Author Archives: Jo

Community Quilts: Ronda Edition

Ronda has been busy.  She was so sweet and didn’t send any photos for finished quilts for a bit while I was busy sorting out my life.  Now I’m up and going so the “eye candy” of Ronda’s amazing community quilts is back.

Ronda writes:
I thought I’d better start sending you some pictures of the quilts that I’ve finished up before I forget who sent me the tops/fabric, etc.

The first top was one you sent me that had been donated to you anonymously.”

I love all the striped fabrics!  It makes it look like a string pieced quilt, when actually it’s just a clever use of stripes. 

The backing came from Karen V. in St. George, Utah and the binding came from Nikki in Virginia.  The colors of the stars match perfectly with the stripes to make for a “stars and stripes” baby quilt.  This will go to the Ronald McDonald House.”

The next top came from Jean D. in Seguin, Texas.  The center is just one big piece of fabric which was bordered with the orange fabric.  This just goes to show that you don’t need an intricately pieced top to make a child’s quilt, as long as you have a cute print to start with.”

The backing and binding came to me from you and I think you said you got it originally from Sandra in Texas.  If you look closely at the print of the backing, it looks like little whales!  This is also going to the Ronald McDonald House.

The third top was sent to me from…
Continue reading

How AM I D-O-I-N-G?

I’ve found one of the least helpful questions through all of this, from first cancer diagnosis to today, two weeks a widow, is “How are you doing?”.

I know people mean well when they ask, but seriously, there is no good or right or possible real life answer to that question.

When Kramer was first diagnosed, people would ask me, “How is he doing?”  Gee….how do I answer that?  I’m not going to say, “He’s happy”.  I’m not going to say, “He’s sick of sitting in the chair watching television.”

This question bothered the heck of our of Kramer.  He would always rant to me after someone asked him “How are you doing?”  FIRST let me clarify.  Some people say, “How ya doing?”…that is more of a hello and that’s an okay question to ask.  This is said in the tone of “haven’t seen an old friend for awhile”.  There is the also the dreaded, “How are you DO-O-O-ing?”  This is said very probingly.  This one our whole family has come to hate.

Kramer would say:
“I would love to tell them THIS F-ing SUCKS”.
or
“I don’t really know.  I’ve never done this before so I have nothing at all to compare it to.”
or
“I don’t really know if there is a scale to judge this all by so I don’t know how to evaluate it.”
or
“I’m trying so hard to live the life I have left that I don’t want to stop and evaluate it.”

Worst is when this exchange would occur:
Some would say, “How are you DO-O-O-ing?”.  Either of us would say “Good.”  The person would say, “No REALLY, How are you DO-O-O-ing?”

How were we to answer that?  Were we to say:
We break out in tears from time to time.
I cry in the shower so the other doesn’t hear me.
I’m so pissed that this is where life took us that I want to scream!
What if I he doesn’t make it-I don’t know how often to change the oil in the car.
I don’t want to worry about how to change oil in the car.
The trips to Lacrosse back and forth STINK.
I’m afraid this treatment isn’t doing anything.
I don’t want to leave you.
I think this cancer is going to win.
Kramer just wants to eat real food.
I want to be #Kramerstrong but sometimes it’s really hard and I feel #Kramerweak.

HOW DOES ONE ANSWER THAT QUESTION???

Now…our poor kids are getting this question worse than ever only the question is all about me.

“How is your mom DO-O-O-ing?”….No.  “How is she R-E-A-L-L-Y DO-O-O-ing?”

People…I am okay.  Again, all of the things Kramer and I said before are so true.

I haven’t done this before.  I think I’m doing okay but there is no measuring stick.  I cry sometimes…I laugh sometimes.  Days are easier than nights.  Right now it is very easy to think of Kramer at being at work.  Tuesday was super sunny and beautiful.  He’d have been at work.  Last night it rained.  It was harder.  He’d have been home.

Sleeping is a little bit disjointed.  I wake thinking I need to listen to make sure his oxygen is going…then I don’t hear it running…then I have to remind myself that he’s dead.  It takes me a bit to fall back to sleep.

All of that is okay though.  It is part of the process.  I have to unlearn it but part of me doesn’t want to and that’s okay too.

I don’t feel Kramer is gone from me.  He’s always here…just not in physical form.

One of my favorite things I ever heard about love and devotion is this:  Continue reading

My Mail

I have lots of “mail”.  Things were sent while we were hanging with Kramer in the last days.  Some came while Kramer was still in the hospital.  The girls opened them for me and took pictures and sent them to me.  It was a great ray of sunshine to my dreary days at the hospital.  Here is sampling of some of the things that came.

Here is a fun strawberry needle case that was made by a blog reader.  I love it.  Now that I’m cross stitching I need a needle case more than ever.  I’ve started keeping a couple needles threaded for the project I’m working on just to save time from having to rethread with different colors all the time.  This will be perfect!!

This came from an anonymous reader…
Speaking of cross stitch.  Holy WOW!!  It’s a mother load of embroidery thread!  This was sent by a Canadian reader who preferred to remain anonymous.  This is going to bring me joy a hundred fold.  The first joy…organizing the thread.

I sent a picture of the thread to Kelli.  Her comment was, “Mom, you’ll be in heaven.  If there was a job for people to organize thread, I’m sure you’d do it.”  It’s the truth.  I adore organizing thread!!

Kramer was thrilled to get this note.  See??? Continue reading

The Hose Dilemma

About three years ago I was at a garage sale and found this awesome big hose reel.  I think I got it for $10 complete with all the hoses.  Kramer was SO IMPRESSED with my find.

At the time we had been doing a big debate…How do we store our hoses?  We had planted new trees here at the house and watering them was a chore with dealing with the hoses.  Kramer loved the reel and it solved the problem…but it hurt my shoulder to reel the hose.  We ended up making a deal that he would roll up the hose.

Fast forward to this spring.  UGH.  The place on the reel where the water connects broke.  We didn’t need that much hose anymore…did we want another reel?  Did we want to try something different out?  Was a 25 foot hose enough?

We looked online at different options.  We thought about buying a 25 foot hose with a decorative stand and then keeping an extra hose in the garage if needed.

This was something we left undecided…so now the decision was mine alone.  I ended up seeing these flexible hoses.

The concept sounded awesome to me.  So, I bought one.

I needed something that wasn’t heavy…something that won’t bother my shoulder at clean up time.  Ah…this just might be the thing.

So I brought it home and tried it….the verdict????? Continue reading