Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Dream

Last night was special. I fell asleep on my futon with the TV going and I had a dream. In the dream, I was on the futon and Felix came and knelt beside the futon and reached over to hug and kiss me and to tell me how much he loved me. In the dream, he was wearing his ocean blue shirt and smiling at me. It was all very vivid. I awoke feeling very close to him and basking in his undying love for me. I felt at peace. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that he has appeared to me in my dreams.

On a quilty note, here are some pictures of what's been going on over at the Senior Center in Alton, NH.

Mary has been making some fabric covered toilet tissue pumpkins. They are so cute!

She also made this adorable whimsy fish for some young child to cuddle!

There was some label attaching on finished small quilts for charity work.

I still find it hard to concentrate to sew much of anything but I'll keep you posted when I do.

Happy quilting!

Monday, August 19, 2019

The High Costs Of Dying

The bill came in today for Felix's final trip to the local emergency room. I thanked God for our Medicare coverage because it was for over $4000. Fortunately, my share of that was less than $300 so I called the hospital's billing department as Felix had always taught me to do.

By paying the bill in full on a credit card, I was eligible for a 20% discount. That was a savings of almost $60 that I cannot afford to squander. I tremble to think of what the bill will be for from the town's ambulance because I do not think that Medicare covers any of that. My Dad used to tell me, "Victoria, don't scream before you're hit, " so we'll see.

The cremation costs were higher than I had expected also. It was $1300 for a bare bones, no pun intended, cremation of his body. If he had weighed over 350 pounds, they were going to charge me an extra $600, so I was glad that he weighed 325 pounds at his death. My loving sister and brother-in-law stepped in and paid for Felix's cremation. I am so blessed!

I still have not heard from the Social Security office to learn what to expect for an income  check in the future. I know that it will be adjusted by the minimum amount of my teacher's pension.

We do not dwell on the death of a loved one when they are alive, but rather, spend our days in a pleasant oblivion. It is hard to feel financially punished when  you are already grieving your loss. The costs of the death of a spouse are staggering, both emotionally and financially.

This picture is of Felix at the local nursery and feed store, Clark's Feed and Grain. It was on a Sunday in May a few years ago when he was picking out his 6 varieties of tomato plants and some squashes and seeds for his beloved vegetable garden. He was so happy to be sitting on the ground digging in the dirt!

We always had zucchini and yellow summer squash to share with friends and neighbors. I don't care for gardening but I'd often go down to his garden to admire his work when he was ready to show it to me. How I miss him! I treasure every memory of our long and rich life together.

Take more pictures of your loved ones!

Happy quilting

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Friday Quilters

Yesterday was the Friday Quilters at the Golden Gese Quilt Shop in Concord and I went in and had a fun day.

Maureen was still working on her Red White and Blue blocks and the stacks of them are growing!

She also brought in a loaf of her delicious home made bread for me, yum! I brought in a stick of butter and we all had some. It was so fresh and tasty! Thank you, Maureen!

Maureen also brought me two ears of sweet corn right from the farm where they grow it. I ate both last night and it was so good!

Do you know how to cook sweet corn in the microwave? First pull back all the corn shucks but do NOT remove them. Then carefully clean away all the silk from the exposed ear of corn. Next pull back the shucks into their original position, covering the ear completely. Microwave on high power for 2:30 minutes and give the ear a minute of standing time. Pull back the shucks again and put on the butter, salt and pepper and eat it!
This method spares you from needing to heat up the kitchen with a big pot of boiling water in the heat of summer. But you can only do one ear at a time so put the next one in as soon as you take out the first one. Enjoy!

Maureen's daughter is planning a trip to Paris, so Maureen has been busy making the most adorable luggage tags. Good job!

She did these all on her embroidery machine and they are all so creative!

As for me, I cut out and pinned a pair of matching Hot Dog Pillowcases. These are the fabrics and the complete instructions are on a tutorial on my blog on the right hand column.

Today is the 17th of August, making it one whole month since Felix died so suddenly of a cardiac arrest. I still can't believe it and I miss him so much! I talk to his picture every day. Thank you for all your prayers and words of encouragement as I take each day with my baby steps.

My Beloved Felix

Hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Treasure each moment.

Happy quilting to all!

Friday, August 9, 2019

A Good Day

My Hero!
Today was a very good day starting out with my getting the mail from the end of the driveway. It had my statement from the Teacher's Retirement Board, finally! I raised the flag up to full staff which had been lowered to honor the El Paso and Dayton shootings. Had a quick bite to eat and printed out a dollar off coupon for a haircut at Walmart's salon.

Went to the Social Security office by 11am and the place was deserted so I was waited on right away! Wow, how often does that happen? I let them make copies of the Retirement Board's letter and also the official copy of my marriage certificate and I was done. He said that I should receive a letter from them in about 2 weeks stating what my exact benefit will be in the future, but that I will receive my own SS check but not Felix's for August. Whew!

Then I got a nice haircut and a wash at the salon and went on to Market Basket on Fort Eddy Road. I shopped for a couple of dozen eggs, and a few other odds and ends. The biggie was to use the raincheck that we'd gotten from them the day that Felix died. It was for 8 packages of Wholly Guacamole! Yummy! I used the wonderful gift card that the Friday Quilters had sent to me and was thrilled to only pay them $2.75 for all my stuff! Thank you to all the quilters!!!

Got home and found a message on my answering machine from my car insurance agent who's a peach of a gal. She went over all the details of the declaration sheet that had also arrived in the mail. I've opted for an enhanced towing package that was only $2 more a year.

Got home before my Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream melted, too! Oatmeal raisin cookies, my favorites, were on the weekly special so I got two.

So I'm getting along pretty well doing the needful.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Moving Forward

Friday I did go in to the Golden Gese Quilt shop in Concord to see all my loyal quilty friends and to hug them in person. Although I did not feel up to sewing myself, I was inspired by all that they were doing. Here are some pictures of their projects. Maureen was  making these beautiful blocks.

Tammy was quilting a gorgeous fall log cabin table runner. Look at those tiny strips!

When I left the Gese Shop, I bought gasoline at Sam's Club and was delighted with their price of $2.45 per gallon and filled the tank. Then I headed up to Laconia to my regular follow up appointment with my oncologist for the breast cancer. I had a great check up and he doesn't need to see me for another 6 months. He was very sympathetic about Felix's sudden passing, too.

Felix always used to go with me to all my appointments so I missed him. This is a picture of Felix with me at the Concord Hospital as we rang the big bell to celebrate the end of my breast cancer radiation treatments.

Then on Sunday, I took a big road trip to South Freeport, Maine, to meet up with Grace from Stashbusters and her Mom. Grace used to live in Maine and we always met to enjoy the Rochester, NH quilt shows together. She has since moved to Maryland, so I do not see her until she comes by Amtrak to Maine to visit  her Mom, Carolyn. We had a lovely lunch of Lobster rolls at Harraseeket's Lunch and Lobster. This is Carolyn and then a picture of Grace and me.

This is the flag at half mast when I lowered it to honor Felix's passing at Park Hill Farm.

He was always there for me, telling that I was pretty and how much he loved me. I have so many wonderful memories of his reaching over with his hand to squeeze mine and to say  "I love you!"

Each day is a new challenge and adventure to go on without him. I miss him so much. Rest in Peace, my honey!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Felix Comes Home

Yesterday was a hard one for me. A good friend, Bella, who is the wife of the young man, Matthew, who lived with us for a few years, took me to pick up Felix's ashes. It was about a 45 minute drive to get there but we found it thanks to her GPS on her cel phone.

They gave me Felix's wedding ring and a lock of his hair as I had requested. They also gave me a big tote bag with their logo on it to carry his ashes in a plain black plastic box that sort of looks like leatherette. It was very heavy! It weighs more than a gallon of milk.

Now I am wearing a gold chain necklace with his ring on it around my neck. It's nice to reach down and touch it. This was a sterling silver simple band that I had made for him when I took silver smithing classes in college, so it's very special.

Later, I took myself to my town hall and paid our property taxes, so now we are current with the town. While I was there, I had them make 6 official copies of his death certificate for $65. I hope that will be enough to cover all the bases. They charge extra if you get them one at a time so this was best.

When I got home, I read and re-read the death certificate and looked at the container of his ashes. I shed a few tears and then felt better. It is all so strange.

It was a very warm sunny day in the mid 80's but with low humidity so not too bad. The police just stopped in to check on my well-being and were glad to know that I'm fine. I've been added to their list of daily check-ins so I need to call them everyday to let them know that I'm fine.

Now that I have his death certificate, I'm planning on going in to the Concord Social Security office early next week to do the official informing them of his death. As I  understand it, they will cut one of our checks of income and I get to pick whichever is the larger one, which would be his. I hope that I can go early in the morning because it's  supposed to be in the 90's and humid.

Thank you for listening to all my tales of trying to function as a widow.

Stay cool and happy quilting!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

My Progress as a Widow

It has now been a week since my beloved Felix passed away so suddenly from a cardiac arrest. The first 24 hours were the very hardest because I was so  keyed up that I could not sleep at all. I just wandered aimlessly through the house. Now I am able to sleep a good sound 6 to 7 hours through the night. I wake and realize that he is gone and feel bereft.

People have been wonderful to me, calling, stopping by, and emailing me to send their heart warming condolences. Both of Felix's doctors, his GP and his cardiologist, have made a personal phone call to me to say how much they both enjoyed Felix as a patient and to express their sympathy. I was so grateful to them both.

Life goes on and I've been doing the needful; paying the regular  bills, collecting the mail from the mailbox, and going to the dump to take our trash. But it all seems so insignificant.

On Wednesday, yesterday, I went to breakfast with the gals at the Alton Senior Center at my quilting club. One of the gals, Sue, was wonderful by showing me all the necessary steps to balance the checkbook. That was a task that he did faithfully every month as soon as the bank statement came in to us. Afterwards, I went over to the bank and verified the results with their assistant manager who has volunteered to help me again next month.

There was a small error at the hospital the night that Felix died. The attending physician forgot to sign his death certificate. This resulted in a delay of Felix's cremation after he had donated his corneas. Now that mistake has been corrected and cremation can be scheduled. After his final remains are cremated, I will pick up his ashes in Boscawen and bring them home to sit on the mantle.

My wonderful friend and neighbor, Ilse, shared with me the name of the lady who cuts her grass for her. I contacted her and yesterday she did my lawn, front and back and it looks great. She loves to mow and I was so grateful for her help. She only charged me $30 and we have a big lawn so it is a real bargain and a blessing.

As I end this post of my progress, I am going to include a great couple of pictures of Felix. I have them propped up on a big pile of my stash of quilting fabrics in the living room, directly in front of my easy chair. I look at them and talk to Felix and pray for him to be at peace with God.

Thank you for listening.

Friday, July 19, 2019

How He Passed

It is with a broken heart that I must tell you that my partner, Felix, passed away very suddenly last night of a cardiac arrest.

We had finished marketing in Concord at the market basket and he helped me bring in and put away all the groceries. We shared a big cold drink of half cranberry juice and half flavored seltzer water. He took a nap and woke refreshed. He was cutting up celery for an imitation crab meat salad and called to me to come and watch Jeopardy with him. I went into the living room and he was talking about the salad he was making and then stopped mid-sentence and said, "Oh, oh." I asked him what he meant and he slumped back into his easy chair and did not answer me, still holding the knife he had been using.

When he did not respond to me I immediately called 911 and an officer responded right away and did CRP. The ambulance crew arrived right after that and continued the CPR with several unsuccessful shocks of the defibrillator and a shot of adrenaline. They took him to Lakes Region General where soon after he was pronounced dead.

Felix did not suffer and he never regained consciousness.

    I told the hospital that I wanted them to allow his body to be used for donations and they contacted the New England Donor service and I talked to them on the phone there at the hospital. Later, at 11:30pm when I was back home, they called me as they had promised to do and conducted a very thorough interview of his health issues. They will be able to use much skin and bone tissue harvests and will be able to use his corneas. I am very grateful that he will be able to help others as his final act.

    This is all so sudden that I'm not really letting it sink into reality. I'm just glad that he died doing what he loved and did not have pain or suffering. It was about 7:45pm when he keeled over.

    I love you all. Please say a small prayer for Felix. Thank you,



July 17th was a  life-changing night for me. My beloved Felix suffered a massive cardiac arrest and was gone right in front of me. His passing has left me bereft. The house is so empty and my life seems like a wasteland without him.

I have not done any sewing. I went for over 24 hours without sleeping, just wandering around the house looking at TV but not really watching it.

Here are some pictures of sewing that was going on before he passed.

These were from Sue at the Alton Senior Center.
Meb's beautiful hand quilting.

It will take me more time and healing to be able to write about my life now. Thank you for your patience with me.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Around Town

June has been blessedly cool and somewhat rainy but my new car is running great! That means that I've been going to breakfasts with my sew club. Here are some pictures of what's been going on.

That was Maureen's very dramatic table runner.
Here's what Beverly was working on.
Bright bits of pink with mint green sashings.

Sue has the patience for curved seams!
Maureen's blocks had a cutting mistake but she had enough fabric to correct it.

Here's the hearty breakfast from the Alton, NH Senior Center.
Sue did a great job on her table runner.

The other Sue did a fine Tee shirt quilt!

Love the labels!

Here's another breakfast!
Faye has been sewing sashings to her scrappy nine patches.

Mary's little house blocks look great!
Meb's oriental floral table runner is all hand quilted in feathers!

Sue has been hand embroidering her black and white quilt blocks.
Hope you are staying cool and sewing on!

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