Looking for answers to life's questions

Bloggers are a different breed of people. I think most have a broader perspective of the world. Our world is larger in many ways even if it appears to the eye to be quite small.

I started blogging six years ago to enlarge my world created by a debilitating illness. I could no longer drive my car that had taken me thousands of miles across the country. Catching a bus to go shop was a major event that brought a great deal of fatigue. The blogging community rescued me from self-pity and taught me I could reach out as well.

African Violet loves the kitchen sink area. Happy day.

I have met (virtually) many who are in some capacity, more debilitated than I, offering great strength and courage. Their tenacity moved me forward. Even though we are somewhat debilitated or even disabled, we still have much to share with one another.

Over the last year, my local quilting friend Patti was working on a cross stitch that I fell in love with. It was a pattern company I was familiar with but had never seen this design. Already having given away all counted cross stitch patterns I had as I could no longer see the tiny squares, I asked Patti if I could borrow the pattern to copy and share with a blogging friend that I thought might enjoy it. I was hoping to pay this blogger to make it for me.

Patti said that as soon as she was done with the pattern, I could have it. True to her word, as I ogled the finished project, she handed over the pattern which I promptly forwarded to my friend Lois at Life in a Minimalist Farmhouse.

I have sent and received gifts from many bloggers over the years. They are cherished more than anyone can imagine. These people have never and probably will never meet me in person. Despite this, we have formed deep and personal relationships. Lois is one of those friends who inspire on a daily basis. She reclaims cast offs and re-purposes them, inspires neighbors to garden, repair and rebuild. I had a lot of pink fabric and no more little girls to use it on as well as a few children’s books and no more children. I passed them on to Lois who had grandchildren that appreciated what she made from the fabric and enjoyed the books.

Previous gifts from Lois

This is what I received from Lois soon after sending her the pattern. Now she is making one for herself from it and then sharing it with another friend.

She chose different colors than the pattern asked for. I LOVE them.

I can be quite slow about getting things framed but this was too beautiful to wait. After all the hours of her hard work, I had to get it up on the wall quickly. So. I went to Craft Warehouse and had a discount coupon to get it framed in a way I hope brings more attention to the art than the frame. Thank you, Lois. You do incredible work. Her work on holiday and celebration gifts are stunning. Stop by and pay this amazing woman a visit. She just posted her version of this design so stop by and take a look at it here.

The frame is the same color as the trees.

Have you enjoyed close friendships with other bloggers?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "Gifts in the Mail" (69)

  1. Wow! That looks amazing, Marlene…the frame is perfect.
    Oh yes, blogging has blessed me with so many wonderful and caring friends. Have a great weekend!❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. That is absolutely beautiful!! Lois is so talented as you are my friend. Have I made close friends as a blogger? Oh yes! I count you and Lois as two of them. ❤ Both of you have helped me through some rough times and I am forever grateful for it. I have your gift hanging on my wall where I see it everyday, several times a day and smile. My heart if full with friendships like yours. ❤

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    • We just keep passing the love around, The rest doesn’t matter. I think of you both everyday and send good thoughts. Because I’m so isolated physically, blogging really helps in ways no one could imagine. Lois is talented in ways that I’m not. I look for you on FB just to make sure you are still ok. Hugs, M

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  3. That is a beautiful gift ! How absolutely wonderful of Lois to craft it for you. It looks really awesome framed and hung. I have never taken to cross stitching but only know the most basic stitches. I’ve joined the trend of stitching on paper projects currently, which always looks extra pretty but I would never take on such an intricate project. Frankly, my eyes are not good enough to count the crossed fabrics either. I’d have a house that would probably be very wonky 😀
    As you know, blogging has brought so many wonderful people into my life. There’s you of course, Alys, Pauline, Julia, Laurie, Joe and I’m sure others that I’m missing. With all the ‘crap’ that goes on in the world, we’re the lucky ones that know there’s hope for humanity. 😀 xo Boomdee/k/p…LOL

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    • Once upon a time, I could do the counted cross stitch. No longer and Lois is a master at it. I add her to the list of wonderfully humanitarian humans. I have the same list you have but don’t know Joe. There are a few more and then there is Lois. She inspires me to keep on keeping on. There really is more good than bad in the world. The bad just makes more noise. I’m putting in ear plugs. If it’s attention they want, they won’t be getting it from me. 🙂 Good people will always get my attention. Lois just posted her own version of the same design. I added the link at the bottom part of my post. She is impressive in so many ways. Have a wonderfilled weekend, Sweetie. Hugs.

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  4. What a beautiful gift and a beautiful story! I agree with you about the world of bloggers: my world is expanded as a consequence of learning from the thoughts and experiences of fellow bloggers 🙂

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    • Thank you so much, Sandra. I actually have closer friends online than here where I live. I’ve moved so often that making close connections has been difficult but bloggers are different. More accepting I think. Appreciate the visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful gift! What outstanding work she did. As for making virtual friends…I so understand your post. And I count you right up there with my list of virtual friends!

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    • Thanks so much, Linda. I count you as one of my friends as well and try to not miss many of your posts. Lois is an inspiration for me. She whipped out that cross stitch in record time. I was shocked. I’ve added the link to the bottom of my post a few minutes ago as she posted her own variation of the same design. She is amazing. Thanks for the visit and have a wonderfilled Mother’s Day.

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  6. Oh, Marlene, what kind words, thank you but you know you didn’t have to. I was happy to do this for you and glad you are enjoying it, it looks lovely the way you had it framed, and thank you for the chart mine has been finished as well. As I worked on mine I kept wondering what you would think of the conversion and then shook it off knowing you have the piece you fell in love with.

    It’s interesting to read what prompted others to start a blog. While we had different motivations I’m glad we met here and count you as one of my most special friends.

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    • I was pretty much bed ridden when I started blogging. I’ve come a long way since now that I can drive a 20 mile round trip. You have been on the top of my list since we met here. I love that you made changes and weren’t afraid to do things differently. 🙂 I like that about you. Added the link to your current blog to mine as well. 🙂

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      • I’m thrilled to hear you are doing so much better. Goes to show what stubbornness will do for us 😊

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      • Sorry, hit the wrong button on the touch pad. I’m rarely afraid to make changes but do sometimes worry about doing so when the chart was a gift from someone close like my grandchildren who are too young to understand why I might change a pattern they loved enough and thought I would too.

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  7. I think we get the friends we deserve, and you clearly deserve excellent friends! I’m so glad she was able to make something for you that was dear to your heart, it will have given her joy to do so. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. That is such a lovely piece of cross stitch by the lovely Lois – and the frame really finishes it and makes the work pop too. Well chosen Marlene! I like your opening sentence too – a different breed of people – the ones we know are a fabulous breed of people aren’t they 🙂 We really are fortunate to have our worlds so opened and enhanced, our views widened and deepened and our hearts touched in so many ways. And the unexpected gifts are also a treat 🙂 Enjoy, enjoy! xoxo

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    • I just added another link to the bottom of my post as Lois just posted her finished version of the cross stitch. I once upon a time would wander into a bit of self pity but meeting all the wonderful people here and there that are overcoming great obstacles, keeps me focused on the resiliency of the spirit. I am so very grateful for all of you. I had help choosing the frame. 🙂 My friend, Patti had no idea how far her gift of the design would go. I could never have made that myself. Life is good. Giant hugs to you and yours. Siddy and Orlando included. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That is absolutely gorgeous, and what a wonderful generous gesture. It looks stunning in the frame!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jill. Lois just posted her own version and the story about her changes to it on her blog. I just added the link at the bottom of mine. She is an amazing woman who accomplishes incredible feats from an electric wheelchair. Her indomitable spirit keeps me off the pity pot. 🙂

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  10. Beautiful work, it is amazing how giving bloggers are. When life gets too full and I feel I can not handle one more thing, I get the lift I need from my blogger friends and the nicest part is that they probably don’t realize it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have the best circle of friends here that I cherish. I think we keep each other lifted up. Lois just posted her version of that same design and I just put the link to it on my blog. Who knew she would do it today.? Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. Beautiful! Love the connection, kindness and creativity of the blogging community 💕 what a lovely share Marlene.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. […] Why am I telling you this today? It’s because those memories came flooding back when I received a cross stitch pattern in the mail from my friend Marlene.   […]

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I used to love to do cross-stitch Marlene. I learned as a young girl and it was one of the hardest things to give up when my arthritis wouldn’t allow me to thread or even hold the needle. I used to do one project after another. Now I just play a cross-stitch game online…not nearly the same as creating beautiful things with ones own hands.

    I so appreciate all my blogging friendships. The connection to others is priceless. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Deb. I am so grateful I can still do some handwork but counted cross stitch is off my list. Gave all of my kits and floss to Lois and she has made good use of them. I sew by braille sort of on the machine and by hand. I like my kindle because I can make the print quite large so we find ways to adapt to our impediments. Do a lot of audio books too these days but I do get the arthritis thing. A lot of my friends have much the same problem. Bloggers are the best. I’m having a day with my daughter on Sunday. Hope your Mother’s Day is great as well or do you have to work?

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  14. Blogging opens up a whole different world for those with an open heart and mind. It’s been a great experience for me as well virtually meeting and being friends with people we might not necessarily come across in real life. It’s even better with you being part of it!

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  15. Oh Marlene, what a nice tribute to your friends. You’re a very sweet lady, yourself! Have a great weekend and happy Mother’s Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is truly delightful.

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  17. What a wonderful gift! And your were very smart with your framing. I worked as a picture framer for years and, too often, people chose elaborate frames that overwhelmed the actual artwork! I think you inspire generosity in people, Marlene!

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    • Thank you for your kind words, Kerry. I did end up liking the smaller frame rather than the one I originally picked that had a barn wood look to it. It may have overpowered the work and I did not want that. I’m going to write on the back who made the art and when. The glass is to protect it. I am very blessed in my life. Have a wonderfilled weekend.

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  18. This is so wonderful, Marlene. I love this post because it is so true- we bloggers have terrific and important relationships with each other. I can’t imagine being without you (really) or Robin, or Dan, or Sally, or Pete… so many friends. Lois must be a shining star among blogging heaven. Thank you for sharing her story and the beautiful cross stitch. Glass half full, Marlene. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. This is one big reason, that no matter how much time I “don’t” have, no matter what I’m doing in my life, I HAVE to keep blogging. Even if, times like right now, when I’m swamped in coursework and am working my tooty off at the day job, I still must blog. Because you get to be part of a community of people who you come to adore. I share your sentiments, friend. I understand the appeal of keeping going. Hehe.
    To that end, I have also formed some incredible friendships. The people I “see” each week fill my heart: I, too, have received gifts, sent them, and fomented strong relationships such that I crave those interactions. They mean so much to me.
    In addition, that pattern up there is simply incredible. All the beautiful work – I am just blown away! What a beautiful pattern you found and the frame goes very well with it. ❤ So glad you have that treasure now, as it will bring you happiness for many years to come.
    I'm also sending you big hugs and wishes for lots of healing, light, and love in your life. You are such a gem and I'm so glad our paths have crossed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Cynthia. I can also use all the those good wishes. I have made amazing friends here and care about them deeply. I don’t have a day job anymore but still find it hard to spend time reading posts and writing when so many other “tasks” require my time and attention but like you, it’s hard to give up this community of broader minds and larger hearts. Lois does great work beyond the handwork. She is educating one mind at a time with great tenacity and courage.

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  20. I’ve always been amazed at how we can get to know someone over time, to learn about each other, and eventually feel close to them as a friend…through blogging, and all of it over the internet. It never ceases to amaze. But, I’m in! I love it, too. I truly can’t imagine life without it. You are very blessed to have met Lois and I want to say how beautiful her work looks. It is warm, welcoming, and cheery all at the same time. What wonderful gifts to receive. But, she wouldn’t have made or sent them if you weren’t equally wonderful, Marlene. Loved this post. Thanks for sharing your friendship with us. ❤

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    • Thank you so much, Karenlee. I like giving more than receiving. It’s always hard but I’m so delighted with her talent and graciously accept her kindness. You can know someones heart from how they write about things. I think we can tell if others are not being honest with us. I’ve made many good friends here and so very grateful for each and everyone. Hope you have a wonderfilled week.

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  21. Those are some nice gifts

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  22. I’m so glad you’re hear, Marlene, and that we found each other. I’m one of the lucky ones that got to spend time with you in person. Julia recently mentioned wanting to take a road trip to meet you as well. I hope we can make that happen, too.

    Lois is a treasure! That cross stitch is gorgeous! I’ve not seen anything like it either. I did cross stitching for years, but I need to join the chorus of those that just can’t see to work counting cross stitching. I have one, unfinished cross stitch from a kit of four intended to make into cards. I completed and gave away the first three over twenty years ago. I started this fourth one shortly before getting married. Because it’s half done, I’m having a hard time letting it go. Funny that.

    I’m hopping over to Lois’ posts now. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • She is a gem and I hope more pop by her blog. All the beautiful things she’s cross stitched and the things she made from found objects always impresses me. She also has a wonderful, caring heart. It would be lovely to see you and Julia. I have Julia’s post open but have not sat down long enough to read yet. Always the long list of to-do’s. 😦 Later this morning after my walk.

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      • I had a good visit on Lois’ blog. Perhaps when I’m a true empty nester, I’ll have time to follow a few more blogs. I hate to fall behind, so I’m careful not to over-commit. I’m finally feeling caught up at home after so many weekends away and all the college stuff. We celebrated Mike’s birthday on Tuesday. The boys both have birthdays in early June. Then we’ll slow down for the summer (she says hopefully). We will make a plan to see Julia!

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      • It’s called deep breath time. Just relax and ease into the summer and see what it brings you. I’ve unfollowed quite a few blogs as now I’m giving my health my full attention. I’m easing into each day and seeing what I need for wellness and it’s certainly not more to do. 😉 This is the advice I’ve been giving myself. I think it’s working. 😉

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      • Marlene, I applaud you for scaling back and focusing on your health. Brava! I’m always amazed at how much “busy” creeps into our lives. It happens slowly over time and suddenly it’s all too much. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed myself these past two months with so much going on. It’s so nice to have an unplanned weekend. Last night we watched a couple of comedy specials and today we’re going to a movie. I’m reading my favorite blogs and listening to happy birds outside my window. Deep breath time it is! xo

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      • Yay and good for you!!! Took a writing workshop all day. Lots of learning and my sis will be here tomorrow. Daughter is working through the weekend as they have moved their office this week. I miss her but so very proud of who she has become. Doors are open and fresh air coming in. 😉 Giant hugs.

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      • I haven’t taken a writing workshop or class in years. I love that you’re still taking classes. What were your key take-aways from today (yesterday I guess)? I’m glad H is doing so well. I’m glad I met her too, as it rounds out the picture, so to speak, of your family. Perhaps one day I’ll meet your son as well. Hug received, and returned!

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      • I need to look at things from different perspectives and stop being so fearful with writing. I have an hour class every Wed at the Senior Center that is free. Only 4 more to go I think. It inspires. I love taking classes. I could audit at the CC but timing is always off.

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      • I love taking classes too, and did so during my single adult years. Soon I’ll have time to do that again. Fear is debilitating. If we all had the magic formula for setting it aside (not for a car barreling down at us, but for things like writing, art, and creativity in general) it would be freeing.

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  23. Oh good grief, *here* not *hear*. xo

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  24. 🙂 Made my heart smile!! ❤

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  25. This is such a beautiful and thoughtful gift and the frame you chose fits it perfectly and doesn’t at all distract from this piece of art but only enhances its beauty. I’m so glad blogging has done you so much good, Marlene, and I actually feel the very same about it. It’s wonderful to reach out even beyond our habitat so to speak and cross the world in a blink and a mouse click to chat with our friends. And I count you to one of the closest I have here and am really glad we met! 😄❤

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    • Thank you, Sarah. The internet has opened a whole new world for us to connect with friends of the heart. I have made a few very good friends here and try to be one as well. I’m glad to count you among them.

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