April 18, 2011

Letting Go, Being A Sewvivor

April 18, 2011

I am in the process of downsizing my 'stuff' by half. This has been a ten year project to date and I am actually at the light at the end of the tunnel.
Without premeditated intent I've some how turned this spring into a firestorm of shucking off the unnecessary, very successfully, because I've taken to heart some advice. "Staying detached from the outcome creates enough sacred space for an original solution to magically unfold."

I am just, letting go, no strings, good bye. I've come to see superfluous multiple possessions as something like these rocks. Balanced? Perhaps. Frozen? Absolutely. I'm pulling the lynch pin and letting things fall where they may.

Does this mean I've become a zealot, wearing sackcloth and ash and haranguing others to do as I do, do as I say? Hardly. I love my stuff...what remains, because it is truly what I enjoy seeing and using and find beautiful. Without the burden of too much, too many, all being too reflective of poor stewardship of the one life I have.

To that end of downsizing by half I am also shutting down my quilt blog .  I can always be found at my keeper half of blogging, Quirkeries. Say hello once in awhile.

edited to add: In September 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I share this, because I am so thankful about my downsizing/decluttering.
Now I sew and work and appreciate the beauty and utility of what I have.

edited to add: March 8, 2013. I am home recovering from BAC lung cancer surgery and once again I've been assured they got it all. Again, I'm so grateful not to be overwhelmed by things I don't need and will never use. Life is good.

edited to add: Found a word that covers it all: Sewvivor

December 26, 2010

In My Dreams

This is my dream trip. At least the one at the top of the list; there are dozens of places around the world I'd like to visit. This is Giraffe Manor in Nairobi. Built in the 1930's and offering just five overnight guest rooms, aside from the beauty and charm of the site and country, it offers Rothschild Giraffes who poke their heads in any window that happens to be often can we say we breakfasted with something like this as our companion? Or sat and stitched a quilt in a place like this?

Sunday Thankies

November 30, 2010

The World Is Too Much With Us

I'll admit it, my Christmas seasons are simple. We haven't done gifts for years and years, we weren't even living at home the last two years so no tree, I quit sending cards when postage went up to .15 cents...mid-70's? In spite of that kind of humbuggerish attitude I do enjoy the season very much. I do appreciate that people go to a lot of work to light up their homes and I love taking an evening just to drive around and look at them. I sing along with Rudolph and I LOVE The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Sometimes we do hang our Christmas stocking which are large and grow funny bulges as December progresses.

But there doesn't seem anywhere to go where we can shut off the world and enjoy something simple. Something so rare in the house that we'd go back to it over and over...I'm talking about the 1950's women's magazines that always had a 4-6 page Christmas story for children with lovely graphics. My brother and I LOVED them! It was the only month of the year mother would buy magazines. It's been a long long time ago when a kid would or could be entertained for a month with a ten cent publication. And it wouldn't be politically correct anymore anyway.

Saying that makes me suddenly realize that now, in her 80's, magazine subscriptions are mother's hobby, the more unusual the better. It's the only thing of hers I'd like to inherit; her neatly boxed issues surely hold a wealth of interesting fun for my info-junkie mind.
Tuesday Thankies
Memory that works
My Facets Friends
The Simple Life

September 5, 2010

Good Hair Day Bad Hair Day

My girls are worth their weight in gold just for the entertainment value. We have an area under some enormous fir trees that is dry as a bone. Chickens never waste anything so they've made it their spa area.

They have excavations dug out deeper than they are tall. They jump in, start flinging dusty soil, and fling/squirm/fling/squirm until they feel they've gotten their groats worth of spa treatment.
Yet twenty minutes later they will be bellied up to the beverage bar sleek and glossy, all blue/green/purple iridescent. How do they get so clean so fast? There must be a room at the chicken spa I'm not privy to.

July 17, 2010

Sanctuary and Sewing

I savored some sewing time in my personal sanctuary last Wednesday. I swear, time spent here is better for me than anything a doctor could prescribe. Do you have a place where it just feels good to go? This year I added two new duck decoys and a white ibis, Tibetan prayer flags, and yesterday I added a 40 foot string of tiny solar powered lights around the dock for those times of meditative solitude and solace of a warm late summer evening. I wish each of you could spend a couple of hours here for healing and inner peacefulness. It is nothing more than a common old farm pond, but it seems to vibrate with spirituality. Or something :)

I wrote a few posts back that quilt books have gotten so expensive as to be entirely outside my budget. I think it's been years since I bought any new quilt books, I don't take any quilt magazines...and although I do have a budget I also think we need to remember to savor the good things of life and treat ourself with the respect and care we treat others with. So with all that obfuscation blurring my good intentions, I ordered four new quilt books. They came yesterday so now I'm off to the porch swing with a fresh cuppa and mind candy to savor.

Saturday Thankies
That the weed spraying is finished for the year
That we have tractors and equipment to make the job easier
That my (Y) doesn't have to spend six hours on the tractor seat every day.

June 29, 2010

I Love Appliqué

Somewhere in the deep distant past I was advised that we can only love people, not ideas or things. Phooey on that, I love appliqué and Valentine conversation hearts and fresh mown grass. I'm at the farm this week, enjoying the sanctuary of my dock and pond (which I love) and doing the prep work (which I love) for the appliqué strips on the Boston Strippy quilt shown below, and listening to the seventh book of the Gunslinger/Dark Tower series (which I love...). In the book Roland refers to Stephen King as a Wordslinger. That makes me both a wordsmith and needleslinger, love the imagery.

I need to test drive the workability of quilt blocks that use wool as part of the appliqué. I ran across this charming quilt (pdf file, takes a minute to load) by Sheri Howard named Ruby Red Dots this morning. Way cute.

Our weekend sale went great, got to meet many of our new neighbors, had plenty of good laughs, made great money, got rid of a ton of stuff, including quilt books and wall quilts. Goodbye space takers, hello fresh new ideas.

Tuesday Thankies
A multitude of things to love
The smell of a good quilt store
The smell of a good book store

June 6, 2010

The Bee's Knees

They are here! Moving hives isn't something I'm in a hurry to do again any time soon, those boxes are heavy, and many many thousands of bees, buzzing in your ear, has a tendency to up the anxiety level.

These hives boxes are in bad shape, so once all the extras (58 by actual count) are cleaned and refurbished we'll be gently lifting out each frame of bee babies (10 per box) and place them gently in their new home. Bee suits optional...but recommended! Rob fixed up a beautiful protected space for them and I hope they will be happy here.

I was asked how much honey does a bee make in a day. Less than you would think. In it's approximately six week lifetime a honey bee produces less than a teaspoon. So if I got 4-1/2 gallons from these two hives last fall, you tell me how many working bees there are here. And you'll better understand why drones are kicked to the curb once the queen is fertlized.

On the quilting front I got a big stack of 3" yo-yo's finished last night while watching Apocalypse Redux. I wonder how many times since this movie came out I've paraphrased Duvall's classic "I love the smell of Napalm in the morning"? We were down to the Veteran's Administration a few weeks ago and they want Rob to come in for a physical, they are testing everyone from that war zone for Agent Orange. Loverly. Back to the quilt, I've had a brain bomb about the border. Details to follow~

On the bread front I monkeyed a lot with this recipe for Morning Glory Muffins from my King Arthur cookbook and they turned out simply divine. Fortunately I kept notes so I can do it again, but knowing me I'll probably mess with the recipe in a new way...

Sunday Thankies
A really funny potential gig
Gypsy culture
Great clients

May 31, 2010

Idle Hands, Devil's Playground

No idle hands here. I said last fall I'd be bringing the bees home when FIL was gone. That job will probably be next weekend. Wait until dark when they are all inside, seal up the hives, bucket load them onto the pickup, whiz home, set them up in the dark, unseal, and eureka, hives are in Kalama.

The hard part? Take a look at this frame for comb. And this is a good one... Remember December before last we had big flooding in Chehalis? Most of FIL's hives were flooded, only two survived. He indicated he'd taken care of the empty hive boxes. Ermmm, No. He'd stacked them out of sight out of mind. So it falls to me to clean up musty moldy boxes. Yick. I still have at least 25 boxes left to do and it seems like I've already done a million. On the other hand, with all the beeswax I've ground into my blue pair of diva gloves they will be water proof into the next millennium.

Another chicken toy here on the right. You've heard of soap-on-a-rope? How about cabbage on a chain? They are loving this game, for the second cabbage I had to shorten the chain up :)

On the bread front, yesterday I made Bob's Red Mill Basic white bread recipe from the side of their flour bag, except I substituted 1/2 cup teff flour for 1/2 cup of the white. Beautiful results and extra yummy this morning for breakfast with my hot Kamut. Teff grain is from Ethopia.

Monday Thankies
A world of ingredients
honey bees
tea lights

April 29, 2010

Lucky Bamboo and the Art of Grief

Two years ago when I was working with my Tibetan Oracle I discovered many interesting things, one being a complete lack of the element of water in my life. Something I did to help balance that was to seek out an indoor bamboo plant for both places and work on making my pond a sanctuary.

I got to wondering this morning if the bamboo needs fertilizer, or if that wouldn't be a good idea because the plant needs to remain on the small side. Here is a good site for info on care of Lucky Bamboo which is officially Dracaena Sanderia. This plant is poisonous to pets so keep that in mind if you have a leaf chewing cat... Seeing uncared for plants in every store in the world is like seeing abandoned animals, I feel the need to save them all. I'm trying to get over that particular urge...

On the home front, yesterday afternoon on his 92 birthday FIL died, at home on his farm where he wanted to be. Rob and I had said our goodbyes when he was still conscious, so we took some time off and left the sisters to their time.  It has been an interesting experience and one we are both glad we committed to. Thank you all for sharing the journey with me. This image is one Rob took this morning as I began the second day of the thirty days of "Meditations for the Passages and Celebrations of Life", a book of vigils, by Noela N. Evans.

Thursday Thankies
The hospice staff, one and all
The kindness of Rob's employer
It isn't grey and pouring.

April 11, 2010

Thoughts on Home Hospice

There is no such thing as enough sleep.
There is no good way to talk about death to the dying.
The dying can and do refuse food and water. It's is the only thing in what remains of their life they have any control over.
Someone should have told us about mouth swabs before this.
Pop-up wipes are far better than tray wipes, speed is often of the essence.
People who can't stand on their own are Very heavy.
What to do with soiled security underwear is a big problem, before you know it you have a lot to deal with.
True colors and true hearts are all that remain.
Applesauce is a blessing.
Crystal Light is great for diabetics.
Always have a stitchers busy-bag at hand
When you run out of everything else, place head on bed and close eyes. Rest is where you find it.

Sunday Thankies
My little hens have been coming up to the house looking for me (((hugs chickens)))
Sunshine creating a walking opportunity for MIL
Lambs fleece and zinc salves
This spot, my last resort in ordering my thoughts