Saturday, June 30, 2012

around my queendom

 in the last few weeks i've seen 2 sets of twins spotty fawns with their moms... and i know it's 2 sets of them as i've seen them in my yard at the same time... otherwise i'd have never known!  i really love seeing them and am happy they're here and trusting enough to hang around even when i'm outside.  even tho i know that some of my flowers are destined to be a deer snack and don't like it that i have to put my roses inside an 8 foot fenced area, i do still love having the deer in my queendom!
this delphinium will be on the deer menu, so thought i'd get a photo of it and enjoy having them while i can.  really love the deep rich color of this one.  there's a white and lighter blue, too.

this pink poppy is just gorgeous!  i have lots of volunteer poppies around my garden, but this is the first year i've seen this color.  there's a white one this year, too, that is a new color.  it's always a surprise to see what new colors appear each year.  don't know how this color variation happens, but i love it!!

and i'm still in awe of the gorgeous-ness of this yellow rose.  the rain is really messing with my roses, but there is a rumor that there's a 5-day stretch of dry sunny weather coming next week.  i'll be happy and so will my roses and the pathetic looking vegetable plants i've put in.  they are not tolerating this lack of sun and warm very well.

on July 26 Meika will be 12 years old, which is pushing the life expectancy of siberian huskies... and she is showing her age.  slower getting up off the floor, accompanied by whimpers pretty often. i'd like to take her to a doggie acupuncturist... don't know if Jim will go along with that...

i surely do love her and don't want her to get old and have aches and pains.

and now some silliness!  well ~I~ think it's funny!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

oh well...

sometimes jes caint hep ma sef...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Black Sheep Gathering 2012

once again the annual pilgrimage to eugene, oregon for the black sheep gathering!  we were able to rent a private house for the weekend this year, which was a good thing because olympic trials were going on and by this time last year any motels that still had rooms un-reserved were asking $300/night for the worst choice rooms.  this was close to perfect... maybe a bit small for 10 women, their spinning wheels, fiber supply, food and wine.  but it was lovely to be able to spend the evening spinning with friends and drinking wine, in a comfortable home!

i'm sorry i didn't take more photos of the house and spinning circle.  guess i was just too busy!  but trust me.... lots of happy spinners and lots of wheels!

the market was great!  probably less shoppers this year because of the rain and the lack of motel rooms in eugene.

this is one of Kate's fibers... BFL, called Starling that she did for a special online spin-along.  these colors just sing and of course, BFL is one of my most favorite fibers.
 true to my tradition at bsg, had to buy fiber from Dicentra.  this one is bfl and tussah silk... yummmmm

and from Rollie at Fox Hollow this ultra bright bag o' fiber that i knew i needed to buy because there was one left when i made my last round of the market.  this is cormo/mohair/angora.  and the colors are spectacular!

from Beacon Bend Alpacas... this batt felt so lusciously soft and silky, that i needed to have it!  it has alpaca, mohair, silk, silk noil and something else that i can't remember, but i can hardly wait to spin it.

i haven't spun flax in a very long time and i love the color and it's soft and shiny (for flax), so it was an impulse buy and i'm not sorry!

this vender - One of a Kind - has really nicely made ceramic buttons and pins and more.  don't know if she's new to bsg or if i've just missed her in the past, but she'll be at OFFF and at Fiber Fusion in Monroe WA in oct., so she'll be seeing me again.  i limited myself to 3 really cute pins.

Kate at the fiber arts show, which really had great entries and i didn't get any really great photos!  good show tho.

kiss me!  or at least feed me.

i wish i could have this!
Cloudspun Angora - pink "just because"!

they might be serving better hay on the other side of the fence

we spent the last hour or so in the animal barns....
Susie Wilson teaches "shear your own sheep"

Friday, June 22, 2012

June - tradition -

my annual pilgrimage to the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene begins on friday when Kate gets here.  stay tuned for pics and words.  this is somewhere around the 26th year for me and this event.  see you on the flip side (whatever that means.....)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


my most favorite astro- physicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson!  several years ago he was my birthday present.... actually the gift was a ticket to hear his presentation at an OMSI science night.   it was a great evening... was at the Baghdad theater on SE Hawthorne in pdx, which is a theater/pub kind of thing where you can have pizza and beer while the presentation goes on.  i could listen to him for hours and i watch for him on PBS and the science channel, but he isn't on tv very often.  ~sigh~


Ah, spring!  i remember it as if it were yesterday... that's when it was.  and today?  it's raining... raining hard and it's in the 60sF.  damn.  oh, well in a coupla days it will be summer, at least on the calendar it will be summer.  and i promise that if we eventually get 7 days in a row of sun and temps in the 80s i will NOT complain.  i'll hope for more.


and even as i question my grip on reality when i expect anything different from this kind of spring in the beautiful, green, lush, verdant pacific northwest, i'm grateful i took photos of my favorite roses (i think they're all my favorites!) while there was sun.  and again, here's Gertrude Jekyll.  it sounds hokey maybe, but truly..  the blooming flowers and loveliness and fragrances of spring bring joy to my soul... and it makes me smile and reminds me of the beauty of simple gifts.

and a pretty poppy and then more roses!

and those weather guessers tell me that we have 2 sunny days coming!  bring it on..

meantime, rainy days mean i stay inside mostly and work on the quilt and might have it done in a few days.  then photos.  then on to a wall-hanging i have in mind.  oh and also, will get back to some dyeing for a project with Lynne.  and black sheep gathering this coming weekend in Eugene.  going with Kate on friday til sunday.  good times!

Friday, June 15, 2012


nuns on the bus

it's not often that i comment on things religious... for a lot of good reasons.  and these comments combine religion AND politics, on both of which i do have some strong opinions.  but this topic got my attention because i very much admire anyone who actually walks their talk.  there is a group of nuns in the US whose mission in life is advocating for and helping the poor, the marginalized, those people who have no one and no place to turn.  part of their mission and life work is helping people get the medical help and support they need and right now the nuns are going around in a bus opposing the proposed budget in congress (the ryan plan) which breaks the "circle of protection" which they want drawn around essential programs that serve poor and vulnerable people.  so, the nuns on the bus will visit 9 states, speaking out against the ryan budget and what the cuts will do to people who need these services the most.  the vatican has come out against the nuns because they are so outspoken on the social justice issues... and silent on what the church considers important... abortion and gay rights.  and to put the icing on it for me, rush limbaugh has called them "femi-nazis".  as for myself, i really admire these nuns for what they do and the way they're bringing attention to this issue.

you can read more about this on their website

oh, yeah... the author of this budget, cited his catholic faith to justify the cuts.  really?

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


yellow is the color of the day... a new gerbera daisy and my favorite rose of the day.  no idea what's its name... got it on sale last fall.  first yellow rose i've had in a long time.  it has a faint spicy aroma... mmm, love it!

well, ~ I ~ think it's funny!


i'm finding that i'm really drawn to quilts that have a gracefulness about them or tell a story... or both.  and that's both for what i enjoy looking at and what i want to make.  also, bright colors.... always winner.  and flowers and trees!  today i'm looking at the quilts here and really enjoying the beauty and intricacies of some of them.  also, feeling a bit smug because i can recognize the work of several quilters... guess i'm spending a lot of time looking and gathering inspiration.  it's kind of like all my knitting books.... rarely do i follow a pattern from any of them, but looking thru them feeds my muse and infuses my inspiration.

this is one i really love by Melody Johnson in TN, who is a very talented artist!  here's her blog.  she quilts, knits,, dyes, gardens, paints and probably lots more stuff!  aren't those colors fabulous together!??

and i'm thinking it's time for me to get back to my almost half-finished quilt from before going to Crete.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Jim's birthday - 75!

the birthday was may 27, i made his favorite carrot cake... from scratch no less, which i faithfully do once a year.  any other cakes are the combined efforts of me and betty crocker.  so we invited neighbors - Don, Carol and Dave - to come by for BD cake and wine.  good cake, good conversation (even the part about the deity and atheism and other philosophical stuff).

 and today (june 2), i had told him i had a plan and he should be ready to leave home at 1:30.  the plan was to go to a couple of wine tastings over in the Carlton-Dundee area and he had it figured out by the time we were within 10 miles of the cluster of vineyards and wineries around Dundee.  on a whim i turned off at the sign to AnneAmie Winery... mainly because we know the vineyard manager, Jason Tosch, who went to school with ds Chris and spent a lot of time at our house.  Jim did most of the tasting as i was the designated driver... but i did have a few sips and really liked their "ice wine"...late harvest Muller Thurgau... sweet!!  the young man doing the pouring was charming.. and very knowledgeable about wine... calling himself a "wine nerd".  anyway, because we know Jason, the tasting fee was waived and a discount given on the wine we bought.  thank you, Jason!!  the winery is at the top of a hill and the view is spectacular!

next stop was Durrant Winery at Red Ridge, where they grow wine grapes and olive trees, have a nursery with very interesting plants and we bought another olive tree (now have 4), had an olive oil tasting... never would have imagined this, but there was an olive oil flavored with orange which was absolutely wonderful (we bought a bottle of that, and i think it would be great on salad or pasta)

the place was beautifully landscaped and we could see a small planting of olive trees off in the distance.

and then we went to the wine tasting room!  we were on Jim's 2nd tasting when a group of women came, obviously happy about where they were and what they were doing!  a bit toasty, in fact.  one of the "happiest", "talkiest" of the group asked Jim if they were being obnoxious and with his usual tact, he said "no, just loud... but it's probably the acoustics in the room"... and that set off more laughter and conversation.  at some point they learned that we were celebrating Jim's 75th birthday and that really got them going and social!  they gathered around and sang happy birthday and toasted him, asked which was his favorite wine of the tasting, insisted on buying him a birthday bottle of wine and we took lots of photos!~ they were a group of friends who were doing their wine tasting tour by bike... and this was their 4th or 5th stop.  they were pulling several baby carriages behind their bikes and filling them with wine purchases.  luckily, they were headed downhill to a house they'd rented for the weekend.

so... following a recommendation we got at the winery we went to a restaurant in Dundee.. "Paulee", a quite upscale dining experience!

 this is what came first... kind of a palette primer, i think.  a teeny tiny thin wafer with a teeny tiny dab of something fishy with a thin wafer of radish on top and a few flecks of chives or something green.  it was tasty.  i think we were supposed to use that teeny tiny spoon, but we ate it with our fingers...

and salads... Jim's was served upon a piece of slate and looked really interesting.  what looked like just a plain green strawberry was actually a pickled green strawberry... not plain at all.  and there were cucumbers and pork rinds (somehow that didn't seem to me to fit with the other bits on the plate).  also, a few little flower blossoms.  OK.

mine was greens with hazelnuts, shaved porcini and chevre cheese... nice.

and my entree was braised lamb... quite good.

it was a good dinner... and, um... interesting!!

in all, i think Jim had a birthday celebration to remember.  and i'm thinking.... hmmm, maybe we should play the birthday game again....