Thursday, March 27, 2008


I was thinking today about the mugs, tee shirts, etc. that I've seen that say, "The best antique is an old friend". Two things (well, people actually) made me think of this. First, yesterday was my BFF Shirley's birthday. It was a she's 60 like so many of the rest of us. Happy Birthday, Shirley. But since she lives in Illinois...and I live in Georgia...we couldn't celebrate together. So I celebrated without her -- but with another "old" friend.

My childhood (and life-long) friend, Jackie, was in town on business. She lives near Seattle, but when she comes to Atlanta on business every couple of years or so, we get together and catch up. When I was born, she was already nearly two weeks old -- just laying in her crib waiting for me. Her grandparents lived right next door to my parents...and she and her parents lived in a small house behind them. So we literally grew up together. Here is (to the best of my knowledge) the first recorded picture of our history together. I looks like the first ever recorded picture, but I'm pretty sure it's not. That's me on the left with my hair in curlers -- must have had a date that night. That's her on the right -- wishing she had enough hair for curlers!

When we were only 5 years old, we were ripped apart and her family moved far, far away. They built a new house 1/2 block down the street. But at 5 your world is pretty small, and it seemed a long way away. Being resilient tykes, we adjusted to that and we would walk to kindergarten together. I needed her for a body guard because I was scared of the dogs and she wasn't. She was the bravest person I knew. And so we continued to grow up. When we got older, we would sit on her front porch and play Canasta to see if any boys went by (her street was busier than mine). And she's the one who told me about sex (I think my reaction was, "You're kidding, right??") Here is a picture of us going to our Junior Prom. She's on the left this time, with the dotted dress. It was cute -- a sheer sort of fabric with textured dots. Years later, she said of that dress, "I loved it at the time. Now I look at it and I think it would make a nice shower curtain."

She has always been able to make me laugh, and last night was no exception. We now each have two grandchildren and so that's fodder for lots of funny stories. When we were deciding where to have dinner, I said the Hard Rock Cafe was out because it was too loud and we couldn't converse to catch up (also...we're old and it's just too damn loud!). When we went past Hooter's, I told her that was out because they would want to give us jobs and I like my retirement. She corrected me and said that at our age, we would have to work at HUUter's.

Dear Lord, I thank you for both of these special women in my life...and for all the others that I am so blessed to call "friend". I do not take any of them for granted and I appreciate each and every one of them.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Eggs-elent Fun

Jodi let me borrow the kids the other day while she had a couple of things to do. I had told her I wanted to see them this week some time so that we could color eggs. I also had some Easter foamies left over from last year, so I got two big sand pails at the dollar store and let them decorate them. I used those for their Easter baskets this year. In their "surprise boxes", they had egg coloring kits. Besides the color tablets, Savannah had princess stickers, egg stands, punch-out crowns and so forth. Emery's was Sesame Street themed. They had fun and did a good job.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Luck of the Slovak?

I know I'm a little late. Saint Patrick's Day was Monday and I'm just now getting around to writing about it. I'm half Irish (my dad's side) and half Slovak (my mom's side). And so I usually like to celebrate. Normally I try to force the kids to come over and eat "my version" of a St. Patrick's Day dinner: corned beef, boiled potatoes, but NO boiled cabbage (yuk!). They gripe and complain and only sometimes come for dinner. Last year the girls decided they could at least cook something better if they I made one corned beef brisket and somebody else made another one. They insisted on putting cabbage and the potatoes and all in one pot. They said that was better. Well, this year we didn't have the "dinner of obligation" at all. A few weeks ago, when my brother and sister-in-law were here, Linda made corned beef for us. It was WONDERFUL! She spent 3 days on it; soaking, simmering and finally cooking it in a yummy sauce. that I know how to make corned beef right...I didn't. Beef is upsetting mom's system these days and since it was less than a week between St. Pat's and Easter this year (another time for a family dinner), I just let it go. But mom and I did don our green shirts for the day and posed for this shot with our green hats on. We also had mint chocolate chip ice cream and a mint-filled Oreo cookie for dessert.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Remembering the Comet

Remember back in 1997...the big topic of conversation at that time was the Hale-Bopp comet. You might wonder why I'm talking about that now. just came to mind when I heard that Jeremy's truck, which he was driving home from a fishing tournament, and the boat he was hauling, were bopped with hail on Saturday. (See where I'm going with this?) Also "bopped" were Jessica's car and the cars of all the employees and patrons at the Blue Willow when a particularly nasty thunderstorm cell went through there at about 5:00 on Saturday afternoon. We were under a tornado warning on Friday night about 10:00 from the same cell that badly damaged a 6-mile swath of downtown Atlanta. And then all day Saturday there were other strong to severe storms that moved across our area...and just to the north of us...from early in the morning (we were awakened pre-dawn by a loud and flashy storm) until about 6:00 or 7:00 in the evening. We were very lucky. We had only one tree come down and it just missed Jerry's shed by a foot or two. So...while we were "hail bopped" this weekend, we are all fine.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Funny

From the current Reader's Digest:

"I went to the 30th reunion of my preschool. I didn't want to go, because I've put on, like, a hundred pounds."
-Wendy Liebman

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's Ready Now, Emery

Trouble is...Emery left about an hour ago. Here's what happened: Emery got a new toy today at Nanny's house. I had gotten him a little train set at the Great Kids consignment sale last week. Today, after his nap, I gave it to him. We took all the pieces out of the box and Nanny was immediately at a loss as to how to put it all together. So I coaxed Grandpa into taking a look at it while I went downstairs to the sewing room to "fiss" blankie, as I had promised. Well...Grandpa really got into the project and had most of the track together and Emery was quite excited about it. But by then it was time for them to leave. I hope that next time he comes to play, Emery will be as excited about it as Grandpa is. You see...after getting the track together and figuring out all the other parts, it turns out it's a great little train set. There's only one main "car" that rides (with batteries) along the track...but as it goes through all the different little stations, it picks up different "top parts" that load, carry, and then dump little balls. Then it repeats all over again. You can hit little switches along the track to change it's direction. Grandpa is having quite a bit of fun with it. I don't know if he's noticed that Emery went home.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Little Heavy Breathing

Yesterday the phone rang and when I answered it all I heard was breathing.'s been a while since I've had one of those calls. So after a bit I said, "Hello" again. Then a little, "Hello" came back to me. Then I knew it was Emery. He said, "I coming to your house". In the background, Jodi said, "No. You need to ASK her if you can come to her house." So he amended it and said, "I coming to your house, okay?" I said that would be just fine and asked him when he would like to come. He just said, "Blankie is broken". Ahhh...a young man with a need. I asked what he thought I could do about that and he said, "You need to fiss it, Nanny." Well, sure I can do that. So we made a date for repairs on Wednesday and we'll get it all taken care of. That's all it takes to make a Nanny's day! :)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Special Lady

The world lost a special lady this past week. My cousin, Dorothy Wise, died peacefully in her sleep. I'm so glad God chose to take her home that way because she was a really neat person. At age 33, she married her husband, Doc (Dr. Ralph Waldo Emerson Wise -- no lie). He was pretty cool, too, and together they then had 6 children in the next 9 years! She was a loving and enthusiastic mother, wife, homemaker, room mother, water skier (on Lake Springfield...where they lived) golfer and tennis player...and later grandmother and great grandmother. After her children were grown, she studied piano at the Community College. She maintained an active life to the end despite a stroke in 1994 that left her in a wheelchair.

All of this is remarkable, indeed, but the thing that I liked most about her was her spirit. You would think that a person who had been confined to a wheelchair for 14 years would, at best, be "resigned" to her situation...and, at worst, feel sorry for herself. But that wasn't Dorothy. Here are a couple of excerpts from her 2005 Christmas letter: "Many heavy snows left me housebound. This allowed me to enjoy the winter views from the living room"...."My doctor told me about a place he visits called Wesley Acres Adult Day Center. He told me that it would be a good place for me to socialize...At first I was apprehensive but my apprehension gave way to enjoyment as I began to flex a little right handed muscle during all manner of athletic events. As the "new kid on the block" I dominated in bowling, baseball and basketball. The baseball game is a bean bag toss game. The location of your toss determines the play. At my first at bat, I hit a home run." And when she had to go into a nursing home this past year, she told us (again in her Christmas letter) like this: "My move to Wesley marks the biggest event of my year. I enjoyed the four years I lived with Lisa, Alan and Max, but the time was right for me to move on. And what better place than Wesley where I had been spending my days, making friends and keeping my mind and body busy? I have attended all manner of musical events including the Des Moines Symphony, jazz concerts, Dixieland picnics, and piano sing a longs. My friends and I have shopped 'till we dropped and fished and picnicked at the Raccoon River Park. I dine on French food and french fries. If variety is the spice of life then life at Wesley is a savory stew of activity." When is the last time you heard an assisted care home described that way?
So it was that on Thursday she went to mass with her daughter, Lisa. Then on Friday she went on a bus trip with her friends at Wesley. Then Saturday her sleep...the angels came and took her home. I think she would agree with Jimmy Stewart in saying, "It's a wonderful life". Thank you, Dorothy, for the fine example of a life well lived.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It's Here!

When I went into the shop to work on Friday, Melisa told me she'd received an order for my latest table runner pattern that was in May's issue of McCall's Quick Quilts. It gets to subscribers in different parts of the country at different times, so we didn't realize it was out yet. That was exciting. By Saturday, she'd received 4 orders. It never stops being fun to see my designs in print and how they photograph and diagram the quilts...or to see what parts of the country we send kits to. Of the first four, I only knew that one went to Michigan and one to California. When I saw Pam last night, she said she cut more kits yesterday because they had already mailed out 11 of them! :)

If you can make out the green print in the bottom left corner of the cover, it says, "New series - Seasonal Table Runners"...that's me. The article is called "a table for all seasons: Spring" and they go on to say, "fresh dining decor as the seasons change". On the next page they lay out their plan: "In this and the next 3 issues of Quick Quilts, we'll feature a table runner for every season, beginning with this lovely celebration of spring. Shown left to right are previews of summer, winter, fall and spring (this issue's project).

These are all my table runners and they are the same construction, but use different fabrics and different center designs to create a different "mood" for each season. The article is on pages 43-45.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Answers to Prayers

When I ask you to join me in praying for someone, I like to let you know when those prayers have been answered. The other day I was asking for prayers for Shirley. I'm glad to report that her bronchitis is much better. That's probably due to two things: her antibiotics took control, and she managed to pass it off to her husband, "Uncle Ken". At any rate, she's feeling better. And, as you can see, God did a marvelous job on the hair. The failing eyesight still seems to be a problem. But maybe if she's still doing her Stevie Wonder impressions by the end of the year, Uncle Ken can get her a seeing-eye dog for Christmas.
On a more serious note, I saw Nikki's mom the other day and she said she is doing well fighting against her addiction. But we all know that will be a long and difficult road, so please continue to keep both of them in your prayers.