Recharging

It wasn’t planned, but today was a day for recharging our batteries.

After several hours in town buying groceries and running errands, we both were tired.  We had had a busy busy quilty week and I think we both needed a day of down time.

We ate lunch while watching a travel channel show about the Colorado River and then I was ready for a nap.  I made a pot of coffee instead and went to the studio to start my postcards for the May exchange.  I got about half of them done.  I also did a few “May Flowers” quilted art postcards for doorprizes for the next 2 trunk show speaking engagements.  Those events are Monday and Tuesday of this coming week, so it was about time I got that done, huh?

I came into the living room about 6pm and couldnt see Steve.  Oh, but I could hear him!  He was upstairs “fiddling” with his new steel guitar.  It was music to my ears.  He was figuring out what all it needed and how to tune it.  I have not EVER seen him this happy and relaxed.  He had been up there playing for the 2 hours I had been sewing.

We really need to do this more often.  Recharging batteries is so important.  How do you recharge your batteries??

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Here is a quilt I finished this week:

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This is a picture I took from our bedroom today.  (bedroom is upstairs)  It was storming and the sky looked like the world had a gray wool hat on it!

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Bargains

I had to go to my local quilt shop (LQS) today to pick up some fabric for a job that is here to be done.  A few doors from the LQS is my favorite antique store.

Oh my, the bargains that just jumped into my arms and came home with me.

A tea towel that was so retro and cute.  I particularly liked that it has so much turquoise in it.

And 3 pieces of barkcloth.  I didnt even really know what barkcloth was until today.  I was looking for “cutters” or crummy fabric/linens/quilts that are only good enough to cut up to make smaller things.  I was looking for postcard recycling fodder.  Well, Steve and I like 2 of these well enough that I may make little wall hangings out of them.  The rest will be postcards.  For those that know me…… are you surprised that I bought so much green?

And I found this cutter quilt:

And my find of the day:

Vintage quilt top, grandmother’s flower garden, hand pieced.  YAY.  I have been looking for one for 5 years.   Price?  a song.

And the biggest bargain of all I didnt buy.  I wasnt sure if it was a bargain, didnt know much about it.  But came home, did a little online research and called the store back.  They are holding it for me for a week, till I get back over there to pay for it.  WOO HOOO.  I can hardly wait.  (but I have to, they are closed till Tues now)  Of course when I buy it I wont have a place to put it, so then will need a china cabinet.  Then I will need room to put a china cabinet.  yeah, the snowball effect.

For those of you who told me last summer that I should buy all the dishes I want?  It’s YOUR fault!

Elvis pants and spoons found

ok, im not editing tonite.  youre lucky to get this much!  so put in the caps wherever you wanna.  no excavating today, but it was still a great day.

so today i went to the thrift store.  local thrift store is umm, well….. not quite as upscale as salvation army.  and not nearly as nice as goodwill.  and if you live in mormon country, you are lucky enough to have di.  gosh i love di.  my sister thinks im nuts, but really.  i love di.  (deseret industries)

today was fill a grocery bag for 6 bucks day.  gotta love that.  cept i rarely find enough that i want to even fill a bag.  and im not even a very discriminite shopper.  (as you will all be able to attest to by the end of this post)

so i went to get some linens to recycle into postcards.  cept there was a little 80 somethin old lady in my way snappin up EVERY fricken hand embroidered ditty.  her daughter (who was older than i am) kept tellin her,  “mom, put it back, you dont need it.”  i kept my mouth shut and didnt even yell “yeah, put it back cuz I need it to cut up into postcards!”  nope, i was nice.

so im browsing around seeing what else i can find that would work for the recycling postcard theme.  and I SAW IT!  i found ELVIS pants.  hot pink,  ELVIS jammie bottoms.  FOR ME!! i didnt even care if they fit or not, i had to have them.  so i tuck them under my arm, fully prepared to pay 6 bucks for these pants.  well…. i may as well look for a pink shirt to make it an ensemble.  lucky day!  i found a shirt!  next i found a stack of quilt books.  by this time i was kinda loaded down, so i stacked my stuff up at the counter. …… next to the old lady’s stack of stuff, including her lovely embroidered items.  i kept browsing, but would not leave my elvis pants at the counter, fearful someone may accidentally get them in their own pile of crap nice things.

i did finally find something that may work for my  postcards.  (that turned out to be the bonus in this eventful trip.)  along the way i found some NEW jammies….. still with tags on them, PINK and in my (fat) size.  WOO HOO i was on a roll.

then i saw it.  i could NOT believe my eyes.  i walked to the shelf with adoring eyes, carefully setting my purse and ELVIS PANTS down…… to touch the CHICKEN.  i had to take this fine bird home to add to my new bird collection, even tho it wasnt a pie bird.  it was one of those moments. ….  when you know that something was meant to be.  yep, that chicken was going home with me and elvis…. well, at least elvis pants.

fast forward……..

i get home, show steve my purchases.  he is a little bewildered, but absolutely entertained that i am so happy with my six dollar purchase.  he says something about “elvis would NEVER wear those pink pants” with  which i retorted “thats exACTly why they are so darn perfect!  wouldnt susie love them?  what a scream…. i can hardly wait to tell her about them!”

so i washed my new jammies, hung them on the line… so proud of em flappin in the breeze.

several hours later (after finishing that darn quilt… pictures tomorrow maybe) i went to get my new ELVIS PANTS off the line.  and i notice a little tag sticking out of the side of the elvis pants…. kinda like a tag on jeans.

oh

my

god

i can NOT believe my eyes.

surely i am smarter than this.

no.

surely.

no.

oh my god.

did i tell you that the ms has caused me to be dyslexic?  did i tell you that it can be amusing?

i laughed so hard i cried.  and called my sister and we both laughed so hard we couldnt breathe.  steve is still laughing.

do they fit?? does it matter?  i’m keeping em!

and that chicken??  here it is.

and in its place with the flock

in case you dont understand why i HAD to have this CHICKEN…..

cuz it has not just one, but FOUR

S P O O N S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yay!  i FOUND SPOONS!!

(i’m pretty sure it is cuz fannie sent me her spoons that i found the chicken.  can i name my new chicken after you fannie?)

Great Mail Week

I got more great mail this week!

Fannie is one of my favorite bloggers.  She has the most interesting art and techniques on her blog and she is a huge inspiration to me.  I was SO lucky and won a little contest she had a few weeks ago!

Look at this fabulous journal I won!  And she sent a little Artist’s Trading Card (ATC) along with it.  Lucky girl I am, huh?  (click photos to see full size)

Here is the inside:

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I got another postcard from the MQR birthstone exchange.  This one came from Deanna.  I wish I could have gotten better pictures…. you will have to trust me that it is MUCH prettier than this in person.

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And the week just kept getting better!  I had asked Yvonne, my DIL to make me a necklace and bracelet to match a new spring skirt and top I bought.  My outfit is yellow and pink and a touch of green.  I sent her this photo to help her with color choices.

And this is what she sent.  Lovely!  And a perfect fit.

I also asked her to make a necklace to match my favorite bracelets that she made me.  Wow!  I love this!

So, if you need something custom made ….. to your specific color and length…. well, I know who just might be able to take care of you!

SPOONS: CHAPTER 1

Thanks so much for coming back to my blog after reading the Spoon Theory.  Wasn’t it great?

 

So why did I send you there?  What is on my mind?  What the heck am I doing? 

 

I am not sure I can totally answer that.  I have been “led” in the last week or so to think and talk about this topic.  It seems most everyone I have talked to in the last week is struggling with one side or another of this issue.  Either they are taking care of a friend or family member, or they are struggling with their own illness.  They are all baffled as to what to do about_______ (fill in the blank with any number of issues).  And they ask me.  And I tell them what I think.  And what I think is based on my many experiences of living both sides of the theory.  So I thought I would blog about it.  Some of their experiences I will share and some I won’t.  But I will share many of mine along the way.  I don’t know how long I will do this… a few days… maybe a week.  Depends on how many spoons I have! 

 

So let me start with just some general issues for those of us who have limited spoons.

 

COPING:

 

So many times in the past 18 years, people have asked me how I cope with a chronic illness.  It has not been something that is easy to explain.  At least not so that healthy people “get it”.  That is why I like the Spoon Theory so well.  It puts the message across quickly, succinctly and powerfully.  The analogy works. 

 

I used to tell people (much like Vicki does, as she commented in my prior post) that I have 3 options:

1.  shoot myself

2.  be miserable and make everyone else around me miserable

3.  get on with life, appreciate what I CAN do, and find what is my “new normal”.

 

I choose door number 3, thank you very much.  Not that the other options don’t tempt me at times.  They have.  Sometimes they still do.  But mostly, I choose to enjoy every ability I own……those that were lost and are now regained; those that I never had until getting MS; those that I never lost and continue to enjoy.  Each one is a gift to me.

 

When we think of getting a gift, we usually are happy to have it… happy to take care of, and treasure it.  But when it is our health, and particularly when it is our SELF….. we don’t treasure it.  We don’t take care of it.  Until it is gone.  Or damaged in some way.  Even when damaged temporarily.. a broken arm, a simple surgery… those things don’t make us really treasure the gift of self.  The gift of health.  We get on with life without much thought of what it would be like if those changes were permanent, rather than temporary.  We forget too soon.   Why is that?  Are we just THAT lazy and complacent.   Or… are we that selfish?  (selfishness is a whole topic I will address later)

 

By thinking of my abilities as gifts, something to cherish….. it is easier for me to stay positive, and deal with the challenges that present themselves daily.  It can be a roller coaster, but we do what we have to do to survive.  I just choose to do it the way that works best for me and my body.  Is that selfish?  There is a question for you to think about.  My friend is struggling with this very issue.

 

 

INVISIBILITY:

 

For sure, we don’t think of how others feel when they are incapacited or have chronic, serious health problems.  The healthy general public sees the disabled as invisible.

 

Let me tell you a story…

 

When in a wheelchair 17 years ago, my son took me to a large Dept. store.  The clothes racks were very close together, and it was difficult to get down an aisle or between racks to see the dresses I wanted to try on.  I finally chose several, and Neil pushed me to the dressing room.  I asked for a chair or bench in the dressing room.  I needed to sit to change clothes.  They didn’t have one.  I asked for the Manager.  He also told me they didn’t have a chair.  I asked if he had an office.  Yes.  Good, then get me YOUR chair so I can sit and try these clothes on, and spend money in YOUR store.  No, can’t do that.  Fine, give me the president of the company’s name and phone number.  Neil and I left; I went home and called the president.  They promised that the problem would be fixed.  They sent me a gift certificate.  I returned to try on dresses several weeks later.  STILL NO CHAIR in the dressing room.   How could I use that gift certificate?  Hell, why would I want to use it?  I never did.  I still boycott the store.  And most my friends in Charlotte, NC do too!

 

The real problem??  I was invisible.  I didn’t count.  I didn’t matter. 

 

And I bet you are guilty too.  We all are.  You see someone me in a wheelchair, or with a cane, or walker.  You see someone different, bandaged, gimpy…. Whatever.  You look the other way.  Almost always.  If I look at you, you look the other way.  Why?  Because you don’t know what to say or do?   WE ARE PEOPLE TOO.  We want you to see us.  We want to be heard.  We want to count.  We want to matter.  We want visibibility.   I WANT what you have….. and will never have.  Because I don’t have enough spoons.

 

When you ignore me….. when you look at me with those hang dog eyes with pity….. I want to shake my fist at you, cuss you, tell you just because I fricken have only 3 spoons left for the day doesn’t me I don’t have feelings!  It doesn’t mean I don’t have a brain.  Hey!  Look at me when I’m talking to you!  Yeah YOU!  I’m talking to you.  Quit ignoring me.  I count in this world.  But I don’t do any of that.  Frankly, I don’t have the spoons to do so.

 

 

Next time you look at me, at least give me the courtesy of a smile.  Or a nod of your head.  Acknowledge my presence and existence.  Make me feel like I matter.  It won’t cost you anything.  And it will make both of us feel good.

 

 ————– working on chapter 2——————–

feel free to leave a comment, question or whatever.  discussion is a good thing, no? 

 

Another postcard arrived this week.

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This one is from Shelly, whose May birthstone is an Emerald.  I will quote her:  “I will never forget being a young girl and listening to The Wizard of Oz on records.  I loved the part about the Emerald City.  Imagine that, a city just for me…and all the other people with May birthdays.  I was so sad when I realized it was just the green glasses.”

This is my new favorite card!

 

More Postcards

Finally!  I have pictures for you of more postcards I have gotten from the MQResources swap.  In case you havent been paying attention, the theme is birthstones.

Becca, August, Peridot

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Michelle, November, Blue Topaz

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Jami, born on the 4th of July!

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Deb, August, Peridot

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Judy, October, Opal

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AnnMarie, January, Garnet

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Rachel, April, Diamond

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Lily, April, Diamond

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Vicki, September, Sapphire

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I gotta tell ya, these postcards are SO fun to exchange.  I have a full basket of cards on my coffee table.  Everyone who comes over spends time looking.  If I do this again, I need to make a bigger basket!

Pretty Tablecloth and Diamonds

Isn’t this a pretty tablecloth? SK made it for her sister. Now that it is quilted, she wants to keep it. That happens sometimes.  (click photos to enlarge)

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And here is my latest postcard received in the MQResources swap. This one is from Gretchen, whose birthstone is a Diamond! This one is so shiny and pretty, I cannot seem to get a good photo of it, sorry. I do need to know how she did the gridwork. I can’t tell if it is a ribbon that is stitched down, or just stitching or what. Anyway, isnt she clever?

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More quilts and mail updates coming……

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