Monday, July 19, 2021

Such a busy time.

These past 2 months have flown by! Mainly because I've been busy, busy, busy! My youngest son was married mid-June to the girl who lived across the 'crick' from us! There have never been 2 better matched people! It was a perfect wedding - not too hot, not too sunny, no rain.  It was just a great day to be surrounded by friends and family and witnessing my youngest child get married to a childhood friend!

Another earth-shattering occurrence was that I started their wedding quilt in April and finished it before they returned from their honeymoon.  And by finished, I mean I quilted it, labeled it, and bound it!  They have a little 1962 Shasta camper and I thought this would be a perfect quilt for them.  

Other big news includes an addition to the family - Glimmer, a 3 year old Chihuahua, came to live with me.  I adopted her from a family who was a little nervous about having her around their new baby.  I knew they were planning to rehome her and I sure didn't want her going to the pound.  I fell in love with her immediately and the other dogs and cats, while not in love with her, seem to tolerate her quite nicely.

Aside from the relentless heat and humidity and the blood clot my daughter has living in her brain, it has been a very nice summer.  

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Halfway to Halloween.


Oh yeah, it is! Give or take a few days. 
 

But then, this was written 16 days ago!  So now we are even closer to Halloween! The flowers in these pictures have long lost their blooms and other flowers are opening up.  My son's wedding is in a little over 3 weeks and there is much to be done in order to have our yard looking neat and tidy.

But in the meantime, a lot of sewing has been going on.  I've made a table runner to match my Coca Cola kitchen decor.  I've finally finished and gifted, my daughter's Seaswept quilt.  I've started my son's wedding quilt (fingers crossed that I'll get it done in time), and have planned my daughter's wedding quilt.  In addition to that, I pulled out the blocks for my witchy Sunbonnet Sue quilt - I have 3 blocks yet to applique and I'm hoping to have it completed in time to enter into the county fair.

Coca Cola tablerunner

Block one of my son's wedding quilt


Monday, May 3, 2021

Home.


 I got the word last week that I will be heading back to work very soon.  In the real world, with real people, with real human interaction that doesn't take place through a computer screen.  While I will miss hanging out with my pets, I must say that the thought of returning to the worksite is very appealing. I will be able to work from home a little while longer and then will be able to work from home a day or 2 a week into the future.  

When I first began working at home, I thought it would be awesome to be able to sit out on my deck with a fire and work in peace.  Peace didn't really happen because around here in the mornings, there are ducks, chickens, and roosters that make a heck of a lot of noise.  I love listening to the cacophony of roosters but when I need to concentrate, it's a little much.  

What I will miss though, is the slowness of my mornings. I have a routine in that I get up and sit in the recliner with my little dog for about an hour. I then take care of feeding the cats, making my bed, and getting dressed.  I then take the dogs out and feed the pony and chickens and just walk around a little bit.  Then it's time to come in and leisurely eat my breakfast while reading my book and sipping on coffee.  By the time I'm done and the dishes are washed, it is 7:28 - 2 minutes to start my computer and get to work.




Wednesday, April 28, 2021

What is left.

Boots


 This is 8 days overdue.  I couldn't figure out how to add any pictures. 


Today would have been my mom's 88th birthday.  She made it to her 87th but no further. For her birthday last year, I called her and played a few of her favorite songs on the piano. She always wanted to listen to me play the piano at church so playing for her over the phone was a lame compromise. My piano at home is very out of tune and for some reason, I don't play as smoothly at home as I used to at church.  Luckily, it turned out that her telephone concert was good not only for a listen, but for a couple laughs too!  

For her birthday this year, I would have been able to spend time with her. Because of the pandemic, that wasn't possible last year. I believe though, that she is having an amazing birthday this year having been reunited with my dad, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a large majority of her friends. 

How do I feel today? A little melancholy I suppose. I really miss her - I really miss both my parents. But I'm tired of crying. I feel like I'm crying about everything these days.  Everything just hurts SO much!  I'm tired of looking back over my life - I'm ready to look ahead but I'm not sure what for.  I'm so tired of living my life in front of a computer screen. 

Boots the cat - is what I have left of my parents (aside from my brothers, of course).  I can still remember when my dad brought home this scrawny little kitten soooooo many years ago.  Someone had dumped it at my dad's office, the day after Thanksgiving. I think that if my dad hadn't found Boots, she surely would have died.  Boots lived a very nice, very long, and very comfortable life with my parents.  She had the option of hanging out in their backyard watching the birds from the deck or staying in the house and sleeping anywhere she liked. Boots is now living with my daughter and her 2 kids, 2 dogs, and 2cats. Boots spends her days inside sleeping where ever she wants to sleep, her favorite place being on my daughter's lap.  Boots has probably had more baths in the past few months than she has ever had in her previous 101 years!  Boots also sports a very feminine cat collar!

So as life happens, the family is dwindling. It is sad to see people go but that is what happens and no amount of crying or worrying is going to change it. I think it is important for me to keep that in mind and to enjoy every single day. 

Added 4/28: I'm so glad that a few years ago, I decided that it was alright to feel sad and that I didn't always need to be happy.  Today is a better day!  

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Spring.



I've always said that autumn is my favorite time of year. It truly is but there is something to be said about spring. After being in the house for over a year, the sounds of spring are so welcomed! The chirps of peepers, the neighbor kids screaming and laughing as they ride their bikes, the donkey braying in such a way that it sounds like a teenaged boy whose voice is changing! I love the chill in the air and how, when I have the windows wide open, the wind is just cool enough to still need a sweatshirt.

 This past weekend was one of the best weekends of my life and to be honest, I feel a little let down that it is over. We had a houseful and it was wonderful! Not once did I worry about my dumpy little home because this weekend, it was a castle. There was laughter, games, good food, and just plain happiness. It doesn't get much better than that. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Snow fences.

One of my most vivid early memories is a winter when we lived in Townville - a very small village in northwestern Pennsylvania. We lived on top of a hill with our driveway carved into the side of a small hill. I must have been 5 or 6 at the time, I don't think I was in school. But I remember playing out in the huge snowdrifts that formed right outside the door to the mudroom. Because we lived on a hill and were surrounded by cornfields, the wind would whip the snow into places that were extremely inconvenient. I can remember our driveway being completely filled in with snow. My dad and mom would put up snow fences or wind breaks, as an effort to keep the driveway and parking area a little more open. But the snow drifts that form by the snow fences were huge! At least they were to 5-year-old me. It's funny, those memories. I remember wearing a light blue snowsuit that was a little tight. I had mittens that clipped onto the sleeves of my jacket. Ugh, I can also remember sucking the snow off of my mittens and that awful texture of acrylic yard - I remember as if it was yesterday! I also remember visiting my grandmother who lived in town - right across from my uncle's funeral home. For Christmas, my uncle used to set up this little church with stained glass windows and painted with sparkles. It played Christmas music too and had a real bell in the steeple. I can remember standing there looking at it with my dad one night when we were visiting grandma and I asked him why the air smelled like styrofoam. He told me that what I smelled was cold - frigid cold. Too this day when the air is still, the night is dark, and it is cold, cold, cold, I can still smell that smell and it takes me right back to my uncle's little musical, magical church.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

I am thankful for

On this rainy day, I am sew thankful for:




  1. My grandma Pelz for teaching me to sew
  2. My sewing room/office/bedroom which although small, is very cozy and my cats love it as much as I do!
  3. Completing a nearly entirely paper-pieced quilt top
  4. Groups and individuals who, at the drop of a hat, will make quilts and donate them anywhere they are needed
  5. Bonnie Hunter. She is a designer/quilter that inspires me not only with her talents but with her outlook on life
  6. The quilts I've made that have been loved
  7. Being asked to make a special quilt. Even if I am unable to do it, it feels good to have been asked
  8. Verna's quiltshop. I am so thankful for this quiltshop and its owner. I can always find exactly what I need - whether it is fabric or advice
  9. a card that my oldest daughter made me recently. Such beautiful sixties flowers and a wonderful Robert Frost verse inside
  10. Seam rippers. They are the greatest invention ever!
  11. I can't live without my seam ripper.
  12. All of the people who spend 6 weeks piecing the same mystery quilt from across the country.
  13. I always love the Ohio Star
  14. Quilting has taught me that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 
These are in response to #IMSEWTHANKFUL from American Patchwork & Quilting

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Grammar gremlins

 

Me - in dog form
It is interesting that when I happen to read a blog post after it has been published, words have been mixed-up, misspelled, and/or misused.  It is a little embarrassing and sometimes, I'm unable to decipher what I was trying to say!

I really should keep to the simply words: cat, dog, fabric, coffee, etc. Those words make me happy. Maybe not so happy today though.  Someone hit and killed one of my cats. I have about 5 cats that live outside my house - they have no interest in living inside with the rest of my cats and dogs.  They are all spayed or neutered. They are all very well fed.  They all have little cat houses that they can live in when it is cold.  So it's not very often that any of them hang out in front of the house on the road.  I don't know why the kitty was out there but he was hit and no one even stopped. It appeared that he was killed instantly.  

It's sad to know that there are killers who live on my road.  



Monday, October 26, 2020

My favorites.


 I feel so privileged to have been on the earth for a year at the same time as one of my favorite authors. My oldest daughter just recently gave me as a birthday gift, a beautiful hand-drawn card with the Spoils of the Dead written inside.  Somewhere along my internet journeys, I found a youtube video of Robert Frost reciting it.  If I am able to locate it, I will post.  In the meantime, here are the words and a recording of the poem. I don't know about anyone else, but the visuals my mind conjures while reading this are better than any movie.

Here is a link to a video of an interview with Robert Frost about a decade before his death: 


Spoils of the Dead

 - 1874-1963
Two fairies it was
     On a still summer day
Came forth in the woods
    With the flowers to play.

The flowers they plucked
     They cast on the ground
For others, and those
     For still others they found.

Flower-guided it was
    That they came as they ran
On something that lay
    In the shape of a man.

The snow must have made
     The feathery bed
When this one fell
     On the sleep of the dead. 

But the snow was gone
     A long time ago,
And the body he wore
     Nigh gone with the snow. 

The fairies drew near
     And keenly espied
A ring on his hand
     And a chain at his side.

They knelt in the leaves
     And eerily played
With the glittering things,
     And were not afraid.

And when they went home
     To hid in their burrow,
They took them along
      To play with to-morrow.

When you came on death,
     Did you not come flower-guided
Like the elves in the wood?
     I remember that I did.

But I recognised death
     With sorrow and dread,
And I hated and hate
     The spoils of the dead.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

My happy place

 From the outside, my house doesn't appear to be much of anything. There is work to be done - lots of work! It doesn't exactly appear dilapidated but, like I said, it is clear that there is work to be done. Now the inside - I LOVE the inside of my home - every bit of it. I have 4 dogs and 5 cats in the house. Not everyone's cup of tea but it is mine. But my most happy spot is my kitchen. I have a happy red formica table with 2 cheery red chairs (and a few other mismatched chairs in case someone stops by). When we first moved into the house, there was just one standard sized window in my kitchen/eating area. My husband and father-in-law replaced that with a huge bay window. The window is one of the highlights of my happy place. I can see our church out that window as well as the very, very old local cemetery (odd, I know but I love living near a cemetery). I can see 3 huge pinetrees, a forsythia bush that has been here since way before we bought the place, a rambling rose bush, and many, many birds.

Have you ever seen such a comfy cat?
I love sitting at my table with my old-fashioned tea cup filled with coffee while reading a book. I usually have a candle lit and as few lights on as possible. From my spot at the table, I can see the growth marks of my kids on the basement door.  I can see my dog Casper curled up in his bed. I can see my Coca Cola salt/pepper shakers, napkin holder, and other Coca Cola memorabilia.  

A Coca Cola radio that my youngest son and his wife-to-be gave me.
My first memories are a little odd.  I can remember my mom, dad, and big brother loving the show Green Hornet. I can remember one evening being called into the house to watch Green Hornet (hated it), have pizza (hated it then), and having Pepsi (hated Pepsi). Apparently I was a difficult child - what kid doesn't like TV, pizza, and pop!  I can remember having pizza and Pepsi when the family was visiting a family friend's home, the Copes.  I still didn't like any of it but those were always fun times with my family and friends.  

My first memory of Coca Cola was sitting at the little restaurant beside the original Hanna's Hardware store. It was such a big deal! It was just me and my dad and he bought me a sandwich and a bottle of Coca Cola.  I can't remember what we were doing other than going to the hardware store and probably visiting my grandma who lived nearly next door but I remember that I loved every single minute I ever spent with my dad.  To this day, I love Coca Cola in glass bottles and anything Coca Cola related. Which takes me.....    

...back to my kitchen.  My favorite spot.

Step one of a tomato pie

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

And it is Tuesday


 And this is Thimba. Apparently Thimba and I share our tea in the mornings.  That's alright.  For months, Thimba never came out from the corner of my bedroom.  I'm so happy that she is back and is an active cat again. Even if she does terrorize me in the middle of the night. Even if she does turn the computer printer on and makes blank sheets of paper feed through.  

I bought myself a new stove.  One that I chose that has features that I want.  I love to bake - I really do.  My only wish is that someone (other than me) would eat it.  Many times I will take half of whatever I made and take it over to my future daughter-in-law's grandparents - it really makes me happy to do it.  Back when we had church dinners, I looked forward to making something yummy and sharing it with the church members.

But I haven't been to church. It's been open since the beginning of September and haven't been there to attend or to play the piano. I don't know when/if I will ever go back.  I'm angry but I really haven't decide with whom I am angry. I'm kind of mad at God. So many horrible things this year and then I found out this morning that my cousin's 4 year old granddaughter has leukemia. I can't even say how I feel. I'm not close to my cousin and I'm not close at all to my cousin's son which doesn't make any difference whatsoever. There is a hurt baby and her mom, dad, sister, and brother.  Knowing this breaks my heart. The only thing I can do is make her a quilt and that is so incredibly lame but I know that for so many people, including myself, there is comfort in knowing that other people care and that other people wish they could share the burden.

So am I mad at God? I don't really think so but when my mom died unexpectedly, not a phone call, not a note, nothing from my pastor or other church members. On the other hand, my co-workers were Johnnys-on-the-spot and sent messages - just something to let me know they cared. 

I don't know. My feelings are all over the place. Mothers and fathers have been dying forever and what I am experiencing is not unique.  I need to accept that I feel sad, lost, like I don't matter. Maybe when I drag myself out of this suck-hole of grief, I will commit to try and never let anyone else feel that way.  

This is what my mom would call a 'pity-party'. She would be right.  But it is my blog and I can whine.  


Such a busy time.

These past 2 months have flown by! Mainly because I've been busy, busy, busy! My youngest son was married mid-June to the girl who liv...