Monday, June 29, 2009

Breaking News!

A serial killer, or two, has been discovered in our quaint little seaside community and RNYN8T News was the first on the scene with breaking news this afternoon. From what we have been told by the authorities, it seems that a body or two has been found around a home on the hill daily. Yes, you heard that correctly - daily. It seems that the homeowners did not find this unusual and have only today decided that maybe something should be done and the authorities alerted. With this many deaths, the crime labs believe that they are looking for two subjects. One of the killers wears a black tuxedo and the other has long orange hair.

The first tragic victim of these ruthless killers was found on the front walk of a very pleasant home on Nice Avenue this afternoon. The crime fighters have placed this paper model here so that they can continue to study the crime scene. Those feathers you see are the real thing and may not be appropriate for all viewers. The victim was one Mr. Robert Blue. His family has asked that we respect their privacy in the coming days.

And in the backyard of this once peaceful home, a chalk mark mars the patio in the exact spot where a second body was discovered earlier this evening. The name of this second victim is being withheld, pending the notification of family.

Detectives believe that this birdfeeder belongs to the killer. They believe that it was set in this park-like setting in order for our feathered friends to feast calmly and happily, while unknowingly being lured to a tragic end.

THIS JUST IN! Boots Randolph FitzSimmons was captured this afternoon. After extensive questioning by detectives he has been charged with first degree murder and remains behind bars while awaiting trial. An incredibly quick job by our local law enforcement.

A second subject, a Mr. Thomas O'Malley, thought to be of Irish descent, remains at large. He is considered clawed and dangerous. If you see this individual, please call CrimeStoppers immediately.

This has been a special broadcast of Rainy Night News. We now return to your regularly scheduled program.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A year after deciding that I could, quite possibly, make myself a blouse and purchasing the pattern, it has finally come to fruition. Yes, I did it and no, it was not hard at all. Yeah Me! My very first sewn clothing item that can be worn in public - wahoo! I don't know why I put it off so long, thinking that it would be "sew" hard and I couldn't possibly make it turn out right. I did and it actually fits really nice, have already worn it to work. No one could be more surprised than I am. And delighted.
Chatting with my sister this morning, we were chuckling about the fact that we want to try it all (and have for the most part) - knitting, sewing, crocheting, painting, quilting, photography, cross-stitch. You name it, we've dabbled in it. Which means that we, especially me, can do a bit of it all but excel at none of it. But that's okay because it all makes us happy.
How about you? Are you a dabbler or a master?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Here's My Sign

Remember Bill Engvall's Here's Your Sign comedy routine for people doing and saying really stupid things? Well, last week I handed myself the stupid sign. I participated in two, (yes, count them. TWO!), 4th of July swaps. I wasn't going to do it, but I love 4th of July decorations and they aren't the easiest things to find, so I caved into the pressure in my own mind and signed up for both of these swaps. One was hosted by Mommy Holly and the other by none other than the Sweet Goodness Girls. One of the requirements for the Very Vintage Red, White and Blue swap was to send your goodies in a decorated red, white and blue box. Now how fun is it to get a decorated box on your steps? The box in the picture above is the one that I sent to my partner Katie. I decorated that box, put my swap goodies inside and taped it up to within an inch of it's life. There's no getting into that box without ruining the paper on the top. I was sitting on the floor in my craft room while doing this and after securing the last piece of tape, I stood up. Mercy Me! What the heck is that "America" banner, the one that I made for Katie, still doing hanging on the wall above my bookcase???? Holy Crap (or a few other choice words) came flying out of my mouth. I wasn't about to re-do that box, so I popped the banner into a manila envelope and Katie received two packages from me. One decorated - One not. Here's my sign...

This is the package that I received yesterday from Amy of Flamingos and Flip-Flops. Great, fun stuff! She embellished those flip-flops with red, white and blue ribbons and buttons. I can't wait to slip my toes into them, but am saving them for the 4th so that I don't get them all dirty before then. I know myself to well! There's some patriotic stars, a little wooden sign, a flag magnet, cupcake papers and sprinkles, paper plates and napkins and the most wonderful tin red and blue spoons. I love those spoons! Thank you, Amy, for a great package!

Here are the 4th of July banners that I made for these two swaps. The infamous-missed-getting-in-the-package banner is the "America" banner that went to Katie, Amy received the "Freedom" banner and I kept the "Liberty" one for myself. It's hanging across my craft room window and I really like it there. Shilo wants a "Freedom" one, so I'd better get cracking and get that one out before next week.

Katie has a brand-new baby and things are a bit hectic at her house, so I haven't yet received my package from her. I'm amazed that she's even participating and I know that she's got it under way. Don't worry, Katie. Take care of that baby and I'll be happy to get your goodies whenever they arrive!

Hope you all are having a bit of patriotic creating going on at your houses these days! If you're sending a package to someone, please remember to put the fun stuff IN the package before taping it up. Works better that way...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Playing at the Beach

My Dad and Sharon came over this week for a quick visit in-between Sharon's appointments at OHSU in Portland. She had a knee-replacement surgery about six months ago, the original surgeon ignoring the fact that she is allergic to metal. He said "No problem. Titanium is hyper-allergenic" and went ahead with the surgery without running any further tests. Well, she's having nothing but problems so there's a bunch of testing going on to make sure that it's because of the metal (they're 99.9% sure that it is) before removing the knee. Anyway, they came to visit and I took an impromptu day off of work to enjoy the sun with them. The sun decided to go away about 9 am but we meandered to the beach anyway. Here's a few of the sights we encountered along the way.

Mrs. Raccoon was wet from fishing in-between the big boulders that helps the Columbia River funnel into the Pacific Ocean. She came out to glare at me, "What you looking at?", before heading back into the rocks for more seafood. Sharon kept trying to find her again but had no luck.

Lots of pictures were taken of wildflowers at the beach.

Sharon and I got a little carried away - ended up taking pictures of each other taking pictures. Silly girls!

My Dad standing on the beach at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Coming back into town, we saw a cruise ship coming up the Columbia river. Today's ship was a Carnival Splendor, so we decided to go down to the port and watch them dock.

Watching the crew on board toss the ropes over to the guys on the docks was pretty interesting and fun. A rope's not the easiest thing to throw, it kind of uncoils and falls short of it's mark pretty often. They did finally get it and wrap those big ropes around the yellow anchors on the dock in about four different places. Interesting.
We then wandered home for naps before a dinner of burnt pork chops (so maybe I had the grill a little too hot.), baked potato's and grilled asparagus. It was a fun day at the beach and I'm so glad they came to visit.

May you all be blessed with an impromptu day off and family to share it with...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Stills - Grain Elevator

This weeks Sunday Stills Challenge was actually supposed to be either water towers or silo's. Here in Astoria we have one water tower and it's brand new and boring with power lines going in every which direction. I couldn't get even a decent shot of it, not that there's much to admire. It does sit on the same spot of our old water tower that was used in the scene from Kindergarten Cop where the little boy climbed the water tower towards the end of the movie, but that tower was torn down a couple of years ago and this new one put up. Anyway, after all that rambling on, I'm not even showing a picture of it. What you see is the PGG grain elevator that's in my little hometown of Elgin, Oregon. Elgin is a little tiny farming and logging community in the Blue Mountains of Oregon. I love this grain elevator because it signifies home to me. No matter how long I've been gone, this little town will always be home to me. It's in my heart.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Deadliest Crab

OH MY GOODNESS!! I keep finding these cute cute fun knits and work is getting in the way of my playing with yarn. This guy is in the summer edition of Knitty and is just to cute. Since we live on the coast and I work in the marine industry where we service a couple of the Deadliest Catch crews, I have no choice but to make Mr. Crab. You can too, just pop over to Knitty and download the program. It's a free pattern by designer Amber Allison. Thanks Amber, bunches!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mr. Abominable

My sister, Susan, pointed out the pattern for Mr. Abominable to me, feeding my etsy pattern fetish. She found him at caffaknitted's etsy shop and as soon as I saw him I knew he was going to be mine. I haven't been knitting lately and my fingers have been itching to play with some yarn and sticks. Mr. Grouchy-Man-Snowman is the perfect guy to get me stitching this summer. I stopped at Custom Threads in downtown Astoria this afternoon, picked up some white Cascade 220 and some peach colored Plymouth. Now just waiting for that beautiful white mohair that's hand dyed and spun and coming from this etsy shop. Hurry you beautiful yarn, hurry. I can hardly wait....

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday Stills - Silhouettes

This weeks Sunday Stills challenge was silhouette's and what a challenge it was. There was no bright sunlight to be found this week in our neck of the woods, at least on my moments off of work, so I've dug into my archives to find some oldies to share this week.

The top picture of the ship was taken last fall on the close of a fun day that Riff and I has spent exploring the Washington side of our Columbia River country. We had found a little dirt road that paralleled the river right at sunset. Beautiful sights on a road that we had not known existed.

Picture number two was taken just a couple of weeks ago on a walk at the beach. Riff and Blackie were romping in the surf. I like the reflections in this one.

The silhouette of the little doe was taken a year or so ago, on the road that leads to the Astoria column. It was dusk and she just seemed to pop against the blue of the evening sky.

Hope you all had a good week with beautiful shots.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Small Harvests

The first harvest of the year was pulled from my small garden last weekend. Beautiful deep red radishes adorned our evening salad, the white zesty crunchiness tantalizing the senses.

Are you growing a garden this year? Ours is small, the radishes almost finished, lettuce coming to fruition, Walla Walla sweet onions growing beside green onions, pea's climbing small stakes and herbs scenting the air around them.

When we were growing up, we had a large garden. Dad was the gardener and he would section off pieces of the garden for each of us kids where we would be able to plant anything of our choosing. I'm sure our spots weren't that big, but to me they seemed huge. Like I could plant and grow to my hearts content. I remember choosing corn, potatoes and pumpkins, which were grown from seeds. What a thrill it was to mound that dirt up, building the hill to plant those large cream-colored pumpkin seeds in and happy happy day when the first green tendril of vine pushed it's way through the rich brown dirt to worship the summer sun.

I am still that little girl, spending time each day bent over my little herb garden and flower beds, willing the seedlings to emerge from their earthly beds. Sweet sweet summertime!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Glass Castle

It's time for Turn the Page Tuesday hosted by Adrienne over at Some of a Kind. I've read several good books this month so it was kind of hard to choose, but The Glass Castle really stuck with me.

'I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a dumpster. It was just after dark. A blustery March wind whipped the steam coming out of the manholes, and people hurried along the sidewalks with their collars turned up. I was stuck in traffic two blocks from the party where I was heading.
Mom stood fifteen feet away. She had tied rags around her shoulders to keep out the spring chill and was picking through the trash while her dog, a black-and-white terrier mix, played at her feet. Mom's gestures were all familiar - the way she tilted her head and thrust out her lower lip when studying items of potential value that she'd hoisted out of the dumpster, the way her eyes widened with childish glee when she found something she liked. Her long hair was streaked with gray, tangled and matted, and her eyes had sunk deep into their sockets, but still she reminded me of the mom she'd been when I was a kid, swan-diving off cliffs and painting in the desert and reading Shakespeare aloud. Her cheekbones were still high and strong, but the skin was parched and ruddy from all those winters and summers exposed to the elements. To the people walking by, she probably looked like any of the thousands of homeless people in New York City.'

The Glass Castle is a memoir written by Jeannette Walls about her strange and dysfunctional, yet somewhat happy childhood. I really enjoyed this book, at times intrigued and other times disgusted by Jeannette's parents. She has written her story through the eyes of herself as a child and is a wonderful story teller. Jeannette's Dad is brilliant, teaching the kids physics and geology while they travel around, never living very long in any one place. I would describe their Mom as a hippie-type, never content to settle in any one place either, hating housework and responsibility, and completely embracing her artistic self. She gives the kids her love of reading, teaches them to paint in the desert and to be creative. She doesn't care if they attend school, it's much more fun and rewarding to wander outside at will all day. Dad has a drinking problem and becomes violent when he drinks. One of Jeannette's earliest memories is of her dad trying to run her mom down with the car late at night in the desert. The kids learn, at an early age, to take care of themselves and each other, that they are really all they've got to lean on. As teenagers, they rise above the poverty they were raised in, bettering their lives as they get older, while their parents choose to become homeless as the kids grow-up.

This is an incredible story, written very well. I'm sure that I'll read this one again someday so it's staying on my shelf.

Head on over to Some of a Kind for more Turn the Page Tuesday reviews. Happy Reading!