Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Quilts for Oso Landslide Still Needed

At this time I want to thank all of you for your amazing generosity as it just keeps coming.  I have been in touch with several people from the area this morning and they said we would need no more baby quilts.

We do need unisex or quilts for males and larger than lap sized.  I will be working today on organizing these into bins for transportation and getting them up into the area as soon as I can.

Remember, there are still bodies being located, still family members missing, still emergency efforts going on and they DO NOT need me in the midst of their chaos.

I am in contact with people in the area, they know what they need and do not need, when I should go and when I should remain out of the way.

You have all been amazing, continue with this blessing as right now many people have no homes, no family and others homes were down river and are flooded and they cannot go to their homes.

You have all blessed someone you may never meet and will never know how much you touched their hearts with your love, prayers and hands of quilting.

Thank you all for allowing me to be the vehicle or vessel in which your love will be distributed!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Vacation Was Lots of Driving and So Much Fun

We took a vacation for 10 days from the 8th to the 17th.  We drove 3270 miles, we saw drastic changes in weather from 50's and rain in Washington to high 90's and hot dry sandy wind in Palm Springs.

We visited with my moms husband for a day and half on the first leg of the trip and while visiting with a neighbor, their grandson told me about my mom. He said she was there when he was born, she helped take care of him when he was little (he is now a very old 5 years of age) and she was good to him. 

It took my breath away since my mom passed in 2010, but I was happy to see they talk to him about my mom!  The kids hung out with grandpa, looked at tons of family pictures and ate all his M&M's not once but twice.  

 From there, we headed down to central California where we checked into our hotel and went to find my son who is homeless. True to his word, he was right where he told me he would be.

I took him in for a haircut and beard shave, bought him a new Raiders hat and took him to get a new ID card that a friend will copy and keep the original.  We tried to talk him into taking a shower at the hotel, but he would not.

While he may have a lifestyle that breaks my heart, he is after all an adult and the laws preclude me from getting him any help, so all I can do is love on him when I visit.

We took him to dinner and while there, the staff was amazing, they know him from he and his aunt going there for lunch at times, however one couple while there kept staring at him. I am sure they recognized him as one of the homeless, however he was clean, had fresh clean clothes on thanks to his aunt dropping them off that morning and didn't bother anyone!

Joseph with my hubby and his nephew Jony

Having fun with his nieces

Eating dinner, this is his aunt and uncle, his guardian angels!
It was hot that day, so after we dropped Joseph off with his friends and his dog, we went back to the hotel and the kids went swimming for an hour or so.

The next morning, I purchased breakfast for Joseph and his 4 friends and I could see they were genuinely and deeply grateful that I not only was Joseph's mom, but that I brought them something to eat and didn't judge them or lecture them. I hugged each and then we left for the next leg of our journey!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Please Do Not Forget Our Men and Boys

I have 3 small plastic bins, so decided today to maybe try to sort some of these quilts into bins:
  • Men/Boys (Teens & Adults)
  • Boys (5-13)
  • Baby/Toddler Boys (0-5)
  • Women/Girls (Teens & Adults)
  • Girls (5-13)
  • Baby/Toddler Girls (0-5)
  • Unisex (Teens/Adults)
  • Unisex (5-13)
  • Unisex (0-5)
 However, I am extremely short in the men's area and while I know there are more quilts coming and 100 on their way and another 100 waiting at a quilt shop, we need to think about the men and boys.

Most firefighters and first responders are men, most rescue workers are men and I am NOT being sexist, I am just saying we still have a long way to go before our numbers are even, so please, remember our men and boys when it comes to sending quilts!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Thank You Avis Rental Cars and Dodge

As with any trip any distance, we all want to make sure our car is at its 100% and while both my vehicles are paid for, they both need some routine maintenance (i.e. tires for one) and have some comfort issues.  I cannot travel in a car for a long period without having to get out and move my back.

I contacted Avis rental cars and reserved a mini-van and expected just a plain and simple van.  Avis gave us a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan with stow and go storage, DVD player (didn't hear not one, 'are we there yet?' from the kids!

The individual middle seats and bench seat back made it a very nice ride for the grands and they didn't fight over how their seats were adjusted, if one wanted to relax and the other didn't they could position the seats to their liking!

Rear heat and air conditioning and individual control vents stopped fights over 'I'm to hot, or I'm to cold' arguments. Each child had a small storage place on the seat in front of them so they could store their electronics, books, pencils, etc. and not spend hours trying to find them each day!

I loved the automatic back sliding doors and hatch, they close nice and slow and not one time did we get a door open message.  The sliding doors also had windows that rolled down and made it nice when the kids wanted air!

The gas mileage was amazing most of the time it was 27 MPG but many times we got 29 MPG and we were fully loaded!  The one sad thing was it had flex fuel capabilities so we could have used E85 fuel. However, we found 1 station the entire trip that had E85.

Dual glove boxes, made it nice to keep our paperwork separate from the little things I wanted close such as my camera and IPOD!

The ride was a glide. Only once in over 3200 miles did I say I HAD to get out and move around. Most of the time the trip was comfortable whether I was driving or hubby was driving.

Avis was quick in and quick out, very courteous and helped us when we couldn't figure out the new electronic key...okay, so I am THAT old!  The van was fueled full and clean and ready to go when we needed it.  The price was great and with an AARP discount, it was better!

I do NOT like my husbands Dodge truck. Mechanically the engine is sound, but the heater core went out years ago and although it has been replaced, it has gone out again. The cruise control quit working years ago, the dash board began cracking within a few months of having it and no I didn't use any dash products.  Dodge refused to fix the dash issue...now it looks like a jigsaw puzzle and if you open the glove box, be prepared as it falls off the dash.  The back drivers side door doesn't open.  I would NOT ever buy another Dodge truck!

However, I own a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan and drove a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan and they are great vans.  My son owns a 2001 Dodge GC and likes it.  When it comes to vans, I believe Dodge corners the market on excellence!  You can't beat a Dodge Grand Caravan in my opinion.  They are awesome!  However, the should get out of the truck business!

Dodge and Avis are a great combination!

My Hat

My Hat
My hat, is small for my head, but protects it from sun!
My hat is black, but still keeps my head cool!
My hat is a man's hat and my grandchildren thought it was cool!
My hat protects my eyes from the sun!

I will wear this hat with a smile each time I wear it!
I will never take this hat for granted because it was given to me by a man who had nothing but this hat and he gave it to me!
A man whose story I do not know, all I know is he gave me all he had to give and for that reason I will hold my head up high when I wear...My hat!

*The man who gave me this hat is homeless, he lives on the street with my son and he worried about me, someone he never met, someone he doesn't know, because even in the homeless the care for one another and he watches out for my son and was proud to meet us.

I do NOT know his story, I didn't ask, but I know when he gave me his hat he let me know it was new, someone had given him money to buy a hat to protect his head, but he wasn't worried about him, but about my head in the California heat.

I will wear my hat with a smile!

From Montana with Love for Oso

These 5 came all the way from Montana to bless those in Oso!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Quit Update for Oso

Yes, I agree with the person who asked what is going on.

First of all, long before the devastating landslide, our family had a well deserved family vacation planned to see my elderly step-father who lives alone, to visit my son who lives on the street, to see our first great grandchild and to allow our grandchildren time to be kids and have fun!

We placed our mail on hold and hired a house sitter who neatly stacked quilt boxes and today, we picked up 39 boxes of quilts.
At this time, I have only gone through 5 and one was a blessing of fabric from a lady in Washington DC, another was quilt labels.

How many do I have currently on hand?  I do not honestly have a number yet.  How many have been handed out? None. Prior to my leaving for vacation I had approximately 10-15 quilts and wanted to wait for a full load.

When I returned home, we had 39 boxes to pick up. One quilt shop had only 1 quilt to pick up, another had 4 great ones to go and the others were stained and pretty bad, another person continues to send me boxes of used clothing, which I have no way to store and the area has asked for people to stop sending clothing.

At this time, right now, unboxed and counted, I have 27 quilts with many more boxes to go through.

Please understand, I open each box ensuring the quilts are new, clean without stains and tears or tattered, I take pictures of them, I log them into a system I have set up for Layers of Hope, I send out thank you cards for everything that comes to me.

I cannot just tear open boxes and toss them around, I have a reverence for these quilts, for those they will go to and those that made them.

I will get these quilts up to Oso. How many more we will need?  I do not know, but I promise as I said these quilts will continue to go until we are told to stop.

It is my fervent hope and prayers that we can get a load up this week via a group that goes up everyday and we can get some answers as to how many more are needed.

Please, bear patient with me, I promise they will be delivered until we are told no more are needed!