Monday, June 27, 2016

So Much Going On

Little Sharon and Noah came up from San Francisco, arriving the same day that Petey left.  We went back to Tumolo Falls - it's too spectacular to miss.  Sharon and Noah rode with Missy and Logan.  Logan came because he wanted to drive so Noah got to ride shotgun and the girls visited in the backseat.  Then the next day they went to Sharc, a water park in Sun River, and I think everyone had a good visit in spite of it being so short.

Chrissie and her family will arrive on Friday to spent a week.  Friday is Kiernan's 17th birthday which we will celebrate with a barbecue.  I am so looking forward to Friday.  I haven't seen my daughter and her family since last September - can't wait!

Sunday Ian and I went to our tai chi school for their annual open house and we are both so glad we did.  It went from noon to 3:00 and cemented our commitment to this discipline.  The school teaches Waishu to the kids because, as our instructor explained, tai chi is too slow and boring for them.  It's an acrobatic form of martial arts and best of all the kids absolutely love it.  Of all days to happen, my phone, i.e., camera, ran out of juice - kicking self.  The most important video for me was the adults 32 form with swords.  Bummer.  We're going to enroll in the form 8 class starting in August and put all the exercises we've been learning into practice.
My weaving has suffered in all of this activity but the space-dyed bamboo yarn scarf is finally finished.
And my sample 8-shaft tea towels are finished and since there's a treading error, I'm not selling them. I just wanted an excuse to keep them.  They really fit our kitchen.  This week I was skimming through past Handwoven issues and found the one with the weave-along for this draft that I thought was my own original idea.  They did it in 2011.  It just goes to show you that there is nothing new under the sun.
I've started winding another warp for dishtowels with these colors to weave on Maudie Mae.
Both looms are empty so I'm going to use this 3/2 cotton and get a baby blanket warp on Arthur.  My plans are vague to me right now, but I have my pondering cap on.  I guess it's pretty apparent what my favorite colors are, not that you'd see me wear any of them.

Meanwhile I'm receiving several "alternative therapy" opportunities, free to me through the Cancer Center, including the Reiki appointment I have in the morning. These are offered to me as a radiation patient but it's my neck that's enjoying the benefit.  I'm also enrolled in private two-hour sessions of Restorative Yoga once a week, also for neck mobility.  I am half way through radiation with a targeted end date of July 20th.  I'm going to celebrate that day by planting a cool plant, yet to be determined.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Road Trip

There were a couple places that Petey had wanted to see so on his last day here we took a little road trip to Smith Rock just north of Terrebone.  We've driven by it over the years and wondered what it was so we checked it out - on Father's Day.
It's more than a rock.  It's a former caldera with it's surrounding volcano worn away.  The Crooked River runs alongside and you can take the walking trails along it or take this trail to the top.
The problem in going to a popular destination on Fathers Day is the parking.  We found a spot in the 15-Minute parking area and had to make do with that, a very quick do.  Cars were parked as far as we could see, hundreds of cars.  I'd like to go back but early in the morning and in the middle of the week.
A nearby place that Petey also  to see was the Peter Skene Ogden State Park which is better known to locals as a rest area on the way to Portland.
You know somethings up when you get out of your car and see signs all over the place like this one -  "Many dogs have died here."  That ought to get your attention.
The area was peppered with informational signs but this was the one that explained things the best.  Central Oregon needed a bridge over the Crooked River and the railroad was the first one, built about 1910.
This bridge is still in use today.  There were other informational kiosks explaining the construction, photos that I did not take.
Taking this picture made my palms sweat.  Can you imagine what it took to build?!  This is before OSHA so did they wear safety harnesses working 300 feet above a certain death??
This is the second bridge built in the 1920s and before the WPA projects though it certainly does have that look.  It's still safe to drive on but too small for modern traffic.
So on weekends it becomes a Bungee jumping destination.  The "birthday boy" is getting ready.  The guy in the foreground with the rod is recording everything.  I was using my DSLR and snapped the moment he jumped but it was still too slow.
It couldn't have lasted more than a minute or two and then they wenched him back up, all for $99. A couple more jumpers went after him, both guys.
The third bridge was designed to handle all the traffic while mimicking its predecessors and it's the road we take to Portland.  Pretty spectacular.
And of course there are plenty of warning signs scattered throughout the park.  Words fail me when it comes to the sudden and bewildering depth of the chasm.  I wouldn't want to have be responsible for a child or a dog, either one.
I couldn't resist being "artsy" with this view of the Cascades.  Summer heat arrived this week so the days of the white peaks are numbered.
Ian and I returned from the Wednesday Farmers Market today to find this doe resting in the shade in our front yard.  She hangs around often enough here that she wasn't perturbed by us and stayed for a couple more hours.  She left a couple hours later with friends.  We still get excited by the deer.  I bet you can tell :)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Summertime is Visitor Time


Our friend Petey came for a visit last Sunday.  He originally had planned to come during the week but when his plans changed, he drove the eight hours from Davis California where he was visiting his cousin and arrived Sunday afternoon.  This was a fortunate change of events as our kids are very busy during the week but were free for a barbecue.  Matt brought the corn hole game and we enjoyed the afternoon sun in our backyard.  That's the only sun Petey has enjoyed here as the weather turned the very next day.
Petey and I have taken morning walks in the field behind our house and since he's a retired botany professor, I've had the extra treat of information to go with the pretty wildflowers.  It's helped me to better use my Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest book.
We had warned him to watch for deer on his drive into our neighborhood and he had just said how disappointed he was not to see any when suddenly we came across these two young bucks with antlers in velvet.
The weather left us with limited options so we ended up eating our lunch out every day, probably not the most wholesome activity.
The road to Tumalo Falls just reopened after being closed for a year so we drove up to see it on Thursday.  Even with the drizzly rain it was very crowded.  This is not a place to go on the weekend, that's for sure.  We pulled up our hoods and took the short walk to the observation area at the top of the falls.  What a beautiful piece of real estate!
Rain came in earnest yesterday nixing the places that we had planned to go but then we realized that Petey had never been to the High Desert Museum.  Even though we had been there just a month ago, there's so much to see that we piled into the car and drove through the deluge to the perfect indoor destination.  I love how bronze sculptures appear throughout the landscape like this fish "swimming" upstream.
They have assembled the perfect mix for all interest levels though the main thrust is childrens education, like this weather station.  I want to take my granddaughter Alexia here when she visits this summer.  I know she'll enjoy every bit of it, but I think she'll really have fun creating a simulated weather forecast.  This display gets the attention of all ages.
And then there's today.  It has rained since last night and is projected to rain into the early afternoon.  Our plans are on hold for now but as soon as the rain turns to drizzle, we plan to head downtown for the Saturday Market which is craft vendors, and a special event called Bite-of-Bend.  We don't know what that is but it's well advertised and probably means eating yet another meal out at noon.  Most of our lunches have been so late that we've snacked our way through dinner but today I'm putting chili in the crockpot.  It will smell great when we walk in the door.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Time Flies!

The second scarf from hand-painted bamboo that I bought from Yarntopia Treasures is on Maudie Mae and almost done. Again it's quite striped.  I'm going to take a break from hand-painted warps.  I know I said it before but this time I mean it.  Laura was here last week and disagreed with me.  She likes it.
And I have another block weave sample on Arthur so I can take advantage of his 8 shafts.  I just found a threading error so can't sell these but Ian's happy about it.  He thinks they belong in our kitchen where all our various plates have cobalt blue in common.

I gave Laura three of the "towels" from my last sample warp as they were too narrow to be of use for me and I know she can use them in her cheese making.  She called the other day and challenged me to weave these in turned taquete since it's a two-block weave.  I'm mulling over the possibilities.

I finally ran out of the marijuana/coconut oil that I made last summer and was forced to finally buy weed.  I didn't know what to expect and was more nervous driving to the dispensary than I was driving to radiation the first time.  And by the way, after today I will have seven sessions under my belt.  I go every day at 3:15 Monday through Friday until I've achieved my total of 33 sessions which should be July 18th.

I went to Cannacopia first, mostly because I've driven by it and knew it's location.  You enter a front waiting area and get checked in by the receptionist.  The room was packed with people who looked for the most part like everyday people, not scary at all.  At some point the door opens and out comes the customer and a "bud tender" calls the name of the next on the checked-in list.  The actual transactions take place in an inner sanctum.

I need high CBD/low THC buds and after the tender realized that I was going to make my own medicine, he told me wasn't going to sell me weed but was referring me to another dispensary that is less costly.  Wow! The second dispensary was The Herb Center and they grow their own, thus passing on the savings to their customers.  My two bags weighed a total of 14 grams (1/2 ounce) and cost me $130.  Clearly I needed to be careful with my preparation.
After phishing around on the Internet I chose this recipe and set about to decarb my buds.  Everything I read about making canna oil insisted that you not skip this step.  I don't understand the chemistry but I did understand that this step makes the buds more potent and I reason that means I can use a smaller dose and make it last longer.  Currently my dose is 1/2 teaspoon and I have two cups of oil.  The next step is to learn how to grow my own so I can skip the dispensaries.
St Charles Medical Center has a nicely landscaped campus and every day I walk by the bed in front of the Cancer Center I'd see that the beautiful lupine had dozens of volunteers.  I asked around for the name of the groundskeeper but no one had any idea.  So Wednesday I took a baggie with wet paper towels and helped myself to these three.
By yesterday morning they looked like they'd been in yard for weeks.  Free plants!  I called it purloined lupine.  One of my friends had a lot of fun with it calling it "lupine larceny" and "felonious flower filching."
I haven't mentioned Maddie lately but she's doing fine.  She has blossomed since we moved, probably because she has all the windows she could possibly enjoy.  Her fear level has abated greatly.  She still won't let anyone else near her but she gives into curiosity and checks people out when they come over.
These are the only visitors that she doesn't see.  They're on the outside of our fenced yard and her windows are on the inside.  They like the wild grasses in our front area and we like it that they like them.


Thursday, June 02, 2016

Almost Garden of Eden

One more plum bush needed to come out before I would have room to plant this area on the side of the lawn. I did it when Ian wasn't home to make it less painful for him.  I think he's finally starting to see the value to cutting back and trimming but he's struggled.  The bush didn't go without a fight though and left three large bruises on my left forearm.
We both agree that this poor bush was dead.  It and the Mugo pine in the right foreground were smothered by the plum that I removed last week.  The pine is making a comeback.
It is looking more robust every day.  I've added day lilies on both sides and you can see that the stubs of the plum bushes are already growing shoots.  I think they'll shape up nicely as they grow - not over 4' tall this time.  The bush on the right is a hydrangea with the growth potential of 12 and it's white so I'll be able to influence the color by the soil amendments that I provide.  I'm leaning toward blue right now.

Josh called me Sunday to say that Coastal, a store in Redmond, was having a half-off sale on all their plants through Memorial Day.  Ian and I drove up after tai chi and came home with ten new plants including these raspberries.  I'm hearing from several sources that they grow very well here and we should have oodles of berries next year.  I also put in two blueberry plants and am looking forward to picking my own instead of picking them up at Costco.
This is the snake in the garden of eden, the creepy creeper that we cut to the ground that is steadily coming back.  It grows like an alien from a science fiction movie.
We figure it is occupying at least twelve square feet of our flower beds.  We sprayed it with Round-Up a couple of days ago and aren't seeing much response though the instructions say that perennials with invasive roots can take up to a month.  I'd just love to stop it from advancing for a moment.  Earlier this week I was tearing it out of a forsythia that it had started to climb.

I would have blogged earlier but ran into yet another stumbling block in transferring my photos from my iPhone to my Microsoft hard drive.  It took me an hour to discover that the "share photos" option in the iCloud had gotten turned off.  I got it back up and running to discover that Adobe was demanding that I buy Photoshop Elements 12 which I bought just a year ago for $99.  I had no idea they meant $99 for one year and as I dug though their information I learned that it's actually a subscription service now for $9.99 a month.

The problem is that the photo "viewer" that comes with Windows 10 is a viewer only.  It wasn't until today when I started mucking through it all again that I was seriously tempted to throw in the blogging towel.  But then I discovered that Microsoft Pictures is a very fine photo editor and it's already installed and paid for.  I realize that most of you don't find this interesting but I thought I'd mention it in the event that one day you do need a photo editor and don't want to get muscled by Adobe.  Okay, I'm done with that - dusting off hands.



Friday, May 27, 2016

Time Marches On

My friend Chris Smith from El Cajon, way back in the day, stopped by on her way driving from Portland to South Dakota.  She is our first guest of 2016 and the first one to use our RV space.  I gave her a cooks tour as she hadn't been in Bend in years.  She had never seen the Old Mill District which is on both sides of the river and is the area of two former lumber mills.  (Everyplace in the city is a district - our house is in the Old Farm District.)  I took this selfie in the REI store which is a building from the sawmill and lumber days. I didn't think about how short she is when I took it!
We did a quick tour of the downtown area. This little statue is sporting one of the yarn bombs from the fiber arts symposium a couple weeks ago.
 Chris drives a 24' foot RV which has also been her home for the past ten years, so it was a quick visit as she wanted to get on the road early.  She left me with this Amish-inspired wall hanging.  She's had to downsize her love of quilting and this is a perfect addition to my studio.
I'm sampling again on the two-block profile draft but with a black warp this time.  I was so full of myself, thinking that I had come up with something ingenious, a faux counterpane.  We watched Madelyn's DVDs at the weave/study group this past Wednesday.  It was there I learned that this had been a weave-along in a Handwoven issue a couple years ago but since I only starting taking the magazine last summer, I was oblivious.  I guess I'm not the only one who thought it was a good idea :)

An exciting and energetic discussion followed afterwards.  I asked a by-the-way question - how do you get fringe knots to be the same length all the way across?  Stephani said to tie a loose overhand knot and then afterwards adjust the knots up or down.  It cut down the twisting time by half and the knots did line up.  I realized after it had been washed and dried that I hadn't snugged up the knots evenly and they no longer line up.  I will try this again on my next scarf.
The scarf is finished but the matching teal Tencel M & W pattern is lost in the stripes.  I thought this yarn would be a little more variegated.

The light has to hit it just right for the pattern to show.  I think the 6/2 bamboo is a little heavy for a scarf and is probably more appropriate for a knitted lace shawl.
This is the other skein of 6/2 bamboo.  There's a little more contrast here so I'm hoping for better pattern definition this time.

Just a year ago we were here in Bend, enjoying a visit with the kids, and a year later it's where we live.  I had my first appointment at radiation oncology this past Tuesday.  The preliminary stuff is over and I start treatment next Thursday afternoon.  Fortunately we're meeting friends from tai chi for lunch that day, a little dose of laughter with friends to sweeten up the day.