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.”

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Happy 4th!

Start the Souza marches!  Bring all the cats and dogs inside and make them safe hiding places in the basement or the back of the closets.  Make sure you have the hoses set ready in case the crazy neighbors drop flaming debris on your roof or dry garden.  Set up the barbecue grill and buy a few more bags of ice.  It's predicted to be 97 degrees today.  Kiss a veteran and thank him for his service.  Or thank her for her service.  Obey the law, drive sober, wear a life-vest in the river, even if you DO know how to swim.  This is the most dangerous day of the year, and I want you all to survive it.  It IS possible to have fun without killing yourself!

Friday for retirees.

Almost every week, MJ and I get together and sew.  Mostly we put together pieced comforters for Medical Teams International.  Sometimes we piece comforters for friends or family.  Once in a while we do mending.  There is something so deeply satisfying about doing a task with a friend, and somehow, when we work together, we accomplish more than twice what each of us could have done alone.

Our fondness for pieced comforters has led us to collect fabric stashes.  Mine crowds into cardboard boxes in the bottom of closets.  MJ has hers in a corner of her sewing room.  MJ is a tidier person than I am, and this slumping pile of plastic bags full of fabrics has been a problem to her for some months.  Last weekend, I got a great deal on some wire shelving components, and today, we built cubes.  This is the storage system where you assemble heavy duty wire grids into cubes with plastic connectors.  This system makes sturdy, practical storage, but it’s a pain trying to get all the components to link firmly together in all three dimensions.  Once assembled, they STAY assembled, but getting there is a struggle.

So we built a stack of 18 inch cubes, 5 cubes high, and two cubes wide.  And then we dumped her stash onto the floor and sorted it.  We were like a couple of misers counting our money, reveling in the possession of so much wealth.  This is where it’s funnest to have a friend with you.  “Which  fabric is your favorite?”  “Look how well this goes with that.”  “Does this go on the yellow shelf, or the brown shelf?”

There’s space for more fabric in all of the cubes, and it’s so inspiring to see it all displayed together in one place.  There is the feeling of ACCOMPLISHMENT you get when you have successfully completed a task.  And there is the pleasure   of seeing something that was a mess get organized and made lovely.  We had a GOOD day.

Meanwhile, our husbands were outside in the 90 degree heat, splitting and stacking firewood.  They were using a gas-powered splitter.  It’s not like they were swinging a maul or an axe, but still, they were schlepping a cord of wood around, one heavy piece at a time, and stacking it neatly into ricks.  So when they broke for lunch, they were – well – semi-stunned.  As we enjoyed or iced tea and salads, and they chowed down on honking big sandwiches, we started discussing candy.  It turns out the MJ’s husband likes those yellow marshmallow chicken things so popular at Easter. 

“Next year” I suggested, “We can make them sing and dance so Rick can see a Peeps show.”  The college age sons groaned ao hard.  One of them told me, “You can take your points and go home now.”  That must mean that I am the pun-disputed champion!

Kyle is beat to the ground.  I haven’t seen him this weary in a while.  I’m pouring GatorAde into him and advising against a repeat performance on the 4th.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I'm still here.

I've got my head down, editing the proofs for my novels.  A generous benefactor gave me the money to publish, and we are in process!

Writing is fun.  Editing isn't fun.  Marketing sucks rocks!

Anyone out there love marketing?

Friday, June 26, 2015


It's supposed to get up to 100 degrees today, so I got out at 7AM for my walk.  Mornings are so GLORIOUS!

 I came to a place where I had to make a choice.  Climb the stairs, or follow the path.  Which would you have done?  

Kyle and I have been joking about the exotic animals in the neighborhood.  Today, I spotted an enormous coppercockasaurus.  At least four feet tall!

Talking about monsters, I finished a pair of slippers for Kat, my niece-in-law.  It's what she asked for.

So I have hung the laundry on the drying rack outside (Why run the dryer when Mother Nature will do it for you?)  and I have blogged.  Now to fix a cup of strong tea and get back to editing proofs.  Whenever someone in our writing group gets something published, she has to being chocolate.  Hershey's Kisses, or mini Dove bars? Which should I bring?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Estate sale

So Kyle and I happened by this estate sale.  And the lady had been a quilter.
I was in so much trouble!  There were fat quarters and half on sale for a dollar each.
I was as restrained as I could be, but the next day we went back and everything left was half off.  Fat quarters for fifty cents?  Two yard cuts for a dollar?  I was lost.  And I don't know what I will do with two yards of black flannel with pink roses, but I had to have it.  I HAD to!

So everything has been washed and folded.  Now, where am I going to store all this fabric?  I'm still hugging myself with glee.  Ooh, pretty!

Meanwhile, Kyle has committed me to make a quilt for his mom.  Who lives in Los Angeles.  And can't make up her mind as to what color she wants.  She mentioned brown and green, then she mentioned red, then blue . . .  not bright yellow.  I'll get started when she decides what she wants.

 Meanwhile, I have started a quilt for Kyle's cousin, a dear guy and a military vet who asked for red, white and blue.  Only 34 more of these squares to go.

It's wonderful how much knitting I can get done if I just carry a little project in my purse. (Yes, my purse weighs 35 pounds. I carry a lot of essentials.)  This is that yarn I spun a few weeks ago.  Baby hats for Med Team International.  So quick-n-ez.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

It's berry season!

The weight loss is so much easier now that the fresh fruits are coming on.  I can eat nothing but raspberries and non-fat yogurt for every meal for two days and be happy.  And the local strawberries?  Bliss on a spoon!  Melons are available year-round in the local store, but we are now getting RIPE cantaloupes! (You can tell which one are ripe by looking at the color of the skin under the net.  The more yellow it is, the sweeter.)  Kyle's grandfather taught him how to steal watermelons when he was just a wee lad, and there's no point in stealing a watermelon unless it's the sweetest, ripest, juiciest one in the field, so Kyle has an almost psychic gift for picking the best watermelon in the store.  There's a lot to be said for those little seedless gems, but I do feel nostalgic for the days when we used to sit around the backyard in our swimsuits, eating wedges of watermelon that went up to our ears, dribbling juice all over, spitting seeds at one another, and finally washing all the glorious stickyness off with the hose.

There were summer days when I would put on a swimsuit first thing in the morning, and wear nothing else all day long.  Heck, in my memory, there were entire months like that.  Summer was longer when I was a kid.  And I didn't have time to be bored.  We stayed in the cabin out in the woods all summer and except for showing up for meals, we pretty much ranged free.  Hours went by when I never spoke.  The whole concept of being fully present in the moment?  Yeah, I had some practice in that.

I am remembering the mud pit - a marshy place out in the meadow that I started working on, treading the grass under the surface of the mud, then running in place while the mud got looser and deeper, and looser and deeper.  Cold squishy mud on a hot dry day, climbing up over my ankles, then up my calves.  And I had to climb out on the grassy verge, which then got worked in to the pit as well.  By August I had a slough the size of a bathtub.  I could flop down into it, spread mud liberally over my face, arms and shoulders, then sit there in the 98 degree sunshine, relishing the cool until  the blackbirds came to pick worms out of the freshly churned bog.

I'm fair-skinned, but I tanned well - thank heaven.  I have had one slight bout with skin cancer.  This disease is drastically on the rise now.  Lordy, but I was lucky.  The sun wouldn't kill you in those days.  You could drink out of the crick.  You could eat fruit without having to scrub off the pesticide.  You could play outside all day long and no one had cause to wonder how or where you were. If you didn't make it home for dinner . . . but  everyone always made it home for dinner.  Anything else was unthinkable.

And then, on Labor day, Dad would drive us up the mountain and we would pick huckleberries all morning.  Mom would make huckleberry pie for dinner, and that was the end of the summer.  Back to school the next day.  Back to shoes and and rules and the necessity to come out of my own head and deal with other people.  I LIKE other people, but sometimes, I still get lost trying to find my way out.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Finished another quilt yesterday.  This one is for Igor.  I am especially pleased with the way this one came out.  Left-overs got used up, and colors worked out better than I could have hoped.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Took myself for a walk

In Weight Watchers, we have been working with the novel idea that it's easier to lose weight when you're happy.  Many of us are convinced we will be happy when we lose the weight, but really, the getting happy part may as well come first.

Walking makes me happy.  There is a protected riparian zone about a mile from the house called the Springwater Corrider. The part I like to walk follows a lovely little wild crick (Johnson Creek) through a gully.  Ma Nature is just bustin' out all over down there.

The Oregon Grape crop is going to be bountiful this year.  Homesteaders used to juice these beauties and make jelly.  Lots of vitamin C.  Just throw in some apple juice for pectin and a lot of sugar to make it set up.  It's good in the winter when there are no fresh greens to be had.

I  don't know what this flower is, but it's going gangbusters in the soggy spots.  So cheery and willing.

And walking this path always makes my heart lift.  It looks secret and magic.  It's an access way through a couple of un-interrupted mile long residential blocks so the kids can get to school.  Most of the home-owners on either side have grown hedges or put up privacy fences, so it's a private to your own adventure.

Another thing that makes me happy is Liz's Creative Cafe in our neighborhood.  She offers Foxfire teas, and art classes, wonderful pastries with and without gluten, and awesome coffee.  And she has art books, paper, and crayons avilable for everyone.  I like Earl Grey, iced, with orange syrup.  I'm walking over there and spending way too much on beverages I could just as well make at home.

Another thing  that makes me happy is the fact that it's berry season.  I can eat a flat of berries in a few days all by myself.  And they're  not at all fattening!

I have been admiring the neighborhood hydrangeas and decided to start collecting photos of them..  I love that you can change the color of the blossom by changing the PH of the soil!