30 June 2007


I've been too busy to blog much, but here are some of the fun things we've done in the last few days:
  • Visited Close Knit, a fantastic yarn store. It's not huge, but it's completely packed with yarn, and all the yarn is wonderful. They carry a lot of brands I rarely see, and even some that were new to me. The owner is really friendly and helpful. While we there, some vendors were there, and they and the owner had a long discussion about sustainability and happy sheep, but the owner never overlooked her customers.
  • Visited Bolt, which is next door to Close Knit. Bolt carries a great selection of fabrics.
  • Visited Body Worlds 3 at OMSI. It was very, very cool. Even Thing 1 announced that it was "more interesting than gross."
  • Visited the Stash Tea store, in which I bought lots of tea and a nifty Chinese-style tea thermos/strainer. It has a hologram in the lid and part of the procceds go to a tiger sanctuary in India.
  • Visited Council Crest, the highest point in Portland's West Hills. There were too many clouds to see the mountains, but there was still a good view. I hadn't been up there since I was in college.
  • Went to Jimmy Mak's and saw a band called Rocktet perform. The food was great and the band was fun. They did jazz versions of songs by Blondie, Led Zeppelin, and Stone Temple Pilots, as well as some songs of their own.
  • Went to Enchanted Forest. We went there last year and the kids enjoyed it, so we had a repeat visit. This time, my BIL accompanied us, which was great, because he went on all the rides with the Things.
  • Finished a knitted felted bowl with a yin-yang design. I'll post a picture after I get home, which is tomorrow evening!

25 June 2007


So where did I go yesterday that was better than doughnuts? Better than naughty doughnuts? Black Sheep Gathering, which was held in Eugene last weekend. I came away with several skeins of yarn, a hankering to learn to spin, and a long mental list of all the kinds of sheep Knatolee needs to get for her new farm. Shetlands are petite and come in lots of colors and have really sweet faces, Navajo-Churros have nifty horns and also come in many colors, Ramboullets are big with soft soft noses, and of course Merinos have such lovely fleece. Then there are the goats--and I actually prefer goats to sheep, personality-wise--the cashmeres and the angoras and the pygoras. Knatolee, you need some of each!

Today we went to the Oregon Zoo, which is a really nice one. We spent about 3 hours there but didn't see everything because Thing2 got cranky and had a meltdown over pretty much nothing. So we left. The whole way to the car, she was crying piteously, "Mommy! I'm sorry! I promise I'll be good! I don't want to leave. I'm sad!!" I am a mean, mean Mommy.

23 June 2007

Mmmm, doughnuts.

So yesterday morning I made a stop at Voodoo Doughnut. I bought a dozen of whatever the girl decided to throw into the box. Some were just the usual flavors--maple bars, a humungo apple fritter, etc.--although they were very tasty specimens. And some were unusual. One had mini M&Ms (T2 pronounced that one a success) and one had crumbled Oreos (also a success, says T1). One had a fruit filling of some kind and Tang powder on top (it tasted better than it sounds). My favorite had peanut butter and chocolate frosting, plus rice krispies on top. Mmmm. We didn't get any of the really exotic flavors, though, which is maybe just as well.

Tomorrow we have something special planned. I hope the weather cooperates. Details later....

21 June 2007


We're having a great time in Portland, where even the weather has been cooperative so far. We've visited 2 of my favorite yarn stores--Knit Purl and Yarn Garden. We tried to visit a third, but it was closed that day, so we'll have to try again later. Knit Purl is just a couple blocks from a wonderful new store called Cacao. Cacao has over 200 expensive chocolate bars in every imaginable flavor (I cam home with, among others, an earl grey bar and one with curry and coconut) as well as hot and cold drinking cholcolates. The owner was very nice, and clearly passionate and knowledgable about chocolate. Powell's Books--aka Booklover's Mecca--is also only a couple blocks away, making these this about my favorite 4 square blocks on the planet.

Thing 1 has been attending camp this week. Most days they're just doing day trips, but last night they did a sleepover at the coast. She went whale watching and tidepooling and caught crabs and made s'mores, but when I asked her what her favorite part was, she answered, "When I saw a squirrel!"

Thing 2, meanwhile, has been going shopping with us. The other day, T2, me, my Mom, and my sister were in a great store called Collage. My sister had wandered to the other end of the (small) store when T2 said, "Oh no! We lost one!" I asked her what we'd lost and she said, "The other one!" I asked, "The other what?" and she replied, "The other grownup!" She was very relieved to find her aunt a few moments later.

16 June 2007

The Internet says it, so it must be true...

According, to PersonalDNA, I am....

My personalDNA Report

I should make sure to notify my family, the members of the department I chair, and the world at large.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Hah! Did I just stick a John Denver song in your head?? [insert evil laugh here]

Anyway, in the morning the Things and I are off for 2 weeks visiting my family in Oregon. Hubby will be holding down the fort (and, I hope, finishing some of the things on his to-do list) while we're gone. I can blog from there, but my camera doesn't speak to my Dad's computer, so probably there will be no pictures until I get back.

Thing 1 will be attending a day camp one of the weeks, which will even include one overnight camp-out. They allow adults to chaperone, but, aside from the fact that I'll have T2 to deal with, I think a camping trip with a bunch of 7-year-olds sounds like one of the levels of Hell. Dante could've written a whole book on that one, I bet.

Incidentally, if you click here, you can see the official whale/dolphin tally from our trip last week. Look at 6/9 am. And if you compare it to other days, you can see the naturalist on-board wasn't lying when she said we'd had a good morning. Puking aside, of course. And no, I have no idea how they figure out how many dolphins there were. I just know they seemed to be everywhere around us.

15 June 2007

Thing 1, Photographer

I bought Thing 1 a really cheapy kids' digital camera for her upcoming camp experience. She was playing around with it and took this picture, which I think turned out cool.

14 June 2007

Old pictures

In lieu of any finished knitting project to show, Knatolee has inspired me to post some old pictures. Here's me in 1971, at the same age Thing 2 is now:

Note the plastic barrette in my hair. I once had a traumatic bunkbed-related incident involving those plastic barrettes. Now, here's me at about Thing 1's age:

There's so much going on in this picture to love. There's the peace symbol, of course (it was 1974). There are the lovely 1970's curtains and the mustardy wall color. There's my outfit, which was not a school uniform, but did involve a tie. And there's the spotted lump in the background, which was Otis, who appears to have been supervising some cookie-making.

In the next picture I'm 16 and have just started my first real job:

I can still remember how the smell of grease clung to that lovely, scratchy polyester.

And finally, not to hog the limelight, here's Hubby, circa 1973:

Does that kid look like the bane of any 3rd grade teacher or what?

And any family members who may be reading this entry: I am now accepting cash in order to keep me from posting your old pictures, too!

12 June 2007


Today is Hubby's and my 19th wedding anniversary. That number just amazes me. Obviously, we got married when I was 3.

In reality, we started dating even longer ago than 19 years, when I was just 15. I remember talking to him on the phone the evening we met, and he was already planning our summer together (this was in January). I was thinking, "Yeah, right, as if we'll be dating then." Who knew??

We had a nice dinner at a local Japanese restaurant. The Things accompanied us, so it wasn't especially romantic. Unless your idea of romance is overseeing chopstick wars and arguments over shrimp tempura, or watching a 4-year-old discover pickled ginger (she liked it!) and a 7-year-old try wasabi (she did not like it). But it was fun anyway.

10 June 2007

Whale weekend

My friends and I had a wonderful, relaxing weekend. We ate, talked, napped, and walked on the beach. Asilomar is just lovely. Here are a few pictures from the grounds: the grounds as viewed from the beach across the street, one of the buildings designed by Julia Morgan, and a dune flower of some sort.

On Saturday we went whale watching. Despite pretty calm waters and wristbands and non-drowsy Dramamine (which did make me drowsy) I got seasick. But it was worth it anyway. We saw sea lions and otters and many types of birds (I missed seeing the puffins, though--too sick to make it to that side of the boat). Here are some of the sea lions and cormorants as we left Monterey harbor.

Then, of course, there were the whales. We saw maybe a dozen or so humpbacks, which are darn impressive creatures. Some of them came quite close to the boat. We got to watch them lunge-feeding and engaging in other interesting sorts of whalish behaviors. Did you know that a diving humpback leaves a distinctive round flukeprint on the surface of the water? I didn't. Here's one of the whales demonstrating how they got their name.

Despite how excited we were over the whales, the real highpoint for me was the dolphins. We saw dozens, maybe a hundred or more of them. They swarmed around and under the boat, riding the bow and the wake. Some of them were nearly within arm's reach. There were three species, too: Pacific White-Sided, Risso's, and Northern Right Whale. I adore dolphins, and it was so cool to be so close to so many of them, especially since they'd chosen to come play with us. It was well worth the puking.

Back at Asilomar, we lounged and walked some more. Both evenings, a raccoon attempted to join us in our room, and a scrub jay kept hopping over to me while I was reading. Here's that jay and last night's glorious sunset.

07 June 2007


I'm off for a girls' getaway with some friends. We're going here and here. And eating and talking and lazing around at the beach. Yay!

05 June 2007

Teeth and stuff

Thing 1 lost another tooth today. At least this time I persuaded her to let me pry it out with an ice chip. The Tooth Fairy is going broke, though. Especially since someone showed T1 an article about how the average TF amount is over $2, and T1 only gets $2. She's writing a letter to the TF as we speak.

Fun links:

Top 10 Geekiest Yarn Creations on the Web
Teeny tiny knitted things
Knitted food
Knitted shrunken head
Knitted, umm...well...check for yourself

04 June 2007

One more post for today...

Early this evening, a gaggle of small neighborhood boys turned up at my front door, hoping to borrow an air bb gun. It'll be a cold day in hell before I arm the Things with projectile weapons (one of them injured the other this afternoon with a chair, for goodness sake), so I told the boys sorry, we don't have one. The sweet 5-year-old who lives next door answered, "Oh, that's okay. You have enough stuff." :-)

Speaking of swaps...

I was Eve's spoiler for Secret Pal 9, and then, because she lives in Switzerland and she's a wonderful person, she sent me some Saint postcards, a Saint calendar, and a really cute knitting needle case. So we decided to do a swap, and today I received my package from her!

Sorry for the cruddy picture. Hubby has absconded to Las Vegas with the camera, so all I have is my camera phone. There are 3 balls of sock yarn, cute fabrics, lots and lots of candies, postcards, a very pretty pincushion, and a genuine Swiss Saint Bernard. Thank you, Eve!! Eve's package will be on its way to her shortly; I'm awaiting a shipment first from (hint! hint!) Reprodepot.

Swap for a Cause

So if you've been reading my blog for a while you know I've been swapping--through GYS, postcrossing, and Swap-Bot. But, much as I love getting mail, someone is hosting a swap on Swap-Bot that that has an even better result. Check out Swap a Goat. And sign up before the June 8 deadline!

02 June 2007

Experiments in Self-Dentistry

Last night Thing 1 got to stay up late. Shortly after I sent her upstairs to bed, about 9:30, we heard a bunch of running going on up there, accompanied by a couple of screeches. As Hubby went to inviestigate, T1 came running down the stairs, blood dripping out of her mouth. She was squealing and jumping around, all while shouting unintelligibly. She was like the star of a bad horror movie. We realized the problem was probably not zombieism, but rather a very loose tooth she'd been sporting. Hubby and my Mom ushered her to the bathroom to rinse her mouth while I went to get a piece of ice to pry out the tooth. But by the time I got the ice, the tooth had fallen out already.

Once most of the blood was gone and T1 felt capable of normal speech, she informed us that the tooth had been bothering her so she'd punched herself in the mouth.

This is why many parents age prematurely.


Today was graduation. Despite the fact that it requires me to get up at 6am on a Saturday, and I have to wear the dorky robe and funny hat, I like graduation. It gives me a chance to share a moment of joy with my students. Most of them are the first in their families to graduate from college, and it's wonderful to see the pride in themselves and their families.

Unfortunately, this year's speaker (the CEO of a large media conglomorate) used the opportunity to proselytize Christianity--not cool for a public university where many of the faculty and students are not Christian. Then he went on about the great war we're fighting against tyranny, and how the grads ought to join the fight. I hate to be rude to a commencement speaker, but I did not applaud. I have some students who are veterans of that "war against tyranny" and it has messed them up. These bright, dedicated people will probably never have a career in their chosen profession because of the physical and psychological damage they received.

Personally, I think commencement speakers are unnecessary to begin with. Out of all the graduations I've attended over the years, only one speaker sticks out in my mind, and that was Bill Cosby. Just skip the speakers and get on with celebrating the graduates.

But if there must be a speaker, it would be nice if he avoided ticking off big chunks of the audience through religion and politics. There are many appropriate venues for speech on those topics, but I don't think graduation is one. How many of the students and their families felt alienated today because they weren't Christian or had different views on the war?

In the extremely unlikely event I ever give a commencement address, I will not discuss my personal views. Not that I'm generally shy about sharing them--you all know what I think about things! Goodness knows my students come out of my classes with no doubts about what my views are. And I won't give a bunch of boring advice nobody will pay attention to or remember. I'll be brief and funny, and I'll lead the crowd in appreciating all the hard work that's gone into getting to that day. And probably nobody will remember any of it anyway.

The good news is that probably most of the grads and their families will quickly forget today's commencement speaker, too, and will go on to happily celebrate their accomplishments.