Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Atlanta's "Snowmare"

Perhaps you've watched scenes of Atlanta's snowfall nightmare? Yep, Atlanta is crippled by an inch or two of snow and ice. This year's event began in the middle of the day, so schools opened and then children were stuck, some overnight, at those schools. Highways were clogged; surface streets impassable. My landscaper was stuck in traffic for 6 hours trying to reach home 7 miles away. I have heard of as long as 15 hours commute home. People were abandoning cars, or running out of gas, adding to the problems. Horror of horrors, I heard a Waffle House closed because it ran out of food. BUT, you can see all that on the TV. Mine is currently off.

I wanted to capture some of the beauty of the snow-in:
The landscaper, Ada Yuen of Eastern Redbud, delivered shrubs (and trees) to my yard on Monday. 
She had already finished placing the stone path and patio.
I love the pattern snow created on my old table.
Here is an idea of how deep the snow was on my front walk. I love my UGGs! They have been my best footwear investment to date. No kidding.
I planted this Leyland Cypress, purchased from the horiculture department for less than $5, the year I turned 50. Remember, these trees grow really fast. Still, I get a reality check each time I look at it. Today it is reminding me of "grey around the edges."
These are concrete stars my Dad made and I dragged home to Georgia from Missouri.
AND here is the front of my house, minus the overgrown shrubs I had removed in December. Ada, the landscaper, was bothered by the fact I kept my trash can between the garage doors; she said it was the first thing she saw when she drove up. I have since moved it into the garage. She's right; the house didn't need a garbage can right in front.
Ada was working a trade show last week, and she picked up an arbor, concrete bench and this lovely statue for my yard.
I am calling her Persephone. Her story resonates with me.
Thomas Hart Benton's The Rape of Persephone
The painting shown at the previous link is housed at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Viewing it is always the highlight of my visit to the Museum. If you are ever in K.C. be sure to go to The Nelson. There has never been an admission charge, and lunch in the 15th century Italian style Rozzelle Court Restaurant is a don't miss opportunity.
I am getting my sewing machine set up so I can get a little gift project done. I may also work on my hexagons. On New Year's Eve I made 60 muslin hexagons, and then read the blog feedback saying the black fabric looked better; Mom and I decided we would look for an appropriate aubergine. I am not patient enough to look for new fabric (or pay for it), nor to make an additional 60 hexies. I am going to make do with what I have. Isn't that the real spirit of traditional quilting?
Karmen

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday: Clean Golf Bag

Number of golf bags a beginning golfer needs?
Make that three: the blue one from Goodwill ($9), it has a metal hook in the bottom that is threating to tear up my grips (still, I love the stand), the brown one is a hand me down, and the pink I got (with a full set of still wrapped clubs) off Craig's list ($150).
I spent my day cleaning up the Belding bag; it had been stored in a basement for several years. My clubs don't match it, since they are pink, but I love this bag. I have one picked out on their website. Sage green. The only thing wrong with it is it doesn't have a stand.
I have to head over to the Club before the clubhouse is closed, so I can get my range balls. I was assigned homework at class yesterday (in 20 degree weather, I have wind burn on my face). Club toe up on back swing and exactly the same on the forward motion. Right. Then tonight I will put my shiney gold club labels on each club, so if I leave one somewhere it can find its way back to me.
Can you tell I'm having fun?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

O M G

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, seriously? REALLY? Come on Mom and Aunt Katie; I'm glad you brought the faux pas to my attention. The "significant other" referred to in my previous post is ANDY'S (my middle son's) live-in girlfriend Chelsea. I certainly don't have anyone "significant" in my life except my boys (and the women they love). Wow. Some folks think I move really fast. Just so you know, I have investigated the matchmaking process, and what I hear over and over again is they have too many women my age already signed up, so unless I want to pay $5000. for  introductions, good luck to me and good bye. 

I am getting very comfortable living alone and don't think I want to mess it up anyhow.

My last hexagon motif:
Now to choose what color to join them with.
Black?
A light print?
Here's what the print looks like close up:
Tea dyed muslin?
Or light muslin?
Mom, you tell me.
And here is an example of what I do in my spare time:
Blanket the water heater. Exciting huh?
It is 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve and I am in my pjs watching (after I finish this post) the entertainment on TV. I am all about risk avoidance. I hope everyone stays safe so we can all enjoy 2014. Hawk tooey to 2013. I won't miss it.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holiday Happy Day(s)

This Christmas holiday has been delightful. The three boys and one significant other (very significant) spent time with me Christmas Eve. On Monday I saw a good movie (Philomena) with a good friend and had dinner afterward. Christmas day I had brunch with new friends who are now good friends.

Eron's and Dad's surgeries went well. They both have challenges ahead: Eron will need further cancer treatment and Dad will need to slow down to let his ankle heal.


My yard project is coming along weather permitting. The ridiculous amount of rain Atlanta had this year put outdoor activities at risk of failure (like the 2013 tomato crop). The whole project began as I searched for someone to correct the horrendous drainage problem in my back yard. Now I have underground drains, steps to access my upper yard and the beginnings of dry creek beds.
The trees came down.
The overgrown shrubs were yanked out.
And that was the front yard.
The back yard was similarly de-foliated.
Ada Yuen of Eastern Redbud conceived the design. She wanted the storage building gone, but the boys talked me into keeping it, so she will work around it.
I love the steps! Finally easy access to the upper level of the yard. What you cannot see is the network of underground tubes to guide the water away from the house. This was phase one; the phase two plan is on its way to me.
I'm getting back to a little sewing. I'd like to make some progress on this hexagon center medallion. I started it at Mom's house back in August. Sewing is not a priority since I started practicing golf. (It's not an obession if you only go to the driving range once or twice a day. Right?)





 Only one more hexie-block to go! Next I have to decide if I am going to do like the picture in the book and join these blocks with unbleached muslin hexagons or black ones. I'll post pictures of both to see what they look like.
My bed is covered by a quilt Mom made; I cannot wait to hop in and get a good night's rest.
One more thing before I go: Family, friends and neighbors may need us, and sometime we may need them too. Let's get our priorities straight and give each other a hand.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

2013

I have removed the last post; the one with the gift quilt in it. I gave it to the former family member who was being so kind to me. She has cruelly betrayed me and I cannot look on the quilt I so joyfully made for her. I should have known, when I gave it to her, as she set it aside without unfolding it, that something was up.

My husband fell out of bed and died 22 days later. His kids didn't come see him until the 22nd day; I'd kept him alive one more day than he would have liked so they could get there to see the tube removed and his heart stop.

My husband's identical twin brother and wife, who would not speak nor look at my husband and I during their mother's funeral 4 months earlier, took charge of my husband's remains and had me sobbing in the days before the funeral service. I don't know what happened to the remains. All he told me was he was going to "fling them off the side of the mountain." 

The business attorney could not get a dime from the company my husband owned 24 1/2 % of. The 51% owner would not allow any employee time off to attend my husband's service and told me "lady if you push, I'll knock you back 3 feet." The company name is MDR, associated with Allied Credit and Collections out of Houshton, GA. The owner is Rex Gallogly. The other 24 1/2 % owner, Jimmy Harris, the last man to make my husband laugh, turned out to be a chicken-shit and did not attend the service either.

The probate attorney did not probate the will he wrote and filed three years earlier and put me in a process called Year's Support.  I never understood what he was doing.  The will that stated I was executor and beneficiary was rendered moot by the Year's Support process. He, the attornery, never told me that.

The malpractice attorney didn't think the medication issue I believed killed my husband was a factor in his death, but perhaps he could make a case against the hospital based on sepsis. I declined to make a fight. I don't think anything could have been done to save my husband; the hospital staff did the best they could. I don't know if other family members, seeking to leave me out, have filed a suit for their own benefit.

Then I had to put my husband's dog down. Scooter was our first puppy, but he was 15 years old and having trouble.

Monday my oldest son, Eron, had his thyroid removed. We are waiting on the pathology report to see if more cancer treatment will be necessary. He is doing very well though.

My dad has broken his ankle and surgery will be complicated by a heart condition he has been ignoring.

I write all this down as a way of saying good-bye to 2013. I will not miss a minute of it. NOT A DAMN MINUTE.

So for 2014 I will continue my exploration of golf, my membership in the Experimental Aircraft Association, volunteer at the Aurora Theater, enjoy the newly landscaped yard (once it is done) and perhaps find some time to stitch a bit. The rest of my life will be lived without regret and no looking back. It is my life to live my way.

As a start to my new life adventure, I had some portraits made.  I include them here with hopes you will like them.

Sincere best wishes for a brillant new year for everyone.
Karmen Sunshine
(Adios to 2013 and the 15 years that preceded it. I am moving on. Tears are behind me.)




Friday, September 27, 2013

Looking for a Lift

Flowers I buy for myself.
I don't feel like blogging; I've had a difficult time lately. Girlfriends letting me down and not finding anyone to attend events with me. I was given tickets to the golf championship at East Lake, I had an extra ticket to a play, and I have a second ticket to the ballet tomorrow. No takers. Makes me feel mighty unpopular and just a hint (understatement) lonely. 
Vintage sewing machine I took to Goodwill.
My husband used to follow me around like a puppy, so I at least had an escort. I understand people have their own lives to live and their own habits; I certainly did while he was alive. 
Cobwebs in my brain and yard.
Watching the Georgia Bulldogs football games alone is not fun. I tryed having dinner at a bar so I could watch a game, but when the other bar flys noticed I was drinking water they seemed a little wary of talking to me. I just wanted company for watching the game: nothing else. Really I am not that much of a football fan, so it is not much loss if I don't turn the TV on or try to find a public venue for watching unless I bring my own friend.
Peaceful companion Joey.
I forget things. A friend at work invited me to the Cotton Pickers Festival in Gay, Georgia. I just called him to see when to meet at the school to drive down there. He reminded me it is next week. So now I am free to do something else tomorrow. Perhaps I will work out (I've been doing real well with swimming and Zumba), or catch up on episodes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo or Quilting Arts. Serious single-girl fun right (she said sarcastically)?
My Lilly Pulitzer Round-the-World quilt.
Okay, I whined enough. I am attractive, educated, fit and creative. Anyone would be lucky to spend time with me. I just want to be careful. I enjoy my private time and I don't want a clingy friend, nor the wrong kind of attention from men. Honestly, right now I could sock an ill-intentioned man in the face or choke him out (3-5 seconds;  I swear, I've done it before).
Label and back of Lilly quilt above.
I have 5 quilts waiting on binding. I just cut orange binding for a quilt I am making as a surprise. I'll post a photo when I get it finished.
Eron and Meredith Sunshine and the quilt Mom, Linda Brannock, made for them.
Eron and Meredith and my parents share a wedding anniversary. It was the kid's first and my parent's 55th. I managed to forget about both. Talk about feeling like a heel. Aren't the kids (above) just lovely? What do you do to make up for that????
Top right-hand checker block is turned wrong; I've got to fix that.
I started this heart quilt as a gift, but I don't know about that now. I am tired, and I keep starting projects (all types), getting frustrated and upset. I cry too much. I have a grief support group meeting tomorrow (not tomorrow-SUNDAY at 4:00-try to remember this time). It is good for me, but I missed last week's meeting. I was shopping after church and lost track of time. 

Church was no fun last Sunday. The minister imitated the shaking of a Parkinson's patient to illustrate a point about a sick man, and, since my husband shook uncontrollably until he died, and later we found out he had Parkinson's perhaps for as long as three years, I tried not to cry, but ended up leaving in tears. 

I know it will get better. Along with the depressed time, I also have  good times. Most of those involve buying shoes though. I've lost weight, so I can wear heels again. I have thrown out lots of my old clothes and I need a new suit to wear to a meeting on Monday. I guess that means I will make a trip to the Mall again soon.

Oh, and also on my bucket list is a trip to the beach. I need to walk on sand and play in water. Or will that make me too sad?????

Monday, September 2, 2013

Long Time; Long Post

I have been staying busy-ish.
 I covered an ugly sofa pillow with an orphan block.
 I think it turned out well.
 And I had some pre-quilted fabric, so I covered two more.
 I got the little girl quilt back from the quilter, so I bound it.
 My quilting friends liked the back more than the front.
 The pink fabric I found at a garage sale, plus the quilting design, made the quilt adorable. Kali liked it, and her mother sent me a photo of her, via text message, curled up on it.
 At Mom's house I started a new project that involved a bunch of little squares (you may have seen them in a previous post).
 The center motif is made up of seven florals surrounded by hexagons. I have nearly three done. 
 THEN I decide to move everything out of my sewing room into the room above, so I can paint the sewing room and turn it into a bedroom and have the old bedroom, which is bigger, as my sewing room. After 4 trips to Goodwill to get rid of stuff I'd stored in the closets of both rooms, I discovered I lost my car (and house keys), so I used a spare key to drive myself to the gym for a swim to relieve some of my frustration. When I got home I started going through the trash bags. I found my keys in the first one. HOO-RAY!
I thought I would paint the old sewing room-new bedroom a color to go with the border I thought I loved.
 I don't love it, so I spent the most of one holiday weekend removing almost all of it. I nearly fell backward off the ladder, so I took a break, and once I resumed working, I actually did fall backward off the ladder, but I was lucky enough to land on my feet. I climbed back up, THEN I nearly did a header off the ladder and called it quits for the day. The next day I went to buy paint; I was optimistic that yellow would be a cheerful, delightful color. I was wrong about that too. I will choose a muslin color and hire the painting out to a co-worker. 
 Atlanta has had a woefully rainy summer. That's why we don't have any locally grown tomatoes this year. People told me gardening was an exercise in futility. I have such awful water problems in my yard. Below is a photo of the gutter I banged on with a broomstick while standing in the rain, on a table, in an effort to dislodge a clog. 
Epic fail.
So today I am trying to turn 12 placemats my Mother's friend made for her, out of Brannock-Patek Moda fabric, into a quilt.
 After sewing 8 inches, and then ripping it out, my Bernina started making a grinding sound. Fail again.
I've had a couple of counseling sessions in which I've been told I keep running from my feelings, that I'm lost, scared and angry. The last session had me crying for a day and a half. I don't want to go back. I have, however, found a grief support group that meets on Sunday evenings. That may allow me time to pull myself together enough to go to work Monday mornings.
The night before last I dreamed my husband didn't die and he was standing in our closet wondering where his clothes went. And last night I didn't fall asleep until 3 a.m. because I was scared I'd have another haunting dream.
This afternoon I think I will go to the gym and beat the holy hell out of the heavy bag.