Looking for answers to life's questions

In my search for community and a sense of belonging, I may have gone over the top just a bit. Does the phrase “all or nothing” ring any bells? I had to sit back and take a look when I couldn’t find the energy to write for the last two weeks. What the heck was I doing?

Writing class will start again in a few weeks and I have decided to give it another go as I made some good friends there and they challenge me. That is worth the time by itself.

When it comes to challenges, the last shirt I made was such a disaster, I was beginning to wonder if I’d slipped a cog in my brain. The solution to that question was to try another right away. This one went together almost effortlessly.

I liked this one a bit better.

I liked this one a bit better.

No butterfly on this one.

No butterfly on this one.

Not having enough to do, I decided to join a quilt group that meets close enough to walk if I didn’t have to carry my sewing machine and all the paraphernalia that goes with quilting. I found my way into their hearts by bringing a snack. They have decided to test my worthiness by sending me home with a bag of pre-cut strips to sew together for a small quilt top that will be quilted by someone else then later donated to foster children. I also was given a quilt to make the binding for, then sew it on to complete it. I enjoy the hand stitching part.

I didn't pick the strips, just sewed it together for later quilting.

I didn’t pick the strips, just sewed it together for later quilting.

The most fun part of that day was when my neighbor dropped by to donate some of her unwanted fabric. Parting with any is hard for quilters but this neighbor was not one so she dropped two sacks full on the table and we watched. It was like a pack of wolves circling a few scraps of meat. Though each took only what they could use, being very decisive about what they wanted.

I also joined a machine embroidery club hoping to learn some new techniques. I was quite disappointed that there was no embroidery being done that day and I had not been sent a supply list for what they were working on. Not exactly my cup of tea but somehow, the instructor pulled together enough supplies for me to join in. There were very few women there so I will give it a little more time then decide if it will be worth the long drive.

This is how it starts.

This is how it starts.

It's a gadget holder that fit into a coffee mug. Wasn't sure I would like it.

It’s a gadget holder that fit into a coffee mug. Wasn’t sure I would like it.

Not my cup of tea

Not my cup of tea

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I’m trying to relearn my first language, German. Rarely hearing it or using it has left many holes in my education, a reasonable vocabulary and no grammar. A new friend is meeting with me every few weeks, weather permitting and supplying me with text material. The price of these lessons is steep but so worth it. We meet at a local Starbucks and I buy her a latte for her trouble. She is already in my area to take French classes at the community college and already knows Spanish and is obviously fluent in German. I’m such a slacker.

I have SO much work to do here.

I have SO much work to do here.

I’m going to admit that my eyes are all that’s holding me back right now. I have a few good hours to get things done, then small print or stitches are impossible to see. Even the new glasses aren’t helping. So instead of continuing to expand my search for connecting to my community, I have to rein myself in a bit somehow. Is it even possible?

Do you have trouble keeping yourself reined in? I’m betting I’m not alone here. Go on, admit it. Are you, like me, circling those projects like a wolf licking your chops or are you pulling the covers over your head because it’s all just too much?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of Some Reins" (20)

  1. Hide under the covers? Never! Ha-ha. Wolves are my friends. I do understand that when the eyes get tired you can’t do much. But the quilting is wonderful. Do what you can about the german lessons. It’s all suppose to be fun! Remember that. 🙂

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    • I have my good days and not so good. You are correct, it’s supposed to be fun. I have so much to do, I’d have to live to 108 to finish it all. That’s what keeps me pulling down the covers and putting feet to floor. Was up at 2:30 this morning. I love wolves too. I get upset that anyone would think of exterminating them. But you get the visual of women with free fabric. You could feel the electricity.

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  2. Wow! You’re an inspiration!

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  3. Dear social butterfly, you have had an amazing couple of weeks. There seems to be a plentitude of things to join and enjoy in your area. That’s so fab. I can’t imagine carrying your sewing machine, you’re going to build up your bi-ceps too 😀

    Your latest shirt is really very pretty with the flowered print. I like the lightest fabric the best. Bright and cheery. I’m really groovin’ on the new trend of mixing fabrics. Who knew that my peasant dress with the kitty pillow fabric would be on trend…LOL. How long would it take you to cut it out and sew it?

    Your German coach sounds like a real slacker 😉 best to keep her on her toes. I really admire you for taking up the challenge, I’ve never stuck with language course. I have a disc set for spanish but it’s for a PC so I can’t even use it now.

    Your coffee cup organizer looks really complicated to make, was it hard?
    I tend to stick everything in bric-a-brac from the antique store. Good luck with the German lessons. I wonder if you hang at a German club if you’d meet some friends for weekly conversation? I bet you have enough on you plate right now though. Ta ta for now xoK

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    • Thanks for reading Boomdee. You have described me well. I could be a social butterfly easily if I could get out more. But I also require lots of quiet time. Give me a book and I’m a lost cause. The creative juices flow when we get quiet but contact with others help stimulate them. I looked for a German club but my new friend is as close as I’ve come.

      Carrying the machine up and down the stairs is quite tricky. I have to hold on to the railing to keep my balance and the machine is heavy. Have borrowed my daughters smaller, lighter one for the quilt group once a month. That’s how I get so much exercise. Up and down those darn stairs. Little bit scary. The cup holder was much simpler than expected. It would be fun to make in several colors. I just used the fabric they gave me since they forgot to let me know to bring some. Takes a couple of hours to put together. Not something I wanted but now that it’s here, it seems quite useful. Just need to find a junk cup I don’t need. Gave all mine away before the last move. 🙂 I made the last couple of shirts because I needed something warm. I had the flannels in the house already so figured I may as well use them. I’ll make a quilt out of the rest. Hugs and hope you see warm soon. Did you get the card I sent?

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      • Hi sweetie. No card yet. But Canada post is extremely slow. I’m currently working on a wee thing for you too. But now it seems I have a flu or something. Ugg. Chills and ache.all over. So I’m in bed since 5pm and had a snooze. I will watch for your mail and send a message ASAP . Snuggles xo

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      • Alys got her’s on Valentines day so I thought yours would be there by now. I am so sorry to here the flu found you. I eat lots of pickled garlic so the flu just keeps on going to someone else. 🙂 I hope you feel better soon. Hugs.

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      • Thanks hon, I love pickles and garlic so I’ll have some for lunch. I mailed my postcards from Maui and you all got them within 2 or 3 days, but the ones to Canada took 2.5 weeks 😦 I think it goes to some mass distribution place out east and then back here. Doesn’t that make sense, LOL no wonder they’re going broke. Thank you in advance though, I can’t wait! xoK

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  4. Reading your list of activities I am worn out. 🙂 Yes, I get myself swamped with activities and projects, I have yet to learn to say no when I see some thing interesting that will allow the creative juices to flow.

    Your gadget holder looks like a lot of work to hold gadgets. Do you like it?

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    • I wasn’t happy about making such a useless thing but learned something new while in the process. Met some nice ladies. Now that I have it, I can see the benefits and it takes very little fabric and only a couple of hours to build. I just don’t have extra coffee mugs. Gave away all but what I use. I’ll see if I can find one that’s free and maybe chipped to use instead on my good one. I get worn out looking at my list too. If I don’t stay busy, I look for food. Keeping the hands and mind busy keeps them from stuffing my face. 🙂

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  5. It certainly depends on the day, sometimes the moment. There are times when I am so ready to go, full of thoughts, ideas, to-dos. Then…there will be a morning that I just want to stick my head in the sand…warm sand that is! Maybe I just need a sunny vacay!

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    • Thanks for reading Missy. I’m with you there. I do what I can and there are days I’m stuck in neutral gear. As for a sunny vacation, my son keeps inviting me down. It’s 80 at his house. I should go but have so much I want to do here. Will I see you at potluck? Hope so. Signed up for next term already.

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  6. Wow, Marlene, you have been busy, and having fun doing it too. I love that you’ve ventured out and joined a quilting club. For as much as I’ve sewn over the years, I never got into quilting. I may one day, though, as I love the look, the handwork and the idea, like you, of making something useful. Quilts for foster kids sounds wonderful.

    Your new shirt looks great. I like all those florals.

    I’ve been known to over-extend myself a time or two, and have learned to say no, politely but firmly as a result. Life fills up anyway.

    So, you’re writing, sewing, quilting and socializing. Sounds like a grad schedule to me. xo

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  7. Hi Marlene, I like to have lots of projects on the go but, as you highlight, it can become overwhelming and difficult to get things finished. I definitely have to rein myself in!! But wouldn’t we be boring without this variety – it’s what makes us interesting people!!! -)

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