Saturday, September 27, 2014

End of Summer Bouquet

Well today my granddaughter in Phoenix called to tell me it is raining and she doesn't like the rain. I told her we gets lots of rain in Washington and she let me know she doesn't like it.

This is the first week-end of fall and in our area, it is beautiful. The sky is bright blue, their is just a slight breeze, the windows are open to allow for some fresh air billowing through the rooms.

Hubby and one of the grands are out on the river fishing for Salmon and I am hoping they are as lucky as they were last week-end and catch at least one.  There is nothing like fresh Salmon on the grill.

We had a pretty heavy rain this week and lots of wind and my Bachelor Buttons took a whomping and some are still standing, which made me decide to cut some of what I had in bloom and bring them inside.

I know what the purple one is, someone told me the pinks are Dahlias and my little corner I have worked on is full of them.   The really brighten up the dining room.

I don't know how long these beautiful blooms that brought me so much joy during the summer will last, but I am glad they grew. I planted most of them from seed this year, so the fact the slugs and snails didn't eat them or the local cats, I am happy!


Friday, September 19, 2014

This Thing Called Home School... Week 2

We decided this year to home school our grandson. Well, maybe we isn't quite the word, more than me, myself and I. That counts as we doesn't it?

We are using an online school called K12. Last week was easy it was the first week and pretty easy, math is killing us both and I don't want to have to give up because of math.

We also have some issues when we have forms to complete and no room to squeeze everything into the boxes. Aaaargh, just changing  the format would be easier. LOL!!

Today, we have to tackle 3 class and you guessed it, math is one of those.  But grandson breezed through Social Studies, so I gave him a break and he got to do something that can't be done in public school...go outside and pick lunch out of our garden!

Looking for summer squash

I know these will be tasty!

Our Nutritionist will love this!
 Tomato sandwiches for lunch and some squash for dinner. Now, if our weather will hold out so our watermelons and peppers can be harvested I will be happy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sorry For The Silence

This year, I feel like a guinea pig or a lab rat. Not a human guinea pig because I have been put through so many tests and exams and as the dust settles, we still have no answers!

I have had some really distressing neurological things going on and have had head CT Scan, MRI, nerve testing, blood work and yet nothing is showing up. I should be jumping up and down, however when I fall out of the blue, lean over out of the blue, have lip tremors, stutter, my arms and legs shake and tremble, I forget things such as:
1-Putting a hot pan on my counter without a hot pad (guess who needs a new counter top?)
2-Fix dinner and walk away from the stove but leave the burners on.
3-Have been banned by hubby from burning real candles in house after he came home one day while I had been gone for several hours and discovered the candles burning.
4-Missed a really important meeting because I wrote it down correctly in not one but 3 places and looked at my calendar and thought it was the next day.
5-I say things that make no sense at times to anyone.
6-I don't say things I think I said and then get made when no one does what they weren't told to do that I said I did....

My docs can see things happening, but they have no idea what to do.

We began walking this summer after dinner each night and my granddaughter noticed I was wheezing and breathing hard. I said it was hot, but she was right, I have a very difficult time walking even short distances, so to the doctor for two cardiac stress tests and you guessed it...inconclusive!

We have determined that I have numerous bone spurs and severe arthritis in my neck and C-spine and while the neurologist said it would be best to do a fusion, we both decided it doesn't bother me enough at this time to do it.

Two weeks ago, I got up and my foot was painful and within a few hours it was extremely swollen to the point I was taken to the ER by hubby.  The finding? Cysts and severe arthritis in my foot and you guessed it, they want to do a fusion.

The docs took me off all my medication for pain which was no fun, that set me back weeks on doing anything but relying on family to help with even tying my shoes.

So now we start the process of adding my meds back one at a time. Have they helped by removing them? NO!

I am also undergoing physical therapy because my back hurts all the time and my surgeon wants to do a Myelogram but my insurance company says I have to go though PT first which hurts.

In addition to all of my medical issues, on July 11th we received the baby sister (9 years old) of the three grandchildren we are raising and it has caused so much stress in our home.

I now have so much empathy and understanding of how step-parents feel because this has not been the 'go with the flow,' easy mix we thought it would be.

This little girl comes with many issues that I am not sure any of us were prepared for and by the end of each evening, I am left feeling completely drained.

I hope soon to do more positive posting!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Around The Corner Comes Fall

 It is that time of year when the kids are all back in school, starting school or college and there is that old familiar chill and crispness to the air. Well, unless you live in places that are hot like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando and it is still hot!

Here our summer always starts without fail on July 5th of every year and usually ends the week school starts and the rain begins and falls well into summer.

However, I love the changing of the seasons, the cool mornings with gentle fog and the promise of rain. Yes, while the calendar doesn't show it is officially fall, I know it is around the corner.

This year however, with the start of school we had a few days of rain and then back into the 80's and this week-end even more 80's.  
Normally, I would be whining about wanting my rain back this time of the year.

However I planted (well, I tossed together) a small vegetable garden and tossed in watermelons and as long as it stays warm, I may get a watermelon!

I followed a Pinterest idea and purchase several bags of mulch, cut them open and stuck some plants in them.  I have gotten 2 tomatoes and they were so tangy and tart and smelled delish!  I have had 1 yellow crook neck squash, but the plant is bursting with little ones still growing.

My peas never made it, they just died right away. Perhaps the squash killed them, I am not sure but they died quickly.  I have about 10 little bell peppers just starting and I have watched one watermelon go from the size of a pea to about the size of a golf ball.

My pride is my front flower bed and while it is still sparse, it has given me immense joy this year and gotten me outside to water it and ensure it didn't wilt.

 This is just one corner. Hubby dug all the holes for the shrubs in the back and Diva girl laid the rock and planted all of them. All of the kids helped plant the Zinnia's, Geraniums and seeds for the Bachelor Buttons (which just bloomed yesterday) and the tall green plant that I have no idea what it is, but it has no buds on it yet.

The small flowers in the back are Portaluca's or what I call Rock Roses and others call Moss Roses. The Tomboy asked to plant them and she started them in a small plastic tub and as they grew she planted them in the garden. I am impressed because all I do is water and they grow!

Here you can see some more Zinnia's, Bachelor Buttons, some Marigolds, more Portaluca's in all different colors, there are Snap Dragons and I am not sure what the yellow ones are behind the potted plants.

I was extremely upset today when I walked out and found three mole hills in this area. I have worked hard this summer to grow our little area and I will NOT allow the moles to destroy this.

Prior to our move here, the previous owner had put down ground cloth, but those moles can root right up through it, so I guess I have learned a lesson and that is to cut out all the ground cloth from this area, lay down chicken wire, cover with grub killer, put down top soil and mulch and pray the young man I hired to kill moles can get the job done!

However, I am having doubts when the first two traps set 5 days ago yielded nothing but more dirt piled on them. If my cat used the litter box instead of the out doors, I would scoop some poop and litter and put down the hole or maybe Juicy Fruit gum.

Who knows, all I know is these little monsters aren't like the easy kill gophers we had in Arizona, but I am hoping if we catch one ad stuff it down the hole it came up it may deter others....

I am open to suggestions!

Friday, September 5, 2014

When One of Your Own Has A Need

The  community of 911 communications is pretty small in comparison to many other jobs in the world and it takes someone pretty dedicated and strong willed and strong nerves to do it.

The community of law enforcement is just slightly larger, but in comparison to many other jobs, it is small.  Within the confines you will find many police officers and fire fighters married to 911 communications operators, it just goes with the territory sometimes.

When I retired from my career in 911 communications and moved to Washington and continued reaching out to our 'unseen heroes,' behind the radio and at times first responders, I always knew in the back of my mind, sooner or later I would be making a quilt for someone I worked with.

Little did I realize I would be making a quilt for an officer who is engaged to a 911 operator that I trained.  I worked with both of these people and they are pretty special.

The one memory I have that sticks out is that while she was a trainee, I had him call in a bogus call of someone that was mentally ill to see how she could handle the situation.  No! I wasn't picking on the mentally ill,  I put my trainee's through many varying situations.

He calls and tells her there are people in his back yard and while she is asking the questions, he tells her they are purple and getting out of a tiny space ship.  The look on her face was priceless, but she kept probing for information and he kept going and then hung up.

Without giving it a thought, she immediately followed protocol and called him back. By then, she knew it was a training exercise because he couldn't keep from laughing and I was trying hard not to.

The officer had a kidney removed that was cancerous years ago and now, his remaining kidney is failing and he can no longer work while he does home dialysis and waits for a kidney.

The quilt I have been working on for the past month or so will go to him. I felt it took so long to make because God knew this officer would have a need for it. I feel blessed to do this for such a dedicated man!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Layers of Hope Address and No Reply Bloggers

I hope this helps all of you to mail your quilts off a bit quicker.

I have added an icon on the right side of this blog that will take you to the mailing address for your quilts.

With that said HOWEVER...I cannot respond to your questions if you chose to be a 'NO REPLY,' blogger and do NOT leave me with a way to contact you.  This not only causes my heart to break, but at times it causes hard feelings because quilters feel I am ignoring them when I am not, I just cannot respond back to your questions.

If you are not aware you are a 'NO REPLY, ' blogger, please go to this link and follow the instructions to check and see:

If you are worried I will spam you, I promise I will not. You can leave your email in your question as an example:

  1. jane dot doe @yahoo dot come
  2. janedoe at
  3. janedoe at yahoo dot com
 Just please give me some way to reach you.  If you need to respond, you can directly email me on the link on the right side of this page.

When we were collecting quilts for Oso, I had an instance of someone being a no reply, I left them a message on the post comment they left, I answered in a separate post and on my Facebook page. What I got in return was hostility for not responding, however I had responded the only way I could.

So please, if you need the address, it is all over this blog, you can check us out on Facebook, however if you choose to respond anonymously with just a name and no way to reply, I will not this time go that extra mile to contact you as it takes up more time than anyone will ever imagine.

My email is 

An Oso Thank You

'I want all of the quilters to know how much you are appreciated, even more than words can express. You greatly helped with the healing process post Oso Mudslide, and you continue to help with the Carlton fire survivors. I have family in the Methow Valley. They do not have the access or facilities we were privileged to have on this side of the mountains. I can tell you that every quilt you make is very much needed and greatly appreciated. Thank you for all you do.'

The above note is from Lisa Smith an amazing volunteer for the HUB which was on the Arlington side of the Oso Landslide, Lisa was there daily reaching out to others.

Lisa also has family in the area of the wildfires, so I think it is important to know your quilts matter to those that receive them~!