Thanks

I’ve decided to take off work on Thursday and Friday…a much needed rest…so I have four days. And for starters, tomorrow I am going out with some friends…much needed therapy!

My boss took my words seriously…took me out to lunch…offered me a trip to Peru next winter (we do mission work)…and took over some of the stuff he dumped on me. I am feeling MUCH better. Actually they do pay me quite well and I have a very flexible understanding of my time. They just take advantage of me continually and I guess I am guilty of allowing it. I am one of those responsible types who can’t say no when someone needs help and takes on projects that no one else would even dream of. In retrospect, perhaps I am just spoiled by being retired for a while, then semi-retired. And now I find myself semi-locked into a five day a week job which I never really wanted plus LOTS of work at home (said yes once too often). At this point I am remembering what it was like to be fully retired. My DH has been retired for quite a few years (we retired VERY young) and I am used to taking off with him whenever the mood struck. Actually I can still do this within reason (e.g. a 3 week trip to Colorado in Jan/Feb to care for my son), but I must watch the work load at the office carefully and choose wisely. I am an hourly employee with no benefits in exchange for the ability to “come and go” as I please…except the “come and go” part somehow got STUCK.

Tomorrow will be a day of fun and frolic and I will be “back on track.” Thanks to all of you who wrote me and were so VERY encouraging in my time of need. I have a SMILE on my face and can’t wait until tomorrow! Amities, Averyclaire

Home Again

Temari Ball2A big thank you to Jane for the beautiful gift I received in the mail while I was away in Colorado.   As a winner of her Pay It Forward Award, she sent me a beautiful Temari Ball.   She has made many of them and each one is different.  On her blog she has just recently posted directions for making the core of the Temari Balls.  It is very interesting.  Stop in and take a look at World Embroideries to see how it is done.  Thank you so MUCH Jane for the lovely gift.  I am still working on the gifts for the two who won my Pay It Forward.

Thank you too for all of you who sent well wishes and prayers for my son.  He is recovering slowly and making excellent progress.   In another three to five months or so he will be back to normal.   I was so fortunate to have been able to spend this week or so with him and see for myself how he is doing.   This trip to Colorado was a very special time for us.Sunset in Colorado  Here is one of their lovely sunsets.

 

 

 

 

Buffalo

 

On our return trip we did a little detour and did some middle-of-the-winter touristy things.   We stopped in Custer State Park to see the free roaming buffalo and other animals. Buffalo2  The buffalo amaze us.  

 

 
Pronghorn2
Then the beauty of the Pronghorn antelope is so refined.

 

 

 

 

 

mountain goatWe did a quick visit to Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills and saw a wooly mountain goat grazing.Mt.Rushmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Quilted MooseQuilted Moose2On the way home, I did manage to find the quilt shop that Jill from Cottonwood Quilts in Niwot, Colorado told me about.   It was not hard to find and it certainly was well worth the trip.   The owner, Debbie, has done a fantastic job of having a LARGE variety of fabrics, patterns, threads, etc. for her customers.   It is a delightful shop and it seems to be busy with lots of things going on all the time.   They do quite a bit of internet business as well.   So stop in to see them at The Quilted Moose in Gretna, Nebraska.  It is a lovely town just west of Omaha, Nebraska.  It was difficult to walk out of the store without spending a fortune.   I could have bought one of this and one of those and some of these….etc. etc.   Since my sewing room is shamedly stuffed already with things I haven’t finished…I refrained and just picked up some small pieces of fabric I had been seaching for.

 

Fiber HiderOne special find of this trip to Colorado came from The Stitcher’s Garden in Longmont, Colorado.   Nancy showed me a delightful tool called a “Fiber Hider.”    It is super for all kinds of thread or yarn.   One can just slip the looped end under your threads and pull the tail through with the other hooked end.   It is a bit pricey ($30…would make a delicious gift), but once I had it…well I can’t imagine not having one now!!   And I love the little silver turtles.    In the past week, I have used it over and over again!  Don’t know what I did without it.

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.

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.

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