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Thursday, April 30, 2009
I love being able to scratch another line off my "to do" list! Today I got the collar and cuffs sewn onto this dress that I made this spring which was one of the entries on my list. I love the fabric, Mark bought it for me at Needle and Thread after I'd lusted for it on another visit and wasn't able to buy it! I was hurrying to get finished with the dress because I thought I was going to wear it to a Lady's Tea I'm attending on May 16th (1860's era) but after seeing it pictured, I've decided that while I love it, it's just not light enough in color for a spring social event, and a straw bonnet won't look right with it. I have a knitted dinner cap on the needles right now that will go with the dress, and I'll finish it for later on. I'll save the dress for the Loudin Park Cemetary Memorial Service that's usually the 1st weekend in June, it's somber but not full mourning attire, perfect for that event. I don't wear my really good and favorite dresses to outdoor events, I have plenty of dresses for outside. :)
I'll probably have to make another set of collar and cuffs for one of my other dresses that's flowery and light colored for the tea. I've been sewing them on rather than pinning them like I used to because they lie so much smoother sewn. But since they're sewn in, each dress has it's own set, measured for and designed for it. I'm drawn to the darker fabrics in the store but I'm going to have to make sure I have a couple of light colored dresses just for events such as the tea. :)
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I took another sock machine lesson last evening and my homework is to make a pair of socks before my next lesson and to do some ribbing with the ribber that is now working. I'm not yet to the point where I can finish a pair on my own, I need to learn the non-needle weaving stitch for the toes and I'm still pretty fumbly. It's all about practice and more practice to become comfortable, just like with hand knitting. If you have an interest in getting a sock machine or using one you've found, feel free to send me a message, I'm happy to pass on my teacher and information to you. Not all of the experiences that I've had with this machine have been positive, and I might be able to help you watch out for the same pitfalls I've experienced. I'll reply privately.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Here's Poppa hugging Jenn while Aidan looks around to see what he can get into. We had a wonderful dinner at Legal Sea Food and Aidan was incredibly good. He ate well, and behaved better than any other 17 month could be expected to. We were very impressed! Nanny and Poppa got hugs from the little guy as well as us big humans, and we really enjoyed seeing them.
We drove down the coast to North Carolina and found this monument to the First 100 years of flight. The pillars are etched with a timeline of important events in flight and exploration. It was high up on a sand dune in Kitty Hawk, NC, a very beautiful area. The entire Outer Banks area was beautiful and I'd love to spend some time there over the summer, it looks like a very mellow and family oriented area, especially compared to some of the other beach cities we've been to.
It was incredibly windy all day though it was sunny. The waves were very high and really whipping around on the shore. We stayed the night in Kitty Hawk, and I was not surprised that they often suffer hurricane damage. The waves were nearly under the houses just on this windy day.
This is the monument to the Wright Brother's first flight at the National Park at Kill Devil Hills, NC. It was Orville Wright's Birthday the day we went so we got into the park free. It was really neat, they had replicas of the glider and airplane and the shop where they worked on the plane. There really is nothing out there and I can see why they used a tall spot in the dunes to launch the plane.
We also went to Ft. Raleigh which is also called the Lost colony. This is Mark by the Visitor Center. This is a National Park, but it shares land with a play that's been running about the lost colony, as well as beautiful Elizabethian Gardens. The wind was still pretty strong, but it was a beautiful sunny day all over the sites that we visited.
Here I am posing with the British flag in Ft. Raleigh. The earth walls don't look like much defense against the Native people who initially helped the settlers when they came to NC. The entire colony of people, including the first child born in England 's colonies (Virginia Dare) disappeared in 1587, hence they were referred to as "The Lost Colony".
The next morning bright and early we got started going to look for lighthouses on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The first one we encountered was the Bodie Island Light which was outlined by the sunshine of the morning. The wind had died down somewhat and it was a beautiful day. This lighthouse was not open to climbing. I love how each light house is painted differently on the Outer Banks.
This is the famous Cape Hatteras Light house that was moved from a spot that became too near to the beach to the spot where it now sits in 1999-2000. The Park Service does permit climbing up to the top for $7.00 per person but I thought I still wanted to be able to walk the next day so we declined not to do the climb. There is a nice but small visitor's center, and I was surprised that they hadn't given much information on the move of the lighthouse. I thought it was a monumental undertaking and deserved to be talked about.
The next lighthouse going south is on an island called Ocracoke and due to a big storm in the 1800's it is now only accessible via ferry boat. We waited for about an hour and then loaded the car and us on the ferry for the 40 minute ride over to the island. There is a really cute village there with houses and shops and places to eat.
This is a view of Hatteras as we left the island. We had seagulls following the ferry the entire time we were in the water. It was really neat, they took along some 18 wheelers too.
This is the Ocracoke Island light, it's the oldest (1820's) operational light on the East Coast. It's smaller than the others but it's really beautiful. The visitor center for this island is not near the lighthouse and it's not open for visitors so I took this picture from the ferry.
And speaking of "from the ferry", here are the socks I've been working on knitting during the trip. We're on the ferry in this picture, we had to take the ferry from Ocracoke to Cedar Island. We were trying to make the Cape Lookout Visitor Center before 5pm but we arrived at 5:05pm. That's ok, we wanted to spend more time there so we'll come back on the way back north.
This is a picture of the Cape Lookout visitor center right on the edge of the island. It was like in National Lampoon's Vacation after driving to Wally World and finding it was closed.
South of the Border is a place that I've mentioned in past blog entries. It's a place that is full of fun neon and statuary and campy shops. It's on the road to Myrtle Beach, SC right below the border with North Carolina. As happens about 80% of the time, we arrived there in the middle of the night. We took a couple of pictures of the neon and got onto the road again.
Another shot at the neon at South of the Border. They actually looked as though they'd done a bunch of work on the shops there and cleaned up the area a lot. It looks like it would be not a bad place. We'd actually gotten to stop there once during the day when we were driving Jon from Basic training in SC to AIT in Virginia. We did a lot of driving back and forth to see Jon while he was at Ft. Eustis in Virginia, but never got to go by South of the Border again since we didn't have to go that far South.
This scene really made me sick and alarmed me. This was at a Truck stop in South Carolina. Yes, they're real Gator heads. There are quite a few baby heads too. I just can't understand why they'd kill so many baby alligators, for food or leather, they'd want older gators anyway, why senselessly kill these. And I just can't even imagine the use for these...surely people don't keep them on shelves and coffee tables, do they? I just had to take a picture of this. EWWWW.
This picture was from Saturday morning while we were waiting for the Hunley center to open. We had timed tickets to see the historic sub and I was excited and we got there early. I had time to knit and worked on my sock a bit before the Center opened. We also met a really nice Canadian family that was there to see the Hunley. The dad was a definite Civil War buff, and had been to Gettysburg and a few other Civil War sites.
This is the photographable area of the Hunley. We weren't able to take any pictures of the sub itself in the conservation area. It is submerged in clear water because they are trying to take out all the salt out of the metal. The salt makes the metal fragile and brittle so they definitely want to get all the salt to come out. They do drain the tank periodically so that conservators and archeologists can study and work on the sub. This is a picture of most of the Hunley crew. The 3rd crew to die on the sub was the last crew, these are the guys that managed to sink the USS Housatonic which was the first ship to ever be sunk by a submarine in wartime.
These are the Medals of Honor that were awarded to the crew of the Hunley after they went down. The sub sat in the silt in the bottom of Charleston Harbor for 130 years with the crew entombed in mud that had seeped into the sub. They were later buried in North Charleston. They had the actual gold coin that was in the Captain's pocket as well as the jewelry that he had in his pocket when the sub went down.
This is a mock up of the sub. The Captain of the sub was 5'8" to 5'10" and there was one crewmember that was over 6 foot tall. They had to crank the propeller by hand while stooped over in the tiny sub. The experience was amazing, and of course, we got a couple of tee shirts for ourselves and the adorable Grandbaby.
This is the flag at the Fort. It was used in every war until after WWII so it has variously aged installations, buildings, and cannon from each era. You can see the WWII buildings from this picture as well as a cannon tripod lifter in the foreground. The fort is painted with camoflauge paint on the water side and you really can't see it from the harbor.
This cannon was interesting, it's from the war of 1812. It travels on cast iron tracks so that it's adjustable with big wheels that also travel on smaller cast iron tracks on the frame it's on. Pretty amazing.
This Palmetto is in front of Ft. Moultrie. The original fort was made with trunks from the native palmetto trees. When the Brits fired on the fort, the palmetto bark absorbed the shock and damage from the shells and the fort was able to withstand the attack without too much damage. That's why the Palmetto is on the state flag, which wasn't adopted until Civil War times. This beautiful tree was at the Charles Pinkney National Park in Charleston. His actual house is now gone so I didn't take pictures of the rebuilt home that's on the property. He was one of the Continental Congress and a very driving force in the State of South Carolina's decision to seceed from the British Kingdom, doing so even before the Founding Fathers voted to write the Declaration of Independence.
And Speaking of Secession...after South Carolina legally seceeded from the United States in 1861, armed forces were brought to the not quite finished Ft. Sumter rather than vacate the state as they were asked to do. Ft. Sumter was defended for 36 hours and then fell to the South Carolina militia. Mark is looking into one of the Cannon ports in the mostly rebuilt fort. It was turned to rubble after 4 years of being bombed and shelled by the Union forces but it was used as defence during WWI and WWII so it was partially rebuilt. It's now a National Park.
These are scenes of the rubble inside the Fort, as well as the dark black section which was built for WWII. They'd put a small National Park store and a museum into the newest part of the WWII buildings. The museum had the flag that was taken down upon the Fort's surrender, (there were actually two flags, both presented to him) and, in keeping with the Southern way, was given to the Commanding officer. His family kept it and it is now owned and preserved by the National Park Service.
This shell was lodged in the wall at the Fort. It was fired by Union Artillery during the 4 years of the war. This one and a few others that we saw were found during the excavations that were done after the Fort was given to the National Park service. The range on these artillery pieces was pretty long, as the Fort sits out on an island in the middle of Charleston harbor.
One of the sides of the fort nearest to the WWII installation was actually filled with sand to act as additional padding for defensive use, and when the fort was excavated, these 1890's cannons were found perfectly preserved and still sitting on their carriages. This entire end of the fort was the best preserved of the entire fort. It was pretty amazing.
It was a beautiful sunny day with a gentle breeze blowing. The flags looked beautiful with the backdrop of a few wispy clouds behind them.
This is the Sign for the Fort. We were going to get back on the ferry to go back to the mainland and we just couldn't seem to get a picture with nobody standing in front of the sign. Kids were taking pictures, and it was really cute so I just snapped them in front of the sign.
The Park where the ferry dropped us back off has the USS Yorktown parked there as a museum. Right outside the park area is a monument to Cold War Submarines and it was really cool looking with the top of the Sub peering out from the grass.
This is me at Ft. Moultrie. It's a horrible picture but a neat cannon. I ended up getting sun and wind burned during the day, it had been cold and windy and overcast most of the spring in Maryland so I haven't been outside much.
This is the sock I was working on knitting during most of the drive. It's Koigu yarn and it's a Socks that Rock pattern called "Leafling". It looks like cables but it's not. The other one is still on the needles but I'm nearly done with it.
The next morning we went to Moore's Creek which was in North Carolina. This was the scene of a very decisive Revolutionary War battle, the first one in the South. The area around here is so very beautiful with the creek and the swamp and it was a nice day too.
This is a shot of Moore's creek from the bridge that was built in ths location of the old one that the British had to cross for the battle to take place. The signs said there were alligators in the swamp but we didn't see any.
This mounument is to the women of the Revolution that helped out with the soldiers that were wounded. The commander's wife from this engagement rode a great distance to come and help out with the injured men.
The next morning we got up early and drove out to the Cape Lookout National Seashore. The weather had turned rainy and cold again so we weren't able to go out to the island. There are no bridges or roads to the islands and it certainly wasn't ferry weather! We went to the Visitor Center and learned more about Portsmouth Village which is on the island, as well as the local animals and ecosystems.
Poor Mark was helping clean out the car after we got home and ended up having to wear my straw hat into the house. Little did he know that I was waiting with the camera. LOL
Yes, we are National Park stamp people...I actually have 2 more on the next page in my passport! It was a great vacation with lots of stamps, though we didn't get the 3 from the Cape Lookout Seashore. We left them to do another time. :)