Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What am I doing up at this hour?

For whatever reason sleep is eluding me!  There are probably many reasons - BIG issues at work, BIG family health concerns, Smaller holiday concerns and my constant companion - time concerns!  Do I sound like a broken record??
I just commented on another blog about how sometimes God subtly tries to get us to heed His message and when we refuse to listen, He does something to get our attention.  Why do we let it go that far?
Why haven't I spoken up at work sooner?  Why haven't I been more involved in the health concerns throughout my family?  Will I ever get my time isses under control?
What is He trying to tell me?
Any ideas?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fall is here!

I'm sure I'm not telling you something you don't already know if you live in the northern part of the United States.  This morning we had our first frost.  I had to scrape my windshield before I went to church.  On the way home from church I was in awe of the beautiful colors that were spread across the land ahead of me.  I stopped periodically and took several photos.

The frost was receding as the roof was warmed by the sun.

My sister is a quilter.  I want her to help me put together some fabric that matches these colors.  I love this palette.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's mostly fun ....

I love to help.  I love to say yes.  I love to be involved.  I love to think I'm appreciated.  On the other hand, I need to say no.  I need to love no.  I need to stay home; where I am appreciated!

There is no easy answer.  Prioritize is a great word but not an easy action.  Can't wait for the current project to be done but already thinking about what's next.  No wonder 24 hours isn't enough.

I vow to not say yes for 30 days.  Can I do it!  Well, maybe.  Not likely.  Let's start small.  I will not commit to another project for the next hour.

That made me smile.  No one is home but Vivianne and I, perhaps I can do it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Yarn Swap

I love swaps, especially the swaps set up by Emily at Yarn Miracle!  Received my swap box all the way from Montana on Saturday, 4/12, while I was away having fun with my sisters. My dear husband hinted I had a package.  Finally sat down last night about 10 pm and opened it...WOW!
Great pattern and purple (do I have to repeat, my fave) yarn and Becky thoughtfully included a cute little wind chime, highlighted with a purple dragonfly.  She also sent a grow strawberry, a needle case with 2 needles, Wrapture no rinse delicate wash w/jasmine oil (it smells great!), and some caramels and tea that are local from her area in Montana!  The postcard contains a nice message from Becky and I'm going to steal that idea for my next swap :)  The only thing you don't see is a mini lint roller which is already in my purse.  Becky and I both have cats and understand the value of lint rollers :)  All this carefully enclosed in pretty turquoise polka dot tissue paper. Thanks Becky and Emily!!

Sisters Weekend

Last night (4/12) was sister night for April.  My two sisters and I spent the morning and early afternoon at a local quilt show, then headed to the casino for an overnight adventure.  We aren't dedicated gamblers though we have spent a 20 or 2 on a occasion but not this time.  We agreed to take our 'fat clothes'(translate elastic waist pants and baggy T) and a portable project, for our afternoon entertainment.  Jan brought cross stitch, Melia brought sewing and I knit.  We spent the time prior to dinner solving world affairs, both public and private. Then gussied up a bit, enjoyed a wonderful buffet dinner then off to the entertainment for the evening, Kevin Costner and Modern West .  Candidly, we were more interested in seeing Kevin Costner than we were listening to his music, but guess what, he/they put on a great show!!  We really enjoyed it and the evening was a lot of fun.
Went to the all night cafe for dessert and a beverage and met some nice folks standing in the line.  Because we're members, we were seated before them; "Hey that's not fair" they joked.  We noticed where they were seated later and decide to buy them dessert too.  We stopped at their table as we were leaving and spent a few more minutes chatting.  Turns out they were celebrating a 75th birthday and a coming 50th anniversary :) It was one of those special moments of genuine human connection.  We parted with hugs and smiles and walked away feeling all was right with the world.
Back to our room, fat clothes, projects and talk for several more hours.  Bleary eyed at 7:30 AM Sunday morning, we got up, ordered in room breakfast, which is a luxury that has become a special treat that we all enjoy and talked some more. Beautiful day for the trip home and life returns to 'normal'.  But normal feels better today, I'm closer to my sisters, we each have thoughts to contemplate and it felt good to pay it forward.
For your viewing pleasure --
The view from our room!  The 10th floor.
The beds were very comfortable but the pillows not so much.

We were in the next to the last row in our section :(   He provided some of the audience members a real thrill.  He came to the stage from the back of the facility, walking down the aisle between two sections.  Some of  those lucky souls were an arms length away from Kevin Costner!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pictures speak to me

I was reading an article about Anja Niedringhaus yesterday, the photographer that was killed in Afghanistan this week. I am a visual person, I need to see it.  I'm not good at imagining how things are going to look, what will fit where or how big is that space.  I believe this to be the reason why my walls are bare, but that's another story!  The comments I read about what a wonderful person she was, both professionally and personally, made me wonder why she chose to do that type of work, in that part of the world.
I stopped and scanned through some of the pictures in my files and I discovered that nearly all of my photos were taken during happy times.  Occasionally there were stressful times, like our recent water well issues or building our home or a landscaping project that was not cooperating.  But all these things turned out OK in the end, which is why I took photos!  Tears welled up in my eyes seeing pictures of Parker.  I am sad because he is gone but, at the time of the photo I was smiling.  Tears came again seeing photos of Marty and his Mom, who has been gone 3 years, but, at that moment it was a fun family time. 
The thought of purposely taking photographs of war, it's aftermath and the horrible pain humans cause each other is so far beyond my comfort zone, I can't imagine doing it.  If I try to think about it with perspective, rationalize it, I can, see the need but I guess what stumps me the most, how she found the strength to detach.........or did she?  Just looking at old photos of our beloved Parker, caused me the loss of emotional control for a time this morning.  HOW did Anja maintain her composure under such difficult circumstances?
Photographs speak to my eyes, my mind, my heart in ways I cannot express in words.  If I'm thinking of a familiar photograph, say my wedding photos, I don't have to physically see the photographs to know what's in them.  In this instance, I can conjure the picture, the location, the colors, the people, even as tears well in my eyes or as a smile spreads across my face. I can look at a photo album filled with people I don't know and enjoy every picture on every page.  What I said earlier about being a visual person, probably a more accurate statement is, I am an emotional person.  When I'm remembering that familiar picture, what I'm really remembering is the emotion attached to the subject, not the simple color photograph.  This must be the gift of a great photographer like Anja, she can see beyond the lens, beyond the point and shoot of my little camera, to capture the emotion of the moment, to save it for another day.
Prayers for her family and friends during this difficult time.  Many thanks to Anja and her cohorts for being brave enough to capture other worlds through the lens of their cameras to document that moment in time. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Pleasant reminder

My friend Kathy has a way with words, her style of writing paints a beautiful picture, no matter the subject. She recently wrote about listening and reminded me that my ears are not the only component involved with being a good listener.  I was reminded to listen with my eyes. My intent is never to marginalize the person who is speaking but I fear that I do so, without thinking.  And honestly, in the scramble of daily life, I may do many more things than I realize, without thinking.
I appreciated the pleasant reminder and I will start this day, ready to really listen.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Shock and Sadness

You never know when you're going to get that 3 AM call that changes your life or the life of someone you love or both.  You hear the phone ringing, you look at the clock, you grab the phone and say Hello.  The caller, if not an officer, is usually crying or on the verge of it.  You may not be able to understand a word that's being said but you are suddenly awake and alert.  Once the information is repeated in a calmer more settled voice, you process, react and act.  You throw on whatever you can find laying next to the bed, talk with your husband who is barely awake but knows something is wrong and then off you go.  The drive is long whether it be 1 mile or 50 miles and it's lonely.  So much is running through your mind.  How could this have happened? Why did it happen? What are you going to do?  How can you make it better?  Can you make it better?

You reach your destination, not really knowing what route you took to get there.  You walk through the doors, ask questions, find your loved ones and gather them into your arms.  Tears flow, calls are being made, questions are being asked, people you don't even know are telling you "I'm sorry for your loss".  How many times do you return to the room to say goodbye?  How can you leave him there?  Why isn't he coming home with us?  What are we going to do without him?  

As you open that familiar door and step inside, everything suddenly feels different.  Things are where you left them but one of the important parts is missing.  He will never sit in his chair again.  You will never hear him say, "Sit down, have a beer." or "Don't stay away so long next time."  There isn't going to be a next time.

So many decisions to make.  So many calls to make.  So many things to arrange.  So many, so many, so many.  The phone starts to ring and doesn't seem to quit.  What happened?  Can she talk?  How is she doing?  What are the arrangements? What can we do?  Tell her I called.  The story is repeated at least a thousand times and unfortunately it always ends the same way; he didn't make it, he's not coming home.

I am going to miss my brother-in-law; I've loved him for over 42 years.  I sure did get mad at him sometimes but I guess that's part of being family.  We are here for each other, my sister and I, her children and their families and our extended families; support, that's part of being a family too.  We are suffering through a horrible loss. I have faith and I know we will recover but right now it hurts a lot.

You never know when you're going to get that 3 AM call that changes your life or the life of someone you love or both.  Are you ready; when was the last time you talked or said I'm sorry, or said I love you?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Yarn Miracle's The Swap of Discontent

Just over one year since I posted last-- WOW -- I wonder where the time went.  I hope I enjoyed at least some of it!

Participated in a fun knitters swap with the Yarn Miracle gang and I received my box of goodies today.
Pleasant surprise after a long day working on quarterly tax returns.  I'm excited, wouldn't you be !?!

I commented over at Yarn Miracle that my swap partner must have been lurking in the corners  at my home; if she wasn't how did she know exactly what to send me??   Quick rundown -- a variety of tea and cocoa, cider and cappuccino packets, skinny cow chocolate snacks, Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup recipe, knit bookmark, Chicken Run movie, pattern for a cowl - Quilted by Kiwiyarn Knits and Sunrise Fiber Co. Cloud DK in Amethyst and a lovely stitch marker.

I'm not a coffee drinker.  I drink hot cocoa but tea is my warm drink of choice.  Purple is my FAVORITE color. I  love to read and said to someone just last week--"You can never have too many bookmarks."  I went to see Chicken Run at least twice at the theater; I laughed more each time, loved it.  I have three crock pots and use one at least once a week, especially this time of year.  I've been trying to get in better shape, treadmill walking only, at this time--skinny cow is certainly appropriate :)  The pattern reads nice, I may start this weekend as we are planning a trip to Pittsburgh.  The yarn is 40% baby alpaca, 40% wool and 20% silk and did I mention I love purple!!!

The excitement of the evening has me totally worn out, I need a cup of tea and the book beside my chair.
Thanks swap partner, I'm totally overwhelmed <3