A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Mother's Day Bliss

Soap Opera to Sanity.

I've probably shared this before, but some years ago an old friend sent a short email in which she apologized for not being more proficient at typing and ordered me to call her and tell her about "the soap opera of [my] life."

I laughed out loud.  Up to that point I had considered myself simply a boring suburban teacher/housewife.  But after a few minutes of reflection, I realized that, yeah, I was living a soap opera.  A few days later I did talk to her and after I dumped some of my sadness, frustration and rage she noted that for all the years we had worked together, she had seen me as one of those "quiet desperation" types.

Yeah.  She's insightful that way.

It took inspiration from someone special and a lot of reading and study and sometimes painful practice, but while I may not be completely out of the drama, I am finding more and more ways to indulge myself in peace.

Such was my pre-Mother's Day.  Total self-indulgence.  Got out of bed a good hour or more after the alarm, and stayed in my flannel jammies for another hour.  After my 15-minute meditation I spent a few minutes in water therapy (watering my potted plants), then tucked into The Happy Room for as long as I wanted.

Now that it has been duly gifted, I can share what I "worked" on.

My mom has fallen several times this year and so we encourage her to use her walker as often as possible.  She has assured me that when she goes down her driveway to the mailbox she uses it and carries a grocery bag for her mail.  So, I made her a bag for her walker.  (Thumbs up to the stitch-y friends who still stop by.  Yes.  Something begun and completed with the month. :) )  The cross-stitched alphabet is from a Cross Stitch Crazy chart on 18-ct Aida.  It decorates the front pocket of the bag.  The rest of the bag is Susan Winget fabric (Mom is addicted and I'm right behind her.)  The flaps button around the the cross bar.

She loved it.  Already has it mapped out (outgoing in the pocket, incoming in the bag).  I admitted to her that part of my deep, dastardly plan was to inspire her to use the walker more often because it is  prettier now.

It was so much fun to do.

I gave up television over six years ago.  I'm happy to report I have no idea who is eating whom or how many guests were murdered at some medieval wedding.  But I do spend way too much time in the facebook community.   I don't apologize.  It's where I mingle with my friends and family.  But I really should limit my mingles to once through, not two hours worth.  So I've been tempting myself away with new routines.

My alarm goes off at 5:30 and 6:00 am.  I am not a morning person, so it was usual to simply turn off the music of the first alarm, then stay in bed checking facebook on the Ipad and playing a game until 6:30 when I would get up, get dressed, make my lunch, make a breakfast drink and then spend an hour or more checking in on facebook.  Again.

Now in the mornings I get up, Ready the Day (make lunch and lay out clothes for work), then tuck in for my meditation.  From there I come to the page.  Three pages, actually, with my breakfast drink.  Once page three is completed, I get dressed and head to work.

I don't even turn on the computer most mornings.

Used to be when I got home from work I'd come immediately to facebook for an hour, then eat something for dinner, then come back to facebook for the evening, then get ready for bed and tuck in with the Ipad until I was ready to fall asleep.  Now I eat my dinner as soon as I get home (which makes it easier to avoid snacking), do whatever chores I feel like doing, take my shower and jammie up early.  I then tuck into the studio and under a headset (lately it's been the score from the movie Emma) with some kind of hand therapy for a couple of hours.

The cross-stitch birds have been the latest.

On my self-indulgent pre-Mother's Day Saturday, I tucked in with the Mother's Day project. My score for the day was Ashley Broder's new album, Two Trees.  At one point I looked to the window and this was my view.

Beautiful, happy music.  Delightful completed piece of stitchery going to my best friend.  Lovely fabric.  And my younger son tending the beginnings of his summer garden.

Simply bliss.

Most years I look forward to summer, but this year I'm practically giddy imagining the fun of it.  No real trip plans - not much discretionary money until my property sells - but between the garden, the studio and my writing plans it should be a productive and rewarding summer.

And quite possibly my last summer break.

If I can get my Dollar Ducklings in a row, I will be able to retire after next year.  I've got my spirit set on a Disney cruise to Alaska summer 2017 to celebrate not only my retirement but my 66th birthday - a Masteryear.  Still contemplating what I will do to celebrate my life up to that special year.  The project that always comes immediately to mind is to finish the novel I started a few years ago.  I think I want to pull together a half dozen special projects (quilts, stitchery, garden) to complete during that year.  Much to reflect on this year to be ready for the blow out.

And then - I've been told - I will travel to Scotland the following year, in my 67th year.  Lanarkshire, Biggar.  Stirling Castle.  Bagpipes and ancestors.  I have a lot of studying to do (and saving $$$) but I want it to be a reality.  I found a little farm I want to stay at, and there is a folk festival in Biggar every October so that might be a good date.

Meanwhile, I want to continue this lovely new ritual-of-the-day.  It's been too long without beauty and texture running through my fingers.

Who wouldn't get addicted to this?

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