Life-Changing Moments

Grand Slam

The World Series starts tonight! In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a walk-off home run? (For the baseball-averse, that’s a last-minute, back-against-the-wall play that guarantees a dramatic victory.)

My daughter has a saying, usually about trying a new or different food stuff – “It’s life-changing…”

I’m not sure I have ever felt that way about food, although some of these morsels were quite delectable.

When first approaching this subject, I was hard pressed to come up with my own “walk-off home runs.”

It also brought up sad memories of just such an occasion on October 27, 2011 – Game 6 of the World Series between the Texas Rangers at the St. Louis Cardinals (yes, I was there and a Rangers fan).  David Freese had such a moment, much to my chagrin. :(

Anyway, when it comes right down to it, and I’m not usually one to do this, I have to say my moments were when I was pregnant with each of my children. Each and every one of them has had a huge impact on my life, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, even though it hasn’t always been easy. They are each uniquely different and special in their own way and have enhanced and enriched my life in equally different ways.

As Forest Gump would say, “That’s all I got to say about that.”

 

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Finished – Mom’s quilt blocks throw

Throw is done!

Going to keep this simple, but I may have to play with font color as I just figured out how to do that.  I swear this choice wasn’t available yesterday!

I have about 5 ideas of things to write about floating around in my head, and it’s hard to stay on track with this post.  This post is supposed to be devoted to this throw and it’s story, but I may go off on tangents.  I was informed, however, this past weekend, that it’s actually family trait!

Here’s a pic of the whole throw.  Mom did the blocks herself, mostly in 1991. She most always, I found in going through her quilting stuff, would mark in pencil or pen on one of the back seams the date she finished the piece. 

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I picked out sashing, border and pieced the blocks together and quilted it.

This is for mom’s cousin, Karen, according to my teenage daughter, she would be my 1st cousin once removed. I know that’s not important, but I was impressed my daughter was quite sure of this even when I wasn’t, because she wanted to know what one of my cousin’s daughter was to her, so she looked it up on the internet!

So, I gave these blocks to Karen two years ago, as she liked them and I know her and Mom had a special connection over the years, especially the last few before Mom and Grandma died, because both her Mom and Grandma were in the same nursing home.  As a matter of fact, at one time, my Grandma and her two remaining brothers were in the same nursing home along with Karen’s mom.  So,  Karen would come to town once a month, and each time she did, her and Mom would meet up at the nursing home and then go out to eat quite often.

At the time I gave them to her, I wasn’t a savvy quilter, so she said she would find someone to complete them for her.  I didn’t have any of the other material to give her, as it seemed to have gotten separated from these blocks, so we had to go with the 12 we had.

After about 6 months or a year, I told her I felt more confident in my abilities to do justice to these blocks.  And, finally, about a month ago, she brought them back down for me to work on.

Anyway, the following three pics show some of the detail on the sashing.  I almost used pink for the sashing, but figured there was already enough in the blocks.   I was stumped as to what to quilt there until I remembered that Karen likes the saying “Live well, laugh often, love much.”

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Live Well

 

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Laugh Often

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Love Much

Every sashing piece has one of those saying in it, and each block has all three around it and one extra.

She seemed to be very pleased with it.  I’m glad she likes it.

Things I did on this throw – I put in small black permanent marker on the front of each block Mom’s initials and the date she finished it – if she had written on on the back.  I also quilted butterfly on one block, because Mom’s was very much into butterflies.  The style of free motion quilting is very much custom.  You would find it hard to reproduce this stitching on a long-arm.  Each block is quilted with stitch in every stinkin ditch, and then many have additional quilting.  On the signature block, the gold/white/gold block – I quilted on the white “Blocks pieced by (Mom’s name), Assembled and quilted by (me) Oct 2014.”  It’s a sort of trick that is hidden in the quilt that no one may ever notice – but it’s one way I “sign” some of my quilts, even if I put a tag on back, that I am confident will stick with the quilt as long as it endures.

Once I actually decided I was going to get this thing done, it took me less than a week.  And, I had to go to Joann’s for the green fabric because I didn’t have anything on hand that would match.  I’m not sure if the green is the best color, but since these are vintage fabrics, and the various colors in the blocks, I wasn’t sure what to use.  White didn’t seem right, and pink would have been too much.  I thought about dark blue, but I discounted it for some unsure reason.

So there you have this quilt story.  I don’t know why Mom did the blocks the way she did or where she picked up the fabric choices.  I’m sure she showed me her progress on this at some point, as she liked to carry some of her finished work around to show off.

Sometimes, I feel bad about that – I don’t remember her showing me things or what I commented or what she told me about the pieces.  As usual, I think I was rather uninterested.  You know how it is – family get together, lots going on, lots to do for dinner prep and such, all the latest stories – Mom’s trying to show something off and before you can say more than “Oh, that’s nice, I like that” a child has a crisis, the  cake is ready to come out of the oven, or the football team makes the big touchdown.

I don’t know if anyone else in my family feels this regret, but I know I do. Regrets, “I wish I had…”, we all have them, we all do it eventually.  One of mine is – “paid more attention and asked more questions when Mom was showing me some of her quilting work.”

I never realized it at the time I went through her things four years after her death and decided to finalize some of her works-in-progress (WIPs) – but, even though I don’t know the entire story or thought process behind her creations, at least now I have enough know-how to do a decent job of finishing her projects.  Somehow, even though I know it doesn’t make up for my “I wish I had”, at least now I can say, “I don’t know if I would have ever made anything like this ever myself.” and “I’m glad I can at least finish her project for another to enjoy so her work can still be appreciated and useful.”

100th Post!


Dear Readers,

When I first started blogging, my goal was to do a post a week.  I think my first post was around April 1, 2014.  In July, I participated in Writing 101 – Get into the Blogging Habit, and the goal was a post a day during the week, for a total of 20 posts altogether.  At the time, I made a new goal of getting to 50 posts.

After I hit 50, I decided my new goal was 100.  By this point, I was actually above my one post a week average, which would mean 52 posts a year, which would mean it would take about two years to do 100 posts.  But, since I was way over goal, I figured I’d hit the 100 mark around the end of the year.

Somehow, even though it feels like I have hardly been blogging at all in the past three months, this post marks my 100th post! Yay, me!

So, I suppose it’s time for a new goal.  Hmm…..

What should it be?

Should I take it in stride and just set a number goal?

Or should I challenge myself to do a certain number a week?  Any ideas? I am open to suggestion.

I was slightly surprised by the revelation of reaching my 100 goal, so I haven’t given it much though up to now.   I believe I’ll have to think on this one for a while.

Sue

 

 

Because . . . FOREVER!!!

Finite Creatures

At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

(Thank you for suggesting this prompt, Swoosieque.)

As I sit here eating my Frosted Flakes, and yes, my Firefox is working, at the moment…

I want to shout out to Swoosieque who I think just started following me, probably because of the name “Swoosieque” – “SuzyQ”, “OSuzyQuilts” – get it?

I don’t know when or why  or how, but I realized I wasn’t immortal at a pretty young age, and when I was so young, how old, 6-8-10-12? I would lay awake at night, seeing the street light shining in the window, and think about . . .     D Y I N G . . . ! ! !

Was it thinking of grandparents or other local hometown folks gone?   I would lay there and thing “death” …,  what happens when you die? Not immortal . . .

What does “FOREVER” mean?

That’s the part that made me get up and get a drink or go the bathroom, or read a book by the street light lamp – “FOREVER”, thinking of people from 1 A.D., Jesus, etc., and knowing they are DEAD! now, and “once you are DEAD, you are DEAD”, and do you recognize the  passage of time? and “how long is forever?”…”

Scared me so much I would get up for ANY reason, sing, try hard to think of something fun and banal.

Now that I am older, I recognize these feelings for depression, hangover, paranoia, sleep deprevation, anxiety caused by drugs or caffeine or lack of sleep – and any number of other things. Plus, yes, it is still a massively crazy concept to get your head wrapped around!

Still, every so often, I’m lights off, dozing off to sleep, and I think,

“F-O-R-E-V-E-R!” just like in the movie, “The Sandbox” -

And, it scares me enough to get up and go the bathroom, read a book, turn on the TV to distract me – whatever it takes to calm me down to be able to sleep again.

Because, yes, IF and WHEN I think about it . . .

FOREVER is a VERY VERY VERY  long, long, long, long, long, long, long time!

Most of the time, now, it doesn’t scare me, but every so often, less and less each year, some nighst I think about it – being dead – FOREVER – I can’t sleep right away and need another drink, some ZzzQuill or Benadryl, walking around my back yard, doing a bit of quilting, or even, writing a blog post…

Does “FOREVER” scare you?

 

Because…

OMG, another super weird thing happening – Firefox and Safari are not working but IE is.  Crap, and all my bookmarks, etc. are in Firefox!

Hubby says tonight at dinner that he usually watches everything video wise in Google Chrome, and it hasn’t been working on his 6-8 year old laptop.  Although it did fine until two days ago and he doesn’t know why it suddenly stopped working!

OMG, is that my problem tonight? How old is this computer?  How do I find out?  I know it’s nothing less than -6 years old, but how do I know?  Why did this font suddenly increase in size?  All on it own, seemingly?

What is going on, back to original font size?   OMG!

So, weird things are still happening these day while the grandkids are here.

Tonight, me and my daughters took HIMYM and Friends character quizzes on BuzzFeed and PlayBuzz to see which character we were.

Two of us Monica on one, the other Rachel. Then, I said, I would never be Barney, and we took HIMYM quizzes – two Marshalls, and I was Barney!

Now, even though IE is working, it is incrediby slow and stupid, and almost stopped responding? Agh!!!

So, we saw this cricket crawling across the floor in the living room, and then it went under the couch.  Later, we were sitting taking quizzes and talking, and the little cricket came out again.  High school daughter (#2) stepped on it with my flip flop, two or three times to kill it,  picked it up with a flyswatter, and I told her put it in the toilet and flush it, not in the trash, because it might not be dead yet, and I said – “I don’t ever kill crickets, I get a jar and take them outside.” and they were both like “Why?” and I said…

“Because… Jimminy Cricket from Pinnochio.” and because I heard it is bad luck to kill a cricket.

And they were “What?”

And, I said, also “I don’t eat deer.” and they were like, “okay, why?” and I said, “Because…a) yucky, and b) Bambi and his mom and my dad once killed a doe, and brought it home, and I remember someone carrying me down to the basement to see the dead deer that was in the cellar steps, and I remember her laying there, head to the floor, body on the stairs, and neck askew, bent backwards, clearly dead.  But also, I asked my dad within the past 6 year why I don’t remember having deer meat or deer stew, and he said, “I killed one deer, and that time I tried stew, sausage, frying, baking, etc, but I just didn’t care for deer meat.”

And then, a bit later, I went the bathroom, and came out to say, “Always flush the dead bugs.” BECAUSE Jimminy was still floating, and daughter #2 says, “I did.” and I said, “Learn!  This is why you always watch to see that they actually do go down!”

And, they said, I wasn’t hip, even though I know peoples are saying this “Because” thing right now, and it’s like current and trendy, “Because, no, how could you be current or trendy being like a Grandma and 53 years old and you must be totally out of it.” or something, Well, duh, of course, that’s exactly why I was saying it!

Okay, so I don’t know a lot of current lingo, but I do know some – even if I am still not sure I understand what a meme is.

So, yes, even though I am not a teenager born between 1995 and 2001, or in my 30’s born between 1975 and 1984, I was a child of the 60’s, albeit born in 1961, so yes, I’m not the hippie culture, but I knew about it later on in the 70’s, etc. So, duh, I can still act like I’m hip, aye?

Then, later, I have to close and lock the back gate “Because, son is coming to visit with dogs!” And, my teenage daughte was saying “like, why are you doing this?” and I said “Because, like ‘dogs’ tomorrow.” and she was like, “Oh, Mom…”

And, I am now like, “Am I past the age of being cool?  Perhaps so.   Aww,  Fonzie, I’m sorry, we aren’t “Cool” anymore!”

Like, “Because, aging sucks?”. . . .

Weird day

Weird things were happening yesterday.

First, the beater bar on my Kirby vacuum that I have had for 30 years, well, the end of the white side (those of you who have a Heritage II will know), melted while my daughter was vacuuming.  Probably had something to do with all the long hairs of her’s that were caught up on the side and on the thing that comes out and runs the belt around the beater bar.  But, still!  In the 30 years I have had this vacuum cleaner, I have only had to replace the beater bar like 2 or 3 times.

And now, for a Kirby infomercial.  Sorry, I don’t own stock in the company, nor am I a salesman, but I have to do this.  My high school senior daughter keeps telling me I need to buy a new vacuum (it’s so old, mom!),  but I can’t imagine that scenario – as I know how much I have spent on this one in the past 30 years.   Yes, it was around $800 to start, an exorbitant amount, BUT this Kirby Heritage II has/can suck up pennies, small pebbles, has only needed two or three beater bars (~$27), one light (~$20), and one fan (~$40), in 30 years – plus, of course, bags and belts.  Still,  I remember the first vacuum I ever owned – a Sears Kenmore (sorry, Sears, I have a sewing machine I like much, though) – cost $150, and it only lasted about 2 years.

I know others who have owned various and sundry vacuums costing anywhere from $100 to $400, through the years, and said vacuums crapped out within a year or four.

So I figure, if I had bought said vacuums, I would have spent $3,000 on vacuum cleaners.   As it is I have spent around $1,200 give or take. I know, it was a lot at first, but this baby takes a licking and keeps on sucking. Yes, this vacuum cleaner does suck, or it doesn’t? Or, it does??????

So, I go to the Kirby dealer, and the beater bar is wood.  WTF?  The guys says, “Yeah, the other ones were wood, too, only painted gray.  We haven’t had a metal beater bar since 1942.”  What!!!   Are you frigging kidding me?  Weird that, no? But,  hey, he gave me an otherwise ~$3 belt for free so, okay. Whatever.

So, next in this weird day.  My daughter decides that for toga day  – which I spent 2.5 hours helping her do this toga with a bolt of funky tye-dyed material I had  – about 4 yards – trying to wrap it in some togaty type fashion (Yes, I made up that word “togaty” ) – only to finally go with my original partially sewn design (which I came up with before we started the wrap idea) she finally agreed and it worked!  She couldn’t find appropriate belt in the drapery department at JoAnns or Hobby Lobby, so wants to do a leaf headpiece.  She calls me from Michael’s and says this leafy stuff is like $5 a piece, and doesn’t really specify how many pieces she would need – so I say – hey, we have tons of ivy outside, we could curve it into a headpiece and then she says “spray paint it gold” – so I say, okay…

Which we do. BTW, a small can of glittery gold spray paint costs $8? I think I would have said, how about just leaves, but I wasn’t at the store with her when she made the purchase.  Way to mark things up Michaels!

Then, I decide to help her out and spray paint the thong part of a pair of thong sandals in this gold glitter paint, and the can spritzes out nothing but gluish type residue, continuously, won’t stop – so, I’m like, fine, we won’t be putting a second coat on the ivy leaves.

And after the trip to Kirby dealer for beater bar and before the ivy glitter paint thing – I swept and mopped my kitchen floor – plus cleaned light fixtures over dining table and on kitchen ceiling fan   – which had lightbulbs to be removed first.  But, kitchen ceiling fan had CFL’s which I dropped and broke one, luckily before the sweeping and mopping.  Still, I didn’t don HAZMAT suit, but should I have????

Anyway, that was done, she comes home, we put together this ivy headpiece, go out on deck to spray paint it, and in the process, I cut too much ivy, whatever, get ivy stuck to my flip flops.  Later, go into her room to touch up paint we painted in August where someone hit it with something black, and she says after “Mom, take off your flips flops as they are tracking ivy leaves.” Darn, so I check and find one or two still stuck to my shoes.

But, the awesome, WTF, happened after she went to bed, after 1:00 a.m, to get up at 5:15 to do her hair and such, and I am walking through the kitchen, and see by the refrigerator something on the floor.  I am thinking, it’s a leaf that came off my shoe, and go to pick it up and throw it in the trash, but look closer, and

EWWWWWWWW….

It’s a slug!!! (This if for AngloSwiss)  Yes, a slug, in my kitchen, by my refrigerator.  I’m so non-plussed at this point that I just find two napkins, pick the sucker up, and throw him out onto my deck.  I figure I can deal with him tomorrow!

Oh, and I forgot to add that my computer was acting up earlier, Firefox wouldn’t load  right, Yahoo toolbar didn’t work right, reloaded it, and now it might be working, maybe, maybe not right,  and why do I keep getting “high traffic” on NetGear Genie when I have three tabs open and no one else is up to be on a computer?  and, I have just noticed how your know how you type something and it suddenly shows up a couple seconds later? Yeah, that’s happening.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that my TV is going out.  Granted we got this from my hubby’s work as “worthlessed” (he’s in the rent and sell business) – and this 42″ had a lighter streak down about the middle (not sellable, but not that noticeable) that we finally got used to or chose to ignore – and now had a black strip down the right side about  1/4 of the screen.  So, yeah, it’s pretty much done for!

And my other daughter is coming in less than two days with my two grand children, and WordPress has decided that it can word wrap in a space less than the screen (did it do this before and I just didn’t notice so much because my internet window wasn’t that big?

I think this is one of the weirdest days I have had in a while.  How about you?

Reader’s Anonymous or RA

Reader’s Block

What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without reading a book (since learning how to read, of course)? Which book was it that helped break the dry spell?

Another wonderfilled topic!

I have a problem. Yes, I will freely admit it.  If I start reading a book that interests me in the least, I can’t put the book down except to eat and sleep, almost. Yes, I’ll go to work, make dinner, take showers, but all other household duties will be procrastinated to the absolute last minute until I finish the last page of said novel(s).

For this reason, sometimes I can go a year or four without reading a book.  I wish I could be one of those people that can read a book a few pages here and there between all the other things that NEED to be done or a few pages before bed.  Unfortunately, for me, those other things, when I really think about it, don’t NEED to be done right this minute and can wait, and so can bedtime.

Call it obsessive, call it compulsive, whatever it is, I know I have had this problem since I was a teenager.  I have another related problem, too.

I like series of books.

Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice, Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowlings,  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Stephanie Meyers – Twilight, Dan Brown, and Suzanne Collins, Hunger Games.  Not to mention those I can’t imagine getting into like the Bourne series, Jack Ryan – Tom Clancy, Sue Grafton (A is for Alibi, etc.), J.R.R. Tolkien, Divergent, Chronicles of Narnia, Lemony Snicket, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sherlock Holmes, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. Oh my gosh, I just realized I’d like to read some of those series!

Because of this sickness, I plan accordingly. I don’t pick up a book or visit the library unless I have the time to, well, I hate to call it waste, more like spend, right? If I have lots going on, the library is off limits unless it’s a book I need at the moment, like a quilting book or a book on mediation – something I’m currently learning, something I can read or skim one book for, and get one with it.

Once every few  years or more, I read Gone With the Wind.  I’ve done this since high school.  I’m about due for another read.

So, yeah, there is no “breaking of a dry spell”.  I bloody well know my limitations.  When I’m dang good and ready to devote pretty much my life to reading a novel or series of them, I’ll do so, but I just can’t do it ALL the time.

Yes, I just finished the Outlander Series again, but I think it’s been 2 or 3 years since I did one of my marathon reads.  Will it be that long until the next one?  Who knows?

Can  you recommend a good series?

 

 

 

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