Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A walk on the mild side

Just the way we like it. 😉

Sabbath we invited friends over for dinner, then we went down to Brown-Minto Island Park to get outside on a beautiful day. Since the Carousel was open and I have a punch card, the two of us gals and the two teenaged boys took a detour for a mild ride (pictures from my weekend rides on Lance over on my dressage blog):

Then we proceeded across the bridge to enjoy our walk, closing the Sabbath hours with a sweet sunset.

The next night Brian went bowling with friends after basketball practice. When it was time to pick him up, we took the Wheatland ferry. I got a cool photo of the ferry lights on the Willamette River on our way over,
and were treated a great big blue heron at water's edge on the way back:
Love the simple things in life!

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, January 12, 2018

Our wonderful winter

If you're a long-time reader of my blog, then you know our flower parade begins in January. I'm in no hurry for spring, because it's followed by summer; I'd happily live in our Willamette Valley fall and winter forever!

That's it from the green, green grass of . . .

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Go ahead, "make" my day!

I feel so productive; I've completed three small knitting projects since Christmas! Yesterday I finished the hat from Theresa's merino/camel/silk handspun; it is slouchy and reversible (could also be folded up and worn as a beanie):

Now that I've scratched my knitting itch, I can go back to spinning the rest of my camel down:

That bowl is Rick's most recent, made out of madrone. I need to take some beauty shots of it by itself to show off its shape and color; it has a lot of interest for a usually bland wood! He has another piece of it roughed out, with that rich red streak at the base instead of going across the top.

Last night was Brian's third basketball game in a row as a starter. He's getting more playing time since one of the seniors got injured, and it's showing. Forgot my camera and iPhone at home, though, so no photos!

That's it for today from . . .

Monday, January 08, 2018

Thankful for family, hearth and home

This afternoon my oldest cousin and his wife came for a visit after attending a conference in Portland and before flying home tomorrow morning. I haven't seen him since my sister's wedding in 2008 and I'd never met his wife before (and they've been married 20 years!), so it was wonderful to get to see them. With grandparents (and in his case, parents) long gone, us cousins get together rarely now.

So I'm thankful Dave contacted us and drove down, and I'm thankful we were able to welcome them here to a warm house and a home-cooked meal....

Yesterday was a busier than usual Sabbath. After church, potluck, and visiting, we came home just about long enough to unload the car, change clothes, take care of the animals, load the car, and take off again – in different directions. I was going to our Christian trail-riding club's annual planning meeting and officers election in Portland; Rick was going to take Brian to open gym at his school to practice basketball. I asked Rick to stoke the fire; there weren't many coals left so he loaded up the firebox and left the doors cracked so it could take off again. I was supposed to close the doors before I left – and forgot.

When Rick and Brian came home (a half hour before I did), the firebox doors were wide open, the house was filled with smoke . . . and a smoldering log was laying on the hearth, inches from the carpeted floor.
Everything could have been gone (most heartbreakingly, the dogs), but we were mercifully, undeservedly spared.

Thankful and humbled at . . .

Friday, January 05, 2018


Since our Christmas tree was carried to its pyre, it's been far less scenic inside and out.
 It has turned wet and gray, but that's okay; I still have things to show you! First, this cowl:
I finished it at Brian's basketball game Wednesday night – and promptly put it ON. (It was COLD in the gym, and I didn't take a coat.)

Next are some very special gifts from friends and family this season. See these?
They are rotating-pin rakes given to me by dear Jeannie. We met years ago at Black Sheep Gathering where she and her husband fell in love with Shetlands and we became fast friends; she's the one who came and helped me clean up lambs so I could put coats on them. After monkey-picking for hours, she knew I needed these, the best tools she's found for getting VM out of fleece-on-the-hoof. Why two? Because she intends to come help me in the future – truly the best part of the gift!

Time is also a huge part of the gifts Theresa sent me. Behold, a thick, soft, handwoven pillowcase! I marvel as I fondle it, sure I don't deserve it – but I will enjoy it!
Theresa also gave me the nectarine lime jam in this assortment of tasty treats. There is also cajeta and chèvre from one of Rick's clients (the wife of his woodturning mentor), pear butter from Kate, and "Eclipse Blackberry Jam" and marinated garlic from Amy.
Amy also gave me this fun little book and beautiful wooden bird ornament:
The bird and this cute dog from my mom were the last two new ornaments to join our collection this year:

My sister, who works at the Lincoln Children's Zoo where Joel Sartore started the Photo Ark, got me his coffee table book:

If you are on Instagram and don't follow Joel, you are missing out on the most stunning animal photography (and conservation efforts) around. He also did a three-part series on public television called "Rare" that is well worth seeing.

My sister also sent me these knitting books and three pairs of the cutest sheep socks (the others are navy and ecru)!

My friend Debbie, who has given me all the collectible bulldog ornaments, gave me this calendar and art tile as well:
All these treasures warm my heart because they show the givers know my heart. Thank-you!

Last night I started a "head-warmer:"
The yarn is a handspun luxury blend (camel/merino/silk) from Theresa (more generosity!) that is going to make one scrumptious hat!

That's it from gray, foggy . . .

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

I can see clearly now....

Yesterday (above) and today (below) began with beautiful sunrises – such a grand way to start the day! (Photos 3 and 4 above were taken on my way back from doing barn chores – the sunrise took over the whole sky!)

I've been shooting through our dirty windows since the Christmas tree blocks access to the deck, but this morning I just had to go outside to get some better shots – and got mountain peak perks!

The tree is gone now, though; Rick came home mid-morning and we were able to take down the Christmas tree and clean up. As much as I love Christmastime and all its trimmings, I also love to have my open-space house back, and direct access to the deck. Now if someone would just wash my windows and screens....

I had another dental appointment yesterday and my mouth is more comfortable than in recent memory. It's been a long, hard expensive slog, but EVERYthing is done now but the implant, should we choose to go that route, and we have some time to decide. Brian starts back to school tomorrow but the driving has already begun; he had basketball practice last night and he has a game tonight. I'll be binding off my cowl tonight; I plan to cast on the next project during Thursday night's game. I want to do a "special gifts" post but that will take time and photos that I don't have at this time. Things are starting to stack up already....

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, January 01, 2018

Top o' the first morning of 2018 to you!

This morning dawned (before I got up) bright and clear, without the bitter cold so many on my Instagram feed are facing.

This afternoon I visited my friend Pam before she flew back to a much colder Virginia. I delivered her (early) birthday gift (the cowl) and her Christmas gift (the hazelnut bowl; Rick had to polish it after she chose it).
My current WIP is a cowl for myself. I used my birthday discount at the LYS to buy this soft, funky yarn (the pattern came with it); I was in need of a warm, basic black accessory. It will probably be finished before Brian's second basketball game ends this week.

As promised, here are several views of the two bowls Rick finished last week. He's not sure, but Rick thinks the first one is black locust. The second one is maple and much bigger; Mom chose that one as their Christmas gift.

I don't think I ever showed you the flat black walnut bowl he finished earlier in December. I think this is my favorite shape; it is very similar to my maple burl.

It sure is nice to have a handy husband. This evening he put our birdfeeder back together.

Early one morning last week, we heard a commotion in the dark. Rick thought someone was moving around upstairs (we were sleeping in the daylight basement) but I didn't hear any footsteps. The light of day revealed this (taken from below; see the bird perched on the platform wondering where the food went?):
Our best guess is that the raccoon load exceeded capacity. ;-) 

Daylight was fading when I got home from visiting my friend this afternoon, so I hustled down to the barn for my New Year's date with Lance. As we warmed up in the arena, the supermoon started to rise. Oh, my!

I didn't realize until I uploaded these photos that the moon rose just to the right of Mt. Hood, faintly visible in the top photo if you click to biggify. Very cool.

All in all, I can't imagine a nicer start to the new year. We even had black-eyed peas for supper. ;-)  I hope your New Year's Day was equally blessed!

That's it for today from . . .