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, September 27, 2012


Wheeze, wheeze, cough, hack.  Still making like Snow White's seven buddies: Sleepy, sneezy, grumpy, dopey, achey, whiney and snot.  I'm going to give up and go to the doctor today.  At least the car will be easy to find in the parking lot.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Today, I'm phlegmish

I have caught that cold.  The bronchial one with the wheezing, and the coughing, the fever, and the sinuses filling up till it feels like your teeth will shoot out of your mouth like bullets.  That one.  I was coming down with it on Sunday, hence my less than Viking Berserker approach to the OFFF.      I spent Monday tucked up in the recliner, waiting for the folks who were scheduled to pick up my old car for donation to the local publicly supported Jazz radio station. I waited.  And waited.  Repeatedly, the fever would peak, and break and I would be awash with sweat.  I smelled like a funky old horse blanket that the rats peed on. But you know, just as soon as you get nekkid with the water running, that's when they'll show up, tap timidly on the door, and getting no response, they'll leave.  Couldn't have that.  So I drank hot tea and listened to Monster Hunter Vendetta and knitted and worked on breathing.  At last, DH came home and I turned the waiting over to him.  Soon as I got into the hot foamy suds, you guessed it, they came.

But DH is a man of resource and intelligence and handled the whole thing so neatly and tidily that I was not needed at all. God, I love that man!

We are headed to LA for a family funeral this weekend, and he's beginning to sound stuffy and bronchial.  We're going to need drugs.  Can I still get sudaphedrin to keep our sinuses open during take off and landing?  Benedryl will open things up, but it leaves us both so dopey - and you don't want to face LAX fee;ing dopey.  That airport is an altered state in and of itself.

The equinox has come and gone.  Looks like this will be  the 3rd driest September on record.  If we don't get a load of snow this winter, we're going to rationing water next year.  Happy autumn!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Oregon Flock and Fiber Fest

 LG and I went to the OFFF on Sunday afternoon. There were classes and demos and organic groups set up under canopies all across the front lawn.  The  display buildings were full, and there were rows and rows of vendors booths!
 Bobbin lace just blows my mind!  Imagine doing this to make a living.  They had cushions set up for people to give it a try, but I just wasn't about to    consider yet another craft.  I'll stand back and applaud on this one,thanks.
In the main building was display after display filled with color like this. My eyes were so happy to soak it in!

 Lots of people were using their hand-painted yarns to do wool hooking; making rugs, chair pads, tote bags and awesome (but heavy) vests.  Can I possibly pass up the opportunity to mention the many happy hookers we saw?
 We had a lovely stroll through the animal barns.  Here are some angora goats showing off their beautiful locks.

And here is one of those goats getting a haircut - by hand, without electric clippers.  Holy crow it's a laborious task!

There were many interesting breeds of sheep and goats.  The Shetlands remain my favorites, but the Pygora goats have a lot of appeal, too.

 Did you ever want to burrow your face into a fluffy cashmere coat?

There was lots and lots of roving in all it's many presentations - bumps, sliver, batts, pigtails, locks. It was painted, natural, vegetable dyed, acid dyed,   space-dyed, you name it.  But I still have roving from the last OFFF that hasn't been spun up yet, so I focussed on yarn. There's always room for more yarn.
My very moderate purchases.  Two skeins of Teresa Ruch's  painted bamboo, a ball of MoochiMoochi in bright baby colors, Blue Moon Mopsy in blue, Iron Mountain yarn hand-spun and dyed in yellow and pink spots, and a skein of shiny silky, aqueous blue mohair that was softer than I could believe.  That one sort of slipped into my hands and the money just wafted out of the wallet.  It was my first purchase of the day. Then, it's like peanuts. You can't stop with just one.  I ran out of energy before I could run out of space in my basket, so for the first year in many, I could go home without guilt.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Allow me to introduce my new car - a habanero red Prius C.  I love it a lot already, and oh boy is it easy to find in the parking lot!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

mugged by a fig tree

MJ and I usually get together on Wed. mornings and sew.  MJ has a fig tree which I greatly admire.  Before we started sewing, we checked out her fig tree to see how things have been getting along.  The last spell of hot weather has been productive!  We picked the low-hanging fruit. Then we started bending branches down to get the figs that were just out of reach.  Of course, the biggest, bestest figs were on the side of the  tree hanging over the wall with a three foot drop down to the driveway.  MJ weighs about 90lbs with rocks in her pocket and is a petite gymnast type in wonderful shape.  I'm tall and sedentary.  MJ would pull limbs down, and I would reach up and pick the fruit.  So, right on the edge of the wall, MJ leapt up, grabbed a limb while I reached out to grab those big glorious figs, and - well, I guess the tree resented our depredations. I remember hearing a loud crack.I remember feeling a blow on the back of my neck.  I remember the gravel driveway coming up at my face.  Then I remember being flat on my back, rolling to a sitting position and saying, "I'm ok."

The limb broke and split clear down the trunk.  MJ landed lithely on her feet amidst the foliage.  I was off balance anyway, and a branch caught me and pulled me head-down over the wall.  Thank God for judo classes in high school!  I  have gravel rash on the side of my left wrist and left elbow, and a sore spot on the top of my left shoulder. (Also a bruise on the back of my neck where the tree hit me.) Evidently I took a left-handed roll.  I think I broke my big toe on that side - heaven alone knows how, and I pulled something in my right calf.   But with the adrenalin and the endorphins, I felt nothing at the time.  After making sure that neither of us were bleeding or had bone sticking out, we decided to gather the rest of the ripe figs on the branch, then drag the branch out of the driveway.  Then we went on with our sewing.

Miss Fang, MJ's kitty, was somewhat annoyed that we chose to use her bed for our laying-outarea, but she condescended to help us when we asked nicely.  We finished the quilt, and next week we will tie it, and start planning the next one.  And as we worked, we discussed the concepts of meaning and communication and how it is possible to have one without the other.

Today I am laid up and gimpy.  I am resting hard, because the Flock and Fiber Fest is this weekend and by Sunday afternoon, I have got to be able to walk around to every single vendor! As always, when my big market basket is full, I have to quit shopping, but yarn is squishy, and that basket holds a LOT.  And I can always wrap skeins around my neck or my hat to make more room in the basket.  Wish me speedy healing!

DH and I stopped by a fruit stand on the way back from breakfast (After making him work last weekend, his company is now giving him today and tomorrow off.  Another case of crisis by management.) And bought two pints of fresh figs.  I get my revenge.   And, as I'm limping around on my gimpy foot, DH found and purchased a watermelon. "I had to. It's the right one for you.  Look at the label."  It was a Wapato melon.  Wop-a-toe.  I do LOVE that man!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

free-range walks

Maggie and I took a walk to Elk Rock Island yesterday morning.8 AM is SOOO beautiful on the river.  

The big white building on the left is a private residence.  Something like 5 stories, right on the river - what a castle!  The buildings on the right are condos. Awesome view.
I love the way the boat-dock ramps are reflecting here.  It looks like a Rohrshach test.   And see how the trees are just starting to turn?  I should come down here once a week for the next month or so and get progressive pictures.

There are forest fires upwind of us, which have filled the air with smoke, hence thegolden cast to the light.
Our walk was just delightful!  Not too warm, not too much traffic, and oh, such beautiful old houses.  We climbed the equivalent of 9 flights of stairs, and got in over 4 thousand steps.  Taking walks with friends is even more fun than taking the treadmill with Firefly.

Afterwards, we went to Maggie's house and sat on the deck with her partner, enjoying the light and the morning, and drinking tea.  I sweat like a pony so my t-shirt was soaked. Maggie's partner immediately pulled out a t-shirt to loan me.  There is something about wearing someone else's clothes - it's an honor and a blessing.  I said it made me feel as if we were sisters.  "Oh good," they said, "when will we have our first fight?"  We decided to fight over the fact that I was wearing her t-shirt.  "You stay out of my closet!"

Life is so good right now.  Yes, I know hard times and bad things will come, but I am going to exhault in the joys and pleasures I have in this moment.  Sunny days, wonderful friends, the time and freedom to take morning  walks, the beautiful places to take them, and the strength and flexibility to climb the equivalent of nine flights of stairs.  Thank you, God!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

No firefly but walkies anyhow

I walked down to the farmers' market today, got my knife sharpened, strolled around, and was strongly reminded of a Mason Williams song called, "The Tomato Vendetta."

This song's about the Tomato Vendetta
and a tale of a man who let a
hate for tomatoes rule his life.
He lost his job, wife, home, car, kids, and life.

He'd go downtown to buy some groceries.
He went because his family was hungrys.
He always bought red meat and potatoes,
but he'd never touch those ugly tomatoes.

One day after shopping and on his way home
his loathing for tomatoes cut to the bone.
He just couldn't stand the strain any more.
He vowed to destroy the tomato hoard.

All over town, in every store,  
tomatoes were hurt and spilled on the floor.
Big melons and turkeys, and large sacks of grits
were dumped on their sections to mash them to bits.

So at last. he'd finished his plan, 
but on his way home, a delivery van
full of big ripe tomatoes pulled out and hit him.
Tomato vendetta had claimed its victim.

The incident of the tomato vendetta
caused a sensation.  It was something that the
public could relish and readily snatch up -
popularly known as, "The Tomato Catch-up."

And, because I can do this whole thing from memory, we no longer wonder why I have no ability to remember where I parked my car or what your first-born child's name is.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I hit the tread mill yet again!  Yay for meee!!However, the 3rd episode of Firefly ran only 44 minutes, so I had to watch 15 minutes of "Downton Abbey" to get in my full hour of exercise.   (3.5 mph at 1% incline.) Then I carried the laptop into the bathroom with me and watched the rest of the episode from the bathtub.  God, I LOVE being retired!  No schedule, no stress, no expectations.

All this was after I spent time in the yard watering our volunteer squashes, watering our planters, and picking cherry tomatoes.  It goes without saying that for very three tomatoes that went in the basket, one went into my mouth.  I'm gonna break out in hives pretty soon, but oh my stars and garters, sun-warmed tomatoes fresh off the vine are food of the gods!  Then, for about half an hour, I terrorized blackberries and made them feel unwelcome. They fought back valiantly, piercing my leather gloves and scratching the hell out of my forearms  When the blood trickles into your gloves and makes them slippery, it may be time to consider toxic chemicals.  I can't help thinking though, that if I have to resort to Crossbow, then the blackberries have won.

Tomorrow, the local farmer's market sets up downtown. Every Sunday during the summer, folks bring their produce and services to the parking lot across from the city hall.  I'm thinking of taking some work for the knife sharpener.  I have a Gurkha kukri that is just about sharp enough to slice warm butter.  If I carry it in my knapsack, does that make it a concealed weapon?  Just walking down to the market for some fresh beets isn't too motivational, but I would like to get an edge put on the knife.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Twice in a row!

Getting to watch Firefly motivated me to walk again today.  One hour at 3.5 mph. Yay me!

For those who don't know, "Firefly" is a sci-fi TV show, no longer on the air, but available as a package from I-Tunes and lots of other providers no doubt.  It has a sort of wild-west grittiness as the captain and crew of the firefly flit  from planet to planet, smuggling, thieving and trying to find legitimate jobs to keep the ship up and flying.  They are rogues and rascals, but not bad people, and the interactions of the crew and passengers are fascinating.   It's a 9 person cast, and I'm totally hooked.

In fact, I'm looking forward to walking again tomorrow.

It's half past September, and summer lingers on.  There are forest fires in the area, so the air has a smokey, golden tinge. The neighborhood is full of low-hanging fruit and it's not actually stealing if the pear just drops into your hand, is it?  Sun-warmed plums, soft and succulent, are begging to be liberated.  The hazlenut trees are decked with squirrels, and crows are molting flight feathers all over the place.  After the wettest, coldest June on record, we have gone 52 days without measurable precipitation.  Boy, are we gonna get it this winter!

My 12 year-old Ford Taurus is starting to make unhappy noises.  Noises that whisper to me of serpentine belts and other expensive parts that take hours to replace.  DH is thinking I ought to get a new car, rather than pour more money into the old one.  I'm thinking - maybe a Prius.  What do you think?

Thursday, September 13, 2012


So, in order to get myself going on the treadmill, I downloaded the entire season of Firefly, put on my sneakers, propped the laptop on the treadmill dash, and started episode one.  I was sucked right in!  I walked and walked at 3.5 miles an hour, delighting in the characters and the plot twists,chuckling to myself at the obvious commercial breaks done without commercials.  At last I realized I was getting kind of tired, and checked my watch.  Hey, the first episode is two hours long and had fifteen minutes to go!  Hooray for distractions!  I put in in almost 7 miles without noticing it. Of course, I was dehydrated and creaky for the rest of the day, but boy, does Firefly do the trick!

Also, my writing group meets on the second floor.  the staircase goes up one more flight to a roof entry.  I took both flights when I got there, and did the second flight one more time at the end of the session.  I rock!

Trying to figure when I can get another hour of Firefly on the treadmill today.  Trying to figure how to get in some exercise?  Who AM I?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The season is turning

I could see my breath on the air yesterday morning.  Orion is watching me walk to and from the paperbox, and the light has that September color.  Why does it not look like this in the spring, when the sun is at the same angle? Probably, the omnipresent spring cloud cover has something to do with it.  Not enough light to throw a shadow in the spring.  But now, shadows are leaning to the north as the sun slides southward.  The cloudless skies thicken with dust and humidity. Leaves are starting to fall.

Of course, they are also predicting 90 degree weather tomorrow.  In September, you get it all!

For breakfast, today, I had the last of the blackberries dunked in fat-free yogurt, and sprinkled with oatmeal cookie crumbs.  It was HEAVEN!  Then I downloaded the entire "Firefly" TV series to motivate me to get on the treadmill and walk it all off.  I need all the help I can get.

I went for walkies with Maggie yesterday.  The Fitbit tells me that climbing the hills in her neighborhood equalled seven flights of stairs.  Woohoo!

We passed a guy walking three dogs. Clearly, he was the Leader of the Pack! I stopped to talk. He remarked that even though one dog belonged to his wife and one belonged to his daughter, he still was the one who got to walk them, even after a ten hour shift at work.  And I didn't get the hint!  (I'm tired lady.  Please let me get the dogs walked so I can go home to bed.)  I chattered on, wondering why Maggie didn't come over and join us.  It was my day to be clueless.  All I had to do was look at her to see that she didn't like big dogs.  And trusting idiot that I am, I always want to stick my face down in among them to get my ears licked.  One of these days, I'll get bitten.  At least I had sense enough to ask if I could go up to the dogs. before I invaded their space.  I get out in the sunshine, and those exercise endorphins get charging around my system,  and life is so wonderful that I just love everyone, and I think that everyone loves me.  Those endorphins have a lot to answer for!

DH is working this weekend, so I am trying to plan a few fun things to do so I won't miss him too much.  Things that don't involve food.  Anyone want to go for walkies with me?  A morning at the Japanese Gardens? Wanna go to the zoo? Maybe there's an early showing of Expendables 2.  I'd sort of like to see "Grumpy Old Heroes." Love that we boomers are dragging our stars along as unchanged as we can make them.  I don't care if you're sixty five years old, Arnie.  We want you to jump off this wall toting a rocket launcher, knock out three buff young guerrillas, meet up behind that wall with Sly who is carrying the bag full of rockets,  fire one between Bruce and Van Damm, and blow up the ammo dump. Then run like hell, while being wry and witty.  Aaaaannnnd - ACTION!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

September knitting

Pear upside down cake with ginger  went over very well.  Nasturtiums, being edible, made perfect decorations.  Gingersnaps, oatmeal/cranberry cookies, brownie bites,  and blackberries in cookie bowls with a crumble of blue cheese, and tea-dyed deviled eggs. We ate ourselves to satiety.

After desperately seeking blackberries, on line and in person, I made it to Justy's Produce in Milwaukie and bought a flat of the little gems.  Thank you, thank you, Justy's Produce!!
I used my flower-vase napkin rings.  Don't those nasturtiums pop against the purple napkin?

Tomatoes(on the right) from our backyard plot.  We started the season with three tomato cages, but the plants have overpowered them entirely.If the pumpkins hadn't dived out the side of the planter and made a run for it, they would have fallen victim to the attack of the killer tomatoes!  Oh, but those yellow cherry tomatoes are SWEET!
Here's the blackberries in the cookie bowl.  Every bowl was consumed completely.  Some people were picking the candied walnuts out of the serving bowls.  Next time, more candied walnuts!

Janette, notice the lovely cup?  Thanks again!  LOVE it!
Here we are in quick overview, toward the end of the festivities.  I was so busy getting things pulled together that it wasn't until DH returned at 12 that I realized I had forgotten to put on makeup or shoes.  I did the whole party in my house-slippers.

As always, a joyous, nurturing, celebratory time.  Thank you, thank you, my dear guests, for making this such a treat for me!  I hope you all got enough to eat.

Thursday, September 06, 2012


 In my effort to lighten the load on my knees, I have been trying to walk off some excess weight. Not long ago, I took myself down to Elk Rock Island and park.  This is about a mile and a half from my home. Here's Elk Rock Island in the middle of the Willamette river.  There used to be a dance hall here that was quite the place to visit in the 20s.  People would come upriver by ferryboat from Portland to have a wild time.  The hall burned down, and the island has been returned to the wild.
 Here is a picture of Elk Rock which gave the adjacent island its name.  The indians used to drive herds of elk down the hill and over the cliff here to harvest quantities of meat for the winter.  The house built at the edge is one that I would give my best poem to own.  The cliff under it is basalt, so no fear of landslides. The river view is stunning, and the house faces east, and it's above even the century floods.  What more could you ask?  You could sit in your kitchen, sipping your morning tea or coffee, watching the great blue herons and the nutria and the boaters and fishermen.  I imagine the tranquility is about knee deep in that house.

On the East side of the river, a little creek flows into the river.  to my surprise, a fish ladder has been built to accommodate the returning salmon.  How hospitable we have become to our native fauna!

And on the way back, I discovered a Harley dealership. I do love a Harley.

The walking has been quite enjoyable, but in spite of walking miles and eating sparingly I retain the weight.  I am what old-timefarmers called, "an easy keeper."  This is a term for livestock that put on weight readily and didn't go skinny during the lean times.

And for the next three days it will be impossible to eat sparingly, because I am prepping for Ladies' Knitting on Saturday.  You gotta taste the dough and the cookies as you make them.  And how can you wash the cake batter bowl if you don't lick it clean first?  I am doing tea-dyed deviled eggs for the savory, and a pear upside down cake. I wanted to serve blackberries, but I may have just missed the season.  Drat!  I'm going on a fruit stand blitz tomorrow, but if i can't find any blackberries, I'd better have a backup plan.  Nectarines maybe?

On the knitting front, remember the friend who is expecting a baby granddaughter and was tempted into selling his soul for a pair of precious pink hand-knit baby booties? "Devil woman!  Name your price!"

The price I have exacted was to send him the rainbow trout hat and tell him I wanted five pictures of him wearing it in public.  He is a damn good sport!  Thanks, Ed!  This is one,

and this is two.  Nice abs for a gray-haired  history professor.  ;-)