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 30, 2011

bacon maple cupcakes

 First try at the cupcakes was a monumental fail.  I have no idea why they got all fluffy, then flopped.  I follwed the recipe the same way both times and got completely different results.  It's magic.  Or something.
 The second time, they turned out to be lovely little cupcakes with a decent crumb and a good flavor. I don't know how I did it.
And here they are, frosted and garnished with a bit of bacon.  And oh my do they taste good!  Think of a pancake breakfast.  Think how good the bacon tastes where the maple syrup dribbles on it.  Think of that taste in a cupcake.  Think of a good excuse to ask me to bring a batch over to your house.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

keep on rollin'

So the knitting keeps on rollin'.  A baby Surprise jacket which turned out to be more of a surprise than I expected, because the white worked up to a significantly smaller gauge than the turquoise, hence the lifted hem.  But it has a certain cachet, and it was a learning experience.  Now to find buttons, and it goes into the box for the orphanage.
And here we have the starting point for another "Keep on rolliln'" experience.  DH and I took a 6 mile bike ride today.  Our city is so bike-friendly that they will close off entire neighborhoods to vehicular traffic, and open the streets to the bikes.  We took the route that circled the Hawthorne neighborhood.  As you can see, the weather was perfect.  And the streets were thronged with cyclists.  We saw two guys riding really tall bikes - the seats were about 9 feet off the ground.  We saw scores of parents with kid-tandem bikes, towing littler kids in trailers.  There was one little guy, about 4 years old, on a little bitty bike with training wheels, and dad was following behind in his in-line skates, calling advice and encouragement, and when extra speed was needed, bending over to put a hand behind the tiny bike seat and be the booster rocket.    And there was - this was so cool and I WISH I had gotten a picture of it, --  two guys riding bikes inside this big cage contraption.  The bikes were side by side, and the cage thingy was welded to them so they moved in perfect synchronization down the street.  And when they built up a good speed, the two guys would both hit the front brakes at once, and the whole contraption, guys and bikes and all, would do a somersault!  The whole crowd squeed over that.  And, nonchalent as can be, they just pedaled away.

It was a fun time.  DH coaxes me into adventures I would NEVER try without him.  I'm beginning to understand about the fun of bikes.  But riding in a crowd isn't all that much fun.  It was when the crowd thinned, and we had the streets free from cars that I enjoyed myself.  Downhill is even funner than up.

On Friday I went back to the fracture clinic and got approved to go brace-free.  YAY!!  I tell you, this broken wrist thing is just as much fun as it's cracked up to be. 

And I gained a certain sense of sympathy for dirty old men.  Just a bit.  The doctor who looked at my wrist this time was - OMG yummy!  Honey blonde, fit, trim, beautifully groomed beard and mustache, and drown-in-them nordic-blue eyes.  But I knew how unacceptable it would be to say, "Wow, did I win the lottery?  I bet they call you Doctor Hunk-a-licious." 

Blessings and good wishes to all my friends in Irene's way.  Stay dry.  Hug the people you love.  We're praying for you.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Roxie of Redwall

Valspar Pomegranate lightly sponged with mulberry, then heavily sponged with pomegranate with lots of irridescent pearl glaze added.  The different colors and glosses disguises the crappy spackling.  And, when I hang a big mirror at the end of the table, people will be too busy admiring their lovely reflections to notice the deplorable edges of the wall.  Meanwhile, the color is warm, intimate, and smile-inducing every time I walk through the room.

And we also arranged some pots and plants out at the pavillion.  Sigh!  I swoon out there every afternoon.  Sweet tea, and "The Help"  (Great book by the way, though I hate knowing that it's based  in fact.  But we need to be reminded that things WERE worse.  We have made SOME progress, and we need to make more.)

Knitting in September - How am I going to get 24 knitters out in the pavillion?  Or do we draw lots?  First 6 women to respond and request pavillion priveledges get it?  Rotate guests out there every twenty minutes? Any suggestions?

This will be a Weight Watcher's tea - lots of fruit and crudites.  Maybe angelfood cake.  Ya wanna come anyhow?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fun at the fair

DH that Darling Husband of mine, took me to the Clackamas County Fair on Saturday.  We wandered through the displays and critiqued the various competitions.  (That got a red ribbon?  I can see mistakes from here!)  Next year, I have got to get my act together and enter a few knitted items!  Then we went to see the animals.  I do love those bunnies.
 Some are very social, and some are shy.  They also had a bunny agility race that was just a hoot.  Some of the bunnies ran it in harness with the owner trotting along beside.  Some bunnies hopped the gates, and some ran right through them.  A big English Hairy bunny spent most of his time trying to get out of the harness and run away.  With his looks, he doesn't need to perform.
And the chickens never fail to delight.  Banty roosters make me smile.  They try to out-crow and out-posture the big guys all day long.   They must go home in a state of exhaustion.
 The Silkies consistently tickle my fancy.  love that fluffy head.
Now here's something you don't see every day - a lap-pony.
 A little more common is a goat with a coat.  (All cleaned up for show.)
Of course, everywhere you look, there are kids having fun or just taking it easy.

We made our way to the Pioneer Village in which I spent two or three stints as the local spinner and weaver.  But I hated camping out so badly that I gave it up.  Still, I made some wonderful friends.  I always stop for kettle corn.

And every year I stock up on Laurelstone Soap.  Laurie makes wonderful old fashioned soap with goatsmilk and oatmeal.  I have used no other soap on my face for twenty years.  It's amazing!  Mild,and thourough but gentle.  And Laurie is just a sweetheart!  One night, she found me walking in my sleep, looking for DH, and she lovingly took me back to my tent and put me back to bed.

I'm trying to get her to start blogging, so if she does, I'll put up a link.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


This is the wallpaper found under the beige bamboo wall paper in our dining room.  And I am in the process  of removing it.  I'd rather not use something that requires rubber gloves, eye protection, rental equipment, or a particle mask.  I have a lot of recorded books and I am good at tedious, repetitive work, so I used warm soapy water, a sponge,  and a plastic pancake turner.  The papre came off in postage stamp-sized pieces over the course of two days, but now I am at thepoint of a final washing of the wall and then spackling.  I got wonderful suggestions and encouragement from facebook friends.  I still have trouble getting information from the internet because You have to ask the questions it's ready to answer.  When I type in, "How do I strip wallpaper before painting my wall?" I got pages of adds for wallpaper and for wallpaper-stripping products.  When I asked my friends, I got useful, practical advice.

Next - the spackle!

In the meantime, every night, when DH comes home, we take our laptops out to the pavillion and lounge in the peace and the shade, checking e-mail (Do you want to save the one from Don?  Have you seen the one from Tim?) sharing news of the day, and then playing games till the batteries give out.  I'm thinking it might make sense to run an extrnsion cord out there.  Squirrels sit in the walnut tree, peeling green walnuts and throwing the husks down on the pavillion roof in  pattering showers of organic debris. Sunshine stencils leaf shadows overhead.  Crows and scrub jays bicker and yell insults at one another.  Something about the thin canvas wall on the side where the dogs are makes the waft of crap less obvious.  After I get the dining room wall painted, I am going to bring my spinning wheel out to  the pavillion for a few days. 

And one of these days, I will need to get some filing done. (shudder!)

Today, DH and I are going to the fair!  I love the Clackamas County Fair!  It's still an agricultural county, so there are still horses and calves and sheep and competitions in domestic skills.  One of these years, I'll get myself together enough to start entering things again. I took Grand Champion in the cookie jar contest one year with my Ricky Martins -ginger cookies with cream-cheese frosting.  sweet and spicey and teen girls just devour them.  Maybe I could submit some macarons.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

pink blankie

 I needed(!) to knit, and had some Aunt Lydia's Sugar and Cream cotton in "Knit for the Cure Pink," so, without a specific plan, I cast on for a mitered square.  It used less than a whole ball, and turned out kinda cute.  Why stop  with a washcloth when other square things are available.  I used to work with a young man who is about to become the father of a baby woman.  I could knit him a nice burp cloth!  Two and a half more squares later, I ran out of "Knit for the Cure Pink."  Without a second thought, I toddled off to Joanne's and bought some more varigated pink.  Unfortunately, not quite the same.  But close enough.  After finishing all 4 squares, I wanted to use up the end of the yarn, so I picked up around the edges and knitted around, increasing two stitches at the corner every other row.  That was nice!  I bought some more varigated pink.  Then it occurred to me that stockingette curls, so I wanted a nice flat stitch pattern,  And since it was headed toward blankie size, I decided to add in some white cotton I already had.  Knit  row all even- numbered rows with white, increasing a stitch at either side of the corner markers.  All odd numbered rows: k1, p1 all the way around with varigated yarn no increases.  Kinda purdy, ain't it?

It's a mite  small for a blankie, but newborns are kinda small too.  And the soft, machine-wash cotton should  be good for an August infant.

I can knit again!  Waaahhhooooooo!

What next?

Monday, August 15, 2011

bridge walk

On unday, Dh and I were two of the 13thousand bicyclists and pedestrians who took part in the annual Providence Bridge Pedal.  Some of the city's ten bridges are shut down temporarily, or a few lanes are blocked off, or bicyclists are restricted to established bike paths, but a strong and dedicated cyclist can cross all the bridges in one morning if he or she so desires.  We saw the ten bridge wave getting started.  Not more then four ounces of fat between the whole 2 thousand of them.  Calves tanned, with muscles  standing up in knots and ridges.  Many parents towing kids in small trailers or  on those cute little tandem-for-tots bikes.  There were hand-pedaled bikes, recumbent bikes, any number of trikes, and these bizzare eliptical trainers on wheels where you stand up and run sort of.  And one unicycle.  On the shortest ride, the 6 bridge ride, there were swarms of little kids on their bikes and what madness that must have been, trying to wrangle a passle of young'uns for six miles, up and down over all those bridges!
DH and I walked.  I'm no good on a bike.  I like to look around me and I keep steering into trouble.

But to walk, you need the proper shoes.  Like these.
 Or these breezy trekker sandals (Though they would wear holes in my feet in no time.)
Or these . . . ah, wait a minute.
 This nice lady was quite happy to take the five mile hike in her strudy sandals.  Good for her!!
 There were a lot of us packed into a rather small area by 7:30 in the morning.  The event was wonderfully well organized, and our path was marked the full five miles with purple arrows.  No one stood the slightest chance of getting lost.  DH and I were just happy lemmings and went with the flow.
 There is something rebellious in me that delights in walking where usually cars hold sway.  A section of freeway shut down entirely fr a few hours to let bicycles and feet rule.

 And this is the bridge I wanted to walk across.  Ever since it was built, I have wanted to walk across it.  If you look closely, you can see the swarms of speedier walkers ascending to the crest. 

This walk was rather hard for DH because there is a certain touch of race horse in him, and being passed is not his favorite thing.  But he is married to a fat old woman who will not speed walk.

Slow and steady does it!! (Omigawd I'm getting fat!  Back to Weight Watchers for me!)
 Portland really is such a beautiful city.  I took scads of photos (while more people passed us.  Poor DH)  There were booths handing out free energy bars and bottles of water.  And, since the bikes were coming along shortly, there was a mobile bike mechanic set up to help with repairs.  And a first aid station of course.

There weree taiko drummers at the crest to encourage us. They were wonderful, and I felt encouraged!

 The crowd thinned out on the down hill leg.  Then we wandered through some interesting sections of the city I have never visited.  There are gentrified little residential pockets tucked into the unlikeliest corners!  I would have said the area was pure industrial, and I would have been so wrong!  Finally, we found our way to the Broadway bridge.
The fair Willamette river and the just-crossed Fremont Bridge.  I'm so proud of myself!!
I made the whole trip without blisters or shin splints, - but I forgot that some talcum in the crevices would have helped things along mightily.  A little butt-dusting as it were.  What an area to develop hot spots.

I went to bed early.  I know, there are any number of you who could have run five miles before breakfast, but I am pleased as punch that I was able to walk it, and yay for me!  (DH was good for another two or three hours of 3.5 mph, but I was worn OUT.)  Soooo, what's next?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

and a lovely time was had by all

Theme pink.  SO pink!  Pink watermelon, pink salmon open-faced sandwiches (with pickled beets to give color and zip) Pink napkins wrapping the baskets of scones seasoned with Dave Daniels' French herb blend (YUM!!)  In the bottom right corner you can even see a bit of a pink tea cozy.(Though I'll have to knit a larger one for my awesome extra larger pot.  This is the first tea party I haven't had to brew a second and even third pot of tea. ( If I have more than 12 guests, I just start with two teapots and re-brew from there.)

A splendid time was had by all!  Linda A brought blueberry muffins.  Several weeks ago she baked up two dozen muffins and stuck them in the freezer.  When she went to get them today, there were10 left.  Do you suppose they have been subliming away, one by one, in their little plastic box?  Just sort of dissolving into the void where that second sock goes?

Tamara brought a batch of her world-famous biscotti - still warm.  And glorioius woman that she is, she left the remainder of them with me, wrapped in a pink embroidered dish towel.  Squee! 

As ever, we laughed and talked and told stories.  We got on a theme of what happend when you got stopped by the traffic cop.  I got pulled over once by a young fellow who took a look at my license and said, "Get out of the car, please."  I got out.  He looked up at me and said, "Oh.  You ARE six feet tall, aren't you?"  He accepted that my license was real, and gave me a speeding ticket anyway.  Maggie was living on the East Coast and being the perfect Super Singlemom when she was pulled over.  The officer pointed out that her tags had expired, and much to her surprise, she burst into tears so wrenchingly that he backed up several paces in shock. (No one is Super Singlemom.  Everyone lets things slide.)  Moma was lost on an LA freeway and going too fast in the fast lane. The officer got to the car to find Moma weeping in frustration, her two adult daughters in the backseat praying out loud for help with the situation, and her adult son in the front seat, laughing his silly ass off.  The officer gave her a warning and instructions for how to get where she was going and sent her on her way, no doubt figuring that her day was hard enough.  And how was he supposed to fill out the traffic report on that one?  Moma says her kids revert right back to childhood when they travel togeether in the car.

Do you have any stories about when you were stopped by the police?

Don't you just love real stories?

The pavillion

Here is a photo of the new brace, which I can remove for exercising and  bathing!!!  Every night, the bathing is a freah and new sensation for my arm.  it quietly squeals with glee over every submersion, and paddles around so happily in the hot water.  And the brace gives me support and protection while allowing a great range of activity.

For example, this garden pavillion which the instructions said needed four people to safely assemble?  DH, with his bad back, and I with my wonky arm, put the sucker up in two evenings.  Of course, his remarkable construction skils and scintillant intelligence is what made it possible,  but I WAS a good helper!

One hour till the knitters arrive.  Time to start heating water for tea.

Friday, August 12, 2011

theme pink

My pink lilies are blooming, so this has set the theme for our knitting tea.  I'm fixing raspberry bar cookies, French scones (seasoned with Dave Daniels French herb blend - lavender, rosemary, and other yummy things) lemon blossom mini cupcakes, and salmon sandwiches on black rye bread with fresh dill.  TBW, the master baker, is bringing some delicious confection as well.  And tonight, DH is going to help me pick out a watermelon.  It was his idea to serve slices of cold watermelon, and I think it is inspired.  And he has a n ability to pick ripe, sweet melons that is almost mystic.

I can't tell you how wonderful people have been, offering to bring food, offering to help set up, offering any help I need.  The table is set, and I am going  into baking frenzy today.  Tomorrow, pick the lilies, plate the goodies, make the hot tea (iced tea, both black and peppermint, is  in the fridge) and the coffee, herd the dustbunnies under the bed, and revel in the party.

Now that I have the cast off, I can do so much more!  It's fabulous to have my hand back.  I'm still wearing a compression mitt to control swelling, so taking that off for bath time is a period of unalloyed sensual delight.

I am working on a cotton baby blanket and having a fabulous time playing with colors and stitches. 

And we had a cement pad poured in the backyard where we will set up a shade pavillion.  DH has been having a lot of back pain, but when he got home last night, he pulled out the instructions for the pavillion.  Then he pulled all the parts out and organized them.  Then he went into the garage and emerged with his tool kit saying, "Who am I kidding?  I can't just sit here and look at this!"  So there we were, him with a rib out, and me with a barely healed wrist, assembling the basic structure for this shade pavillion. And with only one false start, we put the bottom frame together last night, and went out for Subway sandwiches to celebrate.  The roof part is going to be a problem, because it takes four people to lift that sucker up and bolt it into place.  Whatcha want to bet that DH gets it fully assembled and ready to go tonight?

When the ladies come over for knitting, DH and several other husbands meet for breakfast.  They call it variously, "The Counter-Knitting Agency", or "the Liars Club."  I'm hoping DH can recruit one or two of these gents to give us a hand.

By next weekend, we should have the pavillion all set up with bug net and outside curtains and maybe even interior lighting.  Candles at least.  Wanna come over for a barbecue?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Is google getting screwy?

What is this with Blogger lately?  I can't comment at all on some blogs.  On others, I can only cheat in by going as anonymous.  Still others,  - no problem whatsoever.  Is anyone else sufffering with this?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

movie reviews

Last Sunday, we went to see "Captain America"  So wonderfully 40s comic bookish.  The bad guys were unremittingly bad with no redeeming elements.  The good guys were honorable, heroic, and flawed just enough to be charming.  I loved the history lesson in action sort of stuff.  Selling war bonds and collecting scrap metal. The very laast bit- the segue into the 21st century - was a bit iffy, but how else are they gonna get him into 2012 to join The Avengers? (With Thor and Iron Man and Nick Fury)Needless to say, I loved it.  And these hunky young men bulking up to take their shirts off on the big screen is a nice new trend. 
Then today, we went to see Cowboys and Aliens.  Yeeha!  It's done with a lot of affection for the Westerns of the 70s, and lots of really cool evil aliens!  If you are familiar with Sci Fi, and with Westerns, there won't be many surprises, but there's lots of wonderful action and special effects.  (Harrison Ford with an Apache spear held like a jouster's lance, skewering an alien from horseback.) The kid manages to save himself and even the dog makes it out alive.  It's great fun!

Tomorrow, I begin the countdown to the knitter's tea.  We will have raspberry bars, lemon cupcakes, salmon with dill on pumpernickle, and for fruit - how about big slices of cold watermelon?  If you're coming, let me know soon.  It takes me longer to set the table with this broken wing.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Out of the cast!

Every time I go in for x-ray, I learn something else about the extent of my injury.  Evidently the doctor had to "fill in" holes  in the radius that had been punched by other bones in the wrist. And the filler has been well assimilated, the break is fusing, and I have graduated from cast to splint which I am allowed to remove five times a day for stretching exercise, and (drum roll please) for bathing!  I scrubbed my left arm from fingertips to elbow for the first time in 2 months.  Oh god it was glorious!! Oh, yes! ahhhh, oooo, just like that!  Mmmm, harder,  Yeeeeesssss!

The stretching hurts like a sumbich but I gotta do it if I'm gonna get my hand back.  Amazing how weak and stiff you can get in a brief two months.  And pale!  I didn't think I COULD get paler, but there is a definite like of demarcation just below the fingers.

Oh, and I have a new story - I was at Nordstrom's half-yearly sale and this supermodel type shoved me away from a rack of Balenciaga dresses at 75% off.  So I shoved her  back and it must have been when I punched her in the head that I broke my wrist. . .

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

When I don't know what to say,

. . . sometimes I just start typing and topics rush in to fill the void.  Not today, though.  One of my facebook buddies (Troy simpson) said, "I feel as gay as a bagful of butterflies." and I am struck dumb with envy at the apt simile.  What could be gayer than a big bagful of butterflies?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

"Had I teeth of pearl and breath of lillies . . .

I might call it ennui, but as it is, I must confess to laziness." Oscar Wilde

The past week or so has been divine with afternoons in the upper 70s and low 80s, and I have been lounging for hours outside, reading books, sipping iced tea, and generally hanging loose.  Napping with the cats has occurred as well.  And quite a lot of sitting in the shade and gazing at the play of sunlight in the leaves.  Honestly, if I accomplished much less in a day I might quit breathing.  Oh, but it's been glorious!  I've been meditating without the yoga clothes or the proper mats or the vedic mantras or any of that righteous stuff.  Freee-range meditation your might call it.  And I refuse to feel any more guilt than is absolutely necessary.

I made it to the book fair down in Pioneer Square (Portland's living room as it were) and did my stint on the bricks.  I have much praise and admiration for Pat and Susan who spent the entire day there!  All I succeeded in doing was encouraging other self-publlished authors to contact Puddletow Press to get their books into e-format.  With any luck, I'll be getting my paperback books this week.  Any requests for autographs and endorsements?  (for example, "Linda G. is a saint and you are damn lucky to be getting a book from her. Happy Birthday, Roxanna Matthews.")

I have been knitting gently and slowly along, and am surprised and how much stronger and more limber I am getting.  Can hardly wait for the cast removal on Friday.  Maybe I can go to a brace then.  If not, I don't know if I'm going back to a pink cast, or trying something differnt.  I'll follow my whim.

Sock Summit was inspired madness.  I didn't attend classes, but did swing by the vendors.  What a plethora of yarn! I was giddy with the choices. and thene there was the flashmob singing "I've had the time of my Life," to their yarn and completely discombobulating all the public transit riders who witnessed it.    Watching the U-tube of that lead me into watching other flash mobs around the world - - -
U-Tube is like peanuts for me.  I can't stop at just one!

Oh, and TBW and Alwen are right.  Those white flowers with two red petals are "Hot Lips"  Doncha love it?
Thanks for help, ladies!