Thursday, December 31, 2009

Going Back in Time

We arrived in Shreveport, Louisiana this morning. Vacation #2.

Shreveport is where it began - the life of Riley & Sharon as one. We met here, eloped to Marshall, Texas on the 27th of July 1971, informed my parents that evening we had gotten married and 38 years later we are back.

A few side notes before the story.

First - eloping may seem very romantic and I suppose at that time it was. I have been a parent for many years now - and I can imagine what my parents went through that night.

Second - Riley & I did renew our vows - in church - the full wedding bit - 25 years later. Dad got to walk a daughter down the aisle for the very first time.

Third - I recommend number 2 all in all. A marriage is an event to be shared with family and friends. It's a celebration of love, commitment and proclaiming to the world - this is it.

Coming back evokes quite a few feelings. One of which startles me - I remember so little. We took a drive to Barksdale Air Force Base. At the tender age of 19, I was still living with my parents and dad was stationed at the base. We drove through base housing and darn if I couldn't remember the name of the street where we lived. We drove around the vicinity of the base ... still not much of a memory going on there either.

On the other hand, Riley remembers much. He was a jogger - oh yes, my my. It was his legs that got to me first. He would jog from Bossier Base to Barksdale on a regular basis - 7 miles all in all. Have to say - he still has great legs. We drove along that part of the route he took.

Everything here is different. More highways - more shopping strips - more everything. We ate at a small place called "George's" (funny thing - there's a George's in Dayton we frequent) - they have been in business for over 40 years. Did we eat here 38 years ago? No. The greasy spoon restaurant we frequented on Saturday mornings is no more. Riley worked 3rd shift at a newspaper plant, setting type. I worked at a Credit Union. Saturday mornings around 1am we would be eating breakfast together - always at "our place". Sometimes afterwards we would go to the airport and watch the planes take off & land. With security as it is, that is not even a possibility anymore.

Times change.

I am glad we are here. I know we are tremendously blessed to be able to take this trip. I am looking forward to the next 7 days with my dearest friend & husband, Riley. I look forward to taking photos of our adventure.

Oh yes - the photo. This is the old Shreveport bridge heading into Shreveport from the Dixie Inn. Do I remember this bridge? Not a bit. But I rather liked the photo, so there you go.

In the meantime, I quilt.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Art of Simply Doing.....

Today is the 24th of Christmas....better known as Christmas Eve....even better known as the day before Happy Birthday, Jesus.

You know how you get a small little niggle in the back of your mind that just stays there quietly until it's time to be recognized? I know your answer is I will share my little niggle.

For years, it would upset me when a simple "thanks" was not received in response to giving a gift. Horrifyingly (isn't that a lovely word!), it was just "upset" - it was full blown anger. Thoughts would ramble through my head that went something like this.... "what does it take to pick up the phone to say thank you...." or "for gosh sakes, all it takes is a piece of paper and pen and an envelope and stamp to simply write in block letters THANK YOU".... or..... on second thought, the 3rd rambling is to be kept private. I'm even ashamed of that particular rambling thought.

Now on to the niggle.

Why buy anyone anything? Why do I do it? Why do I drive through hail, rain, sleet or snow to get that perfect gift? Why? Why? WHY???? This can easily be accompanied by the picture of me falling to my knees in anguish, with arms lifted up to the sky and chanting these words. One must have a complete picture of this event.... Are you picturing it now?

And then....sometimes, a word of thanks is not received.

Very annoying, this little niggle. It grew - and grew - and grew - and finally, it blew into a big picture.

We do it for the thanks. We do it for the adoration. We do it because we just know we have elevated ourselves to be something special to that individual.

Wrong - wrong and more wrong.

When we do it for the thanks - it has lost its meaning. Pure.And.Simple.

Don't get me wrong....saying thank you are two lovely words to utter. But to withhold future gifts because we didn't get a thanks is wrong.

Black & white - gray areas not allowed.

One path to God - pure and simple
Give a gift to someone just because is good - pure and simple
Give a gift anonymously is even better - pure and simple

No longer will not hearing 'thanks' or receiving a written 'thanks' dictate what I do or not do in the future.

God is pleased - his Son is pleased and the Holy Spirit is dancing for joy.

I got it.

Oh yes - the gift of time. That's what the photo above is all about. That's our darling grandson whom his parents have entrusted this scatterbrained woman to spend time with - and of Riley, my dearest beloved husband. The results of the chess game were not shared.

Sadly I have lost most of my quilting photos when my laptop crashed.

Ah - but I still quilt!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Quilters Block - Perhaps

Writers get writer's block....quilters sometimes face the same stumbling block. The inspiration isn't there - the motivation has fled - the sewing mchine is deadly quiet for the most part.

This quilter not only has hit a stumbling block but dead on to a brick wall.

No reasonable explanation. 75% of one pieced top is on the design wall and has been there for quite some time. Sashing to go between the blocks was ordered, delivered, washed and yet - not ironed. And still the 75% pieced top still remains on the design wall. No reasonable explanation.

Every journey starts with one step - but what does one do when one doesn't feel like putting that foot in front of the other to continue on the journey?

Perhaps every journey isn't meant to be finished within a specific timeframe. Ecclesiastes 3:1 advises "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven".

For now, the pieced top will remain on the design wall until such time it's ready to complete.

The photo? A "Maple Leaf" block swap for the online quilting club I belong to. These are the blocks I made to be swapped out. Oh my - the blocks I received are a wonder to behold. Eight beautiful blocks to be made into something spectacular. Soon.

And in the meantime, I will quilt.


Friday, September 18, 2009

To Borrow a Phrase....Ponderings....

While I sit here at Basics Cafe in Oshkosh WI (free wireless, folks!), I am wonder just why this trip to Oshkosh.

Granted - this is where my parents live. Granted - they are now getting to the age where it makes sense to downsize from their large home to perhaps a condo in a senior citizens community. Granted - it's been awhile since I last visited for more than 2 days. Granted - sis is still on vacation until Monday and it made sense to drive up now.

But still - what did I hope to accomplish? First - just a visit. The folks just aren't into the idea of flying....and driving is out of the question...not even as passengers.
So - if the mountain won't come get the idea.

Second - still just a visit. Perhaps it is time to put the house on the market. Perhaps it is time to them both to live where life is more manageable.

I don't know.

I am not my parents. I don't know if I would resent either one of my children visiting with ulterior motives.

Getting old - what a pondering that is. All the cliches in the world don't fix anything if you just don't accept the fact that we all get old. What I believe isn't necessarily going to be accepted by either parent.

I believe getting old is an honor.
I believe the older I get, the more wisdom God will give me to share with others.
I believe the older I get, the more safe I am in saying anything...after all, she is OLD so let her say what she will
I believe the older get, the more I have to give

Already I am looking back at my life so far....

I have a God who loves ME - me, of all people - who loves me so much He gave ME his one and only son to die for ME - and loves me no matter what
I have a husband who loves me unconditionally
I love my husband more than I could ever say
I have two children whom I am most proud of - which I do not say out loud enough
I have two additional children - their spouses - of whom I am most proud of
I have two grand children (photograph above) who I love so very much
I have two living parents who are entering the last years of their lives....and they have done an amazing job of teaching me me so many things
I have a brother who belongs to the "hall of saints" for so many things he has done
I have a sister who despite every obstacle put in her life has done so much with her life - and doesn't realize what a gem she really is
I have a mother-in-law whom I respect and admire
I miss my father-in-law who died last October - but boy,is he in a wonderful place now, dancing with the angels...Nahhh - he's fishing with the angels
I am now retired - not from life, from a career I never expected to have
I am a grandma who has been given the trust of her son & wife to watch over their son occasionally

And so I ponder and ponder and ponder.

Life goes on.

Sometimes we're simply a passenger on the train, looking out the window. Sometimes we're driving the train....and sometime we just get off the train and feel the sun on our faces and thank God for what He has done for us.

And in the meantime, I quilt.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Birthdays, Best Presents and Thoughts.....

Today is the 30th of August. Today marks our son's 29th birthday. Twenty nine years old. Married. They have one son, age 4. Twenty nine. It would be redundant at this point to write 29 one more time...or write 'how could that be'. I think it's pretty obvious I marvel at how quickly time passes.

Yesterday, son & father and grandson took a walk around our old neighborhood. The neighborhood where we raised both our children. It was a good place .... parts of it not so good now. Time has a way of changing neighborhoods. This walk was a gift for hubby on Father's Day...a walk. I got glimpses of what it meant to Riley to walk with son & grandson and it warmed my heart tremendously. Good talks about what it meant to roam around the neighborhood wthout fear....good memories all in all. I do believe the walk was a present that will live in Riley's heart for ever.

It got me to think about "best presents". I asked a group of friends what they thought to be their "best present". The answers ranged from tangible to the non-tangible. And after all was said and done, I realized what my "best present" was from our daughter.

It was many years ago and perhaps I am the only one who will remember. It was a gift from the heart. Money wasn't readily available at the time. The gift was cleaning the house. That's it. It has held a place in my heart ever since. It wasn't the cleaning - it was the time and the thought behind it. Just as the walk itself wasn't the present - it was the time and the thought behind it. I'm not fond of cleaning - as evidenced by the state of our apartment. Clean enough by my standards and grandson hasn't gotten sick while he's visiting is a good sign. Daughter obviously picked up on my housecleaning dislike and that touched my heart.

The walk with dad was in memory of the walks Riley liked to do with the kids when it was time to talk. Somehow things got a little better after those talking walks. And our son couldn't have picked a better present for his dad. The thought and the time.

While I believe I have eternity when I leave this world behind, I don't believe any of us should waste what time we have right now...right this minute. Time is a precious commodity that we can't store away for a better day. When you give your time to someone, it's a gift that far surpasses anything else.

The next time an event hits your calender, whether it be a birthday, anniversary or Christmas...think about giving the present of time.

Oh yes - the photo. A work in progress for granddaughter. While I previously have griped about making this quilt out of 4" blocks, I have come to love making this quilt. God knew all along that would happen!

I quilt.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Life IS Change

Monday the 27th of July marked our 38th wedding anniversary. Thirty-Eight Years. Lots of changes in those 38 years - some of them good - some of them I used to wish for a do over. But if I'm to believe that God is really in charge, the changes were and still are for the best.

We learn from change. Sometimes it's overnight. Sometimes it takes months. Sometimes it's a question I hope God will answer. My list of questions are getting shorter each day. Now that is a very good thing.

On our anniversary, we opted to go to Red Lobster. Actually, I got to choose. Change didn't happen for the choosing of the restaurant (grin). It's a standard safe restaurant for me. However, that morning we did some major furniture rearranging in the bedroom and in the living room. Okay, so it's not earth shaking change - but a pleasant one just the same.

What I really thought about most was the fact that we are not guaranteed anything. We're fortunate enough to have one grown child & family live very close to us now. We're blessed we can perfect our grandparenting skills with the 4 year old grandchild - and blessed that we can do so on a regular basis. That could change tomorrow if a job change takes them out of the area.

We're blessed we have another grown child & family who live ninety minutes away. There are many days when I wish we could perfect our grandparenting skills with the 3 year old grandchild. Maybe someday. That could all change tomorrow if a job change takes them further away.

There are a multitude of changes that go on in our lives every single day. I was choosing to look at the dark side of each change until this very moment. If you will excuse the "I don't know what caused the change" statement, I realized I do know what caused the shift. Life IS change. Without change, we can't grow, we don't learn and we stagnate.

Ah yes - quilt blocks. Finished the last of the 20 last night. They'll be shipped off to a woman in Maryland where she'll combine then with other blocks made from ladies across the US....and will end up in a quilt for a child somewhere. Quilt for Kids. Look it up. Great organization!

I quilt.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Life Can Sometimes Be So Darn Challenging.....

On the 3rd of July, Riley, my sister Carol & I flew to Oshkosh, WI. Several hours later, we were joined by our daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter, son, daughter-in-law and grandson.... all to wish our parents a Happy 60th Anniversary.

Sixty years. Six decades. What can one possibly do to commemorate sixty years of marriage? The only thing we thought of was to make sure my parents got to meet their great grandkids from Ohio and that they did. Nothing beats a hug from a child. The world could be falling around me - and a hug from grand daughter or grand son and nothing else matters. It was a whirlwind trip - flew in Friday evening, flew back home on Sunday. No matter Riley, sis & I flew back on Monday, it was still a whirlwind trip.

Learned much this weekend. It's wonderful to visit while staying at a hotel. It's better when the hotel has a pool and whirlpool and free breakfast. Not to say that parents aren't great hosts though. It's wonderful to have the ability to sleep late if one so chooses....or meander down to the breakfast area and talk to Julie, the nice hostess who was in total charge of the breakfasts at the hotel....or meander down to the whirlpool. I have got to get me a whirlpool of my own someday.

Dad is using a walker irregularly ..... and driving less these days. Mom now reminds dad of what medications he should be taking. You know how it is - those little lifestyle changes that just seem to appear overnight without warning. We shamelessly planted a seed about downsizing, selling the house and moving here to Dayton, Ohio. My brother still lives in Oshkosh, so we hope the seed planting was not minded. There's something to be said about living here where both parents could be around two of their kids - plus grand kids - and throw in the added bonus of two great grandkids. Plus throw in a great church we attend .... one can always hope.

Somehow this past weekend gave me pause. Deep thoughts. Life is indeed one big challenge - especially after one retires. We make choices every single day, with every breath we take. We can choose to sit by and watch life slowly pass .... or we march along with it. I like the idea of not only marching along with it, but welding a tambourine festooned with ribbons. We can choose to actively be a part of this world - or sit back and watch. I like the idea of actively being a part of this world...and sharing whatever we can with others. Still much to think about.

So dad- if you end up reading this post, hope you and mom both consider marching with that tambourine.....And dad - do make that call regarding your computer. Consider the fact the entire family are all in agreement : make the call. Nothing like ending a post with a cryptic plea.

Oh yes - the quilt block. This block was mailed to hospice shortly after my father-in-law joined Jesus and the saints. I love the idea this block will be joined with other blocks in memorium of those who had the privilege of using hospice. I know we all were pleased dad was able to stay home up to the very end of his time....thank God for hospice for making that possible.

I quilt.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Ramblings of a Wife.....

Another case of left knee swelling for Riley....which now makes episode #3.

If one were to ask me why my thoughts about bilateral total knee replacements, I would have to think twice before giving an answer....and perhaps in a month or two, I could so do. Don't know what the answer would be...but lots of thought would have gone into it before speaking.

Episode #1 left knee swelling - a trip to the hospital via ambulance and a very long wait in a well designed (she writes with sarcasm) ER room. Swelling decreased with elevation, ice & happy juice pain medication. Sent home shortly thereafter.

Episode #2 left knee swelling - after a long weekend chess tournament. Elevation, ice & compression relieved swelling. Amazing what one can learn by visiting the ER for a bit.

Episode #3 left knee swelling - today. Okay, I think right about now: enough is enough.

The theory is this: adhesions & scar tissue is plaguing the left knee. Blood thinner is causing the adhesions & scar tissue to bleed....hence, swelling. I am beginning to dislike intensely the word "theory". Option to be discussed with family doctor on Monday - go off the blood thinners in hopes the blood clots in both lower calves will remain where they should. Upside - swelling should not occur (emphasis on the "should" and "not") once off the blood thinners. Downside - those pesky blood clots in the lower calves may do a little traveling and cause some havoc.

Did I say I am beginning to dislike intensely the word "theory" ????

Morbid as it sounds, I am beginning to realize that life is indeed's a mere blip on the's fleeting....and so forth. Eternal life though salvation is what I sincerely believe....and so while life here on earth is short, the knowledge I'll meet my Saviour is very comforting.

But in the meantime, go hug everyone in your family. Make that phone call just to say hi. Send out that text that just says I love you. You just never know what tomorrow may bring.

The photo is one of the appliqued blocks I made awhile ago. I'm so far behind with this particular quilt, I had forgotten all about the blocks. Nice reminder to myself to get moving.

I quilt.


Friday, June 05, 2009

Herding Cats.....

On the 9th of July, my parents will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Imagine....sixty years. Riley & I will celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary on the 27th of July...and I think that's one long length of time (a good length of time, Riley - honest).

I thought it would be a wonderful gift to my parents to bring our two kids & their family to WI to help celebrate their 60th....a tad early since we'd be coming in on the weekend of the 4th of July.

I examined driving....500 miles in a 12 passenger van with 7 adults and 2 kids under the age of 5. Well, room for 12 did seem like a lot of room until you figure in car seats for the tykes. Scratch that. Thought about renting 2 mini vans and doing the caravan bit for 500 miles. I wonder why I felt tired just at the thought. Driving 500 miles on Friday....driving 500 miles back on Sunday. Scratch that. Flying. Yes, that's the way to go. No fuss, no muss. Fly in, rent a couple of cars to get around, snag 3 hotel rooms (parents do not have the room to put us up), and problem solved.

Flight reservations have been made for dear hubby and myself and my sister. That leaves daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter....and son, daughter-in-law and grandson. I have forgotten what it is like to be out in the workworld, waiting for approval for time off....I have forgotten what it is like to juggle home life & work life....

Yet, I felt like I was herding cats trying to get this plan together. Then the great revelation....I'm not in control at all. Never have been, never will be. I can plan all I want ....but that doesn't make it a reality.

So....hopefully the folks will see their great grandkids for the first time in July. If not, it's not the end of the world. And that feels okay with me. Riley & I & sis will have a good time flying to WI and seeing our folks.

The photo is of blocks I made for a one-time kitty cat block swap. Just got the swapped out blocks in the mail today. Must remember to photograph the new ones - they are simply lovely.

I quilt.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Even in Despair.....

As earlier written, Riley had both knees replaced on the 13th of May. He was home on the 22nd of May and all was well....until.....

Friday, the 26th of May I came home after 5 hours away (womens' group studying a Beth Moore lesson @ church; a trip to the quilt store and to JoAnns) and the dear man's left knee was swollen. Mind you, not overly swollen. He couldn't get comfortable and within 45 minutes or less, the left knee now resembled an overripe cantaloupe and he was in a lot of pain. Horrors. Could get him down by elevator to the lobby (curses on living on the 6th floor of a high rise apartment - at least temporary curses) but he could go no further.

A 911 call was made (thank you Deanne and Jason of our leasing office!) and within minutes, an ambulance was getting him on the gurney.Despair does not begin to describe my state of mind.

Long story short - adhesions & scar tissue had torn away from the knee and while good for the knee to bend properly, it was complicated by the blood thinners he is on. Hence, blood pooling up in the knee.ER doc's discussion with ortho surgeon resident was interesting... drain the blood & risk infection or .... Can't say I heard much after the 'drain the blood' issue. Suffice to say, I didn't choose the medical field for a reason.

An ultrasound was ordered (resulted in finding blood clots in left lower calf - already knew there were small ones in right lower calf) and also an Xray done - just in case. Six hours later, he was released with a pain medication slightly more effective than the previous one prescribed.

It is now the 3rd of June. Riley is doing well. We've had our discussion of fear. I feared I would be going home without my beloved - permanently. Riley feared he might lose his leg. Eh. Rather a leg than a life. At any rate, it sure did make for glorious days afterwards.

Even in despair, there can be joy. We learned that pain medication is a good thing - especially since this particular medication has Tylenol in it (helps relieve swelling). We learned there is a proper way to elevate the legs (which we were not doing properly). We learned too much walking may produce consequences but exercising does not.

Baby quilt pictured above was finished 30 minutes before having to leave for a baby shower on Monday, 1 June. That elevates my procrastinator status greatly. Second quilt I've freehand quilted with my trusty Singer sewing machine. Oh yes. Almost five hours of quilting but worth the effort. Just don't look on the backside of the quilt.

I quilt.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Today, dear husband Riley will be discharged from the hospital after having a bilateral knee replacement. The now-bionic man decided to have both knees replaced. Surgery took place on the 13th of May and today is the 22nd of May. A miracle, indeed, to be discharged this early.

One of the items on the to-do list was to drive to the medical supply place and pick up a few items to make life easier. As I packed the shower bench and apparatus that fits over the toilet (is there a real word for that contraption???), I realized that we are no longer in the spring season of our lives. Just fact, nothing more.

We have lots of adventures to still look forward to....including the vacation we didn't take in February of this year when Riley came home from Iraq earlier than expected. Oh yes, dear husband - it's in writing now so the vacation was merely postponed (smile).

I so look forward to having him home once again. Never knew hospital visits could be tiring - though not so tiring as to the rehab Riley suffered. One saving grace....a superb coffee shop offered fortitude both on the way up and on the way out. Score many points for coffee once again.

Oh yes - I did quilt a teeny bit. That "intro" photo is of ten 9 patch blocks I made. Again, these blocks will be mailed to another quilter - which she will then join these blocks with other quilters' blocks and then ultimately shipped off to "Quilts for Kids". Look it up. Be a part of it.

Soon - I quilt.


Monday, May 04, 2009

Whatever Happened to the Small Stuff.....

Whatever happened to the small stuff in life....such as expressing gratitude or thanks for receiving something....or opening the door for someone when they have both hands full....or saying something nice to someone in the elevator....or even electronically posting a 'I've missed you' ......

I am becoming more & more disenchanted with not seeing or hearing the small stuff in life. Ahhhh - but the story is not over yet!!!

Today I took a long walk. First, to the post office. Now keep in mind, most trips to the post office takes an attitude of patience and kindness. Okay, maybe not for you but the post office I frequent may have very well been the basis for the phrase "going postal". So with the idea of 'what ever happened to the small stuff' in my head, I mentally geared myself for the trip across the street to the post office. Oh yes, that's a blessing in itself....we live across the street from the post office.

I was greeted with "hey, there you are - haven't seen you in awhile". Goodness - the small stuff in life was alive & well. And the lovely lady behind the counter remembered I was retired and commented to the fact that she just knows I'll have a good day.

I left the post office and headed towards the bank. Passed a lady on the street who lives in our high rise apartment. She said hello first and cautioned me about the loose stones on the sidewalk. TWO small stuff in life happenings.

After making a business deposit at the bank, I headed over to the library. small stuff happenings there. I guess when a public library hires security guards to watch over the books, small stuff in life gets lost in the shuffle.

On the walk home, I thought about the two episodes of the small stuff and felt really good. I rode the elevator to our 6th floor apartment, grabbed the ole laundry basket (yes, shamelessly I had left laundry in the dryer for the 60 minute tumble) and headed down to the laundry room. I discovered BOTH dryers were lint free. How could that be?!?!? I said something about the no-lint discovery out loud and an elderly lady replied, "Oh I took it out - I hope that's okay - the clothes dry faster that way". Small stuff hits again. I thanked her profusely .... which I am still hoping didn't scare the life out of her.

Three small stuff episodes in one day - and it's only noon.

Small stuff is vital to our quality of life & it takes so little to practice it.

I finally finished twelve patriotic themed quilt blocks. The photo of the blocks I posted will be mailed to a lady in Milwaukee, WI. She will put together the blocks and mail the quilt(s) to someone in TX who will take the quilts to a hospital in Ft Hood TX. The quilts are distributed to the families of soldiers who have come for treatment/surgery after serving in Iraq.

Oh yes, I do quilt....


Friday, May 01, 2009

Brave Little Man....

Today our 4 yr old grandson had his tonsils removed. Mom & dad are doing fine....Grandparents are breathing easier and E (for Ethan - or so his parents say - I think it stands for 'excess' - as in an overabundance of energy!) is probably running around as if nothing had happened. Has to be youth. What a charmer this kid is...

Dear husband took a few photos of E before the surgery. You'd never know what was awaiting this brave little man. He was given medicine to help calm .... I have got to get some of that stuff. That's the most laid back I have ever seen Ethan. Nope, there was the time we had finished my errands & he was in the car seat just moments away from dream land. Not exactly what I had envisioned. The nap was meant to be taken at home so I could join him in dreamland. But I digress. He sure was cute wearing that cloth elasticized cap the nurses wear in surgery.

After much coffee and free wireless (surgical centers now have wireless - does that tell you something about the possible waiting time?!?!?), we were allowed to see E. after his surgery. We had brought a stuffed monkey for him along with a PS2 game. Grandparents, here's a very wise hint: Stuffed animal first. PS2 game second. Stuffed animal first, any other treat second. Trust me, you must remember to give those gifts in that order. The monkey was well received. The PS2 game - well, need I say more....

So hence, the photo for the monkey. I thought it cuter than a photo of the PS2 game.

So I offer credit to Go adopt a monkey!

In the meantime, I quilt....soon I hope.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pay It Forward...The gift that keeps on gifting.....

Love this idea....absolutely love it!

Okay - so you are anxiously awaiting what the idea is all about - but of course you are!

I shamelessly took advantage of daughter's blog that brought to my attention the gift that will encircle the world....or so I hope!

The first three people who leave a comment on my blog will receive a wonderful gift - sometime this year. Simple enough? Ahhhh - but there is more! You must pass this gift on YOUR blog....

Without regret, I shall simply borrow the rules from daughter's blog - with a few unknown-to-you edits....

*The gift will be something I have made just for you - not something stored away to be brought out now
*Package will be mailed sometime during this year
*I'm one of those craft-it-all people - so who knows what the heck you'll get....
*Sure - you can regift it.....that's the neat thing about receiving a gift. It's YOUR gift
*Yes, I will contact the first 3 people who leave a comment - and then you'll need to send me your mailing for the weak-in-the-knees people who do not want to share a mailing address....sorry, but I know no other way to send the gift to you. I'm not much into driving to a specified location and dropping package off next to the big red sign.
*You must offer the SAME on your blog - offer a gift to the first 3 commenters. Yes, others DO this on Facebook, but I'm a fan of blogs - so this consider this a BLOG Pay it Forward.

Don't you just love this?

And yes, I DO quilt and YES I am quilting.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pincushion Mania

Ever had moments when you wonder "what the heck am I doing with my time?"

The photo is just the tip of the iceberg as to what has been filling my time lately. Pincushions. They're growing in number - daily. I don't know why. I finish one and the next one is started immediately. I'll watch episodes of Bones (am now up to Season 2 - gotta love Netflix) and by the time the credits roll after episode #2 on the DVD, I've completed another pincushion and am contemplating the next one.

In the meantime, fabric that has been cut out for quilting blocks lay patiently on the cutting table. Sewing machine quietly sits on the table waiting for the chance to create the blocks. Latest quilting magazines lay untouched on the desk.

So what could this possibly mean....and what in the world will I do with all these pincushions....

Be very wary of unsolicited packages that may come your way..... this is the year of the invading pincushions.


In the meantime, I hope I quilt.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Killer Brownies!!! Hall of Fame Dessert

I love food. Okay - that's is not entirely true. I love desserts. I love cheeseburgers also. I look for the perfect dessert and the perfect cheeseburger. I've found many a perfect dessert but only once found the perfect cheeseburger. Alas, the ultimate in cheeseburgers are no longer to be found. They were served at the Diner on St Clair, Dayton Ohio - no longer in business. Darn.

Now the perfect dessert? One made the list just a few days ago. The Killer Brownie made by the bakers at the Dorothy Lane Market, S. Main Street, Dayton Ohio. You will not believe this brownie. It's the ultimate in chocolate. It's the stuff chocolate dreams are made of. After one bite, I was in chocolate heaven. Obviously this is true since I ate darn near 3/4 of this delectable dessert before I stopped to photograph it. Rich, rich chocolate - with a layer of nuts - a layer of caramel - and heaven knows what else and then is dusted with confectioners' sugar. If I were gluten intolerant, I would suffer the consequences gladly. If I were diabetic, I'd risk a coma. Okay - maybe not to that extent.

Great job, Dorothy Lane Market! While I will hold myself in check and not indulge in another killer brownie so soon, I will be back. For that, I will gladly add an additional 2 hours to my workout routine. No sacrifice is too great....

In the meantime, I quilt.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Celebration.....!

This evening I had a strawberry sundae for dinner. You could say it was in celebration of spring. You might even venture the opinion it's foolish to have ice cream for dinner. I say it gave me pleasure to be out in this wonderful spring weather, knowing that it is only 14 days before my beloved Riley comes home to me.

I saw a couple walk their dog to the ice cream stand....and several moments later, walked away with two ice cream cones and a bowl of ice cream. Now that's a blessed dog.....

I saw a young mother & father with their young son. With grandparents watching, father and son boogied to the music over the speakers.

Life is truly wonderful! Tomorrow I may very well have oreo cookies and coffee for lunch....

And in the meantime, I quilt.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Birthday Reflections....

Yesterday was my 57th birthday. Fifty-seven. Twenty years ago I would have thought, that is really getting up there. Ten years ago I thought, sixty years old is just the beginning. Today I think, seventy years old is just the tip of the iceberg. It's all in one's perspective.

This year's birthday - very, very sweet. Had the birthday lunch at Red Lobster on Sunday. Had birthday breakfast with sis - a trip to the local quilting store where I patted my beloved Kenmore 25+ yr old sewing machine goodbye for a couple of days (servicing and cleaning - its very first one ever) - picked up a "few" fat quarters (never mind how many - few is also relative) plus a 1/2 yard of Amy Butler's new prints (never mind why), a trip to the big ole Dorothy Lane Market south of town where I kept repeating "awesome" much to the dismay of those around me (you have got to see this place someday!), and finally a trip to Tim Hortons for sandwich, soup, coffee & timbits before grandson looked after me for a couple of hours in the evening.

Oh yes - must throw in there - opening up a package from a wonderful online friend who knows exactly THE right gifts to send. Grandson loved the bunny enclosed just for him. And several calls from DH on THE day to say Happy Birthday. And some very nice cards from family and friends.

Now I know you are all saying - what's with the photo of the tea cozy? Who made that magnificant work of art? And who photographed it so darn well?

Tea cozy was knitted by dear daughter in honor of my birthday. I collect tea pots. Okay - I COLLECTED tea pots. No room for any more unless one falls off the shelf, breaks and I then I will be able to shop for one more. It's written in the tea pot collection contract. Yes, I drink coffee like a fiend but I do love tea also. Hence - the beautiful tea cozy. The colors are gorgeous, are they not? And the photographer is me. The cozy adorns one of my earliest tea pots and sits prettily on the shelf - set apart from the other tea pots (I swear, they backed away in awe after I slipped the cozy on the tea pot) - and has this wonderful view of the outskirts of Dayton.

I quilt.

Maybe today.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

...and another birthday...

....this is a picture of love.....

Today I celebrated my birthday a couple days early with the help of our son, grandson, daughter, son-in-law (aka Son #2), granddaughter and sister. We had lunch at Red Lobster - no doubt, because of my great fondness for seafood. Fifty-seventh birthday...and each year gets better and better. Darling husband knows my favorite dessert is carrot cake - and several years ago Red Lobster offered it. Alas, he didn't know they no longer have it on their the substitute sent home was this lovely cheesecake topped with strawberries.

Birthdays are a wonderous event. One can either embrace it - or not. I love birthdays. It's a day of reflection . A day to be honored. A day to enjoy fully. So I take this time to list what I love....

* I love Jesus
* I love my husband
*I love my children and their spouses
*I love the fact they have given us grandchildren
*I love our grandchildren and love the idea of having more someday
*I love carrot cake
*I love cheesecake with strawberries
*I love the sound of snow hitting the trees
*I love the smell of rain
*I love holding hands with my husband when we take a drive
*I love walking into a quilting store for the first time
*I love it when a verse in the bible comes alive
*I love creating quilts
*I love knitting & watching the piece grow
*I love knowing that one day I'll no longer be of this world and will meet my heavenly Father

....and I love eating cheesecake this evening....knowing it is love.

I quilt.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Heartwarming Roses - Even in Frigid Weather

This is Tuesday's rose - the 27th of January. I admit it. I'm spoiled. A rose every Tuesday and with it brings a ray of sunshine even during the most frigid of days.

Double digit temperatures - 6 inches of snow - and another inch or so of ice beneath the snow. It's been a lovely couple of days here in Dayton Ohio. I must remember these days come summer when I complain that it's so terribly hot.

Here's a shot from our 6th floor apartment window.....Frigid? You bet. We don't often get days like these - but when we do, it's a beauty. Now imagine, going out to brush off the car - and finding underneath the snow about an inch of ice. Now imagine looking in the rental car (another story for another time) and finding no.scraper.anywhere. One hour later, 2 Blockbuster cards, one tiny whisk broom, one plastic dustpan and 1/8th of a tank of gas (had to get that defroster working), we were able to get into the car. Now THAT is determination.

But there's beauty even in the frigid weather. Beauty to be enjoyed from our 6th floor living room window.

And in the meantime, I quilt.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Random Thoughts.....

Time has a way of passing so very quickly without one realizing it. The rose continues to be delivered without fail every Tuesday and I'm reminded how very much I am loved.

It occurred to me the other evening that life is a series of short stops. Sometimes we stay for awhile and we think - ahhhhhh - this is it. This is nice and life becomes comfortable. Comfortable turns into a yearning for something different and once again, we continue on the journey.

And then there are those who no longer travel and life just is. It's nothing more, nothing less. We've all been there. We take each other for granted....we forget why God created us .... we forget to share our thoughts....we no longer dream out loud. This has nothing to do with how young or how old one is. Without dreams, life is empty and desolate.

God has given each of us a very special gift - a talent if you will. Sometimes we discover it early. Sometimes we don't recognize it at all but others do. Sometimes we just don't want the responsibility and ignore it completely. And the saddest of all - there are those who don't even look for it at all.

What's your gift? What have you done lately to touch the heart of others? A touch, a smile, telling a joke or passing on a little note that simply reads "I care"..... There is so much we can do to serve others. That's really why we're here.

Random thoughts....

And in the meantime, I quilt.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Love is like a red, rose....

This one has to be my all-time favorites....of all the roses Riley has had delivered weekly, this is THE one. Perhaps it is the fact that we're getting closer and closer to our magic date of 23 Feb 09 when we will meet in the Atlanta airport and then fly out to Cancun. Perhaps it's just the sheer beauty of this flower. The deep red is in the inside of the petal - and the creamy barely pink color is on the outside of the petal. The rose itself didn't last more than a couple of days, but the beauty of it will be forever in my heart.

Amazingly enough, when the rose unfolded - it was truly beautiful. For two days it showed its glory without a wilt in sight.

I dreamt of this rose several nights if there was a significant meaning to this particular rose. When I woke up, Robert Burns poem came to mind. Mind you, I'm not one to read poetry until the wee hours of the morning...or even while having a cup of coffee midday. I do confess to having written many poems in my teens (and who has not?!?).

My love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June :
My love is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love,
And fare thee weel a while !
And I will come again, my love,
Thou’ it were ten thousand mile.

My love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June :
My love is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I :

And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love,
And fare thee weel a while !
And I will come again, my love,
Thou’ it were ten thousand mile.

Oh indeed, my beloved Riley ....

And while I wait for 23 February, I quilt.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The power of a vacation...or is it the power of love?

Ah but first - the rose. I have been remiss in not posting.... Many things to do, many things still not done, many things I probably will miss. Life goes on. Back to the rose. I do not how this happens, but each week the rose that is delivered is more beautiful than the week before. There's an analogy waiting to happen here, I can feel it. Yes - like being in love with the same wonderful man for 37 years. Each week it's better than the week before. It could be a word - or seeing his face on Skype - or getting an email from him that makes me laugh.

And now the power of the vacation. My beloved is taking three weeks vacation from his job in Iraq. Three weeks! We shall meet in the Atlanta Airport. Shades of 'An Affair to Remember' (see it - you'll love it). From there, we will fly to Cancun, Mexico where we will be staying in a wonderful hotel for ten wonderful days. Having not been to this hotel before, I am building it up in my mind as a wonderful hotel. How could it not be?

The power of the vacation is - well, powerful. Snow filled roads? Not a problem. Think Cancun, Mexico. Bill arrived late in the mail? Think Cancun, Mexico. Trying to survive on 1200 calories on a daily basis. Think Cancun, Mexico. No, on second thought - the destination is in 2nd place. First place is being with my beloved.

Funny how you start off with a thought and end elsewhere. It's the power of love, pure & simple. Over 37 years of being together and I still get the count-down-the-days-with-accelerated-heartbeat-feel-good-allover state of mind. Oh yes.

And while waiting, I quilt.