Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Is it just me or is it amazing that it is August 1st?  I have no idea where this summer has gone.  We did get the pots on our deck potted but i think there are plants in the tray that never got planted.  This year I feel like I struggled to get anything done, very frustrating.

My nephew graduated this year from high school and had promised his mom I would do a t-shirt quilt, never Again!  When Kris asked me to do the quilt I thought oh, ok this should not be any big deal cut out some shirts and put sashing between them, WRONG!  I should have known better because my sister in law does not do any just normal.  Her house is beautifully decorated and there is nothing in her house that you could say "oh I've seen that before".  Amazing where she finds things.  Well here is the quilt:


I told Patrick's sisters that they can pick out a different kind of quilt.  I know thou when the time comes I will do another one for them because I can't say no.  I think the problem with doing that quilt is my sister in law didn't realize what goes into making one and she gave me the shirts 5 weeks before I had to have it done.  If I didn't work maybe that wouldn't have been a problem.  Oh well it's done and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

As I was saying it is August 1st and that means Autumn will be here soon and this is the time of the year I love to go camping.  We always try to get one camping trip in with Raychel and last year she went but didn't get out of the motor home but at least she was with us.  This year she is doing better and hopefully will be able to come sit outside with us. 

Raychel is holding her own right now.  She gets her nutrition every night and her blood test were starting to show that it was working but now it has leveled off but still not in the normal range.  We do know that it is starting to effect her kidneys besides the issues with the liver.  Every day I wake up and am so thankful to still have her in our lives.  Yesterday she was very upset about something and as I said to her she was throwing a tantrum at the age of 33.  She was blaming Grandma and I for the dumbest things but I was not going to let her do this to us.  Grandma is great at saying it's ok she's sick and I try to tell her and Raychel that just because she is so ill does not give her the right to be mean.  Well yesterday was horrible and I was not going to tolerate it and she was mad.  When I finally got home from work I cried for the longest time and Mike just sat and held me and told me it was ok what I had done.  I told him I was so afraid of her dying and her or I being so mad at the other.  The saying "never go to bed mad" is a good way to live.  By the end of the night we had talked and she was calmed down but I think she realized that this was not the way to handle things. 

This weekend won't come soon enough.  Mike is working out of town on Friday and then out at the Minnesota Zoo on Saturday so most of the weekend will be mine to do as I please.  I have 1 quilt top almost ready to load on the frame and then 2 others cut out and ready to start on.  Next Saturday the 11th I am meeting Barb, my blog friend, in Stillwater to go to a couple of quilt shops and of course have breakfast.  I'm really looking forward to spending time with her.  For some reason we can only seem to get together once a year and hopefully that can change.

till later

Saturday, May 12, 2012


 Yesterday after work I drove out to my sister in laws to spend the night.  I love being on the farm, it is so quilt and peaceful.  We started sewing right after dinner and continued until I could not stay awake.  I knew that doing this would get me sewing again which I needed so bad.

This was a quilt I had started before leaving for California back in January and really needed to finish and I did.  














 I always love the bright color quilts but they just don't seem to fit with my house.  I don't know what I think this because I am not much of a decorator but I do love color.
















Today my intentions were to head back home to go hang out with Raychel.  She had a few good days this last week and was hoping that today will be a good one for her.  She wanted to go to Target which as most people know that is not a quick or cheap trip especially for Raychel. Well I got to Raychel's and she just was not up for it.  She had a bad seizure on Thursday and every since that she has been sleeping a lot which is normal for her after having one.  Usually the sleeping does not last this long and she says she just does not feel good.  Hoping that this is not the beginning of some kind of infection.

When I got home Mike and I decided to go on a bike ride and road for about 15 miles.  Some days I wish I had an electric bike so that when I got tired I could just stop peddling.  Now that would not be very healthy.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Update

Update?  Where do I begin?  Raychel after 6 weeks in the hospital is home and 6 weeks in the hospital is so unheard of.  Raychel is getting the TPN every night thru the port in her chest and the rewards of it are showing.  Once a week the nurse comes to the house and changes the needle in her port and takes blood to see how she is doing.  Her blood levels that are done to watch her nutrition are improving so much but her liver enzymes are starting to creep up.  They will tell us when they feel that the liver is starting to be compromised and at that point they will stop the TPN.  We are hoping that will be years from now but we have to remember that we just don't know.  It is like when someone is told they have terminal cancer but that they don't know how long they will live.

Mike and I have been at Raychel's apartment packing it up and have gotten to the point with some things we just don't know what to do with. During the process of packing her stuff we came to the realization on how sick she was and how alone she was.  We moved her to my Mom's on January 4 and on her coffee table sat a New Years Eve hat that she had bought herself.  How sad to know that she was home all alone and at 32 yrs old that is sad.  Mike and I were home and asked her to come spend the time with us but she just was to sick to make the 20 mile car ride.  What I keep struggling with is why Mike and I ever left on Jan 31st for California.  My Mom and Raychel kept telling us that she was getting better and to go.  The morning we flew out I woke up and just started crying and I told Mike that I was so afraid to go and Mike said then we won't go.  I told him, no because if we didn't Raychel would feel so horrible specially since she is getting better.  I guess when they say listen to your motherly instinct you should listen.  Every day we were gone I called the moment I would get up and then a few times during the day.  My mom kept saying everything was going ok until Justin went over there.  She said she had not been honest with me which I just don't get.  Anyway I'm thankful we got home when we did.

Today Raychel and I will be heading over there for her to tell me what she wants and does not want.  She is very nervous to go there, she says that it is another step in her life that she fears the emotions she will feel.  Raychel has been nervous every time she has made changes like when we moved her to my Moms or when I called 911 because she new she was dying but didn't want to hear it and then the fear of leaving the hospital and leaving the care that she had received.  I know once she is there she will be fine.  She is having friends from the apartment building coming down to hang out with her.  She is hoping to order pizza from her favorite place by her place. 

Packing someone else's stuff makes me look at my own home and realize what I HAVE to get done around here.  I can't imagine having to have someone come in here and pack my stuff and try to figure out what is to be thrown and what to keep.  We have been in our house for 18 years and we have 18 years of stuff that we have not used in years and will never use again.  I say throw it and Mike says what if?  He is getting back to work now most weekends he will be gone so that will be my time to throw without him knowing (hopefully).  

Thru all this time I have tried to take time to sew and I actually go down into my sewing room and I clean up down there and just can't get myself to sit down and sew.  I have always used my sewing as therapy but I can't do it.  I have 2 quilts started and a pile of fabric that I know what I will be using it for just can't start.  I love to sew and really hoping that this is a phase that I'm going thru.  I know of a few friends that had sewn for years and all of a sudden for what ever reason they stopped and never went back to it.  I never could figure out why that they would stop but I guess now I understand.  The difference, I will get back in the swing of it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Been a very hard road

It has been so long since I have posted anything.  First it was the holidays and then it was getting ready to go on vacation and before you know it life gets away from you.  I have been trying to find time to sew but just can’t seem to squeeze it in which normally is my sanity.  Mike and I headed out on Jan 31 and flew into Los Angeles which we love and spent 11 days there.

Well for the biggest reason I have not been posting is my daughter, Raychel.  Any of you who have read my blog over the years know she has really battled with trying to stay alive.  She started going down hill last June and slowly it got away from her.  She was so sick during Christmas and at that time we moved her to my Mom’s where I knew that Grandma would fatten her up.  Mike and I left like I said and headed out with my Mom telling me that things were getting better and Raychel guaranteeing us that she was doing better.  Well the truth was she was not getting better she was getting worse.  My son, Justin, went over to see Raychel and he was devastated on what he saw.  He called us and said we needed to get home right away so we did.  We got in on Monday night and finally on Thursday I called 911 when she got to the point where she was not able to left her head off her pillow.  At that point I realized how ill Raychel really was.  I think for a few months in the back of my mind I knew what was happening because I started having moments of crying and it usually was when I was with her or talking about her.  Mike and I were told that Friday that Raychel was dying and they told her on Saturday.  They told us that they personally had never seen a patient so malnourished and even thou she was eating she has gotten to the point that she can not absorb.  Over the years we have been told over and over there is nothing that the doctors could offer her, we had completely lost all faith in the medical profession.  That Thursday when I called 911 I had them take her to our local hospital that she had never been to but that my Mom worked at for 44 years and had retired only 3 years ago at the age of 82.  My Mom is very well known at this hospital but I think they are just a GREAT hospital.  They put a port in her chest and a picc line in to give her TPN (nutrition) and other medications to buy her time.  We know that the TPN will cause her liver to go into liver failure since she has liver disease already and once that starts they will stop the TPN.  We are not even sure that it will help at all and in about 3 weeks we will have an idea if it is and if it’s not they will stop it then.

The love I have for my children is so intense and I’m thankful for that every day.

The reason I am telling this story?  Because this is happening to Raychel because she was so tired of being obese that she decided to have gastric bypass.  They say that 1% of patients that have this surgery will die and that’s 1 out of 100 will face what my daughter is facing.  When anyone goes in and has a procedure done they always tell us the things that COULD happen but as human nature is we always think that will happen to someone else.  Well someone has to be that 1%.  I hope that anyone who is thinking about having gastric bypass or any elective procedures think about it in great depth.  Raychel has told me that she would rather be obese than to be like this.  Does not matter how thin we are or how obese we are, we are not happy with our bodies and that is so sad. 

Please keep my daughter and family in your thoughts.  This is a road that I’m so afraid to go down for the fear that I will not be able to stay as strong for Raychel because this is what she deserves from us as her parents. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Great Day

Yesterday was such a great day.  I met Barb and we eat breakfast and talked for a good 1-1/2 hours and then headed to our first quilt shop.  Like Barb said it seems like we have known each other for years.  I was so out of my norm meeting up with someone I had never met in person and only had talked thru email.  I'm so glad I did, Barb is going to be a friend for a very long time.  We made it to a total of 4 shops that neither one of us had gone to and I have found a few new favorites.  Well worth the miles put on.

I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that have great blog friends and I would suggest if you can meet up with that friend.   It is so wonderful to find a friend that enjoys that same passion in quilting as yourself.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Saturday

Saturday is approaching fast and I am so excited because it is the day I finally get to talk to Barb in person.  I have been talking (actually emailing) Barb for probably 3 years now and she also is a quilter which is how we connected.  Barb's job was helping disabled people apply and get benefits that are out there but probably would not find on their own.  Barb answered questions while I was applying for social security for my daughter, Raychel.  When you have a family member become disabled it is so hard to get someone the help they need and trying to figure out all the hoops that you have to go thru to get the benefits.  Anyways we are meeting!  We are going to meet for breakfast and then hit 3 quilt shops.  What a perfect way to spend a Saturday. 

I know that this is off the quilting subject but just an update on Raychel.  Last December Raychel weighted in at 131 pounds which was a hard journey from 76 pounds.  For some reason that we cannot figure out right now she has dropped to 94 pounds.  She went in last week for a complete physical and her doctor ordered some blood test but the clinic was not successful getting any blood.  They were poking her arms and then tried the veins in her feet without success.  She went to the cancer center at the hospital figuring they were use to patients that are hard sticks.  Out of 10 tubes of blood that they needed for all her test they were able to get 1/2 a tube.  I am hoping that it is enough to run the important blood test that might show why she is losing weight.  We are working on just thinking positive thoughts and trying to keep her thinking positively also.

Applique ideas





Mike worked up at a casino in Walker Minnesota this past weekend and brought home these pictures of the carpet.  Granted I would not like to have this carpet in my homes but it would make a great applique panel.  I also would not use the colors they chose but the leaves and flowers I love.  What a great husband.










Monday, October 17, 2011

Vacation with the girls

 My original plans for my vacation with the girls was to leave on Wednesday, Oct 5th, and coming home on Tuesday, Oct 11th, but that got changed.  The week before my trip my boss was diagnosed with a tumor in his head the size of his hand and was cancer.  I work for a small family owned road construction company and it is my boss, Stevie, and his sister, Shari and are more like family than employers.  His surgery was on Oct 3rd and it took them 18 hours and 3 different surgeons.  Was a long day of waiting and waiting and even thou it was a long surgery it was a successful surgery.  He will still have to do radiation and chemo but he will make it thru that and that is all that matters.

I have never flown from Minnesota going east in the early morning.  I have never seen such a amazing sunrise than from a plane at 35,000 feet.  I always feel so blessed when I get to experience these moments.














This is what I saw when I came around the corner of the airport.  My friends, Jean on the far left, Bonnie in the middle and then Jean's daughter, Laura who was along for the ride.  I was so happy to see the two since I had not seen them since we were all in Phoenix this past winter.  


 When we were taking Laura home we went thru Hershey Pennsylvania which was a very cute town.  I love the street lights, a Hershey Kiss. 
 I have fallen in love with this part of the country.  With Jean growing up in the Lancaster area she didn't realize how 2 woman from other parts of the country would be so interested in what she thought was so normal.  Jean grew up Menonite and really knew the area and the way the people live.  One of the towns we went thru was having a neighborhood yard sales and we had to stop.  Most of the homes in this town were either Menonite or Amish which I loved walking thru the yards and seeing what they all had for sale.  Most homes had baked goods that all had been baked that morning.

 Then finally we made it to our first quilt shop.  This trip I really noticed a huge difference between your local quilt shops and the Amish quilt shops.  The Amish shops have all the major brands at half the price of the local quilt shops.  This particular quilt shop had Moda Fabrics for $5.99/yd and beautiful batiks for $3.97/yd.  How could this be.  I did load up on 21 different batiks with a particular pattern I have been wanting to make.

I love the simple life. 




 I could not resist.  Unfortunately I was in the backseat trying to get this picture thru the windshield.  A little hazy but how adorable is he?
 We were stopping at a little shop at a farmer's house that Jean knew and the shop owner's son was out in the field plowing.  My husband can't even get our son to help mow the law with the self propeled lawn mower.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


This past weekend Mike actually played guitar with a drummer and a bass player that he had never played with before.  The bass player is a promoter of a show that Mike has worked at every year for the headliner band bringing their stage equipment for them.  This year it was not needed.  The promoter decided that Mike himself and Gene who owns the production company that brings all the sound equipment would put a band together.  It was so much fun and I loved seeing Mike play again.  We got there Thursday morning and the show was that night but we had a hotel room for 2 nights.  We were down in Fairfield Iowa which is in the southeast side of Iowa.  On Friday we headed to the Dutchman Store in Cantril Iowa which is Amish and Menonite and the place was packed.  I seemed to be more of locals shopping then a tourist place so that made it more interesting.  They had groceries, hardware, cookware and of course FABRIC which I didn't buy any because I am waiting to buy fabric in Pennsylvania in October.  


On Saturday morning we decided that we were going to go to the Largest Truck Stop in the world.  This place is on I-80 east of Davenport.  I decided that I was not going to make it all the way to the truck stop so I had Mike pull over at a wayside rest.  I could not believe my eyes when we pulled up and sew all the quilt blocks.  I was so excited I didn't want to go in I wanted to look around.  I need to read more on this but I guess they used the quilt blocks as messages for the slaves traveling north looking for freedom.



This was outside and was the key for the quilt blocks.  What I heard someone saying was that different farms would have different quilt blocks on their barns as a secret message.  Here is one key:

I wish I could read this better but it is the story behind the blocks and how the slaves made it thru the underground railroad as gentleman working there put it.










 I really thought this was worth sharing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ok not completely done I still have to hand sew the binding and will ship it off.

I have to say that I spent more time on this quilt than I have any other quilts.  I don't do well with just grabbing and putting together and this quilt you cannot think about what colors you are grabbing.  I got some blues together that I wish had not happened but oh well, I know she will love it.