Where have I been?

Well, life has been fairly busy, but leisurely so, lately.  Our Spring has been so gorgeous here in Oregon, that Ozzie and I can’t stay in the house.  So, we go for walks in the park (Alton Baker) on Pre’s Trail (named for Steve Prefontaine).  Come take a walk with us. It’s only about 5.5 miles.  Then we’ll come home, maybe take a short nap . . .  I’m old, remember!  And then we’ll need to do some quilting.  The heck with the housework — we can still walk through the house.  Right now, nature is calling.  It’s cold this morning, but we’re off to the park again soon, because, well, it’s too beautiful not to go.

Dark purple lilac

Something blooming

Solomon Seal

White bush

Yellow poppy 2

Yellow poppy

Mini Lupines

Red leaf 2

Little clover flowers

Mystery white

White vetch

Wild sweet pea

Clover

Pink Weed

Childrens weed

Pres Bane

Improving Scenery

Float to Springfield

Other half lives

Canoe

Sit and read

Bike or run walk

Toward Springfield

Benches

Wood hyacinth

Mill Pond

Camas Shade

Back down the trail

Thistle Flower

Parallel bars

Bridge

Ozzie Drink

Lilac close

Lilacs

Lupine close up

Lupines

Pres loop two

Past dog park again

Camas field

Camas

Pres Trail April 22 2013 092

Back to dog park

On towards the dog park

Cuthbert other side Yellow weeds

Another dog

More big trees

Little fir grove

Frisbee golfers

Back into park

Honeysuckle

Azalea

Rhody

Different Ducks

Wakey wakey

Mallards

Mock orange

Grape Hyacinth

Vagabond

Filberts

Oregon Grape

Cuthbert garden look back

Continuing

Alton Baker Duck area

Flowering Chain

Cuthbert garden

Cuthbert

Canadian Geese

Apple Blossoms

Flowering trees

White viney flowers

Millrace along the path

Millrace

Poppy in the wind

Poppies

On our way

Trail Start

Mill Bridge East

Mill Bridge West

Millrace Bridge

Trail legend

Home of the ducks

Passing Dog park

Start

I am more than blessed to live in this place.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Sharon Schamber is a genius.  Most of you know I’ve taken lots of classes from her and I love teaching her methods for piecliqué and machine appliqué.  Today, on Facebook, a friend shared a post from Sharon showing her chair at a quilting class.  Here it is:  boat seat

 

It’s a boat seat!!  Sharon shared the file through Instagram and it’s posted on her Facebook page.  I’m off to my Silver Falls Quilting Retreat in less than three weeks, so I’ve got to get me one of these.  I’ve found them on Amazon for less than $40.  Sharon says she got hers at WalMart for $39.99.  What a great idea.  I’ve been stacking the chairs at Silver Falls and I manage to do okay with two chairs, but this looks a whole lot more comfortable.  I’ve been thinking of buying a special chair for retreats, but you can never get those things in your car!

Proper use and attribution

Folks – I’m flattered that some of you like what you see on my blog.  I don’t mind you saving a copy of some of my photos if they give you inspiration, but I do not grant permission for people to take my photos, copy them to their own blog or website, and then make it easy for someone to ‘Pin It.’  I do not participate in Pinterest simply because it is rampant with images that do not have proper attribution.  When I see something I like, I want to know who made it.  I don’t want people stealing my things for their own use, just as most of you would not.

To the person who took one of my images without permission, please take the photo down.  If I find it plastered all over Pinterest, action will be taken.

Thanks.

What a week!

Hmm.  Now I’m pondering that exclamation point.  I suppose the week has stood out as very different, but not for the reasons that one generally associates with the excitement of an exclamation point.  Perhaps the punctuation is my hope to put a finish on it and move on to something totally different?  I’ve spent a great deal of time outdoors this week.  Yes, I have lots and lots to do indoors, but I’ve been off pondering the cosmos more than usual.  The loss of a sweet friend, the tragedy in Boston, weirdness of my family (is that ever anything new?), and stupid medical issues have me in a more meditative state.  I have, in the evenings, sat and worked on my Wicked Witch socks – really, Hilda’s Basic Ribbed Sock in Knit Picks Imagination, Wicked Witch color:

Sock 039

I just adore these socks – they are so me.  My sister who still lives on the east coast calls herself the Wicked Witch of the East and I have always been known as the Wicked Witch of the West.  While once a confirmed Catholic Girl, I some years ago realized that organized religion is fraught with peril, and I prefer to let nature be my chapel.  So, a life of simple paganism is more suited to my needs.  No, I’m not a devil worshipper (like that would make any sense), but I am a witch (as so many have called me) and I can, at times, be very wicked.  These socks have been very fun to knit.  It’s been a while since I had to turn a heel and, I have to say, it was a lot easier than I was afraid it would be.  I suppose that’s because I cheated by putting Ann Budd‘s DVD from her excellent Sock Knitting Master Class into the computer and watching her re-join a billion times.  Granted, the angle of the camera could have been so much better on the DVD, but one does catch the drift and, if you’ve ever knitted socks, you know that Ann Budd is great. I was gonna say da bomb, but thought better of that.  Then I thought I should most likely share that.

On the quilting front, I have been diligently working on the SID of a beautiful star quilt sent to me by an on-line longarm friend from Georgia.  I’ll share some photos later on after I’ve gotten more designs into it and, of course, after I’ve asked her permission.  I really like this quilt, so I’m going to make sure it comes out beautifully.  Her only request was that I put feathers in the setting triangles, so we’ll see what else I’ll come up with.  I have changed my mind on the ideas a couple of times now, but I probably have until this evening or tomorrow morning to decide, as that’s when the SID will finish up.

On the stupid medical issues, I’ve been to see my internist and a couple of endocrinologists, and it appears that reversal or revision of my gastric bypass will probably be the only thing that will help the hypoglycemia and severe hyperinsulinism.  Kind of hard to burn off any weight when your body is gushingly full of insulin that is busy socking away all those calories into your fat cells.  Damn it.  I’ll probably have a fight with the insurance company to get them to help me pay for this and I really, really don’t want to have surgery, but I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.  For those of you who eat a lot of sugar, I have to ask you to please step away from that stuff.  I’ve learned the hard way, over the past few years, just what a dangerous substance that is.  I’m anxious for my body not to freak out so badly when it gets a teeny bit of it riding along in something like Italian salad dressing or something you think would not contain any.  I’ve always had perfect bloodwork, which is, in itself, fairly abnormal, but this time, I seem to have a rather elevated parathyroid hormone level.  Will have to wait a few months and have it tested again, but this is what can cause fatigue, joint and muscle aches and pains, dry skin, and (heaven forbid) kidney stones.  I’m really pumping the water through my body as having had one kidney stone once, I don’t want to go there again.  I’ve noticed small tinges in that regard (pain in the back, etc.) lately, and I really do not want that to happen.  So – on we go.

Anyway!  It’s a rainy, drizzly morning here but the showers will end this afternoon.  Ozzie and I are going for our six-miler with my sister and her dog this afternoon, and the weather will change over night to sunshine and increasingly warmer temperatures, culminating with temps around 80° by the end of next week.  I’m going to keep enjoying the glorious outdoors, get some beautiful designs laid into that quilt, and then I’ll finish my Wicked Witch socks and hope they help me fly higher and keep my feet warm!

Seize the day

Time.  How much do we have?  Tragedy yesterday in Boston, tragedies happening everywhere.  And then, today comes the news that a friend as taken last night by an aneurysm.  Gina Terranova – Dear Gina as many of you know her, is gone.  Like that.  I have no idea what to say, but the sun is out, and I’m taking the dog for a very long walk in the park.  I’ll enjoy the day for Gina and perhaps she and her sweet Ginger will be along for the walk with us.  Wow.  Time is precious folks.  Grab it and growl.

Friday!

I have to admit that every day since I’ve retired is Friday for me.  I tell everyone that it’s always Friday at 5:00!  My time is MINE!  Well, mine and my quilting clients — and they have been very patient with me lately as I’ve been through house repairs and machine repairs and life in general.  I’m almost all caught up now, so in the evenings, I come down and watch the news.  I often feel antsy just sitting here in my chair and have a tendency to play a game on the computer while I’m watching the news, but I could be making better use of my time.  I am thinking about bringing a small table in, so I can piece while I watch the news.  Not even sure why I watch the news, but I do — nearly every day.  After that, I usually go back upstairs to sew, take Ozzie for a walk, or read.  I don’t watch a lot of TV, except tonight, Grimm is on, and that is one of my favorite shows.  No Downton Abbey for a while, so I decided last night that it was high time I knit again.  I blindly started on these socks before I noticed that they don’t really have a cuff at the top — they are just ribbed all the way down and they’re supposed to stay up.  I hope so!  If not, I’ll be peeved, because I really love this yarn and its so me — It’s called Wicked Witch!!  It’s Imagination from Knit Picks (50% Merino Wool, 25% Alpaca, and 25% nylon) and it is really called Wicked Witch — the color anyway.  I also got two hanks for Ruby Slipper for another pair of socks.  Anyway, I’m doing these top down and magic loop.  My loop is a bit long, but I didn’t have a shorter cable  and I decided now that I’m retired, I can’t be getting new needles every time I decide to make something else.  I had purchased these to make another pair of socks some time ago, so I figured they’d have to do.  I may end up with a pair of slightly baggy socks but, I figure that since my feet are always freezing, I most likely won’t mind.  I just love this color!

wicked witch socks

What’s wrong with this picture?

Most of you who sew will know that something’s missing here.

hook

 

After nine years of quilting, recent starch and steams and a whole lotta adhesive on the last quilt, I finally removed the hook from my machine because the thread kept getting caught in there.  I couldn’t get it cleaned out sufficiently to stop this, so I took the darn thing out and decided I would re-time it.  Luckily, I had a spare hook in the toolbox!  I can’t believe how scratched and worn my hook was.  Now I have a brand new one in, the machine is well-timed, and I’m back putting the peddle to the metal.  I’ll be back later tonight with more adventures.  Right now, I’m off for the Friday morning forced march around the pond!