Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Two weeks in

We have been at the coast for two weeks. When we came out, the plan was to be here for about four and a half weeks, and then head back to Eugene to finish the term. It's hard to believe how much has changed, and we could be out here through September, with occasional jaunts back to Eugene to water the plants and get food and care from the vet as needed.  I just feel safer here--the grocery store only had three people in it when I went by yesterday, and they've taped down lines to the floor so people will stand behind them. I'm lucky I brought out so much yarn and embroidery, but in reality I haven't finished the things I brought out and so an entire plastic tub of yarn might have been overkill--if the four week thing had held.

I think I'm feeling a bit---I don't know---antsy?

The weather has been crazy, going from stormy to sunny in half an hour. Here was the sky this morning:



We left for a dog walk in the sun, and five minutes later it was hailing.

The Local Yarn Shop shawl is progressing--


Here is a close up of the rib and lace:


I've made a few Easter cards, and am wondering about 'next' projects for the machine. I have some leather and fake leather so may try something with that.

I hope you and yours are all well and safe. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

One down

The first 'remote' class is over, and only a few glitches. I had to record a five minute video over at 7:30 this morning after I heard that the video was not working (and our IT dept was incredibly unhelpful, telling me it had to be my fault). Our Learning Management System is very slow, not a surprise, but hopefully it will all shake out.

And this is done:

I should do a 'spot the difference' contest, shouldn't I?

Hope you are well. More tomorrow.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday updates

Well, Spring break is over, and I start online teaching next week. It should be a weird 10 weeks.

Little Stitches
I've been working most evenings on this little piece. I have two sections of pink, a few more dark green flowers, and the inside of the sun to finish and then I'm done. I have one finished and one planned other patterns from Cozy Blue that will match this as a display so that's my goal for upcoming little stitch work.

Reading
I finished "Fake Like Me" and friends, I really really liked this book.  If you are interested in the creative process, you might like this one too.

I've just started "Red Lotus" by Chris Bohjalian and it is a good book, but it is a little tense so I don't read it before bed. I like Bohjalian's work a lot, although some of his historical books are not very interesting to me. This one seems good--a couple go on a bike tour of Vietnam and the man goes missing. So far, I like it.

I'm also reading "Lady in Waiting" by Anne Conover who was a lady in waiting to Princess Margaret. It's interesting yet simple enough for before-bed reading.


Watching
A few things on rotation in our house:

  • The last season of "Better Call Saul".  Always good.
  • The second season of "Succession". This is an interesting series with really crazy characters. We subscribed to the Amazon Prime HBO channel and it is a bit pricey but there's a lot of good stuff on there. 
  • The new season of "Top Chef". Nothing new to see with this, as it is a 'redemption' season with people who have been on the show before. But sometimes you need a little nothingness.
  • A new Amazon Prime show, "Making the Cut", with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. This is the show they contracted for when they walked away from "Project Runway".  We stopped watching PR when it got so formulaic. This new show is pretty fun. It focuses more on the process---all the designers are somewhat established---and most interestingly, they send the garments out to seamstresses for sewing overnight so there's no angst over sewing. The people seem nice and supportive, not cutthroat. So far, a thumbs up from us.
  • I've told you about "Repair Shop" and we're on to Season 2. "Repair Shop" is now my "Chopped", in that I fall asleep about twenty minutes in. It's that gentle and soothing.
A few cards went out yesterday, and I made a bunch more. It is so fortunate to be over-hobbied during these tough times. I hope you are all well. 


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Re-direction

Yesterday afternoon was annoying (I'm sensing a theme with my blog posts). While many schools gave faculty an extra week to prepare for going online, my school didn't. And while many of these schools giving faculty extra time to prepare have four or five weeks left, we have an entire term--ten weeks.

To say nerves are frayed is an understatement. Mine got extra frayed yesterday. Doesn't really matter why, but I'm better today.

I had some work stuff in the morning then took off the afternoon (it is Spring Break, after all). I've created a bunch of cards, and several of you will receive one of these in the next week or so.

This is the 'hello spring' line of cards. I've cut the image out on the cutting machine, and then do a background in some cool inks I have. They kind of look airbrushed, yes?






This line is not yet named.



Yes these are two different cards. The one on the bottom is 'distressed'--meaning a gave it a fine mist and it gets a little texture on it.


I call these 'cool fish'.

 This one is distressed.

 This one is not.

The final group is called rainbow butterflies.



I'm really glad I have this outlet to put some energy into (hence, the re-direction). I can be kind of creative (with the inking) and use someone else's good work to get a good result (the cutting out stuff). These are all far from perfect but they are helping me stay sane.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Your public service announcement for the day: today is Wednesday

Yes, I'm slowly losing track of time.  It took me a few minutes yesterday to figure out it was Tuesday. Self-isolation plus spring break plus lack of sleep is to blame.  I also lost the scoop for the dog food between dinner yesterday and breakfast today and that type of thing generally brings out the OCD in me but I'm letting it slide. We will survive.

Pacific City has pretty much emptied out. Our little neighborhood on the hill above the town is maybe a third full? Which is pretty normal for this time of year. Our immediate neighbors are all here, and we text one another and run into them on dog walks. We have met a few new neighbors as well (from a long distance, of course). I popped into the grocery store Monday evening and it felt like the Monday after a long summer weekend. I'm sure it will get restocked soon--and I could get everything on our relatively short list so that was good.

There has been knitting! I've been working on ABQ Sunset and wondering why it is going soooo slowly but then I realized I am at the 'long' end and there are lots of stitches on the needle. Here it is stretched out the bench where we feed the dogs (where there is no dog scoop):


Here's a close up of the work at the long end.


Have I shown you my Namaste train case? It holds two projects and a ton of accessories. Two projects meaning four balls of yarn. It's very cute.




I finished "The Antidote for Everything" and I liked it more and more as it went on. Now I"m reading "Fake Like Me" by Barbara Bourland and it is one of the most un-putdownable books I've read in a long time.  It's about a young woman artist who has her major exhibit destroyed in a fire in her loft, and goes to an artist collective's retreat in upstate to New York to try to recreate it in a short time. There's a mystery there (but this isn't a mystery) and the ruminations on art are fascinating. And wealth. Trust me. It's really good.

Yesterday we had a very soaky day, but look what we saw first ting in the morning:



I always am saying to myself that I need a sign that all will be well, and it took me to last night to ask myself if this was indeed the sign. Maybe it was.


Monday, March 23, 2020

Stupid People are Stupid

Warning: this is a rant.

It was a beautiful weekend on the Oregon Coast, and  hundreds--probably thousands--of people from the Valley flocked to the coast. This was the day after the Governor issued a 'stay home, stay safe' order. There was no staying home, and no staying safe, as people jammed into the beach accesses and paid no attention to social distancing. And they also jammed into our tiny grocery store.

Many people likened it to a fourth of July weekend, which takes our little town about a week to recover from.  And it was the first weekend of spring break in Oregon, so the fears were that it would continue all week.

So this happened:



Our county has closed down parks, beach parking lots, and ordered all hotels, motels, campgrounds, and short term rentals (e.g. airBnBs) to close as of noon today. The two bigger places at the beach had already announced on Saturday that they were closing down, including closing down the carryout at the pub and the coffee place (the coffee place!). And now the rest will close. The locals (which I guess we are) are happy about this (as am I) because this is just so much Stupid all in one place. Apparently it was like that all over Oregon on Saturday---I get that people want to get out and enjoy a nice sunny day in the face of all the horror happening but people! People! Don't be stupid and think about others for once!

OK rant over.

Eagles and Whales and Flowers

There are a few eagles hanging around PC. There is one at the very tippy top of this tree:

And I managed this video of this eagle flying off.



Do you know what this plant is? It is all over the place in our neighborhood.

Other Stuff
I finished "The Antidote to Everything"--I ended up liking it a lot. 
We subscribed to the HBO channel on Amazon and have been watching "Silicon Valley" and "Succession". 
We finished Season 13 of "Midsomer Murder" and said goodbye to Tom and Joyce Barnaby. Have you watched this? Here are my questions about the first 13 seasons:

1. Did Cully ever make it as an actress?
2. What happened to Mr. Cully?
3. Isn't Joyce a little overscheduled? How does she do all this volunteer work?
4. Where are all the people of color in Midsomer?
5. What would make you want to live in Midsomer? For me, it's the cozy pubs and the cute little post office/stores. 
6. Why wouldn't you want to live in Midsomer? The answer is quite obvious.
7. What kind of a name is Cully, anyway?

Any thoughts please share. 


Saturday, March 21, 2020

These days

These days seem like weeks sometimes, don't they? There's just so much going on. Yesterday I had lots of emails, a Zoom meeting, and squeezed out a little bit of time for reading and thinking. I'm reading "The Antidote for Everything" and it got better---the romance is downplayed and it is focusing on the story of what happens when organizational ethics conflict with personal ethics. It's the story of doctors who work for a medical group that does not want transgender patients and how that all shakes out. It raises some good questions.

I moved on to 'part 2' of the scarf:


This is a ribbed lace pattern that is of course hard to see because of my bad photography skills. This is one of the easiest lace patterns and I like it a lot.

Here's the sunset from yesterday:

It was gentle.  And here was the rock this morning:


I love fog.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Sunrise and sunset

Not much to share because yesterday fell into pieces. This was yesterday's sunset:


Yesterday fell apart because we found out mid-afternoon that the entire spring term--ten weeks--will be online. I had just yesterday morning finished recording the first three weeks and was relieved it was over. So now I will be recording the rest of the term, and revising assignments. I also let in five more students who needed classes after study abroad was cancelled, so now I have 45 students in one class and 20 in the other. It's going to be bumpy.

After I learned this, I asked Tim to go for a walk on the beach just to get away.  It was a lovely afternoon (and the beach was pretty busy for a Thursday, but I think people wanted to take advantage of a nice day). This little video is a bit of peace--it is a little stream headed to the ocean.


I woke up at 4am and knew I wasn't going to get back to sleep, so I just got up and started working. I was rewarded with this:

And realized how lucky I am. I need to hold on to that.

Find peace today friends.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Randomness

Like many of us, I'm dealing with anxiety--my own, my family's, our students', my colleagues. Today, here are some random ways I'm working on it.

1. I'm doing yoga at home, using my own personal Yoga teacher, Amy. She has a series of videos on prime that I think are all free: here. These are short (less than half an hour) beginner practices focusing on stretching and breathing. I like them.  I'm also doing arm weights to work on my biceps (kayak season will be here soon!) and Tim and I take good walks each day. With Pilot and Comet (below), of course.



2. I'm making sure I enjoy the craft goodness and nuttiness that is Craft Gossip. They have a daily newsletter that gives a bunch of projects, from the simple to the pretty bizarre. It is a good source of inspiration.

3. I'm reaching out. I don't have a great relationship with my mom, but have been checking in on her much more frequently. She's in an assisted living home, living somewhat independently, near my brother. Her facility is on lockdown, although she can get together with 3 other people if she wishes (she's trying to organize a bible study, which is interesting as she gave up on organized religion several years ago). I sent her some books, some puzzle books, and a 3D jigsaw puzzle (she was an architect and that might amuse her, but knowing her it won't and she'll just give it away with some sarcastic comment about it being a waste. Yes, I don't have a great relationship with her).

4. Do you want a card from me? I'm ready to try some new techniques on cards and would be happy to send a card out to you. Email me your address at this email address:  kbshee AT comcast DOT net and you'll get a card from me eventually.

5. Work. We just learned our 'online only' period was extended two weeks by the governor. So that's half a term online (oh sorry remote). Sigh.

6. Oh yes knitting. I'm done with the third section of ABQ Sunset. Man these colors are hard to see.



Hope you are well and handling it all. I am glad I can check in with my blog friends.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

My social distancing strategy

We're on the coast, and we're happy to be here.  We are about as isolated as we can be from campus craziness, and things are sort of normal here? The restaurants are all takeout only, and the little businesses are worried about the economy (of course) but there was milk and eggs at the grocery in town and for some reason I'm feeling somewhat optimistic that this social distancing will flatten the curve.

Today's social distancing workout
Tim and I walked the dogs, and then we moved wood from the downstairs woodpile to the upstairs woodpile. The fireplace is upstairs so that is why we had to transfer stuff.

Today's social distancing cute animal

Today's social distancing big idea
I was texting with one of my master's students and we had an idea to start collecting Random Acts of Community and Kindness. Like knitters who host online chat groups via Rav or YouTube. Like neighbors who put out sanitized puzzles for others in the neighborhood to enjoy. We're going to collect these and create a beautiful book. Leave your ideas here, or leave them on my Insta post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B945bS6ANUm/

Today's craft photo

NOT A GOOD ONE, SORRY!



Monday, March 16, 2020

Here's a little antidote to anxiety

 Atom 

 Calypso and Atom


 Handsome Atom


 Tripoli (in the front), Calypso (in the middle), Atom in the back.  The boys need haircuts



 Calypso with Atom right behind him, and Tripoli (aka Fluffernutter, he is so fluffy). Calypso and Tripoli are BFFs.


 Calypso ignoring me



Atom wants to know what's going on.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Prepping

We're getting ready to go out to the coast house--probably either Tuesday or Wednesday.  We used this pandemic to get prepared for an earthquake as well--we now have rice and beans and a water filter,  Tim stocked up on proteins that we'll tote out to the coast, and we're in pretty good shape. There are still no confirmed cases in our county or in Tillamook county (where the house is), but most other counties in Oregon have cases.

And here is how I prepared:













I was going to try to do a stop motion video but yeah.

Anyway, we feel fine and we think we'll be fine and we're hoping that the virus will be tamped down---it seems like people here are actively doing social distancing, and I haven't been out in public (except for dog walks) since Thursday.

I've done a bit more on the Local Yarn Shop shawl--
and I started a new tiny needle project-

I'm taking a bunch of tiny needle stuff as well.

In readings--I am reading two books now--"The Antidote for Everything" by Kimmery Martin and "The Ancient Nine" by Ian K. Smith. I've read another book by Martin--she's an MD (as is Smith) and writes what I might call 'light' stories about doctors. This one has started a bit too-romancy (the meet cute episode---she's flying to a medical conference and he had a reaction to allergy medicine and needed medical help on the flight) so I put that on the back burner. The Ancient Nine is about secret societies at Harvard (I'm a total sucker for secret society novels) and is set in Cambridge (of course) in the 1980s, when I lived there, so it is fun to hear about all the places in Harvard Square that were part of my life (and probably don't exist any more).

Last night we watched "Ford vs Ferrari" which was a pretty good movie, particularly for a movie for which I had no interest in the topic.

Stay well and safe, all!

Friday, March 13, 2020

A bit of a panic mode

I'll get to the knitting in a second, but I do want to share that things are in a panic mode here in Oregon. At school, I have to finish up grading for this term, and then rejigger my class to offer it remotely for at least three weeks and maybe more. All large gatherings are banned in Oregon, and it was just announced that all schools are closing on Monday til the end of March (this includes scheduled spring break).  Every time I open my email there's three messages from three different people with three different types of information about the situation at school, much of it redundant, none of it makes me confident anyone knows what they're doing. Students are incredibly panicked (is that how it is spelled?) and eager to leave campus and head to their homes away from here.

I just hope all these measures stem the tide in Oregon. We don't have a whole lot of cases here--30--and none so far in my county reported (and my belief is that of course we have people in my county with the virus, but none official yet). I hope all these closures stem the tide, but I also feel for people who are suddenly faced with new child care needs etcetera. It's just all overwhelming right now.

We'll be headed out to the coast next week as soon as my obligations here are done. This weekend I'll figure out how much yarn and needlework to pack (I have two shawls on the needles and a pair of socks on the needles, and three more shawls -- maybe 4-- in the queue. And lots of sock yarn. I won't use more than a third of it).

Here is the current ABQ Sunset:


I'm about done with the 'mostly grey' sections so this will be a bit livelier soon.

I finished both books that I told you about, and I highly recommend "Writers and Lovers" by Lily King. Now I'm reading "The Jetsetters" about a dysfunctional family on a cruise--it is ok, nothing world shattering, but I don't really need world shattering right now.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

And here we go

The word came down at the end of the day yesterday--classes today and tomorrow, all finals (next week) online, then spring break, then three weeks of no in person classes (online delivery, but we are emphatically reminded THIS IS NOT AN ONLINE CLASS, IT IS MERELY DELIVERING MATERIAL ONLINE).

And being told 'no one expects you to be good at this.'

Yikes. So we'll be heading out to the coast for an extended spring break some time next week.

I haven't been doing a lot of crafting--just trying to stay on top of the panic that is everywhere on campus right now.


Monday, March 09, 2020

It's a "Much to See" Monday!

Lots of stuff to show you, including nature, knitting, sunsets and supermoon.

Let's do craft stuff first.

New project

The knitting of the weekend was on ABQ Sunset and on the Local Yarn Shop Shawl, also from Casapinka. I'm not that far into it.

I have almost 80 rows done on this, but it doesn't look it, does it? Anyway, I like the colors and there's a bit of a pattern breaking up the stockinette so I'll show you a close up tomorrow.

Phew that was a long sentence!

Etching

I did a bit of etching this weekend.



Hard to get good pictures of these on purple backed glass, but I gave it a try. For these, I basically etched everything except the whales.  They look good but are hard to photograph!



An alpaca!
A celtic knot!
Coral! Bad picture sorry.

A starfish!

I like etching, although it is kind of nervewracking as there is no fixing it once it starts.

Sunset


We've had some glorious ones. But we've also had some glorious...

..Supermoon!

This was a bit after 7am today.

And the sun comes up.

And all is well.