Saturday, May 27, 2017

Quilting, Therapy, Friendship

This post really should be read backwards...first the wave of recuperation...
Evan  loves every single one of his teachers in 6th grade...of course he did get a bit lazy this past semester and his grades reflect it...However, thank you is important in the O'Quilts abode...thus:
He made these potholders to order for each teacher.
We looked at their websites and found their favorite teams, etc.
Time is of an essence with two weeks left, so I told him I would bind them for him
 My friends went to the beach.
Their present to me:
And I have not even known them that long!!!!

I am reading, A Widow's Memoir,  by Joyce Carol Oates. 
 I love it.  I hate it.  I cannot wait for the book to finish.  I cannot leave the book unread.
I should be reading fluff...My mood is reflecting Widow book number 14 for me and
the month of May being, ALS support month.
I am sleeping and sleeping..
Then I sit outside under the tree reading and nodding off.
My favorite place to read and obsess about my mortality
is at the top of the wheelchair ramp that friends built for my man.
Somehow it is comforting...with its view of our entire back yard.
Like JCO says, spring has come without him....again.
 As I let my mind go to where it should not, my dear brother calls me.
He worries about me and I worry about him.
He told often he does, that I should think of being happy, since in his eyes, I have so much.
He then said that in Miami, they had, for 10 years a washing machine that my mother shipped from Arizona when she moved to Charlotte.  Raymond asked for this old washing machine when Mom moved to Assisted Living.  They put it into an old wagon hitched to their van..It went from Charlotte to their kitchen in the apartment in Miami Beach, They plugged it into an outside outlet, out the two story window and enjoyed a washing machine of their own for ten years. Running down the stairs to plug it in whenever they needed to wash.
Now, he said, they must bring their clothes from their van to the laundromat.  
He figured that I did not have to do that.
He also figured that in spite of his BA degree and working two jobs between them, they still cannot afford an apartment in the New Jersey area.  So they live in their van.
He remembered that I had a big paid off house.
Although the rage of grief calls no logic and no control.
I told  him that I so needed and appreciated his phone call  xxoo
This weekend is quicksand.

Then, comes my friend Norie...with the link to the  sewing machine on the tractor!!!
Sewing machine on the tractor
Much needed fun...Thank you Norie.

The waves of the ocean come in and go out...a wave crashes, knocking me down.
It is such a pity that Mr. O'Quilts living in my heart just has to be enough. 

Friday, May 26, 2017


I am in such despair during the month of May

No automatic alt text available.

How do I cope??
In crazy ways..

Help needed:
Last night I ate the rest of the children's Oreo mint cookies.
I asked Aunt Brandy to buy them more ...sending money.
Cuz...if I do...guess what will happen....??
I have so turned into my mother.

Help needed:
I had a picture  of a woman quilting on a tractor.
I had a picture of a woman quilting with her tiny machine on the glove compartment
cover of a car.  I want to re-post these but cannot find them...Will you send them to me
if  you find them?  thx

Friends...thank  you for hanging with me..
Joyce Carol Oates....reflecting on the passing of her husband.
The only thing that you can expect of yourself during the first year of grief.
Is to be able to say that you are still alive.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

News You Can Use...or Not...Stories Galore....

When Mrs. O'Quilts feels sad and blue and misses Himself...
Friends pop out of the woodwork!!
Terri Feehan....
Quilted three of my quilts cuz she is my friend and she knows I cannot use my shoulder to quilt until July.  She is an awesome longarmer...I am so grateful
These quilts had been sitting around forever.

backing for above quilt

She also makes cool necklaces from lacy yarn.  She gave me a turquoise one for Christmas,
That of course was not enough...I asked for a red one too.

My girl called today..
She was on her way to to the Bear Canister.
Of course Mommy thought that that was the name of a bar or cafe
No, no Mommy...My girl and her man are going camping this weekend
to the Olympia Peninsula...?  I think!!
And the bear canister was for their food in bear country!
OMG  Something else to worry about..
Eaten by a bear...No No..I have enough...already!

                    This is the best one ever, IMHO                       
Jean  brought show and tell...two UFO quilts she was working on.

 Yesterday's news....
Bravo my darlings.
Steph was sick at home.
Asthma and fatigue were visiting me..
Evan trying like mad to make up a semester of middle one week.
The kids got it together..
Evan took them into the grocery store while I sat in my car by the curb.
They  ordered one large sub...Evan had the man cut  it into 3 pieces.
They bought two ice creams for $6..they checked out with my VIC card number.
They did not fight.
They co-operated on choices.
Once at home they told Grandma to chill, that they had it together.
Evan put up a table in the bonus room for their dinner.
The boys did video games, Lynsey watched TV.
No homework tonight as EOGs start manana
All was well..actually...all was just perfect in the O;Quilts household.
Grandma sooo proud.

Stopped in at Lowe' visit their "distressed " plant trolleys...McMullen Creek.
 There were three aisles..$1 and $3 and $5
I loaded up on the $1 when a lady shopping told me:
The sale today is...$5 a cart..all prices included...OMG
These two tables full of treats all for 5$
I just have to cut off the dead leaves..
So fun.   My son and I had a lovely lunch today.
He is so delightful when he is clean.
He did some yard work for me.
A very  happy O'Quilts day!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

In the Heat of the Night

Here we go on a random top.
I kind of hate it, but I will put it together.
I have found that what I hate today, tomorrow may be just fine.

When Cousin Ann visited last month, she brought me a set of teas for sampling.
I love the Queen Ann
Guess Cousin Ann would have known that!!!
Poor Evan is learning the lesson of...when folks are good to us...we say " thank you".
He is also perfecting his sewing.
Potholder time.
I am giving him a break...I will sew the bindings down.
Here we have one for the school nurse and for a teacher who is a Tar Heel fan.
 My antique treasure from hanging in my living room
Stephanie hung it.. I did not have the guts to tell her that it had to come down for a tube.
The clips are pulling at the edge.
I understand it is Old Maid's Puzzle.
Today was a great sewing day with Ms Sherry and friends..out to lunch too.
Tomorrow I am going to the pool.
Tomorrow I would like to take off the entire 50 pounds of widow weight.
I would... I really would...I could really get into the magic thing..
But, like I tell my son....50 miles into the woods, means 50 miles out of the woods.....
to get better.
Good night.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Personal Rant...and a Personal Purse

Good news...I just ordered fabric on Amazon Prime and it came with no shipping.
Saved me $4.95.  It is cuz is owned by Amazon..

My new purse on the right.
My wonderful purse on the left
It is all the fault of my friends.
They carry my big purse when I use my cane
I am unstable with my shoulder and my hip.
They made me do it. Now:
How in the world will this little purse hold...
My wallet, my camera, my phone, my pills, children's dirty socks, tooth brushes..(.cuz kids hate to brush their teeth), my diet coke,  my husband's death certificate, my sunglasses, my hand sewing,
my pretzels, my change purse......HOW????
Ha Ha Mother....Thank u... I am indeed re-framing...the getting old bit...
To being grateful that I lived so long...
I just might say....that I am pretty proud of myself.
I gotta put this out there for me to read again and again.
in the day to day work, I often forget.
In the past 3.5 years that I have been raising my grands...
(while their granddaddy was paralyzed in the hospital bed, in the bonus room,  dying of ALS)
And their great grandma broke her  neck..
and I had three surgeries in 9 months...
and their parents were struggling with the chronic relapse disease of addiction.

.I..set the stage for stability
that the children never had  before.
They are stable in their schools.
They have neighborhood friends.
They have a big back yard to play in.and a creek behind the house
A super duper tree house to remember Granddaddy by.
They have rooms of their own
A nanny that they love, who teaches them to do chores and helps the littles with their homework.
They have me...they have always had love them and care for them
.through all the turmoil and grief.
They have black belts in Karate
They have teachers who understand and love them.
Teachers who go the second the best school districts.
They have this grandma who knows how to advocate in the school system
because she did it in her practice and she did it with her son.
Especially with their AD/HD issues and their emotional damage from the past.
They have access to both parents,whom they love.
They  have an Aunt Brandy who believes in raising cousins together. Aunt Brandy always goes above and beyond for these children.
They have Camp Mindy for the summer...3rd year..consistency. Thanks to the J.
They have Aunt Charmaine and Aunt Emily who love them and teach them different things.
They are very lucky children to have such consistency and love from so many people.
The 7 year old  has lived half his life with me.
And, they are not separated in DSS custody.
All with no child support from either parent.
I just have to put this out there because sometimes the grief for Mr. O'Quilts distorts my view.
I think I should be doing more.
And, sometimes I feel totally unappreciated.
I am grateful.
Very grateful..

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Sad Day Made Glad

By the way, did  you know that I had a lot on my plate??
Did you know that I can hardly walk cuz my hip is gone ..
Another replacement probably in August.
I so feel sorry for myself today..
No dear man, no dear retirement..
BUT.....I have a dear girl and a wonderful
Mother's Day present arrived today.
A handmade Portland basket for my sewing trinkets!!
How did she  know that vino tinto was her mother's thing..
Made in Portland , she says!
I am one lucky mother
Thank you dear make me so happy.
Tuesday is senior day at Goodwill.
Here it is 25% off
I went there to buy my son a few t-shirts and shorts for the hot weather.
 What else did I find, in a size this woman will never ever see again!!
It is...was...such a cutie
Already is my midnight specialty....

Everyone wants me to be doing well.
Certainly I have  improved tremendously..
And of course, the grands are flourishing.

Today I missed my man.
Asthma and arthritis made me do it.
The hole in my heart is deep.

I have been struggling through the month of May
There are at least 10 triggers
It is worst than Christmas.
Down to the depths of despair..
That crazy roller coaster of grief climbs up once again.
I need my dear man back here with me. Right now..
The knife stays lodged in my heart. .His journey and my journey
Not our journey any more..

Stress...Trying not to grow my old tummy larger with donut self-medication
(that one is for Herb!!!)
The midnight hour knows that tomorrow will come my attitude adjustment
as the sun rises over my bottle tree and the bluebird sings for me.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Beating the cancer with a pillowcase or two

Here we go again...another sick friend.
She has colon cancer and her husband has prostate cancer.
They are only in their early 50's
She has her surgery next week.
My friend is a purple Everything 
she has is purple..

The two finished  pillowcases I made to cheer her recovery.
Pillowcases and potholders...are all I can control in this world!!

At night when I cannot sleep;;;;
I get sooo jealous....of Stitch....
Without a care in the world..
So...showing off on my lap in the recliner..

 What to do???
I tell myself.....
Oh, Yeah!!

Took Mr.O'Quilt's death certificate to
the new Spectrum, They bought out Time-Warner.
In order to take my man off the account...cough..I had been asking for two years.
They had to open a new account..and give me 4 new boxes to assemble.
They took joints ached and so did my heart.
With tears in my eyes and my soul...I had to be walked to the car with the new equipment.
Dear Drenna and Dear Sherry...installed  it all tonight.
What would I do without friends!!!!

I am now preparing for Monday's SSSSSS (Sherry's second, super, special, sizzling, sewing, circle)
Lunch at Chuy's..
No wonder I cannot lose weight.
AH, but I have so much fun.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Best Mother's Day Ever

The day of all days.
Having my son back, clean and stable.
Just for today.
Lunch together.
Kids home after Mother's Day with their own Mom
bringing Grandma a flower.
 Like a professional mother's day present
working in my back out of control since Granddaddy died.
 All to work...Lynsey furminating Zoe
 Kids helping their daddy
Dylan blowing..
Oh, me of little faith.
Today, I picked up my son for lunch.
He was is such good shape.
A wonderful time sitting outside eating in Carolina Blue. 
He came back to the  house and did gardening for me.
I am so happy.
My girl called several times. Face time is awesome
A lovely plant from my XDIL and the children.
Peace in my soul.

I was wondering if my decisions were correct...when on the road,
a Bluebird crossed right before my window.
That was Granddaddy telling me all was right in my world.
My boy is stable on Methadone. 
It costs $87 dollars a sliding scale.
So if a homeless and poor addict wants to get clean and has no money
tough luck in America.
Just for today, I have my son back.
For Mother's Day or any day...that is priceless.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Tomorrow's Gentle Mother's Day

A Sunday Sorry was I made a list.
In such a short time, I did what should have been done forever ago.
I tacked pins on the back of these adorable hand made circles that
my girl brought home from her honeymoon in Thailand.
I took from the water..the herb rootings that I had started.
Voila new Rosemary plants.  The cuttings took two weeks to root in distilled water.
So worth it.

Outside I planted the Basil...but not before I put a few twigs in water
for more plants.
My mother's 40 year old bird planter on the shelf in my bathroom
I dropped off bags at the Goodwill
I went to a meeting.
I organized the children's cubbies
I did some laundry.
Then I used my left arm to pull out the laundry and hurt my arm.
The big Doc said not to use that arm for two more months.
It is easy to forget when there is no pain in the arm.
Sigh...there is now...always learning the hard way.!!!

I had thought that Mother's Day did not matter.
I am old and have had many nice Mother's Days.
Tonight I know that it matters..... to me.
My mother was a dear friend.
In 2014..I lost her.
May 4th, she fell out of her wheelchair and broke her neck
May 5th she and Morphine danced at her 93rd birthday party at the assisted living.
May 9th she died, with me beside her.
May 12th is Mother's Day. and so on...
This is not about her...for she had Parkinson's and was ready to go.
Actually being gone in a week was just her style..
I am grateful.

It is about loss.
It is about how one loss reminds us of all the other losses.
It is about just too many days in May...triggering sadness.

For if my darling Mr. O'Quilts were here...we would go on a drive in the country with a picnic.
We would celebrate surviving parenthood.
We would have each other. We would hug.
We would be proud that our children were living their own lives.
Alas, life does not listen to us.,,or to me anyway.
The grandchildren have gone to spend the weekend with their own mother.
As it should be.
I bought myself my favorite flowers.
I was going to treat myself with chocolate ice cream.
I thought better of it.
Guess my mother is watching after all.
She is wondering if I remember what she taught me.
When you are feeling sorry for yourself....
Do something nice for someone else..
So I am starting a purple quilt for a friend just diagnosed with cancer.
She loves purple...

Someone told me this:
I have not checked it out yet.
Shoppers 60 and older get 20% off of their total purchase.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Goodbye Rhonda

Goodbye to a great friend and quilter.
51 years old.
Stolen by a brain tumor. 
Rhonda loved hedgehogs...her last name was Hedger.
Our quilting group made hedgehog blocks at her request...

She asked for them to be made into quilts
..... for the grandchildren that she would never see.
At the funeral, the three quilts were placed by the pictures.
I was so proud of our quilting group.
I was so proud of Rhonda. hard to handle.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

ALS The Bankruptcy Disease... No joke, no quilting, just the plain truth

I know, I know, I know
My heart just wants you to know too.
My heart and my life will never be the same
since ALS came around.

I feel that no one knows.
This short article says it all.

Monday, May 8, 2017

O' Whimsey

The result of two quilting outings
HSTs at Cheraw and at Queen Bee today
Not my colors...but these are from a layer cake
plus a few cuts of my own.
I think it is pale, but whimsy.
 It is fun to work with HSTs and so easy to do.

 Lynsey's new Newborn Reborn baby.
It fits into her backpack.
Putting  yogurt  with sweet potato to make baby poop
OMG...that girl loves her dolls.
She and I ordered it online...She learned to text.
She texted her mother if she would pay half of the $22
Mommy said yes, and Lynsey put her saved allowance for the rest.
Oh, the lessons.  Oh, the excitement when it came from China!!!

Kathylynn and her quilt...Stunning
Ellen and her wonky nine patch
Evan doing community service for a poor choice.
Cough cough
Weeding by the flagpole.
It never looked so good.
When he told me how easy and fun that was, I said...
So trying to be steady ...Hip pain so not nice.
Emotions all crazy with May grief...
Did I say...all crazy
It is one of those days...feeling ugly and stupid and old and  crazy.
Tomorrow brings a better day,
Actually, Evan is cheering me now by making potholders for his teachers.
Only three weeks left....gotta start now.
He asked all his teachers what they love.
Some of it was posted online on their sites.
He has a music one, sports ones, math ones
He has wonderful teachers at a prize winning school
We are so lucky.
Feeling better all ready.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Solids and Me

This weekend was one of sleep and reading.
I finished this top.
I love it so.
 Told myself to work in solids.
Myself listened.
I slept all weekend.  I do not know why I am so very exhausted.
Cinco de Mayo party helped with the grief.
Made the cake for me ma's birthday.
Beautiful weather in the Carolinas...reading outside always brings peace.
Now..the upcoming week brings two different school meetings for 
two different children.
It brings Rhonda's funeral...she was only 51.
Friday's visit with the ortho...He celebrated the shoulder and the great range of motion.
Pleased that the new knee and new shoulder were in excellent shape.
He said 4 to 6  months..
Then he said I had a skin cancer on my leg.
He said that he would do my hip as soon as I could handle it.
He said that we must face reality, the hip has to be done.
My mother and I way preferred fantasy.
And so it goes..So happy I can sew.

My bottle of pain medication is missing.
Last time I saw it on the edge of my sink, was Wednesday night.
My son has not been here..I am relieved.
I am praying and praying that it just appears..
No blame, no shame..
I am going back to bed..

Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy Birthday Mom....ALS Awareness Month

Happy Birthday Mom..
I miss you so.
You always loved that Cinco de Mayo was your birthday.
Even your cat Sunny loved it so.
So  here you are...character that you were drinking wine on a lunch bunch outing.
You had just told me that  you had told the staff that your girls were too busy to visit.
Really???  And then I find this in the newspaper  of you doing the town at the winery.

Parkinson's disease did not allow a broken neck to survive
Cinco de Mayo  2014...She danced at her party and died 4 days later.

Next in the neurological department of our  family:
ALS awareness month
ALS sucked the life out of all of  us.
Easter 2015  Ten days  later he was dead. It was 10 months after my mother died.
My love...stolen by ALS
He was so brave.
I love you so
His diagnosis day was in May..23 rd.  He lasted 22 months.
My friend Rhonda died this morning..
May Day May Day