Monday, November 17, 2014

The Camping Crafts Corner #2: God's Eye

I can remember creating these stick-and-yarn crafts back at the Methodist Church Camp I went to during the summers when I was little.  For the eternal life of me, :-) I couldn't tell you what the religious significance of them were.  Wikipedia takes it way off into the mystic realm, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't the message at this very conservative little camp in Glen Rose, TX way-back-when.  Huh.  Learn something different every day I guess.

Ok, on to our craft: a God's Eye.... or Sticks-and-Yarn.  *shrug*

This one's pretty simple - you'll need the following supplies:

Sticks (about the same diameter and length)
and Yarn (any kind will do!)

Tie the two sticks together so that the create a cross, and secure tightly with the end of your piece of yarn.

Since I was the only one partaking in this crafting session (RDB was napping and Diesel, well, I had to steal my skein of yarn back from him at one point!) I didn't cut off a piece of yarn - but if you're doing this with several kiddos, cut each kid a piece that's about one yard long and if they go thru that, you can always tie another piece of yarn on.

The assembly for these are pretty simple from this point, you wrap the yarn over-under-across each twig working your way out from the center in a pattern....

And repeat...

And repeat again...

And that's really about it.  If you want to get 'fancy' you can switch directions at some point (like I did) and that will put your weaving opposite to what you had been (the pattern is still the same over-under-across just in the opposite direction). This adds an opposing layer to your weave.

And then its...

You get the point.

Once your God's eye is as big as you desire, you can tie off the end with a simple knot.  Easy simple craft, lots of meditation-repetitive mantra and hand motions.  It kept me throughly distracted for at least half an hour.

Ya know, maybe that was the significance of these way-back-when? A half an hour that the camp counselors could zone out while we went over-under-across, over-under-across, over-under-across....

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Work. Life. Balance.

It's nearly a week after we've gotten back from our latest camping trip and I'm just now getting to a post. The laundry from that weekend is still in the hamper in the back of the truck.  Diesel's still wearing his camping collar.  I think the only thing that got done when we got home was unpacking the cooler and ordering a pizza.

Work has been insanely busy these past few weeks - at last count, I've got seven different projects that I'm a part of: some of my own choosing - like applying for a different role in my same company - and some that I'm honored to be chosen for - like the Leadership Development Program that will run the next nine months giving me access to Senior VP mentorship - and some that are just busy work but I'm expected to participate nonetheless.  I'm worn thin, and pretty sure the next project that comes my way I'm gonna have to turn down.

Life is sweet. RDB and I celebrated our first anniversary this week... but I was in Dallas for work the actual day.  We had planned to go out to a really fancy dinner last night, but that fell thru.  We're looking forward to the holiday season and the knowledge that we'll be spending it with each other. 



I'm still searching for that balance part.


We left out of town Friday night after having put Clyde in the shop to fix a sensor that was causing the engine to loose power - thanks, btw, for all the great suggestions on things to do to fix it ya'll - too bad it still needed repair work.  We were excited to head over to Buescher State Park as this was another SETPUCC weekend and we knew of several families that were planning to attend.

Arriving at the park after dark is always an adventure. This time around, there was both a Ranger and a Fire Captain there at the check-in board.  I grabbed my map, found my name, asked for a recommendation of the three sites still available and Ranger Steve asked: "Do you work for TPWD? You sure look like you know what you're doing!"  That just made my day!

We woke Saturday morning to the sound of (lots) of kids running around and having fun.  A little after 9am, we heard a bull-horn from down in the tent camping area: "Alright Ninja Campers!!"  Come to find out - there was a karate club camping there this weekend, and although they were well behaved, they were quite a noisy bunch!

Diesel was the belle-of-the-ball this weekend.  We had several campers walk past him and compliment how quiet he was being and how well behaved he was.  I really think that there are 3 things that factor into that: 1 - his bark collar, 2 - he really is a sweet dog, and 3 - he's more afraid of you than you are of him!

As RDB took a nap Saturday afternoon, I wanted to work on a craft (more on that in another post) but as I set up to play around, I noticed the very large tree behind our site was just *perfect* for climbing.  Yes, I know I'm 30-something years old and it's probably been a decade or more since I last climbed a tree, but this one just called to me.  So, up I went!  A couple of people walked by, commented on Diesel being such a "good looking dog," and I yelled down "Thanks!" from the top of the tree.  Laughter ensued as the guy asked if I had been treed by the Doberman and did I need him to call the Ranger to come rescue me?

Not too far from Buescher SP is the Kreische Brewery State Historical Site and Monument Hill. If you're staying anywhere near LaGrange, you really should drop by for a visit. No entry fees, and the view is outstanding!

We spent the better part of the evening by the campfire in the center area of our loop. Cozy Circle there at Buescher was certainly created with group camping in mind - every site has its own fire ring and privacy, but there's a nice cleared out area (with a few trees) in the center and a table and fire ring there for the community to use.  We bought 3 bucket's worth of cedar logs from the park headquarters and enjoyed a great time talking and fellowshipping around the fire.  

M&D were Scouts this time around, and  JS and DP were there, too (they have a new truck - it's nice!)  The Host - now renamed Camper Bob - McG, and J&D were also there.  It was great to get to spend time with these couples who are becoming friends and welcoming us into their group.  I think Camper Bob said it best with the *awesome* gift he gave us:

We were in site #5 - which was definitely the ADA site, all paved, and a little odd - the table and fire ring were behind the camper because of the way the site was laid out.  We met the camp hosts, Anna and David before we left - Anna came out to thank me as I was walking around the fire ring in the middle with my trash bag (something I always do before we leave: walk around and pick up an little pieces of trash we might have missed, weather its ours or not, and also make sure I didn't miss any Diesel bombs).  She said that it makes her life so much easier when we take that extra step. I mentioned that its one of the easiest ways to make sure the park is taken care of so we can enjoy them for years to come!

For more camping photos, go here.