Thursday, January 29, 2009

The only constant is change

New years bring many thoughts of resolutions and changes in behavior. Sometimes we do well, sometimes we quickly fall into old habits that are so imbedded that they seem to be part of our nature. So also our routines and habits can be hard to break or shift. We get comfortable in our routine and the way we spend our time. We think we want to change, yet the cost of the shirt seems greater than the desire.

This month has seen a good deal of change in our household. One son off to school for the first time- from a class of 2 to over 2,000. Another it is a shift in classes and work week and now a three day weekend- yipee except it is consumed with studying. Our daughter has quickly found herself in the midst of adult life with a full time job- complete with questionable heating conditions and car having funny noises. today is my turn for a bit of change. I have been enjoying the extra free time that comes with only one student and no co-op. That ends today as co-op begins again.

And though I am teaching the same class topic one of the classes has rotated off and I will receive a new group of students. Change. It will be fun to share drawing basics with them, to help them to see the world in a few basic line categories and get them thinking that if they look carefully they will be able to draw what they see. It will be fun to reconnect with the class I had last semester, to hear of their holiday break and see what they drew over the break. It will be nice to greet and share life with the mom's who are back and the new moms.

Our life has had a few others shifts. We are now attending a leadership training class on Wednesday nights. It means eating a bit earlier, or leaving a bit earlier to join in the community meal that is available at church. It means an hour of downtiime for the kids as the parents learn. It means we have homework and live a bit more deliberately in our days to allow for the added class.

The most joyous change for us is that we are to begin a small group this week. We have long hoped for an anticipated the start of small groups in our church. We came expectant and waited patiently and not so patiently for small groups to begin. This week we meet the other "groupies" and start to share lives and study time togeteher. We hope that it will be as most other small groups we have been in have been- enriching and encouraging. We have friends from past groups still... they help fill the gap that living away from family makes. It makes walking on this foreign soil not so foreign.

So, on this gray and blue January day, a day like many January day I await the change that is before me with expectatiion and understanding... change is here, will come and go and be a constant in my life. As my friend Wendy once told me... run toward the goal you'll get there faster.... I am joyously moving toward the change today to see what the new normal will become!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quilting bug bit me

These are a few of my favorite things... reading, mushy movies and quilting. Of recent they have all been tied together. Over christmas break I took over the upstairs hall way to plan and construct a quilt. I stapled cloth on the wall and moved and pinned pieces until they were right. By the end of break I had finished the quilt top- almost twin size- my largest one in recent years. I had leftover squares so I went on and made a lap quilt and then casting my eye on other leftover fabric cut and sewed until a few more quilts of various sizes had been created. The movie time came as I sewed the binding on by hand- finishing my "hand made" creation.

I have realized that it is the individuality of quilts that is so delightful. I am too hyper to totally stitch by hand, but I hand cut, hand piece, hand guide the cloth through the machine and then hand guide it again to machine quilt. Most of the time I hand stitch the last of the binding on to finish the quilt. Each one is covered with love and prayer for the intended as I sew, sew, sew. That is not something you can get from China!

So the quilt bug has hit. I am savoring my free time to cut and assemble quilts... not content until the top is quilted to the backing and the binding its on. I have had conversations with gals about what colors delightt them. We have enjoyed dreaming together and planning a blessing for a loved one as we think of fabric and rooms that will be brightened by a wall quilt. I am jazzed as I think of the joy that will come as folks gaze on the beauty of color and and design. I have begun to see art in the quilts. I see personality start to come through. I see them as personal if allowed to be.

A relative saw my quilt pictures on facebook and so we planned a quilt wall hanging together. Her daughter admired and she too was in my thoughts when fabric jumped out at me. Presently one small quilt is done, another awaits time under the machine for quilting. I have put lots of thought into the quilt for my MIL, as she is a light color person , where I enjoy variety. When it was time to choose paint she suggested lavender, I went for taupe or burgundy. Contrast yet we have commonality. Yesterday I found her focus fabric- sky with butterflies and vines. lots of color, many of her liking an a few of mine- great for log cabin design. Most of all it will be filled with love and thoughts of her as I cut and create.

My goal amidst my quilt fever is to not accumulate tons of scraps, but rather to use up as I go and keep moving on to new projects and trying new colors and patterns. This past month I have continued on that vein. As I hit the MLK sale at Hancock's yesterday, looking at fabric, I renewed my resolve that I will not use fabrick I dont' like.

My thinking is this- if I dont like it I wont want to work with it, and I wont enjoy the time of creation. Quilting, for me is a joy and recreation, so I can choose to be a bit picky about what I do. So I wont compromise and use colors that really dont belong together. The batik that I rescued from a daughters failed project that was perfect colors for "snot rags" will not be making an appearance in my quilts as I just dont like the colors enough to work with them. It is worth waiting for the right fabric rather than devote time and $$ to something in a rush and then dislike the outcome because of color or quality being off. Hmmm, I guess amidst my hyperactivity I am a wee bit of a quilt snob wanting quality not just quantity.

I think my quilting frenzy will last a few more months, then spring will come and outdoors I will head. So I have lined up my projects for others and myself for a little while and the window is closed at present for anything else new. My brain is full and a bit weary. Hmmm, maybe I am a bit overdoing it????? Maybe its time to find a chick flick, some hand stitching or not and veg on the couch as I contemplate life with my feet up!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Never Enough Time

We all get the same amount of time yet for some it is too much in a day, for others there seems to be never enough. Strange how the same allotment can vary so much. Some days I find the hours drag, other days I am stretched to do all I desire.

As I looked over my blog this evening I realized that I have been drawn away from writing by the instant fun of facebook. We have found it a place to reconnect with friends from as far back as high school and as recent as the neighbor across the street. Daily it draws us in to see what is happening in the lives of our friends and relatives as well as check on recent pics that are posted.

Another time sucker for me is my quilting projects. I am having fun mixing colors and fabrics and creating blessings for some of the gals in my family. What fun to plan a surprise or conspire with them as they share favorite colors and activites. Sometimes I have to imagine what will delight, other times I realize that for a neglected loved one, the blessing of something made for them alone is such a rare treat that it will bless just by being given. So, my spare minutes are being used in the sewing room with great joy.

All that to say I have been neglecting my writing. My daughter drew my attention back to my blog with the encouragement to update the status of life here, as it has changed. She is finding life a bit different these days as she is now gainfully employed full time. It was a God job- one He arranged the connections and conversations and timing on.

Just as folks were heading back to school and she was finding time heavy on her hands she was called, interviewed and hired. At present it is a month project, yet we wonder if more may follow. She is getting a taste of the business world and working at a job that is not of a favorite occupation, yet pays $$ and gives good skills background. So, she is earning college $$ and learning about life in a different direction. Some days I am sure she wishes for the leisure of home, yet soon enough she'd be wishing for something to fill her days.... so on she types, and sorts and files and enters the adult world ranks.

So, any readers who stop in now and again, sorry for the neglect. The words within are piling up and facebook isnt quite the forum for reflection that toneylife provides so I will be working on time management skills within.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New life in the New Year

Firsts for the first month of the year

  • first semester our oldest will have Fridays off
  • first semester my daughter is not in school and now working full time for the first time
  • first semester that my son will be in school outside of our house
  • first semester that the youngest is the only student at home
We find ourself, again in the midst of change. The cheese continues to move. Hmmm, maybe I should just give up eating cheese, might simplify my life and save the budget a bit. Oh if it were only so simple. Life brings change, movement and growth.

My neighbor encouraged me this weekend with his words "Let him go" as in , let your son grow up. learn and stop mothering. A tough challenge for this mom who so enjoys mothering- yet sage advice that keeps reaching my ear and heart. I keep finding myself in the midst of "mothering" or about to and more and more catching myself before speaking mothering words. A tough thing to stand by and allow children the space to test the waters of life, tread water a bit and find their stride to keep them afloat. They know we are standing ready for them, our hearts long for them to suceed well, but it means letting go and letting them "risk" and strive even as we do a child learnign to walk.

So this semester as some find new routines, new locations and new situations there is also newness for me. Perhaps a few more hours to fill in the middle of the day, perhaps new focus on lessons for the youngest or perhaps another season of passing the baton to my young lady in the making... who knows what lies ahead. I do know that this journey in the maze, chasing the cheese has one constant.... change.

Hmm... the smoked cheddar sure smells good, time to find the crackers and follow the scent.