Friday, July 30, 2010

Thank God it's Happy Friday!

Please pardon the extra-sloppy colouring and such... I was distracted a bit during lunch.

We have good plans this weekend... DECLUTTERING! My tiny house has filled itself up to the gills with chachkes and knick-knacks that NEED TO GO. I can't take the cluttered surfaces any more! I need to pare down 'craft-central', and organize it, and probably start taking a good hard look at my fabric hoard and start getting rid of some of it. It's time.

We are trying to supply enough cluttery things to fill a table at a local rummage-sale the coming weekend (we hope), if not it's yard-sale and then Goodwill. Either way, clutter is GOING. AGH! I'm going to have a hard heart and get rid of things I've been hanging onto for no reason, like my collection of teddy bears in tiny animal costumes and the sand-bottles I made each year in the town's summer fair where I owned my home in New Hampshire. The ugly 'copper' pots in my kitchen? Gone. My extra service dishes that do nothing but gather dust on top of my cabinets? GONE. I will relish this moment...

I will.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

I am resolved... [warning, girly subject]

Here I am in a borrowed hat that I want to steal.
I want to challenge myself a bit on my next costume project. I want to sew it all by hand for one, but I also want to take a lot of time and fit something properly to myself. I am a sloppy seamstress. I throw together garments in hours but they are all invariably faulty—case and point my new gown: I spent the whole day at the ORS picnic, as I have with almost all my gowns at all events, trying to wrangle my wild bosom. I’m sick of it. I’d like to go to a picnic, a dinner or a dance, and not have to worry about the invariable and looming costume malfunction, and trust me; I am the queen of costume malfunctions. I can reliably be found poking, tucking, tugging, hiding, pinching, nudging and adjusting my gown at any given moment.

My biggest problem is, aside from my own weight issues … well, I’m overly endowed in the boob department. I have very large girls. DDD to be precise. The issue with them (aside from my own back pain and misgivings) is that patterns run to my size on my body, but they never run to include anything greater than a DD in the cup-size accommodation. Naturally this poses a problem for me... it has since the seventh grade. I am always overfilling the space provided. I’m not experienced enough of a seamstress to know how to best incorporate the bosom issue in my pattern cuts. And another problem is, what works being tried on at home for half an hour is not necessarily representative of what’s going to occur wearing that same costume for a few hours, in and out of the car, and moving around in it for a prolonged period.

I confidently decided I needed no underpinnings for the picnic after successfully testing it at home. It was going to be 90 degrees and I wanted nothing with layers. It was not a good choice. I think had anyone been really paying attention, I could have gotten fined for indecent exposure several times. Heat and stretch and shifting and badaboom, badabing… badaboing.

Also, I just want to have something fitted and proper. Something nice. Something I’m not pardoning all the shortcuts for. I look at Miss Lauren, the Lady of Portland House, and I am always inspired and struck by her fastidious work and how elegant she always looks, down to the locks of her hair and the crisp line of her pressed silk. I never take a lot of time to get ready, and I always look disheveled. I surely cannot aspire to her elegance, I have close to a hundred pounds on her I’m sure, and I am neither so young or so patient, but what I do aspire to is to at least *once* at an event, to feel well-put-together, and to glide about effortlessly without once having to tug at something, or adjust another. I want to enjoy my event and not spend most of it worried that my boob is going to sproing out of my bodice—which they often do. There, I’ve said it.

So my next project is a redo of this project: my regency transitional stays—however I am going to remake it in a nice cotton duck, and with steel spiral boning (instead of steel straight boning) and most importantly; I am going to switch it up, and I am going to make this corset back-closing and incorporate a hardwood busk that the Lord of Portland House made for me eons ago that has been awaiting a stays to live in.

I chose transitional (even though I prefer a full corset) because I want to ride in it. Yes, I am going to start riding sidesaddle again sometime in the future, and since I’m going to make a riding habit for the Fox Hunt, I want to have a nice stays to wear under it.

These stays will 1) be HAND SEWN… 2) be CORDED (yes, ambitious) and 3) have larger gusseted cups and shoulder-strap-adjustability to make it a better fit for me and to contain the puppies.

I will fix my new gown by adding a strip of hooks and eyes on each side of the bib to avoid any more of the peepage I had going on at the picnic… and I am going to start using my new corset as the base for all of my new costume endeavors for this period. I’ve found a couple of ladies to help with ORS events, so I will have more time to dibble-dabble now, and I may actually have the luxury of time to get ready for events as others do.

Is this an ambitious endeavor? Probably. Hubby will appreciate it because I won’t have the dining room table all covered in sewing paraphernalia, and I can do as Lauren describes, quietly stitch in front of the television (without the avian assistant as she has).

Aside from my costume disasters… the picnic was so lovely. Here are some pics:

A Regency huddle.
Le Bon Ton
S-II's amazing feast!
Some interested onlookers, and their shy daughter.
Love it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Friday! Picnic Office Special


A quick & dirty OS with skewed picnic blankets to celebrate the upcoming picnic at Pittock Mansion.

I scribbled this one out very quickly, and took only a few moments to sloppily paint some colour over it.  Sunday is the ORS picnic at Pittock Mansion--my first event since the feast of the Twelft Night, (I don't count the bonnet workshop because I was hardly even present to be honest--it was only three days before my father passed away). 

I have made myself a new gown for this event.  I'm almost done with it anway.  It's sloppily made as usual, but I scaled it up from a historic pattern.  I hated the big poofy sleeves, so I opted for a straighter sleeve, but it has that really narrow back and wide armseyes.  My sleeves still aren't working very well, but they'll do for now.  I'll fix later.   We'll see how it pans out. I made it a bib-front, naturally.  All that's left to do is to finish up and affix the bib/stomacher on it, and the cinch/tie.  I'll mull over the idea of having a photo taken in  it. :0)  I made a lovely bonnet for a guest who might accompany me to the picnic. If she doesn't, I might wear it. Not sure.

Have a lovely weekend all. Must run. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Updatus of Lifus Patheticus

[BEGIN HORSE TALK] I haven’t been able to ride Tag for two weeks! What made it easier not being able to hop on Stampy McHoofington is that he has had a hideous cold this last week. Yes, horses get colds… and yes, the cold-grossness we enjoy is proportionate to size, so we are talking green snot and horky, wet coughs in size and volume that shouldn’t be possible. It’s gross. I was busying myself fussing and cooing and grooming him the other day, and he coughed up a ball of greenish yellow goo the size of a golf-ball and it rocketed from his head and hit the pavement by the tie-rack and splattered like a paintball. Now that I’ve sufficiently grossed you out, I will move on. So, decidedly, Tag is in no condition to be saddled up and ridden. He’s gotten lots of rest time and he’s spent it eating and hanging out in his now dry paddock. The grass-seed I had planted has long since sprouted, grown, been eaten and digested, and his little space is now a barren wasteland. But he still seems to like being out there being bitten by bugs.

The reason for the two-week riding moratorium is my lack of saddle. I have an old Stübben all-purpose/jumping saddle I’ve had since the dawn of time. It’s the saddle you often see on my horse. It’s been used a lot, but not so much that it’s been worn down. It is at that stage that even with my fatter bum; it has molded itself comfortably to me, and is sort of a second skin. My dressage saddle on the other hand was bought when my butt was significantly smaller, and so it’s just too small for me now and I cannot use it. Since I do not plan to ride in contests any more, I will probably sell it. However, the Stübbey, that one is my go-to saddle. For the decade or so I was sans-cheval, it sat, unused, un-oiled in my living room or other similar space, drying up. So the laminated, bonded leather billet straps (the things you buckle your girth to) had begun to delaminate and split into two pieces of leather when I started using it again. I sent it for repair, and the saddler said; “Lady, your saddle needs to be reflocked BADLY.” What reflocking is, for the non-horsified set among you, is a fancy way of saying restuffed. She was right. The padding beneath was like a lumpy rock; compacted down into nothing. Poor Tag. So I sucked it up and had it reflocked.

The reflocking cost a good 25% of what a saddle of that quality would cost new… and if I’d taken that money, I could have probably gone and bought some cheap cardboardy-leather saddle of no particular brand or something… but quality saddles are like quality clothes and shoes… given the right care, they last FOREVER… and I don’t want to mold my butt into another saddle if I don’t need to. The saddle fits Tag really well too. So we sucked it up… the saddle will last me another eternity if I treat it right. So tonight, I ride with the ‘new’ saddle. Yay. I’m pleased with the saddler. This lady is apparently a certified horse Yoga instructor (yes, I’m serious--can horses do Downward Facing Dog I wonder?)  I’ve been out of the horse-loop for a while now, and I have returned to a lot of weird surprises like that… Horse chiropractors, horse yoga instructors, horse psychologists… Holy crackheads… Who pays for that? Aside from the granola-crunchiness of the saddler, she did an AMAZING job, and managed to disassemble the whole saddle to replace the full billet strap system, and re-stitched it so it’s not even noticeable. That's no small task.  I’m impressed, but for a while there, I was worried about my saddle, I confess. It’s hard to know just how good a saddler a horse-yoga instructor can be. Great ones, apparently. [END HORSE TALK]

On the Satan front, mother is back in her rental house after living with my aunt for a month, and nearly driving my tidy, fastidious aunt to lunacy with her bad habits, slobby nature and cantankerous attitude. The last day, they were full-on fighting, and we got a phonecall to this end: “Stephanie… Dan, you need to pick me up and take me back to the rental today… I won’t sit here and be INSULTED like THIS!” ::click:: I am taking her up to the assisted living facility to take a tour tomorrow. There’s a possibility she might end up in the same place as my husband’s grandmother. They’re both short-haired harridans (though hubby's grandma is this teeny little southern bundle of bones who looks so teeny and innocent... but far from it!) and I can totally see them getting along, sitting around complaining about all the insufferable people around them, and agreeing how ungrateful and horrible their children are. Hah! At least I can rest assured she’s having her house cleaned and her laundry done, which is something I’m fairly sure she isn’t doing herself right now. GREAT NEWS is Gollum has gone home to his mama.  Poor thing.  Higlet, this pic's for you:

My husband has been working on starting his own business; and on top of that he actually found employment again—at what amounts to moderately decent pay for this economy, but nonetheless, significantly less than he was making at Vestas. He’s starting his new job on Monday the 26th. It will be hard to juggle the business and the job; but at least for a while, he can do it to make sure ends meet. He isn’t too thrilled about the insane commute… I wouldn’t be either. It’s a full half-hour longer than mine and includes I-84 at early morning hours, which is an exercise in human torture as it is. Forget Guantanamo, just put your political enemies on I-84 at 7:40 AM. I will have to provide him with some serious cool-down time after work, I’m sure.

I am taking my first round of Clomid.  Trying not to get my hopes up or start thinking about baby-murals and sewing crib-dressings and tiny clothes...  It's only round one. :::keep it together Steph:::

Today I signed the petition to become my brother’s primary guardian. Then it will be up to me to make sure he’s set for medical care and such. I just wish all this would just square itself up and I can stop worrying about it. It’s affecting EVERYTHING… work, home, even my play.

HOWEVER, I confess, I am making myself a new regency gown. The picnic at Pittock Mansion looms near, and since it’s my event, I can’t just duck out like I’ve been doing pretty much since January. It’s time I dipped my toe back into the pond a bit; and started taking an interest. I think, as much as it daunts me to think about all the involvement and work of the ORS, that it is sort of crucial to keeping me interested in the world outside my little personal universe. I’ve found some lovely ladies to take on a lot of the tasks for upcoming events, so I’m glad of that. I just need to find the love in it again that makes me want to take part. Lately, it’s just not there. I have been enjoying the sewing bit, I admit. We’ll see how it all pans out. One event at a time.

I might make another pork pie this year. Not sure yet. If decent photos are made, I’ll share. ;)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Postcards from the past.

History-envy… that’s what it’s called. When you have very little to look back on, few photos, few objects of evidence that your family came from… somewhere.

My family was never one for taking and developing endless photos of everything we did; we were non-chroniclers of the many travels we made together; of times when we were crammed in the powder blue Renault 16, trundling through the mountains of Bavaria with a tent rolled up in the trunk. We never took many pictures of our winterly pilgrimages to the slopes of the alps… of the time my sister and father got lost skiing and came down the wrong side of the alp into another country… of the first time I did my first black diamond all by myself. We did not send anyone postcards or buy them in droves.

We did not get postcards from other family members; mostly because there were few to none to receive them from. There are no dusty boxes filled with yellowing pictures of family members we don’t know… Our little dysfunctional clan is an isle of solitude. When I talk about my family, it’s usually constrained to direct relations. Do I have other family in Hungary? I don’t know; aside from Viktor, my long-lost cousin… I have no idea. The Puerto-Rican family on the other hand is vast, but also sort of distanced. I remember when I first visited an uncle’s house in PR, they threw a great big to-do in our honour; pit-roasted pig and all. Droves of people showed up, all olive and beautiful and flashing white smiles. I stood there, grinning at all the handsome young Latino men hanging about, but every time I asked my aunt who each one was, her response was, “Oh, that’s your cousin so-and-so. That one is your second-cousin so and so... that one’s your cousin too… that one is a young uncle! So much for that; decidedly, I never found romance in  PR… only cousins. Lots and lots of cousins.” I must be related to pretty much everyone on the island. My grandpa was a busy Latin man.

I know very little about my PR grandpa and grandma… I have pictures of my grandmother, who looks strikingly like my mother, minus the horns, tail and trident. I also found among the reclaimed photos from the de-hoardification of my mother’s house, a chilling polaroid of an elderly gentleman lying in wake in his casket. I am thinking that might be my PR grandpa. I’m somewhat confident it is. I keep forgetting to bring it to Satan for confirmation. I know that our family in PR has some Scottish stock; from family that had come to farm sugar-cane and coffee on the islands; which probably  introduced fair genes into the blend. Many of my PR family members are natural sandy blondes with light-coloured eyes and with naturally olive skin. Gorgeous creatures.

That’s about it. That’s all I know. There’s some family land somewhere in Hungary, daddy once mentioned. C’est tout. ::shrug::

So when hubbo came home the other day carrying a shoe box full of postcards that were collected by his great-granny, I was beside myself. I sat down on the sofa, and started looking at them one by one. The earliest one I saw was 1902, but it starts out with cards being sent to his great grandmother while she was still single and living with her sister in Portland. She had come from Aberdeen, because there are postcards from a certain person, a sister I think named Maggie from Aberdeen to Great Grandma Annie, complaining that she hadn’t had even a line from her in ages almost every time she writes.

This is from Maggie to Anna.

Then GG Annie moves. And in the 19-teens, she becomes Mrs. J. She also begins to receive postcards from what we think are siblings of her new husband who are bitten by the wanderbug something fierce and they are all over the place. Then along come the fifties and sixties, and she’s getting postcards from my Hubby’s grandmother and her husband, as they travel about with ‘the kids’, which include Hubby’s father.

A postcard from great-great Grandpa to his son from Norway. Notice the two Ns in Johannesen.

I’m so jealous. Hubby says this is all there is, but it’s something major. There are addresses in Aberdeen, and in Astoria… Portland… little tidbits about who they were, and their temperaments and moods; their civilities and their quirks. I want to get those albums where you keep post cards and start ordering them into that by date… form a little ‘tree’ of the connections that hubby isn’t really very knowledgeable about and see if we can glean something more out of this little trove… find the Aberdeen connections; find the long-lost connections from Astoria—the siblings of the great grandparents that wrote so many cards to Mrs. Annie.

These postcards are also amazing. Some are really odd and random, photos of some small unknown corner of the country, others are just darling, featuring women in turn-of-the century clothing…

Mrs. H Johanesen... Annie is wed. :)

::sigh:: So jealous.

Maggie drops another note to her sister, who is still Anna Davidson.

Great Northern Express Company; a railroad company.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Waffles... REAL waffles!

There is a small percentage of people, when they find out that I grew up in a place called Belgium, that invariably come out with the world’s dumbest statements or questions… If some of them are smart enough to know that Brussels is the capitol of Belgium, I’ll get “did you eat a lot of Brussels sprouts?” Others will reply: “Oh, I’m from St. Paul…” and some other will ask “You grew up in a communist country?” I also hear mention of Jean-Claude VanDamme, and the rare mention of fries… Most however, will immediately blurt out: “Oooh, I LOVE Belgium waffles…”

The sucking void of stupidity of that statement aside, I am always struck at how wrong Americans are when they think they’re getting something remotely close to *real* Belgian (WITH AN ‘AN’) waffles when they sit down at their local breakfast joint. They think Belgian waffles constitute a stack or a giant round of light, crispy bisquicky whatever with fruit and whipped cream or syrup glopped on top… not that I object to the deliciousness factor of this breakfast confection, but these are absolutely not Belgian waffles. Not even remotely close to Belgian waffles. The waffle shape is what these confections have in common… they both have flour in them... that’s about it. Trust me American people… Those waffles you eat are good… but you have NO IDEA what you’re missing.

Belgian waffles actually are cakey and have yeast in them. They also have (which is what makes them so incredibly delicious and unique) sugar pearls in them. What’s a sugar pearl you ask? It’s a little chunk of sugar that mixes into the dough, and stays there until you smash it into a waffle-iron and cook it until the sugar melts and caramelizes all over the waffle and into little crystalline pockets that melt on your tongue.

Let me tell you this… these waffles are so delicious they are irresistible, no waffle will ever compare again. There’s this metro stop in Brussels on the way to the embassy where the doors open, the alluring scent of carmelized sugar gusts onto the train in billowy clouds of temptation the second the doors slide open. It was always a battle of self control not to elbow my way off the train and sprint up the escalator to the little kiosk. I often succumbed. At the top of the escalator, that evil waffle-makin’ man dropped that wad of dough studded in sugar pearls onto a fire-heated iron, and seared that melting, finger-burning ambrosia of deliciousness into a waffle right there for me. Then he wrapped the golden, sugary product in paper so I could safely hold it and carry it back down to the train. I would clutch it with my shoulders hunched over it like a rabid dog. I would burn my lips trying to eat it while I waited for the next train. I would lose myself in the sugary deliciousness of a fresh, hot Belgian waffle.

Waffles, Belgian waffles, REAL waffles… they are not just for breakfast. They are for anytime you want a goddamn waffle.

So, the other day, I found sugar pearls on Amazon. That was all the excuse I needed. So ladies and gentlemen… I present to you… REAL Belgian waffles… (Please excuse picture quality, these were taken with my phone…)

Conveniently, there is a recipe on the back of the little sugar pearls packages.

First thing you want to do is dissolve 2.5 tsp of yeast (a packet) in 3/4 of a cup of lukewarm milk.

Then you want to toss 3.5 cups of flour into a mixer, and add 2 sticks of softened butter (yes, I never claimed these were the healthiest of treats…), a half teaspoon of salt, two eggs, and a teaspoon of vanilla (optional but my preference..) the recipe also says cinnamon is optional, but I can’t even abide that notion at all… yugh!

Then you add your yeasty milk, and mix that all up into a ball.

Let it sit for thirtyish minutes (until your dough has doubled in size)

 and then add a little 8oz bag of the sugar pearls.

Mix it up, break ‘em into into little palm-sized dough-balls, and then squash them down into your waffle iron.

These are thick and take a longer time to cook… make sure your waffle iron is hot, and just let it cook.

If you could only smell my kitchen right now… I’m salivating.

Oh, and besides the much-fattening nature of these waffles, they 1) store and keep well and remain crunchy and delicious… 2) make a HUGE mess of your waffle iron, and cleaning it is a bit of a bitch, and 3) don’t rely on your little waffle-light to tell you they’re cooked or they’ll be overcooked. Just pop them into the iron, and then after a minute, check it, and keep checking it until it becomes a golden brown but with some still light-toned on the edges and 4) if you live in an apartment complex, be prepared for questions because the aroma is overwhelming.  I recommend to all you try it at least once.  The pearls aren't cheap but they're on amazon, or you could try making them (I have yet to try that).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy Searingly Hot Friday (and an office-ish special)

OMG, it is SO HOT.  I am not the kind of person who likes insufferable heat; who willingly frolics and bakes in it, who tans... no.  I have the fair, fair Hungarian skin (my sisters got the lovely olive tannable tint from the Puerto-Rican genes; I got the skin so white, you can see my veins underneath it...).  I get heat stroke like that ::snaps fingers:: I burn in only a short time under moderate sun into a searing red which sometimes, in particularly powerful sunlight like San Diego or Mexico, blisters up into huge water-pillows (yes, ew!) and then pop and peel away to reveal the same white skin beneath... Not even a slight tan for the suffering! The injustice! I might as well be albino.

Belgium was ideal for me... brief, warm summers, lots of rain and grey skies, but sadly, not a lot of snow. ::sigh:: I *thought* Oregon was similar to Belgium, but I was wrong. It is to some degree... at least the valley between the coastal and cascade ranges are during part of the year--the coast has its own climate too. Everyone thinks all of Oregon is rainy all the time everywhere; but only a third of the state is like that. The rest of the eastern side of the state is high-desert like from the cowboy movies... it's a common misconception that it's coniferous and green and rainy everywhere.  Oregon has a tremendously varied landscape. There's amazing, hilly farmland, conifer forests, high mountains, sheer hills, deserts, canyons, huge rivers... everything is grand and huge. Belgium, minus the Ardennes, is as flat as flat can be.  It's divided up by walls of poplars to soften the winds across the crops... You can ride a bike forever and hardly feel it.  Oregon is green and lush through spring and winter... but come summer it just stops raining and everything, even in the valley goes dry and brown.  And it can get REALLY HOT. At least it's dry heat, not like the Northeast, where it's 80% humidity--but at least that is broken by the T-storms. Oregon rarely gets good T-storms like New England does. The nights remain insufferably hot and only cool down in the early, early morning.

I'd still prefer a milder climate... more rain... but I'm settled here for now.  I cannot say that when I'm driving home and looking at the magesty of Mt. Hood rising up against the sky, that I am not overwhelmed by how amazing this place is... but damn.. IT IS SO HOT!!!! BLARGH!  I can't believe I just wrote all that about the WEATHER! I'm losing it.

Technically, my Friday Office Special is only a half-way office special.  I drew it at lunch at WeiWei; a panasian restaurant.  I got Udon noodles all over the front of my shirt I was so busy sketching.  I coloured it on Arcsoft. It's a quick and dirty job, but hey... fifteen minutes, cut me some slack.  Well, I'm off to get my hair cut by a real hair stylist.  I haven't done that in YEARS.  The last person I ever trusted with my curls was a 5'2 Lebanese man who was crazy about me, and really inappropriate... I suffered his advances because he was one of the only people who knew curls and what to do with them... sometimes he'd blow-dry my hair straight and soft, and I'd get a glimpse of what it feels like to have flowing hair.  Nobody has ever been able to match his skill, and the few times I've put my hair in the hands of anyone, they had no idea how to deal with curls.  They always cut it too short, and then my hair, when it dried and sproinged up into the tube-curls, would look like a bozo-do.  Since my mother mercilessly hacked off my hair as a child out of sheer laziness, always giving me a boyish style, I am almost irrational about keeping its length today.  I refuse to find myself washing my hands in a public restroom and have some lady come in and tell me, "young man... you're in the wrong bathroom" never again!  The humiliation!

But my problem is, I have very thin hair, and no volume.  It looks like a lot of hair, but it really isn't, and it needs some lift on the back of my head.  S-II swears by this stylist, and says she's very good with curls, so if it goes wrong, you know who I'm going after....... with a pitchfork.  We shall see. ;)

Have a lovely weekend. Happy Friday all.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hail to the long weekend!

Ah what a nice long weekend... and to top it off... NO MONDAY! Today was a second Sunday and it was quiet. I spent most of it drawing. S-II stayed over on Friday night and Saturday morning, in order to escape the smelly Gollum poop (my mother's dog that we are stuck with is a nightmare. Not gaining weight... pooping and peeing freely all over the house... He's so creepy looking, and now has only two molars left after his dental, hubby has dubbed him Gollum...) we took off for a pedicure shortly after breakfast. I chose one of my 'car-colours' as usual. This time, I chose a nice metallic blue.  It has a Geo Prizm sort of feel to it.

As we drove back towards Sushi for lunch, we saw this sign, much to our mirth. There were no customers. Hmm....

We stopped to shop as well, and S-II scored the dress of a lifetime... it is stunning, [[Jealous!]]  My husband spent most of Saturday toiling to move his grandmother into a retirement community/assisted living facility. He came home to find us sitting with our prettified feet watching Firefly and letting Henna dry (I didn't do anything much to myself, and instead used S-II as a canvas.

Sunday, S-II disappeared before we awoke (she had a last-minute cake to make).. so Hubby and I went to a place on Marine Drive, on the Columbia River to have a spendy brunch at a seafood restaurant called Salty's. The view was pretty... It was the 4th of July, so lots of people were out and about, despite the grey sky and chilly weather.  They were camping on the shore of the Columbia and the islands, riding around in boats on the water, and riding bikes along the pathway that runs next to the river all along Marine Drive.

We waited to be seated at Salty's, and I watched all this from the window... I wore a dress for the first time in centuries (a modern one, that is)... and it was cooler than I thought, so my little sandals weren't super-practical; but my toes looked nice. Breakfast was a smörgåsbord of common breakfast foods combined with things like fresh oysters (yum) and crab legs. We ate like savages.  We didn't eat again until late dinnertime.

We went to IKEA afterwards to get Grandma a tiny little table and chairs for her teeny kitchen so she can sit and eat her supper if she wants. She is resistant and angry as anyone would be in the circumstance of such change... It is difficult to transition an aged person into a new environment smoothly, especially one who isn't very social to begin with. We are hoping she'll settle in sooner or later, but she is convinced that this is only a temporary situation... no matter how we try to tell her it is not, there is no making her believe it.

I hope to put my mother in a similar place soon.  With her bad health, and her lack of reliability in taking medications, she is a high risk being alone. I hope she'll let us do this, and that she takes her icky dog with her. ::::sigh:::: He is so gross but I can't help feeling sorry for him... such a pathetic creature... but he's RUINING OUR HOUSE! ARGH!

Here is a mouse with a backpack and sunglasses. I found him on Stumble... he was so cute I had to repost him. ;) Above is a "weekend special" I finished it up about an hour ago. It was nice to use nice paper and paint brushes.... but it is still sloppy.


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