No Regrets

When Kramer was sick we were driving home from radiation treatment in Lacrosse.? Out of the blue, Kramer said, “You know, people always say things about regrets and whether they have any.? I’ve been thinking about that and the only regret I have is that I started smoking.”

Growing Old with No Regrets - Human Unlimited
We talked about it for a long time…I asked if he regretted this or that?? I asked if he regretted how we handled a certain situation.? I dug a little deeper and said, “Well maybe you don’t “regret” it, but would you have handled it differently?”

He thought and said that in the situation, he thought he handled it the best he could at the time so no..he didn’t regret it or wish he would have done things differently.

That conversation stuck with me and has over the last year.? When Kramer was dying, I wanted to make sure I had no regrets.? I told him the things I wanted to say.? I did the things for him that I wanted to do.? I had no regrets with how our earthly relationship ended.? I’m so thankful that.? So many people don’t get that chance.? For me, even though I had to watch him die, having no regrets and him knowing I was there for him, was totally worth all the pain of it.

The other day I heard someone ask another person if they had regrets.? That lead me back to the conversation Kramer and I had.? I was so thankful that I had the warning that Kramer was going to pass away.? I was so thankful for those 4 1/2 days we had from the time we were told he was going to die, to the time he actually did.

That got me thinking about my current life.? Was I living a life of no regrets?? I can’t say I regretted anything but I did think I needed to change the way I was living…I won’t always get those 4 1/2 days with every person I know.? Every time I see someone, it might be the last time I see them.? They might die in a car accident…they may commit suicide…they may have a medical incident.? Any number of things can happen to someone that prevents me from seeing them again.? Their life is not guaranteed.? My life is not guaranteed.? Every time I see someone, that might be the last time I see them.? It might be the last time they see me.

So…I decided that I was going to changing the way I live.? I’m living a life with no regrets.? Here are some of the things I’m doing:

I compliment people more. I say what I think more freely but not the icky stuff…just the loving things.? I say things such as I’ve always loved that about you…and it’s referring to something like their laugh or their kindness.? I tell people I appreciate their friendship.? I thank people for being in my support system.? I put words to many of my actions…like saying “If I can, I’ll always help”.? I thank people for calling.? I thank people for stopping by and checking on me.? I TELL people all the things I can to let them know that they have meaning in my life. I DO all the things to let people know they have meaning in my life.

I’m better at letting my own kids see that I love them for them…completely unconditional.? I grew up in a pretty dry family when it came to loving words.? My parents loved me and I knew it, but there was no physical showing of love and no emotional showing of love.? I’m not mad or angry about that.? It just is.? With Covid, I’m trying hard to make the emotional side of love bigger.? I tell the kids I appreciate them and that I’m proud of them more than I ever have.? I tell the kids they are good at their job and that I’m impressed by them.

The 10 Biggest Regrets In Life & How To Avoid Them
I think the saying above is so true…but not the way most people would take it to mean.? Most people would read that and think, “the need to try for that promotion” or “that means I need to move to the city” or any number of things.? They don’t think about the emotional side of things.

They don’t see it as the part I see.? Are we opening ourselves up to love and be loved?? Are we taking the chance to tell people how much they mean to us?

I think we all guard our emotions a little too much.? We don’t want to get hurt.? We don’t want to feel awkward.

Since Kramer’s passing, I’ve become a much more open person.? I say kind things often…Admittedly it was a little awkward for me at first.? Now it’s much easier.? I feel like a much more sincere person.? I don’t lay in bed at night and think, “I should have told Kalissa I’m proud of her for gathering supplies and taking them to Cedar Rapids.”? I already told her…because I am proud of her and I want her to know it.? If she died in a car accident on the way home, I want her to know that I am proud of her.

So today’s blog post is just a little reminder….the people you love and the people you are close to might not always be here.? You will not always be here.? You might not get those 4 1/2 days that I had with Kramer.

Say the things you need to say now….live a life with no regret with the people in your life.? Open yourself up to love and be loved.? It’s a genuine way to live…and it’s a happier way to live.

Blast from the Past: Hotpad Tutorial

I’m doing a little series of posts that feature old blog posts.? I have been going back and looking at them.? It’s been fun.? I started blogging in June of 2009…WOW.? Over ten years.? I’m so glad I’ve kept the blog as a diary of sorts…today I’m revisiting a tutorial I did for a potholder.

Although I made this using my Accuquilt Go and the 4″ basket block, you can make this with any small block.? Here is a link for some small blocks that will work.

I wrote:
I got a new Accuquilt Go!?die, the 4″ finished basket, and had to try it out. ?Previously there had been lots of discussion on how to create the basket handle. ?Thankfully?Mary over at Quilt Hollow?contacted Alex Anderson, designer of the die, and “took the basket by the handle”..so to speak. ?Follow this link if you need help with that basket handle….watching the video REALLY made it a breeze…without the video, I would have been LOST…Thanks Mary! ?Now on to the tutorial.

Hotpad-0

Anyway…back to the die. ?I typically am not a basket girl, but these little 4″ finish guys are just so darn cute. ?In the middle of the making my test basket block, I had to go get something out of the oven when I saw my AWFUL looking hot pads and decided to create this….a hot pad holder with a little basket pocket on the front.

Hotpad-1

This is my favorite hot pad….I love the pocket on the front so I don’t burn my hand, yet it’s not a oven mitten. ?Totally my favorite…

Hotpad-hand

If you don’t have this die…don’t worry. ?You can make this potholder with any small block.

Here’s a little tutorial for you showing you how to make it….
To create the front pocket:
Make one basket block following the directions in the packaging. ?Cut two 4.5″ squares, cutting in half on the diagonal. ?Add them to the sides of the basket block making it square.

Hotpad-triangles

Trim this new block to be 6″ x 7″. ?(If you don’t have the basket die, improvise….use any small block. ?Add borders to it until it is 6″ x 7″.)

Cut a backing piece and piece of hot pad batting (it’s a special kind that is better for protecting your hands) the same size, 6″ x 7″. ?Layer the pieces, backing, batting, quilt block, and quilt. ?I quilted around the basket and then just did a stippling type design on the rest.

Hotpad-pocketstitching

Trim the piece. ?Cut and sew BIAS binding strips totaling about 47″. ?Sew binding down at the top of the basket piece as shown. Set aside the pocket piece and the BIAS binding.

Hotpad-pocketbinding

Cut two pieces of fabric and a piece of the same batting that are 9″ x 7″, layer, quilt as desired. ?I did a crosshatch pattern.

Hotpad-quiltingback

Trim to 9″ x 7″. ?To round the corners, I took a glass from the cupboard, laid it on the corner, and traced the curve. ?Then I cut on the line to create the curve. ?Do this on all 4 corners. ?Take your pocket piece with the basket and round the two corners on the bottom.

Hotpad-corner

If you want a hanger on your hot pad, cut a 5″ piece of BIAS binding. ?Iron it to hide the raw edges. ?Topstitch down each edge. ?Fold and pin in place on the top back, in the middle as shown. ?Now place the basket piece on top of the back piece (the opposite side and end of the hanger). ?Pin in place.

Hotpad-hanger

Bind your hot pad making sure you catch the hanger in your stitches.

Hotpad-binding

Everyone binds a bit differently….I cut 2.5″ strips. ?I folded them in half. ?I sewed them to the BACK of the hot pad. ?I brought the binding around to the front and sewed it in place. ?I thought this would be hard but honestly….not hard.

Then I turned the hanger up and in place. ?I sewed a small line at the very edge of the potholder to tack the hanger in place….

Hotpad-finish

Wa-La….you have a nice new hot pad holder….These would make nice grab bag gifts, secret Santa gifts, or hostess gifts….something you stuff in a Christmas stocking. ?Better yet, they would make a nice addition to your?OWN?kitchen.”

I did a video on how I made these.? You can check it out HERE or watch the embedded video.

10 years later I still have one of these potholders in my drawer and use it all the time.? I really think it might be time for me to make another batch.? I think it would be so fun to use some of the orphan blocks I have…or simply sew a crazy quilt crumb block for the front….Hmmm…that has me thinking.? Christmas is just around the corner.? If I made some now, I’d have them ready for gifts.

Quilt Finish: Civil War Tribute

I told you at the beginning of the month I went a little crazy with running quilts through the long arm.? Slowly, I am revealing them.? This is my Civil War Tribute quilt…


I am THRILLED to have it finished.? Kelli and I both started these as monthly kits when they first came out…we both stalled out on them.

Then almost two years ago on the blog, we hosted a “get your old UFO monthly quilt finished” quilt along and then we got both of ours finished into tops….then they sat again.

I finished Kelli’s a bit ago…then this one stalled.

Thanks to participating in the Dirty Dozen UFO Challenge hosted by Country Threads, I tackled mine.

I waited to share this until Kelli was here so I could get pictures of both of us with both of the quilts.? I wanted to make sure you didn’t think I was cheating.

Here we are…two of us and two quilts…See?? Continue reading

What I’m Reading: The Day Lincoln Lost

I was excited when I saw this book.? I thought hmm, something historic, that’s perfect from me.? I love Lincoln so this would be right up my alley.
The book is The Day Lincoln Lost by Charles Rosenberg.


This book didn’t impress me.? I had listened to it to the point I was at the halfway mark.? I wasn’t excited about it.? I ended up sidetracked listening to podcasts but then realized the book was going to expire so I went back to the book thinking it had to get better….it really didn’t.

There really was no culmination in the book.

Here’s what Amazon has to say: Continue reading