay attention. Though on the news last nite, I heard something about it being 140, if that means anything to anyone

And from last Saturday, Lake Havasu. It was 120 F there. We didn't stay on the water long.

Jerome and Casa Grand

We went to Jerome. It is a mining city that is built on the side of the mountain where the mines are. The mines dried out in the 60's, and were closed in '64 I think. Then Jerome was basicaly a gost town, until they turned to tourism. And that is what Jerome does now. When we were there walking down the street, I stopped in frount of the police station. Some sixth sense told me there was something interesting around. My dad was about half a block up the street (he didn't stop when I did), and stopped when he realised I had, turned around, and pointed up. On the second floor of the police station was a yarn store. But they were closed. Dad said "well, I guess like birds have a bit of iron ore in their noses to always find north, knitters have a bit of wool in their's to always find yarn".

The reason we went to Jerome was because my great grandfater did the supply wagon a couple times a week there from Prescott the winding roads were bad enough in a car. I can't imagine doing it in a mule drawn wagon. He was there during the earthquake (probobly the landslide of '37). HE was sitting in his wagon, and saw the sherrifs office collapse and get barried. He watched teh sherrif crawl out the second floor window. Then he turned around and went back to Prescott, and quit his job. So we wanted to find the old jailN34'45.044/W112'06.882. Here it is. This is across the street from where it originaly was.

Then to Casa Grande. The ruins N32'59.653/W112'32.246 there are really cool. They weren't just a village like all the others. The Great House is actualy an observatory.

Friday, July 21, 2006


    Hehe, I love that name!! We got to Tuzigoot National Monument N34'46.133/W112'01.601 at 8am, as soon as it opened. That was great, noone else showed up until we were leaving.
    Tuzigoot is just across a valledy from a mine refinery. So that lot you see here was where they dumpped all the tailings. Dad said that last time he went to Tuzigoot, it was really gross. But now the mine is trying to clean it up. THey are planting and trying to turn the land back to what it was before their horrible polution of it.

            This is the other side of the ruins, where the mine couldn't get to it. The Colorado River runs through there, where the trees are.

            800+ year old walls. Pretty cool, huh?

            You follow this path, which we shared with lizards, really big ones. Well, not as big as the ones I have around my house, but I feed them and protect them from the cats and stuff, but still pretty big. It was nice walking through the ruins. Kinda like we were the only people who had ever been there. You could go inside them, and some still had roofs, which you could climb the stairs and go up on (ok, logicaly, there had to be someone to stabalize the building and build the stairs, since the origianl buildings didn't have windows and used laders to get in and out). As we were leaving, a family with young children were entering. I am glad we finished before they got there.

          Thursday, July 20, 2006

          Knitting help!!

          Ha, you all forgot that this was a knitting blog, didn't you? You were distracted by all the cool pics from all the cool national parks. Don't worry, we will get back to thoes soon. We still have Jerome, Casa Grande, Tuzigoot (!!! Say it aloud!! It is soooo much fun!! TOOOOZIGOOOOT!!! Hehe. You have to smile!), Lake was quite a nice couple of trips. Except for the 120 F in Lake Havasu. And the bug bite on my bottom lip where all the skin sluffed off. That is painful. But other than that, nice trips.

          Back to the knitting question...
          My step-dad wants argyle socks. He has wanted some since I starte knitting. The Yarn Harlot appears to have begun something argyle. And Moth Heaven has some cool color schemes remember the comment about the day glow pink socks for my step-dad? This could be my oppertunity
          The only probloms are: 1)I have never done inarsia, 2)I don't know what colors to do it in and 3)I still haven't finished the other pair(s) of socks for him. Did get a good 3 inches done on his 8 inch cuff (he wants 8 inch go along with his 12 inch at the ER last week though.
          I think the fact that I am seeing argyle on other blogs is a sign that it is time for me to do it, finaly. So, I need advice on colors, and any advice you choose to give me on inarsia. The advice on finishing...well, we all know my non-monogomous knitting...I don't think advice there will work.

          SEcond knitting help: remmeber the birthday yarn?
          I have decided that unless I move to Siberia, there is no way I will ever need a full leangth wool coat (this is of course after I finished the back, one of the sides and half done with the other side). I am not happy with it anyway. So I need something else to turn that yarn into. I love it. With a passion. It is pretty, feels nice, is wool, feels nice, great color...I love that yarn. I was thinking a shawl for myself, but can't decide on a pattern. Any advice? On a shawl pattern, or something else to do with the yarn. I have a lot of it, so more than one thing is possible.

          Tuesday, July 18, 2006

          Vacation: Day Two - The Grand Canyon

          We go up with the sun, and left the KAO campsite

            never stay at a KOA!!! We got there and got our campsite, and it was really expensive. For what they charged, we could have gotten a motel room. We went to the assigned campsite, and there were people in it!! My dad went back to the office and told them there was already people in the campsite. So they assigned us to one that was a third the size of the previous one!! For the same price!! That one was infested with ants. When I went to the office to ask them for ant killer, they told me "it doesn't work, but you can waste your money". Everything I said to them was replied with "you can waste your money". When I told them I was horribly allergic to ants and would wind up in the hospital, they told me that I was welcome to "waste my money". So I told them we needed another campsite. THey assigned us a number, and from the otherside of the office, someone said "that's my campsite!" So we got the one next to him. Four campsites, expensive place, rude people, who have no consideration for the health and welfare of their costomers. I sent a complaint to KOA, who said they would reply in 48 has been a week, and nothing. So, keep yourself happy, NEVER stay at a KOA!! End public service anouncement

          Anyway, we went to the Grand Canyon, stopping at the National Geographic Visitors Center N35'58.470/W112'07.606 and looked around. It had some cool pictures and history of the Grand Canyon. They had a replica of the wooden boat that Powell used when he explored the Grand Canyon (I saw a cool special on it on PBS. Hehe, a lot of the trip was "hey, I saw **** on Arizona Highways/PBS"). Then we went to the National Forrest and were at Mather Point N36'03.686/W112'06.492 which is the first place you can see the Canyon

          See the rocks? See the shiny on the rocks? People threw down money, and it covered the rocks and everything.

          We then went to the Watchtower N36'02.646/W111'49.572 which was really cool.

          Except for the narrow winding stairs. I am a klutz. Thinking back, going to a giant crack in the ground probobly wasn't the best vacation spot...

          Monday, July 17, 2006

          Vacation: Day One Cont. cont. - Painted Desert

          this is the second post of the day. If you haven't read the one about the Petrified Forest, then scroll down. We went to the Petrified Forest before the Painted Desert. But apperently, blogger will only let me have a certain number of pics in a post

          Then off to the Painted Desert N35'03.786/W109'48.160 (at the part of the state we were in, they are in the same park. The Forest was on the south side, and the Desert was on the north.)

          Where we found a geocache (that's my GPS. It is waterproof, and my dad made a wrist thingy for it.)

          In the Painted Desert, there were the Puerco Ruins N34'58.543/W109'47.645

          The rest was just beutiful...and there was a double rainbow

          We then made it to Flaggstaff, where we camped at a KOA NEVER camp at a KOA!! Horrible place, expensive, horrible staff.

          We slept in pup tents. It wouldn't have been so bad, except someone kicked the rock that was pulling out the sie of my tent...well, when you are claustrophobic, and the walls really are falling in on you...not a very good nites sleep. But the next day: The Grand Canyon!! WHich made the horrible KOA nite woth it.

          Vacation: Day One cont. - Petrified Forest

          Back on the road after Walnut Canyon. We were heading to the Petrified ForestN34'48.911/W109'51.936

          First though, we stopped at the Navajo County Court House and Jail N34'54.185/W110'09.466. The visitor's center for the area was there.

          They had the old jail there, built in 1898, and last used in 1976. Very small and cramped. It was cool.

          Then back on the road...

          We got to the Petrified Forest, and walked through a "forest"N34'48.961/W109'51.991 with trails

          Ok, I think blogger only lets me have a certain number of pictures, so the Painted Desert will have it's own post

          Sunday, July 16, 2006

          Vacation: Day One - Walnut Canyon

          Our first stop was Walnut Canyon National Park N35'10.305/W111'30.561. I collect waypoints for places I have been. I have some cool ones, so don't be surprised if you see lat/long scattered throughout these posts. We ended up getting a National Park Pass. So very worth it!!

          My dad at the entrence

          From the top...see the clif dwelling across the canyon?

          The cliff dwellings play a part in the story here...My dad and I go to clif dwellings when we can. They're cool. Well, whenever my dad and I go to a cliff delling, just the two of us, it rains. ALways. Walnut Canyon was no different but if someone goes with us, it is hot. When we went to Montezuma's Castle, we all froze overnite, and burned at the dwellings and well.

          SOme of the cliff dwellings N35'10.105/W111'30.638. Notice how small they are. One of the signs said the people who lived there averaged 5'4" for the men. My dad is nearly 6', and I am 5'10". I couldn't imagine living where I couldn't stand up.

          Later, The Petrified FOrrest and The Painted Desert

          Friday, July 14, 2006

          Afghans for Angels

          I want to thank Connie for this link Afghans for Angels. Quite some time ago, my sister ok, in my comvoluted familial structure, she is actualy my older brothers ex-wife. We have the malarial view of family. Once you are infected with us, you are stuck with us forever. You might go into remission, but eventualy, it will flare up again lost her 3rd son. She was 8 months pregnant, and had a horrible time with the pregnancy. Labor with her first 2 boys was 6 and 4 hours. But she had to go through labor with Andreu, even though they knew he would be stillborn. It was hard on everyone. I think if we had known about this charity, it would have made things easier. I had about half finished a blanket I had been making for him. I think now that I should have cast it off and given it to Cassie anyway. But instead I gave it to Shea so she could finish, and she gave it to some family that came through her neo-natal nursary in Minn. Cassie hasn't really dealt with the loss of her 3rd son. I think that not giving her the blanket (even though she was the one who said to finish it and give it to a charaty) was a mistake.

          Thank you Connie for this link. It is one that I will be knitting for, and I hope everyone makes at least one blanket for it. It won't make the pain go away, but it might help ease it a little, and elp deal.

          Wednesday, July 12, 2006

          Saturday Sky...on Wensday

          I just joined the Saturday Sky Ring. Now, since I won't be here Saturday (my dad and I are going up to Lake Havasu), I am going to post a sky picture. It's an oldy but a goodie.

          Silverbell Lake


          I went on vacation this past week. My dad and I toured the northern half of the state. It was a lot of fun. Unfortunetly, I can't find the cable for my camera, and my dad's computer isn't working, so I can't update pictures just yet. Hopefully soon. Though, Saturday we are going to the Northeastern part of the state (mostly Lake Havasu), so maybe not until I get back from there.

          Connie asked where she can get the pattern for the Irish Diamond Shawl. I got it from Folk Shawls. Some of the patterns can be found online, though I would highly recomend getting the book. It is a great resource, and has some great patterns.

          If you look at my sidebar, you will see a section for knitting for charaties. If you have a favorite charaty, let me know so I can post it. Thanks!! The list will grow as I find more links, and people send me their favorites.

          Now, off to my mothers house. Apparently, I have become the responcible one in the family. Well, at least one of my brothers stepped up and helped while I was on vacation.

          Thursday, July 06, 2006

          A River In Egypt...

          Ever wonder how knitters can live in denial for so long? The socks that I was making, the ones that I couldn't talk about because they were a present...well, in no universe would they have fit the recipient. I was making socks for my step-dad for Father's Day (please, don't talk about the maor denial when I cast on the socks while he was in surgery the Monday before...6 days to finish a pair of socks. And I didn't even cast on both. One sock on two circs...see what I am talking about?). The socks fit me. I realised this when I tried them on (curiosity. Really. I swear!! It wasn't that I liked the colors. Honest), and they fit me around the cuff. I am using the fact that I can wear the same shoes and socks as my dad as my ecuse for continueing to knit them after I realised this. My dad and I both wear size 9 shoes. My step-dad? Well, his foot is actualy a foot. Seriously, 12 inches!! I turned the heel. I was half way down the foot. I ran out of yarn on that skein. It wasn't until then I realised that I was living in a houseboat, happily floating down De Nial!!

          I took my step-dad to Purl's on Monday, for their day of honoring Joann's and Michael's 40% off cupon, and he picked out a brand and a color he liked (he only wanted to look at wool. That kinda surprised me, but something to keep in mind later). I measured his foot, he told me how long he wanted the cuff. And on my new Addi Turbo's, I have 2 socks cast on (100 stitches on size 3 needles) and am about an inch and a half down the cuff. I am going to lunch with him and my mother and my neice and some other friends tomorrow. At which point I will slip the socks on, and make sure they will be big enough. No denial this time!! No surprise either, which is a little upsetting. But that is ok. I have his measurements, so I can make him another pair later and surprise him. And it will be even more of a surprise then too.

          I think I will keep the first pair. Finish them, and wear them myself. I like the colors and woolyness. I will post pics when I get a chance. I am at work now, and Saturday early, my dad and I are going on a tour of Northern Arizona. We are going to the Grand Canyon, Jerome, the Petrified FOrrest, Metior Crater, the London Bridge...and whatever else catches our fancy. I am excited.

          and for people who are wondering why my dad doesn't have a pair of socks...well, my dad is great. He supports my habit more than anyone. He buys me yarn, keeps his eyes open for yarn and needles at thrift stores, gives me money and sends me to my SnB when I have had a bad day. But, when I knit him things, even things he asks for, he looks at them, says "nice" and it ends up in the back of a drawer somewhere. Despite this, he has asked for a smaller version of my Monks Travel Satchel, and I will probobly make it for him. My step-dad on the other hand...he is more like Shea. I can knit him anything, and he will wear it. I could knit him a pair of bright day-glo pink socks made out of painfull-to-wear acrylic, and he would wear them. More than that, he wear them with sandles and shorts so he could stop strangers on the street and say "look at my socks. My daughter made them for me." I could finish the ones that will be to small, and he would carry them around in his pocket, just so he could show them to people. SHea is the same way. I know the Irish Diamond Shawl wasn't the greatest. It weighs a ton, and has many blaring mistakes in in. But she wears it. She e-mails me about how she loves it because she can cuddel under it and read a book. She takes it to her Scottish Dance group ad showes it off. My neices are like that too. Though, they are 2 and 7. If I knit them something, they love it. I love knitting for people like that.