Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Knitting Update

Here's some updates on my WIPs. Baby blanket #4 is completed
Love it- especially how the colors blend, the pattern really shows off the yarn. Will deliver to baby girl Archer on Sunday. She was at church last week at only 9 days old! Cute as a button. Her daddy, Johnny, is a professional pool player, so if you're ever watching ESPN but if you're reading this blog, you probably don't really spend THAT much time watching ESPN, willingly! Anyway, but if you do, look for Johnny, he's pretty good.

Next up- the tangerine twist, modeling this season's "color" black-this is how much I got done, before I ripped it down to about 5". The pattern design wasn't coming out right after I began the decreases for the arm hole-- what I like about this type of pattern is that there are no side seams, and you kinda knit the whole thing at the same time, but it's not in the round-

Don't know if this picture helps with getting an idea of the pattern.

Now for a sock update, honey, they just ain't happening! I think I'm just going to have to give in, and knit with bigger needles and heavier yarn. I'm going to try the hand painted yarn I got in Cleveland that came with a pattern Simple Sock Pattern- I'll be the judge of that--, gotta have something to show the Yarn Harlot in September- yea baby! Register tomorrow beginning at 11:00 at http://www.knitchknitting.com/. I hope I got that right- gotta get Mary to help me with making my blog links to websites, a bit more pretty!


It costs how much?!!!

Les Paul Gibson Guitar in the Slash style (named for Guns and Roses/Velvet Revolver's bassist), I guess it's his most favorite color scheme???

When I first took this photo, I thought- hey cool PJ's getting to jam on a Les Paul at the Gibson store- hey no problem kid, JUST DON'T BREAK IT!

Oh sure, no problem if we have to replace a $3,000 guitar!

Good thing I didn't know this in advance-

this thing is equal in value to a nice USED CAR!

Here's PJ with his much less expensive Fender bass- a bit more easier on Mom's blood pressure!

Gotta say that I don't think this is PJ's most flattering look! I love him anyway!

Friday, July 27, 2007



Scenes from the road--- large expanses of pasture land, some mountains in the background.

Here are scenes from the US Space & Rocket Center, let me just say that while blogs should be used for reflective purposes, I was totally put out about having to visit this place. I have no interest in science, space, or any combination of the two. I did use some forethought and brought my Casts-Off book, and I did finish it. What a life saver- Yarn Harlot! She totally puts the knitting thing into perspective. I have learned that yes, I am in the land of Knitting, and I'm a knitter with a capital "K"!

Hopefully those who are into the whole space/science thing will at least enjoy these pictures --- heading home tomorrow where there will be laundry, grocery shopping, and getting stuff ready for the week- I promise the next post will be less of a vent, and more of a reflection.

You mean there's more to see? . .

Day two of touring Memphis

Here's a photo of Beale Street- the one I took at night didn't turn out-

We did some more walking around, and then headed back to the hotel. Next stop, Huntsville-

One of our first stops was at the Gibson Guitar factory. PJ is so into electric guitars right now, it was kinda interesting to learn how they are made. The materials and the labor all all American-not something we see in manufacturing these days. It takes 4-5 weeks to totally complete a guitar.

nearly finished---
the painting is done, but the guitar still has several steps to go, polishing, adding electronics and testing. One really interesting thing is that about 95% of the guitars make the Gibson grade. The fate of the others--
* the electronics are removed (salvaged)
*the guitar is cut up into several pieces
*under the close eye of security- the pieces are put into a locked dumpster, and when the dumpster is full the contents are incinerated.

Crossing the Mississippi River

Now we're in Arkansas-

look a train --

Back in Tennessee---

the Pyramid- apparently this is where events are held, I guess it would be like the Georgia Dome.

We had to make a stop at the Peabody Hotel to see the ducks return to their roof top home. These ducks (not these exact ones) have been here for a long time. The come down at 11:00 and return at 5:00. They take a stroll on the Red Carpet, just like during the Academy Awards, complete with camera flashes and the paparazzi. It was really cool, and I couldn't believe how many other people were there. This hotel is gorgeous, and worth at least stopping in to see the decor. I stayed here about 12 years ago for a conference, but didn't get to see the entrance/exit of the ducks.

The floral arrangement in the center of the lobby- the ducks stroll down the carpet--

WC Handy, the father of the blues, we stopped by the house he lived in when he was living in Memphis. He wrote most of his music here. Oh yea, there's PJ in his pose-

Here's me posing by a "bottle" of Blue Moon beer, I had a 32 oz, [Mom it was 34!] sorry, my 34 oz mug of beer at Big Foot Lodge, the food was fabulous, and the beer good, but I did have to make several pit stops!

we walked around a little bit longer, and then headed back to the hotel- next stop- Huntsville- still don't know what that's all about!!!


Welcome to Graceland, I'll be your tour guide for the next 10 minutes or so.
I think Steve would agree if I said that Graceland was not what either of us expected. Sure you hear about the tacky interior, the trophy room, the on-site burial grounds, etc. However, at the end when we walked passed the small family cemetery I felt a very deep sense of loss. I just turned 9 when Elvis died, but I remember being just as mesmerized with him as those that idolized him when they were teens. I had forgotten that he was only 42 when he died, 42! Even Madonna has made it to 49,and looks pretty good! Anyway I digress- While the sense of loss permeated the hot afternoon, I realized on the tour through the house that Elvis really loved his family, especially his parents, which I think has to be his most honorable trait. I didn't know that his mother died suddenly while he was in the Army, and he was totally devastated. He served his country willingly, he gave to those in need, and I think he was pretty smart to set up a trust where his daughter had to wait to inherit the bulk of his estate. Without a doubt this man touched the world, and I think if you interviewed a 100 musicians, you'd find that at least 95, if not all of them said that Elvis in some way influenced their music. Now on with the tour---

Front door of Graceland, this home was not near as big as I thought it would be, Elvis purchased it when he was 22 years old for $100,000! It sits on 13+ beautiful acres. I'd love to see photos from when it was first bought, I bet the views were spectacular.

the peacock stained glass windows look into the TV, music room, on the right next to the lamp is the "famous" 15' white couch. the upstairs is not open to the public, which includes the bedrooms, I wonder if Lisa Marie ever pays a visit, and stays at the house?

The next 2 photos are the area in the basement where Elvis liked to relax, the yellow decor is more subdued in these photos, but believe me it's bright! We figured it was okay as it was Georgia Tech colors with the blue and white to off-set the yellow-

Here's the pool table, the walls and ceiling are covered with fabric, everything is busy, busy, busy. I guess all the carpet and fabric on the walls and ceilings is to make the house as sound proof as possible, don't want to disturb Mama!

Photos of the "famous" Jungle Room. The round chair was supposed to be Lisa Marie's favorite place to sit.

yes, this is green shag carpet on the ceiling

Lisa Marie's toy box- we're the same age, this brought back memories, I remember these.

Notice the organ in the background- I think Elvis wanted to be able to hear music wherever he was in the house--

gun collection
One of several badges given to Elvis

Something I didn't know- Elvis was an 8th level black belt- when'd he have the time?????

LM's swing set-oh my the bolts aren't covered, and there are sharp edges- call DFCS!!!

"Hey Priscilla, what should we do with the old smokehouse out back?"
"I don't know honey, maybe a FIRING RANGE" "Just, think how convenient that would be, right in our own back yard."

A view out back, the Presley's even had horses- country living right in Memphis- who'd have thought

back of Graceland

gold lame' costume (c 1957)

Some Elvis memorabilia that could be bought (back then)

gold and platinum records-galore!
Remember the 45's and LPs? I think Elvis would have loved CDs and DVDs-I think he was really a kid at heart.

movie costumes

concert outfits- remember the leather outfit- that had to have been hot-

more. . . . yep more . . . , and I didn't take pictures of everything!

The swimming pool, another surprise at how understated this was-

These are the costumes I remember, the capes and rhinestones from the late 60s and 70s. This exhibit is housed in the building Elvis had constructed as a racquetball court. I think had he gotten into the "health" thing earlier, he might have lasted a bit longer. who knows- we're not given any guarantees.

Elvis' grave, and that of his mother, father, and grandmother.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of this flower, it looks like an azalea, but it seems to late in the year for it to be blooming. I love how the pink comes out from the middle.

I know visiting Graceland may seem like a cheesy, over priced tourist attraction, but I did learn some things about Elvis, and I'm glad I went. I have visited castles, palaces, and stately homes where kings, queens, presidents, and important figures in history have walked, eaten, and slept. From Hampton Court, to Stratford-upon-Avon, this place (or at least it's owner) is no less significant to OUR history.