Sunday, June 22, 2008

Apple of my eye

Three days ago, some new toys arrived on my doorstep.  They have both kept me very busy ever since. 

I have been increasingly unhappy with my PC laptop for months, and have contemplated taking the plunge and trying a Mac. The more I heard and read, the more I thought that was the way to go. When Mike said "go for it" I didn't waste any time....I placed my order and about 36 hours later these arrived on my doorstep (the iPod Touch was "just because")

Even the packaging is darned attractive!

Still untouched:

I have almost 600 songs, and some photo albums, loaded onto the iPod. All of the music is from CDs we have here, except for one song from the iTunes store. My first ever iTunes purchase. It's too easy, and that may be quite dangerous! 

I have had fun playing around with all the features. I know I am going to love being able to get my mail or use the internet anywhere there is a WiFi signal, with no extra fees. There are just so many bells and whistles on this little thing. Simply amazing!

I've put in a library request for the first Harry Potter audiobook on CDs so I can upload it to "myPod" and listen to it. I have never read any of the HP books, or seen any of the movies (though every book is either in this house or has passed through it and we have all the DVDs) I've wanted to read them for a while, but I've decided to get the audiobooks and listen instead. I hear the narrator is just awesome.

Here is my new MacBook as I started writing this post. There are lots of things that are set up differently than on a PC and I am still stumbling my way around. I will definitely be taking advantage of the free workshops at the Apple Store, and most likely will sign up for their one-on-one sessions. You can hardly beat the price....$100 for a year, and you can go for weekly, one hour private sessions. That's only two bucks a pop if you use them all! I have a lot to learn, and with all of the awesome things this machine can do, I want to take full advantage of all of the features.

A few months back my friend Jane had people leave comments and suggestions and helpful hints in her blog comments about MacBooks, since she is also considering getting one. I'll have to go back and read them again now that I have mine!

Besides these new toys keeping me busy, I was also helping Kim prepare for the surprise party that was held here yesterday for her husband, Drew, and his very good friend Dave, who both turned 25 this month. Dave's girlfriend Tiffany helped throw the party. Kim has known Drew and Dave both for about 9 years. They were both here frequently during their high school days, along with many others in their close-knit group of friends... many of whom were also here last night. It was so good to see them again ... it brought back a lot of good memories. Coincidentally, Kim, Dave, Tiffany and I all worked at Target together too. That's how Kim became friends with Tiffany, and that was even before Tiffany and Dave started dating. Kim was thrilled when they did, and the four of them spend a lot of time together. 

We had a lot of prep to do for the party... setting up the tent outside, getting the yard and deck looking pretty, cleaning up the house. The girls came over on Friday night and made some food, put lights around the deck for mood lighting, etc. 

We did have a major downpour yesterday, not too long before the party started. Then it rained off and on for part of the afternoon after the guests arrived, but eventually stopped raining (and cooled off dramatically). Drew and Dave were both VERY surprised, and everyone had a really great time. Mike and I both slept til 10:00 this morning. That is soooo unusual for him. He must've need it. He's been working so many hours lately. I think it's catching up with him. 

We had some cleaning up to do this morning, of course. But it has turned out to be a beautiful day. There has been rain all around us but somehow it has missed us. It's in the 70s with sunshine and a light breeze. Lovin' it! 

I hope the rain also stayed away from my friend Tamara and her husband Craig's anniversary party today. They are celebrating 25 years of wedded bliss. Congratulations Tam and Craig! Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Where has the last month gone?

Wow, I can't believe it's been more than 5 weeks since I last posted. A LOT has happened since then!

The main event was a surprise visit to my sister in South Dakota to help her celebrate her 60th birthday over Memorial Day weekend. She had absolutely NO clue, and after her initial dumbfounded look of confusion, all she could spit out was "What the hell?!" (Which then became the buzz phrase for the entire weekend...too funny)

We had such a good time, and I am so glad I was there to surprise her, and help throw a surprise party for her on Monday evening before I left on Tuesday. There was some knitting going on, mostly in the backyard...the weather was pretty nice the whole weekend (except for the clap of thunder Friday night that practically knocked me on the floor it was so loud!) We also spent a good amount of time doing some dyeing. I brought along some Knitpicks fingering merino, some Lion Brand Fisherman's wool that I scarfed up a few years ago when Joann's was clearing it out, and also 3 skeins of white sock yarn I had gotten in a yarn swap. Diane had several kinds of natural wool also, and we set about putting color to it. First we had to wind the big Fisherman's wool into hanks. We decided to make some really (REALLY) long hanks so that we could have longer lengths of color when we dyed. It was kind of a pain, but in the end I think it worked out ok.

Here we are making the hanks, thanks to a piece of exercise equipment and a chair:

And here's what it looked like when it was ready to be dyed:

Some yarn in the steamer:

And all skeins drying outside:

A couple pix from the party:

Since I've been back, school has let out, baseball season has come to an end, summer has arrived with a vengeance (both in terms of heat and storms). The pool is open, a new hammock was acquired yesterday, let the fun begin! A storm last weekend knocked out power to over 200,000 people in our area. We were out for 26 hours or so. Mostly an inconvenience, the worst of which was having to bail out the sump pump....many many gallons of water hauled up the basement stairs and dumped in the driveway. We MUST get a generator....this is not fun.

We have a well, and so when the power goes out, the well pump doesn't work either so we don't have water, except for what is in the holding tank in the basement (and the hot water tank) We try to use it sparingly during an outage, knowing there is no more once that's gone. We went to Kim's for showers, and to charge our cell phones. Many people were without power for 3 and 4 days, so we were lucky ours was restored after only 1 day. Of course the storms keep coming, day after day, and knocking out more power.

Today (after another storm rolled through overnight) is supposed to be just lovely. Sunny, lower humidity, and about 82 degrees. Perfect. We will be at a graduation party this afternoon/evening where a pool has recently been installed. I think we are going to have a really nice day today!

Father's Day will find Mike enjoying the new hammock purchase. Doesn't this look comfy? I can't wait to try it out myself. I forsee lots of naptime, reading time and knitting time taking place right here: