It seems that another year has gone by, and I did not post anything at all! That means the traditional end of year review is just that much more relevant. If I don’t make this post, all of the 2019 activities will go unrecorded. So here is a rough timeline of our activities, with a few pictures to illustrate.
This is a horribly long post, for which I apologize. I’ve organized it as a timeline, with various slide shows in appropriate places. I’ll attempt a sort of table of contents as well.
- 12/28/2018: A Valance for the Living Room
- 1/24/2019 – 1/26/2019: Vogue Knitting Show, NYC
- 2/10/2019 – 3/1/2019: Sebastian, FL Fishing & Kayaking
- 2/20/2019 – 2/25/2019: QuiltCon 2019 in Nashville, TN
- 4/7/2019 – 4/11/2019: New York City
- 5/21/2019 – 5/29/2019: Camping at Golden Hill State Park
- 6/21/2019 – 7/1/2019: The Vermont Quilt Festival & Camping on Grand Isle, VT
- 7/19/2019 – 7/28/2019: Fishing Trip in Ontario, Canada
- 7/30/2019: Breast Surgery (It’s all okay.)
- 8/10/2019 – 8/24/2019: Camping at Southwick Beach State Park
- 8/26/2019: Cat Cross Quilt – Finished at Last
- 8/26/2019 – 9/16/2019: Radiation Therapy
- 9/24/2019 – 10/1/2019: Camping on Wellesley Island
- Wrapping up the Year
12/28/2018: A Valance for the Living Room
Technically not 2019, but this home decoration finish was too big not to crow about. It took a huge number of hours because of the design of the valance and the type of print the fabric had. There is an inverted box pleat at each of the window uprights, and just look at the way the pattern flows across the front panels of the valance!
To make this work, I first had to make a scale drawing of the frequency and alignment of the fabric pattern repeats (not the pattern itself), then layout scale drawings of the valance tissue pattern pieces to determine the layout order needed to make the matches. I like the fabric pattern, and I think the valance design is appropriate for this window, but I don’t think I’ll attempt a valance / fabric combination that is this complicated ever again.
1/24/2019 – 1/26/2019: Vogue Knitting Show, NYC
A quick trip with my sister-in-law and expert knitter, Cindy. We took the train from Rome, NY to The City for a the Vogue Knitting Show, where we took classes and attempted to walk the vendor floor. This proved impossible because there were so many people, and so little walking space. Nevertheless, it was a fun trip with a fun person, and I’m very glad I went. Did I get any photos? It appears not. Just too busy being there to record the event, I guess.
2/10/2019 – 3/1/2019: Sebastian, FL Fishing & Kayaking
For me, this trip was all about escaping from winter for a few weeks. For Larry and our friend Carl, it was all about fishing. Jill (Carl’s wife) and I did get plenty of opportunities for kayaking. The weather and the water were all beautiful, and I did get a few photos.
2/20/2019 – 2/25/2019: QuiltCon 2019 in Nashville, TN
The Modern Quilt Guild put on a fantastic quilt conference in Nashville, which gave me a chance to combine an event I love with a visit to my youngest sister, Melody. Yes, this is right in the middle of the Sebastian, FL trip. That just meant Larry had more time to fish without worrying about whether I was bored. The pictures below are only a few of the many beautiful quilts I saw and photographed. This event just makes my heart sing!
4/7/2019 – 4/11/2019: New York City
Larry’s sister Candi and her husband Rick wanted to visit NYC, but not without a good guide. Larry was tapped for this role, having worked in The City for a number of years while with the FDIC. We did quite a lot of walking, and saw a number of the “must see” sites, although I did not get very many pictures. Once again, too busy being there to make a substantial record of the visit.
5/21/2019 – 5/29/2019: Camping at Golden Hill State Park
Another case of a trip designed for Larry to get in some fishing with his buddy Carl. This time they were fishing on the Niagara River, while our campsite was at Golden Hill State Park, just a short drive away. We got in some visits and walking and a birthday party for Larry while there, but somehow I only managed this one photo.
6/21/2019 – 7/1/2019: The Vermont Quilt Festival & Camping on Grand Isle, VT
The Vermont Quilt Festival (VQF) is one I’ve been attending frequently since I’ve retired. It is held in Essex, VT and is usually attended by Larry’s niece Kristin and her mother Candi, who is Larry’s sister. It is a great opportunity for all of us to spend some time with Kristin’s family. This year Larry decided to use the trip as an opportunity to fish on Lake Placid. He was once again joined by friend Carl in this activity. For some reason, I photographed only a few quilts, and not the campsite at all. (Sigh…)
7/19/2019 – 7/28/2019: Fishing Trip in Ontario, Canada
I did not participate in this trip, but I did get some pictures! This was a “bucket list” trip for Larry, deep into the wilds of Ontario. Once again joined by our friend Carl, the two guys took off for a week of lake fishing at WigWam camp.
7/30/2019: Breast Surgery
Relax, no one took any pictures of this, although I honestly wish I could have watched. But I’m like that, always trying to see how things are put together. No, this was not “elective” surgery. It was, however, very successful. Small tumor, not very aggressive cancer cells, no stray cells in the margins of the removed lump or in the sentinel lymph nodes. Absolutely the best possible outcome, with 99% of similar situations staying cancer free for 5 years. Indeed, about 85% of women all women who are diagnosed with breast cancer live 10 years beyond the diagnosis. While population statistics are not predictors for individuals, they are the best indicators we have, and these are quite good.
This is just another example of why women should get mammograms just as often as their doctors recommend. Don’t say you are too busy, and don’t let fear of possible surgery get in the way either. The whole thing was really routine, out patient surgery, with very little pain; no sweat, as we boomers say. Indeed, the only reason I bring this up is to try to “normalize” the whole breast care experience. Even men develop breast cancer, though at a lower rate than women. We should get as comfortable talking about it as heart disease.
8/10/2019 – 8/24/2019: Camping at Southwick Beach State Park
One of our favorite New York state parks, this park even has a few “dry” sites on the beach, and we were lucky enough to get one. For the uninitiated, a “dry” camp site has no hook-ups whatsoever, including no water. It is possible to get a fully connected site with electric, water and sewer, or with just one or two of these items. In state parks, sewer is pretty rare, but either of the others are frequently available at some of the sites. In keeping with most of the rest of this year’s events, I didn’t get any photos, but I can share a few from a previous trip a couple of years ago.
8/26/2019: Cat Cross Quilt – Finished at Last
Seriously, I’ve worked on this quilt off and one for 2 years, I swear. The quilt was intended for Owen, and every time I made a mistake, progress stalled because I was so worried about how imperfect this gift would be. Fortunately, I consulted Owen about the design and fabric choices from the beginning, and he kept telling me it would be okay. So, here it is:
8/26/2019 – 9/16/2019: Radiation Therapy
Again, relax, there are no photos, and for good reason. There is little room for modesty in this process. It is, however, a perfectly routine part of breast cancer treatment, and painless as well. One does get a small bit of tan in a curious location, which later flakes off. One also gets to ring a bell after the last treatment, on the last day. At first I thought this was silly, why ring a bell? Well I don’t know who thought of it, but it is actually quite a good idea. I rang the bell, and the whole staff and any other patients hanging around cheered, and I was filled with a most triumphant sense of closure. My treatment was complete!
As I said, I only mention this to try to help normalize this aspect of health care for women and men. I knew of someone who had been through this same process, and she was wonderful about sharing her experiences with me. Otherwise, I would not have had any idea what to expect. Roughly 13%, or 1 in 8, of women develop breast cancer, so whether you know it or not, you do know someone who has had it. Don’t be afraid to reach out for someone to “hold your hand” through the process if you ever need it. I hope it is also clear that I am open to questions about this process, should anyone want further information on the personal side of the diagnosis and treatment.
9/24/2019 – 10/1/2019: Camping on Wellesley Island
Yes, another combined camping and fishing trip! Once again, Carl joined Larry in getting a guide and getting in some good lake fishing. Our friend Steve joined this time as well, along with Larry’s nephew Mike, who lives relatively nearby in Watertown. The associated wives all came along as well. I thought this was all marvelously serendipitous until the Sunday, the day before my birthday. That is when everyone showed up at our campsite bearing food and drink and gifts for me! A bit of a surprise, that, but a wonderful one. Sorry, once again, I didn’t take pictures. I really have to do better this year.
Wrapping up the Year
Since completing Owen’s quilt I’ve pieced a couple more quilt tops, but not quilted yet, so not pictures yet. We at a great Thanksgiving with “the Kids” – Owen and his sweetheart, Miranda – and Christmas with Larry’s sisters in North Carolina. Finally a New Year’s Eve party at our place with the Kids and friends Steve and Jeannette. Again, no pictures, but great fun. I really must do better this year. I have a phone, so pictures shouldn’t be all that hard to get. I just have to think of it while I’m having fun. Not so easy to do, at least for me. Hoping your year was as much fun as mine, and that this coming year will be even better for you and yours!