Monday, November 14, 2011

Cue Up That Christmas Music!



There are days when my energy drops, when life's challenges do overwhelm me, and when just getting up again from never being able to sleep more than a combined total of three and a half hours seems like too much to ask of anyone......much less me ;)

Whenever that happens, instead of pulling the covers over my head, I get busy with keeping my heart and my hands busy and finding the happiness in life. Some days, it is laughing at my cats or chickens out in the rain, or seeing that a rainbow shows up just when you need it the most! And sometimes, it means putting on the Christmas music any time you feel like it.... and not waiting for after Thanksgiving.

After all, "thanks giving" should be every day.....and not just one of 365.242199!

I have had several such days recently.. Murphy's Law days...when, whatever could go wrong did, whatever had not broken last year in the way of just about every single major appliance we own....dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, microwave, oven...plus my car heat and air system..I have both..both on at the same time...heat for the driver , cold air for the passenger... plus our heat pump..no heat last winter, no air all summer...plus a huge hole in our woodstove's inside chimney stack last week ....and now our computer blew out its motherboard! Oh my, oh my! And yes, our house was justifiably having a senior moment..or maybe one huge hot flash ;)

Still , it gets to the point where you either have a good cry, a really good laugh, or you ask yourself what it all means.....and how can you see it all differently and have a sense of humor about it all.

I learned that I can hand wash dishes for a year and a half, do the laundry at MIL's on our Sunday visits, drive with either a blanket on me, or the car windows open, and do anything I need to do until the economic recession ends, and we have employment again. As Nike says..you just do it!

In the middle of a rain storm, rainbows can still show up ....and suddenly joy and gratitude can flow back into one's life. And I have just been SO reminded of that and of all of the blessings still available to me....each and every day...no matter what. And no matter how tired or grumpy I am!

I was gifted with this huge box...see Willow enjoying it in the collage, above...filled to the brim with art quilting goodies from Wendy Koenig ...check out her blog ...Inky Threads. Wendy is a creative author, as well as an artist and quilter and she is a member of our Liberated quilter's webring and our Liberated Quilters Message Board. But more importantly to me, she is a friend and to top it off, one who makes and donates quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative as part of my Liberated Quilters Challenge group

Wendy had contacted me for advice, not long ago, on writing a request letter (to Walmart where she works as a department head) asking for a monetary donation to be used in the purchase of some of their fabric department supplies.... so as to make and donate more art quilts for AAQI.

We went back and forth with emails for a while over the application letter and before you know it, Wendy got her $100 grant! I was amazed at how quickly she worked and got it done and the awarding of a nice gift card at her disposal..amazing! I think working there helped..... as well as the suggestion and then the recommendation of her supervisor !....but still SHE did it! Totally awesome!

Because Wendy is who, and how she is, she absolutely insisted I have some of the spoils (yes, I protested, but not for tooo long ;) and then she added a kazillion things of her own to my pile knowing we have had a really challenging last few years with the economic recession and I was not buying sewing supplies of any kind for myself.

I guess you can see from the photos, that I have plenty to work with now! I was just so delighted and so exuberant over what I refer to as "Wendy's wealth of well wishes" that my husband commented that it appeared to be 'better than Christmas'. Well, yes, frankly...it was ;)

So...cue up the Christmas music!!!!

Not only did I get tubes of paint and brushes, needles and thread, rotary cutters and batting, but ribbons and beads galore, crochet cotton for hand quilting and decorating and even some bits and pieces of lace and trims and some vintage buttons. So perfect for me, you'd swear Wendy had met me in real life......which she hasn't!

Thank you so very, very much Wendy. You brought joy to an otherwise hard and challenging day, week, two years... and lifted my spirits immeasurably! So, what if my computer just crashed, I still have a laptop that sort of , sometimes works...and hey, I want to quilt like crazy now, anyway!!! And I did get online today, and I did get to blog! Rainbow!!!



And then...if that was not enough to lift my spirits...I receive another package and it's a lovely little book by Julie Sefton (Me and My Quilts, Exploring the Possibilites)

Not only did she explore her own wonderful possibilities, she designed, created and quilted them AND turned into a little blurb.com book filled with her own haiku poetry describing her journey with each quilt!

I don't want to let the cat out of the bag ,,,,if she's waiting to profile this project on her own blog...but suffice it to say, the book is absolutely beautifully! And if you maximize the potential..you should be able to see bits and pieces of that, in the collage, above! Totally beautiful in all ways, Julie!!! (check out her blog and see how our contributions to her 'White Jacket Project' let all of us get in on her fun times and her combination of bits and pieces of possibilities just netted her a Blue Ribbon on the jacket!

This little 20 page book is a visual delight and now holds a treasured spot in my sewing nook.... along with the 'Wendy's wealth of well wishes' ....as a reminder that is not only the beauty of our hearts and hands that have such impact on our spirits.. ....but the amazing treasure of friendships, as well.

I am so grateful to count both Wendy and Julie among the blessings of Internet friendships and the joys of having a blog. So, no matter how many hours it takes me to both get online, stay online, and post on my blog..it's all worth the joy of connection!

And that also includes every one of you who read here! I am so grateful for your friendship, your support, and your comments that you so graciously leave me. You lift my spirits and make my days brighter.

And no, you don't have to send me gifts to have me love and appreciate you! But I must confess...it was such fun to get these...so thank you so very, very much Wendy and Julie...and all of you....for all the ways you bless my days and fill them up with rainbows of colorful fun and delight!

Michele Bilyeu Quilts With Heart and Hands for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Join in my Liberated Quilting Challenge...and buy or donate a quilt, today!

6 comments:

  1. Michele, I'm so sorry to hear about all the electronics in you home going on the fritz at the same time. Your are such a lovely, upbeat, and generous person that I know you have found the rainbow in all of this. What beautiful generous blogger friends you have. I promise next year to make a quilt for Alzhiemers, have been a little intimidated as the one I have seen are art quilts. Right now I'm going to put on the Christmas music. Hugs

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  2. Some people would write this post as a "feel sorry for me". But no, not you. I am so glad that you look for something to cheer you. I don't really quilt, but admire your work and what you share on your blog so much.

    Surely things have to turn for you soon.
    xx, Carol

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  3. It's great to have friends but it's super to have friends who share their bounty with us. Many blessings on you!

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  4. Oh Michele, Michele, one would NEVER know that you have any kind of days OTHER than sunshine and flowers and rainbows...and I just to say it sounds like the last couple of years have been a bit of hell... :/ Okay, sugar girl, I am jumping up and down that at least a COUPLE of your cyber-friends 'know' when and 'how' to send you picker-uppers. ;) So okay, now that you have laughed over the ills of Mother Nature in a really really bad mood, could ya would ya just drop me an email with you snail mail addy... cuz you see, I would love for you to bring your laundry to my house and do it, and if you would kindly swing through the world I call my 'stewdio' and sling some stuff out of it so I can GET in it, I would be so eternally grateful and all that mushy stuff... :8

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  5. You know, Michele, that if you didn't tell us about the mishaps with appliances, your inablity to sleep and subsequent overwhelming tiredness, I would never guess from the other things you write. You are an inspiration to us all.

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  6. Thinking about watching the chickens and cats in the rain made me smile, too. You are right about finding pleasure in the small things--even when life becomes a challenge.

    Having friends who mail wonderful gifts just because they know you will love them is pretty special, too.

    Thanks for the gifts YOU give in your posts and in your approach to life!

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.