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Are you a hugger?

Are you a hugger?

Good Morning,
Last week my friend posted on facebook that she was missing hugs. At first I thought she was just kidding cause she never seemed much of a hugger to me. I wondered if she was being sarcastic or ironic so I texted her and said, " Were you kidding about being a hugger?" And she texted back "No, I love hugs. I just held back cause I knew you weren't a hugger." I like that about her. She understood. Some of us are huggers and some of are not so much.
For quite a few years I have not been a hugger. I know, it surprises me too. I used to be a hugger but somewhere along the way I became less and less comfortable with it. I only wanted to hug people when I felt a certain immediacy. Of course, I love to hug my kids and family. I need to feel really comfortable with someone before the hugging starts.
Of course Covid has changed all the hugging and hand shaking. We don't make any physical contact with each other out of concern for our own and other's personal safety. Now we have to social distance.
I don't have to get all stiff and rigid anymore when I go somewhere and wonder if it is going to be a hugging event. There is no worry about being caught off guard by a big unexpected hug.
I have always understood huggers. I used to be one when I was young. I get it, that desire to reach out and share your warmth. I know that feeling. I feel it sometimes too. Us non huggers sometimes get a bit of bad press as being distant or cool, but we are not. We are just more comfortable with a little space around us. We still feel that warmth, we just don't express it with a hug. We express it in words. small kindnesses, smiles, and lots of other ways.
This year we have all had to hold back on so many levels. We have missed the chance to share our love, to be with grandchildren, to share meals with friends, to gather, to be together. Weddings, graduations, funerals, the things that mark our lives have slipped by quietly, or been forsaken. We have lost our rituals. We have all had losses, some much deeper than others.
Even the simple hug between friends and loved ones has had to be set aside. All of this has happened in our effort to protect one another. We have kept our distance because we love.
The other night I got a text from Joe who works with me. It said, "Hug rugs, we are all missing hugs."
I thought to myself, "We are, we are all missing hugs, even you Deanne, you are missing that connection."
He said "A rug is kinda like a hug, soft and warm. It's been such a tough year, wouldn't it be great if we could mail each other hugs?"
And I thought, "We should do that!" Let's start a "Hug in a Rug" project. So we are startng it this week in the studio and on our Wild with Wool Facebook Page. I am including a set of downloadable patterns ( See below ) and tags here for you to use if you want to make some. The idea is that instead of a hug you can mail 4 by 4 inch mug rugs to people you care about...a hug in a rug.
I know so many of you love to give because that love is part of making. It is part of who we are as makers. We have this need to share ourselves and we pour ourselves into our rugs. These little 4 by 4 inch mug rugs are a great way to send someone you know a little hug in the mail. If you want you can join us on the facebook page a share your hug in a rugs there.
Thanks for Reading, I am glad you are there. Warm thoughts for you,
PSDFS Design School is now available if you want to learn how to design your own hooked rugs. It is only available for a limited time.
A Newsy Letter about Visits and Road Trips.

A Newsy Letter about Visits and Road Trips.

Good Morning,
Yesterday I told my friend Lily who lives a couple of hours away that I could drive down for a visit. She texted me back and said "I'll make a cake". I rarely leave home to hit the road so I think she saw it as fit for a celebration.
When I got there she had a little lemon coconut pound cake in the oven and a pot of soup on. It made me feel so special to arrive to a cake coming out of the oven. It reminded me of my mother baking date squares and lemon squares when company was coming. It was a long drive but it was worth it.
We didn't do much. We poked around her house and looked at the changes she made. We both share a love of home. Then we took a long walk through a hilly road and back through her friend's farm. We looked around an old barn for a bit, cut some forsythia for me to force , and had a cup of tea and lunch together. After lunch we went to town for an hour and I headed back home. I was back at my house by 4pm.
I often tell myself that I don't like driving but really I do. I get in the car, turn on a podcast and keep myself company. I drove a long way for a short visit but we are old old friends, 31 years, and she baked a cake so it was worth it. I ate two slices and then brought one home for Robert.
I remember once I drove five hours to take my old friend Doris Eaton out to lunch. I still remember that day. I had been writing my book Simply Modern and I was telling Doris that I had a title for it. I think it was something like Contemporary Hooked Rugs. Doris had had a stroke earlier that year and I was just happy to be with her. When I told her the title she smiled and said , "Maybe you'll think of something better." I laughed and she laughed. We laughed out loud in this pretty little cafe on a rural road on the south shore of Nova Scotia. After lunch she took me to meet Jane Steele from her rug hooking group, then I took her back home. It was a long drive for a little visit but it stands out in my memory. It was a beautiful day.
Friends are worth the trip. Often in the spring I feel the desire to get in the car for a little impromptu road trip. I don't want it planned. I just like to wake up and decide. That makes me happy. It is freedom to be able to get up in the morning and decide how to spend the day. That is a special freedom.
Today, after I finish writing to you I am going to get in the car again and drive out to the beach for a little walk about. It is spring and I feel the need to look around a bit and see what the winter left behind. When I come back I think I will sew a new rug upon my Cheticamp to hook because the light lasts into the evening now and so spring is a great time to hook.
Before I go I wanted to share a great meal I cooked last night. Whenever I go anywhere, I am always glad to get home. I get the fire going to warm the place up and I cook up something good. This was last night's supper. You could make it with any fish.
Halibut with spring vegetables 
Pan fry halibut or your favorite fish dipped in flour. I heat olive oil in the pan until it is hot before I put the fish in. Four minutes on each side. Set aside fish on a plate. 
In the same pan sauté 
1 clove garlic minced
1 sweet onion
4 mushrooms thinly sliced.
Cover with three cups water
2 cups chicken stock
Add 10-12 small new potatoes
Rind of one lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
Cook about ten minutes or until potatoes are still firm
Add 2 cups green beans, cook uncovered until potatoes are done, and beans still firm. 
Toss in 1 cup peas and 1 cup asparagus, and juice of one lemon
Top with fish, cover for three minutes and serve. It is a simple but delicious fish stew.
So that's it for me today. It was good to be here with you this morning. Remember every Thursday we go live on facebook and instagram so I'll see you there.
As I write this to you now I am wondering what I'll hook today. I don't always know but I always show up at my frame and something comes. I love that .
Haver a good week, I hope you get a visit in with someone, even via zoom. It is good for us to stay in touch, thanks so much for reading,
PS. I am having a live zoom class next Saturday if you would like to spend the day with me hooking the caribou and learning about colour and design you can register here.