2 years

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@ Hawaii Loa Photo by Jodie Roeca

2 years since Oat passed. 2 years being on my own since I met him 33 years ago. 2 years since the saddest day of my life. 2 of the hardest years of my 58 years.

I’m trying my best to carry on, working through things slow.

I’m keeping busy learning new things, quilting, stamping, preserving and spinning.

And making new friends and connecting with my old crew. Laughing, talking and just being silly as we enjoy each others company.

Oat would have enjoyed moving back to Hawaii with me. Maybe too much to do for him but so many opportunities for him to create a new costume photo shoot or a shelter we could use to go camping in. Who knows what he would have came up with all the stuff my dad has. He would have loved all of the tarps. Miss you.

Team Cheery Oats

That’s TEAM Cheery Oats to be exact.

I decided to participate NJ Sharing network 5k Celebration of Life on Sunday, June 3 in New Providence, NJ. I’m getting a team together and that’s where Team Cheery Oats comes in.

I wanted a name to play off of his name and I thought of cereal (oatmeal) and with friends from work we came up with a cereal name for our team. “Cheery” is kind of fitting for him as the customers told me how they remembered his smile and how he would greeting them with a hello.

Working on a t-shirt design for out team. I googled cereal boxes and found this as my inspiration.

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Here’s what I got so far. Still fussing with it.

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Please join our team and to walk and raise money for NJ Sharing network. Our team goal is a $1000. And you get a Team Cheery Oats shirt. Here’s the link to the team page: http://njsn.convio.net/site/TR/Events/20185k?team_id=1820&pg=team&fr_id=1091

If you can’t join us on June 3rd, please think of donating to our team to reach our goal. Here’s a link my page where you can make a donation: http://njsn.convio.net/site/TR/Events/20185k?px=1013597&pg=personal&fr_id=1091

Thank you all for the support throughout this year. It’s been tough but the support helped me take one day.  I hope to see you on June 3.

 

Repurpose, Restart, Happy New Year!

Decided to frog (rip apart–knitting term) the first sweater I ever made. It was for Oat and made with 2 strand of super soft merino wool from Morehouse Farm in NY. I decided to make a throw for my dad who is always cold in Hawaii.

2691399216_bca0487d38_oHere’s Oat wearing the sweater in Prague in 2008. This is the beginning of my Mr. Handmade.

My little Orange loved helping me with frogging the sweater.

He’s exhausted from all his hard work.

Ollie knows better to get involved with the yarn. Sleeping on my leg is his job.

This is what I’ve been doing. Trying to repurpose things that meant something to Oat. Repurposing his knit hats into shawls and wraps for Wrapped in Love. Hawaiian shirts will be turned into a patchwork quilt. And hopefully I can turn his old jean into an interesting project.

I hope this help me with a restart in 2018. Lots of changes and more to come.

Happy New Year to everyone! Hope it is good one for everyone.

OMG! Look what I got!

Blanket One has landed with bunch of goodies for me.

infinity cowl in superwash wool

more goodies

Downton Abby Tea (black tea infused with honey), silly putty, and a groovy pattern–oh wait–it’s a notebook. Thank goodness, there would have been major alterations to the pattern. I’m not my 1970’s figure anymore. Haha!

Now for the best part of the box…

Blanket One

A beautiful light blue cotton/microfiber lap blanket courtesy of my sister, Corinne, who is an awesome knitter. One of her projects that came out of hibernation.

I’ll be taking this to Wrapped in Love Knit Night along with my gray bulky garter/stockinette blanket. I hope whoever gets Blank One from Wrapped in Love will loves it as much as I do. I know Oat would love. He would want it for himself, he is really Mister Handmade.

Oat’s Knit-A-Long

UPDATE: If you are mailing your finished piece, here’s my address: 6 Edgebrook Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

I finally got out to Wrapped in Love Knit Night last Tuesday. Wrapped in Love is a group that crochet and knit wraps and shawls for donor family of the NJ Sharing Network. A friend shared with me a post from Facebook about this group. NJ Sharing Network handled the Oat’s tissue donation and I decided to that I wanted to stay involved with the group in some way.

At this knit night, there were 9 knitters and crocheter at all different levels. Lisa the coordinator of the Knit Night told us about the Wrapped in Love group. Their goal is to send a handmade shawl or wrap to a donor family on their 2 year anniversary with note to thank them and tell them that they are in NJ Sharing Network’s thoughts. She mentioned they were presently behind by 100+.

I wasn’t sure of having a knit-a-long, I thought I’d just go to their knit nights. But when Lisa said they were behind, I’d thought I’d could help by asking my knit/crochet friends if they wanted to join in to knit a shawl, wrap or lap blanket for the Wrapped in Love group.

Oat’s Knit-a-Long

I’m calling Oat’s Knit-a-Long. He would want everyone shawl, wrap or blanket for himself as he loved handmade items. I called him Mr. Handmade because he would wear so many handmade piece at one time during the winter.

The specs

The shawl, wrap or lap blanket doesn’t have to be any specific size, pattern or yarn. It’s needs to be handmade to honor the donor family for the generous gift they have made. There is no special date that needs to be meet as I know everyone is busy. You can send me your finish piece and I’ll delivery it to one of the knit nights I attend. Just let me know the fiber content and I’ll added it to the tag with your name and our knit-a-long.

Please let me know if you will be joining me in knit-a-long. It will help me keep track. You can comment on this post or comment on my FB page.

What am I knitting

I have couple of items I want to get done for Wrapped in Love. Two are works in progress and the other two are just an ideas at the moment.

  • I’m still working on my feather and fan pattern with the beautiful yarn from Megan. The color way is playing out well and it will be a beautiful piece to honor a donor family.

This color way is so beautiful!

  • I’ve also started a simple garter stitch lap wrap gray bulky yarn. I love the simplicity of garter stitch and bulky yarn. And it is so soft!!!

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It’s mindless knitting that I can do at night to relax

  • I frogged (ripped out) 4 of Oat’s hat that I’d like to combine to make a shawl or wrap. These hat had too many moth holes to give a way. They were all made by me for Mr. Handmade who love to have stuff made for him.

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all wool, the bottom 3 are all NJ and NY sourced.

  • And I have some really silky yarn that I want to knit a shawlette pattern that I knitted a while back that was quick and easy.

Oh!

  • I wanted to show you a picture of the baby blanket I finished for a friend. Cute baby always makes your finished piece look better.

  • I also finished up a couple of pussy hats that that I’ve been working on for a friend. I promised to make an egg apron with the leftover hat yarn for him. I think it’s going to look great. I’ll start it after I finish up the gray lap blanket. The pattern looks like pretty easy night time crocheting pattern.

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2 hat–top with stripped stockinette crown; bottom with solid seed stitch

  • M, a regular customer of the restaurant, came by and asked me if I would teacher her how to knit. She had broken her foot and was house bounded for the at least 6 weeks and needed something keep her occupied. So I’m teaching her to knit, every Saturday at the restaurant. She made a gater stitch rectangle so far that we are turning into to make a teddy bar for her granddaughter. She’s picks up really fast and her stitches are a really even for a beginner. She knows how to knit, cast on, bind off and rip apart (frog).

stitches are even just some dropping stitches, easy to fix

I hope people can join my knit-a-long. Remember just let me know if you are doing it. Thank you, I really appreciate it.

Next Steps: part 2

I didn’t want to make a big thing of it. I wanted to find a place that wasn’t crammed with people. Then I thought about the west-side beach and Kaena Point. When I mentioned this to my friend, Janice who has been in a halau for the longest time and is my Hawaiian culture expert, she said that Kaena Point is a place where the spirit jumps or travels to the other side. So that was my ocean spot.

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The start of the trail

Oat and I have been to Kaena Point a couple of times but we did it from the North side/Mokuleia. It was usually the the first hike we did when we got in. It was flatish, no giant uphills, great for the jet lag travelers. And you get to see so many monk seals, albatross and the beautiful coastline

I picked Tuesday, September 5 to go out because it was after the holiday weekend. I figure it would be less crowded then. I wasn’t going to ask anyone. I thought people were busy and I figure I could walk it on my own. But a couple of friends asked when I was doing it and that they wanted to come along with me.

I had no plans how to do this. But luckily, the great friends that I have knew what to do. My friend Allyn, the engineer and project manager of the group, had a plan. She had picked ti leaf from her yard to make leis and Janice showed us but basically made them for us because she was so good at it.  Allyn also picked plumeria and puakenikeni from her yard.

The Plan

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The crew L to R: Jan, Alan, and Allyn

Meet at my parent’s house at 7am, Jan, my friend from 1st grade, to pick up Allyn and Alan, her handy husband  (he also came to check out my parents bathroom–need a small fix. See how handy).

We packed up the van and off we went to the west side of the island, past Yokohama Beach–such beautiful under used beach–to the end of the road.

Walk/hike is on the flat side. You walk along the coast with beautiful views of the westside of Oahu. The trail is on the old railroad and you still can see some of the wooden ties on the trail. I can only imagine what it was like riding the train back then. What a view it would have.

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the coastline

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natural arch

My cousin told about the tidal pools and we could go swimming them but to watch for the wana (sea urchins). Allyn said underneath where the wana, that where the opihi (limpets) are. No wonder they are so expensive.

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tidal pools (with lots of wana (sea urchins) and opihi (limpets)

A portion of the trail had washed out or eroded away and there was an slight detour that lead us up the side of the mountain for a bit (not so bad). Then you have to pass through a gated area. At this point, it is a Nature reserve.

The Spot

We were trying to be inconspicuous but 4 old people, looking hot and sweating, one with a big blue umbrella, that hope kind of was dashed. There wasn’t a lot of people walking around. In the meantime, we I looked around looking for there right spot, there were monk seals lazying around in the sun.

 

Allyn suggested to build a cairn (stacks of rock) with the white stones. I googled cairn to see what it really meant and one of the meaning was:

“a mound of rough stones built as a memorial or landmark, typically on a hilltop or skyline.”

Alan climbed up the rocky outcrop that had a view of the point. Haha, we all could have gone around the back of the rock to get to the top. That’s what happens when you are looking at the beautiful pacific ocean instead of the mountains. Once it was built, he added a ti leave lei and I added some ashes, thought it would be nice place for Oat. The view from the top of the rock was of the point and the pacific ocean.

 

Alan and I found a spot where we could stand on the rock as the wave came in. Alan toss in the ti leave lie and flowers and I did Oat’s ashes. I wasn’t as graceful as I picture in my head at least I didn’t fall in while I was doing it. It was nice and I’m glad there were people with to share in the moment. I know he would love the cairn, flowers and the leis. It’s really beautiful spot and I’m sure I’ll be back again for visit.

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the cove

We were on the left side because we needed stay clear of the seal on the right. There was a video of the me spreading the ashes but I can’t find it. If I do, I’ll update the post with it. Here’s a video of the cove from almost where I was standing. You can here the wave crashing and you can see the seal.

 

I know Oat would be happy with his ashes being spread here. I still have a bit more  that I will spread on hikes and places we loved in our travels. Thank you everyone for your support throughout this time of my life. I really appreciated and don’t know what I would have done without it. Thanks again.

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Aloha Oe Oat

 

Next Steps: part 1

Been thinking a lot of where I would spread Oat’s ashes when I get to Hawaii. His mom said in Thai culture the ashes should be spread in the ocean.

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rocky shoreline on the trail to Kaena Point, more to come in part 2

I thought of having a get-together with friends and family at the beach then asking someone with a surfboard or kayak to take his ashes out.

Or going on a hike–maybe the one that we got lost on last time were there. . .

Well. . . things just fell into place.

The hike came first

Asked my cousins if they like to go on the hike we got lost on to spread Oat’s ashes. So he could finally see where were suppose to go.  But my cousin’s hiking friend offer to get a permit for Poamoho Trail. Top 5 of hikes in Hawaii according to one of my cousins. So that was set, just wishing for good weather so we didn’t have hike in the mud.

Poamoho Trail is permit only. It takes around 10 days to get the permit and only 5 people per permit. They allow only 100 people per day on the trail. I’m so grateful for Livia (my cousins’ friend) for getting the permit for this hike and her awesome Subaru that got us up to the trail head. Our crew: Macy,  Eunice (my cousins and sisters), Jodie and Livia (part of my cousin’s hike crew)

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Front L to R: Macy, Eunice; Back L to R: me, Livia and Jodie at the trail head.

[One little hiccup to the day. I left my phone in my dad’s car when I went to my cousin’s house. (I think seeing my aunt and uncle and delivering a pie a I bake made me forget). I didn’t realize I forgot it on the car until we met up with Livia and Jodie. All photos by Macy, Eunice and Jodie. Thanks all for sharing.]

Getting to the trail head

Thanks to Livia and her awesome Subaru we got up the crazy rutted dirt road to the trail head. The trail head was a 45 minutes drive with the excellent navigational and driving skills from everyone else except me (not too many off road experiences here in NJ). Thank goodness for dry weather or we would have been slipping and sliding along bouncing through the ruts.

Because they only allow 100 people on trail per day, the trail was so quiet. All you could hear was the birds, our chatter, an occasional hunters and their friendly dogs and hikers coming back down from the cabin.

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Ohia trees

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rest stop to cool off

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the trail (notice no mud!)

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wild orchid

To get to the summit, I was told by everyone that we needed to go through an unmaintained part of the trail. But Iguess there has been some trail maintenance because the unmaintained trail was the most beautiful unmaintained trail I ever been on. A few muddy spots and a river crossing, then you arrive to the grassy area with incredible views of the north shore and beyond. It was pretty gusty and it cooled you right down from all the hiking upwards (a good thing for Princesshotflash).

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by the river crossing

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The summit

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at the monument 1–L to R: Macy, Eunice, Jodie and me

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at the monument 2–L to R: Jodie, Eunice, me and Livia

I wanted to spread Oat’s ashes at the summit but was quite sure where. My cousins suggested by the monument so I’ll remembered where it was. It’s a place with such a beautiful view. I think he would have loved this hike. Will have to come on this hike again for a visit.

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Daredevil Macy

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sign from the monument

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our view (we think that’s Molokai in the distance)

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Well worn shoes from the trail

Here a link of a little video by my cousin Macy from the summit. You can hear the gusty winds: https://www.facebook.com/macytadena.massey/videos/pcb.10213885944758872/10213885933118581/?type=3&theater

Back down

You alway think going up is hard but really going down is harder. Your legs are tired and you’re sweaty and somewhat muddy and not as fresh as at the start.

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Macy and me (of course, I’m sweaty and flush as always)

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Eunice

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Macy, me and Jodie walking the trail

Awww! We finally made it down. What a beautiful trail. So worth the effort.

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Getting hydrated at the end of the trail

100 Days

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from Oat’s 100 day services

I can’t believe a 100 days has come a gone. It feels like it was only yesterday when I having a conversation with him. Oat’s mom had tell me it was a 100 days and of course, I didn’t believe it and had to count for myself.

100 days is very important day in Thai culture. It’s the day that the living makes merits for the departed to go on to the next stage. Many of Oat’s friend did something for him: his old classmate had a 100 day service at his old school’s temple, a friend from NYC went to give blood and a very close friend set 100 fish free that were suppose to be food.

His mom had a service at a Thai temple in St. Louis for him. Family and friends from illinois area came to service. It looked like a beautiful service.

For me, I’m just trying to do nice things for people. I donated 2 of his suits to the National Suit drive at Men’s Wearhouse. They gave me a credit for $30 for rentals and I decided to give it to the three guys that were in the store renting tuxedos. It’s was nice to surprise these strangers.

I gave the homeless guy that begs every morning near the train station, few bucks and good morning. I read somewhere that homeless people never get acknowledge. People just walk by them without a glance. I hope my “good morning” was as helpful to him

And I gave blood. This was a big one for me. I hadn’t given in long time. Oat was O-positive and would always donate when he could. He was good like that. Now since I got my blood pressure in check, I decided to do it, too. It was quick and simple and I’ll try and remember to do it as often as I can.

Hope these few things will give Oat’s spirit more merit for his next stage.

As for me and my next stage, it’s a little lonely and pretty uneventful. Just trying get things in order before I can start anything new. There has been a lot of sorting and tossing. Plus a lot of binge watching–prime and netflix are my new friends beside Ollie and Orange.

But there are few new things, early morning walks with birds, yoga at home and trying to fill my new flower garden.

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out with birds and the sunrise

I think I’m pretty good considering all that has happened. I trying my best to do things and get out of the house. And when I do, I’ll post my adventures here, at my new blog site. Adventure 1: move my blog to WordPress. Still figuring out how I want it to look. And learning what I can do. I’ll post more soon.