Sunday, November 15, 2015

I'm Back . . .

It has been two months since I stopped.

Walker has done well with his cancer treatment.  He finished his 31 radiation treatments last week and he and his parents came home to Bozeman last Thursday.  They were at Children's Hospital until October 1 and then moved over to the nearby Ronald McDonald house where they stayed during the radiation treatments.

Weston had been here with us since the first of September and their mom and dad had been back and forth between here and Denver. Over the weekend they moved into a rental condo for the coming year while they focus on Walker's treatments and recovery. They had planned to live out here while we traveled, but that all changed with this new normal.

Walker has done lots of recovery work from the Posterior Fassa Syndrome that came after the tumor surgery the end of August.  He was unable to move any limbs or his body, walk, see clearly, control his bowels or bladder and for a couple weeks didn't talk.  He is talking fine, no longer needing diapers, has no double vision and he is walking pretty good.  He still has a wheel chair and a walker that he can use, but prefers to walk with some assistance from furniture and a willing hand.  It is kind of hard to watch because it is pretty wabbly walking, but he gets stronger every day.

We had both guys with us Thursday, Friday and Saturday while they moved.  It was so good to have Walker here again.  He really wanted to revisit each and every good memory he had with us - special shopping trips and things we had all done together.  We enjoyed it all.  And the move was complete enough that last night they stayed in their "new" house.

So, Bob and I are "home alone" this morning for the first time in two and a half months.  And it is not too bad.  Especially since we know Walker is doing ok and their family is back together.  We both agree we are really going to miss Weston living here.  Raising a child is hard work and best if one is young, but still a joy no matter how old.  LOL.  The road ahead for all of them is going to be rough, but I am sure they can do it and we are here to help if needed.

We are still thinking of going south - or somewhere - in the motorhome for a couple months after the first of the year, but for now we are just going to enjoy our lives here and help where needed.

Walker will start his 9 chemo sessions on the 10th of December.  They will go each month or 6 weeks to Denver for those treatments.

So, I am going to focus myself back on my fiber art world really hard and put away the need to be a "mother".  I loved having Weston here, but I know why God intends for them to be raised by the young.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Taking time . . .

I am just not up for blogging now.  I am trying to do updates on CaringBridge for Walker each day.   I will be back later.  Nothing seems important enough to say right now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Hard to hear . . .

We found out this afternoon that our 6 year old grandson, Walker, has cancer.  The brain tumor was malignant.  He will go through several weeks of radiation at Children's Hospital in Denver as an inpatient.  Following that will be 10 months of chemo.  If all goes well, they say there is a 90% rate of recovery - whatever that means - maybe remission.  I don't know.

Nothing makes any sense to me right now.  I love that little boy so much and I hate to see him go through what he will have to endure for the next year.

Here he is from our first camping trip to the lake in June this summer.  I am so glad we had these good times with him.  He is a fighter so I hope he knows we will be here to help him fight this cancer.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Feeling all messed up inside . . .

It feels I have been strong for so long now and today I just don't want to be strong any longer.  I want Walker to be ok.  I hate it when a little guy has to go through this posterior fossa syndrome stuff and we don't even know yet the type of tumor so the bad stuff could be yet to come.  I want to scream and scream but I know that won't do any good.  And I hate being here while he is down there.  I feel like I am totally out of the loop and it is even worse today.  I know I need to get through this since this is not about me.  But, damn it, I hate this.  I need to figure out something.

So today the delivery men from Lowes called to tell us they were delivering the new refrigerator we purchased there two weeks ago.  What?  I had forgotton all about it.  It was 7:30 when the call came and they said they would be there in 20 minutes.   I hadn't forgotten I had purchased it as our old one was kind of limping along.  But I had forgotten this was the day for the delivery.  

I was in bed so I jumped up and started emptying out the old refrigerator and got it done.  The guys came, took out the old one, brought in the new one, shoved it in the hole and informed us the cupboards were not right so it would set even.  They then left and said to just wait a while and it might settle in better.

What?  When they left we looked and they had not even brought down the front legs - and they had it sitting crooked.  On one corner nothing was touching the floor.  I am not sure how they managed that but it was certainly what was making it crooked.   So I had to call and get them to return.  First I was informed they would try to get back out at the end of their day if there was time.  No that was not going to work for me.  They needed to do their job correctly the first time as I needed to reload the food.  Finally after a couple more calls up the Lowes food chain, I got them to return about an hour and a half later and they were not happy.  Needless to say, neither was I.

They came in the kitchen and mouthy about what needed to be done.  First they said the cupboards were not correct - wrong!  They were installed by one of the best companies here in Bozeman 3 years ago and the previous fridge was the same size and it fit - snuggly - but it fit.  They finally pulled it out again and did do it right after some very stern words from me.  I had to tell one of them who was really mouthy and rude that he needed to stop or else I would ask him to leave my home.  Not a good experience at all.  Once it was done correctly, the refrigerator is nice and I know we will enjoy it.  It fits the space, is level, and looks good.

Friday, September 4, 2015

It is time to fight . . .

I am over my weeping about what has happened to Walker.  Of course I wish it hadn't happened.  Of course I would rather it be me.  But it did happen and it isn't me.  It is this very precious 6 year old grandson.  So it is time to get going with support, prayers, work and all the rest that has to be done.

Here is a link with more info about what is causing his slow progress following his brain surgery.
This cerebellar mutism is part the greater Posterior Fassa Syndrome.  This impacts some children who have this kind of tumor removal surgery.  It is going to make his recovery slower, but he will recover with good physical, speech and occupational therapy.  More will be known in a few days about the tumor itself and what that means for ongoing treatment concerning radiation and chemo. The road will be long and treacherous.  There is no time or place for me to feel so down.

Here is a picture of him being read to today by his Denver grandma, lovingly known as Vma.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

My heart is aching . . .

Last Thursday, we got a call that our little 6 year old grandson, Walker, was not well.  They did a scan here and saw a brain tumor.  He was flighted that night to Children's Hospital in Denver with his mom.  His dad, brother, Bob and I flew down early the next morning commercial.  At the hospital they were able to stop the brain swelling with steroids, study an MRI and he had surgery on Monday, August 31.   They do not know yet if the tumor, which was quite large, was malignant or benign.  They will know that the first of next week as well as the plan for treatment.

Today is Thursday - a week from that day.  Walker is not progressing as well following the surgery as the surgeon had hoped.  Please think of him and send strength to him and his family.

Bob and I came home with Weston, his brother, late last night.  We will get Weston into school tomorrow.  It is kind of like a nightmare that just keeps going on and on.

I know there is a long road ahead and I know the road will have good days and bad days.  But I just pray that Walker can get well and enjoy years of good life.

I will write more later.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Oh, No!

We woke to water on the floor on Saturday.  Got it all mopped up and realized it was from a leaking tubing into the ice maker on the refrigerator.  The necessary part, new water valve, is no longer available for our fridge which has been with us for 17 very temperamental years.   What to do?  What to do?

We don't want to leave our son and his family without an ice maker or a reliable refrigerator.   So I headed out today to buy a new refrigerator.  

Comfy shoes - check.  Payment in pocket - check.  Idea of what I wanted - check.

I want to the "French doors" on the front with the bottom freezer door.  That seems easy enough and there are lots of those.  It has to be black and that eliminates 90% of stock.    I wanted no ice or water in the door which seemed to eliminate another 8.9% of what might work.

Nothing is easy.  Our small town as about 40,000 people on a good day and is home to Montana State University which is just now back in session.  So that adds another 15,000 and I think they were all looking for appliances.

This is what I found that would work.
It is in stock at our local Lowes.  But it can't be delivered until September 5th.  Now to try and round up some strong young backs (bucks?) to get the delivery done sooner.  With those 15,000 college students in town, someone should want to earn a little cash, don't you think?

Hoping for the best here.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Smoky here . .

There are so many fires in Montana, Idaho and Washington.  Our air quality here is very bad and it has been bad all day.  We did have some wind that caused some of it to move out but it quickly settled back in the valley.  Here is a picture this morning from the parking lot of our local mall.  It was about 8 am.  Everything had this orange glow and that is the sun.  Bob and I had gone in to walk since there was so much smoke outside.  It is hot and dry.  Today there was the wind but it wasn't as bad as predicted. The temps are going to be much cooler tomorrow.

I decided to make a fourth cup.  I made three of them last year when they were to be part of a group project.  You can learn more about those intentions here.  The group project never got completed so I decided I needed one more cup.  I am not sure how I will connect them.  I like the way they came out.  It is 

I am going through my studio.  Sorting out things I haven't seen for a while and trying to determine what I need and want to take with me for projects.  I can tell I am going to have to thin it down or it is not going to fit into our space.  Our next two weeks are going to be busy and we need to get very focused to get the last of it all ready.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Keep on getting ready . . .

Remember when I said "something need to change" around here and talked about my attitude toward myself.  Well, I am still working on it and I have made really good progress.  Yesterday I also decided that I needed to really focus on being very loving to myself in all that I do.  It is amazing how hard that is.  I have been so harsh on myself for so long that there are some bad habits to erase.

We just keep on getting things packed up and away.  Today I continued cleaning out a big armoire that is located in what we call the "round room".  It is really the center of the bedroom pod.

We live in a house, you know, made out of two nine-sided pods that are connected with an atrium. Here is a picture from the top so you can see what I mean.  This is from Google.  The large square roof north of the pods is the garage with my studio on the second floor of the garage.  The bedroom pod is the one on the south.

The pods each have a center core that is about 15 feet high with beams that go out to post all around the outer walls of each pod.  Here is a picture of the living area pod so you can see how the beams hold it up and the center of this pod has two fireplaces.  Here is the one in the family room.  There is also one in the living room around the corner.

Anyway - the bedroom round has a "round room" in the center where the fireplaces are in the living area round.   It is really a small nine sided room.  The diameter of that room is probably 8 to 10 feet. There is a large armoire on one wall that has been just storage of all kinds for the past 20 years.  I am cleaning it out and setting it up as a game area for the grandsons when they live here.  The Xbox will be in there connected to a TV and all the games will be in that area.  Here is a pic of the project in process while I am pulling everything out and sorting to go to garbage, donation or ???  I will share more when I get it done.

We went to the Kiwanis picnic tonight.  Bob has been a member of Kiwanis for many, many years and I always enjoy visiting at the picnic.  It is the only time during the year that I see many of these folks so it is fun to catch up.  

I started quilting a little quilt wall hanging - and it will be quick.  It is for my friend's daughter in Denver.  The fabric print means nothing will show and that is good because my heart is not in it.  I keep saying I do not want to quilt for others and then haven't figured out how to say "no" to friends. I want to get a couple of my own art quilts done before we leave so I can do the additional embellishing as we travel.  Think positive on that one.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

starting some crochet . . .

I haven't done any crochet for a good long while so I decided to start a shawl.  Here is the picture of the easy pattern I selected so I could just get back in the swing of things.  I want to start doing some freeform crochet again, but I have to start somewhere.

Here is the pattern I found that I liked.

I decided on some yarn I already had that is similar to this kind and got started.  It is really easy and I can see it with some long fringe once I am done.  I think I will wear it a lot.  We will see.  Here is how my start looked and of course it will need some blocking and I am quite sure I will get better as I gog.  LOL.    I am further along now and it shouldn't take too long.  I just crochet when I am watching the evening news or the PBS news which we both enjoy.  I want to keep a simple project going as we travel so I can pick it up when I need something to just keep my fingers busy for a little at a time.  I don't have the focus ability to sit and crochet for hours on end, but do enjoy a little here and there.  It has to be something easy.

We had lunch out today with good friends.  We are going to spend time with them in early September at the beginning or our travels.  We want to spend a week or so at Lake Couer d'Alene before we head on to Portland, OR for a few weeks and then out to the coast.    It is going to be a nice start to a long journey.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Home from a wonderful weekend. . .

We got home this afternoon.  We went over to Virginia City on Thursday and spent the last 4 nights there.  Stacey and Michael got married Saturday night but we had lots of festivities before and after.

Thursday night we all went out to dinner at a great steak house in a little town named Alder which is about 9 miles away.  We met Michael's family there for the first time.  His mom, dad, stepmom and sister had all traveled from St. Louis to share in the celebration.   When we got back to the RV park that evening this is the view of the gorgeous sunset.

Each morning we had breakfast in the motorhome.  I was an amazing "short order cook" meeting all of the grands requests.  Here is a picture of the two dads (my sons) and Walker and Meagan.  Weston had an ear ache the night before so he was getting some much needed sleep in their camper.

Friday night we all met again for another family and friend gathering at the Wells Fargo steak house in Virginia City.  Here are a couple shots of some of the family.

Saturday was the wedding.  Here is a picture of my beautiful niece, Taylor.  She is 23 and lives in Arizona where she is finishing her final semester at ASU.  She looks so much like younger pictures of my mom.  Ah - those cheekbones are amazing!

The wedding was on Boot Hill overlooking the entire valley.  The ceremony was very special and loving.  We all rode up to the ceremony in the old anique fire truck from Virginia City.  Here is a picture of my daughter-in-law, Rainy, with Walker and Weston as they watched the ceremony. 

 The vows were beautiful and the evening was gorgeous.  It had rained all day and then just shortly before the clouds parted, the sun came out and it was all perfect.

Following the vows, they let the doves fly away.  

It was a great weekend.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


We have shopped and ate and laughed and enjoyed every minute so far of the family week here. Meagan is eleven and she is a clothes horse.  Monday she and I made a cute skirt for her.  Everything looks good on her so we took advantage of a couple good sales at Macy's and Kohl's and picked up some things she likes a lot.

We have had two evenings of family suppers - burgers and homemade fries with caprese salad on Monday night and shredded chicken burritos with all of the trimmings last night - even the green chili for "smothering" them.

Today she and I did the Boot Barn and then hit a great sale at Shoe Carnival.  She then went to have a sleepover with her little cousins.  Roy and Stan have gone off to camp tonight and get in some fishing and a good bike ride tomorrow.  Bob and I are enjoying a couple quiet hours.

And then it is back to the whirlwind tomorrow.  She and I are having a mani-pedi morning,  It is all so good!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Changes happening and a big week coming . . .

First - I am really proud of myself for working on my self talk.  I have made an effort the past two days to focus on "what is good about Carol".  If I start to go "there", I just get up and go physically or mentally someplace else - physical movement is much easier with quicker results.  It seems my goal setting might have made the negative self talk worse.  So I have softened my work and art expectations.

And I have also found that by doing that I have made a couple intentional decisions to move away from things I start to "dwell on" that I cannot change.  You know - things with gloval warming of the earth or lions being cruelly killed or children abused in another part of the world.  I rethink the "Serenity Prayer".  I know it by heart - just that my head doesn't always remember it.  It has even helped when I start to think I need to hover in family decisions or linger in family issues.

Big week coming this week!  Lots of excitement.  Roy and Meagan will be here in a few hours for a week long visit.  We haven't seen them since they left in January after Mom's funeral.  That is when this picture was taken.

Mid week we are heading off to Virginia City, MT where my sister, Stacey will be getting married.  It is going to be a great celebration.  She is marrying an amazing man whom we all love.  She has had so much struggling since her divorce 7 years ago and it seems things have really turned around for her.  I know Mom and Dad are watching and smiling.  The wedding is Saturday night but there are several gatherings before - one on Thursday night and one on Friday night - to meet family and get reacquainted with new and old friends.  We are taking our Gus Bus and staying in the little local RV park.  Roy and Meagan have a little cabin rented in the RV park and Stan and his family will be coming in their camping trailer.  So it will be a good gathering for our little part of the family and then a wonderful bunch of love with the entire family and lots of friends.  Stacey and Michael have lots and lots of family and friends that we are all going to enjoy.

I will share more as the week goes along.  We have pedicures planned, haircuts, dinners out, shopping, and some crafty fun.  Oh my - we are looking forward to a grand week!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Going to change one of my ways -

I always hear that saying, "you need to change your ways".  Or maybe I remember my dad telling me that when I was in trouble or close to being in trouble.  But I decided this morning that I need to "change one of my ways".

I have been so hard on myself for so long.  Always lots of negative talk about how I am not doing what I should be doing - harsh talk to myself.  Lots of talk to myself about how I should be eating less, moving more, working harder, getting things done - and on and on it goes.  This morning I realized how much of my time I spend being really mean to myself.   So I am going to "change my ways" with that.

When I realize I am negative talking, I am going to stop it and mentally and physically turn to something else.  Start something different, get up from what I am doing, move away physically and mentally from that place.  I will see how the day goes.

Supper tonight is going to be taco salad here at home.  I bought these little pans that make the tortilla salad bowls - they are baked so are much better for us.  We had them a couple weeks ago and I took these pictures.  They are really good.  I cook up some ground beef and beans with taco seasoning and layer it in with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and whatever else we have the works on tacos.

Supper is planned and will be good!  Now that is being good to myself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Interesting night . .

Nothing unusual in many ways, but again I did not sleep well last night.  My brain was working overtime on Mom's estate stuff and her passing and missing her.

One of our cousins has just recently caused a heartache because she felt she and her children were not involved as much as they thought they should have been in Mom's last days.  Of course they said nothing to me but rather approached my sister with the focus on it being my decision.  And they stated how much they loved Mom and would have wanted to have been there.  They actually live here.  What is up with that kind of behavior?

My sister and/or I were with Mom for every hour of her last 10 days.  We called all the relatives to let them know and many came to visit and pay their last respects in whatever way they were most comfortable and I think Mom knew when loved ones were there.  At no time did anyone from this particular, complaining family call or stop.  And you know what?  At that time, it did not even seem odd.  Everyone handles those kinds of things in their own way and heaven knows my sister and I had our hearts and hands full.  It is a very loving, painful, forgiving, peaceful time.   Now, it seems, they feel they were slighted. I just have to shake my head.

But it is still possible to stay awake thinking about Mom.  Even after these 7 months. Thinking about how she died and what more we might have been able to do.  Missing her again and again.

Here are some flower pictures I took with my iPhone while at the lake.  Love them and need them this morning.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Great grand parents . . .

I never knew my mother's grandparents.  Albert and Mary Paulsen homesteaded in North Dakota and came to this country from Denmark.  After being in North Dakota for about 20 years, in 1902, they decided to move to the Kalispell area.  The older of their 12 children stayed in North Dakota and the younger ones went with them.  My grandmother, mom's mother, Hannah Paulsen was one of the younger girls.  My mom's mother also died before I was born so I never knew her either.

While building a large home in the Kalispell area for his family, Albert Paulsen was killed in an accident while removing tree stumps from the area around the new house.  That was in 1905.  He was buried in Kalispell.  His wife, Mary, returned to North Dakota with the younger children where they grew up.  When she passed in 1940, she was buried in Kalispell with him.  Growing up I never knew they were buried there.  I am not sure my mother knew it until she was in her later years.  She knew they had lived in Kalispell and she knew where the "in town" house was and where the house was that was being built.  Those stories she had heard from her mother.  Mom was 12 when her mother passed and she had limited contact with her grandmother.

When I was in Kalispell last week, I took an afternoon to go to the Conrad Memorial Cemetery to see if I could find the graves of my great grandparents.  I had no idea where to even begin to look.  I thought there would be someone there with records.  Nope - that was not to be.  But I did look it up on "" and found a picture.  Armed with that, finding the actual marker was easy.  The cemetery was founded in 1902 by the Conrad family and the marker was in the oldest section.  This is is a gorgeous cemetery.

I am glad I found these markers.  It was a cool, rainy day - just right for connecting.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My cell phone returned today. . .

It has been a long few days but finally my cell phone showed up in the mail.  I am so appreciative that the restaurant found it and took the time to send it to me.  So I can't be upset that it took what seemed like an endless amount of time to get it back.  I will be more careful.

Here are some of the pictures that I took last week.  We sure had a great time.

Each morning there were several small sail boats out with what appeared to be an instructor in a canoe.  Some were just sail boards and others small boats.  This was one of the most beautiful mornings from our deck.

The dock was quite a ways down below the deck but there was a nice path with some stairs to get there.  We did not have a boat but a couple hours were nice enough for some to get in the water.  

There was a little covered patio just off the deck where we had our morning coffee each morning and gabbed and gabbed and gabbed.

This is the morning we left.  These are the original four from Cut Bank and they have kind of "adopted" me to participate in their Cut Bank reunions.  They sure don't look like 70, huh?  Gail, in the red shirt, was my freshman roommate in college.  We have stayed close friends every since.  I was her "matron of honor" when she married and she is the "godmother" of my older son.   Lots of years and lots of miles.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Great week with long time good friends . . .

I got home late Saturday night after spending the previous week with long time college friends in a great house on Flathead Lake.  We gather every few years and this year was special as it was the year we all turn, or turned, 70.  There were 5 of us and we all enjoyed the time together.

I took some great pictures, but I left my phone in a cafe in Seeley Lake, MT as we traveled home on Saturday afternoon.  The picture below is one from one of the friends.   This was of one of the many rainbows we enjoyed during the week and part of the view from the living room and deck.   It was kind of a cool time so we did not get in much water playing but the amount of gabbing made up for it.

We also went to see "Annie" at the Bigfork Playhouse and that was fabulous.  Most of the time we just were lazy and visited, laughed, shared old memories and made many good, new ones.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Busy days . . .

We are working hard to get organized and clean out, thin out, throw out lots of excess so the house will be ready for Stan, Rainy, Walker and Weston to move in July 28th.

The new washer and dryer arrived this week.  They are not fancy but they seem very sturdy and do a great job.  We have set up the bedroom again upstairs in the place that is a bedroom but has been used for storage.  And I finally went through the boxes of stuff I brought back from Mom's apartment last January after she died.  That pile had just been untouched for all these months.  I tried to go through them a few months back, but just couldn't.  It was much easier now.  It felt sweet and not so painful.

Today I am getting ready for my good friend, Gail,  from Colorado to come to Bozeman.  She arrives this evening.  Tomorrow we are going to spend the day getting ready to head to Flathead Lake on Monday morning.  We have to get mani-pedi's and all of that stuff.  We will meet up with three other women and spend the week celebrating our 70th birthdays which we all have or will enjoy this year. We have all known each other for over 50 years and a couple of them have known each other since kindergarten.  We rented a house on the lake with a dock, great lake views and a hot tub on the deck. It will be a wonderful week with good friends.

So that is about it for here - more later.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Great day . . .

Today we went over to Virginia City, Montana.  It is a a great old mining town that was the territorial capital before Montana became a state.

Our son, Stan, completed a duathlon that ended there today.  It started in the town of Ennis and wondered through graveled mining roads, up and down hills and into Virginia City.  He rode his bike about 14 miles and ran about 7.  We were there when he came in.  He was smiling and so were we.   Stan had serious heart surgery the end of August last year so it was an important milestone for him.  I was very nervous but so glad he did it as his physical work is necessary for his health now and always has been.

Here are a couple of pics . . .

Friday, July 3, 2015

Moving faster . . .

I woke up this morning with some kind of bug - not the day for that as there is so much to do.  But I moved ahead anyway.  Now I am weary but glad I struggled through and got some things done.

First we went out to retrieve Gus from the repair place that was fixing the chassis air conditioner.  It needed a new hose and that is a special hose as it comes from the engine in the rear to the front dashboard area.  The roof air conditioners are fine so that is good.

Next we decided to get some ideas of what to do with our king size mattress.  It is 20 years old but it has been a great mattress.  It is form a local firm that makes mattresses here and it is one of the very best.  The top zips off and you turn the foam pieces a few times a year - supposed to be monthly I think, but we probably did it closer to a few times a year.  The top part that zips off is a pillow top. That part has sunken in so the top of the bed has two indents.  I hated to have it like that with the kids going to use it for the next year.  So we stopped to see options - new mattress - rebuild this one - what was best.  They suggested redoing the zip off pillow top and turning the foam pieces and the actual innerspring.  So that is what we will do.  It is all good.

Then we headed out to buy a new washer and dryer.  We have nursed the old GE along for 28 years. We can make it work - dryer dials no longer work so have to set a phone alarm - washer is easily out of balance so have to stay close and no auto shut off - but the needs of a young, busy family would be to much for it.  We needed a new one anyway so that was next on the list.  I had done some research and knew I wanted a top loader that was tough.  I decided on a Speed Queen and once we got to the local place we found they were having a sale and they keep them in stock.  It will be here on Tuesday.  Not fancy but supposed to be durable.  We will see about that!

Also got an exciting new book in the mail - can't wait to dig into this one.  Wow - looks so interesting!

Things are moving along.  I hope I can keep up.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Oh, my!

Our son and daughter-in-law have sold their house and will close on the 30th of July.  Good news! And now we need to get serious about getting this house in order so they can move in for the next 8 or 9 months and we can move out to the "Gus" - our motorhome.   This is a picture of our Gus when he still had that TV thing on his head.  That is now long gone.

They are going to live here while their new house is being built and we are going to move our butts around the country here and there as the mood strikes in the motorhome.  I just told Bob that all I need is a sewing machine, my threads, fabric and some paints and I will be happy anywhere.  I will now have to put my money where my mouth is - so to speak.

Here are a couple of my sewing machines I have taken with us on past shorter escapades.  I have a little Janome Gem Platinum in the first picture and my Pfaff CV in the second picture.  Now I have a new Pfaff Performance 5.0 and a Pfaff Passport 2.0.   So which of those should I take?  I love them all and use them all.  And I also want to take my Babylock Evolution and my little Janome felting machine. Decisions!  Decisions!  Fortunately I have a very loving and supportive hubby who just wants me to be happy.   He has even offered space in his side of the closet.   But the good news is I am determined to only focus on my fiber art for the next 9 months once we take off. . . even if it is from the road.

Lots to do here  - lots to do - and lots to look forward to doing once we take off.  So exciting!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Back from our little journey . . .

We had a great time with the grandsons in the Black Hills area.  We saw Devil's Tower and Mt. Rushmore along with lots of gorgeous, lush, green landscape.  They have had a lot of rain over there this year it seems.  Now we are back to the business of enjoying life here.  No plans for the 4th of July - just enjoying the times.

And here is the waterpark at the hotel where we stayed.  It was fun to stay in the same place for several nights as we traveled around the area.  We always knew where we were coming at the end of each day and the grandsons loved the waterpak.  It was all good.

We also stopped on the way home to show them the new Scheels store in Billings.  It is amazing. Bob rode the big ferris wheel with them.  It is right in the middle of the store.  They also enjoyed watching and listening to Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson talk via the animated characters that are in the store.  As I was sitting waiting for them on the ride,  I got out my phone and decided to call Mom and share with her what a fun trip it had been.  Then I remembered.  She always loved hearing about what we were doing and how the boys were enjoying things.  It was hard for a moment and then it passed but the sense of another loss seems to have stayed with me.  The loss of my good friend.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Working on it . . .

Well now that I have the system running - my A1 with the IQ - I can move forward to get a very long overdue quilt done.  I don't quilt for others anymore as I found the family health requirements these past few years made it hard for me to be reliable and get quilts back to customers in a reasonable time.  And for me, the family needs came first.

My good friend, Gail, from Denver, however, is very flexible so I do things for her from time to time. This tshirt quilt is one she made and got to me last fall.  I had it on my schedule to get it done right after Christmas.  A few things happened so here I am - finally getting it finished.  I wasn't sure everything would work as it should, but so far so good!  Nice t-shirts with lots of thick, heavy graphicsand fused to nice woven,  heavier backing and then throw in a pieced back.  It is just quilting up fine!

We are off tomorrow with the grands to see Mr Rushmore.  So I will finish this when I get back.  Lots to do today to get ready.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fun days -

We have had some great days.  Saturday evening Weston and Walker came to spend the night and we went to the movie, "Inside Out".   It was quite different for the usual animated movie.  The boys enjoyed it and so did we.   It stayed with me and I love stories like that.

Sunday I took the "Dads" out to supper and that was always fun.  We went to Rio Sabinas in Belgrade and I had the best enchilada with shredded beef and a wonderful fresh salsa over it. Delicious.

Ant then Monday I decided it was time to get my Intelliquilter running again.  I have not used it for a couple years.  Life has been busy.  So I cleaned my A1 quilting machine thoroughly, gave it a spa treatment, and then loaded some samples to see if I could remember how to get the IQ to run the machine.  Here are a couple pictures of what I found to quilt. Beautiful stitches, great tension and it all seemed natural - intuitive.

I even purchased and download a new design and it all came back.  Love that IQ.  I need to do a t-shirt quilt for a friend so I wanted to do some practice pieces and these placemats were just right.Tomorrow I am going to load that t-shirt quilt.