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.”

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

blocking the circle

The great circle sweater is finished and blocking. Pepper is helping you get a sense of perspective as to how big it is - about five feet in diameter. I sewed the armholes shut to make blocking easier. I'm still not happy with the way it came out, but there are other projects I have to get going on, and it will make a splendid shawl until I get the cohones to frog back to the last increase and start all over again.
Why do we have a piece of carpet in the garage? Well, various male cats, no longer with us, had peed on it, and I spread it out in the garage to try to clean it, but cat pee never really comes out, so there it sits, and the living room is bare, giving the dust bunnies freedom to roam, and allowing hilarious traction options to the cats. Pepper spins her wheels on fast accelerations, and takes the corners scrambling sideways. Ben has chosen to leap up and ricochet off various pieces of furniture and door frames. Squirrel hasn't been sufficiently comfortable to do more than slink through the living room, and the two senior cats just don't hurry.
The young bull and the old bull watched the farmer turn a bunch of hefiers into the pasture. "Check out those babes!" said the young bull. "Let's run down there and love us a few."
"No," said the old bull. "Let's WALK down there and love them all."
If you want to laugh your socks off, check out Heide's post yesterday at
Put your beverage down first.

Monday, August 30, 2010

happy families

When visiting something like the dahlia festival, there's more to photograph than just flowers. there's moms and dads and cutie pies.

I asked if I could take a photo of the pretty girl and everybody smiled!

Wouldn't you just love to see their photos? That outfit is so stunning amidst the blossoms.

The lady in the purple top grabbed DH and asked him to take their picture together. Look at that munchkin pose! I grabbed a shot of them while DH was getting them organized. And the teen was just SO not into the family bonding thing. Grandma didn't speak English, but she nodded a regal thanks when DH handed the camera back. He's such a good boy.

And then there's this peculiar couple . . . (photo at arm's length.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Eye candy

DH in his ongoing efforts to spoil me silly, took me out to the Swan Island Dahlia Farm (Which is now located in Canby, rather than on Swan Island, but not to worry. Everyone can find it.) I took 152 photos which will be turning up from now on whenever I want something bright and cheery to go with a post.

The weather was perfect. We couldn't have gotten a nicer day if we hadpicked it out of a catalog. Warm, not hot, sunny, not windy. Blue skies, fluffy white clouds, acres and acres of colors!

We wandered through the fields, then went in to the display barn. I was amazed at the variety of sizes and shapes that dahlias come in. This one was about the size of a cookie.

Here's my hand to give some perspective with this shaggy monster. I have a vision of taking just one of these. floating it in a bowl of water and using it as a centerpiece on a nicely set table. VaVOOM! In the display barn, they had beautiful arrangements, and hundreds of people walking around with catalogs in hand, husbands and wives arguing hotly over which to order. "That's the wrong color to go in that part of the garden!" "Yes, but Becky's getting married next August and it's the perfect color to go with her bridesmaids dresses. We could save a thousand dollars if we could grow their bouquest ourselves." - - -" Another red Dahlia? How many red dahlias do you need?" - - - "I put an x by the ones I want, then he goes around and circles the ones he wants, then we buy the ones with both xs and circles."

It wasn't too crowded.

I would have ordered masses of dahlias, but they need lots of sun. Our yard has lots of shade. And trying to make a choice would have driven me mad. Anyhow, Dahlias take a bit of tending. It would be a shame to make them submit to my black thumb.
But as you maight guess from the tilt of the horizon here, I was quite giddy with joy when we left.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Road trip

So I drove home to see my brother, my sil and my mom. the drive starts with 70 miles of freeway (I-5)

Cruising through the North end of the verdant Willamette Valley - some of the richest farmland on earth.

As you may have noticed, I am taking all these photos one-handed out the car window, so they are not carefully framed or set up.

Then a left turn onto Highway 20 headed up four thousand feet into the Cascade mountain range. Here's where I stopped for a potty break.
I like a nice view when I whizz in the woods.

Detroit Lake was created by damming the Santiam river. It's a big, beautiful recreation location and water reservoir, not to mention a handy hydroelectric producer. And it's raht purdy, too.

A fire swept through the crest of the pass area about 6 years ago. Recovery is slow.

The wet spring gave rise to lots of lush grass growth, which the dry summer has turned into tinder. A lightning strike now will start a grass fire through here, but there's not much timber left to burn.

This is what it's supposed to look like.

My brother got antsy, loaded Mom and my SIL into the car, and met me on the road. I couldn't figure out why that old fart suddenly showed up on my tail and started following so darn close, so I pulled over to let him pass, and when he flipped me the bird, I recognized my brother. We pulled off the road here, and spent about twenty minutes chatting, then he said, "Well, I got things to do. Good to see ya." And it wasn't till I was back on the road headed home that I realized this probably wasn't what most folks would consider a normal family visit. It's pretty normal for my family.

For a treat, I took myself to Suttle Lake Lodge for lunch. Suttle Lake has been a resort for over a hundred years.

The lodge is new, though. The old lodge was a log cabin and probably wouldn't pass any health inspections. Generations of pack rats lived under the place, and their treasure troves must have been awesome!

I got a seat on the deck right next to the lake.

Close enough to stick my foot through the rails and dandle my toes in the water. And suddenly I was five years old again and remembering what fun it was to swim there. And I wished I had a swimsuit with me. Amazing how fifty five years can vanish like that.
As with any rustic resort, the food was overpriced and merely adequate, but the experience was grand!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What we've been up to

On Saturday, DH and I took a walk along the river downtown. There's a 2 mile path that crosses two bridges and circles the river, running under the freeway ramps on the east side, and bringing you up to the Saturday Market on the west side. the Saturday Market covers several blocks. The part closest to the river is mostly artisans and food booths. As you move west, into the Skidmore Fountain area, the booths begin to carry imported goods. Indian beaded and mirrored bags, Tibetan clothing, baskets from Ghana, and Chinese herbs. It's fascinating, and will give you a total case of sensory overload in NO time!

Here's DH beside the Skidmore Fountain - a relic of the 19th century elegance of our young city.

The market is always bustling on Summer Saturdays. It stays open till Christmas, then closes from January through May.

One fellow had come down with a pair of bloodhounds. I had no idea they were so BIG.

Along our walk we had to stop and enjoy the world's smallest park. It's in the guinness Book of World Records.

Click to embiggen the legend.

Yep. It's completely contained on a manhole cover. I remember when it was just a plastic tree and a plastic bush glued to the steel manhole cover. Great fun to show visitors.

And here's the newest member of the family - Miss Squirrel. She has done nothing but eat since she arrived. Her coat has that reddish protein-deficiancy cast to it. And she's soooo tiny!

I'm not sure why we tend to collect black cats. That's Fly closest to the door, Squirrel by the end table, and Pepper with her ears flat. We have had no fights yet, but Pepper wants to make sure that Squirrel knows who is boss cat around here. Ben runs away from Squirrel. Candy regally ignores everyone.

On the knitting front, Janette sent me four sets of Addi circular needles - steel and bamboo points, 150 centimeters and 120 centimeters. Bless your dear, dear heart, Janette! The great circle sweater is going ever so much faster now!

I'm in work limbo and trying to get myself organized to be productive around the house. Got some spinning done yesterday, and loads of laundry. Today I need to walk down to the dollar store and buy some more hangers. Where do they go? If we had enough hangers to hang up all the clothes before we put them on, why can I not find the hangers when the clothes have been washed? Oh well, it's a good excuse for a walk. And I need an excuse. Just getting out and hiking around doesn't do it. I've thought about putting in the earbuds and taking the i-pod, but people keep getting killed because they can't hear the traffic around them. Maybe just one ear? We'll see.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Look at my forehead

Is there printing on my forehead? Does it say, "Idiot" or "Patsy" or "Miss Easy Mark 1972" Or maybe there's some secret cat sign on our porch. We are now a five cat family again. The neighbors to the south of us - they of the free-range child care and 2 pitbulls - have violently seperated and are moving. The big white fluffy male cat, Charlie, found a home with a family down the street, and has been living there a few weeks now. But there was a tiny fluffy female who wound up on our porch, starving. She should have been spayed and may already be pregnant (Fly, having been neutered for years, was quite, quite puzzled by her advances and entreaties.) I finally got a chance to talk to the female half of the disintigrating family and asked her about the little black and white kitty and she said, "Oh f___ her. His sister asked us to keep the cat for a few days and it's been months now. I'm not taking on any more mouths to feed!"

"Are her shots up to date?" I asked.

"We haven't been able to afford diappers for the baby, let alone shots for the cat!"

So DH and I have taken the little cat into our home, and I will take her to our vet on Monday. She's too shy for a photo yet. Since she's about as big as a squirrel, and has a lovely fluffy tail, DH has named her Squirrel. She is a gentle little thing, quite happy to cuddle, but intimidated by all the resident cats. Right now, she is living behind the dryer.

So about that writing on my forehead - Is it really, really obvious or what?

Friday, August 20, 2010

another fair day

DH got sent home early on thursday due to lack of work. (A bottleneck further up the process that will deliver lots of parts and overtime suddenly in a big clump.) So we took Friday and went to the Clackamas County Fair. This is one of my favorite fairs. Clackamas is a predominantly rural county, so there are lots of 4-H clubs and lots of folks showing their veggies and flowers and critters and handwork. We went first to the women's building which I shouldn't call that anymore, because lots of men are competing now and maybe one year I can get DH to enter his marvelous chocolate cake that he makes from scratch. Anyhow, the photos and quilts and knitting was grand! I'm certainly not gonna compete against those quilts, but my knitting surely stands a And they started poetry competition. I am SO there!
Then we went to the bunny barn. Isn't this just the most adorable bit of fluff you ever saw?
What a darling dwarf!
Some bunnies have looong droopy ears.

And some have the cutest, perkiest ears you ever saw! Some of the bunnies would fit in the palm of your hand, and some would make a whole stew all by themselves. There were only a few angora bunnies. In previous years, some of the bunnies have overheated in the show sheds. This year, many of the competitors have begun bringing a small marble tile for the bunny to sit on, because marble is always cooler than the surrounding air.

Next, we went to the chicken barn. The colors and varieties never cease to astound me.

I don't know who the turkey tom was showing off for, but ain't he purty?

Then we met some nice young ladies taking their llamas for a walk.

This one should have been called Tyra Banks. Pose for the camera, darling. Now a profile. Oh, work it, baby!

The goat barn had more kids than I have ever seen before.

Does this look like a comfortable pregnancy? Bet she has backaches all the time!

Quite the slumber party. There are three kids piled on the hay bale, and two more tucked behind mom next to the feeder.

All three of these does had twins. And everybody was napping as hard as they could.

Laurie makes the world's best soap. I use nothing but her goatsmilk soap on my face, and absolutely must come to the fair every year to stock up. She sets up in the Pioneer village. When I used to work the village as well (with my loom and spinning wheel) she was a kindly godsend to me. (I HATE camping! The whole thing with the pioneer village is that you sleep on site. And DH, who has a real job, wasn't willing to commute and stay with me. I missed him SO MUCH! One night, Laurie found me walking around barefoot in the dark in my nighty. I was sound asleep, trying to find DH. Laurie steered me back to my tent and tucked me in with prayers. I stayed put after that.)

New to the fair this year is a wild animal exhibit. It's a sanctuary program. People get exotic pets because those darling little cubs are so cute, then they grow into 400 lb young lions, and the owners get scared of them. So the poor critters wind up in the sanctuary. Here's a young lion playing with his basketball.

I greatly appreciated the admonititory signs.

Isn't he a handsome boy?

Baby lion was pacing so constantly that I couldn't get a decent shot of him. He wanted to get to the baby tiger sleeping in the next cage.


We wandered through all the vendors. DH looked up, attracted by the movement, and said, "There's a shot." He was right!

After the fair, we went home via the Canby ferry. I just love riding the ferry! It's operated by the state, and is a wonderful relic of history.

View up-river from half-way across.
Down river looks pretty much the same except without the flag. It's smooth green water edged by thick green trees and bushes. It was a sort of cool day - up to 78 in the shade by 1 PM, so the jet-skiers and raft rats hadn't made it out yet. W had the whole river to ourselves. Sigh! (Except for the guy in the van ahead of us who had more random tattoos than LA Ink and was accompanied by a little red pomeranian on a pink leash. All during the ride across the river, the guy held the pom in his arms and talked baby talk to him. I found it quite disorienting. If they wanted to fit together, he should have given the pom a mohawk haircut. Lapdog with an attitude.

Here is the falls at Oregon City. the river is really down right now. I have seen it when the river was so high that all the rocks were covered and the falls just looked like a big ripple in the current.

There is a wall to keep you from falling down the cliff at the overlook. I got a kick out of this old gent who clearly didn't give a rip about preventative walls.
All this on a Friday. What does the rest of the weekend have in store for us? I can hardly wait to find out!
PS we had lunch at Five Guys Hamburgers and boy was I pleased. None of that beef-greased cardboard like they flip off at MacDonalds. Real ground beef in their burgers, and real potatoes in their french fries. Have you ever seen one of those french fry slicers where the guy sets the potato on end under the cutting grid, then shoves down the handle and zzziiip, the potato is transformed to a handfull of quarter inch square shafts, skins still clinging to the outside pieces? I swear they have a couple of steroid dazed weightlifters in the back room, hammering away with a dozen of those things. The best french fries I've had in decades! And the burger - oh juicy and falling apart and covered with grilled onions and grilled mushrooms, sliced pickles, and just a crisping of lettuce. (Some places practically hide the burger inside the hand-sized leaf of tired lettuce they slap on the bun.)
I threw caution to the winds, vowed to walk every day next week, and feasted! Woman does not thrive by salads alone. Occasionally, she needs salt, grease, and grilled meat!! I am woman! Hear me nom!