The Space Shuttle Challenger and Taking Risks

It was on this day in 1986 that the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after takeoff, killing all seven astronauts aboard. I remember sitting in my high school science class when the news broke. My teacher was so shook-up, he couldn’t continue with the lesson.

I’ve been a private pilot for 10 years and cruise the sky mere thousands of feet above the ground. I face risks every time I fly, but I can’t imagine not dancing with the clouds.

Sally Ride said, “All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.” Exploration can be dangerous, but so is sitting still. Whether we stretch our minds, visit different cultures, or for the lucky few, rocket into space, being adventuresome is what makes life vibrant and exciting. Isn’t that worth at least some risk?

Creative Every Day

Since signing up for CED 08, I’ve been more conscious of all the ways I’m creative in my life. Some are obvious, like the camouflage scarf I’m knitting for a solider, writing on my blog, creating jewelry from metal clay, etc.

But looking beyond the projects, I’m realizing how I wrap creativity around most of what I think about, see, hear and feel. I’m now honoring my creative mind and recognizing how real and unique it is — because it’s mine.

I think feeling creative every day is also opening my soul to see the raw creativity that’s in everyone. Creativity isn’t limited to artistic pursuits. It includes one’s sense of humor, problem-solving abilities, interpersonal skills, decision making and more.

I realize that CED is about creating artsy/crafty things, and I’m relishing all of the fun projects I’ll work on over the year. However, I’m already excited about how it’s opened my eye to the creativity that’s all around in its many forms. How inspiring!

Who’s That Talking?

While out walking the dogs this afternoon, I came across a one-block stretch of chunky ice clogging the sidewalk. Of course, I was heading downhill. A boy about 10 years old and fresh off the school bus wisely avoided the slick mess and chose to walk on top of the rock-hard snow bank along the road edge.

“That’s a smart move,” I said.

“Yep,” the boy replied.

“Geez louise, but this sidewalk sure is slippery,” I added.

Silence.

When did I become an 80-year old geezer talking like that? Sheesh!

Reuse or Recycle Packing Peanuts

Don’t throw your packing peanuts away. Save them for personal reuse or recycle. I had collected a large bag full that was taking space in my basement. I brought it over to my local UPS Store, and they took it without any trouble. I was in and out in about 10 seconds. Find your closest UPS Store and call to make sure they accept recycled peanuts (most do).

You can also visit The Peanut Hotline (or call 800-828-2214), the national reuse program for plastic packing peanuts. They coordinate more than 1,500 collection sites in the U.S. Enter your address to find sites near you.

First Knitting Project Completed!

alpaca_scarf.jpgTonight I finished my first knitting project, a scarf made from alpaca fiber (click on the image for a larger view). I learned how to knit last spring and struggled with a different project. Then I went to the Minnesota State Fair and discovered wonderful fibers from Pure Country Alpacas. I selected a natural colored bulky yarn that I could use with nice, big needles.

I started my scarf on December’s trip to Vegas with my mom, but ran out of yarn. I made my scarf a bit wider than it probably needs to be and could have used bigger needles. In the end, I used 3 2/3 hanks (50 yards each) on size 13 (9 mm) needles. Pat with Pure Country used size 17 (12.75 mm) needles and 2 hanks on her sample scarf that I was trying to model mine after.

I tested my new scarf out on an evening walk with the pooches, and it is wonderfully warm and cozy. I can’t wait to start on some camouflage scarfs I’m knitting for soldiers in Iraq. I may even try purling!

Art Pecking Order

Monuments
..Masterpieces
….Masterworks
……Classics
……..Works of Art
……….Art Works
…………Antiques
…………..Objets d’Art
…………….Artifacts
………………Collectibles
………………..Keep-sakes
………………….Tchotchkes
……………………Junk

[From an "Interactive Learning Center" console at the The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.]

I visited the MIA the other day to view a special exhibit, “Georgia O’Keeffe: Circling Around Abstraction.” This exhibit displayed forty-four works, including drawings, watercolors, paintings, pastels, and sculptures dating from 1915 to the 1970s, that track the evolution of O’Keeffe’s use of the circle. It was an amazing exhibit. I loved the altered perspectives, especially when she used the unconventional bird’s eye point of view.

The MIA’s press release regarding the exhibit puts O’Keeffe at the “masterworks” end of the art pecking order. She definitely deserves this acclaim. I can only aspire to reach the “keep-sakes” end with my creative contributions. If they sit on my shelf for 50 years, do they automatically rise to the level of “antiques??”

Leaving for Las Vegas

I’m treating my mom to a Las Vegas vacation for her 70th birthday. She’s always wanted to go and loves gambling, so we should have a grand time. We leave on a 7:00 a.m. flight tomorrow (Sunday) and get home at 12:30 a.m. early Wednesday morning. The flight times aren’t great, but this way, we get three full days.

I’m going to try to post mini-entries using Jott in order to keep my daily blog goal for December. We’ll see how that goes …