Monday, September 28, 2015

Surfside Beach Quilt Retreat #1

It's here!  It's here!  The long awaited beach retreat is finally here.  Guess what?  I am so ready for this.  It's a BEACH people.  What could possibly be better than quilting and a beach combined?  I cannot come up with anything.

It's an early morning run to drop off Mister work and abandon him to find his way home.  Then back to the house, load the car and I'm on my way to the bank by 9:30.  Onto the interstate 15 minutes later.  Woohoo --- lookout Surfside, here I come and I'm bringing 15 others along.

I make it as far as Richland before hunger takes over and it's time for a stop.  Once my belly is happy, the road takes us as a companion again.  About the time I get to Huntsville, I am ready to stretch my legs again.  It just so happens that there is something here to see.  Perfect timing -- let's go for a short walk.

There is always time in my life to learn.  Especially about history.  I LOVE it.  Even though I have only lived in Texas for about 8 years now, I call it home and it is near and dear to my heart.  So, Sam Houston, I'm happy to finally meet you.  (He is 77 feet tall.  That's why the people look like toys.)

Alright, enough stalling.  It is time to tackle Houston.  Let's go girl.

After a couple of detours, a near out-of-gas experience, and a couple of hours, I am in Lake Jackson and ready to buy some groceries.  Whew -- once that is out of the way.  I'm off to Surfside and arrive right around 4:15.  It's absolutely wonderful to breath in that ocean air, feel the breeze on my face and stand and stare at the gorgeous house we have.  I have just enough time to take pictures so that we will know what the house is supposed to look like, unload my car, and sit down when Lori arrives followed shortly by Sharron, Lonnie, and Lovetta.  They start the unloading process and finish up in time to just barely start rearranging furniture when Sue arrives.  That's our crowd for dinner so since our tummies are crying, we head to the Red Snapper for a wonderful dinner and great conversation.  You can all just shoot me now because for some reason I have no pictures of this BUT I do have a card from a strange man at a nearby table.  Giggles.

After dinner, Charlotte, Laurie, and Lovetta arrive and start their set up process too.  We have moved all the furniture and have run electric cords to several spots.  Now to fill in the area.  It's time for some sleep.  How did it get to be so late?

I am up in time for the sunrise.  Oh yeah.  So glad I didn't miss this.  Lori and I take as many pictures as we can and then I have to go down on the beach to get a few there as well.  Wonderful.  Oh, I can feel my soul being nurtured already.

Our home away from home and the beach view we have.

The house is coming alive and already buzzing with machines.  Stacy and Val arrive and bring a boat load of cheer with them.  Stacy is a "newbie" and we all love those.  Her enthusiasm is contagious and helps all of us to remember the wonder of it all.

Lunch from Subway, courtesy of Charlotte, Lonnie, and Lovetta.  Yum.  Now it's time to get some work done.   (Yes, tiaras are in place -- I even wore mine all the way down yesterday.)

Progress is being made by everyone.  Lori has a hexagon project she is having fun with and Sue has a top she's put together.

The room is filling.  Roberta and Dora arrive as well as Stephannie and Jennifer.  I think that we are only missing 2 now.  Little work stations EVERYWHERE!  But it's working.  Yay.

The beach calls and if you have handwork --- you answer.  What better place to rip out a seam?

A second, movable, cutting station is put into place on the dining table.  Yep, we are adaptable.

Lydia and Tammy arrive before dinner and our table is full indeed.  Yep, that's my little station in the corner.

Dora has a ta-da before the evening is over.  Wow.  Me?, you ask.  Well, I have clue 1 of the mystery in constant finished.  I have also managed to debone a few shirts.  Woohoo.

As the evening draws to a close, people go to bed rather early.  I think the fresh air has done them all in.  I stay up for a bit to make sure I have Clue 2 finished as well.  It is quiet in here.

Here's my big ta-da for the day.  Clues 1 and 2 and some cut up shirts.  Woohoo, I'm getting it done.  Not.

Good morning day two.  Another gorgeous sunrise greets those of us up early enough to see it.  Not as glorious as yesterdays, but beautiful still the same.

 Meanwhile, inside Roberta and Lori are in charge of breakfast.  I think Lori reminds me of my kids when I used to cook and they wanted to chat.  Love, love, love this picture.

 It's perfect "outside coffee" weather and everyone is taking advantage of it.  What more could we ask for right now?  Seriously.  This is just about perfect.

The early morning is perhaps my favorite time of day.  Even at home, I love to listen to the birds singing and seem to be more productive first thing.  It's a great time of day and made even better with friends sharing the same special moments.  Look who's getting sappy here.

Yes, we do have pajama girls here.  I have thought and thought about getting a pair of these.  Pretty sure it's gonna happen.  Don't they look cute?

Okay everyone.  Back to work.  I am not the only one working on Ribbons of Love -- so are Jennifer and Sharron.  I'm glad cos I am having to borrow Sharron's printed clues.  Ah memory -- wherefore art thou?

It's so fun to watch projects coming together and people coming together.  So many of these ladies had never met before and I love seeing new friendships bloom.

There are always little conversations going on around the room.  Some lighthearted, some just what the moment needs and a chance to share a deeper emotion.

I've decided to move outside today.  Deboning shirts can be done out there and truly enjoy the beach sounds and smells.  It doesn't take long for others to join while shopping trips keep coming and going.

 Ms. Roberta has brought some knitting to do and sets to work on a scarf while on the deck.  It's nice to have her company.

About this time, Stephannie, Lydia, and I decide that we can't stand it anymore.  It is time to get into the water.  We would have gone last night but for some reason it was mosquito mania outside.

I think all three of us are in this pic.  This is just so much fun.  Why don't we act like kids more often?

Everyone else is busy working away.  Or are they?  With this many empty seats -- I'm betting there's a shopping trip in progress.

Dinner time!!!  Why is it that food always tastes so much better at retreat?  And that we are starving?  Well, tonight is Lydia and my turn to cook and since I am doing my daughter's recipe and she isn't here, I am having a bit of a panic attack.  I wish I could get beyond things like this better, but it is what it is.  After falling apart, the meal turns out okay and we finish it off with ice cream sundaes.  WITH BLUE  BELL.  Yes, the famine in Texas is over.

 There's even room for some fun now that I am breathing again.

 Oh goodness is this every yummy.  So many fun toppings to choose from.

However, one person seems to be immune to the lure of Blue Bell.  How on earth does Roberta do this?   See her up there sewing away while we are stuffing our faces?

They sprayed for mosquitos this morning so it is time for an evening walk on the beach.  Oh my.  The moonlight is wonderful and no bugs.  Woot woot.

 Someone has even built a sand turtle just for me.  I know it was for me.  Don't you think differently.  They knew I was up in this big old house.

We're going walking . . .

All together now:  Pose.  Oh and look -- there's a sand crab holding still and posing for us as well.

I love the way they run across the beach in front of us as we walk.  What fun little creatures.  My grands would be giggling merrily and chasing them.  Yes, I let my grands terrorize sand crabs.  Please don't crucify me for it.  I DON'T let them kill them though.

Okay, back to work.  I have managed to finish clues 1-5, make my three block of the months, and debone another 8 shirts.  Yea baby.  I was a bit more productive today.  However, I appear to have taken over the sofa.  I wonder if anyone would like to sit here.  It's time to crash.  Stephannie and I are the last ones to give up.  It's 2:00 a.m.

I missed the sunrise this morning.  I woke up.  Honest I did.  Then I just couldn't do it and fell back over.  Then I slept until 9:00.  What???  Crazy for me at retreat.  It's been raining this morning though so I wonder if that helped.  However, the smell of cinnamon rolls pulled me out of my coma.  Oh dang, what a wonderful thing to wake up to.  It doesn't take too long, though, and the weather clears up.  I move outside to work on my shirts and am soon lucky enough to be presented with the most beautiful light for a picture.  Thank you Mister, for teaching me to watch for these moments.

I don't want to forget to take a group picture but have no Kay to do it for me.  What to do, what to do.  Oh, I know -- I'll just go ask some random person down the beach.  It works and two lovely ladies do us the honors.  What a fantastic group of women.  I adore them all and have learned something from each and every one of them.  Thank you Lovetta, Dora, Lydia, Roberta, Lori, Sue, Stacy, Val, Laurie, Sharron, Jennifer, Tammy, Lonnie, Charlotte, and Stephannie.  This has been a blast.  (Keep reading, the post is not over.)

Lori has been working on her hexies and is covering the design wall with them.  They are so fun -- little old ladies on the beach fun.

The other set are traditional blocks which many in the room are making to help another out.  They will be set in a very modern pattern.  I simply cannot wait to see both of these when finished.

I have promised to post the finished quilts when they are complete.  Exciting!!

It's time to play again.  Yep, we have managed to coerce 4 more to join us.  And we're off.

Play time.

It's just so refreshing.  One feels absolutely rejuvenated, although exhausted at the same time.  Those waves take muscles to maintain your balance.

Back to the deck -- I AM going to finish these shirts.  The last are completed in the house as it has gotten dark and the blessed mosquitos are back.  I get 12 more finished for a total of 24, I think.  Whew.  Now to put them to good use.

Okay, the next event is the lunar eclipse.  Someone bought citronella candles and we have spray.  Please let the view be amazing tonight.

We start out with the moon hiding behind clouds.

It peeks out now and then and a person has to snap pictures rapidly.  People come and go hoping to catch it just right and still sew.  Me?  I stay put.  All by myself at times.  BUT, she finally shows herself with just a few light clouds in front of her.  I'm happy.

 Back in the house after the nature show, it's ta-da time.  Sue with her purse and top that still needs a few border pieces.

Lori's musical masterpiece

Val with teddy bears front and back

Stacy with a FIRST top.  How exciting.

Roberta's scarf (I stole this picture) and Dora with another container.

Tammy with a quilt top.  If I missed any, please send me pictures and let me know.

 Well that's it.  Another retreat is in the books.  Many pack up tonight and then head to bed.  I am absolutely loving that every last person stayed through today.  What fun.

Good morning.  It is pack up and clean up day.  We have to be out by 10 and again, I am thrilled that every single person stays to the end.  That's how it should always be.  Loving it so much that you don't want to leave the place or the people.  We are coming back next year and I couldn't be happier.  Thank you ladies.  You have made this experiment a complete success and I cannot wait to reconnect in other ways.  Drive safe and see ya online.  Bye Surfside --- we WILL be back.

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