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.”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

After the test

The Jeopardy on-line application test was interesting.  Everyone had to log on at the same time, then we had 50 questions with 15seconds to answer each one.  I don't know how well I did.  I didn't waste time trying to keep score.  And since we had to type the answers, there was no nonsense about phrasing them as a question, but since my typing skills are less than stellar, I sometimes got five letters into an answer, and the time was up.  Worst of all, they will never ever tell anyone anywhere at any time what you scored.

What they do is take the names and addresses of the people who passed and put them in a pool of possible contestants.  Then they randomly select names, contact people, and invite them to a live interview in one of five different cities around the nation.  The best one for me is Los Angeles.  If I get invited, I will fly down for screen tests, practice with the signal button, and practice games.  If they like how I perform, and I like the process, then we will arrange for a date for me to show up and play the game on TV.  And I will, by God tell everyone I know about that date and make sure that you ALLL are watching!

Thanks for wishing me luck.   It helped.  Sometimes answers leapt out of the morass of memory like well-trained retrievers with ducks in their mouths.  When it came to words, meanings, definitions, I had a pack of English Spaniels in eager attendance.  When it came to science, geography, recent history, I had a couple of clever Irish Setters.  When it came to sports - well, that dog wouldn't hunt.  When it comes to sports statistics, my retriever is a senile Chihuahua with bad teeth, lumbago and dementia.

But the test was fun, it was free, and I think I'll do it again next year and the year after that and the year after that . . .  

I know many people would no more take a test for fun than go for a nice long root-canal without anesthetic.  I just don't have that problem.  The last time I had test anxiety, the rabbit died.  Compared to that, a little intellectual exercise is no big deal what-so-ever.  And if you don't pass this year, take it again next year.  Life will go on!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wish me luck

 Thick and thin white handspun wool with handspun silk, knitted crown and crocheted sides.  Heavy, thick, practically waterproof on top.  this hat will for sure keep someone WARM.

Then, some extra bulky yarn knitted on size11s, with the crown crocheted.  It stands up all by itself.  It's practically bullet-proof.

And finally, something like Lopi in two different dye lots.  Amazing how many hats this one box of yarn is producing!  There's at least one hat more in there.

I have trouble estimating sizes and quantities.  Ever since I was fifteen, men have been telling me that this (holds up hand with thumb and forefinger approximately four inches apart) was six inches, and I have been irretrievably confused ever since.  Do we have enough fabric to make a quilt?  I dunno. Let's give it a shot and find out.    Is there enough yarn here to make a sweater?  Better buy one skein extra just in case.

Tomorrow I am embarking on a bit of an adventure.  I'm taking the on-line application test for Jeopardy  We'll see how far I can go.  Wish me luck!

Monday, March 26, 2012

stash enhancement

On the way home after a leisurely late sunday breakfast, we passed a sign that sucked me in with a fierce, irresistible vacuum.  It read, "Yarn Sale"  I got nine skeins of yellow chunky weight, baby alpaca for $4 a skein.  Four skeins of bright yellow, and five skeins pale yellow.  I have been knitting hat after hat to use up yarn to reduce the stash.  I have been working hard to reduce the stash.  There is even a space in the cupboard. Or rather, there WAS a space in the cupboard.  Do you know anyone who needs a really warm yellow hand-knit something?

Maybe it's time to play with the dye. Add blue, get green.  Add red, get orange. Add navy, get forest green.  Add dark brown, get dark  brown with a yellow cast.  No way I can get to purple from here.

A yellow tea cozy would make me happy.  That would use maybe two skeins.  Maybe I'll just leave the rest in a basket and squish it occasionally.  Of course, I always welcome suggestions and requests.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Date night

I think I have mentioned the clever McMenniman brothers before, who have been buying up vintage buildings and turning them into whimsical, terrifically successful brew-pubs.  One of their enterprises is the old Bagdhad Theatre, a relic of the 30s which had fallen on hard times.  They cleaned it up, respected the bones, built a pub in the front and run the theatre in the back.  I wanted to see the movie, Hugo, but we never got around to it when it was t the cineplexes.  Yesterday, I noticed that it was playing at the Bagdhad, so DH and I had a saturday night movie date.  thetheatre is set up with couches and armchairs in the balcony, with narrow tables in front of them, so you have someplace to set your beer and pub-grub.  Three dollars to see a second-run movie on the big screen with all the comforts of home.  DH had the original burger - quite tasty, with fries made from real potatoes - not those mashed, rehashed approximations that the burger stands sell.  I had a meal called the 3 faces of Eve.  Pita bread served with humus, a walnut/pomegranate compote, and a yogurt and feta dip, with pickled veggies and olives as well.  It was delicious, filling, healthy, cheap, and went perfectly with pitcher of their Ruby beer.

All the McMennamin pubs have fanciful murals on the walls, but the Bagdhad theme seemed especially appropriate for this approach.  I wanted to get a shot of the multi-color border stenciled in the ladies' room, but it was too crowded to stand far enough away from the wall.  (Small room, many moms with kids.)

I have developed a yearning to visit every one of the far-flung McMennamin's empire.  Today, DH and I stopped at the convention center and picked up a fistful of brochures to send friends who will be visiting in Sept. to help them decide what to do.  I picked up a pamphlet with all the brewpubs listed and described.  This is a feat which might, in fact, be achieved.

And here's another hat. Crochet goes so fast!

Friday, March 23, 2012

more hats

 Cascade 220 with an additional confetti thread carried along for the cuff.  I am so enjoying these hats!  It's so very satisfying to get things finished and tidied away.

As you can see, the snow is now gone, the sun is out, and spring is laughing her head off at us.  And good for her say I.

The bulky handspun wool crocheted up like the wind, even if I DID have to pull it out three times to get it started properly.  There's at least three more hats' worth of yarn in the odd ball stash, so I will be crocheting like an epileptic spider.  
Here's a silly baby hat, too small to fit on the wicker head.  So I blew up a balloon to use as a model.

It'sFriday, tra la!  I get two days to play with DH.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


We have ornamental cabbage in a pot next to the pavilion.  It snowed on them last night.  I never snows down here on the valley floor in March.  It's two days into spring few cry sakes!  Spring means rain and more rain and less rain and the occasional flash of sun.  Spring does not mean four inches of snow over night, melting into slippery slush all day long.  You folks back east, basking in 80 degree sunshine in New Jersey (Donna Lee!) watch out, because a big old cold front is headed your way.  And Benita, just hope those flowering trees don't get snowed on, because that makes for lots and lots of downed power lines!  I'm worried about you guys if this hits you like it hit us.

But, being stuck inside, watching "House" re-runs has its benefits.  Another hat off the needles.  I was planning on donating all these hats, but if anyone sees anything that makes you happy, speak up,  send me your snail mail address and I'll ship it off.  It's my job to keep people warm.

This one was cranberry Cascade 220 with a thread of some confetti stuff carried along.  It makes a warm and happy hat.  I used up the very last bits in a silly baby hat. Photos tomorrow.

And Pat has definitely caught me slacking.  Yes, I was supposed to be writing.  I don' wanna!  I want to vegetate dormantly.  My muse had gone to warmer climes for a prolonged spring break.  I am sixty two years old and I'm tired of trying to be a grown-up.  I'm going to fart around till I'm sick of it.  Then, when time to write feels like a privilege instead of a duty, I will hammer down crank out the wordage.  Sloth rules!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

fast hats.

Told ya these hats are fast.  This one used up lots of leftover Lorna's Laces.  I managed to condense the stash by three salad boxes worth, and am likely finish another hat today.  It's snowing in the higher elevations, and my inner hermit (who is getting a lot of exposure lately) advises me to keep my car and my tender parts  all safe and sound at home.  I'm not good at driving in the freezy skidstuff, and I don't trust the bold souls who think they are.

Anyone else watching Dancing with the Stars?  Yowza!  NOBODY sucks rocks this season!  Everyone looked good. Where can they go from here?  That Latin soapstar is eye-candy fersure.   The football player?  Mmmmmmanly!  And Urkle just knocked my socks off with his grace and charm.  Oh, and there were women competing as well.  Some singer from the 60s and a tennis player I think*.  But the dudes - yum-o!

(*Gladys Knight and Martina Navratilova)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

hats are fast

These Lorna's Laces hats just fly off the needles.  I've started knitting them from the top down to make it easier to use up allll the yarn.  As I go through the stash I am finding lots and lots of small balls of bulky yarns.  A few ounces of dusty plum, a few yards of a lovely coral and yellow blend, a fist-sized ball of greige handspun thick and thin.  I think striped hats are in my future.  Eccentric striped hats. And then for the really awful ones, perhaps a navy dye bath.  Navy covers a lot of sins.  Other options are dark green, or maroon.  They make all the hues settle down and play nicely together.

And then there's the sock yarns.  Anyone making a random baby blanket?

Isn't this weather the pip?  We have record-setting cold on the left coast, and you folks back east better not put the winter woolies away, because it's headed in your direction.  God bless the folks in the tornado zone!  Let me know if anyone needs some big, heavy comforters.

The problem with being retired is all these decisions.  Shall I fold the laundry, or take a nap?  Shall I empty the dishwasher, or read a book?  Shall I get dressed or go hang out in the hot-tub?  Responsibility will eventually catch up with me, but OMG it's great to be lazy!

Now, if I could just figure why the speaker on my laptop has gone south - and if I can then fix it, I can hang out in the hot-tub and let the lap-top read a book to me till I fall asleep.  How's that for multi-slacking?

Monday, March 19, 2012

knitting again

Hat cast on and mostly knitted during "John Carter."It was a thoroughly enjoyable movie, but since I grew up on the tales of Barsoom and the "steely thews"of the greatest Jeddak of Helium it was like meeting an old friend.    I had wondered how they would handle the multiplication of shoulders on the green Martians, and found that the special effects were quite satisfactory.  I hope they bring the books out again.  I would love to return to the red planet with the two moons.

So, after finishing the hat, there was lots of yarn left.  What to do? Another hat?  How about a scarf that plays with the lovely stripeynessof the yarn?  The mitered triangle scarf was just the thing!  Loved the yarn.  It was a whole forest of color.  Gold, russet, brown, deep green, maroon, cranberry, brick, and sundry shades between.  Wish I could remember where I got it.  Iron River Yarns I think, but I have a mind like a steel sieve and all sorts of details fall out.  Dave Daniels, does this look familiar?

I'm trying hard to reduce the yarn stash, but I already have more sweaters than I can wear, and DH is such a human heater that he almost never wears sweaters.  I suppose I could knit a few sweaters up and just keep them on hand in case someone shows up cold.

And now I'm off to sew down the fabric stash.  At least I have a place to send the quilts.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

still sewin'

 LB came over on Friday and we sewed, sewed, sewed.  Then today, DH had to work, so I put the pedal to the metal and created a two-sided comforter.  I really wanted to get the red side photographed outside, but how to display it?    It's just a bit wider than my car.  By the time I got it flipped over to the blue side and spread out neatly, Fly cat showed up to help, because everything is better with a kitty.

Friday, March 16, 2012


I finished assembling two quilts from the pieces we started at the piece-a-palooza.  The one on the left is the one that Rose kept fussing about. It's gorgeous, Rose!  the one on the right is another red quilt.  Red stripes front and back.  And of course, everything is always better with a kitty, so Pepper was the decorator's accessory cat.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hat embellished

So I had a little bit of yarn left over, and I felt that the hat could stand a bit more frivolity.  Now we know where the frill has gone.

Tomorrow, quilts finished up after the piece-a-palooza.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Snow business

Yesterday's violets are shivering in the snow.  It came down heavy and wet.  I hear that at the beach where we spent a clear and sunny interlude last week, they got six inches of the fluffy stuff.  Timing is everything!  Schools opened late today all over the city, and the morning commute was a nightmare. (Four-wheel-drive does NOT mean you can stop just like normal!) The snow kept falling till noon-ish, but it was melting as fast as it fell.  It made great, hard and heavy snowballs though.  So I've heard. I wouldn't ever actually make and throw a snowball.  So unladylike.

Pay no attention to those lying raccoons.

I am really enjoying this whole process of lying around doing damn all.  Swear to God, they should call me Beau Nydel. (Thanks, Terry Pratchet!)  I've been paying attention to those reports that say you should get up and walk around every 30 minutes.  I'm quite sure they're correct, too.  But I ask myself, "Do I want to extend a life that demands I raise from my comfy chair every half hour and get some exercise?"  And myself answers - "I'll have to think about that one.  Is that the same life that forbids red meat and butter, white sugar, bacon, and all things fried?  Do I WANT to live in austerity while my friends are wallowing in sensual delights, then passing on before their time?  Do I want to be the last righteous bitch of my generation?"

This is a trick question, isn't it?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sweet violettes

Our lawn has been invaded by violets.  Aren't they gorgeous?  And guess what - It's gonna snow tonight.  If you don't like surprises, you shouldn't live around here.The weather rarely does what you expect it to..

Busy day today. I mailed candy to my BIL who just had a knee replaced, got my oil changed, picked up dry cleaning, stopped at the bank, stopped at the grocery store, wrote thank you notes and mailed them, lah de dah de dah.    Hey, I'm an hour short on sleep.  You weren't expecting literary genius today, were you?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New hat

I finished a new hat for myself.  It's warm and wooly and PINK!  My inner six-year-old is thrilled.  However, it's the 62 year-old face that has to wear it.  Oh well.  It's warm and wooly, and I don't have to look at me.

Are you awake?

Tomorrow is going to suck rocks.  Today, I slept in until the usual hour, but tomorrow, DH has to get up and head to work.  Daylight savings time is so very annoying!!

Still, spring icon the way.  Daffodils are blooming in the yard, the neighbor down the street has a carpet of crocus next to her fence.  Birds are singing and courting and copulating right out in front of God and everyone, and new baby calves, kids, and lambs are appearing in local pastures. This is (except for the time change) my very favorite time of the year! Longer days, and that live smell in the wind coax me outdoors.  I have a to-do list that is getting seriously ignored.  I can sweep the floor tomorrow. Mount Washmore can go unfolded a few more hours.  The dishes won't get any dirtier if I go for a ten minute walk.  I fully understand why these flowers are so impatient to shove their faces up into the sunshine and the above-freezing rain.

Weather doesn't ever go in a smooth curve around here, but rather, it ratchets its way along.  We get sun, then snow, then sun, rain, wind, snow,rain, sun.  Each week is a bit warmer, with peaks and valleys allover the place.  It's agreatplace to live if you like surprises.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Post beach post

Bucky Merino went with us to the beach.  He wanted to go play in the sand, but the wind nearly pulled his ears off.  So he and I hung around in the cozy beach house, sprawling in the sunshine through the windows, eating chocolates and cookies between meals.  Bucky thinks beach vacations are just the bees knees!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

End of the beach trip

Since the beach rental was right on the edge of a cliff next to the ocean, we got glorious sunsets.  It'sjust amazing what God can do with only one spot light and dimmer.  Of course, she can use an infinite number of gels and scrims. . .

I think sights like this are good for the soul.  It sort of makes me realize how small I am and yet, how important.  At the cabin was a print-out of the story of the young man throwing starfish into the ocean.  An old man comes by and asks him why he's doing that. "The tide is going out and if these starfish are left high and dry, they'll die."

The old man said, "But there are miles of beach here, and hundreds of starfish, and you're just one man.  You can't possibly make a difference."  The young man threw another starfish into the ocean and said, "I made a difference for that one."

I love this reminder that just because you can't do it all, you shouldn't sit back and do nothing.

My bedroom was on the west side of the house and I left the blinds up.  The full moon shone in on me, and I got a picture of it just before it set this morning.  Unfortunately, this doesn't catch the sequin path across the water.  My poetic juices have been well stirred.

Checkout was at 11.  We were only 20minutes late.  And so to our separate homes we went.  I considered stopping at the outlet mall for a bit of shopping, but realized that I didn't need anything, so put the pedal to the metal and headed over the coast range.
I paused to use the ladies' room at one of my favorite rest- stops- the Van Duzer park.  It's a temperate rain forest right through here, and to see it on a sunny day is a joyful treat.  Yes, it IS that green in March!  One the way over,two days earlier, this area was an inch deep in hail, and it had snowed the night before.  We are getting lots of temperature fluctuations right now.
And the fair Yamhill Valley is basking in the spring.  There are 14 different wineries just in this one stretch of hills.  Oregon Pinot Noir is divine and this is where she is grown.  Those fat clouds keep the grapes well watered until September and early October, when the dry season hits.  Filberts (hazelnuts) thrive here as well. It's a great area to sip and nibble your way across.

I got home about twenty minutes before DH came home from work.  Two nights apart is quite enough, thank you.  Hugging him just made my heart hop up and down!


Last morning at the beach, 6:30 AM, I got up to see the full moon setting over the ocean.  Totally  awesome!  WE have talked and feasted and gone for walks on the beach, watched a tiny bit of Downtown Abbey, and reveled in relaxation.  Now comes the clown walk as everyone tries to get everything sorted out and packed up.  "Is this your champagne? Is that my sugar?  Whose shampoo is this?"

Now for the road home.  Sigh.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Four sixty-year old women doing a quick mid-winter, mid-week getaway to the beach.  I'm not exactly sure where we are because it ALWAYS rains at the Oregon coast, and we have had 2 sunny days and full-moon nights.

There is a great deal to be said for the company of women of a certain age.  We are no longer trying to impress one another.  We know better.  We don't care if someone wants to go for a walk, and someone else doesn't.   Do what makes you happy and have some more chocolate.

I miss my darling  husband, but I'll be back with him tomorrow, so life is good.  And he and the kitties will have had time to miss me, too.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.

I wish everyone in the world could be as happy as I have been this past week.

Monday, March 05, 2012

It's good to be queen

 Birthday breakfast with orchids.

Dinner at the Brazil Grill was a treat.  Friends brought young sons and we were gratified to watch them get their money's worth as they consumed massive quantities of perfectly grilled proteins.  And they gave me a dozen Peach-colored roses, and a box of handmade chocolates.  I was in heaven!

We agreed that we will all live every day to the fullest and never waste time with anger or hurt feelings.  Today, I get to revel in all my presents and write thank you notes to tell my friends how very much I love their presents!  Another good day for me!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

The flowers that bloom

Barb gave me roses for my birthday.  When I got up this morning to feed the cats, I found a vase of stargazer lilies  waiting with the cat food.  DH and I went to breakfast at Sully's and they gave me a huge yellow potted orchid.  And one of the waitresses gave me a bouquet of daisies and mums. Then we stopped at Trader Joe's, and the clerk asks, "How are you?"  "Just great!" I told her. "Today's my birthday!"  The clerk called across to her boss, "Hey. it's this lady's birthday. They gave me a free bouquet of Iris and lilies.  I gave the boss a kiss on his cheek.  He blushed.  So I have enough flowers to wallow in petals if I want.  What a treat!

Tonight we are going to the Brazil Grill to channel our inner carnivores.  Then, on Tuesday, three other ladies and I will hit the beach for a mid-winter, mid-week two night get-away.  I make my celebrations last and last!!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Piece-a-palooza! Lots of photos

The Peter Rabbit quilt.  One of three we completed start to finish today

 I could not have managed without my able assistants.
Pilar, Jess and Hallie.  Here they are in their aprons of office.  They kept our cups full, brought snacks and goodies, and did yeoman work on the quilts.
Bucky came along and helped with the tea.

The blue quilt we completed, start to finish.

Sewing the red strips together.
Pat, mother of the lovely Hallie.  Here, Pat is tieing the red quilt we completed, start to finish.

assembling the blue quilt

The birthday girl with roses in her hair.
assembling team in action

Jess and Pilar 
Barb and Galadriel - assembly team

Tim and Cindy dropped by to say hi.
We had stash-from three different  collections.

We had Judi and Donna providing music.
Tea and teacups

My pin cushion

Pat and Galadriel creating palates
It turned out to be a good day for socks.

Lynn, sewing the PeterRabit quilt
Rose sewing the blue quilt

Pat and Barb taking a break

My birthday cake - strawberry cake shaped like a hat.

The snacks.  Then for lunch, DH brought in Pizzas.

Donna's mom sews quilts to donate to charities.  When she found out what we were up to, she sent a mess of quilts along with Donna when she came to play for us.    Just an awesome contribution!