Category Archives: Musings

Did you write me?

damaged-letterf.jpgLook what showed up from the post office. Pretty pathetic, heah?

The results of this post office mutilation came with the usual “We Care” message, and how sorry they are that the enclosed document was inadvertently damaged. Well, to me it looks like they maimed, beat it to death, and stomped on it some more afterwards just for good measure!

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There is nothing left except a torn and crumpled, blackened front side of a security envelope. I can’t identify whose hand-writing this is. The area where a return address might have been is missing. So I am at a loss as to who had written me and what is missing from inside. Can you help me solve this mystery?

My new distraction is here!

It’s not like I need another distraction, but I have been dreaming of having a cajun accordian (technically a diatonic accordian in the German melodean style) ever since I fell in love watching Andre of the Lost Bayou Ramblers playing the summer of 2005 (that is how the inspiration for the Concertina Lace Socks design came about).

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Well, my dream has come true finally. When I was over in Lafayette, Louisiana last month for Festivals Acadiens, I went by the Martin Accordians shop beforehand and ordered an accordian to be custom-built for me by Junior Martin. I got a call from him mid-week that he had completed it (yay!), and John picked it up for me on his way over here this weekend. So now I am the proud owner of this beauty in birdseye maple.

Of course, Andre makes playing his accordian look effortless and sound so good (and he is good-looking, too!). I have a LOT of practicing ahead of me to anywhere reach near to that level, lol.

36 Christian ways to reduce stress

Sorry to be offline for so long. First I was tied up with traveling, then life threw me a curve ball. I normally am an upbeat person, so trying to write while my mood has not been the best had been just too painful. But I need to look forward and have faith that things happen for the best, even if we can’t understand why at the time. Onward …

I haven’t yet even been able to pick up my knitting needles — I am still feeling so stressed out. Although sometimes I find knitting helps relieve stress, this particular emotional anxiety has quelched any motivation towards creativity. That’s bad! So I need to do something about that because I DO love to knit.

A nice thing happened yesterday and I want to share it with you. I stumbled across an email that my friend Margaret Pittman (Heritage Yarns) sent me several years ago. I believe the original might have been posted on her Christian friends yahoo list. Yesterday I quickly read through, but today I am going to re-type every word here so that I can better reflect on each point. I think there is some really good stuff here, and I hope it might be helpful to you somehow, also. Thank you Margaret.

36 Christian Ways to Reduce Stress

  1. Pray.
  2. Go to bed on time.
  3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
  4. Say NO to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule or that will compromise your mental health.
  5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
  6. Simplify and unclutter your life.
  7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
  8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
  9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the hard things all together.
  10. Take one day at a time.
  11. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it.
  12. Live within your budget; don’t use credit cards for ordinary purchases.
  13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.,
  14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut.) This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
  15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.
  16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
  17. Get enough exercise.
  18. Eat right.
  19. Get organized so everything has its place.
  20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.
  21. Write thoughts and inspirations down.
  22. Every day, find time to be alone.
  23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don’t wait until its time to go to bed to try and pray.
  24. Make friends with Godly people.
  25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
  26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good “Thank you Jesus!”.
  27. Laugh.
  28. Laugh some more!
  29. Take your work seriously, but yourself not at all.
  30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
  31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
  32. Sit on your ego.
  33. Talk less; listen more.
  34. Slow down.
  35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
  36. Every night before bed, think of one thing you’re grateful for that you’ve never been grateful for before.

Time is in our hands

Almost the whole year of 2006 gone – whoosh! Before it gets away totally, and in keeping with “taking time to smell the roses”, I I treated myself, son Tommy and old friend John to champagne brunch at Hotel Intercontinental for Christmas day. Talk about a lot of good food! It’s great when someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning up. Here we are in a quick candid shot taken by one of our attentive servers.

This month slipped by and I really never got into the holiday decorating or cooking mode. I did get up to the attic though, when looking for my old Christmas cookie cutters while thinking of ideas of a family holiday cookie recipe to contribute to Tink Boord-Dill’s Holiday Bake Along. (You’ll see that I ended up submitting an easy drop meringue cookie recipe. The cookie cutters will have to wait until next year when I have more time (maybe?).

Anyway, while in the attic, I spied one of the hand-crafted holiday decorations that my Mom had made. This particular piece has always had a special place in my heart, and is especially special now that my Mom is no longer on this earth.

It is a Christmas tree in long needlepoint stitches using acrylic yarn on plastic canvas, embellished with foil baubles and plastic beads. Not something that I would do, but my Mom loved this kind of thing and was always generous in gifting me and my other two sisters with the fruits of her love and labor. I sometimes would lightly chide her about the quality of the materials she’d use, but she enjoyed what she was doing with what she had.

Now, I probably should have been more selective in which holiday decorations I store in the attic. Although the attic is walk-in off my second floor studio, vented and has an automatic fan that kicks on above a set temperature, our New Orleans heat can really build up!

You’ve probably guessed it — when I picked up the decoration, the clear plastic canvas backing started crumbling into pieces. Fortunately the opaque green canvas and all the stitching is still in place. It just goes to show us that we need to pay attention to the quality of the materials we use in our artistic creations, as well as pay attention to the care and keeping of things that we’ve invested our time in.

Otherwise time and our handcrafts may just crumble away.

Rediscovering simplicity and balance in life

Even after taking early retirement from a day job in corporate America, I still keep busier than ever. I loved what I did as a systems analyst, but I didn’t love being on someone else’s schedule. I would often become frustrated with corporate politics, and I hated driving to and from work in the dreadful traffic.

So now my work is all play … well almost … But we can talk about that another time…. The line between my so-called work and personal time is often blurred, and often leads me to getting over-involved in a single aspect of life while forgetting to take time to do some other fun things for variety. This blog is dedicated to my search, and maybe yours too, in finding balance in life and rediscovering the simple things in life.