Thanks – and trying to find a way to say it adequately

On this day, in this nation, we all stop to say thanks for all the things we have.  If we have way more Things than we need, we most likely will stop to say thanks for the non-tangible things in our lives.  It’s hard to say thanks for all the love if you’re living in a cardboard box under the bridge, but hey, if you’re lucky enough to have lots to love while living in a terrible situation, at least you have some blessings.  I would like to let you all know today that I am indeed one of the most blessed people on the face of this good earth.  I have nearly every thing I could need.  Actually, I probably have more than I need and nearly everything I could ever want.  I have a roof over my head, more than enough food to eat, heat on demand, medicine when I’m ill, general health that largely precludes my needing medicine, and a retirement plan which, in about a year, while not taking care of all my expenses, will probably cover everything except my health insurance for the rest of my life.  In short, I just about have it all.  Along the way in my life’s journey, I have met some wonderful friends.  I say this while lying on the couch under a beautiful quilt that some very sweet quilting friends made for me.  Some know me very well, some not so well.  At any rate, they took the time and showed the kindness of heart to contribute to this gift that I will cherish forever.  More than any of these things, howevver, I have had an experience in life that I wish for all of you.  I have had the great fortune to meet one of the rarest of beings — a true friend.  She listens to me, drops everything and comes when I need her, and I have to say that this week she actually saved my life.  I ended up having to have two surgeries to repair my spine, instead of the one we had planned.  When I awoke from the second surgery, I was hallucinating, I was in severe pain, and my family was two hours away.  The staff at the hospital essentially left me in a single room with inadequate pain meds and closed the door so they wouldn’t have to listen to me.  I managed to get hold of my cell phone and called (several crazy calls) to Ronda and my family.  Who dropped everything and came to my aid?  When Ronda got to the hospital, I was in shock.  I was pasty white, cold, my hands and arms clenched into claws, and I was screaming my head off.  When the staff realized there was someone there, they finally sprang into action to help me.  She stayed at my side for hours until I was finally resting and then, when I was sprung to come home earlier than expected, she came and got me, drove me home and then drove all the way back to Portland by herself.  Only God knows if I will ever find the way to repay her.  Suffice it to say that I will always be there for her too.  There is nothing too large or too overwhelming she could ask of me. 

So, on this day of thanks, I would like to say thanks to all of you, but especially to my dear friend Ronda, and I sincerely hope that such an angel crosses your path in your lifetime.

Game on!!

Ronda and I had a wee bit of a tailgate party at our last retreat (Ocean Waves Quilt Camp).  I think I brought a bottle of EVIL and a bottle of Penfold’s Merlot to that retreat, and I took a bottle of my own label, pictured here, second from the left (just kidding, I don’t own this wine, it’s a marvelous Grenache from South Australia, but the label somehow fits!).  😉  So, Ronda has now challenged me to come up with more fun-named wines for our next retreat (in February, during the Coast Run Shop Hop).  Here are my selections du jour, left to right:  Evil (it’s just wrong), Bitch (jokingly called my private label), Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Vivacious Vicky Red, and Mad Housewife.

retreat-wines

I wonder how many cases we’ll have by the time February rolls around?

It’s hard to come home

I just got home from my second weekend away at a quilt retreat.  Two in a row, who could ask for much more than that?  I wish I had taken pictures at Ocean Waves Camp.  Actually, I wish I could find a camera that would allow me to take good pictures with my shakey hands.  My current digital camera has image stabilization, but I don’t think it works all that well.  Anyway, back to quilting retreats — I had a great time.  I started a quilt, from a Miss Rosie’s pattern called Circle of Friends, at the Ocean Waves Quilt Camp.  It was my main project for the retreat this weekend and I think I made good progress, although the pictures aren’t so hot. circle-of-friends1

circle-of-friends2

circle-of-friends3

We were at Silver Falls State Park this weekend.  camp

Not only are the surroundings spectacularly beautiful, but the lodge dining hall is run by two men who are just excellent chefs.  The first night we had pork roast with a berry glaze for dinner, second night was Italian chicken, cooked in a tomato sauce with mozzarella cheese, and the last night we had pot roast.  Add wonderful green salads, fruit salads, fresh-baked bread, spectacular desserts (including Oregon marionberry pie), and great breakfasts that would do a lumberjack proud, and you are in heaven.  Eat, Sleep, Quilt — no cooking, no cleaning.  Here are the campers.  I’m in the red in the back on the right side.

campers1

We also had a few adventures.  I had to leave the park for a bit to pick up a machine I had repaired in McMinnville.  When I came back, there was a doe and two fawns in the roadway, with a family of humans standing there snapping photos.  I rolled down the window and warned them as they began to advance on the deer, as I could see the momma was just about ready to kick all their faces in.  Deer can be as protective of their babies as bear can be.  Luckily, the family backed off, and the deer disappeared into the woods, with momma throwing me a “you got that right” glance as she herded off her two young charges.  We had some racoons salivating over any tidbits we might leave in their path and one decided to follow Kathy up the trail on our last night.  She started to run, insisting he was “chasing her,” till I reminded her that we were all a lot bigger than any racoon.  He did follow us up to our lodge, but respectfully remained out on the porch.