Saturday, July 27, 2013

ScrapHappy Saturday - Home for Last Teal Day

Today is the very last teal Saturday, though technically you still have 4 more days to finish off your last bits of teal.  It is for me, the very first teal Saturday that I have actually been at home!  I am SO excited to dig into my scraps and create something.  How about you?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Two More Dishcloths

I still haven't felt up to doing much quilting.  I did make two more dishcloths though, because I can do it while sitting like a sloth on the couch.  The lighter one on the bottom is a waffle weave pattern that I found at homespun living.  It feels very light compared to the one on top which I crocheted using a seed stitch following a tutorial on youtube.  I'm headed out tonight with a girlfriend for drinks and dinner.  Kurt took the kids with him to volleyball so I am footloose and fancy free.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Potholder Parade

 I did a big cleaning spree in the sewing room earlier this summer and set aside some orphan blocks to use for potholders.  Not wanting to settle into an ongoing project quite yet, these little guys seemed like a nice way to putter away a little bit of time on a rainy afternoon.
 I did get two more rooms done first though.  This is the dining room before, it has become a craft room for the kids ongoing projects.  Painting for Anna and robot construction for Ryan.  Fun summer projects to be sure, but OH SO messy.
I couldn't quite manage to get them to put everything away, but it is still much better than it was before.
Now I think I'll settle in to sew some binding onto my potholder collection.  

Settling Back In

I am SO happy to be back home.  The past month has taken a toll though.  Just one too many people coming in and dropping everything off before packing up to leave again.  So far I have restored order to two rooms.
 This is where everyone unloaded their suitcases on the way in.  Most of the contents will go straight to laundry.
Even just having that little bit by the front door empty and clean makes me feel much less anxious.  Does anyone else have trouble sitting in a room full of clutter?  It can't just be me.
 Somehow the family room has become everyones drop off point in the middle of the house.  Most of the cleaning here was just having everyone pick up their stuff.  I didn't even check to see that it got put away, I was just happy it wasn't on the coffee table anymore.
I even dusted and swept.  So much better now.  Maybe I'll tackle two more rooms after lunch, or maybe I'll sneak off and quilt for just a little bit.  Whatever I do, I'll be happy as a clam to be doing it in my own home.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

One More

These dishcloths are a little bit addictive.  This one is a nice buttery shade of yellow.  I tried to use a stockinette stitch in the middle this time, it isn't quite square, but maybe it will straighten up in the wash.  If not it will be one to keep instead of one to give away.  Everyone here is snuggles under quilts on the couch and enjoying simply being at home.  


Nothing feels quite as nice as finally being back home to stay after a long time away!  I thought I would end up getting lots of dishcloths done while I was away, but ended up losing one knitting needle fairly early on. I did finish two though, one on the trip up to Atlanta three weeks ago and the other on the trip back up on Friday after a trip to the store for another set of size 7 needles.  Most of the time in the hospital and hospice rooms were spent reading books on the kindle because it could be done in the dark.  I wasn't able to concentrate much and so reread a series of books that I had enjoyed years ago, it was a nice way to feel like I was doing something without having to think too much.
 Mom's memorial service yesterday was very nice. I managed to get through my entire speech and my sister read a poem and a psalm. Brad, my older brother, didn't feel that he could do any public speaking, but he was there with us through the entire ceremony. There was a very nice video with photographs as well and Garth, the minister from the church, gave a very nice sermon which I thought did a perfect job of expressing Mom's personality.  I am so appreciative for all of your supportive e-mails and Facebook posts, I will respond to each of them in time, right now I'm still trying to digest everything that has gone on.

So here is the first dishcloth, which I made using a pattern that Sheila kindly sent to me. I'm going to paste it in here, because putting things in my blog is always a nice way of making sure they are easy to find later.  Sheila got it from Wanda, and I'm not sure where it came from before that.

The pattern I'm using is this one that Wanda Hanson of emailed me. I love it. I copied and pasted it
below. She uses it a lot. Me, too, now :D

Cast on 3 stitches.  Increase one stitch in each row by knitting in the
front and back of the center stitch until you have 7 stitches.

Next rows:  Knit 3, yarn over, knit across.  This increases one stitch per
row and creates the holes that define the border.  Continue until you have
45-50 stitches.  On size 7 needles I go to 50, with size 8 needles I stop
at 45.

Decrease rows:  Knit 2, knit 2 together, yarn over, Knit 2 together, knit
across.  Continue until you have 7 stitches left.
Next row: Knit 3, knit 2 tog, knit across.
Next row: Knit 2, knit 2 tog, knit across.
Cut yarn with a 6” tail, slip needle out and slip a crochet hook in and
pull the tail through remaining 5 stitches.  Split the yarn and pull one
tail back through a stitch and then tie off.  Cut ends close.

Next time I make this pattern I am going to try to put a stockinette stitch in the center portion by alternating rows of knitting and pearling.  I think that would be cute too.  

This one was actually made first, it is 40 stitches with the first row knit one purl one and the second row purl one knit one.  From time to time I got me rows mixed up, but I still like the knubbly texture.  I think it would look nice in the middle of the diagonal pattern as well.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Scraphappy Saturday -- somewhere between blue and green

Today I am thankful for the blogger feature that lets me schedule posts ahead of time.  Without that there would not have been a single scraphappy Saturday this month.  Maybe next week I'll actually be able to participate in my own challenge?  I hope to be back home soon and revisit my sewing supplies.  Until then, I hope to be able to at least check in on everybody else's teal aqua and turquoise creations.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

In Memory of Mom

We will head up to Georgia in the morning for Mom's memorial service on Saturday.  My brother will read a poem, my sister will read a bible verse and I will give a speech.  Mom had already picked out the songs and asked to have a balloon release at the end of the service.  Let me know what you think of the speech.  It is still a work in progress.

I had the honor of sitting with Mom during the last few weeks of her life.  Even though she was not able to say much during that time, I had the privilege of meeting people and through them seeing my Mom through a new set of eyes.  Though each story was different, they all carried a common theme.  They told me how determined she was to beat her disease and how inspired they were by her courage and strength.  

Right before I left the hospital with Mom to transfer to hospice, I talked to her nurses who had gotten to know her during her stay in the hospital, they told be of how bravely she sat in her hospital bed wearing a pink hat facing the most terrifying news with determination to continue to fight.  But they also told me that even then she shared stories and pictures of her grandchildren and how proud she was of her family.  Without fail, each nurse asked the same question, are you Zac's mom?  No ma'am I'd say, I'm the other daughter, and without pause, they would all rattle off the names of my children.  Mom had shared her stories with them, and listened to theirs.  Even though she was so sick, she was still making the personal connections that characterized her life.  

During her last few years, Mom came to live in Barnesville.  As it turns out, most of those years were spent battling the cancer that eventually took her life.  As I sat with her, friends from Sunday school and pastors from church came to visit and they all told me a similar tale; your mom inspired me, they said, with her determination and with her faith.  Though she hadn’t know them for long, they told me what a big impact she had their lives.  They all wanted to know what they could do to help, and I tried to let them know how much their assistance, companionship and prayers had meant to Mom during the last few years.  Though it is difficult to express, finding this community of friends was critical to Mom at a difficult point in her life.  

Then there were the friends from JC Penny's and Ulta who came to say goodbye, and though it was so difficult for them to see her that way, they came to let her know what an impact she had on their lives.  She had mentored them, taught them, shared her stories, and learned theirs.  Even after she stopped working, she stayed in contact with them and kept those relationships going.  That was the kind of life Mom led, forming relationships with people that had a lasting impact on their lives and on hers. With tears in their eyes they let her know that having her in their lives had changed them in significant ways. 

Though it seems like a long time ago, there was a time before she was sick when Mom was a successful career woman.  Several years ago when she won a contest at work called personal best, I was lucky enough to stay with her at the Gaylord Palms hotel in Orlando.  I met Mom's bosses and co-workers, who all told a similar tale.  I am so proud to work with your mom they said. She is such an inspiration in the way she dedicates herself to her job.  Then they all asked the same question.  Are you Zac's mom?  No, I would say, I'm the other daughter, and again, they knew about my family, and my children's names.  They had seen pictures and heard stories and though we had never met, they hugged me as if I were an old friend.  Then they would tell me that they were praying for Zac. They had his picture on their bulletin boards at work or at church and they were all saying prayers for him.  They were all saying prayers for a little boy they had never met because they were inspired by the stories my mom had shared.  

Before she was a successful career woman, Mom spent years as a single mother.  Though I could not see it at the time, years later when I became a parent myself, I began to understand what a struggle it must have been for her to raise us into the competent adults that we are today.  Even with the constant effort and care of two loving parents, the day-to-day challenges of raising children can seem daunting.  Each time my husband goes out of town on business I have a new respect for the years that my mom spent raising us on her own.  How lonely it must have been with just small children as company for someone who loved people as much as Mom. 

Mom moved around a lot, it seemed as if she were constantly reinventing herself, but through each new version of her that I saw, the most important core remained.  She lived a life where personal connections with people kept her going.  I like to say that Mom never met a stranger, and each time she moved to a new city, a new job or a new house, she knew, almost immediately, the names and stores of all of the people she came across. From the lady at the bank to the man who sold her stamps, Mom knew the stories of the people around her.   She took the time to make connections with them because she truly cared about people and wanted to know more about them. 

Mom was something different to so many people,
Single mother
Proud grandmother
Loving Wife

Speaking wasn't easy for mom at the end, but she said two things that I will never forget, first she said, “I love you so much”, she didn’t want to go without reminding those of us that she left behind how much she truly cared for us.  Then she said to me, “I'm not scared”.  She knew that even though she was leaving this life, that the one she had ahead was so much better.  And though she left us far too soon, she left us all richer for the having had the privilege of being a part of her life.  She left a lasting impression that will carry on through her husband, friends, coworkers, children and grandchildren. 
And so, though it is difficult to say good-bye, I hope we will all leave today with a renewed strength and determination.  With a new appreciation for the positive impact we can have on the lives others by simply reaching out and caring about each person we meet.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

ScrapHappy Saturday

Another Saturday has come again and I have not been anywhere near my fabric or sewing supplies.  I am home again for a bit though.  After 7 days without a bite of food or drop of water, Mom woke up on day 8 and said she was thirsty and wanted a drink.  She is now munching on ice cubes and popsicles and looking much better as a result.  I bought a one way ticket home and will spend a few days with the family before going up again, taking the kids with me next time I hope.  Kurt does such a great job of taking care of everything while I am away, but I SO missed my own home and family that I am ecstatic to be back again.
I hope though that you are all happily sewing away with your teal, aqua and turquoise.  Anything that isn't quite blue and isn't quite green is fair game this month.  Use misterlinky below to share your progress, I hope to catch up with everyone again some day soon.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

ScrapHappy Saturday

This is Kurt, Angela's husband.  She is still in Georgia with her Mother, but asked me to post the link.