I'm almost finished with the second sleeve of Mr. Greenjeans, and the first lace tier on my skirt, but they're not yet photograph-worthy. While I'm finishing those, I wanted to share a couple of fun experiences I've had in the past week or so.
I'm fortunate to live in an area with many talented authors and artists, and last night, one of the local libraries hosted a talk by Jill Butler, author of Create the Space You Deserve. After living in France for about sixteen years, Jill moved back to the states after her divorce and needed to start anew. She talked about finding and making a home where she would have space and inspiration for the next phase of her life. She wrote a book based on that journey, and invited others in the audience to dream about what they want to make space for in their lives, particularly after, as she put it, life hands you a lemon. Her philosophy is: the more lemons, the more opportunities.
The talk went by too fast; I had the feeling she had much more to share before she had to stop and sign books. Some of what she shared overlaps with my favorite creative mentor's work, Julia Cameron of the Artist's Way, including doing the daily morning pages in your journal, and making time to spend with yourself via "the artist's date." These ideas are not just for creative people, but anyone seeking or facing a change and just not knowing what they want next, or how to get there.
It didn't seem appropriate to ask for an author photograph in this setting, so I took one of the inscription she wrote in my book:
There are a lot of changes I'd still like to make in my life, including making my own creative room more appealing, but one thing I do know is that I find great fulfillment in my volunteer work at the cat shelter. No matter how discouraged I get about my writing, for example, I know the time I spend there is some of the best time I'll spend all week. And last week, just before the Great Sinus Plague got me, I had my first opportunity to do a cat rescue!
A local day care center called to report a friendly stray cat they'd noticed on the property, who appeared to have been hit by a car due to an odd walking pattern. None of the usual "rescuers" were available, so I received a call asking if I'd be willing to go out and get the cat. Of course!
Sometimes it's good you don't know what you're getting yourself into until after the fact. I drove over to the center, and walked around the property for a good long time, wondering when the cat might show up. They told me he's almost always around -- typically we'd set a trap with some cat food and wait, if the cat wasn't so friendly, but in this case I had the impression that the cat would magically appear at the first whiff of tuna! Finally I got the idea to walk to the property next door, full of long grass and junk where a cat could find a safe place for an afternoon nap (and I could pick up Lyme Disease -- must take bug spray next time!).
Within a few minutes, he came over to me, and even let me pick him up. Talk about a blessing! I held on to him for dear life and walked back to the center where my car was parked and the carrier was waiting. Getting him in wasn't too bad, and he was so good in my car, almost thankful that he knew he was headed for better things. Well, if you call the vet visit better!
We drove straight to the vet and they did a quick exam before I left. Patches, as the center wanted to name the kitty, has a fractured hip (verified in X-rays), likely from being hit by a car. But he's not in pain (the vet would have given pain meds), and with "cage rest" will heal up nicely! There is no surgery or other treatment you can give for a fractured hip, or collarbone, or many of the other cyclist-like injuries except time.
I picked him up two days later and took him to the shelter, where he settled nicely into a cushy bed and unlimited amounts of food. Want to see him?
I woke him up from his nap when I took the photo, so he's a little annoyed with me!
I know I'm a total nerd being so proud of what was a relatively easy rescue. The women at the shelter who normally make these visits could tell you stories!!! (I do believe they would have the *best* reality show ever: Dumpster diving. Climbing trees. Breaking into abandoned barns to get moms & kittens...). But it makes my weekly shift so much more real, now that I've had the experience of seeing what happens before a new cat comes to us. I am so grateful for this shelter and the volunteers. My cats are sick of hearing it, spoiled as they are.
Here is a photo of Jenny, another new cat at the shelter, who cannot get enough petting and attention! She's got a little cold and will soon go to her new room when her meds are done. Love her pink bed.
I am also grateful for everyone who goes out of their way to make time to help and support others. Kara and Erin, two very cool sisters, knitters, and sewists, participated in an MS walk recently for their brother. I received a very generous prize from Kara for supporting their walk:
A Liberty of London clipboard, a Jane Austen notebook, and a skein of hand-dyed wool from Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool Co, in lovely a-t-mn colors! Thank you so much for these wonderful prizes. I will enjoy them very much! The wool will make a very nice shawl, if I can find the right pattern.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and spend lots of time doing what inspires you most!