Sunday, October 17, 2021

Long time no know what that meant....

~ Greetings and warmest wishes to you all ~

I have been missing in action for MONTHS, I'm not even certain if anyone is around or even cares anymore about this much neglected blog. But I am going to get back to me and finally, finally I have made a very big decision.

Two weeks ago today...I turned in my notice at the quilt shop. I really enjoyed working there, I loved the new friends I made, enjoyed learning more about sewing and quilting. I really learned invaluable information about sewing machines and how to fix them and when to call in the specialists to fix them. It was a wonderful almost 4 years. 

I also turned in notice at church for several of my volunteer jobs there. Half of them in fact. I no longer will be visiting the sick and taking communion to them and I gave up the angel tree coordination position. 

In September.... I had my yearly physical. All was tip top, no problems, but my blood work showed very high (extremely high in fact) Cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone, put out by the adrenals which is located on top of your kidneys. Its the "flight or fight" hormone. When a mouse runs across the floor and freaks you out - that's your adrenals pumping cortisol out that makes you jump up on the table. When you are in a constant state of stress - like you think you don't have enough time to do everything like - clean your house, do your laundry, make all the meetings, do for others volunteering all the time -  your adrenals get fooled into being in a constant state of "flight or fight". When you are in a constant state of "fight or flight" you don't sleep well, have depression and anxiety, your blood sugar will start to rise, you can't think straight/remember things well, and finally if it stays high for extended period of time, over time you will induce a stress heart attack or stroke. My doctor said: I had to give up one of my jobs and half of my volunteer positions and start doing a whole lot more for Vonna. 

I am sure.... most of you who have followed me here for a long time, have noticed that: I have a hard time saying "no" and keeping boundaries. My job at the quilt shop got more and more intensive - I wasn't working full time there, but between there and my finishing job and my family I was never (and I mean never) having any time for me. When I did do something fun I was wracked with guilt and therefore didn't do anything fun for feeling guilty. Church volunteering was out of control too. God doesn't want me to kill myself doing for everyone else and nothing for me. I was losing my quiet, devotional prayer time for helping others. 

I know many of you will say: Well we saw this coming....and to be honest I saw it coming myself. The last couple of years (even not factoring in this pandemic) was extremely hard emotionally and mentally.

Being I worked in the Clinical Laboratory for 25 years, when I saw my cortisol level I knew I'd be getting a call, I knew the ramifications.  Now this doesn't mean that I'm bound to be an invalid, what it means is that I have to take steps every day to do for me. It means I have to say no. I have to have boundaries and I have to stop letting others rule my mornings, afternoons, evenings and nights. 

You know what I want to do: make, create, be. I see lots and lots of people of Instagram and Facebook going all over the place - coast to coast - to cross stitch retreats and classes and all that jazz. I sort of get jealous seeing them. What fun are they having! They are getting all of the exclusive designs! Friends, fellowship, rubbing elbows with the big league people of the crafting world, they are popular and celebrated and wonderful.... then I think: I don't need all of that. All I need is my faith, my family and my needle and thread. All I need is ME and HOME. I AM ENOUGH! 

51 years of living and I still have to remind myself: I am enough. That's sort of sad and reflective of a defect in me that I see myself so much less than everyone else and....that's a note that I need to write in my journal and discuss with my counselor. Of course he knows that I already need to work on that...ha ha :) One ability that I do have is: the ability to note my faults and laugh at myself...that's a gift.

There are several wonderful things coming up in the next year of our lives:

Katie was engaged at the end of June. She will be marrying Austin: 

Ian engaged Edie, his long time girlfriend since Sophomore year in High School (they have been out of school 3 years)  I didn't get a picture of them because they are so private, but here is one of them from last Christmas:



  1. Dearest Vonna - the gifts you have given the stitching community and your own physical community in your church and town are immeasurable. It is indeed time to slow down and focus on YOU. You are the reason I picked up my stitching again in 2016 after years of absence; I'm sure many other stitchers have the same story. Enjoy your beautiful family and take care of yourself - we all love you!

  2. Hi Vonna,
    Welcome back! So glad to see you are posting again. Congratulations on the big decision - taking care of yourself and putting your own needs at a priority can be a challenge. Contratulations to Katie and Ian!

  3. Sending you crafty hugs, we all need to take time for our well-being. Family faith and home are so important.

  4. You've done soooo much for each of us ... You can't bring oxygen to help the others when you claim for new fresh air. Please TAKE CARE of you ... xoxoxoxox
    Hélène & Mahélia

  5. Vonna: So good to see a post from you, we have missed you.
    We all know life gets in the way sometimes, lucky for you that you noticed before you became ill.
    I hope you are creating and having some you time, never forget you need you time even if you have a family.
    I have stepped back from many of my obligations, it feels wonderful.
    Congratulations to the beautiful couple.


  6. Vonna, I was just thinking about you today, and realizing that we hadn't heard from you.
    Please take care of your self -- you are very important and are worth it!
    Congratulations on the two engagements!

  7. Vonna, I have missed you terribly as I'm sure many others have. So glad to see you back. I posted earlier, I guess that one went to la la land.

    Please take care of you first. I pray there hasn't been any damage done. I have the exact opposite problem with Cortisol and have taken it orally for several years, yet we still play with the dosage.

    You have given so much to the crafting community for so long. It's good to take a break and breathe awhile. With all the jobs you are not going to be doing I hope you'll get to feed your own creative side. Eventually, maybe, hopefully you'll want to do some finishing for others again. I hope so because you are the finest finisher I've ever found.

    For now, breathe, relax, enjoy! You've got a big year coming up with two weddings. Congratulations to both couples. Enjoy your family.

    Love ya, Barb (I had to write a book)

  8. So nice to see you back. It is hard to step back when there are so many needs but sometimes it is better for us (and for others)to do so. I think one of the hardest lessons we have to learn as Christians is to let others minister to us. God bless you as you start this new phase of life.

  9. Good for you Vonna! I'm glad you’re taking care of yourself. You give so much to everyone else and now it’s time to take care of you. Go forth and create, be and make. And just be happy!

  10. So nice to see you back! Glad you are taking more time for yourself! We often overwhelm ourselves with all of the things we think we have to do!Congratulations on your children's engagements! Exciting times. May the Lord hold you and yours in the palm of his hand and bring you peace and joy.

  11. It's good to see you popping in and congratulations on your childrens' engagements. Jesus told Martha that only one thing was needed, and bustling with activity wasn't worth missing time with Him. So good for you,stepping down and stepping back. And half those people living the glamorous life would envy you your beautiful family. With two weddings coming up you'll be getting lots of chances to practice setting limits on yourself and not doing too much!

  12. Vonna, I have had the same experience of feeling that I am missing out on all the stitching “things”, and come to the same conclusion about doing what actually makes me happy and fits my life. And my budget.
    I just want to let you know that there’s someone else out there staying home and stitching just what makes their heart happy. : )

  13. I am hoping that God will bless you and you will learn many wonderful things about yourself and will be at peace!

  14. Good to see you take a step back .
    Like you I stepped back a few years ago .
    And spend more time with my hubby family and friends .
    Life is to short ,I lost a few friends the last few years.
    I now enjoy life and forget the rushing around .
    I still help my hubby with his duty to the public , which he loves .
    But I now take the time to smell the flowers .
    Have fun.

  15. Oh Vonna, so glad to see your new post. I am still here. Congratulations to Katie and Austin and Ian and Edie!

  16. So happy to hear you are taking time for yourself! You are definitely enough! God gave you many talents time to use them for yourself! We want you to be here for your family for many years. So, take time to let things happen for you.

  17. Vonna, I'm so glad to hear you are slowing down and taking time for self-care. As women, we are raised to take care of others and not shown how to say no. That makes it tough for someone who is as giving as you!

    I hope to meet you at a retreat one day! xoxo

  18. Good to hear from you again, Vonna. So happy that you are taking time for yourself and your family. Congratulations to the newly engaged couples!

  19. Oh Vonna! What a great post. You've made some important decisions this year for your overall well being. I'm very proud of you. And I know how hard that is! I'm looking forward to reading about how you spend your time in the coming months. It's so great to hear from you... and yes, you have readers still!

  20. Good for you, Vonna. We all need to take time for ourselves. I know how hard it can be to say no. (I should are my own advice) Congratulations to the engaged couples! Looking forward to seeing you here more often. And - do you know how many people would attend a retreat to meet YOU? 😀

  21. Glad you are going to take time for yourself. Smell the flowers, enjoy your family, and stitch stitch stitch.

  22. Some tough and brave decisions you have made! Have missed your posts the last few months. Do take care of yourself

  23. OH my, I've been down that crazy cortisol road. It was so bad I was cycling twice daily with the 2nd peak around 0200. Sleep was rarely more than 4.5 hours.

    It took nearly 2 years to normalize. Doc asked me to go decaf which I did, weaning slowly over 3 weeks to avoid any headache stuff.

    Best of luck. Be kind to yourself :-)

  24. Oh, 2 engaged couples! Congratulations to them both! You'll see 2 weddings! I'm so excited for you and your family!