Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hurry up and flounder

Sunday morning is prime creative time for me, but today I checked the calendar and realized I have about three weeks to finish and ship a quilt so, no writing today.

Colors and cloth were already chosen but I had to ditch the original plan that included a lot of hand appliqué and substitute a technique I used once a long time ago. Pretty straightforward as machine sewing goes, but when I sat down at the Janome I discovered that I was suffering from a combination of Shriveled Skills and residual deficits from the NOT stroke or some other dire diagnosis that had me in the hospital for a week exactly a year ago. 

My left hand is clumsy and not steady and I had to slow down to avoid stitching my fingers together. Not good with a white base cloth.

We won't talk about the machine needing a good cleaning, oiling and new needle – things that were new project standards in the past. I had to think hard about how to use the bobbin winder, thread the thing, and when it did glitch (of course it did) when I looked into the bobbin nest I didn't recognize it and kept visualizing the innards of my long gone Kenmore. 

All in all, a disturbing few hours but, I won't give up on the machine if this project turns out the way I hope it will.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

wandering scraps

On my last run to the post office to ship off a fat baggy, I couldn't cram it all into the envelope.

I brought them back in the house and they'll get included in the next shipment!

On and on

I bought these flowers on June 4th. I'm beginning to think that stuff in the little packets they give away with the flowers might be either the key to eternal life or the cause of zombies.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

discipline... what it takes, something I have never been awash in. Still, it's never too late to change.

I've started committing my best hours -between wakeup and tennish- writing. I have a not quite first draft that's leprous with issues and has never been seen by a beta reader and I cannot waste one more of those precious minutes on anything that doesn't matter as much to me. November will be on us before we know it.

Sometimes I long for the mindless hours I spent on cloth. Not really mindless, just a completely different place in the brain at the helm. An autopilot who had a great sense of color, was a fair hand at design and technique and had all the confidence in the world that what she was doing would turn out okay, sometimes even great.

Deep in the stash closet, I came across a batch of old school cottons. I think it's the last of the Thompson muslin that I rescued from a wholesaler who pushed  bolts of cloth around with a small bulldozer on the concrete floor of a musty warehouse. It might be the last cloth that company made with American-grown cotton.

Anyway,  I can see I was intent on getting as much dye into the cloth as possible. It has a wonderful hand and I'm looking forward to all the hand applique I have planned even though the deadline for this project is about a month away. Family obligations are the best kind.

Charlie moving all his worldly goods into the playhouse. Moments later, everything was transferred back to the crib. (Repeat cycle four times before lunch.)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

blue sunday

We gathered close and celebrated Jim's birthday today. Just Jake tinkering on his car and Colin in the kitchen making chili and a mess. Me, out in the yard being Nana.

Charlie continues to be my soul salvation.

I have a lot of thoughts about the sad turn of events in our country, but I need to push it all away as far as I can. It's making my heart sick on a day when it's already aching.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

40 years

Despite what I said here, I doubt that we would have done anything different on our fortieth anniversary that we did on the vast majority of all the others. Stay at home, make a meal together, trade cards, flowers and perhaps small gifts.

Jimmy might have played DJ while I worked in the kitchen unless he made chili, then I would have sat and stitched.

 We might have taken a dip in the pool, weather permitting. Then a shared movie and reminiscing over a meal. All of life's simple pleasures in one day, special only because of the date on the calendar. They were all special. I did my best alone today.

I got a great deal on some just marked down sunflowers and roses. And I couldn't resist a little Charlie chair to match mine.
and the mail man brought treats too.

Friday, June 03, 2016


I spend Thursdays and Fridays with Charlie. The best days of my week. There is nothing else to do but watch and participate if I can. It's what I did when Jake and Colin were this age. Be present.

Watching him discover things for the first time is so delightful. The public pool where he lives is big and crowded so we cooled off on the patio this morning.

What gets him laughing? The slapping sounds our feet make in puddles on the concrete. The wet squeaking squirts from the little rubber ducks.  A wren perched on the railing a moment to see what we were up to. Charlie held out a cup of water with a hopeful look on his face. Life is good.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016


That other banner got annoying very quickly. I'm glad I save the old ones.