Waking Up on Wednesday

Help me decide on a case for my new phone.
See the choices right here.

Today I'm starting with a big Happy Birthday wish to my son, Erik, who turns 34 today. Here's a picture I took of him on his wedding day in 2009. Here's a link to a post I wrote about him two years ago. So much can change in two years, and last week, Erik became a homeowner for the first time.

It is so much fun to watch our kids grow, change, dream, and achieve, and so I want to wish Erik a wonderful day on his special day. Happy Birthday, Sweety! I love you more than you can possibly imagine. You make me proud every day of your life.

I could not get to sleep last night. We were watching TV, and we were both nodding off, and so we headed off to bed. We went through our usual routine, which includes reading emails, blogs, etc., on our iPads before turning them off, rolling over, and falling asleep in short order. Last night, I simply could not close my eyes.

My snuggle cat, Smitty, was all curled up beside me, and he was having no problem sleeping. I, on the other hand, could not turn off my busy mind. I have no idea why this happened, but I'm suspicious that it had to do with the darkness of the day yesterday. This is a problem in the Pacific Northwest and other areas where daytime darkness occurs frequently. Here's a quote from a factsheet on Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders all involve a problem in the timing of when a person sleeps and is awake. The human body has a master circadian clock in a control center of the brain known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). This internal clock regulates the timing of such body rhythms as temperature and hormone levels. The primary circadian rhythm that this body clock controls is the sleep-wake cycle. The circadian clock functions in a cycle that lasts a little longer than 24 hours. The circadian clock is “set” primarily by visual cues of light and darkness that are communicated along a pathway from the eyes to the SCN. This keeps the clock synchronized to the 24-hour day.

I haven't had a sleepless night in a while, although it used to happen frequently. I don't really have any other explanation for it. Since I spent the entire day inside yesterday, and a good portion of it in my basement sewing room, it serves as a wake-up call (pun intended) to me that I need to get outside a little bit each day, even if it is only to sit in the dry breezeway watching the rain. Natural light matters.

Soooooo...since I couldn't sleep anyway, I decided to get up and sew the binding on the doll quilt I spent yesterday afternoon quilting. I'm excited to show you the whole thing, but for now, you'll have to wait. My partner should have it sometime next week. Here's a little peek:

Now there's something going on in Blogland that you need to know. Click on this link and head on over there to Lilypad Quilting right now(!) to read all about it:

It looks like a fun party and there is a great giveaway to go along with it. I don't know about you, but I'm getting my post ready so that I can join in.

Today I have a little housework to do, and I have PT this afternoon. It's only my 2nd session. I have another scheduled on Friday. I thought I had noticed a slight improvement after my session last week, but the gain has disappeared. It's way too soon to make any judgments about it. I'm doing my exercises and keeping an open mind. If I have time today, I'm going to start sewing together my Vintage Miniature Sewing machine quilt.

I have a pretty green batik that I'm using as a sashing and another fabric for the border. It's a black background with some tiny leaves and flowers that I won't try to describe. I think it's going to be pretty, and so I'm anxious to see it all put together.

Tomorrow, I'm excited to be going to MQX West (Machine Quilter's Expo). It's one of my favorite quilt shows of the year. Of course, I love a good quilt show any time, but at MQX, the machine quilting is the star. It's always inspiring to see what others have done, and the quilts are amazing. Of course, I'll take pictures and post my favorites.

Finally, I'm continuing my NP4 protest today, but today's message is special to me. Since I've already written a rather lengthy protest message on my personal Facebook page, I'm just going to cut and paste it here. There's nothing more to say about it, so here goes:

Today I'm changing up my NP4 protest just a bit to include pictures of Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA. These images, taken in February, 2011 show my mother's final resting place.

She earned the privilege of being interred at a national cemetery for her 52-year marriage to my father, a 32-year veteran of the Marine Corps, who served in WWII and Vietnam. She managed her "service" as a military wife admirably and without complaint. I'm including these photos because, like so many others, I am both outraged and disheartened that the government shutdown has meant the denial of death benefits to the families of four soldiers killed in Afghanistan last weekend. Unlike my protest posts to date, this one contains no tongue-in-cheek humor because this is no laughing matter.

I've spent some time researching the status of our national cemeteries this morning. From what I understand, they all remain open. Arlington National Cemetery comes under the purview of the United States Army, and is therefore unaffected. The rest are under the purview of the Department of Defense, and therefore may be affected by the shutdown. To date, it appears that they are unaffected, but there is no guarantee that burials won't be delayed as the shutdown continues.

This morning I asked myself, if my father (age 90) were to die today, how long would he wait to take his place alongside my mother? When our nation can no longer honor its commitment to our veterans and their families, I fear we have completely lost our way. Today I'm pleading with members of Congress, stop the insanity. End the shutdown. Power to the people!

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

quiltzyx said...

Happy Birthday Eric!

Sorry to hear about the insomnia - I hate it when that happens (all too often to me lately). But good to see you got your doll quilt done!

Quilting Babcia said...

Seems like I have the insomnia habit too, got up at 2 a.m. one day a couple weeks ago and quilted for 3 hours. Even that didn't put me back in sleepy mode. I'm looking forward to seeing your mini sewing machines quilt finished. Your sashing fabric looks perfect.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I am an insomniac - work my best at the oddest hours to most. Although, yesterday I barely made it thru our quilt guild meeting and get home - crashed on the couch and slept right thru until noon! SO RARE!!

Betty said...

Happy Birthday to Eric! That is one more thing you and I have in common, my son turned 34 this year. He has grown into a fine young man and also makes me proud every day!
Insomnia is not a problem for me, I slept 10 hours last night! In my defense, I had to get up too early that morning.

Celtic Thistle said...

Happy Birthday to Eric, it's lovely to have such pride in your son.

Hope your sleep patterns return to normal soon.

Sounds like your protest should prick a few consciences!

Lyndsey said...

Happy birthday Erik, I hope you have a great day.

I can't wait to see the sewing machine quilt all put together, it will be rather splendid.

Good on you for turning up the heat on your protest. I had to explain what the shutdown was all about to my son and younger daughter yesterday. They couldn't understand the stupidity of the situation but were relieved that for once it wasn't the UK government being stupid.

Dana Gaffney said...

Happy Birthday Eric, the new house has to be the best birthday gift ever!

LynCC said...

First, Happy Birthday to Eric!

And yes, we are no longer a free nation when our own government attacks us directly. And it's not just from one branch, either, which is the worst part. Makes me sick.

Your sewing machines quilt is going to be amazingly gorgeous. You found the perfect fabric for framing them!

Abbigail said...

I love the sewing machine quilt blocks! Where did you get the patterns for the machines? Are they hand or machine embroidery? I'm guessing there are done by hand. Love them!

Kate said...

Happy birthday to Erik!

Enjoy your trip to the show. Maybe we will see some progress now that there have been some other paths identified.

Jacque said...

Thanks for the shout out! :)
In total agreement with you about the shutdown and the snafu with the burial/benefits for our fallen heros. Meh. Washington. (DC, that is.)

Brown Family said...

I am thinking about joining the show at Lillypad Quilting. I an still plodding along on Halloween projects. I know they will not be quilted for this year, but Halloween comes almost every year!