Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring Update

What a busy month I have had since I last posted (holy cow, over a month ago!). My sister got married and we spent a week between quarters at my parents' house hanging out with my grandparents and boating up to Victoria BC for a couple of days(pictures to come.. eventually!). School started again, and I have been working hard ever since. I actually had a Microbiology test today (I think I did pretty well) and decided I had a little bit of time afterward to write a little something.
I made a beeswax candle the other day. Just one for practice. I mostly liked the way it turned out (I mean, it's a candle), but it set kind of weird so I'm glad I didn't make several at once. I added coconut oil so that it wouldn't crack when it hardened, but it is burning a little more quickly than I expected, so maybe I'll try a different oil next time. Avocado or olive maybe? I don't even know if that has an effect on burning time. More research!
I've been buying a lot of flowers and new plants lately (because I can) and it has really lightened the place up. I love taking pictures of plants and they all looked so pretty the other day with the soft spring light shining in. I try to buy a new plant every few months or whenever Forrest isn't looking (just kidding). I'm starting to get quite a collection, but I have some pretty big houseplant aspirations.

Also, I'm about 3/4 of the way done with Forrest's sweater. I'm working on the second side panel (I'd barely started it in the picture above but I'm almost done with it now) and then I'll just have the sleeves to go. And then, of course, I have to seam it all together. I have never seamed anything in this fine of a weight of yarn and I'm a little intimidated. But then, that's what I love so much about knitting. There is always a new skill to learn and always room for improvement.
Beeswax is really hard to cut, did you know?
The moss above is new! I love it so. I'm also in the market for a really pretty air fern. I had the cutest little fern in England but I had to give it away before I left. I've only been able to find outdoor ferns and gigantic indoor ferns lately. I think that a trip to Sky Nursery in Shoreline just north of Seattle may be just the ticket.
I've been so tired lately. Just tired of being online. Contributing to the internet is a time-consuming and sometimes silly investment of time, but I find that with every post I publish, my satisfaction grows.  I've never been a huge social media person (it's difficult for me to even post as much as I do with my full class load) but I do enjoy keeping track of my life through pictures on this blog. It's so exhausting keeping up, but it's worth it to be able to scroll through here and look back on small moments that I had forgotten I'd even recorded. That is why I take pictures and that is why I put them here.

I truly hope that others out there are getting even a fraction of the joy out of this blog that I find from putting into it.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Oban, Scotland

After we explored the Fairy Pools, we left Skye by bridge and made our way to Oban, a small coastal town near the Isle of Mull. These first three photos were taken on Skye (which I still cannot get over).

We found a large field with a spectacular view a few minutes outside of Oban and set up camp. I tried to make friends with the horse in the field next to ours but he would have nothing to do with me. I blame my lack of carrots.
Seriously, that view.
//weird side note--I miss my CRV so much! We put over 40,000 miles on it in two years (impressive, I thought, considering that I only drove it 2-3 times a week!) and it never let us down. Well, there was that radiator incident (on a different trip to Scotland, now that I think of it).. but I blame that on cheap British car parts. :) I don't think any other car will ever be able to live up to this one.//
The downside to camping in Scotland.. millions and millions of midges. I had more bites than I could count despite the scary amounts of bug spray we used. I am coughing just looking at this picture. 

I also seem to remember that someone forgot to bring pajama pants with him because, "It's summer!" Luckily for him, I wear men's pajamas a size or two too large and brought two pairs with me.
Camping in Scotland is chilly business.
These highland coos are all over Scotland and I finally had a chance to stop and take a few photos. I want to hug one so badly!
Oban is the cutest town. It's a resort town and was quite busy. We weren't able to spend a lot of time there because we had a ferry to Mull and Iona to catch early in the morning. We stopped for a meal the day we left and walked through town a little bit. It was packed full of tourists and backpackers. I wish we'd had a chance to stay in the downtown because it was so beautiful. We couldn't have picked a more beautiful day to visit either. It started out a little cloudy and then the sun came out to play and make us remember it was summertime!
If we ever go back to Oban, I want to stay in this hotel right here.

I've got about two more solid posts of Scotland left. I have been enjoying looking back at these photos (and sighing with longing to go back) so much and I hope you (Mom) have too!

P.S. parts 1/2/3/4/5/6/7

Friday, March 6, 2015

Bedford Sweater + Discovery Park

I finished my Bedford sweater about two weeks ago and have worn it at least six times since. Megan came up to visit us last weekend and I hadn't taken any pictures of it yet, so we decided to do a mini photoshoot at Discovery Park.
I am clearly not a model, but it was fun anyway pretending not to look at the camera and not smiling as per Megan's instructions.
I can't believe this beautiful sister of mine is getting married this month!

We had a lovely sunset (as you can see!) and have been having such beautiful weather lately that I think my sweater-wearing days are numbered.

**All of the sweater pictures and pictures of Forrest and me were taken by my lovely Megan!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ol' Kentucky: Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace

We stayed with Forrest's dad and brothers for a couple of weeks in July last summer about 45 minutes outside of Louisville.

I'm just going to come right out and say it: if you're not really into horses, there's not a whole lot to do in Kentucky in the middle of summer. It's too hot to do anything outdoors except swim (for this PNW girl at least) and there aren't any clean rivers or lakes nearby (less than an hour drive). We did go to Kentucky Kingdom, a waterpark located right outside of Louisville, but the only day we could go ended up being one of the coldest days of our entire trip (~65-75).

Forrest had been promising me forever to go and see Abraham Lincoln's birthplace when we went to Kentucky. We somehow didn't get a chance when we were there six months before, but this time I was determined. We chose an extremely muggy day to go with even a few scattered showers. Notice that I am in jeans because it was even a little chilly that day! There weren't very many people there (maybe because of the weather) but I can't imagine that it's ever very crowded.

The cabin is protected inside a large mausoleum.
I couldn't actually get a picture of the whole cabin because I only brought my 50mm lens and it was pretty close quarters inside. But you get the idea.
Abraham is the baby.
"Here over the log cabin where Abraham Lincoln was born destined to preserve the union and to free the slave. A grateful people have dedicated this memorial to unity, peace, and brotherhood among these states."
There is a lovely grotto built around the old well or the Sinking Creek as it is called. Once you step down inside the walls, all you can hear is the trickling water. There are trees all around the top and it is very serene and gorgeously green.
It only takes an hour or so to watch the introductory video at the visitor's center (worth watching in my opinion), have a short chat/tour with a ranger up the trail, see the cabin, and walk the whole trail around which is about half a mile. Forrest and his brothers had already been to Lincoln's birthplace and warned me that it wasn't very exciting, but obviously I wanted to see it anyway. From there, we traveled the few miles to Abraham Lincoln's childhood home (which doesn't exist anymore). Basically it's a big field with another little cabin (below) that may have belonged to a neighbor which was moved to where the Lincolns' cabin was thought to have been.
This building above was some sort of historical tavern/visitors center that is no longer open. I think it had a renovation sign on the front and they are intending to fix the floors and the structural integrity of the beams, if I remember correctly.
And this is one of the fields belonging to the Lincoln's farm. 

The most interesting thing I learned from this expedition was that Abraham Lincoln's family was not destitute as we are all taught (born in poverty). Rather, his father was actually a semi-wealthy farmer belonging to the middle class! You had to have money to buy your own 300 acres of land (duh). This was a little bit of a shocker to me, but when I saw the cabin up close, it's really not that small, especially if there was a loft (the ceiling is really, really tall!). Seeing the cabin once is good enough for me, but I'm really glad I got the chance to visit.

If ever you're in Kentucky, this is a pretty good afternoon out!