Wednesday, 27 June 2007


I'm often asked how I get so much done. Part of it is how, part is why. Its all about layers. It developed as a coping mechanism in a very small house in some days that might otherwise have been dark.
Very early in our married lives, the Mr needles parents moved to a new house in town. To cut the overall farm costs, we sold our mobile home, and moved to the farm. Its didn't looks so forlorn in those days as it does now that its been empty 10 years. 720 spacious square feet, with an 8 x 10 porch, 5 rooms, 5 windows. Mr. needles had to work off the farm to keep the farm going in the high interest rates of the early 80's. He would be gone for 2 weeks at a time leaving me with 2 and then 3 wee boys. If I did something almost every moment, then I could not think about being alone in the house with the kids 24 hours a day with no adult talk for days at a time, and no money to do anything about it.
I learned that space and time were one, and full. You had a plan for every disaster and you hunkered down, made do, made it up, to find a way. Its connected to the weather and entirely tied to what nature might or might not toss out today. Its very much my farming roots. You get by. You cope. Period.
The easy way to look at it is that I do things in layers. Layers of things, multiples, like a pile of good books, with so many stories sitting there happening on each page all at once. I used to bake buns, do laundry and do needlework in the steps in between. Or read to the kids, nurse a babe, while crocheting. About the only thing I do without needlework in between is cleaning the house. That is an intensive pick up/put away/sanitise operation. In that house, it took an hour. These days I'm looking at granny squares to do while I treadmill, while watching movies.
Needles and strings are very often where I start my day, and where I end my day. There is always a needle of some sort right there to pick up for a stitch or two or ten. Just as every room has some books, and most often a shelf, every room has a form of needlework, and some rooms, 2 or3. I walk by, I do a stitch or 2. I talk on the phone, I work. There are always those moments where I just sit and revel in the needlework. That is the best of all worlds, that meditation of needlework. But all those teeny moment of 'meditation' between all the stuff of life...well it adds up.

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