all the colors

June 30, 2008

Quilt Stuff

Jo and I went on a little shopping spree market research trip over the week-end to the Wasatch Front Shop Hop, a tour of 15 quilt shops in Utah from Logan to Springville. We really did critique the shops as best we could. A couple of them seemed to be mired in the past; one was even using scissors instead of a rotary cutter on the fabric and a calculator to add up purchases! Our favorite shops were ones in which the staff was friendly, the fabric was current, and the display quilts were inspiring.   Each shop had games, prizes and treats carrying out the theme of the event, which was “Once Upon A Time,” with each shop assigned a certain classic child’s fairytale.

I did pick up just a few items.

No, this is not what we were driving, but we did see it as we were passing the Great Salt Lake on our way to Tooele. The license plate identified it as a ’34 Ford.

Fairytales and antiques naturally remind me of two old baby quilts I have.

I got this baby bear quilt for a pittance once in an antique store here in town. The bears are done up in flannel for texture, and it’s all hand appliqued and quilted. I’d say it’s circa 1940.

Awe, the “Sheldon” quilt, with the charming quintessentially 30’s fabric.

I guess baby Sheldon would be about 75 years old now. Too bad for him, I have his quilt.

I adore the redwork in this quilt.

I think each of these quilts is worth less than $200, so not a whole lot of monetary value in them.  I feel sentimental about them anyway, even though I didn’t know either baby and I didn’t make either quilt.  Lots of work and craftsmanship went into each one, and I honor that.


June 17, 2008

Feelin’ It

Filed under: blessings,house — Kathy @ 7:19 pm
Tags: , ,

I’ve been nearly pain free for a week plus one day now, which means I’m finally getting back to normal. Mother nature kindly let the summer weather begin right about the time I began to feel better too, which was a very lucky coordination. I feel like sewing, shopping, visiting, singing, reading, playing and blogging once again. Cleaning? Laundry? Still don’t feel like that, although I have to do it to keep things under control.

So first off, an update on the house construction is in order. The siding is all up and is getting painted now that the rain has let up.

The mason can start on the rock pretty soon.

The patio and the porch both got poured. Michelle at Medici did the design of both, and when she gave it to the crew, one of them called her “the concrete bitch.” I think she takes it as a compliment.

Front porch

Back patio

The finish work inside is going full steam ahead. There’s a lot of it to do, but I’d say they are at least half done and it’s looking really awesome. B & J Custom Building is doing meticulous work. Thank-you Brian and crew for keeping at it and treating me so well.

Dining room bowed windows

More dining room

Front entry oval window

Living room ceiling


Bonus room upstairs

Master bedroom fireplace

My big storage room, front.

My big storage room, back.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with three views out the back of the house of the exact same thing.

The first is from the back door of the basement.

Second, is from the doorway to the deck, main floor.

And this last one is from the balcony off the master bedroom upstairs.

On a sad note, Pam, the assistant designer at Medici, is leaving to go live in Salt Lake City. She has been like a good friend to me as we have worked on my house. She’s always cheerful, always on task, has an unbelievable memory and great taste. I just don’t know what we would have done without her, and I hate to lose her, even though almost everything is decided on right down to cabinet knobs. Pam, good luck to you and your husband, and keep in touch! Maybe you’ll have to come up to a party in the new house.

B & J and Medici will have a house in the Cache Valley Parade of Homes in Providence starting this week-end. I wish it was my house that was done, but I’ll go and check out this Parade home anyway. Because I feel great, and I’m so thrilled that I do.

April 15, 2008

The Electronic Brain Machine

Filed under: books,my world — Kathy @ 4:19 pm
Tags: , , ,

My recovery hasn’t been as smooth as I would have liked due to what the doctor calls “residual pain” in my right arm. I like to call it “THAT @#*&)#! PAIN IN MY ARM” but really and truly I gave up all swearing a few days before Andy came home and I’m not sure if writing it out in silly symbols violates my goal. But I digress. Yesterday I visited with the good Doctor Berry who put me on a few new meds to see if the “nerve root,” will calm down, even though the surgery has already given the thing plenty of room to function normally. I liken this to a crying child who wants an ice cream cone and gets so worked up that when you hand her the desired treat she can’t stop crying. That’s my nerve root. Just throwing a tantrum. I should send it to bed without supper.

One thing that has made life more tolerable during recovery is my trusty macbook which provides the wonderful diversion of the interwebosphere. And also books. Always books. When I came across this explanation of what a computer is, published in 1963 in a set of children’s books which my sisters and I used to love when we were wee ones ourselves, I got a big kick out of it. So here is a little crazy nostalgia, including the first part of the article, which was written by an anonymous guy who liked to use italics and quote marks a lot and who was clearly afraid computers would someday take over the world.

The Electronic Brain Machine

“One of the strangest things we hear about in science these days (and probably for many days to come) is the electric brain. Electric brains are also called electronic computers. They are electronic. They use electronic tubes just as your radio or television does. They are computers too. A computer is something that can figure out a problem in arithmetic.

Now we know what electric brains are. What they aren’t is very surprising. To begin with, they are not ‘brains.’ They can’t ‘think.’ They are, really, giant adding machines. They do all their work by simple arithmetic. But they do it at such amazing speed that they can solve many of our toughest scientific problems in just a few minutes or sometimes seconds.


In telling the story of these ‘brains’ that aren’t really brains, we will also be telling the wonderful story of why it is that your brain–even if you are still in school–is really a better brain than the very biggest of the machines that we have come to call electric brains.

In the very first place, an electric brain has only two thoughts in all the thousands of miles of wire and thousands of tubes that may go to make up its ‘head.’ Many people, when they hear that, don’t believe it. They say that such remarkable machines must have more than two simple thoughts. But the fact is that they haven’t. The only two thoughts that an electric brain has are ‘Off’ and ‘On.’ In other words, either there is or there isn’t electricity flowing through one of its tubes or wires. In its basic form an electric brain is nothing more than thousands of switches that go either ‘On’ or ‘Off.’ “

So kudos to The Bookshelf for Boys and Girls. Indeed, the prediction was right that we would be hearing about computers “for many days to come.” I’m just glad somewhere along the line we dropped the name “electronic brain machine.” And that they got sized down just a tiny bit. And that they actually do more than arithmetic problems. Like provide great diversions for me during nerve tantrums.

April 2, 2008

One Step Closer

Filed under: house — Kathy @ 5:52 pm
Tags: , , ,

The drywalling is done, and today I spent 3 hours doing a walk-through of my new house with the designers, Michelle Dunker and Pam Jensen of Medici Design, and the builder, Brian, the B in B & J.  It was kind of tedious because they speak their own language with words that I don’t understand, all having to do with building.  I was so tired towards the end all I could think about was lying down to rest, but I muscled through and in the end lots of the builder’s questions about the finish work were answered.  It gets easier to imagine myself living in that house with the completion of every phase.  Man I’m excited for that day to come!

The garage walls are getting finished.

Complicated looking heating and plumbing stuff.

Detail of the doorway between the family room and the kitchen.

This might be the craziest looking thing in the house, and it’s right inside the front doors no less.  I never planned on this, but when the stairway was built, the architect had the stairs that lead up sticking out into the upper part of the room.  It looked like a big angled mistake.  This is the fix the designer and builder came up with to disguise it.  It does look much better than before,  and quite dramatic.  Not what I would have ever envisioned, but I can live with it.

April 1, 2008


Filed under: my world — Kathy @ 10:40 pm

I’m back!  And I’m fine.  I came home Friday right on time, and can honestly say I’m doing fine.  I’ll be even finer tomorrow, and in a few weeks finally I’ll be finest.   I get to rest a lot, watching movies, reading, sleeping, surfing, and just veging.  I don’t have any trouble doing most things.  I’ve been out to visit people and go shopping and eat out already.  I’m sleeping well at night.  I wear the puffy collar around my neck.  I think it’s purpose is to tell people not to tackle me.  Fine.  And I’m fine when, as March decided to play like a lion on it’s last day, I’m not the one doing this.

Thanks to all of you who visited, called and commented.  You cheered me up immensely.  I doubt the kind folks who brought in food read this blog, but just for the record, thanks to them too.  We all enjoyed the meals.  My next door neighbors who used to have a rooster even brought me chicken soup . . . do ya think . . .?  At any rate, it was good soup!

A teeny tiny apology here.  I apologize if I’m grouchy.  A teeny bit, because, after all, I’m not myself.  I don’t want to be grouchy, but sometimes the me who’s not myself thinks it’s necessary.  I apologize.  And that part may or may not be an April Fools Day joke.

March 27, 2008

Just Another Thursday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathy @ 10:42 pm

Tonight I, Jo, Kathy’s daughter, author of More Than Milk, will be guest blogging in my mom’s stead, as she is high on morphine in a hospital bed. As my dad says, it has been a big week for her. Welcoming her son home from Korea, busting the neighbor’s rooster, and having neck surgery. This makes three surgeries in the last two years I believe, one on her wrist and two on her spine.

mum in hospy

This time is was an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with plating and also something else we think at vertebrae 4-7. Unrelated to the last back surgery. Three of the discs between the vertebrae in her neck were crushing her spinal cord because her neck was curved the wrong way, which was causing her arm a lot of pain. Three discs in this condition is very rare, and from the doctors’ reactions it seems like she should have been nearly paralyzed or something. My mom is one toughie. So they went in and replaced those three discs with some artificial discy things, fused the vertebrate with plates, cleaned up the bone spurs and calcified mess that had grown in there, and now supposedly her spine should have the correct curve in the neck. To do this all, they went in through the front of the neck. Eek!

in through the neck

Today she enjoyed visits from my brothers and my aunt Holly who brought homemade caramels, and when I got there she looked great and felt great. Might have something to do that morphine drip. It probably didn’t hurt that she was in a brand new hospital that was like a hotel too. She’ll be able to go home tomorrow.  I’m sure she’ll have some blogging of her own to do very soon.

Spine surgery sounds like the scariest thing to me. I kept thinking, what if they paralyze her! or cut into her vocal chords and she loses her voice forever! or accidentally stab her throat and she can’t eat! So what a relief to see that all is well and my momma is fixed! I’m so lucky she’s my momma and I hope she recovers lickety split.

March 26, 2008

The Price of Quiet: a little embarrassement

Filed under: friends,my world — Kathy @ 5:16 pm

The policeman tried. When my daughter called to complain, he even conducted a rooster stake-out, parked on the street a few houses north of me with his windows down.

But the rooster continued to crow, outwitting not one but two officers.

A few days later, seeing my next door neighbor holding his baby at church, I struck up a conversation.

me: That’s a pretty cute baby, and what a big boy he is, Eldon. What’s his name?

Eldon: This is Junior, yes, he is a chubby baby. How are you?

me: I’m OK. But I’ve been under the weather a little the last few weeks.

Eldon: Oh, I didn’t know that. I’m sorry your not feeling well.

me: (having the bright idea that I could get Eldon’s help in finding that rooster) Have you heard the rooster in the neighborhood crowing?

Eldon: Yes…

me: well, because I haven’t been feeling well, I rest on my bed quite a bit and listen to that rooster. I know it’s illegal to have a rooster in town. I called the police, but they couldn’t find it. My daughter called again, and they still couldn’t find it. Maybe you could call the police as well. The more complaints they get . . .maybe they’ll find it. But I don’t know who’s rooster it is.

Eldon: (somewhat sheepishly) It’s MY rooster!

Do I have to tell you how embarrassed I was? I wanted to sink into the floor. I really thought the rooster was farther away than next door. Eldon is a great guy. He didn’t know roosters were against the zoning laws here. He didn’t know his was bothering me. He assured me it would be gone in one more day. Then he called me at home later that afternoon to tell me I wouldn’t be hearing the rooster anymore. Oh? It’s under a bucket, he said. And tomorrow it will be in our freezer, he said. (And he was glad he wouldn’t have to go to jail.)

And he was right. I never heard that rooster crow again.

I like Eldon. I hope Eldon still likes me!


Filed under: family — Kathy @ 12:06 pm

We were so excited we could barely stand it as we chose a spot at the bottom of the airport escalator to wait. The flight was late. He sat in the very last row of the airplane. Other returning missionaries from South America but on the same flight from LAX came by us. The other passengers came by us. The flight attendants came by us. The captains came by us. I held up my little welcome home sign. The other missionaries and their families hugged and wandered off to baggage claim.

Finally there he was, a beautiful young man I had waited two long years to put my arms around again.

After lots of hugs and some getting acquainted and reacquainted we managed to pose together.

Thanks for coming, Lynnette, Vanessa, Jessie, and Ava. And thanks for taking pictures!

A sight for sore eyes.

We had dinner at The Roof, where the men gave me a smile.

Finally, one last hug at home with Rosie, who had to perform in the school musical that night instead of coming to the airport.

March 18, 2008

Sewing Up a Lady

Filed under: family,sewing — Kathy @ 11:06 pm
Tags: ,

I have been sewing, despite my stupid arm pain, because I committed to sew a costume for Rosie for her high school musical. I haven’t sewn clothes for a long time, pretty much since my kids were small. I’ve never sewn with this type of heavy upholstery material and I’ve never done metal eyelets before, so this was a bit of a challenge. It took me longer than it should have by over a week. Rosie is playing the part of a “lady in waiting” in the musical “Once Upon A Mattress,” so maybe it is appropriate that she had to wait until the day before the first performance for her costume.

Rosie, good luck tomorrow putting the show on for the elementary kids. They are a tough audience. But now I know you’ll look great!

March 17, 2008

Puffy Eye, Wonky Arm, and Sunday Spying

Filed under: my world — Kathy @ 12:46 am
Tags: ,

My life has gotten strange. Today, I looked like a freak as I taught my Sunday School class because my left eye, which looked normal when I put make-up on it this morning, was swelling up for no apparent reason. And to make matters even worse, a member of the bishopric decided to sit in on my class today. Huh? I need supervision? And this is the day I have to look extra weird?

Puff the Magic Eye

A few days ago, my right arm developed a pain. I’m talking a bad, moan and grimace kind of pain. A sufficiently specialized doctor thinks it’s nerve pain and I probably need cervical spine surgery. That means in my neck. What?! And you’re not kidding? Not at all? I don’t really want more spine surgery. Been-there-done-that and it’s not exactly my choice of a pleasant afternoon pastime. But I may not have much of a choice. You can feel sorry for me for a minute here.
Now a narcotic pain killer keeps me drugged up to the point of, um, . . . I forget. You can stop feeling sorry for me here.

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