Monday, November 19, 2007

Returning to Normal?

It has been 2 long weeks since my last post. Long weeks because my mom has been seriously ill and required surgery to straighten things out. And it was not an easy operation, but she had only minor post-op complications. Her age of 77 is very misleading, her MD says she's more like 62! So today I got to bring her and my dad back home, which is a big relief. Still a lot of healing to do, I know she is perplexed by how easily she fatigues. But she is making progress and that's wonderful. We sat down to eat together at the table tonight, even though she doesn't eat much yet it still was a nice feeling of normalcy. So I will be here until Wednesday, doing some cooking and helping out wherever needed.
While spending hours in hospital rooms and waiting rooms, I got some knitting done! Finished up a little baby cap that is saved for the next new baby to come along. Worked on knitting the back of a little girl's sweater in 2 colors that I started about 26 years ago for Brita! I have a friend who is going to help me make sense of what needs to be done to finish it. Started a new pattern for fingerless gloves made of self-striping sock yarn, got one done and about half of the second so far. It helped to pass the time and the anxious moments.
Was on a quilt retreat last weekend, actually business-related for Stitchin' Trips and Bear Patch. It was a success for the guests and I even got some blocks assembled for my Carrie Nation quilt. It is coming together nicely.
Very little time on the longarm for 2 weeks, but will re-focus on that now. I have the honor of having 2 quilts to do for friends, and I want to get those done in a timely fashion. I received part of my thread order so only have limited colors. I look forward to some time at home to get back into sync with my machine.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

On the Road Again

I'm repacking my bags and set to go to see my parents in Iowa. It's an unexpected trip due to the fact that my mom is ill and I would like to be there for a bit. Being "a medical person" I can hopefully be of some help. Plus I had just last week thought that I needed to get a couple days to go there anyway, since it is so nice to be able to visit them aside from holidays or events. So the kind folks that I work with at the store are very accomodating to allow me to leave on short notice without any hassle, covering my work there.
I did have a very good time on our quilt retreat, doing some good work for the store and actually had more time for my own sewing than I had anticipated, so that was a plus. I've started work on a quilt to be used for a class in early 2008, it has many little pieces but is turning out beautifully. It's sort of an Irish Chain-ish block, and I have most of the small 4-patch units pieced together so now it's a matter of combining them all correctly to achieve the 36 blocks needed (I have 3 done--yeah!). But that is set aside for a few days while I am gone, instead I have a couple knitting projects in my travel bag. Will tell you more about that later!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Home Time

We (Bob and I) are having a very domesticated Saturday. Bob is mostly outside doing those things that need to be done before winter: fertilizing lawn, playing chimney sweep, getting the woodbox inside and filled, putting away outdoor furniture, and the list goes on. But I know he likes it. I have been doing the indoor things: folding laundry, doing dishes, sewing, sorting out summer clothes and clothes to give away, packing up my things to go away for 3 days on quilt retreat at Camp Lebanon, catching up on odds and ends like blogging, and next I will get to go do my longarm machine and finish up the small quilt I have on it. I should have time to start on my next practice project today, too. I really need to continually do the practice, even though it is sometimes pretty frustrating. The machine works great, but the operator needs a lot of help! It really boils down to the fact that I am impatient with myself, I see so many examples of beautiful quilting and when my own attempts don't turn out to be quite so stellar, I get a bit discouraged. Talking with my friend, Sarah, who has been a longarm quilter for almost 4 years, helped me because she remembers what it is like at the beginning. And she has developed quite a talent with her machine in that time. She was very encouraging and I thank her for that. Bob has also been very encouraging and helpful. A couple days ago something was off kilter with the balance on the machine making it less smooth to move, but he came and helped make some adjustments to bring it back to where it should be. He's even letting me keep a couple of his wrenches in my drawer! Is that true love or what?!
Heard from son, Dan, Thursday after his first day of work at his new job at Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes, CA. He is working for the marketing/PR dept. and is thrilled to get the chance to combine his love for skiing with the career direction he wants. I so hope that this works out well for him. That would make it worth having him so far away from home. So far, he said he was getting settled in at his desk and computer and moved what belongings were packed in his pickup into an employee housing unit. He was just returning from a trip to the grocery store when he called.
Also talked with daughter, Brita, living in San Francisco. We were discussing the dates and plans for our trip to Tahoe in about a month. Bob and I are staying there and hosting the kids (Brita, Ben, Dan, Krista) if they can make the trip, too. This will have to serve as our Christmas celebration, since they can't make the trip back to MN this year. Dan, forever the big kid, was worried that we wouldn't be able to carry and pack all his presents on the plane, but we plan to make a road trip instead. Bob and I used to really enjoy going on long trips for vacations, and we have been missing that lately.
Spent yesterday at the quilt shop readying for the trip to Camp Lebanon with Nancy and Laurel. We are taking a lot of merchandise to set up shop there for 3 days, and we are each teaching some classes during that time. We have a small trailer, thank goodness, to make the job a little easier. And we will get some time to sew our own projects, too, although limited. I'll take along knitting in case I find myself with time on my hands while minding the store. We also encounter a lot of familiar faces there, after several years attending. Especially Lisa, the person I most look forward to seeing again. She is one of those people that is just the epitome of kind and thoughtful, and I can't help feeling that some of it rubs off on me each time I am there!
So that's the events for now--