Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Life goes on... (sometimes)

Wow, more than six months has gone by since I last posted. Kind of nice to look back and see what was going on in the past but a little sad to think of all that has happened since that last post.

In July, Laura and I drove the Jeep back to the Columbia Valley so Laura could pick up her motorcycle and we could be with Liza and Shawn for their 1st wedding anniversary. We only stayed a day because Laura had to get back to work. Madeleine came back with me. She stayed for the summer but spent a week at the end of July in Vancouver visiting her cousins there, then 10 days in SF to watch her cousins there while her aunt Deanne and uncle Dean worked. She was glad to get home at the end of August.

Laura rented a small house with a large yard where her kitties (3) are quite happy catching voles and birds. She has a job at the local, trendy Town & Country Market where she works many hours. She found a very inexpensive Subaru sedan that runs well and she's quite happy driving it about.

Sadly, we lost Shawn on September 13th when the camper that he, Liza and their friend Kelly were going fishing in, rolled down a steep riverbank (75') into the St. Mary's river in Kimberley/Marysville. Shawn's neck was broken; Kelly's chest was crushed and Liza sustained a deep gash the length of her lower leg. Even though she could see Shawn trapped under the truck lifeless, she climbed the riverbank through heavy bush and ran back to find help. It took the rescue team 4 hours to extract Kelly from the wreckage. Kelly spent two weeks in the hospital and is still on heavy painkillers for his broken breastbone and cracked ribs. Of course, Liza has been distraught ever since over the loss of Shawn, who was only 36. I'm glad she wasn't more badly injured but I would give almost anything to have Shawn back for Liza. It's been rough.

It looks like Obama/Biden is going to win the election. He appears to be a few points ahead of McCain/Palin in all of the polls. I continue to wish that Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee.

Richard and Abigail are leaving for a long-planned Italy trip with their friends, Jordan and Pat, on Friday the 24th. They'll be gone for 11 days so I'll be staying at their house to be with the boys while they're gone. I gave Richard 800 Euros to take on the trip so they wouldn't worry so much about money while they're gone. The economy isn't doing so well.

The kitties are huge now. And my quilt top is completed as are the triangles that go around the sides. I'm looking forward to attaching the triangles to the top so I can sandwich the top, the batting and the backing and start hand quilting it. Laura said she would help but she works a lot so we'll see how that goes.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

12 days....

The last 12 days have been filled with trying to accomplish 'things', accompanying Laura on shopping trips/scenic trips and just plain 'catching up' times where we sit and talk. We've been to Silverdale twice - once with Richard to go to Costco for supplies and once to get fabric for sewing. Then there was our trip to the beach to walk on the logs; it was chilly although the sun was shining and Seattle gleamed in the distance over the water. Laura and I have also visited the library to check it out and also the few bars here to find a margarita on the rocks that satisfies. We've had some great Indian, Thai and Mexican food and Richard has made some great meals also.

Laura has applied for a job and is waiting to hear from them. She is also in the process of renting a small house so everything is on track so far. The house is in a grove of tall pine and spruce trees and is perfect for her cats to wander around. I don't think there are coyotes here. I've never seen or heard that there are so the kitties - all three - should be safe to wander where they will... as long as they stay off the road. Which isn't busy so shouldn't be a huge problem.

I have completed more of my Dear Jane blocks... the 4 1/2 inch blocks... and triangles that go around the edges, but it's been slow-going with Laura being here and needing support.

I will be sewing clothes for Laura... and myself... for a while. I measured myself for pants and compared my measurements to the pattern and now have to do the same for Laura. I have completed Laura's blouse in a fabric that was 'very reasonably priced' at Joann's. Laura didn't like it on the bolt but it looks cool sewn up; I have to buy a long zipper for the side and then it will be complete. Yay! I might make myself the same pattern - it's cute. But I want to get the pattern adjusted for pants because that's the hardest to make... to get them fitted correctly. I've sewed many pairs of pants but from a pattern that I was familiar with; patterns are all different and fit each person differently... therefore the time needed to measure and adjust.

I spent some time this morning traveling around websites to look at various fashions designers styles to get an idea whether waists are high or low now. Looks like high for 2008 but for summer, I'm making waists cut low because they're more comfortable to wear when it's hot... maybe higher for the fall/winter.

While I was sewing yesterday, the sun was shining into the living room (and fading my oriental rug) so I stopped what I was doing, cut two pieces of muslin 5 feet long, stapled them to thin sticks and hung them from the roof overhang to block the sun but not cut off the view. They looked lovely blowing in the breeze like sails and they performed exactly as intended - for shade. It felt very tropical. Laura mentioned that in the tropics, the sheer linen curtains they put up for shade are wetted down so that the breeze coming through is more cooling. That's a thought if it gets warmer here.

But today... it's overcast and cool so the sun won't be a problem. I'll be able to sew all day... no problem.

If I get tired of sewing, I can crochet a shopping bag. I love shopping bags ... just hate taking paper or plastic from the grocery store. I found a cool site with the pattern - frayed at the edges blogspot. I have left over yarn from other projects and this looks like a great project to use it up.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Laura is here!

Richard and I took the boys over to Battlepoint Park today to ride their bikes around. Walter fell and scratched his hand and stomach but seemed okay.... just a little grouchy. Richard thought he was hungry so we stopped on the way home at an Indian restaurant and had a delicious meal. Walter's attitude improved immediately so I guess he WAS hungry.

We decided that Laura needed to have kitty litter, dry food and Fancy Feasts for her kitties when she arrived so we stopped and picked up supplies. No messages from her so I assumed that she left in the morning and would arrive before eight as she had stated the previous evening. I dropped Richard and the boys off at home and left at 4:15. Two hours later he called to say that Laura was there so I drove back over there and sure enough, she had arrived. One of her kitties, Rika, had run up into the garage rafters and wouldn't come down but the other two were doing well in the library. Laura enticed Rika out of the rafters as the evening progressed.

Richard cooked the rest of the salmon and made a terrific salad to go with it. We drank champagne and some box white wine that was pretty good.

It's been very stressful for Laura over the past 10 days having to quit her job, pack up her goods and decide what to bring and what to leave behind. She said that when she drove into Richard's driveway, she broke down and cried for 10 minutes. Poor thing... she had to drive for 9 hours with 3 cats across cold, snowy roads and a major pass into Seattle.... then get on a ferry. The release of emotion must have overwhelmed her. I knew she was stressed out and now I want her to take some time and just chill.... just a few days. She's talking of getting her resumes out tomorrow but I think she should take five days or so before she does that.

I'm happy she's here. I hope things work out well for her. We'll see how it goes; I think it will be good for her.

Paranoia, election drama and sunshine

The dinner I was little afraid of went very well. Salmon and salad was the main course but there was some good wine and cheese as well as a pre-dinner cocktail... a Manhattan prepared beautifully by our host. The conversation was good. My daughter in law's mother leads an interesting life and she's a very upbeat, amusing person... so I'm sure it was not due to me or anything I did that the event went well. I arrived at six; left at nine. Perfect!

Yesterday, since the boys were out of school, we threw a bike in the back of the mini-van and headed for the bike shop to buy a bike for the 6 year old future bike rider. Found a nice green one. The salesperson was great... fitted the bike seat to H's long legs and installed the training wheels. Then we were off to Fort Ward, or what I'm going to call Bean Point since it evidently was Bean Point prior to WW1 when an armory was installed there and it's name changed. I think Bean Point sounds better than Fort Ward although maybe Mr. Ward, whoever he is, might not think so.

The boys raced each other up and down the path, then parked their bikes and went down on the beach to explore under the rocks. It was low tide so there were lots of birds shopping for dinner on the seashore, too. There are old pier posts from the beach extending out into the water and cormorants perch there with their wings open as if welcoming the breeze to dry their wings after diving into the water. At times, I've seen a white-headed eagle sitting at the end resting up or maybe watching the water for a fish to swim by.

Then it began to hail. There was a big black cloud right over top of us and even though the sky was blue, we had to leave... boys riding fast ahead of us. We headed back to Richard's to have a glass of wine, watch CNN and talk politics. Richard has such a cool head and says he's going to follow party line and try not to get involved in the 'dustup' of the candidates, which we both think is instigated by the media anyway. I am surprised at the amount of hatred directed at Senator Clinton in this race but we who root for her must prepare to be good losers and rally around the candidate if she's not chosen. If we don't, we may end up with 8 more years of the same old-same old. I hope not.

Laura is heading over this way today... at least that's what she told me last night. This move will be good for her, I think. She'll be around more people, be able to attend more events than she could back in that small town she's lived in for the last 10 years... and her friends will come visit, I'm sure. Hopefully she'll arrive by 8 o'clock tonight even though the pass has snow and is still below freezing. I hope she'll get through it during the day when it's warmer and she can see where she's going.

The forecast here is for a beautiful day.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


I've been invited to go over to Richard (my son) and Abigail's (DiL) to have dinner tonight. I have purchased the bottle of wine I'm going to 'bring with'. But still, I wonder if I should just stay home... I don't know why I'm such a hermit but it's nothing new with me. I've always been a hermit; nothing to do with any particular people but sometimes for days on end, I find ways to amuse myself all alone... or talking on the phone and ignore 'real' people. A failing in me perhaps....

I bought two new pairs of Spring flavored shoes last week - online, of course - so I'll wear my sparkly zebra-striped Skechers skimmers. They're very cute and will perk up my attitude possibly and make me feel conversational to the other guests.

Must remember not to talk about politics, adoption, Canada or my family... I'll just nod appropriately as they say things and ask questions. Hope that works because there's nothing I hate worse than leaving the party and wondering why I said what I said... then thinking of what I should have said instead of what I said. That can bug me for the rest of the evening and make it hard to get to sleep. Paranoia... yep, I've got it.

I had a bad dream that woke me out of a deep sleep last night. Seldom I remember dreams but I remembered this one. Snowy landscape, cleared road leading to a large new house with smoke coming from the chimney... someone is telling me that the man hit his son on the head with a hammer repeatedly and he's to stay away from his family. We enter the living room where there is a 30-ish dark-haired woman on the sofa... she turns to look at us as we enter and greet her. The fireplace is burning. A 8 or 9 year old blond boy comes into the room. I wonder if he's the one who was assaulted. He won't meet my eyes. I turn to look at the woman and suddenly the fireplace explodes in flames and smoke making it hard to see. A loud voice tells me that the boy did it and a man with a hammer is in the smoky room... and I think "That's why he did it." I wake up scared out of my wits and can't return to sleep easily. My heart is beating fast. Oh, and the woman spoke French... we were in Quebec. Yikes... what is going through my mind to dream that?

Anyway.... into the shower with me... off to dinner!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Continuing on...

My mother died on March 3rd. She was almost 94 years old and had been having mini-strokes for years. Six weeks before she died, she had another while she was walking down the hall at her assisted-living residence and she fell. She was unable to walk or talk after that, or feed herself, or sit up... basically, she lost most of her functions. When she was returned to her residence, it was to the full-support floor and her day started at 8am when she was fed and wheeled in her bad to a sunroom, where she spent all day until 5pm. At 5pm, she was wheeled back to her room. So, it was difficult to hope she would remain alive under those circumstances. Poor mom... I just know that she wouldn't have wanted to die the way she did - slowly over a period of years. Anyway, I am now motherless. But, since mother didn't recognize me since 2003, I suppose I've had some time to get used to that feeling. I wasn't sad when she died like I was sad when my father died.

Age may have something to do with a person's sadness level. I was 42 and an emotional wreck (because of a lot of things) when dad died.... page ahead 26 years and mother's death was almost anti-climactic... to me. Maybe not for my brother who took care of her for so many years. He must miss her.

I have to post more often. There are a lot of things happening in my life that I want to talk about... and lots of things not happening, or happening to other people that I want to talk about too. But I'll save some of that for later. It feels good to be back after a long, dry spell.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Been quiltin'

Rather I have been making blocks for a quilt. I'm working on a Dear Jane quilt; you can see it here... The blocks are only 5 inches unfinished and some of the blocks have more than 25 pieces in them... it's really quite an endeavour. So far I'm enjoying it even though I am not a very good applique-er and there's lots of appliqueing in this quilt. The others who have made or are making this same quilt have a motto, which is "better finished than perfect" so I have been adhering to that as I go along. By the time I've finished this quilt, I should have learned some new skills which will make me a better quilter overall. I hope. I have done 57 of the blocks and 14 of the triangles that go around the edges. In total, there are 159 blocks and 52 triangles so I have a way to go. I've been working on it, off and on, since September 2007.

As I figure out how to post pictures, I may post a picture of each block as I complete it. We'll see. Currently, I'm keeping track of the quilt by putting a tiny picture of each block on an Excel spreadsheet so I can see how the colours all look together as I go along... and I do pin them onto a 'wall' also.

So, I'll be back... now that I don't want to post at the previous SofA site any more. I try to understand how people who take our children for their own can be so cold about contact and really anything after they sweet talk a girl into giving her child to them to raise. Rich vs. poor. Ever the story....