Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wicked Good Time

by Caroline

I need to finish up my Chicago trip before I forget the details! Quick recap - Thursday night: Wait, Wait . . . . Don't Tell Me! Lots of fun and a great time!

Friday night: Wicked. I don't know if I can do this show justice! I had several people tell me what a good show it was, but, WOW! I loved it! I laughed, I cried! I rooted for the wicked witch. When the show was over, I could only turn to Mary and say, "Ooh, what a good show!" Over and over again! I can't wait to see it again. I say again, "What a good show!"

The show was the best part of another fun evening. Mary and I had taken the El in to the city again (we got very lucky that both evening's locations were so close to subway stations). We walked around the theater block (even in the cold - thank you, Mary, for bringing the extra hat) and stopped at a sandwich shop, Potbelly's, for dinner. Yum! And then we ran across the street to Ethel's Chocolate Lounge for dessert. Yum, yum! And then to the theater for a wicked good show!

Friday was a late night but we were up the next morning for our trip to the Field Museum. What a great museum! I was about to write that it wast the site of the movie, Night at the Museum but I just checked and it wasn't! The American Museum of Natural History was. So never mind. We went through the Aztec exhibit, Ancient Egypt, Gems & Minerals, Southeast Asia, the jade exhibit . . . . but so much to take in, after four hours, it felt like our brains were too big for our heads and we needed to decompress!

Saturday was our worst weather day but we left the Field Museum and walked over to the Shedd Aquarium. It was packed! But we stayed for three hours. We were toast when we left. Such a great time!

Whew! I'm tired just looking back at the pictures. We left Chicago proper and found our way, first, to The Container Store and then to the Weber Grill Restaurant for dinner. So good! I had the filet with a baked potato the size of a Nerf toy football. I could eat only half. The steak was incredible, so tender and juicy! But we were exhausted and I was leaving the next day.

Thanks again to Mary for letting me stay with her and for taking all my pictures! I had a great time!

Fun with Felt!

by Kathleen

I've got some catching up to do... so this is the first in a series of short posts...

In December (well, really it was November, but I was slow) I participated in an ornament swap, done by a group I'm in, on Ravelry. I posted about what I received but here's what I sent out.

Snowpeople couple... felt shapes cut and sewn together with slight stuffing; embroidered faces, felt carrot noses and googly eyes, knit scarf and skirt; braided arms to hug and hold each other.

Needle felted sheep with knit scarf and hat.

For the "Kid's swap"... felt (stiffened with timtex) reindeer with googly eyes, painted details and bells around their necks; oh, and clothespin legs!
Better picture... this idea was brought to a guild meeting as a kind of off-hand suggestion... and we all loved them. Sometimes the simplest ideas are so fun!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wait, Wait . . . . I'm blogging!

by Caroline

So here I am in Chicago; cold, snowy Chicago. Last night Mary and I took the El into the city for the taping of NPR's Wait, Wait . . . . Don't Tell Me. I can't tell you how giddy I was. It didn't seem real that I came all the way to Chicago specifically for this show. But I did! *squeal* What a geek:

The show was sold out and we joined the line that snaked around the waiting area. You can't tell from the picture but, as the line began moving to the auditorium, everyone stayed in congo line formation without the aid of posts or ropes. Good little NPR listeners.

We had brought our knitting, Mary and I, but were so excited to be there that we couldn't concentrate! Then the show began! They came out in a sports-like style: flashing lights and high fives. The panel was Adam Felber, Roxanne Roberts, and Mo Rocca. Peter Sagal talked about the taping and Carl Kasell gave the cues. It's a little weird, they all have headphones on and we don't hear the signals from the booth. So, sometimes, they would just stop talking and stand there a minute. After the taping they fix any stumbles and they do a Q & A.

I will restrain myself from giving you a word by word account of the show (you are welcome) but I will tell you that I laughed enough to get light-headed. That one of the funniest moments was when the subject of the porn industry bailout came up and they riffed on turning Senate names into porn star names. That might be edited out. I will tell you that I have had Peter Sagal's voice in my head all day today (I so wanted to call out "Peter, I love you" but I was afraid of being thrown out). Also, Carl Kasell's voice, in person, is a powerful voice. Adam Felber seems like he is having a ball up on the stage. Roxanne Roberts is very lady-like but she started some of the risque bits. Mo Rocca, as funny as he is, really impressed me after the show. He is a very gracious person, who seemed honored when I thanked him for the entertainment.

I didn't get Mo's picture. By the time I got to him, he had his coat on and I didn't want to hold him up. What a great evening!

Poor Mary, she had a class the next morning but waited patiently while I got my pictures, autographs, and souveniers. Tonight, we see Wicked! But right now, I am going to hit the hotel hot tub. Aah, hotel life.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


by Caroline

Greetings from Chicago! But wait, the title says "Disney" . . . . what's that all about? Well, back in November I went to Disney with my friend Kathy, her 2 boys, and various members of her family. I think I should cover that trip before I begin this trip.

So, as I said, I went to Disney with Kathy and her family, including her father. Her father, by the way, is a Santa Claus. A Santa Claus who spends the year making wooden toys that he gives away at Christmas! Can you imagine going to Disney with Santa? Kathy tried to warn me but it is something that has to be experienced to be believed. He gets as much attention as the characters walking the park. The kids, staring from a distance, not really sure; their parents, "we don't want to bother you, but" . . . Dick was great with them all. The cast members loved him, the characters had a great time playing off him.

But the best of all, was Cheryl. She was the character handler at the Crystal Palace breakfast. Cheryl, who sees behind the magic every day, was thrilled to death to meet Santa! She brought over kids, other adults, and co-workers. She had us laughing the whole time and we certainly seemed to make her day.

I also had a great time at that breakfast because it was Winnie the Pooh and friends (my faves). A while back (sorry, no link to the particular post), the Yarn Harlot challenged readers to get pix of elected officials holding their socks or other projects. Well, elected officials are not in my circle but . . . .

We did a park a day, several character meals, and SeaWorld. We walked our legs off! I got to ride some of my favorite nostalgia rides: Snow White, Peter Pan, Jungle Cruise, and Pirates (I couldn't talk anyone into Small World); some more recent faves: Buzz Lightyear, Muppets (not actually a ride, I know), Space Mountain (took me a long time to ride this one - I'm a chicken); and new rides (new to me, it's been a while): the Speedway Test Track, Woody's 3-D Arcade and Atlantis (SeaWorld).

We were there for Disney's change-over to the Christmas season. We went to the first night of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. The park closes and a limited number of people (56,000 pre-sold tickets) are allowed to stay till midnight. Most of the rides are open and the counter service eateries are open with a section set up with free hot chocolate and cookies! The castle was, well, magical.

Tonight, in Chicago, I go to the taping of NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. I can not tell you how excited I am.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


by Caroline

Well, my 4th folder has only 3 pictures and they are copies of reciepts for Wi-Fi at Barnes & Noble! So, I'm going over to the 5th folder. Symmetry demands that I use the 5th picture in the 5th folder; it is almost identical to the 4th one anyway, but a better shot.

So, 4 facts about this picture (or should that be 5?):

-That is my mother (for those who don't know her) in the center of the picture, finishing a half marathon (13 miles).

-The marathon was in October 2006 and she had been training for the previous year (time lines are estimates). She worked on her endurance and miles even as they traveled.

-She tried to get her daughters to join her (in training, at least) but my SIL, Brenda and my sister, Debbie were the only ones who managed any discipline.

-I walked with her and Debbie only a few times but I really did enjoy those times. They, meaning my mother, slowed her pace a bit for me; Debbie, however, would outpace us and then walk back. But still, the conversations during these walks were good.

-I was, and am, very proud of my mother for this feat. We are a fairly sedentary group and it isn't easy to break that habit.

Let's see, I'll throw this to Gigi, Lora, Gina, and Jackie. They can go back to the 4 facts about the 4th picture in the 4th folder format.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A tag-a-long fill-in

by Kathleen

While I finish the old year and prepare for the new (all right... I know that technically I'm three days into the new already, but only in body not spirit) I will take advantage of a quick and easy post by responding to Toni's photo challenge (though the challenge was actually posted on this blog).
* go to my 4th picture folder
* go to the 4th picture in the folder
* tell you 4 things about that picture
* tag 4 more people

*This is a photo taken by DH of a run done by a group of his good friends with whom he does white water canoeing. Note that they do not kayak, they canoe... up to class IV. They're crazy.
*The river they're on here is only runnable once a year or so. On wet years they may get to go twice, some years they can't run it at all. It is FULL of strainers and scary stuff. They're crazy.
*They're so into canoeing they go on the water every month. Even in January. In fact they usually do an overnight canoe and camp on New Year's Eve. In the freezing cold and snow and icy water. Did I mention that they're crazy?
*I don't actually know who that is in the red boat then, but DH owns that one now. He didn't feel up to running that river at that time (this is probably about two years ago), but he would now. He is crazy.
And I love that they all get so into this, and talk about gear and plan trips to special rivers and gorges. Reminds me a bit of some fiber obsessed people who shall go nameless...

I'm not going to tag four other people, though I'd love to go to your blogs and read your photo stories. I'm only going to tag one person...

Caroline... this post requires very, very, very few words. You can do it... come on... come on...