Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Across Nine Aprils...

I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  And while I have been lucky enough to see the beauty of many other places on the planet, I try to actively appreciate nature's bounty as she explodes with blossoms, large and small, right outside my front door.

The poignancy April brings is colored by my dance with melanoma.  Nine years ago today, I had the right upper lobe of my lung removed after having had radiation to my brain 3 days prior.  Since then I have recorded this date, taking note of its gifts, as I make my way Across Aprils I am never sure I'll get to see.
There are my beautiful Kwanzan cherry trees B planted for me in 2008.  Five years after my initial melanoma diagnosis when he thought I was done with cancer!!  Poor boy! 
Jacobs Ladder in my shade garden.
Virginia Blue Bells
Appropriated Yellow Trillium
Though Burgundy Trillium would surely be a better name, this one is actually called - Toadshade. I guess little toads need their shade too!
Bluets and violets by the creek.
REAL Cherry trees B added to the others in 2017.
I am thankful for the violets that make up our 'lawn'.  Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that crushed it. ~ Mark Twain
I love watching the May Apples unfurl their umbrellas and bloom.
My lovely Wood Poppies must be the happiest of flowers.
Bleeding Hearts - quietly lovely.
Lily of the Valley - so dainty and perfect!
A beautiful pale pink azalea - or fort - just a few years back, for Ruff and the kiddos!
Great White Trillium
Wild Geranium
White Trillium.  A flower that embraces the beauty of growing older, as aging blossoms turn pink before they fade.
Another Columbine
Fern, phlox and crested dwarf iris.
Another lovely azalea
Golden Alexander
A fancy columbine!
Ferns unfurling
Maiden Hair Fern
Star Grass
Lovely heart shaped leaves of the red bud.
A delicate clover of some sort.
Yet another azalea!
My dependable yellow peonies. Always reminding me of Ruthie and Granny and their love of yellow flowers.
My crazy Encore Azaleas who like to show off multiple colors!
Green berries promising BLUE ones in July!
My first rose of the season.
Yes.  I am lucky.  To be here.  To live in this place.  To enjoy this moment.  To bask in such beauty.  May your days and years be filled with ever so many beautiful Aprils.  ~ les

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Sew Chaotically! ~ well...maybe it's more like ~ PAINT Chaotically!

While this is not sewing exactly, apart from the top, I had a pair of pants I still liked that had acquired a couple of stains.  So, I decided to save them and I'm super pleased with how they turned out!!!

Roo gave me this pic a loooong time ago.  Saying, "Mommy, this looks like something you would wear!"  Not only was she right, I decided it would be the perfect way to rejuvenate my pants!
After planning this project for some time...  A dry sunny day.  Excellent work bench and some fabric paint thinned out with some water.  DONE!
Two pairs of paint splattered pants in one wardrobe may be a bit much!  But, I had another pair of pants I wear to hike and putter about in that already had some paint splotches on them.  Though not in a cute way.  So with extra paint just sitting there - why not???
I decided on more splotches on the front...
...fewer on the back!
The perfect pants for an excellent Saturday afternoon of errands and a visit to a local Indian grocery with my bestie!  Worn here with my Matcha top.
Pants saved and lots of fun with chaotic paint splotches! Wishing you all a great weekend! - les

Friday, April 26, 2019

Bitch, I'm BACK by popular demand!!!!!!!!! HA! With much love and fun from dear family and friends!!!

You gotta love Bey!!  And lord knows I've been having to make a few gallons of lemonade!!!  It's been a long and crazy road from August of last year to now! (And that's skipping a lot of shit from 1964 to 2003 to 2007 to 2010 to... You get the idea!)  Recovery required time.  Work.  Support from friends and family.  Seriously guys, you will never know how much your texts, cards, care packages, letters, emails, IM's, DM's, meant to my spirit.  When first home from the hospital I could go up the stairs and back down once a day.  Maybe manage a walk to the edge of our yard.  But, little by little - 5 minutes on the elliptical, then 10.  5 sit-ups. 15.  Doctor's visits.  Treatments.  Two steps back.  Four forward.  I worked in the yard.  I wrote.  I sewed.  I went out very little due to lack of strength and risk of infection.   I kept at it. 1 mile runs.  2 mile runs. 20 sit-ups.  70 sit-ups.  After months of nothing beyond doctor visits and a few small errands, we made our first little trip to Cades Cove earlier this month.  When B sent this pic from our hike to the kids he captioned it:

"She's BACK!!!"   Thanks to all of you, I think I am!  Getting to hike my favorite trail again was ever so lovely.  And we got to top it off with a good visit and dinner with Fred-o and Irina!!
After that successful adventure, we had another.  One that was a long time in the making, thanks to dear Beth, who included a gift certificate to a local restaurant in a lovely care package she sent me back in November!  Getting back to normal food has been a bit of a challenge in and of itself, so a lovely meal out on the town was a real treat!  You were so sweet to do that for us, B3!!!!  Doesn't it all look yummy?????

And girl!  That's not all!!  We've been on a roll.  Last Friday we took off to Hot'lanta!  B was the best sport, helping me find and check out some new-to-me fabric stores!  It was good, silly, decadent fun.  I got some great cuts that I'll be sharing soon.   Just look at that fabric shopping cutie!!!

If you are in need of African Wax prints in the Atlanta area, check out Fine Fabrics!!!  They have an impressive selection!
B was a master planner and had our route to Gail K Fabrics, Fine Fabrics, Top Stitch, our dinner and hotel mapped out perfectly.  I highly recommend Chai Pani if you like Indian food in the Decatur area.  It was REALLY good!  B was tickled I could enjoy it with no ill effects as there was a lot of spice.  It was great!
The next morning we were off to the Dekalb Farmer's market.  A fun adventure in and of itself!  But all that fabulosity is not even the best part!!!!!!!!  That afternoon we got to attend Charlie (Ruthie's son) and Kayla's wedding!!!  How special is that?  (B has much better pics, and one should probably start with the bride and groom, but I don't have any of those!!  I'll share his work when he gets them ready, but my little phone snaps capture some of the sweetness!)

 If that mother/son dance isn't sweet enough for you, check out Char's dance with his granny.  So precious!

And there was plenty of crazy fun had on both sides of the family!!!

Especially when you get three girls together who used to bust out some Sister Sledge while waiting on the school bus....
"We are family!!!  I got all my sisters with me!  Get up ev'rybody and sing!"
The bond between sisters is something even the dedicated efforts of the Queen of Gaslighting cannot destroy. A term far more nefarious than current popular slang makes it seem.  To whit:   "Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim's belief."
I always told my children and nursing students, you can learn just as much from a bad example as you can from a good one - perhaps more.  Each day we choose who we are and what we do with our limited time on this planet.  I have seen lives wasted in a negative world of their own creation, absent of joy or hope.   That is not the world I want to inhabit or project.

So, after plenty of fun and a ton of love, I leave you with a vision that brought sweet tears of joy and appreciation to my eyes as I watched in real time...and even while looking at the pictures now ~

Two of my favorite humans on the planet...
...sharing a dance.  Both living examples of lives filled with kindness and laughter.  Both dedicated to the welfare of others above themselves.  My heroes.
The bleeding heart is a living testament to love.  "Love is patient.  Love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth." 1 Corinthians 3:4-8
Thanks to each and every one of you who continue to love me for who I am, in spite of all that I am not. Much love and happiness to Char and Kayla.  May every precious day bring joy to each of you. ~ les