Friday, June 27, 2014

Time Flies

Christina and I drove up to the top of Mt Sugarloaf yesterday, all 654' above sea level, for a birds eye view of the countryside. The Connecticut River flows at the base and in the left distance you can see U Mass. Click for big to see the brick library tower that can only be used on every other floor. The architects forgot to account for the added weight of the books!
Directly below and across the bridge is Sunderland, a community older than Nevada. Church spires are part of all communities and I think this one is a Congregational church.
We are staying in the group of houses on the left bank of the river. It's like living in a park.
The soil deposited from glaciers and river overrun is about 30 feet deep in Franklin County and ideal for farming. The landship is dotted by farms, and part of Historic Deerfield is still engaged in active farming.
A Victorian summer house occupied the "summit" until the 1960s when it mysteriously burned to the ground. A Frank Lloyd Wright inspired observation tower was built in it's place.
After the ceremony tomorrow afternoon, the wedding party and photographer are coming up here for photographsto take advantage of this unique setting.
The weather promises to behave with a forecast of 83 degrees and 37% humidity.
Olivia had roseola earlier this week and felt terrible, but she's a happy baby now with Daddy (my grandson John). She's still feeling a little clingy so will probably be passed back and forth at the altar.
The tent was delivered this morning. Time to put all the plans on paper into action. Yikes Shannon!
There aren't enough lights for the whole tent. It's time to go to Target and buy some more. Once again, I'm so glad we rented a car. The rehearsal dinner (pizza) is tonight and we will be ready!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Deerfield, Massachusetts

John's parents moved into this house when he was six months old. Later they adopted another boy, so this is where he and his brother grew up.
The yards are unfenced in this small development so it feels like a park to me. In fact, I'm sitting on that deck right now with a cup of coffee accompanied by at least a half dozen different bird songs.
The ceremony will be right here in the backyard with Sugarloaf Mountain as a backdrop. John's dad Paul will officiate the wedding on Saturday, and tomorrow is when we roll up our sleeves to make this happen. Chrissie and I bought the cupcake fixings and will bake tomorrow, frost on Friday.
Everyone was otherwise occupied yesterday so Chrissie and I spent the day in Historic Deerfield. It's a fastinating museum of American history, beginning in the 16th century. We got there at 10:45 and started on a walking tour at 11:00. Main Street is a mile long and the only time we got to sit down before we left at 4:45 was our lunch break here. We had four guided tours. During lunch a main-office employee overheard us and offered to answer questions, which turned into a fifth guided tour!
We were in MA last year for a week after Olivia was born, and spent a Saturday here, during a historic reenactment. We wanted to come back. I think the draw for me is that it's a microcosm of American history. It was already established and suffered a devastating raid in 1704 during a French and Indian Wars raid. And during the Revolutionary War, their Yale-educated minister, Pastor Ashley, was one of the main community leaders and also a strong British sympathizer. He hung a picture of King George over the mantel - not too subtle. History and dates come alive when you can put a face on events. Even after six hours, we couldn't see it all. It shares space with the Deerfield Academy and the movement to establish a museum didn't begin until the 1940s. They currently own 54 structures. Great fun!
The Flynt Museum has a textile exhibit and unfortunately we "saved" that building for last, when we were almost too tired to talk coherently. This suit is a plain weave taffeta, with a pink warp and yellow weft creating an iridescent cloth. I'm taking an iridescence workshop in October and was fascinated by it.
Because of the glass and lights, I was unable to get a better photo of this waistcoat. It's Broadcloth, a plain weave wool, which is fulled so the tailor doesn't have to hem the cuffs or bottom. The fad was to fit the body to the gentleman so carefully that below the waist, the material had to be cut away. This only left the coat tails and is how that fashion came to be. I had no idea!
Everyone kept telling us we absolutely had to drive to Shelburne Falls and see the Bridge of Flowers. This is it - a trolly bridge turned into a walking path and garden by volunteers. I'm reminded of the High Line in Manhattan.
There are two separate communites, one on either end of the bridge which flows over the Deerfield River.
We ate at the West End Pub, the yellow structure on the left, and had a window seat next to the bridge. Great view, good food. The bathroom is through the kitchen and down a long flight of steep stairs. It has to be close to river level - the west wall is just rock. I noticed a high water mark at the top of the lintel, noting the water level from Hurricane Irene on August 28th 2011.
I did fit in a visit to Web and bought six cones of yarn. I realized this morning that it doesn't matter if they fit in my suitcase. It can't exceed 50 pounds, so I might end up with of these in my carry-on bag.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

In Between Trips

On Thursday, the last day of school, we attended the Family Barbecue at Evan's school.  It was brilliantly handled in shifts and by grades.  All food is prepared on site, the hamburgers were cooked on barbecues outside and the food was astonishingly delicious.  We ate on the athletic field grass.  Missy and Ian are throwing away our plates - what a wonderful last day of school.  And how different from Washoe County where all food is prepared off-site and delivered wrapped in plastic - all food!  What frustrates me is that hot food like spaghetti is microwaved in the plastic wrap, in spite of known risk of BPA in food heated in plastic.

Rusty is especially going to miss Ian.  They napped together here every afternoon.  That green ball on the sofa is never out of his sight.  He always knows where he left it.
Every visit ends and leaving never gets any easier.  In our one week we attended four baseball games, one film festival, a field trip to Newberry Caldera and one family barbecue!  We had planned to watch Missy run the Dirty Half half-marathon, but it was cancelled due to smoke and ash.  I think we'll shoot for the last week of school in the future - lots of activities and lots of downtime.
I got an alarming email from Etsy while we were there.  Homer Laughlin had registered a complaint against these towels and I was informed that they had been delisted.  I had written that these are inspired by Fiestaware colors, which is a clear trademark violation but since it was only three towels, I thought it wouldn't matter.  Wrong!  I posted about this experience on the Facebook 4-Shaft Weaving group.

I was surprised at the lively discussion that ensued.  A number of articles were posted.
This one is on copyright colors.
It turns out that Fiestaware also sells linens so I was in clear violation.  It was pointed out that ignorance is no excuse.
This article is about the line between "inspired by" and infringement.
And this one is on the fuzzy line between creativity and copyright.

If you are a hobbyist but sell your work, I suggest you take a minute and browse through this information.  In hindsight I realize I was lucky to get off with a wrist slap.  I realize I would be cruising for a bruising if I list my "Campbell's Soap" on Etsy under that name.  On a happy note, a woman in the group bought two of the towels.

Sunday was the first farmers market out here in our valley.  I realized that the reason these are so successful is that we don't have many opportunities to visit and get to know our neighbors.  I sell better here than any craft show I've done and there's no booth fee.  The wind was problematic and I ended up having to stand at my table for all four hours to keep my stuff on the table.  Good thing it only goes from 11:00-3:00.  Perfect!
The guy next to me had his shade tent blow over, bending the legs.  I realized I didn't have the strength to take my Easy-Up down in the wind and texted Ian to come help me.  Next time I'll just tuck into the shade of this Lombardy Poplar and skip the shelter.
I walked down to the mailboxes this morning to ship off three towels that sold on Etsy, my first sale this year.  It was almost a disaster because I had sold two of the towels the day before but hadn't deleted them from Etsy.  I emailed the lady and she ended with three towels, some that I didn't list, that are a better harmony.  They are for her son's wedding, which really touched me and she is very pleased.  Me too!
And speaking of weddings, my daughter Chris and I are flying back to Massachusetts on Saturday for my grandson's wedding.  I'm spinning yarn to knit on the flight and watching World Cup Soccer. Someone seems to think I might need a little help.  I'm so glad I have a full week in between trips because I am running out of time.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Visit to Newberry Caldera

Josh took Monday off work and the three of us drove up to Newberry Caldera, the largest active caldera in North America. It's so large that it has two lakes, both great for fishing but here at East Lake the fish were jumping out of the water and Josh was jumping out of his skin. The water was so clear we could see them swimming around that rock.
We stopped at the massive obsidian flow. You can see part of it behind Ian and Josh but it wraps around and is also behind me. Signs were posted everywhere, Taking of Rocks is Prohibited.
Someone had left these two rocks on a bench. The pumice on the left weighed about six pounds and I have no idea what the obsidian on the right weighed because I couldn't budge it in the least. Josh lifted it and estimated the weight at about 60 pounds. I'm fine with not taking the rocks.

This is Paulina Lake and Paulina Peak, named for a Paiute chief and pronounced puh-line-uh. It's the larger of the two lakes and the site of rental cabins and the lodge, which is where we ate a surprisingly delicious lunch. People were fishing here but not nearly as many.
Paulina Falls has a display board calling attention to the soft material under the falls and how the river is eating through and dropping chunks off below. The bottom of the falls is much further to the left and much deeper. There were adventerous types walking under the falls when we got there and gone when we left. I hope they left by foot!
Josh could see an observation station on the other side so wanted to walk upstream in case there was a footbridge. We never saw one and I was very relieved that he wasn't tempted to walk across.
We were surprised to find trout above the falls and really surprised at this bright blue guy. He's about a foot long and that is his actual color.
We got back to Bend a little too early to pick Logan up from school so killed some time at Silver Moon Brewery. It has recently changed hands and the new owners are spiffing up the place with murals. I was fooled by this trompe l'oeil, and when I put it on Facebook, DIL Missy was fooled too. This is a mural!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bend and Baseball

We left Reno Friday morning, had lunch in Lakeview, and arrived in Bend about 3:00, just as Logan was getting home from school. It's hard to believe he'll be in high school next year. Josh got off work early so we could attend the Juniper Film Festival, which is a program at the school where MIssy teaches and also where Evan is finishing fourth grade.  The event is so well attended, we had to park a quarter mile away and walk up to the school.

Every class makes a half-hour video which has two showings so that every parent and family member can have to chance to see them. Evan's class made stop-action Lego movies, and although they were only two minutes each, it took 2-3 months to create them. Every child from 3rd grade on is issued an iPad for school work. The classrooms were stiffling hot but what I'll always remember is how creative their films were.
We went to Evan's playoff game Saturday morning. Because a team can only field nine, each child (it's a coed team) is required to sit out an inning. Evan's body posture says it all - his team is getting thumped as he helplessly looks on. Notice the bag of seeds :)
It was a hard fought game and they won!
Son Matt and girlfriend Julie came to the game; afterwards we went downtown for lunch, then stopped by to see their new house. The small plumes of smoke on the west side of town tthat we had seen from Evan's game had grown to this extent by the time we got to Matt and Julia's.
Logan also had a baseball game on Saturday which we had to miss, but we all went together to watch the Bend Elks game - they're a much loved summer league here. The fire eclipsed the sun creating an early sunset and along with the wind, it dropped the temps quickly. We didn't last the whole game.
Everyone was in one of the three stages of evacuation or knew someone who was. One of Josh's drivers called to say that he had been evacuated, couldn't get back home and didn't have a uniform which is required for work. Josh said, Come in - you've got your badge and we need you!
Logan had his last game on Sunday and we were grateful to this lady for sharing her Easy-Up. There is no shade and only metal bleachers. We brought our own chairs and were disappointed when this little girl woke up and they gathered up their things for a 90 minute drive back to the Warm Springs reservation. We lathered up with 100 spf sunscreen and settled in for a prolonged game. There are a lot of over-throws and wild pitches on a 90' field.
Logan's team also won and the next time he plays will be as a freshman. This week has been all about baseball. Thursday evening, our last one here, we'll get to see Evan play for the league championship.
They bought a home on two acres last October on the east side of Bend so we've been relatively unaffected by smoke, though there has been some falling ash at times. When everyone is at work and school, Ian and I have enjoyed their park-like yard. As of this morning the Two Bulls fire is 40% contained.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Tying up Loose Ends

Son Josh called earlier this week and asked if we could come to Bend this weekend instead of next, because it's the last weekend of the school year and a lot of fun things are happening.  Our house sitter was able to make the switch and so we're trying to tie up loose ends so we can leave early in the morning.  I just finished winding this warp and set it aside.
These are the colors I decided on.  I used as much of the fuchsia as I could and then substituted the hot pink for the rest.  I tried to buy more of the fuschsia from Webs but it was a discontinued color.  I'm going to be there the end of this month and will see if I can something close to it.
That's my last warp on turned taquete for a while.  I made towels from this draft about four years ago and plan to weave them again next.  I'll use white warp and bright weft and I'm thinking I might try a black warp and bright weft after that.
I bought three giant cones of cotton at the last guild meeting. Lorene priced them at $5 and I couldn't resist.
I used two of the cottons and I got this far toward a couple log cabin baby blankets.  I spent most of yesterday in Truckee at the outgoing and incoming guild board meeting, and today I'm packing and getting ready to go. I'm taking starts from our yard; some of them are day lilies from our house in town that I planted when Josh was in junior high school.
I'm going to finally tackle all the skeins of handspun yarn this summer.  I have this bag full and two full bins.  I'm going to color them with natural dyes and weave them into lap robes.  I'll decide what to do with the lap robes after they're woven.
And when I was at the board meeting, I picked up my bag that was part of our guild's participation in the bag project at the Conference of Northern California Handweavers. I was quite surprised and pleased at the judges response to my stumbling bumbling conversion of a horrible scarf into a little money bag. She said: interesting technique, blending made interesting colors lovely, nice design, good use of material, and very creative.  The strap is kumihimo and I'm packing it for the trip.  It'll hold a cell phone and credit card so I won't have to carry my heavy purse when we go out.  Perfect timing!
Devon came by on Saturday afternoon and got our little guys sheared so that's another task on the to-do list - skirt fleeces!

Okay, there's no more putting off the last loose end.  The final load is out of the drier and that means I have to go pack!