Monday, August 25, 2008

Time is flying . . .

And - fall is in the air. I love this coming season.

My "blogging" is taking a backseat to life right now for sure. I am off to Missoula again this morning for a couple days.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nothing creative . . .

is coming from me in my quilting or fiber world. But I am learning a lot. One thing is "life is what happens to you on your way to do what you planned". I thought I had a weekend to be in my studio, but it didn't work out that way.

I am back in Missoula to help Mom decide on her next living place. My Dad will not be leaving the nursing home for a while and Mom needs to sell the house as it is too big with too much care and worry for her alone. She is exhausted. We did the final work on listing it today. It is a very hard time for them both.

Dad fell the first time about 5 years ago and had very extensive injuries to his ribs and lungs. She has been the main caregiver since through another more serious fall with brain injuries, brain surgery and lengthy recovery - mostly at home until the end of May of this year. He will be 90 in a couple months. It has been a long tough road for them both.

It is all part of the fabric of a family.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Time flies . . .

My studio has some new light thanks to a visit from our favorite electrician this morning. I am going on a very private quilting retreat starting tonight - just me - until Sunday evening. I am not totally sure what I am going to work on, but I am not coming out except for bed and a quick trip to town tomorrow to take a few quilts in for our "first annual indoor/outdoor quilt show". The show is next weekend and I borrowed three antique quilts from Mom when I was there this week to hang inside and plus I have a couple that can hang outside. I had two good days in Missoula on Tuesday and Wednesday with family and will go back again this coming week for a couple more days.

Yesterday, Weston came to visit. He went to Colorado a couple weeks ago as a 2 year old toddler to visit his grandparents there and came back in just 2 weeks as a 3 year old little boy. What is that all about? His birthday is in a couple weeks, but it seems he just grew up overnight.

And here is also a picture of Meagan taken in Oregon a couple days ago. She is 4 and a half now and will start preschool in a week or so - full days. I don't know where the time has gone since they were just infants. But every year, it just gets better and better. They are so much fun! How did I get so blessed?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Home again . . .

We are home and it is all good!

"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." Robert Frost

Billings was fun - did a little shopping, lots of looking around and had a great salad lunch at a place where you go through a line and they build it as you select things. I woke up yesterday morning with a quilt in my mind - in color. It was a total shock as I have heard others say they do that, but have never done it. So I bought the fabric that I saw in the quilt and it was a good way to really enjoy the three quilt shop stops. I decided that quilt shops need a design area that has natural lighting to lay out fabrics and get a good color check as I was "a woman on a mission" for specific colors from my mind and they had to be just the right ones. I have never been sure I even dreamed in color so now I know that as well.

I also went to one of the coffee suppliers (Mountain Mudd) and bought a tub of sugar free white chocolate powder for my afternoon coffee. I like coffee black in the morning, but this stuff is great for in the afternoon. It is the best I have found and it is the only place I can find it. Using a tablespoon at a time, this will last me for well over a year, but it is worth every sip.

I am off to Missoula today to enjoy some time with Mom and Dad. More on that later.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back in Montana. . .

After a few days in North Dakota, we are back in Montana this evening - in Billings. We drove a little longer tonight so we could spend the whole day tomorrow in the "big city". There are a couple quilt shops I want to visit tomorrow and Bob wants to visit the Billings Builders Exchange - a similar business to his.

We had a great time in Kulm, North Dakota. Kulm may have 300 people if they call in the neighbors. It is beautiful farm country. I was not expecting it to be so green everywhere this time of year. It was a reunion for cousins and there were lots of them there and they came from Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Florida, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Minnesota. It was fun to meet everyone and hear all of the stories about what a stinker my Bob was when he was a little guy. That is hard to believe!

We went out to the farm where Bob's grandparents homesteaded (they came over from Sweden). He remembered lots of good times from his childhood. The farm is no longer in the family and the original house burned many years ago, but these buildings were there when Bob would visit as a child.

Here is a cute picture of Bob with some of his cousins while visiting the farm. As you can see he is doing very well with his new hip - it has been a month since the surgery. You can also see his two new knees from the bilateral knee replacement from a little over a year ago.

This is the wedding dress of Bob's grandmother, Tilda Malm Ogren. She was 19 when she got married in 1899 and her husband, John Ogren, was 33. She then went on to have 15 children with 12 of them living to adulthood. Three children died either at child birth or shortly after with one of those being a twin. She was pregnant 14 times in 17 years with her last child born when she was 36. They told the story that had been passed down through the years about how wonderful her husband (their grandfather) was to her. He would bring her coffee in bed every morning. Hmmm - I think I would have given up coffee. The wedding dress was handmade by her mother with every detail beautifully done and it was very tiny.

We will get home tomorrow evening and I will share some pictures from shopping!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Family . . .

We are off to North Dakota for a few days. My Bob's family is having a reunion in Kulm - a little town south of Jamestown. His dad grew up there on a farm as the oldest of 12 children and Bob has memories of spending time each summer there. This is a reunion of the "cousins". Their grandparents came from Sweden and started out life there in the late 1890's. It is a road trip of about 700 miles - thanks goodness for XM radio and lots to talk about. Flying out of Montana to North Dakota would be crazy - you would have to fly south to Denver and then back north - or east to Minneapolis right over North Dakota and then back west to North Dakota. In either case you would then rent a car and drive again for a couple hours. So it is easier to just load up the car and head out.

I was in Missoula on Wednesday and I am going to go back each week to spend time with Mom and Dad. It is a difficult time for all of us and we need to have lots of family hugs especially now. Dad will need to stay in the nursing home a while longer and Mom wants to sell her house and get into something smaller and more manageable. My brother, sister and I will gather there each week for a day or two to help. All part of the life path.

"One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest." Maya Angelou

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tuning in . . .

It has been a month since "Hoke", my IQ arrived. Hoke drives my Miss Daisy, my A1. With Bob's surgery and a few other bumps in the road of life, I haven't had as much time as I had hoped to really get going, but I have played some each day. Here is a bit of progress.

First and foremost, I love it! It is easy to use and designed to be very intuitive. The onscreen help files answer each question and there are wonderful videos done by Helen Baczynski and Linda Lawson at So, the learning is fun!

I bought the digital pantograph "Waterworld" from Willow Leaf Studio and first played with it in different sizes. Here is a picture of my practice with it very large and very small. I can see where buying the digital patterns could become very addictive as it is so easy. There are also lots of free patterns already on the IQ.

Here is a picture of the QOV quilt that Hoke and I finished quilting yesterday. I have to do the binding and I am going to embroider the label on Madison - that is the name I have given my new Pfaff. (It is a strong, sturdy machine with unlimited potential so that name seems to fit.) I have taken to naming everything - a sure sign of senility.

And - some things I have learned . . .
1. Don't make a quilt that you are not "in love with" some part of - every moment spent working on it is too long.
2. Sometimes the answers are right in front of your nose - like "restart" means just what it says and everything you need is programmed in for a perfect "restart" no matter what.
3. When you play around with design sizes, be careful of the size you select.
4. Close your windows when there is a storm coming - backings ready to be loaded can get wet if folded on the table nearby and sometimes that is not pretty.
5. Just keep "plugging away" no matter how many interruptions or how many tears.

July was a special month with lots of learning. Bob is almost back to normal from the hip replacement surgery. My Dad is doing okay in the rehab facility and working to get stonger. My brother is recovering well from his knee replacement. My son and his wife in Portland have decided to separate and we will survive the pain of that. The refrigerator is still running although she has had a couple little fits - I won't share with you the name I bestowed upon her.

"Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into." Wayne Dyer