Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Library Quilt

I can't think of a clever title for this post -- it is what it is.

I belong to The Applique Society, a quilting club that meets once a month in the Springfield Public Library -- a gorgeous facility. Because there is no charge for the meeting room, we decided to make a quilt for them to hang on the wall -- there's lots of empty space. We are each supposed to make one appliqued square with a motif that has something to do with libraries, books, or reading. I couldn't decide on a single theme, so I made these three blocks.

At least it kept my mind off the weather. This is the first heat wave like this since we've been in Missouri and it's only June. I hope the rest of summer is milder.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stonehenge Wasn't Built in a Day

Amanda recently visited Stonehenge and brought us back some great souvenirs. The cardboard cut-it-out-and-assemble-following-detailed-tedious-instructions kit is just perfect for Ben's obsessive-compulsive nature. He loves detail and minutiae -- this kit provides it in spades! Not shown are the chads from his labors littering his bedroom floor.

Mc Stonehenge

Logan received a box of little plastic rocks with instructions on how to arrange them to replicate the ancient monument. Logan, however, believes the archeologists got it all wrong, it is not an ancient calendar, astronomical reckoning arrangement, nor has it any religious significance. It is the original McDonald's Drive-Thru. As you can see, one could easily drive one's chariot around this arrangement, stop at the large tablet displaying the mastodon-burger offerings, place one's order, and proceed to the far side to pick it up, taking care to avoid hitting the monolith out front which predated the Golden Arches. Or the druid family could choose to go inside, order at the counter and picnic on the Salisbury Plain.

Fortunately, I received a refrigerator magnet; no assembly required. (By the way, I attribute the flurry of recent posts to the fact that I'm avoiding housework.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Snakes Alive!

Ben "Job Shadowed" today at the Nature Center -- a project for his Summer School Career Opportunities class. He wants to be a Wildlife Biologist -- an evolution from his previous ambition to be an entomologist. I think it is a perfect fit for his passions. He loves animals in nature. Yesterday he went out of his way and kept us all waiting while he moved a moth to a safe place and out of harm's way. He will watch a mosquito suck his blood rather than swat it. It's funny, he's not real interested in the household pets like Logan is, but he loves animals in their natural state. He had a great time at the Nature Center and they loved him.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It All Comes Out in the Wash

I try to make my quilts "bulletproof" so that the user can spill wine, coffee, or whatever and then fearlessly toss the quilt in the washer and dryer. I want them to be used and enjoyed, not stuck away in a closet. This quilt is bound for Hospice where it will have food, body fluids and all kinds of insults tossed onto it. The picture on the right is the "before" shot -- I had just finished the quilt and not yet washed it. The photo below is the same quilt after spending 59 minutes in the washer on "normal" cycle and then a regular cycle at full speed in the dryer. The border looks a little more rumpled in the "after" shot, but the quilt is basically unscathed -- just a little softer, a good thing. (Quilters note: the pattern is an appliqued Drunkard's Path). So if I have given you a quilt, please do not be afraid to wash it!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

On This Day

Fifty years ago today, Roger and I were married. I can't let that pass without some observations on who we were and what we did during the twenty-two years we spent as husband and wife.

1. We both grew up in tumble-down Victorian-era houses.
2. We were both the first-born (I had four sibs, he had three).
3. I had a lousy mother and a good father, he had a lousy father and a good mother.
4. We were both 20 years old when we got married. He had to have his parents' consent to marry.
5. He was in the Navy, stationed at Alameda when we met at a USO dance.
6. We were married five months after we met.
7. We were married at St. Lawrence O'Toole's Catholic Church in Oakland and had the reception at Leona Lodge. I am still in contact with two out of three of my attendants.
8. For our honeymoon, we drove to his parents home in Nebraska. (They had been unable to attend the wedding.)
9. We spent a night at a motel ($4) in Avon, Colorado along the way. It was a beautiful, high alpine valley, along a river, sparsely populated. Today, it is Vail and filled with condominiums.
10. Five months after we were married, he was sent to Midway Island for thirteen months (with no leave, no visits, only letters and an occasional ham radio conversation -- and this was during peace time!)
11. After Midway, he was stationed on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound where Robin, our first child, was born. I developed a life-long friendship with Shirley Dillery (she died a couple of years ago).
12. We moved to Santa Clara when he was discharged in December 1961 and he went to work for Lockheed. Highway 101 at that time had stop lights on it, the freeway wasn't completed until a few years later. Lawrence Expressway was then Lawrence Station Road.
13. I went to work for Stanford Research Institute in 1962 and developed a couple of enduring friendships.
14. We bought our first house in 1963 - 3 bedrooms, 980 square feet, for $15,450. We barely qualified because in those days, they would not consider a wife's income. My friendship with Nancy was established when we were neighbors.
15. In 1964, our twins, Kevin and Colleen, were born. Health insurance did not provide maternity benefits and we had to pay the total --$500 to the doctor and $500 to the hospital -- out of pocket.
16. After a couple of rocky years, he was hired by IBM.
17. We both started taking college courses in the evening.
18. In 1970 we bought a Ford van and used it for many camping trips with other families.
19. I went back to work in 1972.
20. We took a memorable trip to Europe with two other couples in 1973.
21. We moved to our second house in 1973.
22. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1975.
23. I finished my bachelor's in 1976.
24. We moved to our third house in 1977.
25. Robin graduated from high school in 1979.
26. I started graduate school in 1980.
26. Our marriage ended in 1981.

Looking at this list, I'm struck by the fact that the first part of the list is amplified with descriptions, or asides and the last eleven items are merely data points. I leave that to you to analyze.

I have learned after 22 years of marriage followed by 28 years of single life, that I would not be a good marriage partner. I hate to compromise and really like having things my way! I can't imagine being married to someone like me. However, I am eternally grateful for the three wonderful children that were the products of our marriage.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thumbs Up!

Five days in a cast was plenty! I hate down time and get bored so easily -- I've watched three movies and read two books in the past five days. The books were awful -- please give me some recommendations on good contemporary fiction. The Reader was a great movie. Ben and Logan have been great -- cooking, doing dishes, fetching, carrying stuff, etc. And to think, we get to do this all over again in a few weeks!

Ben's at summer school and band camp every day this week. His days are long: 7:30 till 6:00, grab a bite to eat and then off to music lessons, church, or Tae Kwan Do. We've made a difficult decision -- to shelve Tae Kwan Do this fall after seven years and a second degree black belt. There's just not enough time to do it all: marching band, choir, music lessons, church, and school work. We belong to the local community center health club and Ben will substitute working out there for Tae Kwan Do. I'm getting him some time with a personal trainer for a birthday gift in July when he'll be fourteen and old enough to use the equipment.

Logan is vegging out for the most part - playing with the dogs, watching TV, playing computer games, and working in the garden. He will go to football camp after he and Ben return from California at the end of July.

Friday, June 5, 2009

How Do I Do?

Very well, thank you. One of my birthday gifts to myself this year is the repair of some body parts, including carpal tunnels. I had dread-filled surgery yesterday on the left hand. So far, the dread has been the worst part. The good part has been the great care at the hospital, and from Steve, Logan, and Ben. Many restful hours of sleep have been good, too. Based on this experience, I eagerly look forward to round two on my right hand.

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's Official

Ben is now officially a high school student; summer school started this morning. He chose to take two classes this summer so that he would have time in his fall schedule to take both marching band and choir. He looks so grown up to me with his "ropey" man arms (sorry they are hidden behind his back). His tae kwan do training has made him very buff. He continues to be a wonderful person.