to the New Year from Sunny So. Cal.
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Jan. 1, 2005: Happy New Year! We had good intentions of ushering in the new year with friends on A dock, but I was fast asleep by 2130, Jim by 2200, and neither of us heard 2005 come marching in. We talked to my sister, who told us that LA had been inundated with rain yesterday and another storm was predicted for tomorrow. With that news, we decided we should probably check our weather, as we were going to move into our new slip on A dock some time over the weekend. Sure enough, San Diego's weather for the next two days looked iffy so we emptied the dock box, pulled in our steps and moved. Simple enough! Jim was a bit rusty in his boat docking skills and it didn't help that the wind was blowing enough to send Mañana where we didn't want her to go, but we made it. Our new slip is on the outer most dock, closest to the channel and across from the fishing pier. We immediately noticed a LOT more boat motion but agreed that boats are supposed to move and we found the movement comforting. It is also noisier here, as we're much closer to the park and fishing pier. It will take us a few days to acclimate to our new surroundings -- in addition to the motion and noise, we need to get used to where the sun comes in, the traffic on the dock (we're in slip 5, so just about everyone has to pass by our boat) and the fact that every one walking by can see in. I suspect I'll be keeping the counters cleaner here than when we were on L dock! :-) The positive aspects of the move are: (1) smaller (and therefore cheaper) slip; (2) closer to friends and (3) closer to the showers and laundromat. The down sides are: (1) more noise and passing foot traffic; (2) it's much windier and (3) it's much further to the parking lot. I suspect, though, that we will enjoy the camaraderie.
Jan. 3, 2005: We woke to heavy rain beating down on the aft cabin. I thought we were supposed to be in "sunny" California? I had the day off so we spent the morning relaxing and then I brought my sewing machine out. FINALLY (!) I finished the top for the second baby blanket (with the exception of the border material, which I don't have). Hooray and it's about time!! Because of all the hours I have into it, I had pretty much decided that I would not donate this blanket. Last week a coworker and I were talking about quilts and she mentioned that her first grandson is due in March -- my blanket just found a home!
Jan. 6, 2005: I took a half day so we could attend the San Diego Boat Show in order to beat the weekend crowd. With it advertised as "one of the largest boat shows on the west coast," we were expecting something pretty impressive, not that we actually needed to buy anything. We were told the boat show was in Rooms E-H of the Convention Center. We scanned the area as we entered it and wondered where the rest of the boat show was. After chowing down on overpriced "jumbo" hotdogs and a chlorinated Coke, we walked around looking at the displays. This took less than one hour and unless we wanted to buy Hawaiian print shirts, sunglasses, hats, Mexican cruising guides or "Crocs" (a plastic garden-type clog), there was nothing to buy. Admittedly there was a decent selection of what Jim refers to as "go-fast" boats and various kayaks, but not one dinghy or small motor in site. We asked one of the workers if there was any more in-door show and she confirmed there wasn't. Okay...so we caught the tram to a nearby marina for the in-the-water portion of the boat show, thinking there may be more vendors set up at the water's edge. No, no vendors in sight. We walked down the few docks hosting the show boats, but decided not to go aboard any. One boat caught my eye, only because I thought the dealer had the wrong sale flyer in front. As we walked by, I thought I had read the boat cost $1,229,000. Naw...a second glance at the boat and I decided the flyer must have read $129,000. But I went back and sure enough, the sale flyer was correct! We didn't go inside to see why it cost so much money, but we did notice a big flat screen TV hanging on one of the walls. We left the show at 1445, very disappointed. As another powerful storm system is predicted to begin tomorrow, we secured the bimini and put the full flybridge cover on. Hopefully it won't be as bad as what people were saying (40-50 kts of wind and heavy rain). The land around here is totally saturated and puddles still exist from the last storm several days ago. We had a bit of a wild ride last week when we were over on L dock -- it should be interesting to see how much wilder it gets here on A dock!
Jan. 8, 2005: In the Chula Vista quilting world, today is "First Saturday" at the local quilt shop. Kathy, the shop owner, opens an hour earlier than normal and at least 30 ladies (and one man) crowd into her little shop to hear about the upcoming classes and shows, buy their "block of the month" and learn what she has on sale for the day. I just found out about this last month, and decided it was a good thing, so put it on the calendar to attend in January. I should have known something was up when Jim volunteered to do the grocery shopping while I was attending First Sat. As all the parking spots in front of the store were taken, he drove around back and accompanied me into the store, which surprised me. His explanation was that he wanted to see 30 ladies crammed into a small room. We were one of the last to arrive, and Kathy greeted me warmly and handed me an envelope, saying "This is for you." In my wildest dreams, I couldn't figure out why she was giving me something, as I know I'm not even close to being her best customer (although given unlimited storage and money I'm sure I could be!) I opened the envelope to find a hefty gift certificate from Jim. Oh oh...something's up....Kathy then went on to show me a new Bernina sewing machine that was sitting on the table. She told me it was mine and would be going home with me! Wow!! Jim hadn't wanted to come inside but Kathy had insisted that he see my reaction. He's been telling me I deserve a new sewing machine, but my 25 year old Singer still works when I ask it to. I figured I'd run the poor thing until it died and then start looking around. He became a "hero" after Kathy explained how I'd sold and left everything to go cruising with him and now he felt it was my turn. Kathy gave me a comprehensive driving lesson on the new machine, and we set it up on the galley table when we finally returned to the boat. By the end of Sunday, I had the baby blanket 99% finished (just have to attach the signature block). My new Bernina has many terrific features, but I have my work cut out for me practicing so I get good at using many of them.
Jan. 11, 2005: It was positively DUMPING outside when I woke up and the wind was blowing in excess of 20 kts. As Jim was fighting a cold, he stayed in bed while I got ready for work. I heard several "thuds" up on the flybridge, so I put on his foul weather jacket, which was hanging nearby, and went up above to investigate. The wind had blown one of our folding chairs over and it was banging against our deck box. I laid it down on the deck and tried to empty the "lake" that had accumulated in our flybridge cover, but had little success. I was only outside for perhaps 2 minutes and I was soaked enough that I had to change my slacks. I left for work and was again drenched before I had reached the gate; I sloshed along, dodging puddles the size of ponds. Our car is almost 1/4 mile from our boat -- my back side was totally soaked by the time I got to the car -- yuk! I was pretty miserable by the time I got to work; the Californians love their air conditioning -- it doesn't matter how cold/wet it is outside, the air conditioning is always on. I borrowed a co-worker's heater, set it up on my desk and rotated around it, drying myself off. The sun finally broke through the clouds that afternoon -- it's about time!!
Jan. 15, 2005: What do you get when you put 40 women (and 2 men) on a Charter bus to a quilt show??? A whole lot of excitement! Our bus left Chula Vista at 0830 and arrived Ontario, CA (east of LA) two hours later. I was amazed to see snow-covered mountains so close to Los Angeles! The "Road to California" Quilt Show was unbelieveable! There were aisles of vendors, but no one had any special deals so I bought very little. And as for the quilts on display, I felt like I was at an art show where the medium used was fabric. Some of the "quilts" were spectacular, and I imagined that they are probably shipped from show to show. Other quilts were extremely impressive -- I'm definitely not in that league but I could appreciate the work involved. (See www.quiltingcruiser.com for pictures of the show.) We didn't leave the show until 1700 and it was a quiet ride home. I will definitely go again next year if the Guild puts the trip together, but I will concentrate more on the quilts than on the vendors. My old Singer was given to Katrina, the 18 year old daughter of a Guild member, who is in college in MD and loves sewing. What was surprising was that her mom, Karen, is still sewing on a Creative Touch machine that was purchased in 1979 -- the same as mine! I was very happy to give it to somebody who will enjoy it.
Jan. 16, 2005: What a beautiful day outside -- sunny and 70 degrees! Jim and I dug our sandals and T-shirts out for the first time in a long time. We went for a 1.5 mile walk while the laundry was doing its thing and then I spent a good part of the afternoon filling out the numerous employment forms in preparation for my first day with Parsons (tomorrow). When it was time for dinner, Jim went to pull the sausages out of the freezer only to find the internal temp. at 60 degrees, NOT a good sign. We don't know whether it got water logged earlier in the week, but it doesn't really matter...everything in it will have to be thrown out :-(
Jan. 23-28, 2005: We really needed to watch our budget while I was between paychecks, but it turned out we had one social engagement after another the entire week. We had a steak dinner at the RV park with Monika and Melinda on Tuesday. They will be leaving the RV park next week and won't return until April or May, so we wanted to get together with them one last time. Then we met Mike and Bertha for dinner downtown on Weds. I had worked with them at Kenworth; they are newly retired and looking forward to some wonderful-sounding trips. We had a very nice visit with them. Then we were invited out Thursday night; we went to a local Italian restaurant with 2 other couples from A dock. As if that wasn't bad enough, I went out to lunch Thurs with my new boss and supervisor and on Friday, a group of us surprised a co-worker with lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Oh, our empty wallet! Unfortunately my paycheck didn't show up on Friday as expected.
Feb. 6, 2005: Superbowl Sunday! The RV park hosted a Superbowl party and since we don't have a TV hooked up on board, nor do we know any land-based folks who were having a Superbowl party, we decided to join the crowd. Our friend Monika called earlier in the day and teased us about partying with a bunch of old folks, and sure enough, when we arrived at the hall, we were the youngest couple. We had a (private) laugh about it and then settled in to watch the game. There weren't many Patriots fans in the crowd initially, and by half-time, the majority of Eagles fans had left. All in all, it was an exciting game and the best team, the Patriots, won by 3 points. Last year we watched the game in a restaurant in LaPaz -- we missed out on all the commercials and Janet Jackson's wardrobe failure. Neither of us minded watching Paul McCartney, and were greatful that his wardrobe didn't fail!
Feb. 7, 2005: Judy (Encanto) will be arriving for the night tomorrow. She is extremely allergic to cats and her doctor advised her not to sleep in our boat. Her thought was to either sleep on the flybridge or in our car. Both Jim and I were having a difficult time with either of these suggestions; it's been either too cold or too wet to have her sleep on the flybridge and we didn't feel that our station wagon would offer much privacy. While at work asking if anyone had a small tent we could borrow, I got the brilliant (I thought, anyway) idea that I would rent a hotel room and Judy and I would sleep there. Jim gave his blessing to the hotel, and I found one 2 blocks from the trolley station that has a bathtub (YES!!!). The plan is that Judy and I will have a PJ party tomorrow night and I'll/we'll take a luxurious bath, but not at the same time. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast and then I can walk to the train station. Judy can sleep in and then call Jim. He's going to travel to Tijuana with her on Weds. so he'll have the opportunity to chat with her -- our girls night out will give Judy and me (my true Sea Sister) an opportunity for some heart-to-heart girl talk.
Feb. 8, 2005: The day the cats jumped ship...I was up at 0500 getting ready for work, normal for Tuesday mornings. I'd fed the cats and let them out on deck, although it was still dark. At 0520 I called the cats inside, only to be greeted by total silence. I walked around the deck, confirming what I was afraid of...BOTH boys were gone! I grabbed the flashlight and walked up and down the dock, softly calling for them. I thought I heard Jerry's meow but couldn't tell where it was coming from. I woke Jim up and gave him the news that both boys were gone. He got up a couple hours later and expected to see them waiting at the door, but there wasn't a cat in sight, so he took the first of many walks calling for them (his pedometer indicated that he walked over 7 miles). DC was spotted in the nearby park by our neighbor. Eileen scolded him and he took off running back onto the dock. Jim discovered DC on C dock, happily being held and petted. No doubt about it -- DC knew he was in the dog house! However, there was still no sign of Jerry and this bothered both of us. We were concerned that Jerry would not respond to Jim's calls because he is very much "momma's boy" and is very timid, especially when frightened. I called Jim every couple of hours, hoping for good news, but receiving none. I was pretty worthless at work, so asked if I could leave the office at 1400. By 1500, flyers with Jerry's picture were up on gate and in the RV park and I was walking the park calling for him. At 1630, I returned to the boat and grabbed the can of cat treats and started walking the docks, hoping that perhaps he was hiding on someone's boat. At 1645 I passed a boat on B dock and heard Jerry's cries. He had climbed into the propane locker of an old wooden boat (well, at least he had the old wood boat part right) and was hiding behind 2 propane tanks. Jim came running when I called and got Jerry out of the locker. He was absolutely filthy, but very happy to be in my arms. Once back on board, he greeted DC with a head butt. DC was extremely curious as to the smells Jerry had brought back with him. Jim and I were totally relieved, and now BOTH cats were in the dog house! We met Judy at the Greyhound station at 1930, had a nice dinner at La Bella in Chula Vista and then went to the motel. I thoroughly enjoyed my bath (except I'll make sure I bring some nice bubble bath with me if/when I do this again) and Judy and I talked until midnight, when reluctantly, we turned off the lights. We both felt like we were just getting started! I slept wonderfully -- no cats climbing on my head and no husband stealing the blankets!
Feb. 9, 2005: The alarm was set for 0600; I have to admit that my meeting minutes weren't very good this morning! Jim went to Tijuana with Judy and got her settled on the bus bound for La Paz. We both really miss Encanto's crew. Our respective Guild meetings were that evening. I picked up an entry form for the May quilt show. I don't have anything in mind to put on display, but part of me is thinking I should finish the Memory Quilt.
Toad in the Poppies
Feb. 12, 2005: It poured all day yesterday and today. I'm really sick of this weather... Jim spent the day on the computer and I worked on the table runner and then came up with the idea of "cubicle quilts", 12-14" wall hangings that you can hang in your cubicle at work. I made one using the Toad in the Puddle traditional block, and used some colorful poppy fabric I had on hand. I finished it up and named it "Toad in the Poppies". I'll hang it in my cubicle at work and see if I can't generate some sales from it.
Feb. 18, 2005: It's pouring out...AGAIN! God, I sound like a broken record. This storm is supposed to bring us 1-3" of rain before it ends some time next week :-( Today is packing day at work. About a dozen of us are being shuffled around, closer to our respective groups. This will be a good thing for me, I think.
Feb. 20, 2005: The night Chloe came to visit. Excitement on the dock and liveaboards are the first on the scene. After dinner, we heard a commotion on the dock. Jim ran outside and saw two people kneeling on the dock and the dock all wet. He asked if everyone was okay and was told that a cat had fallen into the water. BJ, our neighbor, said she heard a loud "thud" on the side of their boat and then heard a loud howling sound. BJ ran outside and found a small cat in the water. She nearly went in herself as she grabbed the cat. By the time we got outside, she had the cat wrapped in a towel and the poor thing was shaking like a leaf, with eyes that looked like full moons. Jim shut our boys in to our aft cabin and we brought the kitten, later identified as Mike's cat, Chloe, aboard. BJ helped me bath her with fresh water and then I sat on the floor in front of our little space heater, trying to sooth her as she dried. We stayed up way past our bedtime until she was purring and we felt she'd be okay. I really expected her to howl all night long, but she settled into Jim's jacket and was quiet all night.
Feb. 21, 2005: We got up in the morning, leaving the boys in the aft cabin while we checked out how Chloe did. She was standing in the middle of the table when we popped our heads up into the galley and she had quite a story to tell us! Unfortunately she had thrown up all over our rug, not that we were totally surprised (we suspected that she had ingested salt water the night before). Luckily the rug is machine washable. We gave her a little breakfast and then Jim carried her down to her boat, which she recognized. We hoped she had had enough adventure and would stay put until Mike returned from Las Vegas later in the day. We ate a quick breakfast and then headed to Ensenada, Mexico. The weather was iffy but we had plans to meet someone, plus we had a little grocery shopping to do. We arrived Ensenada at 1100, did our shopping (boy, is our Spanish rusty!) and then contacted John. After a brief tour of his boat, we went for lunch and then stopped by to see Tom & Judy's boat (unfortunately they weren't around). "Imagine" looks beautiful and got me thinking that it's time we start working on the interior of Mañana (can't work on the exterior because of all the rain). We caught the 1500 bus back to Tijuana, and returned to the boat at 1730, totally wiped out from all the walking we did.
Feb. 22, 2005: I left the boat at 0545 and it was only sprinkling. I debated whether I should grab my foul weather gear or an umbrella -- naw -- it's only sprinkling! The sky opened up well before I got to the car (the parking lot is almost 1/4 mile from our boat) and I had to duck into the ladies room and try to towel dry my hair with paper towels before continuing on to our car. Needless to say, I looked like a drowned rat by the time I got to the office an hour later. Got to work in time for the 0700 meeting, only to learn that the meeting was canceled. Ugh! I sure could have used the extra hour sleep this morning. However, my belongings needed to be unpacked in my new cubicle, so I made use of the time. Many of the people who were moved were very unhappy with their new surroundings -- thankfully I like where I'm at and will concentrate on personalizing my space just as soon as I figure out who I am and what I would like to see on a daily basis.
Feb. 24, 2005: The cartoon in the editorial section of the San Diego Union Tribune showed 2 people viewing the Space Needle in Seattle. The caption says "Californians on Vacation" and the subtitle says "Ahh...it's nice to get a break from all the rain!" According to our friend Natalie, this morning the DJ said "California called...they want their weather back." We used to say "sunny days in Seattle should be holidays" -- that should now apply to southern California!
Feb. 26, 2005: I had the best of intentions to start sanding the cabinets today; however, Jim told me I'd need to take the overhead panels down and remove the cabinet doors and hardware. It sounded like too much work so instead, I concentrated on washing down the walls in the aft cabin with bleach water in an attempt to kill the mold. After I deemed the boat clean enough, I decided to do a little sewing. I was going to baste the Guild's baby blanket but realized I didn't have enough batting so instead, I basted the table runner. Now I have to decide exactly what I want to hand stitch in the blank squares.
Feb. 27, 2005: I spent the afternoon at a class for free hand motion quilting. I really had hoped to pick up a tip or two, but the only tip Kathy could give was "practice, practice, practice." That evening, we went to Greg & Nancy's boat for a farewell celebration for the crew of Solace. They were to have left San Diego for England about a month ago, but discovered their 100 yr. old boat had a rotted plank, so they (wisely) postponed their trip until they replaced the plank. There were 15 of us on board for the dinner, all cozied up together, but having a wonderful time. Prune jokes that it will probably be another month or two before they actually leave, but really hopes it will only be 2-3 weeks. Jim and I will miss Prune and Colin; but more so, we will miss their children, Rowan, 4, and Ella Rose, 2. Rowan was quite concerned about Jerry on the day the cats jumped ship. His suggestion as to Jerry's whereabouts was"perhaps he went on holiday". And Ella Rose is beautiful and is just beginning to greet us by running full speed up to both Jim and me. Ah...I guess as long as we live in a marina, we will have to pay the price of meeting and losing friends.
March 2, 2005: Neither of us slept last night; the wind was coming from a direction causing the boat to rock side to side for several hours. I woke at midnight, feeling light headed, almost like I'd had too much to drink, and my stomach feeling queasy (was it from a big dinner or was I sea sick?). Anyway, it was very difficult for either of us to climb out of bed at 0600. Jim's been working on clients' boats the past couple of days and work has been busy for me. With luck, we'll both sleep well tonight.
March 5-6, 2005: The forecast was for another rainy weekend, but we awoke to sunshine both days. We had a very nice, relaxing weekend. We helped with Solace's lines as she left the marina -- there were many people on the dock waving good-bye and wishing them a safe trip. Jim worked on a client's boat Sat. afternoon and I made a small quilted square of a sailboat. That evening, Jim helped me make reservations for my trip to Seattle next month (for Colleen's birthday). I'm not sure how this happened, but the next thing I knew, I was on the phone asking Colleen if she wanted to fly up to Orcas for that weekend and Jim was talking to Babs to see if they wanted company. It will be an extremely hectic weekend (arrive Seattle at 1830 on 4/15, fly to Orcas Sat. morning, return to Seattle at 1730 on Sunday, take Colleen to dinner, and leave Seattle at 0630 Mon.). I'll be back in the office by 1000, in time to take the meeting minutes. On Sunday, we had the breakfast special at the restaurant here in the marina and then drove to the police docks to see the crew of Solace. Colin had asked Jim if he could run a few last-minute errands. There were several boats that we knew at the police docks; one of them was Peanut, the couple who helped us out when we first arrived back into the States. I went over to say hi to Dave -- he recognized me right away and we chatted for a few minutes. He's having his boat worked on in Chula Vista next week and said he'd give Jim a call as he has some wiring issues. At 1230 we went over to the RV park and help our neighbor, Jim, celebrate his birthday. There were only a few of us, but we had a good time. BJ borrowed the horse shoes from the office and we played a game BJ and I against Jim & Ron (my Jim was the scorekeeper). I haven't played horse shoes in decades! The ladies won, 12-6! I returned to the boat to finish quilting and binding the baby blanket I started last night and hemmed a pair of slacks for a co-worker.
March 9, 2005: I had spent Monday's and Tuesday's lunch hours finishing the binding on the baby blanket. Brenda, my supervisor, was curious who this blanket was for. I have to admit, the fabric was so cute that I hadn't had the heart to cut it into little pieces. She was interested in buying the blanket for her niece, so I called the Guild to see if this was okay. Brenda and I agreed on a price and I turned the money over to the Guild as a donation that evening. We had a guest speaker -- I really get inspired when I see the work that others do. I do much better making something that I've seen in a picture than actually designing it in my mind. However, I need to stop procrastinating and start working on the memory quilt.
March 12-13, 2005: Jim said he was afraid to stay on the boat, given the amount of 4-letter words that were coming out of my mouth over the weekend. The reason? I was tackling the memory quilt. It may have been a lot easier, and I would definitely have gotten the look I wanted, had I simply laid down the background fabric and appliqued the pictures and blocks onto it. But, no, I insisted that this be sewn, with as few seams as possible. I finally got the hang of it, sort of, by the end of Sat. The wall hanging is going to be much longer than I originally had planned, and if I had known that, I (maybe) would have widened it to make it square rather than rectangular. By the end of Sunday, I only had one more row to add, but I was (mostly) happy with the way it was turning out. I'm now busy trying to figure out what kind of border (if any) I should include. I will have it professionally quilted and plan to embellish it by sewing on some shells that I picked up in Mexico. My skills are far from being top-notch; I sew to please myself. Given the talent in the Guild, I'm certain that I won't win any awards for the technical aspect of the quilt, but if someone can look at it and be impressed with my idea as a whole, then I'll be happy. And as for Jim and me, I know we will have fond memories of our trip of a lifetime.
March 19-20, 2005: The local weather called for more rain, but Wunderground.com indicated that it would be 65-70 and clear sunny skies in Ensenada, Mexico. Maybe there is more than one Ensenada, because it sure wasn't clear, sunny or 65 in the Ensenada where we were! We had taken the bus down so we could partake in a party on "OuttaHere". And ever hopeful that we might meet up with Tom & Judy (the previous owners of our boat), we decided to spend the night in a hotel. The desk clerk apologized that the only room available faced the street, but we took it anyway. It was a Best Western in the heart of the Gringo tourist area. The hotel itself was very nice and we wouldn't hesitate to stay there again (it had TV and a bathtub, so I was a VERY happy camper), but next time we'll request a room that does NOT face the street. We headed to the marina at noon, stopping for a fried fish taco at one of the push cart stands about two blocks from the cruise ship terminal. Two cruise ships were in port and security was very tight -- we were escorted to OuttaHere. The crowd on board had started partying early and by the time we arrived, they were doing shooters of tequila (notice I said "they" and not "we".) We returned to the hotel at 1630; I turned the TV on and we watched a couple of movies before we went out for dinner. After dinner, we walked several blocks, enjoying the nightlife of Ensenada. We've discovered that that Mexicans will do anything to earn a few pesos. As we were sitting in the hotel's restaurant, a local walked by with a camera, wanting to take our picture. Another walked through the restaurant hoping to sell individually-wrapped roses and the ever-present mariachi musicians would stop by, strum the guitar and wait for a nod or shake of the head. I picked up a birthday present for Colleen and we returned to the hotel. A mariachi band was performing at the sidewalk cafe that was directly under our window. They were very good and we didn't mind the music, but the cars racing up the street with their radio's bass turned way up was annoying. We awoke on Sunday to a beautiful, but very windy, day. After breakfast, we walked back to the marina, but Tom & Judy had not made it back to their boat. Instead, we spent a couple of hours on OuttaHere before we headed to the bus station. We caught the 1300 bus to Tijuana (there was an incredibly long line at Customs) and returned to our boat at 1600. All in all, a very nice weekend.
April 2-3, 2005: Jim accompanied me to the quilter's studio. The memory quilt top and backing are done and I'd already decided to have it professionally quilted by Judy, who came highly recommended by Kathy at the fabric store. We interviewed different colored threads and decided on a pale lime or butter-colored thread for the body, and a pale varigated thread for the border. Judy will have it back to me in about 3 weeks, which will give me plenty of time before the quilt show to add the binding and hanging sleeve. When we returned to the boat, I pulled out the table runner and continued hand quilting it. When that was done, I got my nerve up and stippled the border, using my machine. I'm pleased with the end result, although I still don't like the colors! I stopped into the fabric store to pick out a binding for the table runner. Kathy gave me a thumbs up on it, saying my hand stitching was uniform and the stippling looked good. I also bought the accompanying fabrics for the lap quilt I plan to make Jim. It's a good thing I have a full-time job -- fabric is expensive!!
April 15-18, 2005: I took a late afternoon flight to Seattle and met Colleen at the bus stop at 2000. It was cold and very wet! After ditching my backpack at her apartment, we headed out to the Starlight Lounge for dinner, drinks and a game of pool with her friends. It was still pouring and blowing like stink when we got up the next morning; neither of us was looking forward to taking the seaplane to Orcas, given the weather conditions. I called Kenmore Air to confirm our flight, secretly hoping that it had been canceled. No...they were flying! We checked in for our 1130 flight and that was when Colleen got her first up-close-and-personal look at a seaplane. She'd never flown in a small plane and wasn't sure she wanted today to be the first time, but I told her I shouldn't be the only one having "great adventures" in life. The flight was bumpy but smoothed out the further north we went. We arrived Orcas at 1315. After a delicious lunch of homemade clam/oyster chowder, we headed to Poppies (the local quilt fabric shop) with my friend Lynn. I got to say hi to many of my quilting friends, and did a little shopping while there. That evening we attended the Westsound Community potluck dinner and Colleen and I spent the night on COHO, Peter & Babs' boat. Babs totally spoiled Colleen on Sunday -- it was Colleen's birthday. Babs made individual omelets for breakfast, and then made corned beef and cabbage for lunch, followed by made-from-scratch strawberry shortcake for dessert (complete with candles in Colleen's). Colleen hadn't been on Orcas for 8 or 9 years, and she admitted that the break from the city was much needed. We took the 1630 flight back to Seattle and after looking in on Sweet Pea, went to Sonya's so I could buy Colleen a birthday drink. Shuttle Express came for me at 0430 on Monday and I was back in the office in time to take the minutes at my 1000 meeting. Surprisingly I made it through the day easily, but I was in bed shortly after dinner! It's such an easy trip -- I just wish that the airfare was more reasonable -- I'd love to go back there every few months. Despite the weather, Seattle is home and I can't wait to return on a permanent basis.
April 21-23, 2005: Last weekend was for girls only -- it was Jim's turn this weekend. Jim drove down to Ensenada to visit friends and help with boat chores on Friday. After doing boat chores of my own on Saturday, I met Judy at the fabric store and picked up the memory quilt (she did a great job!). I brought my sewing machine out after lunch and finished the top of Jim's lap blanket by dinner time. What a difference it makes when you work with fabrics and colors you enjoy! It was an easy pattern and one I look forward to doing again, but maybe I'll do something for myself for a change! On Sunday, I attached the hanging sleeve and binding onto the memory quilt. I'm very pleased with the colors and Judy's quilting; however, I'm still bummed that the piece, itself, didn't turn out as I had envisioned it. Jim returned Sunday afternoon and was thrilled with both pieces. I don't have the floor space on the boat to spread the fabric out to create the "quilt sandwich" for Jim's blanket -- will have to ask the marina office if I can put a couple of tables together in their spare room next weekend.
April 25, 2005: I brought some miscellaneous articles that I had previously made (and intend to sell at the Quilt Show's Boutique) in to work for a "marketing opinion" on how much I should price them for. The opinions were very close. It was suggested that I include a couple of holiday table runners too. Additionally, I was telling the girls how I had received an order to make some adult bibs and two of my co-workers placed orders for 6 more bibs! Jim thinks I need a catchy name for them, other than "adult bib". Any thoughts? Since they seem so popular, I think I should make a few of those to add to the Boutique as well. I think I'm going to have to take a few days off to sew! Let's see...varnish the galley cabinets or sew....ummm, that's a no-brainer -- SEW!!
April 29, 2005: What a week! You'd think that I would be used to "the daily grind" by now, but I still find myself wiped out by the time I return back to the boat at the end of the day. My boss gave me 3 red roses for Administrative Asst. day on Weds., and the dept.'s counselor gave me a beautiful pink rose, although he and I have never had any real chats. Still, having flowers on my desk was a real pick-me-up. My boss, Gus, took a group from the dept. out for lunch today, saying he had to keep Sherryl (the other group Admin.) and me well fed to keep us happy, to which Sherryl retorted that she and I would like to just stay at the restaurant and continue on with a liquid lunch! I'm planning for another sewing weekend -- lots of bibs to sew, as well as a couple of cube quilts, and if I'm really lucky (or perhaps if I'm quick), I'll be able to put the backing on Jim's quilt. Thank goodness Jim has no thoughts on having a life as a "couple!"
May 6-7, 2005: Jim left the car at the trolley station before heading off to Ensenada for the weekend with John. This was a good weekend for him to be away as I had planned to attend a dinner Friday night for a co-worker who is getting married at the end of the month. Eleven of us had dinner at an Indian restaurant in the Gaslamp district of downtown San Diego and I had originally thought I'd be on my way home by 2000, but we actually didn't leave until 2200. I was okay with the thought of taking the trolley at that hour, but Brenda drove me, for which I was very grateful as it took half the time. The next day, Pat, from the quilters guild, and I headed north to San Marcos to Eleanor Burns' shop. Eleanor is a well-known instructor/author (in the quilting world, anyway) and Pat and I were excited to see where she does business. An hour later, we arrived at an industrial complex. Eleanor's shop is WAY in the back, on a cul-de-sac. Only quilters who know Eleanor would know she was back there. We were very disappointed...she had a very limited stock of material -- mostly it was the fabric that she used when creating new projects. Although we both found some fabric to buy, we decided we would not recommend the shop to anyone else in the guild, unless they particularly wanted to go for an hour's drive. We stopped for lunch before returning to Chula Vista. Later in the afternoon, I put a couple of tables together in the marina's spare room and basted the batting and backing to Jim's lap robe top. Jim got home at 2130.
May 8, 2005: Happy Mother's Day! I spent a lot of time talking with Jim and Colleen about the possibility of me becoming president of the quilting guild. I had been approached Friday afternoon by the current president; apparently my name had come up during the Board meeting as someone who would do a good job because of my enthusiasm. Yes, I have lots of enthusiasm, but I've only been a member for 5 months and still don't know the names of the majority of the members. Plus, we've been living the gypsy lifestyle for the past 3 years...the thought of committing to something for two years was a bit daunting. However, Jim and Colleen both had a lot of faith in me. In the end, I decided to do it.
May 11, 2005: Today was our guild meeting; Mary introduced me to the meeting attendees as someone who volunteered to be president. Many people were surprised, but no one challenged me for the position, and by the end of the meeting, I (and the rest of the new positions) were unanimously voted in. Several ladies thanked me after the meeting for stepping up to the plate; I told them I'll be expecting their help as I get myself up to speed. So, I guess I'm now "Madam President"!
May 14, 2005: The marina's annual pig roast -- yippee! We'd heard only good things about this and were looking forward to it. The marina was supplying the bulk of the food, and the marina tenants were asked to provide a salad or dessert. The party started at 1300. We arrived at the RV park at 1330 with Ron & Laurie, where the party was already in full swing. It wasn't long before it was apparent that there was a problem -- the 2 pigs didn't get put in the ground until 0600 TODAY, instead of 1500 YESTERDAY. Ooops!! Needless to say, they were far from cooked. So someone called for Hawaiian pizzas (12 pizzas were inhaled in 20 min.), while the pigs were chopped into little pieces and thrown onto 2 BBQ grills that were quickly brought in. The pigs were finally ready to eat at 1600, just when the party was ending and there was no more beer. We took several pieces back to the boat with us, but half of them turned out to be nothing more than cooked fat -- yuk! Still, I think a good time was had by all -- the marina had hired a DJ so there was good music, free wine & beer (while it lasted) and we enjoyed the company of Ron, Laurie, Monika and Melinda.
May 15, 2005: Jim helped me put the finishing touches on my memory quilt -- except for the size, I'm pleased with the results. It will be delivered to MaryAnna tomorrow for inclusion into the quilt show next weekend. Additionally, I finished up several other items that will be (hopefully) sold at the boutique.
Jan's First Show
May 20, 2005: Wow! My first show -- heaven only knows why I'm so hyped up about this, but there's just a certain thrill that comes with putting something that you've put your heart and soul into on display to be critiqued by strangers. I should have kept a ledger with all the hours I have into the memory quilt - from its conception right up to today. And the truth is, it's nowhere near close to being in the same league as 98% of the quilts that are in the show, but then again, there isn't another quilt in the show like it. I know it won't be winning any prizes, but I'm psyched anyway. And you know what? I'm already thinking about what I will enter into next year's show!
May 30, 2005: They say bad things happen in groups of 3 -- we certainly hope that today's news is the end of the bad news that we've received this week. Earlier in the week, we learned that Spike, the shipwright who did the majority of work on Mañana, had been hit by a car and is now paralyzed from his chest down; I received an email stating that one of our Gold Wing friends was just diagnosed with bone cancer and the outlook is grim and finally today, we received an email informing us of the sudden death of Peter on Wanderlust V, one of our Canadian cruising friends. Okay, God...that is enough bad news for this week. Thank you.
June 8, 2005: You can call me Madam Prez now...had to raise my right hand and swear that I would put off housekeeping until I got just one more square done, never pass up a fabric sale, always keep a long list of future projects and never feel guilty about my growing list of UFOs (unfinished objects)...yeah, serious stuff! In addition, I won the "block of the month" -- which means I won 20 ready-made blocks. All I have to do is put them together, quilt and enjoy. Great! Just what I didn't need (but it will be SO pretty!).
June 10, 2005: Jim went to Mexico in the morning and wasn't going to be able to meet me at the trolley, so I worked through lunch so I'd be able to catch the 1730 bus back to the marina. I just missed the 1615 bus from the Airport, and then just missed the trolley from downtown. I arrived at the E St. station at 1740; I could either walk 1.5 miles to the Marina or I could sit for 50 min. I chose to walk the 1.5 miles, grumbling constantly on how I was going to start looking for a new job. I finally arrived at the Marina at 1815 -- 2 hours AFTER I'd left work -- so much for leaving early! I had a long list of chores to do, and I got everything done, but I climbed into bed at 2145, totally exhausted.
June 11, 2005: I climbed out of bed at 0730 and was sewing by 0830. I was still sewing when Jim returned at 1730! However, I had accomplished much! Unfortunately I didn't have enough fabric to finish all my planned projects, so I'll have to visit a fabric store tomorrow. Jim was given a cold shoulder by DC; it should be interesting to see how DC handles Jim's being away 2 or 3 nights a week for a month (or two or three). There's no doubt about it -- DC is definitely Jim's cat!
June 12, 2005: We were having our morning coffee when Jim said he felt the boat drop and thought there had been an earthquake. I was sitting right next to him reading, but didn't feel anything. I looked around our boat, but nothing was swaying, so I assumed the folks on the boat next to us had jumped off their boat onto the dock. Later that afternoon, we learned that there had, indeed, been a 5.6 earthquake and Jim had felt it. I still maintain that I felt nothing!
June 14, 2005: Jim took Amtrak up to the LA area and had a chat with the owner of an older boat that needs rewiring. After spending several hours up there, Jim hopped on a southbound Amtrak, with a new customer lined up. Jim plans to start the week after next; he has several offers of places he can stay while up there, plus he won't be too far away from his best friend. He's going to be very busy for the next couple of months, but as he told his dad, "I'll sleep in February."
June 15, 2005: Our friend, Ron, called us around 2030 to tell us a tsunami warning had been issued because of a 7.0 earthquake off the northern CA coast. If a tsunami was going to happen, it was expected in San Diego around 2215. Seeing as we're at least 2 hours from the Pacific Ocean, we decided it wouldn't make sense to leave the marina -- we would have met the wave head on. As we got ready for bed, I said to Jim, "Well, we'll either die tonight in a tsunami or we won't." to which he replied "Yup." Obviously we were pretty comfortable with our belief that there would be no tsunami! However, we wondered if Sunday's earthquake had shifted things enough to cause an earthquake up north, and if this quake will shake things up in Seattle soon. Time will tell!
June 17, 2005: Yet ANOTHER earthquake! What's going on here? (Oh, yeah, we're in southern California!). Okay, enough excitement caused by earthquake and tsunami warnings.
June 18, 2005: 22 years of married life -- and for the most part, it's been very good! After all our talk about what we might do to celebrate, we ended up attending the marina swap meet in the morning and went out to dinner that night. We had thought we'd like to check out Coronado, but it was blowing like stink (as my dear husband says) here in Chula Vista and we knew that it would be worse in Coronado. So, we'll leave that discovery to another time when the wind's not blowing, if there is such a time.
July 2, 2005: Today was the Airport's "Employee Appreciation" day. The Airport hosted a tail gate party near Petco Field -- hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and baked beans on one side of the parking lot and mango margaritas, peach martinis and beer on the other (the booze was not company sanctioned). I had a glass of mango margarita, complete with a generous spoonful of chopped up mangos. Woo-eeey but that mango had a punch to it!!! At 1830 we walked to the stadium and discovered that our seats were WAY UP in nosebleed territory! We were thankful that weren't hungry when we got to the game -- one slice of pizza was $5.50, one bag of popcorn was $5.00 and a draft beer was $7.50! Absolutely outrageous prices! However, we had a fun time and the Padres won 5-3 -- Yeah!! After the game, there was a fireworks display, and then we took the trolley back to Chula Vista, returning to the boat long after our usual bed time.
July 3, 2005: The marina is hopping with people we haven't seen all year; lots of new faces on our dock. According to the locals, Chula Vista will put on an impressive fireworks display tomorrow and A dock apparently has front row seats. To that end, a sign went up on throughout the marina that there's a potluck/dock party on A dock starting at 1700. As this is our first year here, we don't know what to expect, but I'm not really expecting to get much sleep! We've invited several of our friends to call Mañana "home" for the evening. Additionally, festivities will take place in the park next to us. A 10' speaker was erected facing in our direction. We're told that this part of town will be absolute mayhem. We've signed up to do security detail from 1400-1600; gotta keep the riff-raff off the docks!
July 4, 2005: A lovely day weatherwise. We did a few boat chores and then chilled out. Our security stint was from 1400-1600 and there were a few people who we kept off the dock until their escort arrived, but most everyone who had a boat at the Marina was grateful for our presence. The City did not allow parking at the park next to us. Instead, people were parking at the trolley station or the Mall and were being shuttled down by bus, so that kept the noise and craziness factor down a bit. The potluck started at 1700. I'd guess there were about 50 people milling about. Needless to say, there was lots of good food and plenty of libations! We returned to our boat as the sun set and it cooled off. At 2100, we enjoyed the fireworks from our chairs on the flybridge, just the 2 of us. Chula Vista put on a very nice fireworks display. Initially I was concerned that the party atmosphere might continue on into the night; however, everyone left the park in a timely fashion (they had to take the shuttle buses back to their cars) and it was very quiet. Perhaps the fact that people had to go to work the next day was a factor.
July 13, 2005: Tonight was the quilt guild's sew-in for making "cuddle quilts" (approx. 36" square quilts for babies/toddlers) that will get donated to the various charities in town. It was also my first night solo'ing as President. I discovered which members have a rough time with change; my political skills are going to have to be brushed up -- and quickly! Pat arrived with 39 cuddle quilt tops. I'm not sure how many quilts were put together, but I ended up taking 6 home to finish and I saw ladies leaving with quilts in their arms. That's one of the nice things about our guild -- people step up when the need arises. Now all I need to do is finish all the quilts and get them out of the aft cabin!
July 23-24, 2005: I decided it was time to start with the interior varnishing, although I haven't finished the exterior yet. I got two coats of varnish on the cabinet and wood trim in the aft head. The wood really looks good and as is usually the case with varnish, the more coats you put on, the better the wood looks. But for now I'm just glad that I was able to psyche myself up to do this.
July 25, 2005: Jim received a phone call from Scott saying that he was changing his plans about how the electrical work was going to be done. Rumor has it that there are some business issues with the venture that may have caused the change in plans. But we'll never know for sure. Jim was initially bummed out about it, but he has no shortage of clients down here and quickly recovered. His one major regret was that he hadn't been able to visit with his friend Andy when he was previously up there. Guess we'll have to somehow remedy that.
July 27, 2005: Weather Underground reports that Chula Vista is experiencing 94% humidity -- ugh! I discovered that my leather boat shoes had green fuzz growing in them and the settee fabric feels clammy. I'm also wiping black mold off the walls in the aft cabin. We have a small dehumidifier in the forward v-berth and we're emptying it every other day. I don't remember it being this humid last year, but I was probably just revelling in the fact that it was less than 100 degrees and didn't care about the humidity! Anyway, excuse my French, but not being able to use our shower sucks!
July 30, 2005: I put a 3rd coat of varnish on the the wood in the aft head and then headed off to meet my co-worker, Jane, for lunch. Afterwards, we went to Rosie's, a fabric shop reported to have 19,000 (!) bolts of fabric. It took a while, but Jane eventually picked out about 8 fabrics and I will make her a throw quilt and some coordinating pillows. I can't tell you how much fun it was fondling fabric and spending someone else's money! We returned to Jane's apartment to see how we did colorwise, and were delighted with the results. Jane will prewash and dry the fabrics for me, since my bow railing isn't large enough for me to do all 8 fabrics, and I only have 3 clothes pins. Have I mentioned recently how much fun it is to live on a boat?
Aug. 1, 2005: Monday morning...not my favorite day/time of the week. When I got to my cubicle at work, I was greeted by....ANTS! And LOTS of them, crawling all over my desk and on the rug underneath. GROSS (to the point of almost freak out)!! Many of the cubicles around me also had ants. An exterminator was called, but wouldn't be able to do anything until Weds. However, by mid-morning, the worst was over with only an occasional ant running across my desk, and it didn't have a chance in hell of surviving if I saw it. What a lovely way to start off the week!
Aug. 5, 2005: Our group's storage rearrangement was scheduled for today -- we started the process back in Feb. Nothing happens quickly at the Airport. The inspectors were to receive 2 additional file cabinets, I was to get 3, we were having a table made so drawings could be spread out, etc. Well, it turned out to be a comedy of errors: someone ordered the wrong file cabinets for the inspectors, so no joy for them; my 3 file cabinets were delivered to a company in LA and I received their order, so no joy for me. The table is good, but the cabinets that go above were wrong, etc., etc., etc. With luck, my cabinets will arrive next week; in the meantime, all our files are in boxes. Heaven only knows how long it will take for the inspectors' cabinets to be swapped out, or how long it will take to modify the cabinets over the table. Whatever happened to the idea of businesses confirming the order is correct before sending it on its way? Gone are the days of customer service.
Aug. 15, 2005: I spent yesterday cutting the fabric for Jane's quilt and sewing. I brought several of the blocks in to show her...I'm very pleased with the way the colors are coming together...and she was too. Tim (another co-worker) said his wife might be interested in having me make a queen-size quilt for their new home (I made a table runner for them as a house warming gift.) I told Tim I'd be happy to make the top, but would insist that a professional quilter do the fancy stitching. Sherryl has also expressed an interest in me making her something. Now all I need is more than 1 day a week to be able to sew!
Aug. 27-28, 2005: On Saturday, I glopped some paint stripper "goop" all over the forward trunk cabin and covered it with plastic according to directions. The goal/hope was that the stripper would really work and I wouldn't have to use much muscle in scraping the old non-skid off (in preparation for the new hatch we're going to install). I got outside early on Sunday, before the heat had a chance to crank up too high, and peeled back the plastic, scraping as I went. It was a messy job, and not totally successful. The stripper worked okay on the paint, but didn't work very well through the sand of the non-skid. Jim will give it another coat later in the week. Jane came down at mid-day and we arranged the blocks of her quilt. This pattern has really been fun to do. I got one row sewn together before we left to join friends for dinner in San Diego.
Sept. 1, 2005: DC decided it was time to go exploring again. I called him to come in at 1915 and he was nowhere on deck. I headed out in search for him with bag of treats in hand, but no joy on A, B, or C dock. Adrian, our young neighbor across the dock from us, joined the search as well. We've learned from previous experience that DC usually won't come to Jim, because Jim scolds him (and DC HATES to hurt Jim's feelings...yes, I know I'm putting human emotions on a cat, but you've got to know DC to appreciate what I've said!). So Jim stayed on board. Eventually I headed up to the park but daylight was quickly fading so I asked Jim to start looking. Jim found DC on an old white wood boat at the other end of our dock; he said DC was meowing as if he was confused -- the boat "smelled" right (old wood), but everything about it was wrong. So Jim brought him home, no scolding necessary, but DC will be grounded for several days. As always, DC was greeted warmly by Jerry, who had to sniff all the new and exciting smells that DC brought home with him.
Labor Day Weekend: No rest for the weary...Labor Day meant exactly that...Jim and I spent Sun. and Monday laboring on the boat. Jim finished peeling the fiberglass off the starboard deck, sanded the area and coated the bare plywood with CPES while I applied chemical stripper to the forward trunk cabin in an attempt to remove the nonskid. Unfortunately the peeler couldn't penetrate the sand and, in the end, Jim ended up having to grind the sand off. He ran out of grinding discs before the job was done, so the new hatch is still sitting in its box. While he was grinding the trunk cabin, I decided I would start scraping the window trim on the port side of the boat. I got two (out of 3) windows scraped; Jim coated them with CPES. I hate to say this but NO paint on the windows looks a heckuva lot better than the cracked/peeling paint! As the grand finale to the weekend, I asked Jim if he would open the 5 liter box of red wine that I had purchased (hey, we're still in "cheap cruisers" mode). He happened to be sitting on the settee at the time. Well, he reached in to pull the black spigot out and the entire thing ripped away from the plastic and we had a geyser of red merlot shooting all over the table, floor, settee and cushions, rug, us, etc.! Holy guacamole!!! We had red wine EVERYWHERE! We estimated we lost 1.5 liters of wine. Jim removed the cushion covers and sopped up the wine out of the foam while I mopped up the interior of the saloon. What a mess! (As a ps. to this story, Jim did the laundry the next day, saturating everything with a product called "Wine Away". Everything came out clean.).
Sept. 10, 2005: I was told that "the team" was working over the weekend -- it didn't sound like I had a choice. I offered to come in at noon on Sat., but received a phone call before I'd even boarded the bus to go home on Fri. that I should come in at 1000, which I did. Thankfully I had plenty of my own work to keep me busy, because I wasn't given any of the work that I had been asked to come in to do until 1130. I ended up having to stay until 1630...not exactly what I had planned on doing this weekend!
Sept. 12, 2005: At 1640, I was advised that I was working overtime and that my boss would drive me home. So much for the thought of doing the food shopping that didn't get done on Sat. when I was working. Well, the extra $$ in the paycheck will come in handy. As it turned out, we didn't leave work until 1900 and I was extremely tired when I got home. Thank heavens I have an understanding husband!
My entry is on the top left
Sept. 16-18, 2005: Woo hoo! This was the weekend for the guild's retreat in Temecula (about 75 miles northeast of Chula Vista) - no spouse, no boat work, no housework, and no feeling guilty because I want to sew but know I should stop and cook dinner! I rode up with Norma, arriving at 0930 on Friday, and together we rearranged the tables, and set up the cutting tables and ironing boards. My goal for the weekend was to finish Jane's quilt and then if I had time, I would work on a lap quilt for myself. The UFO (unfinished object) swap was Friday night. I swapped a pink baby blanket (the block of the month that I won at our quilting meeting) for a Dresden plate wall hanging. The border is screwed up on it, but no worries, because it's butt ugly so I'll replace the border and it will look lovely in the aft cabin over the bureau (unless anyone wants to buy it). Being in such close proximity to so many talented ladies (30) gave me the courage to step outside my comfort zone and try something new with Jane's quilt. By the end of Saturday, the quilting was done and the binding sewn on. After dinner I started working on my project and by Sunday afternoon, I had about 50% of the top done and folks were admiring the cheeriness of it. We had previously been given a piece of fabric and told to "do something with it." I made a cube quilt, and felt quite good about it until I saw what some of the other ladies had made. Then I started doubting my creative abilities, etc. and feeling like I should withdraw my entry. The voting was people's choice and I ended up coming in 3rd place! Talk about a boost to my morale! The retreat center is in the middle of wine country and is a lovely facility. I shared a room and meals were included. Everyone brought snacks and/or drinks -- the sewing room was open 24 hours so we had to keep our strength up. Every couple of hours Juliana (a guild member) would make us all get us and do our stretches. Norma and I returned to Chula Vista at 1600; Jim helped me load everything back on board the boat (you could see the boat sink on its water line!) and I showed him my accomplishments and all the goodies that I'd won. Truly, a wonderfully fun and relaxing weekend, l although I was ready to climb into bed by 2000 that night!
Oct. 7, 2005: Has it really been 3 weeks since I last jotted down my thoughts? Time sure is flying and I must be having more fun than I thought! Received email from Colleen indicating that she passed her comp exam! WOO HOO!!! About 10 days ago, she had to take a 6 hr. written exam and 30 min. verbal exam to prove she's learned something over the last 3 years (she's now in her senior year going after her Masters Degree in Psychology). Passing this exam means that she can start her one year internship, counseling real people with real issues. She has her internship lined up and starts on Oct. 24. I was just prouder than a peacock -- telling everyone about my daughter, "Dr. Shrink" (my nickname for her). Jim suggested we send her some flowers, so I had a green plant with a balloon delivered to her that afternoon. Looks like Jim and I will be flying to Seattle in June to watch her receive her diploma. Wow! I think I could learn a thing or two from my daughter. Jim/I reconnected with friends we haven't heard from in a long time: TJ, a dear friend whom we used to motorcycle with, who now lives in Texas; Maureen, my "pen pal" since I was 10(?); and an ex-coworker, Tracey. It was super to hear from all 3 of them (and Tracey told me that an ex-coworker lives in Chula Vista, so I've requested more info so I can give Adera a call). In addition, I decided to call my best friend, Sue, instead of emailing her. It sure was good to hear her voice. I finished Jane's quilt, plus made her 3 throw pillows from the extra material. She was very happy with everything. I have the fabric for Randy's photo quilt, but the photo transfer material hasn't come in yet and I may have to get it elsewhere. I'm trying to grow my hair out and the other morning I looked in the mirror and all I could see was this mop of gray hair. That's it! As soon as my hairdresser gets back in town, I'm getting it chopped off. Just because I CAN grow it out doesn't necessarily mean I SHOULD!!
Oct. 11, 2005: Our slip neighbor moved his boat today, leaving us with lots of light! I guess I never realized how much light was blocked by that boat (a trawler our size). I don't know when our new neighbor will arrive, but hopefully it will be a sailboat, so we won't lose any of this nice light.
Oct. 12, 2005: Happy birthday to me! A few coworkers took me out to lunch, which was very nice. That evening was my quilt guild, with the guest speaker talking about appraising quilts. Jim gave me my card and present when I finally got home at 2115. All in all, a nice day.
Oct. 15-16, 2005: I ran errands, one of which was to Kathy's to pick up the photo transfer paper for Randy's quilt. After lunch, I started printing off the pictures, holding my breath that I wouldn't screw anything up, because I had not bought extra. By dinnertime, I had framed all 20 pictures. The weather forecast was for showers on Sunday, which meant we could not paint the window trim or epoxy the deck, so I continued to sew. By that evening, I had the top totally finished. I'm very happy with they way the colors pulled together. I just hope Randy is as pleased as I am.
Oct. 17, 2005: I brought the quilt top in to work to show Randy...I'm happy to say I have another happy customer! I don't think he realized just how large it was going to be, but said his wife will love it. Being a true salesperson, I showed several other coworkers and who knows? I may get a couple more orders for photo quilts when all is said and done.
Oct. 26, 2005: Ah, a day off just for me, although I had several appointments scheduled throughout the day. My first appointment was with the doctor's. Their scale shows I've gained one pound a month in the past 6 months -- this is NOT good, folks! Menopause has settled in big time and I need to really concentrate on taking that weight off somehow. I think it was enough of a shock to make me fall back on my Weight Watcher lessons... Another appointment was to get my hair cut. Gone is the mop of gray hair -- oh, my hair is still gray, it's just very short now.
Oct. 27, 2005: We are able to track the location of visitors to our website and there have been a couple of hits lately that are simply titled "U.S. Army".....hmmm, I don't know anyone in the Army and wonder just WHO is reading what I write? (If I'm referring to you, please send us an email to say hi and introduce yourself). So, troublemaker that I am, I'm going to report that the military aircraft flying at a VERY LOW altitude has been unusually heavy over the past two days. Not only has it been heavy, but they are flying really close to the marina. Are they looking for spys in little dinghies or just practicing at being obnoxious? On Whidbey Island in WA State, there was a big sign on a fence that read "Pardon the noise, this is the sound of freedom." Okay, I know these guys have to practice flying the planes (helicopters and jets), but do they have to fly above us? Why can't they fly 3 miles west of us, over the ocean where no one lives?
Nov. 5, 2005: Sandy & John, s/v Masquerade out of Brownsville, WA, pulled into the slip next to us a couple of days ago. They are first-time cruisers headed south with a cruising kitty on board. I invited Sandy to come food shopping with me, and she asked if I might take her to Costco. So off we went...I managed to spend only $60, but Sandy was provisioning big time! We stuffed everything into the Volvo and then headed to the grocery store. We looked at our two very full grocery carts and the very limited remaining space in the Volvo and joked about the Volvo "sitting low on its tires". John met us in the parking lot with 2 dock carts and we filled them both, plus Sandy and I had our small carts. We were quite a site walking back to the boats. Her provisioning brought back so many memories to me. At 1700, they came over for happy hour and Nancy joined us as well. Around 1900 Jamie and Eileen crashed the party -- the more, the merrier! Boy, we all had a lot of laughs. By 2200, we were fat, dumb and happy (lots of booze and food will do that to you)! But what a fun evening!
Nov. 6, 2005: Jim finally installed the new battery that's been sitting on the aft deck for months. While he was in the engine room, I suggested that he clean the aft head sump pump, since it had been a while. While looking it over, he discovered that it was cracked, and the grungy water had been dripping into the bilge for who knows how long. A phone call to West Marine indicated they had one in stock so off he went, collecting John on his way. It took him the rest of the afternoon to install it because it wasn't the same size as the old one and new brackets needed to be fabricated. There's always something! Just to make sure that everything was working okay, he started the engine. DC looked confused, as if thinking "I know that sound and I'm supposed to do something." It only took him a minute before he "assumed the position" on the settee. Jerry, however, freaked, ran outside and hid under the bow pulpit. I gave him a cuddle and brought him inside. At first he ran down to the aft cabin, but after a minute, he came up and assumed the position next to DC. We ran the engine for 30 min. and it was good to see that both cats remembered the drill. Jamie stopped by ("my goodness, but Mañana runs!") and DC stayed put -- good kitty! Both cats got a treat once the engine was shut down.
Nov. 7, 2005: Parsons received word that the Airport has decided not to renew the contract, which came as a huge shock to most of us. Having been there for over 8 years, Parsons was feeling very confident, especially since the Airport's senior management had always indicated they were happy with our work. Needless to say, it was an extremely somber day once the announcement was made. What to do next is the major question. Parson's contract ends in mid-Feb. so (thankfully) we have a few months to find something new. However, the thought of trying to teach or download our knowledge into our competitor's brain doesn't leave any of us with warm, fuzzy feelings and we wonder who will be the last to leave. I suspect that if I want, I may be picked up by the competitor. Personally, I've only been with Parsons for 11 mos. and I don't have a lot invested in the company, and I really don't care which company deposits my paycheck. However, I haven't been happy with the work, or the project manager's managerial style, so I guess it's time to update my resume and start this whole unpleasant, job-seeking, process all over again. This really sucks!
Nov. 15, 2005: Parsons sent an HR rep to the office to talk individually with us to see what we want. I've been approached by the project manager and asked if I would like to stay on with the competitor; he will pass my name along if I would like him to. As a subconsultant to Parsons, it's 99% certain that he will remain at the airport, as he has an "in" with the competitor. I'm not jumping at the chance just yet, but come Feb. 13, if I'm not employed elsewhere, I may have to hope the offer still stands. In the meantime, I'm going to submit my resume and application packet to the Chula Vista School District and pray. I'm not sure I would know what to do with myself if I had a 10 min. commute vs. a 1 hr-10 min. commute (each way), but I'd sure like to try!
Nov. 17, 2005: I brought my application to the Chula Vista School District this morning, only to learn that the job has been pulled. That's what I get for getting my hopes up (and Jim wonders why I'd rather be a pessimist than an optimist). Their HR Dept. said that the job would be reposted at a later date and that they will consider my application packet for the reposted job. Unfortunately, HR didn't know when this might happen. Two more senior Parsons managers were in town for a debriefing with the Airport today. We went out to lunch as a group, and one of the managers did his best to make us feel good. As of today, two Parsons employees have gotten jobs elsewhere and will be leaving the Airport within the next two weeks. I still have nada, but continue my internet search on a daily basis.
Nov. 19, 2005: I had signed up with the local Yacht Club to participate in the "Harvest Festival by the Bay", planning to sell raffle tickets for the Guild's opportunity quilt. I decided that as long as I was sitting at a table, I might as well try to sell some cuddle quilts and some of my personal items. I was told that it would be best to set up early (0800), but the festival didn't start until 1100. Thankfully another guild member kept me company. We sold $53 in raffle tickets and 1 cuddle quilt. I didn't sell any of my own items. This festival couldn't decide if it was arts & crafts, or a swap meet, so many of the attendees didn't want to spend the $$ for the items we had. That evening, Jim accompanied me (as escort to Madame President) to a restaurant that was honoring volunteers of CAST, a program in Chula Vista that sends trained volunteers to the scene of traumatic accidents, etc. The Quilt Guild has been involved with CAST for several years, supplying the volunteers with quilts for rape victims or house fires, and supplying the local mortuary with "angel" quilts for abandoned babies. So this was the Guild's night to shine.
Nov. 20, 2005: We've had Santa Ana winds for the past several days and it's been very hot. The fires in Ventura, CA have been in the news, but there have been several fires locally (in eastern Chula Vista) over the past 3 days. Luckily, all fires have been quickly contained and extinguished. However, to the south, we've been watching the smoke from what appears to be a huge fire down in the Tijuana area for the past three days. So far the winds are keeping the ash away from us, but it is unbelievably dry and hot (82 today).
Nov. 24, 2005: Happy Thanksgiving! About 12 of us gathered on the dock for a potluck at 1500; someone had smoked a turkey and others brought sweet potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, deviled eggs and lots of pumpkin pies and wine (unfortunately there was no mashed potatoes or gravy). It got chilly as the sun started to set, so the party (and the pies) moved inside onto Greg & Nancy's boat, where the festivities continued. We waddled back to our boat around 1830.
Nov. 25-27, 2005: I had dreams of Jim actually being around for the days following Thanksgiving so we could work on the boat, do some Christmas shopping, etc. Silly me... He had a customer who is headed to Mexico on Monday and was up to his eyeballs in last-minute projects for the couple. So I spent the weekend alone, working on my lap quilt, weeding out unused items from our cabinets, Christmas shopping, job hunting, etc. -- not exactly very exciting, but it was nice to have a 4 day weekend. Jim got Sunday afternoon "off" and proceeded to remove our old forward hatch, enlarge the opening and put the new hatch in place. It's far from done, but it was a major step forward in my book! We went out for dinner with Monika and Melinda on Sat. and enjoyed dinner with Jim's client Sunday.
Dec. 3-4, 2005: We arrived Ensenada via bus at 1100. I think Jim was trying to make amends for working last weekend. Lest anyone think this was purely a romantic getaway (get real!), we had parts with us to give to the crew of Adventure, the client who had monopolized Jim last weekend. We got ourselves settled into the El Cid Hotel, and then proceeded to Baja Naval, where Adventure is. Cassie and I walked around town; I did some Christmas and grocery shopping before we headed back to the marina. At 1800, Steve and Cassie met us at the hotel and took us to dinner at a very nice (gringo) restaurant. The next morning we were up early, both looking forward to a nice hot shower...forget it! There was minimal water pressure and virtually no hot water. I proposed that we not stay at this hotel again! After running a few more errands, we caught the 1000 bus back to Tijuana, arriving Chula Vista at 1300.
Dec. 10, 2005: The marina's Christmas party was this afternoon; great food: turkey, potatoes, gravy, vegetables, etc. The Galley Restaurant provided the staples and the marina tenants brought salads and dessert. I had made a big pot of taco soup, expecting coworkers to join us to view the lighting competition at the RV park. Unfortunately everyone backed out...but Jim and I headed over there at 1900, oohed and aahed all the decorations and came back for some soup for ourselves. There were 32 RV rigs in one row, each one trying to outdo the other -- almost as good as being in Disneyland!
Dec. 17, 2005: I came home from work early yesterday with a creeping crud and fever, but thankfully, the fever was gone by Sat, leaving me with a horrible-sounding "bark". The crew of Flying Cloud is supposed to be leaving for Mexico on Monday, but when Jamie went to start the engine on Friday, the thing wouldn't turn over. Jim recommended a diesel mechanic, who diagnosed a dead oil pump, which is not a cheap or easy-fix item. So it appears they will be here a few days longer. Their son apparently has what I have -- we stood on the dock "barking" in unison! I worked on the baby blanket in what little spare time I had...tried sewing yesterday while feverish and ended up ripping out much of what I'd done (I think there's a moral in there someplace!). The blanket is due on Friday; I'll be surprised if I can pull this one off (not to mention that I still need to make Colleen's gift, and I haven't even bought the fabric for it).
Dec. 19, 2005: Being feverless was short lived so I made a trip to the doctor's, who told me that my "bark" is bronchitis. Armed with all sorts of wonderful drugs, I returned to the boat and flaked, no energy whatsoever to do any sewing or any anything. I am NOT a good patient. Every time I would lay down on the settee, someone would stop by, so there wasn't much chance for napping. Ah, well, this, too, shall pass...I hope!
Dec. 23, 2005: Ellen's baby shower at work was today and I gave her the blanket even though it was not finished. Her mom quilts so Ellen could appreciate all the effort that has gone into it. As I won't be able to work on it for a couple of weeks, she decided to bring it home to show her husband. Greg let us leave early; since I'm still not physically or mentally plugged in, I was more than happy to head home and onto the settee.
Dec. 25, 2005: Jim and I had our traditional Maine lobster for last night's dinner -- mmm, mmm GOOD! We baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast, opened gifts and enjoyed a very leisurely day. Santa was very good to both of us; he brought me a subscription to a quilting magazine and he brought Jim a bottle of his (Jim's, not Santa's) favorite rum. Flying Cloud decided it was time to leave, so at 1600, we gave them a hug, wished them a safe passage and then helped them with their lines. We then walked over to the pier with Mig and Barb for a final wave goodbye. This time last year we said goodbye to the crew of Solace 2. We will have to put up with saying goodbye to friends who insist on going cruising as long as we insist on living in a marina. Jim thinks we should be next (actually I think Greg and Nancy are next), but 2007 will be here before we know it. I made a large pan of lasagna for dinner, although it turned out we were alone. We will definitely enjoy the leftovers.
Dec. 28-31, 2005: Off to Seattle for our mini vacation. We had promised Colleen dinner at TGI Fridays on Lake Union, but discovered that it closed about 1 1/2 years ago (!), so we opted for Mexican instead. We walked around the Market and ran errands Thursday morning and then drove Colleen to the Airport as she had to fly to Minneapolis for a wedding. We enjoyed dinner on Handy Too! with Bill and Natalie that evening. We stopped by Dunato's Friday morning, hoping to see John and Bonnie. Unfortunately they were off that day, but we did run into other friends so we visited a short while and then headed up to Anacortes to catch the ferry to Orcas Island. It was nice visiting with Peter and Babs -- as always, Babs outdid herself with the meals. New Year's Eve was quiet; we returned to COHO at 2200 but couldn't stay awake until midnight.
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