The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels


A Midlife Sort of Ketchup – Family, Sewing and Big News

40’s been knocking on my door.  In it comes next week.  A whirlwind of a summer I’ve had.  Blogging’s taken a back seat to it all.

A typical, randomly listed summary of recent events:

  • Almost 40.  I’m not upset about it.  This year’s ushered in life changing events, all welcomed.  I’ve moved to the place I’ve been looking for.  I’ve left hospital nursing and found a niche in Home Health Nursing.  Wouldn’t go back unless absolutely financially necessary.  It would break my heart to.  My faith in my fitting into the nursing profession is renewed.  It was crumbling away.  I’ve met a beau who’s been a long time coming.  And the biggest event…ready for it?
  • I’m buying my first home end of September.  Yup.  Exciting!  Thrilling!  Nerves…impatience…and all sorts of other emotions wrapped around this.
  • My nephew Lucca starts kindergarten next week.

This little guy is not so little anymore:


  • I’ve had houseguests this summer.  Mom and dad came for a bit before their trip up to AK.  Here we have a walk at Fort Flagler on Marrowstone Island.


  • My beau Peter’s son Zach came up to stay for a week.  Was good to get to know him.  He’s a good kid.  Haven’t had much interaction with 16 year olds.  Went well.

Here we have a walk on Hurricane Ridge with my dad:


  • I’ve been sewing a lot, working on two Christmas quilts and some nest feathering projects before everything gets packed up, moved, and sewing takes  a back burner to it all.

All nieces and nephews get a quilt from me. That’s my goal.

Sammy has his. He’s not this wee anymore, either:

DSC04879 10.20.34 PM

Lucca likes learning about the solar system.  I spotted this panel and border print at a shop (pretty sure it was Fabrics Plus in Anacortes) on  Whidbey Island and thought he’d like it.  They have everything in that shop for quilting, garment making and home dec sewing.  I was astounded at what’s packed into that space.  Fabric line is Out of This World by Northcott Fabrics.  Top’s done.  Needs quilting:


Lily (now a year and a couple months and talking up a storm) has a quilt coming to her this Christmas.  It’s pieced and ready to be quilted.  This four-patch quilt pattern is called Senior Prom, printed by Villa Rosa Designs.  I just ordered four pattern cards from this company. Their designs are more contemporary and easy peasy.


I’ve also cut out a lap throw for myself in colors I’d like to decorate with at the new place (navy-blues-oranges-golds).  I’m nesting folks. I have it bad!


  • Last summer’s interest in food preservation continues with making jam from a case of peaches, apricots, making pickles and several jars of Dilly Beans from my first picking of beans from the garden.


  • The garden. Another post I’ll share on that.


  • Tennis elbow much better.  Knitting some.  Not as much as hoped for in my 2014 New Years goals but hey…still knitting.  More on that later.


That’s the biggies summed up.  Some folks have been following this blog a long time. I started it while travel nursing, in NM, in 2008.  6 years has brought much change to my life.  Now and then I randomly peruse a section from back yonder.  It’s a journal of sorts.

Thanks for checking in.



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Scott Jaster and Williwaw – An Artist’s Bike Shop

My old red Schwinn, I call her Ruby, started riding like one of those clown bikes you see with  wheels of unequal sizes.  Not pleasant.

A friend suggested I visit Scott Jaster’s bike repair shop.  It’s more than a bike repair shop, folks.  Scott creates sculptures using wood and old bikes/bike parts.

Peruse photos of his sculptures, hand-crafted furniture and other wood pieces and read more about Scott at his website, Williwaw.  Looks like he does commissioned work as well.

Ruby’s back.  Much more fun to ride, she is freshly tuned-up and sports new tires.  I over-inflated the rear tire the other day.  Nearly jumped out of my skin when it exploded.  Bang!  Prompted the neighbor to step out and check on me.  I survived changing the rear tire out. Lesson learned.


Stepping into Scott’s shop, I was drawn to the hand-crafted pieces of furniture. I remember some are from oak from the Midwest.  He’s from Illinois. A fellow Midwesterner,  this oak reminds me of oak antiques and their distinctive warm, red color.

These certainly aren’t antique bureaus and wardrobes!


I sat in all the chairs.  A tactile person, I couldn’t stop touching them – the smoothness, the way the pieces are fluidly shaped, and the way the chairs fit the way the body is shaped.  Fascinating.  Woodworking is something I’ve  associated with symmetry and pre-determined dimension.

That thought’s been challenged.

Sculptures.  Check ‘em out.

Enter the driveway here:


A group ride meets you outside the front door:


The group leader is having bike fit issues. This one I find humorous:



Grand in scale:


Off to the side yard this caught my eye:


I nearly didn’t post this photo because the beauty of the suspended forms, hinged, moving, and organic is just not fully realized in this photo.  I could stare at this installment for ages – kind of like the kelp bed tank and jellyfish tanks at the Monterey Aquarium.  Mesmerizing.

Consider a stop in at Scott’s  place if you’re in or visiting Port Townsend.  Just off the Larry Scott trail, I’d like to pop in to see his pieces some more.  That will make a fun errand out of getting a kick stand for my other bike.


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Grand Ridge Hike – Olympic National Park

Hey folks.  I’ve been saving up plenty of pics and info to share.   I’ll try to catch up.

Today I enjoyed a hike in Olympic National Park with a couple of folks from a local hiking group.  The day started out blue-bird blue.  Some fluffy clouds came in later.  Temp was around 75 but a cool breeze kept it comfy.


The Grand Ridge Trail leaves from the end of Obstruction Point Rd., an 8 mile dirt road that carries one away from the bustling Hurricane Ridge Rd.  I’ve shown you this place before.  Starting at 6,000′ it’s one of the highest maintained trails in the park.  It was pretty mellow, only 600′ elevation gain in 2.5 miles.  One can walk it through to the Deer Park entrance to the park. We did an out and back of 5 miles.

The trail skirts along Elk Mountain (to the left, out of the picture) Badger Valley is below:



I noticed a pattern of rocky rivulets down the hillsides.  Where the terrain flattens, the rocks are distributed evenly.




Three weeks ago I hiked on Hurricane Ridge and the flowers were in full splendor. I have oodles of photos to share of that hike.  Two weeks ago the flowers on the same trail were nearing completion.  Fortunately, some still graced our walk today.

I believe this is some sort of Saxifrage.  The bees were all over it.


Thyme Buckwheat. The color varied from pale peach to raspberry.


A Gentian of some sort:


Mountain Owl’s Clover.  I have a thing for this one.


I think this is a sort of Monkeyflower. It’s sticky and shaped as such.  The stripes on the flower caught my eye.




This striking, black lichen thickly blanketed the rocks of a whole hillside.


Shale is abundant up there.  I find it fascinating how it flakes apart in sheets.  Here, it looks like pages of a discarded and charred book:


Well know Paintbrush, this specimen was fiery red.  Not in focus, just had to share the color.


At times it feels like you’re walking along a knife-edge into nowhere.


See the snowy peak in the background? That’s Mt. Olympus. There are glaciers up there.


Pictures just don’t show the splendor.

Soon snow will fall up here.  Today was a reminder that I’d like to make more trips up before winter.


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