A Love Note To Gramps

My darling sweetie –

If only I could find the words to say how much I love and adore you.

If only you knew how much I admire and respect you.

If only all our tomorrows could be as happy and joyful as all our yesterdays.

If only all men were as fair and honest as you, my beloved.

If only I were deserving of all the attention and honor you show me.

If only all children were as blessed as ours to have a father as upstanding as you.

If only all women could be as comforted and supported as I am by you when I fall.

But we are not “if only” people, are we sweetie? No, we are believe, know and for sure people. We have known since the very beginning that our love was something special, something unique. I know I have.

Since I have known you, I have never doubted your love for me, your commitment to me and your belief in me.

Since I have known you, I have experienced a life I never dreamed of having. A life full of children, adventure, travel, faith, humor, friends and most of all love.

Since I have known you, I have never known loneliness,

Since I have known you, I have known tender touches, bear hugs, hand holding, your calm hand on the small of my back, an arm around my shoulder and you always at my side.

Since I have known you, I have had small intimate conversations, loud boisterous parties, laugh fests, serious talks, disagreements, long-distance phone calls, letters, tapes and messages. But always we stayed in contact.

Since I have known you, I have always had a roof over my head, food on my table and clothes on my back.

Since I have known you, I have always known joy, contentment, stability and a unique, abiding love.

For my whole life since I have known you, I thank you for choosing to love me.

Granny

The Value Of Mistakes

Oops! Oh no! My bad! How we hate to say or hear those words. How we loathe to fail. How we dislike to make mistakes. But they happen so often. They occur no matter how hard we try. We all seem so prone to make them. How can we make the best of them?

Mistakes are positive, valuable occurrences. They make it easier to make decisions in the future. They let you know what works and what doesn’t work. By trying possible solutions and taking risks, you find out, eventually, what will be the answer, but not without many, many failures along the way.

You cannot, however, be overwhelmed by your mistakes. Analyze them and be responsible for them, so you are less likely to repeat the same ones but don’t be paralyzed by them. Always be willing to get up from every failure. Always be willing to take a risk again. Always be willing to try one more time.

Each failure is valuable information. Each failure is a possible resolution that never has to be tried again. Each failure is a road that never has to be taken because we know the answer is not there. That is knowledge and wisdom.

Mistakes can build self-confidence by requiring you to take risks. If you are not making any mistakes, you are not trying. You are not really living.

Dealing with failure means you are stepping out of your comfort zone – out into the unknown where only failure and success are possible. Staying comfortable and safe means you will have no failure but neither will you have any success.

Dealing with failure means you are brave and strong. It means you have the ability to learn and grow from those errors. Everything changes after a mistake – make it a positive change.

Every mistake is a learning opportunity – a moment of growth. Very seldom do we become better people during the easy times in our lives but we can make great strides during the tough times. Those are the times of self-analysis and self-reflection. Mistakes definitely help set boundaries for us.

Being open about your mistakes keeps you honest and humble. Your sense of integrity is improved when you take responsibility for your errors and look for ways to correct them. It’s not the mistake itself, it’s how you deal with it that shows your character.

Mistakes can allow you to inspire others. Any mistake and lesson you learn can be taught to another person. It can be a very moving and personal moment to help someone avert making the same error as you. In fact, it is your job to pass this knowledge onto the next generations.

Mistakes add so much to our lives. Embrace them. Learn from them. Share them. Keep making them.

20 Things That Don’t Cost A Dime

1 – A hug

2 – A smile

3 – A laugh

4 – Skipping

5 – Clapping

6 – A compliment

7 – Being on time

8 – Saying please

9 – Joining hands

10 – Being faithful

11 – Lending a hand

12 – Finishing a job

13 – Saying thank you

14 – Picking up trash

15 – Keeping a secret

16 – An honest answer

17 – A firm hand shake

18 – Keeping a promise

19 – Honoring your word

20 – Saying you’re sorry

Retreat Revisited

Ah quilt retreat! There is nothing like it. Four days of sewing, chatting, sharing, laughing, eating and maybe some sleeping. There is lots of humming of machines, questions like “Does this border go with this fabric?”, answers of “I prefer the blue!”, whirring of rotary cutters and even some quiet times of hand sewing. One person can be absorbed in reading directions, two people can be sharing a new technique, three people can be giving an opinion on placement of blocks for a quilt and any number of people an be taking a class on a brilliant idea or some new sewing notion.

A retreat is many things and can be anything to one person. Maybe it’s a chance to finish that project . . . . finally. Maybe it’s a chance to start a new project . . . . finally. And maybe it’s just time, time to sew and sew and sew on anything and everything you have. It’s the freedom to do whatever you want.

Ah quilt retreat! Looking forward to it is a joy. Experiencing it is true heaven. Even the memories of it are a blessing. Here are a few of mine.

This is just one block for a quilt done in appliqué. Can you imagine how spectacular that quilt will be?

This quilt looks like it was woven. And it is made out of flannel. What a coy hug it will give on cold nights.

A beautiful Christmas tree already for the holiday.

A beautiful quilt done in squares. Very modern looking.

Is this too cute? I love the baby penguin!

A wonderful red, white and blue star quilt. Love those stars!

This quilt is big, beautiful and not even done yet. There will be more poinsettias when completed. How perfect will that be?

A quilt of foxes is being worked on here. How adorable!

A little Christmas village just got finished here in this cute quilt.

Several of us took lessons on making stars the Inklingo way. Here are our results.

This spectacular one is made from a zillion little pieces of fabric applied to the background. Isn’t it wonderful?

 

I love the brightness of this quilt. Must be all those primary colors.

This is going to be a great quilt when it is done. Don’t you agree?

Another very interesting quilt. The blocks are going in all directions. Love the clocks!

This quilt is very soft looking. I bet it is very comforting too.

Here is a special quilt of several blocks of the Lady of Guadalupe. It was made for a special friend. Lucky lady!

This is not exactly a quilt but still a real cutie. It is a wool mat for a platter. It is all done by hand with much embellishment.

A complicated quilt that is very lovely to behold. Can’t wait till this one is done.

This one looks very hard but actually it is the fabric that is printed to look like 36 square blocks. Interesting, right?

This is all I can show you of the marvelous retreat I went to. The best parts are the  intangibles. They are the relationships we all have and the history of many retreats and gatherings over the years. They are the hours spent in each others’ company through good times and bad. They are the words spoken between us over coffee, tea and wine, sharing meals, ideas and feelings.

All these things we carry in our hearts until the next time we meet. Be it tomorrow or next year. Nothing is lost or forgotten. Retreat is forever!

 

What I Learned While Getting Sick. . . . And Sicker

Have you missed me, my Sweeties? I certainly have missed you the last two months!

Nine weeks ago, I went into the hospital for a simple surgery to cure a diagnosis of early colon cancer. It was supposed to be a quick, laparoscopic, no-frills surgery.

The surgery went fine, except I developed a blockage afterwards and required a second surgery four days later.

That would have been fine too, but some intestinal contents leaked out and I became septic. Now sepsis is a big deal and a very serious condition.

I know because it affected my heart rate, which went to 220 bpm. All this required conversion with medications and a move to Coronary ICU.

In the meantime, I also developed an abscess in my abdomen, necessitating the placement of a drain for about two weeks.

The two antibiotics I was receiving IV required the placement of a PICC line in my right arm.  I was a mess!!!

By this time, I had been in the hospital for almost a month. I then was sent to Rehab for three weeks of IV antibiotics and Physical Therapy.

So what can be learned from an experience such as this? Many things, I realized. Some at the time. Some much later.

Fighting the inevitable is non-productive and exhausting. Sometimes you just have to face the issue and go with it.

Never discount the power of prayer. Allow others to pray for you and those caring for you.

Strength comes from simply surviving.

Maintaining a sense of gratitude helps. Saying “thank you” to everyone who does you a kindness keeps you in the right attitude.

Allow others to give. It is a blessing to receive from others and this is the time to let them do it.

True friends and family will step up to the challenge. I was never alone and never had to face any of my problems by myself. What a gift!!

There is always a silver lining. I had to look long and hard for this one – but I lost 20 pounds! Now that’s good news!

Perseverance pays off.  Keeping a positive attitude helped me believe that everything would turn out alright.

Things temporarily lost are twice as enjoyable when regained. Every yard more I can walk and every bit more sewing I can do is a joy to me and is worth every ounce of effort.

Don’t mourn what is lost. Praise what is gained. I am cancer free! I am alive! I will be healthy again! I can ask for nothing more!!!!!!!

What You Can Do With A Bag Of Fabric

So a group of say about 28 women get together for four days. They each have a bag or two or three of fabric. What do you think can happen with that fabric in four days of sewing? Well it was pure magic, my Sweeties! Pure magic!

Look and see what the results are. And feel free to drool!

Is this cutest guy you ever saw? And all made out of little pieces of fabric. Can you see the squirrel and the rabbits?

This is his not so little playmate. Isn’t she a beauty? Again, all done with little bits of fabric that were fussy cut.

This one was put together, cut apart and put back together. Now how clever is that? Spectacular!

This medieval looking gem has wonderful thread work in every block. It is too beautiful for words! When it is finally all together, it will be a stunner!

Here is a really lovely Quilt of Valor. It is meant for a specific veteran and is truly personal. A lot of love is going into this quilt.

These two lovelies are coasters and couldn’t be nicer.

These pieced butterflies are going to be wonderful in the final quilt, whatever it is. Of course, I especially love the the blue one!

Here is some hand embroidery beyond compare! Just sit and enjoy!

More embroidery. Drool if you must!

Love the colors in this beauty!

How nice is this? Won’t it be great in a camper or a lodge?

Now this is a fantastic quandary. Not sure what it will be, but it is divine.

What a cutie patootie is this! I want one!

There is nothing like a good old fashioned bowtie quilt. Brings back memories, doesn’t it?

What a sight! Can you believe this? The work and the precision!

Another version of a bowtie quilt. X’s and O’s.

Doesn’t everyone want one of these? I sure do!

Oh my goodness! A baby quilt that practically brings tears to your eyes.

How lovely is this? Love the scrappy border!

More butterflies! But this time in the border. How unusual!

Oh how I love a blue and white quilt! And those fabrics, yum!

One version of a good old Log Cabin. Wonderful!

And so ended our four day quilt retreat. The quilts are the only part I can show you. I can’t show you how much we laughed or how much we talked or how much we cared about each other. I can’t show you the hugging, the touching, the sharing that went on.

The fabric is what draws us together, but the fellowship is what keeps us together. Quilting is the purpose but caring is the glue. A bag of fabric may be the reason we gather but true love is why we stay.