Thursday, June 28, 2007


My husband has been gone on a business trip this week and I thought I would get so much done! Where does the time go? I can't catch up on the projects that I posted about before I left for Minnesota. I have been home for two weeks and I feel like I am spinning my wheels. I need some time to spend finishing some stuff. I haven't even read all the blogs on my bloglines. I feel bad about that. When I got home my bloglines said I had over 600 entries to catch up. Now it says 400.

It would help if Kim at didn't write every day. But she just can't shut up! And I want to read all her funny stories.

Then there is Mary at who not only blogs every day, but also completes an amazing amount of fabulous quilts, and now is providing instructions for them!

Darlene at and May Britt at always have darling projects, big and small, and I want to dive into each one of them!

Oh yes, there are many, many more of you who keep me at the computer much longer than I should be. How can I get anything done when there are so many voices waiting to be heard? And new people keep showing up! I am going to have to draw the line somewhere. But not quite yet.

OK, that reminds me of my little Plumpkin. She mimics everything she hears, of course, and her mom has gotten into the habit of saying, "Not quite yet," to her when she asks for things. Plumpkin, of course, now uses that expression constantly. In fact, she will answer her own questions and say, "Can I have a cookie, not quite yet"? Or "Can we go to the park, not quite yet"? This is a picture of her this month - June - when she decided that the only outfit she would be willing to wear was a witch costume that she spotted in her closet. She actually prefers no clothes. Her mom decided that witch clothes were just fine.

Just so you know I haven't been totally non-productive, I have been making some of those Cheri Saffiote blocks, (see )and I wanted to see what orphan blocks I had that might work with them. I actually found a few that sized up very nicely together. The cardinal is a Debbie Mumm design, the Santa is from Country Threads, The tree from Little Quilts, and the quilt block is a reject from a block exchange. The color was good for this. The little ornament block is one of the Saffiote blocks I made. Patti at has been combining her orphan blocks into an enormous quilt that is awesome. I can tell you it is hard work figuring how to fit it all together. I am thrilled with my little project and I am going to border it and call it done! Sadly, it only contains one of the Saffiote blocks, so I will still have to decide what to do with all the rest. I am in no hurry, but I would like to see SOMETHING completed!
Dang, my Bloglines is now reading 485!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I dreamed this morning that I was at my Mom’s house and she was there. It is funny because part of me knows she is dead, but part of me doesn’t believe it. She always comes back. When she first started coming back, she was always rather dismayed, because she couldn’t find her stuff. I felt like such a traitor, having gone through her things and discarded or otherwise distributed it to family and friends. It seemed the prudent thing to do. My Mom was a collector and boy did she have stuff! My Dad wanted to get everything cleaned out. He was not sentimentally attached to things like my Mom was. He wanted to sell the house and simplify his life. It was a perfectly sensible thing to do, except that my Mom, though she was dead, was not yet ready to leave her things.

I am the oldest child of five. All my life I saw my mother accumulating her treasures. She would find them on sale at stores, at antique shops, or garage sales. Friends and family would give her little things because they loved her and wanted to please her. She always returned the favor by making them feel special for giving her the most wonderful thing. It wasn’t an act. She really was thrilled with every little thing! And she saved it all. The remarkable thing, to me, was the way she was able to display these treasures around her home. She really had a knack for giving things their own little space.

Mom had cancer and it had progressed to the point where she was bed ridden. My sister came from Tucson and I from Seattle to take up residency, once again, in Minnesota, in the home where we had lived so many years before. Our mother needed us and we were fortunate to be able to respond and help out. Hospice nurses came regularly and so a hospital bed was brought into the family room. The family room had large windows that looked out over a swampy nature preserve. Mom loved that room because she could watch the animals and birds and feel nature all around her. While under the influence of morphine, she told my daughter, “If you ever find yourself in this situation, try and get this room”.

While Mom was resting my sister and I began going through things in the basement. Mom was very artistic and so she had boxes and chests and bags of craft items. Many items were so old that they had become vintage treasures! Others things were quite hilarious. For example, she had several big milk cans filled with pinecones; and about twelve dozen egg cartons with eggs in them that had all been blown out. What could we possibly do with stuff like that? I actually wondered if Holly Hobby, from the 1970’s, had retired down there. We kept finding evidence of her presence.

One November day Mom told my sister and me to go into the basement and bring up those little birds. She had a couple drawers full of feathery little fake birds that she bought here and there on sale. We pretended to go look for them but we had already sent a big bag of them home with my daughter Polly, who lived near by, so we told Mom we couldn’t find them. In frustration, my mother said, “Tell Polly to come and look for them, she knows where they are”! Polly came over and brought the birds back and Mom said, “I knew you could find them”! Then Mom had Polly take the birds outside and decorate the trees. There was a birdfeeder at the window that my Dad kept filled and birds were always flocking to it, but she also wanted to see birds in the little pine trees out her window. The next spring some of those birds were still hanging on, but Mom was gone.

The family home has been sold and my father, now 84, has moved to an apartment in Arizona. My Mom always talked about moving there, but honestly, she couldn’t face what it would have taken to go through her acquisitions of a lifetime. She couldn’t bear to part with any of it! My sister and I tried to divide up things between her children and grandchildren. It wasn’t easy. Especially when everything you look at carries a memory. We did the best we could. But truthfully, now that it is all removed from my Mother’s house, it has lost a lot of its magic. The box of Christmas ornaments will never be the same as they were on my mother’s enchanting tree. The cute little collection of trinkets from her fireplace mantle look really dorky on mine. All of her Nelson Eddie memorabilia and records – I don’t even remember what we did with it.

In my dreams, Mom would show up and I would wonder what to tell her. She wants to know where all her things are and I guiltily have to tell her we didn’t think she was coming back. She tries to understand, but looks at me with disappointment. Where did I think she went? She was only gone for a while. I try to make sense of it, but I can’t. She is still alive, of course she is alive! She would never leave us permanently.

When I wake up I realize that my mother has indeed passed away. Several years ago, in fact. But my reality is that she is not “dead and gone”, she has just “passed on”, and at some future time we will join her. Jesus Christ has given us this gift with his resurrection and with his promise of our future resurrection. My Mother never doubted that and it is embedded in my soul. Families can be together forever.

So why the guilt about all this earthly “stuff”? I don’t know. Maybe it is because I am still on earth and view things through mortal eyes. In my dreams mortality and immortality get mixed up. There is a scripture that reads, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”. (Luke 12:34)
When I think of my Mother’s home and all the things she possessed and loved, I know that what she loved most was my Dad, her children, her grandchildren, family and friends. She showed that to us all in so many ways. She made everyone feel welcome in her home. The truth is my Mom was the real treasure. Her family and friends each hold a part of that treasure in their hearts. That and the promise is enough for now.

Now that I have analyzed it maybe I can let go of the guilt. I hope I can explain it to her next time she comes around.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Whew, we are feeling the heat here in Virginia! (See my Weather Pixie!) But that is what summer is all about, right? Besides, I am sitting here in my air conditioned home. I only feel the heat when I want to. Yes, I am back from Minnesota. Had a nice trip. Granddaughter #1 graduated from high school--that was the main event. We had a party for her the next day with lots of relatives, friends and neighbors. It was lots of fun to see everyone.

Does the above picture look a little strange? Let me explain. We bought three yards of clear plastic sheeting at Walmart and placed it on the table. Then we took all kinds of snapshots of GD #1 and slid them under the plastic. She was the Belle of the Ball, after all. It was great. People could sit at the table and eat and look at the pictures. If we had scrapbooked all those photos we couldn't have done this! But we were lucky--they were all loose in a box. (OK, I am being facetious.) Everyone loved looking at all the pictures of her growing up. Many pictures also had friends and relatives in them, so that was fun too. (Wow, was I young when she was born!)
I also read a fabulous book that my friend gave me before I left home.
This book, Dark Enough To See The Stars Under a Jamestown Sky, is based on the original Jamestown settlement and was written by a descendant of one of the families. It is written from the woman's perspective, which made it very interesting, since it touched on the concerns and contributions of the women. It was not only illuminating, but touching. I have yet to visit Jamestown, but now when I go I will feel a kinship to the women who actually lived there. We hear so little about them, but their sacrifices serve us all. I was afraid that the story would be too dismal, but the character and goodness of the primary woman in the book was so uplifting. Books like this feed my soul!