Drawn in different directions.

I have a few hobbies, and I tend to cycle between them. I love having a project, and making something. Craft wise they fall into three main categories: metal, wood, cloth.

Yeah I know, that pretty much runs the whole spectrum. They all boil down to the outdoors and here is how: knives, canoes, and outdoor gear. Usually I flow between them. I get too focused to do anything else. Continue reading


I am getting close to wrapping up work on our basement. We can’t wait to have a new sewing/craft, family, play space. Right now it seems so big, but once we are able to move in I am sure it will fill up and seem small.

The current status is almost ready to paint. It was primed last week and last night I did a second round of checking/mudding flaws. Tomorrow I plan to sand the new areas and hopefully prime them. I may even get to paint this weekend, then on to doors and trim. I have been pretty bad about taking pictures along the way, but when it is done I will post the ones I have.

States I have been to.

I saw one of those chain notes on FB today where you put an X next to the states you have been too. I thought it was lamo so I looked for a cooler representation, so below is mine (I have been to the red states) I have only been to 35/50 (those tiny New England States are throwing off my stats), but as for area I am doing pretty good.

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

Summer Plans

Last year Bridgit and I talked about canoeing a good chunk of the Huron River this summer. The kids are a bit older now so they will be able to handle longer periods afloat. So this summer we hope to paddle most of the Huron in chunks, (not all at once like some people have) preferable in order. I’m thinking we should start at Proud lake and go to Ypsi. I also would like to do more before Brighton. I have only done a bit above Kent Lake. Past Ypsi it is all dammed lakes and not very good access.

It should be easier this summer because I am going to be laid off at the end of June. That way we can paddle some of the better stretches during the week when there is less livery and motorboat traffic.

If anyone wants to join in for part/all of the trip or wants to help shuttle let me know.

I have been putting together a map of places I have been with some info on conditions and access. I hope to get some updates into it as it has been a while since I have paddled much of it.

View Paddling the Huron River in a larger map

Ypsi Cycle Rocks

We've been buying random bike stuff at Ypsi Cycle for a while. We got lights for my bike there a while back (which is good for the trip home from night class). We also got Eli's AWESOME duck helmet there, plus my fenders, some bike locks and other stuff. They've always had GREAT service and have been very helpful and informative. But my experience on Monday took the cake. I had bike to rehearsal over the weekend and my brakes gave out for a moment. I didn't think much of it. Then, I was pulling the kids in the trailer to the library and the brakes gave out again. Much scarier while puling kids. Our neighbor agreed to watch my kids at storytime while I went to have my breaks checked. In about 10 min they had fixed my breaks, done a basic tune-up and sent me on my way. Gratis. If you need a reason to buy local, this is it. Sure, we could have bought the fender, helmet and other stuff online. But no one on the internet would have come to help me out on Monday. Thanks Ypsi Cycle. As for the rest of you: find a way to buy local this week!


For those times when you need something that nobody seems to have you should check McMaster-Carr.

Years ago I was doing a canoe project and looking for some specific bolts that are longer and smaller in diameter than anyone around Ann Arbor had. I Went to Grainger, Fastenal, and Stadium Hardware (everyone said try there) among others. I spent a half day trying to find the stupid things and had nothing to show for it. I was complaining to my Dad that I couldn't find them anywhere. He asked if I tried McMaster-Carr. They had a great wizard thing to select the specs of the bolt and in a few minutes they were ordered. Shipping is fast too. My last order was submitted at 3pm and with the standard ground shipping it was dropped off at my door at noon the next day. Less than 24 hours for $4.50

The question to which every pre-schooler wants the answer. Will this fit in here?

There's a song in one of my favorite musicals that has a verse that goes:
Why did the kids put beans in their ears?
No one can hear with beans in their ears.
After awhile the reason appears,
They did it 'cause we said, “No.”

This morning we were having peas for a snack and Eli started putting them in his nose. I asked him not to. I was doing dishes, admittedly, not paying that much attention. All of a sudden Eli was freaking out a little and he said he had a pea stuck in his nose. I looked: no pea. I told him he must have gotten it out already, but he kept insisting there was a pea stuck in his nose. Upon further inspection, there was in fact a pea lodged very deep in his nose. Tweezers seemed like a good implement with which to remove the pea, but I was a little worried about jamming it further in instead of pulling it out. So I tried another tactic. I held the opposite side of his nose and had him blow as hard as he could. Out flew the pea; crisis averted.