The Calm Before the Storm

School starts next Monday for three of my kids, Wednesday for our oldest who is in college.  But, I have been taking this week as the calm before the storm.  It’s not really working…my husband had had to drop his daily plans to fix a number of things this week, so he has been at a slow simmer for a few days…our oldest daughter is planning and packing and trying to organize her move to her dorm when it’s virtually impossible to do so as her previous year’s stuff is spread from her room, throughout the house and even up in the barn…our son could care less, he is ready to begin his classes whenever it’s time…and our two daughters are both ready and not ready to return to the daily grind.

Tonight, we have to attend their school’s “Meet the Teacher” night, where we will meet all of the new coaches teachers, and there are a lot of them.  Over a dozen teachers in our small public school have either retired, not had their contracts renewed, found better jobs elsewhere or left just because they could do better elsewhere.

That little jab at coaches teachers is not a joke.  For nearly EVERY. SINGLE. POSITION. ANNOUNCEMENT the school put on their website, they were looking for coaches FIRST and then, well maybe if they were state certified to teach a close-enough subject matter, they may be considered.  For a school that CLAIMS to always put academics first, it really chaps my khaki’s about how those positions were advertised.

20090406_2

So, since there are many things that frustrate and aggravate me about our local school…I am trying to treat this week as the calm before the storm.  My husband has one online class this year, too, and it’s on Mondays – it runs from 4 pm through 6 pm.  Which means I have to shorten my nap time to be able to pick our daughters up from the bus stop as well as get our son moving so he can finish his school work before he has to leave for Scouts 15 minutes after hubby finishes with his online class.  Oy.

The photo above.  It’s my calm before the storm.


Share and Enjoy!

    Flashback Tuesday: Dressed to the Nines

    This was only the second mystery quilt I designed on BOMquilts.com and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful lap quilts I had made.  The fabrics were divine and so rich looking.  I gifted this quilt to some dear friends

    MK Acorns Dressed to the Nines Pattern on BOMquilts.com

    And this is my finished quilt.  (Don’t worry, the top had the same borders as the three other sides but I had it draped over a porch railing to photograph it so you cannot see the top border):

    100_0002

    This is a fun and fast lap quilt pattern to make so add it to your to-do list!

    Share and Enjoy!

      Fractured Family, Fractured Lives

      I was the middle child out of five kids.  There were actually six babies my mother had but our youngest baby brother died of SIDS in 1969 at the age of three-months-old.  Which left five kids, me smack dab in the center.

      PatRaySpencerFamily

      My next younger brother and I were the unloved in our family.  Some may argue the point, but we both know how we felt.  Our parents talked about divorce one time and Tom and I discussed who would take us in as we knew our parents didn’t want us.  Is sad to say and even sadder to remember…but, we knew it when we were about nine- and ten-years-old.

      And then Dad died and Mom abandoned us and left us to the wolves.  All three of my brothers went to a paternal uncle and the sister went to a paternal cousin’s family.  Neither of the two relatives’ and their families wanted me so I was sent from one (sometimes bad) foster home to another.

      My point of this post is that none of my siblings and I had a chance to bond as siblings.  The sister stole our inheritance so I haven’t had anything to do with her in about 30+ years.  My older brother and best friend died at the age of 34.  Which leaves my two younger brothers.  One brother, unfortunately, inherited our mom’s mental illness and has probably spent more time in prison (for mostly non-violent crimes such as drinking and driving) than out of prison since he became an adult.  I did everything in my power to get him into treatment centers for his addictions but once I married and we moved to Texas, I was unable to help him much thereafter.  Then there’s the baby of the family.  And let me tell you – the experts are spot-on when it comes to their birth order expertise.  Jeff was and is the epitome of the baby of the family.

      Because of our fractured lives growing up, adulthood has been a challenge of ups and downs and fractured families.  There’s no other way to put it – I am a final product of a maternal uncle and aunt who finished raising me and they’re definition of family is different than the paternal side of my family.  Not that one “was” better than the other but as my life has progressed, my maternal family is definitely who I relate to more than my paternal family.

      This past week, my younger brother decided he no longer wanted me in his life.  Is perfectly fine with me, since he chose to respond to something I emailed him and he was (and still is) unable to act like an ADULT to iron out our differences.  So be it.  I am now down to one brother – whom I have loved through thick and thin, since we were the unloved children of our parents.

      If you could see the dynamics of my paternal family, you’d completely understand why we were fractured to begin with and why we are fractured now.  Life goes on and as long as I am able to recall those who have loved me through thick and thin, I am doing just fine.  I am first and foremost a child of God.  I have a husband who is my partner for life, loving to the end and has taken our vows to heart as a covenant from God.  I have four beautiful, smart and fun kids.  And I actually have been shown more love and kindness from my in-laws than I have most of my very large extended family.

      Not to mention the love and support I’ve received from virtual quilters – always trying to lift me up, both through prayer and through kind words.  I grew up in a fractured family and now have a fractured life.  But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t love and support.


      Share and Enjoy!

        Friday Funday: Pinterest Quilted Pillow Tutorials

        I love the look of quilted pillows on a sofa…or chair…or just about anywhere!  Here are some that I have found that may interest you:

        RileyBlakePillow

        Quilted “Fat Quarter” Pillow designed by Carina Gardner for Riley Blake Designs

        quilted-pillows

        Pillows to Match a Quilt from Film in the Fridge

        Dreamin’ Vintage – Patchwork Pillow :: Scrap Busting from Red Pepper Quilts

        ScatteredSquares

        Scattered Squares Pillow designed by Corey Yoder of Little Miss Shabby for Moda Bakeshop

        Lone Quilt Block Pillow by Clover & Violet


        Share and Enjoy!

          New Quilt Studio is Ready!

          As long-time readers may recall, my (third) foster mother gifted me with a building to house my new quilt studio last year (read about it here).  The inside was unfinished so my husband has been working, when he can, to get it completed.  It’s been slow going as there have many things that take up his time so he has been unable to work on it on any type of regular schedule.  It really doesn’t matter whether it was ready or not or why he couldn’t finish it on anyone’s timeline – it’s ready now!

          The first phase of the move-in is getting our longarm set up as we need to see how much room it will take up in the studio.  Hubster has the frame put together and will continue to work on it, when he can.  And we’ve created a workable and systemic move for my sewing room in the house so I do not get overwhelmed or stressed about moving everything in one day.  Slow and easy wins the race – stress makes my MS stand up to be noticed, and not in a good way, either.

          We still need a curtain for the restroom and curtains on the windows…my MIL is helping me with those since she sold custom draperies for 25 years.  Just waiting on hubby finding the time to go into the barn and find the hardware needed for everything – and let me tell you, that job in itself may take him all day!

          Here are photos of the nearly finished quilt studio.  You will notice that he knows me very well, based on the number of plugins he put in.  LOL  He also put them in the middle of the walls so I didn’t have to bend over to plug something in.  All in all, it’s come together very nicely and now we pray that all of my quilt stuff from my sewing room fits in it!

          IMG_2000

          This is the back wall of the studio with the restroom on the right.  My shelves will go on the back wall and for the time being, that dresser will probably go in the restroom.  We added the restroom because my foster mother is more handicapped than I am so until she comes back, it really isn’t necessary for me as the studio is very close to our house and I can walk there, as needed.  The dresser will be our mailing station, to mail out fabric or quilted quilts.  That curtain hides a nice-sized loft, to hold the things I don’t need very often.

          IMG_2001

          This is the left side of the studio.  The AC unit is actually for both AC and heat so I’ll be able to work in the studio whether it’s hot or cold outside.  The longarm will fit on part of this wall.  I also had my husband hang pegboard in three areas of the studio.  One over the longarm area, one over my sewing area and a smaller one in my foster mother’s nook.  It’ll be just lovely to have a place for everything and everything in its place!

          IMG_2003

          This is my foster mother’s corner.  She likes being by a window – whereas I prefer to live like a mole.  LOL  We should be able to fit her chair, sewing machine and cutting table in this area when she comes back.

          IMG_2005
          This is a shot of my foster mother’s nook and the door.  The curtain over this second loft is sagging but my MIL decided that once the longarm was in and the room had settled, we’d go back and cut that curtain so it was straight (and it really bugs me that it’s not straight!).IMG_2002

          This is my sewing area in the studio.  My sewing table (to fit both my domestic machine and my embroidery machine) will go just to the right of that window.  My cutting table will be movable so I can either leave it in front of the window or move it beside my sewing station.

          And there you have it, TaM’s Quilt Studio!  Will share more photos once we get the longarm set up and my sewing room in the house all moved.


          Share and Enjoy!