Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A new (ugly) addition

She: “Look what I got!”

He: “From the graduates?”

She: “Yes! Isn’t it so cool?!”

He: “It’s kind of … ugly.”

She: “Yeah, it’s an (reading label) ‘Ugly Doll’. I think 'ugly' is the whole idea.”

He: “Hm. Here. Put it up on the TV [note: that’s a place of honor around here. We don’t go leaving just any ol' stuff out on display, nilly willy, I’ll have you know]. Lean it up against my ‘Teacher of the Year’ award, so we can enjoy it...”

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Everyday in May

Everyday in May #2 - Power plug
May 2: Draw a power plug

Isn't social media great? You can keep up with what everyone's doing (you're going, "Duh, Wendee"). On Flickr, even though it's all about the images (ie - I have to wait for the blog posts to get the nitty gritty details in words), I can keep tabs on where people are camping, painting, eating gelato, stitching up, or drawing. When there's a group project, I find that I slowly start to notice a trend, drawings or photos of similar things here and there.

"Oh, isn't that fun?!", I think as I wave off the temptation to join in.

And then sometimes, things just snowball to the point where I just cannot stand by, uninvolved. Karen Blados and Liz Steel's work pretty much pushed me over my tipping point. I haven't drawn much at all this year. Even though I'm already needing to catch up with a couple online courses as it is (ahem), the everyday drawing always does me good.

Everyday in May #3 - Exercise equipment
May 3: Draw some exercise equipment

See everyone's sketches at the EDiM2011 Flickr group, here.

More info about the daily list here.

Sketches from Spring Break

Tenaya Creek, during our Mirror Lake hike:

20110426_Tenaya Creek

After the strenuous calf-killer hike to see Yosemite Falls:

20110427_Yosemite Falls

Stopped, on the way out:

20110428_Meadow View

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Spring Break

I think this is the first year that we've both had Spring Break at the same time. We took advantage of this and headed off to Yosemite. We usually go at least once, maybe twice, a year, but didn't go at all last year. Not at all. Can you imagine two more growl-ly, homesick bears? I think not.

We stayed in a canvas tent cabin at Curry Village. It's a big step up from pitching your own tent, which we typically do, but the end of April is a little too cool, even for J. We stayed in a cabin with a heater, which improves the experience even more. Two thumbs up from both of us.

Tent Cabin at Curry Village, Yosemite

Outside, we had a bench next to our bear box. We managed to cram three (count 'em, three: food on ice, dry food, and food-prep) of these coolers in the box. I had to disassemble the handle off of one of our coolers to make room for the box latching mechanism to get the box to close securely, but we got them all in there. It pays to be mechanically-inclined. Our food was all safe and secure, out of reach of squirrels, chipmunks and bears.

Curry Village cabin bear box

We'd intended to eat mostly only our own food through our stay, but discovered that the room rate for our tent cabin included the breakfast buffet. Scrambled eggs! Toast! Oatmeal! Muffins! Fresh fruit! Country gravy on biscuits! Bacon! Sausage! Passion fruit –  guava juice! HOT!! COFFEE!! We were good with our granola bars, oranges and PB&Js for lunch and ramen noodles for dinner, but breakfast is, after all, the most important meal of the whole day.

Nom nom nom.

We did a pair hikes. One was far and mostly flat; the other was shorter in distance, but with a 1000 foot vertical gain.

The hike to Mirror Lake was a good warm up for our legs. At one point, we discovered that the wide expanse of boulders that people normally sit on to stop and eat was transformed, filled with hundreds and hundreds of cairns –  –  is that the right term? Little piles of stacked stones –  –  everywhere. This must have happened in the past year or so; and no one seemed to have the heart to clear away any of them. It was both humorous and deeply compelling at the same time. You could sense a want to participate, the number of piles building and growing over the months, the want to leave ones mark and be a part of that community. There were elaborate piles that included branches and pine needles that protruded out. There were piles everywhere. It was quite an unexpected sight that captured the attention of almost everyone, a surprising detour stealing attention away from the huge expanse of nature around us.


 Cairns detail

Here's a photo with a sketch from our other hike, up to Yosemite Falls. I think it's best that that's all I say about it; I might start cussing. I'm still not a fan of the whole traversing-uphill thing. Geh. Something to work on, I guess …

Yosemite Falls sketch

On our way out, we stopped at Tunnel View and took our obligatory photos across the valley.

Yosemite Tunnel View

We drove for five hours, got home and woke up early the next morning to watch the Royal Wedding and start in on the mountain of dirty laundry … wistfully looking forward to the next trip...