Aloha!

I’m home!  I had a wonderful time and wished you were all there!

Linda LeiI arrived in Kona at about 5:30 p.m., looking a bit disheveled, as I had been sleeping on the plane!  Donna brought me this gorgeous lei.  It smelled like heaven.

We had dinner out on her lanai overlooking Kona.

KonaI know you will feel sorry for me (NOT!) that I ate most of my meals in this spot.  The weather was so beautiful and warm there, though it was frozen fog back home in Eugene.  Still, I’m the odd woman who goes to Hawaii and still wears my wool socks and sweatshirt because, as you know, I’m always cold!  At least my toes thawed out while I was there and there were some days when I managed to take the sweatshirt off because I warmed up enough.

We downloaded updates for the Intelliquilter the next morning and set to work learning the new tools included with the upgrade.  In the evening, we went to dinner at Sam Choy’s on Ali’i Drive.  The food was excellent, but the view was even better.

Sunset from Sam ChoysWe then went to walk around old town Kailua Kona, and the first thing I did was drop my camera and break the lens!  Well, the lens mount, so the pictures all came out blurry.  I investigated getting the lens fixed, but the price was twice what it cost to get a new lens, so I opted for that.  Unfortunately, it didn’t arrive till I got home, but I did have my Droid to take photos with.  I prefer my camera, as it has advanced anti-shake technology for my tremor, but the Droid did okay for the most part.

On Friday morning, the rep from Trans Pacific Textiles came to Donna’s house, and a whole bunch of people showed up for a fabric fest!  There were so many beautiful things to see — batiks, children’s prints, indigos, asian fabrics, etc.  All the folks who were buying would hold something up and say, “I like this and would like to get 10-15 yards.  Does anyone want some?”  And, then they’d all pile on and order a bunch.  I think the rep left with a hefty order and a big smile on her face!

Decisions decisions Fabric galore Viv Fabric fest 2 Fabric fest

 

In between learning things on the IQ, we went to the farmer’s market, the gym, to the Aloha Quilters Guild meeting, and to Catherine’s house (another APQS quilter).  She had the most beautiful poinsettia growing by her front walk.

Catherines poinsettias

 

And, she had this huge avocado tree with the most delicious, not to mention enormous, avocados on it.  We had one with lunch!

Catherines Avocado Tree

 

See on the left-hand side of the picture, in the bright sunshine?  That huge thing is a delicious avocado hanging from the tree.  Catherine has another lovely view of the Pacific from her house.

View from Catherines LR

 

On Sunday, Catherine came over to Donna’s for a demonstration of all the IQ can do, and then we headed downtown for lunch.  I can’t remember the name of this place, but I think it was Puka Bowl.  The food was great!  Here is Donna, me, and Catherine.

Donna Linda Catherine

 

Boy, do I need a haircut!  And, yes, I’m wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt and sweatshirt while everyone else is wearing tank tops!  OY.

We worked a lot on Monday, went to the gym, and then Tuesday, we got up and went to Volcano National Park.  We went around the island and stopped in Hilo at an orchid farm, where Donna and Viv put a very large dent in their purses by buying many of the gorgeous orchids.  I apparently have not formatted those photos yet, so they’ll have to wait for another post.

Anyway, I enjoyed staying with Donna, who was a very gracious hostess, has a lovely home, and is a whirlwind of energy.  She has a very productive sewing business, making quilts, children’s clothing, and doing alternations in addition to longarm quilting.  She had so many fun things planned for me that we didn’t get to go over so many IQ things, but I’ll send her my class handouts, so hopefully, that will help.  I had the best time!

 

 

 

 

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I’m leavin’ on a jet plane!

Well, I’m all packed, I’ve got my boarding passes printed off, and I’m going to have to go to bed really soon so I can get up and get to the airport by 4:00 a.m.  GROAN!  I have a feeling I won’t sleep one little bit all the way there, but I did manage to change my seat to a window seat, so I can lean against the fuselage and go to sleep!  Long flights bore me and I get motion sick, so trying to read is not really an option for me.  I do well if I have a window seat and can just lean over and fall asleep.  Seeing as I have to get up so early, I’ll probably sleep like the dead.

Not sure what my internet connectivity will be like while I’m away, so I may have to wait till I get back to post pictures, but if I can do it while I’m there, I’ll let you all have a peek at what I’m up to.  Can you tell I’m excited?  I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, and now I’m doing it!  Woooo hooooooo!

Starting to pack!

Number 1 item on the list?  The camera!  And extra batteries.  Did I tell you I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii?  I’m so excited.  Warmth, beauty, friends, quilting, volcanoes . . . what more could a girl want?  I will be so glad to get out of this cold.  There is hope for today though.  For some reason, the sun is out!  No fog has rolled up from the river in this direction (not yet, anyway), and I’m hoping we may actually get above freezing.  Putting off the dog walk for later, in hopes of a little heat in the day!

Nothing succeeds like excess

Have you ever had your nose to the grindstone, working away at something, being happy with what you’re doing, and when you finally come to the end, find out you’ve really messed up, but in a good way?  I don’t know what I was thinking or, perhaps I wasn’t thinking at all.  I finished up my nine-patch blocks for the QOV I started on New Year’s Day to find that I’d made 84 nine-patches instead of 42.  I guess I just got in the groove, was thinking that I had approximately 40 strips, but didn’t stop to think that I’d be making more than one block from each strip.  So!  It appears there will be a second quilt from this same fabric in the works sometime in the future.  All I need is the setting triangles, the plain blocks, and some borders.  I’ve got plenty of plain fabric for the first two, but will have to hunt up some border fabric.  Anyway, now I know why it was taking so long despite my continual sewing!  Who knew?

It has been horribly cold here lately, below freezing, which is not all that usual for us here in the Willamette Valley.  Now, I realize that 28 degrees as the high for the day isn’t really all that cold.  I used to live in Geneva, NY, so I know cold.  However, when it’s clear in the upper atmosphere here, the fog rolls up from the rivers and we get frozen fog.  It is not a nice thing.  You walk outside in it, and you are instantly coated with a layer of frost.  Brrr.  Dark, damp, cold to the bone.  Give me a nice dry +5° with bright sunshine any day over the frozen fog.  And, in two days, I’m off to Hawaii, so give me heat!  Have to get the house cleaned up for the house sitter, get the pooch ready to go to my sister’s, as the house sitter will be bringing her own dog, and I have to pack!  Best get off the computer.

Three steps forward, one step back

Geez.  I’ve been perking along since the new year (actually before), keeping the house clean, getting some sewing done, getting some quilting done, organizing, etc.  I have really been enjoying my little cottage since Tuesday, when they fixed my heating ducts.  It is so warm and toasty in here, I think I may actually like this little wreck of a house again!  Wednesday I ran errands, got a little shopping for the trip done (I really needed one of those tiny tubes of toothpaste), and Thursday, I started feeling twinges of sciatica in my left leg as I scurried around quilting, etc.  I’m thinking it may have been caused by the stress of sending my resume’ into the UO for part-time work so I can help pay for all these home repairs lately.  Anyway, by Thursday night, the searing pain down my left leg was so bad, I couldn’t sleep.  I could relieve the pain for about ten minutes at a time with an ice pack and the massage pad, but it got really bad.  I do have a standing prescription for pain medication – yes, a three-level spinal fusion means pain for the rest of your life – but the pain pills weren’t helping and I hate taking the darn things to begin with.  So, Friday morning, I called the doc.  Fortunately, I managed to get right in.  I ended up waiting about 45 minutes in the exam room — unusual for my doc’s office, but with the flu rampaging around, I wasn’t surprised.  I had to spend those minutes pacing the room, as I couldn’t sit down.  Luckily, when the doc finally came in, he had some remedies for me.  I got a shot of toradol (anti-inflammatory) right into my tush, which really helped to numb things, and a prescription for some muscle relaxers and some prednisone.  I came home, got the ice pack back out, took the muscle relaxers and a pain pill, and slept for about 18 hours.  I felt so much better when I got up!  I’ve put the prednisone aside in case the pain comes back with a vengeance, but I’m really hoping I won’t need to take it.

It is a huge blessing to have a doctor who has some pain issues of his own.  He never thinks I’m in there whining for pain medication or that I’m lying.  Actually, yesterday, I told him I had plenty of pain pills, I just needed something to make this STOP!!  If I hadn’t driven myself to his office, which he was astounded that I had, he probably would have given me something to knock me out, but he knew I needed to drive home.  I’m kind of glad he didn’t give me any of that stuff, because it messes me up for days.

So, crisis averted for now.  I’ll take the prednisone to Hawaii with me in case I get desperate, but I’m hoping I will not need it this time around.  I’m back to sewing and Ozzie and I took a trip to the UO today to play ball.  It’s friggin’ freezin’ out there, Mr. Bigglesworth, but we had fun anyway.  He’s sleeping soundly after all his exercise.

Hawaii in a week!

Wow.  How did I not tell you all about this?  As you know, my life is full of calamities, but you should know that it is also full of blessings.  Things happen to me in the strangest of ways.  In early November I went out to brunch with my brother Ted and sister in law Becca.  The weather was gloomy, and somehow, Becca’s brother Dan came up in the conversation.  Dan and his wife have a place they bought from her mom’s estate over in Hawaii, and I asked Becca if he ever allowed folks to stay there, as I badly wanted to go to Hawaii (I’ve never been) and lodging always seemed to be the most horrible expense.  She said she’d ask, but there was no need.  Two days later, I got an email from a friend/acquaintance/colleague who invited me to the big island of Hawaii to teach her to use her Intelliquilter.  All expenses paid!  Sometimes being a quilting teacher pays off in the best of ways!  I am so excited to go.  Not only do I love my Intelliquilter and love to share what it can do, but I also have a fascination with volcanoes, and I’ll be able to see a lot of lava on this trip.

lavaAs I have not yet been to Hawaii, this photo is from the USGS website on Hawaii volcanic eruption.  I hope to have my own photos of lots of cool Hawaii stuff when I return home.  Of course, when I’m not out lava hunting, I’ll be quilting and teaching IQ!  What could be more fun?

Yes, I will miss my little dog, but he will spend the week with his cousin Kallie out in the country, so he’ll be very entertained.  My niece, who is currently living at home with a teenage brother, will come and house sit for me.  So . . . everyone gets a vacation!

 

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

No, it’s not the hot flashes but, yes, it is WARM in my house again!  The heating company came this morning to replace the ducts under my house.  The old ducts were metal and they were all horribly rusted.

Rusty ductsLovely, right?  That tube with the rusty bottom that is mostly missing, is one of the former heating ducts under my house.  No wonder it felt like I had the air conditioning on when I turned the heat on!  I can hardly wait to get the bill – NOT!  But, I’m sure it will be worth every penny they charge me.  The poor kid who had to crawl under there and do all of that work should be given a medal.  Hopefully, my heating bill will go down a bit too.  We’ve got snow in the forecast for this weekend (a rarity in Eugene), so I’m glad to know I will be snug as a bug in a rug.

Now, to pay for this extraordinary expense, I’ve emailed the UO and let them know I’d like to come back to work part-time.  They emailed back asking me to send my resume’, but they are fairly certain they can find a number of spots from which I may choose. I’ll wait till I get back from Hawaii to work, and I expect I’ll only work part-time, but I’ll feel better about plopping a huge expense on to my line of credit at the credit union.  Thank goodness they stand at the ready to help me out!