Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall, It Is....

I don't remember ever having such an abrupt change of season around here! A few days ago, I was so chilled during the day I had to turn the furnace on for half an hour. Each fall I challenge myself to see how long I can wait to actually turn it on, well, I didn't even make it to October! This morning when I got up, it was 61 degrees in here, so on the furnace went!!
The photo I have featured today is one I took last fall while spending some time at Lake Cavanaugh during a quilting retreat with some wonderful friends. My favorite place to runaway to, with some favorite friends.
My crock pot is coming out today. I'm going to make tapioca in there! Just a recipe I found in one of my Fix It and Forget It cookbooks. You then transform it into a fruit salad, that I think the kids will really like with their dinner. I'm also going to roast some red peppers today and marinate them to make myself a red pepper, goat cheese, basil sandwich for dinner. Lynn has a dinner meeting so this is a perfect meal for me!! Plus I am going to use the last several peaches and make a peach crisp for dessert. Again....ah.....fall......
Down side, after the rain yesterday here came a pesky mole in the yard - in a farming community.....I have great soil for planting, but enticing soil for moles. I'll hope that Rocco the kitty might catch him! No hope for Dutch the King Cat!! He likes the fall too, finds his way up on top of a cabinet in the sewing room where I have quilts stacked. See the orange ball?
That is Dutch kitty. That is about 6 feet off the ground. In front of that stack of drawers is a small table that has some quilts that need binding, so it makes it easy for him to find his way up there. Yesterday I wondered where he was most of the day and finally spotted him in here...
Jillian has early release today, so we will be picking her up in an hour, so I best get that tapioca started.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Dear Genie!!!
It has taken me almost an hour to figure out how to scan and upload this wonderful photo of Genie with Kyle. This was taken a few years ago, but if one of my favorites of them both.
Kyle went to school with Genie's older sister, even to college together. Genie was the "little sister" who grew up to be quite the beauty! They started dating while Kyle was in college and had an on/off relationship for several years. When they finally figured out that they were MFEO (reference Sleepless in Seattle!) they had a beautiful summer wedding and a year and a half later presented me with the adorable Carter, grandson number 3!!! Genie is the Auntie to 9 nephews so a boy was no surprise to any of us! Everyone is hoping the next baby will be a girl (HOPEFULLY next year), but if that happens I know I'll never get my hands on her!
It is really cool to me that Genie kind of "followed" my path, went to Highline College and got her nursing degree and then got hired at Tacoma General as an RN in the NICU. My job was in L&D, but close enough!!! Now she is working as a charge nurse. I am so very, very proud of her. She takes such wonderful care of Kyle and Carter. Caring, beautiful and smart, what more could you ask for!!!
Sorry I couldn't get the photo to fill the space, but you can click on it and get a close up of them.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Falling Forward!

These are those fall days of "layering"...the mornings are cool and the day just keeps getting warmer and warmer. This quilt was gifted to me as a thank you for serving as guild president. Isn't it gorgeous????
I spent a bit of time out cleaning out the veggie garden. And it really is showing me how out of shape and what diminished energy I have. So I'll do a bit more each day and not get frustrated with what I DON'T have.
Ethan will be here in about half an hour and we will pick Jillian up at school at 3:10 and then come home and bake cookies! I'm going to get out my new Kitchen Aid and make a big batch of what some used to call "Mrs. Fields" cookies. Or Neiman Marcus cookies, or ranger cookies. They have everything in them, oatmeal, chocolate chips, nuts and I add some coconut. They freeze great and are oh so yummy! I haven't make them for decades it seems, they can be tough to deal with using a hand mixer.
I do keep wandering in and out of my sewing room. I have a row quilt round robin up on my wall. I am so behind on this swap, but I'm determined to get this one done by the weekend.
Speaking of the weekend, it was awesome to hear that some TV station has picked up the UW/Stanford game Saturday night, so we will get to watch the game after all! Still feeling the glow of the win last Saturday over USC. Then I saw a great piece on the USC coach on 60 Minutes the next day and discovered what a great human being the man is. But I'm still glad we beat them!!!
Tomorrow is sweet Genie's birthday, so I'll be writing about her and what a blessing she has been to our family.
Back out to pull out more spearmint that has gone wild!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Surprise

I'm so happy that the yucky pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus infection I was plagued with seem to have finally passed! Just under 3 weeks of that junk is more than enough for anyone. Hoping now to get back to my normal energy level and start getting into the Fall swing, my favorite season!
I started taking down my spring/summer quilts and get into my stacks of other quilts to find the fall ones I like to put up and I came across something, folded nicely and when I unfolded it, this is what I found.
This was a sweet wall hanging that I designed and created about 5 years ago. I do remember last year getting it together with batting and backing and then it got folded up for later quilting. So guess what I'll be doing this week? Yep, some machine quilting and get this up for display.
I think I have more fall/halloween quilts than any other!
Now that I am feeling so much better, more posts will be coming.
Thanks for following along.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Magic Shoes....

The fact of the matter is, almost any shoes will work! I have discovered that if I PUT ON MY SHOES, I get so much more done! On the slow, lazy mornings that I stay in my cozy slippers, the morning becomes the afternoon and slides into the evening and I haven't gotten much done at all. The good part of that, is I don't leave the house which always seems to involve spending money!
But on those days that I know I have things I really need to tend to, putting on my shoes seems to be the final message to my brain that work will now be done. Which is what I need to do now. Put on my shoes and get into my sewing room and get some things done that have been waiting! Will post a photo later today to show my progress.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day, Looking Back

That photo was taken in about 1967. That's me in the green dress (age 15) and my parents standing behind me. My grandparents on the right side, and my siblings, and cousins, and aunts/uncles from my Dad's side of the family. He is the oldest of 4 boys, and my Grandfather (who I mentioned in a previous post) was a well known, well loved family doctor in West Seattle. Their house was on the beach in West Seattle on the south side of the Coleman ferry dock, so the opposite side of Lincoln Park (for those of you who know the area). For as long back as I can remember every labor day (as well as Memorial day and most 4th of July's) we would spend "at the beach". I remember LOVING to go there as a kid, dreading it as a young teen, tolerating it as an older teen and finally appreciating it as an adult. It is a very cool spot, you have to traverse down a beautifully landscaped hillside to get down to the house and the beach. There was an "easy" path down and a "hard" path down. As kids we were not allowed to go on the hard path until we were at least 10!!! My grandpa and the "boys" put those steps in down that hill and my grandma did the landscaping. My first experience of picking huckleberries was on that hill. The beach was so awesome. A beach where there were logs and "walking the logs" all the way around the point is a wonderful memory. Also rowing, rowing, rowing the boat out on the sound. Watching the ferries come and go. Having hot dogs, hamburgers EVERY time. Actually we did the bury the salmon in the ground thing a few times . Digging in the sand. Throwing, skipping rocks. After having grown up on those holidays at that house, my boys too spent their first 10-12 years going to "the beach" for Memorial Day and Labor Day. My Grandparents ended up building a house up on top of the hill, and living their elder years up there. The photo was taken on that patio. My Uncle Dan and Aunt Mary and their 5 kids moved into the house on the beach. Aunt Mary still lives there, Uncle Dan died several years ago. It is sad that the extended family has fallen away from those traditions. My kids and grandkids now have nothing they traditionally do for these summer holidays. I'm thinking I need to do something to change that next year.
Hope you all had a peaceful weekend.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Sign.....

I've been really struggling with a few issues around here lately, as some of you know. Part of it is "what do I want to do" with myself. Ethan will be in kindergarten next year so my role as day care Geema will be drastically reduced, which frees me up to do other things.
Before moving to Lynden, I had a dream job. Working with, helping, supporting, loving birthing women and their families. When I moved with my husband to this area, my only option to continue working with these people was at the only hospital in town. I did NOT want to work night shift again, which is where new employees usually have to begin, and my husband assured me I didn't need to work at all, if I didn't want to. After 5 months not working, and finding my normal social self spending more and more time at home alone, I applied at the hospital for a "per dium" position in the birth center. So I work anywhere from 4 to 24 hours a month. The first few weeks I worked, I would cry on the way home. I hated the way women were treated, how their birthing experience had NOTHING to do with THEM and everything to do with hospital policy and procedure. I seemed to be alone in my belief that birth is a normal function, not a disaster waiting to happen. But I persevered because I felt I was making a difference for some women when I was there working with them. My frustration has grown over the past 9 years, I see the hospital preparing itself for an expected over 50% surgical delivery rate in the next 5 years, with the chance of women having a baby spontaneously diminishing rapidly. It's harder and harder to go to work, knowing I am expected to monitor machines, push drugs on women who may not want them, manage labor and birth to the doctors schedule instead of the womans body. I've been there 9 years, and there are maybe 3 co workers that I would consider "friendly" with me. This is probably mostly my fault, being there so infrequently. But I'm not there for them, or the physicians, but the birthing families. And every once in a while.....
Last night I had to take Jillian into the after hours pediatric clinic as she was expressing complaints that made me think she may have a brewing bladder infection. She had been running a fever now for two days. So I called and they said, sure bring her on in.
When we got there, the receptionist was very nice in telling me that since I was not a "parent" of this child she needed to call and get verbal permission from a parent to be able to treat her. She did that and then escorted us to the bathroom so Jillian could leave a urine sample (a 7 1/2 year old, with geema holding the cup - LOL). As she asked Jillian her first and last name to write on the cup, she suddenly looked up and exclaimed "YOU are Sharon Templeton!!" I said, yes.......and she gave me a huge hug and told me she has thought me of constantly since I helped her birth her child TWO YEARS ago!!! She went on telling me how I had made such a difference from her previous birthing experiences. That I was so supportive, educational and that I hadn't "abandoned" her as past nurses had when she was laboring. She said she has told everyone of her friends having a baby that they should hope that they could have me be their labor nurse.
It was an amazing feeling. I was so happy that her memory of that birth was so very positive.
The photo I chose for this post says so much to me. I took it after missing a turn on that roundabout and only because I missed my turn did I spot that rainbow. My camera just happened to be right on the seat next to me, so I had to pull over and snap a photo. It says to me, that even on a rainy, wet day, when I may be going "round and round and round" that if I take a good look around me, at what I might be missing, there is true beauty. No matter what happens to me, that woman will have a beautiful memory of the birth of her baby. And I helped her create it. What could be better than that?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Did I mention here yet how much I LOVE my new coffee maker? Unless I have company over, I am the only one here that drinks coffee. I've tried a few different coffee makers, one of which would grind the beans just before the coffee was made, but since it was set on a timer in the morning, I found that the sound of the grinder was waking me at least 15-20 minutes before I wanted to be awake - LOL!
This is the Keurig and it makes my coffee just one beautiful cup at a time. I pour my cream in as it is dripping, so it is well blended. So simple, so fast and so yummy! Usually I only want one cuppa coffee in the morning, so again, perfect. And in the evening I do a cuppa tea. The K Cups that you use have different teas, several grades of coffee and even hot chocolate. Yes, they are more expensive, but if I think of all the coffee I threw away because I made too much, it balances out for me. I have found the K cups most readily available at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Fred Meyer has a place on their shelf for them, but it was empty when I was last there. The shelf, not Fred Meyer....
I spent some time cruising through the Etsy site last night. There were several quilt tops listed there for sale. I wish there was some way to find out how often these actually SELL. But I'll give it a go, and even list some of my baby bibs on there. They do charge a very small fee for items to be listed for four months. A little more investigation is warranted.
I soaked some chicken in the brine last night and today will cook it along with some mac and cheese to take to the kids house for dinner. It was Jillian's first day of second grade! I'm going to meet her bus at home and spend a few hours over there, since Jeff has football practice. And I'm going to take my sewing machine and the Barbie princess fabric over and make the curtains for her bedroom that I promised her long I'm expecting a GOOD day!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Living Alone, Together

This is what my life at home has become. After 35 years of marriage, my husband is no longer interested in being a "couple". That is hard to say. But true. He does not want a divorce, or to be divorced, he just would like it if we could figure out how to maintain two households. How sad is that? I think it is a major male midlife crisis. He is in a pretty high stress (mostly self induced) job. People he works with have noticed his depressions too, but he doesn't think he has a problem. No, there are no drugs or alcohol involved, maybe there should be!
I am going to see a therapist starting on Thursday to help me figure out what I want. Ethan starts kindergarten in another year, which will free my time up considerably. I'm actually doing a bit of research on travel nursing. But again it would be a year away.
In the meantime, I have also decided that I am going to search out the Etsy site to see about selling some of my quilt tops. Since I do my quilting "by check" I can't see investing anymore money into them, if I could possibly sell them as tops. I'll also list some of my quilting books on Amazon, and see about another fabric sale sometime this fall. I'm not quitting sewing, or quilting, just paring things down a bit.
I promise my blog won't be morose and blue and pitiful, at least not everyday - LOL! I've been through two battles with cancer, birthed and raised 3 boys, went back to school when my kids were little to get my nursing degree. I know I am a strong and capable and loving woman who will find her way through this storm. I have wonderful friends and great kids. And a keyboard with a send button........

What is it, really?

So I found my digital camera. I do have some topics in mind to post about, but I'm in a quandary of really how to use this tool of the blog. Must each blog be topic related? I'm thinking, not. In our daily lives we address many different crisis', joys, frustrations, questions. So rather than choose an "area" of my life to blog about, I'll just blog, because I think it makes me feel better. Not sure than anyone out there cares, but I do. So it may be about quilting, cooking, kids, grandkids, home life. I'll attempt to make it clear in the Title for anyone who might be following along. When I first started this blog I titled it "Looking Back, Moving Forward" and I think that really still fits for me. So it may be a bit about the past, a bit about the future, and whatever is happening in between.
Buckle your seat belts, we may be in for a bumpy ride.......