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!
I don’t do resolutions. However I do try to set goals. Last year I failed to attain most of them. In my defense I had a lot happening. Three surgeries before August then my daughter coming to stay and having her son in October. Not excuses, but real reasons.
So this year with all that is still going on with BG (baby girl) leaving for her husbands’ new duty station in Germany and #3 son leaving to serve in the Army on top of a few other surgeries I need to have done asap, I’ve scaled back my goals for this year.
- One new baby quilt a month for charity
- My niece’s quilt done and shipped that I’ve owed her for over a year
- A Winding Ways Quilt ( I bought the Accuquilt die two years ago)
- Learn six new stitches (preferably Tunisian as I’ve fallen in love with it!)
- Complete a Painted Canyon Hooded Cardigan for myself
- Start a As-we-go Stripey Blanket for all my scrap yarn
These seem to be reasonable goals. However if more comes up I reserve the right to change them either up or down.
Although it wasn’t the “year of the quilt” I did get a few quilts finished last year. I made nine baby quilts, two memory quilts and finished four twin size UFO’s. My favorites are always the crazy/memory quilts. One of which happens to be the last quilt of the year.
My daughter didn’t know what to get for her in-laws and wanted it to be something memorable. Last year she made them a crochet blanket and it was a hit. So I suggested a memory quilt. Unfortunately where we live now there are quilt stores but not fabric stores. Quilt stores do not carry Jacquard, brocades, faux suede or velvets. The closest fabric store is one and a half hours away! And we had less than two weeks to make it and get it shipped! So ordering online was out of the question!
I did find some of the fabrics I needed in my stash ( imagine that!) And a Wal-Mart a half hour away had a few I could use. So I made the drive to the fabric store and guess what! They were out of suede in the color I needed! The only thing close was a burn out one so I had to use a second fabric behind it. On the front I chose a blue to match the squares and on the back I chose a gold lame’. The suede was stretchy so gone was the quick and easy sewing, I instead had the slow and careful.
On top of the suede issue I had a thread issue. I have Madeira, Sulky and Coats and Clark threads on hand in gold. (I use Madeira on my long arm for thread painting) Unfortunately my favorite (Coats and Clark) I only had half a king spool. I generally use one full king spool for a quilt this size. So I tried using the others. HUGE mistake! My Brother machines do not like the other brands of metallic thread. They break and get bound in the tension discs. My husband found one large spool at Wal-Mart (the last one they had). I had about two yards of thread left when I finished! We didn’t get to embellish it as much as I would have liked, we ran out of time.
We finished literally on the last day to mail it to be received before Christmas about four hours before USPS closed! Whew!
It was more like the year of the blanket. I took up crocheting a few years ago. I read books and watched videos on YouTube. I bought a few skeins of yarn and practiced until I could make a square. (That was almost six months of practice, every square looked like a triangle!) If only I had found the Crochet Crowd sooner! Mikey’s tutorials are amazing, he is truly a gifted teacher.
This year I had two new grandchildren so I was on a mission! I found Ravelry.com and the rest is history! I have two new favorite go to patterns. The entrelac afghan and the virus shawl and blanket. I had a lot of fun with the shell stitch too. The entrelac introduced me to Tunisian crochet and from there I was hooked! Kim Guzman is the Queen of Tunisian, her patterns are beautiful and easy to follow.
The only problem I’ve found is storage. Yarn takes up so much more room than fabric and y’all know how much fabric I collect. Well now I also have a yarn addiction.
Two years ago when my baby girl moved to California I had my first empty nest. Then seven months ago she moved back in when her husband deployed. Followed shortly by #3 son who had down time between leaving the Marines and starting in the Army. In four days my son leaves for the Army and in about 25 days BG leaves for California with my grandson when her husband returns. I’m going to miss them. No really, I will. Her take on the move…
I do look forward to getting my quilt room back. And I won’t have to use my kitchen island for cutting and dining table for sewing. That’s not entirely true. I got a new portable Brother sewing machine at Christmas. Model XR3240 was on sale for $95 with free shipping! I couldn’t resist! My husband has been using my long arm quilting almost as fast as I piece. We started a ministry making baby quilts for the local pregnancy center and for all the expected babies at church. So sewing at the table will be necessary when he is quilting. I’ll also get my spare bedroom back to set up my cutting and ironing stations.
We’ll also have to go back to cooking for two. That’s a lot harder than you’d think.