Sunday, January 22, 2012

Autograph Quilt Part II

David - a man of few words! 
I have over half of my "autograph" pieces signed and returned to me. I am waiting to create the finished blocks until I have almost all of them. I have four pieces still waiting to be returned, two to be mailed out this week and hope to have 25 or 26 signed blocks. If I need additional blocks to complete the total quilt pattern I will write quotes about friendships on the blocks I need to finish.

I tried to block out the last names of my friends.  Lori is a
Unitarian Universalist  minister and the
flaming chalice is a symbol of the religion
This quilt is so much fun. Every time I see an envelope in my mailbox I get excited.
I've known Shelley a LONG TIME!  LOL
She also married my cousin, Bob.
While some people just sign their names (which is perfectly fine), other's draw or write "friendship" sayings or other things. It's a hoot!
Kind of hard to read in this photo, but Terri tells the story of
an interview question I asked her when she applied for a position
in the department I worked in.  I asked her how organized she was.
Her reply was  "You should see my sock drawer!" 
She was hired and we've been friends ever since - over 19 years!
A great friendship quote from Martha!

Yet Another Block of the Month - Batik Quilt

I do get hooked on quilting Blocks of the Month (BOMs).  I love them because you get your fabric and block pattern, spend a few hours putting it together and forget about it for another month. 

My latest BOM will be using bright batik prints with a black fabric background.  I saw the first block this when I was at The Quilt Store on Main Street in Jasper, GA last October.  It is offered with a white or black background.  Martha was with me and we both commented on what a beautiful, vibrant quilt would be made from these fabrics and we both agreed the black background was the way to go.  A week later I went back to sign up and get my first block. 

I got my first four month's done.  I love them and can't wait to see what the fabrics will be next month! 

Kathy, owner of The Quilt Store on Main, opened her shop about a year and a half ago.  She offers not only fabrics and notions (the usual), but long-arm quilting services, too.  Her shop while small, is growing.  I think she will need more space before too long.  I am taking a paper piecing class there in March and hope to take many classes from her.

It is nice to finally have a "home" quilt shop again.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Art of Giving - Financially

I'm not one to volunteer much, although I would like to.  I guess I have good intentions, but following through on them is another matter.  I don't belong to a church anymore although if I had to put myself in a religious peg hole it would be Unitarian Universalist.  So, I don't volunteer with my church affiliation or with any other group.

I feel bad about this - not volunteering more.  There are wonderful organizations out there that need people to help out.  I'm semi-retired and have the time.  I do make quilts for the  Quilts for Kids program and I volunteer on a couple committee for my subdivision, but that is about it.

I have donated to Goodwill more times than I can count, as well as local shelters (both for humans and animals).  But, that is "stuff" not  cash. 

I have never really given money to organizations, either.  I use to joke that I was so broke I needed additional donations to survive!  I have always been one to pitch in at the work environment when parents were selling pizzas, girl scout cookies, etc., for whatever their child's club was, though.  I was happy to do this.  When I adopted my first dog, Gracie, I joked that Gracie was my child and she was going to sell pizzas for her club  - the Send My Momma to Europe club!  Of course, that never happened!

Recently, I have regrouped with my finances and took a 13-week seminar on money management.  It has changed my life.  More on that in another blog.  But, it is working - slowly, but it's working.  And, for the first time in my life I am budgeting for charitable giving.   And, you know what?  It feels GREAT.

At this point in my new financial journey I can't give the 10% of my income recommended by the course I took, but the tiny amount I can give makes me feel pretty darn good.  Right now there are two organizations I donate to and every month I feel wonderful when I see money being directly taken out of my account for one organization or I go on the other organization's website to make a decision.

I have also changed my beneficiaries on several retirement accounts I have.  Now, organizations I feel strongly about will get a chunk of change when I pass.  Sorry family members, but I thought long and hard about it.

If you want to explore not-for-profit organizations/charities before donating, I recommend the following website.  It really gives a good, solid report on thousands of organizations:

Also, I have budgeted small amounts to be given to a couple of causes that my friends are actively involved in.   For years I have admired their dedication through various runs and bike rides.  So, this year when they ask for money for these causes I will happily send a check.  It may be small, but it will help a little.

For 2012 my budget is set and my charities are picked.  It is a fabulous feeling. 

Saturday, January 07, 2012


I haven't had the best luck when it comes to love in relationships.

Well, that's not exactly true.  I have been in and have received wonderful, fabulous love.  I have seen stars, been giddy and have truly, deeply loved and have had that love returned to me.  More than once.  So, I really shouldn't complain as there are many people who have never felt this type of all consuming love or if they have, it wasn't reciprocated (been there, too). 

I loved my husband, Bill.  It was a good love, steady and true.  I'd like to think that if he had made some life style changes, similar to what I made during our marriage, we would still be together.  He didn't.  We divorced.  I'm alive.  He's not.  It's sad.  He has been gone for over six years and I still miss him.

I have been loved by men I treated unfairly, much to my sorrow.  I have loved men that didn't deserve my  love and treated me unfairly.  I have been loved and then unloved.  I have been truly loved.

So, I have my experience with love.  Good, bad, nice, sweet - all of it.  And, I'm alone. 

I want love in my life again.  I've stepped back from relationships, retired, moved to a new state, established a good and happy life here, have a great part time job, have friends (both new and old).  I have a good life.  I go out, I do things,  my life is good.  And, I am happy.

But.  And, there is that BUT.  I want love, too. 

A lot of my women friends think I am crazy.  When I posted on FaceBook a wild post of the love I am seeking, several advised me to get another dog.  They were serious.  Hmmmm. . . . sorry, I want a man who stands on 2 legs.  No parrots, either (one friend suggested parrots at least talk more then most men!).

I decided to put it out to the universe.  I writing about the love I yearn for here on my blog and in a journal.  I light candles at night to help send the energy out.  In my journal I wrote specifics - real nitty, gritty stuff.  But, here it is in a nutshell.  I know it may take months or even years (although I hope not), and maybe I am being school girl silly, but I've witnessed good, solid love (my parents, my sister and brother-in-law) and I want it, too.  There is probably too many "I want's" listed below.  But, it's all true.  This is want I want.

I want love. Head over heels, crazy love.  I want to see stars, hear bells and whistles.  I want my heart to pound when he calls me.  I want to go breathless at his kisses.  I want to bore all of my friends when I talk about how great he is.  I want my toes to curl when he kisses me (he can knock my socks off, too).  I want him to feel the same for me.

I want romance.  I want nice dinners at great restaurants, I want breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  I want to cook for him and for him to grill steaks out for me.  I want to cook together.  I want sweet cards and little notes found under my pillow.  I want him to call me "just because."  I want flowers delivered and presented.  I want to send him silly Hallmark cards and find things I know he will like and surprise him.  I want poetry and our favorite song.  I want to slow dance in my kitchen with him and share desserts with him (and for those that know me, I do not share desserts!).

I want crazy, wild sex.  I want sweet and purse sex.  I want him to come over and surprise me because he can't get enough of me.  I want him to look at this 56 year old body and think I am beautiful.

I want reality, too.  I want to talk and share feelings together.  I want laughter and giddiness, but also tears and sharing our feelings, fears and issues together.  I want soul searching conversations and simple "how was your day?" talks.  I want to get pissed off at him, knowing that all will be forgiven.  I want to watch him spit out his tooth paste, cut his toenails and  scratch his butt and still love him.  I want to care for him when he is sick and for him to hand me my Puffs when I have a cold.  I want my neck rubbed and feet rubbed and I want to rub his temples when he has a headache.

I want family stories. I want to get to know his kids and grandkids (if he has them), I want family time with his siblings and mine. Holidays, birthdays, vacations all spent together or alone. It's all good.

I want to grow old with someone.  Develop a history together, build a life.  I want to look back and say that he was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I want him to feel the same.

I want to love and be loved  one more time and let it last until I die.

There it is.  Let it come.