Monday, August 13, 2007

Old Friends, New Shoes and Community Service

So I am back and (nearly) recovered from my trip to Vermont. Aside from the ridiculous flight delays (and subsequent melted luggage. . . yup, I said melted!) and then my even MORE ridiculous allergies, I basically spent this entire weekend recovering and doing nothing fun whatsoever. I don't know what is in the air in Vermont that my body hates so much, but it takes less than 24 hours for me to be unable to breathe. I do NOT miss that portion of living there. I do, however, miss my friends. I also miss the fun shopping downtown Burlington. The one thing that results from Vermont's hatred of 'big box' chain stores (and subsequent strict zoning) is fabulous little independent stores like all along Church Street. I've lived several places and visited many more, and I've never really found a spot like this. I love, love, LOVE shopping here. My one indulgence was these shoes:

Pretty fab, huh? And, they were on clearance, so they weren't even that much of an indulgence! (I'm still not going to tell you what I paid, though .. . . he he!)

If I didn't have all that pesky work to do, I could have spent a lot more time doing fun things. As it was, at least, I did get to see all my friends. I had an awesome celebratory dinner with Brittany, who just quit her Vermont job to move to Boston, and Jason, my globe trotting friend who is never in Vermont when I am back. It's not often I will buy a bottle of champagne at dinner, but this seemed fitting for a bottle of Veuve. . YUM! I had dinner and breakfast plans every day, which was nice. I even got most people out of bed for 7am breakfast on the day I left (and trust me, my friends are NOT morning people!) Nikki & Allison got an out of early AM what with having babies and all :-) Here we are at Chef's Corner (starting at Jason clockwise is me, Laurie, Karen & Brittany):

Wednesday my department did a volunteer afternoon at one of the COTS shelters. It was actually a lot of fun, despite the rain and heat. We cleaned out a bunch of stuff for the dump that was in the cellar of the house and we repainted the telephone room & the hallway. It was a little odd, to see the people who lived there. I don't know what I *expected* homeless people to look like, but everyone there looked 'normal'. It was pretty eye opening. Here are a few pictures. . . keep in mind the paint was donated to them, so they didn't get to pick the color!

And now, some knitting :-) Given all the flight delays, I had quite a bit of time for knitting, so I ended up with 4 dishcloths and I started on the Best Friends Bag. Here are the dishcloths (can I tell you how much I liked doing the garterlac ones??).

Since I felt like crap all weekend and did nothing else, I also finished the knitting portion of Laura's bag. And yes, pashmina is as fabulous as you would think it is (however, it smells like rotten garbage when wet). If only it weren't ungodly expensive I'd love to make a scarf out of it! Anyway, here is the bag ready for blocking (sorry, I know it's a pretty crappy picture):

I hope to be able to start beading it tomorrow and finish it completely this weekend to send it off so she has it before I get home.

Finally, I now have the excuse of SP11 to go yarn shopping again. . . so I think I'll get yarn for Twinkle Toes and Isabella while I'm out :-) My match hasn't posted much on her blog this year, so it could be challenging to find things she likes. On the flip side, I'm super stoked by my pal. . . she's not a native English speaker and so I'm on a quest to find her blog among the myriad of participants. I just enjoy the idea of having some fabulous person living somewhere way more exotic than Virginia spoiling me :-) I already can't wait until I find out who she is and can get to know her!

Sorry for the extra long post. . . really, that's all for now :-)

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