Giving the gift of Happiness

Growing up and living under my mothers roof we never celebrated holidays. This was due to her religious beliefs. I was blessed to have spent several years under my uncle and his partner Michael’s custody. During this time I was able to witness and celebrate many holidays. Michael spent so much effort in making sure all the holidays were special for a us. We decorated Christmas trees with millions of pieces of tensile, my aunts taking me trick or treating or having family holiday dinners. My grand parents coming in their motor home for a month in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. These are the only memories I recollect from my childhood.

These memories have built my love for my favorite holiday…Thanksgiving. When I was a young parent I made sure I always decorated for and celebrated the holidays. Even if it was not much; or my children even knew they were experiencing traditions. This was all part of my drive to leaving the past behind and changing my future. So you ask why I love Thanksgiving most of all? Well…it is the only holiday where it was truly just about being with family, friends and showing love and gratitude to each other. This was what I wanted for our little family of four….until our family expanded to 10 (currently).

Ok….getting to my point of this message. We are pretty much 6 weeks away from Thanksgiving. These past 11 months have been hard for all the obvious reasons COVID-19, unemployment, social distancing, yelling at people for not social distancing or wearing masks, politics, fires, and just plain nastiness to ourselves and each other.

I am so fed up with the way we are treating each other. We are all under the same pressures and differences – but this is no excuse to live with the hatred and disrespect for others. So I am asking everyone for the next few weeks give the gift of Happiness. Giving a small gift to someone can light up their day. You don’t even need to spend money. Fill out a note card and just say you are giving them a virtual hug or smile- or a free errand or task. Bake some cookies and leave on your coworkers/ friends front door. Mail a card. Make a phone call to the friend that never calls or texts you. Giving ourselves to others are gifts that will give a peace to others and yourself . Try to do one Happiness gift a week or more. Let’s see how you feel after Thanksgiving. Please share this post and any stories to encourage more people to participate.

Ps…In regards to my projects. I am currently working on a bulky crochet blanket for my new granddaughter this winter, made a tie blanket for another granddaughter. But mostly I am progressing my new love of quilting. I have always wanted too…but just never started. Being locked up in the house for CoVid and health issues caused by the fires I have worked on several projects. I did a really big project in Aug/Sept with a lot of appliqué. And I upgraded to a computerized sewing machine 🙂

Reading and Crocheting

These past two weeks I have felt my mental stability waiver just a bit. My patience with all the political issues is getting very tiresome. Especially the anger and hate others are showing to others. Being temporarily evacuated a few days. The air quality and asthma making it so I can barely leave the inside of my house just to go out the front door. Generally I find myself reading alot of fiction during the times I feel the most pull of anxiety. Nothing cures life’s challenges than fiction. So what have you been reading lately? I started a Facebook group called Dewey Decimal Bookworms so I am hoping connecting with others will help soothe the soul.

I also needed to get started on my granddaughters blanket considering she is almost 4 months old and fall/winter will be here soon enough. This is the first time I have used bulky soft yarn. It’s really soft …but bulky to use.

Walk In the Direction Where Your Peace is Found (Steve Aitchison)

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of events. I was able to accomplish making my very first quilt top. I made mistakes and its not perfect. I am so very proud of it. I learned so much in sewing techniques and even resiliency. It’s such a great peace of mind when you make something with your hands and have something to show for it. I started working on my second quilt project. Its a mystery project and I cant wait to finish all my clues and show it off. I did complete my crochet blanket. I hope to show it soon after I add the boarder. This is my favorite blanket ever. I don’t think I could ever part with it 😂. I recently cleaned my room and kept finding yarn stashes. I better get back to doing some crochet and knitting projects soon.

Last week our neighborhood was threatened by a fire and my husband and I had to evacuate our home. We are safe and our home is safe. As we were evacuating we realized our neighborhood had no movement. So we started knocking on doors to tell everyone to leave. I had some difficulty getting a neighbor to wake up so she could leave. This was a huge amount of anxiety at the time because as I saw the fire get closer I had no idea how to get in contact with her. All did work out. The next couple days was just exhausting with waiting to return home and all the social media status updates. By the end of the week my husband and I were worn out. We definitely felt blessed for ourselves, but saddened by the extent of the losses others experienced.

My husband had previously planned a trip to our favorite beach city and hotel. A few months ago. It was a blessing in disguise. When you think of Steve Aitchison’s quote Walk In the Direction Where Your Peace is Found. It helps to bring calmness to tough moments, days or even years. We are unable to avoid personal or community challenges How we walk toward our peace is what grounds us or brings calmness to our minds or hearts. My peace has always been at the beach. When you sit and listen to the waves you can give your troubles to the water. When your feet are touching the wet or warm sand you feel connected to God or a higher power (for some it could just be a connection to nature). Breathing the cool air air into your lungs can also bring a sense of calmness or peacefulness. Spending those couple of days at the ocean helped me so much to ground me and paved the path for me to walk towards my peace.

I urge you to find your path to peace and calmness when you’re feeling overwhelmed. This may just be going to Starbucks for a chai latte and sit in your car to enjoy the warmth in your hands and throat as all the spice/ creaminess flows to your stomach. I hope you enjoy the picture I captured while finding my peace.

Cambria, California

Perseverance in 2020

I have started and stopped this post a few times. We have been busy with a cracked tub and remodeled bathrooms these past few weeks. My biggest excuse is I have been busy learning new sewing projects.

Today let’s discuss the word perseverance. So what is perseverance ? It is defined as the persistent effort of doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

This is exactly what we as humans need during this time while we start to venture back outside into a world with other humans (at a distance and covered up of course). I don’t know about you, but I feel such a weird vibe when I go out nowadays. People look at you weird or differently because your wearing/not wearing a mask. Or maybe they’re thinking why are you out at the same time as me-then I think why are you out 😂. With all the political things going on it puts extra stress on you. This leaves a person not even wanting to address or talk to anyone because the last thing you want to do is get in a heated discussion on whether you’re taking a side. But to me that can cause strife as well. So how can you persevere during 2020? I am here to tell you I have no idea…lol.

I can tell you what I try to do and I hope it will help you a bit.

1. I fit in a compromised group when it comes to health issues. But I don’t live my life in fear. So I follow the CDC guidelines. Wear a mask, stand 6 ft apart and only go out when I need or want something. Wash my hands when I get back. I personally just do it any time anyone has a cold or flu now or 5 years ago. Just smart!

2. I don’t respond to any social media posts. I follow more crafting, knitting and sewing sites. This changes my feed immensely. It balances my social media with positivity and creativity. I have learned so many new things. I am making quilting blocks now. I am getting pretty decent at it.

3. I only check on the news maybe once a week. There is nothing I hate more than repeating the same crap every day and all day. Stay informed…but limit your exposure.

4. I am missing just having dinner or lunch with my friends. Or just going for a visit. My favorite tea place is going out of business and I can’t do one last hooray with my best tea buddies. I like doing virtual projects together with friends. It means I don’t have to get dressed, shower or drive anywhere to have fun. Just knowing we are protecting each other by distancing helps alot…because you care for these people’s well being.

5. Just be respectful and kind. Try to smile or show kindness covered up. Even if people are shitty you can still be positive. Just walk away. Don’t feel you gotta prove a point…it’s only you you’re trying to prove it too.

Be Happy! Be Joyful! Be Kind!

Reading enriches your mind and heart.

Why is reading the best thing to do every day? It lowers stress by giving you something wonderful to think, feel and visualize apart from your daily tasks. It can brings joy, peacefulness and even mindfulness. It provides food for thought. Brings out your intellectual side. It helps keep you challenged and feel what’s happening around you. It builds a community together because who doesn’t love to discuss a great book with friends over tea and cookies? I love reading at bedtime because it helps to shut my brain off to happier thoughts . So I sleep better. So help our little community and build an online club together. Share this group with all your book lover friends. Everyone needs a break from life right now.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/312996936341933/?ref=share

Is SIP making you a bad multitasker?

Truthfully not sure how it happened…actually I do. Last year I discovered a Quilt and fabric shop about 20 miles away. Never made it to the store for a visit. In April I brought out my sewing machine to start making face masks for my family. I have always wanted to learn and practice making quilt blocks, but figured I needed to understand the basics first. Recently, I made an apron. It was nice making something by hand. It’s been difficult getting into Joann’s, and never could score fabric. So working on being creative with my current stash.

During this time local small business’s started doing Facebook lives. I started watching the daily local Quilting shop on Facebook. I have enjoyed it very much. I am hooked now. I have purchased some beautiful Fat Squares bundles. I recently joined a group for an easy 12 week project. You learn a new block pattern every week and share it. I have enjoyed seeing everyone’s talent. Part of this project has 6 bonus embroidery blocks.

So you guessed it. I actually have 3 projects going. And that’s not including catching up on shows. I started crocheting a blanket in February. I am still only 2/3rds of the way done. I was hoping to be done by now…but sewing took over. Now I have to fit in embroidery. 🤣 Any one else feel a bit distracted with additional new projects?

Be mindful to allow yourself the time to learn new skills, and be creative during these trying times. Remember my 12 tips of mindfulness in December? On Day 6 it was mentioned to engage in your favorite creative task to quiet your thoughts. Mindfulness and creativity go hand-in-hand. Everyone needs to explore their creative side. This gives us a sense of accomplishment when we succeed. A small project will give us a physical action we can control.

I would like to lightly remind you of my tip #12 by Tasking Mindfully at this time as well. Having to many projects at a time can add additional stress. We may put extra burdens on ourselves because we feel we have to accomplish it all. Having these extra tasks made me feel a bit lost due to not completing my original project. So I made a promise to myself I would work on my blanket during the week after working. The weekends will focus solely on sewing. Let me know if you have suggestions you like to use to bring yourself back from being lost or distracted.

Everyone please be well and safe!

Happy Mother’s Day 🌺🌺

Wishing everyone a very happy and wonderful Mother’s Day. As mother’s we think back to the first moment we bring our children into this world, and our promises we make to our children as we hold them until they won’t let us anymore. Then we can only feel their hurts, pain and happiness from afar until they need us. We watch them grow into themselves and all we can think of is how awesome they are to be our children.

I came from a unloving and hurtful childhood, but I knew love was in my heart and fought for it. My loving uncle raised me for a time. Richard gave and showed me love as long as he was alive. I am so lucky my uncle, his partner Michael and my two aunts fought hard to heal me as much as possible. These experiences have made being a mother much more difficult and still affect me till today. Without these experiences I would not have known how to change the familial pattern of physical or emotional abuse. I am far from a perfect person or parent, but I can say I have changed my children’s history as parents.

I am so proud of they way they have grown to become adults. Both of my children are loving and caring parents and do an awesome job with their children. That is all that matters to me. Being a grandparent is so awesome because you can see these little humans show characteristics from when your own children were little and you can hold, hug and love these little prodigals.

Mothers be proud of what you accomplished. Don’t put high expectations on yourselves. Time and love is all our children need. Eventually time with our children will be less as they grow up and start their own lives. And remember how you love and treat your children affect them and future generations.

I hope everyone is well. I have been so busy these past few weeks putting together items and making masks for the family. I put an order over a week and half ago with Joann’s to buy more yarn so I can continue with my blanket. I have a feeling later on this week I will be at a stand still until they put my pickup order together .It has been getting tougher as each day comes to ignore all the negativity that gets fed to us. The news only covers COVID 19. Social media all talks about the same but bashing people, government and schools. Work emails talk about how working from home and the virus is affecting your coworkers. I am definitely ready to go back to normal if not just having something different to talk about. I continue to keep busy working on projects after my work hours. The projects have kept me busy that I really don’t notice I have not left the house in a week. I can tell you I do love the groceries delivered. I will probably keep this task going even after we are no longer mandated to stay home! But something comical-yesterday a young man brought my groceries and instead of basil he brought coriander (never used it before- looking for ideas). Also instead of red potatoes he brought a yam. That one stumps me. But I will use the yam for sure. 🤣Well everyone please be safe and well. All will be better soon. Enjoy your quality family time as the gift it is.P.s…I totally bought this shirt just for the fun of it.

Shelter in place check in

What’s the first thing you will do after May 1st?

Good evening everyone! I wanted to check in with the everyone to see how you are feeling. To stop from being bored after my work shift I have continued working on teaching myself crochet stitches. Working on my 3rd blanket now.

Saturday I spent the day with a friend working on making an Easter banner. It was alot of fun. I wasted a whole day on Zoom. After we finished the banner we decided to crochet together. I got a bit stiff sitting in my work station area since that is where my computer was setup 🤣.

Let me know if you are working on any projects you would like to share. It can be literally be anything. #besafe #breath #mindfullness

Sending good wishes 🌸🌺

Wow this past month has flown by so fast. I started working for a new company earlier this month. Guess what? It’s for a chocolate company. So after all these years I have switched over from wine. At my interview and first day I got chocolate 🍫. Yummm!!

I have actually been blessed very much because I am currently working as a temp to hire. They are allowing me to work and do my training from home. I feel it really shows the character of the organization if they trust a temporary employee to take company property as well as working unsupervised. They could have opted out and had me restart after May. I have been finding ways to keep busy on my own in between tasks. It has been a great learning experience working within a food packaging facility in normal processes and in consumer panic mode .

I wanted to send you all some good wishes while you are working from home and away from possibly other human contact or the outside world. Try to keep yourself on a schedule when working. Take your breaks and walk away from your computer. Enjoy a few mins to step outside and breathe in fresh air. Or maybe walk up and down your street. It helps to have a designated spot in your home to work at. That way you can walk away at the end of the day. Forget about it until morning. I have even done some small chores around the house. This has freed up some time at the end of the day to work on my crocheting 🧶. Or catching up on This is Us Or Grey’s Anatomy.

Don’t let everyone’s panic mode suck you into their frenzy. This will only put extra stress and create anxiousness in ourselves. As long as you have Maslow’s basic needs like shelter, food (what you need) and water you shall be fine. And I am pretty sure TP is not really a mandatory need. There are ways around it . We just don’t have to like the options 🤣🤣. And we can still check online for items when they become available. Stay safe and well! And support local business’s when you can !!! If you feel lonely and just want to chat you can message me on my Facebook group-knittingforcalmness 😊https://facebook.com/knittingforcalmness

Friends- Stop Judging!!!

First I would like to say Happy Valentines to everyone. Today is not only about loving others…but ourselves as well.

A few days ago I watched a small video on Reese Witherspoons Instagram page where she was being taught how to make a recipe correctly with a friend. And you know Reese is always so fun and upbeat to watch. I find her southern manners impeccable almost all the time. In this video they were in a very homey older style kitchen. This was not a modern kitchen of sorts. In the video it was not mentioned who’s kitchen the video was taken from. Within pretty much the first few comments a lady mentioned to Reese that she couldn’t believe the kitchen was not newly decorated and surely with her money she could afford to have a newer and nicer kitchen. I have seen Reese in a new kitchen and beautiful home in past videos, I was so upset at this woman’s comment. First of all we didn’t know who’s kitchen it was. The lady probably insulted and hurt both Reese and the friend in the room. It was probably the friends home that got insulted. But who really cares. What right as women do we have to judge others in how they choose to live or the choices they made.

Judging others is hurtful, spiteful impulses we own, and our judgments keep us from building stronger and beautiful friendships with others. Don’t mask your intentions by what you think is friendship or love. There is so much talk on empowering and building up women and women’s rights right now. FYI…this is not just a man’s responsibility at this time. It’s every living souls responsibility to be judgment free.

Friends I urge you to be less judgmental on social media. Just because what is in you mind at the time -there is no need to write it down for others to see. There is no sense in making something positive and fun to brighten a person’s day and make it negative and hurtful. I generally don’t read comments…but this time I was looking for information. Let’s try to keep one judgy thought to ourselves today. Don’t share it

Have a mindful and lovely day.

Go home and do nothing!

I hope everyone is well! How many times do you over extend yourself? How many times do you find yourself going a million miles a minute. We create so many tasks at one time we forget what we are doing. Or even miss an important step. We constantly tell friends and family we can help them out. When was the last time you just took a day and sat on the couch and watched TV (Hallmark/Lifetime channel) all day?

Discover your world will not implode into a million pieces if you take some time for yourself. The past few years have been an emotional and stressful strain with my previous employer. I became a different person and felt I lost who I was as a happy person.

I am very grateful I was given these past 7 months off work to enjoy just being home to work on crafts and projects. I crocheted my very first baby blanket. 😊 Working on a second one. I made some burp cloths to practice my sewing skills. I have also been working on new computer skills and software programs to add to my résumé. The best gift has been spending time with my granddaughter during the day to watch her grow into her own personality.

In order to help others we need to help ourselves first. Take the time to do just nothing and enjoy the moment. Spend some time looking for joy and peace in those moments. Look for fun moments. Don’t take yourself seriously all the time. I am so guilty of this. I am always looking for what could go wrong. This consumes so much energy and takes away the fun. So let’s promise each other to just do nothing and find the joy in doing it. 😊 Have a great week.