Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What Makes My ♥ Go Pitter-Patter...

This Valentine's Week blog post is brought to you by homemade Shepherd's Pie, all bubbly warm with gravy and onions in the meat, butter in the corn, and cheddar and colby jack in the mashed potatoes. Mmmmm... Don't you just wish you ate here that night?

This is my favorite family size casserole dish. A Chantal ceramic, it's heavy, and way bigger than 13x9, but cost me only only $12.95 at a discount store. Yep, I am the queen of bargains. 

Below is more of what I've been up to, and some thrifting finds. I took a couple days away from the keyboard recently to get my top-of-the-month shopping done. Bear in mind, I write most days now for anywhere from 2 to 8 hours, in shifts with housework and other things going on around me. I currently have a couple of hot writing projects, one long term thing that is an overhaul of something I've had around a while, another is a brand new short story. I have a LOT of stories on back burners awaiting my attention. I also edit both for Pro Se and those special folks in my life who ask me nicely, and are serious about getting their work to me in somewhat of a finished form. My days are packed, and I love it!

But I do other stuff besides write...

 This is the latest project in crochet, a chair cushion. All those little pillows are stuffed with quadruple layers of batting, and crocheted shut. I sewed them together.

 This is for the big Boston rocker. It proved too  thin to be a seat cushion, but will work perfectly for the back. I'll come up with something else for the seat. I'm still adding to the length. Yep, going for a patchwork look. 

This one is a great stash buster BTW. So yes, I do actually use that yarn I keep adding to. This one is at least 2/3 secondhand yarn from my thrifting runs. Only two new skeins have been added recently, to round out my color selections. Notice the Altoids tin above? That holds stitch markers, safety pins, yarn needles and other little doodads. So I don't just buy stuff, I recycle things I have around here too. So there!

Went out to the mall where the pet supply place is Friday, and hit the craft store there. I had to grab this punch, it was half price, and you don't see that often. Always wanted one of these.

 I was conservative but bought myself a few baubles. As you can see, many of them were on sale. ——>

We went thrifting afterward. I say 'we' because Lee, my faithful companion and chauffeur, did the driving. He loves bargains too. 

I have a few ceramic cannisters like this on a shelf in the kitchen with most used spoons and utensils. I added this one to it, and moved a metal one over near the stove for spatulas and such. I like country designs and this one talked to me. It was half price day, so that helped. 

A couple of books, one for my reference bookshelf, one for reading with the grandson. It's about the misadventures of a witch who finds a wizard's spell, and the illustrations are darling! 

A small hodgepodge of things. The cross stitch and the pattern will likely be gifted, but I'm keeping the maple leaf punch. 

Aw c'mon, you knew the yarn was coming! Remember, everything was half price that day. The doll hair will get used. 

There was a cardboard box full of broken oddments on the floor of the thrift shop. Didn't look like much, and I almost passed it by, but my inner voice said to take a peek inside. 
Good thing thing I did because in the bottom was all kinds of needlework stuff. Got the yarn and roving above, and all this precut rug yarn for latch hook...

... along with these lovely hanks of teal blue crewel wool...

 ...and a TON of color coordinated embroidery floss. I figured out that even at Dollar Store prices, I had over $16 worth of floss alone. WOW!!!!!

Had to go out one more time to exchange something on Monday, and we hit a different thrift store. Wouldn't you know, they were having a half price sale too! I got these 6 cup size bowls for half price. Loving that! 

Found one more book for me, and one for the grandson. Joel Rosenberg is an author I really have read a bit of, and didn't realize this book was in his Guardians of the Flame series, which I really enjoyed. I glanced through the children's book, and liked the story, sort of a reverse King Midas tale about a king who has everything but happiness, which doesn't come in shining gold. A good message to share.

I guess I'm a bit of a peculiar person, all excited about buying up other people's castoffs. Think I care what anyone thinks? Nope—stopped that when I turned 50 and realized most likely, half my life was already over. Sure, I can afford better—and yeah, I really don't need all the clutter. But in this world, there are a lot worse things than bringing home second hand items and filling the crannies of your life with them. I figure if you can still walk through the house without tripping, and use the furniture for what it was intended for, I haven't gone completely ditsy. 

I look at these things that were once desired and are now no longer wanted, and they remind me that life is short, circumstances change, and bad times come up unexpectedly. I come home with a few new little sparklies and remember how love is sometimes  fleeting once the luster wears off. I plug away at a craft project, making a special meal, or pounding out a story I'm writing, and that brings the realization there is a a whole lot of hard work and a real learning curve to putting together something worth having. Too often these days, when the next shiny prospect comes along, what's tried and true gets chucked aside. So I buy someone else's dreams secondhand, and bring back at least part of what they were before.

Keeping my hands busy and my mind occupied has always been my way to cope when times are tough, and people or events around me become difficult and hard to deal with. When your whole world falls to crap and you don't know if you can stand yet another bitter disappointment, it's good to have something to get up for in the morning. A cat in the lap or a wet dog nose under the arm doesn't hurt either... I keep busy, and I love the life I've made here for myself. Not many people these days can say that, and it's a damn shame.

You know, my life is not idyllic, but I have reached that part of it where the serenity comes from within. So for every snide remark I get, each time something comes along and blindsides me, or some little veiled insult is made that I have to choke back the tears from, I have faith there will be a balance struck. I'll always have songs I can sing, warm hugs, lovely sunsets, good food, the scent of a new rose, or a spotted fawn walking beside a doe that will come along to cheer me up. Now and then, I make sure to look up and glance around for something worth smiling about or someone to say something loving to, before I go back to what I need to accomplish once more. 

Contentment is something you can't measure or buy. But you'll sure know how much it means if it's missing. 


No comments: