Slice of Life & Progress on 2 Quilting Projects

In my last post  ( “She’s Probably Frying Zucchini in Heaven” )  I let it be known that my sister’s MIL had passed on and what a wonderful woman and legendary Italian cook she was ( HERE )

She was a devout Catholic and while I was raised as a Protestant and participated in many Protestant denominations over my lifetime, at one point I decided to explore the Catholic faith and am now officially a Catholic, though I attend sporadically at this point.

Still, at the funeral mass the ritual washed over me in comforting waves…and the priest had known her for all of his life. His mother and her were in the same maternity ward giving birth to him and to my BIL.  His parents were my BIL’s godparents and my BIL’s were HIS godparents.

That loving and compassionate priest  couldn’t get through the service without getting choked up on numerous occasions.

While I was over there with my BIL on that horrific night that we found her, fallen out of bed, and had assisted him and stayed until the ambulance came, I did not go on to the hospital.   I got the whole story later. She’d had a stroke and her heart was going in to failure but the tests showed a bit of infection and pneumonia setting in so it may have been a virus of some sort that heralded the end.

She was taken to a local hospital and then life-flighted to one in Pittsburgh.  She passed on early the next morning.

Both my niece and Steve, my BIL,  said that towards the very end a Presence and deep peace could be felt in the room and her attention left them and her eyes lit up and she began reaching towards the ceiling / air.  This did not surprise me as I have researched near-death-experiences off and on over the years….

The “Wake” was held at her house and while many people contributed a wonderful variety of foods, there were two big ‘hits’ :)   My BIL brought homemade canned pickles and peppers that were from his mom’s recipes, and the granddaughter that had come up from the south to stay there replicated her spaghetti sauce recipe, using the last of her canned tomatoes from the cellar.

Meanwhile prior to this and afterward life went on. My oldest son is in Missouri but the two others were pallbearers. Photos of them, the kids on the weekend with their cousins at a local place where they can jump on trampolines, the twins turning 8 years old, and one of them stopping by for cookies….

Meanwhile the drone of lawnmowers permeates the neighborhood as it just did a few days ago…I and many of my neighbors mowed on Sunday or Monday, had rain, and are mowing it all again now. My back yard had lush grass that had grown a good 2-3 inches since Monday afternoon when I had last mowed.

The crabapple tree is getting ready to display her spring glory soon…

I finished up the 3rd border of the Flower Basket Medallion :

I finished up another fan quilting section on my Rose of Sharon hand quilting project, marked another section and started again… I always get questions about this fan marking so once again, you can check it out at Fun With Barb’s Etsy Shop 

I have done traditional echo quilting and crosshatch on several quilts in the past…for his one I am enjoying the fan stencil :)

You might also enjoy : Crosses & Losses Quilt : Finished 

I’ll be putting some more hand quilting stitches in on Sunday and joining other Slow Sunday Stitchers at Kathy’s Quilts 

She’s probably frying zucchini in Heaven

My sister’s MIL has been like another Mom to me for most of my life and known as another grandma to my kids since they were born, and ditto in regards to  my grandkids.

About 18 years ago I purchased the home that I live in now and my back yard is adjacent to hers! When Brent was little and I babysat him, we’d take off …me walking and him on his trike…up the back alley for a few blocks, then on to the main street. We’d always end up with him parking his bike in her front yard and going to the porch to ring the doorbell. She’d come to the door and get a big hug and then lead him in to the kitchen for a cookie.

Her cooking and baking skills were legendary. Back when my grandson Brent’s FATHER was a little boy, the holiday dinner would always start with her first course…Italian wedding soup. And he’d bang on the high chair hollering “Meatball!” when he wanted more ; so delicious!

She cooked the seven fish Italian dinner on Christmas Eve and provided a good 20 or more varieties of gourmet cookies for us on Christmas Day. She straightened me out about making gravy..LOL! Do it in the PAN with drippings and taught me the right way to make the best fried zucchini HER way ….

In the kitchen or out she loved and enjoyed life…this photo is from two years ago at Halloween.  When she passed on the other day she was 95 years old and had still faithfully attended Mass  that Sunday.

May we all still have this joy in life at 93! Photo taken two Halloweens ago )

While my BIL lives not too far from me there is other family coming in …I cooked a bit for his sister yesterday who will be staying at the house and her children coming in tonight and tomorrow. Probably not much sewing will be going on this week.

I found myself in mourning for her one day and the next for the legendary Barbara Bush as I watched the last half of HER funeral service.  Both ladies were very much the same….faith and serviced based, from a very special generation!