My sister-in-law, Debbie Cook, has become a quilting fanatic. I’ve never made a quilt myself, but I guess it is really quite addictive. Like her daughter, Susan Griffith, I can’t understand the draw, because sewing is simply not my thing, and Susan says she can’t even sew a straight line., so we are on the same page there. Debbie has always been crafty though. She makes dish clothes and cross stitch items to sell at the craft fair that most towns hold, especially around Christmastime. She loves going to craft fairs, looking forward to it all year, which she comes by naturally, given the fact that her mom, Joann Schulenberg and her sister, Brenda Schulenberg had booths at the craft fairs for years. Even her dad, Walt Schulenberg got involved after he retired.
Debbie is grandma to four grandchildren, Weston Moore, Jala Satterwhite, Easton Moore, and Kaytlyn Griffith. Over the years, she has picked all of them up after school, but these days it just her and Kaytlyn once a week. It nice for both of them, because it gives them a chance to hang out. They like to play board games. I don’t know who wins the most, but I expect that it gets competitive, because Kaytlyn is getting to that age, where she knows how all this works.
Debbie’s daughter, Machelle Moore told me of the time that her mom got her out of quite a jam. Machelle’s son, Easton had a hat, and he cut a hole in the middle of the front, so he could pull it over his face. Easton didn’t know the hat was made by Machelle’s mother-in-law, Easton’s other grandma, and they were quite upset that he had “ruined” the hat his grandma had so lovingly made. Debbie came to the rescue. She fixed it and that was quite the job!! Repair work is often much harder than making the original item. She did great though!!
Machelle got a new dishwasher about a year ago and wanted to make a sign to put on the front of it to tell if the dishes were clean or dirty. Easton figured out that the front of it was magnetic. On the next family camping trip, Machelle told her mom that she needed a magnet cross-stitched sign that says clean on top, and when flipped, it says dirty. It sure comes in handy!! Both of the girls feel very blessed to have their mom so close by. Today is Debbie’s birthday. Happy birthday Debbie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When I first met Bob’s Aunt Esther, we had not been married very long, and unfortunately for Bob, he had made the mistake of assuming that I knew how to cut hair. Well, in reality, I did, but there is a vast difference between cutting my sisters’ long, one length hair, and his short and in need of a tapered look hair. Needless to say, I cut his hair at one length most of the way around and a bit shorter above the ears and shorter still on his forehead, but still no tapering. It was kind of a disaster…and it was right before our wedding…Ugh!! Bob was a god sport about it…after the initial shock and argument over what in the world I had been thinking. I told him I didn’t know how, but he thought his mother would cut it too short, so he was left with me. His mistake, not mine…right!!
That summer, we went up to Forsyth, Montana to visit Bob’s grandparents, Vina and Walt Hein, who are his Aunt Esther’s parents. Bob’s hair, unfortunately for him, is rather slow growing, and the summer still found his hair not looking too great. Since Esther was a cosmetologist, Bob decided to play it safe and have her cut his hair…still rubbing it in a bit that I had butchered it the last time he let me near it. The situation was quickly getting ready to turn into an argument, when Esther offered to teach me how to cut his hair. It was the best thing she could have done, because over the years, it has saved us untold amounts of money on haircuts for Bob…not to mention years of embarrassment about how awful it really looked.
It wasn’t that I didn’t know how bad his hair looked after I cut it, but rather it was the fact that there was nothing I could do about it, and every time he looked in the mirror to comb his hair, there it was…a constant reminder. It got easier as it got longer, but he wasn’t going to let me touch it. Esther taking the time to not only cut it well, but to show me how to cut it right, was a definite saving grace for me, because now I can cut it and do it right.
Of course, cutting hair isn’t the only thing Esther is talented at. She is a great seamstress, and makes amazing quilts as well. Her paintings have graced several homes that I know of, including mine. Esther is a woman of many talents, and I’m glad she has shared some of them with me. Today is Esther’s birthday. Happy birthday Esther!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grand niece, Jala has very specific ideas about what she likes and what she doesn’t. Jala is 10 years old today, and when asked what she wants for her birthday, she said, “A yellow blanket, because it will match Sponge Bob!!” Now this is not an unusual request for Miss Jala, who is a collector of blankets. In fact, she has been collecting them for some time.
No blanket owner is safe from Jala. When she goes to her grandma’s, if my sister-in-law, Debbie, Jala’s grandma is making a quilt, well, it’s very likely that it will be leaving the house in Miss Jala’s arms. Debbie find’s it very hard to say no, so the best solution is to hide all quilts when Jala is on her way over. And Jala’s mom has an even bigger problem…where to put this massive collection of blankets. She can’t pack them away, because Jala wants different ones at different times, and remembers each and every one that she has. Before Susan’s younger daughter, Kaytlyn came along, the blankets took up the whole top of her closet, but now, she could really use the space for Kaytlyn’s things. Susan doesn’t mind having her daughter collect something, but she does hope that soon it will be something…smaller, maybe!!
As I said, Jala has very specific ideas about what she likes. And Jala loves her grandma’s dog, Sparkie. Since Debbie and Lynn got Sparkie about a year ago, Jala pretty much lives at her grandma’s house. She has taken it upon herself to train Sparkie to fetch, walk on a leash, sit, roll over, and shake hands. And this love is totally mutual, because Sparkie goes crazy when Jala shows up. They are almost inseparable.
Debbie and Lynn had to be in Casper last week, and Jala was very excited, because Sparkie was going to spend a few days at her house. Jala had great plans. Sparkie was going to sleep in her bed, and they were going to play all day. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as planned. Susan’s husband Josh was working that first night, and in the middle of the night, Susan woke up to find both of her daughters in bed with her. So…where was Sparkie? Well, Sparkie was sleeping peacefully downstairs in the dog kennel, with the door wide open. Unfortunately for Jala, Susan had told her sister, Kaytlyn that she could sleep with Sparkie the next night. Sorry Jala, but I hope your birthday is super!! Happy birthday!! We love you!!
Most of the girls in Bob’s family, from Grandma right down to the granddaughters have a knack for crafts. It seems to be a tradition that everyone makes something. Several of them have made quilts that are really beautiful. My mother-in-law make a quilt of the, then 48 United State Birds, a pattern they purchased shortly after their marriage, and before Alaska and Hawaii joined the United States. Grandma’s quilts, of which I have 2, are a true treasure, especially since her passing in 1998, ended any hope for future quilts. We have so many talented women in our family, and it has been a great blessing through the years.
There are a few of the men who make crafts, including my father-in-law and my son-in-law, Kevin. The rest of the men are hard working, but when it comes to any kind of craft, they really don’t do that. They can make many other things though, including 2 ramps for wheel chairs and walkers. The family definitely has enough talent in it to fix, make, build, or create many of the things we need on a daily basis. We also have a banker, a nurse, our own liaison with the gas company, 2 insurance agents, several mechanics, as well as people in several other areas of occasional needs.
Some of the kids even get in on the talent end of things. Caalab is a good artist and guitarist, Shai is a Fashionesta, and Christopher, Caalab, Josh, and Riley have plenty of sports talent. We are very proud of each and every one of them.
We also have an unknown artist/quilter. My guess is that this person is one of the men or boys in the family, but I can’t say for sure. Apparently they didn’t like the idea that they were left out in the quilting area of the family. Still, they knew that they didn’t have the skill or the patience for quilting. So whoever our unknown artist/quilter is, decided to show the girls that quilting really isn’t so terribly hard to do. Really, all it takes is a shovel and a good amount of snow.
Years ago, before Alaska and Hawaii became states, my mother and father-in-law decided to purchase a quilt pattern for the then, 48 United States of America. The pattern was was for the state birds for each of the 48 states. They thought it would be a wonderful addition to their home.
When it arrived, she was excited about it, and went to right work on it. She always liked that sort of thing. She used to knit, crochet, embroider and sew. Of course, with 3 children and later, 4, 5, and 6 children, time to spend embroidering things that weren’t necessary to the running of a household, or clothing the children…well, it was just scarce. So she worked to embroider the squares whenever there was time in her busy day, but gradually there was less and less time for such things, so it became a long project.
It was a different time and place then. You didn’t have dishwashers, and many people grew large vegetable gardens and canned or froze their food, and since that is very time consuming, the quilt squares took a good amount of time to finish…not to mention the fact that embroidery is a very meticulous art…one I never had the patience for. Anyway, I’m sure you can imagine, time was something she had precious little of, with cooking and cleaning, canning vegetables, and clothing 6 children. So, over the years the squares were finished, but as often happens in with these projects, life got in the way, and they were packed away with the intent of someday turning them into a quilt…a plan that wouldn’t materialize for over 20 years and of course, the addition of 2 more states.
One day, their daughter Debbie came across the squares and decided to have the work finished. Her mother-in-law quilted, so she spoke to Cleo, and she agreed to put the quilt together so it could be returned to my mother and father-in-law as a surprise. And a wonderful surprise it was. They were thrilled to have it, even if it had taken so many years.
Again, like often happens, the quilt was packed away for safe keeping, and thought to be lost…until recently when Debbie was helping them go through some things and came across it. Which is how we once again have a little piece of history…the quilt of the 48 United States of America.