Sunday, July 31, 2005

Projects today-
I've been working on my 'why is the sky blue?" challenge piece today. I really like the direction it is going in. I've replaced parts that I didn't like. I had a difficult time deciding on fabrics for certain parts. I finally got all the parts as I like them and will work on putting them all together this week.
I had an idea of the direction I wanted to go in, a simple statement, but today, I realized it had a much deeper and bigger meaning. I like that I can make a statement I think is important in this quilt.
Then, for the rest of my afternoon, I decided to try cutting glass in particular shapes. I discovered it was much harder than just randomly cutting glass. I didn't realize how many tiny pieces of glass you end up having and how many pinpoint cuts you get too. Maybe because I'm new to cutting glass and still don't have the hang of it.
I was able, however, to cut enough pieces for 4 ornaments about 4"square. Tomorrow, I will solder them together and see what I have. My goal is to have enough stuff for a crafts sale in November. Nothing too big, just small items for quick sales.
Not bad for a day's work.

Old friends-
One way to know how many friends you are missing is when your emails won't go through. I switched from using a local ISP address to using gmail as my primary email address and since then, many of my friends' ISPs aren't allowing my emails through. When you want to avoid the spam, which is often generated by the online email services, you tend to block all the messages from that ISP, even ones from friends.
So, today, I made a point of calling a friend on the phone about it to see if some changes can be made from her end to see if my mail will get through. I have another friend I'll need to call and do the same thing.
But some of my friends are ones I met on the computer and have no idea how to contact them any other way. I got to chat with a couple of those tonight in IMs.
I met one in an AOL chat room. (a flirty one) We soon realized we liked each other as friends a lot more than we cared about flirting.
We met once with our spouses. He's chatted to my hubby online. His wife doesn't get online.
My other friend and I met in an artist discussion group. I still don't know how the person in charge of the group found me (or any of us) but Kelchen did a great job of finding an interesting and diverse group of artists, especially for being in HS at the time.
Wilfred is from Norway/ Finland. He was invited to take part in an art event in Portugal and fell in love with the country. Now, he has married and still sends his art back to the newspaper he worked for as a political cartoonist. When I talk with Wilfred, I forget English is not his first language. He's so very personable and knowledgeable and loves a good debate.
The years have slipped away from me. Just how long I've known these guys is pretty amazing when you realize we met online and they live very far from me. I can see changes in their lives. Progress. I've seen One have children, a better job, building a home. The other I've watched as he moved to a new country, started a new life with a family, gave up all sorts of vices I still have.
I don't feel like I've changed much at all in that same time. Still living in the same place, married, same three kids. Still doing my art, added a job and some volunteer work, but basically, my life remains the same. Kind of depressing at times.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Roller coasters rock!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Car repairs-
So, my van is showing it's age. I've known there was something a bit funky about it, but, afterall, it's 10 years old and cars GET funky by then. We knew it needed brakes, we had no idea it needed all this other stuff. We'll have to save up to get the rest of the repairs done. They were kind enough to explain which were more critical than others so we know which repairs should come first.
It's so difficult to know what you should do in terms of money. We really needed to visit with Steve's family and make the trip to Cleveland. It was too tempting not to take the kids to Cedar point while we were there. Kids don't understand car repairs over a great summer vacation. I think that my husband really wanted to show them the park of his youth and make it a great summer for them.
Well, the car repairs just aren't exciting and , well, they just don't seem to get the same bang for the buck either. I'd much rather have that excitement of the kids having a fabulous day (or two or three) than the van fixed at the moment. If I was very responsible, I probably wouldn't be feeling this way. if I was like my parents, I know I would have had the van fixed. But, I never went to an amusement park as a child. I was in HS before I saw Disney World, and that was a date to grad nite. We just didn't have fun like that in my family.
We went on one vacation and it was to visit family in Pa and W.V. Not that it wasn't interesting seeing other places, but it sure wasn't like a wild ride on a coaster. Seeing coal for the first time just isn't the same. My family (I guess) felt like living in Florida was LIKE a vacation, so we didn't need to go away for one. We would go to my Dad's hunting camp some times. Still in Florida, but a different part. (not as nice either) I don't recall my Dad even going to the beach, but he did go fishing. I don't remember my mom going either, but she was red-headed and burned easily.
My husband's family took vacations. They went to Cedar Point every year. In fact, it was so cool to ride a ride with my kids that their grandmother rode when she was a child. I loved that idea of sharing that experience with them, an intergenerational ride!
I want my kids to remember having fun in their childhood. I want them to remember riding a roller coaster with their mom and we were all laughing and screaming. It's priceless to me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Straight and narrow-

I made this quilt for the straight and narrow challenge. It's been months since the challenge was officially over and the images sent to the coordinator of the challenge have never shown up to be displayed in the online gallery. I did ask about the status of the show and, other than Judy saying the photos never arrived to be posted in the gallery, I've not heard a word.
This isn't the only show I've been waiting to hear about. I entered the "riddle" quilt competition and got in, paid all the fees associated with it (including fees to have the quilt appraised) and, as far as I know, the quilts have never gone to any show yet. Nor did I receive a reply from the coordinator when I asked what the status was.
I've had a quilt in the Roots of Racism show since 2000. The last I heard was the state department called and said it was back in the US and would be shipped "soon". That's been a couple months now. Again, I don't know if I should be worried or not.
Coordinators of the challenges from QA do it from the goodness of their hearts. They just step up and volunteer to organize the challenge. Often times, a "real" show comes from the online show. It's hard to hold them to their responsibilities since they are volunteering in the first place. There are some, however, who think they can make money from creating a challenge. They do have some out of pocket expenses when they choose to go this route. They often fund professional slides of each quilt, the shipping to and from shows, and do tons of legwork to get venues. The problem is, so many free exhibits are around, why should the venues pay for one? Some people learn from their costly mistakes and go back to self promoting. Some learn to pass on the cost to the artists, but when they do that, they need to show they are making the effort to promote the show.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Where to start?

I did this lizard a few weeks ago. It's not finished at all, but I'm not sure where I want to go with it. I keep thinking of my mother -in-law when I think of this piece. She was from Cleveland and had moved to North Florida. She was unfamiliar with how the wildlife tends to invade homes and went to put on a dress one day, only to find a small lizard in the pocket. It was so unerving to her, she couldn't look at the dress (let alone wear it) ever again. With that story in my mind, all I can think about is putting a pocket on there someplace!
I am attracted to brights and strongly patterned fabrics. I think it comes from growing up in tropical Florida, where those colors are encountered every day. This is"bright" project is the first in a very long time. I've tended to work in more subdued colors recently. More texture prints.
I think I have my idea for the "why is the sky blue?" challenge. To me, coming up with the idea for the quilt is the most important part and the most time consuming, interesting, nerve racking, creative part. Having THE idea and then figuring out how to create it. Execution is important, but not nearly as much fun for me. I like all the creative decisions that come at the beginning. All the steps of execution are important though. Art needs to be more than a concept in my mind because art is visual communication. It needs to be something other than an idea in my mind before it can be art.

PHI pattern found in the center of a sunflower, and the spiral of galaxies.

Monday, July 25, 2005

I just bought a new camera last night. I wasn't sure I liked it, the photos we took inside were a bit questionable. Were they as good as the ones from my DH's older camera? But then I took this one. It's showing off the lovely PHI pattern I equate with Intelligent design.
Judy Smith is doing a quilt lecture on the subject (I believe) this Fall in Cleveland, OH. She shared with me her handout for her lecture. If you get a chance to see her quilts, do so. She has an innovative approach to the basic quilting patterns we know and love. It's a vastly different approach to the same subject than I took. I LOVE subjects like that, don't you?
I just love to see how science and art fit together. I love the idea of quanta, light being a wave or a particle... Or both, and then PHI, which applies from the small to the tremendous in our universe.
I love to ponder the imponderables. Why can you trace the seed pattern of a sunflower and the spiral of a galaxy and the swirl of a hurricane and see the same pattern? Why can you pick up a piece of gravel and see a miniature mountain there? Why is the sky blue?
(For those of you on the QA list, you'll recognize the last question as a recent challenge.)
Along the same lines, I enjoy a good discussion about politics and religion too as long as it doesn't get too heated and everyone is allowed to have their opinion. I'm not interested in anyone telling me I don't have the correct point of view and then threaten me with "hellfire and damnation". I don't know of anyone who has the absolute KNOWEDGE that they are right. Only someone who has died knows for certain and then it's a bit late to be sharing it with us all.
I am, however, in favor of believing they are right and living a life expecting to end up someplace good.
I am absolutely against religion and politics mixing, at least, in the US. Other countries can do what they wish. The US was founded on that principle, however, and I'm in favor of it. Obviously, that puts me a bit out of sync with the current administration in Washington.
Politics are probably one of the toughest places to discuss without getting heated. Perhaps because we feel it's a government that is supposed to be working for "us" but never seems to.
I am usually the most cautious about discussing politics than any other subject with those I am geographically near.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Random stuff-
I forgot to write about some things I referred to in earlier posts. Must be I was still trying to get straightened out from all the coasters.
I went to Kimberling City's police dept to get my prints re-done. I'm feeling that the policeman was more experienced, but I'm concerned that there wasn't enough ink in their pad. Some of my prints seemed to have pale centers. I'll be upset if I have to do this all again
I took the girls to see "Charlie and the Chocolate factory". What to say? I believe it was a more faithful version to the book that the gene Wilder one. Charlie has both parents, for example. I LOVE Tim Burton movies, but having the same actor as ALL the Oompa Loompas was creepy to me. So was Willie Wonka's odd smiling. They also added a "moral" story line to it that was like a 20 ton sledge hammer. Apparently it's not enough that Charlie was a well mannered , very poor boy who ended up being rewarded with wealth for his good soul.
Maura and Delaney enjoyed it though and that's what really mattered.
I bought the new Harry Potter book while we were driving home from Ohio. I wasn't allowed to read it in the car (DH says reading makes me car sick) and I was busy once we got home settling in. But I finally got to give it my undivided attention yesterday. I read the whole thing.
Tyler called me a reading dork. Maura said I was a reading geek. They both are just jealous of how fast I can read. They said things like, "It would take me a week to read what you did in an hour" and I just said, "the more you read, the faster you can go".
So, my thoughts on the book? I'm glad Harry got that anger under control. Last book, he was so angry about so much, frustrated and between a rock and a hard place. He's maturing nicely.
Dumbledore. Is it a secret anymore? I'm not upset. If all the headmasters hang around in portraits anyway, have they really lost him? We'll have to see. He has his mission now and knows what he needs to be looking for and what to do. I'm hoping he stays in school, however. He needs to set an example to kids reading the story everywhere. Education needs to be completed.
I wonder if the kids it was originally written for are actually reading it? I know my kids are interested in the story, but are intimidated by the size of the books. My wrists ended up getting pains from holding the book up. It's not exactly easy to read in bed. My kids are just waiting for the Movies at this point. I'm sure there are some "reading geeks" out there who are doing it, but I suspect it's mostly adults buying them now.
Of course, one of the drawbacks of reading the book so fast is that it's over. I'm ready for the next one please. Ok, so what I do is start all over, from the first book, and re-read them all again, just to see the story unfolding all at once.
Hubby has plans to buy a couch tomorrow. He's setting it up with some friends with a truck to help pick it up and deliver it here. I'm just letting him do whatever he wishes. I am guessing we'll need at least one more couch (after this one) before we are childless and can keep things relatively nice. Our current couch is so shabby there's no one who would want it. Hubby plans on cutting it up and having the trash man haul it off in pieces. My son has slept on it so often, I thought if we put it in his room, it might be an incentive to get him to actually sleep in his room! (joke!)
I cannot believe we are going to have a child in High school. We waited a bit late to start a family and then we had three kids (while most of our friends had one) So, some of our friends are experiencing kids off to college, while we're lagging behind. Well, I don't want to think about school yet. It will come soon enough and rule my life once again.

Heat Wave
It is really hot here in southwestern Missouri. It's hovering around the 100 degree mark, a bit over or under, depending if your checking in the shade or sun. Our neighbor's air conditioning has gone out and he's not well and elderly. We told him to call some one (reminded him of a good old guy around here) and offered to have him spend time at our house (he refused) so, in the end, took over all our fans and keep sending our daughter (#2) over to convince him to take her places that are cooler (swimming at the lake) during the hottest part of the day.
Have you ever known someone who will do just about anything FOR you, but won't let you do a thing for THEM? Our neighbor is just that exactly. We love him very much.
I love my neighborhood. I've said it before, but I just love how friendly everyone is and how, if we do need each other, we are there for each other.
I'm wanting to talk to my stained glass neighbors again. I have been foiling glass scraps, setting up to work with soldering again, but it's been too hot to sit outside lately. I tried cutting glass for the first time today. I practiced on some of their scraps. Out of 4 attempts, I only messed up one. I think that's pretty good. I'm still thinking I need more practice cutting before I try a full sheet of new glass though.
Looking through the online shops, was like seeing fabric for me. The possibilities for the special swirled colors, transparent or not, patterned, etc... it was like opening a whole new world of possibilities for me. Just what I need- another hobby!
But, I see I am approaching this in the same way I do quilting.
1. I am not following any of the glass rules (I don't know what they are)
2. I want to be successful right away. I'm not giving myself much slack of a learning curve.
3. I'm not following any patterns.
4. If I find I do need to know something, I go to the internet (my son or neighbors) for
5. I'm starting with what I THINK is the easiest way to approach it and will work my way up to the hard stuff later.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I just returned home from a trip to the Cleveland area with my family. The trip was planned around a family reunion (of my husband's clan) which was a gathering of his siblings and parents as well as cousins and their kids. Our kids were the youngest there since there's quite a jump in the ages in the family. Anyway, it was good to see all of them again and the hospitality was faultless. While we were in the area, we took in a couple amusement parks. I've got to say that I've been turned every way a person can be in the past few days and I'm just getting too old for it.
Luckily, we have two fearless coaster riders in the family and they are both big enough to ride everything. The third child picks and chooses a bit more carefully what she'll get on and I'll do steal coasters while my husband will do the wooden ones. It all seems to work out.
Cedar Point ( is Mecca in the coaster world. They had more coasters than we could ride in a day and most of them were extreme ones. If you want to say "fastest,tallest,steepest" in describing what you did this summer, go there. A nice feature of the website is the QuickTime video views of the different coaster rides. It gives you an idea of what it will be like.
I have to be honest and say that I wasn't thrilled by my husband's decision to drive from there all the way home in one go. 14 hours in a car with three kids is a bit much. But, it was good to sleep in our own bed again and I was happy to spend the savings today on my newest hobby, stained glass.
I discovered today that Hobby Lobby was having a 1/2 price sale on their glass. I didn't think I was ready to learn to cut glass yet, but I just couldn't pass up the sale, knowing that at some point, I do want to work with something other than scraps. It might not be this week, however.
Temperatures in Missouri this week will be topping out near 100 with high humidity. A bit warm to be sitting outside with hot solder.
I need to begin to think about the projects for PSR classes this next year. I've been unsuccessful these past few years creating a project for the older kids. The projects have demanded that they work on their own time, and these kids do not put the work into it out side of class. I'm thinking of a project they can do in class worthy of their age. We'll see how it goes.
I'd like to do a real tribute to Angela (see prior post) by doing a project based on calligraphy.
Beyond that, I've not put much thought into it. I've got a couple weeks.
I also received a notice from the school board that my fingerprints were smeared and I have to re-do them and submit them again. It's so frustrating because I did all this in plenty of time, now everything will be held up (again) through no fault of my own(again). So, tomorrow, I must try to find a police department with 1) someone there. 2) someone who has experience 3) someplace close. Well, that leaves out Reeds Spring and Branson West police depts. Maybe I can do it at Kimberling City and get them to the school board office and still have time to take the girls to see "Charlie and the Chocolate factory"(Willie wonka) Which my DH decided I should do.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I met Angela because she read about me and the art lessons I gave at our Church's PSR classes. She called me up, out of the blue, and told me we had to meet. She said, "I promise you will receive a blessing if you come". Well, who am I to ignore a statement like that? So I took one of my girls, and we went.
Angela was about 4 ft tall with huge brown eyes, peeking out over a largish nose. She was dressed like one of santa's elves, or her idea of one. She was 87 ? and a dynamo. Her husband calmly sat while she flitted here and there, showing us everything and talking a mile a minuite. He was much taller and she whispered he had Alhizmer's.
Thier home was decorated for Christmas that day in january. She keeps them up until Ephiany she said. How to describe her home? She had lovely paintings on the walls. All things she did herself. Portraits and landscapes, oils and watercolors. She told us the story of each one. Draped over the frames were garlands of tinsel and balls or roses and strings of beads tucked in here and there. She had several dolls and bears dressed for the season on display. On her coffee table, she had over 100 baskets made from wallpaperand each one held a butterfly and a rose.
These roses were ones she made. Some from interfacing and some from babywipes she washed and ironed. They were dyed using concentrated food coloring and several had a dusting of glitter.
She showered us with gifts. She kept giving us things. Butterflies, stuffed bears, wreaths decorated with roses and beads and several of the baskets.
Angela was still doing calligraphy and was doing it beautifully. She gave us several examples of her work. ALL of her work was scripture inspired. She was very devoted. I would say that this was her greatest gift, but when I left 4 hours later, I knew that just meeting her was the greatest gift she gave me.
I visited with her once more, again for 4 hours and she took the time to show me how she made the roses. (Not that I could do it) Then, she called and told me she was having some dental work done and she'd be "in and out". Then, My mother passed away, and the months drifted by with other obligations.
Recently, I heard Angela wasn't feeling well, so her daughter took her to the DR. She was very far gone with Cancer, inoperable. The daughter put Angela's husband in some extended care facility and sold their home. I have no way of knowing where Angela is, having never met the daughter, nor where her husband is, nor how either of them are doing.
I am mourning the loss and helpless to do anything about it. I just must treasure what she did give me in the way of her spirit and enthusiasm. What a very neat lady she was!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I admit I'm a collector, otherwise known as a Pack Rat. I have long since recognized that I am one and that I will not be changing. But I do have a need to find a way to organize and mange my messes. I have several interests and I have tried organizing things one way, then when that fails, trying another way.
This summer, I've reorganized all my fine art supplies, my computer supplies and all my lesson ideas. I believe they are in a workable system. It's time to focus on the fabric.
I have some challenges. First of all, I have fabrics for different activities. I like doe suede type fabrics for doll bodies, or else heavier, canvas type fabric. I have some fancy fabrics for dolls, furs, fibers. The prints have to be small to be in scale with the dolls, so I have a collection of small scale fabrics.
Then, I have a few pieces of fabrics that could be for clothes. Then, some vintage stuff I've run across. Not to mention a huge amount of fabric samples (and leather)
The overwhelming amount is for quilting. I have that organized by colors and also by sizes along with a box of "scraps".
Now, today I had a brainstorm of reorganization that didn't work. I've discovered that my fabric has been breeding. So, I'll be shifting it to my secondary storage area. Of course, the fabric that's already there needs to be gone through and organized. That storage system isn't working either. I'll need to buy something tomorrow to fix this problem.
Of course, we are leaving in a few days on a family trip, so I probably picked the worst time to start this. I'll need to get this all squared away tomorrow to keep within my schedule.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Quilt Swap-
The QA list was chatting about art collections and from there it evolved into a quilt swap. It's exciting to think you can expand your art collection by trading with an artist you admire. Of course, it wouldn't be exactly fair if the names of the quilters were there with the photo of the quilt. Afterall, who would want a Joe Blow when you can have Picasso? So, the swaps will be based on the photos of the quilts only. (some you may recognize by their style)
So, I am excited to have finished mine. It's up there and waiting until the formal swap begins.
I was thinking about my art work. My sister, L, has so many of my pieces over the years. So many different things too. Everything from pottery to watercolor, to dolls, to quilts. Small things and large things. She's kept the books I wrote for her daughter and the big drawing/watercolor as well. She keeps saying she likes them, so I keep giving them to her. When I die, she'll have the most extensive collection of my art on the planet.
Now, she'll get stained glass added to the collection. (LOL)
My other sister, A, does keep things as well. Because she collects so many things (and has over the years) I tend to make things specifically for her collections. (rabbits, birdhouses, lighthouses, etc..) But I did make one quilt for her that was not part of a collection. I liked it. I would like to try some of the elements again.
This quilt fits her home and location very well. She lives in rural Arkansas on a mountain top surrounded by trees and wildflowers. (the photo posted is one while it was in progress and not completed)
Sometimes I don't always get a photo of the completed quilt. I try to do a "finished shot" now, but in the past, I sometimes was pressed for time and that didn't happen. There are tons of art pieces I've done that I do not have a record of and have forgotten. Once,at my MIL's, I saw a lovely pottery platter and was curious about it. Turns out, I MADE IT! I completely forgot that one. I've always thought that hand made gifts were more special than buying gifts. At first, I thought it was less expensive, but over time, I think between how stressed I get trying to get them all done and the cost, I'm not coming out ahead that way. It still feels more special when I make them gifts, so I'll continue to offer my family the best collection of art they can get from my hands.

A New Direction-

My son attended summer school this year. I'm not exactly pleased with the program they had. They told US he didn't really need to attend, but WE felt he could have /should have done better in the school year. In addition to that, they had a "fun" class. The kids had two choices: PE games or Stained Glass ( but they charged extra for the stained glass class. ) For us, it was worth it, but for others, what a vicious circle of poverty that keeps the kids from having much educational fun. In the end, we got a "report card" telling us he passed onto the next grade. WE ALREADY KNEW THAT! He wasn't there because he had to be. I am just amazed at how they do not keep up with even the few kids in Summer school and get it right, let alone the entire school population.
But, our son, did enjoy the stained glass class and he got to learn how to solder which was why he wanted to do it in the first place. Now, he is enjoying teaching ME how to do stained glass.
Our neighbors, The Powells, do stained glass for a living. They are very generous people and have offered me scrap glass several times over the years. I just never had a good purpose for it before. Now I do! I am using their scraps to learn how to foil and solder. I do not have a glass cutter so I haven't tried actually cutting glass to the shape I want. Right now, I'm just using the shapes they have given me and I'm having fun! I'm making WACKY STARS! I can hardly wait to get more supplies and try glass cutting and actually making something from the very beginning. Tyler's Art teacher offers an adult class in the evenings and I may be able to take that this next Fall. Maybe Tyler and I can take it together.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I Remember Mama
At one of the large quilt shows in the US, there's a special exhibit dedicated to the memories of mammas. Each year there's a different focus for the memories and, I believe, this is the last year for the exhibits. Of course, it prompted me to think about my mama, and see if there was a quilt in there someplace. There was not.
I feel very conflicted about my mama. She wasn't a horrible Mom, but she did have her moments. I WANT to say nice things about her. I want to feel she was a good mom. I know there were some good moments in there along the way, somewhere, but none seem to come to mind. Instead, all I seem to remember is her fear.
There was a time when I asked her why she married my Dad. I was a late child and I never saw them hug or kiss. They argued quite often and didn't seem to have anything in common. I was afraid that was what happened to all marriages after time. I discovered that she married him because he was handsome. I sighed in relief, because there was so much more than my DH's attractiveness I loved about him.
She told me she got physically ill on her first day of school because she was afraid she wouldn't be a good enough student. I realized that I was NOT like my mother at all. I am not afraid of life like she seemed to be. Again, I sigh in relief.
So, she was a good mom in many ways. She was there for us. She was involved and moral. She was kind-hearted and generous and thrifty. She worked hard for everything we had and she taught us how to work as well. She was down-to-earth and not given to adventures or dreams.
The damage she did to us was to not give us the confidence to face the world with pride in our accomplishments. Her phrase would be, "Don't toot your own horn. If you do a good job, people will notice." But, people don't notice and what she left us with is an inability to accept compliments and difficulty saying what we have done and what we are capable of doing. Not great during job interviews.
I spent quite a lot of my life trying not to listen to her. I don't want to be afraid like she was.
But, some of it rubs off, no matter how hard you try. It's difficult for me not to say something terrible to my daughter who wants to be a "singer/actress/star". It's probably a phase she's going through, but chances are, she won't be a star. So, instead of saying something like, "but you can't sing in tune", I talk about how many great singers there are that have not been discovered. It's just luck that gets them to the top. It's still not a ringing endorsement. I can't seem to be THAT positive.
It's like my Mother is Eyore from Winnie the Pooh fame. He said, "Thanks for noticing me". And she seemed to be like that as well. I don't want to sound like that. I don't want to be that negative, but bits and pieces come pouring out of my mouth before I know it.
My mom died this year. It didn't come as a great shock and I was mentally prepared for it. I don't have much grief connected to her passing. I think I should, but I don't. I think partly because I, intellectually, can see that it was for the best. There was no cure, her quality of life wasn't great, and she was ready to go.
I had a moment of panic when I realized I was parentless now. it was a childish response. I don't have an adult to turn to and make it all better. No safety net. I had to be grown up now.
But, then I realized I didn't look to her for help any longer. I was grown-up.
I am very lucky to have a husband whose mother didn't squash dreams. I am very lucky that he is a dreamer and funny. He is smart and entertaining. I am more in love with him now than I was when I worried about marrying him and falling out of love later. The later is now.

St Louis
Babies sure are cute and at Grant's Farm, we were able to feed and pet baby goats and a lamb or two. Here's a photo of me and my son, Tyler. I really enjoyed these past few days in St. Louis with him. It made me appreciate his finer qualities that I sometimes forget when I deal with him in everyday life. As long as he can be so gentle to children and baby animals, I suppose I shouldn't worry so much about the video games he plays.

St. Louis

A trip to Grant's farm and a close up visit with the Clydesdales. This one was a baby, and very personable. Grant's farm is a popular place and there were several groups of children there as well as families like ours. These horses had a choice to be close to us or not. They chose to come close and seemed very interested in the children. Considering it, these horses will spend their entire life being petted and admired by people, so I suppose it is best for them to get a taste of that from the very beginning.