Sunday, June 03, 2018

Written 3-19-2018 --

 Written  3-19-2018 --
Dementia.  Saying it out loud.  Writing it on pretty paper, typing it on a keyboard doesn’t make it any easier to deal with – my Mom has it. Her Mother, my Grandmother, showed signs of it before she passed away at 84. My Mom – turning 86 this year – is ‘neck-deep’ in the horrible disease.  I’ve known she had it for a couple of years – but convincing anyone in my family was another story.  Everyone just called it, ‘old age’.  She fell out of the bed, hit her head and it escalated everything.

My dad is still her caregiver – yet in a complete state of denial.  He’s of the philosophy if you don’t talk about it – don’t say it out loud it really isn’t so.

I always had compassion and sympathy for people that had parents with this disease – but until you walk the path, until your own loved one has this – you have no idea what it is like.

My Mom’s lifestyle has greatly shifted.   It’s at this point – and I’m 55 years old—that I had the revelation that it was my Mom that raised me.  Took me to dance classes, took care of me when I was sick.  Made sure I had everything I needed on top of her holding down a full time job.  My dad ‘brought home the bacon’. And sat in a lazy boy- and watched television.  It was my mom that cleaned the house, planned and prepared all meals, laundry, even planned what everyone wore.  Now that she is debilitated – you can’t even begin to imagine how things have dwindled.

I tried talking my father into getting help: Housekeeping help a couple of days a week, food service to come in with meals, or even a sitter to give him free time and my mother some company.   I was vetoed on all counts.  Labelled bossy and controlling after I tried to persuade an alliance with my brother, I threw in the towel and have had to sit back and let things play out.

I used to talk with my Mom daily, now I settle for once a week. I still write letters weekly, trying to put photos in each and write of what my daughter calls ‘anchors’ or memories that we shared to try and jar my mom into some facet of remembering who I am.

My Mom had always been so healthy – she still has her tonsils, for God’s sake.

The hard part is knowing it won’t get any better and there is nothing you can do and time only makes it worse.

Her physician stepped in and mandated home health and housekeeping come in and for that I’m truly thankful.  Mom is not happy about it.  Dad doesn’t talk about it.  But she’s barely  getting the care she needs.

I have a plane ticket to go home to see her in a couple of weeks… All I do is remember what it won’t be like when I get there.  I recite over and over again – ‘It’s not about you--- it’s not about you--- it’s not about you’…. But I’m going to see someone who doesn’t know me, and a father and brother who don’t want me there…. I kind of feel like it is all about me….

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Gaggle of Geese

You always have time to do the things you put first.  Well, in my life--it's not quilting. I work full time, have a home to take care of along with two high maintenance pups that think they are people.  While I would love a full-time laundry service, chef and maid service -- alas I am just blessed with - a home full of love from Don and the pups along with 3 shelves of quilt fabric.

I know quilting is a passion because even though I have days when I'm exhausted -- I still want to quilt.  So I plan for exhaustion-- because I know it's going to happen.

These cutout squares will turn into flying geese blocks.  I cut them out when I'm not tired and tuck them into a basket. Many nights if I just take twenty minutes to quilt, I count the day a win.

My mother worked outside of the home from the time I was 8 until she retired. I have all these great memories of us cooking together, sewing for me, ironing (lots of ironing), cleaning, sitting at my football games, dance lessons... but I never remember her ever doing anything simple for herself. Even in retirement, her life generally revolves around my dad and taking care of him.

I can't imagine a life without quilting.....

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Barn Quilt

I may not own the barn... but I have the dream and the quilt for it.  It's a North Star block. Don is going to frame it for me in gray weathered wood and I'll hang it in my house.  

I had wished for one for a while...and too cheap to buy one--- I made it myself. It is painted on plywood, 16 inches square.

It's Friday evening....heading toward a rainy weekend.  Permission to quilt.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wild Goose Wednesday

In typical fashion--- I'm late to the party....  But I'm still playing.  My favorite quilt blocks are the North wind and just about any variation of a flying goose block.  Never fails-- it is what my eyes and my heart are drawn to.

I've been trying to get out of my comfort zone this year:  Harder patterns, new ways of quilting, new fabric choices.

Temecula Quilt Company is running Wild Goose Wednesday with ideas for inspiration of using the blocks.  One fat quarter of fabric and creme fabric from my stash created these:

Now-- you're seeing the different fabric choices.  These are 2.5 by 5.  I also tried a new way of making flying geese and I'm in love with it.  Technique here.

There's no waste. No wonky triangle corners and you get multiple blocks from one set.

Thunderstorms off an on all night.  My 80 pound Ripley was terrified.  I need to be drink lots of coffee this morning plus having it funneled through an IV as well.  Oh well-- We'll all sleep better tonight.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


It's a Quilt.  Finally completed-- Binding and all. A Brenda Riddle pattern, Bliss,  it is called.  I completed the center in January and procrastinated about the border.  It was a new technique.  I studied the instructions for about a month. I finally got brave enough to tackle it.  I had purchased the gray fabric before I chose the pattern.  I was a little short, but it worked out that I had enough.

In a couple of weeks, I'll love it-- right now I'm just glad it is complete.  It seemed like I was road-blocked from completing it.  All I can think is-- never underestimate the value of keeping your machine oiled.  Makes a huge difference. 

I machine quilted it myself -- so it is just a small meander all over.

It will hang in my breakfast area opposite gray hickory floors and then probably rest on the back of my couch downstairs.

I pictured it in my head before I started and it turned out just that way.  
As you can tell, spring is finding it's way to the U.P.  Our winter was average. Kids only had one snow day all year.  It just seemed like winter wouldn't let go.  Still too early to plant flowers or a garden --- so I quilt as much as I can.

We're all getting older, but daily counting our blessings.  Off to work to pay for quilt fabric --
Have a great Tuesday.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Magic of Christmas...Sorta

Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings is holding a stitch Along for Christmas here.  Chelsey and I have decided to work on the blocks.  I want my quilt to be bigger so each block pattern I'm making two.  I have chosen black and white--at least for right now.  Not Christmas-y but I'll use it a lot more.
My first blocks:

I love seeing quilting from a new set of eyes--- Chelsey's.

'Mom, how big do I make the squares before I cut them?'  I hadn't studied the pattern, but Lisa';s instructions have always been really accurate.  I looked at the pattern-- '1-4 1/4" ,  To a seasoned quilter, I completely get it.  But I called and read it to her." one square four and one quarter inches... "Oh, that's what that means-- I had no idea."

It's fun sharing it with her.  I'd make a seam and send her a cell phone photo.  Technology is a wonderful thing.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Rainy Day ---

Never leave home without it..... a hand sewing project.

It's been raining off and on this afternoon.  I've been enjoying myself --- catching up with Carolyn and hand stitching on wool applique.

Hoping for and early season completion.