Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

May we join hands around the dinner table,
To pray for the strength and patience to love one another.
May our circle grow with every birth and union,
Into a community united by love, rather than blood.
May every hardship make our circle stronger.
May it teach us that whenever we reach out in need,
Our hands will always be clasped in the palms of others. 
– Taz Tagore

Wishing you many blessings this Thanksgiving!


Saturday, July 23, 2016


Since I haven't posted since January, this is an attempt to get you up to date on what is happening in  Nana's world.  You better get a cuppa as it's been a rough ride since Cozumel.

In February I flew to California to care for my cousin JoAnne who had a stem cell transplant. Her brother's wife (a quilter) also came which meant I'd get in some quilt shopping. After 3 exciting weeks, during which JoAnne was bitten by a dog which meant a ride to the ER, and some very warm and wonderful weather, I came home.

This is me, my cousin JoAnne and her brothers' wives at the Harbor.  Above is JoAnne in her adorable wig.

At home, I went to the New Ulm Quilt Guild's show which was fantastic. This is one of Gladys Raschka's quilts that her daughters displayed during a show and tell.  Their quilt shop, Glad Creations is one of the oldest in Minneapolis and is a great destination for quilters.

Keeping this about quilting, I finished a redwork sunbonnet quilt for a new baby in the family.

Then Easter when our church alter becomes the tomb.  This always intrigued me as a child and today the children in the church all line up in their finery in front of it to get their picture taken.

On the 23rd of April, we left for the Czech Republic with our son and his wife for a 3 week trip.  This was at the hotel in Probrady where we stayed the first two nights. Since Pobrady is a spa town the hotel featured a spa where we got a massage the last evening.

After a long ride, we reached Podivin, a stop on our way to Italy.  This is a typical Czech dinner of pork, dumplings and sauerkraut. I had a glass of wine before dinner and that's when the trouble started.  My arms and legs felt like rubber and by the time the meal was over, I couldn't walk.  I was certain that I had too much to drink.

By three in the morning, my husband noticed that one side of my mouth was drooping and we decided that I had had a stroke.  My entire right side was affected as I couldn't walk or use my right hand.

Carol, the leader of our trip and her friend took us to a hospital early in the morning where they admitted me. No one except the doctors spoke English. They administered several tests which confirmed the diagnosis. 

Carol, who spoke Czech, shown here in her stylish hospital gown, decided to stay with me while the group continued to Italy with Honza, the driver who spoke no English.  I was greatly relieved.  The first night, Carol was on the phone with Honza who was driving through a horrific snow storm in the Austrian Alps. Finally she took a sleeping pill from the nurse and we went to sleep.

One of the funniest things that happened was when the nurse came in to ask a question and my husband was there.  He had her speak into his iPad on Google Translate.  It translated to "did you sit on the big white table". It meant, "did I go to the bathroom".  Everything takes more words in Czech!
I'm sure you'll want to know all about the food in this hospital as well as the room.  The room was immense by US standards and had a large table and two beds.  The food, no doubt was cooked by some Czech grandmas and it was pork and dumplings along with a lot of good rye bread.
I was certain that I would recover and continue on the trip and the 2nd day the physical therapist arrived to help me.  She was a lovely young woman who spoke English and she ordered me out of bed where she and her colleague started me walking.  I asked for a walker and she shook her head. She told me to eat with my right hand which was very difficult.

 This is the doctor (a neurologist) who spoke English and who told me I couldn't continue on the trip.  He would only release me to another hospital!  I found this very upsetting!

By Saturday, I could slowly walk on my own and I was knitting.  Carol left with the others on the trip and my husband, Jim got the other bed in the room. Because we had evacuation insurance for situations like this, my husband arranged for us to go home.

A nurse arrive early Monday morning and we left in the dark for Vienna where we started our journey home.
We flew first class all the way to Minneapolis and I was admitted to the hospital in Mankato.  After tests there, they told me that I had a tumor on my aortic valve that was keeping it from closing.  It was parts of the tumor that were breaking off and causing my stroke. They advised me to go to the Mayo Clinic for evaluation.

On May 18th I had the tumor removed and a single bypass (since the surgeon was in there). I vaguely remember the time I spent in the ICU, but I remember the angel of a nurse I had the first night!

After 2 1/2 days in the ICU I was moved to my room.  I cannot say enough about the care and compassion I received from the staff at St. Marys. Everyone has a smile on their face. After a bout of a fib and a collapsed lung, I went home in a week.
In the picture you can see, I finally got a walker!

One of the reasons I had the surgery right away (besides preventing the tumor from causing more strokes) was that we had rented a cabin up north for a week with our family.  Four weeks from the date of my surgery, we drove up to lake Vermillion.  There were 5 recliners in the living room and cable TV.  That's where I planted myself along with my grandchildren and daughter-in-law. Doing nothing is really hard for someone who likes to be busy, but I had no trouble here. I was feeling better in no time! We did bind some quilts however!

Toward the end of the week, my husband took me out fishing on a beautiful day!

What can I say? I am so grateful that I can walk and sew and do so many things.  Writing is still difficult for me but I think that is because we don't do it so much anymore.  I am also humbled by all the cards, visits and meals that people brought as well as my husband's support.

The only bit of advice I have is to encourage you to enjoy every day since you never know what's around the corner.



Saturday, January 30, 2016

January 2016

Grab a cup and see what Nana's been up to since Christmas!

The Monday after Christmas, we left for Cozumel with our son Chris's family.  The weather was very sunny, hot and humid.

We rented cars and drove around the island.

The beaches on the other side of the island were very windy and the waves were huge.

One of our favorite things was a cooking class  on local foods from Josefina. We learned how to make our own tortillas and several other Mayan dishes which we washed down with Margaritas and Jimaca juice, a drink made from the flowers of the hibiscus plant...very healthy.

Most of all, we just relaxed and snorkeled as much as possible.
You're probably tired of seeing my feet!

The family left the Monday after New Years but we stayed on for three more glorious weeks.  Our flight home was delayed 10 hours because of engine trouble, so we spent the last day on the grass outside the airport drinking wine and beer and enjoying the beautiful weather.

Must this be quilt related?  Well I'm planning to work on my UFOs, one each month and this is what I did on vacation.  I finished all the wool applique blocks from a quilt class I took 2 years ago.  They were an easy portable project to take along.  Now I have to piece the blocks for the quilt, but I can't do that in February as I will be on the road again!  I'll have to find another portable project to take along.

Are you finishing any UFOs this year?

Happy stitching!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas 2015

When I think back to where we were last year at this time, I am so grateful for our health, our family and our friends. 

Winter is here and we're approaching the shortest day of the year.  Time to curl up with a good book or some quilting.

Time to gather with friends and family to celebrate.

Time for a trip to Minneapolis to see George Winston at Orchestra Hall and enjoy a meal with our son and daughter-in-law.

Time to enjoy the beautiful holiday music and share it with others caroling with hospice friends.

Time to plan for the New Year....
what shall I work on? 
Read more, finish UFO's, knit, maybe just be and enjoy life as it comes.

What are your plans for the Holidays and the wonderful New Year to follow?

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

This is the time of year that I like to remember all the things I’m grateful for as we celebrate Thanksgiving.

"Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude." A.A. Milne

  "Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." Buddha

"This a wonderful day. I've never seen this one before." Maya Angelou

“Always there is something worth saying about glory, about gratitude.”
Mary Oliver, What Do We Know


For the times we celebrate!

For friends and the things that make us laugh....

and cry......

for food......

for our homes....

"Live your life so that the fear of death can never enter your heart. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. And if perchance you see no reason for giving thanks, rest assured the fault is in yourself."

Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Indian Chief

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?
Wishing you many blessings this holiday! 


Friday, August 14, 2015

Nana's Summer 2015

This summer we went to Los Gatos, California for my cousin Terry and his wife Linda's daughter's wedding. 

It was a beautiful June day and the reception was outdoors in a park.


They left the reception in a shower of flower petals and will make their home in Rapid City.

At an open house at the groom's parents, I was surprised to find the house full of gorgeous quilts.  The one shown here was made for the bride and groom and is the floor of a church in Italy.  How appropriate for the Italian bride who was heading to Italy for the honeymoon.

We headed to San Francisco for a few days  where we took in the sites. 

We especially enjoyed the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park as well as the deYoung Museum. 

What trip would be complete without a stop at a fabric shop. We found this one near Union Square.  One whole floor was devoted to cotton fabrics.

When we got home, I stitched up a quilt for my cousin JoAnne using the Disappearing Hour Glass pattern from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

The back of the quilt is flannel and it's quilted with stars and loops.

Now I'm just trying to hold onto summer as tightly as I can, enjoying every single day. 

Hope you are having a wonderful summer!