Archive for June, 2022

We started our day early as we wanted to be setup and ready to go in our area.  Right off, we started getting visitors – little people wanting to learn how to sew.  Our first were brother and sister and they were so excited.  We had over 20 kids.  The best were my cousin Ray who came with his girls Morgan, Janie, and Kayla.  He also brought his wife, Amy, and the girls sewed their first block.  We had at least 6 or seven that sewed strip blocks.

One of our other good memories of the kids sewing blocks was Colton Tiffany and Annmarie’s Son.  He is 9 and the best boy – helps everyone all the time.  He sewed his first block.

We had so many that signed signature blocks including kids.  One child wrote on his block, “Nobody is willing to die for your country but you” and said “Thank you.”  We had people from India, Portugal and Canada sign signature blocks.  One child, about 7, drew an eagle and one of a flag.  The response we have had with doing both has been great.  I am so proud of the crew.  All day they stayed glued to the table and machines.

When we got ready to end the day Terri, one of the veterans we had given a quilt to in August 2021 at the Women’s Memorial, asked us to stay back.  She told us how proud she was of her quilt and that Quilts of Honor never expects anything in return and she wanted to thank all of us.  She is a glass blower and gave me a beautiful vase with a white rose as that is what represents Vietnam.  She made a special one for Flo to honor Johnny O Brooks and then gave everyone in the crew a rose, all in different colors.  We all felt honored and thanked Terri with all our hearts.

We got to hear my Band sisters play at the LOC – 5 of them.  They were great and I was so proud.

The day wasn’t finished.  We got to go to our second home, Jeanine and Carl’s for dinner.  We were all happy campers to see them and spend time with them.  They are truly our family.  We had pasta dinner and the best ooey-gooey chocolate desert.  It was the best.

We had a great day with some very special people.  We are thankful for all we have accomplished.  Stay tuned . . . . . . . .

God’s blessings

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We started our day early as we had to drive into DC in the morning traffic.  We did good – only one uturn.  We found a parking lot about 3 blocks from the Library and the nice man is saving a spot for us the next two days – that helps so much.

We went through security that is really strict and, of course, I made all the bells and whistles go off and got searched.  We are on the first floor, Room 119.  So many people walked in our area and wanted to see what we were doing.  It was great to see the kids want to learn to sew.  We had one lady, Silvie, from South Carolina, who made a whole block.  She said it was her birthday present to herself.  We had so many people sign a Signature Block for a veteran that Roxane started making more blocks.  The crew was the best.  They all worked together.  Carl and Debbie were getting people to sign on blocks.  Delphia, Ginny and Roxane were sewing blocks and teaching people how to make blocks.  Val, Rita and Rick took turns guarding the Longarm from people getting too close to me and the machine.  Everyone seemed to love what we did and how we did it.  We met two nice ladies from Oklahoma that were DAR members and just came to the Library and loved what we did.  We got our pictures taken with many people.  The crew seemed to enjoy the day, too.

On the way home we went to the store and got food for dinner that we could cook, sat down, and had dinner together.

Our funny for the day is when I tell the crew we are leaving and the time, they know to get in the car.  So we are all in the car and one says, “I forgot my teeth. we were all in such a hurry”, and I said, “you really just wanted to make the Blog.”

We are sending Joyce and Craig our prayers back home.

We got through the night with no fire alarms – thankful for that.  Really thankful for Willene, Carol and Jan for taking care of the folks today and Julie stepping in to save the day.

We survived day One at the Library of Congress!  Stay tuned . . . . . . . .

God’s blessings

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We really began our adventure today at 1:30am.  We had all finally gone to bed to get some needed rest when the smoke alarm went off.  Pretty much all on the second floor ran out of their rooms looking for smoke and all we saw was each other in our PJ’s.  We were all asking each other like what is going on.  We did a walk through, saw nothing, so we all went back to sleep.  About an hour later it did it again.  The darn think did it until 5:30am, off and on, so that sleep we wanted, ha, we didn’t get much.

When we got up for our coffee, the coffee pot had leaked like crazy.  We still managed our coffee or that wouldn’t have been a good thing.  You all know if Flo doesn’t get her coffee, it isn’t a good thing.  Rita and Debbie needed double shots of coffee as they were on fire watch all night.  So, our morning was off with a bang.

We drove over to Ft. Myer so I could get some uniform blouses and guess what – closed on Monday.  We were beginning to think was had a cloud over us.  We finally found a parking lot in DC not too far from the Library and the man was a nice guy.  He said he would try and hold a parking place for us the next day – we will see.  We only had to walk 3 blocks to the Library of Congress and once you get in it is huge.  One place looks like the next place and get lost.  We got in fine but security is so tight everywhere.  Plus there is no handicap parking anywhere.

We found the room we were going to be in and soon Uniting US showed up and equipment started arriving.  The Longarm had to be brought in on some carts but then carted up the stairs.  Rita and I got selected to carry the longarm poles and they weren’t light.  They were ten foot long and we liked wiped out the sides of the walls they were so long.  Rick helped Richard from NorCal Sewing, get the machine set up and Roxanne, NorCal Sewing Richard’s wife, helped set up the longarm.  We had her funning in no time.

Roxane, Chapter Leader from WISE, is here with us so she helped Flo set up the other sewing demonstration area.  Our Crew is growing.  Carl came yesterday and today Delphia and Ginny came.  There are now 10 of us – small but mighty.

Tonight we had McDonalds to eat.  We sure know we aren’t with Carl and Jeannine who treated us like queens and kings.  We sure miss them and our mansion.  We are all excited as we prepare for a life adventure being at the Library of Congress.  Enjoy the pictures.  You do know I love flags and I did catch a few.  Hope we get some sleep.

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

God’s blessings

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We all slept in as it was a Sunday and we didn’t get much sleep the other two nights.  We spent most of the morning organizing quilts in alpha order then putting them in cases.  Debbie and Rick went to pick up Roxane at the airport while we organized.  We all had sandwiches and then headed out to the Martin Luther King Library.  We got there pretty easy but then we had to find a place to park.  Let me tell you, have you ever parked a Suburban in DC?  Well it is worse than San Francisco.  We couldn’t find anything so finally decided to try a parking garage.  Ha, what an adventure.  With inches to spare from the roof line, we crept down the curvy road.  We got to the bottom and no parking places.  They were the smallest dang things I had ever seen so we crept along.  I was afraid we would not fit.  Finally, a handicap parking right next to the elevator.  We thought we were so smart.  Ha, wrong again.  You had to have a special card to use the elevator.  So we start walking back the way we came in.  Oh Lordy, it was up all the way and kept curving.  It was like climbing a large mountain plus we didn’t think we would see daylight.  When we got to the top we were out of breath and like, OMG, did we really just do that?  Then we walked 7 more blocks to Martin Luther King Library.  We had our 10,000 steps by the end of the day.

When we got to the Library, Uniting US was painting a Mural so you know us, we jumped in to paint.  Rita laid down on the floor but I couldn’t do it like her so I sat on my butt.  We were painting the background on the bottom of the Mural.  Flo got to paint the bugler which was fun.  Then we watched a program called Story Telling which we all enjoyed.  They act out stories of people’s character.  Then it was time for the Library to close but not before Rita and Roxane slid down the slide in the Library.

As we all walked out of the Library we lost Rick and Val so I sent Debbie to get them.  When she got to the door of the Library the Security Guard yelled at her, “You’re not going back in.”  Scared her to death.  She came back like a flash and she was telling us how mad the guard was and we all said that’s all we needed, QOH Arrested at Library. 

We did our 8 block walk but this time we walked down the parking garage, around and around the curves until we found the car.  We all pilled in then I had to drive that suburban out of the garage with only inches on the sides of the car.  It was a holy nightmare because I prayed all the way up.  We won’t do that again.

We drove home and went by a Mexican restaurant and ordered our food to go.  Check out the menu – it was pasted to the window of the restaurant so you could see it from the street.  I called it drive by eats.

We had a nice evening visit and then packed all the quilts.  So another busy day and always an adventure.  Stay tuned . . . . . . . .

God’s blessings,

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Gettysburg Honors

We finally arrived in Baltimore, Maryland at 1:45am in the morning (Saturday).  Guess you would say we were a little on the late side.  Since there were 7 of us with 11 suitcases and 1 Duffel, we decided that Debbie and I would take off for the car and come back and get the crew and bags.  We had a good plan.  Did it work that way?  Heck no, so here goes our first adventure.

They didn’t have a big enough car for us at Enterprise even though Debbie and I told them we had reserved it.  They said, “Sorry, we don’t have anything.”  I’m like ma’am your breaking my heart.  We have got to get these quilts and people to our mission.  She said she would see what she could do.  Well, Debbie was pacing, I was pacing and I called the crew and said, “Houston we have a problem.”  They got a shuttle bus with all our stuff and headed to us.  By the time they got there it was 2:15am.  Then, the manager says, “I can’t give you a big car, it has no oil.”  We are like, really?  So they finally give us a Ford 8 passenger car.  We could hardly get everything in and the crew had luggage everywhere but it would get us to the hotel.  I tried to get the manager to give us a guarantee for a car in the morning but she said she couldn’t do that. 

So, again, I go into how important it was and you all told us there was a car for us.  Well, in the end she called me at 4am and said to come and get the car at 6am.  Well, it was 3:30am before we got to bed so Rick and I got maybe 2 hours of sleep.  So, we started a crazy first day and this was all before the sun rose.

We got up at 8:30am to have breakfast so that we could get to Gettysburg.  You know you will see pictures along the side of the road.  You would be surprised at how quick I can pull off the road for a barn picture with a quilt.  It is beautifully green here.  Wish we could bring some back to California.

We finally got started to Gettysburg at 9:00am, not bad considering our morning.  We were meeting my cousin Paul and Randy and one of our best friends, Carol and her sister, who drove from Pittsburg.  Carol is our best friend and used to live in Calaveras.  It was so great to see everyone.  It made our trip so worth it.  So now we are at 11 of us.  We are in a 2 car caravan.  We decided our first stop would be the Visitors Center but it was so busy and hot outside.  All the tours were booked so we decided to “Auto Tour” on our own and that gave us more time to visit.  Rita and Debbie climbed to the top of one of the Monuments – they looked like ants up on top.  We decided to eat at this restaurant called Hoof, Fin and Foul. That way some could eat fish (Yuk).  We did have a good meal and everyone got really full.  Thank you to Paul and Randy for supporting us at lunch.  We used Paul and Randy’s room as home base as we didn’t have a place to stay yet.  I went up to change and the crew stayed downstairs in the lobby area.  When I came downstairs, all of them were stretched out asleep on lounge chairs except Rick.

We took off at least 40 minutes early since I was to report at 6:30pm to Gettysburg National Cemetery.  Well, first thing the two cars get separated – not good.  Then we end up in Evergreen Cemetery winding through the cemetery in a large SUV and we can’t find the exit.  I have 6 voices telling me which way plus the GPS talking and the other car calling us on the phone.  It was like a nightmare and I’m thinking we traveled over 2,000 miles and I am not going to be able to play.  The other car was on one side of the cemetery and we are on the opposite side.  My cousin, Paul in the other car, is thinking Gail is going to lose it when, as we are flying down Baltimore Pike Road, I see Wendy Allen on the other side of the road.  I quickly yell that there is where we should be.  I sped the car into this parking lot across the street and jump out of the car.  It was like a fire drill with all of us.  I am still dressing, Flo and Cyndy take off to tell Wendy that I am there.  They had to climb over a rock wall bit in the 1800’s and here I come behind them.  Cyndy says I leaped over the wall.  We finally get there at like 6:32pm.  Then the other car realizes they are across the Cemetery which is huge.  Rita ran to us as she knew we would all be crazy.  Everyone finally made it and we all tried to settle down so I could play.

What an honor to be there on this hallowed ground.  Before we started we honored Wendy Allen with a Quilt of Honor for all she has done bringing 100 Nights of Taps to Gettysburg in their seventh year.  I am always nervous that I will make a mistake and I never want to but sometimes your lip doesn’t always do what you want.  It wasn’t as perfect as I would like but they know I played from my heart.  They presented me with this awesome coin that only Buglers receive if you play there.  This will always be special to me.  At the end, Wendy called all the veterans in the crowd up front and I shook each one of their hands and thanked them for their service.  Quite a special night even with all our crazy stuff.

We then had to say goodbye to the Jersey Boys, Paul and Randy.  Love you both.  Thank you for being a part of Quilts of Honor crew for a day.  Carol and Sandy, we loved seeing you too.  We drove back to Annandale, VA to the AirB&B where we are staying.  It is a huge house – like 9 bedrooms.  Uniting US brought us all kinds of goodies to keep us going until we could get to the store.  They brought us all our boxes and Colton, a 9 year old boy, helped us get those big boxes up the stairs.  His mom, Tiffany, carried some all by herself.

What a day and evening!  Great time with family and friends in Gettysburg.  Our thoughts were at home as our community fireworks were on Saturday night and the finale honored our sister, Diana.

We are looking forward to all our up and coming adventures and hope all these things happening in today’s world won’t stop our big event.  Stay tuned . . . . . . . .

God’s blessings

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100 Nights of Taps

Here’s a link to the video of Valley Springs resident Gail Belmont playing taps on 6.25.22.

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We are off to DC again for an event with Uniting US at the Library of Congress.  We will be blogging each day as we know this will be an “adventure of a lifetime” as one of my veteran sisters states.  We will start with a crew of 7 leaving from Headquarters.  By Monday we will have 4 more volunteers.

Saturday night we will be attending 100 Nights of Taps where I will be lucky enough to perform Taps.  I was scheduled to perform two years ago but guess what – COVID hit.  What an honor to play at Gettysburg.

We will be staying in Annandale, VA in an AirB&B which will be a new experience.  There will also be 11 people in one house – wonder who will make the Blog first.

All the quilts that arrived will be taken out of the boxes and put in duffels.  112 quilts is an unbelievable task for transporting but our crew is one of the best.

To those staying home holding down the fort, taking care of mom and dad, and working the shop, you have my heart. 

This trip our hearts will be thinking of Diana as she watches from above.

God’s blessings and Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Tonight (Sunday) I write this Blog in pain for my family and Quilts of Honor as we lost another angel.  My Sister, Diana Belmont Gigliotti, went to heaven way before her time. 

If you ever had the pleasure of knowing my sister, you would love her.  She could be bossy at times and she really liked things her way but sometimes it was a good way.  She had the biggest heart and would help anyone she came across.  She had many friends and gave of herself in so many ways.  She was always volunteering for something but her heart was Quilts of Honor.

She loved the United Methodist Church in Valley Springs and that was one of her last giving moments when she told Pastor Joe to fix the fans and took money from her sour cream stash.

This will be a hard loss as she was gone way too early.  We can’t thank Julie, Dee, Debbie, Diane, Shelby and Shirley for being there for her care and loving her.  You are the best.  To her best friend, Jeannene – she couldn’t have asked for anyone better to be by her side through thick and thin – she loved you.  For our volunteers that come to the Quilts of Honor Shop and got to know Diana, thank you for your kind words.  I hope I didn’t forget anyone.  We so appreciate your cards, prayers and love.  Tell those you love just what you feel.  Life is short.

Go with God, Diana.  We won’t forget.

God’s Blessings

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