Thursday, September 30, 2010


Here in Seattle we are still waiting for the sky to clear. Seems like I heard we were supposed to have a warm, sunny day? I'm also on hold until Tom gets back from running errands. I just got the bills paid and was heading out to do some shopping and deposit the mail in a drop box, but alas, the battery in the van is dead. We don't drive it much anymore because of the gas it eats up, so it got tired of waiting for us and decided to show us, I guess. Irene and Isaac are no longer waiting for their costumes. Irene's arrived in the mail yesterday, and the Darth Vader I ordered for Isaac had arrived earlier and had been hidden away. Yesterday they had a "trying on". It looks like we'll have to shorten Irene's a bit, but otherwise, OK. I haven't been able to talk to them on the phone yet, as we're all busy going our various ways. We were at Qwest Field for a soccer match last night. We took light rail in early and went to the transit station to get our Orca cards. They are prepaid passes for riding transit, and since we are getting the Senior rate we had to appear in person. We can reload them with our credit card when we get low on funds. We will be using them on Saturday for another soccer match, and again next Tuesday, when we again return to Qwest for another match. We won yesterday and winning is fun. I hope we can keep it up! ------------------------------------------------------------- I texted Tom to let him know to let him know about the battery and he came back to "save me", but "jumping" didn't work, which means it could be something more serious. Then you wonder - If the van is stuck in the garage, how do you get it to a shop to be serviced? But I'll wait on that problem. Since I'm stuck at home, I'll go do my exercise workout. The stationary bike only needs foot power. ___________________________________ Tom called AAA. We are covered for towing, and it's a good thing. The van is now under tow to the shop. It may be the starter. Now the van will have to wait for service, maybe a week or more.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Our Get Away to Rockaway

We arrived at Rockaway Beach about 4:00 Friday afternoon. It was a beautiful day, and after settling in, we took a little stroll on the beach.
That evening we had a lovely sunset, which I photographed while sitting on a log by the creek in front of the cabin.
This last one was from the cabin porch, where I spent quite a bit of time reading and watching the surf.
Saturday was another beautiful day. We spent the morning prowling thrift shops, looking for glass to use in making more garden glass art.
In Wheeler we stopped at our favorite antique mall for a look around after taking in the sights of Nehalem Bay. It's fishing season and there were quite a few boats on the bay.
Saturday afternoon I took a chair down on the beach and sat and read until it clouded over mid afternoon. Then I moved back to the porch. At five o'clock we went into Rockaway to the Beach Bite Sports Bar where people were gathering to watch Oregon State football. But We had my mini-lap top and used the WiFi to get live updates of the Sounders match being played in Chicago. We won!
Sunday the view from the porch looked like this.
It rained all day. We did a lot of reading and drove to the Tillamook Cheese Factory to browse the gift shop and have ice cream for lunch.
Because the cabin TV has limited reception, and no CBS, we returned to the sports bar about 3:00 for the second half of the Seahawks foot ball game. This time we were the only rooters there and we hung out with cokes and an appetizer and urged the team on to another victory. It was still raining. Monday morning the rain had stopped and things looked more promising.
We headed south to browse more thrift shops, and then stopped at the north jetty of Tillamook Bay to see how the rebuilding process was coming along.
They have finished reworking the jetty. All of the huge rocks have been placed, as well as the smaller filler, and the equipment is ready to be removed. And the surf is pounding, ready to attack the new work. It should withstand another 50 years.
Back at the cabin, the fog teased us all day. I went for a short stroll toward the fog shrouded Twin Rocks.
But over the hill tops the blue sky peeked from under the fog blanket to show us what we were missing.
Because of my persistent heel problem I was not able to go for my usual beach walks, which cramped my style, but allowed me to have permission to sit on the porch some more and read. Monday evening we went to our favorite local restaurant, Pirates Cove, in Garibaldi.
The restaurant overlooks Tillamook Bay.
And they have wonderful seafood on the menu. Tom had a shrimp and scallop saute
and I had my favorite razor clams.
Tuesday morning it was foggy again and we decided to pack up, clean up the cabin for the next family members, and head north toward home. We stopped in Seaside to look around and visit the antique mall. Then we headed to Astoria for a lunch stop at the Wet Dog Cafe and Astoria Brewing Company. There was a cruise ship in town so the place was busy.
We had chowder and salad, and passed on the beer. The pub is on the waterfront, along what is left of the old cannery row.
This is the mouth of the Columbia river, and ships are waiting to go up stream to Longview to load up with logs.
From there we drove straight through to Seattle and got home about 5:00. We unpacked and collected the mail. I had been able to keep up with email and facebook via my lap top. Tom had left overs from his shrimp and scallop dinner and I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I will go to the grocery store in the morning. Then we settled in to watch TV shows I had recorded while we were gone.
It's now 1:30 AM. I turned off my light at midnight, after reading for a while, but I could tell sleep wasn't going to come any time soon, so I'm up and at the computer. I think it's about time to go back to bed and try again.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Out of Town

Tom and I are leaving this morning for Rockaway Beach, Oregon and the little red cabin by the sea. There will be no Internet unless I find a Wi-Fi cafe. Sea (see) you all later.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Princess Leia Costume

The original classic Stars Wars movies and spin off products are big again as the first generation is introducing the movies to their kids. Jill and the kids had a Star Wars film fest this summer when it was too hot to be outside. Now Isaac is crazy about Star wars and especially Darth Vader, who he wants to be for Halloween. This is not a costume I can make - too much hardware - so I ordered one on line and had it sent to him. Jill decided she and Corey could be Jedi warriors and is actually going to use her sewing machine!!! to make costumes for herself and Corey . (Obi-Mom-Kanobe). My assignment was to make Irene's costume, Princess Leia of course! Star Wars patterns are out of print, although you can find vintage patterns on eBay, for a pretty price. So I decided to dig through my old stuff to see what I could find.
I had my own vintage stock, at least 30 years old, that I used to make a witch costume and even a Princess Leia costume for Jill when she was little.
This is how a purchased costume would look.
OK, I think I can replicate that.
I went on line to find instructions on adding a collar and a hood, and found these models.
I bought some polyester gabardine fabric that was heavy enough, drapes well, and was on sale and cheap. I bought enough to allow for a few oops if they happened. I engineered it in my head when I was supposed to be sleeping.
Then this week I finally tackled the project, and it went together quite well. And here is the finished product.
I boxed it up and shipped it to Colorado this morning.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Lacuna

It is with chagrin that I realize and admit how little history I know of North America during the first half of the 20th century. I was born in 1944, so I have very little personal recollection. Our high school history books didn't go that far, or else we never got to the final chapters. And so it was with great interest that I read The Lacuna, the latest novel by Barbara Kingsolver. I'm a Kingslover fan, having read most of her books, and I also enjoy historical fiction, which this is. Set in Mexico and the US from 1929 through the early 50's, it follows the life of a fictional boy/man born in the US to an American father and a Mexican mother. At the age of twelve Harrison Shepherd and his mother come to live in Mexico, where Harrison eventually becomes cook and sometime secretary/typist in the household of the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and who through them and their idealistic communism, meets and serves the exiled Lev Trotsky. - When Trotsky is murdered by Stalin's assassin, Shepherd, now a emotionally damaged young man, returned to the states, where he eventually settles in North Carolina and becomes a renowned writer of fiction set in ancient Mexico. - So now for history we have the depression era, the second world war, and the political turmoil of the communist witch hunt decade following the war, a time when art and artists came under scrutiny and were frequently destroyed by false charges of communist activity or leanings. - This book has been described as "provocative", "rich and daring", a treatise on politics and art. It is said to appeal to "lovers of language". The Seattle Times is quoted as saying "A sweeping mural of sensory delights and stimulating ideas...Readers will feel the sting of connection between then and now." - I found all of these claims to be true for me. The parallels between the anti-communism era and the politics of now are startling in their use of the power of fear driven politics. There is much food for thought. - And yet, as a lover of language, I reveled in the elegance of the words. Here is an example, in a letter from Shepherd to Frida: November 2, 1943 Dear Frida, A glittering shower falls at a slant across my window. Some form of god has come to visit our dark autumn tunnel, like Zeus making himself a beam of light to impregnate Danae. In this case, it is not really glittering light but beech leaves. You've never seen anything as dramatic as these American trees, dying their thousand deaths. The giant beech next door intends to shiver off every hair of its pelt. The world strips and goes naked, the full year of arboreal effort piling on sidewalks in flat, damp strata. The earth smells of smoke and rainstorms, calling everything to come back, lie down, submit to a quiet, moldy return to the cradle of origins. This is how we celebrate the Day of the Dead in America: by turning up our collars against the scent of earthworms calling us home. - The characters are richly described and well developed. Much of the drama of the setting is real, factual. And it all comes together in the hands of one endearing character we ladies of a certain age will appreciate and hope to emulate, the generous, courageous, and wise Violet Brown.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Puyallup Farmers Market

We've had and inch and a half of rain in the last day and a half, so we were joyous to see clearing skies this morning for our planned trip to the Puyallup Farmers Market.
Flowers were in abundance, as well as local produce.
I love the petunia baskets hanging from the pavilion.
We did buy two sticky buns, as well as a bunch of beets, and a few apples and pears.
Most of the tree fruits come from the east side of the state.
Local fall crop raspberries.
Somebody's tomatoes got ripe, but not ours.
After we got back home, I went out and picked my own flowers to make fresh bouquets for the house. Now the clouds have returned and more rain is in the forecast.
But we'll be in front of the TV. The Sounders are on the road in Columbus and the match starts in twenty minutes.