Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bad, bad times . . .

My little 93 year old mom had a stroke on Friday and another on Saturday morning.  She has been so active and has loved her life at her assisted living place.  The two strokes have left her immobile, unable to talk, unable to swallow, can't open her eyes and is paralyzed on the right side.  Everything medically that can be done has been done.  She was clear throughout her last years that she did not want to be kept alive on any kind of life support.  She is sleeping and slowly leaving us.  

We are trying to remember she has had a wonderful life.  But it is still now good.  My sister and brother are here and we want to help her be comfortable and know she is loved.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve party.  We did just appetizers, but lots and lots of different kinds and Rainy brought a great cocktail made with vodka, grapefruit juice, pomegranate seeds, and fresh mint.  Yummy.  We had bacon wrapped water chestnuts, cheese-hamburger dip with corn chips, corn/bean salsa dip, cheese dough wrapped olives, cranberry/brie phyllo bites, spice turkey dip, fresh veggies, candies and cookies, meatballs - a long list of goodies.  We ended with some Patron XO in perfect little chocolate cups.

Some good friends stopped by and joined in for the party.  We picked up Mom from her senior apartment complex and she seemed to enjoy herself as well.  Later we opened gifts much to the joy of Weston and Walker.  It was a fun evening with way too much food and a little too much to drink.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Busy, busy, busy -

I am not even sure of all that we have done and enjoyed in the past few days.  But today is December the 24th and I want to say "Merry Christmas" to you all.

Last night we took the grandsons to see a basketball game at the MSU Fieldhouse. The MSU Bobcats played the Wyoming Cowboys.  They lost but it was a fun game.  There was lots to do for the little guys.  They had their picture taken with "Champ", the Bobcat mascot.  There were a ton of people there from Wyoming and that was good - always makes for a good game with the place is rocking.

I am working a bit each day on my first weaving.  Still loving it.  I replaced some of the warp that didn't work for me.  I find it very relaxing.  This will be a scarf when it is done.

Tonight we will have a Christmas Eve party and open a few gifts.  Stan, Rainy, Weston and Walker will join us.  Mom and her friend, Cleo, will also be here.  Tomorrow we will have dinner here for about the same crowd I think.  Tonight it is appetizers and tomorrow some ham and other good stuff. 

Blessings to you all.

Friday, December 19, 2014

More holiday activities

We went to the little guys' Christmas program this afternoon at their school.  It was really good and always fun to see all the kids excited to be in a program.  Almost every child is dressed in their party finery, but once in a while I will notice a child who either forgot that today was the "program" day or wore the best they had.  One little guy had on shorts (this is Montana and the high temp today was 32 degrees), old tennis shoes and a very worn t-shirt that was several sizes too large.  His eyes were scared and he kept looking around.  My heart broke for him.  I want to do something to help but don't want to embarrass.  Not sure which way to go here.

I came home to work on my learning mistakes.  I am trying to learn to do some weaving.  Of course I have to do things my way - lots of things to learn.  I used some yarns for the warp that were not good choices.  I wanted a lot of different kinds of novelty yarns so they would also be in the fringe so they needed to be loaded as warp.   It was impossible to move the heddle back and forth freely as a frew of these yarns fuzzed and caught up with themselves and other yarns.  So last night I cut off what I had done and this afternoon reloaded some newer yarns that will behave better I think.

Here is a picture of what I cut off.  I love the colors and the various textures the different novelty yarns add, but I did not love the way some of those yarns behaved.  Of course an experienced weaver would have told me that, but I wanted to travel my own path.  I will do something with this little sample - maybe use it or part of it in a small wall hanging with a quilted piece..

Also walked by this little Christmas tree I have used for years.  I made it over 15 years ago one evening with the help of a good friend in Denver.  Every year I drag it out, pull and pinch here and there, and enjoy it as much as the first year I made it.  It is made on a tomato cage frame.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Busy day . . .

We had wonderful, busy, Bozeman kind of day.  It was a gorgeous day with lots of blue sky, sunshine and a bit of snow melting.  We did a little more decorating, some more Christmas shopping, ate our lunch out and then came home to enjoy our work.

Since Bob had the carotid surgery a couple weeks ago we decided not to put up the big Christmas tree this year as it is 8 feet tall and comes in three very heavy parts.  We store it in the attic storage so we have to get it out of there and downstairs - way too much work for us this year.  So we just did a little tree and some lights here and there.  It is nice and quite understated for us.  Change is good.  No studio time today.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Oops - another week slipped by . . .

Where does time go and how does it all happen so quickly.  Since I was here last there has been a lot going on it seems but not much of interest.  We did get some snow and cool weather over the weekend and you can barely see our house from the highway with all of the snow on the trees.  It started out as rain, then wet snow and then colder snow - total of about 8 inches I think.

I did get the warping process started on my new loom.  I had to keep watching the beginning weaving class on Craftsy.  I love Craftsy!  Now I need to finish the warping process and get started weaving.  It is going to be a scarf I think.    I have been busy with Christmas stuff so it might be a slow process and I keep wanting to do quilting on my gingko leaves.  Too much stuff I want to do.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tired Tuesday . . .

I think all of the health problems of my loved ones these past few months caught up with me today.  I woke up tired and have stayed that way all day.  But tomorrow I know there will be more energy.

I continue to quilt on the gingko quilt - a little at a time.  Here is a cup that I made using reverse applique.  I started with 7 layers and cut away sections.  The bright pink is the top of the layers and the blue plate is the bottom layer. It is part of a project I am working on with two of my fiber art friends.  We try to have coffee together once a week.  We each made three of these that are totally different.  I will will share more with you on that later.  Wait until you see what we are planning to do next.

The Christmas cactus is in full bloom again - as usual - this time of year.  It starts in early November and continues until mid winter or even sometime in March.  This cactus was started from the original plant that my Grandmother Kimble had.  Or so the story goes - I didn't know her.  But I do remember the original plant at my aunts house when I was a little girl.  My cousin took starts off it for all of the cousins who wanted a plant and this one is mine.  I need to trim it back.

Monday, December 8, 2014

New week. . .

Mondays are great days - starting a new week.  I like Mondays, but Wednesdays are my favorite day because I love the sound of the word.

Bob continues to improve from his carotid surgery last week.  That is good news.

And I am back in my studio.  Here is the view from my new window this afternoon.  We replaced the older windows with newer, more energy efficient ones, and I have taken down the curtains and am enjoying the view and the great light.

We have only a little snow left.  We have had some good snow fall and some very cold temps but we have also had many days with above average temps and wind and that makes short work of the snow. There will be more coming for sure as this is Montana.

Here is one of the things I am working on now.  I am quilting big gingko leaves and then finishing it off.  It is a quilt that was done through a Round Robin I participated in several years ago and I am now getting it done so I can move on to another project.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Time brings good things . . .

My son, Stan, had very serious heart surgery the end of August.  Although he did not have a heart attack, he did have two major arteries bypassed which the doctors said avoided a heart attack that he may not have survived.  He is an athlete as he is an avid exerciser, skiier, and third degree black belt. He stays fit and young at 48 until the chest pains started this summer when he got his heart rate elevated.  He has worked hard to recover and today he went skiing here for the first time.  I am torn between being happy and wishing I could just put him back in the womb for protection.  LOL!  That is the mother in me I guess.

I have been enjoying my little Janome embellishing machine I bought when in Houston.  Here are some little squares I am using in a wall hanging.  More on that later.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wanting to blog again . . .

The time has come when I really want to blog again.  I am anxious to share some stuff I am creating and times with family and friends.  It will be more like a journal.  Exciting for me to write again.

We just got back from Billings this afternoon.  Bob had a carotid endarterectomy on the right side. The words are interesting, huh?  They opened his neck and right carotid, cleaned it all out and stitched it up again.  He is doing great.

I bought an early Christmas present while there for myself.  I have been thinking I wanted a rigid heddle loom and found a good deal on one through Craigslist while we were in Billings.  This is the one I bought and will set it up tomorrow.

It is a Kromski Harp - 24 inches.  I can upgrade it to the Kromski Harp Forte, but I will use it as it is for a bit first.  I am a real beginner's beginner so I signed up for a Craftsy class to help me get started.  Fun stuff is coming!