This blog has moved

The blog can now be found here, including all the archives and tutorials. Subscribe to the RSS feed here.

Main

oregon Archives

July 25, 2006

This Angeleno is becoming an Oregonian

Really, though, maybe it should be:
This Californian is becoming an Oregonian
or
This Angeleno is becoming and Portlandian if the Oregonian variety (so as not to be confused with those Portlandians of the Mainenites variety).
But I'm splitting hairs here, the point is, Leo and I are moving to Portland Oregon. Leo goes up on Monday to start a new job on the 7th.

It is not without some apprehension that I go. I've lived in Los Angeles for almost 5 years and I have met so many wonderful people, a few of whom, to my delight, even count me among their friends. As I'm predisposed to hermit-like behavior, this is no small feat, in my mind. I will miss them terribly.

Yet, I also look upon all this as an exciting opportunity to start fresh and new and discover an area I've never been before. What? Didn't I mention that? Oh, yah, neither Leo nor I have ever been to Oregon. I'm not averse to change, and I love exploring new cities. It's scary to know I'll be jobless in a month, but with rents half the price of the LA area, I can pretty much sell hemp jewelry on a street corner and still contribute my part to the household expenses.

I've already checked and it appears there are several yarn shops in the Portland area. And those cute little Pygoras from a couple days ago? They hail from Oregon, which bodes well for my spinning future.

So if any of you who live, have lived, or frequently visit Oregon, have suggestions for me, please send them my way.

I'll do my best to keep posting during the transition, but with our home computer going up north without me, and with all the upheaval, I make no promises, expressed or implied, that blogging will continue as normal.

July 27, 2006

Zounds and Pygora!

Who knew moving to Portland would garner me so many comments? It's almost frightening how many people love the city and how few bad things people have to say about the area (rain and you can't pump your own gas, I think I can live with both).
There are so many of you I need to write back to. I can't believe how many great suggestions you've sent and warm welcomes you've offered. I'm really looking forward to moving.
I don't arrive in Oregon until the end of August, and in the mean time, I hope to be able to see all my LA friends, so I can say goodbye.

But enough of that, take a look at my yummy pygora yarn.

Here it is almost completely spun up. The kit comes with half an ounce (about 14 grams) of each fiber, so that's just enough to fill up one of my smaller spindles.

I simply loved spinning this stuff. I don't know enough about the properties of various fibers to say why, I just know that whatever it is, I'm able to spin it up superfine, balanced, soft and with a bit of loft.

I've included a dime for scale. The yarn is a two ply and check this out...

Balance, baby!

This hasn't been washed yet, it's right off the spindle. I have just shy of 54 yards (49 meters) of yarn here. Since pygora is aplenty in Portland, I plan to get more soon.

I've now started spinning some of the Yak fiber and it's not going quite as well. It's more poofy and fluffy and I don't quite have the best technique for managing that sort of fiber. It's gotten better as I've worked with it, but compared to the pygora, it's pretty crude looking.

In a little while, I'm off to Blogher, then a visit with a friend in San Francisco, then back home to help Leo pack up the truck. It's quite a weekend, indeed.

August 2, 2006

RSVP

I wanted my next post to be about my new socks, but forget that, I'm gonna have myself a pity party and you are all invited. Get your hats and your noise makers, suck the helium out of the balloons and talk like Mickey Mouse, because I have a bad case of the “poor mes” right now.

At 11PM last night I kissed my puppy and Leo goodbye and they drove off into the starlit night for Oregon. And perhaps I cried maybe a bit because a month away from the two of them sound heart wrenchingly lonely. And maybe I worry that they'll be abducted by aliens and I'll never see them again because while I don't actually believe in alien abductions I do believe in horrible unexpected things happening to people I love, so I'm sad. But Leo has been sending me pictures from his phone of the little girl enjoying her trek to lands unknown (at least to us)

The move has been no small feat for us, and the ordeal doesn't end any time soon. To start with, since we are both trying to be frugal and we are moving on different dates, Leo will be unpacking the truck by himself. On the plus side, we've decided to sell most of our larger furniture, but on the downside, we're still keeping both motorcycles, our queen sized mattress and box spring, our 32" TV, and a few other choice back breakers.

As a side note, Leo drew quite a crowd driving the motorcycles up the ramp of a moving truck. I’m pretty sure everyone was waiting for him to fall off the side or crash into the boxes already sitting in back.

Speaking of moving trucks, I'm not going to name any names, but we are not happy with our moving truck experience. The company in question (whose name may rhyme with "poo-ball") has set us off our schedule by a whole day. Originally, we were scheduled to pick up our truck on Monday morning at 9AM. We were supposed to find out which LA office we were to pick up our truck, no later than 5PM on Sunday night. At around 6PM we were informed that they didn't know when or where we'd be able to pick up the truck the next day, that they hadn't even scheduled us a truck yet and that they'd call us on Monday and let us know. We made our reservation over two weeks prior and since one of us still has a job to go to, we were looking at a long couple of days.

So after several hours of listening to hold music and being told by countless customer service reps that the branch office would be notified of the urgency of our need for a truck, we were finally told we could pick up a truck in an office that ended up taking about 45 minutes to get to. Good times.

We worked for two solid days with only the barest minimum of sleep, but we finally got most of what we hoped to pack, into the truck. Now, I need to get all the remaining flotsam and jetsam out of the house (to Goodwill with what we they'll take and to the trash with the rest) then try to sell the furniture on Craig's list.

On the upside, it'll be a lonely and grueling two weeks to get the house in order, but after that, I'm staying with a friend who has graciously offered to drive the scenic route to Oregon with me the weekend of the 26th. We'll be taking a long slow journey up the cost, camping as needed to refresh ourselves and stopping for every scenic view we deem worthy. Since I'm easily amused there may be a lot of stops along the way.

I want to thank you all for attending my pity party. Please feel free to take home any leftovers that you’d like. I definitely won’t eat them all myself. I’ll grab your jackets from the extra room and see you out the front door.

August 4, 2006

I loves me some silky wool

I've actually been working on this piece, in dribs and drabs, for a while now. It's not that I'm not enjoying the process, I really love the yarn and the idea I have, I hope, will be great. It'll have princess seams and waist shaping, all things that I think look lovely. I’ve just had so much else going on that it hasn't been a project I could really give the proper focus to, so I knit a row here and there and put it down for a little while.

One thing you'll find about me and my knitting is that I knit almost everything with a provisional cast on, and this project is no exception. I feel like it gives me a lot more options. I can always cast it off normally, if it turns out I don't need those stitches.

Now that most of my worldly goods are in Portland, I'm sans ball winder (until the gracious Ms Julia takes me in on the 15th) so I'm reduced to winding my own center pull balls.

I use an empty prescription pill bottle. If you want to try this at home, look for one that is fairly tall. Circumference doesn’t make a huge difference. Tuck one end of the yarn in the container. Close the container to secure the end then wind as though using a Nostepinne. When you are done, open the bottle and slide off your center pull ball. It's not as convenient as a ball winder, but it works in a pinch.

In move news, Leo and Panda are doing very well in our new home in Oregon. He's already emptied the whole truck by himself.

And Panda has taken to the place like a fish to water. She hung out by our giant tree:

And watches our neighbors from a choice vantage point.

It appears that our lawn could do with some tending, but we'll get to that when we can. For now, I'm just happy to know that everyone is home safe and sound. Pity party is still in overtime but it's winding down a bit.

August 8, 2006

Roughing it at home

I probably don't mind moving as much as some people do. In general, I have a slight pack rat mentality, but when it comes time to pack boxes, I'm a drill sergeant. While there are exceptions, my general rule is that if I haven't seen it, thought about it, touched, or used it in at least a year, it's probably something I don't need in my life. This is rather refreshing to me, though it does mean that I end up needing to re-buy things I may have tossed by accident. Leo is also a bit of a pack rat, but his philosophy is "Throw it in a box or trash bag and we'll sort it out at the new place."

We diverge greatly on this topic. I say, “Why move something I don't want or need?” But his take is "Let's make SURE we don't need it. Better safe than sorry." This makes for rather comical packing sessions. Picture Marnie approaching a pile of items that need to be sorting for either packing or Goodwill. Marnie begins heaping EVERYTHING in the Goodwill pile. Old family heirloom: Goodwill. Free CD from bar visited a year ago: Goodwill. Wine glasses so delicate that we never use them because we keep breaking them: Goodwill. If it has been tucked away in a dark cabinet for a year or more, it gets little more than a passing glance before heading into the pile. And then Leo turns around to say something to me. His eyes grow large as they land upon some cherished whatnot in the pile, then another. I already know what's coming and I yell, "TAKE NO PRISONERS!" But then he gets those puppy dog eyes as he snatches something dear from the pile. I relent.

Though, on the other end of the spectrum, when it comes to books, I'm like a mother with too many children. I know I can't possible house and care for them all but every one of them is dear to my heart. Leo took to packing the books himself and threatened to toss them all, their numbers were so great. "Don't you dare!" I exclaimed. All of a sudden, this drill sergeant went soft.

We have agreed, though, to get rid of most of our old furniture, some dating back to well before Leo and I met. This is mostly because we couldn't really justify the cost of moving it and after going from several places in Boston to Burbank and then to Playa Del Rey, it was all starting to get a bit tired. So between periods of scrubbing down the house to get it ready for moving out, I've been trying to sell this stuff on Craigslist.

This all keeps me fairly busy, but between all that, I do have some time to fill. With no TV or radio, I've been getting a lot of reading done, listened to a few audio books, and of course, I've been knitting and spinning.


The Silky Wool top is cranking along at a good pace. Isn't the stitch definition great? I’m probably another inch or so past what you see here. I’m experimenting with the construction of this piece a little which will become more apparent once I finish this main body piece.


I've been trying to spin some Yak from the Bellwether sampler. This is definitely not going as well as the Pygora, but I'm getting the hang of it.

And for a little bit of exercise, while I'm stuck at the house waiting for the next prospective buyer, I've been using this baby.

It's an Indo Board, and one of the few examples of something Leo is ready to give up and I want to keep. I don't do any sort of board sport but I find it terribly fun to risk my neck playing with this. As a responsible blogger, I need to go on record as saying that you are, indeed, risking injury using this and while I find it fun, I recommend that if you do try one, you do so at your own risk.
We have wall to wall carpeting which makes this less perilous to use. A grassy lawn would offer even more security. I’ll play around with it for a few minutes here and there just to get my blood moving and the next day my tush and abs will be just a little achy (in a good way.)

It’s a bit stressful being away from Panda and Leo, it’d be a lot more fun to do all this stuff together, but we’ve been making the best of the situation and time is flying by with all there is left to do.

Oh and the best news of all, it looks like I may be able to keep my current job and work remotely from Portland until the end of the year. Talk about taking a load off my mind.

August 17, 2006

I want off

When I was a kid, I used to go to Canobie Lake Park every year with my parents because the company they worked for rented out the park for a day, once a year. I remember seeing all the roller coasters, even the one in the little kids' area and thinking "yah, I want to go on that." But as soon as the ride got going, I'd realize that this was definitely NOT what I wanted to be doing and in fact, if I didn't get off STAT, I was going to need to scream my fool head off. Luckily, I was a fast learner and quickly came to the conclusion that I was happier on more tame rides and getting "antique" photos taken with my friends. Odd, but I always loved the Turkish Twist which was like a tilt-a-whirl without the tilt and down in a pit where the floor dropped out from under you. So it’s kind of like being in a salad spinner.

Anyway, moving has been much like riding that roller coaster for the first time. I think, "Yah, no problem, I'm ready for this. While I'm at it, maybe I'll bring peace to the middle east too." Then suddenly I realize that everything is happening and I can’t turn back; Leo and Panda take off, the apartment is full of things I need to sell, and work is hitting a busy point. I see that apex of that long first hill ahead of me and start to think, hmmm, am I actually ready for this?

And what a ride it's been. Moving out of the old place on Tuesday was such a relief. I really do love LA, I've been very happy here, but I've been on a strict regiment of "no fun, all cleaning and selling old furniture" for the past week. I have a new disdain for flakey people who say they are coming to get your furniture and never show up. I also have scorn for people who try to haggle me on items I'm already trying to sell for much less than even Goodwill would charge. I'm not bitter, nah, not at all.

But I'm now a guest of a certain winter minded friend of mine, and life is good again.

I've made a small amount of progress on the Silky Wool cardigan. You can now see the full effect of the princess seams. She’ll look better after a little blocking.

The front and back are almost done and then I start playing around with sleeves. I do the bulk of my designing in Adobe Illustrator.

I don't want to give anyone the impression that using Illustrator is quick or easy, but I find it to be a great tool for the way I like to design for myself. In this case, the first thing I do is build a grid to scale. Then I create a pattern swatch that exactly matches a single pattern repeat for the stitch pattern. Since I generally create my document to be an exact 1 to 1 scale of the final pattern, I can use the actual inch markers on the built in document rulers, to draw the shape I want.

A little hint if you want to try this yourself, if you want a smaller scale, try working in centimeters instead of inches or picas instead of centimeters. For instance, if I draw my design pretending that each centimeter is an inch, I can basically scale the whole piece down by half, but I still have a ruler to go by when making modifications.

Just like working on regular graph paper, once my general shape is defined, I need to go in and redraw the shapes so they are made up only of whole stitches. Once the initial design is built, I fill it with my original pattern swatch and if all goes well, it will perfectly align with my gauge grid.

From there, I can reshape the piece at will and see how it will look. Then, I just print it out and work directly from the chart while I knit.

Since I have both a stitch-by-stitch, row-by-row representation of the piece and the stitch pattern, I can forego the row counter altogether. I just tick off the last row I worked and if I'm unsure if I remembered to mark off the last row, I can double check by looking at what row of the stitch pattern I just knit and comparing it to the chart.

I’d be curious to hear how other designers out there like to do their designing. Do many of you use Excel? Pencil, paper and calculator? Design programs? (I have one, but generally don’t use it for much more than calculating the armsceye and sleeve caps of multi-sized patterns.) Do you have another technique all together? Do tell.

Continue reading "I want off" »

August 29, 2006

A quick recap of the road trip

I'm home in Portland with both a feeling of elation to be back with my sweet Leo and Little Miss Panda, but also a sadness that the trek is over and Julia has gone back home. I have so much to tell you about, but I’ll try to keep from making this post too long. It was an amazing trip; one I'll look back on as being among the most memorable, but I'm exhausted. Like all of the past few weeks, we've packed as much into as little time as our little psyches could handle and it'll be days before the effects wear off.

The trip started with an easy jaunt to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles. We stayed at a place owned by a friend of Julia's. This allowed us the opportunity to stop by Village Spinning and Weaving in Solvang, CA.

While there, we availed ourselves our their various wheels, including Ashfords, Majacrafts, Louets and a Windwheel. When I left the shop, I thought I was happy with the Ashford Kiwi. That's definitely not what I expected, but it was a lovely little thing, easy to use, and it felt fine.

As we embarked on the next leg of our trip, we decided that we'd see if we could try a Schacht Matchless at Carolina Homespun in San Francisco. We figured that with the $600 price difference, the Matchless would have to be pretty darn wonderful to sway us.


I. Love. This. Wheel.

DAMMIT!

After spending hours at Carolina Homespun, spinning until we had to concede to the road trip agenda (and our rapidly waning blood sugar), we made our way to lunch and then back on the road. It was noon, and we were going to drive to the Sequoia National Forest, a mere 38 miles from San Francisco.

Five hours later, several wrong turns, some swearing at the atlas and not a Sequoia in sight, we were in stop and go traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge. In case the impact of that isn't entirely clear, that's a 5 hour detour to get us back to where we started, without actually seeing what we had hoped to see.

The sun was setting and the question became: Do we drive as far as we can at night, missing a good deal of the redwoods but still trying to get to Crater Lake the next day? Or do we drive a more reasonable distance, enjoy all the of the redwoods and skip Crater Lake?

We decided to drive as far as we could without overshooting the redwoods. There is no anxiety quite like that feeling that you've made a horribly bad decision. As we wound through the dark roads at night, hour upon hour passing, we calculated our optimal stopping point. Finally, having passed up most obvious points of civilization, we found ourselves in a quaint little area...where every light in town was turned off. The towns were silent and the motels could have as easily been abandoned, for all the life we could detect. Beam me up Scottie! I see no life here.

As the crew (all two of us) grew ever more punchy and concerned, we wound down one sleepy town's main street after another, until we found our oasis. Motel Ravenwood was open. As unlikely as it was, the owner just happened to be awake, awaiting another guest and he just happened to have an open room. We could have cried with happiness. Instead, we snatched the keys, paid our rate and made a bee line for the warmth of our beds.

The next day we awoke refreshed and ready to complete the last day of our journey. The redwoods are everything we hoped they'd be. Following the 101 up the coast, we stopped for a walk on the brisk sandy beach.



Doesn't Julia's sweatshirt look like it belongs on this beach?


From there, we followed the directions the motel owner gave us and found a quiet little trail off a well groomed dirt road.



My little spindle even joined us on the walk.

As we left the redwoods and headed to Crater Lake, I had a little twinge of excitement when I realized I had finally hit my new home state. If you are wondering, it's beautiful and Crater Lake is no exception.

We stopped at each little vista point and the little spindle joined in the oohing and ahhing. The atmospheric haze made the lake look dreamy and almost unreal. The spindle particularly enjoyed seeing the chipmunks. None of them broke into song.





Even the firemen were a delight to look at.

All said, it was an amazing trip. I’m still recovering, but I’m so glad I had the chance to do it. Portland is wonderful, and being back with my sweeties, is as grand as I hoped.

I should have more pictures up soon, and I feel pretty sure that Julia will have some stories to regale you with as well.

August 30, 2006

Anatomically Correct

Do you know the story of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe? Well, Klamath, California hosts a huge sculpture in their honor. And doesn't this artist have vision? Not only is Paul blessed with a rugged carpet of chest hair.


That ain't no dark brown t-shirt under his flannel.

But Babe has his own show of virility.


Babe, I like you but I don't LIKE like you.

Let's get us a little close up here.




Doctor, this is the worst case of indigo spheres I've seen.
Get this patient to the ICU, STAT."

Today's sense of humor brought to you be the Local Council of 10 Year Olds and the Slap Happy Road Trippers Council of America.

September 1, 2006

Settling in nicely

It's really hard to tell this early, but so far, I'm very happy in Portland. Seeing Panda so happy, eating great food and meeting kind people, it all seems a bit too good to be true. Perhaps when the rains start coming in earnest, I'll be singing a different tune. For now though, I will fall asleep counting Pygora, and wake up to great coffee, I'm going native, people.

Maybe it's unfair to compare the accommodations of a second story apartment versus the little house we are renting now, but from my office window, it's not uncommon for me to see birds and squirrels, fattening themselves up for the winter. We have some sort of tree with berries, growing right outside the window, which makes for no end of visitors.

But you know, the contents of this blog have been leaning pretty heavily towards talk of road trips and shenanigans (that's right, I call shenanigans!) I feel it's time to at least make a passing reference to something crafty.

I did a little more spinning on, and then plied the roving that saw all the great sites on our trip.

The fiber is a blend of BFL and Alpaca. I think this shot makes it seem a little course, but it isn't. It's an example of a fiber blend that is greater than the sum of its parts; soft, drapey, silky and unbelievably spinable.

This skein is exceptionally special to me because not only has it seen great sites but it's a combination of work by both Julia and me. I love the work I spin on my own, but it seems all the more special when someone else has spun a little of it too. I think both of us learned a lot going to the Fiber Fest and stopping at several shops on our way to Oregon. By Crater Lake, we were both able to match each other's spinning quite well.

To add a little more specialness still, I asked Panda to give me a hand with the photo shoot.

You'll have to excuse our yellow lawn. Once the weather gets cooler and rainier, I'm told I expect plenty of lush green grass.

And since there's been a bit of clamoring for Panda pics, here's a bit more to sate your appetite. After work, the three of us decided to take a jaunt around the neighborhood. I rode my pretty pink bicycle, and Panda and Leo....

Well, they do things their own way.

GO PANDA GO!

September 3, 2006

The best laid plans of mice and men

Leo, Panda and I went to the beach this weekend. The coast is usually a safe bet for us because it's generally beautiful and Panda loves it.

Even our shoes seem happy at the beach

Leo had explored the Oregon coast a bit before and when he had, it had been beautiful but exceedingly cold. He suggested lots of layers. So we threw on some warm clothing and headed out for a quick half-day trip to the ocean.

Read all about it after the bump.

Continue reading "The best laid plans of mice and men" »

September 5, 2006

Not everyone loves a parade

Saturday, Leo, Panda and I decided to walk around Portland a bit. Panda doesn't really love "social" settings, she's more of a reclusive nature girl. She's definitely gotten better over the years, but it's still a little overwhelming to be in the city. We try to give her small doses of relatively positive experiences in public places when we can and lots of good times at places she’s more comfortable.

After walking along the river for a while, we headed back inland for some lunch at a wonderful Thai restaurant. We sat outside, enjoying our great meal and giving Panda a little breather from the hot weather and noisy city only to hear a bit of a commotion coming up the street.

What was it?

An immigrants' rights parade.

The "haters" sign amuses me to no end.

Panda, on the other hand....

...Is NOT amused. If you aren't an animal person, you may not be able to read her expression, but to me, this screams "get me the hell OUT of here." Click the image to get the full effect. I can't help but laugh. I know it's wrong, but I do anyway.

Once the parade passed, we found a quiet route back to the car and ran into this little guy:


And if you are wondering, here's his tag:

He's a part of this project. How cute is that? Check out some of the other pictures in the galleries.

September 7, 2006

Rebecca called, they'd like their photo shoot back.

We were channeling our inner knitwear models in these pictures. I think the Lush Hoodie better suits the scenery than my vest, but one makes due with what one packs.

dorks.gif

I think I may have laughed myself stupid during this.

See all the silliness here and here.

September 11, 2006

Dogs are allowed on all pathes (except the really good ones)

At my request, this weekend we decided to try some sight seeing inland. The ocean is always a safe bet but there's a whole lot of Oregon that doesn't even come close to being near the beach, but which is supposed to be lovely.

Leo got a recommendation from a friend who said that Silver Falls was both pet friendly (though she hadn't brought a pet) and really wonderful. It did sound amazing and hearing that pets are allowed on all trails except the "canyon trail" lead us to believe we had some beautiful falls in store for us. Alas, there are no falls, that we could see, anywhere on the other trails. Luckily, we still got to see much that was truly beautiful.

These weren't redwoods, but the trees stood incredibly tall. I just wasn't able to get a picture that showed a single tree from top to bottom

This fallen tree was immense. Leo and Panda look so small next to it.

 

The trails were fairly well maintained and a pretty easy walk. It didn't seem too challenging and surprisingly few buggies about our heads. As immense and breathtaking as all the views were, it's the little things that catch my eye.

We have icky spiders about the house, but it doesn't mean I can't appreciate a beautiful web when I see one.

Those shocking red berries look so intense next to all that green.

And if you think those are enchanting, look at this moss growing everywhere.

Some trees had thick coats of this growing on them, while others seem relatively untouched.

This seems like a setting out of some fantasy movie.

I had no idea I was making a heart with the leash. Cute, no?

After our hike, we went back to Portland for some lunch. We ended up at a wine bar called Thirst, where we had a delicious but light meal.

The view from our table, overlooking the river, on a perfect Sunday afternoon.

Panda hanging out at Leo's feet, and Leo sporting a lovely Panda shirt.

Since it was a wine bar, we decided to try their tasting options. I was expecting and would have been perfectly content with, smaller servings of wine, but their selections were great and really fun to try together. Leo got the "Eclectic Reds" and I had the "Light Flight All White." Paired with our salads and an order of assorted olives, we were three happy hikers.

Our favorite was the roasted kalamata olives. They were addicting. I'm surprised it didn't come to blows deciding who would get the last one.

September 26, 2006

Last post before I leave

I'm in a bit of a fog with all I have to do before I leave tomorrow, so this post will be a bit haphazard. That said, let's get to it.

I stopped by OFFF on Sunday for just a little while. Leo and Panda drove down with me but when we found out dogs weren't allowed even to the outdoor sections, Leo and Panda went off to check out the town and I wandered the booths.

My first and favorite stop was Janel's of Chameleon Colorworks and Spindlicity.

Hey Julia, see that big bag on the left, that's all BFL, baby!"


More about what I got there, below.

I walked around all the other booths and showed surprising strength of will, even when passing the Wooly Winder stand. Mmmmm, Wooly Winder.

But what would a flock and fiber festival be without some flock?


I'm not crazy about livestock but I can't help but appreciate these guys.
I didn't take a ton of pictures of the festival, knowing they'd be a dime a dozen online. But let me tell you, there was much to be seen. I'll have my calendar marked for this event again next year.

After the festival, Leo, Panda and I were thirsty and ready to find some lunch. Leo spotted this place on his way back to pick me up.

It seemed serendipitous, I had to go in.
There was a bar and a restaurant and I went into the bar portion.

I enjoy a beer as much as the next person but Bud?


Lunch was every bit as spectacular as the decor. The "Coke" I ordered for Leo was a grocery store brand and the bags she packed our lunch in came from the 99¢ store. Now that is one classy establishment.
When I asked about the history, the bartender said it'd be around for many many years, and had gone through several incarnations. She didn't seem to know much more than that. When I told her there was a spinning festival going on down the road, she seemed politely half interested.

On the way home, I fondled my new rovings. 4 ounces each of 4 different colorways from Janel's booth.

Here, from left to right, Optim in colorway "Pearl," Merino/Viscose in colorway "Autumn" and a one-off colorway that I simply think of as "Peach" in the same Merino/Viscose blend.

Also, on the wheel and nearly completely spun up, some alpaca in colorway "Iris."

It's spun at a pretty fine weight and has a range of shades from nearly yellow green to blue to purple and all sorts of in-betweens.


I don't know about you, but when I spin these beautifully dyed colorways, there's always one color that makes a minor cameo amongst all the more dominant shades. Usually, it's a color that on its own, may not impress me, but mixed in with all the colors, it just sings. With this colorway, the shade is a soft dusty blue, more subtle than the dominant blue shade you see in the pictures. When I see that special blue coming up to my fingers, I always get a little excited. I felt the same way about the pink shade in my Autumn Spice roving. I hope to finish spinning and maybe even plying this fiber before I leave, but if not, I know I’ll be coming home to a relaxing treat.

October 16, 2006

Home sweet home

Wow, I have been one lazy bum these past few days. I think my body had finally gotten used to being 12.5 hours off from PDT and coming back my mind just gave up on me and said "Forget it, you can just sleep ALL the time, for all I care." We went out for a really nice dinner on Friday night and caught some bands and clubs downtown, but it was an act of pure will power to stay awake. However, I wasn't a complete and utter bump on a log. El Matchador and I enjoyed a sweet sweet reunion.

The first thing I did was to finish plying my 4 ounces of Alpaca in the Iris colorway. There are about 315 yards of DK-ish weight 2-ply.

It was actually nice to start off with something as mindless as plying.
Once all my alpaca off the niddy noddy and hanging out to dry, I broke into some of my Merino/Silk in colorway Catalina.

Both fibers are from Janel's store

This skein is 2 ounces and is a 3 ply, using the Navajo plying method. There are about 190 yards and it's, more or less, worsted weight. I love this method of plying, but man am I good at getting it messed up. I had a few "ugly moments" in this skein. Let us not speak of it again.

I, of course, have more fiber on the wheel right now. I'll have to show you that some other time.

We did manage to get out of the house yesterday, to give Panda a proper run around the park. Our hope had been to go to the beach, but the weather, being Portland an all, wasn't quite suitable for such endeavors. This is not to say that it wasn't beautiful out, though. After 5 years in LA, I sort of forgot how beautiful drizzly autumn days could be.

We swung by Leo's office and I snapped pictures of the ducks in the little river near the parking lot.

And all around us, the trees were turning.

The overcast skies really make the colors pop by comparison.

With an adventurous spirit and a little luck, we even found a nice little park to let the girl run around.

It had an apple tree just overflowing with ripe fruit

And lovely little roses giving their last blooms before winter.

I love that Portland offers some of the vivid colors of autumn that I remember from New Hampshire, but offers mild enough weather to sustain roses. Talk about the best of all worlds!

October 24, 2006

Scenic

I feel like I haven't had much in the way of craftiness to offer you guys lately. That probably won't change much in the next couple of weeks. I'm knee deep in unbloggable stuff and even El Matchador is feeling the slight. I do, however, have some Panda cuteness and Pacific Northwest autumnal beauty. If that sounds interesting to you, keep-a-scrolling!

Sunday, we decided that Panda was well overdue for some running around and chasing the "squirrel". We didn't make it as far as the beach, just over to the same park we visited, not so very long ago.

It was a gorgeous day, mild, sunny, perfect for wearing out a high energy dog.

That toy got a nice coating of slobber.

Once Panda was exhausted (or at least in need of a break,) I took to wandering around the park and snapping pictures. I could fill this blog with the pictures I took. There are pear trees, apple trees, berries of all sorts, all just growing in a tiny little park tucked away in Portland.


There's a colorway in here somewhere.

As we were heading back home, Leo and I decided that maybe we should take advantage of the beautiful day and do some sight seeing. Since it was relatively warm and Panda was a bit tuckered out, we decided to drop her off at home.

From there, we just took off.

In the areas we drove around, yellow and a touch of red really dominate the autumn colors. I don't recall seeing much orange at all. This part of Oregon is greener than I recall New Hampshire being, when I lived there, and it's definitely warmer.

 

Aww, those pumpkins look so delicious pretty.

And since it is a lovely October day, we had to stop by a pumpkin patch. While I love those vivid orange pumpkins, we got ourselves a classic one. The plan? We'll carve him up, rip out his guts and bake up the seeds, Then we'll stick a burning flame in him, set him out for the kids to gawk at and, Leo plans to smash him after Halloween. Somehow, it all seemed less violent when we originally discussed the idea.

Moo!

 

All of this, within an hour's drive from our humble little home. We were back before Panda finished her nap.

November 4, 2006

Shakin' my bon-bon

Last night, Leo and I met up with a local group who tries different restaurants in Portland, every two weeks. This time, we went to Eleni's Philoxenia a Greek WONDERLAND of food yumminess. Great googily moogily, this meal was good.

After eating ourselves stupid, and smelling not unlike Gilroy, California, we went for some Salsa dancing at Andrea's Cha-Cha Club. When I say "we" went salsa dancing, it's in the royal sense. We don't salsa dance, I salsa dance. Leo mans the camera and tends to the people watching.

While I doubt the eau de garlic was a scent my dance partners hoped would be wafting over them, I couldn't help but have a grand old time cutting a rug.

I kind of think this blurry one is the most flattering of the bunch.

I guess this one looks a little bit more like it's actually me.

Dancing a cha-cha. I had a little trouble following this guy's lead and he kept insisting on counting aloud. It was a little bit of a train wreck.

Despite his mullet he was a very good dancer. Oh and he has a mullet, my god, I haven't seen one of those since New Hampshire!

We danced until about midnight before calling it quits and heading home to bed.

While Andrea's doesn't have quite the crowd I remember from my favorite Salsa clubs in Boston and LA, it comes as close as I've been able to find since coming to Portland. We've hit a few other spots that are nicer to look at but lack the sort of regulars that can really hold their own. Apparently, Tango is rather popular here and I may have to give it a shot, but for now, I've found a place to get my salsa fix.

November 6, 2006

And a good time was had by all

On Saturday morning, I stretched out my bon-bon shaking aches. Leo suggested we brave the rain and wind and head to the beach to give Panda some running around time. Bundled up in layers we made our way to Cannon Beach.


The three of us arrived at our destination and Leo gave me a wry smile. "It looks like a hurricane out there." he says, and he should know, having lived through hurricane Andrew more than a decade ago. Panda, was doing the happy dance in the back seat, shifting from foot to foot and pacing from window to window as she let out a little desperate whimper. It was all on me, the princess of the bunch. Do I dismiss the hour's drive and turn the whole party around and go home or do I suck it up and brave the elements?

That ain't steam rising off the ground there!

I like to think of this as a little macrodermabrasion. You can't tell, but along with the wind, we had a healthy bit of rain coming down. The temperature was relatively mild, maybe 60 degrees, but the wind had quite a bite.

Panda felt it was all good fun, indeed.

In fact, she was wondering why we didn't stay longer. Once my jeans were soaked and the wind got even stronger, I wrangled the crew back into the car. We went home, had some lunch and tucked in for a little nap.

I thought it'd be a quite night in, but Leo had other ideas. "We'll just go out for an hour, see a band, maybe have a beer." He says. So I pop on something casual, that will keep me warm, and we head out to Laurelthirst, a little bar on the other side of the river, where we had some munchies and a little bit of beer while we listened to the band.

Their selection of beer is impressive and their nachos really hit the spot.

Any place sporting a Deception Dollar, is fine in my book.

Isn't Leo a good looking man?

He looked so cute I had to give him a kiss.

From Laurelthirst, Leo suggested we go back for more salsa dancing. At first, I resisted. I definitely wasn't dressed for dancing. But he didn't have to work too hard to twist my arm. We went back to Andrea's for a few, then over to Fernando's Hideaway. I danced and danced some more before we headed out for a little walk by the river.

It was a gorgeous night with just a little mist in the air. The trees had turned yellow and nearly glowed against the warm light of the streetlamps. A perfect ending to a great night.

November 15, 2006

Just some things I enjoy looking at

A relatively random collection of recent photos that make me smile. As always, click to make them bigger.

My new yarn all balled up and begging to be swatched

Dew drops on the grass in the early morning.

Panda watching the rain.

Dog friendly park with a lake

Duck duck...

GOOSE!

Little critter A nutria (thanks Amanda!)

He can swim.

The purple center of a Queen Anne's Lace flower

November 20, 2006

The tide is high but I'm holding on

Well, it was another great weekend for me in Portland. This is probably not what anyone who watches the weather station would guess. We've been getting rains of epic proportions. I'm pretty sure I saw an old guy, two misguided daughters and a bunch of animals on a boat, floating down the street. Actually, I think we've been relatively lucky, our house is on high enough ground that we haven't had any flooding in our general proximity and every day has patches of glorious sunshine. I'm not complaining. And since this is abnormally bad weather, I haven't felt the pang of mover's remorse.

Saturday was dry and lovely and a perfect evening to step out for some Salsa. Thanks to PDX Woman I had the good fortune to find Aztec Willies.

You'll have to excuse the crappy photo, we brought the camera, but no memory card, so this was taken with a camera phone.

I decided to take the lesson to warm myself up, and then dance until Leo is ready to pass out. There was a live band, and the place was absolutely packed. I had a grand time. We finished the evening with some tacos and went to bed so we could wake up early and bring Panda to the beach.

See all the pictures from the beach, after the jump.

Continue reading "The tide is high but I'm holding on" »

November 22, 2006

Question to my Portland neighbors

To all of you who left me sweet comments about our Sunday trip, thanks. I have been absolutely swamped with work and emails sit read, appreciated and unanswered.

That said, I'm going to ask you all a favor.
It's getting to be about that time when Panda will need a check up. Can anyone recommend a really great Portland vet? We loved the guy we had back in LA, but it's a bit far to drive now.

And if you are in the West Side or Chatsworth areas of LA and need the name of one of two great vets, I got you covered. Just pop me a comment.

November 27, 2006

Weather!

I'm sitting in Portland International Airport, enjoying their free (FREE!) WiFi while I await my flight down to John Wayne Airport for a quick business trip. My flight is a little delayed today. Why?

Snow-ish stuff.

And since I'm just now starting to acclimate to Portland weather, I'll spend almost all of the next two weeks in California and get my resistance to cold back down to nil. Yay!

Knitting on unbloggables continues in earnest, but I've spent a little time with El Matchador, here and there.

Candy pink Polwarth from Lynn. I spun the singles up lacy fine and created a 3-ply using the Navajo plying method.

Would you like to see it closer?

I knew you would.

But I won't be seeing much of El Matchador these next couple of weeks. I think I can live with that. But there are two things I'll miss bunches and I have a picture of one of them right here.

Three guesses what the other is...first two don't count. Well, time to check my flight status. Jet setting is soooooo glamorous.

December 4, 2006

PDX again

So I didn't get to go to San Francisco this weekend. It's sad, but Leo and I were not going to let the weekend go to waste. On Friday, we met up with the bi-weekly Restaurant Roulette group to try an Ethiopian restaurant named Queen of Sheba. The food was delicious, the atmosphere; not so much. But, if you forgo any drinks, you can eat for about $10 a person and be pretty full. It's communal finger food, so bring someone whose cooties you don't mind getting or already have.

After a long week of working, Leo and I didn't make it out after dinner. We headed home and hit the sack. I've started a new book *sigh,* it is wonderful. If you are one of the 3 people who hasn't read it yet, pick it up. I'm supplementing this with some nonfiction, or a reasonable facsimile. With topics like String Theory and Quantum Mechanics, we move into the realm of scientific philosophy, which may or may not be classified as nonfiction. Feel free to let loose with your own thoughts on the topic.

On Saturday, we hit our favorite little hippy bar for some live music, good munchies and a pint.

Someone offered to take our picture for us and told me to do something silly.
So I did.

But lest you think I'm a face licking freak, I do have proof of my better behavior, or as itty bitty Marnie would have said "I am being ha(i)ve!"

But let me tell you, for all the excitement of coming home to see the ones I love, I'm embarrassed to admit how exceedingly excited I was to get this.

That's right, it's a WooLee Winder, in the flesh...er...timber.

There was a slow start with my new toy. You see, the WooLee Winder works by way of a pair of gears; one on the bobbin and the other on the flyer. The two must engage in order to wind the yarn onto the bobbin. The whorls I have for El Matchador, appear to be hand machined and while they fit just fine for the purposes of general spinning, they leave a bit of a gap between the bobbin and whorl that causes the gears to barely touch and producing a noticable off balance load onto the bobbin. It's also distractingly loud. This is not a fault with the WooLee Winder. The gap was present on my old flyer as well. It looks a little something like this:


You can actually see my first attempt at filling the void, as well. It’s your standard issue rubber band. OK, but not great.

After a few nearly near catastrophic attempts to make the whorl opening wide enough to properly fit the flyer, I decided it was best I come at this from another angle. I'm not sure how many of you have read my two part series on stitch markers (if you are suffering from insomnia, this may be just the ticket!) but I've found yet another use for some of my most favorite stitch markers.

With three of my black rubber stitch markers, the whole system works like a dream. I have to apply a lot more tension with the break to get the bobbin to take up any yarn, but it sure beats trying to re-machine my whorls with a screwdriver and hammer. SHHHH! I know it was a bad idea, just be glad I’m not showing a broken whorl in this post.


I've been spinning some of my beautiful silk/merino blend that I picked up at Stitches West. The overall color is a soft sage green but spun very fine, the other colors really shine through.

The overall effect is still a soft green but more neutralized, with flecks of red and yellow glimmering through. It's hard to get a really great picture of the yarn that shows the color, but it's lovely indeed.

I haven't had a lot of luck working with these types of vertical color blends in the past, it always seemed like the color changed too abruptly and never looked quite right. But I think I've found a technique that normalizes the results a bit. Basically I use a fairly wide strip of roving, maybe 1/2 or 1/3 the total diameter of the roving as it comes. Then, I work the fibers into yarn by splaying them slightly and allowing the drafting zone to move right to left across the unspun roving. Does that make any sense? Perhaps I'll need to enlist my sweet Leo to help me take pictures when I'm back in Portland.

I think I'll still see some color variance from length to length of the yarn, but less so than if I had worked the fiber as I normally do — from a pencil sized diameter of roving — which would have given far more variance from section to section.

Ok, this is about as rambling and disjointed as any post I've made in recent history, so I'll sign off for now.

December 24, 2006

Best looking beach bunnies

Both Leo and I have a 4 day weekend so we decided we would take the little poopers to the beach, come hell and especially come high water. She really digs that. We bundled up on the first relatively dry day, and packed into the car.

Cannon Beach has really been our beach of choice if only because it's the closest one for us to go to. So a lot of these pictures will give the regular reader of this blog, a vague sense of déjà vu all over again once more...again.

It was a brisk day with a light breeze and nary a drop of rain. Perfect weather for a game of doggy tennis.*

All the fun was set against a gorgeous foggy backdrop.

But Panda is a bright girl and she knows a dog cannot live on tennis alone.

Bring on the SQUIRREL!

I got it in my head that we really needed a "family" photo for once, so I propped up the camera and set the timer.

Attempt number two was foiled by a bad case of "shake the squirrel."

Maybe today wasn't the day for a family photo.

Back in the car, just out of the beach parking, we saw a field of bunnies. I all but leaped from the moving vehicle and ordered Leo and Panda to find a place to park for a moment.

The bunnies, they are very cute. I crouched down and tried to get a good photo, when suddenly, one began bounding full speed ahead at me.

Being the entirely sane and not-at-all-girly person that I am, my initial reaction was "OH GOD! I'm about to be attacked by a charging WILD ANIMAL!" I stepped back. And then reality tapped me gently on the shoulder and mentioned that it was a bunny rabbit, nearly domesticated, and probably unlikely to prevail in hand to hand combat.

Having regained my momentary lack of composure, I was able to get some rather fetching, if I do say so myself, photos of the little chap.

Ahhh, all weekends should be 4-days long and full of such joy. Here's hoping all of you are having just as much, or more fun.

*Doggy tennis involves two people standing relatively far apart and each calling said doggy, in turn, so that she must run back and forth until she tires her cute little butt out a little.

January 1, 2007

Panda happy new year

Those of you who have been visiting my site for a while may recall that Leo only celebrates holidays that involve lots of fun having and which are, basically, secular. This means that Halloween, Thanksgiving and New Year's top the list, with a nod to Valentine's day and, of course, a month for my Birthday. However, that last one is more mandated by the relationship than anything.

Since the plan was to have a rocking good time, I made sure that Panda got a nice long walk during the day.

Does anyone notice that besides the lovely view and adorable dog, there is also a new FO in this picture? A few of you have asked for the stitch pattern, but I plan to do you one better and post the whole hat pattern soon. The stitch is from one of the Barbara Walker books, but I'll have to dig back through to get the exact name. More on all that to come, in the future.

So back to the evening's events. Having moved to Portland, late in the year, we were a bit behind the eight ball in coming up with plans. We really didn't know where we'd wanted to go, because we hadn't really been anywhere and once we decided where we might like to go, all the options appeared to be filled up. Thus ensued a mad romp about the internet in search of options.

Leo found this posting online.

Tango lessons, a 5 course meal and Cirque Du Soleil style acrobatics; it all sounded like a perfect evening.

Well, it wasn't quite what we expected. The reservation secured us a spot at one of the wedding/prom style communal tables for 8 and a chance to visit the buffet and purchase wine by the glass from the bar. While the performers were excellent, much of it happened closer to terra ferma than we expected, so we missed a great deal of it. It wasn't a bad evening, but we still felt it was pretty oversold in the flier.

Oh and there may have been the slight issue in determining where the event was held. The picture above tells you all about the event, but not where it is. Combing their site, I managed to determine where they were performing on December 31st, which just happened to be 37 blocks from the event we had tickets for and lucky us, having taken public transportation in to the city, we found ourselves in a mini-predicament. All that got sorted out with an inexpensive cab ride, though it did put us pretty far from any means of getting home again. Oh, and we'd been warned that starting at about 9PM it would be about a 2-3 hour wait for a cab if we needed it, so if we wanted to take a cab back to the train, we were probably out of luck. Ooops.

Once seated, Leo took to procuring wine and I met our new friends.

That adorable couple would be Erica and Larry. It's a good thing they are gregarious because I am one of those shy folks who probably wouldn't have said a word if they hadn't been so outgoing. That would have been my loss because they are delightful dinner companions.

Most of the evening's performances were set to tango-like music.

Though, I swear, one piece was done to an instrumental version of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters."

After dinner, there was a tango lesson. I did manage to guilt Leo into a few minutes of dancing with me. But when he lost interest, I began my rounds as the dance floor floozy; dancing with both dance instructors, some old Russian man named Alex, whose wife was getting pointers from one of the instructors, and finally a last dance with Larry, who had taken pity on me and my dance addiction. But I can stop any time. I can.

While watching some more floor shows, we heard a rushed "Four...Three...Two...ONE!" and realized it was now officially 2007 in our time zone.

A big wet smooch and hug and then we bid 2006 a fond farewell.

At this point, we began scheming about our plans to get home. Do we see if we can catch a bus back downtown? Do we even know which direction downtown is? Can we walk to a train station? None of that was necessary, instead, Larry and Erica invited us to join them for wine at their place and we jumped at the chance. They'd been so much fun to talk to AND they'd get us close to public transportation and cabs. What good fortune for us.

They have the most lovely and immaculate place in the Pearl. Did I mention is was also impeccably clean? Dear lord! I can understand having your place in order when you plan to invite folks over, but who the hell has their house that perfect just for normal every day living? Damn them!

We kept them up for another few hours, Erica and I talking fondly of road trips and pets, the guys discussing, who-knows-what.

At nearly 3AM, we decided we'd imposed ourselves long enough and began our voyage back to little Panda and the warmth of our home sweet home. But I don't think that's the last we'll see of them.

It may not be what we expected but it was a great way to start the year.

January 10, 2007

We interupt this regularly scheduled lunch break to bring you...WEATHER

How can you tell the recent transplant from LA to Oregon? She's the one, in her jammies, taking picture of precipitation. It's ridiculous, really, I grew up with this stuff but after 6 years of eternal sunshine, there is something a bit novel about it.

First thing this morning, Leo scraped the frozen snowy slush off his windshield, while Panda and I watched from the front window, remaining toasty and warm.

But it was NOTHING compared to the 30 minutes of frozen rainy, hail stuff that we just got.

Panda is annoyed that I'm asking her to sit for this picture when she could be romping and smelling said rain.



It looks like it would hurt, but it's really like little fluffy snowballs; very light and quick to melt.


And as soon as it started, it was done. The sun is beaming now and most of what came down has melted away.
This is winter I can live with.

January 16, 2007

Haystack Rock

We've driven to Cannon Beach on several occasions in the past, but have always entered on the northern side at Ecola Park.

Here's a little Google Map satellite view of our normal route. The water line has been really high lately so there's normally not this much sand, but you get the idea.

Sunday, we went this route in hopes of finally getting to see that rock we're always taking pictures of.

Well, the day could not have been more beautiful and we have the pictures to prove it.

See them all here.

And if you want a little laugh, check out Panda's diversion, en route to the beach, after the bump.

Continue reading "Haystack Rock" »

February 7, 2007

Another great day at the beach

You may all be getting sick of Cannon Beach pictures, but we never get sick of going, and, of course, it's Panda's most favorite place, being so full of water, sand and fetch. What's so great is that the beach is clean, there are hardly any crowds and there seems to be minimal rip current to pull our cutie pup under the waves.

We are continuing our quest south down the beach, this time starting from haystack rock. You can see all the pictures from the beach, by going to this page.

Beach going is one part sight seeing to two parts fetch.

A stick carved by some sort of wood loving creepy crawly.



Fetch!


The mist rising up around Haystack rock. This time the tide was too high to reach the rock without aid of some sort of kayak or large burly man to carry you.



Fetch!


Seagulls walking along the beach.



Fetch and resting with the squirrel until someone throws it again.

It's all very tiring yet satisfying work, as I'm sure you can imagine. However, there are risks. Getting to this tree stump was far easier than getting away.


There was no water near that thing when he climbed up. We weren't sure if he'd make it home or if we'd just have to leave him there.
He planned, though, since he had the car keys, we decided to wait out the flood.

March 6, 2007

How many apples to keep the vet away?

00001atthevetAt the vet

Panda recently had her first visit to her new vet. As you can see, she is not so big a fan of places like the vet, where there is this "indoor" thing that is not home and there are no waves or trees or squirrels to chase. For the most part, as we expected, she is healthy and happy and well. However, she's an aggressive bone chewer and had cracked a few teeth. The vet needs to clear away some plaque to see how bad they are cracked, and possible may need to extract the back teeth. All this requires Panda be put under. Eeesh! While the Vet feels comfortable that this is pretty standard surgery and should not be a big problem, Leo and I are, of course, nervous about her being anesthetized.

What are we to do? Why, spoil her rotten before the surgery, of course! There is no better way to do this than with lots of walks and a trip to cannon beach.

It's a picture heavy post, so I've placed all the images after the jump.

 

 

 

Continue reading "How many apples to keep the vet away?" »

March 28, 2007

What the daffodilly-o?

Ahh, is there anything more bad-ass than a 30-something suburbanite using antiquated slang in a punny fashion? I say not.

In keeping with my focus on deadline work and therefore, decided lack of crafty goodness, I bring Portland in spring. It's a beautiful thing that even my spangly new birthday camera cannot do justice to. It doesn't stop me from trying, though.



Lovely trees in bloom, in shades of white and pink



Daffodils and little fragrant white flowers that have appeared in our yard. The daffodils are everywhere in our yard, but these little white flowers stand alone in our vast backyard with no kindred neighbors. We have no idea from where it came.




Gorgeous red tulips grow like weeds in front of our house. Where are my wooden clogs when I need them? We can't wait to see what other flowers pop up in our yard.






Of course, I can't post about the joys of spring without a picture, or three, of Panda romping in the yard. Can you believe we (meaning, Leo) cut the lawn just over a week ago? Granted, it was cut long, but still, that's some good growth in a week.

April 2, 2007

Lacking the requisite fear for survival

Well, it was another truly lovely weekend here in Portland. At some point, am I supposed to stop liking this place? It hasn't happened yet. There just always seems to be something fun to do

On Friday,we celebrated Larry and Erica's 1st wedding anniversary. Their 12th (going steady?) anniversary is in May. This means that I must joke that they are newlyweds all night, because that never gets old.

When Leo and I arrived at the restaurant, Erica and Larry were well into their celebration. We agreed that all of us (except Erica) would have some super hot oyster shooters. Yum but with a long and painful burn. Leo, he of little forethought, ordered two for himself and realized the second would only add to his current level of pain.

On Sunday, we went back to Cannon Beach to give Panda some much needed running around. We go for walks during the week, but nothing takes the place of running around the beach for a few hours. This is also when we get to the part of the story where I explain the title, but before we go there, I must show the obligatory scenic shots. To save load time on the home page, all the pictures are in the extended entry, after the jump.

Continue reading "Lacking the requisite fear for survival" »

April 11, 2007

Water a-fallin'

Leo, Panda and I went on an amazing hike and beautiful drive, this past Saturday. Our original intention was to go to Mt Hood and enjoy its splendor, but we got sidetracked and by sidetracked I mean that Leo didn't believe the maps, GPS, or various signs on the road, that Mt Hood was that-a-way, not this-a-way. But who cares, where we ended was more beautiful than I could have hoped.

It was rainy and cloudy, but hardly a drop fell while we hiked and no one, not even Miss Pukey Pants herself, got sick in the car. In my book, that's a winner of a day, all around.

Want to see a bunch of the pictures (not all, I took nearly 200)? If so, just clicky right here.

May 7, 2007

It took just over a week

I've been bracing myself for a month or two of unrest in the home. It's been manageable, with Thea being more than happy to persist at harassing her sister and Panda being even more than happy to tell her to shove it where the sun don't shine. Panda has occasionally agreed to allow the little one to sit near her and has moments where she forgets herself and plays with Thea for a few minutes, but for the most part, it's been mostly the cold shoulder.

Then I went out of town for a couple days, for some personal business. I came home, and something clicked, suddenly, the girls were playing...together...with each other even. I don't know if it was the excitement of having me come home or if about a week was all they needed. Either way, it's a beautiful thing to see them happy together.

To celebrate, we took the little fur balls to Frog Lake up in the Mt Hood region.


Border Collies + Snow = Good old fashion fun

See all the pictures of the trip to the lake here and see all the pictures of Panda and Thea playing, by clicking here.

May 15, 2007

Konichiwa Crochet

I'm almost always a guest, never a host. Our home is small and lacking in furniture and it's not just anyone I'd subject to a single small (very small) bathroom shared between three adults. But when Julia said she'd be in town for work, I vacuumed up the dog hair and gave the tub an extra scrub. We had us a guest in town!

Recently, Julia has decided to learn crochet in earnest and her enthusiasm is infectious. On a recommendation we found our way to a huge Japanese market replete with...wait for it...a Japanese BOOK STORE. Great googily moogily! Their selection of crochet books was small but packed full of goodness.

There may have also been some shopping at a couple LYSs and the opportunity to meet a really great blogger and designer. Have yarn, will craft, and there was no dearth of that. In the 3 days that Julia and I spent together, not a single solitary picture was taken until the third and final day. Luckily for you, it was the most photogenic day of the lot.

Early that day, we packed the car up for a trip to Horsetail falls. If you read my non-crafty posts, you may remember our last visit, not too long ago.

The day was perfect for hiking. It was a little cool, but not so much as to require substantial outerwear. The sun was out but shaded by some light and poofy clouds. Didn't we agree they were Stradivarius clouds or were they igneous, Julia?

Leo was doggy wrangler for the day. It's no small feat to keep two dogs from intertwining on leash especially when one of them is just a pup. They were each other's yin and yang. Panda would duck every time someone would try to pet her. She wanted nothing more than solitude from everyone she didn't know. Thea, on the other hand, wanted to jump all over every person and dog we passed (and there were many people celebrating Mother's day by hiking on these beautiful trails). Between these two extremes was our handsome hero, dragging one girl ahead and holding another back. Me thinks we have some more training to do.

On the drive home, I crocheted from my new Japanese crochet book. This little wonder is chock full of sweet motifs. While the book is all in Japanese, everything is charted which makes them delightful to use. The yarn? My lovely peachy Merino/viscose handspun, from Chameleon Colorworks. The viscose gives a subtle sheen and the brilliant dyeing gives depth to the simple colorway. When you see the yarn, it's clear the spinning is average, at best, but the fiber was so beautiful to start with that I can't help but be proud of the final product.

Blocked, the finished pieces look like snowflakes.
What am I going to do with them? Perhaps a doggy babushka.

Perhaps not.
I have more — what's the word — sane ideas. I don't have enough yardage to do a whole garment in this yarn (unless I want to go particularly scantily clad) but it could be paired with another handspun or store bought yarn in some creative way. All that is still in deliberation.

After our long hike and short ride home, I took a marathon nap and then arose with ample time to join Julia at Lake Park for a photo shoot. I'll leave those pictures for her to post. Instead, check out the fresh batch of ducky goodness from the same outing.

They can give me avian flu, any old day. I just want to scoop them up and snuggle them.

And now, Julia is back at home with all her fur balls. And all that's left is the now deflated air mattress where she was set up. Thea payed homage to Miss Tuna in Julia's absence. I think that's Thea's way of saying she was glad to meet her.

It was a great weekend and I hope there will be more like it soon. And someday, we'll own a house with more than one bathroom and a proper spare bedroom. I'm dreamin' big, baby.

June 3, 2007

All day on the coast

This weekend is the annual celebration of the day a certain someone was born, though he doesn't like it spoken about so shhhhhhhhhhhhh. Certain someone requested we go back to the beach for some good family fun.

We've been to Manzanita Beach, and we have been to Ecola and Cannon Beaches many times but this time, we decided to try Hug Point, located between the two.

We arrived at Hug Point, around 11AM, and the temperature was cool, a nice change from the unseasonably high temperatures we've had in Portland, over the past week. There was a wedding reception at the beach, but we tucked around the corner and found a lovely area to play with the girls.

0154hug.jpg 0159hug.jpg 0168hug.jpg 0170hug.jpg

The beach is beautiful but explorers beware! One could easily get trapped when the tide comes in. I don't think the girls would have minded, but we sure would have.

0183hug.jpg 0192hug.jpg 0198hug.jpg 0212hug.jpg

When our tummies started to complain it was lunch time, we packed up to go back to Cannon Beach for a bite to eat. After filling up on diet food (read: fries, burgers, ribs, bacon, and guacamole) we talked about wandering over to the beach for another quick romp before heading home. As merely a whim, we thought it might be fun to head just north a bit and see if we could find another beach.

Continue reading "All day on the coast" »

July 2, 2007

September Glow

Well, El Matchador has been purring like a kitten and helped me produce another little skein of delicious yarn.

septemberglow_skein.jpg

Specs

  • Fiber: 90% Cotswold / 10% Silk (the white bits)
  • From: Nistock Farms.
  • Color: September Glow: Shades of gingerbread cookies with orange and raspberry sorbet.
  • WPI: About 20. It's a little inconsistent, leaning mostly a bit lighter, though some areas are a little thicker. The silk also tends to form nubs.
  • Length: Over 225 yards.
  • Spun on: Schacht Matchless wheel (El Matchador to you)
  • Plies: 2, plied off of two bobbins until one ran out, then switched to Andean plying to avoid waste.
  • Impressions: I just love spinning this fiber. The batts are well prepared with only the smallest amounts of vegetable matter. The fiber is not too slippery, and has a lovely sheen. It's not really next to the skin soft, but it's not all that rough either. The colors are divine. I'm looking forward to spinning up more.

septeberglow_closeup.jpg

For the first time, I have washed but not weighted my yarn. This skein did get a rather good beating against the pole, but otherwise, she is unmanipulated. Apparently, there are two rather strong camps on this topic. Some people are weighers and some are not. I imagine there are good reasons for both. If I had to guess as to why you shouldn't weigh, it would be that weighing might give a false sense of balance that would then be undone the next wash the yarn (probably in knit or crochet form) went through. But that's just a guess. What do you all have to say? Anyway, after soaking in some warm water and Eucalan, and a couple thwacks before it dries, the yarn seems pretty darn balanced.

septemberglow_hanging.jpg

Recently June posted about Spinning Spider Jenny. If you haven't found her, and you are a spinner, go find her now. She's a wealth of information. Jenny happened to post about her method of 2-plying. Alas, I didn't read it until mere hours after I had completed my yarn, but next time I'm definitely going to try this method. It seems rather like common sense but it's sheer brilliance to me.

In entirely unrelated news, we found another great hiking site for the girls, and this is only 5 minutes from home!

IMG_0064.jpg

There's a lovely place called MacLeay Park (I like to think it's a typo and should actually end in an "n" instead of "y.") in Portland that feels like its 100 miles from the closest city.

IMG_0083.jpg

It was a gorgeous day, though perhaps a bit hotter than we are all used to. Thank goodness we've evolved so as not to be covered in hair. How do dogs do it? It's funny, though, both girls showed some unexpected personality changes that day.

Thea, our normally fearless (seriously) hero, decided that wooden bridges were the scariest thing EVER.
IMG_0132.jpg
With a little coaxing and encouragement, she got a bit better, a good thing, because we crossed a good many of them, but she definitely wasn't loving them. Each time we'd reach one, she'd pull on the emergency break, I'd run across the bridge and call her and she'd muster up her courage and then bolt across. Silly monkey.


And Ms. Panda, our normally indifferent and withdrawn wallflower, suddenly decided she needed to keep an eye on Thea and defend her against dominant (not aggressive, dominant) dogs.
IMG_0123.jpg
She was fine with this little ball of happiness, but Panda tried to get a little b*tchy with some other bigger dogs. That's definitely something we're going to have to work on. We definitely don't want a dog that's going to be picking fights. That's no fun.

But don't let those two issues lead you to believe we didn't have a great time. It was gorgeous. You can see all of the photos from the hike here.

July 5, 2007

Seeing spots and colors

Ahh, independence day, the one day when Leo's interests and Panda's are at complete odds with each other. Leo regales me with stories from his childhood that prove that the fates love drunks and children. When the words, "made our own" and "fireworks" are strung together, I can only shake my head and be glad he has, allegedly, grown out of that phase.

While California and Oregon seem to have similar limitations on fireworks; namely that the general public can't buy things that go flying off tither and yon, Southern California is far more flammable than Portland and I think people are more reluctant to send sparks about the kindling that is their back yard. Additionally, we now live in a quiet little suburb where there is very little nightly traffic. Throughout the neighborhood, one could hear and see the assortment of volcanic light displays and sparklers, individuals were setting off in the street.

IMG_0101.JPG IMG_0142.JPG

So while this was not Panda's first 4th of July, it was definitely one of her worst. Add to the noise, the relatively warm temperatures (close to 90) and it made for one unhappy dog. Thea, on the other hand, seemed a little put out by the loudest noises but was otherwise indifferent to the whole thing.

And since lots of people will be posting fireworks today, how about some cute dog shots.

IMG_0046.JPG

Here's Thea showing off her fresh crop of spots. She used to be almost completely white.

IMG_0034.JPG

And my beautiful girls basking in the sun.

IMG_0054.JPG

And Thea bringing on the cute, full force.

July 8, 2007

She works hard for the yummies

The heat eased off for the weekend and we put the great weather to good use. On Saturday, Leo lit up the barbecue and cooked us a delicious meal. The girls watched on as we filled our bellies.

justresting2.jpg

Afterwards, we cut up a few little scraps and did some training with them. Panda shows her well honed skills by balancing a piece of meat on her nose until Leo gave her the OK to eat it.

sheworkshardfortheyummies.jpg

Thea didn't have much interest in doing that trick.

trying_butnotquite.jpg


We had her work on some easier things after that.

Then we moved to some chores. I took the kitchen while Leo started the lawn mowing. After a few minutes, Leo said he needed some assistance and I met him outside to see him hosing off his bloodied-OHMYGODWHATHAPPENED-leg. While mowing, the lawnmower kicked up a spring that had been buried in the ground, honed it to a fine point and hurled it at his leg. He was wearing pants, which appear to have more tensile strength than his flesh as the pants are unmarred but he got himself a pretty fine little hole that bled like the dickens. He's fine and will be seeing the doctor tomorrow to be sure. Still, all that blood. Even if you think you want to see how it looked, you probably shouldn't click this. If you did, though, you can see the offending object as well.

But Leo is never one to let an oozing wound stop him from having a good time. Today, we made our way over to Manzanita Beach, but before we hit the ocean, we stopped into our favorite breakfast locale for some Eggs Benedict. Actually, we split one order of Eggs Bennie and one of Crab Cakes Benedict which is just like Benny but with a crab cake swapped out for the ham.

IMG_0001.jpg


Oh mama!

The girls did really wonderfully at the beach and are playing together more and more.

IMG_0044.jpg

Panda made some great catches and Thea was her normal social and adorable self. You can click any of these pictures to go to my flickr page and see all the other shots.

IMG_0067.jpg

Alas, condolences are in order. The poor faithful squirrel was lost at sea today. We all bowed our heads in respect before moving on, since, well, we have 2 more at home. I just hope that some lucky dog ends up getting it when it eventually washes ashore.

Goodbye Squirrel
2006-2007

August 12, 2007

Like we needed an excuse

Our backyard is elevated slightly, and surrounded by a short rock wall. You can see what I mean here. Instead of taking the stairs up and down, to get to the grassy area, Panda likes to simply leap.

Well, yesterday, Panda misjudged the wall a bit and slammed her front paw very hard on one of the protruding rocks. She stopped dead in her tracks.

I called out, "Panda, are you OK?"

She looked at me, limped over to me, sat, and held her paw up. My heart just sank. She looked so so sad. Of course, I showered her with kisses and coos and scratched her head.

After determining that no bones were broken and that the cuts were largely just surface abrasions, I lead her back out, slowly, to do her business and then brought her in to take a closer look at the damage.

IMG_0007.JPG

See those red marks? Poor thing. Just breaks my heart.

Leo suggested that this was as good an excuse as any to pack up the girls and take them to the beach. It would take Panda's mind off of any discomfort and they were really getting stir crazy, anyway.

Our first stop was in Manzanita. The wind was intense but that never phases the little ones.

IMG_0101.JPGIMG_0064.JPG


Panda showed no signs of even remembering she had hurt her foot. She didn't limp, didn't shy away from the water and had a great time, so we decided to keep going.

We headed south, following the ocean, and ended up at Manhattan Beach. There was far less wind and we were able to find a nice spot to play fetch with the pups.

IMG_0184.JPG

It was all fun and games until the little stink pot decided she'd rather run off and play with other people, instead of hanging out with us.

IMG_0204.JPG

Leo had a talk with her...

IMG_0234.JPG

But you know how adolescents can be.

After that, we decided to explore a bit more. We ended up at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company, which also boasted a petting zoo, wine tasting, chocolates and other sundries. We bought some cheese, wine and baguette, and headed back north, towards home.

IMG_0320.JPG

But not before another detour to Manzanita...

IMG_0346.JPG

As the sun was starting to set, Leo thought it would be fun to put some of our food to good use and suggested a picnic. We headed over to Cannon Beach, picked up a beach blanket, and caught the last few glimmers of daylight, over a couple sips of wine and cheese.

IMG_0395.JPG

Since we had a bit of a drive, we didn't really have much wine, but we put a nice dent on the bread and cheese. YUM. And unlike So Cal, where you have to pay to use beaches that allow camp fires and late night picnics, Cannon Beach was alight with fires set by families keen to roast marshmallows and make the most of the gorgeous evening.

IMG_0414.JPG

After it got dark, we reluctantly packed up for the trip home and we listened to Harry Potter XII doh! VII the whole way.

I would say that's a most excellent way to coddle a doggy's boo boo. See more pictures over at Flickr. Leo's already declared that we'll be doing many more beach picnics in the future.


August 27, 2007

A sort of anniversary

A year ago today, Julia and I were in the redwoods on our way from LA to Portland, Oregon.
I had just spent a month away from Panda and Leo, who'd moved up to Portland to start his new job.

After a couple weeks at Julia's house, and much planning we hit the road for our scenic and spinny adventure. There is no event quite like a road trip to get one past the "close acquaintance" stage right to friend. It's hard not to bust out laughing as we regale ourselves and anyone else who will listen, with stories from our adventures.

I'll forever hold a warm space in my heart for the Ravenwood, even though there was no running water when we awoke.

And I still remember the gorgeous fog over the ocean, surrounded by redwoods. Who wouldn't bust out into full dorkatude?

We nearly skipped Crater Lake, after some set backs and delays, but we made it and it's as breathtaking as everyone says it is.

And best of all, I have been able to live in beautiful Portland, Oregon. I love it up here, though I miss all my friends in LA. Julia makes for a great road trip companion and I would do it again in a heartbeat.


I've been doing a bit more than my usual reading and all of it has been good, so I thought I'd share my recommendations.

On the nightstand


fsm.jpg guardsguards.jpg


Actually, that's not the current cover for SI. The current one covers AIDS deniers. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a real hoot and sure to offend almost anyone. I'm glad to call myself a Pastafarian, rAmen! Guards Guards is currently my top reading to keep me from reading too much of what I'm...

...Savoring


hpVII.jpg


Need I say more? I don't want it to end.

Recently finished


sciencegoodevil.jpg middlesex.jpg skeptic.jpg


I really love Michael Shermer's books and articles and The Science of Good and Evil is no exception. He's also the publisher of Skeptic, to which I subscribe.
My mother lent me Middlesex and it was indeed funny, touching, thoughtful and moving. I generally shy away from books that are highly publicized and I'm not a fan of all of Oprah's suggestions, (yes, I'm one of those wet blankets who isn't into the whole The Secret phenomenon.*) but this book is definitely worth a read.




* That is, I don't believe in a magical force that brings luck and money to people who really want it.
However there is evidence to suggest that people who believe they are lucky are more likely to do things like enter drawings and raffles or build their social and business network which can result in more fortunate outcomes.

September 3, 2007

Lovely long weekend

Leo and I have put this labor day weekend to good use, if I do say so myself. Since we are renting a house, it's always a struggle to decide how much time and money we should invest in beautification of our humble abode. It's a great little place, but after years of being rented, there's a lot that has gone neglected. This is not the loving little first home, it was originally built to be, but a way point in the lives of folks like Leo and me. Still, never one to shy away from a little hard work, Leo has decided we should get things tidied up, so on Saturday and Monday, we shoveled, we weeded, we hauled masses of toppled brick and we planted a little flower garden that we hope we'll stick around long enough to see bloom once, and only once, before buying our own home. But Sunday, we put aside our shovels and spades and seeds and bulbs and packed up our car for a trip to Manzanita Beach.

On the way, we listened to Harry Potter and I got in a little knitting.

IMG_0110.JPG


This skirt remains my one mindless piece of knitting, that I can plug away on when I don't want to have to worry about row counters and lace patterns and other distractions.

We were expecting some serious crowds at the beach, and places like Cannon Beach and Hug Point, were, indeed, crowded, but Manzanita proved to be an ideal spot. While there were many people, we never felt crowded or cramped.

IMG_0068.JPG

The girls had a wonderful time and Thea is really starting to come into her own. Slowly, Thea is building her recall and we are able to keep her off leash for longer without incident. She's still so filled with social excitement that I wouldn't trust her implicitly, the way I do Panda, but she's proving to be a wonderful little girl.

IMG_0107.JPG

After a quick stop over at Blue Heron to pick up some provisions, we went back to Manzanita and set up camp. We are currently conducting reconnaissance in preparation for a bigger excursion with our friends; Erica and Larry and Jackie and her pup Tulip.

IMG_0124.JPG

Leo is in charge of setting up the fire.

IMG_0139.JPG

I am in charge of proving that pups will do almost anything for salami.

IMG_0133.JPG

Thea was a little scared of the fire at first. Can you see her hiding behind the log?

IMG_0145.JPG

But she came around after a little while.

IMG_0162.JPG

We attempted to take a family portrait, by way of self timer.

IMG_0165.JPG

Twas not so successful.

IMG_0225.JPG

And as the sun set and the air got a little cooler, my ample tush proved excellent insulation for the not-so-little one.

See more pictures over at Flickr.

September 24, 2007

Back to our old selves

It's so nice to be back to normal. We went for our first hike since Thea's surgery and it was beautiful.

The air in Portland has gotten a nice coolness that makes exercising and hiking, a real pleasure. The leaves are just starting to turn and the skies have been partly cloudy, which suits my light sensitive eyes, just fine.

We decided to keep our adventure local and hit MacLeay park again. On our last hike there, we hit the lower trail. It's a relatively easy hike down and then a mostly flat hike to the end which is paved and handicapped accessible.

On this trip, we hit the Upper MacLeay trail which intersects a myriad of other trails. I have a feeling we could do a month of weekend hikes and never take the same route twice. The trail proved to be a nice little workout for the lot of us.

The girls were antsy to get started.

IMG_0011.JPG

And Leo needed to get the GPS set and grab the bear grade pepper spray

IMG_0014.JPG

But once we got started, we all admired the sights.

IMG_0056.JPG

There was one moment when Leo thought he was going to have to actually use his pepper spray.

IMG_0066.JPG


These two dogs came barreling at us, full speed, and growling, while we were walking around the neighborhood. Neither was on leash and both were giving our girls the hairy eyeball. The owner made a futile attempt to call them back.

I'm not sure if their intention had ever been to do more than make a little scene, but it all could have ended pretty unpleasantly if we hadn't diffused the situation. Leo and I both got between her dogs and ours and Thea eventually won everyone over with her cuteness.

The owner never did bother to come over and get her dogs, she just stood a block away and called them. I find that rather disconcerting, but perhaps I'm a touch over protective.

In the end, it all ended up fine and Thea was more worn out than we've seen her in weeks.

IMG_0081.JPG


If that isn't the happiest site you know, you don't have a high energy dog.

See the rest of the pictures, over in my flickr set.

October 22, 2007

Distraction

Thank you all for your very kind words, sympathies, stories and thoughts. I've read every comment twice and they make me remember how lucky I am to have family that loves me and whom I love in return.

It's the wet season, here in Portland and the weekend was mostly rainy and overcast, interspersed with beautiful sunny moments. It suited my contemplative mood.

On Saturday, we took the girls for a walk around our neighborhood and enjoyed the fall foliage. I think the cost of having dogs should be covered by medical insurance. Panda and Thea never cease to make me laugh, no matter the circumstances.

IMG_0030.JPG IMG_0006.JPG IMG_0013.JPG

On Sunday, we headed to Cannon Beach, for a breakfast of Crabcakes Benedict and a long run on the beach. It was a bit cold and rainy, which didn't make for great photos, but the girls couldn't have been happier and the evening of quiet and calm snuggling on the couch meant that everyone was feeling peaceful.

IMG_0080.JPG

IMG_0082.JPG

I guess for me, losing someone ultimately makes me more resolved to value those who are still with me and I think this weekend suited that goal.

I have lots of less depressing stuff to blog soon, including a new knit in progress, and interview with Donna Druchunas, and some more photos of Giselle.

November 11, 2007

Snow

We drove to Mt. Hood today.

IMG_0036.JPG


It's hard to take a bad picture of such a beautiful mountain, but with the bright blue sky, it was all the more gorgeous.


IMG_0011.JPG


The girls were anxious to get to our destination.


IMG_0060.JPG IMG_0047.JPG


We went to Timberline and hiked up one of the trails. There wasn't that much snow so the skiing was sparse, but there were quite a few people hiking and sledding near the base of the trail.


IMG_0028.JPG


Panda mostly wanted to roll in the snow. The deeper the snow, the happier she was.


IMG_0122.JPG


Thea wanted to run around like a maniac and eat snow.

A truly fabulous outing.

See all the pictures here.

November 20, 2007

Hey everybody, you're invited to a grafting party.

With puppy chaser at the end.

I recently posted the shameful state of a piece I was working on, for a book. When last we saw this project, I had detached the sleeve, from below the cap, held it on a spare needle and ripped back the sleeve cap, so that I could remove the extra rows from one of the front sections of the garment.

After fixing the front, I picked up and reknit the sleeve cap.

09-Sleeve Cap Reknit


I moved the live stitches to circulars so I wouldn't have to deal with so many needles. This picture was taken en route to the ocean. The picture quality goes WAAAAY downhill from here. I apologize, but frankly, as much as I love you all, I'm not going to wait for a sunny day to get this issue fixed up.


I cut a tail long enough to go around the sleeve about 4 times. Aligning the sleeve with sleeve cap, I started grafting.

10-Begin grafting


There's a great tutorial here, if you've never tried grafting before.


Every few inches, I took a look at the row of grafting to assess the tension.

11-Check tension as you go


It can be ugly, no?


To fix, I just use my tapestry needle to ease the yarn out towards the unworked stitches.

11-Adjust tension


Sometimes I'd go back and adjust a couple times in the same spot, but I never lost my mind over it. The wool content of the yarn should allow me to ease out minor inconsistencies in the blocking stage.


The work went pretty quickly. Here, I'm nearly done.

12- nearly done


What can I say, I rather like grafting.


Once all was done, the work looked pretty much good as new.

13-Fin


Let's close this out with that puppy chaser I promised.

IMG_0084.jpg IMG_0079.jpg

See all the pics from our trip to the beach on Sunday, here.

November 23, 2007

A totally traditional Thanksgiving

The other day, we went to the grocery store to get t-day supplies. The thing is, the meat section smelled liked an outhouse. We decided not to get a turkey there. We meant to get one elsewhere, but that didn't happen.

That's OK, because we didn't really think we'd be cooking on the holiday. Instead, we made plans to meet up with some of our friends for some fun on the beach with the pups.

The day was perfect. The sun was shining, the air was crisp and cool and without any wind. Lovely day. The only problem is that Panda was getting over a cold and Leo decided that we couldn't risk her getting worse.

IMG_0009.JPG


I can't believe I'm writing this, but Panda had to -- *sob* -- stay home. I still feel guilty.

Larry, Erica, Leo, Thea, and I, made our way to the Oregon coast. We started our day with breakfast. I, of course, had the Crabcakes Benny.

Then, we headed over to Seaside for a bit of fetch.

Larry threw the squirrel.

IMG_0034.JPG

Leo threw the squirrel.

IMG_0039.JPG

Erica threw the squirrel.

IMG_0070.JPG


Thea is a very happy pup. And heck, we're just happy that our friends want to entertain the little beast a bit.

Thea started to slow down some, until she met this beautiful dog, Cocoa.

IMG_0101.JPG


Much chasing ensued.


We headed up to Ecola State Park and saw an Elk along the way.

IMG_0106.JPG


She was just hanging out in someone's yard. Erica said the rest of the herd were on the other side of the road, but we didn't notice.


At Ecola, we enjoyed the scenery.

IMG_0153.JPG

I don't think it gets much more beautiful than this.

IMG_0154.JPG

I really do wish that Panda had been in this picture. I guess we'll just have to drag Larry and Erica out again for another romp on the beach.

Before we called it quits, we dropped by Manzanita, to ensure a thoroughly pooped pup.

We met the first dog ever who didn't fall madly in love with Thea.

IMG_0174.JPG


This little Italian Greyhound puppy sought the security of humans to save him from Thea. Don't you just want to scoop him up kiss his little cheek?

There are tons more pictures over here, if you want to see them.



After a little more play, we all headed home, with a quick stop for coffee and pie on the way. Once home, I cooked up some mashed potatoes and stuffing, to round out the day. Hey, I told you it was a totally traditional Thanksgiving.

Hope that wherever you are, you had as lovely a day as I did. Next time, though, I want Panda there too.

November 28, 2007

What I did with my long weekend

I know I'm a little late to be reporting about my weekend. But these pictures are making me happy right now and I want to share.

I finally finished the piece I've been knitting for Donna Druchunas' upcoming book. We were all asked to incorporate one of Dorothy Reade's lace patterns into an original design. I love this sort of challenge. I find I'm far more creative when I have some sort of rule or limitation.

Finished_Donna_Design.jpg

I wish I could show you the whole thing but this teaser will have to do for now. The yarn is Lorna's Laces, Lion and Lamb. And the wee buttons? Those are vintage. I just love old buttons. I've been slowly amassing (maybe more of an "asmattering") a little collection of vintage buttons.

Completing this piece basically frees me of all deadline knitting. There is actually one other small item I need to knit but it's, as I said, small and I expect it to be rather fun, too.

I do have a substantial amount of pattern writing to do now, though. It's never as much fun as the designing and knitting but I guess it's what they pay me for, right?


On Saturday, Leo and I walked around downtown Portland a bit. We live about 10 minutes from downtown, but for the sake of our savings accounts, we don't go terribly often.

Obviously, most shops were a mob scene, this weekend, but we weren't terribly bothered by it. The air was crisp, there was no rain and very little wind. Just gorgeous.

I love how the sidewalks get stained by the fallen leaves.

portland_sidewalk2.jpg


Hi, I'm the weird girl who photographs the sidewalk, how are you today?

When one stops staring at her toes, the stuff higher up looks pretty darn nice too.

IMG_0009.jpg


Check out THAT hottie.

December 10, 2007

Raw fish and Santas Everywhere

What a great weekend. On Saturday night, Leo and I started our evening with the most delicious sushi. It has been so long since I had a really good sushi meal, I was starting to think I didn't care for sushi anymore. This restaurant, Hiroshi, is in the Pearl district and open for very limited hours. We had attempted to try this restaurant on several previous occassions, to no avail and were starting to think that nothing could live up to the hype, but we were wrong.

Oh, I wish we had a proper camera with us so I could show you some shots that would do this sushi justice. Instead, you'll have to settle for shots off of Leo's iPhone.

Delicious sushi 1 Delicious sushi 2
I don't remember what these were called, but they were just two of
about 6 different rolls, nagiri and sashimi that we tried.

As Leo put it, it sort of makes everything else we've had in town taste like bait.

All of this just set the mood for an evening filled with drunken Santas.

SantaCon0018.JPG

There were hundreds of Santas in the city. It was unbelievable.

SantaCon0025.JPG

I think my favorite costume was this Leia/Anakin pair. Illogically fantabulous.

SantaCon0024.JPG

And of course, hundreds of Santas by a menorah just seems nearly poetic. I'm not sure what kind of poem but I think it might be a limerick.

I think we got the biggest laugh, though, out of this.

Dumbarse 02 Dumbarse 01

A couple of rocket scientists decided to double park their giant SUVs on the street car tracks during the normal hours of operation. The poor conductor had to get out of the street car and explain to the drivers why this was a poor parking solution. We couldn't hear what she said, but it didn't sound "I'm sorry Mr Conductor Sir, please, accept this gift of my first born child and a chocolate bar and do give my apologies to the passengers while I move my vehicle out of the way." So I can only conclude that she is a jackass, as is the second driver who was off puttering about in the building for several minutes longer. Feel free to disdain as you see fit.

December 17, 2007

A weekend of goodily goodness

Panda is today's Grown-Up Daily Pup.


*Sigh* I had so much fun this weekend that I'm all the more sad it's Monday. On Friday, Leo and I watched bad movies while I spun up my batt of sparkly BFL that I got from Amy back at the Fiber Frolic, in Maine.

sparkly2.jpg sparkly_withflash.jpg

Photos never do sparkly things justice, so take my word for it, when I say it looks lovely without being garish, almost like it was lightly sprinkled with silver dust. I spun the singles up and then plied it into a 3-ply using the Navajo plying method. The photos are pre-wash and thwack. I have about 98 yards of approximately DK weight yarn. I will definitely work this into something, but what, I'm not sure.


On Saturday night, we celebrated a friend's birthday by going out for dinner and playing pool...very very poorly. If any of you watch the American version of The Office, it's like when Kelly and Pam played ping-pong. That certainly didn't take away from the fun.
Actually, it probably made it more fun. The best part is, I got to flip off a hummer.

Awesome.


If that weren't all good enough, on Sunday, we packed up the girls (who were feeling plenty stir crazy with all the rain we've gotten) and headed to Mt. Hood for a good hike in the snow.

IMG_0119.JPG

IMG_0104.JPG

IMG_0097.JPG

IMG_0080.JPG

See all the pictures here.

December 26, 2007

Beautiful Christmas Day

Christmas day, we slept in late, then donned our winter wear for another trip to Mt Hood National Forest.

IMG_0015.JPG


Thea spent the whole ride there, looking out the back window. Whenever we'd stop, both girls would cry with excitement, hoping we'd be getting out and into the snow.

But our first stop wasn't for hiking, it was to put chains on the tires.

IMG_0027.JPG


Leo insisted he needed no help, so we stayed snuggly warm in the car while he worked his butt off.

We found a trail we hadn't been to before and began our hike. Leo and the girls went bounding off the trail for a little run and all found themselves hip deep in snow.

IMG_0056.JPG


Panda didn't seem to mind.

But Thea and Leo had a bit more struggle with it.

IMG_0067.JPG


Nope, he's not kneeling, he's nearly standing upright.

I don't think these other pictures need captions, except to say we had a most wonderful time.

IMG_0139.JPG

IMG_0144.JPG

IMG_0147.JPG

IMG_0146.JPG

IMG_0077.JPG

See lots more pictures here. Hope your Christmas was just as lovely.

January 21, 2008

It's about time

I'm embarrassed to admit that we have not done a doggy outing since our New Year's Eve road trip. And weather has been quite rainy here which means we really haven't done much of anything outside. The girls? They were pretty stir crazy.

IMG_0030.JPG

We were long overdue for a run on Cannon Beach, but not before stopping at our favorite breakfast locale for some crabcakes benny. Mmmmm, tastes like heart disease. Some folks can't turn down sweets, I can't turn down hollandaise sauce.

Next to our booth was placed an interesting little item. What do you think?

IMG_0040.JPG

For the low low price of $195, American, you too can own this ceramic center piece. We decided to pass on it.

Once we were sated, Leo brought a little bit of bacon and eggs out to the girls while I settled the bill. We were off to haystack rock.

Because it was such a beautiful day, the beach was just teeming with happy people and lots of pups. The waves were churning and the squirrel was a-flying.

IMG_0052.JPG

Thea fell in love with Cocoa, a cutie with a penchant for, um, let's call it "asserting himself" upon her. This was her first time dealing with such a pushy pup, and we were pleased to see that she handled herself well; setting boundaries without holding any grudges.

IMG_0125.JPG IMG_0146.JPG IMG_0171.JPG IMG_0172.JPG

Cocoa and Thea played for a long time, and Panda begrudgingly allowed him to join in with fetch, though when he attempted to get too friendly with Panda, she didn't hesitate to put him in his place. He didn't try that again. I'm pretty sure he said something about a "party poopers."

Eventually, Cocoa's parents had to leave, but we continued to enjoy the gorgeous day.

IMG_0218.JPG

If you aren't going to be able to get to the beach every weekend, you gotta make the visits count.

IMG_0210.JPG

It was wonderful having sun after so many rainy weekends.

IMG_0224.JPG

When the girls were finally showing the merest hint of slowing down, Leo decided we should walk over to Haystack Rock and do a little tide-pooling

IMG_0250.JPG

The anemones were all vivid pinks and shocking greens, and if you looked really carefully, you could find a few starfish hiding under rocks.

IMG_0261.JPG IMG_0270.JPG
IMG_0282.JPG

But all good things must come to an end, and as the clouds darkened the sky a bit and the temperature started to drop, we knew we'd have head home.

Our last sight, before leaving the coast was a few elk grazing lazily along the side of the highway.

IMG_0317.JPG

The girls slept the whole way.

IMG_0322.JPG

There was some knitting too. I'll post about that soon.

January 28, 2008

Snow shoes

IMG_0001.JPG

Leo got us snow shoes in hopes they'd help us keep up with the girls. You know what that means, right? It's time for another hike.

IMG_0004.JPG

We couldn't have picked a more challenging day to try out those snow shoes. The temperatures were just around the freezing mark, maybe a little bit warmer, so the snow was sticky, wet and great for such activities as snowball fights, snow men building and fort construction. Still, it produced the most unusual snow formations atop the trees. Check this out.

IMG_0110.JPG

Could that look any more like a bird's head?
For some reason, we found it exceedingly entertaining when Leo would risk his own safety and shake some of the smaller trees.

IMG_0119.JPG IMG_0120.JPG IMG_0126.JPG

And when I didn't properly catch the first dense block of compacted snow, hitting him on the head, he thought we should do it again.

And check this out.

IMG_0248.JPG

Panda and Thea walking right OVER Leo as he sticks his torso through a hole in this snow formation. Yes yes yes, we know that's not the most brilliant of plans, but it does make for a good picture.

We may have found it hard to hike this wet snow.

IMG_0010.JPG


However, the girls, as always, were in heaven.

It wasn't all laughs and good times. We've been up to the trails of Mt Hood a few times, and we've found that Oregonians are pretty welcoming of happy dogs. It's not unusual for playful pups to come careening around corners to play with our girls and vice versa. Unfortunately, this Saturday, we met the first person who did not share that puppy goodwill. Apparently, her dog was a little aggressive, so she had her dog on leash and when Thea went over to say hi, it caused the woman much consternation.

IMG_0068.JPG
An angry woman in red, mutters as she walks by Leo and Thea.

Leo grabbed Thea, to restrain her and as the woman walked by Leo, she let off with a string of colorful language, leaving no doubt about how she felt about me and my puppy parenting skills. I'm not saying I fault her, I can understand that she wants everyone to be in full control of their dogs at all times, it's just that we are used to people being a bit more lax with their pups. We decided to keep Thea on leash for a while, for good measure. That is, until this sweet lab came over to play.

IMG_0106.JPG

We let our little troublemaker off leash and she had herself a proper playful tussle. That's more like it.

We hiked a bit more and arrived at Twin Lakes, which is completely frozen over and covered in snow.

IMG_0137.JPG

It looks like such a barren wasteland, after hiking through the thick forest. I bet it's just gorgeous in the spring and summer.

We had ourselves a little lunch and played fetch with the girls' water bowl.

IMG_0155.JPG

Hiking back to the car was as much fun as hiking to the lake. It's hard work, slogging through the heavy snow, but we aren't the type to let that get the better of us. We just break out our thermos of hot chai and sit for a spell, when the mood suits us.

IMG_0218.JPG

Or lean back and watch the snow fall on our faces.

IMG_0262.JPG IMG_0260.JPG

In the end, the whole lot of us made it home exhausted, but happy.

While I'm still feeling the hike today, I can't wait to go back. Next time, I hope the snow's a little more powdery, but even if it isn't, this sort of workout beats the gym, any old day of the week.

See all the pictures here.

And since someone almost always asks, the harnesses that Panda and Thea are wearing, can be found here.

February 18, 2008

Fantastic Birthday Weekend

What a great weekend. It was really wonderful of the US government to make my birthday a national holiday, this year.

My birthday, itself, isn't much to talk about, unless you think it's fascinating that our washing machine is oozing some sort of oil and we went to Home Depot and bought a replacement. Also, there was some grocery shopping. But Friday and Saturday were many shades of good times.

It started with my dear friends throwing me a birthday party. There was homemade chili and guacamole....oooooh guacamole. I could write poetry about that treat, but it couldn't compare to the delight itself. Why more food isn't accompanied by guacamole, is beyond me.

What was I talking about?

Oh and there was a giant chocolate cake. Oh boy. Yah, it was a good party.

As the fete was coming to a close, my friends mentioned that they were going to the beach the next day and invited us to join.

After conferring with Panda, it was unanimous

IMG_0181.JPG


We'd jump at the chance to go.

We arrived at the coast, a while before the rest of the crew, so we hiked and played a bit, in hopes the girls might be a bit more manageable, when the rest of the folks arrived.

IMG_0059.JPG IMG_0067.JPG
IMG_0088.JPG IMG_0087.JPG

Panda is a super star!

IMG_0029.JPG

When our friends arrived, they were looking no worse for the wear, despite the fact that half of them were subjected to my amateur salsa lessons, the night before.

IMG_0166.JPG

Thea greeted the group, as she does best, cooter displayed for all to see.

IMG_0167.JPG

Larry and Thea had a little game of "catch me if you can."

IMG_0204.JPG

And then it was back to the business of walking around the beach.

IMG_0269.JPG

And walk we did. For hours, we explored tide pools and rocky outcropping, and, at one point, a local bakery.

We walked so much, we did this...

IMG_0277.JPG

We wore out a herding dog. Someone please alert the media.

Those Canadians are good.

IMG_0291.JPG

Also, apropos nothing, I decided to learn how to tat

IMG_0004.JPG

It was a little tough for me to get the technique to start, but now I'm finding it really enjoyable, and delightfully portable.

Anyway, see all the pictures of the beach trip here.

March 24, 2008

Easter weekend

With the patine cowl finished, I am now fully immersed in an unbloggable project (or two). But I think I can still find some useful blog fodder. I have some plans to do some more Excel for pattern writing posts, if that's something you guys like. And if I make good progress on the piece, I'll probably be doing some serious swatching for another personal (that is, blogable) design.

In the mean time, I leave you with some beachy cuteness from this weekend. See all the pictures, over on Flickr

IMG_0032.JPG
Panda: "Do I want a cookie? What sort of question is that?"
Thea: "Happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy."


IMG_0101.JPG
A refreshing dip on a gorgeous day.


IMG_0160.JPG
Pogo dog.


IMG_0164.JPG
Thea looks uncharacteristically serious.


IMG_0170.JPG
The girls at a down-stay, waiting for Leo to throw the squirrel.


IMG_0183.JPG
Exhausted puppies snuggle up for the ride home.

April 28, 2008

The leprechaun and the pot of gold at the end of the weekend

On Saturday we mowed the back lawn, and by "we" I mean Leo and by "back lawn" I mean an this...

IMG_0004.JPG


Um, yah, we're way overdue. And while the dandelions have a certain sweetness about them, I doubt our neighbors appreciated their contribution to their immaculate landscapes.

Thea loves it when Leo mows the lawn. The sound makes her all frisky and silly. Though she does miss the salad bar, when it's no longer so long and luxurious.

IMG_0015.JPG

After hours of backbreaking work, Thea was nowhere to be seen, but a wee little leprechaun had made her way into our yard.


IMG_0011.JPG

We thought it best to ply the lass with an appropriate libation.


IMG_0003.JPG

Panda is not so much a fan of the mowing. It didn't help that I was vacuuming inside. She was feeling pretty sad for herself.

To make it up to her and to get the green off the demon, we decided to go to the beach on Sunday.


Saturday had been gorgeous and sunshiny, while Sunday was a little more overcast with bits of rain, which was perfect, because the beaches were nearly empty.

IMG_0069.JPG


This picture feels like the opening to some sort of action/adventure movie.


IMG_0102.JPG


Thea, she's got crazy eyes.


IMG_0061.JPG


Panda finds her sister so exasperating, sometimes.


IMG_0098.JPG


Happiness is a romp in the water.


IMG_0157.JPG


And who can resist a sleepy dog face covered in sand?

June 9, 2008

Cheeky Monkey

Do you notice a trend here?

IMG_0118.JPG IMG_0120.JPG

IMG_0141.JPG

IMG_0142.JPG

IMG_0047.JPG

IMG_0070.JPG

See tons more pictures from our day trip to Manzanita, OR, here.

Oh and if you've ever wondered what it's like to hang out with the pups at the beach, you can check out this short video.

And I realize I really should have faded the music after the closing credit. Sorry for how jarringly the music stops at the end.

July 13, 2008

It's hot, let's hit the beach.

It's been in the 90s which was toasty when we were acclimated to life in LA, but is downright miserable now that we've become accustomed to Portland weather. The beach seemed a perfect way to cool off a bit.

IMG_0028.JPG IMG_0032.JPG
IMG_0036.JPG IMG_0056.JPG

IMG_0208.JPG

Thea found her alternate universe self.

IMG_0085.JPG IMG_0104.JPG
IMG_0119.JPG IMG_0135.JPG

IMG_0277.JPG

The water was just filled with these little krill. They are hard to photograph but they were everywhere.


IMG_0249.JPG IMG_0184.JPG
IMG_0310.JPG IMG_0313.JPG


IMG_0306.JPG


Do I really need to say that it was a great day? We played for hours and went home exhausted but happy.


August 12, 2008

Your weekly dose of doggy goodness

Another weekend day trip to our beautiful Oregon coast.

IMG_0004.JPG

Someone gets a little excited when she smells the ocean

IMG_0125.JPG

Fetch + tug-o-war = doggy happiness

IMG_0045.JPG

We almost lost the squirrel to the briny deep.

IMG_0047.JPG

But Thea rescued it, she even stuck her entire face underwater.

IMG_0158.JPG

But Panda has her own bag of tricks. She always impresses.

IMG_0130.JPG

The birds were rustled.

IMG_0210.JPG

The views were delightful.

IMG_0213.JPG

And a good time was had by all.

See all the pictures here.

August 18, 2008

Better than AC

Our little rental house doesn't have AC, which, for the most part, is fine and dandy with me. I really don't care for the feel of AC and it's expensive to run, especially in this house. We have a window mounted unit that we've installed, as needed, but it tends to drip water into the house and ends up being more work than it's worth, so this year we've vowed to keep the thing in the garage if possible.

The past week, though, has been stupid hot. I mean, it's been so hot that my brain has just shut down by mid-day, which makes working from home laborious. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather roast in my own house than commute to downtown LA, any day of the week, and I like being able to keep an eye on the girls in this hot weather, but I can't say it was fun.

When Saturday's weather report said triple digit temps again (around 40 degrees C for the rest of the world), Leo didn't really have to twist our arms when he asked if we wanted to hit the beach.

So, while it might be poor blog form to do this two posts in ar ow, I've got you some more dog photos today. I promise, I'll have something crafty to show you, very soon.

IMG_0014
A first roll in the sand, after a first dip in the ocean. This is what happiness looks like.


IMG_0035
Leo and I switched off taking the girls to the water line. We brought all the amenities necessary to stay the day, which means one person had to hold down the fort, while the other wore the girls out.


IMG_0039
Leo mans home base. I'm returning from a brief errand.

IMG_0049
I didn't get that many action shots because I had to both throw the squirrel and take the pictures, but I got several of the girls just looking lovely against the shimmering water.


IMG_0082
It's all fun and games until your dog tries to french you.

IMG_0096
As you can plainly see, Leo is very popular with the girls.

IMG_0131
The girls basking in the glow of the setting sun.


IMG_0155
Leo has the pups work for a little treat.


IMG_0197
The sun sets a bit more.


IMG_0215
Family photo!


IMG_0239
A roaring fire kept us toasty after the sun had set.


See all the pictures here.

September 1, 2008

Beaches and Bikes

Who doesn't love a long weekend?

Saturday was all about relaxing and spending a bit of time with friends.

Sunday, we hit the beach.

IMG_0079 IMG_0067

IMG_0165

IMG_0182 IMG_0180


And Monday we rode our bikes around our neighborhood. I have a Springer on my bike, but we've never tried it with Thea. Isn't that absurd? Leo wanted to make sure that she wouldn't pull too hard, so he rode my bike a bit and I rode his.

leo and thea on bike

Frankly, I think it takes a very manly man to ride a Hello Kitty bike.

Though, admittedly, he feels more at home on his own bike.

leo with finger


He's clearly very mature.

Still, who can hold a grudge with such views.

birds2 parkview2
blackberries parkview1


Just a lovely way to end a great weekend.

September 15, 2008

I'm on vacation

I refuse to call it a "stay-cation" or, as John Oliver put it, "holi-stay." But what I will say is that I have nothing planned (other than the improv class I'm taking with my friend, Erica, on Mondays) and I'm happy to keep it that way. Oh and there may be more pictures like the ones below, that I took on Saturday.

It was a perfect day; not too cool, not too warm, and absolutely sunshiny beautiful.

IMG_0012.JPG IMG_0088.JPG


The car went home a little heavier than it left. Panda brought the sand and Leo found the tire iron we'd lost a month before. I kid you not! We used it for leverage to screw the girls' leash stake into the ground, and we lost it when we were packing up in the dark. There it sat, a few feet from where we had been, just waiting for our return. I love Oregon.

IMG_0136.JPG IMG_0139.JPG

Kites.

IMG_0142.JPG


Lots of running and being generally cute.

IMG_0260.JPG IMG_0223.JPG IMG_0247.JPG


I tried to take a nice shot of the girls in front of the ocean.
First Thea won't look at the camera...

IMG_0336.JPG

Then Panda won't look at the camera...

IMG_0337.JPG

Then some women stop to take pictures, right behind the girls. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

IMG_0341.JPG


All the pictures here.

September 21, 2008

Nehalem Bay

Recently, I picked up Evelyn A. Clark's Knitting Lace Triangles. It's a lovely little book that gives you lots of tips for knitting, well, lace triangles. She gives four lace patterns and combines them in a myriad of ways, working them either in stockinette or garter, alone or in combination, with or without transitions.

Everything is so clear and simple, I just had to cast on. With some beautiful Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock that a dear friend sent me, recently, I quickly worked up a few repeats of the ripple lace motif. But after that, I knew I wanted to go my own direction. Heaven forfend I actually follow a pattern, huh?

On our way to the beach, I knit away on my little shawl.


IMG_0004.JPG

The colors of the yarn made me think of the autumn leaves just starting to show, on our route to the ocean. The ripples make me think of the sea lapping at the shore. As we passed by lovely little Nehalem Bay, I knew I had my shawl's name.

This morning, I moved my stitches onto longer cords and did a little steam block to see how it's looking.

nehalem-bay-progress

I just started my second of two skeins, after nearly finishing 2 repeats of the feathery leaf pattern. The piece blocks out to about 48" wide right now. After I add another repeat of the feathery leaf, and then the border, I think I'll have a shawl that's another 6 to 8" wide, which I feel will be a good size to work as either a scarf or a small wrap for date night with Leo.

As for the beach trip, you know that went great.

Mozaic of September 20th trip to Manzanita, Oregon

1. IMG_0064.JPG, 2. IMG_0054.JPG, 3. IMG_0006.JPG, 4. IMG_0015.JPG, 5. IMG_0030.JPG, 6. IMG_0031.JPG, 7. IMG_0057.JPG, 8. IMG_0061.JPG, 9. IMG_0093.JPG, 10. IMG_0105.JPG, 11. IMG_0097.JPG, 12. IMG_0110.JPG, 13. IMG_0114.JPG14. IMG_0097.JPG 15. IMG_0110.JPG 16. IMG_0114.JPG

See entire set here

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

We tried riding our bikes on the beach, but the sand was either too dry (thus too soft) or too wet (thus too soft) to ride on. We'll try again at lower tide, though, because bikes + beach = a darn good run for the girls.

September 29, 2008

Woohoo

Who knew people wanted to knit hot pants? You guys are awesome. In the 4 days the pattern has been up, it's been downloaded over 300 times, which I think is pretty fabby. A few folks have also made donation, which is generous and wonderful. Thank you so much.

This is part of my download stats page from Ravelry. If you are wondering why there are two Assets of Evo files it's because the first version had a missing hyperlink in the resource section. It wasn't important enough to make an announcement but I thought I'd update it nonetheless.


In doggy news, Leo found us a new little stretch of the Oregon Coast. As always, we hit Manzanita, which is great because it's beautiful, plenty of room to play and Thea gets to socialize. But after, Leo wound his way through some back roads and landed us at a secluded little stretch of where only one other person and her dog were playing. All in all, a great day out.

Beach trip

1. IMG_0247.JPG, 2. IMG_0023.JPG, 3. IMG_0218.JPG, 4. IMG_0242.JPG, 5. IMG_0159.JPG, 6. IMG_0120.JPG, 7. IMG_0134.JPG, 8. IMG_0125.JPG, 9. IMG_0094.JPG, 10. IMG_0110.JPG, 11. IMG_0067.JPG, 12. IMG_0059.JPG, 13. IMG_0034.JPG14. IMG_0067.JPG 15. IMG_0059.JPG 16. IMG_0034.JPG

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

See all the pictures here:

October 19, 2008

Happiness is a run on the beach

It's been a tough couple weeks around these parts, with Leo having to rush off to Uruguay to be with his family. The whole routine is out of whack and the girls end up spending a lot more time alone. Unfortunately, Leo's dad passed away, after Leo returned home, and a bit of melancholy seems to permeate daily life, but it also makes us more conscious of all the good things we have.

After two weeks of obligations and stress, the perfect antidote was a trip to the beach.


The drive there revealed the first hints of autumn colors. I bet, in a week or two, the drive will be spectacular.

IMG_0004.JPG


This shot makes me laugh. Thea was being a wee bit over zealous, trying to grab the frisbee from Leo. He requested that she talk to the hand.

IMG_0118.JPG


Though, honestly, they really are good girls. Look at how focused they are.

IMG_0042.JPG

And Thea does a very cute hand shake.

IMG_0130.JPG

Panda isn't too shabby either.

IMG_0133.JPG


Leo, though, is incorrigible. As I tried to get a particular shot of Panda and Thea, Leo noticed a rather large wave coming at me. In the first shot, you can see him leaping up to avoid it. I, of course, was too focused on the girls to notice.

IMG_0216.JPG IMG_0218.JPG IMG_0220.JPG

The second shot is Leo laughing so hard he can't stand up, and the third shot is my now soaked tush. Hilarious.


Despite Leo's fit of laughter and my sloshy shoes, I managed to get a pretty cute shot of the three of them.

IMG_0228.JPG


After a lovely day, we wound our way home, stopping at a local farm for a stroll through the pumpkin patch. We'll be making jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin seeds today.

IMG_0271.JPG

How cute is this sweet old dog?

For all the pictures from the trip, click here.

October 30, 2008

Blog, I miss you. Here are more dogs at the beach.

If you knew how badly my housework were suffering, you wouldn't think this blog seemed nearly so neglected.

Luckily, what's keeping me busy is all interesting stuff. I'm doing some work for Twist Collective including a little behind the scenes stuff, which is challenging but satisfying. I'm, of course, designing some knits. I'm taking some improv classes with my friend, Erica. I'm even taking a few (non-improv) courses over at a local university. So, with all that going on, blogging has necessarily taken a back seat, to ensure those cutie patooties I live with, get a little time with me too.

I hope, for now, you'll be satisfied with a few more doggy pictures. They certainly make me smile.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

1. IMG_0265.JPG, 2. IMG_0207.JPG, 3. IMG_0283.JPG, 4. IMG_0029.JPG, 5. IMG_0178.JPG, 6. IMG_0136.JPG, 7. IMG_0241.JPG, 8. IMG_0130.JPG, 9. IMG_0148.JPG, 10. IMG_0171.JPG, 11. IMG_0053.JPG, 12. IMG_0119.JPG, 13. IMG_0164.JPG14. IMG_0053.JPG 15. IMG_0119.JPG 16. IMG_0164.JPG

Entire set found here.

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

November 8, 2008

The Ministry of Silly Walks

It's the rainy season here in Portland. Like all other weather, the girls consider it perfect for a trip to the ocean. Who are we to disagree? It was chilly, overcast, but with unexpected patches of blue clear sky.

IMG_0030.JPG

With such unpredictable weather we had almost the entire beach to ourselves.

IMG_0198.JPG

The tide was really high but shallow

IMG_0246.JPG

A little slice of heaven.

How does the most graceful and demure puppy respond? With grace of course. She appears wise:

IMG_0091.JPG

Holds her head high

IMG_0220.JPG

And she keeps all four feet planted firmly on the ground

IMG_0215.JPG

But Thea wasn't the only one expressing herself.

IMG_0267.JPG

Today topped out at about 54 F/12 C, not exactly bikini weather.

IMG_0277.JPG

Yah, that about covers it.

See all the pictures here.

November 30, 2008

Rainy, muddy and fantastic

This weekend, we made a long overdue trip to the beach. It was a little cold (thought not too cold) a little rainy (no one here minds the rain) and foggy like you wouldn't believe.

Check out these shots.

Manzanita Oregon
1. IMG_0015.JPG, 2. IMG_0006.JPG, 3. IMG_0035.JPG, 4. IMG_0025.JPG

That's the same stretch of beach we almost always go to. We would have spent all day there, but the rip current was pretty strong and Thea is not the most buoyant dog around. Visions of her being pulled into the briny deep made us uneasy.

We thought the day might be shot, after about a half hour, but we decided to do a little hiking to make the long drive worth the while.

Off we went to Ecola State Park, where we had nearly the whole trail to ourselves. The fog made the view look like a fantasy.

Trail to Indian Beach in Ecola State Park

1. IMG_0064.JPG, 2. IMG_0081.JPG, 3. IMG_0075.JPG, 4. IMG_0076.JPG

By comparison, this is how it looked the first time we went.

But I think there's a pretty good reason why we had the whole trail to ourselves. By the end of the hike, the four of us were coated in mud.

Getting muddy on the trail
1. IMG_0187.JPG, 2. IMG_0151.JPG, 3. IMG_0149.JPG, 4. IMG_0192.JPG

We learned that Panda would make every effort to go around giant puddles of mud, while Thea would aim for them. Either way, there was no keeping clean, but we definitely appreciated Panda's efforts to stay clean.

We had to put the girls in the car, however we decided that a dip in the ocean before we leave would be much preferred to a bath, when we got home. So we headed back to Seaside and played a wee bit of fetch.

IMG_0212.JPG

It was good to see their beautiful white coats again.

As we were clipping on everyone's leash, someone nearby said, "Did you see the elk?" and pointed to the hill ahead. I looked up and saw three little heads, just showing above the ledge. Leo had the the good sense to go put the dogs in the car, and I walked over to where a small crowd had formed, a safe distance from the herd.

IMG_0226.JPG

We've seen our share of elk at the coast, but never this many at once. Such a great way to end a fantastic ocean trip.

Our day wasn't over with the ocean, though. My sweet guy treated me to a delicious meal to celebrate our 8 year anniversary.

It was a great meal, beautiful view and, of course, perfect company. And for the toast, he said "Here's to 8 years, 8 years more and nothing more."
Of course, I refused to toast to that nonsense, so he said, ok, well, what if we lay the second 8 on its side?"

Cute.

There's a reason I keep him around.

It's a shame to have this lovely long weekend end, but it was great while it lasted.

December 15, 2008

It's not New Hampshire, and it's definitely not Los Angeles

This is my third winter in Portland. From what I can tell, winter is a lot of rain. We get an occasional bout of hail that leaves the yard looking like you just murdered a bean bag chair, and there might be a little flurry of flakes, but it rarely lasts long and almost never accumulates.

Well, this weekend, we got a little taste of some of the winter I remember from my childhood in New Hampshire. Of course, if I still lived there, I'd be holed up in a hotel until my power returned. This is way more my speed, for winter.

IMG_0025.JPG

Can you see the couple in the background, trying to build a snowman?

The girls get seven kinds of frisky when their paws touch snow. Panda loves to roll in it and Thea wants to eat it.

IMG_0040.JPG

These shots are from early in the day, so you can still see the grass peeking through, at the park. By nightfall, the roads were compressed into solid ice and there was about 5" of snow everywhere else. Anyone without chains on their tires were finding themselves struggling to stay on the roads.

I guess it's a testament to how rarely it snows here. I don't ever recall having chains on my car, in New Hampshire or Massachusetts. Roads are plowed and sand or salt are applied as needed. It took most of the night for that to happen around here.

Man alive, I love working from home.

Luckily, Leo's a real boyscout, and had his chains on before the sun set, yesterday, which means he just had to do a quick preflight check before leaving for work, and he was good to go.


IMG_0090.JPG

Thea oversaw the process.

December 21, 2008

Flaky

Wintery
1. Red berries covered in snow, 2. Bush in our back yard, 3. The last of our bachelor's buttons, 4. Pine needles

Ice makes everything look pretty, even our sad little bachelor's buttons.


IMG_0136


Leo, Thea and Panda all chase each other around the yard.


IMG_0072


Where there's dog, there's fetch.


IMG_0049


The roads aren't great for driving, but they are fine for walking.

As you can see, it's a winter wonderland here in Portland. It's great knitting weather but I have a feeling I'll start to be a little stir crazy by Christmas. You should hear the local news, we're all doooooooooooomed.

The girls couldn't be happier, though.

January 4, 2009

I haven't blogged all year!

Well, my week and a half vacation/holiday is nearly over. Tomorrow, I'm back to work. I am going to miss all the naps.

I think I'm going to be able to unveil a new Twist design very very soon. For now, I'll simply post a couple mosaics from the year so far.

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve 2008/2009
1. Just after midnight, 2. Riding public trans into town, 3. Upstairs at Fez, 4. Angels, 5. Some random guy, 6. Dancin' queen, 7. Leo with interesting shadows on face, 8. After midnight, 9. The bar at Embers, 10. Someone's bare foot print on a very cold night., 11. Walking back to the Max, 12. Downtown Portland, 13. A very packed max

It was a relatively tame, but totally fun evening. I still can't believe how well mannered all the folks were on that terribly packed Max train. But, gosh, you gotta love a city that runs the public transportation for free on New Year's Eve and keeps train running until 3 in the morning, to make sure everyone can get home.

A snowy hike

A snowy hike
1. Leo bites it., 2. Panda rolls in the snow, 3. A random little street on Mt Hood, 4. One more pic before I help Leo up, 5. Mossy Tree, 6. More of Panda rolling, 7. Shake 'n' Bake, 8. Marnie's snowy head, 9. Leo bites it again, 10. Panda rolls so much, she needs a break, 11. Little ball of snow, 12. Yarn shop, 13. Flaming dessert.
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

We couldn't bring Panda to the ocean, with her mouth still healing, so we packed up for the mountains. Alas, the route we wanted to take was closed off because of a mud slide, so we weren't able to get to our desired destination. In the end, we just pulled into a random street with a big open field, and ran the girls around.

On the way home, we found a little yarn shop, bought some yarn and got a recommendation for a great restaurant. Of course, we saved a few bites of our entrees for the girls.


It was such a relaxing week and a half off (minus the bit of worry with Ms. Bear.) It was the perfect mix of getting things done and doing lots of nothing.

I hope everyone's new year was exactly what they wanted it to be.

January 20, 2009

History and a hike

I know, these two things just don't have anything to do with each other, but I feel I have to mention how historic a day it is, while still giving a nod to my wonderful weekend.


Reuters Photo found via Boston.com

Watching the inauguration, today, I couldn't help but sob with the immensity of the day. Whatever your political leanings, there is no doubt that the swearing in of the first non-white president is an historic day for the US and I'm proud to be alive to experience it. Can the day be too far away when all these matters are as trivial as hair color? Should it matter what someone's gender, religion (or lack there of, thankyouverymuch,) sexual preference, or nationality is? Wouldn't it be grand to judge people on their, I dunno, credentials and a strong ethics? Crazy, I know. I'm going to go out back and hug a tree now.

Speaking of which (that's a segue, people,) we saw some grand trees this weekend on our hike to Falcon Cove.

Hike to Falcon's Crest
1. IMG_0296, 2. IMG_0007, 3. IMG_0085, 4. IMG_0111, 5. IMG_0116, 6. IMG_0185, 7. IMG_0224, 8. IMG_0301, 9. IMG_0324, 10. IMG_0336, 11. IMG_0337, 12. IMG_0349, 13. IMG_0364
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

We hiked a total of about 4 miles after a bit of fetch on the beach, and we actually managed to tucker out the herding dogs which is no small feat. It was absolutely beautiful, a bit muddy and completely exhausting and I can't wait to do it again.

See all the pictures from our hike here.

February 8, 2009

Super pooper dogs

It'd been three weeks since our last ocean visit and the four of us were jonesing for some fresh salt air, sand and fetch.

Manzanita Oregon 02/07/09
1. IMG_0107, 2. IMG_0037, 3. IMG_0079, 4. IMG_0094, 5. IMG_0117, 6. IMG_0154, 7. IMG_0174, 8. IMG_0203, 9. IMG_0213, 10. IMG_0243, 11. IMG_0308, 12. IMG_0320, 13. IMG_0322
See all the pictures from this day here.
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

I don't think we could have asked for a nicer day. The sun was bright, the weather was mild and there were plenty of friendly dogs for Thea to play with.

February 22, 2009

So, one of us isn't shedding these days

And that one of us is Mr. Baldy McShavedhishead. The rest of us are still pretty hairy. Just thought I'd cover that before you see our pictures.

Manzanita Oregon 02/22/09

1. IMG_0150, 2. IMG_0015, 3. IMG_0089, 4. IMG_0107, 5. IMG_0127, 6. IMG_0129, 7. IMG_0144, 8. IMG_0148, 9. IMG_0260, 10. IMG_0265, 11. IMG_0302, 12. IMG_0309, 13. IMG_0319
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

This was my birthday hike, and it was fantastic. I know, it's the same song every few weeks. What can I say, I'm a lucky girl.

Check out this bit of shell that Leo found.

IMG_0276


If you click it and choose "All Sizes" you can embiggen it. Doesn't it look knit?

May 17, 2009

Goaaaaaaaaaaal

All day at the Oregon coast. It couldn't have been more beautiful, mild and lovely.

May 16, 2009
1. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 2. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 3. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 4. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 5. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 6. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 7. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 8. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 9. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 10. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 11. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 12. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 13. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

We played soccer and fetch with the pups then pulled out our bikes and ran them until they seemed to be almost something resembling tired.

The soccer ball is now Thea's passion. It irks her to no end that she can't get her mouth around it and still she can't stop chasing it. Panda can't be bothered, it's the squirrel all the way.


June 16, 2009

Dogs and flowers

St. Johns in Portland Oregon

St. Johns in Portland Oregon

IMG_0004.JPG IMG_0013.JPG

July 5, 2009

4th of July

I remember being a small child, my younger brother just an infant, and going to some large rolling field with our blanket to watch the fireworks. Every year I'd cry but this year, I was going to be brave. We'd sit down and get comfortable and my parents would coo a little bit, reminding me that it'd be loud and asking if I was sure I'd be ok. I thought I was.

And then the fireworks would start.

I felt like maybe it'd never end and I'd hear the fireworks forever. They seemed so loud, so piercing, so inescapable. I would cry. I'd feel horrible about it, my parents would try to console me but I also knew I was letting them down. I really wanted to be brave.

I don't really believe in karma, though I think that genetics tends to give you back in children, what you gave your parents. I thought I bucked the system by opting never to have kids, but Panda gave me what my mother faced every 4th of July, for much of my younger childhood. She's absolutely inconsolable around fireworks. We hoped that a full day of running on the beach would quell the fear a bit, and the cool ocean air would calm her fragile nerves but the close proximity of those boisterous noisemakers were more than she could manage.

Still, the day was wonderful and the bad parts were brief. We headed out just before the show really started, giving our campsite up to an incredibly thankful wedding after-party, and drove home during the best (or worst, as the case may be) portion of the show.

4th of July, 2009 -- Manzanita, Oregon
1. Fireworks, 2. Setting up the tent, 3. Spinning on the beach, 4. Panda goes for a roll, 5. Can we come in?, 6. Miss Bear looking sweet, 7. Thea zonks out, 8. Silly dog hug, 9. Panda finds a safe spot to hide from the firecrackers, 10. Making a fire while the sun sets, 11. Carrying a bad little dog, 12. Leo in front of sunset, 13. A very sleepy Thea on my lapCreated with fd's Flickr Toys.

Panda is no worse for the wear having had a largely great day at a beautiful beach in weather much cooler than the 90+ degrees back home. All in all, a great day.

See all the pictures from our trip here.

And a little video from right before we left.

October 3, 2009

Another good night's sleep for two border collie crosses

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.

October 18, 2009

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.

disappointed-girls

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

October 25, 2009

Salt water therapy

It's been rainy. I love the rain, but Saturday was sunny and beautiful. You know what? I love sunshine too. Lucky me.

We packed a little picnic and headed for the coast.

Oct 24, 2009
Thea carried the water like a trooper.


Oct 24, 2009
Which freed us up to take in the view.


Oct 24, 2009
Don't mind the precipitous drop to likely doom, just look at the pretty.


Oct 24, 2009
Because at the end of the trail is joy.


Oct 24, 2009
And of course, a little lunch.


Oct 24, 2009
And a whole lot of fetch.


Oct 24, 2009
Smiles abound.


Oct 24, 2009
The view was just as nice on the hike back.


Oct 24, 2009
And a last game of fetch before going home.


Tub
And the cherry on top, a little soak in one of my favorite features of the house.


What can I say? Life is good. Hope your weekend was even better.

December 1, 2009

Coast, Kool-Aid and Kale

I don't ever recall Thanksgiving being particularly stressful, as a kid, but really, what's there to be stressed about other than the inevitable battle for that first slice of turkey breast with the big piece of crispy skin.* I'm sure it was much harder for the adults with all the cooking, cleaning and kid/drunk in-law wrangling, but as a kid, it always just seemed like lots of good food and playing with the cousins. As adults, I think Leo and I have kept a lot of the same relaxed attitude. We don't tend to make a production of the holiday, thought we do like some good lumpy mashed potatoes and crispy bird skin on a plate. Since we have yet to really put our new kitchen through the paces, we did (and by we, I mean me) a whole chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, dressing and cranberry sauce and dug in at our leisure. I'm still working through the last of the starchiest bits.

And being the long weekend that Thanksgiving is, we had plenty of time to fit in a trip to the ocean on Saturday. It was brisk but dry and that's pretty much good enough for us. I don't think the dogs have ever been put out by a little cold weather.

Manzanita Oregon -- November 27, 2009 Mosaic
1. Leo got frenched by a puppy, 2. Thea takes a victory lap, 3. Birds, 4. Throw it again, 5. Lift off, 6. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 7. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 8. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 9. More birds, 10. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 11. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 12. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 13. Where'd it go?
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

I also finished spinning about 200 yards of some angora, alpaca and soy silk I hand carded together. Using a bit of Kool-Aid, I dyed it in three successive dye baths to get a rich orange shade.

Bath 1: 1 orange + 1 lemon aid packet

Kool Aid dyeing

Bath 2: 2 orange + 1 lemon aid packet

Kool-Aid dyed Handspun Yarn

Bath 3: 1 tropical punch packet

Kool-Aid dyed Handspun Yarn

I love the color and it smells so sweet. I find dyeing really stressful, because you can't really undo it if you blow it, but this time seem to work out great.

To finish off the long weekend, I made a big batch of lemon garlic crispy kale.

Crispy Kale Chips Crispy Kale Chips

Click either image for the recipe, inasmuch as it is one.

I hope all of you had a lovely weekend too.

*Most of my teen and college years, I did thanksgiving at friends houses and I watched in horror, one year as my friend's mother whipped her mashed potatoes (no lumps!) and removed the skin from the turkey after cooking. I've never fully recovered from the memory.

December 19, 2009

9 or 63

It's approximately, more or less, to the best of our knowledge, somewhere around the date of Panda's birth. She 9 now-ish. Leo called off all birthdays a couple of years ago, because they simply mark the passage of time after a certain age, but she's my little girl, I can't help it. Panda is, for all intents and purposes, my first dog, a ray of sunshine and the reason I'm a dog person. I think every year with her is my good fortune.

So, mostly because it's been a few week but partially because it's her birthday, we went to the beach. It's foggy, a little rainy, horrible photography weather and all around perfect, nonetheless.

Manzanita -- December 19, 2009 Manzanita -- December 19, 2009
Pretty much the definition of doggy joy.

See all the pictures here.

And as a side note, to those who inquired about my going back to school, I'm just going to finish the degree I wasn't able to complete the first go around. I'm majoring in...nothing, they call it "general arts and letters." Given time and money I think I'd like to, some day, figure out what I want to be when I grow up and pick a course of study for a masters. At the rate I'm going, I'll finish that in my 60s.

Double side note, um, even with a calculator, I can't figure out what 7x9 is equal to. I think I've got it now.

December 29, 2009

Last little bit of 2009

Christmas was blissfully mellow here in the new home; no obligations, no worries, plenty of quality time with each other. It was chilly, as evidenced by these gorgeous spider webs, encrusted in ice, on our porch.

Icy morning Icy morning

I love the way the drops of water froze like little glass beads. You should have seen how they glistened in the sunlight. If you go to flickr, you can embiggen them and see more of the detail.

I tried my hand at sushi making, which turned out to be way easier than I expected.

Sushi

That's my "hot and sour tuna" roll. Recipe, inasmuch as anyone would need one, can be had if you click the pic.

I manage to get all my deadline knitting done, thanks to some morale support from the pooches

Panda and Thea Snuggling


I mailed off both garments today and emailed the digital files as well. It feels so good to have those off the plate. Now, do I start something new or finish something already started? Yes, I know which is the RIGHT answer, that doesn't mean I'll do it.

As I was falling asleep I had inspiration of another kind resulting in this, my first venn diagram.

Red___ulousVenn


I'm sure this will improve your lives exponentially.

And, in a last bit of late breaking news, we have us some snow. SNOW!

More snow


It's not slated to last very long but the girls sure do love it while it's here.

April 26, 2010

Wedding Weekend

WeAreMarried

I can't thank you all enough for the kind words and congratulations. We really kept this whole thing entirely secret and I still have close friends and family to contact and let them know we got hitched. We wanted to make sure that no one felt obligated to travel or buy gifts or put themselves out. The relationship is for love but the wedding was, in many ways, just a formality for legal and insurance purposes.

Wedding Weekend at Cannon Beach
1. Fetch by Haystack Rock, 2. Delicious Wine, 3. Panda and Thea assess the view, 4. Dad's tie, 5. Groom and Witness's shoes, 6. Feeding the bird, 7. The start of a muddy hike, 8. Post hike shoe cleaning, 9. Rainbow, 10. Sunset play time, 11. Spoiled dogs are spoiled, 12. Thea is a crazy monkey, 13. My sweet old lady
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Despite our general resistance to the idea of getting married on principal alone, we figured that if we were going to do it, we might as well keep it fun and stress free. My mom officiated and gifted me the beautiful dress I wore, which I got at a local store who makes all their dresses by hand from imported Thai silk.

We bought our beautiful rings from Fabuluster. They send impression kits to you and make the rings from your actual finger prints. Leo wears my print and I wear his. We had a bit of fun with it and did impressions of our middle fingers; a little inside joke about our general reluctance to marry and our tendency to take nothing too seriously, if possible.

WithMyDad

My dad, who gave me away, also gifted us professional photography for the ceremony (pictures to come in a month or so). I also wore the first gift he ever gave my mom, a lovely pair of heart-shaped earrings.

My brother and his girlfriend witnessed and offered general morale support. It was sheer coincidence that my brother and the groom wore the same shoes.

Our biggest splurge, though, was our stay at a lovely, dog friendly beachside hotel. Since we normally stay in cheap motels or camp in our car, when we travel with the pups, this was a real extravagance for the four of us. Being able to go for our walks on the beach, at the drop of a hat, was such a delight and the dogs couldn't have been happier. They've been downright mellow since we've returned.

I can't wait to see how the photos come out. I think there'll be a few lovely mementos to mark the day. But even if I am making dork-face in every shot, I'll still look back on the weekend as a lovely time spent with my very closest family and a wonderful memory amongst the many that Leo and I already share.

Oh and since a few have asked, the pups were in attendance but no, I did not dress them up. We're crazy dog people but we aren't THAT crazy.

May 30, 2010

One last post about the wedding

Short and sweet, like the ceremony itself, a few more pictures of the lovely day.

The Wedding
1. Being given away, 2. Groom and Best Man's shoes, 3. Last chance to bail out, 4. Do you agree to the terms and conditions?, 5. My mom, officiating, 6. I may kiss the groom, 7. Kiss in front of haystack rock, 8. Looking wistful in front of haystack rock, 9. The happy couple, 10. The kids are legitimate now, 11. The whole wedding party, 12. Mom and dad, 13. Very serious footwear, 14. Dad of the bride, 15. Groom with his new Father In-Law, 16. It's official now, 17. Warm hug, 18. Lucky bride, 19. Black and White is fancy, 20. Fancy pants shot of the bride
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

December 4, 2010

The happiest place on earth

A surprisingly full day starting at Yarn for All Seasons where I may have treated myself to a little something, then a long play session on the beach, ending with a little dinner at Kyllo's.

Oregon Coast - December 3, 2010
1. Oregon Coast 120310_048, 2. Oregon Coast 120310_020, 3. Oregon Coast 120310_029, 4. Oregon Coast 120310_034, 5. Oregon Coast 120310_036, 6. Oregon Coast 120310_051, 7. Oregon Coast 120310_057, 8. Oregon Coast 120310_058, 9. Oregon Coast 120310_063, 10. Oregon Coast 120310_073, 11. Oregon Coast 120310_078, 12. Oregon Coast 120310_083, 13. Oregon Coast 120310_106
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

February 20, 2011

Let's continue the birthday celebration

Friday was my birthday and I put it to good use. I released a pattern:

Dweezil_In_Space

And I went to the beach with the three beasts and one human I like best of all.

My birthday at the coast
1. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_171, 2. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_046, 3. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_053, 4. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_065, 5. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_118, 6. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_126, 7. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_130, 8. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_148, 9. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_150, 10. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_157, 11. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_169, 12. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_176, 13. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_182
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

And as an added bonus, I did an interview a little while ago and now it's live. Check it out here.

Hope you all had a happy my-birthday as well.

March 6, 2011

Do you suffer from CDP?

Do you suffer from Crazy Dog Personitis [CDP]? Symptoms may include:

A compulsion to relegate half your vehicle for the comfort and safety of your dogs.

CarRide_02

An uncontrolled desire to snuggle, which sometimes interferes with other tasks you should be doing.

Man_and_his_dogs_14 Man_and_his_dogs_04

Attraction to sun beams.

Man_and_his_dogs_02

Inability to consider weather reports before deciding to drive 2 hours so your dogs can play.

Susceptibility to furrowed brows.

OregonCoast_March_4_2011_044

And, in the case of extreme CDP, a tendency towards ordering a burger for yourself....

OregonCoast_March_4_2011_073

...And then some mini burgers, minus all the fixin's for your pooches awaiting you in the car.

If you have these symptoms, or any other symptoms of CDP, there's no hope for you, no cure, and no treatment, but you are in good company. I prescribe two belly rubs per dog, and call me in the morning.

Bunches of additional pictures here.

March 19, 2011

New camera, new beach, same old pups

Leo surprised me with a belated birthday present, a few days ago. I'm working on a pattern (to be released soon) and decided it just had to be shot at the coast and since we're going, we might as well bring the pups along.

Our usual spot was a little crowded, and since shooting the pattern required that I completely change, in 45º weather, and don a wee little dress, I figured it might be better if we go somewhere a little less populated. It didn't make it any warmer but at least I wasn't putting on a burlesque show in the process.

We ended up stumbling on the most amazing secluded spot. I don't even know what town we were in, nor what street we turned onto. It's in our GPS, though and we'll be finding our way back.

There were rocky outcroppings that made for impressive tidepools

Tidepools
1. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_036, 2. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_035, 3. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_034, 4. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_049
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Darwin had plenty of room to bounce

Boingy Boy
1. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_003, 2. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_005, 3. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_029, 4. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_082
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Panda mostly did her own thing, as she is wont to do.

My Sweet Panda Girl
1. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_014, 2. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_077, 3. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_079, 4. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_058
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

And Thea chased her brother around whenever he wasn't chasing her.

Thea, silly monkey
1. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_091, 2. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_004, 3. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_019, 4. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_041
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

The view wasn't anything to scoff at either.

What a view
1. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_007, 2. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_010, 3. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_016, 4. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_043
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Once the puppies were tuckered out, the humans decided to stop for a burger and some blues before the long drive home.

Fun for the humans
1. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_113, 2. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_116, 3. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_115, 4. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_118
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Just another wonderful day at the Oregon coast. See all our pictures here.

March 22, 2011

Tidewater

I am very pleased to present my newest patterns, a set called Tidewater featuring:

A cowl:

Tidewater Cowl modeled by all of us
1. Tidewater_Cowl_19, 2. Tidewater_Cowl_27, 3. Tidewater_Cowl_24, 4. Tidewater_Cowl_08
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

And a shawl

Tidewater_Shawl_25 Tidewater_Shawl_45

The patterns are both charted. The cowl also includes written out instructions for the lace, for those who are not comfortable working from charts. Each pattern is available individually and both are available together, as an ebook, for a reduced price.

Click to see all the details for the cowl and the shawl.

April 4, 2011

Two tired buzzwords in one great week.

I think we can all agree that the words, "staycation" and "funemployment" can be retired at any time with no adverse repercussions for the English language, but regardless, that's what Leo and I had last week when I took some time off from my day job.*

We didn't waste the time, getting a bit done around the house and managing to hit the beach three times. The pups were over the moon, around Jupiter and back around the moon once more.

March 25

Oregon_Coast_March_25_2011_058


A beautiful start to vacation, with perfect mild weather and plenty of fetch.

Then a drizzly follow up on March 28

Oregon Coast -- March 28, 2011_053
Darwin's still a little unsure about this whole fetch thing.

And then a last trip on Saturday, April 2, when we were able to play fetch while the sun set behind us. How's that for a great way to end a vacation?

Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011 - Montage
1. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_111, 2. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_052, 3. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_064, 4. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_075, 5. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_080, 6. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_091, 7. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_093, 8. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_096, 9. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_099, 10. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_106, 11. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_127, 12. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_140, 13. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_148
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

I won't say that I was excited to wake up at 5:30AM on Monday, to get back to work, but I can say I had a really great week off. If I had to guess, I'd say the pups have very few complaints, as well.

Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_027




* Though with the Spring/Summer edition going live, I still had responsibilities for my my alter-ego-super-hero-night-job.

July 26, 2011

Aloha

My friends, Mel and Steve came to visit from Hawaii for a week and seeing as Leo and I live in a town called Aloha (pronounced "a-low-a" by the locals, here. I guess the "h" went back to Hawaii) and seeing as it seemed like we were saying, goodbye too soon after saying, hello, "Aloha" seemed like the perfect blog title.

It's always fun to see where you live through fresh eyes. We haven't been in Oregon all that long but Mel and Steve wanted to really get to know the place and it meant hitting all our favorite spots in one short week.

We went berry picking at the local farms

Mel and Steve visit Portland_025

And said, aloha, to some alpaca.

Mel and Steve visit Portland_013

We had microbrewed beer at little bars with live bands.

Mel and Steve visit Portland_018

And hiked around the coastline.

Mel and Steve visit Portland_019

We even went salsa dancing.


can't see the video, click here.


Ok, well, I went salsa dancing and everyone else enjoyed the live music and people watching.

Luckily, they are both crazy dog people and spent plenty of time dolling out belly rubs, treats and generally helping to keep the dogs properly spoiled.

Mel and Steve visit Portland_004
What? You don't invite your dogs to sit next to you at your breakfast nook?

I didn't come close to documenting all the places we went and things we did, but suffice it to say, it was great fun hosting them and hopefully just as much fun for them to be here. The dogs are a bit displeased at the precipitous drop in ear scritches, since their departure.

December 4, 2011

On the horizon

I feel like I'm on a designing kick right now. I just released two patterns for Twist, I have yarn for two deadline projects, due to publish next spring and I just sent a new design, Cercis, to my tech editor to be self published.

cercis_outtake_001

I took some pictures of Cercis this weekend, while we were at the coast. I thought I'd share my favorite outtake. It's useless for actually seeing the sweater but it has everything I love; my pack, haystack rock, a bright sunny day, knitting and the ocean.

I hope to have this pattern ready for release in the next couple of weeks. Until then, I have some designing to do.

December 20, 2011

Celebration

panda_darwin
Guests of honor

Over the last 3 weeks we had three milestones to celebrate:

  • Panda turned 11

  • We celebrated our 1 year anniversary with Darwin

  • And Leo and I hit 11 years together (eesh, how did that happen?)

So we celebrated all three, on Friday, with another trip to the coast. It seemed appropriate.

three happy dogs

Here's to many more birthdays and anniversaries to come.

February 25, 2012

Yah yah yah, cue the double rainbow guy

Last weekend was my birthday; one of those unremarkable, mid-decade, you're-too-old-to-care-about-your-birthday-still kind of birthdays. We're still eking by on a single salary, and unemployment has dried up so there were no big plans. We figured, being our frugal new selves, that we'd lump my birthday, Thea's 5th birthday, and valentine's day all into one "celebration." I think we managed to pull it off on a shoestring budget. Check out the decorations at our fête!

Febrary 18, 2012 -- Depoe Bay, Oregon52


D-dog provided streamers

Febrary 18, 2012 -- Depoe Bay, Oregon29


There was an air show

Febrary 18, 2012 -- Depoe Bay, Oregon16


Panda entertained us with her acrobatics

Febrary 18, 2012 -- Depoe Bay, Oregon46


And the other birthday girl seemed utterly pleased with the whole day.

Febrary 18, 2012 -- Depoe Bay, Oregon47


I guess it works out that the things the birthday girls want to do most, cost us very little. I believe they call us "cheap dates."

If you average out for dog years, Thea and I are about the same age, this year. As a pup, she was such a handful, unfazed by reprimand, destructive, and mischievous. She's matured into one of the most sweet, loving and playful girls you could ever imagine. I love her so much and am glad to have an excuse to share my birthday celebration with her.

Here's to many more years to come.

March 17, 2012

This and that

I've been sitting here for minutes trying to come up with a blog post title so I could start writing this post. I've decided to give you a crappy post title so I can just get on with it.

Last weekend, Kate and I went to Madison to present a Twist Collective fashion show. Kate blogged about it here. It was a heck of a lot of fun. The folks in Wisconsin are friendly and welcoming and clearly appreciate knitting. Go...um...Badgers, I guess. I think that might be one of them there sports teams out yonder.

Speaking of badgers, you might as well watch this:

We are crazy busy with Twist stuff right now, and I have a few other secret knits in the wings, but I've fit in a bit more sewing. I mentioned with my last post on sewing, that I'd taken the Bombshell Dress course at Craftsy. Well, I signed up for Susan Khalje's Couture Dress class and instead of using the included pattern, I went with something a little more my style, if I had a style, and any occasion to wear such a dress.

McCall's 6350_03

If you are into sewing, you can read more about it over here. I'm also signed up for the Starlet Jacket class, which is good because my sleeve setting in skills are pretty lacking. Also, I'm unreasonably excited to try my first bound buttonhole.

And, of course, we try to put aside a little time and money to hit the coast with the beasts.

Oregon Coast_March 16, 2012_74

Rain or shine, it's always gorgeous there. Also, seriously, look at this face.

Oregon Coast_March 16, 2012_78

Ridiculous.

August 7, 2012

Who's about 2 years old today and is adorable?

This guy

Darwin at the beach

I wish this were a picture of us actually at the beach, celebrating his birthday, but we are "grown ups" with "responsibilities" and a "mortgage to pay." "Lame."

Anyway, that's a picture from a huge batch I haven't gotten around to sorting and posting, and is hopefully foreshadowing of events to come soon. In the mean time, I'll be lavishing an extra serving of belly rubs and blueberries on this little beast.

May 6, 2013

Spring

It's here, at least in Oregon and it's lovely so far.

April 25_Depoe Bay_Oregon_07
This rock has a heart on for spring and I have a juvenile sense of humor

Spring means more trips to the beach.


Did you catch that excited whimper out of Darwin?

And more playing in the yard


I think D is aerating the lawn a little too effectively

And renovations.

Repainting room_02
New wiring and an end to that pepto pink closet, in the works

And maybe a little something else getting an overhaul, too.


Coming soon, if I ever finish doing all the things

July 25, 2006

This Angeleno is becoming an Oregonian

Really, though, maybe it should be:
This Californian is becoming an Oregonian
or
This Angeleno is becoming and Portlandian if the Oregonian variety (so as not to be confused with those Portlandians of the Mainenites variety).
But I'm splitting hairs here, the point is, Leo and I are moving to Portland Oregon. Leo goes up on Monday to start a new job on the 7th.

It is not without some apprehension that I go. I've lived in Los Angeles for almost 5 years and I have met so many wonderful people, a few of whom, to my delight, even count me among their friends. As I'm predisposed to hermit-like behavior, this is no small feat, in my mind. I will miss them terribly.

Yet, I also look upon all this as an exciting opportunity to start fresh and new and discover an area I've never been before. What? Didn't I mention that? Oh, yah, neither Leo nor I have ever been to Oregon. I'm not averse to change, and I love exploring new cities. It's scary to know I'll be jobless in a month, but with rents half the price of the LA area, I can pretty much sell hemp jewelry on a street corner and still contribute my part to the household expenses.

I've already checked and it appears there are several yarn shops in the Portland area. And those cute little Pygoras from a couple days ago? They hail from Oregon, which bodes well for my spinning future.

So if any of you who live, have lived, or frequently visit Oregon, have suggestions for me, please send them my way.

I'll do my best to keep posting during the transition, but with our home computer going up north without me, and with all the upheaval, I make no promises, expressed or implied, that blogging will continue as normal.

August 2, 2006

RSVP

I wanted my next post to be about my new socks, but forget that, I'm gonna have myself a pity party and you are all invited. Get your hats and your noise makers, suck the helium out of the balloons and talk like Mickey Mouse, because I have a bad case of the “poor mes” right now.

At 11PM last night I kissed my puppy and Leo goodbye and they drove off into the starlit night for Oregon. And perhaps I cried maybe a bit because a month away from the two of them sound heart wrenchingly lonely. And maybe I worry that they'll be abducted by aliens and I'll never see them again because while I don't actually believe in alien abductions I do believe in horrible unexpected things happening to people I love, so I'm sad. But Leo has been sending me pictures from his phone of the little girl enjoying her trek to lands unknown (at least to us)

The move has been no small feat for us, and the ordeal doesn't end any time soon. To start with, since we are both trying to be frugal and we are moving on different dates, Leo will be unpacking the truck by himself. On the plus side, we've decided to sell most of our larger furniture, but on the downside, we're still keeping both motorcycles, our queen sized mattress and box spring, our 32" TV, and a few other choice back breakers.

As a side note, Leo drew quite a crowd driving the motorcycles up the ramp of a moving truck. I’m pretty sure everyone was waiting for him to fall off the side or crash into the boxes already sitting in back.

Speaking of moving trucks, I'm not going to name any names, but we are not happy with our moving truck experience. The company in question (whose name may rhyme with "poo-ball") has set us off our schedule by a whole day. Originally, we were scheduled to pick up our truck on Monday morning at 9AM. We were supposed to find out which LA office we were to pick up our truck, no later than 5PM on Sunday night. At around 6PM we were informed that they didn't know when or where we'd be able to pick up the truck the next day, that they hadn't even scheduled us a truck yet and that they'd call us on Monday and let us know. We made our reservation over two weeks prior and since one of us still has a job to go to, we were looking at a long couple of days.

So after several hours of listening to hold music and being told by countless customer service reps that the branch office would be notified of the urgency of our need for a truck, we were finally told we could pick up a truck in an office that ended up taking about 45 minutes to get to. Good times.

We worked for two solid days with only the barest minimum of sleep, but we finally got most of what we hoped to pack, into the truck. Now, I need to get all the remaining flotsam and jetsam out of the house (to Goodwill with what we they'll take and to the trash with the rest) then try to sell the furniture on Craig's list.

On the upside, it'll be a lonely and grueling two weeks to get the house in order, but after that, I'm staying with a friend who has graciously offered to drive the scenic route to Oregon with me the weekend of the 26th. We'll be taking a long slow journey up the cost, camping as needed to refresh ourselves and stopping for every scenic view we deem worthy. Since I'm easily amused there may be a lot of stops along the way.

I want to thank you all for attending my pity party. Please feel free to take home any leftovers that you’d like. I definitely won’t eat them all myself. I’ll grab your jackets from the extra room and see you out the front door.

July 27, 2006

Zounds and Pygora!

Who knew moving to Portland would garner me so many comments? It's almost frightening how many people love the city and how few bad things people have to say about the area (rain and you can't pump your own gas, I think I can live with both).
There are so many of you I need to write back to. I can't believe how many great suggestions you've sent and warm welcomes you've offered. I'm really looking forward to moving.
I don't arrive in Oregon until the end of August, and in the mean time, I hope to be able to see all my LA friends, so I can say goodbye.

But enough of that, take a look at my yummy pygora yarn.

Here it is almost completely spun up. The kit comes with half an ounce (about 14 grams) of each fiber, so that's just enough to fill up one of my smaller spindles.

I simply loved spinning this stuff. I don't know enough about the properties of various fibers to say why, I just know that whatever it is, I'm able to spin it up superfine, balanced, soft and with a bit of loft.

I've included a dime for scale. The yarn is a two ply and check this out...

Balance, baby!

This hasn't been washed yet, it's right off the spindle. I have just shy of 54 yards (49 meters) of yarn here. Since pygora is aplenty in Portland, I plan to get more soon.

I've now started spinning some of the Yak fiber and it's not going quite as well. It's more poofy and fluffy and I don't quite have the best technique for managing that sort of fiber. It's gotten better as I've worked with it, but compared to the pygora, it's pretty crude looking.

In a little while, I'm off to Blogher, then a visit with a friend in San Francisco, then back home to help Leo pack up the truck. It's quite a weekend, indeed.

August 8, 2006

Roughing it at home

I probably don't mind moving as much as some people do. In general, I have a slight pack rat mentality, but when it comes time to pack boxes, I'm a drill sergeant. While there are exceptions, my general rule is that if I haven't seen it, thought about it, touched, or used it in at least a year, it's probably something I don't need in my life. This is rather refreshing to me, though it does mean that I end up needing to re-buy things I may have tossed by accident. Leo is also a bit of a pack rat, but his philosophy is "Throw it in a box or trash bag and we'll sort it out at the new place."

We diverge greatly on this topic. I say, “Why move something I don't want or need?” But his take is "Let's make SURE we don't need it. Better safe than sorry." This makes for rather comical packing sessions. Picture Marnie approaching a pile of items that need to be sorting for either packing or Goodwill. Marnie begins heaping EVERYTHING in the Goodwill pile. Old family heirloom: Goodwill. Free CD from bar visited a year ago: Goodwill. Wine glasses so delicate that we never use them because we keep breaking them: Goodwill. If it has been tucked away in a dark cabinet for a year or more, it gets little more than a passing glance before heading into the pile. And then Leo turns around to say something to me. His eyes grow large as they land upon some cherished whatnot in the pile, then another. I already know what's coming and I yell, "TAKE NO PRISONERS!" But then he gets those puppy dog eyes as he snatches something dear from the pile. I relent.

Though, on the other end of the spectrum, when it comes to books, I'm like a mother with too many children. I know I can't possible house and care for them all but every one of them is dear to my heart. Leo took to packing the books himself and threatened to toss them all, their numbers were so great. "Don't you dare!" I exclaimed. All of a sudden, this drill sergeant went soft.

We have agreed, though, to get rid of most of our old furniture, some dating back to well before Leo and I met. This is mostly because we couldn't really justify the cost of moving it and after going from several places in Boston to Burbank and then to Playa Del Rey, it was all starting to get a bit tired. So between periods of scrubbing down the house to get it ready for moving out, I've been trying to sell this stuff on Craigslist.

This all keeps me fairly busy, but between all that, I do have some time to fill. With no TV or radio, I've been getting a lot of reading done, listened to a few audio books, and of course, I've been knitting and spinning.


The Silky Wool top is cranking along at a good pace. Isn't the stitch definition great? I’m probably another inch or so past what you see here. I’m experimenting with the construction of this piece a little which will become more apparent once I finish this main body piece.


I've been trying to spin some Yak from the Bellwether sampler. This is definitely not going as well as the Pygora, but I'm getting the hang of it.

And for a little bit of exercise, while I'm stuck at the house waiting for the next prospective buyer, I've been using this baby.

It's an Indo Board, and one of the few examples of something Leo is ready to give up and I want to keep. I don't do any sort of board sport but I find it terribly fun to risk my neck playing with this. As a responsible blogger, I need to go on record as saying that you are, indeed, risking injury using this and while I find it fun, I recommend that if you do try one, you do so at your own risk.
We have wall to wall carpeting which makes this less perilous to use. A grassy lawn would offer even more security. I’ll play around with it for a few minutes here and there just to get my blood moving and the next day my tush and abs will be just a little achy (in a good way.)

It’s a bit stressful being away from Panda and Leo, it’d be a lot more fun to do all this stuff together, but we’ve been making the best of the situation and time is flying by with all there is left to do.

Oh and the best news of all, it looks like I may be able to keep my current job and work remotely from Portland until the end of the year. Talk about taking a load off my mind.

August 4, 2006

I loves me some silky wool

I've actually been working on this piece, in dribs and drabs, for a while now. It's not that I'm not enjoying the process, I really love the yarn and the idea I have, I hope, will be great. It'll have princess seams and waist shaping, all things that I think look lovely. I’ve just had so much else going on that it hasn't been a project I could really give the proper focus to, so I knit a row here and there and put it down for a little while.

One thing you'll find about me and my knitting is that I knit almost everything with a provisional cast on, and this project is no exception. I feel like it gives me a lot more options. I can always cast it off normally, if it turns out I don't need those stitches.

Now that most of my worldly goods are in Portland, I'm sans ball winder (until the gracious Ms Julia takes me in on the 15th) so I'm reduced to winding my own center pull balls.

I use an empty prescription pill bottle. If you want to try this at home, look for one that is fairly tall. Circumference doesn’t make a huge difference. Tuck one end of the yarn in the container. Close the container to secure the end then wind as though using a Nostepinne. When you are done, open the bottle and slide off your center pull ball. It's not as convenient as a ball winder, but it works in a pinch.

In move news, Leo and Panda are doing very well in our new home in Oregon. He's already emptied the whole truck by himself.

And Panda has taken to the place like a fish to water. She hung out by our giant tree:

And watches our neighbors from a choice vantage point.

It appears that our lawn could do with some tending, but we'll get to that when we can. For now, I'm just happy to know that everyone is home safe and sound. Pity party is still in overtime but it's winding down a bit.

August 17, 2006

I want off

When I was a kid, I used to go to Canobie Lake Park every year with my parents because the company they worked for rented out the park for a day, once a year. I remember seeing all the roller coasters, even the one in the little kids' area and thinking "yah, I want to go on that." But as soon as the ride got going, I'd realize that this was definitely NOT what I wanted to be doing and in fact, if I didn't get off STAT, I was going to need to scream my fool head off. Luckily, I was a fast learner and quickly came to the conclusion that I was happier on more tame rides and getting "antique" photos taken with my friends. Odd, but I always loved the Turkish Twist which was like a tilt-a-whirl without the tilt and down in a pit where the floor dropped out from under you. So it’s kind of like being in a salad spinner.

Anyway, moving has been much like riding that roller coaster for the first time. I think, "Yah, no problem, I'm ready for this. While I'm at it, maybe I'll bring peace to the middle east too." Then suddenly I realize that everything is happening and I can’t turn back; Leo and Panda take off, the apartment is full of things I need to sell, and work is hitting a busy point. I see that apex of that long first hill ahead of me and start to think, hmmm, am I actually ready for this?

And what a ride it's been. Moving out of the old place on Tuesday was such a relief. I really do love LA, I've been very happy here, but I've been on a strict regiment of "no fun, all cleaning and selling old furniture" for the past week. I have a new disdain for flakey people who say they are coming to get your furniture and never show up. I also have scorn for people who try to haggle me on items I'm already trying to sell for much less than even Goodwill would charge. I'm not bitter, nah, not at all.

But I'm now a guest of a certain winter minded friend of mine, and life is good again.

I've made a small amount of progress on the Silky Wool cardigan. You can now see the full effect of the princess seams. She’ll look better after a little blocking.

The front and back are almost done and then I start playing around with sleeves. I do the bulk of my designing in Adobe Illustrator.

I don't want to give anyone the impression that using Illustrator is quick or easy, but I find it to be a great tool for the way I like to design for myself. In this case, the first thing I do is build a grid to scale. Then I create a pattern swatch that exactly matches a single pattern repeat for the stitch pattern. Since I generally create my document to be an exact 1 to 1 scale of the final pattern, I can use the actual inch markers on the built in document rulers, to draw the shape I want.

A little hint if you want to try this yourself, if you want a smaller scale, try working in centimeters instead of inches or picas instead of centimeters. For instance, if I draw my design pretending that each centimeter is an inch, I can basically scale the whole piece down by half, but I still have a ruler to go by when making modifications.

Just like working on regular graph paper, once my general shape is defined, I need to go in and redraw the shapes so they are made up only of whole stitches. Once the initial design is built, I fill it with my original pattern swatch and if all goes well, it will perfectly align with my gauge grid.

From there, I can reshape the piece at will and see how it will look. Then, I just print it out and work directly from the chart while I knit.

Since I have both a stitch-by-stitch, row-by-row representation of the piece and the stitch pattern, I can forego the row counter altogether. I just tick off the last row I worked and if I'm unsure if I remembered to mark off the last row, I can double check by looking at what row of the stitch pattern I just knit and comparing it to the chart.

I’d be curious to hear how other designers out there like to do their designing. Do many of you use Excel? Pencil, paper and calculator? Design programs? (I have one, but generally don’t use it for much more than calculating the armsceye and sleeve caps of multi-sized patterns.) Do you have another technique all together? Do tell.

August 30, 2006

Anatomically Correct

Do you know the story of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe? Well, Klamath, California hosts a huge sculpture in their honor. And doesn't this artist have vision? Not only is Paul blessed with a rugged carpet of chest hair.


That ain't no dark brown t-shirt under his flannel.

But Babe has his own show of virility.


Babe, I like you but I don't LIKE like you.

Let's get us a little close up here.




Doctor, this is the worst case of indigo spheres I've seen.
Get this patient to the ICU, STAT."

Today's sense of humor brought to you be the Local Council of 10 Year Olds and the Slap Happy Road Trippers Council of America.

August 29, 2006

A quick recap of the road trip

I'm home in Portland with both a feeling of elation to be back with my sweet Leo and Little Miss Panda, but also a sadness that the trek is over and Julia has gone back home. I have so much to tell you about, but I’ll try to keep from making this post too long. It was an amazing trip; one I'll look back on as being among the most memorable, but I'm exhausted. Like all of the past few weeks, we've packed as much into as little time as our little psyches could handle and it'll be days before the effects wear off.

The trip started with an easy jaunt to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles. We stayed at a place owned by a friend of Julia's. This allowed us the opportunity to stop by Village Spinning and Weaving in Solvang, CA.

While there, we availed ourselves our their various wheels, including Ashfords, Majacrafts, Louets and a Windwheel. When I left the shop, I thought I was happy with the Ashford Kiwi. That's definitely not what I expected, but it was a lovely little thing, easy to use, and it felt fine.

As we embarked on the next leg of our trip, we decided that we'd see if we could try a Schacht Matchless at Carolina Homespun in San Francisco. We figured that with the $600 price difference, the Matchless would have to be pretty darn wonderful to sway us.


I. Love. This. Wheel.

DAMMIT!

After spending hours at Carolina Homespun, spinning until we had to concede to the road trip agenda (and our rapidly waning blood sugar), we made our way to lunch and then back on the road. It was noon, and we were going to drive to the Sequoia National Forest, a mere 38 miles from San Francisco.

Five hours later, several wrong turns, some swearing at the atlas and not a Sequoia in sight, we were in stop and go traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge. In case the impact of that isn't entirely clear, that's a 5 hour detour to get us back to where we started, without actually seeing what we had hoped to see.

The sun was setting and the question became: Do we drive as far as we can at night, missing a good deal of the redwoods but still trying to get to Crater Lake the next day? Or do we drive a more reasonable distance, enjoy all the of the redwoods and skip Crater Lake?

We decided to drive as far as we could without overshooting the redwoods. There is no anxiety quite like that feeling that you've made a horribly bad decision. As we wound through the dark roads at night, hour upon hour passing, we calculated our optimal stopping point. Finally, having passed up most obvious points of civilization, we found ourselves in a quaint little area...where every light in town was turned off. The towns were silent and the motels could have as easily been abandoned, for all the life we could detect. Beam me up Scottie! I see no life here.

As the crew (all two of us) grew ever more punchy and concerned, we wound down one sleepy town's main street after another, until we found our oasis. Motel Ravenwood was open. As unlikely as it was, the owner just happened to be awake, awaiting another guest and he just happened to have an open room. We could have cried with happiness. Instead, we snatched the keys, paid our rate and made a bee line for the warmth of our beds.

The next day we awoke refreshed and ready to complete the last day of our journey. The redwoods are everything we hoped they'd be. Following the 101 up the coast, we stopped for a walk on the brisk sandy beach.



Doesn't Julia's sweatshirt look like it belongs on this beach?


From there, we followed the directions the motel owner gave us and found a quiet little trail off a well groomed dirt road.



My little spindle even joined us on the walk.

As we left the redwoods and headed to Crater Lake, I had a little twinge of excitement when I realized I had finally hit my new home state. If you are wondering, it's beautiful and Crater Lake is no exception.

We stopped at each little vista point and the little spindle joined in the oohing and ahhing. The atmospheric haze made the lake look dreamy and almost unreal. The spindle particularly enjoyed seeing the chipmunks. None of them broke into song.





Even the firemen were a delight to look at.

All said, it was an amazing trip. I’m still recovering, but I’m so glad I had the chance to do it. Portland is wonderful, and being back with my sweeties, is as grand as I hoped.

I should have more pictures up soon, and I feel pretty sure that Julia will have some stories to regale you with as well.

September 5, 2006

Not everyone loves a parade

Saturday, Leo, Panda and I decided to walk around Portland a bit. Panda doesn't really love "social" settings, she's more of a reclusive nature girl. She's definitely gotten better over the years, but it's still a little overwhelming to be in the city. We try to give her small doses of relatively positive experiences in public places when we can and lots of good times at places she’s more comfortable.

After walking along the river for a while, we headed back inland for some lunch at a wonderful Thai restaurant. We sat outside, enjoying our great meal and giving Panda a little breather from the hot weather and noisy city only to hear a bit of a commotion coming up the street.

What was it?

An immigrants' rights parade.

The "haters" sign amuses me to no end.

Panda, on the other hand....

...Is NOT amused. If you aren't an animal person, you may not be able to read her expression, but to me, this screams "get me the hell OUT of here." Click the image to get the full effect. I can't help but laugh. I know it's wrong, but I do anyway.

Once the parade passed, we found a quiet route back to the car and ran into this little guy:


And if you are wondering, here's his tag:

He's a part of this project. How cute is that? Check out some of the other pictures in the galleries.

September 3, 2006

The best laid plans of mice and men

Leo, Panda and I went to the beach this weekend. The coast is usually a safe bet for us because it's generally beautiful and Panda loves it.

Even our shoes seem happy at the beach

Leo had explored the Oregon coast a bit before and when he had, it had been beautiful but exceedingly cold. He suggested lots of layers. So we threw on some warm clothing and headed out for a quick half-day trip to the ocean.

Read all about it after the bump.

Continue reading "The best laid plans of mice and men" »

September 1, 2006

Settling in nicely

It's really hard to tell this early, but so far, I'm very happy in Portland. Seeing Panda so happy, eating great food and meeting kind people, it all seems a bit too good to be true. Perhaps when the rains start coming in earnest, I'll be singing a different tune. For now though, I will fall asleep counting Pygora, and wake up to great coffee, I'm going native, people.

Maybe it's unfair to compare the accommodations of a second story apartment versus the little house we are renting now, but from my office window, it's not uncommon for me to see birds and squirrels, fattening themselves up for the winter. We have some sort of tree with berries, growing right outside the window, which makes for no end of visitors.

But you know, the contents of this blog have been leaning pretty heavily towards talk of road trips and shenanigans (that's right, I call shenanigans!) I feel it's time to at least make a passing reference to something crafty.

I did a little more spinning on, and then plied the roving that saw all the great sites on our trip.

The fiber is a blend of BFL and Alpaca. I think this shot makes it seem a little course, but it isn't. It's an example of a fiber blend that is greater than the sum of its parts; soft, drapey, silky and unbelievably spinable.

This skein is exceptionally special to me because not only has it seen great sites but it's a combination of work by both Julia and me. I love the work I spin on my own, but it seems all the more special when someone else has spun a little of it too. I think both of us learned a lot going to the Fiber Fest and stopping at several shops on our way to Oregon. By Crater Lake, we were both able to match each other's spinning quite well.

To add a little more specialness still, I asked Panda to give me a hand with the photo shoot.

You'll have to excuse our yellow lawn. Once the weather gets cooler and rainier, I'm told I expect plenty of lush green grass.

And since there's been a bit of clamoring for Panda pics, here's a bit more to sate your appetite. After work, the three of us decided to take a jaunt around the neighborhood. I rode my pretty pink bicycle, and Panda and Leo....

Well, they do things their own way.

GO PANDA GO!

September 11, 2006

Dogs are allowed on all pathes (except the really good ones)

At my request, this weekend we decided to try some sight seeing inland. The ocean is always a safe bet but there's a whole lot of Oregon that doesn't even come close to being near the beach, but which is supposed to be lovely.

Leo got a recommendation from a friend who said that Silver Falls was both pet friendly (though she hadn't brought a pet) and really wonderful. It did sound amazing and hearing that pets are allowed on all trails except the "canyon trail" lead us to believe we had some beautiful falls in store for us. Alas, there are no falls, that we could see, anywhere on the other trails. Luckily, we still got to see much that was truly beautiful.

These weren't redwoods, but the trees stood incredibly tall. I just wasn't able to get a picture that showed a single tree from top to bottom

This fallen tree was immense. Leo and Panda look so small next to it.

 

The trails were fairly well maintained and a pretty easy walk. It didn't seem too challenging and surprisingly few buggies about our heads. As immense and breathtaking as all the views were, it's the little things that catch my eye.

We have icky spiders about the house, but it doesn't mean I can't appreciate a beautiful web when I see one.

Those shocking red berries look so intense next to all that green.

And if you think those are enchanting, look at this moss growing everywhere.

Some trees had thick coats of this growing on them, while others seem relatively untouched.

This seems like a setting out of some fantasy movie.

I had no idea I was making a heart with the leash. Cute, no?

After our hike, we went back to Portland for some lunch. We ended up at a wine bar called Thirst, where we had a delicious but light meal.

The view from our table, overlooking the river, on a perfect Sunday afternoon.

Panda hanging out at Leo's feet, and Leo sporting a lovely Panda shirt.

Since it was a wine bar, we decided to try their tasting options. I was expecting and would have been perfectly content with, smaller servings of wine, but their selections were great and really fun to try together. Leo got the "Eclectic Reds" and I had the "Light Flight All White." Paired with our salads and an order of assorted olives, we were three happy hikers.

Our favorite was the roasted kalamata olives. They were addicting. I'm surprised it didn't come to blows deciding who would get the last one.

September 7, 2006

Rebecca called, they'd like their photo shoot back.

We were channeling our inner knitwear models in these pictures. I think the Lush Hoodie better suits the scenery than my vest, but one makes due with what one packs.

dorks.gif

I think I may have laughed myself stupid during this.

See all the silliness here and here.

September 26, 2006

Last post before I leave

I'm in a bit of a fog with all I have to do before I leave tomorrow, so this post will be a bit haphazard. That said, let's get to it.

I stopped by OFFF on Sunday for just a little while. Leo and Panda drove down with me but when we found out dogs weren't allowed even to the outdoor sections, Leo and Panda went off to check out the town and I wandered the booths.

My first and favorite stop was Janel's of Chameleon Colorworks and Spindlicity.

Hey Julia, see that big bag on the left, that's all BFL, baby!"


More about what I got there, below.

I walked around all the other booths and showed surprising strength of will, even when passing the Wooly Winder stand. Mmmmm, Wooly Winder.

But what would a flock and fiber festival be without some flock?


I'm not crazy about livestock but I can't help but appreciate these guys.
I didn't take a ton of pictures of the festival, knowing they'd be a dime a dozen online. But let me tell you, there was much to be seen. I'll have my calendar marked for this event again next year.

After the festival, Leo, Panda and I were thirsty and ready to find some lunch. Leo spotted this place on his way back to pick me up.

It seemed serendipitous, I had to go in.
There was a bar and a restaurant and I went into the bar portion.

I enjoy a beer as much as the next person but Bud?


Lunch was every bit as spectacular as the decor. The "Coke" I ordered for Leo was a grocery store brand and the bags she packed our lunch in came from the 99¢ store. Now that is one classy establishment.
When I asked about the history, the bartender said it'd be around for many many years, and had gone through several incarnations. She didn't seem to know much more than that. When I told her there was a spinning festival going on down the road, she seemed politely half interested.

On the way home, I fondled my new rovings. 4 ounces each of 4 different colorways from Janel's booth.

Here, from left to right, Optim in colorway "Pearl," Merino/Viscose in colorway "Autumn" and a one-off colorway that I simply think of as "Peach" in the same Merino/Viscose blend.

Also, on the wheel and nearly completely spun up, some alpaca in colorway "Iris."

It's spun at a pretty fine weight and has a range of shades from nearly yellow green to blue to purple and all sorts of in-betweens.


I don't know about you, but when I spin these beautifully dyed colorways, there's always one color that makes a minor cameo amongst all the more dominant shades. Usually, it's a color that on its own, may not impress me, but mixed in with all the colors, it just sings. With this colorway, the shade is a soft dusty blue, more subtle than the dominant blue shade you see in the pictures. When I see that special blue coming up to my fingers, I always get a little excited. I felt the same way about the pink shade in my Autumn Spice roving. I hope to finish spinning and maybe even plying this fiber before I leave, but if not, I know I’ll be coming home to a relaxing treat.

October 16, 2006

Home sweet home

Wow, I have been one lazy bum these past few days. I think my body had finally gotten used to being 12.5 hours off from PDT and coming back my mind just gave up on me and said "Forget it, you can just sleep ALL the time, for all I care." We went out for a really nice dinner on Friday night and caught some bands and clubs downtown, but it was an act of pure will power to stay awake. However, I wasn't a complete and utter bump on a log. El Matchador and I enjoyed a sweet sweet reunion.

The first thing I did was to finish plying my 4 ounces of Alpaca in the Iris colorway. There are about 315 yards of DK-ish weight 2-ply.

It was actually nice to start off with something as mindless as plying.
Once all my alpaca off the niddy noddy and hanging out to dry, I broke into some of my Merino/Silk in colorway Catalina.

Both fibers are from Janel's store

This skein is 2 ounces and is a 3 ply, using the Navajo plying method. There are about 190 yards and it's, more or less, worsted weight. I love this method of plying, but man am I good at getting it messed up. I had a few "ugly moments" in this skein. Let us not speak of it again.

I, of course, have more fiber on the wheel right now. I'll have to show you that some other time.

We did manage to get out of the house yesterday, to give Panda a proper run around the park. Our hope had been to go to the beach, but the weather, being Portland an all, wasn't quite suitable for such endeavors. This is not to say that it wasn't beautiful out, though. After 5 years in LA, I sort of forgot how beautiful drizzly autumn days could be.

We swung by Leo's office and I snapped pictures of the ducks in the little river near the parking lot.

And all around us, the trees were turning.

The overcast skies really make the colors pop by comparison.

With an adventurous spirit and a little luck, we even found a nice little park to let the girl run around.

It had an apple tree just overflowing with ripe fruit

And lovely little roses giving their last blooms before winter.

I love that Portland offers some of the vivid colors of autumn that I remember from New Hampshire, but offers mild enough weather to sustain roses. Talk about the best of all worlds!

October 24, 2006

Scenic

I feel like I haven't had much in the way of craftiness to offer you guys lately. That probably won't change much in the next couple of weeks. I'm knee deep in unbloggable stuff and even El Matchador is feeling the slight. I do, however, have some Panda cuteness and Pacific Northwest autumnal beauty. If that sounds interesting to you, keep-a-scrolling!

Sunday, we decided that Panda was well overdue for some running around and chasing the "squirrel". We didn't make it as far as the beach, just over to the same park we visited, not so very long ago.

It was a gorgeous day, mild, sunny, perfect for wearing out a high energy dog.

That toy got a nice coating of slobber.

Once Panda was exhausted (or at least in need of a break,) I took to wandering around the park and snapping pictures. I could fill this blog with the pictures I took. There are pear trees, apple trees, berries of all sorts, all just growing in a tiny little park tucked away in Portland.


There's a colorway in here somewhere.

As we were heading back home, Leo and I decided that maybe we should take advantage of the beautiful day and do some sight seeing. Since it was relatively warm and Panda was a bit tuckered out, we decided to drop her off at home.

From there, we just took off.

In the areas we drove around, yellow and a touch of red really dominate the autumn colors. I don't recall seeing much orange at all. This part of Oregon is greener than I recall New Hampshire being, when I lived there, and it's definitely warmer.

 

Aww, those pumpkins look so delicious pretty.

And since it is a lovely October day, we had to stop by a pumpkin patch. While I love those vivid orange pumpkins, we got ourselves a classic one. The plan? We'll carve him up, rip out his guts and bake up the seeds, Then we'll stick a burning flame in him, set him out for the kids to gawk at and, Leo plans to smash him after Halloween. Somehow, it all seemed less violent when we originally discussed the idea.

Moo!

 

All of this, within an hour's drive from our humble little home. We were back before Panda finished her nap.

November 6, 2006

And a good time was had by all

On Saturday morning, I stretched out my bon-bon shaking aches. Leo suggested we brave the rain and wind and head to the beach to give Panda some running around time. Bundled up in layers we made our way to Cannon Beach.


The three of us arrived at our destination and Leo gave me a wry smile. "It looks like a hurricane out there." he says, and he should know, having lived through hurricane Andrew more than a decade ago. Panda, was doing the happy dance in the back seat, shifting from foot to foot and pacing from window to window as she let out a little desperate whimper. It was all on me, the princess of the bunch. Do I dismiss the hour's drive and turn the whole party around and go home or do I suck it up and brave the elements?

That ain't steam rising off the ground there!

I like to think of this as a little macrodermabrasion. You can't tell, but along with the wind, we had a healthy bit of rain coming down. The temperature was relatively mild, maybe 60 degrees, but the wind had quite a bite.

Panda felt it was all good fun, indeed.

In fact, she was wondering why we didn't stay longer. Once my jeans were soaked and the wind got even stronger, I wrangled the crew back into the car. We went home, had some lunch and tucked in for a little nap.

I thought it'd be a quite night in, but Leo had other ideas. "We'll just go out for an hour, see a band, maybe have a beer." He says. So I pop on something casual, that will keep me warm, and we head out to Laurelthirst, a little bar on the other side of the river, where we had some munchies and a little bit of beer while we listened to the band.

Their selection of beer is impressive and their nachos really hit the spot.

Any place sporting a Deception Dollar, is fine in my book.

Isn't Leo a good looking man?

He looked so cute I had to give him a kiss.

From Laurelthirst, Leo suggested we go back for more salsa dancing. At first, I resisted. I definitely wasn't dressed for dancing. But he didn't have to work too hard to twist my arm. We went back to Andrea's for a few, then over to Fernando's Hideaway. I danced and danced some more before we headed out for a little walk by the river.

It was a gorgeous night with just a little mist in the air. The trees had turned yellow and nearly glowed against the warm light of the streetlamps. A perfect ending to a great night.

November 4, 2006

Shakin' my bon-bon

Last night, Leo and I met up with a local group who tries different restaurants in Portland, every two weeks. This time, we went to Eleni's Philoxenia a Greek WONDERLAND of food yumminess. Great googily moogily, this meal was good.

After eating ourselves stupid, and smelling not unlike Gilroy, California, we went for some Salsa dancing at Andrea's Cha-Cha Club. When I say "we" went salsa dancing, it's in the royal sense. We don't salsa dance, I salsa dance. Leo mans the camera and tends to the people watching.

While I doubt the eau de garlic was a scent my dance partners hoped would be wafting over them, I couldn't help but have a grand old time cutting a rug.

I kind of think this blurry one is the most flattering of the bunch.

I guess this one looks a little bit more like it's actually me.

Dancing a cha-cha. I had a little trouble following this guy's lead and he kept insisting on counting aloud. It was a little bit of a train wreck.

Despite his mullet he was a very good dancer. Oh and he has a mullet, my god, I haven't seen one of those since New Hampshire!

We danced until about midnight before calling it quits and heading home to bed.

While Andrea's doesn't have quite the crowd I remember from my favorite Salsa clubs in Boston and LA, it comes as close as I've been able to find since coming to Portland. We've hit a few other spots that are nicer to look at but lack the sort of regulars that can really hold their own. Apparently, Tango is rather popular here and I may have to give it a shot, but for now, I've found a place to get my salsa fix.

November 27, 2006

Weather!

I'm sitting in Portland International Airport, enjoying their free (FREE!) WiFi while I await my flight down to John Wayne Airport for a quick business trip. My flight is a little delayed today. Why?

Snow-ish stuff.

And since I'm just now starting to acclimate to Portland weather, I'll spend almost all of the next two weeks in California and get my resistance to cold back down to nil. Yay!

Knitting on unbloggables continues in earnest, but I've spent a little time with El Matchador, here and there.

Candy pink Polwarth from Lynn. I spun the singles up lacy fine and created a 3-ply using the Navajo plying method.

Would you like to see it closer?

I knew you would.

But I won't be seeing much of El Matchador these next couple of weeks. I think I can live with that. But there are two things I'll miss bunches and I have a picture of one of them right here.

Three guesses what the other is...first two don't count. Well, time to check my flight status. Jet setting is soooooo glamorous.

November 22, 2006

Question to my Portland neighbors

To all of you who left me sweet comments about our Sunday trip, thanks. I have been absolutely swamped with work and emails sit read, appreciated and unanswered.

That said, I'm going to ask you all a favor.
It's getting to be about that time when Panda will need a check up. Can anyone recommend a really great Portland vet? We loved the guy we had back in LA, but it's a bit far to drive now.

And if you are in the West Side or Chatsworth areas of LA and need the name of one of two great vets, I got you covered. Just pop me a comment.

November 15, 2006

Just some things I enjoy looking at

A relatively random collection of recent photos that make me smile. As always, click to make them bigger.

My new yarn all balled up and begging to be swatched

Dew drops on the grass in the early morning.

Panda watching the rain.

Dog friendly park with a lake

Duck duck...

GOOSE!

Little critter A nutria (thanks Amanda!)

He can swim.

The purple center of a Queen Anne's Lace flower

November 20, 2006

The tide is high but I'm holding on

Well, it was another great weekend for me in Portland. This is probably not what anyone who watches the weather station would guess. We've been getting rains of epic proportions. I'm pretty sure I saw an old guy, two misguided daughters and a bunch of animals on a boat, floating down the street. Actually, I think we've been relatively lucky, our house is on high enough ground that we haven't had any flooding in our general proximity and every day has patches of glorious sunshine. I'm not complaining. And since this is abnormally bad weather, I haven't felt the pang of mover's remorse.

Saturday was dry and lovely and a perfect evening to step out for some Salsa. Thanks to PDX Woman I had the good fortune to find Aztec Willies.

You'll have to excuse the crappy photo, we brought the camera, but no memory card, so this was taken with a camera phone.

I decided to take the lesson to warm myself up, and then dance until Leo is ready to pass out. There was a live band, and the place was absolutely packed. I had a grand time. We finished the evening with some tacos and went to bed so we could wake up early and bring Panda to the beach.

See all the pictures from the beach, after the jump.

Continue reading "The tide is high but I'm holding on" »

December 24, 2006

Best looking beach bunnies

Both Leo and I have a 4 day weekend so we decided we would take the little poopers to the beach, come hell and especially come high water. She really digs that. We bundled up on the first relatively dry day, and packed into the car.

Cannon Beach has really been our beach of choice if only because it's the closest one for us to go to. So a lot of these pictures will give the regular reader of this blog, a vague sense of déjà vu all over again once more...again.

It was a brisk day with a light breeze and nary a drop of rain. Perfect weather for a game of doggy tennis.*

All the fun was set against a gorgeous foggy backdrop.

But Panda is a bright girl and she knows a dog cannot live on tennis alone.

Bring on the SQUIRREL!

I got it in my head that we really needed a "family" photo for once, so I propped up the camera and set the timer.

Attempt number two was foiled by a bad case of "shake the squirrel."

Maybe today wasn't the day for a family photo.

Back in the car, just out of the beach parking, we saw a field of bunnies. I all but leaped from the moving vehicle and ordered Leo and Panda to find a place to park for a moment.

The bunnies, they are very cute. I crouched down and tried to get a good photo, when suddenly, one began bounding full speed ahead at me.

Being the entirely sane and not-at-all-girly person that I am, my initial reaction was "OH GOD! I'm about to be attacked by a charging WILD ANIMAL!" I stepped back. And then reality tapped me gently on the shoulder and mentioned that it was a bunny rabbit, nearly domesticated, and probably unlikely to prevail in hand to hand combat.

Having regained my momentary lack of composure, I was able to get some rather fetching, if I do say so myself, photos of the little chap.

Ahhh, all weekends should be 4-days long and full of such joy. Here's hoping all of you are having just as much, or more fun.

*Doggy tennis involves two people standing relatively far apart and each calling said doggy, in turn, so that she must run back and forth until she tires her cute little butt out a little.

December 4, 2006

PDX again

So I didn't get to go to San Francisco this weekend. It's sad, but Leo and I were not going to let the weekend go to waste. On Friday, we met up with the bi-weekly Restaurant Roulette group to try an Ethiopian restaurant named Queen of Sheba. The food was delicious, the atmosphere; not so much. But, if you forgo any drinks, you can eat for about $10 a person and be pretty full. It's communal finger food, so bring someone whose cooties you don't mind getting or already have.

After a long week of working, Leo and I didn't make it out after dinner. We headed home and hit the sack. I've started a new book *sigh,* it is wonderful. If you are one of the 3 people who hasn't read it yet, pick it up. I'm supplementing this with some nonfiction, or a reasonable facsimile. With topics like String Theory and Quantum Mechanics, we move into the realm of scientific philosophy, which may or may not be classified as nonfiction. Feel free to let loose with your own thoughts on the topic.

On Saturday, we hit our favorite little hippy bar for some live music, good munchies and a pint.

Someone offered to take our picture for us and told me to do something silly.
So I did.

But lest you think I'm a face licking freak, I do have proof of my better behavior, or as itty bitty Marnie would have said "I am being ha(i)ve!"

But let me tell you, for all the excitement of coming home to see the ones I love, I'm embarrassed to admit how exceedingly excited I was to get this.

That's right, it's a WooLee Winder, in the flesh...er...timber.

There was a slow start with my new toy. You see, the WooLee Winder works by way of a pair of gears; one on the bobbin and the other on the flyer. The two must engage in order to wind the yarn onto the bobbin. The whorls I have for El Matchador, appear to be hand machined and while they fit just fine for the purposes of general spinning, they leave a bit of a gap between the bobbin and whorl that causes the gears to barely touch and producing a noticable off balance load onto the bobbin. It's also distractingly loud. This is not a fault with the WooLee Winder. The gap was present on my old flyer as well. It looks a little something like this:


You can actually see my first attempt at filling the void, as well. It’s your standard issue rubber band. OK, but not great.

After a few nearly near catastrophic attempts to make the whorl opening wide enough to properly fit the flyer, I decided it was best I come at this from another angle. I'm not sure how many of you have read my two part series on stitch markers (if you are suffering from insomnia, this may be just the ticket!) but I've found yet another use for some of my most favorite stitch markers.

With three of my black rubber stitch markers, the whole system works like a dream. I have to apply a lot more tension with the break to get the bobbin to take up any yarn, but it sure beats trying to re-machine my whorls with a screwdriver and hammer. SHHHH! I know it was a bad idea, just be glad I’m not showing a broken whorl in this post.


I've been spinning some of my beautiful silk/merino blend that I picked up at Stitches West. The overall color is a soft sage green but spun very fine, the other colors really shine through.

The overall effect is still a soft green but more neutralized, with flecks of red and yellow glimmering through. It's hard to get a really great picture of the yarn that shows the color, but it's lovely indeed.

I haven't had a lot of luck working with these types of vertical color blends in the past, it always seemed like the color changed too abruptly and never looked quite right. But I think I've found a technique that normalizes the results a bit. Basically I use a fairly wide strip of roving, maybe 1/2 or 1/3 the total diameter of the roving as it comes. Then, I work the fibers into yarn by splaying them slightly and allowing the drafting zone to move right to left across the unspun roving. Does that make any sense? Perhaps I'll need to enlist my sweet Leo to help me take pictures when I'm back in Portland.

I think I'll still see some color variance from length to length of the yarn, but less so than if I had worked the fiber as I normally do — from a pencil sized diameter of roving — which would have given far more variance from section to section.

Ok, this is about as rambling and disjointed as any post I've made in recent history, so I'll sign off for now.

January 16, 2007

Haystack Rock

We've driven to Cannon Beach on several occasions in the past, but have always entered on the northern side at Ecola Park.

Here's a little Google Map satellite view of our normal route. The water line has been really high lately so there's normally not this much sand, but you get the idea.

Sunday, we went this route in hopes of finally getting to see that rock we're always taking pictures of.

Well, the day could not have been more beautiful and we have the pictures to prove it.

See them all here.

And if you want a little laugh, check out Panda's diversion, en route to the beach, after the bump.

Continue reading "Haystack Rock" »

January 1, 2007

Panda happy new year

Those of you who have been visiting my site for a while may recall that Leo only celebrates holidays that involve lots of fun having and which are, basically, secular. This means that Halloween, Thanksgiving and New Year's top the list, with a nod to Valentine's day and, of course, a month for my Birthday. However, that last one is more mandated by the relationship than anything.

Since the plan was to have a rocking good time, I made sure that Panda got a nice long walk during the day.

Does anyone notice that besides the lovely view and adorable dog, there is also a new FO in this picture? A few of you have asked for the stitch pattern, but I plan to do you one better and post the whole hat pattern soon. The stitch is from one of the Barbara Walker books, but I'll have to dig back through to get the exact name. More on all that to come, in the future.

So back to the evening's events. Having moved to Portland, late in the year, we were a bit behind the eight ball in coming up with plans. We really didn't know where we'd wanted to go, because we hadn't really been anywhere and once we decided where we might like to go, all the options appeared to be filled up. Thus ensued a mad romp about the internet in search of options.

Leo found this posting online.

Tango lessons, a 5 course meal and Cirque Du Soleil style acrobatics; it all sounded like a perfect evening.

Well, it wasn't quite what we expected. The reservation secured us a spot at one of the wedding/prom style communal tables for 8 and a chance to visit the buffet and purchase wine by the glass from the bar. While the performers were excellent, much of it happened closer to terra ferma than we expected, so we missed a great deal of it. It wasn't a bad evening, but we still felt it was pretty oversold in the flier.

Oh and there may have been the slight issue in determining where the event was held. The picture above tells you all about the event, but not where it is. Combing their site, I managed to determine where they were performing on December 31st, which just happened to be 37 blocks from the event we had tickets for and lucky us, having taken public transportation in to the city, we found ourselves in a mini-predicament. All that got sorted out with an inexpensive cab ride, though it did put us pretty far from any means of getting home again. Oh, and we'd been warned that starting at about 9PM it would be about a 2-3 hour wait for a cab if we needed it, so if we wanted to take a cab back to the train, we were probably out of luck. Ooops.

Once seated, Leo took to procuring wine and I met our new friends.

That adorable couple would be Erica and Larry. It's a good thing they are gregarious because I am one of those shy folks who probably wouldn't have said a word if they hadn't been so outgoing. That would have been my loss because they are delightful dinner companions.

Most of the evening's performances were set to tango-like music.

Though, I swear, one piece was done to an instrumental version of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters."

After dinner, there was a tango lesson. I did manage to guilt Leo into a few minutes of dancing with me. But when he lost interest, I began my rounds as the dance floor floozy; dancing with both dance instructors, some old Russian man named Alex, whose wife was getting pointers from one of the instructors, and finally a last dance with Larry, who had taken pity on me and my dance addiction. But I can stop any time. I can.

While watching some more floor shows, we heard a rushed "Four...Three...Two...ONE!" and realized it was now officially 2007 in our time zone.

A big wet smooch and hug and then we bid 2006 a fond farewell.

At this point, we began scheming about our plans to get home. Do we see if we can catch a bus back downtown? Do we even know which direction downtown is? Can we walk to a train station? None of that was necessary, instead, Larry and Erica invited us to join them for wine at their place and we jumped at the chance. They'd been so much fun to talk to AND they'd get us close to public transportation and cabs. What good fortune for us.

They have the most lovely and immaculate place in the Pearl. Did I mention is was also impeccably clean? Dear lord! I can understand having your place in order when you plan to invite folks over, but who the hell has their house that perfect just for normal every day living? Damn them!

We kept them up for another few hours, Erica and I talking fondly of road trips and pets, the guys discussing, who-knows-what.

At nearly 3AM, we decided we'd imposed ourselves long enough and began our voyage back to little Panda and the warmth of our home sweet home. But I don't think that's the last we'll see of them.

It may not be what we expected but it was a great way to start the year.

January 10, 2007

We interupt this regularly scheduled lunch break to bring you...WEATHER

How can you tell the recent transplant from LA to Oregon? She's the one, in her jammies, taking picture of precipitation. It's ridiculous, really, I grew up with this stuff but after 6 years of eternal sunshine, there is something a bit novel about it.

First thing this morning, Leo scraped the frozen snowy slush off his windshield, while Panda and I watched from the front window, remaining toasty and warm.

But it was NOTHING compared to the 30 minutes of frozen rainy, hail stuff that we just got.

Panda is annoyed that I'm asking her to sit for this picture when she could be romping and smelling said rain.



It looks like it would hurt, but it's really like little fluffy snowballs; very light and quick to melt.


And as soon as it started, it was done. The sun is beaming now and most of what came down has melted away.
This is winter I can live with.

February 7, 2007

Another great day at the beach

You may all be getting sick of Cannon Beach pictures, but we never get sick of going, and, of course, it's Panda's most favorite place, being so full of water, sand and fetch. What's so great is that the beach is clean, there are hardly any crowds and there seems to be minimal rip current to pull our cutie pup under the waves.

We are continuing our quest south down the beach, this time starting from haystack rock. You can see all the pictures from the beach, by going to this page.

Beach going is one part sight seeing to two parts fetch.

A stick carved by some sort of wood loving creepy crawly.



Fetch!


The mist rising up around Haystack rock. This time the tide was too high to reach the rock without aid of some sort of kayak or large burly man to carry you.



Fetch!


Seagulls walking along the beach.



Fetch and resting with the squirrel until someone throws it again.

It's all very tiring yet satisfying work, as I'm sure you can imagine. However, there are risks. Getting to this tree stump was far easier than getting away.


There was no water near that thing when he climbed up. We weren't sure if he'd make it home or if we'd just have to leave him there.
He planned, though, since he had the car keys, we decided to wait out the flood.

March 6, 2007

How many apples to keep the vet away?

00001atthevetAt the vet

Panda recently had her first visit to her new vet. As you can see, she is not so big a fan of places like the vet, where there is this "indoor" thing that is not home and there are no waves or trees or squirrels to chase. For the most part, as we expected, she is healthy and happy and well. However, she's an aggressive bone chewer and had cracked a few teeth. The vet needs to clear away some plaque to see how bad they are cracked, and possible may need to extract the back teeth. All this requires Panda be put under. Eeesh! While the Vet feels comfortable that this is pretty standard surgery and should not be a big problem, Leo and I are, of course, nervous about her being anesthetized.

What are we to do? Why, spoil her rotten before the surgery, of course! There is no better way to do this than with lots of walks and a trip to cannon beach.

It's a picture heavy post, so I've placed all the images after the jump.

 

 

 

Continue reading "How many apples to keep the vet away?" »

March 28, 2007

What the daffodilly-o?

Ahh, is there anything more bad-ass than a 30-something suburbanite using antiquated slang in a punny fashion? I say not.

In keeping with my focus on deadline work and therefore, decided lack of crafty goodness, I bring Portland in spring. It's a beautiful thing that even my spangly new birthday camera cannot do justice to. It doesn't stop me from trying, though.



Lovely trees in bloom, in shades of white and pink



Daffodils and little fragrant white flowers that have appeared in our yard. The daffodils are everywhere in our yard, but these little white flowers stand alone in our vast backyard with no kindred neighbors. We have no idea from where it came.




Gorgeous red tulips grow like weeds in front of our house. Where are my wooden clogs when I need them? We can't wait to see what other flowers pop up in our yard.






Of course, I can't post about the joys of spring without a picture, or three, of Panda romping in the yard. Can you believe we (meaning, Leo) cut the lawn just over a week ago? Granted, it was cut long, but still, that's some good growth in a week.

April 2, 2007

Lacking the requisite fear for survival

Well, it was another truly lovely weekend here in Portland. At some point, am I supposed to stop liking this place? It hasn't happened yet. There just always seems to be something fun to do

On Friday,we celebrated Larry and Erica's 1st wedding anniversary. Their 12th (going steady?) anniversary is in May. This means that I must joke that they are newlyweds all night, because that never gets old.

When Leo and I arrived at the restaurant, Erica and Larry were well into their celebration. We agreed that all of us (except Erica) would have some super hot oyster shooters. Yum but with a long and painful burn. Leo, he of little forethought, ordered two for himself and realized the second would only add to his current level of pain.

On Sunday, we went back to Cannon Beach to give Panda some much needed running around. We go for walks during the week, but nothing takes the place of running around the beach for a few hours. This is also when we get to the part of the story where I explain the title, but before we go there, I must show the obligatory scenic shots. To save load time on the home page, all the pictures are in the extended entry, after the jump.

Continue reading "Lacking the requisite fear for survival" »

April 11, 2007

Water a-fallin'

Leo, Panda and I went on an amazing hike and beautiful drive, this past Saturday. Our original intention was to go to Mt Hood and enjoy its splendor, but we got sidetracked and by sidetracked I mean that Leo didn't believe the maps, GPS, or various signs on the road, that Mt Hood was that-a-way, not this-a-way. But who cares, where we ended was more beautiful than I could have hoped.

It was rainy and cloudy, but hardly a drop fell while we hiked and no one, not even Miss Pukey Pants herself, got sick in the car. In my book, that's a winner of a day, all around.

Want to see a bunch of the pictures (not all, I took nearly 200)? If so, just clicky right here.

May 7, 2007

It took just over a week

I've been bracing myself for a month or two of unrest in the home. It's been manageable, with Thea being more than happy to persist at harassing her sister and Panda being even more than happy to tell her to shove it where the sun don't shine. Panda has occasionally agreed to allow the little one to sit near her and has moments where she forgets herself and plays with Thea for a few minutes, but for the most part, it's been mostly the cold shoulder.

Then I went out of town for a couple days, for some personal business. I came home, and something clicked, suddenly, the girls were playing...together...with each other even. I don't know if it was the excitement of having me come home or if about a week was all they needed. Either way, it's a beautiful thing to see them happy together.

To celebrate, we took the little fur balls to Frog Lake up in the Mt Hood region.


Border Collies + Snow = Good old fashion fun

See all the pictures of the trip to the lake here and see all the pictures of Panda and Thea playing, by clicking here.

May 15, 2007

Konichiwa Crochet

I'm almost always a guest, never a host. Our home is small and lacking in furniture and it's not just anyone I'd subject to a single small (very small) bathroom shared between three adults. But when Julia said she'd be in town for work, I vacuumed up the dog hair and gave the tub an extra scrub. We had us a guest in town!

Recently, Julia has decided to learn crochet in earnest and her enthusiasm is infectious. On a recommendation we found our way to a huge Japanese market replete with...wait for it...a Japanese BOOK STORE. Great googily moogily! Their selection of crochet books was small but packed full of goodness.

There may have also been some shopping at a couple LYSs and the opportunity to meet a really great blogger and designer. Have yarn, will craft, and there was no dearth of that. In the 3 days that Julia and I spent together, not a single solitary picture was taken until the third and final day. Luckily for you, it was the most photogenic day of the lot.

Early that day, we packed the car up for a trip to Horsetail falls. If you read my non-crafty posts, you may remember our last visit, not too long ago.

The day was perfect for hiking. It was a little cool, but not so much as to require substantial outerwear. The sun was out but shaded by some light and poofy clouds. Didn't we agree they were Stradivarius clouds or were they igneous, Julia?

Leo was doggy wrangler for the day. It's no small feat to keep two dogs from intertwining on leash especially when one of them is just a pup. They were each other's yin and yang. Panda would duck every time someone would try to pet her. She wanted nothing more than solitude from everyone she didn't know. Thea, on the other hand, wanted to jump all over every person and dog we passed (and there were many people celebrating Mother's day by hiking on these beautiful trails). Between these two extremes was our handsome hero, dragging one girl ahead and holding another back. Me thinks we have some more training to do.

On the drive home, I crocheted from my new Japanese crochet book. This little wonder is chock full of sweet motifs. While the book is all in Japanese, everything is charted which makes them delightful to use. The yarn? My lovely peachy Merino/viscose handspun, from Chameleon Colorworks. The viscose gives a subtle sheen and the brilliant dyeing gives depth to the simple colorway. When you see the yarn, it's clear the spinning is average, at best, but the fiber was so beautiful to start with that I can't help but be proud of the final product.

Blocked, the finished pieces look like snowflakes.
What am I going to do with them? Perhaps a doggy babushka.

Perhaps not.
I have more — what's the word — sane ideas. I don't have enough yardage to do a whole garment in this yarn (unless I want to go particularly scantily clad) but it could be paired with another handspun or store bought yarn in some creative way. All that is still in deliberation.

After our long hike and short ride home, I took a marathon nap and then arose with ample time to join Julia at Lake Park for a photo shoot. I'll leave those pictures for her to post. Instead, check out the fresh batch of ducky goodness from the same outing.

They can give me avian flu, any old day. I just want to scoop them up and snuggle them.

And now, Julia is back at home with all her fur balls. And all that's left is the now deflated air mattress where she was set up. Thea payed homage to Miss Tuna in Julia's absence. I think that's Thea's way of saying she was glad to meet her.

It was a great weekend and I hope there will be more like it soon. And someday, we'll own a house with more than one bathroom and a proper spare bedroom. I'm dreamin' big, baby.

June 3, 2007

All day on the coast

This weekend is the annual celebration of the day a certain someone was born, though he doesn't like it spoken about so shhhhhhhhhhhhh. Certain someone requested we go back to the beach for some good family fun.

We've been to Manzanita Beach, and we have been to Ecola and Cannon Beaches many times but this time, we decided to try Hug Point, located between the two.

We arrived at Hug Point, around 11AM, and the temperature was cool, a nice change from the unseasonably high temperatures we've had in Portland, over the past week. There was a wedding reception at the beach, but we tucked around the corner and found a lovely area to play with the girls.

0154hug.jpg 0159hug.jpg 0168hug.jpg 0170hug.jpg

The beach is beautiful but explorers beware! One could easily get trapped when the tide comes in. I don't think the girls would have minded, but we sure would have.

0183hug.jpg 0192hug.jpg 0198hug.jpg 0212hug.jpg

When our tummies started to complain it was lunch time, we packed up to go back to Cannon Beach for a bite to eat. After filling up on diet food (read: fries, burgers, ribs, bacon, and guacamole) we talked about wandering over to the beach for another quick romp before heading home. As merely a whim, we thought it might be fun to head just north a bit and see if we could find another beach.

Continue reading "All day on the coast" »

July 5, 2007

Seeing spots and colors

Ahh, independence day, the one day when Leo's interests and Panda's are at complete odds with each other. Leo regales me with stories from his childhood that prove that the fates love drunks and children. When the words, "made our own" and "fireworks" are strung together, I can only shake my head and be glad he has, allegedly, grown out of that phase.

While California and Oregon seem to have similar limitations on fireworks; namely that the general public can't buy things that go flying off tither and yon, Southern California is far more flammable than Portland and I think people are more reluctant to send sparks about the kindling that is their back yard. Additionally, we now live in a quiet little suburb where there is very little nightly traffic. Throughout the neighborhood, one could hear and see the assortment of volcanic light displays and sparklers, individuals were setting off in the street.

IMG_0101.JPG IMG_0142.JPG

So while this was not Panda's first 4th of July, it was definitely one of her worst. Add to the noise, the relatively warm temperatures (close to 90) and it made for one unhappy dog. Thea, on the other hand, seemed a little put out by the loudest noises but was otherwise indifferent to the whole thing.

And since lots of people will be posting fireworks today, how about some cute dog shots.

IMG_0046.JPG

Here's Thea showing off her fresh crop of spots. She used to be almost completely white.

IMG_0034.JPG

And my beautiful girls basking in the sun.

IMG_0054.JPG

And Thea bringing on the cute, full force.

July 2, 2007

September Glow

Well, El Matchador has been purring like a kitten and helped me produce another little skein of delicious yarn.

septemberglow_skein.jpg

Specs

  • Fiber: 90% Cotswold / 10% Silk (the white bits)
  • From: Nistock Farms.
  • Color: September Glow: Shades of gingerbread cookies with orange and raspberry sorbet.
  • WPI: About 20. It's a little inconsistent, leaning mostly a bit lighter, though some areas are a little thicker. The silk also tends to form nubs.
  • Length: Over 225 yards.
  • Spun on: Schacht Matchless wheel (El Matchador to you)
  • Plies: 2, plied off of two bobbins until one ran out, then switched to Andean plying to avoid waste.
  • Impressions: I just love spinning this fiber. The batts are well prepared with only the smallest amounts of vegetable matter. The fiber is not too slippery, and has a lovely sheen. It's not really next to the skin soft, but it's not all that rough either. The colors are divine. I'm looking forward to spinning up more.

septeberglow_closeup.jpg

For the first time, I have washed but not weighted my yarn. This skein did get a rather good beating against the pole, but otherwise, she is unmanipulated. Apparently, there are two rather strong camps on this topic. Some people are weighers and some are not. I imagine there are good reasons for both. If I had to guess as to why you shouldn't weigh, it would be that weighing might give a false sense of balance that would then be undone the next wash the yarn (probably in knit or crochet form) went through. But that's just a guess. What do you all have to say? Anyway, after soaking in some warm water and Eucalan, and a couple thwacks before it dries, the yarn seems pretty darn balanced.

septemberglow_hanging.jpg

Recently June posted about Spinning Spider Jenny. If you haven't found her, and you are a spinner, go find her now. She's a wealth of information. Jenny happened to post about her method of 2-plying. Alas, I didn't read it until mere hours after I had completed my yarn, but next time I'm definitely going to try this method. It seems rather like common sense but it's sheer brilliance to me.

In entirely unrelated news, we found another great hiking site for the girls, and this is only 5 minutes from home!

IMG_0064.jpg

There's a lovely place called MacLeay Park (I like to think it's a typo and should actually end in an "n" instead of "y.") in Portland that feels like its 100 miles from the closest city.

IMG_0083.jpg

It was a gorgeous day, though perhaps a bit hotter than we are all used to. Thank goodness we've evolved so as not to be covered in hair. How do dogs do it? It's funny, though, both girls showed some unexpected personality changes that day.

Thea, our normally fearless (seriously) hero, decided that wooden bridges were the scariest thing EVER.
IMG_0132.jpg
With a little coaxing and encouragement, she got a bit better, a good thing, because we crossed a good many of them, but she definitely wasn't loving them. Each time we'd reach one, she'd pull on the emergency break, I'd run across the bridge and call her and she'd muster up her courage and then bolt across. Silly monkey.


And Ms. Panda, our normally indifferent and withdrawn wallflower, suddenly decided she needed to keep an eye on Thea and defend her against dominant (not aggressive, dominant) dogs.
IMG_0123.jpg
She was fine with this little ball of happiness, but Panda tried to get a little b*tchy with some other bigger dogs. That's definitely something we're going to have to work on. We definitely don't want a dog that's going to be picking fights. That's no fun.

But don't let those two issues lead you to believe we didn't have a great time. It was gorgeous. You can see all of the photos from the hike here.

July 8, 2007

She works hard for the yummies

The heat eased off for the weekend and we put the great weather to good use. On Saturday, Leo lit up the barbecue and cooked us a delicious meal. The girls watched on as we filled our bellies.

justresting2.jpg

Afterwards, we cut up a few little scraps and did some training with them. Panda shows her well honed skills by balancing a piece of meat on her nose until Leo gave her the OK to eat it.

sheworkshardfortheyummies.jpg

Thea didn't have much interest in doing that trick.

trying_butnotquite.jpg


We had her work on some easier things after that.

Then we moved to some chores. I took the kitchen while Leo started the lawn mowing. After a few minutes, Leo said he needed some assistance and I met him outside to see him hosing off his bloodied-OHMYGODWHATHAPPENED-leg. While mowing, the lawnmower kicked up a spring that had been buried in the ground, honed it to a fine point and hurled it at his leg. He was wearing pants, which appear to have more tensile strength than his flesh as the pants are unmarred but he got himself a pretty fine little hole that bled like the dickens. He's fine and will be seeing the doctor tomorrow to be sure. Still, all that blood. Even if you think you want to see how it looked, you probably shouldn't click this. If you did, though, you can see the offending object as well.

But Leo is never one to let an oozing wound stop him from having a good time. Today, we made our way over to Manzanita Beach, but before we hit the ocean, we stopped into our favorite breakfast locale for some Eggs Benedict. Actually, we split one order of Eggs Bennie and one of Crab Cakes Benedict which is just like Benny but with a crab cake swapped out for the ham.

IMG_0001.jpg


Oh mama!

The girls did really wonderfully at the beach and are playing together more and more.

IMG_0044.jpg

Panda made some great catches and Thea was her normal social and adorable self. You can click any of these pictures to go to my flickr page and see all the other shots.

IMG_0067.jpg

Alas, condolences are in order. The poor faithful squirrel was lost at sea today. We all bowed our heads in respect before moving on, since, well, we have 2 more at home. I just hope that some lucky dog ends up getting it when it eventually washes ashore.

Goodbye Squirrel
2006-2007

August 12, 2007

Like we needed an excuse

Our backyard is elevated slightly, and surrounded by a short rock wall. You can see what I mean here. Instead of taking the stairs up and down, to get to the grassy area, Panda likes to simply leap.

Well, yesterday, Panda misjudged the wall a bit and slammed her front paw very hard on one of the protruding rocks. She stopped dead in her tracks.

I called out, "Panda, are you OK?"

She looked at me, limped over to me, sat, and held her paw up. My heart just sank. She looked so so sad. Of course, I showered her with kisses and coos and scratched her head.

After determining that no bones were broken and that the cuts were largely just surface abrasions, I lead her back out, slowly, to do her business and then brought her in to take a closer look at the damage.

IMG_0007.JPG

See those red marks? Poor thing. Just breaks my heart.

Leo suggested that this was as good an excuse as any to pack up the girls and take them to the beach. It would take Panda's mind off of any discomfort and they were really getting stir crazy, anyway.

Our first stop was in Manzanita. The wind was intense but that never phases the little ones.

IMG_0101.JPGIMG_0064.JPG


Panda showed no signs of even remembering she had hurt her foot. She didn't limp, didn't shy away from the water and had a great time, so we decided to keep going.

We headed south, following the ocean, and ended up at Manhattan Beach. There was far less wind and we were able to find a nice spot to play fetch with the pups.

IMG_0184.JPG

It was all fun and games until the little stink pot decided she'd rather run off and play with other people, instead of hanging out with us.

IMG_0204.JPG

Leo had a talk with her...

IMG_0234.JPG

But you know how adolescents can be.

After that, we decided to explore a bit more. We ended up at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company, which also boasted a petting zoo, wine tasting, chocolates and other sundries. We bought some cheese, wine and baguette, and headed back north, towards home.

IMG_0320.JPG

But not before another detour to Manzanita...

IMG_0346.JPG

As the sun was starting to set, Leo thought it would be fun to put some of our food to good use and suggested a picnic. We headed over to Cannon Beach, picked up a beach blanket, and caught the last few glimmers of daylight, over a couple sips of wine and cheese.

IMG_0395.JPG

Since we had a bit of a drive, we didn't really have much wine, but we put a nice dent on the bread and cheese. YUM. And unlike So Cal, where you have to pay to use beaches that allow camp fires and late night picnics, Cannon Beach was alight with fires set by families keen to roast marshmallows and make the most of the gorgeous evening.

IMG_0414.JPG

After it got dark, we reluctantly packed up for the trip home and we listened to Harry Potter XII doh! VII the whole way.

I would say that's a most excellent way to coddle a doggy's boo boo. See more pictures over at Flickr. Leo's already declared that we'll be doing many more beach picnics in the future.

August 27, 2007

A sort of anniversary

A year ago today, Julia and I were in the redwoods on our way from LA to Portland, Oregon.
I had just spent a month away from Panda and Leo, who'd moved up to Portland to start his new job.

After a couple weeks at Julia's house, and much planning we hit the road for our scenic and spinny adventure. There is no event quite like a road trip to get one past the "close acquaintance" stage right to friend. It's hard not to bust out laughing as we regale ourselves and anyone else who will listen, with stories from our adventures.

I'll forever hold a warm space in my heart for the Ravenwood, even though there was no running water when we awoke.

And I still remember the gorgeous fog over the ocean, surrounded by redwoods. Who wouldn't bust out into full dorkatude?

We nearly skipped Crater Lake, after some set backs and delays, but we made it and it's as breathtaking as everyone says it is.

And best of all, I have been able to live in beautiful Portland, Oregon. I love it up here, though I miss all my friends in LA. Julia makes for a great road trip companion and I would do it again in a heartbeat.


I've been doing a bit more than my usual reading and all of it has been good, so I thought I'd share my recommendations.

On the nightstand


fsm.jpg guardsguards.jpg


Actually, that's not the current cover for SI. The current one covers AIDS deniers. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a real hoot and sure to offend almost anyone. I'm glad to call myself a Pastafarian, rAmen! Guards Guards is currently my top reading to keep me from reading too much of what I'm...

...Savoring


hpVII.jpg


Need I say more? I don't want it to end.

Recently finished


sciencegoodevil.jpg middlesex.jpg skeptic.jpg


I really love Michael Shermer's books and articles and The Science of Good and Evil is no exception. He's also the publisher of Skeptic, to which I subscribe.
My mother lent me Middlesex and it was indeed funny, touching, thoughtful and moving. I generally shy away from books that are highly publicized and I'm not a fan of all of Oprah's suggestions, (yes, I'm one of those wet blankets who isn't into the whole The Secret phenomenon.*) but this book is definitely worth a read.




* That is, I don't believe in a magical force that brings luck and money to people who really want it.
However there is evidence to suggest that people who believe they are lucky are more likely to do things like enter drawings and raffles or build their social and business network which can result in more fortunate outcomes.

September 3, 2007

Lovely long weekend

Leo and I have put this labor day weekend to good use, if I do say so myself. Since we are renting a house, it's always a struggle to decide how much time and money we should invest in beautification of our humble abode. It's a great little place, but after years of being rented, there's a lot that has gone neglected. This is not the loving little first home, it was originally built to be, but a way point in the lives of folks like Leo and me. Still, never one to shy away from a little hard work, Leo has decided we should get things tidied up, so on Saturday and Monday, we shoveled, we weeded, we hauled masses of toppled brick and we planted a little flower garden that we hope we'll stick around long enough to see bloom once, and only once, before buying our own home. But Sunday, we put aside our shovels and spades and seeds and bulbs and packed up our car for a trip to Manzanita Beach.

On the way, we listened to Harry Potter and I got in a little knitting.

IMG_0110.JPG


This skirt remains my one mindless piece of knitting, that I can plug away on when I don't want to have to worry about row counters and lace patterns and other distractions.

We were expecting some serious crowds at the beach, and places like Cannon Beach and Hug Point, were, indeed, crowded, but Manzanita proved to be an ideal spot. While there were many people, we never felt crowded or cramped.

IMG_0068.JPG

The girls had a wonderful time and Thea is really starting to come into her own. Slowly, Thea is building her recall and we are able to keep her off leash for longer without incident. She's still so filled with social excitement that I wouldn't trust her implicitly, the way I do Panda, but she's proving to be a wonderful little girl.

IMG_0107.JPG

After a quick stop over at Blue Heron to pick up some provisions, we went back to Manzanita and set up camp. We are currently conducting reconnaissance in preparation for a bigger excursion with our friends; Erica and Larry and Jackie and her pup Tulip.

IMG_0124.JPG

Leo is in charge of setting up the fire.

IMG_0139.JPG

I am in charge of proving that pups will do almost anything for salami.

IMG_0133.JPG

Thea was a little scared of the fire at first. Can you see her hiding behind the log?

IMG_0145.JPG

But she came around after a little while.

IMG_0162.JPG

We attempted to take a family portrait, by way of self timer.

IMG_0165.JPG

Twas not so successful.

IMG_0225.JPG

And as the sun set and the air got a little cooler, my ample tush proved excellent insulation for the not-so-little one.

See more pictures over at Flickr.

September 24, 2007

Back to our old selves

It's so nice to be back to normal. We went for our first hike since Thea's surgery and it was beautiful.

The air in Portland has gotten a nice coolness that makes exercising and hiking, a real pleasure. The leaves are just starting to turn and the skies have been partly cloudy, which suits my light sensitive eyes, just fine.

We decided to keep our adventure local and hit MacLeay park again. On our last hike there, we hit the lower trail. It's a relatively easy hike down and then a mostly flat hike to the end which is paved and handicapped accessible.

On this trip, we hit the Upper MacLeay trail which intersects a myriad of other trails. I have a feeling we could do a month of weekend hikes and never take the same route twice. The trail proved to be a nice little workout for the lot of us.

The girls were antsy to get started.

IMG_0011.JPG

And Leo needed to get the GPS set and grab the bear grade pepper spray

IMG_0014.JPG

But once we got started, we all admired the sights.

IMG_0056.JPG

There was one moment when Leo thought he was going to have to actually use his pepper spray.

IMG_0066.JPG


These two dogs came barreling at us, full speed, and growling, while we were walking around the neighborhood. Neither was on leash and both were giving our girls the hairy eyeball. The owner made a futile attempt to call them back.

I'm not sure if their intention had ever been to do more than make a little scene, but it all could have ended pretty unpleasantly if we hadn't diffused the situation. Leo and I both got between her dogs and ours and Thea eventually won everyone over with her cuteness.

The owner never did bother to come over and get her dogs, she just stood a block away and called them. I find that rather disconcerting, but perhaps I'm a touch over protective.

In the end, it all ended up fine and Thea was more worn out than we've seen her in weeks.

IMG_0081.JPG


If that isn't the happiest site you know, you don't have a high energy dog.

See the rest of the pictures, over in my flickr set.

November 11, 2007

Snow

We drove to Mt. Hood today.

IMG_0036.JPG


It's hard to take a bad picture of such a beautiful mountain, but with the bright blue sky, it was all the more gorgeous.


IMG_0011.JPG


The girls were anxious to get to our destination.


IMG_0060.JPG IMG_0047.JPG


We went to Timberline and hiked up one of the trails. There wasn't that much snow so the skiing was sparse, but there were quite a few people hiking and sledding near the base of the trail.


IMG_0028.JPG


Panda mostly wanted to roll in the snow. The deeper the snow, the happier she was.


IMG_0122.JPG


Thea wanted to run around like a maniac and eat snow.

A truly fabulous outing.

See all the pictures here.

October 22, 2007

Distraction

Thank you all for your very kind words, sympathies, stories and thoughts. I've read every comment twice and they make me remember how lucky I am to have family that loves me and whom I love in return.

It's the wet season, here in Portland and the weekend was mostly rainy and overcast, interspersed with beautiful sunny moments. It suited my contemplative mood.

On Saturday, we took the girls for a walk around our neighborhood and enjoyed the fall foliage. I think the cost of having dogs should be covered by medical insurance. Panda and Thea never cease to make me laugh, no matter the circumstances.

IMG_0030.JPG IMG_0006.JPG IMG_0013.JPG

On Sunday, we headed to Cannon Beach, for a breakfast of Crabcakes Benedict and a long run on the beach. It was a bit cold and rainy, which didn't make for great photos, but the girls couldn't have been happier and the evening of quiet and calm snuggling on the couch meant that everyone was feeling peaceful.

IMG_0080.JPG

IMG_0082.JPG

I guess for me, losing someone ultimately makes me more resolved to value those who are still with me and I think this weekend suited that goal.

I have lots of less depressing stuff to blog soon, including a new knit in progress, and interview with Donna Druchunas, and some more photos of Giselle.

November 28, 2007

What I did with my long weekend

I know I'm a little late to be reporting about my weekend. But these pictures are making me happy right now and I want to share.

I finally finished the piece I've been knitting for Donna Druchunas' upcoming book. We were all asked to incorporate one of Dorothy Reade's lace patterns into an original design. I love this sort of challenge. I find I'm far more creative when I have some sort of rule or limitation.

Finished_Donna_Design.jpg

I wish I could show you the whole thing but this teaser will have to do for now. The yarn is Lorna's Laces, Lion and Lamb. And the wee buttons? Those are vintage. I just love old buttons. I've been slowly amassing (maybe more of an "asmattering") a little collection of vintage buttons.

Completing this piece basically frees me of all deadline knitting. There is actually one other small item I need to knit but it's, as I said, small and I expect it to be rather fun, too.

I do have a substantial amount of pattern writing to do now, though. It's never as much fun as the designing and knitting but I guess it's what they pay me for, right?


On Saturday, Leo and I walked around downtown Portland a bit. We live about 10 minutes from downtown, but for the sake of our savings accounts, we don't go terribly often.

Obviously, most shops were a mob scene, this weekend, but we weren't terribly bothered by it. The air was crisp, there was no rain and very little wind. Just gorgeous.

I love how the sidewalks get stained by the fallen leaves.

portland_sidewalk2.jpg


Hi, I'm the weird girl who photographs the sidewalk, how are you today?

When one stops staring at her toes, the stuff higher up looks pretty darn nice too.

IMG_0009.jpg


Check out THAT hottie.

November 23, 2007

A totally traditional Thanksgiving

The other day, we went to the grocery store to get t-day supplies. The thing is, the meat section smelled liked an outhouse. We decided not to get a turkey there. We meant to get one elsewhere, but that didn't happen.

That's OK, because we didn't really think we'd be cooking on the holiday. Instead, we made plans to meet up with some of our friends for some fun on the beach with the pups.

The day was perfect. The sun was shining, the air was crisp and cool and without any wind. Lovely day. The only problem is that Panda was getting over a cold and Leo decided that we couldn't risk her getting worse.

IMG_0009.JPG


I can't believe I'm writing this, but Panda had to -- *sob* -- stay home. I still feel guilty.

Larry, Erica, Leo, Thea, and I, made our way to the Oregon coast. We started our day with breakfast. I, of course, had the Crabcakes Benny.

Then, we headed over to Seaside for a bit of fetch.

Larry threw the squirrel.

IMG_0034.JPG

Leo threw the squirrel.

IMG_0039.JPG

Erica threw the squirrel.

IMG_0070.JPG


Thea is a very happy pup. And heck, we're just happy that our friends want to entertain the little beast a bit.

Thea started to slow down some, until she met this beautiful dog, Cocoa.

IMG_0101.JPG


Much chasing ensued.


We headed up to Ecola State Park and saw an Elk along the way.

IMG_0106.JPG


She was just hanging out in someone's yard. Erica said the rest of the herd were on the other side of the road, but we didn't notice.


At Ecola, we enjoyed the scenery.

IMG_0153.JPG

I don't think it gets much more beautiful than this.

IMG_0154.JPG

I really do wish that Panda had been in this picture. I guess we'll just have to drag Larry and Erica out again for another romp on the beach.

Before we called it quits, we dropped by Manzanita, to ensure a thoroughly pooped pup.

We met the first dog ever who didn't fall madly in love with Thea.

IMG_0174.JPG


This little Italian Greyhound puppy sought the security of humans to save him from Thea. Don't you just want to scoop him up kiss his little cheek?

There are tons more pictures over here, if you want to see them.



After a little more play, we all headed home, with a quick stop for coffee and pie on the way. Once home, I cooked up some mashed potatoes and stuffing, to round out the day. Hey, I told you it was a totally traditional Thanksgiving.

Hope that wherever you are, you had as lovely a day as I did. Next time, though, I want Panda there too.

November 20, 2007

Hey everybody, you're invited to a grafting party.

With puppy chaser at the end.

I recently posted the shameful state of a piece I was working on, for a book. When last we saw this project, I had detached the sleeve, from below the cap, held it on a spare needle and ripped back the sleeve cap, so that I could remove the extra rows from one of the front sections of the garment.

After fixing the front, I picked up and reknit the sleeve cap.

09-Sleeve Cap Reknit


I moved the live stitches to circulars so I wouldn't have to deal with so many needles. This picture was taken en route to the ocean. The picture quality goes WAAAAY downhill from here. I apologize, but frankly, as much as I love you all, I'm not going to wait for a sunny day to get this issue fixed up.


I cut a tail long enough to go around the sleeve about 4 times. Aligning the sleeve with sleeve cap, I started grafting.

10-Begin grafting


There's a great tutorial here, if you've never tried grafting before.


Every few inches, I took a look at the row of grafting to assess the tension.

11-Check tension as you go


It can be ugly, no?


To fix, I just use my tapestry needle to ease the yarn out towards the unworked stitches.

11-Adjust tension


Sometimes I'd go back and adjust a couple times in the same spot, but I never lost my mind over it. The wool content of the yarn should allow me to ease out minor inconsistencies in the blocking stage.


The work went pretty quickly. Here, I'm nearly done.

12- nearly done


What can I say, I rather like grafting.


Once all was done, the work looked pretty much good as new.

13-Fin


Let's close this out with that puppy chaser I promised.

IMG_0084.jpg IMG_0079.jpg

See all the pics from our trip to the beach on Sunday, here.

December 17, 2007

A weekend of goodily goodness

Panda is today's Grown-Up Daily Pup.


*Sigh* I had so much fun this weekend that I'm all the more sad it's Monday. On Friday, Leo and I watched bad movies while I spun up my batt of sparkly BFL that I got from Amy back at the Fiber Frolic, in Maine.

sparkly2.jpg sparkly_withflash.jpg

Photos never do sparkly things justice, so take my word for it, when I say it looks lovely without being garish, almost like it was lightly sprinkled with silver dust. I spun the singles up and then plied it into a 3-ply using the Navajo plying method. The photos are pre-wash and thwack. I have about 98 yards of approximately DK weight yarn. I will definitely work this into something, but what, I'm not sure.


On Saturday night, we celebrated a friend's birthday by going out for dinner and playing pool...very very poorly. If any of you watch the American version of The Office, it's like when Kelly and Pam played ping-pong. That certainly didn't take away from the fun.
Actually, it probably made it more fun. The best part is, I got to flip off a hummer.

Awesome.


If that weren't all good enough, on Sunday, we packed up the girls (who were feeling plenty stir crazy with all the rain we've gotten) and headed to Mt. Hood for a good hike in the snow.

IMG_0119.JPG

IMG_0104.JPG

IMG_0097.JPG

IMG_0080.JPG

See all the pictures here.

December 10, 2007

Raw fish and Santas Everywhere

What a great weekend. On Saturday night, Leo and I started our evening with the most delicious sushi. It has been so long since I had a really good sushi meal, I was starting to think I didn't care for sushi anymore. This restaurant, Hiroshi, is in the Pearl district and open for very limited hours. We had attempted to try this restaurant on several previous occassions, to no avail and were starting to think that nothing could live up to the hype, but we were wrong.

Oh, I wish we had a proper camera with us so I could show you some shots that would do this sushi justice. Instead, you'll have to settle for shots off of Leo's iPhone.

Delicious sushi 1 Delicious sushi 2
I don't remember what these were called, but they were just two of
about 6 different rolls, nagiri and sashimi that we tried.

As Leo put it, it sort of makes everything else we've had in town taste like bait.

All of this just set the mood for an evening filled with drunken Santas.

SantaCon0018.JPG

There were hundreds of Santas in the city. It was unbelievable.

SantaCon0025.JPG

I think my favorite costume was this Leia/Anakin pair. Illogically fantabulous.

SantaCon0024.JPG

And of course, hundreds of Santas by a menorah just seems nearly poetic. I'm not sure what kind of poem but I think it might be a limerick.

I think we got the biggest laugh, though, out of this.

Dumbarse 02 Dumbarse 01

A couple of rocket scientists decided to double park their giant SUVs on the street car tracks during the normal hours of operation. The poor conductor had to get out of the street car and explain to the drivers why this was a poor parking solution. We couldn't hear what she said, but it didn't sound "I'm sorry Mr Conductor Sir, please, accept this gift of my first born child and a chocolate bar and do give my apologies to the passengers while I move my vehicle out of the way." So I can only conclude that she is a jackass, as is the second driver who was off puttering about in the building for several minutes longer. Feel free to disdain as you see fit.

December 26, 2007

Beautiful Christmas Day

Christmas day, we slept in late, then donned our winter wear for another trip to Mt Hood National Forest.

IMG_0015.JPG


Thea spent the whole ride there, looking out the back window. Whenever we'd stop, both girls would cry with excitement, hoping we'd be getting out and into the snow.

But our first stop wasn't for hiking, it was to put chains on the tires.

IMG_0027.JPG


Leo insisted he needed no help, so we stayed snuggly warm in the car while he worked his butt off.

We found a trail we hadn't been to before and began our hike. Leo and the girls went bounding off the trail for a little run and all found themselves hip deep in snow.

IMG_0056.JPG


Panda didn't seem to mind.

But Thea and Leo had a bit more struggle with it.

IMG_0067.JPG


Nope, he's not kneeling, he's nearly standing upright.

I don't think these other pictures need captions, except to say we had a most wonderful time.

IMG_0139.JPG

IMG_0144.JPG

IMG_0147.JPG

IMG_0146.JPG

IMG_0077.JPG

See lots more pictures here. Hope your Christmas was just as lovely.

January 21, 2008

It's about time

I'm embarrassed to admit that we have not done a doggy outing since our New Year's Eve road trip. And weather has been quite rainy here which means we really haven't done much of anything outside. The girls? They were pretty stir crazy.

IMG_0030.JPG

We were long overdue for a run on Cannon Beach, but not before stopping at our favorite breakfast locale for some crabcakes benny. Mmmmm, tastes like heart disease. Some folks can't turn down sweets, I can't turn down hollandaise sauce.

Next to our booth was placed an interesting little item. What do you think?

IMG_0040.JPG

For the low low price of $195, American, you too can own this ceramic center piece. We decided to pass on it.

Once we were sated, Leo brought a little bit of bacon and eggs out to the girls while I settled the bill. We were off to haystack rock.

Because it was such a beautiful day, the beach was just teeming with happy people and lots of pups. The waves were churning and the squirrel was a-flying.

IMG_0052.JPG

Thea fell in love with Cocoa, a cutie with a penchant for, um, let's call it "asserting himself" upon her. This was her first time dealing with such a pushy pup, and we were pleased to see that she handled herself well; setting boundaries without holding any grudges.

IMG_0125.JPG IMG_0146.JPG IMG_0171.JPG IMG_0172.JPG

Cocoa and Thea played for a long time, and Panda begrudgingly allowed him to join in with fetch, though when he attempted to get too friendly with Panda, she didn't hesitate to put him in his place. He didn't try that again. I'm pretty sure he said something about a "party poopers."

Eventually, Cocoa's parents had to leave, but we continued to enjoy the gorgeous day.

IMG_0218.JPG

If you aren't going to be able to get to the beach every weekend, you gotta make the visits count.

IMG_0210.JPG

It was wonderful having sun after so many rainy weekends.

IMG_0224.JPG

When the girls were finally showing the merest hint of slowing down, Leo decided we should walk over to Haystack Rock and do a little tide-pooling

IMG_0250.JPG

The anemones were all vivid pinks and shocking greens, and if you looked really carefully, you could find a few starfish hiding under rocks.

IMG_0261.JPG IMG_0270.JPG
IMG_0282.JPG

But all good things must come to an end, and as the clouds darkened the sky a bit and the temperature started to drop, we knew we'd have head home.

Our last sight, before leaving the coast was a few elk grazing lazily along the side of the highway.

IMG_0317.JPG

The girls slept the whole way.

IMG_0322.JPG

There was some knitting too. I'll post about that soon.

January 28, 2008

Snow shoes

IMG_0001.JPG

Leo got us snow shoes in hopes they'd help us keep up with the girls. You know what that means, right? It's time for another hike.

IMG_0004.JPG

We couldn't have picked a more challenging day to try out those snow shoes. The temperatures were just around the freezing mark, maybe a little bit warmer, so the snow was sticky, wet and great for such activities as snowball fights, snow men building and fort construction. Still, it produced the most unusual snow formations atop the trees. Check this out.

IMG_0110.JPG

Could that look any more like a bird's head?
For some reason, we found it exceedingly entertaining when Leo would risk his own safety and shake some of the smaller trees.

IMG_0119.JPG IMG_0120.JPG IMG_0126.JPG

And when I didn't properly catch the first dense block of compacted snow, hitting him on the head, he thought we should do it again.

And check this out.

IMG_0248.JPG

Panda and Thea walking right OVER Leo as he sticks his torso through a hole in this snow formation. Yes yes yes, we know that's not the most brilliant of plans, but it does make for a good picture.

We may have found it hard to hike this wet snow.

IMG_0010.JPG


However, the girls, as always, were in heaven.

It wasn't all laughs and good times. We've been up to the trails of Mt Hood a few times, and we've found that Oregonians are pretty welcoming of happy dogs. It's not unusual for playful pups to come careening around corners to play with our girls and vice versa. Unfortunately, this Saturday, we met the first person who did not share that puppy goodwill. Apparently, her dog was a little aggressive, so she had her dog on leash and when Thea went over to say hi, it caused the woman much consternation.

IMG_0068.JPG
An angry woman in red, mutters as she walks by Leo and Thea.

Leo grabbed Thea, to restrain her and as the woman walked by Leo, she let off with a string of colorful language, leaving no doubt about how she felt about me and my puppy parenting skills. I'm not saying I fault her, I can understand that she wants everyone to be in full control of their dogs at all times, it's just that we are used to people being a bit more lax with their pups. We decided to keep Thea on leash for a while, for good measure. That is, until this sweet lab came over to play.

IMG_0106.JPG

We let our little troublemaker off leash and she had herself a proper playful tussle. That's more like it.

We hiked a bit more and arrived at Twin Lakes, which is completely frozen over and covered in snow.

IMG_0137.JPG

It looks like such a barren wasteland, after hiking through the thick forest. I bet it's just gorgeous in the spring and summer.

We had ourselves a little lunch and played fetch with the girls' water bowl.

IMG_0155.JPG

Hiking back to the car was as much fun as hiking to the lake. It's hard work, slogging through the heavy snow, but we aren't the type to let that get the better of us. We just break out our thermos of hot chai and sit for a spell, when the mood suits us.

IMG_0218.JPG

Or lean back and watch the snow fall on our faces.

IMG_0262.JPG IMG_0260.JPG

In the end, the whole lot of us made it home exhausted, but happy.

While I'm still feeling the hike today, I can't wait to go back. Next time, I hope the snow's a little more powdery, but even if it isn't, this sort of workout beats the gym, any old day of the week.

See all the pictures here.

And since someone almost always asks, the harnesses that Panda and Thea are wearing, can be found here.

February 18, 2008

Fantastic Birthday Weekend

What a great weekend. It was really wonderful of the US government to make my birthday a national holiday, this year.

My birthday, itself, isn't much to talk about, unless you think it's fascinating that our washing machine is oozing some sort of oil and we went to Home Depot and bought a replacement. Also, there was some grocery shopping. But Friday and Saturday were many shades of good times.

It started with my dear friends throwing me a birthday party. There was homemade chili and guacamole....oooooh guacamole. I could write poetry about that treat, but it couldn't compare to the delight itself. Why more food isn't accompanied by guacamole, is beyond me.

What was I talking about?

Oh and there was a giant chocolate cake. Oh boy. Yah, it was a good party.

As the fete was coming to a close, my friends mentioned that they were going to the beach the next day and invited us to join.

After conferring with Panda, it was unanimous

IMG_0181.JPG


We'd jump at the chance to go.

We arrived at the coast, a while before the rest of the crew, so we hiked and played a bit, in hopes the girls might be a bit more manageable, when the rest of the folks arrived.

IMG_0059.JPG IMG_0067.JPG
IMG_0088.JPG IMG_0087.JPG

Panda is a super star!

IMG_0029.JPG

When our friends arrived, they were looking no worse for the wear, despite the fact that half of them were subjected to my amateur salsa lessons, the night before.

IMG_0166.JPG

Thea greeted the group, as she does best, cooter displayed for all to see.

IMG_0167.JPG

Larry and Thea had a little game of "catch me if you can."

IMG_0204.JPG

And then it was back to the business of walking around the beach.

IMG_0269.JPG

And walk we did. For hours, we explored tide pools and rocky outcropping, and, at one point, a local bakery.

We walked so much, we did this...

IMG_0277.JPG

We wore out a herding dog. Someone please alert the media.

Those Canadians are good.

IMG_0291.JPG

Also, apropos nothing, I decided to learn how to tat

IMG_0004.JPG

It was a little tough for me to get the technique to start, but now I'm finding it really enjoyable, and delightfully portable.

Anyway, see all the pictures of the beach trip here.

March 24, 2008

Easter weekend

With the patine cowl finished, I am now fully immersed in an unbloggable project (or two). But I think I can still find some useful blog fodder. I have some plans to do some more Excel for pattern writing posts, if that's something you guys like. And if I make good progress on the piece, I'll probably be doing some serious swatching for another personal (that is, blogable) design.

In the mean time, I leave you with some beachy cuteness from this weekend. See all the pictures, over on Flickr

IMG_0032.JPG
Panda: "Do I want a cookie? What sort of question is that?"
Thea: "Happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy."


IMG_0101.JPG
A refreshing dip on a gorgeous day.


IMG_0160.JPG
Pogo dog.


IMG_0164.JPG
Thea looks uncharacteristically serious.


IMG_0170.JPG
The girls at a down-stay, waiting for Leo to throw the squirrel.


IMG_0183.JPG
Exhausted puppies snuggle up for the ride home.

April 28, 2008

The leprechaun and the pot of gold at the end of the weekend

On Saturday we mowed the back lawn, and by "we" I mean Leo and by "back lawn" I mean an this...

IMG_0004.JPG


Um, yah, we're way overdue. And while the dandelions have a certain sweetness about them, I doubt our neighbors appreciated their contribution to their immaculate landscapes.

Thea loves it when Leo mows the lawn. The sound makes her all frisky and silly. Though she does miss the salad bar, when it's no longer so long and luxurious.

IMG_0015.JPG

After hours of backbreaking work, Thea was nowhere to be seen, but a wee little leprechaun had made her way into our yard.


IMG_0011.JPG

We thought it best to ply the lass with an appropriate libation.


IMG_0003.JPG

Panda is not so much a fan of the mowing. It didn't help that I was vacuuming inside. She was feeling pretty sad for herself.

To make it up to her and to get the green off the demon, we decided to go to the beach on Sunday.


Saturday had been gorgeous and sunshiny, while Sunday was a little more overcast with bits of rain, which was perfect, because the beaches were nearly empty.

IMG_0069.JPG


This picture feels like the opening to some sort of action/adventure movie.


IMG_0102.JPG


Thea, she's got crazy eyes.


IMG_0061.JPG


Panda finds her sister so exasperating, sometimes.


IMG_0098.JPG


Happiness is a romp in the water.


IMG_0157.JPG


And who can resist a sleepy dog face covered in sand?

June 9, 2008

Cheeky Monkey

Do you notice a trend here?

IMG_0118.JPG IMG_0120.JPG

IMG_0141.JPG

IMG_0142.JPG

IMG_0047.JPG

IMG_0070.JPG

See tons more pictures from our day trip to Manzanita, OR, here.

Oh and if you've ever wondered what it's like to hang out with the pups at the beach, you can check out this short video.

And I realize I really should have faded the music after the closing credit. Sorry for how jarringly the music stops at the end.

July 13, 2008

It's hot, let's hit the beach.

It's been in the 90s which was toasty when we were acclimated to life in LA, but is downright miserable now that we've become accustomed to Portland weather. The beach seemed a perfect way to cool off a bit.

IMG_0028.JPG IMG_0032.JPG
IMG_0036.JPG IMG_0056.JPG

IMG_0208.JPG

Thea found her alternate universe self.

IMG_0085.JPG IMG_0104.JPG
IMG_0119.JPG IMG_0135.JPG

IMG_0277.JPG

The water was just filled with these little krill. They are hard to photograph but they were everywhere.


IMG_0249.JPG IMG_0184.JPG
IMG_0310.JPG IMG_0313.JPG


IMG_0306.JPG


Do I really need to say that it was a great day? We played for hours and went home exhausted but happy.

August 12, 2008

Your weekly dose of doggy goodness

Another weekend day trip to our beautiful Oregon coast.

IMG_0004.JPG

Someone gets a little excited when she smells the ocean

IMG_0125.JPG

Fetch + tug-o-war = doggy happiness

IMG_0045.JPG

We almost lost the squirrel to the briny deep.

IMG_0047.JPG

But Thea rescued it, she even stuck her entire face underwater.

IMG_0158.JPG

But Panda has her own bag of tricks. She always impresses.

IMG_0130.JPG

The birds were rustled.

IMG_0210.JPG

The views were delightful.

IMG_0213.JPG

And a good time was had by all.

See all the pictures here.

August 18, 2008

Better than AC

Our little rental house doesn't have AC, which, for the most part, is fine and dandy with me. I really don't care for the feel of AC and it's expensive to run, especially in this house. We have a window mounted unit that we've installed, as needed, but it tends to drip water into the house and ends up being more work than it's worth, so this year we've vowed to keep the thing in the garage if possible.

The past week, though, has been stupid hot. I mean, it's been so hot that my brain has just shut down by mid-day, which makes working from home laborious. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather roast in my own house than commute to downtown LA, any day of the week, and I like being able to keep an eye on the girls in this hot weather, but I can't say it was fun.

When Saturday's weather report said triple digit temps again (around 40 degrees C for the rest of the world), Leo didn't really have to twist our arms when he asked if we wanted to hit the beach.

So, while it might be poor blog form to do this two posts in ar ow, I've got you some more dog photos today. I promise, I'll have something crafty to show you, very soon.

IMG_0014
A first roll in the sand, after a first dip in the ocean. This is what happiness looks like.


IMG_0035
Leo and I switched off taking the girls to the water line. We brought all the amenities necessary to stay the day, which means one person had to hold down the fort, while the other wore the girls out.


IMG_0039
Leo mans home base. I'm returning from a brief errand.

IMG_0049
I didn't get that many action shots because I had to both throw the squirrel and take the pictures, but I got several of the girls just looking lovely against the shimmering water.


IMG_0082
It's all fun and games until your dog tries to french you.

IMG_0096
As you can plainly see, Leo is very popular with the girls.

IMG_0131
The girls basking in the glow of the setting sun.


IMG_0155
Leo has the pups work for a little treat.


IMG_0197
The sun sets a bit more.


IMG_0215
Family photo!


IMG_0239
A roaring fire kept us toasty after the sun had set.


See all the pictures here.

September 15, 2008

I'm on vacation

I refuse to call it a "stay-cation" or, as John Oliver put it, "holi-stay." But what I will say is that I have nothing planned (other than the improv class I'm taking with my friend, Erica, on Mondays) and I'm happy to keep it that way. Oh and there may be more pictures like the ones below, that I took on Saturday.

It was a perfect day; not too cool, not too warm, and absolutely sunshiny beautiful.

IMG_0012.JPG IMG_0088.JPG


The car went home a little heavier than it left. Panda brought the sand and Leo found the tire iron we'd lost a month before. I kid you not! We used it for leverage to screw the girls' leash stake into the ground, and we lost it when we were packing up in the dark. There it sat, a few feet from where we had been, just waiting for our return. I love Oregon.

IMG_0136.JPG IMG_0139.JPG

Kites.

IMG_0142.JPG


Lots of running and being generally cute.

IMG_0260.JPG IMG_0223.JPG IMG_0247.JPG


I tried to take a nice shot of the girls in front of the ocean.
First Thea won't look at the camera...

IMG_0336.JPG

Then Panda won't look at the camera...

IMG_0337.JPG

Then some women stop to take pictures, right behind the girls. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

IMG_0341.JPG


All the pictures here.

September 1, 2008

Beaches and Bikes

Who doesn't love a long weekend?

Saturday was all about relaxing and spending a bit of time with friends.

Sunday, we hit the beach.

IMG_0079 IMG_0067

IMG_0165

IMG_0182 IMG_0180


And Monday we rode our bikes around our neighborhood. I have a Springer on my bike, but we've never tried it with Thea. Isn't that absurd? Leo wanted to make sure that she wouldn't pull too hard, so he rode my bike a bit and I rode his.

leo and thea on bike

Frankly, I think it takes a very manly man to ride a Hello Kitty bike.

Though, admittedly, he feels more at home on his own bike.

leo with finger


He's clearly very mature.

Still, who can hold a grudge with such views.

birds2 parkview2
blackberries parkview1


Just a lovely way to end a great weekend.

September 29, 2008

Woohoo

Who knew people wanted to knit hot pants? You guys are awesome. In the 4 days the pattern has been up, it's been downloaded over 300 times, which I think is pretty fabby. A few folks have also made donation, which is generous and wonderful. Thank you so much.

This is part of my download stats page from Ravelry. If you are wondering why there are two Assets of Evo files it's because the first version had a missing hyperlink in the resource section. It wasn't important enough to make an announcement but I thought I'd update it nonetheless.


In doggy news, Leo found us a new little stretch of the Oregon Coast. As always, we hit Manzanita, which is great because it's beautiful, plenty of room to play and Thea gets to socialize. But after, Leo wound his way through some back roads and landed us at a secluded little stretch of where only one other person and her dog were playing. All in all, a great day out.

Beach trip

1. IMG_0247.JPG, 2. IMG_0023.JPG, 3. IMG_0218.JPG, 4. IMG_0242.JPG, 5. IMG_0159.JPG, 6. IMG_0120.JPG, 7. IMG_0134.JPG, 8. IMG_0125.JPG, 9. IMG_0094.JPG, 10. IMG_0110.JPG, 11. IMG_0067.JPG, 12. IMG_0059.JPG, 13. IMG_0034.JPG14. IMG_0067.JPG 15. IMG_0059.JPG 16. IMG_0034.JPG

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

See all the pictures here:

September 21, 2008

Nehalem Bay

Recently, I picked up Evelyn A. Clark's Knitting Lace Triangles. It's a lovely little book that gives you lots of tips for knitting, well, lace triangles. She gives four lace patterns and combines them in a myriad of ways, working them either in stockinette or garter, alone or in combination, with or without transitions.

Everything is so clear and simple, I just had to cast on. With some beautiful Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock that a dear friend sent me, recently, I quickly worked up a few repeats of the ripple lace motif. But after that, I knew I wanted to go my own direction. Heaven forfend I actually follow a pattern, huh?

On our way to the beach, I knit away on my little shawl.


IMG_0004.JPG

The colors of the yarn made me think of the autumn leaves just starting to show, on our route to the ocean. The ripples make me think of the sea lapping at the shore. As we passed by lovely little Nehalem Bay, I knew I had my shawl's name.

This morning, I moved my stitches onto longer cords and did a little steam block to see how it's looking.

nehalem-bay-progress

I just started my second of two skeins, after nearly finishing 2 repeats of the feathery leaf pattern. The piece blocks out to about 48" wide right now. After I add another repeat of the feathery leaf, and then the border, I think I'll have a shawl that's another 6 to 8" wide, which I feel will be a good size to work as either a scarf or a small wrap for date night with Leo.

As for the beach trip, you know that went great.

Mozaic of September 20th trip to Manzanita, Oregon

1. IMG_0064.JPG, 2. IMG_0054.JPG, 3. IMG_0006.JPG, 4. IMG_0015.JPG, 5. IMG_0030.JPG, 6. IMG_0031.JPG, 7. IMG_0057.JPG, 8. IMG_0061.JPG, 9. IMG_0093.JPG, 10. IMG_0105.JPG, 11. IMG_0097.JPG, 12. IMG_0110.JPG, 13. IMG_0114.JPG14. IMG_0097.JPG 15. IMG_0110.JPG 16. IMG_0114.JPG

See entire set here

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

We tried riding our bikes on the beach, but the sand was either too dry (thus too soft) or too wet (thus too soft) to ride on. We'll try again at lower tide, though, because bikes + beach = a darn good run for the girls.

October 19, 2008

Happiness is a run on the beach

It's been a tough couple weeks around these parts, with Leo having to rush off to Uruguay to be with his family. The whole routine is out of whack and the girls end up spending a lot more time alone. Unfortunately, Leo's dad passed away, after Leo returned home, and a bit of melancholy seems to permeate daily life, but it also makes us more conscious of all the good things we have.

After two weeks of obligations and stress, the perfect antidote was a trip to the beach.


The drive there revealed the first hints of autumn colors. I bet, in a week or two, the drive will be spectacular.

IMG_0004.JPG


This shot makes me laugh. Thea was being a wee bit over zealous, trying to grab the frisbee from Leo. He requested that she talk to the hand.

IMG_0118.JPG


Though, honestly, they really are good girls. Look at how focused they are.

IMG_0042.JPG

And Thea does a very cute hand shake.

IMG_0130.JPG

Panda isn't too shabby either.

IMG_0133.JPG


Leo, though, is incorrigible. As I tried to get a particular shot of Panda and Thea, Leo noticed a rather large wave coming at me. In the first shot, you can see him leaping up to avoid it. I, of course, was too focused on the girls to notice.

IMG_0216.JPG IMG_0218.JPG IMG_0220.JPG

The second shot is Leo laughing so hard he can't stand up, and the third shot is my now soaked tush. Hilarious.


Despite Leo's fit of laughter and my sloshy shoes, I managed to get a pretty cute shot of the three of them.

IMG_0228.JPG


After a lovely day, we wound our way home, stopping at a local farm for a stroll through the pumpkin patch. We'll be making jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin seeds today.

IMG_0271.JPG

How cute is this sweet old dog?

For all the pictures from the trip, click here.

November 8, 2008

The Ministry of Silly Walks

It's the rainy season here in Portland. Like all other weather, the girls consider it perfect for a trip to the ocean. Who are we to disagree? It was chilly, overcast, but with unexpected patches of blue clear sky.

IMG_0030.JPG

With such unpredictable weather we had almost the entire beach to ourselves.

IMG_0198.JPG

The tide was really high but shallow

IMG_0246.JPG

A little slice of heaven.

How does the most graceful and demure puppy respond? With grace of course. She appears wise:

IMG_0091.JPG

Holds her head high

IMG_0220.JPG

And she keeps all four feet planted firmly on the ground

IMG_0215.JPG

But Thea wasn't the only one expressing herself.

IMG_0267.JPG

Today topped out at about 54 F/12 C, not exactly bikini weather.

IMG_0277.JPG

Yah, that about covers it.

See all the pictures here.

October 30, 2008

Blog, I miss you. Here are more dogs at the beach.

If you knew how badly my housework were suffering, you wouldn't think this blog seemed nearly so neglected.

Luckily, what's keeping me busy is all interesting stuff. I'm doing some work for Twist Collective including a little behind the scenes stuff, which is challenging but satisfying. I'm, of course, designing some knits. I'm taking some improv classes with my friend, Erica. I'm even taking a few (non-improv) courses over at a local university. So, with all that going on, blogging has necessarily taken a back seat, to ensure those cutie patooties I live with, get a little time with me too.

I hope, for now, you'll be satisfied with a few more doggy pictures. They certainly make me smile.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

1. IMG_0265.JPG, 2. IMG_0207.JPG, 3. IMG_0283.JPG, 4. IMG_0029.JPG, 5. IMG_0178.JPG, 6. IMG_0136.JPG, 7. IMG_0241.JPG, 8. IMG_0130.JPG, 9. IMG_0148.JPG, 10. IMG_0171.JPG, 11. IMG_0053.JPG, 12. IMG_0119.JPG, 13. IMG_0164.JPG14. IMG_0053.JPG 15. IMG_0119.JPG 16. IMG_0164.JPG

Entire set found here.

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

November 30, 2008

Rainy, muddy and fantastic

This weekend, we made a long overdue trip to the beach. It was a little cold (thought not too cold) a little rainy (no one here minds the rain) and foggy like you wouldn't believe.

Check out these shots.

Manzanita Oregon
1. IMG_0015.JPG, 2. IMG_0006.JPG, 3. IMG_0035.JPG, 4. IMG_0025.JPG

That's the same stretch of beach we almost always go to. We would have spent all day there, but the rip current was pretty strong and Thea is not the most buoyant dog around. Visions of her being pulled into the briny deep made us uneasy.

We thought the day might be shot, after about a half hour, but we decided to do a little hiking to make the long drive worth the while.

Off we went to Ecola State Park, where we had nearly the whole trail to ourselves. The fog made the view look like a fantasy.

Trail to Indian Beach in Ecola State Park

1. IMG_0064.JPG, 2. IMG_0081.JPG, 3. IMG_0075.JPG, 4. IMG_0076.JPG

By comparison, this is how it looked the first time we went.

But I think there's a pretty good reason why we had the whole trail to ourselves. By the end of the hike, the four of us were coated in mud.

Getting muddy on the trail
1. IMG_0187.JPG, 2. IMG_0151.JPG, 3. IMG_0149.JPG, 4. IMG_0192.JPG

We learned that Panda would make every effort to go around giant puddles of mud, while Thea would aim for them. Either way, there was no keeping clean, but we definitely appreciated Panda's efforts to stay clean.

We had to put the girls in the car, however we decided that a dip in the ocean before we leave would be much preferred to a bath, when we got home. So we headed back to Seaside and played a wee bit of fetch.

IMG_0212.JPG

It was good to see their beautiful white coats again.

As we were clipping on everyone's leash, someone nearby said, "Did you see the elk?" and pointed to the hill ahead. I looked up and saw three little heads, just showing above the ledge. Leo had the the good sense to go put the dogs in the car, and I walked over to where a small crowd had formed, a safe distance from the herd.

IMG_0226.JPG

We've seen our share of elk at the coast, but never this many at once. Such a great way to end a fantastic ocean trip.

Our day wasn't over with the ocean, though. My sweet guy treated me to a delicious meal to celebrate our 8 year anniversary.

It was a great meal, beautiful view and, of course, perfect company. And for the toast, he said "Here's to 8 years, 8 years more and nothing more."
Of course, I refused to toast to that nonsense, so he said, ok, well, what if we lay the second 8 on its side?"

Cute.

There's a reason I keep him around.

It's a shame to have this lovely long weekend end, but it was great while it lasted.

December 21, 2008

Flaky

Wintery
1. Red berries covered in snow, 2. Bush in our back yard, 3. The last of our bachelor's buttons, 4. Pine needles

Ice makes everything look pretty, even our sad little bachelor's buttons.


IMG_0136


Leo, Thea and Panda all chase each other around the yard.


IMG_0072


Where there's dog, there's fetch.


IMG_0049


The roads aren't great for driving, but they are fine for walking.

As you can see, it's a winter wonderland here in Portland. It's great knitting weather but I have a feeling I'll start to be a little stir crazy by Christmas. You should hear the local news, we're all doooooooooooomed.

The girls couldn't be happier, though.

December 15, 2008

It's not New Hampshire, and it's definitely not Los Angeles

This is my third winter in Portland. From what I can tell, winter is a lot of rain. We get an occasional bout of hail that leaves the yard looking like you just murdered a bean bag chair, and there might be a little flurry of flakes, but it rarely lasts long and almost never accumulates.

Well, this weekend, we got a little taste of some of the winter I remember from my childhood in New Hampshire. Of course, if I still lived there, I'd be holed up in a hotel until my power returned. This is way more my speed, for winter.

IMG_0025.JPG

Can you see the couple in the background, trying to build a snowman?

The girls get seven kinds of frisky when their paws touch snow. Panda loves to roll in it and Thea wants to eat it.

IMG_0040.JPG

These shots are from early in the day, so you can still see the grass peeking through, at the park. By nightfall, the roads were compressed into solid ice and there was about 5" of snow everywhere else. Anyone without chains on their tires were finding themselves struggling to stay on the roads.

I guess it's a testament to how rarely it snows here. I don't ever recall having chains on my car, in New Hampshire or Massachusetts. Roads are plowed and sand or salt are applied as needed. It took most of the night for that to happen around here.

Man alive, I love working from home.

Luckily, Leo's a real boyscout, and had his chains on before the sun set, yesterday, which means he just had to do a quick preflight check before leaving for work, and he was good to go.


IMG_0090.JPG

Thea oversaw the process.

January 4, 2009

I haven't blogged all year!

Well, my week and a half vacation/holiday is nearly over. Tomorrow, I'm back to work. I am going to miss all the naps.

I think I'm going to be able to unveil a new Twist design very very soon. For now, I'll simply post a couple mosaics from the year so far.

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve 2008/2009
1. Just after midnight, 2. Riding public trans into town, 3. Upstairs at Fez, 4. Angels, 5. Some random guy, 6. Dancin' queen, 7. Leo with interesting shadows on face, 8. After midnight, 9. The bar at Embers, 10. Someone's bare foot print on a very cold night., 11. Walking back to the Max, 12. Downtown Portland, 13. A very packed max

It was a relatively tame, but totally fun evening. I still can't believe how well mannered all the folks were on that terribly packed Max train. But, gosh, you gotta love a city that runs the public transportation for free on New Year's Eve and keeps train running until 3 in the morning, to make sure everyone can get home.

A snowy hike

A snowy hike
1. Leo bites it., 2. Panda rolls in the snow, 3. A random little street on Mt Hood, 4. One more pic before I help Leo up, 5. Mossy Tree, 6. More of Panda rolling, 7. Shake 'n' Bake, 8. Marnie's snowy head, 9. Leo bites it again, 10. Panda rolls so much, she needs a break, 11. Little ball of snow, 12. Yarn shop, 13. Flaming dessert.
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

We couldn't bring Panda to the ocean, with her mouth still healing, so we packed up for the mountains. Alas, the route we wanted to take was closed off because of a mud slide, so we weren't able to get to our desired destination. In the end, we just pulled into a random street with a big open field, and ran the girls around.

On the way home, we found a little yarn shop, bought some yarn and got a recommendation for a great restaurant. Of course, we saved a few bites of our entrees for the girls.


It was such a relaxing week and a half off (minus the bit of worry with Ms. Bear.) It was the perfect mix of getting things done and doing lots of nothing.

I hope everyone's new year was exactly what they wanted it to be.

February 8, 2009

Super pooper dogs

It'd been three weeks since our last ocean visit and the four of us were jonesing for some fresh salt air, sand and fetch.

Manzanita Oregon 02/07/09
1. IMG_0107, 2. IMG_0037, 3. IMG_0079, 4. IMG_0094, 5. IMG_0117, 6. IMG_0154, 7. IMG_0174, 8. IMG_0203, 9. IMG_0213, 10. IMG_0243, 11. IMG_0308, 12. IMG_0320, 13. IMG_0322
See all the pictures from this day here.
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

I don't think we could have asked for a nicer day. The sun was bright, the weather was mild and there were plenty of friendly dogs for Thea to play with.

February 22, 2009

So, one of us isn't shedding these days

And that one of us is Mr. Baldy McShavedhishead. The rest of us are still pretty hairy. Just thought I'd cover that before you see our pictures.

Manzanita Oregon 02/22/09

1. IMG_0150, 2. IMG_0015, 3. IMG_0089, 4. IMG_0107, 5. IMG_0127, 6. IMG_0129, 7. IMG_0144, 8. IMG_0148, 9. IMG_0260, 10. IMG_0265, 11. IMG_0302, 12. IMG_0309, 13. IMG_0319
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

This was my birthday hike, and it was fantastic. I know, it's the same song every few weeks. What can I say, I'm a lucky girl.

Check out this bit of shell that Leo found.

IMG_0276


If you click it and choose "All Sizes" you can embiggen it. Doesn't it look knit?

January 20, 2009

History and a hike

I know, these two things just don't have anything to do with each other, but I feel I have to mention how historic a day it is, while still giving a nod to my wonderful weekend.


Reuters Photo found via Boston.com

Watching the inauguration, today, I couldn't help but sob with the immensity of the day. Whatever your political leanings, there is no doubt that the swearing in of the first non-white president is an historic day for the US and I'm proud to be alive to experience it. Can the day be too far away when all these matters are as trivial as hair color? Should it matter what someone's gender, religion (or lack there of, thankyouverymuch,) sexual preference, or nationality is? Wouldn't it be grand to judge people on their, I dunno, credentials and a strong ethics? Crazy, I know. I'm going to go out back and hug a tree now.

Speaking of which (that's a segue, people,) we saw some grand trees this weekend on our hike to Falcon Cove.

Hike to Falcon's Crest
1. IMG_0296, 2. IMG_0007, 3. IMG_0085, 4. IMG_0111, 5. IMG_0116, 6. IMG_0185, 7. IMG_0224, 8. IMG_0301, 9. IMG_0324, 10. IMG_0336, 11. IMG_0337, 12. IMG_0349, 13. IMG_0364
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

We hiked a total of about 4 miles after a bit of fetch on the beach, and we actually managed to tucker out the herding dogs which is no small feat. It was absolutely beautiful, a bit muddy and completely exhausting and I can't wait to do it again.

See all the pictures from our hike here.

May 17, 2009

Goaaaaaaaaaaal

All day at the Oregon coast. It couldn't have been more beautiful, mild and lovely.

May 16, 2009
1. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 2. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 3. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 4. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 5. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 6. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 7. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 8. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 9. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 10. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 11. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 12. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 13. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

We played soccer and fetch with the pups then pulled out our bikes and ran them until they seemed to be almost something resembling tired.

The soccer ball is now Thea's passion. It irks her to no end that she can't get her mouth around it and still she can't stop chasing it. Panda can't be bothered, it's the squirrel all the way.

June 16, 2009

Dogs and flowers

St. Johns in Portland Oregon

St. Johns in Portland Oregon

IMG_0004.JPG IMG_0013.JPG

July 5, 2009

4th of July

I remember being a small child, my younger brother just an infant, and going to some large rolling field with our blanket to watch the fireworks. Every year I'd cry but this year, I was going to be brave. We'd sit down and get comfortable and my parents would coo a little bit, reminding me that it'd be loud and asking if I was sure I'd be ok. I thought I was.

And then the fireworks would start.

I felt like maybe it'd never end and I'd hear the fireworks forever. They seemed so loud, so piercing, so inescapable. I would cry. I'd feel horrible about it, my parents would try to console me but I also knew I was letting them down. I really wanted to be brave.

I don't really believe in karma, though I think that genetics tends to give you back in children, what you gave your parents. I thought I bucked the system by opting never to have kids, but Panda gave me what my mother faced every 4th of July, for much of my younger childhood. She's absolutely inconsolable around fireworks. We hoped that a full day of running on the beach would quell the fear a bit, and the cool ocean air would calm her fragile nerves but the close proximity of those boisterous noisemakers were more than she could manage.

Still, the day was wonderful and the bad parts were brief. We headed out just before the show really started, giving our campsite up to an incredibly thankful wedding after-party, and drove home during the best (or worst, as the case may be) portion of the show.

4th of July, 2009 -- Manzanita, Oregon
1. Fireworks, 2. Setting up the tent, 3. Spinning on the beach, 4. Panda goes for a roll, 5. Can we come in?, 6. Miss Bear looking sweet, 7. Thea zonks out, 8. Silly dog hug, 9. Panda finds a safe spot to hide from the firecrackers, 10. Making a fire while the sun sets, 11. Carrying a bad little dog, 12. Leo in front of sunset, 13. A very sleepy Thea on my lapCreated with fd's Flickr Toys.

Panda is no worse for the wear having had a largely great day at a beautiful beach in weather much cooler than the 90+ degrees back home. All in all, a great day.

See all the pictures from our trip here.

And a little video from right before we left.

October 25, 2009

Salt water therapy

It's been rainy. I love the rain, but Saturday was sunny and beautiful. You know what? I love sunshine too. Lucky me.

We packed a little picnic and headed for the coast.

Oct 24, 2009
Thea carried the water like a trooper.


Oct 24, 2009
Which freed us up to take in the view.


Oct 24, 2009
Don't mind the precipitous drop to likely doom, just look at the pretty.


Oct 24, 2009
Because at the end of the trail is joy.


Oct 24, 2009
And of course, a little lunch.


Oct 24, 2009
And a whole lot of fetch.


Oct 24, 2009
Smiles abound.


Oct 24, 2009
The view was just as nice on the hike back.


Oct 24, 2009
And a last game of fetch before going home.


Tub
And the cherry on top, a little soak in one of my favorite features of the house.


What can I say? Life is good. Hope your weekend was even better.

October 18, 2009

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.

disappointed-girls

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

December 1, 2009

Coast, Kool-Aid and Kale

I don't ever recall Thanksgiving being particularly stressful, as a kid, but really, what's there to be stressed about other than the inevitable battle for that first slice of turkey breast with the big piece of crispy skin.* I'm sure it was much harder for the adults with all the cooking, cleaning and kid/drunk in-law wrangling, but as a kid, it always just seemed like lots of good food and playing with the cousins. As adults, I think Leo and I have kept a lot of the same relaxed attitude. We don't tend to make a production of the holiday, thought we do like some good lumpy mashed potatoes and crispy bird skin on a plate. Since we have yet to really put our new kitchen through the paces, we did (and by we, I mean me) a whole chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, dressing and cranberry sauce and dug in at our leisure. I'm still working through the last of the starchiest bits.

And being the long weekend that Thanksgiving is, we had plenty of time to fit in a trip to the ocean on Saturday. It was brisk but dry and that's pretty much good enough for us. I don't think the dogs have ever been put out by a little cold weather.

Manzanita Oregon -- November 27, 2009 Mosaic
1. Leo got frenched by a puppy, 2. Thea takes a victory lap, 3. Birds, 4. Throw it again, 5. Lift off, 6. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 7. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 8. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 9. More birds, 10. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 11. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 12. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 13. Where'd it go?
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

I also finished spinning about 200 yards of some angora, alpaca and soy silk I hand carded together. Using a bit of Kool-Aid, I dyed it in three successive dye baths to get a rich orange shade.

Bath 1: 1 orange + 1 lemon aid packet

Kool Aid dyeing

Bath 2: 2 orange + 1 lemon aid packet

Kool-Aid dyed Handspun Yarn

Bath 3: 1 tropical punch packet

Kool-Aid dyed Handspun Yarn

I love the color and it smells so sweet. I find dyeing really stressful, because you can't really undo it if you blow it, but this time seem to work out great.

To finish off the long weekend, I made a big batch of lemon garlic crispy kale.

Crispy Kale Chips Crispy Kale Chips

Click either image for the recipe, inasmuch as it is one.

I hope all of you had a lovely weekend too.

*Most of my teen and college years, I did thanksgiving at friends houses and I watched in horror, one year as my friend's mother whipped her mashed potatoes (no lumps!) and removed the skin from the turkey after cooking. I've never fully recovered from the memory.

October 3, 2009

Another good night's sleep for two border collie crosses

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.

December 29, 2009

Last little bit of 2009

Christmas was blissfully mellow here in the new home; no obligations, no worries, plenty of quality time with each other. It was chilly, as evidenced by these gorgeous spider webs, encrusted in ice, on our porch.

Icy morning Icy morning

I love the way the drops of water froze like little glass beads. You should have seen how they glistened in the sunlight. If you go to flickr, you can embiggen them and see more of the detail.

I tried my hand at sushi making, which turned out to be way easier than I expected.

Sushi

That's my "hot and sour tuna" roll. Recipe, inasmuch as anyone would need one, can be had if you click the pic.

I manage to get all my deadline knitting done, thanks to some morale support from the pooches

Panda and Thea Snuggling


I mailed off both garments today and emailed the digital files as well. It feels so good to have those off the plate. Now, do I start something new or finish something already started? Yes, I know which is the RIGHT answer, that doesn't mean I'll do it.

As I was falling asleep I had inspiration of another kind resulting in this, my first venn diagram.

Red___ulousVenn


I'm sure this will improve your lives exponentially.

And, in a last bit of late breaking news, we have us some snow. SNOW!

More snow


It's not slated to last very long but the girls sure do love it while it's here.

December 19, 2009

9 or 63

It's approximately, more or less, to the best of our knowledge, somewhere around the date of Panda's birth. She 9 now-ish. Leo called off all birthdays a couple of years ago, because they simply mark the passage of time after a certain age, but she's my little girl, I can't help it. Panda is, for all intents and purposes, my first dog, a ray of sunshine and the reason I'm a dog person. I think every year with her is my good fortune.

So, mostly because it's been a few week but partially because it's her birthday, we went to the beach. It's foggy, a little rainy, horrible photography weather and all around perfect, nonetheless.

Manzanita -- December 19, 2009 Manzanita -- December 19, 2009
Pretty much the definition of doggy joy.

See all the pictures here.

And as a side note, to those who inquired about my going back to school, I'm just going to finish the degree I wasn't able to complete the first go around. I'm majoring in...nothing, they call it "general arts and letters." Given time and money I think I'd like to, some day, figure out what I want to be when I grow up and pick a course of study for a masters. At the rate I'm going, I'll finish that in my 60s.

Double side note, um, even with a calculator, I can't figure out what 7x9 is equal to. I think I've got it now.

April 26, 2010

Wedding Weekend

WeAreMarried

I can't thank you all enough for the kind words and congratulations. We really kept this whole thing entirely secret and I still have close friends and family to contact and let them know we got hitched. We wanted to make sure that no one felt obligated to travel or buy gifts or put themselves out. The relationship is for love but the wedding was, in many ways, just a formality for legal and insurance purposes.

Wedding Weekend at Cannon Beach
1. Fetch by Haystack Rock, 2. Delicious Wine, 3. Panda and Thea assess the view, 4. Dad's tie, 5. Groom and Witness's shoes, 6. Feeding the bird, 7. The start of a muddy hike, 8. Post hike shoe cleaning, 9. Rainbow, 10. Sunset play time, 11. Spoiled dogs are spoiled, 12. Thea is a crazy monkey, 13. My sweet old lady
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Despite our general resistance to the idea of getting married on principal alone, we figured that if we were going to do it, we might as well keep it fun and stress free. My mom officiated and gifted me the beautiful dress I wore, which I got at a local store who makes all their dresses by hand from imported Thai silk.

We bought our beautiful rings from Fabuluster. They send impression kits to you and make the rings from your actual finger prints. Leo wears my print and I wear his. We had a bit of fun with it and did impressions of our middle fingers; a little inside joke about our general reluctance to marry and our tendency to take nothing too seriously, if possible.

WithMyDad

My dad, who gave me away, also gifted us professional photography for the ceremony (pictures to come in a month or so). I also wore the first gift he ever gave my mom, a lovely pair of heart-shaped earrings.

My brother and his girlfriend witnessed and offered general morale support. It was sheer coincidence that my brother and the groom wore the same shoes.

Our biggest splurge, though, was our stay at a lovely, dog friendly beachside hotel. Since we normally stay in cheap motels or camp in our car, when we travel with the pups, this was a real extravagance for the four of us. Being able to go for our walks on the beach, at the drop of a hat, was such a delight and the dogs couldn't have been happier. They've been downright mellow since we've returned.

I can't wait to see how the photos come out. I think there'll be a few lovely mementos to mark the day. But even if I am making dork-face in every shot, I'll still look back on the weekend as a lovely time spent with my very closest family and a wonderful memory amongst the many that Leo and I already share.

Oh and since a few have asked, the pups were in attendance but no, I did not dress them up. We're crazy dog people but we aren't THAT crazy.

May 30, 2010

One last post about the wedding

Short and sweet, like the ceremony itself, a few more pictures of the lovely day.

The Wedding
1. Being given away, 2. Groom and Best Man's shoes, 3. Last chance to bail out, 4. Do you agree to the terms and conditions?, 5. My mom, officiating, 6. I may kiss the groom, 7. Kiss in front of haystack rock, 8. Looking wistful in front of haystack rock, 9. The happy couple, 10. The kids are legitimate now, 11. The whole wedding party, 12. Mom and dad, 13. Very serious footwear, 14. Dad of the bride, 15. Groom with his new Father In-Law, 16. It's official now, 17. Warm hug, 18. Lucky bride, 19. Black and White is fancy, 20. Fancy pants shot of the bride
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

December 4, 2010

The happiest place on earth

A surprisingly full day starting at Yarn for All Seasons where I may have treated myself to a little something, then a long play session on the beach, ending with a little dinner at Kyllo's.

Oregon Coast - December 3, 2010
1. Oregon Coast 120310_048, 2. Oregon Coast 120310_020, 3. Oregon Coast 120310_029, 4. Oregon Coast 120310_034, 5. Oregon Coast 120310_036, 6. Oregon Coast 120310_051, 7. Oregon Coast 120310_057, 8. Oregon Coast 120310_058, 9. Oregon Coast 120310_063, 10. Oregon Coast 120310_073, 11. Oregon Coast 120310_078, 12. Oregon Coast 120310_083, 13. Oregon Coast 120310_106
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

March 22, 2011

Tidewater

I am very pleased to present my newest patterns, a set called Tidewater featuring:

A cowl:

Tidewater Cowl modeled by all of us
1. Tidewater_Cowl_19, 2. Tidewater_Cowl_27, 3. Tidewater_Cowl_24, 4. Tidewater_Cowl_08
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

And a shawl

Tidewater_Shawl_25 Tidewater_Shawl_45

The patterns are both charted. The cowl also includes written out instructions for the lace, for those who are not comfortable working from charts. Each pattern is available individually and both are available together, as an ebook, for a reduced price.

Click to see all the details for the cowl and the shawl.

March 19, 2011

New camera, new beach, same old pups

Leo surprised me with a belated birthday present, a few days ago. I'm working on a pattern (to be released soon) and decided it just had to be shot at the coast and since we're going, we might as well bring the pups along.

Our usual spot was a little crowded, and since shooting the pattern required that I completely change, in 45º weather, and don a wee little dress, I figured it might be better if we go somewhere a little less populated. It didn't make it any warmer but at least I wasn't putting on a burlesque show in the process.

We ended up stumbling on the most amazing secluded spot. I don't even know what town we were in, nor what street we turned onto. It's in our GPS, though and we'll be finding our way back.

There were rocky outcroppings that made for impressive tidepools

Tidepools
1. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_036, 2. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_035, 3. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_034, 4. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_049
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Darwin had plenty of room to bounce

Boingy Boy
1. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_003, 2. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_005, 3. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_029, 4. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_082
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Panda mostly did her own thing, as she is wont to do.

My Sweet Panda Girl
1. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_014, 2. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_077, 3. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_079, 4. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_058
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

And Thea chased her brother around whenever he wasn't chasing her.

Thea, silly monkey
1. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_091, 2. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_004, 3. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_019, 4. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_041
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

The view wasn't anything to scoff at either.

What a view
1. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_007, 2. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_010, 3. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_016, 4. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_043
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Once the puppies were tuckered out, the humans decided to stop for a burger and some blues before the long drive home.

Fun for the humans
1. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_113, 2. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_116, 3. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_115, 4. Oregon Coast_March 18, 2011_118
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Just another wonderful day at the Oregon coast. See all our pictures here.

March 6, 2011

Do you suffer from CDP?

Do you suffer from Crazy Dog Personitis [CDP]? Symptoms may include:

A compulsion to relegate half your vehicle for the comfort and safety of your dogs.

CarRide_02

An uncontrolled desire to snuggle, which sometimes interferes with other tasks you should be doing.

Man_and_his_dogs_14 Man_and_his_dogs_04

Attraction to sun beams.

Man_and_his_dogs_02

Inability to consider weather reports before deciding to drive 2 hours so your dogs can play.

Susceptibility to furrowed brows.

OregonCoast_March_4_2011_044

And, in the case of extreme CDP, a tendency towards ordering a burger for yourself....

OregonCoast_March_4_2011_073

...And then some mini burgers, minus all the fixin's for your pooches awaiting you in the car.

If you have these symptoms, or any other symptoms of CDP, there's no hope for you, no cure, and no treatment, but you are in good company. I prescribe two belly rubs per dog, and call me in the morning.

Bunches of additional pictures here.

February 20, 2011

Let's continue the birthday celebration

Friday was my birthday and I put it to good use. I released a pattern:

Dweezil_In_Space

And I went to the beach with the three beasts and one human I like best of all.

My birthday at the coast
1. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_171, 2. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_046, 3. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_053, 4. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_065, 5. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_118, 6. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_126, 7. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_130, 8. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_148, 9. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_150, 10. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_157, 11. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_169, 12. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_176, 13. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_182
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

And as an added bonus, I did an interview a little while ago and now it's live. Check it out here.

Hope you all had a happy my-birthday as well.