Friday, August 29, 2014

The happy spot

You know that place...the one you go when you feel really good about yourself or your decision or just because you feel like it.  The happy spot.  The one where you can pause, look about you and say, "yep, I did the right thing and it feels really good."  For me that was always my spot on the couch with my knitting all around me, my glass of wine on the end table next to me and something nice and calming on the tv...or just music...or sometimes nothing.

Unfortunately I don't have a happy spot here at the apartment yet.  I like my chair--trust me when I say that it's a million times better than the floor--but my makeshift Ottoman (paper box with a fluffy pillow on top) leaves a lot to be desired and the "sprawl" factor just ain't happening.  I'd LOVE to have a big comfy bed to curl up in right now and read for a bit...but the air mattress is what I've got to sleep on and it doesn't invite "curling up."

Right now I'd really love a happy spot...the one where I could sit back and reflect on everything I've done this month...on how I've turned something really crummy into something positive...that's for me...that will allow me to grow and develop and learn to love and cherish myself.



At least Pearl found her happy spot!

Happy long weekend everyone.  I'll be pulling yarn orders at work...and couldn't be happier about it!

Thursday, August 28, 2014


I can't seem to drink enough water.  I drink a big glass full and I'm still thirsty.  I drink more and I'm still thirsty...

This living in the desert is going to take some getting used to.

Anybody got any tips?  My friend Tony says to drink more water!  I'M TRYING!  I see humidifiers everywhere.  Will give one a shot if anyone can recommend if it's actually something that works...

But you know what's cool?  I start my job at Jimmy Beans Wool tomorrow.  I'm so excited.  I can't wait to be a real part of this team.

It's been such a hectic week running hither and yon getting things to set up a new place to live.  I feel like I've hardly made a dent, but I have.  My clothes are still in boxes and my yarn is still in boxes, but I have 2 bookshelves built, furniture ordered to be delivered over the next while and two very content kitty cats sitting near my feet.  I have hardly really stopped to think about why I'm here and what I'll be doing and now that tomorrow is almost here...I'm really super excited.

I hope I can sleep tonight.


from time to time I like to look back at Facebook or my blog and see what I was doing this time "whenever"...well, this time last year I was 1/2 way to my weight loss goal and was about to spend the last good weekend with my Daddy.  My what a difference a year can make.


One thing we don't say enough, I think, is how much we appreciate the people in our lives.  I honestly couldn't have gotten through this past year without all my loving family and friends and all the people who supported and cared for me and encouraged me through every single big awful thing that's happened since this time last year.

Yes, I'm strong.  And yes, I'm positive.  But mostly I am because I know that people are here to help me should I falter or feel sad or negative.  You guys, all of you, help me through.  We're strong, more positive and more uplifted because we have each other.

Thank you.


In all my "infinite power and wisdom" I declare the year of hell over with.    (I wave my magic wand and really really hope it works!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I can finally say that everything I shipped is in my apartment.  Of course everything that I brought in my car is here too.  I've lugged every single box up the stairs myself.  And I'm proud that I've done so...this move has been all about me!

For furniture I have a chair, a TV dinner tray, a tv console and a bookshelf (still to be built). I'm sleeping on an air mattress but the real bed and mattress should be delivered sometime next week.  I bought a dresser that will also be delivered next week.  The rest I will get as I can afford it or "make do" with cheap options until I can afford it.

It all feels very good, and all mine, and positive...and I can't wait to start working...because....yarn...all day!

Today's pic is from the road...some hotel can see the kitties chilled out

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Las Vegas. Reno.

I made it!  Such love and support I've never felt before.  Friends, family, blog readers.  Everyone has been rallying behind me and it gave me the strength to persevere through the hard time.  Through the time I wanted to turn around.  Through the time I thought "this is folly".  You guys gave me the strength when mine was failing, and I am overcome with joy and hope and pride.  2150 miles is a long way and takes a long time and requires a lot of gumption to do it all alone (yes the kitties were there but they couldn't take a turn at the wheel and that would have been very nice today)...

And I made it.  I'm here and about to for real launch my new journey!

The beauty is there. Sometimes you have to look real deep to find it and sometimes it's sitting right there In front of you...but it's there. 

New Mexico. Arizona. Nevada.

Yesterday I drove through some of the most beautiful parts of our country. Albuquerque to Las Vegas. So pretty. Majestic mountains, gorgeous colors, beautiful sky.  I felt the tender newly exposed parts of my heart peeking out and feeling ok.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Texas. New Mexico

Today I travelled to Albuquerque. No Valium for the kitties and they did much better.  I'd look over and see pearl looking out the window or at me and she was perfectly content.  Zora wanted out a couple of times, but she was good.

I really think I have the best kitties.

A couple of realizations:

We live in a beautiful country and folks need to get out and drive and see it.

This doing stuff for me is pretty empowering.

Seeing big blue sky has helped peel away some of the hard edges on my heart.  At first I was kind of scared it would be too emotional, but so far it feels good...freeing...dare I say happy?

Mississippi. Louisiana. Texas.

12 hours in the car. The cats meowed for most of it.  It was funny more than awful...but still...hard to listen to my audio book!

About to hit the road for day2!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Packing up...

Today I managed to get all my big boxes to the UPS store to ship out to Nevada.  There were 4 trips to the UPS store with 14 boxes total.

My legs hurt already...but at least I know I was using the right muscles to far my back feels fine.

But oh my...that's a lot of boxes.  I've started loading the car up with the dense book boxes.  Tomorrow I'll finish loading it up with everything to make sure that I don't have to ship anything else.  Fingers crossed...

I'll have pictures on my journey west...I just wanted to give you an update and let you know that progress is being made and tomorrow is my last day in Mississippi.

Friday, August 15, 2014


My friend Stacey tells me that divorced women are happier in the end and men are financially better off...I can see that, I think.

It's been a month since the bomb dropped and I've managed to pick myself up, get a job, and get ready to move.  Next week, I'm packing what I can in my car, shipping what I can't and buying the rest when I get there...then I'll drive 2100 miles to my new home where I'll see this every day when I leave work:

I really didn't expect Reno to be so beautiful, but truly, I was stunned.  The mountains are gorgeous, and just a one hour drive away is north Lake Tahoe...and a prettier spot will be hard to find.

I had such a lovely time on my visit.  The folks at Jimmy Beans were beyond wonderful and nice and I can't wait to start working with them.

A new chapter where I'll get to's truly a wonderful thing.

(this isn't to say I'm not still sad, shocked, stunned, scared and all the other stuff, but I do see my way out).

Monday, August 11, 2014

Quilt Bee 2014

So many things about the quilt bee are wonderful...this year it was the healing properties of family love.  There were 4 of us who, lost our husbands this year--3 through death and 1 through divorce.  We could have been sad and morose but instead we were happy, filled with memories, and supported each other through our trials.

I got so many "you can do this" and "were so happy for you" and "all your weight loss has prepared you for this" and "you look so good" and "this is such a perfect job for you" and anything else that people who love you say when they think you're doing something awesome and they believe in's enough to make a girl feel better and be able to eat for the first time in four weeks, and sleep, and feel excitement and not just sadness.

A photo montage to let you know just how much fun we have.  This is me and mom getting ready to go.

Here we are at dinner taking a group selfie and a fun photo with a fountain head photo bombing us:

And here is a quilt we made from a photo of my grandmas house that was cut into 12 pieces. Each person was to make one square. Betty will put it together.

And here we are actually quilting on the quilt which we named Ziggity Doo Dah. It's for Elizabeth even though she couldn't attend..

And this quilt was a challenge quilt that we out the blocks together in 2012.  Betty won this one much to my chagrin.

And finally...we got really close to finishing.  That's me with Emma the quilt's maker.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Defining Moments

I think most people would agree that life is made up of moments...defining moments to be more exact...that completely change the trajectory of where we are going and what we are doing.  These moments are those that when we look back on them (hopefully at the ripe age of 90) that we see truly were momentous, of note, defining who we became later.

Getting married, finding our major, seeing the Eiffel Tower, having kids, (I assume having grandkids, retiring), moving to a new location, getting your first job.

All of these moments build character and require of the person that they dig deep and learn who they are and respond accordingly.  Our energies devoted to these things, though they are big and character building, are typically very positive.  We see them as "opportunities" not "tragedies" and usually we are happy to talk about them to our friends and family and (sometimes) inflate our role in making and urging these things to come about.

Sometimes our defining moments aren't positive, though.  I know that for me one of my big defining moments was when I was in high school and my boyfriend was severely injured in a car accident.  If I try, I can go back to that time and see and feel and hear and smell what was going on around me because getting the news was so big and completely changed the course of where I was planning to go with my life.

As I was waking up this morning I realized that what I've been thinking of as another "defining moment" (the divorce) is really not THE defining moment in all of this.  MY defining moment (and the use of MY is deliberate) is that moment when I decided to inquire about employment at Jimmy Beans Wool.  In deciding to face reality (i.e. I couldn't change his mind) I needed to live the life I want to live, and that involved starting to find employment in the industry where I want to work.

The details of "will I have enough money to live on" and "how will I get there" are just details.  Things to figure out and to do.  But they aren't the defining moment in all of this.  Realizing that the strength and power of ME was there and that I needed to tap into it is the moment defining who I am and who I will become on the other side of this.  It is why my friends are saying to me "you're so brave" and "you're doing so well"...

Don't get me wrong, there's still a lot of fear and pain and sadness going on and sometimes those emotions can almost overwhelm me.  And that's when I have to remind myself that I'm in the process of defining ME and that in doing so the ME that gets defined will truly be someone I can love and be happy with.

And that's really quite important in the grand scheme of things--loving and being happy with who you are.  Definition indeed!


Pearl helped me get my yarn boxed up.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I got this...

I woke up and checked my e-mail first thing this morning and had such a wonderful, sweet pep talk from my friend, Stacey.  Thanks Stacey.  You don't know how badly I needed it just then.

The theme of her e-mail was that I'm going to do great and if I don't, so what?  It's just me and the kitties and I pick up and move again and get myself to another place that might work out.

So, I know I've got this.  It's in the bag (or boxes depending on how you look at it!).  I'll be fine, I'll be happy and I'll be doing this for ME.

But, you know what?  I think it's going to work out and it's going to be positive and it's going to be wonderful.  I am in charge of my attitude, after all, and I can let negative thoughts overwhelm me or I can put them aside for more positive thoughts and do what I need to do to get settled into my new job and community.

And I will do that because I'm strong, and even though each little thing I have to do before I start this new job feels huge, I will just be that much stronger when I'm done and finished with it.  I'll reach deep, draw on the beauty that's within me and make it happen because I can.

Because...when I decided to jump off that platform and see what I could do in the textile industry...this job, this move...this was it...this is what I wanted but couldn't have because I was tied to Mississippi...and now that I'm not...well...who knows what I'm capable of.

Imperfect Beauty is complete.  I've created art and I'm so proud of it.  It is for sale, so if you're interested e-mail me a lesliestbutler at gmail dot com and we'll talk price.  Eventually I'm going to open up an Etsy shop, but I've got to get moved first.

Monday, August 4, 2014

And so the packing begins

I've lived in this house for 13 years.  I raised my daughters here, was happily married.  I created a lot of art--needlepoint, cross stitch, quilts, knitting and crochet.  I've learned lessons, partied with friends, hung out and was quiet, spent days playing with the kitties, thoroughly enjoyed lazing on my PJ days, and ate lots of good food.

I also acquired a LOT of yarn.  I think learning to knit and weave and not having access to a good local yarn store where I could touch, feel, and look at yarn and think about how it would work in whatever craft I was seeking, I bought anything and everything that looked like it might make up into something interesting.  As I was going through my large stash this weekend I realized all the promise and belief I had in myself.  The things I was going to make and sell if only I had the time or energy to sit down and make or sell them.

I'm extremely happy that I'm going to be working in a large warehouse full of yarn.  So many people say "you'll want to bring all that yarn home."  But I don't think so.  I think that seeing it, touching it, feeling it, and knowing that other people are going to make wonderful beautiful things out of it will be exciting.

It's sad leaving and putting all these things away and knowing that when I walk out of the house at the end of August I won't be coming back.  I won't be driving by or seeing how things are kept up.  I won't know what kind of life the new people bring into this home.  I won't know if they'll love this old lady like we have.

So, I have to keep reminding myself that the new adventure I'm setting about is one that I want.  One that will be for me and will satisfy my creativity and energy.  I'll be able to learn the yarn industry and figure out how and if I fit in and if so what talents I bring to the table.  It's good and it's exciting...

These are the boxes that are going to consignment.  Hopefully they'll be shipping on their way to the NE today.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Trying on my new wings!

Well...I have NEWS...big NEWS...are you sitting, because you might want to...because this NEWS is BIG!



GO!  I'm moving to RENO, NV, to work for Jimmy Beans Wool.

I know, I can hardly believe it myself.  Do you know how far Reno is from Hattiesburg? According to Mapquest, 2150 miles.  That's a really really long way and I'm going to have to drive it at least once.

Here's how it happened.

After I came home from the first therapy session after the big bomb dropped just over 2 weeks ago, I said, "I'm free to do anything I want to do.  If I could do anything I wanted to do what would it be?"  I replied, "Work for Jimmy Beans Wool."

SO, I inquired if they were hiring (they were) and I submitted my application and during the past two weeks I've had 2 very candid and wonderful conversations with Bethany and Laura and I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to be joining this team.

So, my dears.  I'm flying...which is good because you remember that 20 mile high platform I mentioned the other day?  Well, that's the one I stepped off of and I hope my wings are strong because they're going to have to work really hard over the next month to get me where I need to be.

You also remember the beauty that I was looking for in that great big pile of poo?  Well, here's one thing.  It's gorgeous and sparkling and full of color and I cannot wait to get started!


My Imperfect Beauty is finished except for the border which I started working on this morning.  Another lovely for today.