Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Finding Calm

Monday was a very typical day here in my remote corner of the planet. 
Everyone was busy going about their business ... I spent the day teaching.  After the work day, there were basketball games to watch, dinner to prepare ... all the usual weekday evening activities.  We went to bed around 11:30, a bit of reading and then lights out.  Mr. DD and I were obviously in a deep sleep ... neither of us felt the earthquake (details found here) or heard the landline phone ring.  It wasn't until the sirens began that we started waking up.  Our neighbors called to let us know that there was an order to evacuate.  It was time to move!  Quickly!  Brother and Girlfriend live above the Tsunami Undulation Line ... that became our destination.

While we slept soundly through the quake, the furbabies did not.  It was obvious that they were alarmed.  When dogs are frightened they stick to their humans like velcro ... cats, not so much!  Flicka refused to come with us, we could not coax her out of hiding ... it tore my heart out to leave her behind.

It was nearly 1:00 am when we headed up the hill.  There were traffic jams at several intersections in town as everyone was making their way to higher ground.  Wet snow was falling ... it was slippery ... cars were having difficulty ... a real mess.  We decided that we could get to our destination faster by walking the remainder of the way ... so we parked the car and walked up the hill! 

We were happy to be with family ... the dogs were thrilled that we were having a "pack party" in the middle of the night!  The "All Clear" was announced around 4:00 am.  We were anxious to get home for all the obvious reasons, but especially to check on Flicka.  We found her snuggled sweetly on our bed! She couldn't understand our concern and appeared perturbed when we crawled into bed and disturbed her sleep!  Silly Kitty!   
The morning after ... 10:00 am ... 1/23/2018
School started late today ... a chance for everyone to get a bit of sleep.  I spent the morning enjoying the calm ... and worked to reclaim some normalcy.
Sunset ... 4:15 pm ... 1/23/2018
There is comfort in routine ... everyone enjoyed the return of "business as usual" today!  We are embracing the calm!

Do what you love!  Celebrate the calm!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Twilight Walk

Our days are still very short and  even though we are gaining minutes of daylight every day, it takes a while for them to add up and make a noticeable difference.
We have had a couple weeks of warm temperatures (in the 40s) with incessant rain and a lot of wind.  Today after school, I looked out of the classroom window and saw that the rain had stopped and the clouds were leaving!  It was after 4:00 ... I immediately decided to drop what I was doing, grabbed my coat, and locked the classroom door!  The sun was setting ... so I quickly grabbed the dogs ... and off to the lake we went!
It was getting dark quickly.  Although our walk was short it felt so good to get outside!  I love the colors generated by twilight conditions.  Such a wonderful way to end the day ... dillydallying in the twilight!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally  

Monday, January 15, 2018

Content of Character

For me,  ever since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established, it has been a day for quiet contemplation.

I taught an upper high school Comtempory Literature class for many years.  We would always read, view, and discuss MLK's "I have a Dream" speech.  Such a powerful and timeless message.

"I have a dream that my four little children
will one day live in a nation
where they will not be judged by the color of their skin,
but by the content of their character."
Martin Luther King Jr.

In the last few years, I have been concerned about the disrespectful and uncivil behavior that has become commonplace and acceptable in our culture.  It is disheartening ... sometimes it even allows an optimistic person like myself to feel hopeless. 

And then today ... this happened ... it was the beginning of the senior high lunch period ... the halls were crowded ... and everyone was in a hurry.  One of the teachers was carrying his lunch down the hall when it was knocked out of his hands.  His lunch landed upside down ... on the floor ... and everyone rushed around him as he tried to pick up the mess.  Two young men ... not involved in the incident ... stopped ... and asked if they could help.  One got down to assist while the other ran to get some paper towels.  They stayed and helped until it was entirely picked up ... missing a portion of their lunch period.  Their response to help was authentic and sincere.

There is kindness.  There are respectful people.  Civility can remain the norm.  The actions of these two adolescents revealed the content of their character.  My hope is restored.

Do what you love!  Remain hopeful!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally  

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Back in the Saddle!

Here in our remote corner of the planet, students returned to school on Monday ... and so did I!  Yep ... I am filling in for a teacher who is on leave!  I'm back in the saddle ... teaching full time!
Reading is one of my favorite ways to dillydally ... and it is not uncommon for me to have up to three books in progress at a time!  Currently I am reading six books ... with students!  What a great cognitive workout for this 60 year old brain!
I leave for school before the sun rises and get home after it sets, our days are still very short ... so I won't be dillydallying outdoors in the near future!  There will be limited time for dillydally knitting and quilting!  To protect the privacy of my students, my blog posts will probably be far and few between.  But dillydallying is all about doing what you love ... I love teaching and I love adolescents ... I am dillydallying!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Packing Up 2017!

Today was all about packing up Christmas 2017 ... am always left with mixed emotions.  But at the same time, I am looking forward to many of my dillydally plans for 2018!  I don't do resolutions.  Instead, I consider my core values and check to see that my life reflects them ... it is my attempt to stay on track and not be derailed by all that surrounds me. 

Photo is my frosted windshield earlier this week! ;-)

I first came across this quote while a teenager, and it has remained a favorite!  I love how it is timeless and describes my dillydally lifestyle!

"Be true to your work,
Making my work and the work of others enjoyable is to dillydally!
your world and
Share the good that my dillydally lifestyle does with those that are interested!
your friends."
Encourage others to dillydally by building a culture of support, assistance and acceptance!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally! 
Mrs. DillyDally  

Friday, January 5, 2018

Another Day Outdoors!

Here in my remote corner of the planet, we enjoyed another day of decent weather!  The forecast for tomorrow is another coastal storm with warm temps ... that means rain!  I really am hoping the weather man is proven wrong!  Fingers crossed!
I had several errands and commitments in the morning ... but by 1:00 pm we were able to dillydally outdoors!
We stayed close to town, with clouds moving in ... the daylight was already waning. 
We took our time ... the ice made all kinds of noises, Jack Frost's version of fireworks ... and we had the lake to ourselves.  It was lovely.
Nissa made sure that every rock and stick was throughly sniffed and identified!  I love our walks together ... she is a great companion ... and always entertaining!
The coastal storms bring snow on the mountain peaks ... but we still haven't any on the ground.
Our walk was filled primarily with several shades of grey ... the tide was in and the sun beginning to set when we got home ... we were welcomed with shades of blue!

Do what you love! Get outdoors!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Time Outdoors!

After several days of wet, dark and dreary weather, the skies cleared over night ...
... and the temperature dropped!  Jack Frost used my windshield as a canvas and left this beautiful artwork for me to enjoy!  It took a while to thaw out the car.  Nissa and I were on the road at 1 pm headed for our favorite place!
It is a 20+ mile drive... the roads were a little icy ... the sun was bright!  The perfect day for a long, leisurely, dillydally walk! 

Enjoy the view ...

The sun sets early ... after a few hours it is time to head home.

We made it home just as the sun went down ... 3:49 pm!  Our days are short, but am so happy Nissa and I got out and enjoyed it!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Living Like a Rebel!

In June (2017) I was on a purging and organizing campaign. 
Flicka loves wool too! June 2017
I began by pulling out my wool applique' stash!  In the early 2000's, when I first fell in love with this art form, I had a difficult time finding supplies.  As supplies became more accessible, I started hoarding building a stash!  That process included wool pieces ... and when possible I would purchase kits!  I neglected to take a picture of the tote filled with kits ... YIKES ... I was completely overwhelmed!   It seemed an impossibility that I would ever make a dent in it  ... to say I was discouraged is an understatement!
Fast forward 6 months ... yesterday (1/2) I pulled out that tote of kits!  I am a pragmatic and proactive person, so having had time to get over my abundance of wool kits emotionally ... I developed a plan to make progress on completing some of the kits. This sweet snowman is the first wool applique' kit I bought... back in 2002 while visiting a quilt shop in northern Minnesota.  Just know ... to implement my plan I had to go rogue!  Yep, the dillydally defiant disorder resulted in tossing aside traditional practices and being guilty of noncompliance.  Living like a rebel!  I have sewn a lot of garments using wool, and have had training in textiles, so felt mostly confident I could make my plans work!  With a bit of doubt ... yesterday afternoon I decided to dive in!
I like to decorate with snowmen after Christmas.  I use them for my seasonal "winter" decorations.  That means that I wait and put them out in January ... and they might stay up through April!  Winter is a long season in my remote corner of the planet.  Sew ... first I deleted the holly leaf wreath that surrounds him in the pattern ... it screams Christmas.  I traced his pieces on fusible web and then pressed them together.  I found out that many of the fabrics were not 100% wool.  Yep ... there was a mess on the iron.  Fortunately the kit had generous pieces of fabric, and I could replace the pieces that were ruined.
Here he is on the background that came with the kit ... sort of a yucky grey blue ... the texture was a bit stiff ... none of which made me happy.
Good thing I have a stash!  Pulled out this wonderful plaid ... but it was just too dark.
Back in the stash ... and pulled out this light blue!
Perfect!  Now I could move forward!  So happy to have a stash!
Pressed ... layered ... and pin basted!  All accomplished under Flicka's supervision! 
I chose this design to test out my rogue intentions because the shapes are simple and relatively large.  In this photo the buttonhole stitch is done on the hat and knot.  I was happy with the results!  Onward!
Everything is stitched in place!  I used a straight stitch on the star, and black circles, as pieces with sharp points and tight curves are difficult to do with the buttonhole stitch.
Time to quilt the background!  Just a simple diagonal ... wool moves around much more than cotton ... even with the walking foot!
Done!  And I love him!  He is soft as butter!  Gosh ... I love wool!  Next I pulled out some blue flannel, and a zipper to make the pillow back.
After patiently waiting 15 years, Mr. Snowman can begin his new life on the DillyDally couch!  I cannot begin to tell you how great it feels to have finished him! 
"Finished is better than perfect!'
I don't know who to credit for that quote ... but I am feeling it!

Do what you love!  Be a rebel!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Christmas Stays!

The boxes and totes were ready ... and waiting for me to begin packing up Christmas.  My heart just wasn't in it.
Plus ... Miss Flicka communicated quite clearly that she felt the same!  So ... there you have it!  We extended the Holidays another day ... or more!
Instead of packing, I made myself a second cup of ambition, grabbed a couple of favorite cookies and knit!  I always have at least one pair of socks on needles at all times ... and I've used the same pattern/technique for 20 years.  Before the Holidays I had decided it was time to make a pair using a new pattern requiring different skills! 

Knitting ... coffee ... cookies ... learning new skills!  It was the perfect way to spend the morning!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

"My wish for you is that you continue.
Continue to be who you are,
to astonish a mean world
with your acts of kindness."
- Maya Angelou