There are those days on which I have to admit that I just might forget the occasional thing. Mostly, where I left my phone.
This morning, after planning on sleeping in, I was awake before six anyway. My bed is wonderfully cozy, my covers warm, the rain (yes! Rain!) is falling outside my window. And I am awake. Coffee would be good. Peet’s would be better, but rain? No, I don’t need to get wet to make a cup of coffee. We have a good coffee maker. Which I did and even thought about using the foamer to add a nice touch.
After dumping the last of the half&half and cleaning out the steamer, I made my second run at café-au-lait. This time with milk which was reasonably fresh, even accounting for the fact that it was the last portion in the container. Armed with coffee, I head to the living room to settle in to stitch. But I need my phone. It is not in the kitchen, not in the living room. And not in the bedroom after taking it apart twice without waking George.
Giving up, I head back into the bedroom once more and grab my iPad which will take decent pictures in a pinch. There are four steps down from the bedroom to the entry hall, then another two into the living room. As I go to sit down, I notice a bit of pressure from my right, rear jeans pocket.
Just like on the ship, I had tucked my phone into a pocket…..
Perhaps it was going to clear up, or maybe not. Regardless, Kris and I set off mid morning to visit Astoria, Seaside, and Ocean Beach – all on the Northern Oregon coast. This involved winding our way out of Longview, heading across the river (which should have been the Columbia) and quietly motoring along.
The rest of the post is photo heavy. You may want to cruise the blog here rather than fight your way through pictures that might/might be clear.
It started to clear, patches of blue running together with occasional clouds/fog over some of the mountains. Our first stop was Astoria. I was here in Nov 2017 (my how time flies…) off the American Empress Paddlewheel boat as part of our Columbia & Snake River trip. It was raining… (previous post here).
So we saw the cruise lines dedicated bus several times.
This time, without the rain, I had the chance to climb the tower, see rivers, the Pacific, and Mt Saddleback. Looking out from the parking lot –
and then there are the ships lined up for the various harbors
The Astoria Tower, on the highest point of the overlook,
was restored in 1995. Shall I just leave it with – it seemed like the steps went on forever? From the top –
Our next stop heading down the coast was Seaside – a popular place for families at holiday time. We didn’t stop, but drove out and around the statue of Lewis & Clark at the end of their journey to sea.
If you are not familiar with Stan Roger’s Northwest Passage – take a minute to listen –
From there, it was Ocean Beach. Haystack Rock was clear, the sand was packed, dogs were having a great time running and there were a lot of people. No puffins seen…
after finding a latte, wandering a few galleries and shops we headed back to Washington State.
I head to Oregon again tomorrow, this time with a couple of stops (Columbia Employees Store, Acorns&Threads) before PDX and my Southwest Flight home.
(and if you need further information here is your link to Wiki.)
Kris puts me to shame as she runs regularly, as in many days a week early in the morning. In a wnd eak moment, I agreed to go hike around Lake Sacajawea with her. Only 3.6? miles (old money here), snap right?
The temperature was perfect for a brisk walk (she took pity on me and my sandals). There were s few joggers, a fair number of walkers with dogs. And, a lot of ducks. In addition, there is that flavor or goose that was called “Canadian” when I grew up. I have been corrected and will now attempt to be correct – they are Canada geese. To be Canadian – specific country here, not continent – you have to have a passport…
and there they were. We stopped for lattes on the way back. The rest of the day was not necessarily spent by me in what others would consider productive. I didn’t plant and water, nor did I clean out gutters and blow away layers of early fallen leaves.
Oh, and it rained. I hardly recognized a heavy rain till in landed on my head.
After arriving yesterday at Kris & Doug’s home, it was time to relax, run a load of laundry and attempt to sleep in a bed planted on solid ground and not rocking with the wind.
Today was a day for chatting, stitching and otherwise relaxing.
Maple Lane SAL is by TheFrosted Pumpkin. I think there are six parts – monthly starting with Oct.
The Owl Forest Alice started six months ago – I have finished the first 11 parts, just about done with part #12. Unfortunately, #13 is out and I would really like to get it mostly stitched before part #14 drops. I am expecting a total of ~ 20 parts (they come out every two weeks.
And finally – Love you to Death is by Silver Creek Samplers and just needs more time put in….
actually on time – or so close as to not matter.
The Ovation of the Seas docked on time this morning. There was the usual line up of people just ready to dash off the ship as soon as it was cleared. I have never quite figured out why anyone would want to schedule an airline flight (is that redundant?) within 2-3 hours of docking. There is no guarantee of the ship’s on-time arrival, the presence of customs agents available to clear one, transportation, or the absence of traffic problems on the way to the airport. Seattle is not San Diego. The airport is not 10 minutes from the port, so visible that you can watch planes take off and land from the comfort of the ship at dock.
I went to breakfast, waited till about 1000 and wandered down two decks to find a line stretching almost to infinity with cruise director’s staff going nuts trying to enforce social distancing. Not happening when there are that many people wanting to get off the ship at once. Not being interested in hauling my suitcase and backpack down a couple of flights of stairs, I just hung out until an empty elevator showed up, then waited in the Schooner Bar till the line pretty much cleared out. Thru the line, down the ramp, down the escalator, across the arrivals haul before hitting another line for Immigration. Then outside where I hiked back to the same area where Lyft had dropped me off on arrival.
Had a lovely chat with my Lyft driver who has been at it for several years He works from 0300~0800 on most days, then heads home to take over childcare duties on those days when his wife has to be in her office. Today was not one of those days, so he was planning on driving till about noon. Dropped me off at King Street Station where I was able get my e-ticket printed and find a seat.
We were between scheduled trained. Seattle’s King Street Station is 1920’s deco. In attempting to keep much of the original look and feel – the tannoy has not been upgraded. Think vast, echoing and completely unintelligible when any announcement, whether live or pre-recorded, was made.
As this particular train originates in Seattle, we pulled out promptly on time, Two stops down, as the train filled up, I was joined by a pleasant but extremely garrulous gentleman. No further audiobook listening or stitching was accomplished.
Not even five minutes late, I arrived in Kelso-Longview and was met by Kris. I realized it is just shy of a year since I was last here. Looking forward to the visit, then I head home on Tues.
but instead I am listening to an audio book and grumbling about the continued inability to upload photos from my laptop. Since I am walking off in the morning rather than sticking out luggage for the staff to deal with, I really don’t see a hurry.
And, since this is the last cruise, I will not have the usual guilt about clearing out of the cabin so my attendant can get ahead of the curve for the next round of passengers. Talking to the staff, many will be flying out starting on the 17th, A small number of staff will remain with the ship: ship drivers, maintenance personnel, some cooks, a couple of laundry and cleaning personnel, and a few waitstaff to do set up and tear down for the crew. It has been a shortened contract for many since they didn’t board till around 1 July.
[break to see if everything stuffs back into the suitcase – yes, well sort of. I bought very little. But I seem to have received a few extra Loyalty Gifts. Since the heavy duty blue bags are great for hauling stuff and grocery shopping, more are always great. But I expected maybe two. Hummm – how am I going to get six home?]
For whatever reason this morning, I decided to sign into my bank information. So glad that RCCL furnishes me with free wifi – it does help. Checked on a couple of purchases from yesterday – no hassles there – but whoa! There were twenty-seven (count-em – 27) charges floated from some firm or another in Texas. none of them were all that large – $11.45 & $21.95. But 27 in total. Not me, no way.
So I am left thinking about the fudge shop as perhaps a likely place (yes, this was in Skagway) as I can’t imagine such games from either the Quilt Shop or the Yarn Shop. Not only that, but those charges processed and were recorded to a local bank…
Checking in with my family, no one recognized the charges. So, here I am, off on a trip and have just needed to cancel my main credit card. I wound up having to do this about 18 months ago. It was a real pain. I had forgotten how many places one can “have a card on file.” Now that I think of it, I think it is one of the key reasons why I started using PayPal so much with Amazon as a backup. Fewer places that I had to provide credit card information.
I have already made the trip down to Guest Services to inform them that the credit card they had on file was no longer valid. Thank goodness I have a card off of George’s Bank for emergencies. Is cruising an emergency? And then there is a rather large refund coming in from another cruise line, which is probably going to bounce by the time it is processed. ….and it will be yet another phone call that I will have to make..
So, let us move on.
I have mentioned that this is not a tiny ship. So cruising up Tracy Arm and back down means turning around slowly and carefully. There were plenty of chunks of ice in the water.
[and the photos won’t upload at the present – likely a result of too many people on the internet and limited bandwidth.]
And, unless you were outside on the deck (in the rain and high winds) the glacier is barely visible. There is so much loss in the last ten years, it is hard to even imagine…
I consoled myself with chocolate cake for lunch…
[and I promise I will upload the pictures when I get back to land….
Just so you know – yes, it was raining which started on my way to town. Which is why (of course) I had neither my rain jacket nor my umbrella with me. The ones that I had dug out of the closet since it “never rains in Northern California.”…..
Meanwhile – I could understand the wall along one of the docks in the canary islands. The one with all the ship names and logos. Clear, simple and no risk to life & limb to add a new ship. There are mostly cruise ships noting their presence with the occasional naval vessel tossed in for leavening.
The signs painted on rocks interspersed between the trees clinging precariously to the side of the ridge which slopes down to the water at the Skagway Pier? Where you would be risking limb and friends to accomplish the task?
Not so much.
Then there is the town – which I am sure has requirements for all buildings in the commercial portion of town so that they look like “old west mining town.” Additionally, there are the usual informational placards, boardwalk sidewalks, murals, and mandatory tourist type shops…
I found Alaskan Quilts and tracked down Aurora Yarns, skipped all the junk shops and managed to get back to the ship before becoming completely soaked…
Where was I? Oh, yes, Juneau Alaska.
Not the day we were expected, according to the owner of Changing Tides. It was perfectly fine, according to Harper, the reasonably tall, rather densely curly haired dog inhabiting the shop. He decided that I was his new best friend. And that was inspire of me not letting him into my shopping bag. The one he was sure contained treats. Pretty much mollified by a good bit of patting, he forgave me for 1) not bringing him biscuits & 2) not letting him at the fudge. He didn’t agree that chocolate wasn’t good for dogs, but hey! I was going to be there for a while – perhaps I would change my mind?
Besides an incredible array of quilting fabrics, the owner had a section of knitting yarns supplied by the dyer who used to have a yarn shop next door. We will not mention all the temping prints, panels, and patterns. Nor the additional trinkets and art items. I went out the door with replacements for some embroidery floss, the kits for a couple of mug rugs, and a smile.
Up the street was a comfortable used book store rules over by Mabel who assumed everyone would step over her. I didn’t pick up aniy books, but found a couple at the newer book store located in the newly repainted building next to the dock. I keep thinking that it might have been a cannery at one point, but is now the home to all the local aviation companies, and a number of small shops as well as pubs and restaurants.
I didn’t find the fire station, but then I didn’t go looking for it. All in all, I spent maybe a couple of hours off ship before coming back and settling in to one of the lounges so that I could indulge in hot chocolate. We sailed out early – around 1530 to head just the short distance up to Skagway. Most importantly, we should avoid the worst of the high winds. Nothing like being in a couple hundred feet tall hunk of floating metal..
When I was here in Aug, it was a quiet Monday. Not much was going on. Fire station doors were closed. Today, both the main bays and their small museum area were open.
with a couple of closer looks
inside the back, are two rows of benches which I am going to presume were for men and gear.
After wandering back out, I found one of the crew hosing down the entry way. I stopped to chat and got a look at this beauty. Brand new this month, this ladder truck has just about all the bells and whistles to get it in just about anywhere. Ladders, rescue equipment, etc. etc. etc.
I am impressed.
Tomorrow is Juneau, then Skagway, then sailing (perhaps) by glaciers before returning to Seattle.
I was half listening to the tannoy when something penetrated. The Captain was saying that we were slowing down because of the …….. I heard waves. Huh? then he said something about both sides of the ship, and breaching.
Then the penny dropped. Whales, he was talking about sailing through a pod of whales. Now, I didn’t bring a regular camera with me, just my phone. So I saw tails, but not close enough to make a decent picture. Unless, you would like pictures of grey waters, waves to the horizon and overcast sky.
(insert a break of 20 minutes here of standing on my balcony gazing out to sea. There are the occasional blow spout seen but nary a breaching whale. It is chilly out. Even with the sun occasionally breaking through the clouds it is still barely above freezing….)
Otherwise, I headed to Coastal Kitchen for breakfast, had the “meal with an officer (no officers at the tables) for a lovely lunch, then spent the rest of the day relaxing and stitching (except for my attempt to see whales and find two colors of floss that I seem to have forgotten to bring)
Oh – and goodies – can’t forget the goodies…
on the Ovation (8-15 Oct 2021)
Rather than come in the day before, I chose to make poor George get up early this morning in order to drop me off at BART. Like before 0600 early in order to have an uncrowded trip to OAK (which technically is Oakland International Airport, but really, it is the local Southwest Airlines hub). I managed to get checked in and on a hunt for a morning latte by 0730 which put me well ahead of the game.
My flight to SEA-Tac was completely full of course, but I was early enough in the boarding process that I was able to snag one of my favorite exit row seats. Arriving in SEA (finally, we sat on the runway for 20 while waiting for a gate to open), I followed the fish out of the terminal and down to baggage claim. I almost managed to snag a ride on. the Cruise bus, but the driver had just booked the last seat, so it was Lyft for me.
Considering it all, the check in process went fairly smoothly. I had a chance to talk with some lovely people in line while we snaked back and forth prior to entering the terminal. From there, check-in, security and boarding took just a few minutes to complete.
I have a nice balcony (which was not significantly more than if I had booked an inside cabin (so why bother).
Standing on my balcony – I looked out over the pier and beyond to the small boat harbor which seems so packed that I wonder how anyone manages to get in or out.
I am on Deck 7 – I can look down at the huge life boats. Surprisingly for a US based ship, my cabin has a kettle.
My stateroom attendant has already dropped off the extras (nicer soap, shampoo & Conditioner) along with a comfortable bathrobe. It wasn’t chocolate covered cherries, but there were cookies to greet me…
Now all I have to do is figure out where I am going to eat….
is a stitching challenge run by Donnett at Embroidery Central to encourage stitchers to put in 30 minutes a day. For those who play on Facebook, it is post a before and after every day. For those of us not – well, she is will to accept emails. Four days can be missed in the month, but the 31st is mandatory.
I participated in 2019 and again in 2020. My reward was a needle minder each time. Simple enough, but appreciated.
This year I decided to use one of my Halloween Stitch-a-longs since I was going to be doing a section every day (anyway). Well, sort of everyday, since it actually started last month so that we might actually have a finished piece by Halloween.
This was my “before” picture this morning
with the next entry being “Slenderman” who I don’t have a clue about (perhaps he is a Dutch thing?).
but in any case – I am planning on not missing any days this month!
When I spent part of summer there, it was Camp McCoy. July and August in Wisconsin can be humid on top of being hot. There were fields all around us. I was there as a doc, part of my annual time as a reservist. The reason my unit was there? The year was 1980 and we were dealing with another set of refugees – that time from Cuba.
Now why anyone would decide that Wisconsin – not near water, not near many Spanish speakers and certainly not a camp in great condition was a good place to temporarily house 10,000 male refuges is beyond me. Then, unlike now, there was a positive attitude toward the refugees and a definite dislike of Castro’s Cuban government much of which was regularly briefed by the earlier Cuban refugee population which. for the most part, had settled in Florida.
I was at Camp McCoy to provide medical care for the Military Police Battalion deployed from Kansas which was providing security for the site. In addition, we an an Air Borne reserve unit or so out of Chicago that came every supper to hang out and get in their jumps.
I am mentioning all of this because that summer our issue wasn’t measles (as is the problem with the current Afghan refugees) but rather STIs (sexually transmitted infections). By the time my unit (5501st USAH) showed up many of the other challenges had been overcome. The refugees were down to spoons, and plastic at that, due to the amount of violence (prisoner on prisoner – excuse me – refugee on refugee) that can be perpetrated by turning even plastic knives and forks into shivs. Most of the window no longer had glass for the same reason.
The US Public Health Service was providing the health care for the refugees. The two nurse practitioners were excellent as was the PA. Their supervising doc was out of his depth and apparently spent his time drunk in his bunk. That was the rumor. I never even met the man. End result is that of the four of us on our side (one pathologist, me, one PA, one NP) I became the go-to doc for everyone when a doc was needed due to clinic issue, emergency transport, medical issue, or common sense.
If I could deal with 10,000 men who kept passing around various STIs because of a stupid policy. Some [idiot] had decreed that treatment should be given only to those with positive penile cultures. The lab had been told not to process rectal cultures. Contact tracing was almost impossible. Solution? Literally butt loads of penicillin. I signed off the meds for the PA and NPs and they started aggressively treating anyone with a problem and all mentioned buddies. [Of note, besides those who wanted to leave, Castro also tossed out a lot of prisoners, mental health patients and every gay man that was identified. Which is how we would up with such an interesting collection of individuals. In August, in Wisconsin, during haying season. Did I mention a lot of steroid dependent asthmatics?)
Anyway I see no reason why we should be stopping the flow of refugees for measles. Yes there may be a few contagious individuals. So send a team to Ramstein Air Base with a load of MMR and solve the problem. Identify all contacts so far, isolate as you can. And realize that getting everyone to the US will ensure that health care will be provided to those who really get ill. Under the current conditions the transmission chain is going to keep going . There is a reason that most refugee camps run by MSF and other NGOs in low income countries provide measles vaccine to all children on entry to the camp. Wisconsin had decent immunization of children. And Ft McCoy? Out in the middle of nowhere.
It is not like we aren’t already dealing with SARS-COV2. Much rather deal with someone escaping from a war-torn country than someone who denies science while demanding medical care as their oxygen level tanks.
I thought this puzzle was going to be easy.
Admittedly, I expect a certain amount of challenge from any of the specialty puzzle makers. After all, if the wooden puzzles were the same style and cut of your ordinary jig saw puzzle there wouldn’t be any point now, would there? You know what I mean? Puzzle pieces that are all a consistent squarish size of which each side has either a knob or an indentation. Yes, there are five standard variations (four knobs-> four indents) but that is about the limit. Edge pieces have that lovely straight edge….
Wooden fancy puzzles? Not so much. All sizes, shapes and only the rare straight line. I have to admire the artistry of the actual graphic designer who draws the jig saw template. In the case of this puzzle, we are talking fish…. and the border is not a straight line.
See what I mean?
and, in case it isn’t clear –
in which you can see the border, the fish in the border and all the irregular pieces making up this particular whale. Probably should have spent time doing something else, but it was a case of ….. I will fit in just one more piece.
Or at least that is what I woke up thinking. Now if I could just remember the rest of it?
Nah, so it was on to puzzles (Whimsy this time) and finishing the second Cryptid so I am ready on Friday for #3.
That just leaves me Zodiac, Seasonal Skies, and There is no Planet B for monthly SALS. We are not talking about Pixels, or Aster’s Amazing Adventures, or the Ingelside Urn. … Too many projects I am thinking…
I only had one shift week before last and none this past week so I had been hoping to spend a bit more time with a tapestry needle in my hand (as apposed to a syringe loaded with vaccine de moment).
As mentioned before, this seems to be the year of the Stitch-a-Long for me. I am reasonably current, considering all.
In the last few days – I have been working on
Cloudsfactory.net – I have to finish the tree holding the mother and baby sloth, then stitch the tiger – so 1-2 days more on this one.
from Stitchonomy. Last year she started 1 Oct. This year? Figured that most of us would really like to be done BEFORE Halloween. The frame is that of a book. Yesterday I stitched the cats, today the pumpkin head – and – surprise, surprise, apparently Mothman has struck here as well..
3. Cryptid – Part 2
of which I have half it’s frame stitched – so have the other ½ of its frame and the night crawler. AND some outlining/backstitching to do before Friday to the tune of another 600 or so stitches
4. And Follow the Yellow Brick Road is FINISHED!
This was a six month SAL which the last part just dropped this month. The designer is LittleDoveDesigns, It is stitched on 16 ct Fiddler’s cloth with the called for DMC (except for a few detours into shiny). Now that I look at it, I need to add Dorothy’s face and the cables on the balloon. From there – it may well land in the pile of shame till I figure out how I want to finish it.
5. This particular SAL is based off a TV series, which, no surprise, I have never seen. Even so – the first part of the pattern looked cool so I signed up. When the designer hit some family issues, she offered to release the rest of the pattern at once rather than monthly to any of us who were interested. That may have been a good deal for me, or perhaps not. The total stitch count was a lot higher than what I expected – much of which turned out to be huge solid color blocks.
I am thinking this is 18 ct white Aida and the thread is one of the Sulky blendables (no – I was NOT interested in stitching black….). I am down to the last 5k or so of stitches which actually go reasonably fast as it is mostly fill in. Given how many other projects I have – I really don’t expect that I will finish it in Sept.
And that was today…..
since life as most of us in the US (and particularly those of us who were active duty at the time) literally saw our world crash and burn. As a country, somehow we were shocked to be attacked on our home ground. An experience that all too many in the rest of the world had been living with for centuries. Whether those attacks were carried out by pitchfork wielding neighbors, rival tribes, arrogant colony seeking countries, or major military battles. Why the US, with its long standing behavior (which I really think is one of those less pleasant attitudes passed down from the Brits) of assuming it knew best for other countries and governments, thought it was exempt is beyond me.
But now, we are twenty years on. I had friends among those who died at the Pentagon. Others that I know lost family and friends when the Twin Towers were attacked. And a planeload of passengers chose to sacrifice their lives in a Pennsylvania field rather than allow the plane they were on to be used as the fourth bomb. And this doesn’t count the tally of those who risked and lost their lives in NYC to save others; nor does it include all of those living with the aftermath of stress and disease as a result of exposures on that day.
And where are we as a country? Why are we surprised when there is a definite portion of the US (and that portion traditionally contributes significantly in terms of military service, police, and fire fighters) who don’t trust the US government or its leaders. Who want a simple answer. And are absolutely tired of doing anything that even remotely could be considered a sacrifice for the benefit of others.
Many of these individuals feel that they have been at war for 20 years, that (in their religious mind set) that the current pandemic might just be a punishment sent by their deity, and that they are losing their last vestiges of freedom and choice.
I don’t agree. I find the arguments completely spurious. Twenty years on, I want to remember those who died by making sure that there is a world to pass down to the next generation. That those who sacrificed are remembered daily, and that I am willing to make those sacrifices needed to keep others safe. My personal choices affect others. It is the small things. Traffic lights, seat belts, masks, immunizations, standing in a queue. Those small considerations for others that may just mean that there will be forty years on. And not a failure of democracy in the US, a country where it has become too easy for people to put their own desires ahead of the welfare of all of us.
And, just in case – go watch Exhibit 13
Since a hot Sunday in Sept when George and I got married. And, amazingly enough, we have survived at least 16 moves (six of which were trans-Atlantic), houses, apartments, stairwell living. Numerous vehicles, split households due to jobs. Oh, yes and our four amazing off-spring- now ages 42, 32, 30, 28 plus a couple of partners of said off-spring (so fill in ages 29 & 31).
One of our two witnesses, my Aunt Ruth died this past July at the ripe age of 91. It was her help and sense of humor which got us through that day, along with George’s friend Charlie who traveled from Washington DC to watch his long time friend get married.
As we both remember it, we were up cleaning house before 0600 in order to make sure that things were more or less ok for the reception that was held at our just moved in to house.
In December, we will have been here in Berkeley 6 years. Frankly, that is longer than we have lived anywhere during our marriage. Yes, we owned the house in Heidelberg for 14 years, but there were not all that many years that both of us were there. For that matter, George has owned the house here since 2009, but five years of that doesn’t count as the house was leased.
Where was I? Oh yes, marriage, moving, children, travel. In sickness and health.
So far, so good.
Unlike most of the rest of my SALs (stitch-a-longs), this particular one drops mid month or so. It gives me a chance to get a jump on some of the other projects. But then, this is now the 9th and I will see September’s plant all too soon. Since I have figured out how to load each month into PatternKeeper (fabulous app – android only) without importing everything that has been previously stitched, the ~800 or so stitches go quickly enough once I get my starting point pegged.
The pattern is by Climbing Goat Designs. The fabric is a navy 16 ct Aida (there are no partial stitches, I am not fussing with evenweave) and the thread is all DMC.