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.”

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.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Best twenty years of my life!

 I just love it when friends gather at our place to have a good time!  We celebrated in our backyard from 11 AM till 8pm.  Paul and Maggie , with Greg in the foreground.
                 Mary Jean looking too cute in her shorts.

Judy enjoying the peace

Jessica and Jakob from across the street.  
 Jakob was fascinated by the hazelnut shells in our garden.

Lovely Lisa and Katy gracing the buffet.

There is always too much cake.  I sent home great big chunks of cake with people, and we still have this left to take care of.   And a big bowl of pasta salad, and half a bowl of fairly piss-poor sangria I made.  The wine and beer got used up, and I carried around the deviled eggs to make people take the final 3.
"No presents"  I said.  "Your presence is gift enough."  But people brought bouquets!  Oh lord, I LOVE flowers! Thank you,  thank  you!
 The various seating areas worked out splendidly.  People gathered and talked and relaxed and were happy together.
And the grillmaster stuck to his post all day long.  We have left-over hot-dogs, too.  Wanna come and share our left-overs?

My brother, Denny, and his wife came from Redmond.  I felt really honored.  And he complimented my pasta salad!  Squee!

Paul and David came and brought me flowers.  More squees!

In fact, the whole day was filled with squeeful moments.

Now it's time to start cleaning up.  Damn, life is good!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

today in history

On the first of July in 1994, Kyle and I moved into our house.  On the 23rd, we got married in the backyard. The hottest day of the year.  So, to celebrate our 20th anniversary, we are hosting a barbecue in our backyard on Saturday.

We have been whacking weeds for days to get things in shape.  The blackberries and the morning glories are still carrying on their turf war in the north corner (Near the neighbor's dog pen.  The smell of dog poop renders us willing to cede the territory.)  Kyle sprayed with toxic chemicals and the morning glories took heavy casualties, but they are so well entrenched and so effective with their grass-roots campaign that the victory is only temporary.  However, their defoliation made the blackberry canes more accessible to long-handled pruning shears, and for the fist time in a year, we can see the back fence!

We topped our garden beds with 2 yards of broken hazelnut shells for mulch.  (We are in the  top hazelnut producing part of the world after all.)  It is lighter in weight than bark chips and is delightfully crunchy underfoot.  Cats won't poop in it, and slugs don't have the guts to walk across it.  Some people don't care for it color, but I like it a lot!!

We bought a bunch of annuals to fill in a little color, and I spent a couple hours yesterday potting up petunias.  Then I gave everything a nice big drink.  Last night, it rained for the first time in weeks.  Guess I should go try it in S. California.  They are crying for rain!

Still, Saturday is predicted to be hot and sunny, so I am planning on putting the food out with bowls of ice underneath them.  I was arranging bowls on the dining room table, and the cat traps worked again!

Months ago, we bought some Cougar Gold, which is reputed to be some of the best cheddar available.  We will be serving it Saturday.  It's going on a covered cake platter.  And I am planning lids or bug screens for everything else as well.  Deviled eggs, hot dogs, pasta salad, raw veggies, fruit, carrot cake, cookies, chips and guacamole, pickles, olives, whatever else leaps to  mind.  Sangria using that bottle of plum wine and the bottle of pomegranate wine, and maybe some two-buck-Chuck red, cranberry juice, sparkling water, oranges and lemons.  And whatever else it needs to taste good.  (Bourbon?) (I put cherry rum in the last batch of Sangria I made)  Our shopping list keeps growing.  And Friday, I am going to be boiling and baking and brewing all day long.  Saturday, buy a few more bags of ice and arrange everything nicely.

I got out the wedding photos and was kind of taken aback. Many family and friends have died over the past 20 years.  Yes, I'm at that age now.  But how did James Garner get to be 82 years old all of a sudden?  Not that he was at our wedding, but you know what I mean, don't you?  The way time runs over you like a rat in golf shoes?

Meanwhile, the sewing goes on.  Another quilt that was too fun to make.  I know all the stripes should run the same way, but I cut a few squares the wrong way and was so amused by the option that I ran with the randomness of it all..  And then there were little bits that got pieced together . . .

 I pieced the back too.  And for a batt, I used an electric blanket that I got at a garage sale for free because it didn't work anymore.  I pulled out the wire, ran it through the wash, and voila, a fluffy acrylic blanket with no wires.  it will keep those orphans toasty warm.

I have a friend (Hi Leslie!) who married a nice man in Malawi.  Turns out that they are running an orphanage, and could use some bright quilts.  I'd be happy to ship a batch, but I'm told that things shipped to Africa often go astray.  Anyone got any suggestions or advice?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sandy Mountain Days

 Today we drove up the Mountain to Sandy, Oregon, to enjoy the Mountain Days Festival.  It was great fun!  You can still make it on Sunday if you want.  There was a carnival with rides on the main drag, but the bets part was in the park behind Joe's Doughnuts (best doughnuts on the mountain - swear-ta-god!)

The park has this awesome play structure, and lots and lots of trees, but the real action was further downhill.

Local crafters and vendors had set up their tents all over the hillside in amongst the trees.  There were potters and quilters and soap-makers, people frying elephant ears and selling lemonade, people selling really neat wooden swords and pretty tinselly crowns with ribbons to trail down a girl's back.

There was live music and people picnicking in the shade.  There was a strolling magician, and there were gleeful kids playing in the crick (or creek if you're fussy.  I always played in the crick.)
We parked quite a ways away and walked to the park.  On the way back, we passed a house where people had evidently decided to take advantage of all the foot-traffic and have a garage sale.  They were pulling out boxes of stuff and stacking it on the lawn.  They had some pretty vintage blue glass cup and saucer sets, and no prices on anything.  A lady came out and I asked the price.  "I don't know," she replied.  "I'll go ask dad."  Five minutes later, she emerged with another box of stuff.  "He says everything on that table is five dollars a piece."   "Five dollars for the cup and five dollars for the saucer?" I asked.  "I'll go ask dad." and she vanished into the house again.  Five minutes or so later, dad emerged with an armload of stuff.  "Will you take three dollars for this?" I asked, holding up a cup and saucer.  in one hand and a twenty dollar bill in the other.  He looked flummoxed.  "I don't have any change. Let me ask my son-in-law."  Five minutes later, he re-emerged with another armful of stuff.  "How about I take two sets of cups for five dollars?" I asked.  "Take 'em all for five dollars." he said with a smile.  So I got four blue glass cups and three blue glass saucers for $5.  Deal!!

All in all, it was a splendidly successful expedition.  AND we got in almost two miles of pleasant stroll to and from the car.

Friday, July 11, 2014

it's good to be home.

 Breakfast with my brothers was a lot of fun.  The older we get, the more I appreciate those guys!

The stop in Madras at the Cup-n-Cake was wonderful.  Cheryl made iced earl Grey with orange syrup for me and OMG it was delicious.  And her coconut cream cupcakes are scrumptious.  You don't want to miss a crumb!

Then, driving over the pass, through all those green trees and blue sky and sunshine, between the snow-capped mountains, along roads I have traveled all my life.  I'm finding a visceral comfort in scenery I recognize.  There is a rightness to the sight of a sunrise over the hills of home.  Coming around this curve of the pass, and seeing those valleys and ridges laid out before you as they have been your whole life is a reality check.  I begin to understand why people get more reluctant to leave their homes as they age.

I managed to get a snapshot of the hills outside San Jose.  It looks dry and miserable to me, but I bet if I had grown up there, I would love it just as much as I love the pines and mountains of home.

All the driving gave me time to knit.  The baby surprise sweater is a great way to use up odds and ends of leftovers.

And I finished off three fish hats, but I left the other two in Madras for friends of my niece, Cera.

I'm kind of pleased with this one because I was trying to phase from black to white while working the decreases at the same time.    It was a good workout for the brain.  I had a 20 gallon tote full of yarn because we left home with intentions of a two week trip.  One week, with a lot of family time, didn't give me as much knitting as I had expected.

So today I have unpacked the RV, and my 20 gallon yarn tote, and am now sitting quietly, counting my marbles before the next big push begins.  Our 20th anniversary is at the end of the month, and we are planning a party in the backyard.  Y'all come!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Good morning!!

There is so much to be said for a hot shower and a good night's rest.  I was a real whiner when I wrote the last post. This morning, everything's coming up glorious.  These are the same mountains I woke up to for the first fifteen years of my life, and it's good to wake up to them again.  The sunrise is pulling a rosy blush down the snow-capped peaks.  The air is clear and dry and cool.  I hear Killdeer (birds) and OMG I just saw a covey of quail scamper past!  Good morning, good morning!

Looking forward to breakfast with my brothers.  When I was a teen, I had no use for them.  The older I get, the better I like them.  We should all live another thirty years.  They'll be cranky old centenarians by then, and I'll probably have evolved into that crazy cat lady with a house full of yarn, but I'll still treasure them!