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.”

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good day sunshine!

That warm bright thing is in the sky today. Wahooo! This is what the trees across the street look like on the last day of April in 2009. The leaves are fresh and not quite unfolded, with nary a bug-chewed hole nor a wind-tattered edge. And oh, my heart! they are sooo green!

This is what our front lawn looks like in the sunshine. I see it rarely enough that I will want pictures to remind myself next December. Lush green grass with sunshine on it.

And this is what my front porch hostas look like on the last day of April. They are well settled and comfortable in their niche, tucked back in the shade. In July/august, they will send up tall stalks topped with fragrant white flowers. It makes the front door a pleasant place to be.

And because I have lots and lots of tulip photos, her are a couple more.

Due to illness in the department, I have worked more hours than than a lowly part-timer should have. So after my two hour stint at the jail, when it was clear that my services weren't NEEDED (though always appreciated, which makes my heart hop up and down) I traipsed out into the sunshine. Tra, and might I add, lah, lah, laaaaaaah!

Of course, it's still too cool to sit around soaking up rays unless you are wearing a sweatshirt and a hat (or you have the hot blood of youth or menopause surging through your veins. The only people I see wearing t-shirts in March are teen-age boys, and women going through the change.) But I am almost ready to go sit in the car and run down the battery playing the radio and knitting in the sunshine.

I have committed to making two scarves for a fund-raiser in mid may. And I still have crafty gifties to make for Lyssa, Lucia, Bobbi and Sue. I'd better get out the whoopty 12s and get knitting!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

poetry month

In honor of poetry month, I have written a knitter's poem.

She Died with her Cashmere Intact
by Roxanna Matthews

A ball of yarn is, like an egg,
full of potential. Who knows what will hatch
from this innocent oval, this
incubator of possibilities?
As long as I don't knit it, this yarn
could be anything.
As long as I don't knit it, this yarn
is everything!
As long as I don't knit it, this yarn
will always be there to be knit -
ready for the perfect pattern, project, person,
when perfection comes around.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

blogging in non-chronological sequence

On Friday, DH, MJ and her nice husband Rick and I all went to the guilds show. The local Potters, guild, the weaver's guild, the metalworker's guild, the fine woodworkers guild, the jewelry guild and the beaders guilds all combine to rent the convention center for a weekend and do a rip-roaring, wham-bang show!
My friend Teresa Ruch was there with her gorgeous hand-dyed bamboo. I'm trying to stretch my usual pallatte. since most of my yarn is shades of purple.

But I love purple with a love that transcends all mediums. I would up buying a purple cup.

The potter's guild never ceases to astonish me. How many ways ARE there to make a cup? And why do I want them all? Different clays, different glazes, different techniques, and different people combine to create a mind-boggling array of useful and decoratve objects out of MUD!

Rick, being an engineer, was fascinated by the curved side tables with the inlaid fans. The math and forethought necessary to plot the graduated scallops and curves of both the inlay and the ground. Humans are astoundingly resourceful. In the metal workers room, there was a fellow who builds moving sculpture with wheels and flyweights and balances - sort of like mobiles, only standing on the ground and moving in all dimensions and at different speeds and angles. He has one deceptively simple piece that he said took over two years to build because he had to experiment with the kind of wire holding it together, and every time he changed the wire, then he had to change other components . . . and then he started talking vectors and ratios and my head was spinning as fast as the little balls on the ends of the sticks.

The glassworkers had lots of blown and slumped plates and panels, and lamp-worked beads which segued over into the beaders but by then my head was full and my eyes were glazing over. As was everyone else's. And it was lunch time.

So we drove to a newly trendy neighborhood and aimed for a newly established mexican place. We wound up parking around the block on a residential street and what should we find when we got out of the car? It was Sher Khan, guarding a big old birch tree. It was an awesome tree to play with. Lots of big deepholes and cavities and gnarly bits for toys to climb and hide.

Lunch was yummy. I asked for the "Polo Vurd." DH interpreted for me, explaining that I wanted the poyo vairday. (pollo verde.) It was SO fresh and tasty, but gee - $6 for two little saucer-sized tacos seems pretty steep. And they don't even spell it the way it sounds. Still a remarkably good time was had by all, and we will no doubt return to the shows next year. (MJ got a beautiful blue mixing bowl with a pour spout and a handle. Rick and DH got two happy wives. Everyone wins!)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

This is spoil Roxie rotten day

We grabbed the cameras and headed out for the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farms today. It was chilly (53F, 12C) and breezy with occasional spits of rain. Just perfect conditions to keep the casual gawkers away. The farm has dealt with tulip season before. They had strong young men directing traffic, and lads collecting parking fees, and grannies handing out catalogs with ordersheets enclosed, and grandpas driving tractors pulling carriages shaped like cows or wooden shoes,

and everyone in the neighborhood who wanted to earn a few bucks out in the raw, windy cold, bundled up and running cash registers.

The very first to greet us as we stepped out of the car was this robin who flew in and posed on the fence post. I threw myself down in the gravel, and DH kept other drivers from crushing me while I got the robin's photo. Then I stood and said, "Got it! Thanks for the pose." And he chirped a cheerful, "You're welcome." and flew off.

There were acres of tulips.

Acres and acres of all possible colors.

And acres more.

There were a lot of tulips. The eye was dazzled by all the color at a distance, then you walked up close and saw each variety in it's special beauty and got lost in the particular wonder.

Then you glance up an instance, and the eye is led far afield again.

And then back to a different particular.

And off . . .

At the far end of the fields was a collection of old steam tractors. Imagine running one of these on a hot August day? Oh, but the noise and the clatter and the movements of all the wheels and gears and parts just drew the males like fuschias draw hummingbirds.

There were several Indian families out in the fields too, the ladies braving the wind in their saris and other pretty clothes. The rosey-cheeked kids with their huge dark eyes and silky black hair looked gorgeous amidst the blossoms!

DH, bless his generous heart, asked if there were any tulips I especially liked, because he was going to buy the Random Mix bag and I should add my favorites to the order. So we bought 25 Random surprises, 10 Beauty of Appledoorn (golden with orange veins,) and 10 Fandcy Frills (Pink with withe fringed edges) and since we placed our orders right there, we also got a free bouquet of tulips to take home. Pictures of them later. This is a very photo-heavy post!

We made our way back to the car and out to the freeway through the lush Oregon April scenery. There are lambs jumping around in fields, and pink dogwoods and white dogwoods and cherry and apple and pear trees in full bloom and maples and chestnut trees leafing out in chartreuse newness, and the grass is juicy and thick and green, green, greengreengreengreen GREEN!

And since we were right there at the outlet mall (Which is, to my shame, the biggest tourist attraction in Oregon, such a well-developed and extensive mall that it is) we stopped there as well. At the Columbia clothing outlet, if you signed up for their club, for free, you could get a pair of zip-leg, elastic waist, extra-long cargo pants for $19 instead of $59. Yeah, I did it. I Like the versatility. And they also threw in a free t-shirt as well, so I got one in mature burgundy with a small silhouette of a travel trailor and the caption, "Travel Queen."

We stopped in the Nike store. I am such an old fuddyduddy. I looked at the long, baggy satiny athletic shorts, and I looked at my darling husband and I tried to envision him wearing them - in all American red, white and blue no less, and I severely sprained my imagination. I just don't have those pigments in my mental palette. Please don't ask me to paint that picture.

And now I am happily home,sorting through my 60 some photos, and there is one more I want to share with you. Here is yet another cocksock, with Andrew Jackson for perspective. A $20 bill is six inches long. (well, any denomination is. I learned this useful fact back during my wild college days - one night when we were measuring things.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another Thursday

To think that I went fifty eight years and never once got an infected cat bite, and now I am dealing with the second one in four months. Poor old Jack, with the long fluffy fur and the missing front leg, finds it impossible to groom himself adequately. so I was trying to help him get rid of some of the mats of fur on his belly. He objected to this in no uncertain terms, and bit me hard enough to draw blood. Well, I wasn't sure he still had two teeth that would come together, so I gues this is a good sign in its own way. Of course I immediately soaked the bite in hot water,pressing and squeezing to get it tobleed clean. And that seems to have helped, since the next morning, I had only a little swelling and redness and it was just on the finger. Still, I went to the doc (And I LOVE the staff at our local Kaiser. Each and every one of the colored scrubs people treats you as if you were a real human being with feelings and everything!) and though the doc propper was busy, I got to see a charming young physician's assistant who prescribed antibiotics, had the nurse stick an IV port in my arm, and sent me home. Today I went in and since the infection was clearly on the wane, I even got the IV port removed. But watch those dirty-mouthed cats!

Here's Daphne the Dragon to give some perspective to the peter heaters. Just a few more to go . . .

Since I didn't have to go to work on Thursday I was able to enjoy the sunrise. Isn't the early-morning light beautiful?

I even got a chance to do an artsy-fartsy self-portrait.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This morning when I went out to get the paper at five aey em, I saw two natural phenomena: One was a corn-yellow crescent of a moon glimmering through the tiny baby maple leaves.

The other was two raccoons courting on the front lawn. Ok, enough with the euphamisms. They were well past courting. They were caught in the saddle, grunting, and thrusting. Now, I despise raccoons. They are not dear, friendly, playful disneyesque creatures. They are disease bearing, cat-killing, garbage spreading vermin, and I was not going to stand idly by while they were making more of the same. I ran at them, hissing, growling, and flapping my arms, and succeeded in committing raccoonus interruptus. The female ran off across the neighbor's yard to the north and skittered up a telephone pole.

The male, however, was outraged and squatted, glowering and growling till I was within kicking distance, when he finally sideled a few feet away, then hunkered and snarled at me. I pulled off a slipper and threw it at him, demanding that he get the f___ out of my yard.. He shrieked and snapped at it. Then I proceeded to throw gravel, sticks, my other slipper, the paper, everything but the paperbox at him, and barefoot and growling, I chased him into the next block and up a tree.

The neighbors must love me. Five in the morning I'm flapping barefoot around the neighborhood in my bathrobe and yelling at raccoons. Honestly, I'd call the police on me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

wow, What a Monday!!

It was clear and sunny today. Oh my gosh it was gorgeous! The five AM walk out to the paper box was a transcendant experience. Birds were shouting their little lungs out, cheering for the dawn, the lack of rain, the warm temperatures. A planet hovered about three fingerwidths above the horizon, twinkling in the pale green cloudless sky. The air smelled divine! Really, Heaven must smell like an April morning. I wanted to rip open my bathrobe and wallow in the soft, sweet air. Yeah, that image sort of spoils the glory of the day. I resisted, but promised myself a nice early-morning walk before I had to go to work at 10.

After breakfast, I checked my e-mail and found a message from my boss asking me to come in at 8 if I could. So much for that lovely walk before work.

But for a sunny day, we got very good turn out for the GED tests. One of the GED candidates was born in 1926, and he doesn't look a day over 65. He attributes his vigour to a vegetarian diet. He's a great ad for it, but I can't even give up desserts. I really, really doubt I could manage to give up MEAT! DH fixed roast chicken for dinner. I loves me them roasted chickens.

And oh, how extraordinary the weather has been. That flapping sound you may have heard is the eyelids of the young men going up like window shades as the young ladies walk by in their summer clothes. Skin! Legs! Boobies! Omigawd, omigawd, omigawd!

Yesterday was pretty, too. So much so that . . . well, I saw a young man who was so sunburned you could practically feel the heat radiating off him. You could see the outline of his sunglasses. His hair was short enough and thin enough that his scalp was sunburned. He walked like a man with sunburned knees. And the tops of his feet were red as boiled lobsters. Ouch, ouchie, ouch, ouch!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

how did it all begin?

About this time last week, Lynne asked how the knitting parties got started. I have been delving into the depths of memory since these soirees have been happening on the second Saturday of the month for a long, long time. Twenty years or so. Diane suggested that we get together once a month to knit. We had so much fun that we began inviting friends. For a while, we would all take turns hosting the party. But, as always happens, things came up. People couldn't manage to host it in their turn because the plumbing broke or the in-laws dropped in for the week or the four-year-old got pinkeye, or whatever. So I would pick up the slack. Pretty sonn, it was just easier to schedule it at my place. For the last fifteen years, I have had the space, the equipment, the leisure, a big enough table and a sufficiently indulgent husband. And I love doing it. From the very first plans to the very last of the putting away, I have a ball. If there are 25 ladies, and I spend all my time keeping cups and cookie platters full, and the walls bulge out from the roars of feminine hilarity, and the cats hide in terror under the bed, I am delighted! If we are only three or four, and we have time to discuss the problems of the world in depth, and solve them all, I am hugely gratified. And when someone else volunteers to host it, I am willing to give them a chance to have the fun. too.

For decades, I have collected tea cups. DH spoils me with fancy table linens and serving pieces. I have two multi-layered sandwich plates, and boxes of napkin rings. If I didn't host these splendid parties, when would I ever use all these goodies? For my fiftieth birthday, we rented space, and had a catered Mad Hatter's Tea Party, using my wildly eccentric collection of cups and making everyone wear hats. The young ladies waiting tables were tickled to death with the concept, wore lovely hats of their own, and had vast fun matching cups with saucers and considering which set they liked best. It was a marvelous time.

I'm turning 60 next year. I wonder if it bears repeating? But this year, I want dancing boys.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Saturday

The clouds have Finally burned off as the weatherman predicted and isn't it pretty at last?

The maple trees are leafing out in glory. Yayy!

DH and I took the side road to get to Costco, and inone of the farm fields we saw flaocks and flocks of geese, grazing in the grass. There's a small pond nearby and I think these birds are taking turns having a nice little swim after their fresh salads. And we saw our first gosling, too. S/he was having a nice little paddle in a drainage ditch while mom and pop watched with find anxiety.

Lest you worry that I have forgotten my crafty promises, here is photographic evidence of knitting.
Heide, which branch of the military is he in?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

good intentions

"And she had sins that were too numerous to mention. She wasn't good, but she had - good intentions."

I intended to post a day in the life on Tuesday. But by the time I had lived it, I was too pooped to post anything. So on Thursday afternoon, you get the photo story of my Tuesday morning. I leave home at 7:30 AM.
Our neighborhood was all orchards and farms until the post WWII housing boom. There are still remanents of agriculture all over. Like this family farm which no longer grows anything but grass and wildflowers and the sense of space.

I drive for a couple miles along Railroad Avenue, which parallels - the railroad. Somedays, I wave to the freight train engineers as I pass. My car is faster than a speeding locomotive. The city encourages trees and bushes along the waste land beside the train track to cut down on noise and pollution. The cottonwoods are just unfurling their leaves. I love the brief few days when they are that brassy color. Soon, they'll be just another of the million shades of green we get so used to here.

How often do you pass a logging truck on the way to work? (I know. I should not have tried to photograph it while driving. I'm a wicked bad person. But at least I don't talk on my cell phone while driving. Like that's more virtuous somehow.)

More green stuff. Work is about 800feet higher in elevation than home. It's right around here where I start seeing snow in the winter.

At ten till 8, the parking lot is three quarters empty. In the next twenty minutes, it will fill up completely. I park at the far side of the lot so I can get at least a smidgen of exercise into my day.

The assessment center. Doesn't look all that terrifying, does it. And yet, people are afraid to come and see us.

This is my view for hours on end. Hours and hours and hours. You can see an 8x10 photo that I brought from home. I need something bigger and brighter on which to rest my eyes. It's too much like the inside of the prisons.

On Tuesdays, I'm at work for 9 hours. By the time I leave, it's brain death. I'm not com[plaianing! Honest to gosh, I am so thrilled to have a job to go to and such a nice drive to and from and such nice people to work with! Really, honestly, I am THRILLED! But by the time I get home on Tuesday, all I'm good for is quiet, mindless stuff. Like watching TV and tying a comforter. And I am so spoiled that it's all I HAVE to do. And sometimes, dishes, but that's well into the mindless zone, too.

The Asian lanterns pieced and tied comforter. I spread it out on top of the car. So I guess I could also consider it a car cozy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April is doing it!

Look! Look!! Hostas and lillies! Really, they are. Those unpreposessing little greeny things will, in a few weeks, be lovely strong leafy plants. And in a few months, they will bloom with lovely fragrant flowers. Oooo! Oooo! I can hardly wait!

The plum tree is blossoming. If the hail doesn't strip the branches bare, we may get some sweet, succulent, sensual bites of bliss this summer. What is so wonderful as a sunwarmed plum nestling deliciously in the palm? Sugar is not so sweet!

The magnolia is just rocking out. I forget every spring to get the before and after photos. As the blooms open, the branches sink and droop by several feet in a week. Last Monday, I could walk under the tree with ease. Today, branches are about waist level. Glad it's not my job to mow.

And the weather has been very April-y. On the 30 minute trip home from work, I drove through seven seperate hail squalls, interspersed with sunshine. On the freeway, when the sun hit, steam rose from the pavement in a kind of groundfog. It's good to be home. And oh joy, there's still sunshine at 6PM! I lovelovelove spring!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter brunch

We joined J and CE for brunch at Bistro Maison in McMinville - about an hour's drive from here. And what a lovely drive it was. I tried to get photos, but wasn't satisfied with any of them. It's a warmish, wettish, grayish April day. It's a day with full overcast and little sprays of rain, and new-blooming fragrance in the air. Trees are leafing out and the hills are covered with a mist of light, bright green new leaves. How can you get a picture of that? I'm certainly not the photographer to capture it.

But as you can see, DH and I looked tres chic at Le Bistro. He had pork. I had lamb. CE had salmon and JE had three appetizers - quiche, escargot and lox. I threw caution to the winds and had a champagne cocktail. Then DH shared his glass of chardonay with me. (I don't drink much at all. I'm SUCH a lightweight.) Then my phone rang when I was better than half toasted. It was Janette from Oz! What a delight! What a surprise! And all I could do was babble with slightly drunken delight. I hope I didn't make a fool of myself. Or at least not any more than usual. It was a real treat and gave us much food for conversation afterward. It was 3PM Sunday in Oregon and 8AM Monday morning in Oz. That's still magic to me.

When we got home, we found Ben nestled up in the quilt looking too adorable for words. The quilt is almost ready to send. Just thirty or so more knots to tie. I'll get a photo somehow.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Portland Purls April 2009

There were only 6 of us today. The party was small enough that we could all talk to one another comfortable. See the brownies. See the sandwiches. See the buttercups (yellow flowers) There were many brownies. DH can take leftover brownies to work with him to feed the locusts.

See the lemon cake? There was half a cake left and I didn't offer to send any of it home with other people. All for me! Mwahhhahahahaha!

I used a simple fan-fold for the napkins, placed it on top of the plate and silverware, then set the cup on top of the napkin. Compact and easy.

Oh, and I did manage a nice bouquet of dandelions. Heck, they make nice table decorations!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The theme for this month's party?

the theme . . .
the theme is . . .
can you guess?
every teacup has a different kind of . . .
yellow flowers!

I'm going to try to get a big bouquet of dandelions for the table. Then there's lemon cake with orange marmelade and yogurt cheese, brownies spread with Nutella (chocolate overload), herbed turkey sandwiches (I'm out of curry powder. Drat!) and some kind of fruit. Orange wedges maybe? Tea and coffee. Knitting, crochet, laughter and philosophy.

By the way, if you want me to send you a hand-crafted item, you need to send me your snail mail address.

Which teacup do you want to use?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

blossom time

The magnolia tree in the back yard is looking positivly shaggy with white and pink petals. It's gone cool and gray today, so the photos aren't all that striking but the tree really is.

As Alwen said, it's still too cool to be down on my elbows in the violets, but the violets are ready any time we are.

The first of the dandelions are in bloom. It's too bad people don't love dandelions more. They're easy to grow, edible, cheery and self-seeding.What's not to love?

Knitting here on Saturday. Lemon cake, curried turkey sandwiches, some kind of cookie with chocolate and some kind of fruit. And tea of course. Am I forgetting anything?