Monday, April 29, 2013

So much more fun than a quilt for the bed

I am inspired by the way Melody Johnson and Gerrie Congdon use color.  I made this little quilt with their work in mind.

It's not finished.  It may never be finished.  It's an exercise in working with color and its purpose is to experiment and have fun.  I no longer feel a need to finish things unless I really like them.  I'd rather set something aside unfinished than finish something I don't really like.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nearly six months since I broke my wrist

It's been nearly six months since my nasty fall and broken wrist.  Am I all better?  No, but I am doing pretty well.  What is still not right?  Most annoying is the tingling in my fingers.  Some activities make it worse... pruning, using scissors, and hand sewing affect it the most.  I hate that tingling.   Several times a night it wakes me and I have to shake it and move it so I can go back to sleep.  Sometimes it aches up and down my arm below the elbow and in my hand.  It still hurts to rotate my arm from the elbow.  I am still seeing the chiropractor once a month.  He says I am doing well.

I hoped to be all the way well by six months.  That is about the soonest they say an adult can fully recover.  The older you are the longer it takes.  A year is not uncommon so I am still hoping for full recovery.

There is another woman in the neighborhood who broke her wrist about the same time and had the pin surgery (which I refused to do).  She is using a physical therapist at a hundred dollars a pop.  Her total cost so far for her broken wrist is 30K... my total cost is about 3K. Our recoveries are about the same at this point although her cost is ten times mine.  I know not all breaks are the same but she is younger, broke the same bone and in both cases they recommended pin surgery.

The most expensive part for me was the orthopedist.   It cost over two grand for four office visits, two casts, and three x-rays.   I saw the physicians assistant and never the surgeon.  We figure they charged about eight hundred dollars an hour for the office visits.  The casts and x-rays were add on costs.  They charged  way too much for what they did.  Western medicine is so expensive.  And they make it pretty hard to price shop.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Look what a difference a paint job, some porch work and landscaping can make....



Friday, April 26, 2013


Yesterday was John's birthday and he chose not to go hiking but instead to spend the day as his whim dictated.  That meant going out for breakfast, a bit of gardening, a lot of porch sitting, going out for sushi and enjoying some fine wine.  Happy Birthday, John.

He also took me for my weekly  twice weekly trip to Portland Nursery.  I kept seeing this wonderful red hatted lady who looked like a bright flower herself.


 It's a joy to be at Portland Nursery...

And down my street I was taken by these going-by but still beautiful and very LARGE tulips.  I hope Tangela knows what they are.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Portland spring rages on

My neighbor gave me these....

I wish this chair was in my yard.  Photo from Pam Penick, who has a pretty fun blog on gardening in Texas.

View from the bedroom window

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Goin' Round 'the Mountain'

In Portland, Mt Hood is referred to as "the Mountain", as in "this weekend we are going to the mountain".  Well, today we we went round "the mountain".  We drove out 84 to Hood River and then took 35 to 26 and back home....that means we went around Mt. Hood.  It was a beautiful day to be out.

Mt Hood from 35

We drove up the Hood River Valley with all its many fruit orchards.

Mt Hood 

We stopped and hiked a bit on the Lower Salmon River Trail.  Trailmom aka Linda's Lens  wrote  a very descriptive trip report with great photos on Portland Hikers.  Her hike was a little later in the year but it was lovely today, too.

View Larger Map

First rose of spring

This is Old Blush, also known as the monthly rose because it blooms so long.  Here it is with its neighbors choysia, which is perfuming our garden with its wonderful scent,  astilbes and, of course, hakonechloa, the workhorse of our garden.

New scullery counter

John made a new counter for our temporary scullery.  He has such a good time with these little projects.  (He wants me to say that the counter is that high to accommodate the dishwasher, a plan I am unsure about.)

New counter

Old counter

Monday, April 22, 2013

Finished Quilt

My quilt is finished and on the bed.

This one is a truer representation of the colors but no cat...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Art Quilts

This is from Melody Johnson's quilt series she calls Treehouses.  This post has a wonderful explanation of her design process for the next quilt in the series.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Walking home from errands

It's that time of year when the sidewalks are covered with petals...

Sailing across the Zumwalt Prairie

The Zumwalt Prairie in NE Oregon has been designated as a National Natural Landmark.  From OregonLive, "Zumwalt Prairie is the best example of bunch grass prairie remaining in North America, according to the park service."

from Praise Photography

It's a lovely place.  We've been there several times driving from Joseph to Buckhorn Point.  John calls it sailing across the prairie.  I think it has been too long since our last visit.

from WestVirginiaVille

from OregonLive

Here is an image search on Zumwalt Prairie.... lots of great photos.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Garden update

We didn't do a lot yesterday as we were pretty tired after spreading our three yards of mulch the two previous days.  We did make our weekly trip to Portland Nursery and brought home a couple of shrub replacements.  My favorite person at Portland Nursery helped us.  Our strawberry tree (arbutus)  is dead.  It has been slowly dying for a few years  It is a very sturdy plant and I wish I knew for sure WHY it died.  It may have been from the gutter spilling over on it; it doesn't like that kind of wet.  We liked it so much that we actually got another strawberry tree, trusting that we could fix the problem.

We are also replacing our Viburnum Carlesii with an Escallonia.  The viburnum just doesn't bloom long enough nor does it have other endearing characteristics to earn its spot in our small yard.  It does smell very good when it blooms.  Both the strawberry tree and the escallonia are loved by hummingbirds and both are broad leaved evergreen shrubs.

Escallonia "Pride of Donnard"

Here they are, sitting on the stoop, waiting to be planted.

The tulips are still blooming and looking very good.  It's been almost three weeks.  It's going to warm up quite a bit next week.  I'll enjoy that, but I bet it will end the tulip bloom.

tulips and peony blooming

The pullout cutting boards are finished

We had a pretty laid back day yesterday, but John did finish the pullout cutting boards.  He had a good time making these little stops that keep the cutting boards from pushing in too far.

This is the big one.


Stop installed and adjustable (the screw is in a slot).

I spent much of the day doing hand work on my quilt while watching videos and dinking around on the internet.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

We had three yards of compost mulch delivered today.  I didn't get a photo until we were well into it.  This is after our morning mulching session.

Here is the pile when we were done for the day.  We think we got about two thirds through the pile today.


Update (the next day).... we finished the pile! Yeahhhhhh.  Guess we aren't too old yet.

This is where we always get our compost mulch...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pullout cutting boards

John has been having a lot of fun making the pullout cutting boards.  He has been designing his own process for how to make the breadboard ends accommodate movement of the wood in the cutting board surface.  We aren't pressed for time before demo day and so he has time for some fun.

He is using dominoes to make a floating tenon.  The tenon is smaller than the mortise (the hole) and this allows it to move.  To keep it from pulling out of the hole, there is a dowel that fits in the wider slot (allowing for expansion).  The very center mortise and tenon are sized the same and well attached but the rest of the joints allow for plenty of movement.

Waxing the end so it won't soak up glue

 Attaching the breadboard end to the cutting board.

Routing the finger pull