The Power of the Spoken Word

Vacation time means packing up the family and heading someplace to have fun. Generally speaking, there is as much time spent getting ready and cleaning up at the end as there was fun in the middle. Making arrangements for the family members who must stay home (the four legged ones) is a really big deal. We travelled more when our daughter was at home because we didn’t have to board the dog. Now that she is out on her own, and our dog is joined at the hip with me every day, we are homebodies.

So when our daughter and her family are going on vacation and need help we are more than happy to oblige. There are just a few logical issues involved:

  • They live an hour away from us.
  • They have three dogs and a rabbit.
  • One of the dogs is a very old and sweet, but very large Labrador Retriever. They are caring for this dog for a family member and she has been through lots of turmoil lately.

Under normal circumstances we would just bring the animals here, but with the lab in the mix, this was not going to be a good idea. Maggie is not fond of large dogs and feels compelled to let them all know she is present and in charge. So, the only solution is for us to go there and house and pet sit for them. Let the games begin!

I packed to travel fifty miles across town like I was going half way around the world. Like all self respecting fiber fanatics, I packed my spinning and knitting first, then came the clothes. I planned on staying in the house most of the time so PJ’s would be my wardrobe staple. Two bags of entertainment and one bag of clothes seemed about right. Grab the dog, and off we go.

There are some places I can relax in and feel right at home – my mom’s house, my in-laws home, when they were alive, was a favorite, and my brother’s home are all places I love to go to decompress and I actually feel like I’ve had a vacation. So, why can’t I do this at my daughter’s house? I feel like company and I’m always uncomfortable. It is strange. But, I digress…

I pride myself on being a rather hip and with-it kind of near sixty year old woman. I know my way around technology. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I’ve set up and run websites and have been a business owner. So, I should be able to handle most anything, right? Yeah, that is what I thought too. But to be safe I wanted a tour of the alarm system, the TV, and other things I thought might trip me up. While I was getting my tutorials my son-in-law was scurrying around trying to get everyone loaded in the car and out the door. Mix in a whining thirteen year old, barking dogs, and two younger girls both needing something from mom at that precise moment…it was mild chaos. Not wanting to appear old and unable to manage things I assured them I had it and shuttled them out the door.

Once on my own I first turned on the TV. Score! The coolest function they have with their cable provider is a remote you can talk to and it finds the channel. No scrolling up and down because I didn’t know the number. So, all is now well. I’ve got my shows, my knitting, and something cold to sip on. Life is good. Until I got hot. I tried talking to Google but that didn’t work, so I went to the thermostat. 

The first time we visited after the kids bought this house I was impressed with their Nest thermostat. It lights up whenever someone walks by. Cool. This is the one thing I didn’t ask about. When I look at it there is no obvious way to adjust it, and where I got the idea you adjust the temperature by talking into the darn thing is beyond me. Maybe I got so excited over talking to the remote that I thought I could just talk to anything in this house and it would do what I said. Such an amazing super power! Do you see where I’m going with this? 

Yes, you guessed it. I stood in front of the thermostat saying “72 degrees,” “cool to 72 degrees,” “turn on cool.” Thank goodness I was alone. I texted my daughter and asked how to do it. She explained you simply rotate the ring and it changes the temperature. I told her what I had been doing, laughing so hard at myself I almost had a personal issue. She had not even finished typing “it will be our secret” when the thirteen year old texts me, “OMGGGG HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA YOU WERE TALKING TO THE NEST” followed by laughing with tears emojis. So now, every time I see this commercial I see myself trying to cool the house with just the power of my voice. 

Ahhhh, it is humbling to be human.

Next up will be the travails of being short.

Laugh, Love, Live….Sheryl

Process Matters

In the fiber arts world most folks are divided into one of two groups – production or process.  Of course like anything, the lines can get blurred by things such as a new baby, upcoming birthday, and the mother of all crafting deadlines: Christmas. Through the years of owning a yarn shop I have seen it all and I have lived with one foot in both camps.

Production crafters thrive on the accomplishment of the finished item. They will work tirelessly – literally sometimes barely eating, bathing or tending to household chores – to finish their project. The rest of us mere mortals wonder if the producers don’t have secret yarn elves tucked away doing the work for them as that seems to be the only way we can explain this type of accomplishment. I admire the producers. I wish I could have cranked out shop samples at warp speed. But I’m not one of them; I become physically repulsed by the effort required to slog through an uninspiring item. I’m not proud, but I’m honest.

So, clearly I am a process oriented creator. I love the planning, gathering, and the starting. Once I see how the thing is going to look and the challenge is over…I usually mentally check out, which leads to many small detours – bunny trails – because something beautiful captures my attention. In our world these long forgotten projects are called W.I.P.s, Work In Progress. I have a basket stuffed full with project bags containing many such projects. Such vacillation is the bane of my existence; possibly even one the reasons for the demise of my retail business. 

Somehow, when it comes to fiber and spinning things are different. There is something so amazing about the process of creating yarn. By simply taking the prepared wool and, using a wheel or spindle, introduce a smal amount of twist that then holds the fibers together. It is magic. This is just the first step in the process before the yarn can be used. Many people have said to me, “Why would you want to do all that when you can buy perfectly good yarn?” The answer is simple. It is the process. With simple tools I can create the yarn I want, the yarn that makes my heart and soul sing, and a yarn, that to me, is a finished work of art.

As I begin the move from being a retail shop owner to an independent fiber artist I am more than a little concerned about my natural tendencies. Will I be able to create an environment in which I can be successful? Can I battle my natural procrastination tendencies? Can I ignore those bunny trails? Only time will tell. They say knowledge is power. I have the knowledge, so now to see if I’m empowered. With God all things are possible. I believe that He has uniquely equipped and guided me to this moment in time and now it is up to me to step out in faith and let His gifts shine.

Until next time,


The Winds of Change

Good morning all. It is an unusual morning on this last day of April. A serious line of thunderstorms moved through southeast Texas last night leaving behind atypical temperatures and delightfully dry air.  Just one last burst of spring before the heat and humidity of summer envelopes us for the next six months.

Last night as the front pushed through, the winds were gusting to twenty two miles per hour. I watched the trees bend under the pressure then bounce back as the gust died down. I could not help but see a correlation to my life at this moment of transition.

Those branches, because of the life that exists under the surface, sway and bend but they do not break. Isn’t that just the way it is with us as well? When we stay connected to the life giving power of God, we can bend and sway but we do not break.

As I move through a huge transition in my life I am like those trees. There certainly were times when I thought I was going to break, but God is bigger than my problems and He has the solution. My job is to stop, listen and follow.

After eleven years of owning a yarn shop, I am closing my business to follow where I am being led. After all, isn’t that what sheep do? They follow their shepherd. God has gifted me with many talents and abilities as well as with a family that deserves nothing but my best. So, I am coming home to nurture myself, my family and honor my Creator by creating. I hope you will follow along and grow with me on this new adventure.