Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Yard now ,ART, Name Strips and the BEST Guacamole Recipe ever!

Hello friends, I am back finally. We had Mark's Memorial at the church and my daughter gave a beautiful eulogy. I cried and so did everyone else, I don't know how she did it. 
After the Memorial, we had a lovely catered barbque dinner in my backyard and Mel and her husband Jeff paid for it. How is that for a loving friend? My friends Molly and Tina came along with Mel all flew in from California. Susan my cupcake friend  and her husband Esko came from Seattle  and drove back another five hours in the same day and Laurie drove clear over from Lopez Island with her husband Kit. Cousins and inlaws and friends all came and we had a lovely time. I still feel Mark in my home. We moved here in 1976, the same year our son was diagnosed with leukemia. Mark and I were married 45 lovely years. I miss him so very much. We all do.

Our lot is a third of an acre and I have planted many flowers and bushes and plants. My friends are buying a flowering tree for us to plant with Mark's ashes. He asked for this specifically. So I will be going in to pick one out when the rain goes away. I am thinking dogwood or hawthorn. You can see a small dogwood I have in my backyard now. Our daughter gave it to us for our 25th anniversary.
I still have another case of blue bottles and am going to try to drill more hole in the bottle tree above. I have two of them and the one has tons and tons of bottles on it. In case you do not know, bottle trees were made in the south in the slave days as they believed that evil spirits would go into the bottle and could not get out. Works for me. I love the blue with all of the green in the garden and the red bike and a large fountain I have. Tons of work but worth it.
My neighbor Connie came over and helped me plant things in my flower garden and also helped me clean out half the garage and get rid of lots of "stuff." That evening I invited her over and I made the recipe below and hot tortilla chips and some crackers and bread. I had a bottle of wine and we had a nice end to the day. This recipe is lovely. I doubled the avacados. Enjoy!

GRILLED CORN, AVOCADO AND TOMATO w/ HONEY LIME DRESSING (Please SHARE so it will save to your timeline. You can refer back to recipe later).

1 pint grape tomatoes
1 ripe avocado
2 ears of fresh sweet corn
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Honey Lime Dressing
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp honey
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of cayenne pepper

Grilled Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad

Remove husks from corn and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes. The corn should have some brown spots and be tender and not mushy. Cut the corn off the cob then scrape the cob with the back of your knife to get the juices. Set aside and let cool. Slice the tomatoes in half. Dice the avocado and chop the cilantro.
Honey Lime Dressing

Add all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Combine the sliced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and grilled corn and honey lime dressing and mix gently so everything is evenly coated. Be careful not to mash the avocados. Let the salad sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors mingle
And for a good laugh, look at this!
I have asked those people who prayed for us and supported us through Mark's brain cancer to please send me a 2 1/2 inch x 6 1/2 inch jello colored piece with their name on it and city if you have room. My address is 1521 N.Argonne #276, Spokane Valley, WA 99212-2555
I plan to make a
 quilt called "Hugs and Prayers" with them and would like anyone who did pray or send notes etc., to please give you your info for the quilt.
Thank you most sincerely

Along with the strips some people sent bright fabrics to go in and a few sent some random blocks to add to this...the colors are going to be fabulous and I have some fun ideas...hope you will be a part of it too

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Getting Ready for Memorial -finding photos...sending thoughts

Thought it would be fun to show you what we used to look like and then later on when I was blond. :0)
Yup, we changed but our hearts loved each other until the end. Forty five years and I wanted to make it to fifty....
Together we created a nice family and alot of happiness. Except for my little Grandson on Mark's lap who wanted to play legos and not be in the photo...we could not get him to smile for kind of made it more fun.
This represents my these people so much-----------------------------------------------

And NOW, a little comic daughter sent this to me for Mother's Day made me laugh, how about you?

I am still running on adrenilin as the Memorial is tomorrow and our home will be filled with guests and business. I am kind of numb and having trouble focusing and thinking but will get better as time goes on.
I am anxious to begin quilting again. That will be my saving grace...that and traveling to see you girls.
I am so thankful for quilting.
Happy Mother's Day to all-including those with no children- we ALL had Mother's so is about celebration and we all need a good reason to be blessed and to bless others.
That's what makes us happy!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

In Memory of a Wonderful Man

1Cor 2:9 - What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love HIM.
Last night Mark was breathing heavily and my youngest daughter phoned to say she was coming back to the house with her daughter Mark to spend the night. She made a bed on the floor in Mark's room and she told me I could turn off the monitor to sleep and Rich also. Mark always told her he wanted her face to be the last thing he saw.
I went into the room and sat by Mark and held his hand and said "I love these hands....He tried to open his mouth but his eyes were shut. I could tell he was trying to say something. I kissed his cheek and said "I love you too"
He went back to breathing heavily. Rich went to bed and I went upstairs and changed into my pj's. I went downstairs again and Shelbi and Mark were next to Mark's bed on the floor. I got up several times during the night to check on him and each time my daughter was awake. I finally turned off the monitor and around 6am she came to my room and said "Mom I don't think Dad is breathing." I flew out of bed, ran downstairs and sat at his side. He breathed two last gulps of ait. I held his hand and just looked at him and the peaceful look on his wonderful face. Shelbi went upstairs and woke Rich up and he ran downstairs and checked for a pulse...and then another body part and another...he said "go and get a mirror!" I said "Rich, you do not need a mirror, Mark has gone. The three of us sat there quietly.Mark passed away today at 6:20 am. I called my two kids and they came to see him before I called Hospice. Rich and I washed him and changed his clothes. I put a Gonzaga University t-shirt on him and warm, soft pajama bottoms. Everyone came and saw him and then once this was done I called Hospice and a nurse showed up. No one was crying and we all felt this so perfectly orchestrated by God. The night before my three children had made a circle with their children around Mark's bed and each person (adult and child) prayed for peace for Papa.
After the Hospice nurse entered in time of death and contacted the Dr. she called to have his body picked up.
My youngest daughter had a mentor that she had worked with for five years and each Sunday they had a Bible lesson and communion on their lunch breaks.
This man quit working there two years ago.
The van pulled up and the man was the van driver. He and Shelbi hugged and he walked in and said how peaceful Mark looked. They carried him out and Rich and I held each other teary but over joyed at how wonderful this experience had gone.
My kids called Mark's friends and others and I still need to call cousins.
Connie and her husband came by with a beautiful card and a clematis and two jasmin plants for the backyard. Then the neighbor next door brought orange juice and donuts and the neighbor on the other side brought sandwich rolls and cookies.
Mark's brother Brett came and left with Rich for the airport so Rich could get home to his wife.
Tomorrow we will plan the memorial and what we want to say about him in the paper. Neighbors all said the same thing..."Mark was such a NICE man and he loved his family so very much." I said to family I was thankful that this is what people thought of him and not that he was married to his work or something.
Psalm 116:15- Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
Forty five years of marriage to this wonderful man was not enough.
I feel so blessed by this whole experience and if I could say one last thing it would be that I pray that each one of you will love your family, your mate and your friends while they are still with you.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Rev 21:4
I will be finalizing this throughout the week.
Yesterday gifts came and we used them during the night and day. Thank you for the cross, the prayer shawl, the lavendar sachet, a large chicken pin cushion,the poodle cow(Granddaughter Mary slept with it) and the prayer banner from Molly. I have other things to tank you for I know.
I will be posting photos of cards, and other things and hope it might give you ideas if you have not comforted someone before.
Today was a beautiful day and though we will miss Mark, he could not have left in a more wonderful, love filled way. He wanted to be home and he was and it was a blessing to all involved.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Posts from home- cows, Mark and happenings for Mary Lou

The darling cow above is made by Jean...isn't she cute???
LOVE the color and the iris!
Above is Biddy's Golf Cow....wonderful color and details! Biddy took my story quilt class at Asilomar this year. To take that class next year you sign up May 6th. Four days from today!
Mark is still staying here at home and Hospice comes daily to see how he is doing. He is in great pain now but cannot tell us so he is starting on heavier drugs I am sad to say. He is honestly the nicest man in the world and this is so unfair. Mark
's brother Rich is here visiting and helping out with him. This is nice to be with someone who loves him as much as I do...almost.
I am still writing a journal on Facebook and it is copied each day and put on Gofund it which has the address in case you wonder what is new. You can see ths address at the top right. I am not doing this to make money, I am suggesting you might want to see the progression and the sharing of taking care of someone you love at home. The go fund it was started by Ronda in Texas to help pay for Mark's medical bills and items we needed at home to care for him. It was a godsend as Mark has not worked since last June.
My friend Linda B. Made a prayer banner with the Corinthians quote about love. It is hanging in Mark's room now and we all love it! 

My son and daughter in law's friend Nomi from Romania made a fabulous rhubarb pie that Mark wolfed down as much as he could. I topped it with vanilla ice cream and it was a real treat for him and he said "yum" after each bite. He is mostly eating jello, popsicles, fruit bars, yogurt and those kinds of things but has asked for a ham and cheese sandwich twice this week. I made a small one and cut it into tiny pieces, and then he washed that down with jello. He still loves the taste of food. I think it is all of those steroids.
Heres a great idea! Mel sent me a big box and it was a party in a box! It had three different kids movies and all kinds of goodies to eat. So my children and Grandchildren will all be here for a salad dinner and movie night! This is a good time for some happy get together LOVE.
Note the glow in the dark bracelets...pretty fun!
Mark's friend John came by and brought some peanut butter cookies, chocolate and tulips since Mark wanted to go to the tulip festival. VERY thoughtful. Today his other friend Mike brought a dozen donuts and frappachino for Mark. We can't give him coffee so it is in the refrig for someone who stops by. It has been nice having goodies here because I can't think to play hostess now as I am worried about him and with him all day and night.
Mark really hoped to go back to Hawaii and this little hula girl from John dances with the sunshine rays...darling.
Below- bouquets- tulips from John, Hawaain flowers from Helen and calla lilies from my cousin Donna...makes me happy seeing the colors and beauty
A friend sent this to me below and I love it. It says it all. Wish Mark could see this and smile too.

My friends from Yexas Patricia Woods made this darling prayer flag and it hangs below a bottle cap cross. When I put it up a few weeks ago I said "do you know what this cross is made of?" And he said "yes, potato chips." Made me smile
My friend Sandy who is the post office lady sent me this "Quilter's Brain"- I loved this and hope you do too
Thought I would share the photo below that I took on someone's porch...thought this was darling for summer! 
Please pray for my husband that he can go peacefully and our family can find peace. We all love him so much. Thank you sincerely to those of you who have sent letters, cards, flowers, banners etc and given to the go fund it site. I love you more than you will ever know and I mean this sincerely. Thank you again.