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Today (Saturday) we started awarding quilts at 10:30am at the Women’s Military Memorial.  Uniting US had picked 5 of the Veteran Artists to receive quilts without them knowing why they were coming early.  Every one of them were more than surprised.  It was so great to watch their faces as each one opened their quilt.  Later, through the day, I heard from each one of them how honored they were and how they never expected anything like a quilt.  They were telling me  where they were going to put them and how much they meant.  We spent most of the day talking to each Veteran Artist, how they made their art and what it meant to them.

We also got to spend some time with AnnMarie and Tiff and Matthew and April.  Matthew sang for us and April is an Army Veteran.  They are married and their story is truly a love story, both in wheel chairs and both of them taking care of each other and veterans.  We had snacks to eat and AnnMarie and Tiff stocked us up for the ride home.

When we finished at the Memorial, we jumped in our cars and off to the WW I Memorial.  There were crazy people everywhere around the monuments and Traffic everywhere.  We must have seen 30 food trucks just lining the streets.  We did luck out and get a parking place in front of the Memorial.  We saw Jari right down the way and walked to meet him.  We have actually known about each other for years but never met in person.  He was partly dressed in his uniform.  I took his hand and started to talk and he said he wanted to get in his uniform.  He was dressing in WW I uniform to perform Taps.  He asked if we could do it in front of the Memorial and we all agreed.  It was great to spend a little time to talk Bugle.  He asked me to stand on top of the hill next to where he was to play.  As he played and I saluted, I thought to myself that this must be what it is like when I play and others watch.  It was a beautiful Taps and a perfect end to a long day.

I was very honored to be able to honor our veterans today.  I was told this week that our quilts save more lives than we know.  So ladies and gents this is what your work does.  Be proud of all you do as it is important.

We head home tomorrow morning (Sunday) at 0’Dark-Thirty but honored and proud of Quilts of Honor.

God’s Blessings,

Gail

Warrenton, VA Visit

Today we started the morning with Blueberry Cobbler that Jeannine made.  It was the best.  Wouldn’t mind starting every morning like that.

We decided to take a ride to Warrenton to see Angie at Quilting Essentials, a fabric shop, gun shop, and engraving shop.  She didn’t know we would come visit so when she heard my voice, out of the backroom she came and said, “No way,” and hugged me.  It was so great to visit with her.  Flo had a great time shopping, too.  We got meet her worker, Judy.

We then met our friends, AnnMarie, Tiff, and their mom and had lunch at a little grill in Warrenton, VA.  We had a ton of laughter and good food.  We left Warrenton and headed back to Jeannine and Carl’s for dinner.  What a dinner we had.  She is the best cook.  We shared our dinner with Carla, our Quilts of Honor Ambassador.  Best part was dessert.  Jeannine had made a whip cream cake.  Little did we know it was stuck in the pan but with determination, Jeannine got it out after we heated it up.  We turned it upside down and no one knew.  It was good dessert ad only we knew that the cake looked like heck.  Bet we will have us some Blueberry Cobbler before we head to bed – yes, we are getting spoiled.

We drove many backroads today and only made a few U-turns but we felt like we did good – We didn’t get lost.

Flo is chasing fire flies – it is the first time she has seen them.  Hope she goes to bed before the sun comes up.

Tomorrow we have a big day at the Women’s Memorial and the WW I Memorial.  Stay tuned . . . .

God’s blessings,

Gail

Today we headed to Rockville, Maryland for my veteran Sister Sylvia’s 99th Birthday.  Whata day.  Maryland has the strangest turn lanes – 3 left ones.  So, they shouldn’t talk about California roads.  We signed our life away as we entered where Sylvia lives but a beautiful place.  Sylvia was so happy to see us and kept saying, “I can’t believe you’re here.”  We took a photo first thing and posted on Facebook Women’s Corps Band so the sisters could see us.  Sylvia loved seeing all the comments.  She remembered so many of the sisters who posted.  When we walked in she said, “I’m 99 today and they sang to me at breakfast.”  What a treat.  We brought her a cake – you must have a cake if you make it that long and boy, it was some fancy named cake Flo picked out but was so darn good with Carmel and rum.  I sure was sorry to leave it. 

Sylvia’s daughter had made us TUNA sandwiches, so for all of you who know me, I was about to croak.  I packed on lettuce and chips to cover the tuna and swallowed.  There was no way I could hurt this 99 year old but I’m so glad I got through it.  She had brought fruit too, so it was nice.  We got to meet the Director of the Retirement Center which was also nice.  We finally had to leave but Sylvia was a trooper and we promised to come back.

We left Maryland and headed back to Alexandria and decided to go to Ft. Belvoir’s PX.  We got to the gate and the Guard told us we had to register our VA cards.  We made a U-turn to go back to another gate, drove down another road, got to the gate and the Guard says we gotta go register our VA cards.  I told the guard at the gate that we have never had this much trouble before.  We went to the Visitors center, go in and I show the lady my card and she tells us to fill out a form and go to the window so, off I go.  When Flo showed her ID card the lady says, “Your good ma’am, no problem with you” and Flo told her that we couldn’t get in the gate.  The lady says, “Your friends with the bad one – it was because of her.”  They laughed and you know Flo was loving it.  I did get my ID fixed – another lesson learned. 

We left the Visitors center to go in the gate.  Now this is gate #4.  The guard is waving crazy at us and pointing at the cones all over the street.  You couldn’t tell which end was up.  I finally told Flo to roll down the dang window and ask him what the heck he means.  He tells us to U-turn and go through the other gate.  So, we turn around and I looked at Flo and said, “Welcome to the Army.”  We went back in and had a good laugh.  We did make it to the PX, finally, but what a trip.

We had a great Italian dinner Jeannine had made.  We sat out on the front porch and enjoyed the rest of the evening.  Wonder what tomorrow will bring.

God’s blessings

Gail

DC and WW I Memorial

Today we went to our famous Five and Dime in Alexandria and I did give Flo more than 15 minutes to look around.  We also checked to see if our favorite bakery was still there and, yes it was.  We sampled the cupcakes but Mo’s Devil Food are surely better at home. 

We went into town early as we weren’t quite sure where the WW I Memorial was and we had to find a parking place.  We got into the area without much trouble but to park, Lordy, they wanted $35 to park in the garage.  We had to install an ‘App’ on our phones just to park.  Everybody is so “Techie” here.  We drove around until we found a place and parallel parked, first right side of the street then later the left side, to keep from paying $35.  The spaces were so tight Flo had to get out and keep me from smashing the cars.  We barely had 4 inches in one space and when I got out of the space, a van drove in and I wondered, how the heck did that guy fit in there.

We walked to the Memorial and it is really a nice.  They are still working on it and will have sculptures of actual soldiers on it soon.  The Reflecting Pool was beautiful and the photo I took is cool.  We went to the Visitors’ Center, which was really interesting.  There was a lot of history about the Whitehouse and Families.  I had to take a picture of the rice pudding that was Ulysses S. Grant’s favorite food.  My Dad’s middle name is Ulysses and rice pudding is one of his favorites.

We missed giving our quilt out today but will catch our recipient yet.  We left the WW I Memorial and went to the Vietnam Wall so Flo could visit Johnnie.  His name is still bright on the wall.

We ended our evening with a great home cooked meal by Jeannine.  Tomorrow we are off to celebrate my Women’s Army Corps Band sister who turns 99.  We also want to send a special get well to Debbie as she recovers from her shoulder surgery today.

Stay tuned and God’s Blessings

Gail

July 2021 – DC and QOH

Here we are again in DC and some of you are saying “again?”  They have always loved QOH here and always want us to come back.  It has been over 2 years since we were last here and it is always a joy to return.  There is just something about our Nation’s Capital that makes you feel Patriotic.

We got here with only one U-turn.  Not bad, but it is only the beginning of our trip.  We arrived at our second home, the Mansion.  It is hot and humid here, 91 degrees today.  Jeannine fixed us a nice dinner and we just enjoyed visiting with each other. When we drove in the driveway I always think of Delphia, Donna, Ginny, and Betty, the Jones sisters.  They loved sitting on the veranda many years ago.  We have been coming here 9 years now – that is amazing.

When we were in the airport I wanted a water.  Well, you should have seen this Market.  You had to put your credit card in to get through the turn styles.  Then, it sees what you buy from cameras overhead and they send you a receipt.  I’m telling you all, it is getting spooky out here

We are excited for our next few days and working with “Uniting US”.  Until tomorrow …….

God’s Blessings

Gail

PS:  To all our QOH Family not feeling well, we are with you.

Saturday we were at our favorite spot, TTT Tahoe Timber Trails, camping or glamping as many people call it.  We have pretty much all of the amenities you want.  We are in the high Sierras of California in the tow called Truckee.  We call it our get away as we are not working or quilting in the shop.  It’s also supposed to be my rest spot.  I do that sometimes, I guess.  It doesn’t matter where we go I often find veterans that so deserve a quilt. 

We get around at TTT in a golf cart and you know ours has a flag flying and red, white and blue stripes – are you surprised?  Well, this weekend decided to be one of the hottest so we asked the neighbors if they would like to go for a ride in our air conditioned golf cart and cool off.  Cheri and Flo were sitting in the back and Steve, Rue and I in the front seat – we were loaded down.  This is an electric golf cart and we are in the mountains going up-hill.  We almost had to pedal.  Going down we were flying but boy that made a good air conditioner.  I only almost threw Flo and Cheri out twice.

In our travels, Steve told me about a veteran who was wounded in Vietnam.  He was a Navy Medic so I wanted to see if he was up camping and we could honor him with a quilt.  We told his friend that we would be back.  We sped home, in our speedy golf cart and all 4 of us went back to honor him.  It was so cool – we met his wife and sister-in-law.  I walked up and asked for his hand so I could shake it and, of course, I had to tease him that the Army was better.  This veteran has suffered for 50 years.  He had been blown up trying to attend to a wounded Marine.  It was an honor to shake his hand and thank him.  We now also have some new camping friends.

So, you have to never forget our veterans – they are everywhere.  I’m going to keep quilts in the truck and keep finding them because that is what we do.

California has been “shaking and baking” lately but my Giants are kicking butt.

God bless and stay cool,

Gail

I know it seems I have noticed many more flags out in front of people’s homes which is so nice to see.  One guy beat us and has over 30 large flags around his fence.  I put out 6 and could really go more but it just make me smile to see the Flag.  So many have fought for our freedoms and our flag has always lead the way.

This week has been busy but very rewarding in that I was able to meet two female veterans and then surprise them with a quilt.  Flo and I were on the way home from camping and we always stop at Machado’s Fruit Stand.  I had one of my t-shirts on that says something about being a female veteran, now I know that surprises you all, when the young lady behind the counter asks if I was  veteran and I said yes.  She then called Shawie and pointed towards her and said she is a veteran.  About that time Shawie approached me and I asked her if she was a veteran.  She said yes and we shook each other’s hand.  She was an Army Veteran.  We talked about what she had done, spending 7 years all together and was an MP.  When we walked out I told Flo that we were coming back to give her a quilt.  Then we both remembered that we had a quilt in the truck.  So, we got it ready and went back in.  I reached for her hand and handed her the case with the quilt.  She asked if it was for her and I replied yes.  Her niece, who told us that she was a veteran, was so excited.  She said she wants to be a medic when she graduates.  They are a proud military family.  I felt so good to be able to honor Shawie as I know she has never been thanked.  In my heart I think we made a difference and it was a Monday.  I had a feeling it made her week. 

It is also hard to find female veterans and so many never let you know they are a veteran.  I also will make sure to carry quilts in the truck all the time.

On the 3rd of July Flo and I decided to help Debbie look for a new car at CarMax.  We got a sales lady named, Annie.  When we sat down together to talk about cars she mentioned Germany and I asked if she was a veteran.  She replied 23 years, Army again, I’m like batting 500 here.  Two females in one week.  I asked Flo secretly if we had another quilt in the truck.  We did, and after we finished business we awarded her the quilt right in the middle of CarMax.  She held her emotions until we sat back down and then she cried.  She said that it just meant so much.  She also told us her husband was in the French Army, was a Colonel, spoke 6 languages, and was sent to Afghanistan to support our troops.  All three of us, Debbie, Flo and myself said what were our chances of getting that sales person.  I would say it was a “God-thing”.  Anna told us, as Debbie was driving off with a new car, “I’ve never had customers that made me cry.”  What a gift to be able to honor our veterans.

We are quilting like crazy getting ready for our next big event the end of August.  Everyone is kicking in which is a blessing.

Our 4th was very quiet.  We couldn’t have fireworks because of the fire danger so things were different.  We had a great BBQ, watermelon, pie, and family.  We hope all of you had a good Holiday.  Try and stay cool.

God’s blessings

Gail

What a different kind of day for me.  We got to the Women’s Military Memorial at Arlington just in time to start taping “Her Story.”  I’ve never really liked being in the limelight because what we do in Quilts of Honor is about our veterans so to be honored to tell my story was just really trying.  My passion is Quilts of Honor and what we do for our veterans.  I’ve been blessed to have so many great moments honoring veterans, shaking their hands, hugging them while they sobbed receiving their quilt – these are the moments emblazoned in my mind and these are the rewards I receive so often.  So, today was another gift for me as I know now that Quilts of Honor will always be tied to my story and exist as a little piece of history.

It was quite a production of cameras and lights.  I was interviewed by an Army female veteran and April, an Army veteran, told her story next to me.  Sometimes we were stopped by a plane flying over or a cell phone ringing that was supposed to be quiet.  I thought we were in a Hollywood production.  They even fixed April’s hair for one curl out of place.  Right before we started, I got to meet the CEO of the Women’s Memorial, Phyllis Wilson.  It was nice to be greeted.  I also got to meet a friend from the Women’s Memorial that I knew from 2009 so it was great to reconnect.  After the taping in the chair they had me go to the quilt Flo had made and explain how I do it. 

Finally we were finished so Flo and I took off to see the quilts and get pictures.  AnnMarie went to hang the other 2 quilts we had brought.  Check out the picture with her, the cherry picker, and the quilt.  We went to the memorial store and met one of the clerks, a female Army veteran.  We told her who we were and she told us that the quilts are so awesome.  We got many comments, all good, and those quilts were so awesome looking it made us so proud to see our quilts in such a beautiful, honorable place.

With our flights being delayed we got into DC at 2:00am, got to bed by 3:00am and then had to get up by 7:00am.  I think we were talking zombies by late afternoon.  We took a power nap and then had dinner with Carla, our QOH Ambassador for the DC area and our Old Guard contact.  Carla is an Army veteran.  We had a nice dinner with Tiffany and AnnMarie.  We made it to about 11:30pm – Lordy that was a long day.

Wednesday we got up later, made phone calls, and left about 3:00pm to award a quilt to a very special lady who helps veterans and veterans’ organizations.  She is quite an artist and her house had flamingos all over the yard.  That was sure different to see in DC.  She was very taken with her quilt.  We left there for dinner at my second home, our mansion – Jeannine and Carl’s.  It was so great to see them and yes, Jeannine cooked a great Italian meal but the dessert was to die for.  Just look at the picture – your mouth will start drooling.

Another late night and we headed back to AnnMarie’s.  We managed a couple hours of sleep.  We are now on the plane heading home, we hope with no problems.  Tomorrow, Friday, we have a tour coming to the shop.

This was a fast, long trip but so worth it.  There are some great veterans in this area and much work to be done.  In July we head back again where we will present quilts and be part of an artist group at the Women’s Memorial.

We hope to start our Workshops in the Fall.  I know everyone misses the QOH family.  Thank you AnnMarie, Tiffany and family for taking care of us on this short but meaningful trip.

Until next time . . . . . . . . . . .

God’s Blessings,

Gail

We finally made it to DC at 2:00 am Tuesday morning and my interview was at 10:00 am.  Needless to say, a great day but I’m pretty worn out.  I will tell you more tomorrow.

Flo and I did get some great shots of quilts that we will post tomorrow.

Oh, I did get Flo coffee so she had a much better day.

Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . .

God’s Blessings

Gail

Holy Cow!  For our first trip since COVID you know we would have adventures.  We started at 2:30am California time, got to the Airport in good time.  Found out we had to fill our special papers on Rue and the Attendant first had to go find the forms.  That took what seemed like a life time but we got them filled out and Rue was ok.  We then had PSE check in so we got in that line ‘and they wouldn’t let Flo go through, we would have to go through the regular line.  Oh Lordy!  Rue and I got searched which took forever.  We are going to fix that before July.

Next stop, Chicago.  There were tons of people and no place to sit at the gate.  We walked to 10 more gates to find chairs.  Here’s the worst part – Flo hadn’t had her coffee all day and all we could find was Dunkin’ Donuts and no good coffee.  Those of us who know Flo knows you don’t keep her away from her coffee – it ain’t good.

We finally get to our gate for boarding after three times.  Then they announce boarding so we all get in line and then they say 20 more minutes.  So we and the ladies we had made friends with all go to the wall.  They were young and sat on the floor.  Flo and I had our butts on the wall heaters.  We did this at least 3 times – false alarms.  As you can see in the pictures, Rue had made friends and was taking it all in.  The two families we met, one was husband in the Army stationed at Ft. Belvoir so you know we enjoyed them.  The other family, Rue’s best friends, were from Sacramento and was a nurse showing her two girls DC.  If you take a dog like Rue you will always have friends.  One lade stopped me and asked where did your dog serve in the Army.  She was an Army brat and had married a pilot.  We just seem to find them and Rue has been the best.

We were delayed by the weather they had a traffic jam in the skies plus I think our eyes are killing us.  Finally at 6 something they came out and tell us we can board and the crowd went wild yelling so back in line we all go.  I decided to go to the restroom so Flo took Rue.  She has been such a trooper and there was a lady with a Yorkie so Rue walks up to her and the Yorkie bit her nose.  When I come back I see blood on her nose and asked Flo what happened.  She tells me and I said see the blood?  Flo said I had better not tell people it was a yorkie but a big dog.

I found out that the other family that is stationed at Ft. Belvoir the wife was also a veteran and I asked her why she hadn’t said something.  I gave her my card and hope that she comes to the Memorial.

So, they cancelled our other flight and booked us on a flight that gets into DC at 11:55pm.  Boy, what a day.  We got up at 2am and right not we have an hour to go to board our last leg.  I did forget to tell you through all of this we had screaming kids crying because they couldn’t get on the plane.  So, if I had any patience, it is gone today.  I know tomorrow will be a better day as I will find coffee for Flo.

God’s blessings,
Gail

(PS: Text at 7:22pm – On the Plane)