Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Just hanging around...

I have a new toy. *grin* Well, not really a toy. But it is my newest object, and ranks up there in favorites.

I have my own hammock. Really, I made my own hammock.

I've wanted a hammock for quite some time now. Several months ago, I did research into different types of hammocks, but I wasn't ready to shell out that type of money. I'd rather be saving for a kayak.

Then, just a few days ago, I got an email from REI highlighting some cool things. One in particular caught my attention, for a site called Outside Mom. I'm not a mom, but someday I'd like to be, and I'd really like to be an outside mom myself. The next thing that caught my eye (a nod to those of you who know this really, really awesome joke) was an article entitled, "Make Your Own Hammock." Needless to say, I was hooked. And completely surprised at how easy it was.

1 twin-sized sheet
2-3 feet webbing for each side of hammock
Sewing machine

Basically, you sew the edges on the two shorter sides over to make a little "pocket." Then you thread the webbing through and tie a knot. Repeat on the other side.

There's another version that doesn't require any sewing, but you can check it out here if you'd like.

Lindsey, the author at Outside Mom, suggested using a yardstick or a flyswatter to thread the webbing through. You tape the webbing to the end of the yardstick and then push it through. But I didn't have either. So... I used my bow.

 Then you tape the webbing to the bow. Scotch tape worked quite well. And then you push it all through the little pocket!

This is one end with the webbing through and tied off nicely. An ordinary knot will do; just take the two sides, hold them flat, and then carry both of them through the knot. Neat and secure (at least in the twenty-four hours mine has been tied as such).
 This is the completed hammock, with both ends threaded and tied. All that was left was to hang it!

Note: I made this one out of what I believe is Jersey cotton. It's very stretchy and soft. The soft part is great, but you have to keep in mind that the hammock gives quite a bit when you hang it. I'd like to try it with a plain cotton sheet, and perhaps with a folded in half king sized cotton sheet.

 The only thing that Lindsey did not mention in her article on how to make one of these nifty hammocks, was how to attach it to a tree. In the first picture of this post, I have attached it under my loft bed using two carabiners and two pieces of webbing 5+ feet long.

This is the obligatory Chaco picture, but it also shows (kinda) how I tied the hammock to the tree. Basically I took the webbing (the orange piece and the yellow one I used for the other side were both over ten feet, but they really didn't need to be that long), folded it in half, and then wrapped it around the tree. I threaded the ends of the webbing through the loop and tightened it against the tree so that it would not slip. Then I made a simple double knot (also known as a figure eight), keeping a loop on the other side. It was through this loop that I clipped the carabiner. There's probably a more secure way of doing it, but this way worked just fine for me, and it also held my dad up when he tried it.

See? It holds up quite well! (I even slept in it last night)

I took the hammock outside and found two nice trees to attach it to, and thus spent the afternoon in lovely 80-degree weather with some books from the library and my water bottle (celebrating the finish of my first summer class!). There was even a well-placed smaller tree on the side that I could push with my foot in order to make myself rock. When I finally got down to fetch my laptop to do some online work, I found myself a bit unsteady, as if I had been on a boat! I had to laugh at myself a bit.

That's all for now! Shalom, everyone. I'm going to enjoy my hammock.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Joy of friends and sand castles

Sarah just got back from a wonderfully amazing weekend with three of her dancer family. She is now pleasantly exhausted and entirely not ready to face the rest of this week. She will post pictures when she is not half-asleep and speaking in the third person.

Actually, she is so proud of her lovely sand castle that she decided to post pictures of that now.

The sand castle! Complete with moat of water

Sarah decides to pose with said castle

Sarah is rather happy from the day and jumps while Aaron is taking this picture. Rather, before it.

The castle has a flag! And a foot in the background...
And now Sarah is going to bed to recharge for this week. But she is so filled with joy at seeing her dear friends and spending time "existing" with them, that she felt the need to share her joy with her blog readers. Who may or may not exist. :D

Monday, June 11, 2012

Yay! Sarah decided to post again!

Update on things. School is crazy this week. I have a lab exam and two lecture exams to do this week, along with a paper and two paragraphs. Some of these will be due at the beginning of next week, but I'm going down to Virginia Beach this weekend, and I do NOT want to be studying in the car. I've done that before and it is not fun. So I'm going to kill all free time this week and kick this work to the curb before enjoying my friends.

My room is clean today. It's very exciting, especially since I'm pretty sure I haven't seen all of the floor of my room for three years. The carpet also got cleaned today, so I am a happy camper. Now I need to keep it clean. Surprise, surprise, I do like the room and my working space being clean, but other things take precedence over deep cleaning. I ended up shoving some stuff in some boxes in the closet, so I need to go through those and get rid of old stuff. I have so much random junk. And now, a peek at Sarah's clean floor. It truly is a miracle (so would say my parents and sister).

In two days, the house is going to change dramatically. This story requires a bit of back story. When my dad and stepmom, Susan, starting going on mission trips to Haiti, they met a teenage girl named Lancie who has a severe back deformity. She's in a wheelchair. So they, by God's amazing sovereignty and grace, found a way to bring her to the States to have surgery to correct the kyphosis in her back. There is a hospital in Texas who is doing the surgery pro bono, I believe, and God has just blessed Dad and Susan by providing for needs. Lancie and her mother are now presently in the States, in Texas at the hospital, where Lancie had to go through preliminary stuff to make sure all would be well for the surgery in August. It's all been a bit crazy, but there are still at least eight weeks until the surgery. So Lancie and her mother are going to live in our piano room until then. Pretty cool and crazy. Especially since Lancie and her mom don't speak English. They understand bits of Spanish and French, so my sister Rachel and I will be able to communicate a little bit with them. Dad's the best at Haitian Creole, mainly because he has been consistent in learning and practicing using CD lessons.

So in the next eight weeks or so, I'm going to be working on my online courses while helping Lancie and her mom get acclimated to American life (and English), painting the spare bedroom (oops, I forgot to mention that...), painting my own room, and probably keeping an eye on my feisty three younger brothers.

And there are so many things other than that occurring this summer. Maybe I won't have to default to scheduled posts after all.

 And here is also a rather blurry picture of me in the clean room, courtesy of my webcam and low lighting. I apologize. I hope to buy a camera in the next few weeks so I have a way to properly document my time in Israel this fall. Squee! I'm so excited. Minus the fact that I need to send in my visa application. >_>

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Patience - Scheduled Post #4

Another poem from the bowels of my Creative Writing folder.


Time flies fast enough
Don’t worry it away
Don’t look so far ahead
You miss what’s in front of you

God’s got the best plan out there
He knows what He’s doing
He wants you to wait
It’ll be that much sweeter when it comes

It’s so hard sometimes
But it’s so worth it
Time is precious
Don’t waste it pining for the future

It’s a forever fruit
Even when you don’t have it
We struggle with time
You can wait as well as I

Sit down. Relax.
Be still. Rest in God’s sovereignty.
Surrender yourself to Him
He will give you strength, strength to fly.

Patience my friend, patience.
I’ll wait with you
We can pace, we can pray
We can hold each other’s hands for support
I support you, you support me

A man helps his brother up.
I won’t leave you alone.
I won’t abandon you.
We will stick together in learning

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Caution: Disaster Room - Scheduled Post #3

Another scheduled post. Sorry. I'm just preparing.

The following is a prompt I did for Creative Writing a year and a half ago. I had some fun with it, so enjoy!

Caution: Disaster Zone Room

Just stop.
Step back slowly.
Don’t come any closer.
I know it looks like a tornado came through
I have my reasons for living in it.

Don’t touch that pile!
It’s there for a reason!
Underneath those T-shirts
Are my library books.

That pile looks like dirty clothes,
But it’s protecting my Stats book.
It’s keeping it warm at night.
(Especially since the cat likes to sleep there)

Oh, no, don’t step on that sweatshirt!
My glasses case is hiding there;
As is my latest crocheting project.
The cats like to play with it.
I don’t want it ruined like the last one,
Which the cats tore up,
Once I put it on the shelf.

Don’t get me wrong,
I don’t like the mess.
I don’t like stepping on awry school papers.
I don’t like living in a disaster zone.
But I don’t have time
To keep it organized any other way.