Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer - never quite what you expected???

This summer has taken it's own path.  No matter how much I wanted to direct it to no avail, it's been crazy.

Finished a year long series of dental appointments; then had one of those 'usual' procedures for my age done ... I was already to dig into that pile of "must be finished at once" quilt projects when a family emergency came up in Nebraska.

My dear mom, 97 years old; 87 pounds and still feisty as ever, was admitted to Hospice in Lincoln NE.  It seemed quite dire and suddenly family was advised to visit. So off we trekked across the country via Interstate 80.  It's such a long ways, in these days of instant access thru the phone or the computer, it's easy to forget that distance is there!  Two and one half days - and these days were not for sissies!! 13-ish hours between hotel and hotel.  And into hot, humid July weather we went!

Let me just say I am so a "coastal girl" now.  I don't know how I survived living in Lincoln most of my life!  I don't know how my family survives it today!! A temperature of 84 seems quite reasonable until you check the Heat Index - 110!!!  Oh dear, is that air even breathable?? It doesn't seem to be, trust me! Morning, noon or night!

I'm happy to report that we arrived and spent quality time with Mom while we settled her into her new routine.  Our son, A, was able to fly out and visit for five days.  He's one year short of becoming a RN and was great to have around.  He, with mom's permission, read her chart and translated for the rest of us.  He gave mom foot rubs, and interpreted what mom was really asking for.  He was missed after he left.  I stayed 10 days and spent lots of time with mom every day.  I loved the time I spent with all my family there, as we all took in what this means.  I was glad I had the opportunity to see mom one more time where we could talk.

 Mom is still with us. I call her every other day when someone is in the room to answer and handle the phone.  She too weak to deal with phones, etc., now. But she knows she is loved.  Family takes turns visiting and caring for her.  We have a cross-word puzzle book to read the cues from and fill in the answers she gives us, or agrees with.  And we read to her from "Heidi", the old classic that she loved.  She also has her books on CD that can be played, but reading to her is so satisfying.

It was hard to come back home to Oregon 'in the middle' of this struggle.  But amazingly enough, a message came thru a computer weekly column when I needed it the most ...

Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you had in mind.

All of sudden, I wasn't so overwhelmingly tired and stressed.  Ok, I'm not in charge.  I get it!  Thanks for the reminder, "Ripples" (the column providing the quote)  And home I came.

Even if at times I felt like curling up in a ball under a quilt when I got home, we decided to keep our promise to the Portland Littles and bring them back to the beach with us. And it's been fun and so busy that my mind has relaxed a little. 8 and 6 yrs old can be so entertaining!!Something that I needed very much.


The first night we headed down to the beach for low tide, even though it was foggy.  Racing the waves is always a hoot!  I loved this photo with the reflections in the sand.  I have to tell you, Miss P looks so much like her mom did at that age ... well, sometimes we call Mr M my son's name!! Confusing 2 (3?) generations at once!!


Friday morning was the bribe that got them to come with us!  A swimming lesson in our community pool!  That's them in the middle lanes with their teachers guiding them. They did great, and we went back for open swim in the afternoon too!


Someone built a few forts down at the beach, and like hermit crabs, we moved right into them!!



Today it was pancakes for breakfast, then off to town.  M absolutely loves "American Ninja Warriors" and we tried out moves in the "Kid-Town" playground at Azalea Park.  Good moves, although both developed some blisters on their hands using the bars and rings to move across the space.


Then there was sidewalk chalk drawing at our local state park.  We thought we were just stopping by to see what everyone was making - but there were still squares unclaimed so the kids each drew. The beachy scene with the crab is Miss P's. The forest also on the retaining wall is Mr M's.  He was very seriously interpreting the landscape in front of him!!




And Prehistoric Gardens remains a favorite to stop by on our way to the beach. There's something about dinosaurs ... and the maps we get to follow, it's mesmerizing!!

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  We appreciate them.  Thank you.











Monday, June 29, 2015

It was a little (very crowded with projects) sweat shop this weekend!

But first - we went to Crater Lake this week to meet up with friends from Nebraska.  The last time they had been here was for A&J's wedding - so we took a little show and tell too!!


My time flies fast!!


So happy to be able to meet D&S, they're here visiting new grandsons - yes twins!  They had never been to Crater Lake before and boy were we spoiled by great weather and a gorgeous view.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog!!  This weekend I had such high hopes!  As always!  I had a list of MUST-DO yesterdays!

Summer postcards for two Stashbuster friends.  I found this adorable fabric last year at the Newport Quilt show and just had to have a little!  It first made it's appearance on a notebook cover, And then by squeezing it sideways and lopping off the toes (they weren't painted anyway!) I fit her in.  I love them! And I was able to fit in the 1/2 woman left in the row!  I love to put a little design on the address side too!


Newport Guild supports Quilts of Valor and we picked up the fabric kits for 4 blocks last meeting.  Of course, I couldn't find mine (if something is missing - look in the computer bag!!!)  So it was the last minute to get them done by TODAY!!!  I'm happy to report they went fast!


The Newport guild organized the Memory Garden BOM in 2013.  N had all the copies made, templates printed on freezer paper ... yep, she's a hard act to follow!!  And may I say, my, time went fast!  We signed a "contract" to display the finished quilt by this year!  I received my "dunning" notice and panicked. These are the blocks - now in a small wall quilt for the Silent Auction at the show.  The project I didn't get done this weekend.  But I wanted you to see the blocks - scroll down and see how I interpreted them!


TA-DA!!  I remembered all the gardens I weeded for my mom or planted myself.  The flowers were all in the blocks - or at least some of them could be changed in color to be the ones I wanted.


I had to add Johnny-jump-ups.  Got them from a coloring page out on the web.


And besides the robin, every garden needs a rabbit to entertain and frustrate you!!  We had "Frick and Frack" in Princeton Jct!!


So, watch out when you so innocently ask, "what did you do this weekend?"  You could be in for an hour long slide show and explanation!!  tee-hee!



Saturday, June 20, 2015

Beach weekend a success!!

I told you last week that A&J2 and the boys were coming over for the weekend and they did.  We had really good weather for playing on the beach and sitting out on the deck with a beverage! Two little guys, 2 yrs old and 4 yrs old certainly make their presence known!  And a great time was had by all!


First thing we had to do is go down to our beach at low tide. Mr K wasn't too sure about those waves!! Can you hear his little scream??


Yes, it was a little windy - but its the beach in June - we expected that!  Hold on to my hands, so you don't blow away!! Beach Papa has the plan in hand!


If Beach Nana makes a heart, we must come and stand in it!  NOT stomp it, thank you!


Sunday morning was the walk in the forest.  A and Mr K lagged behind, but Mr K walked the whole way to the bridge - amazingly enough!  Mr D kept up with Nana and Papa, pointing out lots of things to us too.


It's not an official visit without going to Lone Ranch Beach to throw rocks in the stream.  The adults help collect the rocks and the boys are in charge of tossing them for the max splash!  This beach is easy access for little legs (and tired grown-ups!) Perfect for the end of the day.

Sunday afternoon we went to the concert in the park.  Brought a picnic lunch and spent quality time at "Kidtown" playground. Forgot to take any photos. (Bad Nana!) But sometimes you're just too involved in the activities! Stayed for a few songs, then it was obviously time for Mr K's nap.


If we're at Lone Ranch we MUST take a picture with the "elbow driftwood!" J is facing the hills.


And again with Nana, who is facing the beach!

The entourage left Monday morning - between wash loads, Nana kind of sat in the silence, drinking it up!


Tuesday 4 of us got together to work on these little gems!  It was great fun, although it was a cool day, I handed out sweatshirts and we sat out on the deck for lunch!  We all got excited about this project from a workshop last year - time to get going again, as we'd all like to put these in the quilt show next spring.  (Fingers crossed!)

Tomorrow we head to Crater Lake to meet friends from Nebraska!  Fun, fun, fun!!





Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Summertime and the living is .... crazy!






Well we got home from babysitting in Portland, did the wash and I got to go over to Talent and babysit the 2 year old!  It's not often you get one-on-one with the youngest!  I was so excited!  We had a great time.  Of course, 2 year olds have their own brand of English ... K very carefully told me the exact same thing 5 times!  What - I had no idea.  I just offered him a pear, each time!  I had to laugh, thinking about mom and dad actually giving him what he wanted and he thinking - where's my pear???

He loves to swing - we had a good time at the pocket park close by.  And I got lucky, it was only 80 some and gorgeous that day.  The next 3 days it was over 100.  Summer in the valley is really different than summer at the beach!


Summer brings 70s and high sand on the beach for great walks.  Look at this wide, wide beach.  We're usually skirting the edge of the rocks, but not this week.  We also are having some awesome low tides.  Walk-able beach for over 4 hours!!  Whoo-hoo!


Remember that wonderful cave on our beach?  The one we can walk thru without crouching down?  The sand has filled it - not even our grandkids can walk through now!  This is the entrance.


The Sea Stars are coming back - but today is the first day I spotted one of the little guys!  He would fit into your hand. Too cute,


I belong to two quilt guilds.  Brookings where I live now and Newport where I used to live.  Not attending many meetings, I seem to get only half of any story at any time!!  My fault, I'm sure!  An assignment was to make a 6" 'pot holder'.  On the front we have our name and the "OCQG" or Oregon Coast Quilt Guild on the front.  I pictured me driving up the coast (OCQG or bust) in my usual sedate manner!  LOL!

Every member is supposed to make one. They'll be hung at the August show.  I'll let you know how they'll display them. I'm curious too!


Today I walked into the living room and peeked out the windows and look what I saw!  Never saw this in our isolated area before!  We only get to wonder - they never tell us their story.  What are you doing here?  Where are you from and really, where do you think you're going????  It was fun to see though!


A & J & the boys are coming for the weekend! Should be fun, fun, fun!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Babysitting in Portland

We just got back from our babysitting gig in Portland.  It was a wonderful week - had so much fun with the Littles.  My DD was in Alaska on business; DSIL was home but was working, which was perfect. He managed the mornings and most bedtimes - which kept the kids more on their routine, easier to forget mom wasn't there!

 


 Mr M is playing baseball this year - his first team adventure.  Too cute.  It is 'coach pitched' and he and his best friend are the only kindergarteners on the team.  At this age, everyone gets pitched to; everyone gets to run to first.  By the end of the season, outs are made in the field but the last batter still gets to chase everyone home. Dad is an assistant coach, often on 3rd base coaching - the second before I took this picture they were having a "High Five" moment. But this was cute too!

Two more games and enthusiasm is still high - I think that means the coach was good and the whole season was a success! The favorite activity on the field is to kick up the dirt while you are standing there! Both teams! At Tuesday's game we sat by 3rd base - with the wind, I kept my sunglasses on to protect my eyes!! But still felt like I'd been in a dust storm!

The second game we saw; we were smart enough to set up the chairs slightly in the outfield! Ha - what they say about 'old dogs, new tricks' is wrong!! But we piled the Littles in our car to go for Menchies frozen yogurt after the game.  Next time we will brush the boy off before allowing him in our car!!  The back seat on that side was liberally covered with field dust!  Made me smile to see it days later.

We played lots of games there.  HORSE out at the basketball hoops, Miss P still is the up and coming champion - making Papa work for his wins!  She asked him about why he won so much ... he explained her time is coming.  She'll be beating him soon and then she'll be winning all the time for the rest of their games!  When that happened at the neighborhood picnic's epic "Dads against kids" volleyball game.  Well, suddenly, the dads weren't interested in playing!!  I don't think Papa will get away with that with Miss P!

There's a ping pong table in the garage now, M and I spent the time after kindergarten playing there.  I play for cooperation not the win ... 'let's see how many times we can get it back and forth without missing it'.  We got to thirteen times (once)!!  Pretty good considering 6 years olds don't have much of a reach and Nana hadn't played for years!

And when it was too hot to be outside or dark ... we played Ipad games; Pictionary; Tensies Dice game; and other board games.  We're very active up there, until bedtime, then Papa and I basically collapse to the couch until bedtime for us!  Sometimes it's even more than 15 minutes later than the kids' bedtime!!!  LOL!

The Clydesdale Horses were making an appearance at the local bowling alley (odd venue since they didn't bowl!) and we walked over; had dinner and watched them harness up and pull the wagon around the parking lot.  It was a 'small town' type of activity.  Since it was in the neighborhood, the kids saw a lot of their classmates too.  A nice evening to walk about and so much nicer now that the kids can handle the 1/2 mile walk without whining and asking to be carried!

 

The horses are enormous, we were close enough to really see them.  The harnesses themselves are 5 feet tall!  The men working with the horses were tall, yet only came to the horses back.  The Littles looked really little even 20 feet in front of the horses.  AND the official Dalmatian was with them. The classmates in the crowd asked us if that was Meg - 'our' Dalmatian!  Nope, it was Chip!!

On the way home, we stopped by the 'play park' for a brief run about.  It's interesting to see how the equipment changes in use as the kids age.  For Miss P it's all about the story, heroic adventures are being conquered on it.  Mountain climbing to avoid danger - rappelling across raging rivers ... etc.

As for Mr M - well, an older boy was racing cars down an incline and M joined in immediately!  I don't think they knew each other - just a common interest!  The photos of that didn't turn out - sun didn't cooperate, darn-it!


 

 
 I can't resist a walking together with Papa picture!

After a week in 80 degree weather, coming home Sunday was quite the shock to the system!  It was cool and damp here - we felt like we were freezing!  But got used to it.

I'm in overdrive in the sewing room this week.  Have a wedding anniversary quilt for A&J2 due the end of July; a wedding quilt for a Great Nephew due Labor Day weekend and a BOM project to finish for the Newport Quilt Show the first weekend in August!!  YIKES!

And of course, today I'm off to babysit one day in Medford!! Who can say "No" to a day with the 2 yr old - just the two of us!!  Hope the weather cooperates!

Laters!!!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It's (almost) summer!! Wahoo!!

This month has been very summer-y.  We're still low on rain; but we're having high beaches and the summer's usual very low tides.  Makes it such fun to walk the beach.  Always something interesting down there.


Look who's back!!  The Starfish!  Pardon moi!!  Sea Stars is now their official name. We haven't seen them for months. I don't know where they go in the winter here - but we don't see them hanging around on the rocks.  I suspect they either go deeper in the sand; or farther out in the surf. For more information about Sea Stars - go here




Then last weekend we found we'd been invaded by the Blue Sailors again.  Here is a close up of what we found - they are such a bright blue.


And here is the L*o*n*g view.  They were everywhere, they were everywhere! "By the wind sailors" are part of the jellyfish family.  They float about the ocean following currents until a wind or current drives them to the beach.  Here is a link to more information about them. Fascinating!  We love living by the ocean - full of surprises everyday.

Besides taking advantage of the Oregon great Outdoors; I've been quilting like a maniac!  The Brookings Quilt Show is this weekend during our Azalea Festival. Our guild is about 40 strong and we have a quilt show every year!  This year there will be at least 190 quilts in it!!  Yes, we are a busy group!

One of the fun things about moving to a new quilting community is that they haven't seen your work!  So every year I bring out an old favorite for the show.  Now - I've got 5 things in the show and only one of them is more than a year old! So I'm not cheating too much.


Button Basket was made while I was working at the University.  I sat in my favorite window seat during lunch and stitched away on the border!  Very relaxing!



In Art Quilts I've entered the R Family Portrait from last fall.  It was J&L's 10th anniversary.  L wanted a family portrait in counted cross stitch, but I thought that was too small for what she had in mind.  So I made this.  I'm happy to say it was a great success!  Artistic license was running rampant, but I think I recognize them!! Do you?




When I lived in Newport, a friend S and I fell in love with the Crabapple Hill pattern named "Over the River and Through the Woods".  I remarked I wouldn't want to do that much embroidery and S said she wouldn't tackle that much piecing ... so we agreed to do double duty on our favorite parts!  S does awesome embroidery.  P a friend here in Brookings was finishing a blue rendition. Another friend here in Brookings, C long-armed them and they are both in this year's show. I love when an  UFO bites the dust!!


The guild challenge this year was "Nautical".  I was convinced that I didn't have time to enter but I love challenges!  Then while clearing out the sewing space I found an old book of cool nautical designs that I had never taken the time to sew.  (I'm sure none of you have ever been in this position!!) I started this and finished it the same week!!  It's small, but I really do like it!! "Rain or Shine, the Weather's Fine!"



I also finished piecing a Quilt of Valor for this year.  I love this pattern.  Basically a Bento Box, but you can use any size half-square-triangle to start and any size strip for the "logs".  It looks very modern when viewed from afar!  An interesting and kind-of masculine look is my favorite quilt for men.  W, a good friend in Newport, has volunteered to quilt donation quilts for me as her contribution.  Win-win! AND it's done for our show and the annual deadline for donating the quilts. 

It's a free tutorial by Jean MaDan, a fellow Stashbusters quilter.  If you are interested you can find it here.

Thanks for joining me for a "monthly" report!  No promises of being more prolific, but I do feel guilty when I stay away this long!!




Saturday, April 18, 2015

Really? middle of April?

It's amazing how fast the last 5 weeks have gone!  Sorry I've been out of touch.  Had a quick trip to Nebraska to help handle Mom's move to a nursing home.  She'd been in the hospital or rehab since the middle of December!  And although our goal was to get her back to  'independent living' with a little more help - everytime we got close, she came down with pneumonia again.  So we kept her at the place she was recouping at and closed down her apartment.  Very hard to do, for everyone.

I have to admit that when I came back I hunkered down and did nothing but process the whole thing.  It was weeks before I felt like myself again - but I'm b*a*a*ck now!  Tee-hee!!


I've been pretty lax in doing postcards lately - but I love baskets so I had to join in this exchange.  I added the sweet little bird buttons and then sent them 'padded' with a FQ for my partners.



Last weekend we went to Medford for the boys' birthday(s) party.  D is now 4 and K is now 2!!  A&J are extremely busy!!  D is all about superheros!  He's got the books, the videos, the underwear and shirts to prove it.  So of course, J planned a superhero party! Here's the balloon committee, A and Papa, working hard.  Everytime I went to take a picture of them, they were blowing up the same color balloons!  Synchronized party machines!!




J2 found this awesome cape pattern online.  She cut out 16 capes and my job was to sew the velcro onto them.  She was busy making blueberry muffins for the morning party - in place of cake, but cake-like!  The capes were plain and at the end of the party the kids and their parents got to decorate theirs and take it home.  The felt decorations were just glued on, so we waited til the end to do that. It worked out so nicely - I'm not sure if the kids or the parents had the most fun designing them!

A friend of theirs found a little-kid bounce house cheap and bought it.  Now it travels from birthday party to birthday party.  We had it and Papa was the monitor!  The whole party went so smoothly - even though it was raining.  We had 11 kids, all under 4; and of course all the parents stayed too.  I got to hold the littlest guest when he woke up.  You forget how adorable and cuddle-ly 3 month olds are!


C has been hosting us for "Sewing Day" on Fridays this last month.  Her MIL is renting the house across the street from her, but won't move in until the end of May.  Let's just say, the quilters moved in right away!  It's an awesome sewing space and we've made the most of it.

This is C with her "Janet Bolton" project.  It's based on a picture of C, her sister and her mom one Easter.  It turned out adorable.  It's sewn onto the linen covered mat.  The frame shop even glued strips of the matt inside the frame edges.  This is mounted without any glass.  Very cool.


We've had a week of great weather and great low tides.  Just what I needed to get back down there walking.  Today I saw this cool driftwood stump.  You can see thru the center of it!  But it didn't look as interesting from the other side!

Hopefully, I'll be back sooner than later!  That's always my intention anyway! Thanks for stopping in.