Monday, November 06, 2006


The very first snowfall of the year is falling softly outside my window. I don’t have iTunes blasting yet, so the only sound is the hum of the washing machine and dryer as I try to get the laundry done from being away at a cross stitch retreat this weekend and the click of my fingernails on the keyboard.

Retreat was just AWESOME!! Like the CreativFestival in Toronto, it went a long way towards recharging something deep inside and bringing back a joy that had begun to fade.
So here are the lessons I learned at Retreat:

- Food always tastes a million times better when you don’t have to cook it yourself.

- Pack your digital camera FIRST! I forgot it and missed a lot of great shots!

- Listen to your body more and take naps when you really need them.

- A brisk walk not only makes you feel much better, it might just go a teeny tiny way towards offsetting at least one bite of a gooey treat!

- Listening to other’s life stories is important. It teaches you empathy, how to really listen, how healing a hug can be, how cleansing tears are and how much laughter can ease the aches deep inside our souls. It also reminds you to count the blessings in your own life.

- Watch out for flying, howling monkeys! (If I can get the picture that they took of me as the toy monkey came flying at me, I will post it hear. Dragons CAN be startled!!)

- A real fire is comforting on a crisp day.

- Women can be strong and generous. We raised over $500 for Breast Cancer and 5 of our survivors drew the names for the baskets of pink things we put together to raffle off.

- Stitching Over One is hard on my hands and a bit hard to see late at night when your eyes get tired, but the results were spectacular. I wish I’d had my camera to capture my ornament for the exchange... because I doubt I’ll stitch that design again over 1!

- I rediscovered how much FUN it was to stitch something that’s NOT MINE!! When I stitch something that isn’t my own design, I rediscover all the fun of NOT KNOWING how it will turn out, what neat colours another designer will put together and how much better it looks that the photo!! I have decided that I need to stitch at least 15 minutes a day on something that isn’t mine, just to remember how much fun this hobby is!!

- Retreat never lasts long enough... and then you can’t wait for the next one!


Shelleen said...

I am so glad that you had fun. I have been going to a retreat every year for several years now and never want to go back home and then start counting the days til the next one.

Katie said...

Oh the flying monkey was awesome, that sooo trumped our tassles. Oh my your over one ornament was so tiny and cute!!

Anonymous said...

Another lesson would be even if you do pack your camera - take it out and take pictures! I know I didn't take any of my friend on a recent vacation. I have pictures of the mountain, pictures of the baby, but none of us together! So everyone - take pictures!

monique said...

Jen, I just did the same thing... went to camp as a *stitcher* with no other responsibilities and it WAS re-energizing and a ton of fun. So glad to hear you had a wonderful time at yours :)