Friday, October 25, 2013

Car Show

Besides looking at cars at the Seattle Auto Show last Saturday, Lyle enjoyed getting to drive a one-lap race car simulation in the Mazda display area. It seemed funny for him to have to buckle in for a simulation, but as it turned out the seat moved around quite a bit during the course of the drive, so it made sense.
Lyle's an avid auto-racing fan, and he used to participate in an on-line racing league years ago, with a steering wheel attached to his computer. I can't remember what race track he said was the one featured in the simulation, but it was one he was familiar with... and in fact, was his favorite track to race. He actually scored quite well (not surprisingly to me), in spite of "spinning out" once. 
 After that, we walked around and looked at cars. This sparkling blue beauty was Lyle's "pick of the show." I think it's an Audi something. (You remember how much I know about cars?) Turns out the blue paint job was a $1,000 option. I'm not sure what it would look like without it.
He was especially impressed with the brakes, which he declared "a work of art!"
 Not being much interested in automotive pursuits myself, I served as Lyle's photographer, snapping pictures as he pointed things out to me...
 ...such as the hand-built engine personally autographed by the builder...
 ...or the lack of leg room in the back seat of this sports car.
 I liked noticing colors. Most cars are black, white, or gray... with an occasional red or blue... and then rarely other colors such as green, yellow, or brown. I wondered what they called this particular shade of yellow. Perhaps "School Bus Yellow?" No. Turns out that's "Tangerine Scream." Regardless, I wouldn't want a car that color. Would you?
My favorite part of the show was the hallway where they displayed the vintage cars from the new LeMay Museum. Lyle had visited the museum one weekend earlier this year while I was at one of my homeschool conventions, and had told me how impressive it was.

Maybe we can make another trip to Seattle for that.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trip to Seattle

This past Saturday Lyle and I took off on a little day trip to Seattle. It was the weekend of the Seattle Auto Show which Lyle always enjoys. Some years it has been on our anniversary weekend, but this year it was a little earlier. We just decided to go for the day.
 It's about a 4-hour drive so we left about 6:30 a.m., just as it was getting light. The drive over and back is half the fun. We like to talk, listen to music (and Car Talk), and watch for interesting things along the way...
...such as this abandoned love seat which was strategically placed on the edge of a cliff along the Columbia River. We weren't brave enough to actually sit on it, but we did speculate about who might have carried it out there and why.
 I took a picture of our car while we were stopped there. It seemed like a nice backdrop for it. Interestingly, we saw a car just exactly like it (only two model years newer) at the car show.
 The autumn colors made the always-beautiful drive even more spectacular.
We had sunshine almost all the way to the city, but as is typical for Seattle, it was damp and foggy when we actually got there.

We spent about 3 hours at the car show, and even though I'm not the car enthusiast in the family, it was still a lot of fun. I'll share fragments of that experience with you tomorrow.

I'm sure you can't wait!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Bargain - review

The Bargain by Stephanie Reed is not your typical Amish romance story. The heroine of the novel, Betsie Troyer, is indeed a young Amish woman, but the setting is primarily outside of the Amish community... and the time period is 1971 (during the Vietnam War) which adds some historical interest to the story. I loved getting to know the characters, and the plot was interesting. Betsie goes to work for a non-Amish family of four-- a traditional dad, a non-traditional mom, a hippy older brother, and a lonely little girl. Seeing the interaction between the cultures and learning about a period of time I just barely remember was fascinating to me.

The Bargain did not end with "and they lived happily ever after..." because the story isn't finished yet. This is the Book 1 in Stephanie Reed's Plain City Peace series. I look forward to reading Betsie's continuing story in Book 2, to find out what happens to the characters next. Thank you to LitFuse Publicity for sending me a review copy.
the bargain stephanie reed

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

 One of our favorite fall family activities is visiting the Green Bluff area near Spokane, and making a tour of the orchards and farms. We like to get pumpkins... and apples... and kettle corn... and cider... and harvest-y things like that.
 This past Saturday was the day we had decided to go. Turns out that was a good choice. The day was sunny and just cool enough to really feel like fall. The kind of weather you want for an outing in the country.
Mostly I had fun taking pictures of all the pumpkins. The ones in the pumpkin patch as well as the "sweet li'l punkins" that came along with us.
It was a good day!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mini Doilies

 During the summer I worked up some new designs for my Etsy shop. I showed you some of my new listings a few weeks ago. One I didn't post was this sweet little coaster doily. It's been listed since July, but I hadn't sold any. That's just the way it goes sometimes. It's hard to say what will catch someone's eye.

And then, this past weekend I got a request for a custom order from someone who wanted 20 of them, but made up in different colors! She wanted ecru with dainty pink, mint green, soft orange, baby blue, and soft yellow-- 4 of each color. I was thrilled. I love to work with colors.

Before I started crocheting them, I sent her a picture of the thread colors to make sure that's what she had in mind. It was. "The colours are perfect!" she said. (She's from Australia where, apparently, they add an extra u to the word color.)
I loved how they turned out. The ecru really makes the pastels pop, I think. 
As I've been working on them, I couldn't help speculating. I wonder why she wanted 20? I wonder why she wanted those colors? I wonder if they are for a wedding or another special event? What would you use them for?
Just for fun, I made up an extra one in burgundy and ecru. I think it would be a pretty Christmas accent.
The sage green one, which was the first one I made back in the summer, goes perfectly with the Coca-Cola theme in my kitchen. As you can tell, I love sage green.

Which is your favorite color combination?

Pumpkin Card Freebie

Isn't this card adorable? My friend Barbara creates lovely hand-crafted greeting cards and she's trying to get her business off and running. For the next 4 days (until October 14) she is offering a free pumpkin card to everyone who follows her blog. Mine came yesterday and I just thought it was so cute, I wanted to share it with you. Just visit and click to Follow in the side-bar. Barbara has lots of other beautiful designs you could order for special occasions.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Camping in the Fall

 Late summer and early fall seem to be when we get most of our weekend camping trips in. I love the weather this time of year. Sunny days with brilliant blue skies-- warm in the sunshine, but jacket-weather in the shade-- and crisp evenings once the sun goes down. Just perfect for enjoying a campfire.
 My favorite part about the campfire, though, is the man who does the cooking. Come to think of it, that's one of my favorite parts about camping. He just assumes he's in charge of cooking. Laura and I aren't stupid enough to try to convince him otherwise. We won't complain about relaxing by the fire watching him.
 For our family, camping is all about getting away for a day or two and just relaxing. And yes, the electronic devices usually come along. We realize we aren't truly "roughing it" but if we don't care, I expect no one else does either.
 Over the years, we've made a lot of great family memories on camping weekends, even when we don't do much but just sit around and look at the trees. It's a good opportunity to chat and laugh and read...
 ...and take pictures...
...and then come home and blog about it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Writer's Retreat

 This week a friend and I went "off the grid" for a mini writer's retreat. We stayed in one of these cute little lakeside cabins.

It was a productive time. We both worked on our books, brainstormed with each other, and enjoyed probably just a tad too much off-topic chit-chat.
The weather was pretty blustery, though the sun was out for part of the time, but we had a lovely view of the lake from inside our cabin.  We pretty much had the entire place to ourselves, since it's the off-season.

So... I am making [very slow] progress on my novel. I'm still not sure that it will ever be anything anyone will want to read, but I feel compelled to write it anyway. This week helped me figure out what to work on next, and what research still needs to be done at this stage.

It reminds me of working a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. You dump that thing out of the box and you wonder how you're ever going to get it to make a picture. You start turning pieces over one by one, separating out the edges, sorting like colors together, and slowly it begins to come together. The more you get done, the faster it goes.

Maybe someday it will be finished.