Thursday, December 31, 2020

Last day of this year

 I'd do a little recap of the year, but I think we all know what this year was. I do remember hearing about the wildfires in Australia in January and hearing someone say 'this is the big story of the year' and well, it wasn't, and I'm happy Australia has recovered somewhat from that disaster. It also seems that Australia and New Zealand are some of the small number of countries that got a good handle on controlling the virus (shutting down borders FTW) and so good for them.

Twenty-one days, my friends, and hopefully a bit of sanity will come back to our country. I know there are diverse political opinions among readers of my blog, but we all have to agree that our government has messed up Covid response (understatement) and so far is messing up vaccinations. I trust that President Biden has a plan to straighten this all out and while there's a lot of ugly knots to untangle, we'll be better soon. I'm holding on to that. 

We never do a lot for NYE---we cook a nice dinner (meaning Tim mostly)--tonight is seafood spring rolls and pavlova for dessert. We'll watch a long movie (maybe this year it will be The Right Stuff, which we haven't seen for a while, that's still TBD). I'm sure we'll be up til midnight because Fireworks, but we're hoping for a rainy evening so at least they don't start at 7pm. 

We end the year with a FO:


And with some geode Artist Trading Cards, which is the January theme for my Ravelry group.




Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

TNTx2

 I have two TNTs to show! Plus bonus book stuff.


First is my 'Small Gift' and I've filled in the lady's top half, and started on the reindeer (to the right) and the Christmas tree (to the left).

Second is a new embroidery hoop called "The Hygge Reindeer". I don't have many winter-not-Christmas hoops to display and this fits the bill.


In reading--I finished the audio book of Emma while working on 'Small Gift'. I'll probably do another Jane Austen via audio book but I found if I didn't listen for a few days I forgot who all the women were. 

I read a good book called "Cobble Hill" about four intersecting families in a neighborhood in Brooklyn. I liked it.

We're watching a series on Sundance called "The Switch" which seems good--stay tuned!






Monday, December 28, 2020

Monday meanderings

 We had a nice sunny day yesterday and took a good walk on the beach near our house. I hid the 2021 rocks while we walked, so hopefully they'll be nice little surprises to someone this week. This morning I got out early and did the grocery, the gas station and the post office (gifts from my Arizona family finally got here, after being mailed on 12/7. So that's only three weeks, which I guess isn't bad).

There's been a bit of knitting on the Pressed Flowers, as well as more needlework that I'll show you tomorrow for TNT. 

Today we went to a 'new' to us beach--Winema Beach. It's about six miles south of here, and is sort of a secret beach because there aren't any beach access signs on the major route (Highway 101) and even when you turn off onto Winema Road there are no signs that there is any access. What there are, though, are dozens of vacation homes we've never seen before, along with a church camp (no campers in site today) and about eight parking places for cars. It's a lovely little beach with some nice dunes and apparently you can walk all the way down to the little village of Neskowin and get ice cream (at low tide--it was high tide when we were there). We ran into our neighbor Pam who was doing just that with her dog Zuni (and with Julie and her dog Emma). 

Here are some images--first, this looks like some kind of Soltsice ring.


And this video shows the nuttiness of winter waves. 







Saturday, December 26, 2020

The day after!

 Happy Boxing Day! It's a sort of grey Saturday here but we can see hints of blue. Yesterday was very stormy all day, which made for a lovely and relaxing Christmas day.  We ate leftovers, we played games (we each gave one another games. So far we've played Battleship, Exploding Kittens, and Kahuna), we had a Zoom chat with Tim's family, we talked to my Mom, we read, and we watched Christmas Chronicles 2.  

And there was knitting.

And there were tulips.

And my homemade present (we always exchange homemade gifts, Tim generally gets sock or a hat) is not done yet, but it will be in 2021---a deer proof vegetable garden.

Wednesday evening we had three neighbors over---Dawn and Layne brought soup, Pam brought dessert, and I brought a focaccia loaf.  We ate in our garage, with the doors open, and the small kiln on 'high' so it warmed up the space. We have a nicer floor than most garages (that's a long story) so it is almost like being in someone's rec room. Later today, new neighbors CJ and Jackson (they're building a house up the street) are stopping by for a quick happy hour, and our neighbors Kevin and Patty are in town so they're coming by too. That will be in the rec garage as well.

We watched four Christmas movies this season (we usually watch one, on Christmas Eve, but it's a year unlike any other). Here is my quick review:

  • ELF: I love this movie, as does Tim. It's so bright and cartoonish. It has one of the best lines in any Christmas movie: "YOU SIT ON A THRONE OF LIES." (said from Buddy the Elf to the Santa at Gimbels). The animation at the beginning is delightful. The actors are all great, particularly Peter Dinklage in a small part as a children's book 'fixer'. It is just a great movie.

  • CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES: We watched the first one a week or so ago. Two kids lose their father and so Christmas is sad. The kids stay up to catch Santa in the act and chaos ensures.  Santa is Kurt Russell and he chews all the scenery, but brings a lot of energy to the part. The story is kind of dumb: will Christmas be saved? Of course it will. There's a fun musical number at the Chicago jail and some good special effects, particularly when one of the kids ends up at the North Pole.  It is a good one to watch once, but this won't be on our annual list.

  • JINGLE JANGLE: oh the trailer looked SO GOOD: bright and colorful and energetic. And the first half hour of the movie is great--fun special effects, great dance numbers, bright and colorful. Then the middle of the movie kind of bogs down and loses that energy from the start: the bad guy becomes successful, the good guy loses it all (including his family) and it is up to a small girl, who happens to be interested in STEM, to save everything. Will it all be saved? Of course it will. 








    The energy picks up again at the end and it is GREAT to have a Christmas movie with a predominantly Black cast and maybe we'll watch this one again (at least the first half hour and the last half hour). 

  • CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES 2: We watched this last night. The kids from the first movie are on vacation on the beach and Katie (from the first movie) hates being at the beach during Christmas and her mom is dating a new guy and she's all emo. Meanwhile, a renegade elf who has turned into a human and is living at the South Pole (WHAT?) wants to bring down Santa (as one does). Renegade elf (is his name Bensicile? Just googled. Belsnickle. It's a mouthful) someone sends kids down a wormhole to be rescued by Santa so Belsnickle can sneak into the North Pole (just go with it). He wreaks havoc. Can Christmas be saved? Of course it can. This one was another 'watch it once'. This one had both Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn (as Mrs. Claus, who only had a brief cameo in Christmas Chronicles 1) and Mrs. Claus had a much bigger storyline, although it primarily involved cooking, healing sick reindeer, and looking wistfully at children as clearly she could not have her own. The biggest 'ish' in this movie was Mrs. Claus constantly calling the kids 'the children' even though they had been clearly described as teen agers. Anyway, some good special effects if you can overlook the plot holes.
I hope my little Christmas guide helps you in your viewing decisions. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Twas two days before Christmas--

 --and I have some crafts to show you!


First off are my Artist Trading Cards for January. The 'fireworks' coming out of the bottle are a rainbow of colors.


Next, I did some painted rocks to celebrate 2021! There's a Facebook group called "West Coast Painted Rocks" where people paint rocks and then indicate where they would hide them, so I'll do that at the Cape sometime in the next week.


The blooms they are blooming! Look closely and there's on the left.


Oh here it is! I think it might be a tulip!


We did a Gingerbread house this weekend (from a kit). At this moment it is in the bright sunshine so it is hard to see. Here is one part:


And here is the other.


Happy day before the day before!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Monday, December 21, 2020

Happy Solstice!

 It's the shortest day, which welcomes in all the gifts of Winter. So many gifts coming this winter: a new year, a new President, more people vaccinated--there is so much to be hopeful for on this literal darkest of days. 

Not a lot to show you except a lot of crazy movement on the Little Nestucca--due to the three inches of rain we've had in the past few days:







And the bulbs are bulbing.



I need to stop reading books about sociopathic killers who look like everyday people. I read "They Want to Be Us" (sociopaths in a rich private high school) and "They Never Learn" (sociopaths in a small private college). Now I'm reading what I *think* is a cozy mystery set in Aspen, called "White Elephant". I'll report back soon.


Saturday, December 19, 2020

Catching up on a Saturday

 It's less than a week til Christmas! I think we are ready--well, the gnome isn't done (thank you so much for your suggestions to make it more festive--I will figure something out!!) and a box of gifts is MIA (thanks USPS!) but it's ok--we have one another, and Pilot, Comet, Jessie Cat and Captain MacGregor, and we'll just have a lovely time eating good food and playing games and taking walks. 

I was on my way home from the post office yesterday and drove past our little grocery store and the parking lot was pretty empty. I dashed in and bought a few things that we need for Christmas eve dinner--spinach (which they only occasionally have), heavy cream (for dessert, root vegetables,  and orange juice. We may be set for the week, but we'll see. Stores are only supposed to allow 50% capacity and if it gets busier this week it could get a bit silly. 

We'll also have a gathering with neighbors outside/in our garage with the door up---two of our neighbors planned to go to Hawaii for New Year's (they own a house there) but Hawaii went back on a quarantine and you have to stay inside for two weeks even with a negative test. 

Let's see what's going on with me:

  • I love the Pressed Flowers Shawl, and I think I'll do another one in reds/pinks/purples perhaps with a variegated yarn for the flowers. I'd also like something softer (I wonder if mohair will work? I have a lot of that). 
  • I had insomnia this week and on Thursday I knew I wasn't going to be good for a lot, so I baked. I made sugar cookies, biscotti, and chocolate crinkles, plus toffee. Yesterday I made chocolate chip pumpkin bread (yum).
  • We took a long walk up to the top of Cape Kiwanda this morning before the weather changes. We're supposed to have up to five inches (yikes!) of rain this weekend. 
  • Tim and I both spent some time trying to get in touch with Lowe's to fix a botched delivery. My neighbor texted that a huge box--she thinks it is a fake Christmas tree--got delivered to our house when it should have gone to a different address--someone named Gary-- in our neighborhood, who we don't know.  It was too big for her to take over, apparently. I couldn't find Gary's contact information, but I found the contact info for the people who own the house that he rents from. So I tried to get in touch yesterday with the home owner, and with Lowe's locally and via their email address. Lowe's locally said they would call me back (19 hours ago). Tim went online to chat with their online customer service who said to call the 800 number, and Tim said he wouldn't do that since we had already called the local store. My neighbor posted something on our neighborhood FB page, and someone who knows Gary replied that he wasn't on FB and was her neighbor. So I reached out to HER via FB and asked her if she saw Gary to tell him there's a package on our doorstep.
        So much trying to figure stuff out yesterday. And nothing gave me confidence            that he would actually know where his package was. And this is really Lowe's            problem, and they don't seem to care, and that really kind of annoyed me. 

        I heard back from the person who owns the house this morning who said she'd            get in touch with him and let him know, so I guess it is handled. We've never             been big Lowe's customers and now we will never be.

I think that's all from here! The Ducks won the Pac-12 Championship last night and it was a fun if nervous-making game to watch. That followed Thursday's Sunday Night Football game which featured two former Duck Quarterbacks, so it was a good football week here.

Onwards we go to Christmas!















Thursday, December 17, 2020

I must say I'm disappointed

 I'm disappointed in my Gnome. I bought a kit to make it and I picked two--one in 'traditional' colors and one in blues. I started my gnome using the blues and it turns out--it's not really that blue. It's white, grey, navy, and charcoal.



It just isn't festive, which makes me not want to work on it (which I know is my choice, and a Winter gnome is just fine with me, so I may put it aside).

In other news, I have a sock done!


And the bulbs are doing their thing.

And I got the Counted Cross Stitch Santa on the tree.

Last night we watched "Christmas Chronicle" (the first one) which is silly and pretty and a little snarky. Tim laughed a few times (that was my goal--he isn't a silly Christmas movie type) and while we won't watch it again (like Elf) it was a fun week-before-Christmas-eve-ish movie. 









Tuesday, December 15, 2020

TNT!

 There are only two TNTs til Christmas! And my Christmas TNT is going well.



I've been working on this while I listen to podcasts and am trying to work on it for an hour a day---beyond that and sometimes it gets a bit tedious.  Now that I've decided to listen to all of Jane Austen on audiobooks I should get some good stitching time in on that. I'm currently listening to "Emma" and it's good.

Another podcast I enjoy is "Smartless" which is done by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett. It runs about an hour though sometimes it is only 45 minutes. They have good guests and I always laugh out loud at least once.

I've tried to listen to David Tennant's podcast but it isn't very engaging. Basically, he walks a celebrity through their resume and says "and then you did "Movie Name". What was that like?" It needs to be more specific.

It is also King Tide season on the Coast and today through Wednesday we have King Tides.  These are the highest tides of the year and King Tides isn't a scientific term. Anyway, here is a video of some King Tides on Monday.. We went down to the Cape and joined the crowds (maybe 15 people?) watching. We ran into our neighbors Scott and Barbara and had a catch up with them.



It was a good day.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Once again: where did the weekend go?

 It was another busy weekend--not sure why, but just lots to do. It's not very interesting but I'll share anyway.

Saturday I did a little yoga in the morning, we walked the dogs, and then took the recyclables to the 'transfer station' (e.g. the fancy name for the dump).  Tim went to do a bit of yard work and I did--something? Probably surfed the net for a bit. We had lunch from the Oar House (carry out) and while that was happening, our new rugs came! We decided it was time for some 'grown up' rugs and I discovered a treasure trove at a place called handknotted.com.  The rugs are all hand knotted and dyed with vegetable dyes, so I was all for that!

It took us about an hour to clean the floors, unroll them, and place them, but now it feels like they've been here forever!]


I don't know why one of the chairs is on its side.

The rug in front of the sofa has these very cool wraps on the fringe:


Our neighbor Terry came over for a drink in the garage (we kept the door open and coats on), as we won't see him before the New Year. We had a great chat. After he left, we watched the movie "Mank" on Netflix. If you like any of these things, you'll like this movie: Citizen Kane. Movies about making movies. 30s/40 film noir. Gary Oldman. I like all those things (well, not a huge Gary Oldman fan) and we really liked the movie.

Sunday morning we were lazy, but took a long walk, and then what did I do? I think I read a bit and fixed some errant wraps on the rug.  I worked a bit on the gnome. Oh, and I listened to more of "Emma" while I did cross stitch.


Here is today's giftee.


Jessie seems to be better, she's eating and drinking and she greets me in the morning. She still seems a bit slow but aren't we all?

And the bulbs continue to do their bulb thing.




How was your weekend?


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Well yesterday was a day

 Yesterday was a long and tiring day. I didn't sleep well Thursday night, so it started poorly. Among my first-thing-in-the-morning chores are taking care of Jessie the cat--giving her her wet food, giving her a pill, changing her water and cleaning her litter box. She's 17, and she's on thyroid meds, and has been doing fine. Well, during my yesterday cat chores, she seemed off. She didn't get up and greet me, she hadn't eaten wet food for a day, and when I went to clean out her litter box, there was nothing to clean. She seemed weak and disoriented, and we were concerned she had a stroke.

I called three vets out here, and none of them could see her and recommended emergency vets (I think a lot of vets here are pretty basic and don't really deal with this kind of stuff). I called our Eugene vet and they said bring her in. I pulled stuff together and hit the road. We got there at 11, and in true cat style Jessie bounded out of her cat carrier and started exploring the car while we were waiting--totally normal. She ate at the vet's, and they gave her an exam and couldn't find anything wrong with her, but we decided to do bloodwork to see what's up (she last had bloodwork in September when she went on thyroid medicine). So we stopped by the Eugene house and drove back out. I feel like I sat in the car for six hours, in the rain. The good news is that the bloodwork showed that most of her values had improved since September, with the liver value a little high but not worrisome. Apparently it was just a weird blip, and she's been eating and drinking and complaining and being basically herself.

Here we are waiting for the vet. She had no interest in holding still.

I am one clue behind with the Gnome KAL but here is the last bit. 

Here was today's giftee!

I haven't shown you this sweater for a while, but I do make a bit of progress on it now and then.


We've been watching two shows. First is "Bodyguard" which is a UK series which is very tense. Second is The Pack which has been described as Amazing Race with Dogs and yes, that is exactly what it is like. It's fun.

How are you?









Thursday, December 10, 2020

Term is a wrap!

 I think I'm done with this term? Grades have been turned in, meetings have been met, the first few weeks of Winter term (which starts January 4th) are set. I need to flesh out the rest of the readings for Winter term but I think I can do that once January hits.

I've made the error of agreeing to a few things 'because it is the last time I'll do it' for the first half of 2021 (a session for an online conference and a committee) but it is leaving on a high note and I won't be that person who just phoned it in the last few months.

Some photos for you:

I love Pressed Flowers. I have always been a fan of mosaic knitting and this is a fun knit.

The hat for the gnome is done. 


The bulbs are bulbing. You'll see here that there are some ice cubes in there, which is the way it was recommended to water them!

And we had a bit of an awesome sunrise this morning.





 Tim ^^

                                        Tim got blurred out ^^

Happy Thursday! Two weeks til Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

TNT and an oops and bulbs

 Happy TNT! I've started a new project and wanted to share a bit with you.l It seems like I've been working on this forever, but obviously I haven't. Working on black cloth is HARD. I'm ok during the day, but at night I have to sit with a piece of white paper on my lap and sometimes a light on the white paper.

Here is what the finished image will look like. I've done the face, part of the fur collar, a bit of shoulder, and some torso. 


The oops: apparently I've been opening advent gifts before I'm supposed to. Please don't mention this to anyone.

My sister in law sent us some bulbs to force indoors--I want to keep a record of their growth. So here is today's growth.

Today I had an adventure--I took the car in for an oil change. Quite the crazy experience. I had to go to Lincoln City (half an hour drive away) and while I was there I found out my battery is not great so had that done too.

In reading, here is what I've read:

-Admissions by Julie Buxbaum. It's a fictional account of the celebrity college admissions scandals. It was OK. 

-Every Last Secret by A. R. Torre. This was on Kindle Unlimited--about a married couple and a woman who tries to take the husband away. If you like psychotic women novels, this one might be for you.

-White Ivy by Susie Yang. An asian woman goes to prep school and she tries to leave her culture behind. It wasn't quite what I thought it would be--I liked it but when I finished it, I wasn't sure exactly who the main character was.

And I'm reading now:

"The Talented Miss Farwell" about someone who embezzles money to support her art buying habit. I like it a lot so far.

"Sweet Water" by Cara Reinard.  A woman tries to protect her son from being accused of a crime he may or may not have committed. 

"Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops" by Shaun Bythell, who owns a secondhand bookshop in Scotland. I like his writing although some people don't. 

That's it from here!