Monday, August 25, 2008

Posting two days in a row…. Got to be a first for this summer. You can tell from the darkened snapshot, the days are indeed getting shorter in the U.P. I completed my Four Season block for August and just couldn’t wait to share.
We still haven’t found a routine…but the kids both seem pretty content—for a brief moment in time so I’m considering Life being good right now. I cleaned my sewing machine and took a few minutes to pick up. I feel like I’m finding friends again. It’s been good typing messages to you all the past few days.

We’ll leave this as a short post ending my blessings for the day:

Safe travel for all of us in the last week.
Leftovers with Don—everything is better if you have someone to share it with.
Cooler temps…no air conditioning with the fresh air venturing in from the Screen doors…

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Well, we did it….We got Chelsey settled in for her new start… She off and running for college. Tons of firsts…. New friends, new responsibilities (Mom can’t rescue stained clothes), sharing a dorm room, and sharing a bathroom with three other girls. While she does have a flair for the dramatic---I believe she’s very capable of solving her own problems… it’s called growing up.

I think Don and I must be growing up too. It’s hard letting go and it’s hard not rescuing her at the ‘drop of a hat’. We are learning to settle her spirits down --- breathe--- and give her a chance to first brainstorm a solution to each problem. Not easy for two incredibly driven parents… and two pretty “structured” people…

I sent her off with this pink box. I didn’t give it to her until the moment we left. I had been collecting items for a while for this day. Thinking about necessities and things she would need without “Mom“ around.

We doodle together. We have every book Lindsay Ostrom has written.
I remember days of sitting at the kitchen table practicing together. I remember, “Mom, mine are never as good as yours…” Now, she doodles with the best—the book is really just a memory because she doesn’t even need it. I included Sharpie markers with a tag—‘No one is as sharp as you…’ There is the emergency can of Spaghetti-O’s to go with her pink can opener.
When she was little, I always wanted her to have Little Red Shoes, but they were hard to find, expensive and probably impractical.
I found a tiny pair and tagged them . If you are going to be a writer, you definitely need journals. I included twistable crayons. Coloring is cheap therapy on days with the blues.

I thought of things she always borrows from me. Panty hose, Eyeliner and mascara, my silver and gold hoop earrings.
Thinking I wouldn’t be there—she definitely need them in the Survival kit.
There’s an umbrella because both my college kids think they are too cool for an umbrella until it’s storming outside.
I found two Barbie ornaments that just seemed to fit.
The Little black Dress and the Wonder Woman outfit because I know in reality she is stronger than I ever was at that age.

Oh -- and Dark chocolate M & M's sorted by definitely have to have chocolate.

Don and I …. And Ransom will begin to settle in to our new routine…

Monday, August 18, 2008

I’m still here--- Not a lot of quilting going on… maybe a little hand stitching at night before turning in. Doesn’t mean I’m sitting idol; it just means I’m taking summer for all it’s worth.

Quilt stuff first….A girlfriend at work went to a quilt shop in Ironwood…. She’s not even a Quilter. She did it for me. She was vacationing and stopped and filled her cell phone with snapshots. What a girl!!! She even brought me back a pattern and fat quarters.
I almost feel like I was there. But even more than that… it’s great to be thought of by someone else. She told me the fabrics are from a Japanese line.

My friend is the Queen of Rubber Stamping. I am definitely a rookie, but I keep practicing. She shows me every thing quilt related. This was her latest find. Quilt stamps. Right now, I’m short on time, but here’s a rookie attempt at using them for her thank you note.

I have dreams of using them on quilt labels and postcards… and those days will come… just not right now. I really appreciate her. It’s nice having something to talk about besides work….

Life at home. A week ago, we took the kids and their dates kayaking for a day. Most fun I’ve had in a while. I had my family with no cell phones and no television. We were all first-timers and made great memories. Boulders would appear in the middle of the river and the kids would swear they were icebergs and start quoting “The Titanic” and singing the theme song. I laughed so much. Chelsey and I went to see ‘Sisters on the Traveling Pants II’ this weekend and did the last of her college dorm room shopping. We take her to college on Thursday. Don laughs when he looks in the bags---‘They don’t have Wal-mart where she’s going????’ We have to go into great detail about it being a ‘Shopping Experience’ and that he should have been there. But she’s stocked now with Tide, Ramen Noodles, Shampoo, and the all important Memory CD filled with Power Songs to get her through any loneliness she might have. Somehow--- I just can’t picture the kid lonely….. I think I may be the one needing the Power Songs… this is a lot harder for me than I thought it was going to be. We’ve been grilling and playing cards with Chelsey and friends at night. Life is about to change.

I’ve got a care package built for her and we’ll show the photos in Thursday’s post…. I hope this is a good week. Lots of things on my mind.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Lots of family time this weekend---Kind of helps heal the spirit. We went to Don’s office picnic Saturday afternoon. It would have been much easier to just hide in the garden or sewing room, but I really need to think about starting to “get a life” when Chelsey leaves for school in a couple of weeks. Once we got to the picnic, we had a great time.

Sunday after church I finished my postcards and got them ready to mail. My favorite is the strawberry. Here’s the link for the postcard stamp that I used on the back. If life is busy, these are quick projects that you can share with others I really enjoy them.

I even got Don to start marking our snowshoe trail for this winter. When I trekked back in January, I really wondered—what does this look like in the summer… in the fall, so we started marking a route and now we’ll be able to appreciate the changes.

Thanks for the comments for my daughter and community. While I don’t think there is ANYTHING good to come out of this…I hope that Chelsey doesn’t become scared, or cynical, but does become not quite so trusting as she heads off to school. Small town comfort is just a myth….

What’s on the docket this week? Definitely cleaning my sewing room and sewing machine… it’s their turn…. And I want to take time out to appreciate little things like:

Eating cherry tomatoes right off the vine right in the middle of my garden.
Eating a home grown cucumber like a banana—just add salt…
Filling jelly jars with zinnias as more bloom every day….

Sunday, August 03, 2008

A gift in the mail--- on a day that I really needed it. I’ve mailed over 3 dozen postcards—this is the first I’ve ever received. I often wondered the feeling my friends, my Mom or even Sunday school kids had when they received theirs… I was right on target. It was just the feeling I was aiming for. Thanks again Susan.

Aside from the everyday tides of life—the ups and downs were totally different that day than I had ever experienced before. Our community made national news for totally horrible reasons. Four teenagers were shot, three fatally by a total stranger. Teenagers from 17 to 20 years old swimming at a local railroad bridge happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just when we get lulled into thinking “Not in my town” we get the shock of our lives. Hey it could have been my kids—they both swam there before… talk about reality check. Chelsey’s taking it pretty hard. While only one boy was a friend, in a small town you know everyone.

There are no “right words”. I’ve always considered our woods as a comforting place. But I was scared to death to leave my house that Friday morning after it happened on Thursday with the guy still loose with an assault rifle. I had never been so glad to see state troopers as I was when they were at my office when I got there. They had refueled their helicopters there throughout the night looking for the guy. They did get the guy 16 hours later—why did he do it? I don’t know, but there’s no answer to justify this.

Chelsey has a friend that ran—literally—for his life that lived. Funny, I pick at her lately about using the house as a closet because she’s never around, working two jobs and an active social life. She’s never home. That Thursday night when everything went crazy, she had stayed home with us. Something she hadn’t done in ages. Cellphones put our world in a different place now. She had friends calling and checking to find out where she was before it was announced on the TV, radio, or internet. It continued throughout the night. I sent her to Green Bay the next day with a friend. I didn’t want her in town with this guy on the loose. There were so many speculations—I wanted her away from the rumors. But even in Green Bay, news travelled.

She worked today. Calling to check in every hour or so. She’s still having a tough time. ‘Mom, I have helped people pick out clothes for funerals before, but I could always separate myself from the situation. I know why they need these clothes today. This is so hard. Mom—I don’t want to talk about it.’
I just told her that people need strength, and maybe they draw strength from her. But she doesn’t realize the comfort she can give others. A tough lesson for an 18 year old kid.

I didn’t mean to dump on anyone, I guess I’m rambling because as a parent I am living the “what if” scenarios in my mind. I can’t imagine the heartache the parents are going through.