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.

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.

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

Monday, November 6, 2017

And, so the Season Starts

Here is my Halloween Christmas cactus.
 Here is my Thanksgiving Christmas cactus
Both of them are around 6 years old.

]I received a robo call from the elementary school tonight.  They were reporting a new App....available next week.  It is called, "Here Comes the Bus".
With the district number and the child's school number, I will be able to tell exactly where our school bus is and exactly when it will arrive at  our stop..
.Is not that....Amazing??.

Struggling with my hundred surgeries and complications still...I just had to share this:
Waking up is Hard to do
Scroll down for the video.

Voila.. my lovely place to spray baste small quilts
Zoe loves to be included.

 This two sided quilt is done, but for the binding.  I just  love it...except.
I ruined it and I cry for that
I was humming along doing the first free motion quilting since my shoulder replacement.
Half of it was done, when the machine stopped behaving.
 The stitches became tighter and it started to pucker.
Several needles broke, I threw a temper snit.!
I replaced the needle, the bobbin, the thread, I re-threaded everything.
 I cleaned the machine.
 I talked to God.
I let it be and came back to it tonight.
Same thing.

I tried to free motion with feed dogs up and then with feed dogs down.
Finally I changed the foot, putting on a regular quarter inch and just sewed on a practice piece..perfect.
Without the right answer, I just finished it anyway..feed dogs up was the best shot.
Now the last half has puckers and frowns and has an irritable disposition.
Sad, sad Grandma Muldoon.

Tomorrow is my dear  man's birthday.
My Love, I miss  you so.
We all have memories..happy and sad.
Fintan, you are still my everything.

ps  Peppermint Bark ice cream is in the stores...both Edy's and Harris Teeter;s are here..
I had to try twice to find it....I like Harris Teeter's the best.
And so the season starts.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Getting My Strong on....

Quilt process/ life process...both unpredictable.
Who would have guessed that turquoise would be the answer here??
There is not one bit of that color in this quilt.
A red binding will be the finishing touch.
And, my new shoulder let me reach high on the design wall, pain free!!
Top completed, I am on to this baby quilt.
Into easy now-a-days.
The no-think relaxation kind of block.
My friend, Sandee....has made 76 potholders to match the aprons her church quilters have made as a fundraiser....You go Sandee!!!!
Bargain shopper here found two Halloween mice on sale at Marshal's
I put them on my ironing board for safe keeping.
Alas, no safe keeping...from Stitch and Boo
What is this one doing on the floor????
A Walmart sale piece...$2 an extra small dog outfit...perfect for American doll girl.
And lunch out...A "granny" shower!!!
This cake came from Publix.. Can you believe it???
It is a reveal cake, bought by mistake..ha ha
I have never seen anything like it.
When it was cut, all these blue chocolate balls came out.
Verv, very fun!!!
It was nice getting together with folks I have known for years.
Most of them I have not seen in 2.5 years since my husband's funeral.
Life just speeds ahead, everyone busy with their own lives...all of which seem exciting to me.
Retirements, new babies, new homes, special things that we all love.
Although the past few days have held a lot of angst, pain and longing for my dear man,
I am moving along.

My grandmother role modeled  for me.
She left Sweden, alone at age 15 and lived to 99.7
Even though many of her loved ones died during December, including her husband,
She always made Swedish Christmases to remember.
This year, I am well enough to try to share some of those things with my grands.
My husband was 100% Irish
I am 50% Swedish
My grands are 25% Cuban
And all a bit of American mix.
Guess we will try to incorporate it all into memories of our own.
I am excited.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

All Saint's Eve

Can you believe this???
A PTA fundraiser brought in $50,000 for our elementary school.
To celebrate,..the entire school could wear their costumes today to school.
The second and third graders showed up downstairs this morning wearing......
 Granddaddy's woolen sports jackets.
The very ones that were in Lynsey's closet because I could not bear to look at them, yet.
They went to school today as "Granddaddy"!!!
And, it was OK!
Tonight was a different story.
TBTG Their mother came to take them Trick or Treating.
 Sometimes I think that this is their true nature...ha ha
The seventh grader filled up his pillowcase, with candy??????
The other two  made me close my eyes while they hid their candy from Grandma.
 Niece, Alexis saved the day.  I used to love Halloween until my dear man died.
Now I am so grateful for Alexis .  She handed out the candy while my sister and I chatted inside...all warm and toasty.
 Awesome red lights with batteries...97 cents last year at the end of Christmas sales.
 And, the latest patch...This will be one awesome quilt..
with the best story ever,
More choices...all wrong.
Now looking for a light orange solid...kinda...
 All this is why the design wall is so important.
 So thought this solid orange would be the bingo...alas..too dark.

The end of October miracles:
The X-box controller that has been missing for a year and a half has been found right in front of our eyes and noses, in the kitchen hutch...just pushed toward the back.  Evan  made me apologize. It was not only my fault, but I had had to buy a $50 replacement last year.

The new flip phone that has been missing for 1.5 months has been found right beside me at my computer, in my little sewing machine drawer...pushed toward the back.
Now, just missing is the alarm clock bought for Evan so he could get himself up in the morning.
Lost for 6 months, hidden by me for the birthday surprise in June...
and of course two I-pads, taken for mis-behavior....never to have been seen again.
Probably under my fabric stashes.

All is a relief and not too bad for one week...not even looking

I am now full of Halloween candy and sipping red wine..in the peace and quiet of night.
The tooth fairy is about to  make her final visit to Evan as his very last baby tooth came out tonight.
Soon...the raging hormones of adolescence arrive..
Poor Grandma, poor Evan and poor world.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Roll on Stories, Roll on...

Back to the stories in quilts...This quilt is soooo loved by the family,
I will preserve it.
I am a big fan of
Nadia...at Multicolored Pieces
She is repairing her old quilt with hand made art.
I can only Wonder-Under and machine quilt.
These orphan blocks are from a shirt of my son's when he was 18.
I made a quilt of them for him, but......long lost..
The pieces are ironed on...Will secure them later.
Looking soon for other red and white memories for the more deteriorated parts.
It is really all about love.
Maybe a flannel part of my husband's shirts is left..??.
Maybe a piece from the children's clothing??
Getting excited.

My favorite part of quilting...choosing the colors.
Starting the border process now.for this top...may just need a solid.?
The quilt needs a border because the quilt is too small without it.
Lynsey goes to Girls on the Run...twice a week.  She loves it.
Hoping for a donut on the way home,...
She goes in by herself for one donut and a glass of water.
Feeling so grown up and important.
Not to worry,
My van is right by the door.
Remember Grandma  has a cane to beat folks off...
 The only homework responsible child...the girl amongst two boys.
She has to get this homework done..even while enjoying her Halloween treat.
This grandma is putting away all her Halloween fabric.
The house is a mess and the conventional wisdom is that Halloween is soon over.
Is this the year for a Thanksgiving quilt?
Absolutely NOT>..so away that goes too...

It is time for Christmas sewing
TBTG I did teacher presents while I was recuperating.
Should I insist on the 7,8 and 12 year old making their own presents this year?
Or should I just chill...?
The seven year old is almost done...but...the others have big, bad homework.
Thank goodness for my blog...so I can think out loud.
Thank goodness for the delete button, so you all have a choice..😎😎.
Thank goodness for all of you..

Sunday, October 29, 2017

My mind as I knew it...

Here we go...finished backing...talk about low volume  ...or maybe it is the photographer??

And am I happy....Of course..I am thrilled to have incorporated so much into this piece and have it all work.. Then comes the disclaimer from the fabric addict's brain.
The blue 1.5 inch border fabric is now all gone...as is the flowered 5 inch border.
 I know the other pink works,it is in the same line...the freaky part is...
OMG the fabric is gone..
.I had better order more...what if I cannot find more???
And that takes over..

I have to do a lot of self-talk to tell the addict that there is an entire warehouse of fabric right under this roof...and not to worry..there is more fabric, maybe not that..and anyway,
 I am keeping this piece, so I can enjoy looking at it.right here.

My mind then goes to Christmas...Why in the world are you working on this when Christmas is almost here and you have no special something for your daughter  who does everything for you???
No, Mrs. O"Quilts...you are relaxing and you really enjoyed working on this.
It is still only October.
Your daughter would be so happy not get so many whiny texts...
She will be happy to know you are relaxed...but still....
No wonder I need so many naps.
And the humming!!!!
My three days of studio cleaning were undone in a day or two.
Missing.... one Xbox remote (6 months gone)
One new Verizon phone (one month gone)
One alarm clock for a present (8 months gone)
I have hidden money to be found.
A million projects to be found.

Sitting outside after many naps, I am finishing my book and freezing.
It is 50 degrees...very cold for Charlotte..but I am working on toughness.
I grab the warmest quilt I have.
But, it is not warm anymore.
The top is over 100 years old
I have put wool inside and tied it with yarn...having made a special label telling its story
It was the family favorite quilt, now a reminder that nothing lasts forever.

All the whites have deteriorated...they look like they came from underwear anyway, so they had plenty of wear before the quilt
In the past four years that I put this $15 top into a quilt, it has been used as a sleeping bag, a recliner cuddler, a tent, a children's movie cover, etc
It is in shreds.  I took it outside anyway, holes and all.
I can put my finger through all the white pinstriped boxer fabric.
Zoe wonders why I fret???
She also hopes I have a treat hidden inside.

As I continue to heal in many ways, I look up at the huge pine trees in my yard..well over 100 feet tall.  I always remind myself that they are older than I am. The stones I walk on are older than I am (John O'Donohue)
  If there is a God, it is not me...for sure, it is not me...
Philosophy aside, I need another nap.
I am accepting that I need naps.
I am coming to love them.
Starting already on another finish...next post
But, it is not for Christmas......
Why...not...Grandma O'Quilts....Why not/??