Posts Tagged ‘travel’

I’m back . . .

. . . and do I have a lot to share.

First, this post is cross-posted on my NEW website and blog!  I’ll cross-post for a little while but please visit me over there and subscribe to my new blog so you can continue to find me!

I certainly didn’t intend to have such a long blogging hiatus but it happened anyway. It started with my summer from hell. Soon after the lovely birthday party, summer camp started. Lots went wrong- mostly database issues resulting in registration issues and unhappy parents mad at me- but also 3 staff members quitting in the 1st 2 weeks of camp for a variety of (mostly) understandable reasons and it all made me want to go home and not come back.


Oh, it wasn’t all bad. In the end almost 1000 kids had a great time and my cool-on-the-outside-freaking-out-on-the-inside demeanor served me well and resulted in what everyone said was the best summer of camp ever. Yay me. In the midst of that, I had no energy left to write and once I stopped it was hard to start back up. I’ve probably written 25 posts in my head but that does you no good.

DSC06932Since I left you, my garden grew and grew and we canned a whole lot of delicious produce. We planted giant sunflowers and now have so many seeds!


Buffy, Oolong and Wynonna grew up and started laying delicious eggs. One hen tried to fake us out by laying 14 eggs in a secret spot before we found them! Then last month, sadly and suddenly, Wynonna died mysteriously, and seemingly peacefully, overnight. So we got 2 new hens- Matcha (an Americauna) and Brown Betty (a Welsummer) but they’re not laying yet and I don’t have any pictures of them yet. Now Oolong is molting so she’s not laying either so we’re down to one laying hen. For now.

camping mosaic

After camp was over we took an fun, relaxing camping trip to Paradise Creek in the Gifford Pinchot Forest in Washington. We relaxed and explored, ate smores, hiked on a path to nowhere and admired the pretty colors of the volcanic rocks that were all along the creek.

I’ve only really been knitting in the past couple of weeks but I have plenty of projects that will show up here in the next few weeks. The same goes for spinning.

I renamed my business and moved everything over to a brand new shop and website. The story of why will come soon. I love my new name and logo and am gearing up for the busy shopping season.


That’s the quick and dirty lowdown. I’ve got to start small. It feels good to get some words out there and I’ll be a little more detailed in my next posts.

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Bridge in ReddingOkay, so maybe hate is too strong of a word for a city that I have only passed through on road trips but let me tell you a few things about it.

-It’s hot, really hot.  Most of my drives through Redding happen during the summer and I am not a lover of hot weather.

-Redding was the site of our “Worst Pizza Ever” dining experience.

-It’s confusing.  The lovely (okay, mostly boring), straight, easy to follow I5 crosses another highway in Redding, making it difficult to get back to I5 if you get off at the wrong place.

My creation-Then there’s this Redding story:  7 years ago Mike and I moved from California to Washington.  Mike and his brother, Mark,  (and a cat) drove the moving van and I followed in our car (also with a cat- the one who never shut up.)  This was before everyone had a cell phone and I didn’t have one.  What we did have were cb radios so we could talk to each other.  When they worked.  Now, you never really notice how many U-Haul trucks are on the road until you are trying to follow one.  The one we rented had Arizona plates and a particular scene painted in the side so it was fairly easy to keep track of. Then came Redding.  Mike exited I5 onto the other highway, which I thought was strange.  Maybe they were looking for a bathroom break?  But we had recently stopped at a rest area.  Hmmm.  I tried to use the CB radio to ask them what they were doing but they didn’t answer.  I pulled in to the other lane and sped up to get along side of them so I could wave and give them the “where are we going?” shrug.  That’s when I saw that the driver of the U-Haul wasn’t Mike.  I had been following the WRONG U-Haul on the WRONG highway!  I was totally lost and had to stop and call Mike from a pay phone, which, come to think of it, may have been the last time I used one of those relics.  I eventually met up with them at a rest stop 30 miles or so north and I kept a closer watch for the rest of the trip.

geckosAfter so many years, I have finally found something good in Redding!  The Turtle Bay Exploration Park (sweetened by the fact that we got in free thanks to our OMSI membership) made an awesome rest stop on our road trip with the toddler!  It’s close to the highway and there was no getting lost.  We saw lots of cool animals and walked across the gorgeous Sundial Bridge.  On the other side of the bridge is a large botanical garden but we didn’t venture that far due to the chilly windOn the Bridge in Redding.

Turtle Bay ParkThere was also a nice outdoor play area for kiddos and a nice spot to have our picnic lunch before getting back in the car for 7 more hours.

My favorite part? The gecko exhibit and this cool one with the equally cool name.  I must admit that were I on the naming committee (if such a thing existed) for this guy and I heard the suggestion of Satanic Leaf-Tailed gecko, I probably would have argued against putting such an evil-sounding name on a cool little creature.  What’s done is done so I may as well enjoy it now.  I don’t know about the satanic part, but his tail sure does look like a leaf!

Turtle Bay Park
Turtle Bay Park

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12 hours in the car with a toddler isn’t so bad.  Maybe it’s just my amazing trooper of a kid but I’m tempted to even  say that the drive from Portland to the Bay Area was fun.  I realize that sounds crazy but crayons, knitting and books on CD go a long way- 600 miles even.

Here are some highlights from our Easter and Grandparent extravaganza:

1. We were able to find a happy vegetarian, organic breakfast place when we stopped in Medford, OR on our drive down.  I never would have guessed.  (Of course, Sesame mostly just ate butter.)

DSC054552. Stop #1 was Mill Valley, CA to stay with Mike’s parents and Sesame tried her hand at dying Easter eggs.

A few eggs were smushed in the process and she did taste the dye but we managed to get a bunch of pretty eggs at the end.


3. She got the hang of the Easter egg hunt pretty quickly, though at first she pointed to the eggs and wanted someone else to do the hard work of actually picking it up and putting it in her basket.Baby's first easter egg huntBaby's first easter egg hunt

She sure spent a lot of time admiring her pretty eggs!

4. Grandma Diane made a fabulous coconut cake for an early Easter dinner.DSC05484

Okay, the cake was for dessert, not dinner, but it was the highlight.  Thanks to Grandma, Sesame got her first taste of cake batter and loved it, of course.

DSC055215. We met my mom at Traintown and waded through a sea of a thousand excited toddlers.  Here are the 2 grandmas together on the train.  The best part was the petting zoo but we were too busy feeding the animals to take any pictures.

6. Off to Napa to stay with my mom for a few days and Easter egg hunt #2, this one actually on Easter.  Second Easter Egg Hunt

Sesame got smart this time and didn’t let the basket hold her back.  She set down her basket in a central location and then ran back and forth from egg to basket.  Yes, I did make her dress.  It’s the same pattern as this one and I’ll share some better pictures another time.

7. We visited a friend’s chickens and had fun feeding them pretzels and trying to catch one so we could pet it.  Allison's Chickens

Mike was the successful chicken wrangler.

Allison's Chickens

You know you’re in Napa when the chickens have wine boxes to lay their eggs in.

Allison's Chickens

It was cool to see adult versions of some of the same breeds that we have.  I can’t wait for ours to grow up!

It was a fun trip and now we’re tired.

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From Sunshine to Rain

My life feels like a cliche!  I just got back from 6 days in sunny California and now I’m back in Portland where, you guessed it, it’s raining.  I was hoping for a few more weeks of summer but it seems like autumn is really here.

California was fun.  We saw the grandparents and sesame did really well with all the traveling and sleeping in different places.  In addition to all the family, we saw my dear friend Rebecca (who really is like family too) and had a great time out at the coast!DSC03358

As I was packing, I brought some etsy custom orders to work on but didn’t have room for any knitting.  I’ve never traveled without anything to knit and I almost threw in a baby sweater I’m working on but there just wasn’t any room.  With extra stuff for the baby and an airline that charges for checked bags, I had to leave it at home.

That was a good thing because I got tons of yarn in CA!  Mike’s dad has a hauling business in a wealthy area so he gets paid to take perfectly good things away.  So many people just can’t be bothered to sell things themselves, or take their stuff to the Goodwill so Jeff hauls it away and then Mike’s mom sells the good stuff on Ebay or Craigslist.  So a lot of times they make money off of things they were already paid to take!  It’s pretty crazy.  Our visit was timed really well because while Mike and I were staying with them, Jeff did a hauling job and was paid to take away a cabinet full of someone’s yarn!  DSC03399It’s mostly small balls and remnants but there are really nice yarns (including a bag full of cashmere!) and plenty to make some sweaters for the wee one or fun striped scarves for the winter.  I love free yarn!  I also got several pairs of J Crew and Banana Republic pants for free from a family that regularly gets rid of clothes that they’ve hardly worn.  It was a pretty good score!

DSC03401I got some freebies from my side of the family too.  My cousin is a tattoo artist and one of her clients is one of the editors of Craft Magazine so Jen gave me some mags that her client gave to her.  I love Craft but don’t buy it because it’s kind of pricey.  Yep, free stuff is awesome!  Maybe I should take more trips to see the fam.

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DSC02797Okay, okay.  I know that there is another week of official summer and then we in the lovely Pacific Northwest usually have another several weeks of blue skies before the rain starts.  But- I’ve been absent for so long that I feel like I should start the summer wrap-up now since I’ve been busy the last 2 months.

Let’s begin.

We went on Baby’s First Camping Trip and it was a ton of fun and way easier than I thought camping with sesame would be.  We were at the beautiful Lake Selmac in southern Oregon.

Camping at Lake Selmac

Sesame had her first encounter with blackberries and they turned her into a blackberry monster!
Blackberry Monster
Mike and I picked a ton of fruit (57 pounds of peaches alone!) while sesame just ate the berries and got good and dirty.  We did a ton of jam-making, canning and freezing.  Come on over in February and we’ll serve you some delicious peach pie!

I entered some knitting in the state fair and everything got a ribbon! The empty space on the bottom right should have a picture of this cardigan (it got 3rd) but somehow it didn’t make it onto flickr.
Fair Ribbons
We went on camping trip #2 and braved a cold, drizzly weekend at Cape Lookout with 5 other families and 7 kids.
Camping at Cape Lookout

My etsy thingsWe did a lot of playing and I knitted and, oh yeah, worked full time and made stuff for my etsy shop.

That was a busy 2 months!!

Next up- what I knitted this summer.

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