Sunday, December 21, 2014

Baby Shower, Booties and Catching Up

Hi Dear Folk,

Well a busy weekend but got some projects done which always makes you feel good. Saturday I had a slow quiet morning, tea, toast and marmalade at the dining room table, just enjoying letting my brain rest.  I know that sounds crazy but when you work all week and you go, go, go all day mentally, to just let ones brain rest seems most rewarding.  I wrote a letter and just contemplated on projects I want to accomplish.  More on that later.

Just catching up with these baby shower pics from a couple of weeks ago.  I made three pairs of booties, and here they are.  I think I already said that my friend made three pairs too, and from the very same pattern, but she made a couple of little suede ones looking like moccasins.

I love the little owl print, it was hard to find a print small enough for these little booties.  I like the owl buttons that I found.

After I finished these green ones, which are my least favourite, I wished that I had done them with a contrasting colour lining.

These ones were made out of felted boiled wool, the felt was quite thick. It was from an old boiled wool jacket that I had. I lined them on the sole with the same colour orange as the little owl booties.  I didn't blanket stitch around the bottom, so it showed the orange.  It looked so nice showing , but I didn't get a good photo to show this, you just have a peek of the contrasting orange in the middle of the photo.  I did like the little duck buttons.

The baby shower was held in the Garden Room at a hotel on the Main Line.  Here is the group at my table, above and below.

Some more friends at other tables.  We had access into the main dining room were brunch was being served buffet style and we were able to partake of this, most delicious.  You can see that area in the background, in the photo below.


It was a lovely shower and Scarlett is a lovely mum, the little girl in red is her daughter from a first marriage.  Tom and Scarlett, made the choice not to know the sex of this child until the birth day.  This will be the first grandchild on her husband's side, so much awaited.

One of my projects that I tackled on yesterday, was to clean and rearrange my sitting room to lay down my new rug.  In the end I found a Chinese rug at Boscov's 60% off, all wool which is what I wanted if possible.  I have a couple of projects in mind, which is to dye the sofa cover in black.  When I ordered it, that style did not come in black, but now it does, I do not feel like spending more money so will have a go at dyeing it.  Then I want to cover the back loose covers in the same Chinese tapestry fabric that I have on my other chair and Eastlake sofa.

I have missed my Chinese table which has resided in the basement for a while.  When you entertain it's large enough to put a tea tray on and still have enough room for plates and other things round about.  It also has six sturdy little stools which sit underneath, and are very handy.  I have to look for black lacquer paint to touch them up.  I have had this table for probably almost thirty years.  Rob played many a game and painted many a masterpiece while sitting at this table.  So tonight Mr. B. will help me bring it up from the basement.  He has cleaned and bought the stools up for me already.  This is when I miss The Boy, when he is here he helps his dad move furniture.

I like to have a little change and rearrange.  In fact I am the least furniture rearranging person in my family.  My sister is always rearranging, and my mum used to do it quite often.  I remember as a teenager having a friend over, Martin, Mum decided on a room change, so my sister BB, Martin and I helped, it was quite late at night and I can still see Martin standing outside holding the circular dining room table.  It was easier to take it out of one outside door and bring it through the other, instead of navigating through the house.  Happy fun memories.

Well that's my weekend, besides stacking firewood by the front door, because the temperature is around 32 f and we need to keep the wood stove going and cleaning the oven, which I try and save until wintertime, as it heats up the kitchen a treat.  However the oil caught on fire at the bottom, it soon went out.  I turned the oven off, let it cool, scraped the bottom out and started the self cleaning process all over again.  In all honesty it's never quite self-cleaning is it? 

I came across this saying, which I thought was very good about change:

"When faced with winds of change, it is better to set your sails than to build barriers."

Appropriate for many areas of life.

Take care,

Friday, December 19, 2014

Makaha Congregation

Hi Dear Folk,

I would like to say we had a relaxing vacation in Hawaii by the beach, but when there's so much to see and do who has the time, maybe next time.  We were up and out by 7:00AM to be in time for the bus taking us to Makaha Congregation for a day with the friends.

Here we ran into again our dear little friend from Argentina and her dad.

The brother with the sign was our coach guide, he was not from Makaha congregation, but this congregation below, who turned out to wave at us as the bus went past in about ten seconds flat, and I only just about got a photo.  Wasn't that sweet?

Here we are being greeted and getting off the bus.

A continental breakfast was waiting for us.  Look at the beautiful table arrangements.  I love the flowers in Hawaii such vibrancy and lush.

Here were the dear friends whose car group I was in and who I went out with on service, both above and below.

Afterwards before going back to the Kingdom Hall for lunch we stopped off at this beach and a cave.

The food was delicious, many Hawaiian dishes.  I guess this sister wondered what the choice was.

This dear sister named after an Audrey Hepburn movie, was such a dear, I got to chatting with her and she said I have something for you and gave me the most beautiful Pareo, which is the Hawaiian and Polynesian word for Sarong.  It is black with beautiful large orange and white hibiscus flowers, I just love it, I will always treasure it as the outpouring of Love that we received from the Makaha Congregation.

The sister above makes beautiful jewelry from beach glass and stones.

These dear friends did a wonderful Hawaiian dance on the platform, with all those graceful hand movements, but I only have video of that.  The friends in the center, were to become during the coming week very good friends to Barb and I, although at this time I did not know this.

How could I not take a photo of this flower arrangement in the ladies bathroom.

A sad farewell.

Makaha is on the leeward side of Oahu, so is much drier and very often the area looks quit brown, but when we were there it looked very green because of the recent typhoon and rains.  Makaha Beach is one of the biggest beaches on the island that I got to see, but not so many tourists unless you're a surfer visit this side of the island.  Different friends were assigned to congregations within the area of Honolulu.  I think we went to the most distant congregation, an hours drive, so we got to see a lot of the island.

In the evening we took the hotel shuttle bus over to Waikiki Beach to catch the Hawaiian dancing. A show is put on three times a week and is free.  It is very good.  I especially enjoyed the older ladies, so graceful.

Aren't they lovely?


Thursday, December 18, 2014

End of Day

Hi Dear Folk,

At the end of the day after our palace visit we caught the bus and headed back to our hotel.  Here are some photos between the bus stop and our hotel.  The twin towers are our hotel the Hawaiian Prince.

As you cross the bridge this is what you see, a canal, known as the Ala Wai Canal see here  It was built in the twenties to drain the rice fields and add more real estate in Honolulu.  It has been and still is somewhat controversial.  When heavy thunder storms hit it becomes overloaded with water, and at times the sewers are overloaded and raw sewerage has been emptied out into the canal, which empties into the sea, which means that raw sewerage finds its way onto Waikiki Beach.

The delegate help desk in our hotel.  Here Joy, who we first met at the Diamond Head congregation, is helping out.  It was so good to see her.

Here I am very happy to have received my delegate package and my Lei.  All the items in the package were totally unexpected, so many things in there that I knew that I would forget them, so laid them out on my bed and took a photo, must find that photo.

We ate here several times.  It was called the Coffee House, not too far from our hotel.  It reminded me of Hawaii Five O 1970s version.  They actually make a very good soup, different every night so we tried a couple of those.  You have to eat cheap in-between eating more expensively.

One of the expensive meals we had was at the Japanese restaurant in our hotel which came highly recommended by the lady at the bus stop as being truly authentic.  I tried the buffet and there were items on there that I liked, but so many items which just are not a western pallet.  Barb stuck with an a la carte menu of tempura, I tried the buffet. 

Barb had eye contact and gestures going on all evening with this little old Japanese man sitting just across from me at a table, the tables were small and quite close.  She actually got him to crack a smile with her use of the chopsticks.  His son sat opposite to him and never spoke a word all evening.  So to cut a long evening of rapport short, Barbara thought that they did not speak English, a lot of guests in the hotel did not, as it is a Japanese owned hotel with a lot of Japanese visitors.  As he got up and left the table I heard him say quietly to his son, well that meal wasn't worth it.

When I told Barbara later, because she did not hear him say that, we just rolled around in hysterics because of all these theatrics and gestures all evening long going on between them.

So we came to the conclusion, and I like a lot of ethnic foods, that we do not like truly authentic Japanese, and let me tell you Benihana is not it.

Japanese foods a very bland compared with Korean, which has more spice to it.  Still there were many individual dishes that I liked, but I could have eaten out at least twice on what the buffet cost me.  So we chalk it all down to experience and that is what life is about.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ioloni Palace Honolulu

Hi Dear Folk,

We found a bakery on the edge of China Town, a young man was running it and was so very nice.  We bought the most delicious ready made turkey hoagie, which is a long fresh bread roll, $6.00 we asked him to cut the two sections in half and it was enough for both Barb and I for lunch.  We didn't know what to expect, but it was delicious, with turkey, lettuce, tomato, black olives, pickles and cheese.  I think it was our best value meal in Hawaii.

This is where we sat and ate it in the grounds of the palace.  Here is the dragon fruit, very easy to peel and split in two.  I would say the texture is like a Kiwi fruit, taste similar, but not the same.  I will definitely try them again.

The front of the Ioloni Palace, it's considered American Florentine style I think.  The history of Hawaii is a sad one you should read up on it, very interesting and of course there is a film Princess Kaiulani.  In fact the palace was taken over and used as government offices for many years.

When the Royal Hawaiian family were ousted from their position all the furniture was sold off and dispersed across the world.  Over a period of years the trust has gradually been getting things back.  At the time the palace was built it had electric, even before The White House.  It's another sad chapter in American history.

Many Royal dignitaries of Europe were entertained in this dining room.  In fact the Hawaiian King did a tour of Europe and other countries, including the court of Queen Victoria.  The flag of Hawaii has a Union Jack in the corner, the stripes would have been red, white and blue but the flag maker put the stripes in the incorrect order so they made it white, red and blue and it has stayed that way ever since.

I like to see the old photographs of how it used to look.

The respectable American business men of Hawaii had the cheek to sentence the Queen to five years hard labour.  In the end they imprisoned her in one of the palaces smaller bedrooms, where she made the above quilt and wrote many songs.

If you're interested in the history of Hawaii you should read the book by James A. Michener called Hawaii.  Probably best remembered for his book South Pacific on which they loosely based the musical. 

We very much enjoyed the audio tour here and felt that understanding more of the history of Hawaii helped us understand the Hawaiian people far better.

So I will sign off, with my name in Hawaiian.  Literally translated Follower of Christ, pronounced Ukali o ke akua although I was given another translation which is more a phonetical translation from Christine, Kilikina

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