Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Great Freeform Crocheted Afghan Project

I am crocheting an afghan for my church's (First Unitarian Universalist Church of Lubbock) upcoming charity auction. The afghan is being done in freeform crochet.

(For those of you who can't remember the freeform crocheted afghan I made for my mother-in-law for Christmas, check it out here.)

Anyhow, even though this afghan still has a long way to go, I want to show you the progress of its growth.

Day 1
(started June 26th)

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Days 9 & 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Days 17 & 18

Days 19 & 20
(August 7th)

Stay tuned for more progress.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Disaster Preparedness

Yesterday I completed a weekend long training for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). I had been a CERT member when I was still in Massachusetts, and was excited to find out that there is a CERT program in Lubbock.

Yesterday we had to do a disaster simulation drill. It was one thing to learn about dealing with disasters in our modules; it was another thing all together doing the drill.

I was one of 2 people chosen to be a team leader, and believe me, neither one of us knew what we were doing - at least the first time around. The second time may have been a bit easier, however, we will need to get more disaster drills under our belt to feel more comfortable before we actually get deployed.

By the way, Channel 11 News was there to cover the disaster drill, and here is the story and news video.

And yes, I am in the video - all 2 or 3 seconds of me. And you have to know where to look to find me because my back is towards the camera as I am going into the building to do a search and rescue.

Just look for the 2 braids sticking out of the back of the helmet a little more than halfway into the video.

(Also look for the little red dog collar attached to the right of my green CERT backpack. The collar is there to distinguish my pack from all the other identical green backpacks. LOL)

I am really excited to be a member of CERT. And I am looking forward to the next training classes coming up in September. I will also be training to be a CERT instructor. And who knows, when I'm a CERT instructor, I'll get this really cool and classy Homeland Security shirt. LOL

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fun At the Antique Mall of Lubbock

While on our way to get groceries at Sam's Club, Ariana and I decided to check out the Antique Mall of Lubbock.

It was a HUGE place - larger than a football field.

So many goodies to look at . . .

. . . and have fun with.

The silliness began when we came upon these vintage hats.

Here's Ariana as a Harley-Davidson bride.

And here she's pimped out in a fur coat and a wide-brimmed green hat.

The full pimped-out effect.

Waiting for the tea party to start.

A Geisha girl in a blue kimono.

Getting ready to do some calf roping. After all, we're in Texas!

Hope it's not hunting season.

Drinking some deadly brew.

A cool devilish mask.

On the lookout for enemy troops.

"I love you."



Ships ahoy!

Hey! Where's the rest of the mariachi band?

Getting branded.

The best find of the day - a big-ass custom-made ring that's the size of a small egg. (Hope I can get it sized to fit.)

A Dangerous Place to Shop In Dallas

Ariana and I visited the NorthPark Center - a really cool, but dangerous place to shop - while we were in Dallas.

The mall was filled with sculptures and huge plant displays scattered throughout it.

I particularly loved the succulent displays.

Though the bromeliad displays were also nice.

A jewelry store had this beautiful bracelet that I really liked. It was gold and had precious stones in rainbow colors.

And it could have been mine for the hefty price of $8000.

After seeing how much that bracelet cost, those darling $2700 retro-style Nina Ricci sunglasses seemed like a bargain!

The Dallas World Aquarium

After our yummy lunch at Cibus, we decided to visit the Dallas World Aquarium. The steep admission cost was a bit off-putting, but I am glad that we did not let that deter us. The DWA was definitely worth the price, and was the highlight of our Dallas Easter weekend.

The DWA looks deceptively small from the outside.

Even the outside has something to look at.

Ariana posing on the away to buy tickets to get in.

On the way to the ticket booth.

Can't remember what this curious creature is.

Once inside, there are birds everywhere. Some of them fly right past your face.

There's even penguins.

This feather wreath looks like a firework explosion.

This tall waterfall was the centerpiece of the rain forest part of the DWA.

An anteater.

There's a baby anteater there, too, if you look carefully.

Ariana at the top level of the rain forest exhibit.


People can even feed the birds blueberry snacks.

This sleeping sloth was out in the open, not even behind bars, screens, or Plexiglas.

There was a sign right by the sloth's tree, warning people: Please don't touch the sloth.

It really does look like you're in a rain forest.

Is it a crocodile or and alligator?

One of several ponds throughout the DWA.


Another big-ass alligator.

A fern imprint in the concrete walkway. There were lots of such imprints in the walkways.

A sea otter.

This sea otter was called the Black Widow because she outlived 3 of her mates.

So she's all alone.

But she's not lonely. She has many visitors to entertain every day.

A double yellow Amazon parrot. We used to have a parrot that looked just like this bird. His name was Jerry, and he was quite the talker.

Not all the wildlife at the DWA are intentional, as these ants on a lollipop attest.

Mother and baby primates.

I love this lizard . . .

. . . but I couldn't decide which pic I liked better. LOL

A tortoise.

More mother and baby primate pix.

(In case you're wondering why these pix are in black and white, it's because the primates were too far away for the flash on my camera to reach.)

A colorful toucan.

And a likewise colorful tree frog. This is the type of frog that's used to make poison-tipped arrows in the Amazon.

A very spiny tree trunk.

Lizard on a branch.

Closeup of the same lizard.

Another double yellow Amazon parrot. This one looks like it's taking a snooze.

Looking up at the rain forest exhibit.

Another monkey.

Here's an anaconda under the water. But where's the head?

Here's the head.

A caiman.

Closeup of the caiman.

An electric eel.


Ditto again.

A pond filled w/arowanas.

An arowana is considered to be a good-luck Feng Shui fish. But you would have to have a really HUGE fish tank. These fish get to be rather big.

Looks like some sort of conure.

A skate.

More skates.

Here's that waterfall again.

A red ibis.

Fancy beaded pelican at the gift shop.

More fancy beaded critters.

Cute beaded lizard.

Big-ass giant catfish.


One of many coral reef displays.

Jelly fish.

What was really cool was that these jelly fish would phosphoresce. It's too bad the camera could not capture that.

Sea horse.

Another one.

There were lots of different species of seahorses.

A beautiful sea dragon.

Clown fish among the anemones.

More sea dragons.

These fish look like pieces of floating seaweed or kelp.

Pretty stripes.

I love the patterns on this fish - very tribal looking.

King crab. Yummy!

A boa.

Garden eels. They were so cool. Their tails are in the sand and they sway like blades of grass.

Cute lizard.

Hammerhead shark swimming over the shark tunnel.

Saw fish.

Manta ray.

A rattlesnake.


Silver dollars. We used to have these fish when we had an aquarium back in Massachusetts. Ourswere big, but not as big as the ones here.

There was even a jaguar at the DWA!

Closeup of the jaguar pattern.

A Mayan-type statue outside the jaguar exhibit.


Tons of them!

Flamingos get their bright pink color from the algae they eat.

Looking down at the shark tank and shark tunnel.

The DWA was an incredibly cool place to tool around through.

It just kept going on forever.

Just when you thought you came to the end of your visit, there was still another large section to explore.

We spent 2 hours there, and it was nowhere near long enough to get the full appreciation of this very amazing place.

A really cool building outside the front of the Dallas World Aquarium.