Friday, January 13, 2017

ONE POEM AT A TIME


THANK YOU for all the kind words!
I am deeply touched
and have tucked them all away for strength!
My last  post implied that I do not worry any more.
Ha!
I do worry.
A lot.
However, when I remember
to wake up and realize I am worrying
and I imagine Worry 
as a blobby robed creature 
and I welcome him, 
even link arms with him, 
reassure him that I understand why he is here yet again  
(of course I am worried! Welcome to being human!)
then my time spent worrying is a lot kinder and gentle.
Sometimes I even invite Worry to sit on a bench with me for a while. 
When I remember to do this,
Worry doesn't stick around nearly as long as he used to. 
Worry doesn't spiral into scared, fearful, or panic. 
And that is lovely!
I decided to memorize poetry to help me through radiation.
The first poem I memorized was The Guest House by Rumi.
It saved me.
Here it is:
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks




This is the quilt I made 
for Rumi's poem.


Here's me 
greeting the day's long line of feelings at the door
laughing
and inviting them in (even worry!).


Being grateful. 
Then letting the feelings go.


Here's Francois,
our new seven year old rescue,
who I have honored with the task
of being my healing buddy.
He is quite wise, understands, and loves unconditionally.


And as long as there are enough quilts to keep warm
he doesn't hang onto worry and
life is good  fabulous!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

INTENTION

I used to be a worrier. 

My dysfunctional childhood provided many opportunities
 to hone my belief that I was somehow in control of life.
I used to think - 
I'll just keep that thought on my "WORRY LIST"
and if I think hard enough 
and figure out what bad might be coming, 
I'll be able to 
do something to prevent its occurrence

This was truth for me. 

Then, in January of 2016,
something not even top one million 
on my list of things to worry about 
happened.

I was diagnosed with colon cancer. 

The world paused
the walls swayed in and out
my breath got stuck in my throat.

As the doctor's words swirled
and my brain tried to wrap around what she had just said
one thing became crystal clear - 

I was not in control of life
never had been
it was time to stop focusing on worry!

Ironically, in the midst of all the 
worrisome implications of this diagnosis

 I felt 
lighter
freer
relieved
even giddy.

Whew!

Gradually over the next few weeks,
I redefined my intention for living.

No longer 
 would I exhaust my self 
believing that it was up to me to prevent
bad things from 
from happening.
To avoid feeling
anger
sadness
lonely
scared
To stop being so paralyzed 
with worry about "bad" that 
I was forgetting about "good".

My new intention was to let life happen.
To experience all that that means.
Honoring one feeling at a time
and trusting. 

The world is a place 
filled with good things happening 
- truth - 
and I was going to seek them out - 
even through cancer.

And, by golly, I was going to use quilting to do it!!!!

These are my littlebits ( usually 10x12 ish) of therapy
that I created every few weeks this past year to
help me stay focused on my intention.




This is me and my husband 
riding the waves of whatever happens 
in a boat called Hope.


One kind doctor's assistant said to me, 
"You know, chemo isn't like how they show it in the movies.
Some people sail right through." I went home and made this
littlebit of me sailing through it 
on a strong and balanced catamaran with a great sail. 


These are the chemo fairies 
that filled my insides for six months 
with their happy hardworking scrubbing.




This is the supportive path that I walk,
one step at a time,
with strong support 
from my tough Ukrainian ancestry 
(represented by nesting dolls and a 
strong ancient tree with deep roots).


This is me 
owning the courage and strength that is in me
as I dance happily in a field of flowers.


After six months of chemo 
came 28 days of radiation.
I chose to imagine
that the big loud scary machine 
was radiating love through me.


I made it!
Someone asked, "are you celebrating?"
Celebrating that I am on the curative path
having made it through cancer treatment 
with my cavemen family and princess girlfriend support?

Why YES!
YES, I AM CELEBRATING!



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

GiVEAWAYS!

HELLO!

 WELCOME BACK! 

I can't think of a better way to reboot, restart, get going again then to link up with http://www.sewmamasew.com/2016/12/giveaway-day-is-december-7th/ for some fun giveaways!

I am giving away four different fat quarter bundles : Skeletons, Denyse Scmidt for JoAnn's, Kaffe, and sweet stuff!

You have several chances to win! 1) Just leave a comment sharing something that makes you smile and which bundle you would like 2) tell me you follow my blog 3) tell me you follow me on Instagram and/or 4) tell me you got a friend to follow. 

Son #3 will randomly choose winners on Sunday. Open worldwide! Good luck!


Monday, January 25, 2016

ROAD TO CALIFORNIA!

I spontaneously decided
to stop wishing
and just do it...
I took my cute self
down to the Road to California Quilt Show!


First thing I saw when I entered 
was an exhibit of quilts
made using Laura Heine's patterns.




Then I got lost
in the wonderfully colorful
creativity that was...






















Best in show,
that everyone was talking about,
looked so real you felt you could grab a pillow!
(Lots of paint...
hmmm)






More of what mere mortals made...





My favorites...












Possibly the ugliest thing seen...


Funniest things seen...




And,
of course,
LOTS of new lusciousness seen
(and rescued).




Yummiest thing tasted...


Best feeling had...

in the glorious sunshine
and gentle So Cal air
after a wonderful adventure!







Which quilt was your favorite?