Monday, March 30, 2015


To the kind and generous, anonymous person who sent the thank you card -

 I don't feel all that worthy, but the gift was timely and deeply appreciated. It quickly translated to fresh lettuce, oranges and strawberries, bread, cheese, a bag of Braves peanuts, chili makings, half & half, a whole gallon of apple cider, cookies for humans and cats...and many other delightful things.


Friday, March 27, 2015

vacation day, kinda

I've been on a tiny vacation of sorts. Missy is taking some time off from work making me non-nana for a few days. Although I miss Charlie it's good for all of us.

We thought spring was finally here - Colin has cut the lawn twice in ten days - but it's turned cold again with freeze warnings for the weekend. I covered over the peony shoots popping up in the garden and brought the houseplants back inside. Only the strong shall survive.

Yesterday I worked in the writing chair for almost six hours. Today there was a mile and change in the park although I really didn't think I had a quarter mile in me. Starting out I felt like the Tin Man after a night in the rain, but all smoothed out after a bit and I was surprised at the ground I covered.  Later, there was time in the stitching chair.

Missy got to be the one to give him his first ride on the swing at the park. So right!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

read for me

 1. Thesis. The essence of your problem or question.
 2. Antithesis. The obstacle or challenge that you must deal with.
 3. Synthesis. The resolution of the thesis and antithesis.

I'm good with this one.
(If you keep your cards in a Crown Royal bag you might be a redneck Tarot reader)

Monday, March 23, 2015

finishing Vigil

"Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in."  Michael Corleone

the next step

Me? Coming out of hibernation like most of the country. My UFO's are different these days – books that I'm reading rather than unfinished stitching projects. At the moment I'm going through a list that ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous, but if the author doesn't have me after a full chapter, maybe two, it goes into the “sell it back” pile.

I've been thinking about putting the cloth and thread behind me and clearing out the studio. Boxing up all the raw materials and tools. Out of sight, out of mind. Not to mention all the finished pieces. 

But then what? My studio was my favorite place in the house where everything in it was set up for my comfort and purpose by my husband. I don't need a spare bedroom anymore. Soon, I won't need the day job office. 

It was shitty out yesterday and I forced myself to follow through with what's become a ritual – meeting one of my friends at IKEA in the city. I can take or leave the food, but they don't throw you out after taking up a table for nearly three hours. We hash over family, life and current events and then we tour the store with our wishlists. As much as I like good design, a lot of IKEA's offerings leaves me cold. 

My friend makes jewelry. Beautiful, fashionable stuff, not junky trendy crap. She reminded me that she stopped doing it completely for about two years. She was just out of gas, experiencing a loss of passion for the craft due in part to a frustration with marketing – every artists waterloo. Just recently, she got her stuff out of storage and picked it up again and she is back to enjoying the pure pleasure of just making with fresh eyes and attitude. Pondering the lesson.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

nailing it

If you are any kind of creative every now and again you'll step back from what you are up to and go “Yes!” or “Good!” or, in my case “Fuckin' Aaa!” and you'll throw down the tools and get that little chill and be thirsty for a celebration because you nailed it. You won't even feel the need to drag anyone into the moment for their agreement. This moment is for you alone.

Last night I was pondering the demise of the writers group that I've been going to for a little more than a year now. The two founders have drifted away. Life, of course, must take precedence over follies like gathering over bad food with snotty waiters and embarrass ourselves and each other with our attempts at writing and so the group has floundered. It's been a learning experience and my only semi-social connection to the world since my husband died. I will be looking for another bunch of similarly plagued individuals and if I can't find what I'm looking for, I'll found my own.

So I made the mistake of looking over a bit of the book I've been working on for almost a year. I worked on it constantly while I was at the FOF retreat last year in FL. 

The writing was puffy, awkward and self-indulgent. I was bummed thinking how I thought I was closing in on a rough draft when all I really had behind me was clouds crap. I sulked and went to bed. The last thing I remember was that there were a couple of lines out of some twelve pages that were really good. Keepers.

In the dark hour before waking, on a day when I didn't have to get up, I turned that chapter inside out in my head. I had a sit down with each of the characters. Assessed their needs and their wants. Established who knew what, when and why it mattered. Addressed the problems and found answers, all before ever putting my toes on the rug.

I've got this and knowing it feels great.

Friday, March 13, 2015

spring behind my back

Spring is here for real. I want to get my mailbox garden up and running as soon as I can. It's a scraggly mess this time of year. No pictures please.

The year is a almost a quarter passed. Although I've been feeling the urge to do some stitching, there has been no time for quiet, meditative activity. If I sit still and quiet for five minutes, I'm likely to be asleep. Lately some days are eighteen hours long, but I get to spend most of those hours in good company..
 As you can see Charlie is open to any style sensibility. A baby's boundless sense of discovery and fun is infectious. Yesterday he was oblivious to Elfie on his head while I laughed until I cried.

 On the "House to Home" front, I was able to get a large reduction in the mortgage. For those of you have a VA mortgage, look into an IRRRL rate adjustment. Soon this is going to translate into more free time for me and then who knows what I'll be up for.

ps- these days of adorableness on the quilt are over. He's doing the Worm at 5 mph and gets up on all fours, rocking back and forth, looking for first gear. Any minute now.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

That added hour

Spring swings wildly these past few days between 20s and 60s, snow flurries, freezing rain and this morning, bright sunshine. I couldn't focus on what I wanted to do first beyond just looking. seeing. looking some more. The sun was blazing through the studio windows this morning. I pulled art out of storage and cheered up the Fierce wall.

        untitled works  by Jude Hill, Grace  Forrest and me.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

You're gonna need a bigger box!

I'm packing up a box of stuff to represent me at the next Focus on Fiber event coming up at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL. All this stuff will be for the attendees to pick through and use in their projects during the retreat and classes.

If anyone from the ATL is driving there this year  and would consider delivering it for me...I can pack it even heavier! Get in touch!  You'll get first picks after Mary!

I had a terrific time last year. It was a seminal week for me. Although my fiber project "Fierce" didn't pan out, the outline of my novel  in progress did, and I'm forever grateful to everyone who made that week possible.

(Fierce is not a total loss. It hangs in hope on the studio wall. A reminder that you can't always get what you want  ) This was our cabin banner...