19 November 2010


Members of a writing group I am in began writing sonnets, Shakespeare. Here's my humble offering patterned after the bard's Sonnet 18.

Alchemy--after William Shakespeare

May I propose to make a quilt with you,

Cut sadness from old wounds and scars untold?

Pray this lifeʼs garden bloom all lovely hues,

Before sharp frost sneaks in our beds so cold.

This stone floor boasts remnants of cast off clothes,

Cerulean skirt blood-soaked on the hem,

Black mourning suit tear-stained with old sad woes,

It seems a quilt from these canʼt be a gem.

I hear you can be very hard to please.

Dark nightmares I do not intend to breed.

Perchance for strange new brilliance I may tease,

And choose bright happy cloth but never plead.

I'll not hang tough nor tempt you more with pause.

Come here, slip 'neath this silken rainbow gauze.

Cathy Safiran

November 17, 2010

24 July 2010

The Beekeeper

It's been a few weeks since I took this photo of a local farmer moving white painted wooden bee skeps in the back of his tractor-pulled wagon. Just through the trees lies his destination, a shaded spot suitable for this collection of white boxes which will be stacked and will house his bees. They are placed in a U-shaped area, a dozen structures as tall as a man, arranged in a semicircle beneath the shade of the spreading limbs. Beyond the trees are huge fields, perhaps several hundred acres of pasture and crops, which the bees call their own.

I've written about concern for the pollinators before. Though we have flowers and clover, and the neighbors have apple and cherry trees, I have not seen honey bees again this year. Perhaps they have chosen the life of domesticity. I don't know. But, thanks to the bee keepers the honey supply in our area is plentiful and the bees are productive.

16 June 2010

Change of Plans

A couple of minutes ago when I sat here to finally post something new, I thought it would be about the cancellation of our Canada trip. Seems a brother of the friends who are our hosts has decided he will be going instead. Which is fine. Really. Though I did, and do, want to visit the wild and remote wilderness lake again I'm surprisingly not upset. For some unknown reason the decision to go is out of our hands.

Scrolling through the list of my photos, looking for one to post with a planned lament about our change of plans, I found my picture of Great Serpent Mound in south central Ohio which I took a couple of years ago. The sinuous switchbacks of the earthworks is always magnetic for me. The first time we visited I ran to the incline (the one in the lower right corner), prostrated myself upon the grass skin of the mound, and melted into the serpent. This sits above a beautiful river. Looking over the edge of the bluff, the towering sycamores are beneath my feet. It is a sacred place. Sacred trees. Sacred effigy.

So, instead of trekking north and across the border, we'll be home. Touching familar earth under our feet. Working in the garden. Whatever. It's all good.

20 March 2010

Seize the Day

This week, immersed in laying out license plate letters and making a few signs, my mind kept busy spinning its threadbare story of how I don't have time or the ability to write.

So, this afternoon, feeling a little out of sorts because of my lack of haiku or verse this week, wrapping the last sign for tomorrow's shipment, the mini-billboard I held was shouting the real purpose of life: Carpe Diem.

I don't kid myself about my writing. I can turn out some decent haiku, occasionally a poem works, and sometimes feel deeply enough about a sycamore or person or thought to pen a short essay. Novelist, no. Mystery writer, no. But, give me a pile of old junkyard stuff, saw and paint, hammer and nails, and I'm prolific. As I pondered the Carpe Diem sign in my hand today, I truly understood time is not given to be wasted. And, there are many ways I write in my world.

14 March 2010

A Personal Profile in Courage

This is National MS Week. Multiple Sclerosis. About thirteen years ago our lovely young daughter-in-law was diagnosed with MS.

Before MS she was a teacher, cross country coach taking her team to levels they never imagined, downhill skier, and back country hiker and camper. A little over a year ago she began again to participate in outdoor sports in a different way. And, she is still teaching by demonstrating bravery, tenacity, and hope.

Meet C., our beautiful daughter-in-law. Here she is, back on skis for the first time since her diagnosis, in December 2008. Our son said it was the best Christmas present ever and his smile reveals that.

C., you are a true profile in courage and we love you very much.

09 February 2010

What's On My Plate

Finally, back to my blog. When I began this, I hoped I would be disciplined and post on a regular basis. Well, so much for good intentions. But, I did have good intentions to create a workspace in the basement and though not really complete, it's comfortable and in use nearly every day, if only for a short time. I still want to empty a couple bookcases down there and shelve all my quilt books and supplies. The wonderful thing about this space is silence. The only sound I can hear is the furnace behind the wall. No tv. No radio. I do have a mini travel dvd player that is rarely used but keeps me from feeling deprived.

The pieces on the plate are for an English Medallion quilt. The pattern is by Bettina Havig. So far the directions are precise and everything is going well. Knock on wood! I actually feel like a real quilter since I moved into this space. My work table from the second hand store cost only $20. The top was a little worn but that didn't bother me and I just applied a couple of coats of varnish and painted the legs. It's big enough for my old portable sewing machine which boasts the names of New Home and Janome. Must be New Home sold to Janome? I haven't checked that out. The only reason I chose that one is my hubby's grandmother had a New Home treadle which I have down there, and intend to get cleaned and running, in the cutting area. I forgot to mention I have an eight foot banquet table elevated with pvc pipe in an adjacent room. Lucky me! No bending over to cut. The other machine, the one pictured here, is a birthday present to myself a couple of years ago. It's a dandy little white Singer Featherweight. I swear when I switched to this machine my sewing improved dramatically. When I feed the little pieces under the presser foot they slide right in and through. No more thread tangling and pulling the fabric down and out of sight. It's so nice to have both machines always on the same table. Always ready to sew. Always ready to sew with a friend. :)

~~the 2nd photo is supposed to be here but haven't figured that out :(

The second photo is my batting covered wall. This tip I learned from a local gal who taught me to use the rotary cutter and mat and gave me the confidence that I can make quilts. Just like the old Colorforms plastic dolls, the quilt blocks stick to the batting and it makes a huge difference watching the quilt come together. Even the large center assemblage is just clinging without any pins.

It's snowy and cold here tonight. We are so blessed to be warm and safe.
Thanks for visiting.