More adventures with Linda and Ozzie

After my strange birthday, I needed to go back to Portland to exchange my sewing table for the desk I wanted at Ikea.  I decided to go yesterday, as it was supposed to be cloudy and cool, and that meant I could take Ozzie with me and he wouldn’t suffer from the heat in the parking lot.  So, we piled into the car with our exchange items at 9:21 in the morning and we got to Ikea in Portland by 11:15!  I do tend to drive a little fast (maybe 70 instead of 65), but I think the reason we got there so quickly this time was that there were no rolling roadblocks on the road!  Well, not on the way TO Portland anyway, coming home was a different matter.  We did stop on the way there at the Willamette Falls viewpoint, as Mt. Hood had the coolest lenticular cloud on it and I wanted to get a photo.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the camera in the car, and I had to use the cell phone’s camera.  While I’m sure the Samsung Galaxy 3’s camera is more than adequate, I have a tremor, so I never take the best photos with a basic camera.  This one isn’t too bad though.

Hood Cloud Aug 27

I noticed the cloud when we were near Donald, OR, but unfortunately couldn’t really stop until the viewpoint on highway 205, by which time the cloud was pretty much overtaken by some ordinary cumulonimbi.  You can, however, see it peeking out from under them – it looks like a feathery hat.

Of course, just below us was Willamette Falls – check Wikipedia for the history of this interesting site – it’s been used for a lot of things over the years.

Willamette Falls Aug 27

We made it to Ikea, but it was starting to get hot and the sun was out (of all the nerve), so I had to drive around and park near the back side of the building so I could keep my little buddy in the shade.  I managed to get the items I didn’t want into the store and exchanged quickly, and picked out way too many things I wanted on the way out.  I did manage to get a flat-bed cart and get everything out of the store, but then came the struggle around to the back of the building and Ozzie.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been to an Ikea or, if you have, if all the Ikeas have the same sort of carts, but the ones in Portland are all pretty much gravity driven.  It’s not the regular shopping cart where the back wheels only move in one direction and the front ones allow you to steer.  All the wheels on these carts move, so you have very little control against gravity and, when the cart is heavily laden and you aren’t superbly bulked-up in the muscle department, you’re going to have a hard time.  By the time I got to the car, Ozzie was still calm and cool, but I was sweating as though I’d been in a sauna for an hour or so!  I got my desk to use for my sewing table:

hemnes-desk

A small matching set of drawers for storage and on top of which I will put an ironing surface:

hemnes--drawer-chest

A ‘last chance’ Antonius wire basket unit (I have several of these in which I store my fabric)

antonius-frame-and-wire-baskets

A hook to put in my hallway so I can hang up my coat, jacket, hat, gloves, etc., since this house has no closets or storage:

leksvik-rack-with--hooks

Some organizing separators for the chest of drawers:

garnityr-box

And a way-ugly clock that will be way-gorgeous when I’m done with it!

smycke-wall-clock

Yes, I know, it looks just awful, doesn’t it?  But imagine the fact that all those little hexagons come apart so you can arrange it any way you like, and imagine modpodging some of your favorite fabrics onto the pieces, and now imagine you’ve made a grandmother’s flower garden-like quilty clock out of it.  Now it’s totally rad, right?  Check out this link for a little more info.

So, between quilting, I will be emptying the appallingly-messy spare room (which is so bad I’m not certain I’ll take a before photo), repainting it in this color called Timbermine (this is not my room, just showing the color)

timbermine

Painting all the trim (and there’s a lot of it in this old house) white, and my clock will be covered in Moda’s French General reds and greys.  In my mind, it looks fab!  I hope it will be pretty when finished.  I need a nice sewing room.  Oh, and yea, it will still have a twin bed in it so if I have to have guests, so be it.  I will, in my other spare time, be whipping up a nice Moda French General quilt for the bed.  I’m tired already!  Think I’ll go take a nap!

Oh – by the way . . . if you haven’t painted a room in a while, I hope you won’t die of the sticker shock as I nearly did.  I got Dutch Boy Dirt Fighter paint, which was one of the less expensive paints at the store.  Needed a gallon for the walls, needed ceiling paint, trim paint, and a gallon of primer for the trim, because what is in there now is a ghastly teal color.  A paint tray, brush, drip cloths, roller and roller covers, and nearly $140 later, I’m leaving the store.  I think part of my budget vibe was transmitting when the clerk put my ceiling paint in the shaker to mix it up.  The top was apparently not tight and the entire paint mixing station was soon covered in my ceiling paint!  I felt bad for the very nice man who was assisting me, but the little chuckle it caused helped to ease the pain of the price tag!

An unexpected adventure

A little more than a week ago, my Droid Razr bit the dust.  It had, a few weeks prior, started giving me electrical shocks when I was using it.  I totally shut it down and didn’t use it for about 24 hours, and when I turned it back on, it seemed okay.  I called Verizon and they offered to send me someone’s refurbished phone as a replacement, but I’ve no desire to have a phone that has been repaired after someone dropped it in the toilet.  I used the phone until the 15th, my sister-in-law’s birthday, when every call I received, I could hear the caller fine, but all they got in return was a great amount of static.  So, I decided that I really didn’t need a smartphone, and that I could just use one of the old LG phones that I still had stuffed in the junk drawer.  Well, I didn’t even last 24 hours with that!  The evening of the 15th I had to return a quilt to a client, and on the way there, I realized that they had better have cash or check, as I would no longer be able to use my Square credit card reader!  Then I realized I wouldn’t have access to my Google calendar, so I would have a record of my pick-ups and drop-offs.  Well,  that would not do!  So, on Friday, the 16th, I headed over to Costco and got a Samsung Galaxy S3 for only $29.99.  So far, I really like this phone, but I do, on occasion, have trouble finding the screen that allows me to change some of the settings.  This can be a bit problematic, but so far, I’ve managed to find most of what I need for instructions just by surfing the web.

Last Wednesday, my sister was headed down to Eugene from the Seattle area on the train.  Since I needed to retrieve my antique chainstitch machine that I had left in McMinnville on my birthday last year, I thought they would appreciate it if I picked that up before an entire year had passed, and I needed a desk at Ikea in Portland, so I told my sister to get a ticket from Seattle to Portland, and I’d pick her up at the train station, head to Ikea, and then come home . . . having already retrieved the antique machine in McMinnville on my way there.  I set out from home fairly early, and turned on the Verizon Navigator, which I had used frequently before, but I swore there was a setting for saying you wanted to go by the fastest route, best use or least use of freeways, toll roads, etc.  I couldn’t find the setting, so I just let the navigator take me.  I generally like to take the leisurely route up Highway 99 to McMinnville, but since time was of the essence, I followed the instructions being barked to me.  I exited I-5, our major valley corridor, at Brooks, and headed west through an amazing array of hop fields.  Very picturesque.  After only a few miles, the navigator told me to turn left onto Wheatland Ferry Rd.  I did so, and was totally stunned when she told me to prepare to board the ferry in about 1.5 miles!  WHAT?  A ferry?  Out here in the middle of nowhere?  You’re kidding, right?  My initial reaction was to turn around and go back to the freeway, drive north, and get on the coast highway and drive to McMinnville.  The relaxed, retired woman in me began to whisper, ‘it could be fun, you know . . . when was the last time you were on a ferry?’  So, I checked my purse to see if I had any cash for an expected ferry fare, and since I had some funds and my checkbook, I decided to go for it.  Turns out it was a mere $2 for the ferry ride and, looking at a map afterwards, I saw that it did cut a huge chunk out of my journey.  Here are a few photos of what I saw when I arrived at the landing, and of the up and down river shot while aboard.  You can read about the history of the Wheatland Ferry on Wikipedia.

Wheatland Ferry

 

Wheatland 2

 

Wheatland 3

It was a bit of a fun adventure!

The Birthday Bitch

Is there anyone else out there in TVland who absolutely hates their birthday?  I’m totally cool with getting another year older.  Actually, at my stage of life, another year closer to Social Security is awesome.  I’m also at the stage where I would like my birthday to be about what I like best – having a nice mellow day, perhaps celebrating with a few friends or family, but no . . . it’s always got to be a complete clusterfuck.  For those of you who hate strong language, I apologize, but I really cannot think of a better word to describe it.

My family is prone to give over-extravagant gifts.  I actually don’t need any presents.  I don’t want any presents.  I just want to BE — preferably out somewhere in nature.  I’ll be sixty years old next year (how the hell did that happen?) and I have already decided that the dog and I are going to the coast.  By OURSELVES!  I’ll spare you the details, but this year I was in need of a sewing table for the spare room so I could get my sewing machine off the kitchen table.  I decided to buy it when I went to pick my sister up at the train station in Portland — just swinging over to Ikea to pick up a desk I had selected on line.  Well, I ended up exiting the store with my birthday gift — a table for sewing that is not at all what I wanted.  I agreed to today’s celebration which was to meet at a local eatery for breakfast, but that too went south quickly as both of my sisters are of the sort (bless them, as they will save the planet) who do not want to drive and prefer to take public transport or hitch a ride with someone else who is going their way.  This of course resulted in lots of “we’ll be late because we have to wait for so and so,” and “we’ll need to come wait at your house till so and so picks us up,” etc.  I just wanted brunch and then to come straight home so I could get back to work.

I don’t like my sisters to visit my house.  I know — what an awful thing to say, right?  But, alas, it is true.  I am not (and I’ve told you all this a million times) the world’s best housekeeper.  My sisters, on the other hand, are OCD clean freaks who have to constantly adjust, rearrange, poke at, and move my things when they are at my house.  It makes me feel like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, so I do my best to avoid having them here.  And, on my birthday, especially, I would prefer that they not come over, so I don’t have to stress about the house.  Well, not only did their travel arrangements necessitate that they stop by, but the other ‘gift’ I received at breakfast was the promise to come over and do whatever I would like them to do — clean, paint, yard work, etc., even though I have told them a million and a half times (and that might be a literal accounting) that I do not want them poking in my stuff.  ARGH.

So, now I am in a horribly foul mood.  Ozzie and I just got home from the dog park — the very best part of the day so far.  I’m going upstairs now to turn the music up very loud and quilt.  Maybe I’ll feel better after that!  Do remind me to go somewhere by myself next year.  I hate becoming the ungrateful bitch on my birthday!

The Elixir of Life

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, it almost required that you should be a coffee snob.  Most folks throughout the country think this means that we get our morning cup o’joe from Starbucks, as it was pretty much born and raised in Seattle.  I’ve never been a Starbucks fan, mostly because I think their coffee tastes burnt and horrible (just my opinion), but because I really hate having to stand in line (or sit in the drive-up queue) while everyone orders their mocha-frappa-machiato bullshit.  There.  I’ve said it.  ;P  My favorite cup of coffee is a nice richly brewed Columbian with just a dash of cream.  What makes a great cup of coffee is in how the coffee is prepared.  I have several coffee makers in my house.  I have the simple plastic Melitta Cone filter holder, an espresso machine, a french press, a Braun automatic drip, and even a Senseo coffee maker.  They can all deliver a fairly decent cup, but the most important part of brewing the morning pick me up is the preparation of the beans.  Admittedly, I generally get my whole beans from Costco.  1) They selected a wonderful Columbian brew before they stamped their name on the bag (as they generally do), and 2) buying the three-pound bag is very cost effective.  Good beans and proper roasting are essential to a good cup of coffee, but so is the grind of the coffee.  For the last few years I’ve had a very frustrating relationship with my coffee grinder.  Not only is it extremely noisy, but it jams frequently, and it’s overall design ends up getting ground coffee all over the countertop in my kitchen.  I am a very untidy person, but when things start to get downright dirty, I get highly annoyed . . . sometimes even enough to have to do a thorough clean up, which annoys me even more.  So, I have been on the lookout for a new coffee grinder for a while.  This means of course, that I was waiting for Costco to get in a shipment of coffee mills, since I rarely shop anywhere else (just a fact that, unless it’s for quilting supplies, I hate shopping).  I’d really love to have an old Spong hand-cranked coffee mill, but they are nearly impossible to find these days and, if you do find one, they are prohibitively expensive.  Also, I really don’t have a space in my kitchen where I could affix it to the wall and still have the freedom to turn the handle.  So, on Friday, when I went to get my new smartphone, Costco happened to have a Cuisinart Coffee Mill for a wonderful price and I bought one.  Not only is it quieter than my old coffee mill, but its design prevents the mess created by my old one.  The coffee flavor is remarkably better, as the Cuisinart is achieves a much finer grind.  So, here I sit on a Sunday morning, really savoring my morning coffee and realizing that perhaps the finer grind delivered a better jolt of caffeine which may have spurred yesterday’s productivity.  Let’s see what comes of today’s brew.  If it can get my out of my humdrum slothfulness, it really is my elixir of life.

coffee mill

Totally knackered

It has been a very long and productive day.  For those of you who don’t know, I had a partial spinal fusion almost five years ago.  I knew the recovery would be long and hard, but I don’t think I realized until this year, just how long it has taken me to get back up to speed.  I think perhaps I thought I was just old and my condition was as good as it was going to get, but I seem to be steadily improving still.  Not bad for an old lady.

My smartphone (Droid Razr) died on Thursday.  I decided just to go back to a dumb phone, since I had a few of them lying around, and the lack of data plan would save me quite a bit of money each month.  Well, I made it only about 18 hours before I realized that I couldn’t do without the smartphone.  Fortunately, Costco had a Samsung Galaxy S3 for a great price ($30) so I went and got that yesterday.  I got it functioning, transferred all my apps, etc., but waited till this morning to do the personalization stuff – ringtone, etc.  When I finished that, I cleaned the kitchen, went upstairs and did a little quilting, came downstairs and put in a load of laundry, proceeded through the laundry room out into the garage and began cleaning . . . after a few hours, I had the car loaded with a bunch of garage debris, so I loaded Ozzie into the car and we went to the country landfill.  I recycled a bunch of stuff, disposed of the garbage, and then took the dog to the dog park.  We played there for about an hour and an half, then went to the car wash, washed the car, ran home jumped in the shower, then I had to jump back into the car and run down to the Quilt Patch to meet my client Jessie.  Once I got home, I realized I hadn’t had a thing to eat all day except for two cups of coffee, so I made a nice tuna salad and finally sat down and ate.  I am now so tired and sore I can barely move.  I only know this because I just sauntered (very slowly and painfully) up to the Little Y to get a beer.  Just something about yard/garage/filthy work that requires the consumption of a beer.  I bought one bottle of Pyramid Curve Ball — a blonde ale — and I can pronounce it perfect for the occasion.

I’m ready to recline in my chair, turn on the TV and watch the news, followed by turning on the Roku box to watch a movie or episode of Masterpiece.  I prefer British murder mysteries (especially over such delicacies as Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, America’s Got Talent, etc.).  Actually, I can’t even believe that people actually watch the stuff that’s on TV nowadays, so the Roku box allows me to watch what I want, and affects my choice of words to describe exhaustion.

A happy weekend to you all.  Mine’s off to a roaring start!

Let’s start some art

It’s time for another art quilt.  Those of you who have followed my blog over the years know that I occasionally participate in international art exchanges.  Some of the nations involved over the years have been Japan, France, New Zealand, and the USA.  This time, the challenge will be between the USA, Japan, and France.  Because our usual USA coordinator is extremely busy this year and was unable to participate, I am the USA coordinator for this challenge, along with my sister Ginny as my helper.  Our 50cm quilts (approx 19.7″) will be based on World Painters.  I have Alphonse Maria Mucha.  Below is my color palette (well, most of it anyway).  I won’t be sharing more until the quilt is done.  I prefer to keep my cards a bit closer to my chest than most quilters.

Start Art

The quilts will debut at Yokohama International on November 14 and then move on to Tokyo in January 2014.  I’m not certain of other venues in Japan, but after that, they will travel to France.  After about 18 months in France, they will return to the USA.  I’m currently booking venues for 2015.

I can tell you that the quilt looks absolutely fabulous in my head.  I’m not sure how it will look when it comes out in fabric.

A Blessed Lammas to you all

lammas-730x285

Summer is already fading.  Time to enjoy the harvest and count our blessings before the days get darker and darker.

I for one am glad of this morning’s clouds.  It has been so hot and dry here in Eugene this summer.  Not a drop of rain for July (no posts from me either.  Is there a coincidence?).  While Autumn is my favorite season, I’m not quite ready to let go of Summer yet.

Life has been very busy for me.  Mostly doing things that bring me joy.  Playing with the dog, quilting, making crafts, doing a little cooking, and enjoying outdoor events with family and friends.  But cooler days and longer nights will be here all too soon, so let us make hay while the sun shines.

I’ll try to be back soon with photos of recent quilts and projects.  It’s just been too sunny to spend much time inside at the computer.

Note – the above image is a stamp issued by the postal service of the United Kingdom, 2006.  I don’t know the artist and can’t find the attribution.