Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hiking at Hanging Rock

Well...I love hiking, but I also like being able to walk normally, which I finally can now. I went hiking with my friend Laura on Saturday afternoon, and I've been a little sore ever since then. We went up to Hanging Rock...and took the most strenuous trail apparently. It wasn't really that steep, it was just very long. We wanted something challenging though, not just an easy walk, so we went on the Moore's Knob Wall loop trail, but apparently we're not as in shape as we thought. :) Or rather, we weren't. We are now.

We had a nice scenic drive going up there too, because we first got stuck behind a tractor, and then behind elderly people going under the speed limit. (I like driving on curvy mountain roads, but not driving slowly.) But we finally made it up there and headed out on the trail.

At one point we had stopped to sit on a rock for a little bit and were talking about how perfectly quiet it was. There wasn't any noise at all at that point, not even any animals. Well, I'd just drunk some of my water, which made my stomach make a strange gurgling sound, at which point Laura looked absolutely startled and horrified, while I couldn't stop laughing to explain what it was she had heard. :D

We took pictures of course.

Me with a nice tree:

Hey, the tree pushed me!:

Laura, looking for salamanders:

Laura again...looking annoyingly photogenic:

We found goldfish...about three of them:

We had lots of random and interesting discussion during our hike, including the fact that we both wish we had a small handgun, and a concealed-carry permit. Glad to know I'm not the only one... :D

When we were about 3/4 of the way through our hike, we came across a group of middle-school boy scouts and their scout leaders (one of which had a Scottish accent!). We stopped and asked the scout leaders how much further we had to go. They asked if we had a map, and I'm sure were quite horrified that we didn't have one, but really, I don't see how the map helps, since it's just a sort of sketch of the trails, and wouldn't really help us tell where we were. Anyway, they told us we didn't have a whole lot further to go, just a lot of downhill down stone steps.

It was getting late, but we decided we had a better chance going down the other side, rather than retracing our steps. So we did. In fact, we jogged a lot of the way. Laughing at ourselves at we went, because it was rather ridiculous.

Anyway, we made it down and out of the park before it started getting dark. I had no cell phone reception until we got into Stokes County though. I don't know what I would do for a cell phone if I lived in Surry County...I couldn't get by with a Tracfone at any rate. But maybe no cell phones work up there, I have no idea.

So that was fun, but after the jogging down rocks my spine was killing me. Mom gave me a hug that night and I squawked when she touched my back, and realized my whole spine was sore to the touch. "What...?? Why...?" Mom reminded me that I'd been jogging over rock. Oh, right. Well, that's awesome the way spines absorb shocks, but man, did it hurt!

When we got back into Winston, I had to take Laura home, then get back home and take a super-fast shower and head off to babysit. I think I pretty much walked in the door, said "Hi. The trail was a little more strenuous than we thought", showered and dressed and then said "Bye. Yeah, I'm gonna grab something to eat" as I headed out the door. Oof. Maybe I packed that day a little tight, but I had fun. :)

(I'm listening to iTunes while I type, so: "We've got a kinder, gentler, machine-gun hand.....keep on rockin' in the free world!") Maybe I'll start putting a song on every blog post. :) Maybe. Maybe not. We shall just have to see.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


When I was sick a couple weeks ago we got Chinese food for supper one night. There were extra fortune cookies, so I ate two of them...while feeling miserable.

The fortunes? "Don't ask, don't say. Everything lies in silence" and "Life's a mountain not a beach". Uhh...I think my fortune cookies just told me to shut up and stop complaining. :0

And since when do fortune cookies have sayings in them instead of fortunes? I mean, as silly as the fortunes usually are, they're at least in the form of fortunes not proverbs.

On the other hand, the "Learn Chinese" on the back of one fortune told me how to say "nice". So I can sarcastically say "nice" in Chinese now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Farm house

I don't have any need for a house, but this one sure is cute.

On the other hand...unless this picture has been skewed out of proportion, I would kill myself on those stairs, in fact...almost anyone would kill themselves on those stairs:

It's a 1948 vintage farm house supposedly, so maybe that explains the blah beige and cream colors, but it really needs some more color in it! Actually...maybe I should say that's why the current owners went with those colors...I'm thinking it would have had a richer color scheme back then...?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In which I ramble

I guess I'm lacking people to ramble to...thus this blog post. Probably a sign I need to reply to emails. Oh wait, that's my conscience nagging me and telling me that.

Anyway, prepare yourself for rambling, and if you're not interested go ahead and stop reading here.

Something just clicked. And since I've been bombarded with more Moravian history than I ever wanted to know, it should have clicked earlier. The Moravian church on Silas Creek Pkwy. had this past Sunday's sermon title on their sign: Nov. 8: White Ribbons and Copper Coins. Huh??? I don't know how many times I saw it last week and I just now got it. It's the story from the gospels, of the widow who put in her two coins into the treasury, of course! The Moravian ladies used to wear different colored ribbons in their bonnets (I've blanked on what the bonnets were officially called) depending on their status. Little girls wore pink, older unmarried ladies wore cherry, married women-blue, and widows.....white ribbons. Ah-ha.

Also on Silas Creek there is either a woman's loafer, or a very nice men's loafer...not the sort of shoe you usually see beside the road. It's been there for over a week. There is also a pumpkin. And a car. All of these things should have been gone long ago it seems.

I find I'm used to Facebook's method of notifying you when someone comments after you on a post. I comment on a blog and then forget to go back and see what other people said because I got no notification. Of course, after a certain number of comments Facebook stops notifying you as well, which means if the owner of the status finally comes back and says something you may not see it. Owner of the status...that sounds a bit funny. Excuse me, the owner of the status outside, you left your headlights on... And why not "Status" for the name of a car? There's a "Focus", why not "Status". You could even say it British-fashion...'state-us'.

I'm still blowing my nose from this cold I had. So weird! I've never ever had something last this long.

It's very annoying that my nose keeps bleeding. I've started taking some Vitamin A hoping that will help eventually. Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C....I should be really healthy when I finally ditch this cold! I'm in a cloud today, with my head all stuffed up. I took two doses of sinus medicine this morning (within three hours of each other even...though I think it's supposed to be four hours) and that didn't seem to help at all. I felt a little dizzy at one point today even, but I felt better after I sat down and had some lunch, so low blood-sugar might have been part of the reason.

Mom has been so bored she asked me if I had any yarn I wanted her to untangle and wind for me. So now most of my yarn stash is neatly wound into balls and I have no idea what to do with some of it. I desperately need to pull everything out and organize my yarn and other craft supplies. And switch out my clothes. I have boxes of winter clothes in my room that I keep digging through to find warm shirts to wear. The problem with this switch is that I leave a lot more summer clothes out in the winter than vice versa. And it requires time...and spreading things all over my room, and sorting out clothes that are too worn out to wear next year. Basically I have way too many things to sort and all of them require spreading over my room. Mom told me about this blog yesterday: Wardrobe Refashion, which reminds me I have yet another category of stuff: old clothes that are waiting to be remade or used in a sewing project. Yikes. Basically, my room is a ticking time-bomb of textiles and it's only a matter of time before it all explodes. Which means something needs to be done about it.

Oh, and then there's the problem of actually knowing what I do want to knit with different yarn. I have two projects going right now and ideas for 4-5 more! Uh-oh. Well, maybe I'll start just two more. One project is knitting a little scarf for the little girl I take care of, so that won't take long.

And the knitting pattern I'm working on now has been great, very detailed and just wonderful to do....until I got to this waist shaping round. 226 stitches and I'm supposed to somehow decrease 58 evenly as possible. possible...?? I think I started twitching. I can follow the pattern, I was enjoying following the pattern, it's a very nice pattern...and then I'm supposed to just wing it and decrease these stitches as evenly as possible. Some sort of guideline might have been nice. You know, try decreasing every third stitch throwing in a few extra where needed, or something like that. That's what I ended up doing when I knitted it this afternoon. It took me forever and I tried to come up with some sort of algebraic equation to figure out the best method for placing these decreases...but nothing. So I winged it. I have no idea how even I got it, but it's done, and now all I'm dreading is the corresponding increase row. "Increase 58 stitches as evenly as possible." *sigh*

I made some cheese biscuity snack things last night, but I think they came out too salty. Darn. These ones. I need to get a cookie press thing so that I can make cheese straws. I've made them with a pastry bag once before and it about killed my hands and the pastry bag trying to pipe them out. I found a yummy chocolate chip cookie recipe though...the only problem is that they seem to go stale very fast (as I chew a slightly stale cookies). But microwaving always helps. Chocolate Chip Cookies. But they're soft, without using shortening! Right now I'm wondering if there are any cookies that taste like apple pie? Because that would be really good. Hmm...

Okay...that was definitely rambling. At least I got that out of my system. Maybe it will help my cold. :)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

"Church" is...

Sorry, I'm going to link to another article on Stop Going to Church

I wasn't sure where he was going with that when I started reading, and the use of U2 lyrics made me smile, but it's a good article.

"When our churches have more in common with fortresses, shopping malls and cemeteries, who can blame America for not liking the church, for not receiving in her, for not joining the movement?"

"We say we want community, but are unwilling to make the sacrifices for it to happen. It's too inconvenient and messy. We want the benefit of church without her demands. Something has to change."

"Sometimes the church looks like a pizza party, and sometimes it looks like a sports utility vehicle." Ha-ha...really not as out there as it sounds out of context.

It's actually encouraging to read these sort of articles, because although they are pointing out how so many churches are straying from what they should be doing, the fact that someone else is writing about it means we're not the only traditional ones in the midst of all the emergent churches. Once again, I'm glad our church is like that. Church isn't judging, nor is it telling people they're perfectly fine and acceptable. Church isn't just going once a week and getting it done.--I believe the Catholic churches are better about working out a handy schedule for that if that's what you want... :/ -- Church is having brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage and help you and worship with you.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Excuse me while I cough on you

So, I think I mentioned I have a cold...yes? Unfortunately it's one that's settled in my chest (which I hadn't had happen yet this year) and I'm now slowly coughing to death. Well, not really. I hope. But I am coughing. In a few hours I can go take some generic Mucinex and hopefully that will help matters some. In the meantime my chest and shoulders ache terribly and I'm utterly fed up with coughing.

I went to church this morning, and it was communion Sunday, so I'm glad I was able to make it, but I feel pretty bad. I was coughing when I got up -from not sleeping much- this morning but figured I'd get over it the longer I was up. I didn't...and realized that half-way to church. Oh well. At the break I went over to Panera and got some hot tea and that's the only way I made it through the service without coughing my head off.

I got two kinds of tea that are supposed to help with coughing...neither has helped much, nor has the cough medicine I took earlier.

Moral of this story? One should keep up with taking their Vitamin D every day, and when they're coming down with a cold not go out for lunch with a friend, hike all over downtown, and run lots of errands all on the same day, which I did. And it may or may not have had an effect on how I'm feeling now. I'll definitely be diligent about the Vitamin D from now on... :/

I was going to write more, but my brain's too rattled to think. I hate to leave this as a whiny blog post. Hmm... My knitting project (the dress) is going well. :) I'm about to start working on the skirt part.

More costume fun

Colin dressed up as a hunter for halloween this year.

Getting the stuff for his costume involved going to Walmart...but they do sell camo and orange hunter's hats there.

I decided that instead of dressing as gypsy again I needed something a little warmer and that didn't require the massive amounts of makeup that I put on before. So I dressed as a gangster:

And I tied that tie myself. :) I did have to look up instructions online because while I knew how to at one point, I'd forgotten. But I tied it.

It was raining or drizzling almost all the time we were out, so we were kinda soggy by the time we got back home, but it wasn't too bad. My feet and the hems of my pants got soaked but the rest of me wasn't too wet.

When we got home I started answering the door and handing out the candy, while Colin sat on the floor and poked through his candy.

I also found out that he's apparently great friends with the lady down the street. We went up to their house where their dog was sitting at the door and he says "Oh, there's Murphy!"
So I'm telling Mom about this when we get home, and she explains that Colin always talks to the lady when she walks the dog up the street.

"Oh, okay," I say. "I don't know her name or the dog's name, all I know is that she works....or used to work at Harris Teeter. Maybe she doesn't any....."

"Oh, no!" Colin interrupts, "She doesn't work there anymore, she works at Food Lion." Oh...well, okay then. Strange, un-shy, extroverted child.

And I forget that for some reason younger guys will just talk to me. There's a group of middle school/high school (I can't tell how old they are) guys that skateboard in the street where I have to avoid running them over. Anyway, they came around trick-or-treating tonight and when I answered the door they just started talking.
Guys: "What are you?"
Me: "I'm a gangster."
Guy 1: "Oh so am I.
Guy 2: "Me too."
Guy 3: "Yeah!" (Real creative lot these four...)
Guy 1: "Except I'm not a mafia sort of gangster, I'm like a modern gangster...ya know.."
Me: "Right! Gotcha."
Guy 2 (looking at my hat): "Cool! I've got a hat like that...except mine's solid black."
Guy 4: "I'm a black guy." (He was dressed in black...not exactly politically-correct, but I'm not one for being overly PC.)
Me: "Ah! I see...nice!" (While trying to put candy in the sopping wet paper grocery bag he was carrying) "Wow, that's kinda falling apart..."
Guy 4: "Yup. That's what they said at the last house too... Thank you!"

Anyway, they made me laugh. I don't know if I have some sort of sign that says "I get along well with younger guys" "I'm not too stuck up to talk to you if you're nice" or what... It amuses me. I remember being eleven or so and a little boy in the neighborhood always wanted me to be on his team when we played kickball and thought I was pretty cool. And it still happens...give them a 2-6 year age gap and we'll probably be great pals. :D

Ah...anyway...I should be taking some cough medicine and getting to bed. (I have a bit of a cold and a very annoying cough.)'s November.