Friday, September 18, 2020

What Day Is It?

 If you haven't reached the age of Medicare, you may not realize what a scary question that can be.  You see there are these nice, well-meaning (younger) medical types who ask us mature ones that question regularly.  It's part of the question battery to confirm one's mental condition. 

I'm pretty sure I would have flunked that question this week!

It seems everyday, I've had to figure out what day it is -- thank goodness for date books and calendars!! That and a conversation with a friend a couple days ago made me realize September is on the way out and I've not done one thing to reach my studio goals for the month!?!

I haven't even been in my studio for a week!  What is that all about??

It didn't take a genius to figure it out once I walked through the door!  It's a mess . . . again.  And avoiding it means it's time to tidy up.  So I tackled this mess just inside the door.

As usual, it was a treasure hunt!  I found long-forgotten teaching samples most of which I discarded (!!!) but I kept this cheery stack that will make a sweet little 9-patch quilt.
And my photo album from high school and college -- made quick work of this and pared it down to 10 pictures to keep!
(I feel like I should point this out to my kids so they know I'm trying to thin things down.)
It really didn't take long until I could sweep the rug and then I was entitled to sew!
These are step samples from teaching Double Irish Chain -- I can't even remember the last time I taught that -- why am I saving them???  One of the challenges of dealing with sample pieces is that it's hard to toss them when they are made from pretty fabric and skillfully pieced!  
But I've gotten pretty good at wrangling them into something usable.  I don't do improv piecing  but I do organize random blocks and bits improvisationally! 
It's a little runner (I think) and it's in the "to be" box with that hunk of fabric now, so in the future who knows what it's destiny will be?
A clean floor and a little pieced top entitled me to cut this new charm pak up into 2" hexagons
and lay out a little Christmas runner.  It can be my "sew-off" project over the next couple weeks while I get that set of blocks on the design wall into a finished top.
This morning, I got up all perky from yesterday's studio time and layered up my temperature quilt from 2017 so that I can start hand quilting it this fall!  
So back to what day of the week it is -- I woke up this morning wondering if time was as important two hundred years ago as it is today (probably thanks to history musings related to my current genealogy research, which is also why my desk is so messy).
I suspect it was important to know day from night and recognize the seasons but I don't believe the exactness that we live by now was important.   These past six months have given us a taste of that and might be why I'm experiencing this sense of being adrift in time.
I am getting comfortable with the lack of commitments and a thin schedule.
How about you? 
I wonder if I'll slowly drift back into the modern frenzy when this is finished.
I don't think I want to do that, but I don't want to flunk the date question either!?!

That desk needs a good tidy-up . . . . tomorrow.


Monday, September 7, 2020

Redeeming a Dreary Day

 I'm not sure what triggered such a positive approach to today but I'm grateful for it.  Willie (my faithful black cat) and I were rudely awakened this morning by a monster clap of thunder right outside our bedroom window!?!  A quick look at the local weather radar made it clear that this was the leading edge of a huge thunderstorm that would last the rest of the morning.  

My plan for the day was to work in the garden but . . . . . .  well, at least the rain barrels are full again and I won't have to water all my patio pots or the last few days transplants.

It was obvious I'd get too wet and too dirty even doing some deadheading or starting the end of summer clean-up of the borders.

The morning glories tried to bloom but it's mid-afternoon now and today's blooms should have waited until tomorrow.  I guess they just couldn't avoid their destiny?!? Today was their day to bloom!

Happily, I had the inspiration to change my plan to an activity that would lift my spirits and cross a few things off my never ending list -- I would dedicate this dreary day to finishing!  Finishing something always gives my spirits a big lift!! 

 But first sourdough pancakes with fresh peaches and maple syrup to get the day off to a special start!

Nourished and armed with my first cup of tea for the day, I tackled the onerous task of weaving in yarn ends on a pair of socks I finished knitting yesterday.  Oh, my goodness?!?

It seems to be a universally despised task among knitters but you can't get cute socks like this without doing it!?!
These were designed by Wendy who I follow on Instagram @warmstripes and it's a free pattern she shared for her birthday in August.  You can make your own version!  Click HERE for her pattern.
I made a little modification to customize it for my librarian daughter.
There now, that wasn't so bad!
Time for another cup of tea.
The plan was to have a cup of all my favorites over the course of the day -- good thing I drink mostly decaf!!
Time to address the almost finished charity quilt clogging up my quilting machine.  I just needed to quilt the border but it's been sitting for over a week while I wait for "inspiration".  
Just do it, Mary!!
Oh, and there were threads to bury -- a lot like weaving in yarn ends!?!
Fortunately there weren't many as I've been disciplining myself to bury them as they are created for the past couple years.
After lunch, I adjourned to the studio to bind the quilt and listen to another chapter of A People's History of the United States.  What an interesting book -- its giving me a new perspective on many aspects of  our American history leading me to an improved understanding of the source of some of our society's problems.
My final finishing goal for today is six masks -- I don't enjoy making these so decided instead of letting it drag out all week, I'd just power through them.
My neck and shoulders were screaming for a break so I'm here writing to you but once I finish and figure out a supper plan (what are you having?), I'll head back up and finish them.
So three finishes today -- wahoo!!!
It's doesn't shorten the list too much but I'm feeling good about my day in spite of  the gray brooding weather.  This week, I have plans to layer up a couple more quilts from the "ready shelf" -- one to be machine quilted and one to be hand quilted.

I also wanted to share a series I'm streaming via my PBS station -- Africa's Great Civilizations.
The six episodes are hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and explore the rich cultural history of Africa of which I was completely unaware.  I think one of the keys to eliminating racism in this country is developing an appreciation for the history of Africa and it's people.  They might teach some of this in world history classes these days, but they didn't 50 years ago so I am grateful that PBS is making this series from 2017 available.  If you are interested and your local station isn't streaming it right now, check out your library or better yet, click HERE and buy it from PBS, watch it and gift it to spread the awareness!

Finally, I went out to dinner Saturday night!!
A good time was had by all and they are better veg eaters than their grandmother!
I hope this lingering period of isolation is helping you understand yourself better -- what would you do on a dreary day to lift your spirits?