Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Heated Discussion ......

With my sewing machine.   Yes, the discussion was with my "not so great", well, cheap sewing machine which I battled with for years, well, about eight years.  That really is not long when I realize how long I had had my first and second machines before getting this one.  However, this machine was purchased after others quit and were old, and my thinking was.....I am working so much and must prioritize my off time, so I really don't need to spend too much on a machine.  Well, that "too busy" thinking got me into trouble, and for eight years.

Each time I wanted to sew, I had to work on the machine, it's bobbin issues, and it's timing issues.  I had to limit myself to what I sewed because it just was not up to the task.  No more coats, but also quilts with bats were hard for it also. Even making some thin quilted seat cushions for my vintage wicker lawn chairs which I use for "glamping"  was a major problem.  I fussed much, but got it done....after all, "glamping" is this retired person's priority now also.

However, after retiring, another priority was to sew again.  I wanted to make some quilted bags, some table runners, and of course, some quilts.  I wanted to learn more and do more.  I wanted to not have to spend half of the time I had allotted to sewing in a fight with my machine to make it work.

Friends showed me their machines and shared knowledge of other machines in case I was going to purchase a new one.  Well, why would I do that I told myself.  I have a machine and need to save my funds for some trips I wanted to go on this year and maybe in the next few years.  After all, you can't do everything financially, but must prioritize that area of your life also.  You can see that I have issues with OCD, right.

Anyway, this Monday was the last draw for my machine.  I had a really neat apron cut out and ready to sew.  I had plans for some new potholders which I was going to do simple quilting on, and I also have a crazy quilt that I have worked on, only to finish a small amount due to my machine giving me so much grief when I last worked on it.  My day or days were planned.  I thought that I had things cleared up for a while at least with my machine.  But I was wrong.  Okay, I can be wrong some times....really lots of times.   Thinking about the machine I chose some eight years ago.

So I had my day ready, my plans set, and my machine out and supplies all around.  I was excited.  I sewed some on the apron, only to start getting frustrated with machine troubles.  Finally after working on this simple one hour project for about two hours, and I must say, not acting like the "fine Christian woman that I am", and saying that I was glad my husband was in the study with ear buds in, studying something on YouTube,  well, with all that said....I had had it with my machine.  

A strange thing came over my mind I could say, or I lost it, but really none of that happened.  I felt quite sane and quite free to unplug my machine, take the nice spoon of thread from its location on the machine, pick up my machine, walk out the front door, and head to the pond.   Yes, the pond, and smiling and then laughing out loud about the whole thing.  You may think that any sane person would have stopped after a good laugh  Not me and I am sane, maybe more sane now.  I took that machine to the edge of my pond and gave it a great and strong yoga arm toss into the pond.  I was thinking that it would smash through the thin ice and sink to the bottom, never to have to be looked at again.    Another choice I was wrong about.  The ice was thicker then I thought and that machine took a great thud, and pieces broke off, and then it skid.  Yes, it skid like a great bowling ball, accept it was my awful sewing machine.  There it sat, in the middle of the pond, on top of the ice.  

I still had some great laughs and laughed and laughed and laughed which felt refreshing.  When telling my son this story, he said, "Oh Mom, I have not heard you laugh like that for a long time, so it is all good".  Anyway, I marched into the house, relieved and ready for the rest of the day....not sewing, of course.  

My husband asked me what I was up to.  I was laughing and laughing.  Then I told him what he had missed.  He just looked at me and said, "Well, this is a strange behavior for someone who plans and organizes and prioritizes things.  Did you do all that before throwing your machine in the pond?"  The answer is no.  I just got rid of a problem of eight years that was never getting better and that I needed to get rid of to be free of the anger and poor attitude and actions due to it's malfunctioning.  

But there the machine sat on the pond and my husband was concerned that people would think strange things about us.  He let it there for a day or so and then when it did not warm up enough for it to sink through the ice, he took his heavy fishing pool and fished for it and hooked it, dragging it to the shore and putting it in the trash.  He did tell me that he thought he would put it back on my sewing table with a sign...."I'm back", but he did not do that.  It also would have been funny.  However, I already have a great quilting machine already sitting on my sewing table.  I just have to learn how to use it.  But I am believing great things and know it will work for me for many years.    

And, no the old machine is not back as the garbage man came today.  I still laugh when I think or talk about readers, thank you for allowing me to laugh yet one more time.   Now I must get off and go read and learn how to thread my machine and also the bobbin.  I am excited about it.  And my granddaughter, who wants to learn to quilt. .......well, she can come and do so with me now that I have a machine that will do the job.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New and Old.....locally, of course...

Vintage is part of my life.  I like vintage clothing, vintage home style and vintage magazines.  I enjoy books set in vintage times.  I am a big fan of Downton Abbey and enjoy the decor and manners and the dress.  I also enjoy the countryside.  I enjoy the upstairs and downstairs people of this program.  Real life in north east Missouri holds it vintage but also its new.  Both can be good.

So many people in my county are about the old ways, the good old days, and if good enough for my dad, then good enough for you, and of course, what I call the "good old boy" symdrome.  I must admit as much as I enjoy vintage, this symdrome often holds our county and people behind.  In turn, to be fair, I see some change (some of it good of course).

Most of the change I see is in the women and even the men of those women who are starting to speak up and be involved in things.  I am proud of some of the women who are organizing things like a class of Master Gardener, and those who have decided to run for offices and speak up at school meetings, etc.  I also am proud of the fact that women in my county are seemingly becoming more accepting of outsiders, people who are coming to this county with their families for the farm land and rural life.  The land is not cheap, and it is a hard county to break into as an outsider.  Heavens, they considered me an outsider and I was from Wisconsin.  Now we have neighbors who purchased the farm next to us, and they came from South Africa.  How interesting to meet and get to know these new neighbors....taking pies and exchanging stories and interests and cookies and coffee.  Of course, as an in country out of county outsider I can understand a little what they face.  I am also proud of a few of the farmers, including the man who does our crop fields for us, who have gotten to know these people and find common interests in agriculture, learning from each other.

As I am now considering taking this master gardener class with some of the local women, I am hoping to see and be part of the changing times in my little part of the world.
All the time I cannot help but think how much we have to learn from one another.  From the old, vintage stuff and the new things, even technology.  Yes, I do enjoy my computer and other outreach items.  After all, I am in rural area and need some outlet to the rest of our wonderful world.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Common Interests

As a country woman, I do keep busy, even in the winter when outside chores are not calling me so much.  In all the things I have to do and things I enjoy doing, which also may be things I have to do, well, it is a gift to find others that have common interests.

Many communities have book discussion groups at their local libraries.  They are free, entertaining and a great way to meet new people (with the like interest of reading).  I can tell you from belonging to one for over three years, that when I read for my group, I read more carefully as I know that I have to discuss it with other, every avid readers who have also read and taken notes.  One lady in the group may like the book and  everyone else may just detest it, but we still discuss "why".  Try out a group if you have one, usually no cost, and you don't have to commit to coming again.  

My community is blessed with a ladies' group that meets once a month, eating, talking, planning to do things for the community.  They even have club night auctions to raise money for projects.  They plant flowers in the community barrels around the little local town.  They also work on project prom and give a yearly scholarship to a local high school graduate who qualifies.  This past year they branched out and finally included the many homeschool graduates in the area.  The young man selected by the group is well known to me, he is my grandson.  He had 26 college credits already done when he graduated from high school.  Way to go.  I, however, have not belonged to the group for about a year now, so had no input into giving him the scholarship (disclaimer).

Communities may get together for classes as my community is doing this late winter with a Master Gardener Class through our local county extension office.  It is a way to get together with people of like interest and learn together and from each other.  

There are knitting groups and other study groups, quilting groups.  So many things to do.  I even recently heard of a baking group.  Now our community is small, so for those of you in larger population.....check it out, read information online or in the local paper or at the library bulletin board.  It will surprise you how much "common interest" things are out there for you to do.  Well, excuse me,  as I am checking out going to a writer's group in town, but not today as it is -2.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Kindness in our Words

Over the holidays I noted that many people get so rude about their likes and dislikes about things.  It was almost as bad on my facebook page as during elections.  I am not sure what brings this out in people other then wanting it to be their way.  It just is not attractive.  So when I got to looking at it, and discussing some issues with my son, well, he pointed out that it may be how the person receives things due to what they are going through at the time, how they are feeling about life.  Well, this was an eye opener to this retired counselor.  I knew this, of course, but he gave me an example of a comment I had made about one of "his" posts, and at the time he was really irritated at me for it.  So he took this opportunity to discuss it with me.  He said he looked at the post and my response and realized later that I was expressing my opinion and not putting his opinion down.  

This does give us all pause to think about our words for sure.  I don't want to bring people down, even if I am discussing something they don't agree with.  I am sure I can do it in a nice way and show kindness with my words.  Words do hurt.

To instill this topic even more, I really registered with a new advertisement board on the highway going to town yesterday.  It is in black and white, which I like and always catches my eye.  But it was a drawing of a woman with words written all over her, and the sign read......Words Do Hurt.   I was being told something from each way I turned, from my own thoughts, to my conversation with my son, and now this sign.  

So,  as words can hurt, I know I must rethink what and when I say something, especially something that others feel strongly about.  Timing is important.  Also the words and attitude when saying them.  Written words can also reflect your attitude, words like "hate".  I have currently been upset with a woman I know just being hateful as she used the word hate over and over about Christmas decor other people used.  This made me realize again that none of us are perfect, and when we begin to think we are, we start looking down on others and become critical if they are not like us.  Maybe people who use certain Christmas decor have not arrived in this woman's thoughts, but just maybe they have and she needs to catch up.