Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

You don't have to have a partner in crime to have a wonderful Valentine's
You just have to know there are people who care

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dad

Well hello Blogger World Long time no see or in this case no post.  Since my last post January 7th I just havn’t felt like writing. I’ve had lots of feelings floating around but nothing I could get on paper. I’m thankful to my husband who insisted that I go back home at Christmas to see my Dad. Each day after Pamela and I left Missouri my Dad’s health declined.  It was like we went from a 2-3 month time table to a 2-3 week to a 2-3 hour time table in less than 20 days. 
So on Tuesday January 19th at about 4:50pm my Dad drew his last breath surrounded by family. When I got that final call in Texas it took my breath away. You can never really prepare for the end.
So that Thursday the 21st David and I drove to College Station picked up Pamela and headed to Missouri. Just as we were pulling out of her drive way the rain started. When we stopped for lunch just outside Dallas it was 38 degrees. The driving was miserable all the way to Oklahoma. By the time we got to Joplin Missouri it was snowing. We stopped for the night there since the roads were getting slippery and David was tired..
When we woke up Friday the sun was out and the snow was already starting to disappear to Pamela’s disappointment but not to her Dad’s since he was driving. We only had a few more hours before arriving in Chillocothe where our hotel was. From there it was about another 30 minutes down the road to my Dad’s place and my little sister Jerri Lynn’s place where everyone was to gather. 
Before pulling into Chillocothe we stopped in Hamilton Missouri and for you quilters you know that is the home of the Missouri Star Quilt Company . I wasn’t in the mood actually for shopping/browsing the 15+ buildings they had rejuvenated but we stopped for lunch at a place my brother in law Kevin told me about when I was up at Christmas. It was called the Blue Sage. Okay now we’re talking a town that was about to dry up until Jenny and her family created the quilt company and brought new life to this sleeping but quaint farm town with a population of actually about 1700 folks. It’s also the home of the JC Penney the founder of JC Penney’s. Anyway the prices were not small town prices but were prices we’d find here in the city of Houston or even in Kansas City but the food was exceptional or at least I thought so. They hand fried their garlic potato chips that came with their sandwiches. After the price shock even David had to admit the food was really good but said we’d have to eat at Taco Bell after this to make our money last. He would be in luck since there is a Taco Bell right across from our hotel. I don't want my post to bring you totally down so I wanted to share the small moments of good and there will be more.

The rest of the day/evening was with family and the viewing. It was so rough seeing Dad. It took me a while to even walk into the viewing room. After the viewing service we went to the radio recording studio to record our thoughts and goodbyes to Dad to play at the service the next day. We were given something like 3 minutes each and when it was my turn I sounded like a blubbering idiot but thanks to editing it didn’t sound so bad. I just couldn’t think of what to say or how but my nieces and nephews did. Dad’s favorite saying was “see you in the funny papers” and he always said “toodle-loo” when we hung up. I have to laugh because Dad was a talker and it was hard to get to the “toodle-loo”  I had to plan my calls to him knowing that when we talked I’d have a hard time getting him off the phone. LOL. An hour later I’d say Dad I’m at the office or my appointment I need to go but instead of saying toodle-loo he’d start a whole new conversation. That was Dad.

They parked Dad's favorite red tractor in front of the funeral home. You might see a firetruck for a fallen firefighter but not a tractor in Houston.. Dad was a pretty amazing man who will be greatly missed. I know my little sister who ran him up and down the roads for the past year and half for treatments and my nephew who thought the sun rose and set in his Grandpa have big holes in their lives right now.  My other two sisters, nieces, nephews and outlaws are all grieving and I know/understand with time we will all heal but it sure hurts like hell now.
Saturday the 23rd  the day of the funeral if was a balmy 25 but felt like
18 or colder with the wind. Pamela said she figured Grandpa knew how excited she was about the snow over Christmas so he made sure she got her fill of it this time too. At some time during this day we were driving to the church/grave site and Pamela goes "oh look  frosted mini wheats".  Through the tears I had to giggle. Crazy kid. All the hay bails were topped with snow and yep she was right they looked like frosted mini wheat cereal.  
During the service they played the cd we created at the radio station the night before. It was funny the stories and memories all had a common thread…. Red tractors, speed, talking, drinking coffee, the coffee shop and humor. Dad always had a sense of humor. He so loved life. Before my nephew Josiah could hardly talk he could say “green is bad” meaning John Deere. 
Dad loved speed. One time when he picked me up in Missouri and we were driving back to Chicago where he was living at the time, I woke up and caught him racing the car next to us on the freeway in the pouring rain. Oh Lordy! I was probably about 10 and scared to death. Even at Christmas he and the oldest nephew (Jeremiah) went out in for a drive in Jeremiah’s new truck and did a little speed test going down the road of course against another car. And oh how Dad loved the coffee shop. If there was someone there to talk to and drink coffee with you’d find him here there for an hour or two or ......hours. Many of us who hung out with him for the day found ourselves at the coffee shop for no telling how long. Did I mention how He loved to talk.  

Pamela took this picture at the grave site. Yep that's snow and it's cold! I'm not sure how it came about but I think Cresia and I were talking about needing our long johns when my husband pipes up and goes "oh damn I knew I forgot something...I forgot my underwear!" David Earl!. He was kidding of course.
As we continued to sit there after the grave side service and most  but not all folks had left and without thinking and even realizing what I had said until everyone started laughing I said out loud "Dad I love you but we're freezing our asses off".  Well that's one way to lighten the moment without trying.  Leave it to David and I.
Sunday we got up and went to breakfast with all the cousins and all my sisters at the Crown. Dad's favorite coffee shop. Most everyone left right after breakfast and head to their respective homes.  We stayed around the rest of the day and hung out with my little sister and her family just for comfort and sharing. We headed back to Texas on Monday the 25th.
The resting place for the tractor on Dad and Carolyn's farm for now.

Our final stop as we left town to head home. It's hard to imagine that Dad and Carolyn won't be there this June when we return for my nephew Zachariah and his fiancee' Bailey Jo's wedding.

Oh and If anyone is missing any Canadian geese you can drive to the lake behind my sister's house in Missouri. I think they were all there. It's a crazy sound hearing those geese just a honking after dark.
 As we passed through Oklahoma Monday on our way back to Texas
  Had One happy face to greet me on Tuesday when I picked her up from the kennel. That's the longest she's had to stay away from us since she came to live with us.
Lilley "MOMMY You're back! Can I come home now?"
I hope my post didn't bring you too down.
Have some quilts I'm working on for more babies. Babies that are already here dang it but I'm working on them. 
Until next post.. 'Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.'  ~ From a Headstone in Ireland



Thursday, January 7, 2016

My Holidays/Trip to Missouri


I love his smile as I give him a kiss.

How about this sexy picture of my Mom and Othermom. The picture was taken in 1952 at Lake Michigan. My cousin found it in her Dad's collection of pictures and shared it with me.  Don't have a lot of pictures from my Mom's youth due to a house fire so I love whatever I get or have.  As you know I made an unplanned trip over Christmas to my hometown in Missouri to see my Dad.  
While there I ran by the Senior Living home where my Aunt and Uncle live. I had them take a selfie with me so I could send it to my Mom. They haven't seen each other since April 2015. They talk every day but I know they miss each other very much so I figured a picture would help.
Christmas Eve Pamela got to meet her new baby cousin Beckett who lives south of Kansas City in Raymore Missouri. She sure is getting the hang of this baby stuff but that's a good thing since she's a nurse in the postpartum unit and her hospital does couplet care meaning she cares for both baby and momma.  My Niece and Nephew aren't getting out in the weather with a new baby to go up to my Dad's so they let us stop and spend Christmas Eve and Day with them. 
My Dad came down with my Little Sister.  Come to find out Pamela got to hold and meet Beckett before her cousin Emily. Isn't he a cutie?
Oh word of warning this post is picture heavy.  This blog will preserve the memories of possibly our last Christmas with Dad. I noticed he looked tired and knew how hard this last year and a half had been on his body and him. Since we left he's fallen a couple of times and has started napping more plus he hasn't wanted to drive any where. Which is unusual for him.
Emily finally gets to hold and meet her new baby cousin.        
Christmas Day..
.Since Baby Beckett couldn't open his present one of his sister's Benilli opened the package.
Here's the proud parents and sisters Benille and Winnie.  I'm sure I spelled Benille wrong so forgive me Melissa and Jeremiah don't tell Benille that Aunt Carla misspelled her name.  LOL                                              My niece is an OR nurse and my nephew passed his test and is now a Professional Engineer.  YAY    
     
Grandpa and Pamela
Me and Dad


Emily and Pamela






How about this cute pillow gift box. My friend Ashley at work helped me make these for gifts like money or gift cards. Thanks Ashley.




Emily gives Grandpa a big hug.           And Dad with his newest Great Grandson.

Dad's other Great Grandson Carson, grandson Zachariah my nephew and Zach's fiance' Bailey Jo with Dad
Day after Christmas Fun with the rest of the Family







My little sister's family
Jerri Lynn had to work so she is missing from her family picture
and the picture of Sisters with  Dad

Sister's with Dad
Nancy, Me, Barb
The life of a nurse is never done. We have our fair share of nurses now in the family.

Grandkids and the Great Grandson Carson in front
l-r back Shelby, Emily, Pamela, Tyler
l-r front Zach, Dad and Josiah
Front and Center Carson
My sister Nancy with her two children Tyler and Shelby.
Shelby just graduated
from nursing school. She's going into cardiac care 
My sister Barbara and Cresia   They are both in education.

I love this picture of my Dad and Shelby as she snuggles with Grandpa. We had been giving Dad a bad time about crossing his right leg over his swollen left due to the tumor pressing on the arteries so he swung the right leg over Shelby. Problem solved Which brings up a funny story. Christmas Day my Nephew Zach told Grandpa "Your left leg is as big as mine" (Zach). To which my Dad replied....... Are you ready..... "I took Viagra but it went to the wrong leg." My Dad the comedian.

My sister Barbara came up with several games for everyone to play such as the one in the pictures here. Each person was given a candy cane that they put in their mouth and tried to hook other candy canes to put on their plate. 
The one with the most candy canes won. It was quite hilarious.  
Cresia  Tyler  Pamela  Zach  Shelby
Then a friendly game of cards

On the Sunday after Christmas I took a quick side trip by my Grandparents old house before going to Dads. It looks so different. Like plain. I would have sworn it was much prettier.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and of a child.  I spent many happy summer breaks in this house. Good Memories
Sunday when we left my Dad's to go back to the hotel it started to snow to Pamela's delight and my dismay. I had never driven in snow. I had moved away before I was able to drive. Oh boy this will be a fun drive home.
I looked out the hotel window Monday morning the 28th and this is what I saw.               Snow!                                     
We drove to Dad's for a final Goodbye and Hug before heading back to Texas. While there it started snowing again.  Yippee. For a minute I couldn't even get out of Dad's driving when I was trying to leave. I backed up and when I put it in drive my tires started spinning. oops. Finally got some traction and took off. 
It was such a bittersweet trip knowing that this might be the last time I'll get to hug my Dad. He made the decision to live out his life by doing the things he hadn't been able to do in the last year. Like got to the local coffee shop where all the farmers and truckers hang out, drink coffee, smoked way too many cigarettes (something my Dad never did), discussed the weather, cussed the prices of crops and maybe tell a joke or two. For as long as I can remember my Dad went there every morning and maybe at lunch and dinner to hang out.
Treatments aren't an option anymore. All my sisters and I can do is honor his decision and love him. It's breaking our hearts but he's fighting a good fight but unfortunately the cancer is winning. 

 Pamela snapped this picture of a random house going down the road. We thought it was the perfect picture for a Christmas card.
Snow  Trees  a Home
This picture doesn't do our drive/day justice. We drove between 25 and 40 mph for about 140 miles. Pamela took the picture not me by the way. We had a couple of scares while driving but we survived and I did okay for my first time in snow. It was snowing really hard and I really wanted to make a stop down the road before we hit the interstate.  I couldn't believe it when I found out that this quilt shop that is a big hit among quilters for their deals and tutorials was only 40 minutes away from my Dad's and I never realized it. I always thought it was in Hannibal. If you're a quilter you'll recognize the name right away..... The Missouri Star Quilt Company. Home town girl made it big Her son and daughter helped her start up the company that helped revitalize the dying town of Hamilton Missouri. I could smell the fabric when we got to the exit.... I was so tempted but all the exits off the highway were going up and when cars got to the top and stopped at the stop sign the couldn't go forward. All they did was spin and slide. I really really wanted to stop for some Quilt shop therapy but knew it wasn't a good idea. 
I don't think David would be happy with me calling to say I was in a ditch or a wreck
But I'll be going back in June for my nephew's wedding so I'll try to squeeze in a visit.
While I was in Missouri David was home with our pup Lilley and the Grand-dog Sophie celebrating Christmas and his birthday with his siblings and their families. I hated leaving him but he wasn't able to get off work due to a project that was due on the 30th but he insisted I go to Missouri. 2015 has been an emotional roller coaster. I'm glad I went and spent time with Dad and the rest of the family.

Well I've probably bored you with all my pictures. Sorry 
Until next post.. Live every moment like it's your last.





















Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 Quilts completed in Review.

2015 Quilts completed  in Review.  My best year ever. Now to get busy on 2016 projects and carry overs from 2015. oops oh well.

For Connor Witmer
for Kate Sperry
Jason Captain
Missing an individual picture of baby Valentina's quilt. Similar to the one above.
Quilt for Jaxon
Queen quilt for Pamela's guest room
Pamela's new pillows, shams, quilt and dust ruffle all done
Quilt for Wren in Wyoming


Weston's 1st Birthday quilt

Quilt for Ellis
2016 UFO's


last 2 handmade items from FB post. Finished 3 of 5
Sandy's memory quilt - bought fabric, photos ready, need a good pattern -started blocks and putting on design wall
Texas Flag quilt - red and white section ready, work on blue blocks
Nickies Tshirt quilt
Mom's 
·    flannel quilt - pieced, add applique
·   fleece quilt
Ongoing projects
·  postcards
·  bookmarks
·  mug rugs 
Allan's quilt - fabric bought
Phi Mu auction quilt - fabric bought
valances

·    den
·  breakfast room
·  dining room
·  master bath
Hobo Quilt - picking up fabric
Bible Quilt - fabric bought, 1 block
Special Quilt for a special grandma (JLK)
Baby quilt for Jeremiah and Melissa's baby- cut out
Open a pattern I bought and and make it

lAST BABY quilt for Pam's friend and mine
 Laina  in progress
Pamela's projects for me
·    #1 t-shirt quilt
·   #2 black/white/teal
·   #4 kit we bought in Missouri a few years ago
  • back door window cover for Pam's new house
  • curtains for cabin
  • Quilt for Rhonda