Thursday, July 31, 2014

Joy to my world....

Kristen came again I could go to the  Charlotte Modern Quilt  
meeting, where like minded folks have lots of fun.  
I cannot call her the babysitter......
Because....she can do everything!!!!!  I love you Kristen!!!
And...more joy...My girl booked a flight home in three weeks...Oh, my heart, I am so grateful.
And even more...I cannot stand to have been given a free ticket to the AQS Charlotte show tomorrow.  I will forget my low energy and I will just do it the Nike way...
"Just Do It"!!!! And then take my naps later.  I think...I hope..

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Thread Runs Through It

 I have been very lucky to have had a rich history of smart, strong willed, strong minded and talented women in my family.  (not to mention longevity...Grandma..99, Mother...93)  
They give me courage and strength now.
So Grandma...Would you ever have imagined how handy this little tool is today as I squish up all foods to feed dear Mr.O'Quilts?  You were so talented in the kitchen.  I loved you so.
Cotton and Steel!!!!!!
 I certainly never expected to have to have this on our wheelchair van.  My man has had a sudden ALS episode with his lungs.  Respiratory appointments tomorrow and Thursday at the ALS clinic.  Life is not fair.
Stay tuned.
 My dear mother had a random $1000 life insurance policy attached to something, which when divided 3 ways gave me a check for about...$333...etc...I just know she would have wanted me to have a little tiny treat....
 Heaven is...

Holding my breath that my girl comes home soon to help us out...Poor thing, home for her daddy, then gone, then home for her grandmother, then gone...xxxooo

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Peek and the Appraisal..

Hmmmm, never did like red.  I prefer tans and blacks and whites..
 What was she thinking???
 I have these small design walls, left over from the larger ones.  I use them to take to the machine to piece the work and for the kids to play felt board with scraps.
A doomy gloomy day today.  Mr.O'Quilts has hit another low...just ugh!! and more ugh!!
The weakened diaphragm has left his lungs in difficulty so talking is exhausting.  He actually asked me to have a visitor leave today because he knew that talking would be too painful.  It scares me to have a visitor leave.  I am always asking....what if they forget us??
I can no longer give my man a hug.  It pushes against the weakened diaphragm and causes too much discomfort.
What to do besides cry??? could take a peek into an inner sanctuary....and find respite in making things for others...And find power in the things I can control...well...most of the time:)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fooling Around on Saturday Night.... the sewing machine, anyway.....
 Why is it easier to start something new instead of finishing the 1,0000 some unfinished projects??? Thanks again to
Lori Holt, Bee in My Bonnet
for such an easy and fun scrap block to play with.

Our Wednesday night group has 12 active of course we have 12 active birthdays!!
Here is MP...her age...a secret, but I will tell you that she is sitting beside her 97 year old mother!
Friends are bringing food 3 times a week....soup for the Mr. and other yummy things for the rest of us.  Even if they did not bring soup, I can use my immersion blender to puree much easier if it is already done.  Thank you forever friends.!!

Thanks for the funny Barb
More fun stuff...
Triangle labels from Pat Sloan 
and clever spirals from Hilda
all found on Marlies' blog 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Just Stuff, etc

I love you Ellen, I love you Lee....Lee made tons of yummy homemade chicken soup and delivered it on his way to work...The big ER doctor can cook Katie..guess you got a
And Ellen..bringing me dinner, a hug and chocolate .....
 So my girl insists that if she ever comes home again, she will meet each quilter by the door to confiscate my gifts of M&Ms...ugh...whatever!
Ellen made it through the door just in time.....yes!!!  Emily wants me on green smoothies just like she is...but, really Ellen also brought Basil and cukes from her garden.
 Those things are as good for stress as is chocolate..well..u know that!..


Misc...I think I have lost some blogs...since I am on Bloglovin.  Maybe I am missing some of them on other sites??  What to do??? What to do??
And, Instagram...everyone but me is on it...ugh
Today I saw this on Bee in My Bonnet...My Scrappy Crossroads block
So now....I am just sewing...strips of 2.5 inches..relaxing, but I do feel like an idiot posting without one iota of creativity.
The physical therapist came to see my dear man today .  She showed my sister and me how to transfer Mr.O'Quilts on a shiny transfer board from the bed to the wheelchair and from the wheelchair onto the shower stool.  I could do none of it because of my back.  In the shower, as my sister was practicing the transfer, I felt like fainting watching my man go down like this.
 OMG, Really...Diane..what kind of wife are you?????...sigh...

Friday, July 18, 2014

On The Design Wall

On my beach R&R trip, I made these it is a pattern from Tula Pink, from a magazine. I cut some of the gorgeous fabric that Ms.Katie gave me.  Just love...
 Tonight I thought I had better at least put the blocks on the design wall so I could tell myself I was doing something.  This thing is I am just starting.  Gotta move some of Mr.O'Quilt's stuff...(in his room) to make better access to my design wall.
Starting is always the hardest.
P.S.  I added more blocks to the design wall and it is too busy for my liking...Guess you can have too much of a good thing....anyway, myself tells me that it is late for thinking..

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Kristen, I love you!!

Today was just one of those days.  I seem to have a number of them lately. 
 Tonight I hired Kristen to help with the grands and Mr. I could go to a meeting and do some errands.  I left at 5:30 and came back at 8:30...While I was gone....she was not sleeping....
Look what she did...OMG...I love you Kristen!!

She usually comes twice a week. Last time she came, I mentioned that I was desperate for fabric folding. Wow...!!!  As she left tonight, I told her that from now on, she has free organizational range in my sewing room.  She even had Evan read to her while she folded.
I am sooo happy!!

Did I mention how happy I am!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Finished top..Sheep Quilt

Day seven...I have finished the sheep top..Thanks again to Irene Berry for the adorable pattern.

At the ALS support group tonight we learned:
That the DNR should be laminated and put on the back of the wheelchair instead of in my purse.
That getting a lock box at the hardware store, putting in the key and giving the combination lock only to the fire department is a good idea.
That our check books and bank accounts should all read either/or.  I will check all that out.... my spare
As for lunch today, I cancelled and then uncancelled...repeat, etc.
Finally took my head out from under the pillow and went and had a great time.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Enough, already

Sheep process number 6.  And, just because you can, doesn't mean you have day at a time or Each day a new beginning...
Tonight I say, enough, already...
It was not Yo who had the role model, Tigger!!
Made self go to The Queen Bee this morning and was glad I did...Tomorrow making self go to lunch and Harbor Freight.with Irish Quilters will be glad I did...
And, I hate to mention it, but tomorrow night is one more ALS support group with Mr.O...and Wednesday is an appointment at the clinic to have my dear man weighed and have a breathing test...
I have decided to hire the babysitter sometime in the next few weeks to help fold my fabric..and maybe organize...I mean really, tonight I found greens in 3 different places.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Ride

One day at a time quilt process day 5...A big thank you to Irene Berry and The Quilt Life magazine, June 2014 for this adorable pattern.  I have not finished the top yet, doing it in increments as a test for myself.  Paralleling my personal life, trying to stay in the day.  For me, color choices and creating are the favorite parts of quilting. Working here, I copied the quilt mostly as I saw it in color and pattern.  I told myself to let go and just enjoy the sewing process without creating or thinking too much, for if I did that, I would not sew at all.  And, sewing is so therapeutic.  My Faultless heavy duty starch was quite helpful in this quilt.  Using old Wonder-under was not helpful.  This will be a quilt for a 2 year old Irish perfect is that!!  I am going to incorporate her name appliqued on the back.

My sewing room is way out of across the sea to Brenda who promised to fold and organize...Where are u Brenda in my hour of need???
And then, there is always a then.....
ALS caregiver support group this afternoon.  Ah, the two sided coin:  The comfort of being with others who truly understand this awful disease vs the horror of listening to issues of feeding tubes, suction machines, trilogy machines and diaphragm pacers.
The other caregivers do not seem to be as weak as I feel.
The balance for caregivers of practicing self care vs the feelings of guilt as they do so.

I feel like a different person with the children gone visiting  for the weekend.
Missed the children, but enjoyed the peace and quiet time with Mr. O.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday comes and Saturday goes

Michael took Evan today for the weekend.  I love you Michael.
My sister took the other two grandchildren this afternoon to spend the night. I love you Charmaine.
I slept all afternoon.  I slept sitting up in the recliner watching sports with my husband and reading a book.  Unfortunately, I remember nothing of the TV nor of the book.
My husband said that I snored for 3 hours.  Really???  There must be something wrong with me...who does that??
Evidently I have become an old lady snoring in a chair.
There is an outside chance he has a vivid imagination????
 Since I slept so much, I will be up into the wee hours.  Instead of being morose as these hours tempt me, I am making myself sew.  It is working.  I am thrilled to be this far along with this pattern.  Now I just need the borders, the embellishment and the piecing of the backing.
Granddaddy slept in this morning leaving Lynsey and me alone.  She announced that she had opened a restaurant because she keeps getting fired from her other jobs?%#*^.  She picked the beans and tomatoes from our backyard and set up the tea party. 
 Good gracious, that five year old girl is some story teller!!

 More stuff...when Muggs comes home and we all have another outing, dropping into Harbor Freight is a must....I will buy washers there for my newest project..yo yo pattern weights.
Hopefully this will be soon, as Lynsey is all about her new dress pattern..
Lordy,.She cannot grasp how exhausted this grandmother is.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Keeping on keeping on, again and still...

  Day three of process...I saved myself tons of trouble by going to Hancock for a package of double fold black bias binding...$1.28 with coupon vs. my sanity...a no brainer!!!
And then there was the Elmer's glue.....Life is good:)
The ALS clinic ordered a new air mattress for Mr. O'Quilts.  Electric, it moves all night to keep him from developing decubitus. He now struggles turning over in bed.  Here, two of the grands enjoy the new style.

ALS is an expensive disease.  Himself wanted sheets that slide to help him transfer. The support group suggested 610 to 800 count Egyptian cotton sheets. Well....I found them for $185...Good Lord!!!  With coupons I bought them for $100...but still...OMG...
At the end of the day, I would do anything for my dear man.
 Here they are in yellow.  I had to buy queen size because nothing so smooth comes in extra long for the hospital bed...that I could find anyway..  I could cut them down...will see how it far, so good.  They are easier for him, as promised.
And so it goes...each day a new beginning.
ps...Lynsey asked me tonight if I had finished her dress and doll dress to match...Jeeze Louize..I probably should not have shown her the pattern...My energy level is a bit low at this time...(:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

One Step at a Time..

When following a pattern that someone else designed, it is easy to go one step at a time because you have given up control.  If I once said that I would not ever do this, I was wrong.  Powerlessness is the word of the day.
  I was wrong about a lot of things that I thought I would never do..
.Life was different then. 
 So here we are...step 2 in the pattern process and I am happy as a clam!!
Progress, not perfection!!
The Mr. and I went to lunch today.  It took a lot out of him, but he went.  We went to the pancake place where he could swallow something soft, covered in syrup. He was totally exhausted when we returned.  However....He was delighted that he was able to go at all.
So am I.
Candy and Jeff, thank you for lunch and a lovely catch up.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

More Pix from the Beach R & R

Tonight's quilting brought another finished project from the beach.  Sherry with her new I-pad cover and coin purse to match.  (Marie is being hidden due to the fact that she is knitting!!!!)
 Drenna couldn't come to the beach, but she was not idle...Her car key fob broke.  Saving money she used the netting from grocery store garlic to fashion a new holder...Purple of course...we know Drenna.

 Still creating, she made laminate snack bags (with ripstop and velcro).
  We use some like these daily for camp snacks at our house...
Not only did we laugh and do show and tell...But, my friends  moved furniture to accommodate the Mr.'s wheelchair, transferred laundry, did dishes replaced ceiling lights and put up with my grateful.
Terri missed us so much that she emailed her show and tell....Yeah Terri!
Beth brought food for the kids and soup and tapioca for my man, flowers for me!!!
BUT, the best news of all was a call from Frank that Jean's Non-Hodgkins lymphoma is highly treatable..
 How in the world can I be weak with friends like these!!!

Happy Quilting Stuff

 First of all, can you believe this Brilliance from down under??? I so love it.
 Next of all,
I have gifted my "No Think Quilt in Orange"  to my friend Rise, who lost her husband to a motorcycle accident three weeks ago.  On a sunny Saturday morning life changed for her in a second.  Enjoy Rise, may my quilt hug you.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Land of Denial and other personal things

I finished the book this morning, The Orphan Train.  I found it awesome that the story begins in Kinvara, the little seaside town in Ireland where my dear man was born and raised.
Not only could I not put it down, but when it was over, I felt like a good friend had left(:  I think that for sure I will try to find something else by the same author.

I have been on vacation for favorite spot...the Land of Denial..!!!  So comfy and warm and safe.  Tonight Mr. O'Quilts and I had a date!!  It is an unusual thing as he is fatigued a lot.  We went in our wheelchair van to the ALS support group to be with friends and share ideas.
We both like to go, it is a once a month deal.
However, how to handle feeding tubes and breathing machines,etc is sobering. My vacation to the Land of Denial...ended abruptly as it often does.
Tonight there was a older lady (probably my age..) who came in a special transportation bus to our group.  She said that the bus driver drove roughly leaving her in discomfort and pain. It was sad.
 I am grateful that we could afford a used wheelchair van and that one of my best friends is a car mechanic who found it for us.  My friend at the meeting also had to take a city bus to the dentist and she fell out of the wheelchair when the bus rounded the corner too fast.  OMG
I am having to  learn how to softly turn corners and go over bumps.  Mr. O'Quilts is loosing his diaphragm muscle strength which affects his talking, his eating and staying upright when I go around curves in the van.  Soon it will affect his breathing.  I learned tonight that ALS is just one of about 46 common types of Muscular Dystrophy.  There are more uncommon ones.  We have entered a new world.
 I know well that this is not a blog about illness...etc etc etc.  However, sharing is good and so, I am.
I am only buying angel hair pasta now for the swallowing issue.  Here I am chopping it fine and bagging it for the freezer to make things easier for him to eat spaghetti with lots of sauce.
Cooking has become more challenging now that Mr. O needs special meals and the three grandchildren need food that that is easy too make...and that they will eat!!
Sooooo  TBTG I have friends like Beth and MP who have once again signed us up for Take Them a Meal.and TBTG I have friends who are signing up to make soups and foods for us...So much to be grateful for.

p.s.  My sister has now left her babysitting report:  one grandchild has a fever, one wet the bed, no one brushed their teeth and all camp bags are packed, lunches are ready.
 Mr.O is watching soccer....sooo  I have at least drawn the lines on the corner squares for these sewing, least...
 And, at least I have a pattern and the fabric for Lynsey's dress and doll dress.  Oh, I know I am dreaming...but it brings comfort to know that if I can, it is ready..
I do not give up...M&M's help..........................

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bright Beginnings

Just want you to know that I am no slacker.  I am however, following a pattern..ugh...usually a no no for me.  But, to sew or not to think or not to think...and you know the rest of it....
I am beginning a new, child's quilt.  I am ignoring the 50 unfinished other projects lying about.
It is another thank you.  People have been so nice to us.
It is in keeping with my mother's philosophy, when you are down yourself, lift up someone else..
  She was right. ( I am writing this, of course to remind myself)!

My new upbeat read....Orphan Train:  A Novel
I think, I thought it was uplifting...
The prologue spoke loudly as she talked about heaven as a place in the memory of others where our best selves live on.  Where a spirit is sometimes more real than people or God himself.
I love this book.  But, me thinks I should have picked Erma Bombeck, etc...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Looking for Eternity

Tonight I refuse to obsess about purples.  You see my life's work as a family therapist has taught me that grief is full of anger.  Anger displaced on other things.  Anger that is irrational.  I know that the grief process is not under control of mortals like me and I know that everyone grieves differently. Ha ha...says I, in the desperation of trying to be in control of something!!!  And, I cannot even control my purples. Do I philosophize and decide that I am angry  with my purples for disappearing, or do I just get on with it.
My decision tonight is a good one, in MHO. 
Tonight I finished reading two books...finally!!!
Learning to Fall is a book written by a man with ALS...It is a philosophy on life  As he struggles to stay in the moment and not project an unpleasant future, he says, "I want my eternal life now, before it is over with".  Good one!!  So do I.
The other book I just finished is, The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness.
This was a fascinating book for my field...but I no longer have my business.  I am retired.  Instead of the therapist, I am the client..not by any choice of mine.  
Both of these books are excellent for the detached reader.  But, for the intimately involved, the hindrance is  an emotional attachment.
And so, it took me forever and forever to finish these books.
Now, I am going to now be my own client.  I am going to read light novels and quilting magazines, clearing my brain and my heart for what is now and what is to come.
So hard for me to make the switch.   The idea of Thelma smiling in the cracker aisle will help.  Why read so seriously??  I can control nothing, so I might as well laugh and enjoy and sew.
Therefore,  I have just finished chopping all the purples that I selected into five inch charms...whack, whack...mmmm

 Like I said, I seem to be able to control Nothing!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Crazy Hour

Late at night I get crazy...very...  I need a friend to come immediately to help me organize my purples. No one is answering my cry of distress.
 I might just get rid of more books in Mr. O'Quilts room to put them there...I am overwhelmed.
Ok, tomorrow may be a better time.
 I will not buy more fabric until I am organized.. Just look at sewing at all because I can find nothing.
Well, I was at Hobby Lobby..before I decided not to shop there anymore...and found these lovely solids for $3.49 a yard.  They were the store brand just below ridiculously expensive Kona cotton.  These are really soft and lovely.
Today I was at Aldi getting ice cream for the Mr.'s smoothies...trying to get rid of that yucky taste of Ensure and Benecalorie...for ice cream for me...of course.  Anyway, I bumped into my mother's friend, Thelma.  Thelma hires someone to take her grocery shopping.  Thelma is so lovely.  She gave me courage to carry on...She told me that she has survived a lot. When she was 35, she woke up to her husband dead in the bed beside her from a heart attack.  She had children,including a 2 year old.  She wanted to die right then, but she did not.  Instead she put one foot in front of the other and kept on going for her children.  Thelma is 92.  Last year her son died of tongue cancer.  She did not lie down and die then either.  There she was giving me strength in Aldi in the cracker aisle.  It was such a gift for me.  It was like talking to my own mother.
So anyway, back to the purples.  They are all spread out making more of a mess.  I guess at this hour I had better just read a magazine.  One more day of no sewing (:
Ok, ok...I will be kinder to self.  I am going to sit and look thru these new magazines I got today even if it is late at night.


 The babysitter put the kids to bed tonight. I am back from my meeting and I am determined to sew.  Well....It is now 10ish and I am playing Free Cell...hmm....So I think I will show some happiness on my blog.
First up...another big thank you to our Muggs for the R and R at her new beach house.  We talked about using up every single  piece of here is my thank you postcard.
I took tiny scraps from the sewing room trash can, spread some school glue on a postcard size of card stock and smooshed the fabric pieces on the glued piece.  I free motioned the card to death, glued two more pieces of card stock and did a bit of zigzag to the edges.  Voila a much fun.
Here is Mugg's quilt top from the retreat:  Is not this the perfect quilt for a beach house???  After the borders, she is on to a beach ball quilt...Gotta love Muggs.
 Below is the quilt top finished by my goodhearted sister.  She is giving this quilt to a 10 year old son of a man who helped her fix her air conditioner for free.  She had the child pick out the pattern...Oh, sister...!!
 For 15 years I have had this group meet at my house.  I have served Irish soda bread and tea.  Now my dear man can no longer swallow the soda bread and I do not have it in me to make it any more.  My group has decided to share who brings the treat...Of course it was Muggs jumping in to save the day...Isn't this pretty!! and happy!!
 I told myself this morning that today I would eat healthy..but here I am with a beer and some of those cookies...ooooo
 My grand darlings are here picking their  beans.
 She is washing them and pinching the ends.. I cooked them up with butter and they were quite a treat...all gone now,. more pride.
 I bought these little pitchers at Walmart for 99 cents each so the children can pour their own milk on cereal  weekends so I can sleep in.  How fun is this Forth of July milk ready in the fridge to surprise them in the morning!!
 Someone was disrespectful today..just a little.  But consequences were 10 minutes of work when he got home.  I know how to use that one...He weeded part of the garden so the cukes could grow...and the surprise here!! our first cuke.!!  He did a good job, so I told sweat was rolling off his brow..that maybe being disrespectful was not so bad after all.if I could get my garden weeded..Oh, no Grandma...I will try harder...ha!
The magic of friendship and family to sustain me. There is joy to be found every day.
As an aside....