Monday, May 26, 2008

Just six houses away

My neighbor's house burned down today. It happened because the young boy left a candle burning in his bedroom.

I rode my bike past it again tonight and stared at the black shell. The two topiaries are still standing proudly on both sides of the front door but i know in a short matter of time, they will lose their confidence and turn to shrub. And the grass will undoubtedly die of thirst . The home will be abandoned for way too many long months before it is rebuilt. It'll be its own graveyard.

The mom was out at the mall when the fire started. She was probably buying new clothes with all the Memorial Days sales going on. Maybe even spending her stimulus refund check. One moment, they had everything. Now all she has is what she was carrying inside her bag.

Thank God she still has her family.

And pets. Their iguanas were rescued and gasping fresh air in the front yard.

I felt so saddened by their tragedy. What do you say to someone who just lost their home?

You just never know when what you have surrounding you will disappear. And what really only matters are the people in our life.

Tragedy has a way of reminding us that.

I pedaled my way back home and was grateful to have a home to walk into. I walked into my new kitchen to start painting the walls and even though I'm thrilled to have this newly updated kitchen. It's still just a kitchen.

And I know only too well that there are things more important than a kitchen.

And that's you.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

First Sight

Remember when I posted some of the red, white and black colored fabric I designed?

I took these photos last week at the International Quilt Market in Portland.

This baby crib displays all of the First Sight fabric line! The fabric was spray-starched onto the lampshade. It's really simple to do and I can't wait to spray-starch some of my fabric on lamp shades at home!

Kathy explains how to do it on her blog here.

There is also a gift set that can be purchased that carries the same fabric, ribbon and a cute baby book.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The need for change

"The need for change
bulldozed a road
the center of my mind."
-Maya Angelou

I am laying on my back while a technician is squeezing me through the narrow MRI tube hooked up to an apparatus looking like a baseball catcher's face mask.

Across town... my head is held steady by a chin strap, while a technician greases my head with bright blue conductive gel and then slips a cap on my head bristling with electrodes to read my brain waves during an EEG.

"Shall I think up some complicated math equations during the procedure to get my left brain working?
" I ask. "Ya know... to beef it up a bit so it'll match more to the size of my right side?"

she said. "You must lay completely still and try to empty your mind..."

"That's easy." Or so I thought.

The tests results on all four tests turned out NORMAL much to our relief. My brain is workin' normal (perhaps a slight suprise to some!)

The neurologist believes a blackout can happen to any who suffers from long term sleep depravation and a whole lot of stress.
And I was only sleeping three to six hours most nights because nearly every free evening and weekend I had, I was moonlighting.

(Moonlighting! Remember that tv show from the 80s?) I never used that word before. But it seemed redundant when I typed free evening and freelance in the same sentence, so I switched it up to the lovely word moonlighting which also makes me think of the movie Moon Struck. And then of course, Moon Zappa. And Reverend Moon.

I think working long hours is overrated. I'm tired and need to fill myself back up. Everyone needs balance in their lives and free moments to replenish oneself. My yards needs it, too. And my house. I've neglected everything including myself and have suffered the consequences.

Last week I had a really great time in Portland at the International Spring Quilt Market. I really needed that creative boost. And I also got to rub shoulders with a lot of wonderful people who up until then, I only knew from reading their blogs. Well. Actually we didn't actually rub shoulders or it would have been a trade show for Massage Therapists and not one for Quilters.

My boss Kathy and JCaroline put together a fun Meet & Greet Party for creative bloggers to meet each other. You can read about it here on JCaroline's blog! (and go here and here and here, too. They are all really fun, creative people and have interesting blogs to visit from time to time.

Hanging out with these newly signed licensed designers and hearing the excitement in their voice and listening to their dreams was inspiring and touched deep places in my spirit. Their success really is just within their fingertips. I really believe they are in control of their own destiny. All they need to do is stand on their tiptoes and reach.

And they will. And you can, too. We all can. It's right there for us. I truly believe that.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Learning. One day at a time.

Feet. Nothing but feet and legs walking back and forth and back and forth. Those tired worn out emergency curtains are only good for a bit of privacy.

But only a visual privacy

You can hear every conversation going on. Every single private confidential conversation between doctor and patient. I was entertained at first.

I actually wanted the curtains to open up so I could watch all the action from my gurney and be able to listen better. So much was going on. Nearly every couple of hours another helicopter was landing on the roof. "Code Blue!" I heard over the loudspeaker at least twice. I whispered a prayer for him ... as I always do when an ambulance passes by.

I laid there while my sister sat in a chair next to me for more than seven hours. What a patient and loving sister! (And she works in that same hospital as a nurse and yet spent that time there with me on her day off)!

(my mother was unable to visit as she is still radioactive from her thyroid cancer treatments and needs to be isolated)

We played 20 Questions and eavesdropped on my neighbors on either side behind the curtains.

The doctors are checking me for a matter of things. They hooked me up to a monitor to check my vital organs. I've had a brain cat scan and and EKG, a slew of blood tests, and soon I'm going to have a brain MRI and an EEG along with a visit to the neurologist.

So far the results are negative (which is positive).

I experienced some sort of black-out over the weekend.

My blood pressure is remarkably high ... just under the clouds ...I think. And, my pulse races much too quickly.

Between my early morning kitchen remodel to working side illustration jobs late into the evenings... I've barely had any time to do much else.

I've been behind on my house cleaning. And yard work. And emails.
And have too many unreturned phone calls. I've been saying no to get-togethers with friends and dinners with my family.

Everything that keeps me feeling centered and at peace, I have been neglecting, and saying no to. Ultimately making me the author of my own unhappiness.

On a deeper level, I know better.

As I concentrate on getting better, I am reminding you to be kind toward yourself as well, in all the choices you make about your everyday life.

there is a voice inside of you
that whispers all day long,
"i feel that this is right for me,
i know that this is wrong."
no teacher, preacher, parent, friend
or wise man can decide
what's right for you- just listen to
the voice that speaks inside."
~ Shel Silverstein