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#NeverForget

2 decades ago

20 years ago

240 months ago

1043 weeks ago

7300 days ago

175200 hours ago

One day that changed our lives.

Sitting in my craft room, watching the broadcasts of the remembrance of the attacks twenty years ago, I am probably doing what many Americans are doing – thinking back on that day.

Twenty years ago, September 11th was a Tuesday. Being my day off, I went for a run after our nanny had arrived for the day. Just as I was leaving, I heard a report on the radio station that I was listening to that a plane had hit the one of the towers of the World Trade Center, but the reporters stated that the cause was unknown. A while later, while running, the radio station reported that another plane had hit the other tower. This could not have been an accident.

I think I probably ran faster than I have ever done in order to get home. The scenes on television were unforgettable.

I thank God for our military and law enforcement who have kept our country free from major terror attacks since that day. Twenty years later, the buildings have been rebuilt and most people have gone on with their lives. But, our lives were changed by that day.

2 millennia ago

20 centuries ago

Nearly 200 decades ago

Nearly 2000 years ago

726, 266 days ago

One day that changed our everything!

Sitting in my craft room, I am also struck by the events that happened on April 3, 0033. This is the estimated date of Christ’s crucifixion (https://www.christianpost.com/news/new-study-reveals-exact-date-jesus-was-crucified-scientists-claim.html).

There are no videos to remind us of that event. But, I thank God who gave his son on that day to keep my life free from the ravages of sin. Two thousand years later, people continue to gone on with their lives. But, our lives were changed by that day.

God Bless Each of You and God Bless America!

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Rocky Mountain High, Colorado

Retirement has given me more time this summer to take a couple trips, two of them to Colorado.

In July, I took a road trip to Denver. The purpose of this trip was to bring several boxes that my eldest son was storing at our house.  While a long drive, it passed quickly thanks to a good book to listen to on Audible. 

Besides helping him settle in to his new apartment, we also took a drive to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Photo intense!

My second trip to Colorado was to serve as crew for my husband as he participated in the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. 

A few weeks prior, Keith had participated in the Leadville Stages race, but I did not accompany him for that trip.  The weather for this race was comfortable, but the race was still intense.

While there, he stayed with a family from Minnesota that have a second home in Leadville.

To thank them for their hospitality, I mailed them a bike quilt that I had made in 2020 when my office was closed.

For the MBT100 race, I really didn’t do much, just cheered him on when I was able to see him and help him switch out his water and food supplies mid-race. 

It was, however, an intense day for him.  The race started at 6:30 am with the morning temperature around 40 degrees.  Unfortunately for the riders, the temperature rose higher than anticipated.  By 2pm the temperature was 87 degrees with a fairly strong wind blowing. 

He did finish, albeit slower that he had hoped. 

However, given the conditions, I am very proud of him.  This is something that I personally would never ever consider doing. 

While in the area and after some time for Keith to recover, we took a ride on the Leadville Colorado and Southern railroad.  An enjoyable and scenic ride. Also, photo intense.

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A 3D Christmas

Now that all of the Christmas gifts that I mailed have finally arrived and been opened, I though I would share some of the fun things I made this year. Wanting to put my 3D printer to use, I looked on-line for gift ideas I could print. I found several useful ideas. My go-to source for printing ideas is Thingiverse. They have an incredible number or free printing files.

Among Us Ornament. During our Thanksgiving family video conversation, my adult sons wanted the entire family to play an on-line game called Among Us. While I didn’t really understand the game (perhaps because I became a ghost about 15 seconds into the game), the boys seem to enjoy the game. For a creative gift, I found a pattern for making the characters from this game. Thinking that they would make nice tree ornaments, I created a remix of the pattern that had a ring on the helmet to attach some ribbon for hanging.

After printing these, I found out that there are several fun “hats” that the characters can wears. So, I decided to remix some more patterns to make some hats to fit over the ring for each. These were really fun to make.

Can Holders. I would have put individual names on each of these, but the customizer in Thingiverse was not functioning at the time that I made them. There was an existing customized file for the Green Bay Packers. So, I made several of these for family members who are Packer fans. The rest were printed without a label on the handles. These are useful for several reasons (1) keeps a cold can away from your hands, and (2) helps identify which can is yours. I made 18 of these in various colors.

Battery Boxes. In these boxes, the batteries load from the top and the ramps inside feed the batteries to the opening at the bottom of each box. I made 14 sets of these in various color combinations.

Christmas Tree. These trees store flat and add a nice decoration for a small space.

I already have some fun ideas for next Christmas.

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Quilting with Shadows

Earlier this year, I wrote about a wall quilt I made that depicted the skylines of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This quilt was made as a retirement gift for a friend who spends a lot of her time volunteering with various organizations, serving on foundations and helping her friends and family members within the Twin Cities. She truly has a heart of giving and I was hoping this quilt would show her that the people around her appreciate all that she has done.

After completing the quilt, I decided to make a few more wall quilts before giving it away. Being in a study club with five members, I realized that if I were to give her a wall quilt for retirement, the others in the group would know what to expect when they retire. Thus, four more wall quilts were completed over the summer and fall. And, while she retired at the end of 2019, I was recently able to gift this wall quilt to her.

One of the other wall quilts I created was for a friend who will be retiring at the end of 2020. When thinking about a theme for her quilt, I kept coming back to how often she posts pictures of her family, especially her children, and the great ways the all interact together.

Her family represents several heritages and she loves to travel. So, the quilt design I selected was a piecework pattern called “Trip Around the World”. This classic piecework pattern involves using uniform squares, radiating out from a center. While this pattern looks time consuming with all the squares, using strip quilting makes this pattern super easy!

The colors of the quilt were based upon colors in a fused glass plate that she purchased from me a few years ago. At the time, she said the colors matched her home.

I also wanted to depict her family in the quilt, but without detracting from the beauty of the piecing. To do this, I decided to use the quilting to show her family.

The entire quilt was first quilted with a rather simple swirl design.

After that was completed, I quilted a shadow of a family. To design the quilting of the family, I used a photo of a family of five jumping and expressing joy. Each person of the “family” were quilted with a different color of thread.

A sixth member of their family is also included in the quilting. Eighteen years ago, at just under the age of three, one of my friend’s daughters passed away from childhood cancer.

I know that she is still in the minds of her family, so I wanted to include her as well. In the shadow quilting, I stitched a girl on a swing. She is seen swinging on each side of the family, thus, creating somewhat of a circle around the rest of the family members.

This was an enjoyable quilt to make and even more enjoyable to recently gift it to my friend. I wish her a wonderful retirement!

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Child and Doll Visors.

One of the joys of working with children is when they express their joy in seeing you.  That has been especially true this summer.  For many children, a visit to the dentist has been the first trip away from home and family this summer.  For that reason, some are really excited when they come to our office.

I recently saw one of my favorite patients.  While only eight years old, she has already expressed interest in being a dentist when she grows up.  She is always excited when she comes to the office.

That was no exception this summer.  Even with all of our extra protective equipment on, she was still excited for her visit.  In fact, she was so excited, that she went home and made personal protective equipment for her doll. So sweet.

Her imagination gave me the idea to make child and doll sized face shields like the ones I was making for my office.

Since I didn’t have any young children, I used the average size head for an eight year old and adjusted my STL file.  The shield I made was 6″ in diameter and fits a head 16-20″ in circumference.

Not having any dolls around the house (the result of raising four boys), I went on Amazon and purchase a doll for myself.  Perhaps I just want something to play with.  Or, perhaps I am planning for future grandchildren.  In either case, I now have a Journey Girl doll that graces my sewing room.  Measuring the size of the head, I adjusted the STL file to make a shield that is 4″ in diameter and will fit the head of an 18-20″ doll (American Girl, Journey Girl, etc).

To complete the  PPE ensemble, I also printed appropriate sized ear savers.

After printing a Doll set and a Child set, I gifted these to my patient.  She loved them.  Her mom sent me numerous photos of her pretending to be a dentist, complete with her doll as her assistant.

Given how much she enjoyed the face shields, I thought maybe other children would enjoy being like their mom or dad, or the favorite health care worker.  Thus, I have posted these on Etsy.  If you have someone who might like a set, you can purchase at the link.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/851392013/child-sized-or-doll-sized-face-shield?ga_order=date_desc&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=child+face+shield&ref=sr_gallery-2-22&organic_search_click=1&col=1

 

Becoming a Mom.

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Thirty years ago today, at 11:08 pm CDT, I became a mom.

That single day changed my life in so many ways.

Someone once told me that they felt sorry for the oldest child in a family.  Being the first child in a family kinda means that you are the “trial child”, the child on whom each parent learns what it means to be a parent.  Having no manual or rule book, we have to learn as we go.  However, while my oldest may have taught me the most, I feel that I have learned from each of my boys.

Over the past thirty years, I have learned patience, perseverance, negotiation, and many other life skills. These skills have helped me in all aspects of my life.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned that planning is very important to be able to accomplish everything that needs to be done in a day, all the while understanding that my plans may change at a moments notice.  This gave me the incentive to learn to be organized but adaptable – something that has been necessary over these past couple of months.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned how much energy they can have. This gave me the incentive to enroll them in sports and other activities and to help them to enjoy these endeavors.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned that having them play outdoors helped to keep the house cleaner and the boys to sleep better.  This gave me the desire to learn more about plants so that I could be gardening while supervising their outdoor activities.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned how to build forts.  This gave me confidence to build other things, like trellises and gazebos, and to tackle home remodeling projects.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned how much they could eat, and how expensive feeding them would be.  This gave me the desire to learn to bake, to cook, and to make my own preserves.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned how busy life can be.  This gave me the encouragement to daily find time for myself, something that is still important in my life.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned that I could not do things alone.  This has given me an appreciation for my husband and gratitude for his love.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly realized that every life at every age is precious. This has given me a gratitude for the grace shown to us by our heavenly father each and every day.

Some days it feels like it was just yesterday that my oldest was a newborn baby.  Other days, it feels like it was so very long ago. There are many ups and downs being a mom. But, I would not change it for anything.  Happy Birthday, Tim!  I love you.

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Family & Birthdays

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Yesterday was the twenty third birthday of my third son, Ben.  Happy Birthday Ben!

We were blessed to be able to celebrate the day with him.  Well, okay, maybe just the evening. I have been spending most of my time writing up protocols (Covid-19 Business Plan, Respiratory Protection Plan, etc).  All the government regulations can be a bit overwhelming. Ben spent his day doing classwork on-line and preparing for finals.

But, since he is at our home and not in Brooklyn, I felt we needed to do something special for him.  So, he selected a recipe for me to make – Vegetarian Ramen (Bon Appetit), I did some shopping and together we made the recipe.  We did need to leave out some things due to my allergies. This did turn out very tasty.

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Some pecan pie for dessert and a long family conversation with my sons who live out of town was an enjoyable way to spend my evening.

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Frogs – In the Garden (& Clinic?)

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For those that are unaware, I am a pediatric dentist by profession.  I work with a group of seven doctors and 37 staff.  Nearly all of the procedures we perform (tooth cleanings, filling, crowns, etc) create an aerosol.  This is problematic in the current viral pandemic because the aerosol could put everyone at risk.  So, we know we will need to change our PPE (personal protective equipment) when we reopen our practice.

Because all of the PPE is being directed to medical facilities, as a dentist, it is nearly impossible to obtain face shields and masks.  In anticipation of this being a problem, when my son came home from NYC, I spent some time talking with him about 3D printers and how to use one to make our own masks and face shields.  I am very fortunate that, as an architecture student, he has lots of experience with several types of printers.

With his help, several weeks ago I purchased a Prusa printer kit. I ordered a kit for two reasons.  First, it was less expensive and I could get a better printer for less cost.  And, more importantly, the cost of the kit was just below the limit for having to pay import duties.  The kit took 18 days to arrive.  I am really glad I ordered when I did, because the estimate now is 5-6 weeks.

When the kit arrived, we needed to build the printer.  Okay, to be honest, it was mostly my son who put it together.  But, I did do a couple hours of the process.  The kit was like trying to build a house sold by IKEA!  The manual for putting it together was 225 pages long.  Fortunately the directions and photos were excellent.

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It was exciting when the build was completed.  The first thing we printed was one of the sample files that came with the printer.  It was a tree frog.

Since the plan is to print things for use in my dental office, I wanted to verify that the printed items could be sterilized in our office steam autoclave.  I took the frog to one of my offices and tested it in the  autoclave.  The plastic filament was not impacted by the heat or the steam.  However, I forgot that the frog was printed as a hollow form with air trapped inside.  So, when the air heated up and expanded, it caused the belly of the frog to pop out.  I now have a pregnant looking frog!!.  This should not be a problem with the other items I plan to print because they do not have a large space with trapped air.

I am in the process of testing out different face shield and mask ideas.  I’ll give an update on those in a few days.

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In the meantime, and keeping with the frog theme, I thought I would give some information about a new piece of garden art that is in my flower bed.  Over the winter, one of the glass projects I made was a really cute frog.

The construction of this was somewhat similar to the turtle that I made last summer (July 14, 2019 post). It has a copper understructure with copper wire legs soldered and the glass attached to the copper.  When making it, I didn’t want to mess around with creating a custom slumping mold to “shape” the frog.  So, I left the glass flat.  Once the flowers start growing, I think this will be really cute in my garden.

Who knew there were so many inspirational quotes about frogs (google it and see for yourself)!