Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Do you think heaven will be like Ireland?

As I reflect back on the past 10 days there are so many wonderful memories, images, scents and sounds that come to mind.  I do not remember ever having such a wonderful time while on vacation. Not one time did I even think about my work or worry about home and if everything was okay...it was "lovely" to know that my boys were taking care of things and that I could just enjoy myself.

~"Lovely" one of my most favorite Irish expressions that I picked up while there. Second favorite word was "Brilliant". Two such simple but expressive words that I heard again and again to describe many things...I am adding these to my vocabulary.

Ireland seemed to be such a happy country. Of course I was not reading the papers to see what I imagine would be stories of their political woes as well as their economic issues.  I did catch wind of these through some conversations though and it just made me realize that they are a country that is also experiencing the same troubles that we are. Going out and enjoying their culture and meeting these people you did not hear this grumbling though, what you experienced were open arms of individuals welcoming you into their lives as well as a generous and open heart to share with you what you might want to know about them, their personal experiences and to share a love of their country. The Irish people are kind and generous.

I am certain that my own personality and tendency to just walk up to strangers and start conversations or be inquisitive may have been shocking to some of my fellow travelers, but the Irish people did not seem to mind at all, they seemed to embrace this and welcome me into their lives...this made me so happy inside.  I went out of my way to meet strangers and learn about who they were, I met some of the most wonderful people this way.  I found the Irish people to be kind and welcoming and loved hearing the stories that they told me about their families, their jobs and their lives. I also tried my best to get to know a little bit about each of the ladies on our bus, to take the time to hear about who they were as individuals, what they did, where they were from and if I could to make them smile. I met some of the most wonderful ladies and hope that I will be able to continue my friendships with them. I tried my best to give out as much love as I could to everyone that I met while on this trip and that to me is a successful journey. :)  As I told Father John while discussing religion when I talked to him in Killarney, "its all about Love, and that is what should be the most important."   I saw him briefly before leaving Killarney and he smiled at me and said "Linda my dear, I will see you in heaven."  Do you think heaven will be like Ireland?  I am hoping that it will...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day Two Ireland:  Woke up at 5:45 this morning, couldn't sleep and wakeup call was at 7 anyways so got up and got ready for the day.  We were offered a traditional Irish breakfast this morning, I did not eat the black or the white sausage that was offered, I haven't ever liked sausage so it wasn't something I wanted to try, even though Greta had told me that the white sausage was lovely. :)  I did try the rashers, the irish bacon which is shorter, thicker and very lean. I was imagining the small muscular pigs that they must have to create this bacon...I haven't seen them yet but if I do it will be a photo opportunity for sure!
After breakfast, we headed out for a scenic buhatsri around Dublin.  I managed to NOT get motion sickness today which was a big plus!  (First day twisty curvy hilly roads in a warm bus prell tty much did me in.) After a number of times of going around in circles, the driver finally dropped us off downtown to do our own investigating and shopping as we liked.  We set out on foot first as a group of 5 but were quickly split up and ended up as a group of 2 . Regina and I were left behind to the power walking team of three but we enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the city browsing in shops and eventually ending up at St. Patricks Cathedral. What a beautiful and historic church it was.  Christopher Columbus was said to have stopped at this location when he was on his way to discovering America.
Once we finished up checking out the inside of the church, it was time to head back to the bus.  Since Regina was the navigator, she decided to take a different route back than what we had taken to get there. This resulted in us passing two lovely ladies of the evening, a building that had a fence with razor wire around it that I am convinced was a prison as well as a tattoo parlour!  I am certain that no one else on the bus got to see these wonderful yet somewhat exciting in a strange yet scary way...lol! It was an adventure for sure!  We made it back to the bus at the stroke of 3 and headed back to the hotel to get ready for our evening out....I will post later on how our evening goes!  So far....having a blast!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Quilternal Spark!

I have found that I get my best ideas in the mornings. For some reason that state that you are in right before you are fully awake and still in sleep mode is when I get my greatest ideas.  I have taken to keeping a zipper pouch of colored pencils, a tablet of graph paper and a note/sketchpad on my nightstand so that I can jot these early morning ideas down right when I have them.  If I don't do this, I tend to lose them somewhere never to be recovered because I move on to something else in my day and get distracted.

I imagine, or wonder should I say that other creative people have these same types of mental moments of creativity when that one thought gets into your mind and you just know that you are going somewhere with it. I think its interesting to know how other creative minds work. People with creative brains seem to me to be a whole breed unto themselves. I believe that they have many similar characteristics that set them apart and make them recognizable if you are paying attention.  Being creative is not just making something by following a pattern that someone has given you, oh no...that is just a hobby my friend. Being creative is creating something, making something your own, it has come to you out of your heart and soul and speak to you that it needs to be done. You have a need to release these ideas or energy and this is what makes you tick. It is your fuel, its own energy and gives you a "spark", it makes you passionate and you want to share that passion with others.  When you talk about your creativity you light up and people can see your passion and many wish that they could find this "spark" in themselves but its not something you can teach them.

I am happy that I have this "spark".  It drives me, it makes me happy, it allows me to be happy in other areas of my life because it fulfills me.  The one downside that I think I have from this is that I am an overthinker...I think all the time and sometimes you can overwhelm yourself with that. This is why I enjoy blogging and creating and lets be honest, talking! :)   I hope that my talking or blogging is enjoyable to others, but in the long run it matters not because for me it is a release of some of my creative energy, just another chance for me to vocalize myself about something that inspires me or motivates me. So in the end...all is good.  I am happy that I have my Quilternal Spark!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Deep Thoughts by Linda Dalton

Do you ever just get in the car to drive, because you need to get out of the house and you find driving is relaxing and gives you time to think? Yesterday I did this and while I was driving I was thinking about how I am now 52 years old and I have lived most of my life trying to make other people happy or relying on other people for my happiness.

This past year I have started to work on this, but I really need to take this to another level. I need to accept myself for who I am and love me for me and all that I am. I need to stop comparing myself to that skinny girl that sits around the corner from me at work and looks great in those really short skirts that I can't wear anymore because I have cellulite in my legs that I don't want to show. (did I really just get that whole sentence out in one breath?)  Its funny how you forget that when you were in your 20's and 30's you looked great in those too.

Aging is a complicated process and I think more difficult for women than for men...or so it seems to me. You cover up your gray hair, you fret over every pound you pack on that you have to work four times as hard to try and work off as you did 10 years ago.

And then there is the man thing - the complicated and simply frustrating situation that only another single woman can understand. You fret over if you are still attractive to men, are you cute, pretty, not too fluffy, fun, smart, and the list goes on and on... This is INSANITY and for me it is stopping now!

This year I have gained some of the best friends that I have ever had in my life and they have given me the courage and the strength to realize that I am just wonderful the way I am and that I don't need to justify myself to anyone or have a man to affirm that I am attractive or acceptable. It is time to start living life for ME!  This does not mean that I will be selfish, not at all...that is not in my character and could never happen.  What this means is that I am going to embrace who I am and embrace life and start doing things that "I" have always wanted to do and living this next half of my life to the fullest and not worrying about what other people think. I am going to sing and bop in my jeep to Adele at the top of my lungs and I don't care if that guy/gal in the car next to me thinks I am a nut job!  I am going to strike up a conversation with the person in line at the grocery store because I am interested in what they put up on the belt to purchase and we are going to swap recipes after having this discussion.  I am going to sing as I walk around the block while getting my exercise and listening to tunes and I don't really care who is listening! I am going to make art that others will say is weird and I am going to love it and hang it on my wall and be proud of my artistic abilities!  Oh this list goes on and on...

That said...I have already booked my trip to Ireland, a HUGE step for me but one I know is going to be a life changing event and one that will allow me to spend time with some of the most awesome people that I have met in my lifetime, and I cannot wait! I will be going and doing things that I haven't done in my life before because for some reason I was scared or someone else told me I couldn't....hope that you will follow me on these new life journey's as I will be blogging away about them! 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

There is never enough time....

There never seems to be enough time to get everything done that you want done...because of this I guess you just have to let some things go? 
I have tried to incorporate some things into my day that help me to multi-task to try and get more into my day.  I started a few months ago doing what I call -  "Take 5".  When I say "Take 5" everyone has to stop whatever they are doing and take 5 minutes to do some type of cleaning.  You have to spend the entire 5 minutes doing something.  This seems to help, but if I try and do it too many times in a day I get plenty of grumbles...lol. 
I also recently started to make myself pick something up when I left one room to go to another.  I don't know about you but I constantly have things in one room that need to go back to another room. IE: Quilting Magazines in my bedroom that need to go back to my studio.  That potholder that somehow ended up on my computer desk - how did that get there anyways?
I don't like to spend my entire time off cleaning and sometimes it seems like you could do just that, if you let it suck up your life.  I think I would rather be known as a little bit messy and have some time to myself to enjoy things...what about you? 
I think that next year is going to be a big changing period in my life because I suspect both of my boys will be going off on their own and that will leave me with no one to blame the messes on but myself.  I am pretty sure that things will be much more orderly but then I wonder if I am going to miss the grumbling about getting your clothes to the laundry room, or leaving that glass on the coffee table. Not to mention the quiet...
I would love to hear how you manage to squeeze more into your day, or even how you have decided to let things go...
Today while I let things go I will be finishing up my Summer Sampler Quilt - all that's left is the binding, putting my customers Memory Quilt in the Longarm to quilt, working on a beautiful New York Beauty pattern that I haven't shown yet (its a surprise!) and hanging my Knotty Thoughts quilt up in the living room now that the Horny Toad has been applied to it. :)   What are you working on? 

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Don't sweat the small stuff...

This morning as I was doing laundry I had a memory of when I was married and my ex would complain when asked to put clothes in the washer and the clothes were inside out.  He would have an absolute fit about this and I would just think, well it only takes,  what? - 2 seconds to turn it the correct way and move on. 
This in turn made me think about people that I have talked to that say "Oh I could never quilt, I just don't have the patience for it". I guess that made me think this morning that my patience must be tied to my ability to not sweat the small stuff. 

I know people that clean their house so much including their garage, that I bet that you could eat off the floors - including the garage floor!  Me?  I can overlook that sock that my son dropped next to the couch until he gets up tomorrow morning and I can ask him to please pick it up.  Granted there are days that I do pick it up, but it is not something that would nag at me and cause me distress. My house may not be the cleanest on the block, but I am certain that it is one of the happiest because I don't stress over small things that I do not feel are important.  If someone doesn't want to visit me because I might have a sock on the floor then they will be the ones that are missing out on my wonderful self. :) 

My passion for quilting does lend itself to a bit of clutter in my studio and my longarm room, but to me this is happy clutter because its where I immerse myself into my creativity which is a zone that feeds my soul.  I am my happiest in this zone and in these rooms surrounded by my fabric, patterns, tools etc... When I see these rooms I feel an immediate sense of self and a calmness comes over me that can only be experienced by someone else that truly understands what it is like to have a creative passion. It is the Zen of my existence.  The fact that you can see these things in my home and they do not "conform" to a normal household set up does not bother me in the least - I just don't sweat it. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Knotty Thoughts....

While I was at the LQS (Local Quilt Store) today, we got into a conversation about my Knotty Thoughts quilt (the one pictured on my blog page) and how I came up with the name for it.  For those of you that know me well, I am a thinker...well too be more exact and honest I am an OVER thinker. It is certainly a blessing and a curse to be this way and I sometimes wonder if I have been this way my whole life or its something that I have perfected over time?  Guess I should consult with the mom on this question.  Anyhow, while I was in the process of making this particular quilt, I had a lot on my mind and I was thinking about how my thoughts get all knotted up sometimes and wallah!  The name of this quilt was born.
Getting back to the over thinking though...now that I have brought it up.  It makes me wonder if this is part of having a creative mind or do I border on insanity?   I have lately taken to carrying around a small spiral with me to jot down ideas that I come up with when I am in one of these over thinking modes. I don't want to forget the ideas and at my age that tends to happen.  I will admit that I have even called myself on the phone to leave myself a message about a great idea that I have had just so I don't lose the thought. Or I have woken up in the middle of the night and jotted down something that has come to me.  Do you think this is bordering on insanity,  is anyone else doing this?  I guess I have just been too embarrassed to ask.
I guess the creative over thinking part of me has been okay with this process because it has only had positive results - great ideas have blossomed from it and to me that can only be a good thing.  It is the negative part of the over thinking that I find challenging and I am working on trying to avoid.  Things like wondering if I shouldn't have said or did something or over analyzing what someone said to the point where I make myself crazy wondering what they really meant.  I am trying so hard to just let these things go and my mantra to myself has been "Don't worry it away".  I guess the "it" is my sanity?   I think that understanding my weakness is a good step in the right direction, and also realizing that even though this is a weakness it is also a strength because I garner so much creative thinking from it.  I guess in the long run I am saying that I am accepting this as one of my personality traits, one that I realize has good and bad aspects but I will continue to work on the bad because the good overcomes it.  And I think that those that truly understand me and love me will be able to overlook this attribute as well and see me for the wonderful person that I really am...my faults and all. :)