Tag Archives: managing time

Stepping back into time….

Or am I?  Home from a week spent with my youngest daughter and her family, I’m battling a head cold, but am feeling strangely refreshed in a manner that will take me some time to reckon.  How much time?  Ah, here’s the distinction; not to get too metaphysical, but if instead of coming home I found myself eighty to one hundred years in the past, would time’s passage carry the same weight as what I experienced in the last seven days?

Dude, that’s a bit abstract for a hello I’m home post, but time is short (or is it?), and the sniffles have rendered me useless for much beyond sitting in front of my computer.  Thank goodness I didn’t feel this debilitated while hanging out with The Burrito; he would have ran circles around my sorry behind.

Hexie alert! The Burrito found these quite a delight, especially with the inclusion of fabric he chose….

Actually, I gave him plenty to ponder, introducing hexies to his world.  His world is one relatively free from time’s rules, perhaps his approach to time influenced my perception.  Or I was simply too busy to ponder a corporeal acceptance of hours, minutes, and seconds.  That certainly is true, but here I am back in Silicon Valley, and instead of feeling the usual displacement, readjustment seems wholly altered.

My grandson was over the moon with this superhero gorilla print. I took some home for a future quilt.

I was here, I left, I’ve come back, the resonance of time missed totally absent.  There was no pining to come home, I was completely rooted right where I was, living as if the next day wasn’t a consideration.  Occasionally I have noticed this sensation, but never has it been so pervasive.  And now, not quite an entire day back, I am still wrapped in a bubble of being here right NOW.  It’s a funny feeling to note, somewhat tied into writing; plotting a book set in another galaxy requires a fair knowledge of how that planet works (or more rightly how it contrasts from ours).  What if past, present, and future wasn’t a part of the lexicon, what if….

What if I had fallen back into 1918 instead of 2018, my smart phone not worth more than a paperweight, notifications only a black screen.  I could still quilt and write, but other than an old school calendar, how would I measure time?  Sunrises and sunsets would matter, but to-do lists could fall by the wayside.  Not that I was around back then, but I imagine folks were kept busy enough, sort of how I felt with a three-year-old under my watch, ha ha.  Did people in those days feel that time was squeezed, was there the sense we now seem to have of not enough time?

Maybe I was heavily influenced by my grandson’s grasp of time; falling under that spell, I surrendered to a childlike state which stripped away the usual boundaries.  While my activities are usually framed by a Spirit-led awareness, equally I am often hampered by a ticking clock.  Yet, if that caveat was eliminated, and granted, it’s an enormous stipulation, how much more might I accomplish?  I don’t merely mean items crossed off a list, books written, or quilts sewn.  Where the ethereal and corporeal zones meet seems to lessen time’s importance, or how strongly I am drawn to heed that ticking.  Not that I want to be forgetful or lazy, but I wish to embrace as fully as I can where I am RIGHT NOW.

Some morning artwork; the little pencils were just his size.

As a fairly organized person, I reveled not only in my grandson’s joys, but in how uncomplicated were those thrills.  While fully embracing my responsibilities, I wish to root myself deeply in the here and now, which currently means trying to wrap up this post so it makes sense.  Maybe I’m blowing a lot of hot air, but I can’t dismiss what I felt over the last several days, how I want to incorporate that into this day, as well as into a novel.  I certainly didn’t feel this way five years ago when pondering Haunted, perhaps that’s why it had to wait for now.  If nothing else, I’ve taken several key steps in a journey that continues to surprise as well as delight.  Last week I’ve might have closed this entry by saying, “And I can’t wait to see what happens next!”  Today I’m content with inhaling deeply, resting in the quiet bliss that comes merely by taking another blessed breath.

Fit for a Starship Captain (in training, of course….)

Washed and ready to be drooled on, the sure mark of a successful comforter.

Besides novels, other WIPs are wrapping up; I completed this baby quilt for Master Tiberius, and will deliver it perhaps today.  I’m very pleased for how well the quilting turned out, a mix of machine and hand sewing that took a little time to sort.

Solids and prints blend well, with a bright scrappy binding.

Occasionally I can eyeball measurements with the best of them; I used an old fashioned ruler to space the machine sewn rows along the top two thirds, then hand-quilted between those diagonal lines.

I don’t have much of this galaxy print left, but boy I had fun hand quilting around the planets.

The galaxy was quilted mostly by hand, although I did run two wavy lines along it with my machine.  If Tibby’s folks aren’t into a space theme, they can use this later on when Master Tiberius gets to crawling.  It’s wider than my usual baby quilts, as I didn’t want to sacrifice that galaxy print, it’s just too adorable.

Because I used the galaxy print’s entire width, I needed to add a long scrap to the side for the backing. Thankfully I had some of the flannel alphabet print in the scrap pile.

Without having to write, I took the time yesterday to sew up some of the remaining Southwestern placemats for my eldest, even managed to get three basted for machine quilting, perhaps a task for later today.  I would love to clear out some of these projects, mostly because others are calling my name.  In that regard, quilting and writing are no different, more plans for both than I have sense.

This quilt will be enjoyed more in autumn and winter due to its size and snuggly nature. And it’s long enough to last for many years, and starship travels, in Tibby’s future.

Yet I don’t lament those dreams, even if some (or many, let’s not kid myself) come to naught.  Maybe I spent four and a half years on one story, but heaps of quilts came to life during that time, not to mention all the grandchildren adventures, or coming to terms with my father’s death.  I still frame my life’s accomplishments along the decades; having kids in my twenties, raising them in my thirties, learning to write in my forties.  My fifties could be coined enjoying grandmotherly spoils, but so much weaves in between those ten-year spans, more of a mosaic than set boundaries can contain.

And one more shot of this rosebush. I am just in awe of how well it has bloomed, hehehe….

However it goes, a few things are certain, or relatively so; novelistic notions wind alongside yards of fabric, creating a vibrant template that satisfies my crafting nature.  As for the nietos?  Who knew I would be so blessed while still young enough to crawl around on the floor with them, ha ha!  I hope to share my creative energies as the years pass, then watch as they incorporate those passions into their lives.  Little Miss loves her hexies, and who knows?  There could be an author among them too.  Time will tell, and here it is, the beginning of May!  I want to make the most of each moment, appreciating all aspects of whatever this decade has in store.

So little relative time….

While I know all things happen in their own time, occasionally I feel as if there aren’t enough hours in the day, weeks in a year, decades in….  I’m heading to see my youngest daughter tomorrow, spending a week with her and The Burrito.  Yet, I’ve been adding to The Hawk as if a veil has been lifted, bottled-up prose liberated.  Plus there’s a big blue quilt binding to complete as well as placemats to sew, coasters to finish….

My grandson, wrapped in a scarf I made his mum years ago….

What I have to remind myself is that these tasks will be waiting for my return, along with vacuuming and mopping, ahem.  Sometimes I have the patience of Job, but not always.

I do have some fun machine quilting to share, coasters for my eldest girl.  I will blend these differing methods of sewing in a table runner that will eventually accompany the Southwest mats, waves as the horizon, straight lines as skyscrapers.

Of course, I need to design that table runner, lol.  Right now I feel like I have as many sewing projects as novel plots, which brings me back to this entry’s title.  But instead of getting my knickers in a twist, I will embrace the plethora of crafty ideas, both in cotton fabrics and fictional mischief.

My grandgirls; what blessings are all these nietos!

There truly is time for all these treasures.  And if the hoovering occurs, double bonus, hehehe!

Tucking Away the Words

A great feeling is returning to the written work, seven hundred words on Monday, a chapter’s completion today.  I had left myself with quite a conundrum, as Klaudia has learned about Eric’s affliction, and I don’t merely mean his crippled arm.  How in the world I was going to address her reaction had been set aside until this week, but I think I managed a fitting segue into what happens next, and now to just keep adding to the story, one half or third or quarter chapter at a time.

Playing Carcassonne yesterday with Little Miss; she likes placing the men on every tile, regardless if the tile is hers.

It’s like a rose; layers of petals unfold to the center that holds the sweetest scent.  It’s like how Roxy Music ended their 2001 concerts with “For Your Pleasure”, each performer taking a bow, leaving only the pianist as the arrangement became more sparse, although that seems a backwards manner in which to describe a novel’s conclusion, but this book is so long that only a few loose threads remain.  What Klaudia has learned seems unbelievable, but Lynne proffered a way to absorb that truth in a manner that only mothers could share.  Of course, Klaudia doesn’t simply accept Lynne’s reasoning, not only for the sake of continuity.  There are still other issues I need to wrap up; Klaudia and Marek are a part of Eric’s story, but now that I’ve tackled one twist, the rest are just a matter of time.

Tummy time for Miss Em, two months old and enjoying her freedom.

Time to write is the key, but this abuela will squeeze in prose however it falls.  Miss Em’s baptism was a splendid affair, and her big sister is talking up a storm.  I’m hoping to spend some days with The Burrito in March, then we’ll be away for Easter, and the rest of April is abuzz with guests and trips away.  But I’m feeling very centered regardless of interruptions; reading over old novels affirms my love for spinning a yarn, as well as reminding me how far I have come in that endeavor.  Another idea sits on the horizon, again spurring me to complete The Hawk so I can dive head-first into another realm.  When I began writing, I was grateful my kids were nearly done with high school, time an abundant element.  The nietos won’t be tiny forever, and I relish being a part of their lives.  All these pieces of my existence are getting along, it’s just a matter of embracing how they coalesce for the greater good.

These days are beyond precious, enough time for all blessings.

This is what I need to remember when scenes are balky or I’m weary, or a baby won’t nap; there is a time for all things.  Tucked away in my back pocket are words, also keys to other doors.  If one doesn’t fit, try another.  Eventually the correct path appears, taken one step at a time.

An unexpected finish….

So last year I started a quilt top that was a remake of one done for my youngest daughter’s good friend (more about remakes coming soon….).  It wasn’t meant to be more than a picnic blanket, in that I was going to use an old flannel sheet as batting, a floral cotton sheet purchased from a thrift store for the back.  Sort of an experimental quilt, or maybe just an excuse to employ a stack of squares that I loved too much to give away.

Our laundry line is out of service, so the side fence was put into use. This quilt is 60 X 76″, which might seem a little long, but at over 5’7″ tall, I’m happy with those dimensions.

How often does that happen, not only in quilting, but in writing; I’m hording how many rough drafts, plus a few that desperately require a sequel, in the hopes that one day I’ll complete those tales or rework them into a releasable form.  And I won’t even mention storylines that continue to percolate in my gray matter with no discernible foothold in the writing schedule.  A writing schedule, what’s that?  My goodness, far gone are the days when I had more time than sense, books scribbled within a month or so as though my life would always be so unfettered.

Very slowly I machine sewed the binding, but compared to how long it would have taken to hand sew it, it was still a faster way to go.

Ahem, let’s back to this quilt, (although I can never truly escape the prose); after finishing my grandson’s birthday present, I pulled out this project in need of some hand-quilting.  I had no idea how many stitches remained, it was just something to do in the evenings while the Golden State Warriors entertained.  But one night last week I sewed the last of those hand-quilted rows, and suddenly all that remained was to bind it up!  I’d planned to use the backing for that job, but changed my mind, sewing up a colorful binding, then machine attaching it on both sides.  Usually I hand-sew the back of the binding, but felt compelled to complete this, what with its end coming without any warning.  I didn’t need to belabor this quilt any longer than necessary….

Paint splatters decorate the back, which means I won’t hesitate to lay this over the ground for a picnic!

And now it’s washed, draped over the back of our sofa, arousing parallels to other aspects of my creative life; I’ve read through part thirteen of The Hawk, and to my shock, it’s much more cohesive than how I remember it from last…  Summer, autumn, jeez, I can’t even accurately recall the last time I wrote!  Okay, well anyways, it’s in fairly good shape for how disjointed I felt when writing it which means….  Writing some more is basically just around the corner.

In making a binding instead of using the back, I chose to dress up this quilt more than originally planned. Yet I like it this way, it feels more finished.

Um, whoops, there it is???  Sure, who needs a schedule anyways, lol.  Grandkids are constantly mastering new tricks, maybe abuelas can too.  If nothing else, I have a quilt in the can, plot twists aching for resolution, and as free of an agenda as anytime in the last three and a half years, meaning no babies are imminently due, ha ha ha.  Writing won’t be as it used to (if it ever returns to my previous output), but over the last few years I’ve certainly managed to produce a fair amount of prose, alongside quilts.  Learning grandmotherly skills has also meant shuffling my previous hobbies from their former glories, but maybe now some happy co-existence will result.  This quilt is proof of that, a new top amid recycled batting and backing, with a fresh binding holding everything in place.  What’s old is new again, and what lingers isn’t always forgotten.  More about another remodeling job next week….

A few thoughts upon returning home….

My eldest and her hubby kayaking on the lake….

Our annual Midwestern holiday has come and gone, and while I have a couple of posts in mind, first I need to work up to that sort of mental exercise.  Thankfully there’s no writing to consider, only some revisions and sewing to poke at.  That gives my brain the necessary space to come to terms with being back in my usual environment.  Believe me, I require plenty of time to get back into gear.

I sure love a sunset.

But I do wish to share how precious is the blessing of visiting with family far away, how good is it to be out of the typical routine, and how happy I am to be home, lol.  A successful vacation incorporates all those notions, the last still wafting through my mind.  My husband will get back to work tomorrow, while I tackle laundry, ahem, the final benchmarks that our sojourn is merely a memory.  Many memories, all of them amazing.  My kids grew up with the Midwest as a frequent destination, and now the grandkids are learning the same.

From our last evening; such a treasure.

For twenty-five years I’ve been traveling to see my husband’s sister and her family, enjoying their grand company and all the lake has to offer.  As I often note, time is a funny part of life, in how quickly it passes.  Those two and a half decades feel like minutes, am I truly that much older?  Nietos testify that yes I am, but the lake seems ageless, sunsets glorious in their hues and reliability.  What memories will Little Miss and The Burrito make on these shores, not to mention Lil’ Sis, due in December.  Time will tell, although I might not be around to ascertain those recollections.  Maybe one day they’ll write about their adventures, keeping alive those stories for their grandkids.  For now, I’m reveling in the restorative power of a holiday, and how it winds all through my life.  The sweetness grows, and there’s always room for more.

Pondering the slippage of time….

Little Miss shows me the finer points of digging in the dirt.

It’s been a busy time, but then perhaps that’s just how my life currently is; between grandkids, words, fabrics, etc, blogging has fallen to the wayside.  I’ve considered writing a post, then my attention is focused elsewhere.  Not that I’m complaining, merely noting that August is around the corner, 2017 halfway over.

There’s much on my mind, and truthfully nothing takes precedence over another topic.  When writing, I’m fully immersed in The Hawk.  While sewing I’m pondering the next project.  When entertaining grandchildren, I’m reminded at how fleeting are these days; The Burrito and Little Miss are quite a pair of two-year-olds, but weren’t they just babies?  Yes and no, which is basically how life actually is.  We think a particular moment will last forever, but suddenly another presents itself, and what felt so permanent is merely a memory.  I wonder if in ages past, did people feel time slip so quickly, or did the lack of manners of documentation free those folks to revel right where they were, permitting them to fully grasp all that was within their scope.  Granted, much of that was hard work, physical labor that many nowadays partake of as a hobby, which is a huge luxury.  Still, I’m curious, able to free up my time with appliances I probably take for granted that my great-grandmothers and their grandmothers would have killed for.

In the old days, who had time to blog?  Sewing wasn’t for personal pleasure, but to make sure no one went indecent or froze to death.  Looking after wee ones was part of raising a family, as families weren’t spread out as they are now.  And writing fiction?  Only for dreamers or those with wealth, or a patron or two.  But time does pass with speed, blurring the lines of what was and what is and 1950 is now nearly seventy years ago, what?  Recently my husband acquired some CDs of Hank Snow and the Louvin Brothers, those recordings all from the fifties.  Yes, the tunes do sound dated, but when my hubby and I were little, that decade had merely just come and gone.  But we’re not young anymore, ahem, and neither are those songs, the men who sung them all now dead.  Would they have blogged about their careers, could they have imagined social media even?

When I have a minute, like I do now, these queries cause me to, well, take a moment to write up an entry.  A little introspection is a good thing, putting into perspective all the blessings of my life and how that life is shaped by what happens today, memories accumulating at a rate that at times makes me tremble.  The brevity of my corporeal existence, even if I live to be one hundred, is staggering, and no amount of novels written, quilts pieced, or even grandkids loved will lengthen my days.  Well, being happy will probably tack on precious months or years, however what occurs during those days is what lasts in kindnesses shown, other lives benefiting.  Perhaps these musings are the results of my own aging process, but I’m thankful for the awareness of how precious is my life and what I’m able to accomplish within it.  This day is a gift; make yours just as beautiful and significant in your own way.