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Posts Tagged ‘Wendy’

Ice, ice, baby

Ice storm 2008.  It has been 10 years since a significant ice storm and another 10 would not have hurt any ones feelings.  I went to work Thursday evening and it was already raining and freezing.  It continued to rain, quite heavily I might add, and freeze on anything and everything.  We started getting busy after 11 PM and by 1:30 AM we were running nonstop to wires down, trees on wires, wires pulled from buildings, etc.

On and on it went.  By 4:30 AM we were calling in extra help.  “Come on in and play with us.”  At one point my officer and I were cutting our way down a side street.  We had to cut and remove three tree limbs, covered with a 1/2 inch of ice making them very heavy (as if tree limbs weren’t heavy enough).

This scenario continued throughout the next day.  At least things don’t seem as bad when the sun comes up but they sure look worse when you can actually see the damage caused by freezing water.  York County in Southern Maine was the hardest hit county in the state.  There were only two towns that did not receive significant damage.  Our town was the worst hit (of course) with more than 90% of structures without power.  It truly looked like a war zone and sounded like one during the height of the storm when trees all around were cracking and falling down.

I was held over at work for an additional 10 hour shift.  I was concerned about any damage to my condo as it sits next to the only “hill” in the area as well as Bill’s house that is surrounded by trees and he was working in Cambridge (were it only rained).  We were both lucky.  There are limbs down around the property but no damage.  To top it off, my power returned Friday afternoon!

Bill’s power remains off as of today but he has a large generator so is able to keep the refrigerators cool and the frozen food, well, frozen.  He also has a wood stove which keeps the house nice and warm.  He can run the water pump off the generator so showers and toilet flushing are available (yeah).  It’s amazing what we take for granted!

Wendy and Dan are still without power today as well.  Poor Wendy, she got used to sleeping with a fan on while growing up on the second floor in Shapleigh.  It was an old farm house and the upstairs was stiffling in the summer, hence the fan.  She has not been able to sleep for the past few nights because there is a lack of fan noise.  She came over here last night and stayed with me, bringing her own fan along with her.  She is still sleeping soundly.  Good for her!

The temps today are supposed to get fairly warm for this time of year, in the 40’s.  That should melt a lot of the ice, although it is quite beautiful when the sun hits the ice covered trees and fields making them sparkle like they are wearing diamonds.  Additional power company crews should be arriving today from the Carolinas and the midwest states.  Unfortunately, the entire Northeast took a hit and crews have to come from farther away in order to help. There should be great improvements over the next day or so.

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Yet another year has passed and I have turned 59! I was so unstrung the months before my 50th birthday. I dreaded the sound of being 50, yuck. However, I’m looking forward to turning 60 next year. It will bring so many new opportunities. At least, that’s my plan. First of all, I can retire. YEAH! Enough driving a fire truck around and taking care of other people’s emergencies. I’m ready for a simple, unexciting part-time job. That’s only because I know I will have to work, a little anyway. I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed every night.

Bill took me to Quebec to celebrate my birthday. We love Quebec City. We drove up on Friday, arriving around 6 PM and stayed at a very nice Motel 8 in Sainte-Foy. The drive into Vieux Quebec was only 8-10 miles and very easy to manipulate. We had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, The Primavera. We love the pizza there, cooked in a brick oven. We ordered two pizzas and shared them. It was a beautiful evening and we took a short walk after dinner. The city was busy, which we hadn’t experienced in our previous visits. Back to the motel and to bed.

We set the alarm for 8 so that we could get a decent start on the day. It dawned overcast, which is typical for any traveling we do. We ate the continental breakfast provided by the motel. It was fairly good but nothing special, quite crowded. We drove into the city, parked in a lot by the river and spent several hours wandering around. We saw some sights that we have seen many times and a few that were new for us.

The sight that saddened us the most was the remains of the historic Armory building that suffered a devastating fire in April. The building was built around 1885 and covered a full block. Many of the museum artifacts were saved along with some musical instruments. Although the building was sprinklered, it was undergoing some renovations and the system was out of service. Murphy’s Law in action. We spent some time at the Joan of Arc gardens which were in glorious bloom. I’m envious although between us we have a number of the same plants.

We stumbled across a bridge along the edge of town that we didn’t know we could walk over; so we did and took a couple of photos. I try to get at least one decent picture of us together wherever we go. It’s fun to look them over at the end of the year and see where we have been.

It started to rain about 3:30 so we headed to our other favorite place to eat; The Portofino. We sat outside under an awning and an umbrella but it eventually was pouring rain and we moved inside. I usually have a wonderful ravioli dish that is the best I have ever eaten. However, the price was up to $24 and I just couldn’t see spending that kind of money for a plate of pasta. Instead I had salmon in a wonderful sauce, along with some vegetables. Bill enjoyed a small steak and fries.

It continued to rain. We walked to the funiculare and bought two rain ponchos. We made quite a site, covered from head to toe with plastic but the $4 was well spent. We continued to wonder around finding our way to the Petite Champlain where we visited the chocolatier and Bill purchased six of my favorite chocolate candies…chocolate covered cherries filled with liquor. Yum, they are fantastic! I eat them sparingly because they are sooooo good and a little pricey. I always forget that they have a pit. Luckily I haven’t broken any teeth. We finally had enough, so we headed back to the car and returned to the motel sometime after 7.

The next morning brought more rain and my birthday! We had breakfast, packed our things and returned home. We saw two deer on the trip up and a moose on the return trip. The wild lupines were blooming along the side of the road in and around Jackman. What a beautiful sight. We met Wendy and Dan for dinner at the Back Street Grill. Wendy brought me a nice arrangement of flowers and a gift certificate to Keepsake Quilting. After finishing a game of cribbage with Bill I headed home to sleep in my own bed.

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I didn’t get any sewing done today, again, but I was productive. I returned home around noon after running errands in town. I had done some additional flower shopping earlier in the week and managed to get everything planted today. I planted the clematis earlier in the week and placed the new trellis Bill gave me around it. Today I put the marigolds into the window boxes, front garden and planter pot. I added allysum to the front garden and planter pot.

I raked and swept the back porch area and garden. The trees on the hill behind the condo drop all sorts of annoying debris. Once the gardening was complete I watered everything in, changed my clothes and went for a very nice walk.

When I returned I took photos of the flowers that are blooming in the side garden. The bleeding heart is outstanding this year.

the columbine which is actually a light purple, not blue as in this photo

and the rhododendron

After dinner I started cutting the 1 3/4″ pieces for the blooming 9-patch. The cutting is going to take quite a while and will have to be done in short periods of time as it hurts my back.

Tomorrow Wendy and I are taking a trip to visit baby Ella. Yeah!

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Vanessa remains in the hospital but things are stable. Saturday was not a very good day. She was weaned off the “anti-contraction” meds Friday night and experienced more contractions on Saturday. On top of that, she started running a low grade fever. The highs and lows of that day were very stressful on both Greg and Vanessa. However, by Saturday night the fever had abated and the contractions had slowed.

Sunday was a good day with only 6 contractions per hour. The Dr. felt that it was safe to move her from the intensive care section of maternity to the prenatal section where there is less monitoring. I spoke with Greg this afternoon (Monday) and she was still doing well. She has to have three good days in a row before they will consider releasing her.

In other news…I was able to get the binding sewn on Wendy’s baby quilt by stealing a few minutes here and there. I finished hand stitching the border to the back on Saturday. It turned out very well; I think Wendy did a great job piecing it. She could have done the border herself if there had been more time before the shower. I drafted a label today which included a short poem about tiny fingers and Wendy was happy with it. I hope to get it printed onto the fabric tomorrow and sewn on before the weekend.

Wendy has made this quilt for the baby born to one of her college roommates. He was due in May but was born in January at only 24 weeks; weighing in at a little over one pound. He has had heart and eye surgery during the last three months and now weighs more than six pounds.

I have spent all my free time the last week getting Wendy’s quilt finished and haven’t had a chance to work on any of my projects. I’m not even sure what to tackle next; I should have some time the end of the week

This week promises to be more like spring with temps reaching into the 60’s. YEAH!!! We heard the peepers last night on our way home from dinner at Billy’s.

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Today is the 28th celebration of the day my daughter was born, my beautiful girl, my “Piglet”. She got that nickname because she had such fat little legs and her dad said she had porkchop legs. Somehow that turned into “Piglet”.

I never would have imagined how much I would grow to love her, to love the young woman she would become. She was a somewhat “difficult” child; very independent. That is a trait that serves her well as an adult. However, as a child I wanted her to comply and follow the rules “because I’m the mom and I said so”. On the other hand, she believed that there must be a better reason than that and I didn’t always have a satisfactory explanation.

She is a strong-willed individual. She is an honest and responsible adult with a Master’s Degree in Occupational Health. The final year of her education was a tough one. Her dad and I had divorced a couple of years earlier. Alone for the first time, she was very lonesome and homesick, but she persevered. She spent three months in Pensacola, FL and another three months in MA working on her internship. She and I drove to FL and shared the trip from hell with lots of car problems and hours sitting in a garage office in Willington, CT. However, we got where we needed to go with only a few minutes to spare before the apartment complex office closed for the weekend.

She was engaged for more than a year; however, it was not a healthy relationship and I was never more impressed with her strength than the night she broke off the relationship. I have been in that position myself and know how incredibly difficult it is.

She and her boyfriend have been together for five years now. They live together in a beautiful house that Dan built with his father and share their space with three dogs…Guinness, Amber and Ginger. I don’t believe that they will ever get married and I don’t think that she will have children. I may be wrong about this, time will tell. It doesn’t matter to me as long as she is happy.

I am grateful for her beautiful “self”. I not only cherish her as my child but also as my friend. We check in with each other most days, not long conversations but a nice chat just catching up on the day’s news. She is beautiful inside and out. She is strong, intelligent and compassionate. She is my daughter; she is my friend. The words “I Love You” are inadequate to express my true emotions. It is so much more than those three words; so much deeper. They will have to suffice…I Love You, Wendy.

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Finally some time at home! It has been cloudy, damp and raining for the last couple of days. I woke up this morning to lots of sun, for a change, and lots of wind, again. Shortly after starting my day, the power went out. Yuck! It was a little after 8:00. Since I couldn’t do some of the things on my list…laundry, ironing, sewing, I decided to start cutting the fabrics for my blooming 9-patch. Oh my gosh, I didn’t know what I was getting into. That was this morning and at 6:00 PM I’m still cutting. My back is killing me but I hate to stop until I’m finished, which is only a few more triangles.

Blooming 9-patch fabrics

I did stop for lunch and dinner, put some clothes in the washing machine once the power returned (about 11:00 AM) had a cup of coffee and read for a few minutes. Wendy came by tonight and we put the sandwich together for the baby quilt she has sewn. She did a great job piecing the top.

Last night Bill and I went to Dan’s grandparent’s for dinner. We were invited in order to celebrate Wendy’s 28th birthday, which is Friday, April 4. Bill made a cake that we took along. The meal was very good and we enjoyed visiting.
Last Sunday I got off work at 7:00 AM and went to Walmart in order to purchase a Wii game for Dan. That was his gift for Wendy but they were going snowboarding and he couldn’t figure out how to get it without her knowing. I was the first car in the lot and went to stand by the door at 7:30 after another woman parked and got in line. There were four of us when the doors opened at 8:00. They had only received 7 games so I was glad I got there early and came home with a game for Dan.

I finished my “More Leftovers” wallhanging. I spent a long time doing the quilting, mostly because I took out all of the quilting I had done in the printed areas. It didn’t really fit the space and after spending some time looking at it, I knew it had to come out.

“Leftovers Again”

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I read something the other day which stated that in my lifetime I would never see Easter Sunday come this early in the year again and that only those living, that were aged 95 years and older, have ever seen it this early before. That struck me for some reason; to realize that this was in fact a “once in a lifetime” occurance.

It also got me to thinking about Easters when I was growing up. I must admit that I don’t remember much about my childhood Easters. I suspect that we got together with my mother’s parents or other family friends, to have a meal. I remember the smell of Saffron Bread that my grandma used to make, not just for Easter. It was much like fruitcake but very light and yellow; the color came from the saffron. She never used a recipe but in her later years my mom took notes from her about how to make the bread. Unfortunately, like others of her generation, it was “a pinch of this” and “a handful of that”. Needless to say, the bread never came out the same; plus, it’s very difficult and expensive to buy saffron. On top of that, I think she used English saffron which is more difficult to locate.

I have found several photos of my sister and I dressed up in our Easter Sunday best…new dresses, cute hats, carrying our baskets. I suspect that my mom drove us to Sunday School and picked us up at the end of the service. She was very good about that, but I don’t remember her actually joining us in church.

I know that Easter used to be about the resurrection of Christ but I also know that it became about the Easter Bunny and colored eggs and baskets full of “stuff”. I loved this holiday when the kids were small. I never bought the pre-packaged baskets wrapped in cellophane and full of junk. I always enjoyed finding my own baskets and stuffing them full of my own junk! I tried to make each basket special and about the child, Wendy or Greg, that would wake up in the morning and find it. I would find all sorts of “special” things for the kids…stuffed animals, books, designer pencils and erasers, eggs filled with kisses or chocolate eggs or even $$$$. I actually continued the tradition even after they had both graduated and gone to college. Of course, the junk got more and more expensive. Finally, about the time Greg reached 30 and lived in another state and we didn’t always see each other on the holiday, I decided it was time to give it up. I felt kind of empty for the next couple of years with no baskets for the kids. Wendy still lives in the area but she seems to take the lack of a basket gracefully.

I’m not sure how the tradition started, maybe because the kids slept upstairs, but I would (I mean the EB would) leave a trail of jelly beans from their bedroom doors to their baskets, which were downstairs. That meant that on the night before Easter, the two dogs had to spend the night locked up so they couldn’t eat up all the candy during the night.

We always colored eggs, too. Living in Maine, the only time we could find white eggs was for Easter. At first, the colors were plain and simple but as time went on, they became more and more decorative and elaborate. First, there was the wax that made a design once the eggs were colored. Then came glitter and colors that swirled around the eggs. There was also some kind of punch-out costumes. Of course, it never failed, a dozen eggs were hidden but only eleven were found.

This was my 58th Easter Sunday and it was a good one. We prepared dinner at Bill’s house…spiral ham, sweet potatoes and green beans. My daughter, Wendy and her boyfriend, Dan came. They brought deviled eggs and a wonderful chocolate cheesecake with fresh strawberries and a strawberry sauce. Both of Bill’s boys came, Kris and Scott. The big surprise was that Bill’s grandson, Trevor, came also. He will be 3 in April. We didn’t know he was coming so we didn’t get to have a basket or hide eggs but that didn’t matter. It was just special that we were all together. After dinner we played Wii and everyone had a good time.

It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and it was warm in the glass room. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the wind had died down. It’s a mystery how many more Easter Sundays we will enjoy but we know, this was a “once in a lifetime” occurance in more ways than one.

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