Monday, October 31, 2011

Project Elf Completed

Just in the nick of time, I put the finishing touches on Aizia's elf costume so she could wear it to work today!

I had a lot of fun making the embellished felt Christmas tree appliques and hand stitching them to the felt skirt and vest I made. I also made the elf shoes to cover her athletic shoes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Final Harvest Before the First Frost

The expert weather prognosticators are calling for the first frost tonight. So I took a couple of hours this sunny afternoon to continue my garden beds clean-up and brought in the last of the produce.

I found 2 medium zuchinni, 2 oversized cucumbers, three handsful of greenbeans pods for drying (to save the seeds), 2-1/2 cups of unripen cherry tomatoes, a trayful of green roma tomatoes, a bouquet of yellow zinnias and orange ganzia flowers, and a small windowbox of fresh baby salad greens.

Hiding in the branches of the species dogwood tree in the corner of the backyard hangs a hardy non-stop begonia. Long after the lobelia and brachicomb had withered away, this plant is still going strong. I will be curious to find out if the frost finds it hanging in the tree.

Yesterday, I cut the last of the roses. Although, they are all loaded with buds, I have my doubts they will have a chance at blooming. I will savor the fragrance of these beauties sitting above my kitchen sink.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am a railway convert!

Portland Union Station tower as viewed aboard northbound train.
 I have recently become a 'travel by rail' enthusist after one too many trips down the I-5 parking lot in stop-and-go, never-get-into-third-gear, four-hours-between-Mt Lake Terrace-to-Tacoma drives! And then, only to get caught in Portland traffic's headaches, too! I've also done the math, and when traveling alone, it's more economical to travel by rail.

I can catch the morning south-bound train at 8:45a and be at Portland's beautiful Union Station just as my brother-in-law is getting off of work at 3:30p! Talk about convenient timing! And even better, I was able to spend the day stitching, reading, blog surfing, and watching movies instead of having my eyes glued to the brake lights in front of me! I loved it!

Inside Union Station I found a huge, clean and comfortable place to await my train.
Beautifully shiny benches throughout.

Coffered ceilings, marble tile walls and floors.

Almost time to board!

I love the old, old luggage carts still in use today. These were in Union Station, but the Fairhaven terminal had beautiful, old carts with wooden spokes! These were an anacronism in a lobby of neon signs.

On the way home Monday morning, I snapped alot of pictures on my iPhone and jotted down a few thoughts extolling the virtues of this train trip.
Although the day started out foggy, soon the sun broke through and I enjoyed some beautiful autumn colors. 

On this journey there were heavily wooded stretches alternating with beaches. The coastline had some sandy beaches but mostly it was wild and rocky.

It's a mixture of farmland vista between cityscapes,

notice the full moon in the left hand corner

waterfront homes (some magnificent, some quaint),

waterfront parks,


and had quick glimpses of industrial parks and busy railyards.

We paralelled more than one lush green golf course,

passed along suburban areas, gaining quick glimpses into town life, people walking dogs, jogging, hanging clothes to dry on lines in backyards outlined by picket fences.

I saw Park & Ride commuter stops, urban softball complexes,  a small airport, sailboats

ships and shipyards.

It was a wonderful journey of rural vistas and water views, diverse areas of city, urban and industry. But most of all, it was relaxing!