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, September 30, 2009

Last of sleptember

Tomorrow I, along with hoards more in blogland, will begin Blogtoberfest, as sponsored by TinnieGirl. I haven't bothered to learn how to post links, so, to my shame, I can't hook you up with the party. Blogtoberfest is a committment to do a blogpost every day in October. If nothing else, I can always tell dirty jokes.

Today, I am going to revive my pate' recipe, then go back to the dentist to have the new filling checked, and get a bunch more replace before they, too fall out. Then, (hopefully this will not take 4 hours again) I plan on heading off to writer's group with a mouthful of litocaine and the next two pages of book four. Will someone read for me?

Knitting is at Chez Roxie again. I'm thinking gingerbread, apple compote, pate' in mushroom caps, pumpkin cookies and oatmeal cookies. And maybe tuna salad on that lovely canned brown bread. Does anyone remember that stuff? Wonder if I can still find it in the grocery store?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

sheep shots

So - whatcha doin'? Y'know, you could scratch my chin if you wanted to. Got any sheep chow? How could you resist such sweetness and charm?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fun at the Flock and Fiber Fest

We got a gorgeous weekend for the Fiber Fest this year. Just cool enough to enjoy strolling gently in the sunshine. And there were more vendors than I have ever seen. In fact, I must confess I didn't see them all. they were scattered all over the place. The people who brought their livestock also brought their goods. Fleece and roving and yarn and finished goods. One fellow had taken horse chestnuts, sliced them about a quarter inch thick on his band saw, oiled them, and sold them for $1.25 as buttons. He was doing box office business!

There were cashmere goats.

I don't remember the name of this rare breed of sheep, but she has a corrugated black face and long curly locks of wool.

Who doesn't adore alpacas?

And there were warrens of angora bunnies!

Braids of pastel roving sang to me. But I resisted.

Everyone was wearing their handknits.

Everywhere I turned there was more irresistable yarn. Oh, but I have enough yarn! I do! I really do!

Before the crowds got too pressing, I went in search of the Blue Moon booth. I found Iron River Yarns, and bought a skein of yarn, just walked up and bought it, because I don't have anything like it and I Had To Have It! Then I found jewelry. Ring broaches, omigawd! Enameled silver in the shapes of kitties and sheep and fishes. One fish was exactly the same colors as this yarn which had just hijacked me. Exactly. As if MADE for it. So I spend $18 on the yarn and I'm going to drop antoher $58 on a stunning fish-shaped ring broach to go with it? I, for the love of dog, considered it. Seriously. I was thinking about dropping almost sixty dollars on a broach to go with yarn I just bought because I don't use or wear these colors and had nothing like it. Reallizing I was being overcome by yarn fumes, I hurried myself outside. - Without the broach!

Here's that irresistable Iron River Yarn, and two mystery batts from Fantasy Fibers. I adore mystery batts. They are the combings off the carding drums, and have the tailings of whatever has been processed lately. They're inexpensive, fascinating, and a spinning lesson every time. And they make fun yarns!

Not only were there more vendors than I have ever seen, there were some killer sales! I found this Manly neutral alpaca and merino blend at 50% off. There was no more room in my basket, so I carried it on my hat. Many, many people admired my hat!

I was not the only noteworthy dresser there. This fellow was about 6'3" and looked quite intimidating from the back. But when he turned around, he had the gentlest, merry twinkle in his eyes! And he was very gracious about allowing me to photograph him.

SL andJL showed up for mybasket demonstration, for which I will be forever grateful. They were the ONLY people who were there to watch. Other people sort of glanced with interest in passing, but if it were not for SL and JL, I would have been giving my speech to the air. God bless them! Sorry - there are no videos.

The FFA had volunteered to supervise parking, but cancelled at the last minute. People, left to their own devices, are clueless. Some airhead parked at the very end of a row of cars, right next to the fence, not realizing that they had blocked the only exit for the three rows of cars further back. Oh, there were some fussy customers when THAT came to light! I have no idea how they solved it. But I was able to get my car out of the back of that lot when the time came. And now I am home with pounds more yarn and fiber, wondering where to put all this and when I'll ever have time to knit it up. But my inner magpie is quite happy.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Getting better all the time. Thanks for the well wishes. Things are blissfully slow and non-newsworthy. I'll get pictures at the flock and fiber fest tomorrow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

And then he grabbed the laser. . .

This post may not be for the weak of stomach. I spent four hours in the dentist's chair yesterday, and the only thing that got me through was composing the blogpost in my head. I lost a filling (shoddy thing. It's only been in there for fourty years. You'd think they would make things to last!)and when we got done with the x-rays, it turned out that the filling had fallen out because a seperate cavity had developed on the side of the tooth. Under the gum line, On the back of the last molar on the top right. So after prodding with steel picks into tender areas - "Does this hurt?" ("Unh-unh" is the only negative you can make with a mouthful of two hands, a dental mirror and a steel pick.)"How about - oh yes, I can see that it does."

What do you suppose could have indicated the pain? The strangled cry I made - something like a young moose with his cohones caught in blackberry brambles? Or the tears that squirted from my eyes? Or perhaps the fact that I levitated about three inches off the chair, stiff as a board and suddenly white as a sheet? Anyhow, the kindly dentist, who really is a sweet young man, decided to give me some pain killers at that point. He's very deft, for which I am profoundly grateful. And after that, of course, it got weird.

I could not have chosen a more inaccessible spot for a cavity. I wonder if dentists have to train by working inside a coffee mug with a mirror and drawing tiny little smiley faces with either hand? I was knitting as he worked and he remarked on my manual dexterity. Nothing, NOTHING compared to his!!

The cavity was clearly several millimeters below the gum line. How do you drill below the gum line? I was thinking it might be easier if they just pulled it out, fixed it up, and popped it back in. For them, it probably would have been. Instead, they fitted me up with a cheek shield, and a "dry-tab". Then he grabbed the laser. If you are squeamish, you should look away now. Lasers cauterize as they cut, so there was no bleeding, and the assistant was very deft with the water cooling system, so there was no sense of heat. But I smelled grilled steak, and my mouth started to water so hard it squirted. "Ah, the salivary glands are active," he remarked. I wanted to say, "I love a barbecue."

It's surprising how many muscles it takes to hold your mouth open. By the end of the fourth hour, as the Litocaine was wearing off, I realized I was clenching from my bunns up. When I finally got home, I was as weary as if I had worked all day, rather than just lying in a comfy chair for four hours. Litocaine, as it wears off, gives me the shakes. I was a pretty miserable looking creature by the time I got home. DH got home about two minutes after I did, took pity on me, fixed me noodle soup, and after my bath, rubbed my back with BenGay. I needed it.

This morning he asked how I was feeling. "Well, I held my mouth open for four hours yesterday and a had hole burned in my gum so they could build in a new filling. All things considered, I feel pretty good!" He laughed, hugged me, and we went off to work. Asprin is my friend today, and I remain fascinated by the fact that I smell like steak.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

a little sunrise, a little laceweight

It's quarter till October. The equinox snuck past me in a furtive manner, almost ashamed to still be wearing summer temperatures, but the angle of the sunrise tells me all I need to know. "Stock up!" it whispers in my ears. "Generations of your ancestresses knew this and survived to mother offspring. Lay in supplies for the winter!" I'm long past offspring, and still that ancestral voice nags on. "Eat up now while the eating is good. You may have to live on that fat come spring." I could fast for the whole month of March and still not use up the fat in my keester, but the inner voices don't listen to reason. They listen to signs and portents and the nattering of starlings. I write poetry in times like this.

To an Autumn Caterpillar

You humble, bumbling fuzzy bugger
in your Halloween-colored coat,
trundle through the summer sunshine,
chewing leaves until the spun fine
silk cocoon becomes your lifeline.
Then when you could not be snugger,
slumber till the spring-time molt.

Life is short and so uncertain.
We scry the winter in your bars,
then fill the woodshed and the larder
to be prepared against the harder
season still to come, and barter
labor now for comfort when
the hungry wolves howl down the stars.

And knitting? I must knit WARM THINGS!

Heide in her ubergenerosity sent me some gorgeous hand-dyed laceweight because it has some breaks in it. I guess you can't knit lace with broken yarn. So I added a strand of mohair boucle and a button, and made a vest. There wasn't enough yarn to make a pocket, but the two yarns came out almost perfectly even, so I am pleased. There was about 5 yards of mohair left over.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm gonna demonstrate

I'm gonna take my maiden voyage demonstrating how to weave a paper basket at the Oregon Flock and Fiber show. I'll be on the front lawn at noon on Saturday. Geeze - I forgot to ask if I needed to bring a table. Anyhoo - if you wanna see me gaily making a fool of myself, that's the most predictable time and place.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This is what September looks like

In September, the kids have to adjust to being back in school, and the clouds, returned from wherever they went for summer vacaiyon, have to adjust to being back in the sky. Some of them are lazy, and lie around on the ground for half the morning.

The college, being on a hilltop. tends to snag a lot of low-flying clouds.

Occasionally, the hill pokes right through the cloud,which hangs all low and drippy around the rivers. And I drive through the tenuous gray belly of the beast for miles, sight restricted to a hundred feet in any direction, speed restricted to how long it takes me to react in that hundred feet.

Then, finally, at the crest of the hill, thinning mist and sunlight, promising a hot afternoon.

DH remarked last night that the light is changing. I love that he is in tune with that. And if the clouds weren't hugging so close, I could see the sun rise almost due East today.

So where has everyone gone? The blogs are so quiet. Is this a seasonal withdrawal into the den? Everyone busy canning and preserving? Getting the kids back into school? Writing? (Yes, I mean you, Amy)Whuzzup folks?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

fun with bam-boooo

When I work at the jail, I need a thermal layer that does not present a choking hazard. Vests are good, of course, but I really want to be able to keep my throat warm, and scarves are O-U-T So I thought that maybe a cowl would do. I took some of Teresa's gorgeous bamboo yarn and a 16 inch size 5 circular needle, cast on 100 stitches, joined it, and began knitting feather and fan in the round. After about two incvhes of that, I got bored and switched to k2p2 which I can do on auto-pilot. for hours and hours, I just k2p2 and let my mind wander whither it would. after 18 inches, I began to work increases so it would spread out over my shoulders. When it got to almost 200, I began working garter stitch triangles, knitting 20, turning, knitting 2 tog and knitting across. Then, after forming all these triangles, I knitted mitered squares between them.
See the nice garter-stitching detail? But it didn't lie nicely, so I got some beads and trimmed the edges.

And now it's perfect. Mostly I will wear the cowl down andfolded around my neck, but when it's up like this, it shows off the beads so nicely. I have crystals and crescent moons to frame my face. Too fun! I am the ice queen!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Old joke

So this elderly couple is traveling around the US in their RV. They pull into a gas station in Oregon and the old guy gets out to fill-er-up, but before he can, the gas station attendant runs out and explains that in Oregon, you're not allowed to pump your own gas.

The old woman leans out the window and screeches at the old man, "What's that? What'd he say?"

The old guys hollars, "It's Oregon. We can't pump our own gas here."

She replies, "We can't? Well that's screwy!" and she settles back.

The gas station attendant, a little rattled by this exchange attempts to make pleasant conversation with the old guy, and says, gesturing toward the license plate, "So, I see you folks are from Idaho."

The old woman leans out the window again and screeches, "What's that? What'd he say?"

The old man hollars, "He sees we're from Idaho."

She reples, "Oh. Yes, yes. We're from Boise," and settles back into her seat.

The attendant, mutters to the old guy, "Worst meal I ever ate in my life was in Boise."

The old woman leans out and screeches, "What's that? What'd he say?"

The old guy bellows, "Says he thinks he knows you."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Getting dressed for work

Sometimes I get whiney about how hard it can be to dress for work. Yesterday I was too cold. Last week I was too warm. This shirt is missing a button. That t-shirt needs a stain treated. This hem needs mending. It's all so complicated and labor intensive. Why can't I just work in black sweats and slippers? Wah, wah, wah.

And then I think about someone who REALLY has complicated, uncomfortable work attire that takes a mess of maintainence, and I quit whining.

The gals and guys in Afghanistan make this work uniform look as easy and comfortable as black sweats and slippers. Let's hear it for our loved ones in the services!

Monday, September 14, 2009


While his house was being infested with chattering knitters, DH went out to breakfast with "the guys", then got a haircut (sniff. I love his silver curls) then went to the mall to see about replacing his favorite shoes which are dying on his feet. He didn't find shoes for himself, but did see a pair of electric blue snakeskin print clogs. (I used to own a pair of electric blue snakeskin pumps that I had to give away when I hurt my back. I loved those shoes, but three inch spike heels are a serious nono for me. The guys at the gay bar down the street adored them!) So after I cleaned up after the soiree, he took me to the mall and showed me the clogs. My arch is too high. I just can't wear clogs.

As I was sitting down to put my shoes back on, he showed up with a pair of Ughs. Pink with flowers. Pink! With Flowers! On Sale!! And he wanted me to buy them!

See my new shooos? Squeeee!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

So glad you could come

Ok, pick a place. Where do you want to sit?

We have ham and cheese rollups and curried chicken sandwiches, and oatmeal cookies with dried cranberries instead of raisins.

And fruit salad, orange and rosemary fat=free cookies, and on the bottom tier are brownies.

MB is almost done with her cable afghan!!

We talked about Theology, and the Augustinian monastic (and conventual) rules and obligations, and all agreed that a vow of silence would be impossible to fulfill, and told rude jokes, and talked about how mothers deal with their kids doing dangerous things like playing football or working out on the uneven paralell bars and such. And we told rude jokes and made puns and laughed and laughed and hugged and laughed.

And we decided that "The Alternate Teat" would be an excellent name for a garage band, so if you know one that's searching for a monniker, feel free to offer that one.

Welcome, knitters

Working all week has put a crimp in my time to party. I've been up since before dawn to get things ready. Oh, it's no big deal. I'm ALWAYS up at 5am. I'm used to it.

I made and sliced the curried chicken sandwiches, and sliced the ham and chees roll-ups. They are all waiting eagerly in the fridge to be put out closer to the feasting.

Then I plated the cookies and the brownies, made melon balls for the fruit salad, and ate a bowl of yogurt with honey while I looked at the funnies and Dear Amy in the paper.

By that time the sun was rising. I just love it when the light slides flat sideways like a red sportscar in a skid and splashes up under the leaves of the maples.

the party is here at ten today. You can come early if you like. We would love to see you. Every plate hs a different colored napkin and napkin ring. What color would you like? I am SO enjoying my miscellaneous napkin ring collection!! Photos to follow.

I have not yet had time to primp. Roxie at sunrise is nothing to inspire poets to rhapsodies. But she is, none-the-less, a happy woman!

You know, if you don't have other knitters to gather with, why not just have a tea party for your friends? Suggest they bring their handwork - mending or stringing beads or whatever they do (as long as it's not too smelly or space-taking) and just have what used to be called, "a hen party." I like to serve a cake, at least two cookies, at least one savory (sandwich, deviled eggs, mini pizzas from your grocer's freezer case) and some fruit. Plus tea and coffee, of course. Who knows, you might even flush some shy kntters out of the shrubbery. And it's wonderful to get together with "the girls!"

Friday, September 11, 2009


I'm afraid there's going to be a lot of sad and angry memories around this day. I want to focus on the incredible bravery of the people who helped, and the way we all pulled together. Over here on the left coast, the Red Cross was SWAMPED with blood donors. Firemen and policemen came in from retirement, sick leave, disability leave and vacation so their more able-bodied buddies could fly to New York and help out. A local travel agent organized a special, "Oregon loves NY" trip when the airways re-opened, to prove it was safe to fly, and to bring tourists to the city that relies so much on tourism. Every person on that flight were worried that they might not survive, but they spent time and money and courage to make life more normal in NY.

And remember those first few days when there were no commercial flights? People joined together with total strangers, rented cars and RVs, and drove cross-country to make important meetings, weddings, occasions.

The Air Guard base here in Portland was one of the few places where flights were coming and going on a regular basis. When we heard those jets overhead, we were comforted and proud. Those were OUR boys taking care of us!

There are places in the world where bombings and terrorism is a fact of daily life. I hope we never take our safety for granted.

Do you have a good memory around 9/11? A specific act of courage or kindness or pride? I'd love to hear it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A patchwork week

This week at work, the boss, TD and her assistant, LI are both on vacation, so I get to work four full days - wich is good for the paycheck, but puts a crimp in my other hobbies. And the Portland Purls will be meeting at my house on Saturday, so things need to be scheduled pretty tightly. I'll be setting the table tonight because the food can't be prepared too far in advance, but the table will not go stale.

Sinc TD and LI are out, we are not doing any of the tests that take special authorization to process. Mostly, it is just placement tests. Should be easy peasy, right? Except these tests are provided by a company back east, and their server went down about 2PM our time - 5ish their time. We had 20 people taking placement tests and one by one their computers went to white screen. I groveled, apologized, and promised that all the work done up to that time had been saved, but it was the other people's server and we didn't have any way to get to them. "All your scores have been saved. We just can't give them to you right now. Come back on Monday when the boss will be here and she will fix it all." Sorry TD. I knew not what else to say. And you DO fix it all, every time it breaks.

Last week TD and LI re-arranged their office furniture. Well, M evidently caught the bug, because she decided to re-arrange the rest of the furniture as well. So we spent the morning dragging filecabinets, desks and tables. We need to leave a wheelchair -accessible route to the special needs testing area, but something about that wide opening seems to invite people to trot around behind the desks to talk more directly to us. So we need a nice velvet rope to restrain the crowds and keep the secure data secure.

So now I have to get dressed, pack lunch, and clear the table.

I am trying new recipes this month. DH found a recipe for low fat, dairy free cookies - orange and rosemary wafers. Surprisingly yummy, but tough little cookies.
Also oatmeal and cranberry cookies, curried chicken salad sandwiches, brownies, fruit salad, and I made up a new tea sandwich. Take rye tortillas, blend a cup of grated chedder cheese with half a stick of soft butter till it's creamy (hooray for electric blenders) and spread generously over 2 tortillas. Cover with thin-sliced ham. Slice a baby dill pickle into spears and roll the ham-and-cheese around the pickle spears. Chill, then slice into 1 inch sections, serve, and stand back. I sliced them on the diagonal so they look fancier. Shall I set a place for you? Oh, and I'm serving breakfast blend coffee, mountain sunrise tea, Iron Goddess of Mercy tea, Rose and lavender tea, Madagascar Red tea, and Peppermint tea. The table will be full of pots! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Back 2 it

The end of the long weekend is always a little ugly. Work is pretty boaring after all that leisure. You really have to "man up" a bit to get through it.

You have to get back into harness and spend time making yourself look ready for business. Get all trim and tidy.

I wouldn't want to give you a bum steer - it may be a pain in the butt, but it's worth it in the end.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Even More fair photos

Yesterday, DH and I Joined MJ and RW for breakfast, then took our laptops out to see if they would pick up WIFI at random sites around the neighborhood. Excellent connectivity for both of them. We should be just fine, taking them to Hawaii with us. Next isse- getting a back pack for DH's. He bought me a nice backpack to carry mine just as soon as I got it, but he's had his for months, being way too self-effacing and casual about it. "I don't need anythings special." It's a joy being married to a modest man, but sometimes you need to put your foot down, whip out the credit card, and declare, "I'm buying this, and if you don't like it, you can use mine!" I haven't gotten to that point yet, but soon.

And since the inside of one Fourbucks coffee shop is just like the inside of the next, I dodn't take photos. So here are some more from the fair.

This is the tombstone for a wonder-cow: and "iron grandma" who is an amazing over-achiever in buutterfat production, all without drugs! I don't think she's actually burried right there, because in 1919, they probably weren't about to waste the meat.

Here are bunnies playing at being mirror-images of one another.

There must have been a mirror-image contest going on. Either that, or they were used to hanging out together in one cage at home, and didn't like breing seperated for the show.

A banty rooster who was just as agressive and "Cocky" as any of the big guys. No one refers to a feisty little guy as a banty rooster anymore, but it's such an apt description! (What DO they call a feisty little guy now? A tough little bastard? Oh, silly me. It's not pollitically correct to make any reference to his size. And so, a little more color gets squeezed out of the language.

Guinea hens are so like the grandmothers of the hen-house. They have their pretty black and white spotted dresses, their ample figures, their staid demeanor. These are not grannies who go line dancing or fly off to Cancun with the pool boy. These are farm grannies who make cookies and go to church. There's a certain ammount of Guinea hen in me. On the other hand, if DH would pretend to be the pool boy . . .