Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Field Trip!

So we went on a field trip around Provo on Monday. We went to Heindselman's again, but only got one good picture...stupid flash camera!

This is the Provo City Library. The building is over a hundred years old; it was originally the building for Brigham Young Academy, which later became BYU. Now the building is the property of the library.

So Provo is a college town. Heather moved to Provo for that very purpose (with graduation looming this August!), so you're going to get to see us at work and around campus!

Heather works for the math department as a research assistant studying Pisano periods and lattice reducing algorithms. Here's the computer she works at.

Heather also works for the Chemical Engineering department as a research assistant translating Fischer-Tropsch related documents from World War II. The Germans were trying to make fuel from hydrogen and carbon dioxide, so she gets to read all the technical papers and boring German patents.

McKay, Heather's husband works computer support on camps and also a research job in the computer science department.

So onto the fun part of the field trip!

This is the Maeser building. It was built on top of a cemetary, but Heather promises me they moved all the bodies out before the construction. I'm in the flower bed, if you can see me! I don't think the flower bed was haunted...

This is the pendulum in the Eyring Science center. It has a strange history of being stolen.

All college campuses have modern art. Here's the Tree of Wisdom sculpture.

And no college campus is legitimate without the mascot!

Here's the Carillon. It rings on every hour between 8am and 9pm, and dings every half hour in between.

And of course, no university can be without the token, barley dressed, American Indian statue! This is Chief Massasoit of Wampanoags Tribe of Massachusetts. See me in his hand?

We finished up our field trip at the BYU Creamery. Mmm... Cherry Limeade sherbert!

It was a party!

Gnorm has been sent off and is on his way to his next destination! I had so much fun with him, and I'm sure he'll enjoy his next adventures! -Heather

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hiking the "Y"

Why the "Y"? There's a Wikipedia article that explains a little bit of the history of the Y on Y mountain. The BYU class of 1907 attempted to graffiti the mountain with their class year. However, the class of 1906, the graduating class at the time was quite upset. Eventually, the perpetrators of the 1907 class were caught and disciplined. Not wanting to destroy their spirits, the president of BYU, George Brimhall, decided to allow the letters BYU be placed on the mountain. The land was surveyed and plans to construct the letters went into action. In 1906, men of the 1906 and 1907 graduating classes, lined up a trail, every 8 feet, to pass lime, salt, and rocks up the mountain. Thinking the job would only take a couple of hours, they hadn't planned for the day, and by 4 o'clock when the Y was finished, many of the young men had fainted in the heat for lack of water and food! That's probably why they decided to just leave the Y on the mountain and not bother with the other two letters! The Y is whitewashed every 2-5 years to keep it shining and bright.

Here I am at the trail head. (that's me in the middle of that gate!)

I didn't thing the hike would be too bad. Here's a picture of Heather and me (don't worry. We remembered our sunscreen!)

But by the end of the hike, I was tuckered out! It was only a mile hike, but it was a HIKE!
But the view was worth it!

Here's Heather and I pointing to her house in Provo.

Here we are next to the Y. It was huge!

And here I am on the "Y"

Getting back down from the mountain took about half as long as it did going up (and I'm glad, too!)! The Y on Y mountain is the largest collegiate letter in the world!

The Y is not the only letter on the mountains in Utah, there are 50 letters on mountains in Utah! In Salt Lake City, there is a "U" for the University of Utah. Cities have their own letters, too, such as a "G", which Heather says if for Pleasant Grove. I think it ought to be for Gnorm.


In Provo now

Greetings from Utah!
So I arrived in Provo, UT on Friday afternoon, all tidied up in a box (I'm in the bottom box).

Heather was trying to hurry home to get her laundry done, but was very glad, she said, to have an excuse to not do laundry (aka, open up all her wonderful goodies) Thanks, Jae! Now we need to find a beautiful project for that beautiful yarn! You should have heard Heather's excitement! She swears to me that she hasn't acted that girly in a long time. She is in love with the yarn.

But because laundry was imminent, we did stop by the laundromat.

Heather had to go to the yarn store, too. So we went there. Heindselman's is 6 blocks from Heather's house and it's the oldest yarn store in the country.
When we went inside, the first thing the ladies asked was to see me!
"Can we see your doll?"
Ack, they called me a doll! I'm a very serious (albeit adorable) gnome! NOT a doll! Ugh!

Heather had taken some pictures in the store, but for some reason, she couldn't find them on the camera! Alas! I guess she'll have to make another stop there this afternoon or Monday (oh woe is us! haha!)

We had a great and adventurous morning this Saturday! We hiked a mountain! This one to be exact. More photos later!

And yes, that is the letter "Y" on the mountain.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Out For A Long Walk

I had a great time visiting Jae. Thursday we went to the LYS where she teaches knitting occasionally.

LYSThe store is known locally for it's wonderful hand dyed yarns. Each of type of yarn is named after a Michigan city and the colorways are named Michigan terms or places - like River Rouge, Trout, Up North, or Bois Blanc Island.

While I was there, I took a ride on a fancy yarn carousel ride. Jae called it a swift, but I thought it was more like an amusement park ride.

yarn carousel
Saturday morning, Jae and I went on a walking tour of Clarkston. The downtown area is small and very old. She told me that in the 1980's the village of Clarkston was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The first settlers arrived in 1830 and some of the buildings date back to the mid 1800's.

Originally, part of a land settlement for soldiers in the War of 1812, Clarkston had an early history of lumber mills. The mill pond still exists and runs through the center of town.

We also saw the old school house that Henry Ford converted into a factory. On the third floor, Mr. Ford used to hold squared dances. Now it is the building for the city's local government.

Town Hall
Across the street from the town hall is one of the oldest homes of Clarkston. It used to belong to Nelson Clark. Nelson and his brother Jeremiah were important characters in the history of Clarkston and the town is named after them.

Clark home
I had a great time seing the city. Although, all the walking around town really wore me out. I'm glad that Jae packed my things and made a nice place for me to rest on my journey. I can't wait until I see what wonderful places I'll go next.

I (Jae) need to add that my husband mailed Gnorm to his next destination but failed to put enough postage on him. I don't want to give away the surprise, but if he arrives postage due - I promise to make good on it. Please forgive my husband. He is truly sorry and doesn't want to face the wrath of knitters. ;)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Gnuman in Everybody's Hometown

Hello from Media, PA!

I arrived at Dana's house last week, but managed to get put in a hiding spot (a.k.a. the living room) until someone told her to look! When she freed me from my suitcase, she was thrilled to find that I arrived safe and sound with these goodies from Debbi:

There was a skein of Trekking XXL in a great colorway, some tea and other treats. She loved the Cool Crochet yarn, the Yarn mug (now holding pencils on her craft table), stitchmarkers, and even the little gnome on a bunny figure. Dana loved them everything, but really fell in love with me. Unfortunately, she was a bit laid up with some family stuff and her approaching knee surgery (6/27/07). Things were really crazy for her, so my arrival came just in time to cheer her up. Even with the limp, she managed to show me a good time over the weekend.

We started a beautiful Saturday morning at A.C. Moore, where she went to pick up a couple balls of cotton for dishcloths. Can you spot me hiding among the cotton?

It was off to start a dishcloth from that cotton while getting a little mani-pedi action. Don't we look relaxed? Just what I needed after a long trip from MA.

Next, we stopped at Dana's LYS, Finely a Knitting Party, to visit Cathy (the shop owner and Dana's knitting teacher) and the other knitters there. What a great little shop! The "Starbucks Corner" is the newest addition at the shop for friends to sit and knit, and I got to stop for a spell there and do some more relaxing while Dana knitting a bit.

We got up bright and early on Sunday morning (6:45AM) to sneak off to Dana's favorite knitting place: the Plum Street Mall in Media. We stopped for coffee & a muffin at the Seven Stones Cafe, then knitting as the town woke up. Media is such a great little town, just 12 miles outside of Philadelphia. Did you know it is the first Fair Trade Town in the US? And the last suburban town in America with a trolley running down the main street?

I really had a great time with Dana in Media. Even her 2 dogs, Dizzle & Mini enjoyed my visit.

Uh oh... looks like I'm going back into the trunk for another adventure! Where am I off to next?

Public Service Announcement: Please warn your loved ones of my pending arrival so they don't bring my package inside off the front step and put you in an inconspicuous location.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Home Again, Almost

Hi, It's Gnorm! Jae was so kind to free me from my comfortable surroundings. She told me that I was in Clarkston, MI. She showed me on a map that I was only an hour from Rae, where my adventures began. I started in Lansing and Clarkston can be found just above Waterford.

Of course, I didn't arrive empty handed. Teej sent me off with some wonderful gifts. Jae thinks Teej might be slightly psychic because the Springbreak colorway of Claudia Handpaint is a color that she almost bought during a recent yarn shopping spree.

I arrived with Eucalan wash and there was also some soap and a candle - apricot freesia and beanpod. That explains why I kept smelling such delicious scents during my journey. Jae said that the keychain sweater was a little too small for me and that she would use it for her keys to the house. I was sorely tempted to break into the nutella hazelnut spread (a gnome can get mighty hungry from all the traveling) but in the end I resisted. Jae has never tried this before but her husband assures her that it is very yummy. Infact, Jae immediately hid it so her husband (and I) wouldn't steal it later.

Tomorrow Jae is taking me to her LYS. I can hardly wait! The people at all the yarn stores have been so nice to me. I'm sure this one won't be any different.

P.S. Jae says that she wants Teej to know she is very thankful for all the wonderful goodies that I arrived with!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Knit Yourself A Gnome Buddy!

I know when Rae first set up this swap there were a lot of people that asked her where she got the pattern for Gnorm and his buddy Gnuman. I just wanted to let all of you know that there is currently a special issue of the British magazine Simply Knitting, called "The Big Book of Family Knits", on shelves at Barnes and Noble that contains the pattern for these cute little gnomes. It's kind of pricey ($19.99) but there are also a lot of other really nice patterns in here and if you don't regularly buy Simply Knitting, there's quite a few from the regular publication also. So hope this helps all those knitters who are feverishly searching for the pattern! I'm sure Gnorm and Gnuman would love some new friends, so knit on everybody!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Water and Heights!

What a gorgeous day! After the storms blew through yesterday (while we were in the movie theatre) the humidity dropped and the sky cleared and we awoke this morning to a gorgeous sunny day with some moderate winds. It was a great day for viewing the sights of La Crosse.

Teej explained yesterday that while she lives in Caledonia, MN, a town of about 3,000 people, she works and her husband goes to school in La Crosse, WI, a much larger town about 25 miles east of Caledonia. To get from Minnesota to Wisconsin, we have to cross the Mississippi River; there are two bridges - one on Cass Street and one on Cameron Street - that take traffic across the river and I was driven across both of them yesterday and then again today. The Cameron Street bridge is new - it was just built a couple of years ago - but I think the engineers did a great job of fitting it into the form of the Cass Street bridge.

The Cameron Street bridge is the front one and it's the rounded middle "peak"; the Cass Street bridge is the one in back and it's the two end "peaks". I think it's sort of neat that the trees on the other shore are Minnesota, but I was in Wisconsin when we took this picture!

We were at a little park that sits along the edge of the river to the south of the bridges and I was a little surprised at how small the river seemed up here. I've been told about "the Mighty Mississippi" and I always imagined it much bigger. Teej assures me that as the river wends its way south it gets much bigger, but that there's a place in Itasca, MN where even I could just step right over it in one stride!

Teej tells me that the two "attractions" in La Crosse are the river and the bluff and just in driving from her home in Caledonia into La Crosse I can see why. The bluffs are gorgeous - though Teej says they're even more impressive in the autumn when the trees all change colors - and I even got to go up to the very tip top of the largest one in La Crosse - Grandad's Bluff.

It's quite a height! It was windier up on the top of the bluff and I was a little nervous that I'd get blown over the edge, but Teej kept a good hold on me so I could get a look over the edge at the city of La Crosse spread out beneath us.

Teej pointed out that we could see the building she works in on campus - where I met all the people yesterday.

A little ways out of town is the marsh, which is a natural wetlands area that is home to lots of waterfowl. Teej says that's it common for her and her husband, Jack, to see herons and egrets on their commute into town, as well as lots and lots of falcons and eagles. I don't think I saw any, but I have to admit that I tried not to look - I would be just the perfect size for lunch. *shudder*

Teej needed to stop at her local yarn shop - Fitting Knit Shop - to get a couple skeins of black yarn to make swatches for a DNA scarf she's making for a friend and while we were there, I got to meet Mimi, who showed me how to knit while we were waiting for Teej to pick out the yarn she needed:

Mimi said that she thought one of my cousins might live in her shop, and sure enough, it turns out that Sven and I are related:

Sven is Norwegian and is originally from Vanberia in Decorah, IA. Mimi said that the Vanberia store had patterns for both Sven and his wife as well as for an Irish couple.

On our way back to Caledonia, Teej had to stop in quickly to Houston County Women's Resources, where she is the Board President, to check in on some planning for one of their upcoming events and chat briefly about the preparations for next fiscal year's budget.

Now I'm tucking away the goodies that Teej is sending along with me for my next host and pretty soon I'll be off on my way again! I'm looking forward to my next stop - Teej says she's been watching the blog of my next host and knows that she's just as excited to have me as Teej was!