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, September 30, 2013

The letter R

Red radishes

Rabbit, Angora from which comes those fluffy angoa sweaters.
Resting red cat

Rear.  I'm a fan of those bottom lines.

Righteous rear

Really tight rump!

Raucous Roxie

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bucky remembers the sun

Ah, the winter rains have begun.  This is the time I used to start saving all my spare change in the "Moving to American Samoa Fund."  Instead, I can now remember warm and tropical vacations.  And since Bucky was on the last one, and is now frolicking in So. Cal., I thought I would travel with him today. 

Here we are. buckled in on our Quantas flight on the way to Australia.  Bucky was able to stretch out and get a really good night's rest.  He may have been the only one on the plane who did.  Seventeen hours is a LOOONG time to fly.

When we got to Sydney, we had to wander around for a few hours until our hotel room was available.  This was a display in one of the shopping alleys in The Rocks.  Bucky likes to play, "One of these things is not like the others."

 We stopped at a jewelry shop to look over the lovely pearls, and Bucky of course made friends and flirted dreadfully.

There were many more adventures in Sydney, and our astonishingly gracious friends Janette and Marc made us feel as welcome as beloved family for three days.  Or was it more?  I was so tired.

Then we began our trans-pacific cruise.  Bucky spent many a happy hour leaning on the rail, gazing at the blue, blue ocean.

We met Destination Dave who is quite the world traveler, having been to India and the bottom of the Grand Canyon and Wales, and China.  Dave travels with an extended family who know how to spread the fun around.  He also has quite an extensive wardrobe, but Bucky, being quite the dapper young ram, felt no jealousy.

Bucky makes friends wherever he goes.  This charming little faun adorned the bench next to our elevator.

And doesn't this fellow look like the eagle from the Muppet Show?

Our favorite place to make friends though, was on Dravuni Island in Fiji.

Bucky decided to go native on the white sand beach amid the palm trees.

He tried some cool fresh coconut water. It was very nice.  He decided not to go swimming because the water was so warm it might have felted his wool.  But he lounged and lazed and slotted around like a real tourist.

He even went native with a lava lava like all the native men were wearing.  There were no native sheep.   He thinks back to that serene happy day whenever the rain gets cold and the wind blows it sideways, and remembering makes him feel warmer all over.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Summer done be GONE

Or as kermit said, when the truck ran over his bicycle, "I was nearly gone with the Schwinn."

Our first fall storm blew in with a vengeance this weekend.  Kyle and I wanted to attend the Volkswalk in Scappoose, Oregon, held in conjunction with the Sauerkraut Festival, so we got out early and drove north along the Columbia to scenic Scappoose.  We got in our six kilometers under cloudy skies, wandered through the festival, hit the farmer's market (he bought me a beautiful bouquet of dahlias and two boxes of figs) and about ten minutes after we got in the car to drive home, the heavens parted and the rain came bucketing down.  It rained like a cow peeing on a flat rock for most of the rest of the day.

The next day, I had arranged to go to the Rennisance Festival with Rose.  It was still raining.  We went anyway.  There were very, very few attendees.  Cold wind and steady fine rain dampened the spirits.  Occasionally, the fine rain would grow to heavy squalls.  The poor festival folk were so blue!  Entertainers performing to scant audiences, food booths with gaily bedecked attendants, draped in blankets and gloomy faces, staring out at the muddy, empty paths.  Jewelry stalls all selling the same ear wraps, all staffed by juniors surreptitiously texting on their cell phones.  Rose took lots of pictures, but it wasn't the sort of jolly event we had expected.  Still, Rose makes it a good time anyway.  She has such an upbeat personality.  She got a henna tattoo, and the lady doing the work mentioned that the small  pavilions scattered around had been created for "The Chronicles of Narnia," movie.  What fun!  They were very pretty, about 8 feet in diameter, and would have made delightful little booths for merchants on a warm, dry day.  In the autumn rain, stuffed with bored, cold, depressed festival people, they were little clusters of sighs.  I hope the festival comes again next year.  A nice day would make such a difference!

It made me think about medieval fairs and festivals, and what life was like for them when it rained.  I am such a wuss!  Most of life in those days would have been cold, wet and miserable.  I'm SO glad I live here and now!!

I have, according to doctor's orders, gradually cut my Prednisone dosage down from 80 mg to 20.  in two more weeks, I should be off it all together.  And my weight loss is slowing down.  I think there's a connection.  In fact, even though I got lots of exercise this week and stuck to the Weight Watcher's plan faithfully, I gained .8 pounds this week.  Oh well, it evens out in the end.  That's what I get for publicly bragging that I have lost 20 pounds.  It's ok to be pleased and proud of my success, but it's evidently not ok to talk about it.  But - but, I can get into my jeans again!

The letter Q

I have been collecting these for a while, knowing that Q would be hard.  Now I have to start thinking ahead to X!
Japanese Quince fruit.
Queen Anne's Lace
rose Quartz
a goose Quill
 Australian desert Quandong jam
Quilt.  This is the way I slap quilts together.  I love mitered squares and I'm not fussy about making seams match.  I could say it creates "dynamic tension."

Monday, September 16, 2013

The letter P

Pumpkins pendant on the palings.
Place setting

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sept. tea

 As I mentioned yesterday, I do love my glass plates.  This one has cherries embossed in reverse on the back.  the cup may be modern, but I like it just fine.  Purple glass is a nice color for a tea cup.
I have four plates shaped like dogwood blossoms.    So pretty on the pink lace mat.  And the authentic depression glass cup and saucer  may have been a premium in a box of laundry detergent.  
 This plate is yellow, and I love the delicate pressed design.  But I don't have a placemat that shows it off very well.  Hmmm - things to sew.  A white and yellow placemat?
The pear/ginger upside down cake turned out nicely.  The minted honeydew vanished!  The ham and cheese roll-ups went over like gangbusters.  Maggie K brought chocolate cake pops that were too cute for words which is just s well because we were too busy eating them to talk.   There were chocolate chip cookies to send home to the non-knitting spouses.  And I used my elevated vase in an artistic way, here, putting a pink dahlia and a pink lilly in the raised part, then putting white lilies and another dahlia underneath.  Oh, sometimes I'm so artsy I can't stand myself!

Lordy I do love these parties.  I wish you could all come along.  We laugh ourselves silly.

Friday, September 13, 2013

knitting has happened

Last year I bought a couple one pound balls of cotton yarn because it was on sale.   So, for my RV knitting, I took some Sugar and Cream for trim and made blue mitered squares, because it takes very little counting and almost no watching.  Turned out a cotton blanket for Med Team Intl.   I have also one pound of purple.  I guess they could use a purple cotton blankie in some orphanage somewhere.  I like to have busy-hands, mindless knitting for the RV because watching the scenery is SO pleasant through those big high windows.
I made a joke.  (Sings)"The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup."

Are you old enough to get this?

Today I go in for my Visual Field test to see how much vision I actually have.  And then it's baking frenzy as I make gingersnaps, chocolate chip cookies, and pear/ginger upside down cakes for tomorrow's tea.  On Saturday morning, I will bake the ham and cheese roll-ups, so the house will smell yummy and they'll be warm when people arrive.  I probably ought to walk a few miles today, too, to compensate for the tea-feasting.

 I set the table using depression glass cups and saucers.  I love the idea of these being given away as premiums during a time when nice things were rare.  I can just see the negotiations:  "Mom, can I have a nickel to go to the movies?  They're giving away cups and saucers in your pattern today."  "Hmm - here's a dime.  Take your brother, and don't let him carry them."  "Oh, mom, he won't like it.  It's a musical and he always burps during the romantic parts."  "He'll like the cartoon and the newsreel and it will get him out from underfoot so I can mop the kitchen floor.  Here's the dime.  Now scoot!"

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Not so bad

The MRI wasn't bad at all.  Yes, you are enclosed, and yes, it is noisy.  But they gave me earplugs and a cushion to put under my knees and a warm blankie, all of which helped.  And every time claustrophobia stirred, I channeled my inner Xena and denied all possibility of fear.  The hard part was keeping my eyes still.  I kept them closed, yet they wanted to wander up, down, sideways with my thoughts.  I decided to concentrate on the big toe on my right foot.  With my eyes closed, I stared at the big toe on my right foot.  I visualized and focused on the big toe on my right foot. I felt, sensed, and appreciated the big toe on my right foot.  I really zeroed in on the big toe on my right foot, and I thanked it for all it's many years of excellent service.  And before I knew it, it was time to be slid out of the tube and get the dye injected into my arm. (thet took pictures with and without contrast dye)  I could feel the stuff moving up my arm.  It wasn't painful or uncomfortable, just - noticeable.  Then it was back into the tube and back to big toe on right foot for the rest of the one hour session.

The variety of noises your MRI machine makes would delight a cub scout.  There are clacks, raps, bangs, ZzzZzzZzz ray gun noises, bongs, whamming on a steel garbage can clatters, and, very faintly, a submarine radar sort of pinginging.

I saw the rheumatologist today.  She's on the team because she's the  Prednisone specialist.  She pulled up the MRI pictures and let me look at them.  I wanted to kiss her!  They will be studied by a neurologist to make sure everything is good, but they looked great to me.  No worms or cockroaches in my brain.  No ominous tumor-like masses.  No empty spaces that should have been full of leetle grey cells.  I was surprised at how asymmetrical my skull is.  And wow, it's neat  to look at the sinuses!  Eyeballs are fascinating, too.  I think I have a good, brain-shaped brain, with all the appropriate pleats and folds and ruffles where they should be.

Since I am a female over 60, and since Prednisone can deplete bone mass, I now have added Fosamax to my list of prescriptions. One pill a week.  That's going to be a pain to remember.  And you have to take it on an empty stomach, then wait half an hour before you eat, drink, or lie down.Wait half an hour for my morning cuppa?  That's barbaric!  Well, if this is the price I must pay for unbroken hips, I guess I'll just suck it up and get tough.

Friday I will have a field of vision test to make sure the blind  spot is really gone.  Next Tuesday I talk to the neurologist.  Still don't know for sure what caused it, but it's nice to know the things that didn't.
No brain-eating cockroaches.  Whew!  Dodged a bullet there!

Monday, September 09, 2013

The letter O

Occupy and observe


I saw the saucer, whirling bright, float high above the ground
while small gray creatures in the light were gently floated down.
With thin pink feet and beady eyes, like possums or their cousins
they hit the ground and waddled off in couples and in dozens.
The saucer left as silently as any passing breeze
and left my mind a prey to many questions such as these:
Were the creatures really aliens, or earthling abductees?
And why would they abduct possums?  And what did they think of the fleas?

Now when I round a rural corner any moonless night,
and something small and grey and fey stands frozen in the light,
and I can't stop the car in time, I always have my doubts.
Did I just squash a possum, or road kill an alien scout?

occular orbit


Sunday, September 08, 2013

Good weekend

Friends own a membership in a camping resort on Lake Merwyn in Washington State.  The site is stunning.  The lake is deep between steep ridges - Maybe a thousand vertical feet,- and the sites are scattered all up and down, and are hidden from one another. People can put trailers up, but not build permanent structures.  But it makes sense to put a roof over the trailer to keep the winter snowfall from piling up on the flat top of the trailer.  

A little shed to shed the snow.

Of course, If one person puts up a little roof, the next person puts up a little bigger roof and creates a sheltered porch to sit on..  The next person maybe puts up a bigger roof and perhaps a wall to screen the wind. Then a storage shed.  Then an enclosed sunporch with view.

And before you know it, the trailer is just barely visible.  But it still has the wheels on!  It's camping.  Really!

The resort has a beautiful indoor pool, a fabulous swimming zone on the lake itself, boat ramps and docks, stunning views of Mt. St. Helens, roaming does and fawns, peace, quiet, nature, fresh air, serenity. We took the RV up, spent the day with our friends and the night in a visitor site. It was a great escape.
I should have had this photo last week for the letter N.  This is a nurse tree.  Years ago the area was logged off.  A seed landed on top of the decaying stump and took root.  The stump kept it too high for the deer to nibble on and nursed it along to become a fine strong tree.

With my vision problems lately, I have been appreciating being able to see. And oh how I filled my eyes with light and beauty this weekend.  Morning mist drifting over the lake.  A raven soaring overhead.  Sun pouring through the green maple leaves and flashing off the early fallen yellow leaves.  A fawn just losing the last of his spots.  And Mt. St. Helen's as a backdrop to ranks and ranks of ridges fading into the distance.