So, I love to sew. My daughter is wearing a Mary Poppins costume I made for her when she played Mary Poppins this past summer.
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was about 11. During middle school, I made almost all of my clothes. I used an old treadle machine which had been converted to electric. All it could do was so straight, no reverse, no zigzag, nothing extra.
When I had children I sewed for them. Dresses, usually matching which I’m sure they hated, but I loved seeing them wearing my creations. I made halloween costumes. Drapes, pillows, valances, balloon shades anything for my home I wanted.
Then when my girls no longer wanted me to sew for them, I made costumes for my neighbors’ children. And now I have come full circle and I’m sewing for myself and my girls again.
Why sew when you can go buy something already made and sometimes even cheaper? Sewing is a creative outlet. I makes my mind work hard. I love seeing what I created. But most importantly, it connects me to generations of women before me who sewed, by hand, by machine, clothing for their families.
Every time I see this commercial, it never fails to make me laugh. It answers the age old question, “Who is the boss?” Mothers wear many hats and do it with grace. And while adults believe they speak the truth, don’t we all know it’s really the children who tell it like it is? Follow this link for a smile
Your Smile for the day
When I went through my preteen and teenage years, I found it utterly ridiculous that girls had mad crushes on actors and singers. Buying TeenBeat Magazine, putting posters on their walls all seemed a waste of time. I didn’t scream at concerts or get butterflies if I thought I’d see someone famous. Did I miss something? I think I did. The idea of dreaming and longing and believing in something wonderful like love with a music star, no matter how unlikely it was, brought joy and excitement to many girls’ lives. I spent too much of my time just worrying about fitting in. I find it so interesting that now, of all times in my life, I have a mad teenage crush on a book character/actor. Of course I realize he is fictional and the actor is too young and famous, to ever be a reality, but it’s enabled be to dream a little and believe a little that there is the possibility of love again.
Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark on Masterpiece Theater/BBC
Today I went to Walker Honey Farm for their Fall Festival and Farmer’s Market. It was a wonderful way to spend my Saturday morning. They make honey products including Mead. If you don’t know what mead is this link will give you the information you need. Brewery:Mead This information is taken from their website.
The History and Tradition of Mead
Mead is a honey-based fermented beverage that has been produced and enjoyed since before the dawn of recorded history. Because of its antiquity, mead has acquired an almost magical reputation in our mythologies. For example, the term “honeymoon” is intertwined with the custom of drinking honey-based mead for a month (moon) after the wedding; this practice was said to ensure baby boys. Mead making was once the province of a select, trained guild. Now, it is open to all who have the patience and skill. You are continuing this long and honored tradition. Welcome, aboard and enjoy.
I tried regular mead, raspberry mead, and blackberry mead. They were all delicious. Before leaving I bought some marinade/salsa and some homegrown tomatoes.
I am certain I am behind the times and most people are aware of the app Prisma. I just discovered it and I am having a blast. I took the upper left photo this morning after church. Technology is amazing. I took a photo with my phone and then using an application on the same phone took a simple photo and made it look like a piece of art. Fun.
I signed up for informal education at UT. The beginning DSLR photography class began last Monday. The class isn’t too large but except for me and one man, no one in the class is over 30. I definitely felt singled out due to age. The instructor kept asking me if I was of understanding the technology. I realize I do remember things that most of the class have never even used. (cassette tapes, instamatic cameras, VHS tapes, phone book etc.) When the instructor mentioned ISO just the two of us had any idea what it was and how it was used. I always had ISO 100, 200 and 400 film on hand. I have a large box of negatives and boxes of photos.
I commented that with digital photography, I rarely have photos printed and because of that, I never really look at any of the memories I captured. My daughter did find a great app called Artifact Uprising. It is an easy to use app that allows you to upload photos of your choice and make great photo books. I’ve used one of the better known sites but I like the look and feel of the Artifact Uprising book better. I ordered a 5.5 x 5.5 soft cover photo book. I had photos from my three months in Tours, France but I wasn’t enjoying them because they were on my computer. I did it all from my Iphone too. You can go to their website Artifact Uprising Now I can enjoy my photos.
Since I titled this 3rd times the charm, it is because this is the 3rd time I’ve taken beginning DSLR photography. I hope this time it sinks in and I take the time to record memories and moments through pictures. Because when I am long gone, they will remain as a doorway into my life for future generations.
Since relocating three years ago, I have been visiting churches. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve visited. They include churches of all sizes and denominations. I remember thinking my church (where I was involved prior to my divorce) was friendly and what I have learned is that friendly and inviting are not the same thing. Every church I’ve been to has some moment either before or during the service to greet the people around you. At a few churches no one has approached me. At most churches people shake my hand and say hello but that is the end of the moment. At only two churches have members taken the time to introduce themselves, ask a question or two about me and then invite me to join them in some additional activity. I even had a couple offer to walk with me to their Sunday School Class. I had a woman offer to pay for me to attend their women’s dinner when she find out I was unemployed. Guess which churches I liked the best?
Shaking someone’s hand and saying hello doesn’t cut it. It is difficult enough to walk into a church not knowing a soul, especially when you are alone. I remember being comfortable at my church and being involved. In the beginning I was great at seeking out and inviting new people to join me in Sunday School or a Bible Study or a women’s group or a family event. But over time, like most people, I became complacent. I am learning first hand how not reaching out beyond a handshake makes a visitor feel excluded and unwanted.
When you are busy chitchatting with your friends about an upcoming event, I am left standing there twiddling my thumbs praying the pastor hurries up and tells us to sit down. A visitor is a fish out of water. A handshake and hello does not invite them in for a swim. Now some of you may be saying I need to make an effort and just join a group. While that thought is nice in theory, in practice there are very few people that will actually on their own step out of their comfort zone and join a group. For most people just being brave enough to visit a church is placing them way outside their comfort zone. It is up to the church members to reach out and invite the visitors to experience their church on a deeper and more personal level. Don’t say to yourself, well we have a committee to do that. Or we have people that do a follow up call. It is the responsibility of every believer to try and make that connection.
So next time you have those moments to greet people or share the peace, take the time to get their name and find something out about them. If you don’t have time, make sure you get them before they walk out of the sanctuary. Invite them to something. Get their email, give them your email. Get out of your comfort zone and make your church not just a friendly place but an inviting place.
Recently I read about the misconnect that happens when middle-aged adults enter into the online dating scene. I can’t remember where I read it but it was completely accurate.
The premise is that for most of us the last time we were dating, we were significantly younger probably in our 20s. I know it is true for me. There was no computer dating options. Now when we sign up and go online our head says I’m young. Our heart says I feel young. The same is true for men and women.
So we look at the photos and groan. These are old men. These are old women. This could be my dad or granddad. This could be my mom or my grandmother. I can’t possibly be in this age group, let me double check. Ugh it’s true. These old people are my contemporaries. It bites. It’s frustrating because society (yes it’s true whether you like it or not) give men much more leeway when choosing a partner. Men can easily marry someone much younger with little to no comment and they can marry down educationally and economically with no one saying a thing. My ex is a perfect example. He has partnered down in age, economics and education. He can because he is a man and he makes a lot of money. As I’ve always told my girls you never see a young woman with an old poor man. Money talks. Especially when it comes to dating and remarrying later in life. I suppose if I made a lot of money I would have a slightly broader choice but society still keeps women in a narrower role.
If I were to marry a younger man who had no children, people would feel bad for him because he was giving up his chance for children of his own. If I married someone with less education and less money, I would hear she must be desperate. I know times change but change is slow and I don’t believe this will change until women can have children into their 50s and 60s. An old man can marry a woman of child bearing age and still give her a family. The reverse is not true. And please do not lecture me on invitro, egg donation, adoption etc. This is an orange to orange comparison not an apple to orange one.
So I wasted $75 to join an online dating site where I now have my profile hidden. And I expect it to stay hidden until I can connect my young mind and heart to the reality of my age.
I am a collector of books. Typically I read every book I buy but sometimes I buy a book that requires interaction. This summer I purchased the above Experience Passport from Chronicle Books. It gives 45 ways to broaden your horizon without going anywhere. Since my life circumstances have changed, it is unlikely I will be doing any extensive traveling again. I thought this looked like a way to have fun and push myself out of the cocoon I have created for myself.
Some of the suggestions are easier to accomplish than others but all will open up my life to new possibilities. You don’t have to do them in any particular order. I’ve done #2, #7 and #26. I will share some of the things I learn while using my experience passport. Care to travel with me?
#26 Favorite quotes from an award winning piece of fiction. I will share one quote from Still Life by Louise Penny.
“Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving, you’re standing still and the rest of the world is surging ahead.”
No, I didn’t misspell presence. I never thought about the fact that presents and presence are homophones. Two words with different spellings and meanings but pronounced the same way. I think there is significance in this discovery. Why? Because now at Christmas it is so easy to get focused on presents. I won’t lie. I love buying and giving gifts. To see the joy and excitement on my loved ones’ faces brings me such joy. But if I asked them to tell me what they got for Christmas last year they might be able to name one or two things but if I ask them what we did, I am certain they would remember.
Our shared worship experience, our shared Christmas Eve, our shared Christmas Day meal, opening presents together, a movie or games played, the funny family selfie, those are the things we remember. It is our presence together which makes the holiday memorable, not the gifts. Our celebration has undergone a change these last 3 years and it would be easy to focus on who was missing, but we have chosen to focus on who is present and the presence of Jesus. He is the focus of our Christmas.
It is His presence in our lives that adds a fullness and richness which no amount of presents could match. We may not have a perfect family or a perfect home but we have a perfect little baby, Jesus who isthe son of God andthe Prince of Peace. He came to save the world. He came to save me and you.
Merry Christmas and may 2016 find your life full of blessings and peace.