Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday on Whidbey

Nearly 120 years of continuous operation & still going strong!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday on Whidbey

Finally, the worst of this train-wreck saga is over.
(For the nitty-gritty details see one of the more recent articles)
No doubt there will be many more months of finger-pointing & clean-up & efforts to hold the guilty party responsible (though he's clearly a slimy, slippery fish), but at least these last months--and especially weeks--will be behind us.
Hopefully Penn Cove Mussels will return soon...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday on Whidbey

The sentries at the ferry landing;
don't the cormorants have an incredible shape?!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday on Whidbey

...I'm kinda stuck on flowers lately; they're so gorgeous
& definitely a sign there is life after a Puget Sound winter...

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Annual Workday Was a Success

Another item that consumed considerable time in April (and contributed to my posting absence!) was the final preparations for the Hearts & Hammers workday--this year coinciding with Cinco de Mayo (always the first Saturday in May). This year was the 'fourth annual'--and each year it gets a little smoother. The all volunteer group provides home repairs, maintenance, & yard work to our neighbors that are unable to manage it alone.
Most of my volunteer work is over before the workday arrives as I provide assist with volunteer data bases, helping get the project lists together, & generally trying to keep the info flowing. I get to basically watch the day unfold & marvel at the production!
This year there were 121 volunteers on 21 projects--and Mother Nature really cooperated for a change! One of the homeowners wanted to contribute something back & so offered up authentic tamales per her native Mexico for the dinner at the end of the day. Wow! Great food, great music, great stories of what had been accomplished during the day--makes you get the Cheshire Cat smile! The final follow-up is almost completed--and then it's pretty calm until the beginning of next year. (Must be how Santa's elves feel by New Years...!)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Delightful 'New' Space!

Another item that got me off my organizational track--but was well worth it: the long-planned 'studio' reconfiguration finally happened! My dear, sweet 'better half' gifted me with made-to-order cabinets that we've pondered for quite some time. I was thrilled they were actually appearing! I had been scheming & planning how to rearrange for over a year.
Then last fall, I took a half-day class with Lois Hallock which was well worth it. Lois has great tips, tricks, & facts to help--& she suggests coming up with at least six different floor plan layouts before you settle on THE one. (that's not easy!)
By the time the cabinets were in progress, I was pretty clear how I wanted things to go. In the end--there were only two minor surprises that I'd not considered & they were easily resolved; I thought that was reasonable!
flat folds at eye level

I knew it would take some time to make the transition--but as usual I under estimated! Good for me: I planned the move for spring break to be sure I had time.
It took almost two full days just to organize fabric--I think I touched almost everything in my stash except the scrap bins.  My overflowing drawers & containers were rearranged into flat folds & fat quarter containers.
Lois is a proponent of flat folding anything over about a half yard. When I took the class, I wasn't convinced--but I am now! It looks nice, it's easily usable, & harder to lose track of things.
10 boxes of fat quarters
after the 'big sort'
I found some well made cardboard containers for my fat quarters that fit nicely into the open space I requested in the cabinets.
Now everything is near at hand, project boxes & other larger supplies are stowed in the cabinets out of sight, and the drawers in my cutting table (that used to be bursting with fabric) are filled with all my other art & embellishment supplies.
My design wall is now able to be expanded easily when needed--& I have my closet 'back'! (it used to be behind the design wall--it was usable but not handy). I made a special top for a counter height shelving unit I hadn't been using & now it's a perfect ironing center. The ironing board only has to come out for big projects!
I have room for my sweetie to join me for a movie if he wants, & I can even have a friend over for a sew play day. 8-)
Mr Creative put the doors on the cabinets just last week--so the camouflage is complete! Only things left: I'm snooping for some interesting door handles & I'm hoping to give the 'guest' chair a bright & funky face lift this summer. The cabinet doors won't likely stay pristine white--they seem to be calling for some small projects on display...or a mural, or...but that's a project for another day!
I didn't really have 'before' photos (didn't think of it in time) that tell the story--so you'll just have to believe me:  this is a huge improvement! I just love to go in there & sit--and it's been so much fun to work in (although I've not had as much time as usual lately!).
There is plenty of room to grow & still stay organized. Heaven!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thank One That You Know!

This week has been National Nurses Week.  
In our honor, thank a nurse that you know.  
It shouldn't be difficult--there are 3.1 million of us in the US; 
I'm sure you run into us every day. 
We are, by far, the largest health care profession. 
According to the Gallup Poll, nursing has been voted as 'the most trusted profession' in the US 12 out of the last 13 years. 
(seems like a pretty good record!)
We're getting older.  The average age of a nurse is now almost 46 years. That provides an amazing body of collective knowledge, but that also does not bode well for the future. Do all of us a favor & if you know someone with a goal of becoming a nurse--or even thinking about it--support & encourage them.
So--thank you to all of you who are nurses!  
This week & every other one that you go about your work with little fanfare. You have enriched my life, cared for those I love & made me a better person.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Learn vs.Teach

About the time I vanished from sight, winter quarter was wrapping up. That meant the final salute & celebration for the part-time RN students! As with the students that graduated at the end of last summer, these will hold a special place in my heart: they started when I started--and have been with me the longest so far! Fifteen of the original twenty made it to the finish line--hats off to them! It's a gauntlet!
We've learned a lot together--and hopefully we are collectively the better for it! A few of them have already passed their N-CLEX exams, so they're off & running...
Their final time together...
Meanwhile the new part-time RN class of twenty made an impressive start in winter quarter--nineteen of the twenty made it through the 'transitions' quarter.  The vacancy was quickly filled from the wait list, so we have a full constellation this quarter as we 'go live' in the clinical world. Hang onto your hat--hopefully we're not in for a bumpy ride!
So this quarter is an odd but enjoyable mix: new RN students with five quarters still ahead of them, part time PN students in their final quarter--some of which I'm supervising for their precepting experience this quarter, and full time PN students that will finish at the end of summer quarter--about seventy-five students in all. I've been in the classroom and the clinical setting with all of them this quarter--makes for no dull moments!
Our new college president is settling in--a positive addition; great humor, approachable, positive ideas. We'll see where we grow from here...