Sharing my life and love of cross stitch. Thoughts about this and that.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Mother Passed Away

peacefully Monday afternoon after a short hospitalization that was very painful and confusing for her and often harrowing for us all.  We only learned late Sunday night that she was so much more ill  than anyone, including her doctors, at first realized. Her rapid decline Monday was stunning and heartbreaking. My brother and his wife manage to book the last 2 seats on the first flight out of LA to DFW Monday morning and thankfully made it to the hospital in time. Although Mom, who had been telling the nurse about her family and her son in California earlier had suddenly gone totally unresponsive as my sister and I were talking to her an hour or so later, when Jim arrived and asked her to squeeze her hand, she did. I am so thankful for that, so we all had the opportunity to tell her how very much we loved her. All of Mom's children and grandchildren were with her as she passed. Here is the obituary my father prepared (he has been a genealogist for over 20 years and is proud of Mom's ancestry and pre-Texas and Texas heritage - it's a bit redacted for privacy):
Helen Dorrace (Taylor) McMillen, who died at 3:30 PM Monday, 27 Jun 2011, at Arlinton Memorial Hospital, Arlington, Texas, was born {in} 1926 in Burnet, Burnet County, Texas, to Anthony Taylor and his wife, Edna Birdwell. Helen married, on 7 Feb 1947, James M “Jim” McMillen, at the home of Jim's parents in Fort Worth. 
    Helen was allowed to die with dignity, of multiple causes, shortly after life-support lines and tubes were removed. Her husband and all her children and grandchildren observed her death. Helen was dearly loved by Jim and all her descendants, and she quietly returned their love twice over.  
    Helen was a volunteer. She started in her high school library, taught Sunday School and worked in Vacation Bible School, was active in PTA while her children were in school and was president of PTAs at all public school levels, including a year as president of the Arlington City Council of PTAs. She worked with a free blood-typing program and an immunization program, both for elementary school children, and for 23 years was a volunteer for, and president several times of, the local chapter of CONTACT, a free telephone counseling service. She was a leader of Cub Scouts and Webelows of the Boy Scouts and, for 12 years, a leader of  Blue Birds and Camp Fire Girls. Until 2008, when she began having serious back problems, she volunteered in several capacities at Arlington Memorial Hospital. Helen was Tarrant County Senior Volunteer of the Year in 1991 and received a J C Penney award a while later. Her art was in sewing and counted cross-stitch. 
    She was a descendant of the Caddo Indians and early Spanish settlers of far East Texas, of the first individual German known to have lived in Texas, and of the first known German family in Texas.
    Surviving are her husband and three children: Linda McMillen of Arlington, Betty Brett and husband Richard of Carrollton, and James A McMillen and wife Kathy of Pasadena, California. Her three grandchildren are: Alan McDonald, with wife Denise, of Fort Worth and their four sons; Dwayne McDonald, with wife Carie of Coppell, their daughter and son; and Heather McMillen and husband Dan Daniels of Euless.
    If friends prefer not to send flowers, contributions would be welcomed by Arlington Charities or the Salvation Army-Arlngton Corps.

Monday, June 20, 2011

RIP Air Conditioner & Father's Day - Awry

  • My A/C died at 6:46 a.m. Saturday morning. RIP (Roasting in Perpetuity). Cope vs. high weekend service surcharges,  High: 104 outside / 87 inside. I called Dad about perhaps spending part of the day there. I was told I could come over, but I had to stay quiet. What? Ok, well ... then... I'd see them Sunday.. Tried to nap through inside heat, plus LOTS of iced tea. Inside overnight low: 85
  • Father's Day Sunday  - Dad called early to advise they were not accepting visitors. Mother was unable to even get out of bed due to a very bad reaction to Bactrin, which, had the doctor bothered to look at her chart for her condition and other meds she takes, he should NEVER have prescribed it to start with! My daughter called at 2 to say if I got too hot I could come visit them for the day, but  her DH's children were coming over for dinner and one of them plus a friend was spending the week and it .... I got the distinct impression she was making an offer but hoping I wouldn't take her up on it.  I told her I appreciated the offer but would go to parents if I got too hot. NOT, of course. High: 102 outside / 90 inside. More ice tea and a long cool bath..By 7:30 I'd had enough went somewhere cool to eat (the first place I stopped THEIR A/C wasn't working!)  Then I was off to Wal-Mart for mostly a long walk-about in another cool location - only THEIR A/C wasn't working well either. When I got home, I opened as many windows as possible, it feeling slightly cooler out than in..I did buy a sorely needed but inexpensive vacuum cleaner so this time I can vacuum rather than sweep the hall before the A/C guys arrive - hopefully, later this morning. They were already out once to top off freon about 3 weeks ago.  I honestly don't know what I'll do if I'm told my only option is replace everything.

Added to Links Page:  Kreuzstich Kreativ - in German but easy to figure out with a variety of small chart motiv freebies. Also other new entries on my Links Page.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Marjolein Bastin Freebie - Garden Sampler

BH&G Australia first released this freebie in 2001. Warning: the printed quality of the charts and the keys is not that good. They've since turned the key into a fairly readable .jpg. In the past I've recharted portions of this for easier stitching (never done), and turned the Key into a Word.doc. The outside border is DMC variegated 114 green, which may or may not still be available. I'll be honest, I don't know who stitched the one on the right but would be delighted to give due credit or remove. Not only was the border left off but instead of 666, the stitcher used a neutral or maybe light green overdye for the lattice work at the bottom - which I much prefer!  Stitched design area: 9.8" x 12.2"  or 25cm x 31cm    Marjolein Bastin's Garden Sampler

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

EMS Freebie - Finally, I've Started Stitching

This EMS "Christmas Greetings" freebie was released in 2001. I've intended to stitch it ever since. FINALLY ten years later ... There a bit more of the ribbon on the bottom and red berries, plus some fill in on the white flowers to complete. Over 2 on the 28ct opalescent white Jobelan . Link to the EMS Forum. This particular freebie is no longer available. Join the Forum to post and/or gain access to the freebie Downloads, which have a per day or per week limit. You need to visit the forum at least once every 6 months to avoid having your membership dropped. I've been following Ellen Maurer-Stroh and a member of her forums since the 1990's, and one of the first couple of hundred members on her then new and much upgraded forum website.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Quilts for Breast Cancer

The Quilts For Breast Cancer Yahoo Group stitchers have kindly stitched and assembled a lap quilt for my cousin who recently had a mastectomy and is undergoing follow-up treatment. It should be in the mail to her already. If I had known they were short of stitchers I would have stitched something myself, and should have! I need to get the 2 items I've made her in the mail well. My sincere Thank You, All to the stitchers who have so selflessly donated their time, energy, talents and materials for my cousin and for all women and men who suffer from this horrible disease.