I was off the last two weeks of July. Mom, Dad, and I drove up to Mom's hometown in upstate NY to see my cousin Cody get married. Seeing my aunts, uncles, and cousins, and meeting my ever-multiplying cousins-in-law and cousins' kids (first cousins once removed) was great. Katie and Brittney, who I last saw when they were little girls, have grown into lovely young ladies. Cody and John have lost a lot of weight and grown into responsible young men. Cody's bride Cara is a really nice young woman, and their daughter Kenzie is the cutest kid, though adorably serious sometimes. I swear, Aunt Lu and Uncle Mike haven't changed. Neither have the rest of my aunts and uncles, really.
The only real difference I saw in the landscape on the way to NY is that the farther east you go, the fewer cornfields and more trees there are. We went through seven states (Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York) and I couldn't believe all seven had cornfields. I thought that was a Midwest thing. The last two states also had vineyards, so that was pretty interesting. It's a good thing I remembered to bring my discman and plenty of CDs (note to self -- instrumentals are no good for car trips), since my parents' idea of good music is not the same as mine. I have nothing against Karen Carpenter personally (she had a great voice), but she should've stayed away from the covers. Her version of Rod Stewart's "Someone Like You" is absolutely awful.
Okay, so the present I was working on for Melissa's birthday blew up in my face. See, I got the chart out of a magazine, but didn't realize until I was more than halfway done that there's a major error in the chart. To fix it, I'd have to take half of it out and redo it. Since it was already past her birthday (I had told her it'd be late), I decided to put that one aside (maybe it'll be next year's birthday present) and start a new one. It's not nearly as big or as complicated, so I hope I'll get it done soon. Then it'll be the ones I still owe for Bobby and Linds from last Christmas (I'l probably end up adding those to whatever I buy them for Christmas this year). Then it'll be Melissa's Christmas present. Simply put, Blue Tape Productions is booked for the rest of the year. That's what I'm calling my crafting endeavor, after the blue painter's tape I use to keep the fabric I stitch on from fraying.