Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happiness is...

The new area rug purchased to replace the one we've walked on for 15 years.
Finding un-broken clay pigeons in the woods below the house.
The very first picture snapped in 2013... Blueberry smoothie drops perfectly fallen next to a tree needle.
Walking in the woods.
Memories of warm days filled with fun.
Four-wheeler rides with Daddy.
A fresh-dug potato that made me crave Goldfish crackers.
What brings you happiness today?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Grace Like Rain

It has been raining non-stop here for going on three days now. The beginning of January was much drier than normal, and the skies are trying to make up for it. The pastures, ditches, streams, are swollen with the extra water, running over roads and changing the appearance of our drive to school and back.
Memories fill my head on those drives, of living in Northern Washington in a valley that had big floods every Spring. Once the rains let up and we knew the roads were safe, my Dad would pile the older kids into the car and we would go driving, just to see what all that extra water looked like. Our sump pump would be working overtime in the basement while we drove and drove, making up names for the new lakes and streams. There was always a feeling of excitement amongst us kids, because it was all strange and unbelievable how a little water could so drastically change things.
Now that I'm older and a property owner, I am thankful that we live on a hill, rather than in a valley. I have sympathy for those who are dealing with sump pumps and overflowing ditches, and livestock that can't graze because their pastures are flooded. There's still an element of excitement though, as I see the changed landscape.
Its all minor this time, no houses threatened that I've heard of, just extra water everywhere. Puddles that the little Girl just can't resist splashing in, and squishy, saturated ground to walk across as I do my evening chores.
Oh, and that roof of ours, with its soft spot and slow leak. There is that too. I'm trying to not think about the quote we got yesterday for tearing off the shingles, fixing the rotten sheeting, and re-covering our house (with metal this time)... hopefully the next quote won't be quite as daunting. Lets just say the first quote was for more than my little needlework business made in the entirety of 2012.
Instead, I'm purposing to keep the song that keeps going through my head fixed. Right there. In my head.

"Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, washed away"

Monday, January 28, 2013

Siesta

Good Monday to you, my dears...

Me and my adrenals are doing well, thank you. Not completely healed and restored to normal, but good enough that I am feeling like myself more often than not.
This has certainly been an educational experience, one that I will most likely elaborate upon more as I feel my head returning to word-formulating normalcy.
I'm doing better enough that I only take one nap each day now, as opposed to the complete opposite. Yes, indeed, the nap-hater was spending most of each day on the couch or in bed, with only one or two brief times of up-and-at-em.
Still don't much like naps, but seem to need them, so in the best interest of getting myself well, I am forcing myself to lay down when the Girlie is taking her afternoon siesta.

It does help that the great outdoors are also taking a long siesta. Somehow its easier to rest, knowing that its the season that our forest spends building up energy for re-birth.
Don't be envious of me and the trees, please. Rather, redirect those emotions into time spent enjoying the energy and joy that you're provided each day.
I know that I surely won't take energy and joy for granted ever again... or at least not for a very long time.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Eye Candy

Just a little teaser-peek at the amazing colors going into the newest design that I'm working on...
I'm aiming for a March release, but have a long way to go, so wish my fingers great speed!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Speaking of Coffee... and Mugs...

I added another design to my listing for mug graphics... the much-loved Never Let You Go.

As before, with the Baby, Its Cold Outside mugs, you can either purchase the graphic through my etsy shop for $5 and take it to your own place to have made into mugs, or you can order completed mugs by contacting me via email (beth@heartstringsamplery.com).
If you choose to order a finished mug directly through me, I will work up an invoice for you based on where you live, for accurate sales tax and shipping charges. Cost per mug will be $13 plus state tax, and shipping (within the US) is $4.95 for the first mug, $1.50 for each additional mug... don't worry, I'll do all the calculations for you and send an invoice to reflect the total... just wanted to give you the ability to guess a ballpark figure.
These would be perfect for Valentine gifts, or "just-because" gifts, or for YOURSELF, to enjoy while you stitch.
Ready... Set... Shop!

A Month Without Coffee

Please celebrate with me this morning... I'm drinking coffee!
(and cross your fingers that it won't give me tachycardia).
You may or may not know just how closely knit Coffee and I have become over the years. My best morning companion, comfort for my tastebuds and fingers, as they wrap around a toasty warm mug. I drink her BLACK as night at the beginning of each day.
But back on Christmas Eve when my illness took a turn for the worse and heart rates were through the roof, it became clear that we needed a separation. No caffeine. Period. It was much easier to give up sugar and bread than my Beloved Coffee.
But the last few days have shown such improvement in how I feel that I am taking a risk. A small one, mind you... its decaf there in my cup. Perhaps I'll stick with decaf for the rest of my life, who knows. I'm still just taking one day at a time.

And this day is starting out just right.

PS. those puddles of water on the side table of our grill are frozen solid. The roads are an ice rink this morning. So glad to make it to school and back in one piece. Now for story time with the Girlie before I have to rest up for the next undertaking.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Playing

I'm continuing to feel better, my Dears. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Just a quick post to share some recent play-time scenarios that were just too good to keep to myself...
You know we all still have that level of creativity inside of us. Lets make it a goal of Twenty-Thirteen to let go of some our stuffy adult ways and free that kid we have trapped in our Responsible box.

Friday, January 18, 2013

*NEW* I Love You Truly (Truly Dear)

We all know the part in Its a Wonderful Life, when George had spent all of the honeymoon funds to save the Building and Loan, only to remember late that it was his wedding day and where was Mary? Remember that part? Then Ernie takes him to the drafty old Granville house that they once threw rocks at, and there is a tropical suite that Mary had been working hard to set up for them. Then, as they kiss, Bert and Ernie serenade them from outside the window...

I love you truly, truly dear,
Life with its sorrow, life with its tears
Fades into dreams when I feel you are near
For I love you truly, truly dear.

Ah! Love, 'tis something to feel your kind hand
Ah! Yes, 'tis something by your side to stand;
Gone is the sorrow, gone doubt and fear,
For you love me truly, truly dear.


That song, written in 1901 by Carrie Jacobs-Bond, represents love at its most basic level, true and dear, in spite of any hardships of life.

This little pair of mini-samplers were inspired by that song, and my Farmboy.

Stitch Count (for each): 84 x 41
Model stitched on Weeks Dye Works 36ct. Cream linen that was coffee stained before stitching.

Using flosses from The Gentle Art: 0420 Gold Leaf, 7019 Pomegranate, 7080 Endive
And flosses from Weeks Dye Works: 1331 Brick, 2202 Bullfrog

Fabric backing is from 3 Sisters for Moda collection "Double Chocolat”, in the “Chocolat Rosebuds” pattern.

The frames are antique.

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will be going out to my distributors and the shops on my automatic shipments list soon. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email: beth@heartstringsamplery.com

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Progress

The mornings have been so very bright and cold lately. The snow fell, what? a week ago? more? I've lost track. And still it covers the ground, sparkling in the rays of sun and moon.
The sun rising through the trees on such a cold sparkly morning is an inspiration to carry me into the day. I'm still pretty low. Much better, when compared to a week, two weeks, three weeks ago, but struggling with this slow recovery process.
Trying to savor the slow days with my kids (the First Grader has been home all week with viral Tonsillitis), the cozy couch I lay on, the warm crackling fire in the woodstove, the winter birds flitting outside my window. I know that I am so very blessed. I sometimes don't feel the blessedness of my life, but I know it. I claim it.
And when I feel some stamina emerging in the late afternoon, I pick away at the things I want to accomplish. My lists are short, my expectations I keep to a minimum. But you'll be glad to know that despite the slow rate, I have finally finished preparing a little Valentine pattern, which I'll release tomorrow. Go me!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Answers... Sortof

After the last three weeks of dealing with the inadequacies of institutional medicine, I can't begin to tell you what a relief it was to sit down with a Naturopath yesterday. I ran through the same list of symptoms, with the same timeline, and she immediately began to see patterns that made sense to her.
No throwing up of the hands and saying that it must be a virus, but an actual plan to follow. Felt a little like a miracle.
Thank you for all of your Armchair Doctor suggestions and recommendations. I took all of them to thought. No, it isn't Lyme Disease, and Thyroid problems have also been ruled out by both MD and ND. It appears that I have an imbalance in my Adrenal Glands. She didn't come right out and call it Adrenal Fatigue, because we didn't have any test results to look at. She did, however, give me some supplements to begin taking to help bring the heart rate down and improve my sleep quality. She said to give the supplements 3 days to work, and if there are no improvements at that time to double the dose. So there isn't going to be a magic infusion of health, but already, just the hope of recovery has boosted my well-being.

I have a follow-up appointment in two weeks, and if at that time I am still the same, there will be some more extensive testing done.
We have received meals from our church family and friends, multiple offers for help with laundry and housework and childcare, sweet encouraging cards in the mail, and so many prayers. I appreciate so very much the love that has been poured out on my behalf. It is very humbling to be this far out of my normal realm of ability, and to need to rely on others. But it also feels good. I love people and the spirit of caring that we are able to bestow on each other. Don't ever hesitate, when you hear of someone ill or injured, to send the smallest gesture their way. Speaking from my current experience, every little gift feels like a priceless treasure.
I'll be sure to keep you posted as I continue on this journey.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Clock Doesn't Stop

No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to make the world pause along with me. Which means my Baby Girl turned 5 today, despite there being much less than the usual fanfare.
She awoke to her birthday banner and presents before Daddy headed off to work. There may not have been a special cake baked by Mama, but it snowed most of the day, and Big Brother got to stay home from school to enjoy it with her. We even managed to get me peeled off of the couch and out for dinner at her requested Olive Garden. Complete with pink tutu and Hello Kitty shirt (on her, not me).
My sweet and sassy Girl, the one with the imagination as wide as the Milky Way, who can wear all 10 pair of her brand new Princess panties at the same time...
...who made a paper crown for herself, then turned it into a Darth Vader mask to go with her cape and light sabre...
...who wants to name her first son B.A. Baracus, and squealed with delight when one of her gifts was decidedly pink and fluffy and tutu-y...
... who adores her Big Brother and hugs and kisses and riding on tractors with Daddy and shooting Nerf guns and talking on her play phone to her Grandma and eating ice cream and leaving trails of toys all over the house...
That same girl who stole our hearts in a hospital room on the day a rare tornado touched down, she is growing up. I treasure every day I have to share breath with her. I'm not so sure I'm ready for her to be this grown up just yet, but I also look forward to the years ahead, watching to see who she becomes.