Saturday, December 31, 2011

Piecing it all together

As are most of you, I'm trying to figure out just how the heck this last year passed so quickly.  I remember my son saying that to me when he was in his early teens: time just keeps moving faster.  And as my mom would say to me each year, I would reply:  you ain't seen nothin' yet.

So here I sit.  The first part of the year was really rough, with my sister's end of life and subsequent passing.  It is only now, nine months later, that I can even let myself think of her or say her name without bursting into tears.  It's just how life is, fleeting and fragile.  With her passing came a renewed sense of the importance of the everyday things, and family and friends; her final parting gift to those of us she left behind.

Quilting therapy
Balancing the sadness has been the great joy of our grandchildren, much more family time than I've spent in years, more time with old friends, and my new found passion for quilting.  Along the way, my Etsy shop and fiber business has slipped into the closet, but I'm working on a way to work that all out soon; these last two years have been a bit of a sea change and I'm trying to find my new direction without rushing, as I have so often in the past.

Before I left California, I wanted to be sure and make a backing for the scrap quilt I made this fall, so when I return, it's ready to be assembled and quilted.  This is my "memory" quilt, and I've decided it will be fun to make one at the end of each year with scraps from the year's projects, along with scraps from my other quilting friends.  As an old song can transport me magically back to another time, I expect these fabric scraps will have the same effect.  This particular quilt will remind me especially of my quilting friends Liz and Terri, and the many great laughs we had while visiting this year.  That laughter was an important part of my healing process.

Scrapped back
A year ago this past week, I was so down that I thought to end this blog.  I missed you, and came back.  I'm glad I did.  You've been a great support to me this year, through the sad and the happy.  I only wish we could all just hang out for a day and catch up in person.

I wish you all the best for the new year ahead and look forward to sharing 2012 with you.  Cheers!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

Ornaments in San Francisco
It has been a transition again.  We returned to NM about 5 days ago and the days have been spent readjusting to altitude (we're at about 8,000 ft.) and very low humidity.  Naps with the dogs and cats have helped a lot. 

The big storm that raged through NM day before yesterday went everywhere else but here.  We had a beautiful, sunny (albeit cold) day, while the primary E/W interstate 40 was closed from the AZ border to the TX border.  Go figure!  We're fine with it; there's plenty of snow on the ground to feel like the holidays and yet the sun is it should be in the winter here in our little part of NM.

Today some friends are coming for lunch.  It will be a traditional meal (our tradition, anyway): green chile posole, home made tamales with optional red chile sauce, black beans, Spanish rice, and cranberry sauce.  Mr. Sunflower is making apple crisp and Ani is making cherry pie, and I am pretty sure I saw a container of Taos Cow ice cream in the freezer to adorn them both.

So, my friends, I want you to know I'm thinking of you this day.  I wish you and yours all the best this day.  Maybe you be warm and safe and with those you love.


Monday, December 19, 2011

San Francisco

It was a beautiful week in the city.  I did make it to Britex, along with my step daughter Jamie, and we had a good time picking out some fun trims and petting fabric.  Fortunately (or not) this is not a place to look for quilting fabrics, so the impact on the credit card was minimal.

While I spent most of the week in the hotel catching up on sleep, we did do a little walking around the area.  I was just blown away by the beautiful window displays, my favorites being the sewing machines at All Saints and the origami horses at Hermes.

The city is just so alive!  I had forgotten this, living in my two (relatively) quiet cocoons here in Encinitas and then in northern NM.  I think cities may be more fun when you're young and vibrant and the energy in the air is almost palpable, or different, in any event.  It was fun to see young people and their fun hair cuts and fashions.  It brought back so many memories from my twenties and thirties when I spent so much time up there.  We laughed to think we are actually happy these days to have dinner behind us and be back in our room by early evening, about the time we would have been heading out in the old days.  It's all good.  I'm content to enjoy the memories of those days and maybe, just maybe, enjoy these days even more.

And now it's time to wrap up my visit here in Encinitas and prepare to head back to NM on Wednesday.  I hear we're getting another storm there today, so it seems we'll definitely have a white Christmas...yay!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On the road

The historic St. Francis Hotel  in foreground
I woke up in downtown San Francisco this morning. Here's the view from our room.

This trip has been in the works for quite a while, but I've been flat out with my grandkids and sewing and pretty much ignoring this trip until Sunday night, when I had to pack.  An easy flight to Oakland and a BART ride to the city yesterday, and we're here (I met Roger at the airport in Oakland...he had just flown in from NM).

I'd like to tell you about all the great tourist things I did today, but frankly, other than breakfast in the hotel dining room, I slept a large portion of the day.  We're headed out soon to chase down some old memories in places we used to haunt, back in the day.

Tomorrow I'm walking over to Britex to check out their fabrics.  After all these years and countless visits, I have never ever let myself walk in the doors of this legendary institution.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bits and pieces

In spare moments here and there this last month and a half, I've been working on a quilt for my grandson, who turns 6 a few days before Christmas.  For the last year or more he has been enraptured with Johnny Depp's character, Jack Sparrow, of Pirates of the Caribbean fame.  Last summer, Riley Blake came out with a great line of pirate fabrics and I snatched them up. 

I didn't want to cut them up too much and obliterate the graphics, so I chose an easy block pattern.  I was really not liking it much until I got it put on the backing and starting quilting it, and now that it's finished, I like it a lot.  My only concern at this point is whether or not he has outgrown pirates since I started this; I'll find out in another week or so when I give it to him.

I've continued to work on my scrap blocks as I find small blocks of time (no pun intended).  I now have 64 and have put together a top using 48 of them; the remainders will be put into the backing in some fashion.  I hope to have something to show you on this later this week; I'm trying hard to get it finished (up to the machine quilting part) before I return to NM just before Christmas.

While all these other things are going on, I have kept this small stack of Rocky and Bullwinkle fabrics here on the table, trying to decide what I should make with them.  Place mats are one thought; I don't think I have enough to populate an entire quilt without losing them.  Or...maybe losing them a little bit is OK?  Whatever; they are yet another date stamp of my time period and loves.  You're never too old to be a kid, right?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Top Five Regrets of The Dying

Top Five Regrets of The Dying

For some reason, after linking you to this article in the posting I just did, it didn't work when I double checked the link about posting. I am suspicious that perhaps there has been such a large response to this article that perhaps the site has crashed. In any event, I'm using the link from the bottom of the article (which was still on my computer from yesterday, when I first read it) and hoping this works. If not, I apologize. I've saved it in (at least, I think I was able to) PDF format, so if you e-mail me at, I'll send it to you directly.

It's worth the trouble!

In response

Rather than just comment back on each of your comments to my last post, I feel that another posting to discuss your comments might be in order.  First of all, thank you for taking the time to respond.  It was comforting to know I'm not the only one wondering what's OK and what's not to blog about.

Cathy, I love what you said about needing to give yourself permission to say what you really feel.  If you knew me in real life, you'd know that I rarely seem to have a problem blurting out what's on my mind and probably often at the expense of sounding utterly tactless.  For some reason, though, I worry here when I write that I will hurt someone's feelings.  What's that all about????

Kim...I love how you let it all hang out.  A while back you did a posting about someone who cut you off in traffic and I just loved it.  Sometimes it's those things that seem so pointless on the big scheme of things that irritate us the most, and knowing that I'm not the only one who feels like that is comforting.

Courtney and Lesley Ann...yes, it's the honesty of day to day living that is sometimes easiest to report on; our successes, our failures, our disappointments and our delights.  I love them on your own blogs and feel you've all given me permission to be a little more open about my stuff.  I'll try not to take advantage of that.

Ter' crack me up.  Thanks for being who you are, my cyber twin.

Holding hands with Maddy Rose
Grateful Heart...thank you for such a warm and thoughtful response.  I guess, in the end, we all just resonate with certain people and love sharing their worlds.  You are one of the reasons I came back to blogging...your message to me when I thought I was bailing out really meant a lot to me.  Thank you from my own grateful heart.

So now, at the risk of this posting getting ridiculously long, I'd like to share something with you.  It came to me on Facebook this week.  If you have a moment, I'd like to share this list called "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying".  More food for thought going forward.

And now...I'm off to try to gather my marbles into one bag, so to speak.  It has been a gloriously busy couple of months and I've taken the liberty to stake out today and tomorrow as days I will not see anyone, not get in my car and go anywhere, and possibly not even get out of my pajamas.  I need to recharge my batteries!