Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Knit night tonight, then home to watch the Olympic coverage.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Not yyyyyyyyet!!!!!!!!!!!

Summer is SO short in our school district.  The first day of school is August 14th.  But things start even earlier for kids in sports or with extra-curricular activities.  Beginning today, MyFavoriteKid has two weeks of marching band practice....every week day, Monday through Friday, from 9am-5pm.

Today was the first packed lunch!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

current favorite commercial

Makes me laugh so hard I can't breathe and my eyes water.
It even makes me want to try liking Greek Yogurt.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

snaps on saturday

Tripping around today in Tony's Furniture store....

....a wonderful building that is a treasury of gorgeous wooden antique chairs and tables.  The best part of the place is Tony himself, the owner who is full of character, and he can tell you exactly how long he has been in business (41 years, 7 months, 20 days...as of today).

special thank to TheMostImportantGuy who
a) took the photo with his phone and sent it to me, and
b) reminded me as I was dozing off that I hadn't posted yet today.

Friday, July 27, 2012

one very long day!

Three hours allotted for driving to camp and grabbing lunch, two and a half hours for the talent show....

(which was awesome!! and MyFavoriteKid had so much fun! drums, guitar, and steel drums this year!) 

 ....and then just over 3 hours to get back home.  Long day in the saddle!!!!

I came home and made a tomato and mozzarella salad and plopped down to watch the most ridiculous Olympics Opening Ceremony I have ever seen.  Over and over again, I found myself saying, "Whaaaaat??!"   Commentator Meredith Vieira summed it up best when she was trying to describe what she was watching and said, "And there's one more thing I don't understand."   What a hot crazy chaotic mess!   No bother though....when it comes to the Olympics I'm far more interested in watching the actual games anyhow.

Off to sleep I go.  Gardening class bright and early tomorrow!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

vintage me.

Oooo, it's been a long while since I have posted a vintage photo!

That's my Mom, my Dad, me on the right, and sister on the left (see?! there really is/was a sister!)
I think I was about 12 in this photo.  It was taken at a little shop in an amusement park.

The most interesting thing to me about this photo?
What my mom looked like then, I think looks like me now. 
And what I looked like then, I think looks like MyFavoriteKid now. 

Foretelling, aint it?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

i have a little secret.

Okay, it's not really a seeecret...it's just that I haven't blogged about this for some reason!  (and I am not sure why)

MyFavoriteKid has been off at summer camp since last Saturday....mwahaha!

I've mostly been taking care of things that I had been putting off during construction and while out of town...but I've also been doing a bunch of things I don't normally get a chance to do...and I have been piddling around! 

In the taking care of business category I did things like repair my crutches (the wings nuts for the hand grips were missing and the supporting rods kept sliding out!), and I also repaired the broken slat on the teak shower stool that I use (it was quite ouchy on the buns there for awhile!).  I got my music together for our upcoming show and have done a little rehearsing. 

In the things I don't normally get to do category, I got to go out to dinner with KarenTheDancingLurker, and then we went to see one of our dance students perform music at a club (it was her first show...she sings and plays guitar).   And tonight I was able to make it to the zen center for the big Wednesday night practice where there is a speaker...and I was the speaker!  They've been bugging me to do it for ages, but it's so hard for me to get there in the middle of the week.  MyFK being out of town was the perfect opportunity, and I put myself on the calendar several weeks ago.

In the relaxing and piddling around category, I started a new lace project....

 ....and I also got one of those Noro Striped Scarves going so that I could keep practicing the speed knitting/lever knitting techniques I learned at the Yarn Harlot class a couple of weekends ago.

I'm several inches into both of these projects by now, but these are the only pics I have.

Tomorrow I have a therapy appointment (the talking kind LOL), and I teach knitting at the senior center, and then in tomorrow night's dance class we're all doing a little show-n-tell thing where we show each other what we're working on for the October show.  I pick up MyFK on Friday, so I am outta here to enjoy the time I have left!  xo

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

rest in peace

Today I got a phone call from James to tell me that Martha passed away some time over the weekend, he wasn't sure when...and they had just told him today.

Martha was one of the people I would see weekly at the facility that I volunteer at. I think I have been visiting Martha about 6 years or so.  She was one of the most interesting people I have ever met, she had a dry and outrageous sense of humor, and she would say the wisest things to me....usually about taking care of business and not sweeping something under the rug, about not sweating the small stuff, and about enjoying every minute of things that you can, because it just all comes and goes so fast. 

She wore a necklace that had runes on it, and whenever a topic of something metaphysical would come up, she would always wink at me with a smile.  She was very well read and watched the news on PBS and was totally versed on current events.  As sharp as a tack as she was, in these last couple of years, she would get confused from time to time.  She would sometimes talk about how she was planning on moving out into her own apartment (and as far as I could glean, that was not even remotely an option).

She did talk about her father quite a bit, but she would never answer questions for me about whether she had been married or not.  I know she never had kids. I have always had this sneaking suspicion that she may have had a female partner but I never did confirm that, because I was too shy to ask. It seemed like prying. I do know that over the years that I visited Martha, she had a friend that would come pick her up every other week or so and drive her to her post office box...but I only ever saw the person once as they were driving away.  I have no way of knowing if there are family or friends that are planning a funeral or memorial, and of course, the convalescent hospital cannot divulge that sort of information to me because I am not family.  TheMostImportantGuy and I  did a search on the internet today but came up empty handed.

It could be that nothing has been planned. It could be that there is no one to plan it.

I knit that shawl she is wearing in the photo, by the way.  She tried it on after I finished it and it suited her so well, I gave it to her.
Funny thing?
At present, that shawl happens to be here, in my house.

The pink shawl I gave her is on the bottom/left, and I also knit the lighter pink one on the upper/right.  I was going to enter one or the other (or both) in my local County Fair this year, as entering was one of the goals for the year that I had set for myself back in January.  Martha had loaned the shawl back to me so I could enter it if I wanted to.

I never entered the Fair.
I was about to.  I was all jazzed up about it actually, and then one day I was talking to a friend and she implied that winning my local county fair wasn't very prestigious because the local competition wasn't very challenging.  She sort of implied that I needed to "enter a good fair," if winning was to mean anything really, and there was something about that whole conversation that sort of took the wind out of my sails, and I never got around to entering (granted, the days I would have brought it in for entry were the very same days that the pluming had broken and the ceiling had fallen in and the kitchen was down to the wire...but still).

I never entered.
And the deadline passed, and I could have just kicked myself for not following through on something I had set as a goal for myself, and for allowing the opinions of others to lead my around in such a way. I was supposed to return it to Martha this week, and I was dreading telling her that I never entered, because she knew that this would be the third year I talked about entering, and didn't.  I knew that once I told her I didn't do it that she'd read me the riot act.....quietly....probably just by raising her eyebrow and looking down her nose at me a little bit...and then laughing.  She was funny like that.

Every week Martha would ask me what was new , and I would tell her stories about what was going on in my life, and if she even caught a whiff that I was doing something half-assed, she would often give me this look that was something like, "You can do better than that," but not in a way that made me feel like a failure. More like she knew what I was capable of and was wondering why I didn't apply myself.  It was always done lovingly and with encouragement.  I never felt like a loser, just like I should try harder, because I could.
I'm not sure if that makes any sense. 

And so now here I have this shawl of Martha's.

If it really is true that there is no family to clear out Martha's personal items, I know that it would have gone straight into the garbage or it may have been washed in hot water and sanitizing who-knows-what and then it would have been thrown into a donations box with the rest of her belongings.

I  know that the shawl is a nice thing to have, and I know that timing is strange thing, and I know that the mysterious way of the universe is probably bringing the shawl back to me so that I will have this reminder of Martha...something of hers that was special for both of us....a keepsake.

But right this very minute it just does not feel nice having it.
It feels sad.

I am very very sad.

Monday, July 23, 2012

bird spotting.

Well, to be more specific.....hawk spotting ;-)

taken out on Mare Island

Sunday, July 22, 2012

...and i didn't burn anything, either.

Today was my first day in the new kitchen actually cooking something.

I kid you not, I started by boiling water.  It may sound stupid, but if there is one thing I have learned from all of my years of catering in kitchen after kitchen, it would be that not all stoves are created equal. Witnessing how quickly water can come to a boil before anything else can be darn useful information.  We used to do it on-site sometimes to have water available ready to roll for pasta, or to blanch this or that, or sometimes we were bringing stock up to a simmer for adding to other dishes (like risotto) or heating up a soup.  It's just a handy frame of reference.

Anyhow. I boiled water. Then I brewed up some iced tea.

Next I boiled up some quinoa, which isn't much more difficult than boiling water, but it helped me figure out what the new stove's simmer level was all about (and it was hotter than I had guessed, so more good info). While that was working I chopped up a bunch of veggies and herbs to add to the quinoa after it cooled to make a salad out of it.  It was during the making of this dish that I got lost in the kitchen about half a dozen times, getting confused about where things were and which direction to pivot the wheelchair to work to my advantage.  I think I am gettin' the hang of it, though.  We laid it out pretty nicely!

I had intended on roasting all sorts of vegetables today to see how the oven performed, but it was really super hot up here today, and we don't have air conditioning in that house. It just seemed like a really bad idea to be cranking up an oven.  Instead I ended up making a really nice salad of romaine lettuce, kidney beans, cubed fontina cheese, cherry tomatoes, and some warm vegetarian sausage I had sauteed until nicely crisp.  I made a vinaigrette, and among other missing items, I discovered that I am whisk-less at this house...but hey that's what shaking things up in a cruet is for ;-)

The last thing I made today was a Lemon Thyme syrup for adding to fizzy water.  I can tell you right here and now that I am going to be on a roll for awhile with the making of these flavored syrups. I love the idea of flavoring water, but also controlling how much sugar goes into my beverages.  Next up on my syrup list is Plum Rosemary, and after that something with oranges.

A couple of friends and family stopped by today to visit and check out the new kitchen, and that was a very happy thing....but it's not the the thing that moved me most today.  My most emotional moment was when I went to wash off a large cutting board  and the whole thing fit in the sink.  Dudes, I have been living with a split sink forever, and I can't stand it. I just lovez me a big ol' sink that entire big ol' items can actually fit inside of.  You'll often hear my cursing when I am trying to wash a full sized pan in a small sink and I can only wash 1/4 of the pan at a time.  Today, when I brought the cutting board to the new big sink for washing, and it all fit into the sink, I giggled with glee so hard my eyes watered with tears of joy.  I must have washed of a larger item at least 4 times today, and every time I did, it was just like that. Tears of joy.

I am so happy with what we have put together with this kitchen that the labor pains of the construction phase are slowly slipping away.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

snaps on saturday

A repurposed International Order of Odd Fellows Hall in downtown Half Moon Bay.

Friday, July 20, 2012

mini hap-py

Once upon a time, I knit a Hap Blanket.....

... and I knit that Hap Blanket for me.
I altered the pattern and up-sized it so that it was the perfect couch throw, covering me from just under my neck down to my toes.

Then we adopted Teeny, and she decided that my blanket was hers.

If I would drape it over the back of the couch, she would drag it down.  If I would move it to another room, she would sleep on it no matter what room I moved it to.  She would snarl at anyone that came near her if they tried to move the blanket, move her, or try take it away.  She usually burrows into it, and she's so tiny that you don't even know she is in there unless you poke at it and see if the mass of blanket growls back at you.

When I first saw she was glomming onto it, I remembered that I had a little leftover yarn, so I started to knit a smaller doggie-sized blanket for her so I could eventually reclaim my blankie. It became evident pretty quickly that even if I made a blanket for her, she was already ridiculously attached to the big one, and I figured why bother then.  I tossed the half finished mini-blanket into the UFO pile (UnFinished Objects), and there it has sat for over a year.

A couple of weeks ago, a culled through the UFO pile.  I frogged (ripped out) projects that I know I will never finish, and I got myself organized to work on the ones that I would indeed like to finish.

The wee doggie blanket was one of them, and I finished it today.

The Little Pest followed me all over the house the moment it came off the needles. She barely even let me sew in the ends, she was climbing all over me. She even sat on it while I was trying to photograph it.  I haven't even washed and blocked it yet, and probably never will. Why bother?!

The reason I chose to finally finish this 2nd blanket is because I have been dragging the bigger blanket back and forth between the two houses, and now I won't have to anymore! 
There will be one in each place ;-)

I'm still slowly working on tackling the UFO pile (it's really not that big).  Next from that pile are some black socks with black beading, but the dark color makes for difficult nighttime knitting. I can only work on those during the day, and when I can focus on the lace and beading charts.  So I have also cast-on tonight for a lovely simple lace stole tonight, called Swan's Wake.   I believe it's going to be the perfect knit for watching the Olympics, but if it isn't, I might knit another big hap-style blanket for me, one that I keep out of Teeny's reach!

My Ravelry project page for the doggie blanket is here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

le tour

Short post tonight, because I am up late trying to catch up on today's stage of the Tour de France that was recorded this morning. 

I've been watching the Tour for several years now (4?), and I thoroughly enjoy it.  I originally started watching just so I could watch the helicopters fly over all the countryside and the cute little villages and castles.  I very quickly started getting caught up in the sport though, learning some about the tactics, the player's stories, and the team strategies.  The race is 3 weeks long, and I watch every stage every morning. I also scan through the evening  program to catch segments of commentary, because it is different than what is broadcast earlier during the live show.  It's the perfect thing to watch while knitting and spinning ;-)  

I missed watching a few stages of the 2nd week because we were on the road, but I was able to catch up on the important details by watching a rest day re-cap when we got home. This year has not been the most exciting I have seen.  Too many of my favorites crashed out or abandoned early, and some didn't race this year at all. It also seems like so many riders are saving themselves for the Olympics in a couple of weeks....but I am still loving it just the same.  It's just not been the edge-of-my-seat nail-biter type of racing that I have seen in years past.

There's just a couple of days left, and normally I'd say I was going to suffer from withdrawal, but I think the Olympics will save me.

I doubt I will ever make it to France to stand on the side of the road and watch the cyclists whiz by, even though I fantasize about doing it, but I swear that one of these years I'm going to park by butt on the side of the road for The Tour of California
Maybe next year?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Now slackers like me don't even have to knit a tissue box cover ;-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Oh, I was SO happy today to NOT wake up with a headache! I have a little neck tension left over, but no headache. Yay!!!   I did not hear back from the doctor today about the results of the x-ray, so I will be contacting her tomorrow.

I almost gave myself a headache with something else today, though:
A good chunk of the day around here was trying to solve the mystery of a missing clarinet.

MyFavoriteKid usually has a weekly lesson, but we have slowed down for the summer.  He only has a couple during the school break.  He had one a few weeks ago, and after the lesson, he left the clarinet in my car rather than bringing it back into the house. I asked him at least three times that next week to bring it back in, and he'd forget.  The day before going on the trip to Washington, MyFK and his buddy helped me to clear out the car in preparation for packing, and that was the last time anyone had seen the clarinet.  We looked everywhere today (except for where it was, of course) and we couldn't find it, and this is one of those "bigger than a bread box" sort of things where there are only so many places something like that can hide. I'm still trying to put the house back together after ripping it all apart looking for it!

The whole time we were looking for the clarinet MyFK was trying to pass blame on his buddy for losing it...and I spent the whole time we were looking telling MyFK that he cannot pass the buck like that.  MyFK was saying that he saw his buddy carrying it in the house when he was helping to clean out the car, and he wanted to call his buddy to rant about it.  I was telling MyFK that he couldn't just call up his buddy and blame him for losing his things.  It is his clarinet, he should know where his own stuff is, and if he had just put it back after the last lesson or when I asked him in the first place,  none of this would have happened (yadda yadda yadda).

Well, MyFK went ahead and called his buddy anyhow, despite my protests, and you know what?
The buddy had indeed carried it in and stuck it somewhere we may not have looked for weeks. 

The buddy had put it on the seat of the chair in the den, and then he tucked the chair in under the desk...and this is the desk that rarely gets used when school is not in session...and we also toss a lap blanket over that chair, and the clarinet was buried underneath it.

There is nothing like the flavor of the words you have to eat in front of your teenager. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

hoorah for technology!

I woke up this morning with another screaming headache, and the pain was so intense it was causing me to feel nauseous.  For the record, I do not believe these are the same as the migraines of my past...the ones related to food.   Nope, these headaches are as intense as migraines, and they are definitely making their way up into areas behind my eyes and whatnot, but these headaches really feel like they are tension headaches.  I believe they are some form of super-crazy neck tension, and I fully believe they are related to a bad (and unsolicited) neck adjustment that was performed on me last August from a massage therapist that I now no longer work with.

Anyhow, as soon I could get my eyes uncrossed this morning, I hopped online and emailed my doc at Kaiser.  The Kaiser system showed me immediately that she was out of the office through today, but what I was experiencing did not warrant a trip to the emergency room, so I just let it fly.

Lo and behold, I got a reply from her right away saying that she wanted to start with an x-ray and that she'd put in the order so I could go to radiology at my leisure.  I jumped in my car, I grabbed a barf bag for the ride just in case (and didn't need it...woohoo!), I somehow had no wait in the radiology department, and when I was done, I emailed my doc again from the lobby to let her know hat I had the x-rays done....

This entire process, from start to finish, from the first email to the last, was completed in just under 90 minutes.  Crazy, right?!
But awesome, right?!!!!

I think so ;-)

The "films" (why they still call them films now that they are digital, is beyond me) still need to be read by the radiologist so they can report their findings to my doc, but hopefully I will be hearing more from her tomorrow about what the situation is or what happens next. 

I started feeling better in the late evening, and I got stuff done....and I am a little afraid to go to sleep tonight, because I am always waking up with the headaches!  They don't "come on slowly", I am waking up with them!   Not that three days in a row constitutes "a pattern" necessarily, but what else can I go by, right?  Maybe I should try sleeping on the couch or the floor or something...??

A couple of you have commented about things I need to reply back to (of door knobs and prickly pillows and such), and I will reply back on those things tomorrow.  Unless I feel like beheading myself again in the morning...then it may be a little longer!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

worth the wait list

Hey, look who I was lucky enough to take a class from today!

Yup! That's the Yarn Harlot! She taught a couple of days worth of classes this weekend at A Verb For Keeping Warm.  I couldn't get into the class that I most wanted to take (they filled up so fast!), but I was on the wait list, and....lucky me!!  Someone cancelled, opening up a spot!

The class I took was called "Knitting for Speed and Efficiency," which where Stephanie teaches "Lever Knitting" (Sweet Georgia has done up a nice post about it here).  I had seen Stephanie demonstrate Lever Knitting once before at a retreat I went to a couple of summers ago, but it was very brief. She wasn't teaching how to actually do Lever Knitting at that time, she just gave a wee little talk about it, and showed what her hands were doing. 

During this class I took today though, we actually got walked through the technique step by step.

I do not believe I would be alone in saying that I felt like I was learning to knit all over again. I do believe I have a firm understanding of how the whole thing works, in my head, but also in my hands. I am going to practice for awhile and see if I can get the technique to settle in, because aside from being faster, I do believe that it's much gentler on the joints of the hands.  Perfect for me with that crazy CMC joint thing going on in my right thumb.

Whether I make the transition into becoming a Lever Knitter or not, Stephanie at least had as looking at our own "regular" knitting style and making some slight changes to our own movements to increase efficiency. Just making those changes alone I went from knitting 26 stitches per minute to 32 stitches per minute....and that was with fixing a dropped stitch in there, too!

Some of the other fun parts of her class were learning some interesting tidbits about the history of knitting (knitting is not really as old as I like to think it is, apparently!), and she also had some things to say about the width of stitches and some things that knitters do in general that make them loose or tight knitters.  I can't wait to take some of this info and use it for when I am teaching myself.

There was a second class after the class I took about socks, and then Stephanie was going to give a talk tonight from 7 to 830 across the street at a church.  Even though I wasn't registered for the afternoon class, I was on the list for the talk, and my plan was to find some way to kill 5 hours (probably knitting somewhere, ya' think?!) in between the class and the talk, but it was not in the cards for me.

I had woken up with a screaming headache this morning. I took something straight away, and although I made it through the class, by the time class was over, the headache was much much worse (nausea included).  Nothing Stephanie or Lever Knitting did to me, I assure you...hahahaha. I think it was the florescent lighting ;-)

I ate lunch next door so I could take a second round of something more for the headache, and I waited to see if relief would kick in, but it didn't. I decided to skip Stephanie's talk and head home.  I spent the rest of the afternoon doing everything I know to get over it, including laying down on my bed of nails pillow, which usually works, but it didn't.  Sheesh!!  What finally straightened me out was digging into my neck with the back knobber thingy, and yay! I finally rounded a corner and started feeling a bit better at about 10pm.

Bummer to miss her talk, because I bet it was awesome, but there was a waiting list for her talk, too...and the store was going to work on filling my slot...so hopefully my not going opened up something for someone else the same way I got into the class I was able to go to!

My goal for this week is to do exactly what Stephanie suggested we do in the Knitting for Speed and Efficiency class, and that is to start a Lever Knitting specific project, one that we can pick up and work on a little each day, separate from our "regular" knitting. She suggested a 1x1 rib scarf (knit one, purl one), so that we get good at both knitting and purling. She suggested knitting the scarf in something colorful, like the ever so popular Noro Striped Scarf, so that we don't put ourselves into a coma. She said we should work on Lever Knitting every day for 30 days until the new habit is developed, and that we should Lever Knit every day until we either get angry or cry...and then put it down.  Hahahaha.  

I'll share my progress.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

snaps on saturday

I am having a hard time capturing the purrrrple wall that we added in the dining room for you (I blogged about this before the trip), but here's my best effort:

 what do you think of that reclaimed stiletto heel turned cactus planter, eh?

Today was my first day over at the new house since we've been back, and we spent most of the day cleaning up construction dust.  The crews finished up a week ago Thursday, but that was the night we were packing up to leave on our trip, so this was our first real day sans contractors. Woohoo!

We still need to hang some artwork and there are a few finishing touches that need to happen by our handyman, but now it's his turn to be out of town for a week....but really, the house is coming back together quite nicely.   The bedroom has been patched, repaired, and painted, and it is now a bedroom again. My craftroom has gone back to being a craftroom instead of a bedroom. The studio/meditation room/sunroom/whatever room is back together and ready for use, and the kitchen is lookin'....well, it is lookin' like it is ready to be entertained in!

Want to know the funny thing, though?

We finally have the house together and could totally throw a little party and invite people over to celebrate, but guess what.

The vintage door hardware (possibly circa 1932) on the front door blew out today, and we can now no longer open the front door from the inside.  Hahahahaha.  In other words, you can come to our front door for that party we'd like to throw, but we now can't get the door open to let you in. Hahahahahahaha.

Totally Murphy's Law. I swear it.

But hey...you just come around the back ;-)

Friday, July 13, 2012

re-entry is such a bitch

Unpacking has resulted in there being yarn and fiber and bobbins and receipts and mail and clothing and bottles of balsamic vinegars.....all. over. my. house.

It's everywhere.

For every one item I put away it seems three more items appear, and about an hour ago every surface in my house was covered with something that did not belong where it was.  It's like it's breeding

Making the clean-up even more fun and interesting today was the realization that in addition to Mr.Darcy leaving his mark on Riley's dog bed, he also tagged MyFavoriteKid's bed.  Now how MyFK missed that last night while he slept in there has got to be the 8th Natural Wonder of the World.  I mean, how do you miss that?!!!  I know boys are kinda gross and smelly, but seriously.  I didn't go into his room yesterday at all, but it was the first thing I noticed when I rolled in there this morning.  MyFK's response to how he missed the obvious odor??  "How was I to know that smell was cat pee!  I am not a cat!"  (I know. The mind boggles, doesn't it??)

So I haven't even bothered unpacking my suitcase to wash my own clothes today because the washing machine has been backed up with duvet covers and sheets and blankets and (thank god) waterproof protective bed covers.

Next time I think the asswipe cat goes to the kennel with the dogs.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

jiggedy jig!

Ahh, so good to be home after such a loooong day of driving.   The drive went well, though...and we listened to interesting audiobooks and podcasts.

The dogs were thrilled to be picked up from the doggie-place, and the cats were happy to see us (in that outright-pissed-off sort of way of showing love, that only cats can do).  One of the cats (I suspect MrDarcy) peed in one of the dog's beds (Riley's) which I am sure is saying something, although I do not know exactly what.  Tomorrow I try to wash it all out, but I may not be successful in that.  We'll have to see how it goes.

I'm going to flop into bed and watch the Tour de France re-cap show and see what I missed while on the road, then try to get some rest so I can try to make it to the Friday knitting group in the morning!

I leave you with some funky signs spotted during our road trip, the first from a co-op/volunteer run coffee shop in Port Townsend, the second from a health food co-op in Shasta (where yes, we did indeed stop again today...as always...but no sister sightings).

I cannot make one bit o' sense out of that last one.   I mean, I am fully aware that Shasta is full of the crystal toting granola types, but....is this person really trying to "manifest" puppies????

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

road fatigue

Too many early mornings, too much fun, too much learning, too much sight seeing, too much driving. Having a great time but I am going to need a vacation from my vacation by the time I get home! One more day of driving...home tomorrow. ~ sent frommy ipad

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

more. melted.

My brain is fried. Or over-fibered.
Full o' fuzzy bits.
Or something.

Today TheMostImportantGuy was exploring out and about, and he saw this:

My view today was this:

Very different views, but both really neato :-)

I purchased that wooden bowl today at the retreat. I kept seeing it out of the corner of my eye the whole day the day before.  This morning when I snapped it up, I justified the purchase to my spinning neighbor sitting next to me, and I told her that I had just remodeled my kitchen and that it would look great on the bamboo kitchen counter holding a sock in progress or something (I did just say I was justifying my purchase, right?? LOL), and she said that she has been reading my blog. Quietly. For a few years.

I kinda couldn't believe she sat there for an evening meet and greet (where we chatted) and a whole day side by side, and an evening schpeel before saying something, but I guess if you can lurk for years, you'd be able to pull it off in person too, yah?!  hahahahahaha

Well, watch this:
HI ERIN!!! (*waves*)
It turns out that Erin is the brains behind the podcast The Anatomy of Knitting.  I'm so glad she outed herself, because I was feeling a bit nervous sitting next to her as she is a much better spinner than I am and I felt like I was all thumbs. I turned bright red once she told me she read the blog, but for some odd reason it helped me not feel so nervous about they quality of my spinning.  And I should probably take a moment to ponder why that is, because it is interesting. But I'm too exhausted to play armchair psychologist on myself tonight LOL.

After the class ended a few of us went and checked out Hansencraft's new production facility they are building, then went to Taylored Fibers for a few to buy some of the really awesome roving that we got to test drive during the class.  TheMIG and I had an awesome meal at a place called The Ajax Cafe that Beth recommended where the menus are taped inside of album covers...

...and the walls are covered with wacky hats and many of the patrons wore them as they dined (although we didn't seem to capture that happening in this photo). 

I am totally exhausted once again, and my brain is full from so much information...but what a great time this was up here for the retreat.  The class was great, the other workshop members were a treat to meet, it was organized well and the accommodations for staying and for the workshop itself were great.  What a fun time.

Now two days of driving to get back home!

Monday, July 09, 2012

brain. melted.

OhMyGosh. Sooo tired.  Every day since we have left we have woken up and been on the road since the buttcrack of dawn, and today: class from 9am to 5pm with a break for lunch, a break for dinner, and then a lecture at 7pm.  I am so trashed!   But it is so amazing!

More photos as it's all my brain has left to put out for today.

A gift of fiber today from Kevin, Beth, and Judith (just one gift of many...there was an entire goody bag waiting in the hotel room when we arrived!)

Judith's wheel with a mishmash of experiments on it, as she was demonstrating her "yes, you can spin any diameter yarn!" exercise.

A color wheel full of fabulous fiber for us to practice with.

The always fascinating and wonderful teacher, Judith MacKenzie :-)

 Crashing in bed now.  Too tired to even enjoy a soak in the jacuzzi tub in the room!  Class is out tomorrow night at 5pm and the retreat is then officially over.  I'm not sure what folks are doing with the evening, but if there isn't anything happening, that tub is where you will find me!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

so so pretty here

Less words, more photos...because it is just so beautiful here, and I am having a fabulous time :-)

Driving west towards the ferry.....

Preparing to dock in Port Townsend....

A flight of 1 oz samplers at the Port Townsend Brewing Company....

A deer on the lawn of Bed & Breakfast in a quiet neighborhood....

Okay.  A few words.
The deer was so still, we thought he or she might have been a victim of taxidermy!  For almost a full minute we sat there watching, and there was not a twitch!  Then verrrry slowly, one ear slowwwwly rotated.  I even wondered for a moment if someone inside the B&B was sitting in there with a remote control operating it! hahahaha 
(but he/she was real)

A shot of a tall ship taken from Uptown....

And one of the many many MANY little churches around here.....

So, I am not sure if I have mentioned this or not!
The real reason for this road trip is that I am here in Port Townsend for a spinning retreat with Judith MacKenzie, specifically for people who have Hansencraft miniSpinners (and I am a happy keeper of one).  

Tonight was the meet-n-greet at the hotel, followed by Kevin (Mr Hansencraft himself) demonstrating care and maintenance.

After the evening gathering, TheMIG and I took a walk together along the waterfront and caught the sunset.

Tomorrow TheMIG goes exploring, and I begin 2 full days of spinning and learning! :-)

Saturday, July 07, 2012

snaps on saturday, ipad style

Pear Mimosa along with a most delicious breakfast at The Cadillac Cafe in Portland. Afternoon and evening spent with Grammy in Bellingham...we talked about many things, including Mah Jong....and she is sending me home with her old set :-)

Internet is sketchy and so posting from my ipad, so please pardon if this is messy!

Sent from my iPad

Friday, July 06, 2012

a few pics from the road

A stop at the Olive Pit in Corning, CA.  The organizer of the retreat I an going to wrote and asked me to pick up several bottles of aged balsamic vinegar for her.  My find there for myself was an aged balsamic with espresso, which I found had a really deep interesting flavor.

I also pull over one of those open bottles of olives sitting there for sampling...all over lap (was in the wheelchair). Go team!  (you can dress me up, but you can't take me out LOL)

I stopped in Mt.Shasta City because I just cannot drive by any more. It's now a tradition to go into Village Books and buy a book, magazine, or audiotape from the road, and inquire about my sister (whom I bet you didn't even know I had, because I haven't seen her in 15 years).

The guy at the counter said he did indeed know her, said she came in about twice a week, and that she was an "unusual character" and had a flare for the dramatic (some things never change, apparently).  I told him I was her sister and all he said was, "innnnteresting."  LOL  I asked if she was happy, and he said that yes, he believed she was.  I told him to tell her that her sister said hello.

I bought a stick of sage from the bookstore that was made especially for the bookstore from local sage. Do you think I can use Mt.Shasta local sage to smudge my sister issues out??  LOLOL

Later in the day, lunch and veggie juices in Ashland, Oregon.

The juices were great. Not much else was though, unfortunately.

Then we got to Oregon and had dinner with TheBon and her hubby, and Jodie stopped by too, with their new baby who was adorable...and I don't know how I managed to not get one single photo once we got here.

Exhausted from major miles, so I off to bed soon...and another day of driving tomorrow!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

slim pickins

I woke up at 4:15am this morning and couldn't fall back asleep.  I am now totally exhausted from a very long day of everything I normally do plus running around prepping and packing for the trip and tying up loose ends with the contractors before heading out.

I am wiped out!!

More from the road.....

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

1st re-birth-aversary

It's never just going be Independence Day anymore.
For me, July 4th will always also be Riley's Re-Birth Day.

It was around 7:30am this time last year when poor Riley was attacked by a pit bull.   He didn't heal well from it due to some crazy strains of infection, and we had weeks of hot compresses, spoon feedings, and medications.  We almost lost him, it cost us thousands in vet bills, but he finally healed, and because his jaw was also broken, he now has a crooked smile....

...which I am thrilled to wake up to every morning.

Have a great 4th!!  :-)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

my soul paint

So one of the things the painter is doing this week is adding some kick to an accent wall in the dining room.

Our whole house is done up in various shades of greys which is the perfect background to add cool pops of color here and there by way of textiles and accessories. I love that. Our goal in the dining room however, was to add some drama by doing one of the walls in a darker shade of grey.  After it was painted, I looked it, and I felt like it had about as much drama as a wet noodle.

So we decided to  repaint it purple.

The first coat went on today, and because it's a very dark plum color, it's going to take a few coats before we have full coverage and I can take a good photo.  I did walk in today after the first coat went up though just to make sure my hunch about purple was correct (because purple is sort of a risky thing, if you ask me! There are so many more "wrong purples" than right ones!).

I love what we chose!!  It's dramatic and freakin' awesome (it is Kelly Moore's "So Merlot").  It's tucked away back in this corner so you don't even see it until you are in the house for awhile, and then all of the sudden it's like "Baaam!!"  Drama!!  And I love that.  It's also on a wall that is mostly containing a window that has white trim and shutters, so it really is not that overwhelming to me.

But I had to laugh when I walked in the room because all I could think about when I saw the first coat of purple was the "Find Your Soul Paint" Commercial by Ace Hardware, where she wants a "purrrrrple" (but not a "puuuuurple", you understand LOL).

Anyhow, I am in love with what we chose.
Which is good.
Because I cannot imagine for the life of me how many coats of primer it would take to cover over my purrrrrple if I didn't love it!!!

Monday, July 02, 2012


First of all, thanks to everyone for solving the mystery of the odd kitchen tool for me.  Not only was I happy to have the info, but I was shocked to find that some of you are still out there reading (because I honestly had no idea)!  Nice to "see" you :-)
(also a wave hello to Donnaj from New Zealand...thanks for de-lurking in the comments the other day!)

Monika of Smoking Hot Needles commented about the kitchen photo yesterday, and wondered what it looked like before we started to remodel.  There are some photos here in this post, and once all of the final touches have been put in place, and I can take some photos in the daylight, I will get them all side by side for comparison.

And now, I will tell you where my head is at right at this moment.

my head is mahjong!

I saw James at the convalescent hospital today, and when I went into his room, he was playing mahjong on his computer.  I'd never played, but I recall my grandmother playing with friends often...and I could swear it involved gambling and maybe cocktailsx (or maybe it was more of social thing for her, like bridge).  Well, either way, James and I played a game together solitaire style, and the next thing I know, I have downloaded two free versions of mahjong onto my iPad and I am finding it to be one of the most incredible mind-clearing games ever.  It's hard to think about anything else at the same time!

Which is exactly what I need a bit of today.  Mind clearing.

It's the last push this week with the contractors, and they're all being a little.....contractor-ish!  The painter is complaining to the handyman that I am adding on extra work (for example, the painter painted the built-in cabinets, but did not paint the baseboard for it, and my pointing that out is apparently creating extra work. ...??!!). 

And the handyman who was supposed to be out of the way and not on site for the next three days so that the painter could get in and out (mostly out, dammit), is now apparently going to be on site tomorrow and in the way after all.  Tonight we discovered that TheHandyman had left his table saw and other supplies in the same space where ThePainter wants to set up a spray room to paint the shutters, and tomorrow TheHandyman also wants to install the counter top in the laundry room, even though he is fully aware that tomorrow ThePainter is planning to paint in....you guessed it...the laundry room

I should add that the only reason ThePainter needs to be in the laundry room at all, however, is because he forgot to paint part of the laundry room cabinet a couple of weeks ago.

It's maddening. 

I think what irks me most is that I waste my time meeting with these contractor-types every day they are working there and going over things, for nothing.  We discuss things, we come to agreements...and then they just go ahead and do whatever they want (or don't do what they don't want) half the time anyhow.  Why do I even bother wasting my time?! And what is it specifically about tradesmen that makes them like this?!   (and I do say men, because I haven't used any women contractors, which I sure is half the problem)

It is totally not my style to make such sweeping accusations against a category of people. I know that there are individuals making up the greater group as a whole.  But we've had a lot of contractors in and out of here for the last 18 months (I can count well over 15 different guys, plus their crew members), and I am telling you, they all (except one, and I could kiss that plumber) have exhibited one or another ass-y behaviors.   What is up with that?!!

My plan to shake the madness percolating in me goes like this:  they finish, we go on vacation, we come back, they are all done.  Okay, except hanging the pendant lights and the chandelier which we just ordered and should arrive right when we get back.  But once those babies go up, boom.  We should be done.

And thennnnnn I'll be runnin' around with a stick of smoking sage trying to smudge out the assy-ness!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

as of tonight....

Lots of little details still be taken care of, but we have enough done that we were able to clean up the construction dust and retrieve some of the kitchen items from the basement.

taken by TheMostImportantGuy on his cell phone, at night...
I'll get some lovely shots in the daylight when all is said and done!

The handy guy still has a long list of detail work (like installing that baseboard on the floor on the left there LOL), and there's also plenty of work to be done in the laundry room.  The painters need to finish up the built-in in the  dining area, and then they are going to tackle patching and painting that plumbing mess in the bedroom. 

Both the handyman and the painter believe they'll have everything done by Thursday night (and isn't it ironic that we go out of town for a week the very next morning. Ha.)

We still need to add some pops of color, some artwork, and some little bits of charm here and there...and I still need to deal with getting pots and pans organized, but I am thrilled to report that the kitchen is partially functional....enough to be enjoyed,  I still haven't cooked anything (we were so busy this weekend cleaning and assembling and washing the dust off of everything...oh and hey! We also got the sunroom/dance studio back in order...woohoo!!) but we did reheat some leftovers from doggie bags, and we actually sat down at the bar together for our first little lunch :-)

I'm feeling much more relaxed.  And happy.  I think I will feel even better when there aren't contractors traipsing about, but this was close enough :-)