Tuesday, February 1, 2011

matters of the heart

Happy 1st of February. As we turned the calendar in the farm house kitchen this morning, we noticed how many of February's days are marked with some type of remembrance/celebration. Anne and I agree we'll happily observe them all. Especially regarding hearts.

 Speaking of hearts...
Our husbands live along the great lakes, Michigan and Erie, and are expecting the snow event of the century. In Chicago the hype is huge, with new vocabulary like snowpocalypse, and SnOprah. Here in the driftless area we just calmly deal with the weather, several inches of new snow overnight swirled into drifts no human hand could duplicate, the wind keeping us company, getting our attention by ringing our deck bells or rattling the few screens we didn't remove last fall. Because of my diminished capacity, Anne is doing all the snow removal, having cleared the top deck and now down to the front porch and brick walk. The walk is a challenge with drifts to her knees and brisk winds. The walk nearly always refills when the wind is from the north like today. I'm standing by with the tea kettle and soup pot at the ready.
I marvel at the cleverness of the Juncos as they excavate the snow beneath the feeders to find the morsels the new snow has buried. They look just like miniature chickens scratching. The results being deep bowls of snow with seeds exposed at the bottom. I've grown so fond of their company.

Yesterday my half square triangle papers arrived from Laundry Basket Quilts. Just by chance I caught the tail end of an appeal for participants in a triangle exchange being promoted on The Quilt Show website. I am now part of an international half square triangle exchange! Since all of the shared units will be identified by country of origin, I will know where all of those I receive have come from. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Triangles Exchange involves 615 people. And all possible via the web. I promise to share this adventure every step of the way, down to the finished quilt I make with the international pieces I receive. The papers are a quick, precise method of producing the units quickly in groups of 28. There are 25 papers in the package I bought and though I originally committed to far fewer total units, LOTS of participants have decided to send in more than they originally thought. Once all are received (the deadline is April 1) they will be sorted and distributed. I will get back as many as I send. I wish I felt well enough to go fabric shopping right now! Guess I'll have to be patient. Ugh. In the meantime I can practice using the papers on fabric I already have on hand. Since I want to make a pillow of the mini wreath quilt I just finished, I thought perhaps half square triangles made from the fabrics in the quilt would be fun.

Back to matters of the heart...

It's Woman's Heart Health Month. And on its first day I've made a promise to myself to place ME at the top of my to do list. To love myself enough to focus on my heart all month long. My mother had congestive heart failure. Her mother died due to complications of heart disease. I must take my heart into my own hands. The heart, the fourth chakra, the gate between the physical self and the spiritual self. A powerful center of being. Much to think about while attempting to put aside my feelings of uselessness during this snow event and my current ill health, while resting as per Anne's orders. Did it take getting sick to get my attention??? Interesting concept, and not a new one. I sincerely hope I won't have to repeat it any time soon.
Be well, anyone who reads this. Keep your mind on your heartstrings.


  1. No matter how unwell you are feeling, you still manage to write so eloquently. Maybe you did get sick in order to focus on yourself more. I hope you get well soon and that you get no more snow on top of what you already have! Take care.

  2. Wishing you a swift recovery, Sharon, and yes, do put yourself on top of your list of priorities. It's always hard for us, as women, to put ourselves first, but it is important.
    The Traveling Triangles Exchange sounds like fun and I look forward to following your progress with it! A great project to take you through the winter!
    Hope Jerome and Matthias survive the storms, as I'm sure they will.
    Do take good care of yourself!