Friday, November 30, 2012

What's in the sky?

On a drive coming back from Lander on Saturday, I noted the clouds ahead.  What?  Strange formation! Interesting coloring.   Had to stop.  It was worth a camera shot.  I've often thought that if I tried to put something like that in a painting, it would look so contrived.  Ha.  Of course, variations of shapes and colors are infinite and beautiful.  It makes you kind of wonder what awe-inspiring combination will come next into view.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hitchhiker Scarf

I finished this Hitchhiker Scarf for a friend.  It was knit on #2 needles, and I added the yarn-overs for some lacy accents. It's a fun scarf to make, and I'm planning on starting another with some yarn that I added to my stash from the trip to Reno (TKGA Fall Conference).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Winter felted placemat...

After teaching a needle-felted table runner class, I was inspired by Hazel to try my hand at cutting out a snowflake from a thickly felted piece and then needle felting it on to another placemat-sized felt.  This was the first attempt.  Getting a decent snowflake was a challenge, and my second attempt was much better, after I changed up my strategy.  However, here's the first one.  Even with the crazy snowflake, it doesn't look too bad on a small table with a beautiful candle or my metal sleigh heaped with evergreens.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Shawligan

I am finally posting pictures of the shawl/cardigan garment I made a month or so ago.  This shawligan is comfortable and warm, so I think I'll get a lot of wear out of it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Early Winter Sunset

I walked out of the double doors on the west end of the school after giving a piano lesson, and I was stopped in my tracks with this beautiful sunset.  Two other teachers were walking out at the same time, and we all went for our cameras as fast as we could, hoping the colors and intensity wouldn't change too quickly.  The way the light was reflecting on the uppermost clouds made them look feathery.  It was breathtaking.

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Lodge-pole Pine

The lone lodge-pole pine, which I planted the spring after I moved into my house has been producing some lovely pine-cones.  As they drop to the ground, or more accurately are blown off the the tree, I have been collecting them in a basket.  I've seen some beautiful things made of pine-cones, but a good project hasn't inspired me as yet.  For now, they'll rest in my basket.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. 

I am learning to appreciate even the subtlest expressions of God's goodness and Love for all his children: a smile, a hug, a door opened, a ride offered, an invitation extended, a thoughtfully written note, a sincere thank-you, an offer of help, a listening ear, tender advice.

May you have a restful, day of GOOD, with time to reflect and give thanks for the many blessings in your life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NYC, Day 7

Thursday morning (11/1/12).  No hot water in the hotel.  Another invigorating start to the day, although not necessarily a welcomed one!!  Brrrrrrrrr.  

Cory and I checked the TV news first thing, and all systems were go:  LaGuardia was open, and our flight was still scheduled.  Yahoo!  News reports showed major traffic jams for those trying to get into the city.  But it looked like it was fine if you were leaving the city; that was good news for us.  So, we packed and started the process for checking out, having breakfast, etc.  

We decided it would be a good idea to get to the airport early, JUST IN CASE.  The cab ride to LaGuardia was fast and uneventful.  I watched out the window.  I wanted to mentally record the last images of the city streets, the billboards, the buildings, and finally, the NYC skyline, as we drove away.  It was a beautiful day, and I saw no signs of the disastrous storm.  I guess we were inland just enough.  

Thankfully, our flight was on time, and by late afternoon, we were flying west , back to wide open spaces and big blue skies.  

 I liked this billboard, advertising the new production of Cinderella.  For me, this trip was wonderful.  It was like putting on the glass slipper and going to the ball.  I must say that nothing compares to the first time I saw this city with all its huge skyscrapers, blinking and animated billboards, crazy traffic, and tight crowds of people crossing streets.  But it is so exciting to experience it all again.  I’m so glad I was able to see a few new sights: the 9/11 Memorial, the Museum of Modern Art, and a little of Central Park.  Of course, the Broadway shows were top-notch and are at the top of the list! 

I’m so thankful for Cory’s knowledge and ability to navigate us on our walking tours.  And she had great suggestions for places to dine.  It was all a glass slipper experience.  If you have to be stranded for a couple of days, this was not a bad place to be!

Monday, November 19, 2012

NYC, Day 6

First thought this morning:  Will I find that we have hot water?

I got up.  NO HOT WATER! BUMMER! I called the front desk.
     "I discovered that we don't have any hot water this morning." 
     "That's right.  There won't be hot water until further notice."
     "OK. Thank you."
Wow.  This was not going to be fun!  But I had heat, electricity, and a roof over my head.  It could be much worse.  Remember those mornings when camping in the mountains and the ice cold river was my bathtub?  Couldn't be any worse than that. Invigorating!

I survived. So did Cory.  And after breakfast, we headed out toward Macy's Dept. Store for a little shopping. 

On the way, we passed these two sculptures, dedicated to the Garment District.

Macy's.  They must have been cleaning or repairing the building.

It was Wednesday, and although many buildings south of 34th Steet did not have electricity as yet, and the subways were not running in lower Manhattan, some buses were running, and businesses were beginning to open up again.  We also saw that the theatres were going to open, and there were opportunities to get discounted prices.  More on that later.

Just outside Macy's we could cross the street to Herald Square.  It was a great spot from which to take a picture of the Empire State Building.

It's also interesting how areas of Broadway have been beautified by large flower pots and  wide sidewalks for pedestrians.

On our way back to the hotel, we saw the Naked Cowboy entertaining tourists and traffic.  Hilarious.  Did I run to get my picture taken with him? ...ah

We relaxed the rest of the afternoon.  Then went to dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant, La Masseria.  It was excellent! 

Cory and I decided to try taking our chances at getting in to see another Broadway show.  We'd seen enough episodes of "Love it or list it" on HGTV to last a month.  We picked "Nice Work If You Can Get It," starring Matthew Broderick.  So, at 7:30 p.m. we showed up at the box office to check on tickets.  Cory went in to see if anything was available.  She came back out saying, "They have tickets in row 8. Interested????"  Oh my goodness.  "YES. Let's do it!" 

It was a treat!!  Gershwin music...hard to beat.  Matthew Broderick...what a deal.  Loved the show! 

As we walked back to the hotel, we saw that large garbage bags from restaurants, etc. were starting to pile up on the sidewalks. Hopefully, trash collection will resume soon.

As we retired, we were also HOPING that our flights would not be cancelled again, and that LaGuardia would open as promised, and we could fly out the next afternoon.  Oh yeah... and hot water...too much to hope for????

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fall Colors in Central Park

Walking by Central Park, I couldn't help but admire this tree's dark branches and green and golden leaves.  If I took even one artistic photo, this is probably it.  Because the sky was still gray, and the sun's light was muted, the colors were soft and rich.  I have never taken a ride through Central Park, but on a pretty autumn day, I'm thinking it would be spectacular. 

Looking past the barricades, one could see lovely pathways and ponds, all looking serene and inviting. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NYC, Day Five

Tuesday morning.  Hurricane Sandy had passed and was heading further inland and the would swing north and east.  Cory and I set out to breakfast at Roxy's (one of the only places open, except for the hotel restaurants).  It was crowded with tourists, but we were squeezed in.  It was a cash-only meal that morning. 

Then, like many other stranded tourists, we set out to explore the streets.  It was still drizzling, and I got my money's worth out of the $5 umbrella! 

We walked to the Ed Sullivan Theatre where they shoot the David Letterman Show.  Interestingly enough, Letterman aired the show both Monday and Tuesday without anyone in the audience.  I happened to watch both shows on TV, and it was a little strange for him to deliver jokes, and you could hear only the band and tech crew offering up some audible laughs. 
Cory checked the door to the theatre.  Closed.

I wanted to see Rupert's Hello Deli, and we did find it, but it was all closed up, with iron gates in front of the door and windows. 

Next we continued walking up Broadway until we hit a detour.  Several blocks were closed off because of the dangerous situation of the dangling crane, which we all saw on TV. 

We ended up walking north on Madison Ave, window shopping in all the exclusive shops.  When we got to 82nd Street, we turned west until we were at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was closed.    What a HUGE building! Would have been wonderful to visit.

From there we started walking south, and we walked along the eastern border of Central Park.  The park entrances were closed too, as workers were cleaning up downed tree branches from the hurricane winds.  The fall colors were still beautiful and made for a lovely walk.  We saw lots of folks jogging, walking their dogs, and just getting out. 
Central Park as a background for this pic.
Note the huge branch broken by the hurricane winds.

At the south end of Central Park is the location of a very unique Apple Store.  Check out the entrance, which is inside this glass cube.

After finding a place to eat a quick lunch, we continued walking back toward the hotel.  Suddenly, I realized that there was a guy standing, looking at us, smiling, and waving.  What???  I looked at Cory.  Then I looked back at the guy.  It was Cory's son's friend, Gabe; the boys had been school mates since elementary; he had recently moved to work in NY.  I had met him a few years ago too.  Cory couldn't believe her eyes!!  What were the chances of meeting him randomly on the streets of NY???  Gabe's residence was in lower Manhattan, and he had no electricity; so he and some friends decided to go to a movie. 

After our 4 hour walk, we were glad to put our feet up!  Checking weather reports and airline reservations, Cory discovered our reservations had been cancelled, again! So, she worked on re-booking, again.We also heard about more power outages and the flooded subway systems and decided to stay in for the rest of the evening. 

The girls that I knit with "back home" gather on Tuesday evenings for "knitting night."  They gave me a phone call.  It was GREAT to talk to them!!!

I noticed that as I got ready for bed, there was no hot water.  Hmmm... it'll probably be fixed by morning...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NYC, Day 4

Monday morning Cory and I woke up late, got caught up on the latest weather updates, and decided to head out for breakfast (maybe brunch would be a more accurate word) at Roxy's Deli.  We continued to see many, many families (parents with young children) wherever we went.  I wondered how it happened that these children were out of school for vacation in October.  Hmmmm.   Manhattan was filled with tourists from various countries, and we heard many different languages spoken around us. This morning, all subway and bus transportation was closed down.  So many tourists, including the two of us, had decided to get out and walk, window shopping, etc.  Most all businesses were closed.  We found that a couple of small deli's were open and businesses inside the large hotels were open as well.  That's about it.

Hurricane Sandy had started to bear down, and it was raining.  Cory had brought along her travel umbrella, but I had not.  If we were going to walk around a bit, I knew it was time to spring for an umbrella.  Right away, I saw a couple hanging in one of those sidewalk stands.  I thought that it would probably cost anywhere from $12-$20, based on prices in WY.  I asked, "How much for the umbrella?"  The reply? "Five bucks."  My inside voice said, "Really????"  I couldn't get that $5 dollar bill out fast enough.  I hoped the man in the stand wouldn't change his mind.  So, with umbrella in hand, we started walking and looking around the streets near Broadway.

We stopped in a pharmacy for Cory, and we also stopped in the Marriott Hotel and looked around.

The rain increased, and the wind occasionally was turning my umbrella inside-out.  We decided it might be time to get out of the weather and hold up in the hotel. I passed a guy on the sidewalk selling umbrellas for $4.00.  Where was he an hour ago?  LOL.
Here I am (with umbrella) outside the Hard Rock Cafe.

Cory and I watched more news updates on the TV, and she read while I wrote. 

Because of the storm, the hotel was offering its guests a special dinner buffet.  So, we lined up to get in.  We were asked if we would mind sharing a table with another couple, and of course, that was fine with us. As it turned out, the couple was from Brazil; the man spoke English, but his wife did not.  So, that made for interesting conversation.  The wife was very scared of the hurricane and could not sleep.  The husband was trying to understand what was being said on TV, but it was a bit difficult to translate it all.  Plus, he was thinking that the reporting was quite dramatized, and we agreed.  We assured them that we were located in a safe place and that we would be fine.  And that certainly was the case.  We were on the 22nd floor of the hotel, and honestly, we did not hear or feel strong winds, nor did we have rain splashed against our large windows. 

The brunt of Hurricane Sandy hit that night, but the very worst of it was right on the coast, where the hurricane winds pushed the sea water onto the shores, doing significant damage to those homes and businesses.  It also hit during high tide, which made it worse.  Residents who decided not to evacuate were shocked at how quickly the water came and how high it rose to wash away entire homes.  The entrances to the subways in lower Manhattan swallowed water, flooding the underground system.

Thankfully, we were safe. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NYC, Day 3

It was Sunday morning, and the news reports were available on nearly all TV stations.  Hurricane Sandy had definitely turned toward the East Coast and was predicted to hit Atlantic City, New Jersey.  New York would be hit we were prepared to watch the weather and conditions. 
Cameron, Amanda, and me in the hotel restaurant for breakfast.

Nevertheless, Cory and I continued with our plans for the day.  It started out with breakfast in the hotel...and Cameron and Amanda joined us.  Cameron is the son of one of my dearest friends, and as he was growing up,  I had the privilege of working with him in music and drama productions, as well as in my H.S. English classes.  He and his wife moved to Brooklyn only weeks ago, and they are loving it.  How surreal to spend time with each other in NYC!!  It was a treat to see and visit with them both!

Afterwards, Cory and I set out to see the exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art.  The museum has 6 floors of exhibits, and on the 6th floor was a special children's show.  From there, we made our way down to the main floor.   The visit was an awesome experience.  How great it is to see original paintings by the best artists!  I took only two pictures, but I was so awed by the French Impressionist paintings, as well as many American artists I have studied. 
Picasso's "Girl in Front of a Mirror"
Andy Warhols' "Marilyn Monroe"

We had lunch in one of the museum's cafes, and then we cruised the gift shops.

On the walk back to the hotel, we stopped at Rockefeller Center and shopped in the Metropolitan Museum Shop and Teuscher Chocolates. 
Rockefeller Center
While I watched the skaters and took pictures, Cory took a moment to sit down and check her messages. 

The sky turned grey, and we stayed in the hotel for dinner, for news updates on the hurricane, and multiple episodes of "Love It or List It" on HGTV.  Everyone in NYC was instructed to go home early, as all public transportation would be shut down at 7:00 p.m. It was reported that schools would be closed for two days, and all airports up and down the eastern seaboard would be shut down.  Also, we got the news that our flight home on Tuesday afternoon had been cancelled.   Cory spent several hours on the phone trying to get through to United and rebook a flight. (That was lengthy and frustrating!) Finally, Cory's business meetings had been cancelled too!

What a place to be stranded in, eh?  We were sure to make the best of it.