Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We wish you a Merry Christmas

Visions of chicken breath crunchies danced in his head.......

We decided to stop spending and start enjoying what we have. We think the tree turned out really nicely, and want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Give people hugs, won't you?

(Spot suggests hugging dogs, too.)

EDITED to add: Golly, look! Only two posts away from tying my meager output of the last two years! WIll I make it? Can I think up two more posts in just a few days? Anyone want to place a bet?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

what to do with too many blackberries

Tools: big enamelled pot, salt, things to dye (yarn and t-shirts)

Boil water, add salt and stew yarn and shirts for 20 minutes.
After draining water, remove items to be dyed and wring. Add berries, mash, and boil for 20 minutes.
Here's the beautiful berry dye, pre-straining.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

End of November

Here's a series of photos. Some of them involve a secret I'd kept since September. Others are just snaps I took as we went along the way to revealing that secret. It was a lovely weekend with people I love.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What I saw

I can't really compete with bb's commuter posts as I don't have a stealth-worthy phone cam, nor her gift for prose. Still, today was a good day, at least as far as the non-work time is concerned, and I thought I'd share.

Morning, walking to bus stop.
  • a brown bunny who hopped away and disappeared as I approached
  • fewer than normal amounts of ginormous spiders and related webs (urk)
  • the large scarecrow in the community garden nearby, now headless, just in time for fall
  • two more brown bunnies,  one enthusiastically dining on old thistle blossoms
Morning, on bus en route to the city across the lake
  • several scullers on the water
  • one great blue heron, posing gracefully in the shallows
  • some humorously over-chic window displays at the flagship Nordstrom's (still affectionately called "The Bon" by long-time residents)
Afternoon, on bus returning to city wherein lies my domicile and familial unit
  • another great blue heron, artfully displayed near a beaver dam 
Afternoon, walking home from bus stop
  • a large, white cockatoo strolling along fence top as his people milled about (this at the house where the owners have thoughtfully cut a vertical opening in the corner of the fence so that the dogs can see what they are barking at) (the dogs, seemingly aware of this unusual advantage, do not abuse the privilege and bestow a few warning barks, then go about their other business.)
  • the largest flock of bushtits I have seen in some time. (I love watching them witter about and hunt bugs, gregariously calling as they move from branch to branch to tree to bush. They're only a little larger than a hummingbird, being about the size of your big toe with a tail and tiny beak.)
  • family of three, picking blackberries (which threaten to engulf us). The wee girl told me that they plan to make a pie, and I told her I'd just used some to dye a shirt and some yarn.
  • big winged termite (blech)
  •  man +dog +empty lot + chuckit + tennis ball = happy
  • yet another brown bunny -- are you keeping count? That makes four
  • hummingbird
  • lady coming home, unloading two smallish, happy dogs from the car as man exits house.  
            she: you're going in, then     
            he: yes, I'll probably not be home before 10:30 or so
          (they cross paths, she coming, he going, and exchange a kiss)   
           she: mmmmm, you smell good

Finally arrive home to my dearies. Girlie cast as Stephano in Tempest production ("I get to play a drunk and sing terribly at the top of my lungs!"). My redhead programming the wunnerful microscopic cell phones we got for our Europe trip last year for his folks to use in Spain soon (jealous much? why yes, yes I am). Mr. Spot getting wobbly in the legs, always happy to see me come home at the end of the day.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

The party's over

Summer here in the Pacific NW is drawing to a close. It's a short season at best, and my tomatoes are mature but not yet ripening. (I was advised to pick off all the new flowers to get the plant to pay attention to the fruit already maturing,)

It's been in the high 80's to 90's this week. Herself and I went to a water park on Thursday and had a great time. Today was cooler and a bit cloudy--tantalizingly lovely and hovering in the 80s.

The girlie has been actingactingsingingdancingacting this summer. The redhead has played chauffeur and worked very hard at healing up well following his surgery. This week, the girlie had a break. We thought about going somewhere this weekend, but decided instead to have a very simple backyard potluck and invite some folks over.

A good part of yesterday and this morning was spent cleaning up the place and getting ready. As we worked, I reminded myself how nice it is to have the house in "clean-enough-for-party" mode. I always worry (doesn't everyone?) about whether folks will enjoy each other, do we have enough refreshments, is the bathroom clean enough for everyone to use?

We had the world's-best in-laws over. We had our new neighbors with their lovely toddler and new baby and one of the grandmas. The other neighbor's boy came with our dear lady from across the street who dog-sits our old Spot on occasion. My dear redhead invited some friends from work who also have a new infink. My good friend from work came with her Papi-hua-hua (papillon/chihuahua cross), and the nicest lady from down the street came by,too.

As usual, it came together beautifully.

I have no pictures, so you'll just have to take my word. Babies were passed around and loved. My amazing girlie entertained the young 'uns with drawing and the sprinkler and a very cleverly thought up scavenger hunt list (some of the items: two pine cones, a blue crayon, someone with brown hair, a cookie). She danced and sang and made a great playlist featuring 1776, The Rutles, Little Shop of Horrors, The Indigo Girls and The Monkees. There was freshly caught JUST-smoked salmon that the fish-eaters raved about. Everyone ate and chatted and enjoyed. The weather was obligingly perfect.

Sometimes I think that the best part of the party is after. When everyone has gone home with leftovers, the dishes are done, and the set struck. The quiet calm of an unusually clean house, the girlie curled up with a book on the couch in the purply evening light, my favorite redhead noodling on the computer, and the dear old doggie groggily reveling in having his house back to his main pack.

I am content.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Where the hell have I been since April???

Let's see now.......

Alaska with my Dad in May....

In June, noodling in the garden and praying for tomatoes....

In July, working on my theory of the evolution of knitted fish and marine critters...

To metamorphose into this for a new, tiny neighbor....

And felting sweaters to become this for big sisters of new, tiny neighbors....

Hmmm. Also working on helping my dear redhead to feel better after a difficult health hurdle (he's being SOOOO brave), enjoying the girlie's delighted, headlong fling into acting/dancing/singing for the summer months, and getting into watching the Tour de France with both of them. We want to be there. We will be, someday. The scenery is incroyable.

The Beatle mentioned above was fab. Simply fab.

Hope your summer is full of wonder as well. Oh, and here are some flowers for you; it was so nice of you to drop by!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Super Starr

Very much looking forward to seeing this chap this summer. The girlie is still dancing with delight about it. (Me too, to be honest.)

It's finally not raining here, and I'm knitting up a hat from scraps. Started out with a nice picot cast on, and we'll see where it goes from there. Also picked up a lovely wooden darning egg from etsy; my socks keep growing holes, but I hate to keep buying new ones only to see my toes repeatedly erupt from them. Time to mend!

Will try to get out in the yard and photograph my lovely tulips and lily-of-the valley tomorrow.

Will try to post them before Christmas.

Friday, January 20, 2012

here we are in January

My, my, my, past the mid-month already. I know how much I enjoy finding posts on the blogs I read, so I am "effort-ing" (as heard on a local newscast this AM-cripes!) to de-hibernate and post a bit more often. No promises, but I'll give it a go.

Winter photos above; we got treated to a hearty winter storm last week and it's just now melting. I scored BIG with a friend's de-stashing sale, Spot waiting patiently for Santa, some bowls I lurve that were waiting for me at an op-shop, and a few of the enormous murder of crows that blanketed the back yard for some food tossed out yesterday. (It was cool--nearly Hitchcock-ian at times!)

Barb over at Woof Nanny posted a great end-of-year list, and I want to hitch my wagon to her star and note a few things that have made me happy.

*Glad that despite some bumps, my family has remained well and strong. I love my Yuma boyze, the southern AZ crews, and the Kirkland dears.

*The perseverance of Spot.

*The return of the knitting bug. I've cranked out some shawls, a couple of hats, and a sonic screwdriver.

*Birds, birds, birds. Herons and bald eagles in the Arboretum, bushtits and juncoes and towhees in my yard, hawks on the light poles, and the ever-present crows.

*Bunnies seen on my frosty morning walks to the bus.

*M's hard work to keep excelling in school while still finding time to enjoy herself. Seeing her shine onstage in "Oliver!". Her wonderful phalanx of girl buddies. The lovely sound of the piano drifting out of her room. Her gentle insistence that I pull the concertina out and work at it. (Can't believe the bellows are still good!)

*A wonderful Thanksgiving made up of friends from both nearby and faraway and some killer baby back ribs. (Len and M kicking *ss on Beatle's Rock Band--Len yelling at the program when it failed him repeatedly for drumming as he actually does and not following the program--hysterical, I tell you!)

*Travel. The amazing Northern European cruise, subsequent week in the UK (love you, Della!) and several delightful runs to Vancouver (I've never before been in a motel where the wild party next door ended with the police coming and ushering the revelers out! Peeking through the curtains and thanking the nice Canadian cops afterwards--hee-hee!).

*Having a job that allows me to work with friends AND pays me on a regular basis. Lucky, I tell you.

*The continued delight of finding what I want/need/never expected on the interwebs. Patterns, projects, photos that make me grin, books I want to read, songs that I'd never heard, blogs I want to learn from, and inspiration to make me want to continue to create things.

Let's all have a terrific 2012, eh?