Monday, April 27, 2015

{Bright Week} ~ a wonderful meal




Bright Wednesday.
It was my first full day home after
*
I remember being exhausted and at times quite shaky. 
*
We ordered out and I got the same meal
*
We had a much of our Christmas gift basket
from Mr. Husband's parents blessed at Pascha this year.


We have much of it to enjoy yet....

Friday, April 24, 2015

First Sewing Lesson


My Quilting Friend brought this green fabric for me to 
practice on.


She set up my machine, made sure all the parts were there,
(we did not have tons of time, she understands what she is reading
and efficency counts for something!!!),
and got me going...


I had a cutting lesson on how to measure fabric to be cut...


This omnigrid is amazing!


Hello easy to measure!


And the huge cutting mat?
50% off at Joanne's last Tuesday.


So we washed all the fabrics I have and ironed some of them.
My QF (quilting friend) told me of these snapware
containers that are great to keep fabric in.


My friends, 
you are seeing all of the fabric for the quilt
for my goddaughter!
Actually, it's enough fabric for two quilts if I don't 
blotch the cutting/sewing!


I got the supplies we needed;
in a moment of mercy 
(considering all that was going on at the time)
I thought to email my friend to ask her to make
a list of all the sewing stuff (notions) I would need
to do this project.
She made a list on evernote, I downloaded evernote to my
smartphone, she emailed me the list and we were good to go!


Bonus was that most of the stuff I needed I got at least 
50% off at Joanne's.
Whew.


So not only did I have my
how-to-use-a-rotary-cutter-and-measure lesson,
I got the 
how-to-wind-a-bobbin and how-to-thread-my-machine lessons!
Picture above is my first bobbin!
I got on QF's suggestion a bobbin box and I have decided
that the word 'bobbin box' is one that should be in the 
vocabulary of all hobbit-lovers as it just sounds like
it should be in a Hobbit's hole...
bobbin box....


And after two ties on smaller squares,
I did a strait line of sewing!
Now I just have to repeat this a lot of times... 
I am so excited to learn!



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thoughts on love


one that I read the first time when I was 21
and grieving the loss of a woman
who was like a spiritual mother to me;
I remember when she died, it was sunny and 
I felt like I had lost my Mother.
*
This time I am reading it almost 20 years later and I am 
married to Mr. Husband.
*
And one of the unexpected joys of reading this book
is how his description of his marriage to his wife
had so much goodness in it and it reminds me of my marriage.
*
It also reminds me of how I hope that I do not die
before Mr. Husband as I wish him not to go 
through the pain of loss that this author did.
*
I am really greatful for the life I have with my Mr. Husband
and for all that it contains.

{Grief Work} ~ Remembering.....

I have no pictures of her,
my friend's Mom who died when we were 18.
I first met my friend B. when we were in middle school;
her small house was the bus stop; 
I think we were both new the area but don't really remember
but one snowy cold winter day she invited 
myself and siblings in while we were waiting for the bus
for hot cocaco; 
it was a small comfortable kitchen with wooden cupboards
and she mixed-up Swiss Miss for us all.
I remember being warmed by the company and the hot cocoa.
My friend's actions were warm and nurturing, natural...
We went to different schools but in time we were friends
and would visit; I esp. remember visiting in the summer.
*
My new friends often had the TV on and it was always to
soap operas, not something we were even allowed to 
watch at my house and nothing I could relate to.
*
I lived in the beautiful countryside and before we moved,
I had no neighbours at all.
*
So to have some kids my age near by was nice.
*
Their house was always clean, tidy.
*
I have vividly in my memory meeting their 
Mom for the first time,
she was shorter than myself, petite,
naturally blond hair, a bit on the
strawberry blond side I think.
Pale blue eyes that had a warmth and also
a story that she would not tell I think;
her voice was kind, husky,
adult sounding, she looked as young as her second daughter,
and could of been a twin.
When I told her what was obvious,
she seemed surprised as if no one had told them this before.
She was not a Mother who was trying to look as young as her
daughter, she just happened to look this way,
though now that I think of it she was,
in her deeper voice and older eyes, 
very much the adult.
*
To this day I don't know if I have every met
someone that seemed so accepting of others.
I was deeply struck by this.
*
I remember she was wearing a clean thick white robe,
a white towel neatly wrapping her wet hair;
I must of been over in the morning.
*
I did not see her often but was always
impressed by her presence.
*
Well, the last time I saw her she was bringing a can of coffee over
to the new widower of the first Mother who died in October of 1994.
It was a wretched year for my family, for myself;
the first Mother and the second Mother had become friends
over the years, sharing, I am sure,
a love of flower gardening and now I wonder
if they shared other burdens as well,
that as a young teen I really knew nothing about.
*
I grew up church-home-school in a simple unity;
CRC church, CRC school, CRC home.
My family was in tact, my father loving, gentle and given to teasing,
my mother funny, great sense of humour and deep practicality that was rooted 
in a family of 8 of who she is the youngest and a
long standing Dutch Christian piety that we were all raised in.
*
Somehow the other neighbours were quite different;
so much so that my Mother was worried about me being with some of them,
though she never stopped me.
She always gave me freedom I realize now and that in the end
I think saved me more than if she had put down huge disciplinary 
ways, esp. as thankfully I had not inclination to party
or do anything that would of endangered myself.
*
I was a lonely kid, no question about it.
But I was not the kind of kid to try to escape it by partying, etc.
*
So, there we were in I think late in Winter of 1995.
We were really still reeling for the first death of that first Mother 
of four who died; I remember a dark night, the sun had set 
and we were eating a lateish dinner and heard ambulances racing by,
not normal for the countryside but that's all we knew
and we were a family that tended to be quiet and keep to oneself.
So it was not until probably two days later, I think on a Sunday afternoon,
that my brother told my Mother or the other neightbour told my Mother,
don't remember, that it was the other Mother down the street from the
first Mother who had died.
*
This second Mother, 
was on life support; a tragic accident....
I was shocked; I knew this family more than the
rest of my family and I called them immediately,
their phone number was just two digits different than ours.
*
The youngest daughter answered,
they had just taken her off life support she said
and you can come over if you'd like.
She was gone after 3 days and they were going to cremate her.
I went right over....
*
I went to the funeral; I think I must of gotten out of school to do so;
I think it was in the morning; 
it was horrible; horrible in that the priest did not know her
but had been briefed about her;
it was my first time in our local Catholic church;
at that time I knew nothing about other branches of Christianity,
only that our CRC church of course thought they
were the right one.
*
I think that I remember hearing murmuring 
about how the priest did not know her;
how when he said she loved planting vegetables even I knew she did not do this;
only flowers, beauty only thank you!
And when the priest mentioned heaven,
well that was the worst moment; the Mother's Mother cried out in a loud 
lament and was carried out at the end of the funeral,
unable to walk.
*
I did not talk to her then or see her again, but her agony I have not forgotten.
*
I don't think I ever processed this death and how the people she knew loved her,
how they found poetry of hers hidden away and that they
saw that she was not happy internally.
*
How they loved her, 
how she was gone,
how she was beautiful in her simplicity
and in how kind and accepting she was of others;
I knew that if someone needed a place to stay and then 
overstayed the welcome, she could not turn them away;
her husband would have to gently move the person on.
*
And that is the Second Mother;
you don't need to know their real names but unbelievably,
the two Mothers who died,
they share the same name.

Watercolour in Blue






For years I have drawn big
blue abstract tears for processing
sadness.
I really liked the verse I put with this one;
it feels so hopeful...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

And about today...

After a lot of 'going' today,
with allergies, nearly two weeks of poor sleeping,
and emotional intensity,
today I am tired, thoat a bit sore.
*
So I got up this morning, lit all the living room lampadas, 
had breakfast, did a little online
and realized I was so tired that even trying to watch a movie,
a rare thing for me at any rate,
was out of the question.
*
And so a nap it was and I woke at noon, made lunch,
ate with Mr. Husband, and continued around the house,
a bit tired, dazed.
*
It's going to take time to recover,
I've told my husband many times, if only from the 
exhaustion of the last days; instead of a 
Brighr Monday day off rest, we buried
Mr. Husband's godson;
we've had little rest and many nights of poor sleep.
*
It's going to take time
and recovery seems like such a huge thing today,
like a mouse needing to eat a mountain of delicious cheese
and the mouse can only take little bites at a time of the mountain.
And you know, 
that's OK.
*
So today was a rest day...
a hot bath, ate the last three orange chocolate sticks, 
vegan ones, from Trader Joes,
read more of the light and wonderful book 
The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge,
did dishes, ordered groceries and talked to my Mom.
*
It was a good restful day,
rest can be so important...
*
Cleo got attention too:


She was told by Mr. Husband at lunch
she needed more courage...
(she is goofy and runs away often when he
comes near)...


She also loves to sit in my seat
where I sit to write most of my blog posts.
She apparently thinks she is a blogger!
She's curled up next me now as I type... :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blanket: the third section + two books


I started the third section of my blanket!!! I think this section may go on the 
side of the first section, for colour and texture reasons...
The light blue is not showing up with the brightness that is in 
it in this picture but at least you see that I 
am really getting a good handle on the seed stitch!


I am reading more of Melody Beattie ~ 
I knew her first in her fairly famous book
and her book The Grief Club
is intense and deals with loss of all different kinds, 
including some servere disfunction (i.e. some hard reading)
but it's helpful too for me to just read about loss
and about facing the loss, honouring the loss,
grieving it and going through the time of it. 


I am also reading the book
I read this book years ago in it's first edition,
and I am finding it quite helpful...
*
for a lot of healing and to grieve well...
I find books a real help to me in this...
*
So here is the three sections of my blue textured blanket:
it is really coming along!


I am going to do some different stitches
soon in the new section...


What are you reading and making?

A Sunny Day full of many things....



Photo above from the 9 day panahyda for 
Mr. Husband's godson.
*
So I've been writing how the grief
sometimes when you are in sudden grief,
a lot of other things become clear
and gives the motifvation to work through them
and figure it out.
Sometimes to do this I need help;
I am not afraid to ask for what I need or to work to get it.
So I am seeing an older Catholic woman who has
counselled people in berevament situations,
my first meeting was today.
It went well though it was really just a 
'here I am, here's the deal and where do we go from here' 
first meeting.
But it went well and I have more lined up with her
to help me do the grief work;
it's for me working through years of this
that I did not have a chance to do before,
as I alluded to.
I worry at times that I will overwhelm 
someone by writing about grief,
but I also think it is really important to write about.
*
I don't read this blog all the time now,
but Amy Welborn's blog documents
the sudden loss of her husband and 
somewhere along the way she mentiones going
to a person to work out the grief with.
*
I am thinking it may be worth getting her book on this sudden loss.
*
So of course I am not the grieving widow
but I am a grieving friend
and sometimes a shock means some rocks get loose
and one needs to look at what is left when
the rocks are gone
and re-figure things out.
*
I am kind of still in a 
'where am I now' state, is best I can explain it.
One of my closet friends in NJ just lost her husband;
my church munchkin his father.
I am remembering a woman who died 20 years ago
and who I never grieved properly.
All I know is now is the time.
*
For me grieving is also showing love for the person
who is gone and I am really excited for this;
the sadness of course is hard to bear
but when you love, it is much easier.
*
And in other ways I am re-figuring things out
that are a bit more nebolous but basically is a need
to understand my roles in my life since I got married
and so many of my relationships have changed.
*
I will tell you one thing though:
I refuse to be ashamed to say I am getting help by talking to someone.
Our culture seems so much about only
being happy or at least don't mention it when you are not,
but that just does not work.
Perhaps you noticed.
*
Anyway, some beautiful things up next and 
a new old beautiful One that I failed to see
the full meaning and profundity of...
until today that is...
*
Look: cute dress!!! 


 My new dress, DV to be worn at a wedding I am going to later
this summer. 
It's great colours and I love the drape of it.


I've not yet lived through an April at our new home and
it was so neat to see flowering trees near by...
poor Mr. Husband's allergies are raging though, so 
he is not as happy to see them all...


I am re-reading this book by Jerry Sittser on loss and
it is really good to revisit. 


Ok, my so NOT organic weakness.
A Snickers Ice Cream Bar. 
:)
*
And here's the profoundity.
I walked to the beautiful weathered Catholic statue
of the Mother of God and I saw what looked like a 
red  ball that someone put by her feet and then I looked closer and saw...


It is the promise in Genesis come true:
 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; 
it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


The Mother of God bore Christ and
by this the serpent was put down forever,
he is crushed.
*
It was just so good to remember,
when seeing so much evil and tragdgy in the world,
evil does not win and it's head is crushed.
*
And that was the profundity that today gave me.
I am so thankful.

Mr. Husband's Bright Friday Birthday Party


One of my dear local friends came over
and helped me decorate for Mr. Husband's party.




I had bought blue and white crepe paper streamers a few
month's back in anticipation of Mr. Husband's party.


My friend outdid herself and made a delicious meal for us.
I had told her earlier this week that we 
were, given the circumstances of the death of
Mr. Husband's godson and that all schedules had 
gotten shuffled around, that we were going to do
take out for the party,
as I would not be able to make a meal for it.
She said she has been thinking about this and
offered to bring the meal herself. 
It was a real mercy to be on the receiving end
and it was so delicious! 


Lamb Kulebiaka.


She also brought salad and we had 
a local red wine and local hard sour cherry apple cider.


A fish Kulebiaka was also part of this wonderful meal!


With the sauce, it was just wonderful!




We had a great long ranging dinner conversation...



I need to get my friend's recipe!!


Our other guest brought a wonderful 
cheesecake and my Kulebiaka bringing friend
taught me how to make a quick strawberry sauce -
I had organic Trader Joes frozen strawberries,
we heated them up, added a bit of sugar, lemon juice and vanilla;
let it bubble until some of hte water evaporated;
we put a small sauce pan in the freezer and later put the sauce in it,
cooling it in perpetration for the dessert.


Cleo wanted some as you can see! 


I also had a orange chocolate sauce from PEI,
it was wonderful. 
We enjoyed with this various teas:
English Breakfast, Lady Grey and Chocolaty Chai
with or without milk/sugar.


 Mr. Husband received some beautiful and perfect for him presents.


It was a really lovely evening,
one we thank God for....