Monthly Archives: July 2015

Thank you

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Thank you

I don’t think I was fully aware of why I felt the need to post yesterday until after I started getting responses in from you all. 

I do think funerals/memorials are an opportunity to celebrate the person and that there doesn’t have to be just one acceptable way to do it but I guess because I share things on my blog, I feel like I’m leaving myself open to being judged and I took this opportunity to explain our circumstances a little. While I feel strongly about making decisions that are right for us rather than conforming to what others think we should do, being judged is uncomfortable so I guess I wanted you all to understand when you saw us attending the funeral one day but on the same trip taking time to enjoy DC and our family. 

I’ve emailed many of you individually but I also wanted to thank everyone here for taking time to comment and to be supportive – the experiences that you all shared with me were helpful and interesting.

Proper attire

Published / by Mary / 33 Comments on Proper attire

I debated making this post because it seems to be one of those things that people have strong opinions about but decided to anyway. Feel free to respectfully disagree with me if you’re so inclined.

My ‘funeral dress’ is at Big Canoe – it’s a navy blue, below the knee, sleeveless dress with a small short sleeve jacket – and it’s 12+ years old – so today, I went shopping for a new dress to wear to Keith’s Mom’s funeral at the end of the month. 

The funeral is July 30, in Arlington VA. She is being laid to rest with Keith’s father who was interred at Arlington National Cemetery exactly 10 years ago to the month. (He was buried with full military honors and it was a very moving experience). It will be hotter than heck and we will be walking a distance. Keith and his brothers have decided to wear dark, short sleeve polo shirts with dress slacks and shoes rather than suits and while you might think that is disrespectful, his mother would be fine with them not sweltering in suits in 90+ degree heat. As for me, my dress is not completely black and I will not be wearing hose but I will also be dressed respectfully.  I searched the Arlington site to see if there were any guidelines about proper dress codes for funerals and didn’t see any but in their videos showing what to expect, they show families dress much more casually than we will be.  


Having the funeral 4 months after a loved one’s passing is a strange experience.  The boys are attending the funeral and I have family in the area that we’ll visit while we’re there. We’ll be in Washington DC and will visit some of the sites too. It will be weird to go to a funeral one day and take Rae to the zoo the next. You may think we’re uncaring or unemotional but we’re not. The immediate grief has passed and in the case of Keith’s Mom who suffered for years with Alzheimer’s, the relief that she’s no longer suffering is our prevailing emotion. Keith loved and cared for her while she was alive and we’ll be there to respectfully lay her to rest with his father.  


Off my needles

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Off my needles

I’m trying to get back in the habit of knitting a little each day. The Tour de France helps but the last two days I knit at night after Keith went to bed rather than when we were watching the tour and I finished my Lace Ribbon Scarf. It’s a free pattern and you can find it via this Ravelry link

This one definitely will need blocking to open up the lace and I love the pattern of the lace and the color of the yarn.  


Megan asked what I was going to do with my knitted items now that we’re living in FL and I answered that I hoped to wear some knitted lace items like this scarf and some of my shawls especially those knit in cotton here in Tampa but I’ll also be able to wear some of the warmer items when I travel or when we’re up at Big Canoe. 

Are you sewing today?

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Are you sewing today?

I just love starting a new quilt. I kept disappearing to the sewing room yesterday and I’ve already told Keith to expect to find me there this afternoon!

I’ve had a few questions about the Rail Fence so I wrote up some notes and posted them on my website. You can find them at this link:  RWB Rail Fence. Keep in mind, I just started my quilt yesterday so if something doesn’t make sense, ask me about it but it’s a pretty simple quilt so I think I’ve got all the details written correctly. 

I seem to be obsessed with leftovers trimmed from strip sets these days. Remember these? Both of those little quilts were made from 16 patch quilts.  


I’m saving the leftover bits from my stripsets and trimming them to 2.5 inches and I’ll have another little doll quilt. 



Published / by Mary / 16 Comments on Assembled

The BowTie top is finished although it needs a good overall pressing. I’m going to fold it up and put it on the shelf for now so I’ll wait until I’m ready to layer it. Not sure if I’ll quilt this one here or in GA.  I mentioned in a previous post that this was a kit from Craftsy but I added an extra row in width and in length and narrowed the border. 



Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Photoshoot

It’s fun to look back over my finished quilts and know where we were living by looking at which spot I photographed them so today I took the last 3 quilts I finished before moving and went outside to the porch to snap some photos. I chose my favorite two snapshots of each quilt.  







On my design wall

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on On my design wall

All my BowTie blocks are done according to the pattern and up on the design wall but I have enough fabric for more blocks so I made 12 more 4 patches and have the center squares fused and ready to blanket stitch down.  That will give me one more row in width and another in length. I’ll probably make the border a little narrower than in the pattern but I’ll wait until I have the blocks finished and the center assembled before deciding.  


I’m still searching through bins. We have an empty bedroom for now so I’ve got them spread out there rather than in my sewing room.  


Our current HeartStrings project goes through August and I’m thinking these leftover fabrics will work well as center strips for a small top. They’re not exactly light centers but they’ll look great and I won’t have many scraps left over from the BowTie kit when I’m done.  I’ll have just enough for 4 blocks out of each color and I need 24 blocks for the top. 


More knitting

Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on More knitting

Last night I worked on the purple scarf but had some minor errors so decided to go for easier knitting tonight while watching the Tour de France. I keep knitting but the yarn ball doesn’t seem to get smaller.  Hopefully the Tour will get me back in the habit of knitting some every day otherwise I won’t ever make any significant progress on my projects. 


A desk for me

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on A desk for me

We didn’t have room in the apartment for a desk for me … I pay all the bills, do all the paperwork involved in keeping the Johnson Family up to date on everything so I’m excited to have a spot with a desk and my files.  Our bedroom is huge and takes up the entire width of our house. It has two “bump outs” as Keith says, one now has my desk and the other a comfy chair and good light for knitting or binding. They also both have windows and ceiling fans. 


I also got Chesty to the new vet today and we’re all set. We discussed our goal of keeping him comfortable but not pursuing any aggressive treatment and he’s in agreement. We did add one more medication for nausea. 

This is so creepy!

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on This is so creepy!

I’ve just spent about an hour of my time trying to figure out why people are popping up on Facebook in the “You may Know” section. The realtor we used, the Terminix man, and the woman who owns the cleaning company all showed up and it creeps me out that Facebook knows, that I know these people and I wondered how so I did a couple google searches and came up with this explanation from a Huffington Post article. 

So, why is this happening and how do we make it stop? Facebook is infamously cagey when it comes to explaining their algorithms (and didn’t immediately respond to a request for a statement) but it appears that the social media site is using our contacts in our phones to put us (back) in touch with people we may have (purposefully) forgotten about.

Someone in my comments section mentioned that you can go to this page and see the imported phone numbers and delete them. However, he also noted that “even if you didn’t sync your phone book, if you provide your phone number to Facebook, you might get matched with other folks who have you in their phonebooks. So if you want to completely opt out, you need to take your phone number off Facebook. Also keep in mind that your phone book will be continuously synced so any new numbers you add might show up in People You May Know.” (This may not actually solve the problem, though, as some are reporting that people they’ve chatted with on Grindr and Tinder but never swapped numbers with are now popping up.)

So I checked my settings and I don’t share my contacts but I do have my phone number listed but hidden. Obviously these people allow their contacts to be uploaded and that includes my phone number. 

I don’t like it! I use Facebook to stay in touch with my family and a couple old friends. I try to limit who can view my account – not because I post anything I care about being seen but because I have no need to share it with the entire world. I’ve removed my phone number from my account and I’m interested to see if the ”friend suggestions” go back to just people who are friends of my friends … I just ignore those.  I’m betting that I’ll still get suggestions based on my email address because that’s even more out there and widespread than my phone number because of blogging. 

I could also eliminate my account but my family is spread out and I don’t see most of them very often so I guess I’m going to take the bad with the good for now. 


Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on Assembled

I thought I’d finish assembling this yesterday but I had more interruptions than I anticipated so I finished it up today. Love pressing that last seam! It takes more time but I press the seams open on my HeartStrings tops to decrease the bulk due to the muslin foundation. The top lies nice and flat and I’ll appreciate that when it comes time to quilt this one. 


It’s a bit bright and I wondered whether I’d like it after I’d finished the first few blocks but I do! Won’t it make a wonderful donation quilt for a child in need?

You may wonder why I keep making these – I have several reasons.

  • I like scrappy quilts
  • They’re easy to pick up and sew when life is hectic
  • I LOVE that I can use all my leftover bits and pieces to make a quilt that will comfort someone during a difficult time. Frugal and meaningful all at the same time!

I’m settling in and I think it’s kind of funny that the same time last year after we moved HeartStrings blocks were the first thing I pulled out to work on!

Chesty is having another good day and we’re thrilled that he seems to be better. I know that his kidney disease will continue to advance but for now, he’s eating, playing, and watching out the windows to catch a glimpse of me coming and going. 

Next up some knitting while I watch the Tour De France episode we taped today and tomorrow, I’ll be back at work on my BowTie blocks.