Friday, November 11, 2022

Dumfungled and Gobsmacked!


I learned a new word this week: 'dumfungled'.  It's an old Scots word meaning "mentally and physically worn out" -- and it can imply being depressed.  And I've been all of that much of the time for months.  Years.  Since DT was elected, anyway.  I thought I was easing out of it, but then there were planes shot down and COVID and BLM and the unmarked graves of Canadian indigenous children discovered, and January 6, 2021, and cancelled art shows, and Zoom exhaustion, and over 30% of the US Electorate losing its mind and...and...and...

And then, in the last few months, I've been soundly reminded just how blessed I am:

  • For one thing, I'm still here.  I turned 70, and lightning didn't strike. I didn't get "called home" as some folks put it.  I AM home, here in this wee hamlet with all its beauty and wonky citizens and such;
  • I have a glorious yard and garden, and the deer haven't attacked too much of it.  I have baby apple trees and Saskatoon bushes, and lilacs and wild flowers, and 5 bird feeders.  I have bees in the May/June blossoms.  I have benches on which to sit and knit or stitch or read or just think.
  • I have two great kids who, despite their own health challenges, are managing to live independent lives, pay their bills, and show me they love me.
  • I have a sister who's a delight and who shows me love and hospitality whenever we get together.
  • I have a few close gal pals, and a whole lot of long-distance friends, some whom I've never met -- who gave me support by buying my work this summer so I could afford the trip to Art in the Park, the price of which had sky-rocketed since COVID interrupted the planned 2020 event, which finally happened this July.
  • I've a faith community that struggles with aging members and fewer hands to do the work, but we gather every week to worship and pray and learn and have fellowship and struggle together -- and it's a blessing to be able to bumble along in person again after 2 years apart.
And then...yesterday...I was totally gobsmacked!

I went for the mail.  In it was a package from Traditional Stitches, my trusty LNS (Local Needlework Store), which operates online as well as in person.  I have a Wish List on their website, that's six pages long.  Yep!  I place orders as I have time and $$$ to do so.  Each order takes a long time; they're a tiny shop and don't keep a warehouse of inventory, so often things take weeks to put together.  I placed an order recently for a pattern they've told me is now on order, and I'm prepared to wait several weeks for it.  They don't request payment (via PayPal) till it has arrived in their shop, which I see as another Good Thing.

So, I looked at this package and wondered what the heck it could be.  They'd not asked me for $$ recently.  Had I ordered something, paid in advance, and forgotten??  Was I drunk or sleep-walking when I did that?  

I came home and opened the package.  It was a kit for a pattern that's been on my Wish List for months, maybe a year.   I checked my e-mails. No hint of it.  I checked my PayPal account.  No transactions recorded that referred to it, and none in that dollar amount.  I decided to look again at the order form that accompanied the kit, to check the Order Number.

Keziah Campbell 1796
Designer: Needlemade Designs (2017)
A Scottish-style sampler
Photo source: Traditional Stitches

And that was when I was GOBSMACKED.  
Right between the eyes!

Two of my dear stitching friends -- people I've known for years, and with whom I gather annually to stitch and talk and walk and eat and enjoy art and textiles and gardens -- had sent this to me.  The name and address of one of them was on the order form as "purchaser".

Oh. My. Ohmyohmyohmyomyomy!

But...why now?  Why in November?

I picked up the phone.  When one of my friends answered and asked, "How are you?", I replied, "Stunned".  I then explained about the mail and the parcel and asked, "To what do I owe this honour?"  "It was supposed to be for your birthday," she said, adding that it was because it was a Big Birthday. "We didn't know it would take so long."

After thanking them both profusely -- the call was on 'speaker' at their end -- we had a lovely chat and I ended with telling them, "nothing for Xmas", because this in and of itself was enough to cover both occasions!  

Now, I'm not interrupting my Xmas 2022 'making' to start this.  (I can hear some of you snickering.  Trust me; I'm not going to do that! 😇😆😁)  But my friends have suggested that perhaps I could have it finished by the time we get together again in August 2023...God willing!


Meanwhile, the Gothic Lace Cowl for my nephew's partner is finished but for sewing in the ends and adding the buttons:

And I've started a simple cowl for my nephew:

Pattern: "Just Try It"
Designer: Susan Ashcroft
Yarn: Kathmandu Aran 100 from Queensland Yarns

I finished the "Wabi Sabi" quilt top for a Certain Young Man -- now it's ready to sandwich and quilt:

Original Pattern: "Magic Tiles" by Kathleen Bissett
My adaptation: "Wabi Sabi"
No pattern notes; it's One Of A Kind!
Size: 9 blocks + borders = 50" x 50"

And I'm 90% of the way through stitching "Lick the Bowl" for my son's partner.  It'll be made into a journal cover -- I've bought a little journal to go with it -- and I hope she'll use it to collect her favourite recipes, as I've been told she likes to bake.

One of the "Kitchen Counter" Series
Designer: Hands On Designs
Fabric: 30-count mystery even-weave
Threads: my own selection - DMC

My right hand is still a bit 'iffy' -- aggravated somewhat not only but the stitching but also by the writing, typing, and shovelling.  I try to rotate activities...but my art-making is on pause.  I figure if I get these gifts finished, I can move into sampling for the 3rd piece I need to do re: Art in the Park.  

And in the weeks left in November, I have 2 short theology papers to write, two Morning Prayer services to manage (with homilies), 3 dozen Christmas cookies to bake for the church cookie sale (Nov. 26) and the Under $100 Art Market in Lacombe (Nov. 24-26), where I'll be showing small works and volunteering.  

Here's just one of the pieces that will be for sale at that Market:

Winter Grasses (2021)
5" x 7", floater frame

Just a few things to keep me out of trouble!

Meanwhile, it's Remembrance Day here in Canada, and I'm going to wander downtown (3 blocks from here) around 10:30 a.m. to see if there's a ceremony planned.  The good folks at the Royal Canadian Legion here used to do it every year at the Community Hall, followed by a buffet lunch at the Legion Hall.  Then COVID hit and it didn't happen in 2020.  Last year it was an outdoor service (no lunch).  This year it's been very cold and snowy, and while I noted that a small area around the Cenotaph at the Legion had been cleared of snow, there's been nothing posted about a service at the Community Hall -- or anywhere, for that matter.  So we shall see.

It's also Friday, and Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday is up and I'll leave you with an invitation to check out the action over there, and with the hopes that your weekend is warm and cozy, or cool and beachy, and wherever you are -- safe, sound, happily creative!  'Bye for now!


Kate said...

What a lovely surprseh for you! I'm glad it gave you joy. We can all use some joy right now.

Gwyned Trefethen said...

It's good to celebrate and be celebrated. I am constantly amazed by how just how full your life is and how generously you give to others with your handmade with love gifts.

Unknown said...

Hi Margaret
I enjoyed reading your blog. You have a good grip on word smithing.
Betty Caskey in chilly Olds