Saturday, December 9, 2017

I hope I did the right Christmassy thing...

Our Dear Dylan is 7, in second grade.
Dylan sat with me and stitched 15 lid openers over a period of days
He is so proud that he did this himself for his presents.

Can you believe tonight I just checked the Susan Branch Blog to find that she did this!!!!

 He is gone every weekend to either  his mother's house or to be with his cousins.
So, tonight I stamped and pasted and tied...his presents for him.
Does this take away from Dylan doing it "all himself"?
 I think I made the right decision.
He is a boy who seldom sits still.
I am afraid that if I make him do it all, he will burn out on sewing.
 Now he can just choose the  recipients and do the delivery...

 Lynsey is 8.and in 3rd grade.  She worked with her aunt writing a project on cats.
 For her poster, she asked for some of my cat fabrics.
She cut them out and pinned them on a small design wall to take to school.
She would not let me help her at all.
This girl has a mind of her own...she has a story in her head for each fabric cat.
I wish  I could be a fly on the wall for this delivery!!
But, the independent Miss...would never, ever let me...
Back to my adorable Swedish canisters...Love!!!
Today was the day I went to my grief therapist even though I felt good.
Of course after, I felt even better.
Today was the day I got a call from the school that Lynsey needed Urgent care...
and a strep test....OMG...She was put on meds and the poor darling
has to miss the Girls on the Run finale..
A run tomorrow in the rain with 4000 other girls.
Her poor sick eyes teared up at that news.
She was so disappointed.

Tonight I am watching Hallmark Christmas movies while I sew,
And, I am not crying...Wahoo....
It is midnight and I am not morose...OMG
I think there might be hope...HOPE...just maybe...
It started with BarBara's birthday present...
A huge box of candy...ha  ha. ha
I felt loved.
My daughter is coming in 7 days. I cannot wait.
Emily coming is the best birthday present I could ever want!!
So, as for the much feared birthday...I have had a long awaited epiphany...
Instead of being  hysterical that I am turning 70...I am remembering my mother's wise words..
I am being grateful that I have lasted this long...How about that??!!!!
I am also drinking red wine.
I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to stay up late and sleep in in the morning.
Weekend joy...just for me.
xo

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Just Never Leave Me Out!!!!!

Sherry's birthday party...total fun
Presents made by me..:  snack bag lined with rip stop.
Sherry loves camping...This fabric is so adorable.
 Clear plastic golden glitter...from Cousin Ann in London.
It makes a great little bag.
Both bags close with colored Velcro

Dearest of dear friends in my ALS group totally understands my grief..
She travels the very same saddest road.
Voila, the birthday present she sent me today!!!!
OMG...How does she know me so well.
xoxox BarBara

Musings:
I say Happy Holidays because I want to be included in every single celebration.
I just love a holiday and I just love a party!!!
Merry Christmas is my favorite.

I asked my son to come for a few hours this afternoon to put up the outside Christmas lights.
The minute the children got home, they got all cranky with old grandma.
You just invite Daddy over to do work when we want to play with him.
He is just here for a few hours, as it is two hours each way on the bus for him..
OMG...I can never win.
But....they were thrilled when the lights were up.
Dylan is only 7, but he is his daddy's kid...great work ethic, great ideas!!
Here he is in the tree helping arrange the lights.

Good news from my ortho guy today.
He said that he is so pleased with the x-ray results of  my hip surgery.
...... all the resting I did helped me heal.
And....now is the time to get moving...OH...NO..
I just love my recliner!!
...The joints on my other side will have to be replaced eventually,
but, for now they look good...TBTG
He agreed with my PCP, that all my fatigue was the accumulation of
my life's stressors....I do not know what they mean???
Do you??
A fun trip to IKEA with my group found these.
At about $1.57 each, they are perfect pillows for the kids to cover for teacher or thank you presents.
Way cheaper than making pillows myself.
Scandinavian...IKEA   love...
 The lights are up, the kids in bed and Stephanie and her man took  my son to the bus stop
Now, Grandma has some time alone..
Making her survival festive...this lady added pomegranates to her glass of beer...
Way to go Grandma O'Quilts!!!!
This is the season for peace...for now anyway I will enjoy
xo

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A Night Note

Amidst me and my stuff, I managed to bind a quilt.
One that Terri quilted for me when my shoulder went south.
I feel a sense of accomplishment all over again.
I am working on a small gift for a birthday.
It has to be perfect because the person is perfect.
Alas, it is not.  Sigh..
Tonight putting 8 year old Lynsey to bed, she wanted to talk about death.
She is afraid that her mother's outside cat will die in the cold
She remembers how much she loved Granddaddy who she watched die of ALS
And her other grandmother who, at 50 died from drugs.
And my mother who fell out of her wheelchair and broke her neck....and why didn't she ring her call button for help...and what does Parkinson's do to someone anyway?.
Still my heart as I thought of her father..my son...all homeless shooting Heroin.
His death could bring more trauma to us all.
Please, God...no...Please take care of Eamon

I tried to get a tute from Ellison Lane blog...Jennifer has retired from blogging and told  me that her tutes are all gone...soooo frustrating.  I had thought that they would stay on my Evernote forever..ugh

A lovely visit today from the wife, of the now retired, bee keeper..
It cheered me right up

Please enjoy a few laughs as ......

The Three Person Quilt

This free Saturday spent sleeping, pondering, reading, sister-ing and binding.
These vintage blocks were bought at an estate sale, top made by me and quilted by Terri.
I think I am going to keep this quilt.
Finished the binding tonight.
 Stitch is like a dog....he is everywhere I am.

I do not want to go to bed and I do not want to get up.
The holidays are so hard this  year.
Twelve days until my girl and her man come for the visit.
I am so blessed.and excited.
 This link is so on it...
Christmas Blues: Four Ways We Mess up Comforting Friends

I am all out of chocolate...just so you know.

Friday, December 1, 2017

December Begins

My birthday month means that every day of December, I plan to do something special.
The LED tree I bought last year after Christmas sales at Target.
LED has an odd glow, but I love the white balls...still thinking on how to decorate it.
The decorating has just barely begun....
 This artificial white tree as purchased  four years ago when the children came to live with us, 
and it was clear that Mr. O'Quilts could no longer put up a live tree.
Even though, it probably has seen its day, the children love it...so here it stands...with love.
 My disappearing nine patch, showcasing favorite Christmas fabric
..And the heart tree Marie made me forever ago.
It has always been a favorite.
In Granddaddy's bathroom are the trees I bought at an antique store near
MP's lake  house last year...good memories are what Christmas is about. 
 Patterns from BHG magazine in the 1970's.
My grandmother embroidered them and I hand quilted it.
 Boo in the box!!!
 
 Sad and blue, I struggle with grief this time of year.
What fixes it...sewing...just got my bottom end out of the recliner and..
Into the sewing room...putting the fabric together for a potholder.
 
 From Quilted Castle on Cyber Monday came a deal I just could not resist.
I know, I know....I am counting the pennies and Christmas is here..
But......I loved them so and they were "almost free"....little snippets of color and joy.
Whenever the children leave for the weekend, I cry.
I miss them already, as the car drives off.
But, I know I need the time to rest  Stupid hip replacement surgery.!!!!
And..on it goes.
The children are growing older and they are starting to push back about leaving for the weekend.
Evan wants to play with his friends.
Lynsey wants time alone to play in her own room, by herself with her dolls.
But, when the weekend comes...happily they go off to their mommy's house
or to their cousin's  house.
I am grateful for the support.
There will be a time when their needs will have to come first before mine.
That will be OK when the time comes.

P.S  Did  I mention how much I miss Mr. O'Quilts?
xo

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Holiday Preparation

We are in full blown mode for teacher presents.
Dylan, age 7 is making his jar openers.  He and I sewed pretty fabric onto nonslip fabric from the kitchen department at Walmart.  They will be given as jar openers.  He is finished.  He is thrilled.
He can thread the machine, use the presser foot, put his hands on mine to sew a straight line.
He irons and snips the treads.
 
 Ironing away...my grandboy!!
Always supervising is the quilting cat, Stitch!!

I sent off a package to a friend.
I think she was about to get more than she bargained for!!
 
Evan is 12.  He is working here....on a potholder for one teacher, a pillow for another...and a plastic bag holder for still another.  We got on their websites to see what they love..
They love Tar heels, Patriots, and healthy food/military...so much fun.
He sews a bit each night.
Evan, too , will be finished soon.  I like to get things done early.
Poor Evan.  He is so interested in things that cameras can do.  I told him that I might be able to get him a camera other than a point and shoot.  My mouth made a mistake.
Those cameras are sooo expensive...He will have to wait until he is working himself...for those.
I should have checked first.  I had thought we could find a refurbished on on Cyber Monday., still outrageous moola....

 Grandma got things together this weekend.
Thanks to Nancy and her basket give-a-way.
I have hand warmers/ ice packs ready for the school for the holiday season.
 
 And tissue holders for the J.
So much gratitude for the J where my mother wrote her poetry and my dear man played his tennis.
Now, the grands go every summer to summer camp.
 Evan doing some chopping for the turkey soup.
He took my I-phone to record his work in time-lapse.
How does he know these things??
My goals for my grands....To learn to give to others, 
To learn that handmade things are the best, that you cannot buy love.
To learn to appreciate what others do for us.  To give them consistency...eg..staying in Karate even though they might like to try other things.  To learn that even though they may not like something today, sticking with it brings rewards.  To be self sufficient,, eg with cooking and sewing and money and caring for themselves. 
 That Christmas is not about  big presents, it is about giving from the heart to others. 
To work on taking disappointment in stride, that life is  not fair.
 I am trying to do the best I can...
Poor Lynsey is at her Mommy's house sick with a stomach virus.

Grandma O'Quilts was bedraggled today.
Exhausted and sleeping away the day, feeling depressed with no motivation.
After my friend, Meg sent this to me.
It just made my day!!
A Better Man
I set tasks for myself.
The store for meds, the store for waffles for the children's breakfast,
making bindings, posting...working on holiday gifts.
Lo, and behold, my mother was right.
Peace comes when you think of others.

I thought that this TED  talk was quite motivating.
I put it here so I could re-read it when I needed to.
What Really Matters at the end of life...TED

 Thanksgiving came and went and I was not in charge, again.
I followed my heart, and life happened for the best.
For my grandchildren, almost everyone that they loved came to be thankful at my house.
My sister, my XDIL and her new husband, her sister and family and in-laws.
My sister and I drove to the woods to find my son.
I needed her to go with me as I felt so anxious as to what I would find.
I am grateful that he was in good shape.
Everyone was loving and ate in thanks once he was  here.
It was a perfect Thanksgiving.

My son brought leftovers to a homeless buddy of his that could not come.
We fed, in love, two homeless folks on Thanksgiving.
I am in peace, knowing that I did the right thing.
Mr. O'Quilts would have felt the same.

Our family has been in crisis for 4.5 years.
It is sometimes a blur....
I put one foot in front of the other, one second at a time.
Sometimes I know that I am doing my best, sometimes I do not.
Doing the right thing is often so hard.

I did...do not tell...but I did.
buy two small fabric treats on Black Friday online.
I am excited.
xoxo
Thank you all for listening to my story.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Once Upon a Time

The busy day....Kids all excited Monday to do the promised house.


After much 7th grade whining...
 We see a slight smile with pride, as our Evan shows off the present he made for his math teacher.
The teacher loves dogs..This is a plastic bag holder...
Can you see the cute dogs with a close up??
We are trying to teach here the spirit of giving to others for Christmas.
Giving from the heart...as in homemade.
In learning a task, walking through the fire to get to the other side.
In this project, Evan learned a few new steps...eg threading the elastic, and sewing a strap.
He so did not like the learning process...but was pleased with the result..

Monday night we enjoyed this Susan Branch recipe from her blog..
I had the soup all ready for an easy dinner before we did the Gingerbread house.



The ALS article I posted last time, was about folks in the service.
Athletes are also at risk...My man was an athlete with a severe head injury from a hurling stick....when he was in his late teens.
Yet, no one really knows what causes ALS...still
It is so awful.
So is the American health care system for catastrophic illness.
Most folks do not know this.
They have not been through it.
Their healthcare votes do not address the problem accurately .

Needing here to write more for my book...ha ha...so I can remember it all as I age.

My bro was suppose to come for Thanksgiving...I was so excited.
Alas, a change of plans.
Their old van will not make it from New York to Charlotte.
Since they live in their van, if it breaks down, they will be in big trouble,
It was 22 degrees the other night, he said...and living without the van would be dreadful.
He and his wife  have been upset that one of their cats died last week.
They have 14 left...down from 21..All the cats would not be happy in 22 degree temperature, either.
Kinda sad and kinda funky..
That is my family...gotta love them anyway.

Remember that day that I misread the school calendar and had the children stay home.
The symbol was end of quarter, not teacher workday..
...We all slept in...Well, .not all of us.......
Some were climbing trees in the back yard, while Grandma snoozed..

One is now so tearful and sorry She just happened to have borrowed Grandma's I-Pad.
to watch her favorite Bake-It U-Tube channel,
It dropped -somehow from the tree she was climbing onto the scooter below.
It must have been the wind.
It is smashed to smithereens....
She had hidden it in the garage for 10 days...hoping I would not notice.

She is so sorry.  So very sorry.
She knows that climbing a tree with Grandma's I-Pad was wrong.
I told her I forgave her and was happy for the truth.

Restitution for an 8 year old??? ..Folding my fabric.....!!!.
She promised to do it all week.
No, said Grandma O'Quilts..
You can fold my fabric for the rest of your life!!!

And just when I was counting Christmas pennies.

Ms Stephanie is sick....all activities on hold.
Sunday night, I was stressing with a dirty house and quilting friends coming.
Evan made an entire cake for me...from beginning to end.  It was perfect.
I am so proud.
He also cut all the carrots and celery, and peeled the potatoes for the chowder.
How proud is this grandmother???
So proud.
xo



Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Midnight Post

When I am lonely and miss my man.... a reminder that love still abounds.
I have cleaned my ironing pad...Clean is appreciated.
Tonight was a great night...I finished the applique of Lynsey's Thanksgiving shirt.
Not perfect, but perfect for Lynsey.  Stitch just loves it....
 
 The wash away stabilizer for applique is my favorite.
After sewing, I just tossed the shirt into water.
In 30 minutes, there was no trace of stabilizer.
Just loving the lazy way.
 Tonight, with the help of vino tinto, I tied up some loose ends.
Choosing binding for this quilt...cutting up a favorite from my collection.
Soooo difficult to do.

Patches were appliqued to this family favorite quilt.
At the end of the patching...one might never see a spot of the original antique.

Although I felt this was for the garbage, someone loved it.
Grandma repaired the rips tonight.
It is now one thirty am..and Grandma O'Quilts is on a roll...
Tonight I feel hope...refreshing for me.
It has taken a full 24 hours to relax after my darlings left for their mother's
 house for the weekend.
Sipping my vino in Great-grandma's Christmas cup.

The cost of ALS
I am not just a widow.  I am an ALS widow.
I pray, dear friends, that you will read this post
It touches my heart.
xoxox

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Midnight Crazy and the Eyes of the Turkey

If I call you, text you, email you, or just think about you..
If I post..especially...after the 10 pm hour...ignore me.
I am nuts with grief and distortion.
With the morning light, reason resumes..
Sewing helps too.
 A few weeks ago, Lynsey, age 8, reminded me that last year, I did not know how badly she needed a Thanksgiving outfit...so I had made the skirt the morning of...
She took note of that, and told me that she was giving me early notice.
Oh my, Missy!!! 
 Grandma got busy right away.
 Last year;s skirt still fits..Next year, it will get a ruffle.
The applique on a black shirt was next.
But the eyes...were missing.

Now... I have button eyes, eyes that glue and roll, etc.
I am unable to find them  They are lost in my messy sewing room.
There was urgency from Missy...about the eyes.
It was from this awesome batik, that eyes were made.
Batik will not fray and these eyes are small.
The model here is happy with the outfit, but in distress about the shoes and tights.
Not black, Grandma...orange or brown???
But, Grandma likes black.
They will not do...and neither will white shoes...
Lynsey has her own opinions.
 The model puts on a good show...one would not know her angst by her smile.


 Turkey eyes ...all ironed on...
Grandma will do the applique..in peace and quiet
While Lynsey is  gone to her mother's  house for the weekend,.
Meantime, I was online tonight finding leggings in orange or brown..
Nothing like Amazon Prime.
Nothing like advance notice from an 8 year old.

I have a genius friend named Sherry.
She finished making these  pants that I started a few years back.
Not fitting anyone at my house now.
They fit her grandson AND, she was able to undo my mess and make them beautiful.
 I have started sewing, and  my disposition has totally improved.
Too bad that it  is almost midnight and I slept all day.
Like I said...crazy, crazy, crazy