Friday, June 16, 2017

Art...it is all about Art...Saving the Day

Working on this piece with color and fabric..
Peace for me...sewing along.
Textile art...saving my day.
 My girl refuses her picture...But I so wanted to show you how beautiful she is.
See...I am jealous..She is 34..full of energy and music and love.
I am an Emily wannabee.
Last year for Christmas I asked God to make me a bit younger..but, oh, no
he couldn't be bothered...sigh.
I am struggling with my lack of beauty and my lack of energy and my chunky thighs....already
worrying about my  upcoming birthday in December.
Just  like me..getting that worry on..early..
See grief still visits me.
My love is gone..
There are folks who have decided that Mrs. O'Quilts needs mental health intervention.
Really...Do they walk in my shoes???
My darlings are at the beach with their aunt.
My girl is here..is that not better than Prozac?????
If I were African...or Mediterranean... or ...Latin...would I need Prozac???

No, it is because I am an American WASP that I need to shut it up and stuff my grief.
Wahoo...am I now out there...not new for me.
The wind beneath my wings is gone.
My love affair of 34 years is so over...
Do I not have a right to be bereft....even though it is 
2 years and 2 months exactly today???
Let me tell you grief is normal..and there is no timeline..

My Stephanie, our nanny, lost her son to a gang 25 years ago..He was shot point blank at age 15.
Does she still have a right to spend a weekend in bed crying if she wants.
I need my mother, my husband and my grandmother..all clear minded till the end.
I miss them so.
I am so not ready to be the family matriarch...Oh, well....here it is...
My son is now homeless again shooting Heroin.
And, every night I wonder...is this going to be the night that the police come to tell me that my dear son has overdosed..
If this is not your life.....please.....

I finished the CEU's for my license today at Dilworth Chemical Dependency Center.
The speaker was awesome.
He said that the number one cause of death of youth now is not auto accidents, or guns.
It is overdoses.

People mean well.
Let me tell you what I need.
A hug and a whisper...that I will be OK.

Oh, Dear...Dear me...Mrs. O'Quilts is ranting today.
Today, my girl is all I need...I am so grateful.
A cuddle with my girl, some vino tinto and a few laughs.
xoxoxo

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mamacita Turns 100 . We Love her so...

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you.
100 years old, Dear Margaret...
16 years or so in our quilting group...
We love you so.
Your sense of humor, your wisdom..your love
 Cheers...with champagne
 Apron made with love from her daughter Muggs.
 

 Proud daughters Muggs and MaryPat
 I cannot sleep now after such an exciting evening.
Gotta sew for a bit...to calm down.
Working on a border or two..
OMG it is way past midnight.
Seven hours more and my staycation will start with my girl.
Now, I really cannot sleep.
 Way too excited. She is coming from Portland on an all- nighter.
I think that my Republican friends were mad at me for deciding to unfriend them during the election.
It was maybe a bit extreme...I was under huge stressors here...and I needed so much my serenity.
Sorry to offend..it did not mean I did not  love you...I do.
I was just trying to get a grip here..
Please forgive.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Vim and Vinegar

Messing around with blocks...maybe a baby quilt?
 At my second quilter estate sale. (it is sadly, an age thing....)  .I got this..
.Thank you Eithne..
My second Little Blue...my favorite travel machine.
 (Kenmore 3/4 machine) not made anymore.
"NO" is just  not a quilty kind of word.
This one looks like it has not even been used.
 Online at Walmart...another perfect carrying case...
Now I have two..at $17,99 for each machine... I could not go wrong.
I love my stuff!
 It has so  many pockets for a travelling quilter....love
15 inches wide is perfect for this machine.
Rules on having fun...gather together 10 quilters who have been together for 16 years on a Wednesday night...Throw scraps from the estate sale on the table.
Grab and share and laugh and collect.

She came again to visit....  
Poor Pitiful Pearl
I try to be patient with her because I  know that what a grieving person needs most ...is good people to listen without judgement and without advice...a safe place to talk.
So, I have always kindly listened....Pearl has a dead husband, a dead mother, a kid who is a  junkie...back out on the streets...Pearl hurts and she has no friends..  The friends she does have do not love her...She is even crazy about Oreos, just like me.

This time was different!!!!

For today is the very last day of my asthma STEROID treatment.
I still have enough of my vim and vinegar left from them....so so so....
I took a step back, using my new bionic arm, I slapped that visitor into kingdom come...
She does not even know what hit her.  She sees stars.

I stood up, pridefully brushed myself off and planned a happy vacation for myself.
Actually a stay-cation..I have a four day weekend coming  up with no children..
Since my joints will  not let me travel far, I am bringing far to me!!
MY GIRL is coming to visit.  We split the air fare...
Just Mommy and Me...I cannot wait.
What a life....with joy coming from Portland.

Did I ever tell you how much I love Ann Lamott??
Ann Lamott 12 Things I Learned in Life, etc on TED
Some of my favorite quotes here...

More love here on the last day of school...
More love than I ever could  have imagined.
Rising third grader!
Rising second grader planting for Grandma...work ethic just like his daddy.
And the rising 7th grader??  Off to a sleepover with his friends.!
As it should be.
House all ready for my widow group 1/2 way to December party.
Just in case I do not make it that far...lol
Here...celebrating friendship...from Norie...
My favorite flowers.
Thank you
And thank you to Angie..for so much priceless help with my sad and nasty grief.
...xoxo

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Wear Lipstick

Found some half made blocks...so fun to play around with... blocks...., I mean..
And...with color..

 The best reason for a stash...found this adorable backing...
Called "Colors of the Wind" George Mendoza.
I must have got it online with a huge discount, since there was 4 yards of it.
Perfect for the backing of yesterdays finished quilt top .
And, I had it on hand...

School is coming to a close....Three more days..
Pajama days, game days, nothing but fun for the last few days.
The big chill around here...everyone is just hanging out.
I am trying not to whine so much on this blog..
I just never knew how the loss of Mr. O'Quilts would
fracture the foundation of my very being.
If sad.....
My mother said:
Do something kind for someone else.
My man said:
Just go sew.
My mother said:
Wear lipstick!!!!!!!!
xoxox

ps  Guess what??
  I can use my new shoulder to place fabric all the way up high on my design wall..with no pain...
Wahoo...

Monday, June 5, 2017

First the Bee Sting, then the Honey

Welcome to our home:


A rough two weeks of stress has landed me in the hot seat of an acute bout of asthmatic bronchitis.
Busying myself in the business of others, not staying in the day, not practicing self-care and not listening to the wisdom of my dear man...when he said, "just go sew".....
Our wedding anniversary and the month of May...not Merry...
Add steroids and... Mrs. O'Quilts fell right off the mountain.
Lucky for me, I landed on a ledge, sustaining just a crack.
Whew...that crack has been repaired and I am better than ever before.
Who, may I ask, likes to learn the hard way???

That's enough....I am better today...!! Look what I finished..
Still cannot quilt until middle July...but so happy to have a finished top..
HSTs from a layer cake.
 I thought this last potholder Evan made for his 6th grade PE teacher was adorable.
Evan did all the sewing on his potholders.  I chose the fabric and as time ran out, I did the bindings..
They are all done.
 backing.
Lynsey and Dylan finished off their school counselor potholders..
 

And look who is all ready for field day in 2nd grade??
The light is shining...the evening ending well.
I am better...So happy.
Thanks to all of you who missed me.
xxoo

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Quilting, Therapy, Friendship

This post really should be read backwards...first the wave of grief...now recuperation...
Evan  loves every single one of his teachers in 6th grade...of course he did get a bit lazy this past semester and his grades reflect it...However, thank you is important in the O'Quilts abode...thus:
He made these potholders to order for each teacher.
We looked at their websites and found their favorite teams, etc.
Time is of an essence with two weeks left, so I told him I would bind them for him
 My friends went to the beach.
Their present to me:
And I have not even known them that long!!!!

I am reading, A Widow's Memoir,  by Joyce Carol Oates. 
 I love it.  I hate it.  I cannot wait for the book to finish.  I cannot leave the book unread.
I should be reading fluff...My mood is reflecting Widow book number 14 for me and
the month of May being, ALS support month.
I am sleeping and sleeping..
Then I sit outside under the tree reading and nodding off.
My favorite place to read and obsess about my mortality
is at the top of the wheelchair ramp that friends built for my man.
Somehow it is comforting...with its view of our entire back yard.
Like JCO says, spring has come without him....again.
 As I let my mind go to where it should not, my dear brother calls me.
He worries about me and I worry about him.
He told me...as often he does, that I should think of being happy, since in his eyes, I have so much.
He then said that in Miami, they had, for 10 years a washing machine that my mother shipped from Arizona when she moved to Charlotte.  Raymond asked for this old washing machine when Mom moved to Assisted Living.  They put it into an old wagon hitched to their van..It went from Charlotte to their kitchen in the apartment in Miami Beach, They plugged it into an outside outlet, out the two story window and enjoyed a washing machine of their own for ten years. Running down the stairs to plug it in whenever they needed to wash.
Now, he said, they must bring their clothes from their van to the laundromat.  
He figured that I did not have to do that.
He also figured that in spite of his BA degree and working two jobs between them, they still cannot afford an apartment in the New Jersey area.  So they live in their van.
He remembered that I had a big paid off house.
Although the rage of grief calls no logic and no control.
I told  him that I so needed and appreciated his phone call  xxoo
This weekend is quicksand.

Then, comes my friend Norie...with the link to the  sewing machine on the tractor!!!
Sewing machine on the tractor
Much needed fun...Thank you Norie.

The waves of the ocean come in and go out...a wave crashes, knocking me down.
It is such a pity that Mr. O'Quilts living in my heart just has to be enough. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

ALS

I am in such despair during the month of May

No automatic alt text available.

How do I cope??
In crazy ways..

Help needed:
Last night I ate the rest of the children's Oreo mint cookies.
I asked Aunt Brandy to buy them more ...sending money.
Cuz...if I do...guess what will happen....??
I have so turned into my mother.

Help needed:
I had a picture  of a woman quilting on a tractor.
I had a picture of a woman quilting with her tiny machine on the glove compartment
cover of a car.  I want to re-post these but cannot find them...Will you send them to me
if  you find them?  thx

Friends...thank  you for hanging with me..
Joyce Carol Oates....reflecting on the passing of her husband.
The only thing that you can expect of yourself during the first year of grief.
Is to be able to say that you lived....you are still alive.
Amen.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

News You Can Use...or Not...Stories Galore....

When Mrs. O'Quilts feels sad and blue and misses Himself...
Friends pop out of the woodwork!!
Terri Feehan....
Quilted three of my quilts cuz she is my friend and she knows I cannot use my shoulder to quilt until July.  She is an awesome longarmer...I am so grateful
These quilts had been sitting around forever.

backing for above quilt


She also makes cool necklaces from lacy yarn.  She gave me a turquoise one for Christmas,
That of course was not enough...I asked for a red one too.
LOVE

My girl called today..
She was on her way to to the Bear Canister.
Of course Mommy thought that that was the name of a bar or cafe
No, no Mommy...My girl and her man are going camping this weekend
to the Olympia Peninsula...?  I think!!
And the bear canister was for their food in bear country!
OMG  Something else to worry about..
Eaten by a bear...No No..I have enough...already!

                    This is the best one ever, IMHO                       
Jean  brought show and tell...two UFO quilts she was working on.

 Yesterday's news....
Bravo my darlings.
Steph was sick at home.
Asthma and fatigue were visiting me..
Evan trying like mad to make up a semester of middle school..in one week.
The kids got it together..
Evan took them into the grocery store while I sat in my car by the curb.
They  ordered one large sub...Evan had the man cut  it into 3 pieces.
They bought two ice creams for $6..they checked out with my VIC card number.
They did not fight.
They co-operated on choices.
Bravo.
Once at home they told Grandma to chill, that they had it together.
Evan put up a table in the bonus room for their dinner.
The boys did video games, Lynsey watched TV.
No homework tonight as EOGs start manana
All was well..actually...all was just perfect in the O;Quilts household.
Grandma sooo proud.

Stopped in at Lowe's...to visit their "distressed " plant trolleys...McMullen Creek.
 There were three aisles..$1 and $3 and $5
I loaded up on the $1 when a lady shopping told me:
The sale today is...$5 a cart..all prices included...OMG
These two tables full of treats all for 5$
I just have to cut off the dead leaves..
So fun.   My son and I had a lovely lunch today.
He is so delightful when he is clean.
He did some yard work for me.
A very  happy O'Quilts day!!





Monday, May 22, 2017

In the Heat of the Night

Here we go on a random top.
I kind of hate it, but I will put it together.
I have found that what I hate today, tomorrow may be just fine.

When Cousin Ann visited last month, she brought me a set of teas for sampling.
I love the Queen Ann one...lol
Guess Cousin Ann would have known that!!!
Poor Evan is learning the lesson of...when folks are good to us...we say " thank you".
He is also perfecting his sewing.
Potholder time.
I am giving him a break...I will sew the bindings down.
Here we have one for the school nurse and for a teacher who is a Tar Heel fan.
 My antique treasure from Cheraw...now hanging in my living room
Stephanie hung it.. I did not have the guts to tell her that it had to come down for a tube.
The clips are pulling at the edge.
I understand it is Old Maid's Puzzle.
Today was a great sewing day with Ms Sherry and friends..out to lunch too.
Tomorrow I am going to the pool.
Tomorrow I would like to take off the entire 50 pounds of widow weight.
I would... I really would...I could really get into the magic thing..
But, like I tell my son....50 miles into the woods, means 50 miles out of the woods.....
to get better.
Sigh.
Good night.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Personal Rant...and a Personal Purse

Good news...I just ordered fabric on Amazon Prime and it came with no shipping.
Saved me $4.95.  It is cuz fabric.com is owned by Amazon..
Wahoo

My new purse on the right.
My wonderful purse on the left
It is all the fault of my friends.
They carry my big purse when I use my cane
I am unstable with my shoulder and my hip.
OMG
They made me do it. Now:
How in the world will this little purse hold...
My wallet, my camera, my phone, my pills, children's dirty socks, tooth brushes..(.cuz kids hate to brush their teeth), my diet coke,  my husband's death certificate, my sunglasses, my hand sewing,
my pretzels, my change purse......HOW????
Ha Ha Mother....Thank u... I am indeed re-framing...the getting old bit...
To being grateful that I lived so long...
And.....
I just might say....that I am pretty proud of myself.
I gotta put this out there for me to read again and again.
in the day to day work, I often forget.
In the past 3.5 years that I have been raising my grands...
(while their granddaddy was paralyzed in the hospital bed, in the bonus room,  dying of ALS)
And their great grandma broke her  neck..
and I had three surgeries in 9 months...
and their parents were struggling with the chronic relapse disease of addiction.

.I..set the stage for stability
that the children never had  before.
They are stable in their schools.
They have neighborhood friends.
They have a big back yard to play in.and a creek behind the house
A super duper tree house to remember Granddaddy by.
They have rooms of their own
A nanny that they love, who teaches them to do chores and helps the littles with their homework.
They have me...they have always had me..to love them and care for them
.through all the turmoil and grief.
They have black belts in Karate
They have teachers who understand and love them.
Teachers who go the second mile.in the best school districts.
They have this grandma who knows how to advocate in the school system
because she did it in her practice and she did it with her son.
Especially with their AD/HD issues and their emotional damage from the past.
They have access to both parents,whom they love.
They  have an Aunt Brandy who believes in raising cousins together. Aunt Brandy always goes above and beyond for these children.
They have Camp Mindy for the summer...3rd year..consistency. Thanks to the J.
They have Aunt Charmaine and Aunt Emily who love them and teach them different things.
They are very lucky children to have such consistency and love from so many people.
The 7 year old  has lived half his life with me.
And, they are not separated in DSS custody.
All with no child support from either parent.
I just have to put this out there because sometimes the grief for Mr. O'Quilts distorts my view.
I think I should be doing more.
And, sometimes I feel totally unappreciated.
I am grateful.
Very grateful..

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Sad Day Made Glad

By the way, did  you know that I had a lot on my plate??
Did you know that I can hardly walk cuz my hip is gone ..
Another replacement probably in August.
I so feel sorry for myself today..
No dear man, no dear retirement..
BUT.....I have a dear girl and a wonderful
Mother's Day present arrived today.
A handmade Portland basket for my sewing trinkets!!
How did she  know that vino tinto was her mother's thing..
Made in Portland , she says!
I am one lucky mother
Thank you dear girl..you make me so happy.
Tuesday is senior day at Goodwill.
Here it is 25% off
I went there to buy my son a few t-shirts and shorts for the hot weather.
 What else did I find, in a size this woman will never ever see again!!
It is...was...such a cutie
Already re-purposed...it is my midnight specialty....

Everyone wants me to be doing well.
Certainly I have  improved tremendously..
And of course, the grands are flourishing.

Today I missed my man.
Asthma and arthritis made me do it.
The hole in my heart is deep.

I have been struggling through the month of May
There are at least 10 triggers
It is worst than Christmas.
Down to the depths of despair..
That crazy roller coaster of grief climbs up once again.
I need my dear man back here with me. Right now..
The knife stays lodged in my heart. .His journey and my journey
Not our journey any more..

Stress...Trying not to grow my old tummy larger with donut self-medication
(that one is for Herb!!!)
The midnight hour knows that tomorrow will come my attitude adjustment
as the sun rises over my bottle tree and the bluebird sings for me.
xo