Saturday, January 25, 2014

I'm OFF part 2?

Wonderful flight to Ft Lauderdale (I wonder where my 2 yr old is, not on this flight either!)  Smooth sailing; both bags arrived.  Caught the shuttle to the Hotel.  Saw the STRANGEST sight in the van.  A guy hauling you-know-what on a motorcycle.  Instead(?) of a helmet he had a full body racoon hat on.  And trust me, this isn't the weather for fur!!  The tail and back legs were hanging off his shoulders.  The driver asked, "We're all seeing the same thing, right?"  Yep we were.

Ipad doesn't want me to talk as much!  It cut me off mid-thought.  But my work around was to move my last paragraph to this post and continue on!!  Sounds like a "Carry On" poster.  "Carry On and start a new post!!!"

Getting punch-drunk here.  We'll 'talk' again soon!

And I'm OFF!!

The next few blogs will have few, if any, pictures in them.  I'm relying on my Ipad to post and I haven't found any easy tricks to add pictures!  I'll probably either update this entry later or do a photo heavy one next month! Yep, I won't be home until February!  But don't worry, DH is holding down the fort at home.  Soaking up that good weather we've been having all month.

I'm sitting at the airport gate in Portland and it's truly o'dark-thirty.  On my way to Ft Lauderdale and a quilters' cruise!!

As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted by the "get ready to board" announcement ... on my way to Ft Lauderdale via Houston to board The Independence of the Seas.  A Royal Caribbean ship.  I'm going on the 'Soul of a Quilter' cruise, a benefit for Libby Lehman.

This all came about because my good friend Mary won the cruise at the Des Moines AQS show last October.  Now really, can you imagine any cruise prize that would offer it for ONE???  I'm pretty sure that even "single" cruises offer 'for two' so you can take a buddy!  BUT, she won a cruise for one.

I've never been on a cruise before.  My niece was on one years ago, and she compared it to being in jail with chance of drowning!  Hope this cruise goes better than that!!

My DH thought a quilt cruise should be my dream vacation, and has been encouraging me to go on one for years. And of course, Mary is the perfect person to go with!!  She is a researcher by trade and we put her in charge of anything we want to know more about!  Don't tell her, but when we find a picture of a quilt that we want to figure out, we hand it off to Mary, saying, "I just don't get it.  Maybe you can figure it out." Within very little time we are presented with a EQ7 drawing, pattern, fabric requirements and even templates.  It's wonderful!

So I emailed her and asked if she had a roomie yet.  Lucky me, she does now!  We've managed to coordinate everything long distance.  Class supples, tour options, room choices, clothing options and of course, Mary is in charge of 'research'!!

My first challenge was getting to PDX at 4 AM!  I really have to talk to my 'travel agent' about that!! [DH!]  I drove up to Portland and stayed at my favorite Portland B&B - my DD's.  I had all the help I needed from Miss P and Mr M [7 & 5 yrs old respectively] and DSIL, after getting off work at 2 am - drove me to the airport at 3:30 am!!

That's 'other duties as assigned' in this family!!  Thanks J!!  This flight is going well, no screaming baby or 2 yr old behind me kicking the seat!  That's my usual flight experience!

Next challenge is Houston airport.  I'm in row 23; over the wing; it's a full flight and I'll have just under an hour to make my connection.  Last time I was in Houston I was doing my old "OJ Hertz Rent-a-car" commercial run to get to the gate.  You know you're in trouble when you come in at the very last gate in C and need to get to the very last gate in B!!  They were paging me for last call as I got off the airplane.  I did check in with my arrival gate, had them call and say I was here.  Then I took off - as only a 61 yr old water aerobics participant could!!!  It wasn't pretty, but I did make it!  Hoping for closer gates and a minute to use the bathroom this time!!  I'll let you know!

No time to update in Houston.  My gate connections were fairly close - 40 to 31.  I even had time to use a bathroom, and pick up a chicken salad wrap at Good Foods.  It was wonderful and if your airport has one of those ... it's a great choice!  After breakfast at 3 am - I was ready for food at 11 Pacific time.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy New Year + 15 days!

Funny story (?)  I wasn't blogging because I felt guilty about not blogging!  Well, that wasn't going to get better any time soon!  So, I'm b*a*a*a*c*k!!  [Hopefully!]

I do believe it's time for the 2013 roundup!  I know I love looking back on hobby accomplishments for the year.

First of all, I lost 20 lbs this year.  Not as much as I'd hoped for :>  But on the other hand - it's still off!  I was sick and tired of being overweight even though fairly healthy (for 61).  So after seeing Garcinia Cambogia on the web - I ordered it.

I did NOT have the success that I read about on the web, nope, didn't lose a 100 lbs or 20 dress sizes in a week!  Shocking, I know.  But I did have more energy and I felt better.  The first couple of weeks can be a little grim - gastric, if you know what I mean!  But then life is normal again.

My cholesterol went down and my PA was happy!  And my body was changing shape enough to be noticed even when I'm just maintaining.  I've been on it 6 months.  I'm ordering another round - then reassess where I am.  I do NOT want to regain.  I'd love to lose 40 more.  But okay with where I am. - for now!!

Now for the good stuff!!

I read 64 books last year, with a lot of rereading old favorites.  Like ALL of the John Sandford series.  Don'cha just love Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers??  All are fun to reread.  My favorite new one was Silken Prey.

Recommended books include:

Room by Emma Donoghue.  Riveting and you would think it would be creepy to read but it really wasnt'.  Promise!

The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman  I love books about the Coast now,  contemporary or even historic, surprisingly enough.  Good Read.

Betrayal of Trust by JA Jance  It was very good, although I especially love it when she blends her two series.  JP Beaumont of Seattle and Joanna Brady from Arizona.

Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner  I lost Ms Gardner for a period of time, I'm glad that I have a few books to catch up with.

I had a 'medium' year of quilting.  [I honestly don't know where the time went, since there's proof I wasn't bloggin!!]  I finished 16 projects - most you saw pictured over the year here.  Four were UFOs which always feels awesome!  Many projects involved muliple items - like the 7 schoolhouse pin cushions for my "Finishing School" - good reminder, I need to get busy on this year's pin cushions!!  Finishing School is coming up at the end of February again.

Seven receiving blankies.
15 Christmas Stockings!!
A pennant banner 63 feet long!!
8 pj pants - the MOST fun to give to the grands!!
12 cute little wool house gift card holders to my small group and selected friends!
NOTE:  Gift card holders are great for containing a package of sewing machine needles!

My favorite finish this year was Mr D's "Big Boy Bed" quilt.  I'd started this back when Mr M needed a BBB quilt.  He had bunk beds, so I was going to make two, different, but kind of alike! By the time I had the first one done and the second one started ... the bunk beds were history!  All it took was a dog barking, walking into his room and finding him hanging upside down, thanks to a shoelace being caught!!

I can't find a picture of this right now.  I don't think I posted it on the blog.  My job is to find one, take another one and post it next time.  Promise!!

I was pretty active in the Post Card Exchange group I belong to.  NINE exchanges!  They were fun - especially "Chocolate"  You know that is my favorite!

Oh, I may have spent a little time on Pinterest this year!!  I have 9.1K pins and 1K followers!!  Quilting is VERY popular on Pinterest!!  In fact, I had to force myself to come back to the blog when I checked the numbers just now!!  LOL!

I went to Nebraska twice.  In the spring it was an usual visit.  But in the fall I piggy-backed it to a quick trip to Des Moines for the AQS Show there.  It was fabulous fun!!  And a wee bit of a spending spree!

Miss P got a Target "American Girl Doll" for Christmas.  Now the only other doll clothes I ever made were for a troll doll (Barbie's daughter!) when I was young.  It was a rectangle with armholes cut out of it and a matching belt!!  But NOW this Nana has been possessed by making doll clothes for her!!  Just look!


The pink dress is from Two Hour Doll Clothes by Anita Crane  But there is some tailoring involved (rats!)

The skirt in the middle was from a web site!  The original skirt wasn't hemmed and had tulle under it.  But since this is for a 7 year old and years of play (I hope) ahead of it, I changed it.  I hemmed the skirt and cut apart a new shower scrungy for the perfect underskirt!!  Turned out darling, trust me!!

The PJ bottoms on right are from Doll Fashion Studio by Joan Hinds.  These patterns are very well done, I recommend this book.  I made the leggings under the pink dress from it, the PJ pants and I have many more on my To-Do list!!

The teal t-shirt on the right is from a Liberty Jane pattern.  This may be the easiest item I made.  Their patterns are really well written and I got this one free registering on their site.  Check it out!  I may even break down and buy some of their patterns!!

Being addicted to doll clothes now, I have a board on Pinterest.  Follow me, I will try to pin every good and usually free pattern on the board. There's a link on the left side of the blog.

I'm going to close for now.  Lots more to tell you.  Can't promise when I'll be back, but I have high hopes!!

Happy New Year!!