Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 943

I was a bit sad today when the mail lady drove by. Whereas the last two mail days she came into the driveway to deliver boxes of donated fabric, today she briefly stopped at our mailbox to deliver the junk mail then drove on.

I might even had said something like "boo hoo" to myself but since my new motto is "I choose joy" I didn't dwell on it. I just thought about all the scraps I still had to work with.

And I was still feeling joy when I picked hubby up from school. I might even had said something like "yay" when I saw what he had in his hand. Fabric from a co-worker of his. I cut 11 more stockings from her pretty green fabric. Thanks to Mary who works in Marsing but used to work in Homedale.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day 942

As I was cutting stockings today hubby asked me how many were already cut.

I have no clue.

Between the ones I already did, the strips I've been piecing together, the 76 from Marie's fabric (yep, Lisa you were right) and the 60 from Joan's material in today's picture I've lost count. While I've stacked them in groups of 25 those stockings have migrated from my table to boxes to baskets to the tops of boxes and baskets. I keep telling myself I'll get them all in one spot and then count them. But with fabric strips and scraps everywhere (including the floor - sorry hubby!) I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Tomorrow will be a new day.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day 941

The knock on the door came at the right time.

As much as I work on sucking all the marrow out of life, as much as I choose to be happy despite my health, the downward spiral continues. I thought if I was cheerful enough, hid how I'm feeling enough, it would get easier. But it hasn't.

Every time I go to the rheumatologist's office I have to fill in a form that asks about the joints bothering me and the length of time that I have symptoms in the morning. 3+ hours is my standard answer but I'm on the verge of changing that to 4+ hours. The mornings are certainly the worst. The energy, the breath, the pain, the joint movements required to get out of bed and then get dressed is beyond what I can do most days.

In my futile attempt to forget my issues on weekends I head straight from bed to the sewing machine. I may not be able to breathe or get dressed or even brush my teeth for hours (and forget about putting on my shoes anymore - I've had to go to open back shoes that I can just slip on) but I can sit in a chair and feed fabric through a sewing machine.

That's where I was when the knock on the door came this morning. Hubby returned with a box and let me know I had a new best friend.

Joan from Michigan.

Guess what Joan sent our way? Looks like there is another Christmas angel out there. Thank you, Joan!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Day 940

Today is another question for everyone.

How many stockings did I cut today using the fabric Marie from Las Vegas sent my way?
A. 47
B. 58
C. 69
D. 76

Marie already knows the answer, but what do you think? Let's just say it made a nice dent as I work my (our) way to 400 Stockings for Soldiers.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 939

Two mysteries. The first one is for you to solve.

Fill in the blanks.
When my daughter and I walked out of the ______ ______ she said, "A mom should never have more ______ than her 25 year old daughter."

More to reveal on that one later.

Second mystery. When I came home from Boise I had a box sitting in my sewing room. I knew I hadn't ordered anything so was curious about where it came from.

Las Vegas.

From Marie, a reader of this blog. A very, very generous reader who sent me a full box of Christmas fabric for the Stockings for Soldiers project. Did I say she was very generous? Well, she also included a sweet note. And money. Money to help buy more fabric or help with shipping. My heart couldn't be any fuller right now.

Marie, thank you for believing in this project - and in me. Hancock Fabrics has felt on sale and your funds will get a BUNCH of stockings cuffed. Fabric for stockings and felt for their cuffs. What more can a person ask for?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day 938

While working with scraps seem to take forever, they are sure worth the effort!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day 937

Like Hawaiian fajitas hubby said.

We thought we only had boring fish left on the eating-through-the-Alejandra's-menu project. How wrong we were.

Vallarta Style Shrimp. Super spicy and sweet, served in half a pineapple. Wow. And yum.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day 936

I'm making good use of the scraps. Those that are too tiny are getting tossed in the tiny-scrap basket. Those tiny scraps will come together and become filling for pet beds at the animal shelter. That is if I can get our cat off of them.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 935

Do you know someone who knows someone who knows someone? If so, I may need their help.

11 fabric stacks. 25 stockings per stack. 11 x 25 = 275 stockings cut.

I'm out of fabric and I'm 125 short from my Stockings for Soldiers 400 stocking goal. Anyone know anyone who might have some Christmas fabric floating around? I could sure use it!

Let's see how creative I can get with scraps now.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 934

My daughter is so amazing. She turned the front of our place in Boise from this
To this. 
Amazing!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Day 933

I define myself by my work. As I sit in the chair during my infusion I know determining my value by my quality of work is not a good quality to hold onto. When I see and hear those people in the same boat as me, with the same illness, who sit alongside me, it becomes abundantly clear that my future isn't so bright. Most folks no longer hold down jobs, having long ago given into the illness and live life on disability.

But from what I've seen it's not really living. It's surviving. And I don't want to just survive. I want to live and in my book living equals work. (And play, of course!) But it worries me. If I don't have work to define myself by, what do I define myself by? I'm afraid I'll wind up substituting charity work to determine my value. Actually I think I already do that. Who else is crazy enough to sew 400 Christmas stockings for soldiers? Why not 20?

Nope, my flawed character says I've gotta do it big. And thanks to one of the folks in my school district for a big fabric donation that'll help me get closer to 400. Of course the overachiever in me decided I had to stack it two different ways and still couldn't decide which way I liked best.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 932

More fabric came in from hubby's school today. This bag of fabric had a note in it from the giver. A gal I worked with years and years ago who now works in hubby's school district wrote me a note and gave me some information about her special daughter-in-law who is a captain in the Air Force. She also shared where her daughter-in-law is stationed.

And here's the kicker.

In Alaska. Anchorage, to be exact. And to be even more specific at JBER. (That stands for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.) What's significant about that military base?

That's the exact base I make all my Operation Kid Comfort quilts for. The one I just finished up quilts again last week for. The base I was able to visit two summers ago. The one where I was able to present quilts I had made to kids whose dad was deployed to Afghanistan. The visit where the three little kiddos pointed out pictures of themselves with their dad in their own individual quilts. The visit where the mom was in tears as she hugged me, thanking me for making the quilts for her kids. The visit that became one of the most memorable moments of my life.

What are the odds? Her daughter-in-law, the captain, delivers babies at the military base in Anchorage, Alaska. Babies who may be future recipients of quilts made by me here in little ole' Marsing, Idaho. Kind of makes me feel a bit more connected to the bigger world.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day 931

I like to think I'm a strong person. It seems counterintuitive that illness would make someone stronger. I don't think it's so much the illness itself but what the illness has made me do.

Live life.

But I'm not feeling so strong right now. My pain, stiffness, and fatigue are approaching my maximum threshold. My knee has been increasingly been getting worse and needs replacing. I re-injured my rotator cuff a while back and it makes doing anything with my right arm - including cutting out stockings - quite difficult. And for some reason I feel like my lung issue might even be getting worse.

I'm in physical therapy to try and regain some strength. What kind of exercises does someone with a knee that needs replacing, a torn rotator cuff, and one functional lung do? Lots of things. Unfortunately mostly upper body work. Things that hurt. A lot. And wear me out. A lot. And make me not be able to catch my breath. A lot.

So yeah, not feeling so strong right now. Almost (okay kinda) was in tears when I got into the car tonight after physical therapy. I'm trying so hard to hold it all together. Kitty knows that, too. Could she squish any closer to me?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 930

What state does this tortilla chip look like? Idaho, of course. And no, I didn't break it to make it look like this.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 929

When you are dragging like I am right now it is a real treat to find someone to take you out to dinner at the local pizza place. It's good even if it is someone you pick up on the side of the road as you're driving home.

I am so against picking anyone up but when you come across your hubby as he walks home from school on a hot day you just have to stop.

Hot day, hot pizza. Yep, those are jalape├▒os on the pizza.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 928

At least I have some company while I'm working in the sewing room. Although she might not be the best of helpers. You'd think she'd at least pick up the stray threads off the floor but she seems to like hang out with them instead.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day 927

How committed am I to passing the self-imposed 400 stockings for soldiers goal? By the looks of just the past 24 hours - cut stockings, fabric strips, and scraps - it might become more of an obsession.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 926

I don't even have the kids' quilts in the mail yet and I'm already starting on the next project.

Last year I used up every piece of Christmas fabric I had and sent in over 200 Christmas stockings to the Stockings for Soldiers organization. (That's the group that sends stockings and goodies to soldiers in the remotest regions of Afghanistan.) This year I'm planning on surpassing it on nothing but donated fabrics. Hubby started collecting from the staff at his school (that's today's picture). Next week I'll be getting donated fabric from the staff at my school. My deadline is mid-October so I have to get moving on this.

Anyone out there want to join in and be part of an especially special project? As long as I have fabric, I'll keep a-sewing! Can you imagine if we had 400 Christmas stockings headed to the Stockings for Soldiers organization this year, all thanks to everyone's generosity? I would love to have you be part of this.

Who's in?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 925

Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? Not me. Seven complete.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 924

If anyone can shove a bunch of things into a short amount of time it seems to be me. I think it comes from still not having the stamina to make it a full day. I'm getting pretty good at sucking the marrow for only a few hours at a time.

The rest of the quilts done, school work. Lunch with daughter and her fianc├ę.

Shared cheese and bacon covered waffle fries. Not as good as they sounded. They wound up taking them home.

Shared desserts of chocolate chip skillet and brownie skillet. Even better than they look.

Kiddo and her guy taking me to Whole Foods for my first visit ever. Just as cool as I've heard.

A trip with them to the rose garden in Boise. Just as pretty as ever.

And the sign about the sprinklers? Ask me how I know that one is true. Actually the sprinkler surprise was quite refreshing on this hot day.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 923

This I know for sure:
Doing for others will make your own life better.

(Also - knowing you have these kinds of projects to come home to makes a day full of meetings not so bad.)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Day 922

I say I don't know. Hubby says praying mantis. What do you say?

UPDATE: My boss says Katydid. Guess that's why he's the boss and I'm not...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day 921

Hubby always says "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades". I have to add something else to that.

Close also counts in quilts for kids. After a marathon weekend I came so very close to being finished. All but the bindings. Just look at that stack!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day 920

The quilt-making machine called Deb is continuing.

And the countdown to the end of the Alejandra's menu is continuing. Steak con Camarones or Camarones a la Mexicana, the one described as having a chef's special sauce? Best sauce ever!



Friday, September 6, 2013

Day 919

I am planning on doing nothing but one thing this weekend. Today's picture is a clue.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 918

Good thing for phones with Internet access. The power has been out for a long stretch tonight (from the big storm that passed through, I imagine) and I have no computer and no wireless. But thank you phone (and rain) for giving me this picture to share. Taken with the phone, blog posted with the phone. Technology CAN be used for a good purpose.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day 917

What do you think I kept repeating today?

I can do this...I can do this...I can do this... OR

I can't do this...I can't do this...I can't do this...

Both answers are correct. It changed throughout the day, even changed within a few seconds of each other depending on the task at hand. The task at hand being walking, that is. I'm about to give up and just make the scooter a 24/7 way of life. But I haven't given up yet. Hence today's pictures.

Just roses from the garden. Because of you, Linda, I am appreciating the beauty in my backyard.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day 916

It's hard to get out of bed.
It's hard to get dressed.
It's next to impossible to get shoes on.
Walking is a chore. Breathing is a chore. Moving is a chore.
Thinking is muddled.
The knee is shot. The lungs are shot. The whole body is shot.

I'm tired of dragging myself around, pulling myself through the day. Despite the numerous times I rubbed the tattoo, you can live deep and suck out all the marrow of life... you can live deep and suck out all the marrow of life and the repetition - sometimes aloud of  I choose joy today...I choose joy today. it didn't change things. So what's left? Put a smile on my face and be ever-so-thankful for those around me. Thankful for my boss who is so understanding (I know you're reading this). And thankful for daughter and future son-in-law for the work they did in our gardens today.

They turned this:
into this:

And this:
 into this:
And this:
into this:
Thank heaven for little girls and for the guys who want to marry them!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 915

So I guess I didn't think this Facebook thing through all the way. I've made sure not to have ads (with the exception of my book) on the blog. If Facebook means I have to have ads on it I may need to pass on it. A question for those with Facebook experience- is there a way to block them?

Speaking of advertising...did you notice a new book cover up at the top right of this page? The Living Life One Picture at a Time book? The plan is to use the first 365 days of the blog and turn it into a book. A book about surviving, inspiring, service to others. I'm not quite sure what the marketing slant will be, but it'll reflect what happened to me when I started taking a picture every day. I'm hoping to get the Kindle version up in the next month as soon as I get the tedious job of editing it out of the way.

And speaking of tedious...can you imagine how tedious grocery shop would be with these kinds of shoes on? I never take pictures of strangers but these shoes in the grocery store made an impression on me. Impressed on me to never own shoes like these. (Apologies to anyone who does.)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day 914

Welcome to the new look of my blog. You can tell something is up. It is.

I've made a decision. 86 days left. The blog stops at 1000 days.

When I first started here my goal was to get through a day. Hopefully string enough of those days to get to an entire year. And I did - and then some. And then some more. But it's about time for it to end.

My daughter wants me to try out Facebook. So I guess when 1000 days rolls around - I think that'll be right before Thanksgiving - I'll be making the shift.

Not yet though. I've got lots more to prove to myself before then.

Like being able to do for others with the completion of a colorful quilt top for a little girl in Alaska.