There are some days when I just wake up happy. Now I am not delirious or (too) goofy or anything like that. I am just content and pleased with the way things are heading and look forward to the day that is ahead of me.
Is that a bad thing?
I don’t think so. We are all looking for that ultimate happiness but I am afraid that many people just don’t know what it looks like. Of course, happiness means something different to each person. We all set our own rules and have our own ideals and no two people that I know of anyway are looking for the same thing. I suppose that is what makes things interesting.
I don’t think we realize how much power we have over our own happiness. As I go through this world, I see so many others hook their well-being to other people and things and naturally they are disappointed. After all, there is no way that another can be completely responsible for your own happiness and expecting that seems to me to just be setting yourself up for failure.
I am not pretending that I have all the answers and that this has never happened to me. Of course it has. I think that most of us have gone through it in some way or another at some times in our lives. But as I got older (and possibly wiser) I have realized that ultimately, it is up to me to make decisions and do things that make me feel good about things and happy. And that formula has worked well. And I am content.
I always told my daughter “If you can make yourself happy, everything else around you will be a bonus and your life will be good.” Usually I said these words to her as I saw her heart breaking when she was growing up as a teen. It is funny how we see things in our children that we didn’t always see in ourselves. Maybe we were too close to the situation and in observing our children we are able to take a step back and look at things with more practicality. My kids have taught me a lot.
But now I am rambling . . .
Yesterday was a wonderfully productive day. We zipped through the allotted group of ornaments in what seemed like record time. I am finding that this production cutting has a great residual effect on my scroll saw ability – my accuracy and speed is really improving. I never fancied myself to be a speed cutter. I like intricate details and never really felt the need to hurry through the process.
But with 6000 pieces on the table to cut, you can imagine that speed is a definite benefit. But it can’t be at the cost of accuracy. Above all, the pieces have to be dead on accurate. That is where my painting experience comes in handy. I know how frustrating it can be to get wooden pieces that are “off” and don’t line up with the pattern. I was especially aware of this last year when I cut my skaters for the pond – being certain that every skate blade was right on. The same is true for these pieces. The little bumps for the hat bands or the curls for the ribbons need to be where they should be in order to make the painting go smoothly.
The repetition cutting is a good way to work on improving these skills. The movements become almost rhythmical as you do more and more pieces and before you know it, you are done. I don’t find it boring at all. With the right music in the background, it is actually quite relaxing.
In the midst of our cutting yesterday, our front door opened and in walked Ellen and Bernie. Ellen had been to the dentist nearby and they thought they would just “stop in” to see our new furniture and to say hi. They haven’t been here since our sprint makeover and wanted to see our new couch, bedroom set and computer stuff.
Why is it that when the house is clean no one comes over and as soon as it is a mess, everyone decides to stop in? Ellen – as I said before – is very ‘particular’ about things. Her place is always neat as a pin and she is always cleaning one thing or another. One of my favorite quotes from her is “I don’t know why Bernie likes to work in that messy shop! It’s so DUSTY there!” Ha! :)
I could only imagine what she was thinking as she walked in. As I mentioned before, when we cut like this, we remove all the excess stuff so that when clean up time comes, everything is easy and fast. With two saws going full speed for several hours, we do indeed acquire a fine layer of dust that needs to be attended. But a quick going over everything with the shop vac “monster” brings everything back to clean very quickly. In fact, I think our place is probably cleaner than most because of the constant cleaning and the lack of clutter. But seeing poor Ellen come in with her black pants was kind of pitiful because I didn’t even want to let her sit down.
She said she didn’t mind the mess at all and said “you are working!” but I know inside she must have been cringing. They only stayed about 15 or 20 minutes and then were on their way. I am surprised they didn’t leave skid marks in the driveway when leaving.
We finished up and got the place tidy in no time. Even Pancakes was helping.
We are thinking of calling him “Inspector 23.”
I am amazed at how he has grown up too. Only a couple of years ago, he would head for the hills at the sight of the vacuum. Now he just sits there and while sometimes he looks a bit annoyed, he doesn’t feel that it is worth the effort to move. Yesterday as I was cutting, he curled up right next to me, completely fearless. He does however still have one nemesis to overcome – the compressor. While he is not quite as afraid of it as he used to be, he still leaves the room and sits on the top corner of the bed when we run it. He does walk rather than run though, and that is progress.
Well, it seems I am getting long winded here. (I know – that is nothing new!) There is work to be done and I need to get at it. It is great to see the pile of cut pieces growing. A couple of weeks ago I thought that 250 kits was a huge amount. I may have to take a picture of the 500 packed up just for comparison! :)
I will definitely have more information on the glue situation soon. I received a lot of feedback from the several places that this blog is posted and I am certainly going to follow up on it. It seems that we aren’t the only ones having this problem and I want to pursue finding some answers to it after this order is complete.
It is raining out this morning, but I think we needed it. The river seemed quite low yesterday and it doesn’t seem like we have had a lot of rain.
Happy Summer to you all! Have a wonderful day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"