Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Foxglove, sewing and cutting grass....etc.

There was no school on Wednesday in order to support teachers/
My son came by to see his family.
Just look...for Mother's Day came a Foxglove.
He had kept it in his tent...He brought it from his tent in the pouring rain,
to the train station, on the bus to our bus stop.
Just for me!!. I am more than touched.
My cup runneth over.
 Eight year old Dylan had his first grass cutting lesson
 Where does time go??? Eamon started cutting grass at age 9.
Now he is teaching his son.
I finally finished my "quilt in the box"  a Wednesday night challenge from a few years ago.
I always love to see how different colors change the look
Mine was done with Civil War reproductions.
From Terri
From Marie
A binding finish...quilted by Terri...xo

I cannot figure out why I am so exhausted.
I had my physical last week.  The blood work came back just fine.
Answers...dear friends...answers!!!

OK..guess I am not that after sleeping all day,  I made myself a new purse.
This is my old loved, alas too heavy for me at this time after my surgeries/
 I made a new one tonight out of fabric, much lighter to carry.
Just showing now the details I am proud of:
 Inside pocket with Velcro and loops to hold the straps.
back loop
zippered pocket

Thick and soupy weather in Charlotte...
Nice to sew, to blog and to read a bit...

Sunday, May 13, 2018

How Grandma spent her Mother's Day

Some of my favorite things... 
My beautiful children
Pictures from 13 years ago..on my wall.
 Grandma's pig 100 years old, cats my sister embroidered 40 years ago
Little Red Riding Hood with wolf hidden under her skirt.
 Angel from Miami quilt show...forever ago
Cat hook from NYC antique store...50 years ago.

The cat brought me a dead bird, placed carefully by my favorite chair under the tree. My children both called me for Mother;s Day, one from Portland and one from his tent in the woods.  They said that they loved me. A great thing for a mother to hear.  I sent the grands to visit their own mother.  It was the right thing to do. 

Alone on Mothers Day, yet not alone..forging the future and how it will look for me.  The past is gone..the many family get togethers and dinners when we were younger and all alive.  They had their time.  OK...a few tears as I missed my mother and husband and grandmother too.

From the skies it seems, thick snow is falling...It is is fluff from the Carolina Cottonwood tree.  I have a vintage quilt batted with  this....I am too lazy to collect it now... My husband's death shattered everything.

Now, I am the grandmother...I am designing my future look:. I will be kind...when I am rested, that is..I will do the right thing, as I see  it...I will be eccentric...I have 4 irons and 5 sewing machines...I have two sewing rooms and have put the ironing board up in the dining room as the other two rooms are too messy.  Out on the screened in porch is a cutting station with a cutting mat.  If it were not for our nanny, Stephanie...and her OCD cleaning tendencies...I would have fabric stashes in the living room too.  She did say that if she finds fabric in the kitchen, she will quit.  She  keeps me in line.

I prepped the teacher presents for the children to make as thank you's...A bit of cutting and ironing to make it go faster.  Evan only has 4 , Dylan insists only on 2, but our dear Lynsey just loves all her teachers...She will be painting 6 potholders with fabric markers.   She stands between my legs at the sewing machine to quilt the stitches she wants on her presents...She swats back my hand so she can sew by herself...We enjoy this sewing time together.

I now have a book for longer in my I can scratch them off when done.
Further down on my list is water the plants. At 91/95 degrees for the past few days, I am too late for the seedlings.  Sad...If something has to go, I guess that is not toooo bad.

I could not wait for my grands to come home...Home they came at 6:30  No hugs, as they were fighting with each other.  A mistake in sending both boys to shower together....OMG the noise, I thought that bathroom was floating down the street..and, they had locked the door, so I could not get in.  They thought all that was great fun.. I did not...Lynsey made me brownies for Mother's Day...we played Clue Jr....where Evan and Lynsey fought over the game.  I took out my left over shrimp dinner from last night...they both wanted  it, so I split it for them...Grandma so not crying over having brownies for dinner...They have been home two hours...I am exhausted...All asleep while I have brownies and red wine.

A great week ahead.  A Sit and Sew tomorrow, Lunch out on Tuesday, Wednesday night quilting and all day Wednesday, no school with my son coming for a visit.  Great plans...a very nice thing.
School will be out in June with everyone passing to the next grade...whew...a close one...and I am going on an airplane for the first time in 25 years to Portland to visit my daughter in her new 1910 house...and visit my three dear online ALS support friends.  Life is good at 70

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Four years ago today, my mother died.

Four years ago today, four days after your 93rd birthday....
We are holding hands as you died.
I am grateful to have been part of you.
Thanks  to you, I have always felt loved.

by Michael Ham

Here, in the twilight, she stands in the shadows
and looks back upon the road just traveled.
Limbs, once young and limber, hold her frame with difficulty now-
the clarion voice of youth now mirrors the song of the butterfly.

She was the poet, and now she is the poem-
a story for the reader yet to come.
There is a clarity to her rhyme-a subtlety to her meter-
and in her verse is the story of humanity.

Here in the twilight she awaits the evening,
not in melancholy, but in anticipation.
She does not stand alone, for here-further back in the shadows-
are all the characters who shared her stage-her light.

She was the play write-and she inhabited her play-
a generous actress always ready to share the applause.
When a fellow actor stumbled, she picked him up
and infused him with a desire to be better-for her.

She was the teacher-sharing the song of poetry with the world.
She was the mentor-passing her love of words to youth.
She was the friend-she was always the friend-
showing each fearful soul what courage looks like.

Here in the twilight- as shadows deepen-
she does not hide her eyes from the coming dark-
but sees the dawn of discovery
that rises on the far horizon-and she prepares.

Here in the fading of the day-when meadowlarks serenade-
She sees the faces of all she loved-of all who loved her-
And as that last glimmer of light falls softly on her aging cheeks-
She hears the angels sing; hosanna.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Weekend sewing/ weekend pondering

Using the sparkly vinyl that Cousin Ann sent from London,
I started making bags.
I love clear bags.. as I will never find my stuff otherwise.
Queen of the mess.  Queen of confusion.!!
This bag is ready, with potholders, to bind at my next Sit and Sew.

 I have found that vinyl bags are best closed with velcro
Colored velcro in all sizes in my collection.
A little glue with some large easy.
 Seems like my widow brain is still not working like I want it to.
Now, one patch in brown..making 16 patch..
Now working on purple challenge...
Now working on making bags
 or prepping children's teacher's presents for the children to sew..
Finish nothing...nothing at all.
Starting everything....sigh...
Acceptance that I have a million unfinished quilts, because
you see...I just love the journey.

I am very frustrated with myself...I asked the two youngest grands if 
they thought I would ever be younger..NO!!
But, as Lynsey said, if I were younger, I would not have the time to raise them.
Then I asked them if they thought I would ever be thinner...
Another resounding NO!! would not be able to give good hugs if you were thinner...
Way to go kids!!

Evan has a friend spending the night..parents out of town.
Two 13 year old boys having the best time with each other.
The friend brought his personal lap top that his dad gave him.
My grand is on the computer next to him.
They are playing the same war game together.
You should hear the shouting and competing..
The new generation. having so much fun..their own way.

My grief walks with me every day.
My grief  makes others uncomfortable.
They want to fix it...
They want me to be quiet about it.
They think I should be past it.
They think that gratitude for what I do have will erase the pain of loss.
Some think they will catch it, like catching like the flu.
Some tell me what to do.
Some give me platitudes that make it worse.
Some keep showing up with love.
Some just sit beside me in acceptance.

I am working the frazzled line toward acceptance as well.
Acceptance that grief will always be with me, like
a side car on a motorcycle, or freckles on my face...
The loss of my love has shattered me...
Finding the old pieces and making new ones
in order to carry on..

Sewing and writing this blog have helped so much.
I am grateful for the friends who help carry me through the fire to find another side.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A totally fun, awesome, very good quilting day...

Guess who came to Charlotte?
Guess who could go without a cane?
Guess who had a terrific time??
Christa Watson and me!!!!

This was a machine quilting class...Instructions were to prepare
12 sandwiches for experimentation....
Me so not a rule follower.
I prepared 12 sandwiches from my orphan block stash.
The Modern Quilt Guild of Charlotte has an outreach of 
place mats for Meals on Wheels...
Yesterday I practiced on these sandwiches...and now have 12 new place mats
to donate at Guild...soo soo tickled with myself..😇

All set to bind today when I realized that these are just perfect for sewing at a sit and sew with my little blue machine...

Happy Birthday Mom

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Mrs. O'Quilts carries on....

Karen...Lynsey wants you to know how much she loves your quilt!!
Grandma O'Quilts has been at 4 Sit and Sews this month.
Taking quick sewing pieces which have added up to quilts.
Random piecing with much fun.
The one patch = the 4 patch = the 16 patch..
Random with
The Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild
is one of my very favorite monthly meetings.
This time we had a wonderful speaker.
Cheryl Brinkey from Meadow Mist Designs
She is a chemical engineer by trade and...
a quilter by passion
 I could not resist her book when she threw in a free pattern too.
Always needing a fun pattern for jelly rolls...
Every time we asked a question, she gave us a free spool of thread.
Mouthy me...collected quite a few.
Two of these are wool spools to try...
The red spool on the far right, I must have dropped in my driveway....
Evidently it holds a new shape because I drove over it with my car.....OMG
With great recommendation, I got Making Faces from Amazon.
If I am going to eat tuna every night for dinner,
I might as well be well read.
A lovely fat quarter my sister found at Walmart!!

Out of the very blue, a grief wave has come crashing...Jeeze Louize...
This new life of mine is unpredictable..
Knowing something is one thing.
Feeling it is another.
I just knew I was so strong now???  Guess not..
...though...I knew that the month of May would be rough.
It is not even May.
Tomorrow tooth will be pulled...and I even have to pay for it..

Cinco de mother's birthday..always so festive.
May ninth, my mother's death day.
May 23rd,  my husband's diagnosis day....the monster ALS.
I remember making the poor neurologist cry when I pleaded with her
to take back that awful diagnosis...Motor Neurone disease...
June first is our anniversary.

I am three years passed the death day..
I can see him in his flannel shirt, and not the Hoyer lift.
I can walk.
But, I cannot control the life, the grief, the age.
and so much more...
I am enjoying the day.
My feet are beneath my head.
I am on my own side of the street.
I am doing the best I can...and..
I am grateful.

PS  Holly Field thank you for your comment.
I cannot leave a comment, nor follow you because there is not
an email address and I am not on Google plus.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Sun Shines in Charlotte..

This afternoon found me at Karen's garage sale.
I just could not believe she was selling her family quilt
that she slept under in college...
Me, the savior, snatched it up. hand pieced/ hand quilted
Soon, it will be right on Lynsey's bed.
Like she needs a quilt or something!!!!
For  me, love at first sight.

The minute, I took out the camera...Stitch tried to claim the quilt!!!
 What do you mean it is not mine????
A great finish for MP...four years of stitching..and she has her queen size
quilt for her mountain house.
The wonderful Terri...did the long arm bit.
Just the binding left and she is done. Talk about an awesome scrap quilt.
You go MP!!
I got this book on Amazon...written by my friend Katrina.
It is life and loss with ALS/Motor Neurone Disease.

I may not read it.
I may read it...and then, I  may not.
I am still get weak and dizzy on this subject.
Three years out, but the pain and anxiety remain.

This morning found me at the optometrist...
Yup, you guessed it...Grandma O'Quilts needs...
new glasses $$$$$
Yesterday found me at the dentist..
Yup, $$$$$ needed for my tooth repair will be way too enormous.
Root canal, post, crown..etc.
I have decided to just pull the tooth...OMG, it has come to this....
First name basis with my oral surgeon.
First name basis with my eye least she sews!!!

Grandma O'Quilts is tough as nails.

My darlings have become bossy and mouthy.
The oldest two are always right..
I am sure the youngest is right behind them, learning fast.
By the time we all get out for the school bus, by 7 am..
I am way too exhausted.
It is not weakness that sends this 70 year old back
for a nap...It is survival...!!!

And, so it goes...a lovely day and a Sit and Sew tomorrow.