Monday, June 30, 2008


I have decided to write about some sewing projects. Most of my projects have either been on hold since my grandson was born almost two years ago, or are in that "almost done" state that if I could just get going, they'd be done. But I am finding time to work a bit here and there.

I am currently working in two eras: Civil War and Edwardian. For Civil War I am finishing a day dress, and hope to have it done for an event in twelve days. I have hooks and eyes to sew, sleeves to put on (the cuffs and handsewn buttonholes are complete), and the bodice needs to be sewn to the skirt (the skirt is also done). I would like to start a new vest for Paul. The one I made last year is really too small. But if I can't do that, he can still go to the event; he'll just need to keep his coat fastened.

Finally, my Edwardian project is a Beatrix Potter skirt. I have it cut out already, and the sewing is not difficult; I just need to get to it. The skirt is to go with the Beatrix jacket I made before. I actually had planned to have it for a Beatrix Potter Tea I will be hosting. The date for the tea has been changed twice. Once, because my sister forgot and scheduled something else for the first date (and I really want her to be here for the tea), the second delay was because Paul got sick. But now I have rescheduled it for Labor Day weekend, and I so much want to become Beatrix for the day!

I love sewing and making dresses from the past. It is one of my favorite pastimes!

On the Mend With Hope and Joy!

Paul is doing so much better. He still has some tests to have done, monitoring to be read, and doctors to meet with, but we are convinced that he is on the right track. Some changes made:
  1. We are eaing healthier meals. Less caffiene (or in Paul's case - none), less sweets, more vegetables, homemade wheat bread (which is not a difficulty because we have a sturdy Bosch mixer with a dough hook that makes bread baking almost effortless).
  2. Daily walks. Paul actually tries to get in two walks each day, and has been very good about this. He does one at work on his lunch hour and one in the evening, often with grandson and me.
  3. Saner work hours for Paul. He goes in at a certain time and leaves at a certain time. No more staying late and not getting home to eat dinner until after 7:30 PM. Thankfully his bosses are on board with this and have actually told him to take his time and take care of himself.
  4. Acupuncture. Paul was skeptical about this at first, but has found that it really does help him with his stress symptoms. Fortunately his medical doctor approves of this type of treatment.
  5. Less projects at home. This has put a stop to our bathroom remodel, but Paul's generous parents have offered to help meet the cost of hiring out someone to finish the work. This is a tremendous blessing to us. The only projects Paul has been doing are small things such as oiling the bathroom door and fixing the lock, doing a bit of gardening, and adding a piece of aluminum to a gutter! But big projects can wait for now.

This was all very scary for us, but it also had us reevaluate our life. The most wonderful part about it was that upon reevaluation, we both realized how lucky we are, in spite of the challenges we face. We love each other, our kids, and our grandson. We are privledged to all be together here at home, when in other circumstances we might have our two older children off away from us, either off to college or living on their own. Instead they are here with us, pursuing their dreams in the area, sharing their lives with us still. We are able to see our grandson grow up day by day. Our home, although not perfect (it's a very old home) has a lovely vintage feel with most of the rooms done, and is in a safe neighborhood.

We could look at our life in a different, negative light, and there were times during this event that I was - feeling that all was awful. But one evening on our walk, Paul and I talked about it and both came to the realization that while we don't match up to the mythical Jones' in material wealth and home and cars, we are just plain blessed with the gifts we do have. What a joyful feeling that was! Perhaps this was a wake up call from God - Open your eyes! See what I have given you and be glad!

I am!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When a Family Member Becomes Ill...

...the world is turned topsy-turvey.

Paul became ill at work last Friday, requiring a visit to the emergency room and a short hospitalization. This was an extremely stressful and difficult time. The good news is that he is home and safe, that this illness is not at all as serious as we originally thought, and Paul has several appointments to have certain test results explained or followed up on. He has been home and will be home all this week.

The big thing now is a change in the way we live and how we balance things. The balance in our lives was almost non-existent, in that Paul was overworked, overtired, on a treadmill, so to speak, and it finally got to him.

But the future always has a ray of hope. The trick is to see the ray of hope in the darkness. To see sane work hours, balanced, healthy meals, time for exercise and relaxation, and time for beauty. To be honest, I am quite afraid that I am not up to the task of providing this for my beloved husband. I feel and have always felt very scattered in my approach to my role as a wife, mother, and grandmother. Although I have many organizational tools at my disposal, my use of them comes in fits and starts. Never a seamless perfection of orderliness and balance. I must confess to a tremendous amount of guilt in the way our lives have been since day one of our marriage, and I am feeling that my deficiencies may have ultimately lead to this current distress in our lives.

My approach then is to put one foot in front of the other as we move through this crisis. And I just pray that God will reach me and show me the way out of this darkness.