Backyard Surprise!

Two blog posts in one day! But, this I had to share. This is one of the things that would have had me running into the house yelling “Honey! Look what I found!” I found a real treasure today.  I was pulling some weeds and overgrown herbs, and it’s a wonder I didn’t step right on it. I saw it just in time. How precious is this?!

I sure hope this little one survives and stays around in the yard. I looked for others, but didn’t find anymore.


Father’s Day

My son and I went to my parents’ house yesterday. I made up my mind yesterday to try to focus on life and the loved ones still in my life, rather than spend the whole day obsessing over the one that is no longer in it. My Daddy is still alive and I did not want to regret not going to celebrate that fact on this Father’s Day weekend because I let my sadness dominate. It wasn’t necessarily easy, but I’m glad we went. I did enjoy the time with my son, my mother and my father. As much as I can enjoy anything right now. Every experience is just “different” now. I am “different”. The world looks “different”. I don’t know how to explain it really. It’s almost like you have entered a different realm. I guess it’s just a different reality. But, when you have lost someone so near and dear to you, it really does change everything. Nothing feels normal.

This transition from we, us and ours to I, me and mine is so difficult and unpleasant. Quite frankly, I hate it. You built this identity as a couple, and it’s gone in an instant. You find yourself in a position of starting over, basically. Finding a “new normal”. I am fortunate, in many regards. I realize that. I am still thankful for the many blessings in my life. I don’t want to sound as if I am not. I am fortunate in the fact that I am not in a situation many widows find themselves in…having to suddenly go out and find a job, or losing their home because they can no longer afford to live in it. I was independent in that regard, before Greg, and I am still in a position of being able to be self-sufficient, on my own.

I have been perusing quilting blogs and forums, trying to be inspired to work on my own projects again. I even went to a fabric shop open house yesterday, Lillie’s Thimble, in Pampa. I love going to fabric shops and rarely leave one without buying something, even if it’s just a spool of thread. I left empty handed. Wasn’t even tempted. The desire just isn’t there yet. I am thinking that today I might try to straighten up my quilting room…and maybe that will begin to light a fire again. It’s somewhat of a disaster in there right now. Greg was my biggest quilting fan and supporter. The first one I wanted to show when I quilted something I thought was really good. He would be just as happy and excited as I was. He bought me both of my sewing machines, my embroidery machine, and a big portion of my quilting machine. There isn’t a part of my life that he hadn’t become a big part of, as well. Quilting is no exception.

I have decisions to make, as far as my quilting is concerned. While I have no doubt that I will again be quilting…and probably sooner rather than later…it is possible that I may only be quilting for myself. I may let the customer quilting go. I will be selling our business to Greg’s son-in-law.  I run all my quilting work through it.  Sales tax collecting and reporting, etc. I’m not sure that I will want to have to go through setting up a new business on my own, and one thing I won’t do is run it “under the table”. It was easy to do before, since we already had a successful business established, to just add the quilting work in with it. The other side of that coin is that I will actually have more spare time now, on the weekends, in which to do customer quilting. Or, it could just be lots of spare time to work on my own stuff. Lots of things for me to ponder.

Hopefully, before long, there will be some quilting content returning. For today, I leave you with pics of four little friends on the patio:

One thru three...
number four

I leave the patio light on for them at night, to draw insects. I call it the “buffet”. Haha.


Another week…

has passed in this journey.  I had a lot of positive feedback from the last post, publicly and privately. I will, at least for now, continue to share some on my blog about this time in my life. Just getting myself up, and getting presentable for work is a monumental task these days.  I perceive grief almost as an illness…what feels like an incurable disease. I am hopeful that the symptoms will ease with time, but I can’t imagine being completely “cured” or “whole” again. At least not now, while the wound is so raw.  I don’t feel “well”. Not physically, mentally or emotionally. Physically, I am exhausted all the time. Some of you may remember a couple of years ago that I was participating in some of the online weight loss groups. I finally gave up on those last pesky ten pounds. I have lost twenty since the beginning of Greg’s illness, til now. I have trouble sleeping through the night, though during the day, I wish I could be back in bed. An acquaintance I bumped into in town this week asked if it was getting better, with the passage of time. Ummmm…no. An innocent question, I know, with only the best of intentions. But, let’s see…it hasn’t even been a month. At this point, if anything, the missing of Greg seems only to be intensifying. You know the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. At this stage, it’s like he has been gone on an extended fishing trip, and it’s time for him to return home. My mind knows that it will never be, but my heart cannot stop longing for it. Nor, for that matter, can my mind. I want some big red, magic “easy” button, like that from the Staples commercials, that I can just push and put my life back the way it was. With Greg here, present with me, in a physical form. I wonder when, at what point, and how…will these feelings begin to diminish. I find that he is constantly on my mind, no matter what I am doing. I go to work, and try to do one task at a time, and anything I manage to accomplish there feels like a small victory of sorts, and I worry that I am leaving something important undone. My concentration level is not at it’s normal level. People frequently comment to me that I am so strong…am I? I have my doubts. This weekend, I have barely been able to move. I don’t want to do much more than lay around and read. I did manage to write a handful of thank you notes, (still so many to get done) and do a couple loads of laundry, but that’s about it. I have been reading some books about grief, and I encourage others going through a loss to do the same, if for no other reason than to know that what you are feeling is not crazy. It’s so easy to feel that way in the midst of this situation.

Something else I feel in overwhelming proportions, is appreciation. Appreciation for all the love and support that has been shown to Greg, me and our family throughout this whole ordeal.  Even though no one can fix this, the love, support, and prayers do help. And, I am so thankful for all of it.  Whether from friends and family locally, or my “cyberspace” friends.  I believe that it will make me a better friend. I am so much more aware now how important it is to let others know you care, or are thinking about them. You never know when your message may have been received at a most needed moment, or what a difference you might have made for that other person. I want to once again thank each and every one of you that has commented, prayed for me, emailed me, and sent me cards. I haven’t been up to responding to each of you individually, ever since this started, but I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

I have a lot of thoughts running around in my head that I want to write about, but this is all I can manage for today.  Feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I love hearing your stories and points of view, as well.


grief · quilting


are hard to come by these days.  The pain of losing my one true love permeates every part of my existence. Grief.  I hesitate to write much about it on my blog, but…at the same time…it is my blog.  My musings about my life.  And now, grief is a part of my life’s daily journey. This is the road I’m walking now. How can I not write about it? I can’t pretend that it doesn’t exist. That it isn’t now a part of me. Grief is not something you feel for a few days after the loss, and then it’s all better…you just get up, go on, move on. No…it’s not neat and tidy like that. It’s messy, it is rough around the edges, jagged, a wound that keeps bleeding. It has a life and a movement of it’s own. It’s like an ocean, ebbing and flowing, calming at times, and then crashing back over you in big, uncontrollable waves. Some days you are stronger, and some days you feel as if you absolutely cannot do this. But, you must. There is no escape. You must travel on down the rough, rocky road.  Your friends and loved ones hurt with you, and for you, and naturally want to make it better, but no one can bear this pain for you. It is yours. Yours alone. It is unique to you. Grief is deeply personal. There is no right or wrong way to do it. There is no time limit on it. I don’t write to be melodramatic, or depressing, offending, or for attention,  or sympathy. Just to be  real. Honest. I read in a book on grief that stating what you are feeling can be helpful. Even as I write, I am hesitant to push the “publish” button, to share something so deeply personal to me with “the whole world”, but maybe it will not just be helpful to me, but someone else out there that is being tossed about in their own personal ocean of grief. For whatever reason, I feel compelled to share this.

Now that I have gotten those thoughts down, and out there, back to the topic of this post. Smiles. Yes, they are fewer and farther between these days. But, this is what made me smile this morning…backyard visitors…a toad, a frog, and a turtle. When your heart is broken, it’s the first thought that crosses your mind when you wake up in the morning. The pain is fresh all over again. But, I got up…let my dogs out…started a pot of coffee…and stepped out in the backyard with them. First, I found the toad, then the frog. Anyone that has read my blog for any length of time knows how I love God’s creatures. He gave me heart full of love for them. Some people find toads and frogs yucky. Not me. I think they are adorable. Then, after letting the dogs back in and feeding them, and giving Libby her insulin, I got a cup of coffee and we went back out in the yard. And, then I saw the turtle. I immediately went in the house to rummage up some food for it. I picked baby carrots, a tangelo, and some apple slices.  And, yes…I smiled as I watched it eating an apple slice.

I do hope I get to see my little visitor again.