Thursday, November 26, 2015

Many Many Quilts for the Kiddos

In 2003 I started making a quilt for the family I would adopt for Christmas.  The program to adopt-a-family was through my college, Portland Community College.  It was our Cascade campus who first started this tradition of having staff and faculty adopt a family selected from the student population.  So Doug and I decided to adopt a family and shower them with the best Christmas they could think of having.  It always involved the addition of a quilt.

Sometimes I would make a quilt for each of the kids in the family, sometimes a quilt for the mother.  One year I made a quilt for the mom and the gramma.  And then the fun slowed down when Doug had lost his job.  We couldn't afford to adopt a family that year, so I made a few quilts to give to kids who didn't receive as much that year.  

After a couple of years of making a few quilts, I told my quilting forum about this idea and some of the quilters wanted to be part of this tradition.  That year I received about 15 quilts from others from across the nation and Canada

Adopt-a-Family quilts 2012
This wonderful tradition has continued for many years.  That first year I simply brought the quilts to the student body office and the students distributed them, with only some of the younger kids receiving a quilt.  The next year I bundled up the quilts per family, labeled the family each bundle was for and which child received what quilt.  That year all the little kids up to age 14 received a quilt and a pillowcase.  Some received knitted hats.  Each year the number of quilts provided rose until we were giving a quilt to every child in a qualifying family through age 19.  Last year we gave away over 60 quilts to the program.

This year was more difficult and I wasn't sure if we could make it so that each child could receive a quilt.  See, we lost two of our quilters.  But now the rest of us had a goal: to honor those two by making as many quilts as we could.  We realized we might not have enough quilts for every child, so we focused on making sure the little ones had a quilt.

Quilts waiting to be sorted
To my  great surprise, I received enough quilts from all over the United States that, added to my own contributions, provided quilts for every child 18 years of age and under.  And each child received a pillowcase as well!   But wait!  There's more!  There were 20 quilts left over. 

Here's the stats: 
  • 47 children ages 18 and under
  • One mother who asked for nothing--I gave her a quilt
  • 20 leftover quilts!  They were given to the Bradley Angle House.  This is an agency that provides women and children of domestic abuse with a safe place.
 All this is thanks to our wonderful caring quilters Valerie Bradley, Peggy Tripler, Sharon Gratz, Gayle Nunn, Cathy Berg, and one quilter who wished to remain anonymous.

It was a glorious Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Oh! The Drama!

Oh yes, she looks sweet enough.  Zoë is a little three-year-old Maltese/Australian Silky Terrier.  She was a rescue from California, sent up to us for a Second Chance.  We adopted her from the Oregon Humane Society in 2012.  She loves her people and wants to be with us where ever we go.  She hates the car...but hates even more to be left behind when I drive to Southern California once a month.  She hates the water; she loves to roll in stinky stuff.

Mostly she would like the kitties to live elsewhere so she can have us to herself.  The kitties, on the other hand, love it when I take her with me when I drive to Southern California once a month.

Kittles is our oldest kitty at 15.  She is a playful little calico who used to be able to jump from the floor to my shoulder.  She is slowing down a bit and waits until I sit down to jump on me.  Always startling...always painful.  Expectedly unexpected.  She is about the same size as Zoë and will allow Zoë to play with her on occasion.  She is way smarter than Zoë and always tricks her into searching for her behind the TV as she sits on the cabinet, staring down on Zoë like a vulture.  She is also the kitty that Zoë growls at the most, not wanting to share space.

Tyler is our Baby Huey cat.  He is a 19 pound lethargic sweet orange tabby.  We adopted him, along with his adopted brother Toby (who died in 2013) from the Oregon Humane Society.  He mostly ignores Zoë, who would like to play but she gets the ignore aspect.  They are uneasy friends.

Zoë has a favorite chair.  It has been my chair since we bought it, but I recently moved it and am using a different chair for the time being.  She sleeps on this chair when I am away or I am in the sewing area and she doesn't want to hang out with me.  

Lately Tyler has been sleeping on this chair.  I have an old quilt that Tyler loves and if I don't fold it up and lay it across the back of the chair when finished in an evening, he will lay on this quilt.  According to Zoë, he will stay on this quilt in this chair F*O*R*E*V*E*R.

When Zoë comes downstairs in the morning and sees Tyler on the chair, she doesn't know what to do.  She will stand in her little terrier stance near the chair, looking at me.  It's like, "So what are you going to do about this?" look.  She will stay there for a long time until I just pick her up and set her in my newest chair or in Doug's chair.  If Tyler gets down, she will immediately run to the red chair.

So then this happened: Zoë finally gets up the courage to jump on the red chair while Tyler is still there!  This is bravery for her!  And she stands on the ottoman for a long while, staring at me, like "So what now?"  Tyler watches her carefully.

Finally Zoë settles in uneasily.  Tyler never takes his eyes off her.  Understand, they share the bed just fine.  But apparently the chair is a different thing.

And then Tyler decided is is time to mosey on....  And Zoë sleeps happily ever after.

Who says just because one retires that all the petty infighting doesn't continue?

You would think after 20 years as the chair of the Theatre department (Theatre, Music, Dance, Speech Communication, Journalism) I would be used to drama.  But like having little kids in the house again, we have drama at every turn.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Weird Portland Wednesday: A Stache and Dash

We do love our costumed races here is Portland.  We may have more races wearing costumes than anywhere (I just made up that statistic).  Like the Urban Beer Hunt just last month. 

Urban Beer Hunt
The Mustashe Dache is no exception to our fun.  Held last Saturday in SW Portland/Beaverton area, the 5k run, children's run, and family walk was everything it should have been.

The announcement for the The Mustashe Dache was perfectly Portland:

It’s only the biggest, baddest, hairiest running series on the planet. It’s a mustache-themed run that’s a little bit Freddie Mercury and a little bit Ron Swanson.  It’s a fundraiser to help end prostate cancer through our charity partner, ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer and it’s the best excuse you’re going to find this side of 1976 to grow a mustache.

The organization's cause is am important one.  It says:
The Mustache Dache isn’t all fun and games.  Or, more accurately, it is pretty much all fun and games–but with an express purpose in mind;  raising funds and awareness for men’s health.  Here's the link if you want to read more about it:

You may have missed it this year, but there are plenty more chances to wear a costume and run.  Next week on Thanksgiving is the Tofurky Trot.  Why miss something this fun? Running, walking, family fun IN A COSTUME!!!

Come join us and help keep Portland Weird.