Monday, May 31, 2010

memorial day

My whole day has consisted of scanning old photos for a slide show for my grandma's funeral. I feel that it's ironic that it's Memorial Day today. A day I have never ever spent remembering the dead. Usually I would have to work, then head out to a BBQ somewhere...

So I am grateful that I don't have a job, so that I can just focus on helping in any way I can, and not have to worry about work. My parents have a lot to do before the funeral, so I went and picked up the Loo-loo and we had breakfast with Danny at the Pancake House. So damn good!

I am a genius and I smashed the crap out of the power cord for my mac, so we had to run around trying to find a new one so I could start this huge project. It has to get done today. The Apple Store in Gateway had none, they have been out since last week. Nice. And lame. So we went to Simply Mac in Midvale- and they were way more helpful, nice, and they had what I needed.

I figured since I have all these wonderful old photos of my grandparents now digitized, I should do a post dedicated to them.

I love you, and miss you so very much!


Las Vegas. I love this goofy photo of the two of them!

Grandma always cut our hair.

We loved playing with grandpa!

Grandpa, Grandma, Nick, Lindsay, Jessica.

That summer, I wore that swimming suit every day! I loved it- to pieces!

Jessica, Grandpa, Nick, Lindsay, Grandma

Grandma & I. 1987?

My grandpa died in December of 1988. Maloree was not born until 1990, so she never knew him. (that is why she is absent in these photos)

He was such a great man. I will have to do a post just for him sometime...

(vintage) the twins

Dedicated to my aunties Gayleen and Kristine, for their love of dolls.

Are they too scary for you?

Maybe you will get a creepy note along with the twins on your front porch for Halloween.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

betty marie

I don't want to be a grown-up today.

All I want is to go back to bed. To cuddle with my cats. To listen to my husband breathe.

I don't want to watch her die. I don't want to watch my dad watch his mom die. I don't wanna.

But I will. Because I am an adult. I can be a brave little toaster. Hiding under the covers is not the way to go. I have had to deal with deal from afar before, and it haunted me. (my friend Jenn died at 23, I missed the funeral because we had a family vacation planned that couldn't be moved. She was miserable in life. I knew that she was happier in death, but I could never make sense of it.)

I am a horrible person. I just want her to die. There. I said it.


Okay, I did it. I saw her. Lying in bed, no longer eating or talking. She's in a dream/sleep state, not waking up. She has pain from her organs shutting down, so she thrashes and moans. They give her morphine drops, and she calms down.

Lindsay sat and held her hand, telling her secrets. After a bit, she got up and threw her arms around me, sobbing.

Loo-loo does not usually show affection, or need comfort- she is rarely ever sad or upset. It is her very unique perspective in life that gives her the ability to see joy and happiness in everything in her life. I envy her sometimes- she is just below the radar of reality- that this world is cruel, cold, violent, unfair and tragic. So when she hugged me so tight, I just about fell to my knees.

We took a break, and took a walk down main street. It was nice to get outside- and it was sunny. Main street was so magical when I was little. Not so much now, but I have a good memory, and a great imagination.

We took Lindsay home. She was starting to worry whether or not we were going to put her grandma in a box. In the ground. "when is grandma going to heaven?" she asked. Maloree came home from work, and requested that I go with her to see grandma. I was stronger by then. I hugged her. I held her hand. I got her some tissues.

My aunt Mary (great aunt, actually- her younger sister) told us stories from their younger years. It was nice to break up the sadness, and to hear tales from the past. We went back home, to look at old photos to use for her service. Happy memories.

At about 10, Danny and I headed home. We stopped by to see her once more.

They told us she would probably make it through the night.

I made Danny buy me some ice cream. I had a bowl, then I had a slice of cheesecake. We watched one of our favorite movies- Lost in Translation. Every time I watch that movie, I want to travel to Japan. Like now.

Just let her go, okay? She has waited long enough.

loo-loo's birthday

Lindsay loo-loo's birthday was on Thursday. She asked to go see Iron Man 2, so Danny and I took her. She never really cared for "real people movies" before, so we were hesitant to take her. But since she asked about 4 times, we took her seriously.

And she loved it! I learned that she loves explosions, lame jokes, and even cheesy romantic moments. Love that! Now I know that we can go to more movies together!

Happy Birthday balloons, of course.

We dined at Red Robin, and when the waiter asked her "what kind of cheese do you want?" she replies with this signal. You know, the kind with holes in it.

Free Birthday dessert?!? Oh, alright. No singing. She really wanted them to sing to her.

Blurry yes, but at least our heads are in it.

Loo-loo and her birthday hat. Oh, and her Loo-loo doll.

She requested lemon cheesecake for her birthday like 4 months ago. Girl knows what she likes!

A little sass.

You'll have to excuse the ridiculously crappy looks we all have on our faces in these photos. We are a little emotionally drained due to the situation with my grandma.


Forgive the hat, and the 2 sizes too small hoodie. That paired with my awesomely slouched posture makes me look like I have rolls.

Friday, May 28, 2010

in the full moon's light

As I was driving home, I noticed the bright full moon overhead. Since I (we) never go out past 7 p.m. (boring married life) I haven't noticed the full moon in quite some time. It timidly reminded me that everything in life starts over. We have cycles. Damn annoying and painful women cycles, months and years and dishwashers all have timed cycles where they start, have a middle, then have an end, and they repeat these over and over...

And then I started to cry, and then I tried to stop because driving on the freeway at night with tears streaming down your cheeks is downright scary. And a little embarrassing.

My mom told me tonight that my grandma might die soon. Hospice called my dad to talk options. You say that word- hospice- and the curtains come down. Death is around the corner. She has been in a care facility for a few weeks. She had deteriorated quickly- she was confused and unhappy at home, where her blind husband with his own health problems could no longer care for her on his own- she wouldn't shower, and kept fleeing the house- so my dad stepped in and got her admitted to the hospital, where they treated her and got her into a care center with others like her (Alzheimer's, dementia) and at this point she is just not herself anymore. She talks gibberish most of the time, and just recently (this week) she has forgotten who my dad is. He was the last one to disappear into the depths of her illness.

They say that with this disease, you lose your memories, but not your feelings. So you don't know who you are, you can't remember who you love and trust, so all you have are these feelings leftover from your whole life to deal with. And you have to deal with them with no memory of why they are there. Haunting you. Sounds like torture to me. I don't wish this fate on anyone, especially not my sweet, loving and beautiful grandma.

I have not written about her yet. Not in detail anyway. So much has been going on in the past few months, yet I say nothing on this here blog. I know it's been coming. I could feel it. It just hasn't been the right time. Several times I have thought to myself "it would do you some good to get it out there. Get a good cry in." (or out, I guess)

Yes, I am saddened. It's hard to see her like this. But mostly my heart is breaking for my dad. Visiting her daily, feeding her, calming her. Watching her disappear. The weary look he wears so often nowadays is the same one I remember when my grandpa was sick. He would go and record my grandpa telling his life story in the months before he passed. I can still hear his voice- dry and a little crackly, he would clear his throat often when he would speak. I loved that man. He died 20 years ago. You can catch Loo-loo talking about him occasionally, even though she was only 4 when he died. She says she talks to him and Jesus in her dreams. Pretty powerful, that sister of mine.

My grandma has given me so much over my lifetime. I have inherited so many of her talents- without her genes and her inspiration, I would not be who I am today. Yes I am a little bit scatterbrained, have thread and fabric scraps littering the floors of my house, and often forget to plan dinner because I am so enthralled by whatever I am sewing- but I love having these gifts. I love being able to create and learn so easily. (and sometimes not so easily)

I am so fortunate to possess these talents, and not a day goes by that I am not eternally grateful for what I have been given. Do I deserve them? Sometimes I think not. I make people feel bad about themselves sometimes. I get this look that says "why are you so special? Hu? why do you get to do all of these things so easily?" right before they say to my face "well aren't you just a little martha stewart?" I'm sorry. It's not my fault. Don't be mad. I'm not trying to show you up, so don't hate me, okay?

Anyway, I digress.

I just couldn't go to bed tonight. Danny asked me very nicely, but I wasn't ready yet. I read my facebook page 3 times, then brushed my teeth, washed my face, took my pills. Then I made Danny his lunch. Still not ready for bed. So I grabbed the littlest cow and headed for the front porch.

Cobain, Kobe, the littlest cow, cow-cow, grouchy cow

We sat, in the warm air, the still night. The sky looked so light for 2 a.m.- then I remembered the full moon. I laid my cheek onto Kobe's warm and furry head, as she sniffed and sniffed the spring night air. When she is excited, (or annoyed) she loudly puffs each breath out through her mouth. Puff, puff, puff. I look around the neighborhood- even the snowboarder party house is quietly dark. The strangely light night sky reminds me of the moments before sunrise- I keep thinking that I stayed up all night and didn't even realize it. That any moment, it will be morning. The start of a new day. There are those damn cycles again.

And that's when I knew that I was ready. Ready to write about my grandma. Ready to cry. To start crying, anyway.

I will be a blubbering fool in no time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

(vintage) lone star quilt

This quilt pattern is called The Lone Star.

I don't really like this pattern, but I can't even imagine just how hard this quilt would be to make. Look at all those tiny diamonds! And this was made before the rotary cutter was invented- meaning that all those fabric diamonds had to be cut out individually with scissors. I have a hard time cutting out a circle with scissors! And piecing all those points, making them match up...I have a headache just thinking about it.

Kudos to our grandmothers & great great great's for having the patience and perfectionistic drive to create such detailed and complicated works. I have a lot of respect for that level of talent.

Have you ever seen one of these quilts in person?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

bridal shower for annie

My sister Maloree's friend Annie is getting married in 2 weeks- so my mom threw her a friend and family bridal shower. My mom made her a beautiful quilt using her wedding colors- and we used also used the colors for the decorations for the party. The hanging tissue paper flowers we made using Martha's online instructions- so easy! And almost free- my mom found the pink tissue paper for $1 a package!

We had salad, fruit and veggies, Vanilla Bean Cupcakes (of course!) and Cinnamon Crumb doughnuts from Banbury Cross.

Annie loved the pink cupcake apron that we gave her- so much in fact that she wore it for the remainder of the shower and and on her walk home!

Annie, Brooke and Maloree
(Brooke was my BFF for the day. She is Annie's niece- and we played hide and seek with the cats, as well as jumped on the bed! She was pretty worn out and ready for night night after that.)


Bride and Maid of Honor

Them being them- they have known each other their whole lives. Annie said that she has wanted Mal to be her maid of honor since kindergarten!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

i wish i were a paperdoll

So I have been watching the Sex and the City marathon tonight. And I have an observation.

When Carrie is is Paris, her wardrobe is amazing. That red polka dot dress with that black coat? Hello! I so wish that I could pull that off on a regular week day. And then her white boots with the blue trench- man. I am so awful at dressing myself.

Can I hire somebody to pick me out a wardrobe based on hers that I can afford?

Any takers?

Friday, May 21, 2010

sleeping in a submarine

I could not get to sleep last night. I was wide awake, and so uncomfortable. Over the past week or 2, when we go to bed, my body aches like it never has before. I can't figure it out- maybe it's because I am not standing all day, running up and down stairs, carrying heavy boxes out to customers cars. My body is trying to tell me to get some sort of physical activity, I guess. So I toss and turn, wishing I could just fall asleep.

Just as I finally started to fall asleep- my eyes popped open. I was suddenly struck with hunger. I wanted an apple and some cheese. "I'll just get up real quick, have a snack, then come right back to bed." was my thinking. "Or maybe I'll just have the cheese. No, it's only perfect with an apple. Maybe I should just have some yogurt. No. Apple and cheese."

What? Hungry at 2 a.m.? What is wrong with me? I made myself forget about it- I wasn't as uncomfortable at that point, so I was not going to get up and eat. At 2 in the morning, no less.

Then Danny rolled over and gave me a giant hug. He was sound asleep, lucky man. And he wouldn't let go. So, I waited it out, till I fell back asleep.

I envy his easy sleep. His deep and dreamless sleep. I have crazy dreams most nights. I dream of people dying, and cats talking. It takes me awhile to wake up, and shrug it all off as not real.

Well, I have a big day tomorrow. I am helping my mom throw a bridal shower for Mal's friend Annie. Then Danny and I are having a BBQ with Mike & Nan. So I am off to bake some cupcakes, and clean my messy mess of a house.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I stopped and smelled the flowers...

...only to sneeze a lot.

Our fence in the backyard is lined in lilac bushes. During the day, the whole backyard is soaked in lilac scent. It makes me sneeze. But it's lovely.

So I went out last night at dusk, and took some photos. The light was pretty low, so they aren't that great.

And I really, really wanted to re-shoot the dandelions. But I was a lazy ass today, appliquéing and embroidering in my comfy chair.

And before I knew it, evening was here again, and the downstairs neighbor asked if he could mow the lawn. I am mad at myself for not re-shooting them when I thought about it. I was too self-conscious to say, "but wait! Let me just snap a few photos of all the weeds in the front yard." Because I am still in my pj's with my uncombed crazy cat lady hair.

And now they are gone. Ah well. They were just weeds.

I have a new super secret project. It's not so secret. Just secret enough that I can't post photos of my progress cause I don't want to risk whom it's for to see it prematurely. You know, before it's finished. If I ever finish it. At the rate I am going, it's gonna be awhile. But I got pretty far today.
Have I ever told you how crazy I am? Well, I am crazy.

I took a small break today to get another Dr. Pepper out of the fridge, and I absentmindedly carried a piece of my work into the kitchen with me. I set it down, and before picking it back up and going back to work, I glanced at the clock, and had a thought.

"I have been sitting in there for how many hours? How in the world do I have the patience to sit and do this all day long?"

Because I love it.

Because I have the time.

Because I don't work at the frame shop anymore. I didn't sew at all while working as a framer. My mom had my sewing machine the whole time I worked there, because hers had died. All my patience for creative stuff was burned up at work- choosing colors, cutting mats, making shadowboxes. I loved it, and probably for the same reasons that I love sewing.

I love making things with my hands.

Mostly small things-and the smaller, the better. And when I make intricate and unique things for people that I love, well. It's even more rewarding.

I had coffee with my friend Bethany last week, and she asked me how I had the patience to make the super secret project. My answer was the same as here- I don't frame anymore. She said it made her feel better. (she owns the frame shop I worked at) I hope it did. And, just so you know, I don't have the patience to do this sort of thing very often. In the 2 months it took me to finish the super secret project- I had one good day. One day where I was right on the money, grabbing bright ideas left and right, making everything work together.

Today was another one of those days. And I am a little tearful that it's over. I'm not done yet! I have this little pile of done-ness. (and a whole bunch of piles of mess.) For over 12 hours of work, I expect more out of myself. I would burn the midnight oil, cause I am so on a roll- but I am out of 3 key colors of embroidery thread, and Danny is patiently waiting for me to come to bed.

I'm coming, darling. I'm coming.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

newest obsession...

I have a new project that I am so excited about...
...and the fabric I chose just happened to be discontinued.

That didn't stop me from searching.
And googling, and clicking. And finally- then finding!

I found a jelly roll- strips of fabric about 2" wide, and 44" long. Perfect for my project. It's called Neptune, and made by Moda. I love it. Love it! Check back to see what I am creating!

Monday, May 17, 2010

(vintage) bedtime story

Feeling the need to re-vamp your bedroom?

Check out this amazing idea straight from 1976.

You have to read the intro- it's hilarious!

With full instructions. I even have the illustrations, if you are interested in making your own.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

a very merry un-birthday toooo you!

Loo-loo and I had a "slumber party" on Tuesday. I say "slumber party" because she always wants to have one at my house, but she doesn't sleep well outside of her bed. (and who can blame her?!)

So, we solve this by having "slumber parties" during the day. She picked Alice in Wonderland- the cartoon please. It was awesome to watch it after recently seeing the Tim Burton one. And boy, did she have it memorized! She kept saying "ohhh! I remember this!" and her favorite was the Cheshire cat- before he would appear, she would excitedly shout "he's coming Jessica! hurry watch!" We had so much fun! I love any excuse to eat junk food and lounge in front of the t.v. no matter what time of day it is.

Loo-loo and then me in the car - the 3 headed worm - Alice - loo-loo & lunch - that elevator was stinky! - chips and dip, "slumber party" style (shoes off, cross legged on the couch)

I took her home and chatted a bit with my mom, then I hurried back home so that I could attend a Babinskis party. It's been a month or so since I left, and it's been about 2 months since Kelley had Jack. So we had a little hootenanny. It was chock full of hoot, with just a little bit of nanny. (oh, oz!)

Everyone brought treats- appetizers and desserts. My favorite kind of dinner! Except for the cheeseburger Doritos, those were nasty. I am so addicted to that artichoke jalapeno dip from Costco- I always eat too much. But it's sooooo good!

And I took some blurry photos.

Jaron & Allisen - Kelley & Scott - Lauren - Kelly - Kim & baby Jack

And I got to hold the little man for awhile- like an hour! It's been so long since I have held a baby for longer than 5 minutes. I think I could come over on a daily basis and just hold him while he sleeps- what time is good for you Kel?

He was awake for a little while, flashing his blue eyes and givin me a smile or 2. Then he was out. And watching him sleep was heavenly.

With his tiny arms out. Melt.

I almost captured a smile. But not quite.

I could hold him on my lap and watch him sleep for-ev-er.

Monday, May 10, 2010

(vintage) pinwheel quilt pattern

Here is a page from a 70's quilting book.

Seriously, there is no way that I could make a quilt from these instructions. Not as a beginner, maybe if I had made a lot of pieced quilts, I could figure it out.

Technology has changed so so many things- like the printing press. I never really noticed with old books (novels) that I have being all that different from the ones that are printed now, but this was a Quilting Book, not a magazine. And the difference between the late 70's and early 80's is huge!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

happy mother's day!

I brought my camera over to my parents house today for our mother's day celebratory dinner, but I didn't use it once. I decided to let the loo-loo tell the story of today... kept her busy while we were waiting for dinner to be ready. She went around the house, looking for everyone.


Danny and I.

The table is set. Nice shot of the granite countertops!
Grandfather clock. Mother's Day flowers.
Dr. Pepper & pear. Dad with camera.

Do you like my mom's new rug? Isn't it beautiful?

and the torn up backyard.

she is such a weirdo!

and the new back patio.

Mal gave my mom a pedicure. Pink toes are perfect for spring!

Loo-loo trying to get a photo of bun-bun and I. My dad made me laugh- he said that this would look more like a hunting photo than a "live" one.

So why is there no photo of Mom?

Damn. Sorry mom!

We had a wonderful dinner, and mom made creme brulee for dessert. It was soooooo good! But, no photos of that either. Oh well. Maybe next time.