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, March 31, 2010

just a question

There was a young lady in one of my test sessions who sniffed a big wet juicy sniff every two seconds for about an hour. I hand-delivered kleenex and she looked at me in puzzlement, and continued to sniff. Then I gave her the box of kleenex and told her there was lots and please feel free to use it. She looked bewildered and continued to sniff. Finally, the other guy taking the test said, "You sound like my 10 year-old son. Go ahead and blow your nose." She apologized very timidly, ceased to sniff, but still would NOT blow her nose. At all. I've run across this once or twice before. What am I missing here? Do the kids not realize that other people can hear them sniff? Or are they not aware that they ARE sniffing? Or do they think continual sniffing is less offensive than a good blow? Is there some sub-cultural thing about not blowing your nose in public? Are they afraid they'll leave DNA evidence? Did they just snort something and they don't want to blow it out? What is with this?

I did not, much as I wanted to, slap a wad of tissues down in front of her and beg, "For the sweet love of Jesus, would you just blow your nose?!"

She did not show up for the test she was scheduled to take in the next hour. Crap. She's been traumatized.

Things were so slow yesterday morning that I thought we might be in a Twilight Zone episode . . . where you step outside the building to see where everyone went, and you discover that the aliens have set you up in a sort of ant farm for the kiddies to watch. The three people scheduled for 8:30 tests didn't show, so I spent two hours dusting desk tops and wiping fingerprints from around door handles. Two of the 5 scheduled for math showed up, and three of the 7 scheduled for writing. By 3:30 I got a 50% turn-out - 7 of the 14 scheduled. I don't know what it was. Things were just slow all over. I wonder what today will be like?

Monday, March 29, 2010


This was the weekend when all the trees went green. Friday I remember the hills being covered in grey twiggery, and today, it's like a green mist has settled over everything. We have a weeping birch. Saturday morning, it had were tiny wee leaves the size of a mouse's ear. Today, they're an inch long. The apple blossoms are being covered over with leaves. The willows are drizzling emerald the length of their branches. Hawthornes? Spang! Full cover overnight. And our unpruned roses are rioting in new foliage. And I slept through it. I took Nyquill every four hours for 24 hours and I feel much better now. I can breathe through my nose, I can walk through the house without needing to stop and catch my breath, I can sleep through the night without being shaken awake with racking coughing spasms. Sleep is SOOOO goood! But I came to consciousness this morning and it was to a whole new world. It's raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock, but that's the valley for you, and the trees love it!

Bucky did a fine job on the reporting. And I am so grateful for the offers to show Lulu around. Let me get to work on a schedule. When would it be good for her to come and visit you? Heide, I know she'd love to see Mt. St. Helens, and Linda, I'm sure you could show her a good time. Donna, she will of course come to visit you on the east coast. she's a travelin' lamb!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bucky writes

Roxie's friend TY recently lost his father and is clearing out his father's home. He sold Roxie two big china hutches and she and her DH took us with them to pick the hutches up. Tim's father lived on Sauvie Island, a big island in the Wilamette River. Here's the view through the living room window.

Roxie didn't get any pictures of freighters moving by, but the house is right next to the major river channel, so these great big car freigthers and other huge cargo ships pass by all the time. But the Island is entirely wildlife refuge and farms. Very beautiful and bucolic.

Miss Lulu was quite smitten with TY. As you can see, he has quite an impressive fleece. Bobby, the photo hog, posed with her.

His hair is quite long down his back, too, as you can see.

I find it very interesting that humans are almost all born with colored wool, and as they age, it gets white. A sheep is born with his or her fleece and that's pretty much the color he or she will be. Roxie explained to us that humans often dye their fleeces while still wearing them. Now Lulu wants to go pink. Lulu, though a charming girl, is rather impulsive. She did have a grand time though, out in the spring air. We even drove past several flocks of sheep with new lambs, and we all waved as hard as we could.

I remember my lamby days: Warm milk and frolics in the pasture. Being so full of life and energy that it just lifted me off my feet and made me run and throw my legs around! Everything was a new experience! Just breathing was exciting. Of course, some of those new experiences weren't so good. When they put the band around the base of my tail, that really hurt! It faded away pretty fast, and soon I couldn't even feel it, but WOW was that a nasty surprise! And the first spell of cold rain and wind - Bucky and I just huddled up close to Maamaa and tried to stay warm. Maamaa promised us that our wool would grown nice and thick and we wouldn't even feel the rain, but it was pretty miserable waiting for it to happen. She would lick us with her warm tongue and that always felt good. And when the sun came out and things warmed up, it made us even happier than before. Grass was juicy and hay was crispy and life was pretty good for a lamb.

But grown up rams like me have responsibilities, and one of those responsibilities is to take Miss Lulu around and show her our beautiful state. Roxie has realized that she needs assistant sheep wranglers if she's going to do a decent job of this, so she is asking her local friends, "Would you like to help show Lulu the city and state?" We could do whatever you like - visit a park, go for a drive, go to the museum or the zoo, whatever suits your fancy. Any volunteers?

Friday, March 26, 2010

More notes from Oz

Since I'm still fighting the cold and not doing anything interesting, I'll share another adventure in Australia. On the way in to Canberra. Janette and Marc took us to a farmer's market held out at the race track. Remember, it's autumn in Australia.

They had beautiful baked good, of course.

And look at those red peppers next to the baby eggplants! Sooo pretty.

I've never seen cackleberries for sale at the local farmer's market

Nor do our local farmers sell sausage rolls or meat pies. These looked so yummy! but I wanted to save my appetite for dinner with Jejune and her family.

I bought leatherbark honey and have enjoyed it vastly. It goes well with hot water a bit of lemon to sooth the throat.

You know, I don't think this is all one cold. I think one big virus knocked me down, and then a bunch of opportunistic little viruses jumped me before I could get my feet back under me again. Well, it's gonna take more than some ragtag gang of rhino viruses to keep me down. Knitting is at my house in two weeks, and I gotta get up and attem!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

s'not my A game

Miss lulu Lamb has been getting downright shack-nasty lately. Bucky offered to take out for a frolic in the nice warm rain and she nearly snapped his head off.

Part of this is my fault. If I were feeling perkier, I could have taken the Lambiepie out for sundry adventures, but I'm just trying to get rested up and breathing freely, and that's so BOOOOORING!

Well, nothing cheers up a young lamb like a little attention, so I took her with me to have my teeth cleaned.

Lulu was especially imprressed with the big camera that takes pictures of your teeth. Here she is, smiling for the camera.

I introduced Lulu to Kevin, my dental hygenist, and they got along splendidly. Kevin is used to dealing with pretty little girls.

Now Lulu wants to be a "gentle high dentist," when she goes to work. Jejune, did you have any idea? Or is this just a whim?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

knitting has occurred

On the flight to Australia, I knitted a pair of hunting gloves for a friend of DH. This is the charcoal alpaca and silk roving I bought and sent to Dave Daniels who then spun it and sent it back. To keep the gifting going, I made the gloves for I-Dad's 50th birthday present.

Then, using the remainder of the silk and alpacca, and some Mystery Batt yarn I had just spun up, I started a wrap while we traveled around, and flew back. The mystery batt is not going to go far enough, so I am adding in some white yarn to extend it. It should be a nice warm wrap at the very least, and I do love the mitered squares!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Random photo for style

I might have tried this look in my younger days, though I would probably paired the over-the-knee socks with high heels. The skirt is pretty interesting in and of itself, and could not be worn by anyone weighing more than 87 lbs. without looking like someone trying to pretend the fullness hides the fat, but not succeeding. This was a look I saw fairly frequently among the young and slim in Sydney. Also, opaque black tights, ballet flats, and a skirt kind of like a black ace bandage stretched across the bum. If hemlines are an indication of economy, then Sydney's is very high.

Every patch of greenery in Sydney, and there are lots of patches of greenery in Sydney, has a resident Ibis. Who will you be having lunch with today?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

donning a chook

Really? Was is only two weeks ago? Two weeks ago, Janette and Marc took us to an artisan's fair in Canberra. We had considered going to see the French Impressionists at the National Gallery, but the line went clear round the block and off into the distance. The artisan's market seemed like a far better option.

It was delightful! Really nice merchandise, art and food, in a spacious,accessible location, right next to the glassworks.

Naturally, I focused on things that interested me.

I bought a skein of hand-dyed merino yarn - worsted weight - pink for my inner 3 year old. the lady gave me a deal since it was the last of her last years' dyelot. Anyone expecting any baby girls?

The display of oriental rugs was opulent.

And then there was the lady selling hats. I didn't see how I could carry this one home, but I DID want it! And notice the gorgeous pink pearls in my ears? Janette bought me a sumptuous birthday present from a jewler at the show.

DH bought a cup of hot, spiced orange juice for me which was a godsend for my cold, and then we toured the glassworks which was really neat, too. And then, after TomTom took us twice around the capital building (which is uber-green and has lawn for roofing on most of the place - just cool!) we got on the road back to Sydney. I didn't have time or energy to rave properly about Canberra which is a beautiful city with spacious parks and a road system that is virtually impossible to navigate unless you already know where you're going. And awesome people like the generous Jejune and the tintinabulating Bells live there.

Chook, by the way, is what Aussies call a chicken. Guess I'll just have to build my own chicken hat.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Sydney retains touches of Victorian opulence and excess that just delight me. The iron grillwork shows me that blacksmiths have an artistic side. Wouldn't it be vastly more fun to turn out these bits of lacework rather than boring old grills and bars?

This is all downtown of course. The suburbs don't show much of this conspicuous consumption. But for prosperous businesses, what a splendid way to flaunt their success!

Friday, March 19, 2010

sheep shots

It's a beautiful day, but between the Nyquill hangover and the cough-syrup fuzz, I'm just not up to wrangling three sheep. However, Lulu was mad to get out in the sunshine, so the bahboys wrestled for the priveledge of taking Lulu out in the yard. Bucky farts, but Bobby bites. Have you ever been sheep-bit? Bucky will be lame for a week! Bobby escorted Lulu out for a stroll around the paddock.

Meeting the magnolia.

The flowers frame her dainty beauty.

Bobby and Lulu amidst the daffodils.

Lulu loves the early tulips!

after much frolicking in the sun, capering and cavorting and leaping about in quite sheeply fashion, the sheep lay down to catch some rays and chew their cuds.

Fly knows everything is better with a kitty, so he lay down to help them. The cud-chewing thing is not his forte, but laying down in the sunshine he is good at.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

notes from the paddock

Bucky Merino here, your roving ramporter.

Roxie is coughing like a tubercular pony and still falling asleep at the drop of a kleenex, so she has not yet had time to take us out and about for photographs. The lovley Lulu kept Bobby and me well entertained during the whole of the long flight back from Sydney, and we have all been snoozing and napping and chewing our cuds, but the sun is out and the flowers are waving in the wind and Lovely Lulu wants to go frolic in the grass. Roxie has promised us, cough or no cough, jet lag or not, tomorrow, we will start to show Oregon to Lulu. I don't know if Oregon is ready.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

style notes

Sydney is a very cosmopolitan, very elegant and business-like city. The little black dress is showcased every where you look. Six years ago, it seemed to me that severe black and white was the uniform. This year, I noticed a lot of color accents. Many women were wearing a lovely red-coral color, though violet and sea-green made a good showing, too. But what really struck me was the wonderful use of accessories. Stylish, creative wraps, capes and scarves were much in evidence as were bold, dramatic bracelets and necklaces.

And the shoes! Oh my gosh, the shoes! Silky, tanned bear legs with beautiful metalic sandals, Peep-toe black pumps showcasing a coral-red pedicure to match the coral red scarf flung about the throat in a way that says, "I'm beautiful, and I don't even try."

Shoes like these.

and these

and these.

When I asked the young lady if I could take a photo of her shoes, she was flattered. Her boyfriend was all bristly and suspicious as if I was doing something kinky, but she knew she was wearing beautiful shoes!

Wish I had gotten the profile on these shoes. The sides of the 3 inch platforms are crimson! and the top is zebra stripe.

Sydney is also the only place I have seen women actually walking around in four inch high heels. They were all young, sleek, thin women, and they didn't have casual smiles on their faces nor did they have an easy swing to their stride, but damn did their legs look good!

Back to work today. High fashion on campus is getting your socks to match. Lots of sneakers and bedroom slippers. I can't remember the last time I saw someone wearing high-heels on campus. Sydney was a drastic change of pace.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gnarrrgh - brainzzz . . .

We are home. We are awake (Pepper cat took care of that. She launched herself from my belly to the shelf above the bed. And I wasn't going to lie there and let that 12 lb furr-covered cannon ball drop back to my belly when she was ready to get down.)

We are unpacking and sorting out presents and counting our marbles. Thought I had lost my phone but we found it. Thought we had lost Kyle's mom's present, but we found it. We have to go buy groceries, but not just yet. Kyle's glasses broke the first day we arrived in Oz. He made do with a pair from the drugstore for two weeks. Gotta get the glasses to the shop. And sleep keeps sneaking up behind me and throwing a sack over my head, whacking me in the back of the knees, and sitting on my chest when I fall down. It's amazing how you can stay alert and strong when you have to, and then, when the need is gone, you just collapse like a pop-up tent

You guys are soo sweet. I have lots more photos to share of the wonderful world of Oz, and now that I'm not hemoraghing money every time I get on line, I can take the time to load them up.

For starters, how about some shots from the flight?

Here's Crater Lake from the airplane window. Still kind of snowed in up there.

Here's the central part of the Cascade range from the west side. The Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Bachelor. All snow-capped year-round but especially pretty in the end-of winnter snow.

And lovely Mt. Hood, welcoming us home.

Lisa, our cat sitter, was good enough to give us regular reports on the kids. Fly unbent enough to give her a kiss, Ben even allowed her to pet him. But the last report of the green beer, the acid rock music, and Ben cavorting on the counter with a tea-cup on his head (I can see it. I believe her!) made me think we had been gone long enough.

The sheep were quiet every time I checked on them during the flight. This should have meade me suspicious. They are all looking rather matted around the nethers and all they want to do is sleep. The bag they were in was x-rayed leaving Sydney, passing through HongKong, and arriving in Los Angeles, then yet again for the flight from LA to Portland. I think they enjoyed the tickle. This might go beyond a good crimp in the wool and extend right into kinky.

We flew Alaska Airlines from LA to Portland. I love a corporation with a sense of humor. When we got onboard, we saw a plaque announcing that our plane was an Alaska Airlines Salmon fourty Salmon. (747) What a way to end the trip, flying home on a salmon!

Monday, March 15, 2010

the willywagtail has landed

I don't know for sure what hemisphere this is, what day it is, what time it is, but I had a hot bath 12 hours ago and I'm Fairly sure that didn't happen on the plane. The hotel stationery says Los Angeles. That means one more flight and we'll be home.
The last flight to Portland out of LA last night left at 10:30 PM, and we were still in line to go through customs at 10:30. Did you know that US Immigration now requires foriegn visitors to be photographed and fingerprinted upon entry to the US? Boy, does THAT slow the lines up!

But it was a marvelous trip and a grand way to turn 60! Even with the cold. Just a few more hours till we see our kitties and snooze in our own bed. There's no food in the house except frozen chicken, or kitty kibbles, but we'll manage. We'll be home! Soon. Very soon.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Yesterday we slept in, had a final breakfast at a little café we have begun frequenting, strolled around and bought some final souveniers, appreciated thi differences between the city on a work day and the city on a weekend , and mostly counted our marbles and packed our suitcases.

At five, we met Marc and Janette at the Sydney Tower for a tasty dinner and a breath-taking view. And the restaurant revolves! 360 degrees of splendid vista for us to enjoy during our meal. My photos don’t do it justice but here they are.

Janette and Marc are the kindest,most gracious people one could ever hope to know, and I don’t know how to thank them for the wonderful time they have shown us. I wanted to bring them splendid presents from the US. Instead, I gave Marc my cold - and it’s a bugger. He's fighting the good fight, though. Best of luck to him!!

So today we begin the 28 hour process of going home. DH wants to take the train to the airport. Much cheaper.. We don’t have a schedule or a ticket, and it’s Sunday.. The hotel conceriege has been a phenomenal resource so far. Maybe he can help with this as well.

Later: The concierge gave us clear and complete directions for finding the ticket kiosk in the train station. That was the last complete and correct instructions we got. The guy who sold us the train tickets said to pick up or train on platform 6. He did not mention that many trains stop at platform six and we needed to take the one to Wolli Creek. We wound up on our way out to Guzzunderdabed or something like that, so we had to get off, cross a set of windy platforms, and catch another train going in the opposite direction.
Then we followed signs and guesses to the check-in counter where we had to wait an hour for the nice boys and girls to show up and check us in. Safely checked in,and waving goodby to our two check-through bags, we got incomplete instructions for finding the business lounge. the sweet girl neglected to mention that we had to go through security first. And no one told us we had to fill out a green card to get out of the country. What's that all about? Anyway, we made it through all the hoops and are now sitting in the business-class lounge, enjoying tea and cookies and waiting for ourflight to start to load.

My cold is making a last ditch effort to incapacitate me. It has settled above and between my eyebrows with four Taiko drummers beating the crap out of my sinuses. But alll I have to do is get on the nice airplane and I will have 14 hours to sleep the sucker off. I have been a big whiney baby today. I don't feel good, my ribs hurt from coughing so much, and I'm not ready to leave. Snivel!!! If I hadn;t had so much fun, in spite of being sick, it wouldn't be so hard to go.

Thank you, thank you, Janette and Marc, Jejune and Dotter, Rose Red and Grandma Flea, for showing me such a grand time!! When you come to Oregon, I know how totake care of you now!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lessee, the computer tells me it’s 5pm on March the 12th. Which means that in Australia, it’s lunchtime on Saturday the 13th.

Yesterday was such a treat for me! Janette took me to the yarn stores she frequents, (Marc drove. DH, that prince of a fellow, rode along and smiled.
Sheep in the wool shop

Then we drove to a charming restaurant / shop set in the middle of a park, where we met Rose Red and Grandma Flea for lunch. The poor boys sat at one end of the table and applied themselves to their excellent food, and we women chattered on as if we’d been neighbors for years. It was SO wonderful!! As you can see, Rose red is blooming!

After that, we stopped by a market and picked up some prawns and some meringues for pavlovas, then finished up the day at Janette’s daughter’s house. We met the three grandkids, who are enchanting little imps. The little girl is six and the twin boys are 4 and if you could tap off and bottle their energy, you could run the Western US for a week. Then “Daddy” came home and we had an Aussie barbecue. They put prawns on the barbie for me. (and steak. And sausages for the kids) It was deelicious!! I practically ate myself into a stupor.

Then the floor show started. The Kookuburras arrived. CJ and Jody just put in a glass fence to fence off their pool. the kookuburras like to swoop across the yard, and CJ is such a grand housekeeper that she even keeps her glass fence sparkling clean.

So the young birds, who just can't seem to figure this out, repeatedly swooped in and smacked into the glass fence. This guy sat on the ground for about twenty minutes, trying to make sense of it all.

Kookuburra sitting on the old swing set,
eating all the sausages the kids ain't et.
Laugh kookuburra, laugh kookuburra
You'll figure this out yet.