Monday, January 20, 2020

January

Ice Storm last Friday
Some people don’t care for January due to the cold and dark days but I kind of like it, though not for those reasons.  Around here the last six weeks of the year can be a little hectic.  We have Thanksgiving celebrations near the end of November with Christmas following behind.  I do love Christmas but it gets a little hectic with all the various preparations and activities surrounding it.  By the time January arrives I’m ready for a break.

I like to take time to reflect on the past year and on the coming new year as well.  Am I the only one having trouble realizing this is 2020?  Wasn’t it just 2000 and we were all concerned about the Y2K Bug? (that was my 1999 Halloween costume by the way)  I remember when the year 2000 sounded so futuristic.  It’s hard to imagine it being 2020 and while we have had many advancements, we are not traveling in flying cars yet.

But I do like to take this month to take a break from some of my usual activities and have a little down time.  I like to read a good book, work a puzzle or even take a nap. 

Zeus taking a nap
Although I am not a big sports enthusiast, I am excited that our local Kansas City Chiefs football team will be playing in the Super Bowl this year for the first time in fifty years!  I live in the middle of Chief's Country and when they won the final game last night you could hear the fireworks all over the area!  You could call that a January highlight for this part of the country.

How is January for you?




Thursday, January 16, 2020

A Legacy – part two


After I made the small quilt for my granddaughter, I knew I had to take the leap and make a bed size quilt.  I had seen pictures of “I Spy” quilts for children and they looked like fun quilts to make.  These quilts contain a collection of colorful pictures of items that children might like.  Also, you could play a variety of “I Spy” games with these quilts.  I made two of these quilts, one for Gavin, my grandson and one for Annika, my granddaughter.  On each quilt I put two of each picture in random places so they could play match games in addition to the “I Spy” games.  While these were much larger quilts they were not quite as large as one made for an adult would be.  I was able to learn, when making these, that I could handle a larger quilt on my sewing machine!


Annika's I Spy Quilt
Gavin's I Spy Quilt













One of the next quilts I made was for my brother, Jerry.  He had been diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma (a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma).  He had been going through many different types of chemo and even a stem cell transplant.  It was important to me to make him a quilt.  He was able to use and enjoy his quilt for three years before he died.  I have always hoped he felt the love that I put into it.


Charlie's Quilt
Jerry's Quilt



   









I also made a quilt for my other brother, Charlie.  He has retired in Costa Rica now but luckily, I was able to take it to him while he still lived in Nashville.

The next quilts I made were for my son, Sean and for my other son and his wife, Chris and Kristi.


Chris and Kristi's Quilt
Sean's Quilt

                                                         




Most recently I decided to make more grown up quilts for my grandchildren Annika and Gavin.  (they are now 23 and 17)


Gavin's Quilt
Annika's Quilt
                                                                    

In between all of these I made a few wall hangings, runners and a variety of other items.


Chris and Kristi's Home Wall Hanging
Sean's Guitar Wall Hanging













With the exception of a couple of small cat quilts (yes, made for my cats!) all the
quilts I’ve made have been for loved ones.  After all, that was always my original goal.  I have not yet made one for my husband and myself.  Hopefully that will change this year as I hope to make one for us.

If you have stayed with me through both of these quilt posts - thank you!  I do realize not everyone is interested in things like this but it is part of who I am and I wanted to share that with my friends in blog land because you are all important to me! 

Oh, I also wanted to show you that I always have special helpers when I sew!


Echo, a special cat helper

Willow, another special cat helper
                                                    
         




Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Legacy


My family has always been the most important part of my life.  After I had grandchildren, I began to understand a little more about the continuation of life.  I started to think about the fact that I would not always be here.  Children grow up and have children of their own.  Life goes on.

I wanted to leave a part of me and my love for them.  I wanted to put my arms around them and hold them even when I couldn't be there, even when I would no longer be here.  They all knew they had my love and respect.  They knew how proud I was of each one of them.  But I wanted to leave them something they could hold as a symbol of my feelings.

It was funny how it came to me.  I woke up one morning and I knew what I would do.  Quilts!  I would make a quilt for each one of my loved ones.  A gift that would be a part of me, for as I sewed, I would fill it with my love.  They could wrap up in my love as well as the warmth of the quilt.

There was one small problem.  Although I have been sewing since childhood, I had never made a quilt.  Determined, I bought a book on making quilts and began watching a TV show on quilting.  I started small and made a doll quilt for my granddaughter.  The size was not overwhelming and I was able to learn the basic techniques of quilting. 



My granddaughter, Annika, loved it.  Although it was small, it was large enough to be a child size lap quilt in addition to a doll quilt and of course the beginnings of many tea parties and other childhood adventures.


This was the beginning of an adventure for me.  Would I be able to make larger, bed sized quilts for all of my closest family members?  There is a big difference in making a small quilt and making a large one that would have to be wrangled around a traditional sized sewing machine.  I'll tell you about that tomorrow.




Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Street Photography


I have many very old family photographs that I am in the process of  sorting and scanning.  Street photography was popular during the 1940's, particularly during WWII.  I have always been fascinated by such pictures for they capture an unexpected moment of everyday life.  This photograph shows my uncle, aunt and my mother.  It was most likely taken in their home town which at the time was Fort Smith, Arkansas.  My uncle was probably home for a short visit before he went overseas. My father had already gone, so my mother was spending time with her brother and his wife.

I have a few other similar photos of family members during that time period.  I love such pictures for the piece of history they capture.  I was curious about the history of this practice and did a little searching on Google.  I found much more than I had anticipated about this style of photography and I learned it has been around almost as long as photography itself.  In fact, it is still a popular style although I was not aware of that.  Some photographers concentrate on architecture while others feature mainly people.  There have been many famous street photographers through the years including Ansel Adams.

I have often wondered if many other people had these types of photographs of their family members?  I assume it popular in countries other than the U.S. in the past?  Is anyone here aware of  current street photographers?  I see photography as a beautiful art form and when it is also used to capture history it becomes even more, for now and the future.


   

 

Friday, January 3, 2020

The Gift



When I woke up this morning, I realized there was a small, stuffed, toy mouse next to me.  Not just any mouse mind you but my cat Zeus’s favorite toy, affectionately known as Mousey.  I’ve had a cold and sinus infection the past week and have been coughing a lot in the night.  This was his offering to help me feel better, and it did as it put a smile on my face and love in my heart.

Zeus and Mousey
This little mouse has a bit of history.  We adopted our cats Sophie and Zeus from Wayside Waifs, an animal rescue center, four years ago this month.  This toy came with them from the rescue center and has always been a favorite.

Sophie and Zeus were four years old this past November and are brother and sister.  Tom and I have always been cat people and when our last two cats passed, we had simply not been able to adjust to life without cats.  Tom had a dream that we adopted two cats and one was named Zeus.  He described this kitten to me and I could not get it out of my mind.  Finally, we decided to go to the rescue center and look.  Sure enough we saw a couple of eight-week-old kittens that looked just like the cat in his dream.  Yes, the rest is history.  They are most definitely part of our family.  We have had many cats and each one has a distinct personality.  These two are no different and each one is special in it’s own way.  


Sophie and Zeus
  


“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.” – Ernest Hemingway





Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Life Happens


When I was a young girl I couldn’t wait to grow up and get on with my life.   I’m not quite sure what happened but one day I woke up and I was in my 60’s and I had lived many different lives all rolled into one.  I went from the hippie years in Memphis and San Francisco to getting married and being a young mother, to getting a divorce and eventually to getting married again.  Life doesn’t necessarily go like an idealistic teenager thinks it will because well, life happens.

So why at the age of 67 should I decide to start a blog?  When I retired a few years ago I started to follow some blogs and I discovered something very special in the people I met.  I enjoyed the blogs and I made many friends.  I wanted to jump right in and start a blog of my own but honestly, I was afraid.  There is nothing exciting to write about in my life.  Who would want to read anything I wrote?  Still, I could not get the thought out of my head so finally for the new year I am going to give it a try.  What’s the worst that can happen?  Well, I could embarrass myself in any number of ways (!) or I could just plain fail.  I will probably be the only person reading this but if anyone else attempts it – please bear with me – I’m still learning!  I may start out posting just once a week as I learn the ropes.  I have the most admiration for the many bloggers that post daily but I simply do not have that much to write about at the moment.  If you’ve made it this far – Thank You! and if you are blogger – Thank you for your inspiration!