Tuesday, February 27, 2018

All Storms Shall Pass

...and there may be yet another storm on the horizon!

It rained during the night.
Today was filled with beautiful skies and cool air. Cold to us :)

I've been looking over some old writing.  There is a small collection of personal writing.  This is one of them.  It began as an assignment in my Child Psychology course, back in
August of 2003.  I'll tell you more after you read about An Early Memory...    

An Early Memory

           There I am, standing next to my older sister.  I am three years old, she is almost seven.  I feel little next to her.  I feel the difference in our ages.  Of course, I am younger and smaller as well.  And I know it.  I sense it.  Anyway, there we are side-by-side in the dining room of our apartment in California.  We’ve heard the phone ring, gleefully interrupting whatever it is we were doing.  We’ve raced over to answer it, knowing the call would be for us.  It is Tuesday evening at 7:00 PM and our birth father is making the weekly court-ordered phone call to us from New York City.
As usual, my sister speaks to him first.  I alternately look up into her animated face and stare at the black rotary dial phone sitting on one of the two corner cupboards in the room.  I stare at the phone, as if by doing so I may magically be able to see this distant father on the other end of the line.  The hardwood floors feel gritty scraping against the soles of my shoes as I wiggle back and forth, back and forth.  I am happily anticipating my turn.  My breathing comes in short shallow flutters.  I am waiting.  It feels like a very long time to this very small girl.  It feels like forever.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.
Then, all at once, it is my turn!  Hi Daddy!  I proclaim loudly.  I smell my sister’s warm breath in the just vacated receiver.  I taste my own breath as I swallow some of my excitement.  The phone feels heavy in my small hand.  My birth father responds to my greeting in his barely recognizable voice.  He shares a few more meaningless words.  My wiggling slows and I try to think of something to say.  I am only three.  I don’t know what to say.  After all there really isn’t anything to say to the man on the other end of the line.  He moved out of my life when I was just ten months old and we’ve had practically no contact since.  No contact to build a relationship.  No contact until this briefly adhered to directive from the courts.
And just like that, my turn is over and I hang up the phone.  I feel unfulfilled and sad.  After all, I feel he’s not really my daddy.  He is my sister’s daddy.  I don’t even know him.  As I frequently tell my mother, I don’t got no daddy.  I am three years old.


This particular instructor was not particularly strong, or well prepared.  The class was filled with young college and some High School students.  I felt old.  I felt out numbered in the work ethic department.   Anyway, when our books had not come in, she assigned this paper.  We were told to write about one of our earliest memories, as told through our 5 senses.  My first response (in my head) was I don't remember that far back!  Then, lo and behold, this popped out!  The next week, some of those younger students scribbled on their notepads as the instructor walked around, checking off if you had completed the task.  She did not read our writings.  Nevertheless, it has been one of my favorite pieces of writing ever since.  I was grateful for the assignment.  Usually I let the writing stand on its own, leaving the background information out.  But, this time I wanted to record that here.

Update:  I returned to the doctor and he removed the last of the stitches.
Movin' through the storm
He was going to just remove the last knot, but when he snipped it ➙
the whole thing came right out!
I'm glad there is nothing left in my eye and I am hoping nothing 'grows back' 
(as this condition can).
Let's all cross our fingers for good luck, okay?!!
It struck me...as he remarked in an astonished voice, that he couldn't believe that I could feel this minute knot...it occurred to me that:
I'm that patient he must talk about at dinner parties!

Oh my.

I've almost finished my first XX's.
I plan on making two sets.
I worked on some needed to get done paperwork.
And I am still posting and reading others' posts.
Still off FB.

Tomorrow I'll be at work.
May your storms move through quickly and
the aftermath be brilliant.

Photos by NAE ©2018 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Saying Goodbye

Why is it so hard to say goodbye to certain old belongings?
I've been cleaning out old books that I no longer need.
Some are so easy to let go of, some are impossible (like my mama's old books), and 
some are somewhere in between.

This stack of 'art' books are like that.
Most of them were bought or gifted to me back in the first decade of the 2000's.
It was a time of both highs and lows for me.
It was a time of Giant Creative Thinking!
Notice I say "thinking" not "doing" ~ although there was some of that too.

But now looking back, I think it was a time of seeing myself in new ways, finding new sources of enjoyment and expression.  Finding my community (we've all been speaking of).

So, when I think of letting these books go, it is like letting budding me go.
In addition to that, I am only half-way content with the idea that
all the money I spent back then served its purpose.
I let go of all my quilting magazines a while back.
The time is now for the books.
These books are like new.

I humor myself with the idea that I could gift them to someone else,
who may find pleasure with them.
So here they are.  If you want one, just let me know :)
You could gift them too ;)

Al-pha-bet-i-ca Lynne Perrella (2006)

Tags Reinvented (2004)

Hippie Crafts (2004)

Grids to Stitch (2006)

The Photo Transfer Handbook (2006)

1000 Artist Trading Cards (2007)

Exploring Textile Arts (2002)

Fabric Dying for Beginners (2003)
Felt Wee Folks (2003)

Very Easy Crazy Patchwork (2007) - Paperback

One quilt - One Moment, Quilts That Change Lives (2000)

The Creative Entrepreneur (2008)

Blogging for Bliss (2009)

The Happy Book (2009)

Organizing Your Craft Space (2006)

House Beautiful Art (2001)

Art Quilts A Celebration (2005)

Creative Quilting The Journal Quilt Project (2006)

They all held such inspirational ideas/photographs and were so fun to look through.
My next step will be to donate them (any that are left).
I don't have it in me to try and sell them.

You can copy and paste links if you want to know more,
creating links was too eye-consuming!

I return to the doctor tomorrow.  Yay!
There is a storm coming in.
It looks soothing.
It looks like a soft watercolor painting.

May all of your gatherings and letting goes be smooth and
all of your storms be gentle enough.

Photos by NAE ©2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

How We Visit - Where We Go

I spent a long time through last week over at Deb's place, reading all 26 of her ABC posts in one fell swoop!  I'd read some of them here and there, but one night I took the time to read from A-Z and leave comments.  What a delight!  When I got to "T"...I thought of this video clip for "C".  It is one of my all time favorites, sometimes just flashing into my mind for no  particular reason!


Then as I lay falling asleep, I kept thinking of more 'words' that hold meaning for me.  Such an interesting exercise.  I have always loved alliteration.  J. expresses the opposite view. Haha  As a teacher of young children, it speaks to me, so her posts or comments that strung many letter words together in a sentence were so fun for me!  The book that inspired her, in part, is one of my long-time favorites.  I had even emailed her about it, before I read the connection!!

I was able to go through all of those posts, post myself and read other favorite blogs because I've had more free time lately as I have spent the last week off of FB.  I have been feeling overwhelmed with the news of the world, our world, my world...and I thought to narrow down my world view.  It is an experiment.  So far, there are a few things I miss (but so far not enough to check in over there).  Among other 'friends', I miss chatting daily with:

They all post fun, funny, interesting, thought-provoking and sometimes outrageous things!
I enjoy that. 
I read their "friends'" comments and have my circle widen.
I treasure that.
I've learned a lot, heard some great music, seen some beautiful artwork 
and laughed at many memes, cartoons or jokes.
I like that.
I miss that.

I miss the ability to keep up with local happenings and people I know.  But here is the truth, my truth.  Nothing changes if I don't find out the local happenings and not one of my 'friends' has reached out to me to say "Hey, I haven't seen you on FB lately...read your post saying you wouldn't be here...you ok...whatcha up to?"  Or anything of the sort.  People are into their own lives with those around them daily.  It has been quiet.  I like quiet, but that does sorta make one wonder what is real...what is true.  Ya know?  And my truth is only one of those local people reached out to me about my recent eye surgery. Once.  I can say that here.  Only my "cloth people" come here. At least that is how it seems.  (Haha Just misspelled that 'seams'!!)  In all of my blogging years family or long time friends come here barely.  I see this as my sacred space, which is an extension of Jude's spirit cloth world/community. I am so grateful for this community.  Every time I try to express that...well it is hard to do.  Folks over at Hazel's and Hazel herself help with this expression.
YOU are all my people, my circle, my tribe and you are so important to me!

As long as I am talking about 'visiting' and 'people'...
Yesterday I went to the Emergency Room.  This is a First for me in my 58 years, but my eye starting acting up again on Friday.  This has been not only uncomfortable/painful, but so disappointing.  Anyway, after talking to the 'after hours advice nurse' (covering her own butt) - who really knew nothing about something so specific & made a comment that made me worry more...I went to my local urgent care...who sent me to the less local ER.

We got there to an almost empty waiting room!  What a relief!  I thought it would be packed with flu patients!  I was nervous and not too hopeful, after all this is a specialty.  But, I still had it in me to notice & wonder...

What on earth is a "Cough Station"?!  From the fliers and trash can below, I got a bit more information.  But, I much preferred sitting there wondering at the ridiculousness of it!  I supposed if I needed to cough, I would go stand near the pillar?!! 

My vitals were taken upon check-in and information gathered (or questions merely asked).  Questions asked again in the first "little room"...then again in the next "little room"...and then yet again by the ER doctor.  I knew in my heart that I would get no answers.  The doctor was very nice and she made the phone call to the ophthalmologist on call...mine happened to be on call this weekend!  This was the first bit of 'good' news.  But, there is nothing much to do until I try to get in for an appointment on Monday. There may be yet another stitch in there to be removed.  I'll find out more when I go in.  But right now I am uncomfortable and grumpy.  If I knew there was more stitch(es) in there, I woulda saved myself one hundred bucks by NOT going into the ER!  Ugh.  I'm trying hard not to be super mad about all of this.
But, of course considering everything...it could be worse.  I can cover those charges, I can stand the pain level, I can see.  I've just had another lay low weekend and I would like it is I felt better.  2018 has already felt long.  But, for two ER patients there when I was getting past the pain may not be as easy.  A man and a young woman, both with injured hands.  I could feel the tension in the man's back and shoulders as he cradled his hand and shifted his weight.  I could feel the pain the young woman was going through as the tears silently fell down her cheeks, sitting twisted in her chair.  In my own discomfort, I had to look away.  
My people watching skills aren't always easy on me!

They didn't even open their cool toolbox...so onward to next week!

Meanwhile, things move, grow and thrive around here.  This is good.  This brings me joy.

It turns out this hummingbird loves our Aloe Vera plant!
This plant was given to us by our neighbor.  it was not doing well at that time.  
It was small and in a pot...then it fell over and moved itself into the ground.
Now it is thriving!

The same neighbor gave J. this cactus.  It looked awful!
He re-potted it and watered it and loved it anyway.
It is so much healthier now...and even has a little bloom!
Look at that!  
·♥·  Tiny bits of joy!   ·♥·

The roses around here were recently pruned back.
Now they all have gorgeous new leaves and some buds!
This one is on Mama's Rose!  Isn't she a beauty?!

 May you all feel well (enough) and surrounded by people who care.
May you all have time and presence of mind to notice, ponder and find joy!

Photos by NAE ©2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Feeding the Soul

These days. These days, how does one feed their soul?
How does one keep HOPE alive?
We return to nature,
where we feel small in the bigness of our earth.
We read to find connection,
to find what we need
*Altered photograph

We see the world through our heart,
intentionally framing all we see, looking for the light in all. 

Log that held Rock, *see below

We look for old friends
again and again.

And when they're not right in view, 
we look again...
we widen the circle,
we look closer and further.

And we walk together,
for together we are stronger

'In a time of destruction, create something: a poem, a parade, 
a community, a school, a vow, a moral principle; one peaceful moment' 
~Maxine Hong Kingston  

We embrace the history, even as time marches on.

We seek balance and look for openings that will support us
during these days.

We search for this.

We don't give up.

We find our way around the roadblocks of life
We refuse to remain locked into things that are not working,
are unjust and do not serve us and our fellow man.

No matter how small what we are doing seems,
we keep doing it because that is what feeds us.

Today we went on a short hike to our regular trail.

We embraced the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the breeze, 
the songs of the birds
and the fun of our traditions.

*We looked for my old friend Rock.
I look every time we hike this trail, 
but many years have passed.

You first met Rock on my first find.
Then again for a second time.

And then again for a recap on the hike where I impressed the Forest Ranger 
with my story of

We took many of our traditional two of us selfies.
They almost always have J.'s head partially cut off.
That's how we roll :)

May you find ways to move through these days with grace, humor and lots of love,
Take care,

Photos by NAE ©2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day ~ Living with Heart

Valentine's Day, just another day really,
especially when you try to live with heart everyday.

Here's some recent happenings with heart...and more!

 I finally finished this little medicine bag!
I actually began it years ago after buying the yearn in New York. 
You can read about that here.
This finished bag is not the one I started.  I cut that one off the loom back here.


I thought about that quote I had posted:
Today I thought of this quote posted over at Henrietta's place,  


Mom always says, "never cut a knot, always untie it. If you can't figure out how to untie a knot, you'll never figure out how to solve your problems."
The yarn had become quite tangled going back and forth in my car.
So I wound the ball once the bag was done.
→ Living with Perseverance ← 
Typical of me and I can't believe it...
but after all of this time, I am undecided if the bag was meant for me or someone else.
We'll see.
Plus there is enough yarn left to work with another medicine bag.
It sure is nice to have this one completed after so long.
→ Living with Heart ← 

Overheard in a school lobby:
Elderly lady speaking with office manager, suddenly proclaims, 
"Everyone loves R. ~ you want a cannoli?"
R. responds, "Oh that is sweet, you don't have to do that!"
To which the elderly lady replies, hand to her mouth in a secretive whisper,
"They don't cost that much, otherwise I wouldn't offer."
→ Living with Humor ←

Today I went back to the doctor for the last post-op appointment.
He said all looks well and cut the stitch out of my eye!
Now I feel like the healing can wrap up.
It has been awful feeling that stitch in my eye since January 4th.  
I'm so glad it is out.

→ Living with Gratitude ←

Overheard in the doctor's waiting room:
Elder lady in fuzzy leopard print vest, tells a story she'd seen on TV:
A man sees an elder lady trying to cross the street.  he puts his hand on her back and offers his help, to which the elder lady turns around and maces him!

The woman is laughing so hard that she barely gets this story out.
Her middle age companion, in black velvet bell-bottoms laughs herself while responding,
"Oh and that hurts so much!"

After just a moment's pause, the elder woman says in a shocked voice, 
"How do you Know that?"

The story on a punk rock event follows.

→ Living with Laughter ←

Overheard in the doctor's waiting room:
An elderly blue-jean clad lady comes in and carefully sits down in a chair.
A jean overshirt reaches down to her shaky hand, 
fingers bent with age. She arranges herself.
She bends over and slowly ties her tennis shoe.
Sitting back up, she picks up her blue-jean purse and checks the zippers, 
placing it on her lap.
She shifts her weight, settling in. 
As I am being led in, I hear her ask in a strong, bold voice, 
"Where is the nearest drinking fountain?"
The assistant tells her and then sensing it is too far, offers her a cup of water.
In a voice filled with appreciation, she "Yes, thank you".

→ Living with Confidence & Appreciation ← 

← ↑ → ↓

 May you 'live with' many things that fill you, make you laugh 
and keep your heart tender,

Photo by NAE ©2018

Saturday, February 10, 2018

How Its Been

Before my surgery, I began this...2 X's, cross stitched on muslin.  I haven't worked on it since, as it is a bit stressful on my eyes.  But, my plan is to finish it ASAP and send it off for the 70273 Project.
This heartfelt project came to my attention a while back and I kept it in the back of my mind, to get to later.  Soon is later, I do think.

I have been able to do some weaving however.  I've been working on the medicine bag started long, long ago.  It is almost done now.

My eye is on the mend still, with new interesting after-affects...like muscle/nerve twitching just below the eye.  Not painful, just freaky. One more post-op appointment will hopefully wrap things up.  We'll see (haha).

Also, I have revived a very old project that involves movie making!  If I ever complete it, I'll let you all know!

In the meantime, I think of my next collaborative project, Mo and Old Man Crow's "I Dream of a World Where Love is the Answer".
You can read all of the related posts at the link above.  It's funny, when you look for Love, you start to see it everywhere, even at Target!

Thank you to all of you who come here to read, look and converse.  It means the world to me, because this community helps keep my faith in humanity alive.  I hate to say it, but if it weren't for y'all, my faith would be a sunk ship at this point.

Here's to beauty in the world, where we can find it and sharing it with those we care about.

Photo by NAE ©2018

Hang on to beauty and good people where you can, it matters.