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.”

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were camping on the Scottish moors. In the middle of the night, Holmes nudged Watson and said, "Watson, wake up. Tell me what you see."

Rather sleepy, but obliging, Watson replied,"I see stars, Holmes. Thousands of stars."

"And what do you deduce from this?" Holmes asked.

"Well, replied Watson, getting in to the spirit of the enquiry, "Chronologically, I see by the position of the stars that it is after three o'clock in the morning. Meteorologically, the clarity of the heavens denotes a fine day tomorrow. Astrologically, I see that the moon is transiting Pices which is propitious for all water signs. Theologically, the vastness and wonder of the heavens leaves me in awe at the infinite complexity of creation, and my miniscule part in it all. What do you deduce , Holmes?"

"Watson, You idiot.

Someone has stolen our tent."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Good grief, Starbuck!

One of the veils of reality has blossomed!

On my way downtown today, I got stuck on the bridge while it was up to let a largish boat sail under. Sooo, since I wasn't going anywhere fast, I got out and ran over to the railing with my camera. Look what is tied up at the riverfront! I think it's a copy of one of Columbus's ships. Can you imagine crossing the Atlantic in that cockleshell?

I met LG for lunch and much joy and hilarity (which always ensues when we get together) and she asked me to put her picture on my blog , knitting in public, to answer my challenge. For everyone who gives me a picture of herself (or himself) knitting in public, I will contribute $5 to Doctors without Borders.
Since the camera was out, we also got a photo of me in another hat. I really DO have a thing for hats!

Then I went on to see my friend, Teresa Ruch of Teresa Ruch designs, and she gave me some hand painted yarns to knit into samples for her.

The red is bamboo, the yellow is bamboo and tencell, and the blue is tencell. Pretty, pretty! I am knitting samples in exchange for yarns. I am even knitting (shudder) lace. I am SO greedy for her yarns!! Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A decade or so ago

When I first met DH, he was involved in fur-trader re-enactments. These are very much family friendly events. The first three or four we attended were in May, and actually moderately pleasant.

These pictures are photos of photos since the scanner is not hooked up to the computer that will allow me to transfer photos to Blogger. Sorry for the quality, but at least you get the general idea. We have one little trapper in a coonskin cap that is almost as big as he is.

One doting daddy and his darling daughter.

George is part Indian. Baby Eli was part badger and part snuggle bunny.

Most people wound up wearing hand-me-downs or borrowed clothes. Not quite this oversized, though. The little guy is in his dad's breechcloth but had to change into jeans because the breechcloth was dragging the ground, and he kept stumbling on it.

That's DH in the hand-woven, hand sewn wool overshirt and the hand-plaited sash.

That''s me with DH's rifle. You may notice that I needed a bit of help holding that sucker up - and I was in shape then! Those old rifles were heavy artillery!

DH did everything he could to make me comfortable, even building me my own box for my tea things. In May, it was pleasant to sit by the fire in the morning and enjoy a cup of tea

And some cheesecake

In honor of ass-watch Wednesday, you will note that the breechcloth is a cheeky little garment.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Norwegian fire department

One dark night outside a small town in Minnesota, a fire started inside the local chemical plant and in a blink it exploded into massive flames. The alarm went out to all the fire departments from miles around. When the volunteer fire fighters appeared on the scene, the chemical company president rushed to the fire chief and said, "All of our secret formulas are in the vault in the center of the plant! They must be saved, and I will give $50,000 to the fire department that brings them out intact."

But the roaring flames held the firefighters off. Soon more fire
departments had to be called in as the situation became desperate.

As the firemen arrived, the president shouted out that the offer was now $100,000 to the fire department who could bring out the company's secret files.

From the distance, a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight. It was the nearby Norwegian rural township volunteer fire company composed mainly of Norwegians over the age of 65. To everyone's amazement, the little run-down fire engine operated by these old Norwegians passed all the newer sleek engines parked outside the plant.....and drove straight into the middle of the inferno.

Outside, the other firemen watched as the Norwegian old-timers jumped off and began to fight the fire with a performance and effort never seen before. Within a short time, the Norsk old timers had extinguished the fire and saved the secret formulas.

The grateful chemical company president joyfully announced that for such a superhuman feat he was upping the reward to $200,000, and walked over to personally thank each of the brave, though elderly, Norsk fire fighters.

The local TV news reporters rushed in after capturing the event on film asking, "What are you going to do with all that money?"

"Vell," said Ole Larsen, the 70-year-old fire chief, "da furst
thing ve do is fix da brakes on dat focking truck!"

Saturday, May 24, 2008

six things meme

Galad tagged me, so here goes:
1) What was I doing ten years ago? I was trying to make a living, or even break even by selling my hand-woven yardage to historic re-enactors or anyone else who had the discernment to appreciate quality materials. One way I could do this was to set up my tent at fur-trader re-enactments. These happen out in the woods, so that meant that we had to go camping. YUK! YUKYUKYUK! I hate/loathe/despise camping. Ten years ago today, the rendezvous was held in the Mt. Hood National Forest. I had whined so persistently that DH rented a lovely motor home to make our stay more pleasant. It rained the whole time we were there, my display tent collapsed overnight from the rain pooling on the canvas, I spent the entire weekend with blue lips in spite of a hot water bottle tucked inside my shawl (Period attire is required) and I sold every one of my hand-knit wool shawls to men and women alike. No one bought any hand-woven yardage, though I did trade for a load of cobalt beads. Maybe I can scan in some photos. Would you be interested?

2.)Five things to do today: 1. clean litterboxes. 2. shop for new washer. 3. dishes. 4. movie and dinner with MJ and RW. 5 - hang loose. No plans. Knit, read, blog, write, whatever.

3) Snacks I enjoy: baby carrots, cheese, chex mix, cheese, marcona almonds, cheese, yogurt, cheese. And since I'm lactose intolerant, I gotta have expensive cheese that's been aged over a year, so the cheese beasties have a chance to eat up all the lactose. I adore the Costco Irish cheddar!!

4.) Things I would do if I were a billionaire: Give a tenth to Medical Teams International. Take everyone I love on a Carribean cruise with all expenses paid. (Where do you want your cabin?) Oh, and invite Stephanie Pearl McPhee (the Yarn Harlot) to bring her family and give some lectures or classes or something, and invite Franklin (The Panopticon) to bring his camera and his dear sheep Delores.

5.) Places I have lived: Redmond, Oregon;Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado;various towns and cities in Denmark; John Day, Oregon; Portland and subsidiary suburbs.

6. Jobs I have held: Waitress, receptionist for H&L Block, receptionist for a Salvation Army home for unwed mothers, receptionist, then sales, then office manager for a weight-loss program (wildly unhealathy and doomed to failure) retail sales, sales, then manager for a yarn store, stripper (one night. It was awful!) Dishwasher (one night. I would rather be a stripper), more receptionist work. Sample handweaver in the fabric design department of Pendleton Woolen Mills. The best job of my life. I did that for twelve years until I and six other women were replaced,quite inadequately, by one unsatisfactory computer that printed out pictures, rather than producing three dimensional fabric. But I'm not bitter. Now I proctor in the testing department of local community college.

I don't believe in tagging folks, so if you would like to play, let me know. I don't forward chain letters either. Not even the ones with darling little cherubs that promise me unending bad luck and overwhelming guilt if I don't share this prayer in the next five minutes with the fifty most precious people in my life. What a curmudgeon I am.

Friday, May 23, 2008

change of plans

We were going to go and spend the long weekend up on the Long Beach Penninsula in Washington, helping RW and MJ clear brush at the beach house, but it's cold. And it's raining. And it's cloudy. And everyone would rather stay home. And did I mention that it's cold? (OK, it's down to 58 for a high. But after last weekend, 58 feels darn cold!) So we agreed to just stay in town instead. In fact, MJ and RW and DH and I may well head off to see Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull tomorrow night. Woohoo.

I had a knitting project all lined up for the six hours of drive time (3 up and 3 back.) but it takes too much attention for movie knitting. Time to line up a good movie knitting project. I think I'll start the Silk Maiden shell that Janette gave me for my birthday last year. Beautiful yarn, beautiful colors, and miles of seed stitch on circular needles. Perfect for the movies!! AND, it will keep my hands out of the popcorn so I can be good about my weight loss. Have I bragged yet? Weight Watchers - 10 weeks, 13 pounds so far. another 27 to go. And movie popcorn is NOT my friend!

And thanks for your kind words about my laundromat encounter. The thought of having a sick child, no one to leave her with, and no washer at home to clean the mess just wrings my withers. And I realize that there are people in Burma (I know they don't call it Burma now, but I can SPELL Burma, and you know where I mean) who have the same situation, but they are living in a tent with 15 other equally desperate people and no one has eaten all day. Lessee, Knit in public day is Stephanie's birthday. Maybe we could pull together some sort of donations for Doctors without Borders who, I have heard, have been able to get in and help.

Ha! I will give $1 to Doctors without Borders for everyone who sends me a picture of yourself knitting in public before the end of June. One donation per person. How does that grab you? And I bet the folks in China could use blankets. . . .

Meanwhile, I will leave you with happy pictures from last weekend's Saturday market.


Rhododendrons, the way we grow 'em here,

And dogs being polite

Thursday, May 22, 2008

knitting without a net

It's not done yet, but modular knitting makes for a fun, fun top using up bits and bobs. Darker tones at the bottom, pink up next to my pretty face. It's silk, tencell and bamboo. And cat hair.

And then there's this Noro Silk Garden scarf. I saw a picture of a scarf on Norma's blog and thought, hey, I can do that. Well, sorta. The concept is dynomite! The execution is - uh - adequate. See how the one side is sort of a series of big scallops? The other side is where the yarn is carried up the edge. Much more stable and tidy.

But alternating the two skeins every two rows does make for fascinating color changes, and really highlights the diagonality. Next time, however, I'm going to start with a point and end with one as well. Good old garter stitch!

I was surprised how far the Noro went. After the fourth segment, I was expecting to run out half way through the next, and every segment, I was happily surprised.

Everything is better with a kitty, and Pepper is such a glossy girl!

Our washer is still dead, and as I settled in at the laundromat this morning, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. That lasted almost an hour. Then a young woman came in with probably every sheet, towel, blanket and bedspread she owned, and a whiney toddler wrapped in an adult-sized sweatshirt. The baby was deposited in one of those crappy laundromat chairs, and the young woman began shoving stinkiy laundry into the machines. Then the kid began heaving again. "Oh, dear," I squeaked, "What can I do to help?"

"Mind your own fucking business!" mom snarled, pulling off her own sweatshirt and wrapping the little one up in her last clean remaining bit of fabric.

I gathered the last of my laundry, left a twenty on the folding table next to the young woman's baskets, and said, as I left, "Things will get better."

So, you overstressed moms out there, what else could I have done? My heart just goes out to her.

Monday, May 19, 2008

greetings from Blackspot Manor

Jolly ho, what? Just popped by to announce that the first rose of summer is icumen in. Yes it looks a bit frightful, but the famed blackspot virus for which the ancestral home is named has been having its naughty old way with the dainty buds. We enjoy 'em while we can, eh? Gather ye rosebuds while ye may and all that. Splendid philosophies, those romantic poets.

We would invite you out for a spot of tea and the odd buttered crumpet, but Flysome the butler is having another spell of megrims and this always leaves everything at sixes and sevens. Just yesterday he served watercress sandwiches cut on the diagonal, if you can imagine it. It's SO difficult to get good help these days.

It was very kind of you to ask about Sir Jack . The old boy dodders around much the same as ever. His eyesight is getting more feeble, but I'm convinced that he has navigated exclusively by sense of smell these last seven years as it is. He shows no sign of dying and I'm quite resigned to the fact that if I'm ever to come into the inheritance I'll have to do away with the old dear. And how could I ever do that when, no matter how brusque he has been with others, in his dealings with me he has always been a wooly baa-lamb with fur lined booties on?

Last, but certainly not least, cousin Floribunda and her cronie that American Loie Fuller (who is no better than she should be if you ask me) were practicing their "interpretive dancing" in the shrubbery when it seems that they were taken by an azalea. All we found were some scraps of gauze. Although loathe to create a spectacle for the locals, we are seriously considering alerting the constabulary. Do you think we should?

Now tell me all about that handsome sweetheart of yours. Has he taken you to the latest exhibition at the Tate? And really, do you think you'll be able to bring him up to scratch by September? Tell all, dearie! Ta cheery pip, eh?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

At the farmers' market

The local farmer's market is open on Sundays from May through October.

Oregon is a very green sort of state. Many folks come to the market on their bicycles to buy their organic veggies.

Often the market is held in the rain, but today - today was sunny! So sunny in fact, that one lady needed her pink parasol.

Would you like to buy cut flowers? The last of the tulips are here.

Maybe you need some plants for your garden? Look at these beauties!

Oh, the fresh vegetables.

Oh, oh, the fresh veggies!

Too busy to put up your own fruits and veggies? These folks make some deeelicious jams and pickles!
And of course, man's best friend is welcome at the market, too.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's a good life

This is my swing chair - a Hawaiian design that allows maximum air-flow and superb hang-time. I have it slung close to the ground because I do not hav total reliance on the dead branch it's hanging from. But oh, the bliss of sitting in the hot air and gently swinging in the breeze, sipping some ice water, and reading something light - or maybe reading nothing. Just sitting and swinging while the brain slips into neutral and time becomes irrelevant. I love, love, love my swing chair! I'm headed there shortly.
But in the meantime, it has been a lovely day. DH and I went out for breakfast as usual. I had the fruit plate and it was a symphony of ripe sweetness! Then he mowed the lawn, and I took off for the monthly meeting of the Portland Purls. Usually knitting meets at Chez Matthews, but this time, TW very graciously offered to hostess. Her home is vintage and gracious and decorated with such elegance and charm. And in her front yard is a superb copper beech tree. I tried to get photos, but it's so big that by the time I was far enough away to photograph it, there were other houses in the way. The tips of the branches sweep the ground this year. There is one branch across the walk up to the house that has untill this spring, been just about finger-tip high for me if I stand on my toes and stretch. Today, the burden of leaves is so abundant that that particular branch skims my head as I walk beneath it. These bowing branches make a shady, sun-dappled room of the front yard. It's a really neat feel, and my inner five-year-old was so delighted that I stood on the walk cooing with glee till TW opened the front door and invited me in.
TW is such a magnificent hostess. She got out the crystal goblets for our iced tea. She served warm apple crisp and cherry scones. We talked about religion and spirituality and raising kids. MJ was remarking on the trials of 15 year old boys. I reminded her, "If you shoot him, you gotta eat him. That's what my dad used to tell my older brothers when they wanted to shoot crows or skunks or other vermin." I was helping DB with a skeing of Lorna's Laces laceweight that had been assaulted by two kittens. We made headway, but two hours of tender unraveling was not enough to fix it.
And now, I have a scarf, a sweater, and an un-ending series of baby sokies on the needles, and I'm going to go hang in my swing chair and meditate on the zen of awareness. As has been said, Be Here Now.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The diet's shot to hell . . .

. . . and me without a handbasket. I've been sooo self indulgent today. Caught up on all the blogs I follow, did a jigsaw puzzle (250 pieces) online, then took myself out for tea. Isn't this civilized?
Then, I met a friend for lunch (I love being ladies who lunch) and the pub we chose offered pasta with prawns sauteed with garlic and spinnach in butter. I could smell the sauteed garlic. I was helpless. My intellect shorted out and my hedonism took over. I ate every bit! I even wiped the plate with my bread. Yum, yum!! It was a working man's pub, and we got there early. As the meal progressed, it became more and more difficult to hear one another. All these warehousemen and truck drivers bellowing at the top of their lungs. It was deafening. Maybe we can meet somewhere else for the next meal. Somewhere we can get in a really good gossip.
Of course, I could make it all better if I just took myself out for a nice walk this afternoon. But the temperature is headed for 90 (remember, it was 68 two days ago) and all I want to do is lie back in my swing chair in the shade and perspire gently. And you know, when I'm on my death bed (With clogged arteries from all that butter no doubt) I will not say, "Gee, I wish I had done more sweaty hikes in the hot weather." I am a lot more likely to say, "I wish I had spent more time in my swing chair." So that's where I'm headed now. Photos tomorrow.
PS. I spent some time and thought on my outfit for lunch. Then a young lady passing me on the street said, "That's a really nice outfit." It was just the cherry on the frosting of the cupcake of my day. Gratuitous validation. Had I been a kitty, I would have rolled on the sidewalk at her feet.
It takes so little time to acknowledge when someone is looking nice, and it means so much to them. Let's all try giving out one more compliment a week. (a day?) Remember, what goes around, comes around.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bells did it first!

How about a photo diary of my day?

For starters, I'll introduce you to the newest member of the family. We have five (5!) indoor cats. Then the other day I noticed DH carrying some cat food out to the shed. Look who has joined our happy family. I call him Henry. He is affectionate, but timid, and should be headed to the vet next week. Clippety clip. If he still wants to stay with us after that, we'll start introducing him to the rest of the kids. I was out in the yard in my robe and slippers at 6AM for this photo op.

By 7:00 I am pulling myself together, and 7:30 will see me on the road. One of the delights of getting to work early is being able to park where you like. It's going to be a hot day today (up in the 80s! Yesterday we made it to 69) so I'm parking where there's going to be shade.

Some of the lovely vistas on campus. I love this linden walk. It's so fragrant. Even without flowers, the leaves breathe sweetness.

And what's not to love about a venerable wisteria arbor?

especially when it casts such baroque shadows?

A few of the sweet faces I have seen lately.

This is the place where testing commences - the rooms all along the bottom tier of windows.
And here are some of my happy testees. I really enjoyed this bunch of kids. Puckish humor and goodnature combined with decent manners. Bravo to their teachers and parents.

This is where I took my lunch, in the shade of the flowering plums, tucked in next to the rhododendron. It's the first sunny day we have had since January, and the warmest day since early September. People who should know better have broken out into shorts and t-shirts. Yes, my upper arms are flabby enough to make me look like a flying squirrel in drag. I don't care. It's WARM!

It's warm enough to go barefoot in the grass.

Now I am sitting in the back yard, keeping an eye on three-legged Jack as he grazes on a little fresh grass (no doubt to add variety to the selection of hairballs he has been making for us.)

And as soon as I post this blog, I'm going to spin. Oh dear goodness I do love spring!!
Oh, by the way, who are you when you wear a fuzzy blue hat? You are the babe of that Beach Boys ballad, "Smurfer Girl"