Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Somebody lied to us

It rarely snows in Portland.

This is respectable even by New York standards.

 The difference is NY knows how to deal with it. PDX (Portland) does not have the equipment, skill or experience NY does. 

So even if you "know how to drive in snow" you don't know how to do it here. Plus the hundreds of people in front or back of you may or may not "know how to drive in it." It is a completely different beast here. I think it is an angry beast too.

Daddy wanted some snow shots so I opened the patio door to get them. 

I picked up a looky loo in the process. 

That's a lotta snow Momma!! I thought it didn't do that here?

It is a lotta snow Burtie my boy. Doesn't it make you happy to stay inside with Momma? I'm so glad I found you.

Me too Momma, me too.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A kick in the priorities

Sitting next to my hubby while is in a hospital bed. Not how I thought I would spend the day, but ever so thankful we're here together.
Hopefully I can enjoy the cafeteria soon. I helped hubby eat some lunch.
We're taking all the prayers we can get. Thanks everybody.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

No longer feeling Wahoo about snow

How much snow did it take to make me change? I don't honestly know, it was half an inch to a couple of inches. It really was not the snow but the commute that took away my joy.

I am so very thankful for many things, no damage to me or my car, and not having to spend the night in my car. Also few more things, the kindness and helpfulness of Portlanders, living somewhere with public transportation that ran through the night, and the lovely restaurant called Basta Trattoria.

I started working again on Monday. I was pretty darn excited to be working in a new town and job. I was a bit worried about driving around Portland but I knew I could handle it. Until the snow hit us on Wednesday. It does not take much to affect a town full of bridges and hills. A town that has a healthy respect for precipitation and below freezing temperatures. It does not matter if you and your vehicle are experienced with snow, different towns have different challenges, compacted snow and ice takes no prisoners.

I left work going my new normal route, for only my third time. There is a whole long saga of calls, decisions and going nowhere. I even hopped a guard rail and walked into a bar to use the restroom. Suffice it to say that it took me four and a half hours to get less than three miles and I was ever so happy to get there. I was trying to figure out how to get off the road when I looked over and saw Basta's parking lot. I pulled in with the intent to beg them to let me stay in their parking lot for a few hours while roads were hopefully cleared of ice, wrecks and abandoned cars. As I walked into this lovely place the thought hit me that I could have dinner. I can not tell you what a revelation the thought of nice hot food was. I asked the server for a recommendation, since my brain was still busy telling me how nice it was to not have a foot on the brakes. She recommended Gnocchi e Maiale: wild mushrooms, marsala, grilled peppercorn encrusted pork tenderloin. I can not tell you the magnificence of that meal. Such an oasis of calm and flavor.

After dinner I was feeling them out about leaving my car there if need be. They assured me that they would call to place it on the do not tow list and gave me a card to put on my dash just in case. I did try to find a way home before looping back around and parking again. I figured safe in my car in a parking lot was better than burning gas parked on the road.

After about half an hour I started looking at alternate news of the traffic. Google had assured me the whole time that I was only on a delayed 50 minute commute, all six to seven hours of my ordeal by that time.

I noticed that the MAX light rail would continue to run through the night to help commuters and to keep the tracks clear. Lucky for me during my loop of the area I knew a MAX stop was near to me. After assuring Hubby I am a tough girl...OK fine he assured me I am indeed a tough girl, I started walking. It was surreal to be out on the streets of a city, alone at 11pm and feel perfectly safe. I even passed a cross country skier taking advantage of the conditions.

Hubby came to pick me up from the station and I walked in the door around midnight. A nice long eight hour commute. I did drift off to sleep seeing tail lights lining the road in front of me. I also woke up a few hours later ever so thankful to be safe and warm in my bed.

Yesterday my 40 minute commute seemed like nothing.

Everyone I spoke with was kind and helpful. Portland you are indeed weird but you're nice too.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Snow Wahoooo!

This happened this morning.

It stuck around for a few hours and has gone now. But there is nothing like snow to make me feel like home, finally. Even if it was just a bit.

Burt liked watching it fall, knowing he was safely inside, warm and dry. I made myself a cup of tea and enjoyed the view.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Favorite Time of the Year - Burt Edition

Hubby blindsided me with a question the day before Thanksgiving, Do you know where the tree is?

First of all, I am still mostly back in July or August in my mind only now we have cooler weather. When did November get here? I may just refer to this as the missing year.

Second, part of me thought we would not put up a tree this year. Of course that idea was raised in the middle of the move, when we had not yet seen the apartment. We were not sure if we would have space.

Anyways I did indeed have an idea where the Christmas tree was stored. We pulled it out and brought it upstairs, then we looked at Burt... How would our used-to-live-outside kitty adjust to having a fake tree appear in his space? Especially since it smells like our old house and Gus and Jack. You've seen the pictures Gus loved the tree almost as much as me.

We pulled out, put together, and fluffed the tree. I promptly dissolved into memories and tears. So many emotions. We fought so many battles while the tree was up. Gus always seemed to fall ill in the winter. I'm know he fell ill the rest of the year too, but we always wondered if each Christmas was his last. And Jack went so fast it was hard to believe he was no longer here.

So after the tears we decided to leave the tree up undecorated to see how Burt would do with it. If we came down the next morning and it was laying on the ground... maybe only the lights would go on it.

Burt did a thorough investigation of the plain tree. He was figuring out how to climb it and tried to sharpen claws on the metal trunk. Then he laid down underneath and accepted that we put up fake trees in this house for some reason, most likely not for kitty entertainment?

The next evening we decorated our still standing tree.

Burt was delighted! Maybe it is an entertainment system.

He did follow Daddy out to the kitchen to see if mousie wanted to play.

Then it was time to admire all the dangling ornaments.

We decided to put Gus's bed underneath as with years past. D put the shawl of healing in too. 

The next day I saw the tree move a bit. I heard a cat toy rattle and a bell jingle slightly.

Gus said I could play with his shawl! He did!

He said it might heal you, Momma, to see this.

Yes Burt, that does help me feel better. Remember no knocking over the tree though.

I'm trying not to Momma! 
I do love Christmas!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Swatch It

A couple of Rhinebecks ago I picked up the pattern for Catkin. I had seen this shawl at many a festival. It was alway so striking to me. The perfect shape and with buttons to keep it in place. 

I safely tucked the pattern away for "one day". You know how it goes, one day when I have more time, one day when I want to be day after a huge move?

Yep, I took myself off to one of the local yarn stores to get some air conditioning back in July. They even had to wind up the yarn since my swift was not accessible. I searched and searched for the right color combination, and settled on the Civil War...the blue and the grey. 

The yarn is from a dyer across the river from us in Vancouver Washington, Alpha B Yarn. I had seen her wares on Ravelry and am so happy to say I now have easy access to them. I just could not resist picking them. I did wrestle with the colors and changed my mind several times... only partial due to the ability to stay in the air conditioning for a while longer.

Finally, I decided Crater Lake and Strong Gale suited my tastes for the best. I read through the pattern and thought, maybe I should have done that before buying it. Hold on, the designer starts you off with a lovely swatch, I can knit a swatch!

As I ripped back my first attempt, I convinced myself that, no really I can knit a swatch properly.

I then did indeed sort out my brain and knit a proper swatch. Lovely isn't it?

I was so overwhelmed with my ability to knit correctly that I promptly abandoned my swatch for some socks. Turns out it was a lot of socks that needed to be knit before I could think of knitting a shawl. There are still quite a few on the needles getting my attention. 

Do you think I can wash the swatch and measure it still on the needles? I hate to waste yarn on swatches. But then again it would make a lovely coaster. One of a kind you could say. Just let me find my tape measure before I put this away. On second thought, it would be really nice to have another shawl, one that stays put hopefully...

So many projects to work on...I am a lucky knitter!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Knitting Parade

I don't want you to think that all I'm doing since we moved here is buy yarn, but I bought some yarn.

And it is not even local yarn, it's from WEBS, you know they claim to be America's yarn store so maybe I can call it local?

No I don't think so either. D had asked me where his red sweater was located since the move. I gave him a weird look and said you don't have a red sweater. He was so convinced that he did that I had to go check my project page on Ravelry to confirm that I knit a red sweater for me, not D. We settled on a nice wine color of red.

Their price on sock yarn was a compelling reason to get sock yarn that would match because I've not knit him any red socks either. I also had to pick up some Eucalan since I gave away the little I had. I'm going through more wool wash since I started hand washing socks. I don't trust the machine here not to eat them. Before I got here D called me to ask about washing clothes, especially socks. I asked if he had enough to make it through till I got there. When he said yes, I said don't wash any of them till we know if the machine plays nice. I still have not decided yet. Boy does it take longer to dry socks in damp Oregon. It seems to be about triple the time here, but maybe I'm still adjusting to everything.

Hey we have not had a knitting parade in a while, how about one now? 

This is some yarn I picked up because I was not able to repair some holes in D's shocking orange socks. It looks alright here but there is more pink than I thought there would be, good think I don't have the same rule about no pink hubby socks as the lady from the library did. The bag is a birthday gift from D, along with some yarn that I forgot to show you. Guess we have fodder for another blog post.

This is some Into the Whirled yarn from Rhinebeck that called to me on an overcast day here. We are having quite a few days like that, who would have thought that in the Pacific Northwest. (I think NY is getting snow today so no complaining from this camp, just colorful yarn.)

Ahh my socks that were bought and started at my first knit night here are almost done. (Actually are done this morning, shh don't tell the knitting police.)

This yarn continues to frustrate the heck out of me. I bought it in 2009 and have tried to knit socks out of it several times. The two colors pool half and half, no cool swirling stripes, just utter division. It looks so odd, like the sock cannot make up its mind which color to be. I'm even trying my magic cubic needles that usually gets my knitting to behave nice. Nada!

What do you think should I give up and just use this yarn to mend other socks? Maybe as toes on socks that run low? It even resisted me during a shawl phase. Maybe I should just take it to the knitting guild and give it away?

Oh I did not tell you! I went to my first knitting guild meeting. I'd say there were 50 to 60 people there. They had a lady give a talk about socks, and you all know I love hearing about socks. It was interesting and I met a couple of very nice people that like talking about yarn and knitting. They even do a show and tell to close out the evening. I do believe I will be going back for next month's holiday party.

I attended a volunteer orientation for the shelter I adopted Burt from. Now if I can resist coming home with a brother or sister for Burtie Burt. I can tell you Burt can be a lap cat if there is a chill in the air. We have spent some quality knitting time together recently. I could not be more happy with the idea. Burt just wants a warm butt...