Sunday, December 25, 2011

I know it has been awhile

This young lady has graced the Thompson tree tops for 49 years. For the the majority of those years our oldest child has been the one to set it in place atop the tree. Our very first Christmas we had a tree with blue balls that my husband wired up with tiny lights inside. We thought we were very cool! However the very next year we found this pretty little angel in a local florist shop and we never looked back. Early on she sat on daddy's shoulder, graduated to a step stool and finally for about nine years she placed the angel on top by climbing upstairs and reaching down to put her in place. We have a lot of sentiment for this piece. tattered though she is we can't bring ourselves to replace her. We tried for a few years to get another so we could preserve the original with no luck. So she will probably fall completely apart some day but she has had a good run.

It has been awhile what with life and now Christmas. I don't have much in the way of quilting to speak about but what I do have is awesome. My daughter gifted me with the book, "The Quilter's Hall of Fame" It is beautiful. The images take my breathe away. There are stories about some of our favorite quilters. Go look, you are going to want this book too.

The photo above is my Christmas tree this year. It is four feet tall, the smallest tree I ever remember having. I have taken a number of pictures during the day, morning and afternoon, even at night but no matter what it looks like a Charley Brown tree. Now I admit this is not my usual style. My trees are usually very sentimental, with ornaments I made myself perhaps, often ornaments made especially for me by dear friends and family. I usually begin decorating the day after Thanksgiving. But things have not been usual for awhile. My time to get ready for Christmas is not the same anymore. So I did most of my shopping online and haunted the mail box everyday because I was so worried someone would be slighted if their gift was late in coming.

That day after Thanksgiving when I decided to begin sprucing up for the holiday it hit me. There was no way I could put a tree on the floor. Never mind that two year old Lulu would be here but a big tree would get in the way of home therapy which we do every day seven days a week. Wheel chairs, hemi-canes, splints, towel slides, braces, OT, PT and ST rule the day in this house. So, move over Charley Brown, we are here.
I bought this tree last year. This tree is seven feet tall and decorated more in my style. Dale was not home yet. He had spent a month in the hospital and was transferred to Quail Creek, a skilled nursing facility to spend his 100 days. We celebrated Thanksgiving in the hospital and Christmas in the care center. He came home in late March and the tree and decorations were there for him to see.

Now this tree was our first tree in Missouri. Nine feet with a lot of room to spare. Loved it, but they last only so long. There were some wonderful as well as sad times. This is the only tree we had that actually was not decorated that first year. Bare. Fifty years together and one undecorated tree. Depression can be a very bad thing. However we weathered that storm and moved on. As I write this I realize it is probably boring to all of you. I have come to believe that boring can be a good thing. I hope that you have had a wonderful holiday and if not that you are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope you are surrounded by those you love and those who love you back,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Something to Think About

If you look to the left you will see the book I recently added to my collection. The Help is one of those books you cannot put down. Today I saw the movie and have to say it was amazing. My stomach actually clinched in the same places it did while reading the book. I promise, I am not starting a book club here. I am after all a quilter!!! however, I would love to hear from those of you who also read this book, and what your feelings are. It took my breath away.

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello everyone. I hope you have had a great day filled with family and friends. I almost forgot to send best wishes early enough for you to know I am thinking of you on this special family day so here I am. Our family sometimes has a hard time gathering everyone together so this year we will sit down to turkey, dressing, Aunt Bee's yummy jello salad, Kelly's pumpkin pie and grandma's bread which Kelly converted from hand kneading to bread machine perfection, Carrie's sweet potato casserole, my own apple and chocolate pies and so much more to celebrate on Saturday. It is so worth it to have almost everyone we love and care for in one room. We learned a long time ago that is is not the day or the time of day but the people that counts. My children could tell you that it was really hard to wait for daddy to get home on Christmas morning. For many years he worked third shift and weekends. Poor guy, he managed to stay awake but when the festivities were over look out! So if you celebrated today I hope it was a good one. You deserve it.
I am doing very little quilting right now because home therapy rules the day for now. I promise, if I do add something I will share it instantly!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Today I am Seventy

Well, the days get away from us all at times but I must say this is a big one for me. When, how did I become seventy years old and have it turn out to be a surprise to me? I knew it was coming, as it is one of those inevitable things for all of us. So here it is and I find myself wondering where fifty went! I suppose we all had moms that told us year after year that they were only 29, again. I know mine did. Over time as I grew older I realized that perhaps my generation really was younger than the one that came before. I can certainly see that in my children's lives . They are younger seeming and also more attuned to technology. That doesn't even address the grandchildren. Our thirteen year old has been able to do a power point for years, me not so much. She keeps Mimi and papa in line for the most part.

This last year and a half has been difficult, and I do feel I have aged more than I might have under different circumstances but nevertheless I still wake up most mornings thinking initially once more that I am fifty. It could be denial I suppose but I don't think so. I am grateful to be as healthy as I am. Life could be so much more difficult.

Life does go on and so I share the flower above. I didn't plant it, I don't know where it came from, but it made me feel better that day. I passed the planter almost every day and saw the stem and leaves evolve and would often think that the next time I come out here I should pull that weed. Understand that in addition to losing a large number of my perenials last winter due to really cold weather, I have not had time to garden a whole lot so confined what I did do to the front garden. This pretty yellow bloom was the only color in the back yard this year. So happy I did not pull it in it's infancy.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Not Quilting for now

Life once again gets in the way and that is the case for me right now. I am still learning the right way to do physical, occupational and speech therapy at home. It has been at times daunting and difficult. I think I am finally developing a routine, but it still takes a long time to get through everything expected. Even if we begin by nine o'clock, we do not finish until well past two. Then there are days like yesterday.

I will begin by introducing you to Danny, our adult son with developmental disabilities. Danny is a pretty good guy and he definitely loves the girl in his arms. "Samantha" hasn't been herself lately and so Dan has been pretty concerned. Over the last few weeks we have observed that she was hard of hearing and shortly thereafter that she was also losing her sight. She appeared not to be hurting because every time someone petted her she would purr and push against your hand. Yesterday was different. She stopped purring and simply went to sleep. Before long she was gone. I have to admit that she and I were not always compatible. Over the course of her life and mine, she bit me viciously , twice. Each time she was provoked by a strange cat walking across the patio. I had the audacity to move and she struck.

Now, having said that, I have over the years come to an understanding with Sammy because Danny loved her so much. Danny never a vet appointment, not one. He held her closely after she had her shots and reassured her that this was good thing, and babied her always. Sammy lived with my husband and myself because it cost a lot of money to keep a cat in an apartment. He visited her often. When he comes to visit he he always sought her out and they had some serious conversations. I found myself weeping yesterday while I buried her. Weeping for her and for Danny. Danny has taken a stance of no speaking about his loss, period. He is my son, I have known him for 45 years. I know we will speak of this but not until he processes his feelings.

Another thing you should know about Samantha. She was born 23 years ago on Halloween day. I had hoped she would still be here for her birthday but it was not to be. For now I will keep my eyes and ears open and Dan will talk about her again.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Still thinking about my trip to the International Study Center

I am still going over in my mind the quick trip we made to the museum in Lincoln NE. First of all it is an incredibly beautiful facility. It was built entirely green and therefor a point of pride to those involved in it's creation. It is dedicated to the preservation and sharing of the richly diverse collection. What it means to someone like me is that there are many vintage quilts. I learned early on that was where my heart would always land. Our trip this year was pretty quick and I would have enjoyed a longer stay, but nevertheless enjoyable. The quilt seen above was a real favorite of mine. I wish you could see it first hand as it is exquisitely crafted. The maker was especially gifted. Of course it doesn't hurt that this is red and green, my favorite pallet. Those red flowers with the reverse applique slits add a new level of interest for me.

If I ever get the chance to make a quilt like this, I would definitely like to use a form of this border. On this side alone there is an eagle, a cornucopia filled with flowers from which the vine is escaping and stars . At the top of the quilt a vase containing more flowers and an extension of the beautiful vine. Take the opportunity to click on the image and catch your breath in the beauty of the quilting. No matter what the quilting is always my favorite. Okay. I admit it everything about a quilt such as this one is always my favorite. yes, I love it all. Thanks for coming. I hope you keep returning.

Monday, September 12, 2011

International Quilt Study Center & Museum

This was my third time to go to Baltimore On The Prairie in Omaha NE. as an instructor of Baltimore applique. The whole experience for me is always enhanced by the people in my classes and the quilts they bring. This year was really wonderful as usual. Students dedicated to learning as much as possible, beginners realizing their potential, in short an amazing experience for me and I think, for them. The spots for next year already more than half full before we left the building on the last day. The applique block above is a part of the Major Ringold which is part of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Ashland NE. If you haven't been, you need to go. At the very least get online and enjoy! Checkout this block for the various techniques. There are both ruched and stuffed roses, rose hairs and more. There is also a bible or album, so prevalent in the Baltimore quilts.

I loved the block above. It was referred to as a star flower design. I am so going to use this somewhere. I don't remember whether there is quilting in the flowers but they are large and so I will have to address that very thing.

Now. tell me, can you accidentally miss those stuffed roses. This stitcher was intent on making a statement and she did! Once again there is a lot of ruching.

In this block all of the roses as well as the buds are stuffed. There is a lot of black in this design. I speculate that because this appears to be a memorial quilt. There are three monuments and the black seems appropriate.

More ruching and a good closeup of the black hairs on the leaves and stems. This is a type of ruching on the outside edge with the center manipulated so it is contained. The white flower appears to have a button in the center? The red one has two layers of the most typical ruching. I haven't used this in just this way before but you can be sure I plan to do so.

The blue flower in the vase appears to be gathered from the center out rather than the way ruching tracks in a circle. Interesting. In this block we can see rose hairs around virtually every motif including the vase.

My first response upon seeing this block was awe! I am sure I was influenced by the sweet colors and shapes including the whimsical shape of the wreath itself. Pink. yellow, and blue in fondue print. It doesn't get better. This is a sweet block.
I am loving this too. Three simple flowers and the equally simple wreath above. Nice!

Remember the monuments I spoke of? This is one and and is similar to the others. This quilt appears to have been made during the Civil War because these images were common at that time.

This one is the Ringold monument and is upside down because this was my vantage and when I tried to turn it with my photo program it was just weird. So here we are. You know this monument is war related particularly because of the arsenal on either side. Nice design and the monument fabric is used on three of these designs. The fabric may have faded as the color shades from the top lilac color to brown. Brown often does this so it may not be the original shade.

Another monument similar to the other two.

This is an over view of this special quilt. I do wish I could have taken a full view. However the web sight of the International Quilt study center. They have over 5000 quilts!! Many online and a really user friendly web sight.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Aunty Green September 2011

Well, things are pretty slow in the quilting department so have decided to share as I go rather than waiting to finish a section. I am quilting on the fly these days so not sure I will always be happy with the result. For this section I have only the one corner pattern and will have to draft my own for the other corners. I guess I will have to see how that goes. I know I am better than my ninth grade teacher thought I was but it will still be a struggle for me. Mrs Anton took me aside at the end of the semester and told me I was a delight, the kind of student any teacher would love to have but this was an art class and I was simply not up to it. Well, Mrs Anton I think I did find my art and because of you I spent most of my life in pursuit of just that.

This is a fascinating, complex pattern and in some ways I think I may not be up to it. Oh, I can do the work, but my time is somewhat limited these days and while the stitching is not difficult, it is still a little hard to have all the starts and stops connected with the care of a loved one.

But enough about that. What I want to share is the reason for my fabric choices. I am using a background that is a subtle tone on tone print in a buttery yellow. It is a departure from the original quilt but okay I think. As I study my photo of the quilt I am taken with the variety both in design and color of the fabrics. It is almost as if she had decided to make a charm quilt and that charms me. So, I will continue to add as many different fabrics as I can.

I am headed for Baltimore on the Prairie on Tuesday and hope to see you there. I will take pictures and share when I return home. Thank you for dropping by.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baltimore on the Prairie

I am getting ready for the conference "Baltimore on the Prairie." I am excited and a little chagrined that I have not addressed this year's program sooner. As I wind down in this part of my life working less away from home, I have come to treasure the time I spend at Eugene T Mahoney state park with a group of mostly women who love applique as much as I do. I wish you all could be there next week. Beautiful setting with a view of the Platte river. More than that, there will be quilts, lots of quilts. The photo above represents my workshops. On the left, my four day workshop, An Eagle in my Garden. The wreath in the center is embroidery and silk ribbon. The wreath on the right is cut work applique and is a one day workshop. Only three techniques, needle turn, perfect (?) circles and embroidered stems.

Okay, of course I know this is a kitchen counter. I also remember that I have a 500 square foot studio upstairs. The thing is that I need to be near my husband. He has given up taking chances for the most part but things still happen. However things still happen. Day before yesterday I walked into the kitchen knowing he was asleep in the living room in his wheel chair with the remote still in his hand ( sometimes he changes the channel in his sleep. Have you got one of those?) I swear i was gone for about a minute, When I came back, he was on the floor! Sigh... Seems he leaned a little to far and slid to the floor. So now we agree, no sleeping in that chair.
he has dodged five such falls since he came home. Did not get hurt. Long story short, I don't leave him alone much. Getting back to business, what you see is the beginning process I employ when making kits for my classes.

I always try to include items that are usually not available in the local fabric or quilt store. For instance in the above picture you see a small scrap of a favorite fabric with two chenille needles. Where I live, I was unable to buy those needles so got on the internet and ordered them from Clover. When people travel a long distance it is nice to find what you need at the conference.
Now last but not least is this to die for silk ribbon. This is another item no longer available in Springfield MO. Again the internet is my friend. These beauties will find their way into the kits I am composing even if I am getting a late start.

I do wish you were coming. be sure to look up the BOTP web sight for next years offerings. That's what I said, you can see what is happening next September!! Do not miss out. You will be sorry you missed the quilts, the friends, the view. I hope some of you will be there this year. Find me and tell me you heard from me on blogger. I always travel with chocolate!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Still recovering

Willie Nelson he is not but since this country singer is one of Dale's favorites I have decided to use his image as an icon for this weeks experiences. As many of you know, Dale has been through a lot this last year and a lot of ups and downs. As I write this I recall many proud moments, not the least of which is the progress he has made in speech therapy. While his short term memory often remains illusive, the long term is often right o the money. Recently, I cleaned out the little pond we have in the back garden as it had stopped running and we both enjoy the sound of the water running through the old water pump and splashing below. After cleaning it still would not work so off I went to the hardware store to get a new one. Installed, it did nothing. However, Dale sent me to the big workbench in the garage to reset the outlet and shazam, the pump is working again. Because he has lost a lot I love it that he can feel like he is contributing in a real way.

He has gone from a feeding tube to a peg in his abdomen, from there to eating almost anything. I gave him an Ipad to use for memory issues. I am not sure he will admit it but he does really like using it to access the news, check his calendar for appointments everyday. In addition, it seems he enjoys a game of Angry Birds and a little solitaire a slot machine now and then.

Over the months since he finally came home we have had a pretty quiet household. Well, I should qualify that by saying he was quiet and I found myself turning into a little bit of a chatterbox perhaps trying to fill the void of silence. of course there was the television. tell me why do men have to watch five minutes of a program and move on to something else and later perhaps back to the first program, move on to... well you know what I mean.

In any case Dale's voice has been there but really soft these last months. A couple of days ago he had a surgical procedure that involved an injection into his vocal cords to hep them close when speaking and really important when swallowing. So the house remains especially quiet for this next week as he is not supposed to speak at all! Then two weeks of speaking softly. This is a temporary fix but hopefully with continuing speech therapy the cords will regain some of their strength and he will have that voice back again.

I know I have not posted for awhile, but I am busier than I ever expected to be. I am still working on Aunty Green and hope to share a little more progress in the next week or so. Then heading for Baltimore on the Prairie. Take care.

Monday, August 1, 2011

So how are you doing this summer?

Kind of cute don't you think? Well, for me not so much. While things were better than usual ( I have a service ) the Japanese beetles visited my yard yet again. Six weeks of picking these things off my roses and and killing them on an individual basis has not put me in a good place. You can probably imagine my state of mind when I began seeing little piles of soil and then trails of soil on the grass. I looked on the Internet and found some really strange and fun ideas for getting rid of these creatures. The strangest solution involves sitting very close to a mound or tunnel, put your ear to the ground and when you hear activity use a spade to pound very hard on the ground. Kills em every time, not!! Used cat litter has a lot of fans. How about moth balls? You can walk around with a pitch fork and stab through the tunnels until you get lucky and stab the creature. You can also buy a package of poison worms and hope you place them in a really good place.

My yard has become a sort of mine field. Don't want the children playing back there because sometimes these soil piles are hidden by the grass. Almost turned an ankle last week myself. So, I hope you can imagine that when I saw a sign last week in my neighborhood ( Got Moles? ) that I instantly wrote down the phone number. I'm getting old. I wouldn't have remembered. Mr Rosiere came right away, set several traps and promised to come back. I ran my errands and could not resist going into the back yard to have a look. I stood there for just a few minutes when the trap nearest me snapped shut and then directly to my right another also snapped shut! Now is there a mole in either of the traps? I am not going to look. I was told that I probably only have one or two moles and wouldn't that be cool to be done with these guys? I should be so lucky! Hope to get back to posting about quilts soon,

Monday, July 18, 2011

Did you know

I very rarely take pictures of food, let alone blog about it and this is the second time in a week! However, this time I am going to offer a tip. I hope some of you will be surprised and pleased. However I know I could be putting myself out there and turn out to be the only one who did not know this great idea. So here goes. Even though we check in with one another, it very often turns out to be related to my husbands therapy, quick texts and the like. So because I was lonely for my family I invited them to dinner. Kept it simple with a menu including lasagna, salad and garlic bread. Brownies for dessert. However the whole time I was mentally whining about the brownies. You know what I mean, what's not to like about chocolate? The only thing I can think of is how difficult it is to make a pretty dessert with brownies because getting a clean cut is next to impossible. Or so I thought. The internet is a wonderful thing. it was there I found all kinds of advice about this. At the end of the day the star is that small white, plastic knife. Who knew? Just a tiny bit of chocolate on the knife and very little crumbs hanging around. Either this is a really good thing or I am easily entertained. Perhaps a little of both

Friday, July 15, 2011

Aunty Green, a little progress.

Just checking in with you. I know you think I will never finish but I really like this quilt and will keep at it until done. Come back for another installment in a few weeks. I think I will be moving right along. I again hope you will share some of your work with me.

My thanks to you all

Almost four months into outpatient therapy, frustration and more than a few tears it was time to say thank you. Thank you dear friends for being so kind and writing so many notes of encouragement. In addition my thanks as well to everyone who works so hard to help Dale get well. So I baked cookies and cupcakes. seems like food is universal among those who spend their days caring for others. For the most part we have been blessed with people who really care about those who come through their doors. Not to say that there are not still hard times. This whole thing has been filled with ups and downs, not the least of which came about a month ago. I was cruising along in my life. Times have been hard and stressful but I was managing. Then one day the OT told me that she wanted me to do a series of therapies at home everyday! She said she could only imagine how hard things were and how difficult it would be to add more. Hmmmm it was true. She could only imagine. I shed a lot of tears the next few weeks. I finally decided to be candid and had a conversation with the OT where I told her my concerns about this, I have no training and felt inadequate . I reminded her she was the one with the education. She then told me that she went to school to be able to train people like me to give therapy to their loved ones. I did get in line and now do several therapy's a day. It is only the last week that I decided this was not going away and shed my last tears for now. Well, maybe I do occasionally drop a tear or two. It seems I can manage almost anything as I do have help from family and friends.
The problem that remains is something I can do nothing to change. Over the years my role as the mother of a developmentally disabled child/adult has changed from being a mother to being a care giver. Now I find the same thing has happened in my marriage. I am no longer exactly a mother or a wife. Of all the changes over the last year, this is the most painful. I so miss being a mom and now being a wife. I believe this will change back to some degree but for now, it is what it is. In the meantime, I continue to be grateful for those who care so this week I made cookies. Wish I could do the same for all of you, but in the meantime love to you and yours. Hold them close.because you never know.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When you realize you are now a dinosaur

Since I am not far enough along with Aunty Green and really do not have any other quilts to share right now I have decided to share a secret I had hoped never to admit to anyone. Quite some time ago I realized that I had become a "Dinosaur" "Traditional Quiltasaurus, species Tyranappliquerex, sub species Handquiltaraptor. I am not sure when this became my reality but I think I know how it began.

Perhaps the seeds were planted in the late seventies and early eighties, before I became a quilter but began to to attend quilt shows in order to find needlework patterns and books to add to my "stash" of of embroidery items.

Quilt making was becoming popular again when many people made patriotic quilts to celebrate America's birthday. I attended my first quilt show and knew instantly that I would moving beyond the small sweet quilts I made for my babies. Beyond the simple patchwork for my adolescent daughter in green, yellow and and orange gingham which she treasures today almost thirty years later. Beyond the "Make This quilt In a Weekend" pattern for a Log Cabin design published in a popular women's magazine. before rotary cutters this project took more that a weekend to cut out! Even using a quilt as you go method it was months before this quilt warmed the dreams of my active little boy.

As I walked that show in Santa Rosa California, I was drawn closer to the position I am in today, teacher, lecturer, hand appliquer, hand quilter.

Now please understand that a non-traditional quilt was a purple Ohio star. So , imagine my utter shock when I entered a large room, and encountered a group of animated women gathered in front of an unusual quilt hung high above their heads. It had to be a quilt, because it was a quilt show. But nothing in my experience prepared me for what I saw. On what I assumed to be a fabric foundation there were attached garter belts, girdles and bras of every conceivable color size and style! I was stunned! Listening to the conversation around me I heard disbelief to match my own and then two words, "Art Quilt!" In addition, "This Will Never Fly!", " Art Quilts are not going to work.

Well, they were wrong! Artists began looking at fabric and quilting as a way to express their passion and Art quilts were here to stay.

When I walk around quilt shows today I find myself counting the traditional entries. Turn the corner and "be still my heart" a hand applique quilt so beautiful it takes my breathe away and across the way another. No wait, on closer inspection I find it to be machine done. A traditional red and green design, machine appliqued and quilted Also takes my breathe away. It's that good! So, I am not threatened by the newer species on the block. I am always attracted to great work and there is a lot of that around.

Still a dinosaur, not very smart with technology but a whiz with a needle. Have you got a story? Come on share it with me and anyone else who happens to come by and read what we write about the passion we share.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Auntie Green quilt, Still a work in progress

I just know that everyone of the other quilters involved in this project are way ahead. Perhaps even finished with the applique, and maybe the quilting is also finished! Okay. a little over the top I suppose. True, I do not have a lot of quilting time these days but I know the solution is to stay the course. many years ago I worked for a company named Sunset Designs. I was hired to stitch four color work, simply said the pieces I stitched were to photographed for pattern covers. best work required. Later I was moved to new product development where I worked with artists and designers. In this case perfection was not required, but good interpretation was required.
I met a lovely woman in that department and once when I asked her how she accomplished so much. Now is when I should tell you that she had only one arm. She told us she threaded at least one needle every day and stitched at least that much. And so that is what I will try to do with this quilt.

I am a fairly conservative quilter when it comes to fabric choices but I decided to move out of the box for this quilt. The original quilt artist used prints for virtually every motif. I like to use prints that read like a print but are not. However, I decided to honor the original artist and do the same. My choices may be a little more whimsical what with polka dot leaves, etc, but I am beginning like enjoy this step out of my very controlled box.

The little circles in the top photo are simply cut from fabric and appliqued in place. So far the stems are made from bias tubes though I quite like doing needle turn. I will continue to work and share and hope I hear from you.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Our wedding Day

I found the picture of the chapel at Moffett Field in Mountain View California where we were married. There are a lot of photos of the base and of the blimps that used live in gigantic hangers in the Sunnyvale Library archives. One of the interesting things I found out there is that the area behind the alter is set up to revolve to reveal different alters representing as many religious beliefs as possible. Seems lovely to me. We attended many events at the base over the years including many air shows. Our day was sunny and breezy, a great day for beginning our lives together.

Standing with my father, waiting to walk down the aisle. We were both looking pretty young that day. I remember feeling pretty confident at this moment. My choice seemed so right.

Walking to my new life

I was pretty happy. Loved my dress. I had attended a wedding planning event at Emporium Capwells and knew I couldn't afford to buy a dress. That is where I saw the bell sleeve and decided to make my own dress. Scary, but I lucked out, I think. White bridal satin with a lace overlay, a small train and pretty white shoes. My bouquet was in the shape of a cross. I felt pretty.

This is the entire bridal party! Left to right, Rosada Koshak, my matron of honor and dear friend from high school. Next, the bride ( me ). Beside me the cute sailor I married and beside him my brother Robert, chosen to be best man

Saying our vows. Hmmm. I look ecstatic, he looks scared.

Too late to change our minds but no matter, fifty years later we both know the choice would always be each other. How lucky we are. Still in love after all this time.

This is one of my favorite pictures. I miss those hands. For the first couple of years we were married I did some hand modeling. Fun and good for the ego I think.

Remember, I am the oldest and this is my family, minus David who could not be there. So from left to right: Kenneth, Irene, Kathleen, Dad with Doreen in front, Me, Dale, my beautiful mother Dorothy, Robert, Ronald, Bill, and Mark standing in front of mom.

Oh, now he looks happy and not scared. Good move honey!

Dad, me,Dale and Mom

Me, Dale and his mother Marge Kelso. In the end it turns out she did not like me a whole lot but Dale told me from the beginning that I was his family and not to worry about being liked by anyone but him.

Nice couple, don't you think? We left that day in Dale's hunter green MG TF. We were cool in those days. Now, did we always agree? Of course not. Did we argue, even bicker at times.? Of course! We did however, always know that a marriage is work and a good deal of the time we were working. Right now is one of the working times. He is working so hard to get well and I am working hard to be sure he has all the room he needs to do just that. This is not easy for either of us, but worth it I think. The secret to a fifty year marriage if there is one, is that we never once gave up on each other, even at the low points. Thanks for coming by.

Fifty years and counting

Dale and I were married May 7 1961 and this is where we spent our honeymoon. I was nineteen and he was twenty-two. Yes we were young but it was a different time. I am the oldest of ten and he was an only child. A match made in heaven as I didn't want ten children and he wanted two. Our wedding cost $129.00, my friend from high school was my matron of honor, we had thirty three guests and I made my own gown. Our honeymoon was three days long because we couldn't afford more, and I had to get back to my job as a hair dresser and he had to get back to Moffett Field Naval Air station. So we hiked, visited the waterfalls, witnessed one of the last fire falls and rubbed elbows with a black bear. We stayed in a two room cabin and loved every moment of our time in the park. If you have never visited this park, what are you waiting for. Yosemite was and remains a favorite destination. We had planned to revisit the park this year to celebrate our fiftieth wedding anniversary. Dale is not well enough so perhaps next year.