Saturday, October 30, 2010

Possum

How can I describe it?  A furry animal that seems a bit evil:
Opossum: A marsupial with a ratlike prehensile tail and hind feet with an opposable thumb.
In New Zealand, it's a pest.  Hunted by the gajillions just to get rid of it.  Making a killing in more ways that one... now used up to 40% in various yarns in combination with merino wools.  Get your souvenir Possum Fur Nipple Warmers here!
In Australia, it's a protected species!  (I didn't declare my yarns at Australian customs for fear of starting a protest.)  Can't touch the hair on their heady-head-head!
Worldwide: Available at Etsy.


 After a chilly walk around Auckland in great contrast to the South Pacific islands I hastily picked up needles and planned for some ear-warmth by our next stop.  The rest of our cruise would be in the colder southern climes. My little bit of heaven made from Touch Possum Yarn, merino wool 60%, Possum Fur 30%, Nylon 10%.  My fashion design and toasty.  (I could tell others were envious.)

See previous blog for modeling on-site (NZ).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ivories, That too!

Keeping in shape.
My hub is very envious.  He works his tail off keeping his lip(s) from becoming mush. I go away and don't see a keyboard for 5 weeks.  I rehearse/practice/play two days later.  There's something about using your fingers, (maybe it's the computer keyboard - however, iPods don't help) and everyday knitting that makes it not that difficult.
So much for philosophizing on dexterity, but what about playing the pedals on the organ?  That's memory too.  And I really feel that that talent is subjective to... so many things.  One minute it's working, and the next I tell my heel from my toe.  When pedaling goes awry for someone else, I'm the last to smirk.  I don't even roll my eyes... It's a phenomenon that scares the B-G-B's out of me every time I play.
Unlike knitting, which I can throw in the corner, or stomp on, rip it out, and/or ignore, pedal notes played in a highly resonant chamber are out there never to be retrieved.
Such is life.  And we organists become calloused by it. Oddly enough, the public will withstand a great deal before dealing with it... When it goes well, "how sweet it is!"
Karmøy, Norway, M and his trumpet (August 2009)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More Ideas from Hege

Her Ravelry site has given me inspirations to... KNIT!!  I probably don't need all that much of a push but I've been slowed down for a month or so by "activities" of the cruise/holiday sort.  Time to buckle down!
Here's an idea for a kerchief called Criminal Minds Mystery Kerchief.  It's a KAL... etc.

Meanwhile I'm knitting a-long on my Europa Shawl.  After many detours in the past few months (i.e. FO's & UFO's) I sat down yesterday and was able to complete 3 rows with no dirty words attached!  I blame it on the ship's motion.
Here's my new view:
How much did I accomplish on the cruise (in 5 weeks)?  Not so much on this project.  This one was the go-to project when I had the deadlines met for my other works.  See the three horizontal sections? When I left home I was in the middle of the middle section.  When I arrived home I was half way between the top and the lifeline. (Gotta move that lifeline...)

Oh, my friend, Hege!

Want to know what wives thought about in the 50's? Complete with 2010 update. See how easy it is to blog, when you read others and they are so industrious, and talented?  Here's a link for all of us:
Cloudberry

She almost never has this kind of thing posted and I found myself LOL!
PS: Cloudberry Jam is the best.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Still knitting

13-1/4 hours over the pacific with needles in my hands. Soon I'll have new progress to report. And fond thoughts of a month of travel at top speed of 25 mph.

Home:  Realizing that I missed (in random order) seeing the stars at night, Fall leaves, hanging out in PJ's, the quietness of no roaring humming engines, a solid floor, and a hubby who loves and feeds me.

Sent from my iPod
Julia

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pictures

I have had such ^&%*&*&%^$#### luck at posting pictures.  Here's my LAST attempt before crossing the Pacific AGAIN.



Fake phone booth in Wellington, NZ

Juju in the Fun Zone

My newly knitted possum fur headband... Just in time!  Brrrrr

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Last Days at Sea

Somehow a month has gone by and we are sailing the roughest part of our trip. Around the southern end of New Zealand and across the Tasman Sea.

The waves have been rough and we are proficient at stepping sideways.

Juju is now sipping water from a straw, feeding herself great gobs of scrambled eggs, riding a mini tricycle with foot/wave power, saying "mama" and touching her nose on command. (on command doesn't sound so nice but that's what we do...)
We, adults, are still speaking civilly to each other and haven't given up on forming a winning Trivia team.

New Zealand was very beautiful even in the rain. After being on a tropical island cruise it was shocking to need layers of wooly clothing. P and I gladly shopped for yarn. I quickly knitted up a head band/ear warmer which I used on the south island.



Current conditions and position:
Thursday October 21
Traveled 9507 naut miles since San Francisco
670 NMiles to Sydney.
Rough seas waves 7.5 to 12 feet
Traveling at 17 knots per hour
Wind is 45 knots at 90 degrees across the deck.
Position is 39 degrees south 163 degrees east
The air and sea temperatures are 53 degrees F.

Swimming days are over! Hot tub, maybe.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Auckland

Still heading south. Today is Friday and by the time we rolled out of bed we were at the dock. Tonight we leave after dark so city lights will be all we'll see.
First off we found a yarn shop within sight of the ship. What about that possum yarn? There goes my yarn diet! C found something she wants for Juju but we had to run off without further purchases.
My friend from the past (we see each other every 12 years) picked us up and we were whisked away across the harbor to Devonport. A pretty island-like community on a peninsula. We talked and talked and looked for several caches unsuccessfully. We found another yarn shop which had lovely soft possum blends made into irresistible samples. We didn't resist. The area is as pretty and exotic looking as I remembered. I still believe that the birds sing in a foreign language.
Back in the city P and I headed back to "the only yarn shop left in Auckland city center". After picking up a little more yarn we were rewarded by locating this Internet cafe. An hour well spent.
Still no pictures.  Blogger isn't giving me the usual options, so you'll have to imagine!!
In a week, we'll have exhausted New Zealand, and we'll be thinking of home...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A few pics

Yesterday was our birthday day with extreme do everything day.

We participated in a record number of games in honor of the birthday boy and had a party with 5 little girls in a closed dining area within reach of the buffet. Picture dozens of tables with fine dining water glasses and five under five sugar high bodies playing with balloons and automatic sliding doors. Management and some unsuspecting passengers quickly realized how this event, had it been held in a more public area, say, a formal dining room, could have turned ugly. The only other birthday parties we have attended onboard have been in the kids' playrooms. It was fun for the adults and a delicious cake, special ordered, was a hit. Of course, for more details you can hear about it at jujubebaby.blogspot.com and for more pictures of the cruise, life and living take a look at picasa.
 
Tuesday, October 12, 2010.
The last of the tropical islands are just off the bow this morning. Docking at Fiji in the eastern hemisphere. Tonight we head south to New Zealand.
Position this morning: South 18' 07.91 East 178' 24.11

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Knitting Too!

Mr. Foster is finished. 
P finished her shawl, blocked on the bed, disturbing the routine for our room steward. 
J finished a cowl (a shameless small project that took forever) and is a gift for someone.
P started a vest.  A big bulky weight, multiple skein project.  "Started" is the operative word.
J contines to resurrect her shawl (Europa) with various degrees of success with the "nupps".  Interjecting unkind words directed at nupps and self, between P's unkind words to self and new project:  Candy cane socks.
gotta get more pics!

Dates and datelines

Monday, October 11, 2010, 4 AM  Pay no attention to blogger's date.

Time for…. Where in the world is ….

And what time is it?

Got up early this morning!  Yes, early means I awoke in the middle of the night, and had thoughts running through my head.  Thoughts that seem so brilliant that I have to share them with the world and if I don’t get up and sit in the bathroom (so I don’t disturb my roommate who is gently sawing wood) they will be lost forever.
Here it is early: 2:30 AM, somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, pitch black, gently rocking back and forth, having sailed more than 6,000 Nautical Miles in 18 days.  “Somewhere” is a misnomer since GPS says we are heading SSW just along the International Dateline.  Most know-it-all geography buffs, me included, assume that until we cross that 180º meridian we are stuck lagging behind at the end of everyone’s day (throughout the entire world, in fact).  In fact, if you bring up a map of Fiji, or much of the South Pacific, which I did not until it was printed for passengers in general, you’ll see that we are ahead of everyone.  Suddenly!  Instead of saying we are 8 hours behind you, we now have made up the time, and are 16-18 hours ahead of you!  It’s Monday!  And we are still W of 180º.  Just when I thought I had it figured out.

We “lost” a day.  For many days we’ve been setting our clocks back an hour at bedtime, making 25 hour days, and here we are, taking those gained hours and pretending they are a whole day without the day.  Yesterday was Saturday, and today is… Monday, of course!
Have you looked at a map?  Can you see that the Dateline isn’t always on the 180º meridian?  That’s where we are.  It has wreaked havoc on most passengers:  Where did my day go?  Am I paying for a non-existent day on this ship?  If I keep going and don’t return via the dateline will I get younger?  It’s my birthday that’s missing! 

A few weeks ago I alluded to the fact that October 11 would disappear and my SIL would miss his birthday.  Somehow, calendars were adjusted (I’m sure it’s the Canadians’ fault) and we skipped October 10 instead.  Sometime in the night between October 9 and 10, we jumped a day to make it October 11!  Birthday party is all planned for later today.  Who’s attending?  All of Juju’s friends and their parents.  It’s called the exclusive club of “Fun Zone”, the play area onboard.  We’ve commandeered part of (one of) the dining room(s) for dinner, cake and balloons.  What do the Canadians have to do with it?  I suspect that the Canadians were the loudest to complain about missing the 11th.  It’s their Thanksgiving Day, and according to some, it’s downright unforgivable to skip it! Happy birthday, H!

Hey!  I’m not missing another Sunday at home!  Now if I could just figure out how to get paid for it…
ps:  I have a couple of blog entries that I attempted with videos.  No success.  Sorry for the lapse.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tahiti

We parked here at the dock last night after traveling less than 25 miles from Moorea. Tahiti Moorea and Bora Bora are all Fr Polynesia. From the show South Pacific I should have known that Bali Hai was a mountain but I was duly impressed when we approached yesterday morning. Clouds catching the mountain tops made the rocking and pitching of the past 4 days to get here a distant memory. The pools inboard became raucous seas. Remember the stationary pool table on the Carribean ? Just like that only the water is trying to be stationary. I have another of my famous videos to show before and after but no promises when I'll get it posted.
Yesterday we found a tour to take us around the island of Moorea. It is the least developed of the three. We had fleeting sunshine and some liquid sunshine (as our guide said).
We had been closed out of tours offered by the ship so we located one at the dock. A wonderful native Tahitian young woman who offered to take our money and drive us to the bus tour that had just left. Looked like our best offer so we (P & I) jumped into a newer model jeep along with another couple and experienced island driving at its best! Our young woman driver tore out of the parking/dock area with Tahitian fire in her eyes and the sea of people opened up as if she was Moses! Once we hit the solitary paved road that rims the island she careened through gawking tourists, narrowly missing anyone who set foot on the pavement.

Sent from my iPod
Sorry gotta go
Julia

Mr. Foster gets a "fitting"

first look at Moorea, Fr. Polynesia (Shiprock? No?)
The travelers on Maui
This outfit is finished, no picture yet. A proud sailor!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tahiti before Tahiti

If you get to Oahu, Hawaii, you don't need to go any further... unless you WANT to!  I want to, so I am currently just south of the equator heading for French Polynesia... three islands called Moorea, Papeete, and Bora Bora. 
Earlier this week, I got my fill of island drumming, and am really looking forward to the sights, and the sounds not so much. 
At the Polynesian Cultural Center, at the north shore of Oahu, just outside the gates of Brigham Young University-Hawaii,  we visited the virtual worlds of all the Pacific Islands.   Here's a taste of the HULA!


video
PS.  I don't know what I'm doing when I download a video.  I feel lucky that anything is showing on this page... bear with me while I learn...
PPS.  Finished Mr. Foster's Sailor Outfit-- Hooray!

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