Sunday, September 30, 2018

Book Report

I thought I'd share some books I've been reading! As we move gently into fall (at least I hope it is gently!), we all seem to find a bit more time to snuggle down and read a good book with dogs/cats/alpacas by our side. You might like some of these.

*"Time's Convert" by Deborah Harkness. I have mentioned many times I'm a huge fan of 'Discovery of Witches' trilogy (I guess it is officially known as the 'All Souls' trilogy) and this novel is sort of a companion to that---it shares the origin story of one of the characters in the Trilogy. I really liked it a lot, but if you haven't read the Trilogy you need to read that first.

*"Can You Ever Forgive Me: A Memoir" by Lee Israel. Israel was (she has passed) an author of celebrity biographers who found herself lacking for money, so she turned to faking letters from famous people and selling them. I got this on the Kindle either for free or .99, and it was kind of interesting and well written and very short.

*"Ninety Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret" by Craig Brown is a series of little stories about Princess Margaret. I'm kind of fascinated by her since she played a supporting role in royalty for a long time. Spoiler: she was kind of a bitch.

*"The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock"--I think I've talked about this one. If you liked "The Essex Serpent" you'll probably like this. I sort of liked "The Essex Serpent" and so I sort of liked this.

*"The Fifth Petal" by Brunonia Barry. I know I read "The Lace REader" and I kind of remember liking it, and this is kind of a sequel as several of the characters from TLR are also in "The Fifth Petal". However, I remember nothing of TLR and I still liked this book, although I put it down a lot when it got kind of dull. There are LOTS of characters in this book, and the 'central' ones to the story are four that are all kind of alike (they're dead for the majority of the book (and that isn't a spoiler, you know at the start) and that didn't really grab me.

*"The Big Game"--I'm only at the start but it is about the NFL and that is one organization that fascinates me.

There's also a bit of counted cross stitch happening:

This is the second in the little series I'm doing, and this represents about two hours of work and I wonder why it took ever so long.

Enjoy Sunday! Share any good books in the comments!

Friday, September 28, 2018

A Little Alpaca Therapy

I've been a bit stressed this week, but today I knocked a lot of things out (mostly got my class organized and assignments finalized) and did a bit of work on the manuscript. Earlier in the week I tried to edit two book chapters for a text I'm writing with three other people but they were kind of a mess. I did what I could and sent it to my 'good' coauthor so he can have a whack at them.

And I went to the farm--haven't been for maybe three weeks? All is well there although one of the alpacas had to be put down while I was on vacation--Ladyhawke was a lovely girl and the mother of two other lovely girls at the farm, Feather and Trinket.

This is me and Catalina--she was supposed to be pregnant but she has 'slipped' several times, which indicates she can't hold on to a pregnancy. She wanted a lot of cuddling today. I was happy to oblige.
Tripoli is a bit over a month old and he is quite a character. Very independent, very inquisitive, very oral, and very soft. He's adorable but he's a little devil. I adore him.

Kokopelli, Calypso's dad, let me take his picture. Calypso was not as obliging, but I got some hugs in on him as well.

Marigold is watching over everyone.

This is Tondero--he is one of my favorites with his white trim and his large frame and his outgoing personality. I have several photographs of Tondero's mouth taken when I was trying to get pictures of Calypso. He wanted apples (I gleaned what was probably the last batch from the park).

Here's a close up of Tondero.

Alpcaca therapy. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

This and that and this and that

That has been my week--going this way and that way and this way and that way.

First, knitting. THIS WILL NEVER BE DONE. Please let it be done soon.

Wednesday was a long day. I was in before 7:30 and had students coming in between 8:30 and 10, when I had class til 12. Then I was interviewed for---something. I don't even know for what. I got an email from someone at school wanting to interview me for something. I'll let you know when it is up.

Then I had more students, and I was thinking about leaving and working at home and remembered I hadn't signed off on a student's cover page for his thesis. I texted him (he is one of my special students with whom I have exchanged phone numbers) and he texted back saying he was finishing a shift at one of the coffee places on campus and he'd be by in about an hour. So I did some more stuff, and ended up leaving after 4pm. It was a long day.

Today was dedicated to a 'revise and resubmit'---a journal is having a special issue I really want to be in, and I submitted a paper and got what is known as a 'risky revise and resubmit' because they want so many things done that it is basically like submitting a new paper. I redid analyses today, as well as collected more data (last week) and I think I have the bones of a good revision.

I worked on it a bit this morning, then had to take Comet to her annual puppy exam (she is great!) and was listening to the Kavanaugh hearings so I basically did all my stats tables while watching the hearings once I got home.

Tonight is Symphony which feels like One More Thing To Do but I have to remind myself it is a nice treat. And tomorrow I'm cutting our faculty meeting (which have devolved into people yelling us for doing things wrong or telling us things we don't care about) and may go to the farm in the morning, and then work on my class for the rest of the day.

Deep breaths!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I guess I have a thing about letters

Because my new counted cross stitch is letters. Letters that create a little banner that spells out 'Peace on Earth". Here's the P.

This is a pattern by Satsuma Street on etsy, and I really like a lot of her designs. There are several Christmas ones I can see myself making. This one should go  pretty quickly (the P took  maybe 2 1/2 hours or so) and the stitching is a bit more calming than the Australia thing--I think the holes are maybe bigger?

The first day of classes went well--did my 2 hour class, had a few student meetings, and then had an Honors defense that went great.

I finished "Time's Convert" and I really liked it. I think I might go back and reread the whole Discovery of Witches series.

I'm always on the lookout for good books, though, so share any recommendations!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

C what I did?

I finished the C!

I'm now going to switch gears on my counted cross stitch and start work on a Satsuma pattern for Christmas. Christmas Eve is three months from tomorrow!

I came back from the coast house early this afternoon--Tim and Thomas are still there and Tim will drop Thomas off at the airport tomorrow and then come home. I brought home the dogs and our bird, and that was a bit stressful as, well, he's a little bird and I've never had to transport him before. But he did fine and the dogs are happy to be home and Jessie the cat is very very happy her pups are back with her.

It is officially fall, and trees are turning very fast and it is clear that the sun is at a different point in the sky. Classes start tomorrow and so here is one more photo to say farewell to summer--

Friday, September 21, 2018

I needed today

Monday-Wednesday was just non stop. In addition to meetings, I've also been working on a revise and resubmit that is kind of taking over my brain--but it might be nailed now (*might*).

Yesterday morning I drove back out to the coast house. Tim and Thomas (his friend from Germany) had arrived the day before (Tim went to pick him up in PDX) and it was great to be reunited with Tim and the dogs! They were glad to see me, and vice versa. Yesterday was kind of doing (and I was WAY hyper) but today has been much more mellow.

We walked the dogs this morning, then Tim and Thomas went to explore the coast and see if they could find some crab for dinner. I worked for a while and then read and knit for a few hours. HEAVEN. I'm reading "Times Convert" by Deborah Harkness. One of my favorite book series is the "Discovery of Witches" series and this new book isn't really continuing the series but it is telling the story of one of the minor characters in the book.

And I'm still enjoying Color Affection:

Last night's sunset was different and beautiful:

And we have a black bear in the neighborhood! We saw what we thought was bear scat this morning and then a neighbor (Glenda) stopped us as we were walking and said she saw a black bear in the neighborhood last night around 10pm. That might change our evening walking routine!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

0 to 60

I often describe the start of Fall as going from 0 to 60. One day it is summer--la la la la everything is wonderful--and the next you (meaning me) are spending hour upon hour in a room listening to someone telling you something you really don't care about.

Monday we had grad orientation (which was fun as I am leading a new program), followed by a 2 hour meeting, followed by a 1 hour meeting, followed by spending two hours on the phone helping out a former colleague who is in a  situation at their current University. Tuesday (yesterday)--faculty retreat from 8:30-4:30. Today I have a sequence meeting from 1-4, so I'm getting the house clean and ready to go so I'll spend the rest of the week at the coast.

There was a bit of cross stitch last night:

C is for Cockatoo!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Kathy's Q&A

Kathy has a few short questions!

*When was the last time you reorganized your stash ?
I do this every year or two, just to remind myself what I have and to rearrange it into a new way I'd like to organize it.

*Have you left a candle lit mistakenly?
Nope. We don't do candles except maybe at holidays.

*Does your family dictate on pets?
We have a two dog maximum, although I would be OK with more. At one time we had four cats, but now we are down to one. She is kind of destructive (Understatement) so I'm not sure what future cat numbers would look like.

And one last picture from the parasailing yesterday:

Thanks for your comments on the slippers. I pretty much vamped my way through them--you're supposed to knit from the top down and then attach the soles, but instead I threaded the stitches on to the slipper bottoms and then knit from the sole up. I did short rows back and forth to form the top. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Back to reality

I'm preparing myself both mentally and physically to leave the coast (for a few days). I have orientation stuff Monday-Wednesday and I'll come back out on Thursday for a few days.. Tim will stay out here with the dogs and then his friend Thomas will be coming for a visit on Tuesday.

This hasn't really been a 'vacation' in the usual sense of the word since we've done so much to get the house into shape. We have eaten a lot of good food (I think we only cooked breakfast) and visiting some beautiful parts of the coast and truly have enjoyed the house. It still doesn't quite feel like 'home' to me but that will come.

Just a few last photos:

Friday's walk at the nature reserve (and that was a woodpecker in the video):

Butterflies spotted: 0.

Yesterday's surfing contest was stormy but it was fun to watch:

This, I think, was a women's heat. Each heat has twenty minutes to catch as many waves as they can and ride them as long as they can. They get scored on length of ride and on any 'tricks' they do. You can see the waves were---how shall we say this---not huge? But people were getting  up on the boards and doing some short rides. People seemed to have a lot of fun.

Our friends Dominique and Steve came out to see the house and went with us.

And finally, in knitting content:


Saturday, September 15, 2018

And another video

It's long, sorry--a bit under 3 minutes. And there's a few moments of shakiness becuase I was freaking out.

This was filmed standing on our driveway.

Even though Pacific City is a pretty small town with a population of just a few more than 1000 people, it has a few interesting things. Such as an airport. Yes a tiny little airport but an airport all the same. Because in addition to an airport, it also has a paragliding school. And today, there was a special event that combined the two.

The goal was to land on the grassy part on top of the sand on the right hand side of the screen. Several people got really close. As far as we could tell, though, everyone got down safely.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Wild, wild life

Tim mentioned a few evenings ago that it is so rich with life here.  I think the wild life outnumber the people. That's refreshing until the dogs go nuts because of the deer that walk up the driveway, bold as brass, in search of blackberries.

Two little videos for you. First, after lunch yesterday, we went in search of more wild bunnies.

They were all right where we had first seen them over ten years ago. The developers have built so much stuff around the little Inn where we first stayed that we worried the bunnies would be displaced. There were probably two dozen or so roaming around this little campground behind the Inn.

This morning we went to a new Wildlife Refuge, and saw minimal wildlife but met some neighbors. Here is today's wildlife sighting (you may wish to turn up the sound to figure out what it was):

And then there's the wildlife in the house, in front of the new dining table:


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Neighborhood roaming

We have been walking around our neighborhood in the evenings--the dogs like the walk, we like getting to know the neighborhood and look at the gorgeous views.

Yesterday we went to the neighborhood 'south' of us (about a ten minute walk, maybe). It has been in development for about ten years or so, and there are gorgeous homes there with great views. They have, however, SO MANY RULES about what you can and (mostly) can't do when you build a house there. It wouldn't have been a good place for us to build, that's for sure.

The views are gorgeous though:

And many have a river view:

We love the panorama views of the shore, but we also like our close up view of the rock.
There was a bt of sun on it this morning, before the clouds rolled in.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wait for it

You'll have to sit through some blather before you get to the 'money' shot, sorry!

Yesterday was Errands Day.  Our little town is about 25 miles from either of the two 'bigger' towns (meaning those that have hospitals and bigger grocery stores): Tillamook is to the North and is more of a 'working' town and Lincoln City is to the south and is more of a 'resort' town (Lincoln City has outlet malls, that should explain it). We went to Tillamook to look for some furniture and also to get some things like grass seed and doormats.  We went to three furniture stores (yes, TIllamook has three) and bought a new dining room set (pictures tomorrow). We also bought a chair for Pilot the dog at the Goodwill (he likes a place to sleep that is all his own, and this chair was a bargain) and then did a 'big shop' at a NW store called Fred Meyer (or Freddies) which is owned by Kroger and is kind of an upscale Wal Mart.

Then we went to the Pelican Brew Pub in Taillamook--the original one is in our little town but the company has grown and built two additional breweries on the coast. The one in Tillamook has a much smaller menu but you eat pretty much right on the brewery floor. While we were there it downpoured! Like crazy! We were happy to be safe inside, although I'm not sure the dogs enjoyed it waiting in the car.

 After the pub we drove to a little town due west of Tillamook called Oceanside. It is tiny and built on a cliff.

 The beach there features The Three Arches, which you can't really see in my photo (sorry).

Then home again home again. We took a long walk with the dogs and enjoyed the fire and took a sauna. It rained hard overnight and then this morning:

There you go!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The beach

We spent a bit of time on the beach yesterday--we went to the Pelican Brewpub for lunch (a brewpub right on the beach) and then went back at sunset yesterday. It is amazing to realize we live a three minute drive from the beach. We could also probably walk it in about half an hour, and I'm sure we'll give that a try soon.

Yesterday we walked up to the top of Cape Kiwanda and looked down. You can see two boogie boarders in the lower left hand corner but if you look closely right above them you can see half a dozen surfers. There's a surfing competition here this weekend and I think people are out practicing.

The cape we climbed up is on the left hand side of the photo below. As you can see, this was at sunset. We weren't sure we would be able to see the sun set with the clouds and in fact many people left the beach before this happened:

I love this picture---this guy was playing with his dog and I think I got a nice framing on it:

And then this guy was playing in the parking lot. There are tons of rabbits in Pacific City--and not your brown outdoor rabbits.

Yesterday I knit up some soles for a pair of socks so I can wear them as slippers.

OK that is it from me!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Good morning!

We're spending my last week before my contract starts up again at the house. We arrived on Saturday with the dogs and with our bird, Captain MacGregor, who is not quite sure what is going on. Jessie the cat stayed home.

It rained last night (I slept through it), and it is cloudy and a bit damp today:

But still beautiful. We arrived Saturday mid-afternoon and took most of the rest of the day to unpack (we took two cars and had lots of stuff).  Yesterday we (meaning Tim) put up towel bars and some window shades and the three mirrors we brought out. I hung a shower curtain.

Honestly, our efforts in getting the house together are equal, but they just occur at different times.

I also finished the first slipper. I had to rip back my first attempt because it looked awful. I woke up in the middle of the night Sunday morning with a short-row idea, and then worked on it yesterday.

I didn't write down the pattern but hopefully I'll remember what to do. I think I will.

I looked around for these Boye slipper soles and couldn't find them anywhere. I did see someone on Etsy who cuts out soles from felt and then punches holes in them, which of course I could do, but I really like these soles.

Hope all is well in your part of the world. East coast friends--be safe in the storm!

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Yesterday's stash discovery

I bought some suede slipper soles a long time ago, for a pair of slippers I never finished (they weren't felted, even though they looked felted, and by the time I figured out they weren't felted I was on to other things).

I thought I would attach them to some thick socks I had knit, but on closer inspection--these are soles that you can KNIT RIGHT ON TOP OF.  They have a sheepskin footbed (inside) and holes put in the suede so you can knit the top without having to do the bottom.

So this is what I finished last night (about an inch?) and we'll see how these go. I'm kind of psyched, to tell you the truth. These soles were/are made by Boye.

And here is some cuteness from the farm yesterday:

 When I got there, I saw that the oldest alpaca (Autumn Sun) was snuggled up with Tripoli. Autumn Sun is a rescue who is deaf and blind in one eye, but she does OK for herself. She now recognizes me as the "apple lady" and will eat apples out of my hand. It was so cute to see them snuggling.
Here's Tripoli with his mom with her head in the apple bucket, and his aunties Georgia (on the right) and Gracie (in the center). The very dark animal in the background is Marigold the Llama. Tripoli is doing great and has quite the outgoing personality. Interestingly, he nibbles at everything. Yesterday it was my back pocket.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Fall plans

I have several plans for fall knitting! Let's see if anything gets done. And by plans I mean I have decided what yarn I want to knit up and so--I'm asking your help in figuring out what to knit!

First, I have 27.6 ounces (782 grams) of this purple yarn, it is a heavy worsted or whatever is bigger than worsted. I think it should be a big slouchy sweater but I'm not sure if I have enough yarn. I bought this a gazillion years ago.

This is some silk I got from someone on Rav. It is probably fingering and probably enough for mitts.

This is going to be the Sanquhar cowl.

This is gorgeous gradient silk/alpaca (about 400 yards). What should it be?
And I think I have about 170 grams (6 ounces) of these. What do you think I should make?
  • This yarn will be Autumn Leaves but probably not for a while.

  • And then there's this, which moves slowly along. C, I'm pretty sure, is for Cockatoo.

All suggestions welcomed!

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Thursday random

  • We're headed back to the coast on Saturday for a longer vacation. I did a lot of straightening/organizing/cleaning before we left last Friday, so there isn't a whole lot to do which is nice. We are taking the bird with us (and dogs) but leaving the cat here, and our pet sitter will come by once a day and check on her. Hopefully that will work out well.
  • I am at the thumb part on this:
  • I know, it looks like the last picture of that mitt.
  • I'm reading two books: the fiction one is "We Were Mothers" by Katie Sise which is fiction about mothers in the suburbs and ALL THEIR SECRETS and the non-fiction is "Ninety nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret" which is about Princess Margaret. It's good.
  • Sometimes I wish I could go all-in Gudrun Sjoden. I would love to be this person:
  • In reality, everything I own is black and if I wear something orange, even a scarf, I feel like I have a spotlight beaming down on me.
  • Morning visitor. It must be a good year for slugs because I've seen a lot of them.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Kathy has Quoras!

Well I guess Kathy really has Qs.

*Have you ever ripped off your nail?  (Lets start right out with pain ok?)
I know I've ripped off a toenail but I've blocked out the memory of the pain.
*Is it harder for you to change veterinarians or human doctors for yourself?
Definitely harder to change vets. We've only changed here once: when Dr. Marnie left the practice to learn how to be an Eastern medicine vet, we changed to Dr. Priscilla and she is amazing.
*What is your simplest, go to pattern.  One that is so easy you are almost embarassed to answer?
Basic socks, even with a heel turn.
*Name one thing you simply cannot give up eating for the rest of your life.
Something in the chocolate family for sure--brownies? Chocolate mud slide icecream from Tillamook?
*Do you have any pillows in your house with printed words on them? What do they say?
I think you mean decorator pillows, and the answer is no. I just got a new memory foam pillow that says "Sleep Whale" on it. 


I only have a few weeks of summer left, and while I know I did a lot I still wish I had done more. Oh well. I have to keep reminding myself that we did a love of back and forth stuff with the house. We're really looking forward to spending some longish weekends there once school starts. During the summer, it might take us 2 1/2 hours to drive home, with all the traffic. Sunday we drove back in just about two hours, and that makes it a quicker trip than driving from here to Portland, which we've both done in a day a million times.

Yesterday I stopped by the farm. Calypso says hello!

 He *almost* ate an apple yesterday. He is definitely considering it. He's a handsome and gentle lad.

Tripoli is adorable, and filled with the Dickens. He is so soft! He wanders away from his Mom, Chanel, and then tries to nurse on everything he runs into.

This is Tripoli and his mom Chanel. Chanel is a bigger girl and Tripoli weighs maybe around 20 pounds now?
 Yesterday Tripoli took what we think was his first drink of water out of a water bucket. Like all things a cria does, it was adorable.

Catalina at the farm is a crowd favorite.
And then this happened.

That's Catalina, then Tink, then I think Aymara but I could be wrong.

I worked on the mitt with the cables and beads last night. I took it out in the sun to photograph it and it still looks like a black mitt.

But I still like it.