Just Write {5} – Michael’s first bike

You got your first bike when you were four because you had started throwing tantrums and daddy said no way we’re not rewarding bad behaviour but I said he needs his freedom from the daycare kids in the back yard, he is getting older he needs to be allowed to do more, trusted to be a big boy, he is asking us to help him grow up,  and so we went to town and you picked out a purple bike with handle bars that came up to daddy’s knee and white training wheels and plastic streamers in the hand grips and we put clickers in the spokes and a helmet on your head and you were allowed to ride from our house to three houses down and back again. You stopped throwing tantrums, and a year later daddy took the training wheels off and ran behind you, back and forth up and down, one hand on the back of the seat, on your back, on your helmet, hovering, hovering, until you looked back and saw him running beside you, look, look, no hands!

This is my 5th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. I am linking up with The Extraordinary Ordinary. (Please see the details here.)

Because You Matter: Boy #1

I promised the social worker three quilts for three little boys, and the first one is finished!

006She asked for small quilts (blankie-sized), so this one will meet the bill at 24 x 36″. Perfect for a toddler or pre-schooler!

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It’s a foundation-pieced string quilt done in 6.5″ squares. I used a white strip in the center of each square, and then picked out the brightest scraps I could find out of the scrap bin.

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I hand-tied it with bright red yarn.

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And of course, it goes out with Sampson’s nod of approval.

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Some things bear repeating…

I posted this back in March. Seems appropriate to re-post today. Hope it gives you a bit of a laugh…

It seems this year I do not know
if the snow will ever go.
In March April it sits here like a brick
(not a brick like “you’re a brick, Dick”),
I mean a brick like bricks and mortar,
the kind used in the Latin Quarter.

Winter hard and cold and cruel
will last until the end of school,
and instead of flying kites,
all the kids will get frostbite.
No more soccer, bikes or bats,
for them it’s mittens, scarves and hats.

Cry and wail and weep away,
it’s in the snow you’re forced to play.
Sleds and skates and hockey pucks,
if you don’t like it, then you’re (ahem) out of luck.
For no matter how you plea,
summer’s just not meant to be.

summer waits

Summer waits
for the icicles to melt
from the porch swing

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Happiness is a mug mat

I made my first mug mat on Sunday. What is a mug mat, you wonder? Really, it’s just an oversized coaster to dress up your desk. Anyway, I was fondling looking at a pretty piece of fabric and telling myself that I really should cut it up and make something because it is so pretty. But then I thought…no! I don’t have to cut it up, so I cut a 6″ square (yes, I know…technically that falls under the category of cutting it up) and backed it with a piece of muslin and a scrap of cotton batting in the middle. Then I ran some straight stitches through it ( and that will be a very exciting post soon! No, really, it IS exciting!). Then I used orange for the binding and voila! A mug mat!

I gave it away to a friend who could use a bit of cheering up.

And speaking of needing some cheering up…it is still snowing here. It’s been snowing for three days. Maybe I’ll make another one of these for me!

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I remember

…your shout of glee, your sagging training pants and orange striped socks, joyful toddler leaping to daddy’s arms, flying across the open expanse between coffee table and couch without fear, without thought to falling, landing against daddy’s chest to bounce off and do it again and again and again, neither of you tiring until the last leap, ending in the inevitable knock on daddy’s head with tight fist, ‘body home? ‘body home? squealing with laughter as daddy knocked back “anybody home?” and then you lean in, slumping into daddy as he breaths in a slow breath of sweet toddler sweat as you rise and fall against the beating of his heart.

 

 

 

Dancing with Words

Last night was the last of my creative writing classes that I’ve been taking at the college. What an amazing experience this class has been for me on so many levels. I really like writing. Not just bloggy-blog writing (which I also enjoy), I mean that I have really loved the challenge of creative writing. I tried my hand at fiction, non-fiction and poetry. And not only did I discover that I liked it, I discovered that I’m not half-bad at it, either! Or, at least in my own sometimes-not-so-humble opinion, anyway.  It does take a fair bit of time, though. So all the blogging I haven’t done and all the sewing I haven’t done and all the knitting I haven’t done is because I’ve been writing and re-writing my class assignments. And I have got something to show for it all, too! I have a great handful of haiku, two long poems that have gone through many revisions and are now finished and ready to go, a third poem that I am in the process of revising and have great dreams for, a 3400-word fiction piece awaiting revision, and a 5,000-word non-fiction piece that is finished and ready to go (or as ready as a piece ever gets, as I’m beginning to learn!)

Because I enjoyed the process of writing so much, and my mind is so stuffed full of ideas for more, I’ve decided that I’m actually going to jump into the inky swimming pool and submit a few things!

The bummer is that I can’t show them to you! Not the ones that I want to submit anywhere, anyway. For some reason, posting a piece on a blog is considered “published” in a literary magazine world that only accepts unpublished work.

Once again I am reminded of how many ways there are to dance through life, and how much I am enjoying this creative journey.

As Martha Graham said: “Learn to dance by practicing dancing, or learn to live by practicing living. The principles are the same.”

I say, go ahead and insert the word “write” or “paint” or “sing” in here. We are all dancing through life in our own way.

 

 

Sold!

On Tuesday of this week we signed the listing agreement with the real estate agent. Yesterday (three days later )we accepted an offer. Done. Sold. My goodness, that was quick! Closing is July 2nd. We will spend the summer at the Fox Lake cabin, and then onward we will go to our new life in Salmon Arm! Wow!

Here are my three snuggle bugs in the quilt this morning, hanging onto each other, sensing change in the air.

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Little Boy Prints Needed ASAP

I am using my 15-minute coffee break to dash off this quick little blog post, which is actually a request to any of you who quilt.  I spoke to the social worker that took the pink Valentine quilt last month. She told me that the little girl who received it was SO EXCITED! Yay! Happy happy happy!

018She also told me that she has several small boys that would love quilts.  She has asked for small quilts for toddlers up to age 8 or 9.

Now, I happen to be working on 3 little girl quilts using squares from the the generous ladies over at Quilts for Kids. And I am sure they will go to good homes as soon as I’ve finished them (one will be ready to go any day now) – but I would like to put them on hold for now and concentrate on some little boy quilts, since that is what is needed at the moment.

My problem is that my stash (which is actually looking pretty good right now) does not contain any (none, zip, zilch) little boy fabric.  I have zero animals, zero planes, zero trucks, zero cars, zero superheros, zero anything at all that says “boy”.

So…if you have any little-boy prints taking up room in your quilting stash, I would happily put them to good use. I want need to make a few small quilts to give to these little boys. Many are in sibling groups.  My heart aches for them. These are little boys who have recently been removed from their homes and are either in the receiving home awaiting foster placement, or newly in foster care. They are young and could sure use come comfort to snuggle up in.

Thanks, guys. Contact me if you can help.

Nita

 

Good Monday Morning!

Good morning! Isn’t it wonderful to have a four-day weekend? I am feeling so relaxed . And yet I feel that I have accomplished so much at the same time! On Friday Kelly and I loaded up everything that we had set aside for a garage sale and donated it to the annual diabetes fundraiser. This is a giant garage sale where all proceeds go towards the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. We took over an entire pick-up truck load. Honestly, I don’t think we could have crammed one more thing in! I hope it earns a few dollars towards a very good cause. And the second good cause is that I don’t have to pack it up and move it! Yay!

Friday evening we headed out to the cabin in hopes of a clear night or two so that Kelly could set up his scopes. No luck. It clouded over minutes after we arrived. Seems this happens to us a lot! We spent Saturday relaxing. I read a book and worked on my orange peel quilt. I only have eight more squares to applique and I am loving the super scrappy-ness. I don’t think it will be long now!

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I took my sister’s quilt out with me, too, with hopes of getting an entire frame segment quilted…but I forgot to take the quilting thread! Arrgh! It’s a lot of work to pack that big quilt up and haul it around with me, so I wasn’t too happy with myself. But then, I did get an awful lot done on the orange peel quilt, so it’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other and I’m happy with my handiwork.

Remember the knee socks I knit for Amber last month?

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Well, I had an itty bitty bit of wool left over, and so I decided to try knitting an itty bitty pair of socks. Aren’t they sweet? And no, I don’t have a new-born to give them to, but someday I will! (aaak! not mine! I’m a fair bit beyond that ability, lol!). I mean that someday I am sure someone I know will announce a new arrival, and then I will be prepared!

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Last month I started a new project. I had an afternoon of play in my sewing room – an afternoon of no expectations. No bee blocks to make. No BOM blocks to make. Just me and my cutting board and my fabric stash and a whole lotta ideas & patterns to sort through. An afternoon where I could do or make anything I wanted. Anything at all! Luxury indeed! And what did I make? Chinese Lanterns!  I started something and I’m not sure what it will end up as, but OH, I am full of ideas and plans!

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Yesterday Number One Son came over for spaghetti, and I made chocolate chip peanut butter cookies for dessert. Oh, Yum! Aaaak diet!

And what am I going to do today?  Today is a homework day for the creative writing class I’m taking on Wednesday nights. I have to do a critique on a piece written by a classmate (a really good scarey short story) and I have to work on revisions to two pieces that are due in two weeks. I don’t have a lot of time, so today is for tea and writing. There’s so much happy creativity going on around here, I can hardly breathe for the joy of it!

What are YOU doing on this marvelous Monday?

Today I’m linking up in two places: it’s New FO Linky Party day over at Cat Patches and Fresh Sewing Day/Small Blog Meet over at Lily’s Quilts.