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Posts Tagged ‘memory’

I have so many great memories of Christmas on the farm. We were simple and celebrated very simply. Christmas was a cedar tree cut and dragged home from somewhere on the farm, old electric lights added, precious hand-blown ornaments that had been passed down through generations, even icicles that were reused each year… Christmas was also the best food I think existed, even Black Fruitcake—YUM! 😀 , and family that would gather around the big farm table.

 

MadonnaChristmas has always been very special to me and I have tried to pass that on. My paternal grandmother who died when I was 3 was the real lover of Christmas. It was her passion that was passed on to me through my dad, my mom, and great aunt. One year when I was a young teenager, I received the precious Madonna that belonged to my grandmother. Each year, I received something of hers for Christmas but this gift has been the most special. For years, I unwrapped her along with the carolers and cherubs to display on the Welsh Dresser my dad made years ago. When Christmas was over she went back into the box…that was until I decided that she should not be hidden 330 days of the year and is now enjoyed every day.

 

Christmas is lots of things to lots of people but to me it is the memories of Christmas past coupled with the memories of Christmas present that makes it so special. My passion for Christmas is not much different than that of my paternal grandmother. And, I hope that I have passed on much of her love of Christmas and what is truly important.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

😀

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My Boo-boo

The pattern calls for 3 picots and I made 4. What a bad mistake even if it is early on. I thought about doing an alternating sequence but if I can’t remember 3 rather than 4 do you really think I can remember to go 3-4-3-4?? Not in any way, shape, or form–too many cobwebs. And, by adding the extra picot I made the chain longer which will not look right. 😦

I was so happy to get some smaller yarn to try. It is more dainty looking (I cannot say “daintier”). This is a size 20. I had been using a size 10. There is a big difference and the needle I am using now is a size 7 which also makes a difference. Is that confusing enough? The yarn/thread goes even smaller believe it or not. Normally this wouldn’t be a big thing but since the thread is smaller, I could not get the finishing knot out. I still have almost no feeling in the right hand and it has become more cumbersome to use. All of this will have to be trashed—not that it matters about the knots but about the long tail that doesn’t show.

 

If you would like to learn this type of tatting, there are plenty of videos on the web and there is a book I purchased at Hobby Lobby using a 40% coupon making my total to be about $15. It is not the best book but it included needles (not sure all of theirs do). It is called Learn Needle Tatting Step-by-Step by Barbara Foster. This particular book included 4 needles AND a needle threader. A set of needles was about $12 on its own, so I figure I did pretty well.

 

I have a lot to learn and as evident above and there are lots of misfires in that brain of mine. I still confuse right and left but we won’t go there. Have a most blessed day and may you be a light for someone who needs it today. Happy Gardening in all that you do, and we can all become master gardeners on the road of life! Please take care. 😀 

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Roman Milestone Marker – wikipedia

 A milestone I had hoped I would not reach… WARNING:  feelings revealed…

I live in the house my husband and I moved into 20 years ago this past June. He hasn’t ‘visited’ in over 4 months. I sleep in the same bed we purchased just after we got married—my oldest daughter has been sleeping with me to keep me company—to keep an eye on me—because of health issues, the pain in the night and then there are the tears of heartache. It is so difficult to cry alone and not have my husband there to comfort me. Then I feel bad when my children find me sobbing. I am supposed to be strong. I am supposed to protect and comfort them. What have I become?

 

On a wall in our bedroom is a tapestry my husband purchased overseas while serving in Desert Storm. I was pregnant with our second daughter the majority of the time he was gone–memories. Much of the stuff on his side of the room has remained relatively unchanged—some has been removed, some rearranged. When I walk into the dressing room I see where his toiletries used to sit on the vanity, and in the walk-in closet his clothes remain just as he left them. When he moved out it was only for a few days—a couple of weeks at the most. Today, it has been 6 months.

 

Downstairs, where our wedding photo and anniversary tribute hung, there now hangs the parade photo of my mom I posted this week along with some trinkets from a family beach trip. In the living room are our many shot glasses we collected from different vacation spots and on the Welsh Dresser is his German mug collection along with the oil lamps, etc. I removed the photo with him and Arnold Palmer months ago along with Masters memorabilia. Then there are the tea pots and other lovely vases that once held beautiful flower arrangements he gave me as tokens of his love–more memories. He always wanted to give me flowers–one of the more romantic things about him. I have a huge glass jug that holds rose petals, small flowers, and ribbons from those arrangements of a time long ago. In contrast, I haven’t received anything since our anniversary last December which was a potted plant I picked out.

 

There other collections we have given each other over the years. Some of these are special because the girls were part of them. In the photo boxes are 100s of photos—thousands maybe—of vacation destinations, our family, and his family including relatives of his. On the media center are books, photo albums and scrapbooks, some filled with photos of family outings, special occasions, etc. There is one of me pinning on his badge when he graduated from the police academy, and there are those with him and our babies–him cuddling, holding, and playing with them through the years. Memories. Ghosts. To see all the music and movies we have collected over the years—extraordinary. Some he has taken with him; some left behind. Everything has a memory. Each wall, each item in this house… And, I don’t want to talk about the home videos he took of the girls when they were growing up. It hurts.

 

Everywhere I look I am reminded of him in one way or the other. I see where he didn’t put something away and I haven’t the heart to move it. Then there is the stuff on his table. It is almost like he passed away—taken in an instant never to return. It takes me back to the time my father died. I got into the habit years ago to keep a worn t-shirt (not sweaty) to the side in case my husband was killed—law enforcement… I wanted to keep one as a reminder of his scent—his antiperspirant and aftershave mixed with his smell. I would cuddle his shirt on nights when he was working, and at first after he moved out. I would cuddle his pillows but eventually I washed them. Today, I can hardly remember that smell I grew so accustomed to, the one that made me feel safe and secure. It’s funny about smells. There is usually a memory attached to them.

 

Slowly, I have removed things or put them out of view. Difficult. As I do, a piece of my heart is ripped apart again because I know that soon, if I keep it up, there will be no trace of him in the physical sense. Maybe this is what he meant to happen in the first place but he kept telling me and tells me today that it is his goal to move back home. On this day, my heart hurts so much. I have cried almost as much this week as when I first found out. Love…love doesn’t change; our minds change. Keep your loved ones close and let them know you care.

 

People can give advice and tell me what to do, but unless they are in my shoes they do not know what it’s like even if they have been here before. People can judge me and say how naïve I am. I am not naïve—I know that I have to proceed carefully because I could very easily shut the door, turn the lock and flip off the light. I don’t think most people know how easy that would be because I want the pain to stop. In fact, sometimes I think that would be better but then I think of my girls and the future. I want the best for everyone. I have been accused of being selfish and sometimes not selfish enough. I don’t wish this on my worst enemy. To have no family to go to, to cry on and desire comfort and understanding…I have limited friends—he was my best friend. Life. Life is not always easy no matter what you are faced with.

 

I have hoped that this would work out. Today, I don’t know but these are some of the things I have learned…

  • Take care of your heart—no matter what—because your spouse is in there.
  • Give compliments and caresses to deposit in your bank account of love so when things get tough your spouse will have them to help you.
  • You can discipline yourselves to keep your love alive, but you have to watch out for the other.
  • Always use your yokes, eagerly helping one another.
  • Be thankful for your spouse in the morning and at night and all between.
  • Tell them what they mean to you and how much you care.
  • Find words of encouragement and strokes of gratitude.
  • Hold their love carefully and tenderly, and never give up hope.

 

This has been the hardest time of my life. I knew there would be more tough times along the road of life, but bar the death of my spouse, I thought we would have each other to lean on through everything else. When I get down and depressed about my children seeing me being weak because I cry and all, I say something about it and you know what they say…  “Mom, you are the strongest person we know and you have nothing to be ashamed of—nothing to be sorry for.”

My girls…they make me proud…

Oh, the memories…

Oh, the ghosts!

 

Sometimes we have to be a part of some really sad times, but they make the mountaintops so much brighter.

Happy Gardening. May your valleys be shallow, your mountains bright and your gardens always green! 🙂

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wikipedia

During this week back in 1990, we were experiencing record-breaking heat every day not unlike we have been experiencing this year. Temperatures were ranging about 104 each day. I was pregnant with my first child and had passed my due date. I was miserable and was lying around in the A/C with a fan blowing on me just waiting for her to decide to come out into the world. She had to know it was hotter outside than inside where she was :).

It was hard to tell when it was time to make that journey to the hospital—I had been having contractions for the past 4-6 weeks. All that came to an end when my water broke the night of the 6th. Of course, my OBGYN was in the islands that week so another doctor had to substitute.

She was a beautiful baby. My husband was there with me and us after she was born. To see the love he had for her and for me in his eyes is something I will never forget. How he cradled her with her cute little pink hat as they slept beside me in the hospital room. I will forever remember these memories and how I have treasured those days in my heart. Life was hot on the outside, but things were cool on the inside as our family grew.

My daughter thinks it is special that the day she was born we had record breaking heat and the record still stands. She doesn’t understand that the day is special because of her birth, nothing else need to be said.

Happy Birthday!

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The Doctor

I had my doctor’s appointment yesterday. The doctor was very nice and had a nice bedside manner-something I see less and less often. He explained that my AVM is very large and located along the motor strip in my brain-I knew that. If I had surgery, I would almost definitely suffer major deficits in my motor coordination—code for paralysis, but there were two possible treatment options IF that was the path we wanted to take. Hey, a surgeon who wasn’t pushing to get into my brain. I like that! In fact, he said that if I was not open to any treatment, he would not recommend an angiogram. A man after my own heart! Dr. B _(insert rest of name)_ from Emory wanted to wheel me down and get into my head with no concern for quality of life and would not even go through treatment options until I had an angiogram FIRST. This doctor yesterday studied at Emory and I think he could teach some of them a thing or two.

So, surgery was off the table but 2 treatment options weren’t. Embolization may be done but he thought it was risky. It can carry a lot of risks-some are unforeseen. Radio surgery with their new Gamma-knife is another possibility but it can take 3-10 years sometimes to get free of all of the AVM especially since mine is so large. I’m no spring chicken so this doesn’t sound ideal. In my case, they would most likely have to repeat the procedure, do an angiogram, wait, do an angiogram, and repeat procedure and repeat this over and over. It is not as evasive BUT I know people who never are even close to the same afterwards and they never get over it. They have deficits-maybe not as much as if I had surgery, but paralysis, eyesight, speech, memory, and thinking are all affected. I don’t want to go down that road. Then there is the possibility of an aneurysm hidden and buried within the AVM. If that is the case, the aneurysm has to go no matter what and surgery will be back on the table.

I will have an angiogram in a few weeks-don’t know date yet. It will be the type through the groin which is probably better than going through the carotid artery. That was scary the first time around. When I said I have only had the one through the throat, the doc said I was dating myself because that was what was used before the CT and MRI machines. He did say that I have done well not having a bleed for all of these years but I have to get my BP down. He may advise no treatment, so I think we found the right doctor if he is as good as his bedside manner.

This wasn’t the highlight of my day. It began with my husband telling me he loved both of “us”-her and me but that he loved me more. Go figure! I have known this for a while but could not get him to admit to it. If he had, I would not have tried to mend our marriage. I said I don’t share and that I wanted him to go with me for the appointment but I don’t want him to be there through the tests, appointments, possibly surgery and treatment if he loves someone else. My heart cannot take it. Well, it diverted my thoughts from the appointment. When the doctor asked about my BP-why it was so high, I said my husband was the reason and like we were in a play, my husband stepped into the room almost like on cue. It was weird. And, then after the appointment he wants me to hug him like everything is fine. Hello! Who knows. I have to concentrate on me right now.

That’s where I am. Yes, my life is still in the pits but I am trying to make the best of it. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I am determined to crawl out of my pit to enjoy life again. Happy Gardening and may today be brighter than yesterday and tomorrow be brighter yet!

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Ok, I am paving a new road for my crafting ideas. Yes, I know I gave a list of what is was planned, but I am now starting down a different path – an unexplored road in a way. I admit that the memory quilt project has really changed the way I look at things. I feel that I am at another crossroads in life, but I’m not sure that I moved out of the intersection last year :).  We all need purpose in our lives, and we need to share our purpose and fruits with others. Anyway, I stopped sewing just before Christmas and could not find the motivation to get going again. During the time away, I have been working on some family genealogy things – it is really hard to juggle too many things. Creating things (sewing, quilting, and other arts and craft things) defines me – genealogy or family history helps me to understand who I am or at least from whom I came. I’m not one of those people who has to have a family tree chart that shows I am connected to a million people. I search to know the individual, his/her obstacles, and his/her successes and triumphs. I have been doing this for more than several years, more than a decade or so, actually. I not only want to remember the past but I want to tie it together with the present and the future. Does that make any sense? I think that is why the memory quilting project has endeared me so. 

New ideas for my sewing projects are being hammered out. This is a change from what I was planning even a week ago. I do not need more material – repeat after me, “I do not need more material!” I can recite this all day, but I broke down and had to make a visit to the cloth store – everyone knew that was coming, right? I spent my profits from my mini quilts (that I will not receive until the end of the month). Eeeeek! Why? Why do I feel that I need more material other than there was a sale? I have a new vision. I do not do a lot of appliqué work – in fact I do very little – almost none at all, but I just designed a quilt block using a purple crocus for a model. I love flowers, so I have picked out some material that I REALLY need (?) and am ready to go. I just hope this turns out like I see it in my head. I plan to post pics of the work as I go. Here are some of the colors and materials I will be using: 

I am also sketching blocks for a birdhouse quilt…and a Sunbonnet Sue quilt…, but they are being pushed to the side for awhile. Then there is an Alzheimer’s memory quilt design I have started. I will blog more about this in later postings, but for those of you who know me, you know that I suffer from a disability that has some of the same effects as Alzheimer’s. In some ways, my disability is worse and in some ways it is not as bad, if that makes any sense. I am not comfortable discussing it openly but have been “afflicted” (such an awful sounding word!) since I was young with more manifestations (not a great word either) in recent years. Whatever ailment that can eat away at the mind is detrimental to one’s very being. Other people do not understand what they cannot see especially if they have never experienced a loved one suffering from such diseases and disabilities. This is really hard on the person who is suffering. I could blog just on diseases like this alone, but I want to draw attention to the people – who they are – not names and faces per se, but their importance in life as individuals. Everyone deserves to be honored and remembered; well that’s the way I see it.

Unless you walk in the shoes of others you will never know what they face.

This is true no matter what struggles one faces, and we all have struggles of one kind or another. So, in short, I am on a new journey, one that is not definitive. It is a little scary, but I need this. It’s time. 

Happy Gardening and may we all take time to walk in the shoes of others so that we may understand each other better!

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