Monday, August 05, 2013

Cleaning Up at the Larimer County Fair

I went out to the Larimer County Fair today to see my quilt that I entered. This is the first time I've entered the fair and I'm excited to say I won third place in my category. I did all the piecing on this quilt and my daughter, Kim, did the quilting and binding. "Women of Courage"
Kim won 2nd place for her "Minglewood" quilt.
Kim also won 1st place for her Linda Hibbert paper pieced wall hanging.
My 12 year old granddaughter, Heather, won 1st place and Reserve Grand Champion for her paper pieced wall hanging of a lighthouse.

She also won 1st place for one of her photographs, "Wagon Wheel".
 She also won Grand Champion for her drawing of a fashion show.
My grandson also entered a Lego movie camera he made with a real camera inside.
  

My son-in-law entered a photograph.
My daughter entered a letterboxing stamp she carved.
And oh yeah, did I forget to mention I won third place for "Women of Courage" har har!
The fair was a lot of fun and I can't wait to enter it next year!

Broken Arm and Medical Bills

I had my last orthopedic doctor's appointment this morning for my broken left arm. Dr. Baer was very impressed with how far I had been able to rehabilitate my arm by myself. That's right folks, no physical therapy because I have no health insurance. I asked the doctor to just give me some exercises  and I would do them on my own. I'm pretty proud of myself because he told me today that he really didn't expect me to get full function back in my arm and I'm almost there. Usually it takes between 8 months and a year to get full function if at all. I'm only 3 months  into this. I can raise my hand above my head to match my other arm and even though it hurts, raise it from  my side all the way up. I'm still working on getting it higher behind my back but it's getting easier every day.

By the way, I had crappy health insurance with a $5000.00 deductible. My bills are coming out to be around $4000.00, so I'm on the hook for all of it. It was $1117.00 just for the three mile ambulance ride. One of my neighbors that is a first responder let me in on a little secret. Unless you are having a possible heart attack, don't let them transport you. At least here in Colorado, you can call an ambulance, have them check you out, even have them splint a broken bone and then refuse to be transported. They won't charge you for it. I wish he would have told me that before I fell.

It remains to be seen if Obama care will help me get decent health insurance in January or if I will be saving my money to pay the IRS penalty!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Larimer County Fair

I'm going to enter this quilt in the Larimer  County Fair that opens in August. The quilt is my "Women of Courage" quilt that I put in a previous post about my quilting. I did the piecing on this quilt while my daughter, Kim, did the quilting and binding because I broke my arm and couldn't finish it. The entry into the fair will reflect that. I'm not entering because I expect to win anything, because I can see flaws when I look at it, but I want the experience. I love this quilt, flaws and all, because it's beautiful and finished. I'll post about the experience after the fair.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Women of Courage

This is the quilt I've been working on for the last 11 months. It was a block of the month at my local quilt shop. The ladies that own Sweetheart Quilt Shoppe in Loveland, Colorado are so friendly and helpful and they are a joy to learn from. I did all the piecing and putting the quilt top together, and then because I broke my arm, my daughter, Kim, did the quilting and binding. I love this quilt.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Taking A Break Because Of A Break

I'm going to be taking a break from all my favorite activities because on Mother's Day I fell down the basement steps at my daughter's house and broke my left arm in two places and sprained my left ankle. Because the break is near the end of the bone that goes into the shoulder socket, they can't put a cast on. I will be in a sling 4-6 weeks and then therapy. You don't realize how much you use both arms until you can't use one of them. All I can say is I am trusting God for healing, counting my blessings it wasn't worse, and thanking God for the wonderful husband that is taking really good care of me.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Eating for Health

Hubby and I have been trying to eat healthier since I started Weight Watchers  again. To date we've both lost 15 lbs since the beginning of January. I bought Weight Watchers new cookbook, "Simply Solo." Most of  the recipes are one serving except for a few, where you are making deliberate left overs. I really like the book because it is so much easier to double the recipe for two instead of trying to cut down a recipe for 6-8 people. Tonight I made Chicken and Bow Ties with Arugula. It's a keeper recipe.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Quilting 101

I have been a "quilter" for about seven years now. In that amount of time, I've done lots and lots of blocks, started quilt projects, stopped quilt projects and managed to finish one quilt. The quilt I finished had wavy borders and after sending it out to be quilted, I was very unhappy with the results. My daughter loved the quilt so I gave it to her, but the thought of finishing another quilt kind of left me horrified. When I moved up here to Colorado, my daughter Kim, got me to go to her quilt shop and piqued my interest in quilting again. Kim is absolutely fearless when it comes to quilting and she's helping me see that I can create something beautiful without (pardon the pun) coming apart at the seams. I had never taken a class on basic quilting skills before so I decided to bite the bullet and take Quilting 101. It has really restored my confidence. I may not use everything that the teachers have taught us but the things I will use are invaluable to me. I just finished my quilt top and our next step is to layer it and use the stitch in the ditch technique to quilt it ourselves. The binding on my quilt will be the same fabric as the sashing. Here's some pictures:

The top half of the quilt.

The bottom half of the quilt.

The whole quilt top minus the binding. No wavy borders! This quilt makes me very happy. I love looking at it and it reminds me of jumping in piles of autumn leaves on a cold fall day. It will be perfect to snuggle under in my recliner. I've learned so much from this class that I may even take Quilting 201. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

BELIEVING GOD CAN DO WHAT HE SAYS HE CAN DO

I've been doing Beth Moore's Bible study, "Believing God" for the past six weeks and one of the things we've studied has been, "Does God still do miracles in this day and age." I believe God performed a miracle for me last night.

Ten days ago, I lost the diamond out of my engagement ring. I was very upset because I had been everywhere that day and when I noticed it missing I had just gotten out of the hot tub at the senior center and gotten into the pool. I had a good cry and prayed for God's help to find it, but I didn't hold out much hope that it would be found. As the days wore on, I started to take the attitude that  it was okay, it was just stuff and even though my husband took me to a jewelry store to check on replacing it, I just didn't want to do it. I missed a couple of my water aerobic classes for one reason or another, but I went last night. While I was in the pool, our instructor, Karen, pointed out a lady that was swimming laps in the lane behind our class. She told us that Andrea had been the water aerobics instructor and had actually been Karen's instructor. Karen hadn't seen her in years because Andrea gave up the job to become a flight attendant and had busy traveling all over the world. As I was exercising, I  kept seeing Andrea pass me out of the corner of my eye. She had her snorkeling gear on and was having a good time. I saw her suddenly stop and then she called the life guard over  and he handed her a net. "Could it be that she found my diamond," I thought. Before I realized what I was doing, I had left the class and was by her side. I asked her if she had found a diamond and she said, "Well it's either a diamond or a piece of glass." She kept diving for it, but every time she tried to pick it up it moved. Finally, she was able to grab it and when she put it in my hand, there it was, my heart shaped diamond. I was so overwhelmed that I started crying and hugging her and thanking her. The class erupted in cheers and everyone was hugging me, hugging her and it was complete chaos. My next thought was to get out of the pool before I dropped it again.

When I got home with my husband, I had to sit and think about what had just happened. When I asked God to help me find that diamond, did I really believe he would do it? My answer, to my shame, is no. Not that he couldn't help me but that it was to small a thing to "bother" him with. Where did I get that idea? God loves us and wants to give us all good things. Nothing is too big or too small for God. We may not get the answer to prayer that we want but God always answers and uses it for our good. Sometimes it just takes a while for us to see his hand. Beth Moore says, "Sometimes God may prioritize the faith required to continue trusting Him when we don't get what we ask over the faith required to receive it."

Last night I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about the miracles that God has performed in my life. The miracle of having godly grandparents, that took us to church every Sunday and wanted to help us know God. Hearing my grandmother pray, at the age of 90, for every member of her family including me, for safety and protection, for guidance and love and that we would always  follow Jesus. The miracle of my first child being safely delivered and for me being healed of pre-eclampsia. The miracle of having my second child with no complications. The miracle of being provided a job when God knew I would need to support myself and my children. The miracle of meeting my second husband, just when the time was right, and being privileged to raise two more lovely daughters.
Psalm 77:13-14 says, "Your ways, O God, are holy. What God is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples."

The biggest miracle and more precious than diamonds or gold is when God brought me to my knees to confess my sins and be washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. God cares for us all.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that who so ever believes in him, will not perish, but have everlasting life. Take the time today, to ponder the miracles God has done in your life and ask yourself if you've taken him up on the miracle of His Son and the forgiveness we all can find there.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Back Pain and My Remedy

If you've been reading my  blog, you know I am trying to lose weight. I lost 2 lbs this week for a total of  12.4 since the beginning of January. I've been trying to get more exercise by going to water aerobics three times a week and taking square dancing lessons, twice a week for two hours at a time.

The main draw back  to my exercise plans is the fact that I have not had a pain free day in 18 months. My back has hurt me every single day and I finally realized that I needed to do something about it. I don't know why I let it go so long other than the fact that I thought it would get better on it's own.
I finally found a great chiropractor in my area and I've had three treatments this week.  I'm still having some pain, but now it's more of the soreness that comes from being adjusted. When the doctor examined me, he said,"Know wonder you're in pain, your spine is like a C." My hips were out of alignment and my husband said that when he straightened my legs, one was shorter by almost an inch. After three treatments I feel like I've grown two inches, I'm standing up straighter, my balance is better and believe it or not, I haven't had any acid reflex. I believe in chiropractic and this chiropractor.  I will be going to him as long as I need to and then at least once a month for maintenance. I feel like I'm living again.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Activity Points and Tired Bodies

I am mind numbingly, bone tired tonight. Mike and I got up at 5am this morning to be at the senior center by 6am. Our local parks department comes out with The Recreator once every three months with all kinds of classes and trips. Fort Collins has several recreation centers around the city which includes the senior center. If you're a member of the senior center you can sign up for said classes  and trips two days before open  enrollment. When I went to my water aerobics class last night, I stopped by the front desk and asked if people were at the senior center by 6:30 am when they could start enrolling in classes. I was assured that it would be very busy and that people would be in line at 6 am.

We actually got to  the senior center at 5:45 am. Guess what we were the only nut jobs in the parking lot! The senior center  did open at 6:00 am and I guess we had someone else amble in about 6:45. They wouldn't let us sign up for anything until 7am.  I was the first one in line and got us signed  up for a little anniversary trip to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Moab, Utah and Arches National Park. Our  anniversary is in March. The trip is the last  week in August. I also got two tickets to the Giants/Rockies game at Coors field in Denver for May 19. I gave those to Mike for his birthday.

Next stop was Bible Study at church at 8:30. That lasted until 12:00pm, and then we came home. I fixed  lunch and we sat around like zombies until 4pm when we both finally gave in and took naps until 5:30. Then we beat it out the door to square dancing class. We were so tired at the class that we kept messing up and I was very frustrated. We just kept trying though and everything came out right by the last dance.
I ended up with 3 exercise  points on my pedometer and 4466 steps taken today. My active link gave me one exercise point. I have to go to bed now cause I can't typeeeeeee anymoreeee.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bible Study, Square Dancing, and Water Aerobics

I started Bible study today at Faith Evangelical Church. We are doing the Beth Moore study, "Believing God." I love Beth Moore. She is such a dynamic teacher and I know I'm going to be a changed Christian when I finish this study. The ladies I met today were all warm and welcoming and I'm sure I'm going to have fun getting to know all of them.

Mike and I had our Square Dancing class tonight. It's a really big class. We have around 20 to 30 students every lesson plus angels (seasoned dancers that come to help teach the new students). We are having so much fun in this class and our daughter and two grand kids are dancing with us. We are going to join the club at the end of the class and can't wait to go to all the dances around here. Square Dancing is big in Colorado and you can find a dance almost every week if you are willing to travel.

I've been having trouble with back spasms again, so tomorrow I'm going to the Senior Center here in Fort Collins to sign up for water aerobics. My schedule is getting full. Water aerobics is Mon, Wed, Fri. Bible Study on Tues., Square Dancing on Sunday and Tuesday nights. Quilting on the first Thursday    of the month and in February I'm taking a quilting class on Monday afternoons. Now this is what I call retirement!

We also have to fit in time with the grand kids. I love it!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Square Dancing with the Square Dusters

We are having a blast learning to Square Dance. It is such great exercise, too. We're having fun meeting other people and since we got our daughter, son-in-law and two grand kids to join, we get to spend more time with them. Here's a picture:

Looks like we were really concentrating here. We have to remember to smile!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Square Dancing =Fun, Fun, Fun

Before Mike and I retired from our jobs, we started taking square dance lessons with the Vaca Valley Ramblers in Vacaville, California. We really enjoyed it but because of our work schedules we had to quit. Since moving to Colorado, we've been thinking of starting lessons again. We found the Square Dusters group here in Fort Collins and we started lessons this evening. We will have lessons every Sunday and Tuesday through the end of March.

We had so much fun tonight! We had at least 5 squares dancing at one time and some extra people not dancing. Our daughter and two of our grand kids came tonight and also signed up to take the lessons. Our son-in-law may come too, when he's not working. I was so surprised how well my 12 and 9 year old grand kids picked up the steps. Our grandson was so cute when he asked one of the dads if he could dance with his daughter that's about the same age as him. Our granddaughter was a little embarrassed at the beginning, dancing with a stranger, but by the end of the night she was laughing and dancing with anyone. She did a great job with her grandpa, too. We can't wait until Tuesday night!

Weight Watchers Update #2

I had a really good week. Down another 1.2 lbs, so I met my goal of 1 lb a  week. I've discovered that if I want to continue to lose weight, I shouldn't use my extra 49 points per week. I only used 4 of them this past week, so I'm going to try not to use any this coming week. As I get more active, I may have to use  them, but not right now.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Weight Watchers Update # 1

This has been a really good week for me on Weight Watchers. I lost 5 lbs, but more than the weight, I've gained a sense of confidence that I can really do this. The secret to my success this week was tracking every bite I ate, no matter how pretty or ugly it was. I have to confess that I celebrated my 16th week on Weight Watchers today, but I feel it's taken me 16 weeks to finally commit to this program. When I joined the end of September 2012, I did it because I knew the holidays were coming up and I didn't want to weigh even more at the end of December. I have to admit that for 16 weeks I played around with the program and really didn't commit. I lost weight, but not more than 7 lbs and it was a lose one week, gain the next kind of yo yo.

This week is a fresh start for me. With the Weight Watchers 360 program, I'm learning to develop new routines and habits. Two of the new routines that  I've been working on for the past several weeks are, wearing my ActiveLink every day and eating breakfast every day. This week I'm trying to get more active, so I'm adding the routine of getting up and walking for 5 minutes every hour. I'm trying to focus on a 1 lb weight loss per week. It's not how fast I do this that is important. The important thing is to do it!

Anais Nin said, "It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before...to test your limits...to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

Here's to blossoming!


Friday, January 04, 2013

Bullet Post

  • Stayed up last night until 1:00 a.m. watching "Sister Wives" why I don't know.
  • Woke up at 7:00 a.m this morning.
  • Cleaned the bedroom.
  • Laundry day
  • Showered and changed.
  • Cleaned the bathrooms.
  • Cleaned the kitchen.
  • Finished two more quilt blocks for my quilt.
  • Started a third quilt block.
  • Fixed Chicken Caesar Salad for dinner.
  • Watching TV with the hubby.
  • It's exhausting being retired ; )

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Quilting Again!

Since I moved to Colorado six months ago, I've been working on a quilt called Women of Courage. Every month my daughter Kim and I go to the Sweetheart Quilt Shoppe in Loveland and get another piece of the quilt to work on. It's going to be a very large quilt: 98x98. I love the stories each month of the women that inspired each quilt block. Here are some of the pieces I've been working on.





Here's a picture of what the quilt will look like when I get done.

I have a lot of unfinished projects and I am going to get this done!






Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Devotion

I was reading my Bible this morning and the word devotion came to my mind. I started to think about what does that word really mean to me. The dictionary says: devotion-1. profound dedication; consecration. 2. earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc. 3. an assignment or appropriation to any purpose, cause, etc: the devotion of one's wealth and time to scientific advancement. 4. Often, devotions, Eccles. religious observance or worship; a form of prayer or worship for special use.

Lately, I haven't been devoted to God. He is the one I need to have "an earnest attachment to" and I'm afraid He has been a low priority on my list. This is upside down thinking. He needs to be at the top. He needs to be my everything. When He is my everything, everything else falls into place. My relationship with my husband, children and grandchildren is always better when He is at the top. No matter how many times I've walked away from Him, He's always there for me, calling me home. I just need to stop and listen....

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

First, I apologise Karen, for being so unimaginative that I used your title for my blog post. Happy New Year everybody! My darling daughter, Karen, inspired hubby and me when her family gave up McDonald's for an entire year. Since both hubby and I are trying to lose weight we have decided to give up all fast food but Subway. We figure we better leave ourselves at least one place to get a quick meal and Subway will always work out with our Weight Watcher regime. I feel like this will not only save calories but money, too.

Instead of resolutions, I'm trying to think in terms of goals for 2013. In addition to weight loss, I have a goal of finishing a lot of quilt projects that have been languishing on my cutting table and work area for the last six months. It's also our priority to meet new people and develop some lasting friendships. We will accomplish this by getting back into church and taking square dancing lessons again. We want to spend more time with all of our grandchildren and that will involve some traveling, but we will make it happen.

Also, it's my personal goal to listen carefully, think before speaking and be slow to anger. That is going to take effort and concentration on my part, but it's very important to me that I hone these character traits. I think it's going to be a great year. I hope you all have a great year.