I just completed two new small quilts, and I am so happy because I was able to actually hand quilt them, (and it's been a long time since I have been able to do that). If you have been a long time reader of my blog, you may remember that I have mentioned a couple of times my problems with on-going arthritic hand pain. What I didn't say was how the pain gradually increased until I was feeling it throughout my body. I was feeling like I had the body of an 80 year old, and knew something was wrong. I decided to hold off on seeing the doctor and first do a little sleuthing, as my gut instinct told me this had something to do with something I was ingesting.
I thought about what might have changed in my diet over the last two years, (as that is when I first started feeling pain). I quickly realized that was around the time I switched from drinking primarily coffee, to drinking mostly tea. And I was drinking a lot of tea, often 8-10 cups a day, both black and green, both caffeinated and decaf, and brewed pretty strong.
A quick google search of tea and arthritic pain led me to a lot of hits. Seems that while a small does of tea can be anti-inflammatory and thus helpful, higher amounts can lead to arthritic pain, and that is thought to be possibly caused due to the high amount of fluoride, (yes fluoride) that is naturally found in black and green teas, (but not herbal).
The fluoride is absorbed into the tea leaves from the soil, (why, I do not know). Old leaves, (black tea) carry the most, while young leaves, (white tea) the least, and green tea falls in the middle.
(Note: I am no expert in this... and different reports say different things. If you really want to know about this, you should do your own research, and come to your own conclusions!)
After finding this all out, I decided to switch to mostly herbal tea, (every now and then I have a cup of black, but not that often.) After doing this for many months, I have found that the hand pain has greatly decreased. I still have a bit in my right thumb, but it no longer feels crippling and searing. And my over all body aches have greatly improved... I think what I feel now is just normal for my age.
And so I tested myself out by doing some hand quilting, and Hooray, Hooray, I was able to do it, (granted on a small scale, but nevertheless, I was able to do it)!!
So now... the quilts...
Barn Bones no.1
The quilts, "Barn Bones 1" and "Barn Bones 2" were made in response to seeing so many local, beautiful old barns and farm structures dismantled, or neglected and left to fall apart, piece by piece.
There is a point between the coming down and the all gone, where skeletal beams still stand, and the sky shows through open areas that once stood walls and roofs.
I admit, I get rather mournful each time one is lost.
And it's an odd feeling to gather inspiration from something that makes me sad,
and then to use that inspiration to make something that makes me happy.
But my hope is to pay some sort of final tribute to those structures,
some of which once stood humbly, and others that stood rather majestically...
but they all stood with dignity.
Barns Bone no.2
I pay tribute to each of them, for the lives and stories that they witnessed,
and for the years that they served and survived.