Saturday, February 20, 2016

I Don't Regret Being Obsessed

This morning my 8 year told me he doesn't care about dinosaurs anymore.

This is quite a development considering a short few months ago all he wanted to do was play dinosaur games, read dinosaur books, and buy little dinosaurs that went with his game.  And suddenly it's just no longer cool :).  Good thing I am prepared for this, by him liking, loving, then getting obsessed with several other things before losing all interest and moving on ie. dominoes, minecraft, car racing).

And not only has he been doing that for a few years, I have been doing the same for most of my life.  When I finally developed a little free time during the day after having my third child I started really getting into sewing again (after my second it was selling makeup).  I made dresses for my girls, aprons to sell, and lots and lots of quilts.  I'd never really done a lot with quilting and I was thrilled to dive in and try lots of techniques, unique color combinations, and fun textures.  I made way more quilts than "necessary" so I tried selling some, and unless you count my mom that didn't really take off.  So eventually I just decided to embrace all these new quilts I own and use them when needed.

And use them we have!  This Christmas one gets a few months' use every year so it never wears out much, but it is a fun addition to our living room while watching movies, or our car while driving in the winter.  Lane (5 years old) likes to have it on his lap while we drive other kids to school).  Several of the others get used around the campfire when we are camping and store nicely in the RV.  Even though a lot of detail work went into making them, coming home with them smelling distinctively like a campfire feels creatively satisfying to me.  I'm glad they are blessing my family.

I thought of this a lot as I read one of my most favorite recent reads, Big Magic.  One of the main takeaways I got from it is the importance and satisfaction that can be had through creativity just for creativity's sake.  I've been prone to think my interests are unnecessary if they didn't produce income or lead to some tangible benefit.  In truth, sewing usually costs more than buying the finished product.  So as a money saving measure there is no benefit.  But as I see my son throw one of my quilts onto the floor as his "rug" or his "yoga pad" or his "bed" and especially when one of my sick children is wrapped snugly in my creations, that is its own reward.  Even more surprising is the role I discover of nurturing myself.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Writing and Pain

Today I observed something about my days that is interesting and unexpected.  Some of my productiveness is borne of pain.  Yesterday and today were some substantial arthritis days and in the face of the pain I have to make decisions about my actions.

Yesterday I chased the pain away with cleaning.  Okay "away" isn't quite accurate but it does describe my mental focus.  As I pushed through one and then another task such as vacuuming and mopping I went to the physical meditative place of work rather than the hopelessness of pain.

When I am done and when I rest, which I inevitably have to do, the reality of the pain is there but I feel a satisfaction knowing what I accomplished anyway.

Today the arthritis was most strong in my right hip and I stretched and pushed it into the bed.  The fevered feeling I used to get daily that would curl me into a pain fighting sleep seems to have gone away, so laying there makes the pain more bothersome.

Sometimes reading magnifies pain; emotional pain.  I've started in on a kindle version of Tiny Beautiful Things and oh my goodness, the beauty is wrenchingly painful.  She writes so raw.  She is vulnerable and shares the sharpest pains.  I love it, but after a few hours I feel the pain in my heart.  So I had to take a break and (clean a little) read Spark Joy, which despite the name comforts me into a safe web of cleaning and organization facts and away from raw matters of the heart.

While considering these feelings I pushed myself to sit down and write.  I need to write more.  It is good for my health.  The feelings and heart-knots I get into from reading sometimes need regurgitated and expelled from my fingertips onto the page.  To say, sometimes my heart hurts.  Sometimes my hip hurts.  This is me.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Homemade Lemonade

Mix 1 C water and 1 C sugar in a pot on the stove.  Warm it until sugar is dissolved.  Mix that with 1 C lemon juice in a pitcher.  Add enough water to make 2 quarts.  Serve over is SO GOOD!

If you don't have fresh lemons to squeeze (I never do) just keep some of this on hand: