Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I love jumping in the car and going for a ride

July 25, 2014

We came upon this structure…

Taking a Friday car ride
at first we were not going to get out of the car but we really had to.
It is an amazing piece of art.
In a two year time period it is supposed to be taken down. Noooooooo!  Check out the website listed in this pic for a fantastic blog on the building process of the structure.
I tell you if he gets any bigger he is not going to fit through doorways!
Looking out over the fields
and farmland.
Looking up
It is really an amazing structure. How fun it would have been to see it being built.
Taking a look at the base of the structure
The structure is embedded in the ground. It is fascinating to take a real close up look.


Mom’s Garden

July 20, 2014

I was so happy to see tomatoes and peppers when we returned from vacation.

My first mission once we returned was to go check on mom. She has a stye by her eye that had to be removed surgically. She now has a black eye. Mommy!
I am so amazed by Mom and Kay’s garden.

Mom doesn’t get out to the garden much but on her good days she does like to walk out and take a look.

Kay says every year she is not going to have a garden and look! Look what she has grown this year!!!!!

IMG_6238The cabbage is bigger than ever before. I think those onions look more like leeks! I love cabbage and can not wait to bring one home with me! If anyone has a favorite cabbage recipe please link to it in the comment section!!!!!

IMG_6239  IMG_6240

The cucumber are slowly coming along. This is the first year they have had to put a fence around the garden to keep the deer and the rabbits away. It is a mesh fence that my sister put up.


I took photos from the East side of the garden to the West.

IMG_6243  IMG_6244In these photos you can see the hose from the irrigation system and the mesh netting.

IMG_6247  IMG_6248

The water is pumped up an embankment from the Mississippi river.

IMG_6245  IMG_6246

The last little area at the end is where my big brother dumps the grass clippings. He owns apartment complexes and does all the mowing himself. They used to take the kitchen scraps out to this area but do not do it anymore. It is too hard for Kay to do and I would imagine it would just encourage more critters.

IMG_6249  IMG_6235

As I walk along the path out to the garden I always see pieces of ceramic tile embedded in the ground. My dad loved to use tile on the floors in the house. When he reworked the breezeway 45 plus years ago he dumped the scraps along this path. Now many years later the tile pieces are slowly making their way to the surface.

If you know me at all I can not leave them laying there. I collect a large handful and they came home with me. Maybe a mosaic some day!


In memory of my daddy. In memory of the years my parents were together. In memory of gardens passed and my childhood growing up in the country along the Mississippi river. I think these tile would be great in a stepping stone out in my garden.

5th Grade Track and Field Day

May 16, 2013

5th Grade Track and Field Day

Originally uploaded by Q_uilted T_hrifted

It is absolutely a perfect day for track and field. My son ran the hurdles, the 200, and a relay. Up to this point he has really just been in team sports. He’s played football, basketball and soccer.
I enjoy all of these sports. I personally was in swimming, gymnastics and track. In all of these 3 sports there is a team but mainly I was competing individually. I loved the relays in both swimming and in track.


The students had so much fun!

IMG_2281  I like that the relays were 2 boys and 2 girls.

My son took 1st in both of his heats. I think he took a 2nd , 3rd and a 4th overall. There is a district meet at one of the high schools next week. The students will get their ribbons next Monday.

It was so good for them to get out of the building and outside today.

Happy Mother’s Day Our trip to the Zoo

May 12, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day

Originally uploaded by Q_uilted T_hrifted

On Friday my son and I went to the zoo.  I posted two posts back on our time in the conservatory. I would now like to share the Japanese Garden.

IMG_2160Here is a Bonsai  Maple Tree. The leaves were as perfect as anything can get.

IMG_2161There were trees inside the building.




IMG_2165Outside there were these wooden counters of trees lining two sides of an alcove.


Beautifully shaped in perfect sunshine



IMG_2167 IMG_2168  * * * * * * * He is the light of my life  * * * * * * * * * * * * *   Bridges are an important element of a Japanese Garden along with water, plants, stones, paths and ornaments.












Festival at my son’s school

March 5, 2013

Festival at my son’s school

Originally uploaded by Q_uilted T_hrifted

It was so fabulous!


The European students did the Chicken Dance. The first time I heard and saw this dance was in 1987 while living in Germany at a Fasching Festival just after they crowned the Fasching King!

The African students did a step dance. When my older son was in middle school he was part of their step team and did performances. He enjoyed it so much. One time when we were shopping with one of his friends the boys had their canes and someone challenged them to dance and they broke out into their step routine. It was hilarious.


The Asian students models at least 8 different traditional dresses.

The American Indians sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It” in Ojibwe. There were about 7 students who got up and sang.

The Latino students wore some of these flowers in their hair. They had white skirts with green trim.






My son and his best friend in the crowd of students. I love their smiles. His friend’s mom was the organizer of the Asian modeling two of the models are his younger sisters. It was spectacular. I have the cutest video of all the performances. I am not going to post more children photos because I do not want to be disrespectful of the childrens privacy. If you are a friend of mine you can certainly contact me and I will share some privately.

We started out making roses buds

IMG_0534and then as more moms arrived some of them started making this style.


IMG_0533The purple one is one of the earlier flowers I made last Friday with about 15 of the Mexican moms at the school.

IMG_0535   It was a lot of fun making the flowers and even more fun getting to know some of the moms.




These types of activities are like little found treasures in life.     IMG_0536IMG_0531

This one almost looks real to me.


Antique Shopping Feb 19 2011

February 20, 2011

Antique shopping

Originally uploaded by Q_uilted T_hrifted

I met my best friend yesterday and we went antique shopping. We both scored. She is just finishing a novel by Sinclair Lewis and wanted to purchase another book to read. Well I took her to an area where there were books and she saw one right away and next to it was another….and then another and behind it were more! She ended up purchasing 14 hardcover books all by this author. The books ranges from $8.00 to $32.00 which was signed.
I purchased a cot quilt made out of wools. It would have fit perfectly on the cot size bed in the collage above.
I was fascinated by so many items in the shop. The 4 quilts shown in this photo I did not purchase. The lower left quilt was a small doll size quilt that was on a doll bed. I really like the colors. The center quilt is a crazy quilt with many nice stitches in it. the log cabin on the right is tied and they are my favorite types of quilts.

The thread case in the upper right corner was amazing. $850 dollars worth of amazing. Each row is a drawer with slats inside where more spools of thread could rest. The cabinet is beautifully made out of oak. If I had a million dollars!

Christmas 2010 – Our last family photo with dad

February 5, 2011

Christmas 2010

Originally uploaded by Q_uilted T_hrifted

“My best friend called Christmas morning to wish me a Merry Christmas and I just started crying when I told her about these pictures. This may be our last family photo. I am so grateful we were able to come together as a family even if just for a few hours.
I have to believe Kevin is standing just behind my mom with his hands on her shoulders you just don’t see him in this photo. He died 26 years ago in a motorcycle accident.”

The above was written during the holiday. My dad died this week and my brothers and sisters and I are planning his funeral. It is so hard. I just read my post from Thanksgiving and I am amazed by how much of the feelings and emotions I was experiencing on a certain day are tucked away in the memory and fade even from two months ago.. I guess it is why people journal.

Dad went to a nursing home for 21 days after being in the hospital. Two weeks before Christmas we took him out of the nursing home and I drove him to my sisters. He was there 3 days and then ended up in another hospital closer to my family over the Christmas week. Thankfully we were able to bring him home on Christmas eve for a few hours and took our last family photos. On January 7th we brought my dad back to my sister’s house were he was taken care of by my sister during the week and myself on weekends.

My sister is amazing. She works in a residential home for handicapped and does she ever know what she is doing. I have learned so much for her this past month. I know I will never reach her skill level. Her husband has been by her side every step of the way. My older brother became power of attorney and is having so much responsibility it is overwhelming at times for him and for us. My younger brother was only 4 when my parents divorced. We were sitting here last night all having a drink, looking at photo, and talking. My sister said than the youngest spent the least amount of time with dad in the past 45 years and is the most like him. It’s true.

We have all come to the conclusion that we will NOT leave funeral arrangements for our children to have to decide on. My older has already made an appointment with the funeral director for a month from now to plan his funeral. He said there is no way he would leave all these decisions for his two daughters to deal with.

I have gone through my dad’s house twice and I can’t even find the suit he wore to my nieces wedding.  Many of the things we thought might be a tad bit easier to deal with have become difficult.

My dad had 3 really bad days where he would  not get out of bed and my older brother decided to call our half sister in Chicago to come. She is pregnant and due on Feb 12. She got clearance from her doctor to fly and was here the next day. My dad did a complete turn around with the help of a second pain patch and with her here he suddenly was eating, talking, sitting out in the lounge chair again with us. Their goodbye was heartbreaking because we still didn’t want to accept it and were unwilling to give up on the hope of him getting better……..we have wanted him better and able to go back to his own home. We brought him to my sister’s in hopes of saving the home so he could go back. A few days after she left he started slipping away from us again. About 3 days from his death we lost contact with him responding to us. Hospice helped us through this time in many ways but my sister still took contol and did everything. She administered medications, she bathed him, she changed his bedding, she stroked his skin after giving him medication for agitation until he calmed, she was firm with him when he resisted. We only had to hold him down once when he wanted to pull his catheter out. She again stepped in talked my brother in law and I through assisting her with getting him calmed down. I don’t think I could have done it. I only hope the company she works for realized the diamond they have working for them. She shines when things are their worst.

We all gather here at her house. I didn’t want her alone when dad died. It turns out the 4 of us children were at the funeral home for the 3rd time finalizing things and we got the call to get back to the house that dad was leaving. We jumped in 3 different cars 16 minutes away. My mom walked into the house to check on things not knowing we had been called back and took dad’s hand and held it. He took two more breaths and was gone. We walked in 5 minutes later.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

January 2, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Originally uploaded by Q_uilted T_hrifted

It’s a NEW YEAR!

This time of year always brings in a time of reflection along with a renewed energy to making my future brighter.
I had a few big goals this past year and didn’t really accomplish them but I made progress toward them.
#1 goal was to get organized.
That didn’t happen like I envision it! I keep trying. In fact it seems at Christmas time I take out the boxes to decorate and never seem to get the containers put away. The boxes are getting heavier for me too. I have taken over my older son’s room and literally can not walk into it at this time.
#2 was to go to the Galapagos Islands for my 50th.It will happen but I have to plan more. Planning is a big part of the enjoyment. I was determined to have a nice birthday this year and you know what…
I went out for pizza with family and it was just a perfect day. It really was enjoyable.

#3 Was to complete one quilt project. It was a small one but I did it! The Patriotic Table Runner is complete! I don’t believe I had it done for the 4th of July so I adjusted my thinking to have it done so I could put it under by mom’s ceramic santa. Ta Daa! Done!

#4  My first online Bee. I joined the Spider Web Bee and have had a blast doing it. Inspiration came from here.  Realistically I knew I wouldn’t get all the blocks in on time. I just hoped to not be a disappointment to other members. My life gets so crazy at times. First I looked at the projects of other members and made a gallery of fabrics in their project that would work in my quilt.  Here are the blocks I received! Here are the color choices and fabrics that other members decided on for their Spiderwebs. The next step is to decide on how I want to quilt it! There are so many options!

The Bee really was perfect for me. One member ended up dropping out due to a move and job search. One member had a baby and left the Bee. (We surprised her with a baby Spider web top).  My colors were off a bit but …hopefully she will use them some how. Currently, I am finishing November blocks ( they just need the 4 segments sewn together)  and just received the fabric for December. We are going into January as a make up month. This was my kind of Bee because we have had to be adaptable……that is me…..adapting constantly.

My most enjoyable moments of 2010

Watching our older son play football this season has been the utmost highlight for me. He has one more year to play and boy are we looking forward to it!

I had 3 family reunions this year. We flew to San Diego and oh my goodness we had so much fun with family at the zoo and then a family gathering at Jovita’s house.

We were the hosts for my dad’s side of the family a week later at a park in our home town. I guess I never put a photo in Flickr. I just added one today.

My brother hosted my mom’s side of the family at his house.  

Getting more exercize is always important. I had an hour lunch at work over the summer and used that time to walk to a park while I would put some of the ties in the table runner above.  Once to the park I would do a pull-up at the monkey bars. In my athletic days (I did win an award this year) I could do all kinds of them. I even won an Army pull up contest at the state fair one year for doing the most. It’s is scary to me how much upper body strength is lost.

Disappointments of 2010-

#1 The economy. My Mr has been unable to get a full-time job. He has been working through a temp agency.

#2 The failing health of my parents. I am at that time in my life… is tough.

Goals for 2011…

#1 Get finances in order. I have a major goal and once completed my reward to myself will be my first lap top computer!  I  was thinking at one time to go back to school for my masters. I have so much stress in my life right now I can not even imagine adding studying to the list. Maybe though…one class to get started…maybe!

#2 My goal was to complete a quilt project last year my goal this year is to start some of those new projects I think about… I really don’t care if I ever finish them. I just want to start…

A – a quilt made from clothes. I have been setting aside clothes with stripes!

B- cut  up some sweaters that have holes in them. I have to start a sweater blanket!

C- start a T-shirt quilt!  I need to learn how to strengthen the shirt.

D- I want to felt some wool old clothes I have to make a quilt.

E- I have so many scraps….bins and bins of them. I have to start a few scrap quilts!

Sorry in advance to all the quilt shops out there. My focus this year is to go back to what is around…Reuse…Repurpose…Thrift…

and with the economy the way it is it is the perfect time to do this.

I may not finish any quilt project this year but I hope to make progress on a few!!!

1- Babes Red and Black group quilt 2011.We haven’t done a group project since Jan passed away. This is a step in the healing process.

2- Spiderweb Bee rows sewn.

3- Sunflower quilt – finish up a few of the crazy quilt blocks I have started. At least 3 are in the works right now. Here is a good shot of what the quilt looked like last Feb.

4- Coin quilt also a calendar quilt for 1020

5- Trip around the world….make a few more squares

6- Scrappy Bargello – it is up on a design wall and strips are cut. All I need is time!!!

7- Jan’s Value Quilt.  This one was set aside for now. I am at the point of sewing some strips together. The layout is done.

8- Christmas Star quilt. I need to find some of the light fabric for the sides of the stars.

9- Valentines….scrappy heart quilt. The blue one needs machine quilting.  I want to finish a small lap quilt for Carol.

10- Easter Scrappy Eggs quilt needs the scallop border

11- Mary Ann’s grad quilt . I need to make the alternate blocks for the Triple Irish Chain

12- String Diamond  I made diamonds this last year as I was working on other projects. I now need to sew some of the diamonds together!

13- African Quilt   like Jan’s has become a memory quilt. If I get one block made this year I will accomplish more on this one than I did last year! I hope to get a dress or shirt of Aunt Carolyn’s and add it. 

14. Autumn Sampler Turkeys….I had hoped to make Turkey potholders for Thanksgiving….it didn’t happen. Some cutting done but no sewing.

I hear my name being called! Off to the meat packing….

venison and pork sausages are awaiting the making!

Taking a break

Here are the thrifted/antique quilts I acquired in 2010!

1- Sunbonnet Sam

2- Green Maple Leaf

I also administer two groups on Flickr

The Tied Quilts group has 88 member and 520 photos.

The Decorated Fireplace Mantels has 118 members and and 526 photos.

America Unraveled and rewound

July 4, 2010

America Unraveled and rewound

Originally uploaded by Home For Wayward Babydolls

Happy 4th of July

This is a quilt made by Home for Wayward babydolls.It is a design that follows a thought I have had in my head for quite some time. In my mind it was made with all the itty bitty scraps I have after making other projects. I did not have a patriotic theme in mind. I like this design.
I spent the afternoon yesterday with cousins I haven’t seen in some time. My brother brought his boat to the lake and I went out and the kids went tubing. We all love to be on the water. My Mom and sister are back from their 2 week trip in the motorhome to Yellowstone, the Tetons and then back through Mount Rushmore. My Mom turned 82 years old while they were on the trip. She spent the day yesterday watching the commotion from her chair with about 6 others who wre 72yrs plus. She didn’t get around and move much but she was certainly there. I love my Mom more that I can even explain.
We ended the night with a little excitement – instead of sitting around the lake watching fireworks I was at the emergency room with my son who got 8 stitches along his lower jaw. He had quite a laceration. He was so scared. Mom came with me and Kay was already there when we arrived. It was about a 20 minute drive to the hospital so we called daddy and told him he talked to his little man. Then we called his older brother who was out with friends and they talked as well. It was a good diversion while I drove.
My little guy was scared – so scared. We had to go though metal detectors and they searched my purse to get into the hospital??? They did not give him a shot but numbed the area with a cotton swab. I don’t think the numbing worked too well and I proceeded to watch them poke that little metal wire with thread through his skin on each side of the wound and pull the skin together and then tie it off with 8 knots each stitch. It was the quilter in me watching those stitches being made. Each puncture into his skin sent my son writhing in pain saying it hurts and clutching his hands in my hands. He let the doctor’s assistant do her stitching and I was so proud of him. He didn’t cry at all he just was in so much pain. It is so hard for a mother to watch her child in pain. I kept telling him how proud I was of him and how much I loved him.
     Kay had taken Grandma home so we drove out to Grandmas so she could see he was Ok. It was a little after 10pm by then. He is still sleeping now. We are at his auntie’s house overnight.
     I have had quite a week. 8 days ago was my older son’s 21th and he came home that Sunday with one hell of a black eye and a swollen face. He had had the shit kicked out of him at an after the bars party. He now has a pinched nerve in his neck. The swelling has gone down but his eyeball has so many broken blood vessels in it. He had to face the football team and coaches on Monday. I imagine it was a bit humbling for him. I am also hoping the team doctor took a look at him. Monday night his cut over his eyebrow broke open. It probably should have been stitched too. After football practice I noticed he had 3 butterfly winged bandages over the cut. They looked like the kind that wouldn’t fall off with a sweaty body from endurance running and strength training he does at 6am every morning.
     Needless to say I have a bit of a headache just thinking about my two son’s head injuries. I have been up since 530am listening to one heck of a storm outside. I am glad we are not at the lake in a tent. I do hope though that we can go back today and see everyone and let them know my little guy is OK. He won’t be able to get wet though. There are 4 motorhomes – 2 parked on each side of the cabin filled with relatives. My Aunt had 10 children! Only half of them are there but with their kids and boyfriends and girlfriends around there are over 80 people. My day is beginning. Enjoy your 4th everyone.

The moon from our back door tonight!

December 30, 2009

The moon from our back door tonight!

Originally uploaded by Q_uilted T_hrifted

I really did rush home as fast as I could! I wanted to go sledding while the sun was still out. We did it!

The camera I use holds a charge for about 60 seconds. I quickly took some shots before it was too late!

I know his heart was beating faster already by this time….just the thought of going down that hill!

He’s already looking down the hill calculating how to hit the biggest bump with his mom on the board!

“Mom, it’s not a board it’s a bodyglove!” My children and their technicalities!

I think he’ll be a lawyer just like his big brother!

We went sledding until the moon was overhead and my toes were very cold!

I do love how great I feel after exercise and fresh air.

The question is how will I feel tomorrow???