Thursday, February 28, 2019

All snow and ice, all the time

Please skip down to the next heading if you are bored by weather
It dipped down well below freezing last night, creating a crust of ice on our snow (which had a bit of a melt yesterday).  The University is opening at 10 (I have class at ten, spoiler alert: class canceled) even though they have only plowed one parking lot and pathways are hazardous. The University encourages everyone to take alternative transportation, but the bus system is running on a very very limited schedule (a Sunday snow schedule, which means no service on my street). It is sunny, though, and the promise of above freezing temperatures by mid-morning means more melting could happen, so we'll see.

Stupid University.

And I finally finished this.

It needs blocking.

Need to put the brakes on
Barring any unforeseen difficulties, we plan to drive over to the coast this afternoon. For one thing, the cable and Internet are out here and aren't expected to come back on til next week, and Tim needs access and bandwidth to work on his dissertation, so that's our story and we're sticking to it. Plus it is supposed to be sunny and in the upper 40s over the weekend and we need that. I need that.

One of the professors at school wrote that snow days are "little vacations" for faculty members but oh they aren't. All the juggling of responsibilities, of keeping up with things that just don't stop when the University closes, and on top of that the stress of not having electricity makes it all pretty anxiety-filled. I guess maybe if all I did was teach it would be a little vacation, but since teaching isn't the largest part of my portfolio, it has been stressful.  The ocean will soothe my soul.

Uggs are not for tramping around in the snow

Just in case you were wondering.

These are not two-toned.

Art in the skylights
The buildup of snow and ice in the skylights is pretty, in kind of a Georgia O'Keefe kind of way.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

And another snow day!

Five more inches

We had five more inches overnight, bringing the total up to about 17" at our house. The plows came by yesterday, and our driveway was dug out and I'm guessing it might get dug out later today as well. Our electricity has stayed on so that's good.

Campus is closed yet again, so over three years we've had four hours of campus open.  I've used this closure to do some major catching up--the weekend event was great but it was working, and pushing other things off, and luckily I'm getting caught up. I got all my grading done for the second exam in my class, and everyone got the test in even during a closure, so I don't hate our course management system (the online system) as much as I usually do.

This just needs to get finished

I have a bit of yarn left and I think it is just about time to bind off. It looks fun and bright and I like it.

Winding up

I spent some time (as did Tim) winding up some yarn for future projects. A lot of this yarn came in some 'mill end' bags I bought from Blue Moon Fiber Arts mystery bags which are an amazing deal. Yesterday I wound up:

This is 500 yards of something--I think it is called Kalispell but it isn't in the Rav database. Tim did most of this winding.

On the right hand side are three boucle yarns--two in light pink and purple and the top one is some bright reds and blues and greens. The pink ones will be a larger shawl and the bright one a smaller something. I thought about combining them but that might be a bridge too far.

On the left, on the bottom, is a yarn called Plushee which is really soft and mushy. I think I might make another hood with that.On the top is a brightly colored yarn called Willamette which is also not in the database.


I finished "Pants of Perspective" which is on Kindle Unlimited which was delightful. I also read "The Good Liar" which is another unreliable narrator book but there are three unreliable narrators. It was engaging.  Now I"m reading a book called "Half of What You Hear" which is kind of interesting. It is the story of a woman who used to work in the White House who gets fired (not sure exactly why, it is coming out little by little) and moves back to her husband's home town to run an inn with her husband. It is a tiny little town with lots of secrets secrets secrets that she starts to unravel as she interviews one of the oldest citizens of the town for a magazine article. I like it.

I continue to dip in and out of "Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household"  which is interesting and easy to put down.

We watched "Bohemian Rhapsody" last night. Love Queen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The past 24 or so hours

Right after I blogged

I had hurried to do some laundry and when stuff got in the dryer, I helped Tim clean the snow off the trees. By ten am, we had about ten inches of wet snow and all the trees were buckling over. We lost a third of our maple tree.

10 am Monday
 The power went out. We put the gas fireplace on and kept clearing snow. By the time it stopped at about noon, we had more than a foot.

It was great to see neighbors coming out and helping neighbors--across the street, Melanie's car was parked under a very bent over tree and she was worried the tree would fall on her. Tim and our neighbors Scott and Leslie helped clear out their driveway and then they all came to clear off ours.

Our little neighbor Delphina was out her with her mom and she helped clear snow off the cars. She's a cutie.

The University announced it would be closed all day (they originally said only til 1pm) and I made my Tuesday 'take home' test available so if students got bored they could take the test early (I told them the online system would tell me if they used more than two hours to take the test. It doesn't. But yeah).

Luckily we have a gas stovetop so Tim made pancakes for dinner. Not having electricity seemed manageable.

We went for a walk in the neighborhood. The apple trees in the park (where I glean apples for the alpacas in the summer) are a mess, with all kinds of branches down.

Tim in his blue coat, just so you can see that I'm not photographing in black and white.

Lots of snow in Hendricks park, I'm sure tree limbs came down right and left.

Park bench.

As it got dark, the lack of electricity became less charming. Tim heated up a leftover burrito for dinner, I gathered all of our candles, we moved the cacti off the windowsills so we could pull the shades down, and then we faffed on our phones til bedtime (which for me was about 8:30). There was some knitting.


Power back on, hurray!

Campus is closed til noon but my class and two meetings for today were all scheduled before that, so I'm staying home today. I'm pretty sure we still can't get down our street but if it warms up we probably can. I also don't have to go anywhere tomorrow and we're hoping to go to the coast on Thursday, we'll see.

We are lucky we were warm and dry and safe, and I know a lot of people around here are lacking at least one of those.   Very grateful for what we have, and I worked to "180 degree" my thinking to focus not on what I didn't have, but what I did have.  And that was good.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Ain't no snow day like an unexpected snow day

When I last left blogged

It was raining.

When we went to bed last night
It was doing that weird half rain/half snow which pretty much just ends up as slush.

This morning
There's this.

We lost a few branches already, and a tree in our neighbor's yard is making scary cracking noises but hopefully this will slow down. There's a lot of snow but it doesn't seem to be really wet--so maybe we'll be ok once it stops. It is right around freezing so it may shift over to rain soon.

Leslie across the street just measured--10 1/2 inches.


OK the lights are blinking off and on so I better get this posted. There's also knitting:

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Wheels down!

Brief summary

It was a crazy and successful trip. I'm spent!

Longer summary

My colleague Deb and I took 13 students to LA where we hosted a conference at a very cool ad agency there (I teach advertising and I run a Master's program in Brand Responsibility and that is what the conference was about).  We had some amazing speakers and our 13 master's students all did introductions and brief presentations. That was yesterday (Saturday) from 10-3 (we arrived at the venue at 8:30) and then afterwards Deb and I met with a donor and then we all went to a LA j-school alum event at a bar.  That was over about 9, and we went back to the hotel and sat quietly for a while and then we were up at 5;30 to get to the airport. So yesterday was insane.

Friday was a bit calmer--the photo above is the view from my hotel room in Marina Del Rey (however, we only saw the ocean from the plane). We basically spent the entire time there in a 3 mile radius around our hotel. Deb and I had a meeting in the morning, then we had lunch with a colleague and then had some downtime before going to the venue for a rehearsal in mid afternoon. I may have had a few cocktails Friday night.

It's a palm tree!

Also from my hotel window. Not included: the Panda Express I could also see.


As I mentioned, we were up early to get the flight, and we saw this:
And you can see a bit of the Panda Express.

It's been pouring in Eugene, so it was lovely to have a bit of cool and sunny weather. I met some amazing people, reunited with some terrific alums, and bonded with the cohort. Well worth it.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Wheels (almost) up!

All packed!

We'll leave for the airport in about 40 minutes (Tim is dropping me off)--LA is one of the few places you can go to from Eugene where you don't have to get up at 4am to get your flight. It is a little over two hours and it is nonstop--another wonderful thing we don't often get. So Kathy, I doubt we'll take a hard turn over Wisconsin but if we do, I'll be waving at you.

More Casapinka

This is the Cashmere Paintbrush cowl start which is supposed to use a few different colors of Cashmere. I'm using a long color change from Knit Picks. Not cashmere. But fun anyway. And the stitch pattern is a. simple and b. beautiful.

Rough and tumble

Ann messaged that Calypso got into a bit of a kerfuffle/scuffle with one of the other boys, and had the wind knocked out of him. Apparently nothing was broken or sprained, but she kept Calypso with Onxy last night and kept them separated from the other boys. She told me when she found him, Kokopelli was standing guard--either to protect him or he felt guilty. This morning, she sent this picture:

And told me he was up eating, and doing his other business, so he is probably fine. I wonder if he's reaching sexual maturity and there is a bit of posturing going on with the boys. Or it could be that someone slipped in the mud and ran into him a little too hard. Either way, he'll be fine and I'm so thankful for Ann and her tender care.

See you from LA!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

In Progress

Life is always in progress, isn't it? Let's see where my life stands.


I've been working on Heart Warmer and it is a bit slow going. The first hunk is lace and cable and it took a while. I think the yarn is Wollmeise.

Here is a close up.

I have stretched this over a white greeting card so you can see the lace and the the cable but it is still hard to see.  I'll try to rectify that in future photos.

Ghost in the Machine

A few months ago we had an issue with the washing machine as it seemed to have some type of spirit living in it that would decide when we could and could not use the washer. It announced its presence by random beeping of the controls and disallowing water into the machine. Well, it went away but it came back the other day. I asked it nicely to leave and it has left again but we fear a new washing machine is in the cards for us soon.

The Pants of Perspective

I'm reading The Pants of Perspective which is free on Kindle Unlimited about a woman named Anna (it is a true story) who does a 3000 kilometer (that's what? 1900 miles?) run from the bottom to the top of New Zealand alone. Well, solo, she's rarely alone. It is a fun little read.

LA! Here we come!

Our Master's students are so excited about our trip to LA tomorrow. We have a big conference that we're putting on on Saturday, as well as an alumni event. I think we are doing stuff Friday but it will be mostly getting prepped for Saturday. Should be fun! It is also helping my travel anxiety to be with such excited people.

Packing is in progress, that is, determining the fewest things I can take for what is essentially two days. Plus I have to dig out all my little bottles of things for the flight.

That's it from here.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Medieval Monday!

You know how sometimes things are all serious, you're wearing a cowl and you like how it looks, and it is just a regular day?

And then all of a sudden--it starts to snow! Or rain! Or the temps drop unexpectedly! Or you feel like you are ready to joust with whoever wants to joust with you?

Then your cowl becomes your armor.

I kind of love this, and I kind of want to make more. I don't recall what the yarn is but it took about 100 grams of SOMETHING that was DK ish. It is longer in the back and covers my neck and I wish it was raining right now so I could test it out!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sundays are for Cuteness

Yesterday Tim and I went to one of our favorite little spots for lunch--The Cannery. It is a small place with maybe 15 tables and on Saturdays it is usually 1/3 to 1/2 full, although some days we've been the only people there. We always chat with the server and feel it is very much a 'third space' for us.

When we got there yesterday, a few minutes before noon, it was almost completely full! Our server told us that an article had come out in our paper that morning (a long, very complimentary article) and that apparently drove a lot of people in. There were people waiting for tables most of the time we were there, and we ended up sharing our four top with a father and his son visiting campus.

It was nuts. I needed a bit of quiet, so guess where I went?

It was sunny when I got there, and then there was a HUGE hailstorm while I was there, and I helped Ann get the alpacas to where they all had some shelter. Here is a shot of all the boys--you can see Calypso in the back and Atom has his back toward us. I think they were hoping for apples.

Here's that cutie. It is sometimes hard to get a photo of Calypso with his ears up but I got one yesterday!

Pre-hail storm, I got this photo of a pregnant Tinkerbell. She is due 4/27 with Calypso (and Georgia's) brother/sister. She looks pregnant!

Her 'sister in law' Marmalade is due six weeks or so after her. She is on the right, that little fluffernutter Tripoli (born in August) is on the left.

Then the hail came.  You can see it on the fleece:


And on the girls here:

We retreated to the kitchen for some hot tea to warm up. By the time I left, the sun was starting to come out again.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Casting on!

I've written many posts called "Casting On" on this blog, and here's another one!

First, here is the Friend of the forest hood which is both a hood and a cowl (if you don't wear the hood over your head). THIS IS BRILLIANT! I kind of hate wearing hats because hair mush, and I love the idea of being able to just pull up a cowl when it is lightly raining, as it does most of the time in the winter in Oregon. I will be making lots and lots of these hood/cowls. I will even experiment with my own patterns and share them because I want you to love hood/cowls too.

This is the cast on for Heart Warmer as my 'pay attention' project, as most of the other projects I have going on are mindless.

Today will be a lazy day of knitting and lunch. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

And just like that--

--it's done! Except for the weaving in.

I like it a lot. I'm very much into colors right now, which is unlike me. I have a pile of UFOs in the corner of the yarn room that I pawed through this morning very quickly and they were all grey and black and dark purple.

I have a few other cowls I'd like to cast on for, and I'm trying to decide if I can mix two colors of dk with one color of sock yarn. The answer is probably not but I might just give it a try.

I also cast on for the  Friend of the Forest Hood with some crazy variegated yarn. That is early days. It may just be a 'cast on for all the stuff' weekend here, though.

My busy day yesterday was busy---I counted up and I had class, one committee meeting, two different meetings with colleagues, and four student meetings. I had a third meeting scheduled for 4:30 but that colleague couldn't find a parking place and I had to get home. So that was a 9 1/2 hour day on campus yesterday and in the half-an-hour blocks that I had free here and there I got some things crossed off my to do list. I can be incredibly focused like that, while bouncing around, but then I feel kind of hung over the next day.

Last night, Tim made a delicious dinner and then we went to the symphony. It featured "Rhapsody in Blue" and the "Second Rhapsody" and two other pieces. It was good, and Rhapsody in Blue tends to be a crowd favorite.

Today, I hope to work on a paper and write some letters of recommendation. There's a faculty meeting at 3 but I think I'll just call in as opposed to going in and sitting there bored.

I'm looking forward to some serious knitting time this weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day!

Nothing really important to say except I hope you enjoy your day with your Valentine, whether that be a person, a pet, or just yourself. There's a lot of negative VD sentiments but maybe if we thought of it as a day to simply celebrate the beauty of love we would all be in a better place.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Almost done!

I think I have nine more rows and this is done (and I may have less than that, I'm getting really low on yarn. So I might skip the last repeat of daisy stitch).

Oh yes, there's daisy stitch in there-

I don't really even like Daisy Stitch but it seems to work ok in this cowl!

I have mentioned multiple times how big a Casapinka fan I am, and this cowl confirms it! But I'm going to move on to another project soon, and will contemplate that over the next few days.

I have a bit of a busy day today, trying to finish up a paper and I have yoga this morning so I'll end this a bit quickly. Have a good day!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Monday begins on the coast

It will end in Eugene, as we will pack up (not really a lot to pack up though) and clean up (and not really a lot to clean up, either, as we have been very neat this weekend) after lunch. It has been a good weekend, much more relaxing than the last time we were here. At the same time, it gets harder and harder and harder to leave. We'll have to find some way to remedy that.

Yesterday I spent a bit of time working and finished a 'cozy' I was reading--a cozy set on a college campus. I got it on Kindle Unlimited and it was called "Academic Curveball" and it involved the star pitchers on the baseball team and all kinds of fol de rol. It was not a very accurate portrayal of college life, although an accurate portrayal would be the most boring book ever (Death by Committee? Faculty Foul Play? Tenure-i-cide?).

There has been knitting. This one is coming along:

I found a lot of bulky yarn right before we left that I'd like to use for a giant cowl/hood thing, but my guess is by the time I get started on it spring will be here.

I also am kind of enjoying "Goedel Escher Bach" but I do have to say if I wasn't reading it as an independent study with Travis I wouldn't be curled up with it. There's a ton of math I cannot understand but when he discusses Escher's art and Zen and notions of the paradox it is really quite fascinating.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Every time I looked outside-

-there was something different happening. We were waiting for the snow but it never came (the video below is literally most of the snow we saw yesterday). It is, however, really cold (for the coast)--this morning it was below freezing. At the gas station the other day (yes, we have a gas station in Pacific City!) the woman pumping the gas said that it used to be that it was always 60 degrees in PC, regardless of the time of the year. Not so much any more.

I love this little video because it looks like I put some type of 'snowglobe' filter on it, but it has #nofilter and shows our sparkly snow yesterday.

And among other pretty scenes:

The snow looked like it wanted to start all day yesterday:

During one little squall, Pilot went out to see what was happening and decided that snow could be a little snack. He is all healed now!

The sunset last night was dramatic. This is looking southwest.

Another one to the Southwest.

And this is to the Northwest.
 And then this morning, the sunrise was beautiful. Blue sky, no clouds now (about half an hour after this photo was taken):

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Snow snow

As in 'there's no snow'.

We were hoping to wake up to a snowy morning on the coast but it was not to be. It is still beautiful though:

When I was out with the dogs this morning there were tiny little flakes that stuck for about 2 minutes and then melted. Ah well. I guess there is still a chance for a bit more snow later today but we'll see.

Seattle got really wallopped--if you're not familiar with the PNW, Seattle is about four hours north of us, and it started snowing there yesterday afternoon and they're expecting a lot--they have six inches on the ground and it is still snowing.  It doesn't seem like that much if you live somewhere where snow tends to happen in the winter, but most people are not prepared in the Pacific Northwest. Eugene, where I live, has one plow. In general, cities won't use chemicals on the streets, and even sanding the streets is problematic as the sand ends up in the sewers and needs to be sucked out. So, yes, we don't know what to do with snow here.

I'm hoping to see snow on the beach this weekend, so stay tuned!

I've been working on the Klickitat cowl and STOP THE PRESSES I FIGURED OUT THE CONFUSING STITCH! The one I posted is part of a four row pattern--the first row involves slipping five stitches with the yarn in front, and then when you get to the 'confusing' row (Row 3) you pick up that long piece of yarn.

It looks like this:

The little mountain at the top was formed by the confusing stitch.

And the whole thing looks like this:

I have only one skein so I'm now 'picking and choosing' what rows I knit, and I'll just keep knitting til there is nothing left.

Yesterday was catching up on work and today will be a bit of catching up as well. I'm reading "The Witches of New York" which I had started a while back and just returned to. It is set in New York (duh) and it is about witches (duh) and it is set in the 19th century which seems to be a time period I'm reading a lot about lately.

Hope you are warm and dry on this Saturday!