Saturday, June 30, 2012

Anaheim conference: June 2012

I am not a Disney fan.  It's probably fair to say I am a Disney non-fan, as opposed to being merely Disney-neutral.  I'll spare you the details of my non-fan-itude, but, given my aversion, you will understand that I'm not overly fond of conferencing in Anaheim, where Disney is about all there is.  The southern California weather was lovely, indeed, but simple things like finding a restaurant other than chains or those in hotels or those connected with Disney was nearly impossible unless you had a car.  When the creeping crud took hold and I needed to find a real drugstore (as opposed to the scant assortment in hotel gift shops or gas station mini-marts), none was accessible within walking distance.   But I made it through and, on my return, stayed home sick for almost the rest of the week. All in all, this was NOT an enjoyable conference experience.

But a few sights were worth sharing, like the courtyard outside the convention center.

Giant alliums with blue and white blossoms were scattered throughout the convention center area.  Some are visible here.

My colleague, Tom, did have a rental car and took me on a drugstore run.  What a surprise to spot this stand on our way!  At first glance, it looked just like a Rita's Water Ice stand.  

On the way back to the hotel, after I stocked up on OTC drugs, we stopped.  My throat was so sore, it hurt to swallow anything, so it seemed that a cool treat would be medicinal.   They had black raspberry water ice that was unbelievably good -- even with my impaired taste buds -- and thoroughly soothed my painful throat!   Imagine our surprise when we read this:

Yep.  "Soft serve real ice cream shipped from Pennsylvania." 

Sunday evening, our last night, Tom drove us all to Huntington Beach to sit by the Pacific and bask in the calm.  The sun was beginning to set, and the breeze was quite chilly, so our stay wasn't long, but it was a lovely break.

The road back took us through an area known as "Little Saigon" with Vietnamese everything all around, including, of course, restaurants.   We stopped at "Pho 54" and three of us had dinner for less than $25.

Staying in Anaheim for 4 days and managing to miss everything Disney related = success! 

After missing almost the whole rest of the week at work because of the crud, I believe I have finally turned a corner!   Glad to be home to recuperate in my bed, in my house, with my cats.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


What have I been working on?  Been in the sewing room and in the yard.  First, I'm so pleased with the way my front porch looks now.

When I moved in it was bare and pretty stark.

After two springs of planting a few shrubs and some perennials, improvement was apparent, but recently I bought a couple of new chairs, potted up some flowers, and had lattice put up on the end of the porch where I will plant several colors of clematis to add even more color.  This is how it looks today.

Also recently tried my hand at some more complex machine quilting than I'd done before.  Think it came out pretty well, but I confess I got really tired of doing it after a (not very long) while.  Was "stuck" finishing what I'd started, since I couldn't very well change what I was doing part way through.  All that's left on this one is sewing the binding on by hand.  (Photos should be "clickable" to see the quilting more closely.  Please be kind.)


Pin-basted the Jelly Roll/Fish quilt (now known as the Jellyfish quilt), and will also do that one myself, but with a far simpler pattern.  No matter what, I will only get better by practicing.  That star border was such a find!  And I had the exceptionally suitable backing in my stash.

I have almost finished the top of the Mystery Quilt that Pat and I were doing.  You can see hers here.  (Bonus photos of adorable baby on the beach!)   No photos of mine yet, but you may remember I chose fabrics that were somewhat out of my comfort zone.

And, just because I like the way it looks so much, my completed Rubik's Rings on my bed:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Progress report: month 23 (May 2012)

May 31 = Day 700!  Seventy-percent of my 1001 days behind me.  So!  How am I doing?   Let's see...

87.  Co-lead Deborah Circle (Fall 2010-Spring 2012)

7,26,28,33,99. Kept up-to-date.
  48. Watched 12 movies: (193/125)
        The Lovely bones
        Super 8
        American dreamz
        Extremely loud and incredibly close
        The Descendents
        Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (theatre)
        Best in show
        Driving lessons
        Dangerous liaisons
        Valentine’s Day
        Temple Grandin
(Yeah, I know -- all over the place!)
  49. Read 6 books: (82/60, 44/30, 35/10)
        Operating instructions (Anne Lamott)
        With no one as witness (Elizabeth George)
        Death with interruptions (Jose Salamarago)
        A Trick of the light (Louise Penny)
        An Awfully big adventure (Beryl Bainbridge)  
        The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (May Ann Shaffer)
  84. Extra contributions: St. Paul's Memorial Garden, Baby Manna/Philabundance
101. Blog posts (3)
        White Oak retreat (April 2012)
        Paducah KY

Quilts: bound and finished Rubik's Rings, gave Asian Anvils to D#2's friend for graduation gift

Priorities for June:
6/9.  Back to basement...
20. Get estimates for electrical work.
30. Make a will.