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.”

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oct 31

The skies cleared overnight, and in the morning. we got sun shine!

The trees are putting on their colors, and the early sun makes them glow. There's a reason photographers call this "The golden hour."

Wearing fluffy blue robe, slippers, and hairstyle resembling a tumbleweed, I wandered around in front of the house in the misty morn, snapping photographs of the 6:00AM lighting effects.

It even gives the beloved old ranch house a touch of charm.

Ben, however, couldn't be bothered to bestir himself.

Friday, October 29, 2010


One: I have stayed at goal weight for six weeks. Today, I made lifetime at Weight Watchers! YAY!!!

Two: We got a sunbreak this afternoon.

Pretty trees!

And here's our little front yard maple. She goes yellow from the inside out.

Yet another Halloween costume. "Somewhere, over the rainbow . . . " I carried a stuffed gecko and kept telling folks, "We're off to see the lizard."

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Avast ye scurvy seadogs! I be that tasty wench, Arrrrugula!

In the meantime, when I'm not indulging my fantasies, I've been working on a king-size broken dishes pattern comforter for a young fellow DH works with. King-size is a hellabig quilt!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

dressed for the occasion

Everyone around me is acting really stoned today.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The new litterbox

Nine hundred and ninety nine husbands out of a thousand would say, "Geeze, would you clean the damn litterbox more often? It's startin' to stink!" My Darling Husband (DH) knows what a collossal bore it is to clean those festering nests of cat poo, is no more eager to do it than I am, and is ever on the lookout for a better way that will get us BOTH out of the feces disposal business. And so we have - (cue the fat flying babies bearing banners and winged hearts and accompanied by harp music and angelic voices singing, "Ahhhhhhhhh!")
The Cat Genie.
This marvelous device will scoop the poop and dump it into a tank which flushes down one of those tubes on the left. Then it will wash and sanitize the box and the biodegradable plastic litter, and, with jets of hot air, dry the whole shootin' match ready for the next cat to dump. It does everything but wipe their fuzzy butts! Now if only we could get them to use it. The manufacturer suggest that we locate the box in the same place as their usual boxes, and just allow the regular boxes to get so nasty that the new set-up seems preferable.
Most of the litter trays are in the laundry room. The Cat Genie needs access to cold water and a drain, so DH pulled the shelves out of the cupboard between the washer and dryer, and installed the facility. And he used a one dollar throw rug from a garage sale to carpet their pissoir. And he even mounted a light in there for them. And of course, they treat it with profound suspicion and distrust, and the house reeks from the overflowing boxes. Tomorrow, I will clean and empty all but two of the boxes, and mix the new litter, half and half ,with the old to see if that will give them the idea. Wish us luck. We don't know how successful the Cat Genie is yet, because the crap-weasles won't have a thing to do with it. But hope springs eternal.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

punkin huntin

The day was lowering - fit for rain. the clouds hung black-bellied low. But it was punkin-huntin time again, and we were bound to go.

We donned our gumboots and our hats, and set out on the drive. I brought a thermos full of tea, to keep us both alive.

But lo -- out in the distance there, the clouds begin to break. A bit of sunshine lances down. The chance is ours to take!

the pumpkin farm is going strong. The lot is halfway filled. The very kiss of wind is warm. I think we won't be chilled!

Oh, bring your granny, bring the kids. Come join the merry throng.

There's lots of fun for one and all. Come, bring the dogs along.

The golden orbs are great and small, and scattered all around.

A plethora of pumkins wait, all lying on the ground.

The photo opportunities are many vast and varied.

And wheelbarrows are at hand, for gourds too big to carry.

The sun broke through, and shone upon the fine atumnal glory.

And here's our haul, but that's not all. There's much more to our story.

But I'm done with this ding-dong rhyming. DH, being the boy that he is, took the scenic route home and we wound up cruising alongside the Columbia River.

Here is one of the newer bridges across the river. You see only half the bridge. The other half continues on the far side of the island. It's a noble span.
As you can see, about the time we left the pumpkin patch, the weather started closing in again.

While on our last trip, we met some people who were astounded at the notion of houseboat communities, so I thought I'd get a picture of this one. You own your house (It floats on pontoons) and you rent moorage space, including sewer, water, and power hookups. Some houseboats are multi-million dollar affairs, three stories high and taking up two dock spaces. With perhaps a boathouse in a third space. This is a much more humble neighborhood. The utilities are attached to the walkways that float between the boats. The whole set-up rises and falls with the tide via rings riding up and down the tall poles so obvious in the photo. During floods, though there have been instances of the water getting so deep that the whole shooting match rises over the tops of the poles and is swept away. Tugboats chase everything down when the flood abates, and haul the salvagable bits back to the owner's marina of choice. (Usually one with taller poles) and life goes on.
When we got back to the house, DH installed the CatGenie - the self-flushing and sanitizing litterbox. We shall see how this turns out. Photos tomorrow.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Benita, at Basically , is taking a weekly photo of a local scene as a record of the seasonal changes in her part of the country. ( Over the last three weeks, autumn has hit her hard, and the photos are lovely.) So I thought it might be fun to do the same.
This is our front yard maple tree. The top was broken out in a storm, and the branches projecting into the yards have been cut back, so it is growing rather like an espaliered fruit tree, without the espalier. As you can see, yesterday was slightly misty, and Maple was pretty much in full leaf.
As for yesterday's rant, check back and see what Heide had to add. Her husband is Air Guard, and has an idea of what-all is involved. Holy Crow!
Secret Service guarding Presidents and their families is starting to look like a growth industry. As I understand it, a pres and his family will get coverage for life. Of course, you have to be willing to take a bullet for your assigned person, but what are they gonna do if you chicken out at the last moment - shoot you?
How many paranoids does it take to change a lightbulb?
Who wants to know?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ya gotta wonder

President Obama came to town yesterday to support the Democratic candidate for Governor of the State of Oregon. Like any other metropolitan area, we are strapped for cash, and the police security for this visit ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Traffic on a major arterial was stalled from three to seven PM. Around ten thousand people stood in line for hours for a chance to squeeze into the convention center just to get a look at the President in the flesh.

There is a - what to call it? Glamour? Fascination? Some kind of power that goes with the office, that makes people disrupt their whole day just to glimpse someone famous at a distance. Add to that, the personal charisma of the individual. I begin to understand why a visit from the President actually DOES help a candidate in an election. It's completely illogical, but then, there is little about politics that IS logical.

President Obama is the most securely guarded president in history. We'll be paying for this visit for quite a while. They ran a decoy motorcade before they let the real one go through. Which was kind of silly because the TV was broadcasting pictures of the President chatting with local dignitaries at the same time as the mock motorcade was enroute. But everyone in that motorcade probably got hazardous duty pay anyhow.

Now I understand why he actually has to be here. It's magic. He could have done a live, closed circuit broadcast from the safety of the oval office for a hell of a lot less money, but it wouldn't have had anywhere near the same effect. One woman, who had been standing on the concrete for hours already, was interviewed about an hour before AirForce One touched down. She said,"I came to see Him when He was campaigning. He touched my hand. There's no way I would miss Him today."(you could clerly hear the capital letters in her voice.)One of the high points of her life was when some guy brushed her fingertips on his way through a crowd. I'm sure she tells everyone she talks to that "President Barak Obama touched my hand." And in doing so, she borrows a shred of his magic to brighten her own life. She feels a bit more specical because he actually touched her.

I begin to appreciate the value of the live appearance. You can go to a live concert and get the magic, or you can watch a video at home, with perfect audio and exquisite close-ups and all the comforts of your own living room. If you are interested in the quality of the entertainment, the video is far superior. But the video lacks the magic.

Man, the kittens of my imagination are going to have a lot of fun unraveling this ball of thought.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

the neighbor's halloween set-up

I think that if I were actually young enough to want to go "Twickrtweet"ing, there is no way in hell I would go to this place.

At night, they have devices that flash a pair of tiny red, eye-like lights under the vines, then create a rustling as the unseen whatever scuttles away.

Low moans, and the occasional dying-rat squeal issue from hidden speakers. Although it doesn't show well, there is a coccoon dangling from the tree that contains an action figure doll that slowly writhes and grunts as it apparently struggles to escape.

I, frankly, prefer things more low-tech. I am charmed by the lisping munchkins and the dramatic teens. And I applaud the brave parents who bring their spawn out regardless of the weather, rain or wind or bitter cold, and wait patiently while that annual rite of courage is enacted and the darling dumpling marches, alone, up to a stranger's house to hit them up for candy. Most kids think,"trickrtreat" is a magic word that causes the materialization of sugar.I have never asked what the threatened trick might be. Might try that this year.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

postcards from the road

Mom is frail, but for a 93-year-old recovering alcoholic who used to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, she's doing extremely well. She's in a lovely nursing home and getting excellent care. Thank God Dad left her well provided for.

I also saw both my surviving brothers. My inner 18-year-old is appalled at how OLD everyone else is getting. Lessee- if I'm 60, then middle brother is 71 and oldest brother is 73. NO! Bullshit! No way! Why, just yesterday they were skinny young men waterskiing on the lake and going hunting in the winter. And now they each have to go to the doctor every three months to have basal cell carcinomas lasered off. Their arms are white with the scars, and to them, it's no big deal. Still, I suppose that facing their gray-haired, wrinkled baby sister is no fun for them either.
But the six hours in the car had its plusses. Some very atmospheric scenery in the morning. This little farm is near Damascus, Oregon, not far from Boring.
I got a late start, so it was almost 8AM by the time I got this shot.
(Rose, will you give me some photoshop training? This picture would look better with the bottom cropped.)

The higher you go, the brighter the colors get.

Mt. Hood in the distance.

Mt. Hood much closer. We could really use some snow! But see that glacier streaking down to the right? They ski there year round.

The aspens are coloring up quite beautifully. This shot was taken one-handed out the side window at 60 mile an hour. Darn, I love my point-and-shoot camera! Actually, all these photos were taken one-handed at 60 miles an hour. And I quack about people using their cell phones when they drive. But really, that kettle is SO black!!

This is the kind of country where I grew up. Mountains with pines, and high-desert with juniper. Lots and lots of air, but dry, dry, drydrydry. Dust with dinner dry.

You've heard of rimrock? This is it. That tree is about 30 feet tall. The rimrock is a great place for badguys to hang out as long as they have lots of water and don't mind the rattlesnakes.

The cloud cover burned off a bit during the day so I got some really pretty shots on the way home. Aspens in a sunny spot.

And Mt. Hood from the southeast side. It was a long, long drive and boy are my hips stiff from all that sitting. When will I learn to stop now and then, get out, and stretch a bit? Why do I get caught in that drive-straight-through-as-fast-as-you-can-with-NO-stops mind-set? An extra ten or even twenty minutes isn't going to make that much of a difference in my arrival time. In fact, my late start in the morning allowed me to miss an accident that blocked the whole highway for about an hour. A semi-truck had taken a corner too fast and tipped right over. It nearly slid through the guard rail and over a several-hundred-foot cliff. Bet that driver needed clean underwear when the dust settled. I saw the truck and the guard rail as I passed, and said a prayer for all involved. Less speed. Better to get there late than not at all.
May you take your day safely and not too fast.
PS. What's the point of wearing clean underwear in case you get in an accident? If you DO get in an accident, it's not likely to STAY clean.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Road Trip

Today I am driving over the pass (to Central Oregon) to visit my 93 year-old mom who has been hospitalized with a bladder infection. She's tougher than an old boot and I don't fear any immediate disaster, but this is a good chance to go see her before the snow flies. I have GOT to dig out the camera since the pass is lovely in October.

Yesterday, we went to see "Red" with Bruce Willis and Morgan Fairchild. As ever with Bruce Willis, it's rock-em, sock-em over the top action adventure with a sense of humor. And folks under fourty will not get all the jokes. We LOVED it. DH even laughed out loud! Ernest Borgnine has a cameo role, and unlikely as it may seem, his looks have improved with age. Lots and lots of shooting and explosions and wholesale slaughter of bad guys while the audience cheers.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


So our new little girl-cat Squirrel was sitting next to me on the sofa and suddenly, with no preliminary heaving, she threw up. In the midst of the detritus was what looked like a four-inch long piece of spaghetti. We haven't had spaghetti for a week. WTF? I picked it up to inspect it more closely and it coiled itself up between my fingertips. Eeeeeeewwww! Roundworms. We've got roundworms. Or rather, the cats have roundworms. If one cat has worms, likely all the cats have worms because roundworms are wildly contagious. So we stopped at the vet, picked up worming medicine for five cats, dosed the troops, cleaned and scoured and bleached all the litterboxes, throwing out the old litter altogether and replacing it with fresh new stuff, and now DH has decided to get a self-flushing litterbox that sanitizes and cleans itself. Hey - boys like toys. We have had three different self-cleaning litterboxes which have failed miserably, but hope springs eternal, and this one has bells and whistles! If this one works, hooray! If it doesn't, no biggie. Other guys buy tools they never use or a new car every other year, or a closet full of Armani suits (or drugs and alcohol, or they blow it all gambling.) If he wants to spend his hard-earned money on self-cleaning litterboxes, I'm tickled to endorse it.

Work is very quiet, but when midterms hit, things should change markedly. It's good time for mindless knitting.

Yesterday was a lovely October day, with sun and crisp temperatures, and blue,blue skies. Our leaves rarely get brilliant, because the rain knocks them down before it gets cold enough for the color to change, but the streets are full of tan crunchiness, and the air has that dark brown smell. I am so grateful for my friends who love October, because it helps me through what might otherwise be the worst month of the year for me. Thank you, thank you, for sharing your autumnal pleasures. What do you like best about October?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's half past October

The walk I took (with MK) was delightful! It was a perfect autumn day with cool temperatures and bright sunshine and leaves crunching underfoot. We walked down to the house in our neighborhood that does the professional Halloween set-out every year, and I got lots of photos. The camera is around here somewhere, I'm sure. I'm not sure just where, but it'll turn up sooner or later.

The cold mornings are bracing. I walk quite briskly to go get the paper, and Orion peeks out at me between the clouds. No frost on the grass, yet, but definitely breath-steaming cool.

I put in my first day at work yesterday. Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays from noon till 3 for the foreseeable future. Which really isn't all that foreseeable. Want a clue for getting the worst from your people? Announce that there are definitely going to be staff cuts, but no one knows yet where or how deeply the cuts will go. And because we are union, if someone's job is cut and they have seniority, they can bump someone with less seniority, so a job cut at the top of the staff will create a shuffle of bumping all the way down. People shifting from departments where they are happy and comfortable to departments where they know none of the systems and have no idea of the departmental dynamics. Won't that be just great for customer service? As it is, at least as much time is being spent trying to prognosticate the future as is spent actually accomplishing the work.

After taking the best part of the summer off, I had trouble remembering my passwords. A couple have expired. And all the usual procedures have been altered. Heck, they even re-arranged the furniture! So when I turn to grab the paper that has been kept on this shelf for the past three years, the shelf isn't there anymore.

Change is good for the old brain. And I AM trainable! Anyhow, it's great to have a job to complain about again.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

finished objects




a hat knit of un-spun roving (thank you Heide) for an Eagle Scout who wants to stay warm while camping.

and a scarf for a cousin who is racing for the cure, made of Paton's knit-for- the-cure pink cotton.
Now I'm going for a walk on what could be the last dry day of the year.

Monday, October 11, 2010

fly-by posting

TW was kind enough to host knitting this month, and it was glorious! Only 5 of us, so a more intimate group. TW makes world class biscotti, and I threw myself on a pile of them. She also made gingersnaps and a yummy rich refrigerator-type cookie that was divine for dipping. Then there was the warm apple coffeecake, and the crisp sweet grapes. TW also makes perfect tea, so I was pretty much in heaven. TW offered to make cucmuber sandwiches or to slice up some melon, but we were such a small group that we didn't even adequately punish the delectables in front of us.

Meanwhile, as I was feasting and conversing, DH was, as ever, on the hunt. He found an estate sale with a collection of chinaware made in Japan.

This set was 1915 vintage, with hand-painted gold trim. I told the ladies running the sale that I had my friends over for tea every month, and if I had a set like that I would, of course, hand wash it and display it with pride. then I offered them two thirds of what they were asking, and they took it because the pretties were going to a good home.

Four cups, four saucers, 6 plates, a creamer, and a chocolate pot with a lid. I don't think the world will stop turning if I put tea in the chocolate pot.

There was also this sweet, solitary white and gold set. Pretty little handle on it.

And this sumptous red and gold cup and saucer that DH bought before I even got home because he knew it would delight me.

He also picked up this chalice object because he recognized the pattern as one I have. I don't know what this is, though. a sorbet dish? A fruit cup?

This sweet little bowl and plate are also hand painted and pre-war Japan (the stamp on the back reads, "Nippon")

WE went back on Sunday when everything under $25 was half price and got a set of six buffet plates and cups for $12. The decoration is decals, but so charming.

He also bought, before I even got home, this perfect, perfect soup bowl.

And for my dinner he made me some perfect, perfect acorn-squash soup! Oh surely I am among the most fortunate of women!
The table is strewn with fabrics, laundry for the folding, and do you see that JoAnn circular with the 50% off coupon? That's gonna get some use today! One comforter is almost pieced, and the other two are raging for their turns. Sew on!!