Monday, December 31, 2012

Tying up loose ends..

Well, I can't say I'm sorry to see the end of 2012. It's been one hell of a year. Ups and Downs in the extreme... but on the eve of 2013, I'm still here.
This is also probably the first year I can say I made New Year's resolutions and actually kept them! Weight Watchers and Yoga. Still doing both. With excellent results. I have some new resolutions, one of which includes keeping last year's resolutions.
Also on the eve of 2013 I have a new tenant. Thank goodness! He seems very nice - let's hope that is an accurate impression. Lease is signed - deposit is received. As long as he is quiet - all will be swell!
On New Years Eve we have all treated ourselves to shrimp - although only two of us ate any. I put two plates of raw, chopped shrimp down, but I think only one kitty ate all of it - Swee'pea. Jacques went into the bedroom and pouted. It wasn't what he expected. So I fried up some bacon hopeing that to do the trick. Well, he did come out of the bedroom, but wasn't interested in eating any of it. Which I suppose is healthiest.
My last goal for 2012 was to post the same number of blog posts as last year. And with this one - I've manage it! While I've been working on it I've listened to this amazing project that Ann introduced me to: A virtual choir. This is a project done by choral composer Eric Whitacre. This was one of those coincidence things. This piece, Lux Aurumque was sung by Chorale Bel Canto at their Christmas Concert that I was invited to. I remember wishing I could find this piece to listen to it again - it is so beautiful. When I came back from Kauai - the pieces fell into place. I think Ann mentioned it, and we googled the project and found it. The TED talk can be found here. It's much better explained on the TED talk, but the gist of things is:  people from around the world sing the different parts into their computers, send him the final piece and he edits them into the Virtual Choir. If you are the kind of person who looks for hope and peace in the world you should check this out. He is working for the fourth incarnation of this project through kickstarter.There's another video there too...

With that I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone! This time last Saturday I was camped out on a beach getting a royal sunburn. Now I am back home in Philadelphia where it snowed most of the day and I am freezing! All that sun and 80° temperatures spoiled me. Ah well, it was worth it. In between sunburn and frostbite, I spent the week with my dad and Ann in California. It was the perfect stop over and there were wonderful get-togethers and lots of family time. So nice not to think about any of the madness of my Philly life. I also got to spend a bit of time spoiling the cat Bubb - who is now 17! and not quite as spry as he used to be - but he can still tell you all about it. 
There was also plenty of knitting to be done for Christmas gifts -  or in this case felting. I knitted Ann a pair of slippers that needed to be felted down. Here they are before felting, as knitted.
Then they were felted!... uh, into fish, apparently.   
What went wrong?
Turns out I hadn't finished reading the instructions which said to sew up the back. Hmph. My excuse is that the instructions were in German and I was so glad I'd made it through the actual knitting instructions (they were not quite right and I needed to adjust a lot) that I missed the heading where it said "finishing".
But the front parts fit perfectly, so I improvised:  
 I just sewed the sides forward and now Ann has some very toasty slippers. We want to get some non-skid stuff for the bottom. I hope JoAnn's carries something along those lines. 
Aren't they cute? I want a pair....But first there are Daddy's socks to be finished.
Poor Daddy. There was lots of trying-on needed with these. I found a great sock pattern, but without the actual foot and never having knitted these before, it's tricky to get the size right. The first sock was too long in the foot so it was a little loose. I knitted the second sock 1/2" shorter and now the heal is just right. So then the first sock needed to be taken apart and re-knitted.
So Daddy only got half a pair of socks for Christmas - I suggested we could leave them as booties - even tried to sweeten the deal with pompoms for the back. But that suggestion was not met with enthusiasm.

Now I am back home trying to adjust to "real life" and all of those responsibilities. But I took a red-eye - (gosh those are miserable flights) arrived home and got about half an hour of sleep. I still feel like I'm on the plane and its going up and down... so it's been a slow day.

My wonderful tenants are moving out today as well, which is very sad. They were really great. We had a nice talk and got caught up on all of their plans. Things seem to be falling into place nicely for them. Let's hope the same happens for me with a new tenant!

My kitties are also glad I'm home. I didn't get the cold shoulder but Jacques did pee right on my shoes - so maybe that's was his "welcome back" gift. 


Swee'pea got a belated Christmas gift he was very excited about - a sheet of newsprint paper! A sheet of paper on the floor is the best. It must be because (as AnneMaree put it) he is now half a millimeter higher than the rest of the floor.
All Jacques wanted for Christmas was to GO OUT! So in spite of the snow, I let him out and he was so happy he didn't even complain very much. He stayed out for about an hour and when I let him back in and he seemed happy to follow me around the apartment purring. 

And finally, yours truly turned another year older. Ann and Daddy took me to my favorite Mexican restaurant, El Cholo and you get to wear the birthday sombrero. Thought you might like to see the silly picture. I need to find the picture from my 18th birthday. It might be the same sombrero.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The day the world was supposed to end....

I spent it in paradise. It was a beautiful day - hiking, beach, ahi tacos, more beach, sunset, farmer's market.... it was a good day.
Some images from the last few days: 
Tuesday: Abalone Shells Christmas Tree in Poipu

Wednesday Morning early: The No Name Beach.
Very rough surf, but beautiful sun and waves. I saw a sign for hiking so I thought I'd follow the trail. Not really a trail just a walkway down to the beach. 

Thursday: after second kick-ass yoga class, a hike to a view of Hanalei valley.
While the hike was pretty short - only 2 miles up, then 2 down, this was a very muddy, and therefore very slippery, and therefore not an easy hike. A walking stick was much needed. But it was worth it to get up high enough to see the entire valley. Those are taro fields below. Incredibly picturesque, like walking in a National Geographic magazine.  

Today: (The day the world was supposed to end) A hike over Kuilau trail.  This image is a little dark because it was about 2 seconds before the heavens opened up and poured on us - as it does every half hour or so around here - but you can see the trail across the little valley in all of the lush greenery. 

Then I had lunch in Kapa'a, looked at shops, sat on a very windy beach because it was actually sunny and there was no guarantee that it would be sunny in Hanalei.
Then I decided to go all the way to the end of the road - to the start of the Na Pali Coast. And I caught the sun set.

 I couldn't decide which image I liked best, so you can decide for yourself. But I do think my blog may need a make over. I want to be able to show larger images and this old (ancient! in fact) blog template doesn't let me do that. So - you've been warned - my blog may get a face lift towards the beginning of 2013.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kauai, 2012

I'm in the land of a thousand rainbows. And it must be true. I know that December is the rainy season so the north side of the island where I'm staying is kind of miserable. Well - okay WARM - but still just rain. I thought I'd go to the Kauai Coffee Company on the southwest side of the island,  to buy my favorite coffee - Blue Mountain Roast. They were out. Humph. Well I guess I just have to come back. When I looked north I saw this unusual rainbow - so low to the ground. It was quite lovely.
I ventured on to Kekaha to the beach there. It was bright and sunny but windy. I sat there with a handful of other tourists who, like me, were desperately determined to have SUN on the December vacation to Hawaii.
What a shame that I have to come all the way back. I'm hoping that it will be just as sunny. :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

A pretty picture I took

Hello Everyone -
I've been wanting to post for a while, but there is so much stuff going on that's NOT postable - and besides, because of all that, I haven't done anything anyway.
I have been writing recipes up for our blog at work and I took this beautiful picture for that blog and wanted to share it here:

Isn't that gorgeous? Those are blonde beets from my CSA share in one of my blue bowls.