13 August, 2017

August 2017

 After months of cold rainy days this winter and spring, we had no rain for nearly two months until today.  A fine misty rain fell for several hours. There were a few happy dances done in Oregon as the wildfire season has created it's usual summer havoc.

In addition, the wildfire smoke from the British Columbia fires drifted down and we had to breathe smokey air for the last two weeks.

I actually managed a garden this year by planting late. My dahlias are really coming on and this one just started to unfurl this week. Seems to be a spinner in the middle.


 My tomatoes are slow due to the late plant date but in a couple of weeks we will wish to never see another tomato.
 We don't have a dog anymore so my friends, Peter the Rabbit and Cottontail moved in, eating everything in sight.

Except the Basil. Apparently, they dislike basil. They love young cosmo seedlings though. I don't think they like nasturtium either but I'm not sure as they seem to be struggling to get going. The rabbits have provided decent entertainment.

Another reason to blog was given when a new reader searching for an airplane quilt stumbled across my post featuring an estate sale find of a vintage, (and in bad condition),  Lucky Lindy Quilt.

She is re-creating this quilt for her son who just became a pilot. She is hand-stitching her airplane blocks. To celebrate and help, I sent her some small scraps of some of my reproduction feedsack fabrics featuring my favorite subject. Airplanes.

I also shared with her the 8-inch quilt blocks and how they were pieced.




Textiles: Novelty Item: Snap Bag
 My county fair is going on all  next week. The lovely volunteer who tagged my items said there were even fewer entries this year. Which means most of my awesome sewing will win blue ribbons. Not because they are amazing but because no one else took the time.

I would hate to see the demise of the county fair in my lifetime.
My blue ribbons are worth four bucks!

Textiles: Potholder; my chicken potholder



 My son hiked in Yosemite this weekend and climbed Half-Dome after winning a hiking lottery earlier this spring.
They just got back so I look forward to amazing photos this week while sucking down overtime.

And my sis from Minnesota is visiting my daughter in Alaska with her family. This is at the top of Alyeska Resort looking down on Turnagain Arm outside Anchorage.

I love that both of my kids love photography. Such a cool hobby to share.



30 July, 2017

Essential Oil Sewing


 




 Two more zippered pouches made today. My county fair is coming up, coinciding with less overtime so I am trying to get myself organized as far as my entries go.

Every year I win blue ribbons.

Not because my sewing is amazing but because no one else takes the time to enter. Those blue ribbons are worth four bucks so without trying too hard, I usually win enough to buy a few yards of fabric.

A friend gave me some empty doTerra bottles which allowed me to create the pattern above to store 4x 15ml bottles plus 8x 5ml & roller ball bottles. This pouch opens wide to easily see inside.

Why? do you need to run around with 12 bottles of essential oils? I have no clue but that's what is going on around you. Have you tried their Breathe Oil? I swear it's what kept me from getting the six-month-office-crud. And during my seasonal allergies - it helped keep my sinuses clear.
However, I am still utilizing the sample bottles someone gave me.

Apparently, this is a thing.

Toting around, in case of an emergency, lots of essential oils.

My bag is padded on the sides as well as the slots. There is room in the middle for another four bottles on a 'card' that can be taken out. I didn't make these 'cards' for these pouches.

My second one is just clipped together. In the first bag, I put on some rhinestone bling and then stashed the tiny bag with the tiny rhinestones in a special spot. Ahem.

I'm hopeful - before next Saturday, when I have to do the fair drop-off - they will re-surface...





Here's a photo my daughter took at 6:30am when she paid a flying visit home.
Multnomah Falls.


16 July, 2017

Biking To Work



 During the summer, I try to bike to work as often as I can.
Definitely worth the ten years I spent trying to transfer to  the same town in which I live.

There's only about four months where I can do it often enough with my work schedule and the way sunrise and sunset fall.

I live 3 1/2 miles away from work - although it could be 4 miles as my road is 1/2 mile long. In any case it takes me 20 minutes to ride in and 22 minutes to ride out. I have two little hills coming in and two bigger hills going home.

Many people, as in 92%, profess great alarm at me biking. They are 100% afraid to try anything though. So I discount their fears.

It's very safe. I taught my kids to ride safely on the country roads around here. I showed them how to pick the safest routes ahead of time and *plan ahead*.

Last summer was awesome as we stayed below 100' super hot days all summer and this summer is shaping up to be the same. Drivers are as cautious as me - because they know me.

I had a somewhat close call near my home (on the big arterial country road (with the 3-foot ditches)) last year when my neighbor had to pass me - at that particular moment, with oncoming traffic. My neighbor - whose husband bikes miles and miles - I was so surprised.  She called later to apologize. On that side of the road the ditch has mellowed out so if I had to, I have a safe place to steer my bike.


This year, I had to re-route because of a pit bull that is allowed to be off-leash, on the public street. That dog has bitten other neighborhood dogs and I decided to switch my route over one street because I'm pretty sure a girl and her bike will not win against a pit bull.
(And it's my blog, so if any commenters get obnoxious, I will delete you.)
Pit bulls are bred in the Portland area for illegal dog fighting.  I do  not care how nice your pit bull is.


 I don't get to bike past this luscious maple any more. It is my favorite tree in Canby, there are only a few specimens around. It's a bi-color maple that is big and glorious.

Riding my bike to work is a nice work-out. Breathing fresh air into my lungs, huffing and puffing to the top of my two hills, working on different muscle groups than those I use at work.

My ride is short - around 20-22 minutes - just long enough for a work-out  but not so long it becomes a chore.

I leave the house 15 minutes before work if I'm driving, 30 minutes before if I'm biking. There is time to smell the different crops growing on the first part of  my ride. To see and wave to people I know. It does put me in a good mood.

Why are people so afraid of something they haven't tried? Yes, my dad was a physics teacher and cars will always win against a bike. But I have lots of bike lanes. I am not going to bike incautiously. I pick my route with care. It's easier to cross the highway through town at this particular intersection. I don't pick the one where drivers are making too many right hand turns without looking. I also bike on the wide sidewalks if the intersection is dicey.

It was far easier to get around Kyoto on a bike that driving everywhere. I find that to be so (in town) here as well. I didn't have to find parking on parade day - which was a common complaint around me on the 4th of July. I just chained up my bike to a convenient stop sign and stood for our small town parade.

I was talking about biking last summer at the coffee shop and the coffee lady has an 11 year old boy. They lived at one end of town and the school was at the other end. Between them is the old logging trail that is now a bike path. There is no need to even be on a street in order to bike 2 miles to school. Her neighbor, who also has an 11 year old would not allow her boy to bike to school, because of various helicopter parenting concerns. He's 11. He'll be out of the house, hopefully, in just a few years. This is probably the safest biking trail ever and she won't allow her boy to grow up. This boy is driven to school every day. Not even allowed to take the school bus.

Biking is just  one of the adult skills I taught my children.
Although, I think I am the only biker in town that still uses hand & arm turning signals.


 One of my favorite memories of the kids is walking alongside them as they biked through the 4th of July parade in town. Trying not to get caught up in the wild training wheels of the younger crowd.


I did sew last weekend. I was supposed to play with making padded  Doterra oil pouches but I awesomely derailed into making these toiletry bags - specifically, Lipsense bags. The front is a zippered vinyl pocket to show off what you have with a bigger zippered compartment behind. 

Quick and easy.

I didn't use a pattern - just eyeballed the size I wanted it to turn out and I was definitely inspired by an Instagram post
.

My family crisis's have settled down a little, so I am hoping to sew more.
My overtime continues.


Finally, some beautiful pics from my son on his recent trip to Canada (Yay! 150 years!) near Banff.





08 July, 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?


I felt like blogging today. Yay me.
This spring and summer has been an upheaval of sorts as I re-prioritize my busy life.

I continue to work forced overtime but there seems to be a break coming up.

Those beautiful red flowers are called Monarda aka BeeBalm. I try to make my yard bee friendly by using very little chemicals. My auto-immune (SIBO) seems to do better if I limit my chemical exposure too.





I had a couple of family crisis's that made me very sad for the choices those members are making. The bright side is they are able to make those choices. They are not my choices and it's difficult to separate out the feelings they invoke. Sadness  seemed to be the June feeling of the month.


While I'm happy at last to have a name and diagnosis for my auto-immune, it's long-term and chronic and progressing. I have a drive to do everything before I am unable to. And I want to do it all. I have no interest in giving up yet.

Like biking to work. I don't have to, but utilizing different muscle groups is not only healthy for my heart, but those muscles help support my joints as the chronic inflammation takes over.

This year has been super duper on the berries with several batches of jam/jelly made and berries in the freezer for the winter.

By letting blogging go by the wayside, I have that little bit more time to spend in my garden. Allowing my bare feet to connect with the earth really helps my stress levels.




I biked into town to see the 4th of july parade.Lots of live music, kids running amuck, and a Volkswagen Van for my friend's DIL - pink!

I had the pleasure of standing next to some seriously awesome kidlets. One in particular was the youngest (3 years old) of several boys. His mama softly urged him to share some of the candy he collected from the floats with other nearby kids  and it was such a joy to see this boy willingly picking up a life lesson in sharing. So easily done by an amazing mom.



Do you recall those potatoes I planted in April? We had a very cold and wet spring so planting was delayed. Now look at them. They are flowering and will soon set those teeny, tiny potatoes for summer salads.


 And, then, of course, the funeral and the wedding.

This is the most beautiful cemetery I've ever seen. I've always wanted to be cremated, but this cemetery on the steep hillside, looking out on the southern Oregon hills might change my mind.

This was a beautiful ceremony for a family member. Definitely filled with family choices that make me sad. It took a few weeks to acknowledge that sadness for the choices people make and allow the feeling to be. What it is. Learn from those choices. I can always be a better person.

The wedding was the direct opposite in the joyful feelings for this beautiful neighbor girl. All grown up now, she played with my kids. Her family actually lived quite close to my older sister for a while until the airplane her dad was building in the garage outgrew it's space.





My nephew. And Mt. Jefferson. Photo credit: my son.

This spring, feeling quite overwhelmed and not knowing how to find time, I stopped blogging. I stopped sewing. I need these things as they are positive creating that helps counter-balance the enormous load of stress at work.

I was also sad not doing these things to make time for those aforementioned family crisis's.
But time has a way of moving quite fast and you get through those things.

I have actually thought about sewing twice this week, so I am going to see if I can putter around in my sewing room tomorrow. Touch some fabric, maybe sew. Or, maybe just dust.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday (laundry day) that I have had free in what seems months. No obligations. No expectations. No helping others.

Mindfulness is something of a trend in a fast-paced world helping to slow you down with meditation and being present in now as opposed to worrying about the future or continuing family feuds from the past. My current job, while stressful and with too many hours, is an excellent tool to learn Mindfulness. Live in the moment - no use worrying about tomorrows schedule.


I'll quit rambling and leave you with my first blooming dahlia.

24 May, 2017

Alyeska Resort

My daughter works at Alyeska Resort.

She arranged for us to eat at the Seven Glaciers Restaurant.

At the top. We took the tram that moves nearly vertical. During the summer it moves slower. In the winter with anxious skiers, it can go top to bottom in three minutes. Awesome speed.

You can see some of the "kettle ponds", leftover from the old glaciers. Sometimes you can see bear or moose around the ponds. The tourist want to know 'when' they'll see their wildlife, as if you can schedule wild things to appear on the half-hour....

The clouds drifted in and put again in a nearly white world up here.

King Crab Legs - nums

...lets see how much gets cut off on this post...when published...

Alaska 1

Girdwood, Alaska.

Where the daughter lives.

Along the Seward Highway, Girdwood is about 45