Say goodbye to 2017 (Good riddance?) Hello, 2018 (Here’s hoping!)

My word of the year is MINDFUL. (I thought it was going to be JOY.  Really, I thought I had this years word taken care of early.) That’s what I get for thinking I had control of this little yearly exercise; as you hear me whine every year, I don’t get to pick the word. It picks me.

MINDFUL? Certainly, it’s a word that requires a bit of thinking—I just got up for a sweater; it’s chilly here in the studio at the moment, and I know I had a sweater when I came home. And so, I looked in two spots in the house and then went and found a different one.  And I returned to sit down, and guess what I had thoughtlessly draped over the chair I was sitting on? THAT is not a mindful experience!

But, I wanted JOY!! That was the word. I knew it! I am in the middle of my first Festival of KonMari-ing my home, keeping only those things that spark JOY! Joy, as opposed to minimalism. I am somewhat wary, having read the books, to become so devoted so quickly that I toss out all my everything, simply because it doesn’t bring me JOY.

I am on a message board where others are on this journey, and I won’t lie, as many of their experiences I am envious of, there are just as many who I fear are going too gung-ho, too quickly and they may regret it.  I am aware that things are just that–THINGS. But, I have reservations when they get to the place that they are tossing memories like so much old garbage. The throwing out of letters, of PHOTOS or selling of heirlooms because they are essentially on a “Fad Diet “… What happens when they no longer are satisfied with nothing and want the old back? Yes, you can buy new everything except new memories and tangible reminders of such. (I digress…this is a word of the year post. But feel free to contact me to talk about KonMari I’ve added this hyper-link because she seems to be doing it right –this isn’t a one-weekend slog!)

But, as this word JOY has been with me while I am doing my modified exercises toward the goal not of nothing, but of only things that spark joy, the word MINDFUL popped up.  And wouldn’t leave.

And then I got this for Christmas.


I can’t throw away all my anything, because JOY to me comes from knowing I can go into a drawer and pull out that random something or other, rather than the stress and expense of having to stop by the store to buy a new one of something all the time. I find JOY not in having a butter knife that I can turn to when I have a screw that needs to be tightened, but a toolbox with a screwdriver. Yes, if I was in a pinch, a butter knife would do the trick. I don’t want to live my entire life in a pinch, however.

Mindful means that as I Kon Mari’ed all my shirts, I got rid of a lot of things that didn’t fit well, or that didn’t look good. I still have more than I NEED, of course I do. (What appealed to me at the beginning is that she doesn’t say you can only have 4 or 6 shirts, but to keep only the shirts that bring you joy, whatever the number)  I tossed, folded, organized and limited the space for the shirts. But, now, if I am MINDFUL of that drawer, and I am honest about what is in there, I am aware that I am wearing still only a fraction of what I kept. What I felt I needed.

So, MINDFUL. Doing one thing at a time, rather than multi-tasking?  Sure. That is a tough one. Trying to be present in the moment…. choosing that quilt pattern and settling down to watch it develop into a gift and thinking about how the person may react? I can do that. Not mindlessly cutting fabric because it’s there, but thinking through what I hope to accomplish, and being present for that time. Vacuuming. Hmmm….that’s a mindless activity! There’s 14-16 hours that I am awake…am I MINDFUL of the things that happen, the interactions I have, the responses I give or things that are said? We shall see!

I know you want to see them, so here are (links to all the other Words of the year with which I have indulged myself ….) Happy NEW YEAR!!!!

(Hey, BY THE WAY, THIS was my 1,000th post!!!!)

And this article, just found it works with the MINDFUL part of things… not so much to save or not spend, but to be aware ….


INFO dumping…

I have about a half dozen thoughts, that could be posted tonight, but I don’t know if I’m really in the mood to flesh any one of them out at the moment, so I think just a random sampling of what’s rolling around in my head would be enough (or possibly WAY too much for some)

So, without further ado and with absolutely no order to the listing….







Last week Timmy and I went to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and I had a blast taking some lovely floral shots. That you can’t see. Because of(let me see) # 6. The computer. Right, recall that computer I got from Joe for my birthday? It’s great. Wonderful (no, Really Joe, i MEAN IT, Thanks!!!) However, it and I have had a difference of opinion on where I store software, whether I wanted all 110,000 messages sent to my new OUTLOOK, etc.

But now, basically, I am good to go. Except for the monitor which is small (I didn’t think it was, I thought it the size of a house, but the SCREEN part of the monitor is SMALL!!!) and the fact that my Photoshop Elements claims a file is missing and won’t upload. So, I just ordered myself Elements 6.0 and when it arrives, I will be able to share images (I mean, I COULD…but I shot in RAW, and they are HUGE…..)

Ok, that was the flowers, part one. Part two is that I planted seeds on Saturday last, and so of course the deluge came. I am relatively certain that most of my seeds were washed away, and I will see them in the gully (sorry Timmy) or in some unsuspecting neighbors yard. I am talking something like 4 inches of rain on Sunday, ok?? A little tiny seed probably didn’t have a chance. 

In any event, it was all part of my annual effort to prove I AM NOT A PESSIMIST!!! I insist on planting, I am sure success will be mine, this time. I forget, except intellectually, what it feels like in the summer, at 103 in the front southern facing yard. I forget that the weeds are barely capable of surviving the voles/moles that are tunnelling through our entire front yard. ( I know there is a difference between the two creatures, but if I google them I will have to look at some icky creature. Its ok, thanks)

I determined after 4 years ( I AM teachable) not to spend too much money on plants, because it seems they just cant make it. I bought seeds. Except for two plants. One of which was stolen. Yep, yanked up right out of the garden a gaping hole left. It was either a vole/mole or a squirrel because they left the name tag.

 Speaking of squirrels. I am thinking of opening a spa for them, right here in my back yard. Location, location, location!  I watched a squirrel yesterday collecting seeds from the scene of the crime the day before, when he or his cohorts were caught hanging by their rear legs, and swinging their bodies up at an unnatural angle in order to stick their head into the bird feeder. The cheap bird feeder I bought when I decided we would see how the birds liked our yard, which they have promptly broken by all their acrobatics.  Well, the jury is out on the birds, but the squirrels are guilty!!! 

After said squirrel gorged himself on stolen seed, he pranced into my screened in gazebo, stood on the adirondak chair and stopped for a drink of water that had pooled on the side table. Then he proceeded to climb up onto the corner shelves of the gazebo, and stretch out for a nap under the shade of the roof.

 Ok, so WRITING. I finally have completed an outline for The Big Chill,  my fan fic in progress for over a year. It’s down to 6 songs. I know (kind of) whats going to happen in each of them!! hooray!! ( wow, I finished a thought in 3 sentences!!)

Onto quilting. Ah, quilting. My other love. I have started three (shush, you DID NOT hear that) projects. And have made headway on a fourth. I am working currently on a Wild Goose Chase made entirely of batiks and black. I have one-third of the blocks finished.

I started (although I swore I would wait)  on my Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler quilt. Two blocks so far. But there are 140. So I have some time yet to go. Eithne and Robin think they will join me on this journey.

And of course I FINALLY started on the challenge quilt Eithne proposed. I have 1 of four named blocks completed. Waiting on receipt of the other 5 block names.

And then there is the TQP challenge, 2008. Which as a challenge goes is easy. Using your initials, choose three colors and make a quilt. Wonderful. Easy-peasy. Except I designed the quilt. And then messed up the measurements and cut and stitched 24 nine patch blocks too small.  No, not really too small, just too small for me to do do the alternating block as a paper pieced block. I am ready to shoot myself after the first 2/3 of one block!!! So I re-drafted the pattern to enlarge that block to 10 inches from 6 so that I would still have hair left when I was finished.  I do have to master Paper Piecing if I expect to get through Sylvia. But — easy steps.

Joy?– Or control? What causes, in this day and age, with all of the incredibly serious, earth changing events currently at play,…. what causes someone to lose their minds over the minutiae of life? Is it because they truly DON’T have any worries?? They know of no-one suffering a great illness, or worrying whether their job is secure, or has family in Iraq, or, or, or…..

Today, a customer called me. (I custom frame art) She had brought her art BACK to me to re-paper, because the BACK of the frame was wavy, bubbly, whatever. I agreed it didn’t look awesome as far as that all went, and  was flummoxed by the adhesive not sticking. I re-did them myself this time, so I KNOW what they looked like. Mind you, the frame was great, the stitching, etc, not a single complaint on any of the 5 pieces. But she swore the ‘only’ thing she could see whenever she walked by them was the gap between the paper and the frame. (I know, WHERE are they hanging anyway?? AT what angle is she viewing them?)

Her husband picked them up the other day. We looked them over and found them acceptable. Today she got home from her vacation and called me, yelling at me, wanting to know what I could do to fix them, what kind of a guarantee did we have, what kind of materials am I using? You get the picture, right? Remember, from the front they are PERFECT. It’s not as if scraps of backing paper are sticking randomly out. It is the back. The side that faces the WALL. 

So, the question I leave you with…. is this person truly that Anal? Does she really think this is an IMPORTANT issue?  Or is her world spinning so fast off of its axis that THIS is the only thing she thinks is within her control?

Anniversary… SIX, yep count’em, SIX years ago Sunday  we got married. And we agree we are so well suited. Indeed I went out yesterday and bought Timmy a gift. You see he has recently taken up Golf.

And today, I watched as he emptied out his trunk when he got home. Yep, I stood there and watched him pull out of his trunk a golf bag. And not ANY OLD golf bag, but indeed the exact one whose twin is currently hiding in the guest room, now apparently awaiting return…

Yep, we belong together!