De River in Egypt

You know.  De Nile.  

Last Friday, we had dinner with friends.  Three of the four of us had lost our Mothers in the last 2 years.  And, I think I got a glimpse of how I'm dealing with my own loss.  

I think I'm doing okay.  I have occasional bouts of anger that's above and beyond the situation, but I've managed to express that without saying or doing anything I can't recognize and apologize for.  Last week was a very angry week.  At nothing.  Except I was angry about the things I couldn't do, things I couldn't remember or things I've struggled to learn.  Angry at my own "deficiencies".   And, honestly, that's a familiar feeling from childhood, so I can't deny that it's part of my grieving.   I worked through it.  I didn't give up.  And I moved forward into this week for a fresh start.  I believe it will be a better week because of it.  

I've also kept my hands busy.  That's helped.  Busy hands leave my brain free to explore what I'm feeling and to work through feelings as they come up.  I was working on a sweater yesterday while TV was on in the background and the nicest childhood memory popped up and I thought about it and tried to remember every detail I could.  Everyone was happy.  I didn't let myself delve into what might have happened after or let any unpleasant memory come in and cloud the happy memory.  I just sat back and remembered what it was like to be a kid, knowing the adults were taking care of everything and all my sister and I needed to do was have fun.  And, we did.  

The sweater I was working on is this one.  I got all the seams sewn this weekend and about half the thread tails woven in.  That let me try it on and it fits perfect!

I mentioned that I was getting the best seams on this sweater that I've ever had.  First, I skip the first stitch of every row.  That gives me a nice selvage where I can see the stitches I'm sewing together.  And, instead of sewing them with a whip stitch, I used a crochet hook and pulled up a loop, caught the first stitches on each side with the hook and pulled a loop through those and the original loop.  It makes a ridge on the inside

but look how nice it is from the outside.  

The Stella D'oro daylily is having a second bloom.  This little daylily has exceeded expectations.  

And the Texas Red Star Hibiscus has started to bloom.  The flowers are about 6 inches across.  This plant is in the wrong place, but it's gotten pretty large and I'm afraid to try to move it.  I have a seedling from it and I moved it to what I think will be a better place, but it's in it's sleep year (1st year they sleep, 2nd year they creep, 3rd year they leap...wisdom from Rob) so I'm not going to know whether it's a better spot for a year or two.  

In the vein of keeping my hands busy, I've decided to try to learn the ukulele.  It's supposed to be an easy instrument to learn.  I've done my first online lesson and am practicing fingering of the first three chords.  I practice until my hand cramps, so I'm building up muscles there, too.  It's supposed to be a 10 day course, but it's going to take me longer because I want to spend time fully understanding and practicing each lesson.  We will see how long this lasts.  I'm already tired of You Are My Sunshine. 😂

Anyway, our friends seem to be having more De Nile than me.  One seems stuck in the angry phase, which she is suppressing, and I think the other one needs someone to talk to that's not stuck in the angry phase.  But, I'm no shrink and it's entirely possible that they're doing great and I'm the one with the problem.  

That's the beauty of the brain.  It's not like math where there's only one answer.  There are as many mental health answers as there are people on earth.  And, then some.  

Someone anonymously replied to an older post that trump's followers wouldn't turn their backs on him.  They're clearly not paying attention.  his supporters are turning their backs on his crazy every day.  Not a lot at a time.  But, a few, every time he opens his mouth.  

Everybody have a great week!  If you're dealing with something hard, you have my empathy.  I get it and hope you're finding ways to deal with it that bring you peace.  Hang in there.  Recovering is just letting things get a little easier every day.  



Being "on"

Last week was full.  From the time Rob dropped me at the airport until the time he picked me up, I was with co-workers, being "on".  And, not just "on" but "work on", so no swearing.  It was exhausting.  But, it was also nice.  I'm always surprised at the people that go out of their way to spend time with me.  The people I've kept up with over the years and helped with projects, but also the ousiders and people on the fringes that I've taken time to get to know while I was living on the fringes.  

I don't really fit into the whole best friend at work thing.  I've done that.  It never ended well and now, I like having friends at work, but I also like having a life outside of work.  When I go to events like this, I generally find myself on the fringes of the group, sitting with other people that are on the fringes, having dinner with them, talking, laughing.  Making friends.  I've done that so long that the fringe has become its own group and we find one another's tables and sit together in introverted quiet.  

There's one young man.  He fits somewhere along the spectrum, very very smart, but struggles interacting with others.  When he and I started working together, he could only speak short sentences by looking down and letting his hair fall over his face.  I sat at his table for lunch years ago and we've remained in contact since.  He's gotten better and better at interacting.  He recorded a congratulations to include in my 40 year anniversary video where he looked straight into the camera and spoke.  And, it was a wonderful thing to see and when l saw him at the conference, I thanked him.  On the last day, when we were all saying goodbye, he sought me out.  I think most of us realized this is likely my last one of these conferences.  And, he shook my hand and looked me in the eye.  And, I was moved.  

This was the view out my hotel window, looking out over the Lake Erie.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is on the right and the Cleveland Browns stadium is on the left.  Not sure what the older buildings are, but I'm betting courthouses or city offices.  

It was good to catch up with friends, old and new.  I'm a resource for new employees, so I usually get a call when someone is standing on the ledge, ready to jump ship, confused and feeling lonely.  I'm not often the first person they call, but I'm usually the one that will put other things aside to talk them off the ledge, make time to show them what they need, and help them through what feels like a crisis.  I've only recently acknowledged that this is a big part of my self esteem.  I get to think of myself as a hero.  And, I wonder where I'm going to get that when I retire.    

This closet plant (Spathiphyllum) was glad to see me home.  This is one of the happiest plants I have right now.  It lives outside in summer and loves this spot where it gets early morning sun and shade the rest of the day.  

In the spirit of finishing things, I finished the scarves I started for me and Rob earlier in the year.  Rob's is made from some multi color wool yarn he gave me for Christmas a couple years ago alternating with some deep red I had left from a sweater.  Mine is made from some nice wool we found in a discount store several years ago.  They're the same pattern, but with custom variations for length and width.  

Everybody have a great week!  I was so happy to see all the pride banners in airports and restaurants when we were traveling.  It's nice to feel seen in this climate of attacking gays to pump up false christian bonafides in society.   You don't have to be gay to acknowledge Pride.  And, you never know what it will mean to someone when you do.   



Nothing happened

 and I didn't take pictures of it.  

I looked through my camera roll and there was nothing there. A couple of pictures of daylilies you've already seen and a couple of flower bed pics.  Last week was kind of crazy.  

We had the air conditioning serviced and found out we need a part...that's on back order and no idea when it will come in.  Warranties are trying our patience.  Our a/c is working, but it's battling increasing heat outside.  We haven't had too much trouble out of it, but yesterday I made tomato jam and that wasn't a good idea.  It cooks for about 3.5 hours plus water bathing the jars and the humidity built up in the house and for a little while, the whole house got warm.  It's recovered now and I won't be planning any more big cooking events until it's repaired.  

This side of the yard caught my eye yesterday.  It's looking really good.  A good mix of plants that rise and shine, then merge into the background and build up energy for next year.  

I spent as much time outside as I could over the weekend, but the humidity was exhausting.  I did a little weeding and a lot of watering and Rob mowed the lawn.  It was enough.  

We took Syd out on Saturday.  We had lunch and then went to the garden center.  She needed a bag of soil and it's hard to bring a bag of soil home on the bus.  Plus, she couldn't resist a couple of plants (and I couldn't either).  It was good to see her and we had a nice visit.   

I've only gotten a little bit further along on the Ruby McKim flower block.  I forget how much I enjoy appliqué until I'm doing it.  It's so fun to see the shapes form the way I want them to with smooth curves and sharp corners.  I'm a little rusty tho and have had to take out more than a few stitches.  

I am headed to Cleveland tomorrow for what I believe will be my last conference.  Next year, I'll be so close to retirement that I just don't see me doing this stuff anymore.  At least this conference has a more robust agenda than the last couple I've attended.  And hopefully I won't come home with covid this time.  If I do, then I'm done with business travel.  

Rob's truck is in the shop and will likely be there all week so he'll have my car.  When his is out, I need to put mine in.  I don't know whether someone is pushing them in or what, but the back sensors are disappearing into the bumper, one by one.  What a total pain!  

Everybody have a great week!  If you're not having fun then stop what you're doing and do something else.  



One step

There's a saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  I think admitting that I had lost the quilting bug last week kind of jump started me.  That, and I had to go in the stash closet to look for something, and while I was there I saw some really pretty fabric.  When I thought of a project, I thought of something small and pulled out a Ruby McKim flower block.  This one is delphinium.  It has a lot of pieces, but it was already prepped and mostly cut out, so there I went.  I've only gotten a few leaves sewn down, but I have high hopes that if I put it in my way and trip over it enough times, I'll get it finished.  

I've made 19 of 25 blocks and  I really should finish that quilt.  

I've also been thinking about this pattern from a long time ago.  It's a great scrappy quilt that goes together easily and that I was using to make Linus quilts.  I enjoyed making Linus quilts and would like to do that again.  It's called Barbed Wire and I've made it in several colors.  I can't remember who published it though.  

There were a couple of new daylilies.  This one looks much like one I've shown before.  So close that I had to pick two flowers and hold them next to one another to see the differences.  This one is a larger flower with a darker red in the petals than the one from a couple weeks ago.  

This one is a beautiful dark red.  A friend shared it with me a few years ago.  It only gave me one scape last year and one this year.  Maybe it needs a little more sun.  I took this right after a rain, so it's covered with water droplets.

This white daylily came out of nowhere.  It's growing from a clump of green daylilies.  I'll try to mark and separate it when I divide in the fall.  

Anybody remember this quilt from several years ago?  It was a raffle quilt for the guild.  I was "on the committee" so got to help design and make it.  Guild members made blocks.  I haven't found a picture of the quilt, this is just the paper pattern we created before we started cutting and sewing.  I made the triple feathered star in the center.  We used red prints and we all spent days washing excess dye out.  I ended up boiling some fabric to try to get out excess dye.  It ended up being a beautiful quilt and if I can find a picture, I'll share it next week.  I made a quilt that was inspired by this one but scrappy.  I made two of the triple feathered stars in red/white.  One test, to see if I could piece this complex block and one that went into the quilt.  The test block is the center of my scrappy star quilt.  

Everybody have a great week!  If you have something you've gotten bored with and stopped but you wish you hadn't, take a baby step.  See what happens.  I may not be any further along on that flower block next week.  Or, it may be nearly finished.  Who knows.  We'll have to wait to find out.


Listen to the big baby whine when he gets treated like everyone else.  I think maybe that's the biggest insult, treating him like everyone else.  Not playing into his message that he is somehow special.  I would like to see another massive fine.  Hit him where it hurts.  Make him put up another bond before he can appeal.  I don't think we're ready as a country to jail him, no matter how many things he's done to deserve it.  Crumble his image by making him look small, feeble, and common and his followers will walk away.