Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Sorry, or Not Sorry

Oh boy.  When the world shut down due to Covid-19, I took myself down to my sewing room and said "self, this is your perfect opportunity to get some sewing done.  Finish up those projects that you've started over the years.  Sew your brains out, what else were you going to do with your time?"

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Every day for the last two month, I've gotten up with blazing compunction.  Today is the day I'm going to - insert action here.

But you know, first I'll make myself a cup of tea and read some of that book I started last night.  Oh and the news is on, so I'll just watch a little of that.  Oh, yeah, a notification of a new YouTube video that posted today!  Maybe I will just knit a couple of rows.  Yeah, I'll do those dishes...

Squirrel!!

The problem is there's always tomorrow.  I'm Scarlette O'Hara, I won't think about that now, I'll think about it tomorrow.

Shiny stuff!!

Make or receieve a phone call.  OOOOPS!!  It's lunchtime.  Where's my book?  Ding dong!  UPS left me a package or three.  New books from Thriftbooks . com!!  And then OOOO - yarn!!

Then it's time for dinner, and a movie, and bedtime, and, well, squirrel! 

Facebook, Instagram, email (two addresses), what was I doing?  Oh well, I can finish tomorrow.

So what have I finished?

Very little.


I did actually complete these boot strap socks, and even though the picture shows needles in the toe, I did Kitchener stitch the right sock and blocked them.


I finished the baby sweater for my friend Pam's granddaughter.  Of course by the time I get it to her, she may be in first grade...sorry!



 After watching 27 YouTube videos by Arne and Carlos, I completed two of the two dozen or more colorwork patches they were designing.  Seven more and I can make a pillow!


Thanks to my DH and his magic staple gun, I actually recovered the four old chairs that were in the sewing room.  I got rid of the table with the broken base in favor of a six foot folding table I had stashed away.  They're nice and cheery, don't you think?


 This is the before photo of the worst of the chairs.  This wasn't the first covering, but the fabric must have been ordinary cotton, because it didn't hold up very well.  The new stuff is more upholstery grade.

 Then I used the rest of the fabric to cover my big board.  It was stained from some iron leakage/water spillage, and some mild scorching.  Now it matches the chairs.


Totally unfinished and destined to stay that way is this 1,000 piece puzzle.  I actually had the left side almost done, and a big section of a purple tree in the center on the right.  The rest was green, and it was getting SOOOO annoying that nothing was fitting together.  Hubby and I made an executive decision and just PUT IT BACK IN THE BOX!  Not sorry, either!!


After all, we're supposed to be kind to one another.

The good news is, my resource center is full, and it doesn't look like I'll run out of new projects to start any time soon.

There's always tomorrow.

Sew on...

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Earth Day!

Today, April 23, is Earth Day!  I remember back in 1970 (or the dark ages, as my grands put it!) when it was first celebrated.  Today is the 50th anniversary thereof.

Remember Earth Shoes?  They had lower heels than toes.  Hard to walk in until you got used to it, if you ever did.

Composting became a thing again.  Of course many of our ancestors had composted in the past but it became cool to do.  Recycle, reuse, use up or whatever (from the depression) came back.  Granny skirts, granny glasses. Granny (LOL!)

We thought Earth was our mother, and we should love her.



Well, we SHOULD.

The theme of that first Earth Day was the same as it is this Earth Day:  Save the earth!  The problems are the same too:  global warming, improper trash disposal, pesticides, ozone issues and air pollution, well, we could go on and on...


Of course now some of us are in denial about climate change and global warming.  And probably other things too.

Not the polar bears.  They believe in global warming every time they try to find ice, not for their martinis either!


So today, clean up, recycle, try to do your best to save your Mother.  Earth, that is.


Maybe you could plant a tree.

*Images are posters from the site earthreminder.com

Live on...

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Grace and Peace on Palm Sunday

What does Grace mean in the Bible?
The word grace in the Bible, refers to the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. John 1:14 tells us that God left His heavenly throne, became flesh and came to live with us here on earth. He was full of grace and truth. The Bible says that we receive blessings from the fullness of His grace. John 1:16.
Grace is something we receive even though we definitely do not deserve it.  
If you were ever a scout you received merit badges for things you did.  You didn't receive a badge until you had completed all of the tasks required.
I was a Girl Scout in my youth.  Our troop was made up of girls in my class at school.  We loved earning badges!  How proud we would all be every time we earned a badge and our mom sewed it onto our vest or sash.  I did the same for my grands when they were scouts.


On this Palm Sunday we're reminded that we have abundant grace from God.  He gave his only son to pay the price for sin in the world, not just for the people who had lived until that point, but for every single person in the world, ever.  Paid once for all.  
Noting I do can ever make me deserve it, and yet, here it is, freely given, with much love.
Knowing that I have such a wonderful gift gives me the ultimate in peace.  To quote my church's liturgy "the peace of God, which passes all understanding" which is mine through Jesus Christ.
I wish we could all be in church today, but we are doing social distancing, and many of us are attending church on line or on TV.  My church has services on YouTube.  It's not the same, although the message certainly is.
If you're not a regular church attendee, maybe this is the time of year when you DO seek out a service, and attend this week or next week for Easter.  There are lots of options  that you can view on line.  Find something this week that gives you some peace in this crazy time.
God's not practicing social distancing, He is here where you are, giving you love and forgiveness and protection.  Accept the love, and give thanks always!
Pass it on.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

What's Up With Me?

I have some favorite blogs I read every day, or as often as I can.  These days I'm spending A LOT of time, I mean A LOT, on the internet, reading things I normally don't read. 

I have very little focus.  My mind is on something, then I get up to get a cup of tea or a glass of water and poof!  My mind wanders to something else and I am suddenly cleaning off the counter or picking up some knitting and an hour later I realize that I'm still thirsty and I forgot all about the tea or water.

My brother Ken used to be the sweetest child, he still is a very nice man, but as a child he would always, always, run around doing things the older boys or Mom or even I asked him to do without a second thought to why we didn't do them ourselves.  But invariably he would be off on the errand before you finished telling him what you wanted. 

For instance, Mom would say "Kenny, go downstairs to the cellar and bring me back a jar of peaches", but at "...cellar" he would already be at the bottom of the basement stairs!  Then he'd yell up the steps "What did you want again?"

He made us laugh, then he'd laugh too, and eventually Mom would have the peaches and he'd be off on whatever the next thing was that would catch his attention.

Kind of like that movie where the dog goes "squirrel!"

That's me these days.  No focus.  Scatterbrained.  Unable to concentrate on much of anything for a long period of time.  Except for the hypnotizing black box in the livingroom (TV) or the small white screen on the computer.  Rabbit holes of mesmerizing continuous streaming.  And its not as if there's anything that's so fascinating or enriching going on in front of me.

25 actors whose noses have been fixed.  40 ways to clean your toilet with things from your pantry.  100 best movies of 1938.

I'm making those things up, but they probably could be found with a simple google search!

One day I ran across an interview with some doctor somewhere who said that right now we're going through a grieving period for life as it used to be.  The new normal has no finite length and so we're mourning our previous normal.  This made perfect sense to me, because right now we're in the first stages... shock and denial.  No wonder we're all a little unfocused and crazy!  We're in shock!

The stages are shock, denial, anger, guilt, sorrow and depression, acceptance and finally engagement in life again.  According to experts everyone grieves in their own way, and the stages don't necessarily go in order.  Nor are there time limits on how long anyone stays in each stage.  It all depends on the person and the circumstances and what else is going on in the world.

So I'm accepting the fact that I'm not really myself at the moment.  I'm a slightly befuddled version of myself who's just trying to cope the best way I can.  My normally full social calendar is temporarily curtailed and I'm spending lots of time watching meaningless YouTube videos and reruns of TV shows.  I'm helping my granddaughter with math homework over the phone, and not hugging anyone other than the hubster, and him not that often because he needs his personal space.

<sigh>

So, Rita it's OK if you cry.  We're in mourning.  It WILL end, eventually.

To all my friends, I miss you tons!  You can hug me later...

Grieve on.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sewing in The Time Of... Corona Virus

There's a book called Love in the Time of Cholera that I read a few years ago.  Good thing I purchased it at a used book store, that's all I can say.  It was set in the time when the cholera epidemic was happening in Europe.  It had to do with a man in love with a woman who marries someone else, I don't remember, but I do remember that I didn't enjoy the store much.



But that phrase "in the time of cholera" is kind of a mind worm... it occurs to me whenever anyone says "in the time of" anything, like corona virus or social distancing.

Sewists always want to help.  We make quilts and gifts for any and all occasions.  We can make scrubs for nurses and face masks and lap robes and wheelchair bags and on and on and on.  We can and we will help whenever someone asks, and sometimes when they don't ask.

But does it help?  The big thing these days is sewing masks for medical workers.  Everyone has a video or a pdf about how to make a mask.  There's been a run on elastic almost as drastic as the one on toilet paper!

I'm skeptical about the masks.  Several respected authorities have said that home made masks offer little or no protection against this virus.  Most fabrics, even quilt shop fabrics, are not finely woven enough to stop tiny particles from going through. 



Fabric manufacturers have said that their fabric is less than 200 threads per inch which is the minimum that is recommended.  Some authorities have said that natural fibers such as 100% cotton can actually encourage the growth of bacterial after being breathed on for a while.  Things grow in cellulose that won't grow in polyester or nylon or other man-made materials.



I am not jumping on the 'let's all sew medical masks' bandwagon.  Now, before you judge, check out what the CDC is saying about home made masks.  Better than nothing is the phrase I've seen.  Not medically useful.  The larger hospitals in my area are not allowing their use for their medical staff.

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/UnderstandDifferenceInfographic-508.pdf

You can use one to keep yourself from touching your face, or from sneezing or coughing on those around you.  But you can use a tissue too.  As for protection, not so much.  Pat Sloan talked about making masks in her Monday night Fireside Chat.  She had good advice for any home sewn projects, masks or otherwise.  She said do the research first.  Find out what places want, get the specs, quantities and deadlines.  If you don't your items will be tossed and all your materials and efforts will be for nothing.

I'll keep sewing quilts for donation and leave the mask stitching to other people unless I hear otherwise.  Or maybe for Halloween??


Sew on...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Social Distancing... or The New Normal

Today I had a short visit from my oldest granddaughter, Miss E.  She stayed about 12 1/2 minutes... just long enough to drop off a package of toilet paper.  My son-in-law was waiting in the truck, probably on his phone with work.  He's working from 'home' these days.

Isn't everyone?

No, not really!  My daughter is the facilities manager for a hospital chain.  She told me she's been deemed 'essential'.  Yes, you are!  In more ways than one...


Wherever she shops was better supplied than where we shop.  Either that or the people who shop where I shop are hoarding more than the people where she shops.  Who knew it would be TP that would be in such demand??!!  Or ground beef!  I could buy filet mignon or sirloin roast, but no hamburger at my local market.  Not to worry, we found it at our second favorite place, the gas station!!  Way to go, Kwik Trip!

It's been a whole week since I've been to work at the quilt shop.  We're still doing on-line sales, but the Governor has asked non-essential business to close for now.  Our customers kept coming in anyway, and I was concerned about contact with people who would NOT stay home regardless of the risk, especially since DH and I are in that 'age group'.  You know the one... over 65,  politely called the elderly.  Huh!  They said 'but you ARE essential - to us'!

Church services were also cancelled, although our staff has made it possible to keep in touch.  The Pastor is doing services from his home on YouTube.  It was kind of strange on Sunday, sitting with DH in the living room watching church on TV.  There were still hymns and music.  I sang, even though DH did not.  He told me later he was singing on the inside.  :-)

You'd think I'd be getting some sewing done.  Somehow I lack focus.  I start something and then I get distracted by the shiny stuff and poof!  All concentration is lost and I've suddenly gotten three more piles of potential things to do on my sewing table!

One thing I am doing is trying to develop some kind of morning ritual to keep me on track.  I have to get up at 6:30 with Miss Kitty.


If I don't, she sits outside the bedroom and whines, and at some point even rattles and scratches on the door to make her point.  Feed Me.  Now.

I also printed out Martin Luther's morning and evening prayers and taped them to the bathroom mirror, just to focus my brain a bit.  They're easily accessed while I'm brushing my teeth morning and night.  That puts me in a frame of mind to continue praying for my family, my friends, the world, and myself.

As a social butterfly, I'm not used to sitting at home this many days, with only DH for company.  In a phone conversation with a friend this week, when she asked how we were doing I said 'we're still married! And thank goodness you can go into the bathroom and close the door without being accused of being antisocial!'

DH actually practices social distancing as a regular thing.  We realize that he's not very talkative, and he's really not!  I can tell when he's 'socialed out' at gatherings or parties.  It's a private joke that at anybody's wedding reception, if he lasts until 8:30 p.m. that's about all we can expect.

I on the other hand, will probably be among the last to leave anywhere.  LOL!  Opposites attract for sure...


Time to go see what distractions await in the sewing room today.  Maybe I'll actually finish something.

Sew on...

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Stay-Cation

The trend for some people in the recent past (and I'll admit, for me) has been to have a Stay-cation, or to take your vacation by staying at home.  For me, there's nothing I like better than to spend a day in my sewing/craft room, making. 

The current Coronavirus pandemic has made many of us 'older folk' rethink our running around, and cancellations have forced us to forego some of our activities.  For me, that's OK.

I have plenty of books, fabric, patterns, yarn... I can stay busy for quite a while.  Then there's Amazon and shopping on line for deliveries of everything from soup to nuts.

Except maybe toilet paper!



My DH said "Maybe you can knit some..."

Ha ha.

He actually tried to buy some during our normal shopping trip at the beginning of last week and couldn't find any at our local store.  Evidently the shortage escaped our notice until it was too late.

Good thing we buy ahead, so we're OK for a while.  I hope!


My SIL fell on Sunday evening and we had to run over there and call 911.  She ended up in the emergency room, then admitted and had surgery to repair a broken hip.  Now she's waiting to be transferred to a rehab facility, as soon as they have a bed available. 

We were not allowed into the hospital the night she fell.  The EMTs dropped her off, but we were stopped at the door by a formidable-looking nurse in full 'combat' garb, wrapped almost completely in plastic!  We left our phone number and had to go home.  I'm all for caution but I felt horrible having to leave her there alone!

The next day DH tried to call and get information, but they refused to tell him anything since he does not have medical power of attorney.  Eventually she called us.

Lesson:  if you live alone, have someone designated who can get information, just in case. 

Luckily she's doing better now, and calling on a regular basis.  We're babysitting home and bird.  I have to ask her what his name is... I'm just calling him 'the bird'.  Not too personal!  Miss Kitty is probably hoping she could get up close and personal.  Which is why he's living alone at her place for now!


Hmmm, is that lunch?
I'm off to the sewing studio... I have pants to hem, and a quilt top to unassemble and reassemble in the RIGHT order.  But that's another post.

Sew on...

Monday, March 16, 2020

Almost Spring!

The only trouble with not blogging for a while is knowing where to pick up...

I'll start with a random picture of three of my favorite girls... Miss A, Miss E and Miss Kitty.

Things have been crazy around the place recently.  Christmas in the condo was fun... DH decided that he'd decorate every blessed inch of the place, and put up not one but two new trees.  We had to buy new ornament storage boxes due to a water incident at the old house, which the cardboard ornament boxes didn't survive.  There were some discussions around where to store the two trees once they were taken down.  Happy to report that there was space in the garage on a very high shelf, which should minimize water damage!

My local quilt shop where I work part time has been busy recently too.  There was a blowout internet sale and I worked my butt off (although looking at my backside in the mirror this morning doesn't give a hint of that!)  

I've been working on making bags and totes for classes at the shop.  The Diamond Gem bag is popular, and some of the students have brought in their completed bags to show them off.  They've all been so beautiful.

--- AND almost two weeks after I wrote that first part, here I am, back at having missed posting this in a timely manner.

The L key on my keyboard has been sticking.  I wanted to take the computer in to the service nerds to get it looked at.  I put the computer in the bag... and let it sit there for a week.  Dang!  Missed the opportunity.  So I'm back to pounding on the L key again.  And typing itte ambs instead of Little Lambs in my church reports.  Ugh.

Yesterday we had a slight emergency.  My 73 year old sister-in-law fell in her condo and broke her left leg.  She's having surgery today to fix it.  Too bad the hospital is under quarantine and there can only be one family member visiting her.  DH hates hospitals.  Ugh again.  We'll see what they say about when or if she can go home, or whether she'll need aftercare. 

Here's the lesson from that:  Have a Medical Power of Attorney and designate your care-giver if you live alone!  And for goodness sake, have (and charge) a cell phone too!  She fell in the garage, then dragged herself into the condo to call us on the house phone.  No one else has a house key and she didn't want the EMTs breaking doors to get in, so she waited 45 minutes for US to get there and call 911.  Imagine the agony!

Then we were unable to enter the hospital to find out what was going on, and DH could not get information from the nurses on the phone because -- no POA!  We had to wait for her to call us.

But luckily she's able to call us, and DH is now on the list of approved visitors on her chart.  God is good, and hopefully the surgery is going (or has by now) gone well.

Peace, friends.  If God is for me, who can be against me?  And I have plenty of books, fabric and yarn if things shut down any further.  DH and I decided since there appears to be a shortage of toilet paper (yeah, I know, right??) I can always knit some!

Sew on...