Monday, December 20, 2010

Cookie Day

Cookie baking day was this past Saturday at my house.  I bought the kids their aprons each year they started baking cookies, so Mikey got his this year (he'll grow into it!)  That's Briana, 12, AJ, 6, Will, 3, Mom, Mikey, 6 months,  and Grandma.
Mikey just woke up from a nap and is cuddling with big sister.

And Mikey with his apron :-)!

And today I attended a cookie exchange at a friend's house -- it was wonderful visiting with everyone, drinking coffee, eating cookies - just a really nice, relaxing morning.  Thanks, Ginny!

Blessings:  Grandchildren and great friends to help us through these tough holidays.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Catching up

Here it is December and I've been among the missing since the end of October.  Time to catch up on the happenings here.

On All Saints Sunday (the first Sunday of November), our church has a ceremony to recognize all those we've lost in the past year.  All the kids came down and we filled the front pew.  Stephanie lit a candle while I put this white rose on the altar.  I provided a picture of Bill and it was projected on a screen at the front of the church.  It's a very nice ceremony -- but very difficult for all of us.  I was given the rose to take home after church and it stayed this beautiful for more than a week!

We spent all of November driving back and forth to Madison again.  Steve's cancer came back in October and the treatment this time was radiation -- not just a simple zap, but an elongated zap that took 35 minutes.  He endured this five days a week for 5-1/2 weeks.  I drove two days a week, Kim drove one day a week and two of his friends filled in the other days.  It was exhausting for everyone, but especially for Steve.  He is home now waiting for the swelling in his brain to go down.  All the gains he made last year after his stroke have been erased.  The radiation really beat him up this time and he will have to start all over getting his left side to cooperate.  He is walking with a footed cane right now.  He will probably be getting some home health aides to stay with him during the day while Kim works, but this week I stayed a couple of days with him.  They have 3 dogs to take care of, and we just want to make sure he doesn't fall.  It tires me out because they live 50 minutes away from me, but I've also enjoyed spending the day with him. We don't know what happens next -- he'll meet with the doctor in Madison in a few weeks, but he won't have an MRI until January, so we won't even know if the radiation worked til then.  He and Kim will be going on vacation with three other couples next week -- a trip they've planned for a year and I hope they will be able to relax and enjoy themselves.

Now that the Christmas season is upon us, I've had to shift gears and take care of business.  I've managed to finish the Christmas card list.  I'm sending only to those that didn't know that Bill died (he used to write notes to many people every year in the cards).  I've cut the list by at least half and next year I plan to send only a few to the people that I actually know that live out of town.  I find that sending Christmas cards is not an enjoyable activity, so by paring it down, I can write to the few that I like to keep in touch with and make it more meaningful.
These are going in the mail tomorrow!

I have hired a cleaning lady!  The goal is to have her do my weekly cleaning and I can spend my time cleaning out!  I haven't had time to do much of anything lately -- and I haven't even sewn in months.  She cleaned for the first time this week and oh my how heavenly it was to come home to a clean house.  Today was the first day I've had to do anything around the house, so I took advantage of it -- I emptied two Rubbermaid containers of fabric.  Kris keeps her fabric collection in Rubbermaid containers and it works for her; so I tried it, but it does not work for me.  I find that if I can't see my fabric, I don't know what I have.  So, I put the fabric back into my big cabinet and my side cabinets of the Hoosier in the kitchen and put the quilts that I had in the big cabinet into the Rubbermaid containers instead.  I can store the small quilts in them and keep them in the basement and out of the way.  I have a few more containers to switch yet, but made pretty good progress today.  I also pressed a pile of fabric that had been washed, but not put away.  Feels like progress!
So, to celebrate, I actually did some sewing today:
Kris has decided we're going to do Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery.  I haven't been too enthusiastic because I have so many unfinished projects and no time to sew, but not only did she insist I play, she cut the strips for part 1 from her own stash -- all I had to do was sew them together and cut them into parts!  Can't beat that.  Not only that, but I cut some light squares today to add to some dark squares to make 4 patches as a leader/ender project while I work on the mystery. And, I fired up the ole Bernina which hasn't been used in ages (I've been piecing with the Brother for the past year or two!)

Quilt friends - specifically Kris!
My health -- there's a lot of stomach flu and strep throat going around my family and friends lately and so far I've managed to avoid it -- and hopefully so has Steve. 
Get well wishes to Deb and to Steph -- enough is enough!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This Blew Me Away

I received this beautiful quilt in the mail yesterday. The blocks were made by friends from a quilt-related list I've been on for many years. However, I was on "special notices only" for the past few years because it was a high-volume email list and I couldn't keep up.
There are blocks from all over the world in it and it was put together by Sue. She quilted each block differently. Most of the blocks are signed and it's just totally wonderful. It was like unwrapping a collective hug. Thank you all so much.
I took it with me to the quilt shop today and everyone oohed and aahed over it -- not to mention the surprise on their faces when I told them it came from an internet group that I've never met!  Isn't that just amazing?!

Internet friends, of course!

Friday, October 22, 2010


My county is having an electronics recycling event -- two days.  And they are taking old tv's and monitors and a whole bunch of other electronic things.  I recycled a couple of monitors a couple of years ago at a neighboring county's event and they charged me $10 a piece and I waited in line for more than an hour.  Since then, that county doesn't accept monitors or old tv's, so we've just been saving them in the shed.  Last night a friend loaded a huge 20 inch monitor and two old tv's into my car for me and today I drove down to the recycling place.  In less than an hour I drove there, (about a 20 minute drive one way), waited in line, had 3 or 4 very nice men unload my car and drove home again.  And, it didn't cost me anything but the gas to get there.  And boy, does it feel good to get those things out of here.  This is where the old 20" monitor was -- I couldn't move it to even clean around it, so you can see the dust on the table!

 My plan for today is to clean out this corner (it's in the basement and behind and to the right of my chair and computer) and use it to start sorting stuff as I clean out the house.  First up will be a lot of paperwork that I have stored in a big Rubbermaid bin.

I think my shredder is going to be working overtime today!  I'll show follow-up pictures in my next blog posts.

While I'm doing this, I have a guy doing my fall yard cleanup.  I finally gave in and hired someone to do the work I knew I would never get done.  I spent an entire day a few weeks ago blowing leaves off the drive and mulching them with the lawnmower -- the next day the drive and the yard were covered!  The leaves are about a foot deep near the house and they are not done falling, so he may have to come back again to redo the leaves.  He's also going to clean out the asparagus bed and the garden and flower beds of all the dead stuff.  This is all the stuff Bill used to do and he did it so often that I never noticed the leaves accumulating or weeds in the asparagus bed or volunteer trees growing in the gardens.  I finally figured that out and decided that I can't do all that Bill did and still try to keep the house up.

Steve is undergoing radiation treatments in Madison five days a week now.  I drive two days a week, his wife drives one (she works full time), and two of his friends each drive one day. We also have offers from others to drive.  We are all very grateful for all the support we have.  There's a country song, "You Find Out Who Your Friends Are" -- we have both found a whole wonderful group of true friends.  

True friends and family.  Thanks -- you know who you are!
My neighbor and friend, Squire -- he's always there when I need him, and he always knows who to contact to get things done around here!  He was a great friend to Bill.
Bob -- he drove all the way over here to haul the monitor and tv's out of the basement and shed and load them for me.  I meet him and his wife, Lynn for dinner once a week.
Deb, Kris and Ginny -- they keep me sane (or they put up with my insanity!)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Every Day is a Gift, Act Accordingly.

Steve's cancer is back.  He'll be doing radiation again - 5 days a week for 27 days.  It will take an hour for each radiation session -- a lot different from the first time, but it still feels like we're starting over.
We are by no means giving up hope; there is a new clinical trial for chemo drugs they are awaiting approval of and that may be the next step.
Please pray for all of us.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October already!

I'm trying to catch up with stuff around here -- yardwork, cleaning, the mundane parts of daily life.  I couldn't get my right hand wet for two weeks or more, so I got a little behind in things.  And, I couldn't do any quilting or anything else that involved too much movement of my hand.  Before the surgery though I cut out a couple of quilts and was able to put two pieces together and chain through the sewing machine.  It proved to be a great sanity-saver for me.  I couldn't use the iron though, so had to wait til I got the brace off my hand to finish the quilts.  These are the two Schnibbles® quilts I pieced.  I don't remember their names, offhand, but I can say I love the results of both of them.  The second one is going to be a favorite, I know.

I also bought myself a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle the first week after the surgery -- and I finally finished it last night!  I used to love doing jigsaw puzzles, but haven't done them in years because it took away time from quilting!  But, truth be told, sometimes even I need a break from quilting.

In that vein, I've decided to accept JudyL's challenge of knitting socks beginning November 1.  I don't knit -- I do crochet, but have never gotten into knitting, so now is the time.  Mary didn't knit either, but she jumped in with both feet last year and has already made a number of pairs of socks.  When she recommends something on her blog, I usually find that she has valid reasons for the recommendations and so far have not been disappointed with anything I try that she recommends -- I've always loved the pantographs she shows and usually end up buying a few and they become my favorites, too.  I waited a long time to buy a Kindle® after she talked about it, but I love mine too.  So, I asked her some questions about what needles to buy and whether I would need a yarn winder and how much yarn to buy.  Consequently, I have an order in for sizes 16 and 24 circular needles, a yarn winder and a couple of different brands of yarn (balls and hanks) from Knitpicks.  Mary also posted a long blog post about the knitting.  (Just scroll down for a few days ago).
Anyway -- here is my first attempt at knitting -- I've already made a few mistakes, but the good news is that I recognize the errors!  I just printed off some directions from the internet for this first attempt.  This will be a dishcloth.  Next I'll try knitting and purling.  I can't wait for the books that I ordered to get here -- and the yarn and needles.  I've been envious of the great socks that Judy and Mary have been making for a long time, so it's time I jumped on the bandwagon and learn this craft.
Mikey is rolling over by himself now.  He'll be 4 months on the 5th.
My hand is healing -- slowly.
Trying new things.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Meeting a New Friend

I was looking for a photo to post and ran across this one -- it's actually 6 years old because that's Grandpa Bill with our first grandson AJ -- he was just 5 months old at the time.  Bill really loved being a grandpa!  Looks like he just came in from working outside -- bibs and dirty shirt and all!
Anyway -- the reason for the post is I finally made time to meet a fellow blogger today.  Bren taught a couple of hand quilting classes at Acorn Quilts in Rockford and now every month the hand quilters/hand piecers/basically anyone that wants to do some hand work, meet once a month at the shop.  Today was the day.  And even though my hand isn't recovered enough to do any handwork yet, I wanted to meet Bren.  And I'm glad I did -- she's just as personable as her blog and I enjoyed the hours I spent talking with her.  I hope next month I'll be able to bring some handwork along.
I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it at first -- my double size garage door broke last night when I closed it after parking my car inside.  Thank God for our good friend and neighbor, Squire.  He got the rollers back into the rails and opened it so I could get my car out and closed it afterwards.  I have a call in to a garage door company to come out and fix it permanently.  I hate this being alone thing -- Bill used to take care of everything that broke.
Yesterday I spent two hours picking up sticks and walnuts (boy do they make a mess on the driveway).  Then I went out and talked to Bill about what a mess it is to pick up and why on earth did he plant more walnut trees when we first moved in 16 years ago!  (Squire asked if he answered me -- and yes, the answer was that he always cleaned up the walnuts and sticks and I never had to deal with the mess before!).

Meeting new and old friends at the quilt shop.  A truly enjoyable afternoon.
What a blessing our friend, Squire is to me and was to Bill.
The garage door didn't fall on my car!
Dinner out with a wonderful friend last night -- Friday night fish fry was good and the company was terrific.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall is almost here

I put some fall decor out and my fall quilts, too, a couple of weeks ago.  I should have been cleaning the house, but it was more fun to put up quilts.  Since then, I've been spending a lot of time on medical issues.
First I had my 5 year colonoscopy (such a lovely test to go through -- especially the prep ahead of time!) -- the test results were good.  Next day I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand (I am right handed).  I had a hard cast on for a week -- impossible to write, typing was a struggle -- even using a mouse was trying to say the least.  I managed to do a little bit of piecing only because I precut a Schnibbles® quilt and was able to chain piece the first two parts -- but found I couldn't use the iron, so they are still in one long chain waiting to be pressed and pieced some more.  Showering with one arm in a plastic bag held above the head was really fun....not!  And I could either dry my hair or brush it, but doing both was impossible!  Last Friday the cast came off and now I have a large bandage over the stitches and a hand brace to wear 23-1/2 hours a day.  Next Friday the stitches come out. 
The Monday after the surgery, I had a ct scan, which revealed I have a small aortic aneurysm and a fatty liver.  The aneurysm they will watch by ct scan yearly -- the fatty liver I need to do something about (it is caused by too much alcohol or eating the wrong foods).  Since my middle name has been stress for the past 3 years, I'm going to go with eating the wrong foods and not exercising at all or definitely not enough for the past year.
So -- looks like I will be seriously watching my diet from here on out and getting back on that treadmill or walking outside soon -- like this week! 

My scarecrow is sitting on my new acquisition of a couple of months ago -- a beautiful school desk -- and a Schnibbles® quilt I made last year.  I love the colors of fall.  I bought some mums to plant and four to leave in pots on the porch.  They are sitting on the sidewalk right now getting some rainwater and sun -- my porches are in dire need of sweeping and pressure washing, and maybe I'll be able to do some of that after my stitches come out.  It's definitely time to start thinking of getting the yard and house cleaned up for the season.  I've had a couple of more trees fall and have a call in to my tree cutter to come and clean up the mess.  I think it's going to be a busy season!

So far the trees have not damaged anything on their way down!  The latest one fell across the lane, but it was dead and didn't hit any other ones.
I had to have my wedding rings cut off my hand, so I took them in to be made into an eternity ring along with Bill's wedding ring.  Can't wait to get it back.  I'm having my anniversary ring made larger to fit my ring finger on my right hand.  I have very arthritic fingers.
Had a ball at the Pec Thing yesterday with Kris -- we both came home with a cool box made from an old fruit box.  I put mine in the living room and stacked dvd's in it and hung a quilt over the edge.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


"Let a joy keep you.  Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by." - Carl Sandburg

That's what we're doing today -- celebrating a joy!  Steve's MRI was clear again -- YAY!

The pastor of our church talked about abundance on Sunday and challenged us all to do something to share the abundance.  Yesterday I cleaned out my pantry and today I'm taking a trunk full of food to the food pantry.  And what a shame that I had so many things that I had to throw out because they were past their expiration date -- I'd call that over abundance!
What can you do to share the abundance?


Steve's MRI was clear!
I've been blessed with abundance in my life and it feels good to share it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Blessing

Michael Paul was baptized on Sunday.  And here's a picture of his whole family -- altogether at the same time -- difficult to do! 

And, I think we've come full circle now -- Steph insisted I take home some of the leftover food from the gathering after the church service.  Probably a good thing -- I haven't been eating all that well lately -- too lazy to cook for one, so I just grab junk food.

I've been getting some health issues taken care of over the last month or so and have a couple of things scheduled for the next month or so.  All those things I've been putting off and finally decided to take care of now.  I've scheduled a colonoscopy for next month -- it's been 5 years, so I was due.  I went to see the orthopedic surgeon yesterday and have a test scheduled for later this week -- will probably be scheduling carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand after that.  I had the surgery on my left hand years ago and had no problems afterwards.  I've been putting it off on my right hand because I'm right handed, but it's time to get it taken care of now.
And today I went to see my GP -- she gave me the results of the blood work done last week -- my A1C (blood sugar average), has been creeping up.  And when I tested myself Monday morning, I was at 150, so it's time to get back to eating right.  She knows about the incredible stress of the last few months/years, so we're going to work on getting my blood sugar down to normal with diet and exercise and no drugs for the next 6 months and see where we are from there.

I've started cleaning out closets and sorting through things.  It's going to be a long process, but I'm doing a little at a time and that makes it easier.  I'd like to have everything pared down by next spring.  I'm sorting as I go:  things for the kids, things going to Goodwill, things to sell on ebay or craigslist,  things to save for the auction, things to throw out, and things I'll be keeping.
When I did Bill's clothes, I also did mine -- let's face it, I've been hanging on to a whole bunch of clothes I will never wear again -- either because I've literally outgrown them, or because I just don't wear them anymore.  Sure did empty out the closet!  So, now I can actually do a little shopping guilt-free.

Family.  Babies.  Grandchildren.
Cleaning out the closet wasn't as much of a chore as I anticipated. (I still have many more to go though!)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

One Day at a Time

Yesterday was another of those "firsts" -- you know, first birthday without Bill, first Christmas, etc.  Yesterday was our anniversary -- would have been 29 years.  I had a major breakdown on Monday evening, so planned on doing nothing yesterday.  In fact, I told everyone I wanted to be alone and it worked very well for me.  Only had one small problem when I opened the mail and there was an anniversary card from Hospice for me.  I spent half the day taking care of some paperwork -- boy is there a lot of paperwork to change things into my name only.  Still haven't gotten Social Security straightened out....but that's their problem. 

I haven't done any piecing in months mostly because I haven't had time and also because I just didn't feel like it.  Last Monday, Kris and I held a "Quilt-In" at the Forest Preserve.  We had Kay demonstrate a new to us ruler, the June Taylor Perfect Half Square and Quarter Square triangles ruler.  She brought along a beautiful Jacob's Ladder quilt done in batiks to demonstrate the ruler too.  Lots of people worked on those blocks and we ate lots of food and generally had a good time.  I brought applique to do because I haven't been able to get my act together and pull fabrics, or cut fabrics or piece anything.  I really liked the demo on the ruler though, and started to get inspired at the quilt-in.

  Friday Kris and I stopped at the Leaf River Quilt Co. to pick up our Schnibbles® pattern for July and I bought some fat quarters and some charm square packs to make the pattern.  However,  I still hadn't done the Schnibbles® pattern for June, which was "Lincoln".  (We're doing a Schnibbles Club BOM at Leaf River -- in case you hadn't figured that out!).  So, Friday afternoon I decided it was time to get busy.  I finally cut out "Lincoln" and pieced one of the stars together.  Yesterday afternoon I finished piecing the stars and squared them up and then pieced the rail fence blocks.  Today I squared up the rail fence blocks and sewed the quilt together. 

It feels good to finally start piecing again.  Next up is the July Schnibbles and then I want to make some of those Jacob's Ladder blocks using the new ruler.  All in good time though -- I also have a few quilts waiting to be quilted. 

We had beautiful weather (albeit a bit hot!) for our church picnic this morning.
A whole bunch of people asked for the recipe for the Oriental Salad I brought to the picnic -- nice to know it was a hit!
Will turned 3 on Friday -- what a treasure that boy is -- the perfect child to be named after his Grandpa!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One month

I tried not to think about it today...but that proved impossible. Bill has been gone a month today -- sometimes it seems like a lot longer and sometimes I think he'll walk through the door after spending the day playing lumberjack in the woods. I've had some frustrating days dealing with financial stuff and my patience has worn thin -- and then I realize it's only been a month. Kevin told me today that I should think about the fact that way back in 1987 I drove Bill to the hospital while he was having his first heart attack and if I hadn't insisted he go, he might have died way back then as it turned out to be a major blockage and they had to do an emergency angioplasty that day.
Brings to mind this gift I've already shown you:  And I look at this every day and it is so, so very true -- we had 29 years of memories that I cherish -- he was one heck of a husband!

I really was blessed with 29 years of being married to Bill.
I'm relearning patience -- I don't know when I lost my patience, but over the years I seem to have expected things to be done faster and faster, everything seems to have picked up to a rat race level and now it's time to slow things down again.  To everything a season, and a time.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Or, if you prefer -- Happy 4th of July!
And now back to our regularly scheduled program... I forgot to show you what gifts I got from my friends for my birthday last month.  The first one is knitted dish cloths and an Isabel Bloom sculpture, called Hugs,  from my friend Deb.

The next two are from my quilty friends -- lots of great fabrics, a quilt kit and a pretty coffee cup.

 Thanks, everyone -- it was a good birthday.

I am blessed to have been born in the USA!  This really is the best country on earth.
"New Beginnings" -- it was the topic of the sermon at church today.  Lots of food for thought.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Pictures

Steph sent me a couple of pictures via phone and I've downloaded them here! Aren't they great?!

Not that I'm prejudiced or anything!

Today is my birthday.  And I've got four beautiful grandchildren to prove it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

We had a cookout in honor of Father's Day today.  I got pictures of the grandkids, finally!  This first one is of Uncle Steve and Michael.

Here's AJ and Will and of course our beautiful granddaughter, Briana.  I gave them the silver dollars grandpa had saved for them.

We are truly blessed with beautiful grandchildren.
Aaron, my son-in-law mowed a path in the woods for us today.
My neighbor, Tim, mowed the ditch across the road today.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another Wonderful Gift

An old friend sent me a gift today.  Joan lost her husband about 12 years ago and has since remarried.  She and her first husband were our bowling team partners for many years.  We don't see much of them because they winter in Florida, but she and Ben were at Bill's visitation.
This is what she sent, and I love it.  I will be framing it.  And yes, it made me cry, but crying's not a bad thing :-)  Thanks, Joan.

Today was a fun day, too.  Kris and I went to Acorn Quilts in Rockford to see a binding demonstration by Kay Steinmetz.  We actually went to see Kay, so the binding demo was a bonus!  Kay is another old friend -- I took my first beginners quilt class at her shop, back in the early nineties -- she owned Quilters Cupboard in Rockford back then.  Now she's working a couple of days a month at Acorn and Kris is planning a get-together in Byron that we'll have Kay teach a class at this summer.
It was great getting out and seeing friends, buying fabric (well, really, Leslie has this perfectly wonderful fabric in the back room that is 1/2 price -- I just can't pass it up for future backings!).
And, of course we went to lunch -- always a bonus!

Then I came home and spent about 45 minutes outside in the hot sun (dumb), pulling thistles out of the daylily bed.  I've been complaining about it for weeks, so decided a short time spent getting rid of them was in order.  There's lots more weeds, of course, but a little at a time should get the job done eventually.

Out and about with quilting friends -- always a fun day.
Kay Steinmetz -- a treasured quilting friend.
Attacking the weeds and finding the tomato plants.  I only planted tomato and peppers, so I really should be able to keep up on weeding them!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Taking Care of Business

First things first-- I did finally put all the photos away -- still have these four boxes to sort through and give to the kids or put in albums/boxes.  But at least the mess is cleaned up!
I've spent the better part of two days getting things changed over to my name, meeting with the attorney, making tons of phone calls, etc., etc.  I don't feel like I'm accomplishing much else. 

The kids are coming out on Sunday and we're having a cookout.  This will be the first holiday without Bill, of many more to come.  Having the grandkids all there will make it a lot easier though, I think.

I had dinner last night with a good friend and she gave me some really good advice  (she lost her husband 4 years ago).  The advice was to write everything down -- everything I do everyday -- which is really a great idea -- I'll have documentation of the phone calls I made and what I've done so far.  Later on I will surely have forgotten what I did when or if I did certain things, so this advice was really invaluable.  Thanks, Ginny!

Good friends to lean on.
Getting more and more things done every day.  This is such a long process and it really helps to see what has already been done.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Cleaned Today!

I actually cleaned the house today -- yippee!  I'm not Mrs. Clean by any stretch of the imagination, but it does start bugging me if I haven't done my weekly cleaning.  And except for cleaning the master bathroom last week, the rest of the house hadn't been touched in a couple of weeks, so it really felt good to clean it today.

That said, I'm showing you a picture of the total mess on the top of the pool table/basting table in the basement.  The funeral home did a dvd of family pictures for the visitation and Steve and I hastily went through the albums and boxes and boxes of pictures.  This is what it still looks like -- no!  I have not touched this today -- but it's pretty bad and starting to bug me, so it will get straightened up and put away soon.  I'm not a scrapbooker, but I can tell you that most of the pictures need to be organized to the point of throwing away bad shots and filing the good ones somewhere.  I also doubt it will be done before I sell the house, but maybe.....!

The house is clean and I got the computer stuff moved back to the basement that I brought up for Bill to use.
I actually swept out the garage and hosed off one of the garbage cans -- something I've been wanting to do and finally did!
Sitting on the front porch in the rocker and enjoying the sunshine (we got 2-1/2" of rain yesterday!).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A wonderful Gift

I met my friend, Deb, for breakfast today -- and it was wonderful being able to have a leisurely breakfast with neither of us needing to be somewhere else.  She gifted me with this beautiful prayer shawl she's been working on during Bill's illness.  I love it, especially the color, and the thought behind it -- plus I love all the knitted stuff she does because I don't knit!  And yes, Deb, it will comfort me and I will use it.  I know it was made with love.

Now an irritation:  I received a notice today from Chase Bank -- they back my Visa Credit Card.   They say I missed a payment in May and are charging me an additional $10 late fee.  We have always only used credit cards for convenience.  We pay the balance in full every month.  I pay the bills online.  I'm pretty sure they didn't notify me that there was a bill, but besides that -- I had already scheduled the June payment.  So, I paid their measly $27 bill today and with the one scheduled for the end of June, that will be the final amount they ever receive from me.  I will not close the account, because I don't want that charged against my credit rating, but I will cut up my card and never use it again.  This is the second time they've done that to us, and it will be the last!  Thanks for letting me vent!

I am blessed with the gift of friendship.  Deb and I have a friendship that has lasted more than 30 years and I treasure it.

So far everyone I have dealt with on the phone regarding Bill's estate have been very accommodating and helpful.  They are making the process a lot easier for me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Old Habits Die Hard

Every day for the past almost 29 years, I would copy the cryptoquote from the newspaper on to a pad of paper -- because Bill always did the cryptoquote and the crossword puzzle every morning in the paper -- in pen!  That way I could also do the cryptoquote and sometimes we could compare -- to see if we got the guy's name right or if we had a hard time with a certain quote.  Well, old habits do die hard -- I find myself still folding the newspaper to the page and copying the quote to my pad -- I'm still not going to attempt to do it in pen on the newsprint!

The shock has worn off and the funeral is over (very, very nice memorial service).  K & D helped me with the thank you notes this weekend and I got them all mailed out today.
I finally got in to see a nurse practitioner this afternoon -- I've had no voice for a week now.  Says it's just a viral thing and to keep on doing all the home remedy doctoring things I've been doing and rest it!  Yeah right -- people call and I can't not talk to them; plus I have a lot of things that need to be taken care of NOW!  So -- I'll rest it in the evenings and overnight and hopefully my voice will come back soon.

Went to visit an old friend last evening -- it was wonderful talking with her and catching up on what's been happening in her life too.  JR and I just needed to get away and she welcomed him into her home as well.

Meeting another old friend for breakfast tomorrow before I run more errands.  I'm trying not to isolate myself, which sometimes I'd like to do but know it wouldn't be good for me.  The kids call every day -- I guess we're all going to have good and bad days for a long time to come.


Mikey is doing well and even sleeping longer at night most nights, which gives Steph much needed sleep.

Our neighbors are wonderful -- they keep an eye on the house when I'm gone, take JR on truck rides, mow the lawn and offer to do tons of other things that need to be done here.  We are truly blessed with good friends.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Circle of Life

Welcome to my new blog.  This will be a journey through the grieving process for me as I make my way through the loss of my husband.  My beloved Bill passed away June 6.  As proof that there is definitely a circle of life, please meet our newest family member:  Michael Paul arrived June 5 and was able to meet his grandpa before he passed away.  Michael Paul weighed in at 6 lbs 3 oz and is only 18-1/2" long.  He was three weeks early (but we thought his timing was perfect).  He is just a little peanut and is proving to be a wonderful baby.  I took this picture when he was only an hour old!

Michael Paul - another perfect human being.
Bill did not suffer long, although we didn't have as much time as we thought we would.