Keeping Perspective

Today was a frustrating day.  There was no time for sewing, and it seemed every time I started something, something else interrupted me.  Something more pressing.  And while it is tempting to spend this whole blog post whining about what a bad day I had, with so much tragedy in the day's events, it seems wrong to do so.  Each time I think my day can't get any worse, I remind myself that it really can get a whole lot worse...and that for some of our neighbors, today is much, much worse.  And it will continue to get worse for a long time before it even begins to get better for them.

I'm no stranger to loss, including the loss of a child.  If you find yourself wondering how to comfort someone who is experiencing the loss of a loved one, know this:  most people want to talk about their loss and about the person who has died.  They may cry in front of you.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It is natural and therapeutic to do so.  When the tears start to flow, a kind word, a gentle touch...these things mean the world to the bereaved.  You need do nothing else.  You don't need to say anything.  Your presence is all that is needed.  They also want you to mention their loved one by name, and not to be afraid that by doing so you will remind them of the person.  They are thinking of nothing else, believe me.  

It's hard to know what to say about one's day knowing that others are suffering, so I guess I'll just show you the pictures I've taken over the past two days and leave it at that.

First off, I received a package from Mike at The Amateur Quilter.  I won Mike's giveaway last week, and received my fat quarter bundles yesterday.

Mike added a few scraps from his stash.  I cracked up when I saw the ruby slipper fabric with his note.  Can you read it?  It says, "I'm from Kansas".  Mike has a fun blog.  Check it out.  It's always good to see some men quilters out there.

After taking this picture, I noticed this on the floor.

Here.  Let me show you close up what this is:

So what's going on here, exactly?  Well, Mr. Smitty has been rummaging around in my sewing room closet for days.  I thought he was just curious, but now I've discovered his true intent.  Do you see that little white chest of small drawers in the upper right hand corner of this image?  Well.  That's where I kept a little bag of dried catnip.  I used it to entice Miss Gracie onto her bed while I'm sewing instead of lying in the middle of my fabric.  She loves it, and she comes into the sewing room looking for it.  

It seems Mr. Smitty has been looking for the catnip too.  And he found it.

He managed to pull the drawer out of the little chest, chew into the catnip package, and now the catnip is scattered all over the closet floor...where he now likes to roll around.

And even though the catnip is gone from the drawer, he continues to pull the drawer down just...in...case...every time he comes into the sewing room.

Today he brought in a mouse.  Clearly, he is a bad cat.  Rotten.  To the core.  That's what happens when you get a cat.  A whole new world of misbehavior comes packaged in the cat.  It's a good thing I love his little pink nose. And his little white knee socks (one pulled up, the other pulled down), and his spotted coat, and his whiskers, and his little vocalizations, and how he purrs, and his inordinately long tail, and the way he runs around and plays. 

And speaking of Smitty, his ornament came today too.

I'm pretty happy with it.  It looks about as much like him as I could hope for, and it's made of wood.  And it even has a pink nose and pink lips, just like him.

So, I guess as long as I have the ornament, I might as well keep the cat.  Even if he is rotten.  To the core.

Even though I didn't do any sewing today, I did get a start on Smitty's stocking yesterday.  I'm making this Starflake Stocking.  The free pattern is available on the fabshophop website.  Here's what the stocking looks like:

 I'm using different fabrics.  I have all the cutting done, and I have the pieces for the stars made, but I haven't sewn them together yet.  I'm hoping to get this finished tomorrow.  Here's what I have so far.

 I'm a little worried that I don't have enough contrast in my fabrics and that the stars aren't going to show up well against the background, but I'm not going to give it much thought.  I'll finish what I have and be happy with it.

It's not a day for sweating the small stuff.  After all, how many people even bother making Christmas stockings for their cats?

Matthew is staying with us this week.  He has a house now, and he'll pick up the keys on Monday, then head back to Klamath Falls to pack up his stuff before his move to Portland.  I'm so glad to know that my family is safe.  Tonight, I want to hug them all and tell them how much I love them.  Life is precarious and unpredictable.  It's good to know my loved ones are safe tonight.  I'll keep hoping for continued good fortune, and that they'll stay safe, and that they'll outlive me so that I never have to experience the pain of losing them.  But there are no guarantees, and so I'll make sure to tell them right now...while I have the chance...how precious they are to me.  It's one thing I can control, even if I can't control what happens to them in the big wide world.

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Diane Wild said...

A very beautiful post, Barbara. Yes, just letting someone talk about their loss is the best therapy one can get and give. We both know how that works. Smitty is so much fun to watch. Makes me want to have a cat again but I will wait with that. Glad you have your boys close to you. Hugs.

My Sister Made Me Do It.... said...

Your post in my dashboard caught my eye when I saw the Ruby Slippers fabric.....I am making an Oz hanging so my eyes are already trained to spot that fabric! Love your rotten Smitty but before you call him a bad boy for bringing the mouse in, I think he may have been bringing you a gift......at least that's what I've always heard about when kitty pets bring in birds, grasshoppers, mice, etc....When my Tinkerbell brings something I always know because she meows at me in a certain pitch that she only uses when she brings me a gift......

WoolenSails said...

I think we are all saddening by todays tragedy and our hearts go out to the families.

Smitty is too funny, moki does that too, he goes into the cabinets to look for treats.


Junebug613 said...

I felt guilty about missing my errant cat in light of the sadness of the day, but realized that wanting to know he was safe is not a bad thing. After today's tragedy, it was nice to read about silly Smitty. Careful young man, or they'll outlaw that stuff too! Ha Ha

LynCC said...

Oh, funny Smitty. :) Smiles are precious today.

Michele said...

That Smitty! Always into something. Although I myself haven't lost a child, before I became a Mom my nephew was killed in a car accident and it was almost as if it was my own child. The anniversary of his death is 8 years ago this coming Monday and Christmas time was forever changed for our entire family.

Kate said...

It's so hard to digest the events of yesterday, it's even harder if you have children. You do think that they are safe at school, I can't even begin to image the horror and grief of the parents. I don't always get the chance to pick my kiddo up from school since I'm at work, but I did yesterday. I needed to give her a hug because it couldn't wait until the end of the work day.

Smitty is such a little trouble maker, thankfully he's a cute one.

Teresa in Music City said...

It's impossible to even know what to say about the evil that happened in CT. I called my son and asked him to give our little Adam - a kindergartner - a big hug from his grandma!

You gotta love Smitty, the little rascal! And how smart is that, going after what he wants and knowing how to do it! He must be a barrel of fun to have around - most of the time :*)

Angel and Kirby said...

This is a beautiful post. Most of us do not know what to say or do when someone close looses a child or family member. Your incite helps. My niece would not talk about her baby for several years. Then one day she ask me for the only pictures that existed of that sweet baby. Then the healing began. on the other hand, a co-worker went into every graphic detail about her loss and we cried together. I was stunned but sat and listened and hugged her.

The families and friends are all in my thoughts.

barbara woods said...

great post! i have lost 2 children so i know what you mean

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Poor rotten to the core, Mr. Smitty. Go sit in mommy's lap and purr for her.

Rachel said...

Poor Smitty....deoprived I tell ya...LOL. I couldn't have addressed teh CT shootings better. It also makes me want to hugs my babies tighter. Such a tragedy.

Snoodles said...

You always have a way with words, my friend....I've been wanting to hug my kiddos tightly and tell them that I cherish them. Thank you for the insight on how to help a grieving person, and thank you for such a sweet post.
Smitty is adorable, and I think he deserves another package of nip! LOL

Glenys said...

Congratulations! Hope you'll be alright. Cute kitty.

Kirsty said...

Oh Smitty! You are in BIG trouble! Still, I was impressed by your tenacity. And I love the ornament, the coffees and the snow. Good blog post, B!