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Posts tagged ‘seasons’

Road Trip

We are leaving tomorrow for a seven day road trip to Sparta, North Carolina. I said yes to an opportunity to teach at a fiber festival in Sparta so that we would make this trip which has been on our radar for about five years. Thus the life of two procrastinators living together for thirty years.

Other than teaching, the purpose of the trip is to go through some of the towns where my in-laws grew up and to gather a bit of family history for my husband. One of those towns is Laurel, Mississippi which is also home to the HGTV show “Home Town” which I believe will have begun filming again. We will be there in the middle of the week so hopefully we might catch a glimpse of some of the action.

Normally I spend hours trying to figure out what project to take with me. Not this time. Simplicity and Focus are my guiding words which will be evident in my packing and my projects. Hubby is kind of nervous because he knows how I would get in the past if the project wasn’t right. I’m not that person anymore.

I want to be fully present on the trip and aware of everything around me. I want to really see the countryside, the people, the buildings, everything there is to see. My plan is to keep a travel journal. I will take pictures, sketch, write, and observe. I’m taking my iPad Pro because I am learning how to sketch and letter using it, but I really want to go old school: paper, pencils – sketching and color – as well as a mini watercolor set. I want to use my other creative abilities to record our adventure.

I will take fibery stuff for the class, and I am going to a fiber festival, so this trip is not going to be void of all woolly loveliness. It will just be in perspective with the excursion.

You see, when I work on knitting, crochet or especially spinning, I loose myself in the process. If we were traveling on a well known path and the destination alone was the focus, this would not even be up for discussion. But, we’re not traveling that way. Everything on this trip will be new to my eyes. I’ve been to parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee before, but not these parts; and I’ve never step foot in North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Mountains just create a certain visual for me, I don’t want to miss anything. The beauty of my fiber arts is that if I capture the trip using these other methods, then when I come home I can translate those memories into fiber art. It really is a win-win situation. Hubby will have to experience it to believe it. He’s a perpetual skeptic.

Blue Ridge Fiber Festival here I come.

It’s going to be a grand adventure!

Chapter 1

Voices swirled around me like a cacophonous fog descending over me until I disappeared.

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Fourteen Years of Joy

Two events, separated by six years, forever transform a family.

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The Freedom of Aging: Personal Style

Growing up in the sixties through the mid seventies it was not uncommon to wear home made clothes. In fact, I don’t even remember buying clothes other than under garments until I was a senior in high school. It is possible it happened, but I truly don’t remember. 

Simplicity…Butterick…and Vogue, Oh My!

Every year before school started, my mom and I would pour over pattern books and decide what I wanted to wear that year. I know I got to help plan but my memory is foggy. I wasn’t devoted to clothes and the times were just so different. Even in junior high, a time when conformity is mandatory for survival, I don’t remember comparing my clothes to other people or having to have a certain look. I continued this tradition of making my own clothes right through most of my first marriage. In fact, I didn’t put the machine into time out until after my divorce in 1987. Since then, an occasional hem or repair is all the action that machine has seen. It was time for change in all areas of my life.

Round Body In A Skinny Jeans World

I became a devoted watcher of “What Not To Wear.” I secretly wished that someone in my life would arrange for Stacy and Clinton to surprise me at work, whisk me off to New York and then teach me what to do with my this short, round body I inherited from my Scottish-Irish ancestors. I understand that this body type is designed to survive the harsh climate of the North Sea, but let’s get real…I live in tropical Houston, Texas, how do I make this look good? I watch Outlander and think to myself, in real life Scotland in the 1700’s Claire would not have been a svelte woman. But, then Jamie wouldn’t have looked that good either. But, back to me.

Of course I tried most every diet in the world, but it seemed that no matter my weight and the distribution of said weight, I never was able to dress myself in a way that I felt reflected who I am on the inside. This dilemma led to many different styles through the years until I finally just gave up. I gave up trying to create a persona via my clothing. I think there is something very telling in that last sentence but I don’t wish to dig through that psychological mess at the moment. It was in the giving up that I think I found myself. I had arrived at an age where I accept that I am who I am and I need to make the best of that rather than trying to be something or someone else. As I have said many times, I’m a slow learner.

My Pinterest boards Aging Beautifully and My Style are the places I record visual reminders of what I love and who I admire. I recently logged back in to Polyvore and designed my go to fall outfit.          

Polyvore, like Instagram can be a black hole where people like me fall never to be heard from again. But, it is also a wonderful tool to see what is possible and passively get the shopping experience without spending a dime or being woefully disappointed by what is looking back at you from the mirror. In this fantasy can look just the way I want to look.

You can see evidence of my 1970’s Southern California Boho taste in this ensemble. Somethings never change. In a world that seems upside down and backwards, I take great comfort in a little bit of status quo.

~Sheryl                                             

                                                                                 

                                                                                  

Limitation or Opportunity? You Decide

I have been short all my life.

When I was born to my four-foot-ten-inch mother, I was an average size baby. But then genetics kicked in and I only grew to my predetermined four-foot-eleven-inch height (but I’m taller than my mom!). I have to delve deeply into the family gene pool to find a tall person, so this was really not a surprise to me or anyone else. And, quite honestly, I’ve never viewed myself as a short person. I’m just me.

Part of the reason for my height perspective comes from one of those mom sayings, you those things you hate as a child but help for who you are as an adult. She would say, “I can do anything a tall person can do I just have to drag a stool with me.” Growing up with that kind of can do attitude had a profound impact on me and all the foot stools in my life. The only thing I really dislike about being short is that weight is a much harder issue to manage than for taller folks. I suppose if I actually took steps to do something about it – like, ummmm, exercise and make better food choices – I would be more successful in this area. Years ago I just accepted that I am built like my Irish/Scottish grandmother and, well, it’s genetics. I know this is a cop out but it is mine and I’m keeping it!


Fast forward to last week when we were house sitting for our daughter. Once I conquered the technology of the house and had a lovely afternoon and dinner with HG (my Hunter-Gatherer husband) it was my favorite time of the day: bed time. Let the dogs out. Wash my face and brush my teeth. Plug in the phone. Adjust the temperature. Ritual complete and time for a snuggly night’s sleep. There’s just one problem. The bed is tall, really, really, tall. I took a step back and evaluated the situation. I could give it a good running start and launch myself in the general direction of the mattress. Does anybody see a problem with this? I’m short. I’m not skinny. And, I’m old and unathletic. Nothing. I repeat nothing about this story is going to have a happy ending. So, I hitch up my jammy bottoms and try to hike my leg up onto the edge of the bed. I got my good knee on the edge but there was no way I had enough leverage to hoist the rest of my body up to the top. The entire time I am clawing and scratching the sheets to get traction HG is laying in bed reading a book! He rolls his head over and says, “Need some help?” I wanted to be snarky but I wanted a good night’s sleep more, so I just grunted, “Yes, please.” Being the gentleman he is, he flung an arm over to me like he was extending a tree branch to a drowning person. I latched on and pulled with all my might and finally landed in bed beside him, and that is exactly where I found myself eight hours later.

I had a situation. I did not want to repeat this scene the next night so in the morning I went in search of an alternative. I found this.

This stool has been around since my daughter was a small child and my youngest granddaughter now uses it. I love all the scratches and marks; reminders that life is meant to be lived and nothing stays pristine unless it remains untouched. Truth be told I worried that my round, adult sized body might be too much for this little stool to bear, but I was wrong. It creaked a little, but it did the job. I was able to get into bed all by myself. I felt proud.
I also used it when I had to get towels out of the washer. Oh, my that is one deep washing machine! 

I suppose I could view my height challenged body as a limitation. There are lots of things I am not good at because of my height and physique. I’ve chosen to not pursue those things in an effort to overcome, but that is a choice. As I said, I don’t really think about it often, but when I do I see my shortness as an opportunity to be creative, ask for help, and be relatable to many folks who would otherwise be intimidated by a tall person. I’m going through a huge life transition right now. Closing a business. Trying to decide what to do next and how that fits into God’s purpose for my life. Worrying too much. Overthinking everything. But when push comes to shove, this time is an opportunity to stretch, grow and discover new things about myself and this crazy, wonderful life I have been given.

Don’t we all have limitations? That is just life, get used to it. It isn’t the limitation, it is whether it is allowed to control or propel us forward…or just onto the bed.
Live, Laugh, Love, ~Sheryl

The Winds of Change

Good morning all. It is an unusual morning on this last day of April. A serious line of thunderstorms moved through southeast Texas last night leaving behind atypical temperatures and delightfully dry air.  Just one last burst of spring before the heat and humidity of summer envelopes us for the next six months.

Last night as the front pushed through, the winds were gusting to twenty two miles per hour. I watched the trees bend under the pressure then bounce back as the gust died down. I could not help but see a correlation to my life at this moment of transition.

Those branches, because of the life that exists under the surface, sway and bend but they do not break. Isn’t that just the way it is with us as well? When we stay connected to the life giving power of God, we can bend and sway but we do not break.

As I move through a huge transition in my life I am like those trees. There certainly were times when I thought I was going to break, but God is bigger than my problems and He has the solution. My job is to stop, listen and follow.

After eleven years of owning a yarn shop, I am closing my business to follow where I am being led. After all, isn’t that what sheep do? They follow their shepherd. God has gifted me with many talents and abilities as well as with a family that deserves nothing but my best. So, I am coming home to nurture myself, my family and honor my Creator by creating. I hope you will follow along and grow with me on this new adventure.

~Sheryl