Monday, October 29, 2012

Breathe Easy My Friend

In May of 2008, Steve and I found out we were going to Singapore for him to do a new project.  How was I going to cope with a flip-side move?  I did the only thing I knew to do; I hopped on a worldwide scrapbooking website forum and asked if anyone was in Singapore or knew someone in Singapore.  (Thank God for the technology to let me do this... how did people before the internet survive?)  

I immediately got this sweet note from a lady named Debbie that her best friend lived in Singapore and she would have her contact me.  A few days later, Pam contacted me and we were on an adventurous road of learning new things about the place we were moving.  Once I got to Singapore, Pam helped me get my feet wet, taught me how to shop, where to shop and when I had questions I could ask Pam. 

Thank God for Pam and the technology that brought her to me. 

But this post is not only about Pam; it is about her best friend, Debbie, too.  In order for you to understand their friendship, you must first know that Pam had a sister with Cystic Fibrosis.  Pam's sister, and Debbie had gotten to know each other because of the disease they had in common.  Sadly, Pam's sister, whose name was also Debby, passed away from Cystic Fibrosis.  Because their families had become so close due to the disease, Debbie and Pam became close friends - in fact, best friends.  Pam has rallied every single time Debbie had a setback from her CF.  They spoke for hours on end on Skype and Pam talked about Debbie every chance she had - her and Deb were very close.  In fact, Pam traveled from all ends of the earth to support Debbie when she was ill with encouragement, giggles and laughs. 

Louie, Debbie and Pam

Debbie took a turn for the worse earlier this year.  She was struggling to breath and her body was getting weaker.  She was put on a transplant list, and everyone was thrilled when she received her new lungs on July 28th of this year.  She rallied!  She did terrific!  Louie, Debbie's hubby and Pam kept us posted on what was going on in Deb's life, but she was doing great things with her new lungs; she was enjoying walking up steps, going shopping, getting a new hairdo, getting used to life without her nasal cannula and she was getting stronger every day! Debbie even got to post her milestones on her blog and we were elated with each one.

I kept up with Debbie through Pam as long as I was in Singapore, and through Deb's blog when I left - and even though we had never met, I felt like I knew her.  I know it sounds silly, but I did.  

2 weeks ago, Debbie started running fever.  The Drs could not find the source of the temperature, but they admitted her to the hospital and started running tests.  Prayers were sent out for her across the world.  Pam and Louie (her hubby) kept us posted.  Finally, the source was found - she had an abscess between her trach and esophagus.  Immediately, they scheduled surgery, but sadly there were complications during the operation.  The details are insignificant, but it was a drastic turn of events; Deb came out of surgery and went into ICU.  Pam kept updating us, but the updates were not promising and I knew she was preparing all of us - herself as well.  

Debbie passed away Friday morning.  I knew it had happened before we got word;  I woke Friday morning and *knew* the news would come - I had a dark, sick cloud hanging over me from the moment I woke and I had a very dismal feeling - I even posted of the black cloud on Facebook...  I just knew. 

I cannot express how great of a loss that I felt when I got word that Debbie had not made it.  I guess it is because Debbie really helped fill in a stressful time in my life (my move to Singapore) by sharing her bestie, and the fact that I continued to follow Deb's story, her milestones and pitfalls through her blog.  It could also be that Pam has been such a close friend to Debbie, almost like a sister, in fact, and I know in my heart the pain Pam is going through.  She lost her sister to Cystic Fibrosis and now she has lost her very best friend to the same disease.  What a horrendous, devastating loss.  My heart aches deeply for Pam.  Whatever the reason, it is with great sadness that I feel the need to tell her story.  

Can you see how close they were in this picture?  Pam is on the left and Debbie is on the right: 

I absolutely love the picture of them.  Both so carefree and happy.  You can see the deep friendship and closeness they share. 

Pam, I love you.  My prayers will be with you and Louie and everyone else who loves Debbie.

My dearest 'friend' Debbie; you touched many lives while you were with us here, you were an inspiration for us - and you have left a huge heartstring in those who knew you.  You were only in my life a few short years, but I got to know what a terrific person you were through all those who surrounded you with love and support.  You touched so many hearts, including mine.  God has another angel in his ranks in heaven; a precious one named Debbie, who is peacefully watching over those she loves.  I know you are taking deep easy breaths of everything sweet and wonderful with those healthy new lungs and I hope you are dancing to your favorite music - and for the first time ever, I bet it doesn't take your breath away.  Peace, Love, Lungs...  

We're sure gonna miss you, but I know the rose is blooming on the other side... 

Breathe easy my friend.

And thank God for the technology that brought you and Pam into my life. You are missed.

Love Always, your cyber friend 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Knife, Fork, Spoon, Quilt and Blocks

What does a knife, fork and spoon have to do with this post?  Well, a friend was over the other day and she said the persimmons this fall had lots of spoons and a few knives.  I asked her what the heck she was talking about, to which she immediately explained that the seeds predicted what kind of winter we have to look forward to.  Of course, when she drove off, I came in to look on the internet and here is what I found.  So you know me, I raced out the front door and fight with the deer to get my load of persimmons.  Ok, so the deer weren't there - but there are plenty of tracks to show the COULD be there... And how lucky is it that we have two persimmon trees on our drive?

Adventurous person that I am, I came in and tried to crack open a seed.  It should be easy right?  WRONG!  Those little suckers are (1) slippery, (2) hard as a rock and (3) very narrow.  You cannot get a grip on them to save your life!  I slipped and slid, I washed them and I tried again.  They slipped out of my fingers and shot across the room.  I grabbed them with a paper towel and promptly cut it trying to cut the seed - but the seed refused to budge.  I was going to cut my stinkin' finger off trying!

SO, I let them sit out overnight and tried again.  Ditto.  "Same same" as the Singaporeans would say.  I yelped at Steve (masculine man that he is) and he tried it too.  I was beginning to think he was going to cut off a finger trying, so I ran out and got a pair of pliers.  Once I gripped the seed with the pliers I nearly ruined 2 knives - but I finally got inside the seeds.

What did I find?

A few knives and a lot of spoons!   I tossed away some of the seeds, but here is what I kept.  So now I have decided I need to run out and get more persimmons; 10 to be precise because I want to be as accurate as I can.  Then I am going to crack open a seed from each one and see how that turns out.  Since I have now figured out how to open them, it should be a breeze.  Don't worry, the deer will thank me for leaving them some seedless fruit after I am finished predicting the weather.  I don't eat persimmons, but they sure do!

So are we supposed to have a lot of heavy wet snow cut by the icy winds like the persimmons predict?  Forecasters on the news say mild and less went winter than normal.  Persimmons say otherwise.  Who will be right?  We shall see.  What does your winter say?  Go grab a local persimmon and (hint) USE PLIERS!

Yesterday, I went and picked up my very bright Turning Twenty quilt from the quilter!  Oh.  My.  Gosh!  You cannot see it here because the picture does not do it justice, but it looks terrific!!  Yes, it is bright.  Yes, it is girly.  I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but I love it!  I just have to bind it now and it will be finished and waiting... for something.  Not sure what, but I will just admire it for a while before I decide what to do with it.

Wanda, the lady that does the quilting... well, actually, her hubby, Charles, does the quilting, but Wanda picks out the quilting pattern and tells him what to do and Charles, like any good husband, does what he is told to do.  Anyway, Wanda picked out what quilting pattern to use on my bright Turning Twenty and she chose a perfect one:

Isn't it wonderful?  Girly and hearts.  Gotta love it.  Well, at least *I* gotta love it - and thankfully I do!

On another note, I have finished a few more blocks of my Underground Railroad quilt:

I now have 10 finished - can you believe it?  I love doing the different patterns!  Let's see... the star in the upper right was the most difficult and then the bear claw (middle left) was next because the directions and measurements were not correct.  You would think the bear claw would have been a breeze for me after my Batik Quilt.  The log cabin (lower left) was one of the easiest to do - but I love doing them all!  A friend and I do a block or two a week together as this is a project we picked to do together.  I love sitting in my sewing/scrap room and quilting with a friend - and I love seeing those blocks come together.  Yes, I think I am a quilter.  

But I think I have to find a money tree.  

Too bad the persimmons don't turn into gold instead of predict the weather.

Quilting is an expensive hobby.

Scrapbooking is also expensive.

But I gotta have hobbies, right?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Best Banana Nut Bread Recipe Ever!

My husband has eaten banana nut bread for years for breakfast.  If I don't have some made, he gets quite disgruntled.  He swears it is the best banana nut bread ever made.  I have raised my kids on it;  Steph loves it as well.  Friends ask for it and jokingly fight over it.  If I leave it off of the Christmas candy trays, I get the evil eye.  Two things must be on that tray; the banana nut bread and the white Christmas candy - if both are not present, we get the evil eye - or the pouty eyes.  Will give the white candy recipe later.  I have no idea what makes the banana nut bread so popular, but I am not complaining.  

Do you want the recipe?  It is super simple and I believe one of the secrets is to us PECANS as opposed to walnuts.  The pecans add a wonderful flavor.

Mouth watering yet?

Here is the recipe:

eb's Banana Nut Bread

½ c margarine
1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 c flour
1 c mashed bananas
1 teaspoon soda
3 Tablespoons buttermilk OR 3 T milk mixed with 1 teaspoon vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup cut up PECANS

Melt margarine, mix margarine and sugar, add eggs and mix.  Add remaining ingredients. Fill greased loaf pans a bit over half full and bake in 350 degree oven for one hour.

Let the bread cool for about 15 minutes then take a couple of tablespoons of margarine and put over the top.  I usually just take a dab of margarine, stab it with a fork and run it over the top of the warm bread.  It melts and makes the bread even more yummy.

Let me know if you give it a try!

So now you know  :-)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

6 7 Blocks of the Underground Railroad Quilt

These are the first 7 blocks of my Undergound Railroad Sampler Quilt.  I am learning sooo much doing all these blocks!

Will post more about quilts in a day or so - still painting and I am sick of it.   Lol... 

Be back soon!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Painting and Stuff

A couple of last pictures of our trip to Colorado.  

This is how close we were to wildlife on our trip - I was in the dining room and looked outside to this scene:

Isn't that amazing?  I love wildlife so I was mesmerized by these gals.  We loved watching them in the mornings - along with the beautiful birds that crossed our paths.

Remember when I said we went to the mountain summits?  I know we went to Matterhorn and Uncompahgre Peaks... I think we went to some of these others, but not sure which ones.  I bet my handsome hubby can remind me...

No matter which ones we went to, you can see we climbed high and wide.  We did have a blast!

Here is a picture of Steve and I in front of the peaks.  What an amazing trip!

Now, what have we been doing since we got home?  Steve decided to paint our cave... errr... our living room.  We both think part of my depression is caused from the beige walls, ceilings and floors in our place.  I know it is supposed to be a good selling point, but I don't think it is a good decorating background.  It is so BLAH!

So we taped it off and went to work:

Once we got the ceilings white we noticed a huge difference:

We continued on into the kitchen.  See the white at the top of this picture?  Look at the beige below the white.  That is what we were covering:

Actually the beige was more like this:

And finally, the kitchen finished:

Then we got braver!  We decided to cover that beige paint on the walls:

What a difference that made!

The finished product:

Decorating is not my strong subject, but at least I have something pretty to start with.  We want this to be our 'Asia' room.  Gotta get busy!

And with that, I hope we washed away all of that depression.  I walked outside and this is what I saw:

Another promise.

Tomorrow, I will share a bit about the quilts I am working on...

Until then, have a great day!   Look for His gifts and promises. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Colorado Backdrops

Just imagine having these backdrops to look at every single day:

Colorado in October;  a beautiful sight.  

Hope you have enjoyed my pictures as much as we enjoyed our trip.

Waiting for the next adventure...   I just know it will be great!

Whatever it is... 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Colorado Gold! ...Mining Towns

Just a few pictures of the old mining towns in the mountains of Colorado.  It would have been a hard life...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Colorado Colors

For the next few days I will just be sharing pics of Colorado back roads.  We had such a good time!  I have had several people tell me how much they missed the fall colors (hello flip-side friends!) that I decided to just share pictures.  There will be very little (if any) blogging - I want you to enjoy the views!

And this is the summer house Steve said he would buy us... 


Probably when he gets that 'round tuit'.

Singapore Memory Project