Saturday, July 30, 2011

Drumheller, Alberta

Thursday we packed up the trailer and kicked off our summer vacation. We left around noon and headed to Banff, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies. We camped only one quick night here on our way to Drumheller Alberta, the Dinosaur capital of the World.

We are staying here for three days and then we will head back towards Banff and camp a bit through Jasper on our way to a wedding in Sexsmith Alberta.

Today we went to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, it was amazing. We all had such a good time.

I don't think I have ever seen so many dinosaur fossils, it was fascinating. I had no idea that the area here is known world wide for it's groundbreaking (hehe) fossil finds and its research facilities.

This is a Mammoth, I think this one came from the famous dig site in Utah, not actually from the local area. If you look carefully you can see the Saber Toothed Tiger set up to attack the Mammoth. This was one of my favorite displays, but only the tip of the iceberg.

I loved so many of them I had a difficult time choosing which ones to show you. So you get a Stegosaurus as well:

I have been lucky enough to grab a free Wi-Fi signal right here at the campground. The kids are sleeping and Paul is off to the showers and laundry mat. There is one here, so we figured we would try to keep on the laundry while we are at a campground that has a washer and dryer.

I think he really took the laundry with him so he could read his book, I finally talked him into the reading the Harry Potter books. He is on the third one now, that is saying something, he has never had the love of reading Shannon and I were lucky to be raised with. I have only known him to read about ten books since we have been married. If he is doing laundry so he can hang out in a place that has enough light read by, he must be enjoying the book. He may have done less than ten loads of laundry since we have married!

I am going to shutdown my laptop and enjoy my camp fire. I should be able to share more pictures soon. I am going to do a little campfire knitting.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We Interupt Your Regulary Irregular Programing...

For a yarn post, not just any yarn post but new stash.

I have been trying hard not to buy yarn for over a year. I have quite a bit of stash and have been picking my projects from my stash. I did slip a bit with some enabling from Shannon and Will upon my last visit to California. If I am honest they did not enable me one bit, unless taking me to a neat little yarn shop in Alameda qualifies?

Where is this all leading? My favorite local yarn store is going out of business. I find the owner a bit odd, but she carries lovely yarn and lots of spinning stuff so the store is very nice. I think she has done well business wise, but had a surprise baby when she did not think she could even get pregnant. I think the lovely little girl is around two years old and the owner is closing up shop to have more time with her.

This all means big going out of business sale. I caved, I bought yarn, for a great price. I will even confess to plans of dropping in next week to see if she has lowered the prices even further.

I bought this amazing alpaca and downloaded the free pattern. I have planning on knitting up a sweater for quite sometime now, but had not really found the right sweater/yarn combo yet. I am going to double check for gauge and then cast on this week sometime.

I also bought this pretty sock yarn, the picture does not do the yarn justice, it is really red. It is 10% Cashmere so very soft. It was a great deal.

I bought some really nice lace wt. alpaca that ended up being about $8.00 for 440 yards, that I have not photographed.

The good news is someone is opening a spinning/knitting store right downtown on September 1st. Only three blocks from the office, that will be tough to stay out of!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thank You!

We had a postage strike here in Canada for several weeks. After being without mail for more than two weeks the government stepped in and mandated the postal employees back to work.

We were so excited, we had ordered checks not long before the postal strike and our Visa cards expired during the strike, while our new ones were trapped somewhere in the mail system that had ground to a screaming halt. We were in a bit of pickle for a bit with all that happening. We do a lot of things with online banking so that saved us.

Meanwhile all the wonderful Birthday cards that my family had sent from home were jammed up in the mail as well. The workers have been back at it for over two weeks now and we just recently (yesterday) received our personal checks and one more birthday card (Thank you so much Shannon, your gift of an amazon gift certificate is so perfect for me right now, I can download some books to read while my shoulder continues to heal) Thank you to everyone who sent birthday wishes.

Paul took me to Sparkling Hills Spa for a huge bit of being spoiled. We have never done anything like this before and it was wonderful.

I know this picture is a bit dark, but in the foreground is the king sized bed and in the background are the huge windows that make up one entire wall of the room we had.

A close up of the bathtub you can sort of see on the left in the photo above. I had a bath in it the morning we checked out. I don't think I needed one but I could not leave without using that tub.

The incredible view from our room looking over Okanagon Lake:

View of Paul swimming in one of the salt water pools, there are two one indoor and one out.

Really neat all glass shower that allows you to check out the view while you get soaped up:

The bed is not that interesting, I took this picture because I love the lights that are hard wired into the headboard, each one having its own small switch as well. Genius, every headboard should have this feature.

Me after a Salt scrub that sanded the marker off my shoulder. (Note: Salt Scrub massage was not as lovely as it may sound, was like being rubbed with sand paper over your entire body, but you get up and shower half way through and then get lotion slathered on, and I am pretty damn soft right now) Also, I do have a shirt on it this picture, it's strapless.

When we left the hotel on Friday we stopped in Salmon Arm for Sturgis North and then to pick the kids up from camp. I will post a few pictures of that next time.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Day After

I was told after the surgery I could take the bandage off and shower in 24 hours. I took these photos about 30 hours after the surgery. I tried to wait until Paul got home from work to have him peel off the bandage and so someone would be around while in was in the shower because the pain medication made me a bit wonky. He ran late with a with a meeting and I could not wait anymore.

The first picture looks the most dramatic, but is really quite tame. The big blue thing is a Cryo/Cuff. If you follow the blue tubing from the top of my shoulder you will notice a white connector that Velcros at my chest, that connect to another piece of blue tubing which in turn connects to a thermos full of ice and water.

I rented a small pump, only $20 for the entire month, that pumps the cold water into the Cryo/Cuff. The pump cycles on and off constantly cycling fresh cold water in and the water my body has warmed out. Very cool. This thing rocks. I have been sleeping with it on and use it after my stretches. I am a week after surgery today and have very little bruising and have taken no pain medication in the past 24 hours.

The bandage looked huge! I understand after they do the arthroscopic surgery and they remove the surgical instruments from the holes they cut they then irrigate all the holes with a saline solution. The bandage is large to soak up the liquids they pump in to clean you all out afterwards, not because I was bleeding profusely or anything like that.

From the back: I have to say I would have saved myself a layer of skin back there if I had waited for Paul to get home. Down where I could not reach the tape and gave it a good yank, not pretty.

One hole in the back, which is the largest at maybe an inch long:

And two in the front, which might be 3/4 of an inch long. Each incision only has one stitch and they get taken out tomorrow morning.

The pink you see on me is due to a couple things, me taking the bandage off, red paint they used to clean everything once they put me out, and maybe cold skin due to the Cryo/Cuff.

Before the surgery, the surgeon came and talked to me for a while. He confirmed what side he would be repairing and actually signed his initials on my left upper arm in great big letters with a permanent marker telling me this was his contract to me that he would be operating on that side. I find it funny that they cleaned off the initials but I woke up to find other markings on me instead. I think those may have finally completely washed away after my shower this morning.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Basket of Good Intentions

In the process of getting The Cave just organized I have come across a few unfinished projects, as I came across anything that was on needles I just tossed the project into this basket, figuring I could deal with these projects over the summer and after The Cave was in a more organized state of affairs. As I tossed in project after project, I started calling it my Basket of Good Intentions.

I have decided it is time to tackle The Basket of Good Intentions. I am showing you two more pictures to be entirely honest about what else I have on the needles. I don't want to shamelessly post about some old project I finished up and have you all mention to me that it was one I never disclosed to you all to begin with. Here is one lonely thrummed mitten and all the materials to make it's mate.

I don't know if we can call the squares unfinished or not, I am still churning out squares pretty regularly with no real good idea what they are going to end up being, but you should keep in mind they are definitely in the ongoing project pile.

Here lies the first project I am going to work on out of The Basket. It is a lace wrap I started years and years ago, maybe even my first attempt at lace. Since the start of this project I have finished a few lace projects and I have been jonesing to start another so this should fit the bill nicely. I was really enjoying this project and think the only reason it never got picked up again was the fact that I was not sure I would be able able to figure out where I left off in the pattern. I spent some time figuring that out and after a knitting a row or two I think I need to change the kind of needles I have it on and then it should be good to go.

By the way the surgery went well, I am recovering nicely and really in love with the CryoCuff. I have pictures to show you soon. I am headed out town for a quiet couple of days with Paul.