Looking for answers to life's questions

This week I have been a bit unsettled. Not sure what the cause is but it may be many things rolled into one. February itself is a rough month in many ways. I sent a birthday card to my last husband only to find out he had spent his birthday in the hospital and was still struggling to breathe on his own again. We are all sending our best thoughts his way.

My heart is a little raveled these days. Slightly worn.

My heart is a little raveled these days. Slightly worn.

Then on the 11th, I had my five year anniversary of the onset of Bells Palsy. Who would think the effects of it wouldn’t go away? It left me a little blue to know I haven’t unpuzzled the riddle to complete healing and recovery from the damage it left in it’s wake. But giving up is not an option.

Red and white courthouse steps pattern seemed appropriate for this month contribution. Too bad they were all 1/2 inch too small. Must redo at least one more. I haven't been entirely idle

Red and white courthouse steps pattern seemed appropriate for this month contribution. Too bad they were all 1/2 inch too small. Must redo at least one more. I haven’t been entirely idle

Then there is Valentine’s Day coming up. What can I say about that? That day has never been a big one in my life. All my married years it was of little significance. We had more pressing matters to deal with though I had fun doing valentine’s with my children. So now, with no significant other in my life to celebrate, how do you spread the love in the middle of an oddly balmy winter? I’m asking a lot of questions here, I know.

My hearts all red and fuzzy.

My hearts all red and fuzzy.

I’ve decided that I can spread the love by sharing a few new blogs that are just starting out. I know how overwhelming it was when first starting out. It’s still a learning process. Everyone seems willing to help. All you have to do is ask.

The Contented Crafter was the instigator of random acts of kindness that was a global endeavor. You saw many of the things I received as a result. Now I get to show you what I sent out and was finally received all the way in Tasmania. Stop by The Road to Serendipity and have a look. She’s been so hard at work there.

Before it was over, I made 3 rows. I couldn't let anything go to waste.

Before it was over, I made 3 rows. I couldn’t let anything go to waste.


A couple of fellow writing classmates have started blogs that are read worthy. The photography is excellent as is the writing. My friend, Sabine of In Cahoots with Muddy Boots, blogs here on Word press, my friend, Missy of Isabella Bird is here. So I’m going to try and find a few other ways to spread little bits of love around. Missy had some interesting ideas on what love looks like.

Hope your day is happy no matter how or if you celebrate.

Hope your day is happy no matter how or if you celebrate.

What ideas do you have for sharing little bits of love? What does love look like to you?

From my heart to yours,

Happy Valentines Day
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of a Way to Spread the Love" (41)

  1. I don’t do V Day either Marlene – never have. I think any day is a good day to tell someone you love them and roses and chocolates from the store aren’t necessary! I was telling another of my blogging friends earlier this week that I am decidedly ‘Bah, humbug’ about the whole thing.

    I love how you refer to your ‘last husband’ – it always makes me chuckle because I see a long line of previous husbands stretching away to the horizon with this one toddling along at the back of the line. And then, at the same time, I am unsure if you mean the ‘very last ever husband’ or ‘the last one before the next one comes along’ ……. I need answers Marlene 😀

    Five years with Bells is a long time huh? In the year or so that we have been communicating though I would say I have seen a big improvement – especially in terms of your spirits lifting. And of late you have been incredibly busy and there must be a degree of weariness in your soul and a longing for spring perhaps? I did wonder when you were busy doing up your new house and then helping your son with his if this was something you could have done a year ago. If you think about it from that viewpoint can you see any improvement?

    I had an accident in 99 that was a harbinger of a huge life change including the way I lived and thought. It took me 10 years to fully recover my physical health and the final improvements came about through changes in my thinking/belief processes and the foods I ate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, I’m stunned to hear you had such a bad accident that it changed your life. But then sometimes those changes are what move us forward. That’s what Bells has done for me. I think it’s created a better me. I’d like to know more about how you recovered from it.

      As for my last husband, yes, there will be no more. I was married 18 years to my children’s father who I loved deeply, with all my heart. He loved me the best he could. My children wanted more for me. Then there is the last husband. We married because of the children, his and mine. A little backwards I know. Once they were gone and the parents were gone, we had nothing left. Bells moved me out the door when I realized he would not be there for me when I needed help. I still care very much for him as a person. I will continue to say prayers and keep good thoughts for him and his children. Love doesn’t go away just because you chose not to live together.

      My son pointed out when reading my draft that I don’t still have Bells, I have the damage that remained from the illness. It’s given me new perspective. You are correct. I’m not sure I could have done all that work a year ago so I am improving and getting my strength back. One day, one moment at a time. Now I just need to get my waistline back. 🙂 Chocolate anyone?


      • 😀 [A small amount of] Real Chocolate is good for us………. isn’t that good news!!

        Thanks for sharing and clarifying the ‘last husband’ Marlene. But remember ‘never say never!’ We have so much in common – my ‘last husband’ [first and last, but I know, never say never] also lasted 18 years. I wanted more for myself and called it quits – I felt I’d tried long enough and hard enough and there was no movement from him.

        Your final paragraph tells me there is a way forward for you – this was also part of my journey – your son pointed out to you the difference in how you view your state of health and the actuality of it. We have to learn to see our natural inclination is towards wellness and instead of thinking about the illness and the ‘can’ts’ have to see the improvements and the ‘can’s. We have to stop talking about illness and start talking about wellness. We have to think that way and start every day noting improvements, visualising what we can do and want to do. We have to be prepared to let go of the excuses we make to not be well, to need help, to not live our lives. It is quite tough – or at least I found it to be so, Unconsciously I was tired of being who I was, I wanted to be ‘cared for’ and being ill was a way to get that. I no longer wanted to be responsible for anything, in a way I retreated into childhood – I wanted a mummy! I had to re-find myself, discover anew who I really was, what I was prepared to give, what I wanted to do – it was quite a journey of discovery and led me here! I am grateful for the accident and the ensuing years of illness and recovery that allowed me the time and space to find out who I really am. I think this is the gift of illness.

        And chocolate is an integral part of healing too! ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was tired of being who I was, I wanted to be ‘cared for’ and being ill was a way to get that. I no longer wanted to be responsible for anything, in a way I retreated into childhood – I wanted a mummy!
        That statement said it all. I had been the mummy to everyone from the time I could walk. Even my mother admitted it to friends. I was tired, desperately in need of rest. The illness gave me permission to make changes. I’ve read all the literature. Quantum physics, Buddhism, LOA etc. My library is vast. My daughter says the healing will come when I no longer need the illness. I know this but I still get frustrated with myself that I’m not there yet. I guess when you give from an empty well so long, it takes longer to refill. I think you and I are traveling a similar path. I know I can change this with my thinking. Maybe I just need an infusion of chocolate.:)))

        Hugs my wonderful friend.


      • The sooner you decide that where you are is just where you need to be and are okay with that, the sooner you will find yourself moving on. It’s awfully simple and dreadfully hard! xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      • So true. I don’t think about where I am most days. I just do what needs doing. I am so much better than 5 years ago emotionally and physically. Not much slows me down. Driving is another story. Others safety is a factor there. 🙂 You are correct; where I am is where I should be right now and it’s ok. Thanks for being a good friend and keeping my on track.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve really enjoyed this thread between the two of you. both women I think the world of. The changes you’ve made to your lives is inspired. Sending you love and peace. Thanks for making me think long and hard today. xox

      Liked by 1 person

  2. See that’s what’s so special about you, you still send birthday cards to your last husband. 🙂 I hope he is feeling better and will soon be home and breathing easily on his own. My ex just got out of the hospital after five day stay and now my oldest son is hospitalized and expects to be there a couple of weeks.

    I absolutely love that bunting! I’ve been considering making a few buntings myself to sway family members to use bunting over other decorations such as paper or balloons for celebrations.

    I took a look at your friend’s blogs, for newbies they have a true vision for their blogs.


    • Oh Lois, I’m so sorry to hear about your son. It must be quite serious for them to keep him so long. How are you handling all of this?? I’m here if you want to talk. You have my e-mail address. Ex’s can be ex on paper but not always in your heart.

      Thanks for checking out the other blogs. They are both better writers and photographers than I and terrific people to boot.

      As for the bunting, it would have been easier to make out of cotton but they needed it outdoors so I made it from oilcloth. Not crazy about that part but it should hold up to the heat there better than a cotton. I’ve never made bunting before nor sewn on oilcloth. Probably won’t again. 😦


  3. I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day either Marlene. When I think of love, I think of my parents. They’ve been married for 54 years and the love and respect they display for each other amazes me. My father treats my mother as if they were just recently married. His patience with her as she struggles with the early stages of dementia is what love looks like to me.


    • I didn’t have the example of what true love and respect are that you had which left me vulnerable to not such great choices in life partners. But each contributed something wonderful to my life so I have no regrets. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I get the same delight out of the idea of Valentine’s Day today that I did when I was 16. I think I just remain in love with the idea of love despite so many years of reality showing me that love is no fairy tale. I, too, am without a partner this year, and I’ll celebrate the sweet parts of the day with my Tara instead (that is, when Tara is not off celebrating with their own partner).

    I can identify with the first heart photo: a little worn. I like knowing that I got this way by living, though. I have lived the heck out of life so far, ha ha! And there is no way to engage with life and not have your heart show evidence of it.

    Your best message is to find a way to spread the love on Valentine’s Day. I will use your suggestion. There are some people that I would like to call and let them know I love them.

    There is no way for me to imagine what it must be like for you to continue to have to manage symptoms of Bell’s Palsy. Your approach to it as a riddle seems like a healthy one, though. It seems like you must have a little fire burning inside that keeps you motivated to find new approaches and stay open to new ideas.

    Another blogger did a post that I like and thought was theme-relevant for Valentine’s Day: another perspective on love. This time, self-love. https://bulanlifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/inspired-by-artnouveau-style-todays-sketch-of-the-day-no-519-in-myartjournal-white-flowera-symbolising-purity-and-the-quote-dont-lose-yourself-just-because-you-have-found-someone/


    • Thanks for stopping by Crystal. I checked out the other blog. I’ll go visit again. It’s always a dance in a relationship to hold onto yourself while giving of yourself. I could write a book on that subject. 🙂 I think we all want to be loved and give love but not at the expense of our uniqueness. I just kept saying that I didn’t fit in the box someone else prepared for me. Love sometimes lasts forever and sometimes it just changes and we must move on. I’m a good mover.

      As for valentines day, I’ll finish a quilt to go to the safe house and spread some love that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Marlene. ..you share the love in each and every blog you post! Your positive attitude and loving ways to those around you are really an inspiration. I know we having not been blogging buddies for long but I am gratefull to have met you and look forward to hearing more about your life journey. I will also check out your new bloggers buddies. Just continue to do what you do to share your love around! ♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

  6. NotAPunkRocker said:

    I don’t know about spreading the love, I tend to spend most holidays avoiding social media to keep from overdosing on affection overload.

    I love the promotion of your cohorts and new blogs, I will definitely check them out! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You spread love all the time Marlene. You have a big, good heart and it shows. I know my life is far richer because you are in it, even though we live far apart. As for Valentines, I don’t celebrate it either, never did. I’ll have to go visit your blogging friends. Have a wonderful day and keep being you and spreading your special brand of love. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m a big fan of randomly sent, totally unexpected packages to my girlfriends. Sometimes it’s mix CDs and little crafty things I’ve made, sometimes it’s inexpensive bits I’ve picked up, and sometimes (please don’t think less of me) I pass on to them treasures I’ve had in my collection that I think would bring them a bit of joy.

    But Jackie is right – all you really need to do is be you Miss Marlene. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my goodness, 5 years is a long time to be swinging between good days and bad days. We all need a little extra cuddling at times, don’t ever feel bad about wanting that. I popped over to Muddy Boots, thanks for the introduction Marlene, I had a nice visit there.

    Last month was a bit of a whirlwind, I’m looking forward to some lazing around doing whatever comes to mind. Not every day needs a plan right? Sometimes the best memories are happenstance moments. Being loveable in turn attracts goodness to your life, so I have no doubt, good things just around a bend for you xox I


  10. Whirlwinds are nice for awhile. Then we want the time to regroup and just soak in all the benefits of our hard work.. I like free floating days too. My guess is you need quite a few to balance out all that work and let those creative juices meld.

    As for good things around the corner, heck, I have them all the time. I have in house tech support. What more could a person ask for? I have lots of good friends and plenty to keep my mind active. Some days just flow better than others but none ever flow exactly according to plan. That’s the fun part. Thanks for stopping by Muddy Boots.

    I hope you get some rest now. What’s the next holiday push for you at the store? St. Pats day? Hugs, Bigger hugs, 🙂


  11. grevilleacorner said:

    What does love look like to me? I think there are different kinds of love.
    I was born on Valentine’s Day so I should know (laughing).

    The main distinction is between ‘possessive’ love and unconditional love. The former is about one person wanting to own another in various ways – “I want you to be mine” “be mine always” are common words in songs, for example. The latter is about being loving kind to others no matter whether they love you in return or not….and not needing to “own” them in any way – letting them be who they are.

    I prefer to practice the latter as far as I can. I think you are good at that too!

    Love, Steph xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading Steph. A Valentine baby! What a happy surprise for your parents. I agree with you about love. I’m not into the version of love that says I own you. That also applies to parents and children. Always considered mine a gift and on loan to care for.
      I think love is allowing an atmosphere of growth for all concerned and care for their well being but not at the expense of your own. But then, I’ve never fit into anyone’s box. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Marlene, your heart overflows. What a complex month for you, full of memories, milestones, and unexpected grief. You have a wise daughter, no surprise, who speaks volumes. I hope you can find a way to let go of the last of the ‘illness’ whatever that means to you.

    I’ve succumbed to chocolate myself, and not in respectable quantities either. Each day I get up and say I’m done, and each day a little bit flows back. It represents something I can’t quite kick to the curb. Still remaining mindful of it every day; still working on letting it go, not so much the chocolate itself, but the emotional hold it has over me.

    I wish your last husband well.

    Your quilted hearts, especially with the slightly frayed edge, made for lovely reading. xox


    • Thanks for reading Alys. Yes it’s been an odd month and only getting odder. I understand this illness helps me in keeping others from asking too much from me. I have a hard time with denying anyone anything. I needed to be cared for for awhile. I need to find another way. The Bells did a great deal of damage but I’ve healed more profound illness with just my mind. Maybe I’m being a bit lazy here. 🙂 Yes, I have the wisest daughter on the planet. She is truly awesome.

      Chocolate seems to come as a sewing accessory to my quilting friends. Anywhere I go, they are serving boatloads of it Machines must not work without and well chocolate oiled operator.

      I’m saying so many prayers for the last husband and family that the heavens are holding their ears. We have a 35 year history together with our children. It’s not looking good. There is mention of bone cancer and a minor stroke. I’m glad his girls had these last years with him being so close. It will be hardest on them.

      I made the hearts over 15 years ago believe it or not. Yes, it’s a little frazzled, as am I . 🙂


      • Chocolate does seem to be everywhere. I heard it described once as the perfect food: It looks, smells and tastes wonderful. It goes down smoothly and triggers (or increases) serotonin in the brain, the feel-good chemical and good friend of endorphins. Is it any wonder its hard to turn away?

        I’m so sorry to hear that your last husband is profoundly ill. I too am glad to hear that he had a close relationship with his girls at the end. I hope your son and daughter have made there peace as well.

        It’s really hard when you have a giving personality to let others take care of you. I find it especially difficult and always have, but I’m improving with age.

        I see my younger sister struggle to maintain her independence as her MS symptoms intensify. She was diagnosed 15 years ago, but has primary progressive MS so no remission. She accepts help and knows her limits but continues to work full time, to swim seven days a week at the Y (with a lifeguard present) and to stay mostly positive. It’s inspiring, but painful too seeing her move from cane to walker to motorized scooter in the past few years.

        I’m not sure what generated that tangent, but I’ll let it stand. Something to do with caring about people, asking for help, independence and long-term illness. It’s buried here somewhere.

        Best of luck with the days and weeks ahead. I’m thinking of you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Alys, Tangent away. I oh, so, get it. It is devastating even for me to see someone I have cared for and about for over 35 years to struggle with and for life.

        There is no unfinished business for either my children or myself. We’ve learned how fleeting a moment can be. We don’t believe in blame. Only personal responsibility. I take full responsibility for my part in everything that happens to me. It seems the kindest and healthiest way to be.

        I wish so much they will find answers for your sister before it’s too late. I think of her as a kind spirit teaching others and giving them an opportunity to be helpful. I would bet she has a heart of gold and radiates sunshine where ever she goes. I’ll keep good thoughts for her.

        I’m trying to understand illness from a spiritual (not necessarily religious) point of view since there is no understanding from a medical point. But that’s what I do, Search for all the answers. 🙂


      • We never stop caring for people, even when the day to day relationship is over. We also remember all the times we shared, and what that person once meant to us. Further, a caring heart does just that. It’s hard to see people we care about suffering. It’s also painful to feel the loss. In my sister’s case its the loss of mobility, energy and even appetite. Its hard to witness.

        Thank you for your kind words and for the hope of a cure.

        As for you and your children, I’m happy to hear of the path you’re on. That sounds healthy for all of you.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Love is who we really are. We are love incarnate. And I agree with the comment that we don’t need a special day to give love to others. That’s just a Hallmark moment. 😉 But just remember to love yourself also. For you are definitely worthy of receiving it.


    • I don’t know how I missed this comment. It seemed to have vanished into the ether until today. Thank you so much for stopping by. I’m just learning to love myself as it’s not a natural pattern for me. I don’t have a lot of understanding or faith in romantic love but the kind of real love we have for all things is more in my comfort zone. I guess there was a reason to find it today. I’ll have to look closer at it.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. It means a lot to me. Learning to love myself is a lesson that has come late in life and one I’m still working on. I keep reminding myself and others that you can’t give from an empty vessel.


  15. I think after such an incredibly busy previous month, it’s actually good to sit back and reflect for a while – your body’s probably telling you it needs time off, and perhaps that’s what makes you feel unsettled. I agree with you (and many other comment-ers) about St. Valentines Day – it shouldn’t be only one day and it certainly doesn’t need store-bought tat to “prove” you love someone. Big Business wants us to think that way – we certainly don’t have to. Thanks for a great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading Clare. Yes, I think my body was letting me know it was time to rest. I have no choice but to listen.

      I’ve also never been a fan of big business but am always looking for some little thing that lets people know I care. I so enjoy reading your blog. Learn so much.


  16. […] at In Search of It All  made her colorful bunting from oil cloth. It’s right […]



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