Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Life's Pretty Things

By now you know that I work in an environment of high emotions. We all learn to deal with losing patients/friends in different ways and varying degrees of success. Unlike nurses in a hospital who see much death of strangers, we KNOW our patients. And their families, and their pets. We see them 3 days, 4 or 5 hours at a time, every week for years. Some of them many many years, and some only a short time.

We hear intimate details of their lives, we celebrate birthdays and Fridays with them and sit talking for long hours with their loving and overwhelmed families. And somehow, even though we lose the great majority of them, we all stay in this special practice.

Today while arm wrestling with the new computer program, I tried for the 5th time to print a report that would plot for me the number of treatments we've done in any given time period - in this case I wanted June '07. Somewhere in it's teeny pinhead, the program thought I must want every last patient who has ever walked through our doors -- all 273 of them.

Now, 73 of them are current patients, and that leaves 200 or so that have come and gone in the past 8 years. Some have happily received a transplant and gone on with their lives, some moved away. And 167 of them have passed away. The number stopped me cold and took my breath away.

I knew them all. Hugged and laughed with them. Threw confetti over them when they had a particularly excellent lab result after a hard month. Fixed their prescription problems, arranged for them to travel and dialyze along the way, and argued with their insurance companies.

And of those 167 souls, I cannot remember most of them.

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That thought is so disturbing I can hardly keep it in my head long enough to wrap my brain around it. How could I forget? How is it possible to remember the name and even the diagnosis, but not the eyes or the laugh? Some have left indelible impressions, good or bad, but so many are misty memories. It makes me sad, and it makes me need to touch my reality and look at my life and be sure I am seeing what I need to see. Paying attention. When I came home today I went out and took 54 pictures of parts of my life I love and make me feel good but I take for granted. I'm sharing a few of them with you because it occured to me that blogging fills part of my need for prettiness, by the sharing of your quilts and lives and your pretty things. It's not the THINGS that matter, it's the feelings they evoke, isn't it? And the people. Families, friends, patients, the church congregation and my favorite checker at the market. All the lives that have touched mine and all the lives I've touched. It's too daunting a concept to dwell on, and tomorrow I'll probably have to put it away and deal with immediate headaches. But every once in awhile I'll make a point of noticing.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Random is my middle name

I've been tagged by Julie over at Feeling Simply Quilty to name 7 random things about myself. Heck, everything about me is random! But here's my favorite facts of randomness:

1) I love to drink straight dill pickle juice. Out of the jar.

2) In one of my past lives I raced motorcycles, motocross racing in the days before girls had their own class. I raced with the boys and sometimes beat them!

3) In another past life I was a model for upscale department stores. ROFL - this one cracks me up! I have pictures so it must be so, but I can't imagine doing that now, even if I still had that body!

4) I have a metal plate screwed into my neck. This is to insure that I don't lose my head, cos I would if it weren't screwed on!

5) I have been married 4 times since age 16. Slow learner.

6) I cry every time I hear the National Anthem, and I'm a mess at the opening ceremonies of rodeos.

7) I only have a kitchen because it came with the house. Once those kids grew up, every culinary skill I ever tried to hone went right out the window.

I could go on and on, like I said I am all about random. The only thing connecting the current me to the past me is that I still have brown eyes - other than that, I'm reinvented about every 6 years or so. Gee thanks Julie! That was kind of fun! Now......who can I tag? Hmmm......I'll have to check around and see who hasn't been tagged yet. You?

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Dh called me at work today and interrupted a perfectly good madhouse with this: "Do you want to go see Paul Revere and the Raiders?"
Now, if you're a child of the 60's of a certain age, you well know who that is, and I bet you haven't thought about them in years! I sure hadn't. But all of a sudden it's 1967 and Mark Lindsay is plastered on my bedroom walls, and I spent the rest of the day humming "Kicks". The show is tonight, and guess what? Ol' Paul himself is still the wild and crazy front man, and you won't believe who their star singer is! It's Bill Medley's kid! I can't remember his name, but if he inherited anything like his old mans voice, then he can melt the upholstery right off the chairs.
Oh, am I going? Well, no. Turns out good old Chuck only had one ticket, and even tho it was a front row seat (!) it's no fun to go alone, and there were no more tickets available. But naturally I hit the web and checked out all the players - Mark's website, found an update on Fang and some current pictures of the group. So if Paul was in his 30's as I recall, in their heyday 40 years ago (yikes!) he has to be close to or over 70 and still going like a madman - and still has long flowing blonde hair, LOL! Ahhhh, nice little trip back in time.

(And it seems like kicks just keep gettin' harder to find......)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Who Loves Pincushions?

Go check out the pincushion swap -- sounds like fun!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Hairless Block

Hairless because this one made me pull all of mine out!!!

The idea is that everything in this block stays the same from block to block except what is red in this one and the neutrals used in the corners. Each block will have 2 shades of the same saturated color - red, blues, purples and greens, as the star points and the diamond. Figuring out the math on this about killed me - I'm a math moron, numerically dyslexic as it were, (ahem) . I wasted so much fabric, that I had to piece out the last 2 of the corner tan squares, and I started with a FQ of it!! So now I have it figured out and written down so the next ones hopefully won't take 2 days and a sheddin' comb. And why would I tackle something that makes me crazy? Well, I hate HATE HATE making flying geese and avoid it like plague. Mine are always wonky. The best way to get past that is to do lots and lots of them, right? (sigh) I tried the method of starting with a big square and using 4 smaller squares and that has worked well so far. If I stick with it I should have it down by the time this king-sized quilt is done!
Or I'll be talkin' to Britneys' hairdresser...........

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's a BOY!!

Yippeee!! -- Jayden Daniel made his appearence today at 1:55 pm, weighing in at 7lbs, 10 oz and 21 inches long.

It was a remarkably calm birth - Mom Sandra went without any pain meds, no epidural, and barely made a squeak. She was composed and serene and stayed collected and just blew all the nurses away. Grandmas too -- we were amazed and happy. Daddy Dan didn't cry - that was just something that got in his eye. (wink) All went well and everyone is sooo happy!
And now I'm going to take a nap -- I'm too old for this stuff!!! (LOL - wouldn't have missed it for anything)
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007


For a week without much sewing, maybe 15 minutes here and there, I actually did get something accomplished. This is an expirement for me - colors totally out of my comfort zone. I'm a hot red/orange/yellow -and-all-colors-that-jump-at-you kinda gal. But one should never lock oneself into a corner, so once in awhile I color outside the lines.
I also believe why use 4 fabrics when 144 will do? But, I liked the graphic-ness of it. Every once in awhile I get the urge to do a 4 color quilt, heck, maybe I'll even finish it and call it a floor quilt for the new baby boys who will be here soon. I also finished off that Blah-Blah Baby Quilt and got it bound, labeled and boxed. Shoot -- the binding is the best part! It's all pieced, and you can't tell where I joined the ends, so I'm satisfied with that.
Now - the back is a bit better so I can get on with my next project!!! And quite contrary to what I just told you - this one will be electric blue, black and white.
Go figure!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

It's Rainin' Babies!

We're in the final stretch now, and it's baby shower time! I've been smokin' the Janome to get all these baby quilts ready, and my little dim bulb went off during one of them. It seems like I always battle the binding when it's time to turn it back to blind stitch. The Quilting Fairy landed on my shoulder and whispered sweetly, "So press it back, stupid!!!

OK, so I'm a slow learner and everyone else already knew this little trick - but it sure tickles me!! The first shower was last weekend for baby Jayden Daniel whose parents are Sandra and (my DS#2) Dan, below.
She squeals - "Don't take a profile!" but you know, she'll forget, and this will be one she loves. Years from now! I got one shot of Sandra reading the label of one of the quilts, but somehow I didn't get a picture of the other quilt. You can see a tiny bit of it across the knee of someone in the lower right hand corner.
As she unwrapped them, my son was practically dancing -- "Look at the label! Look at the label!!" LOL!! He knows about labels, she didn't; and they made her cry. Me too.
Despite my deadlines, (next shower is next weekend for GS#2) I didn't get any sewing done this week. Something dreadful happened to my lower back and ruined my week - and maybe next week too. I have renewed respect for everyone who lives with this all the time. It's a first for me, this not being able to walk thing. Lousy --- So x-rays, MRI and a trip to the neurosurgeon are about all that's happening here. And watching my ceiling fan go round and round. Grumble grumble.
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Friday, June 01, 2007

Babies, Moms and Donkeys

Have you ever made a quilt you just plain did not like? I mean from the get-go, from fabric purchase? I did one this week:

This is for my DGS who will be born in August, the same little guy whose parents went along on the Utah trip. Mom loves soft, quiet, no-contrast colors so I went specifically looking for those types for a quilt for her first baby.
I hate it. To me, the colors are blaaah and the lack of contrast booooring. (the picture seems to be a bit more saturated than the actual fabrics) It looks like the type of "comforter" you'd buy at Sears for $19.99. I have to keep telling myself it's not for me, I may never even see it again. When you make a gift, whose tastes should be involved, anyway? Do you bestow a gift quilt in your favorite colors or the recipients? Do you even ask? **sigh** You can see a tiny bit of the border at the top: it's a nondescript plain solid beige. Goes perfectly with the other colors. I want to get it wrapped up quick.
In more interesting ideas, I've followed Ami Simms Alzheimer's project from it's inception, and was finally inspired to try my hand at a little quilt that represents my take on Altzeimers.

Against a sunny, light and happy past, are the shadows of loved ones we've lost to this horrid disease. My grandmother left us 10 years before she passed away, and her final years made me constantly think of Shadow People. This is still an idea in the making, I don't know where or how it will end up. Maybe I just need to make it for me.

I introduced you all to my darlin' donkey Paco several months back. We adopted him as a wild child from the BLM 5 years ago. He was born wild and was wild when we brought him home. He's super smart, so it didn't take me long to convince him that we're family; now he'd sit in my lap if I'd let him! He will let me walk up to him when he's lying down, and I can sit down and relax on him - he won't move a muscle, but I think he purrs.
He's been broke to halter since the beginning, but I never got around to training him to ride. DH's oldest granddaughter Devyn decided she wanted to ride him so she spent a couple days walking him around with a saddle on, and the other evening she hopped on!
I was sitting in the patio sewing on binding when she yelled for me to look - amazing! He never turned an ear, in fact in this picture he's got his eyes nearly closed! Now, this is not to say he moved around a lot - he took maybe a dozen steps when I went out there and called him to me, but he wasn't too concerned about someone on his back. We had a fun evening playing, and he loved every minute.

Another Utah pic, or maybe I should say Mom pic. We went to Bryce canyon and she spent a long while gazing out over the miles. I could only suppose what might be going thru her mind. When she finally turned around, all she said was "Puts you in your place in this world, doesn't it?" This might be one of my favorite pictures of her even though we can't see her face.
And yes, it certainly puts you in your place.

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