I Sew & Sew, then Off to Mail I Go!

(Insert Snow White’s whistling dwarf buddies here…)

It has been a busy couple of weeks at Chez BellaZaria to say the least! Yesterday I finished sewing my 212th face mask to move me toward my next goal. This is a great way to redirect my emotional energy toward a meaningful project and away from the News for the majority of my days. I also joined the “Million Mask Challenge” community set up by Jan Brostek and her son, Connor, on his Sew-It-Online website. You can read more about my face mask donations and their Sew-a-Thon mission by clicking here.

Then a few days ago, I ventured out on my biweekly chore-run to drop off donations at UPS with packages headed to a few states in the U.S. & 3 Canadian provinces where it has been difficult for some people to purchase masks.

I’m taking it easy today to finish up my final local donation of the week before I have to jump into re-learning Algebra 2, so I can home teach my youngest daughter this weekend. Her ongoing migraines have been escalating with all the extra screen time of online learning, so we will need to be creative… this translates to ‘Mom needs to get the chalkboard out for some old-school engaging mathematical entertainment.’ And yes, I realize that is an oxymoron. If only School House Rock were here to help me… sigh. Alas, all I can remember is: Lolly-Lolly-Lolly, get your adverbs here… which she already has a pretty firm grasp on.

So for today, I’m back to my sewing machine and celebrating the small things, like getting ahead on my fabric batch cutting and finding a new TV series to binge while I snip threads & mold pipe cleaners into nose pieces. I’m just so grateful for my family’s health and so happy to be able to focus some time on being a blessing to other people. Have a great weekend, and wish me well with our studies! 🙂

Easter Gratitude

As many of us are emerging from a time of fasting and bible studies in preparation for Easter, this is truly a joyful day… the symbol of Amazing Grace and hope, and here in Maryland that’s something that we could all use right now as our Coronavirus cases are growing into ‘hotspot’ status. I have been blending patterns, watching YouTube videos and working out my face mask prototypes with my new sewing machine, so I can go into mass production in the coming weeks. But before all of that begins, I just want to acknowledge that despite all of the quarantining, the COVID-19 facts and figures we are all navigating and the uncertainties that we are faced with each day… there is so much for which I am grateful…

❤ I am grateful that my family is together under one roof, safe and for the time being, healthy.

❤ I love having my oldest daughter home from college. This was her first year at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. While I was so proud of her and excited for this time in her life to spread her wings, I missed her SO much!

❤ I am deeply grateful for the many ‘essential’ people who go to work, day in and day out to carry out their part in the mosaic of frontline workers treating the sick and dying, comforting families, stocking the shelves, operating the cash registers, making deliveries, tending the farms, working in factories, cleaning our communities… SO many incredible people! Thank you so very much!

❤ While I know his days are fraught with teleworking technical difficulties for his work team, I love having my husband working from home, reminding me how much I appreciate all that he does every day to provide for us and how much he genuinely cares about his employees.

❤ I am thankful that we are able to stay connected online with our loved ones and how blessed we are to have so much entertainment and educational opportunities at our fingertips while we follow the directives to slow the spread of this pandemic.

❤ I had been exhausted for months since the school year began, between caring for my youngest daughter’s post-concussive symptoms and constantly driving to doctors’ appointments, school, other activities, college road trips, weekly errands… while these were all necessary, this time at home has helped me regain some of my sanity, some much needed quality time and some normal sleep.

❤ No matter what happens over the next few weeks or months, God has been so very gracious to us and I wish you and your family abundant blessings, moments of gratitude and Heavenly protection in the days ahead.

Peace! ❤

Let Hope Rise

I wanted to share a beautiful shot of the NYC skyline that I took en route to the Hudson Valley on March 22nd. I spent the afternoon moving my oldest daughter out of her dorm when her college closed their residence halls at the prompting of Governor Cuomo’s directives. We are on Day 10 of our self-quarantine which later became mandated by our state of Maryland, and thankfully all is well with our family of six. While we hear more each day about the progression of COVID-19 in our world, we hold on to our faith and lift prayers for all of the incredible men and women putting their lives on the line each day in the hospitals and clinics, those who are working in so many essential roles and the friends and families who are fearful for their loved ones – those who are working on the front lines or those who have begun to show symptoms. We pour out our deepest sympathies for those who are grieving the sudden loss of someone dear to them in the midst of this pandemic, who have succumbed to the virus or have suffered other illnesses or injuries. We pray for the millions staying at home to help get our country through this season as safely and quickly as possible, for the countless businesses and people who are out of work and suffering through the uncertainties that lie ahead and for peaceful resolutions to domestic disturbances that erupt in the midst of so many social and personal anxieties. You are in our minds and hearts, and we pray that the hardships we experience will ultimately make us stronger as individuals, bring us closer as a community and more united as a country. May you be abundantly blessed, protected and grow in Spirit and health. Lord, flood the earth with Your Amazing Grace & Miraculous Healing Power, in Jesus’ Precious Name. God Bless America. God Bless Canada, the UK, Europe… God give us Peace between the many cultures in our World! Amen!