Monthly Archives: February 2012

A Glimpse into Grief

Last week I discovered that a dear friend’s mother passed away from a long illness.  After I shed a few tears for her, I knew it was time to finish this project.

It started as a personal challenge to use some blue scraps from a Judy Neimeyer quilt I pieced.  (I love Judy Neimeyer’s designs, but sheesh there’s a lot of waste & scraps at the end of the day!)  I decided to make it another exercise in “free-piecing,” so I just started sewing pieces together & played around with various layouts.  Nothing inspired me.

Then a little later, we found out that our neighbor’s son was found dead in his apartment, no sign of foul play, just died of natural causes at the age of 26.  After sitting with his mother one afternoon, I came home full of emotions.  I had that nervous energy one gets & got out the pieces to this project again.  It came to me what this project needed to be.

That day, my neighbor had the realization her son wasn’t coming back.  That he truly was dead & that meant all the little interactions one doesn’t often think about won’t be happening anymore.  He will not be at Sunday dinners, he won’t be calling or texting, he won’t be leaving things at their house anymore.  It’s these situations we grieve- the loss of the future.

To me, these feelings always came with a deep, stabbing pain.  Piercing jabs that cut through my skin to my soul.  I hadn’t felt these in nearly 10 years since my mother died & I was surprised how quickly I remembered them.  I wanted to express this pain in this quilt.

So in this quilt, we have a portion of the pain.  Just a glimpse of what I was feeling.  Start at the lower left hand corner & work your way to the upper right corner.  Feel the engulfing darkness.  The swirling pain.  The innumerable short stabs that can overwhelm to the point of exhaustion.  The greater chaos the further away you travel.

This is my grief.

Basic Charity Challenge

I’ve always thought February was an interesting month.  It’s in the middle of winter, so it’s usually very cold & in our case snowy, which seems to make many people grumpy & depressed.  (I don’t mean to discount anyone who suffers from SAD, I personally get excited over snow & cold weather, so just picture me all happy & bubbly & energetic around all these people who are suffering from SAD.  It’s ok.  They get their revenge in August when I can barely open the blinds.)  Then there’s Valentine’s Day, which I don’t understand at all- why again do we have a special day to show “love?”  And why are we showing that “love” through buying things like flowers, jewelry & sugar loaded candy?  Yeah, I’m at a total loss.

Then there’s the biggest reason I dislike this month & after spending years in non-profit, I feel I have a right to my stance.  It always seems that all the holiday love that was ever present in December is gone come February & few people remember to help fill the food banks or visit the shut ins, or just show they care.

So when I saw that Cara was hosting the Basic Charity Challenge for 2012, I knew I wanted to be involved!

This is short explanation:  Many people in our society truly need the basics to get by everyday- we’re talking toilet paper, coats, food, soap- you get the picture.  All the things many of us Americans actually have extras of in our closets & pantries.  So we, (Cara & other sponsors) are saying “GO- make a difference, DO something!”  Call up your local shelter, food pantry, where ever people in your community go for help & ask what they need.  Make a quick trip to the store (or heck, your own house) & then make the donation.

Then, if you want, upload a photo the Cara’s Flickr group, or leave a comment on her blog, or just email her.  She’ll put your name in the drawing for a bunch of prizes.    I’m giving away some King Tut thread from my etsy shop.  There are lots of other prizes- Kate Spain, Robert Kaufman, Fat Quarter Shop, p.s. i quilt, etc, etc.

But the prizes here aren’t the point (or at least that’s not why I’m donating thread.)  I’m donating to say “Thank you.”  Thank you for taking the time to think about the neediest in our society during the month when many people are thinking about candy & jewelry & flowers.

Winter Sowing on Homekeeping Monday!

Hey everyone!!

I can’t believe it’s the middle of February!!  What happened?  Oh yeah, the migraine, the quilt retreat & that pesky migraine again.

Good news is I have new meds & glasses, so the migraines *should* be going away!  Those & daily ginger tea to stave off the daily nausea that tells me a headache is coming…..

Back to my “real” life….

It’s the middle of February and I have that gardener’s spring itch.  I want to get started on my seeds, tilling my plot & well, just get moving.  But for those of you that live in zone 5, you’re chuckling too because well, it’s too early. (Did the snow forecast give it away?)

Or so I thought!

I came across Winter Sowing on Pinterest. (evil, evil Pinterest!!!  Worst time sucker than Solitaire!)  Did a little research & decided, what the heck- why not try it here in our snow covered state of Nebraska.  What’s there to lose?

So I gathered my recyclables, soil, seeds & duct tape & made one container.  Since I’m taking the recyclable road, my garden is going to grow slowly (you know, as we drink a gallon of milk a week), but that’s ok.  (Only, I wonder what our next door neighbors who are trying to sell their house are thinking!)

So here’s the start of it.  In the meantime I’m researching ways to grow potatoes & shallots (we eat an insane amount of shallots) & lettuce.

And if you’re on Pinterest, you can follow my homekeeping & gardening boards!  Just search for!