to my readers

This blog is now all about my personal life, including updates concerning Jerry's health. For quilt and pattern related posts please visit HillbillyQuiltShop.blogspot.com

Monday, July 25, 2016

It is time to say goodbye

Once upon a time, this blog was my baby.

Once upon a time I would enjoy sitting and creating blog posts that I knew would either make you laugh, or cry, inspire you or even anger you.

Once upon a time it was my passion. This blog. It was.

But God has ways of changing our passion to fit His plan. And our true passion needs to always be His plan, no matter how tough it is.

In the last four years, my life has morphed in so many ways. It has gone directions I totally did NOT wish it to go in. But, (*insert shoulder shrug), it is what it is. And I am ok with it.

I know many of you like to use this blog to see how things are going with Sir Stephen. How he is growing and what he is doing.
Well later tonight I will be updating his blog. He loves to vlog now (video blog) and I will be letting him. At times I might even blog for him..we shall see where it takes us.

I know many of you like to hear about the hubby encounters. I am not often good at blogging about him anymore. And my other blog is far to quiet. So I am going to combine them.

Four years ago we all began a new journey. That journey has had so many roller coasters within it that at times I thought I would just fall off I was so dizzy with emotions. I had support from so many of you... but I drew the most support from my Facebook friends, because that was easier for me.

So, it is time to say good bye on this journey. I will still be blogging. I will still talk about quilts, and Sir Stephen and Jerry and me and all that good stuff...only I am going to combine it all over in one place... HillbillyQuiltShop.Blogspot.com  because Hillbilly Quilt Shop is where I am!

Please consider meeting me over there, pretty please? Otherwise, this is a final goodbye.

Monday, June 6, 2016

A buffet

I figured it out.
 I look at life like a buffet. 


I gotta grab some of this and this and that and that. 
Bucket list? Pfft! 
Who needs one?! No better time than the present!

I feel like I've done it all!
Then I add more.
Funny thing is: I am pretty sure my buffet is more about "life stuff" and less about fun. But I sure have learned alot along the way!

Today I am writing a blog post to EVERYONE.
Family...well Jerry's family at least.
My quilt friends.
My fabric groupies.
My mystery quilt follow-along-ers.
My friends of many years and friends of a few days.

So I am going to be sharing it everywhere. Sorry about that. I just want everyone to know what in the world I am doing now. Because I recently just grabbed me a big ol' slice of dessert off that life's choices buffet!

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I have might have added another element to my already weighted work load. But everything I do is all with one goal in mind; BRING ME HOME .

I love my grocery store job.
But the last couple of months I've watched my husband (very slowly) start heading down the hill again. As usual with him, it does start slow. But it kind of picks up speed as it goes. The last week he hasn't been walking much at all. He's sticking to a chair and he's needing lots of rest. He's got multiple issues flairing up and our shoulders are becoming very burdened again.
While he used to be able to help with house work, he just can't at the moment.

So, I have my grocery job, the fabric shop, the quilt design and now I'm starting up a laser engraving business. And a six year old boy.

Wait... a laser engraving business?
Yep.

You see, there is a certain other company that I used to purchase my EPP supplies from that I just don't feel I can deal with anymore. If you have been watching at all over the last couple of years then you know why. It's just gotten worse.

So I looked into the machine I needed to be able to cut my own papers. Because you know? I like to do my own thing.
I don't like to do what other people are doing. And if someone copies you? Then it is time to move on to something new.

So I researched it and found out that I need a laser engraver to cut my paper pieces all on my own. But once I found out what the machine was, I was in total awe of what the machine can do! Why stop with little pieces of paper??

Here's what you need to do. Google it. Have some fun.
Google the following:
LASER ENGRAVED WOOD
LASER ENGRAVED FABRIC (for sure. )
LASER ENGRAVED ACRYLIC( guess how acrylic quilt templates are produced. Bingo!)
LASER ENGRAVED GLASS
LASER ENGRAVED MEMORIAL STONE
LASER ENGRAVED PET 

That's a good start.
The amazing thing is this.
GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS.
I've come full circle.

At age 17 I started work in an engraving shop.
I worked there off and on for 20 years.
Did you catch that? AN ENGRAVING SHOP.

Then I discovered quilting.
Then Epp.
Then things happenend and I decided I needed to find my own EPP way.
Then I discovered the laser engraver.
And here I am engraving again!
I have years of engraving experience.
Not so much with a laser. But I am learning it.

In order to learn on my machine I actually started with a little business for Stephen. I wanted something that for when I go set up at craft fairs, he would have his own section to keep him interested in the family business. I never dreamed how well his little business would go over! My goodness, all I did was start a Facebook page about a week ago and he set up a little table in the yard yesterday showing his laser engraved rocks to folks going to the garage sale next door.
Within 30 min he had 5 orders.
He sold 11 necklaces.
Received 4 engraving orders..and has countless folks waiting on me to set up the online shop so they can order!

What does he do?
Well we started this Facebook page called


His logo is of a minecraft ninja mining with a pick axe: 


 I've not listed merchandise for sale yet, but there are sample photos of a few things we have done. In the next couple of days I am going to be posting some special order samples.
I'm trying to decide what platform to use for his web sales. I am in shock actually. I had no idea there would be such a demand for engraved rocks, lol.

But there are so many folks that I've met with laser machines since researching and ALL of them told me to buy the machine and I'll be home within a few months. ALL OF THEM.
So there is this not so little "miracle machine" that can bring me home.
At first I was like "ya right".
But, um, nope. I am pretty sure it can.
Before long I will be able to offer my laser engraving services but I will also be making gift merchandise for sale.

But I also still plan to quilt, because it is my love!
In fact, I have many sewing/ quilting related gifts planned.
So we are squaring things away and we are bringing this momma home.
Soon as we can.
I just ask that you please be patient with me as I try to get my website updating finished.
And my next mystery done.
And my fabric cut for the group.
And learn how to run a laser engraving machine.

I will be tying all of these things together eventually.
I will be making items and hitting the road.
And Stephen and his rocks will be hitting the road with me.

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Thank you for continuing prayers for Jerry and our family. Disability is still not approved. I told someone tonight that the government will probably approve it the day they work me into the grave. God has blessed us with lots of extra time with Jerry and I am thankful for everyday. But as I watch him decline again,  I just can't help but feel the urgency to keep driving myself hard until I can come home.

Need a rock?
Need something engraved? 




Thursday, April 21, 2016

A lack of music is in the air

I received the aweetest email from a lady just now and it has prompted me to write a blog post.

I've been so busy in the quilt world, the other blog ( HillbillyQuiltShop.blogspot.com) has been getting all my attention. I've been hosting quilt mystery sew alongs and they've been a big hit.
But, I would agree that it is time for an update on how things are going with us.

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Jerry is really doing well with his liver. His MELD score is alsmost normal. Which means his liver  doing quite well. His Chrons is not behaving at the moment and he has some other issues but we have plenty of appointments coming up to try to keep an eye on those.

 He recently was able to travel and see his mother. We've been praying for two years now that he could and finally it happened.

His disability is still in limbo somewhere not getting approved.

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Amy is 26 now and wishing to start a family of her own. She hopes to get married and buy a house this spring. She is the proud mommy of two fur babies that she spoils way too much. She still works for Hallmark and I have issues with Hallmark. They shut all their other plants down and expect their employees to work mandatory overtime all of the time. They've been told that in May, a mandatory 65 hours a week will be expected. I can't get her to quit...but I'm trying. I won't purchase Hallmark  cards. I used to work there as well. It's not the same anymore.

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Seth is 18 and I really have no idea if he has any plans at all. Seth is Seth and I'm not sure of anymore than that. He's a good kid but his not ready to grow up.

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Stephen..oh my sweet baby is 6. I hate it.
We don't get to see each other much so our time is precious. Tonight I read the sweetest email from someone who read a past blog post about Stephen and it had me in tears and prompted me to write this. I, of course, had to put Stephen in kindergarten, and with me working mostly evenings at the grocery store, I never see him! But I had to request those hours so that I could work the fabric job during the day. This week I don't even get a day off with him at all. I work both Saturday and Sunday at the grocery store. Tonight is a rare evening off and he begged to fall asleep in my lap " like he used to do." So, I let him. And there he sits putting my legs asleep because he's grown so big but I don't care. I'll sit here and write a blog post until I absolutely have to move him. But I don't want to.

I'm struggling with what to do with Stephen. He's asking to be homeschooled next year. There are pros and cons. We will see what summer brings. A couple of biggies:
1) just a year ago he LOVED music and sat down and taught himself the Imperial March ( Darth Vader) as well as the batman theme song on his keyboard. Now, a year later he hates music. Music class is his least favorite class at school. He says it's boring and wants nothing to do with music. MY BOY?! The child that played violin at age two and taught himself to play songs on his keyboard at age four? That is what school did for him music wise. Tonight was his spring concert at school, he didn't want to go. But he went and that was that.
If I homeschooled he would go back into Susuki music lessons eventually and find his love again. This is HUGE to me and the change in him breaks my heart. We even finally took down his keyboard just last night. Why keep it up? He has a nice one his grandmother bought him, but it's time we put it away until he returns to his music love again.
2) Seatwork. Stephen is just 6 years old. He attends school from 8:15-3:15 basically. Besides lunch and a snack right before he leaves, he gets one twenty minute recess a day. Not morning recess and afternoon recess. Not nap and quiet time. Nope. School. All. Stinking. Day. Now his teacher is great and I'm sure she finds ways to make it fun, but report after report I get from her ( including again tonight after the concert ), was that Stephen ' zones out ' and doesn't keep on track doing his seat work. Really? Hmmm... He's six. He's a boy, and he gets a pile of Seatwork to do every day. GO FIGURE!!.
Most of you reading this will have no understanding of those of us with the homeschool mindset. You just won't get it. But those that do understand know exactly where I am coming from. My son is smart and sweet and doesn't have this big bucket on his head that just needs junk poured into it. As a homeschooler we would learn by doing, touching, exploring, reading. Not siting at a desk with a like of papers to do.

BUT HOW WOULD I DO IT?

Well lemme take a moment to explain where I am at :

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Ms. Hillbilly is busy. No denying that. I work 5-6 shifts a week at a grocery store as a checker. I still design patterns and host quilt mysteries on the other blog. I still have my huge fabric group that is making a comeback in sales.

AND I am getting ready to market a whole bunch of new items that I will be making.

So. Yep. I'm busy. BUT-- the new items, should ' bring me home' so I can quit the grocery store . And I'll be traveling to quilt and craft shoes starting this fall. If Stephen is in school, Then that will mean I'll be leaving him for days to travel, and that does NOT sit well with me. But if he home schools, then no problem. Traveling will be a family affair with lots of learning stops along the way! And THAT my friends really excites me.

jerry has a Masters Degree in education. I'm fairly sure that much of the schoolwork can be handled by him. I'll just oversee it. We might try it for a month later in the summer and see how it goes. No hurt in a trial run.

And now, I must move my big little boy off my lap because my legs are numb. Excuse any typos here. I wrote this in the dark on my iPad.

And to the kind lady offering to purchase him a keyboard...thank you from the bottom of my heart. His grandmother did purchase him one. But maybe we can put our heads together and think of something musical to light his little fire again?
Let's wait til schools out and give him a break from it just a bit. I think by mid June he will be away from school, and back to his old self again rather quickly. I hope. What can I do to make him love sitting down at his keyboard again? I don't know the answer but I will find it.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Almost normal

It's just after the New Year and time for an Owens family update: 

We are getting adjusted to living almost like a normal family. Last year at this time Jerry could barely walk, actually was hospitilized last January, he was getting blood tranfusions every 48 hours. He had home health last winter/spring.

By May of last year his hemoglobin was getting back to normal..so then he started having verices and vision issues. It was several months of verices surgeries, then started the eyeball shots.

Verices surgeries ended mid summer.

Eyeball shots continue but not as frequent. He has gained some eyesight back but needs glasses. We don't have insurance so our hands are tied to help him with those at this point until we can pay out of pocket.

On Christmas Eve Jerry took a hard fall but he's ok. He has moments where he is sick, needs to sleep alot, and is certainly very very unsteady on his feet..but over all he has stabilized and we are no longer having to run to KU every few days, or even better not even every few weeks. This every few months we can totally deal with!

His disability is still a battle and financially we need us to be on the winning side of that battle.

Overall, Jerry is doing great for Jerry, and that is a BIG RELIEF.

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Stephen turned 6 at Christmas and is liking school. He has friends and his grades are good. He did get upset with me that he had to go back to K after Christmas break since he turned six over break. He said that he should be allowed to go to first grade since he's bigger now.
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Seth is 18 and is free to come and go as he pleases because he's my kid I can trust. He is gone more than home but I can't say as I blame him. He needs to drive far and wide to be with his friends and so I let him.
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Ms. Hillbilly is still working alot but I am enjoying myself. I've totally cut back on media stuff. I don't read blogs at all, I spend less and less time on Facebook (but I am still there for my groups!)..I just try to focus on getting tasks done.

I work at a grocery store. I have to say it is the easiest job (by far) that I have ever done and I need that right now. I can go to work and do mindless beep beep beep of running product across the bar code scanner, and not have much in the way of responsibility. I can chat with folks and just enjoy myself while making a few bucks. (Its only part time, and I so wish I had more hours. I am only getting 16 hours this week. sigh. )

My fabric group on Facebook isn't doing near as well as it used to. I am forced to spend less and less time there, plus the Canadian and Australian dollar have hurt it badly. But it trudges along and I need it to. I am in hopes that it will build back up again before Jerry has another bad season and I have to quit an outside job. To my Ozark groupies: I hope you understand my need to be there less and less. I just HAVE to get my patterns promoted before I take off this spring and need the group and my patterns to carry the family for a good month or so when I do have surgery. So for now I am sewing in every single spare moment! I do miss you all but I just need to finally sew!!

My design business/web site is growing! It is slowly growing but that is ok. It is growing at a speed where I can keep up with it. It is exciting because the website used to get a couple of orders a month and now it gets several orders every single week. I am building the embroidery portion as well, and the Cosmo floss is very popular amongst my overseas friends. Our little town of Osborn doesn't quite know what to do some days when I come up with a new country for them to deal with, but we get thru and our little town of 450 people is getting on the map thanks to my little website!

My Mystahhhhry Quilt Along seems to be a hit, and I have had so much fun with it. You can read more about it on the other blog.

I spent today really thinking what direction I wanted my design business to go in. I talked to Jerry about it and we did some goal planning, then I spent the afternoon working towards that goal. I sent emails and planned things out.

The reason I am really working hard to build my design business is not only because I need to be prepared to deal with Jerry's health issues at the drop of a hat but also because I have some health issues of my own.

I FINALLY was able to purchase my very much needed $200 shoes that my feet need. Since I am on my feet at work, this was a necessity. My feet always hurt very much by end of day but at least they aren't unbearable and the stress fractures on the side of my feet seem to be doing better. So this is a HUGE blessing.

I had a female procedure at Thanksgiving time but sadly the procedure didn't do its job. So, the other reason I am working so hard at trying to build my design business is it looks like I will be off work for four weeks without pay in May (or so ) so that I can have a different female surgery. This scares me. (Not the surgery..the four weeks with no pay) so I am just going to be quiet all over the world right now while I sew my little fingers off when I am not giving my laptop the quilt design and book workout. 

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Overall...
We are very happy!
We love our new home and our new town.
I love my new job, and my opportunity to earn some income without working myself to death.
Jerry is ok for Jerry.
Stephen is a much happier child.
I am getting to sew and to read and to spend time in the Bible (which is very important to me! ).
I am getting sleep..in fact making it a top priority every day since my hormones aren't working in my favor.

Oh you should see our house. It has become my shop. Its so funny. No one can shop here but its set up for the website, so that orders flow smoothly. I'll show you the house another day. I've rambled enough. I am going back to my design table!

Thank you all for your prayers, concerns and kindness and support in the past three and a half years. I appreciate all of you but I cannot possibly thank all of you individually!

~~Hillbilly~~