Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The End of the Run - Late Update

Finally, the holiday run is over! I am done with work - for now - and trying to get back to my "routine". So far, not very successful, but I will get there... But let me start at the beginning...

At the end of the summer, all inspired and excited by my educational achievements and full of energy, I signed up for a 'full load" of classes - full time, 12 units, most of them online, one of them in the evening. I thought I could do it - I had done it before!
Then, in October, a job came - temporary, but long-term and full-time. I was still OK - I expected it, counted on it, knew  it was going to come. But after a full day of work coming to school twice a week, plus homework every night, including weekends, became more difficult. Sometimes I caught myself wondering how badly I really needed that diploma (a dangerous line of thought)... Finally, one time the teacher mentioned that my "attendance is not really that important in the grade calculation, and neither is homework." I still don't know why he said it and if he really meant what he said, but for me that was the last drop. I left class early that day and did not come back. The rest of the classes, although I seemed to be doing decently in them, followed... Unfortunately, it was too late to withdraw from any of the courses, so I quietly took all F's and, as some might say, retired with dignity.

I know what it looks like: I have made a rash decision, my education has suffered and my GPA is down, and I will have to "fix" it by re-taking every class all over again. I know that, and yet I don't feel bad, I believe I have made the right decision. I could have suffered through the semester and come out with decent grades (hopefully), but instead I chose to have real life experiences. I played and talked with my children. I spent time with my friends. I took walks on the beach. I celebrated birthdays and holidays - my own, my husbands' and also our 10-year anniversary - and for once  I was not dead tired, I was able to enjoy them... I have never had so much fun or been so happy, sad, surprised, bewildered  (the whole range of emotions) -  before. So, overall, I believe I did the right thing - to the point that having all F's adds to life experience, another one I have never had before.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stitching and Family Update

Hello, here I am! I know it has been about three months since my last post, but I promise you - I am alive and well.... Busy, tired, often sleep-free, but basically well....
So, what have I been up to these past three months? Let me see.... Mostly stitching! Here are the new things I have stitched - for myself and for my shop...

Looks a bit like mismatched puzzle pieces, doesn't it? That's what my head feels like, too. After several months of order stitching my dreams got filled with cross stitch; my nightmares consist of broken needles and ripped threads; every time I look at anything, I automatically see it as a chart.... 

I had to do something, and I did. I took a couple days off, and I stitched a small piece from Little House Needleworks - her free Christmas pattern. Just what I needed! 
Here it is...

Originally it had more hearts, and the saying said "Happy Hearts", but hearts is not usually my favorite motif, so I changed it a bit... Stitching it felt like drinking hot cocoa - warming, sweet and relaxing. I will make it into an ornament, and next year it will be on our tree.

My Hogwarts Crest and my Mansion  are still in the WIPs pile, to my shame... I will have to leave them for the next "mini-vacation." When is the next.. International Hermit Stitching Day? 

Now, about my family. I am a very proud mother this year, because my daughters - both of them - received medals "For Academic Excellence" at their school... Ironically enough, the day after the ceremony my youngest daughter brought home a note stating that, because she forgot to turn in her homework, her "academic performance may suffer." I thought I'd let this one slide - so she won't be the best of the best, but only the best by a little bit, so what? We can live with that. ))) 
Academic Excellence and Attitude in one great package
Also, this year my youngest daughter turned ten... She wanted to decorate the cake herself, and this is the result. 
Mixture of Picasso's technique with Van Gough's Starry Night.

   All in all, I wish I could spend more time with my daughters. Last year, when we moved to this new bigger house, they convinced me that changing schools would be "very sad and traumatic" - all their friends were at the old one, all their favorite teachers were there. So, I agreed to let them stay for one year - next year Rita is going to Junior High anyway, and Vera can go to the new school as well. Now, with a little over three months of school left, I count the days until I can switch them to something closer. Why? 
   First of all - mornings: they have to get up earlier to get there on time, and often that is... a problem. Did any of you, my friends, tried to get a pre-teen girl out of bed in the morning? Let me tell you - it's not easy... 
   Second - after school time: before we moved, after school my girls went straight home (where else?); now, because we live farther away, they go to their grandmother's - she still lives nearby. Then she drops them off to me in the late afternoon... So, even though I do not work as much as I used to, it still feels a lot like work schedule: not enough time with my kids. It feels even weirder, though, because in the afternoons I am alone in the big house, - the big house that was supposed to be for them.... Yet, they are someplace else. 
   Maybe it's me: my daughters are getting older, they don't "need" me as much, and I am getting older too... I feel less useful sometimes - here I am, out of work, alone at home while everyone else is doing something - working, going to school... But what about me, what am I doing?
   Stitching, that's what! I stitch. I should probably cross stitch the banner for myself - "I STITCH". This is all mine, it is the job I chose and created for myself, nobody can take it away, no one can fire me or lay me off from it. It gives me strength to know that I am working towards something long-term and very real - towards creating my own job, my own business, something that will stay past my "hiring age." 
Happy stitching, my friends! 

First biscornu I ever made - "Snow Queen."
Original design by Lubov Kolpakova