Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Roller Coaster rides... not for wimps!


What a roller coaster ride today has been... I am exhausted just looking back on it...

This morning I was sure feeling like I was the queen of the world and organization was my middle name.  I managed to get my Dad's birthday presents ordered, was ready for tonight's class and heading to work.

Work,... well that did not start off so great, both the pool and whirlpool were having some serious issues... YIKES!

Banking took what seemed like forever and then a few phone calls later I was fairly sure I was an emotionally drained dishcloth that was left on the side of the sink.

So many things going in the wrong direction, trying to be my usual positive self was not helping matters at all.

Read my horoscope... wow, maybe we should say HORRORSCOPE... it was spot on!  Looked like someone was looking at my day while they were writing it... I was so afraid for for the next half of the day... I was fairly certain it was time to dig a hole and hide in it.

A few photo's of my little princess and a quiet lunch with hubby... the roller coaster flipped through the loop and was heading up again.

The next phone call had me smiling, the one after that changed the coarse of the afternoon! 

Next up class number three! Several had to miss class, our group was cozy, but wow, did we ever make progress!!  I felt a bit left out tonight, as they were all moving along on their own.  Creating like crazy! A flurry of activity, machines whirling and colors swirling around the room.

I took a class a bit ago that talked about filling up your bucket, referring to keeping yourself emotionally full... tonight my bucket was filled to over flowing.




I convinced my hubby to bring my Pfaff, he didn't want to, was sure he might break it or something.   By the end of class, he was just as in love with it as I am.  In fact, I might have to start sharing it.  And I am okay with that!  He's made great progress on his quilt, it looks fantastic!  Not surprising he is quite talented, and the color of fabric he picked has ended up looking incredible! All of the quilts are coming together so beautifully, I cannot wait to see them finished.  The lone non-t-shirt quilt in the batch is so lovely!  It's amazing to watch and experience. 

The roller coaster is slowing down and I am about to crawl into my bed and let this day slip away.  Hopefully tomorrow is a little less rocky, a bit more on the smooth side. After all, I am not a fan of the roller coaster....

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Looking for calm....


Today I am a mix of emotions... frustration, anger, disgust, and just plain exhaustion.  And all of this is directed at the same group of people.  I am a true momma bear and when you mess with my kids, I get riled. 

The reality is that it isn't the same group of people, at least not ones with faces and names.  It is a group of people.  It's the group that have abdicated their personal responsibilities. Yes the original group got me going and the more they show their ignorance and loathsomeness today they only make me angrier. 

They are not alone that small group of four people that are in it for what's in for them.  In today's society that seems to be the rampant thought process.  It is starting to be all about what are you giving me.  It isn't what do I have to do to move forward in life.  What am I not doing that I could be.  What is the cost I must spend to have what I want.  And that isn't about just material things either.  It's about life.  It isn't free.  It can't be had on the backs of others.  Life is about doing what you have to do to be successful.  Not standing there with your hand out expecting someone else to do for you.

Those four people that have me so over the top ticked off this morning... Have no concept of working for anything.  They all want the world, but they want it given to them.  They demand respect, they demand attention, they demand you make their life easy.  They are not willing to give anything, do anything, or even meet halfway.

These are things that really make me angry, too many in today's world are just like them, they aren't a rarity they are rapidly becoming the rule. 

I am glad that I prefer to be the exception to the rule.  I am so proud that I helped raise kind, caring and loving children.  My heart breaks that because of that they get treated badly, that idiots will interpret their kindness for weakness.  They aren't weak.  In fact both of them are a lot like me and when cornered they will fight back. My eldest, is particularly dangerous, I am glad.  Her loving nature is equal to her destructive one. Sadly, she will be the one injured in the resulting explosion.  Not physically, but her heart will take another notch.

I am angry for her, she will handle the stupidity far better than I am.  She will rise above it.  As her mom, I think I want to stew and be ticked off a bit longer. 

As a member of the human race, I still need time to stew and be angry that there are so many takers out in the world today.  People that have been taught they deserve far more than everyone around them.  That they are special people, for whatever reason, and that we should all jump on it to make sure all their needs were met.

I think I will head down to my studio and work on that quilt that is almost done, I will say another prayer for the human race.  Because honestly, none of us is better than anyone else, none of us deserves more than the other being handed to us on a silver platter.  All of us are equal, all of us have the same struggles to get through this life and all of us will have an easier time of it if we can remember that.  We are strong together, but we are weak when some insist on making their journey on the backs of others.



Saturday, April 27, 2013

A long 36 hours...

What an exhausting 36 hours!  So rewarding though... I have spent the evening sipping wine and playing mindless games on my computer.  Not my usual evening. Hubby and I had an 18 hour work day yesterday which not even 10 hours later started over again.  So whew... exhaustion and satisfaction all in one.
My girl with her Girls!
We lead a team that put together a great trivia night meeting our goal to support our sister Y's internationally.  That feels good.  Its great to know that an evening of work & fun will contribute to the Y mission growing.  To know we are helping provide meals, day care, reading, and swimming lessons to prevent drownings.  It was so great.  I loved that my daughter came, she was so funny.  Her team proudly claimed last place in the first round and never gave up that honor! Team Sad Sak  proudly carryed home their black balloons and dum dums. 

I had some of my favorite volunteers to work with, they were amazing!  Hubby is a fantastic mc and his sense of humor really makes it so much fun! He even decided to sing last night.  It was great!  So despite it all, even though at eleven at night as we dragged our tired selves home... it was a wonderful evening and it was so rewarding!

This morning saw us heading back across the bridge to celebrate the Spring Festival and Healthy Kids Day.  It was planned in the parking lot, it happened inside... Mother Nature in her quirky way decided we should not have the clear, dry day we were hoping for, we had plenty of rain to make it soggy.  It was quite an interesting event moving it all inside, but it ended up working out just fine.  Kids left with new properly fitted bike helmets, all the little girls got super cool manicures, snow cones and popcorn were a huge hit. It was a nice day.

It was a great week, busy... only one more event waiting for me and it is simple. Celebrating volunteers (find a place to give service - it feels great!), trivia (raising money for a great cause - this makes you feel really great!) and celebrating kids and spring (I mean seriously how can that not be wonderful??) my world feels full, I'm tired but feel good.  Love it!

Home equaled sleep and then a veg out evening. I don't often run out of steam tonight I did, tonight I just curled up with that nice wine, the rain outside and mindless games cozy in my jammies. 

I needed it.

Tomorrow will be soon enough to do the hair cuts I owe the neighbors, finish up the quilt on the frame and do the laundry.  Tomorrow will dawn a bit soggy, but full of potential... that is if I can finally fall asleep, I should never take a nap.

What are you doing this weekend?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Trivia or Trivial... It's gonna be a wild ride!

Day three of unbelievable pain... I am not understanding why this dentist can't make it at least tolerable without knocking me into goofy land.  Ya know that drug induced state where it still hurts like sin, but you simply don't care?  Because I can't function in that world, this pain is crazy!

Today, I simply don't have time for either current state! It's Trivia night, one of the biggest events that I am personally responsible for. It's the time of year that I help guide our team to raise enough money to pay for our contribution to World Service.  Hubby is my strongest supporter, and we work really hard to make it a great event and a lot of fun!

Hubby dedicates so many hours he really rocks! His power point is amazing and he is a great MC.  He keeps it moving and fun all at the same time.  Pretty darn awesome if you ask me!!

This year I really need to be able to focus, we have moved to a new venue so everything isn't able to happen with no thought on my part.  I am pretty thrilled with my team mates, because they have sure been helping me keep my brain semi-focused.

Today will be a day of assembling prizes, getting the decorations down, wrapping wine bottles, trial runs, and all those other crazy things. I need to be focused enough to get the finances ready, and make sure I have all the stuff I will need.

It's gonna be crazy, the next 18 hours will be exhausting and at times stressful, but mostly it will be a wild, crazy and fun ride!  Mostly it will be us all working towards a common goal, laughing and encouraging folks along the way!  It's going to be a great time!

I love that we will be able to help so many, while still having fun! Sometimes all you need is a little fun to keep things moving forward!  I am so thankful for all the help that I have gotten to make it happen.  We are only 6 tables shy of hitting our goal, we have plenty of volunteers, the same sweet lady that baked Hubby's birthday cake is also a whiz kid at Power Point and was able to teach hubby a few new tricks to make it even more entertaining... yep, it is going to be a great time!


Well if you are in St. Louis tonight and feeling a touch bored or you are looking for some laughs... We'll be at Christ Church Cathedral and a great time will be had by all!  If you see me looking a bit dazed, try to understand... Because this pain is unbelievable. Oh and please try to resist the urge to confuse the glassy eyed woman worse. I know it will be entertaining, but I have much work to do.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

love, trust, loyalty and heart

Ugghhh, yesterday was tough.  Today is not off to a promising start... but last night I just felt so loved.  I don't know why everyone does not have at least a few fur babies.

Last night, after a couple of pain pills, I simply was not doing great, me + pain pills = pathetic!  So I simply gave up and went to bed.  My old guy crawled in with me right away - he always does.  He is my baby!  The big guy is not usually one to push his way in.  He had a rough start to life, and is often a bit skittish about being confined or closed in, he needs his escape routes. 

I was incredibly surprised when all the sudden he jumps up and slides himself, made as small as can be into the space between hubby and I.  He must have known somehow that mommy was not feeling great, because he was so gentle, and our big boy is not graceful.  Gentle as a little bitty kitty, he slid in and put his big , sweet head under my pillow.  The slightest motions in the world and he softly licked the side of my face that was hurting, then he laid there as still as can be.  While Gator can lay still for hours, Neeko just doesn't usually have the ability, he is like a two year old... really wants to but simply can't.  Last night he laid there for probably a good 5 minutes, just gently nuzzling me.  Then he finally gave up it was just too much, and just as gently as he climbed in he stepped over me out of the bed. 

He eventually climbed back in and slept most of the night at my feet.  Gator was closer, no one gets to sleep as close as Gator.  That kind of love, is unbelievable.  It makes you feel special and cherished. 

As I sit here and listen to the news they just covered that the Illinois House is trying to pass a bill to protect you if you buy a pet that is ill or dies.  They said you will be able to simply return the animal to the store to get another one, at no additional cost.  WHAT??   I'm sorry, but if you have the ability to simply return the dead animal, then in my opinion you have no reason to buy a pet in the first place!  Your first mistake is buying a pet from a pet store. They are almost always supplied by puppy mills.  And there are millions across this nation that are dying in shelters waiting for a forever home!  Your second mistake is being cold enough to think that kind of love can be bought and exchanged like a pair a pants that don't fit. 

No thank you!  I will keep the love that was given so freely, the trust that was earned and I will cherish that loyalty and heart until it's time for them to run to the rainbow bridge to wait for me.  But I will not ever think I can buy any of that!!

As I lay down this morning to catch a bit more sleep to counteract this medicine before work today, I know that my fur babies will be there snuggling their mommy!  I hope they know how much I love them too... although I don't believe I will be licking either of their faces to prove it.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another great class!!

What a great class!!  It really gives me so much energy to facilitate the quilting class.  To watch each of their quilts coming together.  The power of various friendships being displayed. 

Class number two is over and tonight was so amazing!  The energy and emerging skills are so rewarding to be part of.  It's absolutely amazing to see how quickly another class flew by.  We were all so engrossed in the projects it was shocking to realize there were only fifteen minutes left in the class.


Each quilt is coming along.  One is a memory quilt from shirts left behind to comfort a wife, it is so lovely!  The colors and flow make my heart warm, I can only imagine the feeling for her.  Another is a memory quilt times two.  They are being made to remind another widow that she is blessed with memories and for the maker to have a matching one to help her heart too.



There is the college years made by one of our younger members, a school years quilt by the youngest in the group and her mom.  One of the ladies is working on a travel quilt, and sweet hubby is doing a best of the Y quilt out of his favorites.


Each one shows a bit of the person making it, each one has a story.  That is one of the things I love about a memory/t-shirt quilt.


The group dynamics are flowing also.  It makes me smile.  My boss came in tonight, she was stunned.  So much was going on it was such an interesting mix of people. The maker of the twin quilts is an instructor that is greatly loved at our branch, it shows.  A fellow instructor was spending his evening helping her iron interfacing - fairly sure he'd never done that before.  One of her students came in to see what she was doing and ended up helping her cut out her squares.



Each of them is at a different place, each moving at their own pace.  And it's okay.  The journey is what it's about.  I am so blessed to be there.  I am not an expert, these quilts are just bits of memories held together by love, and I have the wonderful opportunity to guide the journey!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day 2013!!

So... how did  you spend Earth Day? Me? Sadly, I spent it inside looking outside at the beautiful sunshine.  Tonight I am hoping to see the meteor shower though, if the predicted storms don't move into the area.

I knew I had to work today, and that it would be a long day... So I celebrated yesterday! I got two sets of my raised beds planted.  Soon hubby and I will be able to dine on fresh, crisp white and red radishes, make salads with with lettuce that will soon be sprouting, nibble on the fingerling carrots and crunch away on fresh beets. All the spring veggies that I planned for this year have the first planting in the ground.  In two weeks I will sow the next batch and every two weeks after that until it gets too warm. Then I will shift into summer mode.  Although I am considering getting some spinach in, I will decide by next weekend.  I really do love fresh baby spinach salads.


Next weekend I will clean out the other beds, and get them ready.  Two of them need some fresh soil and compost.  And it is still too early to put out the summer stuff.  I will start those seeds inside.  I've been saving a bunch of egg cartons to use, just for that. I have some really wonderful selections planned for summer.  I am going to sweet talk hubby into helping me build some lattices by my beds this year.  I have a few ideas, that I think will make my garden more productive.  This year I plan to plant several types of beans.  I love dried beans and I am looking forward to cooking and storing all these heirloom varieties.

So my day didn't involve any wonderful sunshine laden outside activities, but it didn't deter me from celebrating...

How did you celebrate Earth Day? I would love to know....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Life Lessons from Hersonisos.. .

The harbor as I remember it....
Sometimes when I am sitting doing needlework of any type, my mind wanders.  Okay, anytime I am sitting doing needlework, my mind wanders non-stop.  Today after cleaning the house, spending some time with my girl and hubby, I sat down to do some serious needlework.

While the needle was gliding gently under and over threads and I was carefully counting the threads in the beautiful soft linen, my mind was doing some serious wandering! I haven't done any true needlework in a long time, probably before my hand surgeries, but I found a project that really called out to me.  I had to make it.

I was thinking back to the first time I was passionate about needlework, the first project I ever tackled. My interest was peaked in upstate New York.  We were stationed up there, and Dad took us to Fort Stanwick quite often.  I was excited to live there and go as often as possible.  I was fascinated with the period clothing, the wonderful crafts and life as portrayed.  It was 1975, and I was waiting oh so not patiently for 1976, I was beside myself with wonder at going there to celebrate our nations bicentennial.

The military had other idea's and 1976 would find us across an ocean living on the island of Crete.  I remember being so devastated to miss the bicentennial. I felt like I was missing something that tied me to the past.  The base had a wonderful bicentennial celebration, boats brought the pilgrims to shore and they brought it all to life, I rapidly overcame my disappointment.

That assignment was also one of the first times I started to explore things that would gladly carry me to where I am today.  Our landlord was a Greek priest, his daughter Maria became a dear friend, we were so close in age.  Her momma, Mammas, gave me my first needlework project.  She was shocked that I was already in sixth grade and had completed no needlework projects for my hope chest.  Huh, what was a hope chest? What kind of projects was she talking about??

They opened Maria's hope chest and I was awestruck! Here we were the same age and yet she had created the most beautiful linens, aprons, wall hangings, napkins, tablecloths, and so many other beautiful items that she had made to prepare for her future.

Bless their hearts they tried to help me catch up.  Hard to believe that 37 years have passed since I held that first needlework project in my hands.  I remember it had beautiful flowers, and that I tried.  But my unskilled hands did not treasure the experience, and I gave up!  As time would go on Mammas would take the project back and have Maria finish it for her hope chest, but I would sit and watch them stitch and learn by watching.

I only remember bits and pieces from back then, but it has held tightly with me for almost four decades, I am pretty sure that Mammas was one of my first role models to inspire me, to awaken that crazy creative mess that was deep inside me.

As I work on this particular piece, I think back to that time.  I wonder if that wonderful family that touched mine so strongly is still safe and what became of Mammas, Pappas, Maria, baby Georgie and their older brother who's name has slipped away from me.  Did Maria marry her prince charming and decorate her life and home with those wonderful treasures?  If I could go back I would love to see them again, and show them that I did finally learn the skills and lessons they patiently tried to teach me, but my headstrong American ways just caused me to go a bit slower.

Someday I will find those photo albums... share those wonderful photos... for now they will have to stay in my memory!

Do you remember who inspired you way back when and did you ever learn the lesson they were teaching you? 

Trusting...


I was so proud of the people of Watertown and the surrounding areas last night.  After a horrid 5 days, after almost 24 hours of terror. Being asked to stay in their homes, to not open their doors, to not open their businesses.  Being asked to simply trust the police, the FBI, and host of others to simply put their trust and faith in strangers.

Those people listened, even though one of their own was killed at MIT, during the mad dash of the young men throwing explosives as they went through Harvard, MIT and surrounding communities.  The fear factor was most likely very high.  I remember after 9/11, living on a military base right outside of a huge international airport, I remember threat con Delta.  It was scary, the feeling of no control, of having to trust the unknown to keep you safe.

And yet they honored the request.

I am thankful the young man is in custody, sad that he made the choices he's made.  I am so happy for the people of Massachusetts.  The horror visited on them was unimaginable, and the reason cannot be comprehended.  Yet last night, as those hundreds of men and women in various uniforms were standing down, lowering their guard and heading out, the applause and cheers that sent them on their way, made my heart sing.

Americans are a resilient people. We may not agree on many things, that is the beauty of this country, we have the right to not agree. But we bond together very quickly when danger and trouble is near.  We are at our very core Americans! We make stupid mistakes, we allow ourselves to be led astray.  We don't walk in lock step, we don't vote the same, we don't worship the same, we revel in the very things that make us different.  We will argue with each other.  But don't let an outsider, don't someone that goes against the very core of what makes us American's hurt any of us.

I was proud of my adopted hometown area this morning.  As I was watching the news this morning Scott Trade Center was shown last night.  As the folks of the St. Louis Metro East erupted in cheers at the news that the terror Massachusetts had endured all week at the hands of  mere kids was over! I was proud that for a moment, we were simply all Americans, cheering that a part of our family was out of distress and moving back towards safety.

I worry, maybe its the military brat in me, that we will simply relax and not be aware all too quickly.  I hate that I am fearful, and yet I am very thankful to the military for helping me to be fearful.  I am not silly enough think this is the last time, I do not think it will always be outsiders, I do not believe we are ever truly safe.

But I have faith in America, I have faith that God has a plan for all of us, and I have faith that anything worth having is definitely worth the struggle to have.  Our freedoms and oneness despite our differences is one of those things.  I hope these young men and their actions will not cause us to become unwelcoming to those from other lands coming here searching for the same dreams that brought our families here.

I am proud of my country, despite her flaws, she is home to a strong and proud people!  I am very proud of all those who defend her, both at home and abroad! I am proud of the strength that will help all those harmed and injured to move forward and heal.

Now we just need to remember the fear, because it will help us be more vigilant and maybe prevent this from happening again.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's a Matter of Perspective!


Maybe tomorrow....

It's been a soggy day in the Midwest.  It was raining when I got up 14 hours ago, it hasn't stopped yet. In fact at times today the rain was so heavy and hard that there were massive mini-rivers rushing through the streets.  I kept hearing the newscasts breaking in constantly about the flooding.  Heard my phone message from red alert, telling me my home was in a flash flood area.  I wasn't paying much attention.

I was focused on fixing the last bits of yesterday.  Moving forward from the challenges that still lingered. 

We got home a bit earlier than normal, which is probably a good thing. I was exhausted!

My sewing room is in the basement, so his hubby's man-cave.  My sewing room is where the sump pump is.  It's new, it's fast and efficient. 

I went down to the sewing room to throw in a load of laundry in my bare feet. 

A few feet into the room, my feet were cold and WET!  Uh Oh!  Our new pump had not been able to keep up with the down pours at some point in the day.  It wasn't as bad as it used to be, but it meant I was spending a hour or more cleaning it up.  I am heading back down in a bit, I will switch the laundry over and soak up a bit more water.

My first reaction was to be upset, why me?  A few minutes later... it occurred to me that I am blessed.  Very blessed.  Just this week alone so many people lost their homes, their lives, their ability to easily do the very things I was cranky about doing. 

I have all my limbs to allow me to clean the small mess it created.  I have my home to have the mess in.  I have a hubby to be cranky at.  I am blessed.  It really is all a matter of perspective... My legs and back hurt, but they will stop hurting soon.  My floor is still wet, but it will dry.  My hubby is still sweet and I will stop being cranky long before I go to bed...

I am blessed... Prayers for all those people in Boston, Texas, and around the globe that don't get to experience the stupid inconveniences of everyday life.  That will never quietly rage at silly things.  Prayers for a world that is suffering so much, and the people that are either too blind or unwilling to see.

I am blessed!! The rain has washed away the negativity...

Toasting the dawning of a better day!


I think I was afraid to open my eyes this morning!  I am truly facing this day with much apprehension! Yesterday was a nightmare.  It was on a fast slide south almost from the moment I got up, and I hate it when that happens.

I am basically a very optimistic, upbeat, looking for sunshine kind of girl.  I try so hard to always look for the best in people, because I firmly believe that people are inherently good and will choose to do the right thing and behave as adults when the need arises. Man do I hate it when they prove me wrong!

Do you ever have those days that seem like a dark cloud has descended?  When nothing is in sync?  For me that was yesterday.  From the minute I walked in the door until my sweet hubby managed to pull me out the door, work was not a pleasure.  I know there are days like that, I know that every day cannot be sunshine and flowers.  But manure and thorns?

Today is a new day, the sunshine of yesterday is promising to release itself into torrents of rain and thunderstorms.  I heard on the radio when I woke up that the river is pushing flood stage, within the week we will go above flood stage and hopefully crest.  The rain is going to be a benefit to us, the rain is going to wash away all the negative energy from yesterday.  I still have a few random bits and pieces from yesterday to deal with, to approach from a different angle after a few hours away from them.  I am hoping the day, almost 24 hours of time, will have mellowed out the situations.

Yesterday was a serious hump day, today is the back slide into the weekend.  I think that I will focus on the quilts I have to make, the garden I have to prepare, the spring veggies that will be planted. The planning for the future, all those bits and pieces will help me get through any challenges that come up in my day today.  I want to focus on the long road and move along.

So I will raise my coffee to toast a new day. I will relish the rain drops and bask in the promise of another morning. I will remain true to my beliefs that our choices dictate the outcomes of our lives and only we can control our responses to negativity.  We can't control the other person or their choices.

 Here is to a happy day!



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What an incredible feeling!!

I made a resolution on New Years to start living some of my dreams. To stop pushing things aside, to just DO IT (thank you Nike for the tag line!)! This year has been crazy, busy and very fulfilling.  I started this blog, bought a mid-arm quilting machine and last night started my first quilting class, to name a few...

Hubby is proud of completing his last prepped square
 And I must say it was incredible! I was a tinge nervous, I am not an award winning quilter, I have never even taken a class.  I am just someone that loves the sheer action of creating and sharing that with others.  Quilting is just one of my many creative outlets.

I am a firm believer that humans need art in their lives.  Not just for the creation aspect, but for the expression aspect and the sense of pride in what they have done.  In my world that old adage of "idle hands are the devil's playground" rings loud and true.  Anyone who has spent much time with me knows that I struggle to keep my hands still.  I listen and learn much better when my hands are moving.  Sit beside me in a meeting and you will realize that I can run a pen out of ink in a week, because I doodle.  It's mindless and random, but it helps me to focus...Good thing they don't provide colored pencils or paints - I would be a lost cause.

I love where I work, I love the people and I love the cause.  That being said there are many times that at my particular buildings (past and present) I have really struggled with balancing the many aspects that should encompass a Y.  What drove me there in the first place was the fact that it is there to build spirit, mind and body.  The premise it was founded on.

If you spend any time at all with me, you will know that while I will get very obsessive here shortly about not missing my morning bike ride and I love a good walk, fitness is not a top priority for me.  I have an illness that means it comes with the promise of pain, not a good motivator if you ask me.  And I have always argued that we need other things to round us out, to make us whole. 

So much focus

Last night, I started on my quest to build a new community at my Y.  To tie people together with more than a fitness class or work out.  We have a few instructors that have built amazing groups of people that love each other and will do anything for each other, I wanted to replicate that, for people like me!

Not a t-shirt, but definitely a memory

Hubby got me thinking, he asked me why more people don't... sew, cook, knit, garden, craft, etc... anymore.  I have my own theories on it, I firmly believe as we became more industrial we lost the drive to produce our own anything.  And with it I feel some of the pride of sleeping under your own quilt, growing the food you eat, washing with the soap you made or any of the other things we have given up doing for ourselves has helped us lose sight of some things.

That's a lot of t-shirt scraps

My class sold out!  I had seven eager and wonderful students in last nights class!  For seven weeks we will work together to create simple memory quilts from t-shirts.  Nothing fancy, simply cutting blocks out and putting together bits of the past to create a treasure for the future.  These are simple block quilts. 

Already, after just one class, I got to watch the dynamics start to play out.

Some of my class has sewn before, some of them have never thought about it.  They range from 16 - 61, both men and women, a mixed bag of race and ethnicity.  Some are born crafters, some of them insisted they have two left hands and they are right handed.  In an hour and a half, everyone had cut out all their shirts, started cutting out their fusible interfacing, some even got all of it ironed on.  Several folks stepped in to help those that were behind. 

One lady is making two quilts, a family member passed away last year and she is making two matching quilts to give one to his widow at the family reunion this year.  The wonderfulness of this is indescribable.  She's never sewn before.  I promised to help her, and then slowly others joined in the effort.  Another cycling instructor wandered in to check out what we were doing, he ended up helping her with her blocks. 

I knew I had come up with something good, when a member said to me "it's about time something like this was offered!  The Y is not just about working out it's about community".

I am so excited for this class.  I am so excited to watch these friendships grow right along side their quilts.  The "old time" quilting bee's were about so much more than finishing a quilt quickly.  They were about community, communication, bonding, mental health, keeping your group of people together and taking care of your friends. I cannot wait until the final class, we will celebrate and bask in the pride of completion, each of them will have that deep satisfaction of creating something of value for yourself.  What a rush!  Is it Tuesday yet?




Monday, April 15, 2013

Prayers for Boston!

Prayers for all
 My heart is hurting.  When does the senselessness stop?  What does injuring innocent people have to do with solving anything?  As the days ahead unfold more will be known, eventually someone will step up to take credit for the carnage.  Their ego's will demand it.  Bombs are a cowards way of making a statement after all.

I will continue to pray for these innocent people, runners that just finished a marathon and are now victims of amputations.  A little 8 year old child, dead.  A two year old in the hospital with a head injury.  It's all so sad and senseless.  What could the still nameless and faceless murder/s have been trying to prove?

The insanity of it, is without a doubt true.  What kind of a sane person does something like this?  When I was a teenager, we had a terrorist attack on the base I lived on.  I will never forget it.  I will never forget the classes we were all subjected to.  And what we were taught.  I know it was to protect us, to keep us safe.  I also know that today's attack qualifies as a "soft target", it doesn't advance your cause, it puts it into jeopardy.  No one wants to support a cause that kills innocents.  Although that was almost 30 years ago, maybe the rules for this have changed too.

Tonight I will pray again for all of them, tonight I will sleep a little more uneasily.  Wondering what is truly wrong with humans today.  The cruelty, the selfishness, the insane inhumanity of man against man.  Heart breaking.... Are we becoming dead inside?

Humankind needs to find it's balance again, it's heart....


Monday, I want to break up!


Monday... ugghhh... today it equals exhaustion.  I am trying to trick myself into having some energy.  So far I managed to clean the turtle aquarium, get the last batch of deer jerky I am making for a friend going and a bit of ironing.  I have read my cousin's blog, she writes a great one that usually motivates me... today it just made me feel guilty, I don't want to be energetic and perky.

I didn't sleep well.  I was so excited about finally working on a quilt on my Juki, that I just couldn't relax, could have probably stayed up all night quilting. 

Cup of herbal tea and some reading didn't help. 

Then my daughter was dealing with an issue and called for moral support. There is nothing worse than not being able to help solve an issue of that magnitude.  Knowing that the situation was wrong, knowing it was a child that desperately needed help, knowing that the police made a bad decision to avoid dealing with a problem.  It's absolutely heart wrenching.  The mom in me wanted to make it all better, the human in me wanted to hurt someone!

Spring time stuffiness made falling asleep that much harder.

I gave up at 2 am.  It was just not going to be a restful night.  Hubby had set the thermostat to keep the house at 70.  Perfect when I am in the basement working, not perfect when I am trying to sleep with hubby, two dogs and even one of the cats wrapped around my legs.  Even the old dog woke up complaining, panting in my face to show his displeasure. 

The world is not fun at 2 am.  I am just stating that fact.  I let the big dog outside for a run, looked around my kitchen and decided the sofa might work.  Ugghhhh... next sofa I am test sleeping on before we buy it, I can assure you it is not a cozy, comfy napping sofa.  How hubby does it I will never know. 

Laying there trying to shut up my brain, I realized that while the brain wanted to get back to the quilt, the body wanted sleep.  The issues of the world could not be solved at 2 am and I slowly fell back asleep.  Only to be awakened what felt like minutes later by the alarm at 5 am. 

It's frustrating when you can't let go of the day. 

Monday... I don't think we will be friends today.  I am fairly certain of that.

Since I have a morning to myself, I will slip downstairs, turn on a show and do some quilting.

Coffee - check

Laptop - check

Quilting time!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Orange... the color of the human spirit?

Bright orange shoes.  That was what caught my eye.  Bright orange shoes. 

Last night just as we were pulling back into town from an amazing visit with "the boy", "the girl" sent me a text asking what time we were getting back and if we had eaten.  We were ten minutes from our driveway, having stopped to pick up a few groceries, and no we hadn't stopped for dinner.  The last thing we'd eaten was Chinese take out sitting on the floor with the boy hours before, and hubby was hungry.

I was happily surprised to know they were at our house and our grand baby and one of her bff's were waiting on the front porch to ask us to go to Steak 'n Shake with them.

We quickly unloaded the car and headed out.  Hubby had taken my purse in the house, but I wasn't worried he could pay.  What I had forgotten was that Ava always asks me for quarters for the gum machines and I always have quite a few stashed just for her. Not last night. They were all at home in my purse.

They were disappointed, but little sweeties about it, and we moved on to talking and waiting for our table.  That Steak 'n Shake sure does a business.  There was a man sitting there waiting to pay, but what caught my eye was his bright orange shoes. 

We must have looked quite a sight, two little girls that had been playing hard outside all day, a young mom in her jammie bottoms and little make up, and two old people that had just driven a total of six hours and were exhausted.  Oh yeah we looked the sight. 

He evidently had heard me say "sorry not this time". I have no idea what prompted his next action, but it amazed and cheered me to no end.  Because while looking down talking to those little sweeties about their day, those bright orange shoes stepped into my line of vision yet again.  The next words blew me away!  These things just don't seem to happen in this day and age.

The nice young man with the bright orange shoes, very sweetly said "here you go girls", he handed them equal numbers of quarters, and not just one each either.  Those two little girls were beside themselves in their excitement at receiving six quarters each!!   They both stammered a sweet thank you, their eyes bigger than Christmas morning.  It was then that I looked up and saw the sparkle in his eyes and the huge smile on his face.  For $3.00 he had bought an entire group of people a lot of happiness, himself included. 

It was incredible to witness, even more incredible that he was blushing at the thank you's as he walked away back to his table and the lovely lady he'd had dinner with.  We will never know what prompted him to do that, why he felt compelled to make two little six year old girls smile like that, but he did.  And as he and his date were leaving he was still smiling as those two girls were trying to make decisions based on the number of coins in their little hands. 

The last thing I saw was those bright orange shoes as I looked down to help them hold their treasures. Orange is my new favorite color, it will forever represent to me the goodness of the human spirit, joy
and unselfishness.  That small gift, may have been huge to him, it was definitely huge to those two little girls last night.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Urgently Needed - A Mommy Fix!!

 
It's an Urbana day today, and I am so excited!  In about an hour hubby and I will head Northeast to spend some time with my youngest.  He will be graduating next month so I have no idea where life will find him all too soon.  He might not be just a short three hour drive away.

Spring has been brutally slow to arrive to the mid-west this year, so any walks we might take will be awfully chilly.  But for the first time ever I will be there on Mother's Weekend.  That wasn't planned, just happened.  Actually he was coming home this weekend and school plans got in the way. I am excited though because it means I will have greater access into the full scope of his life for the last four years.  I still will only be there for today, but that is okay.

Most of the trip will be for me to get my mommy fix.  I am sure at his age, he isn't so keen on it, but it makes me feel great!  So I will tidy his place, fix him a fabulous meal of his choice, stock his fridge and simply bask in being mom!  I love these weekends, my kids don't need me anymore, not in those aspects, but I love that they humor my need to nurture them a bit longer.

I will be taking some brotchen and brats - straight from Germany - for my German boy, for the most part he was not only born but raised there.  And just like his sister I know he will savor those treats.

These days are slowly thinning out.  Eventually they will mostly disappear, so I intend to enjoy each moment that is left.  He will be pampered a bit today - whether he wants to be or not.  It really isn't just for him, it is for me too.  I need to know that my children still need their mom.  I am okay with them growing up and living the lives I raised them to live, but I still need those mommy moments to fill my heart.

Sweet hubby will drive me both ways, so I can knit or stitch and not be alone with him worrying if I am okay until I return.  He will fuss a bit about feeling left out, I understand, there are times I feel the same way when the twins are here.  He will definitely get frustrated, saying we talk to softly.  He isn't wrong, we do.  Until 10 years ago my home was always quiet and hushed, my kids were raised that way and are still slightly quiet.  Conversations are not always had loud enough for someone with failing hearing to understand.  I have adjusted, the kids have not.It is not intentional.

He will find a reason to check the air conditioner, the plumbing, and of course the car.  It's what we do.  There might be a quick drive to make sure "the car is running good" and oh yeah to fill the gas tank since he'll notice it is a bit empty.

Before we leave we will take another picture, the same as all the ones we have taken for four years, I need them, they mark a journey, they show me the changes in my young man.

Driving home tonight will be bittersweet it always is, we will be joyful for the day, sad that it is over and brimming with pride that the little boy we watched mature has become such an amazing young man.  At some point I am going to say I can't believe these trips are almost over, and I might shed a quick tear or two. Hubby will always ask me if I got my mommy fix, and I will grin like a silly kid and say yep!

And off we will drive, literally into the sunset, heading home southwest away from that little spot that my youngest currently calls home.  I will try to capture a picture of two of the beautiful sunsets we always see on those vacant vast plains of Illinois.  And each time I will curse the fact that my phone doesn't have a better camera, because it cannot come close to reality.

As I lay my head back on my pillow and snuggle my fur boy, I will reflect on the perfect day with my son.  I always do.  A prayer to the heavens to ask God to continue to protect him and my other children and I will drift off to sleep.

These days are dwindling, but so worth that six hours.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Good Byes...

Seems today is full of them.

Some are temporary, like one of my staff leaving to chase new dreams.  I am sure I will talk to her and run into her in different circles.  She is just no longer going to be someone I see and talk to every day.  I will miss her.  The smiles, laughter, fun were simply a small part of it.  I loved knowing that I had someone working with me that I knew would be professional and proficient in her job skills.  I am happy for her that she has found something that will allow her more freedom and professional growth. But good byes even temporary are sometimes hard.

For my sweet sister, the good bye was more permanent.  One of her furbabies left for the rainbow bridge today. Unexpected and suddenly. In my family, like many, they are true parts of our family and the pain is unreal.  I wish I could be there to hug her, I know how painful it is.

I hope she reads this today and knows I love her and I know how much she will miss Molly B...For you Trisha... Hugs and prayers for you!

Treasured Friend


I lost a treasured friend today

The little dog who used to lay

Her gentle head upon my knee

And shared her silent thoughts with me.


She’ll come no longer to my call

Retrieve no more her favourite ball

A voice far greater than my own

Has called her to his golden throne.


Although my eyes are filled with tears

I thank him for the happy years

He let her spend down here with me

And for her love and loyalty.


When it is time for me to go

And join her there, this much I know

I shall not fear the transient dark

For she will greet me with a bark.


Author Unknown

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shaking My Head!

Sometimes people amaze me!  Absolutely knock me out with their selfish, petty behaviors.  I am a pretty empathetic person.  I believe in giving second chances, even third, fourth, fifth... I can be seriously stupid in wanting to believe the best in people.

I have been hurt many times because of it.  But sometimes, sometimes they just take my breath away with their insensitivity.  Around the middle of the day I got an IM message.  Nothing unusual there, but the content and the writer, now that was unusual.  Someone that I used to know, someone that needs to stay in the "used to" column of my life wrote to ask me a favor.

This is not a person I was ever close to, but someone that I tolerated for darn near twenty years, because there was no other option.  This person is not someone that has any business asking me for a favor.  But still they did. 

The part of me that has serious empathy understands.  It really does.  But the rest of me, remembers the past.  It's not that I need to forgive them, I don't.  They really don't touch my world, and barely did before.  They didn't hurt me personally, so there is nothing personal about it.

I know they suffered an immeasurable loss late last year.  I know that nothing in this lifetime will ever fix the hole left for them.  I wouldn't trade places for anything in this world, or the next. 

That being said, the absolute greed and selfishness I witnessed at that time made me sick to my stomach. I was so thankful to not have to witness the remainder of the show as I had to come home.  My mind was boggled and my heart scarred by what I did see.  A huge part of my belief in human beings to always rise to an occasion with class and dignity died then.  It was something I could not fathom and still can't.

My parents raised me above that, so I bit my tongue, gave the sympathy I could and walked away from a sinking ship.  At the time I felt such sorrow that I was not able to support those closest to me, when they needed me most.  I knew they understood, and I was there the best I could be from so far away.

The ugliness of those few weeks is trying to raise it's ugly head once again. It's not been a year since the words "no, you have enough" were spoken.  And yet the hand is outstretched, pleading and begging for more.  And wanting me to be the one to deliver the words.  I won't.  At some point the door closes permanently and the takers need to go. 

That door is closed, I will not be the crowbar that rips it open.  I will show empathy, I will be kind, but I will never be used to cause pain for a selfish person that wants everything even when there is nothing left.

Ironically, what they want is gone.  Gone at the very hand of the person they swear would want it for them.  It had little value then and now when it's too late it has even less. 

I hope that those I love will always know that nothing I have is of any value when I am gone.  It is all just stuff, things that clutter my life.  I want to love them while here, it isn't about money, it's about quality.  Things cannot fill holes or buy happiness.  And after I have left this world, I pray that those I love remember that.  A piece of jewelry, clothing, trinkets, none of it will ever be anything more than stuff. I pray my loved ones never feel the need to plead and beg for things, that I will have provided enough love and happiness to them that just my memory will be enough.

And I pray that none of them will be so heartless and greedy as to ask for far more when that door is closed and you have taken what you wanted and needed.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Just how happy are you?


I've really been pondering the training I took yesterday. Tiff really has a way of teaching that makes you stop, listen and reflect.  Her style engages people and draws them in.  I am still over 24 hours later reflecting on my Happiness Quotient, if I had to say I brought one thing back with me, that would be the one that impacted me the most.

I am thankful that I don't let the past haunt me, meaning  that I am negative because of it.  But I do sometimes react too cautiously because I am afraid of the outcome.  I have been burned in the past and just like everyone else I carry a few "battle" scars.  Although I have to be careful, I can really get sucked into a negative vortex when I allow myself to be surrounded by people that have a serious case of the grouchies!

The questions about what are your passions and what makes you the happiest keep running through my mind.  She said that hopefully those things meshed with our mission and we could find even more happiness combining the two.

I am not sure if my passion and work will blend, but I sure am trying! I am getting ready to teach my first quilting class.  It's a basic t-shirt quilt class, I have developed quite a fondness for making them and I am enjoying the idea of sharing that love with others.  I have to admit that I was beside myself excited that the class is filled.  I set the class size relatively small, I needed to be able to gauge it before adding too many folks.

As I was working on my nephew's quilt I realized that for a beginner it would be easier to center a clear square over the design in the size you needed.  It is difficult to cut it blind. As I was thinking and cutting with my plexiglass rulers it occurred to me to try making some plexi-templates.  Hubby and I called the local hardware store and asked them if they could cut me the size I needed.  Happily, they said yes and before lunch!

I created the supply list and I sent it to everyone registered for the class.  I have a few more things to gather before the first class, less than a week away.  I am feeling very good about this, very positive, it feels right.

Who knows, maybe I can combine my passions with my work, that would be nirvana!  After this class I want to be able to teach more "old timey crafts" as one of my younger peers blurted out at the last big gathering of professional staff.  Ironic really when you consider that I have seven folks paying for my class and those younger folks are struggling to fill free ones.

Maybe I am going to be able to combine them... I sure hope so, I am fairly sure that would really cause my happiness quotient to sky rocket! What's your happiness quotient?  Do you take a daily inventory to see if you are living your life to it's fullest capacity?  I hope everyone has a Tiff in their life, to give them a reality check when it seems out of whack!  And to do it all with laughter!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Why Yes! You can Kiss my Bass!


Sunrise over Sunnen Lake

As the sun was rising above the lake this morning, it occurred to me that it was going to be great day!  After all how could it not be wonderful when it starts in the low 70's and with a beautiful sunrise over the lake?

I am always a bit apprehensive about the retreats at work.  I have been to some that could best be described as train wrecks. This one, was simply put, great! We have new leadership planning and hosting them and it was evident.  The classes were fresh, the layout was planned wonderfully and they even took into consideration it was Cardinal's home opener! After dinner and the awards ceremony we joined the Bingo game which was great fun!


I didn't know if it could get better until today, I had the opportunity to take a class by one of my dearest friends and a great trainer.  It was about Happiness! And it really made my day brighter, how awesome of a way to start the day. It really made me stop and think about my happiness quotient and how it is a choice.  I loved it!  I realized that I am over all a pretty happy person... whew... that was close, I might not have been sure.  Seriously, I learned a long time ago that it's a choice, and usually I am.  Some days I might need a refresher, and that was what today was all about!

After lunch with my team, hubby and I headed to Sullivan.  I wasn't optimistic, I mean after all the last time we were there I was pretty down. 

Springtime, was starting to wake up all around us down at Trout Lodge, there were random flowers, budding leaves, it was all starting to break through.  Thirty miles away under cloud cover Woodland Lakes looked dismal and brown.  At least at first it did.  The trees were naked and bare, it was such a stark reminder that winter had decided to stick around a little longer than normal, nature had not yet decided to landscape. 

As we pulled up on our little plot of paradise we discovered yet another new neighbor.  This one is on the left and looks to be planning to set up something like what we have. They evidently are careful, as they took the time to have their entire lot surveyed.  At first I was shocked, and a little disappointed.  Then I started looking... seems my property line is a bit wider on that side than I thought.  The pins were a bit difficult to find and it wasn't important before.  We checked on our trailer (it is in great shape!) and we did a bit of tidying up.

When we were loading our fishing gear I could not help but notice all the flowers... Spring had come to Woodland Lakes, there were little splashes of color all over the forest floor.  It wasn't bold and garish like us humans tend to decorate for spring.  The flowers were petite and soft, they forced their way up around the dreary decay of fall.  The mosses were bright green tucked into the oddest and most unexpected places. They were light, airy, almost unreal in their delicate nature.



Driving away I was feeling a bit confused, Hubby and I keep talking about possibly selling it, especially now that we have so many new neighbors.  Unfortunately, I love it down there, the feeling I get when we are there is so peaceful and focused.  I can relax, unwind and just breathe... I don't know if I can face walking away from that.  I don't know if I want to.

We went to one of the other lakes today, Piney is the one we live off of, but it is quite an interesting stroll down the hill and I was wearing my Birkenstocks and didn't think they would be too great for going down the hill. So we went to Delago, one of my personal favorites! 

I wasn't feeling up to fishing, my heart wasn't into it.  I was feeling conflicted and I was tired, very tired.  Hubby needed a fishing fix though and after a few quick casts I realized I was needing it too.  We spent a couple of hours first walking the lake then sitting on the bench at the shore talking about quilts and b'longa'b's all the while casting and simply enjoying the peacefulness.   '

Neither of us had a lot of hopes of catching anything, after all it was a dreary, overcast day and the middle of the afternoon.  The lakes had just been reopened on March 30, so it didn't promise to be good.  Surprisingly, it was great, for catch and release.  I managed to catch 3 baby bass and pretty much managed to completely catch my first ever Crappie, that was so cool! Hubby had managed to catch a rather large one and is always telling me how fun it is to catch one, but in ten years I have never managed to catch one, until today.  I wish I would have had a net, as it managed to get free just as I got it on the bank, so sadly no time for a picture.

Hubby was a little disappointed.  We have a little contest we do each year, who can catch the first fish.  I caught the first fish of the year, correction, I caught the first FOUR fish this year. So he has a bit of catching up to do.  But 2013 belongs to me!  I rarely get to be the first one, he is much better at catching fish than I am. I think mine were simply luck.  We started to head home, but he wanted to cast a few more times, he is a bit competative.  He managed to catch two bass, and probably would have stayed all night to beat me.
First baby bass of the year!

It was getting late, and we were getting tired.  Leaving Woodland Lakes behind we were both still conflicted.  It so far away, about 90 minutes, we don't get there often.  The privacy and quiet that we both crave when going down there seems to be disappearing.  Who knows, maybe they are great people that we will develop life long friendships with.  Maybe they are party animals that will drive us nuts! Guess we will see, but for now, I think I will cherish those beautiful flowers pushing up around my camper.  The peaceful time I spent fishing on the banks of Delago with Hubby.... ah memory making on a beautiful spring day!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Nom, Nom!

Nom! Nom!
Another morning that is starting way too early!  Gonna be a long and busy one today.  Hubby and I have to head south in an hour or so.  Today is the Cards retreat at Trout Lodge.  For a day and a half, we get the opportunity to go to one of the most beautiful places in southeastern Missouri and sit in seminars staring out the window at the beauty.

Normally it is quite a painful venture, but today it should be just fine sitting inside and looking out.  It started storming last night just was we brought the last cooler in and is supposed to continue until Wednesday.  So actually, traveling from event to event is going to be soggy and gross.  Oh well, can't win them all.

Yesterday ended up perfect!  Hubby's party was so much fun.  I am not a party person, I struggle with planning and running them.  It's usually pretty overwhelming for me, but this time it was fun.  I can't say it was the best decorated party.  But everyone seemed to have a good time and most importantly, hubby did! 

The weather was amazing!  Low 70's is always where I prefer it and just enough cloud cover to make it not such a sunburn risk.  I would say it was just perfect.

I had asked a friend to make the cake, this woman is amazing and really should be doing this strictly as a career!  Not only is she creative, they are always fun, beautiful and absolutely delicious!  I didn't have a lot to go on when asking her to bake the cake, hubby isn't particularly picky on flavors - only strong requirement was that it include sugar.  I would definitely say it included sugar!  Chocolate cake, chocolate icing smothered with piles of chocolate/chocolate cake balls!  It was a sugar rush in the extreme!  And he loved it!
Grampa giving Ava the first cake ball from his cake!
 Horseshoes, BBQ, good friends, loving family, laughter, cake, sunshine and silliness.  An all around great time!  Now it is time to get ready to head to a soggy retreat.  I have plenty of snacks to share with folks tonight!
Oh no!  Double Trouble!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Celebrating my Hubby!!!

Hubby and I in Brussels last summer!

I should have probably slept in, but knowing I had spent most of yesterday enjoying myself in my sewing room I knew I had lots to do.  So before the sun had even thought about waking up, I got up and savored my first cup of coffee of the day, it wouldn't be the last.  Most of the house is tidy now, just the kitchen to finish up on after I finish cooking and then it's time to celebrate!

It's James' birthday!!!  For some reason he wanted a party, he doesn't pick the usual ones to celebrate. Milestone birthday's are far too mundane for him.  We had his last big party when he turned 51, so it only stands to reason that we would pick 61 for the next.  We've invited close friends and family, people that make both of us smile.  Most of the kids will be here including a boyfriend or two.

Probably not gonna make weight watchers lists, but YUM!
He's been cooking since yesterday.  A huge pan of BBQ pork steaks is simmering on the stove, I am not a BBQ cook at all, I don't even pretend to be and his are great!  I don't even like BBQ, but I sure do enjoy his.  They just fall apart.  Now if you want some grilled salmon and veggies, I would be your girl.  So even though he is the birthday boy, he was slaving over a hot BBQ grill yesterday.

BBQ anyone??

We also had to mourn the passing of his beloved Weber Kettle.  He's had it for 30 plus years and it has served him well.  He's made tons of wonderful dishes on it, but it is now time to let the poor thing rest in peace, or pieces if you will.   He's cooked BBQ for the neighborhood when his brother had his jazz festivals in the back yard.  His Daddy used to say he was afraid he would serve him BBQ eggs if he could figure out how.  And after his Daddy and Brother had passed away, he would BBQ pork steaks for his Momma, putting them in individual freezer bags so dinner was always just a microwave ding away as she had more and more trouble getting around.

Is there a market for Weber crutches?
Ten years ago we bought that Weber all new parts and she was doing great!  But yesterday mid-steaks it started sliding slowly to one side, at first it was barely noticeable then suddenly it looked like a scene from the Titanic tipping sharply to one side.  But Hubby is nothing if not resourceful, I've been told that during his stint in Vietnam he was a lot like Radar O'Reily from M.A.S.H.! He quickly sprung into action calling me upstairs carrying various cordless tools as he went.  Ultimately, it ended up looking like a scene from "Trailerhood".  And I am sure it was not OSHA approved. But the old girl had it in her to make it one last time.  Perfect that it was for Hubby's birthday party!

The sun is starting to make its appearance, gracefully lighting up the sky with a beautiful orange and gold paint brush.  It is promising to be an extraordinary day.  Thank goodness!  The rain is supposed to roll in later tonight, but the day is supposed to be beautiful.  A beautiful day, to celebrate a beautiful soul's 61st year on this earth, what could be better?

The teller of goofy jokes, the willing hand, the heart of gold sometimes hidden in a lion's roar, the friend to all, the giver of groceries to friends that are down, the drier of tears, the bestower of teddy bear hugs and belly laughs.  The dream maker, the lover of puppies of all ages, the possessor of unconditional love, the gentle soul that hides behind bluster when insecure, the doting father and grandfather.  Today we are celebrating my own personal gift from God. 

Happiest of Days my dearest James!  I love you!! Time to get ready for your next 30 years!!