New Year

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog. Those of you who know me personally, know that the past 5 months have seen a lot of changes for me and my family. There have been things to celebrate: reuniting with our oldest son and his family, meeting our newest grandson, buying our first house. I have to be grateful for those blessings, and so many, many more as I lost my husband, Randy, after an intense two months of illness. Even now, three months after he died, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that he isn’t at home, sitting on the chaise with our mini dachshund, Schatsie, by his side. But that is the reality I’m learning to live with. Some days are better than others, but I carry on, because that is what you do.

Randy and his love of gaming brought so many people into our lives, people I now consider family. And we would gather each year at GenCon to catch up in person. I have Randy to thank for these wonderful people being my friends, for helping me through this dark time in my life. Some were with me at Randy’s “Shindig” ; still others came to celebrate his life on the Thanksgiving week that would have been Randy’s 50th birthday. Many more help buoy my spirits when I’m having a particularly difficult day, and I love them for looking out for me.

I am going to GenCon this year, in great part, because I need to hug and thank many people for the generosity and caring they’ve shown me and my family. I will be teaching a few needle felting classes, but only 2 classes each day to leave room for me to connect with the friends and family of RAMDU around the gaming tables, at the food trucks, and at basement con.

This is a new year-a new life-and I’m getting back to creating, slowly but surely. And I keep Randy with me every step of the way.



I had a post from a new blog that I’ve decided to follow, and it resonates with me right now. I have actually put this into practice, yet again, over the past month: when I discovered from my sister that my oldest beloved son, from whom I have been estranged for well over a year now, and his wife welcomed their second child, my second grandchild, to the world, I had a heartbreaking cry. And then I got up, put on my big girl panties, and said NO to myself:

NO, I will not allow these behaviors hurt me any more.

NO, I will not continue to wish things were different with our relationship.

NO, I will not grieve the missed milestones of birthdays, kindergarten graduation, holding my hours old grandson.

NO, I will not wait for a response from my child who has chosen to continue his life without me being allowed to be part of the joys, the laughter and the love.

NO, I will not do that to myself.

I will continue to love my son, his wife and my grandsons from where I am, even if I am never allowed to penetrate the walls they have erected between them and me.

I will wish them all happiness and joy and health and light and love.

I will pray for them every time I think of them.

I will be grateful for the occasional glimpses of them from infrequent and random pictures posted.

But I have to say NO for now. For now, I need to focus forward, on the things that I can change and the responses I have to things changing. Because life doesn’t grow if you don’t tend to it-and looking backwards isn’t how you tend to things in front of you.

So I’m tending to the here and now. The “what-ifs” have no place in my life. NO.

(To read the post that started my thoughts here, check out this link: )

Buying a house-new grandchild-too many feels

We are in the middle of the process towards closing on August 17th, and the packing has barely begun. Hubby is dealing with some undetermined physical issues that make it difficult for him to do anything in the evenings but recover from his day at work. The 20-somethings have been working like madmen at their jobs, which leaves me holding up the larger end of the packing. And I’m falling behind.

It will get done-probably hitting very heavy on the remaining weekends  to get major packing done, and focus my evenings on smaller areas that can be completed in the shorter time. Hoping to have the upstairs ready to go by the end of the weekend, and that’s no small matter.

Found out Monday evening that our son and his wife welcomed the newest member of the family to the world that morning. Emmett Lee and his mama are doing well, and I’m sure that big brother Ezra is equal parts amazed and befuddled. But he’s the big brother, and it will be up to him to show Emmett that Everything is Awesome-especially his big brother! Nick, Dena, Ezra and Emmett, you are loved so very much, and Granddad and Granna wish you nothing but happiness and joy.

New beginnings abound-too many feels to describe it all, so just focusing on what I can do and what I can control. The rest? I’m blessing and releasing.


Loving a new diversion!

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I’ve taken a bit of a break from felting. Not sure why, but until I feel the still small inner voice say to me “It’s time, Anna”, I’ve been allowing myself the luxury of taking up something old and something new.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll find progress pictures of some free form crochet motifs destined to be a neckpiece for my bestie. You would also have seen some pictures of my jump into circle weaving. (Find me on Facebook under Anna Walker in Topeka, KS and on Twitter and Instagram as @feltit.)

My friend Linda was happy to see me weaving the other day, and quite frankly, I didn’t realize just how much I would enjoy weaving, though my efforts are a far cry from Linda and her master weaving. I mean, she has a weaving studio in her home with several looms warped on any given day!

But there is something meditative about adding layer after layer of threads, yarns, fiber, and fabrics, that is pleasing, soothing, and grounding.

Another friend, Laura, is in the midst of a meditation ‘retreat’ of unknown duration. I’m beginning to understand the allure of ‘retreat’ in this crazy, busy, hate filled and anxious world in which we live.

And I’m grateful for the inspiration to play with these circle weaves.

Mixed Emotions re: GenCon 2016

Many of you know that for the past several years, come August, I would be teaching classes at GenCon in Indianapolis. Those classes are so much fun, and I look forward to seeing students from previous years attend new classes.

But not this year.

My husband and I had every intention to attend GenCon 2016 this year, but then something amazing occurred: we realized that if we did NOT attend the Con, we would have a full down payment and would be ready to get pre-approved for buying a house.

And the decision was made.

So, to my students and potential students who are ready to select their GenCon 2016 events when the event window opens this weekend, I am sad to say that you will not find any Felt THIS! classes listed in the SPA events, and I’m sorry to miss hanging out with you, stabbing things into existence. Please forgive, and look for the classes next year, for GenCon50. I promise to have some amazing NEW classes for you in addition to the always popular Create a Creature class.

Do me a favor?

Send me pics of you at GenCon2016 enjoying yourself at other classes and events-hopefully while you are having a great Con, hubby and I will be going to open houses on the quest to find our house! And, when we get settled into that new house, you’re all invited to our housewarming party!

Shame On Me


The last time I posted was February??

Shame on me. I’ve been distracted by the new job, overwhelmed by everything in my head that wants to be stabbed into existence, and sick (nothing serious, just ick)…still no excuse for ignoring the blog. I will try to do better.

NEW PROJECT-I’ve decided to create a number of Heads in Jars ala Futurama, and am taking suggestions for the heads to be created. Thus far, I will be stabbing the following heads into existence: Trump, Brownback (governor of KS), Kobach (sec. of state KS), Hillary, The Koch Bros (as cojoined heads, or a double headed serpent, can’t decide), David Cameron, Prince, and a Kardashian of my choice.

Who do YOU want me to create?

POLITICS-I’m still all Bernie, still prepared to vote all the KS legislature out of office, am calling for Option 4 as a way to save our beautiful state from the arrogant and ill-advised poor excuse for a governor we have in Kansas. We just need to be kind and to do the right thing instead of lording our choices over others. Agree to disagree, but don’t legislate who can love who, where they can go pee, or how/who/if they believe in a higher power. I, for one, am on God’s team, and I try to live my life according to the commandments Jesus confirmed to the Pharisees as the most important: love God with all my heart, soul and mind; love my neighbors as myself. I don’t have all the answers, and anyone who says they do, doesn’t either.

CLASSES-I’ll be scheduling classes as soon as I confirm a location. While my usual spot at Potwin Presbyterian as a member of the Potwin Fiber Artisans is still available, it does present challenges that make teaching classes more difficult for me, aka lugging cases of materials and supplies up a flight of stairs, through the sanctuary, up another couple of steps and into a beautiful room. The room is great-getting there with all my stuff is not so fun. So I am looking at other options within Topeka, and you’ll be the first to know when I have it confirmed!

PERSONAL-Life is good, hoping to be house hunting before the end of the year (and yes, I’ll be looking for studio/classroom space as part of that new home), hoping to launch a couple of young men into their lives. For those of you that pray, I always accept them, especially over my boys, and my grandson. Still have areas where I am walking in faith that all will be sorted out and reconciled someday, but know that I’m trying to do the right thing. I posted something on FB this week, and I’m holding on to it tightly on those days when I am caught by memories:

My hope is that they will remember mommy tried.

Even when she was tired, even when she was stressed. I hope they will know that I did it all for them. That I had every intention of being great, good, and grand, but some days all I could be was okay.