Everyday Joy

It is often the little things that add so much depth, pleasure and beauty to life. One decadent piece of chocolate. The perfect cup of coffee. Sweater weather. A letter instead of a bill in the mail. A hug, a smile, a kind word. There are a multitude of possibilities available. Sometimes these little pearls of joy fall in our lap; but sometimes, we have to make them happen.

Lure Of The Apple Fritter

This morning I decided to make a grocery store run before the rain from tropical storm Beta started to move onshore. The dogs needed food and an apple fritter was sounding pretty tasty. I got a cart and started on my usual path to the produce department. Instead of going around the florals like I normally do, I was drawn in by the colors and textures of fall.

Mums are usually my go to fall flower, but weird artificially colored blooms are not my style. I found one bouquet of stunning gold and russet alstomeria. Alstomeria reminds me of lilies and last a very long time. Lots of floral bang for the buck. A vivid orange Carthamus and rust Achillea complete my bouquet.

Lest anyone think I throw Latin plant names in casual conversation like a wildlife botanist…take heart. I do not. But what I can do is internet research. I came home and discovered that, in addition to the alstomeria, I had purchased varieties of yarrow (Achillea) and safflower (Carthamus).

Simplicity in shades of autumn.

I spent $17 on flowers. There was a time when I would never dream of spending money on something destined for death. It was a luxury that didn’t make sense. I know I am blessed to now be able to afford a little luxury such as fresh flowers. The problem is, despite a floral department in every grocery store, I rarely think about buying flowers. I still carry the old mindset. My frame of mind keeps me bringing beauty and joy into my home.

Simplicity and beauty.

My $17 yielded the lovely arrangement in the living room, as well as a modern grouping of single stalks of yarrow. They draw my eye to the fireplace as soon as I walk into the house. They make me smile. I also have an arrangement in the kitchen window and on the kitchen table. Four distinctly different yet equally charming bouquets.

Alstomeria and Enchilada Man (so named by our granddaughter)
A cluster of safflowers on the kitchen table.

All together I have four small vases filled with beauty; best $4.25 I have spent in a long time.

So what is the take away message for today? When you are working on making your best life, start with the little things. Your thing may not be flowers. That’s ok. Figure out the simple things you love, or once loved, and find a way to bring them back into your everyday. It isn’t just the big changes that shape the course of life, it is the simple, little everyday things that add up to a life well-lived.

Follow along on Instagram (@sherylmakesalife) to find out what happens with the flowers as well as more of my daily adventures. Tag me with your daily pleasures. I would love to know makes you smile.

~Sheryl

My Glorious Swamp

Weather. It is one of those subjects that affects everyone. It impacts our choice of dress, mode of transportation and daily activities. Children by and large ignore it; old folks become obsessed with it; the rest of us a acknowledge its role in our lives then just keep moving.

I have begun to refer to my corner of the world as ‘the swamp’ which may not really be fair, but in the middle of a six month summer season, while enduring another day of sweltering heat and humidity, it is appropriate.

I hate to sweat. I use that line frequently as a jovial jab at the fact that, in the middle of summer, I can step out of my shower and break into sweat while getting dressed. This is a very unpleasant sensation. Some days even the dry air conditioned air is not enough to be comfortable unless one sits, moving only enough to relieve the pressure on one butt cheek or the other.

In all fairness I have lived in worse conditions. Houston’s heat and humidity look like paradise compared to the climate in the corner of the state that triangulates with Mexico and the balmy waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I shouldn’t complain. But I’m getting old and firmly believe I have paid my dues and earned the right.

So why does the ‘get off my lawn’ crowd seem more obsessed with weather than the youngsters? Having crossed over to other side I believe I now understand.

First, our bodies don’t adapt as quickly as they used to. We feel the extremes and they affect everything from mobility to our overall sense of well-being. But for me it is more than that. I still adapt. Once June ends and July begins I no longer feel as though I can’t breathe when stepping outside into air so thick you could slice it with a butter knife. I accept and adapt. But I don’t have to like it. What I am realizing is that life really is short—a sobering reality that escalates with each passing birthday—why do I want to spend time living in the swamp when there are so many other places I could be?

Then, I wake up to mornings like today. There is a tropical storm churning in the Gulf. Beta is forecasted to inundate the swamp of coastal Texas and Louisiana with flooding rain. But before that happens, God gave us a gift. A glorious morning, cool crisp air, the perfect breeze, and a palette of blues and greens so perfectly vivid that I just sit here soaking it all in knowing that no photograph could do justice to this splendor.

This is fall color in southeast Texas.

I wonder as I sip my coffee, listening to the leaves rustle and the birds discuss the best place to hide from the coming rain, if I didn’t endure the swamp…would I really appreciate the glory? Can we ever truly appreciate blessings without the pain? I don’t think so. So I thank you God for this gift. And while I’m at it, can’t we please find a happy medium between swamp and paradise where the mister and I could live out our days?

Have a blessed and beautiful Sunday. I’m off to buy some dog food before the rain begins.

~Sheryl

K.I.S.S. Day 5

Modern life is complicated. We have too many options, too much information and still only twenty four hours in a day. Choices must be made; priorities set.

In my effort to simplify my life I have removed the extraneous, evaluated the remainder, and still find room for further paring down of clutter—physical and mental. I am choosing activities that require active participation rather than passive entertainment (I do still indulge in an hour of General Hospital everyday and will schedule in my favorite sitcoms once they return). But even with the passive entertainment I am being cautious with what I pour into my brain. Will this content inspire and enliven me or cause stress over things for which I have no control? This is just one of the questions I ask myself these days. Therefore, as the simplified version of my life moves forward the following items will play a prominent role in my daily life.

Books

I loved reading as a child and have only been a sporadic reader in adulthood. There is a discipline to reading. An investment of precious time where there is almost certainly a guarantee that in the end emotions and point of view will be altered. As much as I love movies, they do not do to me what a really good book does; my soul is not touched in the same way and the characters don’t live with me in quite the same way. For a while I rejected reading on a Kindle as I prefer old school books. I still prefer them; however, I have discovered that I can read and stay awake when I use the Kindle. Being awake certainly helps the process of finishing books.

As I moved my focus from passive screen time to reading (the Kindle screen doesn’t have the same affect as a phone or computer—different lights or something) I feel a part of me has come back to life. I have read two books in the past week. Parts one and two of the ‘Me Before You’ trilogy by British author Jojo Moyes. Prior to last week I had never heard of her and now I am anxiously waiting for book three to become available through the digital library system. I believe I know how the story ends, but it is the journey that is so fun. Isn’t this whole point of life? We all know where the story ends, but it is the story of our journey that defines the life we led.

Making

During the past three years I have wasted a ridiculous amount of time on Instagram, Pinterest and general web browsing. All of it, I told myself, was business research and development. I spent money on websites, URLs, products, and for what? Only to get disillusioned and quit. Along the way I finally determined that I love the excitement of business development but I detest the actual work of running an online business. All my creative energy went to the business ideas but not actually making things that give me pleasure.

Social Commentary

For fourteen years I was in the yarn business. I believed that everything I did must connect to yarn for me to be authentic. Being a yarn shop owner was what I did every day and that became my identity. If I’m not a part of that world anymore, who am I? So I held on, reinventing myself into yet one more version in the hopes that this one felt right. It didn’t.

That is over. I am letting myself try different things, am discovering a joy in hand stitching and dyeing small amounts of fabric then creating art that is beautiful to the eye and tells a story. If I want to explore other mediums, I free to do so because my identity is no longer connected to what I make. What I make is simply an outward reflection of where I am in that moment.

Music

I am one of those people for whom music is a soul moving experience. I seem to be using words like ‘soul moving’ a great deal today. I love most all kinds of music, but without a doubt my favorite is classical. I can close my eyes and get lost in the beauty, the movement, the imagery. I have felt this connection for as long as I remember; it is simply one of those things that got lost in the businessof life. I now make time and space for beautiful music in my day.

Art

I have become zealous about who I follow on Instagram. I am removing accounts that don’t inspire me. I am primarily following creative people whose hand work and life shown on the grid, brightens my day or inspires me to look at the world through new eyes. I am no longer following accounts that merely want to sell me something, preach politics, lecture me about anything, or with whom I just no longer resonate. If I have unfollowed anyone reading this, I am sorry. Nothing personal; I am just exercising some self care in what I ingest.

I follow many artists whose work I love, and whose creative practice teaches me a new way of working out my own art life. I have no formal art training and I am learning there is a process. My habit of expecting immediate perfection is completely incongruous with the artistic life. I am learning to play. To try. To step out of the safe and into the unknown. It is exhilarating.

I not only follow artists, I buy from them whenever possible. It is the one thing I can do that is mutually beneficial. I have limited funds. These are not big purchases. But they bring so much joy to my little world and I know that by buying from them more art will come. It is the happiest part of my world right now.

My most recent acquisition. “Moon River” by Elizabeth Bunsen

Simple Living

I don’t require much to be happy. I’ve always teased my husband that he won the lottery with such a low maintenance wife. But for those few things I do need, I need them daily. I have learned that my mental and physical health depend upon a steady diet of all the above things blended with a regular dose of family, friends, my dogs, good coffee, food and bourbon…and an occasional road trip to keep the juices flowing.

Next week I get back on track with posts about the things I am making as well as any house updates. It is my hope and prayer that something I have said this week moves you to examine the role of technology in your life and how even small changes can reap big rewards for you and those you love.

Have a great weekend and make some memories.

~Sheryl

K.I.S.S. Day Four

I woke up this morning to just over one hundred emails in my inboxes. This is only half the number I had been receiving. Unsubscribing from all those distribution lists is working. And it is freeing. I tend to avoid that which overwhelms me. Ironic since ignoring only escalates the problem leading to a greater sense of panic and lack of control. I don’t think about the changes I am making and wonder if I can keep this up long term; to do that adds to the “you never keep up with any kind of discipline.” Nonproductive self talk is so…nonproductive. Instead I just deal with one morning at a time and slowly move forward.

Extracting The Value

As I evaluated each company whose email I was considering stopping, I had to decide what value this company or site added to my life. The answer was none. In every single case, the answer was none. They are electronic junk mail. Not a single item made the quality of my life better, or enlightened me in some way.

The second step of this electronic simplification plan is to extract the value – even if it is mere entertainment – and discard the remainder. Since there was nothing of value in the email accounts I removed, I will now move to apps and the visual clutter of my phone.

I love puzzle games. I tell myself I am keeping my brain sharp by playing word games and putting together puzzles. I had a folder three pages long filled with games. Most bore me after a short period of time. I now have only two games, a Scrabble type game I play against anonymous people and a wooden block style puzzle. When I get bored I will delete one and find another. Gone are the days of filling mindless hours with buzzing and beeping games triggering a rush of pleasure hormones rewarding a spectacular move or a brilliant win.

Opening Screen

I have pared down the front screen of my phone to the absolute essentials. I made my lock screen and wallpaper a dandelion to remind me that I am in this world to sow seeds of love and kindness; I can’t do that if I am absorbed with this electronic device. From here I can easily listen to music, read a book, check the weather, messages, or possibly Instagram. The lack of clutter on this screen reduces my desire to pick up the phone and scroll to the second page to find something to ‘do.’

Here is where some editing has happened and will happen again. Most of the apps on this page are never used, so why? What is the purpose of having them available.

I call it the ‘what if factor.’ What if I need to check traffic, shop, or edit a photo? What are the chances of any of those things happening on a daily basis. Slim and none and Slim left town. Evaluating, extracting and eliminating apps on this screen is my assignment today. Tomorrow I will show you where I ended up.

Having gained some mastery over the electronics in my life I will have the time, mental clarity and energy for doing things in the real world. I want to be creative, laugh, go outside (waiting for fall weather!) and live untethered to a device that promises so much yet delivers relatively little quality to my life.

For each area of life that is simplified, there is suddenly room for new and wonderful experiences. I hope that if any of this is an issue for you I have inspired critical analysis and action.

Until tomorrow~

Sheryl

K.I.S.S. Day Three

Following my my enlightenment (Social Dilemma – see yesterday’s post) I have been very mindful of my screen time, what I click on and even hesitate over while scrolling. What I am noticing is a bit disconcerting.

Just like with any other addiction I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms. And, while unlike the purging of nicotine from my body, I won’t ever be one hundred percent screen free; however, I must be in control of what, when and how that screen time enters my brain.

One of the things I have noticed is that I am sleepy during the day. It isn’t physical tiredness; it is my brain. My hypothesis is that without the stimulus of games or the ever-flowing stream of images from Pinterest or Instagram my brain doesn’t quite know what to do with itself. Never have I been the kind of person who gets bored. Even as a teen I always found a way to entertain myself. Now, without the stimulus of the screen I find myself sitting and wondering what to do next. All the activities that used to satisfy me suddenly hold little to no interest. I feel confident that the desire will return, it is just that my brain has to figure out how to function without this artificial stimulus again. My three step plan is in effect: Evaluate, Extract, Eliminate.

You’ve Got Mail

Who can resist that intoxicating little message? Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks connecting via a chat room in the early days of the internet. Anticipation. Delight. Disappointment. A full range of emotions follow them as they check their inbox for a message. Movies and television are full of examples: Ralphie waiting for his decoder ring in A Christmas Story; Charlie Brown opening the mailbox hoping for a Valentine or Christmas card. Most of us love the anticipation of receiving something in the mail. It means that someone took the time to think of us. We have value. This little fact of human nature was not lost on Mr. Bezos when he created Amazon. But how can we maintain excitement over mail when all we ever find is junk mail and bills? I find that is what my email has become. So, why be disappointed and overwhelmed by things that hold no value or meaning to me?

I am overwhelmed and feel out of control by the sheer volume of accounts, emails, and personas I have created. I cannot blame big tech for this problem. This is all Sheryl. Step one is to evaluate what I have, what I really need and what I can eliminate and not regret.

I have five email addresses. A personal account and four “business” accounts. I am not actively in any one of those businesses. I don’t know if I ever will need them again, so I don’t want to give them up quite yet. As of last night I had a combined 2,947 emails unopened between all the accounts. It has gotten easier to just ignore them than try to stay ahead of them. I deleted them all. It took a while, but they are gone. This morning my initial screen time was spent unsubscribing from lists and deleting the messages that arrived overnight. This will become my morning routine until I am only receiving what I really want to receive and read. Once that is done I will evaluate the addresses themselves and keep visible only that which I use regularly and feel I can control.

Not Alone

I must say writing all this down, knowing it will be read by people who know me makes me feel like a weak link in the chain of humanity. The illusion is that I am alone in this problem, that somehow I am lesser of a person because I struggle with addiction and emotional issues. That’s the thing. It is so easy to become isolated and believe that we are alone. I am not alone. You are not alone. We have been seduced and drawn into a very intricate web. Be aware and take charge. You’ve got this! See you tomorrow for Keep It Simple Stupid day four.

~Sheryl

K.I.S.S. Day Two

The internet is an insidious and seductive mistress. It lures you in with promises of knowledge, fun, connection, and entertainment. All the while it is slowly and deceptively spinning a web of control. Then suddenly, one day, we wake up to realize that we are mere shells of our former selves addicted to the little rush that comes when a notification hits our screen.

The only two industries that refer to their customers as ‘users’ are the illegal drug trade and software companies. Let that sink in.

Social Dilemma

Upon the recommendation of a friend I recently watched a docu-drama on Netflix called Social Dilemma. This was powerful life altering information. Much of it I kind of knew but had chosen to ignore. After all, I am in control of myself and my internet/social media usage, right? Maybe not as in control as I once thought.

I generally don’t care for docu-drama type shows. But the acted out parts of this really helped give a visual picture to the concepts being presented. It allowed me to see myself in most all of the situations and I began to realize how information is given, manipulated for monetary gain, and how we are the commodity.

The people being interviewed all worked for one of the big tech companies, many in the infancy of social media. What they have to say is informative, frightening, and yet empowering to us, the products being bought and sold.

Solution To The Dilemma

Of course, my first instinct is throw out everything and live off grid where no one can spy on me. A typical knee jerk reaction and not at all logical. So, I set about doing the next best thing. Evaluate, Extract, and Eliminate. I had to have a plan for using my online resources while doing what I can to not succumb to its power over my brain.

I know many who read this are going to think, I don’t have a problem. I know what they are doing and I don’t care. Or, this is all a big conspiracy theory and this woman is nuts. You are certainly entitled. I do ask that you watch the program and then judge for yourself. I thought I was an educated user of the internet and the myriad of apps that clutter my phone and iPad. I now know better. There is more I can, and am doing.

Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are all pimps and we are the whores. Let that settle in for today. Tomorrow I will share how I am dealing with this in my life and why it is going to have a huge impact of my mental health, creative, social and family life.

Until then…go watch Social Dilemma and meet me back here tomorrow.

~Sheryl

K.I.S.S. – Day One

I love reading about the latest lifestyle trends, taking the quizzes, looking at pictures, imagining living in any one of a number of homes found as I scroll Pinterest. I don’t necessarily put in the work to implement the changes necessary to have the life, but I sure do love reading how other people do it while wondering how they manage to live such (fill in the blank) lives, while mine remains relatively the same year in and year out.

Hygge and Minimalism are two of the most recent trends that I have thought I would like to adopt into my life. My husband and I both tend to hold on to sentimental belongings. I can get rid of things more easily than he, but still I find it hard. Minimalism is a very unachievable goal for me. But, I can simplify. I can and I must find a way to simplify my home so that I can enjoy what I have and feel the peace that comes from a well ordered environment.

It is the “do the same things expecting different results” syndrome. To have change, one must do things differently. What an astonishing revelation this is! With this in mind, and as I strive to make a life not merely react to what life gives me, I must start doing some things differently. But where to start?

Stop Thinking & Just Begin

It has taken me three weeks to get my dining room turned studio space in order. I have boxed yarn and spinning fiber. I have moved boxes from the house to the garage. I have cleaned out a closet so that I can put things away in an orderly fashion. Next will be clearing out the bedroom where the overflow ended up and moving what I can into the garage and the rest sorted by potential projects and stored so that I can remember what I have and the designated project I have in mind. I must admit I feel like I am beginning to get a hold on the process and a small sense of control is returning to my life.

I have a great deal of money invested in the yarn and fiber I own. I don’t want to just give it away and most every knitter, crocheter, spinner or weaver I know has this same issue. The plan is to evaluate my stash every six months. Things that I have not touched, nor have a plan for, will be donated to a local Houston business that supports artists and teachers by selling donated items really inexpensively. Texas Art Assylum is a great place to go to buy all kinds of stuff for collage and other assemblage art. I feel good about my stuff going to a place that I know it will have a second life.

Maker In Action

When I first decided to focus this blog on making a life, I was really only thinking of the things I make. I make yarn. I make fabric with a crochet hook, knitting needles and looms. I make art that hangs on my walls. But I soon discovered that there is so much more to this making a life thing than the items that flow from my hands.

Making a life is making choices and accepting the consequences. For different results, different choices must be made. I have lived a reactionary life for so many years that I don’t know how to be proactive. It is much riskier. It is scary to step out and do rather than just accept what falls in our laps.

There are always others to consider. I am a wife, parent, grandparent, daughter. My choices affect a large number of people. I can’t just do what I want. Or can I? Can we? Dare we dream to make this part of our lives…the final season…a life that is created by us for us? We have ALWAYS lived for other people. Could this be our turn?

I don’t know the answer to this question, but what I do know is no matter what our future holds, I can begin making a life right here, right now. There is one thing for certain, if I continue living a reactionary life, absolutely nothing will change and I will still be looking longingly at other people’s life wondering why not me.

Baby steps. Just take one small, simple step forward and build on that every day. That is what I am going to do. Won’t you join me?

~Sheryl

Life Got In The Way

For the first time since I started this blog I have gone seven days without writing. It wasn’t intentional neglect. I had good intentions and we all know what road is paved with good intentions. I allowed myself to get busy doing the work of organizing that which I have determined cannot be organized. And then we had a dog situation that distracted me and then a house and air conditioning situation…well you get it. Life got in the way.

Home

As is typical for me I have been obsessing over the subject of home lately. This home, a future home, stay here, flee the swamp or just hunker down? It is a constant mind game I play with myself. Am I alone? I certainly hope not, but if I am, oh well. It isn’t the first time and won’t likely be the last.

Hurricane Laura came perilously close. The damage that was done to Lake Charles Louisiana very well could have been the greater Houston area. Every year I breathe a sign of relief and thanksgiving at the end of hurricane season.

This has been my home for thirty two years. Prior to this I lived in eleven different places. I know there are folks who move more than that, but it sounds like a lot of addresses to me. When I first moved into this house with my husband I couldn’t believe I got to live in such a nice house. It was only four years old at the time and according to the standards of the mid 1980s it had all the modern conveniences and decor. It has seen joy and tears. It protected us as we raised our daughter and then somehow became enough to hold a granddaughter; then mom and three granddaughters.

House Hunters Discontent

Still, I think “I didn’t get to choose a house with my husband.” He and his previous wife built this house. But maybe this man and this house were chosen for me. I have long believed that I was brought into this family for a very specific purpose. God’s purpose. Is this purpose complete and it is time for a fresh start and new memories for us? I allow seeds of discontent to germinate and grow.

We love House Hunters, and the U.K. version, Escape To The Country, where we watch couples, empty nesters, throw caution to the wind, pack up and move to build a life unique to this time of their life. It stirs my wanderlust. I want an adventure too. I want to live someplace beautiful where I am immersed in nature with a climate that allows me to spend much of my time outdoors. I want simple. I want to have fun with my husband and dogs. We were never a young married couple with no responsibilities. I married him and got a daughter in the mix. Maybe that is why I long for this kind of experience while we are able.

Two weeks ago a friend suddenly lost her husband. Children in college, she is now alone. I think that started my mental rambling once again.

True Home

This morning while sipping my first cup of coffee and trying to wake up I listened to my favorite Pandora station – Monks Of The Benedictine Abbey. I will discuss this music in more depth another time, but for today it is John Rutter’s The Lord Is My Shepherd that I want to share. The link will take you to You Tube where you can listen for yourself.

I closed my eyes and allowed my body and soul to get swept up in the melody and words. If you have never done this I urge you to try it. There is something magical about a distraction free experience of music penetrating the soul.

“I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

This one sentence moved me.

I wept.

The physical house I live in now is not my true home. My true home is with God, in the home He has prepared for me and all who believe. What I have here is important, but it is temporary. Physical safety and comfort are vital for the quality of one’s life. But, what I am hoping to find by moving will only be mine when I rest in the arms of my Lord in the home prepared for me. Until then, nothing will completely fill that void I feel.

I don’t know if we will move. Nothing here can bring me what I long for. So, until something happens to declare moving is the plan for our life, we will care for this house, make it what pleases us and see what the future holds. I trust God’s plans for us so much more than any fleeting fancy that passes through my head. I’m a dreamer who sometimes forgets to live in the here and now. The Covid-19 life we all lead does not help. I live inside my head more now that ever before.

So, I am taking a deep breath and doing what needs to be done today. I might just go do something fun as well. I pray your day is filled with those things that give your life meaning and purpose.

~Sheryl

Dream Life

My New Normal?

As I think about making a life, this is not what I have in mind. Yet, where I live this is becoming the norm. Open land and grazing cattle are pushed aside for more freeway over passes. Once lovely neighborhoods are now tear down zones because the land is more valuable than the home.

New master planned subdivisions obliterate the landscape while they try to imitate everything from farm life to European villages. They both feel fake, plastic and inauthentic. If you live in one of these neighborhoods, please understand I don’t judge you. I am just ready for something different.

My neighborhood is over forty years old and used to be a tiny island tucked into farm and ranch land. I am sure folks complained about its development at the time. I have lived here thirty two years and now when I leave I am surrounded by all the things I thought I wanted. In this season of life my priorities have changed. We could stay and settle for the status quo, or we could make a change.

Praying For The Future

As I dream and pray, I am adamant that I do not want to throw caution to the wind and change just for the sake of change. It has to be the right time and place. The decision has to benefit both of us individually and as a couple. This is where prayer comes into the equation. We believe that God will open the door and unite our hearts. I envision the life I dream of as I pray.

So What Do I Want?

I want to live in a small town. It is important to me to be part of a community, to wake up to clean air and the sounds of nature. I want a different life. I want to choose a home with my husband (we live in the house he built in a previous life). I want us to create a life for ourselves; a life where we welcome friends and family. A life filled with lots of the things we love and as little of the rest as possible. This is the current season of our life.

Heading Home

As I fought the traffic and wove my way back to the familiar streets and landmarks of home, I decided to stop for lunch. Instead of driving through a burger joint I stopped at a locally owned restaurant and enjoyed a leisurely meal. It was a little gift to myself.

Old 300 Diner in Richmond, Texas

I don’t currently live where I dream of living. I might never get there. But as I learn to make the life I want, one of the keys is contentment where I am while always looking forward.

May you find contentment in your day.

~Sheryl

Welcome September

I know I shouldn’t go through a season just living for the next. I’m sure there are daily nuances and events that I miss by pining away for Autumn, but at the moment I can’t think of anything significant. I savor fall, winter and most of spring. And, we’re back to summer. I have always lived in a part of the country where older folks like me escape the cold and come south for the winter. They are affectionately known as snow birds. Well, I want to be a sweat bird. I want to go some place where I don’t have to sweat all day every day for months on end.

I use the first day of September as an excuse to celebrate fall. It may still be hot, but I pull out the fall colors and decor. This morning as I was hunting for my little collection of crochet and knit pumpkins, I ran across this weaving, my very first attempt at weaving a tapestry of any kind. I used a long narrow peg style loom and the array of yarn that came with it. I was mesmerized by the process and possibilities. I have remained so steadfastly entrenched in the knit and crochet world since then that I didn’t listen to my soul sing as I made a picture with yarn.

Beneath The Tree

I keep most all my little pieces of weaving and crochet in plastic storage bins, the flat ones that slide under the bed. I want to be able to open the container and look through all the color and texture my hands have created. Sometimes a piece will spark and idea and it comes out of storage for the metamorphosis into something new. This is an important part of my creative process. All time spent making is time well spent. The end result need not be “useful” to have value. The value lies in the creating.

I think I will honor that early effort by properly mounting this so that I can hang it up in my studio. It deserves to be seen.

I pray you take time to celebrate the day and make a little something that makes you smile.

~Sheryl