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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Balinese Sunrise #7

I don’t know what I’m going to do when I can’t wake up at 6am and trek myself down to the beach to watch the world unfold.

Where I live in NC ---my house is down in a hollow, surrounded by woods….I don’t think I see the sun when it rises….there is too much vegitation and other surrounding homes for it to rise over……sure, it gets light out, but to SEE the sun rise from the horizon? Now that is special.

I will remember this place.

I will remember these people.

I will remember the culture, the kindness, the gentle way of bowing with hands pressed together. It’s become such a habit with everyone I meet ---we are greeted with a bow, palm to palm with fingers pointing heavenward. It’s more than an acknowledgement, it’s a show of respect. Of yes –you have my full attention, I’m so glad you are here.

This morning I was excited to reach the beach, certain that sunrise would happen and it would be GLORIOUS!

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Just a little farther and I’ll be there ----at the first pagoda.

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I take time to really notice the detail of the curved and carved corners of my temporary shelter. Quintessential Bali. Gorgeous craftsmanship!

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And here she comes….Morning Sun!

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The clouds part and blow away—it’s going to be another awesome day as we make our way toward Ubud and our planned activities there.

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No, I won’t forget this place. I have one more sunrise….tomorrow……and then we start our journey home.

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Bali is definitely the most magical place I’ve ever visited in my life!

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Bali!

*Singing* And The Corn Is As High

As an Elephant’s Eye -----

Did you ever get close enough to an elephant’s eye?

If so you will have noticed how long and thick their eye lashes are! How their tear ducts look so very much like our own.

And you will have been so drawn in to wonder just what they were thinking behind their gaze ----

I sat here making this post, looking at this photo…and in the eye itself I see the reflection of a crowd all gathered around –It’s another day at the Bali Elephant Safari!

I just wonder what all these elephants think about the likes of US?

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In the quiet central highlands of the Indonesian island of Bali, just 20 minutes from Ubud, is the small town of Taro, home to some pretty impressive residents: Sumatran elephants!

After deforestation in Sumatra, the elephants were left homeless and with a depleted food supply. Fortunately they were rescued and now live happily at the Elephant Safari Park.

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The park was founded by Australian Nigel Mason, who took nine neglected elephants from the village and travelled to Sumatra and rescued another 18. His operation is part of the World Zoo Association, so animal welfare is the priority.

There are now 30 elephants living at the park including 3 babies! And another mother is expecting –elephants are pregnant for 22 months, the longest of any mammal. 22 months! Oy!

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We loaded up on to our elephants and headed out on a ride through the park!

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Our elephant’s name was Daisy! Did you know that elephants have exceptional hearing? My hotel room key fell out of my pocket – and Daisy stopped, backed up, turned around and retrieved it off the ground with her trunk! Good girl, Daisy!

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There is all kinds of vegetation around – can you see the cacao pods on this tree?

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At the end of our ride, the elephants got to take a dip in the pond….with us still on their backs! Yes, some got squirted with water, and some felt they were in danger of falling off of the chairs, but we all survived unscathed!

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Mike and Mary kickin’ back in style!

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After our rides we enjoyed watching the elephants show off for us….here they come marching in to ---guess ----the baby elephant walk, of course!

((Is there anything cuter than a trunk holding a tail? I don’t think so!))

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Fun stuff! I am amazed at how strong their trunks are! It’s an arm….or stronger ---with a fist at the end that is also a nose….One elephant held a harmonica at the end of its trunk and actually played a tune by blowing in and out of his nostrils through the harmonica. So funny! You couldn’t get the harmonica away from that elephant either, it wanted to keep playing! LOL!

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This sweetie marched around the whole ring twirling the hula hoop round and round on her trunk. Now THAT is skill…I don’t think I can even do a hula hoop the way I used to as a kid –I haven’t tried in 40 years!

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this one shows us the Slam Dunk!

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Can you tell the one on the left is spraying the crowd in the front row? LOL! They seemed to love doing it too….

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The big finale and final bow -----

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It’s definitely love at first sight!

PS – with Sumatra Elephants, only the males have tusks. This is one smiley girl!

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Every time I see an elephant I’ll remember my time at the Elephant Park! They are doing such a great job in helping to preserve these beautiful creatures.

Today we head back to Ubud for several activities! We are going to a Balinese “opera’ kind of traditional dance, and we will be visiting a typical Balinese house, as well as a family temple. These activities will require us to be in sarong out of respect.

And then we will top off the day by shopping the popular shop section of Ubud’s main streets. It’s our final full day --- we start our long journey home on Thursday.

I can honestly say we have filled this entire trip as full as we could fill it – brimming over and changing our lives with the experiences shared.

12 Days of Show & Share! Day 8!


As I write these posts ahead, I’m wondering how our adventures in Bali are turning out! Perhaps by now I will have found ways to send updates, or a photo --- SOMETHING ---but not knowing exactly what the connectivity will be, I know that at least these posts will show up on a daily basis and leave you hopefully enjoying the 10 days of Show & Share!

Today I want to share some photos that showed up just recently in my inbox….under the subject of “Hello from Western Australia!”

The email was from Kathy C who had turned in to catch part of QuiltCam!

She writes:

Hi Bonnie, I just wanted to let you know how much fun it is to sew along with you!

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Kathy’s Winnie the Pooh Machine ---sewing along with me!


This morning (last night for you) I was watching and listening to you telling us about how we should use old machines so they didn't seize up, well I remember I had his little Brother embroidery/normal stitching machine that I haven't touched for probably 10 years!

I wasn't even sure it did a straight stitch as well as embroidery, but I looked it out, cleaned all the crap off it, and yes it does do straight stitching! So I sat down today and sewed my scrappy tumbler blocks on it! It's a lovely little machine and will certainly get more use....

Thank you for your inspiration! You saved this poor little machine from more years of neglect! I am a bit of a Winnie the Pooh fan and I bought it for its embroidery talents, but since have moved on, so it got put away!

Not any more!

KathyC2

Kathy’s Tumbler Quilt!

I am making a pair of quilts to cover our lounges, I have completed one tumbler quilt and the other is a work in progress! I have added two photos, one of the first tumbler quilt and the other which shows my rectangle wrangle quilt!

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Kathy’s Rectangle Wrangle Quilt as found in Scraps & Shirttails II!


Thank you again, you are a wonderful giving person and certainly my hero!
Kathy

Kathy, your colors just SING with happiness! I love to see what you’ve done with these. I have a whole big baggie of cut tumblers that my friend Karen L sent me ---I was thinking they would be a good leader/ender project ---they need to make their way to the front of the queue!

And while I am in a mood for bright colors, here is a recently sent in photo from Jean S!

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Jean’s Diamond in a Square Strings!

She writes:

Dear Bonnie,

Just wanted to share my picture of the quilt that I made using your Diamonds in a Square pattern that I made for my daughter and son in law. I entered it in our local 4H fair and got a blue (1st) and a purple (honorable mention) ribbon.

One interesting fact about this quilt is that I made quilts for my grandchildren first and scrapes for all of their quilts are in their mother’s quilt. I had seen the pattern on your website and was just trying it out when she saw what I was doing and claimed it for theirs. Christy was also in charge of her company’s charity recently. The people involved made over a hundred and fifty pillowcase for kids with cancer.She got the fabric and I cut it into kits for her to distribute to people at work to sew together. I also used some of the scraps from some of the pillowcases.

It was a fun quilt to work on. ( By the way, the quilt had to fit a California king sized bed). My son in law who is holding up one side of the quilt is 6’7’’.

I am now working on a Scrappy Sister’s Choice for my sister. Thank goodness her bed is only a twin.

I am going to discuss your Scrap User’s System with my quilt guild sometime this year. For the past year and half, I have been cutting up my scraps and have quite a box full of 2 1/2 inch squares.

Thank you for all that you share with us.

Jean S

Thanks so much for sharing your quilt with us, Jean! I LOVE red and yellow together….awesome way to show off the scraps in the string blocks!

Don’t you love seeing familiar quilts in different color combinations?

I fell in love with LeAnn P’s Smith Mountain Morning in Greens & Browns:

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LeAnn’s Smith Mountain Morning as found in Scraps & Shirttails II!

She writes:

Hi Bonnie, I just finished my version of Smith Mountain Morning. I made it king size. It is for my daughter who is getting married later this month. She picked the green and brown combination. I am pleased with how it turned out. Thanks for ALL the great patterns and inspiration.

LeAnn

LeAnn, Thank you for sharing the photo of your yummy quilt with us! And KING SIZED?! Wow! It really shines. I personally love more repeat of the pattern across the quilt surface, which is why I like working with smaller pieces and smaller blocks, so that more blocks just make the pattern look that much more dynamic! You certainly captured that in this quilt. Great job!

There are two more days of Show & Share left! I hope you will come back tomorrow and see what other gorgeous quilts are waiting to be seen!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Balinese Sunrise, #6!

If you can call it a sunrise. I didn’t win the award on patience today – we are being picked up earlier than usual for our ride to the elephant park, and that meant I didn’t have time to hang around!

The sun is right behind that mass of clouds, and rays are reaching down as best as they can to touch that little but of land there….but it’s gotta try harder!

I was talking about the decorations and celebration that happens today for Galungan Day, or Thanksgiving Day here in Bali.

Decorations have reached the hotel walkways!

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See the palm and bamboo decorations? These are all made by hand ---the loops are formed with palm leaves and stapled into place. Staples are used A LOT here…..the palm baskets that hold all the million gazillion katrillion daily offerings are also stapled. At one of our stops we watched some ladies busy at work making offering baskets.

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There are shops everywhere selling the dangling ornament for hanging from the family’s pole—for lack of a better word for what this bamboo thing is called. It’s fun to watch them spin in the breeze… We are really luck to be here at their Holiday time. It makes every day feel extra special for us --- that we are witnessing things that others might not experience depending on when they arrive in Bali.

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Detail of the palm loops against the morning sky.

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I continued on toward my pagoda to wish the world good morning. The other morning I noticed this pillar of stacked stones just standing there along the pathway…..every day I have watched it to see if the tide would knock it down. So far – it’s still standing!

I guess there is a life lesson in that. We are stronger and more stable than we look! The winds may come, the tides may rise and swirl around us, the waves may try to beat us down….but we can stand firm if we are well balanced.

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Good morning, Bali! Let’s go see some elephants!

A Bit of Monkey Business!

August 28th is a holiday in Bali ---their traditional calendar consists of 210 days –and the 28th is their equivalent of Thanksgiving.

Businesses will be closed….everyone heads “Home” to where their birthplace is, or where their family is –and a big traditional Balinese meal of roast pig and other delights are served.

All through the week we have watched preparations gearing up ---much like our own tradition of setting up a Christmas tree or carving pumpkins for Halloween ---ornaments are made of bamboo and palm and every day there are more and more decorations present around the homes and up and down the streets.

School let out early today.

Family shrines are draped with new cloth –yellow and white. People are in a hurry now to get ready, the 28th is only hours away.

Another thing we noticed is that many businesses are closing early today ---including our last stop, the Monkey Forest. Our bus pulled up to an empty parking lot. Tourists had gone, workers were nearly done for the day, waiting to close down because of the holiday.

This was a BOON in our favor – for while there are normally crowds of tourists present, we had a personal tour and the Monkey Forest all to ourselves!

Something that is NOT monkey related. How many of you remember “The Thing” by Volkswagen? I have seen several of them here in Bali, still running like champs. When we pulled into the parking lot of the Monkey Forest….this is what I saw:

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Three “THINGS” in a row! Yellow, Blue and Red!

((In high school I thought I wanted one of these. WHAT was I thinking?!))

Back to the Monkey Forest:

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The sanctuary of towering trees is home to three troupes of long-tailed Balinese Macaques, totaling about 600 monkeys ((So we were told)) and whether you are fanatic about animals or not these monkeys will make you smile.

They are EVERYWHERE --- and no, they are not contained, they roam free. The Balinese believe that the monkeys are holy. Sacred. And should be protected.

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There is a statue of a creepy guy covered in monkeys. I’m not sure this is folklore, or if it is to warn us of escapades to come!

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As we walk toward the shrine, we can see tufts of grey eyeing us from the trees.

Our guide tells us to not be afraid. The monkeys may approach us --- just don’t pet them.

I was not expecting this:

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Oh. My!

Or this:

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Or even this:

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Let me tell you…his toes and fingers tickled, as well as the tail wrapped around my neck. And he left kisses in my hand! Don’t let the cuteness fool you though, when he found out I had no more treats…..he jumped down, bared his fangs at me and growled. Then he ran away to wherever monkeys run off to.

You don’t even have to invite them to jump on you. They just crawl right up your back and perch on your shoulder!

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This one’s got Greg!

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Emily’s not quite sure what to do with this guy either.

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Can’t he come down now, please?!

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This one is enchanted with Mary’s earrings! I’m not so sure her glasses are safe hanging from her shirt like that either!

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We walked through the forest of ancient towering trees and watched family groupings watching us in return. I don’t know if you can see it, but the center monkey is the mama, and she has a 1 week old baby near her right arm tucked under her chin. Papa monkey is giving her a grooming.

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The temple grounds are as beautiful as they are ancient. Speaking of ancient – these monkeys look like they carry the wisdom of the ages in their eyes.

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As we make our way to go, we are aware of many pairs of eyes watching us.

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Our time in the forest was short with the impending closing time – but with the personal tour and the even more personal attention from the monkeys, this will go down in the great halls of my memory as one of the greatest ever!

Tomorrow? ELEPHANTS!

I just hope one of those don’t try to jump up into my lap or up onto my shoulder….

Anyone got any peanuts?