Sunday, November 26, 2017

Holiday Preparation

We are in full blown mode for teacher presents.
Dylan, age 7 is making his jar openers.  He and I sewed pretty fabric onto nonslip fabric from the kitchen department at Walmart.  They will be given as jar openers.  He is finished.  He is thrilled.
He can thread the machine, use the presser foot, put his hands on mine to sew a straight line.
He irons and snips the treads.
 Ironing grandboy!!
Always supervising is the quilting cat, Stitch!!

I sent off a package to a friend.
I think she was about to get more than she bargained for!!
Evan is 12.  He is working here....on a potholder for one teacher, a pillow for another...and a plastic bag holder for still another.  We got on their websites to see what they love..
They love Tar heels, Patriots, and healthy food/ much fun.
He sews a bit each night.
Evan, too , will be finished soon.  I like to get things done early.
Poor Evan.  He is so interested in things that cameras can do.  I told him that I might be able to get him a camera other than a point and shoot.  My mouth made a mistake.
Those cameras are sooo expensive...He will have to wait until he is working himself...for those.
I should have checked first.  I had thought we could find a refurbished on on Cyber Monday., still outrageous moola....

 Grandma got things together this weekend.
Thanks to Nancy and her basket give-a-way.
I have hand warmers/ ice packs ready for the school for the holiday season.
 And tissue holders for the J.
So much gratitude for the J where my mother wrote her poetry and my dear man played his tennis.
Now, the grands go every summer to summer camp.
 Evan doing some chopping for the turkey soup.
He took my I-phone to record his work in time-lapse.
How does he know these things??
My goals for my grands....To learn to give to others, 
To learn that handmade things are the best, that you cannot buy love.
To learn to appreciate what others do for us.  To give them in Karate even though they might like to try other things.  To learn that even though they may not like something today, sticking with it brings rewards.  To be self sufficient,, eg with cooking and sewing and money and caring for themselves. 
 That Christmas is not about  big presents, it is about giving from the heart to others. 
To work on taking disappointment in stride, that life is  not fair.
 I am trying to do the best I can...
Poor Lynsey is at her Mommy's house sick with a stomach virus.

Grandma O'Quilts was bedraggled today.
Exhausted and sleeping away the day, feeling depressed with no motivation.
After my friend, Meg sent this to me.
It just made my day!!
A Better Man
I set tasks for myself.
The store for meds, the store for waffles for the children's breakfast,
making bindings, posting...working on holiday gifts.
Lo, and behold, my mother was right.
Peace comes when you think of others.

I thought that this TED  talk was quite motivating.
I put it here so I could re-read it when I needed to.
What Really Matters at the end of life...TED

 Thanksgiving came and went and I was not in charge, again.
I followed my heart, and life happened for the best.
For my grandchildren, almost everyone that they loved came to be thankful at my house.
My sister, my XDIL and her new husband, her sister and family and in-laws.
My sister and I drove to the woods to find my son.
I needed her to go with me as I felt so anxious as to what I would find.
I am grateful that he was in good shape.
Everyone was loving and ate in thanks once he was  here.
It was a perfect Thanksgiving.

My son brought leftovers to a homeless buddy of his that could not come.
We fed, in love, two homeless folks on Thanksgiving.
I am in peace, knowing that I did the right thing.
Mr. O'Quilts would have felt the same.

Our family has been in crisis for 4.5 years.
It is sometimes a blur....
I put one foot in front of the other, one second at a time.
Sometimes I know that I am doing my best, sometimes I do not.
Doing the right thing is often so hard.

I not tell...but I did.
buy two small fabric treats on Black Friday online.
I am excited.
Thank you all for listening to my story.

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 in homemade.
In learning a task, walking through the fire to get to the other side.
In this project, Evan learned a few new 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 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 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 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, 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 would not know her angst by her smile.

 Turkey eyes ...all ironed on...
Grandma will do the 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.