Word for the Day – Witness

blue-stripe-dropImage © Valorie Webster

 

If you read the Parade Magazine on Sunday, wherever you live, you may have seen a little article this week, Sunday With…Tony Bennett. As he is turning 90 years old, the final question was What are your thoughts on turning 90? His reply…

“I’m happy to be alive. I think the greatest gift you could have is to witness your life on earth.”

To me that was profound. How many of us actually “witness” our lives? How many of us just move from moment to moment, event to event, thought to thought without really seeing, hearing, feeling, absorbing those things?

Dictionary.com defines Witness as…
a verb (used with object)
1. to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception

Just a thought for today. Hope you are IN-joy!

Remembering a Dear Friend

Yesterday was the birthday of a dear, old friend. He has passed years ago, but he wrote something that speaks to me today, as it did then…it actually made its way out of a storage box this morning…go figure!!!

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One Day

We move along, doing the best we can,

Occasionally testing the boundaries.

Some, more than others, become bored with the gift of life

and stray far away from the path of righteousness.

And the day will come when each of us will look into the mirror and say,

“It is I who I must wake up with in the morning

 and it is I who I must sleep with at night.

 It is I  to whom I must answer.”

So begins morality and a sense of values, which will deliver the owner a life-long high, which is greater than any chemical on Earth can induce.

Nobody knows for certain, but there is a belief among us that this character is not only carried through our mortal lives, but is also carried into the hereafter…and a clean conscience is a clear path to eternal peace.     BF

Happy Birthday, my old-soul friend. Thank you for these words and many others we have shared. I think of you often. Rest in peace.

Hello Again!

Hey there! It has been a while for me on this blog. I can’t say for sure, retirement life seems to have been in the way of writing over the summer, but I am going to try to return.

It is September and in the fall life starts to settle down a bit…maybe, maybe not!

Sept 1©Valorie Webster

Whatever you have been doing or plan to do, I wish you joy as the weather changes!

 

Mondays

The first work-day of the week, for most folks…Monday!

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The subject of many songs and memes on the Internet…

Monday, Monday (Mommas and Poppas), Rainy Days and Mondays (The Carpenters), Monday Morning (Fleetwood Mac), Manic Monday (The Bangles), Blue Monday (Fats Domino), It Sure is Monday (Mark Chestnutt)

Whatever genre you like, you can probably find a song about Monday…usually about how bad it is. They are just a fact of life though! Your Monday could be any day of the week, depending on your job, but the concept is the same. We are never ready for its arrival, it seems.

Do you get the “Sunday night blues”? Not sure why I am contemplating Monday today. Most every day has the same potential for me, as I am MOSTLY retired. That is a blessing in many ways, but does take some getting used to. It requires self-motivation, determination and an adventure spirit to decide of what from all the many options available you are going to partake. At our house, we have also figured out that it is nice not to have to do anything at any time, for the most part. Life has a tendency to make you live by a clock…until you don’t have to any more.

So, whatever your time in life, I hope you get off your duff and find something you like today…if not your job, how about your home (decorate a wall), your kids/spouse/family (love them), your hobbies (paint, read, sing), your friends (share a cup of coffee or soup), your neighborhood (check our the flowers that are starting to come up), your town (check out a landmark), your body (paint your toenails or just wash your face), your music (dance a little), your sports (move a little), your spirit (meditate a while)…there are so many things you can do. I just encourage you to see what is around you and enjoy it!

Happy-Monday-Put

Have a happy Monday and remember that the weekend isn’t that far off, but each day of the week will have something special…if you watch, look, and listen for it! That is what I am going to try to do.

What are you doing today?

An Extra Day

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We get an extra day today…

what are you doing with yours?

Just in case you are curious, the infamous Wikipedia tells us this about leap year…

Leap year

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Leap year (disambiguation).

A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or a bissextile year) is a year containing one additional day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars, a month) added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year.[1] Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track. By inserting (also called intercalating) an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year.

For example, in the Gregorian calendar, each leap year has 366 days instead of the usual 365, by extending February to 29 days rather than the common 28. Similarly, in the lunisolar Hebrew calendar, Adar Aleph, a 13th lunar month, is added seven times every 19 years to the twelve lunar months in its common years to keep its calendar year from drifting through the seasons. In the Baha’i Calendar, a leap day is added when needed to ensure that the following year begins on the vernal equinox.

The name “leap year” comes from the fact that while a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar normally advances one day of the week from one year to the next, the day of the week in the 12 months following the leap day (from March 1 through February 28 of the following year) will advance two days due to the extra day (thus “leaping over” one of the days in the week). For example, Christmas fell on Tuesday in 2001, Wednesday in 2002, and Thursday in 2003 but then “leapt” over Friday to fall on a Saturday in 2004.[2] 

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I will admit that I never have really looked at the reason why we have this extra day, so the explanation above makes some sense. Good stuff to know, right? We probably learned something about this in school, but I won’t confess how many leap years have passed since then!

Some people seem to think that it would be no big deal to be born on this day…just celebrate things on the day before or after. Some might think great…I only get a birthday every four years. Well, that is great if you are getting old, but not when you are young and want a party or to get older. What do you think?

Today, my day will be much like most days. At this “almost retired” stage, and since I work from my home, I have lots of flexibility. I generally do most of my work first thing…already done that…so I will play with my crafts and do some work around the house. It is granola-making day along with some laundry. Normal is good!

Oh, and since it is the last day of February, I had better go post one more February Happy Thought for the month!

Make it a great day!

(image from the Internet)

February Happy Thoughts – more

I see many postings about spring being right around the corner. We all have spring fever. Yes, it will come and we will get three glorious seasons to enjoy. (Though winter has it’s beauty too!)

bee and flowers

It made me smile when I opened up this shallow depth of field shot and noticed the little buzzing buddy that graced the image…totally unplanned and fortuitous! These are the little things we need to watch for in life!

Happy Day…Happy Spring Dreaming!

 

Happy February!

It is the month of LOVE! There are so many definitions; so many types; so many hopes, needs, worries.

LOVE_3528Love fills our lives with so much, and yet sometimes seems to drain us. Why is this? Is it because we have not learned to love ourselves?

I am not a young thing any more, but I must say, I feel great. It has been a hard road at times (perhaps by my own making), and I can’t say that I have not hurt others on my path. That I do regret. What I see now is that learning to be at peace with myself and not judging others has brought me a kind of love that is fulfilling. I love life, people, nature, quiet, lingering longer…I love things that matter, not things. Yes, I am thankful that I do not suffer or want for much, but that gives me security, not love. I am grateful for security, but I am most grateful for love.

What better day to start loving yourself, so you are better equipped to love others, than today? It is the first day of a new month, the month of love. And, it is the proverbial first day of the rest of your life.IMG_20150202_130216

So, go on, give yourself a great big hug, smile at that face in your mirror, dig deep, reach high, climb that mountain, listen to your heart, take that chance, dance, sing, smile and trust that love can win! I just dare you!

Photos @ Valorie Webster

 

Starry Nights Quilt Story

Every quilt has a story. This is the story of the first real quilt I made.

In the spring of 2015, Jennifer, Jessica or JJ…whatever name she goes by in any given group, asked me to make a quilt for her, as she had just purchased a new home. She is my daughter. I was thrilled. I had only done one quilt project, a small meditation mat in chakra colors, quilted with infinity patterns.

I asked what she had in mind and she mentioned the picture in her bedroom, Starry Nights by Vincent Van Gogh. Ok, now I had some guidelines for her queen-sized quilt. I began the search for fabrics and was excited to create something with that famous painting as a model.

starry-night

I didn’t ask her, but I never thought she would want a quilt that looked just like the picture. I thought of using the colors and the painting as inspiration. I began to try laying the prints out in a design that followed the trees, village, stars, moon, etc. That was not working!

I must give credit here to my friend, muse and sew mate, Jude Brown (www.judemadeit.com). She kept me on track and from getting discouraged with this big project I had taken on. I had decided on a random, traditional, almost scrappy pattern with what turned out to be very small squares for this large quilt. Oh well, this is part of who I am…I don’t usually take an easy path!

Finally getting my groove on, I had the squares on the design wall and was ready to sew the strips together. Next step…decide on the backing. Again, never taking the easy way out, I decided to use the same color story and create a modern quilt style back so the quilt would be more or less quilt backreversible. I think somewhere inside me I was afraid JJ would not like the top, so maybe she would like the back.

 

All this took several months! I did not actually start until her birthday, July 16! So it is a birthday and house warming gift at that point. I got the top and the back finished by late August. I was really happy with the outcome of both sides. Then another delay…we had planned a month trip to Italy. I had hopes of getting the quilt done before then, but nope!

Upon our return home, my next job was to sandwich the top and bottom and then the whole thing needed quilting. My hope was to do the quilting, but I soon realized there was no way I could work this large quilt on my small Bernina (the same old machine that had made so many of JJ’s childhood clothes)…20151213_162151_HDR~2

I took the “sandwich” to Kim McCray at Windswept Quilting and am so happy I did. I can’t say how happy I am with the outcome of her quilting on this project. I simply told her I wanted something swirly to go with the theme of the painting. She took it from there with her beautiful freeform work and this makes the whole thing so beautiful! Thank you, Kim!

So, the quilt is finished except for the binding. I am ecstatic and can’t wait to finish to see the completed project. The binding process was a time when I could reflect on so many things and I appreciate having this time mostly alone. Everything about this quilt evokes my love for my daughter. I have remembered, prayed, been frustrated, lifted her up, and more during the process, but during the binding I was particularly aware of how a quilt is like life, how it takes shape with trial and error (especially if it is your first one). The way you can take all these little miscellaneous pieces of fabric and create a masterpiece is kind of amazing. You see, that is what JJ is to me…a masterpiece. I know she, like all of us, is still a work in progress, but I am so proud of the woman she has become. Bumps and bruises, both self-inflicted and mom-inflicted (others too, but this is about us) have been taken in stride and she glows with talent, wisdom and beauty!

As I am writing this I think of a picture that was taken of us long ago…about 22 years…that reflects a bit of a starry theme…20151213_162047_HDR~2

 

 

JJ, may you continue to dream and reach for the stars. May you sleep under this quilt and dream of all your hopes and desires, knowing that I love you and that I am thankful for you and the opportunity to make this quilt, which has now become Merry Christmas too! How could I have known it would mean so much to me!

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