Ah! Where did October go?? I survived Quilt Market last weekend, and was planning to post a fun photo recap on Tuesday…that is until I realized it would literally take me the entire week to recover! No blogging happens while mom is catching up on sleep and attempting to rescue the house from 4 days of Mr. Mom (who, I might add, did an unbelievable job). Whew! Back to reality.
But I am officially recovered and feeling energized for this month! We had some good Halloween fun last night with the kids…our little Disney princesses floating about, with Tonto & the Lone Ranger toddling right behind.
But back to sewing! It’s Sugar Block time! This month’s block is a spinning star….probably because it’s being blown by a gust of chilly autumn wind! I had a great time picking out fabrics and piecing this one. So fresh and poppy. I’d love to make a whole quilt from this block actually. Speaking of…look for a post in the next week or so with some fun sketches that show how our Sugar Blocks this year would look in quilts of their own. A reader suggested this and I think it’s a fabulous idea. So keep an eye out for those this month.
What are we baking? Why my absolute favorite fall treat- juicy baked pears with pomegranate! Little bit of brown sugar, butter, cinnamon…and don’t forget vanilla ice cream…heaven.
What a second! Isn’t that pear the exact same color I used in this month’s block?? I’ll be a son of a biscuit (which would make me a mini croissant? A muffin?). Love it when that happens!
Lastly though, I can’t forget our personal challenge this month, which Mr. Dock decided to tackle. I love his thoughts on listening, and really see this as an area we can both work on.
A Personal Challenge by Mr. Dock:
I’m sure many of you have heard the maxim about people being born with two ears and one mouth so they could listen twice as much as they spoke. It sounds a little simplistic—like something a grammar school teacher would tell a student who was disrupting class, but I’ve recently been reminded of just how true this is.
I’ll admit I am, by nature, not a good listener. I try to be, but I am not the most patient person. To make things worse, I worked for years as police dispatcher which gave me an uncanny ability to repeat the last 15-20 seconds of what someone has said to me without really paying attention.
On top of that, from time to time I find myself in such a rush to make a decision or start working to resolve a problem that I don’t take the time to really listen. Amy called me out on this the other day and it’s something I need to do better. She was trying to tell me something but I wasn’t listening. It’s true I heard what she was saying, but it really could have been anything.
When Amy ormy kids are trying to tell me something, what they are saying is usually only a fraction of what they are trying to communicate. Sure, I can hear them from the other room, but I’m missing out on all the subtext that I could get if I was really listening. That means being in the same room, sitting down with them and not just hearing what they are saying, but listening all the way to the end without trying to anticipate where they are leading me. Sometimes just listening is enough, but if you’re like me and want to be a problem solver, you still have to listen, truly listen, first.
My “Be a Listener” commitment for this month is going to be to stop rushing. Stop trying to come to a conclusion about what the issue is ahead of the person telling me. And while I’m listening, focus on them instead of focusing on a building a plan of how to respond or what to do next.
Will you join Amy and I as we dig into this challenge in November, and take a more active approach to listening? We only just started our challenge a couple of days ago and I’m already noticing a difference. I’m hearing her, she’s hearing me, and that extra dose of attention and understanding goes so far in a marriage, and any relationship. Would love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to share ideas or experiences you may have had with active, more intentional listening.
Amy & Russ