Looking for answers to life's questions

A Little Heart

Life has been a three-ring circus for the last month. Spending an extra amount of time getting ready for my son’s visit that was rudely interrupted by local fires and a outrageous amount of smoke was not a great way to start off my 72 year. We had some rain and then a short respite from the smoke.

It came back but not nearly as bad but enough so that outdoor activities for me were curtailed until the inversion layer lifted. In the meantime, my sister came to spend a couple of nights so my daughter could take her to a neighboring community for yet another test my sister needed to have done prior to a three day round trip to San Francisco.

Suzy Q and her very caring, competent friend made the 10-hour drive from my house to San Francisco through some more outrageous smoke to talk to a lung transplant team. Always the intrepid adventurer, my sister is taking on the possibility of getting new lungs while there is time. According to her doctors, her lungs have 6-20 months left. But she is a good candidate for new ones though only 15% of the population has her blood type and only 20% of lungs are viable. Not a lot to be optimistic about but we are giving it our best. So, you see there has been a lot occupying my mind and heart lately. It’s interesting that she spent the beginning of her years here in Oregon in the Forest Service doing a lot of back burning to stop forest fires.

This is what it took to get there and refilled to get back

I have been keeping busy all along to distract my mind from more troublesome thoughts. Perusing Pinterest one day I found something that spoke to me so deeply that I had to give it a try. Paper pieced hearts. I was told it would be too hard for me to learn but decided the struggle would be worth it. It’s my form of puzzle. The results were worth learning a new technique and I get to send out little bits of my heart.

Fabric goes on the back and you sew from the front!

I’m also going to show you what the end result looked like for the challenge we were given at my sewing/quilting group since we may not get back there again this year. I started and finished it right away but have been keeping it under wraps until our January meeting that won’t happen now.

Another challenge for my brain. Table Runner.
Back has all the colors of the front

These are the kinds of things that keep me out of bars and off the streets. Everyone has a vice and those, along with reading too many books at once and trying to get blogs read and one written are mine.

Are you finding ways to share a little bit of heart in your life?

From my heart to yours,

I’m always thinking of you

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "A Little Heart" (64)

  1. It’s good to see another post from you, Marlene, and catch up on your doings. I love your hearts and the quilted table runner. I don’t think there is any craft you can’t master!

    I’m sorry to hear about your sister’s lungs. Serious health problems are so hard.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your kind words and the visit, Liz. I’ve tried a lot of different crafts and there have been a few that eluded my brain. Needlepoint I had to hand over to my mother to finish. 😉 She loved being able to do something I couldn’t. My sister has lived life in a faster lane that I did but this is a familial disease. I’ve opted out of the drug trials or transplant option. Taking on challenging projects keeps my focus away from tougher things.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Marlene, evidentially you are like me…don’t presume to tell us we can’t do or learn something. It’s like waving the proverbial red cape in front of the bull.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I would guess you would be that way too, Lou! 🙂 Tell me I can’t and I will. I’ve been having computer issues lately and just got through with my first session of the new WP Block way of posting. My old computer wouldn’t even bring up posts or comments. I’ll have to visit you from here soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My dear friend is embarking on quilting and I can hardly wait to tell her about the beautiful heart/mug rugs!
    I hope your sister’s procedure goes smoothly, she’s one very brave soul.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sending out strong good vibes to you and your sister! She is a brave soul and kudos to her! I love, love, love your hearts! Who says you can’t do something? You can do anything if you want it strong enough. Someone said I couldn’t write a book and I wrote 2 of them! That same someone told me I couldn’t paint and I taught myself to do that! Stubborn fool that I am. 😉 I always love reading one of your posts. They always give me the warm and fuzzies. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Jackie! I agree, we need to not let anyone say we can’t. I see something I like and figure out how to do it. I’m a stubborn fool too. 😉 I am glad my sister is on the list. Now I just hope she gets new lungs. It’s tough to watch as you well know.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a difficult time for your family. Your determination to keep busy and stay positive seems like the best path especially when much is out of your control. Thinking of you, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Marlene, these photos are beautiful! What a crafty person you are, indeed! Many blessings on you and your sister. Holding you both in health and love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. Many people like to put puzzles together but when I’m done with mine, I have a mug rug or table runner to give away and it doesn’t have to go back in a box. Learning something new keeps my brain challenged and my focus on the positives in life. Thank you for your good thoughts for us. My sister requires a lot of my time and attention once again. I’ve been mostly absent here but occasionally come up for air. Keep taking care of yourself too.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a lovely craft idea. So you sew through the paper to the fabric and then tear it off?
    Those fires and smoke sound hellish. Your poor sister. I do hope she gets on okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The fires and smoke were very apocalyptic feeling. I’m sure the fires you had in Australia were very much like that. You can find out how to do paper piecing on You tube. That’s what I did. It does take more concentration which can be a good thing. I have no way of guessing how it’s going to go for my sister. It’s not an option I will choose. But I will do my best to be here for her. It’s taking a lot of my time and energy so I’ll be here even less. Hope you are taking care of yourself too.

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      • We are just starting to head into our fire season, Marlene. Hold you breath! I am sure it will be as catsstrophic as last year, as we have had less rain than the previous year. The only consolation is that there is less leaf litter to burn so that may help.
        Your sister is lucky to have you. I have not had a relationship like that so I will imagine.
        On blogging: I have weeks where I don’t feel like blogging at all and others where the word tumble out. It varies hugely but I try to keep a routine.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Routine??? 🙂 Mine goes to heck in a hand basket every single day. 🙂 I’ve been fighting with an old laptop and then with the new WP to add to the aggravation. I was surprised to get one post done. I’ll keep good thoughts for you on your fire season. We’ve never had fires this close before.

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      • They are frightening and the authorities can sometimes do little. We don’t have fir trees so the heat may be less intense here. Mind you, use the gumtrees have Eucalyptus oil, which burns. Any fire is so destructive. In our new estate, they raised the level of the beach tidal flat/swamp ingressed land so we are above the flood/climate change level and no large trees here to burn, so threat of fire is low. The wildlife corridor nearby could go up in flames and that would create smoke and danger but we are safe. I would love a house in the bush but not in Australia.
        Thanks for your good thoughts. They usually work so well. H how is the Covid threat near you, now? We have all but eliminated it. No cases for weeks. Down south it is dissipating too, but if they open the borders, things may change again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The nimrod in charge here is making a total mess of things so our numbers are going up. We posted our ballots today for change. There are still too many who don’t see the light. And no country will let us escape from here. Say lots of prayers.

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      • Numbers still going up? Not good. It has gotten away now. Guess the elite feel they are immune and it is a necessary for of population control. Disgusting attitude and seemingly contrary to the mindset I thought America was founded on. Ie. a new life with hopes and aspirations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It all starts at the top. He thinks he’s immune now and we have already seen a couple of cases of repeat infection. There are always two sides to every coin and we have a strong flip side going on now. My ballot has been safely deposited so I’m hoping and praying fervently for the best.

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      • They pumped him full of steroids that most people don’t have access too, is that right?

        Liked by 1 person

      • No one knows for certain what they gave him but it’s definitely now what the rest of us would get and maybe we will be luckier than he is in the end. There is no cure for his kind of crazy.

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      • No cure for someone who crashes through or crushes in his wake.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Aspen Liggett said:

    That was really a nice post. Thanks for having my back sis. Love you

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m collecting prayers for you. And strength for me to get us through this. It helps to have a virtual community while we have to isolate to keep ourselves well and optimistic. Thanks for taking the time to read and I’ll always have your back. Keep staying safe so you can get those lungs. Love you.

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  9. It’s good to know lovely people like yourself live in Oregon, for that’s where my nephew and his family has brought a home and expanding their business. I won’t say where or names, as that would be breaking family rules. I feel okay to say that seem to love it there and the children already sound like the locals when they visit their gran back in the UK.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for stopping by. Oregon is a wonderful state, Parts are lush and green, other parts dry and desert like. I’m close to Portland and the airport so family can come in and visit easily. A requirement for me. We are “Mostly” progressive and kind people here. No matter what you hear in the news, this is a wonderful place to live in spite of the nimrod in charge for now.. I’ve lived all over the world and this is where I picked to stop. I hope you get to come visit sometime.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yer’ll no get me on a plane! No way!! Yer more change of knitting fog our Lovely! Thanks for the [Welcome] flag though, nice t’know I’d find some lush (which means all sorts of things here, including a drunkard or a wanton person with the hots for anything that moves). 😍 🥰 😘

        Liked by 1 person

      • I forgot that word has too many meanings Until I use it for myself. I’m not a drinker but my daughter calls me tippsy McDrunkard because I wobble when I walk. Bells Palsy left me with a balance issue so I use a cane to stay upright.. I don’t think anyone is flying international much these days. I’ve done it all my life. Hopefully, I’ll get to do more soon. Keep taking care of yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. A Little Heart

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  11. I’m sorry to hear about your sister’s lungs. I’ll keep her in my thoughts and prayers. 🙏🏻
    I love your projects, and sharing pieces of your heart. One thing that’s helped me recently is sharing food with a couple of outreach places here in Bend. We need more kindness and thoughtfulness. Take care, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you 100%, Missy. We need more kindness and thoughtfulness. I’m baking for a bake sale to help some of our less advantaged families in our park. Most of us are just skating by but when you look around, so many have even less and have children. Thank you for your kind words and especially your prayers. They are appreciated.. Keep taking care of yourself. Sending hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Love, prayers and hope for your sister! Your heart, and hearts, are truly beautiful Marlene, not just because “they kept you out of the bars and off the streets!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks you so much, Cindy. Especially for the prayers. I do love that phrase even though I’ve never been the bar or street type. Maybe because I stay too busy. Wish I could get more young people hooked on something that kept the mind and hands occupied. You have your outrageously outstanding photography. A true gift to the world along with your insight. Hugs

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  13. How lovely that you have acquired a new skill which opens up so many possibilities. I have dozens of paper piecing patterns I’d love to share with you if you’re in the mood to pursue it. I’m glad to hear your sister is optimistic and still able to travel with assistance. And you, dear friend. How are you? Your own heart is so large it has room for everyone, but how is the ‘house’ it lives in?
    I wanted to point you at one of the photos in my/Mouse’s post today. The huge tropical tree, last shot but one – it’s an albizia, a pink silk tree! See how huge they can grow in the right climate and with space…? Mind you, we’ll all be long gone before yours reaches even a fraction of that height and girth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll keep your patterns in mind, Kate if my list of projects gets short enough to take them on. I’m doing much better than my sister because I walk at least 5 days a week, uphill and down. I work my lungs and heart hard but am seeing some changes. Just hoping for enough time to get my list completed. Which is why I keep adding to it. 🙂 I will be trimming my tree again this morning. It’s rubbing against a neighbors roof line. Since we are heading into winter, now is the time. I’ll head over your way after my walk this morning.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I’m happy you’ve had some family time, Marlene. I’m so sorry to hear about your sister’s health. I’ll keep her in my prayers. Your quilted table runner is gorgeous. You are so talented. I have my mug rug in my writing room, so every day I think of you. Take care and stay safe! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Jill; especially for the prayers for my sister. Each one helps. She is so strong and optimistic herself. This has been a long time coming but you are never ready for it. I’m glad you are enjoying the mug rug. I just love sending out little bits of love into the world. I’m hoping to get to making more soon. My project list just keeps getting longer. And now is baking time too. 😉 You keep taking care too and stay away from the carriers. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  15. thank you for sharing your talents with us……….your creativity and how you handle adversity. You are such a beautiful soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Your quilting work is gorgeous, Marlene. I’m thinking positive thoughts for your sisters in the upcoming weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for the kind words and positive thoughts. I think they tend to wait until there is no waiting time left and then who knows if things work out in her favor. It’s a tough spot. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Troubles arriving in battalions for sure for you- wishing you all well. I love the projects you have shared- I really really like the bright colours you work with , especially the butterfly fabric- you have brightened my morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Cathy. I pick colors that I think the recipient will like. Fortunately, I have a rather large stash to work from. I’ve made half a dozen of these already and more to go, when time permits. I have a whole bin full of butterfly fabric as it’s my favorite. 😉 Thanks for the visit. See you soon.

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  18. I love the pierced hearts! Sometimes tackling something new is great for the brain, and also the heart (pun intended). You are so talented, Marlene. I’d love to go to an art museum with you one day. Or, go to the big annual quilting show in Sisters, OR. Well, I’d love to just sit and visit with you on your porch.

    I hope Suzy Q can find a donor! That spunky little sister has the determination it takes. She’s a surviver. That must have been quite scary with all the smoke, but also interesting that she worked as a forester on Oregon. I bet she wasn’t scared.

    Happy quilting and happy reading to you, Marlene.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Jennie. She has lots of Angels around her so I hope things work out for her. I’ve always wanted to go to Sister’s quilt show but it’s so crowded and you have to make reservations a year in advance. They aren’t even doing the smaller local quilt shows now. ;( Those things are breeding grounds with so many people. But I have enough of everything to last me probably FOREVER! 😉 Loved the intended pun. 😉 Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Reservations a year in advance??? I knew it was perhaps the biggest and best quilt show, but that’s over the top. On our first trip to Bend to see our daughter, we went to Sisters and stumbled upon the show and quilts. It wasn’t super crowded then. What a treat!

        I’m glad Suzy Q has Angels around her. 🙏🥰

        Like you, I have everything I need. I lead a simple life. Teaching young children, nature, reading aloud… simple and wonderful. Always love your posts, Marlene.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m a little sad that Pauline’s quilted heart didn’t make it on time, but I know her daughters will cherish it as they cherished her. I love the beautiful pieced quilt that lives on my desk, and I’m delighted to read more about the process and your personal challenge. It’s really hard, for me anyway, tackling new things that require calculation and thought. I have great admiration for you.

    It’s shocking to hear about your sister’s health in terms of numbers and values, especially the expected life expectancy without a transplant. I didn’t realize they had such limited success.

    I wish I could pop up there for a tea and a chat. I hope the cooler weather brings you peace from the fires at long last. The Glass Fire is now 100% contained. We’re holding our breath for the rest of October and November. (2018’s dreaded Paradise fire started November 2nd or 3rd.

    I’m so glad you’re still writing and sharing, MH. I’m trying to do the same, but I can’t seem to focus. I’m going to try today.

    xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Alys. I know you are struggling in your own way too. It takes away bandwidth to concentrate on things. My banana bread was a disaster which has never happened before! The prognosis for my sister is even less optimistic than she previously thought. The smoke took it’s tole on both of us and she had more of it going to San Francisco. I sure as heck hope the fires end everywhere soon. I keep thinking of giving up the writing but then I miss everyone and post anything to keep me connected. WE are getting freezing temps this week so I’m hoping it helps keep the air cleaner. I’m still walking because I must. I haven’t heard from the girls if they have the mug rug in hand as it was delivered to Pauline’s address on Oct. 5. They are a fun challenge. Keeps my mind off other struggles. I’ll keep good thoughts for you and yours. Lots of love.

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  20. You already know how much I love your heart(s), Marlene! And I also love learning new things via YouTube!! 😄 Just last weekend I changed the socket of my ceiling lamp (the old one went bust) and thanks to YouTube all went well. Think I should get a Pinterest account to look out for new creative ideas as well. 😉
    Wishing your sister all the best for the planned transplant and that everything will work out well – I know from your stories you’ve shared here how adventurous and brave she is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m happy to hear you like the hearts, Sarah. 😉 They spoke to me when I saw them. I have to use YouTube every time I join the binding on a quilt because I can’t remember from one time to the next. I just need to make more of them. 😉 I’ve had a Pinterest account for a long time and spend less time there these days. I have plenty of ideas now.. Just need to carry them out to completion. They called my sister on her birthday but the lungs turned out not to be right for her so she is still at the top of the list. There is really no other option for her. She’s running out of time. Thanks for the good wishes. We need them.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. “These are the kinds of things that keep me out of bars and off the streets.” That made me smile. Beautiful quilting too! Marlene. I’m sorry to read that the available lungs weren’t a match for your sister. Hold out hope. It seems with transplants that things can change on a dime, including toward good news. Sending you and your sister light and healing and love. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  22. That purple heart is gorgeous!! I love it so much! It must have felt pretty good to be told that you couldn’t do the project without practice, and yet your very first effort was so great! I also love the table runner and the way you pulled all the colours together with the back fabric.

    I am so sad to hear about Aspen’s struggles with her lungs. Having breathing difficulties must be the most terrifying of health problems. I love her fighting nature and the fire and life it takes to decide to go through the steps to get a new lung. What an incredible woman. Hugs to you both for getting through all this stress.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Crystal. Yes, just tell me I can’t do something and watch me go. I got that from my mother. It’s fun playing with colors.
      We are still hoping for new lungs for her. There isn’t much time left on those she has. She’s never been one to give up either. We are both having problems breathing while wearing a mask. I’m probably not going out again until covid is under control. I have enough to do to keep me going for a LONG time. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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