Monday, February 9, 2015

Almost A Year Later...A Bit Jealous

I don't know if my days are any busier than any other quilters. I don't know who works out of the home and who works at home. I don't know if your home is picture perfect, neat as a pin or as I like to say, comfortably messy.

All I know is I see so many quilters making the most fabulous quilts and not one or two, but some of you get several done a month and then I feel badly because it takes me so long to get one completed.

Created by Tammy S.

 Tammy sent me this quilt almost a year ago to complete. The top was done, the binding was cut, all I had to do was add the back (she even sent that), batting, quilt it and bind it. How hard is that?

I finally completed it last evening and I feel badly that it took me so long to complete. Each time I walked past this adorable quilt, I got pangs of guilt.

I am just a tad bit jealous of those of you who can get these completed so quickly. I used to be able to knock a few quilts out a week, work full time, go to school full time and now I am lucky if I can make by bed during the day.

I would love to promise that I can get more done this year, but truth is, with the kids in band and traveling all over the state this year, one of the girls in Girl Scouts, one in Boy Scouts, trying to help my son find work and get his life back after prison and wanting to do some traveling this year...all I can do is try.

However, I am open to anyone's suggestion of how you get so much done and I would like to at least finish one a month, no, make that two and I would be happy!

Blessings to all of you for a great week ahead and please, take some time to quilt!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My Son Joseph

So many of you ask me often what is going on with my son Joseph and I would like to tell you that he is improving everyday.

Joseph is still living on the streets but has gone through alcohol detox and has been sober for over 150 days! 

Joseph has a dog named Hunter who is this adorable, well behaved, well cared for pudgy happy little guy and because there are no shelters in the area that provide a place for both pet and people, Joseph will not leave to go anywhere.

Joseph's aunt and uncle have been able to locate a woman who wants to help Joseph and get him off the streets. I believe she is a social worker who works with the homeless and she is gathering up all his records to see what can be done.

In the meantime, Joseph has court tomorrow for misdemeanor warrants regarding people who complain about him being homeless and want him and have had him arrested for vagrancy.

For over a year now, Joseph has had a small area in front of a local store where the manager knows him and loves him. As long as he never bothers the customers, keeps his cart covered up, she has allowed him to remain off to the side of her store to sit and sleep at night.

Joseph has followed her rules, however, the drug addicts and others who steal, beat Joseph and rob from him what little he has, have caused so many issues, that the local police have told him he can no longer stay there.

We are praying that perhaps tomorrow, the judge will see that Joseph is sober and that he will be able to help them find a home for Joseph and Hunter.

I have always prayed that perhaps someone who owns an animal shelter or kennel would take him in and for room and board, allow him to help around the place, he loves dogs so much.

It is important to remember that Joseph will be 40 years old this year and that he is mentally ill and being such, he is allowed to make up his own mind about where he lives, if he takes medication, etc.

So many have beat me up over the years because he does not live with us. However, he does not want to live with us. He has many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends where he stays. He knows so many people and many people love him. One lady was leading him in a Bible Study a year ago, I saw a young man bring him fresh water and a hat, his aunt and extended family bring him fresh clothes, we provide things he needs when he needs them.

We cannot force someone to do what they do not want to do. Then again, I recently read of a woman who was held in a mental institution for over 3 years against her will. A woman who fought many years for the mentally ill. A woman whose family was well educated, whose father was once a prominent politician and who owned her own home.

This woman quit taking care of herself, she began what I know as a decompensation or...describe it as meaning that someone who has an illness that they have been compensating for (with medications, treatment, family support and all the other strategies they might be using) begins to show symptoms again, so they have “decompensated” – fallen backward from the level of compensation they had previously experienced.

She refused to take her medications, she was not bathing, she smelled of feces, her clothing was covered in food and she refused help. So, she was institutionalized.

Joseph does not need to be in a hospital, he needs a shelter at night for he and his dog that is safe from the weather, a place to keep his sparse belongings where he knows they will still be when he returns and a place that will allow him to wander.

His brother is close by and used to check on him until he lost his car, but he said he is doing well. His best day mom is when someone buys him his favorite sandwich at Subway, the dog is fed, the weather is good and people smile at him.

His brother told me the story of Christmas day he went to sit with Joseph for awhile, the young man I spoke of earlier had brought him a cooler with fresh, warm Tamales. Joseph hadn't eaten one because he still had his favorite Subway sandwich from the evening before. He shared one with his brother.

They were sitting and talking when a man in a very nice SUV pulled up and asked them if they knew where he could find some Tamales. Without hesitation, his brother reported, Joseph stood up, grabbed the cooler and handed it to the man and wished him Merry Christmas. The man drove off and what amazed his brother, was the man didn't say thank you, he had just taken food from a homeless person and he didn't say thank you.

When he told Joseph, I wanted at least one more, Joseph laughed. When he asked why he gave him the entire cooler full, Joseph told him, 'I can't eat all of them, why shouldn't his family have them.'

Thank you all for continued prayers for Joseph, we speak weekly and he is happy!

Six More Weeks...Happy Wednesday!

My cousin shared this with me yesterday, so I thought I would share it with all of you.

Have a Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thank You For Entering the Giveaway

Thank you all who signed up for the giveaway, the winners were chosen, announced and all prizes are one their way or arrived by now.

I thank those who took the time to make comments and visit and hope to have another one soon!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lonnie Hutchinson...Where ARE YOU??

Lonnie Hutchinson where ever you are, you have until Weds. morning at 0700 to contact me with a mailing address for your scissors holder. If you do not contact me, I will chose an alternative winner.

I have posted winners and sent you 2 emails with no response. This is my last attempt to find you!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Completed Table Runner

 I wish I could have gotten better pictures of this as it is really cool and the kids say it reminds them of piano keys.

The pattern is called Modern Waves and was in the Easy Quilts Spring 2015 done in nice browns and creams.
However, having musical grandchildren and several who share the same room, I decided to use musical notes on a white background and then black fabric with brightly colored musical notes.

It was a quick project to cut and piece and I used stitch in the ditch quilting and the back stitches are in a teal blue per special request from the girls.

The back is the same white fabric with black musical notes and the girls were excited to add it to their dresser.

I may try a few more in different color schemes to see how they come out!

Sometimes I just need a fun, quick project for the kids or the house to make me smile!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

God Knows

If you have watched the news at all this week, you could not have missed that coastal Washington and northern Washington was deluged with over 6" of rain in a 24 hour period of time which caused severe flooding, rivers to over flow their banks and landslides.

One of those areas hardest hit was Grays Harbor County and the Aberdeen/Hoquiam area the place our family settled into when we moved up here and it breaks my heart that these people who have little to begin with are now having to deal with this mess!!

We are blessed!  Two of the areas hit the hardest were areas known as Queets Avenue and Canyon Courts. Both of these areas are where I wanted to purchase homes and hubby kept telling me he just didn't feel comfortable with either of them. This is when I see the hand of God in my life!

We of course moved away in 2013 about 45 miles inland where we sit away from hills or rivers and while we got soaked with the same 6" of rain, our ground is heavily rocked and socks in quickly.

I however, have reached out to ask for quilts and toiletries from others in my community and today at noon, I am meeting with some people to do what we can.

What I find miraculous is that after the rain stopped, I received an amazing package from Sandy in Arizona that had 8 quilts in it. I wasn't expecting this and Sandy blessed the families of OSO awhile back as well.

Went to a Shasta 911 Dispatchers Daughter

Went to a 911 Dispatcher Who Lost Their Home in Fire

 These large quilts enabled me along with the help from Jennifer in IL, to completely close the books on smaller needs from 2014.  We still need 130 for Okanagan County from the Carlton Complex Fire, but I believe by spring or summer we will have those.

Yesterday, I opened my mail to find a letter fittingly enough from someone in Rochester, MN and a check to help with postage. The sender told me she has followed me for years and the plight with my son Joseph.  

Amazing! It is the true hand of God!

I know you might wonder, how many quilts I actually get to each year and this past year I would probably tell you very few, however, here is a picture of all the spools of thread I went through in 2014, so guess I was busier than I ever expected!

41 Spools in 2014

Whatever you do, do it with love, do it with a joyful heart, share your talents with others, teach a child how to bake, quilt, knit, crochet, play an instrument, plant flowers.  Reach out to the homeless and at least share your smile, it costs you nothing to give it away. 

I leave you with this story that made me cry on Christmas day:
My son Joseph is homeless and several months ago, he made the decision to go into detox and get sober and he has remained sober.

Christmas day his older brother went to hang out with him and told me this story: Joseph had been given a small cooler full of handmade/homemade warm Tamales and (let me tell you if you live in the SW, you know receiving Tamales as a gift is amazing!)

Mom, they were the most amazing Tamales I have ever eaten, the very best and I had one and was going to take some home with me. Then a man in a very nice car came by and asked us if we knew where he might be able to find some Tamales.  Without an ounce of hesitation, Joseph got up and handed the man the entire cooler with the words, 'we already had one, Merry Christmas!'  The man attempted to pay Joseph for the Tamales, but he told the man they were a gift to him so he could gift someone else!

Whatever our story is, however our day is going, our lives are going, we can always find someone who is worse off than we are and yet, who is willing to give their all to someone else in need!

I recently received a wonderful letter from a quilter who has been an amazing contributor to Layers of Hope - Quilting 911. It was to let me know she was sorry she could no longer donate to us as she had found charities that need her talents closer to home.

I was humbled she felt the need to let me know, it wasn't necessary. I have always believed in 'paying it forward,' I understand postage is expensive and I understand some of you aren't really sure I do as I claim, but I do not need any explanations or apologies. I am just happy knowing others are being blessed by your talents!

Thank you for all you do to continue this ministry!