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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Childhood's End

Way back in the mists of far ago, I read a fantastic book by Arthur C. Clark called
"Childhood's End", which I always thought illustrated the theology of Teilhard de
Chardin perfectly. Running around with 2 teenage girls I seem to be seeing the initial stages of the evolution to another (higher?) life form that was the theme of the book. I am talking about the phenomenon of our children talking, breathing, eating, drinking, singing, burping, giggling, texting on their cell phones 24/7.

Here is the perfect illustration for my hypothosis, teenage quilter, or is it teenage communicator? Ah, teenage communiquilter! For a woman who grew up with a phone phobia, clear back in the day of rotary, party line telephones, it is difficult to understand the need to live with a tiny phone in one's ear permanently. Of course, I've never gotten computer games so what can you expect. And texting!!! One needs functioning opposable thumbs to text, which I do not have, so I have explained to Mandy that while I will use my cell phone to talk to people, there are simply some aspects of modern communication technology that I do not choose to partake of! My idea of the perfect means of communication is e-mail and blogging.

Please keep my Mom in your prayers; years ago she had to have a breast removed because of cancer, and recently she found another lump and is having severe headaches, so tomorrow I take her to the hospital for a mammogram and cat scan.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hooray for the Family!

Friday, the 25th, was supposed to be Mom's and Dad's 70th Anniversary. Instead it was 2 months since Dad passed away. We wanted to do something for Mom to keep her from being sad and lonely on that day. ShayBabe from SLC was able to get a great airfare and flew into Denver so I drove Mom up to Mike's home in Wheatridge. On Friday evening Carl and Robyn arranged for dinner in a private room at DiCicco's Italian Restaurant in Olde Towne Arvada.
DiCicco's is located in the historic one room grade school that was built in 1882. It has been restored and added on to to make a great commercial building across from the central Plaza on Old Wadsworth.

We ate yummy Italian food, drank Cabernet Sauvignon and reminisced and laughed and had a great time. I guess it was our version of an old fashioned wake. We were the last group out of the establishment except for the Manager and some clean up staff in the kitchen. They treated us royally and we sure appreciate them. Our waitress even turned out to be a college student from Canon City.

After a long period of very cold and snowy weather it was up into the 50s this weekend. Lindsay and Derek were working on new wiring for Mikey's hot tub, Kaylee was making "soup" on the picnic table on the deck, the black labs played in the snow that still covered the shaded back yard, and Mandykins had a blast playing with baby Sean.

Mom and I drove home on Saturday evening and brought Mandy with us to spend a couple of weeks. Since she goes to school online, she will be able to continue her school work on our computer. She hopes to do more work on the photo memory quilt she started last summer.

Today Mandy and I drove Amber to Colorado Springs for her first orientation meeting as a Youth Ambassador for People to People. We got to meet the other students that will be traveling with Amber next summer to the Mediterannean, and received valuable advice from parents of previous Youth Ambassadors on things like what and how to pack and carrying international Visa cards so they don't have to carry cash or exchange a lot of currency. Amber has already started some of her home work and will begin online study about the countries she will visit on. She will have to do well on quizzes and reports in order to get high school and even college credits. We're really excited and I'll be telling you more about her trip in the near future.

Friday, January 25, 2008

More Quilting the Names of God Blocks

For week 2 of our study I fused and machine appliqued this Desert Rose block for the God Who Sees Me/El Roi. The Desert Rose represents Hagar when she ran away into the desert and met God who saved her and gave her a promise "I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count."...

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: 'You are the God who sees me,' for she said, 'I have now seen the One who sees me.'" --Genesis 16:13

The week 3 block is a paper pieced The Mountain Peak block which represents God Almighty/El Shaddai.

"When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, 'I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless, I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.'" --Genesis 17:1-2

I have chosen fabrics with abstract and geometic gold touched designs on black, white, red, blue, green, and gold for my Quilting the Names of God quilt. The fabrics for Praying the Names of Jesus
are also gold touched but the designs are based on nature since Jesus came down to live and die on earth; he could be seen and touched. The abstract designs are more austere and less natural since the Bible tells us that humans cannot look upon the glory of God with natural eyes.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A New Year

The past year I wasn't able to accomplish the goals I had set for myself in quilting or in health and fitness. I was doing pretty well until I ended up in the hospital in July, then when I was getting going again, my Dad had a heart attack and passed away.

2007 Goals accomplished:

_Strippy Solar Quilt for a child in the Quilt Studio 40 Quilts Challenge

_8 monthly quilts done for the12 x12 x12 Challenge (Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Oct)

_Pieced top for Sean's Mythical Horses Quilt (see photo)

_13 of the 39 blocks finished (26 made in 2006) for the Women of the Bible quilt

_7 blocks of the Praying the Names of Jesus quilt

We are blessed in that we are constantly being given a new chance, and with this new year I am setting goals again, both in quilting and in health and fitness. I find that without goals that have definite daily tasks to accomplish, it is too easy to drift along and not get anything significant done.

Healthwise, it is essential for me to take off weight and to strengthen my muscles with aerobic exercise and stretching. My goal is to take off 50 pounds in 2008. In order to visualize this, I bought a 4 pound package of lard; that is the amount I will need to take off each month to reach my goal. Can you imagine how big a chunk of lard I'd have with 12 of these lumped together!?

In order to accomplish this goal I will need to stick to a healthy and doable eating plan as well as exercising at Curves 3 times a week and walking on the other days.

My quilting goals are:

_Finish 4 UFOs, Mike's Bargello, Mom's Album, Alex's Depression Toys, and Sean's Mythical Horses quilts; they all need to be assembled and quilted, either by me or sent out to a professional quilter.

_Finish the December 12 x 12 Challenge block.

_I will learn to do free motion quilting with the new sewing machine foot I bought earlier this year and haven't removed from it's bag.

_I will piece the top of Carl's antique airplane quilt from the Depression Era reproduction fabrics I've collected. I need to figure out how to do the layout on EQ5.

_I will finish the 10 remaining blocks of the Women of the Bible Quilt and assemble the top.

_I will finish the 20 remaining blocks of the Praying the Names of Jesus Quilt and assemble the top.

_I will make a block a week (30 total) for the Quilting the Names of God online study group.

_I will make one small experimental landscape quilt each month, as my own Challenge for this year.

As a gesture of good faith, I actually finished the first Quilting the Names of God block this week as we were studying it. The first name is from the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis, God, Mighty Creator. The block is Light and Dark done in black, white and gold fabrics from a collection of fat quarters with gold touches (see photo) that I found at the Creative Cloth Closet in Canon City. I wanted to get an effect similar to the William Blake painting of The Ancient of Days.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Buddies at National Western Stockshow

Remember my blog with the photo of cowboys riding longhorn steers? Tonight in the local weekly paper, The Florence Citizen, was this photo of the same longhorns with their riders, who are appearing at the National Western Stockshow in Denver this month.

"At 2 p.m. Jan. 5 Cole will host an exhibition in the Pepsi Arena. The exhibition will include a shootout off the steers using .45 caliber pistols and double barrel shotguns, driving a buggy pulled by a steer and a riding exhibition showing how well the steers rein. During the exhibition a steer will also jump through a ring of fire.

Cole started riding steers because it was something different to do, he said. In the past he has ridden rough stock and played polo. He knew some guys that had riding steers, he said. It was sonething not everybody did, he added."

I always enjoy seeing these longhorns lounging about in their pasture in Penrose; they are gorgeous animals, and love having their foreheads petted. I may have to attend the Stockshow this year to see them strut their stuff in front of the ranching crowd. Needless to say, this photo was taken last summer. That pasture is covered in white right now.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Congratulations, Goose!

Baseball fans in Colorado are excited that our own Goose Gossage of Colorado Springs has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Goose, a pitcher, helped the New York Yankees win the World Series in 1978.

Rich Gossage Richard Michael Gossage (Goose)
Bats Right, Throws Right Height 6' 3", Weight 217 lb.
Debut April 16, 1972 vs. KCR 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 SO, 1 BB, 0 ER Final Game August 8, 1994 Born July 5, 1951 in Colorado Springs, CO
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.
Drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 9th round of the 1970 amateur draft. (All Transactions)


When Joe and I were active in the Colorado Archeological Society we had the good fortune to take part in an archeology survey of part of Goose's ranch in a gorgeous section of the mountains north of Canon City.

First the Rockies in the World Series and now Goose in the Hall of Fame. Can it get any better? We can only hope!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Welcome to Cold, Sunny, White Toad Haven

Here is how the heavy snow that fell last night looked this morning with a deep blue sky and sun.
It is hard to believe that this herb garden ever looked like this, and hopefully, will look like this again in a few months.

Check out Claudia's herbal blog. I was excited to find out that Claudia had chosen to use my herb garden photo in her banner.
January is that cold, dark month when gardeners scan catalogs and gardening how-to books and do lots of dreaming and planning for the coming Spring. The days are growing incrementally longer!!! I can see it best in the "Old Farmer's Almanac" sunrise and sunset tables so far, but it is happening!
"If Winter come, can Spring be far behind?"