Sunday, July 25, 2021

I made some stuff

It's been a great weekend. We had a bit of a challenging paddle yesterday morning in the bay, challenging because it was windy and we bottomed out multiple times. But we had fun and saw lots of birds and it's always nice to be out on the water.

I started a purple sock for our friend and neighbor KC, and just finished turning the heel.  The light wasn't great for this photo but it is a nice purple sock.

I tried something new--resin jewelry.  I have an inkling to make pendants (and maybe bracelets of resin with tiny little shells in it. These were my first attempts.

Here's a close up. This first go-round was way too bubbly but I did another 'pour' today and focused on doing better with the bubbles. 
 These are fun but so so so messy.
How was your weekend?

Friday, July 23, 2021

And we closed.

 The house in Eugene closed today--the transaction is 'pending' in our bank account but as soon as it is no longer pending we can pay off the house here.

It seems surreal, to be honest. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Powder is a FO!

 Well not quite, I guess, there are ends to weave in and it needs to dry. This picture was taken before blocking. It's blocking now:

We had a gorgeous sunset last night: 

The papers for the house are signed. A mobile notary came out from Salem to witness (did you ever watch the show Deadwood? When something official had to happen, they had to wait for someone from Yankton to come to Deadwood. Anyway, I guess Salem is our Yankton).  We think it went ok. The notary didn't really know anything about house closings so we had a few panicky phone calls but hopefully that's all done. We're supposed to close Friday but it *might* be Monday so we'll see.  I'll just be constantly refreshing our bank browser to see if the money hits.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

TNT! A FO! (An fo?)


I finished the Sandy Toes piece, and then mounted it backed with some liberty fabric (it came with the kit) and then mounted it on the little framed canvas. Then I took a wonky photo. But it's so cute!

I started a winter/Christmas one from this same company but am going to pivot to a different (quicker easier maybe?) one. 

I loved working on that!

I also did a few cards today. I'm kind of in love with washi tape cards these days. I did these three and then thought they needed something else--so I got out some self-adhesive tiny gems (as one does) and stuck them on. Perfect!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Dory Days!

 Dory Days is our little town's summer celebration. I think every little coast town has one during the summer; over the 4th of July it was 'Clover Days' in Cloverdale (four miles from here) and there were 'Dairy Days' in Tillamook last week I think. These celebrations involve a parade. The parade was yesterday morning--we walked down the hill and met up with friends.  Here we are, ready for the start (the sun came out just in time for the parade):

Our friends KC and Tink, with Tim's sister Colleen checking her phone:

A dory is a boat (I've talked about this before on the blog, so skip ahead if you remember this). We don't have a marina in Pacific City so the dories launch directly from the beach--they get pushed into the water to launch and then when they land they just scoot up the beach until they stop. For our parade, the dories get decorated according to the parade's theme (theoretically) and then the dories parade through town. 

The theme this year was farming, fishing and forestry. This dory had people representing those three things.

Much candy is thrown. 

This is our neighbor Marty's boat. Marty is quite the character--he was instrumental in getting a skate park built in Pacific City and his dory was decorated to celebrate the skate park, which opened earlier this year. His daughter and a bunch of her friends were skateboarding along with the dory, and other neighbor children were dressed as dinosaurs in the boat (no, I don't know why, but it was really cute).

And it's not just dories.  We cheered this truck and the local democrats who were marching. Dems are pretty much in the minority in our county but we're making strides.

There were fire engines and emergency vehicles and old cars and animals. 

"Worlds Longest Dog Ears". Yes it's a small town.

The dog head that you see in the bottom right hand corner is Nellie, who was there with her adorable brother and sister (humans).

And these two, in  my mind, were the stars of the show.

There's a stable that does horse rides on the beach, and last year (or the year before) they started offering camel rides (not on the beach, just in a ring at the stable. I think it is mostly a photo op). The horses and the camels board at a dairy farm down the hill from us, so we see them relaxing in the field there quite often, and we think fondly of them. They seemed to enjoy marching. 

All in all, a nice day.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

A bit more of Powder

 I'm getting there. I'm a bit more than halfway through the cable section, and then after this is the ribbing section.

I've been unpacking boxes, sending out the manuscript, setting up my author 'platforms', and also establishing our new Etsy shop. We will be hopefully selling Tim's pottery and a few of my crafts as well.  

There's been a tiny glitch with the house sale but hopefully that will be straightened out in the next day or so. Keep your fingers crossed! 

ETA: Glitch is resolved. Hopefully we will close a week from today!

Monday, July 12, 2021


 This is coming along nicely! I love working on this. 

I think in the past I've taken on projects that are just too big and have too much (like cross stitch in every single box) and the space in this one makes it very relaxing for me!

What is new in your world?

Sunday, July 11, 2021

And here we are.

 Yesterday was a long, hot day, but the good news is that the UHaul is empty, boxes are everywhere, and nothing got broken. 

We left Pacific City around 7:15 yesterday and got to the place to pick up the UHaul truck at about 9:30, half an hour before our pick up time. Good thing to, because this wasn't a 'real' UHaul store, but rather a bunch of UHauls parked at the edge of a pretty sketchy motel. Tim checked in using their app and it took forever. We were meeting our mover guy at 10:30 and it took almost an hour to get the truck (they forgot to give us moving pads and a dolly, so we had to go back). Anyway. Our mover guy, Troy, is a gentle giant who basically loaded our truck while we finished packing. I got a little overheated--it was almost 90. But we finished the packing and swept out the garage and were both on the road (Tim driving the truck, me driving our Rav4 with the dogs) by 3:30 or 4. 

When we got back to PC our friends KC and Tink brought over homemade soup, homemade bread, and cheese. They had a drink while we ate (they had a late lunch of the soup) and that was exactly what we needed.

Today, Sunday, we started unloading the truck probably by 8am. We took a break to walk the dogs, then unpacked until noon--at that time, we had everything but the three  really heavy and awkward pieces out. We took a lunch break to watch the EuroCup finals and then got those pieces out--our kiln, our dresser, and our grandfather clock. I wasn't sure we'd be able to lift the kiln with just us (it weighs 145 pounds*) but it only had to be lifted up a few inches to get on a dolly and then a few inches again to get on its rolling stand. The other two things were just kind of awkward. 

So now we're starting the Great Unpacking--luckily our house here seems to absorb things pretty easily, and we have some customer built in bookcases and storage things on order, so we may just have to live with boxes for six months. We can do that. 

We are so fortunate that nothing really went wrong. And that Troy worked so hard. 

It hasn't quite hit me that we've left that house for good, but I'm sure it will.

*Explanatory note: Tim is a potter and has a pretty complete pottery studio, including the aforementioned 145 pound kiln, an electric wheel, and a slab roller/wedging table. We took a beginning class together but it didn't take for me. 

Friday, July 09, 2021

Floating Along

 I hadn't worked on Float for a while but I picked it up yesterday. I always forget what the 'edges' are but other than that this is a very straightforward pattern. I'm probably one-third of the way into the second ball of yarn (of three). I like it.

Still cranking on trying to get an agent for the alpaca book. So far, I've "queried" (or pitched the book to) 48 different agents and have received nine 'no thank you's. There appear to be a virtually unlimited number of literary agents so we'll see what happens. I've also started researching self-publishing, which apparently is not as cringeworthy as it was ten or so years ago. 

Tomorrow we head back to Eugene for the day. We'll pick up a moving truck just north of town, and then go to the 'property' to clear everything out of the garage. We've hired a strong young man to help us. Then Tim will drive the truck back here and I'll drive back with the dogs and whatever leftovers go in our Toyota. Our friends down the street have offered to help us unload, and we have a few other neighbors to call on for the one or two heavy pieces (we have a Big Green Egg, which is coming up to the second floor deck and our heavy dresser, which also has to go to the top floor. Yay for the elevator!).

Tim was at the Eugene house yesterday and brought back most of his pottery studio and the two lamps we're keeping. It's weird---the lamps are really the first 'Eugene' things we've brought out here and it's odd to see them here. I know that sounds strange. 

The good news is that the time period for the inspection is over and they didn't ask for anything (they had an inspection for information purposes) and they also didn't back out (they could if something bad came out from the inspection). So the last 'hoop' is the appraisal, and they have in their contract that they'll cover any difference between the appraisal and the mortgage, so basically--we should close in two weeks!

Hold a positive thought that tomorrow goes smoothly for us!

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

It has become unwieldy

 Yes, I still knit! I've been working a bit on the Powder Shawl and I'm pleased to tell you I have reached the second to last section!

This is the cable section--and after this section is some ribbing. I think there are about 30 rows in the cable section, maybe? I can do this section while I read but the reading is very slow. But it is getting there! 

I've used three balls of Cascade 220 so far, and have one left (and probably have a fifth one hanging out somewhere).  This will be a very warm shawl.

Other than that, I've been querying agents for my Alpaca Farm Murder Cozy. I've also sent it to a few Cozy publishers who accept queries (meaning, I've sent off anywhere between five and 50 pages to anyone who will say they'll take a look at it). So far, I've sent it to 28 different people and have four rejections. Luckily, academic publishing has prepared me well for rejection!

Hope all is well in your corner of the world!

Tuesday, July 06, 2021


 I'm not sure where the three-day weekend went--I think we hung out a lot which is good! Saturday we had a pot luck dinner with a dozen of our neighbors--our friends George and Terry set up a long table in their front yard. They cooked chicken and sausage and the rest of us brought side dishes--Tim made a sourdough bread and I made corn and black bean salad. It was a great evening with lots of laughs. We've gathered together for happy hour but this was a special evening to mark the start of summer and the end of Covid (Oregon 'opened' on 6/30). 

Sunday we did a long walk with the dogs in the morning (the 'loop' through town--it's about five miles long) and then we hung out some more. We watched the fireworks over the bay from our windows. There were too many fireworks but they calmed down around 11 which isn't bad.

Today we slept in (for us, 7:30) and were lazy; by the time we were back from the dog walk it was almost lunch time.  I unpacked some of the stuff we moved out already (our big move is this coming weekend) and made some cards. 

But enough of that! Time for TNT! 

I signed up for a subscription box from a company called Cotton and Twine.  The subscription box company is somehow related to a company called the Historical Sampler Company. Anyway, it's a monthly pattern that's pretty small: the box included a frame for the scene and it's pretty small.  I don't think as a whole the company is particularly historical but I think they have nice patterns, and the box is fun because it comes with little treats like a Christmas ornament and british candy. So it's a nice treat. I also bought a box from last November which is a Christmas scene. 

One nice thing is that you can opt out whenever you want, and the box isn't a surprise so if you don't like it you don't have to get it. 

There's knitting too but I'll save that for another day. I'm onto the 'non-mindless' section of the Powder Shawl so the cross stitch and the Powder Shawl will fight for my TV watching project. 

I hope your weekend was lovely!

Friday, July 02, 2021

Let's talk about Books

 Well it's July and I haven't reviewed the books I read in either May or June! Let's fix that now! And there appear to be themes!

The best of the two months: Full Circle by Maggie Shipstead. A long, epic novel about a woman pilot during the 1930s, and the modern story of a woman who is going to star in a movie about her.  Great sense of time and place, and I learned a lot. It may seem daunting because it is so long, but it's worth the effort, imho.

Novels sort of about the music business

-Mary Jane by Jessica Blau: I liked this one a lot.  Set in the early 70s, Mary Jane is hired to baby sit young Izzy one summer. A rock star and his actress girlfriend move into Izzy's house, and it's a big culture clash of lifestyles.

-Songs in Uras Major by Emma Brodie. This is a novel based on the relationship of James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. It should have been much better

-Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Read Daisy Jones and the Six instead.

-The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Wilson. Of this group, this was probably the best one. Great characters, interesting story, interesting narrative structure, great sense of time and place (the late 60s folk/rock scene).

Chick Lit

-The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. Two people who 'hate' one another take over the free honeymoon that one of the character's sister won when the sister and her groom get food poisoning at the wedding reception. If you're rolling your eyes already, you'll roll them throughout this book. I forced myself to finish it.

-People you meet on vacation by Emma Henry. Two friends (a woman and a man) go on a series of vacations as platonic friends, until 'the incident'. The book is about their vacations before and after 'the incident'. I forced myself to finish it. 

-Golden Girl by Ellen Hilderbrand. I really like her books but this one was a bit twee. It's set in heaven. Really. And a woman killed in an accident has three chances to 'nudge' her family in a certain way. I liked it even though it was almost unbearably twee.

-That Summer by Jennifer Weiner. I didn't like this at all. A young woman has a summer that changes her, not in a good way, and then has to deal with the men who hurt her as an adult.

-Social Graces by Renee Rosen. A novelization of the relationship between the Astors and the Vanderbilts during the gilded age. I really liked it. 


The Lies you Told by Harriet Tyce. The main character is separated from her husband and moves back to London to go to work in some type of law job. Her daughter is getting bullied. Then there's lots of weird interconnected stuff and SECRETS and I just didn't really care how it ended and of course it ended really strangely.

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. Read his first novel, The Silent Patient, instead. 

Murder at St. Margarets by Gloria Haynes. Pros: a cozy set in Oxford. Cons: a paranormal cozy set in Oxford.

The Plot by Jean Hantz Korelitz. I really liked this book. A writer 'steals' the plot of one of his students' books after the student dies. Can he get away with it? 

Strike Me Down by Mindy Mejia. I read this at the start of May and it has to do with embezzlement? At a gym? Something like that?

Non fiction

Beeswing by Richard Thompson. I really enjoyed this memoir, but then I love Richard Thompson's music. 

Brat by Andrew McCarthy. I wouldn't want to have a beer with him. There's an awful lot of name dropping here.

Guilty Admissions by Nicole LaPorte. A very detailed report of the Varsity Blues scandals. You will shake your head at how clueless academia is. It's pretty long and gets bogged down in details but it's an interesting read.

There  you go! 

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Rabbit rabbit

 Happy July 1! Today is officially the first day of my retirement!

It feels--interesting. Usually I am acutely aware of how many weeks off I have in the summer, and want to be sure that I take advantage of all of that time to do what I want to do. I have to keep reminding myself that I don't have to go back in September and I can do whatever I want to do forever (knock wood). It's a hard transition to make, and I kind of freak out when I think about rarely seeing my former colleagues, but I think it will work out OK. 

It's already been a busy day. I received the second draft of my first  alpaca farm mystery back from the editor I hired and I did the last few edits. The next step is to send the book out to agents who specialize in cozy mysteries to see if they're interested. I also finished the first draft of the second book in the series today, so now I'll put that away for a while and come back to it (I actually have one more chapter to write, but that's just the 'wrap up' chapter with little hints of things to come). 

I've also been working on a new thing (you'll see it next Tuesday), and starting to unpack the boxes we've brought out so far (we need to get a moving van for the last push). This week there's all kinds of activity at the house in Eugene--radon test Tuesday, the appraiser visited yesterday, and tomorrow is the inspection. Fingers crossed that goes well. After the inspection it should all be downhill. 

We joined a CSA here and our first "box" (actually a tote bag) arrived Tuesday. It was chock full of great stuff--lettuce, radishes, broccoli, cabbage, green onions, kohlrabi, and some leafy kale-like thing that neither of us are crazy about. But everything else is great! Kohlrabi is a root vegetable, and tastes like a cross between a mushroom and a potato. In a good way.

That's about it from here! Happy July!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

TNT and sweet faces

 In TNT news--the summer table runner is done! I will get out the iron for the first time in a year and a half and finish it up today.

The quick trip to Eugene yesterday was successful, and hot. It was odd taking my computer in to the office and leaving it with the IT people, and turning my keys into Tami in the faculty office. My office is stripped--the furniture is removed. And I don't even have a mailbox anymore! I teased Tami about it and she said she has a box that she is collecting stuff for me and will send it out here. 

Tomorrow is technically my last day.

 Here is the outside temp reading driving back to the coast in the early afternoon yesterday. 

I went to the farm and it was hard to take photos of the  animals because they were all either in the shade or sleeping in the sun. But here are a few. 

These last few are of Chaco, the cria. He's adorable.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Hot hot hot but still nice

 As I write this, on Sunday afternoon at almost 5pm it is pretty hot here. It's almost 80 which is really the hottest it gets, and in the house it is about 77 but the breeze is picking up and the windows are open and the blinds are down. 

To say it another way, we will survive this heat episode.  The Big Ass Fan  (I don't think ours' is an official BAF but I put the link in there so you know it's a real thing) is going at top speed. We do have AC but don't want to use it because of the strain on the power grid and because we have high ceilings.

We got up this morning and decided to do a paddle before it got too hot. We went out into the Bay and after paddling for a bit Tim noticed we were by a sandy mud flat and he said 'you want to try to dig some clams?'  So we did. We didn't have any tools (like a shovel) (or a bucket to put them in) so we just dug down into the sand wherever we saw a hole (they were everywhere) and before long we had found a dozen. Tim checked the limit and it was 72 so we dug up another dozen. Now he is making clam chowder and we'll see how that goes. (He did call the poison shellfish hotline to make sure nothing we gathered was a biotoxin.)

I made some bracelets--this is origami paper and many layers of mod podge, including Mod Podge with little sparkles in it. 

Tomorrow I am up and at 'em early to drive back to Eugene to do a bunch of little errands--dentist, turn in my computer, get some boxes out of the garage, and see the alpacas. Hopefully I'll be able to do all that and be back on the road to the coast by noon.

Oh, have I mentioned we've had some amazing sunsets?