Sunday, February 7, 2010

Quilting Bee #42

Hello all!! I hope you all had a wonderful week!! I thought we might do a bit of light Spring like food today, as many of you are shoulder deep in snow! Out here it was nearly 50 again. Very light winter here. I am not bragging..honestly I miss the snow. So how about some crepes with a light sweet sauce and all the fruit you can handle? Bananas, berries, mango, peaches, pineapple, melon on the side? What would you like to refresh you from your winter blues? I have set out several pitchers of fresh squeezed and pineapple, apple, grapefruit and mixed blends...can you smell the strawberries...yummmmm. Kona coffee of course and any tea you might like. I have added some yogurt and granola if you would rather have that!

Please make yourself at home. Sit by the window where the sun is shining in.
I have racked a quilt full of wonder, please join me and pull up a chair!
So glad you are here today!

Wonder is a good word..I like that word. If conjures up delight and new experiences in my head. That deep down wonderful feeling that warms the whole soul. As grownups I think we are prone to being all too serious..I think I mentioned this last week. Sometimes we feel like we have to finish all the work before we can play. I know myself...this is often my point of play until the house is clean, or the dishes washed, or the bills paid...yeah. Well the only problem with that..all of the "work" is never, ever all done. There is always something to clean, to wash, to pay, to complete..always. It is easy to miss things that create wonder and joy when you are busy worrying about the dust bunnies. Ok, so mine are more like giant dust rabbits. I swear I could make a whole new dog every week out of the hair that Lucy Lu sheds!! See what I mean...worrying about dust critters.

A very wise woman once told me..."The dust will be there tomorrow and the day after that. Your children are only young once. Don't miss life while you are busy." Yup being present is a constant struggle for step out of my box and enjoy the now. Last week I had one of those moments that made me stop and contemplate where my head was right now.

In 2005 we were living in a very small house. Really it was a converted garage behind an old house. It was in an area of town that isn't the best and although it was all we could afford at the time it was a bit pride sucking. But we made due. We didn't have a car at the time and I walked back and forth to the college every day. About three miles in all kinds of weather, day and night. One of my classmates in an evening class offered to drop me off after class each week. This was huge in the dead of winter at 9pm. It was scary and wickedly cold. It was a blessing to have Jenn do this for me.

Several years have passed and now and again I would see her in passing around town. This year though our kiddos are in the same class together. Jenn has not seen our new home, or maybe even knew that we had moved out of the hole we were living in and into this Cottage I love so in the garden district. She surprised me the other day when she dropped off one of my after school kiddos for the kiddos mom. I of course welcomed her into my home..she was a bit shocked I think. We have come a long way. But my point.. was where my head was. I was a bit thrown and upset. My house was a bit of a mess. Fridays are the day we regroup and put stuff back in order after a week filled with children playing and making fun messes everywhere. Things are out of place and well, basically everywhere.

As I watched Jenn look around my main room ..what I saw was mess. I am guessing what she saw was the whole new life we have made for ourselves. She even said how cute our house was! For a couple of days I beat myself up about how I had not had a clean house to offer up to my friend. You see of all of the folks who know me now..Jenn is one of only three people who had ever seen where I lived before. I was ashamed, I was embarrassed that there was clutter. It was clean, it was lived in. There are lots of fun things to look at. The room full of children were very happily playing and her kids were wanting to stay and play for a bit too. My home is warm and inviting and a safe, wonderful place to be for us and the children who visit us. But when she walked in my front door..all I saw were my imperfections. It took me a couple of days to see how hard on myself I was being. To see that in my need to stay on top of all of the work I had missed something very important. I was so busy worrying about the clutter..I did not enjoy her visit..I stressed myself out completely over clutter. I spent most of Saturday playing keep up with the Jones's. Cleaning and redoing my main living area.

Late in the day it hit me, that I had taken for granted the gifts I have been given. The huge leap that we have taken from where we were to where we are. I had become ungrateful and lost the wonder that is our lives right now. I had lost my wonder in the midst of being busy and not being present.

So I decided I needed to find something to do yesterday for the remaining part of the day that was out of the ordinary... not work. That I needed to remind myself that things are good and I can relax now and again and breathe! So, I made bread from scratch, I played some music that made my heart sing, I stood outside and wondered at the warm weather and the sunshine on my face. I even watched a movie on pay per view last night. Ok, well I should not have watched "Paranormal Activity" because it scared the crap out of me. But in the middle of it at a very tense moment in the movie, Jim scared me!I jumped a foot and screamed! We laughed for ten minutes because we haven't done that in years. I usually scare him! I was reminded this weekend that sometimes in the middle of working and artwork and cleaning and family and life..I forget to live..really live like we are intended to. A joyful, wonder filled life.

So today I am asking you to share with me one thing that you have been wanting to do that you have not. Maybe because you don't think you deserve the treat, or you need to finish some work or project or whatever first. This week I want you to do that thing that you have been withholding from yourself. Something that will add joy and wonderful to your week! Something that will remind you what a gift you are!
I think I will have some strawberries and light creme on a crepe...Mmmmmmm! I think I will have some hot peach tea also! What can I get for you this morning?
Thank you for coming by... you always bless me when you do! Thanks for pulling up a chair. Namaste, Sarah


cinner said...

I loved your post today, the lady that came by the house probably did not notice a thing other than life for you was obviously in a better place. I am glad you laughed when your husband scared you. Oh I can not watch those movies, not at all.
I need to stop thinking about all the things I need to do...that is my goal. Thanks Sarah....p.s I like your picture on your last post.although I don't know what a Wip is.Big hug to you.

clairedulalune said...

Oh Sarah, this tickled me! When the big fella and I first moved in here, I was obsessed with everything being just so for our visitors coming to see our new place. I would totally freak out the whole day, cleaning everywhere, so by the time people arrived I opened the door, sweating buckets and probably moaning about how lazy (chilled out really) big fella is. They would be memerised by the view and I would be passed out on the couch telling them how many sugars I wanted in my tea! haha!(I would make them drink tons of it so they would have to use the bathroom to see how clean it was) Now, I am a bit of the opposite. Like I look around me now, yeah it is clean but the hoover is due a visit! Big fella can do that. I am so glad you had a giggle with Jim also, I love those kind of giggles! You are a very creative and busy woman Sarah! You are also a momma! That is the biggest job of all! You handle things wonderfully and I guess we can all be too hard on ourselves at times. It good to know that can realise it too! Lovely post! May I have some hot peach toast? I have never heard of that. Ohhh, a food adventure, I love it here! ((hugs))

faerwillow said...

~i think your moment has been each of our moment too...fear not! when we first bought our home...i had only one and this little one had grown to be quite independent...i had time to clean to my hearts content...mop the floor everyday...whatever was i thinking!?!? and then i feel guilty at the end of the day for time i lost...well all to soon lets say 9 months later reality bit my bum...our whole life took a whirl in the opposite direction and soon is was cleaning...hhmmm..where ever do i start! i have learned an accepted our loved ones all around, our people who truly care for not what state our home is in..they love us for being who we are and not how tidy is our home....i do the dishes once a day...whatever remains, remains and if ever someone complains i offer to them to pick up a sponge...and i do have a friend who will do just she can not handle dishes laying more power to her and i can sit and enjoy...we are all guilty of wondering and feeling less than perfect at times...i love your story...real and please may i join you for a crepe or two...brightest blessings~

yoborobo said...

Oh Sarah, this is so like me. I was raised by parents who were obsessed with how our house looked. It makes perfect sense, because they had both come from poor roots and had worked their butts off to move up in the world a notch. Bottom line is they passed on that "A cluttered house is nothing to be proud of" mentality to me. I cannot tell you how many hours I have wasted trying to 'keep up' with it all. Now that I am older, I know there is no keeping up. :) Luckily, I knew in my heart that my kids were only going to be young once, and enjoyed every moment. I still am! But the 'ashamed of my disorganized house' bug still bites me on the butt quite often. LOL! If I could do one thing, it would be to grab my kids, and my DH and drive to a National Park like Yellowstone, or Yosemite. We haven't done anything like that for a long time, and I miss it. Pass me a crepe and some fruit please! xoxox Pam

Dede said...

The cluttered house is lived in, the unmanicured yard has life. Chores will always be there, the children and grandchildren will not. Special moments that you are able to grab, grab them and hold on tight.


magikalseasons said...

Yep I totally relate! Even though my house is not perfect. Growing up a lived in a museum. Not really but you know what I mean. My kids are happy and I think that's what matters most. So sometimes we can't find matching socks. I swear we have a sock theif in the house. I do my best and sometimes I don't think it's good enough but I know better. I had my inlaws here for a month. They don't often compliment but they said I was a good mom. They said there is a calmness here. I don't see it but I was happy to hear it. I'll take some more coffee I need it! :)

Suecae Sounds said...

My thing is that I definitely need to kick back and relax a bit more. Ok, quite a lot more. :) Nothing fancy.

Emmy said...

So great to read. I heard a story once of a person who spent the whole time just apologizing for how their house looked that they never even took the time to listen to their friend who just really needed someone to talk to at the time... we all have messes and things we want to change, but if we are living life and happy that is what matters.
Glad life is easier for you now.

TechnoBabe said...

What we look like to others! We all have to deal with that sometimes. I like our little hippie house and have never lived with mismatched things and hodgepodge like we have here. But when I call it out little hippie house I am happy with it. It is comfy. In November my friend and her mother were going through our area on a car trip from California. I have known them 50 years. I brought them to the little hippie house and saw them look around and it didn't pull and strings in me as I watched them. I was just glad to see them and glad to have time with them. The rest did not matter. And it seemed like that for them too. We had an awesome visit and they made time the next morning so we could have a little more time together! Your friend probably was just happy to see you living better and happy in your new place. This post is good for all of us. The more we talk about these things the better we are. Hugs.

Diana Meade said...

There is something in me that rebels. If I am working too hard (which I have been doing) and not having any fun or getting to be creative (I haven't been), then that rebel part of me says, "Enough," and stops cooperating. (That's happening right now in my life.) Then, avoidance and resistance shows up and I spend days wondering where the pizazz went.
Your lovely post reminded me that something has to give. Spending time trying to leap tall buildings in a single bound is too much if the rebel isn't on board.

Suzie said...

You're hitting a nerve once again, Sarah. :-)

When my kids were little I asked myself if I wanted to drive myself nuts and turn them into neurotic people by keeping a picture perfect home, or to have a happy healthy family, and a comfortable home that was clean in the necessary areas of kitchen and bath, and laundry, and what I call comfy clean in the rest of the house. Beds made, dirty clothes picked up, etc. but projects were left out to be worked on, whether they were mine, or my kid's. Thorough daily cleaning was not a high priority. I obviously went with the latter.

As time went on, I too would be embarrassed sometimes when someone stopped by, and toys were scattered around, or I was in the middle of folding laundry, or the floor was littered with poster board that the kids and I were painting, and I had left the lunch dishes in the sink because we were "in the moment". But then I realized something. Friends that saw me often, knew that mine was a leaving breathinig household, and there would be times that they would find our home spic and span, and other times, not so much. But in any case, whether close friend or not, I figured if anyone was stopping by because the wanted my company, then the condition of my house didn't matter. If they were coming by to see how I lived, then they weren't the kind of person that I wanted as a friend. Nowadays, we don't get a lot of company, but that will change once my Mom moves in. And that is one of the things that I'm dreading, that I don't know what is going to happen.

She is still of the old school, and insists on having her basement floor and walls scrubbed twice a year. Ditto for the garage. You can imagine how she is for the rest of the house. There is never anything out of place, andyet the first words out of her mouth when you walk in, isn't "Welcome! I'm so happy to see you", but "You'll have to excuse the house, I know it is a mess. ."

She knows that we can't do any more of our restoration work right now, and yet she has made a few inuendos already about the state of the plaster, etc. and it is only going to get worse. I know what she is thinking. .not only doesn't she want to live in these conditions,but her minister and her church friends are going to want to come and visit her, and I'm going to have to change a whole adult life pattern, to become a housemaid because everyone who comes through our door will be eyeing my home, judging by how I keep my house, as to how I am providing for my Mom, and that irks me no end. Ed and I have talked about how our home really won't be ours anymore, but we truly don't have an option.

So I guess what I have been withholding isn't a project, but the act of admitting how life altering my Mom moving in is going to be for all of us, but especially for me. And how I am on one hand, chastising myself that I should be a better person and rise above it, but on the other hand, growing more resentful of the work that is going to be staring me in the face everyday. I'm not talking about caring directly for my Mom. I know that she needs help, and am more than willing to do it. It is the "trying to please" people that I don't even know, and more than likely never have as friends in the first place, all based on what I consider false values. If it important to them, in their home, fine, but this is my turf. Can you feel my resent growing as I type? lol I'm sorry that I vented like that. .have you got any Chamomille Tea in your cupboard? I think I need a double shot!

Sonia ;) said...

The past few weeks I have been kicking back and saying ok..Its clean enough, sit watch a movie. I fully understand....lets just say family gatherings (not my kids) is always a panic attack...

Ur allowed to vent...Its your blog LOL


Stitch1Peta said...

Hi Sarah
I don't know the secret to success but the secret to failure is trying to please everybody.
Every year I try to do one new thing. this year it is belly dancing. I am a textile artist and love the costumes. Plus I need the exercise and I needed a thing to do with other women. so I am doing the thing I have always wanted to do.
I'll have a summer soup please. That's diced fresh fruits in champagne with a scoop of lemon sorbet on top and a sprinkle of finely chopped mint.

Annie said...

i completely relate to this sarah. two weeks ago when I was looking at pictures of me as a little girl with my mother, she pointed out what a mess everything was around me and how parts of our dilapidated yet so beautiful cottage in england, that they were trying to restore with no money, were literally falling down around us. i dont remember any of the mess whatsoever! i was living in a state of pure wonder, i saw adventure and places to play and hide and discover all around me. not once do i recall my home being a mess. i thought it was a little girl's paradise!

now as a mom i scurry around every night exhausted picking up this and that and moaning and groaning about the mess. it simply doesnt phase my husband, doesnt even come on his radar, why is that? when someone says they are coming to visit i go into a tailspin pulling it all together and yet when i go to others homes i never ever judge their place by their mess. i look for signs of love, laughter, lightness, joy, and i even envy their comfort and ease with their messes!
i know i am ridiculous and missing out on so much but it feels good to at least confess it here!
I will take my crepe with strawberries and nutella and a spot of english breakfast tea please. am i too late to join since it is tuesday morning now? :)
-Unraveller Annie

Sherry Byrum said...

Oh I can so relate. I can always relate to your posts.

Yesterday I did, I played in the snow with my grandchildren and my son!

clairedulalune said...

Hello Sarah, there is a wee someting for you over on my blog...........

Bella Sinclair said...

Sarah, this is such a nice read. I think your biggest blessing is being able to step back and realize how wonderful life is. Boy oh boy, do I know that need for perfection whenever guests come over. But I am mellowing out, too. I have guests coming tomorrow and this weekend, and I'm not going to fret over the small stuff. In fact, perhaps if they see my house as messier than theirs, they will feel better about themselves! See? So I am doing them a great service. :)

I'll take a cup of Kona (my favorite!), lotsa cream, lotsa sugar, please.

Barbara said...

Like everyone else, I relate to this post, too, Sarah. When I think of all the excuses I've made not to invite friends over because of our small, (albeit cute) house (when our kids were in private school and their friends lived in mansions) or when our dining room chairs need recovering, or blah, blah, blah... They're really not valid. Life keeps going, life even passes you by if you let it. That's just not okay. I loved this post and you should be so proud of the life you've built. I am proud of you. I know how far you've come. Now, if I could just find a place for all those out-of-place things in my living room, you could come and visit me! (Kidding! Come anytime!)
xoxoxox B

spottedwolf said...

Hmmmmm.....well...I have to say something has shaken the dust off the besom. After our exchange I was wondering what it was you'd find in relation to all we were discussing. It is difficult to remember the whole point of why we go searching for consciousness so long ago.....only to end up finding we are just trying to appreciate our lives in each moment so forgiveness doesn't ring the doorbell to find us hanging....stressed...from a rope...or maybe floating.

Living like a child is living each moment of each day in wonder of it all. Did you ever consider that word Sarah...forgiveness ? It runs hand in hand with the child everyday....and is what allows growth. I knew you'd close the circle again.......and

YOU just gave me my treat!

Lisa Nelson's Art, Bucks County Designs said...

Oh Sarah, if your friend saw only a mess when she visited you, she truly isn't a friend at all. I never notice the dust or clutter when I visit someone I care about. My house is always cluttered and I have no children to blame - only myself. Once a month I vaccuum with the real vaccuum, not the electric sweeper. The other day I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't work -- oh, you need to plug it in, right! Enjoy your children, enjoy your life. I don't think there's anything I want to do that I haven't attempted. Life is short. Have fun! Hugs, Lisa

Laura Hegfield said...

Sarah I love this post...I was so drawn in by your breakfast buffet and then the dust bunnies and imperfections of a lived in house...I do the same thing, I'm getting better at letting go of the desire for a perfectly picked up home, as I have little choice in the matter at this point...but I have always had that longing for perfection (like my Mom's always perfect house) but I have never had her energy...and I LIKE TO PLAY and make messes just as much as my kids...we can't have everything! My guess is your cozy cottage is perfectly reframing looking at all that is right, all that is good, all that makes you, your family, your guests happy and comfortable in your home is in order. Look at the blessings in what you have created...and know that this is such a common thing for many of us women... So far this week the thing I did that I have been wanting to do, but have been afraid to try, was roll out my favorite yellow yoga mat and do a downward dog. I know sounds like a silly thing to be psyched about, but my fear of dizziness is pretty huge as well as my lack of strength and I did one. yes, I did it anyway...did not hold it for long...was not a perfect stretch...not my best alignment ever, but the best I could do for that moment and it felt so good to greet my old mat face to face. Gave me courage...maybe I can do another one today. YOU have given me courage. Thank you.