Wednesday, March 21, 2012


This is the happiest day in my life in quite some time!! PSALM 23 is finished, framed and delivered!! Oh, what a feeling!!

Below is a picture of Pastor Dennis and me. I picked his wife, Melanie, up at their home and we were off to the church to hunt for Pastor Dennis. He had just had arthroscopic knee surgery and it has become complicated with a "bakers cyst". He was in a lot of pain, so we knew he could not have gotten too far!!
We quickly found him and he was just utterly surprised to see Melanie and me just "hanging out" waiting for him. Melanie had been able to get the gift wrapped Psalm 23 in to his office prior to us finding him. We led him back to his office and he was so surprised to see the huge wrapped package and asked what was it. I handed him the card with the story of Max's last request of me in that he wanted me to give Psalm 23 to him for his birthday this year. Unfortunately, I was a wee bit late!!

Pastor Dennis immediately began reading the card and note and the tears immediately began to fall from his eyes. Pastor got very emotional and he was a bit overwhelmed with the tears. Many of the church family had predicted this reaction!! I actually did not cry this time!! Each time I worked at composing the note attached to the card, I cried for hours like a baby. I guess, I was just so darn happy to have it completely done coupled with finally fulfilling Max's last request of me that I most surprisingly did not cry!!

This piece is exquisite!! I am absolutely awed by it!! Pastor Dennis immediately began taking pictures off his wall in order to find the perfect place to hang this!! He found the perfect place and immediately hung Psalm 23 on his office wall. The front of his office has clear glass panels from floor to ceiling so it is positioned perfect for every one to see!!

Now, I am in great fears of Pastor Dennis dragging this to his pulpit this coming Sunday in services. It would be great honor, of course, but I would be so embarrassed that I will want to climb under a pew!!

Pastor Dennis and Melanie absolutely love Psalm 23!! I have a perfect goal of mine more than achieved!! I KNOW Pastor Dennis will think of Max each day as he sees this beautiful piece. It is my greatest desire just to have Max remembered!! I am proud to say for my self - job very well done!!

Rest In Peace my beloved Max and our sweet little one, Miprezious Dee Dee!!
Love and Hugs!!

You know it did not matter one little bit that this birthday gift was belated!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012



A bit over one year ago, my dear husband, Max, asked for the second time ever that I stitch a specific design for him. I held my breath upon waiting to hear what he wanted me to do as he had never given up on my stitching a huge eagle for him. I so totally despised having to stitch any animal, particularly an eagle. I love animals, however, just have no desire to stitch them!

Max wanted My Big Toe's design of the "Psalm 23". Max was ill for a number of years and evidently had gotten comfort from this Psalm. Max proved our medical community very wrong as we were told on August 15, 2005 that he had "about six months" to live if he did not receive both a liver and kidney transplant (I can normally not remember what I had for breakfast on a given day, but that date is embedded in my mind). Max not only did not loose his battle, without the donor transplants, but he continued to thrive for a few more years until 2008 when he had to begin his hell on earth with dialysis. Despite my serious handicaps, I was able to care for Max until seven months prior to his death. It was my own doctors that demanded that Max be placed in a nursing home for care as I had no strength left. Max did fairly well in the nursing home until he had a fall which broke his hip on February 19 of last year. This was the beginning of a daily deterioration of him which ultimately led to his passing on March 07. However, I do not think a day went by in these last weeks that he and our Pastor did not recite this Psalm 23 together.

Max very much enjoyed my simply sitting next to him while I would stitch. Max decided he did not want to be at dialysis about six months prior to his fall. He began to just stand in the midst of his dialysis session and shout that the needles be taken out of him or that he would do it himself!! Dialysis did not have the staffing to assign a nurse just to watch over Max and demanded that some one accompany him to every session and stay the entire time with him which was about six hours from leaving to go and finallly returning from the dialysis center. Since we do not have any other family (besides my quite elderly and ill mother) it was then left up to me to go and stay with Max through dialysis. When ever possible, our Pastor would go with Max and allow me the hours to rest. Giving me these hours of rest was the very best gift any one ever gave me!! Thus, I was able to keep Max occupied with watching the progress of Psalm 23 many times during our dialysis hours at the beginning of it. This did not last long though as I soon found that I had to many times struggle to my feet to literally throw my body across Max's dialysis chair to keep him in it!! Nevertheless, Psalm 23 got it's start during dialysis time.

Max was always in management of our local electric generating station. He was told he could not socialize with any of the employees with his position. Max was from out of town and knew few other people. Thus, Max did not make friends well and had very few. After my accident I desperately needed my home made handicap accessible. I had huge medical bills and little finances for much else. A local church group came, had a benefit for me and raised funds to build a handicap ramp on my home and other things that would make life easier in my home.

Through this group I had met an absolutely wonderful Pastor. I had not seen him for awhile to one day I met him while Max was hospitalized. He wanted to know why I was at the hospital and I told him that Max was again having some serious medical problems. This Pastor went immediately to Max's room to visit him and continued to do so. Soon Max was good friends with the Pastor and really looked forward to his coming to see him each day. As Max worsened the Pastor began to recite Psalm 23 to Max and Max joined in many times. When Max realized he was not going to live long enough to see Psalm 23 finished he asked me to promise to finish it. I told him I would certainly do this.

Max continued to deteriorate very rapidly after his surgery to repair his broken hip. One day Max was talking with the Pastor and he announced he had enough pain and struggle. He just wanted the Pastor and my self to get him out of the hospital. Thus, the Pastor and I began one of the longest days and well in to that evening that I ever had last March 01. We did not wait around for the incompetent "hospitalist" doctor to decide to discharge Max or go through any other hassles. We simply called Hospice and arranged for a private ambulance to come and take Max out of that hospital ASAP. The Pastor rode with Max in the ambulance back to the nursing home while I went home to pack my things as I moved in to the nursing home to be with Max round the clock. It was well in to the evening when the Pastor got a phone call which we could not help but to overhear a group of people singing Happy Birthday to him. I could not believe that this Pastor had just spent his entire birthday and evening with us!! I told the Pastor how horrible I felt about this and he simply replied "there was no where else he would rather have been". Both Max and I were so overcome with this Pastor's compassion and care for us.

Much later that night, Max asked me if I would be upset if he wanted me to give this piece to the Pastor on his next birthday from him. I told him I would very much enjoy doing so. Thus, I had an obsession to finish this piece and by March 01 of this year. However, after Max's services were over I found I could not even look at this piece as it simply brought back too many very painful memories. I put it aside and would take it out and have to put in aside again for months. Finally, over the holidays it came to me that I had better get my self in to some serious stitching on Psalm 23!! Thus, I have been stitching almost every waking moment on this piece. I have kept track of my hours, but am just too tired at this moment to tally them up. I will when I show the framed finish.

Thus, my (no, the Pastor's) PSALM 23!!

Love and Hugs!!


Monday, February 20, 2012


I simply can not find a position to get even a "decent" picture of my "Psalm 23" at this point. It is HUGE!!

I am on the downward home stretch now!! I am so excited!! I have ten days!! I have cleared my days and evenings to having to do almost nothing, but "Psalm 23".

The Pastor's wife, Melanie, met me last week at my local LNS to choose the frame for this. It is beautiful, but huge also. My LNS owner has assured me the frame will be delivered to her this Wednesday (two more days) and she will be awaiting me and the finished "Psalm 23". This gal knows how important this is to me and has assured me she will do every thing she can to help make March 01.

It may take a miracle as this border is very slow for me. But, I overcome much worse obstacles previously and won!! Please be in prayer and good vibes for me. I plan on sun up to sun rise. I have even resorted to getting my kitchen timer set by me and have it set to ring every thirty minutes to "try" and keep me awake. My "drowsiness" is still going very much against me!!

Here, again time will tell!!

Love and Hugs!!


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lost This Picture In Las Post

Here I am with the "thing"!! Trying to hold my breath!!

Love and Hugs!!



I have been doing amazingly well with my Psalm 23 I think. I think I may get another miracle and have it done for the March 01 birthday!!
It truly is becoming very beautiful.
Several have commented that the border is not as hard as it appears. I have been giving it a lot of great thoughts as I am stitching the words yet as to how I should go at it.
Only MY mother would send my brother off to buy her a single flower bulb that cost $80!!! I just want to know how much she is going to have to pay to have her home fumigated!! This flower is called a "Voodoo Lily". It is truly exquisite to view. However, it gives off a stench only possibly compared to a houseful of dead mice!! It is horrible!! It truly stings your eyes, nose and mouth and takes your breath away!!
I took my mother supper last night and I could not stay long enough to eat with her. I felt like I was actually eating this awful stench!! She is just lucky it is so cold outside or she would have every fly in the state of Iowa in her home abiding on this thing.
And, it is no little thing either. I did not care to have my picture taken today, but mother insisted I stand beside it to show how high it truly has grown. I am almost six feet tall, however, I now can no longer stand up straight. My brother had to brace the bottom of this stalk. You evidently have to keep this dormant in your basement from the time you dig it up in your yard in the fall until early spring. After it blooms and the weather warms up you plant it outside for the summer. It does very little outside, but that is how you keep this atrocity. I for one sure would not!!
Wish I was better with camera as pictures are sideways and a bit hard to view. Mother has several small "babies" from her bulb sitting at the base of it.
Mother tells of my while my father was still alive (they had other bulbs like this years ago even, just much cheaper to buy) years ago and he forgot about this "thing". He had placed it in a large dark storage room in the basement. When spring arrived so did this terrible stench and the hunt was on to find the dead critter some where in the house. My mother had every one looking in every inch of the home before they remembered the "thing" in the storage room.
The Quad-Cities is located near us about a hour away. I recently read in the newspaper where some people owned these "lilies" there. They have a beautiful indoor arboretum in that area and they take their lilies there to display and leave them until the stench has gone away.
These lilies only bloom once a year for about three to four days, thank the good Lord!!

Love and Hugs!!


Monday, January 23, 2012


I believe I am truly making fantastic PROGRESS!! YEAH!!

I surely do not want to chance "bragging", but I truly think this is going to be a real beauty to be treasured. I have already been assured by the Pastor's wife that she LOVES this and that the Pastor will be absolutely appreciative and also love this piece. It is almost going to be hard to give it to him.

But, I am feeling such a closeness to Max the past few days and feel he is with me with each stitch. I can only wonder if my numerous tangles in my thread is not Max wanting my full attention as he so often would do in his practical jokes on me. And, unbelievably no tears!!

I think I am well past the half way point of this piece with the exception of this border. I have been dreading this border with a passion. However, I have received many comments from people who have done similar borders of "My Big Toe" and related the borders were an easy stitch and went rather quickly. Again, only time will tell.

One stitch at a time as my life goes on!!

Here is last week's progress!!
Love and Hugs!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I began attending a brand new lady's circle meeting last week. It meets at our Pastor's home as his wife is leading this circle. The Pastor's wife suggested that I come early last week so as to assure me the best parking spot to try and accomodate my handicaps. Thus, I had some time with just the Pastor's wife prior to every one else arriving. I had taken "PSALM 23" along with me in hopes of getting some private time with her so she could view it for the first time. She LOVED it and knew exactly how small the fabric count, etc. was. I do not believe she stitches much as quiltting seems to be her favorite, but she sure knew enough about stitching to carry on quite a conversation about my piece.
I told her about Max's request of me to finish this piece and give it to the Pastor on this year's birthday of March 01. The Pastor spent his entire birthday day and evening with Max and my self as this was the day that Max announced "no more" and wanted us to get Hospice for him last year. The Pastor's wife assured me that the Pastor would absolutely NOT want me stressing out over having this piece finished on March 01 and that he was absolutely going to love it regardless of it's completion date. She told me she would love to be included on the finishing decisions and would be so honored to be part of choosing the frame, etc.

I am now quite relieved. I even began "My Stitch Angel" and have spent a few hours this past week on it. I also have "Proverbs" sitting next to me which is one I had backordered for quite some time and it just arrived complete with the Cashel linen for it. Thus, I am sure this one will also be calling out to me some time this week. Although, in my moments of pure insanity I think "I possibly could finish the Psalm if I truly put my total heart and soul in to it".

I am just verging on being about half way finished with the wording and pieces in center of the Psalm. But, I am also all too well aware of the border needing to be finished also as the Pastor's wife did LOVE the border on it.

Only time will tell.............., but I sure would not place any bets on this one!!
Love and Hugs!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

PSALM 23 and VIRTUAL STITCH-IN January 07, 2012


Unfortunately, another tidal wave of grief swept over and drowned me on the evening of Thanksgiving and it is just now beginning to go away.
Yes, my friends made sure I had a "good" Christmas (have to post the lovely gift pictures as Debra Hall made me an exquisite quilted angel hanging and Kathy Kiley made me a very precious Christmas ornament), but nothing could hide I was truly alone. My entire family was Max and Miprezious and they are now gone so I have to truly try to create some other traditions for all the holidays. I am surely going to do better this year!!

The past few years I rarely left Max's bedside. There is no other place that I would have opted to be, however, those days were unbearably long and hard. Thankfully, I was blessed with my cross stitch. Max began reciting the 23rd Psalm with our Pastor almost daily. I do not believe in coinsequences!! However, just prior to this daily routine Max had started, I purchased PSALM 23 by MY BIG TOE. I do not know what possessed me to buy this originally, but I did. Once I realized I did have this chart and the fabric to stitch it on I excitedly showed them to Max. Max took great interest in my progress, which was barely nothing each day as hospital is not greatest place to try to stitch this large of a project, and he watched with great interest as I worked on it. About two weeks in to this project Max asked if I would do him a great favor and complete this project. Max truly knew my stitching ways!! I told him I would do my best, but that this project was going to take months. Max was well aware that he was in the process of passing from this earth a good two weeks prior to it actually happening. Max was rather alert the first two days of this time. In fact, it was Max (along with extensive chats with our Pastor) that decided he had enough struggles and pain and wanted to be placed on hospice. Being placed on hospice meant immediate termination of his despised dialysis and the fact he would pass within the following few days (Max clung to me for seven more days!!). Max made this decision on March 01 and the Pastor stayed with us all day and well into the evening that day to be with us. As the day progressed, the Pastor received a cell phone call that was from a large group of people singing "Happy Birthday" to him. I was so upset that the Pastor had spent his entire day and evening with us in spite of it being his own birthday, however, he kept assuring us it was where he wanted to be. During this day, Max wanted to chat with me while the Pastor was out of the room for a bit. Max asked if I would be sure and do some thing for him and I told him I would do any thing I could. Max asked me to finish the PSALM 23 and get it matted and framed the best I could do and give it to his dear friend, the Pastor, this year on his March 01 birthday. And, of course, I agreed. Max proceeded to smile the entire next hours and every one asked what he was so happy about and he kept answering he was going to get the best birthday gift ever.
Well, true to form, for me, I could not even stand to look at this project last year whatsoever. It kept coming to the top of my rotation and I would put it aside. Had it been any other piece of this size I probably would have put it in my perpetual UFO bin. I reasoned I would take it out on Christmas and get quite serious on it. Well, that surely did not happen. I still reasoned that I had three good months to do it if I restarted it on New Year's Day. And, I got it out and had every thing ready to stitch. And, big time reality hit!! I do not have a good three months as March does not count. Additionally, I am probably looking at a minimum of three weeks to have it framed. Thus, I have been stitching like a crazed driven woman the last week!!

Below, is a picture of my progress through Friday, January 06. The picture below it is my progress of a marathon ILCS "Virtual Stitch In" yesterday on Saturday, January 07.

Needless to say, I need to get my self back in to my stitching nest and have a "Virtual Stitch In" the entire rest of this month. My biggest problem is I keep falling asleep as I am too comfy in my nest! I hope the good Lord is threading each needle and taking each stitch with me!! I need a miracle!!

This piece will be beautiful, but I am only about one-third done with the main center. I will have days with that border. It very much reminds me of that horrible wedding sampler I did last May!!

And, life goes on. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .!! And, I will rejoice in it!!

Love and Hugs!!