Yes, You Absolutely Should Judge

I hear a lot of people saying “You shouldn’t judge”.  That is absolutely malarkey.  You should judge.  And you do.  Every day.

For example, let’s say you see a man shoot another man.  Are you really going to stand there and say “You shouldn’t judge”?   Of course not.  You would make a judgment.  What you are judging are the actions, not the person.

But why even bother to judge at all?   People judge to affirm or fine-tune their moral foundations.  To help them determine the course of action they want to take in their own lives.  In my example, you know it’s wrong to take a life.  You know self-defense is an acceptable reason.  Finding out the particulars–that there had been threats made, that shots had previously been fired, for example–helps you reaffirm that yes, it’s regrettable, but in this set of circumstances, taking a life is acceptable.  You ask yourself if you could take a life under those circumstances.  You are judging circumstances, you are judging actions.

And that’s ok.

What we should not do is try to judge what’s in someone’s heart.  Or how God will judge them.  Because you can never know.

So go ahead, judge.   Just know what you’re judging.


To the Newly Minted Adult: Take Your Stuff

It is nearly 6 years after my daughter moved out and I am tackling the stuff.  Games, toys, socks, underwear, journals, everything!

It’s coming up on graduation time and lots of newly minted high school and college graduates will be leaving their parents’ homes.  As a parent, whose children moved out some years ago, let me give the newly minted adults some advice:  take your stuff.  Take all of it.  Even if you don’t want it.

Take it when you go.  Or throw it away.  Throw it away and bag it in black garbage bags so your parents can’t see you don’t want the teddy bear they gave you on your second birthday.  Don’t leave it behind as a constant reminder of the child that is gone.  Take your journals and your school projects.  Don’t leave the journals and short stories for your parents to read and cry about that they didn’t know your secret pain.  And maybe it was a short story and not even pain at all, but they don’t know.  Don’t leave spare underwear, socks, and running clothes in case you visit.

Don’t make them have to sort through it to figure out what might still be meaningful to you or not.  And why not.  And what does it say about them and how they raised you.  Don’t give them things to cry in angst over.

Leave:  Pictures of your smiling face.  Happy things so they can think of you as the adult you now are as well as the child they loved.

Take:  Your house key.  Come back and visit.  Take their phone number.  Call them.  Tell them you love them.  Not as a child loves a parent, but as an adult loves the parent who has seen them on this journey called life and who loves and respects them.

Take your stuff.  Don’t leave your parents to drown in it.

Humpty Dumpty is Shattered

How do I put myself back together again? It wasn’t 2 weeks ago I was looking forward to many things. My son is getting married in a few weeks. But I was told, not quite 2 weeks ago  at work that my position was eliminated. There is nothing more central to the core of our being than what we do. And today, I am told that I do nothing, have no value, no intrinsic worth, no reason to exist.

It’s not personal, it’s business. Yet on this end of this nasty business there is a person. Today I have no value, no intrinsic worth, no reason to exist.

How does one put Humpty Dumpty back together again? Don’t tell me when one door shuts, another one opens. We all want that to be true, but it isn’t always. This is how we ended up in North Carolina–the same thing happened to my husband. At they same age I am now. I helped him revise his resume, apply for jobs, find contacts.

This time I’m in this hole alone. My husband has never been as supportive of my career as I have of his. But I don’t think I can put myself back together again by myself.  I have no value, no intrinsic worth, no reason to exist. Humpty Dumpty is shattered.  He was just a worthless shell anyway.

This is the part of the blog where I add the uplifting comments. Learn to live with disappointment.






State of the Stash

I published at the end of July that I was going “no buy” until I reached 100 yards used or until a year had passed….whichever was first.  So I have made some backings and started assembling some blocks that I had set back for Hospice and added borders.

Net usage for August:  21.50  Yards!*

*I did get a small gift of about 1/3 yard.
*And some projects are not finished yet, but the fabric is “committed”

But I definitely made some progress.  Here is one of the backings I made using blacks/charcoal grays:


Which I think compliments the scrappy top.  The top is not counted in my fabric usage.  I think I counted it last year, so…..not now.  Only counting what I’m SURE isn’t counted.


The good thing about this is that I also am finishing some of these tops.  The quilt above and the one from my previous post are done and bound.  Another quilt that I made last summer (picture on next post, I promise), I also made a backing for, quilted, and am working on the binding.

The bad part is, once I’ve completed these quilts, and my hospice quilts, that usage is going to slow down quite a bit….but we’ll see how creative I can get then!

The No Buy Pledge

If you’re not a quilter, you may hear quilters talking about “stash” and “no buy”.   When I walk through a fabric store, pretty pieces of fabric just jump into my hands and I take them home.  And I create a stash.  Pretty pieces of fabric waiting for me to use them.   Of course, that’s both a good and bad thing.  It enables me to make lovely quilts without buying much, if any fabric.  But I seldom do that… because….I like buying fabric.

A few days ago, I decided to take the “no buy” challenge. These things have “rules” as most challenges do.  Legal to buy is backings, borders, and backgrounds.  And while those are legal, I’m going to try to make do without purchasing them.  Because one challenge to myself is that I will go “no buy” for a year–or until I reach 100 yards, whichever comes first.  Since I have a full-time job, and have other things in my life (running, dog rescuing, family, and home), I would expect that I won’t be able to use 100 yards of fabric in a year.  And since I have set this up with legal purchases, my yardage count will be NET.  So if I buy 5 yards of backing, which is entirely legal, I’ll have to use up 5 yards elsewhere to offset it on that 100 yards.  And, I won’t count as yardage things I’ve already committed–like completed tops.

I don’t buy a lot of pieces 3+ yards.  Heck I don’t buy a lot of pieces over a yard.  So, if I want to not end up in the hole, I’m going to be piecing some backings.

I made this wonkly log cabin top before I got distracted last year.  The top, obviously won’t count toward my new pledge.  BUT,  I pieced this interesting backing, and of course the binding will.  So I will end week 1 with about 2 1/2 yards used.   I’ve been a bad blogger this last year, but I’ll try to check in at least once a month with how my “no buy” pledge is doing.

What are you doing to simplify your life?

If You Can Make it There

A couple of weeks ago, I went back to a small town in Indiana where I grew up.  It was good to spend time with family.

I noticed a couple of things while back home.

  1.  The church that I went to in my childhood isn’t nearly as big inside as I remembered it.  We switched churches when I was in Jr. High school, and I hadn’t been back to that church for 30+ years.  My mom had to tell me where to turn….
  2. All the factories are gone.  Virtually everywhere I remember a factory, there is now a creepy-looking vacant building, or an empty lot  with signs of torn down buildings.
  3. There are medical practices and urgent care offices everywhere.  I can remember the 2 or 3 doctor’s offices in my small town.  There was a hospital next town over.  Now there’s a doc-in-a-box everywhere.  And yet, I would guess the population hasn’t increased much, if at all. People must be a lot sicker.
  4. Lots of places were hiring.  Of course, the type of places that have “We’re hiring” signs outside would be minimum wage jobs, though.  Which is not $15.00 an hour there.

Most people I know have left the area.  It’s hard to find employment there.  People are moving to cities.  In small towns you still find the elderly, disabled, self-employed, and a few people willing to commute for work.  And living in a small city, I can say, cities suck.  Neighbors are too close, you’re too regulated–I can’t even plant a tomato plant in my own yard, or water my lawn more than three times a week, park my car on the street, or have signs in my yard, or have more than 3 pets.

So thinking about my small-city life, I just kept wondering why I left.  I guess most leave because they can’t make it there.

Who’s in Control Here?

About 7 months ago I walked into a doctor’s office.  I was feeling very bad.  I was sick every day.  I couldn’t sleep.  I have a horrible doctor. She was very curt and blunt.  She told me (and this is nearly a direct quote): I was obese, old, and had an unhealthy lifestyle, and that she couldn’t help me.

That was not what I wanted or expected to hear.  So I asked her to recommend the best way to lose weight and she said that she went to Weight Watchers.   Two days later I was at a meeting.  I really wanted to be anywhere else.  I was embarrassed that I needed help.  Heck, I was embarrassed to ask the doctor for help and I didn’t get it.  Now I had to ask for help again.  And I didn’t get it again.  What I got, instead, was them showing me a plan, but they told me that it was up to me, and that I was in control.   So, I decided to be in control.

It was  a week before Thanksgiving–NOT a good time to go on a diet, so I’m told. And I was leaving town the next day on a trip.  I don’t really think there is a good time to go on a diet.  However, there is no BAD time to change your lifestyle.  And that is what I have done.  I eat mostly fruits and vegetables and some lean meats.  Almost never do I touch sweets or processed sugar, and very little bread.  I have found that those were the things that were making me feel bad.  I don’t want to feel bad anymore.

And, I started a Couch to 5K program and I have run 3 5Ks races so far this year. I know I am lucky to be able to run at my age and am thankful for that.  I feel great.

Yes, I’m still quilting, but not as much.  Yes, I’m still losing weight, but not as much.  I am nearly at the weight I was 20 years ago.   I hope to get there by the 4th of July.  But if I don’t, it doesn’t matter.  My lifestyle has changed, and I’m the one in control of that.  I could have changed my doctor, but it turns out that, although her bedside manner stunk, she was right.