Thursday, June 27, 2019

Really Random Thursday, 6/27/19

School is out for the summer, so the grandkids were over all day two weeks ago.

In the morning, Charlotte and Ella made slime. They declared the Nickolodeon kit less than ideal. Even though they are slime experts, they were not able to get it beyond the runny stage.
Meanwhile, Levi helped Gramps stake up the tomato plants.

After lunch, we pulled out the slip-n-slide, which we bought at the end of the season last year and never took out of the box.

It was a big hit.

I got some great videos of Levi but not many still shots, if you can call these "still." :)

I got some better ones of Gabe, probably because he insisted I use "burst" mode so I had plenty of pictures to choose from.

 Notice the "slide area" sign on the fence. :)
On Saturday, Charlotte, Levi, Gabe and I went to the one-year anniversary of the thrift store that Mark spent so much time working on last year. It's hard to believe the store has been open for a year! The manager always has creative displays when you walk in the door.
On Father's Day we headed up to Lakeview Cottages for the afternoon. As we get close, we cross a bridge. We stopped to take pictures because there was so much water!--in the drought years it has been a trickle. Not this year!

It was a beautiful day at Huntington Lake.
I took pictures of my English paper piecing project. Quite a few pictures...

The following Tuesday, we went to San Francisco to see Hamilton.

Our hotel was right off Union Square, so we spent a couple of hours walking around. We went to Britex Fabrics, an iconic fabric store in San Francisco. Mind boggling actually. I was there to buy tie interlining. Yes, I'm going to try to sew a tie! Of course I had to ask for help, and they kindly walked me to that one bolt of tie interlining. I would never have found it on my own!

The Apple store was super cool. It was a beautiful afternoon so they opened up the whole front of the store so it was completely open-air. I've never seen anything like it!
Hamilton is an amazing production! While it doesn't displace Lion King and Wicked as my favorites, I'm really glad to have finally seen it.
The Orpheum Theater is really beautiful.

The next morning, we had breakfast at one of our favorite places, Lori's Diner, always fun.

On the way back to check out of our hotel, we explored the Marine Memorial Hotel, which was next door. Of course I took more pictures of ceilings....

Last week, the grandkids and I went to see the Secret Life of Pets, which was a very cute movie.
While my friend Stephanie was on vacation, she happened to walk past all this orange. Knowing I would love it, she took a picture and sent it to me.
This is good advice.
And I have NO idea why Mark forwarded this to me when he saw it on Facebook.
Hope your weekend is a good one.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Ebb and Flow

This is my very favorite picture of my parents. It was taken shortly before my father needed to be put in a memory care facility. In retrospect, even at the time of this picture, he was having memory difficulties. But then things took a sudden turn for the worse, nearly overnight, and my mother could no longer care for him.

It was a difficult transition. He didn't understand why he was in a care facility. He was angry and confused. He cried a lot. It was hard on my mother.

About six months later, she realized she could no longer take care of their home by herself. At that point, we moved both of them to a memory facility where they could share a room together. That was not an easy transition for my mother. She did not need to be in a memory care facility. But she said she would like at least "one more year of living together with dad."

Their room was cozy and comfortable, a miniature version of the home they had shared together in Fresno.
What we never would have anticipated was that she would pass away before he did.

For nearly the last year, he has lived in the room alone, and lonely. In the recent months, he has been falling. Frequently. In the last six weeks or so, four of his falls have required a trip to the emergency room, mostly to check head trauma. While he receives very good care in the memory care unit, it has gotten to the point where he needs closer supervision.

Last week, he had a fall that was quite severe. (ALERT: Scroll past the next picture if you are squeamish.)
Plans were already being discussed about transferring him to the skilled nursing section, and this clinched that decision. Even so, he had another two falls. It is truly amazing that he has not broken a bone.

Yesterday, Mark and I moved his things to a new room in the skilled nursing section. He will now be in a room where the door is always open. And he has a roommate. Both of these things make him unhappy. Angry, in fact. He is angry at us, feeling that nobody talked to him about this decision, even though we had prepared him and the staff mentioned it multiple times. But of course he doesn't remember. Mark and I decided to move his things over to the new room and then leave, allowing the staff members to take him over to the new room. I was emotionally drained when we got home last night.

His roommate seems very nice. I kind of feel sorry for him.

Today we will go back, to finish filling out paperwork and clearing out his room--also stressful, as what do we do with the last of my parents' belongings--several items of furniture that were handmade by my father, along with my grandmother's sewing table that my mother used as a desk. We will keep the bookcase that my father made in high school--it will be a nice addition to my sewing room. I'm not sure about the sewing table yet. We are downsizing ourselves, and Aaron and Christa have no room for it either. Fortunately they already have some pieces of furniture that my father made and/or refinished.

We will stop in to see how his first night went. He may not be talking to us.

Transitions are nearly always difficult. My dear friend, Elizabeth, says her father calls this "the era of subtraction," part of the ebb and flow of life. We are trying to help my father through this phase of ebbing, in which he is losing little pieces of the life to which he was accustomed.

And the hard reality for me is that I realize my era of subtraction isn't that far off in the future. I need to make the most of each day and make sure my loved ones know how much I cherish them.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Really Random Thursday, 6/13/19: Some actual quilt blocks in this post!!

Because I didn't write a "really random" post last Thursday, I couldn't include my "monthly marker" for June. Even though a picture of this bouquet is included in the post about the White House, they are so gorgeous I don't mind seeing them again.
After writing all those long posts about Washington, DC, this will be short. Although if you read any of the many posts about the trip, you deserve to see all those pins on my Range backpack.
I'm anxious to get back to my sewing machine. I thought I'd start with a few of the "tall tales" blocks by Kate Basti--she is having a sew along and all the blocks on Instagram are so cute (#summerbookclubqal).

Each of my blocks will contain selvages, and when I first made this block back in January 2017, I chose the quilt name of "Best Sellers." 
While traveling, I did some more work on my "Grand Prismatic" quilt (pattern by Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter, and pattern available through @karenatdiyaddict).

I took this photograph in my brother's courtyard. The colors are completely out of whack. Crossweaves and shot cottons are hard to photograph correctly.
This is much more accurate.
I took this one from an angle while it was on my coffee table the other night. You can see how the light changes those dark crossweaves.
My friend, Kelly, sent this picture to me from the Michael Miller booth at quilt market in Kansas City. The quilt on the left really resembles my My Swedish Ex pattern. I'd love to know who made it. And I wish I could see the whole quilt because the colors look really pretty.
Finally, @broadclothstudio has a fun questionnaire to find out which quilt block you are. 

I have never heard of the quilt block Handy Andy, but I quite like it. I'm trying to decide whether it is an accurate description...
And with that, I think I'm done with blog writing for a couple of days...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Washington, DC: A recap

There are a few things that are hard to include in the chronological travelog, so I will put them here.

Quilty inspiration, close to my brother's office, which is on K Street.
I had purchased a couple of books on Amazon--walking tours, "things to see in DC." We didn't use either one. But this--this was used

Google made it easy to plot our daily trips.
My father had two falls while we were gone. That had been a real concern. His care facility sent him to ER two days in a row, but each time he was only there for a few hours before they sent him back to Palm Village. Christa went down one day to check on him. And share some cookies together. Thanks, Christa!
While we ate in several chain restaurants (Starbucks on the way to the metro, Shake Shack and Chipotle in Union Station, and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse across the street--which has a killer happy hour by the way), we tried to eat local.

These included:
A bar and grill on the waterfront
Black Salt in Georgetown

And everything else was within walking distance:
Glen's Garden Market
Magnolia Kitchen and Bar
Sette Osteria
La Tomate (Italian)
Bistrot du Coin (French)
James Hoban's Irish Restaurant (which turned out to be an adventure--Jeff kept telling us it was "close." Um, no. We kept telling him it was supposed to rain. Which it did. It poured! We hadn't brought our raincoats because we thought it was "close." Ha.) Because Jeff had brought Moose along, he had to stay outside in the rain. Oops...
Alero (Mexican)
Bethesda Bagels
Thai Chef
Old Ebbitt Grill

It was interesting to see this "diplomat" license plate in front of Jeff's house.
We had several thunderstorms, including one with hail. I know it's hard to see the pouring rain. You can just make out the hail on the sidewalk. However, I love this picture because everything is so green and lush. Also, that door on the left up the steps is the home of Maxine Waters, representative from California, although we never saw her coming or going.
Did I mention there was a Steinway grand piano and a cello in our bedroom?

And here's an interesting stat, at least to us: According to our Apple watches, we walked nearly 65 miles, including 74 flights of stairs.

June 6, 4:30 a.m., while waiting for Lyft.

Bye-bye, Washington, DC. It was a dream trip. We hope it's not the last time we see you.