Celebration

It’s quite the trifecta today.  1)  It’s Towel Day.  Do you have your towel?  Do you have any idea what I’m talking about?  The answer is 42.  2)  It’s National Wine Day.  I love wine.  Unfortunately, it does crazy things to my blood sugar.  I will, however, be toasting with some brut champagne this evening, because 3)  I applied on line this morning for my social security retirement pension.  Hallelujah.  I never did think I would make it.  It’s three months till my 62nd birthday, and then it will be the following month that I’ll finally get my first payment.  I worked hard for it, I earned it, and I’ll be glad to see it.  Cheers!

Champagne

Our great escape

The news reported last week that Donald Trump was coming to Eugene on Friday evening and he would appear at the Lane Events Center (Fairgrounds) which is only a few blocks from my house.  Subsequent reports indicated there would be several protests organized against his appearance, and we didn’t want to be in the middle of it.  I decided we needed to get the heck out of Dodge.  So, Ozzie and I made sure the kitties had food and water, and we packed up and headed for the coast.  I decided to do all the little touristy things that none of my friends ever want to do, either because they cost money, they can’t walk that far, or they’re just not interested.  We had a blast.  Well, at least I did.  Ozzie thoroughly enjoyed himself until we got to our hotel room for the evening.  I sadly realized that, in his entire seven years, I’ve never taken him anywhere with me over night.  He’s always stayed with my sister and her dogs while I went on vacation.  We got through it, and I let him know he’ll have to get used to it, as I think it’s high time we began to have more adventures.

We started out by heading to Florence from Eugene.  I timed the drive so I could arrive at one of our destinations just after high tide, so I could get a great shot, but a half-hour into the drive I realized I’d left my hiking shoes and my tripod by the back door of the house, so I had to improvise.  No time to turn around and go get them.

We stopped at the Darlingtonia Wayside north of Florence.  It’s the only state park (at least in Oregon) that is devoted to the preservation of a plant species.  That is the Darlingtonia Californica, otherwise known as the Cobra Lily or Pitcher Plant.  It eats bugs.  Here’s the trail (or tiny path) in, and one of the lovely plants.

After that, we headed north and stopped at the Sea Lion Caves, America’s largest sea cave, inhabited by Steller Sea Lions.  We didn’t go in, as they wouldn’t let Ozzie go down in the elevator to see them, he wouldn’t have been interested, I’ve been there before, and they charge an exorbitant fee for me to see my own sea lions!  Besides that, the smell is horrific.  It is, however, a wonderful spot from which to get a shot of Heceta Head, one of the most-photographed spots on the west coast.  So, of course, I took a photo.Heceta Head from SLC

We then drove to Heceta Head Beach and walked up the trail to the Lighthouse Keeper’s House.  We didn’t walk all the way to the light, as I had forgotten my hiking shoes and steep trails in a pair of Danskos is not the best idea.  Do you see a ghost in the attic window of the cottage?  It is said to be haunted.

On to Cape Perpetua, where I had intended to capture a stunning photo of Thor’s Well, also known as the Drainpipe of the Pacific.  Unfortunately, without my hiking shoes and the tripod, I could only get some zoom photos of it from the overlook.  The trail is too steep and slippery for Danskos, and the wind makes it a bit difficult to hold the camera still.  I got these shots by firmly clamping my elbows to the stone wall of the overlook.

The first time I saw a photo of this place, it took my breath away.  It really looked like a hole in the sea which would suck the whole world down with it.  Obviously, I was not able to obtain such a shot.  Still, it was pretty cool to see it.

We headed farther north and crossed the dreaded Yaquina Bay Bridge (I have a bridge phobia and was nearly sick to death crossing this thing) and stopped at the Yaquina Bay Light.  This lighthouse is a bit tiny compared to the Yaquina Head Light, which we drove to just after this.

Yaquina Head juts out quite a ways into the ocean.  The winds were fierce, nearly blowing my car into me as I tried to get my hooded sweatshirt out of the back so that the wind wouldn’t blow my ears off.  Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to take dogs up into the lighthouses and, at Yaquina Head, you can’t even take your dog on the path to the light, so we had to limit our photos to views from the outside.Yaquina Head Light

Our destination was Depoe Bay, the world’s smallest harbor.Depoe Bay

Since we arrived before check-in time, we drove up to Boiler Bay, and communed with a curious sea gull while we enjoyed the ocean views and spray.Curious Gull

We spent the night at the Inn at Arch Rock.  Nothing fancy, but it was clean, comfortable, and had a really nice view of the bay at Depoe Bay.  Now that we’re home, I really wish we could go back.  Ozzie, on the other hand, is quite happy to be back at Ozzie’s house.From Inn at Arch Rock

Just after Beltane, two years later

Hello there.  Did you miss me?  I’ve not been using this blog for slightly over two years now, but am writing to let you all know that I have closed down my Stellar Stitches website.  I’m not doing a lot of quilting for others now, but will still accept the occasional quilt for all-over designs.  Custom quilting is just a little hard on the body, and I’ve decided to reserve the fancy stuff for myself (should I ever finish a quilt top, that is).

You can reach me by leaving comments here, or, if you are a friend, you can always find me on Facebook.  I may occasionally post here, and will add a tab for quilting services so that you may see the type of patterns I offer.

In the meanwhile, life is good, retirement is great, and summer is coming in.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Beltane

A Blessed Beltane to you all.  Image here shared from Lightworkers.

Beltane

Sorry I’ve not been here much lately, but I have been out enjoying the wonders of nature, interspersed, of course, with getting some work done.  I’ll share some photos when I get the chance to process them.

Did you see the moon last night?

Deep in the darkest hour, of a very heavy week . . .

Little bite

 

Half Bite

 

Total Eclipse

They’re not the best photos, but given the tiny little camera and my shaky hands, they didn’t come out too badly.

As to the very heavy week — I quit my new job.  I liked the people, and I liked the concept of the company for which I was working, but the training was fairly lackluster and I didn’t feel good about hopping on the phones and making a fool of myself.  I don’t think my evening supervisors realized that our 5:00 a.m. trainings put us in a slightly failed class and that I’d not had much experience on the phone at all.  They were ready to throw me to the wolves on Friday night, and when I balked, they simply said to do it.  I was not prepared, so we parted ways.  I’ve registered with a temp agency and they’ve indicated they’re very interested.  I have an interview on Thursday morning.

Catching up

Well, I pretty much completed training at work.  I finished the two weeks, despite having the plague, but they decided not to graduate us onto the next level because we didn’t learn everything we should have, no doubt from having to get up in the wee hours to be at work by 5:00 a.m.  Truth be told, I think the trainers were not at top form at those hours either, and they left out a lot of what we should have learned.  I was a bit panicky going back yesterday, but a fifteen minute early arrival in the break room was quite fortuitous.  I asked a bunch of questions of a more seasoned employee, and I got a much better grasp on a few procedures.  Last night was really pretty enjoyable, despite still having to blow my nose all too frequently!

I am, I think, finally on the mend.  I’ve not felt the hot flashes and dizziness of the fever for a few days, and I can actually breathe again, so that’s all good!  Of course, the virus is running like wild fire through the building, so by the time I’m totally well, the last person will probably give it back.  I’m hoping I’ve built up a good immunity.

We did go to see The Grand Budapest Hotel a week ago Sunday.  I really enjoyed the movie, although the ending was a bit lack-luster.  This, however, is sort of typical for Wes Anderson.  It was a good romp, though.

On the Rowenta front, I really like the new iron.  It heats up well, produces copious amounts of steam, and even has a boost button to give more steam when necessary.  The port for filling it with water has a rubber stopper, so I’m thinking that if I turned the iron upside down, it wouldn’t leak.  Experience teaches me that I shouldn’t do that, so I’ve been hesitant to test that hypothesis.  I may get to be really daring later in the week, and I’ll let you know if it turns out to be water-tight.  I have a small custom quilt on the machine right now that had become rather creased before I loaded it, so I tested the iron’s capabilities by giving it a nice pressing.  Not one tiny wrinkle remained.  This is a true Rowenta.

Ozzie and I have been getting out to the dog park frequently, but most of my walking has taken place on lunch hours at work.  I’m transitioning to graveyard shift, so yesterday, I was off during the most glorious daylight hours.  It was 70° and strikingly beautiful here.  Ozzie and I did go for our long walk in the park.  So many of the flowers have begun to bloom, even lilacs and a few rhododendrons.  Everything is so green and fresh.  We’ll be heading out there again soon, as today is supposed to be even more spectacular than yesterday.  Rain coming tomorrow and Thursday, so we’ll take full advantage.  I hope spring is on the way for all of you.  I know a few friends who are actually getting more snow today, and that just makes me sad.  Spring be with you!

RIP Rowenta

I was finishing up a client quilt yesterday and got to the end where I always need to release the quilt from the leader grips and do a bit of steaming and pressing to even out the quilt bottom.  I turned on my trusty Rowenta Professional and . . .  nothing happened!  At first, I thought perhaps I’d blown a circuit and the outlet wasn’t working, but there is a power strip there that feeds power to the auto-advance for my quilting machine, and that was working fine.  I tried it in another outlet, and no go.  I got the iron as a gift for my 50th birthday, so if it had lasted about four more months, it would have been 10 years old.  I loved that iron.  It got hot quickly, had lots of steam, and mine never leaked.  I know some folks have trouble with Rowentas leaking.  I was so sad to see it go.

I did a search on irons, both on some of the lists in which I participate, and on some friends’ blogs.  Judy Laquidara had some reviews on her blog and, while she tried a few others, I think the last one she got that she liked was a Rowenta.  So, I decided to give Rowenta another try.  I came upon this little model on Amazon, and it was so pretty (well, for an iron, anyway!), that I just had to get it.  It arrived today.  I’ll let you all know how I like it and if I have any problems with it spitting on me.

rowenta iron

 

I love the colors of this one, and the pretty design on the sides just sealed the deal for me.  I’m hoping it will be as good as my last one!