I hope the dogs forgive us


Normally, when we go for hikes it's a no brainer, we bring the dogs. You may not be aware of this but we kinda love those little furry poop factories.

But, just about a mile from our home is a newly opened nature park with a few miles of absolutely stunning trails. It's a wildlife preserve and they do not allow domestic animals on the trails for the safety and comfort of the wildlife.

Cooper Mountain Nature Park
See all the pictures here
1. Tree trunk, 2. No dogs allowed on trail...bummer, 3. Cragly tree, 4. Prairie overlook, 5. Blue skies and yellow leaves, 6. Blue skies and yellow leaves, 7. Autumn in Oregon, 8. Bird listening station, 9. Blackberry leaves, 10. Suggestive map, 11. Backlit trees, 12. Beautiful trail, 13. Arched tree
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

It's beautiful especially with all the leaves changing, and I'm sure the pups didn't mind that we left them home.


Um, ok, next weekend, we'll take them somewhere they can play.

Jamison Square


I'm happy to announce the release of Jamison Square, formerly known as the slouchy cowl.

Click on the image or right here to see all the details about this pattern.

Price $9.00

Thanks to all of you who encouraged me to finish the pattern. Here's hoping you enjoy knitting it as much as I enjoyed designing it.

And since I know not everyone has $9 to throw at a pattern, here's a picture of my petulant little pup.


See, a little something for everyone.

Anyone with herding dogs appreciates the value of a sleepy dog, of which I now have two. Today, the weather report said thunder showers for the coast. I was somewhat concerned about the idea of sky-electricity and large bodies of water, but it's been a while since the girls got their paws wet and it didn't take much persuading to convince me to at least give it a shot.

There was hail, and rain, and a wee bit of wind, but mostly, it was a downright beautiful day.

Manzanita Beach -- October 3, 2009
Click to embiggen 1. Fetch in front of cloud, 2. Leaping Bear, 3. My sweet man, 4. Hail, 5. Run run run, 6. The calm after the storm, 7. Ominous clouds, 8. Throw it, already, 9. Silly monkey, 10. Return with the squirrel, 11. The hail cloud in the distance, 12. Run in the water, 13. Blue skies break through
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

The girls are content, indeed. See the entire set here.

House poor but well fed


Owning a house is expensive, especially when you start with no furniture. So we've been keeping ourselves on a tight budget, rarely eating out, and being extra conscientious about how we spend our grocery money. It's turned out to be easier than we would have thought, because our home is near quite a bit of farm land and where there are farms, there are farm stands.

Every Sunday, we pack into the car, find another little road to travel and pick up fresh tomatoes, zucchini, corn, garlic, onions, carrots, apples, eggs and anything else that looks fresh and delicious. During our drives we've even found vineyards and an alpaca farm. All of this and we live just 15 minutes from downtown Portland. We even found a u-pick farm with everything from cantaloupes to brussels sprouts. What a life.

As we adapt to less take-out and more stay-in, I'm trying to flex my rudimentary cooking skills and take full advantage of our stocked veggie drawer.

Things I like to cook and eat
1. Fried Zucchini, 2. Sweet corn is sweet, 3. Blueberry crisp, 4. Slow grilled tomatoes - after, 5. Braised Chicken, 6. Braised Short Ribs with Tomatoes
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Click the individual picture names for the recipes.

I'll be sad when the farm stands close down for the winter, and we have to go back to getting our produce at the grocery store, but in the mean time, we're having a great time finding new farms and coming up with filling and healthy meals to prepare.



In this day and age of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and FriendFace reconnecting with people from your past is about as novel as a fax machines, which is just as well since I'm a complete hermit and never leave the house.

No, for me, the reunion was all about finding this.

Class book

This happens to be required reading for my class this term and it was a book I read, probably, 6-7 years ago just because. The problem? It was in one of 14 boxes that had been sitting in our garage for the past 3 years.

Digging for the book was unearthing years of my life. It's odd how just seeing a book can bring me right back to the time when I read it, good or bad.

Sundry Books

It's funny to find a long ago book on astrology in the box I opened after the box full of tomes on skepticism. If I laid everything out chronologically, it might well function as a sort of auto biography.

But what's even more telling are the arts and crafts books

Too many craft books

Sorted in piles I've tagged here, here and here, they are a cornucopia of good and ill conceived ventures in creativity. But even the country cross stitch and 80s teddy bear sweater books have a special place in my heart, not so much because I will ever (EVER) use them but because they take me back to another time in my life that I can hardly remember, some days.

Oh books, how I love you so. Now all we need are some book cases.

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