Photo courtesy of Jerry Kiesewetter @jerryinocmd
We’ve gone the full circle twice now. This time it was my daughter and grandson leaving to have their “military homecoming” with her husband who just returned from deployment. It was bittersweet and yes, tears fell watching her walk away. She stayed with us during this deployment because she was pregnant and would need a support system. Watching my grandson Micah grow each day for the last four months was a time I will always treasure!
photo courtesy of Max Sulik
And now the house is so quiet. It’s still an awful mess and I’m probably going to be walking around picking up tiny socks and baby items left behind and putting them all into boxes to ship soon. But Now I’m just taking it all in.. This time I’m giving myself a little time to both grieve and rejoice. I grieve because I miss them and rejoice that they are together as a family. I grieve that Micah won’t remember me but I rejoice that his father will be getting that 5am bottle instead of me. (haha)
In the coming weeks I’ll be packing and shipping and getting my quilt room back into shape. I’ll have “their” room converted back into my ironing and cutting station. But now tears fall onto newborn booties and my heart is full.
Photo courtsey of Jacob Morch
The military and all “essential” personnel are required to continue working without pay while those in the House and the Senate, who are the ones who “shut down the government” are guaranteed paychecks.
House Votes to keep the government running:
- Democrats: 6 YES 186 NO
- Republicans: 224 YES 11 NO
Senate Votes to keep the government running:
- Democrats: 6 YES 43 NO
- Republicans: 47 YES 5 NO
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is NOT an immigrant visa. It is not designed to be a pathway to citizenship. It was simply designed to put off the inevitable. Or as some think, a holding pattern until a new pathway can be made to citizenship. Yet since June of 2012 there has been no action to make DACA a pathway. There was time before President Trump was elected to make that happen.
Which brings me to my question, why shut down the government for DACA? What does DACA have to do with keeping our government running? While I do have compassion for those effected by the crimes of others; I feel that shutting the government down is punishing everyone for those crimes. First and foremost the “essential” personnel and Military.
Essentially or I should say simplistically those who committed the crime of illegally coming here, bringing their children here (and are still here). They committed the crime against their children. If I purchase a car and then find out it was stolen I don’t get to keep the car. I also don’t get my money back. It is not the fault of law enforcement nor is it their responcibility to reimburse me.
I realize I hold a very simple view of this shut down and the politics behind it.
Just after I “fell” overboard
It’s not that I’m that old. Or am I? Having a newborn in the house reminds me that I can’t do a tenth of what I used to do. I took those days for granted. I first noticed my dwindling abilities when I got sick. Actually it was when I got sicker. My kids were 13, 11, 3 and 1: I was married for just six months. Then I was stuck on a couch with an IV pole and a nurse coming every day, we were slammed with our new reality. They are now 34, 32, 24 and 22.
Some days I can get around without complaint. Well truthfully, I complain but I get around. There’s no more IV pole or nurse coming. When I first moved here I had to find a new neurologist to establish care with. After reviewing my history he looked at me and said ” I wish the interns were here today. ” I’ve now become a teaching tool. But as much as I complain about the aches and pains, I remain grateful.
I’m not sure how it happened but I have defied the odds. My diseases did not progress as they thought they would. Was it the medications I took that made me so very sick for seven years? The doctors think so. I think it was God’s grace, maybe those medications were His tool, but His grace that they were available to me. At the time I thought those shots were a punishment. It was a very difficult time being so sick and trying to raise children.
Today my bad days out number my good ones. As my brain continues to shrink I lose a little more of myself. But as I look into the face of my newest grandson I am aware of how precious life is. Even in my weakness I am given the strength to hold and love on this precious child even if for a moment.
I spent most of my life living in Florida so snow days aren’t something I’m used to. The first snow day, I was in awe, it’s so white and fluffy falling from the sky! This is my second year in North Carolina and I’m still in awe! It is beautiful!
Snow days give me a sense of comfort. I slow down and cuddle up with a book or some yarn and I relax. I know I can put a pot of soup on and craft the day away. Today I’m still in the kitchen prepping so it’s Southwest Roasted Potato Salad instead of soup. But I already have plans for tomorrow, soup!
I’m trying to finish up some of my WIP’s (work in progress). I don’t know why there are so many, I have at least five in various stages. With crochet I find that I want to start almost every pattern I see but quickly tire of them. The only exception is my Tunisian projects, I seem to want to finish and love the process so more than standard crochet. I have found some projects in standard crochet that I just love to do. I’ve made four Virus Shawls and a couple of blankets too. The pattern is beautiful and it’s like a rhythm each row building to the next. The Cool Breeze Baby afghan is also one I really enjoyed making and have made three!
My goal for these snow days are to finish at least one of my WIP’s. By the end of February I should have my quilt room righted and can finish the baby quilt I started before all my visitors came last summer. Maybe we’ll have some more snow days then. I can hope..
I have a ton of medical issues yet when challenged to observe the Daniel Fast with my church for 21 days, I spent a few days in prayer and decided to try. As long as I watch for weight loss and listen to my body I should be able to do it. Then I started reading recipes… Holy cow! No butter? Yes, that was the one thing that struck me. I do love my butter and I don’t mean margerine!
So far the “what do I eat for breakfast today” is stumping me. I found a few recipes and will be in better prepared tomorrow. Boy, I should have been better prepared today! My husband has gone to the store with my
carefully prepared hurriedly scribbled list. So I sit in contemplation of my meal preparations later today.
I’m also fasting from time wasting activities. It’s amazing how many things simply waste time.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Louise Kinsella
Go ahead, judge me. You can hurl insults, statistics etc. It won’t change the fact that I am a smoker. No, I don’t want to quit. I tried a few times, (because my husband wanted me to) but only made it three months and ya know what. I didn’t like it. NOT AT ALL! Yes I have COPD but I would have had that even if I had not smoked. (Statistics prove that too) I also have a bunch of other acronyms that are not due to smoking , like SCA, MS, PN, MVP, UC, DDD and IBS.
But I digress. I smoke outside because my husband wants it that way. When we moved to this house, it was one of his wants. So I agreed. I don’t like it, but because I love him, I go outside. Yes, even when it is 5 degrees. I was sitting outside this morning and it came to me that in the years since cigarettes became a thing more diseases are now blamed on it. Yet those that do not and have never smoked get the same diseases.
The CDC states: “Smoking–once a socially accepted behavior–is the leading preventable cause of death and disability in the United States” Yet the #1 cause of death is Heart Disease and only half of that 30% was preventable? So what caused the other half?
But wait, now that smoking rates have been lowered they are now pointing their finger at obesity as the major culprit. And blaming quitting smoking as the major cause of obesity? No I am serious! So the reason for this rant; as I stated, I was thinking. I’ve had more than one doctor tell me they didn’t think I deserved medical care because I smoked. They didn’t come right out and refuse me treatment but who would continue to see a doctor who did not care about his patient? But this is actually a trend that I’m following.
In the United States it is believed that we have personal rights. Now the consequence of using those rights could be at times life threatening.
It seems that much of my life I’ve either been hurrying or waiting. I think one of the rare times I’m not is when I’m creating. I am “in the moment” when I create a quilt or crochet a project. It’s almost a Zen thing when time passes without my noticing it. I look up and it’s four hours later.
These are some of my favorite times. This quiet solitude feeds my soul. My hands and mind are working together and when the zen breaks I’m disoriented for a moment. And it gives me the burst of energy I didn’t even know I needed.
Because of my physical difficulties it’s getting harder and harder to find the zen. Yet I continue to quest for it, if only for a few moments.
My Marine son got his DD214 in September of last year after serving five years. Before he left the USMC he contacted the Army to transfer his service and rank. It took four months to get everything nailed down and “He’s in the Army now“! The Marines may be “the few” but the Army has more opportunities for those who want to have a lifetime of service.
For those five years unless he was training he was stuck in an office. He never left California. So he chose an MOS in the Army that has the opportunity for deployment. This is only day two so I really don’t know how he likes it. I still don’t know why I didn’t try to talk him out of it. What was I thinking?
We did have a few months to spend time with him. He took every chance he had to explore that local mountains and waterfalls.
He has training for the first two months then we find out where he will be stationed. If he gets a choice I don’t imagine he will be here in the states. I miss him already. But I’m very proud of his choices.
Mommas’ 80th Birthday
My Mom left too soon. She had 80 love filled years but at the end she wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready either. She was such an amazing person. She worried about everyone and wanted to “fix” all their problems. She was a Nurse by profession until she was 70 and it was truly her calling. She died April 19, 2016.
Today is her birthday. I miss her so much it still hurts my heart. Every funny thing that happens I want to tell her about. Every scary thing I need her comfort. Every challenging thing I seek her support. She was such a huge presence in my daily life that there is still a hole. We were more than Mom and daughter, we were friends.
Momma and her Momma
She wasn’t perfect by any means. I remember the hard, demanding and opinionated person she could be too. Do I have scars, yep. But then so did she. I made her cry and hurt her feeling a lot. If she pushed, I’d push back twice as hard. She wanted the world for my brother, sister and I. She expected us to attain greatness. She got to see them attain it before she left and she was so proud, telling complete strangers about them. I was just “Doo”, I always joked my nickname meant “do this, and do that”.
She could make anyone laugh. We spend many nights laughing until our sides hurt. When she saw the movie about Patch Adams it spoke to her. She believed humor and laughing would cure most of the worlds ills. So today I choose to laugh and make others laugh too! (Well maybe not on this post… )
My eulogy for her was:
Today I’ve lost one of the anchors in my life. Someone whose life is so entwined in mine and the threads woven so beautifully that I sit here wondering how this tapestry of my life could ever be the same. How can an artist complete a painting never using one its main colors to finish or a musician never using a chord in the foundation of the chorus in the song. I know it can be done and that God’s plan is perfect, yet as I stand in the eye of this storm I have so many questions. “Why is it that…” Tomorrow or some day soon I will have to dream different dreams and set different goals. But now I sit in this grief and reflect on the lessons it is teaching me. I know I am only one thread and she was the artist who taught me to weave my life around those I love. I am honored to have her as my Mother. And blessed she was my friend.
Disappearing Four Patch:
Stack waiting for iron…
Cut and ready
First ironing seams spun .. second away from four patch
Sewn back together..
This was one of my quick quilts. It just wasn’t scrappy enough for me even though I used all different green fabrics.
It’s time for the borders!!
I like this version better!
I’m thinking maybe I’ll try it this way next with two complementing colors with white? As you can see I’m already planning my first quilt of the year. I’m sure I’ll change my mind a dozen times. But this is the fun part!