How to tell if your Mom loves you

I’m only a mom to some four-legged fur kids.  I really don’t think I would have been an adequate mom to the two-legged variety.  As you know from my whining, we’ve been steeped in the January frozen fog for some time now.  On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we had spectacular weather.  Bright sunshine but still very cold.  I went to a quilt show at the Oregon Gardens with a friend on Friday, went for a long walk with the dog on Saturday, and on Sunday, I drove back up the freeway to a little shop in Jefferson (The Purple Frog) because they had a fabric I strongly suspected was a match for an unfinished quilt and I needed to take a swatch with me.  I’m happy to report the trip was a success and I will now be able to finish a rather ugly lonestar quilt I started probably back in 2007.

But anyway, back to the fur kid.  The rain began on Monday.  Not much at first, but yesterday (Tuesday) we had some good steady drizzle going.  I decided I’d take my eye-rolling, heavily-sighing dog to the park for a game of fetch.  Of course,  once we got there, it began to pour in earnest.  Lucky for Ozzie, his mom knows how to play in the rain.

wet dog


We have more rain today, with quite a brisk wind, but we’ll probably go back again before it gets dark.  Oregon had the driest year in recorded weather history last year, and we’re happy to do our part to end the drought by dancing in the rain at the dog park.

Playing Post Office

I know that Pinterest is the rage with crafters nowadays, but I am not a fan.  The few times I’ve explored and found something I liked and wanted to know who made it, the attribution was missing, and I couldn’t find the proper information.  That is not okay.  So, it is not okay to take photos from my page and put them on Pinterest.  I’ve mentioned this before, but since it has largely been ignored, I’ve put a copyright disclaimer here on the top right of the page.  I should watermark all of my photos, but I don’t.  I have found with Pinterest, the person who originally takes the photo will post proper attribution, but where it goes from there . . . well, just like a game of Post Office, all bets are off.

I had a Pinterest account for less than 24 hours.  Those of you who love it, have fun with it, but please, not with my photos.  Thank you.


Yesterday some friends and I went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable film.  Gorgeous scenery, nice soundtrack, and it really made me want to just go . . . just get out there and explore.  As if I needed any more prodding.  The only thing holding me back is the lack of a very fat bank account.  Perhaps I will work on that.  So much to see, so much to do.  What are your dreams?  Where would you like to go?  What holds you back?  At any rate, if you want to dream or zone out a bit, go see this film.  waltermitty

Very uplifting, and a few scenes that made me laugh so hard, my stomach hurt.  It was a really nice break from our foggy gloom.  (Don’t tell anyone, but that gloom is forecast to disappear today  . . . I can hardly wait!).

We had a visitor!

I had to go out this afternoon to the Honda dealership to have my car serviced.  I took my tablet with me so I could surf the web and play a card game or two, since there aren’t ever any good magazines there and I generally don’t enjoy chatting in the service area.  Anyway, my battery began to die on the tablet, so I shut it off.  When I looked up, there was this amazing yellow glow coming from outside the dealership.  As it happened, my car pulled up at that very instant and was ready to go.  I quickly headed home to get Ozzie for a walk, because we had blue skies and sunshine!!



We made it to the park and walked for an hour.  We were almost back to the car, when we could see the fog creeping back.



There is a small canal that runs right in front of the stadium and the fog sort of starts to rise out of it (and the river behind me), but in addition to that, the fog just suddenly begins to swirl down from above.  It just appears out of the blue, as they say.  Yes, I know they usually say that about bolts, but in this case, it’s the fog.

I’m hoping the sun will come back and stay longer tomorrow.

It’s sunny somewhere

Well, actually, it’s really sunny here.  Above the fog, that is.  I can’t give proper credit for this photo, because someone sent it to the local news station and they posted it without saying who sent it.  Anyway, I live in south Eugene, not far from Spencer’s Butte, one of our very distinguishing landmarks.  There’s a nice trail to the top, and someone climbed up yesterday and took this photo, looking east to the Three Sisters in the Cascade Range.

sisters from spencer butte


Unfortunately, we’re all down there, under that thick white blanket of fog that just won’t go away.  30° this morning, so it is frozen fog.  Everything is coated with a layer of frost.  I have to go out in it soon, as the car is due for an oil change.  I’m really hoping the sun will burn it off, if only for a brief time.  Once I have the car serviced, it may be time for a trip up to the mountains or out to the coast.  The fog only settles in the valley.

The January Blues

I seem to have lost all zest for life.  Well, not really, but I can feel January weighing on me like the frozen foggy miasma it generally is.  Last year I got to spend part of January in Hawaii, so I spent a little over a week escaping this gray, damp, penetrating cold.  It can wear on you and, when you’re already in a bit of quilting burn-out, it can get depressing.  I have to admit that I’ve been escaping by playing hooky.  I go for walks with the dog . . . yes, I know, that seems strange, because I have to go out into that frozen gray cloud to do it, and by going to the movies with friends.  That can always add a bit of cheer to any day.  Next up is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  From the trailers I’ve seen, I think it may help to lift those January blues.

I have been doing some quilting.  I know most of you who come here to read about that have been wondering when I’ll get back to it again.  It’s been on-going, but I’ve had nothing really notable to share with you.  That may be another part of the doldrums.  Quilts with hugely waving borders, saggy middles that resemble craters from badly done bias piecing, mitered corners that should probably never have been attempted.  I think I need to get back to piecing some of my own things.  I’m very good, and if I were to have some of my own things to quilt, it would, no doubt make me happier.

The good news is, the days are getting so much longer.  The sun is up before eight and goes down after five, so we have more than nine hours of daylight.  I will dream of spring and summer coming, to the days so full of light and time to accomplish all the things that won’t fit into days of darkness.

In the meanwhile, can someone hook up a large fan and blow the fog out of this valley?  I’d really appreciate it.

autzen in the fog

I’m still here

Getting into the groove of the New Year has been a bit of a struggle.  I’ve really wanted to be out walking with the dog, and I have been doing that quite a bit, but my right foot/ankle is really giving me trouble, so I don’t know how much walking I’ll be getting in.  My Fitbit stats were supposed to be showing up on a weekly basis here, but since the last time they appeared was the 6th, I think something has gone wrong there.  The other thing that went wrong this week was a bit of a mishap on the trail.  Ozzie and I have worked our way up to about six miles a walk.  We’ve been on the paved paths through the park for a good portion of our walks, because the new bark is so thick and soft, it feels like walking in quicksand.  As I said before, we’ll wait till some of those swift gazelles pack it down a bit before we go back to bark.  Sharing the paved bike trail has never been a problem.  After all, it’s only me and a little dog.  You see many folks out with their kids in a stroller and they take up quite a bit more room than we do.

Anyway, on Monday afternoon, Ozzie and I were very near the far easterly end of our walk (see below on the map)Monday walk

It’s a bit more than three miles from the car and I was already out of gas, wondering why I was so very tired, when Ozzie decided he wanted to sniff something over on the left side of the trail.  Dogs do sniff — especially male dogs.  If they smell a rival or some hot babe, they have to mark and leave their scent, just as their little calling card or Facebook post, as it were.  So, I went over with Ozzie and I saw a bike coming towards us down the trail, so I stepped up off the trail and pulled Ozzie close, tightening his leash.  The bike rider continued straight at us, and I mean straight at us, in a forced collision course.  I finally yelled “HEY,” and he yelled back that I was on the wrong side of the trail.  Hmmmm.  Mr. Rules, how do you know the direction in which I was traveling?  And, since the trail is about 10′ wide there and there was no one else around, what the hell difference did that make?  At any rate, I yelled back, but I won’t repeat what I said here.  I may not venture down in that area again until the pepper spray I ordered arrives in the mail.  If he tries that again, he will get a face full of it.

Most folks are so friendly and kind.  I guess it takes a real jerk like that to make you really appreciate the nice people.  I will say that I did appreciate the adrenaline rush I got from the fight or flight experience.  It did propel me all the way back to the car.  I had been worried that I didn’t have the energy, but in the end, I had more than enough.

Trying something new

This is a partial rant, so if you can’t take it, turn back now.  Actually, my rants are much gentler than they used to be, mostly because they now include my owning up to some responsibility for my predicaments.

If you’ve read much of this blog, you know that I do a lot of shopping at Costco.  Even though my household consists of just me and three furkids, I find it more economical to buy in bulk, package things up in one-person-usable sizes and put them in the freezer.  My last visit to the grocery store gave me sticker shock.

Even though I really love Costco, there is one thing that really bugs me, and that is the customers who a) stop with their cart right inside the entrance (in the MIDDLE of the entrance) to put their membership card away, and b) swarm around the sample spots as though they’d never had a meal in their life.  Then there’s the parking lot (otherwise known as the Costco School of Fine Driving) . . .  okay, so there are two things that bug me about Costco.  Customers who block the aisles, and the parking lot . . . and then there are the things you grow to love that they discontinue stocking.  Three . . . three things I dislike about Costco.  Wait . . . I’ll come in again.  (Monty Python fans are probably rolling in the aisles, while the rest of you are wondering what the heck is wrong with me).

Anyway, back to the samples.  I generally avoid the sample stations, mostly because they are clogged with the overly-hungry affluent who probably got to be wealthy from rarely buying their own dinner.  Add to that my abundant allergies, and I just find it safer to stay away.  However, there are a few occasions when I’m in the store, there aren’t many people around, and there’s a protein-based thing that I decide I’ll try.  A few weeks ago, they were heating up some chicken sausages with mozzarella and, I think, some sundried tomatoes, so I tried them.  Wow.  They really tasted good, so I brought them home.  I bought something else I intended for dinner that night, so I packaged up the sausages and put them in the freezer.  Last night I decided to take out a package, containing two of these sausages.  Figuring I’d have one for lunch with a salad, and one for dinner with some steamed veggies.  I use a Foodsaver, so there was no frost damage or anything else that would ruin their flavor.  Except that they are just awful.  I can barely stomach the taste, and since they contain a substantial amount of spice, I’m thinking it would not be good to give them to the dog.

Could it be that one needs to have a cheap electric skillet or decrepit microwave to make these items taste decent?  I must learn to stick to basic foods.  My general mantra is to buy nothing in a package.  Why don’t I listen to myself?

Out on the trail

Ozzie and I took a few days off from walking.  My right ankle is fairly unstable.  Over the years, it has been subjected to four surgeries after an accident I had while cross country skiing.  So, while I walk a lot, I try to keep to stable-surface trails.  The local bark trails are great – good smooth surface for walking, but a little softer than pavement, which is helpful for aging joints.  Unfortunately, trails wear down and, since this is Track Town, USA, our trails must be well-maintained.  The crew has been out over the last few weeks and we’ve been able to still get a good walk in on the old surface, but they’re now narrowing it down to where we will have to walk on the new surface.



As you can see, the old trail is in front of the trucks, ground basalt and, I think, pumice, with bark over the top.  Some of the rock is beginning to show through.  Behind the trucks is a new layer of rock with a thick coating of bark.  While we recognize the need to maintain the trails, this stuff is really hard to walk on, especially if you have bad joints.  We’ll have to stick to the pavement over the next few weeks and let the skinny guys in tights pack that stuff down for us.

And, while we’re on the subject, there should be a few rules for men in tights.  We come in all shapes and sizes.  Lots of elite runners here in Eugene.  Some of them glide by me like sleek and silent gazelles.  Now that the New Year and resolutions have arrived, there are many large, sweaty, heaving-breath joggers out on the trail.  Good for them, but if you’re a larger guy and you’re in your tights, I’d recommend you invest in a pair of tighty-whities to wear under them.  The poor guy who huffed by me today had his boxers all wadded up into various lumps.  He looked so uncomfortable and I’m sure had some serious chafing when he got home.  More power to ya, fella, but invest in something more comfortable to wear.  And, please, spare my eyeballs!

Just another one of those things

Sometimes I just have to shake my head.  None of us, most likely, needs to be reminded that we are getting older.  It’s surprising how often those little reminders crop up.  On Monday, I supposed that I was finally catching a cold.  News of the spread of flu in the county (and the state and nation, for that matter), has been coming in from many media outlets recently, and I was hoping I wouldn’t get horribly sick.  I started my Zicam and vitamin C.  Didn’t really seem to help all that much.  So, last night, I went rummaging in the cupboard for some cold remedies.  My nose was driving me crazy, and I had begun to cough.

Now, if you’re getting old and slightly forgetful, like me, you have bought yourself one of those little pill reminder containers, so you can put your meds in it and know that you have taken what you need for the day.  I don’t have a lot of medications, but I do need to take supplements because I have low vitamin D and I’m constantly anemic.  I am also allergic to nearly everything on the planet, and I take a Zyrtec every day to keep the symptoms at bay.  Well.  While rummaging in the cupboard, I noticed my Zyrtec bottle, pushed, somehow, to the back of the queue of remedies, and it hit me that I had thought my daily intake from my pill container had seemed a bit sparse this week.  I had, indeed, neglected to put my allergy pill into its daily slot.

Just another little thing to make me feel a little older and sillier, but thankful that I have a medication that is truly effective (for me, anyway – I’m not recommending it to you).  I took my Zyrtec last night and I’m absolutely fine this morning.  No cold, no flu.  And now I will march myself and the dog out for a walk to stave off old age.  She’s coming, and she’s not very kind.