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.”

Monday, December 15, 2014

December doings

Second Saturday of the month I hold a tea party.  Sort of a Christmas theme this month with my usual eccentric collection of china.  There was gingerbread with lemon curd and yogurt cheese.  There were chicken salad sandwiches with hazelnuts and Granny Smith apples.  There were sugar cookies with peppermint frosting, and hazelnut meringues, and rum balls in five different variations.  And Tamara brought a huge batch of her phenomenal biscotti, still warm from the oven.  We feasted.  We laughed.  It was especially comforting to me this month because I have just lost a dear nephew in a car crash, and I need the affirmation that life goes on.  I changed this kid's diapers.  He was supposed to take care of our generation in our dotage. In case of the zombie apocalypse, Kyle and I were going to go live with Chris at the cabin because Chris could do anything!  He was a sharpshooter and a skilled bow hunter, a logger, a mechanic, a knowledgeable tree-farmer, a welder, a damn fine father and a kind-hearted man who would do the hard things that needed to be done.   It's hard to say goodbye to the younger generation.

Chris was 52.  He was a semi-pro bull-rider in his wild youth.  His son is 12.  It's a damn shame that Chris won't be around to help him through the teens.

But Chris is in heaven with God.   All the aches and pains and sorrows of broken bones and broken hearts and mistakes made are behind him now.  He is with his mom, singing and dancing and waiting for the rest of us with love.

I wish I had more chances to hear him sing.  I wish I could dance with him again.  I'm glad I told him how proud I am of him in the Christmas card I sent to him.  I hope he got the Christmas cookies.  There is so much to be done now, and nothing I can do to help.  Blessings on his sister who is handling everything, and blessings on his dad who lost his best friend.


And life goes on.  This tea party is a regular event and it was good to have something positive to focus on while I wrapped my heart around the hole that is left.  As you can see, I am favoring the hand-painted plates right now.  Unique, quirky, and playful.  We hit an estate sale on the 14th and I picked up some hand-painted Japanese china that was likely sent home to a young wife by a lad stationed over there after the war.  I wish I knew the stories it could tell.  Six saucers and three cups, all thin as eggshell.  I also picked up a couple of the pressed glass plates that used to come in boxes of powdered soap.  I saw a woman pick one up, hold it up to the light, scowl at it and put it down.  So I had to look, too.  There were scratches on the surface, just as if it had actually been used by real people to hold a real meal.  I like it much better because of that.  Something that had been put in a cupboard and never touched wouldn't have near as much charm.

We also got our Christmas tree yesterday.  Woohoo!  As I was decorating it, I remembered the first tree my first husband and I had.  His parents had come to spend the holiday with us, and she and I were dressing the tree.  After a while, she said, "I think that's enough ornaments now."  I was flummoxed.  Enough ornaments?  That's not how you do a tree.  You put on the lights, then you hang every ornament you own, then you go through your coat pockets, the bottoms of all of your purses, and the sofa cushions till you scrape up enough cash, and you go out and buy one more box of ornaments.  One year when I was a college student, a roommate liberated a stapler from the school library,(we returned it when it was empty) and we made paper chains with the colored pages out of magazines.  We borrowed the neighbor guy's tin snips and cut spirals out of can lids to twirl and catch the light.  We even hung necklaces and earrings up to make it shiny.  How can you have "Enough" ornaments on a Christmas tree?

I now have a collection of Margaret Furlong porcelain angels, so I look for hearts and angels when I get new things for the tree. There are paper hearts and red Fimo hearts and glass hearts.  There are cardboard angels and resin angels.

Did you know that cat urine will strip the colored paint right off your glass ornaments?  We had an old cat that marked the lower branches of the tree the first Christmas he was with us.  (We put the tree  safely up on a small table for the rest of Bosco's life.)  I took the ornaments with the paint peeling away, scrubbed them in bleach water, then said, "OK, what do you do with plain glass ornaments?"
I spray-painted them white and drew angel faces on them.  So there are little faces peeking out between the branches all over the tree.

It's going to be a quiet, thoughtful holiday this year (I sincerely hope!)  May yours be filled with love and laughter (Laughter is a survival tool) and may God hold you in the palm of his hand.  Tell the people you love how much they mean to you, right NOW.  Accidents happen anywhere, at any time.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Neptune's Suite

Neptune’s Suite

            After ten years of unremitting coaxing, we have finally persuaded Rick and Mary Jean to come on a cruise with us. 

We took the train to Seattle.  Mary Jean was delighted with the train station, having admired it often from outside, she greatly enjoyed her first view of the Edwardian opulence of the interior décor.  The train was on time, our seats were comfy, the weather was clear and the view was incomparable, as always.

We had two hours in Seattle, and as Rick was familiar with the area, he and Kyle went out and hunted down lunches for us.  Falafel and babaganoosh, and tabouli and enough garlic to fend off vampires. 

Three hours on the bus got us to Vancouver, and ten minutes in a cab got us to our hotel, the exquisite Pan Pacific. Where the views are breath-taking, the rooms are palatial, and the service makes you feel like the particularly favored guest of the queen.

A delicious dinner at Steamer’s Pub capped off our long and uneventful day.  They brew their own. The Stout and the Nut Brown Ale were quaffed with delight.
As a certified lightweight, I went for the IPA and found it splendidly refreshing.  Since Canadian beer has a higher alcohol content than American, we all went straight to bed.  Wish I could have stayed awake, though.  There was a performance of Indian Music in our hotel, and I was enchanted just watching the arriving patrons.  A sari is SUCH a graceful garment!  And the men with their big dark eyes and flashing white teeth, the turbans and glorious beards and moustaches – Such romantic, virile fellows!

            Here’s a view of our vessel in the dawning light.  We like the Pan Pacific for so many reasons – one of which is the fact that the cruise ships dock right there.

           
Embarkation was well organized and as efficient as could reasonably be expected.  And our rooms were freaking glorious!  We had splurged on adjoining Neptune Suites.  The steward cheerfully opened the partition between our verandas, so we could enjoy the views together.  It was fairly chilly in Vancouver, though, so we didn’t spend a lot of time outside the first night out.  Note:  Always take a jacket or sweater to life-boat drill in Vancouver.  That sea breeze can be brisk.



I’ve been frustrated with my hair, trying to grow it out a bit, and it’s at one of those awkward stages.  So I went to the salon and asked if they had any operators who could braid it up Caribbean style.  The manager smilingly handed me over to Juan from Sri Lanka.  He was a lovely boy with kind eyes, warm hands, and not a clue where to begin.  “French braid?” He asked, running his hands with some puzzlement through my curls. 
“No, Caribbean style.  Lots of little braids, flat to the skull.  Like they do in Jamaica.”  He smiled (What a beautiful smile he had) and said, “Be right back.”
He returned with Shirleen, the nail girl, who was Jamaican.  She took immediate charge and said, (With a rich Jamaican accent) “You do it like this.”  Then she sectioned off an inch wide band of hair from my forehead to my crown, leaned my head back firmly against her generous bosom, and began plaiting the silver strands into a neat, flat braid.  “Like this, man,” she said, with her fingers flying.  “Can you do it like this?”
“I can  - try,” he murmured.  His accent was also thick, and the two didn’t really communicate well. 
Shirleen had evidently braided squirmy little kids because she was very firm and efficient.  “You watch, man,” she commanded, and started another braid.  “Like this.  See?”
My hair is longer in back, and I wanted braids coming up, so that all the ends met at the crown.  She stood in front of me, pulled my head forward so that the top of my forehead was pressed firmly against her sternum, wedged between those tender cushions, and continued plaiting briskly away.  This process requires that the hair be tugged firmly and the braids be torqued as snug as possible.  When she started with those short hairs on the back of the neck I would wince, and she would say, “I am sorry for your pain.  Beauty comes with pain.” 
Other hairdressers gathered around to watch her deft expertise.  Other customers, coming through the shop would pause to watch.  “Doesn’t that hurt?” I heard a man ask.  “It’s worth it.” I said.
“You supposed to say, ‘no,’” Shirleen told me.
The salon manager had to go find little rubberbands to hold the braids.  In the meantime, Shirleen had Juan handing her clips to hold the ends snug.  Shirleen’s next nail appointment showed up, and another hairdresser, a beautiful boy from the Phillipines with a mouth like Mick Jagger.  Took over.  He explained that the hair at my temples was too short to French braid, and too silky, but, using gel and lots of hairspray, he managed to put it in a tiny lacquered queue over each ear which he pulled firmly back till the wrinkles around my eyes were stretched smooth, then pinned the end tightly into place.  I think he would have used hot glue if he had a gun handy.  The manager showed up with the rubber bands, and Mr. Jagger-smile began tweaking and jerking.  He devised his own variation on my intent.  I had wanted all the ends tucked neatly into a bun and pinned down. He fluffed them up and created a coronet of curls across the crown.  He was RUTHLESS, jerking the clips out and wrapping those rubber bands down TIGHT.  In situations like this, I try telling jokes to distract myself.  Evidently my humor doesn’t translate well into Phillipine or Sri Lanken.  I kept laying out a beautiful punch line and hearing that flat silence, then the polite, “Haha,” that says, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Shirleen kept popping back to supervise the finishing touches.  “You make sure it’s right across the top of de head,” she cautioned.  “Else she can’t sleep on it.”  I imagined having to cant my head on the pillow to avoid lying on those knots of hair and rubber bands, and I blessed Shirleen.  While Juan and Mr. Jagger-smile were still cinching the rubber bands down, a Serbian hairdresser with gorgeous brown cat-eyes showed up, carrying a handful of bobby pins and she began nailing the ends of the curls tight to my scalp.  She didn’t actually draw blood, but I don’t think she would have cared if she had. 
And then, Mr. Jagger-smile picked up and aerosol can and said to me, “Close your eyes, darling.”  He proceeded to lacquer the whole confection into a stiff, shiny edifice.  I could walk through a hurricane, and those curls will not move. 
Kyle calls it my Jamaican facelift. I feel like a queen. Women keep coming up to me and telling me how beautiful it is. And I CAN sleep on it.  Beauty is pain, but a few aspirins take the edge off.

Our first full day on board was a day at sea which is always great for figuring our where you are and getting your sea legs.  And, for getting your hair done if you want.


The next day, we arrived after lunch in SanFrancisco.  Sailing under the bridge was a treat!  Rather than sign up for a ship-sponsored excursion, Rick and MJ, who knew SF well, suggested we take the hop-on, hop-off bus.  Our first stop was Chinatown.
 
MJ wanted to buy some tea, so we stopped at a herbalist’s shop.  The smells!  The sounds!  The things for sale!

  Giant dried mushrooms and colorful boxes of mysterious elixours.  I watched a bone-thin old lady in a white coat measuring out  twelve careful handfuls of bark onto twelve white squares, then adding carefully weighed doses of a yellow powder, then counting out a precise number of little red things.  I think she was the apothecary.  Chic young women in high-heels and business suits came in, spoke to the clerks in Chinese, handed over credit cards and walked out with neat white little packets or zip-lock baggies full of tea, or paper bags containing dried fish maw. (I have no idea why.)  We were the only round-eyes in the shop.  We bought Gunpowder tea, Rose Darjeeling, and five blossoming green tea balls.  Then we stopped at an emporium that MJ and Rick knew about, and I left with a gorgeous aubergine silk coat.
The bus tour continued on through the painted ladies – the victorian houses that have been maintained and decorated with playful abandon and careful attention to detail.  We were on the top deck, and I nearly twisted my head loose, gazing at this cornice and that dentil molding and those columns over there.  And then – oh then, we went through Haight Ashbury!  Yes, it has been fourty years since the summer of love, but I still resonate to those plangent strings.  I was grinning so hard my face nearly split in two.  Finally, over the Golden Gate Bridge, then back across it to the docks and a return to the ship.  For Mary Jean’s Birthday dinner in the Canneletto restaurant.



You may notice that Mary Jean is wearing blue eyeshadow.  This is quite unlike Mary Jean but she did it as a gesture of solidarity with me.  You see, the ship sponsored a 5K walk for the cure that morning before we reached San Grancisco, and we both participated.  I was goofing off and tried to do a grapevine step to vary the workout.  I tripped over my own feet and fell like a great sequoia, bruising leg, hip, arm, shoulder, and cracking my right occipital ridge against the deck so hard that the people walking ahead of us turned to see what the noise was.  So I had a sizeable audience to witness my embarrassment.  Sigh. 
Over the next few hours, the eyebrow bruise flowed down  over my lid.  By the time we headed to dinner, I had the “smokey eye” look perfected on the right side.  So attractive.   )-:


The next morning we docked in Santa Catalina.  I was up early, savoring my tea on the veranda, when I noticed splashes in the water.  The approached the ship and I saw that they were fish, leaping and frolicking and headed straight for the ship.  Rick, on the adjoining veranda is quite familiar with these waters and confirmed my guess that they were dolphins.  “It’s a nursery,” he  “Adult dolphins are larger.  Like that one there.”  For at least half a mile, the sea was churned by leaping little dolphins, swimming up to smile at us.  (I think the ship may have frightened schools of fish toward them.)  It was a glorious experience!
 explained.
Which set my wag into gear for the whole day.  We proceeded to take a zipline tour. It was so fun! MJ is fearless! Kyle and Rick are dauntless.  And I gleefully squealed my lungs out.
         After a thouroughly forgettable meal at Coyote Joes (don’t go if you can help it) we took a semi-submersible boat ride over to Lover’s Cove.  I was on my knees on the floor with my face against the glass most of the trip.  It’s a good thing we weren’t crowded.  The bright orange Garabaldis are like gold coins in the clear water.  The seaweed and kelp swoop and sway.  The sea-urchins munch their patient way across the sea floor.  There were calico bass and opal eyes and a gazillion little dark fish that were too skittish to identify.  It was awesome!!

We were all pooped from our exciting day, but I still had some mischief left.  I had to do a little yarn bombing while I had the chance. 



The next morning, we docked in SanDIego, the end of the cruise.  Again. Rick and MJ knew the places to go and the things to do and graciously took us up to Point Loma, told us stories about their lives in the city and their courtship there, and finally got us to the airport in time for our flight.  They stayed in So. Cal for a few more days to visit Mary Jean’s family.  Kyle and I flew home to our happy kitties, our secure internet connection, and our own sweet bed.  Life is so very good for us right now!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

sorting the stash

Yesterday Mary Jean and I hit an estate sale where we could buy entire bolts of fabric for $5 each.  Today, while washing the sizing out of yards and yards and yards of fabrics that will go with justaboutanythihng, I started sorting my existing stash.  I've got somewhere in the neighborhood of six quilts I want to sew right now.  And, as I sorted through, I discovered that I have a lot of pink fabric.  An awful lot of pink.  In fact, I have something like a metric fuckton of pink print fabrics.

Which tells me that my inner three-year-old has been hijacking my impulse fabric buys for about the last - oh - fifteen years or so.  Ah, she heard me talking about her.  She's peeking around the corner to see how mad I am.  And what do you have to say for yourself young lady?

She gives me that endearing grin and says, "I wuv you, woxie."

My inner three-year-old is an accomplished survivor.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Walkies

We had some free time  this morning, so Kyle and I took a little walk.  It was my fault.  I had read about this walk and it was listed as 2.5 miles.  And it's not all that far from our place so we could walk there and make it a good, long walk.  We walked from our house to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens.  Here's a picture of Reed College Place which runs through a noble and prosperous neighborhood.  We walked the length of Reed College Place, admiring the lovely old homes and the beautiful trees.  We walked through the Reed College campus.  We walked back.  It was a delightful walk but it sure seemed longer than 2.5 miles.  The last hill climb just about did me in.  When we got home I checked my pedometer.  It was 6.59 miles, with the equivalent of 18 flights of stairs.  I took a bath and a nap.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A day at the Fair

For decades, Kyle and I have gone to the Oregon State Fair on the Friday before Labor Day.  We have always enjoyed ourselves vastly.  Every year, there is a new fried treat to try.  This year . . .
The concoction is batter dipped and fried to a greasy, crispy, chocolately, peanut buttery dough god, dusted with powdered sugar.  It's served on a stick, perhaps to keep your fingers clean, but if it's not cool enough to hold in your hand, it's too hot to eat.
I gave it a try with the stick, but finished off with fingers.  I must have a decent immune system.  I eat a lot of food with my fingers, and it doesn't make me sick.

There were many other options.  I didn't get a photo of the two foot long jalapeño corn dogs, or the deep fried Pepsi or the giant Elephant ears with peanut butter, jam and bacon crumbles, or the bacon-wrapped turkey legs.  If you wanted something relatively healthy, there were fruit smoothie stands - ya wimp!
Another option I opted out of.  I'm a starch-a-holic.  The best part of most cheeseburgers is the bun.

Were were somewhat disappointed by the fair this year.  It is greatly curtailed.  There is a new fair board and they have changed things around a lot.  Many of the competitions now have an entry fee (?!?) and the submission process has been completely computerized which has cut out many of the older, more experienced competitors.  The knitting and sewing competitions were so shrunken.  The quilts used to be displayed all around the upper reaches of the exhibit hall, two and three quilts high. this year, it was mostly pretty little wall-hangings displayed on a chicane of screens. They were beautifully done, but somehow not as heart-warming as the newlywed's first quilt made from pieces of her husband's worn out shirts and the embroidered bib off her old apron: a real scrap quilt, made for use, not display.

The photography competition used to take up an entire building, with youth, teen, adult and professional divisions.  I learned a lot about photography by strolling through those displays, and always felt my eye was sharper afterwards.  This year, it was all amateur, and filled half of a small room.

There were years when the small animals building was filled with furry critters on one side, and feathery friends on the other - row after row after row of myriad varieties of bunnies, chickens and ducks.  This year, there were row after row of empty cages.

And in the vendor's building, it was suspiciously spacious.  They had taken out two whole rows of booths and widened the aisles.  Where was the guy who sells the small steel clamps and scissors and vices?  Where was the guy who sells those nice leather wallets of all styles and configurations?  The pearl oysters were there as usual, and I got two silver blue, and two cream pearls, between 8 and 8.5 millimeters.  Yay!  The mink-oil ladies were demonstrating the wonderful moisturizing qualities of their products.  The cham-wow guys were still touting the wonders of their cloths, and the plastic chopper in a hopper guy was still making fresh salsa, but many, many of the weird and wonderful things you never knew you needed were gone.

If we had driven from the far corner of the state to attend the fair, I would have been darn disappointed.  Where were the biggest pumpkins and the tallest sunflowers?  Where were the Four-H aprons and hand-hemmed napkins that girls learn to make for their hope-chests?  Where are the has of canned carrots stacked up in meticulous spirals like small red-gold coins, and the canned beans, hand selected for size and color and lined up in their jars with military precision?  Where are the shelves and shelves and shelves of jam jars, sparking like jewels?  What has happened to the annual flaunting of abundance and good husbandry?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A little of this, a little of that . . .

 We saw "Guardians of the Galaxy"  It's a summer movie for kids based on a comic book.  I loved it!


We had a tea party in the backyard.  I used a bit of lace for a bug baffle.  Shades of "Great Expectations."

Our outdoor room in the backyard is great for entertaining.  However, in the morning, there are sometimes spots of sunshine that filter through, and on a hot day,
 we have to find solutions.Maggie and Pat looking elegant under their sun shade.


The next day, Kyle and I got up bright and early and made our way to the Portland Bridge Peddle.
We did the  walking portion - a mere 6.5 miles with a climb equal to twelve flights of stairs.  It was awesome.  And on the top of that climb, there were Taiko drummers, stirring the blood and cheering us on.








On the way back to the car, I stopped to snap a picture of the world's smallest park. (Keep Portland weird.) it's 24 inches in diameter, and the city actually does maintain it.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Interesting days


What an interesting couple of days it has been!  On Tuesday I got a call from Extras Only to be a refugee on a TV show -– on Wednesday.  (Note:  Extras must be ready at a moment’s notice.)  So Wednesday, instead of my usual routine of breakfast and sewing with Mary Jean in the morning, then Chrysalis in the afternoon, I showed up Wednesday morning on site with three refugee-appropriate changes of clothes (so the dressers can produce the right look.)  My first look was acceptable, so I didn’t even have to unpack my carry-on.  Extras Holding area was a big tent with tables and folding chairs.    They provided coffee and tea. We chatted.  What a fascinating variety of people do this extra work! 

 After a while, the hairdresser showed up and tousled several heads.  I pulled my hat on with a few curls sticking out at the edges and she approved with a smile.  Then makeup came around with a bottle of black powder and some cosmetic sponges.  We each got our faces smudged.  I had on a layer of sunblock which really caught and held the black, and with my pale skin, I looked like a diesel mechanic Who had run through a coal mine.

Then one of the dressers showed up with a jar of coffee-colored powder and a pair of leather gloves.  She began smearing “Dirt” on our clothes, carefully shaking about a tablespoon of powder onto one gloved hand, rubbing her hands together, then rubbing her hands all over us, with special attention to hems, knees and elbows, backsides, and shoes.

I am SO glad I wore a pair of comfortable shoes with cushy padded insoles.  We spent a lot of time standing on cement floors in an abandoned warehouse basement, looking cold and miserable.  Luckily, the warehouse was very cool, since the outside temperature eventually got up to the low 90s, and we were bundled in layers of clothes with hats, scarves, and gloves.

I can’t give any spoilers about the episode yet.  It’s for a series on the scifi channel.  I might show up in one scene, and I’m background in another.  It was very interesting to see how these things actually get filmed.  They have stand-ins to walk through the scene a couple of times to get the microphones, lights and staging right. Extras get re-arranged and coached on their movements.  Cameramen and soundmen move things around.  Someone starts the smoke machines.  The stand-ins go through it all again.  Then the actors walk through to rehearse it.  Finally, the cameras go live, the director hollers, “Rolling,” is echoed by his assistants at various points around the set, and a take is done.  “Cut” echoes out through the building, and various technicians discuss with the director how it could be better.  Then again, “Rolling,” and everyone drops into character, miming chill despair as the actors walk by.    It’s important to stay in character while avoiding the soundman with the microphone on the long pole, at the same time, staying out of the cameraman’s way.  And never, never look at the camera.   Even when it seems logical that you would look at the passing actors, don’t do it!  Remember that you are wallpaper and should not be noticed.

And then the scene is run all over again while it is filmed from a different angle. And again.  And again.  And the actors stay in character and deliver their lines as if they have never spoken them before.  Keeping the act fresh has got to be the gift of  a real actor!

Finally, we heard, “Cut. Print.” And mild cheers erupted around the set.  Extras were returned to holding. Do NOT wash hands!  Filming continued in the smokey, dirty warehouse basement with all the grips, gaffers, best boys, actors, seconds, soundmen, lighting techs, and cameramen going through the whole thing for scenes that don’t use extras.  They have my admiration for their stamina!

Then there was a break for lunch.  Actors and directors get fed first, then crew, then extras get the leftovers.  The food was fabulous!  I had steamed baby zucchini, grilled salmon, a chopped tomato and cucumber salad in basalmic vinegar dressing, and a slice of carrot cake.  There was also grilled tofu, a ravioli in cream sauce, halibut  baked in a lemon-butter sauce, tossed green salad, and any number of other things I don’t remember.  All set out like a buffet at a high-end restaurant.  Other extras assured me that this was exceptional treatment.  Often, extras get a box lunch with sandwich, chips, and applesauce.  Sometimes, they get nothing.  All the experienced extras brought a bottle of water and a couple of granola bars, just in case.

Our tent got warmer and warmer.  We began wandering around to nearby shady locations that got a breeze. Then we were called for one final scene and after only nine hours on set, we were released.  Then came the process of checking out with proper ID so the company could get us properly paid.  The darling ladies in makeup provided a package of pre-moistened towelets so we could clean up.  There were a couple of students who were  planning on taking the bus home, and were reluctant to travel looking like homeless bums.  Since we had each brought 3 changes of clothes, we all had something clean to change into.

And so ended my first day as an actual extra.  Next time, I am taking a deck of cards and a book.  Extras are not allowed to be raucous or make noise which might be heard on the set.  No sitting around telling jokes and howling with laughter.  (Frowny face.)

I did get in one good compliment, though.  There was a young man, very buff, in a sleeveless t-shirt, displaying oiled, rippling muscles.  I sidled up to him and said, “I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but Smith and Wesson would envy those big guns of yours.”  He laughed hugely, but silently.  What a sweet boy.

Then home to MY sweet boy, and a hot bath.  The next morning, we got up, loaded the RV and motored down to Champoeg (pronounced, "shampooey")  State Park for an overniter.  This park is splendid, and if you get a chance to visit, it’s worth a look-in.  We walked two miles along the river to a nearby store, had a cold beverage, and walked back.  It was shady and delightful the whole way, though the temperature out in the sun was rapidly climbing toward the 90s again.  We lazed around for the rest of the afternoon, watched a lovely sunset, with barn swallows swooping from shadows up into the sun, and back, and took our tired selves to bed. (I had 13,325 steps!)

 In the middle of the night a big thunderstorm blew through with heavy rain and almost continuous flashes and rumbles.  A couple gusts of wind rocked the RV on its jacks.  I was glad to have a warm dry bed, and felt quite sorry for the campers in their tents. I hope they got through it all right.  There are many families camping here, with one big tent, then several satellite tents for the kids to sleep in,  Bet everyone wound up sleeping with mom and dad.

And now, we greet a day with heavy overcast and a fresh-washed face.  Check out is at 1PM.  I wonder what today will bring.