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, June 30, 2008

Lynksys is no my fren'

All weekend, when it came to getting online with the laptop, I was the bug. Today, however, I am all windshield, all the way! so here are a few photos of what we did when I wasn't trying to get on line.
Saturday morning, we got out the bikes before it got too hot and took a ride. And oh, my, we wound up riding along a stretch of railroad track where some steam engine buffs have got an old locomotive out and running.

See all the happy men and boys? There were more grins on more males than I have seen in a long time. It was loud and dirty and just too cool!

And they had a really nice caboose, too. I like a good caboose, don't you?
After the train went by, we pedaled further along the bike path. At 2.5 miles I had to stop and take a aphoto, (and rest my legs just a bit) Isn't this a lovely city?

That eveninng, we met J & C downtown for dinner, got a good meal for a good price with good company. Then we strolled around a bit since it was warm and people were out watching one another and we had all eaten wayy too much. (I had cioppino. I love the crunchy squiddy bits. Blossoms of little legs, and those dear little rings. Yum, yum!) We meandered over to Pioneer Courthouse Square, and I got my photo taken with the umbrella man. I wanted a photo op with the dinner party, but didn't see anyone I trusted to give the camera back if I handed it to them.

knitting has gone on. Another lace sample, a couple of beaded neck-laces, and a nice scarf. Those neck pieces are addictive. Fast, pretty, and easy!

And Sunday, we went out to the Farmer's Market again. I really do have a thing for hats.

Friday, June 27, 2008

fun stuff downtown

I joined LG for lunch downtown on Thursday. It's always such a treat to see her! We had lovely salads and talked and talked and talked, and I laughed like a hyena on nitrous oxide. I have a full-throated bray like a howler monkey in heat. It echoes off the ceiling of even a crowded and noisy room. I can't help it. It's all her fault, though. She's just that funny!

I parked in one of the downtown carbitats(Parking structure) Why does everyone always need, need, need to have the very first space they see? I was stuck behind two guys who were competing for one space, posturing and glaring like a couple of male babboons. I'm surprised one didn't jump out of his car, turn, and display his buttocks. When one finally backed down, and had to take a space half an aisle further on, I said "To heck with this!" and drove clear up to the roof. I had it to myself. and a wonderful view of the city as well. Moreover, there was construction going on in the lot across the street. It was a cool, cloudy day, so no constructon-worker ogling, but I was just fascinated by the process of setting these great long I-beams into the dirt to create foundation for construction. It takes three people and two or three several thousand horsepower engines. The crane on the big tractor treads lifts the beam vertical, then positions it carefully into the hole. The guy in the red shirt manually lines the beam up, pivoting it on its suspending cables till it's square in the hole, then while he holds it aligned, the third guy signals the crane driver to lower, lower, lower . . . US humans accomplish some pretty big things, don't we?

After lunch with LG, I stopped at the Button Emporium and feasted my eyes. A lady came in with a blue hand-knit baby cardigan and said, "Well, they had a girl after all. Can you suggest buttons to make this more feminine?" She went with white mother-of-pearl daisies I had all sorts of ideas, but didn't feel welcome to contribute. Oh, well. It's a nice, classic little cardi, and girls can wear blue if they like. But if she had tacked on a series of little pink ribbons to tie it close, it would have been wayyyy cute.

Then I stopped at the main city library and asked if I could somehow get a card, even though I lived in another county. Easy as sneezing! I showed my driver's license, filled out a form, and got my new library card. Next time I have lunch with LG, I'm going to bus downtown and spend a couple hours in the library. Woohoo!

I dropped off the sample knits with Teresa. I have to write up a few patterns (quick and simple) and do a few more samples. And I have to submit my hours as well, so we know how much yarn I'm owed. Would you like bamboo or tencel for Christmas? What color family? I'm making out like Pancho Villa and all his banditos!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Join me for lunch?

Usually, on Wednesdays, I take GED to the jail, then I spend a couple hours on the computer at work with a long-term project, then head up to my writer's group. Today, however, there was no computer available to me, and well, gee, maybe I could have managed to do the work somewhere else, but it was such an incredibly beautiful day . . .I asked the boss if she would mind and she very, very kindly let me be a feckless adolescent and go outside to play. So I got to spend two hours down by the pond. See the bench in the middle of the photo, there? The pond is just beyond it. It's a dinky little puddle - about the length of a kingsize bed, about as wide as a twin bed, and about as deep as a cheap wading pool. Oh, it's green and warm and shady and rich with life! I ate fresh sweet ripe strawberries with yogurt, and I drank in the peace.

This is the view from the other end of the bench. Would you rather eat in front of a computer, or here? A LBB (Little Brown Bird) shared the area with me, hopping through the foliage and rustling up a good meal of bugs.

After lunch I finished another beaded neckpiece. These suckers are addictive! The beads flash real purty in the sunshine.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A few more samples done

So the tencel lace swatch is done, clipped, and fringed. It's not quite perfect yet, but it it'll look better when it's blocked - right?

And here's a bamboo neckpiece with beads. Actually, it's not bad-looking. And the red one I started looks really great! They go fast in spite of dinking with the beads.

And how about those sweet buns over by the pastry case? Happy Wednesday!

I asked the fellow if I could take his picture because he had such a lovley bottom. He blushed and flustered and said yes. Then he asked what I was going to do with it. I told him I would post it on my blog for Ass Watch Wednesday. "You're funny!" He said, in a bemused and uncomfortable way, and took himself away. But he did make those bike shorts look good.

Monday, June 23, 2008

old roses

Frequently, hybrid tea roses are grafted onto hardy old rose root stock. After a particularly hard freeze one winter, the pink hybrid tea rose bush died. The next summer, the old rose roots threw up these eager red, red roses. They bloom only once a year, but boy do they bloom with enthusiasm! Not much scent, but a lotta color!
And one of my favorite sights is the stained-glass translucence of sunlight on the leaves. Still emerald bliss.
I was sitting close to the window, working on the lace, glanced up to see three crows feasting on the mushy watermelon we threw out, then looked back at my work. Suddenly the crows started shrieking. Shrieking, - I kid you not! I looked back outside, and there was the neighbor's Abbysinian cat with a crow's throat clamped in her jaws. The other two crows were just standing there, yelling. The cat gave the crow one good shake, and was up and over the fence with it. A couple of minutes later, I could hear, through the closed window, one of the neighbors hollaring, "Abby! NO! Put it down!" that cat's a heck of a huntress.
The lace has gone ever so much easier. I finished the first swatch today. Same pattern twice more in different colors. And then a few neckpieces with beads on them. Pretty!
And the weigh-in at Weight Watchers brought good news today. Last week I was up a pound and a half. This week down four pounds! yayyyy! I ate a lot of strawberries this weekend. That must have done it. The Hood strawberries are in and I'm gonna eat myself into a stupor. That's my plan, anyhow. What local, seasonal goodies are you savoring?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

at last the clouds have burned off

When I woke to the whines of the alarm cat this morning, the skies were heavily overcast, and a light mist was drifting down. But eventually, things have burned off, and now I can show you a rose in the sunshine -

And the apple tree -

And the dogwood tree trying to blend in with the clouds.

On the knitting front, I am having MUCH more success . Amazing! Knitting the sucker the way it was written makes SUCH a difference. And, for the first time ever, I am using lifelines. I was half done and dropped one little stitch . . . The tencel slithered down so fast I couldn't begin to catch it. Enough of that crap. I ain't as hot as I thought I were and I'm not messing with that crap again!

Here's the pattern, highlighted every five stitches and rows. It's on a metal tray, and I'm using a straight-edge refrigerator magnet to keep my place. Oh. gosh, wish me luck!

The bicycle's girlyness is important, but that wide cushy seat is vital! I'm trying to figure how to take the deposit bottles back to the store on the bicycle. If I can get into bike shape, I can save a bit of gas and every little bit helps.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The first Saturday of summer

Yesterday, the first day of summer was warm and sunny. I spent a few hours in my sling chair in the backyard, reading a novel written by my friend Lisa Nowak. (Sideways - young adult novel about stock car racing. I couldn't put it down!) Occasionally I would spin the chair around and around, trailing a twig lazily through the leaves underneath me. Fly Cat, who was keeping me company, would, with equal laziness, bat at the twig once every time it came around. I remember the days when the fat old guy was a perky youngster, and would run around and around, beating at the twig with his front paws for minutes at a time till he got dizzy and fell over, panting.

Ah, Calla lillies. They looks so pure, and yet . . .

Looking up through the apple tree.

DH loves to ride his bike. He bought me a bike so I could ride with him. I am not an athlete. I asked for a girl's bike, with sit-up-and-beg handlebars and an extra-wide cushy seat. He also got me mylar streamers, a pink bag, and a bell that goes "Ching, ching!" quite musically. Today, it was warm, but overcast, so we got the bikes out and rode four and one half miles. At the end of it, grinning, I got off and told him, "My legs are weebles." He furrowed his fine brow in perplexity at me. I explained, "Weebles will wobble, but they won't fall down." My knees were having trouble remaining properly aligned. But by the time we had loaded the velocepedes back onto the car, and I had slugged back a bottle of water, all systems had returned to normal. It was a splendid little ride. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

And I figured out a new approach to the lace. (Yes, I'm laughing. It is, after all, only yarn.) I have a pattern that was designed to be knit in the round, and I was trying to translate it into knit and purl rows. (Which way does the decrease slant here? Which side of the yarn-over is this decrease supposed to go on? Where am I?) Teresa wants flat swatches to show how the yarn knits up in lace. I just realized that I can knit a swatch in the round with several extra stitches across the back, then drop all those stitches, cut them, tie them in fringes, and there's the sucker nice and flat! I'll show you as I go along.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Midsummer's day

Are you going to be leaping a bonfire for luck and fertility tonight? I may skip over a candle in the backyard just for form's sake. It's not every solstice we get to see sunshine, but today looks glory-ous! Look!

The plum tree is trying to survive in the shadow of a walnut and a willow. There's a little more sunshine over here to the right, so it leeeeeans for it. The roses and clematis have twined companionably around the plum. See the spots of red and blue?

Since we have morning sun, I thought I might as well do a solstice self-portrait. Roxie with apple tree. Maybe next time, I'll ditch the fluffy robe.

On the knitting side, I hate lace. I am not good at lace and lace is not at all forgiving. You have to read the fricking pattern exactly right on every dog-blammed row. Teresa Ruch of Teresa Ruch Designs yarns wants her yarn sampled in a lace pattern. In exchange for which, she will give me yarn. It's lovely yarn, and it's perfect for lace. I have already sampled it in the right angles scarf in blue, and the little neckpiece in lavender and grey. Now she wants samples of the bamboo, the tencell, and the bamboo/tencell combo in a pretty little lace motif. I, however, am lace impaired. I worked for five hours on one stinking 30 stitch, 45 row repeat, and now have to frog the barstid AGAIN! Thank God I get to do the same motif three times. God help me if I had to learn a different motif! The yarn is worth it.

And I got beads for a few more neckpieces. They should make nice little kits.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lucia tagged me

Here's the meme:

Pick up the nearest book.
Open on page 123.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the next three sentences.
Tag five people,
and acknowledge who tagged you.

The nearest book is on this computer. Manuscript of Sanna Meets Dauntless Swiftsure.

HealWell bent over him to ease his pain, and then the wretch reached out and stabbed her to the heart. He turned the dagger on himself straightway, the sneaking serpent that he was, and cut his own throat so deeply that his neckbones showed, escaping thereby, the blood price I would have taken from his miserable hide. A curse on his despicable spirit, may it blow forever though the seven ovens of hell!”

Tag five people:
1. Amy Lane

2. Linda G.
3. Warrior Knitter
4. Lyssa - fear and loathing in Los Angeles
5. Pat

Thanks Lucia!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Saturday's walk

Saturday's sky was a perfect cloudless June blue when I finished the party dishes, so DH and I went out for a walk.

Along the side of the freeway a few miles from our house is a splendid bike path. Much of the way, it is below the level of the road and the sound and exhaust is wafted up and away. We got our walking shoes out onto this bike path and took a brisk stroll for a mile or so out and another mile or so back. The temperature was 68, there was a light breeze, and it was glorious.

Spilling down the berm, in wanton disarray were bright red poppies! Someon has seeded them, because poppies are not native here. But look how happy, how bold and sensual they are!

Bunch of gypsy rovers, wandering a bit far afield with their big dark eyes and colorful abandon. What a treat!

Upon returning from our lovely walk, we adjourned to our various usual afternoon activities. DH commenced slaughtering demon cows on line, and I pitched into some knitting while listening to a tape-recorded book. I finished this fun scarf done in hand-painted bamboo and tencell (Teresa Ruch Fibers). It feels soooo good!

And then came Sunday, which is a vast black hole of idleness (or a paradise of indolence if you look at it differently) when all we did was snack and fritter. It's good to be a DINK.

Monday, today, I got a check in the mail! Lo these many months ago, I sent five poems in to Writer's Journal's poetry contest, and behold, I took third place (which was published in December's issue) and got three honorable mentions. Well woo-hoo! And squeeee!

My writer's group has a rule. When you gewt published, you bring in chocolate. I have Ghiradelli squares - dark chocolate with mint, and milk chocolate with caramel. That oughta do, don'tcha think?

Of course, between the cake and goodies with knitting on Saturday, and the indulgent nibbling on everything handy on Sunday, I gained 1.6 pounds for my WEight-watcher's weigh in. So, one of the other girls was whining about how she just couldn't drop her last five pounds. I issued a challenge. It's a five pound race, loser buys the winner a new t-shirt. So now I gotta hammer down. It's personal!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

June 14 knit in public day

Today the Portland Purls ladies' knitting association convened at chez Matthews (my house) for our monthly delight. I selected Rose Pink for my theme, and last night initiated the baking frenzy.

Now where did that damn cat go? Obviously I don't have enough stuff in my cupboard.

I made an almond-flavored white cake with lemon curd and yogurt cheese filling, and dressed it with fresh raspberries.

Ben, of course, wouldn't THINK of sniffing the cake!

I made chicken salad sandwiches and threw the crust trimmings out for the birds. Fly invited his buddy Henry over for brunch. They had quite a companionable time, feasting on flavored bread crusts while the local crows cursed them heartily.

We had the lovliest time! We knitted and talked and laughed and laughed and laughed. LG brought some additional goodies which was a wonderful thing because more people arrived than I had counted on. Good thing I try to set a few extra places just in case.

After we had spent a glorious two hours, everyone had to leave to get ready for Father's Day tomorrow. I did the dishes, then DH and I went for a walk. Photos tomorrow.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I see the light!

It's at the end of the tunnel, and it's NOT an oncoming train! The last week has been all finals, all the time 9 hours a day for five days straight. Three afternoons in a row we had to have a waiting list for computer use. Today, I have been able to sit down for as long as fifteen minutes at a stretch! There has always been at least one more computer free, and omigawd there are only three hours left! Of course, it's not yet the last screaming minute, so the last screaming wave has yet to hit.

OK, now it's only two and a half hours. Silly me, starting a post when deadlines loom. I have been starting testees for the past 30 minutes non-stop. Most of the tests are allowed two to three hours, so I am warning folks that they will be thrown out at five PM regardless if they have finished or not. Everyone says, "Oh, no problem. I can do this in half an hour with my brains in a sling." Come five PM, we'll see what they say.

I am running lowish on patience myself. If you come in to do an online test in a class that requires you to enter a password and user name, and you don't remember your password and user name, why do you think I can fix it for you? How in hell am I supposed to know your password and user name? If you don't know how to find it, then I think you are screwed, OK? Standing there and whining about how you need to take the test right NOW, and looking wounded, wounded, so wounded - doesn't change the fact that you need to know your user name and your password to take the test.

And there is one test for an online class - I don't know what it is with these students. They get online, they open their class, and they can not seem to find the tab at the top of the page, highlighted in bright yellow, that says, "Final Exam." Every single one of them - all fourty one, have come trailing out saying, "I can't find the test." Even when I started telling them where it was, they STILL can't find the test. Bright yellow. Top of the page. Says "Final Exam." So they trail out looking totally befuddled saying, rather accusingly, as if I had hidden it on purpose in some malicious fit of ill-timed pranksterism, "I can't find the test." Then I go in with them,, point at the top of the page and they go, "Oh!" as if it had just magically appeared there when they stepped away to get me. And today, when the fourty second one came trailing out, saying "I can't find the test." I wanted to scream at him, "We've been doing this over and over for four freaking days! Why in hell can't you find the sock-tucking test? Don't you ever learn?"

Wait. I've been doing it for four days. But for every one of these poor benighted souls, it's the very first time they have taken their final exam on line. They aren't ever going to get any better at finding that ever-lovin' pea-pickin' test. Never. Time to change my expectations and get over my important self.

And then there are the placement tests. If you want to place in math 65, but you just took the test which places you in math 10, and you need to take math 10, 20, and 60 before you place into math 65, what good is it going to do to turn around and take the test again right away? Will you magically absorb the knowledge out of the air? Did you somehow get smarter without studying? Don't you have anything better to do? Other people need to go to school for a year to learn all those answers. How did you get so smart so fast and why couldn't you have been that smart the first time you took the test?

What are these people thinking? Other colleges charge five dollars per placement test. We are still giving them away for free. People applying to other colleges come and take our placement tests, then take the scores and the tuition elsewhere. And my hours are cut because our school is strapped for money.

It's a glorious, sunny, warm and vibrant day, and I'm locked inside with these hapless, feckless, gormless ditzlewits. Buncha sheepbiters!

Just one hour to go. Want out. Want out! Want out now!!

Knitting on Saturday. The theme is "rose pink." I got out all my cups and saucers with pink roses on them, and I used some new (secondhand) rose-pink napkins. Very sweet and festive. Tonight I go home and fly into baking frenzy. Tomorrow, I roll out and give the house the final brush-up, grab a fast shower, put the curried chicken sandwiches together, put the last batch of cookies into the oven (so the house smells good) put the fruit out, put the tea water to boil, . . . and welcome my dear guests! You can drop by if you want to. Come on down!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

major bummer!

It was 42 degrees and raining when I left for work this morning. Are you sure you want to come visit me? They got more than 8 inches of snow on Mt. Hood - 90 minutes away. I don't know if I'd rather have this or the insufferable heat my friends in the East are sweltering in. Or the horrible storms in the midwest. Ya know - I may whine a little, but gee, when I think about it, I can't seriously complain.

Rainy days need a wide-brimmed hat.

It's finals week, and we are taking things at a dead run right now. A couple of times today, we had to ask people to sit and wait until someone else got done with a computer. Some folks were understanding. Some were clearly and loudly not! And no matter how angry they got, we still couldn't let them take their tests until a computer came free. One woman in the nursing program pitched a particullarly hissiful fit. Gee, I really want her for my nurse. She handles stress by cussing out people who can't do a thing to change the situation. And she has trouble with math. Do we want her to figure our dosages? I don't think so.

One of the benefits of finals week is that I am getting a lot of hours this week. Yayyy for the paycheck! Another benefit is that I am getting a lot more exercise. Last night I slept like I had been shot and stuffed! I look for the same tonight. And - I'm losing a pound or two in the meantime. Wahoo!

Meanwhile, happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 09, 2008


DH bought me a dogwood for our first anniversary. It was almost four feet tall when we planted it. Now, it's almost 12 feet tall, and arches beautifully over mthe driveway. It blooms in June.

We have a vegetable garden. Seven plastic planter boxes with water wells, lined up along the side of the driveway where there is sun most of the day long.

We have six tomato plants, three pepper plants, and two pumpkins. We hope the heat absorbed from the asphalt will help the tomatoes ripen.

It's still chilly enough to wear a hat to work today. It's snowing in the mountains. We may not get above 59 degrees tomorrow. Juneuary.

It's finals this week. I might not make as many posts as I would like, but I'm thinking of you.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Another trip to the market

We do love those fresh veggies, and the weekly farmer's market is such a treat!
Cauliflowers come in colors now - did you know?

Radish red and carrot orange just delight my eyes.

Here's an artisan knitting in public - big honking whoopty 15 needles get those lacely little novelty yarn shawls cranked out in no time!

And, since ther was blue sky and sun today, I hauled out another hat. When I get back to Oz, Kate, I will take you up on the hat shop tour!