Sunday, August 29, 2010

I've actually been back in LA for a few days, but the first day back, I was too tired to blog after an 18-hour drive. Next day, I was down with a sick headache, an expected sequel to the 18-hour drive. That I didn't blog yesterday, I can only attribute to being out of the habit.

While I was in Oregon, I spent a week being a tourist, sightseeing and such, and two weeks being a resident. I assembled all five giant bookcases Tom and I bought on our last trip, which was even harder work than I had anticipated. I planted a pretty mixed border in my front yard, consisting of hostas, salvia, perovskias, dwarf conifers, and rugosa roses. While those are all things that are deer-resistant to one degree or another, I put up deer fencing around that bed, and two others that contain hybrid tea roses the deer haven't allowed to bloom in the three summers since they were planted. The deer have been particularly desperate this year, and I don't want them to take our house's name, "Bambi's Buffet," too seriously.

I left half my clothes in Oregon, some on purpose, some by mistake. I went through my stash of "skinny jeans" this morning, and found that I have enough in my current size that I don't have to make an emergency trip to the mall.

In Oregon, I pulled about a million dandelions. If dandelions were made of gold, I'd be a very wealthy woman. Tom pointed out that, if dandelions were made of gold, a different monetary standard would be in play. No, because only MY dandelions would be made of gold. It's my fantasy, and I can milk it the way I want.

I did get extravagantly lost, one evening in Astoria when I was walking the dogs. Astoria consists of an idea city, with a neat, right-angle grid of numbered streets running north-south, and named streets, in alphabetical order, running east west, superimposed on a real city on steep hills. As it's impossible to lay a neat, right-angle grid over the complicated topography of a volcanic peninsula, the actual streets stop, start, and curve as they must. However, there are signs every few yards, indicating the locations of the ideal, but not real, streets. Most of these signs indicate, not a street, but a private driveway, or, less often, a footpath. After I found my way home, I phoned Tom, and told him all about my adventure. His comment? "Ah, the Winchester Mystery Town." You don't get it? Trust me, to a Californian, that was hilarious.

My yard here suffered while I was away. Tom meant well, but he doesn't know plants any better than I know computers. I think most of the plants will recover, except the new portion of lawn I planted this spring, an orange tree, and a few rose bushes. Those are dead, dead, dead. The rest was just mostly, dead, which is, as we learned from "The Princess Bride," still a little bit alive.

While in Oregon, I finished the alpaca socks I started for Tom before I left LA, in a nice faux-cable stitch. That done, I started a cotton-rayon summer top for myself, knit armhole to middle on both sides. I just finished attaching the two sides, with a three-needle bind-off. Next, I'll stitch up the side seams, and try it on. Once I knit a neck treatment and weave in the ends, it'll be done. I held together a fingering-weight rayon boucle in a sagey green with a sport-weight cotton/rayon blend in various pastels, in wide stripes. I knit the whole thing in stockinette, but now I think the color effect is more effective on the reverse, so I'll probably weave in the ends to make the reverse side work as the outside. Does that make sense?


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