Wild Kaiso

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Yarn: three different ones
Pattern: Kaiso by Judy Sumner
Started on: 5/1/14
Completed: 12/20/14
Notes: done with three yarns; I think I actually finished these in November, but then it took me another month to weave in all the ends. I will never do that again — I don’t know WHAT I was thinking!

Coming to Joe & Gay’s anniversary celebration, and worried about food allergies or restrictions?

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If you’re not a regular here, you might not know it, but I have severe food allergies (seafood, chickens/turkeys/fowls, eggs from both of those types of animals) so I can guarantee you that food safety/concerns/wishes are something we take very seriously around here.

While the menu is not yet set for the actual anniversary party, I already know that a few people coming are vegetarians, vegans, and/or have celiac disease. I don’t want you to have to use your epi-pen any more than I want to use my own, so don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you have concerns.

We also plan to eat out a few times, as a group (with anyone who’s available), and again, please let me know if you have any dietary concerns or restrictions (for example, I’d knock the grilled cheese place off the list if people coming are both vegan and have celiac disease).

Now… one of the things we all love about Gainesville so much, is the wide variety of locally owned restaurants. You can find a very clever list of them all online, here at No Soup For You. You can either look through them all or search by type of fare (bakery, Cuban, fusion, vegan, etc.). Most likely to be on our list for group lunches are Chopstix (Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, sushi) and very, very careful about food allergies and cross-contamination) and Emiliano’s (Caribbean, tapas, really great salads, and the servers are very open to discussion on what goes into the food). Emiliano’s is downtown, close to the party location (and to the hotel we recommended for people who wanted to be right close to the event, the Hampton) and Chopstix is just south of that and not far of a drive — and, it’s on the water; as you can see in the photo below, the view is worth it.

Sunset and the sound of crickets

We’ll also be having a dinner out here at the property, more of a buffet/free-for-all sort of thing, and again while the menu isn’t set for that, yet, different needs will be accommodated.

Anyway! We want you to know that if you have any food restrictions, your needs will be met as best we can, and please don’t be afraid to contact me if you have any concerns.

Five of my favorite disaster movies

I love a good disaster movie, but what makes it “good” can be subjective. For instance, it doesn’t necessarily have to be realistic in order for me to love it – I mean, come on, The Poseidon Adventure is going to be on this list, and that’s about as far-fetched as it can get. What makes me like disaster movies? A good cast. Well-rounded supporting characters. A sympathetic/likable character who dies.  Somewhat of a plot – as in, not just explosion after explosion followed by senseless death after senseless death, just for the action/drama.

Now, because there’s no way for me to list these in the order in which I like them (I enjoy them all equally!), this is alphabetical. Oh, fairness.

1. Dante’s Peak I don’t think I even knew what this was about when I went to go see it, all I knew was that Linda Hamilton was in it, and after the Terminator movies I’ll pretty much watch anything she does. This movie has one of my favorite supporting casts; the vulcanoligist team (IMHO) sets the bar for “team of quirky scientists who work really well together”. I would watch the shit out of a TV series that featured only them, travelling around the world, studying volcanoes.

2. The Day After Jason Robards! Steven Guttenberg! JoBeth Williams! John Lithgow! Man, did this movie ever scare the pants off me as a child, especially having recently read Alas, Babylon for the first time a year or two before seeing this movie. The actual nuclear war only lasts a minute or two of the film; the rest is about survival… if you can even call it that. This is not a hopeful film, but it’s an honest film, and made me think even at that young an age, “how can we know this would be the end result and still have these weapons pointed at each other?”. The scene where the family shows up for church still kills me, as does the scene where Jason Robards finds what’s left of his house.

3. Deep Impact Robert Duvall! Téa Leoni! Frodo! Morgan Freeman as the President! I think my favorites are the supporting characters, though; Vanessa Redgrave, Maximilian Schell, and Laura Innes (who I think has the best character arc in the film, going from spiteful to sympathetic over the course of the movie). I liked that this movie focused more on the human drama rather than the drama of special effects (although, sure, there are some). People made faulty choices, came to wrong conclusions, did the wrong thing and then tried to do the right thing to fix it, put their loved ones first (or didn’t), or chose their own way out. I find those things more appealing about end-of-the-world scenarios, more so than spectacular special effects.

4. The Poseidon Adventure Gene Hackman, *not* playing a bad guy! Shelly Winters! Ernest Borgnine! Roddy McDowell! Grandpa Joe! This one probably has my favorite complete ensemble cast; meaning, I couldn’t pick out any one above the other as a lead. I grok that Gene Hackman is supposed to be the lead, but you can’t tell me that Roddy McDowell and Shelly Winters (especially Shelly) don’t stand out, or that Ernest Borgnine doesn’t chew through every scene he’s in like a grizzled old badger. Sure. The premise is unlikely. Improbable, even, if not outright impossible. But who isn’t cheering for them to get to the bottom – now the top – of the ship by the end of the movie?! Let’s just not mention the 1979 sequel, or the remake in the early 2000s. Those are both dead to me – this is a stand-alone film. Oscar winning, too!

5. Twister Helen Hunt! Bill Paxton, *not* playing a bad guy OR an asshole! Philip Seymour Hoffman! A cow! And my second favorite team of nerdy scientists who work well together. Not to mention that you know I want to be Aunt Meg when I grow up… living in the country in a beautiful big house, making crazy art, giving no fucks, and making everyone feel welcome when they unexpectedly drop by. Yes, this one is heavy on the special effects, and the end tornado showdown is highly improbable… but I do like the characters and if this is on when I’m flipping channels, I can’t help but stop and watch.

Honorable mentions: Earthquake and The Towering Inferno which both, granted, have fantastic casts and focus more on the people than the disaster itself.

Tip of the hat to Contagion and Outbreak… if I could think of three more, I’d do a post on five favorite plague/virus films (could I squeeze The Stand in there, the miniseries from the 90s?).

Five things I’m enjoying this week

Every day I’m farther away from this bone break, I’m in a better and better mood. The shock of being who I am one minute and then hardly even being able to wash my hair the next took a while to subside, but now every day is more about how I can do what I can do, rather than thinking about what I can’t do. Here are five things I’m doing right now.

1. Reading on my Kindle app. Most of our books are still packed, and the one physical book I was reading is about three inches thick — I can sort of balance it on one leg in the reclining chair, but forget propping it up and reading it in bed… hence, using the Kindle app on my tablet. Don’t worry, real books, you know I’ll always love you more. I’ve downloaded a Bill Bryson non-fiction book, the Divergent series, a book and another series of books by Vonda McIntyre, and I totally got sidetracked by ”Leviathan Wakes”, a fun science fiction space opera (and I’m more than halfway through the next book in the series, “Caliban’s War”). I’m looking forward to the SyFy channel’s series based on those books (and since I know Chad Coleman – The Wire, Walking Dead – is in them and what character he plays, I can totally see him in my head when I’m reading).

2. Having the TV work. Last Friday our Satellite Dish got taken out by an afternoon storm, and through a Series of Events, they couldn’t come and fix it until Wednesday. Since most of what I can do right now is read and watch TV, I’ve done more reading this week than anything else. I’m anxious to do some more painting, though, and I like to have the TV on in the background for noise when I do that, so, I’m glad it’s fixed again.

3. Speaking of TV, Dark Matter and Killjoys. Those are new series on the SyFy Channel, and while I will never forgive them for either their name or their cancellation of Farscape, they’re starting to make it up to me. If you like Farscape, Firefly, and space opera in general, you might like these new series. They’re not Shakespeare, but they’re not bad!

4. Physical Therapy. Every day I’m a little bit better than the day before, and every week my x-rays look better than the week before. I forgot to ask him for a print-out Thursday, but with this last x-ray, you could barely even see the biggest break. Everything is healing up fine. And the people at the physical therapy office are all wonderful – they’re funny, and smart, and all of them very good with different types of people (so important in any kind of service industry). Even though it hurts, because now they can start me on movement, I like going every time. And the pain is just something to breathe through, as my eyes are on the prize of full recovery. Still, the staff at the Orthopedic Center are all wonderful.

5. Being creative. I’ve been cleared to knit, and I found out I can also make stitch markers (which I’ve been sitting on the supplies for a while). The pliers are also great physical therapy, with the squeezing and releasing! But mostly I’m glad to be knitting again. The month of June was the longest I’ve spent not knitting since I started knitting… what… twelve years ago now? Even at my tiredest, during the move, I managed at least a row or two a day. I’m glad to be back to it (and also plan to set up my spinning wheel soon, too).

6. Bonus! I’m enjoying my friends! Tuesday night we went to see Heather belly-dance, got to chat with Ryan a bit, and met up with not just Jenn and Stu but also Chris and Sharon. It made me feel like a human, going out somewhere with good people for good times, for the first time in June! Also, earlier this week, Rhea came out and brought Middle K and Little K, and they had some studio time. I love watching kids do ceramics, it reminds me of how I got consumed with it at an even earlier age. I hope they never lose that enthusiasm for having fun and making art.

So, that’s me. What are you enjoying this week?

Five of my Pinterest boards that I’m enjoying

Is anybody still on Pinterest? I had to change my account to business, for reasons, so if you’re on Pinterest and you were following me as HaldeChick and have noticed that I don’t pin much any more, that’s because for the last 6 months or so I’ve been primarily pinning as HaldeCraft. I still have the old account open, mostly for messages, but I only access it on my phone so as to cut down the logging out/logging back in.

ANYWAY!

1. My “Ceramic Admiration” board. These are finished ceramic pieces not made by me (well, OK, sometimes I drop one or two of mine in there, just because) and they’re ones I find inspiring, magical, fun, or jealousy-inspiring. I treat this board like I would a museum, and use it for daydreaming and inspiration. I go back to it often just to marvel at the talented potters and ceramicists and sculptors out there.

Follow HaldeCraft’s board Ceramic admiration on Pinterest.

2. My “For the Bathroom” board. There are entirely too many claw-footed tubs out there and I WANT THEM ALL. Also, lacy curtains. And rustic wooden floors.

Follow HaldeCraft’s board For the bathroom on Pinterest.

3. My “For the Garden” board. This covers both vegetable garden and flower garden (although I suppose I have enough pins that I could break them into two boards, but, whatevs. Greenhouses. Bees. Flowes. Fruits. Vegetables. Fairy doors. Birdhouses.

Follow HaldeCraft’s board For the garden (and yard) on Pinterest.

4. My “For the new Porch (and Future Parties”) board. Because not only are we doing the deck that Tim put in already (we do want to stain it, still) but he’s going to make a front porch (screened in) for my studio, and a combo screened-in porch/open deck for the front of the house. So, pictures of rustic and pretty screened-in porches, stuff on outdoor kitchens, etc.

Follow HaldeCraft’s board For the new porch (and future parties) on Pinterest.

5. My “For the New Studio” board. Tips, tricks, and inspirational photos of other people’s studios… (OK, sometimes I plop in one of my own, just because).

Follow HaldeCraft’s board For the new studio on Pinterest.

And, as a weird bonus… 6. One of the reasons I had to switch to a business account is for rich pins. Shopify and Pinterest are partnering and if you’re not trying to sell stuff on Pinterest then your eyes just glazed over. They’re also partnering to make Shopify stores some of the first ones that you can now shop from, directly from Pinterest. That’s right, soon you won’t even have to click the picture to get to my site, you can just buy things directly off Pinterest and it’ll show up in my Shopify back end as if you’d bought it there. That’s not going to start happening until – I think – July, but meanwhile, even though I already have a few boards for some of my favorite things I make, Pinterest just sucked in my entire stock into One Giant Board.

Follow HaldeCraft’s board Products on Pinterest.

Spending the weekend for Gay & Joe’s anniversary? Consider hiking the La Chua Trail!

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One place that Aunt Gay and Uncle Joe love to go, and would love to show to anyone making a weekend out of the anniversary party, is to the La Chua Trail. The trail, about 3 miles long, goes to almost the center of Paynes Prairie, passing the Alachua Sink on the way. It’s called a sink because it is essentially that – in times of drought, the water can get very low (and the alligators more abundant around it as they try to stay cool in what water there is) and in times of heavy rain it can “back up” and almost flood the prairie. There is a handicapped/wheelchair accessible part of the walk, to the sink (some concrete, some boardwalk); after the sink it is a dirt and grass path and not wheelchair friendly. The hike is three miles out to an observation tower (so, three miles back) but you can stop and turn around at any point – many people don’t go beyond the sink, which is about the halfway mark.

The address of the park is 4801 Camp Ranch Rd, Gainesville, FL 32641 (this is about a 15-minute drive south/south-east from the party location). The trail opens at 8 AM and closes one hour before sunset, and the cost to get into the trail is $2 per person. Due to the large number of wild, free-roaming alligators, pets are not allowed.

There’s a great description of the hike here that you can read, if you’re on the fence about joining us. The time is not yet set in stone but this will tentatively be Friday morning, starting as early as we can get there as the second half of the walk is in the direct sun. And below, I’ll leave you with a few photos I’ve taken the times I’ve been out there. This is definitely an opportunity for photographing the real Florida!

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