Thursday, September 15, 2011

Life Is Too Short For This Much Stress

Ever have so much stress you think you're having a heart attack? Ever live in such stress that you don't realize it really is stress???
Early on when GP was a little boy and he was diagnosed with Autism I lived in such a state. It was a time of terrible, terrible stress. It was living and breathing autism, coping with the tantrums, staying up late finding out what the heck this Autism was doing and would do to him. It was the way my life and my son's future had been snatched from right under us and I refused to just "take it". It was a HARD fight for many years of "silence" and fighting to change opinions from "He'll never do XXXX" to "Wow, that's great progress".
The thing is, when you live in that state of stress, your brain shuts it off. You just move from one task to the next and you literally forget you are stressed out. You're cranky, you're tired, you're sad...but you have more important things to worry about than yourself, so you move on.
Then, one day, you have this pain. This pain that won't quit, and you self medicate, and it goes away...but then it comes back; with a vengeance. The more you ignore it, the more severe it becomes until one day your mind CLICKS and tells you, "Oh, sh**! I think I'm having a heart attack!" And you're not even forty! How the hell does that happen??? Easy, it's called STRESS!
I went to the emergency room a few times (better safe than dead is what I say), and each time was told "You have to take it easy. You have too much stress" I swear, when a stranger who knew nothing, nothing about me or my life other than I was a "female presenting with chest and back pain who has difficulty moving her right arm" told me I had too much stress I KNEW it was bad.... the last guy sent me home without even a prescription. He said take tylenol, aspirin and REST. He obviously did not know I had a five year old autistic child who could not speak, was not potty trained and was screeching all the time. Easy for him to say!
Anyway, I started to pay attention to my body and what it was saying because the only thing worse than a stressed out mom is a dead one so I bought Tylenol in the Family size and when my body said stop, I would pretend I did not notice my house was falling apart, my son was screeching and would take to the road. GP would nap, and I would "breathe"... and so I survived. It wasn't the day at the spa the MD suggested but it was the best I could do with what I had. =)
Last night my body told me again that I needed to breathe. With craziness at home, homeschooling now in progress and a day of nothing but stress, my right arm started hurting early in the morning, I ignored it and by midnight my chest and back were in a vice. It had been so long since my body reminded me that stress is no joke. I found myself climbing up to bed and reminding myself that rest is not "optional", and praying that I would sleep and recover.
Today my body aches and I am recovering, but well aware that "I have been warned".
I hope that if your body is telling you to BREATHE, you heed the signs and quit while you're ahead. Trying to keep up with your life is important but of you're dead, does it really matter??? Probably not. Today I will ignore the laundry, and will not dress the bed. I will homeschool my son, fill some orders, go to the PO and.... oh yeah, that's my stress free list. You should see the other one. LOL! Take it easy today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I'm Setting The Record Straight!

I am not a "real" quilter. Most of you already know that, but some of you are a little confused so I thought I'd put that out there. My quilting days can be traced back to just a few short years ago when my handy-dandy Singer sewing machine died. I had a sewing machine not for crafting purposes but for utilitarian purposes. I had a sewing machine to hem pants and I am not kidding when I say that that was it's one and only use. When it died I bought a Bernina. Whatever you do, if you need a sewing machine, do not take a quilter with you to buy a replacement, you'll come home with a machine that has more featues than your car... and more decorative stitches than you will ever need... I am so not kidding.
Anyway, I felt that to justify my expense (oh, did I mention it cost as much as a car payment, or two? Oh yeah, a "real" sewing machine's price starts at triple digits and only goes up from there. It's insane! ), I should learn how to do something more than hems and whala! A quilter was born; ok so maybe not a "real" quilter, but a quilter non the less.
I always think of "real" quilters as people who make large quilts with fancy techniques, or miniature quilts with a gazillion tiny little stitches. Yeah, that's never gonna happen. I will never make either one of those qualifying quilts.
Here's something I have learned, real quilter's have sewing machines that have first and last names. I am so not kidding. Their machines have names like "Bernina 'something or another'. If you ask someone what kind of sewing machine they have and it doesn't have a last name, they are not "real" quilters. Oh stop it, if you are a real quilter you KNOW this is true. Stop pretending you have no idea what I'm talking about, you so do know the make and model of your machine. You probably know mine's!
Quilters and their machines are like men and their cars. It's crazy! OMG! They pimp them up too... I started pimping mine recently so I might be turning into a more dedicated quilter myself. See the fancy little lamp I have on mine? Oh and I have a vice pincushion on it too... I'm thinking I might bedazzle it soon. What do you think, TOO much? =/
I'm so bad. I will never be a real quilter. I accept that. I can live with it, but I thought I'd put it out there so other folks can see that you don't have to be a REAL quilter to have quilting fun. Quilting is a great crafting activity. Give it a'll love it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What Were YOU Doing on This Day, Ten Years Ago?

As a young woman I had heard over and over again, "I remember what I was doing when JFK was shot. I was ..." Somehow I didn't get the significance of that. I didn't understand how something that happened "to someone else" could really have a life changing impact on your life. It seemed to go against my steadfast belief that "you are responsible for your own actions and no one else's". That changed, on Sept. 11, 2001.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day in New Hampshire. A sunny, crisp and cool morning that reminded me of why I love Fall in New England. After having dropped off GP at school (what was to be his last semester, ever) I came home to tackle this cabinet. I say tackle because it had been a work in progress for a few years before I had decided that this was going to be the year when I would finish it. I laid it across the table, gathered my supplies and turned on the kitchen TV. Engrossed in my sanding and glazing I heard something that caught my attention and when I looked up at the TV there was one of the twin towers with smoke coming out of it. I stopped what I was doing and brush in hand raised the volume.
The anchor, I think it was Peter Jennings, said a plane had just crashed into the tower. My thought was, "What an idiot! How the hell do you miss the twin towers???" I swear, that was what I though.... but lets regress, there had been a plane crash a few months prior, and the pilot crashed into a building, accidentally! He had lost control of his plane and crashed it into a building, and it was all over the news, just a few months before. I, being of the flying class, the ones that believed that flying was safer than driving a car thought, "This is insane. They need to stop handing out flying licenses to every Tom, Dick and Harry!" I swear, this is really what rushed through my mind as I stood there, in the safety of my kitchen paintbrush in hand, shaking my head. Mind you, I did not know it was an airline jet. And of all the things that I could have thought, even now as I remember it, I don't think there was any reason, any reason at all for me to have thought of terrorism as even the most remote possible cause of this crash)... THEN, as I watched and listened to the anchor speculate as to the cause of the crash, the second plane came into the screen, and right before my eyes, crashed into the second tower. THAT'S when I knew, this was not an accident. This was bad, really bad.
I will never forget what I was doing when something that happened thousands of miles away from my home, to people I did not know, changed the way I live my life to this very day. Pretty much the same way my parents will never forget what they were doing when JFK was shot and killed... but alas, I know my son and children of his age will never understand what it is that makes this day so unforgettable. They were too young to have lived the life of freedom we enjoyed before TSA, before Homeland Security... to them, this is just the way things are. This is the way they have learned to travel, to live. You cannot REMEMBER what you never lived.
My cabinet stands unfinished in my family room and every time I look at it I remember. I remember I was painting it on this day, ten years ago.
I bet you remember what you were doing too.
*Image is a cropped screenshot of the Jules Naudet footage that is included in the Naudet brothers' documentary film 9/11, originally broadcast on March 10, 2002 on CBS, and later released on DVD. It is a historically significant image of the crash of American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Buttons and Blooms Weekend Sale!

I saw these fabrics at Spring Market and almost keeled over. I am such a Whimsicals Fan I border on groupie. How bad is that? I know, it's bad, LOL! Anyway. I had to order them and have been harassing the folks at Red Rooster since July (they were supposed to ship way back then, but they kept being delayed for one reason or another), and they finally came in yesterday! OMG! They are soooo cute. I love them all, and think everyone needs a yard, or two of these so I am having a weekend sale to share my love of Buttons and Blooms. I even put the book on sale for those who need a little inspiration and find themselves in love with the fabrics but pondering the age old question, "What would I use it for????"
I love the wallhanging in this book. I saw it at market and yep, it was amazing... Here's another great quilt I saw made up using the panels and fabrics from the collection. I asked around an no one knew who designed this one or even of there was a pattern. It was at one of the distributors, someone at their company had made it... I love it!
I also love the little owl in the book. It's like a pincushion on steroids!
But if I had to choose only one thing to make from this book, being theWeekend Warrior that I am, I would make the runner. Be still my heart, I am in love with the simple applique and the easy piecing. It screams, "You can make me!" and who who doesn't love having something to show for their weekend of crafting??? I know I NEED to feel like I am getting something done. No matter how small, if it's done, I feel accomplished. It's the little things that make me happy.
Sale ends at midnight on Sunday. Don't miss it. These fabrics are gorgeous, I know you'll love them! You can see the complete collection here: