31 December 2007
25 December 2007
Eric is working today, and Finn has been asleep nearly all day, finally on his own, after eleven days sharing the canine spotlight with at least one other dog. So after a five-mile sunrise walk, I've been cleaning the house, restocking the fridge and writing thank you cards, while it snowed for several hours.
I hope you and your family are happy and warm this holiday season -- and my best wishes to you in the new year!
22 December 2007
Setting: the kitchen.
Person: Finn. Lucky. Maggie. Sit. Lucky. Maggie. Sit. Finn. Sit. Maggie. Sit. Lucky. Sit. Sit. Siiit. Finn. Maggie. Maggie. Maggie. Lucky. Sit. Sit. Finn. Sit. Maggie. Sit. Maggie. Lucky. Lucky. Sit. Finn. Sit. Finn. Finn. Lucky. Maggie. Sit. Siiit. No, I said Maggie. Maggie, Sit. Sit. Sit. Maggie. Finn. Lucky. Sit
Person: <groans> No!
Maggie, Lucky & Finn: Barkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbark
Person: Dogs! Dogs! Dogs! Maggie! Lucky! Finn! Maggie. Sit. Finn. Lucky. Maggie. Sit. Maggie. Maggie. Lucky. Sit.
20 December 2007
Family tradition is to have dungeoness crab for christmas dinner, after which we opened gifts and generally sat around, fat and happy.
We headed for the bay area on Tuesday so Zoe and her parents could catch the red-eye to Boston. But first, Eric and Finn and I headed uphill to catch some serious snow time... It was Finn's first time bounding through more than the occassional three inches we get in Seattle...
He loved it. Can you tell?
BlarneyYarn is the yarn shop of a friend of my sister's. She handdyed this yarn according to my sister's specificiations, just for me! And there's some roving (wool that's just waiting to become yarn) and a drop spindle -- the trials and tribulations of my learning how to use it will no doubt provide much blog fodder. I can't wait!
09 December 2007
But since you can't just work on a term paper all weekend, I finished this scarf yesterday....
And not a moment too soon, because it is going to be chilly today!
And as is usual for this time of year, the crafting table is a pig sty....
04 December 2007
03 December 2007
I am always torn on what to do when I end up at home due to weather conditions (snow , ice and and wind storms in both Portland and Seattle). I didn't have time to prepare any work to bring home, which would have been my normal plan, so here I am, lunched (on the aforementioned leftover stuffing) and with a mug of tea, tempted to curl up with a book or some knitting.... but my term paper isn't exactly writing itself, either.
totem lake area near kirkland, no photo credit, collected from nwcn.com
woodinville flooding, photo by Bob Brothers, collected from nwcn.com
ps: what did I end up doing with my free afternoon? I fell into a vortex of unlabelled photos on my computer. they're all labelled now, though not any more organized. I thought I'd been at it for just 30 minutes or so when Eric came home...
02 December 2007
I'm not nearly as sad as the song implies -- I just thought it was fitting since it has been raining and snowing all weekend (we saw about three inches at our house yesterday), and Eric did work all weekend, so I really didn't see him much.
But I made the most of it. On Saturday, I worked on some tiny pants for tiny people, and when I realized that I had screwed one one pair up royally, I decided to remove myself from the vicinity of the sewing machine and the window it sits next to and hole up in the library for awhile to work on my term paper (whose deadline was generously postponed by a week).
Between the library and going home to get ready for the events of the next paragraph, I stopped at the fabric store for some braided elastic. The fabric store is located in a local strip mall in a busy retail district. The strip mall building is two stories, with stores on both stories. As I was walking up to the doors of the fabric store, I was hit by a snowball thrown from the second story, square on my uncovered neck. Very annoyed and quite ticked off, I cursed under my breath, and quickly resolved to not give any acknowledgement at all. I figured it was some pre-teen or teen aged kid, either seeking, or at least expecting, some sort of response, and I'll be damned if they were going to get that from me. I warned a couple of shoppers inside the store of the overhead pest as I scooped slushy snow out of my collar. Not horribly upset, I was nonetheless cheered when I crossed paths with a friend from work before I left the store.
Come evening, it was time to go see Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe (often called the Canadian Prairie Home Companion [but better, in my opinion]). I met Eric downtown in the freezing slushy dark (they opened they show: "well, this is the type of weather you get when a bunch of Canadians come into town!"). The music was fine (especially the piano solo--the type where an extremely talented pianist blends about thirty well-known pieces into a ten minute frenetic piece. I love those), but for me, the Vinyl Cafe has always been about the story telling, and Mr McLean did not disappoint! He's a bit jumpier than I had imagined though....
Sunday was largely a repeat of Saturday (working on those same tiny pants, except here all the work was to be done with the seam ripper instead of the sewing machine. I settled onto the couch with my book on CD from the library (Atonement by Ian McEwan) and my coffee. Seems ripped, but not wanting to stop listening to the CD, I got started on the Winter Solstice cards. I got the prototype finalized and got some of the pieces put together before I was distracted into making other sorts of cards (sympathy, birthday, thank yous and blank notecards). During that activity, I concluded that I am going to hang up card making. I have been considering this for years -- between jewelry making (beading and metalwork), quilting/sewing and knitting, and oh yeah, non-craft activities, cardmaking might just be one too many hobbies. For about a year, I have planned to dedicate a weekend to a massive card making marathon, using up all of the supplies I already have, developing a huge backlog of cards, and then finding a good home for the remaining supplies (rubber stamps, mostly, but also papers, stamp pads, an embossing tool, scissors, and various ephemera). I still think that would be a grand idea, but in one year, I haven't found one weekend in which to actually do it, so I am beginning to wonder if it wouldn't be better to just hand all the stuff over to someone else now and be done with it? Anyone need a shoebox full of rubber stamps?
The other thing of note that I did today was that I cooked a pared down Thanksgiving dinner on a whim. Delicious as our Thanksgiving dinner was, I know Eric loves the traditional turkey, dressing, cranberry relish, potatoes, green beans and pumkin pie dinner. Though I'd gone to the store for only a few things, I left with the makings for a two-person feast. I substituted cornish game hens for an actual turkey, made Grand Central Bakery dressing, cranberry relish with orange, green beans almondine and two pumpkin pies. We will not discuss how I was a little miffed when Eric came home, immediately praised how good the house smelled (I had told him that I was making him a special dinner), and upon being introduced to each of the dishes, asked "where are the mashed potatoes?" Besides, it was all quite good, and for once in Thanksgiving dinner history, there is leftover dressing instead of leftover white meat, which is a much preferable situation in my book.
28 November 2007
I made a little something for Zoe, but incase she's perusing the blog, I have to just give a hint...
I agonized a little over making Winter Solstice cards this year, what with the "waste" of paper and all, but I decided to go for it anyway. Recycle your cards, everyone!
I got two more huge log cabin blocks done...
and I've finally found some fabric for the artsy quilt, which I also now have a plan for...
22 November 2007
Eric and I had thanksgiving dinner at the Spiral Farm with Frank heading up the cooking with a menu of Indian food, and Matte deep frying a farm raised turkey. Company was enjoyed, nearly full moon on a cloudless evening was admired and we went home stuffed and happy.
two pages of Indian recipies!
and by the time we headed home, it was pretty chilly out....
18 November 2007
17 November 2007
14 November 2007
11 November 2007
All of this raises the question: am I absolutely certain that socks can't be quilted?
After a beautiful flight (see Mt Rainier and Lake Shasta, below), I arrived in Irvine for a quickie at the office this week. They never have to ask me twice, since Zoe lives right down the street.
mount rainier, from my window view....
lake shasta, though I tell you that the colors were much more vibrant to my eye...
Emily and I had a lovely afternoon, dining on lox on bagels on the patio (overcast, but warm enough for short sleeves) and then a walk through the Irvine Regional Park (note: the zoo closes at 3:45 every day). Zoe walked and walked (with help). Back at their house, I made a little movie of her walking (and through my cinematographic genius, the subplot is revealed as Lucky the dog yawns)....
I love visiting these guys. After Zoe finishes cleaning the floor and retires, Miles and Emily and I have wine and Thai food and intelligently silly conversations.
06 November 2007
nevermind that it has no clasp yet -- it (a silver square toggle clasp) is coming.
(natural light on a rainy day makes for a cloudy photo, but I think you get the idea)
31 October 2007
Well, even with EEO policies, she'd probably have to do something about that green skin -- turns out those tanning bed shops you see in every strip mall do wonders on green skin. Also, she'd need a sleek new wardrobe -- no more tatty robes or striped stockings. And the hat and wild hair would have to go. Trade in the broom stick for a carpool, and voila! The Corporate Witch!
Corporate Executive Witch
Toyle & Truble and Associates
24 October 2007
Thanks to Christine, for the inspiration for this post!
Huge Log Cabin blocks go together fast, but also get left alone quite a bit, so not lots of progress there, but I should still be able to present it by the holidays (assuming I can find a longarm quilter who’s available—hmmm, better start making some phone calls).
After work on Monday, I joined some of the office folks for drinks and dinner, both at a couple of very fine places, including the Langham Boston Hotel which used to be the Federal Reserve Bank, built in 1922 . Very posh.
Over five hours, the longest conversation that didn’t have to do with work was a four minute discourse about cats. It was as if these folks didn’t realize it was Monday and that we’d be right back at the office the next day.
And my airplane karma seems to have come to an end. My boss and sponsor of my Boston trip (being a jewel-encrusted-frequent-first-class-flier herself) had given me a free upgrade coupon before we left Seattle. Since I had already checked in for the outbound flight, when she gave it to me, I called the airline and requested the upgrade for the return trip. No sweat, they told me, there’s availability and you’re in. Just bring that coupon with you. But this morning while I was packing, I called to double check and they said no, the first class section on this flight has been booked since the beginning of time, and my name wasn’t on the guest list. I had held out a little hope that the woman on the phone had made a mistake or that the middle-aged man in the grey suit would be caught in traffic and miss the flight. But alas, I’m writing this among the hoi polloi in coach. I guess that’s really why I got the first class upgrade on Saturday—they just never bothered to collect the coupon.
We walked and walked and walked on Sunday. Beautiful weather again, we headed into Boston again for historic sightseeing, shopping and eating. We started off with a stop in Cambridge to visit America’s oldest university, Harvard. I had hoped to feel smarter just by walking around, but it didn’t work. We then headed over to the Head of the Charles Regatta to watch the lean rowers zip through the water.
Head of the Charles Regatta....
Then into Boston where we walked through Boston Common and Boston Public Garden before reaching the beginning of the Freedom Trail, an interpretive trail that highlights the historic points of Boston. For about $30, you can have a guy in a three-cornered hat, coattails and buckle shoes guide you (and 40 of your closest friends) while he plays his tin whistle and yells “Oy-yay, oy-yay, oy-yay!” We skipped that but we saw Nathaniel Hall, Boston’s Civil War Memorial, Paul Revere’s house, Old South Church (where Benjamin Franklin was baptized. We also saw the Old North Church (say it with me—one if by land, and two if by sea…). There are statues of dead patriots everywhere you turn, as well as two graveyards full of the dead patriots themselves. On our way to dinner, we passed the harbor, site of the Boston Tea Party.
The famous steeple of the Old North Church....
Karen and I (with a pair of swans) at Boston Public Garden...
When we weren’t walking, we were eating. Crepes for breakfast, tea and scones around noon, tapas to die for around three, and dinner at a fabulous Italian restaurant in North End at six. We dined with Karen’s boyfriend Mike, who is a fanatical and superstitious Red Sox fan (this is not an exceptional distinction in Boston, mind you), and who insisted on getting back to his apartment to watch the game from a certain spot on the couch, while wearing the same clothes he wore the previous day, which included a specific sock that bore red magic marker meant to emulate Curt Schilling’s blood. To quote Crash Davis in Bull Durham, you never fuck with a winning streak.
sangria and tapas for lunch!
She drove us back to her place in Somerville so I could freshen up before we headed out for dinner. We ate at an Indian restaurant in Davis Square, the quaint, casual commercial area near Karen’s place. It was warm and there was excitement in the air—the Boston Red Sox were about to start playing Game 6 of the ALCS at Fenway Park. I happened to be wearing a red shirt and felt rather in the spirit myself. After dinner, we headed into Boston for a wander and a beer at Union Oyster House (est. 1826). We watched the end of the game there and then called it a night.
22 October 2007
I checked into my flight online about 23 hours and 57 minutes before my flight was scheduled to depart. Printed my boarding pass and considered myself good to go.
Next morning, Eric drove me to the airport and I checked my bag. The woman at the ticket counter gave me a new boarding pass, but it was so darn early, I didn’t think anything of it except to check the gate number. Passed through security, found coffee, found a bagel, and parked it on a bench at the gate. I was waiting patiently to board the plane – after the super-elite-platinum-jewel-encrusted-frequent-fliers – and to double check my assigned coach-class row (which I thought was either 12 or 17), only to look – really look – at my newly issued boarding pass and to find that it read “Seat 1C”. Wait. Isn’t that first class?
Perplexed, I walked over to the podium, pointed at my seat assignment and mumbled something about having a new boarding pass, and the gate attendant said "oh! you're in first class -- right this way!". Once seated, I hesitated to buckle my seatbelt, convinced that there had been a mistake and that a man in a grey suit with greying temples was going to approach me and inform me that I was sitting in his seat. When they closed the door, I knew I was stuck. I had a choice of breakfast entrées (I had the Quiche Lorraine), and a flight attendant asking me she could get me a beverage upon takeoff. I blinked at her and quietly said “orange juice?” Seated in the very first row, I had a good view of the galley, and all of the alcohol that was served to the other first class folks – good lord, those people drank a lot, given that it was 9am!
The plane taxied out to the tarmac, and sat for a bit before the captain came over the PA system and informed us that a light had come on in the cockpit that shouldn’t be on, and that they had to get it checked out before we could take off. The passengers groaned collectively while I wondered why they couldn’t just put a piece of electrical tape over the light like the rest of us do in our cars. In the end, we left Seattle over an hour late, but arrived in Boston only 20 minutes behind schedule.
18 October 2007
14 October 2007
And now, introducing.... Eric's WIP! He's building a headboard for our bed...
Finn let his good buddy Micky have a shot at the tennis ball too...
I just love this pic -- "hi mom!"