Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gratitude

I am so grateful for all the support I've received following my Mom's sudden passing.  My friends have been so kind and quick with a hug.  Countless times I've reached for my cell phone to call my Mom to ask advice, tell her what I'm up to or what my grandkids are doing.  For the most part I'm doing well, but then I'll see something -- Jeopardy, Red Wings games, etc. - and wish we could be watching them together, just once more.

The holidays are fast approaching and I don't know how I can get in the spirit this year.  I wish I could pull the covers up over my head and wake up in 2015.  Even New Year's Day will be hard as we spent it together for many years.  She would make a big pot of Canadian Pea Soup and we would reflect on the year gone by and talk about our plans for the coming year.

I'm grateful my mother died so peacefully but oh do I wish I had known it was coming.  I didn't have a proper goodbye.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sad Times

You know how things can go rolling along in your life relatively smoothly for a while and you feel like you haven't a care in the world?  The sun is shining, the leaves are turning beautiful shades of color, the air is getting crisper and Fall is in 'bloom'.  Work is going better, the kids are all healthy, my sewing mojo has returned - life is good.

Well it all goes to Hell in a hand basket with a phone call.  My sister Renee, who had a full knee replacement last week, couldn't get my mom on the phone.  My oldest sister Denise was on a cruise in Germany, my youngest sister Carol was in Ohio.  So I was the one to drive out to Mom's only to discover she had died in her sleep some time on Monday.  Renee had called the apartment handyman to check on Mom and he discovered her, shortly before Kevin and I arrived.

Stunned.  She had been doing so well having returned the week before from a visit with Denise for about 10 days, enjoying the Fall colors of northern Michigan.  Chester the handyman said he'd seen her Saturday sweeping the leaves from her porch.

As far as we can tell she just died peacefully in bed.  Age 88 1/2.  A good long life.

Yesterday was the visitation and today was her funeral and she would have been so pleased by all the folks who came to pay their respect and comfort all of her family.  Childhood friends, former co-workers, bowling buddies, they all came.  Denise had to keep adding and adding to the luncheon count -- so many people came.  We have treasured friends who mean the world to us, doing what they can to ease our sorrow.

If your Mom is still around, give her an extra hug for me please.  I miss mine already.

My sister Denise read this today at Mom's service and I hope you enjoy it.  I don't believe the author is known but if I'm wrong please kindly let me know.

Life is like a journey on a train...with its stations...changes of routes...and accidents!

At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel by our side.

However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone….but not quite.

As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our life.

Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Some will move to another car for awhile and come back. Others will go so unnoticed we don't realize they left their seats!

This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hurts, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells.

Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers...requiring that we give the best of ourselves because we are all on this ride together.

The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way - love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are, including our seat if necessary.

It’s important because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty -- we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life without us.

I wish you a joyful journey for the coming years on your train of life. Reap success, give lots of love and be happy.

More importantly, be thankful for the journey!

Lastly, I thank you for being one of the passengers on my train!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Swing Jacket

This past week I've been working on a new swing jacket.  As I posted on Facebook, this pattern is the worst pattern written in the history of the world.  No, I'm not exaggerating.  I bought it, along with 2 more, from a vendor named Barb at the Sewing Expo last month.  ARGHHHH!  It contains hand-drawn illustrations, completely misses the cuffs in the pattern as well as the instructions, and needs seriously proofreading -- 'sleve' -- ugh.  I bought the marvelous washable faux fur and cuddle fabric at Haberman Fabrics here in town, and ran my confusion about the collar past Cindy, one of their wonderful employees.  I managed to complete the jacket despite all the pitfalls, and while I still have issues with the sleeves I do LOVE it!  It's so comfortable and while it's not super warm it will make for a great Fall jacket.




Even including a selfie (ugh!)


Sunday, October 19, 2014

All Burned Up

I survived the visit from my boss, AKA Dr. Evil, and his assistant, Mini Me.  I've been micromanaged to DEATH.  His ideas are fine, but his delivery stinks.  I think he was out playing Cricket when he should have been in Charm School.  My job is going better and I am starting to 'get it' finally.  I've gotten two paychecks so far so I think I'll stay.  I like what I'm doing and who I'm working with and when you couple that with my short commute, I'm quite happy.

My former roommate is settled into his new place but today he stopped by in the most irate state I've seen him in a long, long time.  He went to the Lions game with his father and uncle.  I don't know what triggered it but his father decided it was time to let loose on all that has been bothering him about me for the past 25+ years.  Kevin was so upset over whatever transpired that he left his wallet and cell phone in his dad's car.

Unfortunately I had been trying a new recipe which called for heating up the pan before adding butter and olive oil and it burned horribly, causing me to open all the windows and turn on the fan as the house filled with smoke. So when Kevin starting screaming hysterically about the incident there isn't a soul within 5 miles that didn't know about it.

It's amazing to me how my ex views our marriage.  He deems me cold and insensitive and I view him the same way.  I was abandoned as were the kids so that he could spend his all of his spare time with his brothers and parents, long before his father's terminal illness.  I guess I just didn't understand what being married was supposed to be about.  Unfortunately Kevin had to be the recipient of his father's built up wrath.  Wow, it NEVER came up when we were in marriage counseling.

I feel horribly for Kevin, he never should have had to endure this.

The new chicken dish was delicious but the pan needs a little TLC, much like my former roommate.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Checking In

Sorry for the extended absence.  I've been busy getting the hang of things at work and that includes trying to understand a boss who seems to have flunked out of Charm School.  Said boss will be coming to spend the week with us starting tomorrow -- yikes!

I promise to update you with the latest events in my life, including the recent move-out of my roommate -- yaaay!  I've even been sewing a bit -- woohoo.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Stuff

This past week was my first one at my new company, XPO Logistics.  Everything is going swimmingly so far.  I like my co-workers, the work is interesting (read: lots to learn) and the commute is a breeze.  There's a great cafeteria that actually makes good food -- what a novel idea!  I'll be getting paid every other Friday -- haven't been paid this way in YEARS.  That means my first check won't be until October 3rd - YIKES!!!  I'll have to be careful with my bill paying until I get used to that.

I haven't been in the mood to sew lately.  Not sure why but I haven't, and that's okay.  Today my roommate was going full tilt on cleaning, decluttering, and packing -- preparing to move out next weekend.  I'll believe it when I see it but it is looking good right now.

I did manage to stitch one seam today in making a quilt backing.  I used the 2' x 4' ironing board that I bought at the Ann Arbor Quilt Show, which rests on top of my ironing board.  It worked amazingly and I pressed the fabric much more easily.  I also had to do a little applique repair on a quilt top and used the Tulip Hiroshima applique needles that I bought over the Summer.  I loved the needle -- smooth as can be and it did not bend on me.  I've got a pin cushion full of old bent needles that I can now toss!  They have the cutest packaging -- check them out and add some to your 'toolbox'.


And lastly, I found these great mittens for my grandson Denver:
They're great because they have side zippers which will make getting them on and off so easy.  Found them at Costco, of course.  I highly recommend them for all little ones out there.

So that's enough new stuff for now.  I've got to tidy up my kitchen and get ready for the work week.  Early to bed and early to rise makes me a happy girl.  Also gets me home early enough to actually enjoy the evenings these days!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The President's Quilt

I was the president of the Great Lakes Heritage Quilters last year and my term ended in June.  I am just now getting to posting pictures of the wonderful quilt I was given.  Many members of the guild contributed a block to the project which was designed by Modern Quilt Studio and chosen by my good friend Sue.  The blocks were assembled by more good friends, Joyce and Carol, and then quilted by another good friend Mary.  I've been sleeping under it most of the Summer and enjoyed it so much.

It contains several of Marcia Derse's fabrics, which I adore, and the colors couldn't be more perfect.  I'm looking forward to repainting my bedroom to match it some day....


Close up of Mary's quilting:

The backing was pieced using a few leftover blocks:
I appreciate all the thought that went into making this wonderful quilt for me.