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Posts from the ‘Goals and Dreams’ Category

Forward

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The motto of Wisconsin is ‘Forward’. I had not thought about it in some time as I now live in Texas but my oldest son reminded me when he remarked on the destruction of the statue and that of an abolitionist in the state capitol by individuals purporting to bring attention to race relations. I had thought people in Wisconsin were educated and practical.

Wisconsin was pioneered by immigrants from Germany, Poland, and Czechoslavakia–Bohemia as my dad described it. Small towns boasted a biermeister and a casameister–beer and cheese maker–the recipes and skills a family heritage. They had to be tough people to dig holes in the sides of hills to live in during those brutal winter months.

I always thought of Forward as being future thinking, not dwelling on the past, not dwelling on adversity but rising above it—something my parents and grandparents exampled along with others in the community. I have been fortunate to find a segment of Texas with a group of people similarly minded. I remember how furious a 92 year old woman was when I told her I could not just give her a shot for her broken hip so she could finish spading up her garden that morning—she had slipped on some grass wet with dew.

So today I will get up and go do stuff. I have a garden to tend, a kitchen to clean, some business and personal correspondence to complete and then I will work on some art. Work and responsibilities always come before pleasure–just like vegetables come before dessert.

**the photo above is in a gallery labeled Utah trip but is a view of the Mississippi across the river from Wyalusing. When I stop at this viewing spot, I know I am nearly home.

Just Thinking

It has been awhile since I last posted here—and it hasn’t been for lack of time. Maybe it is because time hangs heavy these days and the idea I should be doing ‘something important’ is so overwhelming I spend countless hours trolling the internet hoping for inspiration. Instead I find anger which is just fear dressed in another color—anger at being asked to wear a mask to protect others, and anger by those who think mask wearing is an infringement on their ‘rights’. And then there are those who post funny/ wry commentary and some who post just ‘regular’ stuff like picnics with families, garden produce and so forth.

I have no excuse for not doing ‘stuff’; I am filled with an immense feeling of abandonment— my family is far away and busy with other family members. While husband is attentive and caring and the dogs are definitely loving—and mischievous at times, I have little motivation to DO something, anything. Each day is the same as the day before with the only challenge is ‘what to make for supper’ and ‘who is cooking’.

About ten years ago I nearly died from systemic disseminated histoplasmosis—a fungal infection that had a mortality rate of about 95% at the time—and I’m sure it would have been a higher rate if a massive does of steroids initially had been included. Each day while I was in the step-down unit was much the same as the previous with the only point of interest, the evening meal—such as it was. I am made of tough stuff—my sparring partners in karate…mostly young men…would stand back and say–you look soft but underneath you are as tough as nails…and I think that is probably true.

I recovered from that illness although I am left with reminders, reminders I need to be very careful regarding corona virus. I had to alter my work, my hobbies, and my life for the new way of life I now have.

I put one foot in front of another; tried hard although it is so tempting to not look back with regret of past abilities but to concentrate on moving forward.

I like to include photos with my posts–not everyone likes to read essays. During this time, I managed to finish the project my mother left for me—quilting all the tops for her grand-children. They have all now been delivered. In addition, I have been cleaning out her quilting supplies and put together this little lap quilt from triangles my dad cut out for her and the pieced flowers. I sent this to my sister=in=law who is undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer–the cancer my mother dealt with for 13 years—its’ mortality rate was 95% in 2 years===so I am indeed made of tough stuff.

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Onward

New Year Resolutions abound at this time of year—and a lot of them already broken. Some use a word or phrase to shape their year; I tend to do both. I tend to lean toward the list method. And ruefully the same things appear on the list each year—things like–recover the couch—–fix dining room ceiling…clean up yard….

Some of the tasks are never-ending—how can you ever stay caught up on laundry or cleaning the bathroom?

But then there is the Wisconin motto—Onward…

I think it is a great motto—looking forward, building on the past and still moving—not standing motionless paralyzed by regret or anger but going forward.

I’ve been part of a weekly photo challenge for several years. Some of the participants are expert at filters and composites and other fancy things in photoshop; others seem to live in particularly gorgeous areas with abundance of great photo ops; those are not in my skill set. One year I did try to do some fancy stuff and spent a great deal of time on it; I was rewarded by someone commenting I should have taken the time to find a better photo site…it was really hard not to look at that person’s submission with a highly critical and negative view. But I cheated myself out of not participating for the remainder of the year.

So this year—-it is Onward! and here is my photo:

Week 1 Sylvia Weir Word of the Year

This is a view of Amistad Resevoir just north of Del Rio Texas. Several rivers contribute to the Reservoir but the best known is the Rio Grande. This area is part of the Chihuahuan desert and features some of the typical vegetation but more abundantly due to the reservoir and the amount of water available. Some years the reservoir is quite low but this time it is quite high; fishing is a popular activity.

Bearly Rare

Several years ago, there was a booth at the Quilt festival in Houston featuring Rare Bears. This is a project now encompassing over 11 countries and sponsored (among many others) by Spoonflower. Spoonflower prints pairs of soles for teddy bears; huggable Teddy Bears to be given to children with rare diseases.

Of course I signed up with great intentions but this past month finally put together two of these bears. I made them from bamboo fleece that was hand-dyed for another project—and the bears required fairly small pieces. I think I have enough for one more bear.

While they prefer the Rare Bear Army members to send just skins.=—take up a lot less room–I had to see how these bears would look.

Here is my sweet husband trying out the huggability of the bear.glen20and20rare20bearq-m

Here they are hopping into the box to send away.rare20bears20ready20to20travel-m

And here they are with little notes.

When they are gifted to a special child, a photo is sent of the bear with their new master. I hope these two get picked soon.

And for a bit of trivia: Rare Bear’s factory Pratt & Whitney R-2800-30W engine producing 2,250 shp was replaced by a Wright R-3350 engine producing somewhere between 3,400 – 3,800 shp depending on the base model selected – factory numbers. As a current racer, the specifics of Rare Bears engine remain undisclosed.

In 1976, the engine failed during the Mojave Race with a resulting belly landing. It wasn’t raced again until the 90’s.

More details are abundant on the internet, but I might just ask at the Lone Star Flight Museum sometime.

 

Number Three

My mother was a quilter and left me quite a few unfinished projects along with her fabric—lots of rust and turquoise==my least favorite colors. I’ve been working on finishing the little pieces as baby quilts for her great-grandchildren–but it has been slow-going.

There were quilt tops for each grandchild to be given on the occasion of their wedding–I have four left–two handed out this year.

And then there was this piece.

She had a class of quilting students–and together they decided they wanted to make a smallish wall quilt commemorating the establishment of Prairie du Chien–I think—I really don’t remember what event they were focused on—but here it is—-

I put it on that UFO list I talked about yesterday—and wouldn’t you know it–but it was number three and the number that was drawn for the month of January.

I had hoped it wouldn’t be the very first month—but here it is—and I’ll have to figure out how I want to finish it—and then take it to the new library in town and see if they have a place to hang it.UFO203202019-M

Hitting the Sweet Spot

img_8344-mOfficer Meadows opened the passenger door of my truck and asked me if I was okay. He thought I had been driving slowly and touched the white line several times. Had I been drinking?

Just water.

It was one of those roads paved in sections, patched many times. With my wheelbase  and suspension, I was bounced all over the road. I tried driving closer to the center line, closer to the edge, slower, faster—trying to find the sweet spot in that road that wasn’t going to bounce my back all around.

We chatted a bit about where I was going and why did I live in Texas when I had a farm in Wisconsin. I told him I was taking a box of bees to the farm—and he said his uncle had thirty hives and they frequently harvested honey without protective gear. I was relieved—he knew not to swat at the bees—the fastest way to make them mad and sting—and maybe a mass exodus from the box.

Like life, though, there was no sweet spot—just drive straight on through. Maybe a stop or two for some pleasant conversation with a nice young man.

Labeling

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Claiming ownership of one’s work–signing a letter, a painting by more than just a style..is it important?

In the past I had settled for a plain jane type label,..a bit of muslin ironed to freezer paper, words traced from a print-out using a nice font, edges turned under and then the label sewn to the back in the lower right corner.

Sometimes I pieced the label into the back–when people were announcing a lot of quilt thievery. After surveying my rising stack of completed pieces, and thinking through what I really enjoy –I like the making–not the having–I began making fancier labels.

Although this label is for a quilt I did not make–I did contribute to its making–I used part of the fabrics in the front design, printed the words out using a hand-writing font–my hand-writing is not so neat–traced the words onto the muslin and then finished all the edges.

This quilt is a donation quilt for our local guild–and will be on display at our local quilt show in April.

And I keep all those print-outs in a special binder–if only I added sizes to the print-out I would have a ready reference to each year’s endeavors.

Stars in my hands

What was I thinking?????

I was re-organizing my sewing space—I do not call it a studio–that sounds too fancy–and would imply I only produce notable artwork in there–instead of doll dresses and grand-daughter dresses and grandson shirts and quilts for community service plus the rare mending of something.

A quilt pattern complete with plastic templates caught my eye–it was something I had bought at the last Quilt Festival in Houston and never opened—so I opened that envelope and discovered really tiny templates and a challenge to make a star a day for a year! Even though no-one saw me open that package, I thought how hard could it be to make a star? And maybe I should just test those templates.

The completed stars will finish at 3 inches–so those pieces are teeny-weeny. I now have a considerable stack of them with more to follow. Will I do it for a year? Maybe, maybe not.tin20stars-m

Contemplation

Sylvia Weir Contemplation

I spend a lot of time driving.

It is a time of contemplation for me–a landscape that looks barren but is filled with life–birds-bugs-beasties including those legless creatures. While many would think this is boring and would need entertainment I am content in my thoughts.

This photo was taken somewhere north of Hondo Texas.

Contemplation

The week between Christmas and New Year’s has always seemed to be a time to reflect upon the past year/s and to plan for the upcoming year. Somehow the first two months of the year always slide by and I manage to get around to planning and setting up goals in March–which may be appropriate as it is my birth month. Then, there is the ritual of setting aside the past year’s day-planner and installing the new year’s planner.

I’ve tried a lot of methods over the years to plan  but what seems to work best for me is a set of index cards with broad categories. I review them occasionally–not as often as perhaps I should–but then I have learned that I need to slow down and rest more.

The past year was less exciting than previous ones with my medical deductible being met only two weeks before the end of the year instead of two weeks into the year. A small thing perhaps, but exciting for me as my social life seems to revolve around doctor visits to my assortment of specialists.

I hope this year will see fewer medical issues and more fun and travel. As always I want to finish up projects–but then I have new ones that seem to spring up and push the old ones back. I guess if I really wanted the older ones, I would have done them by now–but they can stay neatly–or not so neatly–written on an index card that I peruse while waiting for a Netflix to load.

Today, more Netflix and ordering of garden seeds. This year I hope to have a garden as productive as it was two years ago with a sink filled with produce to process—-this was just one day’s picking.

 

and now, I’m linking to Nina Maries Friday night linkup—I think—as part of my New Year’s activities

http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com