Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
I'm learning to live with my feelings not overwhelming me all the time. Life is not so bad, it's just different and I guess I have to live with that. Or maybe a better way to put it is to live with it at peace. I've been very angry and sad for so long. Like a great heavy thing to carry around daily. The weight seems less now and I work at not being angry & sad daily.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Time to stop crying and get busy living.
Hey! It's almost Christmas!!
I've decided that I need a little of that.
For the past few days I have been trying to shake off the remnants of the flu. All I can say about the flu is WOW. Didn't know the body could do that. Not pretty at all. When the sight of food on the Food Network makes you nauseated you know it's bad.
Before the on-set of the flu last week we had a visit from the Architect who will be drawing up the design for our house construction. It was exciting and a lot of fun to watch James & Dani talking about their wishes and desires for their home. BIL Bob put in his needs and wants-new bathroom suite and bedroom re-design in the old wing of the house to include a sitting room/office area. The decision to totally destroy the killer staircase in the old house. My Late FIL Jim built that part of the house and as much as I loved him...he had no instinct for design. He was an engineer in aerospace development. Aesthetics...not so much. Never has there been such a steep, narrow dark staircase. Still, his good original bones of a house will be a good base.
All of the things that need attention in my world are cosmetic. New floors and appliances-full paint job, new oven and vent hood and after the financial dust settles, a slightly larger kitchen and desk/computer area. That can wait till we see how far our shekels will take us.
Right now, the most important part is to get the kids into a house and out of their shockingly expensive, massively overpriced apartment. In order to accomplish that we need to make Bob a nice new space. He is of the opinion that he does not want to negotiate stairs anymore so his suite will be on the lower level and privately accessible. Since Bob loves to sit on the porch we will build him a new one. The one he has now sits where the new part of Dani & James house will be. I'm waiting, not too patiently, to see what the architect has in mind.
Today is Lucy day..woohoo. That will keep me busy.
Also in breaking news-two beautiful babies were born in the last two weeks. A nephew for me and a baby girl for my hair dresser Diane. The quilt made from Whimsy fabric has finally gone to it's new home.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Do the dishes
Clean the kitchen, load the dishwasher
The phone rings
In a moment life changes forever in all the worst ways possible.
Your life disappears before your eyes
The love of your life remains only in photos that tug at the heart
Silence is less than golden It is, in fact, frozen and icy
Everything you believed about your life ends with the electronic drone of a machine that counts breath and heartbeats.
You find yourself awash in space
Your bed is enormous, yet you only fill up half.
Half the pillows still can't muffle the cries "Can you still hear me?" "Please God, let him hear me?"
You think of all those guilty moments you had wished for more personal time. More of that illusive peace and quiet. Both are a blessing and a curse.
You have two of so many things.
Cars, clothes, shoes, papers, magazines, the list goes on.
Friends watch you become someone else. Changed forever.
Things that seemed so important all pale.
All of the issues of so-called importance lay at your feet in printed words that neither move or excite the passion they once stirred.
For now nothing matters
Nothing really brings smiles but once in a while the sudden loud outburst of laughter at some TV dialog makes the room ring reminding you of how very empty a space it is. You are guilty of surviving.
People remind you about time healing things.
All it reminds you of is that nothing will ever be the same.
No warm embrace
Big arms will not warm this frozen heart again
Tears may stop
Time will pass
Memories will fade until the sharp intake of breath comes at remembering those private, funny, gentle hours.
No one will ever look at you like that again.
The absence of this love is forever
Drag yourself through the year from one event to the next
Grateful for the remaining family diversions and distractions.
At the end of it, you must find a way out of this fog
Hold on to what is left
Remember what is lost
Pray for inspiration that lasts more than an hour at a time
Try to save the day for yourself
Make a new life
Saturday, November 26, 2011
6-8 slices thick cut bacon cut across grain into diced pieces
1 large onion- diced medium
1 cup celery - dice medium
4-5 medium potatoes cubed. I use Yukon Gold or red bliss-they hold their shape and don't get too mushy.
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1-32 oz. Kitchen Basics chicken stock (no salt)or a good strong stock you made.
1 small can cream of chicken soup
2 good handfuls of grated cheddar-I use 4 cheese Mexican by Sargento just because I have it on hand from enchiladas.
4 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup milk or fat free half and half(I like the half & half)
salt and pepper to taste
In a dutch oven cook the bacon on med. high slowly until it's very crisp and rendered. Spoon out to drain on paper towels. Leave about two tablespoons of the bacon fat and throw in the onion and celery until tender.
Add the potatoes and saute them a little with the veg. in the bacon fat 5-10 minutes keep stirring.
Add the entire container of chicken stock and the can of cream of chicken.
If you find the potatoes are not fully covered add a bit of water or more chicken stock. Stir well and let simmer till the potatoes are fork tender.
In a bowl mix the sour cream and half&half till creamy-add to pot and stir. Taste for seasoning. If the soup seems too thin-make a little roux with the broth and flour and whisk into pot. Cook a few minutes longer to cook the flour.
Throw in two good handfulls of shredded cheddar and stir into soup until everything is nicely blended. Last thing before serving throw in bacon pieces and parsley-stir and serve.
As with many of these chowder dishes, they taste even better the day after.
Hope you enjoy Christine! Sorry I didn't see your comment sooner.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I am the lucky recipient of this beautiful Madonna piece from my good friend Debra. I cannot seem to take a decent picture lately so I hope you can get an idea of how lovely it is. Here is a better shot on Debra's blog http://debraspincicdesignstudio.blogspot.com/search/label/Madonna%20Quilts-Small
It will be on the wall keeping the "Dear Mother" Madonna I got earlier in the year company. She puts so much work into these wonderful quilts. I'm sorry the detail isn't better. Lovely lace bits and pretty buttons surround the image and great emboidery frames the image itself. Thanks Debra. I treasure both these Madonnas and I think the best thing for me to do to preserve them better is to have them framed. Otherwise I see them getting too dusty with time and that would be a shame. If you haven't seen Debra's work-make time and enjoy . Along with being a generous person, she is sublimely talented and as busy as a bee. I first discovered her work when I was looking for Madonna images and quite by accident came across her blog. Back then I couldn't imagine being fortunate enough to have any of her work. Now I have two!!
I'm going to finish up a couple of things for the Food Pantry and them head to the machine. It's a lovely sunny day here but all I can see right now is my super dirty windows...Long past time for a good cleaning. Maybe this time I should hire someone.
Talk to you soon.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I don't know what's going on with blogger but I'm losing my patience. No matter how I design the page to look it re-sets everything with huge blank spaces and I can't seem to figure out how to stop it. Sorry for the way these posts are laid out but it just does it's own thing and becomes very very frustrating
Here's Lucy wondering what there is to stop and fool around with when a walk is calling.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Monday, November 07, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Please add to your post today about the Quilt Drive that I will gladly machine quilt any tops that are sent my way. I know that alot of people would contribute to these kinds of causes more but the machine quilting holds them back. They can dig out some old UFOs and I can use those. I have plenty of fabric or sheets for backing, no problem.
If they will send me the top, binding enough to finish it and $5 for batting, etc. I will finish the tops into quilts and send them to the Basic Housing address. I'll get a box started and send a load at once. I have a few here I can save & send.
On another note, my 1000 Pyramids quilt I made for the Golden Retriever Rescue Fundraiser auctioned last night for $525. A man bought it for his mother for Christmas. Nice man, eh?
A better friend you can't imagine. Debra does a lot of donation work. We met through the Quilts of Valor program and that's only one of the many good works that she has had a hand in. I sent her offer to Victoria, who I think may be away for the weekend so I'll probably hear from her later. I'll keep you posted or check with Victoria at Bumble Beans for information and an address for Debra. It's a generous offer from Debra who will quilt and send your donation to Basics for you.
I'll talk to you soon...
Friday, October 07, 2011
My friend Victoria, of Bumble Beans Blog has been working her fingers to the bone for a while now on a project that means a lot to her as well as the many families in NY who are in temporary housing through a group called Basics Inc.. Please take a moment to go to her Basics site by clicking on the blog above and, if you can, help with a donation of a quilt. All the info is on the link and on her site there are some very simple ideas for a fast and easy quilt of any size. They need all kinds and sizes. It's a project that began with a simple question from Victoria to the man in charge of this group. She asked if they could use some quilts and how many. He responded by asking if she had 700. So far I think she has gathered and and made around 300. Winter is coming and they need many more. Go see what she's up to. That woman can work faster than anyone I know.
And now, for some Lucy...
I know it's not Thursday but this post never made it past being saved and now it's Sunday morning.
As you know, if it's Thursday-it's all Lucy. We have a contest to see who can out smart the other and I'm sorry to say that Lucy has been winning lately. I have to scan the room really well to imagine how little furry paws and jaws will find various fun things to run and hide with and eventually tear to shreds. How can something so cute be so shreddy!! Those beautiful little white teeth are like razors. She loves to screw with your mind as well. It's the challenge of the game. She knows that I can't run that fast and her funny , short, little paws try hard to gain a pawhold on the wood floor to make a getaway. Very funny pup.
On another note, I will be away from the blog for a few days but I should be back to blogging again by the 12th. Nothing serious, just some work that needs doing. Hope you take a moment to look at Victoria's blog. It's a good cause and a great comfort for families who are trying to get a new start in life. Food, shelter, and comfort. Sounds simple but it isn't always that easy.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
I tried to post yesterday. Really I did. Stop laughing back there. There are gremlins afoot. It's either Blogger, our server, or some mystical thing that has to do with sunspots. I'm giving it another go.
About a week or ten days ago I got an e-mail from our cable company. Normally I don't complain much about cable since they really are pretty good and certainly very fast as they claim. (Lets discuss how crappy digital tv is someday though.You know, the constant freezing of the screen and the efforts to sync it back up that take just enough time to lose half a program) But I digress, they stated that there was work being done and we could experience problems with the server. They also said that in an effort try and not screw with us too much, work would be done mostly between the hours of midnight and 6 am. That works for me. I have a Kindle, the answer to all technology problems in my world so I'm prepared. Besides, if I'm on the Internet at those times you can be fairly certain that I'm having a serious problem since I am distantly related to Rip VanWinklezzzzzzzz.
Then I saw an article in, I think, the Times regarding the major solar flares that are due to cause us to run screaming from our electronic hardware in the next months. As a side note, you may remember that Roger worked in science as his job for 35 years. One of his favorite answers, as well as many of his colleagues in the community, to the question of why some piece of technology wouldn't work was...sunspots. Once when I couldn't get the TV to work and nothing went right he looked at me with a very serious face and said...sunspots. It became our personal mantra for everything that goes bump in the night, to why my cake fell apart or the car made a funny noise. I really miss that sense of humor of his so much.
I'm beginning to think that this is how the world will end. Sunspots will drive humanity insane and we will all perish in the onslaught from having to do without our electronic stuff.
For instance, I just found a photo of some shoes I bought from Land's End. Nice Suede Penny loafers. The photo somehow deleted itself or I would show you how cute and preppy my little loafers are. Hate to admit it but I'm the last, sad, aging preppy around. I don't like bling, or blouses that are covered in sequins and stuff and if you could see my closet(heaven forbid) you would find the worlds largest collection of chinos and linen shirts. I spent a good part of yesterday looking for some clothing to wear in NC next week. I came home with three things and one doesn't fit right. There are beautiful sweater sets and tweed sweaters in the stores but frankly, there would have to be a major change in NC weather for me to need a sweater in October. It's still in the 70s here for the rest of the week. So I guess I'll take my nice linen stuff and hope there is an iron in the room. Linen always looks like you just got out of bed midday but I like to start out crisp. Wish I could iron my face.
Just in case you couldn't imagine this post getting any more boring...I spent the morning interviewing families for the Adopt-a-Family Christmas program. Specific wants and needs for each family are our goal so lists must be gathered and sizes etc. so that the various churches in our community and ask people to help and know that they will have a guideline to help the givers.
So good people of Bloglandia, that's where my morning and some of the afternoon went. Now I have laundry and some clean-up to do and then...praise the heavens...I can maybe get to the machine and work on the crosses above. I'm still trying to get back to doing something with them after months. That is if I don't run into any more sunspots.
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
I turned off the comments till next week but thanks for the e-mails checking up on me.
Back next week.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
The lawyer who has so kindly taken on my immigration case thought he had pretty much seen everything. That is until he met me yesterday in his local office. The office is is a town not too far from me and in large Hispanic area. I found myself opening the door to a scene kind of like something you might see in a movie. It was such a wonderful experience. A very small waiting area filled with people speaking one of the most beautiful languages in the world, Spanish.I have had a number of years of Spanish and many of the people who come to the Pantry are Hispanic so I'm used to helping people with their English. This place was such an experience. The many dialects and the lilting sounds of women as opposed to the more defined and sharper sounds of the men. I could have sat there all day just to hear more. When I opened the door 2 of the women who were waiting stopped talking and actually welcomed me to sit next to them by moving their papers and handbags. I seriously think they wanted to get a closer look at the gringa grandma with blond hair, blue eyes and find out what on earth I was doing there. One of the secretaries came to take my info and kept saying my name and asking me if I was there regarding immigration??? Are you sure??? Who recommended you to this office. I asked her to speak in private for a moment because there is nothing further from my personality than to expect to be treated like someone special because my friend is a major political guy in the area. All I asked him to do was to recommend someone who would know what they were doing with immigration law. My friend had made a personal call to the lawyer and called in a favor. That was not known to me until the end of our meeting.
At any rate, I handed him all the paperwork pertaining to my birth and history which included very fragile papers from 1948 and he became very excited by the fact that I had an antique green card. Apparently, such things have not been in use since the dark ages. He called all the lawyers in to his office to show them what one looked like. To boil it all down to less than a novella, my father was an American soldier during the war so it automatically makes me a citizen. I have the records of that birth and several other papers from Germany that make clear those facts. There is a notarized letter from my mother giving the details of my life from the beginning. Anyway, after much discussion it was decided that the best way to proceed would be to apply for a passport. While the passport people are throwing up their hands and screaming. the lawyer will have the German documents translated so that when the passport office send them back to the lawyer we can proceed from there. There is no point sending them the German papers now since they will just be annoyed and not know how to read them. So I'm looking at about 8 weeks till they start asking for additional info.
The best and most amazing part of the day came when I was waiting for something to finish printing and he asked me what I do. I explained that for the past 13 years I have partnered with my friends to run the Food Pantry through the auspices of the Ecumenical Council of Churches. He was quiet for a moment and said, "I have decided to take your case pro bono." He went on to tell me that many of his clients had commented in the past how much they had been helped by the Food Pantry and he believed that we were doing the work of the Lord there. He said he had spoken to a number of clients who told stories of how one or the other of us had given them enough money to get gas for their cars to get to them to work. I had tears in my eyes by the time we were done. No one has ever told me anything so lovely in all the time I have worked at the Pantry. It's not the kind of thing you do for thanks. It was a moment I will never forget and when I think back to all the times I handed over $10 or $20, I had a renewal of faith in that office. Since I am not a wealthy woman but I am comfortable enough, I have written a check to the lawyer to help with the legal costs to someone who cannot afford his services. It was the least I could offer and I will do it again.
On the way to his office I kept thinking and praying that Roger would be looking over my shoulder and help me not to screw anything up. I felt his presence more yesterday than I have since the trip to Maine. It was a truly lovely feeling.
I hope I'm quoting it correctly,
"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches on your soul and sings the song that never stops at all" Emily Dickenson
The small quilt above is the one I made for Roger many years ago. It hung in his office since the early 90s and I made it as a joke since his pet peeve was having to wear ties. It came back home a last month when his office was packed up and the personal contents were given to me. It made me laugh to see it. Wearing ties made him bananas.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Before I start here's a little 12x12 tile piece I was fooling with. Victoria of Bumble Beans got me started on this. I may sew some more later. I like the randomness of it. Sort of like my life right now. A bunch of different stuff colliding together and I love using every tiny piece of Kaffe fabric. Just can't throw that stuff away.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
I may have mentioned to some of you at various times that I was born in Germany after the war. German mother/American soldier father, now deceased. Never met that father until the mid 80s. Took me that long to find out who he was due to my mother's giant crate of lies opening somewhat and a trickle of info coming to light. While Roger was alive, he did everything he could to research and glean some information that led to finding that I am not an illegal alien. Here's the twist- I'm not illegal but I'm not quite legal either. Again, lies my other told...could fill a book and nearly has already. A mountain of paperwork. Along the way, I was never allowed to change my name to Roger's legally since there was no birth certificate and when we finally got one from Germany, the name was different, the location was different, and it went into the file of lies marked MOM. Along the way she had a succession of men that we lived with the details there are to gruesome to go into but lets just say they'd make a 1950s bad movie staring Lana Turner or someone like that. Along this twisty path we had to do our taxes with my former name to keep things legal on our end. Twenty-seven years worth of tax forms. All nice and neat and on the up and up. Records of my divorce from first husband, marriage to Roger, Social security cards for Roger. My social sec. that I've had since high school graduation. All good things nice and neat. Record of my entry with my mother into the US in 1952 when I was 3ish. Good stuff right? Even the name of the ship and military papers from it. Sounds good huh? My mother's naturalization papers when she became a citizen...all excellent right??
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG....
Yesterday my darling DIL Dani took me over to SS to register to receive Roger's benefits. I told them why I was there, presented the death cert. they asked me for proof of who I am and then, then, the giant crap hill began to crumble under me. They started to look up my SS# and a big gust of angry wind hit me in the face in the form of several official people who kept saying things like. Holy crap!! This doesn't make any sense. What are these names?? Why is your birth date different in several papers that were filled out by....guess who!! Out of what appeared to be about 20 people in the office, many of them became involved in the conversation and their tone of voice, while not nasty, was very frightening. They told me they cannot do anything for me until I have dealt with Immigration. Please excuse my language when I say this but if you think SS is a mess, you cannot imagine what a cluster f--- immigration is. I need a lawyer who can present my case and keep a cool head. I was in tears just trying to get to the right person to speak with who then told me this was something they would need to deal with in person(no surprise there, even I can't figure it all out)and it might be best to have a lawyer familiar with immigration law try to sort it out. Social Sec. has asked me to return at the end of the month to fill out all necessary paperwork for the benefits which they will hold on file until I can present a passport or clear proof of citizenship. Even if that goes slightly smoothly, it will be more than a year before I see any of that-thank goodness I have some money to fall back on.
Tomorrow I will be 63. I have lived here for 60 years-53 of them in this village. There is no way to describe how I feel right now except to say that I am depressed, angry, and not a little scared. My mother has been the direct cause of every bad thing that has happened to me since I was 3. She lied, she abandoned me in an orphanage in St. Louis to people who beat me with switches that you were required to go and cut from bushes outside, she lived with men who wither beat me or worse. They were disgusting drunken animals and I was regularly told that I had a new Daddy from time to time. Non of them adopted me but they made me use their names so that's part of a record I must now explain to people who are similar in attitude to what you may have experienced at the DMV in your life at one time or another. They are cross-eyed and dumbfounded by the end of only a few minutes and I am frustrated knowing that in the end they will just pass me on to the next drone...
All I feel like doing is sleeping and yet I can't. Last night was filled with that dream where you are falling. No hard figuring there. Mostly, I miss my darling Roger, who would have at least been a rock next to me and found a way to comfort and make me feel even a little better. Now there is no going back. I'm in for a penny or pound as they say. Waiting to hear from a friend who has some connection in the court system here. I want to find a lawyer and at least she can tell me who not to hire.
On the only happy note, James will be 27 Sunday and we are having dinner. Dani' birthday is the 15th-Terry's is the 17th and so on it goes.
I hope whoever you are reading this that your life is going along a lot more peaceful than mine right now. Unfortunately, you can count on my return with more crappy details soon. If you do, please say a little prayer. I really need it now.
Saturday, June 04, 2011
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Hoping to be able to do some sort of restor program and get back to where it was last week. Haven't figured that out yet. It offers to restore only to yesterday and that's the day that the s--t hit the fan. I'll check with James when I can or welcome any info from computer saavy friends.
James ran a malware program to get rid of the virus and I'm back but have none of the programs or folders or pictures I had. All my favorites are gone(not really a problem,I can get that back myself by re-doing them). It's the photos and TV/media stuff I am missing.
Hope to be back with you soon.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Look what I bought from the Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative Sale. It's a Madonna piece by Deborah Spincic. I
I've admired her work and specifically the Madonna pieces for years. I can't wait to see it in person. So lovely.
Sorry I've been missing for so long but I have been helping a friend with some awful problems and trying to get so many things done personally that the blogging has just gone by the wayside. Since losing my gardener, I'm finding it really hard to do some of the work myself. Back problems make it hard but knee problem make it nearly impossible. As a consequence it's taking me twice as long to do half as much. I did make a couple of spiderweb blocks which I will show soon. The best news of the week is that my hair cutter, Diane, is having a baby in December. They have been trying for so long that it's just the best news ever. So, of course a quilt is in order. More on that later.
It has certainly turned to summer here and thankfully I have a new a/c. I'm predicting a very humid summer. We have had nothing but wet, wet, wet and humid. Not my favorite thing but given the state of disaster in the rest of the country I'm shuttin' up. I would like to know where all the help and celebrities are for the people of the mid-west...hmmmm. They must all be busy with important things like winning awards. Where are folks like Clinton and Bush? They must be busy still helping folks in Haiti...yah...that's what they're doing. Just wondering why people are still living in lean-to cardboard shacks and defecating in holes in the ground. They raised MILLIONS!!!It sure seems like we are the first to put our hands in our pockets and help the world in general and somehow the biggest mouths in this country can't even bother to show up to help those who have lost everything in middle America. I'm speaking about both sides of the isle and those loud mouthed celebrities who fly around helping people in rain forests and such. Rant over...
Last night I had a lovely dinner with the "girls of quilting". Love my friends so much. They are both having such a hard time right now
with personal family issues that it was great to see them smiling and actually laughing. I'm puppy sitting tomorrow. Love!
Hug your loved ones tight. Talk to you soon.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Sleepy babies....well, one of them anyway.
Happy Easter or Passover which ever you celebrate. Talk to you soon.