Sunday, August 5, 2012

16 Tons, What Do I Get?


 I know it has been a while since I last posted. I am at a creative musing point as to which direction I should go with the background of the Tree quilt.  It’s just not flowing in the direction I have in my mind. The blocks don’t flow and the colors seem chunky. Fabric is expensive these days, and I don’t want to keep slicing and dicing until I get it right. I’m going to examine nature a little harder to see which direction God chose for these colors and work a little harder to emulate the same.




Everything is expensive these days. Everything. Yesterday morning, before taking my daughter out to her favorite thrift shops to get her “new” clothes to enter high school for the first time, I decided to take my Jeep to the mechanic to get it checked out. It turns out I need a new transmission. How much, you ask? $4,000. Yes, $4,000.  And, I now hear my car is unsafe to drive.  How do I feel about that? Like Merle Travis felt when he wrote "16 Tons", another day older and deeper in debt. So for the next few weeks, my son and I will use the buses for everything while we pull our resources, cut back on our indulgences and set aside what we can.

When I first heard the news yesterday afternoon, I immediately retreated into my worst self-destructive behavior when things get to be ‘too much’. I walked to the grocery store and bought a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, then ate it. That was stupid. When I was done hurting myself, I realized I still didn’t feel better, and my problem wasn’t solved. Time for more self induced therapy and a different type of avoidance behavior. Instead of sitting down with bills and a spreadsheet to work through this setback, I went to my sewing room and worked on the block swap for August.



 I made not one, but three.



I only needed one, but I didn’t want to work on that spreadsheet. Not yet. Working on three used up the rest of my day until it was time to go to bed. So now here it is, a new day, a sugar hangover, and here I am sitting in my sewing room staring at this tree quilt, and wanting to solve that problem instead. When will I grow up?

How about today? I am a granddaughter of a coal miner. It's time I dig deep into my DNA, and face this challenge head on. Living frugally. I've done it before. I can do it again. Not sure why I stopped.  

11 comments:

  1. These stars are wonderful! I'm doing the same - when I have problem, I need to put all the thinking out in making something. It really helps!

    So sorry about your Jeep. Hei, but You know about lemons and what to do with them! LOL Look at the situation from the positive side - make it an adventure and a challenge! You will manage, I'm sure You will. And it can be such a fun! BTW, did the little envelope arrived?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ann,
      Just wanted to say again how much I love your stories. They are a perfect blend of mystery and history. You're right about the Jeep thing. There is always a positive side.

      Delete
  2. Yes, Ann, the stars are lovely. I want to make some, too. The tree quilt, however undone it may be, is still beautiful and bursting with potential....and so are you. I really dislike situations like the one you're in. I've had my share of them...but this I know, the human spirit is incredibly tough when it needs to be. One foot in front of the other...and count your blessings :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Holly,
      I'm glad you're back from Belgium! This quilt is a huge challenge and I'm learning so much about the mechanics behind the design process. The whole transmission dilemma will work itself out. Those are tiny problems when you look at the whole picture.

      Delete
  3. That's where I go to get control of a small piece of my life--the quilt room! Your trees are beautiful and I know you'll figure the rest out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right!? Sewing room = Sanctuary. Thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate the support.

      Delete
  4. I really love those stars. And the right answer for the trees will come in time. Don't beat up on yourself for needing to take the time to clear your head and figure out the best way to deal with your situation, which stinks BTW. I am so sorry that you have to struggle through this but you will manage I'm sure. Big hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michele,
      Those stars were fun to make. I'm taking my time with those trees. I really want the whole quilt to work in harmony. The whole transmission business has really provided all of us, my kids and I to reflect on our blessings and our willingness to solve this as a family. It's not all bad.

      Delete
  5. I actually like the direction the trees is going. I would suggest that maybe its value you want to play with - try varying the value in the background. My daughter is entering high school too for the first time. We had to buy uniforms for her new HS and it was $300 just for them - that would be why her and I both wear thrift store cloths. No one every knows until we tell them all - LOL!! So you all aren't the only ones!! Keep up the good work - can't wait to see it finished!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the critique! I think you're right about the color value. I do need to work with it more to bring some dimension to the background. I don't want those tree trunks to look like they were just floating out there. Ah, high school. clothes, fitting in, standing out, boys, cliques. Good luck to us both!

      Delete
  6. I am so sorry about your car - that is just AWFUL!!! However I love your blog and I only came to look and see if I could get any clues as to what you would like me to make. I have chosen so many blocks and I'm about to retreat upstairs and look through my 501 blocks book. Hopefully real inspiration. I LOVE your tree quilt - the colors are totally awesome and it looks really good to me the only thing I might try if it were mine would be green on the bottom for grass. But then again I've been looking at Kona colors for over a week now so don't trust me on the color choice anyway. What are you favorite blocks? What do you intend on doing with all the blocks? And I LOVE LOVE LOVE all three of the ones you've made they are stunning.
    Lots of Love
    Patti xxx

    ReplyDelete