Sunday, October 30, 2011

Back in the saddle

These are the November blocks for the for them and one for me.
It was supposed to be a house block, but I have never been much of a rule I figure that this will do.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A new day rising and relaxation with a UFO..

My mind is unable to create at this time, it is befuddled and exhausted.  But, I am back at the machine beginning piecing several boy baby quilts for friends.. A week ago today, my mother went to the ER and was diagnosed with CDIFF.  She had very high levels of this bacteria in her intestines and not enough white blood cells to fight it.  The ER hydrated her with fluids.  Her PCP happened to be at the hospital that night so the ER doctor deferred to him.  He told my mother that he could admit her but she would probably die in the hospital.  She told him she was ready to die and that she wanted to go home.  So the ambulance took her back to Sunrise.  The doctor told us that she would die probably in 48 hours and at most a week.  She was having terrible diahrrea 10 or 12 times a day which was dehydrating her and she was unable to eat and drink due to Parkinson's progression.  We called home my daughter from Europe and my brother and wife from Miami.  We all took a week off.  Hospice is in.   She sent out many many snail mails and emails with the help of my husband saying goodbye to friends.  She Skyped her 92 year old cousin in Sweden and they tearfully said goodbye.  Over the past few days, there was a parade of at least 50 friends coming to Sunrise to say goodbye.  Her poetry group came and had a session dedicated to my mother right in her room.  My mother lived.  I do not know what to say other than gratitude and once again the realization that no human knows life and death.  My brother has gone back, my daughter goes tomorrow and all are going back to work.  My mother said that she really enjoyed the wake and hopes noone is disappointed that she has postponed the funeral.  So I am now back to blogging and trying to wrap my mind around all this.  I thank everyone who has listened to all of this...I am grateful.

Thursday, October 27, 2011



It's three o'clock in the morning
Still I am baffled by words
Reaching into delicate darkness
Finding an elusive phrase
Mystical, magical poetry
Will lift my spirit for days.

from Circle of Love, by Alice Franzen Clemons Burt

My mother would like to report that she has missed the train again.  She said that she is at the station, wondering which train will come next.  She is laughing and eating and drinking and creating.

I am exhausted from loving.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011



So long friends
I'm on my way
Almost ready
For that fateful day
No suitcase
No dollar bills
Nothing needed
Beyond these hills!

from Circle of Love by Alice Franzen Clemons Burt

Sunday, October 23, 2011



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!

from Circle of Love, Alice Franzen Clemons Burt

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happiness is....finishing the last UFO top

I almost let this go.  I almost just said to put it on the back burner...again ...and start something new...but the light bulb turned on and this top is finished.  My joyful, happy quilt is my take on Heather Mulder Peterson's "Round About" pattern.  I just love it.  Now, if my friends are willing...really they do pamper me, they will help me baste the last three tops I have finished.  Then I will have 7 basted tops to quilt at the retreat!!  I had to buy some new pins, because my friends are fussy...they only like to baste with number 2 pins and I prefer number 1. Now check out the backing...almost 60" wide from IKEA...perfect.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bibs and budding quilters

This is the last of the recent unfinished tops. I thought that my grandchildren would have the answer for me so I could get it done and start something new...but they wanted to do their own thing as it should be.
I hope that a few "modern" bibs for the occasion doesn't count as starting something new.  The children were asleep and I wanted to sew a bit before bed....reversible bibs..a strip wonder-undered on pre-made bibs.and re-enforced with a blanket stitch. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mona's meatloaf

My grandmother was a gourmet became her profession when she came to America from Sweden at age 15.  Since she always lived with us, I can tell you that our family was always well fed.  My mother never cooked.  I do not know whether or not it was because she didn't like to, or whether it was cause Grandma wouldnt let her in the kitchen!...too many cooks you know!  Well, there was one recipe that was my mother's alone and that was this meatloaf.  I am partially posting this because my daughter Emily always is cooking nice things and posting them on her blog. I want her to know that I, her mother have not lost my touch..hello.... But, I am also posting it because my brother Raymond is coming from Florida to visit our mother.  We have not seen him in two years.  This is his favorite dish.  I made one to freeze for him to take back home.  He is only staying two days because of his work.  And then we think of my mother again..She is always on our mind lately.  We are having a family birthday party in a week and for the first time in the 11 years that she has lived in Charlotte, my mother is unable to physically get to my house for the party.   The Parkinsons is keeping her from swallowing much food so she is too tired and too fragile.  And, since her first hospitalization in August, she cannot transfer on her own.  Even if I hired a million dollar bus to drive the wheelchair onto, it is too much for her.  As much as I tell myself what I want to hear, it is clear that she has not regained what she lost before pneumonia and the fall.  And so, although there is much to be grateful for....we have now entered another phase in her disease.  It also looks to me that we will have to reinvent Thanksgiving and Christmas too.  I much prefer fantasy and dreams over reality.  But....
  Voila, my mother's meatloaf!!!

MEATLOAF recipe just as she wrote it:  1 lb hamburg, 2 slices broken bread, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 small onion, 1 egg, few canned tomatoe, small amount salt and pepper, bacon strips

Beat hamburg well. Add 1 finely chopped onion and 1 beaten egg. Mix.  Soak bread in milk. Add. Stir in oatmeal and tomatoes.  The more you beat, the better. Add seasoning. Mix well.  Be sure mixture is not too soft or too hard; just right for shaping into loaf.  Add dab of tomatoe soup and flour and put strips of bacon across top.  Bake about one hour at 350 F.  (As for me, I do none of the above.  I just mix it all together at once, adding more oatmeal and bread as needed and I use a bit of the sauce from the tomatoes cause I am too lazy to open tomato soup.  It tastes great anyway.  Ode to Mom.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

And then there was the moving sale at Andy's house

 Andy has to sell her house of 30 some years and move on to a new adventure.  New adventures are sometimes scary, but beautiful and talented Andy will flourish.  I went to her moving sale to help..but help I did I did a much better job at.  Andy, your beautiful handmade things and your collectibles will be cherished and appreciated by me..their new for visiting. and the magic cure!

When my mother was in the hospital, I was stressed to the max.  One of the nights when I was finally home, I wanted to cry, I was sooo tired.  But, not to tired too get on and spend hours looking through their sale.  My husband came up with dinner and I couldn't leave the computer.  He said...does this fix everything??  And I gave a resounding, "YES" and pushed the order button.  It just now came and here it is thrown on the kitchen floor for a photo before washing. Nine yards of wonderful stuff at average, $4 a yard...such therapy:)!  I love you

UFO Christmas kittie/angel top done

I recently read that "value does the work but color gets the credit".  That is a wonderful saying.  In this top, I think that I could have used a different border for value..but, I think it will work with a red binding.  However, the driving force behind this border was the absolutely adorable print.  I got it at maybe $1 a yard years ago; it is 48 inches wide.  I am going to use it on the back too because I love it so.

I think that I have one more UFO top to finish.  Then I will have a million to quilt when I am off on my November retreat!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hourglass backing done..moving on

There is nothing brilliant about this backing except that it is done.  I have had this yellow batik forever.  I think it was on sale because I bought alot of it.  Then I didn't like it because it looks like water spills all over it.  So I decided to use some of it up and to doctor it with strips...again, it is not great, but I am happy to use up and be done.

I just visited my mother.  I was so worried that I forgot that Wednesday is the day she leads her poetry group.  I got there and she was happily talking poetry with her volunteer preparing for the group.  I noticed that she didnt have the wrist call button we ordered and worse than that, she did not have the velcro seat belt ordered in discharge from the hospital by the neurologist.  Four days home and no seat belt.  Yesterday she had a Parkinson's episode and started shaking and almost fell out of the wheelchair at the computer when I was sitting right next to her.  Of course the piece of work that is my mother was trying to print out her obituary that she had written for herself 4 years ago.. Please...oh, please... Mother Dear, write your obit with no seat belt and drive your eldest daughter to her grave!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hourglass top and shot cotton:)

When I have decided to finish up UFO's I often feel cheated that I cannot start something new.  I am a baby like that...Under stress, it is easier for me to finish than start.  It is more mindless and thus more relaxing.   Here, I blended both to treat myself by using this great new green shot cotton in the border...:)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A brand new day

OMG I think I am going to be dead before my mother is....All night long I waited for the call from the hospital in a fitful sleep.  This morning when I arrived there to see my mother, she was alert and feeling good and wanting to go home.  I was so delighted.  Up and down and down and up....This cat of a mother of mine has 9 lives and I guess a few left.  After seven hours there today, I just had to leave.  The nurse just called me to report that Mom had just been picked up by hospital transport to go back home.  I cannot believe it...Thank you all for listening to my ongoing drama.

Friday, October 7, 2011

And sew away the stress....

I sat all day in the hospital watching my mother sleep and struggle.  What happens to a stage 4 Parkingson's patient when they have not been able to swallow their medication?  What happens to one who has fallen and bruised herself at age 90? And to top it off, the ambulance driver dropped something on her head when he picked her up leaving an even bigger bruise than when she fell.  Jeeze.. Even with the great news of nothing broken, my mother looks like she is fading away.  And, she is confused.  They say that it takes a few days for the Morphine to get out of her system, but I do not like it.  I do not like it at all.  I came home exhausted..what to do?  Saw this quilt on the design wall.  I still hate it.  Below it is so busy...and I was so tired..
I decided to give it a break with a bit of neutral sashing...better...and even much better because I forgot for a minute to worry about my mother. 
Not many people would understand, but I really really wished I had my sewing machine in the hospital today.  I would have set it up right next to my snoring mother and put the speed on fast and sewed random strips thinking required.  But, even as eccentric as I am...I knew that even I just couldnt do it:)  Meantime, a little work here tonight and just for a moment I can forget.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The gift and the gifted

The best gift of all was today from the spine surgeon...Yesterday, the big fall, the ambulance, the ER doctor, the hospitalist, the X-rays and the CAT the neurologist, the swallowing specialist, the nurses, another hospitalist, the MRI,  and finally at 6:30 pm, the spine surgeon.  My poor old mother has been lying prone without food, medication or drink on Morphine for almost 24 hours now thinking that she had broken her back.  Tonight the real gift was delivered by the angel..the spine surgeon who declared that no, she had not broken her back...recently that is...many moons ago yes, but who knew then.  For now, her pain is purely muscular.  Tonight she sat up finally and was able to swallow her meds and sip Ginger ale and eat some ice cream.  She has another chance.  TBTG

 Tonight Evangelina will finally sleep!  Her quilt has been gifted.  TBTG  Enjoy dear Evie:) And, thanks again to Melissa for the cute tutorial!
And Brianna, born just on Monday, has her bag...Enjoy Brianna!!

And, gifted to Carol and Tom for their wedding this month, from the archives:
 And for me, gifted some peace of mind!

I hate Parkinson's disease....AGAIN...or still...

My mother fell out of her wheelchair tonight while at the computer writing a poem when she was supposed to have gone to bed.  Unfortunately she fractured/compressed a disk in her back.  She is now in the hospital.  And so now she cannot sit up and when she cannot sit up, she cannot take her Parkinsons meds or pain meds or swallow or drink water or eat.  So she is on Morphine for the pain to see if she can sit up tomorrow.  However, Morphine makes her loopy.  So I wish I was on Morphine.  I hate hate hate Parkinson's disease.  I only have one mother.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Charlotte's quilting guilds

  I love my Charlotte quilting guilds......   and  I am so lucky!!  Tomorrow night to the Charlotte Quilters Guild for me:)  Meeting at Original Pancake House near Southpark before the Guild for anyone who wants to join us...5:20 to 6:15.  See you all there..

Dear Evangelina......

Dear Evangelina...I know that you have not been sleeping well without your quilt.  Please excuse me....but I decided to experiment with your quilt and made some feather stitches that I had never ever ever done before.  It is all done now but the binding and you should have it soon.
 Dear ME,  Did I really grab impulsively for those washable Crayola markers or not????  Panic in the quilting room!  I have never washed a quilt without the binding before...stay is in the cold water wash as we speak(:  I think that the pix below is a wet quilt!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Christmas fabric....yesterday...
And Christmas fabric today!

Thank you Sherry and Drenna for the inspiration and Mr.O'Quilts for finding the boxes in the attic!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Musings again!

When folks say that life is just like quilting, I say, AMEN.  Just when I am going in one direction, life/quilts take me in another.  As you can see from Milito below, I am not the only one searching...I left the hutch door open for just one minute, hair on my favorite batiks.
 Accomplishment today...the block of the month for our Guild...done
 While cleaning up the piles on my table, I found several UFOs.  The following I decided to put on my design wall, again.
Next, I found these blocks that I have been keeping for 20 years for a quilt for my daughter, Emily...age 
8.  Now Emily is 28...too late for her, but...  

I just put both blocks together in one quilt for another little girl in my life!  Twenty  years to make a decision?
On the way to one place, oh, no...another place.  A huge stash of Christmas fabric.  Now what? 
So, isn't it all like life?  Starting out here and ending up there?