Friday, June 26, 2015

Go Cougars!

Our granddaughter Aly loves Washington State University and the Cougars. Everywhere we go, she finds the logo in record time. On a recent trip to Costco she came across a man wearing the WSU logo and she asked him if he got teased because there are more UW Husky fans around?

He told her yes he does, but that makes wearing and showing his team colors that much more enjoyable because they only tease them knowing the Coug's are better!

When we got home, she asked me if I could try to crochet her a scarf and beanie in maroon and gray, WSU colors, so I told her I would and here is the end product!



Aly is quite tall at 5'7" and she is still growing, so she asked if I could make it a bit longer than her last one I made and without any tassels. Of course, I can't make the team logo without getting into trouble, so just the colors.

If anyone would like to order a scarf for their child getting ready to head off to college in college colors or favorite team colors, I am listing them in my Etsy shop at $10 plus postage. This one is 68" x 5.5".

Now off to figure out how to make her a matching beanie!
 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Update on my Son Joseph

Joseph with his nieces April 2014
I want all of you to know how important it is for us to see, recognize that homeless people have faces, they have families, they have feelings and while many of them have addictions, many do not and many are mentally ill and lost in a world where they do not fit in and where mental health services are continually cut to the bone.

In April, we took our family vacation and spent a day with Joseph and his amazing dog Hunter (Hunter's life expectancy is not much longer so please pray for Joseph, this loss will be a huge blow to him!).

The first thing we did was take him to get his ID card. Since it has been lost or stolen so many times, we took the original to a friends home and gave him a paper copy. Honestly, he was so drunk, I am surprised they took his picture, but the lady at the counter was very sweet.

Then we took him to Saturdays Hair Salon.
Saturday's is a very nice salon and Joseph wanted his hair and beard cut.  I was blown away, amazed and in tears before we left. 

Everyone knows him, everyone greeted him with smiles, the young lady that did his hair and beard treated him with care and compassion. It was an amazing experience for me! We walked out with me barely able to say thank you.

Since that day, I have an agreement with Saturday's. Anytime Joseph walks in for a hair cut or beard trim, they call me to ensure I can cover it and they give him a good shampoo, cut and trim. I have come to think of this salon as family!

After that, we took him to get a new hat. Funny, he wouldn't but his old one on his fresh wash and cut head, said it was stinky!!!

We had pre-arranged with several of his family members and my ex-in laws (aunts, uncles, sister-in-law, niece) to meet up with all of us at a local Mexican Food Restaurant and to my joy, they knew Joseph very well. So well in fact, they had to make sure he didn't take his beer bottle outside when he went to smoke.

Joseph has chosen the homeless lifestyle for many years. With the exception of his father, all of us have tried to get him help, paid for detox facilities, rescued his dog from the pound, picked him up from jail, etc.  I say this because so many times people think it is okay to go on the attack against me for him being homeless. We cannot control our children after they turn 18 and the law does not allow us to 'commit them!'

I say this because everyone in town seems to know him and while eating we had a young couple that glared for several minutes at us, up until the above picture was taken and I think what they saw was a man who is so loved by his family even though he had lost his way.

Fast forward to now:
  • Joseph had a dream one night, called his uncle the next day, entered a detox facility and has been sober for more than 4 months.
  • During his sobriety, he quit smoking cold turkey!
  • Joseph is still homeless, but working closely with a woman who has gotten him into see doctors and other professionals to get him the medical care he needs and to help him receive the benefits he needs. **Before you snarl and judge, Joseph is legally mentally ill, spent several years in group homes, has a technical certification in the cable business but due to a severe speech impediment, does not speak well!**
  • Joseph has numerous business owners who love him and will allow him to use his cell phone to call me or his aunt and uncle who live locally.
  • Joseph is my news son. While his older brother lives in town, it is Joseph who tells me when one of my ex-in-laws is sick or passes away and he will seek another street person out he knows has a computer to contact me. He just always keeps me posted!
  • Joseph has spent many years at the bottom of a bottle, he knows it, I don't need to tell him that, but his mind is like a well-oiled machine, he remembers dates, details and happenings, that most of us do NOT remember, it amazes us.
  • Joseph is homeless, but he is not uncaring. On Christmas day a local Hispanic family that brings him water, food, dog treats, etc. brought him a cooler full of Tamales. He shared one with his brother, he ate one and then put them away. His brother says about 15 minutes later, a man came by asking about Tamales and where he could find some. Joseph walked over and handed the man (in a Cadillac Escalade) the entire cooler and wished him Merry Christmas. When his brother asked him why, his reply was, 'I had one, I have no place to keep them, the man wanted some for his family.' No money was exchanged, just a homeless person blessing someone who wasn't homeless!
  • On Mother's Day, Joseph called me in tears because he couldn't send me flowers! I was crying and told him, the best gift he gave me was a phone call!
Yes, my son is still homeless, but what I want to let you know is he is sober, he is non-smoking, he has family who loves him, he has never been arrested for theft or drugs, only vagrancy and drunk in public. The judge saw him sober for the first time in years, saw his change and dropped the charges and told the officer, 'why do you keep bringing the homeless to me for these charges? You know they can't pay, can't make it to court, what is the point? Save the jails for criminals!!! AMEN!!!

I will be the first to say I don't give money to most people asking for it. I recently saw a homeless vet that lost his leg and while I had no money, I told him thank you for your service, he cried!

I recently walked out of a business and saw a young man sitting on a bench, he took his shoes off which were well worn and was putting on new socks. He looked up at me, he smiled and never said a word...I gave him the last $5 my husband had and told him, 'I know you didn't ask for this, but I feel I needed to give it to you.' 

With huge tears in his eyes, he whispered, 'Thank you, God Bless You!' 

Joseph told me during our last phone conversation. 'Mom, all the drunk and druggie homeless want me to start drinking again. I now know why. When I am drunk, the steal my stuff. Now that I am sober, they can't take anything from me and they are jealous because they know I am getting better.'

He stays in the shadows as most homeless do, in doorways of closed businesses, he stays where the police can see him when they patrol (they have asked him to, so they can check on him), he stays to himself...but they come...NOT the people who could offer him help, not the people who sit in pews and act so holy on Sunday's, not the man he gave the Tamales to, no, none of them come to offer him a cool drink of water, but they do offer him comments that are hurtful.

The others, the come to. The drunks and druggies come to harass him and he walks away with Hunter his trusted friend and companion for so many years that is getting older and one day will cross over the Rainbow bridge. The family that brings him fresh cool water each day, those that buy him his favorite Subway sandwich, the aunts, uncles, cousins who bring him fresh clothes and take the dirty ones to wash.

Joseph will make it, because Joseph has family who cares. Family who love him and while we cannot control his life, we are thankful he is with us.

Please, I am not seeking pity from anyone or condemnation, I am just letting you know the next time you see a homeless person, think of Joseph and if you do nothing more than reach out to say hello, well, sometimes that is all they need, is someone to acknowledge they are not invisible!


 
 

Another Wonderful Blog

When I worked l911, I never dreamed my husband and I would take on 3 amazing, beautiful, awesome and at times frustrating children who would grow up to be amazing artists, musicians, athletes.

At the time we knew we did NOT want our grandchildren to go to foster care and we believed mom and dad would get their act together and we would ride into the retirement sunset....

Fast forward 11 years and those kids just finished 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Yes, its true, we are now rounding the corner into high school and I know these 4 years will whiz by in the blink of an eye.

The oldest one Shyann, began her schooling at a charter school in Glendale, Arizona. The school was chosen because I worked with a detective whose daughter was the kinder teacher and I wanted Shyann in her class.

I have never, not once regretted that mistake. The lessons, Ms. Ybarra taught her students, the friends they made and left behind when so many of them moved, have never forgotten. 

Over the years, though I retired, I kept in contact with Detective Ybarra and four years ago her granddaughter Shiann (Coincidence in the name? My granddaughter thinks not, LOL!) was born with an Omphalocele.

Her mom, dad and grandparents have blogged and Facebooked about this little miracle princess, her daily routine, her to many to count hospitalizations, her many nurses that have come and gone, her near death experiences and I am one of the many who have been so blessed to meet this little doll!

With the exception of a trach and being hooked up to her oxygen machine most of the time, there just is no stopping this baby and let me tell you, she is a joy, she is a blessing and she can out eat me, she loves her food.

I find it amazing that her parents, Stephanie and Brandon are raising her with discipline and love. While I am sure she gets by with things, she doesn't with much because like mom said, they don't want her to be a brat.

Anyway, I say all of this, because now, you have an opportunity to meet this amazing family, follow their blog and give mom and dad the encouragement they need on days when things aren't going so grand. 

Please stop by Shiann's blog as told by mommy at:
http://dailyminutewithshiann.blogspot.com/ 
When you get there, tell them you came via Jean Kester's blog.

Today, her post made me cry. Stephanie can do that, she can write and you will laugh one day and cry the next, but it is real and from the heart and filled with love.

I believe in miracles and Shiann is a true miracle!
 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Does Anyone Have This Cherry Fabric From JoAnn's?

I love living in my little town, everyone knows you for the most part, the school secretary calls you back if you miss her because she sees you called and I can stand and chat at the post office when they aren't busy.

My postal clerk is a quilter and she knows I quilt and today she asked me if I had any of the following fabric. I told her I didn't but I would scan it and see if anyone else does.

She said she purchased it at JoAnn's several months back and they do not carry it any longer and she ran short for a border.

If anyone has some to spare, I am sure Robin wouldn't mind paying for it as well as the postage!

 

Friday, June 5, 2015

A New Hobby

My poor grandmother all my life she tried to teach me to crochet or sew and I think she just knew I was hopeless. There were to many footballs to catch, waves to chase, territory to explore. I just could not do it!

My Very First Crochet Project  


Here is to proof, we can still learn as we age, because I finished this scarf for Aly and I did it all on my own. It is all single crochet which I found to be tedious, but it kept me busy while watching tv with hubby in the evening.

We have a yarn shop in our area, I think I will head over there in the next few weeks and learn how to make some hats!

I wanted to add more tassels and bling, but she didn't want a lot!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Great Memorial Day

I am so blessed in so many ways on Memorial Day. My Uncle Biddy Baker served in the Army, his son Charles (Chuckie) served in the Air Force, my dad Roger Wiseman served in the Army, my amazing wonderful husband Jerry served in the Navy, best friend John the Navy and I could go on and on.  Because of their sacrifices to this country, all of us were able to enjoy a peaceful long and relaxing week-end.

How did you spend yours? With family? Did you barbeque? Did you read, quilt, sleep-in? We did a bit of it all.  Friday, my husband grilled/smoked chicken to that delicious molasses/carmel coating that makes it stick to your fingers so you know it is done to perfection. Hubby also paid the kids to help him around the yard and treated them to ice cream.

I must admit, it was nice to have our home back after 10 months of living in chaos from all the changes. It was nice to spend family time without everyone fighting and arguing.

Saturday we just hung out and hubby worked around the yard for awhile, while I worked on catching up on some reading and crocheting (I am just learning!).

Sunday, hubby had to work and I have been wanting to go to Der Wienerschnitzel for a Kraut dog forever, however, hubby has never been thrilled about a four hour round trip for a hotdog.  So, the grands and I went for a road trip!

Finally, after a year of craving their hot dogs, we made it!

Believe it or not, the coating on this is Cotton Candy flavor and she was in heaven!

One of the three rivers we went by that day!

Industrial area in Kelso I believe!

Gospodor Monuments in Toledo

 Sadly, the Gospodor Monuments in Toledo are now owned by the Cowlitz Indian Tribe who have done nothing to maintain this amazing roadside attraction. It was made to commemorate the Holocaust, Native American struggles, Christian Faith.  Mr Gospodor is described as an eccentric bachelor who spent over a million dollars to build these. Now they are just left to decay!

On Monday, my family were scattered with hubby working, the oldest grand hanging out with her friends at a park and my son and the two other grands out fishing. 

I worked on quilting and finished this cute card holder which I put in my Etsy shop!

Front

Back  
I hope each of you had a great week-end!
minic Gospodor, the eccentric bachelor who spent over $1 million building the Gospodor Monuments, has died at age 86. He never told anyone why he built them, or exactly what he meant to say with their peculiar combination of Mother Teresa, Native Americans, Jesus, Holocaust victims, an eagle, and an enormous weather vane.
Mr. Gospodor reportedly wrote in his will that upon his death a nonprofit organization had to be found to take over ownership of the monuments. But he also reportedly left no money to maintain them, or even to pay for the electricity that lights them at night. The monument pylons are made of structural steel, however, and should be around for a while.
[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 09/22/2010]
The new owners of the Gospodor Monuments are the Cowlitz Indian tribe, who initially said that they would maintain the Monument and turn its lights back on at night. They didn't. Jesus lost an arm in early Oct. 2014. Then on Nov. 11 a windstorm toppled him from his lofty perch.
- See more at: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/7757#sthash.ukgDlzlV.dpuf
Dominic Gospodor, the eccentric bachelor who spent over $1 million building the Gospodor Monuments, has died at age 86. He never told anyone why he built them, or exactly what he meant to say with their peculiar combination of Mother Teresa, Native Americans, Jesus, Holocaust victims, an eagle, and an enormous weather vane.
Mr. Gospodor reportedly wrote in his will that upon his death a nonprofit organization had to be found to take over ownership of the monuments. But he also reportedly left no money to maintain them, or even to pay for the electricity that lights them at night. The monument pylons are made of structural steel, however, and should be around for a while.
[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 09/22/2010]
The new owners of the Gospodor Monuments are the Cowlitz Indian tribe, who initially said that they would maintain the Monument and turn its lights back on at night. They didn't. Jesus lost an arm in early Oct. 2014. Then on Nov. 11 a windstorm toppled him from his lofty perch.
- See more at: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/7757#sthash.ukgDlzlV.dpuf

Dominic Gospodor, the eccentric bachelor who spent over $1 million building the Gospodor Monuments, has died at age 86. He never told anyone why he built them, or exactly what he meant to say with their peculiar combination of Mother Teresa, Native Americans, Jesus, Holocaust victims, an eagle, and an enormous weather vane.
Mr. Gospodor reportedly wrote in his will that upon his death a nonprofit organization had to be found to take over ownership of the monuments. But he also reportedly left no money to maintain them, or even to pay for the electricity that lights them at night. The monument pylons are made of structural steel, however, and should be around for a while.
[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 09/22/2010]
The new owners of the Gospodor Monuments are the Cowlitz Indian tribe, who initially said that they would maintain the Monument and turn its lights back on at night. They didn't. Jesus lost an arm in early Oct. 2014. Then on Nov. 11 a windstorm toppled him from his lofty perch.
- See more at: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/7757#sthash.ukgDlzlV.dpuf

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How to square up squares??

I am pretty sure some of you that have been quilting longer than I have, who belong to a guild, helped your grandmother/mom/aunt, etc. have an easy answer for me.

How to square up, no, I think align is more the word I am looking for quilting squares?

I am making a quilt with 3" x 3" squares, all are the same size. I am using my 1/4" foot and all are sewed the same. 

HOWEVER...when I sew the second, third, etc. rows onto each other, I am always having to rip stitches, adjust the seams, because they never quite match up, so they might be a bit off on one seam, which then throws the entire row off.

When I began quilting, my original quilt was made with large bandanas, I didn't know about 1/4" seams, I just sewed them all together and every seam lined up perfectly which I was told was highly unusual.

If anyone has any suggestions, I am open to hearing them.  Part of my frustration is that I usually FMQ all of my own and I have had a long arm quilter volunteer to do a few for me and I have heard horror stories of long armer's telling quilters how bad their quilts are and I am terrified.

Thanks in advance, I know I will get some amazing suggestions!