Some say the computer is not the place to connect with people. They say it is shallow and all you learn is what they had for dinner last night. I choose to disagree. While I love being with people in person, I also value the communication possible with the internet.
Family and food: Our family is stretched from the Middle East, through the continental USA and all the way to Alaska. We also happen to be a tribe of foodies! So seeing where and what each other is eating is fun and, through Facebook, I have gotten to experience some great foods; fish from Norway, platters of goodies and 'care' packages in Qatar, San Francisco's best dining establishments, an anniversary donuts, freshly backed goodies of all ilk, and Alaskan Salmon on the grill - and shared Jon's culinary efforts back at them!
Facebook has let me stay in touch with relatives I would otherwise have lost track of. It lets me learn more about relatives I barely knew, and it lets me find new relatives! Sometimes we even talk about things other than food! The cross generational thing is what I value the most, so nice to learn and experience through the eyes of newer generations.
Flesh and Blood Friends: We have recently moved 700 miles. So Facebook has become my lifeline to the "old neighborhood"! I value seeing what is still going on 'back home', even as Charlottesville becomes our home. It is great to hear of art openings, job changes, new books read, and even politics! (and yes, more foodie posts!) What is really unexpected though, are the expanded and new connections... finding out someone and I have mutual friends; getting back in touch with people I haven't seen since graduation from high school; learning more about people who I barely knew, and now wish I had known better before leaving the area. It is all good and interesting.
Virtual Friends: Every morning for the last 5+ years, I have gone immediately to a facebook group where I chat with three other women. We met through Etsy, and have bonded through the internet. You couldn't have pick 4 more unlikely compatriots if you tried! Completely different ages, lifestyles, interests, and locations, but we have become fast friends. We have moved, some of our kids have grown and left home, some are still growing, our pets have died and we have welcomed new ones. This is a friendship circle, I can't imagine having formed anyway else and value a lot.
Professional Contacts (and friends!): Since the halcyon days of my jill2day shop on Etsy, I have learned the value and fun of virtual connections for business and information. Sure I sold through the internet, but I also learned so much about how to do what I was doing there. While locally there may have been a few folks pursuing the same goals, on the internet there is an international community to answer questions, commiserate, and whine to! I can not begin to acknowledge the Etsy sellers, the Fiber artists, fellow Art Fair Sellers and Photographers that have entered and enhanced my life through the 'interwebs'. Kudos and and thanks to you all.
Some have become friends, both in-person and on-line, but great friends either way. All have helped me to grow - sometimes in patience and diplomacy ;-) - but mostly in information and creativity.
So here is to the Internet - and my favorite, Facebook - may we all continue to connect, confer, converse, and conflict. OMG :-) CU soon!
If you are a relative or someone I have coffee with regularly please come join me at:
If you are an artist, photographer, or just an interesting/interested person come interact here:
If you just want to follow my business page that is here:
But of course, I love to see you here, on my website, too! In fact if you leave a comment, or click on the "follow" thingy, I will know you like it here too!
Revisiting the Matriarchs
So I have decided to try some dust it off and try my hand at thread painting. I am hoping it will work a bit like a hand painted photos, but whatever happens, it will be fun spending time with the family Matriarchs the only way I can now. Hopefully they will whisper some ideas into my ear while I am working!
Below is how I hand basted the major sewing lines to start with. Now onto the machine! Wish me luck!
In Wisconsin, we had a porch and a swing and lots of untouched landscape. The occasional deer, many birds, and a clear view of the sky. It is a bit different in our urban digs in Charlottesville, VA. Tonight Jon and I decided to try out our new "patio... the fire escape!
The view is different, but no less interesting. Watching the people walking, the sun making the bricks glow, and the pigeons and helicopters overhead. There is even greenery around. Here are some more shots to let you enjoy the view with us... you will have to supply your own wine though! (Click on any picture to see it larger)
Don't "sit still"
In a happy coincidence, my Facebook photo group had the theme "motion" and I had a trip to see my grand kids... what better combination could there be! To see more of the pics I took, please go to this link.
But beyond thinking about photos, I was thinking about kids and adults. Watching the big group of students at my Grandson's pre-school "graduation" made me think about how much we confuse our kids. We are vigorously pushing them ahead at the same time telling them to sit still!
The kids sitting at the ceremony were not bored, or "restless" they were excited and nervous and giddy... all of which caused eyes to constantly scan, feet to constantly swing and heads to bob. Many could not contain themselves to decorous walking, so they skipped or ran or danced up to get their diplomas and hugs! We adults giggled and "awwed" when it was annouced that the child wanted to be a superhero, or police officer, or mommy, or doctor, or earth worm! But that is still their reality - anything is possible. I know, until told otherwise, I truly thought I could be a horse when I grew up.
I am not sure how or when we lose this. Or maybe, more accurately, it is taught out of us. When we lower our standards to reality and make our feet hold still. Some people never do. They are the lucky ones. The world retains its energy and potential for them.
Smelling the barn door....
I am sure by now many of you are thinking "will you just move already!!!!" We have been so lucky to be able to really have the time we need to divest and move. The couple who bought our house, rented it back to us for the last several months while we each prepared to move. We just got back from taking another load to Charlottesville. So the next time we go will be the real deal!
It has been quite the month. We have made it through most of our 35+ years of accumulation, and much of what my mother-in-law left, and a bit of what my mother left. My kids are both grown and gone, but their stuff lingers on. I thought I might share a few of the things I have learned - mostly about myself - through this process.
What I think I will wear and what I wear are not the same!
To start the great closet purge (we are going from two walk-ins to one shared!), I sorted what I wear regularly from what I wear rarely (or if truth be told, never). The results were startling. On my left (wear) was a collection of solid and subtle prints of black, white and a few khaki items. On my right (rarely wear) was a cacophony of color and prints. hmmm. As I thought about this, I realized that one of the best parts of the garments I made for jill2day was the chance to make colorful and statement garments that I would love to wear, and then see the joy they brought to those who actually wear them. I think I have to work on this "when I get old I shall wear purple" thingy.
When and why do we lose it?
I recently saw these two pictures in Facebook posts. (reproduced here with permission) They both touched me deeply, and made me think.
We were free at one time. We didn't care what matched or what is proper. We hadn't learned to be "ladylike" or even male or female for that matter. We were just human beings enjoying this thing called life... something a singer on NPR recently called the "majesty and squalor we call life". I loved that statement. I love the extremes of life - they are what make us alive.
I am starting to think we waste the vast majority of out "adult" life forgetting this primal need for emotion and fun; instead we go to corporate training on creativity or spend money on tickets for someone to coordinate fun for us and validate that we experienced it.
At some point we learn to keep our toys nice. We learn to be quiet in public. We learn to raise our hand. We learn to stand in line, read the directions, file taxes, follow the recipe, plan and review.
We learn to check our feelings for "appropriateness", think before we speak, we learn to express love for those who are deemed deserving and withhold it from others - even if that isn't exactly how we feel!
At sometime we forgot how wonderful it is to just scream - or at least talk really loud. Or scratch or dance or grovel or roll. We forget how to overly indulge our senses and how to, literally, stop and smell the roses.
We forget what fun is and exchange it for "fitness" and "recreation". We forget that that seeing - really seeing - the beauty of ..... whatever is in front of us, may outdo any artwork in the museum we are scheduled to attend and pay $20 to enter.
When did we lose the ability to believe we can put water where others put fire. When did we forget that a bucket can be a hat, and that Wellies feel wonderful - no matter the weather. (Perhaps we only remember that when UGGS are deemed fashionably correct by some Hollywood celeb!)
No, I am not naive and suggesting that we don't need some security, and money, and probably jobs and credit cards, but maybe once in a great while, maybe even when no one is looking, we should put a bucket on our head. Maybe we should remember that being 10 minutes late for something might be okay if we drank in 10 minutes of sunset or rain, or slowly finished our last sip of coffee while actually tasting it.
Maybe we should take a Power Ranger pose or lay flat on our back in the middle of the floor.
If you do, I won't tell. I don't even want to know. Do it for yourself. Do it because it just plain feels good. Then get up and go be responsible and polite - but, don't forget to smile when you remember how good it felt to take that minute!
February 04th, 2014
Yesterday we drove down to Chicago to attend a memorial service for a wonderful man. He was my cousin's husband and a gentle, intelligent and compassionate human. One of those good people who just go through life making a huge impact with little fanfare. May you rest in peace, Norm.
I am off visiting this week. I am staying with my older son, his wife and two kids.
When I became a mother the first time, I was astounded at the primal feelings that came forth when that little guy was put into my arms. I still remember the surprise that I felt when the wave of visceral protective instinct rose the first time I felt a threat (big friendly dog!) approach my infant. That was only one of the many maternal surprises that followed. over the years .
Then my boys grew up (but are still my babies!) and started lives of their own. Those maternal surprises still continue, but then came a whole new bunch of surprises as grand kids came along. Who knew?! I find it so much fun to have many of the same joys of being a part of a young life, with many fewer of the parental responsibilities of parenthood. I realize in retrospect how important the grandparents were in my sons' life, and even in my own. There is a special joy in being able to relax a bit more, while watching these kids grow, than I did while raising my own. There is a special relief when things get tough, being able to say "go see Mama/Papa". But almost more fun is watching my son be a parent! That, I have found, is just another maternal surprise to be enjoyed.
Bring it on, 2014!
Good morning to you all. May your 2014 be bright and beautiful and full of all that you deserve!
The house is quiet and ready for the New year. This might be my favorite holiday. Some call it "New Year's Day" I call it "Sloth
Nothing to do except unadulterated laziness! Left overs from last nigh mean that no cooking will be needed. Wisconsin football managed to win just enough to be in a bowl that we can see without having cable, so a great nap or good game will happen. The scrabble board remains out for those that want to try again. It is cold enough that even promises of bargains will not compel me to leave the house.
But then starts the count down. One more show, six months of purging and packing, one abode to locate, 62 years of Wisconsin to say good bye to, and a million new adventures to unfold!
BRING IT ON!
A visual Review of last night's fun...
One last day!
This is how we started 20013... and how we have started every year for over 30 years now. Our wonderful friends come over for both the Eve and the Day, Jon makes scrumptious food, and we toast England's New Year! Our friends are from there originally and it gets increasingly hard to stay up for the USA's version, so we cover our options by celebrating early!
My favorite part of New Year's Eve is actually New Year's Day... A day dedicated to football, shopping, food, Scrabble and general slothfulness.
I can not even imagine where we will be next year at this time. I am very excited to see what the new year brings though...
Here is my wish for myself, and all of you:
Many days of calm and contentment, sprinkled with numerous joyous times of unrestrained happiness, success in whatever way you define it; but also, just enough sadness to remind us we are human.
Happy New Year everyone!
If you are really into history, click here for blog posts prior to 2014 !