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!


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.


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


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!

Phew – I made it!

Every day last week, I got up at 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning, showered, made coffee, filled my thermos, packed my lunch and drove to Veneta to train for my new job.  I was not late once!  There were a few days when I felt as though my face would crash into the keyboard, as I was so tired I couldn’t stand it.  Along about Thursday, I realized it was better to go stand up by the wall during video presentations, because it’s a lot harder to fall asleep when you’re standing up than sitting down.  Anyway, learning at that time of day is not optimal, and by the middle of our day yesterday, we came down to a test.  I really thought I would cry.  Lots of things we had covered to find on the screen, navigating around, and I knew where they were, but it was a struggle to remember.  I think I did okay.  At any rate, it’s not like there’s a pay raise hanging in the balance.  It will just tell the trainers what I didn’t learn and what I need to work on.  Next week, I’ll be shadowing a colleague who’s been doing my level of work for a few days and trying to do actual work with lots of supervision, and I think that will be much more enjoyable.  Everyone is very nice and supportive, so it would be really hard to fail.  (She says that now and cringes at the possibility of failure down the road).

The only unfortunate thing about this job is close proximity to lots of people and hence, their germs.  The woman who sat next to me all week complained of coming down with a cold and her manners were less than delicate in the cover-your-mouth when coughing, etc., mode, so I was not surprised when I began to get a sore throat yesterday morning.  At our first break I headed to the grocery store in the same complex and got some Zicam and cough drops.  By the time we left work, I was feeling really sick, but I kept the Zicam up and I think I’m going to make it.  I have no voice this morning, but I really don’t feel all that bad.  I started massive doses of vitamin C when I got home from work and I’ll keep the Zicam and vitamin C up all day today.

No time to be sick!  I have a quilt to do today, and tomorrow my friends and I are going to see The Grand Budapest Hotel.  We’ve been waiting weeks to see it and have been frustrated with its limited release status.  I hope it is as good as the trailers make it out to be.   I do tend to love Wes Anderson films.