Monday, July 30, 2007

On the Road Again

The last days in Brookings have been awesome! Our usual great weather showed up and we enjoyed 4 days of sunshine. We visited our favorite beaches and today drove up 101 and visited our favorite viewpoints! At night, well, we sit in the alcove and watch the full moon reflect off the ocean - and it's perfect.

This vacation has sped by. I didn't get much quilting done. Nor reading. I'm not exactly sure what we did do besides relax and refresh. I always pack too much - of the wrong things! I brought books, magazines, piecing, applique, quilting, my wool penny rug and counted cross stitch. And I'll haul it all home! I just didn't know what I'd be in the mood to do - who knew it would be "none of the above"! LOL!

As we head up the coast tomorrow we'll meet L, J and Miss P for 2 days on the by Lincoln City and Depoe Bay and then back to their house in Portland. I probably won't be able to post again until I get home Saturday, August 4. Know that I am savoring all the ocean views we see and visiting MANY quilt shops on my way home. See you back in Nebraska.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Whale's Tales

Grey mornings at the coast have yielded a new favorite past-time - Whale Watching! There's a whale in our cove this year. I've heard from 2 different residents here that it's probably a teenage male. For some reason they drop out of the spring migration and hang around until the return trip. Cool!

For the first 5 years of coming to the coast we NEVER saw a whale. DH was convinced they were "urban legends" dreamed up for the tourists. Even once in December, we were on the Northern coast during the migration period, we stopped at every whale watching post - nada!

Then on a July trip a few years back, there were a lot of boats in the cove. We were both standing at the alcove window trying to figure out why and we saw the 1st really great whale tail flipping out of the water - it looked bigger than one of the boats there.

Last year there were a lot of whales spotted with friends from California, B & D. I'm convinced that D is a "whale whisperer." She can call them! But none of those were this close - not right in our cove - not seen from the comfort of our alcove! The whale is making up for the less than magnificent tide pools this year. Seeing a whale every day makes up for pretty much anything that's wrong!

The beach, this year, is higher - filled in with maybe 4-5 foot of extra sand. The cave is filled in and there aren't many tide pools. Last year it was the complete opposite. Gorgeous tide pools with at least 4 types of starfish including sun bursts - they have 19 legs! We've seen two sun bursts this year but last year there were 3-5 of them [orange, red, purple] in every tide pool.

Tuesday, we tried to get out of the grey fog. We drove up the coast to Bandon. I visited the quilt shop there and DH went out to the famous Bandon Dunes golf course to buy a sweatshirt. On the way out of town we found the new golf course - Bandon Crossings and DH is planning a trip back up there to play 18. The Curry County Fair starts tomorrow in Gold Beach, a Rainbow Rock quilting friend-K and I are planning to go and check out the quilt entries.

Our time here seems to be speeding up - only 6 days at the condo left and I'm worrying about fitting all our favorite spots in before we leave! Hope it clears off this afternoon - we still need to hang out at Harris Beach State Park. Or we can visit the Redwoods again ... or sit here and watch our whale! Remember Doni - no demanding schedules on the coast - we can play it by ear - we'll be back!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Grey Days on the Coast

We've been coming to Brookings OR for 9 years. Amazingly enough - this is the most grey days we've ever had! It's been "winter weather" for 3 days - we even saw a rainbow between clouds. It's good to know that rainy weather doesn't bother us - since we're hoping to retire here.

A & J2 left yesterday. We had brunch at Mattie's Pancake House and off they went - back to sunny Ashland. We came back to sitting in the alcove and a rainy day nap. I think I'll get a lot of quilting done here. I sat in the alcove and quilted on "Starry Starry Nights" for a few hours, watching the ocean. The ocean was really flat the first week of our stay - more like a lake. But the tide turned(??) and we're getting alot of wave action on the rocks now. Poosh!

I offered to buy some Amy Butler fabric for a friend back home - it's certainly adding to my stash too! I go into the store and start looking around - dangerous if you're a stashbuster! I belong to the Yahoo stashbusters online group. Although I didn't take "the pledge" not to buy fabric this year, it always makes you think and feel guilty as you buy. I'm definitely buying less than other years, but more than I'd planned. I had high hopes!

Looking forward to retiring also adds into the mix. We'll be moving from a 2600ish square feet house to a 1100ish sf condo. And frankly, my sewing room could expand to 1100 sq easily! I'm measuring the guest room closet this trip to see how many cubes (dairy carrying cases) of fabric I can fit in. Like most quilters I love fabric! And each year the market has it's variation. This year it seems that the greyed pastels are hues we haven't seen for years. Last year I think it was the mottled backgrounds. A well rounded stash is always a plus for scrap quilters! Or is that just an excuse??? I tend to be attracted to "tone on tone" and reproduction fabrics. Although I've been branching out into brighter "tone on tone"! LOL!

I've been quilting for 32-33 years and my stash is LARGE. Just chuck full of "old favorite" fabrics. I'll probably have to donate 1/3 of it to charity when I start cleaning out. Our church is making prayer quilts and the Lincoln Guild makes cuddle quilts for our local area and Christmas stockings and bags for the shelters at Christmas. I'm picturing "two for me, one for guild and one for church" when I start clearing the sewing room out.

Stashbusters has a "Fab Four" set up. As you might notice from my sidebar, I adapted it to a "Fab Five+" for my use. It was so funny - I agonized over which 4 to pick from the multitudes of UFO and Whimms I have ... for days ... and then someone on the digest said - it's your hobby - do what works for you. (Thanks!) Picking 5 UFOs and one "new" whimm from stash worked. Although I do have 5 groupings so far!

I brought 2 Fab5s on vacation with me. The blue/gold stars and the wool penny rug are hand work and I'm hoping to get the majority of the handwork done before going home.

I named the blue/gold stars wall quilt "Starry Starry Nights" this week. This poor quilt has been languishing in my closet for a decade! A good friend, MJ was watching me layout 5 pointed stars with alternate blocks. She reached in and twisted a star!!! I'd always put them in straight -top of the star pointed top- order before. I was shocked!!! LOL! But I took the challenge and twisted them throughout the quilt. Hoping it looks like stars twinkling in the sky. But it aged in the closet til now!!!

Well, the sun has come out and it's twinkling on the ocean. 1 hour to low tide and it's time to watch for the water to recede from the rock we use to determine whether we can get around the point. We'll be walking our beach today at low tide. Guess I'll go back to quilting in the alcove til we head down.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Redwoods and a Whale!

A and his girlfriend are staying with us for a few days. Yesterday after walking the beach during low tide. We headed out for lunch and on down to the Redwoods. Last year we discovered the main campground and picnic area of Jedediah Smith Park and we explored that further. Walked across the summer bridge into Stout Grove. After walking, A showed us that he still remembered his rock skipping lessons from Dad. There are good rocks there and even against the ripple of the river he got 6-10 skips most of the time. Can you tell that I love the little joys of life!

This morning there was a small whale in the cove. We were sitting in the alcove of the condo watching the pelicans. They were back in force today. And - wait a minute, what was that??? Yep, caught about 10 spouts and a glimpse of his back and tail. He hung around for 30 minutes or so. I was just about to wake the kids to see him, and off he went.

Heard from L that Miss P took her first step this week. Told her to make her practice so we can see her before heading back to NE in 2 weeks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Life on the Oregon Coast

Hi! I'm doni, a quilter from Lincoln Nebraska. I work for the University of Nebraska and am lucky to have enough vacation to spend July in Oregon. My DH and I love missing the heat of July back home and we are always excited to spend time on the Oregon coast.

My children are grown and both live out here. L is my married daughter (J is her husband) with a 10 month old baby girl - Miss P - living in Portland. A is my son who lives in Ashland. He's not married - yet - but we really like the gal he's serious about so we're hoping it works out.

We spent the first week of vacation up in Portland. We got a lot of babysitting time with Miss P - she's growing so fast. Aren't grandkids fun??? Everything they do is delightful and you can always hand them back to mom when they're too fussy.

I managed to hit 3 quilt shops and participate in the Oregon "Road to Inspiration" shop hop. My favorite shop in Portland (so far) is Pine Needle in Lake Oswego. I love their shop set up and of course, I'm a big fan of their sale area.

I got to go to Speckled Hen in Wilsonville this time. They are going to be in the Top 10 Quilt stores this fall. Cool shop and I loved their shop.

Friday we headed to Sisters for the Outdoor Quilt Show on July 14. Sisters is a great town - I love visiting there. This year during the quilt show they closed the highway through town and it was GREAT! We didn't miss the exhaust or the livestock trucks stuck in traffic. It opened up the whole town. You could step back and get a picture of the quilts hanging on the buildings. Great job!!