17 October 2013


It's been awhile since the last post. Good grief, that one really set me up for this one in an unforseen way.

Last evening I learned that a micro story I wrote has been accepted and will be in the next issue of the online publication 100 Word Story. Good news! My story "Final Tally" is a little gritty, and I wonder how it will be received by those who know me as a quiet quilter.

Ah, well, it is autumn. We harvest and sort during this time of year. Perhaps I will be culled in some circles, but so be it. "Final Tally" is my work and I stand by each and every word. Even the f-bomb.

21 July 2013

Freakin' Out

Searching to discover “my purpose,” on a quixotic quest for understanding, unable to recognize the Holy Grail of creativity, I stopped to rest in front of a directional signpost on the book of faces, the wildly popular, often obnoxious, website where I wander. WTF?

A quote posted by a group reminiscing about the hippies’ peace and freak philosophy of the 1960s and ‘70s jumped off the computer screen. Brilliant tie-dye red, blue, yellow, green and purple swirling lights exploded and scorched my eyelashes. I caught my breath and exhaled. Freedom! A freedom path.

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”-Alan Watts

I wasn’t a hippie or a peace freak back in the day. I was a sequestered young mom living a traditional life more suited to the previous generation. Now? Not a hippie, but much less traditional. Definitely, a peace advocate.

A freak? Oh, yeah! I confess. I am a freak, a creativity freak, finally willing to pursue the crazy ideas that appear like comic book dialog in my brain. First project? A flag. Freak flag. Tie dye fabric. Patchwork quilt roots, but funky, with some appliqued and sequined red shoes. Not traditional. Far out, with words. My words. Fearless words for all the world to see.

July 21, 2013

17 March 2013

Defining Peter Pan

Opening my dad’s old dictionary this morning, a prize from a Rotary Club spelling bee, the bold guide words Peter Pan jumped out from the top right corner of a page. Yes, the boy who never grew up has an entry in the 1971 blue cloth edition of Webster’s. Immediately above P.P. is the fisherman from Galilee. Jesus is on page 456. On impulse I checked to see if any female players in the stories warrant inclusion. Tinker Bell? Absent. Mary? No. Multiple numbered definitions would be necessary if that noun were listed.

Four score and two years have passed since the publication of my battle-worn Seventh New Collegiate. Online dictionary investigation doesn’t seem the proper theater to research any changes in the mapping of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Peter, Jesus, and Mary. A field trip to Better World Books to purchase a 2003 printing of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition is my strategy. After I learn how the Peter Pan skirmish evolved, as I look up other words and compare the previous and current editions, it will be interesting to discover: what remains unchanged, what is added, what has been deemed irrelevant and left behind.

10 March 2013

Haiku from the sewing room

Woe is the quilter
with wonky quarter-inch seams
unsew, unsew, un...

...quilt guild show and tell
vulnerability looms
church ladies do judge.

01 March 2013

Early Arrival

Temperatures here in northern Indiana are averaging in the 20s, nearly twenty degrees  below normal. This little lamb must be a little puzzled. I saw him yesterday, the first one spotted this season. His Mama stamped her a feet a few times. She didn't like her baby having his picture taken.

20 February 2013

Biscuits and Birds

Abandoned cabin in Ramsey Canyon, AZ 

Seeking a respite from one of the midwestʼs especially brutal winters a few years ago, we high-tailed it to Arizona. The Grand Canyon. Petrified Forest. Flagstaff. The ancient Anasazi site called Wupatki. Kingman. Quartzsite. Bisbee. Tombstone. Tucson. 

After settling in Tucson and quickly going broke at the annual fossil, mineral, bead, and gem shows, we met friends for the traditional pilgrimage to Pinnacle Peak for barbecue. Some things are just so corny you have to do it. Wear a tie and theyʼll cut it off and nail it on the beams, adding to their collection of severed ties of especially bad design. Driving to our friendsʼ home after stuffing ourselves, minus our thrift shop neckties, we all settled in the back yard to await the evening visit of the roadrunner. 

The next morning we headed out early, destination Ramsey Canyon, a Nature Conservancy site. It is a secluded gorge about an hour and a half south of Tucson. Forested with pine, fir, and maple intermingled along the steep slopes, sycamore grow on the floor of the valley where their demanding roots are assured of water access. All these trees are not far from arid desert plants. An intimate little canyon, during the bare-branch season the limbs extend as arms and hands into blue sky-soil. 

Home of up to fourteen species of hummingbirds, Ramsey Canyon is known as “The Hummingbird Capital of the United States.” While we didnʼt see any hummers the day we visited, I did spy my dream retreat, a tiny, tired, dilapidated shack melding with the trees and underbrush just a short distance off the main path. I have no explanation for my recurring affinity to little ramshackle buildings like this. The porch sags. The roof sags. The spirit of the abandoned old homestead sags. Itʼs inevitable when I see a secluded orphan like this I feel the urge to nurture it back to life. My immediate instinct is to go inside, sweep it out, fire up the trusty old cookstove I imagine waiting for me, scrub the rickety work table, and bake biscuits. Yes, biscuits. Not biscuits and gravy. I see just plain baking powder biscuits piled high on a white ironstone platter, served with fresh sweet butter and your choice of homemade raspberry jam or honey from the hives out back near the spring-fed creek. 

If you donʼt mind, set the table on the porch while I get a fresh batch of biscuits in the oven. I'll fill the feeders and get the binoculars, too. Then we can sit outside and count hummers until dark. You may sit in that big oak rocker with the cushion, if you like. Itʼs most comfortable for extended porch sitting and hummingbird viewing. Be very still and you may hear their tiny engines before you see them dart into view. Biscuits are ready. Help yourself while they're hot. More coffee? If you get chilly, pull that quilt off the back of the rocker and cover up.

16 January 2013

Another Christmas Past

Already two weeks into January, the holidays are definitely over. I'm writing to pack them away for another year.

It's hard to get excited about major Christmas decorating without kids who believe in Santa Claus living in the house anymore, yet I still put up the big monster eight foot tall artificial tree again for just hubby and me. Oldies who refuse to grow up completely, we enjoy the thousand cheerful lights on those long December evenings, and also plug in the tree in the morning to brighten the start of the day for the neighborhood children walking down the lane to the school bus stop.

It's such an emotional time, the holidays. Getting out, and into, the boxes of decorations takes strength. It takes physical strength hauling the tree and a dozen big boxes up from the basement, climbing up and down the ladder to position lights, baubles, and tinsel. Yes, I really put shimmering silver strands on the plastic branches. But, the hardest part is the emotional strength I muster up to delve into the memories of decades of Christmases.

As I open the boxes, handmade ornaments and the hands who made them come to mind. Vignettes of my life appear. I tear up thinking of our first baby dressed in his little football sleeper and laid under the Christmas tree, our own miracle. Hubby's parents and mine are all gone. Grandparents gone a long time ago. Families are smaller for one reason or another. The year Santa barely got the Sears harvest gold toy refrigerator and stove put together before the kids came galloping down the stairs, and the year he forgot Guns of Navarone playset, which this year sold on eBay for $250.00. Our daughter in her flannel nightgown tearing around the kitchen table in her new clamp-on roller skates. The fresh turkey that smelled like it had been dead a year when I took it out of the bag to cook for dinner. Oh, the fowl was foul that year!

So, as I sit at my computer, hot tea and good music keeping me company, I wrap up the 2012 holidays, stash them in my heart-vault bulging with memories, wish you well, and go back to work on quilts for each of our grown children for Christmas 2013. I have a few blocks done already. The pattern? Tree of Life.

2/20 update: All 32 blocks are done and ready to be joined. Then add borders and off to            
                   longarm quilter to work her magic. Next up? Same quilt, slightly different
                   colors for the leaves.