Sunday, November 30, 2008

It is all about good friends . . . and being a bit eccentric!

I will start with friendship here. Several of my good "blogging reads" this week have shared the wonderful joy and comfort of good friendship. And sometimes good friendship can bring new adventure as well.

"Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren't bad people, they're just acquaintances." Jay Leno

I seem to be working hard to become more and more eccentric. Well I am not really "working" at it intentionally, but it sure seems to be happening. Yesterday, some friends (fairly new friends) and I gathered for a "facial party". Two of them sell "NuSkin products" - and, yes, I bought. They do one side of the face with the device and gels and I could really see a difference on my face. Even still this morning, there is a difference. I am going to do my whole face today and even if there is no differece, I will think there is and that will be exciting.

You know, I have been doing Weight Watchers online for a year. I have done pretty darm good and have lost about 35 pounds. The best part is that I never feel I am "on a diet" anymore. I have been on a diet all of my life and most of the time it has not been successful until it "clicked" with me a year ago. But I have not lost anything more since July. I haven't gained any and I have stayed on my good eating program. I might gain a couple pounds on special days like Thanksgiving, but it drops right off when I go back to my normal eating. But, I am stuck right here and want to "ratchet it up a level".

One of the friends and I rode to the party together. On the way home, we decided we wanted to work together on our weight loss goals. She has been going to WW meetings, but finds it way to easy to not get there as she works full time at the university and is a single woman with a small horse boarding operation so always has lots to do. (She os already a bit more eccentric.) So we decided to both do WW online, meet once a week with printed food diaries, and do some kind of intentional exercise each day for 30 minutes (planning to build up to 45) that we will report as well. And, do our NuSkin treatments twice each week. I am going to walk for my exercise each day for this week. It is fun to meet new friends and I love heading toward being more eccentric. It will be a great journey.

This week I am heading to Missoula on Thursday and Friday. I will probably stay over both nights and come home early Saturday. I am hoping to see some of my Western Montana friends as well as do some Christmas shopping with Mom. Mom is doing so much better since they changed some meds for her after her heart "a-fib" scare. She has "wonderful" new friends now in her senior living place that she eats with - two different sets for different meals. And Dad is making friends and having better days as well in the nursing home. There really isn't much difference no matter where we live - it is all about staying positive, keeping active, loving family, and enjoying our friends . . .and enjoying being eccentric when it comes.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving . . .

We had a wonderful day. Our son, Stan, his wife, Rainy and the Weston spent the whole day here. It was the first time in years and years we have had such a simple, lovely, loving, restful Thanksgiving Day. It was one of the days that we will talk about for years. Of course we ate and then we ate again in the evening. The leftovers always taste better in the evening than the originals for dinner. The are going to add a new one to their family this spring and we are all very excited.

There is just so much of which to be thankful for us. The rest of the weekend will be spent quilting and enjoying a quiet weekend.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Finally . . .

I started this quilt a couple weeks ago and then took it off to await a "conference" with the owner about a change in what we had planned. I am delivering it today and I like it a lot. I want one like it in fact and I am not even a "cowgirl"

The next one up is the "sweatshirt" quilt shown below. I will have Hoke do it and post more pics when it is done. It is actually cute - done from original design sweatshirts from a group of guys who have been attending the same hunting camp together for years. I think Miss Daisy may need to use 4 wheel drive to get through some of the corners, but we will give it a try. It is nicely pieced but is just a bit like armor. The designs are really fun!

We are having folks in tomorrow for a the annual "Cat-Griz" football game. We are the Bobcats here at Montana State and the University of Montana are the Grizzlies. They historically win, but gathering with friends should make it less painful to watch. So I am off to get some groceries to fix some bread and soup - and a couple other things. Weston is going to shop with me. . . that will be a stich.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A different day . . .

I quilted this morning - finishing a fun quilt. Then I got ready to go to lunch with my good friends. As I started to walk out the door, I got the call.

Mom was in the hospital in MIssoula so I just headed west rather than to town. I got here in 3 hours. They changed some meds and will do some tests tomorrow. Hopefully they can get the rhythm back to normal. I then went to the nursing home to explain to Dad. His first words were, "Where is your mom?". He did okay in understanding and then at the end of our conversation, I said I would be back in the morning and he said he would be gone in the morning at an appeal hearing. Of course he won't be in an appeal hearing, but I think that was easier for him to say than that he was to worried about Mom.

I am staying in Mom's "senior" apartment tonight here in Missoula - feeling every year of my own "senior-ness". My sister is acting "normal" today after months of being AWOL and she lives here in Missoula. She has not visited either parent, not called unless it was for money, not been able to converse without swearing and raging. I never know who is going to be there when she is on the scene - is it going to be my sister who is intelleigent and caring or is it going to be my sister who is raging, out of control, blaming and swearing. I am glad she was in the normal place today. I hope she can stay there tomorrow as well.

Mom will be in the hospital for a few days. I can handle the normal "aging issues". I can even understand that I often need to "drive the 200 miles over here". I can understand the working with the financial issues, the living arrangement decisions, the moving issues, the tears of aging, and the heartache. I just don't know how to handle the sister part. That is what I need to learn! That is what I need to learn!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Whew - way too much cheering . . .

We really did it big time yesterday! There is nothing like living in a university town for the last football home game of the season. It is no different here in Bozeman when the Montana State University Bobcats play. We go to every game - see friends, cheer ourselves to a hoarse whisper, and leave in a good mood when we win. Sometimes, of course, we don't win. We won yesterday and beat Portland State U. It was a great game - good weather for football - not too warm and not too cool. We left the game, did some errands and then headed to the first basketball game of the season. Not such a good outcome on this one, but not unexpected. We played Nevada (Reno) and lost, but the crowd was "into it" and the players came back from a large deficit to keep it exciting at the end.

I am finishing up a quilt that has been on my table too long and then I am going to do some "tailoring" to make a minor change in the sleeve of this suede jacket. The shoulders are too wide and it is a new favorite. I want to wear it to lunch tomorrow with my "lunch bunch". I am going to open a seam in the lining, readjust the shoulder pad and take the should seam in just a bit at the top - that is the plan anyway. I can I will share what I come up with later.

Friday afternoon, Weston came out to visit and then one of my good friends and neighbors came over for a cup. She has been a good friend since our days as freshman in college and bought the neighboring place when I moved back to Montana 15 years ago. She and her hubby run a B & B there now and spent the month of October in Australia so there is lots to catch up. Weston takes pictures and after she got over the shock of me letting him use my digital camera, he took this cute picture (double chins aside) of the two of us. I am amazed at his ability as he is only three. Of course, I am just a bit prejudice. LOL

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Inspiration . . .

I went to Missoula on Wednesday to help Mom and Dad a bit with some financial stuff and to enjoy a good visit. The wind while driving was really something in places and it was hard to keep the LilyB on the road at times going over and again coming home yesterday. It has been a busy week with several new customers and I am so thrilled and thankful to have the work. It feels really good!

A wonderful, talented quilting friend shared this poem with me. It is by Marge Piercy and it has stayed in my head since she sent it to me yesterday so I wanted to share it here with you. I keep reading it over and over . . .

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who stand in the line and haul in their places,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Home again . . .

How did I ever manage living away most of last year when I was in Laramie? I love getting home. I got back from our week away at Lake Couer d'Alene last night. It was a good visit and we got in some shopping and lots of gabbing, but not much done on projects. Here is a beautiful picture of Lake Couer d'Alene from our resort area taken by one of "the girls". (Never mind that we haven't been "girls" for several decades. When we are together, we are still "girls".

I also hit on some cute clothes for Meagan at the Gymboree sale I ran into at a mall in Spokane. I was just walking by and saw all of the moms with strollers packed in and I just decided it must be too good to pass up. And, it was. I also got some things for Weston and I am thinking they will all be good Christmas gifts, but you know how that goes sometimes. They may end up being November gifts. It was fun to be in the store with all of the young "moms". It was kind of like a party.

We also spent some time at a great quilt shop in the town of Couer d'Alene. I will now be sure to stop for a "break" every time I head to Portland. It is Bear Paw Quilting and the store was packed with fun new projects, unlimited fabric choices and lots of inspiration plus very friendly shoppers and clerks. Sometimes I think those kinds of special experiences happen when you are with the right company and we were all thrilled so that may have been part of our excitement. But, it will be on my "must stop" list for sure the next trip through.

Yesterday as I came home, I stopped in Missoula to visit with my Dad. He is going to be 90 the day after Christmas and we had the best visit - one of those times that will stay with me for the rest of my years. It was a blessing. He is doing so much better now after we made some changes in his medication. I continue to be amazed that we have to be such agressive advocates for quality life when dealing with the distribution of medicine to our beloved elderly. I am heading back that way on Wednesday for a couple days for a longer visit with Mom and Dad.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


It has been a long election. Last night after we knew who had won, my son called me from Portland. We were all quietly thankful. Then he said, "I want Meagan to understand just how monumental this is, but I don't want her to know it was not always possible". I cried as I did several times during the evening. I pray our country can come together and build on all of our differences. I am so proud to be a citizen of The United States of America. I am so proud - and thankful!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Heading out . . .

I am leaving this morning for our week away at a resort on Lake Couer d'Alene. Every few years, a group of 6 to 8 women gather - from all over the Pacific Northwest - and we meet somewhere at a resort to gab, laugh, share memories, pictures of kids and grandkids, and some tears. We have been friends since we started college 45 years ago. It is a wonderful special treat. This year we are gathering at a resort near Harrison on the east side of Lake Couer d'Alene. I am heading through Helena to pick up one of our group so the drive will be something just as good as the rest of the week. It is a 6 hour drive from here and we go through Missoula so I will stop for a quick visit with Dad in the nursing home. I will catch Mom on the way back as she will be in church when we go through.

At first I hated to take the time away to go - you know how that is. There is always too much to do, but I couldn't sleep last night from the excitement of getting on the road. Last night I was tired from a long, good day. We went to the football game here - Montana State University played the University of Northern Colorado - and we won. It was about 70 degrees and we saw lots of friends and it was a great day.

I then had to wash and vacuum the car and go do the shopping for my part of our meals. There was lots of packing, organizing, and going over and over "the list". We each take a breakfast, a lunch and a supper. There are only 6 of us going this year so that should work out with some extras. A couple fly in and the rest of us drive. Those who fly in stop to shop before they get to the resort. I am taking my "world famous" 7-grain cereal with apples, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and other "secret" ingredients for my breakfast. For a lunch I am making a chicken wild rice soup with some great garlic bread. And for supper, I am making smothered burritos with lettuce and cheese. (They are are pretty darn good considering I am a Dane.)

Of course we take a few extras to fill in here and there, but we are all eating pretty healthy as several of us fight the constant battle of being too fluffy. There will be some good desserts, but I know I can handle it! I have been on Weight Watchers Onlne for a year and it is part of me now. I don't worry any more about being on or off a diet. I just eat what I want - of course I may not eat as much of whatever as I used to want, but there is no more fear. It is a miracle! The pounds are going away - slowly - but I know I am healthy and I know how happy I am. I have lost 35 pounds in the past year. More came off at first and I only lose a couple pounds a month now which works for me. I weigh once a week and I feel "normal" for the first time in my life.

I am taking 4 projects I "might work on" - and might not. Two of us want to make some small gift cards. I am also taking a couple projects that I need to get together for a couple classes I am going to teach this winter at one of our local quilt shops and I always take my freeform crochet stuff. But, I know when I pack that none of it might even get out of the car so I never haul it in until I am so inspired to do it. It will be a wonderful week.