Like many people my age, I love my computer. I love the multitude of things I can find to read about, learn about, play with. I love that it gives me access to immeasurable amounts of information, videos, images, and I don't have to go find my library card. I can "save" whatever I find, and put it wherever I want it. In fact, I can print just about anything I can find, if I want a hard copy. 
When it is time for a major update such as going from Windows 7 to Windows 10, I meet the challenge with determination and not a little fear. What if my desktop is no longer recognizable? What if I have files so old they can no longer be accessed by my "new-improved" programs? What if my defaults are faulty? WHAT IF MY BROWSER GETS CHANGED AND MY BOOKMARKS DISAPPEAR?

I did it anyway. All by myself. My book marks did NOT disappear. My browser seems unscathed. I did have issues with some of my defaults, but I figured out how to fix them.

Do NOT walk toward the light, unless you are
confident that you can restore your defaults.
I love Microsoft Picture Manager. I am not sure what Windows 10 calls the thing they forced on me instead, but I hate it. I hate it so much, I considered buying a MacBook.


I could not use what they gave me. I could not edit easily, I could not target where my pictures would be saved, I could not select a saved image to open with a different program for different styles of editing. 

But I have internet access. I was able to research how to get Picture Manager to be the program I use to view all my images. I can save an image where I want it, select a different program, such as Paint, to run edits, save it, and open it again in Picture Manager for further edits.

I am pretty happy about that.


So. I am ready for October. I know, it is still September.
Those are Utz Cheese Balls. I always wanted to spend the five or so dollars to get one of these giant containers. I was recreational WalMarting the other day, looking at Fall items and thinking about how MUCH I like PUMPKINS and came up with this idea.


My current favorite two mugs are made by Eric Van Eimeren of VE POTTERY in Helena, Montana.
Nothing makes me feel quite like I feel when I am holding a well-made mug. I found the first one on an Etsy search and bought it to try. I liked it so much, I asked him to let me know when he made any more using the same clay in a similar style. I like that these two are a little different, yet very much the same. 

I have cut out coffee.


Yes. I cut out coffee, except for the occasional de-caf. Mostly, I drink green tea--my favorite Genmai Cha. It took me hardly any time at all, only gave me a headache when I was "hiking" a bit of the Donner Pass, and only for about 20 minutes. I think part of that can be attributed to the elevation, my aversion to exercise, and the unfailing cheerfulness of my companions.

What I miss about my morning cup of coffee:
1. the aroma
2. the way that first sip is a promise that TODAY I WILL DO GREAT THINGS IF I FEEL LIKE IT
3. the pleasure in knowing if there is left-over coffee, I can make iced coffee, as long as I don't drink it after 2:00 p.m., and it will NOT cost me $5.00, nor will I have to drink it from a plastic cup with not enough ice and nowhere to throw away my cup when I realize I really don't like Starbucks.
What I do not miss about my morning cup of coffee:
1. having to pee one half gallon every 20 minutes for the first 4 hours of my day

What I like about green tea in the morning:
1. that smug feeling ALL green tea drinkers have when they announce, "I drink green tea. It is so good for you."
2. It reminds me of the first time I had green tea I liked and was told how to make it correctly.
What I do not like about green tea in the morning:
1. It is not coffee.


I am pretty good at doing this. When I can, I try to decide the night before. 
It takes practice. Everyday. Sometimes hourly, but it can be done.


Mid-FloridaSister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law visit soon. She has been learning to make Indian Food--one of my all-time favorite cuisines. 

I asked her to come up with something MILD and tasty.
I don't know what to expect. They eat WASABI PEAS and JALAPENO POTATO CHIPS as a pastime, not as a punishment.


Found it on FaceBook, via George Takei. Do you think it is true? I could have done that all day Monday and Tuesday, when I did nothing but sit around doing nothing. I could have gotten ahead on my tape starting. I could have started a couple of rolls for neighbors and friends. I have wasted my time, not wasting time. Or is that NOT wasted my time, wasting time?


As if you need a reason to order from Missour Star Quilt Company...

When you place an order, you get this email:
Thanks for your order at the Missouri Star Quilt Company!

We just want to let you know that your quilting supplies have been meticulously gathered, placed on a red velvet pillow, and delicately escorted by 25 of our finest employees to our shipping department. Our master shipper has dutifully performed his craft, lovingly packing your order in the finest materials known to man.

Our team gathered to give your package the proper send-off it deserved. Tears of joy were shed, speeches were given, and there was even a farewell cake. Following the festivities, the whole group, led by our local high school marching band playing the song Leaving on a Jet Plane, ushered your order through downtown Hamilton, Missouri. No, we don't own a Jet Plane, but your package was placed in the care of a roguishly handsome man who is riding in a majestic horse-drawn carriage which is on its way to your home as you read this.

Although the products you've ordered will be sorely missed here at MSQC, we are overjoyed that they have found a good home. Take care of them, treasure them, and when you make something beautiful with them, make sure you share it with us on facebook, twitter, or just send us an email, we love to see what you make!.

*Note the above is a slight dramatization of what actually happened with your order, but seriously we did ship it, and here is the tracking info:

Not only that, but they have some really good daily deals if you are on their email list.

7.21.15 #NationalJunkFoodDay

Having missed National Ice Cream day (it was the 19th) I made sure not to miss today--NATIONAL JUNK FOOD DAY.

Seal 'em? Who do they think they are addressing?

There is nothing remotely healthy in these Heath Pieces. Even the chocolate is MILK chocolate, not dark. Pour 'em. Pop 'em. Enjoy.


I have been checking out traveling options. I seem to do a lot of flying to Oregon and have a trip to California coming up, as well as a trip to Chicago, and most likely, Florida.
Iconic Airport Carpet
I enjoy flying and don't mind "down time" in airports. Most have art exhibits and all have interesting people to watch. But I thought it might be nice to have transportation once I arrive at a destination. Naturally, I thought about a vehicle I could sleep in, make coffee in, and haul around a few basic necessities such as quilting and knitting projects, and Lily Dog. Wet-bath, optional. I know how to use a facility in a campground, even though it is not my favorite way to attend to personal grooming.

About six months ago, I made the first steps to finding out about the very smallest sized motor homes. I stopped at a local FORD dealer and spoke with two salesmen. They showed me the available used motor homes, which I told them were too big for me. Then they told me the size I was looking for (turns out it was Class B) was no longer being made, so I would not be able to find one, most likely. Not only that, the Truck Camper, which is the smallest option is also not being made but I might find one for sale from an individual, so wouldn't I like to look inside this lovely Class C or this Fifth Wheel? No, I would not.
Unconverted, not very attractive outside, either.

I asked about a Ford Transit van. They had several and they were somewhat reasonably priced, but completely naked inside. I mean, not even insulation and interior panels. I asked about converting one, but they had never heard of it and maybe knew one person who would know anything about that. I got (and then lost) his number and then just dropped the idea.

Imagine my surprise when I found out not only do they still make the size motor homes I am interested in, van conversion is a huge business, (the Ford Transit vans are some of the big success conversions) AND, there are also truck campers out there. Some 2016 models are available for pre-order, and many places have used models.
We have one that might be for sale but we can't tell you
what sized truck it needs unless you pay the ransom
of personal information so we can hound you and
increase your junk mail to mountainous heights.
Unfortunately, on the website which has outlets nation-wide and a live chat option, no one can tell me what size truck I need for the one that is available in Chattanooga unless I give them my email address and phone number. No one can tell me. No one. Amazing.

The research continues. 


Monday Mantra
You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.


Adventures in Car Care

So. My car has been making an interesting roaring sound that has not affected the tachometer readings. It raises its pitch as the speed of the car increases. 
I concluded it was not an engine issue, but suspected muffler or some hunk of sound insulation that the mice may have made off with this winter. 

Turns out it is a wheel bearing, like the one the finger is pointing to in the picture.
By this time next week, I hope my wheel bearings look like these to the left.



My "fortune" from a visit to Curry in a Hurry. I intend to follow this as much as I can.


HomeSon is now FartherAwaySon. He has moved to Oregon. I am excited for him. It is a place he loves, and a place I love to visit. An added bonus is that I know many people there and I would NOT have to impose on him to visit. Now, I need to find some people to stay with in Chicago...or get AwaySon-in-Chicago to move to Portland.


One of my favorite blooms from the Rose Test Garden in Portland.

Just an assortment of the more orange toned flowers.


Acres of roses. Acres.


Jet lag is kicking my ass.


The hydrangeas are in full bloom around here. The picture in the previous post is not color enhanced at all. Never have I seen such saturated blue in a natural blossom. I noticed a lot of houses nearby had the deep blue hydrangeas and I suspect it has something to do with the nutrients naturally occurring in the soil of the West Linn area.

I know the ph  can be tinkered with to get hydrangeas to bloom pinker, bluer, or even lavender. Also, there are some plants that naturally tend one direction or another.

Here is another variety. Sort of wispy, but pretty.

And then, these. Lavender!


     Today is a good day to be a good and kind person.


Coffee is a big deal, here in the Portland, Oregon area. A real big deal. People can tell you all about the beans they ground this morning and the contraption they used to make a cup from their favorite plantation's best roast.

I like coffee, too. And I like it JUST HOW I LIKE IT.

It isn't that I have exclusive taste. In fact, my Portland friends think what I like is, well, dreck.
Get your own crappy coffee right here

I buy my beans already ground.
Yup. I might grind them at the store, but I don't want to mess around and grind each cup I want to drink, just before I make it. 

Also, I like my cups of coffee in the morning to be of uniform temperature and consistently so. I like to have a cup, sit on the porch awhile, mess around on the computer, and pour a second or third cup that is every bit the same as the one I just had.

So you can imagine how my brother was perplexed when I searched for a 

He did have other alternatives 
Back row, L to R: Inoxpran espresso, Breville Grindmaster, Nespresso Vertuoline, Pavoni
 Front row, L to R: Ilsa espresso, Bodum French-press (nothing special), Bodum French-press (fancy), single cup drip factory
but nothing would do until I borrowed one from the neighbor that loaned it to me last time. "I think I have one of those," she said, "because the last people that rented the place left it behind." Left it behind?  A great little machine like that?
MR. COFFEE--not available in Oregon


I am in Oregon, again. Portland. I knew I was here when I realized I had seen more dogs and people with pink hair INSIDE THE AIRPORT, than I had the entire time I was in Amsterdam.

I also saw this.


A lady with a stick between her legs with a baby shoe glued on the end of it. 

Dunno why, but why, not?


Mary Englebreit for Quilting Treasures.
Of COURSE I did.
Tea Time Tuesday
Should I or shouldn't I?
It is called TEA TIME.
Of COURSE, I had to buy it. Also, Mary Englebreit.

Yes. Got a half yard of this, too.



Look for beauty and carry the recognition of it with you all day.


I think I showed this pattern, Garden Tea Party by Bear Creek, once before. I have begun collecting fabrics to use to make something vaguely like it. I will use the idea as a jumping off point to do my own thing, somewhat.

I like the teapots but I have a different idea for the tea cups and the flowers. 

Who knew I liked pink? I am surprised.


Make a list, complete some tasks, cross things off, be glad for flowers planted the year before.


Sally, I am back. Pineapple pictures to follow this week. 


Not much of a coup. Although no ice cream came home with me, I bought and ate potato chips. 

It was a rough couple of days, but I heard unexpectedly from friends here and there who must have sensed I needed a little virtual hug. 

Those in my acquaintance who have experienced loss up close and personal have told me to expect this. 

Expect what is unexpected. 

Expect that you can bump along, breathing, doing, being, and then WHAM. Sorrow gets right up and kicks you in the center of the back like a Ninja in spiked cleats. You never really see it coming; it takes your breath away. The wounds are so deep you think you may not be able to stand up again, but you can. There are plenty of people around to grab you by the hand and pull you to your feet. Your job is to put one foot in front of the other and stay on the path.

I think I will go for a walk...


         Well, mostly.


I have been COUNTING COUP at the grocery store.  Counting coup is is a way the Plains Indians gained prestige. "...prestigious acts included touching an enemy warrior with the hand, bow, or with a coup stick then escaping unharmed..."

Let me explain how I am counting coup.

I try to eat as healthily as the next person, but I have a lot of food weaknesses. If I can resist the one or two crappy food cravings of the day, I can resist them all. At least, for THAT particular trip to the grocery store.

Most of you know what I mean.

Also, if it doesn't go in the cart, it can't go in the car, and if it isn't in the car, it can't be unloaded into the house.

So here is my self-imposed test of strength, will, and determination.

I decided to touch and leave behind whatever might trigger my loss of self-control. I am documenting it with my cell phone.

Here are my first two.

I did not actually touch the cruellers, just the tray. But the aroma when I opened the serving case was heady and beckoning. And I said no, thank you.


My grocery store has a Starbucks inside it. Some of you may not think that is very unusual, but I live in a place where the opening of a Chik-fil-a was front page news on more than one occasion, and one of the very few NON-buffet restaurants is named Fatz.

Maybe you remember that I do NOT care for Starbucks coffee. 

I don't. 

Unfortunately, I found out I DO like their milkshakes. You know, the stuff they make that doesn't have any of their muddy, ground-sweepings flavored coffee in it. Frappuccinos.

Then I tried a Chai Iced Latte, and I was hooked. The problem is, it disappears too fast. But today, I have Tazo's Chai concentrate, which I am going to try for the first time. We will see. Tea Time is going to be interesting.


Lavender in my garden. 

I will always associate lavender with a particular family member. 

I know Rosemary is for Remembrance, which is my OregonBrother's favorite, but these I planted to remember his wife.


I spent yesterday with a close friend. HMHMC went with me on my first date with my husband. The three of us went for drinks after work. She has a long history of making me feel brave enough. She has a no-nonsense approach to adversity and in the past few years it has REALLY been exercised. I am proud of her and grateful to her. 

Today, I will spend some time knitting on a shawl that starts from the ruffle up. It takes a little over an hour to knit one row. I forgot these things when I chose this project:
1. I hate lace weight yarn
2. I hate long, boring rows of all knitting and/all purling
3. I hate lace weight yarn

I will knit two more rows on it, and then switch to working on some chunky weight FOOT OVENS (a Yarnharlot recipe) and maybe some worsted socks with left over Iris Cascade 220 Superwash.

Don't worry, quilting friends. I finished my danged octopus applique'.  I don't like octopus armpits. I don't like teeny, reverse applique' bubbles. I don't like loose-weave fabric and dull scissors combined for applique'. But I finished it.