Wednesday, July 22, 2009

public service announcement

Let me tell you about one of the hardest parts of being a hospice nurse.
If you are dying without advanced directives, and are no longer able to make your own decisions, all responsibility goes to your next of kin.
I have had to get signatures from 21 year old kids and 80 year old parents.
You do not want to put your children or parents through this.
Should they have input into decision making? Absolutely.
But to ask them to put their signature on a piece of paper breaks their hearts.
Find a sibling, friend, cousin, the mailman to do this and draw up advanced directives.

wayback machine

Since not much quilting is getting done around here I decided to show some from back in the day. My less than cooperative handlers do not like holding them straight.

This is one of my favorites--a Jacobs Ladder made with blocks swapped on QuiltNet, 1995.

Farmers Daughter, 1995, from a Country Threads book.

Road to Oklahoma, can't find a date on it, but from around the same time.

Sampler, also no date on it, but I well remember making it in 1997 during my pregnancy with Seth. I was very sick and did not get much sewing done, but this was offered as a mystery on the web and I could handle making the block or two every other week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

happy birthday, Beth

We celebrate my sister Beth's birthday. In this photograph you see what a lovely baby she was. Janna and I are wearing reversible houndstooth/grey wool flannel vests and skirts our mother made for us.
I think one reason I remember our clothes so well is I got to wear them through two sizes as mom made matching ones for the three of us. Beth got pretty tired of them after wearing them through three sizes!
Beth is a busy mother and wife, college instructor, and doctoral student in how to teach physics to 1st graders! I spent a day with her last week, watching her review her students' work.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Eve's travels

Eve is studying in China and this is the only photograph she has sent.
My parents and sister are just back from England.
In viewing their photographs, and this of Eve, I am pleased to report the Dykstra family is not, as one comedian said of Americans abroad, "dressed like they are ready to mow the lawn".

Sunday, July 05, 2009

orzo salad

Andy's favorite

1/4 cup mustard (use honey or brown or dijon)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup vinegar (use combination of balsamic and seasoned rice)
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Stir in:
1 small onion minced
1 big or two regular cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 regular can of chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 cup of frozen corn (use white super sweet if available)
1 regular can of small black olives, drained

While the above marinates, prepare:
1 napa cabbage chopped
1 pound orzo
Cook orzo, drain, do not rinse, toss hot with chopped cabbage to wilt it.

Pour marinated mixture over orzo and cabbage and toss.
Slice up 8-10 sundried tomatoes drained of oil and scatter on top.
Use lots of fresh ground black pepper.
Is best at room temperature.

This is the basic recipe. At times I add:
Roasted asparagus
Roasted peppers
Chopped fresh tomatoes

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

bound, labeled and sleeved

Not sure if anyone but a quilter would use sleeved as a past tense verb.
These quilts have been all but the three above for some time now.
The first is an improvisational piece. I loved making it, each section grew as the scraps around me took it in a new direction.
The second, much more rigid, is beautiful. It will be Andy's birthday present and will hang in his office, bringing home a quilt I have not seen for quite some time.
One of the frustrating realities of being a nurse is dealing with shifts being canceled or being on call. I am never able to totally relax in these situations as even if cancelled, they may call me in anyway, and being on call is setting aside time without knowing what will happen. Both of these are really difficult financially, too, as there is no pay for either.
Yesterday I was ready to take report when they sent me home, but said they might call me back. Binding was the perfect activity as it is busy work, productive, and not tasking. It is always good to have some of that type of work available.
Just this hour I got a call canceling me for this evening, but to stay close to the phone in case admissions come in.
I am not faulting my place of work--great staff, great mission, but this is the industry way of dealing with fluctuating patient census levels. There has got to be a better way.
Later: they called me back in, then sent me home after 5 hours.

The back of the second quilt (adapted from the Moda site) uses up the last of my Senegal chicken fabric. Love that stuff.