Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

HA! We've had mostly cool fog and overcast skies this week. I did manage to get to water aerobics every morning after we got home from our 'visit the grandkids' tour. The new PJ pants went over wonderfully. Miss P alternated the pink pair with the purple pair during the day. We had to wrestle Mr M out of the racing cars after 3 days - we can only assume the 'sports' pair fits too!!

I said last June that I was tired of missing 'easy' water aerobics opportunities. I was going to go to classes when I was home - no matter how cold it was, no matter what excuses I was able to come up with! I'm happy to say, I've been almost 40 times since the first of June! And some mornings - it wasn't easy!! And I got a tan!! Which is unbelievable - 8 am and majority of classes in the fog! AND a tan down to my water shoes! Thru 4-5 feet of water!! The sun is getting stronger - I'm proof!

At least I won't look back on this summer with regrets! I do regret not using the pool at UNL more. It was just past the parking lot and we always had a good time in class. I really regret not using the pool at Newport more. I could walk to that one!! And although the workout was a DVD tape - we worked hard and I could have pulled the cart setup out anytime I was there on non-class days. If only I'd have gone!! I did walk the beach more there - it was a wide beach, walkable almost all year. The quirky winter tides being the only problem time.

The day after Labor Day I start carpooling back down to Crescent City for classes 2-3times a week. That's 40 minutes in the car, both ways - but oh, so worth it on my knees. AND it IS a beautiful facility. Of course, we do manage to talk all the way down and all the way back. And we often stop for a fruit smoothy at MacDonalds so we don't 'faint' before we get back to the border!!

Yesterday started the Stashbuster Stay-at-home Retreat. And I was actually home! So lined up a couple of projects. I wanted to finish fusing Mr D's jungle babies blocks - 3 of 8 to go. But the lion was going to be a bear! Pun unintended the first time!! His mane is so thick with so many pieces, I'm afraid it would stand up by itself with all that fusing. So I'm going to try heavy starch to hold the edges stiff until I get it stitched down.

The blocks and supplies were finally found "somewhere safe". The monkey and rhino were fused into place. I did have to re-fuse and recut some missing eyes, but everything was up on the design wall - just the lion to go.

Then I hear from the other room, "Dear, would you like to watch the first episode of 'Damages'?" It's available on Netflix streaming now and we'd never seen it. Okay - 9 episodes later ... needless to say, we're hooked! I hand quilted 'Birds of a Feather" while watching it -got 3/4 of the first border on the last side quilted! Woohoo!! A very successful Stay-at-home retreat and there's still time today to work some more!

The first border is a dark blue plaid with hanging diamonds quilted on it. I usually rub off my markings as I go, but by the last side - I finally worked out a system to avoid that and so far, so good! After the hanging diamonds I stitch in the ditch. The outer border is pieced 'ice cream cones'. I'm looking forward to getting the last border done - there's some fullness to work out on this side. Then I go back into the interior blocks for more quilting.

I've been trying to talk myself out of more quilting in there - but I know I won't be happy if I stop now. I couldn't decide what to do clear back when I started quilting it - back in 2007, according to the machine stitched date on the signature block. [sigh] So I started SITD and around all the applique - hoping against hope, that that would be enough. But suspecting just the same ...

But maybe another 2 weeks will get this albatross off my back - er - give myself a big finish from my UFO list!! It's funny - I love this quilt but I'm oh-so-very-tired of it!! Afterall, I do have a few [dozen] other beloved UFOs on my to-do list!

Mr D was on his own grand tour and we hadn't seen him for a month!! He had grown so much - he's 4 months old now. He holds his head up so well, stands on your lap with ease - in fact we have to teach him how to sit back down! And last Monday he rolled over for the first time!! Oh, dear - beware, dear parents - your life is going to change, change, change!! Here is his picture taken at the Denver wedding - little cutie that he is!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vacation Adventures Recap

L&C were here for two weeks on their vacation and we had so much fun showing them our favorite places in Oregon. Once Ljr got here for the last 5 days we walked the beach, ate at our favorite restaurants, walked the Coastal Trail and ate muffins and ice cream everyday! Hmmm, sounds a lot like the week before he came! It was overcast the second week, but that didn't slow us down. They even saw 'our invisible friend the lighthouse' with their own eyes one day!! So hard to explain there's a lighthouse out there, on the horizon, when no one can see it thru the haze. Kind-of like that spout at Whaleshead beach - a shy little thing in company!! LOL!

But one morning at water aerobics - you hear the best news there, you know! - someone mentioned that there was a 50 ft grey whale hanging around in the river south of Crescent City. She wandered in after her calf clear back in June and has been enjoying the attention and stayed. So-o off we went!

The 101 bridge is only about 20 feet above the water and yep - 'thar she blows' right by the bridge! It was so much fun seeing a whale that close - and she was showing off that day. We saw lots of spouts up close and personal; flipper waves from both flippers and a lazy loop-de-loop roll.

There was a canoe with a flutist playing her a song close by and it really gave some perspective as to how big this little gal really was. It might have been the closest we'll ever be to a whale not in captivity! Glorious!

A blogger close to the bridge said she can tell which side of the bridge the whale is on because the people automatically troop from side to side for a better view! And after a careful look for cars each time, we followed right along, back and forth!

Since we were that far south we simply went on down to some of our favorite redwoods down there. We walked along ZigZag Trail, which we loved, and thru the Cathedral grove, an old favorite. We got home just in time for happy hour at Ponchos for dinner. A great day all around.

On Friday, I turned North out of our gate when L,C&Ljr turned South to go home. I headed up to Newport for the Quilt Show. It was a beautiful show this year. We stage it at the Rec Center - wonderful space. We had such a variety of quilts AND vendors that it was a pleasure to walk thru. On Saturday, friends and neighbors made sure I got my exercise by planning their visits to the show with perfect timing - as I was saying good-bye to someone, the next friend walked in!! What fun to catch up with everyone.

Friday night I got together with friends from South Shore for a 'girls night out'. It was fun to visit and get caught up with each others' lives. And Saturday morning, 3 of us got together and did the water aerobics DVD - like old times!

Sunday I drove home - just me and 1000 RVers on the road! But the drive was uneventful and I took a 2 1/2 hour nap after water aerobics Monday morning!! Home again, home again ... until tomorrow - when we head for Portland to see the grandkids up there and babysit for a wedding.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Busy Busy Birthday!!

Okay - it's not a 'zero' birthday but almost!! It's still a big number!

I've had so much fun this last week. C,L&L2 were here and the party definitely continued. We told them they couldn't come back for 9 months - that's how long it will take to work off the weight gain from muffins every morning and ice cream - the good stuff - every night!!

We were able to road trip to where a whale was hanging out - Once I get unpacked and caught up I'll sit and post pictures!!