Grammieblogging, to quilt a memory

28 June 2013

On my way from Grammies house. I am traveling this long weekend, Canada Day, to see my eldest daughter and her lovely family. Two grandsons to hold and giggle with. I am so excited.

My car is packed full of quilt fabric and must be ten or more cloth bags full of quilt books and magazines collected over the years. Projects I completed and those dreamed about. Hopefully I will complete them over the years of visiting with Sheena and the family. Building love and visits in every new quilt.

I will take time each visit to select a project and enjoy the input from the boys and their mom. What to plan and what fabrics excite? Bright colours and stories told in fabric. A dream for me. And quilts to dream under for them.

And as they grow up will they remember the fun with Grammie when she came to visit and made us quilts? Will they longingly touch the fabrics and remember the fun we had? Will they dream sweet dreams of love and abundance wrapped in Grammie-love?

Quilts of villages, sailboats, people and animals from foreign places. Quilts of no particular theme, just random and fun fabric selection and easy blocks to sew together.

Weaving my life to theirs even before they have memory stored. A pre verbal conversation of love and attention. Whispers of days to come and fun exploration and imagination. Oh the delight. The sense of home created by putting fabric together sandwiched with love and attention and a bit of coloured thread.

I will be sure to take pics and share with you any projects or fabric play if I take a minute away from mindful creating to capture the moment in time, for all time.

With love and fabric anticipation, my creative self

Pamela
Xoxox

Wish you were here.

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Place your own oxygen mask on first, happy Father’s Day

Oxygen mask

On every flight the same message. When I travel I hear and smile at the reminder for self care. Women so need to hear this message. Care for yourself first. Then you can assist the others around you.

This week has offered a few reminders of this important message. I can see what happens when we think we can care for someone else more or first.

It’s Father’s Day today and I am reminded of the caring my mother provided for my father, and our family, over the years he was alive. He suffered a great deal at the end, and his care had to be handed over to professionals. My mother had to don her own oxygen mask before caring for him. It is not a one time thing. Over and over and over we need to daily notice if we are getting enough oxygen, enough self care.

We also have to suspend judgment on what it might look like for another person. How we care for ourselves is so unique and specific to our own needs and our own personal circumstances that it might not appear to be that for onlookers. Self care is clearly about the authentic self and nurturing to what is needed.

I am grateful I had the precious years with my father. I admired him and what he was able to accomplish. I saw him in our home, in his work, and in his struggles. Mostly I saw the fun loving and caring and nurturing person he was as my father and the grandfather to my children. What a gift, my father.

I take a big in breath today and sit in the memory of the Father’s Day calls and times we had together. I breath again and remember how much I was loved and nurtured by him. And more breaths as I allow and even invite memories of his fathering.

With a big thank you to my mother on this fine day for modelling caring for herself and in so doing, providing care for my favourite man ever, my dad.

A deep breath as the tears fall. Another as I smile.

With much love this special Father’s Day.

Wish you were here,

Xoxoxox

Shopping for Dresses

Shopping for dresses

I love to shop. Everyone who knows me well knows that I am a shopper.

Over the years I have become more specifically discriminating in my shopping. Other than basic necessities, I shop now for unique designer items. And most especially when I travel I seek out the long silky slinky numbers that are often made for the woman figure that I have been so blessed with. Tall and willowy, long legs and arms, and slim shape.

I have added layers of jewellery around my neck and each finger is adorned with at least one ring, up to three per. I have an enviable row of shoes lining the hallways and closets in my home, mostly flats so they don’t take up much room.

I love flowy clothes. I love the all white combination for summer, and Greece. I love black and heavier drapey fabrics and even sequins for cruise wear with evening dining. I love a splash of color and layers and layers for flights and changing seasons and time zones.

I enjoy dress up. On some cruises the opportunity exists to be very formal and even black and white masked balls! Sometimes I am creative with large silky scarves dramatically draped for interest and an entrance.

I have started to gather some favourite designers items through my travels abroad and also here at home. I link to their Facebook sites. I go on the web and google this seasons offerings. What do I have already that looks like that? Simple lines and easy fabrics. How can I capture that look?

Classy simple lines. Easy care fabrics and comfort are all part of what I value. When I check out the closet in the morning I consider the latest finds and combine with some basics from another time.

Shopping is so much more than going out to buy something. It involves the study, the touch, the trying on, the image and emotion that arises when I step into the new item, be it scarf or dress.

Word to the wise, when you love it, buy it. It is not available in every country or even in another store. One of a kind from a foreign land cannot be replaced. Sometimes I even buy two, one in each color, especially if I love it more than anything that is in my suitcase on this trip!

Women stop me and say how nice it looks, “where ever did you find that?” … And how can they research and find their hearts desire dress?

Years of practice and study and countless hours looking, walking, touching, imagining, and allowing myself to be dressed by the designer or store clerk who offers me tempting items while I spend hours in a change room.

This summer I will have spent many hours in tiny rooms with small doors and sometimes only a curtain between me and the outside world. I have already found some items I will keep for always. Some of my favourite clothing items were hanging just a few short weeks ago in a designer sale rack in the back of a little store in Chania Crete in Greece. It was my second time to that place and I would go back in a heartbeat.

Next stop Florence and Rome for a taste of Italy to add to my collection. Momentos of my shopping excursions around the world!

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Curled up in Quilts

Curled up in Quilts

I have been making quilts for years now. A really good friend of mine is a master quilter and I would admire her fabric tops carefully sewn to make art. One day she invited me into her world of fabric addiction and cotton fluff.

I am sitting here on my small condo sized sectional couch. My feet are cold. My feet are always cold. I reach over and pull the red, blue, white and green flannel plaid quilt over to my size nine thin feet that can’t seem to hold in the heat, and gently carefully wrap the soft warn quilt around my toes.

This quilt belonged to my father. I made it for him as a bit of a personal rebellion. I remember as a young child that he liked bright coloured plaid and was not always able to purchase or wear such colours. Ok. He could wear his favourite soft old plaid shirts when hanging out at home and doing chores, but not when society (and my mom) wanted him to look more put together. He had plaid cotton shirts. I wanted him to know this gift was for him.

I learned to cut plaids and place them carefully. I machine pieced this work of art and love and then machine quilted it with a lovely thick cotton batting. Bound in more red flannel and his name written on fabric and hand sewn lovingly by my mother for his last days were spent in a hospital care ward. He slept with his quilt each night. He died with it on his bed as well.

Oh how I wept that day, my birthday was the same day he let go of life. I found myself wanting to hug that magic red flannel as if it still contained the essence of the wonderful man that he was to me.

Tonight I feel him here with me, enjoying that I treasure the quilt and make the choice to have it wrap my own self up in the love that was for him not so very long ago.

Good night dad,

With love and happy memories

Pamela and the quilt
Xoxox

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Together we write

Starting by starting

Time to write. Not sure if a story is about to bloom or simply a practice session with my ideas and iPad. Either way, here it comes.

Home from a day in the travel business, I am tired and thoughtful. Thinking about my last trip and the next trip and thinking about trips I have booked for others and stories of journeys already taken. Imagining a move to a less stressful part of the country to steer my life in a different direction. Looking over my travel boards and vision statements, and I reach out and select a book from the shelf.

Longing to be read since 2005, the receipt just tucked inside the front cover. I feel the texture of the paper cover, some raised bumps. I decide this was more than a bargain book. A favourite author and mentor leaves hints of what is still to be written…. An invitation to honour the craft.

Feeling the urge to eat something sweet, I resist the old yearning and decide it is time to draft a few lines. An adventure may unfold and then perhaps just the rambling mind wanting to find a river to follow. I take the step.

What are my discoveries today? My “ah-hah” moments? What am I grateful for? Questions, not answers fill the lines.

This is, after all, a conversation. Every writer knows it.

What is my story and how is it woven ever so gently into yours? If you don’t find yourself in my journal, then it is a monologue with limited value.

However, if the rich descriptions of my carefully selected dialogue touch a memory for you, and send a vibration to your brain, and your senses wake up to the view, then I have written a fair piece and I am pleased.

I feel already like my energy has been well spent in the movement of joining our two hearts today as one even for this very brief moment. My journey joins with yours, we are one in the river.

Writing is surely about story telling. A shared experience that takes us both to a similar place, at a different moment in time. I love travel, through time and to foreign lands. I love to drive across the country and imagine how it must have been so many years ago as people found their way walking and hauling all their life’s belongings with a horse and cart.

Today, I want to offer a sense of being together, whatever the story. Wherever you are at in your life and where it joins with my journal … Let’s sit just for a moment, together and apart.

Loving kindness and restless mind

When we are at our unstressed best, our natural state of not worrying … we are truly our kindest and make the best decisions.

Of course that state may not stay with us for long, as all states are impermanent. We may be in one moment serene, delighted, confident, with clarity, and feel loving kindness and tranquility. From zero to 60 in so many seconds we can feel entirely the opposite and wonder what happened.

This is how it works. Energy and emotions are the same. Energy ebbs and flows. We certainly can fuel the flames … as in biting the hook. We have wisdom, and we sometimes make the choice to believe the feeling instead.

We have all developed deep seated and perhaps irrational fears from early, maybe pre verbal and pre understanding stages of our life. No real reason, but at the basic level of abandonment or perceived or real threat …. these places exist in all of us. We don’t know why or where they come … we could see them as the same energy and emotions arising and moving through us, without story. Typically we attach a story, like a sequel to the movie. “Last time …. “, or “this always happens ….” or “I don’t want to feel that again …” or even “just when I was happy … every time I am happy this happens …” etc. On and on the story goes. It is a self told story in our minds. Adding stress and increasing our grudges and bad feelings about self, wisdom, not acting kindly toward self and others. It goes on and on.

It may seem crazy, or sensible, or true or false and it is just memory …. not the same as what is happening right now in this moment. Not the facts really, just playing on the energy that arises from the memories of past …. forming new worry and thoughts to try to make sense of it. It may seem crazy or sensible. We do learn, although maybe not from past experiences so much as current quiet careful thoughts when our energy is more peaceful and we have less frantic stuff going on. We learn when we abandon the old story and see the new circumstance for the new details that it presents. Different time, place, people, circumstances than any previous time.

We can learn to cope. What is in this moment at this time? Can we try to see it with a new filter, a clean filter, maybe as if we were on the moon looking down, or if it were someone else telling the story that was happening to them … how would we respond or suggest action? These are strategies to remove our own blind filters.

Some people have more restless minds. You can recognize them by their worries. We all have fears but a restless mind is always dredging up what looks like unrealistic fears. Logic does not work with people with restless mind and memories of fearful (real or perceived) threats from past experience. They may start with restless energy, restless mind and a thought pops up – they feel aversion to that thought (jealousy or anger, or unkindness) and then it becomes agitation and the more it is reinforced the more anger is fueled. Rage can result.

Re read the first line. Help people become less stressed and kind. You do that by listening, reflecting, and offering assistance for them to get back to that state. Breathe and encourage them to breathe and let the energy pass without thought if possible. You don’t have to go with the thoughts they are having. You can simply rest your mind, breathe, focus on your breath and encourage them to do the same. If they are addicted to the restless worry … you get to decide if that is the life for you.

We get to decide in each moment if we chose good news or bad news about ANY circumstance. Whatever we think, it will pass in 60 seconds anyway. Let it pass and see what new thoughts arise. If we keep repeating an old thought, we leave no room for the new thought to arise. I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.

We carry our worries and fears and sometimes find a therapist (or a mom) to help us with them. Sometimes we are truly lucky to have a life partner to share them with. Is this the partner you want? Or keep looking for one who is truly a good fit for you and you for them? Sometimes we desire to have what another person has … or we want NOT to have what another person has. No point in either of these thoughts. Try to see them as energy attached to a story … and let them pass like clouds in the sky. Slowly sometimes, but moving on nevertheless and changing shape.

Just thoughts.
Sending so much love always.

Pamela