Monday, December 24, 2012

Wishing everyone a gunfire-free holiday

"We simply must keep in mind that the NRA hasn't represented or lobbied on behalf of gun owners for decades.  It is a shill for gun merchants.  We must shout this from the hilltops loudly enough to drown out the drone of "opinion respecting" drivel that is already emanating from commentators across the airwaves.

The NRA is an industial lobby for weapons and ammunition manufacturers that, with astonishing cowardice, hides behind the US Constituion and dupes well-meaning Americans into thinking that the goat is actually a lamb."

Walter Borton,via Facebook

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's been 19 weeks since my last haircut

A haircut is not all that important, in the whole scheme of things, although a bad one can ruin your life for a week or so.  This one was all about how I was feeling about my hair, which I wanted to change, and my job, which I wanted to keep.   I've been doing this job as a temp for almost a year.  It was posted, finally, early last month.  I applied, was interviewed  awhile ago but still hadn't heard if I would be hired or not.  Plus, growing out my hair was problematic.  I was told to wait at least 14 weeks before getting it cut again but went well beyond that because of one thing and another.  I was feeling paranoid and frumpy.  Only one of those things could be remedied immediately, or so I thought.

We visited our favorite stylist last weekend and by today I had the job.  It was magical.

Here's the Magic Maker's business info:

Hillary's Beauty Parlor
Hillary Sittig
Call or email to book cuts and color.
Snohomish area, where Snohomish and Mill Creek meet.

Oh, the job? 
 Reception at the Computer Science and Engineering department, University of Washington.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Market at OFFF

Saturday, Sept 22nd, came in bright and shiny, if a tad cool.  The weather just got better during the day, never too hot but hot enough to burn off the heavy dew and allow us to leave our sweaters in camp.

Shopping at OFFF is something of a contact sport ~ the event officially opens at 9:00am but the crowd gets there at 8:00, growing by at least 300% by 9.  You can't walk fast from one booth to the next ~ it's more like swimming upstream, gradually insinuating yourself into the actual environs of the booth of choice while about 25 other shoppers are attempting the same thing.  In short, OFFF is very like every other fabulous fiber festival and it's all good.

Well, most of it is good.  We get there early so some other knitter or spinner doesn't buy 'our' stuff, and unfortunately sometimes we're not early enough and we see someone carrying off the exact thing that we wanted.  Darn!

In spite of that, this year we we're very happy with our shopping experience.  We did Toots, Carolina, Clouse, Michael & Sheila, Lisa, the other Lisa and then all the rest or at least most of them.  There seemed to be hundreds.  They were in two big buildings, the barns, the grassy plaza, everywhere.  It was awesome.
Michelle LeBlanc of Toots LeBlanc, purveyors of fine and rare yarns.
Sheila & Michael Ernst, makers of awesome glass needles, buttons and more.
Cheryl Newhouse of NewHue Handspuns
Lisa of Dicentra

We were buying for ourselves and also door prizes for the upcoming early November Knitters Retreat at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA.  Our plan was to not go discount but to go with quality over quantity, hence the above mentioned vendors.  It's so fun to spend other peoples money!

We did manage to find some of 'our' stuff in there, so we bought:
Mystery Fiber from Fantasy Fibers ~ P
Shetland Fleece from Whistlestop Shetlands ~ P
 This is Brandy Chastain from Whistlestop Shetlands & a good shot of the Sunday Fiber Sale
Corriedale Fleece ~ R
Cashmara Sock Yarn from Fly Designs ~ R
Corriedale Fiber dyed by Lisa of Dicentra ~ R
Merino Bamboo from NewHue ~ R

By the end of the weekend we were ready to go home.  The awful traffic at/around Tacoma is becoming an annual ritual, not something we look forward to but at least it means we're only an hour (once we get through it) from home.  Sometimes that means 90 minutes, sometimes 2 hours, but we have our books on cd, snacks from the cooler and plenty of patience. 
A very satisfactory way to spend 4 days.
We must do this again sometime.
Maybe next year. 

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Camping and Koi at OFFF 2012

It's about time we went back to OFFF.  It's been a few years and during that time we gathered 'grown-up' camping equipment so that we could camp in a semblance of comfort:  largish tent and self-inflating queen-size air mattresses for starters.  We had one lantern and a few flashlights, but were lacking a stove, another lantern and, who knew we would need one, a heater.  These we borrowed from good friends and we will use the coming year to invest in our own.

We checked the 10-day and the 7-day forecast and here's what we were expecting: 75/52, mostly sunny.  Here's what we got: 64/48, heavily overcast Thursday/Friday, rain Thursday night, and then 68/50 and sunny on Saturday/Sunday.  We moved the kitchen into the tent and refreshed the  propane canisters twice, as that little heater was getting a workout.

We called my son, who lives in Portland, to meet us at the campgrounds and help us set up the new tent, which was way easier than anticipated and left plenty of time for beer after.


Friday dawned cloudy and gray, the tent dripping and the ankle-high grass soaking our jeans on the way to the outhouse about a block away.  Note to selves: consider a travel toilet...

Evanne was camping w/ Tazo about 30' away; she had minimal goals for the free day: get a pedicure, visit the dahlia gardens and get some 'hammock time'. 

 By 10:00 Friday we were all three sitting in the nail salon, Evanne with her feet in a tub and Peggy and I having our fingernails done.  In Oregon they have a law: you must buy a 'nail kit' which includes an emery board and a buffer for hands plus a callus buffer for feet.  $1 or $2.  Or you can bring your own.  We love this, for obvious reasons.
By 11:30 we were at Swan Island Dahlia Farm, which we walked through for at least two hours.  Think of the Tulip Fields in the Skagit Valley, squared.  Bigger blooms, taller flowers.  And a Koi pond!  The Koi are for sale, just fyi.
Koi Pool
Big head
Big mouth
Bigger mouth

Orange and Gold
White and Yellow

After dahlias and Koi, we stopped at a fruit/vegetable stand, checked out the Canby Ferry on the river,
meandered back to camp, fixed chicken sandwiches and then spun for awhile.  It was the only long-term spinning time we had for 3 days because on Saturday things got really busy: 

OFFF officially opened for the weekend.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

OFFF side-trip to Swan Island Dahlias

As a 'non-gardener', my claim to fame in that world is picking the pods off the hanging fuchsia baskets and watering the hydrangeas. Evanne took us to Swan Island Dahlia's and we took many photos, enjoyed the walk through the fields and can't decide which tubers to buy for next spring.

 Friday, September 21, 2012 
Cloudy, damp and cold.

Here are some of our favorites.

 Blackberry Ice
Emory Paul
Fire Magic
 Fuzzy Wuzzy
Lauren Michele
Mango Madness
Myrtle's Folly
Park Princess
Peaches and Dreams
Ruby Slippers
San Luis Rey
Sheer Heaven
We certainly don't have room for all of these so we'll have to choose between them, maybe only 5.  Or 6...  Deciding on where to put them will be problematic as well.  It's a garden with 'themes': fuchsias, hydrangeas, grotesques, blueberries, and hostas.  We have a few one-of-a-kinds besides the lemon cypress hedge and Harry Lauder's Walking Stick ~ and we want to put in more food next year, not just rhubarb and blueberries.

Thanks, Evanne!  What a dilemma!