Monday, August 31, 2020

Feeling like Fall

 The last few days have felt VERY fallish here on the coast---it is very cool in the morning, leaves are starting to fall off the trees, it gets dark around 8:15-ish (compared to almost 10pm in July) and the sun is setting way way south of the rock. 

I can hardly get a sunset picture with both the sunset AND the rock. On the 4th of July, the sun set North of the rock. 

We don't go back to school til the end of September, but the K-12s in the area are slowly starting up. Many don't go back 'full time' til 9/14, but some schools are having 'soft opens' where teachers and parents and kids get used to the learning systems. We were kind of lucky at the UO that we had a whole 10=week term to teach online so I think we've all figured out a lot of things we need to do during fall, and we will hopefully avoid some of the stressors other faculty across the country seem to be facing. 

The weekend was a mix of activity (nothing too stressful) and reading/knitting/art/etc. I've made it through 2/3 of the next clue of the Sharon Show, even though something weird happened with the yarn that threatened to derail the whole thing but apparently I did a good fix on it (the whole story later).

The most recent stitch pattern is really pretty.

I also made a focaccia bread from scratch. I used this recipe from Bon Appetit which was incredibly simple and really, really worked. I also made a pot of chili yesterday (see, FALL!) and the bread went well with that, plus it was thick enough for sandwiches. It takes a lot of time--mostly for rising--but you can pretend you are on The Great British Baking Show and that makes it all fun.

The rib is feeling good but I realized I'm very tense throughout all my muscles trying to hold my body in a way that doesn't hurt. The general solution to this--yoga--isn't possible right now, so I did pop in the sauna for a few minutes last night and that helped.

I finished "The Herd" (it ended with whiplash twists, which can be annoying) and "The Secret Commonwealth" (the second book in The Book of Dust, which kind of dragged on at the end, just like the first book). Now I'm reading "The Comeback" which is the story of an actress who had a "#MeToo" relationship with a director and I like it a lot, and makes me wonder how many other actresses went through that.

We watched "Richard Jewell" on Saturday and man 1996 seems a long long time ago.

Here we go--a week before a long weekend. Have a good Monday!

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Ghostly Galleons

 Have you heard of Artist Trading Cards?

Basically, it takes the concept of baseball cards and elevates it to art. Artists create baseball-card sized pieces of art and trade them. You 'collect' them and then can trade with others. I guess there are 'in person' gatherings for trading when we're not in a pandemic. Anyway--there's a (small) group on Ravelry that I just joined and there is a swap each month. Each month has a theme, and September is ocean/pirates, and here is what I did.

I think this will be fun.

Friday, August 28, 2020

It's Friday (isn't it?)

 I'm not doing great at keeping track of the days, but I'm pretty sure it is Friday. Happy weekend! This is the second to last weekend of summer and I'm sure it will be crazy here, but that's OK--we do fine with managing the crowds. My ribs feel much better but I'm not sure if I'll try kayaking this weekend--we'll see. 

I did a bit more of the Botanical Shawl yesterday:

I haven't even used one ball of Crazy so this will be a big shawl. I'm also at the stage where it takes a bit of time to do each of the rows because of the number of stitches on the needle. But I still am really enjoying this one and am looking forward to wrapping myself in its loveliness when it is done.

I'm reading "The Herd" which is interesting--what happened to a woman who started a women's coworking space? It popped up as a 'must read' book on a lot of lists of media focused on younger women (like Bustle) but so far I like it.

We took a nice if windy walk with the dogs yesterday after dinner. That was nice if windy. 

Have a good day!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Clue 3 in the books

 I kind of cranked on the Sharon Show and am done with Clue 3 with a day to spare. I will probably give myself permission to go slower because I miss my other projects! 

Lots of lace in this hunk.

I had several research tasks to complete this morning AND we had an Appliance Issue which got distracting. So sorry this is late. We had an interesting/weird sunset last night. 

Hope today is great!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

TNT and an incredible sunset

 Happy TNT! I made an Executive Decision on the Cozy Cabin and that decision was that if I did satin stitch for all the trees I would never finish it. So I'm borrowing a technique from Liz at Cozy Blue and am doing the 'bark' motif on some (most) of the trees. 

It goes a lot faster.

We had an amazing sunset last night, mostly because of the light on the clouds. 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 24, 2020

I think this is the week I fall behind!

 On the Sharon Show, that is.

I've done the first 'new' clue and am partway through the second clue and I am missing working on my other projects. I'm not a big 'joiner'--I belong to the Rav group but I'm not following along with anything so not 'keeping up' is potentially distressing only to me and THAT MY FRIENDS IS THE REASON WHY I SHOULD NOT DO KALs!

We had a bit of fog this morning.

Yesterday was kind of lazy--I went to the farmer's market to get veggies for the week, we took the dogs for a good walk, and then I kind of hung out for most of the day. Tim's kayak has a little leak so he spent much of yesterday fixing that. And he made homemade pot stickers for dinner which were great.

I forgot to tell you all---as you may recall, we only have a tiny grocery here--the closest 'big' store is the Safeway that is half an hour away. The Safeway is fine, but  it makes me tense to go there.  The little store is just sort of blah--while the only things we *really* need to buy 'in person' are dairy, oj, meats, and vegetables (which is basically---food)-- our little store has good dairy while the meats and the veggies are generally sub par. We live in Tillamook County, so there's generally good milk and stuff. 

So the farmer's market will tide us over til the summer tourist season is over (and I'll be much more happy about going to the Safeway). We also set up a subscription box called Butcher Box which is a box of meat. We easily have enough meat for 3 or four weeks of meals from one box. It's not inexpensive (we got the $150 box, which gives us several pounds each of ground beef, chicken breasts, salmon, flat iron steak, bacon and ground pork) and you can mix up the meat with every order. I had to rearrange the freezer a bit to get it all in there but I'm very happy about that.

And finally, some neighbors told us about the Tillamook Feed Store in Cloverdale, about four miles from here, which sells Feed (which we don't need) but milk, sour cream, eggs, all kinds of Tillamook cheese, and all kinds of Tillamook ice cream. I may have overbought on the ice cream sandwiches. A friendly guy runs it and so I now can almost avoid the little store in town. Except for OJ. But I can stock up.

Hope your Monday is off to a good start!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

No knitting on a Sunday

 I have no knitting to show you today but I do have some other things. First, to answer a question: Kathy B asked about Mana, and she is doing great. Ann sends pictures often, and she weighed almost 50 pounds so she's going to be a big girl.

In other animal news, we took a long beach walk yesterday morning. The waves were--weird? And we spent a few moments watching what are quickly becoming my favorite ocean bird--pelicans!

In addition to lots of sand dollars, we found a few agates and some shells

Last night, we had a social distancing gathering on our driveway with a bunch of neighbors---we were nine in total. These gatherings aren't going to last much longer, as some neighbors will be heading to their 'other' homes and then the bad weather will start--but our garage is bright and somewhat empty so hopefully we can just transition into there.

Our neighbor Dawn brought us these beauties.

I made some experimental cards. These are mulberry paper with hand cut cardstock and a little sequin on the top. I think I like the landscape one the best. 

And I made a banner (it isn't quite finished) for our neighbors KC and Tink--they bring home their new puppy on September 2!

I've been reading "The Secret Commonwealth" which is the second book in the second "His Dark Materials" trilogy. It snuck out in November (well, at least I didn't notice it) and while I didn't like "The Book of Dust" I am LOVING this one. Lyra is a student at Oxford and she and Pan have Issues. Major Issues. It's great. I have to look up at least one word on every page. I need to keep a list. 

I think that's about it from here! I'm off to the Farmer's Market. Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 21, 2020

Rain rain rain rain rain

 After a long time of no real rain (I think the entire month of July and all of August), rain blew in yesterday around 4 in the afternoon. Tim was on his way back from Eugene, and I spent much of yesterday taking it easy after a long walk with the dogs at sunrise (the dogs and I were all up, and it was better to go out before all the other neighbor dogs got out for their walks, since handling both of them with my sore ribs is a bit of a challenge).  

I also did a nerdy inventory of my cardmaking stuff to find a bit of inspiration. And I did some knitting.

This is another version of the Perky Little Hat--I vamped on this one and replaced the pattern's 'middle' with seed stitch. I like it. This was done with that bulky Noro and these colors are good ones--the pink stripe is really much more rosey-red.

I also cast on for  Terraform which is a free pattern on Ravelry. I'm not sure how I found this, but it has a drop stitch and is kind of like Clapotis. I'm using one skein of Crazy (my new favorite yarn) and I'm adding beads just for a little bling.

Last night I planned to grill hamburgers but the weather changed all that, so instead I pivoted to a delicious taco salad using a lot of the veggies from the farmer's market. We were both tired so we watched mindless television--the new race show on Amazon, that is subtitled 'Eco-Challenge Fiji'. Is it the Hardest Race Ever?  (Just checked: it is The World's Toughest Race). Anyway, it is pretty fun. Sixty six teams are racing around Fiji and apparently they don't get to eat or sleep so I'm not sure how they're doing it but it is good. And mindless.

Not much planned on my end this weekend---I'm not up for kayaking yet, and even so we're down a kayak as Tim's got a bit of a leak in it (he's working on fixing it, so we should be back to two kayaks next week and hopefully I'll be kayak-ready then. I know they say it takes 4-6 weeks for a rib to heal but I think I'll be good to go). 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Two down!

 I finished the second clue of the Sharon Show mkal. It's fun, and because I"m so familiar with Casapinka's designs I trust I will like it.  I wish I had used some different colors for the thorn stitch (the third section  from the top--it has two colors of pink in it but you can't really tell from the photo) but it still looks good. Two more contrasting colors would have helped.

We started watching "The Brokenwood Mysteries" and this a good series--it is a bit more lighthearted and less gross than Midsomer Murder (where people tend to die in icky ways). 

I finished "Kings County" which was---interesting? Kind of a mystery, kind of a relationship story, kind of an homage to what Brooklyn used to be--it kept me going til the end but I didn't stay up all night to read it.

The 'oof' is improving, I can tell. I now only get really sharp pains when I transition from sitting to standing or laying down. I really took it easy yesterday and I think that helped.

Not much else to report! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020


 Thank you for your kind thoughts about my OOF!  I'm still pretty sore but that's life, I guess. I feel a tiny bit better today so that's a plus. 

Not much happened yesterday, as I pretty much rested and tried to not be in pain. Today will be the same, I think!

But it's a TNT so here we go:

Monday, August 17, 2020


 Why the ooof? Well, on our very warm day on Saturday I wanted to open some west-facing windows, which are up high above the picture windows. I should have dragged a dining room chair over the four feet to where the windows were, but instead I stepped up on the leather footstools. Public Service Announcement: don't do this. It tipped over and I fell on the floor--it was only a fall of about two feet maybe, but I think I hit my side on the windowstill and my whole left side from my knee to my shoulder got whacked. It feels a bit like a bruised rib on my left hand side near to my waist. And it hurts in that same area on my back too. So yesterday I did a lot of taking it easy and today it more of a 3/4 dull 1/4 sharp pain (yesterday it was half and half). 

So on to the fun stuff:

-I went to the farmer's market for the first time, and got: eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, fennel, radishes, pears, cherries, and corn. I was especially happy about the eggplant--they're Japanese eggplant but will work for eggplant parmesan, which I'm making today. 

-I am well into the second clue of the Sharon Show. It continues to be fun and pretty mindless, although the thorn stitch (most recent section and hard to see) needed some concentration.

-I read a somewhat-interesting book called "If We Were Villains" which was billed as 'for fans of 'The Secret History' ' and The Secret History is one of my favorite books of all time. So, I can see why that comparison was made but The Secret History is much, much better.

-I have been playing around with drawing and coloring with alcohol-based markers. I'm using the book How to Draw Inky Wonderlands as my tutor and it is fun. I love color blending too. 

I think that is all my news! Happy Monday and have a good week!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Hello from Summer on the Coast!

 We're having a few 'hot' days here--it's almost 80 degrees out which is about 15 degrees above the average temperature. It's supposed to be close to 100 in the valley (where Eugene is) which means the winds should pick up here pretty soon, and we might get fog sucked in. We'll see. We took advantage of the lovely morning and paddled for a few miles out in the bay--we were against the tide for the first half and with the tide for the second half, which was great. Very little wind, which was helpful. Just a gorgeous day out in the kayaks.

The Botanic shawl is coming along:

I don't think I've made much of a dent in the first ball of Zauberball, and this is supposed to take 2 of those. It should be a pretty big shawl.

I also played around with a few more Christmas ornaments yesterday:

We had Social Distance Happy Hour with a gang of neighbors yesterday and it was a gorgeous night for that. We like our neighbors out here so much.

Hope it is a lovely Saturday for you!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Clue One and a Really Big Boat

 The Sharon Show clues come out weekly on Fridays, and I finished Clue One last night. I kind of 'cheated'--I did the 'short version' which is 16 rows shorter than the 'long version' so far. I think the short version is the only way I'll keep up!

The pattern is fun----it is designed by Casapinka's cat, Sharon, who has opinions and is not afraid to share them in her knitting pattern! I also like the colors I've chosen--they are a bit different for me (OK the yellow part) which is good.

For much of the day yesterday, we saw a big big big ship on the horizon. Tim thought it might be an aircraft carrier, then we read that some Navy planes visited the aviation museum north of us in Tillamook. So maybe he is right? This was taken after sunset and you can see the little light way way out on the horizon. It is probably about 8 miles from shore! The rock is about a mile from shore.

You can also see car headlights!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Santas and a Sunset

 Yesterday I played around with doing some Christmas ornaments/gift tags.  These are all a few layers of vinyl on top of a flat disk ornament blank. I still have to de-bubble and trim these but I think they're pretty cute!  The hat is holographic vinyl. 

I want to find some flocked or patterned white vinyl--or see if I can make my own (I wonder if you can heat emboss on vinyl? Off to google). So there will be more of these coming up. And I just noticed one is missing a nose. Oops!

Fall is definitely coming. This was the sunset last night--around the start of July, the sun was setting to the right of the rock so it has really moved south. It was sinking here behind a cloud bank which also makes it get dark earlier. It is dark around 9pm now--in July, it didn't get dark til 10.  I'm certainly not ready for the summer to be over!

I forgot to tell you all the Blackberry Guy story. As I may have mentioned, before we built the house our property was covered with blackberries. And we're on a hill, so the slab was poured about halfway up the hill. That means that our 'front yard' is basically a hill that is primary blackberries.  At the top of our little front yard hill is the driveway. 

Well, August is blackberry season--every day brings more ripe fruit to the plants. Our 'front yard' starts at the street and then goes up maybe 12 feet or so (maybe 15) to our driveway--up hill. We're on a curve so we have quite a lot of bushes. Anyway--there are a lot of blackberries you can pick from the street. If people come by and pick them, we're OK with that. There's plenty. Plus, we have a lot of plants by the driveway and around the side of the property (usually we hate them, but for a few weeks in August we like them) that aren't 'public'. 

So Monday morning I get out of the shower and look outside, and I see a guy crawling around in our front yard picking blackberries! He's not at the street--he was on one of the deer paths hiking up our front yard ! And he wasn't a neighbor and he was SERIOUS--he had on gloves and some type of plastic jacket and pants that repel the stickers on blackberries. And a giant blackberry bucket attached to his belt.

Tim went outside and asked him 'may I help you?' Blackberry Guy said "oh, I thought this was an empty lot."  Tim explained it was not. Blackberry Guy went back to the street and to a neighbor's bush. 


Finally--good news on Jessie Cat. The low dose of thyroid medication is working great! Her thyroid has come down to appropriate levels, and her kidney levels are OK. We can keep her on the low dose indefinitely and hopefully she'll start to put on some weight soon!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

TNT and a few new cards

 Happy TNT! I'm taking a break from the Christmas table runner and working on the August kit from Cozy Blue. This is called Cozy Cabin and it is a lot of fun to work.

I spent much of yesterday making a few new cards. These use the three-dimensional flowers that I made a few weeks ago and now are turned into cards with mulberry paper. 

I gave up on Lake Life and moved on to Kings County which is much better.

Hope your TNT is terrific!

Monday, August 10, 2020

A Lovely Walk--and the Sharon Show

 It was a good weekend here--it was pretty windy but beautiful blue skies and almost no fog.  Yesterday morning, we went to a state park a few miles away--it is called Sitka Sedge. Generally, the beach here is closed to dogs because it is a snowy plover nesting ground. That's OK, because there are a few miles of trails we can take the dogs on with great views--it feels almost primeval.

Did you learn this poem in school? It's the start of Evangeline by Longfellow.

THIS is the FORest primEVal the MURmuring PINES and the HEMlocks.

The capitalizations are for emphasis. 

Anyway--here are some forest pictures:

When we walked a mile and a half or so and got to the beach, we were happy to find out that while a big part of the beach--the northern part--was closed, the southern part was open and we could take the dogs there! So we went for a great walk on the beach. 

Then we took the 'short' path back--only about a 10-15 minute walk.

Comet loves the sand.


It was empty when we got there around 9:30 or so but was getting busy when we left at around 11:30.  We were glad to see that just about everyone on the trail had masks that they pulled up when we passed, and we were happy we remembered to tote bandanas with us. I know bandanas aren't that great but we felt OK since we were only outside and could keep a good distance from most people. 

I also got some work done on the Sharon Show shawl, although I'm not even halfway through the clues. Oh well!

We finished up with a social distancing happy hour at KC and Tink's down the street. 

I'm reading the book "Lake Life" which is about a dysfunctional family closing down the vacation home that they're selling. It is well written with good characters but I'm not sure I can finish it--it is very depressing. 

I finished "Imperfect Women" which is a mystery/psychological thriller that was pretty good. It is about three women, one of whom is murdered--but who did it? They all, of course, have lots of secrets that get shared throughout the book. 

I hope your weekend was good too!

Friday, August 07, 2020

I might need an intervention--or maybe just some audio books


I just wound up the yarn for Casapinka's new MKAL--the The Sharon Show. I wasn't planning on doing this but someone left a comment about it on my blog and I thought "oh why not. So what if I tend to hate MKAL? So what if I have a gazillion projects going on right now? So what if nothing ever gets done?" So I joined and got this gorgeous yarn from Miss Babs. It's the Yet Quartet which is heavy lace yarn, and it is a mix of merino and silk. It is gorgeous and I'm glad I got it!

It arrived yesterday and the first clue came out today so I am ON TOP OF IT. Haha. I'm actually going to cast on this afternoon.

BUT--I have this, and I have the Stephen West one, and I have a mosaic shawl that I haven't even shown you yet, and I have the sweater. I have a pair of socks in limbo, and I just got some adorable watermelon yarn that I want to cast on. I have the Christmas embroidery and I started the August Cozy Blue pattern yesterday because it is so fricking cute (you'll see that on TNT). Too much stuff!

But I do have some audio books, so I can do more complex knitting while listening to them. I really, really enjoy listening to audiobooks on the drive between the two houses--it makes the time go really, really fast for me. 

And in other news: 

Tim popped over to Eugene to take the cat in for a check (given her new thyroid meds) and to bring back his cacti. He has quite the collection, most of these he has grown from seeds. One of us was going back every few weeks to water them (I usually have other things to do) so bringing these out is just another way of saying we are here for the long term.

I'm kind of hoping I get a buy-out (I've already put in for retirement in June of 2022) and the administration is talking about doing that. I'm teaching remotely in Fall term, and I would imagine in Winter term too. Maybe we'll be back in person for Spring term, meaning March 2021? Honestly, I'd love to be able to stop in June of 2021with a half-decent buy out. We'll see.

In other news: I fell into the "Alone" vortex and took Tim with me. It's good.

Not sure what is up for us this weekend--I need to do some yard work for sure--but it is supposed to be beautiful. Looking forward to that! 

On to cast on!