Monday, February 28, 2011

The Gift of Sleep

Yesterday after I posted my "blah" message, I took a 2-hour nap. Then last night I slept for 9 hours. Today I feel like a new person! I'm happy and energetic. And the sun is shining today, which also boosts my mood. Hooray!! I think it was sleep deprivation that was making me blue. I'm so much better now.

And here is something exciting: I am fast approaching a Big Blog Milestone!!! Watch for my announcement about how to celebrate it (and wish me luck dreaming up what this will be).

30 Days of Photos: 27
a picture of me and a family member

from left: my cousin, my sister, me (taken at my son's wedding in 2009)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Blah Blues

Lately I have been feeling down in the dumps. I don't know why. I have been blaming my trip to Georgia.. after experiencing that great spring weather and warm sunshine, maybe I'm depressed at returning to snow territory. I'm so tired of slipping on ice, driving in icky conditions, not being able to see traffic due to huge snow piles, and being cold.

But I don't know if that explains my dumpy feelings.

Maybe it's just a tough transition from being busy and hanging out with friends in Georgia, to returning to my quiet home. I don't think so, though. Deep down I am kind of a home body and love hanging out at home with husband while we each do our own fun things: a combination of sewing, computer use, reading, meal prep, knitting, watching TV... some of these are done separately, some together.

I've been out for dinner with friends and attended a church meeting that was inspirational, and church today was warm and fun and joyful with lots of babies in attendance.

So... why am I feeling blue? It's probably nothing that a good nap can't cure. Or a sewing session where I get lost (in a good way) in the creative process.

I'll try to bumble through my day and hope I cheer up. Isn't depression depressing? I think so.

30 Days of Photos: 26
a picture of something that means a lot to me --

My happy marriage! I know how lucky I am to have a great husband and happy life with him. It is truly a fabulous gift. (another reason to wonder why I'm blue)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

30 Days of Photos: 25

a picture of my day

This one is an unusual assignment. How does one photograph a day? I decided to show you my main "stations." If I don't work (which I only do part time and sporadically these days), I'm usually at home doing some of these activities:

my computer.. I spend too much time here, writing my blog and reading others, checking email, doing Facebook

I like to watch Dr. Phil at 3:00 p.m... I usually sit here and knit while I watch.

If I'm not busy with other stuff, this is where I do my sewing. Often while I sew I listen to public radio. Sometimes I watch TV, but day time TV stinks. Sometimes I'm here all day. Other days I never get to step foot inside the room.

Kitchen. This represents meal prep, cleaning, and other household stuff I have to do.

That's a typical day, not including the errands I may run to the post office, church meetings, an occasional lunch with a friend, and other stuff that fills the hours.

On Friday my day included making some blocks for Sunshine Lotto. Here they are:

My Gratitude List:
1. a few days in warm sunshine
2. visits with several friends this week
3. reconnecting with friends from the past
4. hubby is good at fixing things (e.g., furnace) and thus has saved us a lot of money
5. hubby and I recovered from illness and enjoy good health once again

Friday, February 25, 2011

30 Days of Photos: 23 & 24

Day 23 -- a picture of my favorite book

When I was in my late teens I was introduced to this book by my mother. I was at the perfect age to appreciate the issues and to feel a life-changing impact from this book. I have read it 3 or 4 times and continue to be awed by the power of this "simple" story.

Day 24 -- a picture of something I wish I could change

Poverty! I am truly worried about the gross inequities in our world and where we are headed. Many of our problems, I believe, are related to the imbalance of resources and wealth, and the prevalence of greed. I believe that if we could eradicate poverty, other problems would not be as dire.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Book and Some Photos

When I was in Georgia I bought a book by a local author: Louder Than Thunder by Cheryl Hawkins. The author lived in New Orleans. She and her father stayed home and rode out the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. This book is her story of living through the storm, escaping the rising waters, where they went for shelter, and the helpful people they met along the way. Hawkins eventually settled in Atlanta and has made a new life for herself there.

The book was a quick read and interesting to get an insider's perspective on what those days were like.

Here is my photo journal of my little trip to Georgia. I had a great time!

J. and I enjoyed an outdoor lunch on my first day there... so gorgeous and warm in the sun!

I requested a tour of a Civil War cemetery

I liked the shadow of this tree.

My friend, J, has this adorable dog.. I love him!

J. plays tennis. Her team was in a battle for first place (and succeeded!). I got to watch from this nifty seating area and enjoyed the beautiful weather and great view of all the courts. (As a Snow Queen, I was amazed that they could play outdoor tennis -- in shorts -- in February!)

We found a quilt walk! Here are some of the quilts found on sides of stores... so cool.

This is a couple of real quilts, for sale in an antique store. Both were hand quilted and so beautiful, and out of my price range.

This is an empty shop space that I think someone should fill with a quilt and/or yarn shop. Next time I visit I'd be happy to shop there! Anyone??

On my last day there, we went to visit an "old" friend of mine from college days. This is his beautiful back yard.. that's his deck at the bottom of the hill.

me on the left, and J. -- a picture of me that I actually like! (J. always looks good.)

J, me, K (my friend's wife), and M (my "old" college friend.. it was great to see him again)

After all that nice sunshine, this is what I came home to. 14 inches of snow fell while I was basking in Georgian sunshine. My poor husband was sick the whole time, and only managed enough energy to shovel this little path. He had to leave the house, because the furnace went out, and he needed to go buy a part. Not a fun way to spend some sick days. We plan to finally get all the snow removed by tomorrow afternoon.

Eventually that gorgeous spring weather like I enjoyed in Georgia will arrive in Minnesota. Right now it feels like forever.......

30 Days of Photos: 22

a picture of something I wish I were better at...

Claire - Line Drawing by MJB Junior

I would love to be better at line drawings. I'm a line drawing doodler but wish I could do drawings of this lovely caliber. In my next life, maybe.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

30 Days of Photos: 21

a picture of something I wish I could forget...

No, not the city of Seattle! I love Seattle! What I want to forget is how grumpy I was with our kids one day while on vacation there. I apologize, my dear children. If you can't forget that day, I hope you can forgive me. Wish I could forget how I ruined the day for everyone!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Books Finished in Georgia

Last Saturday I left Minnesota and flew to Georgia to visit my pal, Julie. I planned it so cleverly that I managed to leave home before the big 10-inch snowfall hit. And to make it even nicer for me, the weather in Georgia has been gorgeous! Most days we've enjoyed at least some sunshine, and temperatures have been in the mid 60s and low 70's F. Perfect weather!

I'm still in Georgia so haven't had a chance to upload my photos. I'll do that in a day or two. Meanwhile I'll take this time to tell you about the two books I have finished on this trip. Both of these books are on my Kindle.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. This story of a family is narrated by the dog. It's very entertaining and a captivating story. Racing in the rain has to do with racing cars, which is the occupation of the man in the family. The dog is very clever and smart and can see and sense things that humans can't, just like real dogs do. Too bad they can't talk to tell us about the things they notice. The book is a story of a family and complicated relationships; the dog is a superb narrator. I recommend this fun and moving book.

Crazy For the Storm by Norman Ollestad. This one is a memoir; a true story of Ollestad's growing years, the relationships with his divorced parents, his escapades on ski slopes and surfing big waves off the California coast. A tragedy occurs, and he describes his response to the tragedy, while alternating chapters catch us up on the years that led to the tragedy. By the end, the growing up years and the tragedy have "met" in time, and you are carried through to the end somewhat in awe of all that happened to the author. I don't want to give it away, but it's a good story that includes some questions on parenting, step-parenting, raising children to develop their bravery, and many other issues. Another good page-turner.

These were perfect books for reading on airplanes and while lazing about on vacation.

Tomorrow I'll be back home and can catch up on other news and on my 30 Days of Photos.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

30 Days of Photos: 20

a picture of somewhere I'd love to travel: Panama

30 Days of Photos: 19

a picture of me when I was little

Thursday, February 17, 2011

30 Days of Photos: 18

a picture of my biggest insecurity

My biggest insecurity is trusting that I am likeable/loveable. I'm afraid of having no friends and being disliked! Even though I've had over 50 years of evidence to the contrary, this is a hard one to combat. I'm still working on it.


and in other news... I finished another book. Kitchen Boy, A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander is a fictionalized account of the last weeks in the lives of Tsar Nicholas and his family as they were imprisoned and executed at the time of the Russian Revolution. The story, as you can guess, is told through the eyes of the kitchen boy. It is almost a mystery or a tale of intrigue as there are some unknowns that you keep wondering about as you read. Parts of it are kinda gory, as you can imagine a mass execution would be.

I am happy to report that my illness is abating, and I'm feeling much better. Hooray for health!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sick - And I Don't Like It!

In December I was sick with strep. Now in February I'm sick again with a sinus infection. Uffda. I had several years in a row of never getting sick, and this year I've been hit twice. Doesn't seem fair, does it? Is this what happens when one begins to age? I hope to be back to normal ASAP so I'll have energy for my life. For two days now, I've been parked on the couch doing nothing, interspersed with naps.

30 Days of Photos - 17

a picture of someone who has made a huge impact in my life lately

That would have to be Penny, our pastor. She has helped inspire me to do lots of study and thinking and re-directing my life focus. It's wonderful to have experienced this growth in my spiritual life and self. She has been so good for me. (She sometimes uses visual aids that make me laugh.)

30 Days of Photos: 16

a picture of someone who inspires me

Jane Addams has been my hero ever since I read a book about her when I was about 9 years old. I would like to be more like Jane.. fearless and caring.

"Jane Addams was a pioneer in the field of social work and co-founder of the Hull House, a settlement house for lower class immigrants in Chicago. A noted pacifist and internationalist, Addams fearlessly took unpopular stances and became the first American woman ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize." (Taken from a web site honoring women who have won the Nobel Prize.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 Quilt Show

Here are some beautiful quilts currently hanging at my guild's annual show... enjoy the eye candy!

This is my quilt, designed by BrendaLou of Scottie Dog Quilts. It is hanging in the entryway.

our Featured Quilter this year is a wonderful member of our guild who died in July.. we sure miss her. This is one of her gorgeous quilts.

quilt by me

our guild makes pillowcases to donate around the community, so they hung some up for "advertising"

wall hanging by me

a pillow by me

every year we have a challenge as part of the show. This year only 4 people entered challenge quilts. This is one of the 4. I made something, but decided not to enter it in the show.