About Pattiisknittinginflashes

Trying to get my life in order between the hot flashes

Gettysburg – Day 2

Bike Week was winding down and Mr. Aitch and I decided to go to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center just a short ride from our hotel.

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We watched a short movie about the Civil War then went up some stairs to view a cyclorama painted in the 1880′s by the French painter Paul Philippoteaux depicting the third and final day of the battle known as Pickett’s Charge.

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This painting is 377 feet around and 42 feet high and is displayed with a 3-D diorama in the foreground full of artifacts from the battle.

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At times it was hard to see where the painting ended and the “real” began.

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If interested, you can learn more about the painting and restoration here.

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I was very impressed with this cyclorama although some reviewers were not.  Two other cycloramas still exist and are free to the public.  This one was not free and we couldn’t really linger to examine or take it all in.  Perhaps Mr. Aitch and I need to take another road trip and see the other two paintings.

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Since it was already a hot, muggy day, we decided the bus tour would be best for us as we don’t have a CD player on our Harley for the self-guided tour and preferred to be in the comfort of an air-conditioned bus with a real guide who would entertain questions along the way.

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This house was a finishing school for young women that was quickly turned into a hospital once the battle began.  There is still an artillery shell stuck in the bricks in the upper part of the house.

IMG_1708-sundaydevils-denI was very intrigued with the section known as Devil’s Den.

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And one confederate sharpshooter shown in the lower right photograph on this marker.

We have many prints in our office by the artist, James C. Groves, who currently resides in Western Maryland.  One of the prints is called “The Desecration of the Shrine“.  Mr. Groves wrote an interesting article about the sharpshooters and Devil’s Den.

Mr. Aitch and I toured the museum after the bus tour and spent more than six hours at the facility.  The museum spanned the entire Civil War not just the battle of Gettysburg.  It was a long day and we did not see everything.

As a child I did not appreciate(?) the horrors of the Civil War or understand the magnitude of it all.  As an adult I cannot imagine the loud, smoky, fearfully terrible chaos for the townspeople for this three-day battle and aftermath during the five-year course of this war.

A very sobering day for me.

 

The art of being spontaneous

I like plans.  I like to know what’s going on.  Being spontaneous is something I have to plan.

I work an eight-hour day Monday through Friday but in the summer I work four ten-hour days and have Mondays off.  Those three-day weekends are great!

Mr. Aitch is semi-retired.  He plays in one community band in the summer and a different one during the school year.  He also has a part-time job and works two days a week.  Plus he is the choir director at his church.  For him to have a weekend off is rare.  Very rare.

Two weekends ago Mr. Aitch had a three-day weekend that coincided with mine.  We didn’t have a lot of time to plan a get-away so we thought about some places we wanted to go that weren’t too far from home and that we could manage in three days.  On the Harley.

I spent several hours on the Friday planning our trip only to discover at 11:00 Friday night that the one thing we wanted to do and see was sold out.  No tickets were available for two weeks.  Bummer.

“How about Gettysburg?”  I hadn’t been to Gettysburg since I was a kid and though we toured the battlefields in the car, we didn’t  have a tour guide to point out interesting details but I wanted to go back and learn more about it as an adult.

In fifteen minutes we had a plan and room reservations for Saturday and Sunday nights.

Saturday morning we packed the Harley for the extended weekend and took off.

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Cheese, crackers, and of course, a bottle of wine.

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Gettysburg is only two hours from our house so it was a short enough ride that we could still do some things on Saturday.  It was a beautiful day.

As we approached Gettysburg we saw more and more motorcycles.  Groups of motorcycles.

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The restaurant parking lot next to our hotel was packed with motorcycles.

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Biker bar?

Our room wasn’t ready so we asked where we could get a bite to eat.  The receptionist suggested the restaurant next door.  Mr. Aitch said that it looked a bit crowded and a little rough. She looked at us a bit strange and said there were more places in town.  I don’t know if you are familiar with Gettysburg but it is a small town.  Hundreds of motorcycles were everywhere.

While we waited for our food, I decided to find out what was going on.

Bike Week in Gettysburg.

In my fifteen minutes of spontaneity in planning our weekend I did not stumble upon it being Bike Week in Gettysburg.

No wonder the receptionist thought we were a bit nuts when we looked for a quieter place to eat.  We did explain later that we were unaware that it was Bike Week when we booked our room.

Most of the activities were held at a campground and I can only assume that most of the bikers were camping otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten a room.

We heard lots of stories from the bikers.

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And saw lots of bikes.

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Unusual trikes.

 

Custom paint jobs that cost as much as or more than the bike itself.

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Bikes pulled on custom see-though trailers.

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Saturday was full of eye candy.

Sunday was more sobering as we toured the battlefields.  More about that tomorrow.

 

The uninvited guest

Mr. Aitch and I had an unwlecomed and uninvited guest swoop into our house Wednesday night.

A bird.

A sparrow to be exact.

He (or she) was sitting on my front door decoration when Mr. Aitch went out on the front porch.  As soon as the door opened, the sparrow made a beeline into our house.  The bird flew into the family room and perched atop the entertainment center as Mr. Aitch and I figured out how to remove him/her without causing a major ruckus.

We don’t have a big fishing net like my parents used to remove similar unwelcome and uninvited guests in their house.  The only fishing net we have is for aquariums and it just wasn’t big enough for the job.

While this brief discussion went on, the sparrow flew back and forth between the family room and kitchen taking in the view from atop the refrigerator then the entertainment center.

Our plan was to open the door from the kitchen to the garage (which is right beside the refrigerator), turn on the garage light, open the garage door, and turn out all the lights in the house and hope that the bird would “go to the light”.

And it worked.

The only presents the sparrow left for us were a few feathers.

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I took my fake-nest-and-flowers-in-a-basket decoration off the front door temporarily so we don’t have any more unwelcome and uninvited guests.

Reflections

Eagle-and-American-flag1Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans.

Let’s all take a minute or two and reflect on that.

We gained our independence from tyranny. We gained our freedom and our liberty.

Happy Birthday, America.  May you continue to grow and stay free and independent.

 

June update

Between repairing nine window screens, doctor appointments, hospital tests, a visiting grandchild, a flooded basement, work, and life in general, I finished a couple of things. Nothing knitting related but still creative or challenging.

In a previous post I showed you some pictures of our front porch.   I don’t know if you noticed the screen on the bay window. Probably not. Well, it was torn at the bottom. An over zealous power washer was, um, over zealous and several screens were damaged.  We don’t take the screens out of our windows in the winter so twenty year-old fiberglass mesh screens are fragile.

I learned how to replace window screens. YouTube is wonderful. I could pick all the components locals except for the plunger pins that hold the screen into the window frame.  I found a place on-line and ordered enough to replace all of them in our windows should the need arise.  Good thing I did as I ended up having to replace some in our other windows before the job was finished.

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I also decided early on that ivory cushions on an outside sofa was not a good idea. I purchased some fabric on-line and made new cushions.

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I plan on making new pillows as well but thought I’d give you a sneak peek of my progress so far.

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I even did the top stitching like the original cushions.

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They seem a bit bright and busy but anything would after plain ivory, right?

Unofficially it’s here

Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer in the great US of A.

Last month I picked up some new furniture for our front porch from IKEA (yes, I love that store) which needed assembled.  The assembly could not take place until Mr. Aitch power washed the front porch.

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Ta-da!  38 feet of clean emptiness.

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Four hours later, after some semi-easy assembly and 64 hex bolts.  Those babies are time-consuming when hexing space is limited.  I still need to get some flowers of other plants in the window box.

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I love the ottoman/table which is not connected at this time to the rest of the sofa so it’s easily moved.

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I’m planning on making new cushion covers as I don’t see the ivory staying clean even though it’s just Mr. Aitch and me.  The covers are machine washable but I’d rather make new ones “just in case”.

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Plus I can make new seat covers for the swing and rocking chair as well.

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Red and white planters.

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New front door decor.

Kids say the darnedest things

Last week when I was at my daughter’s house, one of the twins asked me a question, “Nona, you’re her mom, right?”  She pointed first to me then to her mom, my daughter.

“Yes, that’s right.  I’m your moms mom.”

“Then you can tell her what to do, right?  Since you are her mom, right?”

“Well, not exactly.”

The other twin said, “Why not?”

“When she was a little girl, I told her what to do but now she’s a grownup and I don’t tell her what to do anymore.  I still offer her suggestions but she doesn’t have to listen to me.”

“Oh.”

We never found out where this was going or if they wanted me  to make their mom listen to me.  We did get a chuckle out of it though.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Bunny

I talked about making this bunny before but didn’t have any picture to show you.

I used the pattern by Little Cotton Rabbits.  It was a fun knit and the instructions were outstanding.  Lots of pictures, hints, and tips.  It was well worth it.  Still shirtless but Bunny will be fully clothed…soon.

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Bunny kissing our grandson’s nose.

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Bunny laying on the beach.  He doesn’t have a shirt on so he’s ready for a swim.  Looks like his eye needs some more work.

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Bunny sitting next to the fence.

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Bunny doing some daredevil trick while our grandson takes an important phone call.

The last minute

Remember when you would wait until the last minute to do your science project?  Book report?  Plan your Halloween costume?  Tell your parents that you were going somewhere?  Or needed a ride?  Had to take a snack to school?  Buy a gift?  Or card?

We all did that as kids.  And some of us still do it.

Everything takes more time than we think it does.

At the beginning of the school year my daughter said she wanted me to make box bags for the twins Pre-K teachers.  As a Christmas gift?  No.  As an end-of-the-school-year gift?  No.

Well, when?

I was at my daughter’s house last week helping her build something.  I’ll post pictures once it’s finished.  Anyway, while she was cutting the plywood, I asked her again about the box bags and when the end of school was and what colors/fabric did she want me to make box bags.

I didn’t know if these were to be for personal use and filled with personal goodies or for school use filled with school related goodies.  It makes a difference when choosing the fabric.

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The bags were for school related goodies and she wanted them for Teacher Appreciation Day.  Which was yesterday.

The fabric was purchased Friday and washed that evening.  I was too tired to think about cutting and sewing.  Saturday was spent cleaning out the garage but I managed to get all the pieces of fabric and fusible fleece cut.  I dug out the directions on Sunday and made one bag.  Monday evening I had a hair appointment which involved color so I didn’t have time to finish the second bag until last evening.

The teacher’s names were machine embroidered on the strap.

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And my daughter’s tag was sewn in the seam.

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I like them.  I just hate waiting until the last minute to make something as there is always a glitch.  Like sewing the strap in upside down and having to redo it.

But they are finished and on the way to my daughter to fill with goodies.  I hope the teachers like them and use them.

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Do you still wait until the last minute to do something?  Do your kids?

Over and under

Alas, in my quest to remember to take before and after pictures I did remember to take an almost before picture of my kitchen stool.

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I bought this stool when we moved into our first house almost 37 years ago.  The wood was unfinished and since those kitchen cabinets were a dark walnut stain, I stained the stool to match.

The seat was a woven material that looked like rush.  It was actually paper!

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The paper/rush rubbed against the stool frame on the edges and eventually cut through making the seat a bit of a risk when sitting.  All my grandchildren loved to undo the seat so I would have to hide it when they came to our house.

My plan to repair the seat involved cotton webbing.  Only the local Joann’s store didn’t have two colors of cotton webbing so I used nylon webbing in Paprika and Steel Grey.  I had two 50% off coupons and used them both.

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Then the fun began.

First I cut off the original seat and stapled the grey webbing to the rung underneath.  Here’s the website I used as reference. and tightly wrapped the webbing for the warp.  When the top was covered, I again stapled the webbing underneath.  I seared the cut ends of the nylon by holding a flame close to the edge to melt it so it wouldn’t fray.

I inserted a thick pad of batting between the top and bottom to give the seat some stability as I didn’t have any foam.

Then I attached the paprika webbing to the stool and wove the weft over and under.  Over and under.  Over and under.  Over and under until I got to the end.  Then I wrapped this piece of webbing around the rung and repeated the over and under on the bottom of the seat until all the weaving was finished.  The paprika end was seared and stapled.

The finished stool.

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I can’t decide

I can’t decide if it’s an age thing, excitement, or that I’m just tired but I can’t remember to take before and/or after pictures.

I purchased the cutest patterns from Little Cotton Rabbits  and actually made one of the boy rabbits.  I gave it to our one-year old grandson. He loved it as much as a one-year old can.  I only finished the shorts for the rabbit but though it didn’t matter if the rabbit was fully clothed or not.  The Shirt is currently on the needles right now.  Do I have a picture of the finished rabbit?  No.  I will see if my daughter will take a photo and send it to me.

The twins loved the boy rabbit and one wanted a girl rabbit and the other one wanted a girl fox.  Both were specific with the colors they wanted so once I get them made, I hope I will remember to take pictures for show and tell.

I’m still without a computer and am using Mr. Aitch’s computer right now.   Sorry about that.

Hindsight

I saw it coming and I wasn’t proactive.  My computer is dead.

Kaput.

I didn’t back it up before I accidentally turned it off Sunday evening.  I had been leaving it on 24/7 until I backed it up and then by habit, I turned it off.  I realized it as soon as I clicked “shut down” and by then it was too late.  My only hope is that I can take it somewhere to have the hard drive copied so I don’t lose all my knitting patterns, downloads, documents, and most importantly, all my photos.

Until I get a new computer, I will be posting from my iPad.  And if you have tried to post with any type of tablet, you know how difficult that can be.

I’ll try to post at least once a week as I have  a few things I want to tell you.  Some yarny things.  Some more culture.  Some neither.

TTFN

Needle and thread

What’s one thing worse than hemming a pair of pants?

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Hemming the same pair a second time.

I bought a couple of pairs of pants a month or two ago and hemmed them.  The first pair was the perfect length when I was finished.  The second pair?  Not so much.

By an inch.

An inch too long meant that I stepped on the back hem.  Every.  Single.  Step.  Every. Single.  Time.

I’ve known about this for at least a month but I HAD to do something about it last night.  Procrastination is my middle name.  I’m headed to my aunt’s house after work today for a luncheon she, my sister, and I are going to tomorrow.

Plan A Outfit was a dress.  I love wearing dresses.  I dislike wearing pantyhose and with coolish weather and my brilliant-white legs, pantyhose is a necessity.

Plan B Outfit involved the above mentioned pants.

So out came the scissors, ironing board, needle and thread.  A two-and-a-half inch hem was a bit too much for a pair of pants.  But a three-and-a-half inch hem was more than I could deal with so I cut off an inch.  You know, in case I grew and needed to let the hem down.

Or made them too short.

 

Culture: Part 1

 

Our one granddaughter is taking dance and was recently in a ballet.

Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty.

Now a four-year-old isn’t actually doing ballet but if you know anything about dance, music, or theater, then you know even the newest/youngest will have a part in a production.  1) It shows parents,  grandparents, family, and friends that the child has accomplished something for all the time and effort it takes to go to the lessons.  2) It increases ticket sales.  Who could resist seeing their special little someone on stage?

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Our special little someone played one of Cinderella’s coach mice at Sleeping Beauty’s wedding.

Surprisingly this was Mr. Aitch and my first ballet.  And we were very impressed with the quality of all the dancers.  Unfortunately the quality of my photos are not that impressive.  It was dark, no flashes were allowed and I was using my iPhone.

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In the opening scene the King and Queen throw a huge christening ceremony for their new-born daughter, Princess Aurora, and invite seven fairies who honor the baby with gifts of virtues and special traits.  Unfortunately one fairy, Caraboose, was not invited and she was ticked.

Caraboose shows up at the christening and casts an evil spell on Princess Aurora, which is to prick her finger on a knitting needle on her sixteenth birthday and die.  I love her hat.  It was black and acid green.

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The Lilac Fairy, who had not given her gift, could not reverse the spell, however she could alter it in that Princess Aurora would not die but sleep for 100 years and be awaken with a kiss from a prince.

Knitting is banned from the kingdom though some innocent knitters are unaware of the ban and knit (and I use that term loosely). Fortunately they are not put to death for their crime but given a reprieve by the Queen. The knitting ban is serious stuff!

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There’s Caraboose hiding in the background!

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Princess Aurora has a big Sweet Sixteenth party and Caraboose shows up to witness the death of the Princess.  A concealed Caraboose gifts Aurora with bouquet of lovely flowers with a sharp knitting needle hidden inside

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A concealed Caraboose gifts Aurora with bouquet of lovely flowers with a sharp knitting needle hidden inside. Aurora pricks her finger on falls into a deep sleep.

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Caraboose leaves the party thinking her evil spell worked.

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The Lilac Fairy casts a spell over all the kingdom and they all fall asleep, too.

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Later, I assume 100 years later, the Lilac Fairy meets Prince Désiré while he’s out hunting with his buddies.  She gets the prince alone, shows him a vision of Princess Aurora, and gets him up to speed with all the details.  The Prince is immediately head-over-heels in love with the princess.  He agrees to go to the castle and lift the evil spell with a smooch.

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Once at the castle Caraboose emerges from the shadows and tries to deter the Prince from his appointed kiss but she is not successful.  Prince Désiré lays one on Princess Aurora and all awaken.  The King and Queen approve of Prince Désiré and he and Princess Aurora marry.

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Several fairy tale characters attend the wedding including Little Bo Peep and her sheep, Alice in Wonderland and the hearts, Snow White and the seven dwarfs, Red Riding Hood and the wolf, and Cinderella and the coach mice.

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Our special little someone is the mouse on the far right.

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And here she is after the performance with the flowers we brought.

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Looking forward to our next cultural event!

 

A 55-gallon drum of worms

I’m going to open up a huge can of worms today.  Like a 55-gallon drum kind of huge.

I posted a while ago about my dinosaur of a computer and my dilemma of upgrading.

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So, do you have experience with either of these two systems/products or both?  Which do you prefer and why?  Just leave a comment about your experience with the pros and cons.  And can a PC and Mac be networked together?

I will monitor the comments before they are posted so if yours doesn’t show up right away, you now know why.