Saturday, May 31, 2014

The joyful and not so joyful noise

Thank God for my sister and thank God that she is 11 years younger than I am.  She went with me to Costco today to get the Ensure and food for Mr.O's new smoothies.  We were putting food away in the garage fridge when Mr. Postman came right into the garage and gave me these...hmmm I think that the doctor ordered these for me. 
 I was going to sew tonight, but the machine noise has been quite dim for awhile.  Just going to sit with Himself and peruse my newest treats... taking life as it comes..or trying to anyway.

Guardianship of my darlings is so exhausting...I always said that raising children was the best thing and the hardest thing we ever did...Ditto here...for grands...only harder now.
Thru the exhaustion comes the joy...and gratitude..They are safe and sound and thriving.

Since they are sleeping, I will be reading.

The Nitty Gritty

 The nitty gritty one....My sister was going to move and now she is not.  But, she has still decided to go through her fabric and let go of what she really does not love.  Good sister stopped by my house first...No problem here...I took it all!  I mean really...things just have to stay in the family and I need fabric now to stay cheerful and stable.

 The nitty gritty two.  Yesterday, Mr. O'Quilts and I spent all day at the ALS clinic.  It was quite the sober day.  First of all the place was full of patients with Lou Gehrig's disease in all the different stages..grim is the word for that.  Second of all, my man had lost 14 pounds in 14 weeks.  A big shocker to both of us.  They said that for this disease, the weight loss was a life threatening kind of thing and if he did not stabilize by the next clinic time at the end of August, he would be having a feeding tube.
Eating and chewing is causing some fatigue; swallowing and talking is getting tougher.
It has only been three weeks or so since my mother drifted off...and now more terrible, no good, very bad day.
Can you blame a girl from loving all kind of polka dots!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The excuse

 My mother made me do it.!!!
I used to love  Then it was bought over by and lost its family business touch.  Then I hated  Trying to chill last week, I found's $3.22 a yard sale...hmmm...back in love again????   Nothing over $ new motto...and Joanne's fabric...forget you for now that is for sure.
Christmas fabric...joining the adored children's book, Santa Mouse..comes this fabric with the mouse on the balls...and being from Arizona...well...

 novelties and batiks
 love and obsession...
 more and more...just never enough...
 My mother made me do sad, I see...all gone
Thank you Mother...I know that you were an "any excuse will do" kind of Mom!!!

Quilts, Actually....

 I was tossing and turning the other night in the Carolina heat when came an epiphany at 2 am.  In my cupboard, all folded and saved was this summer spread from Greenville, Alabama.  The wise me no more and out it came to lighten my load.  All hand applique, found in a barn antique store while visiting Great-aunt Carl 25 years ago.  I mean they were selling it for $35 dollars back then.  Now, I am all comfy under someone else's art..using it for myself and  loving it.  Great Aunt Carl died three weeks ago on my mother's birthday.  This is one nice reminder of our visits.
 I finished this top yesterday.  Soon, I will have the three tops done for the summer baby girls.

 Here we are tonight cutting up for Kathylynn's 60th.  Hard to be glum at a birthday party surrounded by friends.
Nice to be quilting again.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Healing

I love my daughter-in-law.  She is the healthiest member of her entire family.  She knows who she is and is working hard to be a better person.  She has given me permission to share her struggle with sobriety on my blog.  With two months clean time under her belt, today she earned one hour supervised visitation with her children.  We met at McDonald's playground and all had a wonderful time.

You go Stasi....I am so proud of you. You give me hope that from the darkest day, the blossom can still bloom.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Oh, Yeah!!!

My grands just love pickles.  I, on the other hand, just hate pickles...But, the new flexible me decided to make pickled green beans with Evan.  I found a recipe in a Country Living magazine and this is bean season in Charlotte.  They will be ready in two days...check back to see how we do:)  eg if we live, etc..

Summer camp does not allow towels for the pool.  They require hooded cover ups...$4 at the consignment store with a bit of Wonderunder flower and some rick rack...voila...for my 5 year old.
A successful evening..TBTG

A Little Sewing Break

A finish...I cannot believe it...however.....
The value is way off on this quilt as are the colors...Maybe it is salvageable with a dark binding.  Also, I have girl quilts due this summer and this looks like a boy quilt...but, a finished top is better than I have done in months so I am grateful.  I will put baby's name on the back for a two sided quilt and enclose the book.
My mother has been dead 16 days.
My man says now that dressing is more difficult.  I bought him those new kind of shirts that are soft and absorb the moisture.  They are easier to slide on and off than cotton.
He says that he is getting weaker.
The crazy side of me wants to throw something.
The better side of me wants to sew...and here we are...a finished top...
I think I might put black and white chevrons in the corners too..hmmm
Thank you for listening.

So I just added the corners...better...I know baby will be much

 And, a big thank you to Antoinette for taking all three children all day...xxoo

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I Just so do Not Care!!

Here is my freshly painted yellow office.  Now, my freshly painted new room for Mr.O.  With all the transitions, I am without design walls.  

With all the disruptions, Mr.O's new bedroom is was oh, so boring.

So, tonight I took hammer and great big nails.  I hammered the design walls right to the pretty newly painted yellow walls.
I just so do not care.
I do not care about the mess or the holes.
What I do care about is getting back to sewing or I will really be a nutcase...
I feel better, I feel good:)

A few years back when my mother was loopy from some pain medication, she decided to take a hammer to the blue cup holders that were on her wheelchair.  One was for the phone and one for the drink.  I had just bought them online and she destroyed them.
She lost her hammer privileges after that.  Maybe I, too will loose mine.
Ha!!  I am still quite glad!!!.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sharing the Happy!!

Mr.O's sisters back home in Ireland with quilts from had a concussion too so I gave him my concussion quilt....just sharing the love
The men from Hickory Grove Baptist church came to build Mr.O'Quilts workshop to fit the happy.
Today I was at Hobby Lobby with my 40% off coupon to buy a roll of Insul-brite for my potholder craze...These giraffes called out to me begging to recover my ironing table..Happy..1!
 I took off the old and duck tapped on the new...perfect!!
 And then the sale plates at Pier I...not needed but oh, so loved...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


My mother loved this Jonathan read it at her Memorial Service.

The Jewish Poet Menachem Rosenatt

I used to be a part of you
belong to you
the extension of your being
but now
you live within me
are the spark of my consciousness

I say kaddish for you
with you
as you
sing your melodies
speak your words
hearing your voice in mine
and my eyes
too green
have somehow started to reflect
the brown of yours

I used to be part of you
protected by your presence
by your light
and I always will be
but now
I must be more than myself:
your child has become your heir,

has become you.

My daily reading said that I can either be a victim or a valiant warrior...  I do not feel so brave.  My friend,Joy found this poem for me to read.  She said that I had no choice but  to be the valiant warrior...Oh, dear me...

The Truth the Dead Know

For my mother, born March 1902, died March 1959
and my father, born February 1900, died June 1959
Gone, I say and walk from church,   
refusing the stiff procession to the grave,   
letting the dead ride alone in the hearse.   
It is June. I am tired of being brave.

We drive to the Cape. I cultivate
myself where the sun gutters from the sky,   
where the sea swings in like an iron gate
and we touch. In another country people die.

My darling, the wind falls in like stones
from the whitehearted water and when we touch   
we enter touch entirely. No one’s alone.
Men kill for this, or for as much.

And what of the dead? They lie without shoes   
in their stone boats. They are more like stone
than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse   
to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone. 

I found this one in my mother's things...from 2005...quite awhile ago to be feeling such:


1.  Keep going; keep going; keep going
2.  Accept all the love and help I receive
3.  Watch the sun come up through the trees
4.  Not be judgmental
5. Practice patience
6.  Accept loss of writing skills.  Print instead.
7.  Recall when I was articulate
8.  Remember this is the day the Lord has made
Let us rejoice and be glad in it. 
Alice Burt   2005

It is all about her struggle living with Parkinson's..

Now as for me...Her daughter here...well..I am trying to heal...but that does not matter because healing has its own time frame which I do not control.  Today's attemps:
1.  Buy $100 worth of $3.22 fabric on the sale..none of which I needed.
2.  Buy large half gallon of chocolate chip mint ice cream and Smucker's real hot fudge syrup
3.  Take three naps
4.  Do all my asthma treatments so I can get better.
5.  Clean up the Memorial Service clippings and store them.
6.  Go to the Farmer's market to buy Dill and green beans to make green bean pickles with the grands..
My poor dear man has ALS and had a four hour root canal today and HE does not need to write a healing post...Jeeze Louise

Friends lift me up with your comfort...I am so grateful.
I am a wimp.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Practicing Safe Stress

Today, the lady, who brought the wheelchair van by for us to look at, told me that with my stressors, I needed a spa treatment.  Oh, no said I...I need to make potholders!!!!!  Getting behind that sewing machine...vroom....I am a much better me.

I thought that my days of making presents for teachers were over...not!! 
 That's OK...
I am living my life, one potholder at a time:)

Fun stuff

 Watching my darlings at Karate is a hoot!!  Lifting me up..

 Thank you Emily and Evan for running in the fundraiser for Mr. O'Quilts today...Lifting me up again!!
Thank you Nancy and Herb for the strawberries, lettuce and honey...not to mention plumbing detail...
 FYI, stress drove me to eat the donuts you brought me but,  Emily had hidden them...never to be found...such a meany face.
Thank you Michael for bringing by the wheelchair van for perusal and NOT thank you for criticizing my excellent driving of it...Oh, Lordy.
Thank you Emily for taking your Daddy to the Urgent Care today.
Thank you vino tinto for even existing.
The rest of the family is leaving tomorrow and it will be back to our new normal.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The angels are singing..I think...

The unbelievable has stopped me in my tracks.  My mother has moved on.
 Last night we had her memorial service.  It was full of laughs and memories, friends and family...and yes a bit of craziness too.  Why not??
Here are my favorite guys all ready for the service.
 Alice Franzen Clemons Burt...89 years ago..age 4
And once again, my favorite tribute to my dear mother, this poem by her friend. (He wrote this in November, 2011 when she was dying before...I think it was time number 3...That was the time she enjoyed her wake and took the wrong train.)  Unbelievable.

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.

And a bonus....My dear girls plane to Dublin was overbooked...YES!!!  The next direct flight from Charlotte is on Sunday..We have two extra days with her now plus she got a free plane ticket cup runneth over...!!  Now, Mom...Did you have anything to do with this??  xxxoo

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Love Lifting us up

 Friends visiting, love all around.
 My man playing Irish music to cheer us up.  Grandma's lights on the piano to help us remember the many good times.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Going out in style....

Week is Mom on the way home from lunch bunch with her doggie bag..Having a great time...enjoying her life.

She goes out in style all right.  It is just unbelievable...but then..she was ready for almost anything...

(For my children)
I want to sleep in the arms of the crescent moon
Counting the stars in the sky
Watching the ocean's reflecting light
From ships that are passing by

I want to be like a bird so free
Any bird will do
To choose my destination
Yet never leaving you

Wherever the spirit takes m
There I long to go
Released from this cage, my body,
to the freedom I y earn to know

Now raise your smiling face
And carry through
Rejoice with me, your mother,
Forever loving you.

Mom included this poem in her first book, published in 2006.  So I know that she was ready to take life's next adventure for quite awhile.  Parkinson's disease is no picnic.  But her mind, sharp till her fall, kept her able to to still live a wonderful caring life.

I am so grateful

Friday, May 9, 2014

Memorial Service arrangements

Poor Sunny...grieving....He doesn't quite know what to do now after 8 years loving my mother.

 For my friends who are local and want to come to the memorial service for my dear mother....

Alice Franzen Clemons Burt
Memorial service
Heritage Funeral Home
3700 Forest Lawn Parkway Drive
Matthews, NC 28104

Thursday at 7 pm service  Visitation 6 to 7

The Butterfly and the Gift

Safe travels Mom...You are now the butterfly.

Alice Franzen Clemons Burt
May 5, 1921-May 9, 2014
age 93

"Wailing of the sirens
Calling after me
I can hear them screaming
Ageless, weightless, spirit, I, 
like a snowflake in the sky,
soaring, floating, dreaming, I,
transient like a butterfly!"

The Gift:   Holding Mom's hand all night.  Although she was unresponsive, I had a good time catching her up on the latest family gossip.
Mom, you gave me your strength that night so that I would be able to carry on.
Thank you!!  I love you so very much.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Waiting for the Phoenix

My dear mother went to Walmart on Friday.
On Saturday she fell and broke her neck.
On Sunday she slept all day.
On Monday she celebrated her 93rd birthday, but her mind was a bit foggy.
On Tuesday she was able to go to the lunch room.
On Wednesday she is doing bubble breathing, is aspirating, cannot swallow.  She cannot eat and she cannot drink.  She struggles to mumble and coughs and coughs.  All from a broken neck.

Which train will she take this time?

We are waiting for the Phoenix.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Beat Goes On....Kinda....Happy 93rd Birthday Mom

In the bed before the party....neck brace hidden by a scarf...Hospice nurse gets her up....all is fine until I realize that she is completely out to lunch...looney as a tune...Jeeze Louize...what has happened to my mother?????

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Very Bad, Terrible, No-good Day

My mother broke her neck.  Well, she fell out of her wheelchair this morning on her head and the wheelchair fell on top of her.  Her face is black and blue and number 2 vertebrae in her neck is broken.  She is not a candidate for surgery so she has been sent back to her assisted living facility with a neck brace.  She is in pain.  She is supposed to wear the brace 24/7 for 3 months or the spinal cord could sever. She said that she should have stayed in bed today.  I feel the same way...

Getting a grip number 6 trillion, 5 hundred and 2.