Posts Tagged ‘family’

It is hard to believe that the last time I posted here was before Thanksgiving.  I have been on line, too.  But somehow I have been sucked into Facebook and have found myself putting up little blips here and there rather than making a blog post.   I wonder how many other bloggers have been seduced by social media?

Since I posted, it has snowed and thawed several times.   I did get some pretty nifty snow shots during all those events.



We had a real cold snap before Thanksgiving, and the little pond froze with beautiful hoarfrost crystals.


We also had a small ice storm, no big damage although we did have a couple of elm trees that dropped a lot of branches.   The day after the ice covered stuff it was a lovely day and things were already starting to melt.   I took Ruby for a walk and the ice was positively magical.   Everywhere I looked the woods sparkled in rainbow colors.   This phenomenon proved to be shockingly difficult to photograph, but I did get one image that almost conveys how amazing it was out there.


During all this harsh weather, my neighborhood has been living up to its name.   All kinds of little birds, and big birds too, have been enjoying the shelter, food and water The Havens provides.  Actually, there are plenty of mammals also enjoying The Havens along with the avian population.






We had a sumptuous Thanksgiving repast.


At Christmas, Jesse and Lynette were able to get away from their Army duties and bring James to visit us.   They were here for far too short a time, and we loved every minute of it.


I saved The Quilt for a Christmas presentation, even though the kids knew I had made it and had enjoyed hots of it during all stages of creation.   They did not know about the pillow cases or the matching throw pillow, though.   Honestly, I think it makes a pretty impressive bed.


James approved, I believe.



One of my dear friends gave me an amaryllis bulb as a Christmas gift.   This week it started to open.



Today it looks like this:



So now you are somewhat up to date.

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A little while ago Jim and I made the trek out to the East Coast for two purposes.  One was to return a large cast iron cauldron that we had ordered which arrived cracked.   We took it back to the foundry to have it replaced with one that was not cracked.  The guy who packed it at the foundry just couldn’t imagine how it could have been cracked…   Personally, I suspect that it left the foundry that way and they were hoping that we wouldn’t notice until it was too late for us to make them do anything about it.   But UPS could have dropped it during shipping, which would not be surprising since it was in a box that was labelled “HEAVY” but even a person who was expecting “heavy” might have been surprised by the 87 lbs…


It isn’t the largest cauldron ever, either.   It is only a 12 gallon sized, and they come all the way up to 60 gallons and more, some large enough to scald a whole pig.   I don’t know how you carry around a 60 gallon cast iron cauldron, actually.

The other reason for the trip was to visit the grandchild, who really represents a huge fork in our road.  He is developing in a most satisfactory way, thanks to the excellent parenting he is receiving.   I surely do wish we lived closer to that beautiful little family, but Skype helps.  One of the things that made the odyssey totally worth it?  Getting to see this:





Another vision that really “made” the trip was this sign:



This road has a serious identity crisis.  Not only does it not know what it’s number is, it doesn’t really know what direction it is going either.   Or possibly, it is all things to all people and going every direction at once.

Sometimes, I feel like that road sign could be the icon for my life.   Like most people, I struggle with the questions “Who am I?” and “Where am I going?”   “What is my purpose?”  “What is really important in my life?”   “Where is my place in the world?”

I do know my purpose, what I was put here on Earth to do, and that is to touch people and help them find the path to healing.   My work as a massage therapist has been doing that for well over 20 years now, and it has brought me peace and prosperity.   It has led me to connections with people that are deep and meaningful.  Recently I attended a class in California featuring Neuro-Muscular Reprogramming.   That re-connected me to Jocelyn Olivier and the Alive and Well School of Massage, the place where my training began.  Watch this space, you will hear more about NMR, which is a profound healing technique that I am anxious to master.  I see clearly that it is a fork in my massage road I am going to walk down, far down, and ultimately it will add longevity and depth to my massage career.

So that is one thing I am.   I am also a gardener…



I like to create things, notably I am working on a quilt right now.  It is a bargello design called “Supernova.”   (This is a pattern I found in a book by Eileen Wright, which I have been thoroughly enjoying.)  I’m 75% done with the piecing.


I am also a labyrinth tender:

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Labyrinth june06 005

That “identity” has led me to connections as well.   My labyrinth is listed on the World Wide Labyrinth Locator, which brings strangers into my life from far away and turns them into friends.  Just a couple of days ago I was visited and interviewed by a woman who is visiting and writing about labyrinths in all 50 states.   I may or may not show up in her book.   After all, she may meet a better candidate than I am for her writing about this state.   Anyway, she had lived in Alaska for ten years and brought me a beautiful rock from the Mendenhall Glacier area of Juneau.   We had a thoroughly enjoyable visit.

There are no forks in a labyrinth, there is simply one path.   You begin at the beginning, follow the path through its twists and turns, and eventually you reach the center.

Sort of like life, actually.



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Georgia…. Georgia on my mind…  It is beautiful there.


Continuing the peripatetic way that was outlined for me at the beginning of the summer, I made a solo trip to Georgia to visit my son, his wife and the new grandbaby, James.  You will pardon me if I do the typical Grandma thing and immediately post a picture of the paragon.


I have a feeling that he is going to grow from being extremely cute to being Way Handsome.

It was a lot of fun, really.    The town home community they live in hosts Mississippi kites, kingfishers, numerous other birds and at least one alligator.  There were tree frogs and geckos hunting on their porch.


There was an egret rookery on Ft. Stewart to admire.



I visited the Atlantic coast at  Jekyll Island, a barrier island that shows exactly how the river of sand flows in slow motion.






On Ft. Stewart, near the rookery, is a very beautiful pond that is a recreation area for the soldiers there.


The “kids” took me to nearby Savannah, and we enjoyed eating at Five Guys Burgers and Fries.   Wonderful hamburgers.   We walked along the river in the old part of a very lovely city.


I got to bond with James.


Gratifying is the word that comes to mind.   What was so extremely gratifying was not just the wonderful child that the two of them created, although that was pretty gratifying.   The really great thing was seeing how our son has grown into a tender father and supportive husband.   I got to see first hand the wisdom of his choice of wife; for not only is she very pretty, she is also extremely intelligent, focused on her desire to be a good mother, wise beyond her years, and a fiercely loyal mate.

I also witnessed this very manly man completely involved in the nitty gritty details of housekeeping, sharing the chores of housekeeping.   Even more, he agreed wholeheartedly that since his wife was the main food source for the baby, his main part of the job was going to be the clean-up brigade.   He did that chore with no sign of disgust; but rather with relish, delighted to help make his baby clean and comfortable.   He cooked us dinners, too, following the example his father set.

Who says that only women can be nurturing?







Oh, it was wonderful in the extreme to witness the only major disagreement they had while I was here.   Someone  (I’m not sure whether it was me or Jesse) congratulated her on the excellent job she did of producing this baby.   She objected.   Her position was that Jesse had a lot to do with creating the baby, too.   He disagreed.   I loved the way he put it:  “Babe, all I did was contribute the leavening agent.   You did all the rest.”   Truly, that was the closest I saw them getting into an argument in the almost two weeks I was there.


They are not only parents, they are soldiers.   Both of them.   I found the uniforms and boots by the door to be touching and sweet.    His and hers, together.


I am so proud.  And so blessed.

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We are proud to announce the birth of our grandson today.   He was born at 1:40 p.m.   At birth, he weighed 7 lb. 13.2 oz. and was 20.5 inches long.  I don’t know when I have seen a newborn with such large hands.

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This is the beautiful mother, Lynette, with her son.


Aside from the fact that she looks totally love with her son, she appears to be quite pleased with herself.   Jim says she looks very smug indeed, and pointed out that this is the totally natural look a woman has for all men:  Look what I can do.

Ah, the magic of being able to reproduce the species.   No wonder the patriarchy is so strident.   They are still trying to overcome this mystery and power.   Good luck with that, boys.

And here is the proud father, the son that Jim and I are so very very proud of.


Okay.   I have to post one more.


Jim and I have shared a bottle of champagne, the cork is in my collection with the date inscribed on it.   Also we shared an excellent cigar.

Now I have to finish packing.  Tomorrow I leave for my drive to Georgia, where I will get to hold this precious human being in person rather than vicariously.

It just doesn’t get any better than this.

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The baby quilt is no longer in progress.   It is done.



I actually had a dream about this quilt right when I was almost completely done quilting the white border.   This is a sample of the beginning of the white border:



This particular quilting pattern was suggested by the pillow conversation Jim and I had about the letter Y.  As it turns out, I actually did put the entire list of Atomic symbols into that border.   I am wondering how long it will be before the child asks the parents about that border, if it ever does.   Anyway, it pleases me no end that I did this and it worked out so well.

So, I was working Praseodymium, which I had to look up to find out what it was good for, when it was time to stop for the night.  As I slept, the quilt blocks were spinning in my head, especially since the idea has been planted in my fertile mind that the blocks of the alphabet represent the story of my life.  Eventually, the Man in the Maze came to me to speak, and made the point that the labyrinth which is such a large presence in our lives must be represented somehow on the quilt.

I am ever obedient to the Muse…




The labyrinth block is the one I reserved for the baby’s name and birthdate.  If you look closely, you can see that there is room left at the top of the maze pattern for those things to be added once they are known.

The block just to the left represents the parents.  Those ribbons were part of the decor for their wedding.

So, now I am without an active project just now.   There is a stack of fabric accumulating on my desk for the next quilt, which is going to be another bargello called Supernova and will feature a transition of color from deep purple through paler shades to silver.   I have about 2/3 of the fabric, but there is still a ways to go.   I am going to visit my older sister in San Antonio in a couple of weeks and there are wonderful fabric stores there which I intend to avail myself of.

And the baby quilt is going too, in order to be admired during show and tell at my older sister’s quilt guild meeting.   I guess I’d better think of a title for it.

Meanwhile, I believe I shall brave the slushy three inches of snow out there and go do my water aerobics.

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