Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I aintn't dead

I've been sewing quick and dirty quilts for refugees.  Big pieces with micro-fleece backing.

 And then use up the leftovers in a colorful border.

(Don't the leaves make a nice background?)
I had the November tea with sherry cake (If you look very closely, you can just see the rose pattern from the doily I used to decorate.  Should have used powdered sugar, as the colored sugar was too big to filter through the meshes.)

 There were applesauce cookies, nutella cookies, turkey salad, and grapes.

The china theme was black and white.  It turns out that one of my nieces has the same china pattern that I selected when I was 18 and building a hope chest.  Ebony and Ivory by Noritake.  Almost 50 years old and still elegant.  But, since I have place settings for 8, and there are usually 15 to 18 for tea, I have to stretch the settings with alternatives.  This splendid hand-painted souvenir from Hawaii that Kyle found for me at an estate sale is about as alternative as you can get.  I adore this one!!

Meanwhile, I am hammering away at the
pre-Christmas stuff.  Updating the address list, starting on the rum balls (I went to the liquor store, bought a quart of rum and used the $5 change to buy two scratch-offs, each of which won $5.  Whoop!  Quit while  I'm ahead!) knitting, embroidering, sewing.  It's half past November and it will be time to ship stuff before you know it.

Have I mentioned that I have joined Toastmasters?  Enjoying it vastly.  A whole new audience for my old jokes.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

More comforters

 Another couple of quick and dirty comforters using second-hand sheets and micro-fleece backing with no batts.  Lightweight, washable, colorful thermal layers for orphans and refugees.  This is my version of the adult coloring books.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Alaska cruise

For years now, Kyle and I have said that we would wait till we got old to take the Alaska cruise.  We like warm weather and sunny climes.  Well, I guess we're old now.  Dear Lisa put together an Alaska cruise for her Hawaiian friends, and we decided to go along.  It was a cruise.  What's not to like?  The weather was predicted to be cool and rainy, but we know how to deal with that.

So we rolled out at five in the morning to catch the early train to Seattle.  Train travel is so comfortable.  We pay a bit extra for Business Class and get the big, comfy seats and the free Wi-Fi,  then just sit back and enjoy the ride.

The Carnival Legend was our destination and floating luxury home for the next seven days.  We had time to  explore before the ship left the dock.  Here  are my favorite traveling socks, enjoying the view from the the adult-only lounge area.

The evening clouded up and our trip through the 
strait of Juan de Fuca got a bit rough.  Then, we emerged onto the open ocean to travel North up the outside of Vancouver Island.  It got quite rough, and many people spent the day in bed.  It was cold, windy and rainy, but I enjoyed all the amenities of a luxury hotel.  There was TV and movies in the room, and free room service.  Lisa and I got together for breakfast and talked until the waiters almost had to throw us out of the dining room so they could set up for lunch.  Then we found a quiet place and talked until lunch time.  Gosh it's good to catch up with the people you love!

That night was the first formal night.  Kyle got up and put on his tuxedo and looked so handsome, but between his vertigo, and the motion of the ship, he couldn't stay through dinner.  The waiter very kindly plated it up and sent it back to the room with me.  Our waiter this trip, Ricky, was one of the best we have ever had.  

So after I had eaten, and delivered the food to Kyle, it was still early and I was all dressed up.  I went back out and took advantage of all the photographers.  The cruise always hires numbers of photographers who set up lovely backdrops after dinner, and take your photo if you wish.  Then, if you love your photos, you may buy them.  I posed with abandon.  I smiled and twinkled and pouted and grinned.  I practiced my sultry sidelong glances and my regal profile.  People watching me loosened up and got much more natural-looking pictures for themselves.  It's a great time to let your inner ham get smoking.

By the time we got to Juneau the next morning, the seas had quieted considerably.  However, the rain was going sideways, and the temps were in the lower 40s.  I tucked up with my embroidery and a recorded book, and smiled beatifically as Kyle geared up for the weather and headed out.   He had a good time, and tracked down some awesome deals.  This is the last week of cruise-ship season, so everyone was marking down their remaining merchandise.  50 to 75% off in some cases.  Such a deal!

 The next day we were in Skagway.  Again, it was cold and wet.  The bay was cafe au laite colored, and the clouds were thick and nervous.  I finished my embroidery, and got started on some socks.  Kyle, again, braved the weather and explored the town.  He's such a hero.  I had a lovely nap and savored the 3 o:clock tea onboard.

And then, on Saturday,  we cruised into Glacier  Bay and picked up three park rangers who pointed out wild animals as we passed, told us about the ecology and geology, explained the hows and whys of glaciation, and very graciously answered all our many questions.  After breakfast, Kyle and I went back to our cabin, pulled the curtains wide, and watched the scenery glide past.  It was glorious!  We got to Margery Glacier, and paused.  I put on a coat and stood on our veranda, smelling the cold and basking in the realness of it all.  You see two dimensional pictures or even tv shows, and you think, "Well, that's lovely."  Then you get there in the flesh and the third dimension of it smacks you upside the head and you are awed by the grandeur and magnificence of the reality.  As I watched, I saw two little bits of ice "calve" off the glacier into the ocean.  There's a flicker of movement that draws your eye, then an explosion of fracturing ice, and a chunk plummets into the water, throwing up great white splashes.  And THEN the sound hits you!  The rifle-crack of the break, the roar of the fall, the rumbling crash of the waves as they swallow down another sliver of the past.  Chunks of ice floated all around the ship, chuckling with the wave action and melting away.  Icebergs must be at least 18 feet long, and nothing around us was more than maybe five feet.  Mere puppies.

The original glacier that formed Glacier Bay has been melting since its largest extent, recorded in the 1700s during the little ice age.  Now there are many "arms" of the original glacier that are still collapsing into the bay. This is John Hopkins Glacier.  The dark stripes show where two smaller glaciers came together to make a bigger one.  So you can see that John Hopkins will melt back to at least six smaller glaciers in time.  This is so cool!!  On one of those pads of ice is a family of otters.  The biggest zoom I could bring in made them look like a cluster of dark patches. I didn't bother to save that photo.  But there were folks on board with lenses as big as my thigh, and I bet you could count the whiskers on the babies with those!

Sunday we stopped in Ketchikan.  MJ's sister Lallette lives in Ketchikan and showed up to give us the tour, but Kyle was afraid we would do all girl stuff and got sorta shy.  So Lallette gave me the full Ketchikan Tour!  We drove all thirty miles of paved highway!  We climbed the narrow twisty road to the landfill!  We drove on the bypass that is suspended like a bridge off the side of the hill.  Ketchikan is all hills and bays and big mossy trees.  We drove up to the lake and walked around it.  The salmon are running right now, so the crick out of the lake was full of salmon trying to get home, spawn, and die.  It was fascinating to watch them climb up the rapids!  Lallette does an awesome tour, and I enjoyed myself vastly!
Sailing away from Ketchikan and into the sunset.
We never did get to  see the Aurora Borealis. Evidently it was active, but the clouds closed in once we were out at sea.

The last day, Monday, we cruised the inland passage on the East side of Vancouver Island.  It was so beautiful.  The channel is fairly narrow, so we sailed between lush, wild green islands all day long.  The water was calm, and the sun shone through puffy clouds.  It was idylic!

Tuesday we docked in Vancouver, BC, bussed to Seattle, took the train to Portland, and got home about 11pm.  It's over a week later, and I still haven't got everything put away.  sigh.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

In print again, in print again, Good God Almighty, I'm in print again!!

I'm in print again! 
 All four of the Sanna Chronicles are now available from 
Inkwater Press  
The paperbacks are $14.95 each.  
The Kindle E-books are only $2.99. 
 Read them, review them.  Especially the fourth book in the series, 
Sanna and the Empress, which has never seen print before.
Enjoy, enjoy and CELEBRATE!

Monday, July 20, 2015

A busy weekend

We celebrated our 21st anniversary a bit early on Saturday.   Our guests included Larry, a friend of Kyle's from high school.  And his wonderful wife, Sherrie.  Rick and Mary Jean came, and Mary Jean got to hold a three-week-old baby. (Our neighbors across the street, Jessica and Erin brought over 2year old Jacob and new baby Elliot.)  Cera made and frosted cupcakes for us , then left for Madras with her aunty Michelle before the party started.  We have a whole tray full of sandwiches left over, white wine and lots of sodas.  The pretzel bread sandwiches were soo yummy!

The next day, we met Larry and Sherrie at the Renaissance Faire in Silverton, Oregon.  What fun!  I love the creativity and enthusiasm of the people involved in these things.  If I had a spare $150 I would have bought a Valkyrie headpiece with real feather wings!  As it was, I bought a snood and a headpiece that I could have made myself, but not as cheaply. And I bought an ear cuff that I had to be helped with by the sweetest little girl who was working the faire with her parent.    The faire had lots of costumed little kids running around and grown-ups in all sorts of fantastic attire.  Some were authentic renaissance-style.  Some were decidedly anachronistic.  Some were flat-out fantasy.  Warrior princesses and barbarians and fairies and gypsies.  Some vendors were selling incense and scented oils.  Some of the knights were wearing genuine chain mail and the necessary heavy padding.    And there were horses and jousting and armed combat in the glaring sun in 90 degree weather.  Sensory overload!  Sound and sights and smells and touch.  I avoided taste because I knew we had a tray full of sandwiches at home, but oh, dear, the cold water was welcome!!  It was a wonderful experience and maybe I can get some photos to load later.

Today is weigh-in day, and the yard still needs to be cleaned up after the party.  Guess I'd better gt to work.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ride on.

Spent some time at Oaks Amusement Park with Cera and Kyle.  Wound up riding the Screaming Eagle. Then the thing that spins your little cage around while the whole wheel spins around.  Then the whole world spun around and I decided that Cera could go on the centrifuge by herself.  Kyle rode the roller coaster with her.  It took about 2 hours, a bottle of cold water, and a nap before I really felt like I knew which end was up.  I used to be tougher than that!

We have had a lovely week with Cera.  I think she was a bit bored with us, but I warned her that we were old farts.  She and I did a kayaking trip with Enrgy Kayaks and it was too cool!  The weather was perfect, the river was calm, and the view of Willamette Falls from the water-level is awe-freaking-some! Our guide couldn't have been better.  I didn't want to quit.  In my next life I may come back as a duck.

On Tuesday of this week, Cera and I went downtown and visited the Chinese Gardens, then walked up to the record store on Burnside and 13th where Cera bought genuine old vinyl, then we walked back to Chinatown and ate Dim Sum. Cera is an adventurous diner.  Yay for her!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Aaaaand, another quilt

 MJ and I have been working through that bolt of teal and apricot giant flowers print.  This is the third one we have finished.  The colors look blue and orange, but they are really teal and apricot.  An entire bolt of fabric has backed three quilts, been the prime color in the tops of all of them, provides a bedspread and a set of curtains for MJ, and we STILL have fabric enough to back two more comforters.  All this for five dollars.  That was an awesome sale!

It has been unseasonably hot here, but it looks like cooling down for my tea party tomorrow.  We will enjoy the shade of the back yard, and guests from out of town.  Two of my nieces will be coming up from Madras and each is bringing a daughter.  Niece Shawna is bringing Ava, who is not yet in school, and niece Cheryl is bringing Cera who is 16 and will be spending a week with us.  I'm so excited.  Niece Cheryl is also bringing cupcakes, since that's her thing.  She owns the Cup-n-Cake coffee stand in Madras, and her cupcakes are awe-freaking-some!!

In preparation for this feasting, I have been trying really hard to eat moderately.  Kyle made me this awesome salad for dinner last night.  Mixed greens, apricots, raspberries, and marionberries with a dressing made of fat-free yogurt, and lavender vinegar.  My mouth thought we had gone to heaven!

Anyone have an HP printer?  Ours is experiencing an existential crisis.  Its head is out of alignment, and we can't find a fix for it anywhere.

So today is set-up and baking frenzy.   Orange sugar cookies, chocolate cookies with mint frosting, and curried chicken salad sandwiches.  Tomorrow, assemble sandwiches, plate cookies, make tea & coffee, put out lemonade, water, fix breakfast for visiting family,  . . .