Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Oregon 2013:Tidal Pool

 My brother lives in Oregon.  I do not.  I live in the middle of this great country of ours and Oregon is a very long way away.  It takes three days to drive there, so we flew, thanks to my dad who is so glad I'm alive after last year that he paid out lots of money so my family (except Jim, who stayed home to make sure we had some money), could go there and see him and my other brother who lives even farther away in the middle of this country.  
I haven't flown since I went on my honeymoon.  I found flying boring then, and this time the hop from Denver to Eugene got rather long and I wished I had a window seat.  

I was hoping for good weather, cool weather, nothing like the 90 degrees days we were having at home, and I got my wish.  It was plumb cold most of the time.  
We spent one day in the Yaquina Bay area near Newport on the coast.  The most fascinating part of the whole trip was this visit to the tidal pools at the lighthouse.  We spent the morning at low tide, hopping around the pools to look at all the flora and fauna living there, exposed to all when the tide is low.  We saw things I only see in pictures, or at the zoo.

The saddest part of the whole trip was when I dropped my camera into a tidal pool while jumping over a particularly large spot.  That was the end of my taking photos there, except with my phone, which takes pictures as if you are looking through the wrong end of a telescope and emailing them to oneself takes eons if you have 150 of them like I do.  
So, while it might be fun to say I dropped my camera into the Pacific Ocean, it means that my photos of this vacation are mostly someone else's.  Or else hardly won from my phone.  

I hope these photos give you a glimpse of what I enjoyed. 

Agate State Recreation Area
Tidal Pools

We saw all these things except the barnacle.

Birds galore, but we were too far away to see them unless zoomed in.  There were far away on the rocks.

Same with the eagle.

However these seagulls were parading their stuff.  And they were a lot larger than I expected.  

Low tide.

Looking down from the top.  It was a  long way down.

Star fish, two kinds.


 Starfish and Sea Cucumbers

 Green Anemone

Purple Anemones

 Feathers on well tumbled lava rocks, of which the beach is covered. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Time to Write

I am going to write today.  
I don't have anything else to do. 
Well, I do, but it isn't time to do those things.  
It isn't time to make supper, I like to wait until she gets home from work so she can eat with her parents.  It isn't time to pile all the suitcases in the living room for the same reason.
We are going to Oregon.  My brother lives there, and we are going to fly out to see him. My parents are generously offering us this trip as a celebration of a cancer-free summer. Sadly, my hubby can't go, but my son and said daughter are.  We are trying to get everything into carry on bags with one check bag, for a 7-day trip. I am only bringing two pairs of shoes. Everything matches, I'm only bringing one sweater.  I'm wearing the clothes that take up the most room on the plane.  The check-in bag will have all the hair, body and face products that my teenagers are taking.  I thought about buying them after we get there, but I changed my mind after seeing the array of bottles and sprays.  Not only will they cost more that the $25 charged, I would have to leave them there.   

This is the first time I will be away from home for a week since my surgery.  I am stepping very far out of my comfort zone, and I'm a little worried.  I'm also pushing out of my mind what my peculiar routines and food preferences might do to my and everyone else's enjoyment.  
I'm pushing them out because, really, so what if this is the first time to deal with it away from home.  It won't be the only time, if I am going to go places and do things, I will have to get used to life as I live it, and what better time than the present.  I'm not going to starve to death if there isn't food for me to eat, I'm going to buy soup for the "just in case", times at home.  I'm going to take Ensure with me, so I have something to eat when I'm out.  
The only thing that is really essential to my well-being, is my water.  Fifteen minutes without it, and my mouth is so dry I start coughing, and then I throw up.  Not a pretty sight. 
I have a bag to carry my water bottle and an extra.  I have a letter from my doctor that says it is medically necessary for me to have it with me at all times, so I should be able to walk through security with it. I'm prepared in case something happens and that doesn't work. I have a 2 oz. spray bottle to keep my mouth moist.  
It really is time for cleaning the dishes out of the sink, and for setting the table, (since that can be done early,) or changing from one purse to another.  Or sweeping the floor. Or bringing my suitcase out. 
It could also be time for a nap, I could use one, we are leaving at 5 am tomorrow morning. and I bet I don't go to bed early tonight.  
That time will come far too early, so I think I'll take the time for the nap.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sweaters to Pillows

I am thankful for a great many things.  
One of the things I am thankful for is that I had a classical sewing education.  I started sewing when I was a little girl by hemming the skirt of a dress my mother made for me.  By the time I was in junior high I could make a jumper completely by myself following a pattern.  I was in 4-H and my mom was a master seamstress so I had good training from the start. 
I know you don't need to have this kind of education to use a sewing machine and enjoy making many things.  
What I appreciate is that I can wind bobbins and thread my machine without thinking it a chore.  I can sew clothes from a pattern without having to study the instructions. I can put in zippers, and make button holes.   What I appreciate most is that because I know what I can and can't do, I know what is "right" and what isn't, is that I can cut corners with ease.  

Anyway, I wanted some decorative pillows for the couch and after seeing other people make some out of old sweaters, I took myself over to the Good Will and found two sweaters that go well with my new look in the living room.  What I found is this gorgeous sweater and another very nice one, and name brands to boot.  
I've been putting it off for a couple of weeks so when I brought out the sweater to begin operations this week, I could hardly bring myself to cut them up, they were so nice.  No pilling, no snags, they looked good as new and I could hardly bear to think of cutting them up.  
So, while I knew they would make good looking pillows, it took a phone call to a good friend to remind me that I wouldn't want raggy sweaters to make good pillows. 
So, I just took a deep breath the dived in.  

This sweater is plain on the back.

 First thing is to cut off the sleeves.

Draw a sewing line and pin.

The second sweater was more challenging since it buttoned up the front.

Same pattern on the back.

I was just going to use the back and make a smaller pillow, but I decided today to use the front anyway.
I pinned and sewed the top, where I cut off the top of the sweater.  

Inside out. Ready to sew.

I sewed the sides a little narrower, then hand sewed the bottom, not really sure why, except it seemed easier with the ribbing, leaving an opening.  I sewed the front opening by hand before I stuffed it. 

After stuffing both pillows with long time stored fiberfill, I sewed up the openings by hand.  Here is another case for which I was thankful for my training.  There is a way to sew these openings closed so that you can't see the stitches.  So I took the little extra time to do that.
And they look very nice, if I do say so myself.

Back side of the brown. 

Front side of the brown.

I'm a great one for saving and reusing, but what I am finding is that I have so many things saved, that at nearly 50 years old, I wonder if I will have enough time to use up all the things I've saved.  
For example, this stuffing.  I don't know how long I've had it.  The worst of it is, I had second thoughts about using it, "what if I used it up?, what if I needed it for something else?".  I have got to be one of the worst for saving things for "sometime."  But. I am beginning to get it: I can always buy new if I need it. I want to use up some of this stuff.  I want more space, not more clutter. It just isn't going fast enough.