Monday, November 29, 2021

Trying to Walk With Grace Through the Tough Times

 The beginning of the season for us.   Same friendly "Thanksgiving Cacti" that have lived under our bench outside for years.  Gotta get a white one soon.  I love them so.

My grandmother' candelabra that used to be in her bedroom window for years and years. probably 70 years or more .  A fond memory.  It is only recently that  I have come to realize that the antique bulbs are so hot.  We have been so lucky in the past that those lace curtains in Grandma's window never caught fire. This year they are in my kitchen window on tile.  Memories are so very sweet.
Potholder process number three with my African fabric.
My gut wrenching worry about having to take my machine in now, before Christmas was alleviated this evening when I realized that the sewing machine does well without the walking foot...sigh.
None of us are doing too well since Thanksgiving without my son. On and on it goes.  Also, I think my last fall was more hurtful than I had thought.  I am a bit on the lightheaded side...UGH!

I do not dare go to the pool  tomorrow, so  I am  going on an outing with a friend  in order to seize the day and not stay in bed forever.

My grandmother's old Sorry board, still in  use.
Lynsey wanted to play tonight.  Not only did she set this up, but also, this:
Canasta.  I said only one game, but we ended up doing both.

My  new car has been mine for one week now.  Gotta get the energy to take it to mechanic to have the steering wheel adjusted with not so much play and have the step removed from the side so I can get into the car with my arthritis.  Lynsey has a hoot of a time watching me get used to this fancy new car.  The back up screen is a life saver as I am lucky not to have killed anyone before...!!!

I am just so very tired.  I appreciate everyone's support and kindness as our family adjusts to our situation. My guess with the Covid issues, the rest of the world is stressing too...Those that stay informed, that is...Of course we do look forward to Aoife's visit in 11 days...Amazing!!! 
 Amazing Grace!!

Happy Hannakuh my friends.

The Midnight Hour

Grrr...A quick before bed potholder is now unfinished.
I have spent the past 30 min changing needle, changing bobbins, re-threading the machine.
It pounds like a hammer and pulls the thread from the bottom for 3 inches before breaking. midnight????  
I freaking give up!!
And does my machine need service just before Christmas???????
Good night.  Will see it better in the morning light xo

Sunday, November 28, 2021

My 2 am Post

 I sleep until noon.  Then I am up till one am or maybe 2 am...That is the time when crazy hits...But, now I rescue myself with the love of making potholders.

From beloved African scraps!!
Of course, in order to lose myself in creative fun, the pristine environment (ha ha) in my sewing room, in seconds can become like this....So worth it xo
Below, the grand boys on their vacation.
Evan is 16 and Dylan is almost 12.  When Evan and actually Eamon (their father) were in 6th grade, they all looked Dylan's size and never dreamed they would really grow...Amazing.

The children loved this horse at the place they rented in the mountains.
The boys again...What a difference 4 and a half years makes.
A great picture of my XDIL and her husband. TBTG everyone gets along.xo

My house is a disaster.  So need Ms Stephanie back to organize me.  Alas, I talked to her the other night and she said she keeps getting hired places and then she cannot work...That  damn heart attack!!!
I need a lot of things.  My new walking walker for exercises needs to be assembled. (That is assuming that I will recover from this fall business)  S L O W is a tough thing. A picture needs to be  hung.. I need help problem solving.  I could try a lot of it, but with my leg all iffy, I am afraid I will fall again.  I am not allowed to call that capable person who could do it he has his own road to walk.  

The children are  back from the mountains tomorrow.  Dylan already has a list ready to help his grandmother...TBTG for the darlings.
God willing, 13 days until our Aoife comes for the holidays!! I am trying to find things around the house for her to play with...She will be 17 months... I want to be the grandmother to give her her first  lolli-pop, alas, her father says NO!!!
I am counting the days, as I say...God willing.

My birthday  is coming up in a few weeks.  Last night my husband whispered to me that I should pick up a few quilty snippets online/ Black Friday....presents from him.
I demured and then....and then I did it...frugal, but  fine, very fine!!
Thank  you Honey xoxo

Friday, November 26, 2021

More Blessings

Janet,  you are a dear.  Quilting things always bring me cheer!!

Look what she was able to let go of...How could she??  So grateful she did.
In the wash as we speak!  Awesome African fabrics.
My favorite flowers....Thank you Linda!!
And from Portland...Thanksgiving joy!!
OK   I see, we just  help ourselves xo  Good idea, Aoife!

Holidays are rough when grief seeps through the cracks.  Yesterday, my sister helped by bringing us a pre-made dinner from the grocery store.  Nice to have a  sister.
Turkey soup in in process now!! 
Kids are in the mountains with their mom and step-dad!
Three, Eleven, Twelve and Sixteen!!!
Took my new car on a spin today.  Twenty miles per first, then up to 40!!  How brave I am.  I had not even left the neighborhood when a yellow triangle light started its whine...OMG.  I waved  down a neighbor....He said that the trunk was not fully shut....My slow learning curve. 
Oh, well....Still pinching myself and grateful for my anonymous benefactor...made my world a better place. My sister came for the old car and it would not start..Now she is afraid to be stranded and will not drive it.

One of my favorite embroideries from  my  grandmother.
I have  had it for years and  years.  My sister wanted it.. I did not want to share, but it is way past her turn. I gave it to her.
Today is 2 weeks since my fall.  I was able to do way more things...I am still exhausted.
However, it is great to be up and at 'um...It is a blessing.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Being Thankful

Fretting and fretting, thinking once again that I am in charge of this universe.  Such an uncomfortable fantasy!  I know I am doing the best I can, but is it enough??
Arguing with God about my fall and why I am not yet better!!

Making things for the holiday season for others who have beens so good to me.  Then worrying again, that I have sent no thank  you many good people, and no thank you notes at all from me..
The holidays are hard this year without my son. does God answer my fretting?????? 
 By sending an angel to help me with a new car.
Me??  Me?? 
I was afraid to drive it.  It has no key, just a button. I have had my old one for 14 years....The new one  has  a skylight.  I never thought I would have one of those before I bit the dust!!! 
 Out of the blue came blessings..

 I am giving the old car to my sister who shares the one she has with her family.
Above are some gifts to kind people....6 grocery bag bags.  ( I should have made 600)  Three karate ones, and others for others...Mostly for folks who help the children.
The darlings have gone to the mountains with their mother.
I am organizing my sewing room.
Feeling peaceful at this moment. 
Feeling grateful for friends.
Feeling grateful for peace.
Feeling grateful for sewing.


Thursday, November 18, 2021

News we can Use

A big hello from our side of town!!!

Our very very very favorite musician. (thx Margaret for the heads up)

A big Thank You to Vickie for our holiday elves party.
with my favorite shortbread cookies.
and Wonderful friends!!! be the best!!

This is a selfie....wahoo..We old folks sure are smart!
Linda and Kathy, the holiday elves...OMG, today was fun.

Today was so lovely in the Carolina's  70 degrees F and sunny.
It actually looks like I might be able to get a new car that I do not have to worry about starting!!!
Thanks to a friend or two having my back.

Lovely visits from the above elves today.
Kids  mostly behaved....mostly.
My sister agreed to be in charge of organizing our Thanksgiving dinner...yeah!

Linda made a little mug rug for me from Denise Schmidt scraps..
Aoife  finds a big leaf in Portland.

Today, I was somehow able to start accepting life on life's terms and find joy anyway.
Wow???  Who is that?   Start, I said, start!!!!  
This way, I just might be grown up in the next 4 weeks 'til my birthday...Maybe.....?
Cleaning lady coming tomorrow, lunch out, Good Vibes retreat on Zoom.

Looks like I may not die of a sprained ankle! after all!!!
Lynsey's eggplant parmesan.

Two good days in a row and tons of supportive friends...xoxo
Planning on sweet dreams tonight!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

A Good and Grateful Day

Finally done, my friends, 12 pencil pouches for teachers/ 25 pencils per pouch.  Not one pouch is perfect, just like people, but I did the best I could and I hope the teachers like them.  The kids will make tags: "Our family thanks you for being a teacher" and start passing them out after Thanksgiving. Most of these teachers have worked with all three children.  They all know our story and are sooooo great, going the second mile all the time!! I am so grateful.

I made a mistake using a few old metal zippers, thus candle wax eases the sticking.
I will not use those old zippers again!

  Our Aoife after her water class.  Aoife did not like it but her mother did!!!!
We have lived in this house well over 20 years. My Irish husband loved roses. In Miami, he had 80 different kinds in his garden.  This pink climber was the first rose he planted at this home in Charlotte.  Over the past 20 some years, often I had wanted to pull up the scrawny old thing...Glad I did not.  Every year a beautiful cluster of pink brightens my day, both in fall and then again in spring.
Lynsey listens in on everything. She overheard me tell someone that she does not cook like she  used to.
Next thing she shows me her white board of menus.
Last night she made a quiche to die for.  The best I have ever had..She homemade the crust and everything!!!

Today was a good day.  My doctor insisted I have my ankle and knee x-rayed at Urgent Care. I made an appt online, so no wait. Nothing broken but a bit of my spirit.  A good day since my car only conked out once idling at the bank and restarted immediately, a good day since the children had a half day school today, did all their chores and now are relaxing with friends online.  It was a good day with friends popping up with all kinds of support.  I do not feel so alone. The flood issue of  7 months has been 99% settled with the insurance and all the fall leaves are still shining in Charlotte.

I am feeling the hope today

Sunday, November 14, 2021



About 30 years ago, I took  this picture of my children in matching outfits I had made for them.
How grateful I am for the gift of adopting them as infants. Up the hills, down the hills, I would not have missed this ride for the world xo

The pencil pouch obsession continues to rattle me.
Tonight I finished three of them.  I have Sherry's directions in my phone and had to look at it for each pouch...jeeze!!!  The corners are the best I can do evidently.  I tried the zipper end covers and they did not work well for me either...Come on Grandma....these are just pencil pouches!!!


Aoife's daddy made this climbing toy for her.  It also has a slide to attach.
She clearly loves it.!

Today, my foot and knee commanded that I only rest.  Do they not know that I am a Sagittarius????
A fire sign that cannot be still.. I had no choice, but to listen.  I read and worked on the ongoing teacher pencil pouches!! AND napped like an old lady.....

I used to work with folks in grief...until my own grief smacked me on the head 1,000  times at once.
It is easy to make slips, I so still do it...but, now I try harder to think of  the bereaved and how we all grieve differently
There are so many articles on this now, because our culture is big on telling others the parameters of their own feelings.  Exploring other options is always a great thing.  Really, it is not just me on my high horse.  We all do this to some extent thinking it is being helpful and to protect ourselves from what we struggle to handle.   Unfortunately,  it causes further grief. 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

A Little is Enough

Aoife's daddy usually takes them for a before bed walk in the dark to the park.
Each darling is outfitted with a glow in the dark light.
Here is our Aoife with her dinner still in her cheeks.  She refuses to let it go...gotta  laugh.!!
Rosie and Aoife (still holding her dinner)

 Friday:  I so need a break....Not the broken bone kind. Grateful as I fell,  once again today.

There was a loose brick in the sidewalk which I did not see...due to a certain peppermint milkshake I was holding...Evidently there will be no multitasking for me ever again!! I tripped on the brick, and ended flat on the grass in tears.  no break, but a twisted ankle and a very hurt sense of pride!!  Those poor guys from next door were joined by the two basketball players on the court next door.  They got me up...TBTG  Tonight I hurt all over.

Because of my craziness this week with two falls, I did ask the boys what they were doing tomorrow...I booked them, just in case it is true that 3 times is the charm!! (I am using the walker now to prevent number three while I heal.)

Good things today are:  Our rugs were finally put down after the flood 7 months ago.  The children were a great help...they were off school for the holiday. Dylan  had his first Covid shot, so far, no problem. My  hair dresser came to my driveway and cut my hair.. Tomorrow the cleaning lady comes, a friend visits and the children leave at four to spend the weekend with their mother. Sat and Sunday I will read and rest.  Sew?  Hope I will be able to.

Saturday:  Feeling a bit better, but still on 4 Ibuproben for each dosage.  My darling grandchildren both now have developed middle school mouths...I had begged Dylan not to grow up like that...but...all my hopes fell on deaf ears. In three months I will have a 12 year old and a 13 year old.  Both kids told me that they are oh, so good out with others, just like to take it all out on old grandma...I get it......but,.....

They have now left with my sister for the morning, then off to their mother's for the rest of the weekend.

An old lumpy log cabin flimsy is better than showing no quilt at all!!!!!

Three weeks after my husband's death, I went to a workshop at UNCC to keep my license.  There I bumped into Margaret and took her workshop on Soul Collage. Thank you Margaret!!!!
I made two. Cutting magazing pictures out, below is me...looking at bleak life after the death of my man.
Here is my husband escaping the bear of ALS, flying high with freedom from his pain.

Now, I insist in this quiet evening, I will finish my teacher pencil pouches...I insist, to myself.

Monday, November 8, 2021

A New Day Rises

New plaid skirt for Aoife made by her mother for the pumpkin patch!  Aoife smiles with her mouth open!!

Lynsey all sad from not being able to go to Alabama with her brother...But, look what he brought her!!

When I am  down and out, here comes Aoife!!!! She cheers the day!!
Learning to love the sewing machine, just like the rest of us!!
The girls on a walk in the Portland woods.
Aoife playing in the autumn leaves

Yesterday, I survived my husband's birthday...Sigh.
I miss him way too much.
Big thanks for the friends who help keep me sane!!
Big thanks to my sister for all her help and to my girl and her girls for all the pictures.
Old car has broken down, now in the shop.  Workmen in our house fixing and repairing what I cannot do
Gratitude for no broken bones when I fell last night...
TBTG that I bounced...good side of the new weight gain...Bad side, it took 3 neighborhood men to lift up my ancient dead weighted body to the preferable standing position.
Kids were scared...but, here I am for yet another day.

I have to miss the pool and lunch with friends, etc...with  no car and workmen here...
Lucky,  lucky me to have friends with contacts so I can get these things done. There is a shortage of workers, never mind good ones.

Going to chill tonight...Ha Ha...nothing new!!
Tomorrow's goals will be to finish teacher pencil bags.  Sit outside under a quilt or two, to read.
Many naps, etc.

No sewing today, but my friends took down the Halloween quilt and hung this instead.
This was a block in a box from forever ago.  It was made by me and friends and quilted by Heather Larson as a gift for  me.
I love to see it hanging.