I’ve been planning to re-launch my blog, basically giving it a new face (or header) for quite some time. I wanted to showcase some of my tartan quilts and add a font that looked more hand-sewn. I also wanted to come up with a catchy phrase, a kind of subtitle for the blog.
Picture check. Font check. Header, not so easy.
I decided that to accomplish this (and another parallel goal TBA) I needed to learn to use Adobe Illustrator. I spent the last few months working my way through an online course, learning the basics of using Illustrator, an Adobe graphic arts program similar to Photoshop (which I also don’t know how to use.) I have to say that I’m pretty sure that I’m age and/or experience challenged when it comes to learning this kind of thing. I am also not a natural artist, at least in the graphic arts.
I listened to 40 ten-minute videos, some two or three times before learning the material.
I slowly memorized the shortcut keys and strokes. I tried, tried, and tried again until I figured out the very basics of what I needed for my two goals.
While I’ve been busy learning, the site itself has been somewhat dysfunctional. For most of the last six to eight months, I couldn’t count on being able to publish the blogs in a timely manner. For the previous eight years, I’d been able to click on the PUBLISH button and the next morning the post would appear and you would get an email letting you know it was there. These past few months were more erratic. I would write and publish, but the post and notification appeared days and sometimes weeks later. We couldn’t figure out if the problem was with WordPress or with the notification system. MailChimp.
I still haven’t figured out how to fix the notification system but I am going to go ahead and launch my new header. It’s been fun to learn new things, but I’d rather write than Illustrate.
Meanwhile (and this is a huge meanwhile) we have also launched our son John out into the world. Long story short: I came home from New Zealand at the end of February with a renewed focus on meeting a previously stated goal to have him on his own–with supports–by May 1. Although it seemed best for him to get a job, adjust, and then move into an apartment, I told him I wasn’t waiting for the job. I also told him that if he chose to resist or manipulate, it probably wouldn’t end well.
Within a couple weeks, he chose door number three and he landed back in the hospital. We met with him there and told him that he couldn’t come back home, something we had previously discussed. He took the news fairly well and opted to be discharged to the street. He spent one night in a homeless shelter and planned to spend another camping out. Neither went well. Eventually, he stayed with a family friend for a couple weeks. He had to be out of the house early every morning. Within a week, he got a job with the help of one of his friends in the city. He has completed two weeks of part-time work and a lot of commuting. He likes his job and is adapting to his new set of circumstances.
He is currently staying with other family friends, but we are hoping to find place for him to live in the next few weeks. We’re narrowing down locations and hoping to find a summer sublet or short term lease for his first new home.* It is still a tenuous process, a partial launch at this point.
Early on I read Psalm 147:13-14: For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you. He makes peace within your borders; he fills you with the finest of wheat.” Although the verse refers to Jerusalem, I took it as a confirmation that we were doing the right thing in strengthening our boundaries, seeking peace within our borders. I was encouraged that somehow my son might be blessed in the process. Over and over God reminded me of his steadfast love and faithfulness, of my need to wait and hope. Psalm 130:7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love and with him is plentiful redemption.
*If anyone has any leads on places, please let us know. His work is at 47th & Kedzie. So far he has been commuting on Metra to the city and then catching a ride on the Orange Line. The CNW seems to be a better option than the Burlington train, and we think the Green or Blue lines might work even better so we are looking at Forest Park, Oak Park, and possibly as far west as Elmhurst. We also have looked at neighborhoods in the city, along Archer and 47th.