Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘Bells Palsy’

In Search of My Dream Reader

One of the first assignments from Blogging 101 was to write a blog to our dream reader. At the time I was unable to define that idea. Who was my dream reader? Heck, I was happy to have anyone read anything I wrote.

This blog was originated to find help or someone else on the planet who had Bells Palsy as long as I’d had it or possibly someone who could help me get rid of it. That was almost three years ago and I’d already had Bells almost two years. It will be five years in February. I wanted contact with the outside world since I was at the time virtually housebound, unable to drive anymore or walk without a cane since my balance had become impaired by the illness.

My dream reader in no longer someone who can help me but more someone to whom I can forward the help and inspiration I’ve received here. Now, I want to share what I’ve learned from this very weird illness and the spiritual growth that has come out of it. My daughter said it was to teach me “don’t just do something, sit there” which is the complete opposite of who I am and how we were raised. Doing something takes more effort than ever. Before I was ill, my dog never laid on my lap. The lap never stayed put. Once Bells started running my life, I had more lap time. Not as much anymore but that’s why I write with a lap-top. So I will sit there and do nothing (but write).

When I read Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life I looked up the illness of Bells Palsy. Under probable cause for the illness it said “extreme control over anger. Unwillingness to express feelings.” I have 3 copies of that book and was a walking, talking example of that probable cause. I was a very ANGRY person and no one knew. The anger is now gone and I’m quicker to express my true feelings, gently.

There are many books that have helped me along the way but none have been as helpful at restoring my health as my readers and fellow bloggers. At one time I felt alone in the world without support. This gypsy who never had roots has them in the blogging community now. Out of 160 followers, probable only a dozen actually read my posts and that is who I write for. They cheer me on and we wish each other well. We have kindness, empathy and a desire to connect in common. We learn from one another and teach our little bits of wisdom. You know who you are. You are my dream readers. My heart is filled with gratitude for you.

gratitude heart

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of My Word

Words are interesting. Our language gives us so many words for the same idea. Being a “wanna be” writer and a heavy reader, I love words. They are especially precious when you almost lose them. Many of mine wandered off when the Bells Palsy hit. Writing helps me find them again. Now I better understand how stroke survivors feel.

I have been looking for words in my native German to describe my new home to a 92-year-old friend living in Germany. When I’m on the phone with her, the words come harder because I have to think about them. The flow is long gone and many words I just don’t know. When using an online translator, I often end up with the English word because the computer can’t find the word I’m trying to use. How hard can the word “front porch” be to translate? It took a while, but an appropriate word finally appeared, I hope.

Ich habe einen neuen Ort, um zu sitzen!

I printed this picture to go with the phrase.

I printed this picture to go with the phrase.

Another way we use words is to describe ourselves and others. Have you ever been asked to describe yourself in one word? Hard to do since we are multifaceted humans. Mine used to be the word ‘kind’ or ‘caring’ or ‘compassionate’. Those are good words. I could have also used ‘pushover’, ‘amiable’, or even ‘gullible’ on occasion. Guess you could say I’m well rounded if nothing else.

My path, like my life, wobbles a bit. There will be readjustments along the way.

My path, like my life, wobbles a bit. There will be readjustments along the way.

Now I have a new word I use to describe myself. This house has taught me that in spite of life’s many challenges, the word ‘tenacious’, is the word that says it all where I’m concerned. Life hasn’t been easy, but I kept working to make it better. This house is a bit like my life. Good bones but there is a lot more work than expected. So do I throw in the towel before I’ve explored every possible option to make it better? Not going to happen. Like a dog with a bone, I will hang in there until there is no bone left. Even my sister asked me if I ever give up and sit down. I may sit awhile, usually for contemplation. That’s what I’m doing now. Thinking about which way to go next. There are so many choices.

Dug out the Camellia bush and 4 sweet neighbor boys leveraged this boulder into it's spot. There were roses behind the Camellia! Very tenacious boys too.

Dug out the Camellia bush and 4 sweet neighbor boys leveraged this boulder into its spot. There were roses behind the Camellia! Very tenacious boys too.


Weeds are tenacious too. We pulled a truckload of them and they will come back faster than those pounds on the scale unless I put something in their place. You’ve heard the phrase “Nature abhors a vacuum.” That’s why weeds do so well. So I’ve purchased some varieties of ground cover to plant around the stepping stone path. I’ll probably need a few more stepping-stones because my stride is shorter than my daughter’s.

There are real flowers and plants in there. Can you find them among the weeds?

There are real flowers and plants in there. Can you find them among the weeds?

We rented a stump grinder to clear out any remnants of the tree that once was and pulled all the roots that were growing under the house and driveway as well as carefully removing them from the water lines. That was one tenacious tree. I could fill the page with the work I’ve been doing but don’t want to bore you. Let’s just say, I’m bone tired most nights and falling asleep is not a problem.

This was challenging but fun. The roots went under the house, driveway and the entire front yard. All gone.

This was challenging but fun. The roots went under the house, driveway and the entire front yard. All gone.

It looked like so much fun, my sister had to give it a try. It was her truck so I had to let her.

It looked like so much fun, my sister had to give it a try. It was her truck so I had to let her.

My son has a similar word for himself. He uses ‘relentless’. Sounds tenacious to me.
Do you have a single word that describes you? Have you ever thought of it?

“Patience and tenacity of purpose are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.”
~ Thomas Henry Huxley

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Pink Snow?

Spring has sprung in our little corner of the world. Winter tried to keep its grasp teasing us while we tried to decide whether a coat or a light jacket were in order. Layers are the operative word of this month. Pile it on so you can take it off. Ok, get your minds out of the rain-soaked gutters.

I’ve been a busy girl on some days. Other days I have done next to nothing. The nothing days were for observation; my favorite kind of day. Last week was my second physical therapy appointment. Wet and gray the day was not lending itself to anything cheery. I kept my head down to keep my glasses dry except to cross the street. I found out I cannot do parking structures anymore with my vision difficulties. I’m nauseous before I’m parked so I get to walk a bit more. When I looked out across the sea of cars I noticed the ground look as though covered with snow. I walked faster. Hmmm. The closer I got the deeper it looked. Oh my word, did I miss something? When I finally got a good look, the snow was…pink Yes, lots and lots of pink…blossoms. They covered every inch of ground blown or rained off the trees above. Too bad I only get to therapy once a month. I missed them on the trees. Darn!

Spring popping out through the pink snow

Spring popping out through the pink snow

it was an awesome view for me.

it was an awesome view for me.

Spring may be short this year. So many places miss it almost entirely. I knew it was here because the ducks were ducking. Quacking all over the place. Did you know ducks will eat the cat food left in the dishes on porches? No wonder they like going from apartment to apartment. On my walk back from the market the other day, I spotted these baby ducks scampering around. Mom was trying desperately to take a nap but there was so much interference. I worried about the chicks so close to the road. They did seem content to stay within beaks reach of mom.

You know how it is when you need a nap and the kids won't leave you alone.

You know how it is when you need a nap and the kids won’t leave you alone.

They are just too cute!

They are just too cute!

Looking for a dry spot

Looking for a dry spot

Now getting to the days I did do something; well here you go. I finished this quilt top I bought 5 or 6 years ago before I got Bells and could still sew. It was a kit and hadn’t realized it was so expensive but was too embarrassed to admit it was over my budget. I’m not a pink and blue kind of girl but loved the tea cups. Peach and blue are more my style but now I’m happy to have this part done with only the back, batting and quilting together to complete before binding. That will take longer than the top. What do I do with it when it’s finished? Maybe put it up for sale.

Love the teacups and satiny fabric, just not the colors

Love the teacups and satiny fabric, just not the colors

The next project was just a test of my endurance with the embroidery machine. This little number took at least 8 hours to complete the stitching. I tend to run the machine a bit slower in case of, well all kinds of problems. Especially if it’s the first time I’ve stitched out the design. The second time will be easier because I’ll know where the hiccups are. I’m still trying to decide how I will use this. Pillow, apron top or will it be a wall hanging?

Hoping the second time looks better but I loved the design

Hoping the second time looks better but I loved the design

Anyone want to put in their two cents worth? I’m open to suggestions. Have you found pink snow in your neighborhood?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Better Balance

Have you noticed my posts getting farther and farther apart? I’ve been feeling quite badly about it but can’t afford to stress even a little. I mentioned a few posts back that I had taken on a bit more these days than previously. As the winter weather let go its icy grip, signs of life showed up in my apartment in a big way.

Note at mailboxes said "Can’t get myself down the stairs but the first one than can will get to take me home from #2048." It worked.

Note at mailboxes said “Can’t get myself down the stairs but the first one than can will get to take me home from #2048.” It worked.

My daughter helped me pull out several large boxes of craft materials from the far reaches of my garage. I rent a garage to store things so as not to be too cluttered up here. Riiight! One of the boxes was from a new toilet if that gives you any idea of the size. When I moved out of my home 4 years ago, we pretty much tossed stuff in boxes and hoped for the best. I wasn’t in the best of shape then. The other box was almost that large and I have found several boxes of old photos as well. Have you ever started looking at photos and been able to stop? I spent a whole week going through, sorting a bit and tossing a lot of duplicates.

No more tea cups for this cabinet. Still hunting paints and glue gun. Have glue!!!

No more tea cups for this cabinet. Still hunting paints and glue gun. Have glue!!!

With all the joining I have done to make friends in my new home, I’ve overloaded myself a bit with classes and projects. I’ll have some photos of the finished work shortly. Little by little, I’m starting to find how much I can do and what needs to be eased off from. Setting limits is something new for me.

This replaced the recliner in my bedroom. Put it together myself but took a few adjustments. Still WIP here.

This replaced the recliner in my bedroom. Put it together myself but took a few adjustments. Still WIP here.

But the kind of balance I’m talking about here has more to do with my Bells Palsy than my creative endeavors. Since acquiring health insurance this year, I have the opportunity to get some medical assistance for the balance. A new acquaintance at the quilting group let me know my HMO had vestibular integration therapy available. The first job was to get a different primary care doctor. The last one was quite dismissive. That done, I requested some therapy to get my eyes working together again which in turn, helps with my standing balance. If I’m in a dark room, I start to tip over and closing my eyes, well let’s just say that’s a dangerous move when standing.

After a trip to a neurologist, (the third one in four years) I was allowed to get physical therapy for my balance. I have exercises to do twice a day. Some are standing holding onto my kitchen counter for support. (I don’t have a chair) The rest are sitting and turning my head and looking up and to the side that is unaffected. I’ve found I must do these when I don’t have to drive anywhere. Oddly, they add to the dizziness but I’m going to do whatever I can to get well.
Even after four years, I am noticing movement in some parts of my face that was flaccid and I can almost make a complete smile. Still a bit odd-looking but hey, I’m happy with any improvement.

Flowers from my new friends garden. Made me feel better immediately.

Flowers from my new friends garden. Made me feel better immediately.

Funny how much I took for granted before Bells hit like a hammer. Unfortunately, healing of any nature still requires lots of rest. I’m not a fan. Moving and doing have been how I lived in the world, now I rest a whole darn bunch. Hang in there with me a bit longer. We shall see how effective these exercises are.

Have you ever taken your health for granted and wound up with a major wakeup call? Do you believe your health is connected to your emotions and what’s going on in life or just something that happens?

A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.
~
Hippocrates

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of the Last Anniversary

Have you seen those t-shirts or coffee mugs that say “I have one nerve left and you’re on it?” When people ask me what brought on my Bells Palsy, I refer to that quote. On a stress scale of 1-10, I was at a 15. What happened? We had an accumulated 6 feet of snow that brought down our second canopy. I had tried to talk my husband out of buying another. It was supposed to hold a 40 pound snow load. It collapsed onto the truck, Jeep, tractor and boat along with 6 tanks of propane. That I could handle. What brought me to the last nerve and off the chart stress was when he wanted to file another insurance claim. It would be his fifth in that house, even though we had collected on only one other. I begged and pleaded not to call them. Yup, they paid, which made him happy, then they cancelled our policy. Cancelled homeowners is a big deal and scared the heck out of me. I lost it and within a week, I had what the doctors thought might be Shingles. No visible signs of shingles on my scalp, just the other symptoms. I got something so much grander.

My reward for not managing my stress.

My reward for not managing my stress.

Today marks the four year anniversary of my bout with Bells Palsy. Every day I wake up wondering if it will be the day it’s gone. Do I feel sorry for myself? Absolutely not! I’m so grateful because it pointed out so many things that were broken. Six months later I moved out with the help of family. I couldn’t drive anymore and it took all my energy to pack one box. But each day, I packed and slept then packed some more. My husband brought me boxes. They were stacked everywhere for those six months. Do I have stress in my life now? Yes, real life stress that is usually under the scale of five. I’m pretty easy going so to get me ruffled, takes a whole load of bad stuff. I will never willingly allow that kind of stress in my life again. Yes, stuff happens. Most, with common sense is easy to manage. The kind that makes you sick, is usually a long time in the making.

You've seen this before but I look so much better than when this started.

You’ve seen this before but I look so much better than when this started.

The toughest part of this whole illness has not been my inability to drink ANYTHING without a straw or the fact that my kisser doesn’t work. No pecks on your cheek from me. You have to put up with a hug. I don’t mind that my daughter orders for me so the wait staff can understand what I want, or my smile isn’t as endearing as it once was.

For me, the toughest part has been the constant dizziness that interferes with my ability to walk and drive safely. But I am getting well enough to drive more and more. It’s not quite like vertigo. It feels like my brain is sitting in a bowl of Jello and sloshing around. I can promise you, it’s a weird feeling. I keep telling everyone I meet, that Bells Palsy and Shingles come from the same Zoster virus. If you are over 60, get your shingles shot. You don’t want shingles either. Please watch your stress levels. If you are that stressed, something needs to change or your body will do it for you.

Last year’s anniversary blog was a bit more upbeat. I think it may be that this year, I haven’t been out of the house in 7 days. Our steps were covered in ice and snow as were the sidewalks and street. A large portion of the country is dealing with the same thing. Cabin fever due to weather. I have always tried to venture out once a week at least. No one was going anywhere last week.

It wasn't much and so pretty, but brought this city to it's knees.

It wasn’t much and so pretty, but brought this city to it’s knees.

Today the snow has melted, the temps have climbed high enough to melt the ice, and I will be heading to the post office to mail cards that may need hand stamping and a small box of fabric and patterns to my sister-in-law for her to make up for her granddaughter. Lightening my load and realizing my limits is a good way to celebrate this day. I really want this to be the very last anniversary I have with Bells Palsy. Here’s where I would wink and smile at you but you’ll just have to imagine it with me.

The black plastic bag was to keep it dry on the way to mailing. Small but heavy.

The black plastic bag was to keep it dry on the way to mailing. Small but heavy.

Are you struggling with cabin fever or just enjoying the coziness of winter’s cocoon? Or like me, having a bit of both?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Another Shot at the New Year

It came and it went. I missed the essence of it. We had our snacks for dinner and I was in bed at 10 p.m. My daughter went home at 9 and my son said he stayed up till 1 a.m. because there was too much noise outside. I heard NOTHING! I didn’t even have a drink. What a way to bring in the fantastic year I’m expecting.

I had a great holiday with lots of company, good food and better than average weather. No complaints here. But by the time everyone got to their planes on January 4, I was bone weary tired. I worried all that day that my sister-in-law would make her connecting flight in Chicago, (she did) and my son would have no delays (he didn’t). So while we tried to keep track of flights, my daughter helped me take down the tree and get it boxed up for next year.

I spent the rest of this week taking down decorations, carrying them down to the garage, moving back into my room, laundry and getting the fridge cleaned out. I found the missing bottle of ketchup. All while fighting off something that could by all appearances have been a…cold? I don’t get colds or flu. Not in the last half-dozen years have I had anything other than Bells Palsy and its residual odd effects. I eat lots of pickled garlic, for goodness sake. Nothing can get me eating that stuff. Not even vampires.

Maybe it came from too much of the dry heat from the electric heater but I got rid of it with a little (and maybe a little more) Brandy and a PM pain reliever. A good night’s sleep preceded by a hot shower did wonders. Whatever was causing the sneezing, etc., has subsided. I gave myself permission to do nothing; like there was a choice in the matter. There is order in my apartment once more and now I’m ready to celebrate the New Year. Anyone want to party with me? I’ll be at the sewing machine or the laptop.

Isn't this how you spend New Year's Eve?  One is hunting for jobs, one is doing tutorials, and one is posting her blog.

Isn’t this how you spend New Year’s Eve? One is hunting for jobs, one is doing tutorials, and one is posting her blog.

Maybe now I can read your blogs without having my eye water till the words float away.

Does the New Year feel new to you or are you still trying to catch up with leftovers from the last year?

All of us every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all our lives. Steven Spielberg

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of a Happy Halloween

We don’t get trick or treaters here at the apartment complex. There are mostly elderly and college kids living here. An odd mix I’d say but the few children that live here go to churches or parks that have arranged entertainment for them. It’s a different world than when my kids were little. The mothers in our neighborhood walked together with the kids for safety and we knew our neighbors. I do imagine that is still true in many places.

My daughter made a great witch. Almost no movement until the kids got real close.

My daughter made a great witch. Almost no movement until the kids got real close.

Last year I decorated, hoping that a few stray children would find their way here. Now I know better. This year I put up the few decorations I have and had all but written Halloween off as a lost cause. It can happen as you age. Bummer.

web shooting squirt gun got the porch ready for Halloween

web shooting squirt gun got the porch ready for Halloween

Then comes the announcement in my writing groups. Our leader is a sugar junky too and looks for reasons to get us connected and having some fun while struggling to bring stories to paper. We are having a Halloween party in both creative writing and memoir classes so I have to bring some kind of treat both days. I’m off sugar again so it will be something relatively healthy. I’m not a kid anymore and the treats stay around way too long…on my hips. It will give a new twist to a day that has brought some tough times. I wrote about some of it in last year’s post. This week, I wrote about my most memorable Halloween for my memoir class. There weren’t many to choose from. I may post it as creative non-fiction after giving it some careful thought.

They are writers, really! Great imaginations.

They are writers, really! Great imaginations.

October 31 is also my two-year blogging anniversary. The reason for blogging was to connect with someone who could give me insight into why I still had Bells and how to get rid of it. Well, the Bells Palsy is still here but my reason for blogging has little to do with it. I am still on the search for the best way to move through life with as much fun and joy as possible in spite of the small hitch called Bells. I have learned so much from each person who reads my blog and those that I follow. I’m trying to read more because you are all so varied and wise in different ways. So this Halloween is the start of happy and different Halloweens. I’ve included pictures of my creative writing class party as we read, write and eat. What fun it was. Also a few of the Halloween at my son’s house two years ago. He has a great neighborhood for trick or treating.

They take their holiday seriously like their writing

They take their holiday seriously like their writing

I wish you all a very happy Halloween and a lack of extra girth to your mid-sections. Have your Halloween’s changed over the years?

We have a couple in their 90's all the way to the 30's An eclectic group

We have a couple in their 90’s all the way to the 30’s
An eclectic group

From my heart to yours
Marlene Herself

In Search of a Little Balance

The last week has been quiet and I’ve been unbalanced. I’m hoping it comes from the change in barometric pressure. When I get this tippy, I hold on for dear life.

Last week was the first time I’ve seen a doctor in three years. I have Medicare now and thought I’d get acquainted. As I walked down the narrow flat-yellow hall to the doctor’s office, I almost went completely over. I’ve never had that reaction before. It’s like the wall was moving. No one seemed concerned. The doctor wasn’t happy with me because I refused the flu and pneumonia shots. I take no medications and other than residual effects of Bells Palsy, I’m quite healthy and work to stay that way. He really didn’t want to address anything to do with the Bells.

So the time down has been spent reading a great deal. I received this little book for my birthday from my ex-daughter-in-law. It was a quick read and I enjoyed it. I don’t think we ever get done growing ourselves into who we want to be. The idea that we are supposed to stay the same while life changes all around seems ludicrous.

I was a sweet easy read. Gave me some food for thought.

I was a sweet easy read. Gave me some food for thought.

The mail last week brought this beautiful sympathy card from the wonderful Alys at Gardening Nirvana after I had to let sweet Gracie go to her final sleep. The colors in the card reminded me of another blogger I love to follow. I wonder who that could be? I had to sit with the kindness and thoughtfulness for several days. I’m not usually on the receiving end of these things. She is a woman of many talents and an extremely large heart. I love blogging just because I get to meet such terrific people. I mentioned to Bethany at Journey to Ithaca that you don’t have to see or talk to people to know their hearts. It comes out in their writing. There are so many like them that keep me going when the going gets tippy.

Loved the colors. Reminds me of someone?

Loved the colors. Reminds me of someone?

Little envelope inside card. All handmade.

Little envelope inside card. All handmade.

She made the whole envelope as well. How talented can a person be?

She made the whole envelope as well. How talented can a person be?

Not all my time has been spent in a book this week. My daughter was over on Saturday to bake chocolate chip cookies for her handyman friend. My kitchen is bigger and brighter so the baking goes so much easier. The cookies are for barter. The friend puts her AC unit in her window in early summer and removes it when the weather has turned cool. Yes, we are there once again. Since he will take no cash for the few minutes it takes and loves (homemade) chocolate chip cookies above all else, we put the oven to good use heating the apartment at the same time.

The other half went to work with her to entice them to hire her on permanent.

The other half went to work with her to entice them to hire her on permanent.

Since the temperatures have been dropping like a rock and I had the ingredients, I baked up another 9 dozen cookies and stored them out of my reach. Warmed up my toes and I’ll be ready to pass them out for all the holiday events. Yes, I start early. The holidays take a lot of energy so I have to be strategic with it. Sorry to bring the subject up to those that aren’t ready to deal with it. Cold weather does that to me. How are you bringing a little balance into your life? Are you finding the weather is throwing you more curves than you field? Is it summer, fall or winter where you live or changing every day?

“It’s not that I believe everything happens for a reason. It’s just that . . . I just think that some things are meant to be broken. Imperfect. Chaotic. It’s the universe’s way of providing contrast, you know? There have to be a few holes in the road. It’s how life is.”Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Reasons to Celebrate

Labor Day falls on September 2 this year. The whole country gets a day off to rest or run; the choice is theirs. It was a labor day of a different kind 65 years ago in a tiny village in Germany. It’s still a tiny village, by the way. My mother labored a long time to give birth to a 13 pound girl (yes, you read that right) at home, with no anesthesia. She remembered nothing of that day and it took me awhile to understand why. Mom was a 2 pound baby, incubated in the oven at home and was never supposed to be able to have children. The four of us sure made a liar out of the doctor who told her that.

Main street. You can see beginning to end.

Main street. You can see beginning to end.

No motel or grocery, just a bar and convenience market. They sure are a friendly bunch though.

No motel or grocery, just a bar and convenience market. They sure are a friendly bunch though.

Why celebrate turning 65? That’s just getting old. Well after my birthday, I get Medicare. I have had no health coverage since my divorce a couple of years ago. Not that I need it, but it’s like car insurance, nice to have just in case. The other reason I celebrate is that I’m still here among the living and loving. My first husband only made it to 42. I’m grateful for each and every minute of pain and pleasure. I plan to celebrate big time…for me.

My daughter is taking me to my favorite German restaurant, Gustav’s, where after months and months of a very strict diet, I’m going to indulge in a good German beer, pretzel and cheese fondue, followed with a dinner I will probably end up taking home and topped off with their famous apple strudel. That’s MY idea of celebrating.

Is your mouth watering?

Is your mouth watering?

I have other reasons to celebrate. I’ve exceeded my weight loss goal by more than enough to indulge one day. It’s not easy by any means but I’m feeling sooo much better everyday as well. I think the Bells Palsy is improving as I’m needing the cane less and less for balance.

Another reason to celebrate is that this is my 100th post. I mainly post once a week unless fatigue overtakes me. Life is pretty simple for me and I want to keep my posts remotely interesting. As healing progresses, so will the variety of my writing. I’m still two months shy of my two-year blogiversary. Every time I get a bit discouraged, someone comes for a visit to my site and leaves an encouraging comment. Thank you all for reading and adding so much to my life. Each of you are treasures.

How and what are you celebrating this fine day of no labor?

If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.~ Doug Larson

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself.

In Search of the Next

Complete wellness is still eluding me though I can sense its timid, incremental approach. It toys with me, knowing I have no patience for my illness and debilitation. I have since found only one other, blogging about Bells Palsy and they are into months, not years like I am. I may have scared this person, as I was when first hearing of someone with Bells for over five years.

When I am having a good day and feeling quite spry, I try to find things that are enjoyable to do. This week I had a project that needed to be done. My ex-daughter-in-law is having a birthday at the end of the month so I ordered a couple of Chicken Soup books about cats. But to do something more personal I decided to embroider a kitchen towel for her. I had a batch that I bought wholesale and had one left. The rest had already become gifts.

before washing and pressing

before washing and pressing

more of the proportion of design.

more of the proportion of design.

Then I had a towel that I bought somewhere that looked like it might work for embroidery so I tried my hand at doing one for myself. The teapot in the middle is a tiny scrap of fabric. That’s why I throw nothing away. When living in Arizona, our quilt guild made dog & cat beds for the animal shelter in out small town using scrap fabric for the stuffing. There was no money for the shelter to buy beds so we used up lots of unwanted fabric and made stacks and stacks of them.

I almost forgot to put that tiny piece of fabric over the teapot. I get to choose the colors.

I almost forgot to put that tiny piece of fabric over the teapot. I get to choose the colors.

Once the towels were complete, it was time to move on to a birthday card. Looking through my design stash on my computer, I found one that would work. I’ve never done it before so why not give it a shot. I would only be tossing out cardstock, a piece of stabilizer and some thread if it didn’t work. I printed the birthday sentiment inside the card then centered it in the hoop with a bit of temporary adhesive. I have to admit, I did sweat a bit, but it turned out well enough to send. Something different from the norm.

Not perfect but a great first try at something different.

Not perfect but a great first try at something different.

I finally got everything wrapped and mailed so now I sit here wondering what my next project will be. Christmas is always a challenge for me, as I like to make most of my gifts that aren’t books. I have done embroidered t-shirts for my kids and a gift wrappers apron for my daughter that I really need a picture of soon. I don’t think I have the energy yet for quilts but that could still happen. They take me so long to do since I tire easily still.

Do you try to plan your projects ahead or just go with the flow? What’s next on your agenda? Any ideas you want to pass on I’d appreciate.

“I feel like every project I work on is a dream project, so long as I am learning.”
― Simeon Kondev

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself