Thursday, January 26, 2006


I'm not sure what that word means, but I like the sound of it. Sounds like "rest-just for spite!" I am in WV, now. I came to check on the folks and return my Dad's truck. I brought DS #2 with me and DD #2. We found a light dusting of snow on the ground- and the scene out their back window is very different from my wide open spaces. DH and the rest of the kiddos are joining me in a few days. I have a little bit of down time while my dad has some tests run and sees the Dr. I thought about going along and then I said, as my boys do, "Stink it!" I'm stayin' home. I am constantly trying to break them of that bad habit of using worthless words, so don't tell them I do it all the time, please. My Mom has an ergonomic keyboard and it is demonstrating to me how I have a very off-balance way of typing. Not a newsflash. But at this rate, it is going to take me ages to complete one blog! keep leaving out the middle of words. giggle.

Of course, I brought some sewing with me- and my FW. You know, several projects. And I am hoping to get some pictures of some of my Grandmother's quilts while I am here. She loved using old wool coats- very cool. I wanted to thank everyone for your encouraging words the other day. Sometimes, you just need to holler a little bit and then regroup. This next week, here in the wilds, is my version of regrouping. The stream is rushing past their barn-yes, they live in a barn, and I can hear a crow in the distance. The fire smells so wonderful and homey and my mom is the queen of caffeine, so I have lots of teas to choose from! I'm going to sew some and cook some and show my mom how to blog. Maybe get my dad to smoke some venison- know he will once the boys start in on him- you'd like it, Judy. Just relax where I don't have to do anything. Maybe not possible, but I'm gonna give it a good try. Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Cup of Tea...

How come we say, " a piece of cake" when we are describing something easy? Why don't we say, " a cup of tea?" I've made a few cakes in my time and not one has been as easy to accomplish as a cup of tea. And I really love tea. Just a nice black tea- maybe orange pekoe. Nothing fancy. I know green tea is supposed to be extra good for you and now it's white tea that has lots of purported anti-oxidants... but it just seems watered-down and weak. Tazo has a nice herbal selection that has a bite. But a round Irish tea or a sharp English breakfast tea... now that's just plain lovely. (That's the word my 4-year old used to describe the quilt I had laying on the sewing room floor, today. "It's lovely!" What 4-year old talks like that? Apparently, mine. And the quilt is anything but lovely- very loud pink and kelly-green wool in hound's tooth. yikes! But bright. and pink.) I especially like loose-leaf tea- then I get to use this adorable tea ball a friend got for me. Sadly, Po-dunk, Indiana is not a Mecca of tea lovers, so the bagged stuff is what I settle for. My Uncle Paul would say, "It's like drinking Pepsi through a straw." I'll let your imagination fill in the blanks about what he was originally referring to. No, I will not explain. You have to know my Uncle Paul.

Had a trying day, today. Could use a cup of tea. Love that line from My Fair Lady. "Cup-cup-cup-cup-of-of-of-of-cup-cup-cup-cup-of-of-of-of..Cuppa tay." With Eliza's mouth full of marbles... It's nearly midnight, so I'll have to settle for the Tazo, Wild Sweet Orange. Tastes like a cross between a pine tree and an orange peel. But no caffeine. Supposed to make me feel like I'm in a market in Marrakesh...sigh. We put my mother-in-law in the hospital, today. Some of you may know that we take care of her in our home. She has lots of medical issues- gives a whole new dimension to the saying, "She's got issues." We are hoping that they'll be able to find ways we can deal with them a little more successfully. Then she will be moved to a respite care center for a week or so while they implement her new regimen of medications. Feels weird to be in the house, without her.

We also saw our daughter's neurologist, today. She apparently has "a very small spot on her brain, and we need our friends at Riley to take a look at her." It wasn't bad news, just... not really good news, either. And I'm just really tired. Funny thing, the imaging center that did her MRI called and asked if they could take her picture and use her on their advertising posters. She drew them a picture and apparently they were quite taken with her. She doesn't know a stranger and loves to give gifts. And she treats everybody like family.

On the quilting front, I've absolutely lost the tenuous grasp I had on my sanity. I'm sick, that's all there is to it. I'll have to ask the doc if there is a way to fix me. I am finding it completely impossible to stick to any one thing. And I am starting new projects like I have all the time in the world to work on them, or like I don't have a thousand things already in the hopper. What is wrong with me??? I'm driving myself crazy. I have worked on no less than six different quilts, this past week. It's not that I'm not finding any solace or satisfaction in each of the individual projects with which I'm working, but my minding is flying in a hundred different directions, and to tell the truth, I'm afraid to let it settle. What'll it find? Yikes! Giggle. Reminds me of a manic phase of a manic- depressive- only I'm not really have any fun. giggle. I guess you all are going to, now, know how crazy I am - if you were ever in any doubt.

So, here I am, peacefully sewing along on my memorial quilt for the coal miners and I'm struck by a song playing on the stereo. (I love music and I'm not very picky about what I listen to- although I have to agree with Tonya R., Shania Twain? Not so much and Faith Hill? I just wish she'd quit screaming.) Anyway, the song was going something like, "You've got bones in your closet, you've got ghosts in your town, you're running scared 'cause you know they're out there, just waitin' for the sun to go down." And I'm in my quilting room and I'm thinkin', "You've got no idea, buster...." And it occurs to me that this would make a great quilt. Drag out the bones from my closet and put them all together in one horrendous quilt and make Tonya's letters in the border "You've got bones in your closet..." Now what do you think? So I drag out all the blocks I've done- small quilts I never finished and know I never will and spiffy them up with a bit of Kona black... and add a skull (Tonya, now don't laugh! I was going for a sweet, cuddly bone-head and ended up with "Skeletor!") and maybe some bones in the border- even found a "sunset" which was a half of a pumpkin- now laying on it's side. Well, the "bones" will be in the light of day soon, I hope. You can kinda see it coming together in the upper left-hand corner. (Sarah, I'm sorry about adding two of your blocks to this montage of woe-begotten peieces, but you know I'll never make two more to go with them...)Yes, I know Darcie is gonna be shakin' her head and saying,"That girl needs a shrink!" and Bonnie is gonna say a Margarita might work, but I don't drink and the shrink? Well, maybe this could be termed "occupational therapy"...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A relative of Bonnie's...

Bonnie had posted an old picture of an incredibly tiny-pieced quilt. A nine-patch. I said, at the time, that I had a similar one tucked away, somewhere. Actually, I know just where it sleeps. I was curious as to the dimensions of mine, so I roused it out of a sound slumber and measured the pieces. I was shocked to discover that these blocks are even smaller than her 2" ones. These measure 1.5." Each little piece is only 1/2." Amazing. I bought this quilt about 6 years ago, for $10. The poor thing is "all loved up." (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) I don't suppose it has any real value- as it is just a fragment, really. I bought it at a hole-in-the-wall flea market- you know the kind, where all these old guys sit around smoking and gossiping. It's obvious, they aren't really interested in selling anything. It's more of a social club for old timers. I couldn't just leave it there. It was coughing and spluttering and saying how it couldn't bear to listen to another dirty joke... What was I to do? The entire ride home I was kicking myself for getting emotionally attached. You know, there is some kind of disorder where people are unable to form normal bonds with other people... Maybe I could hold the key to the antidote. Just try to tone it down a bit. This poor bit of the past has no practical purpose left. And it isn't like me to buy something just because I like it. Truth is, I rarely like things that aren't practical. There was about a half more to the quilt, but had head-size holes in it. I have used the little bits and pieces in ornaments for the tree and such. I am hoping to get the remainder of it bound and maybe use it as a table runner or a wall hanging. But it is really too fragile for even that simple task. The areas that look as if the fabric has merely faded is actually where the fabric has completely disappeared. Maybe frame it... But there really isn't a lot of interest going on until you get close. Some people are like that. Can you see the quilting in the bottom picture? The texture you see is from the fantastic quilting she did. It is crosshatched every 1/4." I love it. I keep coming up with 16 stitches per inch. Can that be possible? Well, it won't warm a body anymore but it warms my heart- breaks it a little to think that she was for sale for 10 bucks at a seedy little flea market.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Whoo-hoo!! I'm ironing with steam, now!

My dad always says, when you have a little luxury in your life or when you're making good progress, "You're cookin' with gas, now!" Well, hey, I'm really ironing with steam. My son, Paul, came to me some time last week and said that the iron was broken. How could it be broken? Did you drop it? No, but it isn't hot and water is running out of the holes... Well, I'm no ironing professional, but that did sound broken to me. I checked it out and it was as he said. Broken. That's the technical term I use when something doesn't work. Makes piecing a challenge. So I didn't. I've been meaning to get to Wal-mart and get me a new iron. Just trying to find the time. Around our house, irons are considered disposable. I break them so often, I can't see the sense in paying more than $10 for one. Usually, it happens when I trip over the cord. Or I bump into the ironing board. Grace is not my middle name. (And grace is not in my genes. My mom once stepped out of the car, hit an icy patch and completely disappeared. Mom? MOM? She had slid under the car. I do believe there was a small portion of her sticking out, but it wasn't obvious to the rest of us who were still in the car. Funny thing is, my dad had stopped the car by the door so she wouldn't have to walk so far over the ice. Knowing what a clutz she is. Now, my DH takes my arm and walks me to the car, when there's snow on the ground. I'd be offended, if it weren't truly a hazard. If I weren't truly a hazard.) Where was I? Oh, yes, getting a new iron. Well, one afternoon I make it out to my sewing room and, lo and behold, there's a new iron. And a new ironing board cover. Now, I bet he missed the iron as he likes his shirts without wrinkles, please. But how sweet of him to notice I needed an new cover! I'm impressed. When I asked him how much he paid for the iron, $30. I about fell over. Now you know what is going to happen... I'll bump into the ironing board as I'm tripping over the cord and it'll refuse to get hot and water will coming pouring out of the holes. Yep, it'll be broken.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hearts Wild...

These are the two quilts that we made for our shop hop. It isn't really a shop hop, just a game during the month of February, involving 6 quilt shops, including the Quilter's Toy Box. This is a Kwik Scrappy Hearts pattern. They have stars, also. It's really just a stack the deck - with a little more structure. Tanya likes the colors bright. Could you have guessed that? First, she says, "Nina pick out 6 reds and 6 whites." Sillily, I did. Not exactly her preference. So she aims for the stripes in hot pinks, orange, and yellow. It's a very hot valentine and reminded me of Tonya R.'s hugs and kisses quilt. She added the reds and so I pieced the top, but stopped after 12 blocks, because I wasn't thrilled with the lack of contrast. I did some dense qulting in an attempt to define the light from the dark. It helped, but still... Now Tanya's quilt top is... bright with plenty of contrast. I brought it home, today, to try and get it quilted over the weekend. Hers is a double- what was she thinking??? kinda big for a shop sample, but it is very pretty and definitely... hearts wild. I'll get to keep the red one, when she's done with it. I have a friend that is a child psychologist- she's the one I sent the Purrrfect Christmas Cats quilt to. She said the kids loved it, so I thought they might like this bright quilt- and trying to find the hearts.

I have been busy busing folks back and forth to Dr. appointments. Even the Dr. said he was seeing a little too much of me, lately. I couldn't agree more. Eva had an MRI, today and she did great- didn't move an inch. They let Bill and I go in with her and hold her hand. Shew... I got so nauseated. But I don't think I let on. Felt fine as soon as they turned that thing off. They were very sweet to Eva and managed to find the country music she wanted to listen to- but she said they really needed to get some Shania Twain- everybody would like that.

It's Thursday, and I am hard-pressed to find anything I have actually accomplished, this week. That stinks. Hey, I finished a client quilt. That's something, right? But I think I need to get myself down to the sewing room and see what I can get into. I need to pick up the mess I made with the hearts. I could start quilting Tanya's quilt... maybe that'll wait til morning. I think I need some time on the Featherweight. I started a memorial quilt for the coal miner's who were lost in the Sago Mine. A log cabin. It is black(coal) on one side and white with black(coal dust gets on everything) on the other side. The center block I made extra large in a pretty blue(sky.) I'd like to work some on that. Or maybe the blue and yellow one. Or Sarah's quilt challenge. Or the YBR- I have the rows sewn together, already...See? The possibilities are endless when you are the queen of "projects started!"

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Meet the Folks...

Every weekend I get an email from my parents- just the news of their week- usually involving a bit of health issues, but always including lots of naturalist stuff. My dad will describe, in detail, how this snake swallowed a frog, whole and alive, not once but twice. Or how he shot the snake for getting into his birdhouses- don't mess with his birds and you do alright for a snake. He tells funny stories about foxes and deer and even mountain lions. (Or was that a bobcat?) Or how he fed mice to the fish in his creek. He'll talk about pawpaws(that's a weird hillbilly, banana-type fruit) or disease-resistant white chestnuts. A real Daniel Boone. He is interested in everything and anything. How many people could describe to an 8 year-old how a combustion engine works? Well, he can and I remember it clearly. My mom is more inclined to relate about Aunt Margaret's health or the apple pie she made for Brother Virgil and Marie. Dad always spends some time on the state of the weather and how the bureaucrats are sticking it to us. Mom tells everybody how Dad is giving her advice on boiling water, but how he is so cute she doesn't mind. They live in a one-room house, together, 24-7. Now that has to say something about their character. She's a morning person and he's a night owl- in one room. Wouldn't that be a deal-breaker in most relationships? But, by my reckoning, they have been married somewhere in the vicinity of 42 years. They are both of an artistic bent. My mom paints and quilts, beautifully. She used to decorate wedding cakes and make floral arrangements. She plays the piano and used to sing at weddings. She's very good. My dad used to draw, but now he expresses himself in building things- like bridges and barns(they live in a large one.) And he makes stellar caramel popcorn. He loves to ride motorcycles and skiing- he once saved two people from drowning- shortly after he had major surgery. He's very strong. He reads voraciously- he has no less than three books by his chair that he reads every night before bed. A few chapters of each. I'd get the stories mixed up in my mind. My mom is getting him hooked on Sudoku puzzles. She makes tons of quilts- which I am painfully behind on quilting them for her. She makes my girls sweet little nightgowns and aprons. Everytime we get together, Dad has to have a talk with us and the children about how we need to be diligent in keeping our faith. He reads to my children, just like he did for me. My mom always gives the children at least 9 kisses, each, on their cheeks- that's what they call a "Grandmother kiss." They're just the best.

Questions in Quadruple...
  • 4 Jobs I've had....Lawyer's aid, Cookbook reader on tape for Books for the Blind, Respiratory Therapist, Longarm quilter
  • 4 Movies I could watch over and over.... Open Range, Much Ado About Nothing, Return to Me, Knight's Tale
  • 4 Places you've lived....Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Tennessee
  • 4 TV shows you love to watch... don't you just hate those loud obnoxious commercials?
  • 4 Places you have been on vacation.... Niagra Falls, New Hampshire, Georgia, and my favorite, West Virginia
  • 4 Websites I visit everyday.... Sarah, Darcie, Lucy, and Darilyn
  • 4 Favorite foods... Seafood, chinese, chocolate, tea
  • 4 Places I'd rather be.... Snowed in with kids and sweetheart
  • 4 Albums you can't live without... My new Little Big Town cd, Sarah Brightman's Time To Say Goodbye, my Randy Travis collection- love his deep voice, Andrea Bocelli's Romance cd
  • 4 people I'd like to pass this on to... Sarah, Darcie, Bonnie, Tonya R.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Another Monochromatic Quilt...

This is another quilt I made for DH. I got the pattern from 101 Rotary-Cut Quilts. Puss in a Corner. I apoligize about the poor quality of the picture, but we have had few sunny days, this winter, so all the pictures tend to be dark- unless I brighten them on the photo software. Then they just look ...flat.

The problem with this quilt? Well, the background fabric is really too busy, but but but... I did get it on clearance, so...(I feel like Phil on Groundhog Day. "So , Mr Connors, have you ever played the piano?" "No, but my dad was a piano mover, so..." ) Any rate, like I always say, an ugly quilt will keep you as warm as a pretty quilt- just turn off the light and see. I had the 2 oldest, and therefore tallest, boys stand in the back of their dad's pickup truck to get a picture of this one. It is also a king-sized quilt. I am done with those. They just seem to go on and on and on...The backing is flannel- in yet another busy, brown print. I must have been needing some mental stimulation while working on this one.

Pouring the rain out, today. The winds are so loud it sounds like we are neighbors to Niagra Falls. A good day for making some cookies and maybe getting a quilt loaded onto the quilting machine. It has been a couple of weeks since I've quilted and I have several stacked up and ready to go. I've had to postpone a trip to my parents' because of health problems- others', not mine, and so I find I have this empty window of time where nothing was planned. Hmm... not a bad trade off, really. I have been playing with the hand-peicing of my Grandmother's Flower Garden- figure if I aim for a baby-sized one I might get it done for the first grandchild. I have about 10 years, I figure. Rather slow going, there, but I am at a place where slow is good. I have three blocks, done, and four more cut out. The cutting out takes a good bit of time, but I just sit and work on it as we are watching a movie. I have been concentrating on slowing down my normally hurried pace. Just trying to enjoy each thing I am doing instead of rushing onto the next. It's not so easy, but I am enjoying myself, immensely.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Monochromatic Quilts....

This is my blue quilt. You might have noticed that there isn't any blue in this quilt. Well, I wanted to do this pattern, which I found in an Australian Quilts magazine, in blue. A bunch of us girls made a run to a quilt shop, that was being sold, to buy some clearance fabric. I had my heart set on blue, but I couldn't find more than two blues that I liked, and they had about six greens- all asian-inspired.... so that's how the blue quilt turned green. I collected some more of the green and started this quilt. It is a king-size. It took me quite a while to finish the peicing. It was a very fun method where you sew three triangles together, cut it into strips and then flip them over, sew them back together, and that makes one half of the 9"x12" block... oh, ok, you'll have to take my word for it. It was a lot of fun. It is an extremely heavy quilt, with cotton batting. And you know it's name? "Whited Sepulchres" No kidding. There's a funny story about that and I thought some of you quilters might enjoy it. You know the Bible story where Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees for being like whited sepulchres- nice and pretty on the outside but inside- full of dead men's bones. This quilt is kinda like that. You see, each year, I promise myself I will not put a king-size quilt on the quilting machine during the month of December. (I made an exception this year and did Sarah's, but that was only because, well, I love her to peices, but also it made a nice excuse for all those lovely ladies out there who decide on Thanksgiving to make quilts for all 20 of their grandchildren, "No, I'm afraid I can't fit it in. I have a king-size quilt on the machine." See? That'll work.) They just take me too long to quilt and it gets me in a jam, every time. This is the quilt where I learned that lesson. I got all the client quilts done, so I figured it was safe to start this one- it would make a nice Xmas gift for DH- and myself. I guess I wasn't thinking too clearly, 'cause I put this on the wrong way. You can kinda tell in the first close-up picture that the quilting goes down the length of the quilt, so I should have loaded it on sideways- so I could make long runs instead of lots of short runs- which require a whole lot more time and work. I realized my mistake after doing the first bit of border, so I figured I was stuck and that I'd just perservere. I got about half way done and I ran out of December. So I finished the borders and took it off the machine. I got my January quilts done for the clients and put the quilt back on the machine.... sideways, this time. Well, they never stretch the same and now the backing on the bottom half has lots of little pleats in it- the kind you get with a regular sewing machine. So... you see, looks nice on the front, the back, well, dead men's bones.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Yo-yo's. and I'm not referring to dieting...
I'm sure Darcie could come up with some adorable pun using the word, yo-yo. Lucy, do they make yo-yo "quilts" in Holland? They are really more of a coverlet- not at all practical- but very pretty all the same. Of course, they could be considered practical if you are trying to use up a stash. I first ran into a yo-yo coverlet about 10 years ago. A friend of mine had bought one in Texas- 1940 era one. I believe her DH paid $3,000 for it. They were real collectors. It was lovely, with on-point "blocks" and "sashing" in that funky medicine green that was so popular back then. She had used it on her bed for several years and it needed some attention, so she asked me to mend it. It was a very pleasant task, sitting there repairing something to it's former beauty. But I did suggest that she relegate it to the guest room after this- or at least, remove it from the bed before story time with DD. They can be rather fragile. The one in the above picture is one I made for one of my babies and I am in the process- an on-again off-again project, of making a queen-size one. I have lots of old-fashioned calicos that an Aunt gave me- it's more of the color that you see- not the pattern on the fabric. I'll use muslin yo-yo's for the sashing. I have about three gallons of yo-yo's already made. A healthy start but still a long way to go.

Feelin' a little bummed, today, that I let life get in the way of my planned nervous breakdown. Or rather, I let a little thing like house guests prevent me from taking my well-deserved break. see? Break. Breakdown. Not so very different from each other, I'm thinking. Only, one is voluntary and the other... well, maybe even house guests couldn't have kept me from it. sigh. Do you girls ever get over to the Island Screamer, Island Dreamer blog? I tell you, Darilyn always gets me to relax- she is a very serene person- never heard a whisper of a scream from her. It's like a little aromatherapy session- without the aroma. You can hear the birds in the palm trees, see the sun shining on the walls, the cat's purring and the air-conditioning is humming along. Ahhh. If you haven't visited over there, you should. Her quilts are way cool, too.

DD Eva had an EEG, yesterday. I know what EEG stands for now. Wonder if I can spell it? Electroencephalogram. Something doesn't look right there. Oh well, it went extremely well. She has been experiencing what she calls "trances." The neurologist smiled when he heard her call it that. She just checks out sometimes. The lights are on but you can tell no one is home. Lately, she has been adding some movement to her little "vacations" so we thought we had better see what's up. But you know how when you finally take the car to the garage because it is making this strange noise and you pull into the parking lot and, mysteriously and maddeningly (how many siffixes can you add to a word?) the noise stops. So you pull out of the garage and it starts again. The mechanic looks at you like you're some kind of engine hypochondriac... So, I was afraid that if we went into this test to see what's going on with Eva that she wouldn't have a seizure and the doctor would be looking at me like I was some kind of... well, you get the picture. But she did so great- not that I'm happy she's having seizures, mind you, but I'd like them to see what we are up against. She had one before they could get her up on to the bed. She must have had 20 while the test was being done. And they found out that she is having 2 different kinds, which explains the newer movements. They were so sweet to Eva and very sympathetic. They explained everything- instead of making me wait until her Dr. appt in 2 weeks. But I can tell you, it was very unsettling to see the fireworks going off in her sweet little head. I knew she was having these spells, but seeing it in hard, cold evidence... They called the neurologist while we were still in there and he prescribed an anti- seizure medication. I googled and decided I'd give it to her, but I'll be insisting he do some more tests to rule out what it might not be.

All in all, I'm a wee bit on the tired of thinking plane of existence. So.. I"ve decided to do some laundry and pack up some boxes and maybe, if I can manage not to nag, gently nudge my sweet, darling, Dear Husband to carry out the shedding Xmas tree that has stood nude in the living room for an entirely inappropriate length of time. And yes, I'm packing, but I'm not moving. It occurred to me last night- while I should have been sleeping- that if each person in this house brings just one object into it a week, that's about 40 things a month or 480 things a year!!! And I even multiplied that in my aching head. What's the chances we only bring in 1 item per week? Slim. So we are accumulating a lot of junk!!!! And then it gets difficult to live around all that stuff. Picking up takes so much longer than it should, so... time to pack it up and move it out. Slowly. In a very relaxed and calm manner. I can almost hear the birds singing in the palms...

One for Joanne...
Joanne was wishing her DD a Happy Birthday- the big 3-0. She said there had been a terrible ice storm and that she nearly gave birth on a slippery slope outside the hospital doors! Fond memories, she said, but I have a feeling she wasn't being sincere. We had a big ice storm of our own, at exactly this time last year...hmmm...might be the commemoration of Joanne's DD's last year in her 20's! I don't recall anything like this ever happening around here- we're generally too far north and only have the snow part of winter. Last year was different and as it is pouring the rain out there, tonight, I suppose this year is different, also. We were out of power for nearly a week. It was rather exciting for the kids- dinner by candlelight and all. But, living out in the boonies, we have a well, and with no power, there is no water. That was the worst part. Kids make big messes and it's rather hard to keep dishes washed by melting ice. We do have natural gas and we brought in the kerosene heaters from the barn, so we stayed very warm. All told, it was a pioneer-ish experience- one we could skip for the next 30 years, eh, Joanne? It was awfully pretty, though.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My Beautiful Nephew...
Is he not the most gorgeous little guy? Benjamin is sitting so cool here with Boo. They look like teeny-boppers instead of 4 year-olds.

I got a call, Sunday night, that he was being life-flighted into Indianapolis to Riley Children's Hospital. DH and I drove over there to meet him, so he wouldn't be alone and scared. His mama would take 4 hours to get there. We beat the helicopter and he was happy to see us. Never shed a single tear. Around 1am he lifts his little hands up with IVs in them and gestures towards the bright and noisy nurses station and says, "How am I ever gonna sleep with this?" Out of the mouth of babes. He also wanted to know when they were going to take "this doctor stuff" off. He is doing pretty well, now. He was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Poor little dear. They have a great program here at Riley- he is in good hands. DH and I have spent the last two nights with him so his mama could get some sleep. Benjamin is such a little trooper. "I'm all better now," is all he ever says if you ask him how he is feeling. With a blood sugar of 600, I doubt he is "all better." But he is desperately wanting to get home and he is too young- just turned five, to understand he'll be going home with all the bother that is with him there. Benjamin told the nurse, last night, "I'm just scared." Broke my heart. But maybe it will help- just a little bit- to know that he has an aunt who knows what it's like. I oogled his meter- he agreed mine was smaller than his- but I didn't have a cool green case like his. And I told him the Bible story of why our bracelets have snakes on a pole. He spent the day in "class." On our way home, DH and I said that if spending a night in a pediatric hospital doesn't just break your heart then you don't have one- a heart, that is.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Something old and silly...
This quilt top came to me via a thrift shop in Arkansas. My SIL thought it was ugly enough for me to like and my DH paid for it, sight unseen. And I do love it. For some inexplicable reason. My favorite fabric is this wristwatch pattern with the bright blue wristbands. Isn't it great how all the watches are set to a different time? The other fabric in the block? hmm... What were they thinking? Well, that is the fun in these old quilts, trying to figure out the pattern. I am hoping to find some time, this year, to quilt it- think it'll quilt up nicely with some cotton batting and muslin on the back. I love taking other people's unfinished projects and completing them. It is such a good feeling. I feel great knowing that this poor unfortunate quilt top- while a bit on the ugly side, isn't wasting away in some box being unappreciated. There is still a lot of work that went into it! Look at those points. This was not a beginner's quilt. Maybe just a quilt made from extreme thrift. I notice there is a lot of peicing going on in the smallest of blocks.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Shopping at Hobby Lobby...
I was amused by Sarah's blog about her latest trip to Hobby Lobby. I felt like I was shopping with her. Hmm... shopping and friends. Now that's a good combination. Apparently, I was shopping while she was blogging. I had only discovered Hobby Lobby fabric about a month ago. Their prices are similiar to quilt shop prices, and as I work in a quilt shop, I couldn't figure why someone would choose to not support a local business. But then, I caught a load of their clearance prices. It is great, quality fabric, and you can get it for $2, $3, and $5 a yard. There is no way a quilt shop can compete with those kind of discounts. I bought 7 yards of the blue floral- guess I'll have enough to back the blue and yellow P/A blossom, and still have some to share with some one I know who loves blue. The yellow is also Sarah's, 2 yards. And the blue... Well, it is a bit bright for Sarah, but I'll happily share if she wants some. The batik I got at the quilt shop to put in the borders of my P/A blossom. No, silly, not the blue one but the bright batik one.

My efforts to accomplish the big 4 s's have been stymmied, lately. We have had house guests for 2 weeks. We have enjoyed their company, but I am about to drop- and I know the kids are exhausted as well. My DH's sister is married to a college professor, so they spend their breaks in our neck of the woods. They do have a house only one mile down the road, but the children insist on spending every moment together. (they have 6 and we have 8- you do the math. It's noisy, any way you look at it.) Summer is a long way away for a kid. Seems a while off to this old mama, too. Bill's grandmother had an amusing saying, "Fish and company stink after three days!" Isn't that a hoot? She also had another one , "When you start smelling yourself, other people have been smelling you for three days!" I think she had a limit of three days for just about everything! But she really was the most patient woman I ever knew. And never an unkind thing to say about anyone. She wouldn't even dream of criticizing the devil. Really. Bill's BIL taught a sermon on Satan, one Sunday, and "Baba" says, "Oh the devil... he's made my life difficult sometimes. Not that I hold it against him. That's his job." She was a very cool lady. I did get side-tracked there, didn't I? Back to the big S's...

There's been a lack of sewing- now that is really sad. I'm just not myself if I can't get a little machine time in. Then there's schooling- I'm not really behind as the children were sitting around the tree on Xmas eve doing math. I had no intention that they do school, but well, they were contentedly doing it, so who am I to stop forward progress? And then there is our normal, daily schedule- shot to peices. Schedules are always open to change, but it really does help to maintain some type of order with a family this size. And the last is sitting- well, if I'm not sitting, then I'm not sewing, so they kinda go together... Oh, and I've thought of another one- socializing! I don't think I have read more than two blogs in all this time!! I feel so out of touch, it's awful. So, after this post I am going surfing, to visit all of my Maverick friends! It'll probably take two weeks just to get through them all!!! See ya!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Request for Prayer...

I'm sure many of you have heard of the mine explosion in West Virginia. My Grandfather was a West Virginia coal miner and when something like this happens, it is more upsetting to the families and communities than you can understand. We were heartbroken to hear this evening that there had been a mistake in the press release and that there had been 13 lost and only one found alive. I am still not sure if that is correct information, but I do know that there are so many families that could use your prayers during this tragic time.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

My attempt at blue and yellow...
So, what do you think? I plan on making this one like Bonnie's, with sashing and light-colored cornerstones. I think it'll be alright. I am seriously enjoying my "new" featherweight. I found a note on it, yesterday, that read, "Everytime I see this thing it keeps getting smaller and smaller!!! Are you sure this is what you want? I'm thinking you need a big industrial machine to support your addiction, er... hobby." Oh, he is just too funny. It seems to be plenty big for my needs.

Sarah's other trip around the world...
Isn't she well traveled? She made this quilt for my second DD, Rebekah. Wasn't that a great gift? She also brought me a box of my favorite chocolates. I'm conflicted about which gift I liked the best... Abraham uses the quilt now, and he loves it, too. So the quilt is definitely longer lasting the the pound of chocolate I snarfed down in about two days- hey, I was pacing myself! She made this quilt before we had bought the quilting machine, so it is tied- and it has held up amazingly well. Notice the surprising color combination- I'm afraid it was only the beginning of an apparently life-long obsession. I fuel the fire, as I bought her several yards of blue and yellow, only yesterday. And doesn't she put them together well? It isn't broken, so I don't suggest she fix it. I only like teasing her about it- as she does my affinity for all things orange.
Me, Eva and the 3 foot drift...
Well, it doesn't look like much, but that is the 3 foot drift that Eva and I landed in a few weeks ago. We were on our way to town to run some errands and we hit a "patch" of ice that was about, oh, 100 meters long. I skidded this way and that as the back of the truck kept trying to be the front of the truck. And wouldn't you know, it was on a stretch of road that had telephone poles on both sides! I felt like we were on some sort of medievil obstacle course- with Eva screaming like a girl- ok, she is a girl, but it wasn't helping me any. And wouldn't you know it, I was driving my dad's truck as it had been sitting in the driveway for nearly two weeks and he said the battery needed a spin. So it wasn't my old clunker of a jeep, it was his nice, pretty, shiny truck. Finally, I felt that our luck was gonna run out as were were headed for that next-to-last pole, so I just turned the truck around and slid us into the ditch. Now, how come, when the weather is fair you never take notice of which side of the road has the deepest ditch? If I had chosen the other side, I would have landed in 3 inches of snow. As it was, I choose the 3 foot snow drift to land in. It was a fairly soft landing and Eva finally quit screaming- to burst into tears, and I was just so glad I missed that last telephone pole. I felt so foolish- cars started stopping to see if I had a cell phone to call someone- honestly, there is rarely a car on that road, but it was getting time for school to be in, so there were dozens of gawkers- like they never saw anyone in a ditch. Oh well. Dear husband came to the rescue- it was only one mile down the road from our home. He brought my two oldest boys. They were grinning from ear to ear- figure this wasn't something that we could keep in the family. Oh, no, now they have proof. They walk around the truck surveying the predicament I'm in- still all grins. Boys. Then I notice that the 15 yr old is three feet shorter than the 14 yr old. Wonder when they'll notice? Finally, Joe looks up at his little brother and they both burst out laughing. Joe is a hefty fellow- and his size 14 shoes still aren't big enough to hold him on top of the snow. Dan is as thin as a fence rail- and his size 13 shoes were acting like snowshoes- there he was just walking along on top of the snow, while Joe is trudging with snow up to his hips! They came with shovels and salt- gonna dig me out as I am actually on top of the 3 feet of snow. About 30 minutes into it, a second car slides- on the very same place- and ends up in the ditch. I felt a little better. It took almost 3 hours to get me out of there, with the help of 3 more school boys- Brock, Nathan and Brandon- thank you. And just as an aside- naming your child Brock will probably assure that he will be built like a small locomotive and have freckles and red hair. The kid was huge and it felt funny writing, "Please excuse Brock from being tardy- he helped me get out of a ditch." I wonder if it worked. But I don't think these boys are new to being in trouble. Here they all were, sitting shoulder to shoulder in an old beat-up pick-up truck- the type that looks suspiciously like the kind you see out late on Saturday night bashing in mail boxes. (Is that an Indiana thing? Nothing to do, so the youngin's make a sport of taking baseball bats to all the mail boxes on these rural roads. It's really not nice, but once your mailbox is "christened" they rarely hit it again- and as long as the door still works, we all figure we got off pretty light. I see some neighbors have had enough, and they barracade their boxes with scraps of 2x4's. It must work.) I don't mean to malign these young men, but they just had a certain gleam in their eyes- even if they were very handy to have around on that cold and slippery morning. Eva says it was a very exciting day for her.