Thursday, February 28, 2008

Special Anniversary

It's hard to believe, but 20 years ago today, I left for the Peace Corps. I'm usually not such a sentimental person when it comes to dates, but the dates surrounding this event were easy to remember: we reported to Miami on Leap Day; landed in Costa Rica on 03/03/88 and swore in on 06/06/88. And 20 years later, our group is still pretty tight. It's funny that Osar Arias was president when we were there and he is president once again. And not so funny that there was a Bush in the White House then and also now....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shop Dogs

I taught needle felting last Saturday at a great little yarn store on the south side of Chicago. My Sister's Knits is nestled in the downtown area of the Beverly neighborhood and is one of the coziest shops I've ever been in. Great selection of yarn and all sorts of fun accessories. Of course, my favorite aspect of the store were the dogs. Cody and Goldie, sweet old Golden Retreivers, pad round the store and keep people company.

Ok, maybe I should't say they are my favorite part of the store (although I do have a soft spot for dogs), because the people there are great, too. The place has a real neighborhood feel to it and the owner Carol, makes everyone feel welcome.

Chris, Mary Ellen and Jenea were such fun in the class and were so enthusiastic. Here are a few shots of them at work:

This Saturday, I head out to St. Charles to teach Felted Scarves at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center. It's the first time I'm teaching this workshop, so it should be interesting!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Skiing in the Big City

Unlike most Chicagoans, I've been completely blissed out over this season's snowfall. This has been the best year for local cross country skiing in several years. Usually I end up chasing a storm into Indiana to take advantage of the lake effect snow, but not this year!

Our usual spot to ski is a golf course right on Lake Michigan. The other night I was out there with a friend and it was beautiful, so we stopped for a moment to take it all in: the moon reflecting off the frozen lake, the glow of the skyline, the branches tipped with snow. And off in the distance, I spotted some little creatures frolicking in the snowdrifts. "Oh, look", I called out, "look at the little rabbits..... no, wait...those are rats..."

It kinda ruined the reverie.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Get out there and VOTE, people!!!

Yeah, you. Don’t make me come over there and drag you out of your house. I don’t care how snowy/rainy/cold/hot/foggy/whatever it is. Get your dupa* into that booth.

When I lived in Costa Rica, it was inspiring to see how dedicated people were when it came to casting their ballots. They knew they were fortunate to have fair elections (in comparison to their neighbors) and how important it was to make their voice known. “Su voto es su voz.” (Your vote is your voice.) Votes were cast with indelible ink thumbprints—people would proudly sport their blue thumbs for days.

Honestly, I just have no tolerance for voter apathy. And as an Illinoisan, I’m so proud to have two strong local choices on the ballot.

Sincerely, Blue State Gal

*Polish for “butt”