It is horrible to say....but covid changes have been good for me! Other than missing travel and seeing friends in person, it has opened a lot of opportunities for me. At the onset, it made me work from home. Good side, i'm not putting a ton of miles on my car and I'm saving at least 2 hours a day in travel time. I don't eat out, except on my every 3-4 week shopping trips. I'm cooking at home and truly enjoying it. Bad side, I am near a refrigerator ALL the time - Ive gained everything I lost after Mom died. Good side, it allowed me access to my 401-k to fix up my house, bad side, couldn't get work done because of no workers to be in the house or gathered to fix the roof. HOWEVER, good side to that - I just found out that DHHS of Michigan will be taking my house! The deed to the land is in Mom's name and so they are taking it to pay back her food stamps and medicare she used! If the workers could have been here I would have sunk thousands of dollars into a house the state would take! I now have a nice downpayment for a new home. I'm hoping to be in by next summer. Bad side, my retreats and classes are out as I am not willing to risk myself or others by gathering. Good side, I am learning to teach via the internet which means I can teach all over the country from the comfort of my home! How amazing is that! All in all, covid changes have been good to me so far. I am still hiding from covid in hopes of delaying any exposure to it. In the meantime, I hope you all have found some good in this crazy time of change. Due to the renovations being canceled, I will be unpacking the supplies to start working on them again and weeding out things I will not be needing to move to the new house. Another little delay in getting back to a sense of normal. For now, I have time to adjust. I truly do not miss the rat race of before covid!! Stay safe all, and find something to be thankful for! They say happy people live longer than others, so find your happy and thrive!!
As many of you know, Mom has been surviving her Pancreatic Cancer for 5 years past her predicted 6 months of life left. The waiting has been difficult. As soon as I returned home from this last Mackinaw Quilter's Retreat she got sick and took a nosedive. She went from walking and fixing her own snacks to bedridden and being spoon-fed. It was as if the 'waiting' for it to get worse was over. For a month she was ready to leave us, then she again got back on her feet! She was slower and a little frailer, but up and around!
After several weeks she started to slow down farther. More waiting, she was still ready to go... Finally, she was down to eating only a few spoonfuls of any meal and then declaring she was full. On Saturday morning (December 21st) I got up and asked her, “Are you hungry? What would you like for breakfast”? “Yes, I am Hungry! I would like some Cream of wheat!,” Mom replied. I then decided to surprise her with her favorite chocolate milk as well. Mom finished all of her cereal AND 2 glasses of chocolate milk! She napped but was alert and so happy to see friends that stopped by while out in the door-to-door ministry. At lunch, she was asked again if she was hungry and what would she like for lunch. Yes, I am! It was decided to have tomato soup and grilled cheese, a few bites at least... OH! What else? Mega Stuffed Oreo's too! She ate the Oreo's first, life is uncertain – always eat dessert first! She finished the entire bowl of soup, practically licking the bowl clean, her grilled cheese (and the Oreo's!) I was surprised but pleased.
At supper time I expected to hear the same response but there was none. Figuring she had stuffed herself through the day, no biggie. That night Mom's kidneys shut down. On Sunday morning she was unresponsive. We kept her out of pain and at 2:45 pm she took her final breath and left us peacefully.
I am relieved to say that she is now safe in Jehovah God's memory waiting for her resurrection into a paradise!
Waiting stinks, royally. I am glad the waiting is over. For now, I am 'spring cleaning' in the house and getting ready for new changes in arranging the house to become a learning area. I have always wanted to be able to host and teach small groups to quilt, make jewelry or cards. mom and I would discuss the needed changes. Removing carpeting and setting up a smooth floor for pins, needles and jewelry bits that wouldn't be easy to pick up with carpet. Moving in new tables and bookcases for storage. Placing better lighting. Using Mom's room as a spare guest(s) room or finding a roommate. We even entertained the idea of knocking down the wall to make a large learning space! I'm glad we talked about these things together. As I make changes now, she will be a part of it!
I was so excited to have a few new things at the retreat. With taking care of Mom I wasn't able to offer my expanded pattern with the Triskeles. No worries, they work for all sorts of neat uses! I will be working again on setting up some PDF patterns and more. It will just take me a few weeks for legal stuff and renovations and I will be running with scissors!
I want to thank all that have been so kind to us over the years! You have all made such a difference in my life, I am so grateful to have you!
I hope you find future additions and changes a good move for me. Now is the time for healing, savored memories and moving forward.
I know, it has been ages since my last post! It hasn't been a kind year so far and each time I sat down to post I found myself complaining. I did NOT want this to be an outlet for my complaints so I waited it out for better days.
I missed the first half of my bi-annual quilt retreat, Mackinaw Quilter's Retreat, but enjoyed the second half. I met many new faces and embraced many old friends! And I so badly missed many from the first half. I can't wait to see everyone again at the October retreat.
The Mackinaw Quilter's Retreat is the highlight of my year! And often as I sit at my vending area I am asked how nice it is to sit and see the great lakes and it's beauty. Honestly, it's ok. You see, I kind of grew up there and it's beautiful, but nothing new. We seem to do that, don't we? We take everyday surroundings for granted. I try not to, but time gets in my way. I am trying to slow down enough to see my surroundings and their beauty. I am, sadly, beginning to reach the place in my life that I am forced to slow down, physically at least!! My mind still whirls with new thoughts, patterns, and songs that are sure to be remembered later but are lost almost as quickly as they are formed. I am learning to use my cell phone as a memory keeper of sorts...that is when I'm not leaving it behind at home or work!
I think about quilt designs being that way too. Some are new and exciting (you HAVE to try Serenity!!) and some are old patterns we have forgotten or gotten used to, so they seem to be forgotten. My next pattern/kit, yes I am going to start cutting again, is a simple stand-by but can be laid out in so many ways. I should have it up and ready soon. I will be traveling next month but will be here all of July. I hope to get more accomplished this summer than this year has been so far. We shall see!
Momma update: She is doing well and says hello! It is now over five years since her diagnosis of fourth stage Pancreatic Cancer. Her Dr. says that if she makes it another year she will be the oldest survivor he has ever met! She didn't do traditional medicine, so no surgery or Chemo. She found an old Ojibwe cancer cure and has been using that. If anyone wants to know it is Essiac Tea. I'm just happy that we keep her pain in check mostly and she is on no higher dose of pain medication than what she had two years ago. We thank our creator, Jehovah, every day and are happy to be still together making cards! Thank you to all who buy Mom's cards! She is putting the money to good use on flowers and Welch's grape jelly for her large group of Orioles that come each year. They are so cheeky!! One fella comes to the shepherd pole close to the front window and calls to her to come and feed him. Once his bowl is filled, he eats to his heart's content and then comes back to the shepherd pole and sings to her. He has been doing this for four years now! I'm so glad he remembers Mom's kindness and repays her with his beauty and song!
Well, it is almost 8pm here and it is time to wake Mom from her nap so we can make cards this evening. I may be getting older and slower, but life is still pretty great!
Until we meet again, may you all have many beautiful days to enjoy!
As many know, we have had some troublesome weather of late! For the most part, I annoy all my friends as I LOVE snow. And I mean LOTS of snow!! BUT, sadly this winter has me seeing the blues a bit. During my last "run away to quilt" at my friends in Rochester, MI, I hurt my knee. I am happy to say that up to this point I have never had knee issues.
It was sore and stiff but I found that the more I exercised, the better it felt. A week later I was shopping at Sam's Club. Due to back/hip issues I always use the motorized carts for shopping. Unfortunately that day they had several down for repair and the rest were busy. I reasoned that if I went slow and rested if I got tired or sore that I would be ok. I was so happy!! I made it completely around the store with minimal pain and wasn't tired in the least! I waited up front on the outdoor furniture until my shopping buddy was ready. All was good and I walked to the van and loaded up fine. I got into the van and stretched to buckle up and my knee snapped.
I have honestly never felt that kind of pain before, and I don't really want to ever again! By evening I couldn't put weight on it at all and had my first ever ambulance ride to the ER. I ended up tearing a couple of muscles in my thigh and calf. All they could offer was pain medication and crutches. I took the crutches but passed on the meds lol. I learned a long time ago that pain meds don't take my pain away, they just simply make me not care. Id rather be lucid and in pain than mentally dimwitted and so called out of pain.
Now Im not telling this for pity or concern!! I am doing well, just a little slower and sore. This is where the weather has really been hitting me. The cold has been a bear on my sore knee, leg and hip. Im also finding that the arthritis is making itself know due to the cold.
In the past this would have really depressed me. I have dealt with depression for many years. Truthfully, as far back as I can remember. I know it is a chemical imbalance in the brain and most of my family suffers from this brain disease! I choose a natural source for my depression other than medicines that have been offered. It works 90% of the time and I enjoy "it" immensely. No, it isn't quilting, though I wish!!
I have had many makes and models, ages and colors of my magic cure. Thankfully I am not allergic to it, but it does get expensive occasionally. I'd like you to meet my current prescription for the blues!
One of Mom's antidepressants is being able to watch her birds in the yard. We have a great collection of chickadees, doves, nuthatches, orioles, finches, ravens, hummingbirds, cardinals, pileated woodpeckers and even eagles occasionally. As usual there are feral cats that come and try to feast on these delectable treats with wings. We get so irritated that people can't be responsible for their cats and take care of them instead of dumping them or allowing them to have numerous batches of unwanted kittens.
One stray was very good at catching its prey. It scored 3 birds one day! Much to Mom's sadness, it caught one of our cardinals. We have 2 regular mating pair and it took a long time to lure them in and get them to stay. Mom is famous for her specially mixed peanut butter cakes in the winter and her oriole juice in the summer. She announced that I needed to do something! NOW! This was the first cat, since we moved in 14 years ago, that was not only very successful but diligent to come every day for its feast.
At first I refused. I WILL NOT be the crazy cat lady that feeds the neighborhood strays!! But after the cardinal was eaten Mom was so upset that I gave in. It was winter and I did feel for the little thing. I took a small bowl of dry food and placed it under the bird feeder. The cat was happy to find it and ate every drop and left without its normal hunt. Each morning Mom reminded me to fill the bowl.
By the third day she saw it arrive and I was a little late in getting out there. I finally got out there as it was half way across the yard. It saw me and started yelling at me and ran to me. As it wrapped itself around my ankles, my heart melted. I had lost my previous cat 6 months earlier and had decided I didn't need another. I was ok with feeding this one outside, but well....
I decided to name the little guy Stanley. Don't know why, he just looked like a Stanley! After a week of feeding him I noticed that he had gotten into a fight and was a little tattered. I wanted to take him in BUT, that would require a little more expense than I could handle. Mom called the local shelter and they said they would take him, clean him up and let me adopt him! We agreed! One of Mom's caregivers caught him and put him in a carrier and my best friend took him to the shelter while I was at work. Then I got a phone call...
It was Raina, my best friend and sister from another mother. She said that she had just come from the shelter and there was an issue. Stanley was a Stella, and pregnant! Oh no! I didn't really want a female and couldn't take kittens too! I called the shelter and they said they would be glad to let me adopt Stanley once she had her kittens and could be separated from them. They kept the name Stanley so we would know who she was lol. I COULDN'T call her Stella--that is my bosses name lol! Stella is a great boss, but I couldn't picture myself calling for my cat by her name lol!
Long story short (which as you see, is hard for me) it wasn't kittens, just a belly full of worms. I was able to adopt Stanley after a couple of weeks. And she received her real name - Sunny! She is truly the sunshine in my life. She talks, a lot!! She wakes me up in the morning with excitement and love, lots of love. She is a big cuddle buddy and loves to play soccer with her jingle balls. She is still a bit of an alley cat. She loves trash and enjoys dumping the small trashcan in my bedroom to root through it for something to play with. Sometimes she drives me nuts, but at least she keeps me smiling and laughing! And did you notice? She wears her love for all to see under her chin!
For those of you that enjoy the company of cats, you know what the wonderful and crazy little creatures can do to make things look a little brighter! I am so thankful for my little furry antidepressant! I may have to hobble through this winter, but at least it will be on the Sunny side up!
Hello all! I have now owned Truly Materialistic (TM) for well over 15 years! Truly a milestone for me. I will say that I love what I do with TM, but I hate what I don't do with it!!
For those of you who only know me here, and online elsewhere, I am a professional Graphic Specialist in a full-time position with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Harbor Springs, MI. I work on graphic elements for fliers, ads and other materials the different departments need. I work with my editor to put out a newsletter that ranges from 24 to 32 pages for the tribal members each month. Non-tribal persons may see it at www.odawatrails.com or pick up one in person when visiting the Governmental Center in Harbor Springs.
When I am not at work, or traveling to and fro, I am home with my Mom working on other endeavors. My Mom, Mary, was diagnosed with fourth stage Pancreatic Cancer over 4 years ago. They gave her 6 months to live... She wouldn't listen! She decided not to go with traditional medical treatment and has chosen a natural path and to live the rest of life to the fullest. I am very thankful that I am able to work enough to keep her home so she can enjoy life as much as possible.
When she was first diagnosed she had decided to send a card to each of her friends before she died. I went shopping for cards, but couldn't find any that were "her" or that seemed affordable (she has a very long list of friends!) at the time. I found a Sizzix die cutter on clearance at a shop and figured it would be cheaper to make our own. Let's just say that I had NO idea of what we would end up with lol! We have enough card making supplies, dies and paper to open a shop!! I will say that it was the best decision I ever made. On good evenings, and sometimes on the weekends I'm home, we sit across from each other making cards and enjoying the chance to chat just about everything! This is huge for me. I love her more than anything or anyone on this earth. It wasn't always like that. It is why I cherish it so much now. I wouldn't change anything, other than the dieing part... That said, we live, laugh and love. We both have a strong faith in our creator, Jehovah, and look forward to a bright future together. For now we go day by day and take the time to make cards for friends and for residents at local nursing homes.
When I'm not card-making, there is the jewelry. Oh I do so love crystals!! As with much in my life, there is an abundance of jewelry making supplies here. I occasionally sell my creations on Instagram as Truly Crystals, at local local craft shows and to friends that pop in to take a look at what is new!
When Im not card-making or working on new jewelry creations, there is the fabric! It has its own room. A room bigger than my own!! Of course! I do admit though, I sew more out of the house than in it! I have the Mackinaw Quilters Retreat twice a year (2 retreats back to back in May and October each year), visit Caroline at Caroline's Sewing Room (West Branch, MI) as often as possible and stay with 2 absolutely wonderful friends in Rochester, MI whenever possible. Those are the places I sew lol! I do a lot of collecting at home!!
AND all that said, when Im not card-making, jewelry creating or quilting, I work on new designs and patterns that I dream up. Don't worry, I get plenty of down time. As a matter of fact, I am currently watching the 13th season of ER while vegging. I like the old shows. Especially the fact that I can skip scenes or episodes I find I really do not wish to watch. I tried to crochet while watching, but my hands have been unkind and don't want to! It's been chilly in our neck of the woods and at my ripe old age (I'm kissing 50) I feel it in my joints frequently.
And now, back to why I hate what I don't do... I want to take my designing/teaching quilting more seriously. I have the tendency of going 200 miles an hour or at a dead stop. It makes it difficult to be productive in my own business. I do realize that is very common. I just don't want to let TM go to the wayside in my life. I am so thankful that I can teach in Mackinaw at the retreats! I try to come up with something new each season. I'm hoping that by setting up a blog and keeping it going, it will encourage me not to let TM be the last thing on my to-do list! Mind you, Mom will always come first, but I think you gathered that already lol!
I do want to say how thankful I am for all those that have encouraged me through the last 15 years to keep TM alive! A special shout out to Mike and Sue Miller, owners of Hearts to Holly quilt shop in Charlevoix, MI. Many years ago I had decided to stop trying to make new patterns. I was going to school full time and working and, and, and... Sue and Mike were such an encouragement to keep me creating and designing! If they hadn't been there I might not have the ability to say it's been over 15 years! I thank all of my friends, fellow fabric lovers, customers, students and loving family members who have believed in me all these years. My life is full thanks to all of you!
With that said, I have to go... I thought of a new pattern I want to try! Soooo... I am going to spend my evening on Photoshop previewing and playing!!
Wendy - A Thankful Quilter!