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Over the past days, the governor of Minnesota has issued numerous executive orders that have impacted my life, the latest of which is Emergency Executive Order 20-20.  This order directs Minnesotans to “Stay at Home” for the next two weeks. Since my dental office is shut down and my son returned from NYC,  I have already been staying home.

With some of my unexpected free time, I have finally finished a quilting project that I started a while ago.  The inspiration of this quilt came from my sister-in-law.  Last summer, she asked me to design a wall quilt of the Paris skyline for her to make.

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Brief directions to make the background of a skyline quilt.

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After I designed her quilt, I thought I would make something similar – a wall quilt of the twin cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul.  For the background of the wall quilt, I followed the instructions I had written for my sister-in law, except I used blue batik fabrics from my stash, rather than purple.

The background was loaded onto my quilting frame and quilted with evenly spaced horizontal lines.

For the skyline, I found several images on-line.  By combining ideas and removing most of the white areas,  I had a nice skyline of Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

After importing these images into my Cameo software, I cut the pattern of the skyline out of starched black cotton fabric that was sandwiched between Heat-N-Bond Lite and freezer paper.

These silhouettes were then ironed onto the background. Using several different quilting fill patterns, I then quilted detail to differentiate each of the individual buildings.IMG_4391IMG_4392

Because the Twin Cities are known for the numerous parks and parkways, I added  green fabric along the bottom edge to depict the landscaping of the cities.

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The wall quilt was then bound and ready to hang. 

Over the past week while looking at the wall quilt, I felt it needed something more.  Last night I augment the design with some “bling”.

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With the help of one of my sons, I found a Star Constellation Chart. Using 3 mm heat transfer rhinestones, I replicated the constellations that would be visible over the Twin Cities. I also added some rhinestone on a few of the towers. 

Hometown wall quilt complete!

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As I went for my walk this morning, I was reminded that this may be my “hometown” for now.  And, my home may be impacted by the events of today. But I need to look past today’s news and worries about tomorrow, and take comfort in the fact that my hope is not bound to the circumstances of this world. In short – this world is not my home – my home is indeed in Heaven. 

 

 

A New Norm

Vacation in Palm Springs, that is where I am supposed to be this week. That is obviously not where I am.

We decided last Thursday to cancel our trip. So, I am at home.

I originally thought I would be able to spend the week pretending I was already retired. Well, that hasn’t happened either. With the rapidity of change in our lives, I spent the last couple days on-line looking up information to help keep my office safe. Over the weekend, my partners and I made many decisions, including limiting treatment to emergency patients only.

So, I can now settle in to my week off. And, it looks like I will have more time off over the next few weeks.

Since I am, by nature, a planner, I have decided to make a schedule for myself. First thing each morning I am planning to get my 10,000 steps in either by going on a walk or using my stair stepper. After my walk, I will do a bit of house cleaning and organizing. After that, my crafts will be my therapy for dealing with the stress of these times.

I realized that these changing times can make all of us feel stressed and anxious. So, after my walk each day I will post an inspirational quote and a short message about my plans for my day.

I encourage my readers to add a comment about how you are spending your day or something uplifting and encouraging. Your comments may help others cope with the new norm we are all settling in to.

 

Free Hugs

It’s wond’rous what a hug can do.
A hug can cheer you when you’re blue.
A hug can say, “I love you so”
or, “Gee I hate to see you go.”

A hug can soothe a small child’s pain
and bring a rainbow after rain.
The hug! There’s just no doubt about it,
we can scarcely survive without it.

A hug delights and warms and charms,
it might be why God gave us arms.

Hugs are great for Fathers and Mothers,
sweet for Sisters, swell for Brothers.
Chances are some favorite Aunts
love them more than potted plants.

Kittens crave them. Puppies love them.
Heads of State are not above them.
A hug can break the language barrier
and make the dullest day seem merrier.

No need to fret about the store of ’em.
The more you give the more there are of ’em.
So stretch those arms without delay, and
Give Someone a Hug Today!
From – The Serious Teddy Bear

Happy National Hug Day!

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The end of a decade

It’s the last day of 2019 and the busy holiday season is nearly over.  Since I am not someone who normally spends New Year’s Eve at a party, I am relaxing in my craft room and reflecting upon the last year.

The highlights of our year were put together into a short slideshow and interactive crossword puzzle that was sent to family and friends as an electronic Christmas card.

 

As seen in the video, it was a busy year filled with many happy days.  There were, however,  some sad days as well.  As previously mentioned, my father passed away a few weeks ago.  Earlier this year, we also said good-bye to cat, Squigglez, and then a few months later our little yorkie, Duke.  These two pets had been in our home for many, many years.

Reflecting back on the year, I have had some fun family adventures, started a new hobby and completed many projects, some of which I have not written about.

It always seems a bit overwhelming to put into words what I have done. Recently, I mentioned this to a friend.  Her comment was that I should do smaller, daily blogs – briefly writing about what I did each day.  I said I thought this might be a good idea, but I worried about annoying everyone by overloading their inboxes. So, that idea will wait for some future date. 

Looking ahead, this next year is expected to be an eventful year.

My prayer is that your year will be happy and healthy!

Go Rest High On That Mountain

IMG_2193aJust over two weeks ago, my father fell and suffered a major head injury.  This injury ultimately led to his passing on November 21st (view his obituary). The rapidity in his decline was not expected. My dad had several major health incidences over the past years (cancer, heart disease, strokes, uncontrolled diabetes, etc) from which he always bounced back.  Having been through so many of these, his quickly succumbing to the effects of the fall was very surprising to me.

As I prepare for his memorial service today, I have been reflecting back on my years with him.

Growing up, my father was not an easy man to live with.  However, he did have a large impact on the person I am today.  As a child, I would often retreat to a hidden quiet spot in the basement of our home to avoid his unwanted words and action.  In this space, I would try to be as quiet as possible and thus kept several books, including some of our encyclopedia set, to occupy my time. My time was spent learning new facts and information, which ultimately helped me succeed in school.  To this date, I don’t think my father every knew that I had a hidden spot high on the storage shelf behind several large boxes.

As a high school junior, my father’s personality contributed to my decision to graduate from school a year early and attend college as a seventeen year old.  There were many things that my father had said and done that were inappropriate.  My life’s goal was to personally and professionally excel and make my own path that would be different from the path my father would have preferred.  College seemed an excellent way to accomplish this.

While in graduate school and for several years after graduating, I pulled away from my family, focusing instead on my career and raising my own children.  The things my father had done were wrong and I wanted no part of it.

However, as an adult, I have learned that we all have the ability to live a lifestyle of forgiveness.  The depth of forgiveness we have received in Jesus can be the foundation for our own love and forgiveness. In order to love to greater depths, we must continuously reflect on God’s overwhelming forgiveness and mercy to us.

In Him we have . . . the forgiveness of sins . . . Ephesians 1:7

I realized that I cannot change the past.  But, I could forgive my father and create a new future for us. So, over the past ten years, I have rebuilt a relationship with my father.  Our relationship was not a strong father-daughter relationship. But, I did love my father, spent time with him and will miss him.

 

International Cat Day!

In honor of the day, I thought I would post some photos of my feline friends.

Our first cat, Squigglez, enjoyed 14 years in our house. This was much longer than we expected to have him. Shortly after adopting him, he was diagnosed with the cat version of Ehlers-danlos syndrome. EDS a connective tissue disorder that is caused by a genetic defect in the production of collagen. This weakens the skin, gastrointestinal system and heart. The average lifespan of a cat with EDS is five years. Even the slightest scratch can damage and tear the skin of affected animals, leading to scarring. Heart failure is the usual cause of death.  Amazingly, his heart remained strong, but sadly his GI system was too fragile and deteriorated with age.  But, we had many more years with him than we expected.

About a year later, we adopted another cat.  Comet was a really young kitten that was abandoned in the ditch near a friends farm.

My second son, Sam, adopted him as his own. Comet was incredibly playful and loved to run around – thus the name!

Comet also got along with everyone, human or pet.  Both Squigglez and Duke (our Yorkie who past away a few months ago) would allow him to eat and sleep near them.  That’s saying a lot because both of them were very independent and did not get along with any of our other pets.

Eleven years ago, Comet got out of the house one night. Now this wasn’t too unusual for him. Comet loved to roam the woods behind our house when it was dark outside. Usually around 5:30 am I would be awakened by him meowing as he walked through the front yard asking me to let him in. Unfortunately, one morning he never returned. We searched the neighborhood and contacted Eagan Animal Control, but he was not to be found.  Every Monday and Friday I would go by the South Metro Humane Society to see if he may have been taken there.  After six weeks, he was not to be found.

img_3203Each time I stopped at the Humane Society, I would spend some time in the cat room playing with the kittens.  After six weeks, I had fallen for one of the kittens that was really affectionate.  I decided I would adopt her.  However, this was early October and I was told that the Humane Society policy was not to adopt out black cats the weeks before Halloween (apparently there are some people that have done evil and cruel things to black cats at that time of the year).  Sadly, I left without her but I would return and visit her several times a week.  My plan was to adopt her after Halloween to take her home.  Luckily about a week before Halloween, the staff decided that I was not going to harm her and allowed me to adopt her earlier than I had anticipated.

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Onyx has since become my constant companion.  She is close by me almost all the time.  In fact, as I write this posting, she is sitting right next to my computer!  Of course, she is sitting on the computer case because it is the softest thing near me.

 

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Hopefully we have several more years to enjoy her companionship!