Sunday, March 29, 2009

Finally on the Left Side

Yeah, I finally got sent on an assignment on the West Coast! I'm working in an office in Turlock, California, in the San Joaquin Valley. It is an interesting, agricultural area and a very conservative/religious island in the middle of very liberal California. The weather has been wonderful and the people are particularly friendly and welcoming. I feel right at home.

I'm definitely enjoying my stay here so far (3 weeks and counting) with a brand new hotel to stay in and plenty of great restaurants and shopping nearby. I'm trying to limit myself to one In-N-Out Burger per week, which is difficult. Anytime I have a drive-thru Starbucks right across the street from my hotel, I'm in heaven...

Since I am so near Oregon in this gig, I've flown up to Portland twice now. I hadn't been back in the state in two years and it was pretty emotional for me. Of course it was typical March rainy weather and I picked up a cold on the first trip, but I embraced it all. I'm determined to get around there now using only the public transit system. So far that has worked out well, although last weekend Jade hauled me around a bit for expediency sake.

Speaking of Jade (my 22 year old middle daughter), it was great to spend time with her. We did some heavy-duty shopping and restauranting packed into two short days last weekend. From the free breakfast at Ikea to Hotpot & Sushi (where the sushi comes by your table on a conveyer belt) we hit as many places as we could.

My knitting has suffered a bit with all the Portland weekend travel. I have 5 projects with me currently and haven't finished a thing. I'm plugging away on two pairs of socks - one with alternating scrap stripes with 6 different leftovers and one pair I'm designing in graphic black and white checks, stripes, circles. I'm plugging away on a cabled baby hoodie in melon, cream bamboo/wool baby mary jane booties and a stuffed teddy bear out of self-striping wool for the Hudsie. I'm hoping to finish up the booties today with a hole-up Sunday in my hotel room.

I did a quick yarn store search up in Modesto yesterday (10 miles north) and found all their former shops had closed. I was left with Michaels, Joanns and Beverlys which had a sad selection. I did score 3 pairs of smaller-sized Clover bamboo SPs at 30% off and 3 skeins of marked down brown wool/silk which will be perfect for a stuffed bunny (maybe the one in the Spring Debbie Bliss magazine).

The EDJ office I'm in here is the first I've worked as a Transition Rep that belongs to a friend. The FA is out on medical leave with debilitating migraines and he and I were in the same training class back in 1995 when we first started with Jones. It is gratifying to be able to help out someone I know but I'm am saddened by his health issues. I could be here awhile.

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