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.”

Monday, December 31, 2012

last day of 2012

 It's so nice to have the laptop back.  There is a limited amount I can do on the cell phone. Probably due to my limitations, not the phone's.  But in the interim, I did get more hats knit.  Hats for toddlers get too-big-to-swallow buttons for eyes.  On the purple one, I used white buttons, then picked up a 99cent bottle of purple nail polish and painted in the centers to look more eyelike.  The black buttons are sewn down with silver thread.  And the stripy hat is a skein of self-striping sock yarn plumped with a skein of white sock yarn of mysterious content from an estate sale.  The eyes, which don't show well in the photo, are green sparkly buttons.  I don't really need the pattern to knit fish hats at the moment.  Anyone else want a hat while I'm on a roll?

 For Christmas, my newly married niece gave me some beautiful, soft blue yarn spun by her new MIL.  I knit myself a happy, cozy cowl, adding in just a bit of dark blue alpaca at the end to make a ruffle.  I loves it!  Thank you , Cheryl and Deb!

A thing DH and I love to do is to go to grocery stores out of our area and peruse the selections.  The Asian store is a treat!  The Russian store is a source of awesome teas and chocolates. There is a store down in the industrial area that has the best butchershop in town.  Oh, the sausages we find there!  Last time through, we picked up Daffy's Delight which is duck meat with wild mushrooms, some chicken/basil sausage, a kielbassa and a pound of home-made sauerkraut, and a classic venison with sage sausage. We've got some serious feasting ahead of us.
We also enjoyed checking out the beer cases.  I was especially amused by "Santa's Butt" beer and "Bad Elf" ale.  There's some "Mutant Bastard" porter in the case, too.  Lots of small breweries in Oregon.  Some people call us, "Beervana."

So, the Mayan alpacalips has come and gone, and we still seem to be here.  Right this minute, it's next year in Australia and Japan.  Time is whistling past my ears, as the tempo of my life slows down.  DH and I will spend a quiet night at home, probably nibbling cheese and crackers, sausage and fruit.  I may start a jigsaw puzzle which I see as a metaphor for life.  Except in real life, of course, it's a 30million piece puzzle, you don't have all your pieces, although you have many pieces that don't belong in your particular puzzle, there are no edges, and the colors keep changing.  A jigsaw in a box is so comforting.  And it will hold my attention long enough for me to stay awake till midnight.  On the other hand, we may just turn in as usual and wish each other happy new year when we wake.

Regardless of which side of the meridian you are, may 2013 be a year filled with pleasure and satisfaction for you. Rejoice!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas shopping

DH has the best system for doing his Christmas shopping for me. He takes me with him! After the Saturday night party, we slept in on Sunday, then got up, grabbed a cup of tea, and hit an estate sale. Actually, it was more like a clearance sale for a bunch of guys who do estate sales. Or maybe they have been buying the contents of abandoned storage lockers. What ever their resource, they had shelves and tables and pretty much half a warehouse full of stuff. Dusty treasures. And since it was Sunday, everything was half off the already deeply reduced prices. DH could barely carry our $19.25 worth of treasures. Six crystal long-stemmed Bordeaux balloons, five pretty china plates, four china cups and saucers, three vintage cookbooks, two china teapots (I do NOT need more teapots, but one was a charming single cup Limoges pot for one dollar, and one was a funny pink petunia adorned pot with a petunia forming the spout - for fifty cents. If nothing else, I can knit a pretty pink tea cozy and give it away as a set.) and a big iron basket to hang on the side of the house and fill with flowers.

Then we crossed to the chichi Northwest neighborhood for brunch at Kornblatt's Deli. Their matzah ball soup is a nearly religious experience for me. DH swears by their pastrami. The tables are crowded together, and the service is cheerfully efficient. It's a bright, bustling, popular place.

Since we were then so close, we stopped at Lush and I got some more bubble bath. The we strolled on to Salt and Straw, the ice cream parlor. Yes, it was a cold and rainy day, but the tastes, the favors - I think I would stop by Salt and Straw during an ice age. I had mulled wine sorbet. Clove, cinnamon, sweet red wine, oh, it was delicious! In a waffle one, of course. That's an essential part of the experience.

A final stop at a little South American import shop where I found a pair o cotton slacks and a matching jacket that actually fit!

Back to the east side of the river to Sherridan's market which has one of the best butcher shops in the city. Four different kinds of sausage (I chose Daffy's Delight, with duck and mushrooms) a stuffed game hen for Christmas dinner, some fabulous beef raviolis, . . . Well, I won't bore you with our full shopping list, but it cost considerably more than twenty dollars. We do love good charcuterie!

A final stop at Whole Foods for a selection of cheeses. They have gotten the brilliant idea of packaging and selling the littl chunks and bits of the ends o expensive cheeses, so customers can find out if the really LIKE the smoked Gouda before they spend fourteen dollars for half a pound of it. We love shopping in specialty markets. It's so often a surprise. Vegan dog food? Mother's Milk nursing tea? Santa's Butt beer? You never know what you might find.

So that was our big, excellent, day before the day before Christmas adventure. We came home, I fixed us a pot of tea and some cheese and crackers, and killed my laptop. Got a lot of knitting done, though.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hope for the future

Last night we attended a rocking twenty fifth anniversary party with friends of ours. They were born and raised in Russia, but moved to the US when their kids were 3and 5. Manyof their friends are also native-born Russians and by golly, they party better than we do! my favorite part was when the young men started doing that Cossak dance where they squat down and kick their legs out. Thighs of steel! DH and I even got out on the dance floor for some considerably more sedate moves. But the middle-aged Russian couples were dancing every dance, be it jitterbug, polka, waltz, or tango. When the men paused to go outside for a smoke, the ladies danced with one another. The daughter of the anniversary couple teaches Zumba classes, and was leading us through a routine for Gangnam Style when I finally ran out of gas. She and her brother and the nicest kids! They have social poise, excellent work ethic, all sorts of smarts,good looks and damn nice personalities. And their friends are just as nice. F or example, the young man who is a post anesthesia nurse, heck of a fine dancer, and kind enough to flirt with an old woman when there are two pretty young woman at the same table.

There was a bottle of vodka at each table. It was much better than any vodka i've ever had! It still loosened the top of my head (hence the flirting with young men) but it left the skin on my tongue and the enamel on my teeth. Dinner was an opulent Chinese feast. It was a wonderful, wonderful evening!

On the way home, we saw a short section of the highway strewn with teddy bears and other stuffies, and their assorted parts. Fuzzy white and brown legs and ears and tails fluttered in the draft of passing cars. One of my long-time wishes has been granted. Someone snuffed the whole Snuggle Bear family! I despise the Snuggle bear -- saccharine little flocker!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Season's greetings

 We had a snowfall.  It won't last, but I did manage to get a photo.  Winter is really here I guess.  It's nice and chilly outside, but still above freezing.  Still, I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere today.

Instead, I get to sit at home and knit.  Happy, happy, fun, fun!  I have a list of fish hats that still need to be made. Then I want to knit a vest for DH, and I need a couple of quick stocking hats for me.  I'll be knitting busily for a while.  I'm all cozy and comfy in my chair, listening to a book on the computer (Agatha Hetrodyne and the Clockwork Princess) and quite content.
The young fellow who asked for this hat wanted it to be, "Dark blue only with white stripes like Nemo."
His sister wanted "Pink and fuzzy and sparkly."  I knocked that one out of the park here!

Now I'm working on a purple fish.  Then,one in lime green with pale blue.  I have to pick up some lime green yarn.  Pink,purple,sparkly, fuzzy,navy, white, pale blue, I have all of that covered, but not lime green.  Yet.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

more fish

Shopping for buttons for the eyes was an interesting exercise .  I think these turned out rather nicely.  A young fellow at the bank offered to buy one from me. We'll see if he's interested when I tell him it took 12 hours and ask how much he thinks my time is worth.  If he changes his mind, I'm sure there are lots of other homes for it.
My dental hygienist wanted a hat for her brother-in-law, and she appreciates the value of my time, so this one is for her and we'll work out a reasonable price for it.  It's Lorna'sLaces alpaca and merino. Quite a handsome fish with those red eyes.

I'm going to the dentist tomorrow to have fillings replaced, so I can deliver it then.
Ben cat has a nice cozy nest on top of a bookshelf. Doesn't he look content?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Timing is everything.

DH took time off, so if the weather was crappy, it would have been ok to stay a few days later.  But the weather was ok and we got home safe and sound. We had a quiet, lazy day on Monday.  Today, we went to see "Rise of the Guardians"at the matinee.  I loved it!  It was funny and sweet and just what you might expect from Pixar. Santa was a big Russian dude!  the tooth fairy was half hummingbird.  The Easter bunny (voiced by Hugh Jackman) was a 6ft 2 inch rabbit armed with boomerangs.  The Boogieman was out to make all the kids in the world stop believing that Santa and the others were real.  Jack Frost and the Sandman beat him.  It was cool!  I'm still happy from seeing it.

We got out about 2:30 and headed home. At approximately 3:30 there was a shooting at the food court in front of the theatre.  God bless the people who were there, who were injured, who were frightened.  The news is broadcasting live from the mall where it happened.  Most folks report hearing a big bang, then lots more cracks, and not realizing at first that it was gunfire.  Store owners dragged customers into the back of stores and locked the doors, and there they stayed for hours until the police came from shop to shop to escort them out.  "Surreal" is the word everyone is using.  We absolutely do not expect this to happen to us, even though we know it happens all over the world all the time.   Luckily, it was a slow day at the mall.  Two deaths and one injury, as well as the shooter.

We were SO lucky!  Thank God we missed it all.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

That was the best wedding!

My niece just planned and executed the nicest wedding I have ever, in 62 years of life, ever attended.  Nothing went wrong.  She didn't miss a step or a detail.  Every thing that could possibly be done to make the guests feel welcome and honored was done with a bow and some glitter on it!  And we all enjoyed it so much!  Now all I have to do is figure how to get hold of some of those awesome professional photos.

The DJ had a dance for the groom and his mom.  Since my brother, the bride's father has passed away, I figured I should step up.  She is such a good sport!  We had a ball, but couldn't figure who should lead.
Cheryl and Auntie Roxie

We had a lovely sit-down dinner, and finished it off with a "candy bar" buffet.  Everyone got a pretty little paper sack and a little scoop and we were turned loose on jars of chocolate-covered malted milk balls, a vase of butter mints, yogurt coated almonds, raisin and vanilla jellybeans, caramels, rock candy swizzle sticks, and some divine gummy things called coconut slices.  What fun!

The cake was lovely.  We stayed for the slicing andI am proud to report that they behaved like grownups, feeding one-another neatly rather than succumbing to the folks who exhorted them to mash it into each other's faces.  Unfortunately, the groom did give the bride a fierce bite on the fingertip.  DH and I left before we ate any cake, though. Between the chocolate wine and the excitement of the occasion and the general all round jollity, I gave the groom a pat on the fanny.  Really, it was just an affectionate pat on the cheek.  But I realized that, kindly though I feel toward the lad, it had been about 30 hours since I first met him, and clearly, my judgement had become seriously impaired, so it was time for me to retreat.

It was a splendid time and DH  and I were sad to leave this morning, because we made so many new friends.

Oh, and I got orders for lots and lots more fish hats.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Safe arrival

The road over the pass never got any worse than this.  And I have LOTS of knitting along to focus on!  I started playing the alphabet game with myself, too.  "I'm going on a cruise and I'm taking Aqua sox.  I'm going on a cruise and I'm taking Aqua sox and a Bathing suit.  I'm going on a cruise and I'm taking Aqua sox, a Bathing suit, and Cosmetics.  I'm going on a cruise and I'm taking . . ." You have to think of things beginning with the next letter of the alphabet and remember all the other items in order.  DH just sat and smiled as I chanted away.  Trying to think up the next letter is a good challenge.  Dancing shoes. Elegant accessories. a Formal. G. . .

 Then we stopped at Government Camp where DH used the restroom and I witnessed an attempted murder.  Three or more chickens is a flock, three or more lions is a pride, three or more crows is a murder of crows.  Here are two crows, quite annoyed at the cold and the snow.

DH negotiated the pass with maximum ease, the traffic was light,we made good time.  We stopped in Redmond and visited with my brother Chuck for a while, then cruised on our way.  It's been a few years since we've been through this way, and oh my GOSH things have changed!  Redmond is not the little town I grew up in. They have built an elementary school right next to the cemetery, and I bet Dad is really ticked off at all those noisy kids disturbing his rest.  All the growth and changes make me feel sort of disoriented.  How could this happen when I wasn't watching?  How is it that my hometown no longer matches my memories?

Then we drove to Sisters and checked in to the Five Pines Resort.  Heaven on earth!  Just look at the bath tub!  The water plummets from the ceiling and builds enormous mounds of bubbles.  You could loos a small person under the bubble bath.  There's a window into the main room so you can wallow in the tub and watch TV or just gaze at the fire in the fireplace.  The resort features small,  separate cabins, luxuriously appointed, no kitchen, but all other amenities.  And my niece had arranged for gift baskets for us with cookies and teas, wines and crackers, bells and whistles, (actually, there were no whistles, but I whistled when I saw how generous and thorough she had been.)

Then the meets and greets and hugs and rejoicing.  I feel so blessed to have re-connected with my twin brother's girls!  And what nice children they have produced!  I love my great nieces.  They ripped into their Christmas gifts and are wearing their fish hats all over!

The wedding is today.  I can hardly wait.  Will M. wear a calf holster under her bridesmaid dress?  Will the flower girl shine in her tiny glory or go all shy on us?  Something goes wrong at every wedding.  What will it be for this one?  (My first wedding, I had a fever of 103 for the whole ceremony and spent the honeymoon in bed with an upper respiratory infection.  For my second wedding, the best man nearly cut his thumb off  2 hours before the ceremony.  He arrived just in time from the emergency ward and soldiered through like a trooper.)  May today's bollix be much smaller.  Maybe the music won't work. Maybe the curling iron will die.  Maybe someone will dress inappropriately and I can be all snarky about the nice formal sweatpants someone showed up in.  It's going to be a great day!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Love this country!

On Wednesdays, MJ and I meet for breakfast, then go to her house and sew comforters.  She lives out in the country, and last Wednesday we had a low-lying fog that was breaking and burning off as we drove to her house.  It was magical!  The light came streaming down, making the trees throw almost solid shadows into the mist.  As we got higher up the hill, the last shreds of fog settled in silvery pools in the low spots.  I rounded a corner and saw two goats and a young pig playing tag in a field. And then a huge skein of geese flew overhead, braying their traveling songs.  The air was cool and wet, the sunlight was fresh and low angled, and the whole day was filled with promise and possibilities.  We got a baby comforter finished, and the basic plans for another one begun.  It was a fruitful morning!!

Today, I went to the dermatologist.  I get to keep all my skin!  Well, there is that little bit they want to snip off, but the doc said I could take it home in a jar of alcohol, so that counts, right?  It's not cancer - just geriatric stuff.  When I was twenty, no one warned me about benign cysts and skin tags and sebaceous keratomas and stuff.  Living with this certainly is better than NOT living, though, so I'm not complaining.

The staff at the doctor's are the nicest people!  At zero in the morning, I, as their first patient of the day, got cheery, energetic hellos and smiles from everyone.  I do like Kaiser!

Tomorrow, DH will drive, and I will ride along calmly and quietly, as we head over\ the pass to my niece's wedding in Sisters.  I hate snow, and won't cross the pass in winter for anything but a wedding or a funeral.  Thank dog that DH is a wonderful driver and totally unfazed by that freezy skid stuff!

So, as long as we will be there in person, I may as well bake up a batch of cookies to carry with us (and maybe bribe the tow-truck drivers if we get in trouble,)  Wish us well.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Whatta Weekend!

Dh and I really squeezed the best out of this weekend! He made cinnamon rolls.  We met my brother and nephew for breakfast during their layover from Hawaii to Redmond.  My dear brother went to Hawaii to visit his daughter for Thanksgiving, and came down with appendicitis. A trip to the emergency room and laproscopic surgery followed, and he wound up staying several days longer than anticipated.  My nephew flew over to escort him back because he was still a bit shaky on his pins. So I got to spend several hours chatting with three of my favorite guys. I am so tickled that the men in my family approve of the man I married.
After buying groceries and getting them put away, we met friends to see "The Life of Pi."  Visually stunning!  there were scenes that have graven themselves on the back of my skull and will stand as symbols for ineffable concepts for the rest of may days.  I prefer to see the story as a splendid allegory, but I leave it to you to make your own decisions.

then we went to a restaurant that has been in business for decades, thatDHandI had tried years ago and found unsatisfactory, but our friends had a coupon,so we were ready to give it another try. We were SO pleasantly surprised!  Tasty food, superb service,a charming location and reasonable prices.  Amadeus in Milwaukie is a dress-up fancy dinner place that we will visit repeatedly.

I finished another fish hat, and during the movie, got a good start on a basic stocking cap for the dad of the family.
Then Sunday we got the tree from a lot where the owner is donating trees to veterans and their families.  We like to support the good guys.  We got the tree up and decorated.  We got the lights up (DH is aHERO!)  and we even had enough time at the end of Sunday afternoon to visit a local estate sale.  The folks are trying to clear the stuff out.  The prices were wonderful, and the estate belonged to a bit of a hoarder.  We sort of went nuts.
For starters, here's the yarn I got.  There's silk, wool, exotic blends, eyelash with mylar, sequins on thread,  cotton, rayon chenille - - - If I bought it new, I would have over $200 here.  I got it for $20.  I got a couple teacups made in occupied Japan (My focus for collecting now.  There isn't enough room in the house for all the teacups that strike my fancy)  DH found some  funny Christmas lights.  There were china plates and glass fruit bowls and mouth-blown wine glasses . . .  I have a sink full of hand washing to do before I put it all away.  When I'm washing the really delicate stuff, I get superstitious and put a terry towel in the bottom of the sink to pad it.  Then hot water and soap, and bare hands so I can feel for chips and scratches.

It was a splendid day.  My Cards are out, and today I will start on the rum balls!  Woohoo!