Monday, January 25, 2010

Wooden Hawaiin Tree Snail


I just couldn't resist the chance at winning this cute little wooden snail for my collection. Plus I learned something about this endangered little creature as well. What a great way to let people know about it. Check it out here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A week of reminiscing & renewal...maybe..

Gosh where has the week gone? They all seem to go by so quickly the older I get.
I was so encouraged by a friend that said she was actually missing my regular blog stating that she felt like saying, "Kate, get with the program and write again!"...the thing is, except for my two faithful followers, I didn't think anyone would notice that I hadn't written lately cause I don't know who even gives their time reading my blog..for those that may be reading for the first time,yesterday was the first in a couple months of actually writing and that's when my friend said what she did.
Anyway, I have been inspired again from the past week. Reminiscing, reflecting...got word that a dear friend of mine of the same age (I'm almost 49) had passed away. The friend that told me didn't know when it was actually. Could've been in the past couple years for all she knew. That was it...No other info.
Had he been sick for long? Had he had a good & happy life?...Nada...WOW! that threw me for a loop! Ok so you're wondering how, if he was such a dear friend, did I not know that he had passed? I got married and moved away over 23 years ago & he was starting a family as well...Being a guy he may not have felt it was appropriate to do the 'keeping in touch' even though I tried. I can respect that. But now even a week later since the news I still carry this black cloud with me..mourning a person I'd not been in contact with all these years. But the thing is, he really had an impact on me and it's hard for me to believe a world without him in it. I mean there are little tidbits of him that I will forever remember about him..His constant jovial spirit, his hearty laugh & great sense of humor, no matter the circumstances. Or perhaps one time when we were out to lunch. As he was sitting across from me & my daughter he held up his spoon as if he was going to launch something, and told my daughter to do that to me with her pudding...No sooner had the words crossed his lips, when my daughter aimed her spoon with pudding at me and flicked it!!! We all laughed & how could I possibly reprimmand her when her 'daisy' as she called him, told her too. (I don't recall the reason for her calling him this~might have had something to do with the fact that that's what I endearingly called her. She was only 5 or so at the time) but it certainly was an indearment.
Makes me think of all the little things & people that have touched me in my life...I've heard the saying about the moments that take your breath way...But it's not just all about those moments...it's the little things that you momentarily forget through the years but will retell to your children and grandchildren. Well how can it be that someone I've not talked to in 23 years can make me cry now?
I was making my grandma's recipe of orange cookies today for my dad's monthly poker party. My mom use to do this..very happily with never a complaint.
I however do not enjoy baking..it is a chore for me, but for my dad I gladly do it. I try my best to pick up the slack. You see, my mom isn't able to do such things anymore..She suffers from dementia and although she is physically capable to do it, I guess mentally she doesn't feel competent to do so. To follow a recipe is a nightmare for her..While talking to her this morning before starting the cookies she emotionally apologized for not being able to do them,and then asked me, 'do you remember when my table was full of cookies or maybe my homemade buns"....I said "yes, mom and they were the best. It's ok for me to do them now...You certainly went above and beyond through the years"..So today, while I thought of that conversation it dawned on me of the passing of the torch...I made the cookies and laid them out on the same tablecloth my mother had used & my grandmother used and thought to myself, it doesn't have to be the things that take your breath away (although those moments are well..., breathtaking)...it's the little things that accumulatively matter in the life of a person. They are so important. It's the smaller things that make up the definition of a person. As the Bible says we are 'intricately made'...all these special details make our legacy.
As I worked on weaving a seat on an old wood chair that belongs to my mother-in-law's husband I wondered if this old, loved chair will have any impact on generations to come. I mean it obviously has a history with him or he wouldn't have had it so long nor would my m-i-l bother to have it re-woven. But will his children appreciate the legacy? I honestly don't know..they live away with little contact..but I hope they realize that their dad kept this chair with a history for a reason..And that someone in the new branch of the family lovingly restored it so that it could be used again. I know it's just a little insignificant thing.
Funny how all these things come together in my mind, huh?...To Rodger, I loved you my dear friend. If you didn't know that in this life hopefully I'll get to tell you someday and we'll laugh about it all. I will always remember you the way I last saw you.
For my mom, I know you don't think your life was worthy of anyone writing about it, but you are wrong. You've given me (and others) so many moments that have shaped me into the person I am. I will think upon all those little tidbits of wisdom & simple joy that I have in turn shared with my daughter...and she will tell her daughters about them. We will always remember the person you were even if you don't.
It really is true that it's not necessarily the words you say to a person or perhaps not even the things you do that are remembered but rather the way you made the person feel. Don't dismiss the little things as insignificant. They are the fibers that are woven to make the mantle that warms us.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Just some random, nagging thoughts...

Something I've been pondering the past couple months. Don't know if anyone else has had this experience or not...In my 20's and into my 30's I thought I had a pretty good grasp on life...I had alot of answers to life's questions, I knew what direction I was going & at times I wondered why some 'older' folks (which at the time could've been anyone over the age of 35 or 40) didn't seem to be as sure as me. I did not feel then nor do I now, that these insights were expressed in arrogance but in retrospect perhaps it was just naivety that comes with that age. Seems as though then it was sooo much easier to see things in black & white.
But now with my 49th birthday looming ever closer (and it doesn't take a mathematician to know how close that is to 50!) I tell my daughter I have few answers anymore & that's frustrating for me. The more people I meet of diverse backgrounds, being exposed to different cultures, ideas etc. I see alot more shades of greys than I use to. Oh that's not to say that I don't still hold to my core beliefs & values but the ripples (like when you throw a stone in the water) that have come out from them have changed over the years. In some ways it's freeing being able to recognize the greys now with feelings of enlightenment but in another way it's a challenge after all these years to adapt to the changes no matter how small.
And just today I realized I was subjecting myself to habits of old...Doing things for the wrong reason. Do we ever outgrow that?..everyone wants to fit in but do you totally ignore the part of you inside that says "that is just not 'me'"? Shouldn't you become part of something, not because you want to be a team player, but because you feel compelled in your heart to do it? Cause when you do it to show others you're trying to put your best foot forward, do you really give it your 'all' anyway?
I've heard it said that you need to go out of your comfort zone to grow...I believe that to a degree. You have to be 'stretched' for how will you ever find your hidden talents if you never try something new or different or to overcome a fear...But do we ever earn the right to say "this is a good thing in & of itself, but it's not something I want to pursue. It's not for me?" Would this be frowned upon as being unwilling to bend?
Growing in character, our spiritual walk or whatever the case may be, can there be a time where you draw the line but still achieve a well rounded, respected and happy balance between all the things we call a life?
I don't know....I'm asking.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A chance to win in a fabric giveaway! Woohoo!

Hallie & I are both entering this giveaway in hopes of winning these beautiful fabrics. What would it turn into? Well skirts for the granddaughters or perhaps dresses for the angel dolls I make...time'll tell.

Go here for your chance to win too.