Friday, July 23, 2021

Re-entry and a "pin ball" life style

Hi, there -- July seems to be rushing along, doesn't it?  I'm not always a fan of July, but this year it could be longer or go slower?  We had a bunch of rain which has made the gardens lush and productive and the success of my gardening this summer has me out there more than ever.

I love turning into my driveway because at this time of year, it looks like I live out in the country, not in a suburb.
The flowers are throbbing with interesting insects and it's "bio-blitz" season for bees and butterflies so I'm looking for "new-to-me" specimens and trying to learn to ID bumblebees on the fly (birds are easier).
Monarch butterfly fostering season is in full swing -- 15 so far with more coming!
They are quite ravenous and I'm glad I have so much milkweed growing in my garden!
How many caterpillars can you find?
There's been some hard news among friends this month -- illnesses mostly and a death, but having a chance to spend time with my children and their families has kept me in a good place.  My oldest grandson stayed with me for a few days -- so much fun!!  It was the first time he had been with the triplets since they were six months old!  It didn't take long for them to bond!!

Marching through the Zoo!!

His visit ended with an "all-family" camping gathering and it was fun to watch everyone enjoy doing things together - swimming, coloring, talking, eating!!
Eighteen months without having all of them together was too long and I hope we don't have a repeat of that!!
The rest of life is like a "pin ball" game -- my mind doesn't settle in one place for long and I hope it's just the result of more freedom to move about.  My "to-do" lists are shorter in length and spread over a longer time span -- about a dozen tasks I hope to accomplish over the course of a week instead of long daily lists. It's challenging to make it from point A to point B without stopping to do "something else" -- go upstairs to take a picture for the blog and "oh, that fabric will be the perfect binding";
taking the trash out and weeding along the way; going down to the laundry and coming back with a popsicle -- tell me you still eat popsicles!!

It seems okay right now, this pin ball approach -- lots of little things are getting done and eventually I make it through the list.  The list keeps me focused but the detours are okay, too.
 (Shortly, I'll be able to cross "write blogpost" off the list because the end of this week looms large!!)

The "stitching" part of my life is focused on two goals this month -- finish quilt top number 11 (that's why I picked out that binding fabric) and finish quilt top number 12.   Last week was rainy and now a cooler week have enabled me to stay focused on hand quilting my dodecagon top .  Last evening, I calculated how much area is left and with just a bit over a week July, I believe I can accomplish this!!  Might not get it bound but that's a piece of cake.  I started the hand quilting early in January.
These two finishes will put me 57% of the way to my #quilt21in2021 goal in a timespan of 58% of the year ( I love to calculate nerdy little numbers like that).  But as you know, the first half of a goal is always easier than the second half.  So still nine quilt tops to go.  I have decided to send out one top for sure and maybe two to be quilted for me.  I'd like to be finished in November before the holiday sewing itch makes it's annual appearance.

I've not done any serious piecing all year with my focus on quilting and I'm really, really, really getting the itch to do some piecing right now.  This needs to get off the design wall  . . . . . . .
and a couple new projects . . . . okay, four new projects . . .  are vying for my attention?!?
I actually sorted this layer cake into possible block combos a couple days ago for a new pattern
and a weekly series of block patterns are being accumulated for this layer cake???
Like I said, a pin ball brain.

I hope you are finding a comfortable pace for re-entry into public life.  I attended a large funeral yesterday and was surprised by how anxious I became -- actually went home at the end of the service, had a cup of tea and knit a few rows of a sock, then returned for the after-gathering.  Some around me seem to be back to full throttle but I'm pretty content to stay close to home and focus on the most important folks in my life.  I am heading out next week to do a presentation for a local quilt guild about my push to #quilt21in2021 -- first public talk in 3 years -- I hope my speaking skill isn't too rusty!

I believe it's important to determine our own re-entry pace.  Whether it's the limited preferences of an introvert who has found a new understanding of how comfortable they are with themselves or the ecstatic pace of an extrovert who has spent the past year and half chaffing at the bit, there is no right or wrong way to do it.  What is best for you is okay!!  I'm definitely trying to think through the personal impacts of this curious period of time we are traversing and embrace the best of it and learn from the hardest of it.  I won't go back to everything.  I'll focus on the most important to me aspects of my life. 

What revelations have you had that you hope to carry forward with you?

I'll be back in a week or so with some serious pictures of these two finishes that are on the horizon!!


(While writing and editing this post, I watered the front gardens, started supper including finishing up sourdough baguettes, ate a coffee popsicle, and answered a couple texts messages.)