Monday, March 14, 2011

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Well, I had intended to post this as a Sunday Salon, but time just got away from me.

I think, that just maybe, I am ready to get back into the blogging saddle again.  I have a couple of ideas for posts roaming around in my head, and that is usually the precursor to some form of activity.  I am hoping to find the time this week to write them up.

We are on Spring Break this week - although you would never know it by looking outside the window and observing the 1.5 inches of snow on the ground.  We hit a high of 70 degrees on Friday - and snow today.  The Midwest is nothing if it isn't unpredictable!

It is supposed to warm up starting tomorrow and actually hit the 60 degree mark a couple of days this week.  I plan to implement my walking/writing routine at that time.

While I have to work on a Journalism unit study this week for my English 1 class, I do plan to truly take a break from the academics and pursue other personal interests.

I have vowed not to waste these precious hours of freedom known as spring break - and so far, I have done a pretty good job.  I finished reading The Second Journey and plan to write a short review later in the week.  I have nearly completed Howard's End is on the Landing and have taken so many notes on Ms. Hill's literary commentary.  In fact, I think I will use these notes as prompts for several blog posts in order to seek your literary opinions as well.  I have thoroughly loved this book - not necessarily because I agree with all her opinionated statements, but because those statements cause me to think about my own love affair with books and authors.

Mom is still hanging in there - although she is rarely conscious anymore.  She is now on morphine as needed - with the directions that it can be given every hour.  She is not my mother anymore; she is a corpse lying in a bed.  I do not want to remember her this way and am struggling with knowing how often to visit - especially when she has no idea that I am there.  As guilty as I feel for saying it, I hope that she soon passes to a better life and leaves behind the illness of this one.

In addition to reading this weekend, I have also continued with my new-found interest in quilting.  I did not want to start a large project, because I am known for abandoning projects long before they are completed.  My goal for this first quilt was to make four-squares:  large enough for a doll.  I have hand pieced three of the four squares and plan to purchase background material today or tomorrow.  I am SO excited to start another piecing project. So far I really enjoy the fabric selection process - matching colors, hues and patterns, - the cutting process (finally geometry class makes a bit of sense!) - and the slow, leisurely pace of hand stitching.  I am not looking forward to actually quilting the three layers together, but who knows, I may find that I like that aspect as well.

Finally, I am going to tackle another project of which I have had an interest for months:  mixed media art.  I am not an artist in the least - I mean, I can't draw a stick figure.  But lately I have been attracted to the expressive, abstract art of mixed media.  I like color and the idea of whimsically applying splashes of paint here and there depending on mood and atmosphere; I like the various layers that can be applied - each one carrying some kind of personal, symbolic meaning for the artist; I like the idea of incorporating my love of writing/journaling, with photography, with colorful paint, with collected memorabilia, and with torn paper to create an entirely different work that can be hidden in a private journal or on a large canvas for public display.  I have found someone who is willing to take me on as a student - insecurities and all - and I have my first class this evening.  I am SO excited!

While I know that my time this week is not entirely my own - much will depend on Mom - I must say that this break from the academic world comes at just the right time.  I think I am mentally and physically ready to utilize this free time to bring about many positive changes that will result in a renewed passion for life.


  1. This is so great, Molly! I love all of your wonderful creative pursuits and your quilt is lovely! Beautiful colors and design:) And cannot wait to see what you do with mixed media. Also appreciate the update on Maxine - sending you all much love.

  2. Your mother and mine are in pretty much the same condition. Mine's been hanging on in this state since right before Christmas. I live 5 hours away from her, so in my case, it's not a matter of wondering when to go see her, but wondering when I'll be going over for a funeral.

    On a happier note, I'm so glad to hear you're going to spend your spring vacation in creative pursuits.

    There's nothing that quiets our mind from all of our real-life anxieties as focusing on such delightful things as measuring pieces for a quilt, or deciding what colors to use for a scrapbook layout. Your break should, unless something happens with your mother, renew your spirit, as you said.

  3. Hi Molly,

    Thinking of you and hoping that you can enjoy some much deserved YOU time on your week away from classes.

  4. I'm always impressed with your constant pursuit of improving yourself and learning new crafts, plus being the world's best teacher. Next up...knitting!

  5. Trying something creative and surprising always gives me peace when the world is suddenly spinning backwards.

  6. Oh my goodness. These endings of our lives. I remember sitting by the side of a cradle and wondering how life would be for this new infant. Now you sit beside the bed of your mom, wondering how this life will end for her. Both times of waiting and wondering. May you find peace and no words left unsaid.

    I sat by my father's bedside this last summer and told him things I wanted him to hear even though he was unconscious and on morphine. Somehow I know he heard them. The nurses said he could. I told him for me and for him.

    As a LONG time quilter, you have a super beginning! There is so much info on the internet than when I taught myself years ago. Having been a quilt teacher to kids and adults - my advice is to find a good quilt shop. They will give all sorts of free advice and will help make your quilting experience a great one. And talk about a supportive circle of friends. Quilters are a great community of people!

    Enjoy your spring break....I am. No lesson plans and only a few report cards to finish up. Our weather is almost too hot - 87 today but I am too excited about a week of leisure to let it bother me! Bring on the diet coke in a tall and frosty glass.

    Thoughts are with you.

  7. Your projects are always so inspiring! Your quilt looks lovely already, so I can only imagine what a full-size quilt would look like. I hope you do like quilting the squares together.

    I'm sorry to hear about your mother. I do know what you mean though; I have had two very close relatives so ill that they really were no longer people. At that point, it seems merciful to hope they let go soon, so we can remember them the way they want us to. I'll be thinking of you. *hugs*

  8. I'll look forward to your thoughts and the posts generated by Howards End is on the Landing. I've been wanting to read that myself for quite some time.
    Sending prayers for your mother...

  9. I completely understand your feelings toward your mother. I wanted to be with my dad at the end, but there was a small sense of relief when he passed away because it ended his suffering. I'll continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.

  10. Oh Molly, I am sorry to hear about your mother and watching her fade like this. In spite of your pain, you have written a post that is gentle and hopeful and that is lovely to read today. I think the news from Japan is getting to me, among other things. I think we all need a renewal of spirit. I've done some hand quilting, so I know what you mean, both about the joys of choosing the pattern and material, and keeping it small. :-)

    It is lovely to see you daring to be creative, and I hope to see you trying much more in the coming months, Molly. Hurray!

  11. I was so glad to see you had posted, Molly. This blogging thing is interesting, isn't it? We get to know each other a bit and I hoped your Mom was okay. It is a hard time, I know. I am praying for you.

    If my TBR pile was toppling, I would give Howard's End is on the Landing a go. It has been calling me for some time.

    Enjoy your week off - spring is on the way, with fits and starts as March is well known for here in the Midwest.

  12. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. You don't need to feel guilty; you know that your mother would not want to linger and it's so hard to watch someone you love slowly slip away.

  13. I don't thing it's possible for people outside our vocation to realize just how much teachers need these breaks. Good teachers put so much of themselves into what they offer their's exhausting, isn't it?

    Continuing to pray for you and your family.

  14. I do pray that your mom moves on to a better place soon. This must be so agonizing for her and for you.

    And you have more hobbies and interests that you are exploring than anyone I know!

  15. I love mixed media art, Molly - I've kept a few art journals (you're not surprised, though, are you, that I haven't kept them consistently?!). I didn't realize there was an art journaling magazine - I'll have to get a copy.

    My heart is with you, too, during this difficult time. Much love, Molly.

  16. Don't you just love the Midwest weather??? We had a snow day last Friday (5-7 inches) only to see it melt on Saturday with rain!!

    I can understand your need not to remember your mother the way she is right now. I had to stop visiting my Grandfather because I couldn't bear that to be my last image of him. I know it's harder because she's your mother. My prayers are with you.

    Mixed media is so very fun and I'm sure that you'll complete that quilt.

    Enjoy your Spring Break!

  17. I'm glad you are getting a break Molly. I will be praying for you and your family during this difficult time with your mom's last days.

  18. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. ((HUGS))


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