Sunday, May 24, 2015

ALS...a Story

I just saw this story on an ALS caregiver page...Please read it...It is our story too.
ALS....a story    

Hot Water Lemon Tea and Chocolate

A forty year friendship from grad school..
.She flew in from Miami Thursday night for the weekend and left today.
What a boost!!  How grand!!
She brought chocolate for the children and I ate it.
My mother said I could!
 We did dollar store flower pens for a Mitzvah...
 Mamacita from the Wednesday night group turns 98 in June.  Her special mug broke.
Amazon Prime to the rescue...Margaret...we will never forget you are the boss!!
 Tonight's starting coasters for the token end of school gifts...

Sometimes I say that nothing matters anymore.  That expression does not go down well with my family.
  So, I told my daughter today, that it is an early grief phase that I would move through and not to take it personally.  I told her that I would never off myself and that no one ever died from crying.
  She seemed relieved.   
 Once everyone was gone, I tackled my grief with two bowls of chocolate ice cream with chocolate sprinkles and surfed the web for fabric sales. 
 I do not really like to buy from Equilter because of their shipping prices.( although, they do give to charity)  However, I needed a bit of golf fabric for an end of school male teacher present..
.I found it on Equilter.and while I was there......well... that is all she wrote.
 In my peaceful, empty house, I napped in the sun and finished my fourth "Widow" book.
I think I will stop on the "Widow" books now...I am getting a touch of anxiety.
Everyone was gone today...Even the dog was on top of Crowder Mountain.

Shakespeare wrote, "Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak, whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break."  (Macbeth, Act IV, Scene 3)

Thus, you will still be hearing from me!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

On a Lark

Did you know that while sitting in a boring university lecture class...
...a person can order fabric on one's I-phone???!!!!
Two seconds, click on PayPal and the Southern Fabric deal of the day.
Someone tried it....On a Lark...
 The other night was our first thunder and lightening storm since my dear man died..
School is out on June 11th
Our wedding anniversary is June 1.
I am getting concussion symptoms back after 2 years being symptom free.
I walk around in a daze with an aching body and a numb soul.
It is difficult to even go to the grocery store.
 A clean dog, a new dog bed and a happy 9 year old..
Life is still good.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Crazy Mumble Jumble

Evan and I just watched Season 3, Episode 1 of the Great British Sewing Bee.
 He was especially interested because one of the main sewers is an Army man!
So interested that he set it up himself on the I-pad for us to watch..
My only job was the cuddle.
Here I soothe crazy thoughts by starting a bit of my Swedish flag quilt...Thank you Tula!!
One of the University workshops I attended last week was by my friend Margaret.
.She did a great bit on her practice in Soul Collage.
 Out came the scissors and glue sticks and pages from magazines...
.Out came our creativity in our attempts to shut off our mind...
Since my mind goes 100 miles per hour night and day, that was a huge struggle.
We shared with a partner, let the card we created speak to us.
It was fun...but really...more than fun.
My two cards have haunted me ever since.
 I'll let you all do the interpreting of feelings.

Evidently I have complicated grief with my husband and mother dying 11 months apart.
...And,my not being able to grieve my mother with my husband's illness and death so hard...
Not too mother is watching over me now:
And so it goes...with still exhausted me trying to figure out life.
A shout out to Aunt Brandy for going the second mile
......with 6 kids and two infected root canals..
The children had a wonderful time.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Breathe. Sew, Cry, Laugh, Eat.....

The creep...part room, his room, quilting room extension...
 The IQ sit and sew...TBTG at my house...I did nothing but sew...friends took care of it all.
Here is Jean..nothing but a binding left on a UFO of hers..the word DONE is in view.
 Stephanie could not believe we were asking her to re-arrange the furniture for this!!!
 She could not believe that 10 women would spend their Saturday doing this!! came Deb.. She has taken two bike fixing classes.
Fixing ours out of love for my dear man.
I get by with a little help from my friends....
Kids at their cousins' house.  I am sure having too much fun.
Me recuperating from the university this past week.
Cry a little, laugh a little, sew a little and eat...too much.
A very good day.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Courage to control what I can...

Today's grief work...cutting up my dear man's shirts to make a quilt.  First I cut off the collar, cuffs and seams.  Next, I cut it all into 4 inch strips for this 16 patch block.
Catharsis for me as I think of my love....

I am four weeks a widow.

Working with the energy obtained through pure determination, I am driving my exhausted self to the university three days this week to take workshops in order to maintain my license. 
 Every two years, I need 40 credits...The past 22 months, I got nothing...June is looming as the deadline.
I will do this...I will...I have done, so far this week:

 *.AIDS/HIV and substance abuse
*Ethics in Substance Abuse
* Groupwork planning
*Transgendering in Substance Abuse.
*Adolescent Violence
*Caregiving in ALS

 Every day once home from these workshops, I fall right into bed, leaving Stephanie to take care of everything else.  Thank you Stephanie...never ever leave me.
Tomorrow is the last day and then I will sleep in my awesome handmade bed for quite a long time.
Looking forward to IQ group Sit and Sew on Saturday where I have to do nothing but sew.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Evidently.....Supervision needed

Under intense supervision, I have been able to once again tackle blocks for this quilt.!
It is so great to get a handle on finishing a UFO.
Today I found a very good grief support group...TBTG
Thanks to all of you who have left comments that I loved but never replied to.
I am trying now to only use today's energy for today and not for tomorrow.
....or, even for yesterday!!

So I think I will be adding a poem, here and there, from my mother's books as 
I think about her and miss her.
In spite of Parkinson's, she published her first book in her early 80s and the next one a few years later.

My road is a ribbon,
special for me.
It winds round the mountain,
down to the sea.

It crosses the field
and stops on a hill.
Forever it runs
yet ever is still.

My road is a ribbon,
once old, always new,
a curious pathway
to my point of view.

from Daydreams
by Alice Franzen Clemons Burt

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Befuddled me is taking blocks out of project boxes and working on them.
....not finishing them...
..I put away both the London and the Civil War tops without the last borders!?!
I took this out instead.  I love this quilt...IF it is made by someone else.  I do not have the kind of mind to make the zigzags go in the right direction like Sujata Shah.
I have nine more blocks to make...grrrr

Work friends of Mr.O'Quilts came Saturday.  Jason and Pat fixed the screens on our porch and Deb did the tires on the bikes...See how they still love Mr O..too.
....even after he has gone!!

Look what my friend Peggy at AAA sewing shoppe  did for us...She embroidered the grands' names on their karate bags...Never more than a day or two wait for any kind of machine fixing at Peggy's.,
The Janome capital of the world Carolinas.

Both my children came to see me today.  I was so excited, that I could not keep my mouth shut.
I had to shout it from the doorway..I can no longer get onto the rooftop.
 They took a picture of me with the children too..holding flowers.
But I deleted it
I looked like a 67  year old grandma instead of the beauty that I am!!!
And, my thighs showed quite clearly 22 months worth of M&Ms and vino tinto.
Goodness is two hours alone to read on the screened in porch and doze off like an old lady.  
I think Abigail Thomas is my new favorite writer..She feels like family.
Emily took the kids on their scooters and bikes with the dog on an adventure.
Happy Mother's Day, she said!

I love you my dear daughter.
She is bringing back Chinese food.
I love you my dear daughter.

Now I hear that a bottle tree is not supposed to have leaves on it.  Then the evil spirits can still find you.
My bottle tree did not get the message in time.

I write notes to Mr. O'Quilts into my smart phone..things he needs to know.
I am making my old office, his old bedroom...into an extension of my quilting room
I am wearing my old crocs to weddings and funerals.
I am doing what I feel like doing..eccentricity and me..a comfortable couple..

I heard today, in the wind...that I too might die someday.
It is probably Tropical Storm Ana making mischief roaring now into the Carolinas.
I am no longer whistling.
Instead of my love,
I have Rin Tin Tin and a shot gun on the back of my door.
Just kidding., although I was brought up in Arizona!

Saturday, May 9, 2015


Today is one year of the death of my mother.
 Here..preparing for her funeral is my grandson and Mr.O'Quilts.
Today is 3 weeks and 4 days of the death of my husband.


No earth,

           No sky,

                        No night,

                                  No day,

           No sun, no moon

                      Without you-


                                           Without you.

From the book:  Daydreams
Alice Franzen Clemons Burt

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Sun shines at night

The day is saved!!!
I found just enough yellow and white to cut the lattice:)
 My friend Jennifer who lives down the street...
brought me this lovely wreath..
Evan met the new boy next door and had a great evening!!
Peggy from AAA Sewing put Dylan's name on his bag and listen to me whine and spill a tear or two.
Tomorrow morning Mr.O'Quilts work friends are coming to fix our screened in porch.
Joan showed up with plants and a visit.
The grands were polite and helped Stephanie with work. it went..
Now I am going to read a widow book.
Three weeks and three days a widow and I am still alive..

Struggling to Reframe my day...

Wednesday I finished this top..just in time for my IQ group to baste it.
FYI  Zoe approves.
This quilt is a no-think quickie from 2 sale pkgs of charms online.  A no-think sale...hmmm because I did not look carefully enough to notice that each pkg only contained 20 pieces instead of 40. half of it is my own..better anyway.
 Pulled out another UFO...I have 3 boxes of Civil War fabric...but, of course, I do not have enough white and yellow...of course..of course. I am anxious to work on this group quilt of mine..full of love
Monday night Emi-lou cafe cooking school:
Green beans and barbecue chicken..the quickie lesson between bike rides!!
 For my Blue Belt darlings...making Ninja bites...healthy peanut butter balls for snack.
Strawberry season in North Carolina
May 5th could not go by without a tiny memorial birthday party for my mother.
                                        My sister brought some cupcakes and we sang a tune...
 Blogging, quilting, grands, family,friends are saving my life..
However...I do have anxiety.
Where is my man when I need him so...Did I do it all right for him...I am so exhausted I can barely get out of bed...Summer camp scholarships have not come out yet...Three children cost $6000 to go to summer camp..Can they go...can they not...It is soo much stress.  Death certificates mailed out, utility bills put in my name..what to do with clothes in his closet?? Netflix still says Welcome Fintan, instead of Welcome Diane...
 There is another funeral for Mr.O'Quilts in Ireland soon..His ashes went back with his sisters.
My girl is will I survive without her...etc..and blah blah blah
I am missing today with anxious grief.
Pretty bad when I am too befuddled to drive to the fabric store....

Mrs.O'Quilts is now going to be brave and carry on.
Big package just arrived...Maybe it is the big girl panties????
Now..I am going out into the beautiful day:)
Thank  you for listening..xxoo

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Stuff Love is Made From

 Instructions here on how to use Grandma's cool and awesome Panasonic cordless iron.

With a little help from his Ma...Evan did the Wonderunder bit on his owls.  He used the Baby Go cutter himself... Oh, my how perfect those owl eyes had to be!!!
 Lynsey...What r u thinking??  Writing on the bench with a marker??
  I am just writing "I love you to Granddaddy"..  He can see it up in the sky from here....
 Picking some of Granddaddy's roses to remember him by. them to Grandma for safe keeping.
 The new....well loved family pet...stroked, bathed, fed and loved.
A garden slug..

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Happy Birthday Mom....Cinco de Mayo was your special day....

It was just last year that you celebrated your 93rd birthday in a neck brace...The Morphine made you loopy but you still chair danced at your 93rd party..Who would have known that in 4 days you would have been dead.  There was no compromise between Parkinson's disease and a broken neck.  Parkinsons required head down to swallow without aspiration....Broken neck required head up in a brace.
  A no-win situation...and off you your own way, as usual

Above..age 90
Below..age 91, having missed the train one more time.

Below...when you first moved to Charlotte after Daddy and Grandma died.
 Two years ago, enjoying bubbles..
 Coming home from lunch bunch on the bus.
 Sunny...beloved cat...used to ride on her walker...13 years later was in her bed when she died.

Shuttered windows open wide.
Sparkling sunbeams sweep inside,
Reeling on the patterned floor,
Polish circles on the door.
Dancing diamonds of delight
Entertain me while I write.
This is where I want to be,
Touched by sun and poetry.

From the book, Daydreams, by Alice Franzen Clemons Burt

I love you so.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Love revisited....Cotton and Steel

When I started my Cotton and Steel quilt, it was all about bravery while soft, strength while vulnerable and truth...I had thought it would encourage me on.
Alas..I am such a slow work in process(WIP)... I put the top away.
Then Rachel got married...and I knew she and Alesa were definitely Cotton and Steel...
How perfect!
I have always felt that a quilt is not finished until the binding is on..a binding can change the whole ambiance of a quilt...never mind a cool backing...
So here is love...finished and revisited...for Rachel and Alesa!!
The backing even has chocolate chip cookies on
 The label...."I believe in miracles"
.I put a Chuppah over the Madonna.(not shown here...added later:)
..I felt it was the right thing to do for this wedding quilt!!

Yesterday's wedding was so awesome...I really loved it...till I went south emotionally. myself..that is..
It was outside on a lake in the beautiful Carolina blue.
Abundance of love.
See the awesome wedding cake that made my mouth drool:
 Today is a new day...going back to sleep and with God's help I will awaken in a good mood!!
Yes....success..Thank you God.
 .I was able to have lunch with a to go to the pool for exercise.
And, tonight, gratefully, Emi-Lou's cafe is open with cooking lesson # two for 9 year old Evan.

Voila the rose garden.  Picture is for my brother-in-law, Declan who cut them back during his February visit...of course under Fintan's supervision,.

It is nice to know that love and hope are intertwined...maybe I  will not die of a broken heart after all..maybe