15 Seconds of Fame

Our last morning in Paris, I discovered an error on the bill from the previous night’s dinner splurge at Les Ambassadeurs. So we took the Metro to the Hotel de Crillon on the Place de la Concorde. Walked up the subway steps to the street. In front of the entrance to the hotel was a crowd of people. A metal barricade stretched from the revolving door of the hotel to the street where a black limo was parked. Red carpet on the ground from hotel door to car door.

“What’s going on?” I asked the teenager standing next to me.

“It’s Madonna! She’s about to leave!”

Excitedly, I looked at Ridge. “Madonna!”

He said, “Do you want to stay?”

I thought, “Hmmm, Madonna or last day in Paris? Madonna or last day in Paris?” No choice really, “I don’t want to wait around. Let’s fix the error on our dinner bill and go.”

But how to get around the barricade and into the hotel? We watched someone walk through an opening near the building, up the three steps to the landing, and push through the revolving door. “Let’s go,” Ridge said.

Walking into the hotel behind Ridge, switching sunglasses for eyeglasses, I tried to scan the lobby for a glimpse of an entourage and perhaps . . . Madonna. The reception area for the restaurant was at one side of the hotel lobby and up several steps. We met with the maitre’d who apologized and left to fix the bill. We sat down on the sofa and continued watching the people in the lobby. When the maitre’d returned and our transaction was completed, I asked him, “So why are all of the people waiting outside?”

He leaned in closer and whispered, “It’s Madonna. She’s about to leave.”

Another moment of giddiness, “Madonna!”

Ridge again offered me the choice, “We can stay!?”

Madonna or last day in Paris? “I don’t want to wait around. Let’s go.” Leading the way to the exit, switching back to sunglasses, still scanning for HER. No luck.

I pushed through the revolving door, and . . . screams and flashes and more screams and more flashes. I froze. Was SHE behind me? Turned around . . . and saw Ridge . . . who turned around and saw . . . no one. He looked back at me. And I looked back at the crowd. Embarrassed and staring at the ground, I quickly walked the red carpet as the screams faded and the flashes stopped.

Away from the crowd, Ridge and I looked at each other and laughed. “They thought you were Madonna!” he said.

“Yes, but just for a moment. I was in such a hurry to get out of there, that I couldn’t think. Should have danced down the red carpet singing ‘Like A Virgin’.”

I was Madonna, for 15 seconds.


Hat Design??

What makes a beautiful hat? It’s a combination of elements. Perhaps …

Color + Texture + Detail = a unique hat.

Basic black yarn + staggered eyelet stitch + black square button


Bright blue yarn + double ridged rib stitch + pewter button and thin silk yarn added in the brim

Sometimes the detail is in the color.

Cognac heather yarn + double ridged rib stitch + the color tone variations in the “heather” yarn

Sometimes the detail is in the yarn.

Dark gray marl yarn + pillar stitch + the blending of white and dark gray strands in the yarn

And sometimes the detail is in the stitch.

Denim blue yarn + knit 3/purl 1 stitch + the rolled up brim highlights the reverse stitch, a knit 1/purl 3 pattern

hat collage

Endless combinations. Happy knitting.

Not Bread and Butter but . . .

Congrats to one of my favorite shops on Etsy: Portland based Bread and Badger. We love our set of 4 pint glasses sandblasted with the state of Oregon and “I like it here.”


In a December issue of Forbes magazine: Running A Startup From Home: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. Click on the link and scroll down for the bit on Bread and Badger.


Even Better Leftover

That’s the test.

In an accordion file folder, I stash recipes I want to try. Categorized: breakfast, baking, cookies, desserts, chicken, pasta, braising, meat, fish, salads, soups, sandwiches, pork. Thinnest section is fish. Can’t seem to get my hubby interested in fish. He’ll catch it, but he won’t eat it!

About once a week, I select a recipe from the file. Shop, cook, eat. If it’s good (hubby rates it “make this again”), the recipe gets promoted to a notebook, with my notes and a page protector. I am a messy cook.

Cooking for 2, we usually have leftovers. A few recipes have received our rating of “Even Better Leftover.” Delicious the day they are made, but better frozen for later, thawed and cooked or reheated. Yes . . . really . . . hard to believe, but true.

On my list, Even Better Leftover:

*Lasagna, (slow cooked meat sauce, light on noodles and cheese)

*Tex-Mex Lasagna (Cuisine at Home magazine, October 2012)

*Burgundy Mushrooms, from The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook, better leftover in mushroom soup

Do you have a Even Better Leftover recipe I should try?

A Cool Tool

Point. Focus. Click. What do you do with the pictures you take? Post a few on Facebook? Print a few for Christmas cards? Recently I tried an online photo editor that is free and relatively easy. It has become one of my favorite things. I have plans for this tool.

Garibaldi Collage

Garibaldi, Oregon on a clear and warm September day. So easy to create with PicMonkey.


Confession #1: I have a terrible time remembering what everything is on my camera. Aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance? My camera is set on Auto and I usually get a pretty good photo, but sometimes . . . PicMonkey has an Edit a photo section where I can play around with the exposure or color or sharpness of a photo.

Confession #2: I don’t like to read directions or manuals. New computer program? I won’t read the manual, I’ll jump right in. The Help button is my best friend. PicMonkey is easy to use. I love the Collage feature. Download my photos, choose a Layout (Ducks in a row, FB Cover, L-egant, etc).

Picmonkey is free, but there is also an upgrade option. I haven’t gone there yet . . . but the Jigsaw layout is calling me.

Sweaters Collage

A collage for my LoopsAndLines “About Page”.

Patons Collage

A collage of yarn color choices for hand knitted hats. And yes, PicMonkey has a tool that lets you add words.

So my plans for this tool? I want to experiment with the Card layout, see if I can do something different for next year’s Christmas cards.

Confession #3: I can get so focussed, that something obvious will pass me by. If you have a great idea for how to use this photo editing tool, I’d love to hear.

A “Type”

We are participating in a 30 day Bible Study using a guidebook based on the TV miniseries The Bible. Daily 20 minute reading. Discussion and video clip on Sunday. Changed my understanding of the Bible on Day 2.

A “type” in the Bible is a “story or personality that points to a future reality.”

Type: God told Abraham and his 90 year old wife Sarah that they would have a son. Isaac.
Centuries later, an angel told Manoah whose wife was unable to have a child, that she would give birth to a son. Samson.
Nearly a millennium later, an angel named Gabriel told Zechariah that he and his wife Elizabeth would be blessed with a child. John the Baptist.

Future reality: An angel appeared to Mary and told her she was to give birth to a son. “That angelic announcement heralded the birth of one who would fulfill and surpass all the promise and greatness of Isaac, Samson, and John the Baptist put together. He would establish the New Israel, as Isaac had founded the old. He would deliver the oppressed and set the captives free (Isaiah 61:1), more than the strength of a thousand Samsons could have achieved. And he would bring a sinful and hurting humanity to the Lord their God, and ‘bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair’ (Isaiah 61:3a).” p. 89-90, The Bible by Bob Hostetler.

There are so many more examples from the temptation of Adam and Eve; Noah and the ark; Abraham, the father of religion; David and Goliath.

This study has changed my life. I see the old familiar Bible stories in a new way. I hunger for more.

The Three Rs




Right? (I am not counting that R.) Years ago, a former State Superintendent of Oregon Schools stated that the traditional 3 Rs were being replaced with new Rs: Relationship, Relevance, and Rigor. The importance of those Rs became evident in my classroom.

Relevance: This R is a must. Readers read, writers write, mathematicians solve problems. I tried to create lessons and activities that had real world importance. Help kids see the connections.

Rigor: We want all schools to work on this R. In a classroom of 25 students, there is not one level of rigor, but 25.

Relationship: This R was the key for me. Every school year it took a month or two, but once I knew my students, things started to click. I knew each learning style, each individual’s abilities and disabilities, each personality, each child’s willingness to accept challenges.

Those 3 Rs are seeping into my retirement . . . another R! Yesterday I realized that tutoring 2 children together, impacts my Relationship with each child, and affects potential growth (Rigor). The most efficient use of my limited time is one to one. I can focus on one personality, one set of learning strengths and needs.

I fill my retirement days with classes, volunteering, joining new groups. Activities that I look forward to, want to keep doing, have a blend of my 3 Rs. For example, I love my exercise group. Exercise is Relevant (keeping me healthy), it is Rigorous (no explanation needed), and I have a bunch of new friends (Relationship).

Relationship, Relevance, and Rigor . . . if I feel them in an activity, I am finding I look forward to doing it more.

‘Tis the Season

It was a busy weekend. Spent yesterday printing invoices, wrapping knitted items, downloading shipping labels (I love my DYMO LabelWriter!), boxing or envelope-ing.

photo copy 3

photo copy 2

photo copy


Today marks the anniversary of my cousin’s death.

My husband and I count the years since a cancer diagnosis.

We feel hope when an estranged family member reaches out.

Each situation upon initial occurance causes suffering. The despair over a tragic death. The immediate rush to fear when we heard the C word. The questions and guilt and self doubt over the causes of a break in relationship.

Looking back, it took a while for me to recognize God’s compassion in my suffering. It’s as though I was in a deep dark well. Hands out feeling around for direction. Eventually I looked up and there it was. The light or voice or Spirit of God comforting me, guiding me. He was there from the beginning, I just didn’t hear Him.

My lesson, I am never alone in suffering. God is always there to hear my call. Let me imitate Him when I see suffering around me. Let me listen and comfort.

Babica Hen

Portland’s nickname is the City of Roses. I think it could also be the City of Unique Breakfast Restaurants.

Babica Hen is the newest place in Lake Grove and my current favorite place for breakfast after church on Sunday.  First time there, I had the shredded smoked pork benedict with black beans, white cheddar, green chili hollandaise served over cornbread. Second time, I had a waffle with maple syrup.

Yesterday was our third time, and the place was slammed! Open little over six weeks, the local newspaper featured Babica Hen just last week. The weather cooperated and customers waited in the outside seating area or inside where the coffee bar was open with pots of “pump your own” coffee and trays of just baked mini peanut butter cookies.  My breakfast choice this time? A three egg scramble with black forest ham, white cheddar cheese, mushrooms and onions. Potatoes, toast with homemade jam and a ramekin of fruit on the side. Yum, yum, yum.