Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Great Weekend . . .

We had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  We spent time remembering those who have served in our country's military and those who lost their lives in service.  We also remembered our family loved ones who have passed.  It is a good time to give thanks.

Friday, Bob and I cleaned this house in preparation for a wonderful birthday celebration for our 6 year old grandson.  (And it needed a lot of cleaning as I have really neglected doing anything more than just the minimum for months.)  It was a great party for family with his Denver grandmother able to come as well as my sister and her daughter and her daughter's best friend.  The birthday boy ordered the menu and that is what we did.  We had cheeseburger and fries with a great salad.  He also wanted a chocolate cake with ice cream and his theme was Star Wars.  We got all of that and few margaritas for the adults.  Maybe a few too many of those, but it was so much fun!

Saturday, Bob and I went to a "Kimble" family reunion in Helena.  It was cold and rainy and the event was planned outside under a covered picnic area.  We stayed a couple hours and saw lots of family.  I am one of the "first cousins" from our original Montana Kimble family.  My dad and his two sisters stayed in Montana and his brothers moved to live in other parts of the country.  It is the first cousins and their families from the Montana group that gathered.  But there are lots and lots of younger family members and it is fun to see how much they look like their parents did years ago.

Sunday and Monday we rested and remembered.  I got in some sewing and some visiting.   It was all good.

I am getting closer to getting this quilt done . . . should come off the table today.  Here is a pic in progress.  It has taken way too long but it feels good when I do get a chance to work on it.  The green is the last to do and I am going to use a lime green/gold thread.  I hope it works.  The most time consuming was that little, tiny black (dark charcoal really) stipple around the gold leaves.  But, I am feeling confident again with lots of practice with freehand and ruler work.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Yesterday . . .

We did make the trip to Fort Benton yesterday to bury Mom's ashes in the cemetery there as she wanted.  We buried her next to my dad who passed in December of 2009.

They both grew up around Fort Benton and lived there as children and young marrieds.  They left that area in 1957 when they moved to Augusta, Montana where they lived until 1963.  From 1963 until 1984, they lived in Helena and then when they were both retired, they moved to the western Colorado for a few years.   They wanted to try living someplace different I guess.  I lived in Colorado at that time, but I lived in the Denver area and it was a 5 hour trip over the mountains so we didn't connect very often.  They really seemed to be "on their own" in Grand Junction, Colorado.  I think they felt young again without responsibilities.

They left Grand Junction and moved to Missoula, Montana in 1988 or 89 - I can't remember for sure which.  My own life at that time was in a difficult place and I was focused on surviving the roughest part I had ever known (or ever would know) of my own road.

I am not sure why they left Grand Junction.  Mom always said that Dad wanted to move back and Dad always said that Mom wanted to move back.  But I suspect it had something to do with my sister, Stacey, having just gotten married and living in Missoula.  I think they had visions of future grand children dancing in their heads.

They loved Missoula and both of them made many friends and were very active.  They enjoyed watching their new granddaughter grow.  It was a good life for them.  Dad died there in 2009 and Mom continued to live in Missoula until she moved to Bozeman in 2011.  With all of that moving, Fort Benton always seemed to be their place.  Their parents are also all buried in the Fort Benton cemetery as are several of their siblings.  And that is what they always wanted - to be buried there with family.

And now they are . . . separate . . . but together . . . always . . .

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tomorrow . . .

Tomorrow we will go to Fort Benton to bury Mom's ashes.  They were kept at the funeral home since the memorial service on January 12th.  Today I went to pick them up.  The funeral home set up a little room with candles and a beautiful alter and escorted me to that room.  It was quite beautiful and so peaceful.  It really made it much easier as I had dreaded the whole thing.  They are experienced in making life events more beautiful.  I really appreciated it so much.

I am not sure how tomorrow will go.  My sister will go with Bob and I and we will drive up and back in one day.  We have nothing special planned beyond a reading of the 23rd Psalm and The Lords Prayer.  My brother and his wife will come from Missoula.  It will be a lot of driving - 470 miles round trip I think.  It will be a long day but I think it will bring peace. We are thinking we will have lunch somewhere afterwards together and then come home.

I love my brother but I am not looking forward to time with him.  I am still sad that he could not be with mom when she passed.  He was here and he just couldn't "handle it" as he said.  He is my older brother.  When Mom needed him he could not bring himself to be there.  She loved him so and tried all his life to make excuses and find someone else responsible for his not being able to do what is right.  He has always ran away.  It feels vacant now - and sad.  And he will have more "reasons" why and we will all listen politely.  And then we will move on.  I would like it to be different but it isn't.  

Mom's stone is complete and set beside Dad's - so it is ready.  May 20th - tomorrow - would have been Mom's 94th birthday.  I am glad she lived so long.  I am glad I was with her when she passed.  I am glad I was strong enough and responsible enough to be with her as she needed help and support and love - especially during the past 12 years when things got so tough for them both - Mom and Dad.  I am glad I was made from good stuff and raised to do what is right.  Thank you, Mom and Dad.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Where did that week go?

I came back from HMQS in Salt Lake City and the next thing I remember is this morning.  Where did that week go?  I came home with a cold or sinus crud or something and it seemed to take it's toll all week.  I had a terrible stiff neck and didn't even get dressed a couple days.  But - feeling much better today.

I wanted to share a great class I took at HMQS.  Laurie Tigner is a fiber artist from Rapid City, SD. She taught a class using Inktense pencils and I loved the class.  I had always wanted to try using them.  I made a couple samples and really enjoyed the process so I am looking forward to doing more.  Here is one of my samples.

I knew I had purchased some of these a while back and never used them.  So when I got home they were waiting for me on a shelf.  There was also a set of these crayon kind.  Now I am anxious to get more done.  Glad I am feeling better.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Today was my first Mother's Day without my mom.  I dreaded it coming.  But it seemed ok.  I love her and I felt her love for me.

I had been in Salt Lake City all week for HMQS - Home Machine Quilting Show.  I drove home today.  I met up with Lisa Newman and Donna James there and we had a wonderful time.  Great laughs, long talks, fun classes, amazing quilts to enjoy and some fabulous fabric shopping.

It was all good!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

It is May already . . .

The weather has been more like June but I am still shocked that the first four months of 2015 are past.  I am doing better with getting back to living and feel closeness to Mom that I haven't felt for a while.

I made a little tweak in my thinking that seems to have really helped.  I decided I wanted a job so I would have to get up every morning and go to work - get up and have something that is first on my priority list.  Everything always got done when I worked and now it seems I don't have the motivation that I long for to do my fiber art and keep my house passable.  I really don't want a regular job - I just want to have my day focused and planned as to what I have to do.

Then it hit me!  My fiber art and quilting is my work.   Pretty obvious I know, but it was quite a change for me.   Just put it first on my priority of things I must do each day.  Well this is the first week I am trying it but so far it seems to be helping.  And that feels good!

I have worked on drawing s for a 15 x 15 for each month of the year of 2015.  I just want to capture my emotions as the year passes.  January was gray - flat - no dimension - no texture - sameness.  I have the drawings and this week I did the piecing on this first one.  It feels right.  February is next and I am anxious to get it pieced from my drawing as well.  I am going to try a different process each month to do something I want to do more with.  This was the simplest - curved freeform stitching.  I did redo the bottom half three times before it seemed to reflect what I wanted.

I have also done some quilting and some preparation for a hexie project I want to try.  More on that later.