Thursday, 19 November 2015

Missing in action!

My poor blog has been totally neglected these past few month. To say that this is a year of emotional ups and downs is definitely an understatement. Just when I started to find my feet again - after moving back to Switzerland after almost 30 years abroad -  mum passed away in August. As you might remember, she was suffering from dementia and we were aware that she had gone downhill quite a bit in the last couple of month. But it was still unexpected and a shock when the nursing staff rang to tell us that they think she's nearing the end, just when we were away for a few days in Denmark. I'm sad but also relieved that she's at peace now.

Mum was born on a farm and I think she stayed a farm girl at heart all her life. She was happiest with her hands in the soil tending her veggie garden (which she kept well into her eighties) or up a tree picking cherries. Mum had a quiet but steadfast faith which carried her through life's challenges and tribulation. She had a happy nature and she never took herself too seriously. It was sad to see her personality diminished by her dementia although once in a while her feisty nature would still come through. I'm so grateful that she still recognised us and  I'm even more grateful that we came back when we did so we could spend a bit more time with her.

At the end of August we spent a few days in Milan, Italy when we drove our daughter there to start her new job. After our return it was time for my husband to go "under the knife" as he needed a knee replacement! A combination of injuries in his younger days when he played basketball, a recently broken knee cap which didn't heal properly and probably dodgy genes made it necessary. He's now well on the way to recovery which means that I no longer have to do a all the fetching and carrying. He can even drive himself to his therapy sessions every other day.

And a milestone birthday has come and gone! According to my kids, I'm over the hill now, but let's just say that if I were a chicken, it wouldn't be Springtime anymore ;)! As I could not think of anything I wanted for my birthday I went a little crazy on the Internet and ordered myself a "bit of fabric" and a few book. I think it's safe to say that the fabric diet is well and truly over.

My son ordered me this lovely batiks bundle from a quilt shop in Switzerland (I had no idea)

and my daughter got me these wonderful Terra Australis by Emma  Jean Jansen (she asked what I wanted and I steered her in the right direction)

These lovely books I order with an Amazon gift card I got from my gorgeous friend Kate in Singapore

and this stunning Kaffe Fasset tin, filled with lovely toiletries as well as this little quilt kit arrived from another Singapore friend, who has in the meantime also relocated, back to Scotland.

Thanks Kate and Martina, I miss you both lots especially our quilting Fridays. I've been properly spoiled and I hope with all these goodies to play with my sewing mojo will at long last make a reappearance!

We've been enjoying an exceptional beautiful and warm Autumn this year. Fall is the season I always missed most in the tropics. This is the view from our balcony again.

And a few more Autumn impressions. 

With Christmas looming on the horizon, I've started with some preparations and baking. I've tried a new cookie recipe this year which I found on Pinterest and I can warmly recommend it. I have to make another batch as the first one has disappeared already. You'll find the recipe for these delicious Cranberry Pistachio Shortbreads here.

So there you have it, my last three month in a nut shell. 

Vreni xx


Julimond said...

Liebe Vreni

Das tut mir leid, daß deine Mum gegangen ist, es ist immer schwer, die Eltern zu verlieren, man ist aufeinmal in einer Rolle, die so anders ist. Jetzt ist man selber die "Anlaufstelle", die, die man um Rat fragt.

Du hattest Geburtstag? den runden? ;-))
Meinen herzlichsten Glückwunsch nachträglich. Du hast wunderbare Geschenke bekommen, die dich wieder zur Kreativität zurückführen.

Hab eine schöne Zeit

liebe Grüße
Iris, die den Herbst auch immer vermissen würde.

Susan said...

So sorry to hear about your mum, it's never easy news. Happy belated birthday, I love your selection of gifts. I hope they bring the return of your mojo and many happy hours of stitching.

Martina said...

Liebe Vreni
es tut mir sehr leid vom Tod deiner Mutter zu hören und ich drück dich von weitem mal ohne Worte und ganz fest.
Schön ist es wieder von dir zu hören und all die tollen Geschenke zu deinem Geburtstag lassen ahnen, dass da wieder einiges an schönen Sachen bei dir auf dem Blog zu sehen sein werden. Ganz herzlichen Glückwunsch im Nachhinein!
Herzliche Grüsse und viel Trost und Kraft wünsch ich dir,

Thimbleanna said...

Wow Vreni. You've had a big year -- lots of life-changing events. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum, but what a lovely tribute you've written. It sounds like you're getting back on your feet with preparations for Christmas -- I haven't even started to think about it. And my hubby is going to have both his knees replaced after the New Year -- since I have a day job, he'll be going to a rehab hospital for the first little bit. One of my fitness instructors just had her knee replaced and it's been awful for her -- and she was in great shape! Glad to see you back -- looking forward to more regular posts!

barcord said...

My deepest sympathy Vreni. Your mum looks like a lovely woman. She will have left a great legacy in you and her grandchildren and all the memories you have of her. Belated Best Wishes for your birthday. Love all the treats you have to play with. Glad hubby is recovering well from surgery. Lots of love from my little part of the world.

Rosemary B❤️ said...

Dearest Vreni, You have my deepest sympathy and compassion on the passing of your mum. She was a beautiful lady! I am so happy you shared her story. I love that.
She sounds a lot like my mom. My mom was born in the Netherlands and survived the war, and she was also quite strong, and feisty. She is 92 now, and had a stroke 2 years ago. She is suffering from a mild form of dementia, and other effects from the stroke. It is hard getting old, and it is really hard for us, the kids, we want to love them until their last day.
It is hard as well to see them getting so old. I am glad you could go to your mom.
My parents are 4 miles away from my home now so I go there almost every day.

Happpy Birthday. You deserve all of these gifts. What a wonderful pile of fabrics and books for inspiration.
These will keep your heart light, and your spirit bright, remembering your mom and all of the events and adventures in her life.
Love always

HeathersSewingRoom said...

I think we need more therapy for reverse culture shock as takes a lot of adjusting and you have certainly had extra issues as well, but the timing was right. I really love your Emma Jane Jensen fabric as it is so vibrant. You know the saying 'when life goes to pieces, start quilting'. Your autumn colours look so pretty and a nice time to embrace the beauty in the seasons. Sending love and hugs your way.

Chookyblue...... said...

so sorry to hear of your Mum passing......dementia is very sad illness........
I have my Dad here recuperating from a knee replacement at the moment......very painful operation.......

on a happy note lovely fabrics and treats........enjoy playing with them.......

Flickenstichlerin said...

Liebe Vreni,
das tut mir sehr leid das deine Mutter nicht mehr bei Dir ist.
Dein Bericht von den letzte 3 Monaten lässt mich nur ahnen wie intensive die Berg-, und Talfahrt bei Dir war.
Schöne Momente waren auch dabei und das ist schön. Vor allem viele schöne neue Stöffchen, das ist immer gut für die Seele.
Liebe Grüßle,

pandchintz said...

Oh Vreni, I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum. She sounds like a wonderful person, and so lovely that she still remembered you, so often not the case with dementia. We seem to have had similar years with both losing a parent in August and having other family problems too (although it was me that broke my ankle not my husband!). Sending you big hugs xx

Janet said...

I'm so, so sorry for the loss of your mum, you said some lovely words about her. Happy to hear that you had a lovely birthday and it looks like you were thoroughly spoilt which is just as it should be. X

Heather said...

So sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. It sounds like you have had a stressful year but hopefully you are getting used to the changes. I have missed most of your news as I am not blogging as much and most of my comments have been bouncing back but I wanted you to know that I think of you often and wish you well.

Hilde said...

Dear Vreni, sorry for the loss of your mum. This past year certainly has been full of changes for you. So it is good to see you have been spoiled with lovely fabrics and other colourful presents for your Birthday!
Hopefully you will be able to get back in the sewing motion and soon will show us some of your beautiful new creations! XH

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Happy belated Birthday! Sorry about your mother. My father had Alzheimer's, and died back in 2009. Terrible disease. Enjoy your new quilting goodies.

FlourishingPalms said...

Oh my! Vreni, I had no idea you had so much going on in your life! I'm terribly sorry to learn of your mother's passing. It's never easy, even if she was in a decline. You're living in her house now, correct? But it's nice to know you've gotten to do a little traveling. You're obviously taking advantage of your new locale. Sorry to know about the hub's knee replacement too. I've heard that can be painful, and take some time to get through. I hope he's back to 100 percent soon. So are you just 40 years old now? You are definitely a spring chicken! And I love how you chose to celebrate... fabric and book shopping. You're definitely a quilter, through and through! All your photos here are lovely. It's a treat to see what you've been up to, as I know that neither of us blog as often as we once did. Thanks for sharing your happenings and loveliness.

meli B said...

What a roller coaster. I am sorry to hear about your mother. Dementia is a terrible thing and yes, she is at peace at last. It is just a shame you couldn't have had some more time with her when you finally made the move back home. With all your lovely birthday presents, I can see you will be pretty busy for the next few months. I haven't written on my blog for ever! Instagram took over for a while and I certainly like to look at it every once in a while but I am too lazy/busy to do even that these days.

Oops-Lah said...


Ailsa (Cape Pincushion) said...

Dear Vreni, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom passing away. I am sending you a big hug and my condolences. Your mom sounded like a wonderful person. The autumn pictures are stunning, and your view is so gorgeous! Have a very blessed Christmas!

Radka said...

Lovely post :-) Belated Happy Birthday!
Wow, lots of lovely fabric here! And books too!
I am sorry to hear about your mum, how sad. However much you expect it, it hits hard.
Thank you for popping to see me on my blog and leaving such a lovely comment :-)
Take care,

Lynda said...

Beautiful picture of your Mom. I know you must miss her so much. I still miss my parents and they have been gone for 16 and 24 years. I think of them every day.

Your Autumn pictures are beautiful too. Our Autumn was very short and now we have a very cold but not too snowy Winter. Of course, that is o.k. since it gives me an excuse to stay inside and work on quilts.