Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Remembering Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Delivering the eulogy for Robert Kennedy in 1968, Ted Kennedy said, "My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will someday come to pass for all the world."

"The work goes on...the cause endures...the hope still lives...and the dream shall never die."
Senator Ted Kennedy, 1932-2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time!

This is what 1/8 of a block looks like. It took an hour and a half. I am now going to go clean up the kitchen before going to bed.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just alike but different

Another 10 hour block! I just realized that the last block I said was 8 hours was actually 10. And so was this one. At this rate, I'll finish this quilt when I'm eligible for Social Security, since there are 24 blocks! Oy vey! Only 22 more to go, 220 hours at the rate I'm going. Hmmm....I may have to downsize this quilt, and one thing for darn sure...this quilt will not be given's staying with me!
Guess what? It's the same block as before! Just the ends are turned differently. So the center blue in the first block is the outer purple in the second. The gold in the first one is the green in the second. Just alike but different! Check it out:

"Born to quilt...forced to work."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Customer Care

So I wrote a very nice letter to Delta Customer Service when I got back, complimenting Michael F. It was the least I could do, don't you think? I should have given him a tip, but I didn't think about it until I was rushing through security. And this is hysterical! I got an email response from Customer Care that was the nicest letter I have ever received from a business. I was expecting the usual cut and paste response, but no...this person got an A in her Creative Writing class. Here's the closing:

"You are a special person to take the time to write about a good experience with us and as my day comes to a close, I will smile knowing there are people like you flying with us. As a Gold Medallion member, you are an integral part of our customer base and we deeply value your business."

I can just see her smiling now, thinking of the wonderful customers who are flying Delta. What a wonderful way to wrap up the week. (Anybody got an air sickness bag?)

On my last few Delta flights, the flight attendants have been trying to lighten up their spiel a little bit. "As you exit the plane, please check the seat pocket in front of you, but if you leave anything behind, don't worry. Tomorrow you will be able to find it on eBay."
"If you are seated next to a child, or someone just acting like a child, please assist with their breathing apparatus."
"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."
But my favorite is from Southwest:
"Welcome aboard Southwest Flight XXX to YYY. To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seatbelt and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I really don't like to spend a lot of time sitting in airports. Yes, the Crown Club is nice, but so is my living room. If I can walk up to the gate as they are starting to board, that is perfect timing as far as I'm concerned. This occasionally results in drama, as happened last Friday, when I arrived at the ATL at 11:10 for my 11:55 flight.

New Rule: Baggage must be checked in and present at the check-in counters at least 45 minutes before your scheduled departure time.

It used to be 30 minutes, but somewhere in there it changed. So I arrived at the airport already too late to check my bag. My bag for the weekend quilt retreat at San Damiano, which had all my quilt supplies and fabric, not to mention my clothes, my bag which weighed 52 pounds, my bag which was too big to carry on the plane. Michael F. at the counter said that it was too late to check my bag and he would see if he could get me on the next flight. Me: (airily) "Oh, I can make this one. I don't mind if my bag gets there later." Michael F: "No, you have to travel with your bag." Me: "Oh. What time's the next flight?" Michael F: "3PM...but it's oversold. You would have to go standby." Me: "What about the flight after that?" Michael F: "6PM, but it's oversold also. Everything is oversold." Me: (Texting Al to come back to the airport.) "What about tomorrow?" Michael F: "It would be too expensive, but the first flight is sold out anyway." "What if I just cancel? What would the penalty be?" "I'll have to go check...I don't know off the top of my head." "OK, thanks so much." I don't know if it was the polite thank you, I don't know if it was time for Michael's break and he didn't feel like dealing with my problem any more or what, but Michael suddenly turned around and said, "Let me see if I can get you on this flight." And he did! I was within the 30 minute timeframe, so, you know, come on. I fully expected no suitcase when I arrived in SF, but guess what? Luggage made it, too! Go, Michael F!

I will spare you the details of the rental car that was in Sue Walton's name, so Hertz wouldn't let me have it, and the traffic at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on the Bay Bridge. All that vanished when I got out to San Damiano and saw all my Quilting Divas. The setup there is we have a big square conference room where we set up 16 tables, then behind that is a kitchen, then behind that are our rooms. It's not luxury, but for $200 for 3 days, 2 nights, who's complaining? It is very clean. I sewed until midnight, and set the alarm to get up at 5:20 am to go meet Regina, Rafiki, and Brent at Lake Merritt for a 6 am walk. When the alarm went off, I lifted my head up and thought, "I can't do it." Cannot do it. Good thing I told Regina that if I didn't make it for 6, I would see them at Peet's at 7 for coffee. So I lay back down for a bit, then drag myself out of bed at 6, quietly walk down the hallway, carefully lock the conference room door as I go out to my car, get in the car and put the key in the ignition and look at the clock and think, "Huh. I didn't notice that clock was so off yesterday." Then it hit me...the clock wasn't off - I was! I had not changed the time on my alarm, which was still on Atlanta time, so it was really 2:20 when the alarm went off. Since I had so carefully locked the doors when I left, I couldn't get back in, sure couldn't call anybody at that time of the morning, so I curled up in a fetal position on the back seat of the car and listened to KGO until 5:30. Once I get up (that's the hard part), I'm up, and usually can't take a nap during the day. I think I stayed up until about midnight Saturday. I know I busted Marilyn when she wrote a Facebook message at 11 that she was planning on a marathon night sewing at the retreat. Marilyn had been packed up and ready for bed for hours!

The quilt retreat was so much fun! We had wine (I still can't drink and sew!) and the food at San Damiano is excellent; we had 3 iPods, and games, and a good time was had by all. Some of the Divas think they have privacy on the internet, so no pictures.

And I came back to more good news! Both of the quilts that I submitted to the East Cobb Quilt Show were accepted! I submitted RA, aka the Sunshine Quilt, and Batik Sun Dance. East Cobb is a juried and judged show. I have to work on RA a bit more...under the gun for time, I wasn't as careful with sewing the binding on. I can't wait to get feedback on my work! Let's make a note of that when I'm backing here crying about something the judges said! I've never submitted work to be judged before, so this should be...interesting!

I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara I could save the world.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Why there are UFO's...

Seriously! This is an 8-hour block! One block! People complete entire quilts in less time! So admittedly my paper piecing skills are a little rusty, and hopefully as I go along this will be faster, or it really will end up as a UFO! BTW - This is the pattern and fabric that got me in trouble in Chicago at the end of the show.

Knowing me, this one will probably get is soooooo challenging, and I do love a challenge. I admit to having ADD. I do get bored easily. Which I guess is why that "just can't cut it," a pattern with a bunch of large squares and rectangles, still isn't completed.

So, Marva called me with good news today - RA, aka The Sunshine Quilt, won second place at the quilt show. Actually third place, but who am I to argue? There was a tie for first place! How bout that? I've never won a ribbon in my life, never even crossed my mind that this could be in the running for a ribbon, so that was pretty cool.

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When it hands you tomatoes, make Bloody Mary's!"

Monday, August 03, 2009

Thank goodness for Epsom Salts!

Whew! Friday we hung the quilts for the Brown Sugar Stitchers show, The Many Facets of African-American Quilting, at the South Fulton Arts Center, 4645 Butner Rd, Atlanta, GA. I think we finally left about 9:30 PM - I think we started about 1:30 in the afternoon. We had intended to start earlier, but a tree fell down and our start time was delayed. I got off a plane from Philadelphia and went right to the Arts Center, even though Marva had sent me an email not to come. Some folks are just hard headed! I was so sore, all I could do was fall in bed. Back up Saturday morning to get to the center for 8:30. I was there all by myself! We were worried about some quilts falling down and there were about 5 quilts that had not been hung. Only about 5 or so quilts fell and we were able to get everything up in time. I was worried early in the morning because we did not have a lot of traffic, but by the afternoon, there were hundreds of people there. Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi was wonderful! I got my books signed and then we went to dinner with her. She is very entertaining, well spoken, and we saw some quilts that will be in her Obama book/show. We were not allowed to take pictures (darn!), but the book will be amazing!
ATL folks - the show is fantastic, and worth the drive from wherever you are!

In Philly, Jennifer and I did the Rocky Steps (Philadelphia Museum of Art)...I didn't see Rocky, but the steps weren't that bad. We were both going, "That wasn't so bad!"

So...what else? I sent Miz Rosie a card to celebrate completion of her second masters a couple of weeks ago...

I am dog tired! I think I can finish piecing the "Can't Cut It" pattern tonight, though. It's easy peasy.

" When life hands you lemons, ask for Tequila and salt and call me!"