Sunday, February 27, 2011

M is for Mend Fences

Once again I have finished a verse on my ABC's of Aging Artfully by Lizzie Kate. And once again I have given thought to what the verse means to me.
Here is the letter M which stands for Mend Fences:

Mend Fences. Hmm. Forgiveness. Letting go of past hurts. Not so easy. Sometimes downright, outright hard.
One thing I have learned in this life is that you must forgive. Trust me when I say this, you must forgive.
Forgiveness, believe it or not, is not for the person or persons that hurt you. It is for you. Spending time, sometimes years, not forgiving just takes it's toll on YOU. Many times the person that hurt you has gone on with their lives, never even thinking about what they did. They are sleeping at night. Enjoying life.
But unforgiveness is eating at you. It can cause depression, bad eating habits, sleepless nights and general unhappiness.
Now I understand that sometimes things happen that cannot be forgotten. Or really, shouldn't be forgotten, such as in abuse cases. I am not asking you to forget.
I am asking you to forgive. Reach in your heart and forgive that person. Write a letter, even if you don't send it. Then let it go.
I had a really good friend. Went to school with this person. Shared lots of good times with her. But one day she betrayed my trust. Or rather threatened to betray my trust. Friendship over. I couldn't forgive her. Never mind she was doing what she thought was right. Never mind we never talked about it. I just stopped talking to her.
Until some 20+ years later I saw her in passing. I then realized she had no idea I was so angry, so unforgiving, or even why I would be. 20+ years of MY LIFE spent not forgiving someone who didn't even have a clue. MY LIFE. At that moment I forgave. And we picked up our friendship. I have enjoyed her. She remembers me when I was young, vivacious, fun! We share laughs about the past and see our children making mistakes we could keep them from if they would only listen.
But 20+ years have passed. I can't imagine where we would be in our friendship if I had just forgave her.
I have seen people who can't forgive. They are not happy people. They are always looking to make sure no one ever hurts them again. They have walls up. They are missing so much happiness.
Mend fences. Something we all need to do. Now where is that emotional hammer and nails? I am sure there is someone I need to forgive...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I is for Ignore Convention

Here is the next verse in my "ABC's for Aging Artfully". If you have been following this blog, you know that I am stitching this piece by Lizzie Kate and while doing so, giving some input on my thoughts about the verse I am on. Here is a pic of the start of Ignore Convention:

Ignore Convention or better put, Defy Convention. This has taken some thought and some research, including talking to folks who know me.

I think the poem "When I am old I shall wear purple" describes me best.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in the slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

I think my whole life I have been "wearing purple". I have always walked a line between what society said I should do and what I wanted to do. Sometimes I crossed that line. Actually many times. But not so far over the line that I was "peculiar". I was just, well, me.
And I think that ignoring convention means also just thinking outside the box. For instance, when I started my Stitching for a Cure blog, I was thinking of a different way to fundraise for Relay For Life and for a way to include other stitchers who wanted a way to participate, but didn't know how. Thinking outside the box turned out to be a great winner for Relay.

Here is a list of some folks who ignored convention and were successful in doing so:

Guy Laliberte - reinvented the circus, making a leap from street entertainer to CEO (Cirque Du Soleil)
Coco Chanel changed the way women dress and re-defined the suntan
Ferruccio Lamborghini transformed his farm machinery company to a become a challenger brand to Ferrari
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greefield's uncompromising idealism meant a $4000 loan was all it took for Ben & Jerry's to become global players
Les Paul made the first usable, saleable electric guitar
Picasso new approach is of course another obvious example.

Countless people defy convention every day,and change the world.
So ignore convention every once in awhile and see if you can change the world in some way. I bet you will at least change your world!
Now where is my big red hat? I have earned it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

E is for Eat Chocolate

As in my previous post, I am working on the ABC's of Aging Artfully. I will not be stitching in alphabetic order due to the way I have the fabric on my scroll frame. I am on E today.
Ok, this is one I have a little problem with. Because even though a 50 year old menopausal woman is supposed to crave chocolate, I don't. Sweets are not something I crave except on few occasions.
With one really big exception. An exception that I can't have because the restaurant went out of business 10 years ago due to a divorce. Divorce hurts everyone, including restaurant patrons.
There was this little place called The Arizona. And they served a Kaluha chocolate chimichanga with tequilla cream sauce. I am not lying when I say this was a lick your plate kind of desert. It was a dark chocolate in a tortilla, lightly fried, served with this white cream sauce. I am getting goosebumps thinking about it.
I am sure even today I would love it. I have searched Google trying to find something similar, but I am sure it would only disappoint me even if I found it.
Here is the pic of the Eat Chocolate verse start:

On another note, today is the Daytona 500. I can't help but think about Rene. She was such a NASCAR fan. I know she is watching from her spot in heaven, but I would much rather have her here, chatting with her about the race and seeing all her wonderful stitching. Rene we love you.
You all have seen pics of my 70 year old mom. She is also a NASCAR fan. Her favorite driver is Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Her best friend Kristi, who is also her stylist and manicurist, helped her celebrate the 500 in style. She went to the supply store and told them she needed Mountain Dew/Amp Energy green nail polish (Dale's colors).
She painted her nails black and on one hand put a checkered flag and on the other put the letter "A" for Amp Energy and the number 88, Jr.'s number.
The pics are not very good (her little paralyzed hand would not cooperate) but here they are:

Mom knows how to party!
And for all my snow bound friends. It is in the low 80's here in Texas. Even though I have been sick, my dear husband took me for a ride. The daffodils (my favorite flowers) are in bloom. We will have them around for about 3 weeks before they are gone for the year. This is proof that my friend Phil was right-we will have an early spring.
I have photos for you, along with a picture of one of the roadrunners that live at the Arboretum I so dearly love to go to. I hadn't seen the roadrunners for some time and then when I did, I didn't have my camera. But my husband James got a great pic of one of them:

Now that the daffies have burst out with their sunshine yellow color, I know that bluebonnets and red bud trees are just a short time away! I love spring!
Here is to wishing all of you sunshine and chocolate! Keep on stitching!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ABC's of Aging Artfully

"To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living." Amiel
Turning 50 has had a great effect on my life. I believe my grandson's comment "that you are halfway to 100" might have had something to do with it. Or it may be the fact that I realize my life is more than half over.
Now granted, the years left in my life are most likely going to be the best years in my life, but still facts are facts. And so is the fact that I spent 18 years growing up and going to school. And another 12 years until I was really an "adult". I think at 30 I realized what being an adult really meant.
I have started stitching again. And I think it is appropriate while I am in this reflective time in my life that I am stitching on Lizzie Kate's "The ABC's of Aging Artfully". I think it pretty much sums up where I am in my life. Joyous, free, silly, and blessed.
As with the "Time for God" piece by Lizzie Kate I stitched a while back, each verse seems to have a special meaning for me.
I will be documenting my stitching on this blog and reflecting on what I am learning about life and myself as I stitch.
I have almost finished stitching the letter "A" which starts "Amaze Yourself". Now I amaze myself all the time. I amaze myself that I am this far in my career with no real college education. I amaze myself that I raised a child on my own. I amaze myself that after 44 years I met and married the man of my dreams. I amaze myself that I have picked up my stitching again!
But what really amazes me is the fact that my sister at the age of 40 something (or 20 plus, plus something)is going back to school. All while raising a 15 year old, having a relationship and working. She has completed her associate's degree with a 4.0 (amazing) and is working on her bachelor's degree. Amazing. Something I wouldn't dream of doing and frankly don't want to do. But she does it. She is doing it. She is showing a whole group of young people that she still has it.
Here is a pic of what I have done so far. It is on 28 count Silkweaver Lugana in "Days Gone By".

So go out there and amaze yourself. I know I will!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What is it?

Ok, so the whole question is "What is it about birthdays that inspire me so?".
I have always felt my birthday was a national holiday. And meant to be celebrated for weeks. Gifts weren't important. It was about the hoopla and celebration. The confetti and princess crowns. The singing "Happy Birthday" over and over. The talking about it so much that people start running the other way when they see me.
But there is something else. I think it happened when I turned 30. But I really remember my 40th birthday the most. I had my first limo ride and spa day celebration. Changed my hair color and did the whole nine yards, complete with a new outfit.
That really started a tradition. Since then, I have always had a "birthday shirt". And a pedicure and manicure. And even if my birthday always occurs in frozen February, I had a new pair of sandals to wear on my birthday to show off my new pedicure. This year was no exception. It was a record 16 degrees out and I wore sandals. Froze myself nearly to death, but boy my feet looked GOOOOODDD!
Every year, it seems I "make over" myself on my birthday. Not really make over, but kind of "pump it back up". Seems like I reach a point just before my birthday where I slack off on the make up and the hair, well, it just doesn't have a "punch" to it.
This year I did a big change and went blond. Well, not all blond. Red undertones with major blond highlights. I thought with my red face I couldn't do blond, but girls, just let me tell you I can do blond. And do it up right.
I have bought more nail polish and make up and face creams and hair stuff in the past couple of weeks than I have all year long.
Some people throw out the old and bring in the new on New Year's. But I think I do it on my birthday.
Whatever it is, it is really nice to feel pretty again. And spoiled. And fun. And cared for. And well, blond! I think fifty suits me really well.
I have ordered some fabric and will be stitching again really soon. I will post pics as soon as I can.
Now for those of you up north with snow and ice and freezing temps, what I am about to say is not to make you feel more miserable. We even had temps in the teens with wind chills at 0 and snow, ice and sleet in the past two weeks.
But, I have to tell you, the daffodils are in bloom. The green sprigs have been out for a couple of weeks and today I saw 2 yellow blooms. I think in the next week or so they will be out for real. I will post flower pics as they bloom.
I think my buddy Phil is right. We are going to have an early spring!
Here is wishing you sunshine and daffodils!