Wednesday, November 7, 2012

So Howya Doin?

I'm still here.  I'm just so sad. I mean, I live my life and I have happy moments and I'm doing things, but I'm just so sad.  I can be just going along, and the sadness just sideswipes me like a hit-and-run accident.

Like today. I got a piece of exciting news last night (which I'm not allowed to share publicly yet) and I got up this morning thinking about calling my mom to tell her.

But I can't.

So I called my dad.  It's okay, but it's not quite the same.

I'm mad that I'm sad too.  Because my youngest child is going to be married in three weeks. And there are times that I can't even enjoy the moment and I feel like it's a little unfair to be slammed with this much sorrow when it should be a time of joy.

Like we had her bridal shower last Saturday.

I mean, who could be sad looking at that?

So I feel guilty about being sad and I especially hate telling people that I am sad, which is probably why I haven't blogged in awhile.  I also know in my head that I should move on and it's okay, but my heart won't let me, or is it the other way around?

I often feel crushed by all the responsibilities that I have right now and I haven't yet had time to catch a breath and regroup.

So that's how I'm doing.

Oh my gosh!! THREE WEEKS!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Right now I'm sitting on the bed in the room in my parent's basement we affectionately call "the cave," although rumor has it that this room used to be the study for Elder Dallin H. Oaks. (previous owner of this house)

And I'm listening. Listening for the footsteps of my mother overhead. But I can't hear them.

This is the first morning of my life without my mother. She passed away suddenly yesterday afternoon. Of course we knew it was coming, and in our own self-important way, we were discussing our arrivals to the family home to assist my dad. But she surprised us all by leaving quickly. The nurse thought that it was a blood clot in her healthy lung. She had taken a turn for the worse over the weekend and we knew that angels were near and the veil was thin.

But I didn't get to talk to her yesterday. I'm sad. I spent the whole day making her a comfort quilt and she left us about the same time I finished it.

I've not shared much during this time because I've felt like I've had my own little package of grief that I didn't want to open and share with the public.

For the time being, we will be together as a family and plan how to honor this woman who, in the sense of the world, made little impact, but was our whole world.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Taking a Deep Breath

A few months ago I had an overwhelming impression that my mother was going to be ill this year. It was so strong that it stayed with me for awhile and brought me to tears. I've shed many tears since.

I thought I would post an update because I know that a few people will be wondering how things are going. I've hesitated to share much because my parents are very private people.

I spent almost a week with my parents. We spent one day in the emergency room, another visit to a doctor, another visit to a clinic for a procedure and I'm so glad I was there to help out.

My mom has adenocarcinoma of the lung-Stage 4. The prognosis is very grave. Currently hospice is involved in her care and I'm comforted that someone with the skill and tenderness needed to help her at this point in time is available. She can revoke hospice at any time if she feels better.

Currently we are in limbo. Her health is declining rapidly, yet the oncologist has no treatment options available because they are waiting for test results on the cancer cells.

I weep for the love that is being shown to her by caring friends and family and medical professionals. I weep because of the love and tenderness I feel from my Heavenly Father and my own caring friends and family. I'm feeling tender and soft and oft times even flu-ish because of the grief process we are going through. It's been difficult to function because I just stare at the wall for long periods of time.

But I'm grateful for my faith because I know I will see her again, and she will be with her family that she so dearly loves. I'm going to miss her terribly. She is still with us now and is only a phone call away but I hesitate to talk to her for any length of time because she is so weak. I joy in my own sweet family and darling grandkids and the joy that a newly engaged couple exudes!

I will try to update again but it is difficult. But I'm okay.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Checking In

I'm just checking in before I check out. Life can be very interesting. You can have the highest of highs and the lowest of lows almost at the same time. Ten days ago my youngest got engaged to be married--November 29th, and today I found out my dear mother has cancer. I'm probably not going to be blogging for the foreseeable future, so I thought I would make that announcement in case anyone wonders what happened to the Matriarchal Madwoman. I'm flying out on the first flight to Salt Lake tomorrow and in between times there, will be planning a lovely wedding. I'm hoping to check back in but right now I can't even think about it.....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Five Facts on Friday

What? It's Friday already???

It's been raining like crazy! I took this photo of the river outside my back door on Monday night.  It has been raining EVERY day since then. If it keeps it up-I may be able to grow tropical plants outside! However, I love it because the AC kicks on less due to the "cooler" temps and the overcast skies and I get FREE water! Thank you Heavenly Father!

Speaking of plants.....the garden isn't producing much. With the earlier temps in the 115 range, flowers don't set fruit. My peppers are bravely hanging in there, except they've gotten really slammed with the heavy downpours.
 I've yoinked out most of the plants just to let the soil rest. Another reason I'm happy for the rain is that it is helping leach out the heavy salts we've had......lesson #1 in gardening: test your soil!! The grass is actually a couple of shades greener today!
This is just for show. I like having something green growing. Armenian cucumbers.
Rosemary, basil and hibiscus growing in the front. I acidifed the soil with some sulfur and the plants are MUCH happier.
I found a local nursery that grows plants that like the heat better and I've been SO happy with the results this year. This is the first year I've had zinnias all summer. It makes me happy to drive up and see flowers in the summer.
My poor battered rose trees along with the prolific  sweet potato plant. Nope, I don't get sweet potatoes but at least I get something growing in the heat. The roots of the plant help break up the soil too. I discovered this plant a couple of years ago and I've been really happy with the soil condition. They will get pulled as soon as it cools off enough for something else. 

My babies headed back to school. This wasn't the first day because I was at the gym when they left. Don't they look THRILLED???? Baby on the left turns 19 today!!!


Guess who came to visit me last week?  He's SO big, I can't believe it.  He was one month old on the 19th. He loves to sleep on people's chests. Just looking at these photos makes me want to munch his cheeks.

My name is Marilyn and I'm a fabricaholic. Seriously. I went to my favorite quilt/fabric store on Monday and pin basted two quilts. I had a free open lab coupon and it was awesome using their huge tables and way less hard on my back. Angry birds is still a WiP but I'm working on the binding. 

And now my confession. Last week after we got done with the dentist, hubby handed me his old gold tooth and told me to go sell the gold. So I did. $58 worth. Not much-but enough to go get some more fabric for another project!!!! See what lengths I will go to just to get fabric? I would never sell my body for it-but I'm not above selling other people's body parts!! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Not five Facts and Not on Friday

We just arrived from a couple of days in Mexico. Hubby likes to go to the dentist there because it is so cheap. Ex: he had to have a bridge made with four teeth (poor guy) and was quoted $4500 our payment AFTER insurance. We paid $1050. My Amy cringes every time we talk about this, but this dentist has a modern office with all the computerized equipment, and exactly the same equipment and products used here in the States. He was trained in the US.  He was very gentle-I actually had my teeth cleaned by him-$35, a looooong overdue appointment for me. (you know how mom is sometimes last....)

So here's my pictorial tour of the last couple of days for your viewing enjoyment. I speak somewhat tongue-in-cheek.......We are really blessed to live in the United States. So many people wrinkle their noses at me and say that "Mexico is dirty." Well, if we weren't able to put our garbage in nice tidy plastic bags to be picked up at least twice a week, I don't know how clean we would be either. They just don't have the infrastructure, unfortunately, in their country to keep the roads up to par or make the nice straight sidewalks that we have. When they run out of money for a project, well, it just sits there. Nevertheless, the people are lovely, friendly, warm and happy. We had SO much fun talking to people. It was the first time I had been back to Mexico since my Spanish skills have improved and it was delightful.

View from our room. Please don't be jealous. It was VERY hot and VERY humid. We spent as little time outdoors as possible. This was definitely off-season. It rained a lot the next day. My next trip will be when it is cooler.
My Mexican refrigerator. I'm spoiled rotten and our room was less than stellar so we bought this to keep our bottled water cold. OXXO stores are kinda like Circle K. (we even found a Circle K there!)
I took this picture because hubs likes to find parking spots as close to the venue/store as possible. You can't get any closer than this!

Have you ever seen a speed limit sign with 18 mph? We haven't either and we were laughing hysterically when we saw this.
Did you know that Puerto Penasco has a Rodeo Drive?  We didn't either. Look closely at the sign. The second line reads "Mexican Rodeo Drive"  Another giggle.

Ahh Mexico! The road in the lower photo was actually the best one we drove on.

This was actually when I freaked out the most. This was taken less than a mile from the border. It had been raining a lot and the bridge was washed out (actually for more than several years). So we had to drive on the "desviacion" which is detour and I was scared to death to cross this. The water had gone down considerably by the time we arrived.
Hubs new hat. I laugh every time I see it. His souvenir from good ol' Mexico. I'll model the one I got for gardening in a future post.

So back safe and sound with a few new vocabulary words tucked under my belt.........
And for great grandma's viewing pleasure, another photo taken of the newest member of my family just a few days ago......
Nope-he doesn't speak Spanish-he just speaks cute.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WiP Wednesday

Remember this quilt top?
A lot of the "modern quilters" are piecing the backing on the quilt also. This is a great way to use up leftover scraps of fabric and save a little money. I love the idea. With this quilt, I bought a "layer cake" which is precut 10 x 10 fabrics, so I didn't have any leftovers. I bought some extra yardage of a couple of the fabrics in the same line. I did a 12" border with the center all one piece. I saw it on another quilt and really loved it. I'm kind of a fly by the seat of my pants girl so I just measured the quilt top and then figured out how much I needed for the back..I'm working on that in preparation for pin basting and then off we go with a free motion quilt. I think I'm going to do an all-over squiggly stitching.
Here's my angry birds quilt top all pieced. Just got the backing in preparation for basting. I think both of these quilts will be WiP for awhile. I've got a top I made for Christmas so I need to get cracking on pin basting and quilting that one too so we can enjoy it when Christmas comes.  Although I am going to be interrupted for awhile with another WiP.....
I'll let you guess what that WiP is. It may be taking up my time for quite awhile.........

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Living Water

Every morning I get up and drink a large glass of water. Water is a vital nutrient for survival. I can't remember exactly, but more than half of our bodies are composed of water, and our brain is 85% water. We can live quite awhile without food, but we will die within two or three days without water.

Today I'm going to share a recent study session that I had regarding "living water. Bruce R. McConkie defined living water as "the words of eternal life, the message of salvation, the truths about God and His kingdom; it is the doctrine of the gospel." Jesus Christ is the fountain of living water. He IS living water.

In John 4:10, the Lord meets a woman getting water. He asks her for a drink, thus opening up a conversation between them. This thought came to me as I was reading this-the woman asked him how he would draw the living water because he had nothing to draw it with. Christ has no need of anything to draw this living water because He IS the fountain of living water!  He is the source. I love this story because it is the first time the Lord witnesses who He is-and that person was a woman!

In Jeremiah we learn of of the apostasy of the people. First they have forsaken the fountain of living water, which is Jesus Christ, and they have made cisterns, which are supposed to hold water, but interestingly they are broken! Therefore, they cannot hold water. I take this to mean the idols and gods of this world, which, when we are focused on them, cannot hold the living water.

There is opposition in all things. I learned in 1 Nephi 11 that Satan has an opposition to living waters. Nephi saw the fountain of filthy water, which led to hell. This is Satan's counterfeit and opposition to the love of God and the fountain of living water.

There seems to be a pattern of progression as I have read through these scriptures. It's as if we can become our own pools of living water, being able to learn and receive all mysteries. But we have to be willing and humble....come unto Christ because he is the fountain or the source of all living water. There is also an opposition to this living water. Satan has a counterfeit to everything good and virtuous.  We must constantly partake of this living water from its source so that eventually we be able to reach the goal of being our own pool  of living water, a reservoir, storing up and then sharing when it is needed.

When I thirst after the words of Christ, and read and study His word, I am filled as if I was drinking a large, cold glass of clear water. Let me not let my spirit thirst and die from the lack of this living water!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Five Facts for Friday

Guess I better get this one up before Friday ends!
It's hot. Searingly, excruciatingly hot. I don't know any other way to put it. We have the added humidity which makes it really unbearable outside. We've been breaking all high temps this week. It was 116 the other day, supposed to be 115 today. The other night it was 103 at 10:00 pm with rain sprinkles.........ugggg.

Fun with the grandkids this week:

Her birthday was Monday so Grandma took her for a mani/pedi. Can you tell she was excited? And of course sparkle polish was the bomb!!
These guys came for a swim the night before school started and they wanted to play "Olympics." So Auntie Alyssa got out her old swim caps and they posed for the photo. Hmmm....future Olympians?
Speaking of school, it started here yesterday. It has been so strange not to be involved in the back-to-school frenzy and that first day of school rush. I honestly don't think I miss it much.

Still a Work in Progress. And it doesn't look exactly like this right now. I'm switching up the blocks. I  have to leave it and come back. Good thing I don't have toddlers anymore.

I just finished my second full week at the gym. I can't believe how much better I feel. Sure, I'm sore but I have been in pain almost all the time for a loooooongggg time. I don't know if it is arthritis or what, but I finally just got sick and tired of hurting all the time. I know this is a re-run of last week, but the Olympic athletes have really inspired me and the fact that my back pain is almost completely gone has made me have a huge desire to get up and go work out. I just hope this lasts. I like the feeling of working hard and sweating-sheesh-after I complained about how hot it is here---but the mental and physical benefits of just this short amount of time have really amazed me.

My little stash of apricot jam. I had received a gift of a jar of homemade apricot jam a month or so ago and it disappeared after only about a week! I LOVE apricot jam. Believe it or not, I have never made cooked jam. I've always done the freezer jam and called it good. I messed up on the first batch and it is more like apricot syrup, but it still tastes yummy and will be great on pancakes or crepes. *note to self-making COOKED jam is different than making FREEZER jam......

Thursday, August 9, 2012

H is for..........


Like the ridiculous OCD person I am, when I came across a darling pattern for hats for my grandkids, I just HAD to make them for our California trip.  So I spent the two weeks prior sewing like a maniac so each kid could have one to wear.

Remind me not to do that again.
But they looked SO cute I think it was totally worth it...............

Plus, I now have lots of photos for our annual ABC Christmas book... Go here to see what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Lately in my spare time, I've been perusing quilt blogs. Many of them belong to fabric and quilt designers and I've learned a new acronym called WIP, which means Works in Progress. I usually have a dozen or more projects going on at one time but I'm currently working on a quilt for one of my grandsons and I'm super excited about it because I'm pretty much making it up as I go along.
It's Angry Birds!!! I actually bought four boxes of angry bird fruit snacks just for the pics on the outside of the box. I enlarged the photos and made appliques of the figures and placed them on a white background fabric.
I'm using an old pattern from another quilt I made and piecing all the pieces with fabric from my stash. I'm bound and determined to create this with as little expense as possible. It has been super fun creating the blocks in the primary "angry bird" colors. I've figured out that if I don't take time to be creative every week, I'm not a happy person and this week I'm VERY happy!

As the acronym implies, it's definitely a work in progress and I'll share the finished project....well... as soon as it is finished! After all, I've got to have something to do while it is 110+ outside every day!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Is this not the Fast I have Chosen?

This is a quote from the book of Isaiah. I love the description of the proper law of the fast in this chapter. Isaiah describes the true law of the fast and the many wonderful blessings we can receive from proper fasting, such as,
  • "thy light break forth as the morning"
  • "thine health spring forth speedily"
  • "thy righteousness go before thee"
  • "the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward"
  • "thou shalt call, and the Lord shall answer"
  •  "the Lord shall guide thee continually"
Isaiah Chapter 58
I guess I'm re-studying and writing this post today because fasting is hard for me. I feel weak, head-achy and quite frankly cranky. I loved it when I was pregnant and nursing my babies because I had a terrific excuse not to fast.  Not so much these days. But when I read the wonderful blessings that can be received by proper fasting, I feel encouraged and uplifted to do better.

For those who may read this who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints (Mormons), on the first Sunday of the month, we fast for two meals, and then donate the amount of money it would have cost us for those meals to the church in order to directly assist those who are poor and needy. Many people donate much more.  I have been witness to that assistance and know that 100% of those funds donated goes DIRECTLY to those who are in most need. This is what constitutes a proper fast. We fast to receive spiritual strength as well as assist those who are less fortunate.

My husband told me a story recently of a friend of his, who while attending law school, was an intern in the White House during the Reagan administration (I guess that dates us!).  At one time, some individuals came to him and asked him to explain the principle of fasting, as practiced by members of the Church. As a young man, he explained the procedure we go through each month. Being analytical types, they wondered if the entire United States practiced this principle, with an average of $20 per family, how much money would be raised each month to help those in need.  If every family in the United States donated the money to their churches to be used directly for the needy, our entire system of welfare in the United States would be abolished. Based on the numbers of those on the welfare rolls at that time, every needy person could be assisted!

Can you imagine the good that could be done in the world if we all practiced this principle? Not only the good of the poor and the needy, but the personal health we can receive by fasting. Many medical professionals have encouraged the practice of fasting once a month to assist in good health.  Every day there are articles regarding the obesity of the people in the United States. Could this be an answer for us also?

Finally, the spiritual strength received by fasting and sacrificing cannot be counted. Sacrificing something as basic as food and water for a short time and petitioning the Lord on behalf of another person yields innumerable blessings. It makes us humble and teachable. I am sure there are many who can testify of the wonderful blessings they have received through fasting.

So as I struggle again to properly fast today, this page will be bookmarked so I can go back and remind myself of all the good that comes from the sacrifice of two meals a month!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Five Facts for Friday

Numero Uno:
I LOVE FABRIC!! I've finally had some time to play this week! Here's what's been making a mess in my sewing room.......
 New Quilt for somebody. I used a "layer cake" and got a free pattern off the internet. A great place to get free patterns and ideas is Moda Bake Shop...
 This may or may not be a surprise for someone who just got born.............
I found this fabric on line-ON SALE-this week in honor of the Olympics. I had to have some as I have a future project in mind for one of my anglophile children.......hmmmmm....who could that be?
Making some new quilt blocks using a pattern from the book I just bought. I have realized that this is a long term project, kinda like eating an elephant type project.

Numero Dos:
I went to visit Ella last week because I bought her a new toy. I'm pretty sure she's fully aware that she has a new baby brother.....

Numero Tres:  
No photo for this one.  I finally have gotten fed up with my body hurting all the time, so this week I began training with the gentleman who also happens to be my myopractor (kinda like a chiropractor).  In the gym with him two days a week and then on my own the rest of the time.  Oh my aching quadriceps!!! But having someone guide and instruct you so you don't hurt yourself has been great. So here's hoping I exchange my old-lady arthritic aches and pains with strengthened, toned body aches and pains.

Numero Cuatro:
Anyone else out there obsessed with watching the Olympics? As I've been sewing, it's been fun to watch the more obscure sports like archery, skeet shooting, beach volleyball, rowing and trampoline bouncing......

The only thing that annoys me is that they wait until super late to show the results of the more popular sports like swimming and gymnastics. We wake up bleary-eyed every morning after staying up too late the night before.  The dedication and sacrifice of the athletes is AMAZING!

Aaaand finally......
Numero Cinco:
Standing at the end of the line at Chik-Fil-A, taking a stand for free speech.  They ran out of lettuce just after we got our food.

And for all you local yokels, Alyssa & I got asked to help make a commercial for a local politician. So watch out in the next few weeks for my face on a tv uttering the scintillating words............
"I'm voting for Bob."
Unless of course my part ends up on the editing room floor........