Saturday, July 30, 2016

Something Colorful This Way Comes

I saw a "spiralizer" on Hilary's Crazy as a Loom blog so I bought this.
And it does this - cuts vegetables into long thin spirals which cook up wonderfully, though I did break the spirals apart to facilitate cooking.  It's really just a fancy mandolin but I don't have to worry about my fingers
I also bought basil at the farmers market.

And it became this - pesto!  Ian doesn't really care for it so I freeze it in tablespoon cubes, then pull out a couple when I need it.  I love to do a vegetable saute for lunch and sauce it with pesto.  It's one of the best parts of summer.  I could smell the basil before I even got to the booth!
Our friends and former neighbors, Carol and Harry, are vacationing in Sun River and personally delivered one box of pink flamingos, a white elephant present she received at Christmas.  She's glad to have them out of her garage.
And I'm glad to have them here.
They invited us down to their vacation rental for dinner the next evening.  Carol is a librarian and we try so hard not to torture Harry with library talk and usually fail.  Also not appearing in this picture are Tamara and her friend from nursing Karen.  Table talk was animated and we laughed a lot - good medicine.
The last several months have been stressful, probably more than I realized, so when Jenny Bellairs sent me this picture of a towel/placement that she bought from me several years ago, I was deeply moved.  There's a part of me that lives and is appreciated in Michigan.  Can there be a higher complement?? 
I had money set aside to do some updating in our bathroom but last month we decided to use it for skylight blinds which were delivered and installed this morning.  The different in temperature and light were immediately apparent.  We've had to run the air in the afternoons for the past several days but not today - that much!  I'm especially glad to have that direct sunlight removed from my looms.  
  The towels are washed and in the hemming process.
Without the glaring sun I was able to finish threading the Laffy Taffy warp, so baby blankets can't be too far behind.
Every so often Stan (my oldest BFF) posts a picture on Facebook of us and it always crack me up.  I have no doubt that my mother sewed the clothes I'm wearing and probably knitted the sweater too.  Stan always teases me that I wore shorts and sweaters in the summer.  My parents took very few pictures and since I didn't remember that, I figured that was a fluke - but I can't argue with a photo.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Moving On

I walked away from the St Charles Cancer Center with glee.  My radiation oncologist said she thought I was doing great and that's good enough for me.
Only two of the lupine volunteers that I plucked from their flower beds survived the transfer and since then the groundskeepers have removed all the rest.  I can't forget this pothole in my life so I decided flowers are the best way remember it.
I promised  myself a visit to the nursery and I went the very next day.  I have planted some of these and rest are tucked away under a bush to be planted after this hot spell.  When I posted this picture on Facebook I got a lot of teasing about the flamingos which I did not buy.  One friend insisted that they'd be the perfect "trophy" to acknowledge that I beat breast cancer - plus they're pink.  Another friend is bringing me some that she has stored in her garage.  I think they'd be fun near the water feature.
Sammie has perked up and is again her waggy self.
We had an unexpected treat, a visit from Ian's oldest daughter and granddaughter.  They spent Saturday night with us, going from California to Washington.  They've never seen downtown Bend and it did not disappoint them.
We ate lunch and then spent some time watching the bicycle racers.  Bend had a five-day race in progress and not all events were downtime.  Some were road races nearby.  The timing was perfect and it was early in the day so the crowds were still small.

They had only driven by Mirror Pond when they were here for Matt's wedding last summer so we felt like a walk along it was in order.  We're in Drake Park but across the pond, actually a damed area of the Deschutes River, are old and very expensive residences.  The red canoe caught my eye.
Both my boys and their families were in Washington so missed the visit, but Matt texted to remind us the Tour of Homes. It's a competitive event that features builders best work. He had done the tile work in this once which won five awards.  We drove up to show them the Northwest area of Bend and ended up checking out four of the houses before we went back home.  All of the visit was unplanned and couldn't have been better.
I'm warping for baby blankets, using some 3/2 unmercerized cotton I bought from the Yarn Barn mill ends club.  Right now it looks like melted Laffy Taffy.  I'm anxious to get it into a more weaverly shape.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Another Change

I love this photo of our three dogs in their hay hay: Eddie, Sammy and Buster.  Of course Eddie would have been perfectly happy to be an only dog but 'twas not to be.  They were all rescues.
Buster was full of himself and loved to stir things up, then keep them that way.
Herding and a hunting dogs don't normally have an affinity for each other, but Sammy and Buster formed an unlikely and unbreakable alliance.  Buster was the comedian and Sammy the straight man.  That is, Buster was always finding something to chase or bark at and Sammy would jump in the act.  Buster has lived with a soft-tissue sarcoma on his right front leg for the past 18 months and this past Saturday it was time for us to say goodbye.  It was a sad day but one we knew was coming.  Needless to say, Sammy is bereft.  Initially she roamed the house at night looking for him but now she just mopes.

We're trying to shower her with lots of attention and not leave her alone for very long this week.  This morning I thought a walk into the field behind our house would do us both good.  She made it an opportunity for a dust bath.
All better!
I ended the short walk by taking the path along the irrigation canal.  She always looks at the water longingly but hasn't tackled the rather steep banks.
Until today when she found the spot that boys have created by riding their bikes across the canal.
And today is the first time that that Sammy and Maddie have approached a detente.  One can only hope but after all, they're all they have, a dog and a cat.  There is no option C.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Time to Weave!

I came home from my weave/study group last Wednesday with this cone of variegated Tencel.  Kay had received it last Christmas in the gift exchange and after weaving a scarf that she gave to her daughter, she offered the cone to Gillian who had just finished with it and brought it back.  I was curious and when I expressed interest, Kay sent it home with me and just said to return it when I was done.
I had a hard time picking a weft color so put the two cones next to the warp and walked around it for a couple of days.
The coral won out and I started weaving on it this morning while the guy measured our skylights for replacement blinds.

I ordered six cones of 3/2 unmercerized cotton through the Yarn Barn of Kansas mill-end yarn club and as soon as I finish this scarf I'm going to warp Arthur for baby blankets.  I've only given baby blankets as gifts but I'd like to have a half dozen finished for the Christmas sale.
We're getting the skylight blinds replaced because they're as old as the house and thoroughly rotted out.  I love the skylights which brighten up the house on cloudy winter days but when we can't cover them in the summer, they heat the house up very quickly.  When this one completely came apart Ian stopped putting it off and called Dennis at Blinds, Etc. What a nice guy.
The best part is that I'll have one over my loom so instead of covering it with a quilt when I stop for the day, I can just drop the blind.
Maudie Mae is going to be dishtowels for a while.  My plan was to do two of each color, excluding purple but I'm not crazy about the turquoise so the next towel will be purple, then yellow, green and orange after that.  I'm glad to finally get time to weave some inventory for fall.
Ian and I went to Summerfest on Saturday after my make-up radiation session.  If the machine holds up, I only have nine more treatments left.  I'm getting pretty tired at this point so we didn't last long, but we had a good time looking around and ate lunch at Wild Rose which is one of our favorite lunch places.
I was browsing the stalls for a cereal bowl and couldn't resist this one which goes great with the towels I just wove.  The bowl is from Blue Spruce Pottery, a family business started in 1976. As much as I love these towels I'm not going to do them again.  Weaving with eight shafts was really heavy and too much like work.  I like the color combo though so am shopping for a different block weave structure.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

July and Counting

Ian got serious about Frankinplant and spent time each day trying to reduce the 15 square feet of roots in the area just outside the back door. This the last "carpet" of roots he pulled out.  It's been a nightmare to deal with.  There were irrigation drips to the two mother plants which were surprisingly small for the amount of roots they produced.
This is the tag that was next to the last mother plant and now it makes sense.  It's native to Southern states and in fact, Missouri lists as a noxious plant.  It's noxious alright!  We have two more areas to clear and then I think we'll leave the area for a year to ensure we've gotten all the bits of roots left behind.
The hardest part of moving to Bend was leaving my daughter and her family behind in Reno.  They came up Friday for their first visit since our move.  It was also Kiernan's 17th birthday that day, and in spite of just having had shoulder surgery on Wednesday to repair a Bankart lesion, he wanted to spend his birthday with his "Oregon family."  The last two hours of the trip were pretty miserable but he rebounded quickly and enjoyed his party.
By the time of the 4th of July barbecue at our house, he felt well enough to play cornhole and since he was playing with his nondominant arm, the kids all agreed to play with the same handicap.  They all surprised themselves at how well they did.
It stays light late this far north so we ate and they played some more.  We left our house about 8:45 and all went down to Josh's work which is very close to where they light off the official display at 10:00.
I almost missed this sweet shot with DIL Julia and Alexia.  Sammie was happy to see Alexia. They're both twelve now so kind of grew up together.  Alexia brought her flute and played for me which really warms my heart since it's her mommy's flute that we bought her in 5th grade and Alexia started playing in 5th grade.  She's taking private lessons now and practices at home which really shows. What a treat!
When we got to Josh's work yard, we lined up our cars, sat out lawn chairs and opened up the back ends of our cars for extra seating - our own private viewing.
We went early to set off the "legal" fireworks.  Oregon is huge on them and there were tents all over town the past month selling fireworks and in fact, Costco had a big display just inside the entry.  It took an hour to light all of these off and meanwhile people were shooting off rocket fireworks all over the place.  It's illegal to sell them here but legal to sell them in Washington.  Ian stayed home with the dogs because they were terrified.  The traffic afterwards was mind boggling.  It seems that everyone had driven to a park or similar vantage point for viewing the fireworks go off on Pilot Butte and everyone was going home at the same time.  The roads were so choked by cars that it felt like an evacuation.  After I got home and in bed fireworks were still going off in the neighborhood.

It's been a whirlwind visit for all of us and especially for the cousins.  We went to the High Desert Museum yesterday which they absolutely loved.  They went to the lava tubes on China Hat Road today which are underground caves, much too athletic for my blood and I passed on that outing.  We did meet up with them this afternoon for the farmers market downtown and I love it that my "Reno family" had such a good time. I'm very sad that we met up tonight for pizza before saying goodbye until I don't know when again.
Somewhere in all this I managed to get Maudie Mae warped and I'm starting on dishtowels for the Christmas sale.  I went to my weave-study group today while the kids were climbing around in cold dark caves, and as always I came away excited about weaving.

I thought I was going to have to leave early and get back to the Cancer Center for my radiation treatment but they called me while I was driving up to Redmond to tell me that the machine was down again.  That's the third time and so my finish date is pushed back to July 21st, sigh.  I was originally scheduled to finish on the 18th.  I know it's just a matter of days but it's a head game.