“Live Like You Were Dying”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiOcW_YR1G8

Settling in for a short spate of reading before drifting off to sleep last night, I heard Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying.”  Something in the lyrics resonated within me.  While the activities mentioned in the song are not necessarily the ones I would do in such a situation, I could see the wisdom in the thoughts behind the lyrics.

The idea behind the lyrics ties in with my plan to start living with the end in mind.  It encourages me to look more for the ways to live each day in such a way that at the end of the day I will be a bit closer to the ultimate end(s) I am working toward for this year and beyond.

Today, in and of itself, has been a bit frustrating in that I have had to fill in at work.  An overabundance of calls meant that the supervisor had to have me log in.  I had hoped to be able to head up to the attic to pull down some fabric bins from the attic to go through.  I need to decide if the things in the bins are worth keeping or if I should send them on the way to new homes.  However, I remember that it will be extra $$ in the paycheck at the end of the month and that makes it workable.

In order to ‘begin with the end in mind,’ I’m going to have to overcome one thing; making and sticking to a list.  For some reason, I have Not been able to make lists of things to do and follow them.  Something inside of me gets very rebellious and refuses to stick to the list.

All the distractions and side trips seem like lots more fun than doing what I know I need to do.

I welcome any suggestions or ideas on how you successfully keep to a To-Do List.

New Year, New Plans

How do I make this work?

It’s the end of January and I’ve made a ‘sort of’ start on the things I want to accomplish for the coming year.  I know what I want to do and yet I haven’t been doing it.  As has been said any number of times “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting new or different results.”

So this year, this time I am going to try something that I have been thinking about for some time now:

I am going to start doing things with the end result in mind.

It is a jump shift of thinking, doing, and being.  I know that it won’t be easy and I will slip from time to time.  But I will admit when I slip and do my best to keep moving in the new and better directions.

I invite you all to join me in a new way of looking at life.  Of looking ahead to the desired result and then back stepping from that to “now.”

Tiny Top Hats & Happy Kitty

May was a month of very busy or very blah.  Not much happening but work and chores.

June is starting out a little better.  Had to go in for the usual 6 month check for meds and got a referral to the sleep clinic.  I just got tired of yawning all the time (no pun intended).  The VNA will be contacting me for a home visit to set me up with a new CPAP machine because the sleep apnea seems to have worsened.  That will be good.

Spent much of today working on a mini Top Hat or Fascinator.  It’s just a practice one as I’ve never done this sort of thing before.  Did all of it by hand and learned a great deal about putting one of these together.

Nearly finished top or crown

The crown is nearly complete

I started out by putting the brim together; turned out to be a bit of a mistake.  It’s much harder to sew the wall to the upper part of the brim when the brim is stitched together.

When I finished with the brim, I stitched the stiffening material (for this one I’m using plastic quilting template material) inside 2 crown circles.  It was stitched to the outer layer and all the tiny little notches clipped.
Then I turned to the wall of the hat.  Decided to use the same type of inner lining method and cut 2 additional wall pieces.  Then I stitched up the back seam.  Only I forgot to just stitch through one layer so I could turn the piece properly.  Thus it was very hard to put the stiffening element into place and I had to wrestle with that  for a little while before it came together.  Next time I’ll baste the stiffening element to the inner liner before stitching up the back seam.  I think it will be easier that way.
Patterns and Pieces

Mid point of assembly

Then I started to put the crown onto the wall and got about half way around before realizing I’d sewn it to the wrong end of the wall.  These little hats are supposed to be a bit wider at the top than they are where they meet the brim.  So I had to pick it apart and redo it the correct way.  Then it went together very nicely.

The hardest part was sewing the finished top to the brim.  Because this is a fascinator I didn’t think I needed to cut the center hole for the hat.
I was wrong.
Finished FascinatorTa Da!
It would have been much easier to stitch the top to the brim had I cut the hole.  I’ll remember for next time.
I shot the finished product next to a spool of thread just so show the scale of this particular Top Hat.  When I say mini, I do mean mini.
I was in charge of the house for most of the month of May.  Lee had to be out of town for 2 Rainfall Shows (http://www.pevnickdesign.com/gwflash/index.html) so I took care of things like bill paying, toilet paper buying and Morph feeding/litter box duty.
What’s a Morph?  Morpheus or Morph as she is commonly known, is Lee’s cat.  When he is out of town, I help out by feeding her and keeping her littler box scooped.   Because Lee was gone for such a long time, she was very lonely.  Morph was raised in a game shop so she is definitely a “people” cat.  She doesn’t get along well with the other cats in the house.  So I started letting her into my room during the day.
Morph on the bed

You rang?

She quite enjoyed sleeping on my bed for most of the day.  Now and then she would come down onto the little table I have set up to jot notes and things down for some pets before going back onto the bed to snooze some more or out of the room for a walk..

Even though Lee is back now, she still likes to come in and visit, especially if Lee is out running errands or down at the lab.

Into Every Life, Some Drama Must Fall

As I was dozing off around 11 p.m. last night, I heard some commotion in the kitchen below me.  Since there were no sounds of imminent mayhem, I let it go and didn’t think too much about it.

This morning I find out that someone in the house made themselves a bowl of cereal and left spilled milk all over the counter.  The next person who came in to fix a late supper found it and had to clean up the mess which had by this time reached the floor around the counter.  It’ not hard to figure out that she was rightfully annoyed by this, as such neglect had been discussed at the house meeting on April 15th.  Not know who the culprit was, she left a note on the hall bulletin board.

That triggered another house member (who tends to take Everything as aimed at her as a slight or an attack) to write a long diatribe about the first person not signing/dating their note and attacking other members of the house.  Her note began “If this is directed at me, I …” and rambled through a number of defensive things as though the first note had been directed exclusively at her.

That’s only a small part of the picture.  This is a rooming house of supposed adults ranging in age from early 20’s to mid-60’s.  Everyone who lives here is theoretically able-bodied and capable of taking care of themselves when it comes to cooking, cleaning up and the like.  We are all working stiffs or students with outside responsibilities and lives for the most part.  A couple of house members do not work because of various health issues but those issues do not prevent them from handling basic care issues.

Everyone is supposed to pitch in with chores around the house — from putting away dishes each evening to cleaning bathrooms (3) and taking out recyclables.  It is part of the rent we pay for living here.

At times, though, it seems as if people forget that simple fact.  Dish nights get ‘forgotten’ until someone else takes care of the pileup.  People ‘forget’ their chore and get upset when someone reminds them that they agreed to do that when they moved in.

And short of beating them about the head and shoulders with a clue-by-four I am running out of ideas to encourage people to do their part to be part of the community that is this house.

You see, as the designated House Manager, it is my job to keep this ship sailing smoothly and at the moment, we are veering away from the course that was set when the owner bought the place and started ‘collecting people to help pay for it.’

Completing Projects & To Do’s is a Great Feeling

Today was a reasonably productive day.

Walked to the bank to take care of some business.  Stopped to chat with one of my neighbors on the way home.  Nance has a cute Rhodesian Ridge-back hound with the canine form of Lou Gerhrig’s Disease who barks like crazy every time someone walks by.  Today I went up to his front porch to pet him and talk with his mom for a little while.  It’s nice to get to know the neighbors.  Once they get to know some of us in the house, they stop thinking that we are extremely weird people. (more on this in another post)

Then it was back across the street to the house and get things set up for the Monthly Steampunk Garb & Prop Build.  On the second Saturday of every month, I play hostess to the local folk who are interested in Steampunk (neo-Victorian time/style Ala Jules Verne and H G Wells).  We gather to build our garb, our gadgets and our friendships.  Today was a small group, Char, Mary, Sari, Chris, Henry and me.  Char was working on a ‘project bag’ she could put her portable projects in for traveling.  Henry was putting a patch on a hat for one of his persona outfits, Sari was creating Steampunk outfits for her ball-jointed dolls, Mary was cutting out a new pattern that Simplicity recently released for Steampunk.  I ordered coutil for corset making and a pattern for Victorian petticoat before switching to crocheting.

Actually, before switching to the crocheting I finished the beading on a Victorian Apron (the drape that goes over the skirt), for another character I will be doing for an upcoming convention.  Black on Black beading needs lots of light; glad I did it during the daylight hours.

I have a pattern for an Amigurumi Candy Dish with some Candies.  I finished the dish a few days ago and started one of the pieces of candy.  Today I finished that one, and made 2 more . The 3rd one a deviated from the base pattern to make a slightly different shape.  It turned out very nice.Mini Crochet Candy Dish  To give  you an idea of scale, it’s photographed next to a nickel for comparison.

One of the disadvantages of working in such small scale is the difficulty in doing anything unless there is sufficient light.  Daylight is best but I have worked on this sort of tiny under bright lamplight.

It is a good feeling to have finished this project and be able to start on the next one.  I may pick one of the little animals in the pattern book where this came from.  It wasn’t a long list of things to do but getting everything on the list accomplished makes me feel better about tackling the next day.

The First Step

Stare at empty screen.  Struggle to think of something to write that is clever, funny or both.

Decide to just start writing something.  This is the first blog in what I hope will be an ongoing communication with the world around me.  I am a writer, a fiber artist, a cook, a seamstress, a “puller of rabbits out of hats,:” a fluent speaker of ‘database’ (if I could teach what I do, I could probably make a small fortune), a friend to talk to, sometimes shy, a Steampunk, and still struggling to figure out what I want to be when I ‘grow up.’

I like that paragraph.  Think I’ll keep it.  Provides many a jumping off point for things to write about as I begin to “re-invent” my life once again.

This morning as I woke up I realized that if I want my life to change, I have to change what I’m doing.

So I invite you to come along and share the progress on my journey of change and growth.  I’ll share my experiences, resources that have helped me, things that worked and things that didn’t.  You’ll see articles I’ve written, maybe a poem or two.

I may encounter stumbles and roadblocks along the way.  When that happens, I hope to use this space to share what I learned from them; perhaps provide some tips and tricks to help others going through similar things.

So that’s my starting point, I hope you enjoy being part of the journey with me.