An End to Isolation and Another Hat

Today was the official end to my isolation… even though I went to the beach yesterday. Today, I felt like It was ok to walk the dogs around the neighborhood and on the trail without having to worry about being too close to people. It felt good! Also, I’m almost completely back to normal. And that’s good news.

We started out Saturday with a nice three mile walk. It’s the first neighborhood walk we’ve had since May 11! I wonder if anyone was wondering where we were.

It was an absolutely gorgeous spring day here in Portland. We’ve had a cool and wet couple of weeks, so this day felt extra special. When we got home I sat out in the SHADE and had a cup of coffee and poked around the inter webs.

Then I got a productive streak and hit my sewing room and whipped up another bucket hat.

The hat I made yesterday is just too tight. So I poked around and found another pattern, printed it and compared it to the first pattern and it was generously bigger. It’s essentially the same pattern, but this hat turned out a little too big! I’ve sprayed it with water several times and tossed in a hot dryer. I even put it through a hot wash and dried it on hot. It’s still a little to big.

I got looking at the pattern and when I printed it, it was not at 100%. It printed at 110%. At 100% it’s the same size as the first hat pattern.

Speaking of 110%, Bender is giving that much!!!

And he just keeps on giving…

I really like this fabric combo of Philip Jacobs coleus in contrast and that gorgeous pink jumble. I might sew a piece of elastic into the back of this hat, just because love it so much and want to be able to wear it.

In my continuing Goldie Locksian quest to make a hat that is just right I reprinted the second pattern at 105%. I compared it to the larger version and I think the difference is going to make this next one a perfect fit. So I went ahead and cut out all the pieces and got the interfacing fused to the hat pieces.

I have been very careful to mark each pattern piece so I can keep the sizes all straight.

That peacock feather fabric is a Philip Jacobs Snow Leopard design. And of course, more jumble. I’ll finish this up tomorrow. The cutting is the most time consuming part, so this will finish up quickly. And I really should trim the excess fabric off that quilt backing I made a few days ago. I’d like to get that all bundled up and ready to go to the 9long arm quilter.

Apparently I wore my dogs out today. Rico is currently sleeping next to me with his paw over his ear.

Maybe his paw is stuck there!

And Bender is sleeping so hard his eyes are rolling back in his head!

Another beautiful day on tap for tomorrow. I’m hoping to get some pickleball in!

A Much Needed Beach Day and a Bucket Hat

We went to the Beach today. It was fabulous.

But first, I finished up this bucket hat tonight. It really went together quite easily and quickly.

How cute is that?!?!?!

If you’re gonna make one of these, make sure you have your pins handy.

I didn’t trim off the excess on that quilt back that gave me such pains yesterday. I want to be fresh and alert when I do it because I’m afraid I’ll make even more trouble if I’m not. I’ll tackle it tomorrow after measuring five or nine times.

Ok. Now to the beach.

We left home around 8:15 this morning and were on the beach at about 10:30. There were only four cars in the parking lot when we got there. That’s always a really good sign.

I always check the tide tables before I go the beach because this beach has a cliff and I’ve seen it completely swamped at high tide. You don’t want to be caught between a cliff and the ocean when the tide is coming in.

Low tide was at 10:55 this morning. And this was an extremely low tide, which meant that we could easily walk north onto Cannon Beach with plenty of time to get back before the tide cuts off access.

Cannon Beach features the iconic Haystack Rock. It’s likely you’ve seen photos of it. It’s the large rock formation on the right in this photo.

The beach was covered with these tidal pools today. And that meant fun for doggos!

We walked almost two miles north onto Cannon Beach before we turned around and headed back south. It felt so good to get out and move around after so many days of being stuck at home and so sedentary.

That’s three happy campers!

If you’ve never been to the Oregon coast, I feel a little sorry for you. It’s very rugged with lots of rock formations and it’s often harsh weather. But it’s stunning. The skies can be amazing and the water is gorgeous.

Here’s some more photos of Cannon Beach.

Did I mention that Bender and Rico whole heartedly enjoy the beach?

I walked 6.5 miles today. I’m guessing they RAN close to 20 miles. They are both exhausted tonight and they got a solid 90 minutes of sleep on the drive home. I had to stay awake.

And they LOOOOOOVE the water! They are in and out of it the entire time. But the good thing is that they don’t go in too deep.

Once we turned around and headed back south toward Arcadia Beach the tide had turned. But it was still waaaay out there. It’s about 1.5 miles down to the south end of Arcadia Beach. But first, we took a closer look at the rocks. And look what we found — sea stars. (click on the photos for a larger image.)

When I first moved to Oregon in 2010 it was very normal to see lots of sea stars on the rocks. And then there was a terrible wasting disease that wiped them out. And for a few years you never saw a sea star. But now they are making a comeback! It’s so cool to see them again! Look at those vibrant colors.

And speaking of vibrant colors. Look at this one! I’ve never see one this color purple before! It was so amazing!

Isn’t is amazing to see that color on a live animal!

Here’s the view looking south along the coast. That’s me in the foreground.

On the south end of this beach is an outcropping of rocks. It’s really unusual to be able to walk around that point. It’s almost always impassible except in these extremely low tides. I made a video of it for my friend Linda who used to visit often before the pandemic.

We were all slowing down a little by the time we made it back to the car. I felt really good considering that I’m on the tail end of my Covid experience. It felt so good to be outside and moving around. And a day at the coast always does us so much good. It felt really normal.

I’ll close tonight with this final photo of Bender with a crab on his head. It’s a long story, but I just had to do it.

He’s such a good dog.

Some Very Bad Math and Other Stories

I spent a good portion of today making the backing for this quilt.

This is a big quilt. It’s 96 x 96, so my plan was to make the backing 104 x 104 to give my long armer plenty of backing to play with.

I lived streamed a sheep herding competition in Kentucky as I hung out in my sewing room.

There is a lot of math involved with making a quilt backing, and even more when the quilt is this big. Math is not my strongest skill, but I’m pretty accurate at simple addition, subtraction , multiplication and division. Plus, I have a brain that has an easy time of making sense of spatial things.

I measured and cyphered and measured again and did more math and had it all figured out. And then I proceeded to cock it all up and cut both pieces of fabric 8 inches too short. I didn’t realize this mistake until a little later. It was quite dramatic when this issue came to light.

Basically, I did all kinds of fancy math to arrive at a size to cut the fabric for the backing and then proceeded to cut it the exact same size as the quilt top.

With the size of this quilt, I knew I would have to add some length to reach 104 inches. So I decided to use the leftover blocks and other fabrics to make up the difference I needed to add 20 inches of height to this. So I used this strip of left over blocks and flanked it with a strip of Jade Millefiore on each side.

So remember that I cut my large pieces of fabric 8 inches too short? Well, I discovered it as I was pinning this strip to the first larger piece of fabric. Dammit!!!

But one of the great things about this zig zag fabric is that you can add a piece and it blends in really well. So, while I will always know this seam is here in two spots on this backing, no one else will ever know.

After I fixed that mistake, the rest of this backing went together really well. Here it is on my guest bed so I could get a good look at it.

And then, when it was all done, I measured it and one side was four inches shorter than the other side. Did I mention that this quilt is square? FOUR INCHES SHORTER! Which means my backing is not at all square. I went over my math again and again trying to figure out how I had made one side so short, and I started making plans for how I would extend the length of this one side. I came up with a plan and set it aside to tackle when I’m fresh.

A little while later I was talking to a friend, expressing my frustration with the issue with my backing measurements. And we started going through my math together to see if we could figure out what had happened.

Well, we figured out that the side that I think is short is actually the correct measurement. The other side IS FOUR INCHES TOO LONG!!! My backing isn’t too small, it’s too big!

Too big is a lot easier to fix than too short. So tomorrow I will trim off 2 inches from the top and bottom so the strip down the middle will be easier to center for my long armer.

PHEW!

I don’t love making quilt backs. And I especially don’t love making BIG quilt backs. But I’m so relieved that I figured this all out before I started cutting and made an even bigger mess.

After an uneventful dinner I decided to start working on a bucket hat. The pattern I’m using is a free pattern from Sweet Red Poppy. A woman posted one she made on the KFC Facebook page today and I loved it. This is nowhere near done, the crown and brim aren’t even attached yet, but it’s coming together nicely and it going to be so fun!

The outside is Brandon’s octopus in black. The inside is Brandon’s black and white jumble.

It took more time to cut out all the pieces than it’s taken to do the actual sewing. But there may be more of these in my future.

I didn’t end up going to the coast today because the weather looked bad. There were a few beautiful moments here in Portland today.

But by damn, I AM going to the coast tomorrow! The weather took a turn for the better and low tide is at 11 am, so we’re going for it! My plan is to be on the road at 8 an.

WE REALLY NEED THIS!!!

Some Accidental Productivity and Another Bag Finish

I was so disappointed to find last night that the Pods fabric that I wanted to use for the lining for my current project was not to be found anywhere, except for some terribly expensive pieces on Etsy. I was so sure I had just added this to an online shopping cart a couple weeks ago. But I was not able to find the store that had it.

So I had to change my plans. I looked at all the options for linings that I had pulled from my stash and nothing really spoke to me. And then I was looking in a bin of KFC fabrics in the closet in my sewing room and I saw Amaze in red and I pulled it out and slipped it inside the bag. And it worked!!!

It’s a pretty damned good choice! I love that it still has the pop of orange that works so well with the front of the bag, but it’s not insane. It a lovely vibrant pop without the chaos.

Bender agrees!

Here’s some photos just because I like looking at them!

And some more detail. And then tell me that the lining of a bag isn’t important! I mean… look at this!!!

As I was thinking about paper piecing last night I remembered a book I bought a few years ago that I’ve never made anything from.

I can’t find it for the life of me. I’ve looked everywhere. In the process I turned my sewing room upside down looking for it….And then I got sidetracked and started straightening up my messy work space.

I took a pile of fleece pieces and sewed them together into pieces large enough to use to make bags. I ended up with enough pieces to make four bags!

Then I folded, organized and put some fabrics away. I found a stack of black and white fabrics I bought recently, then pulled out a roughly folded stack of black and whites that were tucked in a drawer.

I folded them all more carefully and found some space for them in one of my drawers.

I also found this piece of KFC fabric that I was looking for a few months ago.

In a further quest for the illusive book I dug into a set of drawers in my closet and located a bunch of bags of fabric that I’ve set aside for upcoming projects.

Some of these have literally been sitting there, waiting and waiting for me to do something with them, for several years! Here’s what I was thinking…

This first bag is the newest of all of these. I basically built a KFC Parakeet pre-cut package from my stash.

I had originally planned to make a jewel box quilt with this but I made one out of ugly batiks and I’m not sure I want to make another one. Still thinking about ideas for this fabric. I might remove some yellows and add more pinks before I actually start cutting.

This next package has been sitting in a bag for years. It took me a few years to collect the purple and aqua batiks I had in my head… all with this specific pattern in mind. I even purchased backing fabric for it.

I saw this quilt made up in a store a few years ago and just loved it. It would be a relatively quick make.

This bright and beautiful collection of batiks was originally meant for my Lucky Stars quilt. But I ended up making that quilt entirely from batik scraps.

It’s a really pretty set of fabrics. I keep telling myself I should just break this all up and put it back in my stash. But I still think these fabrics would be fun in some kind of quilt top. I’ve thought about using them for a 16-patch, or a Moss garden type quilt. I’ll leave them all in this bag for a few more years while I think about it.

This next group of fabrics took me forever to put together. I drug these fabrics around from fabric store to fabric store for a year before I had all the pieces I wanted. I love the muted colors and the batik I bought for the background.

I had intended to make this into the Starburst Cross quilt pattern.

It’s a free pattern and I really love it. But I have an unfinished project that uses those same corner blocks and I lost my enthusiasm for sewing on all those little corners! Maybe I’ll find my enthusiasm again some day. In the mean time, this set of fabric will remain in its baggie.

The last set of fabrics I’ve squirreled away is a vibrant and exciting one! It’s all red KFC fabrics… with a lot of pops of color included!

I’ve wanted to make a quilt from these fabrics for some time, but I keep going back and forth on the pattern to use. The pattern above, called Bold Proposition, is a likely contender, but I haven’t landed on this one for sure. Hmmm. I just had an idea that I could use this pattern for the yellow fabrics in the Parakeet set. I kind of like that idea!

Sometimes my brain is a scary place to be.

This next set of fabrics is the most recent one I’ve squirreled away. I wrote about it in this post. The pattern I’m thinking of making is something I drew up. It combines 16 patches with corner fabrics.

Here’s the block I’m envisioning making. This will allow me to make a square block but it will look like the blocks are set on point. Win, win!

I also found this Arboretum quilt kit I bought last year. I bought this kit for a friend as well and she recently finished hers. Mine, of course, is still in the package.

I don’t typically buy kits, but I love this quilt and the kit includes precut rectangles of something like 96 unique fabrics. I’m happy to pay someone else to do all that pressing and cutting!

Here’s my friend’s finished quilt top. Isn’t it pretty!

All this and I still didn’t find that book. I wonder where the hell it is.

Scrappy Blues and Thinking About Paper

I’m not being terribly productive as I fritter away my vacation in isolation. I did play ball with the dogs three times today. They thought that was exciting. Oh, and I planted my tomato plants. That took all of ten minutes.

And while I was at it I fertilized all the pots on my patio (there are a lot!) and removed some old twinkle lights from the fence. It’s all looking so good!

I did get my primary ballot filled out and dropped off this afternoon. So that’s something I accomplished.

I did pull off a little productivity today and sandwiched and quilted the bag panels I made yesterday. And I got the outer bag constructed.

I have to say that orange strip was a good decision!

And now I’m at a bit of a standstill. I can’t decide what to use for the lining. I tried some different options. Started off with some blues and greens.

There were a couple of these I liked but I didn’t LOVE any of them. So I switched to something that I think is much more exciting…

There are some really good options in there, but I know where I have to go with this…

It’s so perfect! The only problem is that I don’t have enough of it! So I will order some and wait until it arrives to finish this bag. it will be worth the wait. I had actually started a fabric order last week that included some of this and I never completed it. Now I’ll have to go back and wrap it up.

Here’s some eye candy!

I’ve been thinking about a new project and my mind keeps going to paper piecing. So I dug into my pile of templates this evening and found some that I was afraid I had lost.

One that I was especially happy to find in that pile is a nice little leaf that I made into a couple of different zipper pouches. I would love to incorporate one of these into a Frankenbag.

Another one I was really happy I still had was Scrappy Mountains that I made into a zipper pouch.

I’d have to do some design wizardry to figure out how to build that rectangular block into a Frankenbag. But it will be fun to try.

I’m thinking I might start off tomorrow morning by making the backing for this quilt top.

Now that I have my new bed I’m getting itchy to have one of my quilts finished and on display!

So Bored, But A Little Productivity

I’m already bored. I took another COVID test last night and I’m still positive. So my isolation continues. I’ll take another test tomorrow but I’m guessing it will be positive as well.

I feel like I’m almost back to normal. I’m at that thick mucus stage. I won’t go into detail.

When I went to bed last night I decided to not set an alarm. I wanted to let my body decide what time to get up. Well, my body said it needed some sleep. I didn’t get up until 10:30. It was so late that instead of having breakfast, I had left over spaghetti! And I liked it!

I didn’t do much all day. I had wanted to start on another Frankenbag that will be for a gift and was going to make another indigo batik and KFC scrap combo.

I just love this bag! I had originally purchased those indigo batiks intending to combine them with yellow KFC prints for a quilt and just never got around to it. They are so fabulous combined with these left over strip tube pieces from my KFC trip quilt.

When I was thinking about it, it hit me that it might be interesting to combine these bright scraps with some blue aboriginal fabrics, so I pulled out my strip sets and started cutting.

I got the pieces of scraps put together and tossed them up on my design wall and started trying things out.

I liked the initial look of it so I decided to go ahead and do it and see how it worked.

Once I got the elements of the panel made I decided to try some contrasting color to see how I liked it. First I tried some yellow Aboriginal fabric. I liked it but I didn’t love it. It just felt a little too stark. Too much contrast.

So I checked the pile of recently used fabrics on my cutting table and had a eureka moment! This color way of Brandon Mably’s pods did the trick for me!

So, why do I like this one better than the yellow Aboriginal fabric? First, I think because it’s darker so it doesn’t stand out as much. Plus, the orange just feels better with the blues than the yellow does. I also like the variation in the design. The yellow almost reads like a solid. This fabric has more color and movement. And last, I love the pops of blue in this — it helps it make more sense and play along better with the blue Aboriginal design.

So I went about executing this combo in the first bag panel, and I love it!

I had enough time to finish up the second panel as well.

I plan on getting this all quilted and getting the bag body constructed tomorrow.

I had a few minutes earlier in the day and decided to make some zipper pulls so I would have them on hand when I finished some upcoming bags. So I dug out some brown faux leather strips that matches my tags and got to cutting, tying and pulling.

I’m not sure but it looks like I made around 20 of them. So that will be enough for ten bags. I put the finished pulls in the little drawstring bag that my first order of tags came in.

My big priority for tomorrow is voting. Oregon is all vote by mail and I’ve had my ballot for a week or so, plus all my official voter information booklets. So I will probably get that done as I eat my breakfast. It’s a great way to vote! I can do research on candidates and issues as I fill out my ballot. It’s so civilized! I’m in a new Congressional district that Oregon gained with the 2020 Census, and there are a LOT of candidates running for that seat. I’ve been getting an insane amount of political candidate mail every day for the last month or so. I have a lot of research to do.

Bender and Rico were very good dogs today. They spent nearly the entire day outside and just hung out like pros. I did go out and toss the ball for them a few times. That was really their only form of entertainment and exercise today.

They did lose a little patience with me after I finished sewing this evening. Rico had had it by that time!

And then, because he’s such a good boy, everything was fine.

A friend of mine went to the coast today and I’m really envious. Before I got sick we had planned to go together with our many combined dogs. I still have some hope that I may be able to go later this week. I haven’t given up yet,

Feeling Good Enough To Sew

After a great day (more on this later), I felt good enough to hit my sewing room tonight and finish the yellow and blue Frankenbag I’ve been working on. I had to completely cut and construct the lining and pockets and then sew the lining to the bag body and do all the finishing. Here’s the result.

Here’s the other side.

It seems like forever since I’ve done any sewing. It’s amazing what being busy and sick will do to your sewing time!

Here’s some more detail. I just love this lining fabric!

More eye candy…

You might notice that I added a beaded zipper pull to this bag on the placket zipper and pocket zipper.

I don’t know why it took me so long to remember to add a zipper pull. I’ve been adding them to zipper pouches for some time. Several years ago I bought a bunch of spools of different colors of faux leather and a bag of wooden beads. They are so quick and easy to make and make finding the zipper pull so much easier.

I even pulled a finished bag out of my closet and added zipper pulls.

It rained this morning, but the afternoon brought better weather so I loaded the dogs in the car and headed out for a different friend’s place to run Bender and Rico in her field. We had a wonderful time. These boys do love to get out and run!

OMG! I just love it here this time of year! Look how gorgeous it is!!!

I took a few pictures…

After our field run I decided to take some back roads on the way home. We wandered around the Balk Peak area until the road we were on turned into a dirt road and eventually met up with a street I’m familiar with.

Then I had to pull over and take in the amazing view. It as gorgeous but windy.

It was just a striking day with amazing and dramatic skies.

Good grief. Look at that!

This made me feel so good! Nothing like going from being stuck in the house to being outdoors in such a vast space.

When I got home I threw some spaghetti sauce on the stove. I had planned to make it for my brothers while they were here and needed to get it cooked since I had thawed some hamburger and sausage.

It made a really nice dinner, especially since I’ve been craving pasta. I have enough left over for a few dinners and got a couple containers in my freezer for later.

Feeling So Much Better and a Good Saturday

Huge thanks to everyone who sent good wishes for me during my COVID party. I’m happy to report that I’m feeling so much better today. I started monoclonal antibodies a couple days ago and my improvement from this morning to now is remarkable! My worst symptom has been head congestion. I got off pretty lucky.

The boys have been pretty restless the last few days with the lack of activity. I still don’t feel quite up to a longer walk so I took them out to a friend’s place this afternoon to let them run in her field. It was so good for all of us.

It was 70 degrees today! After so many cool and rainy days it was just magnificent. And these boys wore themselves out! I’m so sad I didn’t take a chair with me and sit in all that glory for a couple hours.

Here’s some of the fun…

I was changing my sheets on my new bed tonight and thought It was a good time to try out my Moss Garden quilt to see how it fits. And I think it’s good to go.

So after I finally finish the yellow and blue Frankenbag I’m working on, I may make the backing for this quilt. Here’s the fabric I’m using. I bought it on sale a few years ago. I think I paid $4 per yard. A pretty damned good deal. I have some left over blocks that I’ll use on the backing. Looks like I should make some curtains too!

It brings some needed color that beige room!

After such a gorgeous day I was happy to have a gorgeous night. I sat on my patio for an hour or so and answered emails and had a phone call with a friend. It seems like such a luxury after the weather we’ve been having.

Imagine how wonderful it would have been if all those chairs were filled with friends…

I’ve gotten a ton of photos of Frankenbags from readers that I haven’t had a chance to share yet. So here we go.

This first one was made by Sara Rajagopalan. She said she stumbled upon my blog while waiting at the hospital during her husband’s surgery. During the past few weeks, she needed some de-stress time and made some stress buster crumb blocks to incorporate in this bag. It’s like a celebration in a bag! All those colors and shapes. It’s a great bag. And I love that she added her own variations.

This next one was made by Jane Knaub. She’s made other Frankenbags but this is the first time she’s tried a zippered placket. She said she’s been putting it off, but it really wasn’t too bad. She made this as a gift for a girlfriend she’s going to visit in June.  She has two more girl friends she’s meeting with at the same time so she needs to do two more bags.

Of course I love all the blue and orange and that applique panel is just great! And I love that she went for the zipper placket. They do get easier with each one you make.

This next bag is from Marcia Larson. I love the cool feeling of the first photo… and the deep and vibrant reds on the other side. And all that graphic black and white is so good!

Marcia said that if she ever wanted to sell one, it would be in the 4 figures considering the hours it took her to complete it! She likes that this bag challenged her to be more creative.,.. and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me!!!

Next up is this bag from Paulette Aldrich. She’s made other Frankenbags. You might remember the handle detail she’s added. I bought some of that hardware and want to give that treatment a try. It’s pretty cool! I love all that graphic black and white and the tilted block on the back is so great! I’m going to have to try that! The panel on the front is so fun too.

Finally tonight there’s this bag from Jean Williams. I just love all those pineapples and they’re even better combined with the black and white jumble! And I really love her lining and placket fabrics together! So good!

My brothers have been sending me updates from their trip to Seattle to visit my 95 year old aunt. They sent me this photo today. This is my mother’s family, taken around 1948.

My mom is in the front row on the far right, in the dark suit. My dad is right behind her. The aunt that my brothers are visiting is next to my mom, in the light suit.

This next photo is my aunt and her twin brother (he’s at the far right in the back row above). It’s from their high school graduation. It’s in a small frame and sits on a table in my living room.

Here’s my brothers flanking my tiny aunt and my cousin on the far right.

I’m really glad that I haven’t been terribly sick, but I feel really bad that I missed this visit.

Well, It Got Me Too

I was all ready for my vacation to start this morning when it was brought to a screeching halt by a positive COVID test.

So, no vacation for me. No trip to Seattle to see my aunt. No visit with my brothers. And all that work in getting my house ready, and I’m the only one who will appreciate it. At least I have a fridge full of food to hold me over!

I feel pretty good. It really only feels like a cold and not a very bad one. My sinuses are congested and I have a cough but not a terrible cough. And I had a fever earlier today but Tylenol took care of it. I’m being careful to drink lots of water and eat good food. I just had dinner and I hadn’t eaten since lunch. It just never occurred to me to eat. I had pulled some home made chicken tortilla soup out of my freezer this morning.

I have all the stuff ready to make spaghetti… I planned to make it for dinner tonight. So I will make a big pot, eat some, and freeze the rest. It will be nice to have that in the freezer too.

My doctor has approved monoclonal antibodies and they should be delivered tonight. They help boost your antibody response and help make the virus more mild. I also had my second booster vaccine about a month ago. So if I had to get it, this is a good time to get it.

I had a few phone calls with nurses and doctors today. Apparently, I should feel better soon and my symptoms should be gone in five days. Then I’ll need to isolate for another five days. Pretty much the exact length of my vacation.

So, I’m thinking I may just go to work next week if I feel ok and will plan some vacation time when I’m better and can enjoy it.

Since I’ll be stuck at home for ten days. I hope I’ll feel better in the next couple days so I can get into my sewing room and get some stuff done. Since I can’t go anywhere, I think I’ll actually work a few days next week instead of burning my vacation sitting at home. Then I’ll schedule some vacation later.

I’m pretty sure I picked it up at Pickleball on Sunday. I’m still wearing masks to the grocery store. So pickleball was the first indoor activity I’ve done without a mask.

Apparently the pandemic ISN’T actually over!!!

Bender is already terribly bored with this sickness stuff. He played and played with this ball this morning and then fell asleep like this! He was so groggy when he woke up!

Hopefully I’ll be able to get out for some walks later this weekend. The doc said to be sure I don’t over do it. But these boys are going to be bouncing off the walls if they don’t get their walks!

I leave you tonight with this… Where’s Rico?

Please send positive energy my way!!!

A Busy Saturday — Lambs, Work and Sewing

I got up this morning and hit the road for Molalla where Rico had his weekly sheep herding lesson. It was a great opportunity to work on different sheep in a different place and on very different terrain. And he was such a good boy!

We worked in a pasture that’s on a hillside and is covered with tree stumps. There were high and low points in the field so Rico couldn’t always see the sheep. It was really challenging and he was just a trooper.

We worked mostly on driving, which is basically pushing the sheep away from me. The dog’s natural desire is to bring the sheep to the handler. So driving is challenging. He worked so well… worked really far away from me, was calm and controlled, and kept the sheep going in a relative straight line. Here’s a bit of video.

Wow. There’s not much to that video. But you get a little of an idea.

It was fun to be down at Trudy’s again and see all the lambs and how much they’ve grown. Trudy was giving some alfalfa to some sheep in the barn and all the ewes and lambs were hopeful she was giving it to all of them and they came running.

They were all so disappointed when they didn’t get any alfalfa. And look at how big those lambs are! They grow so darned fast!

There is one set of triplets that Trudy still has staying in the barn because the mom has a chapped udder and isn’t letting the lambs feed as much as they want because it’s painful. So the smallest one is getting the short shrift. So Trudy is confining the lamb with a yearling ewe that only had one lamb and she’s getting her fill there.

And Trudy has to treat the ewe with the chapped udder. Here she is putting Bag Balm on the ewe.

I’ve kept Bag Balm in my house for years. It’s a really dense treatment for dry skin, sort of the consistency of thick Vaseline. I know people who use it on their summer feet. But this is the first time I’ve ever seen it actually used on udders!

It was really good to be outside and moving around. But wow… it was really wet. Rico was soaked by the time we were done. And here’s a really good reason why I wear my knee high rubber boots for herding…

After seeing the lambs again I had to hightail it home in time to work our fundraising drive for three hours. While I was on the air from my sewing room, a COYOTE ran right across my front lawn! It was all I could do to keep it together as I was talking!

After a nice and relatively dry walk I grabbed some dinner and then hit my sewing room. I managed to finish quilting the second blue and yellow bag panel and I got the body of the bag constructed.

Here’s a picture with the lining and and fabric for the inner pockets.

And some pictures for me..

Tomorrow morning a friend and I are meeting for a pickleball lesson. I’m really looking forward to it1 It will be good to start a busy Sunday with some physical activity.

After that I’m meeting the friend who will be staying with my dogs a couple of evenings soon. Then more housekeeping. I’m so close to having it all done.