Friday, August 29, 2008

Cat Stuff

Meet once again, Faith.
This is her "I wasn't on the table, honest, and I sure didn't eat your cornflakes" look. But then, it could be mistaken for her "You think I would actually knock YOUR African Violet off the window ledge???" look. Then again, it could be the "oh for pete's sake - I didn't touch your tv remote" look.

You got to hand it to cats. They're typically aloof - independent - will let you know if they want to be touched - and pretty much fuss free....

Until....this cat.

Aloof? Living with me just about a week now, I could only wish. Independent? I think not.. not when she bounces up and down on my chest while I'm trying to read and won't stop until I get up to fill her food dish. How much can one tiny cat eat, anyway???? Fuss free? Try not cleaning out the litter box for 6 hours. And forget about that touching thing. She'll relentlessly bat me with her paws until I rub, scratch or pick her up. Pet her once and you might as well cancel all your appointments for the next three hours.

I leave the room - Faith is right behind me. I go in one room and shut the door - and she's on the other side, sticking one paw under the door just as far as she can possibly stretch it. I go to bed and within seconds, she's up on the bed with that look. You know the look.... It's the "what, it's only 11pm - throw me a ball or something" look.

I am convinced Faith is really a dog in a cat suit. One of these days I'll catch her putting it on or taking it off. It's only a matter of time.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Knitting Almost Daily....

What is it about knitting that soothes the soul? I can have the most miserable of days and after ten minutes of knitting, all seems right with the world. I love the feel of the needle in each hand - wooden or bamboo only please (those metal needles are like scratching one's fingernails on a chalkboard) - and seeing the rows grow and grow.

My endeavors have been limited - a few hats and tons of wash/dish cloths.
Speaking of knitted clothes... this one is my absolute favorite!

This one has caused quite a few double takes.....and temporarily raised my cool factor with the younger set. No, it's not what you think. It's a Canadian Maple motif cloth. still remains my favorite. And no, you can't bake it & smoke the residue.

And the "Five of Hearts".....a very pale one at that.....

A very pink butterfly....

A large heart - which goes to show that using varigated yarn is not a very good idea for most motifs.
Oh yes - I will be quilting shortly - but for now, knitting is good therapy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ms Faith is Home....

Well - the long awaited kitty....Took over an hour to get her from the rescue shelter - but well worth it. She took very well to the cardboard carrier - but didn't seem too unhappy to get out once I got her inside the apartment. Already, plants have moved to higher grounds...and wow - can she ever jump. She's already managed the daring back of the couch to dining room table leap. What an athlete.....
She's a mover, ok - took me 15 minutes to capture her on film. Got lots of shots of her backside, tail, and several very nice surreal blurs.
More shots later....
In the meantime.....
I quilt! (once the excitement of Ms Faith being home subsides...)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Knitting Is Addictive.....

There is no doubt about it - knitting is not just a past time - nor a way to kill time - nor a passing fancy. Once you're hooked (apologies to those who crochet - that would have been a great pun though) you're hooked. One skein of yarn will lead to another...and another ..... Next thing you know, the yarn is fighting the quilting fabric for space.
My knitting is not elaborate. No fancy capes, elegant sweaters or jazzy socks - yet. Just functional down-to-earth knitting - washcloths. Yes, functional knitted cloths that can be used as washcloths or dishcloths. These are not your Auntie Em's sir. Suitable for framing, lol.

Oh yes, it's a flamingo. You gotta love the way this one knits
up ....from the bottom up, the legs just go on & on & on.......

And oh yes, the heart one here is lopsided. It will serve as constant reminder that two glasses of wine and knitting do not mix. However, it did have an element of humor to it.
Have a couple more to add to this collection but they're currently with daughter. You'll love the maple leaf that appears to be more of a....well, let's just say that I was rather surprised at the results.
Yes- I quilt - but I do love to knit.....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sewing Machines DO Talk....

Last night after traipsing sis down to the bike shop to get her wheel fixed (drat those nails on the sidewalks), then being forced to eat at the nearby Chinese buffet and then with full bellies, waddling back to the car and coming home....I heard this pitiful voice from the 2nd bedroom - AKA sewing room/den - that kept calling to me "please, please - I need to sew...I must sew".

Well, not one to ignore voices as pitiful as this, I spent the next hour or more sewing a purse for granddaughter. I know she will adore it. I'll be driving to Columbus to spend a day or two - maybe three - and I'll be hand delivering the purse. I just love this pattern. It can be made from squares of all sizes - and a snap to put together! Oh yes - it's also reversible!

I really do need to learn to take better photos - or at least learn how to post them correctly. Just take my word for it - it's very pretty!
By the time I was done and a 2nd one is in the making, I no longer heard the pitiful voice of my Brothers sewing machine.
Scary thing - I also have a serger, a Singer sewing machine and a lightweight offbrand sewing machine too... If they all start talking to me, please do rescue me from the room.
I quilt!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quilt Journey

This is the story of a quilt that grew until done......
This quilt is for a young girl who loves pink with a little purple thrown in - Hannah Montana - playing "cheer leader" - and likes daises - and she's 5.
Going through the ever infamous stash, I found pinks - a couple of purples .... however, no large pieces. Ah ha - perhaps 2" strips to make up a block.... After trimming, it measured 10". Nope - looked too much like a pot holder....

Out comes the seam ripper - grab more fabric - sew more strips together - and the 6 1/2" squares are birthed....

I got so carried away with sewing them together, I neglected to photograph the remaining process!

So - imagine these squares put together, alternating vertical with horizontal. Got it? Okay - now imagine a deranged woman looking for "Hannah Montana" fabric. Not a pretty picture. Ahhh - yes! The ever saving WalMart had a purple Hannah Montana fabric.... Now the cheerleading thing. Found 4" squares for sale on eBay - yesssss! The hunt has almost come to an end. Won the squares...and then quilt grew strip by strip until at last - enough.
And so - the journey came to an end.

This will be the quilt I'll always think of as the "potholder" that grew and grew until it was a quilt.....

Love the colors! Love those 4" cute cheerleader blocks in the corner! As to the Hannah Montana purple border...well, I can't love everything....

And the final addition - the pocket prayer quilt...

I quilt .... what a lovely statement.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Another story.....

This story is a little harder to write about. "Life Settling Down" was hard enough. Missing my soul mate, my best friend and husband hurts the heart a little - but I know we'll be together again soon.

This story is about family. Perhaps members of my family will not be happy about this post - perhaps it will go unnoticed - perhaps I am making more of it than should be.

I discovered about two months ago I have a half-sister. Her name is Jill - she lives in England - and her 3 week visit with my parents will be coming to a close next week. Riley and I did visit my folks - and Jill - while Riley was home for 20 days. She's interesting, funny, out spoken - and I like her. It was not the best of visits. It was a short visit and my attention was focused on being back with my husband. I had so little time to get to know my second sister. I now have two sisters. That's an amazing statement in itself.

Everyone's life is composed of short stories. Some stories never have an ending - they go on and on. These are the stories that affect us the most and they are the unhappy stories. Those are the stories that beg for a happy ending. We all have the power to affect the end of each of these stories. We can turn unhappiness into forgiveness and look forward to a new short story. No, it's not easy - and yes, it's darn right uncomfortable.

I do know God's biggest commandment - love. When love takes over the heart, there isn't room for anything else. Plant it - nurture it - and it will grow.


Life Settling Down

Riley is now back in Iraq....and it's been more difficult than I had bargained for.

Twenty days we spent together - which seemed like a long time, but in reality - it's a blimp on the clock. Little things like eating breakfast at home, driving around and holding hands in the car, sitting next to each other at church, watching the series "Monk" on borrowed DVDs from the library.... normal every day stuff seemed brighter, more joyful and yet peaceful to the soul.

Why is it we take things for granted every single day...until the day those things are temporarily gone and then the heart breaks just a little.

On the day we drove to the airport to see him off, I thought to myself - this was good - this was a great vacation together. Until it was time to really say "see you later", the tears welled up and then l I walked into the apartment and discovered the quiet. Even if your spouse doesn't utter a single word in a couple of hours, you're still with someone....Quiet can be awfully loud at times.

So - life is settling down somewhat. I'm working on completing another quilt - another design as I go - and stayed up until 2:30am this morning. When the sewing urge hits, I go with it. The story of this quilt will be posted later. I am very pleased with it so far - and it makes me smile when I look at it. I hope the person it will be mailed to will bring a smile to her face....

Tomorrow, I'll be kitty hunting - a companion that will make the apartment a little less quiet.

Life is settling down somewhat - but I sure do miss Riley's smile - and holding my hand while we drive.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Back tracking....and moving forward

Oh boy, slap on the forehead with one hand. I had thought I had written a very moving account of Riley & I renewing our vows on the 27th of July - our 37th wedding anniversary. Must have been one heck of a great dream since I couldn't find word one on the event.

So to backtrack....

On July 27th, Riley & I renewed our vows in our church after the service. Friends & family witnessed the renewal - and many photos were taken. It was quite an event. After our pastor read several passages from the bible (please don't quiz me - I haven't a clue what was said by the pastor - sorry, pastor....nervousness does that to me), Riley read a beautiful piece he wrote - and I read mine. Riley's words.....

From the time you gave me a note in a matchbox with the single word “chance”

Which led to a kiss under a tree

To 6 weeks later when you thought I was going to ask you to go steady. Instead I asked, "Do you want to get married in 1 week or 2 weeks?"

Until now

We have done "in sickness and in health" - We have done "for richer or for poorer" – We have done “for better and for worse”

And now we gone through our longest separation with a longer separation in front of us - still God keeps us together.

12 years ago on our 25th anniversary we had a full wedding where we dedicated our marriage to Christ.

Today our marriage still belongs to the Father, who put you in my heart the very first time I laid eyes on you.

Today our marriage belongs to the Son - Jesus - whose wonderful grace we enjoy and bring to each other in our marriage.

Today our marriage belongs to the Holy Spirit who somehow keeps us close though we are half a world apart.

I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without you nor do I wish to imagine it.

Through God's good graces, you are my wife - my life mate - I would not have it any other way.

And my response....

When I first joined hands with you 37 years ago, little did I know what our lives would be like.

You promised then to love, honor and cherish me though life.

While we had difficult times, God always was there for us – early on we just didn’t know His presence.

We realized together God had to be first in our marriage and our life was so much better.

You have made my life complete and full.

Not only have you kept your promise to love, honor and cherish me, you’ve made our lives together an adventure.

You’ve been there for me when I needed comfort, you’ve listened to my fears and you’ve held my hand throughout it all.

We made a commitment to each other.

Some days it wasn’t easy for we both let pride get in the way of love.

God’s greatest commandment is LOVE.

And I do so love you and pray we can renew our vows every year.
You are my husband, my soul mate and my best friend


And so shortly, Riley will be leaving to go back to Iraq until February 2009. Somehow, our renewal of vows will make it easier when he leaves. Life moves forward - God's grace covers us all just for the asking - and God is so very good.


Life's Little Surprises....

Surprise: to come upon or discover suddenly and unexpectedly.

That about sums it up. Life is full of surprises - most of which we do not expect. Hence - the definition of surprise. Suddenly and unexpectedly.

Through a series of emails back & forth from my dad, I learned I have a half-sister. Riley & I met her just two days ago when we flew up to visit my parents. Jill arrived almost two weeks earlier from England and is spending three weeks with my folks.

This was her first meeting with her father, my dad - correction: our dad - and mom. It was also her first visit to the U.S. - first visit with any of her siblings (one brother and two sisters). Being an only child, I can imagine her delight (okay I am assuming much here) in finding she has two sisters and a brother.

I found her to be friendly, charming and pretty gutsy. I admire the fact she came here to the states to meet the family - not knowing how she would be greeted. I admire the fact she has met life head on. Okay - so this may be all conjecture at this point - but it's what I feel. I later thought of so many things that I wanted to ask her but didn't. There will always be emails (sadly, who writes letters anymore?!?!) and that's how we'll probably keep in touch. There have been so many times I wish I could have said the things I meant to say right then in the moment. Alas, the mark of one who procrastinates ... at times.

I've often heard that we can choose our friends but we cannot chose our family. I would not choose any other family than the one I have. And now I have two sisters. Life's little surprises can be truly..... surprising and so very good.