Monday, January 27, 2014

Pretty, Useful, Creative,Recycled

I try to take a few minutes each day to work with some of my crafting ideas. Especially since they are what keeps me motivated. I awake most mornings and sometimes throughout the night, with another good idea for a crafting project. If I'm feeling rested enough, I may get up anytime during the night and go down to my craft room in the basement and busy myself with a project until I feel sleepy enough to crawl back into bed once more. Some nights I get so carried away, I don't feel the need to crawl back into bed.  Having a creative mind is a blessing, most of the time, but there are time when I do not agree with that statement. When I am desperate for sleep and I lay there, tossing and turning, trying so hard to fall asleep, but cannot, for thinking of projects I want to undertake as soon as possible. At times like that, it seems more like a curse.

I have made many variations, over the years, of this project mentioned today. I was having trouble falling to sleep a night or two ago, so I got back up and set at my desk and drew up a pattern for a tiny box. Most of us can make a box, but I am forever trying to think up little projects for small children. That seems to be foremost in my mind lately. I do not have natural kids. If I did, I think they would have inherited some of the creativity from myself and other members of my blood kin. Most of my family have no issues with creativity. We can all do any and everything we set our heads to. I suppose it can be learned, but it most definitely is an inherited thing, too.

The project I made here today started out with a home made box (see my pattern).
(1) I cut it out and glued it together.
(2) I used pretty paper to cover it. Some I had made in another recycling project.
(3) I made a ribbon to encircle the box, with a piece of matching fabric.
(4) I put on some lettering. I could have done that in many different ways.
(5) I cut last years calendar into small pieces to fit in the box.(the back of the pages were blank)
(6) I placed a small pencil in with the papers.

Now, I don't want Pop to yell at me again for not having pencil and paper handy by the phone for when he needs to take down a message or a number.

Pop's Run In with John's Cat

 There has been a lot going on around our house in the last couple of weeks. Most of it involves running to and from doctors offices with Pop's finger.  

We attended our Grandson's 9th Birthday Dinner on Monday, January 13th. John had decided, since it was his birthday, therefore his choice on the meal, that he wanted meat loaf for Pop, and chicken and dumplings for himself. Who could refuse either. Especially since we haven't been doing a lot of cooking around our house lately.

While we were all sitting around, visiting, waiting for Carmen to get home from her job at the hospital, Pop began petting Mochie, John's cat, and rubbing his belly. Evidently, he rubbed the wrong spot, and Mochie attacked Pop's hand.

It was a deep bite, and Pop complained a little, but he didn't make a big deal of it, so we went on with our evening. Two days later, on Wednesday, Pop was spending the morning with his two daughter's as he has been doing for awhile. They get together at a restaurant in town, eat and visit, then do the flea market thing, if it's in season and the weather is fitting, then they hit Walmart for a little shopping. Well, by Wednesday, Pop's finger was swollen and red and warmer than usual. He had not complained to me about it, so I was not aware it was that bad. Carmen, being a Nurse Practitioner now, she demanded that he see a doctor at once. When he got home, I called for an appointment for him to see our regular Nurse Practitioner and get her opinion.  She was booked up tight with flu patients so recommended we go to Urgent Care. We did and Pop got a tetanus shot, and some antibiotics.We called our NP and made an appointment to see her, but since Monday was a holiday, she couldn't see him until Tuesday. Carmen could not wait. She got on the phone and made him an appointment with the BIG DOGS in Louisville. Kleinert and Kutz. They are a world renowned team that works on and trains others on hands. So we have been going to and from Louisville over the last week or so. They did surgery on his hand the first day they saw him. We had gone thinking they would just look it over and give us their opinion. They did just that and decided it needed to be lanced. NOW! so they did just that. Our appointment was about 12:30 (noon) and we didn't get home from Louisville until 10 that night. We did stop to eat on the way home, so that took about an hour, but still. It was a long day.

Most of our activities lately have been centered around Pop and his hand. Doctoring it, cleaning it, exercising it. Worrying about it. Let's not forget that. Who knew a cat bite could turn into such an ordeal. John's cat had to be quarantined for 10 days. That turned out to be O K. No rabies. Thank God! But it's a precaution the health department must demand we take. Naturally Mochie was not happy. Since the quarantine and dilemma with Pop's hand, John's cat has had to make a trip to the vet and get his man parts disconnected, among other things. But hopefully he is in good shape now. If only we can say the same for Pop in a few weeks. This hand thing has really been scary and it's not over yet.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Three is not always a crowd.

There are a few terms or tasks that I try to keep in the fore front of my mind  at all times.These are tasks that would definitely make my life and the lives of those around me,much easier. They are tasks that come easily for some, but for others, myself included, it's a constant   struggle.
Some of the tasks I speak of are Organizing,Categorizing, Decluttering,Utilizing,Improvising,Down sizing, to name a few, and there are so many other terms I could list that would follow along these same lines.          You get the picture.

I have mentioned before, that I do not do a lot of shopping. Well, I need to rephrase that. I hardly ever buy new things from traditional shops. Occasionally,I do, but nowhere near the average shopper, by no means. I do buy things, now and then, that I can use in my crafting, but they are usually really cheap or  else I pass them by.Most of my crafting is done from my recycled stash.
I will buy a bulk of supplies if I find a real bargain which I have done on a few occasions.

Once, I bought $15 worth of crochet thread. Twenty or so spools,give or take a few. Some slightly used from, but most were nearly full .Mom was with me that day, and she was always my conscience. I could take one look at her and know if  I should or I shouldn't. That day, she agreed that it was a good deal, so I bought it, since she had done a lot of crocheting in her younger years, and was well aware of how expensive it could be. .That was several years ago, and I have still not utilized the thread to the extent I had planned.

One of my nieces recently asked me to make her some dish washing cloths for her new house, so I have been crocheting several of them lately. I told her that I had regular crochet thread or acrylic yard, but only a roll or two of cotton thread that is normally used for that purpose.So I would make a few cloths from what I had and she could see if any of them suited her. During my crocheting, I decided to double and in some cases, triple my threads to see how it would work for these type of cloths. Wallah! I was elated at the results I got. They were turning out beautifully, so I am in the process of making more, thus using up my thread supply a bit faster. I am so thankful and glad I experimented and came up with this idea. I have been matching up 3 colors and making some really nice cloths. I am so excited over this new found method, I can hardly force  myself put them down when it comes bedtime.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sleepless Nights

multi-purpose covered pickle jar

Most folks who have followed my blog for awhile, know how I enjoy using things that others would discard, and making something useful and pretty from it. I don't like to make a lot of things that serve no purpose. I suspect that stems from the fact that I, personally, have too many collectibles, just sitting around, looking pretty, but serve no actual purpose. One can only display so many things, then you run out of space to set anything else,needed to function with your daily routine.

The dish cloths and the pin cushions, pictured, are old standbys for sleepless nights, but the little catch all jar is a new project, or shall I say, another version of an older idea. I have used throw away jars in many ways before, but I decided to put a new twist on this one. I have so much fabric,and much of it is not usable in quilting. It's really pretty, but I must find other ways of using it up.

I spoke to a good friend here lately about possibly starting up a crafting session. She and her daughter are burned out on trying to sell their products through various venues, so they are "throwing in the towel". We discussed getting together and making crafts at my house, mostly to use up some of my supplies, and to satisfy our desire for crafting, not necessarily for selling purposes. I usually give most of my crafts as gifts, sooner or later.I have donated many to auctions to raise money for folks who might be down on their luck. That is definitely, satisfying to me. I get the pleasure of making them, and then the satisfaction of knowing I am helping someone in need.

Many of my ideas never get off the ground, but this is one plan I will be working diligently toward accomplishing. I am not making this one of my New Year's Resolutions. They are so hard for me to achieve, but one can only hope that all goes well with my new idea. Only time will tell.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Time for Some Indoor Projects

One of my favorite projects is making tags. These tags are for any and all occasions.They say,
Just "A Little Something" to let you know that you were on my mind today. I put these tiny tags on little hand made gifts that I pass out for various occasions, whether it be for Christmas, Birthdays, or simply a Thinking of you gift. I'll glue a tiny flower on each tag and using a hole punch, make a hole to attach a pretty ribbon. They add a nice personal touch to the gift. I never or hardly ever buy new supplies. Ninety per cent of my supplies are from recyclables and/or yard sales and consignment stores. I use a lot of brown paper from packing in various boxes I receive in the mail,brown paper bags, and even the inner lining from some food products such as sugar. Very little is wasted in my home. I purchased a second hand book lately from Amazon, entitled  The Money Making Secrets of the Amish. There wasn't anything mentioned in that book,that I am not already doing in my household.

This is an example from the free picture site.

Another project I've gotten interested in here lately is making stars from discarded barbed wire. Many folks use rusty wire, but since we have recently purchased several new acres of ground, I have been rounding up lots of new barbed wire that was pushed out with the bulldozers when the land was cleared. While Pop is cutting cedars and firewood, I busy myself gathering anything I might find interesting for use in my crafts. Barbed wire, acorns,walnuts, pine cones,bird nests,etc. Now if I could only find some type of berry that would dry well and go nicely on my barbed wire stars.That may be my next challenge. Coming up with a method for making those berries. They are way too expensive to buy.

I made a couple of stars, but gave them away as gifts before I got to save pictures. The picture above is not my star, but  simply a picture I borrowed from the free picture site on the web.

Hoarders Anonymous Anyone?

Is there such a group as Hoarders Anonymous? You know, like Alcoholics Anonymous. A group to help folks deal with the reasons why and to, hopefully, overcome the desire to collect more and more stuff. I do have a problem with collecting stuff. Not near to the extreme I heard of this weekend, but bad enough that my husband complains about it a lot. Granted, he is going to complain about one of my shortcomings, regardless, so why not let it be this one. For some strange reason, this one is more of a "sore spot" than any of my other shortcomings. The reason "why" is a mystery to me, unless it is the fact that I am ashamed of this fault and have no legitimate excuse, that I am aware of, anyway.I have curtailed my yard sale and flea market and consignment store shopping since Mom's death. What one has to do with the other, I'm not sure, but I have nearly stopped visiting all of those places.

This past week end, we had a family gathering at the nephew's camp site on Rough River, and some of us folks were sitting around the campfire, late in the evening, chatting as we always do.Ultimately,some fool has to bring up hoarding. It seems that topic comes up a lot, and as you might guess, I get to feeling very uncomfortable.

 I am ashamed and embarrassed about my problem, but like every other aspect of my life, I had a good plan, in the beginning. It just never got off the ground. I will be putting this topic at the top of my list for the new year. Hopefully, I will make a little progress in my decluttering and organizing my life and my "stuff". 

Oh, to be a turtle, for awhile anyway!

Time is moving so quickly and it seems there is not enough time in a day to get all of the necessary things done. Not to mention a few things I'd simply like to do for pleasure. My crafts have fallen by the wayside. Not only because of the usual commitments one has to fulfill daily, but life in general, just seems to get in the way.

Pop's ex-wife, the mother of his two daughters, passed away this past month. We have been helping the girls and the two grandchildren to work through that loss. Mostly spending a lot of time doing things with them that we feel might help. We know that grieving is something that everyone must go through, in their own way, but Pop worries they might not be handling it the best, on their own. With my Mom passing this past March, I do understand that it takes time to heal. There's no rushing it,either. Time will help, and not everyone handles death in the same way.

The Grand daughter is into Archery nowadays. She has her first competition tomorrow. All thoughts,preparations, and plans for Christmas must wait. She is a teenager now. We had to wait until 8 PM Sunday night, to celebrate her 13th birthday. Her Mother is now a Nurse Practitioner, and she didn't get off work until 8 o"clock. Hurry up and wait. It seems that's our motto nowadays.

The nurse's husband will be retiring from his job as an EMT as of the last day of 2013.Plans are in the making for him a celebration. He'll have his hands full being Mr. Mom and managing the many apartments and houses they own and rent out. It has been a struggle for him for quite some time, keeping them all maintained and the grass mowed for all. Sounds like he needed to retire long before this.

Then...we have a couple of good friends who will be celebrating 60 years of being married. That is practically unheard of this day and age. We simply must attend.

I still have not finalized my Christmas shopping, nor wrapped the gifts I have purchased, but I did squeeze in enough time to put up a few Christmas decorations.Nothing like I usually put up, but it will have to do.

Does Anyone Ever Get Back to Normal

Normal is a word which I can no longer use to describe my life, but I am trying to get back to something close.  I lost my Mother on March 12 of this year. It's only been one month now, and it still hurts so bad, that I cannot call her or just go by for a visit. I have been busying myself with house and yard chores and even gone fishing a time or two. Something I had never done in my lifetime. Yes. There are a few minutes, now and then, that I can carry on without the pain swelling up inside of me, but just a single thought can bring it all back again. Mom was such a huge part of my world. She and Dad moved away in 1972, to an island down in south Georgia, and they remained there for 27 years. I wrote to Mom quite often, since phone calls were so expensive, and we'd send tapes back and forth, but still it was not like having her close, here in Kentucky, where I could drop by once in awhile. When they finally moved back to Kentucky, Dad was getting along in years and in bad health. That was the main reason they moved back. His family was all buried in Hardin County, and that's where he wanted to be buried, but we had no clue it would be that soon. They purchased a house in 1999 and Dad died in the Fall of 2001.That made it more important that I visit and spend time with Mom as often as possible. She was now alone, and she did not drive. Several of the nine children had abandoned Mom during Dad's dying, and that made it more important that I be there for her. Now, twelve years later, Mom was stricken with Dementia and Alzheimer's. She had already lost most of her eyesight due to Macular Degeneration in both eyes, then with the other two problems, her life as she once knew it was gradually slipping away. It started out slowly. She would loose things that she used all through out the day. Namely, her glasses and her cane. She forgot how to use her appliances. How to operate the TV and such things. She'd hear the phone ring when it really had not rung, but she'd jump up all through the night to answer it anyway. Many times, falling as she did so, since she was loosing the ability to get up and down without help. Many nights, on many occasions, when I'd stay over with her, she'd stir and ask me if I thought we should get the phone. I'd tell her the phone had not rung. She'd get frustrated because she felt she had heard it ring. Then came the pills. She'd worry constantly about it being time to take her pills. She was so afraid she would miss taking her pills. We had already divided her pills up in tiny containers and labeled them for her to know when to take what, but even that got confusing to her. She would nap quite often, and when she would awaken, she would be disoriented about the time, whether it be day or night. Since my one sister, Rita, and I, were left to care for Mom, during the last few months of her life, we now had to make the decision that one of us must stay with her around the clock, at all times. Five of the other children did their usual disappearing act as Mom lay dying. No visits. No calls. No Birthday cards. Nothing. Unless you count the one brief visit from one son, and then two brief visits from a son-in-law, who only came because he was a volunteer as an EMT. Mom would cry and pray, then cry and pray some more. Wondering and questioning us as to why her children were not by her side as she lay dying. This went on for a couple of months, but still, five of the children did not come or even call to see how she was doing. We had a dinner for the two brothers who had been communicating with Mom all along. Then on her birthday, Rita and I tried to make it as pleasant as possible for Mom. She turned 87 on the 30th of January. Still no communications from the five other children. We can only assume the hate that made them behave in such a way when Dad lay dying, had taken over their hearts once more. The sad part is that three of the children live 8 miles away and one live 3 blocks from Mom. What kind of explanation can one give for treating their parents in such a horrible way. Many times you see and hear them speak of God. Whatever God they are using that condones such actions as they have displayed, while their parents lay dying, is not the same God I worship. My God wants us to be respectful, forgiving, loving, compassionate, considerate, empathetic, caring. None of these things described the way they were treating our Mother as she lay dying. I'm sure they will conjure up all sorts of excuses as to why they treated Mom and Dad both in the way they did as they lay dying.
As for myself, although I grieve and miss my Mother every minute of every day, if I had it to do all over, I would spend several more months with her, even if it meant time away from my own home and family all over again ,and I'd  do everything humanly possible to make her life as comfortable and pleasant as I possibly could during her final days. I can truly say that for me and my sister, Rita, No excuse will ever be good enough for what they have done, nor will they convince me that they are Christians.I am hurt and bitter,because of the way they treated our Mother. I may heal, in time, and I may even reach a point where I can forget and forgive them for the pain they caused her,but for now,it hurts too bad,and I can not, so getting back to normal, may be impossible for me.