The warrior princess!

Mom is now a Texan! She's staying with us for a couple of weeks until we complete the move and we are already having fun. It's been a long time since Mom has been able to come here for visit and once she is in her own place she'll only be 5 minutes away.

ZenaI brought a lot of papers for her to sort through (at her request). As she weeded through them, she found birth and wedding certificates. When she found hers she looked at me and said that I probably should know something. I was not sure what to expect because she seemed so serious.

It turns out my mother has a first name that I never knew about! My mom is Zena – a warrior princess! (OK, I know they spelled it with an X, but it's pronounced the same.) She hated the name Zena growing up and I don't think she ever went by it. Even now, she's not crazy about people knowing. I told her I was going to blog about it and half of her was sort of pleased and the other half was not so sure. So don't any of you call my mom Zena.

My mother had an Aunt Zena who had black hair, twinkly eyes, and a hot temper. She raised four boys. Mom said her Aunt Zena was always an adament anti-smoker until she got to her 70s and then she 'smoked like a firestack'.

People describe my mother to me as a sweet, thoughtful lady – and she is. She is also tough. She grew up poor in West Virginia coal mining country. She got out of high school and went to work in a law office. She met my dad, they got married and moved to Oklahoma. She raised us, and went back to school when it was unusual for a woman in her 40s to do that. She earned a nursing degree and worked for many years as an RN. Daddy has been gone many years and mom has soldiered on. I think she is a perfect warrior princess!

On a related note, when we named our boys Harley Christopher (who we call Chris) and Arthur Jeffrey (who is Jeff) she said that it was a bad idea to make a kid go by their middle name but she never said that she knew that because she had done it her whole life! We didn't listen and the boys have somehow managed to survive. Mothers can be so funny :-).

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PS – Mom does not look remotely like Lucy Lawless.

At the park…

On the quilting front, if you tried to find the May Baskets kit and couldn't that was my fault. The html got messed up and I missed it. It is fixed now. If you want to see it, click here.

In other news, I flew home at the crack of way before dawn yesterday and came home to weather that was warm and humid – just like it was in Naples, FL. Steve was babysitting Jack and Elanor and we decided to take a short trip to the park.

Jack loves the purple dinosaur…

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And he can be fierce…

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Elanor decided to hop on since I had the camera out…

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They roamed over the park. This is a small park but there are a variety of things to climb and swing on. I'm not sure how the dome-shaped monkey bars have managed to escape being replaced with something safer but I can say that both of our grandkids love them…

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Jack, at not-quite-3 1/2, is very tall and strong for his age.

In other news, Mom is perkier and excited about the move. Christy is doing some packing and getting as ready as she can be until she gets more boxes. Both of them are looking forward to being in Sherman – and I'm looking forward to it too. Nice how that works out!

 

Money…

Have you ever wondered about money? Where it comes from, how it works? I've not spent a whole lot of time on this but I finally did get around to listening to the podcast from This American Life from January 7 entitled The Invention of Money.

Ben_Bernanke_official_portrait This American Life is a radio show on NPR. Some of you will already know it and some of you will not. It's worth a listen. I enjoyed this show in particular, especially the last segment on how the Federal Reserve works. (That's Ben Bernanke, the chair of the Federal Reserve, looking younger and more carefree than I remember.) It's even more strange/magical/scary/impressive than I thought it might be.

I'm still in Naples, FL. It's warm and a bit humid and lovely. The guild here is full of friendly, happy women and we've had a very good time together so far – with one more day of class to go.

Something new for spring!

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Linda just finished this May Baskets quilt. If you are on our eNewsletter list you know that already :-). It's made with our Daisies & Dots fabric and we have a kit. Click here for more on that. You'll also so Lemon Pie on the same page. Both quilts are really cute and great for spring!

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Linda used her new Sweet Sixteen from Handi Quilter to quilt the May Baskets and she said once you figure out the tensioning it is wonderful. She's so happy that I ordered one myself today and I hope to have it in 2-3 weeks.

In other news, they moved mom to a private room. She's had problems with diarrhea for a while that she reported to her various doctors but it took an nurse at Bellevue to finally take a sample. Turns out she has some bug that is contagious but, it is to be hoped, easily treatable. But because it's contagious she had to move to the private room. I can already tell that she's going to be lonely. It's funny because going in she was not at all sure she wanted a roommate but now she's sure she wants one. Thankfully it's only for about 10 more days.

I go to Naples, FL, tomorrow to teach – coming home on Sunday. I swear it's going to feel like a vacation!

 

 

 

 

My DILs have been busy!

I have two wonderful daughter-in-laws – Celia and Lorna. Lorna has been making necklaces from silk ribbon, vintage jewelry, and beads. Here is a sample:

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They are lovely and quite fashionable! Celia has set up an etsy store called Looking Lovely where she is currently showcasing Lorna's jewelry. Click here to see more!

NewStash copy Just as a heads up – I recently moved my stash from one room to another. I had to 'thin the herd' to make my fabric fit in its new home.I have as many shelves as I did before but they are about 1.5 feet shorter.

I shipped about 100 lbs of fabric to Celia and she's going to be selling it at Looking Lovely soon. I'm not sure how she's going to bundle it up but it's all 100% cotton and it's been washed and dried. I'll let you know more when I know more.

AND – we signed a lease last night on a duplex for Mom and Christy! Oh happy day! It's 1000 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths, big kitchen, and it has washer and dryer hookups. There are only 2 small steps from the parking area to the front door. It's pretty new, only one person has lived in this unit and she took good care of it. It's 2 blocks from Chris and Lorna and about 2 miles from us. There is a fenced yard and their (remaining) little dog can come with them. It feels right.

Mom and Christy were both really excited and happy to be moving to a smaller place – until they both realized that that means about half of their stuff is not making the move. They are both taking a deep breath and deciding what is most important to them. It is my hope that once they are in with their most cherished posessions it'll be OK.

Mom's dog, Wilson, is not making the trip to Texas. Wilson is a 10-year-old chihuahua. For years we all knew that at least one of the dogs was peeing in the house. When mom and Christy were both in the hospital we boarded Christy's yorkshire terrier, Taz, and Steve's sister took in Wilson. She figured out that Wilson was the guilty pee-er. Mom acquired Wilson when he was 2 and my guess is that why his original owner let him go.

Mom said, more than once, that she really couldn't take care of him any more. It broke her heart, but she's just beyond dog care. Christy can't either – Taz is almost more than she can deal with. We have cats and neither Steve nor I felt right about bringing a nightmare into our cats' lives.

At one point I thought I was going to have to send Wilson to heaven. I can hear every dog lover among you groaning but seriously, no one I knew could take on a dog that was going to have to be in diapers. I sure couldn't let him loose to fend for himself – that's just wrong. After some searching and long conversations I am happy to report that Barbara at Because of You Chihuahua Rescue was able to find a foster home for Wilson. Someone who knew up front about his bad habits and was happy to have him anyway. I am so thankful that I'm going to be able to tell my Mom honestly that Wilson is just fine.

You know, the world is full of amazingly giving individuals!

 

 

Really cold feet!

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We almost bought this house for my mom and sister this morning. We had gone so far as to write an earnest money check and take a stack of papers to the lender. But then I woke up in a cold sweat thinking about who was going to water all that grass? And, really, did Steve and I have time (and money) to fix everything in this house that needs fixing. And not just fixing later, fixing right away?

Steve woke up about then (before the sun was up) and we decided that we just didn't need to do this right now. This house is just too big for mom and Christy. After talking to each of them we all decided that this was not the right house. I'm so glad we talked it out before we signed a contract!

So the new plan is to look for something small for them to rent in Sherman until mom's house in OKC sells. Mom's house won't even be on the market (probably) until we get them moved. It is still true that everything is trying to happen all at once but I am breathing easier knowing that we are not taking on the responsibility for buying a house while still owning another. I do hope we can find the right rental property soon and get them moved!