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.”

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Recipe For Roxie

3 parts Enchantment

2 parts Inspiration

1 part Shrewdness

Splash of Dignity


I'm gonna try it tomorrow with varations on the name.

Last night, DH and I were sitting, watching TV, and Pepper pranced by, dragging one of my scarves like a gazelle she had just stalked and slaughtered.

"She's been dragging that thing around all day," I remarked to my spouse.
"You know why, don't you?" he asked.
No. Why?" I asked.
He replied, "have you ever tried to push one of those things?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Haikai fun and games

Terry, at started a Haikai - sort of a poetry game. And Lucia passed it on to me.

Steam heated
Lightning splits dark skies
Dramatic summer storms.

Winds howl through the leaves
Bird clutching branches tight.

Clouds dance in circles
Clean laundry snaps on the line
Warm rain falls in sheets

Blue skies brighten the day
Time to head to the beach

Sparkling blue-green wave
Zips me shoreward at top speed
The world's best thrill ride

Except for that night
with Bacchus in the woods

OK, who wants the next verse?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lazy Cat Sunday

DH and I went over to MJ and RW's house on Sunday and worked all day long. DH and RW are building the taj Mahal of tree houses. Well. ok, it's more of a dreadnaught than a palace. It has taken years of summer weekends, and is very close to being finished. Windows and doors will render it weather-tight.

MJ and I worked on another quilt. We have a smooth system worked out where I pin and press, and she runs the machine. We worked from 10 AM till 2, took a break for lunch, then worked till 6 and almost got the top pieced. This was less quick and dirty, and more planned than we usually do, so it took a bit longer.

And when we got home at 8 PM, what do we find? Kitties -- exhausted from doing nothing at all for the entire day. Well of course it's tiring. When you're doing nothing, you can't stop and take a rest.

I also include a little eye-candy, because I will enjoy looking back on the blooming of July when the winds of January frost my winkles.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Why I make typos

Sometimes I'll hit the computer before I get dressed (Oh, like you would NEVER do that!) and Pepper comes into the computer room to keep me company. She'll snuggle on my lap for a bit, but what she really wants to do is nuzzle my neck. In no time at all, like a giant fluffy, adorable vampire bat, she will lunge for my jugular and begin kneading and purring and drooling in bliss.

I take it for as long as I can, then gently extract the needlelike clawtips from my skin and let her cuddle down on my lap again. I walk around with kitty hickies all the time,and people look at me quite oddly when I explain that it's not a rash. I suppose I shouldn't let her do it, but . . . but it makes her so HAPPY!!!t,

But trying to type with an ecstatic ball of fur tucked under your chin, pressed against your bosom, and vibrating in perfect joy can be a challenge - and it's not one that I'm always up to.

Home e-mail is Let's get those snail mail addresses. Thanks Galad and Pat!

Friday, July 25, 2008

some more details about needing yellow yarn

Why did we need yellow yarn for the baby caps? Well, here are a few more details from my contact.

"The program provides home based and palliative care to people living with AIDS and their children and and for children orphaned by AIDS some of whom who are HIV positive themselves.

"The yellow would be a happy color for the babies in the program.

"Either cotton or acrylic would be just great. Babies born to HIV positive mothers are often low birth weight, and some are born HIV positive.. sometimes the mothers have little to no milk so the little ones have to be bottle fed and in spite of Mozambique being in a tropical area, they feel the cold so the caps will help them stay warm -- the babies receive nursing care at the Kuwangisana communuity based child care center … I will ask my colleague there about other items that they may need for the little ones, (little bed jackets? booties? receiving blankets? ) as I am not sure what the local care givers are used to. I will be going out in October and could deliver them personally. It would be great to have a photo of you to show them as well.

Warmest regards and heartfelt thanks,
Laura van Vuuren

Senior Advisor HIV and AIDS

Medical Teams International


So there you are. Yellow is a hard color for us pasty-white caucasians to wear, but it looks splendid against a beautiful brown skin. I'm trying to get blogger to load the photos that Laura enclosed, but success seems beyond my grasp. The school children in their brown uniforms with the cheery yellow collars and trim is especially engaging.

The baby pictured is wearing a bonnet-type hat, (tied under the chin,) rather than a stocking cap that is so easy to pop off. Actually, the bonnet looks like a couple of squares seamed along two sides and gathered along a third side with strings extended for tie-downs. Easy-peasy!

I stopped at JoAnnes with a 40% off coupon yesterday and got a pound of acrylic worsted for under five dollars. I should be able to get several itsybitsy hats from that. And I bought some yellow dye which has transformed a pound of white cotton and dacron handspun into the start for a blankie. This should keep me busy for more than a few weeks.

(And as long as I was getting things at discounts, I stopped at Payless Shoes and bought two pairs of closeout summer skimmers for less than $16. Can you believe that they're getting ready to start the back to school sales and it isn't even August yet?)

Again, I need snail mail addresses from Bells and Galad, Donna Lee and Shan, Warrior knitter, and Nancy at the Jersey shore. You may have given me your addresses already, but I have a brain like a rusty seive, and I don't know where I put them.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's been a materially good day!

Well Blogger is not being helpful, so here are pictures of some of the results of my day. I finished a scrap yarn hat.

Then I visited Teresa Ruch who dyes awesome yarns and for whom I have been doing som sample knitting (and designing) to turn in the last of my efforts, and pick up some bamboo yarn for prizes for my 600th post contest (and I will need snail mail addresses for you if you expect to get your prizes.) And while I was there, I got materials for yet another project. She has this lovely worsted weight cotton yarn that she would like sampled up in a baby blanket. I'm on THAT like a duck on a bug!!
Bamboo prize skeins.

She also had a ginormous rubarb plant growing in the back yard. When I mentioned that I like rubarb, she began pulling out stalks, breaking off the leaves and loading my arms. But I couldn't let those glorious huge leaves alll go to waste. I saved one. You know I have a thing for hats.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another blog dodger.

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.

What Time Of Day Are You?

Although I enjoy living every moment,(and ya know - - I do)it doesn't always make for awesome blog-fodder. I am knitting on a bamboo and tencell experiment with beads. It has potential, but at the moment, it doesn't make me want to laugh and sing. And the yarn is running low, so if I want to ease in a new dyelot, I'd better quit now. In the interim, I using up odds and bobs on some simple stocking caps. Ho very hum.

But do stay tuned. I'm going to tell you all about the yellow hats just as soon as I have all (or at least most) of my facts straight. Do you feel like knitting yellow hats for babies in Africa who were born with AIDS? Or would you happen to have any yellow yarn cluttering up the stash? They could use yellow and brown blankies, too, if anyone gets a wild hair for quilting.

See, I met with MLA from Medical Teams International yesterday for one of our occasional and delightful lunches. And I turned in a bunch of knitted goodies for the orphanage in Romania. And was so thrilled by the squeals of glee and delight from the volunteers who were sorting and packing that I asked, "Any requests?"

So I have to get back in touch with them, and straighten my facts. Meanwhile, I am tossing my stash for yellow and brown (the school colors for the care facility.) After all, who wouldn't want to keep a sick baby warm?

Monday, July 21, 2008

A walk in the park

LG and I had agreed to do some sewing on Sunday afternoon, but it was such a glorious day that neither of us wanted to stay inside, so we went for a walk in a local park. Or rather, we went for a leisurely stroll. Not fast enough to break a sweat, but easily, steadily moving on. and talking and laughing, having a marvelous time. Laurelhurst Park,is a very urban park. LG is quite a birdwatcher, and I suggested she could introduce me to some birds, but she said, "There aren't really any birds in the city parks." As we strolled along, her trained eye and ear was caught by a fluster in the branches of a nearby sycamore tree. A young Cooper's hawk was out on a limb, getting flying lessons from his parents. We stood and watched and listened for a good ten minutes till he finally got the nerve to jump and flap and o-mi-gawd-mom I'm flying!

No pictures of hawks, here. Just green and trees and sunshine and shade. A sculpture to play on. Picnic tables and families and church groups and boyscouts having barbecuse and picnics and playing games. Young lovers making out in the grass. People walking dogs. And a pond. Lucia (rhymes with fuschia) had a post featuring turtles, and I had remarked that I had never actually seen Oregon turtles in the wild. Then Sunday, as we lollygagged and loitered our way past the pond, there was a log and there were three contented turtles. My camers doesn't have enough zoom, but they were, by golly, Oregon turtles in the wild (sort of - feral turtles anyhow) sunning themselves happily on a log.

then we went to a neighborhood coffee shop and had treats and moseyed our way back to the sewing projects but never got around to it. So we'll have to make an appointment to sew another day. It's been a long, long time since I've had such a relaxing, satisfying, easy-tempoed walk!

Thank you, LG!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Not so old after all

Saturday afternoon I did a fly-by on a reunion of the Christian youth group I was involved with after college. It was marvelous to see old friends, but pretty overwhelming, too. The organizers had asked us to share an on-line one-page biography of the past 30 plus years to speed up the catching up process. Many people had become missionaries or ministers or theologians, or they were the prop and stay of their church, or they were teaching at Christian schools. I started my biography with, "I'm still a sinner," and went on to tell how my life is not all that holy and I don't even go to church any more. Everyone who came up to me said it was their favorite biography. And no one tried to convert me back to the one true way to heaven.

I was quite impressed with how well we have aged. When I was 24, I would never have expected a bunch of fifty-plus people to look so good. We are still reasonably trim and vigorous, and the lack of wrinkles is astounding! It has a lot to do with not getting much sun exposure, not drinking or smoking or partying late. We may not be tan and sophisticated, but almost all of the ladies have creamy, smooth skin. The only obvious sign of age is the fact that we are all going grey - and on us, it looks good!

I arrived early which was wonderful because I had time to talk to the other early arrivals. In about three hours, I was hitting sensory overload and the workshops were about to begin, so I hugged people goodbye and fled.

It was a splendid day for a drive, and the reunion / retreat was held in a stunningly beautiful place - the Menucha Retreat Center. It's a wide-spread scattering of cabins, dormitories and halls easing down the side of the Columbia River Gorge. Stunning views, huge shady maple trees and verdant lawns, forest and wildlife, good organization, and serenity like a thick quilt laid over the whole estate. There were two other retreats , a large wedding, and a family reunion going on as well, and no one ever intruded on anyone else. This could be a killer location for a knitting get away. But not in the winter. The area ices up all the time, and the roads are precipitous, narrow, twisting and shaded. I wouldn't try to drive 'em on a bet!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The blog dodge when your brain is putty.

Here's a fun quiz. I wound up with one of my favorite colors, and it's hard to argue with the results. Especially since the quiz answers I gave say essentially what the results summarize. Very cunning, these quizzsters!

Quiz Result: You are lavender
you are lavender#E6E6FA
Your dominant hue is blue, making you a good friend who people love and trust. You're good in social situations and want to fit in. Just be careful not to compromise who you are to make them happy.Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

On Thursday I took a day trip over the pass to visit my mom, brother and beloved SIL. It's a three hour drive one way so it was six hours in the car and three hours of visiting time. Which was about enough. We are all getting older and our lives have run seperately for so long that we don't have too much to talk about, except our various ills and deteriorations. They are kind about my writing, but it's so foreign to them. And it's hard for me to be interested in the garden. They have a couple of BlueHeeler puppies, and we spent a lot of time just laughing at them. It was a good visit, but I left feeling time running over my skin with it's little rat feet. The dear little town I grew up in is ten times bigger than it was when I left. The streets are being changed around, a bypass is being put in, and I got lost coming through. There is a certain degree of outrage associated with getting lost in your own hometown.

And mom is present in body only most of the time. She's pushing 90, so it's no surprise, but it's a frightening foretaste of the golden years. Maybe I DON'T want to live a long life! But it doesn't have to happen to me! I can keep physically and mentally active and when I'm 90, I can be a feisty, funny old bat.

What's the hardest part of a vegatable to eat?

The wheelchair.

Man, that's in bad taste! I'm going to go take a walk and have a serious talk with myself. Hope your days are delightful!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

finishing a couple things

Not the most attractive pose to show off this lovely silk and wool hand-painted Silk Maiden top from the kit that Janette gave me lo these many years ago, but when dealing with a self-timer, you take what you can snap. And I also get to show off my rack, here. It's behind me. That brown x-ie thing. OH, yeah, and the sweater makes my boobs look good, too. It feels wonderful! Perfect for these air-conditioned days. Cool enough for a stroll from the office to the car in 90 degree heat, and still warm enough in the office where they keep the place chilled to the point where your fingers get numb.

Speaking of fingers, back in my youth (just before the advent of the dinosaurs) I took a business machines class, and became rather adept at the ten-key adding machine. I have a task at work that requires me to enter a series of nine digit numbers, and my clever, clever fingers have not forgotten their training. It's a delight to just look at the number on the page, and let my fingers happily dance across the number pad unassisted. I don't touch type, so this digital dextreity is quite magical to me. My fingers know where the 2 is. They can find 549620188 without looking. They are such good, smart fingers.

And here's that rosey scarf again. I tried fringes of pearls, but they just didn't move in a properly fringish fashion. I tried a fringe of other beads, and they were variously tacky, yucky, clunky, and far too artsy. So I just sewed pearls along the edge. I think it's quite nice, don't you? It's better in real life.

Now, for something completely different, I've been thinking about the economy (blame Lucia) and I am reminded of a Peanuts cartoon where Linus says, "Life has its ups and downs." and Lucy replies, "Not mine. I'm going to have nothing but ups. Up, up, up! You hear me?"

I think the powers that be have been taking a rather Lucy view of the economy, and I think it's rather unrealistic. In life and in nature, there are ups, and there are downs. There is a limited ammount of money in circulation. Ok, they can print more, but then it buys less. so let's call it monetary value, ok? Give and take. So, how can the economy be constantly growing? If someone gets a lot of monetary value, someone else has spent it. If CEOs are making mega-millions, someone else is taking it in the shorts. And don't get me started on the obscenity of professional athlete's salaries. But I don't see how the powers that be, the government, the economists, the financial whizzes, can honestly believe that they can prevent the occasonal down-turn. a balancing as it were, of the scales.

And what does that mean to those of us down in the trenches? Well. let's re-assess buying on credit and doing our bit to stimulate the economy. Maybe we could let the poor old over-stimulated economy settle down a bit while we sock a few dollars away for hard times. No one is singing the praises of a simple savings account, In fact we are sometimes scolded for the folly of keeping our money somewhere it draws so little interest. And yet, there's something to be said for a bit of security. If you put $100 into savings, six years later you still have $100. No one else can promise that. Maybe you can't buy as much with it, but that's because the economy is doing its own version of printing more money. Inflation. And half the other solid-gold investments have gone belly up and your $100 would be worth about $45.90 - which dowsn't buy as much as it used to either.

There are people who won't buy anything they don't already have the money for. I stand in awe of them. And, in my doddering old age, I'm leaning in that direction. Why should I pay someone else for the priveledge of using his money when, if I just wait a bit, I can use my own money and not have to pay a fee on it? Time to start saving for the Flock and Fiber Fest in September!

Here endeth the musing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A love note to July

My lilies are blooming. The big, fragrant oriental ones that fill the house with perfume, and last and last. All the delicate pink and fancy ones went toes up during the last hard freeze, but these babies just go stubbornly from strength to strength in white and yellow glory, trumpeting the values of toiling not, nor spinning. And even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these.

And the daylilies in their ephemeral proliferation teach me that beauty for the moment is reason enough for existence. (But if you want to gussy up your salads, daylilies are edible, as are violets, rose petals and nasturtiums. You would, of course, want to avoid anything sprayed with toxic pesticides and the like. Get your edible lilies from people as lazy as we are. Nothing gets sprayed around here!)

Orange is not one of my rave fave colors, and yet the daylilies make me so happy!

No news of depth and content today. Just a little eye-candy and a virtual hug.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Saturday well spent

Saturday DH and I were sooo good! We got up at 7 am and went to the mall to walk in the air conditioning. Put in two brisk miles, then hit the gym across the street for a shower, and off to breakfast at our favorite place, Sully's. Then I drove out to S&J's place for knitting, while DH mowed the lawn, picked up his bike and had fun killing demon cows. When I got back, we went to see an early matinee of "Hellboy 2, The Golden Army." It was entertaining and air-conditioned, and, since it was a matinee, not infested with teens. What more can you ask of a summer flick?For movie knitting, I need utterly mindless stuff. I cast on a stocking cap on the way there, knit the body of the hat during the movie, and finished off the decreases during Jeopardy that evening. Worsted weight on size 8 16 inch circs.

But then, you know I have a thing for hats.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Artsy crap

On the trip to Long Beach, we stopped in Astoria, where we had dinner in a Bosnian restaurant. But before we did that, we stopped out at the docks and dropped off some clothes to MJ and RW's oldest son who is working as a Merchant Marine Mess Mate on a salvage vessel.

It was, for Astoria, phenomenally nice weather. Here is the bridge from the west, photo taken off the deck of the salvage vessel.

While the guys looked at large pieces of onboard machinery, I took my camera out on the dock to discover a great coiling of chains basking in the rare sunshine.

Happy, well-tanned chain, hanging out and catching rays.
All the chains seemed very together and well-integratred. They exuded a zen-like sense of calm.

I grew very daring and attempted to pet one of the smaller chains. Like a guard at Buckingham Palace, it remained unmoved.

So, tentatively, I approached the largest chain and gently tickled it. Have you ever heard a chain chuckle? I would not have expected such a response from any being with so much gravity. I was preparing to settle down and say, "Your work must be fascinating! I bet you could tell me stories, couldn't you?"

But the guys were done and it was time to go. Still, I hope to link up with these chains again sometime soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July the 10th Ahhhh!

This has been one of those days I would like to slice off just a teensy bit of and keep it in a box till those grim grey days of February, when there is no light or warmth or color anywhere out of doors. I would love to have just ten minutes of July to savor. Daylillies blooming down by the library.

Several families of geese out for a little lazy late brunch on the lawn. The geese have been prolific this year. I have gone past some of their congregational places, and the grass was grey with geese. After they leave, the grass is green with geese feces.

Sorry. When I get giddy withsunshine, there's no telling what will amuse me.

If you will notice the four little balls of fluff down where the greensward ends, you will see a late-hatched family of ducklings. Mom has a gimpy leg, but seems to be surviving on handouts from the librarians.
I got so much done today. I caught up on my blog-reading, and my e-mails, got my calender sorted out, watered the front garden and tied up the floppy tomato plants, delivered the turquoise baby blanket, stopped at the bank, stopped at the library, got in a couple miles of walking in the morning coolth, got home and recycled, unloaded and re-loaded the dishwasher and the laundry, and then I had lunch! After lunch (wholewheat tortilla with feta cheese and some leaves of fresh basil - yum!) I re-wrote the last chapter of Sanna, Journeywoman Sorceress, then got the next chapt written. DH got home at 2:30. Now it's his turn to use the desktop, and I am lollygagging on the back patio, blogging in the delicious warmth and contemplating a lazy snooze in the grass. maybe. It could happen.
Fly cat is doing much better. We have put gunk in his eye twice a day and the swelling is going down. He's still a bit squinty on that side, but less so every day. I have been trying to keep him inside, but today, when I went out for the paper, he was stuck to my heels like a portly little shadow and dove under the bushes before I could catch him. A few hours later he came ambling back like nothing had happened and asked to be let in for a snack. He was astounded that I wouldn't let him right back out. Bad slave! I bargained with him and told him that if he would hold still for his medicine, I would let him back out. He did, and I did. And everyone is happy.
As for knitting, I am in heaven, working on some Handmaiden silk and wool that Janette sent to me for Christmas a while back. It is sooo luscious in the hand and soo easy on the eyes. I want to finish this darling cap-sleeve top and wear it right now ( so nice against my skin) and I never want to finish because nothing else I have will be so nice in my hands. Photos when blocked.
And thanks for your input. Tomorrow I'm going to start putting beads on the ends of the discarded roses scarf. Pretty little champagne pearls for, as Linda so accurately put it, "zat leetle somzing. Nest pas?"

Monday, July 07, 2008

La,la,la! You all won!

On my 600th post, I got 10 comments from my ten favorite readers and I'm so pleased because you all won. How random is that? What color bamboo do you want? I know there's some lovely bluish red, an exciting orange, yellow and olive blend, and dark blue with purples and red. And I think I'll be able to get some white if you want to go pure --or dye your own

Here is our handsome Mr.Fly modeling a neckpiece in the blue and purple tones. Poor
Fly had a rough morning today. I woke up to find that his eye had swollen closed. So first I had to poke at his eye, then DH had to poke at his eye, then I loaded the poor cat up and took him in to the vet where the vet tech had to poke at his eye, then she got out a thermometer and poked him elsewhere, then the vet came in and poked at his eye, quite thouroughly, and put all sorts of drops and - -stuff - - in it. She doesn't see any ulcer or scratch on the lens, so we have some antibiotic ointment to gunk into his eye twice a day, and some anti-inflamatory meds to squirt down his throat once a day, and we will wait a few days to see if the swelling and accompanying muck doesn't go away without further poking. And worst of all, I'm not letting him out for the next few days. How cruel can you be to a cat?
The vet has a large, amiable, red cat with two fore legs and one hind leg. His name is Ivan, and he runs the place. Today, he had an adorable little assistant - a fluff of red female too young to have a name yet. I think they should name her Peaches or Goldy, but I suppose it's up to whoever adopts her. We DO NOT need another cat!!!
On our road trip, I got lots of opportunity to knit. Here is a delightful scarf knit in the Zen Art Walk colorway, "Discarded Roses." Love this pattern. Stole it from a noro scarf I saw on Norma's blog, then altered it to suit my fancy. It makes wonderful use of self-striping yarn, and equires only garter stitch, decease, and the ability to pick up stitches along a garter stitch edge. I'm considering champagne-colored artificial pearls in a fringe on the ends, but that might be too much. Whattaya think?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

What we did on the fouth

We went to the parade of course, silly! A good old small town, down home parade. The loudspeakers were mounted on top of Doc's Tavern along with a giant American flag.

People brought their dogs.

Daddy's shoulders provided the best view.


Half the town was in the parade. If it weren't for us tourists, there wouldn't have been enough people to watch. The scouts provided a color guard, as did the local veterans post, the league of Women voters and anyone else who felt patriotic.

In whatever way struck them.

There was a show of strength from the local fire deprtment, County police, city Police, search and rescue volunteers, and the Coast Guard even sent a helicopter. It's the first parade I've ever seen that had a helicopter flying the parade route.

Kids rode bicycles. Dads pushed kids in strollers and hauled them in wagons. And a whole squad of little battery operated kiddy cars tootled by. Notice the young fellow in yellow checking out the babe in the pink Barbie jeep?

I have about 18 photos of vintage cars, driven by vintage drivers, but when you've seen one 1932 Hudson, haven't you seen them all?

After the parade we went back to the beach house for more of the mandatory maintenence and repair. Entropy has a strong hold at the beach, and if you don't live in a house 24/7, the mildew becomes a permanent tennant.

Then it got dark enough. We drove down to the beach and parked on the sand.

The wind would have taken your hair off. Fortunately, we were all old and wise enough to be bundled in multiple layers with hoodies firmly cinched down. Boom! Kablam!! Popopopopopop!

All up and down the beach, the cacaphony of glee went on. None of these displys were professional.

Some of the photos I got look like galaxies and clusters discovered by the hubble telescope.

DH and RW had some roman candles and some mortars, and one big ground display that fired off ten different star shells. When those were gone, we were just going to sit back and watch the fun around us, but people started getting stupid. There were half a dozen young men just upwind of us who started shooting at one another with roman candles. I wanted to call their mothers! It's lots of fun until someone puts an eye out. They were numerous enough, drunk enough and rowdy enough that we decided we would rather pack it in and move out. Everyone in the vicinity was doing the same.

I had been playing with my lightsticks ever since dusk and continued to play with them even when I got into bed. shiney, shiney. pretty, pretty. bright and interactive. I like lightsticks! No boom, no ow, and no cleanup.

As good citizens, we rolled out the next morning and participated in beach cleanup. The rain was falling sideways. Most folks had taken their refuse out with them, but when we got to where the young idiots had camped, it was a sty! I even found a short case of Hamms beer that had gotten lots in the garbage. The storm in the middle of the night had broken the carboard open and rolled and tumbled the cans till they had burst their seals. The tops were not popped, but the cans were only half full, and if you squeezed a can, salty beer leaked out.

And finally, home again. When you live with an old, blind crap weasle and plan to be gone for a few days, you take precautions. I carpeted the house with newspaper.

Unfortunately, when you live with active young cats, to whom the whole world is a toy, newspapers don't stay where you put them. But on the whole, the cleanup was minimized and we were sooo glad to get home! And the kitties were happy to see us.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy fourth of July! This is my 600th blog post.! Let there be firework in the parks, parades on the streets, dancing on the beaches and necking in the parlors! Yee Ha! Everyone who comments, even if you just give me a woo hoo, gets entered in a drawing for some bamboo yarn. Blogdom has been such a delight for me, and I have made such grand friends! I am wishing you laughter and contentment for the next 600 posts.

Even though this is a knitting blog, I have no knitting photos for you. Which is not to say that knitting isn’t going on, (three hours in the car one way is bound to engender a lot of progress.) I’m doing a right-angles scarf in the Zen Art Walk yarn of a few months ago, inspired by Renoir’s painting, “Discarded Roses.” I think it’s the prettiest yarn Roxanne has come up with. But no photos today because connection on the air card is soooo slow.

And I gotta show you a photo of the little welcome wagon lady for the neighborhood. Talk about blasé about all the passing traffic. She just stood there, grazing calmly while we pulled up and took her portrait. She has nothing to fear from humans. You can’t use a gun because it’s all residential here, yet there are so many undeveloped, wildly overgrown lots that she and her family and friends have all sorts of pleasant habitat. So you see deer around all the time. No wonder I don’t see many rose bushes.

Here is a shot of DH and RW in the upstairs sitting area. MJ joined us later in the venerable seaport of Astoria where we had an interesting Bosnian dinner. Tasty substantial food that will stick to your ribs and keep you going all day in the winter. I totally blew my points allotment for Weight Watchers. Interesting spicing. Lots of garlic. Paprika. Pickled condiments. Enormous portions! Everyone leaving the restaurant was carrying doggie bags.
Today we are going to make a tactical strike on the nearby fireworks stand, establish a beachhead with a bonfire, and wait for it to get dark enough. Fourth of July falls on a friday? Heck, we won't even need our own fireworks, we can just enjoy the flash-booms around us. People are camping in backyards, and the numbers of campers and RVs parked in driveways is astounding. If ya wanna do fireworks, shooting them out over the ocean seems like a pretty good idea. There is also talk of power-washing the deck and doing a little work on the beach house, but it's eight am already, and the power-washers haven't even yawned.
I love, love, love being the only one up in the house. I am wrapped in my ratty huge grey shawl, feeling cozy toasty in the cool morning, watching the rain drip off the eaves, and listening to the surf and an occasional cranky gull. I'm savoring a cup of pepermint tea, and life is good. No wonder larks sing so gloriously! Mornings are such a gift!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

did I mention I was knitting a baby blanket?

My dental hygenist has a new gandson and has hied me to knit a baby blanket. How big do you like your baby blankets to be? I have yarn and can easily extend borders.

Fly has very kindly posed with it to give a sense of scale. It's this big next to a large cat. He weighs 14 pounds and it looks quite generous next to him.

It's Paton's Encore - that nice wool and poly blend. Machine wash, but not so icky-crunchy in the hands that I hated working on it. And soooo easy. Hooray for modular knitting!

Tomorrow we head off to the Washington coast where fireworks are legal and gown men can cause explosions with impunity. I stopped at the dollar store yesterday and got MY fourth of July excitement. I have glowsticks! Actually, I'm hoping to get everyone in our party to affix a glowstick to his or her person so no one will accidentally point a Roman candle in their direction in the dark. It's going to be cloudy, maybe even a bit rainy, and it will be as dark as the inside of a cow! If you don't like heat, the Pacific Nothwest coast is a geat place to live. You may mildew a bit, but that's the price you pay for unremitting overcast and temperatures that rarely go above 70 degrees and seldom fall below 40. Ceaseless, year-round, perpetual, never-ending gray and damp. Rather like winter in Devonshire, but less exciting. Gosh, I can hardly wait to go. (When I want to go somewhere, I pack about a week or even two in advance. I still haven't packed for this trip and we leave tomorow morning. But I'll be with DH and if he has fun, I have fun. He sees to it that I'm never cold.)

This has been a difficult week for crockery in our household. DH and I have cereal in bed with the Sunday papers. I have a bowl that is just perfect for this pupose. Well, rather I should say, I had a bowl. It got stacked amidst the papers and when the papers got flung into the recycling bin, the bowl suffered irreperable harm. The next day, I had stacked the breakfast dishes next to the sink and gone to get my clothes on. There was a crash with that particularly crisp sound that only china makes. I emerged from the bedroom to find two kittens sitting side by side in the living room saying, "It wasn't us, Mom. We weren't even anywhere near it. It was - it was grabbity. Grabbity took over and just - well, we weren't even there, so we don't know what happened. But whatever it was, it wasn't us. We need to wash now." The word actually, is gravity, not grabbity. And it does take over. My favorite morning mug is a collection of sharp pointy smithereens. Sigh. Well, it's not as if I have no other mugs. And the kittens certainly didn't mean for grabbity to take over.

If I can't get internet connections on the beach, then may you all have a lovely fourth! Stay safe!!!