MY BLOG WAS FORMERLY KNOWN AS, "STONEY HILL CABIN", BUT WE'VE MOVED TO THE COUNTRY AND I NO LONGER HAVE A BACKYARD CABIN. THIS WONDERFUL OLD HOUSE WAS BUILT IN 1919 AND I OFTEN WONDER ABOUT HOW THIS AREA LOOKED BACK THEN. WE'RE JUST DOWN THE ROAD FROM THE SMALL TOWN OF LIBERTY AND SINCE WE HOPE THIS WILL BE THE FAMILY GATHERING PLACE, I DECIDED "LIBERTY HOMESTEAD" WOULD BE A FITTING NAME. OUR BIG RED BARN IS NOW A SAFE HAVEN FOR OUR RESCUED CATS AND THEY SEEM TO HAVE ADJUSTED WELL. NEIGHBORS WAVE AS THEY PASS AND WE LOVE WATCHING THE TRACTORS, PLOWS, AND COMBINES ON THE ROADS AND IN THE FIELDS AT PLANTING AND HARVEST TIMES. THIS FEELS LIKE HOME.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

LET IT SNOW?

One would think it was December here in southern Ohio. We have about five inches of snow on the ground, but I'm not complaining. I know many states have much more than that. I love the snow, love to look at it and feel it crunch under my feet, but it's a little bit early for this much of it. That's all.

Well, the weeks have sped past me and this Saturday is my CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY home show. I'm almost ready, though I admit to missing my self-imposed deadline of having all items completed by Wednesday - which was yesterday. As so often happens, there were many interruptions to my crafting routines and once I'd been in pause mode, it was hard to get started again. Still, my displays are ready and I've made Blonde Brownies, Rocky Road Fudge, White Chocolate Pecan Fudge, and Peanut Butter Fudge - and some dog treats, which are baking as I type - for the bake sale area of my show. I have a few kinds of cookies on my list yet to make and I need to add some finishing touches on wool cats I've sewn. Anything else will have to wait for another show. I'm done, well, nearly done. I do still have clean-up to do and that's the only part I dislike about sewing and baking. I make such a mess! If only there was a cleaning fairy. Tomorrow will be my cleaning day and Saturday I'll host the show here at Liberty Homestead - 8593 Hemple Rd. - Germantown, Ohio 45327. The hours are from 10am to 5pm for any of you in my little neck of the woods. 

I'll post a few more photos on my sideline. I think I'm pretty much finished tweaking the displays. I'm just being picky now when I move things around, but my goal is to present and eye-pleasing assortment of handmade goods for sale. I guess I'll find out on Saturday if I succeeded. Have a good weekend everyone, and please wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

CHRISTMAS SHOW COUNTDOWN

As usual, I'm wondering where my time has gone.  It's already been three weeks since my fall show. During the week I was waiting for people to come and browse, I took time off from my sewing, and that was a mistake, but I didn't want fabric and supplies all over the place if I had company. You see, I'm a very messy crafter. I can't keep my areas neat and tidy and still be creative. I feel the need to strew jars of old buttons and rusty bells, fabric, patterns, scissors, needles, and thread wherever I land for the evening.  I generally cut out patterns and sew items during the day so I can stuff them and add finishing touches and do the hand sewing while I relax and watch a little TV with my spouse at night. At any rate, this week finds me playing "catch up" and I've been burning the midnight oil. It's a good thing I'm such a night owl!  

In reality, I probably already have enough to sell at my Christmas show, but one never knows. There are still some things on my list that I've not had time to make, so I'm striving to get those items done before next Wednesday which is my self-imposed time limit for making items to sell.  That means I have exactly one week to finish the projects I've either started or simply dreamt of making. If I continue to be as productive as I've been the last few days, I'll do just fine. I just finished 6 large ginger men and 6 snowmen last night. My ultimate goal is to enjoy sewing and not feel pressured or stressed by it. That being said, I need to get busy here. I think I'll make some primitive stockings tonight. I have my pattern out and a stack of fabric ready to go.

I posted a few new photos on the sidebar. This is what I have done so far, along with a smaller area for Thanksgiving pumpkins, which you've already seen. Keep in mind I arrange and re-arrange the room every time I add some items. I have no doubt it will all be ready by November 22nd.    

Saturday, November 1, 2014

WHERE DID FALL GO?

As Winnie the Pooh would say, it's a blustery day today. There's a chill in the air and the wind is trying to blow away anything that isn't tied down. The sun has yet to appear and the sky is gray and not at all friendly-looking. Gee, I was just getting used to Fall weather, though last week we had a couple days where the temperatures reached the low 80's. That's not Fall, that's summer. Fall has always been my  favorite time of the year, but to my dismay, it also seems to be the shortest season. 

Today I'd planned to visit a small craft cabin not far from here but I've decided to postpone that excursion and stay home and tucked inside - except for trips to the barn to tend cats.  I'll also keep working on projects for my "Christmas in the Country" Home Show.  I'm a bit behind my self-imposed schedule and have been dreading to pull out Christmas trees and lighted garlands. All of those things are wedged into my quaint little Christmas closet and though I tried to make sure I could get to everything I might need if the occasion arose, I didn't do a good job of that, so I'll need to pull most everything out in order to access the items I want. That wasn't good planning on my part, but when the Christmas decorations were put away last January,  I wasn't sure I'd be hosting any home shows this year.

This is the earliest I've ever decorated for Christmas, but I won't be putting up trees in the rest of the house, just here, in my gathering room, which doubles as my computer/office when I'm not hosting shows.  For the Harvest Gathering, I had my spouse hide the computer and printer under this desk. I covered the desk with a pretty Fall tablecloth and displayed baked goods on it.  No one was the wiser. I'm learning when hosting a home show, I need to work around the furniture I have and use it to my advantage. I don't have any place to store it, so it becomes part of my set-up.

Today would be a good day to tackle the job of unloading the Christmas closet and deciding which trees I want to use. I'll probably find some table coverings and other things which might also be used for display. I'm having a difficult time, though, budgeting the hours in my days.  I really WANT to sew, but I NEED to get this room decorated and show-ready. I truly NEED to do some laundry and housework, but I WANT to play at decorating and sewing. Though I brought in plastic totes that had been stored in the barn since we moved here, I've yet to organize the fabric and craft supplies I found inside them, so that's another thing I need to do.  I guess all I can realistically do, is work at each thing a little at a time, and keep at it until all is accomplished. That is my cue to get busy and stop procrastinating. I'll post some photos as I go along. There are three whole weeks until the next home show, and if I my use time wisely, that should be enough.

As always, of late, I'll post photos on the sidebar. The most recent ones will be at the top. I'll be happy when the blog.spot administrators fix the glitch that prevents me from posting photos here. Thanks for your patience.   

Sunday, October 26, 2014

THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS . . . AGAIN

Well, I've managed to fritter away a whole week since my home show. Honestly, I sometimes don't know how time gets away from me. This week I'd planned to put up Christmas trees and start decorating here my gathering room in preparation for the November show.  I hesitated to do that because I thought more people were coming to shop this week. They hadn't exactly promised to come, but seemed very interested and asked if they might bring some friends along. I wanted things to look as nice as they had last Saturday, so I didn't take anything down. I waited all week, but no one came. When will I ever learn to do what is right for me and not worry so much about what others might think or do? I didn't sew a single thing this week because I didn't want to get all my fabrics and notions out and make a big mess if I had someone coming to the house. I know I should go ahead and do whatever I want or need to do, but it's often easier said than done.  

The week wasn't completely a lost cause though. I did catch up on loads and loads of laundry and I browsed many of my crafting idea books and patterns. In fact, they're still stacked on my coffee table in the family room. I've made lists of things I hope to accomplish before the next home show and I already have some projects ready, except for the pricing. My daughter has again volunteered to make treats for a baked goods table and I have fliers printed and ready to be delivered in a couple weeks.  I guess that's a good start. I'm just not as far along as I'd hoped to be at this point. 

I have a lot of work ahead of me in the next few weeks so I best be getting to it. The upstairs sewing room needs to be straightened before I make an even bigger mess, and I need to take inventory of fabric and supplies before I jump in and begin again. Ok, deep breathe here . . . I vow to work on that room tomorrow, take inventory, and complete at least 5 things. I'm actually anxious to get some holiday items sewn and I'll post some photos as I get things done. Wish me luck!

(Apparently, I still cannot upload photos to the text of this blog post so I'll add something to the sidebar.)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SHOW TIME

The Harvest Gathering Home Show is now history and I'm calling it moderately successful. We didn't have crowds, but we did have a rather steady stream of one, two, or three people at time until about 4pm. I was amazed that everybody who came purchased something. I was happy with the number who attended, and with sales, though selling wasn't my primary reason for hosting the show. My reasons were: to rekindle my passion for sewing and creating, and to prove to myself that I could host a small home show and live to tell about it. I feel as if I succeeded on both counts.

Some who attended asked if I was planning to "keep this up", meaning to have Fall items displayed for awhile. Affirmative. Others wanted to know if I was going to host a Christmas show - why, yes I am! Some even asked if they could come back and bring friends to see what was available. 

As far as what sold......all sizes of fabric pumpkins went well, patchwork pillows sold, but not the Americana ones I thought would go first. I guess it wasn't the season for them, but I thought some people might decorate with a red, white, and blue theme, as I do in my sunroom. Oh well. Catnip toys sold, along with large and small wool cats, and I sold all my vintage kitchen utensils. The baked goods were a hit, and I appreciated my daughter and granddaughter taking time to bake everything. I had only a few bake goods left, but many Fall handcrafted items remain here in my gathering room.

I thought I'd be starting to put up Christmas decorations this week, but I'm waiting to see if the people who asked to return, will do that. I have some Christmas ornaments finished and am working on fabric gingerbread men right now. The list of things I want to sew is growing, but I probably won't be able to finish everything by the next show, which is November 22, from 10am to 5pm. That's ok though. It's always better to have more to do than hours in the day will allow. That makes life interesting.


New photos are posted on the sidebar. For whatever reason, I still cannot upload photos to the text of the post. The new photos are under, "Harvest Gathering Home Show Day". Thanks for viewing!     

Thursday, October 16, 2014

COUNTDOWN TO SHOW TIME

Wednesday was my self-imposed deadline to have all my items finished, priced, and displayed for Saturday's Home Show. I made it! Of course, there are always a few things on my "to-do" list that aren't going to get done, but over all, I feel good about what I was able to accomplish in a few weeks' time. Had I not hesitated for so long, I might have been able to make more items, but it was rather nice the other night to hear my spouse say, "Gee! You have a LOT of stuff to sell!", and yes, that was the goal - but it was good to have him recognize that I truly had been working hard at getting things done. My last items were catnip toys, which I package 3 to a bag. My goal was to make 20 sets of 3. I actually made 60 toys today and packaged them this evening, just before the stroke of midnight. How's that for working right up to the last minute? I could continue to sew for the next two days if I chose to, but at some point, I really need to clean up my messes and straighten the house. Having supplies strewn about drives me a little bit crazy. I've kept up with dishes, laundry, and cat care, but oh my, how the dust bunnies have multiplied! 

Two nights ago, I spent a lot of time rearranging here in my gathering room. I re-did some lighting and moved a few things around since I thought I had too many items just piled into baskets. I think I like how it looks now. I keep telling myself if sales are low, I'll have lots of things to use for my own Fall decorating, and that's not a bad thing. I'm being cautiously optimistic about what might happen on Saturday. Whatever comes, I've had a great time putting this together and re-visiting my sewing. I'll post the most recent photos on my sidebar. I'm still unable to upload photos to add to the text of my post.

Thank you to those of you who've posted kind comments. I'm glad to be back to blogging and I appreciate that you've not forgotten about me.

Friday, October 10, 2014

HARVEST GATHERING HOME SHOW - GETTING CLOSER

It's getting closer to the date of my Harvest Gathering Home Show and I suppose I should be feeling nervous, but I'm just excited. I'm still making things daily and enjoying it so much.  I guess the timing was finally right for getting back into sewing and crafting. I don't actually know what I was waiting for  - except that maybe I wanted the stars and moon to align themselves and offer me a "sign", but of course, that didn't happen. One day, after much angst and conversation with a trusted friend, I finally made up my mind to stop hesitating and fence-sitting, and just try to DO a home show.  I realize there might not be many people show up for my show, but one never knows for sure.  I live in the country and I didn't put an ad in the local paper. I did, however, print fliers and post cards and add messages and photos on the timelines of a number of shops in my area. Today I'm hand-delivering some fliers to those shops and putting up posters in the stores I frequent. We'll see how that goes. I just about have my gathering room set up the way I want it and yesterday, my daughter affirmed her plans for baking some wonderful Fall treats to sell at the show. However it turns out, I'm going to continue to have fun with it. I'm posting some new photos on the side bar here since for whatever reason, I am still unable to post them in the text.   

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

NEW ADVENTURE

It's been so long between posts that I hardly know where to begin. I can scarcely believe it's been nearly a year and a half since my mother passed. I've been keeping busy though, nurturing cats, working on home projects, and sewing. Yes, I'm finally sewing again. It used to be one of my passions but it fell by the wayside when I stopped participating in art and craft shows. For a few years, I only opened my sewing machine for a bit of mending, but I decided it was time to change that.
 
My spouse retired recently and it's been a huge adjustment for both of us. I'm not used to having him here all the time and he's not used to being home during the day. We're learning to work around each other but I find it difficult to go about the daily chores with someone here. Why is that? I've talked to other women who feel the same way. Spouse will help with a few things if I ask, but in general, he has retired and I haven't. Many of you know how that goes. Anyway, after moping around here for the last year and a half, I realized my life was lacking direction. I had the wild idea to take the plunge and host a Harvest Gathering Home Craft Show this Fall. It can't be too difficult, right? I have a lot of experience with craft shows and I still have all my tables and display pieces, plus a few more I recently added, so setting up is the easy part.

I hesitated for the longest time, then took a deep breath and chose a date for my gathering - October 18th. I made some lists of what I wanted to make, took inventory of the fabric and supplies I had on hand, AND . . . I've been making country pumpkins, patchwork fall wreaths, wool cats, bowl fillers, and other things I hope to sell. At my daughter's urging, and with her and my spouse's support, I am transforming my former "parlor" into a temporary shop where I can display and sell my handmade items. Of course, I don't know if this will fly, but I'm not getting any younger and I will never know if I don't try. My attitude is this . . . if it doesn't go well, at least I will have tried. If it's even a small success, I will be thrilled and ready to host a Christmas show!

Here are a few things I've finished and how they are arranged so far. I keep moving things around as I complete my items and hope to have the room totally filed and ready by the middle of next week. That will leave a few extra days for cleaning up my crafting messes and making a final check on everything.  I have a list of things yet to make but if I don't get them done, I'll work on them for the next time. This will be a small show, and I have no idea how many might attend.
I've composed and printed posters and fliers to distribute to local shops and my daughter has volunteered to bake some fall goodies to sell.  Here's what I printed on the fliers:

Harvest Gathering Home Show
At Liberty Homestead
October 18, 10am to 5pm
8593 Hemple Rd.
Germantown, Ohio 45327

There will be handmade fabric pumpkins, wool cats, fall wreaths, bowl fillers, vintage accessories, crocheted rugs, catnip toys, homemade dog treats, and a Baked Goods corner with Fall goodies to take home and enjoy.

(Then I listed my phone number in case someone had questions.) 

So . . . I'm embarking on a new adventure - or am I actually re-visiting an old one? Either way, I'm happier and more content when I'm making craft messes and creating something. I'll let you know how it goes!

P.S. It seems there are still BlogSpot issues when it comes to posting photos. That's part of the reason I wasn't posting anything at all. I could not get my photos to upload so I could post them and there are new cat photos to share! I had recently been assured the issues had been addressed. The posting process stalls every time I make an attempt so I'll just try posting them on my sideline. Ah, that still works. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

THE LAST FEW MILES


February is here already. The days and weeks since Christmas have gone by quickly and we're nearly ready to celebrate Valentine's Day. I'm SO behind the times. It seems as if I just put away Christmas decorations!
Recently, my sisters and I were able to sell our mom's house and now we're on the last leg of the journey to let go of our childhood home. We're in the process of removing the last of her possessions from it. We've made progress but still have a lot to do. It's difficult to coordinate our schedules so the three of us can be at the house together. We absolutely have to get this done, no more procrastinating. We need closure, though I'm sure on our very last day in the house, we'll be walking down memory lane.
Looking after our  mom was one long journey from dementia and strokes, to Alzheimer's, with many hospital and rehab stops along the way. We can't say for certain when it all began. In retrospect, we realize the signs were there many years ago, but we didn't recognize them at such. The sad fact was, our mother hadn't been our "Mom" for a long time but we attributed her memory loss to aging. Don't we all forget things now and then? The signs were not just memory loss, but the inability to balance her checkbook, use her VCR or CD player, and even to use the phone. Her usual organization of bills and bank statements became a mess of constantly shuffled papers and she lost track of which medications she'd taken and when she'd taken them. I'm sure my sisters lost count of the times they rushed over to her house because they couldn't reach her, only to find she simply hadn't replaced the phone securely on the receiver.
A few years ago, Mom was (thankfully) forced to give up driving, which upset her immensely, but her safety and the safety of others were at stake. She asked my sister to sell her car, but when it was sold, Mom had a meltdown and accused us of selling it without her knowledge. That was just the tip of the iceberg. There was so much frustration and emotional pain during the last two decades - for Mom and for us - that we're truly ready to have all of this behind us so we can move on with our lives. Mom certainly didn't ask for Alzheimer's, nor did we, but it's what we were given and I hope our mother would approve of how we've dealt with everything.

After this final step, I intend to get back to sewing projects, blogging, and spending more time with my cats. I've missed all of those things but at times, I had no incentive to do any of them. When I think back to all the things my family and I have dealt with these past three years, it's mind-boggling. I realize other families sometimes deal with worse things, but for us, all of this took place in such a short span of time and dealing with them took all our time and energy - Glenn's mom's illnesses, surgeries, and passing, the move here, the selling of Glenn's and my former home (and bidding a last farewell to my backyard cabin), Glenn's Dad's illnesses, surgeries, and passing, the selling of Glenn's family home, Mom's strokes, hospitalizations, entries into rehab,  moving her from her home of 60 years to a senior facility  close to me, her many health complications, her last terrible fall, and subsequent passing - all of these things added up to one giant roller coaster ride. So now we're at the end of that ride. The roller coaster is slowing and on February 28th, the closing date on Mom's house, it will come to a stop. The journey has been bittersweet. We haven't actually had time to be sad or melancholy about letting go of the family homes since there was so much paper work and many things to do in order to get them ready for sale. Right now, it seems more of a relief to have them sold, than something about which to be sad. In some ways, that's sad in itself. 
P.S. As of last night, we appear to have a problem. As luck would have it, we seem to have reached an impasse with the prospective buyers of Mom's house. My sister and I think we are being more than fair, very generous in fact, but the buyers want more and more from us. I think we're going to stand firm and if that means the deal falls through, we'll try again. This is very frustrating. We only recently learned that our realtor is also representing the buyers. Isn't that conflict of interest? He's going on vacation tomorrow and won't return until a few days before the closing. What timing. 



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I  hope all of you found some joy on this Christmas Day. Glenn and I spent a very nice day with our daughter and her family. Once home, we started a fire in the Buck stove, warmed some leftovers for supper, and with only the tree lights and mantel lights burning, watched Polar Express, my most favorite Christmas movie. The ambiance was wonderful. Tonight is surely better than last night. It was not the Christmas Eve I'd planned, but I'll save that story for another time.
We connected with some friends and family this evening via emails, phone calls, and texts. Don't we just love technology? Without it we wouldn't be able to converse with those who are separated from us by distance. It's a quiet evening and we're winding down from all the preparations, decorations, and expectations of this season. I hope all of you are finding peace, joy, and comfort tonight. I wish you a very Merry Christmas!
 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

WHERE HAS THE YEAR GONE?

Time seems to slip away from me these days. Here it is Christmas Eve "already" and though I'm not feeling particularly rushed at the moment, I'd like this day to last for about a week so I could savor the feelings, the nostalgia, and the joy of this season.
 
Decorating my home for Christmas took much longer than I'd anticipated and I don't think the enthusiasm was there as it should have been, but I'm fine with what I was able to accomplish. As I uncovered each box of Christmas treasures I'd collected or made through the years, the joy and enthusiasm came back to me. At times I think I have WAY too many decorations, but I do love this season and enjoy making my home look and feel cozy and inviting - at least that's my intention. In any case, decorating and arranging Christmas treasures was how I chose to have fun.
 
Yesterday my grandkids came over for a cookie-baking session and game night. What joy they add to my life! Grandson is 19 and attends Ohio State University and Granddaughter is 14 (going on 30) and has blossomed into quite a young lady. I'm so glad they still want to visit and bake cookies with Nana. I so wish I'd had the opportunity to do that with one of my grandmothers. Both of them were older when I was born and they didn't interact much with my siblings or me. It was a different time then. My grandkids don't know what it's like to not have grandparents who love to do things with them. I can't change my childhood, but I can surely continue to make memories with my grandkids. I hope they'll keep those memories in their hearts and pass them down to their grandkids one day.

Happy cookie-baking and gift-wrapping! Savor this day.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE.....

 
For my entire adult life I've resisted rushing the seasons. I've never liked seeing Christmas items in stores before Halloween and I didn't even think about decorating for Christmas until Thanksgiving was over but this year will be different.
                                                                                                              
Thanksgiving comes a bit late this time around, which means if I wait until the weekend afterward to begin decorating, I'll have just a little over three weeks to get everything out and the trees in place and decorated - in addition to shopping, cleaning, baking, and gift wrapping. Of course, no one forces me to decorate every nook and cranny of my house, but I like doing it. Last year I had a large tree in the family room, a tall primitive tree in the sunroom. a small tabletop vintage tree in the parlor, a red tabletop tree in the dining room (decorated with red and white crocheted potholder dresses and miniature baking utensils), and a brown primitive tree in the guest room. I also put up a few smaller trees here and there and decorated them with white lights. I really loved having the house look festive but it took a lot of time.                                             
                                               
According to some of my Facebook friends, many people are decorating earlier this year and now it makes sense to me too. Christmas decorating  before Thanksgiving arrives doesn't mean I don't appreciate the meaning of the November holiday. It simply means I want to take my time pulling decorations from their resting places in my Christmas closet. I want to use all the Christmas décor I have tucked away instead of eliminating items because I've run out of time. I hope to find new uses for vintage keepsakes, revisit all the country and traditional items I've collected through the years, and enjoy the whole process. I plan to start tomorrow .... how about you?
                                                                            

Monday, November 11, 2013

THANKS FOR THEIR SERVICE


It's always good to take time and reflect on the countless service men and women who have served, and actively serve, in the Armed Forces and volunteer agencies in this nation. My troubles and worries pale in comparison to those of the people who put their lives on the line for us every day. Some never come home while others return wounded or broken in spirit. Such sacrifices deserve our thanks and appreciation. I absolutely hate war or the need for it, but I wholeheartedly support our soldiers and always will.
 
 

Friday, November 8, 2013

TURNING THE PAGE . . .

I'm not sure where September and October went. They passed in a blur for me. The months since my mother died have been foggy, at best. It's possible I'd been dealing with some depression though I hadn't recognized it as such. I continue working on household tasks, running errands, and caring for my cats, but these days I have no real routine for my life. My fall home show did not materialize because my initial enthusiasm evaporated and I finally realized my heart was simply not in planning for it - at least not this year. 
 
 
These past few months I apparently pulled back from friends, family, and social opportunities. In truth, I wasn't fully aware of doing that until I received a wake-up call from my daughter who was very blunt and emphatic about the fact I hadn't been contacting her. She expressed that she felt uncared for and left out of my life. During our conversation, I offered some weak explanations, but the bottom line was I just hadn't felt like calling her and wasn't sure why.  
 
 
A few disappointing (and often heated) exchanges with people I'd thought were good friends, convinced me I had, indeed, been ignoring some warning signs,. My frustration level was high and my tolerance level was low. I'm not prone to loud outbursts, so I internalized a lot of feelings, all the while thinking I was coping well after the loss of my mother. I often insist I'm at peace with her passing, and in many ways, that is true, but  I'm also still trying to put it all into perspective. I felt responsible for her for a very long time, and now that is no longer the case. I'm finally ready to turn the page and get back into life.  All I have to do is figure out who I really am now and where I go from here. 

 

Monday, August 26, 2013

NOT HOLDING MY BREATH

Time waits for no one. How many times have I heard that adage? Life continues after losses of loved ones, major moves, and all sorts of crises. I know this and yet I continually wait for just the "right time".....to sew new curtains, organize the cupboards and pantry, finish sorting through my mom's possessions, and many other things I need to do, "....when there's more time".  We've had many changes in our lives recently and no matter how much we tell ourselves we're dealing with things just fine, I often have some doubts. I don't think I'm depressed - just unmotivated. Or is that the same thing?

I have so much fabric and yarn I could probably open a small shop, at least that's what Glenn tells me. I also have plenty of patterns and idea books, even after giving some away when we moved here. So what's been keeping me from working on projects? It's simple. I've lacked goals.  For over 30 years I participated in craft shows and was always working on items to sell or donate. Since my craft show days seemed to be over, there was no reason to search for new ideas or pull out old patterns and revive them. How dull is that? Since I'm the one who decided those days were over, I can un-decide. 
 
My first un-decision is to use some of my sewing and crafting supplies THIS YEAR or let most of them go. I've been on the fence about this for a long time and it's time to do something. My first venture will be a small home craft show to be held here on October 12th. Thank you, Deanna, for helping me set a date.  I have some projects finished and some nearly finished. Weather permitting, I'll set up on my deck outside the sunroom. Plan B - I'll use the sunroom as a venue.
 
I'm starting to get excited about this and have realized there were a lot of things keeping me from this goal. Some were out of my control. We were in the process of moving for about 2 years, after losing a house we thought we'd bought. It was all due to the seller's problems with his lender. It took us about 9 months (and one expensive lawyer) to get past that, then we found this house and worked on it for about 3 months before moving into it. Within a few months of moving in here, my mom fell in her home (2 hours away), was hospitalized twice, went to rehab, then was moved down here at my request, so I could be the responsible person while she was in an assisted living facility. That was a roller coaster ride. There was one point in time when my mom and Glenn's dad suffered strokes on the very same day. He tended to his dad's needs while I looked after Mom's. After a long series of illnesses, his dad passed in May of 2012, and Mom passed in May of this year. We had our own house to clear out and sell, his dad's house, and my mom's house. So we've been very busy. 
 
It's good to have a little bit of smoother sailing right now, but that doesn't mean there aren't things still needing our attention around here. It's rather that life is less intense now and that feels good. My thoughts about being depressed or lazy have subsided. I've just been swamped with other things. I know my interests still lie in crafting and sewing. I'll share home show plans as they come along. It's still a good life.
IF YOU SEW, THAT'S KIND OF THE SAME THING, RIGHT?
    

LOTS OF HOMESPUN FABRIC FROM WHICH TO CHOOSE


CATNIP TOYS MADE TO SELL


  UPSTAIRS SEWING ROOM - MORE FABRIC

 
UPSTAIRS SEWING ROOM - JARS FULL OF SUPPLIES
 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS HIM

It's never a good day when I have to corner one of my semi-feral cats to give  him medicine or take him to the vet or groomer. My beautiful long-haired, mostly white cat, Mikey, and I had such a day on Friday. He is generally a very calm (though cautious) cat and I thought I'd be able to gently approach him and scoop him up in my arms. When I've done it before, he's been cooperative and quiet. This time he was neither.

Mikey is not, nor ever will be, a lap cat. He doesn't greet me at the door as many of the cats do but he does mingle with the other cats and actually curls up with Elliot to sleep. He's not anti-social, just still partly feral. I doubt I'll ever be able to tame him completely. I've accepted that and try to meet him half-way. I can easily pet him if he's resting in a basket or cat bed but if he's under a table, I know to leave him alone. We have an understanding.

The sad thing about having feral or semi-feral cats is they can be so standoffish at times that it's easy to miss when one of them needs attention. Mikey's fur had looked a bit ruffled and I attempted to brush him when I found him sleeping inside a niche in one of the cat condos. Only then did I realize he had mats in his fur and I knew he wasn't going to allow me to groom him. I called a groomer and asked to have him shaved for the remaining summer months. I don't like doing that to him but for cats like Mikey, it's preferable to making them endure long grooming sessions.

Some cats have a sense of what's about to occur when it's time to go to the vet or the groomer. Mikey is one of them. The second he saw the cat carrier, he dove under a table in the cat room, then fled to one of the cat condos, went back under the table, and then to the condo again. He eluded my grasp for about 35 minutes. He slapped at me and bloodied my hand, but he should have known that would not deter me. I've been slapped by angrier cats than he, but I've never seen a cat with such quick reflexes. So there I was, dripping blood, towel in hand, still talking softly to him and moving slowly so I wouldn't frighten him even more. I finally put the carrier on the floor, blocking one of his escape routes, and he went right inside it. Hah! Success! Wait....no, I couldn't get the carrier door closed before he escaped and we went round and round again. I tried the carrier-on-the-floor trick again, that time making sure the door was not jammed against the table leg. I held a towel behind Mikey so he thought I was about to capture him, and gently nudged him into the carrier and closed the door. Whew. When he was in safely in the car, I thought I'd try to make up with him. He was peering out of the carrier door so sweetly I thought I'd reach in and pet him. Big mistake. He bit my finger HARD. I should have known better.

At the groomer, Mikey seemed to quiet down, even amidst the noise of barking dogs, running water, and loud drying fans. I told the groomer what a time I'd had with Mikey and that he was showing his feral side. I said he was scared and she could see what he'd done to my hand. She assured me she had experience with feral cats, and immediately opened the carrier door.....and out he went. What a circus! He ducked under grooming tables and behind drying cages, hissing all the way. She couldn't say I hadn't warned her. One of the groomers donned heavy work gloves and went in for the capture. It was odd how calm Mikey became once she caught him. I often wonder if I did the right thing by rescuing Mikey from my former neighborhood. He was born outdoors and was the only kitten that survived from who knows how many litters. I'd trapped him and his mother, Maggie, had them neutered/spayed, but released them before learning about a neighbor who was poisoning cats and wildlife. When we knew we'd soon have a barn in which to house cats, Glenn gave the ok to "round them up", as he put it.

Mikey was groomed, his nails trimmed, and we both lived to tell about it. He pouted for a day or so but is now back to being his usual semi-feral self. He's not running from me, nor hiding. Yesterday he napped in a big basket and casually looked up when I petted him. I don't know if I've been forgiven or if it's just that he thinks he won the battle.  Either way, all is peaceful in cat kingdom again.