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Good morning all;

I hope that you all have had a wonderful New Year and a good start to the 2016 year. I wish you many blessings and joys albeit a little late now that spring is here.

I have had quite a roller coaster year so far, and as a result have been absent from my postings.

Sadly, my little sheltie, Koka got very sick in February with ear infections (vetted) and her issues mushroomed throughout the rest of the winter. She was diagnosed with many issues, including a biliary mucocele in her gall bladder, similar to what humans would have. However, because of other health issues, we couldn't have surgery. With all of her antibiotic medications as well as 'fix its' for her digestive issues, she failed to gain any ground and passed away March 24 on the way to the veterinary hospital. I have been so consumed with sadness that washes over me, I simply can't tell you how much it hurts to lose a pet. Especially since I took her to every vet hospital in Central PA including U of Penn. Miracles were in short supply and I lost her after 5 months. She was 7.5 years old.

Then concurrently, my two sisters became ill. They are much older than me by 14 and 10 years. One with breast cancer and the other with gallbladder and ulcer issues. Both were on the cusp of leaving this earth and surely, I was also convinced that both siblings would face their maker about the same time. Devastated once again, my emotions were set back even further.

Family issues continued and, as in all families, dysfunctional family members often take the center stage. Again (without getting into details) I was  unexpectedly tapped to 'help out' financially a family member in a bind. I hope it was all to the good.

I also accepted the position of State Coordinator for Pennsylvania for Quilts of Valor Foundation. It had been vacant for a year, and when I had questions regarding the program, there was no one there to answer. So frustrating. So I applied and I've been on board since March. I had to clean up the backlog of QOV recipients and with the help of the Red Rose Quilters Guild was able to do this. Twenty 5 quilts were sent out throughout the state of PA. There are many happy veterans and their families are enjoying the quilts that were sent out.

I also have corralled many quilters in Columbia County to make the JUST ONE STAR block and to come together to make the FLAG OF VALOR quilts to be distributed to veterans in Columbia/Montour County. To date, I've awarded 6 quilts and have another two ceremonies for this week and next week. Nine veterans will be awarded during these ceremonies. My little group of ladies come together once a month and we put the kits together quickly and we will be ready for the next opportunity to award QOV to our local veterans in the coming months.

This is what has kept me sane!

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Comment by Barb/WI on May 26, 2016 at 6:59am

Congratulations on your State Coordinator position!  I hope it helps you get thru all the other heartbreak life has dealt you lately.  Yikes :(

Comment by Irene Gallway on May 24, 2016 at 10:24am

Billie I understand fully about losing your dog.  I moved to a retirement complex and a neighbor complained that my dog barked when I was gone so had to give her away. It broke my heart and I still miss her but at least I know she is with a lovely couple who love her.  I also know about a sister with cancer.  My youngest sister is not doing so well with that awful disease.  Congratulation on taking on the job at QOV.  Sounds like your the perfect person for the job.  I'm glad your back with us.

Comment by Pam/NY on May 24, 2016 at 7:37am

It's good to hear from you. Sorry about your doggy friend, always hard. Sounds like you are busy with the quilt organization. They are lucky to have you step forward and take over!

Comment by Janet/MO on May 24, 2016 at 6:46am

Billie, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved pet.  It really can be like losing a child in a lot of ways.  It does seem like everything happens at once.  I hope both of your sisters are doing better now.  Congratulations on getting the PA QOV up to par.  I belong to a QOV group in Columbia MO and it brings me a lot of joy to participate with that wonderful group of ladies.  My husband finally received a quilt last Nov.  Although I made the whole quilt, it was awarded to him during a ceremony on Veteran's Day.  It is now hanging proudly on one of our living room walls as he wanted to do that rather then cover up with it. 

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