Coping

In challenging times, one of the ways I cope is to count my blessings. When I find myself just focusing on the negatives or being overwhelmed, thinking about how lucky I am brings a sense of perspective. 

Chesty and I were at the vet today. I think I’ve mentioned that we’ve reached the point in his life that we’re committed to supportive and comfort care, not aggressive care or surgery. It’s a fine line between having enough information to effectively manage symptoms and going further and further down the diagnostic path with an outcome of surgery and possibly chemotherapy. So after a long conversation, lab work, and an X-ray, we have a plan of care that will involve changes to his diet and medication but no further diagnostic procedures at this time.

It’s almost funny when the receptionist apologizes when she tells you what the bill is … and that’s where I’m lucky, we can afford to pay for the care and medications to keep Chesty comfortable, I know not everyone can. 

Keith is out of town, so Chesty and I sent him a selfie from the vet’s office while we were waiting.  If you only knew how many hours over the years I’ve sat in emergency rooms and doctors offices with sick kids or the dog when he was out of town …



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I admire the effort

I read a knitting blog by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee the YarnHarlot. As a knitter, I like seeing what she’s up to but even more, I enjoy her writing. She rides in a bike rally to support an organization in Canada called People with AIDs and last year I read about her training and her experiences … This year, I donated. I feel a kind of kingship with her having pushed myself physically to support charitable causes in the past (the 3 Day walk for Breast Cancer, and a Global Village week long build with Habitat).

Check out her blog, donate if you’re so inclined. 

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Memories

I spent some time between phone calls going through old photos again today. 

I pulled some of Keith’s Mom to share with the boys…



… and also came across these taken in VA at my Mom’s. I guess my mind is still on mothers and Mother’s Day. 



Our time is coming to an end here and tonight we had dinner on the intercostal. I doubt I’ll come back this way again after we move with both of Keith’s parents gone but we have a lot of memories to carry with us. 



I quilted a while after dinner with Chesty curled up beside me. He was sick all last night so I’m hoping tonight will be better for all of us. 



Stopping often to admire my progress is a big part of my process! I’d intended to cross hatch this quilt but now I’m wondering if working my way back across these lines will look too busy. I’ve still got more to quilt before deciding so I’ll just keep on quilting for now. 



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Four Patch Stars

I haven’t had a chance to sew this week but Elaine sent me this photo of her Four Patch Stars in progress. Somehow I still feel productive seeing one of my instruction sheets being used to make a quilt. 



She reports that this one will be donated to the USO lounge at the airport. I do a fair amount of my designing in Red/White/Blue and am always happy when a quilt made from my instructions is donated to a soldier or veteran. I even have a page on my MaryQuilts.com site that groups these together so they’re easy to find. 

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Purse debris

Apparently I only carry red purses these days. I’m cleaning out my closet today and packing up what won’t be used before the move and there are 3 spare red purses filled with debris left when I switched over to a different one. Nothing like leaving things until later to sort out rather than doing it at the time. 

  • Trash
  • Allergy meds
  • Chapstick – 6
  • Keys
  • Business cards
  • Cough drops
  • Pens and pencils
  • A wine cork (??)
  • Tic tacs
  • Cleaning Wipes for my glasses
  • USB Jump drives 
  • Lots of spare change

  
I’ve sorted and packed most of my closet – just one last minute box will hold the rest. Making progress although I’ve got a long list of things to follow up on this week. 

By the way, all my binding is done and those last 3 quilts are packed in a bin. I’ll wait to photograph them in Tampa – hoping I can get some good looking quilt photos on that porch!

I hope everyone had a happy Mother’s Day. Mine was great – I had calls from Chris and Adam and Keith fixed me brunch – including mimosas! 

 

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Upsize/downsize

I feel like we’re constantly up and downsizing with all of our moves. First we live in a large home and buy furniture to fill it and then we move to a smaller place and have to give away or donate all the stuff that won’t fit. With this next move we will once again have to fill a large space with furniture so we’ve started to look around. 

Last night before meeting Keith’s brother and his family for dinner, we did some pre-shopping. It’s crazy but when I counted the number of arm chairs I wanted it added up to 7!!

  • 2 on the porch
  • 2 in the living room which we’re going to use as a library
  • 2 in the family room to go along with a sofa unless we can find a sectional we like better
  • 1 up in a sitting area in the bedroom for me to sit and knit or read after Keith goes to sleep. 

I have no idea how many we’ll actually get but Keith tried out a bunch of them.  

 

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Chatting with Mom

I called Mom to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day weekend and we talked a little about quilting too. I’m visiting in a couple weeks and I’m going to do some cutting for her while I’m there. I like to kit up some projects for her that she can work on between my visits. 

I was telling her that I’ve enjoyed working on smaller child/baby quilts since moving here to FL. Those I can piece and quilt here on my regular sewing machine or hand quilt using the big stitch and I save the larger tops I piece for my visits to GA and the longarm. It’s worked out surprising well except of course that I haven’t had as much quilting time in general this year but I’m looking forward to getting moved and settling back into my daily routine of spending time in my sewing room.  

I will still have the day bed (it has a trundle too) in the sewing room for the times we have guests but I’ll have a much larger room. I really like the built in cabinet and the closet space and my sewing table should fit right up into that alcove looking out the window. The ceiling fan will be nice for those hot FL summers. 



Since I’m not doing any piecing, I’m looking for ideas for once my sewing machine is set up in the new place. Searching eBay for antique quilts is one of my favorite places to get inspiration. Can you guess which quilt I’d like to make from the screenshot below? 



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More binding

The last binding has been machine stitched and is ready for hand stitching this weekend. This rail fence was pieced from strips I cut while I had all the fabric out for my Brown/Blue HST quilt. I wasn’t sure what I’d make at the time but there are so many different options for 2.5 inch strips that it seemed a good choice … I even bound it with leftover strips of the turquoise fabrics.  The HST quilt is still waiting for quilting – somehow the leftover quilts always get finished first. 

I also got 9 quilts washed and ready for donation over the last few weeks – they’re all ready for shipping. Some to Alycia for donations as Quilts of Valor and some to Kathy in WI. I missed the last WI/MN sew-in but I still want to contribute to the quilts made and donated by my friends there. My Aunt’s quilt is being shipped back too. It helps to get all of this out of my sewing room as I pack it for the move. 

Speaking of donations, I gave Chris 2 quilts and 3 afghans to donate in GA last week. Mom made two of the afghans and when I told her that Chris was providing IT support to an organization that provides services to abused kids, she gave me two for him to donate along with the ones I had. 

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Progress

The binding on Rae’s quilt is done and I embroidered the “label”. I like hand embroidered details directly on quilt backs but I need to do more of them so they look better. The blue marks will wash out and I like how nicely the quilted heart contains the embroidery. 



I also finished the binding on the Strippie – even the hand stitching is done on it.  Just one more binding to do. 



My days are split between move related phone calls, sorting and packing around the apartment, and some knitting and stitching. Boring from a blogging perspective but I’ll keep updating. 

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In the midst of it all …

Lots of moving related stuff today but in the midst of it all, I found some time to start binding Rae’s Pineapple quilt. I just love the look of it spread across my lap. 



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