A Month In And A Month Away

I am really enjoying this temperature blanket I’m making. It’s a little over a month in, since I started it on January 1st. As it shapes up underneath the hook every day, I really want to push it forward. I think the discipline and waiting for every day to do one row at a time is actually a good idea! Unlike other projects that I start hotter than an asteroid entering our atmosphere then burn out midway through, this is a metered attempt. I hope I’m able to finish it!



🏝And we’re about a month away from Hawaii – again! This time we’re going to Oahu and stay in a converted garage on the North Beach. It won’t be the same experience as far as being in a jungle and having all the amenities but I figured we hardly spent any time in that wonderful little cabin. I would have liked to spend just one day enjoying the scenery there, but we had so much to do that we spent most of it on the damn road!

I also need to get started on the design for a scarf. Last year I went to the Bahamas about this time and I was able to go because of one person. I mentioned her last year and I’m going to mention her again. Her name is Danielle Cotton and I want to make her a scarf design that means something to her. Kind of hard. I worry that by the time I finally get around to making this scarf she’s going to be in her eighties and I’m gonna be dead!

In the meantime, we’re going to go see Randy Bo-bandy at a Cheeseburger Picnic in Reno! Yes, you may have guessed this is a trailer park boys related production. I saw him on the cruise last year and he was hilarious! I hope it’s as funny this year.🤩😍

So be on the look out for Hawaii pictures again! I have heard that Oahu is a totally different experience and we’re gonna find out!

Hawaii Pics; or, the last burn day of the season and I have huge piles of pine needles so I have a massive migraine

When’s the worst time to write about a beautiful Hawaiian vacation? Why, when you have a raging migraine, of course!

Here we are, a whole week and a half since I’ve been back stateside and what have I done? I’ve been inspired to paint, but haven’t picked up a paintbrush or prepared a canvas or even glanced at the acrylics I have stashed in my special toolbox I chose just for my art. I’ve plodded away on my beautiful sweater that I started last year with all the enthusiasm of…well, plodding. I’ve finished the body and now I’m working the sleeves. Sounds exciting, right? Who am I kidding! I’m ashamed to say that most of this time has been spent in a blue funk, moping. It doesn’t help that I’ve uploaded all my Hawaiian and Bahamian pics on my Chromecast screensaver to remind me where I’m not and what I’m not doing.

Besides the obvious – I shouldn’t be writing a post about beautiful Hawaii while I’m suffering from a migraine – this appears to be the only time I can sit down in front of the computer and write. Don’t get me wrong! I live on my damned computer, but I’m generally not writing prose, and in this case, categorizing pure fustian. In the spirit of cutting short the rant, we won’t elaborate on the reef snorkeling and wild dolphin sighting outing that was cancelled because of weather, nor will I digress about the aborted Mauna Kea visit because road conditions were unmanageable past 9000′ even with a four-wheel drive auto, and any discussion is right out regarding the earthquake we experienced sitting on a washed-up log while enjoying the black sands beach in Waipi’o Valley. LOL! While these snidely remarks make me appear ungrateful, I am not. Reading about how someone had a beautiful time in a paradise is generally a deadly dull undertaking. Hearing about the travails in a personal Shangri La panders to one’s schadenfreude, a lowly endeavor, indeed, but commonly espoused by most writers of fiction and non-fiction. I mean, how freakin’ boring would most movies be without it? Hm?

Fear not, dear readers. All is not lost. Another basic part of story structure is called the denouement, or resolution. We did do many cool things and see many splendiferous sights, the most amazing was the cabin in which we stayed. Let’s not forget the “Ring of Fire” helicopter ride.* I was able to put my tootsies in black sand, get up close and personal to the pahoehoe and trip on the aptly named a’a lava rocks! (note to self: don’t wear sandals on lava rock!), get drenched, multiple times, in a tropical downpour, witness a cool photoshoot on dramatic cliffs, experience the climate diversity in the interior valley between the two dormant behemoth volcanoes, snap pics of absolutely gorgeous flowers, be lulled to sleep by the croaking frogs and legions of insects indigenous to rain forests and much more. So, yea, we had a great time, and because of the wonderfulness of air miles, we have already booked another Hawaiian vacay for next year on the North Shore in Oahu. I don’t how we’ll be able to afford it even with that flight being taken care of, but, eh. We’ve got cancellation insurance.

But wait – let’s make this more interactive. I will post a poll of activities that will push my comfort zone. The one that gets voted the most, I will do, document and post next year! I’ll remind everyone periodically to vote, and close the poll around Thanksgiving so I can make arrangements. I will NOT do anything dangerous nor incredibly expensive, but if you see something that would make for a good laugh, you may include it as an option on the poll.

In the meantime, here’s way too many pics from around the Big Island. Enjoy!

*For the first time in 35 years, there are no active lava flows on the Big Island; nevertheless, this was FUN! I know, I know, after reading about my fear of flying, you’re probably thinking What is wrong with this woman? For me, it’s not the same as flying in a big, impersonal commercial airliner. If we had made the 2,668 mile trip in a Piper or Cessna puddle jumper, not only would it have been epic, but it would have been way more comfortable for me, if not a tad long. For me, helicopters fall in the same realm of comfortable.

Hawaii

When life gets too good, one questions life

With only a few days left before we depart, dear readers, I have a confession to make.  The recent gift that fell onto my lap last month, (again, thank you, Danielle Cotton!), may cast me in the light of a most vacuous, shallow and unworthy person, but I assure you, that’s not the case.  At least, I hope not…  When I found out that I had won a trip to the Bahamas, my husband, Rick, and I, were already planning on going to Hawaii.  The Big Island.  I love the geology, black sand beaches, pineapples, coffee and the general lush foliage that comes to mind when I think of these enchanted chain of volcanic islands.  I’ve written a few posts about Hawaii and tiki.  So, yea.  I’ve always wanted to go, and I’ve made no secret of it.

https://nittinninja.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/change-of-schedule/

https://nittinninja.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/shrug-finished/

https://nittinninja.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/for-the-first-time-in-over-30-years/

Packing to go – not staged at all! LOL

You may wonder why I felt it necessary to make a side trip to the Bahamas, and I would counter: The Trailer Park Boys.  I wanted to go hang out, have some fun, and hopefully meet them.  As much as I am looking forward to Hawaii, the unadulterated thrill of fandom was something else, if not a little embarrassing at my age – but I don’t care.  It was too fun!

A niggling worry has beset me these last few weeks.  I believe it is a valid concern, but maybe some good will come of it.  What is it? you ask.  I’m afraid that the rest of my life will seem very dull in comparison with these last few months.  However long, or short, the rest of life will be remains to be seen; you get the point.  Has this ever happened to anyone else?  It has with me already, several times.  The upside?  I’m saving for next year’s excursion, be it with the Trailer Park Boys, or an expedition to Antarctica.  You only live once, and as time flies by, the tired, old cliché of a mid-life crisis starts to make sense, although, I think “mid-life” may be optimistic on my part!  And that last sentence was cram packed with tired old clichés (I may have to write a post on the importance of clichés and why they’re needed)!

Next time I write an entry, be prepared for a glut of pictures and a paucity of words.  Aloha!

TPB Bahamas Cruise

Terror at 30,000′, or no Xanax

Ka-chung.  CLANK!  Whirrrr….The nose of the 737 lifted off the tarmac and I was pressed back into the seat. I gripped the arm rests, fueled by fear-induced adrenaline. I didn’t have time to take the Xanax I had requested from my doctor before boarding, so I thought I would be able to access it from the overhead compartment when we were at cruising level.  As it went, both flights I had to take were bumpy as fack, i.e., we were strapped in for about 95% of the time, so I had no access to my relief.  Well, maybe I could have taken some in Denver, but I didn’t want to risk showing up at Tampa dazed and confused. I decided to adult it out, and tried to look like I was a normal person, not a terrified loonie that expected the plane to unscientifically plummet into the hard ground from FL300. I don’t know how well I pulled off the “seasoned traveler” look, but it must have been passable since people weren’t gawping and little children weren’t crying as they walked by me.

travelers at Tampa Airport
Tampa Airport

Eventually, we landed, intact, at Tampa. Since there were electrical issues in Denver, the plane ran late, so instead of using the hotel’s shuttle, which I just missed, I had to use Uber for the first time.  And my cell phone battery was dying.  I managed to download the app, figure it out, and get a ride with 2% left!  I gave the polite driver a tip and a good rating.  He deserved it, because I was a hot mess of babbling nerves. It was past midnight when I finally checked in, and I was hungry. Fortunately, I had a few dollars on me so I was able to slake my hunger with a vending machine Snickers bar and a Coke. You know, health food.

Getting on board the next day was interesting.  Once we passed the TSA portal, we walked into an area that felt like a covered football stadium; it was that large.  At first glance, all I saw was a gigantic room full of people milling about and I sighed.  This was going to take forever; however, once I realized there was some method to the madness, i.e. filling out health forms, showing citizenship documentation, tickets, etc., it went rather quickly.  We weren’t there above 20 minutes before being shuffled through a covered gangplank where employees of Norwegian Cruise Lines were standing in corners, armed with squirt bottles filled with, what I hope, anti-bacterial spray and saying “Washy, washy!” as they misted random hands with cleanliness. 

Then we were off on a themed cruise.  On reflection, I took so few pictures, especially when I got to meet Pat Roach, John Paul Tremblay, Mike Smith, (none!) and Jacob Rolf (one), in that order.  Considering a larger part of who I am is the damned camera, I happened to do a poor job of documenting this trip. HOWEVER, I spent many productive hours at the black jack tables, entered a black jack tournament to beat out a bunch of guys because I played like I always do – conservatively. Unfortunately, playing conservatively also gets one a low score, so I was dunned out by the second round.  And let’s not forget the whole reason I was there!!  The Trailer Park Boys put on their rowdy brand of shows and worked hard.  I hope they enjoyed it at least a little.

We didn’t stop at Stirrup Cay because the swells had prevented the ship docking, so we were diverted and the excursions that I’d paid for and was so looking forward to, were refunded.  No swimming with the manta rays, no snorkeling, no big party on the beach.  Instead, we docked in Freeport around 3:00 pm, which is just a port, where I walked around among souvenir shops and food stalls and took a pic or two for about 15 minutes just so I could be on Bahamian soil.  Did it upset me that much? Nope. 

There have been rumors flying around the internet that another cruise is in the works.  I don’t know if these plans will come to fruition, but I do know I already have a quiet fund that’s building in equity so I won’t need to rely on the goodness of a stranger’s heart (Danielle Cotton <3<3, love you, girl!) to get myself on board when it comes around again!

While there was so much more to comment on, I will leave it here for now; just suffice to say, that as I flew back home, feeling great because I’d taken a Xanax, I leaned against the window, drowsy and relaxed. As my eyelids fluttered close over my eyes, I imagined the bumps of the turbulence as the eddies of a river, and the occasional variations in altitude as the swells of the ocean.

I slept.

Going home

 

Change of Schedule

Yuuup.  That's me all right!
Yuuup. That’s me all right!

In my last post I announced I was looking for a group of crafters to do a Crochet-A-Long on a simple afghan. Something easy.  I received a few likes, but no comments.  I took that to mean a  group of polite onlookers, which would be cool also; but, summer is bearing down upon me and I’ve found myself in a Hawaiian mood.  No, I’ve never been, and yes, I want to go.  I want a plumeria lei and a hibiscus tucked behind my ear, to take the pineapple field tours, walk the beautiful black sand beaches at sunset, go to a luau and drink cocktails with pretty umbrella toothpicks.  I want to be at the peak of Mauna Kea and see the curvature of the earth as the sun peeks over the ocean horizon and to pay incredibly inflated prices at the local McDonald’s because everything is shipped from the mainland.   And let us not forget the muumuus and brilliantly colored Hawaiian shirts.  I even want to hear the strains of Don Ho complementing the relaxing sounds of the waves susurrating as I recline on the beach in the middle of the day…underneath a huge umbrella with layers of SPF 50 sensitive skin lotion still shining whiter than my legs with its zinc content.  But most of all, I want to see the Kilauea Volcano erupt its low silicone, high basaltic lava and create the a’a rocks, so named because the natives cut their feet on the sharp edges of the cooled surface.  I also want to see the pahoehoe lava, so smooth it looks like a pudding set in the shape of ropes.  I want to see the lava drip into a steaming surf from a recently created shelf.  I. Want. To. Go.

Returning to reality, the odds are that I will never make it.

Yes, my shoulders slumped forward as I thought of this.

But that won’t stop me from being inspired by the tiny island state with a big heart that has stolen mine, sight unseen.  (Pictures don’t count!)  In choosing the yarn, I thought of the personality of the state, and the first thing that came to mind was:  relaxation.  I don’t know about you, but knitting something inspired by Hawaii could not be done in wool.  There are a few island nations where this does apply, of course, such as Great Britain and Iceland.  Wool is highly recommended there.  Hawaii?  It had to be one of three choices:  cotton, bamboo, silk.  For economy’s sake, I went with cotton.  No more $60 tank tops here…ahem.  If I stopped making those, maybe I could afford Hawaii!

Progression of color scheme
Progression of color scheme

When it came to colors, I wanted to stay with the relaxed personality range and I used my “go to” colors, blue and green, added some purple and a bit of white.  Continuing with the serene, easy-going theme, I have decided to make this a simple box – no ribbing, no shaping, no sleeves, with a little twist.  How I’m going to accomplish the one aspect of this is beyond me, but I’ll manage.

In the meantime, I will keep the afghan on the back burner.

Aloha!