Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The 100 yard pile

This post is just for Kim. :) She's been very eager to see all the fabric my mom and I dyed.

Actually, this isn't ALL the fabric, this is about 100 yards that we divided up. Because we had two different blues this time, we ended up with the largest pile of blue fabrics.

I already took a few pieces out, including all the 108" wide fabric for backings. The biggest quilt my mom has made was about 42" square. She's more than content with the 1-yard pieces.

Coming soon: I got half of my hair whacked off while at my parents. :)


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Third time's a charm for Alcatraz!

This island has been on the "to-do" list for years. First attempt the gang of us was late and missed the boat. Second time my uncle and aunt tried to buy same-day tickets, but there was no room. Finally, my dad handed me a credit card and told me to buy tickets for everybody. We were bound and determined to make it work this time! :)

I gave my husband the camera once we got on the boat - he's good at taking scenic pictures.

The Alcatraz Island is pretty small - only 22 acres. A little over a mile away from the San Francisco shoreline. I love being on boats though! (Unlike my poor husband who couldn't wait to put his feet back on solid ground.)

A picture of the lighthouse, which I didn't personally see.

My sister Sarah and I decided to derive from the rest of the family. Sarah was experiencing a major headache, I wouldn't be able to understand the guide because of my deafness. So we trooped off on our own and did what we wished.

The nice thing is that in the main prison, they have these binders with the audio written out for deaf people. We both grabbed one, and walked around almost whacking people on headphones with the wide sides of the book. :P

Below is a picture of the library. I think it was one of the quietest rooms in the prison - guess too many of us have been shushed in libraries. ;)

I was highly disappointed that there were no books left! I'd love to see what they were allowed to read, and what condition the books were in, given how near they were to the bay and moisture.

The building that caught my interest the most was the Warden's Home.

I wonder why it's in shambles, it doesn't really look like it was in a fire. But definitely the stuff spooky stories are made out of. ;)

Sarah and I also hiked down to where the "gardens" were - but they sure weren't much to speak of. The best I could find was some pooped-on blackberries. No! I didn't try a bite. :)

The same birds gave Sarah and I trouble when we sat near the dock waiting for the others. One decided to poop just before flying over us, and we got splattered with white. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! To the bathroom to clean off, then hiding under some roofed benches.

There was a fantastic view of San Francisco near the gardens/Warden's Home.

I loved how cool it was too - I actually put on a sweater! It seems unbelievable now, as I sit in 80+ degrees at 10pm. I'm such a cold-loving girl. :)

Send some snow or something my way, will ya? :P


P.S. Yes, we're in the middle of the monsoon, but the rain is pretty warm. I'll stand outside late at night watching the rain in a tank top. Rain doesn't equal cool!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The non-quilty vacation part

I STILL haven't brought up my dyed fabrics into the apartment yet! It's a mess in here, I've been a slacker wife. :P So you get all the non-quilty stuff tonight.

Here's my parents house. I wish I could say that I was really thrilled to see it, but I was too busy cracking up about my dad following us home. Somehow he got behind us one street before the home street - I'm sure the Arizona license plate out of the sea of Californian ones was a big giveaway. ;)

But oh yes, it was nice coming "home" (even though I kinda feel like I brought Mr. Murphy with me). You can see my old bedroom - it's the on the right corner of the house, above the garage. I could catch a good breeze and see the sun set.

You also can see the corner of a work truck on the left. That? Is the A/C guy. It got to over 100 degrees, and something was wrong with BOTH A/C units! (Something about the freon valve not working?) Yes, we had to grin and bear the heat. Ceiling fans and open windows were our friends. Plus, I was pretty good about stocking and restocking the fridge up with water bottles.

But I'm skipping ahead of myself a bit. A new addition to my parents house was this spa.

The first time I took a dip, the water smelled so bad! Like wet stinky feet or mildewed laundry. :P Everybody was in bed by then, so the next day I asked my dad how to deal with it. Thankfully my second dip was much kinder on the nose! :)

A funny story about the spa: my dad was telling me about perks and options spas offer. Then he commented how the owner's manual said that it'd take about 30 minutes to fill the spa up with a hose. Not for him! He hooked up the firehose (very handy given the multiple fire threats they get every few years) and it was filled in three minutes flat. :D

As I was taking the picture of the spa, there were a handful of turkeys snacking around. They come by every day now that my parents don't have any dogs to scare them off.

I counted 11 of them flocking together, but the highest I've counted was 18 a few years ago. I know where one went...

Apparently a neighbor down the street killed one of the turkeys and gave a shot at roasting it. Told the mailman that it was the toughest meat he's ever had! They're not good Thanksgiving prospects. ;)

There was a lot of computer drama while I was there. I helped out as best as I could, although I couldn't really dig my fingers into the issue because I don't know how the dispatching program works. Never had a reason to learn, cuz I can't use the phone. :)

On the 4th of July we went to my aunt's house. I personally kept a low key profile and bugged out on the couch for a while - I thought I was getting sound overload and my ears were hurting. On the 5th they were hurting much more, and I knew I had another ear infection. :( My dad directed me to a place that I could go to, and turns out that I was feeling pain from both and inner and outer ear infection! Plus, my throat was red according to the doctor, and she kept trying to press my face to find any pain spots. I didn't feel anything except my ear. $163 in antibiotics and drops, I'm feeling back to normal.

I wasn't the only one getting friendly with doctors, my baby sister has been dealing with a non-stop killer headache/migraine for weeks. It's mind blowing pain day in and day out. I can't even begin to imagine how bad it is. She's had various check ups, CT scan, MRI and nobody's finding anything. She even landed in the ER - they gave her morphine and it didn't even touch the pain. I know she tried hard to join in the outgoings and events, but I didn't get to visit and chat with her as much as I usually do.

Some good news though, my only brother finally got his driver's license back. It was revoked last November, due to his seizures. He's got that largely under control, with a spell here and there when he sleeps. It does give him memory loss and migraines afterwards. But I know he's thrilled to be behind the steering wheel again and not having to put up with my mom's "painful driving abilities". :P Not that she's a bad driver or anything... she just follows the speed limit and doesn't zip through every open gap to get ahead, which is torture to a 19-year-old male driver. :D

Another non-medical mishap was my parents front loading washing machine was croaking. I did several loads while I was there, and it seemed like half of the time I'd open to a drum full of water. The dryer had already been replaced in the past year.

Nobody was home, except for my husband and I when the new washer came in. So I tested it out after it was hooked up. Just some towels. But I was hugely fascinated with the low water usage that I had to watch the entire cycle! You should have seen my husband's grin when he realized what I was doing. :)

But even a nice washer and dryer can't fix all the problems - like when the power goes out! I think 144 homes were affected.

My sister was doing a load and was ready to put it in the dryer when the power went out on the 4th of July. So she rigged up this clothes line for her jeans. My mom also needed to iron a pair of jeans, and the generator was at the shop. Dad was all prepared to go and fetch it, but he wisely drove around the neighborhoods a bit and found a PG&E guy. A fuse blew out and would be replaced in 20 minutes. Dad just drove back home and waited for the power to go back on, instead of the 30 minute drive to the shop.

(Oddly enough, just now we had a dump of rain and while I was standing outside and watching it, the power went out for a minute. Thank goodness for blogger's auto-draft save!!)

So with all these on-goings and mishaps... I didn't start dyeing fabric until 5 days before I had to leave! But that's another story. ;)


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Home again!

I'm finally home again. It might have been an interesting 20 days, but I am really glad for all the time I spent with my family. :)

I brought home about 100 yards of dyed fabric - which most is still in my car. Also, my suitcases aren't unpacked either. :P

But it sure felt good to have a real home cooked meal tonight for the first time in a week - thanks to the effort of my husband. Gotta love that guy! :D

The details will have to wait until I have a bit more energy, as I got up at the crack of dawn to get the $1/yard WalMart sale, starting at 7am. Turns out it was clothing type of fabric, not quilting stuff, so I didn't get anything. And the fact that I actually went to the store and thought I needed more fabric when I just brought home a huge box of fabric... yeah, I'm still trying to recover and find some brain cells. :P