Saturday, November 02, 2013

A little Road Trip.

This post is later than usual, a lot of family "stuff" going on -- and then the internet at the cabin decides not to work this morning.  Sometimes you have to obey the signs and just be unplugged for a few extra hours to absorb.

Yesterday afternoon we loaded up the pickup and the trailer with things we need up at the cabin.  Eventually I suppose will have two of the most needed things – so we don’t have to bring them back and forth, but one of the things that needed to come this week for the impending winter is a generator.

We've got two – so now one lives at home and one will live up here at the cabin.  Power does go out occasionally and as we are still considering a pellet stove for  basement heat, we’ll need a generator if there are power failures due to winter storms. The big long ladder that is too long for the pickup bed also came along.  More adjusting of where to put the outdoor antenna to make good use of the "free" TV channels that are still out there.  Resisting cable TV or Satellite out here.  Enough is enough.

If it were just me, I wouldn't bother with anything at all, I'm not a TV watcher unless I'm doing something like binding a quilt --but the men folk, that's a different story.

The leaves around my house are so pretty right now – I’m afraid by the time I get back after the weekend ALL the leaves will be on the ground!

We followed the color up the mountain ---YES.  Finally, the color is showing up here.

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Many trees are bare, but ones holding on to their leaves are making a valiant effort of color!

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It was nearly dusk as we made our turn off….and we almost missed this herd of deer grazing in a field.

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If it weren’t for the white of the swishing tails, I wouldn’t have seen them at all!

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We didn’t seem to bother them ---though we had a hard time keeping Sadie quiet.

Did you ever hear a dog “whisper bark?”  She knew she shouldn’t be barking so she would barely just puff out a whooof….trying to be quiet….so funny!

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The view of bright orange from the drive last night.  Beautiful!

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I spent some time trying to get this thing threaded and running.

It’s a different threading system than I’d ever witnessed before.  I have it threaded correctly – but we are still not sewing well – this one may be a bit of a problem machine.  I should have stuck with what I knew…old singers are no problem…this is just…WEIRD!  I can get it to stitch but not well.  The feed dogs aren’t feeding well, and I can’t get the stitch length to change so there must be gummed up parts in there that need some loosening.

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The old red china has found its new home.

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It looks like it was always meant to be here.

I’ve got odd sets of everything --- 11 dinner plates, 10 salad places, 11 bread plates, 11 saucers, 10 coffee cups, 10 fruit bowls, but only 5 soup bowls.  If it started out as a set of 12 ---I wonder who were the family members over the past 100 years who dropped things, broke things, and said “whoops!”  They would be in good company with me as last Thanksgiving I broke the stem off of a crystal goblet.  “Whoops!” was about all I could say!  I guess I’ve joined the long line of Whoopsers in my family.

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The sun is shining on golden tree tops this morning.

It looks to be a lovely day.  I want to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes for my family.  Family crisis can be a very private thing,  And we all deal with illness and heartbreak in our own way.  We are still very much in shock.  Of course my first thought is to hop a plane and get myself to Arizona, but it isn’t the right time for it yet.  Mark is surrounded by his family, my dad is there, my SIster-in-Law has her sister and hubby there –it’s a full house right now.  I’d be one more person in the way.

But perhaps in a few weeks when the chemo and radiation are underway, he might not mind a visit from his big sister.

In the mean time, what do quilters do to cope?

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I brought a big tub of shirt plaids with me!

I’ve never made my brother a quilt just for himself, and I need to throw myself into something.  The Hubster also knows to leave me be when I am coping ---so while he is running the Rug Doctor and cleaning carpets – I’ll be sewing up all the love and prayers and memories and well wishes into a quilt for the brother I love so dearly.

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Love from the Blue Ridge --


  1. I totally understand quilting to cope with family concerns. When I got the news my sister was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, I needed to make her a quilt immediately. I even went out in an ice storm to buy the marbled flannels I wanted for her quilt --and normally I'll use any excuse to stay home when the weather is bad. Thankfully I can report the quilt was a big hit with her, comforted her after chemo treatments, and now she is a breast cancer survivor 12 years and counting. She lives in Maine, I live in Wisconsin; making her quilt was the only way I could cope with not being physically with her to help her get through that frightening experience.

  2. First and foremost, prayers, wishes for a speedy recovery, and love from a sister quilter for your brother. When you bring him his manly quilt when you visit, it will certainly put a smile on his face, which may be just what he needs by the time you visit. On your family china...I inherited both my grandmother's china and also use them for special family dinner. I, too, inherited 12 of this, 10 of that. I took to eBay and found pieces to bring my sets back up to the original 12 piece place settings. Even bought some extra serving pieces for all those sweet potatoes and veggies. They are now part of two precious sets and am grateful for them. Just a suggestion...

  3. Prayers of comfort to you and all the family. Sew sew and sew some more. We all have our ways of copping with things. A quilt sewn with memories and love and prayers and tears are just the ticket I'd say! Just remember............. breathe. And have tissue handy for you never know where those memories will take you.

  4. AWESOME PICTURES.....your great grand mother's china certainly looks at home there and great scraps for a quilt for your brother----I am making a quilt from one brother's shirts for another brother...let nothing go to waste! enjoy your weekend and thanks for sharing your trips with us!

  5. Sending thoughts and prayers for your brother.

  6. hey, Bonnie - since this quilt is 'special' - take photos of it in various stages, with people and special things in the photo - like the china, and you, and Jeff and Sadie - then give him the photos along with the quilt... he will have not only the quilt, but the wonderful photos to share as well... I saw one quilt where someone put those 'construction' photos on the back... it was fabulous... made quite the legacy piece. Hugs

  7. Thoughts and good wished for you and your brother!
    HAve you ever gone to the website replacements.com. You might could fine pieces of your china that are missing. I found some of my Grandmother's china there and it was fairly reasonably priced and in really good condition. Just a thought.

  8. Oh, Bonnie, I'm so sorry for what you and your family are going through. I've been there, so I know it is just something you must go through your own way. You've got lots of prayers and positive, healing thoughts coming your way and on to your brother. I'm so glad you've got a good, quiet place for meditating, praying and healing. ((((HUGS))))

  9. That gorgeous scenery is a feast for the eyes. And how smart of the deer to graze under the "Posted" sign? May God bless both you and your brother as you work on his quilt. I'm going through some similar family stress being a caregiver to my bedridden Mom and quilting sure does help smooth out the rough edges. :-) Have a great weekend.

    (I'm Donna from the Beaver Valley Piecemakers April workshop near Pgh. I'm the one who knows "Blue haired Daisy" from Louisiana and we had the conversation about how every girl needs a little Jamie Fraser in her life. ;-)

  10. Anonymous11:44 AM EDT

    good sister!

  11. Such a helpless feeling isn't it? Well work away on his special quilt,
    I have seen some chemo quilts where room is left on the back so
    special nurses or doctors can sign their names or leave a good wish
    for Mark to remember all the good and kind health care helpers he had along the way.

    I hope it all goes well for him, the C-word is so scary but more people are surviving cancer now more than ever!

    Best wishes to you and your family and
    Happy Sewing

  12. I am a firm believer that the love, thoughts and healing prayers we feel for someone get stitched into something we are making for them. And on the other end, its tangible evidence you care even if you can't be there. Your brother will be comforted by your quilt. Hugs as you go through this very difficult time......

  13. Good afternoon Bonnie..(((hug))) for you and prayers for you and your family. There is just something very therapeutic about the hum of the sewing machine when I get stressed about things.

  14. Prayers and many positive thoughts going up for your family and especially Mark right now.

  15. in all the blog post I missed the family crisis - so sorry to hear - it is hard to bear at times but I hope he will be well. We have a niece going through chemo and one has to keep the traffic of visitors down so the person having treatment doesn't get sick easy to do when on chemo and the white blood cell count gets too low.

  16. Thoughts and good wishes for you and your brother! The view from your drive is just beautiful! Your grandmother's china looks just wonderful in your new china cupboard. It does look like it was always meant to be there.

  17. Positive thoughts and heartfelt prayers are with you, your brother and families during this hard time. Creating a wonderful quilt will help you cope and be thoroughly enjoyed by your dear brother I am sure.
    Perth, Western Australia

  18. Enjoy reading your posts. My prayers go out to you and family. I have gotten back into full-time sewing and quilting to cope with 3 deaths and sickness just in the last year. It is soothing and stress-relieving to keep busy and helps me to be happier each day. One question--Where in NC do you live? It is a beautiful area. I was wondering when you will be back in upstate SC (where I live) at a guild or sewing meeting. Would love to meet you. God bless.
    Lynda Adair
    Spartanburg, SC

  19. Thinking and praying for you and yours also sending positive vibes your way. Being productive is the best positive vibe maker I know.
    Good to keep yourself busy

  20. Bonnie,it sounds like Mark made it through the surgery. A positive for sure. I will continuing praying for you and your whole family. Radition and chemo can work wonders. Trust me on this one, John is alive due to great care and prayers too.

    YES when quilters run into hard times, we quilt, sort fabrics, decide on patters. Quilting is both our joy and our solace.

    YOU take care my friend ... keep a positive lookout best you can too.


  21. Tears came to my eyes as I read this post today. I, too, have a brother that means the world to me and I don't know if I could cope as well as you. Like yours, mine is also a long way away. Makes you feel so helpless. Making him a quilt, though, seems the perfect thing to do.

  22. Oh Bonnie,

    Positive thoughts coming your way for your family. You give of yourself so much to all the quilters in the world. We wish you well and your way of beginning to cope sounds like what we all may do.
    When he gets that quilt all his very own he hopefully will say, 'what took you so long sis?'

  23. Yes, I'm with everyone else feeling your hurt and shedding tears for your situation. You are always in my prayers. Glad you are "nesting" up in the cabin. The Fall color is so pretty to see! The family china looks lovely in its new cabinet. We've a wonderful art form that not only allows us to stitch our joys, but our sorrows and worries too. You know best how to comfort yourself. Just know you are cared about and thought of. Hugs, Allison

  24. I agree about quilting being a good coping mechanism. I had only a matter of days to get a quilt started/finished when my mom was diagnosed with liver cancer. In two days the top was finished and I found over a dozen volunteers to help hand quilt it (most of which learned on the spot). While I was sitting bedside with my mom, they worked on it. Unfortunately she passed away two days before it was finished but she did get to see a picture of everyone working on it. It was on display at the funeral home as well as at the church luncheon. Working on it kept my mind off of what was happening around me and gave me a sense of peace and comfort. I know she would have loved it and been very touched by everyone's participation to help finish it.

    Matthew 18:20
    "Where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them"

    I'd say we've easily covered that for you! Praying for all involved, including you!

  25. My DH was diagnosed with cancer mid February this year, by mid August he was in full remission. Miracles still happen, but the best thing always does. Many thoughts and prayers headed your way. Be sure to put some of this glowing fall into that quilt. I'm sure he'll love it. Don't put your visit off too long, the longer they go through chemo the harder it is for them to rebound. I'll pray for the nurses too, they will spot things before any one else. Oncology nurses are the best!

    Hope you enjoy this beautiful day.

  26. What a great hubby to know "when", quilting is such a great way to cope. Mine is also helpful that way.
    Thank you for letting your quilting family keep Mark(and your families) in our prayers and thoughts.
    Hugs to you and quilt on!

  27. Prayers for Mark, you, and your families continue. Your hubby sounds like mine...they know when to just "let us be". I hope making Mark's quilt will bring you comfort too.

  28. Lifting prayers for your brother as you come to mind - frequently as I'm working on projects from Quiltville :). Loved your pix today, the fall colors, the deer - miss those by living in the 'burbs!, and absolutely love that red China, and that it's square. Square plates hold special memories of my grandparents from childhood. Have you ever tried to find replacement pieces? I know their are websites that offer such things, and I know you spend a lot of time visiting antiques stores. Have a blessed day.

  29. Do not apologize for posting late. I would have understood if there were no post for days and days. Family comes first. Take care and know that your brother and family are in our prayers.

  30. Bonnie, I'm standing in agreement, and holding your family in prayers. May you feel God's goodness surround you and bring you peace. May His hand work to heal your brother, and surround his family with His angels that they also may know peace. You have brought such joy to my life through your quilts and QuiltCam. Thank you!

  31. Just sent up a little prayer for your brother. Also, just love your china cabinet. I hadn't even read the picture caption and thought exactly the same thing. They belong there.

  32. Love the china in the hutch! It does look perfect. Hugs for you and prayers for your brother. Loved the pictures, and Sadie's whisper woof. My dog, Hazel, barks at the animals, but if it's early, she does a more quiet bark (if she thinks I'm sleeping). Other times she barks with the ball in her mouth, or occasionally food. Both really make me laugh, and remind her not to talk with her mouth full. Living in the woods is fun!

  33. My prayer is that you will be comforted making something comforting for him. God is with you.

  34. May every stitch in the quilt you are making hold a prayer for your brother's recovery. May he feel and be comforted by all the love you are putting into it! I am still sending up prayers for him and your entire family.

  35. Coping is tough - my family has a few things right now that require and I spend time praying and coping in my way. Stitching for family is so therapeutic when I create for people who are ill I find myself praying so often that it makes me happy to know they are not forgotten.

  36. Prayers for Mark and your entire family. I know the road you are on, and please know my positive thoughts will be with you each day. Stay strong and sew-on, it does help a quilters soul. Making Mark his own quilt will definitely bring a smile to his face! God Bless and give you all strength.

  37. Many prayers for you and your family. I know your strength will help your brother and the rest of your family!

  38. Prayers of healing and blessings for Mark . May each patch you choose be sewn in love and prayers. There is nothing like the love and healing and comfort sewn into a quilt. BLESSINGS to you as you work and pray.

  39. Bonnie,
    I watched your last quilt cam last night as I quilted away on a silent auction donation. I was so sad, honestly tears flowed as you talked about your brother and then I went and read on your blog. I have spent the last month helping to put together a fundraiser for a family I dearly love who's husband and father has brain cancer. I pray for the best for him. My friend is Mark also...I will pray for your Mark too. May God Bless Mark and his little family and bless those who love and support him with peace.
    A quilty friend

  40. Prayers and positive thoughts to you and your brother. Making a quilt for your brother is the such a helpful and loving way to cope with difficult times in your life. I find that sewing and quilting helps relieve the stress and worry of many of life's hard tasks. Keep the faith and God will see your family through it all.

  41. I missed your posting about your brothers illness, I'm sorry to hear about that. I have a cousin who is in remission from kidney cancer (2yrs) and his son was just diagnosid w bladder cancer, it has metasis though. I made the son a quilt. He said he loves it. I immagine he will get a lot of use out of it.

  42. I know your brother will love and cherish his quilt. You're right, sometimes you have to let your nervous energy out through your hands so your mind can rest. I've done that before - when we dealt with some health issues I sewed up a storm and it kept my mind from going in circles. Bless you and your family and best wishes.

    And about your china - if you know the maker you can go to www.replacements.com and find just about any china pattern made. You can often search by color or pattern description and find it. I have made great use of this company.

  43. Still sending only good vibes your way and your dear ones also. Thanks for reminding me of Desiderata. There are people in my life right now who can use this wisdom.

  44. I am a 2x cancer survivor and my husband lived through congestive heart failure and a new transplant. This is just to say there is light when it looks the darkest. The journey was difficult but the end was better than the beginning. My prayer is that it will be the same for your brother and his loved ones. When my sweet DIL's brother was diagnosed with throat cancer I quickly made him a prayer quilt. He is in and out of the hospital and his quilt goes with him. Your brother will be so blessed by the quilt. I took mine (in pieces before it was finished) where ever I went and ask people to touch it and pray for Tom-all those prayers went with it to Seattle. Peace to you:)

  45. Praying for you and for healing for your brother. I too am a big Sis and know how helpless you feel when your little brother is sick.

  46. I've read all your posts now about your brother. Know that he is on my prayer list. Keep stitching that lovely quilt for him. It will help you both, and show your love. Take care! Hey, would you mind sending me your snail mail address? I understand if not.

  47. OOhh my .. what a beautiful place to be!!


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