Sunday, August 31, 2014

I Neglected to Post



Somehow I forgot to post pictures of this quilt I made for Quilts of Compassion. Since a big purpose of this blog is to provide a record of quilts I've made, I wanted to get it on the blog. This is not the best picture.  Apparently the day I took it was a cloudy day. These are more of the strip sets I made for an earlier quilt. This time I sashed them in purple and used a border of green with purple flowers. It really does look better in person than it does here. I promise.

See?  This is a truer representation of the colors.

This jungle bird fabric is the backing, and you can get a little look at the binding there as well.

There has been a little progress on the quilt I'm working on right now, but not a whole lot. 


And that is because we have been doing a lot of cleaning, painting and rearranging around here. We've been working on getting Miss Ru's bedroom transformed into my quilting room. That involved repainting her very purple room a much lighter color.


We're not done yet and those quilts will not stay on the quilt frame, but they sure do look pretty on there right now, don't they? That quilt frame is over twelve feet long! It completely takes up one wall, but it will be nice to be able to close the door on it and keep certain four-footed little beasties off the quilts in progress! Dinah, of course, feels sure that the change is purely to benefit her.

Having hard physical work that we want to do helps so much right now. There is still SO much to do. Still lots of "stuff" that will have to be stored, kept, given away, etc. Lots has already been done, but there are still stacks of personal correspondence and things of that sort. Frankly, I'm not ready yet to deal with all that. But one day I will be ready.

Thank you all so much for your sweet messages and emails. That you think of us and pray for us is such a blessing any time, but especially right now.

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Recovering

Sewing helps. I have always liked the Agatha Christie fictional detective Hercule Poirot.  One of his frequent sayings was "method and order". I think of that often as I am piecing quilts. There does have to be method and order, and as my friend Sandy says, sewing is one of the few things we have any control over.

It makes me happy that I can methodically add elements to my design wall and start to see a pattern.

One of the last things Miss Ru asked was that I make a quilt for one of the nurses who had taken care of her. He had surgery while she was still in the hospital and would be off work for a while afterward.  This one will be for David. It is taking longer than usual, but there are extenuating circumstances. I think he will still be touched that her last quilt request was for him. That was Ruthie. She loved people, especially nurses!

I made a couple of these blueberry banana pies for Mr. Muddling's coworkers. They have been so kind to him and to our family. I hear they were happy to see these.  I do know I got nicely cleaned pie plates returned.

Seeing our little flock of chickens roaming the back yard always makes me happy. It is so hot here now that I like to let them find shade and cool wherever they can. 

And of course the flowers and fruits growing out there make me happy, too. I'm glad to see that we have a banana stalk in production, and there are cherry tomatoes, too. Most things have given up and retreated from the heat.

We are doing a lot cleaning and cleaning out. There is still plenty left to do, but we're working on it. You'll be happy to know that a young friend of ours was beyond happy to take all of Miss Ru's high heels. So many of them had never even been worn, but Ruthie did love her shoes. 

And like Miss Lady, we are catching up on our rest. That helps, too.

Thank you for all the sweet messages and comments. I am so thankful for my blog friends. I do hope you are finding plenty to make you happy, too.

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Miss Ru


This is the way I prefer to think of Miss Ru - always that beautiful smile, always a loving sister, a loyal friend, a truly wonderful daughter.  

Miss Ru moved off to heaven and left us last Wednesday night. I know I've been absent from the blog, but it's been almost unbearable. I still expect her to come in and visit with me, ask me why I'm not sewing, and who's getting the next quilt. 

Please don't misunderstand me. I wouldn't bring her back if I could. She spent the last seven and a half weeks of her life in intensive care units. Doctors and medical staff, for the most part, did all they could to get her the help she needed. Cystic fibrosis is a mean disease, and Miss Ru fought it with all that was in her. She never let it define her, but brushed herself off after every battle, put on her makeup and high heels, and got right back to living her life. She was truly the strongest, most courageous person I've ever known. But her little body had just taken all it could take. As the minister at her memorial service said, "Wouldn't you have loved to see her step into heaven and take that first free, unencumbered breath?!" Yes, I would, and I'm so happy she never has to suffer again.

I do not intend to stay in this place of grief, but there do have to be times of tears and laughter as we remember our precious Ruthie. Life will never be the same for Mr. Muddling and me, nor for our other children, but we will see her again and I take great comfort from that. 

Give those you love a big hug. Kiss them and tell them you love them. Be sure that you, too, have the promise of being reunited with loved ones on the other side of this life.

And since I haven't told you lately, I love you. I value your friendship in this blog world. I pray that your home is a happy one and that you find joy in living. With all its disappointments and sorrows, it's still a wonderful life!

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Progress

The Churn Dash quilt for Quilts of Compassion "Quilts for the South" quilt drive is completed. Finally. I had these blocks already made. (That's the thing about churn dash blocks - they are a tiny bit addictive once you start making them.) I sashed, cornerstoned and bordered those blocks, then got it quilted, trimmed and bound. Now it is ready to go. That makes two completed from me.

This one was made by my friend Phyllis. She thought it would make someone happy to have a western-themed quilt, and I'm sure she's right. It is such a vibrant quilt. I wish you could see it in person, and don't you love that red wood plank fabric she used as backing!

I also very much like the label Phyllis put on this quilt.

Meanwhile out in the back yard, things are growing still, even in the heat and one of our silly chickens is trying to hatch a stone egg. The center photo is figs on that tree behind the chicken in the photo on the left. They are juicy and delicious! I've canned a dozen half pints of fig preserves. Some of that is on its way to my mother. It is one of her favorites, so I'm very glad we have had a harvest this year. It was so dry the past few years that there were very few figs. This year, thank God!, we've had plenty of rain, so the tree is loaded with figs.

And.......Miss Ru is being transferred to the Houston Medical Center this morning, as I type, for evaluation as a possible lung transplant recipient. It's just the first step of a very long process, but it IS a start.  Thank you all so much for your kind emails, thoughts, and prayers for our family during this time. It means so much to us all. I show Ruthie your comments and emails and she is so grateful. I wish you could see that gorgeous smile in person!

I am so thankful for so many things. We had a pastor years ago who used to tell us not to expect "to float through life on flowery beds of ease", and that's certainly true. There is a reason the Apostle Paul told his son-in-the-faith Timothy (1 Timothy 6:12) to FIGHT the good fight of faith. Life is often a fight. But the good news is we win!  I've read the back of the Book.

If you don't know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I truly hope and pray that you get to know Him, because the day will surely come when you will be glad you do!

Hugs and kisses and lots of love,

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thursday Update

To start off on a lighter note, this is why I cannot have flower arrangements on the table in the hallway. Dinah rearranges them. She pulled that one flower out of the vase a bit and was attempting to rearrange it to a more pleasing design when I spotted her.

I have sewn some of the leftover rows of coins from this quilt, with purple sashings this time, to make another quilt. I'll add a border or two and get it done for the Quilts of Compassion.

I also had some leftover churn dash blocks which I sashed with cornerstones, and it is quilted. Not trimmed or bound yet, but there is progress. I really wanted to get a lot more done by this point, but life interfered. 

Miss Ru has been hospitalized for almost four weeks. She's been in intensive care this whole time - first in a regular hospital and now in a long term acute care facility. This beautiful smile is still showing up quite a bit even in the midst of the things she is going through.

Ruthie was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis just before her second birthday. The doctor at that time called my husband out into the hallway and told him not to get his hopes up, that she would not live to see her tenth birthday. I'm happy to say that he was wrong. She just had her thirty-second birthday, even though she was in the hospital when she had it.

The bottom line right now is that her lungs have been so damaged by the disease that a lung transplant is the only medical option if she wants to live. She does want to live. To that end, she will be transferred to the hospital in the Medical Center here in Houston that does lung transplants as soon as a bed becomes available. She will be evaluated to see if she is a viable candidate for a transplant, and then the waiting will begin.

I know this is not touchy-feely, happy talk, which we all try to do a lot of on our blogs. I am sharing all this with you because so many of you have become friends over the years, and because we can all use your care, prayer and just plain old love right now. I so appreciate each and every one of you who have stayed close.

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Last Day of June

Well, first of all, I did finally get this quilt finished. Phyllis got hers finished, too, so that makes a grand total of two we have ready to send to Quilts of Compassion.

Here, you can see the binding and the backing. I like it. It's terrible how these quilts keep trying to stay here.

And here's a peek at the backyard stuff.  We have had a lot of tomatoes. I've put up a few jars of salsa and as you can see, there are lots more that need to be canned. I've given tomatoes to most of our neighbors just because they are so good fresh!

Miss Ru is not out of the woods yet, but we do see improvement. She has been one very sick little girl. Long way to go yet before she's back to her usual beautiful self, but we believe she'll get there. She is still in hospital.

I do hope there are many good things where you are. If you look, there's almost always something to bring a smile to your face. I am incredibly thankful for God's goodness to us, even in the midst of not-so-fun things.

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hello

I got a little package of fabric from my sister in law recently. A small piece of this chicken fabric was included Isn't it perfect? It just makes me smile,

maybe because I am continually amused by the antics of our chickens. These girls discovered a cucumber hiding under all those leaves and proceeded to have a feast of it. If they can get to it - it's theirs!

I made an impossible pie the other day. This one is coconut.  Do you remember they were all the rage years ago?  What's not to like - you just mix everything together, pour it in a pie pan and bake. Supposedly it makes its own crust, and it does sort of, but it's not much of a crust. Anyway, it's still mighty good!  Here's the recipe if you want to try it:



IMPOSSIBLE COCONUT CUSTARD PIE

4 eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup self-rising flour
2 cups milk
14 oz. shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat eggs thoroughly in mixer. Add melted butter, sugar, flour and milk. Beat until well blended. Stir in coconut and vanilla. Pour into two 8-inch ungreased pie pans. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool and cut.

The original recipe did not call for that much coconut, but we like a lot, and it did not hurt it one little bit! Comfort food.



This little quilt has now had borders added to make it a reasonable size and it has been quilted since this picture was taken. I just need to get the binding sewn onto it. 

I've been absent from my blog for a bit. We've had some serious health issues with Miss Ru. She's not out of the woods yet, but she is improving daily. Thank God! He is so faithful. I cannot imagine having to live my life without the love and care of the Lord.

I hope you've had lots of good times since I last heard from you. I fully expect us all to have many more!

Hugs and kisses,