Friday, November 15, 2013

Random thoughts...

October, thankfully, has been archived and I'm grateful for the month of November. The first week in November is when things get really pretty around these parts (central Arkansas). On a whim, the hubster and I decided to travel to the northern part of the state that weekend to see what was left of the fall foliage, and we were not disappointed. Things started turning a crispy brown when we hit Marshall, but we kept the faith and moved onward to the Maplewood Cemetery in Harrison, where the color was glorious, and well worth the excursion. Our first stop was Natural Bridge outside of Clinton:

 And then to Maplewood Cemetery in Harrison--I believe this is the reason why so many quilters say Autumn is their favorite season; it's certainly mine:

 was a wonderful day with a gorgeous sky, beautiful color, and a nip in the air.

I eat gluten-free and traveling is always a test of my mettle; I have to plan all stops for eating if we choose to eat in a restaurant--then I have to plan for stops if something I ate at a restaurant causes problems. My husband and I do not like to eat in chains unless it's the only option (and admittedly, the larger ones are now offering gluten-free options, so there's a safety net there). We ate at Homey Hearth outside Marshall (I think) for lunch and Josie's at the Lock House in Batesville for dinner. Both were ok, and I had no issues with either one stomach-wise, but I doubt we'll return to either one.

More changes are happening in our family and we decided to head up the road last weekend to Memphis to see our son Ross and my sister. My sister's neighbor, Ben, had one of his huge bonfires--many friends came to watch the spectacle, but the Piperton Fire Department showed up and put it out. It was pretty while it lasted (and big!).

I took Love Endures with me to Memphis to stitch down the binding! I still have several threads to tie off and weave in...that will take a while.

We are still adjusting to having a teenager in our household; we are not accustomed to having picky eaters in our family, and this one thinks green is gross. He doesn't like much in the way of fruit, either. DH made a wonderful chili a few nights ago in which he hid carrots and zucchini--Will gobbled it up, and had more the next night on a hot dog. We're weaning him off gluten but it's hard; we've also cut off the candy and sodas (I know we sound mean, but we just want him to live well). We have at least 2 more football games due to playoffs and he's always famished and wants Sonic when we pick him up, so we're trying to come up with something better he'll like when he gets home. (He doesn't play football, he's in the band.)

One thing I have noted this past week with the plethora of emails, photos, announcements, etc. following Quilt Market and Festival in Houston is that I'm not hearing about anything really fabulous that made its debut or was "sneak-peeked" at the events. Sure, I heard that Bernina had a sneak-peak of its longarm machine, but given all the trouble I have heard with their 820s and other newer models, I wonder if this is really going to be a good thing. Also...and please no flaming because I am a huge Downton Abbey fan...the hoopla surrounding that particular fabric line just seems a bit much. I'm guessing this will be the biggest selling quilt fabric line of all time and the stores will be flooded with it. I'm sure it will sell well, but I won't be one of the buyers...

I guess I'm getting old. I shopped twice for fabric this year, and both times for specific projects, so nothing added to the stash. As I posted early this year, I have waited, waited, and WAITED for years to make quilts until I thought I had everything I could possibly need, but thankfully, I got over it. Maybe I do have everything I need, but if I don't, I'm plowing through. Love Endures will be the 8th quilt I have completed this year. It's only 6-1/2 weeks until the end of this year and I wanted to complete 12, but I'll be happy with what I've done so far. Being substitute mom/homework police takes up a lot of time and has kept me out of the studio.

I started this post on November 1, and today is November 15. Today the colors are almost gone; there are a few pretty trees with leaves left on them, but my neighborhood is a sea of leaves on the ground. It was a mostly dreary day, and on my way home from work I saw a building being torn down that I remember when it was brand-spanking new--the Arkla building at Fourth and Rock Streets in Little Rock. It was built in the late 1960's and my Aunt Jean had a beautiful office there. The original Arkla building is at Capitol and Center and is still standing--it now houses a bank. My office is in a bank building that prior to it being built in the 1970's housed my aunt's restaurant, the Capitol Palace. I remember visiting my aunt in all three locations.

Next post will hopefully have the completed Love Endures for viewing and a peek at what's next for completion. I'm itching to start something new, but think I'll quilt a couple of tops that have been patiently waiting for a very long time.

Happy quilting,

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day and a Birthday

Today is Veteran's Day, and it is also my father's 96th birthday. He passed away 41 years ago at the very young age of 54. He is the greatest man I have ever known (and my husband readily accepts that fact). 
MGySgt Jack W. Sherman, USMC
Yes, it's an awful picture--it is a photocopy from the 70's (the photocopy, not the photo) that my father's sister placed in an album she gave us after my father passed away. I would love to have the original; I must get in touch with my cousin to see if he has it. This was from the early days of World War II not long after he enlisted.

And more than 40 years following his passing, he still has a profound influence upon me. He was smart, kind, funny, loving, and was loved and adored by everyone who knew him. His sudden passing created a chasm for many that has never been bridged; most of all for my mother. She was only 38 when he died and she never remarried--in her words, no one could hold a candle to him. And no one has been able to since.

My husband and children never met him. They've heard many stories and accountings from me, my sister, my mother and others. Our oldest son is named after my father, and in many ways, he reminds me so much of him.

I am so very grateful for his service to our country. He served 22 years in the Marine Corps, and he left only because he had to for his health. He tried for years to go back. He served in the Pacific theater in World War II and in Korea. After retirement, he went to work for NASA during the Gemini and Apollo missions, and left just before we landed on the moon--he knew what would happen to the space program once we achieved that goal. He then worked in the nuclear energy field until his death.
The Sherman Family, c. 1968; that's me on the right.
After all these years, I still miss him like crazy, and not a day goes by that I don't think of he and my mother. The morning Mom passed away, we told her it was time to go dancing with Daddy. I like to think that 12 years since her passing, they are still tripping the light fantastic in heaven, and having a ball.

I am also grateful to all of our servicemen and women who have sacrificed for our country. May God bless them, and God bless the United States of America. 

Semper Fi!