Summer, Sewing, & Retirement

Every once in awhile I need an attitude adjustment. This retirement thing is a work in progress. Even after 2 1/2 years I can easily fall into lazy habits, get off track, cringe when I jump on the scale, and well…basically I need to refocus! Not that I am not busy but I sometimes have found myself being busy with the business of being busy.


Last week is a perfect example. On Monday I was at the hospital all day waiting for the arrival of our newest great-granddaughter. Very exciting! I was the on call labor coach in case the young parents needed reinforcements. I have been front and center for four of my own (of course), my sister, and four grandchildren. For six others I have impatiently sat in the waiting room. I have completed 3 Lamaze classes, read countless books, and offered too many hours to count of advice by phone, visits to nervous moms, and had more than most of sleepless nights in this miracle of babies, pregnancy, and babies being born. So there was no place I would have rather been!!


I mean, is she perfect or what????

It was also the weekend visit of one of my oldest and dearest friends, a baby shower of her second grandchild, and a visit from our oldest grandson, home from almost two years away. During the week I met a sister for lunch, had my brother staying with us (and thrilled to have him back),  met a friend for coffee and another dear friend for our usual swimming meet up. Church, household stuff, Bible study, and oh yeah…Thommmee-the most patient and understanding husband on the planet needed some attention too.

Anyway, I realized that all of this business was causing me to stress a bit and I wasn’t enjoying the moments with all of the scheduling. I was talking too much about what I still had to do (how special did that make the person I was with feel?) so….readjusting and focusing on my friends and family became priority. Fortunately, these wonderful people love me as is and were most patient with me. I have to say, I treasure each and everyone of them!

Once I realized what I was doing I reminded myself to do what I love, make Thommmee a top priority, and slow down a bit. After all, retirement does not need a checklist!

What does that have to do with sewing you might ask? One of the things I love is sewing. My newest project is making these Sprocket Pillows.


(for a niece)

They are so fun to make and a great way to use up scraps of fabric.


(given to a granddaughter)

I am giving them away as fast as I make them.


(another granddaughter)

I am not offering a tutorial as I was not able to obtain permission from the website where I found them (besides her tutorial is so fantastic). You can find instructions at cluckclucksew with a template included.


(my friends grandson-nursery colors black, white, and gray!)

They are simple, fairly quick, and come in two sizes.


We are leaving in a few days for a trip. It will include a visit along the California coast. Our itinerary open and flexible. Brother is back to work, baby and new parents are doing fine (we saw them yesterday). The grads have graduated, no birthdays, and the diet is out the window anyway.  No sewing next week but, that is alright.

I am ready for some quiet and time with Thommmee.


26 thoughts on “Summer, Sewing, & Retirement

  1. Hi Jan,
    I was just on Leslie’s Blog, Gwen Moss, and she too was referring to contentment, and what can get in the way of that. I left a comment that for me, the struggle is work and the to-do list, and having to do work on weekends. It’s helpful reading about others who sometimes feel the build-up of expectations, and not-enough accomplished. I guess it’s there at every stage, whether you are retired, or a full-time mom, or part-time, or working at a place outside of home. Sometimes I am just so tired Jan. I would like to go to bed for a week. xx Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They are pretty cool for some projects. Of course then you’ll need a cutting mat. Love my cutting mat! Surprisingly though, I still use my scissors for many projects.


  3. Sorry about the knee. I get that only too well. My favorite spot in Solvang was the corner where I could get a pretzel and a beer or the Aebleskivers. I’m such a fabricaholic that I have family and friends picking up fabric on their travels. I should write about that. 🙂

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  4. Well…. to be honest I might have stopped but my knee was was acting up so badly it was all I could do to hobble back to the car. Now. .. on the other hand, if I’d have seen the store at the beginning of our walk….😄 .

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  5. I found something on the internet that looks similar called YoYo dolls, some are made as clowns. No need for a button in the centre, and no need to be perfect! You need a hole there to thread through the bias binding or whatever you are using to define the body, arms and legs. You will surely use up your fabric scraps if you get addicted to making those dolls!

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  6. You make me laugh. I try to stay out of fabric stores too. ;)) Then I get an ad online and I can pay through Amazon! It’s all so pretty and I need this color or that color for my quilt group projects. I don’t have little ones so no need for floor pillows. Have a wonderful trip. :)Hugs

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  7. I am a planner and this trip is fairly loose and very flexible. I am looking forward to getting outside of my comfort zone and just letting
    things come together as it happens. I like your idea of a flexible itinerary. My first year of retirement I had myself on a serious and quite inflexible schedule for fear of getting lazy! This is much better. Thanks for stopping by. We continue to adapt, don’t we”


  8. I laughed at your line “retirement does not need a checklist”! I am a list maker. I realized that without a “list of to-dos” I felt adrift. But I also learned that there is not any time limit on that list of to-do’s. That is my retirement freedom. If it (anything on the to-do list) doesn’t happen today because something else came up – that is absolutely OK. So I guess I have a on-going flex-list of possibilities for the day.

    Enjoy your trip – we (hubby and I) just did a long weekend, where I had uncharacteristically not planned out each and every moment. And it was really good. I’m the planner, he is not. So, part of my new retirement learning – the “flexible itinerary” and being OK with it!


  9. Leaving tomorrow so have time to reply. ♡ You are so thoughtful, Marlene! Nothing extraordinary much gets done around the house these days. Just the basics. The yards don’t look as lovely as yours are but I do seem to spend more time outside than inside unless it’s on a project or settled down with a good book. Yes, that’s why I’m giving the pillows away… I don’t have any space for them either! haha. Thinking of making a bit bigger one to throw on the floor for kids to sit on when they’re visiting. I could toss them behind the couch in between visits. Working on my fabric stash / scraps. Whittling them away a little at a time. It just seems to keep growing although I try my best to stay out of the fabric store!

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  10. Good idea for another project. I am drowning in fabric scraps! I am not much of a quilter, can’t seem to get corners to match up. At least the button in the center hides these flaws!

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  11. Your pillows gave me a flashback to a doll Kulpie used to make. Same shape, but not stuffed, each “pillow” 2″ or 3″ diameter, then threaded together to make the arms and legs of the doll, larger diameter for the body, and then I guess the head was one big stuffed circle with woollen plaits or some such thing. All multi-coloured scraps of fabric. A lot of fun. Maybe something unique to try for your latest grandchild . . . congratulations on her arrival and how special to be at the birth!

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  12. I am NOT expecting a reply anytime soon as you should be off enjoying your time with husband entirely. My list of to-do’s is infinite so when my daughter asked me to meet her for lunch downtown ( which is a 3 hr process minimum) I rearranged the list and headed down. If nothing ever gets done but building good relationships with people in your life, you’ve done more than most. You have your priorities straight and that’s what matters. I absolutely love the pillows. Don’t know where I would put them but I do love them. Hope you are having a lovely time and there will be more to enjoy those babies. 🙂

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  13. You are so right, Nicki! I am very greatful to be close enough to participate in the birth or the waiting of most of the kids! I was also thrilled to be the first one in to hold the new baby ( after Mom of course) which was very exciting. Although she was a big girl she was still a small and precious bundle of joy!

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  14. Being there for daughters and granddaughters giving birth is the best use of time possible. I have so many memories about the births of my grandchildren. Precious times. You are the real expert, though.

    Your pillows are lovely. I’m sure the recipients enjoy these homemade gifts.

    Have fun on your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks, Pauline. I’m having fun with them……the pillows and the family, that is! I have put the kids on notice I will be off the grid for a few days. We talk often but this is going to be quiet time away. It must be winter weather there while I am packing my swim suit and shorts!


  16. Your pillows are a delight Jan! Your family is certainly keeping you very busy – but then that is what families are for isn’t it. It’s a happy busyness which is especially good! Congratulations all round on your new grand daughter – what a wonderful head of hair ❤ It is interesting how our minds will dwell on what is still to be done, on what is undone or wished for, rather than what is. The blessing of retirement is it doesn't matter what the day brings – there is no schedule except to meet up with what we wish to do. And of course going off on a little trip just because you can is also a real joy. Have a wonderful time and enjoy whatever comes to you!

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