Goodbye Thomasville

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that this spring, while we were in Europe, my parents were flooded out of their home. It was a very scary experience for them – they got out of the house with only 15 minutes to spare before seven feet of water and mud destroyed the house. Thankfully they escaped unhurt and over the months have received such love and support from their community.

This month hubby, my sister and I flew back to check on them and to see the damage for ourselves. Just for reference, here is the house three years ago.


And here it is now:


Not a lot of difference from the outside, other than one missing post on the porch. But here is the inside – one taken right after the flood and the others while we were there.



Here you can see the mud line on the curtains – that's how high the water came!


This picture is of my parents with the man who saved their lives by banging on their door and telling them to get out immediately!


Fortunately, they have been able to move into a nice little duplex in the next town, near their friends, their church and shopping. They will never go back to the house, but will put it on the market as is. The town of Thomasville, never thriving to begin with, is decimated with only about 14 or so people left. This was the town where I was born and always the "home" we went back to when my Dad was in the Navy. It was so sad to wander through the town and know that I will never be back to stay. I'm sure we'll stop by on our visits just to see if anyone's moving back, but this was really a "Goodbye" to the town as we knew it. So many happy memories of growing up there, visiting my grandparents and parents and taking my children there. 

Since we got back, I've really had a hard time focusing and settling down to any kind of routine. I've hardly touched anything in my sewing room, but I have managed to plunk myself down in my recliner and knit at night. That seems to be just mindless enough to not take a lot of energy. I do seem to have lots of shawls that are finished except for blocking, so this morning I decided to start making a dent. First up, Taygete by Romi Hill in Seahawk colors.


If you look at the number of T-pins involved in blocking it , you can see how I might put that part of the project off for a bit!

And – birthday socks for a certain relative who is having a birthday soon.  Not to name any names, but it's a big one with a 0 at the end (the birthday, not the relative!)


These are BFF Socks by Cookie A. I do love her patterns, but sizing can be an issue. It is beyond me how anyone could be expected to get 10 stitches to the inch without using toothpicks for needles. Fortunately this pattern comes in multiple sizes so it can be adjusted.

And - Pisac by Jennifer Weissman. This really was comfort knitting at its finest.


Maybe this week I'll get a little more motivated and have more to show. Until then, I need to go get ready for the hoards of Trick or Treaters we get – only 2 in 30 years of living here! But we always buy candy just in case. Never hurts to be prepared, right??

Yes, I’m Still Here!

I can't believe how long it's been since I blogged. I wonder if anyone is still out there reading this? I've debated so much on whether to keep up, especially since my parents got rid of their computer. Much of what I wrote was for them because I knew they followed it faithfully. And, in this day and age you wonder how much to put out there in the public domain. However, I'm going to get past that because looking back on my blog it's probably the closest thing to a journal I have. I may in the near future password protect it, so if any of my formerly faithful readers are still out there, let me know and I will make sure you have the password.

So – where to start? Probably the most significant thing to happen in the past year is that I had major surgery. In fact, that probably contributed to my lack of blogging. Sometime last summer, a nagging pain down my leg erupted into something far worse and over the period of a few months I became unable to stand or walk for more than a few minutes at a time without excruciating pain. A round of physical therapy only made things worse and after an MRI, I was diagnosed with a pars defect. Often found in athletes, especially gymnasts,  it consisted of cracks in the vertebrae between S-1 and L-5. This resulted in crushing of the disk, hence the pain. I was never an athlete, so the surgeon surmised that the cracks happened during a growth spurt in my teen years. He said that when that happens, problems don't usually surface until the 50's or 60's. The only remedy is surgery and on December 16 of last year I had spinal fusion surgery and placement of an artificial disk. The surgery went like clockwork and was totally successful, however I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and ended up in ICU for four days. Recovery was a bit of a slog, but I faithfully completed all my physical therapy and my surgeon was so pleased with my progress, he kicked me loose from care at the 6-month mark, a full 6 months early!

During the worst of the pain pre-surgery, the only thing that relieved the pain was sitting, so I got lots and lots of quilting done. This past year I've really been focusing on machine quilting. As much as I love hand quilting, I've come to the realization that I will never live long enough to hand quilt all the tops I've made. I was fortunate enough to be able to acquire a Baby Lock Tiara quilting machine and it has revolutionized my machine quilting! It has a 16 inch throat and a large table.


So far I've completed three quilts on it:


This was the first – a row quilt done with my Round Robin group. I decided when I got my machine that instead of doing lots of practice squares, I would just do a few and then dive into an actual quilt. And I promised myself that I would not spend a lot of time ripping out imperfections. Although far from perfect, I was quite pleased with the results.



This is my imaginatively named Blue and Brown quilt. I concentrated on doing free motion from a stenciled pattern in the centers of the blue blocks. 



This was another quilt I did with my Round Robin group, but unlike the others where the group pieced blocks for me, I pieced all of the blocks on this one. This is based on Eleanor Burns' book "Victory Quilts" and are patterns popular during WWII. On previous quilts I did the stitch in the ditch on my Bernina, but on this quilt, I took the plunge and did free motion quilting on the Tiara. The curved cross hatching was done in pale yellow thread. I was quite pleased with this one!

Needless to say, a lot more has happened in the past year, including the granddaughters growing into pre-teens (how on earth did that ever happen??) And for my knitting friends, never fear – I'm still knitting. That also got me through my sedentary months. I promise to catch up on both of these in future posts. So – anyone still out there?