Hi from Colorado

Boulder and the RockiesHello everyone…I’m still in Colorado, but wanted to give an update.  My son is doing exceptionally well, albeit he must be very careful and do nothing but walk, lay down and take it easy for at least another month.   The surgery appears to have been a great success.  He always told me the weather in Colorado here was mild compared to Chicago and I used to tell him he was telling falsehoods.   However, it’s the middle of winter and it is to be in the 50s tomorrow!! with beautiful sunshine.  Eat your hearts out those of you back in Chicago!   I love driving into Boulder, Colorado and being able to see the Rockies and the city below.

On the trip out here we like to stop at some interesting places…and for me, of course, I look for quilt and needlework stores.   Our first side trip was in the Amana Colonies.   There is a WONDERFUL quilt shop there.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of this one, but believe me it is worth the side trip.   Heritage Designs is to be featured in Quilt Sampler Magazine soon.   They are not only a quilt store, but also a needlework shop.   A great place to visit.  I can’s seem to find a website for them…but be sure to drop in when passing through.

Fons & PorterLater that same day we made the side trip to Winterset, Iowa.   Here one can find the home of Fons and Porters Quilt Store.  You know how one can never seem to find good light fabric…well I found quite a collection to my liking.   I collect patches from famous places I have been, mostly state parks, etc., but I found a lovely patch from Winterset with a quilt block in the middle.  The patch is a fundraiser for the Bridges of Madison County there.  Another great place to visit, so be sure to take the time to stop here.

John Wayne

Not far around the corner from the Fons and Porter shop, one can find the birthplace of our own famous John Wayne!   It was late in the day, but the visitor’s center called ahead and the delightful caretaker opened his shop for us.   Now that’s service you don’t find at home!   If you like John Wayne…this is a must.


Stitchers Garden1I told my daughter-in-law to go skiing with her friends in the moutains for a few days, for a break away from the caregiving.  So after spending some time with my son, helping out with the daily things like, walks around the block, laundry, shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc., I managed to sneek out with the use of our trusty GPS, and found this SUPER needlework shop, The Stitcher’s Garden, in Longmont, Colorado on Main Street.    I couldn’t stop myself and spent far too much money.

Stitchers Garden2

Nancy who helped me out was delightful, even serging the edges of the fabric I purchased.   Again…service beyond compare!!   The shop has a little bit of everything…something for everyone.   I even had to go back again this week and make a second purchase.   And since I will be here for a while…no doubt I’ll go back at least one more time.  This is a MUST stop for anyone in the Longmont, Colorado vicinity…about 20 minutes north of Boulder.  But if you can’t make it here, the online shop is great and so is Nancy.


Cottonwood Quilts1

 Today I found a quilt shop nearby in Niwot, called Cottonwood Quilts.   What a great place!   It’s just a short drive north from Boulder.  First of all, the town is a delight in itself.   A quaint little town with old fashioned buildings and lovely people.   Jill at Cottonwood Quilts is a lovely lady and  charming person who not only helped me out with my purchase, but went  so far as to give me handwritten directions to another special quilt shop to visit on the way home!  You know how each quilt store has its own “ambiance”…well, I loved this one.   It’s warm and inviting and the people in the shop were just as delightful.   I know I will have to stop in again before I leave Colorado.   And I know I will shop here again on my next visit to Colorado.  Feel free to drop in to see them online.CottonwoodQuilts2

 Now I have to take those directions that Jill from Cottonwood Quilts gave me for The Quilted Moose in Gretna, Nebraska, and program them into our GPS, so I don’t have any trouble at all finding this quilt shop on the way home.

Gee…taking care of my son here in Colorado is turning out to be much more fun than anticipated!   And I feel like I’ve made new friends in the quilt and needlework shops of Colorado!



Violets 4Here is my almost done “violets” needlework.   I have to finish the ribbon and backstitch all the flowers, etc.  and last but not least put in the lovely saying in the center.   Hopefully it will be done soon.

For a couple of weeks now I’ll be in Colorado assisting in the care of my recuperating son.   I am so very anxious to be there with him…I can’t wait to go.   His recovery is VERY slow, but normal I guess for this type of surgery.   Keep on praying.   Thank you to everyone for your comments and emails.   I’ll try to get back to each of you soon.

Unexpected Gifts

Today I received some wonderful unexpected gifts from my special friends in France. Maggy sent me a belated Christmas package. Inside were LOVELY rose napkins rings

Rose Napkin Rings

A beautiful needlecase
Needle Case

With the tiniest button I have ever seen!!
Open Needle Case

So “couture” !!!
Needle Case 2

And a wonderful and colorful table mat with six coasters…I think the fabric is catalan fabric from southern France.
Table Mat and Coasters

She also included a French Magazine, “Marianne”…for me to practice my French. It has the most wonderful news articles from all over the world. And I can see what some of the French are thinking about the U.S.!! She is truly my sister on the other side of the world! Thank you Maggy….I love them all..!!!!
Marianne Magazine

And my good friend Elisabeth (who visited me here a few years ago) sent me a belated birthday gift. She did a crazy quilted Needlework Design Journal. I have never seen one. It is lovely and so unusual.
Needlework Design Journal

Her stitches are the tiniest ever! on the front and on the back!
Back of Needlework Design Journal

And the inside has a place for me to design my OWN needlework! How great is that????!!!!
Inside of Needlework Design Journal

Last, but not least, she sent me some handmade Belgian Lace. I can’t imagine the patience it must take to make something so intricate. Thank You Elisabeth…what a delightful surprise from a very special friend!!!
Belgian Lace

What delightful surprises for my day today…totally unexpected, but VERY much appreciated. There are some days when I am just simply DOWN. And today was one. These far away packages made me smile and I felt the warm hugs all the way across the ocean! My dear friends, I cannot thank you enough.

Needlework Update

violets 3Here again is a photo of my slow, but steady, progress on my “violets” needlework.   It has been relaxing to sit in the morning and evening, before and after work, doing a bit of stitching.  The sparkle of the Kreinik blending filament is lovely and the Kreinik braid (which I had never used) is quite delightful as well.  I wish I had more hours to work on it.   Alas the office beckons.

Michael is coming home from the hospital today.   He needs to be flat on his back for two weeks.   But Michelle has rented a recliner chair that reclines flat and also automatically will bring him into a standing position.   Smart lady.   I love her dearly.  Thank you again for your continued prayers….no sign of infection yet.

We are expecting a lot of snow today 4-8 inches.   For Chicago, this is not a big thing.   We are used to having crazy snowy, cold winters.   But my heart goes out to all of you who live in the Northwest, Washington state has had devastating weather.   If any of us bloggers can offer our prayers or support in any way, please let us know.

Thank You….All of You

I was overwhelmed by the personal mail I received yesterday regarding Michael’s surgery.  I certainly felt a great comfort in knowing so many held Michael and myself in their thoughts for the day.

The surgery was successful…at least from the doctor’s point of view as of now.  Only time will tell.   And of course, I will not feel completely safe until I know there are no staph infections lurking anywhere.  I did turn my fears over to higher powers yesterday…I am helpless.  It took five hours for the surgery, some time in x-ray afterwards to be sure his back was properly aligned once again, and Michael is now on his way to recovery.  I was actually able to speak with him by the evening yesterday on the telephone.   It is so difficult being 1000 miles away at times like this.  

His wife, Michelle, is a LOVELY person.   She will see him through his recovery without any trouble at all.   Of all bad timing, however, Michelle had a court date yesterday which could not be changed to settle this very same accident case that caused Michael’s injuries.   Her mother, who is equally as delightful, was there in the waiting room for Michael until Michelle returned to the hospital!   Life is certainly crazy.

I worked all day yesterday, but stayed close to the telephone.   After work I took my grandson to his basketball game, then stopped for a quick take out supper, and then helped him with his homework.   I was “babysitting” for him and his sister until 11 PM last evening so I had to see them off to bed as well.  It surely made for a hectic day, and I confess to being emotionally exhausted.

My DH and I will travel to Colorado to assist in Michael’s recovery when he is home.   I look forward to seeing him and giving him the real hug that I keep sending him over the phone!!

Thank you again to all of you who so kindly kept us in your thoughts and prayers.   It certainly makes a difference in a person’s life to know that someone is sending loving vibes through the airways!   Bless of you.   There are no words to describe how grateful I am.

Prayer Request

rose 1Tomorrow morning early (7:30 AM mountain time), my son, Michael, will undergo serious back surgery.  He was injured in an auto accident two years ago and has suffered great pain all this time. I am asking all of you out there in cyberspace to pray for him and his recovery. To be honest, I am panic stricken and terrified.  A very good friend of mine died one year ago from complications of this same surgery. It would mean a great deal to me if I knew that many internet friends were praying for him.  Thank you in advance.   Averyclaire.

A Couple of Favorites

snowmanI know that Christmas is done and so is the new year holiday…but before I put away the Christmas decorations this week, I wanted to share with you a couple of my favorites this year.

I LOVE this snowman. It came from the White Barn Candle Company and contains an evergreen candle. I haven’t burned the candle inside, but I adore the snowman. He is so shiny and reflective and jolly. It was a great addition to my Christmas decorations this year. But alas, it is past now and I must think about taking down all the decorations that took so long to put up. It will look so plain! I love my tree and all the decorations. Probably because I didn’t have any at all last year!

strausborg ornieAnother of my favorite ornaments is one my friend, Maggy (who lives in France), sent me last year…a wooden ornament from Strausborg. She sent me a couple of them. Her daughter lives there and she got them when they visited during the Christmas market time. The ornaments are so delicate and lovely and looked beautiful on my tree.

Another really fun thing I did this weekend was to be able to speak with Maggy. She lives in France and for me to call her costs me $1.00 per minute…so I just never do. But now I have a computer program (downloaded for free) called Skype. Probably ALL of you out there know all about it, but it is an amazing new-found, fun-filled tool for me. Maggy doesn’t have Skype, but I could talk to her from my computer to her phone for half an hour for only 82 cents. And my son, who lives in Colorado I could speak with for free. I not only could speak to him, but we share live video calls as well. It is so amazing to me to be able to see my son living 1000 miles away like we were having a cup of tea at the table. And for Maggy….well, there are no words…I was just plain thrilled!! It doesn’t take much to make me happy!!

violets 2Here is another update of the latest needlework I began over the holidays. [For some reason the beautiful rose colored fabric never looks quite nice in the photos.] Not much progress…but a little each day. I am having trouble doing such close work. I guess I need new glasses, or some kind of magnifying thing. I have one, but it seems cumbersome to use. I will have to look for a new one. Anyhow, I am enjoying the cross-stich and I know my SIL will love it.

Happy New Year


Best wishes for a beautiful new year that is filled with laughter, good health and many blessings!

My holidays were lovely, fun, and filled with laughter.   Although I was very sad that my son and his wife were unable to be with us this Christmas.   Maybe next year.



We had a fun Christmas Eve with the family. We attended a service for Christmas Eve where Santa made a surprise visit and paid homage before the manger with the children. It was beautiful.


On Christmas morning we had a lovely breakfast with our daughter and her family, and last night we enjoyed a quiet New Year’s Eve at home. 


Violets 1-1-08In the needlearts department . . . over the holidays I began working on a surprise for my sister-in-law.   My DH’s mother, Violet, died last spring after a brief bout with uterine/cervical cancer.   She lived a long, full life and passed away at the age of 87.   Last month my friend, Marjorie, gave me some old magazines.   In one of them I found a cross-stitch pattern of Violets done on a lovely English Rose Jobelan.   My SIL is having a hard time with the passing of her MOM (as we all are), but I thought this saying would be a nice remembrance for her.   The stitching will say “The Violet, a lady with a charm, grace, and beauty all her own. I will show my progress as I complete it.   Here’s the first photo.


Here are the earrings that Marjorie made for me as a gift.   They are lovely, Swarovski crystal trees. I loved wearing them over the Christmas holiday and received lots of compliments.  Thanks Marjorie.


Here is a photo of the manger my mother had when I was a little girl.   While my heritage is English, this set came from Germany and I wil treasure it always.

And as I sit here in front of my computer and contemplate putting away all the Christmas decorations and tree….I am still sitting in front of it enjoying the beauty and peace of the season.  Maybe in a week or so I will be ready.