Monday, January 23, 2023

A special day

 OK --- so how many of you are saving the "good" stuff for a special day? Don't use the good china - that's for a special day? Or the linens, the new shirt, or whatever item you save for a special day?

I hear so many stories of people going into their parent's home to clean it out and finding so many items that are brand new and were being saved for a special day. A friend gave some nice embroidered kitchen towels to some friends, and they all said they were too nice to be used daily. So she made some with applique so they would use those. GRRRR!!!

We will have to start giving gifts that look used -- maybe we spread a bit of kitchen grit on the kitchen towels before we gift them. We may need to throw the quilt on the floor as we give it to them and stomp on it! 

Well, guess what? TODAY is that special day! Dig through your house,; some of you may not have to dig too far and get out an item you've been saving for a special day. USE IT NOW! 

I used to have that philosophy. That fabric is too pretty to cut up, that shirt is for a special occasion, and that mug is too pretty to use. Now -- -I don't care! If that mug gets broken, I'll buy another, or that fabric will soon be replaced by something equally as nice. 

I do not have china, crystal, or silver. Thank goodness for that. Our kitchen dishes are OK, but not a set by a long shot, and there's such a mix of stuff that, well if something breaks, it's super easy to find a replacement. 

And those precious mugs for tea? I paid a lot of money for each of these bone china mugs a few years back, and during one of my cupboard raids, I spotted them still in the box. Seriously??? I barely remembered that I had them, so I made the "tough" decision to start using them. I checked if they could be put in the dishwasher (GASP!), and there was no issue, so in they go. 

My china tea mugs

Yep -- the paint has faded a wee bit, but do I care? Not one bit. I alternate those mugs for tea every day, and they get washed in the dishwasher and, the odd time, in the microwave. If one of them breaks or the paint completely fades -- I will have enjoyed them for years. I'm sure I'll easily find something to replace them when the time comes. They are tea mugs, for heaven's sake! They are worth NOTHING to anyone but me, so if I'm not enjoying them now, I'm only "hurting" myself. 

So think long and hard about anything you have set aside for that special day. If you do not find EACH DAY OF YOUR LIFE special, you should have a long meditative thought about your life. Each day is precious to me and whether I'm learning, sewing, visiting with friends, or simply sitting in a chair doing nothing -- that time is precious, and I need to use it wisely and to use the things I bought that will give me pleasure. Otherwise -- don't buy anything for a special day. 

And if you receive a gift -- USE it. Who cares if it gets dirty? It can be washed. And if it gets tattered and worn, it means that you appreciate the gift someone made for you to enjoy. If you put it in a closet for that special day --- what was the purpose of someone giving it to you? RUN and get it out NOW! Yep -- we use those "nice" kitchen towels that I bought and thought were too special too use. We have no sets of brand-new sheets in the closet. 

Yesterday was a bit of a marathon. Two clubs in the morning and so much creativity. I'll tell you about them another day. Then we had Virtual Retreat all afternoon, and I closed it down at 8 PM. I still had things to do before I leave this morning. The pictures got taken, the file got edited, and it's sent. Phew! Slide presentations got edited, and homework assignments got sent. I realize there were two more e-mails I wanted to send, but they may have to wait until I get back. 

The car is packed. And it was sitting in the garage, so while there was a bit of snow outside, it was easy to pack the car in the garage. 

Packing the car

I needed the serger for something, so I serged up two more pet mats while that was on. 

Two more pet mats

I'm a wee bit behind, but only by a little! Lots of commitments ahead, but slow and steady is the game. It'll get done! Panicking is counterproductive. OH and for that are interested in the Barn Star Sampler, we will be having a class --- I'll get that fixed up next week. 

Do you remember the game we played as children called telephone wire or something like that? One person would whisper something to the person beside them, and that whispered message would pass down the line, and at the end, it was always a hoot to see how the message had been changed. Well, what do you think these birds were saying to each other? 

Birds on a wire

Yep --- those solid dark lines are birds! Why do they flock to the wires like that? A few swooped down into the trees (probably to chirp) and then back up to the wires. When I went for my walk in the afternoon, it was a glorious day. No hat, a wee bit of snow was coming down, and I removed my mitts at one point. 

We have some snow, but nothing like this time last year. The day before we were to leave on retreat (same week as last year), we had a massive snowstorm and had to delay departure by an entire day. Even though my driveway was clear, there was at least 8 inches in the street, and even though the plow had passed, there was no way I could make it from my driveway across the big patch of unplowed snow. I live on a curve, and the plow doesn't do the curve. We have to wait for some other equipment to clear that. And I have practically no clearance on my car, so we didn't go far that day!

It was Lunar New Year yesterday, and one of my neighbors had their decorations out. They always have something out, which is nice to see on my walks. 

Chinese New Year!

And this is the scene at my house when DH is in the kitchen, and the girls think he's making food for them. That's probably why Murphy needs to lose weight, and he has formed nasty habits with them and can't see it. 

DAD -- -is that for us?

And this is our Murphy. She is panting like mad after a walk. Yes - a WALK. We did not run, and we did not even walk fast, but she gets into such a state by needing to see everything that she is panting heavily by the time we get home. And while it wasn't cold, it was hovering around zero. I think this dog needs to go north -- way north. Sigh.....................

MOM -- -that was fun!

I wanted to say HI to all the new faces (and the familiar ones) who came to the virtual retreat. It is so much fun, and I love chatting to everyone about -- well, we talked about a lot of stuff, and it's a great way to touch base, learn what's new, how people are using certain tools or techniques, or just to pass the time. How did I ever get by without the Virtual Retreats? OH -- we had them in person, but Zoom is way more fun. 

Why? We get to meet people all over, and OH MY -- we get to peek into their sewing rooms. That reminds me of a picture I want to post. If someone only wants to stop in and say hi -- it's not a problem, and if the roads are bad? Who cares? Yep  --- I get my money out of my Zoom account. 

Well, I must get myself organized. There are a few last-minute things to pack and get the girls out for a walk,, and then I'm off! 

Have a super day! 



  1. So glad I got all brave and came out to virtual retreat. I was very productive getting the sashing started for the Jinny Beyer quilt. Lucky me, I have a sewing day with a couple of friends today.

    1. Sorry, I didn’t leave my name

  2. So with you on the "Saving it for a special day". I come from a family that when the girl turns 16 they go to the china shop and pick out "good dishes". I was even at that time a practical girl and picked from the stoneware line with no gold or silver. At the beginning of the pandemic we put them in the cupboard and started using them everyday, been 3 years only 1 little plate has been broken. I wear my "good" clothes, I use my quilts. When I gift quilts I include laundry instructions and say the quilt was made to be used and abused. I saw someone else included a line stating if the quilt wears out to let them know and they will make them a new one. Think I will add that to my note. I did just do a repair on a baby quilt I made years ago and have been thinking about what quilt I have in my queue to gift the family so they have a bigger quilt to cuddle under.

  3. I too believe that what we have should be used. Otherwise, what's the point in having things. We have always used all our "good" dishes, and we eat in our dining room every night. There will be nothing to pass on to a daughter that doesn't want my "stuff" anyway.

  4. I learned the lesson YOUNG and sadly. One of the member of our evening shift OR team called in sick one night as her husband had dropped of an MI. When she came back to work a few weeks later she said "Ellen, use the good stuff! We've been married 45 years. I looked at the china a few weeks ago and realized I had been saving it for a special occasion. We never used it, even once and I'm so sad about that". So, for me, nothing is off limits. We bought China when we had been married 17y. I told hub that whatever was the dinner plan and whoever might be guests the day it arrived in town, we were using it. So, we had BBQ hamburgers, chips and potato salad on fine China and drank from crystal glasses. My niece/nephew age 3-5, drank their milk from crystal wine glasses. Mom and my sister were very concerned and I could have cared less if they had broken a glass which they did not.

    USE THE GOOD STUFF! If you won't, please go to the bank, get 5 $100 bills, and flush them down the toilet right away. Because that is what you're doing with the good stuff.

    Safe travels and HAPPY RETREATING!

  5. Sadly I don't have much good stuff but my mugs rotate between Connecting Threads, delft, Marilyn and Van Gogh. Oh, and the birds congregate on the wires due to the warmth of the electric running through them. Especially when there's 8" of snow!!