Monday, March 30, 2009

Some Days are Like That . . .

You know today was just one of those days. We woke up this morning in our "new digs" - a different condo near Fort Lauderdale. It is a lovely place. We are actually sharing this two bedroom condo with another couple - good friends from Maine. Last week in the Orlando area, we were in two separate condos, but this will work fine.

So, I get up, clean up and head to the kitchen for that first cup of morning coffee. The coffee maker doesn't work so we call down to get a new one. That took thirty minutes to arrive. We fill it with water and the water all runs out the bottom. We call down again - no one comes - so we take it down to the front check in area and still no luck. We finally ask them to deliver one that works to our room and we head for a McDonald's. We were all in need of coffee. Of course McDonald's was not serving breakfast any more as all of that coffee pot business had taken over 3 hours. But, the coffee was great!

We then decided to head to the ocean for lunch being as breakfast was pretty skimpy. We wanted to eat outdoors so we could view the ocean. We didn't have a clue where we were going so we headed to Pompano Beach. That sounds good! Lots of high rise hotels and condos, but no outdoor eating. We ended up walking on the beach for an hour or more - still no breakfast or lunch. We did see the gorgeous ocean and the Goodyear blimp.

We finally decided to get back to the car and head south toward Fort Lauderdale where we found a "Bubba Gump's". Great we thought. We got a good table and we were settling in for a gorgeous view of the ocean and a wonderful supper - it was now 5 pm - still no breakfast or lunch. Just after we placed our order, a UPS truck pulled up and parked for a delivery right between us and our wonderful ocean view. We all just burst out laughing. Some days are just like that!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Today it was Epcot . . .

Yesterday we went to the Space Center and today we went to Epcot. We had great days and saw what we wanted to see - although there was lots more, but we left "fat, dumb, and happy".

Here are a couple pictures of our day today at Epcot. The first one is of the view from where we had lunch - in the Mexico Center. We then walked all around the "World Showcase" to visit the different centers from the different countries and enjoyed some great music and shows. We headed back to the "Future World" side of Epcot and took in some good rides and shows. The best one was "Soarin'". It was amazing and just like being in a glider soaring over mountain, bridges, aircraft carriers, oceans, and lots of other wonderful sites. You thought you would have to pull up your feet to keep from hitting the tree tops.

The flowers were beautiful as you can see from the second picture. Tomorrow we are headed south in Florida for our second week. We will be at Pompano Beach near Fort Lauderdale. The time has gone so fast, but it has been wonderful.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Some fun . . .

We are enjoying our time here with good friends and sunshine.

Here are the photos below. The first one is of the pool area at our resort here in Kissimmee.

We went to downtown Kissimmee and here is a shot of where we found some afternoon ice cream. It was a quiet little old town that is being "fixed up". Things are slow here in the economy - same as everywhere.

This is where I found a quilt shop. They had just had a class from Elinor Peace Bailey about making dolls. Several dolls made from her patterns were there and were beautifully made by a "doll lady" from that shop. It was fun to see them up close and I suspect I would like to do one when I get home so I bought a pattern. I have seen her presentations at conferences, but it was fun to visit with a person who makes them and has been involved in that world for several years.

The other pictures are from Sea World where we went yesterday. It was amazing to see all of the shows - and we saw them all! Here are some pictures. The first is of a dolphin in an underwater viewing area and then there is a picture of one of the entertainers at the Shamu show. That show was amazing! Of course it was my favorite as it was so well planned and the technology used really added impact.

We had a great day except I fell on a cobblestone path and in trying to keep from falling on my camera, I took a "face plant" and have a beautiful black eye. No picture of that! But thankfully my glasses survived.

The last picture is of some gorgeous flowers there - love to see the flowers, greenery, trees with leaves - like music to my eyes!

Monday, March 23, 2009

We are here . . .

It was a great trip - we left in rain out of Bozeman which later in the day turned to snow so we got out of there just in time. We flew to Minneapolis to Detroit to Orlando. We used air miles so the route had an extra stop, but we flew first class so it was worth it all the way. I used to fly every week for work so I still have a lot of miles and we decided we had best use them before they went away.

We pulled into the resort right behind our friends from Maine who also flew in near the same time but were in a different terminal, different airline - even different Avis counter - close timing. They stopped to get us all some wine and we had a wonderful time catching up before we fell into bed.

More today - off to explore and get settled. This week we are in Kissimmee - next week we move further south for a second week.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Busy day ahead . . .

We have lots to do today so it will be busy.

Last night we went out to dinner with our son Stan, his wife Rainy, and Weston. It was the "official" passing of the torch from Bob to Stan. Stan is buying our business here and Bob is retiring.

Weston spent the night with us last night. He said he would not see us for 2 weeks - how can you turn that down? Here a few pictures. He was loving up his Grandpa last night before he went to bed and then this morning in his underwear. He really likes the little piano music box I brought back from Missoula this week.

No quilting going on here. Just the excitement of the trip and Bob's retirement. It is a good way to kick off his next phase in the journey.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday . . .

Here it is Wednesday already and the following words seem to fit right now. I will not be taking in any new customers and limiting my quilting for others to tops from a couple good friends and my SIL on a collaboration quilt. By the way, she had a quilt accepted into Paducah and she is very excited. It feels right, very exciting, but has been kind of a struggle to get to that decision.

"To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the ocean by the frailty of its foam. To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconsistencies." Kahlil Gibran

Remember this piece from a class I took last month? The pieces are separate little quilts that I will bind separately. The whole piece is small - about 18x30 - the black backing piece is also quilted has not been cut to final size. The close up shows the stitching on the background. Does the pattern look familiar? I love that texture. I will take the small pieces with me on our trip to do the handwork on the binding. They can tuck away easily into a corner of my suitcase.

I am packing summer clothes - well finding them first and making sure they fit, washing if needed and then packing them for the trip to Florida. We still have snow on the ground so it seems a bit unreal, but it will be fun.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day . . .

Here is my favorite "Old Irish Blessing" . . . . .

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day . . .

Monday, March 16, 2009

One step ahead . . .

This morning is confusing to me. What is it I am about? So, for a few days, I need to focus on those things for which I am grateful and determine "what is good about this?". So, for today, as I rearrange my journey a bit, I am looking for signs. Here is one I found . . .

"Yes, there is a Nirvanah; it is leading your sheep to green pasture, and in putting your child to sleep, and in writing the last line of your poem." Kahlil Gibran

I will share more later how this day in transition works out. I need to rejoin my world.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Forget being practical . . .

I am in a transition with my work. I am always in transition in March. The biggest changes of my life come in March. Maybe it is the long winter can seem endless, but March is the time for big changes for me. It has always been that way.

I read and thoroughly enjoyed lots of blogs this week, but one in particular stuck with me about following your passion. Lisa Call is an artist in Denver who does "textile paintings". Here is her blog if you are interested in her journey. She is a woman with a clear vision of her work. I read every post for the past year. I don't know her personally, but her work and her commitment to her journey are amazing.

I bought my longarm in 2005 and I knew clearly what I wanted to do, but I felt I had to make it seem "responsible" - especially to those who thought I had "slipped a cog" as I had not done any piecing or quilting. And, I have always been known to be a bit "off center" and for some reason thought I needed to change. I am, what I call, an artist waiting to bloom. Lisa Call talks a bit about that in her blog - the late bloomers. In my younger years, I have done lots of commercial art, taught art in junior high and been considered an "artist" by ability, never by a body of work. But it always felt like I was always waiting to bloom. I love fabric and it is my medium - always has been - so I sewed - clothes, pillows, window coverings, wall hangings - always things that were practical. And then I saw the longarm - like a huge pen and brush all in one that could paint, draw, and doodle on fabric. To me, the longarm was, and is, a magical tool. But, I had to be "practical". I had to learn to be a "quilter". I didn't want to be a quilter - not that there is anything wrong with that - it just was never my dream. I wanted to create beautiful things with fabric and stitches and thread and design. Was that quilting? Yes, for sure! I wanted to learn all about it, but it was just a set of tools toward my destination. Somehow I got bogged down learning to be a "quilter" rather than learning the tools and processes I needed for my journey.

Like, if I was on the Oregon Trail - always my comparison, but it works for me. Instead of staying on the trail to Oregon, I thought I had to learn to build the wagons, learn to plan the necessities for the trip, learn to plan how to overcome the hardships, learn how to get myself and others to Oregon. I don't want to take others to Oregon. I want to go there in my own way, on my own trail.

And then I saw the movie, "The Bucket List" a year ago - it was a good movie and people always say, "what is on your bucket list?". I couldn't answer because it wasn't a trip anywhere or a daring activity - it was to create my art - to finally bloom.

I have had to come to the realization this week that maybe it is easier to dream, to envision, rather than to do - no chance of failure that way. It was then I read Lisa Call's blog. I need a different set of emotional tools for my journey. I have them, they are just packed away due to too many years of needing to be "practical". If any of this sounds familiar, take some time and read her blog for the past year.

I am now in transition - being quite clear, but not at the same time. Somehow I got off on the wrong road for me. Even time last year in Laramie was a meaningful effort to try to get back on my path - although it was not my path to create my art, but rather my previous journey in education that I loved as well.

And, it all started when I wanted that longarm and then thought I had to make the journey "practical". It is not my time for being practical - that time is long past. It is my time for my dreams - which can only happen if I do the work.

Thanks for listening - more later . . .

Monday, March 9, 2009

Optimism and Florida . . .

That seems like an unlikely heading, but that is where I am headed. We will be in Florida two weeks from today for the beginning of a two week holiday. There is a lot to be done before we go so it will be a busy two weeks and my Bob is so excited. He has been a "home body" - not much traveling over the years. He didn't travel every week for work like I did for 8 years. I want to get excited about traveling again now that we are going to be able to do more of it together.

And optimism - her is my quote for the day:
"For myself, I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else." Sir Winston Churchill

So, in order to get ready for our big trip, I am going to stay "whirlwind" busy each day between now and then. I am glad I am finally feeling almost normal after nearly two months of "the crud".

Friday, March 6, 2009

It is harder today . . .

It is hard sometimes to know "what's good about this" . . . but I will keep trying. Yesterday there was a major gas explosion in downtown Bozeman. Four stores were destroyed. It is good that the businesses were not open yet as it was just a bit after 8 a.m. There were no injuries or known deaths. They are still looking for a missing woman.

When I was in Missoula yesterday, Mom and I drove down to Hamilton where my friend, Patricia, lives. She is a quilter "extraordinaire". Her bank there focuses on one local business each month and the month of March is focused on her business. Her quilts are hanging in the bank. It is an amazing display of her work and was a wonderful journey for us. Patricia also shared with me her focus on " an attitude of gratitude". I will add that to my "what's good about this".

We came back to Missoula and I took Mom (she is not a quilter, but used to sew garments) into a quilt shop. We both fell in love with a Kaffe Fassett print and had to have some. I got a coordinating print for mine as well. Mom is going to make a skirt from hers and I will make a jacket. More on that later. I hope she will start sewing again.

The drive home was long and I was blessed to have my friend, Ronda, from Portland to visit with by cell for a good part of the trip. It was a wonderful chat to catch up. She had heard about the explosion in Bozeman on CNN and had called earlier to make sure it was not our business and that we were okay.

Today I am grateful that I got to see both Mom and Dad. I am grateful that I am home safely surrounded by love from family and friends. It is all good.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

And - more good stuff . . .

I know - you will get tired of this soon. The good news about that is - so will I. But until then, I will continue.

Good News Wednesday . . .
• We took Weston (start them young, he is 3) to his first college basketball game last night. Bob said he has already learned what he needs to know - keep your eye on the cheerleaders!

• We had a good birthday party for Bob before going to the game with familydinner and then more birthday party after the game with friends. It was a long, fun evening and night.

• I am off to Missoula today. So, what is good about that? I will finally get to see my Dad in the nursing home as I am 90% over the crud that has lingered for over a month and I can go into the nursing home without being a "germinator".

• If you don't have a cool mist humidifier and you have the crud, get one - it is amazing how much quicker you will get better.

• And here is the last quilt I did - I love the "leaf texture" I used in the body. It is that digital panto by Susan Mallett. This pic was before it was done when I was turning it for border work and it is now done and on its way home. But it is always a good thing to have a picture on a blog.

Have a great day!!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

So - what is good about this?

I know there is good news everywhere - we just don't hear it. So, from now on, I want to focus on only the good about things - the good news - about family, fiber, fun, friends.

Here is my "good news" for the day -
• The sun is shining, snow is melting, and spring is not too far away - at least for today.
• Weston is coming to visit this afternoon.
• I have several quilts for quilting and feel good about doing them.
• We have an offer on Mom and Dad's house in Missoula.

What about you - what is "good about this?" in your life?