Monday, November 26, 2012

Experience Today

Today is one day in your life, and you have twenty-four hours to experience it. Make a conscious effort to really be present in each moment. Observe your surroundings and be inspired by them. Enjoy the ordinary and marvel at the extraordinary things that happen around you.

Listen to others with an open mind. Use your intuition to respond to opportunities and challenges. Don't assume anything, just experience the day as it develops. Forget should be, should do, should have, and shouldn't have. Instead, focus on how you presently feel, what you want and need in your life today.

Yesterday is gone and tomorrow will come soon enough. Today is yours, so live each moment of it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Granny Rose's Quilts


Last week I found a treasure trove of beautiful antique quilts tucked in cedar chests, linen closets and dressers at my mother-in-law's home. All were hand quilted by her mother, Lydia Rose, from the 1920's through the 1970's. Most of them I had never seen before. Some are hand pieced, others machine pieced on her old treadle machine, which I now own.
 
They are classic patterns like LeMoyne Star, Silver Maple, Star of Bethlehem, Bear's Paw, Nine Patch, and some I haven't identified. Her fabrics are mostly cotton, but she scattered in a few patches of corduroy, linen, flannel and denim.  She chose a variety of prints, stripes, plaids and solids from many eras. She obviously used whatever fabric she could find from curtains, flour sacks, tablecloths, blouses, house dresses, men's shirts, and pajamas, along with material she bought or traded with friends.

Backings are muslin and cotton, but one has a warm cream flannel. Batting is mostly thin, probably flannel, but at one frayed edge I found she had used a lightweight striped sheet blanket between the layers. A few of the quilts were well loved and worn with some stains, others look brand new and may never have been washed. The colors are bright and vibrant, in pleasing combinations and contrasts.

Isn't this strip pieced LeMoyne Star cool?
I knew her, of course, but never talked to her much about quilting. At that time I was into sewing the latest clothing styles and not very interested in old fashioned quilts. How I wish I had paid more attention to her and to my own grandmother who quilted. Wonder how many quilts they made? I'd love to ask them about their color choices and patterns, where they purchased fabric or found time to sew. 

At least I got to admire, examine, photograph and help preserve these gorgeous vintage quilts. Now I am inspired to use some of her designs and color combinations.   


A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.  ~Author Unknown 

 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Resilience

Merriam-Webster defines resilience as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. Some people are naturally capable of managing the stress associated with significant change. Others struggle to adapt as they work through life's challenges. 

Whether natural or learned, resilience involves maintaining flexibility and balance in life. It is definitely a personal journey. Asking for or allowing others to offer help can bring support and focus. Taking time to rest and reflect will energize and strengthen. Going forward with plans for today will create the first step toward a positive path to the future.


“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.” 
      – Japanese proverb

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive,
nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
     – Charles Darwin


Monday, November 5, 2012

Farewell To A Wonderful Man

Yesterday morning my father-in-law passed away suddenly.  Mose White Ireland (Whitey) had just turned 89 years old.  I will always remember his kindness, his beautiful silvery white hair, his wit and his devotion to his wife of 65 years.  They provided a Christian home for their two children, and I am thankful to him for raising his son to be the wonderful man I married.  

Whitey proudly served our country in the Army Air Corps during World War II.  He loved baseball, lively conversation, and puttering around in his workshop.  He never met a stranger and always told you exactly what he was thinking.  

I'm sure Whitey knew how much we loved him by our words and deeds.  We were all with him before he left in the ambulance, but sadly, he was gone before we knew it.  Sometimes we forget that we may not get to say our final goodbye.  Today, let your loved ones know what they mean to you.