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I know this about myself

I keep other people’s gifts. All the time. See this little table runner? Yep, that was the thing I stayed up late to finish for my mother’s mother’s day gift. (No, that’s not a typo.) Why is it in this picture? On my table, should you know this is my table. Well, because I ‘tried’ it on. You know, to see what it’d look like. And what do you know? I liked it. It fit amazingly perfect. And what would my mother do with it anyway? It’s not like she has a naked table needing a runner, is it? And just look at those colors…how they accent the paint in my dining room. Yep, it’s now our new table runner. Needless to say, I had to whip up some lavender sachets and go to the store for a flower and hand lotions. The sachets almost landed in my drawers, but alas I can whip up more if needed for my own. 🙂

Okay, on to other things. My son, the almost-graduate, is in Disney World. He left yesterday. Our first time apart for this length of time. That makes me sound like the Goldberg’s mom, right? Although we do NOT snuggle together. But it was sad seeing him leave. Better get used to it, college waits for no one, come August.

On the adoption front….my agency failed me again. Without properly telling me which papers to place with an application for immigration, I was declined. Yep, what do they care. They aren’t in China waiting for their parents to come get them. They aren’t the crazed people who’ve chased papers for a year, had nervous breakdowns, and stalked the mail courier every day. I’m counting the days until I’m in the bathroom throwing up, riddled with anxiety to cross the ocean in a plane, and not understanding properly how to make change in yen. Or yang. What is the currency?

Back to mother’s day. It was great. I didn’t cook a thing. I did eat well, though. French toast in the morning, forget what the lunch was, and then orange chicken for dinner. Homemade. As in Yum-oooooo.

Today I have a confession. As I wish I was writing this post in anonymity, I’ll just say that I had a ‘friend’ who went to the dentist, or should I say back to the dentist, to get a filling or two. And ‘they’ weren’t feeling it. You know, like what the heck did I do to voluntarily come back here? As in, drove my…’her’ car there, parked, and awaited ‘the chair’, ‘the drill’, the stupid way your mouth feels all doped up while you spend the next hour drooling and biting your gum by accident. Yeah, well my friend, after waiting 15 minutes in the waiting room, decided that was long enough. If they didn’t get her in the first five, she wasn’t waiting anymore. So this friend of mine went to the desk, told small white lie, and left. Can you believe it? She felt sort of like she did when she used to ditch classes in high school. Amazing. I believe the song she said she blasted while spinning wheels out of there was something retro. Like in the ‘skipping school’ days of hers.  Yep, that picture pretty much summed up how my friend looked when she pulled out!

Now for ‘don’t you hate it when’…. don’t you hate it when you’re late for work, fly to the iron to flatten out your blouse, and you accidentally don’t take in account it has embroidery all across the front? You end up smelling like a pencil eraser all day so you eat tons of mints to blow into the air so you don’t offend the people around you. Yep, I hate that too.

Now no more white lies. It’s just a piggy toe in length to the ‘real’ lies we might find ourselves telling. 🙂 Have a great weekend, everyone!!

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Return to Pooh Corner

Does anyone remember this song? I was driving my son to school yesterday and it came on. I have no idea why, as I was listening to a playlist of Eddie Money, John Cougar, etc. Anyway here came Kenny Loggins singing about counting all the bees in the hive and chasing clouds away. It made me very nostalgic. I looked in the rearview mirror at my son and pondered the thought that he doesn’t even know he’s young. Well yeah, he knows what youth stops you from doing. You can’t drive a car, you can’t stay at home and not go to school, you can’t not eat healthy. But he has little clue as to what it affords you…being chauffeured, only worrying what assignments are due the next day, chasing the clouds if he really wanted to. Youth is definitely wasted on the young! What I wouldn’t have given to stay home and be concerned over nothing. No bills, no need for money, no what to make for dinner. It’s fleeting, but he won’t get that until 20 years down the road and a silly song comes on the radio to remind him. 🙂

Along with EVERYTHING else I’ve got juggling in mid-air, I’m onto my next fundraising craft. I don’t think I posted the fabric keychains, but they’ve been a huge hit. I’m almost sold out. I have another shipment of metal fasteners arriving to get more made. But in the meanwhile, I’ve begun a new project. Tissue holders for your bag. They are SUPER easy and fast. And so many possibilities with color schemes. They are a great stash buster, especially when you chain sew them. I’m working on another quilt, too. Did I even post pics of the other one? This one is smaller, and it’s cowboy theme. So cute. I’ll for sure post a picture when I’m finished.

Book 3 of Sarah is getting so good! I hate to tease, but it’s going to end with a bang! I have no ideas for a cover yet. So many choices. Sometimes I wish I’d gone with a couple on the others, but who would the guy be? Hmm…. I can’t help myself sometimes. Who would you want to see Sarah ride into the sunset with?

Hey, did you know it’s breast cancer awareness month? Isn’t it crazy how each month is something different? It also happens to be Down Syndrome awareness month, too. Along with getting my education tackled for this one, I’m thinking about immersing myself in Mandarin. Why not? I’ve got so much time on my hands, right?

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Feeling Thankful

I go to bed each night after checking how my books are doing. You know, just to feel connected in a small way to my readers. Anyway, each night for the past almost 2 weeks, my books have been read and bought several times that particular day. My rating stats have improved on goodreads and I am feeling blessed! It’s such a nice way to go to sleep, knowing people are sharing in my stories. Wow! It’s amazing.

Then I turn on the ol’boob-tube. Just for about 30 minutes. My husband hopes to be asleep by that time. You see, I have a new ritual of classic television. As I’ve been sewing for my fundraisers, I watch all the oldies. They’re like comfort food to my soul. Weird, I know. But they are so predictable, non-threatening, and I don’t have to lend but one ear.

 

And so on to news of the Indie Book Festival. Let’s see…where to begin? It was super hot. I got a burn on my right cheek, my right arm, and tops of both feet. There were almost no women’s fiction readers present. Although the guy next to my table was booming with his non-fiction account of the Vietnam war. Kudos to him! So all in all, it wasn’t a wonderful thing to behold. I did get tons of entries for a basket I was giving away of book booty!

Good news….a few books are swirling in my head. I enjoyed some Claire De Lune on my way to work this morning. It gave me a great backdrop for a plot I’m working on. And then of course came Dinah Washington. For some reason when I’m writing the Sarah Series, Dinah brings it out of me.

Well, I better go….time for some Hart to Hart!  Have a good day tomorrow, everyone.

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Catching Up

It’s been forever since I’ve written. Let me see if I can remember everything…  My son has been here for the week. Mostly he’s been sick in bed. I suppose spring break was overrated, anyway. I mean, who doesn’t plan their sickness around being home to be doted and fed their meals in bed? He wouldn’t have had the treatment away at school, certainly. Alas, he’s on meds and the mend! Just in time to go back. 😦

We had a few hot days here. As in 73 degrees, hot days. That’s when I shed my sweater and found a few stray pounds hiding out. Yikes. I became proactive right away to extinguish the unwanted pounds, and purchased myself a weighted hula hoop. Exercising is boring, right? And I can’t do boring. So I thought…yeah, this looks fun. Umm….yeah…..not exactly. I’m sporting some soreness and bruising around the ol’ midriff. I’m hoping I can keep it up. Only 30 minutes a day they say. Then the pounds drip right off you. I hope they begin shifting downward soon. 🙂

My hair is finally growing. I get it cut Monday. Can you believe it? Cut? It’s a shaping trim, rather. I want nothing more than a split end to land on the floor. I can’t afford more than that. I’m pretty sure I’m going to go medium length this time. Fingers crossed I can be patient with the growing pains.

I finally got around to watching Bridget Jones and a Baby. Hmmm….how to say something nice…. I guess it was great to see the cast again. On second thought, they looked crazy ancient. Mark Darcy seemed skeletal, Patrick Dempsey looked…well, old….and Bridget? She looked just plain weird. She’s not supposed to be skinny. And face-altered. It distracted me so much I couldn’t focus on the horrible story line. Why couldn’t they just have left it where it was??? I can’t unsee what I saw.

I’m watching “Something’s Gotta Give” as I write this blog post. One of my go-to movies for “something to have on t.v.” The part where she cries forever cracks me up. I’ve been there, done that for sure. Now if I could just find that house and live in it. Will I ever live on the water? It brings such peace. Other people say that about the mountains, but give me the sound of water rushing up on shore any day.

Tomorrow is boyfriend’s birthday. He has requested homemade enchiladas and a red velvet cake. I make a triple layer, which makes me wish I was a bigger fan. But I’m not. It doesn’t help I can never find red food coloring, either. It comes out more pink.

Well I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I’m in a creative mood, so I’ll either sticker-up something, sew a stitch, or write a few new chapters. 🙂

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Work in Progress

IMG_0634During my word drought, I still have the need to create. So I chose to work on this wall hanging I began a few months ago. It’s a type of whimsical flag quilt. Of course, after I cut and sewed on all the flags, I got distracted with another project. That’s just like me! Why can’t I see something through to the finish? Without it taking years to complete? I made curtains for my sewing room. Well, one curtain. After I saw what my window looked like, I closed up my thread box and haven’t finished the other three windows in two years. Ahhh…

I’ve recently added the yellow strings and I’m working on including some more color with borders for this quilt. Forgive the wrinkles–it’s been smooshed into the corner of my work station. And it’s muslin. It’s being a bit stubborn.

I enjoyed picking out the different candied flags. I’m not sure where exactly it would look good. Perhaps a candy shop? The quilt I fashioned if from was made with lemon-lime colors and draped across a crib. It was quite cute. But I have no idea what I’ll do with this one!  Should I ever complete it. 🙂  I think I hear my dusty Etsy shop calling.

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Make Someone Happy!

happyIsn’t it the greatest feeling in the world when you make someone happy? I got to do just that today!

Last year my step-sister’s husband’s mother passed away. (Did you follow that?) And I offered to make a memory quilt for them. Needless to say, a lot has happened in my world and I sort of put making it on the back burner. I finished it. However, I neglected to finish hand sewing the binding. Until Monday. My sister called and asked about the progress. I put my butt in gear, set time aside last night, and finished it.

Today I called and told her I had it to give her. She showed up five minutes later and dropped her jaw when I took it out of the bag. She was so happy. I melted into a puddle of pure appreciation. To have someone see something and feel so emotional–it simply did wonders for my heart. You see, they had given me some bags of blouses the mother had worn. I stabilized the different materials, sewed them together, and made a lap quilt for them to enjoy. She recognized so many of the pieces of fabric. Fittingly, she is going to give it to her husband this Sunday for Mother’s day.

My heart is truly happy. 🙂

Of course, you can’t make someone a quilt every day. And certainly not with pieces of a memory threaded into every seam. But you can do something small. I had a client come in this week. She is an older lady. Someone who has grown children and grandchildren. No one really visits her, and she doesn’t get to do much. I realized how lonely she must be and invited her into our conference room for a chat after we finished up business. She reminisced on old times, told me of new times, and thanked me for taking the time to talk to her. It didn’t take much…just a few minutes of my undivided attention. And I sincerely enjoyed it. She told me she might be back soon “just to check on things”. I’ll be ready. I may even offer her a cup of coffee to drink while we get up to speed on what she’s been up to. 🙂

 

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Confessions of A Fabric Hoarder

12733968314_62fe646bf8_zLike candy for my eyes. No, it’s not a picture of my stash. Unfortunately, I have a bit more. But, isn’t it pretty? Oh, the possibilities! And, there is more people like me out there. (thank goodness!)

I’m sure everyone has something they collect. It’s crazy what draws people; cars, bugs, coins, spoons… you name it, we can find someone who has about fifty of them. Well, maybe not cars. Not all at once, anyway.

I read quilt patterns like a novel. I can sit in bed at night and marvel at foundation piecing, embroidery hangings, and how-to’s. There is so many I want to try, but so little time. And, my biggest problem is that once I make a block and tackle the complexity of it, I want to move on without finishing the entire piece. A problem I’m working on!

Because of my short term memory, I can go into my quilt room and find tops I actually finished and they can seem new to me:) But, back to fabric hoarding…I find myself always toggling between an online fabric shop and whatever else I’m doing. Am I the only one who shops, putting things in carts, then deleting the spree? But, it’s so much fun adding the items. Anyway, like I have the two hundred dollars stored in a whatever-I-want account. Occasionally, on my birthday or some other holiday that I’m supposed to get something, I process the cart. (then I tell my boyfriend I’ve got the gift thing covered! And inform him to just take the package from the mailman and wrap it before I see inside it). But, when it’s not an occasion where I’m supposed to be getting something, I wait in the bushes to collect the booty from the UPS guy, store it in the back of my car and wait until night fall to bring it in the house. Then I carry it to my closet and rip it open quietly. I smell it, touch each piece, then store it on the shelf for viewing. Later, when I’m sure no one is home, I sneak it downstairs and place it with all the other cuts. Yay! A new friend for all the others:) One day I’m going to make all of my pieces into one big thing! That’ll be the day:)

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Making it all make sense

law%20of%20gravity%20appleTo some, my joy of reading a fabric catalog cover to cover, nose to paper, is kinda crazy. But, according to my mother, it’s just what my grandmother would’ve enjoyed doing, herself.

I never knew that side of my grandmother. I only knew the woman who stood at the window, resting her elbow on her stomach, playing with her lips, and fussing about my granddad being late for supper. Or, the woman who offered you Juicy Fruit gum out of the broken coffee cup she kept on the top shelf of her cupboard, every time you came to visit.

But, my mother tells me that when she was growing up, her mother, my grandmother, was a fabric inspector. It probably went hand in hand with her love of sewing. My mother said she’d go over every inch that came through her line, checking for imperfections and snags. If she was lucky, she could bring some of the more flawed ones home. With them she’d make clothes and pillows. She had six daughters and one son, so I’m guessing the pillows came later in life, when she didn’t have to clothe her children.

My mother is not so much of a sewer. I think she tried, but never took to it. So, I almost feel as if it’s a privilege to have gotten the “fabric” gene of my grandmother’s. The last time I checked, I only have one other aunt that shares in the passion. Not one single cousin shows sign of this creative gene.

My post today was inspired because I think it’s so amazing how people have tendencies toward things. My “boyfriend” could be trapped in a city of fascinating architecture and never shut his gaping mouth, commenting on this and that of the structure. And, it’s due to his grandfather’s passion for building. He was a carpenter all his life. I suppose it was only fitting that his grandson grew up with the hunger of knowledge for how things were built and the different architecture styles and so forth.

With one little seed a multitude is planted. I’m curious to see if any of my children will take back after us. My oldest son is chin-deep in film production. They are outside right now filming a skit he’s written. I laugh as I look out the window at all of them participating, knowing that one day when he’s up on stage somewhere, accepting his award for outstanding director of a film production, I can think back to where it all began.

It circles around to knowing your passion. Follow it and it’ll lead you right to your path intended in life.