Sunday, June 30, 2013


In the ongoing theme of keeping my hands busy while my thoughts and emotions run a muck,  I started several (more) projects this month.     There isn't enough time in a week to post all the already started and still not finished things I have going, but these are the newest ones to join the craft pile.
I saw a tutorial for the cutest little microwave bowl potholders, and had to try them.   I have two of them cut out and ready to measure and sew.   It looks like this project will go quickly, assuming I ever start it!    If I buy bowls to go inside, I think they will make really cute gifts!
I also saw a great chevron quilt tutorial, and since I was given a ton of holiday fabrics that someone was planning to throw away (yards and yards of fabric, already stuffed into trash bags and on their way to the dumpster!!!), I decided that there was no reason in the world not to start this, too.    I'm using the shamrock fabrics to start, and will probably try to find a tartan plaid for accent zig-zags to go in between so it isn't entirely shamrocks, because I think I need another color to balance it out -- I haven't quite made a decision about that, but an investigative trip to JoAnn's is on my list of undone-things to do today.  
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my Grands want little outfits for their stuffed toys for an upcoming trip.   The requested "red shirt and sun hat" is in process, but I need to decide on some trims to 'cuten' it up before I can call is finished.
And last but not least, I want to make zipper bags to put the little outfits in for their travels.   Those are cut and ready to sew -- another short project that is just waiting for my energy meter to go up!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Inch by Inch

I guess it's true for everybody that the good times in life seem to fly by, while the harder times just drag on for what feels like forever.   I've hit those hard times myself, although my life is easier than usual right now.   But friends are in some of those hard patches, and there's nothing I can do except stand on the sidelines and shout encouragement.   And even that has to be done rarely, because they are too overwhelmed to deal even with support.    I've discovered that I am a wanna-bee fixer, so it's hard for me to just sit and wait.   I tell them, and my experience convinces me, that there is daylight on the other side of the tunnel, but none of us can predict how long that tunnel is and there is no more helpless feeling than having to stand by while people you love are suffering.   

So meanwhile, I try to keep my hands and my mind busy.   Fortunately there's always plenty to do!   I won some absolutely fantastic fat quarters from Random Thoughts . . .do or di last month, and I am loving them to pieces.   Pieces, get it?  Making quilty little bags and things.
I've been working on little outfits for my Grands' stuffed animals because they wanted something special for them to wear on vacation.   This one is my favorite!

And I finally bought myself a new laptop - the new MacBook Air, yay! -- which means that I also got a whole slew of new Apps,  and am planning to try some digital modes of amateur radio.    I didn't think I'd be interested in getting into the digital side of the hobby, but learned recently that there is a need for digital operators in our local emergency agencies.
My "CW" (or Morse Code) work continues, and I finally feel like I am getting better.   Copying a solid 7 wpm, and hoping the improvement will continue!    I'm hoping to build a home 'shack' so that I can finally do some CW on air.   I could go to a friend's house and use his radio, but I feel shy experimenting with this foreign world in front of him, no matter how silly that may be.    Even though I know he would be cheering me on and not judging me, I would feel his eyes and ears on me, no matter how far he removed himself to the other side of his house.    Here at home, with no one watching, I think I will be more likely to venture out.   Fingers crossed that I am able to have something set up before summers' end.

And there's always the unexpected to deal with.   Shouldda expected that emergency repairs would be in order right after I spent all my discretionary money on that fabulous laptop!   Part of the pipe under my bathroom sink rusted out today and has to be replaced, but the standard replacement parts didn't fit -- looks like maybe it was a custom job -- and of course the plumber is closed today.      Lucky me, at least I have another bathroom!  :)
And the last big rain brought water into my basement -- the basement I was FINALLY getting organized!    I tell my grief groups to try to be grateful for frustrations because they keep us moving, even when we don't feel much like doing anything.   Guess it's time for me to walk my talk! 

Hope your weekend is going well! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Always Jumping

I make mistakes. I jump to conclusions, rarely good ones. I understand that this is a human characteristic and that I am not, cannot expect to be perfect.  What I find harder to understand is that I jump to the same conclusions, sometimes even with the same people over and over and over again, even when I repeatedly discover that I was wrong.   Over and over I find myself believing, reacting, mourning even, some slight, some insult, some betrayal, only to discover over and over that it never happened.  That I have, again, misunderstood.   Somehow, the dishonest relationships of the past insinuate themselves into the relationships of the present, convincing me that this friend, this acquaintance, this coworker, will behave, has behaved, the same as someone in my past.   And later I realize that if my feelings were hurt, it was my own fears that hurt them, and not the friend at all.  I am reminded, again, how important it is to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but it is a constant struggle for me to give people the freedom to actually betray me, or not, without jumping to that conclusion on my own.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Really, I'm Fine


The older I get, the more I understand the importance of living in the moment.   But my unnoticed expectations are still my undoing day after day after day, no matter how well I think I've learned my lesson.  I am well, I am sheltered, I am warm and too well fed.  But my mind goes straight to the thing I do not have, whatever that thing is at the moment.  I am missing the presence of a friend, a letter, a different job, a different meal, a different something, and suddenly I am discontent.  And still after all these years, before I know it, I've thought or voiced or acted on the complaint that would never have entered my mind if only I could have stayed in the moment, where everything was fine.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Busy Hands

I've been bored lately,  wishing I could be spending time with people who are otherwise occupied this week, so I've been trying to stay busy.   I've made 6 zipper pouches and 6 potholders so far to put away as gifts.

When I got bored with pouches and potholders, I bought a skein of loopy yarn, hoping that it would knit up into an interesting scarf, but the instructions called for a knotted scarf instead.   It took about 3 minutes to make and is kind of cute, although I'm not sure who will use it.    
I am, of course, still working on Morse Code.   I bought a new 'App" that plays quotations for me to de-code, and I love having access to a constant supply of new material without having to bother someone to send it to me.   But the App speeds are disappointing -- the slowest speed is 5 words per minute which, it turns out, is way too slow for me.  (Yay!)   But the next speed up is 12 words a minute which is, for sure, way too fast for me.    Frustrating!    But the work goes on.  :)

So I have been busying myself with busy work.   Hopefully my truly busy friends and family will get their more pressing tasks done soon so that I can spend some time with my Peeps again and stop trying to make happy hands out of my busy hands.  :)   The sun is shining, the weather is cool and pleasant, and I am ready for some fun!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Skill Building

Lots of fun stuff going on!     I had a lovely drive yesterday to an adjoining county, where I filed the marriage license for the couple I married this weekend.   What a cute couple!    Our Michigan weather is perfect for me right now -- cool nights, pleasant days, and enough breeze to keep the mosquitoes at bay.    Love it!

After I got back from the clerk's office, my radio Friend and I built and tested a portable Yagi antenna together yesterday -- my first!    It's made out of PVC pipe and and a measuring tape, and was a lot of fun and not difficult since he was there to explain the steps that were missing from the instructions.   He and a local search and rescue group are using it today to track a balloon that is being released by a local high school with a radio transmitter inside, so we'll find out how well it really works.     Wish I could have gone along but I'm not part of the group and didn't want to push myself in, so I'll go to work instead (sigh).   But I'm looking forward to feedback on how the antenna performs!   My plan is to build another, hopefully with his help, to use at home so that I can reach more local repeaters.
I am still regularly working on my Morse Code and (not as frequently as I should) on my next level radio exam, but I've carved out a little time to work on little zipper pouches and pot holders, from scraps in my stash, to put away as little gifts -- none of them are perfect yet, but they are slowly getting better, or so I tell myself. 
And thanks to the inspiration from a 'gift' of some acorn caps recently, I've started to make more pipe cleaner dolls, just in time for summer vacation and more adventures with the Grands.   I learned about this adorable craft from Emily at The Nest, who does so many clever things, and we all love them.    My granddaughter wants to put on the faces, so I will just continue to build and stack them up until she is ready to add her special touches.  :)