October 25, 2008

"My Symphony"

"To live content with small means;

to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly;

to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages,
with open heart;

to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely,
await occasions, hurry never.

In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony."
by William Henry Channing

October 18, 2008

Divorcing Ed

Today I celebrate a long awaited victory! This special day marks the 6 month anniversary of my divorce from Ed.

Ed and I secretly lived together on and off for 37 years. Our relationship began when I was 9 years old. I finally got up the courage to introduce him to my family and close friends a couple years ago. Does this sound bizarre? Well...... if Ed were a person, absolutely! Since Ed is an acronym for Eating Disorder, maybe not quite as bizarre. (See sidebar for Jenni Schaefer's "Life Without Ed" link)

This post isn't about the horrors of bulimia and anorexia, but rather my freedom and victory from them. It is also a celebration of my new journey into the "normal eater's" world. Does Ed still hang around? Yes, especially during times of sadness and stress. The difference between this "break-up" and the HUNDREDS in the past; I no longer take Ed back. Our "divorce" was final on April 18, 2008, and unlike the dissolution of my 22 year marriage, this divorce is one I can truly celebrate!

If you have an eating disorder, facing this reality is the first step toward healing. Reaching out for help takes courage and effort, but you won't regret it. Please feel free to e-mail me and I will share valuable resources that helped me get beyond this life altering disorder. My e-mail link can be found on my profile. 

For those who feel desperately lost, do not give up hope for a full recovery. I can honestly say that there is light at the end of the tunnel. A light that I NEVER dreamed I would find!


October 12, 2008

Water, Sunshine, & Persistence = Cotton!

Click on the top photo to enlarge

The top photo shows the growth process from seed to the final cotton. The beautiful flower in the second photo appears first on the plant. For those of you familiar with flowers, you might notice the similarity to Hibiscus or Hollyhock since they are all in the Mallow family.

Yesterday morning was the first time I noticed that my plants had produced cotton. Judging by my reaction, you would have thought I'd just struck gold! I have tried to grow cotton for the past 2 years. I got my seeds in the ground earlier this year so the plant had time to produce before the cold temperatures hit. Hooray, I was finally successful. I am so proud of my miniature harvest! Thank goodness I wasn't planning on making any clothing from this crop. After I remove the seeds, (cotton gin not needed ) I might have just enough to make a pair of denim jeans......... for a mouse. ;-) Believe me, I have a new appreciation for the cotton industry. I can't imagine how many plants are necessary to make one cotton blouse or pair of pants!

I actually grew the plants in hopes of sharing the process with the students. I think they will be fascinated to learn that some of their clothing material began as a plant. I am eager to see their reactions.

October 4, 2008

Log Cabin Quilt

I made this wall hanging a few years ago from scraps of fabric I had tucked away. The Log Cabin pattern is one of my favorites, as far as traditional quilts go. It is fairly easy to piece, it is reminiscent of pioneer times, and it is symbolic of both the hearth and the home. Each block begins with a red square. This square represents the fire which was vital to families for both warmth and cooking. The strips (logs) are placed around the center square (hearth). This pattern became very popular in the United States during the Civil War. The quilts were raffled off to support the efforts of the Union Army.

Many patterns can be made by changing the placement of the individual log squares. This particular pattern is called Barn Raising which is a practice still common in Amish communities. Other patterns include Fields and Furrows and Sunshine and Shadow. These names are indicative of a time when families relied heavily on farming for their survival.

I’ve always felt drawn to the past. I believe that’s why this pattern just seems to “feel right” to me. Who knows, perhaps God allows our souls to move throughout lifetimes. If that is the case, I was definitely a pioneer woman the last time around! :-)