Monday, September 25, 2017

Autumn Garden, Jam and Leopards

It's officially Autumn.. the garden is happy from the rain after 3 dry months.  The koi do not know that the winter is coming, lucky for them.  I hope it's not as bad as last year.

I can see gold and brown notes in the foliage, the maple is starting to turn.

My old Hydrangea bush is becoming more appreciated in my garden, not only is it beautiful when it blooms, but the flowers fade and stay on until the winter winds blow them to shreds.

A closeup looks like a watercolor.  Wouldn't these colors make a nice crocheted blanket?  Purple, lime green, blush pink.. 

The pagoda and art nouveau lady garden sculptures are girding for the winds and snow to come.

The Autumn sun slants across the back door.

My son Travis was offered a 5 gallon bucket of raspberry puree, seedless and we snapped it up.  Kristi's mom offered to make raspberry freezer jam out of it for us.. (wahoo!) and brought it out and put it in our freezer.  Oh my goodness.. what a happy turn of events!  I had to test it out, it would have been rude not to.. :-) and toasted an English muffin, spread it with creamy peanut butter and lovingly placed a spoonful of jam on it.  Munch munch.. nirvana!  I so much prefer it without seeds!  We have effusively thanked her mom for doing this for us.

My sister Denise, her husband Steve and my nephew Shane went on a 3 week African photo safari and Shane shared some of his photos yesterday on Facebook.  I asked permission to share a few of my favorites.  He will be placing these on his photo website soon and I will share a link so you can see more of these.  I'm so impressed with Shane as he's an engineer but also has a well-defined artistic eye with his photography and has learned to use the high end equipment that stymies me!  This is a leopard of which he captured an image.  These are from the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya, Africa.

Isn't this bird shot amazing?  He looks a little unhappy, doesn't he?  LOL!

A giraffe ambling along.

I love the juxtaposition of the Leopard on the ancient dry tree.

 Our son and DIL have had quite a time in Maui, Hawaii - I will share some of their photos soon.  The arrive home late this evening.  We'll all be glad to see them.  

I'm off to swim soon.. I must say that immersing myself in water and stroking and kicking my way along lets me forget for a while that our country is on the brink of a nuclear war due to 2 men with too much power and a propensity towards chest beating may lead to the loss of millions of lives and possibly our planet.  ::huge sigh::

I hope you're keeping your head above water!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Through Thick and Thin

Hi there! My younger sister Denise ran across a video showing a person using a soft flex pen nib and I got excited about it.  I've been fascinated by Spencerian Script writing for many years but never had a pen that flexed easily to get the thick and thin line of Spencerian writing.  I scanned the comments under the video and the man who did it shared the pen he used.  I ordered one from Amazon and have been experimenting with it for a few days.  Click HERE to view the video.

I've always been enamored of the letters written in the "olden days" using the Spencerian script style.  These are my first efforts with this pen and are far from perfect.  :-)

The nib on the Pilot Fountain Pen, Custom Heritage 91 SF-Nib.

I got my old leather journal that I'd inserted a brand new journal book and did some writing.  I'll always treasure this book as it was a gift from my two sisters and my mother when she was still active before she passed away and we were shopping together at a fun mall in an old building called John's Landing.  I'd admired the journal in a shop and they snuck back and bought it for me.. one of my best gifts ever.

The pen is giving me a bit of trouble when I press down for the thick line but I believe it just needs broken in a bit.  The nib spreads and you get two lines, which is called "railroading".  I tried to fill it in but it doesn't look nice.. I hope it straightens out.

Hayden is going to take up violin in the school strings group, I'm so excited for him and hope he does well.

OK.. I'm running late to meet Gracie for swimming.. better pack my bag and race off.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Waiting for the Bus and Baby Blanket

My goodness, the first day of Autumn is on Friday the 22nd!  I put on a fall tablecloth and found 3 of my crocheted pumpkins for a small start on my seasonal decor.  

And some orange candles in my beloved vintage oak barley twist candlesticks and voila! :-)

Yesterday I was the only adult home when the boys got home from school so I dutifully went out to wait for the bus.  I only took my shawl and boy was I freezing!  The wind was blowing and it was downright cold.  I pulled it up over my head like a babushka.  

The bus pulled up and I barely captured the boys running by before ::whoosh:: they were past me!  They are being so good while their parents are away for 11 days!  They went out deep sea fishing in Hawaii yesterday and caught some snapper fish.

Since finishing Caleb's hat I've gone back to working on the baby blanket I'm making.  I'm using my Shells on the Half Shell pattern I devised.  I really like the little shells this pattern makes and it's so easy to do.  I'm using the Red Heart Unforgettable yarn, color "Candied".  I confess I'm obsessed with this yarn.  It's so fun to use and it's soft.

Fire updates are:
Eagle Creek Fire Size: approximately 48,668 acres 
Eagle Creek Fire Containment: 46% 
Things people don't think about is Multnomah Falls Lodge has had to lay off their entire staff and it's been mentioned the highway won't be open until May.  Cascade Locks businesses have had to lay off staff off.  This fire has also burned 4 homes and several outbuildings.  The effects of this burn has been massive and awful.  :-(

Another shot of the devastation.

I'm heading off to swim with Gracie soon - she's back from 2 long trips.  What are you up to today?  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Here Comes the Rain and Caleb's Hat

The rain has come, none too soon.. it's cleaning up the atmosphere and hopefully will help to suppress the fire.  Which has grown to 48,387 with 32% containment.  They are now worried about landslides and mudslides from the rain falling on burned cliff-sides where the vegetation holds the dirt and rocks in place.  But I'm so happy to have the rain!  All of our trees, bushes, plants and grass are parched.  I am pretty sure we've lost a lot of plants due to the drought we've had for 3 months.

Dayle cleaned off the deck and washed it off in preparation for the stain/oil treatment.  The rain is supposed to fall for 4 days and then the sun is forecast to return - which is perfect for the deck treatment plans.  We will be putting trim back on the bottoms of the porch posts after the deck is done.

After hosing down the deck he filled the pond with more water and fed the fish.  The old deck was starting to feel dangerous with some rotten pieces, this new one feels so secure and strong, it's so nice.

I sat with him and we chatted and I enjoyed seeing the new koi in the pond.

I finished the camouflage hat for Caleb!  I used the base pattern for a beanie then winged it on the ear flaps and braided trim pieces.  It fits him like it was made just for him.. wait.. it was!  :-)

Side view.. I have to laugh as the camouflage works so well you can't see the pompom I made for the top!  :-)

The back... the camo also helps to conceal the join section.  Dayle took the boys to school this morning as Travis and Kristi are in Hawaii, Maui, to be exact.  Lucky kids!  He said Caleb wore his new hat to school.  Bless his heart.

To illustrate my story on the fire, this photo was taken by Charlie Riter on Thursday evening from Wind Mountain on the Washington side of the Columbia River.  I borrowed this from Facebook.  

I need to make a hat for Hayden now.  We'll go "shopping" for yarn in my massive stash.  He wants colorful stripes.  I'll get some more rows on the baby blanket that I'm working on until we find his yarn.  I hope you're having a good day!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Upgrading the Old Bag

I've been using the same purse for several years and I've loved it.  It is a Pendleton blanket one that is small and cross body and it's been wonderful.  It was little and easy to carry.  Then I got new glasses and the lady who fitted me insisted I use the hard case for them.  Now my little purse was not working for me.. I needed a slightly bigger bag.  I wasn't even looking for one when I got a new catalog and I spied this beauty and birds began to sing and the light got brighter and I fell in love with it. After much deliberation and discussion with my other half, the decision was made and I hit the "buy" button and began the wait.  It arrived yesterday and I transferred my things into and am thrilled with how everything fits.  :-)

As a lifelong "hippie chick", I love the fringe and the beading on this!  The entire strap is beaded which I love.

I adore the amount of turquoise beads use on the strap and the front of the bag.  

How long do you use a purse before you want another one?  What kind is your favorite?  Little or big.. or medium sized?  Do you call it a purse or a bag - or what? Would you ever have such a wild bag as this?  :-)

The detail on the front, there are even copper colored sequins in the design.  I look forward to using this.  :-)

My younger sister Denise and I both needed to visit our jeweler to have some repairs done on some of our jewelry so we met for lunch at a little Italian restaurant in downtown Gresham before we went to GoldArt.  She was wearing a bracelet that she got in Africa and I admired it so took some photos of it.  This would be fun to make, wouldn't it?

They call this a "lazy squaw" stitch where you put on several beads at once before you sew through the leather. 

They have a lunch special at this place which I love, you get to pick what pasta, sauce, met and veg you want.  I chose farfalle pasta, alfredo sauce, salmon chunks, mushrooms and asparagus spears with fresh grated Parmesan on top.  NUM!

The jeweler's wife was wearing this necklace which I was amazed by.. it's different sized and colored South Sea pearls.. separated by.. get this.. black diamond beads!  OH MY.. you should have seen the sparkles in real life.

I'm off to swim in a while.. what are your plans for the day?  I hope it's a good one and have a great weekend!!   ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pawk Pawk

Greetings!  Thank you for your concern as we deal with living in a fire zone.  We are still under a Level #2 evacuation - which means we can stay in our home but have to be packed to leave at a moments notice.  Not an easy way to live but I feel very sorry for the Level #3 evacuees who cannot live in their homes.  They've been living in Red Cross shelters for 11 days now with no decision to when they can return.  The fire has burned 36,000 acres and is only 13% contained.  

Now to the good news, all our young chickens are laying now!  We have only one chicken that is laying white eggs, you can look below to her first egg and her 2nd egg - it's so much bigger!  Our Welsummer chicken laid her first egg, it's the speckled one.  It's SUPPOSED to be dark chocolate brown - I hope it changes to a darker color at some point.  You can also see the larger aqua egg is the older Ameracauna hen and the other two smaller aqua ones are the young ones.

I got a neat little wire basket for collecting the eggs - one of the boys brought these to show me day on Monday - and yesterday Kristi got 11 eggs!  Wahoo!  We've shared eggs with all kinds of friends and my sisters.

The deck is done!  Kind of.  Now we have to stain/treat it with an oil stain and we also have to replace the railings.  And paint them.  Also - yesterday our new gazebo was delivered in 3 boxes, 700 lbs. altogether!  

Travis and Kristi are leaving for an anniversary trip to Hawaii this weekend.  We'll be in charge of the boys.  I wonder how many ways we can spoil them?  I guess we'll find out!  :-)  I'm working on a self-designed hat for Caleb - I have one part left to do before I show you.  I'm using "camouflage" colored yarn.  

What is happening in your world?  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Monday, September 11, 2017


Hello my friends.  Just a quick post to say hello.  Changes.. Autumn is almost here so I've got the fall wreath on the door.  We hung up some of the things on the wall that were down during the repainting project.  That chaff strainer I found in my grandparent's chicken house in Oklahoma.

Changes.. our household now includes our older son and his dog Meeka.  It was interesting to see how Buddy dealt with a new dog in the house.  He did very well!  We now have 3 dogs in our home.  :-)  Walking through the house has gotten to be like a obstacle course when they're sprawled about on the floor.  LOL!

Meeka.  Caleb has bonded with her and is even starting to train her to do new things.  

Our son Shawn has let the dog get up on his lap and it's comical when he does it, but this is Meeka on MY lap and she's tried to also get on Dayle's lap, so we're discouraging this.  :-)

Today we remember 9/11 - the day our country was attacked by terrorists who hijacked 4 commercial jets and took control of them and used them and the poor passengers as a means of mass destruction to the twin towers in NYC, the Pentagon, and one which crashed in a field but was meant to hit the White House.  They meant to crush us but they did not.  

The fire is still burning, but we are safe for now.  The wind has shifted back towards us and you can smell the smoke in the air outside.  The evacuations are STILL in effect due to the possibility that the winds will force the fire back towards the west and our home.  The fire has grown to 34,000 acres.  Wish us luck!  OK.. I'm off to my DAR meeting and then to swim.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Friday, September 8, 2017

An Ode to Firefighters

Hello my friends.. I want to thank you all for your concern and good wishes and prayers to keep us safe here.  Yesterday the wind turned and blew the fire activity back the other way from us and things got better.  They are keeping the evacuation in place as the wind is set to turn again and things could go bad again, but for today, we're breathing easier.  I found all the images below on the internet, none are mine.  Here is a shot of the firefighters who's around the clock dedication saved the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge from burning.  I love them!

What a great bunch of guys!

I am so grateful for their work to save our beloved lodge.

The Historic Columbia River Highway is still closed - there is a lot of debris on the roadway.

When the plants and bushes burn, the rocks lose their anchor and fall across the road.  The landscape will be unstable for some time to come.

These men and women who are fight fires in forests are a special breed and face horrible dangers.

Here is an after shot of the newly restored Oneonta Tunnel.. all charred and fallen.

I found this image to be poignant.

Men at work.  They are "back burning" - burning the underbrush back towards the fire to decrease the burn and control it.

This is what the Angel's Rest trail looks like now.  :-(

Here is a timelapse of the fire I thought I'd share with you.

One thing I want to share with you is there is hope.  The fire did burn a lot of our gorge but it will grow again.  I have not driven down the freeway through it as it's still closed due to fire danger, but the officials who have assured us the gorge is not lost and is still green with lots of trees.  Wish us luck on continued safety from the fires that still burn.  You all are the best.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-)