Friday, March 27, 2020

Meanderings from Widow Elaine Adair - NQR

This is kinda sad, but honest and the kind of things a new widow must deal with.  If you haven't visited previously, I am a new widow - life had changed dramatically for me - I'm trying my best.

First, "Apply for Widow's Benefits for SS" if that pertains to you.  I thought I was doing that by notifying SS, but no, you have to APPLY!  Separate action from just notifying SS - lots of questions to answer.  This has delayed his checks - the virus is delaying more. 

This past week I have been clearing out our shared Studio.  Oh my gosh, what a mess - so much stuff, so much heartache, no much of everything.  We quilters know we have stuff, I didn't realize a retired man, a man who loved making model wood boats, would have as much or MORE than this quilting wife.  Everything I found of his was an emotional challenge - lots of boo-hooing.  His grandson was here to help move out heavier things.  We sold/ gave away unneeded/unloved furniture.  The Studio is now empty except for my big fold out sewing desktable.   All else is piled somewhere in other now-cluttered rooms - overwhelming.   

DH was a smoker and you never realize how dingy the walls are until you start cleaning.  That is where I am -- I am washing walls, doable half a wall per day because I am no spring chicken, and then, just to peek to see if the ceiling needed washing, I tried a small part.  I am in process of washing the ceiling, above the molding, on the right.  The left part of the corner is where the cleaner oversprayed.  These are coved ceilings, there is no clear corner where the wall meets the ceiling.  Today I am hollering at DH for his smoking habits!!!!   He always said OSAAT, One Step At A Time, which is do-able but slow going.

I have yet to find a good way to wash the ceiling.  That sponge on the pole is only moderately successful, and as a Senior woman of 77, looking UP results in visual/dizzy issues.  I'm using a wall washing product, and only do a little at a time.  Like everyone else in this virus-infected country, I have to do it by myself.  A friend insisted I START with the ceiling - now I know why. 
OK, advice.  Maintain access to funds - more than you think.  It takes time to get thru it all, a lot of physical work and chances are you aren't functiong well, and bills keep coming.  We were beneficiaries on each other's assets - this saves unnecessary delays - didn't need a will.  Get your cleaning and sorting and purging done years before you HAVE to!  This man kept so many records, newspapers, clippings, articles, old legal documents, STUFF, back to the 60s.  I know they bring back memories, but holy smoke!!  This is a LOT of work for the surviving spouse!!!  We quilters have our own stuff and if you leave it, someone, well intentioned, will have no choice but to throw it out, simply because there is not time nor energy to savor any of it.  The one thing I really LOVED finding, was his professional resume that I had never seen during our 24 years together.   He was an excellent manager!   I was amazed at all he'd accomplished and at the level he worked and THAT was something I wished we'd talked about.  He even was the subject of a CNN special during drought years! 

Also, take photos, both in health and in illness.  For a long while, I was reviewing photos in his young, handsome days, a man full of health and vigor.  Then I finally realized, he was not that way any more.  I'm glad I took photos of him more recently, worn out, ill and hollow-eyed - the photos helped me accept his death a little.

Thank you for your comments - I don't want to make you sad, just realistic.  It's important to know what WILL be in store for all of us, and I bet you've never heard some of these meanderings, so perhaps my "advice" will help someone. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

It's Good to Stay Busy - Garlic Knots

Yep, another Bonnie Hunter (Quiltville.com) project.  That girl is amazing and I've loved her blog and quilt enthusiasm for many years longer than I've had a blog!  

                                   

This is an old quilt design.  I plunked down my CC and got her directions from her on-line pattern because I KNEW she would have the best pressing instructions.  Blocks are set  8 x 10 and they are 6 in. finished.    I have 4 rows plus sashings just about done.  The only constant is the little purple in the center of the sashing "plus".  Each "plus" has to be planned ahead to the next row.  Kinda hard to lay it all out, and spread the scrappy fabrics/colors evenly.  This "door" that  the blocks are laying on is going away the next few days - it is just too large for this small room that I am reorganizing into an all-sewing Studio.  Perhaps I'll go back to my "design floor" somewhere in the process, until I get the walls washed and painted, windows cleaned and re-curtained, etc.  

Very big job, due to heartstrings gnawing at me 24/7.  I will survive -- I am grateful to many, many, kind family and friends, bloggers, neighbors, professional people, and friends of my late husband.  Thank you.


Monday, March 02, 2020

Silicone, Machine Quilting, Jelly Roll Quilt, and Goodbye Jittney

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When I prepare to do machine quilting, I clean the surface of my sewing desk and use a light spray of this Silicone product.  There are many brands on the market, this is what I used today.  I use a light spray, lighter than hairspray,  and wipe it down.  It slickens the surface up wonderfully.  

It's always fun to see the quilting design start showing up.  Most of you bloggers are seasoned sewists, so forgive me if I'm being redundant.  I use Top Stitching needle, and top and bottom thread was the Essential from Connecting Threads.  I didn't have even ONE glitch, the entire project!

Here is the finished project.  The stripes go from left to right.  Very summery!


One of my numerous "widow" jobs was to sell Robert's vehicle (The Jittney).  (Boohooing now, can't see!)  My small town is wonderful.  I didn't know how to sell it and went to the Court House  for help, and the lady behind the counter was wonderful, sensing my sad distress.  She explained how to fill out the title, printed out a Bill of Sale, gave me a little Post It note with the required steps bulleted.  I piped in, "Oh yes, should I remove the plates?  And she responded, " Yes, that's right and Honey, if you have any trouble getting them off, you just call me and I'll send one of my boys over to help."  Most people are so kind.  

I'm still working every day, doing NEW jobs I've never had before.  One of my errors was that I  didn't know I HAD to "apply for Widows benefits."  That delayed Social Security payments and resulted in unexpected financial worries.  All is apparently fixed today, after a meeting with the SS  lady, who was very helpful and understanding, solved the problem I hope, and provided me tissues now and then.  



Sunday, February 23, 2020

Moving Forward, One Step At a Time

80 Garlic Knot blocks from Bonnie Hunter's pattern.  Her method works like a charm, of course.  I made one or two, then sped things up by layering 5-6 deep on my sewing table.  These are 6 in. finished blocks.  And as always, all are scrappy  in purples, pinks greens, a few blues, one or two reds, and the neutral was purchased.  These will be put together with a narrow sashing with "plusses" at the cornerstones.  That's a little tedious but doable.

Thank you all, for you know what.  There is a LOT of work after losing your spouse, even if you planned ahead.  Sometimes work can be a blessing.  The dear man did all he could to make my life easy as possible when he was not here.  Take photos, and say beautiful things to those you love - we each did.  You never know about tomorrow. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Smiley Faces


This arrived yesterday, from a friend across the miles.  How did she know that DH always signed his notes with a Smiley Face?  Was it Serendipity?

The table is still piled with papers, notes, cards, mail, bills.  Will they ever get cleared off?

Today I sewed for one whole hour.  One Step at a Time, Slow Positive Steady Progress is what my manager husband is saying to me.

Thank you for good thoughts and kind messages and prayers.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Heartbroken - I'll be absent for a while.

We've had a tough couple of months here, with 911, hospital, nursing home and finally husband returned home after all that during the holidays.  No Christmas checks were written, somehow Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went without me noticing.  DH was so ill, slightly recovered for a time, but his illness won out and yesterday January 21, he died here at home.  


I'll write more another time.