Sunday, July 30, 2017

The last days of Grandma Camp

Alexia is taking some flute lessons while she's here.  I knew that my friend Helen from the Studio has a college-age son majoring in flute and when I learned he'd be home the same time as Lexi was here, I asked if Nick would be willing to make the time to teach her.  He would and indeed he enjoyed it very much, stretching it into a two-hour session.
They finished the lesson playing some duets that knocked my socks off and apparently Nick's too because he sent her home with two of his flutes to practice with until her lesson on Wednesday of the next week.  He and Helen also invited us to ride along on Friday to his flute lesson in Vida Oregon (near Eugene) for his lesson with Louise DiTullio, a flutist of renown.  We were both excited.
She hadn't seen either her cousins yet so we made plans to meet up with the family at the Bend Elks game.  We went for the start of the game and saved seats for the everyone as they were coming after they got off work.
The Elks are a summer league for college students and well-supported and loved by the locals.  The games really are fun.  The Elks were losing and Lex was flagging so I told her that we could go home early.  Nothing doing!  She wanted to stay to the end and in the last inning the team pulled ahead to win by two.
One of the things Alexia wanted to do while she was here was go finishing and since cousin Logan is an avid fisherman, he offered to teach her.  Ian and Lex met up with Logan at the pond in Shevlin-Hixon park, specifically maintained and stocked for 12-17 year olds.  Her fish wasn't big enough to be a keeper but at least she caught one.  Breakfast came next and I slept in.
Friday morning came early but we were on time to accompany Nick for his flute lesson.  Helen drove us in her car,  two hours one way on a windy road in an unairconditioned car.  The lesson was utterly a thrill but everything caught up with Alexia, including some car sickness, and we poured her into her bed a little after 8:00 that night.
We decided a quiet day was in order for all of us yesterday so went to see Spider-Man at the theater, then out to dinner at Pastini's, a nearby Italian restaurant followed by a walk along the Deschutes River.  It was close to 7:00 by then and there were still people in and on the water.
We are down to our last few days so the question was, what do you still want to do?  I forgot about Powell's Sweet Shop but she didn't.  It's every kids dream and always busy - all candy, all sugar.  She spent a modest $5.50 and I was relieved.
We had gone to three thrift stores and she reminded me of the other three that we had missed and bingo, she found the garden fairy that we have been looking for.

We will go to the High Desert Museum again this Friday and this time her parents will be here and able to watch their frontier daughter at work.  It's predicted to be 100 degrees that day so I told her that we'll start at 11:00 as usual but leave once it climbs into the 90s, though most people will have gone inside to the air conditioning by then anyway.

A woman who has bought woven goods from me before is coming in the morning to purchase six towels which brings my stock seriously low.  I still can't start weaving until the middle of August however as we have friends coming tomorrow and more family coming next week.  The really good thing about this time off  is that I'm really missing it and I'm looking forward to getting my looms warped again.

I'm going to Prineville on the 8th, next Tuesday, to serve as the fiber arts judge at the Crook County Fair.  Laura can't do it this year as she has to go be with her ailing father, but she gave the fair my name and assures me I'm fully qualified to perform this role.  Criteria sheets are provided so I will just act like I know what I'm doing and hope that I do.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beginning week two of Grandma Camp

Alexia and I went in early to the museum so she could get fitted for a costume.  Her job ended up being to help children pump water from the hand pump into watering cans and then conduct them to the garden so they could water the plants.  About midday they close the gate because the plants are well watered by then and then she escorts them to various trees.
This is Lexi with Linda Evans, the director of living history at the museum.
As we were changing our clothes afterwards I noticed parts of my boot heels with sticking out to the sides.  Last week I had to take them to the shoe guy to be stretched and this week we had to go back again.  He said they're "vintage" (as in old) and since I bought them from eBay, I have no idea how old they are.  He said these are injectable molded heels which can last for three to thirty years.  They are utterly rotten and crumbly, however many years.
Alexia has been working on her "Build a Better World" list for the library summer reading program.  She was down to the last two items of the ten to check off for ice cream coupons.  One of the options is to plant a plant for pollinators so we took ourselves to the nursery yesterday and came home with this crocosmia which attracts butterflies.
And this morning she planted it, literally.  I dug the hole and she planted it.  Now I'm wondering if this spot is as sunny as I originally thought.  That was a hard hole to dig - I sure hope I don't need to move this!

I finished another Quick Sand sweater, this time in Malabrigos Rios, color Bobby Blue.  It took five balls and each one was a little different from the other and one was much darker.  I'm pleased with the order I used the skeins with the darkest on the bottom.
In fact I'm no pleased that I ripped out a sweater that was a flop and am knitting it in Heidi Kerrmaier's Fine Sand pattern.  I found both her patterns on Ravelry.  After the "flop" experience I'm much more careful about Ravelry patterns, I can tell you that!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

To be continued

I started at the High Desert Museum last Friday.  The first thing I needed before I could put on my costume was to get fitted for a chemise and corset.
This is my costume and my station at the ranch house.  The costume isn't as uncomfortable as it looks but I am having my boots stretched before.  I learned a lot about what works and what doesn't and I realized that fiber preparation gets in the way of the interpretation of living history.  I've since prepared my fiber at home.
It really went well until my drive band broke.  It's been at least 10 years since I've spun on a double drive wheel so I was impressed that I was able to create a substitute band using some tightly spun Shetland wool I had in my basket.  Being wool it started to stretch and required an extra knot, a very large knot. Somehow it managed to hold together for the rest of the session.
This is Shade, a college intern who plays the hired hand.  He carried my wheel to the hidden golf cart when it was time to go in.  My session goes until 4:00 but it was 95 and most of the visitors had gone inside.  Shade suggested I call it a day and I thought that was a good idea.
The next day we drove down to Tulelake California to meet up with my daughter and son-in-law who had driven up with Alexia.  We get to enjoy her for three weeks and I can't believe how quickly the time is going.  She loves to read so we've create an evening ritual.  After Grandpa goes to bed we stay up and read until about 10:00. That's my quitting time.  She continues until she finishes her book.
Sunday Alexia and I took a stroll along the Deschutes River, got a bite to eat and were planning to hear the free concert at the Les Schwab Amphitheater.  I asked Lu what she really wanted to do and she said - go to Dudley's.  It's a quaint bookshop in downtown Bend, a visit that I've been promising her.
It turns out that Tom the owner had just made a private purchase of young adult novels.  He brought out stacks of books and what she ultimately chose was the four-volume Pellinor series.  He said he has more at home that he'll be bringing in next week so we'll go back.  It was starting to look pretty expensive but the hardback set was only $20.
Monday we took a tour through three thrift stores and got a big laugh out of this bit of creativity.  We weren't sure of it's function because those cups surely can't hold candles.

We were looking for fairies but instead found this composite angel so now our garden is an angel garden.  Next stop in this project is the nursery.
She's enjoying the deer in our neighborhood.  Her favorite was the young twins who pronged through our front yard followed by their mother who sauntered casually across the driveway.  I didn't have my camera for that but I did have it for this doe and young buck in a neighbor's yard.

Tuesday I played hookie while Alexia went to Tai Chi with Grandpa.  They went to breakfast afterwords and then to the library where she signed up for summer reading club.  She got a free book just for signing up and she's already read the required three books to get another one.  There's a list of things she needs to do to get ice cream coupons and she has three out of ten on that.  One was to meet a neighbor so this morning I introduced her to Connor who lives behind us.  Another is to plant a pollinator plant which she'll do as soon as go to the nursery.
I thought she would enjoy going into the print studio and making some monotypes but after visiting it, I think she was a little intimidated.  She has elected to paint with water colors every day.

She gets to "help" me at the High Desert Museum on Friday so we will go in early for a costume fitting.  I think they'll have her help with some of the children's activities.  She's really looking forward to it.
Meanwhile, in preparation I put a replacement drive band on the wheel using 8/4 linen which I waxed with bees wax.  At some point I realized that the bobbins are longer than either of my lazy kates so I came up with this work-around.  The block is something I bought from Ken Ledbetter.  It's to put in three drop spindles so you can triple ply from them.  Instead I put the pin from my Kromsky kate through the bobbin to afix it vertically.  The block has a post with eye in the front and flawlessly fed the single yarn onto my bobbin winder.

I was able to ply the wool together that I had spun last week so I have something for children to see and feel.  And I also finished processing the wool that I'll be using hereon out.  My backstory is still in process.  I need a name so I can refer to my husband as Mr. Morse (or whatever) rather than "my husband."  That was the proper form of address then.  To be continued.

Monday, July 10, 2017

So it's July again

Grandson Logan has invested a good part of this year in making his dream come true, to be a member of a drum and bugle corps and to compete in DCI or Drum Corps International.  It has required a lot of the whole family, both in money and in time.  DCI competitors are between the ages of 17 and 21 and as soon as Logan turned 17 in February, he started working toward this goal.  He auditioned for the Columbians, a Pasco Washington-based troop, and while his trumpet playing got him a call-back after he auditioned, he still had to learn to walk and play at the same time.

Missy drove the four hours for weekend practices while finishing her masters degree and teaching during the week.  He practiced and she worked on her thesis in their hotel room.  And he did it. Hours of grueling practice in the heat - and you thought it was just football that did that!  Last weekend she drove up to Pasco, but this time to drop him off for the competition tour.  They compete, get back on the buses afterwards and sleep until they arrive at the next destination, then roll out their sleeping bags and sleep on high school gym floors.  Then they get up, work on correcting the flaws the judges noted and then practice until it's time to compete again.  They'll do this all week.  We saw them in Hillsboro and then it's Tacoma, Pasco, Boise, Salt Lake City finishing up in Denver next Saturday.

I took this picture and a couple of videos before I was told that there had been an announcement - this was a big NoNo.  All the material is copyright protected but you can see what the group does for audition here.  Here's a performance from last year.  Logan will be a senior and is looking at colleges according to how close they are to major DCI troops like the Blue Devils in Concord CA (his dream) and this is what a practice looks like. And this is from the show we saw that night, bootlegged apparently.  I would much rather watch this in the stadium than football.
We drove over to Hillsboro, OR on Friday morning for the first competition of the tour.  Missy took this selfie , the first of many to come I'm sure as she and Josh and her parents are following the tour over the next week. Josh was exhausted.  They weren't an hour from the house when a radiator hose blew, and him towing a trailer. We managed to save seats because the stadium was full.  Who knew DCI was so popular?!
I've crossed the Sierras since I was a teenager but the Cascades are really a lot different.  For one thing there are a lot of distinctive peaks and I'm finding them difficult to distinguish.  It helps to identify them by actually being there so we stopped at the Mt Washington viewpoint. We learned that the fire damage is from the B&B Complex fire, two fires that grew into one and burned over 90,000 acres in 2003.  Our poor tortured West.
This is only our second time to take a trip north from Central Oregon since we moved here and again I'm stunned at how many visitors are leaving as we return.  As far as I could see it was a steady stream of cars.  I live in the right place.
This weekend is Summerfest so Ian and I went down Sunday afternoon, and in spite of it being the tail end of the event, there was plenty going on.  Parking isn't really a problem if you're willing to walk a couple extra blocks. It was fun and we stopped to enjoy music at a couple of the stages - probably could have stayed longer but it was hot and our dogs were barking.
I figure one vendor purchase is good and I could see this in our yard. 
So back to my volunteer role at the High Desert Museum, I've been familiarizing myself with the official backstory.  I'm a little frustrated as I'm pretty sure spinning was no longer an activity in 1904 and I can find nothing to support it either way.  Bend had a large Norwegian population at that time so I suppose I can tie into that. I called the State Library who referred me to the Willamette Heritage Center and they are only prepared to answer questions relating to wool as an industry.  
Meanwhile the boots for my costume that I ordered from eBay have arrived.  One friend asked me if I was planing a visit to Lancaster PA.
Laura is loaning me her Country Craftsman, a reproduction flax wheel, and bless her heart she delivered it, sparing me the hour drive to Prineville.  (I should be ashamed when I quail at an hour drive since every trip I made when we lived in Red Rock was an hour, one way.)  We talked over the wools I'm going to use and how to use them. It's been frustrating to me that there is no literature for me to draw on for this Living History role that I'll be playing at the museum. And then we just turned to working with the wool and sampling, and then suddenly it was like old days, like camping at Richardson Park before Black Sheep Gathering. I don't know what I'm doing half of the time but then I realize I never have.