My cluttered mind

So much to do. So much left to contemplate.  Most of which is on the QT…so I can’t really splash it all over the headlines at the moment. Let’s just say my address will be changing…for the better.

Natalia heart

I’d really like to sit at the sewing machine and finish the pile of diapers sitting there, or better yet do the top stitching on the stack of receiving blankets.  But I don’t.  I look at the sewing table a mere 6 feet or so from my chair with the piles of flannel and cotton beseeching me to sew and I can’t make myself cross those 6 feet to just do it.  I know once I sit over there I can accomplish the lot of it in a few hours, then I can throw the blankets in the wash and then pin and package the diapers, have those piles completed and out of my mind…it’s those 6 feet of space and the overwhelming jumble of thoughts crowding my mind that keep firmly in my seat watching the TV blindly.


monkey madness

monkey madness

What do I keep, what do I donate, what do I give to someone I know, what do I unceremoniously throw away?!?  Have been living in this little death trap for 20 years.  Wow. I type that 20 years and I realize I have aged as healthily as the craptacular abode I’ll soon be escaping with its 70’s linoleum and so many horrible memories.  Do I pack the memories too? Will they slither along with the boxes of books and breakables to take up new residence? Of course they will.  Natalia’s memory came with to this trailer from those apartments.  Oh to just erase all the bad and just keep the good…deal with it, cope with it, accept it…sigh.  I’ve been living with so much tripe taking up space in my mind and heart for so long I’m tired of it.  Oh I’ll hang on to the memory of Nat even if I have to have the memory of her death.  I’d like to totally loose all memory of the first marriage mistake but keep all the memories of the lovely children that occurred because of that union.  I’ll give up the memory of the ridiculous rebound marriage too, but keep the memories of my girls and the birth of the sweet grandson. It’s a shame you can’t have selective memory loss…of course no offence meant to anyone’s anyone suffering from memory loss.

Natalia N Tabitha

See it’s all these stinking memories clogging my mind when I’m busily cramming more stuff in there: appointments to get to, things to remember to ask at said appointments, things to revise, things to do.  Pay the property taxes ASAP, pay the rent, pay the medical bills, oh go to work and be productive so you get paid.  Clean the fish tanks, yeah plural.  Feed Akmed. Feed Helga. Make Shamus’ vet appointment…find out how much that will cost.  Hey that big bag of chopped up monkey bodies…sew those together you freak! Ship out boxes to the 4 corners of the planet…gotta keep acquiring that good Karma, I’ll need it this coming year for sure.


Lists. Post-its. Scribblings on napkins, envelopes, sketchings of furniture placement, contemplations of decorating in a cool yet not really ‘me’ way.  Can’t be wicked cool…will have to be subdued…ugh…dare I say adult.  Unhappy face.  What of my posters? Yeah, SO juvenile but they are so cool.  My muses to keep me going, the rainbow happiness surrounding me goading me to sew, create, envelope me with busyness…a frappe of color and texture…now white…a blank canvas I can’t paint. So very empty of expression.  What of dangling deals in the windows from the ceiling moving slowly in the air currents that surround the life living there?  Dare I hang the witch’s ball in the window? That I do. Shhhh. Perhaps no one will notice.  But the rest, the wind chimes, the mobiles, the oddness hanging from string will all have to go else where with someone else…or in the trash. Another unhappy face.


Garage sale of things I really don’t want to see go? How does one price items they still like? I’m probably a hoarder of some sort, without the dead flattened animals under piles of refuse.  I just like weird stuff.  Odd ash trays (I don’t smoke), weird mugs I’ll never drink out of, postcards from places I’ll never go, statues, glass things, stuffed beasties, spooky dolls.  Things I don’t need but I like to have.  I like to look at.  How do I choose?  Do I keep the weird doll mom made in the 70’s, named Ruthie with the blue face Stevie ‘adopted’, or do I keep the black Kewpie doll? If I keep both do I then get rid of the Shamus dog collection? I can easily say good bye to the crockery and silverware, glasses cups rugs, towels nondescript furnishing and appliances we won’t need.  I can even be OK with giving/selling the Halloween collection I won’t have room for, perhaps even the Giraffe family with their friends the rhinos…but my zombie dolls, Oonies and sock monkeys…I just don’t know if I can part with them…they aren’t essential like oxygen, but they make me happy…too damn many thoughts…too damn many things to decide about.  Which books can leave? OMG…don’t get me started on books! They’re as prolific as DVDs, CDs, records, yeah vinyl, even cassettes…OY, guitars…playable ones, ones left to be built, bodies painted fabulous but that no real hope of completion any time soon…do people buy guitar parts at garage sales?  Unhappy face once again…

pained grin xmas 2009

I’m happy to move, happy to live in a solid actual house.  HAPPY damnit.  This is a good thing for all of us.  A really healthy change for all of us, have to get happy about it.  Fresh start, out with old in with the new.  New is so scary though.  Oh no…here come the what-ifs…they suck as much as the thoughts of getting rid of things.  What if this doesn’t go smoothly?  What if we end up hating each other?  What if this causes more stress and friction in this tinderbox of a family?  What if we all don’t bend and cope and accept life together? This can’t possibly go in a perfectly ordered tidy calm way.  Look at us, a family of freaks with our menagerie of freaky pets, all of us on different schedules for every thing, we’re all odd and don’t even blend with each other much less mashing us with another human being who’s a bit less malleable than any of us could hope for.  Well, guess we’ll aim for a forced frappe, blend this family like no other before it.  Now to just teach Shamus to be incredibly happy in a quiet way and set all the TVs to be read rather than heard…this new chapter will prove interesting if nothing else…and I will be happy about it…damnit…slightly less unhappy face



some cheese with your whine?

Jim’s surgery is in 4 days…4 entire days…96 hours give or take…I am so stressed…scared…unhappy…weirdly lonely…terrified…but I don’t get to show it…oh I get to cry in the shower since I’m basically alone…Shamus is usually on the heat vent but he doesn’t tell on me for not being strong…I am a wimp…this whole strength thing is a very weak opaque facade I am an emotional pile of whiny goo…I feel like crying in the car, at work, in the waiting rooms…every where it seems some creepy mean little thought will enter my head all coated in failure and alone forever and the tears will fill my eyes…deep breath…look up…nope those tears are still there threatening to run over and down my cheek for all to see…then the seething anger lumbers in…what, you’re crying? WTF for…stiff upper lip…you’re the woman, you must be strong for all those who depend on you…if you falter in front of them how will they ever cope…if you’re weak it means that you are not going to be there for everyone’s everything…you’re not dependable…you’re not the rock you pretend to be… whiny me whimpers back that I’m tired of being the rock…I want to be a squishy feather pillow and just lay there waiting for someone else to do everything…I want to sit back and watch for a while…the thick of things isn’t nearly as enjoyable as I pretend it is…I want to sleep for days and let someone else do it all, schedule everything, get everywhere in the nick of time, take the notes, remember all the numbers and important names…I want to be a content calm ‘everything-will-be-ok’ lump.  I grow weary of all this adult responsibility crap…I am still terrified…can I still do everything with this idiot grin of bliss on my face? Will I eventually just come out and say my day sucks…I’m sick of this and your banal questions are driving me insane?  Yeah I am working hard and hardly working…what of it? Want a fist in your face? And I’m a pacifist to many people’s guffaw…can I continue this fake happiness?  How comfy is that rubber room and can I bring my sewing machine? I really want to remain strong…be that dependable rock with all the answers and keep that tighter than a gnat’s ass schedule without loosing my whiny wimpy cry baby mind along the way.  UGH…just ugh…

There it’s out there for all to see…and ya know what…I still feel like crying…

into the bowels of monkey madness

fallen into the bowels of monkey madness…

monkey madness

well assorted repurposed foot gear beastie insanity…they’re coming! all the sock creatures to smother me in my sleep…yeah silliness I know and Shamus McSuchy-Myhre was busily mauling my foot as I don’t normally sprawl on the living room floor with a heaping serving of sock beasts…I needed a new photo anyway…

OH and massive happy 3rd birthday to my sweet schnauzer Shamus!

just a whiny rant

Look close…what do you see…I see blue grey eyes looking back at me…(ugh I rhymed…so didn’t want that) I try not to take in the entire picture so I don’t feel too bad…yup one of those broads who doesn’t like her looks to the point of not looking in the mirror…except to part my hair…sigh…


And what to others see? No idea…afraid to know if ya want the truth…I try hard to see the best in people, trying not to take the book for the cover…but I don’t think others look at me like that…I get the sneaking suspicion they can see straight into my soul and see everything that’s there…the good, the horrid and the oh so ugly…


When I was really little I didn’t see much in the mirror or in others eyes…just me…toe headed…didn’t look like my mom really…didn’t know what my dad looked like so I figured I was the spittin’ image of him…the older I got the more blanks were filled in…dad was a thief…dad was a felon…dad was a cheater…dad was a wife beater…dad was a drug addict…this was my biological dad mind you…the one that donated ½ my genes…and then left me because I had the wrong plumbing…my little juvenile brain tells me this because everyone at least knows what their dad looks like and maybe even sees him occasionally…I’ve never met my dad…he died before I could at least see his face in person…I’ve figured out just about everything now that I’ve grown so I get it…I do look like my dad, a chick version of my dad…I am not my dad…I am not my mom for that matter…I am me…the child of a few divorces, no siblings that are really mine, all halves and steps…too many schools…too many pie in the sky hopes and dreams…really should have been put in my place growing up so I’d have an inkling as to life was really going to turn out to be…


I grew up middle class even before mom met dear old dad…I don’t remember going to garage sales or thrift stores for my clothing…never went to food shelves or subsisted on food stamps…I didn’t know what it was to go to bed hungry or cold…we never had the utilities shut off for non payment…never went without medical care, medications, personal hygiene stuff…perhaps if I had I would be better prepared for adult life…I grew up in an adequately happy family…alright maybe not even adequately…but we put on a good show…Mom was always depressed although she’ll never admit it…dad (now this is step-dad, keep up) liked to drink and get mad…me…I tried my damnedest to just be unnoticed…I wouldn’t tell them if I was sick, injured or anything till it was so bad it couldn’t be ignored…I faked my way through school not knowing half of what was being taught but passing with a fabulous C average…as long as I stayed in school I could continue to live at home…I didn’t want to live on the street not that I had any idea what that would be like…so I just plugged along…wanting to be an artist and get as far away from Minnesota as I could…I couldn’t type very well so I couldn’t grow up to be mom…I was dumber than a box of rocks when it came to math so I couldn’t grow up to be step-dad…so I had no goal…there was no light at the end of the tunnel…my tunnel was bricked over and forgotten…


I married the 1st unsavory character who asked just to get out of the house…major mistake number…oh Maude I’ve lost count…stayed married to him trapped financially for 16 years of extreme hatred…pretty sure I loved him for the 1st year…after that…seething hatred…anger at his cheating…anger at his unfeeling piggishness when death visited us…hatred when I or my children would go without a doctor visit or a needed medication because he was busy supporting a few other families…vehement hatred every time I would have saved up enough money in secret so my girls and I could escape him and he would let the utilities get shut off…let us almost get evicted…get caught driving without insurance…MAUDE how I hated that man even before I knew how he was damaging my daughters who I love more that the world…and surely more than I ever loved him!


What do I see…never ending failure…I believe in Karma…think I did before I knew what it was…I try so hard to be a useful human being…perhaps not putting a MASSIVE mark on society…but I behave…follow the rules…keep most angry thoughts to myself…try not to hurt anyone’s feelings even when mine are usually being dragged behind a car over jagged glass…(imagery…) say thank you no matter what…thanks for giving me more work…thanks for not giving me a chance to succeed…thanks for telling me I do a bang up job at my job BUT…no really thanks…I love thinking for an entire second that I’ll finally get that recognition that everyone craves only to have it yanked, paper cuts and all away like a cruel game of keep away…


Perhaps this is it…my never-ending hatred for that man has put me here…(but I’ve always been in this dark place…even before him) how do I forgive the unforgivable even if it would make my life miraculously better? Guess my black little angry heart is what I see in the mirror…think I’ll quit parting my hair then I can never look in the mirror again…momentary slip in my façade complete…I’ll return you all to your regularly scheduled jovial me in 3….2….1….


finished eulogy

I’ve been invited to do his eulogy…this should be interesting as I am so not a public speaker…

So many people loved my dad…Honest Rog.
He was always there to lend a helping hand to his many friends, family, his kids and especially his grandkids and his great grandkids.

Our loss is still too fresh right now but one day we will all be able to reminisce about dad with fewer tears and gentle smiles.
Dad riding the hay down when the hayloft collapsed.
Dad in his uniform looking all spiffy for the legion.
Dad saying no-no-no when we put brand new babies on him but him hugging them nonetheless.
Calling mom horrid pet names but always with love in his eyes.
Singing along with Slim Witman in the truck on the way to the cattle yards…dad never quite hit those high notes…not for a lack of trying.
Dad com bossin’ the cows for supper.
Buppa huggin the kids (little and adult) goodbye and slipping them money…shhh don’t tell your mother…
Dad giving big gentle bear hugs and whispering in our ears that he loved us and would see us soon.

Dad, you touched so many hearts in so many ways.
You’ve been counted in my blessings ever day.
You’ll always live in a room in my heart filled with shades of plaid, perfect dove joints, phone hook ups and love.
Thank you dad, for becoming my dad.
I’ll miss you every day.

I’d like to close with a poem:

There is nothing I can do,
to make him come back
There are no words I can say,
that can replace the words you will long to hear
There are no answer’s I can give,
that will satisfy your questions
There is not another soul I can introduce you to that will ever replace his
And, there is no love I can offer that will ever replace the love you shared
I can not promise your broken heart will ever be complete
I will not say it could have been worse
I will not deny this is a tragedy
I will not lie and tell you he will come back
He never really left
I do promise he hears you when you speak
I will say he loves you no matter the distance
I will not deny he is in a better place
And, I will not lie; he is waiting to greet you someday
Roger is every you step you take
Roger is in everything you do
Roger is the air you breathe
Roger is every beat of your heart
“Roger is like the wind. You can not see him…but you will always feel him”

miss my dad

My dad died this morning at 5:45… I’m going to speak at his funeral…some how doubt I’ll do it without crying…that and I am so not a public speaker…this is what I’ve come up with:
So many people loved my dad…Honest Rog.  He was always there to lend a helping hand to his many friends, family, his kids and especially his grandkids and his great grandkids.

Our loss is still too fresh right now but one day we will all be able to reminise about dad with fewer tears and gentle smiles.
Dad riding the hay when the hayloft collapsed.
Dad in his uniform looking all spiffy.
Dad saying no when we put brand new babies on him but him hugging them nonetheless.
Dad giving big gentle bear hugs and wispering in our ears that he loved us.

Dad you touched so many hearts in so many ways.
You’ve been counted in my blessings ever day.
Thank you dad for deciding to be my dad.
I’ll miss you every day.

beginning of this quilter

In the beginning…I was trapped on bed rest with my 3rd daughter…trapped from 4 month gestation on…Jaz’ was in a BIG hurry to join the world.  I had personal care nurses come in a few hours a day to help with the house hold stuff and to make sure Tab, almost 3 at the time, had a bit of a life during that lovely pregnancy.  One of those great ladies was a quilter and brought me a box of scraps and other goodies for quilting so I could keep my hands busy while busily doing not much else.  She gave me a few pointers but other wise I was on my own.  These quilts all live in the hallway of out house, helping to deaden the painful echoes and insulate the Northern wall of our ‘vintage’ 1973 house trailer…

The first of my quilting adventure was a bunch of squares that were already cut out and some bunny pillows.  I blended them all together using a horribly itchy blanket as the batting.  Now almost 20 years later I still don’t know how to hand appliqué (much less machine) I whip stitched the bunnies onto the squares after sewing them together by hand.  I had no idea how to finish the quilt or quilt the quilt…so it holds it self together with no quilting or tying…go figure! The bunny quilt was completed in September 1990 and is 37” X 40”, all hand sewn.

Jazmin’s Star Quilt…an adventure into a not-square quilt.  I started this when we lived in our cramped little apartment.  I used cardboard cut outs of the Civil War Sanitary block tracing around them on the wrong side of the fabric then cutting out all the pieces with a scissor…I’d no idea what a rotary cutter was yet. This was started when she was almost 1, I was hoping for this to be her 1st birthday quilt…She finally got it when she was 3, had her own room and a big girl bed. 53”X53”

The Girls Art Quilt… Started in 1993 Completed 1994…Tabitha was 6 and Jazmin was 3 when the art work was created using Crayola Iron on Crayons. I quilted around each pictures using colored embroidery floss to go with the colors in the pictures.  Then the ladies got to pick out beads and buttons to give the quilt a tactile feel.  37”X52”

Sunflower Block Swap Quilt.  I found this in Quilter’s Magazine Newsletter when they had swaps and quilting pen pals noted in the back of the magazine.  WAY before I knew of Yahoo Quilt Groups!  I sent out the bellybutton fabric to 20 other quilter’s and I received 20 other belly button fabrics to create blocks around…This is one quilt made of the blocks I received…other quilts made of these blocks have long since been given away and forgotten.

This quilt was completed in 1994, tied and slightly hand quilted, machine pieced…using a very garish table cloth for the back. 51”X62”

Kewpie Doll Quilt completed 1995 made of fabric swatches in an attempt to look like a watercolor quilt, backed with a hideous black blend fabric I got at a garage sale. Machine quilted with a chunk of cotton batting. 25.5”X25.5”


Shades of Pink Home Sweet Home lap quilt.  Made many a lap/baby quilt using printed pillow panels for the center and wide borders and squares all around.  Prairie point to match and machine quilted.  This is the only one left…slightly sun bleached and rat chewed from rat hugging on the couch in the winter.  Completed in 1995 45”X43”

‘9 Lakes and a Puddle Enlivened by Native Beasties, Ecologically Sound Trails about, the Green Grass Grows All Around’ Quilt.  Completed in March 1998.

I had been gathering fabrics that were just TOO great to throw into just any quilt.  Once I had a nice stack I located the pattern at the local library, ‘Tropical Depression’ is the name of the block, basically a square in a square in a square etc.  Machine pieced with an itchy blanket in lieu of batting, hand quilted. Again not a square quilt.  I added a little more fun to the back using other fabric in the collection I hadn’t added to the front.  Signature square hasn’t faded even after many washes. 62”X54”


There are quite a few other quilts out there I never got pictures of and they no longer live with me…


been dashing about with my head cut off

I’ve been working on the same block for almost 2 weeks.  Another heart block for my heart quilt.  Usually I could get one block done in a day of hand work interrupted by the regular stuff like wash, the dog, meals…not any more… My oldest daughter got a good job at the same factory I’m the Document Control chick at…good pay (well adequate if you budget) eventual good benefits…she’s working 3rd shift…I’m on 1st…so now my grandson Oliver sleeps at my house Sunday through Thursday…Monday and Tuesday I just take him home with me after picking him up at preschool…Monday both my daughters go to GED classes in Watertown, Tuesday Olie has Speech therapy in Watertown.  Wednesday’s and Thursday’s I take Olie home to his mom till bedtime when I pick him up and take him home with me…thus far it’s working out great…Tab’s working, Olie’s getting to school, I’m working…I think Shamus may even be getting used to the situation…I just haven’t found a way to cram ME into the equation…by the time Oliver’s all snug in his bed I have absolutely NO inclination to sew…I’ll put it on my lap and there it will sit angry and ignored till I finally go to bed. And now I’m just mad at myself…I’ve been leaving everything I love to do undone and

I’ve been letting Olie take his baby (lumpy the TY moose) to school to better cope with the new living situation…he lost Lumpy yesterday…can’t find him anywhere…and of course he is ‘retired’…I found him on Ebay hope to get his replacement QUICK…still pissed at myself! UGH…so now my creative everything is a total mess AND I’m horribly guilty about Lumpy.  Poor Olie.  I know all of this is NO ONE’S fault.  We all just need a little time to get used to everything.  I need to crack the whip on myself to get back to sewing I’m obviously going into withdrawal…and I need to chill on the Lumpy deal…kids loose things even things that mean so much to themselves…sigh… hopefully we can get the replacement Lumpy shipped QUICK so I can quit beating myself up about it…TIE the new one to Oliver so he doesn’t misplace this one…think I’ll even buy an extra one to put away just in case.

Hope to finish mom’s heart this weekend and maybe even start cutting the massive pile of Flannel for baby lovies!
~Yane the silly putty mommy(pulled in 17 directions)
from Olie’s teacher:
Hi Elaine,   I stopped in to TKC this morning and they found the moose!  Oliver was also having a good day and he was earning his buttons on his button board.     Have a nice weekend,   N

Maude-Dae Maude-Dae

Oh Maude…it’s Monday…


K…the weekend was rather productive! Started Friday after work I was planning to bring Oliver with me to Target and the quilt shop.  He wasn’t coping well with the fact that his mom wasn’t in the Jeep…threw a fit followed by a shoe so I dropped him off at home with Tab.  I went alone.  I fell into step with all the other moms, grandmas and single chicks there with their baskets in hand and ‘green’ reusable totes wandering around trying to locate what we were there for, not get run over by any vicious breeders with their too many children running free to have a firm finger shaken at them occasionally and otherwise totally ignored by their perfectly coifed made up ever so thin mommies on their cell phone guffawing uproariously at what ever Stacy, Brittany, or Courtney just said from 2 isles over. Yeah I’m that kind off pissy shopper!  I said nothing though…just wander to a different location!  Found a travel pillow…ONE in the entire store.  Got 2 sets of baby spoons & forks for Tiny Angels.  Found nifty assed wicked cool HOT pink breast cancer awareness headphones for my not-an-IPod-shuffle so I can walk at work now and use them as earmuffs! Picked up a couple nice dishtowels for the kitchen too…Teal and hot pink!  Perfect!  Then off to the quilt shop where I found 10 different fat quarters for the Home of the Brave quilt I’m working on.  Very nice muted dark reds, dark blues, browns and greens!  Also picked up a yard each of mottled hot pink and Robert Kaufman or Hoffman print that’s FABULOUS for the Extreme Retinal Damage but keep Jim warm Quilt.  This should finish the top now.  Payday I’ll pick up a hot pink or purple king-sized flat sheet and an inexpensive light colored bedspread to use in lieu of batting then I can really get to work on completing it.  If Tab, Travis and Olie don’t move out soo I’ll ask mom if I can borrow her front room floor for pinning and yarning.  I think I’ll just quilt the outside border to keep the blanket from shifting and yarn the rest of the quilt. Then when I get my room back there will be a fantabulous new loving covering the whole bed!


Started and FINISHED my professional tote all in one day and it didn’t take 11 hours like it would have in the class…took 5-6 hours in fact and only had to tear out 2 seams.  I love it…massively massive!  When empty Oliver can sit uncomfortably in it, there’s a middle pocket…

Hippity Hoppity Hump Day!

Shipping out 3 boxes of lovies today: 1 box crammed with assorted blankets going to Project Linus Greater Twin Cities, 3 quilts going to Heart Babies in Minneapolis, and 11 quilts going to tiny angels in West Virginia. Got another box of 3 quilts at home ready to go to Project Linus next week.


I’m hoping to pick up the fabric needed to start a ‘Home of the Brave’ quilt to make for an injured returning soldier or a killed in action soldier’s family. I’m getting 2 earthy browns, 1 blue & 1 green with a cream and dark red for the little squares.

Also on my massive list of ‘Wants’ I have 1 travel pillow so I can practice a Benjamin Smiles pillowcase for the Ronal McDonald House in Minneapolis. Gotta remember to send in the SASE to get the Benjamin labels for the cases.

Found a few other places I’d like to sew for: Angels for AIDS, a groups that makes nice warm lovies for babies up to young adult sized for people suffering the effects of AIDS, this is based out in California.

One I found a little closer to home is Warm Fuzzies that’s fleece blankets made for persons going through chemotherapy or surgeries related to cancer in Michigan. I plan to get 3 yards of 2 colors of fleece (male & female) and satin edging to complete 6 of these.

Then there’s Quilts from Caring Hands in Oregon. They take baby and youth sized quilts. I’ve made up mailing labels and a size list for all of these so I can just sew like a freak and ship as the boxes fill up.

AND some day soon the kids will be moving out soon. As soon as they get a check in the mail…then I’ll watch Oliver while they move, Jim will tear out the fence in our soon to be room, tear down ½ the wall so we have a living room again, and rearranging the computer room door with the living room door. He’ll be making it so the ½ door he puts in the living room wall doesn’t open, it’ll be like a window between the kitchen and the living room. Hopefully this will happen soon…VERY SOON!