Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Clean room is a Dream room

Because usually it's only this clean in my dreams! This morning I sweet-talked DH into helping me move an un-used dresser into my quilt room to put under my big cutting table. The cutting table is just 2 hollow-doors screwed together and set on top. Originally there was a small bookcase under it:

You can't see the whole thing in this picture, but you get the idea. It was "OK" but always messy looking and just not big enough. The cutting top dwarfed it, and had to be held to the wall in back with brackets. There was a ton of stuffed jammed in beside and behind the little bookcase, and it was a solid hour of pulling everything apart - not even taking time to play with any of it! Then Hunny brought in some risers to put under the dresser, because it was just shy of being tall enough for me - I'm tall so I want the cutting table up there too.

Having all this room to store stuff means you have to dig it out from wherever it's stuffed, and get it organised into the new space. Somehow, this task took me all day, and I ended up with an immaculate quilt room! Whoop-pee! I took lots of pics, so I can remember this. The only thing I didn't tackle today was the monster stash; it's a mess too because I'm not too good about folding stuff and putting it back neatly. I even forgot to eat lunch. Towards the evening I had to put on some bumpin' rock music to keep me going, and now I'm all worn out but can't seem to tear myself away to go to bed. Think Hunny would mind if I slept here?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Diamonds are a girls best friend

I haven't been real inspired to start a new quilt for awhile now, but tonight that "bug" bit, and I've hatched a new plan:

It won't be these colors, it will be more dark saturated jewel tones, I think -- scrappy. These were pieces from the uglies basket, for test purposes only. This was in the Dec. issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. It caught my eye the first time I saw it, and I've gone back 4 or 5 times. Today I got another Dec. issue in the mail -(huh????) and figured that's a sign. This little test went together pretty easily, even tho I ignored the directions which gave a strip piecing method for the little diamonds. Ahem.
Now for the fun part -- pulling fabrics! I think, I hope, I have a 3-day weekend to do nothing but play.
No new news about my Mom. She feels fine, but is very, very thin. She's waiting for the cancer specialist in either Salt Lake City or San Diego to call with an appointment. She says whoever calls first gets her body. That sounds just like her. I have oone suitcase packed and another setting open so if I need to fly quickly I can. Meanwhile, as she said, life goes on till it doesn't.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

He is Born! Gloria inexcelsius Deo.

OK -- my Latin isn't what it used to be. My message is; Celebrate and sing praises to God, our Saviour is born

I hope you and yours have a very Blessed Christmas.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Roller Coaster

Mom sent an e-mail to her family and closest friends, telling about her diagnosis and her plan. She is not interested in anything that will prolong dying nor make it more expensive. She said that she will play the hand dealt with as much grace and dignity as possible. (My mom and Jackie Kennedy are SO alike - when I was very young I used to think they were sisters) She went on to ask that everyone think of her on a good horse, flying through the mountains.
A friend of mine sent word around the globe thru her network of cyber-friends that my mother and I need prayer, and the most amazing thing happened! My old best friend from high school, whom I lost touch with about 15 years or so ago, thought she recognized the two names, Moms and mine, when it came to her through many channels. She sent me a note asking if it was me, and we've had a wonderful cyber reunion! She reminded me that I have Gods word that He will strengthen me, and of course she is right. It's a good thought I have held close all day.
The picture is Mom taken summer of '05 - her favorite dog and one of her horses. A mountain meadow high in the Wasatch mountains of Utah. Isn't it beautiful? She might look so little and forlorn, but believe me she is never happier than in this picture.
Still not sure when I'll be leaving - she has agreed to travel to southern Ca for a second opinion at my uncles' urging. As we agreed on the phone tonight, one day at a time. One day at a time.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


I'm not dealing well at all with my Mothers' news...... surprised at myself. I'm all grown up and hold a responsible position in a dialysis clinic etc etc, but now it's MY mom, and I am a blubbering mess. Happily, that is nowhere in sight when I talk to her. Today, first day I'm home all day without work to be distracting, I stayed moving all day. Laundry, cleaned the chicken pen and yard - spread fresh straw all over. Shovelled out the horses shelter. Cleaned the kitchen, and the bathrooms. (housekeepers are coming Monday) and dug out the 2" squares. Mindless sewing - "No-Thinkum" projects. This is the first, the second (which is different), is in my machine getting borders.

Dolly quilts, 22x25 - both of them. I don't know what I'll do with them, but I plan to hand quilt them just to have something to do with my hands while I travel. No sewing for several weeks may be hard, or may not. We'll see. It was pretty theraputic today tho, just kind of feed 'em thru. Choosing the borders was what froze me.
I spent over an hour on the phone talking to my younger brother the other night. I was nearly 6 when he was born, and I was pretty sure he was a present for me, he was my special baby. I "left his life" as he puts it, when he was young, less than 10. I married and moved away, so we really don't know each other too well and live on opposite ends of a really long state, but when we do see each other or talk on the phone, that old connection is there. We think the same, hold identical opinions on strange subjects, and both describe ourselves as "Nazi" parents. Meaning that neither of us (past tense for me, present for him) forgot who was the adult in our families, and who is the kid. I used to tell my kids "This is not a democracy, this is a dictatorship. When you are 18 you may attempt a non-violent coup and try making your own rules" They laugh at that now, and of course they agree now. Anyway, my baby brother Bart is as shocked as I. We talked about mom, about the possibility of life without mom, finally - finding the blessing that this actually is to us all. Mom's biggest fear as she aged was becoming too sick to stay on her ranch, and becoming a "burden" to us. If she has to go, this is the way she wants it - no lingering for years as an invalid or even a frail elder. Enough time to say anything - sign papers, direct the family; it really is my Mom's way. We can both cry hysterical tears, but when we need to we will both step up and deal. Bart is travelling with his family from L.A. tomorrow, and he will assess her and let me know if I need to come right away. We briefly discussed what to do with the ranch in Utah. Neither of us is interested in living there, and neither of us really cares what happens to it. Strange idea, isn't it? Here's the reasoning - Bart and I believe that the treasures in our lives are our families. Having things that belonged to or were precious to our parents is not important to us. A few little things is all either of us needs to take away. We reacted the same way when our dad died, 25 years ago this month. Bart was just 21, I was 27. There was no will, and not a single argument over who takes what. Not even discussion.
On the radio, Christmas songs. Right now is a song about a little boy wanting to buy special Christmas shoes for his Mama, who is going to meet Jesus tonight. Country music is full of dying Mama songs, and they break my heart all over every time.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Time, time time.....

I received the worst news possible today - my mother has advanced colon and liver cancer, and probably has only weeks left with us. Time, my enemy, is here again. I made immediate plans to fly to Utah for the duration, leaving this weekend. Whatever Time leaves me of her, I want like an angry child. My mother is my inspiration, my hero, she is everything. The greatest regret of my life has always been, and will remain, the fact that I am not like her, in any way. I've cried all day, at work - cried driving home - cried trying to tell my kids, cried when my husband assured me, Go and do not worry. I am alternately furious, and devastated. Heartbroken and grateful for the little Time has given. I can see this Time as a left-handed gift; we will have the chance to say the unsaid, remember the best and forget the rest. I want to have her voice on tape - what I wouldn't give to have my dad, or my grandmothers voices for my children and grands to hear. For me to hear on those worst of days.
(2 hours later.........)
Now after a series of phone calls, I know slightly more. I know that she does not understand how short her Time is. The reason I do is because she faxed me all the test results of what she's had done the past couple of weeks, and I speak that language. She has not yet met with her doctor about these results, so she is still waiting for interpretation. I could not tell her. She seems to know that she will not recover from this. She also asked me not to come yet - she has other people she wants to come visit, "While I still look and act like a human being" In a couple of weeks perhaps. She denies pain to me, but I know that to be something less than truthful. Actually, I recognise she is protecting me. She tells me she is eating well, and in the same breath admits to being down to 100 lbs. She is 5'6" tall. One of the reports describes her as "cachectic" which is medical terminology for cadaveric. Sunken, hollow-eyed and frail. Like the Aushwich survivors.
Tonight she is supposed to call my brother and tell him. I'll know if she does because he will immediately call me. He had no idea she was dealing with any health problems of any sort until I gave him a little heads-up this past weekend. I'm glad I did, so he will not be caught completely off guard.
Tonight is an Advent supper at church and I did not go, but DH did, and he will talk to our Pastor. I want prayers for her, for her comfort both physically and mentally, and for peace for her. I would also like prayers for myself because I need to be my strongest at the same time I want to howl and scream - "I want my Mother!!"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Lots of pics!

Lot's happening here suddenly. Like I just found out Christmas is in 20 days, and I haven't finished/started anything yet!! First up - the wallhanging I finished over the weekend. I did get both trees up - there's a peek of one to the right. More tree pics later!

There is a niche in the wall behind it that contains all my stereo equipment. (you can see a bit of it at the bottom) Very cool, but sort of looks like a black hole in the wall, and begs to be covered up. It's a perfect place to expirement, or get some color combination out of my system without a big commitment. It measures out at 26 x 66 - odd size, but what the hey! This one was designed in EQ and it looks just like my design, but somehow it doesn't jazz me like I thought it would.

I have small granddaughters, and small girls love to carry treasures everywhere they go. These little drawstring bags were designed to be hand-sewing bags, for your threads etc. and the pattern includes a pincushion in a fabric flower, that sits down inside. Without that, it's a cute little bag for little ladies. I have 4 to make, these and one in blue and another in an animal print. Everyone gets their favorite color. Animal print? Yes, Miranda is strongly into anything jungle animal print - lepoard, tiger, zebra. I'll put a few little fun things in each one, and maybe even a bit of candy. These only take an hour or so to whip up, and 4 FQs.

Finally, some fabric with a dreadful design I found for my son, the bouncer. It suits him perfectly, (I think he has some of these tattoos!) but, yikes, what on earth to do with it?? My first inclination is to use it as setting squares for some coordinating blocks.

My quilt room is going to be a busy place the next few weeks -- wish me luck! Nothing like procrastination, I always say -- LOL!! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 02, 2006

In the Mood

It's that time again - I start feeling all cozy and Christmasy. I made this star last year - it wasn't supposed to be a Christmas star, it was supposed to go with the somewhat muddy tones of the family roo. It's not nearly as bright as it photographs, and I've taken a dozen shots but it's always too bright. Oh well --
Guild meeting today had our white elephant gift exchange + a yard of nice fabric and I got some beautiful dark purpley-blue fossil fern. The potluck was fantastic, and seeing everyone in their Christmas duds was enough to make me ready to decorate. We've had the tree for a week, sitting outside in the cold in a wheelbarrow ful of water. So that's in and set up, and I got started but ran short of lights. This tree is a lot bigger than we've had before. I tend to go for the thinner trees, so as to not take up too much room. This one is really big and full, and left plenty of room in that big room, so what was I thinkin? I put two trees up, one old fashioned and a bit country in the family room, and in the living room a much more formal tree, all Victorian and over the top with ribbons and bows and shades of mauve and pink. Very lady-like.
By the way, I hold strong feelings about what to call this season. I refuse to accept this "Happy Holidays" junk -- it's Christs' birthday, (for all we know) and the phrase is "Merry Christmas" I'll say it over and over, and even correct people. I don't have any beef with my Jewish friends, and I'll send Happy Haunnaka to all of them; but happy holidays is a crock.
So from me to you --