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.”

Saturday, October 31, 2009

blogtober farewell

I gave the game a shot.
I missed a couple days.
My record's not so hot.
I told a couple jokes.
Some were funny, some were not.
whenever I am pressured,
I usually turn out squat
so 29 of 31 blogs?
I'm glad for what I got.

And now, we can blog freely again. wheeeee!

DH and I met with MJ and RW for breakfast today, out in the tules at a nice golfcourse clubhouse. And people were playing golf in costume! Wolverine, a boyscout, a buddhist monk and Captain Hook were the first foursome we saw. It kind of sets a theme for the day. We went home and stayed home.

And then DH got a wild hair, and we re-arranged the shelves and tables in the kitchen. He also has an inner magpie, and once we purged the cooking equipment we never use (I have a thing for serving bowls- he loves gadgets) we were able to move a whole set of shelves out of the kitchen altogether. Space! Light! Freedom! Boxes for Goodwill.

Now we wait for the trickertreaters to show. I had three pumpkins carved and set out, but one has already taken a dive from its perch, and it isn't even dark yet. I don't know - it was looking pretty depressed when I put it out. Winter squash suicide is a problem on nights like this. Sometimes, the first of November, the street is littered with shattered orange gourds. I don't mind. I have seen jack-o-lanterns sit in front of houses for months, gradually subsuming into mounds of hairy gray mold, like drunken grandfathers sinking into senility. The bits of broken pumpkin can just be picked up and tossed onto the compost heap without any sense of guilt that you are "Warehousing" a friend or relation. People get attached to things with faces - even candle-housing gourds. Want some chocolate?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

You guys are awesome!

Wonderful contributions, and the Dicktionery is a howler. Thanks, thanks ever so! I'll try to figure how to post this word search when it comes out. You gave me some marvelous ideas!!

Today I have the whole day off. I'm going back to bed, because I can. Maybe I'll post a picture of my sweater in progress later. Tomorrow, I will be doing test proctoring as a contractor starting at 7:30 am. But they pay well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

my new hobby

Thanks to Denise Sutherland and her new book, "Word Searches for Dummies," I have begun composing word search puzzles for the campus newspaper. Themes thus far have been "What's for Dinner?" and "Where does all the Money Go?" The paper could do with a bit of excitement, so my next theme was, "It's Mr. Happy!" using euphamisms for penis. I threw in the earthy Anglo-Saxon terms as well as cutesy things like "weewee," and "trouser snake."

I put my name on it, so I am already working on my, "What? These are college kids. They've heard all the dirty words already. And I didn't use anything they couldn't find in Chaucer." A good defense is well prepared, right? And if it stimulates a few letters to the editor, so much the better.

BUT, as I worked on the word list, I was interested in how many euphamisms start with W or P. I wonder why that is? All I could think of that didn't was: tool, unit, c-ck, d-ck and trouser snake. I would be willing to do an expanded version of the word search if I had more words. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


So this home for the mentally unstable got a new director who was a fervent proponent of music therapy. He bellieved that singing did wonders to calm and center the inmates, so he started an assylum choir and every time inmates came to practice sessions, the director gave them candy bars and Cokes. After about six months of this, the assylum dentist hit the roof and insisted the treats be changed. Reluctantly, the director started offering a sugar-free diet cola and an apple. The inmates didn't seem to mind and came to every practice session, participated with great enthusiasm, and actually became quite good. They began to give public recitals, and their fame spread. Now people come from all over the world to hear the moron Tab and apple choir.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rum balls

judithcrns asked for my rum ball recipe. I vary it a lot. Here goes.

6oz chocolate chips (1 cup)
1/2 cup sugar
3tbs light corn syrup
1/2 cup rum
2 1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers

Melt the chocolate chips.
add sugar and corn syrup. Stir
add booze.
mix thouroughly with cookie crumbs.
form into balls and allow to ripen in an air tight container at least several days.

This parsimonious recipe makes barely enough for one serving. And once your friends taste these, they'll be begging for them. So, I buy giant bags of chocolate chips at Costco, wipe out the Nabisco 'nilla wafers in my local cookie aisle, quadruple the recipe, and experiment with flavors.

First, I open the boxes of cookies and throw the sealed bags of wafers on the floor, then put on my wooden-soled shoes and stomp around a lot, chanting "Tank-itty Tank-itty, Tank! Tank-itty, tank-itty Tank!" and pretending to crush all the ills of humanity under my terrible treads. Then I pick up the bags, being careful not to spill the bits if the bag has popped open, and dump the broken wafers into the cup of my meat-grinder. The meat grinder is what makes it possible for me do make several double quadruple batches.

When all the cookies are fine crumbs, I then get a giant Tupperware bowl, measure in chocolate chips, and stick it in the microwave on high for a minute or so. Ever so much easier than messing with a double boiler. Quick mix in the corn syrup so the chocolate doesn't seize!

Now dump in the sugar, then the booze. Dark rum is classic, as is bourbon, but Grand Marnier, Chambord, Drambuie, Kahlua, Creme de Menthe, and Amoretto are also delicious. One of my favorite variations is to add a tablespoon of cinnamon per double-batch of rumballs. Chili powder might be good if you like that sort of thing.

Measure in the cookie crumbs, stir it up, and let it set up. Then I sit down in front of the tv with the bowl of cookie stuff, a little melon-ball sized ice-cream scooper, and a cookie tin lined with plastic wrap to ensure an airtight seal. If you're in a hurry, you can just scoop and plop. If you want the rumballs to look nice, roll them between your palms before stacking them in the tins. If you don't have a scooper, use a regular spoon. If you are doing a double-quadruple batch, put on a long movie and realize that your hands will be a sticky chocolatey mess very soon.

I seal the tins shut with cellophane tape and let them ripen, then, come Christmas shipping time, I open the tins and seperate the batches into baggies (a dozen of one flavor in a baggie)which get tucked into mixed assortments and shipped to friends and family all over! I collect cookie tins at estate and garage sales all year long, so I have lots of shipping containers. Usually, I just pack the goodies into a tin, slap on a lable, tape everything down, and take it to the post office. (And a baggie of cookies for the postal people, too.)

Oh, if you like coconut, use shredded coconut instead of cookie crumbs. This is quite nice with white chocolate.

Who wants some?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I've been sewing again

JoAnne's had the no-sew fleece throws on sale again. One throw kit for $13 gives me two pieces of fleece. Then I piece a back for it,and another baby blanket is on it's way to Medical Teams International.

Quilt back. I was aiming at bento boxes, but turned out to have less of one color than I thought. So, I'll call it blotto boxes.

quilt front - pink and fleecy.

Trip around the world with candy the cat. The back of this quilt is lime green fleece. Quick and easy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

punkin huntin'

It rained all week - gloomy October cold and soggy. And then the day we had decided to go punkin huntin' arrived, and it is gorgeous! The ground's muddy but that's why we have boots. And there's sunshine!

We arrived at Liepold's farm about 10AM. There were already mob of happy parents and confused kidlets checking out the pony rides and the corn maze and the punkin-chunker (a giant, ground-mounted slingshot. You pay a small fee and are allowed to choose a small pumpkin, load it into the slingshot, haul back, and let-er-fly! This sport is quite popular with young males, and the ground in front of the chunker is littered with broken pumpkin bits.

Of course, the farmer also grew a couple giant gourds. DH is included for perspective.

Is this not a perfect October photo? Now how does one select JUST the perfect pumpkin? Not too big, not too small, not too tall, not too squatty . . .

We got THREE pumpkins. Also in our wheelbarrow is a dellicata squash (the longish one) and a carnival squash (the one like a colorful acorn) I love squash, though DH hate's 'em, so he is going to cook them for me and see how I like them. We may try to grow a squash next summer.

Now I have 50 plus pounds of pumpkins to clean and carve. Whee-hee! This was a perfect punkin huntin' day! You take memories like this and store them carefully in a clean corner of your mind, take them out often to polish and appreciate, and rejoice in the pleasure of having them.

Friday, October 23, 2009

almost Christmas

I have to start my rumballs soon, and begin wrapping things to send. And I still have no inspiration for the Christmas card. Anyhow, what do YOU want for Christmas? And do I have your snail mail address?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

At the vet

I took Ben and Pepper in for their rabies shots and check up. I put each cat in a seperate carry case so they would have lots of room and be comfortable. The vet examined Pepper. That thermometer is SO rude! I opened Ben's case to get him out, and Pepper darted in to hide.

They packed themselves so tightly in there that we had to unscrew the bolts and lift off the lid. And they insisted on huddling together in the same carrier every time we let one or the other go. So I carried them home that way. One empty carrier. One carrier full of 19 pounds of cat

They have forgiven me. It's not ALL that traumatic after all, I did let them comfort one another all the way home, and I have catnip. I put the carry case down on the living room floor, DH opened the gate, and two little heads peered suspiciously out. Then, with a wriggle and a kick, Pepper decanted herself and left Ben to emerge in his own timid time.

We had to exit through the pet toy section of the store. These folks had brought in their giant Alaskan Malamute to pick out his own toys, and graciously allowed me to photograph him. I felt guilty about pausing for even a moment with the kitties so crammed together, but I have never seen such a big Malamute before.The woman with him is about 5ft, 7 inches tall. Wonder what size his poops are? (Speaks the girl who has had clean-up doody once or twice.)I see dogwalkers out with little bread bags to pick up the poopoo. These folks would need to carry wastebasket liners.

Yes, I do think about these things. Don't you?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

'nother joke

So thesse three nuns get in a car accident and arrive at the pearly gates. And Saint Peter greets them, saying, "By the way, we have a little entrance exam, but you good women should have no problem with it."

He turns to the first nun and says, "What is the name of the first man God created?"

"That's Adam," she replied. And the trumpets blared, and the gates swung open and she walked on into heaven.

Peter asked the second nun, "What's the name of the first woman God created?"

"That's Eve," she replied. And the trumpets blared, and the gates swung open, and she walked on into heaven.

Peter asked the third nun, "What's the first thing Eve said to Adam?"

"That's really hard!" she protested. And the trumpets blared and the gates swung open . . .

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a joke

So these two Catholic priests get in a car accident and arrive at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter greets them with apologies,, saying, "Gosh, things have been so crazy here lately, we're a little behind on our processing and we can't get you right in. But you both have been so virtuous that we can't just leave you in Limbo either, so what we're going to do is let you go back to earth for two weeks as anything you would like to be."

Father Ahern said, "Why that's a fine idea! I'd like to be an eagle, soaring through the open heavens, appreciating the view of God's glorious country beneath me."

Peter said, "Done!" And Father Ahern disappeared.

Father O'Malley said, "Celibacy has always been a struggle for me. I know this sounds terrible, but could I go back to earth as a stud?"

Peter said, "Done!" and Father O'Malley disappeared.

Two weeks later, Gabriel came to Peter and said, "Ok, we're caught up and ready to process those two priests now. Can you find them and bring them back?"

Peter said, "With father Ahern, no problem. He's soaring over the Grand Canyon and praising God in joy. But Father O'Malley is going to be more of a problem. He's in a snow tire somewhere in Montanna."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Moan-day morning

I have nothing for you. Here's a picture of a baby goat.

I hibernated most of the weekend. I'll make it to work, but I still feel pretty grizzly.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Ty and I had a deal. I wove several yards of wool for him to paint on, and he made me a ring broach. Here we are at Sully's cafe where he is delivering the broach. don't we look like a couple of old hippies?

And here is the broach. Tim calls it Gulpfish. It's a big fish getting ready to eat a small fish. It just amuses me no end. Tim made it from a silver dollar. I have no idea how he did it!

a gray day lost

I spent yesterday asleep. I am so profoundly grateful that I can, when exhausted, just go toes up without having to get seriously sick first. I could have soldiered through, but my body required rest, and I decided to indulge it. And if I didn't need an extra 8 hours of naps, then why did I fall asleep as soon as I hit the bed at 8:30PM? I feel ever so much better now. Not fully rested, but able to cope with life.

No, I did not post. Nor did I clean the cat box, fold the laundry or cook a meal. I stayed in my nighty and bathrobe, reclined in the recliner with cats scattered upon me, and slept, slept, slept. Jealous? Try a bit of irresponsibility, said the grasshopper. You'll like it!

I didn't even knit. There is nothing on the needles and I don't know what's next. I have lots of white odds and bobs. Maybe a white surprise jacket? Maybe a red alpaca vest. Maybe not.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A little color

I'm almost done with a baby surprise jacket. Everyone who has seen it has said, word for word, "That's colorful." It's just leftovers, but they seemed to come together particularly nicely, and I used all the yarn except for about 6 yards of the green. Now to sew the seams, and find buttons. And I might just crochet ties, use up the end of the green yarn, and call it good!

I have heard that autumn in New England is vibrant and vivid, full of sunshine and crisp air and pretty coeds in sweaters. Here's autumn on campus in Oregon City.

You notice that sunshine does not come in to it much. Wind stripped trees and mist get a good showing, though.

But we do get some spooky Halloween-type cats. Pepper's eyes seem to be set on "stoplight" - one flashing green, the other flashing yellow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Off-kilter is not necessarily art

It's just a practical, boring, grey-green, silk seed stitch scarf. And trying to take an arty picture of it doesn't make it more exciting. I'm gonna try to sell this, and the strong scarf as a his-n-hers set. Or a hers-n-hers set maybe. There's a local jewelry store that carries extra giftie items during the holiday season. We'll see if they are interested. There's $20 worth of beads in the strong scarf, and another $20 or so in silk. Think anyone would pay $160 for the scarf?(That's $80 for me, and $80 for the store. So I'll make $40 for my time. Works out to about a dollar an hour. Artisans don't live high on the hog.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A strong scarf

This scarf is knitted with silk, mordanted with iron and dyed with indigo. The iron gives the indigo that grey-green cast. It's a simple garter-stitch mitered triangle, and along the edges I have sewn obsidian and jasper beads, with ocasional copper-colored swirly beads. It just seems like a scarf for a strong, handsome woman. Even stronger and more handsome than me. And there's another green silk scarf 10 inches by four feet of seed stitch, with no beads. Suitable for a man or a woman, but a bit boring. Photo tomorrow.

Thank you all so much for your kind words. They really, really help!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A toast

Here's to Black Jack, the old cat, Gassy Jack, Jack the Ripper, my little Jackaroo. He's lounging on that sofa in the sky today, sound and healthy again, able to run and jump, see and hear and bite with all his teeth. He can snooze in the sunshine with all his cat buddies that have gone before, and they'll all play and purr with the angels till DH and I get there to cuddle them.

Let's lift our tea and coffee cups and raise a toast to departed pets.

And if you don't believe that cats go to heaven, just keep it to yourself for the time being, OK?

Davis Graveyard -photo-heavy post

These folks live about a mile from us. They are theatre technicians, and have put their skills to work on their hobby- dressing their house for Halloween.

They create a false facade for their garage.

They decorate everywhere.


The graveyard is huge and fanciful with timely comments on the gravestones. ("Bernie handles all my retirement income.")

they have volunteers stationed around to answer questions and guard the special effects. The volunteer is the one in the hat.

Every October they errect the crypt, which is the center of the audio/visual effects. At night, the fog machine kicks in. The bushes rustle ominously. Red eyes peer at you from the trees and the ground cover, then scuttle away. Groans and wails echo wierdly from distand corners of the property.

The mourner sobs gently but as persistantly as a 15 year old girl who has learned to use tears as a blunt weapon to get what she wants.

And the local highschool dance team comes by to perform "Thriller" for the admiring crowds. And believe me, there are CROWDS!

A local car club composed of hearse owners brings their prizes by to show them off.

The home-owners have a gorgeous glass-sided Victorian horse-drawn hearse. Those Victorians were really INTO death!

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday morning, 6 AM scattershot

This I love.

DLW gave me a great recipe for Boston Brown Bread. However, it's supposed to be baked in 6 14.5 oz cans and I didn't have any so I tried loaf pans. Not a good idea. Every loaf was perfectly done around the sides, and still doughy in the middle. So I bought a couple of cans of brown bread at the store, and I'm feasting on it. I can see how that bread would have been a real tonic in the midst of a New England winter. Lots of iron, lots of sweet, and the raisins would loosen the most hidebound Yankee. Plus, the brown bread is a perfect vehicle for butter. Yum!

I was thinking about my mom's first hunting trip because one of DH's buddies just returned from his first hunting trip. He was the first guy to get his deer, dressed it out, then called on his radio to have the other guys show up and help him pack it out. Evidently, they, "Couldn't hear" his messages, so, being the astoundingly tough little guy that he is, he loaded the carcass of the deer up on top of his back pack ("Only about 100 lbs," DH said) and carried it back to camp. It took him six hours. I am astounded at his grit! I would have built a fire, grilled the loin, and waited for the searchers to find me.

I grew up in the country where deer hunting was a given. Absenteeism at the mill always spiked during deer season. These guys were getting meat for the winter, and if the greenchain had to run slow for a couple weeks, then that was the way it was. Every year, Dad would hand a letter to the school principal, asking that his kids be excused for a week to attend their Uncle Buck's funeral. A week at deer camp was not my idea of heaven. I didn't hunt, nor did Mom, so we would spend the day freezing our buns off, huddled around the campfire, or in later years, cramped into the camper. We Read a lot and embroidered a lot of dishtowels. No mother-daughter heart to heart conversations. She had her own problems, and I spent most of my time inside my head.

But she would turn out the most astounding meals out in the boonies, even though she never knew how many to cook for. If Dad met someone out in the woods, he'd invite them in for dinner. Any total stranger with a rifle, chance met on a deer trail. I remember the night she served steaks and lobster tails to a couple of good ol' boys from Izee (a tiny ranching community in eastern Oregon) they tore into the steaks with great enthusiasm, but never did touch those big white grubs she put on their plates.

It's easy to buy a rifle in Oregon. Just go to a gun show and hand over your money. And you can buy a video tape that will tell you how to hunt deer and what to do with them when you have shot them. You get city boys with no outdoor experience and the best equipment money can buy, playing great white hunter in the outback and the accidents are legion. Dad had a friend that used to ride into the wilderness area leading a pack horse, and hunt in some pretty inaccessible country. Then one year, someone shot his pack horse, thinking it was a deer. The next year, the guy dyed sheets bright red and draped them over the horses like hunting coats. Someone shot the horse he was riding. After that, he quit hunting.

On one hunting trip, my older brothers dressed me in the brightest, most glaring reds we could find, gave me a dishpan and a spoon, and told me to climb up the ridge, beating on the pan and hollaring, driving the deer up to them. I have done stupid things in my time, but walking toward all their rifles was one of the dumbest. I survived, and they got royally chewed out for making such use of their sister. The excuse? "We thought about using one of the dogs, but we were afraid it might get shot."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The party

The table looked pretty, and the guests were delightful! I made the tea and the coffee too strong, no one tried the pate', the brown bread got small attention, the pumpkin oatmeal cookies met with some approval, and the gingerbread was a rousing success. Note to self. No more pate' for tea parties.

We talked about our early driving experiences Everyone has a learning to drive story. Mom was teaching me to drive one summer when we were living in a double wide trailer up on the Spokane Indian reservation because dad was building a mill there. We had been to the store, and on the way home, when we got off the asphalt and on to the dirt road, I got behind the wheel. Pretty soon, Mom was saying, "Not so fast, Roxie. Not so fast!" "But mom, the people behind me don't like going this slow."
We were being followed, on the narrow twisty road to the mill, by a car full of drunken young men. There was no shoulder, and no good place to pull over. They soon began honking and tailgating, shouting, and making rude gestures. When I finally got to a wide spot in the road, and they passed us, I had decided that I didn't really need to learn to drive. It was three years before I tried again.

What's your early driving story?

I had fun setting the table. Mini pumpkins make for easy decorating. and the kitty creamer and sugar bowl make such a charming arrangement.

Everything is ALWAYS better with a kitty!

In addition to tea and coffee, we drank applejuice out of the good wineglasses. That went over very well!Note to self - it bears repeating. Maybe sparkling cider next time.

My mom's first hunting trip.

My parents were married in May. When September rolled around, Dad planned on going out deer hunting like he did every year - camping out with the guys for a week. Mom declared, "You're not leaving me alone for a week. I'll go with you."

Well, Dad's pals wern't so keen on having a woman in huntin' camp. It meant they couldn't scratch, spit or piss just anywhere or anytime they felt like it. And they'd have to watch their language. And act like grownups. A woman in huntin' camp was just WRONG!

Dad, though, had a plan. He brought Mom along, and told her they were going to put her out on a stand. She would sit and wait for them, and they would drive the deer up to her. When she shot a deer, she was supposed to fire two more shots to let them know, and they would go help her dress it out. Well, the other half of the plan, once they had Mom all set up on a log in the cold and the wind, was that everyone else would go hunt on the other side of the ridge and leave her sitting alone in the weather all day long. She'd get so sick of it that she'd never want to go hunting again.

So The first morning, just before sunrise, Dad got Mom all set up sitting on a log on the top of a ridge in her bright red coat and cap, with her Winchester in hand. Then Dad headed down the hill to go hunt with his buddies. Not five minutes later, though, he heard from behind him, BANG. BANG BANG!

He couldn't believe it. She got a deer! Well, he was pretty impressed by her hunting skills, so he turned around and began climbing back up the ridge to help her. When he got to her stand he found her with her gun in the belly of a cowboy that she had backed up against a tree. The cowboy was talking fast and holding his hands high, saying, "OK, lady. You shot it, it's your deer. Honest to god, I won't argue about it any more. It's your deer. You can have it. Can I just get the saddle off it first?"

Now what?

I committed to Blogtoberfest - even got the button. And then, somehow, I just didn't get it done yesterday. Now what happens? Do they send large surly men to break my fingers? Will I have my epalets ripped off and my needles broken and be forbidden ever to knit again? Does everyone have to say harsh and hurtful things to punish me appropriately? Or can I just say that in an alternat universe I got the post in and it was wonderful? Should I post twice today to make up for it? How does this work?

We had a GED examiner's training day yesterday, with folks from all over the region. Gee it was fun to get together with people and talk shop. The economic downturn has brought about a 66% increase in GED candidates. No wonder we have seemed to be awfully busy.

I got home and worked on the last minute stuff for today's knitting teaparty. Pictures to follow. This morning, I still have to slice the bagettes and spread them with pate' , slice the brown bread and butter it, spread the yogurt cheese on the gingerbread, and make the apple compote. (So the house will smell of apples and cinnamon when people arrive.)

And it's hunting season. did I tell you guys about the first time my mom went hunting?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

How can you tell what month it is?

Obviously, from this picture, you know it's autumn. Colored leaves, a blue sky you could dive into. I wanted to get a shot of some students bundled in sweatshirts, but the idiots are still running around in t-shirts and flip-flops. Gotta look hot on campus after all, even if you can no longer feel your toes. And besides, it's SUNNY. It oughta be warm. (One of the points of maturity is when you realize that things rarely are the way they oughtta be. Life is SO unfair!)

This photo could be taken on any day from June till - oh, I dunno - November? The "native flora" in the right foreground are your only possible indicator - if you know what blooms when. This photo, and the previous one, were both taken on the same day.

As was this one. But with all the evergreens, this could be any bright day without snow, December or June. It's the little things you have to pay attention to. the feel of the air, the angle of the light. Right now we are getting lots of mushrooms following every rainy day, but mushrooms are really good at hiding, and unless you know where to look, and pay attention, you'll miss them.

Mushroom hunting is big business in this part of the country. Chantarelles and morelles can bring in enough money to feed a family through the winter. Good hunting area are fiercely guarded, and people have been shot over mushroom poaching. Mushroom camps are a lot like goldrush towns, with no law, lots of cash, and lots of sin to spend it on. It's not just the bears that will kill you if you wander off the trails back in the woods.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


So I stepped outside my front door yesterday, and look what got caught in the monkey trap! The neighbors LOVE Halloween!!

Halloween around here is often accompanied by a cold monsoon, so you want a costume that works over a waterproof parka. We get about thirty kids every year, and often, it's the parents that are having the best fun. My best candy-giving costume was a big piece of sheer black fabric shot through with gold thread. I just draped it over my head and, for the older kids, practiced my evil genius laugh. "Mwahahahahaha! Take some candy. Just take some." For little kids, I flipped it up so they could see my face, and smiled like a gentle granny.

DH and I will be going out this weekend to hunt the wiley pumpkin (they don't run very fast, and they nest in huge flocks, so they're not hard to hunt at all) and I will use my linoleum knives to carve away just the outer skin, so the candle light shines through artistically. Of course, having the house next door to this one leaves just about anything we do looking sorta lame.

There's another place down the street that put out three inflatable, lighted yard thingies last year. And yet another place about a mile away that does such a big deal that people come from all over the city to see it, the police close off the street, and the local high-school dance team goes over there on weekend nights to perform "Thriller"

Halloween is all about the costumes for me. One year I put on a white strapless evening gown with a full tulle skirt and lots of sequins, added a set of white wings, pointy ears and a sparkly wand, and went as a trendy waiter. "Hi, I'm Bruce. The special tonight is roasted larks tongues on polenta, drizzled artfully with a reduction of blackberry juice and grapefruit vodka."

Another year I dressed as a black widow spider in a black leotard with two sets of extra legs sewn under the arms, a red hourglass on the tummy, black fishnet hose and three inch heels, and a little black hat with a veil. I won first prize at the church party.

My favorite costume ever was one I saw from the bus as we drove past. A fellow was standing at a bus stop, reading a paper. As our bus passed, he lowered his paper to reveal his werewolf mask. It was brilliant!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


DH and I have breakfast at Sully's Cafe on Saturdays. Last Saturday, a young lady came in wearing a pair of boots that my inner three-year-old fell in love with! (I got her mom's permission to post a photo of the boot on my blog.) So for shoesday. a little pink boot with hearts on it. Wish it came in my size.

What is it about being committed to blogging that dries up the fountains of creativity? Other months, I can't wait to sit down and start babbling. But now that I am obligated to blog, all my words run away and hide. No topics present themselves, when usually they are fighting like a pile of monkeys to be first on the post. Well, I'm gonna go cut a hole in a coconut and tie it to a big log. Then I'm going to flash my Zippo lighter so it's all shiney in the sun. Finally, I'll drop the lighter ostentatiously into the coconut and go sit quietly a hundred feet away.
I will have made the hole just big enough to get the lighter in, but not so big that a monkey's fist, wrapped around the lighter, can pull out. Then, when I hear frenzied monkey screams, I will go catch the monkey, because they will NOT release the shiny thing once they have their hand on it. Do be aware that all the other monkeys will be up in the trees, shrieking and throwing things at you. That should give me lots to write about. I'll go build a monkey trap now.

Monday, October 05, 2009

High pressure

A ridge of high pressure is settling down on top of us and that means daytime sunshine and frosty nights. Fabulous weather for October. Except - we're ten inches below normal for rainfall this year, and October is when we usually start soaking it up. Well, maybe we'll have a wet November. But going out to fetch the paper was just a treat. The moon was silver dollar bright, casting shadows even under the streetlights, and Orion was smiling down at me.

Rolling out at five ay em has its downside, but the stroll out for the paper is almost a spiritual experience for me. Time to count my blessings. DH loves me. We have a dry, warm, solid house to live in. No one is shooting at us. Or dropping bombs on us. Or breaking down the door in the middle of the night to hurt us. The big earthquake hasn't hit us yet. (Another day of dodging that bullet.) We have food and water, electricity and heat. We are rich enough to keep pets, rather than raise food animals. We both have jobs. And computers to connect us to all our far-flung friends. We are so freaking wealthy and fortunate! And on top of all that, I can KNIT! Life is good.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

love these links!

This is a treat. Enjoy this young japanese street magician. And wait for the sneeze at the end.

Links make blogging ever so much easier. I don't even need to come up with real content. Thankyou, thank you for giving me linkage instructions!

On I-tunes, I subscribed to a bunch of free pod-casts, and got hours of weaving done while listening to episodes of "Wait! Wait! Don't tell me!" Doggone these people are clever! Of course, their guests can also be a treat. My favorite was a young man who used to be a bouncer for the Rolling Stones. Keith Richards, who was in charge of security, took him aside toward the end of a tour and said, "Look man, you've been with us for the last three tours. Isn't it time you did something with your life. This can't go on forever, and it's not a life for an old man." (At this point I'm nearly wetting my pants to think that Keith Richards who is now rocking in his 60s [70s?] is saying this.)So at the end of the tour, the young man went home to Denver, and with Keith's help, went to vetinary college. He now has his own program on the animal channel - Emergency Room Vets I think it's called.

The young fellow was a stitch, talking in a mellow, slightly stoned voice and telling stories about his touring days and his animal encounters. And then he won the little three question contest wherein the producers take a subject as far as possible from the guest's field of expertise. For this fellow, it was steroid abuse in professional baseball. I listened to this podcast twice in a row, then went back to it a couple of times later, and still laughed out loud. It's a good afternoon when it's warm enough to weave in the garage and listen to podcasts on the laptop. I finished the yardage for TY and got it in the mail. In exchange, he will make me a ring broach. His design is totally cool! I can't wait to show it off.

I'll close with a picture of a black alpaca becausehe's so darn pretty.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

my neighborhood

I took this shot on Thursday on the way home from a lovely lunch with LG. Life in the suburbs is verdant. October is when the rain starts, and we notice and APPRECIATE every bit of sunshine. It rained three times before dark, with sun breaks between showers.

One of the special treats of Thursday lunch with LG is the pack of male cyclists that whirr past the restaurant at noon. I don't know who they are, where they're from, or whither they are bound. I just watch them pass, martial thighs pumping under thin spandex, hairy calves flexing like scrambling litters of puppies, and the final view of all those tight, tight buns perched atop those tiny seats . . . Oh my, it's a pleasant event! I want to write a prayer of thanksgiving to the Goddess Lycra.

The primary treat of lunch with LG is the mutual affirmation and centering. We DO enjoy one another! Like-minded friends must be cherished. Time passes. People die. Enjoy 'em while you got 'em!

October is the bluest month for me. I just have to get past the death of summer, the dying of the light, the start of the long dark wetness. With November, I can start looking forward to our trip, then Christmas, then Valentine's Day, then my birthday, and then spring is in full swing and like Demeter, I am again ready to rock! So all I have to do is hang in for four more weeks and keep the sunny side up.

Planning the knitting party helps a lot, too. And the full-spectrum light DH got for me. Moreover, I have a long record of surviving Octobers, so I may sound a bit mopey through blogtoberfest, but it's no big deal.

Friday, October 02, 2009


Today's exercise is to use your imagination and visualize this picture rotated 90 degrees clockwise. Got it? Excellent! Very well done! Now you can see that this is a picture of a scarf draped over a daphne bush. I got the yarn at an estate sale for $1. No lable. Burn test tells me it's synthetic, but it has a nice soft chenille feel. I knitted it on size 10s, lengthwise, in gartersstitch, then chained a loopy fringe with the screaming last bits of the yarn. It took took just over one day of GED tests, so that means about 5 hours of knitting. If you are what you knit, I am fast, cheap, and easy.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

And then he grabbed the laser - part 2

First I want to dance with glee! You folks are wonderful and I am SO grateful. I now have directions for making a link. Wheee! It's the first day of Blogtober!

Yesterday, I went back to the dentist to have last week's work checked, and to get two more erroding fillings replaced. As he was planning his attack, he told the assistant, "Prepare two syringes." I remarked, "Syringe is such an unfriendly word. Couldn't you call it something cuddlier? Like, 'fuzzy bunny,' or 'baby kitty,' or something." The assistant giggled. The dentist thought for a minute and said, "That's not a bad idea. I'll bring it up at the next staff meeting. New assistants will have trouble learning the codes though. 'He wants fuzzy bunnies and it isn't even Easter!'"

I showed him the scarf I knitted while under his hands, pointing out a couple of places where I made mistakes. "Here's where you turned on the laser, and here's where we got that third shot of litocaine, and here's . . ." Actually, I'm quite pleased with the mistakes, because they're not going to bother me, but I certainly give them to someone else, so here's a scarf I know I'll keep. And it looks SO good on me!!

Dr.Chang was fascinated to find that I had knit the scarf from bamboo. The work in my hands was silk - tussah silk. He knew all about tussah silk. That was no biggie, but bamboo? Wow!

I started the silk scarf when I sat down.
Two hours and two new fillings later, I have this much to show. Pepper rather likes the needles.

So we went to work. And then he asked the assistant to turn on the laser.

"Ayargghhh??" I grunted in some dismay. It's amazing how well he can interpret grunts. He explained, "The laser is much more efficient at removing old fillings than using the old drill." So again, the flash and buzz, but this time, no barbecue.

I now have two new porcelain fillings that are works of art and should be good for another fourty years. I went on to my Writer's group with a numb face and tongue, and had to ask someone else to read for me.

Got home in time to kiss DH as he headed out for his regular dental cleaning. Next Monday, he's getting fillings replaced. Dinner should be something mushy. The lips will be too stiff to manage liquids, and it's not a good idea to chew when you can't feel the inside of your cheeks. Mashed potatoes and gravy should just about fill the bill.