Looking for answers to life's questions

Has it been two weeks already? Where does the time go? Life has a way of setting its own time table and agenda.

My good friend made this calendar with all photos she took.

My good friend made this calendar with all photos she took.

As I’ve said for the last couple of months, my son was planning on moving up to the Portland area with us as soon as his house sold. When he lost this last job he knew it was time to make a major change. Over the last 25 years, the companies he has worked for have been sold off, taken over, or just folded. This last company has started outsourcing their work. Those that pay for their services no longer care about quality of work, only bottom line costs. My son made the decision that the career he wandered into when his father died, had lost its charm and is looking in a new direction.

Much in both pods was removed and left behind before pickup. They were overweight

Much in both pods was removed and left behind before pickup. They were overweight

The contents of a 5 bdrm house and 2 car garage are inside 2 small pods.

The contents of a 5 bdrm house and 2 car garage are inside 2 small pods.

So much for the illusion of stability. What he kept from his home is going into storage until he re-establishes himself. Much was given away or sold along with the house. The rest is in pods on their way here. He arrived safe and sound Tuesday evening, the loan for the buyers funded on Thursday afternoon. He is free and clear of the weight of making house payments without employment. Yes, we did a happy dance and celebrated with orange juice in a brandy snifter.

I have been busy clearing out his (guest) room of my sewing stash and finding other places to store (hide) it. I managed to get more sewing done this last week than I have in several months. I shipped off a package to Tasmania on Tuesday afternoon.

Organized chaos in the sewing room. Both machines working at the same time while I addressed cards.

Organized chaos in the sewing room. Both machines working at the same time while I addressed cards.

Leaving my quilt group early for a post office run, I sat in the parking lot chatting on my cellphone with my sister-in-law. I saw this happy face staring at me. He was so adorable and his mom kindly leaned over the seat so he could have a better look at me and I could photograph him more clearly. This fella was not camera-shy.

He saw me looking at him.

He saw me looking at him.

Take my picture please

Take my picture please

Quilt group is always fun because I learn something new each time. I’m a novice at this so there are lots to learn. I managed to finish a foster kid quilt that had been waiting and turned it in to them for distribution. This next year we will focus on providing quilts to the Safe House in our area. I’ve had so much going on that my sewing room looks like a tornado went through. Projects are stacked up and I must get down to work.

I just finished making the sandwich

I just finished making the sandwich


I used tissue paper to help the batting slide across feed dogs. Works like a charm

I used tissue paper to help the batting slide across feed dogs. Works like a charm

back of foster quilt

back of foster quilt

I spent some time in the last two weeks checking out storage facilities for my son. I still have one for my overflow of stuff that will eventually find its way here or out. My sister has a lot of her things here too. Walking in to the office of one closer to my home, I was met by a sweet, little lab mix. I knew this was going to be the place we would rent from. The manager and dog’s servant, mentioned he had Bells Palsy and it has plagued him for the last three years. He told me it presented just like a stroke would and they had to confirm by MRI that it wasn’t. He also had it present in February, a cold February just like mine. Fortunately for him, he wasn’t hit with the dizziness. That is the first person I’m met or talked to that had a similar experience with Bells. He can walk and drive quite easily. So my son and I will share a storage unit for a time. I know, I know. We shouldn’t need one. But sometimes when you are making so many major changes, you need time to review what the next chapter in your life will look like.

Mine feels like shifting sand under my feet and I think that’s true for so many people. Our stuff keeps us grounded till we feel stable again. My son watched episodes of hoarders while packing. It helped him let go of so much.

I think we have stuff to keep us stable when we don’t have roots. We take what’s familiar with us, especially if we are making changes alone.

What helps you feel stable?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of Stability" (35)

  1. So glad your son made it safely. I love your sewing room! Bet you do too. You will have it back again at some point. 🙂
    I moved a lot over the last 30 years. One thing I could never let go of is my favorite books. I did lose some along the way, as others seem to have sticky fingers. Eventually I lost everything and really did have to start over. It hurt at the time, but now not so much. Things can always be replaced, even things you think are irreplaceable. Big hugs my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How amazing that you started this blog to meet others with Bells Palsy and you end up meeting a person instead close to home.

    I love your quilt, the colors are so bright and cheerful, the little one that gets this will be so proud of his/her quilt. Nice to have a sewing room. I currently use a nook in my bedroom but would love to have a dedicated room, maybe now that I have a chair lift I’ll move my sewing upstairs into the boys room as it isn’t used all that much, at least when it’s warmer and I’ve opened up the upstairs again.

    So happy for your son that he is free of his mortgage but it comes with sadness that the reason he had to leave it is because companies are more concerned with the profits to the owners than quality of product or sense of responsibility to those in the community who need jobs. Does your son have an idea what career he would like to give a try now?

    As for what keeps me grounded and I don’t like to give up when I move around it’s my books and artwork. I can’t stand bare walls and since all but one of my artworks is handmade each has a story behind it that means something to me. As for books, I don’t know how people can live devoid of books. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What helps me feel stable? That’s a good question! I’ve been pondering for several moments – and know it’s not my stuff. I think what most MAKES me stable is trust – I know everything will be alright, even if it isn’t what I want or where I think I should be heading – I’ve lived long enough now to realise that not only will everything will be alright, it is already alright. When I sink into that thought I know I am stable within myself.

    I love the colours in the quilt – and I am really glad to see you have a sewing room – even if you have to give it up for a while. My art room doubles as my guest room too – it makes for some hilarious encounters!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t have to give up the sewing room. My son is in the guest room. I was just storing more fabric in the guest room. Sewing room is a dedicated 9×10 room with a tiny closet. This is a big house with a tiny den where we watch TV and stay warm, a living room where most of my books live and an ample kitchen and dining room. I had 2 machines going at the same time in there. I let go of furniture before things that have meaning. Being a gypsy for so many years and having nothing to hold onto makes things a lot more precious. But they don’t define me. I can start again for the umpteenth time. Now I want to make good use of all the creative supplies I have. I’m ready to work.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, that’s even better – you have a guest room and a sewing room – there is richness indeed! I only have two bedrooms and one is the size of a large cupboard. I took the big bedroom for my art room and sleep in the cupboard – it worked out rather well 🙂

        I love your last sentence, ‘I’m ready to work’. That’s exactly where I am too.

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  4. Oh, the quilt is so beautiful. The colors are magnificent! I’m happy your son arrived safe and sound. Routine, that’s what makes me feel stable.

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  5. I’m the very last person to give advice about storage units. I paid probably close to $10k in storage rental over the last 10 years and I have damn near of that stuff left. But at the time it was crucial to me to keep it. Do what you need to.

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    • I’ll bet I’ve come pretty darn close in the last 5 years since leaving my husband and having no home. I had what I needed barely to start over. I’ve moved many times (4-5) in that time. Packing and unpacking then packing again. My son figures it will cost more to replace what he kept than to store it but there are the minimalist who feel if you can do without it for an hour, you don’t need it. Me, I’m about holding on to things I will need or sell what I don’t later. I have given away truck loads already. I’m on your side. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You are so lucky to have such a lovely sewing room, my workspace is the kitchen table but I would love my own crafting room. One day…

    The quilt looks beautiful, I love the splashes of pink polka dots and the colourful stripey underside. Whoever receives this will be very lucky indeed!

    Even though the circumstances surrounding your son’s move weren’t great, the positive side is that he is now with you and has the chance to start afresh and explore new directions. Does he have any idea of what he would like to do?

    As to what keeps me grounded, it has to be the people around me – and my cats 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading Jem. Yes, I’m lucky indeed to have a sewing room. I’ve had a dedicated room for years but they keep getting smaller. Even in my 2 bdrm apartment the sewing/guest room was larger. This place I just bought has a tiny room but also a dedicated room for guests. It’s also small. The quilt top was made by another quilter. As the assembly line goes, I got to sandwich it and quilt it. I have another to do this month. We just keep them going as a team.

      My son is looking to do something from home on the computer. He’s tired of having jobs pulled out from under him. With all he is capable of, I’m sure he will land on his feet quickly. I told him to take a bit of time to just breathe first. It’s been a long haul.

      Stability and security is an illusion since everything is always changing but we like to feel as though things are stable and grounded. Having my books and creative supplies close at hand since people come and go from my life. I miss a pet but that will have to wait awhile. I’m still trying to settle in here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope having your son home and decisions made will hopefully provide you with some peace of mind. Yes, there will still be challenges before you-isn’t there always- but for me stability comes when pieces start to fall in place. I function best on some type of routine. Of course this does not always work but knowing I am moving in a forward direction is comforting at least. That and a positive attitude which you seem to have going on!! How fun being part of a quilting group. I hope your son finds the stability he is seeking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading. I like to have a routine but it seems to always be disrupted. Like this week, my son’s ex-wife is here to help him unpack the pods. So routine is out the window.
      Stability is an illusion but we like to pretend it’s there at least for a moment. I just take a deep breath and ease into the next moment. I’ve instructed him to do the same. It’s time to breathe in and breathe out and the rest will take care of itself.

      I love my quilting group! They have such kind hearts and I most enjoy the charitable aspect of what they do. That’s why I go not to mention all I learn each time. They are so patient with me. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Routine – it helps me feel stable. Knowing what I’m doing, that on this day I will ….. (do whatever.) There’s someting comforting in the ordinary.
    ps your quilts are so bright and cheery!

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    • I have a routine that goes up in smoke with great regularity. On any given day, a plan WILL go awry. Moving so much and having no roots makes the things I take with me more important for a time. As I begin to put down roots and build friendships once again, it’s easier to let go of things. Stability is an illusion anyway but makes us feel good. Thanks on the quilt. I didn’t put the colors together. I just do the sandwich and quilt it. Some kid will love it. Quilted it with purple thread.

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  9. How helpful to connect with someone who’s onset of Bell’s Palsy was similar to yours. It helps to know others experienced what you did, and still do experience it.
    You’ve been busy!
    Love the dog shots!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You’ve been a busy girl Marlene. I’m happy to hear it all worked out for your son. Sounds like a weight of his shoulders and yours too. Because I’m sure you did your fair share of worrying. Who knew storage lockers were such a busy place. We still have stuff in ours too, a spring project I’m dreading.
    What makes me feel grounded? Home, looking after my loved ones here. I’m thinking that might be making you feel happy too, now that your son’s safe at home.
    I liked your tip about the batting and tissue. If I ever get to making another quilt, I’ll have that one in my back pocket 😀 I’m really busy for work right now. I’m having lots of fun though. Valentines is our next big thing so I must giddy up. I have three projects on the go and excited to finish and hopefully share them. Plus I have a little Marlenie thing I must get back too 😉 You may see it in April me thinks 😀
    OH, I can’t help but share some news. Pauline, Alys, Julia, Laurie and I are all meeting in Washington DC this spring…….can you believe it? We’re so excited. More news to come xox Love and Hugs K

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll send a real note later. We have pods to unload into storage, one today, one Thursday. Mine was moved into my son’s. I’m so happy the whole thing closed and the new owners are thrilled they have a good sized home for their family. It just took so long. Hugs till later.

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  11. Routine, planning and the feeling of being in control helps me feel stable. When things does not go according to plan I don’t feel stable at all. I’m not always good at dealing with change.

    Your quilts looks really nice!

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    • Thank you so much for reading and the kind comment on the quilt. They are put together assembly line for the foster kids. I get the very end of the line where I make the sandwich and quilt it. They are small so it works. I can’t afford to not be good with change. Something changes in my life every day that I don’t plan on. I have no routine what so ever this week. Other than writing in my journal, gratitude list and a bit of light reading before bed. I get to bed so tired this week, I barely have the energy to journal. Just a few more days and I can rest a tiny bit. Glad you stopped by. 🙂

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    • Thank you for following and for reading. Thank you for the kind words on the quilts. I’m finally getting back at it. So many waiting to be made. I too like to plan things out including the direction I’m going to drive. Sure enough, they will throw up a road block or detour in my plan. I had an idea of how I wanted to spend the remaining years of my life but someone took those plans and ran them through a shredder. Every day is a new surprise and a new adjustment. Stability is an illusion so I’m trying to go with the flow. I’ll be by to see you soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Quilting is so much work. I am impressed that you’ve tackled that kind of craft. Also, the image of your sewing room with both machines going at once gave me a laugh. I have this vision of you with two totally separate projects in progress, jumping up and going over to the other sewing machine every so often, ha ha.

    For 17 years, having a routine with my child has kept me grounded. No matter what was going on for me, I made time every day for a meal, a chat, some giggles. I have only several months of that left, till Tara begins college, and then I’ll need to find a new way to find stability in my life day to day. It’s a good question and I’m glad you asked, so I can be thinking about it now before it’s time to put it into action.

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    • Thanks for stopping by and reading. Quilting is hard and I’m surprised I tackle it too. But the group of women are so kind and welcoming that I can’t give up trying. It’s like a giant fabric puzzle. I do go back and forth between the machines keeping an eye on each. The newer one presents more problems than the older one but I can embroider larger projects on the new one. Just need time to work out the kinks. I’m very kinky in my sewing room.

      I do miss having kids at home to give me some grounding and routine. My grown son is back for a short stay and I’m hoping for a bit more stability than the last 6 months. Stability is an illusion that actually only comes from within so finding someway to feel grounded while the sand is washing out from under is always a challenge. My whole life has been like that so I have to trust that everything is perfect as it is. You will certainly miss your daughter. Mine is 6 miles down the road now. I see her once a week and I treasure those moments. I’ll treasure time with my son again for awhile. You never stop missing them.

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      • Kinky in the sewing room!!! ha ha ha!! :o) “Stability is an illusion,” I am taken by this statement. You are right. It isn’t real, and yet, we need to feel that we have it. What a concept.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Marlene. Could you please email me at roger.wendy@vodafone.co.nz – I have tried to email you unsuccessfully. Apparently you put an order through a few weeks ago and I never got notification of it, I am so sorry! Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello Marlene, I’m not sure how I missed this post. It’s good to hear your son is settling in and that the two of you can share a storage unit for the time being. I loved hearing about the cute dog. That’s the sort of thing that influence me as well. The animal vibe.

    What a terrific bit of luck to meet someone with similar Bells symptoms, willing to share his own experiences. I wonder if in a way it makes you feel less alone in your particular diagnosis?

    Oddly enough, organizing helps me feel grounded. It’s a small area I can control. I enjoy the process and the results. In a way its like completing a puzzle, something I also love.

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    • Thanks Alys, you are just one busy lady. I am behind and I don’t have kids, husband, animals, or a job to boot.

      I think this settling process will take some time. Someone has a lot left to learn.:) It’s easier to organize if you aren’t trying to shove a 5 bdrm home into one bedroom, period. Being a Virgo, I need things orderly and in their place. The German/military upbringing only reinforces that. Having things orderly and organized does help one feel grounded and stable. I so agree. I’m sure it will be possible soon, again. Things keep changing though so I’m holding on for the ride. It’s been fun if nothing else. 🙂

      Yes, it did help to meet someone else who’s had Bells for an extended period of time. His wasn’t as bad but I’m sure seeing me made him feel much better. I was surprised as well that after all the blogging I’ve done to see if I could find answers or someone else with long term Bells, it happens just over a mile from my home. He was such a nice person too. After I met his Sofie, I knew I didn’t need to look further for a storage facility. His cat is warming up to us as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are selling yourself short, Marlene. You’ve barely had two minutes to rub together in the past six months. You bought a house, moved, supported your sister, did all kinds of remodeling, then went to SoCal to help your son with many of the same projects. You quilt, write, blog and live a full life. I’m delighted that you take the time to write thoughtful posts, and I’m tickled when your sense of humor shines through.

        I’m glad to read that although the chaos is not your thing, that you are having fun. I’m also happy that your son and daughter are now living in the same community. You’ll get it all sorted out.

        Cats, dogs, and an owner with Bells. Honestly, you were helpless to do anything but sign on the dotted line.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, Alys. You put it in such an nice perspective for me. Makes it not seem like I’ve been such a slacker. Tomorrow is another trip to the thrift store for more donation. I’m always happy when I can pass things on. Took a lot of my old embroidered projects to make room for new things as I make them.
        Life is supposed to be fun. I try not to stress about anything. I know it will sort itself out. Thanks for the kind reminder. It helped a lot.

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