Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Finished Product

Busy hands = treats for loved ones...

Baby quilt for niece, Eliza's, first baby due next month!


baby sweater and hat for Maria Pineda's little girl, born last week. Maria is a Latino, whom I met while working at Shuksan Middle School. We share a birthday! Maria is a 2005 graduate from Sehome, but we keep in touch.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Necessity is the Mother of.......Weirdness

These are tough economic times! Budgets are being slashed across all spectrums of society. Our school district is no exception. In the past our library has been furnished with boxes of kleenex. At some point, every student on campus comes through here, and it's probably safe to say that about a third of them are sick with some virus or other at any given time. Kleenex is a necessity! But, it's a victim of the budget cuts, so it was up to me to come up with a solution.

Behold the Harry Potter Designer Tissue Box....Limited Editon, place your orders now!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Parents Weekend

A few weekends ago, the bearded one and I managed to grab a few days away from our respective jobs and we spent 4 days with Jess in and around Portland. We rarely have the option of taking time off from work that coincides, so this was special!

We started off Saturday with a memorable breakfast at The Original Pancake House. Think homemade hash and homemade everything else! Then it was on to many hours of browsing at Powell's Books and other venues downtown.

Sunday we worshipped with her at Imago Dei, a wonderful church which uses a beautiful old high school as its center. Roosevelt High was built in 1913 or thereabouts and it's still in excellent condition, complete with old-style auditorium.

We had the pleasure of listening to Pamela Reeve, who is 92 years young and still sharp as a tack. She was Dean of Women at Multnomah School of the Bible for 42 years! Her testimony read like my biography....God is so good! Afterwards we wandered around the eclectic Hawthorne neighborhood, checking out the import stores, wacky retro-60's stores and the great restaurants!

Monday we spent the whole day helping in Jess' class. It was wonderful to put real faces to the names we've been praying for since September!

Miss Whitaker says, "welcome to my class!"

Hard at work on the math quilts!

Teacher Wally working with a reading group!

Leaf Man!
Saying goodbye at the end of the day!

That night Jess and her roommate, Heather, made us a fabulous dinner and we played weird games with her buddies!

Stars among stars!

Cozy apartment!

All too soon it was time to head back to B'ham? :( Thanks, Jess, for such a special time!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It was foggy when I woke up this morning....I love fog. Well, I love it as long as I don't have to drive long distances in it or drive it in at night.
Fog changes the canvas of my world in such magical ways. Everything becomes muted, colors are softened, edges disappear, shadows are non-existent. It all becomes a dreamscape.

In the "olden days" Bellingham had a wonderful old foghorn mounted down at the harbor that would emit its deep bass tone to warn ships away from the jetties. I loved waking to that sound! I knew what it was going to look like outside even before I opened the curtains.

With the advent of the GPS, there is no longer the need for old technology and the foghorn no longer tolls its somber tune. I really miss it. At least the fog still rolls in.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

End of the Season

The rains have set in. We can't complain, it has been a glorious fall full of color and sun. I finally got around to taking some pics of one of my favorite stands of trees. They line Boulevard Drive, one of the main routes into and out of town from the south. They are some of the last trees to turn color in the fall and they are so dramatic. I don't think the pics do them justice. Their bark is quite dark and the leaves are golden. I wanted to get a shot of them with the bay in the background, because the contrast with the grey/blue water is beautiful, but in order to do that I would have to stand in the middle of the road and the stream of constant traffic makes that impossible.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day After the Day Before

I hear from every corner the statement, "well, now there will be healing." As far as I know there is only one recipe for healing:

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

Now that our state has passed an intiative allowing people to take their own lives, we have covered all our bases: we can kill them before they are born and we can kill them when they get too old. I don't think this is "healing".

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Gifts That Keep On Giving #1

A few years ago I was visiting Jess in Oregon and we spent an afternoon at Connie's home. Connie's family has basically "adopted" Jess. They take good care of her--lots of home-cooked meals! While I was visiting, Connie showed me her amazing quilting studio which was full of bolts and bolts and bolts of fabric...some of which was already quilted for a special project she and a friend were working on. I was ooohhhing and aaahhhing over one of the bolts of fabric, mentioning what a great vest it would make...I was already picturing it in my mind. Connie graciously cut off some yardage and gave it to me. And now the image in my mind is the image on the blog!
The fabric was prequilted and is a soft, suede-like material in a fawn color!

So, as if that weren't enough, today my friend Jill, from work, comes up to my office after her weekend in Port Orchard. I'm going to teach Jill how to knit and she decided to visit Debbie Macomber's new yarn store in PO. She brought me back treasures: one of Debbie's pattern books that ties into one of her novels and some gorgeous bamboo yarn from a woman who used to own a yarn store in B'ham and was selling her booty at the shop. Both the book and the yarn are signed by their cool is that?

Monday, November 3, 2008

End Of An Era?

When we first moved into our house on Vallette Street, Halloween was a huge event. Many of the houses on the 3-block stretch went all out with decorations. Our next door neighbor would spend a week before the 31st cleaning out his garage, covering all the walls with black plastic and setting up special lights and sound effects. It was one scary place. But to top it all off, on the appointed eve, he would sit out in his garage dressed as a scruffy "dummy". His mask was very detailed right down to the cigar stub hanging from his mouth. The bowl of candy was strategically placed on a table next to where he was sitting. Kids would enter the "cave" and just as they'd reach for the candy, he'd say "Hey, whattaya doin'?" Squeals of fright and laughter would ensue. His house was so popular that kids were "bussed" in to experience it, year after year. Even though they knew what was coming, they'd come back to do again and again!
As a result, our street had a carnival atmosphere. Large groups of kids and adults would be going house to house. We had such a great time seeing all the costumes and hearing about how scared they were by the neighbor! I'm guessing we'd have 150+ kids come by.

But last year an older "kid" decided to poke Russ with is sword and it took weeks for his face to heal, so that traditon is gone. This year we maybe had 20 kids come to our door. It seems that parents are afraid of neighborhoods--they all take their kids to the mall or to the stores downtown. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but this just does not seem like fun to me. I'm sorry that kids are not experiencing the fun of neighborhood trick or treating and I'm truly glad that Jess was born in the "good old days" when this practice was still considered safe.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

"Free Time"

It's been a month since we've had a Saturday to ourselves! This morning I'm up early, preparing a sumptuous breakfast of sausage, vegies and fried eggs. Along with that I will have some delicious "French pressed" style coffee made with the handy dandy Aero Press coffee making system given to me on my 60th birthday!

Whenever we are in the Portland area, Mauri and Sherry Macy graciously allow us to stay in their lovely home. Mauri is a consummate coffee geek who roasts and grinds his own beans and then makes these to-die-for coffee concoctions that spoil me for any other for weeks afterward. So imagine my delight when I received this Aero Press coffee press last May from Mauri and Sherry. Now I can enjoy the special treat of REAL coffee on Saturday mornings. It has become a ritual of sorts! After making a cup I settle in with the paper, my current book, and the classical music station and I'm good to go until the bearded one arises from slumber.