One of THOSE days…

As many of you know I sew A LOT! When I’m not dancing hula or line dancing, I’m in my little sewing studio answering the requests of Mainland halau for skirts, blouses, bloomers, garment bags, etc. There are times though when I have all my projects done, all mailed out and I’m able to do other fun things. So, when three of my line dancing friends asked if I would like to take a “Serger Class” at the local fabric store I jumped at the chance. I have a really nice serger for finishing off the seams of the many garments I make, but I bought the demo model and didn’t receive any information on it so I have sort of muddled through learning all it can do. When I got to class I was told we were making an apron using the serger. It happened to be the exact model I had. Whoo-hoo, this brought me back to 8th grade home economics class. I don’t remember making an apron then, but it certainly was the kind of project we would’ve had.

I’m an extremely messy eater so I thought the apron could double as a “bib”. Every one else put the pocket low on their apron but I put mine high, so I could pull it open a little and collect all the goodies I manage to drop down the front of all my clothes. I mean, I am famous among my friends! I enjoy food, have a great appetite, never take or order more than I can eat and I always clean my plate. So, I made all the fancy stitching around the pocket and around the edges of the apron and the last thing to do was to add the straps. I sewed on the neck strap without twisting it in the back, sewed on both the waist straps, but when I went to put it on, I couldn’t find one of the waist straps. Had I forgotten to sew it on? Was I imagining I had sewn it on? It had been a long weekend catching up on projects before leaving for the Mainland. I was a little tired, but not THAT tired. Then, I realized what I had done. Not paying close attention, I had grabbed the corner to sew on the strap, but the corner I picked was on the bottom below the one strap in the right place. I just went, in a very loud voice, Oh No! Which, of course, cause all the ten other classmates to look at me. We all started to laughed and since the camera cell phone is always available everyone had a camera and I was the focus of attention for the next ten minutes modeling my crazy apron with two straps on one side, one of which was dragging on the ground. I think I will actually make it into the weekly newsletter.

I’m sure we all have those days when things don’t go quite as planned. I took the apron home and fixed it in just a few minutes, but it will provide a great laugh for some time to come.

Oh, No.
Advertisements

Dancing My Way Through Life and Other Fun…

These past few months have been way too busy for me. I had three large orders in a row, each with a performance deadline, so my stress level seemed to stay up in the sky for some time. And, to top it off I added an intermediate/advance line-dance class to my already full menu of dance–twice a week hula, thrice a week line-dance. I’ve also had some extra practices for hula performances.

Last Wednesday we danced for the elders at the Life Care Center. We’ve been invited to dance there once a month to give the residents a little something extra in their day. It’s always fun and they are so appreciative. This time I was asked if I would like to dance a solo. This is something I don’t normally do and I think other than my uniki to alaka’i many many years ago, it was my first time. I chose a beautiful song I had learned when on Maui. On Monday, at practice, the downloaded music played and after the first verse all of a sudden a verse I had never heard before came on. Yikes! We had danced to a different artist on Maui. The one I had described wasn’t available, so in a couple of days I had to choreograph the new verse, learn it, and then REMEMBER it, all of which I managed to do. All in all my performance went very well. I can’t say that for some of the other dances. One dance I do with one other girl didn’t quite have the beginning we had hoped for. We’ve always had troubled deciding when to start She has always relied on me to hear the subtle differences…but I didnʻt this time. While the first verse started, without our usual vamp, we stood facing each other trying to decide how to get started. We finally, after a few false starts got it together and as our hālau members cheered we finished the dance. Then a couple of mele later we were dancing a fun Tahitian number. I knew the third verse well, but as I looked down the line, the other front row girls obviously didnʻt and were doing movements all out of order. In order for me to look like I didnʻt know what I was doing, I sort of followed their lead until we all got back on track. Itʻs a good thing most of the audience had no idea and this dance was followed up by another soloist who just charmed them back into attention.

Yesterday was a full day. I marched in the Women’s March and was so proud of Hilo and such a marvelous turn-out. Then I went to a wonderful Ho’ike (fundraising show) for a local hālau. The program line up was spectacular, the prizes for the many drawings were equally spectacular and the whole program moved along without any delays, beginning and ending on time. This is relatively new in Hilo as we run on “Aloha Time”. I followed this fun activity with line dancing at the Eagles clubhouse that evening where all my fellow line dancers made a big deal about my birthday which is actually tomorrow. I went to bed thoroughly tired, but sated. Today at church, I was sung to and then a friend took me out to lunch. Tomorrow another friend is taking me out to lunch, so I will have had three days of celebration! I may want to turn 73 again!

Sincerity

The Kahu of my church always has inspirational sermons, but todayʻs was both inspirational and thought-provoking. The sermon was about work and the expectations therein. He stressed the ethics of work that should include diligence, respect and sincerity. This is to say not prescribing in “fake it until you make it”.

The word sincere has Latin roots–sin meaning without and cere meaning wax–without wax?  He told the story of olden days when most pots, dishes, cups, etc. are made by hand by a potter. The potter works hard at his craft. He spends hours shaping a piece, smoothing and putting in the finishing touches. Then the piece is glazed and put into the kiln for firing. There were times, though, when a piece would come out with a crack. After putting in so much time and effort, sometimes the potter just fills the crack with wax, re-glazes and re-fires his pot. Although it would look perfect on the outside, the flaw was noticeable by the trained eye. This pot is not as strong as a complete, unblemished pot.

So, eventually pots that not only look perfect but are without wax  are stamped”sin cere” to distinguish them from those that are repaired with wax. It is a sincere pot. It is actually as good as it looks. There is no pretense. What you see is sincerely what you get. So, applying this to work in the modern world it means that you should be diligent and sincere in the workplace…not going in and sneaking off to spend time on our cellphone or taking a quick nap in the warehouse. It means if you are being paid for 8 hours of work, those hours will be spent DOING the work.

I know this applies to me. In the Hawaiian culture when you are, as for myself, sewing a pāʻū for a hula dancer, you want to put good mana into that skirt. You want to have good thoughts. You want to have respect for the garment. Sometimes when things aren’t going as planned, as in having to take out seams, etc. I have to think about the mana I’m putting into the pāʻū. If the thoughts are not good thoughts I generally take a break until the frustration or stress passes lest I pass this on to the dancer. I want to be diligent, respectful and sincere.

Poetic musings

You make me see life from the other side, keeping it real, allowing the little things slide. Not letting emotions cloud life’s moments of revelation–adapting, evolving, changing to meet the challenges of friendship. It matters not if it’s “like” or “love”, it’s the way you feel when both options are equally solid.

Paint and Sip

Over the years I’ve heard of Paint and Sip parties but have never the opportunity to attend one until today. This was a fun(d)- raiser for the daughter of alaka’i of our hula class. Tehani is running for Miss Hawai’i Teen America so I wanted to help support her in that effort. I had no idea what to expect. What fun! Along with the Merlot and Chardonnay we had pizza, katzu chicken, pork and string beans, sushi, veggies and dip and a variety of cheese and crackers…and did I say wine?

We each were given a table easel along with an 8×10 canvas and an example to follow. The painting we were to try to copy became just a memory as each of us “made it our own”. Several did get a very close to the original, but many decided to add to, subject from or just totally change the topic altogether. The original was that of a huge moon which covered the top half of the bigger canvas. Under the moon was a silhouette of Mauna Kea with palm leaves and the ocean in the forefront. Melia did a very Tolkienesque landscape in soft watercolor like purples, blues and pinks, with a touch of gold and a little greenery.  Patty went with a smaller moon with the fluttery leaves of ohi’a in the top corners. I decided to depict my mountain with a snowy top. I have four leaves instead of three. I put my moon into the corner, but generally stuck with the program as painting is certainly not my forte. I took photos of my progress along the way. In the end I didn’t hate it though it isn’t quality work, but for my first painting, well, I don’t hate it.

My first attempt.

 

Adding the palm fronds and the shoreline.

 

This is coming along, but the snow looked too “pointy”. So three glasses of Merlot later, I change it once again…about the tenth time!  I softened the snow and at this point I also added a sprinkling of stars using a cool splatter technique. I then added my favorite constellation–Orion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Added stars, smoothed out the snow…all pau!

This was a fun experience. It has given me some insight into where my creativity lies. This evidently is not as an acrylic paint artist. I will continue to keep on my path as a fabric artist!

 

 

 

Old Lady

This afternoon I turned on the TV waiting for the NCAA National Championship game and to kill time while I was cooking dinner I flipped on Law and Order, SVU. An “old lady” is raped and people are wondering why anyone would want to rape an old lady.  While looking for evidence, one of the detectives asked the age of the old lady. Well, she was 72. Now this is also my age and I’ve never thought of myself as an old lady. But, it did get me thinking about aging and what it means to each of us. I have certainly noticed several changes in my body. Things are starting to go south, my hair is getting very thin and getting silvery. I’m discovering age spots on my legs and arms from spending way too much fun in the sun as a girl. I spend a lot of time bending over my sewing machine and I spent many years taking notes on a laptop computer at work so my back is getting a curvature it never had before. It’s more difficult to get up off the ground when I sit on it to put grommets into my hula implement bags.

On the good side I still have a lot of energy. I take four classes of dance a week with extra practices here and there. I still have enough balance to work out on my Simply Fit Board which helps keep the heart rate up, the waist trimmed. I’ve kept my weight down at 125-128. I sleep well and eat well. I enjoy cooking healthy and seldom eat out. I can still mow my yard although the huge buffalo grass has me whipped. I keep my mind from atrophy by trying to keep up with current events which unfortunately also makes my blood pressure rise, but since it’s always been very low, I’m not worried. Although I didn’t grow up with computers and Smart Phones, I can usually manage to use them without a lot of problems except for Windows 10, which I loathe. I have a lovely relationship with my youngest son who calls me every week just to talk. We always seem to find so much to talk about. And, I’m happy that both my sons are doing well and have very special women in their lives.

So, though I might be considered an “old lady” by some standards, by my standards I may be getting older, but I’m not feeling my age. I’m anxiously awaiting what is in store for me in the future…number one wish–a partner that dances!

The Oddest Memories

This morning I was on my computer browsing and came across a small bit about someone remembering something he had learned in college by Thomas Hardy. He mentioned that though it had been many years, he could still quote the passage. This got me to thinking about how our memories are quite amazing.

When I was in high school I had an English teacher who, at the time, I disliked for making us memorize the first few lines of the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. I can still, after 55 years,

still recite them and understand the Middle English:

Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
the droghe of Marche hath perced to the roote.
And bath every veyne in swich licour
of which ventu engendred is the flour.

This morning I decided to read the entire prologue’s 200 lines. What amazed me was although much of the English spelling has changed over the centuries, the sounds are still similar enough that I could read and understand much of these oddly written words  and in doing so could appreciate what an amazing poet Chaucer was. His description of some of the characters that would be featured in his Tales are so lively. He painted pictures with his words which enabled me to SEE his traveling companions in my mind.

I remember some time ago the movie “The Knight’s Tale” came out. I loved it. My favorite character was Geoffrey Chaucer, the “knight’s announcer” prior to jousting battle. I think now I will have to read “The Knight’s Tale” by the poet himself.

I guess I owe all of this to Mrs. Hall. Thank you so much for engendering the passion to continue learning.