WiP Wednesday

I haven’t checked in on a work-in-progress Wednesday for a couple of weeks. I may have slowed down now that I’m back at work, but I still make a point to spend an hour in the sewing room whenever I can. Today I’m linking up here:

 

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

 

 

 

 

Here’s what I’ve been up to!

A couple of Saturdays ago I couldn’t find any more excuses for putting my taxes off.  Who looks forward to that, eh? Not me! So I told myself that as soon as I finished my taxes, I could work on the April Treasure Chest Block-of-the-Month as a reward. With that motivation and a couple of cups of strong tea, I got right to work and finished them in no time!

And then…my reward! Voila! The Greek Cross!

 

I’ve also been making some 6-inch stars for Nora’s quilt:

 

After all that, I had the thought that maybe I should clean my sewing machine. So I took off the needle plate and prepared myself for a linty mess…but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, considering that it’s literally been YEARS since I last cleaned it.

 

I’ll leave you with some beautiful light from the Lake House this last weekend. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Earth Day Presentation at Yukon College

…because sometimes I DO write about things that have nothing to do with quilting!

Today at lunch I went down to the “pit” (our Yukon College common area) to listen to a noon-hour presentation by the Kitchen-Kuiack family, who were the winners of the Canadian Geographic Energy Diet Challenge. 

Marguerite and Brian and their two daughters, 17-year-old Simone and 12-year-old Marika, came to share what they learned and how they did it. But they didn’t just talk, they also shared several of the two-minute videos that Simone had made as part of the project.  In total they were required to make 32 videos and post 32 blogs during the 3-month challenge. Wow! The videos we saw today were funny, engaging and informative and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I have been trying to track them down on the web so I could link to a few here, but unfortunately I haven’t had any luck. If I can find them later, I’ll post them then. Anyway, the family also passed around samples of various types of LED lightbulbs for us to see…these replace both the old-fashioned incandescent ones and the newer low energy fluorescent ones,. But better than that, they were able to talk about what they liked and didn’t like about the different types of bulbs. In fact, after hearing them talk, I’ll seriously consider replacing our “new” low energy fluorescent bulbs with these lower-energy LED ones when they wear out. The family also generously shared copies of their electric bills (down a whopping 32%), passed around a watt-hour meter (a little device that shows how much power whatever device you plug into it is using), and shared some of the more innovative outside-the-box ideas that they tried out, such as using grey water to flush the toilet.

They mentioned briefly that all of the participants in the challenge had to make and use a solar oven, and that as a result they used 51% less cooking fuel! Wow! I would have liked to have learned more about that. I think that is something we could definitely use here in the Yukon, so I may have to do a little research of my own. That would be a cool summer project for the Lake House, eh?

17-year-old Simone also took part in the Shell Canada driving challenge and shared some of the things she learned there as well. I was happy to see that many of the driving tips were things I already do. For example, I like to manage my vehicles energy much the same way I manage my bicycle, by coasting down hills (instead of powering down them) and coasting to stop signs & stop lights instead of powering up to them and then braking. However, I was also happy to learn some things that I hadn’t thought of, such as pretending there is an egg under the accelerator pedal, or pretending that there’s a full glass of water on the dashboard. These little imaginings should help to smooth out acceleration and deceleration. Smoother driving with less braking will definitely make a considerable difference in the amount of gas I burn (and have to buy).

After the presentation, I even got to plant some arugula and pea seeds to take home for my windowsill for future healthy munching!

I work in a cool place. Thanks for hosting this great lunch-time presentation, Yukon College, and thanks to the Kitchen-Kuiack family for sharing your experience with us. 

Happy Earth Week, everyone!

A Broken Day and a Pretty Dress

I haven’t written anything about my experience with menopausal depression for awhile. I don’t want to be one of those people who complain endlessly about their health, so I try not to talk about it too much. But since I started with that first post, (if you want to follow along, look under “depression” in the drop-down categories) I guess I will continue. Please stop reading now if it’s going to drive you bananas!

This is my third week back on the job. The first week, I only came in for two days. The second week I came in for 3 days. This week, I’m back to full time.

Wearing the everything-is -okay mask again has been tiring, and I’m exhausted at the end of the day. I’ve had a couple of small anxiety attacks at unusual times, too. For example, at the end of the day when I’m lying in bed I’ll suddenly start to panic. Kelly holds onto me and tells me I’m safe and that it will pass. God bless my husband.

I had two broken days in a row last weekend (Friday & Saturday). I held it all together through the work week, and then fell to pieces as soon as the pressure was off. I guess that makes sense. Today is another broken day as well, and I guess that makes sense, too.

What’s next? Well, part of my wellness plan is to attend a special course that was designed to teach lifestyle & self-management tools to people with depression and other related disorders. It takes place one morning per week for seven weeks. Sometimes I look forward to it, and sometimes I dread it. When I dread it, it’s because I’m scared and proud. I’m scared because what if being so immersed in the subject will make things worse?  And my pride doesn’t want me to be labeled and judged before I even walk in the door as “depressedNita”. I don’t want to be depressedNita! I want to be joyfulNita!

On the other hand, I look forward to being in the class because I really do want to be 100% well again.  I’m willing to  do whatever it takes to get the joyful ME back, and I’m hoping that taking this course will give me some great tools for my kit.

So the course information session was today. I went into the meeting feeling pretty good, but walked out feeling extremely shaky. At the end of the meeting, we were asked to fill out our answers to a dozen or so questions on a written form. I tried to answer as honestly as I could, but as I went from question to question, I began to realize that I’m really not as fine as I thought I was. It shook me up.

Afterwards, I sat in my car for a long time before I could drive away. I felt nauseous and lightheaded, and my chest and throat hurt. I might have thought I was having a heart attack, but I know from experience what anxiety and panic feels like, and that was the worst panic attack I’ve had in a long, long time.

I needed to be calm before going back to work, so I parked the car on Main Street and walked up and down a bit, just allowing myself to be amongst people, breathing and trying to feel settled again. I went into a store to browse, and ended up buying two dresses. Two dresses that made me feel confident and pretty the instant I put them on. Two dresses that made me smile and see myself on the outside the way I want to feel on the inside.

I like that image of myself: there goes Nita, moving towards wellness in a pretty dress.