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Back to everyday life

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

I’ve been back from Japan for just over a week. It was a wonderful trip, full of inspiration, new experiences and interesting things (and of course the food was utterly fabulous!). I’m sure I’ll go back….the door has been opened!

Now everyday life has resumed. I fought a bit last week with jet-lag, which resulted in a horrible three day migraine. Maybe going straight back to work was a little optimistic….

Even though I haven’t been blogging much, I have been doing things. There’s been a fair bit of knitting going on here and today I knuckled down and basted the Fireworks quilt top. I really hate basting, but at least I could combine it with a marathon watching the Winter Olympics session. This quilt top has been a very long time in the making. The big individual blocks took ages to make, but now that it’s done I’m really happy with it. It is pretty much single bed size.


I have no idea yet how I’m going to quilt this baby. I’m tending towards very simple quilting in the ditch. I want it to be soft and cuddly and too much quilting turns a quilt to cardboard in my experience. The jury is still out though, so if you have a good idea, please do let me know.

It’s incredibly mild weather here at the moment for the time of year, so I also braved the woods and went for a run this afternoon. I know it was good for me, but boy it was really hard work. I can’t believe how much fitness I seem to have lost through being a slob for the last few months. I need to do something about that….lose some weight and get my act together to train regularly. I KNOW I feel so much better when I do. I don’t want to turn into fat, frumpy and fifty ;-(

So things are getting back to normal. There are a few ups and downs with the children, but I’m learning to take the downs with equanimity. Nobody is dying and teenagers need to learn to take responsibility for their stupidity actions. It has taken me a lot of years and a lot of angst to get to this point. I’m learning to let go and to accept that I can’t make everything right. Sometimes things just don’t turn out how I would like them to, but that’s life. I’ll do the things I can actually do, make the changes I can influence, but a lot of the time things are out of my hands. They just are.

Have a good week out there in the ether and hopefully I will be back before too long,



15 Responses to “Back to everyday life”

  1. Flying Blind Says:

    I bet that migraine came all packaged up in Hello Kitty and looking cute until you got home!
    Have fun with the quilt challenge xxx

  2. Leanne Says:

    Oh, that might describe me, those three f’s but I too am working hard on it this year. I love your quilt, and I so wish I could go to Japan too. I figure that with my teens, that learning from their mistakes is part of the plan so I need to let them make some. It is hard, however to stay out of it, sounds like you are doing well.

  3. jan - isisjem Says:

    Glad you had a great trip. There are a lot of wise words in that last bit. I don’t have kids but I could apply that to other areas of my life.

  4. Catherine Says:

    It really is so hard with teenagers, but they have to make their own mistakes. The quilt is looking fabulous

  5. Katy Says:

    Welcome home! I also always seem to have that ‘straight back to work’ optimism, and it kills me every time o.O

    I was in a meeting last week with one of my managers, and I got to listen first hand to a ‘learning experience’ his daughter got when she phoned him up to say she’d lost her house key and couldn’t get in after school. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘At least you have your jacket with you, because I gave it to you this morning… What do you mean you don’t. You put it back? Well yes I know it’s cold out there… Yes, and wet… Well no I can’t do anything about it at the moment sweetheart, I’m in a meeting… Yes, mum won’t be home for a while either… Well you could go to your aunt’s house, she’ll be home sooner… Yes I know it’s quite a long walk, but at least it will be dry… No, well life’s not fair, goodbye sweetie’

  6. MelD Says:

    Love that quilt top – keep it simple?! Squiggly lines might bring on more migraine ;O!!

    @ Kathy – love that story!! We so need them to learn their own lessons and yet it can be hard to step back. Medal to your manager for his perfect reaction LOL That is brilliant!!

  7. Dianne Says:

    How about some diagonals? It’s a lovely quilt – worth the hard work.
    Glad to hear you are chilling out a bit over the teenagers! Look forward to seeing your photos of Japan

  8. Betty van Os Says:

    Love the quilt; French General fabric I suppose? Beautiful!
    Quilting: emphasizing the shapes in each block?
    There’s a Dutch saying: small kids have small problems, big kids have big problems.
    You’re doing fine in the process of ‘letting go’
    The hardest thing!!

  9. Gertie Says:

    Love your Fireworks quilt and well done for getting it basted – a session in front of the Winter Olympics sounds like the perfect basting opportunity! Did you see the Finnish coach knitting something at the top of the snowboard slopestyle?!

    Hope you are back into the swing of things after your super holiday – Japan really appeals to me and even more so after seeing your pictures – and I think you must be right about stepping back and letting the teens muddle through although when the time comes you will have to remind me to do that too!

  10. Lush Says:

    OMG!! I love the “life lesson” that Katy heard. Totally get where they were coming from but sooooo hard to do that. I tend to be the “fixit rescuer” type, much to my (& my partners) annoyance. I learnt that mode as a child & really struggle to not do it. Mind you I KNOW it does not lead to good things, yet I do it over & over.
    Mind you, if they get to 18 or so & they are not in any major trouble, I think you have done OK.
    Good luck with the quilt ideas, I am bloody hopeless on thinking of how to quilt things. Or I know what it needs & it is way beyond my abilities. Way. I have one that has been finished for years but I really want it to be quilted a certain way & I just know me & the Pfaff will make a mess of it. Oh well.
    Glad to hear from you.
    Lush x

  11. Elisabeth Says:

    Japan is one of those places I would love to go visit so I’m looking forward to hearing all about your trip. You still alright for the end of the month?
    Your quilt is gorgeous. I’m not sure how to quilt it but maybe something traditional like baptist fans or feathers?

  12. Julie Says:

    I’m so glad you had a wonderful trip, Helen. And your quilt is lovely, as always. I think dealing with the less-then-stellar choices of children is one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through. I’m thankful that we all have come through. Your attitude is certainly more healthy than mine was all those years ago. My youngest is 31 now. 🙂 Have a wonderful week, dear friend. xoxo

  13. Susan Says:

    You will never be fat or frumpy. Fifty maybe but not the other two. Glad you had a wonderful time in Japan. And that you are learning to roll with the teenage angst and stupidity. Hope I learn how to do that too!

  14. Diane stanley Says:

    Sometimes real life sucks and you wish you could stay on holiday forever. I know I do. I hope things fall into place with the kids. Thinking of you ❤️

  15. Sarah Says:

    Fireworks looks great! Beautiful French General fabrics. Too much quilting does make a quilt stiff. Sorry don’t have any advice there. I think I might be like you, a fixer, a rescuer, a make everything right person, not let others go through bad things kind of person. My kids aren’t teenagers yet, so we’ll see how that goes. A daycare lady I once employed said she used to think like that, but having been through all this she lowered her aim to getting all her kids finished school and without drug addictions! So far three of her six kids have reached 18 and she has 100% success.