Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year . . . Or Happy 4706!

Happy Chinese New Year to all my Chinese friends. I didn't think I had any chinese friends, but was corrected when my friend Kim informed me that she is 1/4 Chinese! I'm so lucky!

Last Saturday we went to a movie. We saw "Inkheart". The book was way better, as is usually the case. But that has nothing to do with the Chinese New Year.
When we came out of the theater the celebrating was in full swing.
Let the fun begin!
Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. This is the year of the Ox. Those born in ox years tend to be painters, engineers, and architects. They are stable, fearless, obstinate, hard-working and friendly. Jack Nicholson, Jane Fonda, Walt Disney, and Anthony Hopkins were all born in the year of the ox.

Scott and Camille are goats. I'm a monkey! And I have no idea what any of that means!
Look! I see Mr. Dragon. Come closer Mr. Dragon . . .

I have something for you!

Open wide . . .

If I give you my "lucky money" you will bring me good fortune, right?
(we better have a deal Mr. Dragon, or I want my money back!)

There was beautiful dancing girls . . .

of all ages!

And dragons and drums!

And dragons and firecrackers!

And more dragons and drums . . .
and me!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Heebie Jeebies!

The other night I was home all by my lonesome just quilting away. Scott and Camille were at church for Young Women's and church duties. I was listening to my tunes and ironing some pieces. That's when I felt a tickle on my shin. Imagine my horror when I looked down to find . . .

(check out the green body and blue legs!)
Needless to say I was wiggin' out the rest of the night.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stitchin' . . . in time!

Since we've been here, my sewing "stuff" has been in the storage unit. We haven't had the space for it. Now that we're a little more settled, and since there's only so much house cleaning, t.v. watching and blog surfing one can do in an afternoon, I felt it was high time to drag it out. I felt I was wasting a lot of precious time that could be put to good use. After all, time is a precious comodity. And a stitch in time saves nine . . . (sorry, I got started with the 'time' thing and . . . well anyway)

So Scott and I went to the storage unit and dragged out 3 big bins of fabric and sewing tools and my machine. OH HAPPY DAY!!! (cue the spotlight over the bins and the angels singing "aaaAAAHHH".) I was a kid in a candy store. I opened up my bins and just had to look and see what fabrics I had stashed away. It was such a treat. I had totally forgotten some I had purchased just before we'd left (those are for Jen's quilt!) And I saw "old friends" that I can't wait to put into quilts. And then the books of quilts with future projects just calling out to me "make me! make me!"
Don't you just love my scissors? I think they are beautiful. They're Ginghers. They are the only scissors for any seamstress that is serious about her craft. Ask my mother, I know she'll agree.
First I picked out a color combination that pleases me. Then I cut the fabrics into the different sizes. This quilt pattern is called "Chocolat Stars" (that's really how they spelled it). The original I saw at "Pine Needles" at Gardner Village (oh Jill, how I miss our happy place! Lunch at Archibalds, the raspberry lemonade! *sigh*). I think I was there with my friend Jessica. The quilt was stunning and huge. I had to have the pattern. Forget the fact that I already have several projects in the works. Any quilter knows that doesn't matter. At least I didn't buy all brand new fabrics to make mine "chocolate"! Mine will be more of a "Scrappy Stars" when it's finished. I love scrappy quilts! But even more important, I want to use up fabrics that I already have.

I carefully sew the pieces together, being very precise so I won't cut off any points on the stars. Below you see the pile has dwindled as I put the pieces together.

Ironing is crucial to making perfect blocks. It's tedious but necessary!

Whoever made this pattern was brilliant when it came to getting the most out of the fabric. First I must explain what a fat quarter is: if you cut a quarter yard of fabric straight from the bolt it would be long and skinny - a fat quarter is a quarter yard but cut shorter and "fatter". You get way more use from it. In this pattern with only 2 fat quarters, one light and one dark, you get 8 blocks!! EIGHT!!! Four large and four small.

So there you have it. That's my quilting fun in a nutshell. Now to choose more color combinations . . . oh, it's so hard to decide. So many choices . . .

This is half of the stars I've already completed. Most of this pile was completed before we left. But it gives you an idea of the different color combinations that I've done so far.

To be continued . . .

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Doubt not, Fear not!

It's crazy to be posting this right after my niece, Jill, posted her "Tender Mercies". But we had our own "tender mercy" moment today.

Camille and I were sitting in my bedroom talking about school when we heard Scott drive in. Our bedroom window is open to the carport. Before he walked in the door I smelled the unmistakable smell of an over-heated car very strongly. So I meet him at the door and ask if the car over-heated. He told me, in a very aggrivated tone, that the engine light, battery light and smoke happened all at once on his way home. The look on his face was a mix of absolute frustration, worry and even fear. We only have one car. There is no back up. There is no Wendi next door with a porche to use at our leisure. So if this car is out - we're crippled! So yeah, Scott had every right to be totally freaked out when he got home. (I even heard a grumble to the effect of "we're paying our tithing".)

I've learned in these situations to zip my lip and stay out of the way. I'll help if he needs it. But I'm usually just a hinderance. And Scott is better off working things out on his own. After all, his nick-name is McGiver. So anyways, he grabbed some tools and went back out. He comes back in with a pulley in his hand that's all broken up. It goes to the main 'serpentine' belt which pretty much causes everything to run. Without it - no go. The good news is, he found the part for about $20. Awesome! The bad news is to get it here over night would make it cost around $100. Bummer. And being that this is all after hours in the rest of the country, we're still going to have to wait at least 2 days.

So we go into survivor mode and start wondering how he's getting to work in the morning and what are we going to do about Camille getting to early morning seminary? He could possibly take the bus or catch a ride with a co-worker. Maybe the seminary teacher can pick up Camille. During this whole problem, I keep hearing in my mind over and over, loud and clear, "Doubt not, Fear not"! I know things will work out. We always seem to pull through and Heavenly Father has always watched over us and provided our needs. Scott wasn't through problem solving just yet.

Our landlord is a bit of a hobby car enthusiest. He has 2 old trucks that have been tricked out and restored. He has a beautiful old car that's been perfectly restored and another that is in the process. He has 2 corvettes in the wings waiting to be restored. And a criss craft wooden boat he's been working on restoring. He's always doing something. So Scott thought, "I'm just going to see if Mark has a pulley that might fit." So off he goes. Meanwhile, I'm quilting away, trying to figure out how we'll get Camille to seminary, and hearing over and over, "doubt not, fear not".

After a while Scott comes back in (I hear the rover running so . . .) and gives me that look. It's not a look of triumph as much as it is a look of "unbelievable". And he says, "What are the odds of Mark having an old part from a corvette that will fit a rover!" Doubt not, fear not! After a minute or two Scott says, "you know a phrase keeps going over in my head . . .". I said, "oh yeah, me too, let's compare them." So I told him mine. And his was ". . .he will have power to bruise thy heel, but you will have power to crush his head!"

Tender mercies indeed!

Friday, January 9, 2009

The hunt for a waterfall!

When Sarah was here she wanted to see a waterfall. After all, isn't that one thing that's a given if you visit Hawaii? There should be a waterfall around every corner, right? Well, not exactly. And all the waterfalls I know of on our island are somewhere along the infamous 'Hana Highway'. I say infamous because anyone that has driven or ridden in a car on the Hana Highway knows it's not the most pleasant trips to embark on, on a regular basis. It's long, very windy, and has several one lane passes where you have to keep your eye out for oncoming cars. When Scott and I were here on our honeymoon we drove the winding road to Hana. That was 18 years ago, plenty of time to forget how long it can be. When we first arrived we took a drive out there. After which Camille has stated, "I never want to do that again!" (poor thing was in the back of the car of course.) So when Sarah said she wanted to see a waterfall we had a little anxiety thinking we'd have to drive a long way down the Hana Highway.

But this is SARAH! We love Sarah and want her to have a rip-roaring good time. So we threw caution and our anxiety to the wind and set out on our adventure in search of the ever elusive waterfall. . .

First we had to pass the wall of surfboards . . .
Then drive the wet and windy roads of Hana Highway. . .! Could it be behind this hidden jungle door? Our safari guide is standing at the door with a little fear and trepidation as she wonders if the waterfall will be through this passageway. Luckily it was not.
We passed by the bamboo forest . . .

braved the stench of death and decay (if this computer had 'smell-o-vision' you'd be gagging right now, I promise you!). Was this horrid mess put here to deter people from finding the water fall?

We couldn't be detered! We were determined to find a water fall. We climbed through the fence, past the 'no tresspassing' sign . . .

past directly through the pile of branches. . .

tromped through the slick mud with a very steep drop off the side. . .

and searched through the jungle . . . wait, what's that I hear? Could it be . . .?

It is, it is! Yippeee - we found it and it's a beauty!

Oh my goodness, we can't even see the bottom. It's so far down, and there's too much foliage.

Watch it in action - it's much better that way. This is the rainy season so there's a whole lot of water!

Isn't it beautiful! Success!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It can't be!

So we were on our way to church on Sunday. I wanted to check my appearance one last time in the "vanity mirror" in the sun visor. And there it was sticking out like a piece of wire straight in the air. It was absent of color and totally unruly. And I think it was taunting me with it's defiance. My first gray hair!!! *sudden intake of breath*

Well, I'll show you . . . YANK!! (heh, heh, heh)

Phew! Embarassment averted . . . for now.

(I apologize for not having a photo of the incident, but I'm not used to taking my camera to church with me. Honestly!)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year everybody! This year on the eve of 2009 we found ourselves not knowing exactly what to do for fun. We didn't get invited to any parties. And we always stay off the roads just to be safe and away from any drunk drivers. So we decided to rent movies, get our usual finger foods and quietly ring in the new year. We watched Mama Mia, Son of Rambo and ended with 10,000 BC.

I'm sure most neighborhoods have their little groups that get together and fire off some fireworks, firecrackers and sparklers for the night. We definetly did in our Utah neighborhood. Well, here in Hawaii I think every person and their dog bought fireworks and were setting them off all evening. At midnight we decided to put the movie on pause and step out on the deck and take a look around. After all, the noise from the fireworks was getting more intense. It was time for the 'grand finale'. The view was amazing. There were beautiful bursts of sparkly goodness all around us. And looking down the valley we could see little miniature fireworks way down below. It was really amazing to see so many fireworks going off at the same time. I'm not sure if there were any planned community fireworks you could go see. I didn't hear anything about those. But there was no need. The show from our own deck was better than any that could have been planned. We can hardly wait to see what the 4th of July will bring. (however, July would be during the dry season and that concerns me a little.)

Now for the resolutions. I haven't really given much thought to it. I know I should get something written down to work on. I mean what's a new year for anyways, but to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. So here's my list, my attempt at improving myself.

1. Continue working on being more organized.

2. Exercise daily

3. Read the Scriptures daily

4. Look for the magic in daily life.

That's good enough. Join me everybody. Let's make 2009 a better year than the last.