Finishing 4th

Aloha and Happy Wednesday! Have you all recovered from the time change? Thankfully, here in Hawaii, we don’t have to do that! I’ve appreciated that for the two years we’ve been here. Moving back to the mainland will bring change enough but then we’ll “enjoy” that stupid time change again! 😦

Anyway, things are progressing towards our April 4 house closing. We still haven’t worked out all the logistics with shipping but we are getting closer. One thing we have learned is that crossing the ocean creates an “international” event. Moving over sea and land enters a whole new realm of logistics! More on that as it happens.

As I have done in the past, when a move is about to happen, I start sewing like crazy! Somehow packing finished items feels less weighty than moving boxes of stash fabric. Yesterday, I finished the fourth project from last summer’s retreat.

Jump Rings by MSQC which is in this edition of BLOCK magazine. The Hawaiian fabrics were selected and kitted for the retreat by Vicky’s Fabrics here in Kauai. This was my first time to work with poly-cotton fabric, which is commonly used in Aloha shirts and clothing. It was easy to work with and quilted beautifully as you’ll see.

Making snowballs to form the inner ring…

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Then I attached the matching sides all around to form the ring…forgot to take a photo of that part but you can see the result below. Next, the outer corners are nipped to make the final ring appear.

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Fast forward and the top is made and the quilting is in full swing…

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A close-up of the quilting design…

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And the end result…ready to trim and bind! I am going to call it “Haku Leis” for the head-pieces commonly worn by the bride and her attendants during weddings. Here is a link that explains that a bit more as well as the photo below shows. Aren’t they beautiful?!

Haku lei 1

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Here’s how it looks from the back! I think it is a great way to start Spring! (Apologies to those suffering from the winter storm Stella! My Stella sends her best wishes for a quick thaw!)  😉

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I have a customer’s top in-house to quilt next. If I work really fast, I can get the last two tops I have made quilted before Stella has to be disassembled to move.

Next week, we have these two coming to visit! I can hardly wait to see them again! This Gigi needs to make a baby doll quilt, quick!! 🙂

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Aloha!

Change at the Speed of Life

March is here and with it comes change. For most people, it just means a change in the season…are you slowly thawing out where you live? Are your favorite things starting to bud and bloom? For us, it means another adventure!

Recently, Bonnie Hunter posted this photo on her Quiltville Facebook page…

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Thanks, Bonnie! What a timely phrase! Change is scary but it’s also sometimes just the thing you need to do.

If you have followed this blog for a bit (or know us as friends and family do), you know we have moved a few times in our 36 years of marriage. For the most part, the reasons have been (mostly) economic conditions and/or chasing a dream. Our move to Hawaii in 2015 was a big dream…and guess what!? we sat in the front row and did it!!

But, things in life have a way of changing…not that we WANT them to change, sometimes they just do all by themselves. As much as we would like, we can’t control everything life throws at us.

Yet the things we CAN control do take action. So, most of our friends and family know that we are action-taking types and know when to make things happen.

Moving to Hawaii was a big risk…it would be a 50/50 chance. Should we take it on? We weighed all the pros and cons and took a deep breath, and did it. We knew there would be things we couldn’t control but it was worth a shot…this one chance to live our longtime dream. Reality can be harsh, however and we found we were on the second part of that 50/50 chance…the part that usually stops most folks in their tracks.

So, now what do we do? Where do we go? When do we leave? What’s the plan?

Well, then it’s time to start a new dream!

When we first considered moving to Hawaii back in 2014, Florida was our backup plan. Now its THE plan! And we’ve taken action! Watch out Florida…here we come!

Our beautiful Kauai home is already under contract and we are set to close on April 4! Most of February was spent making it ready to sell and fortunately for us, our buyer was renting across the street! They love our neighborhood and all the upgrades we have done to the house was greatly appreciated. Just this week, Mr. G sold his 1-year old Tacoma pickup in less than 24 hours!

After we close on the house in April and yet another tax season is out of the way, we will take some time to visit Maui and the Big Island…we might not be this close to them ever again…so we are taking advantage of that! Then, we’ll take some time in May to visit our parents as we make our way to Florida.

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We hope to be in the Ft. Myers/Bonita Springs area by June 1st.

Yes, Stella (the longarm quilting machine) will cross the Pacific, again, and I will continue the blog and quilting. I’ve read there are 120 quilt shops in Florida! And, of course, I can still quilt barefoot and get my toes sandy!! Woohoo!!

As Bilbo Baggins said, “I think I’m ready for another adventure!” Let’s go!!

Stay tuned!

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Barefoot Beach!

A quick recap of moving mayhem…part 2

Continuing on with the story…

Day 6…May 4, 2015 – San Diego…we drove from the Long Beach port after dropping off the car for shipment and headed for San Diego. We arrived early (again!) so we did a bit of driving around to familiarize ourselves with this part of town. It has been several years since we visited last with our teenage children, but Mr. G  found the airport, Enterprise car rental return location and the cargo office for Alaska Airlines. We even stopped at the cargo office to make sure we were in the right spot, what time to arrive, etc. It was all within minutes of each other…should be a snap!

We went to Seaport Village for a quick walk along the waterfront and admired several yachts and sailboats in the harbor. Our hotel was an older one, right next to their metro train and new urban apartments. Again, it was a place that accepted large dogs and our room was conveniently located on the first floor to get Ruby in and out for her needs. It was the smallest of our rooms but it would do for one short night. We would have to be at the cargo area by 7 a.m. to be able to get Ruby squared away, return the rental car and get ourselves shuttled to the airport for our 10:35 a.m. flight.

Day 7…It’s Tuesday, May 5 – we’re up and ready by 6:30! We are so very ready for the last leg of the journey! We arrive at the cargo area and Ruby is placed in her crate and is ready to go! The total weight of her and the crate…122 pounds!

Ruby is ready to go!

Ruby is ready to go!

We step into the office to pay her way…we are asked for her reservation number and I give the nice man the only “reservation number” we have. An email confirmation. He says that is “our” airfare reservation but not the cargo reservation for Ruby! I calmly explain that is all I was given and that the only reason we were at Alaska Airlines Cargo was for Ruby to be allowed to fly on the same plane as us AND going straight to Lihue. Remember this post? Well…that lady only booked our flight misunderstanding (?) our dog could not go as luggage…REALLY?!?! She and I had a VERY lengthy conversation as to why I was even calling Alaska Airlines! She must have thought Ruby was going as “extra baggage” thus only $100 would be due upon us checking her in! Richard, the very nice young man helping us at the Cargo office shook his head when I said “$100″…no, it would be more…much more than that. Yes, I should have confirmed a few days after the phone call to make the reservations. Yes, even Eddie admits he should have questioned the low airfare cost for “cargo”. I asked Richard what I had done or said wrong in making the reservations. He said I was just unlucky getting someone in Montana that really didn’t ask ME the right questions. Ok, self-beating over.

Phone calls are made, supervisors are spoken to, yet there is no way Ruby was going on that flight! We are redirected to reservations to change our tickets to the next available flight…Thursday, May 7! I am on the verge of tears, I give the phone to Mr. G to calmly work it out, then we were bounced back to the Cargo reservations. Once again, apparently I couldn’t explain to the third person I spoke to regarding our dog flying on the same flight with us to Lihue. She kept asking if we understood the quarantine requirements of Hawaii, on and on! Yes! I had everything checked and double-checked…we just needed airfare for her on the same airplane as us…why is this so difficult!? I asked to speak to another supervisor since what I was asking seemed more complicated than it should be. (i asked Richard if I was saying it correctly? Yes, he shook his head!)

The supervisor made it happen – she over-rode something that allowed for the flight to be over-booked and then, ever so politely, told me that we could still get bumped! OK, I am gonna cry some more if this keeps up!! Now remember, arrangements have been for us to meet the Kauai Humane Society at the airport – this day, our Dept. of Agriculture permit is good – this day…how will this change in the itinerary affect those logistics?! Oh, and Ruby’s ticket price?! $1,017…yea, quite a bit more than $100!

I shed a few more tears. We calmly get Ruby back out of her crate, disassemble the dang thing, yet again, to get it back in the rental car, which means all the luggage came out of the car, then the crate loaded, then the luggage re-loaded (that would be 4 pieces of luggage each weighing just under 50 pounds!)

We drove to the Enterprise location, explained our situation and they happily extended our reservation. First issue solved. We returned to the hotel to see if we could extend our reservation for two more nights. No problem…they even gave us the same room back. Second issue solved. (Side note-it is now about 8:30 a.m.-we have been up since 5…we have not had any coffee or breakfast at this point. We are actually holding it together quite well!) We unload the suitcases in the room, set Miss Ruby back up with a snack and her water bowl and walk to the 7-11 for some much needed coffee & breakfast. We have a couple of hours to wait before Hawaii can be called. I emailed the lady at the Kauai Humane Society with our dilemma and asked how to proceed. As soon as the offices opened, I called the Dept. of the Agriculture and asked how to proceed. We got a break…the DOA said if the KHS called the DOA to confirm they could meet us on Thursday instead, the permit would still be valid. I got a message later in the day from the KHS saying it was all good on their side! Third (and biggest!) issue resolved. Lastly, I contacted Enterprise in Lihue to change our reservation for a later pick-up. Fourth issue solved. (Next side note-it is now very late in the afternoon, California time, and we are in limbo most of the day, anxious and hopeful that somehow this would all work out.)

OK! I think now we can have a cocktail and de-compress from the whole day’s ordeal!

Happy Hour

A well deserved happy hour @ Buster’s in San Diego! Thanks Mr. G for being so patient and calm when I was not!

We’ll just have to hang out in San Diego a little longer than planned. Check back tomorrow to see how we got through the delay and then, finally!, we will all be on a plane to Kauai!

P.S. I’ve been asked how much it cost to get Ruby to Kauai. The cargo airfare was obviously the biggest expense, but that wasn’t all of her expenses. I can only tell you what we paid for a 74 pound Golden Retriever. Some of the costs will be the same regardless of the size of dog but a smaller dog can fly in the cabin or as baggage at a MUCH reduced airfare! I will give you a recap in the next post!

A quick recap of moving mayhem…part 1

Aloha! Thanks for stopping by! Its’ been a week of settling in, cleaning up, chatting with neighbors and generally getting to know our way around our new home. Since most of you have moved at least once in your life, I won’t bore you to tears with minutiae of our moving adventures but for those who have inquired, I will give a brief recap of the moving mayhem we endured on our cross-country trek from Oklahoma.

Day one – April 29…the car is packed, the dog is fed and anxious to go since suitcases have been out for a week and we get a surprise last farewell visit from our friends Steve and Gwen. I had kept it together until the night before when I got all teary eyed knowing we had said our goodbyes to our children and grandson. So I don’t know why I started crying again when Gwen came walking up the driveway but I guess just the stress and relief that the trip was finally happening just swept over me…again!

Hugs all around and we were off for Albuquerque by 9:00 a.m. Interstate 40 all the way, baby! The drive was uneventful (and just the boring sameness as far as scenerywas concerned) and we found our hotel without a hitch. Ruby rode in her crate and didn’t give us any trouble. The Holiday Inn Express was wonderful and we ate here for dinner, a great Italian place!

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Ruby says “it’s time for bed”~

Day two – April 30…after a quick breakfast, we were off for Flagstaff. This would be a much shorter trip than the day before, so we thought we’d take advantage of the closeness to the Petrified Forest State Park. We had been to Flagstaff before but had not worked this stop into our itinerary. We would be too early to check into the hotel anyway so why not? Let’s be adventurous! Most of the park is viewed while driving, but we stopped along the way to take pictures. Ruby even has a photo by a large stump of petrified wood to remind us of her first visit to Arizona! It is an amazing place so if you have a chance to stop, please do!

Ruby enjoying a stretch in Arizona

Ruby enjoying a stretch in Arizona

We continued from the state park on into Flagstaff. On our previous trip, we had only seen it in winter-covered in snow, so this was like seeing it for the first time! We stopped at a community park close to the hotel and then checked into our very large room here. Once again, a very nice place that accepts large pets! We were early for dinner, so a stop here, conveniently located next to the hotel, for happy hour drinks and appetizers fit the bill nicely!

Snow covered peak in Flagstaff

Snow covered peak in Flagstaff

Flagstaff community park

Flagstaff community park

Day three – May 1…after a big breakfast here, since we ate lightly the night before, we’re off to California! Ruby is taking this traveling thing pretty well! We have now crossed Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona but it will be another long drive to stay with our friends, Bill and Dana in Capistrano Beach. We would be able to let Ruby out of the car and crate for a few days. We needed the break as well! Bill and Dana treated us to Dim Sum and an awesome Chinese restaurant, as well as her home-made Pot Stickers…yum!!! But it was the nice walks along the coastline, laughs in their backyard and beautiful weather that made us appreciate what we would soon have as well! Year-round temperate weather, crystal blue ocean and sandy shores were mere days away for us!

Bill & Dana's recently updated patio!

Bill & Dana’s recently updated patio-complete with Bird-of-Paradise and palm trees!

A view of the Pacific across the street from their neighborhood!

A view of the Pacific across the street from their neighborhood!

Silliness in the backyard!

Silliness in the backyard!

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Ruby's first look at the Pacific Ocean

Ruby’s first look at the Pacific Ocean

IMG_4203 IMG_4244 We had a lovely weekend, but now the final countdown to flying to Kauai is upon us. We rented a car then drove to Long Beach to drop off our car for shipment to the Nawiliwili port in Lihue. We have been given an estimate of arrival as May 26, 2015.  We weren’t allowed any photos due to security measures but I think this might be the ship, Mokihana, our car will be carried on.

Matson vessel Mokihana

Matson vessel Mokihana

Next post…part 2 of our journey to Kauai. We head to San Diego for our flight! Aloha!

We did it! We really, really did it!

Aloha from Kapa’a, Hawaii on the beautiful island of Kauai!

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We are home! It feels so good to say that! We have been here one week and it has been a flurry of cleaning, trips for necessities, utility hookups and mail pickup as well as meeting our neighbors.

It has been quite an adventure since my last post and I will get you caught up as soon as I catch my breath!

For now, just know we are here…and yes, we’re still kind of awestruck that we did it!

We have the computers up and running, are checking all the email messages and loading updates, and re-connecting with all through the magic that is the Internet! The time difference will take some getting used to, as well. We are at least 5 hours behind our friends and family in Oklahoma and Texas. More importantly, we have a couple of lawn chairs on the front lanai that can be loaded up for a trip to the beach!

Our golden retriever, Ruby, crossed several states and one really big ocean with us and made the trip just fine. She is adjusting very well to life on the front lanai!

Much more later! I can’t find the cord for my camera to transfer photos! We are still waiting for three boxes to arrive from Oklahoma…fingers crossed it is in one of those! I hope you’ll stop back by! Mahalo!

First day in Hawaii

Getting down to the last box including the tissue box!

For those of you stopping by today, thanks and welcome! For those of you stopping by who have followed along with me on the journey to paradise, it’s almost time to leave the mainland!!

We have sold just about everything we can sell, donated or gently pushed off onto someone else the good stuff that was still around, actually pretty good stuff – usable but not boxing and shipping worthy, (*sniff, sniff) and the refrigerator and pantry are nearly empty. We have almost 50 odd sized boxes ready for storage and the few with “imminent need” items loaded for the post office and/or UPS store.

Moving boxes

One more box to tape up before we get to the last ones…for the computers!

Mr. G took one banker-sized box to the UPS store for the first shipment to Hawaii. It weighed in at a hefty 29 pounds. It will leave Edmond, OK on May 29 and arrive in Kauai on May 6…price?…wait for it…$173!!! That was an eye-opener! He came back a bit shaken and began reassessing what REALLY needed to be shipped and what could be further culled from the pile! Yep…more good stuff has to go someplace else!

We had already made one trip to the Goodwill store with clothing and was about to box up extra clothes to ship to Hawaii rather than pack in a suitcase. Well, THAT plan got tossed along with the clothes! We can get more clothes when we get there!! So far, two more trips to Goodwill have occurred!

We have been enjoying last dinners with friends and family this weekend…our last weekend in Oklahoma. We even said goodbye to a long-time friend of the family with a memorial service on Friday. It’s been an emotional roller-coaster week to say the least! None the less, laughter and the sharing of memories were in high supply even as we emptied the last tissue box!

Our children came over yesterday for a final get-together. Our son-in-love leaves for Japan on May 6…just as we will be starting our first full day in Kauai. But we received more happy news before he leaves…grandchild number 3 will arrive sometime in late October! Courtney recorded, on her cell phone, the baby’s heartbeat while in the doctor’s office…strong and steady! She pretended she wanted to show her brother something she found on the Internet to announce it to our family with our daughter-in-love, Kelly squealing the loudest! Kelly can now boast being pregnant at the same time as her sister AND her sister-in-law! For us, 2015 will truly be filled with new beginnings, new babies and new latitudes and attitudes…Greenlee style!! LOL

Brogan and Papa spent some time in the backyard one last time…

Doing a little man-to-man talk – even the granddogs wanted to hear Papa one last time!

Brogan & Ruby saying good-bye

Brogan & Ruby saying good-bye

I’ll be signing off, just for now, with this post. The internet/cable/telephone bundle will be disconnected on Monday and the computers must be packed up for shipment. They will be part of the aforementioned “imminent need” entourage of boxes leaving ahead of us. I don’t have a laptop for further updates to the blog but I will post pictures of our travels West via Facebook and Instagram. Remember, we are driving for a few days to California and will then fly out on May 5 for our new home!

I hope, if nothing else, I made you smile during the last year or so with this madcap adventure. Perhaps I have even inspired you to follow your own crazy dream of selling it all and moving to your piece of paradise…wherever that may be. If you are a quilter, I hope you found some helpful hints or a new technique or the courage to jump on in and finish those UFO’s or let them go. I thank all of you for taking the time to stop by and for the encouraging comments you have given me. I really didn’t think I could keep up with this blogging thing much less have people actually read it! Last year, I had visitors from over 40 countries! No one was more surprised than me!

The blog won’t end with our arrival on island…it may change course a bit, but I will still be quilting barefoot when I’m not exploring, teasing all my senses or just blissfully gazing upon crashing blue waves with my toes buried deep in warm, golden sand with a fruity, tropical drink or glass of wine in hand!

Stay tuned…in just 2 more days…we’ll be on our way…FINALLY!

Aloha!

Ready for the Final Countdown!

Good Sunday to you all! It’s been a busy week around here with packing and finalizing last-minute details for our move! Mr. G finished up April 15 duties (his 30th tax season…ugh!) and he has been working hard on his paperwork and we are tackling piles of shredding!

Document shredding

Shredding…when will it end!?!

I have been selling the last of things that we won’t be taking to Hawaii. The giant dog crate has been ordered and shipped directly to our friends’ home in Capistrano Beach, California (our last stop before getting on the plane in San Diego!) The boxes are piling up and about to be moved to the storage unit for later shipment. Our daughter has gathered the last of her things from here to make their way to Japan in June! The pantry is slowly dwindling it stash of staples and I have a card table now for a work station for a few days before we tear down the computers to pack them for shipment!

Moving

20 boxes and counting…

The front living/dining room & my little work space...

The front living/dining room with my little work space & Mr. G’s paperwork

I did manage to finish up the blocks on the Irish Chain! Here is the post where it all began! I also made the single row of alternating squares to make the outer border!

Irish Chain

Random placement of completed blocks!

It conveniently fits inside this container for packing away!

Art Bin Storage

I am selling my humble little Husqvarna Viking sewing machine and several accessory items with it on the Facebook group Quilters Classified. I could take it but I am ready to upgrade to a nicer machine once we get settled. The cost of shipping it all would be a nice sum towards a new setup in Hawaii!

FOR SALE

FOR SALE

This last full week in Oklahoma will be busy with the remaining items on the checklist marked as DONE and visiting friends and family before we head out next week! I can hardly believe it is nearly time to go!! We are tired by the end of the day but reinvigorated each morning knowing we are “one day closer”! The final countdown begins!

9 days and counting…!!

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