Monday, November 27, 2006
So I plan to assemble both the Christmas stockings for Kaitlin and Ian this weekend. Now back to my models for a couple of days.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Today I have been playing with my silks trying to decide on my fibers for the French Alphabet Sampler which I plan to start on January 1. I just got my *Mystery Spools* from Vikki Clayton and the reds are *almost* perfect , but they range from a medium to light to lighter red. What I am hoping for is a dark to medium to light variation. I know I can just get the solids and change threads but a nice varigated will be so much simpler. So I am going to beg and plead and try to bribe Vikki into adding a darker version of these OMG reds varigated to the line. Wish me luck.
The house is a mess and even thinking about the Christmas decorating is too much for me at this time. Our Christmas with the Bonhams always comes early--a week or so before the 25th--so I really do need to get a move on. My decorating has been almost non-existant since Bo and my Mom passed away but I am thinking of doing a bit more than my tiny little tree this year. I may even put up a big tree again--after all, this is Kaitlin's first Christmas. I guess we'll see when the time comes. First I really need to get the house cleaned and the rugs shampood. How do you spell *shampood*? This doesn't look right!
Okay, enough for now. I am going to try to finish that stocking!
Friday, November 24, 2006
Instead I stitched on Kaitlin's Christmas stocking--almost finished now-- journaled a bit and relaxed--nothing stressful at all. Now tomorrow is another day. I really must get back to my sorting and organizing and trying to get the house in order for the holidays. Anyone want to help?
Thursday, November 23, 2006
I hope that each of you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep
Counting my Blessings.
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep
Counting my Blessings.
I think about a nursery
Filled with curly little heads
And one by one I count them
As they slumber in their beds.
So when you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep
Counting your Blessings.
I am Thankful for:
My Life--as Life is not guaranteed
My Son--who is my pride and my joy and without whom I would be alone
My Step Family--for they welcomed me and made me one of them
My Friends--both *real* and online for without them I could not survive
My Memories--for those who have gone on to the next life (I miss you all)
My Home--though humble (and messy) as it may be it is sound and comfortable
My Talents--for they were given to me with no strings attached
My Needlework--for it keeps me sane when Life gets crazy
My Health--for even though it is bad it could be much worse
My Faith--for it gets me though each day and without it I hate to think what Life would be
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Join me in Counting Your Blessings.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
On the other hand I am making progress on Kaitlin's Christmas stocking. I am hoping to have it finished this weekend so that I can get it and Ian's stocking assembled. (Ian is the new baby of a dear friend and his stocking was finished a few months ago.) I really want to give these to the mothers soon so they can be hung in plenty of time for the holidays.
So I will keep plugging away and hopefully I will have something to share with you soon.
Monday, November 20, 2006
It is difficult to understand the present or predict the future unless you know a little of the history behind the chain of events. It would be like watching the last five minutes of a movie and then trying to explain the plot! It just doesn’t work. Therefore, if one wants to understand the new Millennium, one must first look at the old one. And if one wants to understand The Mad Stitcher one must first get a peak at what transpired before. For each link in this chain has been either weakened or strengthened by the events that forged it.
At times The Mad Stitcher feels that she has made little contribution to the overall scheme of things. When she was practicing her nursing, she made a valuable contribution to her job, but nothing that someone else couldn’t do. In her opinion she simply did her job. It didn’t matter that she spent that extra minute comforting that frightened child or that she spent her lunchtime with the elderly gentleman who had just lost his wife in surgery. It didn’t matter that she took that extra shift of call because a co-worker needed time off to go to a wedding, or a funeral, or a meeting, or any of the other reasons she witnessed during the thirty years she worked in the Operating/Post Anesthesia Recovery Rooms. It didn’t matter that she had won several Symbol of Excellence awards for her dedicated service. Or that she was always the first to volunteer to work in her community.
When choosing a career, the Mad Stitcher felt she had had to compromise. She had dreamed of becoming a surgeon. But in those days, the early sixties, it wasn’t easy for a woman to get into medical school and it was very expensive. She didn’t think she would qualify for an academic scholarship and she knew her parents couldn’t afford it. So, instead, she compromised. She became a nurse.
When she was younger she had wanted to get away from the small town she called home. She wanted to travel and see more of the world and she felt that her family was holding her back. Again she compromised. She began to resent it. And even now she wonders if that contributed to her decision to marry so young.
The marriage was a mistake from the beginning, but MS had been raised in the belief that marriage was a lifetime commitment. So she stuck it out for five years-five very long years of hell. She worked two jobs to support herself and her baby while her husband did nothing but complain and sit on his…well, you get the idea. It wasn’t until she began to fear for her son that she made the decision to leave.
The Mad Stitcher had been a single parent for most of her son’s childhood. She was Mother, Father, Teacher, Confidant, and everything else her son needed her to be. She wore so many different hats that at times she forgot to be herself. She tried to give him everything he needed and at least a portion of what he wanted. Maybe she loved him too much. She tried to compensate for the absence of a father and tried not to negatively influence her son’s opinions of his father. Maybe she overcompensated.
During these difficult years, the Mad Stitcher had to rely upon her parents more than she would have liked. She never asked for any monetary or financial help, but when she decided to go back to school for her BS degree, she depended on her parents to help with childcare. She knew in the long run she would be better able to provide for her son’s needs but it meant a great deal of sacrifice from everyone. But at her graduation, there was no one present more proud than her son.
As the years went by there were financial difficulties. There were legal difficulties. There were professional problems. There were personal losses. The most devastating was the sudden and totally unexpected death of her wonderful father-followed only months later by the death of her closest friend.
At one of the very lowest points of her life, MS began to wonder just how much more she was expected to bear. She had tolerated so much in her life and didn’t know if she could take any more. She knelt to pray and turned her problems over to the Lord. She left them in his hands and went to work. She knew that He would take care of her. She just didn’t know how. Then one day she met the most remarkable man in the world. She knew immediately that he was the answer to that prayer. He was kind and interesting and loyal. He loved children and was very attentive. Their love was almost instantaneous. MS couldn’t believe it. She wasn’t looking for a man-any man-not as a companion, and especially not as a husband! But here he was and she knew it was meant to be. God certainly does work in mysterious ways!
She was a good wife and mother and tried to make life as comfortable and happy as was possible. She continued to work and enjoy her new contentment. And she thanked God everyday for answering her prayer in such a unique and wonderful way.
Her life became more secure and stable. She had never felt so safe. For the first time, she felt she could begin to repay the people who had been giving her so much through the years. She was able to spend more time with her Mom and help her get back to enjoying life. She spent more time volunteering in her church. And she and her darling husband began to travel and see more of the world.
Her regrets of her past began to fade and the Mad Stitcher realized that the present was all that mattered. She couldn’t change what was but she could make what is the best that it can be.Life never stays the same. It will lift you up to the mountaintops and then drop you into a valley of despair within a heartbeat. The “ups” and “downs” and “curves” are what make it interesting. Of course, there are times when we wish there were more “ups” and fewer “downs” but we can’t have everything! The Mad Stitcher always tried to accept Life’s little surprises with calm and grace-but seldom succeeded. She did, however, learn the hard way to laugh to keep from crying!
by: Kathy Geddes Bonham
Once in a while I have stopped to reflect
On the various things I have been.
And I always believe that if I should blink
The future may never be seen.
I have been first a Daughter and then been a Mom
A Sister, a Lover, and Friend.
A Student, a Teacher, a Stitcher, and Writer
Oh! It’s too much to comprehend.
I have cuddled my child in the dark of the night
When monsters and gremlins abound.
I have kissed bloody elbows to make them feel better
And many lost items I’ve found.
I have cared for the sick and the injured and weak
And comforted those who were lost.
I have driven myself to the point of collapse
And seldom thought of the cost.
I have crossed picket lines when others refused
An attempt to eliminate strife.
I have been a promoter for goodness and love
And a fighter for justice in life.
I have set out to save the world from itself
Though hopeless and bleak from the start.
And dreamed of a better tomorrow for all
One Future, One Nation, One Heart.
Only Fate can decide if I’ve failed or succeeded
If my efforts were justly expressed.
I can only proclaim that whatever may come
I have always given my Best.
Let me always be grateful for all that I have
And feel Blessed in all that I do.
May I always remember that Life is a gift
And treasure it always as new.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Dust in the Wind
A New Millennium… Millennium…Mil-len-ni-um…Don’t you just love that word? It is so alliterative and almost musical. It just flows off the tongue. But what is it? I can’t comprehend it. Yes, I know it is a thousand years. Yes, I know it is a hundred decades. Yes, I know it is twelve hundred months-fifty-two hundred weeks-365,250 days!! But how much is that? It seems unfathomable. Is there any way to make the numbers more manageable-a way to better illustrate the magnitude of what lies ahead? I don’t know.
A few days ago I was rolling up pennies to take to the bank. As I counted out fifty, then a hundred, I looked at them and lined them up 10 x 10 and realized that this represented only a tenth of one thousand. I kept counting. When I had a thousand lying before me I realized that if each penny represented a year, then that would be a millennium. But no, that didn’t help. I just can’t seem to wrap my tiny brain around it!
I can only concentrate on my small portion of that Millennium and hope that I can make the most of it. I don’t want to waste a single moment. Life is too precious.
“As sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives…”
I remember watching the soap opera “Days of our Lives” as a child. I was about 8 or 9 years old at the time and I can still hear the voice of Macdonald Carey as he spoke the opening words. It was the first time I had heard this phrase and I really didn’t understand the underlying meaning. As the years went by and I grew up I became more aware of just how very true these words are. The days do pass by as quickly as does the sand in an hourglass. Each day by itself is just as insignificant as a single grain of sand. Sometimes it can be very irritating. Sometimes it can produce a pearl. But put a lot of them together and soon we have a beach! So does this mean that we can do without that single grain? Ten grains? A hundred grains? How many can we forfeit before it becomes significant?
When thinking of a millennium, I am most often amazed at the very enormity of it. And any word I use doesn’t seem quite “vast” enough. Grandiose…Wondrous…Awesome… Magnificent… I find myself more and more aware of my inadequacies. I can never seem to find the right words. But then again, does it matter?
Would a thousand years make a difference to the child suffering from hunger? Would it change things for the elderly man left alone and unloved? Or to the woman facing years of chemotherapy and treatment for cancer? Or to the young person just diagnosed with Aids? Would it change the face of a nation on the brink of war? So I ask again, does it matter?
We ask questions over and over-- searching for answers from philosophers, religious icons, political leaders, educators and many others sources. But the answers are elusive.
The thing I find most interesting is that we keep asking-- trying to figure things out--to see the future. Is it simply curiosity? Or is it an innate need to investigate--to learn? I don’t know this either. It seems I know less and less each day!
So much can happen in a millennium. And only a fraction of the events will be chronicled for posterity. Fifty-plus generations of human beings will be born and die during that time, and each life will contribute to the fabric of time. I ask myself… “What will be my contribution to this tapestry?” “Will I make a difference?”
After pondering these questions for a while, I realize there is no easy answer. If I were still young and healthy I think I would be able to help make this a better society-as corny as that may sound. I look around and see things that need to be done, things that need to be changed, and I believe I have the knowledge and the intestinal fortitude to do it. But now my prime is passed and my body has betrayed me. So I can’t dwell on what might be. I can’t go back and change decisions I made in the past. I can only hope to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them. I cannot--no, must not--spend time with regrets. So instead I hope to be able to make a difference in at least one life-even in a small way. I will continue to write. Leaving a written record of what life throws my way. I will continue to stitch…Leaving a part of my imagination and talent for those who follow. This will be my “thread” in the great tapestry. But whether or not it will be background fabric or focal point in the grand scheme of things will remain a mystery.
What will the world be like a thousand years from now? Will there be life on Earth? Will there still be “countries” as we know them now? Democracies? Have we traveled to other worlds? Will it be an ideal “Star Trek” type world or a “Jetson’s” hi-tech type world? Will it be more like the “Terminator” in a post apocalyptic society? Or will it be like none of these. I can’t answer these questions. I will most probably be dust in the wind long before the mysteries of life are revealed. Only time will give us the answers. But then, I’m not sure I really want to know….
P.S. As I was posting this, my wonderful son was reading over my shoulder. He stopped me at one point and said “Mom, you have already made a difference in more than one life. You are that
Thursday, November 16, 2006
This is one of my recent finishes I thought I would share with you. It is My Treasures Workstation designed by Judy Odell of Just A Thought Designs. I chose to work with Needle Necessities for this one and love how it turned out. It is stitched on 32 count Star Sapphire Linen and was professionally finished by Judy for me. I showed it off at the beach last week and everyone really liked it also.
I will try to begin catching you up on some of my finishes but you can also go to my website http://www.Madstitcher.com to see some of my finished pieces.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
My *weekend* started on Tuesday evening when Kiki arrived at my house. We spent the evening stitching and catching up and doing last minute things. Wednesday morning arrived and we finished packing up the car and headed out. The trip was at a leisurely pace, a stop for lunch and we arrived at the hotel about 2 pm only to discover that my power chair wouldn't work. Thanks to the wonderful bellmen at the Hilton we got it into the Bellcaptains' office and went to check in. The room wasn't quite ready so we sat in the lobby and met up with Bunny and then with Carol and caught up with the new *retiree*. Upon reaching our suite we were met with the most beautiful view! The ocean and the beach were gorgeous! Bunny and Kiki decided to make a quick trip to Wal-mart (when have we ever gone anywhere and not hit the Wal-mart? It's a tradition, right?) and I rested a bit. I got in touch with The Scooter Store and arranged for someone to repair my chair. I was stitching peacefully when suddenly an *alarm* started going off. I began looking around trying to figure out what it was. I decided it must be the alarm on the clock that someone had set for p.m. instead of a.m. so I got up to turn it off--only it didn't turn off. I kept looking for the cause of the annoying sound and finally determined that it was coming from outside. Just as I went to close the door it stopped. I sat back down to my stitching again and, of course it started back up again! We later discovered that it was the safety alarm on the electric scaffolding from the construction site! That evening Kiki, Bunny and I ate in the hotel resturant and had a great time with George, our waiter.