Looking for answers to life's questions

January was a long and arduous month. I was happy to wave goodbye. I accomplished little to speak of other than finally recover from the bronchitis I got after my back went out so completely my daughter had to wheel me into urgent care.

I used what they told my daughter to take for her bronchitis as it seems she gave the bronchitis to me while she was caring for me in my incapacitated state. What a sight we were. It seems you are most contagious the 3 days before symptoms present. We picked up masks as we entered the urgent care because there were so many with flu in there.

Avoiding the flu before we knew we had bronchitis. At least no one got that.

The first of February saw some return to health but still the need for resting. Now I’m almost back to normal and accomplishing a few things. I sent out several cards to friends as well as a birthday card to my aunt Mary who is my dad’s youngest sister and only a 18 months older than I am. We first met when my mother and I were left across the street from dad’s family while he was doing a yearlong tour of duty in Korea. Someone thought it would be cute to dress us alike.

 

Who thought dressing us alike was a good idea/

I didn’t see her again until I was 10 and then again at almost 14 when I move in with my grandparents. I was the little sister she never, ever wanted. For a year, she tried to teach me all the things a teenage girl should know. I was a little slow but she was a as patient as any 16-year-old could be with some little tag along. I’ve worked hard to nurture the friendship even though we have not seen one another in more years than I can count. She’s family and I appreciate what she did for me.

I’ve managed to get a little machine embroidery done. These are part of a set of six that will go into a quilt top wall hanging when complete. I’m avoiding a project that scares me so I decided to do these until I’m sure my brain has settled down from the coughing and sneezing as well as painkillers. I do not do well with medication. Scrambles my brain so I don’t connect the dots well. Can you tell here?

Lighting makes all the difference on how the fabric color looks.

Five by seven inches then borders will be added

I am also finally well enough to do a major clear and clean with some help from my sister. We can make a pretty good team. This has all needed doing for quite some time but the trick is to invite someone to visit that has never seen your home. My friend, Alys of Gardening Nirvana will be here next week and I have definitely let this place go for way too long. So, a fire has been lit under my lackadaisical self and things are finding their proper homes once again. I have filled more boxes for the thrift store and delivered them.

Half full of possibllities

Still room for more. Headed for the Senior center.

A box of “She was gonna”

There is another one in front of me that I have named the “she was gonna” box. The box of “good intentions” to read and make and do. Giving myself a break by passing it off to let someone else have a crack at it. It’s feeling so much lighter here already. And the weather feels like spring and will remain so all the way through her visit! I am so excited to finally meet after all these years of reading each others blogs.

 

What does it take for you to get things done you’d rather put off?

 

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "A Fantastic February" (62)

  1. Generally, it takes the MIL coming round for coffee and cake to get me out of the sewing room and into a frenzy of sweeping and dusting. The Husband doesn’t see it, and I don’t care, so bits on the floor and a dusty TV don’t bother us. But she gets that special ‘cat’s backside’ mouth on her. Doesn’t stop her eating my cake and taking a slice home… Your ‘She was gonna’ boxes remind me of the Husband’s ‘Ron’ boxes. When I first asked him what that meant, he said they were things he was going to deal with “laterRon”…

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    • As of this moment, the box of old magazines that I “was gonna” read is full with another stack to go. I will have to put them in small bags to cart them out of here because there is no way I can lift the box. It’s a good place to see what I’ve been holding on to for too long. Feels pretty freeing. When my mother was alive, I’d go into a state of panic before she came. I don’t feel that way anymore. I was in the process of this before I went down in a heap but now, I have some fire behind me. It feels quite nice to let this all go. Don’t want to leave it for the kids to deal with. 🙂

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      • We have no children, and I can’t help feeling the next generation (nieces and nephews) will have no interest in my books and sewing material. Once I get so old I can’t see to sew or read, I shall have to brace myself to say goodbye to everything. But not yet. I still get so much pleasure from everything that I’m not yet ready to let go.

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      • You get so much done that I am in awe. Looking to get there myself and by letting go of the things I know I will never get to, it takes some of the pressure off. Lightens my load. Like you, I’ll keep doing what I can till I can’t. Now I’m looking for places to pass some of this on. Have a wonderfilled weekend, Kate. Hugs.

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  2. I’m so happy that you and Alys will finally get to sit together and have a good chat – it makes all the difference when you see someone face to face doesn’t it – it’s the ability to touch I think that is missing from all our techie interactions. It’s funny how we tidy up before someone special comes, but really I don’t thin k it makes a blind bit of difference to the folk who really matter. That’s not what they are there to check out. I can’t wait to hear a report of your visit with Alys. She is such a special person, I know you will forget about anything that isn’t quite perfect the minute you see her. Have fun and enjoy your time together. xoxo

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    • I was in the process of clearing and cleaning after the holidays already when the back and bronchitis set in. It was due to the diagnosis more than the guest. Trying to make things easier for later if necessary. But this will give us room to play a bit. 🙂 That’s what I’m aiming for and seeing your space, I want that airy, light feel. I’m sure it will lift my spirits. My family and I are just so anxious to finally meet her and pass on real hugs to you from here. Thank you for the encouragement and sending giant squishy hugs your way.

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      • I think we reach a time in life when the question sits naturally in the soul about what we are leaving behind for others to clear up…… It’s a question that got me disposing of a lot of stuff I was just keeping because that was what I had always done 🙂 The quality of the light in this country has a lot to do with the ‘airy light feel’ you speak of. It’s something I’ve been pondering recently as video calls always elicit that response from my faraway friends even when I think it is dull and dreary. But then, also having a colour palette and not veering from it in home decor also helps cheer up a small and otherwise ‘tired’ space……. It’s all trickery 🙂

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      • I’m up for some trickery, Pauline. 🙂 It’s quite dark inside my home due to the covered carport and front porch so I’ve worked hard to lighten the inside. But letting go of so much is helping even more. This will be an ongoing process well after Alys’ visit. I can’t begin to express how much better I’m feeling and letting go is helping as much. Giant hugs. I wish it was a real one.

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  3. How lovely that you are going to meet Alys; as Pauline says, I suspect thoughts of your surroundings will be the last thing in your heads. Have a great time!
    Oh, and I love those embroidered panels.

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    • Thank you so much for those kind words. I’m sure we will have a great time and an uncluttered space makes it that much better. Starting spring cleaning a little early this year but then spring seems to be a little early. Alys is going to hand deliver a personal hug for me to Pauline. They are both treasures. Have a wonderfilled weekend.

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  4. I’m so happy to hear you’re feeling better, Marlene. Try not to over do it. Enjoy your time with Alys! Your embroidered panels are so beautiful. As for getting things done, I’m pretty good about not procrastinating…most of the time. Take care of yourself!❤️

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  5. Spring is definitely in the air, and definitely insighting the need to change, clean, move about and welcome lighter days and eventually SUN! My focus is my small garden plots in front of the apartment. A few weeds are popping up, the soil needs some amending, and I have been eyeing some primroses to add a little color until things bloom later. Take care Marlene 🙂

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    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Deb. I don’t have time for spring yet but looks like it’s not going to wait for my readiness. 🙂 I’ll give a shot at outside on Saturday with my daughter. I’ve been eyeing those primroses as well. They feel so happy. Hope you get time to get it done and give yourself a little spring lift. 🙂 Hugs.

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  6. Yeh… finally worked my way down through my reader and here you are.. 😀 And I so love your embroidery work Marlene.. Beautiful..
    So many bugs have been about both sides of the Pond.. I am so pleased you are now well on the way to mending.. Both my Daughter and Daughter in Law were ill in January and like you my daughter in law had to attend AE and was put in isolation too.. a chest and serious sinus infection..
    Its that time of year when we start to clear out and I have a couple of draws which need a spring clean..
    Wonderful that you and your Aunt even if similar in years have kept in touch.. Its so easy when we live far apart to lose contact.. And in January I made the effort to ring some of my relatives to break in the New Year.. Then discovered they had not been well..
    I hope the NEW Project now can be tackled in a new Light and frame of mind Marlene and Thank you so much Marlene.. I enjoyed reading and seeing your old photos too 😀
    Much LOVE..
    Sue xxx ❤

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    • Thank you so much, Sue for stopping by and your kind words. Yes, things are definitely looking up. Funny that the same thing happened to me 3 years ago in January in the same order. I had my back go out and then got bronchitis! January is just not my month. 🙂 Have a wonderfilled weekend too. See you soon.

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      • Onward and Upwards Marlene… The Year now can only Get Better 🙂 Take care of yourself.. Much Love and Hugs sent your way for a Lovely weekend..
        A soggy cold wet one here again.. 🙂 But I have a few things to keep me busy 🙂
        Hugs xxx

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  7. I’m sorry you were hit so hard with sickness. There’s been some pretty nasty stuff out there.

    Guests coming, having a party and moving are good kicks in the pants for me to get things done. I’m still holding onto a quilt top that my husband’s grandma gave me back in the mid-70’s. It’s draped over a chair in his office…someday, maybe!

    Have a great weekend and visit with your friend! 🙂

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    • Thanks, Missy. At least it wasn’t the flu! Moving 4 times in 4 years got me to part with so much stuff that I wonder how I still have so much. That’s a good reason to get the clear and clean going. I don’t have many parties but had planned to have my sewing group over for matzo ball soup the week after I got sick. Had to postpone but the house will be ready when I can finally get it rescheduled. 🙂 I can understand being reluctant to work on your husbands grandmother’s quilt. I would think long and hard about it as well. Have a wonderfilled weekend, Missy.

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  8. Moving is about the only thing that would get me motivated to clean and clear out. I don’t plan on moving anytime soon. ha! I have come to a point in my life that there are much more important things than a clean house. When things get too much out of control I do clean but a little dust and dog and cat hair doesn’t bother me like it used to. I am way past the point of trying to impress anyone. (Never did anyway) And since we rarely get company I’m not too worried about it.

    Your embroidery is wonderful! Big hugs, my friend! ❤

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    • You definitely have bigger fish to fry than a spotless house. Mine’s clean enough to be healthy but messy enough to be comfortable and happy. It was just full of stuff weighing me down and now that I know I won’t get time to do it all, it’s easier to let a lot of it go. I have a sign that says my house is protected by killer dust bunnies. So true. I have quite a bit of company so that keeps me more on my toes. If I let it get too bad, stuff starts disappearing that I need. You know, when you put it down and it goes Poof! I will be moving again in the near future so trying to give the kids a little break. Hate for them to have to deal with all of this. I’m glad you liked the embroidery. I’ll finish the wall hanging, then decide who to give it to. Hugging you daily in my heart.

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  9. I love the picture of you and your aunt Mary. Thanks for sharing. You must have a special relationship being so close in age. I really like the idea of your boxes of craft ideas passed on to others to pick up where we had intended to go. Mostly, though, I am glad you are feeling better and that you will get to spend time with a blogger friend. I don’t think that happens often enough. I hope you will post about your visit so we can all read with envy. Take good care and blessings to you. ❤

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    • Thank you, Karenlee. I am so looking forward to this visit. She is a person I have a great deal of respect for and deeply admire. I am extremely fortunate that she is coming to visit. I will do my best to take photos and give her a lovely visit.

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  10. I need Alys to visit me so that I get moving off my winter behind and get my house in shape. Sigh! Hope you are on the mend, Marlene. Love your embroidery!

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  11. Alys and Marlene together–watch out, world! I think you guys are going to have a great time and I can’t wait to hear about it. I’m SO glad that you are going to be fully recovered for her visit–how awful would it be to be sick for that?! Your embroideries are delightful–I love those tiny sheep!

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    • Thank you, Kerry. I love machine embroidery. What takes me months, can be done in a few hours. The sheep are adorable. Alys would have waited to visit had I still been ill. I did not want to chance anyone getting this. I do hope I can show her a good time here. The weather will be quite nice. I will make it a point to take a few photos. 🙂

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  12. Good for you for passing on things you no longer need or want. I’ve been doing the same thing, and boxed about 2/3 of my stuff up last summer. I haven’t missed anything yet! It feels so freeing to not be as attached to material things. Glad you’re feeling better! Hugs!

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    • My daughter was here today and looked around. She said I did a serious fluffing of the Chi in here. It feels lighter already. This will be a long term project but I have a good start on it already. I still do a little at a time. Work, rest, work, rest. I will not be so embarrassed to have people visit anymore. It really was out of hand and very overwhelming.

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  13. You must have answered the question posed at the end of your post by now. Seems like you are accomplishing plenty considering you are still recovering from being sick. Good to hear that by the way and that you are caring on is also great to know. Have always loved you handiwork. Have a peaceful Sunday Marlene

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    • Thank you, Eddie. I tend to push through to the best of my ability. Today will be another busy one as Saturdays are quietly spent with my daughter. I have a list of things I want to try and get done. 🙂 Everyday above ground is a good day. 🙂 Have a Zen Sunday, Eddie.

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  14. Your embroidery is fantastic, I don’t notice any missing of any dots….:) You’re doing just fine!
    What does it take for me to shift my ass into gear? Pretty much the only thing is the imminent sale of the house I’m in in at the time….I had to get organised when my husband and I were getting divorced and put our house on the market, but it was really hard. The new owners – such lovely people – were eventually obliged to help me pack up my daughter’s bedroom!!! I think they thought I would never leave. (In some ways I’m still emotionally in that house, it was a beaut.)
    My recent tidyings were forced on me because we were going to put the house on the market – god forbid strangers should see how I really live! Since making the offer to buy my mother’s share, I can go back to being the Stuff Slut I really am. I am trying to hold back, though, because (a) I have been appreciating my newly tidy lounge, and (b) I need to be more respectful of other people’s space! Once my new roomie moves in, I’d like him to think I can keep a house like a “normal” person. …….time will tell……
    Don’t overdo things, it can take a long time for a body to get back into gear. xxx

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    • You make me laugh, Jill. I’m pretty much a stuff slut too. My sister always calls me a hoarder but I have never reached that level. She just lives very sparsely and has no hobbies. Different kinds of lives. I cleared out a lot when I moved out of my last husbands house. I brought only what I thought I could use and left or gave away so much. He ended up dealing with putting the house up for sale eventually. I am definitely taking my time. I wear out faster than ever. Creative minds are never tidy. I have that on my license plate frame. Also a sign that says if you are coming to see me, you are welcome anytime. If you are coming to see my house, make an appointment. Alys is coming to see me but I want room for us to play so a bit of tidying up will help. Hope the roomie thing works out for you.

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  15. Well, your question is a bit tricky to answer, Marlene; it’s a long time since I’ve had my own space to think about. But having family visit used to do it; most of them are quite different from me and so my style wasn’t cosy to them, just cluttered. If you can call it a ‘style’ lol. I fluctuate between wanting everything out where I can see it, then ignoring it because there’s too much visual stimulation, then tidying up and putting things away, then the inevitable not being able to find things because they are not out and visible. (sigh) One dqay I shall have plenty of open shelving with curtains that I can slide all the way to the sides. Things will be visible when I need them to be and out of sight otherwise.

    I’ve had quite a bit of pressure from others over the years to get rid of things they didn’t think I needed or else shouldn’t want in the first place- I did give things away a few times, then when I missed them I searched and found them again and bought replacements. So now I don’t get rid of things to please others. They are never pleased anyway; they simply set their sights on something else I ‘should’ be doing or getting rid of or . . ..

    But I do think we all know when the time si right to let some things go; I did give quite a bit of yarn away to a good friend in Edmonton before I left. Fancy yarns that she could use for her doll-making and which I can replace later if I am able to use them. I’d planned on weaving with some of them, but for now only have a table loom and it’s in the storage.

    Marlene, I am So glad you are recovering from the back and bronchitis. I used to have problems with my whole respiratory system, from laryngitis to full-blown double pneumonia. I was lucky enough to find a preventive that also works if done early enough and haven’t had to deal with any of that for some decades now. I wonder if being flat on your back didn’t contribute to the bronchitis; I know it can cause pneumonia for some.

    I’m glad you are finding it rewarding to clear out a bit and also that you are finding time to be creative. I love those embroideries. I’ve never done machine embroidery, but hand embroidery was one of the first things I learned, back when I was nine. I’ve done it on and off ever since then, but not the past decade or so. I hope you share a photo or two of the finished hanging. I love the theme!

    Reading about your upcoming visit with Alys made me drool just a bit with envy. Not sure which one I envy most, though. lol I haven’t dropped by Alys’ blog for a while; still getting back in the habit of reading, but time is also a bit short this month. I think it’s wonderful to finally meet what, in essence, is a pen-pal. To get a real hug or ten in person! I expect you will both have the best ever visit! How lovely that the weather is co-operating, too!

    Spring, though . . . i’m looking forward to it, but for now am content not to have outdoor things to tend to. There’s enough on my plate indoors for now. But the thought of primroses . . . ! ! ! I do love them and they are such cheerful little things, aren’t they? And how lovely and spring-y they make a bit of garden seem. If I were in my own place, I should have a few pots of bulbs happening right now; hyacinths for the scent, paper-whites and those tiny yellow-throated narcissi just because they are so delicate and fragile and full of hope..

    Have a wonderful visit, Marlene both doing and being; both are so good for the soul.
    Love, Light and big warm hugs coming your way. ~ Linne

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    • Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave such a lovely note. I’m not getting rid of anything for anyone else. Like you, one or two have recommended I just toss it all. I’d rather toss the the one suggesting that idea. No, this time the imputes is all about my being more comfortable in my own space. It’s been nagging at me for quite some time and I just haven’t had the energy. Company gives me a great deal of energy so I’m very happy with the change. My daughter calls it “fluffing the Chi”. In Feng Shui, the more you move out and clear, the more good you allow in. My health issues require that I pare down and focus on what I really want to create. It’s quite freeing in many ways. Hugs and love right back to you, Linne. I’ll give Alys your regards.

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      • I think as we get older we tend to let go more of our need to please people. I am happy to toss that one out! LOL forgot to mention how nice it was to see that some of the magazines are ones I have collected, too. I’m still hoping to do some painting and writing, so I may hang on to them for a hile once I’m settled. I did give away all my paintss whe we had to move out of the condo; they dry up (acrylics, anyway) and that way others got the use of them. I kept the oils, alkyds and watercolours, of course. Anyway, just droppibng in for a minute. More love coming your way. ~ Linne

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  16. I think I can hear the laughter of two special friends enjoying time together! I just know that you and Alys will have the most wonderful visit together, Marlene. It’s so true! Inviting house guests is the perfect way to do some of those things that we have been putting off for so long. Your embroidered pieces will make a wonderful quilt top. 🙂 You do beautiful work, Marlene! Be well, be happy, and have lots of fun together! ♡

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    • Thank you so much, Dawn. Only 4 more of those embroideries to go and I can start with the quilting. My quilt instructor said today she’s not letting me get away with a simple sashing either. 🙂 I am so hoping Alys has a good time here. The weather has taken a turn to normal February weather so we shall see. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

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  17. Fantabulous to the extreme!! Marlene-a-go-go! I didn’t know Alys was visiting 😀 that’s so flippin’ awesome. As you must know, you will adore Alys even more than you do now. Alys, dear girl, is generous of heart and spirit. I’ll watch for all the news and some photo’s too. So excited for you both ❤
    Your little black and white photo is charming too. Its kind of funny when your Aunt and you are so near in age. My hubby and his nephew are too.
    Sorry to hear about your visit to urgent care. That must have been worrisome. These winter bugs really gripped half the continent I think. Including Mike, Alys and Jim. I don't know how I managed to escape the wrath. I took 5 or 6 echinacea's every day and lot's of vitamin C. Don't know if that was truly helpful or if I was just lucky.
    Your embroideries are amazing. I can hardly believe a home machine can do that! BTW, I used my coveted 'Hello Kitty' sewing machine to make both a skirt and dress to bring on holiday. I actually forgot how fun it is to sew 😀 Thanks again love, for carting it all the way to Victoria xox I'll treasure it and you too x K

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  18. I am glad you are doing better now Marlene. I have been using the time my writing class takes as an excuse not to clean, although I really can’t do it painlessly anymore. I keep stuff picked up, but today I found another “dog” under the bed where our dog sleeps a lot, if you get my drift. 😂

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    • Cleaning painlessly? What is that? Not sure when this place will get another good cleaning but right now it’s in top shape. I should invite lots of people over right now. The more I move stuff around, the cleaner the house gets. I’ve never had a dog that slept under the bed. Mine had her own pillow next to mine. Spoiled a little? 🙂 I’m going to take a writing class in April, I hope. Sounds like you are enjoying yours.

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      • I know, huh! 😉 Well, I used to clean madly before people came over, but we just don’t have much company anymore and when the kids occasionally bring a friend over, I just don’t care what anyone thinks anymore! LOL! Our dog used to sleep with us, but she is a cranky 16 year old lady now, and she can still jump on the bed, but prefers not to, but seems scared to jump down. I think it hurts her legs.
        How exciting for you taking a writing class! Where are you doing it? Online or locally? What kind of writing is it? I have thought about taking another creative writing class at the college, but I can’t do it online because of our connection here. The one I am taking is just exchanging assignments and feedback through e-mail, so I don’t have to watch any videos. But I am in a writing “group” that meets once a month, but it is always for presentations of different topics. But next month I was asked to facilitate a critique group of people who also are writing for children/YA. We are going to share two pages of our writing and critique each other. That’s what I thought this group was going to be when I first joined, so this will be fun! 🙂
        Let me know how your classes are when you start!

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      • The class will be at the senior center if they can get enough people interested. I have a college close by but they don’t offer a simple non-credit class. I hope the class works out. By April they could lose a lot of interest. 😦 Not mine though.

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      • I hope it works out for you, too! Hopefully, there are a lot of other writers in your area. 🙂

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  19. Your machine embroidery is beautiful! I got rid of some clutter last month too. It included pieces of projects that added nothing but guilt and “I was gonna!” I want my craft room to be nothing but inspiration!

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    • Thank you so much, Jean. I have new photos and new accomplishments that will probably be my next post. You’ll get a kick out of what transpired. 🙂 I’m glad to have someone else working on the “I was gonna” list with me. I think it will be the title to the memoir “I was gonna” write. 🙂

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  20. Wow, Marlene! You have got so much good work done. Brava! Those machine-embroidered pieces are gorgeous, my dear.
    I’m sorry to hear you have been so unwell. Bronchitis is terrible and I know what you mean about medication’s impact on your thinking.
    I’m glad you are finally feeling better and my goodness, you’ve been busy. One of the several things I like about your posts: your love for your family members and the little stories you share about your connection to them and why you appreciate them. Thank you for a lovely post.

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    • Thank you so much for stopping by. This month has definitely been a more productive one and it’s getting better by the moment. Connections are the most important things we have in this world. Nothing else really matters. More stories coming soon. 🙂

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  21. Yeah, me too. Inviting people over always makes me go that extra mile in getting the house spiffed up. Hope you’re feeling much much better by now!

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  22. Ah! Hard one to answer, Marlene! I just HATE the feeling of putting things off…I know exactly when I am doing it and I know if I would just hunker down and DO IT that the heavy feeling sitting there would be gone! So one has to wonder what the REAL reason is for putting it off 😉
    I am happy to hear you feel better. I am thinking it was a really rough winter for you…and hope that spring springs soon!! Much love to you my friend! ❤

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  23. AND OHHHHHH!!!! How could I forget to say that I LOVED THE EMBROIDERY!!! LOVED IT!!! 🙂 🙂

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