Monday, September 26, 2011

What I Love About Fall

The first day of fall arrived last Friday...finally. I love to experience the changing seasons and this is one of my favorites. When I was working in tourism, autumn was our busiest time of year. With so many meetings, events, bus tours, tournaments and festivals, I really didn't get to enjoy the season. Now I have time to experience the things that make fall so wonderful. Here are a few of my favorites.

Warm Days, Cool Nights – Windows open kind of weather is fabulously refreshing. Highs in the 70's and lows around 55 are the best. I air out the house, sleep with windows open, and let the air conditioner rest after a long hot summer. Sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee in the mornings is just perfect!  And it's time to pull out a quilt or two.

Football – I haven't always been a huge fan, but as I've learned more about the strategies and rules, it's fun to watch some college and NFL games. Having the DVR gives me control of when I want to sit down to enjoy with a big bowl of popcorn.

Festivals & Events – There are many options when it comes to fall events in Tennessee. This year I'm adding a few new ones to my itinerary, like last Saturday's Handmade Harvest in Bethpage. (It was a great first year event, plan to go next year.) Quite a few of them are scheduled at the same time, which makes it difficult to choose. You simply can't attend more than one or two in a day!

Nature's Color – Observing the changing leaves is one of the best things about fall. Sometimes I think they must have done it overnight. Bright reds, yellows, browns and oranges decorate the landscape and create beautiful photo opportunities. Some flowers wilted by the hot summer sun perk up again for a last show of blooms, and happy mums begin to show their faces.

Sweaters & Flannel – I'm an absolute sucker for a pretty sweater, even though I am sort of warm natured. It must be the textures and rich dark colors that get me. I love soft flannel shirts, comfy hoodies and quilted vests too.

Yummy Fall Scents – Cinnamon, cloves, apples, hot chocolate, crushed leaves, moist air after a rain, mums, and more give my senses a treat. On a recent country drive, the smoky scent of tobacco being fired in a barn took me back to my grandaddy's farm.

Useful Notion:  Don't get so busy in your life that you forget to notice the beauty and peacefulness of fall. Use all your senses and take it in!

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air. 
Nathaniel Hawthorne


Monday, September 19, 2011

Distractions Can Be Good For You

When you're trying to focus on a goal or project, distractions are usually the last thing you want. You have to stop what you're doing to catch the phone, answer a question, run an important errand, or whatever. Getting back to your previous train of thought can be difficult and it takes time to refocus your mind.

Sometimes, however, a distraction is exactly what you need. It allows you to take a break and focus on something new. Instead of getting upset or stressed, use the interruption as a reminder to relax, clear your mind, and enjoy the moment. It's the small things that can make a difference.

My routine has been interrupted some lately. Mostly good ones, including a nice lunch with friends and a relaxing visit from my mama. I'll take distractions as they come. I believe stepping out of your normal routine every now and then keeps things interesting. If you live every moment and give your best to each opportunity, you add value to your life.

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans”
 John Lennon

Monday, September 12, 2011

Listen People: Life Doesn't Owe You Anything

Let me rephrase that: there is no free ride. You have to make your own way in life, earn your own money, and pay your own bills. If there's something you want or need, save for it. Don't go running to mama or expect the government to take care of you.

There's no law, written or unwritten, that says your parents have to provide for you forever. They don't have to give you money when you run out, buy you a car, pay your rent, or leave you anything in their will.  Their responsibility for raising you ends when you become an adult. Sure, most parents are happy to assist their children and grandchildren occasionally, when they can. But that generosity doesn't mean they are obligated to do so until the end of time.

Grow up! You're supposed to leave the nest. Act like an adult, go out and provide for yourself. No matter how old you are, stop blaming others for your problems. Stop waiting for someone or something to make life easier for you.  How can you demand support from someone if you barely acknowledge their presence?  You can't take advantage of, mistreat, or cheat others and expect something nice in return.

Take responsibility for your own life and for your own happiness. You can choose to make your situation better by changing your attitude. Be realistic about your wants and needs. If you want to just get by, that's fine, but don't expect others to carry your load. Take a good look at your life, evaluate what isn't working, then make positive changes toward improvement. 

Life doesn't owe you owe it to yourself.

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide 
your problems are your own. 
You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. 
You realize that you control your own destiny.  ~Albert Ellis

Don't take advantage of family or true friends, 
because in the end they're all you've got. 


Monday, September 5, 2011

A Life Full of Color

Labor Day is here and I'm happily working in my sewing room while much needed rain falls outside. The inspiration that struck me earlier this summer continues to bring new design ideas and color combinations. I've sketched and made notes for a variety of projects, including purses, computer bags, quilts, home d├ęcor, and clothing.
Here's the one I finished yesterday: This and That and the Other is a bright, cheerful wall quilt with a surprise... 
it's reversible.  Bali Colorwave, the other side, reminds me of a tropical sunrise. I had intended to use one print panel on the back, but couldn't resist these pretty pink and purple Bali blends. 

I shopped online at and Hancock's of Paducah for the gorgeous fabrics that I combined with a few of my own scraps. (Yeah, I know that I should be using more of my fabric stash, but who can resist new fabric that is just a click away?)

Color can affect a person's mood and I could be proof that bright colors stimulate creativity. Painting my room purple has sparked a flurry of activity. Some hues bring happy, passionate, warm and creative feelings; others invoke thoughts of reflection, peace, and simplicity. Even dark, gloomy, dull colors have their place. My life is full of color and I love it!  

I'm retired, but I'm not sure there is enough time to sew all the designs that are spiraling around in my head. And even if I did, what would I do with all this stuff? It may be time to start an online storefront. We'll see. Meanwhile, it's still raining and I want to play around with some of those fabric scraps...I have another idea.

Useful Notion: Some crafters sort fabric by color, others sort by light, dark, and medium hues. Either way you choose, organizing fabric scraps saves time.

Life is about using the whole box of crayons. ~RuPaul



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