Looking for answers to life's questions

I have written four or five of these start-up posts but have discarded each and every one. I’m beginning to think I should just post a sign on my blog that says “Out to Lunch” for the months of January and February. My brain is still out even though my body just keeps moving back and forth to the kitchen.

There are clues to what is going on but like a giant puzzle, I’m still trying to piece it together. Can I blame the weather? It’s been very odd this winter. I tried blaming the holidays but they are long gone. That did get my sugar rush going big time and I’m finally wrangling it in. Maybe I just have a broken brain?

When the apartment emptied out after the holidays, I breathed a sigh of relief, and another of regret. I miss having someone around. It’s a mixed bag. Lately,I’ve been trying to find ways to connect and make friends here and given my inability to get out much, it’s not as easy as it was when I had small children and small dogs. What ice breakers they were. Now, I’m looking for people to connect with that share my interest in sewing, quilting and machine embroidery. I’ll go back to the writing class next semester if I find any brain function is left.

For now, I’m trying to finish things that were started eons ago and continue to stare at me demanding my attention. I buried some of it deep enough I couldn’t hear the screams. I’ve arranged to pass some off to someone more willing to complete what was an expensive undertaking. My sister-in-law is going to make up the little girl dresses I have patterns and materials for, since I have no little girls anymore. She has a beautiful little granddaughter. You know that phrase “my eyes were bigger than my stomach”? Well that, for me applied to fabric, patterns and books as well as food. I had a huge appetite that went all the way to my toes. (no longer true except for books) That’s how much fabric I have. So I’m going to finish 2 more shirts that I have cut out and pray they turn out better than this last one.

It looked better in my mind when I planned it. I call it Dumb shirt instead of Big shirt.

It looked better in my mind when I planned it. I call it Dumb shirt instead of Big shirt.

I have no idea what happened with it, but anything that could go wrong, did. I actually made the collar upside down and sewed it on that way, only to have to take it all apart and put it together again. I asked my daughter what she thought of the shirt when she was taking the photo. “Honestly, she said, it was not your best work.” I’ll put the pockets on today and use it as an apron or just to keep me warm around the house. It’s like my brain was totally out of the loop on this project. Here is where I had to say, “Good enough” and let it be.

Full of good intentions but I can't put it in the rag bag just yet.

Full of good intentions but I can’t put it in the rag bag just yet.

I found a quilt group close to my house that allowed me to join them. All they ask is that I contribute a twin sized quilt to the foster care kids as part of their charity activity. I’m still trying to finish the one I started 6 years ago, but will give it my best.

Every project requires some embroidery. My daughter calls this old lady tramp stamp

Every project requires some embroidery. My daughter calls this old lady tramp stamp

Through a friend in my writing group, I met a lovely young woman who is German and has volunteered an hour a week to help me relearn my language. The grammar is the hard part since that part was never taught to me. I needed something else to do, right? Have to do my lessons early in the day as the old eyes are not happy with the tiny print, but I’m really enjoying it. It’s keeping me out of the kitchen. Guess it’s time to get to work and see what else will get done “good enough.” At this point in my life, that seems to be the operative theme.

Do you ever say “good enough” and move on or do you toss what isn’t working out well? Share your struggles with me so I know I’m not alone in this.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of Good Enough…Almost" (18)

  1. I know what you mean about the holidays being a double edge sword. Having just returned from our tropical holiday, I’m both happy to be home with the kitties and also miss the warm tropical weather. It’s true, “nothings perfect”. I guess if it was, we would appreciate it because it’s the less fun days that illuminate the really good days.

    Glad to hear you found a sewing group to participate in. That’s going to be fun and you’ll get your twin quite to a good home, perfect combo.

    On the plus side, I really love the colours you’ve used on your shirt project and you look really good in Seafoam 😀 I also love that you’ve put together a number of different complementary fabrics. I think you and I will start a trend 😀
    Now, to be honest, you could consider tapering in the sides for a little more fitted look. You worked so hard to get to a healthier weight, you should celebrate it! Show it off! I love when you include a photo of yourself in your story. xoK oh and viel Glück mit Ihren Deutschunterricht Tschüss für jetzt

    (I cheated and used BING translate)


    • Thanks so much.I could read what your wrote and understand it but need the translator to put the reply together in proper order. The words are coming back that I knew when I was small, which is the size of my vocabulary still. I’ll get there. As for the shirt, it’s called a big shirt and this one is only a large. The last one was an XL. But it does look really big. My vision of it and the finished shirt are miles apart. Hope I have better luck next time. I need the size for the girls but the shoulders and sleeves are way too large. I have an almost smile going on too. That’s as good as it gets. I loved the seafoam green too but love the patch-work look. Everything is wrong with this one and I won’t wear it in public but it’s a nice over shirt. Not sure why this one was so obstinent. And I forgot the pockets!!!!


  2. “I buried it deep enough I couldn’t hear the screams.” That’s good stuff, Marlene. We miss you in writing. In the meantime, keep sewing and dreaming of words to write.


    • Thanks Missy. The words are starting to come back, thank goodness. Miss seeing you all too. Keep meaning to call and find out when the next registration starts. Not that I don’t have enough to do. I’m heading over to your blog in a minute.


  3. Living alone can be isolating when the weather contrives to keep us indoors. You are wise to find a group of quilters. It’s great to find a social group with people of similar interests. Good for you.

    I like the shirt, especially the front and I’m with Boomdee: perhaps a little nip and tuck to show of your hard-earned new shape.

    I too am trying to stay out of the kitchen. Boy can I relate. I like the embroidered butterfly. Your daughter’s ‘tramp stamp’ comment gave me the giggles. Too funny!

    I hope spring brings you some new-found energy. Great post, MH. xox


    • Thanks Alys, It’s called a Big Shirt but I’m going to try and figure out how to take up some in the shoulders and sleeves. This one is only a large where I had previously made XL. My girls need lots of room still. Maybe soon I can make a Medium. My daughter teased me about the butterfly being my tattoo. I put them on most things I make. Butterflies signify freedom and coming into your authentic self. I have never had such a hard time making anything before.


      • Congratulations on the size down. Losing weight is hard, hard work. Well done.

        I’m sorry you had such a hard time with this shirt. That happens to all of us. Now that it’s done, you can check it off your list and feel good about it. One of the pluses of a big shirt is that you can add layers below in the cold weather. In the end, it’s probably just right for you and the “girls’ so wear it proudly.



      • Thanks Alys for reading. I’ll wear the shirt to work in but not out. The next one seems to be going better. Maybe I’m concentrating harder. They are designed to go over other shirts for layering which is how I dress in the winter. 3 to 4 layers always. Saves on the electric bill. Yes, it does feel good to check it off that VERY long to do list. 🙂 Why do they keep getting longer?


      • Here is what I do from time to time. I take that long list and say “what can I simply remove forever.” I bet you can find a few things that you’ll never really do. It’s great giving yourself permission to let it go.


  4. The old lady tramp stamp is hilarious. 🙂 There are plenty of projects I have to simply say good enough and stop. Some I have given up on as my tastes changed before I ever got finished with the.

    The holidays are much the same for me. I love having my family here, but look forward to having my space back all alone, then I miss them. if only I could have blocks of time in a day for days at a time where they are with me and I still have the alone time I need. My oldest doesn’t live more than 2 miles away so there I have to find a balance as he comes and wants to stay for the entire day some days.


    • Thanks for reading Lois. I passed on so much stuff before I moved up here but with failing vision and energy, I’m going to have to pass on more. This last shirt may be a sign of things yet to come. It just did not want to get made and now that it’s done, I really don’t care for it. It will keep me warm though. I have plenty of time, just get tired of everything being so hard to do anymore. My daughter will show up once a week to go do something. My son lives too far away. I’m trying not to rely on my kids and be very independent. Spring will make it easier I’ll bet. Maybe that switch that flipped off will come back on then.:) Stay warm.


      • I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to rely on your kids. This winter has been hard for me. Since the first of December snow has only been plowed well enough for me to get out once. I’ve got some serious cabin fever and really having trouble getting motivated as a result.

        I think your language lessons are a good idea, I would love to learn another language and have considered something like rosetta stone.


      • If you’ve been housebound that long, you may be about ready for the funny farm.:) I would be. Haven’t gone out all week as it’s too cold and it snowed enough to shut down Portland. If you want to learn another language, don’t spend for Rosetta Stone. I am working with beginning children’s books that teach basic words and phrases. I’m sure your library will have some if you ever get out. It’s helpful to learn a language you get to hear more often than I hear German. I had to call there last weekend and wish a friend a happy 92nd birthday. I understand most of what they say, but have a hard time putting sentences together correctly. Never learned the grammar. It’s as complicated as French and Spanish. Spring is just around the corner. 5 more weeks. This winter has been a hard one. I’m rooting for you to get out and about soon.


      • Oh I am very close to pulling my hair out at this point. I will make it. Spring has to come. I pulled out the Farmers’ Almanac to see when spring was supposed to arrive and see they predict winter will last through April here. After that it’s supposed to be one of the wettest spring and summers in a very long time. That’s not good news to me. I’ve been thinking of how to rig up a covered area outside just to be able to sit in the field and not see buildings during the rain.

        I have no one around me that speaks another language. My grandfather forgot most of his German by the time I was interested in learning it.


  5. Mixing fabrics aren’t just for quilting projects and you certainly proved it with your shirt project. It is b beauty. Blessings, Mtetar


    • Thank you. I’m working on my 4th shirt. Hoping to improve on this last one. I’m glad you like it. I love doing things others don’t.


      • You’re welcome and it is good to be different, and unique with your creativity. I look forward to your next finished project and sharing. All the best, Mtetar


  6. willowmarie said:

    I sometimes (not always) think that as long as it’s my best at any given moment, it IS good enough- course I believe it’s more about the intention behind what’s offered than the thing itself. But, just for the record, I struggle just like you do.



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