Monday, September 16, 2019

Oops - Time Got Away from Me

In three short weeks we've gone to this weather, 
to this weather.  Some of the leaves are bright red and the rest will soon follow.  It's time to exchange the summer clothes in my closet for the winter ones.  My summer closet is quite small since the season is at the most four months.
It's getting dark earlier.  I still haven't gotten used to how long the long days are, and how short the short days are.  The other night we were quietly reading when Ian asked me what the date was.  Is it the 6th?  So I checked my watch and sure enough, it was the 6th.  Happy anniversary, he said!  Oh shoot, I forgot again!  We got married in Reno on Balloon Race weekend when a lot of family was in town.  It was quite spontaneous and it's taken me years to remember the actual date and apparently I have a ways to go on that front.  It's been a very full and rich 22 years.
Taking Delaney to my studio after her 9:00 bottle is still working like a charm.
It's not just weaving that puts her to sleep.  The whirling action of the warping reel seems to be just as effective.
She took a second nap that day and I was able to get the warp on the loom but not beamed.  It's on now and I'm already weaving on it.  So much of my equipment has come from the sales of towels, including my warping reel and electric bobbin winder.  This year I'd like to buy a raddle and lease sticks that aren't made by me.  The nails on the ruler-now-raddle are absolutely annoying.  I think I'll buy a third Schacht end-feed shuttle too and give Crackle Weave another try.

I asked Julia if the pink sweater I knitted for Delaney's baby shower in March fitted her yet and she sent me this picture the next day.  Almost!!

I finished this sweater in Appalachian Cotton after having it on needles for four months.  It's still too large but it will fit her soon.  She'll be six months old on October 3rd

We had friends for an overnight visit last week and John, a photographer, took several shots of Delaney.  This one is my favorite.

And here's where I torture you with baby pictures - those sweet hands!!
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I managed this shot in my lap.  She slept there for an hour and I didn't want to risk waking her up to move her.  Good thing I can read a Kindle with one hand because that's exactly what I did.  I just finished reading Here We Are by Aarti Shanini, an NPR news corespondent - excellent!!  I highly recommend it, an inside look at deportation.  It's well written and compelling.





Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The beginning of the end

I have finally been able to start wearing shoes which means I can finally start weaving again.  Delaney will be five months old next week and is becoming more aware of her surroundings all the time.  I decided to see how she would react to watching me weave and she loves it.  I originally thought one hour sessions would be a great place to start.
To my surprise she feel asleep and took a thirty minute nap while I made tons of clattering noises.  I was a little too ambitious however and ended up with a very sore back.  I've had to cut back to 30-minute sessions for now as I build my muscles back up.  Four months is a long time to be inactive.
While Delaney naps, I take a rest and read; sometimes I nap too.
For those of you who have read this blog from back when we lived in Nevada, our beautiful valley experienced a devastating fire last week and one home was lost.  Click for big to see the homes that the firefighters saved - all but one!  This is what the view would be from our old house.  Not only is it ugly, there's no vegetation to prevent catastrophic runoff next spring.
I think this photo speaks volumes.  Our mailbox looked just like this.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I spent my final day as living history interpreter for this year and one last afternoon of cribbage.  Izzie is a seasonal hire, a 19-year-old college sophomore and Jayden is a 17-year-old high school junior who just had completed a 3.5 mile hill workout with his cross country team before coming down to his volunteer shift, both amazing, motivated and responsible young people and I will miss them.
I have finished this area of our yard and will leave it alone to grow together, probably a couple more years before it looks mature and planned.  Next year I'll start to plant that area behind it which is just dried grass and aspen tree volunteers.  We'll need to add irrigation there before I can start planting.
I've had help from our songbirds who have dropped seeds here and there, some grew and some didn't.  This snapdragon is between a rock and a paver so I don't expect to see it again next year.  They've donated a lot of violas in random spots and I am quite happy with their cheerful little faces.
This is my favorite of the random donations.  I used an app I bought called Picture This to identify it as Chinese Hound's Tongue.  We're hopeful it will be back next year.
The sure sign that the seasons have begun to turn is this red leaf in our maple tree.  Even though the days are in the 80s, the morning temps are in the low 40s, quite chilly and the tree is taking its cue from that, which means less outdoors time and more time spent indoors and the end of summer.  I hope to be weaving an hour a day by next week.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

My daughter and her family including grandson Kiernan drove up from Reno the day after we got back from our trip to retrieve Alexia.  We enjoyed several days with them and then they hit the road, to be back to Reno on Monday.  Alexia had an orientation to attend.  Nevada has a program called Nevada Youth Legislator where high school students can apply to the state senator in their district for this position.  There are 21 state senators so 21 high school students, most of them in the south where the population is.  She still isn't clear on their mission but it is going to be a great learning opportunity regardless.
She applied to Senator Heidi Gansert's office and was accepted.  A term is for two years and next year the Reno kids will fly to Las Vegas for the orientation since they came up this year.  She even has her own business card!
And State ID.
It's back to babysitting on Thursdays and Fridays for me.  Delaney is now four months old and can roll over!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch - the living history department bought a hand crank ice cream maker on eBay.
It's been a huge hit with the kids.  They line up to take turns cranking and then go to the end of the line so they can do it again, even though they know we're unable to give them any of it.
But the past two weeks have been too hot to do much of anything, too hot to bake, and too hot to make ice cream, so we've been playing cribbage.  Izzie taught me last week.  Her grandmother taught her when she was seven and now she's taught us.  Yesterday we played a tournament and surprisingly it was a big hit with the public.  Many adults have played it and the kids love helping us add up the cards - 15-2, 15-4.  It's not as easy as it looks as these reproduction cards only have the spots, no numbers.  It's gets confusing after a while.
Our county fair was just a couple of weeks ago and my demonstration shift was the first morning it opened.  In spite of the air conditioner not working in our room, we still had very good turnout.
My scarf took the Superintendents Award.  I don't know what that means or who the superintendents are, but that's a mighty big ribbon.  It's headed to the State fair tomorrow.
 And I settle back into my routine, enjoying the last days of summer.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Island Hopping

Ian rented an AirB&B in the old part of Victoria and within walking distance to everything.  I love this picture of Alexia on our balcony, the spitting image of my mom.
It was her heart's desire to have high tea at the Fairmont Empress and she wanted to dress the part.  She bought two dresses and brought them both with her, but this is the one she asked me to iron.  She felt like a princess.  Unless you've met her, it's difficult to convey the unaffected poise that she conducts herself with.  An elderly German woman walking with difficulty aided by a cane, stopped to tell her that she reminded her of her childhood, what it was to feel like 13 again.  Alexia sweetly and in all sincerity said, "I'm so glad that I could do that for you."
She had studied the menu and tea choices in advance and had given us the whole run down before we got there, but then Todd, our server, explained it to us all over again.  We selected our own teas and we each had our own teapot. She had wanted us to share with each other, but it became a race against Todd who would suddenly reappear and refill our cups.  Let me tell you that three pots of tea is too much tea and Lexi stubbornly drank all of hers, then reached for Grandpa's pot.  We told her NO!

She said it was everything she had wished it would be.
This was our view of the bay from our table.
We spent one day at the Royal British Victoria Museum and we really needed a second day to see it all because we were worn out after five hours.  We spent one day at the Butchart Gardens where we also wore ourselves out.  We took the public bus for the hour ride out and back - very interesting, but that's another story.
 I think I came away learning the most from the gardens as they were very instructional.  I asked Alexia to stand on the path to provide perspective for the lily and hydrangea on the right, both taller than her.  I brought home their plant guide and also bought two packets of columbine seed which I had to declare at Customs.  The Canadian Customs people were much nicer than the American ones, I must say.
We took the ferry back to Port Angeles where we picked up our car and drove to Vashon Island to spend a few days with our sister-in-law at her place there, which is way down on the end.
Turning around, I took this shot looking the other direction.  Click for big to see Mt Ranier hidden in the cloud.
The summer compound is right on Puget Sound so maritime traffic traveling to and from Tacoma passes right by.  Alexia loved watching them with both the telescope and binoculars.  We found a great app called VesselFinder Lite that identifies the ships, tells what country owns them, whose flag they're flying, usually a picture and lots of details that I don't understand.  We had a lot of fun with that.
Low tide reminds me of Limbo - how low can you go?!
High tide, however, is getting higher.  I took this picture of Ian from the second floor, and you can see how high it is, so high that the stairs are damaged and unusable.  Homeowners on Vashon have been meeting with the Coast Guard, looking for ways to protect their property.  They were told that in a hundred years, these shoreline houses will be under water.
So what to do?  Enjoy it while we can.



Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Busy Summer

It's been a month since I've written anything here and that's in large part due to this adorable girl.  Alexia was with us from June 26th to July 26th and those days were packed full.  I was at the Deschutes County Fair all day today, demoing spinning with a drop spindle.  I'm tired but we're going to have baby Delaney for the next two days and I can't count on any free time, so this post is me trying to get a little caught up on the last month, while I can still remember it.

One of our favorite things to do together is shop for books.  We've done this since she started reading in second grade.  She had planned on a visit to Dudley's Bookstore and was really disappointed that it no long has a teen section.  We even spent a half hour at the library - no luck.  We ended up at Barnes and Noble where there are plenty of books to chose from.  I hadn't planned on buying any for myself, but then I found a display, Buy Two, Get One Free.  I had read about half of the books on the table and reasoned that surely I could find three books from the remainder.  I did.
She has gotten a little more confident in her knitting and started a shawl from a Ravelry pattern called River Fog.  We were going on another road trip and this would be her trip knitting.
And once again she volunteered with me as a living history interpreter at the High Desert Museum.  I showed her how to crochet and she went to town, making a "washcloth."  An older teenager and experienced crocheter spent some time with her, showing her tips and tricks.  She attracted little girls like a magnet the rest of the day.
Ian, Alexia and I took a hike to Tumalo Falls, a truly magnificent piece of our local back country.  We had planned to go up to Newberry Caldera, the source of much of the old lava flows that dominate our landscape. That hypothetical trip would have included a stop at the obsidian dome along with a visit to the lava-cast forest and lava tubes.  So they're on the list for next year.
I had forgotten how much time a newborn baby takes and Delaney gets all of me on Thursdays and Fridays. I just hope her temperament is like her daddy's and she doesn't run my legs off in the upcoming months.  I'm not complaining.  She already loves to be read to.

The day before we took off on our road trip was the opening of the Tour of Homes.  Delaney's daddy has had his work in the show for many years but this is the first year that he was a project manager on several. This house was his baby from the moment the framing was done.  It was very stressful and he was exhausted by the time of the show.  He'd drop the baby off at 8:00 and there were times that Julia had to pick her up (she works later than Matt), long days for all of us - not complaining :-)

The good news is that this house took the top award in its price range in every category except for landscaping.
The next day we were on the road to Tacoma to our sister-in-law's, but just for one day, and our favorite thing in Tacoma is the Museum of Glass.  We had more time this year and spent a couple of hours watching the glassblowers in the Hot Shop.  Okay, I have to admit that we went into the UW Tacoma bookstore which was right across the street and I bought two more books.
The work of Preston Singletary, a Tlingit native representing their story of Raven was the artist in the main gallery.  Not only had he made all the glass art, he had written original music and choreographed lighting to accompany it.  Breathtaking!
The next day had us back in the car headed to Port Angeles, Washington where we parked our car and took the 1 1/2 hour ferry ride to Victoria, BC.
We said goodbye to American soil as we crossed the straits of Juan de Fuca for Canada.