Sunday, December 4, 2016

Bringing in the hay, caring for the sheep

The children's mother came tonight to relieve Stephanie.
They all had great fun making a big cookie in the snowman pan,
 that I had found at the craft store.

My lovely vacation is over...so worth  Stephanie's wage.
Tomorrow starts again at 6:30 with the buses, etc..Then a school meeting at noon.
I must advocate for my darlings, you know.
AD/HD is tough to handle both at school and at home.
I try always to keep in mind that it is toughest for the child.
In adolescence, I remember telling my son to be sure to use birth control
 because I was not raising another AD/HD kid...
Ha ha..joke on me. Both grand boys have it.

My girl is in Bangkok:  First day a sightseeing boat.
It took them 12 hours to go to Beijing from LAX.
Five more hours to Bangkok.
Lovely to be young.

Just to explain yesterday's post.
My Hospice therapist is really my Hospice bereavement counselor.
Hospice offers counseling services after loved ones die.
eg, my husband and my mother.
I asked for buy one/ get one free at the funeral home...but no dice!

Back to tonight.
I have never been much for football...but I see that Boo is quite charmed...
He even tried to do an interception at some point!!
During the cyber Monday, Tuesday, etc time
I was nuts with stress and grief....and we all know that that means, chocolate, red wine and online fabric sales.  Here is a lot that I never, ever would have considered if the sale had not been so good.
I will now be challenged to create with my Civil War fabric and these New Age Muslins..
 Guess what kind of beverage sits in Great Grandma's Santa cup??
Vino tinto, of course.

My girl and her man ordered two new....cough...refurbished computers for us.
It was genius.  Now all three children do their homework online.
I am amazed at what the 6 and 7 year old are required to do..but, they know and they do.
I am having a hard time figuring out Windows 10...but already the pictures are so much better.

When I let a few depressing days go without posting, I get a number of emails asking if I am ok.
I am grateful for friends who care.

Now the Sunday epiphany:
 I cry that my love is not here to care and share and love with  me....as I age, etc.
I realized that I was able to give him a wonderful gift.
I was able to be with and care for him as he suffered and died.
Grief is so self-absorbed.
I would have chosen to care for him first... if I had thought about it.
 I am so glad to be thinking about it now.
I am grateful.
I know that I will be ok.
xxoo
Time to Say Goodbye

My Lovely Vacation, et. al.

Just go ahead!!  Judge my grief growth by the potholders I make!
Tonight's was one for a Christmas party at the house of a widow friend from our group.
She is a nurse...Check out the back!!
The wonderful pincushion is a gift for Lynsey from Christine's daughter.
Lynsey just gave it a big ol' cupcake hug.
She loved it.
Today she said wisely....Hmm
Grandma, because I cannot sew by myself yet, could I take the pincushion to my room?
My dolly really loves cupcakes and I would like her to have it for awhile!!

Here we go again..another roller coaster ride...this time it is the Santa,holiday trip.
Who knew that year two as a widow would be harder than year one??
Especially at the holidays....
Where did he go?  He would not have left me on purpose!!
My Johnny did not come home from the war, this year either.
Everyone else's Johnny did.
Who knew that when my mother died, it would be forever?
Who knew that the disease of addiction and that of instability
would steal my son and my brother?
Leaving me last man standing.....

Who knew that a no-debt lifestyle would ensure the safety and comfort 
of me and my three young grands.? Instead of retirement.....
Who knew that raising three young grandchildren would be so expensive?
I went to a Christmas party tonight that I did not want to go to.
In spite of myself, It lifted me up.
The minute I returned to an empty house, I crashed.

Who knew that the grands could help me with our computers?
Who knew that they would go get my socks and put them on my arthritic feet?
Who knew that they would  thrive in school?
Who knew that Aunt Emily and Uncle Brian would be such a help?
Who knew that Stephanie would be an angel for us?

I cannot go on vacation or get a week break unless, of course, I have a joint replaced...Oh, my.
So, this weekend I hired Stephanie, so I could sleep...A great vacation for me!!!!!
I stayed in my quiet and soft and lovely bed until 2:45 today...hmmmmm
Who needs Paris?
Tomorrow I plan the same trip!!
Wahoo...!!, says the tired old Grandma!!


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Oh...Happy Day....

A very good day..
This morning...My wonderful Hospice therapist came...
putting me through the paces...
Then lunch out with dear MP
Back home to nap and sew.
Look at my progress....This weekend,
I will put decorations on the trees and after many  years, it is so done.
 Pieces here are quite old...pieces from here and there..
Look at these Santas from forever ago.
I have a fabric stash that spans 50 years.
This green is new..but not so new that I do not remember it from my 20's.
With a long time collection, one can really see the hues of greens.
They change every year.
Without a collection, sometimes  you just cannot find the right green!!
 
 As my moods change, I decide different things about Christmas.
Today, I got these LED light trees at Michaels with my 50% off coupons.
Two days...two trees.
So easy to put up and so safe from the kittys..as the trees are outside.
 Fourth year of my  Christmas cactus that I keep outside under the bench for the year.
Then...the freeze comes and inside they come to bloom for the season. 
My new jacket...Ha ha...a shirt I would never wear, makes a funky jacket for old me.
Just a bit of zigzag down the middle with a slice de rotary cutter and voila.
This eccentric dresses way cool!!
 Sherry's bday present....Sherry loves Disney ...
Flannel pillowcases.
How could I resist???
Happy Birthday Sherry
I am so so so grateful for my friends.
Now, why am I up at 12:48 am????
Because I can.. I so need R and R..
 I am spending big bucks to hire Stephanie for the weekend.
She is coming at 8 am for the children
And old tired Grandma will sleep  Sigh...such a gift.
I just hate getting up at 6:30 for the two school buses.
Sleep tomorrow...wonderful!! I cannot wait...

PS...just heard from my wandering girl.
She is on the Air China flight to Beijing transiting to Bangkok for her honeymoon with her love.
Missing her so much.
So proud and happy for her.
xxoo

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Quilt Top of many Orphans and many Years...

Not finished but I had to show you that I was sewing.
Many, many years of collecting and making and scraping about.....
Tomorrow,one more border and a few baubles...so excited to be so close to done.
Santa's list:
Talking to 6 year old Dylan this morning.
What did you ask  Santa for Christmas this year?
Dylan.:" I am soon going to be 7, So I want grown up things.".

I want :
$50, 000
A monkey....a real one.
A new dog...a real one.
A monster truck...a real one.
A phone..a real one..

Lynsey will be soon 8.
She wants another big dollhouse so she can have a neighborhood.
Oh, my ...says old Grandma....Oh, my...

The Poor Little Tree
Our tree will be decorated differently this year.
It will have 8 bent bottom branches.
Bright Christmas lights.
And Stitch and Boo
That is all...and that is enough.!!!!






A sad and crabby morning sleeping.
A delightful and fun afternoon...out and about.
This morning, I was not going to celebrate Christmas.
This afternoon, after lunch out with friends,
 I wandered about World Market.
I bought the gingerbread cookies that are just like the ones my grandmother
used to make.
I sat in one of their chairs to try it out.
Another lady sat in the one next to me.
Ha ha...we made friends in World Market.
I took my sister to work.
I felt alive again, getting happy for Christmas with the children.
xxoo to my patient friends.here, listening as my world goes around.....

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Very Very Grateful Day....

Thanksgiving....the glorious November day in Charlotte.
Here they are...the darlings. 
Dylan is wearing the shirt I made his father when he was 6.
I love generational things.  I used fun food fabric..
Three darlings, but only one princess!!!
Voila..the Thanksgiving skirt.
Uncle Bri teaching Lynsey how to count the marshmallows on the tators..
He is so clever.
See how she learns!!!  L for Lynsey...the sweet potato way.
This year...an outside event.
My girl made it all so special!!
Tradition has us using our Christmas china at Thanksgiving.

The feastly complications...:
I was thrilled to have my brother here with his wife, not so much their 16 cats in their rented van.
We had a lovely time laughing and playing traditional canasta...
My brother's leg is awful.  If he continues to be homeless, his leg will not heal.
He will eventually have to lose his leg or his life thru sepsis.
They had agreed to look at a trailer park my DIL had seen before.
It was all set up.  Then SIL refused to go.  She preferred to live in the van.
There is nothing I can do.  They have left.
I am glad they came.

My girl has made Thanksgiving a real feast.
She and her man are outstanding cooks.
I did nothing. So happy....so grateful..so proud..
My girl brought the joy with her.
She and her man continued traditions that the grands will hold dear.

Even surrounded with such love, tears came.  There is an emptiness that can never be filled.
There is a feeling of desperation and despair...
This is not a mind thing, it is a gut thing born of loss.

They have left.  I am so grateful that they came.
There is joy in the coming and sadness in the leaving.
That is the way of life.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Beginning of the Season!

School is out for five days...Today Lynsey asked Grandma where her Turkey outfit was for Thanksgiving??
Hmmmm....I did not know.  Who dresses for Thanksgiving in a turkey outfit??
Guess it was her cousin. Olivia. Hers was lovely.
Remembering the two turkey fabrics I had..she chose one.
 I have a lovely collection of colored elastic.  I have never made a quickie skirt like this.
Sewing the fabric onto the stretched elastic...It was so done in 20 minutes.
She is thrilled...TBTG for a fabric and elastic collection!!
Going to bed ...Stitch is the best comfort cat!!!

Starting now..on the eve of the eve of the beginning of the season.
This is the third year of this quilty Christmas process using random leftover blocks,
Just maybe it will be done this year.
First step...to put gold balls on the top of the trees...or maybe red.
We will see.
I am glad to see it up at least.
Company comes in late tomorrow night.
Hoping for peace at Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2016

That Soothing Potholder

Tonight....


Getting comfort from where ever I can.
This morning my son woke me with a phone call.
He was crying that he wanted to stop Heroin.
I offered to take him to detox if he could come to the shopping center on a bus.
Ok..He was grateful...I told him I loved  him.
He never showed up.
He is not ready.
The lowly potholder becomes a gift of love, transferring some of the pain into a sort of art.
The art of coming to peace that we are in control of nothing.
Nothing but the joy of a potholder.
My son is in God's hands.

 From Cathy Perlmutter @ Gefilte Quilts comes....Leonard Cohen and quilts
A very fun and clever post.  Thank you Cathy!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Art of Working it...Striving for Balance

Glee!!  Top done.  It is bordered to keep the edges in line..I cannot wait to baste it.
Going to batt it with wool because I am keeping it...love
 No need to be lonely!!  Tigger..
 and...Boo...They comfort me.
 I am looking for this fabric.  I thought it was Anna Marie Horner..but I cannot find it.
Help needed please...Does anyone know the name of it??
 Saturday's adventure...I went to Lowe's to find old plants for a dollar..a bit of success.
 I think that the one above is Sedum.. I do not know.
The bottoms are Mums and pansies..I chopped off the bad and will plant them soon.
On the way home, I saw a garage sale.  I have not had the energy for that in forever.
Treasures galore:  She wanted only cash.
I only had $31.
 FUN!!!!  And, I made a new crafty friend.  She was moving into a retirement place.
The more we chatted the lower the price went!!
I love baskets!!
 A wooden box that had been in her family.
 An almost new coffee table I got for $15.
A hall tree
 a lamp shade.
All for $31... and a new friend to boot!!!
Saturday was so awesome...I just knew I was fixed.
Then Saturday night came...bam!! the tidal wave again.
I remember 3 months into a grief group, when a lady came in crying.
She was 18 months in and so much in grief.
I thought to myself..Jeeze what is wrong with her????
Still she is singing this song??
Well...now I know..because I am there...The second year is worse.
I managed to flip it into gratitude by sitting by the fake fire with a quilt and a cat.
Just so you know that the O'Quilts family is still somewhat in the normal range
in spite of all of this.
Voila one of my cute trinket boxes.
When I went to put it away...inside...
I found someone's dirty socks!!!!!!


At the store today, Edy's holiday special peppermint ice cream.appeared..
Just appeared..
I got the last box and it is still November!!
I hear it shouting from the freezer...taste me, taste me..
Then off to bed I will go...those school busses come early!
xxoo

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The only thing sad today is that I cannot find the children's Halloween Candy!!!

Here we go...Ms Lynsey practicing and singing for her part in the school Veteran's Day show.
She came home a success.
She saw a veteran there who looked so much like Granddaddy that she almost cried...sigh!!
 Top finished, auditioning borders..if any..
Quilt pattern from the wonderful, Sujata Shah at the Root Connection

 
My father died 19 years ago. My sister and I waited the week in the hospital with our mother.
The life support had been disconnected.  The wait was awful.
Our mother gave us each $200 to go to fabric stores.  She said that we needed a break.
At that time there were a lot of fabric stores in Phoenix...now, not so many.
We would be in the hospital, go to fabric store, come back...etc..
I will never forget that time, nor the fabric I bought back then.
This piece was one of them.  I am going to use it to back this quilt.
The fabric has been saved and loved for 19 years in memory.

Addiction:
In the past few years science has found that indeed addiction is a disease.
..a chronic relapse brain disease.
Many people still shame addicts as folks with a weakness and moral problems.
Shaming someone with a disease is unkind.
My son is so sick. He forgot to set up visitation last week.  I called him yesterday to say I loved him and he was too high to talk.  He never called back.  I try never to lecture or shame him...just I love him and hope he chooses recovery.  His birth parents were addicts.
No one knew back then that it was an inherited relapse disease...A knife in my heart.
The surgeon general made this public today.
 Hopefully education will change perception.
Money for treatment can then be freed up...Praying...
Addiction as a Disease

A few days ago, I went to my doctor.  I went on and on telling him my story and how it was affecting me now...at 19 months.  After listening patiently and with great kindness, he told me that ....
My antidepressant was no longer working.  HA!!!!
Two pills later and I am already feeling much much better.
We now have a great big family bottle of Cymbalta...Just joking...
Stasi...Stephanie and now....me.
The last few years have taken quite a toll on all of us.

Things to look forward to:
Thanksgiving with my girl and her man.
My brother and his wife.
Evan perfecting his canasta game.
The grands doing so wonderfully.
They are happy, safe, well loved and well cared for.
TBTG
Sooo Grateful!!