The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

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A Winter’s Walk

I’m having a bit of a glum morning. Though I try to not let it drag me down the state of the world and the dysfunctional #$*’s in US politics has been magnifying everyday troubles and annoyances more than usual.

My cat Jane gazed at me two days ago with a completely clouded over left eye. Having impaired sight in her rt eye from a chronic infection, she is now nearly blind, walking into things.  We see the vet this AM. I hope this is a simple infection that can be treated.  It’s hard having a geriatric pet. Some days they look a bit stiffer or don’t eat very well – a reminder of their shortening lease on life.

A walk in a local park Thursday was just the ticket to lift the spirits.

Low tide was still high enough to make the beach route impassable.  A seal kept an eye on us like a para scope.  The clouds washed the sea in the prettiest grey-green.

Up the trail into the Madrones and young fir we walked.  It was very windy – the trees swayed.

Madrones – A favorite tree of mine – sculpted and sinuous.

I like how their curved lines wend around the arrow-straight fir.

There’s a coffee shop at Fort Worden we took full advantage of. Returning the way we came the sun made an appearance.  Hooray! Incredible how the color of the water changed so quickly and dramatically, now a deep blue.

The daylight lengthens. Tuesday it was warm enough to garden all day. A gift!

More later-

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Happy Holidays to all!

Greetings from Vancouver, BC where I’m having some quality time with my sweetie.  Off we went yesterday for a walk in Capilano River Regional Park. Snow fell in the last couple days making for a delightfully brisk, white-dusted walk.

This city has a great number of parks. This one lies far up in the northern section on the flanks of Grouse Mtn.   We appreciated the quiet retreat away from the buzz and chaos of the city.  It’s coastal rainforest up here. Which I just love-

My neck of the woods on the Olympic Peninsula sees snow maybe once or twice a year, never more than a couple of inches and it melts quickly.  I like retreating to snow when I miss it, walking in a fresh coating now. I’m glad to benefit from a marine climate the rest of the year.

It’s a real treat to have a stroll through white-dusted lichens, firs and such.

The Capilano River runs north to South through BC’s Coast Mtns and empties into Burrard Inlet. A massive dam and its reservoir provides water to the city, one of three primary sources.  A salmon hatchery was put in downstream from this damn to try to preserve the salmon runs. The famed Capilano Suspension Bridge is close by and run privately.  All lit up for the holiday it was stuffed full of visitors this weekend. We avoided it.  I’d like to see it another time.  I’d also like to return and witness spring snow-melt water levels.

The canyon we walked up has very steep walls. It’s astounding to imagine the flow and amounts of water that have carved out this pathway.

Check out this delightful fungus-

Such a pretty city retreat!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Years to you and yours!

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A Two Month Lapse

Jeez. I haven’t posted in two months – not for lack of interesting things to share.  Still here. But I’ve been ignoring the laptop on days off as I’m glued to one on work days.

I’ve had some knitting disappointments, placing an entire finished sweater in a don’t look at it and you won’t know it’s there pile and a vest that fell victim to a lying gauge swatch.

So knitting momentum is slowed – but not gone.

Here’s what’s been filling up my time-

  • A new nephew, Christopher arrived on Feb 2nd. He’s adorable!  Keeping the tradition, I made him a quilt and am nearly done, sewing the binding down.  Pirates, Octopus, Fish, in huge and simple blocks are delightfully colorful. More on that once done.
  • Spring won’t arrive. It’s been cold and rainy. Folks I am so ready for sun and warmth.  We must be at least 3-4 weeks behind in weather.  Nevertheless, gardening’s happening. We had the entire east side of the house dug up and prepared for landscaping.  We’ve planted 9 trees thus far – A Black Tulip Magnolia, A Japanese Stewartia, a Hinoki Cypress, A Vine Maple and a Japanese Maple, a Weeping Birch, a clump of Himalayan Birch, a Juniper and a Shore Pine.  This is the spring of investment in trees.  Seeds are starting in the dining room window and a couple new garden beds are in place. On work-outside- days, that delightful fall into bed and sleep better than you ever do feeling is back. There’s something so gratifying and therapeutic to me for working in the garden.  Photos to come.
  • Working in the yard has displaced some crafting time.  The little I’m doing tends to be while listening to the Wet Coast Wools Podcast on Youtube which I’m glad to recommend to you.  Glenda and Bernadette are goofy,  informative and enjoyable. I look forward to seeing their FO’s and WIPS.  5 minutes into a podcast I know if I’ll stick with it.  I’ve been watching back episodes as well.  Glenda owns and Bernadette Manages/works at Wet Coast Wools in Vancouver, BC. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting them and shopping at their shop.  They kindly welcomed me to join them at their knitting table while waiting for Pete to return to pick me up.
  • I’m on book three of Ransom Riggs Series that starts with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Sure they’re kids’ books. But man I can’t put them down.

What else is in the queue for you?  How about a weekend at Madrona Fiber Arts? Or a hiking trip at Dosewallips State Park? Maybe some photos of the Olympic Mountains from above tree line? And there’s that fingering weight colorwork hat that’s done.

I’lll get going on those this week.  Until later!


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2015 – A Pic Per Month

Searching for content from an old post the other day I came across one I made way back in 2009 featuring a photo per each month of that year.  And I decided to do that for 2015.


January – Seattle – Old buildings of varying stature stacked up and together like cordwood. 



February – Downtown, Mt. Baker in the background, while sailing away. 


March –  Ferry approaching Orcas Island. Headed to San Juan Island. 



April – My love and I enjoying a fine spring supper in the fledgling back yard. 


May – The unbridled creativity of the Wearable Arts Show. 


June – Sonja, my sweet niece arrived.


July – Editz Hook, Port Angeles, the Coho just departed, delivering my sweetie back to work. Vancouver Island is out yonder, obscured by clouds. 



August – Mom and dad visited for my birthday. We took a whale watching trip and saw several orcas, a grey whale and a rare fin whale. It was a helluva birthday gift to hang with my folks. 


September -Dusk. And the packed Hudson Marina at the Wooden Boat Festival. 


October – A big trip to UT I haven’t blogged of. Yet. 


November – A local beach.  Getting Wintry. 


December -Winter. Rainy. A view out a ferry window in Seattle.  

This was fun, sifting through the year’s photos.  So many  I meant to share, perhaps some afternoons of dedicated blogging will happen behind wintery, cold, wet windows the next month or two. Thanks for your readership this past year.

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Wintery Walk

It doesn’t snow much here.  Saturday after Thanksgiving we woke to a couple inches of light, wispy fluff.  Compared to growing up buried in MN snow, it was just a smidge.

The neighbor kids were playing in it when I drew open the blinds first thing in the AM.  Coffee in hand, we thoroughly enjoyed watching them flop around in it.  One made his way over to the front yard.  “Can I use your snow for a snowman?” He timidly asked. Too cute!  Soon, tracks of non-sticking snow webbed across the yard.

The pics below are from a walk through the neighboring woods the day after.





A maze of trails lace through the woods around the neighborhood.  We’ve been enjoying new explorations.  This day was something special with snow covering surfaces. Sure…it’s not a lot, but it was still pretty!



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Fall Farmers Market Color to Warm Your Day

Last November I escaped the ‘Polar Vortex’ by visiting family in FL.  There’s a cold snap chilling family and friends all over.  Here, the sun shines brightly despite the cold.  I’m thankful for that and enjoying it during walks.

This is knitwear season, folks.  I love it!  Snuggling under quilts while knitting at night is so pleasant.  My two wool, thickly cabled Fishermans Sweaters are on duty as well as all those hats, shawls and mitts the summer tucked away.  I’ve been working on top-secret Christmas knitting and behind on uploading pics of not-so-top-secret items. More on that later.

Today, I’ll paint the last room in the house, my bath.  The to do list is long, including sorting out the mountains of boxes in the garage and a trip to the Habitat For Humanity thrift shop to donate (and sleuth for a few things I’m looking for.)

The carrot on the stick:  I can start unpacking books, my shell and rock collection, hang photos and artwork, all those fun things that make a home feel like a home.

Hang on…neighbor walking past with his dog Oscar. Have to step onto the porch and say hello.  They are a delightful family.

I just love my neighborhood!

I thought I’d share some colorful pics from last weekend’s farmers market to help brighten things up:


Stay warm!


How do you cook cabbage?  I’m looking for ideas.

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I can’t get enough of sautéed greens.

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Stay warm!


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:

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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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Deer/Slugs/and stink that’s totally worth it

My gosh I haven’t posted in almost a month.

Posts delayed:  a piece on barnacles with fascinating photos, a few hikes with much new flora to learn of, a trip to see family in MN, a road trip to the south west corner of Vancouver Island, a couple knitting projects (one a Christmas gift so no spoiler pics of that), and my fledgling garden.

I haven’t had a real veggie garden since I was in college.  The first time.  20 years ago.  I’ve dabbled in potted flowers and herbs. This is the real thing folks.  My beau (he’s new too, and what a trajectory we are on) built the compound and a lovely arbor.  I call the fenced enclosure a compound because the deer are eating my yard to pieces.  Nothing’s safe.  Even “deer-proof” plants are nibbled on.  I’m running out of new expletives.  There’s a test to a new relationship, eh?  How well does a guy handle sudden shouts of agony from my finding another mowed-down pansy or marigold?  Tonight I thumbed my nose at em’ all.  My arsenal includes: deer spray (a sulfur-based potion), slug-luring pellets (minerals, magnesium?) and beer in cat food cans in the garden (works well).    I also applied worm tea tonight to the plants.   I caught a whiff of myself before changing out of my grubby clothes. Ew!

But it’s a good ew.

A couple weeks from solstice, it’s light until almost 9:30 PM. Incredible.  Was it light so late when I grew up in MN?  I don’t remember that.  Weather’s been absolutely lovely.  Some nights I stagger in after nine famished, tired, realizing I forgot to eat.

Blogging’s still on the to-do list.  I hope to share some photos with you this week.

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Whoa – Moving.

Hey out there.  I haven’t fallen off the Earth though it feel like my head’s spinning.

Yesterday I accepted a job offer in Port Townsend, WA.  A gift it is.   Much about CA I’ll miss.  Some things I won’t. A bit bittersweet this is.  I’ve made some true friends and will miss them.

I LOVE it up there.  I’ve blogged about it before and just had a return trip.

Work starts mid-November. Am headed up next week in search of housing.  Move-out is in just under three weeks.  Those days are flying by.

So excited, so nervous, scared, happy, a mix of emotions bubble through my maxed-out brain.

I’ve loads of knitting and traveling to blog about but time is scarce right now.

So bear with me!  Thanks!


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PC to Mac-Gah!

Laptop got funky last week, crashing constantly. I’ve been looking for an excuse to change to a Mac for years.  Sure, I could have brought it in to the shop, had its ailment diagnosed and a repair quoted.  But…

They say Virgos ruminate and live in their heads.  They also say we process info and thoroughly examine all options.  Sometimes that’s the way I roll. Other times I saunter to the Apple store to research laptops.

Hah!  I knew I’d walk out with one. Who was I kidding?

A sleek and sexy glowing, silver machine on my lap, I type feeling like I did the first time I learned to use a mouse – awkward as hell.

I have SO MUCH to learn! Just tried previewing then uploading pics and it didn’t go well.  I’m going to need many of those one on one appts I paid extra for.   I should use some of those online tutorial videos they tout.  But I’m not really a read the full directions kind of gal.

Guess I’ll need to be.

Some random ketchup kind of stuff:

  • I also replaced my broken camera with a new Fuji point and shoot 20X. I really wanted a dust (erm…beach sand) proof one but after researching the options, they just don’t take good photos.  A goal I have of learning how to use its manual settings.  Community ED has a  class I may register for.
  • Been nursing an irritated, old lower back injury to the tune of two months, now.  Been a slow, long haul. I was enjoying 9 mile hikes before the Fourth of July. Now I’m tired and sore after 4. Sigh…starting over sucks.
  • I turn 39 next Wednesday.
  • A two week road trip begins in two weeks.  So excited, need to start some planning.  PNW and British Columbia here I come!
  • Been selfish knitting, not making Christmas gifts this year.  I’m on an accessory kick and loving it.
  • Continuing the Preserves learning curve with apricot-ginger jam and apple butter added to my pantry.
  • Looking forward to fall, cooler temps, rain, and green hills.

No pics though I have material from months ago I’d love to share.

Working on it!