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Archive for December, 2006

Birthday Fun with Mia

Monday, December 18th, 2006

I just want to say that I love living in Portland. Late this afternoon, Mr C and I went downtown and did some Christmas shopping. Then we had dinner at a little Italian restaurant. We have a class at Trinity on Monday nights, so we parked there and walked up to NW 21st. It was crisp and cool and we enjoyed the ambiance of being in the city.

Yesterday was Miss Mia’s seventh birthday. I know you all want to see some cute pictures. Here she is dressed in red, as we entered Keller Auditorium for The Nutcracker. That is Milo in the spiffy hat. It is her fourth time to attend, and she announced each act for me as the music started.


After the ballet we met Mr C and her Dad back at her house to open presents from us. We bought her a Mod Pod Boom box ?Ǩ it has pink flowers. She is totally enamored with the radio station K103, here in Portland. It plays only Christmas music – most of it sappy. Her mom has had to send her up to their bedroom to listen so we thought she should have her very own radio and CD player. She told us that if we want to go to the Barry Manilow concert in January that we should go to K103.com and click on the keyword, Manilow. I mean, she is really listening!!



Miles watched the gift opening with some restraint. She also received some Cd’s and a Hello Kitty baseball cap from Mr C.


Our next event was sushi. It is hard to find a sushi restaurant open on Sunday, but we succeeded. Here is Milo with an empty rice bowl – guess what his favorite food is?


Then it was back to Steph’s house for a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cake – yummy!


Steph makes wonderful stuffed trees from wool scraps. Here are some sightings at her home:



All in all, it was a wonderful day with the family. As I said at the beginning of this post, I love being in Portland.

Today I received a big box of goodies for my girls and I from one of my blog friends, Jeannie, who lives in Richland, WA. I will wait and share the thoughtful treasures tomorrow.

I am Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

… and so are you, if you are reading this blog. This year the honor goes to anyone using or creating content on the World Wide Web. Congratulations to us. I wasn’t thrilled with the photo they used!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

My Health: Thank you sooooo much to everyone for your well wishes. It is so hear warming to hear from everyone. I am feeling much better. After a day of staying in bed, I felt much better yesterday and took Maggie for a short walk. In the afternoon, I finished cutting fabric for the other window in the kitchen. I still have to do the hems and stitch them together. I will be very careful of the pins.

Today, I spiffied up the house a bit and took Maggie for an hour walk around the neighborhood. We had some very wild weather on Thursday night, but fortunately, we did not have downed trees or a power outage, like Terry and Reva (who lives up the hill from me).

This afternoon, I went out to get ingredients to make cookies for the church coffee hour tomorrow. On the way, I stopped at Stars, a local antique mall. I found some great stuff for my girls for Christmas. I can’t show you pictures because that will spoil their Christmas. I will show you what I found for Mia’s doll house, which her Mom is giving her tomorrow for her birthday. I found this vintage kitchen set:


Mia will be seven. We are going out to lunch for sushi (her favorite food) and then to The Nutcracker Ballet. Then back to Steph’s house for pizza and opening of gifts. We have these wrapped in non-holiday colors, ready to go.


I made Golden Rugalach for coffee hour tomorrow. It has a cream cheese pastry filled with a paste of hazelnuts, apricot preserves and golden raisins. The recipe is here.

Here is the dough:


Baking in the oven:




I have been watching a lot of documentaries this week. I highly recommend The Gleaners and I and Sketches of Frank Gehry. Both were very beautiful to watch and creatively inspiring. Tonight, we are watching An Inconvenient Truth which is scaring me to death. We were supposed to go to a Christmas Party given by our neighbors who publish the magazine, Atomic Ranch, but I decided to stay home and stay rested.

7 Hours in the ER

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Yep! If you have been wondering where I was, it could be a long story. Here is the cause of my being in the emergency room, last night.


That’s right! My new kitchen curtains are to blame. I was working very hard to get them done before the holidays. I managed to puncture my hand with a pin. Many years ago, when I had breast cancer the first time, I had lymph nodes removed which causes a condition in that arm called lymphadema. It means that the lymphatic fluid does not move through the are as efficiently as it should and so the introduction of bacteria can cause a dangerous condition ?Ǩ cellulitis.

Over the past 15 years, I have had several bouts of this. About 4 years ago, I went through a treatment at Kaiser Permanente that reroutes the fluid. It involves wrapping the arm in ace bandages and massage therapy. I have actually gone for four years without an infection. I had become very cavalier and was not taking the precautions that I normally do.

(I told you this would be a long story) Tuesday night was our STASH holiday party at Terry’s house. She made chile verde and no-knead bread. Reva made a wonderful apple cake. I brought some killer Cline zinfandel. When we were at the APNQ show in August, Terry bought a metallic hand-dyed fabric. We each got a piece to use in a challenge, due at this meeting. You can see Terry’s, here. Reva did this one, called Occasional Sunbreaks ( a weather term, used in Portland). Gayle did a gorgeous landscape of trees, where the sky was the fabric. I don’t have a photo. I used mine in this piece that I started at Art Quilt Tahoe. I have started the quilting on it. It looks kind of wonky because of the silk and I had it lying on the floor for the photo.


The challenge fabric is in the upper left corner under a layer of black netting and metallic organza. I am doing some cutting away of the overlays to reveal fragments of the fabric underneath. The title of this piece is Fragments. Here is a closeup.


I came home and felt a little off – I had a headache and was beginning to feel achy. I woke up at 1 am shaking with chills and a fever. I took Aleve and it did nothing. This went on most of Wednesday – laying in bed, drinking mineral water and taking pain meds. I felt as if a truck had run over me. I assumed that I had picked up the virus that my grandchildren have had and thought it would run its course.

In the evening, Mr C left to have dinner and his class at Trinity. I dragged myself to the kitchen to make some soup and in the bright light, I noticed that my arm was bright red and swollen and then I knew I was in trouble. So I called the advice nurse and she said to get myself to the emergency room, asap. I tried to get hold of Mr C, and couldn’t. So I called Steph and Jack. Steph was here in a flash and off we went. I arrived about 7 pm. The triage nurse saw me right away so I am thinking – this will be over very quickly ?Ǩ not! You see, I was not critical. I wasn’t bleeding and my vital signs were all good.

At 8:35. we got hold of Mr C as he was driving home. They did bring me some Tylenol for the fever while I was waiting. He arrived and we sent Steph home. At 10:30, I was finally taken back to a bed. They checked my vitals again and hooked me up to a blood pressure monitor. Mr C and I had fun watching my blood pressure drop, every 15 minutes. The final reading was 102/47. We kept joking that I was slowly passing away. At 11:30, a doctor showed up and told me what I already knew. They would do an antibiotic IV drip and send me home to take a potent antibiotic for 10 days. First they had to draw blood. So, I think they started the IV at 12:30 am. Before they would let me leave, I had to drink some potassium that was mixed with some vile orange flavored stuff. I guess the low potassium was causing my blood pressure to drop. We left the hospital around 2 am. I had not eaten since I had some soup for lunch so I had some yogurt and some almonds and crashed.

I am feeling a bit better today and somewhat chagrined by my lapse of good judgment about the lymphadema. I will take better care and watch how I handle pins and needles.

Now, I must leave you with a couple of funny pictures taken on our drive home from Coos Bay, last Saturday.


And, here they are. What a bargain!


Speaking in Cloth and Fine Focus

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Today, Terry and I drove south and west to Coos Bay, Oregon to attend the opening reception of two spectacular art quilt shows: Speaking in Cloth, 6 Quilters, 6 Voices and Fine Focus ’06. June was supposed to come with us, but became ill and sadly couldn’t make the trip (we are missing her pithy comments and sardonic sense of humor.)

The shows are at the Coos Bay Museum of Art. Speaking in Cloth was organized by Jeannette DeNicolis Meyer and Ann Johnston and includes work by Cynthia Corbin, Quinn Zander Corum, Nancy Erickson and Trisha Hassler – all from Oregon and Washington. Fine Focus – a traveling exhibit of 50 small format art quilts juried by nationally known fiber artistsnJudy Dales, Jane Dunnewold and Kim Ritter.

Ann and Jeannette have published a book of the Speaking in Cloth show. I couldn’t take photos of the show so here is the cover of the book (I got autographs from all the quilters):


I found this show to be very exciting because most of the work is quite innovative and just wasn’t the same old same old. Now, some of it was, but the majority was quite exciting. Cynthia Corbin and Ann Johnston are doing very cutting edge surface design work, and it was such a high for me to stand there and talk to each of these women about their work and how they achieved the designs. Trisha Hassler works with metal in her pieces, and her work, though not something I am interested in doing, excited me because it is very cutting edge and new!! The same with Quinn – I love what she is doing. You know how you can say to yourself – there is nothing new in this area and then boom – right in your face is new, innovative work.

Terry had a piece in Fine Focus. Here she is with Bird and Rice Bowl:


Oh, look! Here is one by Diane.


Diane’s was placed right under the Show Title:


Here is my favorite piece, taken just before I got chastised by a museum staff member!!


Tomorrow morning, before we head home, we are going to the artist’s talk. I’m looking forward to that. This has been a nice December diversion.

Mixed Emotions

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

Today was a tough day for my daughters as the news of James Kim’s death reached us. We all wanted the miracle to continue. Kati Kim kept her babies alive, while she was alone in the Oregon wilderness. That was a beautiful miracle of a story. James was valiantly trying to find a way to rescue them. I am so sad for the families that they have lost James, but at the same time, I am just in awe of the strength of Kati as she cared for those children. Mixed emotions.

As I thought about the expense that the Kim family was going through to find James, whatever it took, I wanted to help in some way. I suggested to my girls that we donate some of our art and craft and have a silent auction on the web. They are off and running with the idea. Lisa has posted some information on her blog tonight. I will keep you posted. Others have come forward to donate art, and we are grateful for the interest.

I finished decorating the tree today and invited M & M and Steph to come by. They have not seen all my Christmas stuff since they were too young to remember. So it was quite fun to watch their reaction.

Here is my nativity set collection:


Here are M and M inspecting them:



Here are the two of them inspecting the ornaments on the tree:


Miles put on my Santa hat and told me he loved the hat and he got really silly. It was great comic relief for a hard day. Here is the adorable Miles showing off for the camera. And there is Mia, too!

Miloreindeer Milosanta_1




Again, mixed emotions. The innocent joyfulness of my grandchildren juxtaposed to their mother’s sadness for her friend.

I wanted to get my Christmas cards out early this year because of our new address. Well, I finished them tonight, after running upstairs with them in my hands and tripping on the top step and taking a header in the hallway. My old body is feeling it tonight. Here they are. I added a glittery star in the sky and put them in vellum envelopes – looks pretty cool.



Tonight, I made more figures for my clay nativity set. I forgot the camera so there are no pics. I made the infant, a manger, and angel and two of the cutest sheep you have ever seen. We selected some glazes for Robin to order for us.

I leave you with this admonition, tonight: Give someone you love a big hug.