Monday, October 05, 2015

First T shirt quilt

It's been a long time since I have posted anything! I am hoping to keep track of my quilting items here. We will see...

This quilt was made for a friend's son's 40th birthday. I am so impressed that she saved so many things - including a baby outfit and his blankie! They are all here. It is made with a built in hanging placket at the top, so it can be hung up. It took 63 counted hours!!!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

I was arrested for singing......

Wednesday, August 7th, was a very strange day. My friend and I went to Madison to shop, visit the State Capitol at noon to sing, and then we were probably going to go to Olbrich Gardens to see the butterflies, and maybe visit a quilt shop!

We knew that it was possible to be arrested for singing...which is a very strange thing to say, I must tell you!! It has been declared unlawful for more than 20 people to gather and sing in our beautiful capitol without a permit. This singing began over two years ago during the Wisconsin Uprising when hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Madison around the square and in the capitol to protest very abrupt lawmaking leading to the loss of collective bargaining rights earned years before by our parents and grandparents- a discussion for another day!

People have been coming between noon and 1 pm every week day to sing. It is a very peaceful group. Sometimes they sing outside when events are going on in the capitol rotunda, and inside at other times. There are some people who come more often, but the singing group varies in size as people come and go. My friend and I came a two times over the last two years.

It's a complicated situation, but in the last few weeks, the Capitol Police have begun arresting people for singing....and sometimes for simply observing.

We hemmed and hawed about going to the Capitol. We knew we could be arrested in our heads, but didn't believe it would really happen.....

We found parking, walked around the beautiful building and walked in the State Street doors. People were outside singing and they said as we walked by: "Are they still arresting people in there?" We went in and of course stopped at the bathroom...cause that's what we do. Then on to get closer to the singing. We stood by one of the pillars near the outer edge of the crowd, and there was a song I kind of knew...I sang a bit (four or five words) but I didn't really know the words. I turned to my friend and there were three officers behind me. Yikes.

It's a bit fuzzy already (that is what age does to us!), but one of the officers said we had to leave or risk being arrested. Then he asked me if I would leave. I said no. The young woman officer was reluctant to arrest me, but the older officer seemed to be in charge. They put handcuffs (real ones, not the plastic ties) on me with my hands behind my back after taking my purse off my shoulder. It's a very full and colorful purse, and I was worried about it the whole time! It's funny what we worry about at times.

People were taking pictures and videos and calling out, "Hero!" It felt good and very odd all at the same time.

They walked me to the elevator and we rode down to the former cafeteria in the used as a place to fill out citations. I asked about my purse a few times, but otherwise there was no talk. I did make eye contact with the young woman officer a few times. She seemed to be least I thought so.

First she asked me if I had anything on me that would hurt her! I said no. Then I was patted down. Other than the airport, this was my first pat-down. She then asked if I had my ID in my purse. I think she asked for permission to look, but I can't remember that either! She found my wallet, and I started telling her where my ID was. Then I decided she should find it herself. It was a small thing, but felt big to me.

She filled out the citation form, gave my ID to a young woman who took it to make a copy (I assume) and check for outstanding warrants, I guess, and we sat and waited. Nothing was said. Oh, I did ask where the $200.50 would be going. She wasn't sure.

When the young woman came back, they took off the cuffs, and I was free to go. As I was leaving, the officers were behind me and I held the door for them They said thank you. Nothing beats remembering courtesy. How weird this all is/was!!

They also told me if I went back to the Rotunda, I risked arrest again. I was trying to figure out how to find my friend and walked outside the same doors I came in. I texted her and then called her. She came out and we hugged a few times. My feelings were so complicated: a bit embarrassed, a bit proud, a bit surreal, and more! I have never been arrested before.

We sat on a wall near the sidewalk, and a lady walked by on her phone. My friend overheard her say she had been arrested, too. So we followed her and talked awhile. She said not to pay the fine and to contest it at the court date. (It's first thought was to pay and move on...years of conditioning, I think.) So, I am going to court in a couple weeks to plead not guilty! More strangeness!!

I texted my adult kids and told them I am now a perp. I used to teach at the county jail (for 10 years), and I am SURE they never thought they would hear that from me!

They actually are proud of my civil disobedience. Me too.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hello from Italy!

Written Oct. 7th, but not sent due to bad connections!

Irene and I are settled in our little apartment in Amalfi. It is near the bus stop, so it is not quiet during the day. But we are people watchers, so it works out well! We are close to everything and have NO need to drive. That is good because the roads are crazy and VERY winding. We are unwinding. That is good, too. I am typing on my IPad in a hotspot...not so easy so posts will be few, I think.


Monday, October 15th....Update! We are in Naples and fly home Wednesday morning. It has been a wonderful adventure and we are trying to work up our courage to check out Naples. We have been hearing lots of slightly scary things so....wish us well.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saying Good-bye

Things are beginning to get back to normal since mom's funeral. But that normal will change again when Irene and I head off to the Amalfi Coast in Italy on Tuesday!!

I believe mom gave us a last gift by joining dad before we left. It would have been extremely difficult to go while we knew she wasn't doing well.......

Before I begin:

In 1999 after dad died, Irene and I took mom to CA to visit Amy and to see her brother, Jim, in the San Bernadino Mountains. We ended up spending our first night in O'Hare due to storm delays. This is mom waking up in the baggage claim area at
5 a.m. She was a good sport.

I was home when mom died on September 20th, and Irene kept in touch with texting and the phone. Mom died around 11:15 am. Irene didn't want me to drive to LaCrosse that morning, and to tell the truth, it wouldn't have been a good idea. Even though weknew this was going to happen and it was a good thing ultimately, I was a mess. Driving would have been scary. (Especially in light of the accident the week earlier on my way into Onalaska.)

I went up to LX on Friday morning. We got salads and ate in Riverside Park by the Mississippi River - one of mom's favorite spots. Then we went to the funeral home. We have had things set up since 2003! I didn't remember it being so long ago! We changed a few things, and went to our old parish church to meet about the funeral mass. We had decided we wanted the service to be in the Faith and Life Chapel of Bethany Riverside. Mom had lived there for 10 years, and it felt right to end there. Bethany couldn't have the luncheon there due to the Grumpy Old Men who came in one Monday a month to play polkas, etc. at one o'clock. (The program lady at Bethany said the men would come whether we were there or not......they would pay NO attention to a change.) SO we found another restaurant. It was not a big place and weighed on both of us that it was not the right place.

When I woke up on Saturday, Irene said she had thought of another place - the old Knights of Columbus building on Highway 16! Our dad built the bar there and he and mom spent many hours socializing there. Perfect. is now The View Bar and Grill. She had already called at 7 am and booked it. It seemed like a fitting end to the social lives of Fran and Dorothy Mara. (The new owners tore out the bar to update it. That hurt a bit, but life just continues to move on whether we want it to or not.)

I drove home to Milton, and Amy and Timothy came in the late afternoon from Cincinnati.

We drove back to LaCrosse on Sunday, put our things in our hotel rooms and went off to Irene and Tom's house. Joe and Mike were there from Louisville, KY, and brother, Duane and nephew, Matt, came in from Montgomery, AL. The "kids" put together the memory photo boards and Irene and I edited some of mom's things to display at the visitation. It kept us all busy and talking. It was nice.

On Monday, Irene picked me up at 8:15 am and we went to Bethany to set up. Many people came to pay their respects and  mom would have liked it, too. The sun shone in the windows and mom would have liked that, too. We had a mass and lots of songs about dancing and mom would have liked that, too. In so many ways, it was a celebration of her long and mostly joyous life. And she would have liked that, too!!

Mom was buried next to the love of her life, Fran, and her sister, Laura and her husband, George in the Catholic Cemetery in LaCrosse. It was so sunny and the wind gusted up at one point. I am SURE I felt mom's approval of the setting. As my nephew Joe said, "Not to get all new agey", but I feel her all around me. It is easier now that she has shed her mortal burdens. She is at peace, of that I am sure.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Waiting no longer

My mom, Dorothy Rose Gund Mara, died this morning at the age of 96. She suffered with Alzheimer's for the last 13 years. Because of that disease, she has been missed for a number of years, and now she will be missed forever.

I wrote this list a LONG time ago about mom.

I Remember Mom……….
Her faith in God
Hanging clothes outside on Mondays, especially in order to enjoy the fresh smell
Ironing every Tuesday when I came home from school and me sitting there talking about everything.
Waking us up early on Saturday mornings to clean the house...each and every Saturday
Debating current events after supper
Getting into heated discussions and then hugging me because it wasn’t about us!
Lying on the living room floor listening to Sound of Music, Camelot, etc., especially if she could be in the sunshine!
Singing harmony with her sister, Laura
Getting dressed up every Friday afternoon to go the “Club” with my dad (and us when we were younger)
Nagging me unmercifully to “get a job” at 14 when I really didn’t want to….I did.
Putting make-up on every day at her vanity table
Looking through her jewelry box for the perfect accompaniment to her outfit
Dad and Mom checking that their “outfits” didn’t clash
Moisturizing every morning and evening for nice skin (and it worked!)
Enjoying being outside….even a walk around the house was relaxing for her
Hard as a rock towels from them hanging outside in the fresh air, but they did smell good!
Enjoying my children and all they did
Always finding the positive in the kids and Bob……especially when I couldn’t!
Laughing at/with the kids when they put of “shows” for her
Listening endlessly to my dad talk because she loved him and he was a good man
Sharing funny times together and making her laugh out loud
Me calling her only when things weren’t right and her never saying, “Why don’t you call more often?”
Really enjoying the antics of Copper, our cat
Telling me to sit in the sun when I didn’t feel good…….”You will feel better.” And I did.
Getting ready to go golfing with such anticipation even though she was never very good at it….she was a great chipper and putter, though!
Turning very brown in the summer and then spending lots of time moisturizing, lots of time.
Being always ready to go for a ride at a moment’s notice
Taking her on three trips after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and her enjoyment of every moment of each of them
Her love, constant and always





Sunday, September 16, 2012

Current Events

It has been many years since I last added to my blog. I definitely let it go while working, being Mema, gardening, reading, etc.

Now I am retired - officially May 15, 2012. I have had a few months of extra naps and feel ready to begin again.

I plan to start with current events and, hopefully, work least as much as possible with the memory issues of being over 60! Bob says we are "old and confused" now. I fear he is right. Of course, I always worry about the beginnings of Alzheimer's since mom has suffered for over 13 years with this horrible disease. It IS a very long good-bye.

Anyway. Here goes:

This last Friday I went to LaCrosse to see mom. It was her 96th birthday September 13th and Irene and I planned to sit with her. We no longer visit; that ended a number of years ago. Our brother, Fran, joined us this time and then we all went out to dinner. Irene's husband, Tom, joined us. It was a really nice visit. We took mom out in the courtyard and she reacted when we came out of the nursing home into the fresh air....just a noise, but a reaction nevertheless.

BUT before I even got to Irene's, I had a little adventure. It is a 3 hour drive to LaCrosse and it was uneventful, until I left the Interstate and came to the Highway 53 stoplight. I moved forward a little, looked to the left and saw a car coming a bit too close, so I stopped. The semi behind did not stop! BAM. He crunched into the backend of our little Vibe. I hardly believed it had happened. It has been at least 40 years since I was in a car accident.

I pulled over and made room behind me for the semi. We got out, he said, "You looked, and I didn't." Yup. We exchanged information, and I drove to Irene's house in Onalaska. I was kind of shaken by the whole event. She said, "What did the police say?" I said we didn't call the police. Oops. Big no-no! I called Bob and he said, "What did the police say?" Again...........

Side bar: 40 years ago, a car pulled out from a street parking place in Tomah and banged into me. I left and went to Bob's work and told him. He said, "What did the police say?" So, I have somewhat of a history of leaving the scene, I guess. He says I was "young and innocent" then, and now I am "old and confused." Sigh.

Off we went to the Onalaska Police Station. The officer was really nice, but he did say it is a LOT easier to get all the information HE needs at the scene of the accident. You would think I would know that! Geesh.

Now I/we? have to do all the insurance and car repair stuff in the next few weeks.

I came home Saturday late morning, and it was an uneventful trip. Thank goodness.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Today is the 4th anniversary of the birth of our first grandson, Alexandar. He was bright-eyed and lovely to watch and to hold. It is still hard to believe that he is not an active part of our lives. He is always with his grandpa (Bapa) and me (Mema), though, in spirit. We talk about him often, wonder who he would have been, and he continues to be missed. I know his mommy and daddy miss him every day. It is still difficult to try to understand why things happened as they did, but we go on and find joy in every day and with each person in our family. I believe that is what Alex would want if he could talk with us.

Bapa and I love you, Alexandar, always and forever.
Love, Mema