Thursday, November 15, 2018

Picked the last of these today. We are going to have a freeze tonight.

I keep looking around this house, this life and wondering what I'd grab if I had to go with just a moment's notice. It's a terrifying prospect that so many are contending with.

These are inescapably sad days, this piece of November. The days when we sat by Jimmy's bedside and he slipped away from us a little at a time. Five years, five minutes. My heart can't tell the difference.

It's good that my day-to-day is consumed, starting at 5 in the morning. Getting Charlie off to school is most often the high point. He's such a piece of wonderful work that I'm grateful for. From there I go to the library for a few hours of concentrated writing. More about that here.

I still pick up the cloth from time to time. Turn it this way and that. Dream about what goes where, but the "why" of it eludes me. I took a load of scraps made cloth and from the cloth a very serviceable gown. mumu. schmata. You'll call it different things depending. A floor length garment that you probably shouldn't wear in public. No pictures. Pure comfort.

My back seat driver:

and me, half asleep in the car, waiting for the library to open.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Update !!Grace & waiting

Grace & Tribe are safe. Checking in at the Gridley Fairgrounds!

And here in Georgia, we continue to wait to see if the GOP is going to steal the election. There has been so much blatant voter suppression, it ultimately has to be considered criminal. 

I feel like time is grinding to a halt and we jump from one indecency, one horrendous act of depravity or stupidity, to the next, with no time between to reflect or resolve anything. 

This venerable purslane awaits its end as the temps begin to fall. I just don't have a container large enough for it and research says that if they overwinter inside, they won't bloom again. Sweet short lives. I have lots of seeds from this one and will start it again in the spring.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

self care

Be good to yourself first so you'll have enough gas left to give others a lift.

Or something like that.

From now through the end of this year - these difficult, contentious times - all  Fat Baggies will include one, randomly chosen  10yd. skein of Dirty Thread.

email me if you have any questions. these are the fabrics I'm picking from right now.

and no, you can't have my scissors. :)

Monday, November 05, 2018


Charlie and Maddie. Best buds. The kids in Pre-K got a lot of mileage and candy out of Halloween this year. Costume day at school all day Friday, party after that evening, then, the real, door to door old-fashioned trick-or-treating on Halloween.

Me? Another year hiding in upstairs in the master with all the lights out.

  We've taken up a new tradition. Keeping in touch with those who have passed. The crepe myrtle grove up near my mailbox is where Karma, Voodoo, and Orion are buried.  The trees have not been pruned in many years, but come January, I'm going to cut back the lower branches to make headroom. Want to move the lawn chairs up there, maybe get a bigger bird bath, some bug candles or a small firepit. I found out that if you are burning stuff in the yard and someone calls the cops, they are fine with it if you have some sticks and marshmallows or hotdogs.                                                                     It's a nice place to hang out and see the neighborhood. 

Sunday, November 04, 2018

giving comfort

My brother's new addition enjoying one of my first quilts, c. 2001. Made during my graveyard shifts at AT&T. 

Conference tables made great workspaces.

I had a thing for gaudy commercial cotton prints.

see below.

This post from April, 2005!  


the Run for the Border

...the North Carolina border, that is.Today Jan Thompson and I made our annual pilgrimage to MaryJo's in Gastonia, NC like a team of Sumo wrestlers descending upon the local Chinese buffet! Disturbed to find that MJs no longer provided grocery store style shopping carts to it's patrons, we shanghaied an empty one from one of the folks reshelving the bolts we were pillaging wildly. Jan's Corvette made the ride a joy and the envy of every trucker through three states and I think she only broke a few laws. Something about low-flying aircraft maybe...This is Estelle, our ever-patient cutting Wizardess at MJ's - "ALWAYS worth the ride!" should be their motto. See the luscious batiks over Estelle's right shoulder. They are even tastier tucked into my stash but they will have to wait until I get back from a dash up to NY. The plane leaves at 6:30 tomorrow and I am not yet packed. Back next week with new stuff in the works and NY adventures to report.

FLASH! MARYJO'S HAS A "HELP WANTED" SIGN POSTED IN THE WINDOW!I had to stop and consider the ramifications of a 6 hour daily commute.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Outside in

Not waiting for a surprise cold snap. Mr. & Mrs. Wilson, the swedish ivys were totally out of control. Bits of them have taken hold in the outside window boxes and can't be brought in. They look burly enough to stand a mild winter, but the cactus and tropicals come in.

There's another geranium and a huge purslane still outside that I need to find pots for soon.  Of course, I picked a gray tree frog off the carpet the next morning. He was dry and covered with dust fuzz so I washed him and put him outside so he could go about his business of hibernating, or whatever it is that they do. I'm sure I'll find a lizard or two soon. They can stay in. I have spiders galore.

That's Louie, the Diff. A wedding gift from our friend Donald in 1977. Life persists if you give it half a chance.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Read something good!

A good friend and crit partner has her debut novel out  and
If you're on Kobo (or know someone who is) and you'd like a copy of Free Falling, here's the link. Grab it while the promo is still live

Sunday, October 28, 2018

taking a cloth breath

There's too much good stuff in the river basket to just dive in. I am quite overwhelmed, but gravitating to the stuff that looks like mayhem. I feel like swinging a machete at a nazi picnic but, the cloth will have to suffice, I guess. It's probably a good thing that I'm not twenty.

I actually ironed some of this before I got started. I find that huck and linen have to be whacked back into 2D before you can compose.
 At least my "THAT SUCKS" radar is still working.

I already see the big problem, lack of contrast. Fixing that with stitch never works.

Back to the drawing board, a little at a time. I won't even ask myself why.

It feels good. The section on the right, with the blue background, has promise on its own.

This section of the design wall is just to the left of where I sit for the day job. If the clients are quiet tonight, I may make some progress with this, but I'm going to give it time before I thread a needle.

Friday, October 26, 2018

back to winter in GA

This is how it goes in Georgia. One or two sunny, brisk days to call Fall,  then the cold and damp sets in and this is pretty much what to expect from winter with the odd freeze here and there.

It was darker than this when I dropped Captain America off at Pre-K this
morning. The teacher who met us at the door was Minnie Mouse in polka dot long johns.

And yesterday, we got a jump on the mobs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


The bottomless basket has been replenished.

After picking a few choice pieces for my own (now manageable) hoard, I ripped and cut my way through the stacks of cloth that have been piling up as the summer's dye days have come and gone. Lots of color textures that are new!

There are linens, broadcloth, sheeting, flannel, lawn, huck, gauze, poplin, and some weird stuff I have no name for, only that since it took the dye, it must be mostly natural cloth.

If the day job gets quiet tonight, I'll be packing up a bunch of fat baggies for the shop. I'll be going out of town on Saturday, so last ship day this week will be Friday.

These pictures are all the same basket, I just reached in and churned it a bit. Tasty all the way down.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

post Michael

Taken from the parking lot early this morning at La Madelaine. I was trying to decide if I needed a nap or a cup of coffee. Their coffee is really good.

All Michael brought us was an all-night rain. If there were any breezes, I slept right through them. I'm sorry for the devastation on the gulf coast. I had planned on a camping beach vacation there this week but changed my plans. I would have been in the thick of it had I gone.

The rest of this day unfolded beautifully, bright blue skies, fat scudding clouds. My house is opened up to the fresh air for the first time in weeks.

Thanks for everyone's concern. We were unscathed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Waiting for Michael

pocket repair on the dixie mink
"The trees crouch leaves twitching. Rain so fine it won't fall."

I fell asleep in the car waiting for the coffee place to open. I was so cozy. I wished that I had some stitching. Will have to make a car kit for if and when the mood strikes. Mending will be enough.

After coffee and writing down the bones of a new short story, I found a new, used bookstore that also sells used Lego by the ounce!

Meanwhile, Charlie weathered the early storm and a pre-K Wednesday. I own him another dollar and thank him for another morning out of the house.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Freaky Monday

Nana by Charlie

We had a long day together yesterday. School holiday for something or other. I am now being corrected if I botch a lyric from "Yellow Submarine"

 A grand time was had by all.

Today I joined the mobs on catch-up day at the post office and got everything shipped out ahead of Hurricane Michael, so if you are expecting a package from me, stand by!

It looks like we might take a hit this time. Too early to tell.

Saturday, October 06, 2018


"...i am so so Done with this scene in this country...just so Done
with it, I pledge my allegiance to cloth and thread to
women who make things...colors, cloth, paper, children, families,
gardens, meals that feed, warm places for animals, for the
good men in their lives that give back, that make lives for the
good men and hold them up..."

A quote from a friend. I'm sure many of us are feeling this.

I was domesticating myself yesterday, something I only do when what I really want is to be breaking things. Wreaking havoc. There was a week's worth of dirty dishes, all my everyday clothes in the laundry, etc. I was listening to the speeches before the first vote.
I broke a plate and cut my finger.
I used HOT water on the clothes.
But my mind went elsewhere and I organized and wrote the next book in my head. Got the notes all down. Yes, bits and pieces are already around, but like bits and pieces of cloth, they need to be given purpose. A point. Listening to the speeches before the first vote, my story took wing.

Women have more power than they know.

Maybe you have stories?

Here are some curated groups of cloth and thread. A place to start. Or maybe just a place to escape to.

Friday, October 05, 2018

the list

Way back in '92 I was working for AT&T as a telephone operator. Good money and benefits. Not a bad job if you were thick-skinned and unconcerned with a stranger's opinion. I personally found the daily quota of assholes amusing, but at any time, up to 20% of the crew was out on stress disability. Did I have something missing, or something extra? I never figured it out.

Then AT&T dropped the bomb. Our office was closing. We could quit, retired (if eligible) or relocate - take "lateral" positions in Pleasanton, CA, Silver Spring MD, or Atlanta. I forget how much notice we had. Months.

They brought in outside soft skills coaches and counselors. The union helped some I recall. There was a career counselor. An Episcopal minister with a handful of degrees in something. I can only suppose he was qualified to put us through a battery of tests...the kind of thing all over FB these days. "What you should be when you grow up". That sort of thing. At some point, we were asked to write our top three job choices (?) on a blackboard. I wrote:

Phone Slut
Supreme Court Judge

Two out of three ain't bad, to quote Meat Loaf.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

weeks fly by

A piece from the last (I swear) dyefest. There was a nice clutch of threads too. None of it posted yet. I may make up some bundles tomorrow.

I've been putting in what feels like 18 hour days.

A new project on the horizon, too.

No school today, so I spent it artfully in good company.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

a day out of time

Today is the first weekday since school started (August 6 down here) that I wasn't up before dawn to get Charlie up, fed and off to school. They have some family time today and I got to sleep in. Like I could.

I watched the full moon dance through the trees, consulted Sweetie on the state of her sandbox, made coffee and got on with it. My place, my things, even myself have been so neglected for so long in favor of other projects, a morning shower felt bizarre.

Now I'm in the studio looking over the cloth and threads that got rinsed in the light pass that Florence gave us. There's been no rain since and nature is parched. But it's clouded over with showers promised. I have a post office run, then I'll be back. I need to clear the design walls. To make way.  Go through these things and decide if and what to keep for future dreaming.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Running with it

One more day of summer. We heard they might keep the pool open another week or so if the warm weather holds. I'll take what I can get. This was coupled with a Braves win - in fact they swept Philadelphia.

Then a very hedonistic trip to Whole Foods. Sweet Sunday. I also got some decent words on a page. But first...a nap.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

fun with sick days

This is where the contamination began, but I wouldn't trade that long, lazy Wednesday. He'd spent the whole night throwing up and was reluctant, afraid to eat. We went through a lot of juice and a lot of low key kids tv even though it was glorious outside. A brief car ride made him green.

The next morning, I was my turn. No pictures, please.

Late in the second day, I took my laptop outside for some real air, but it was still very hot in the sun and the glare just didn't work.

Still, it was pretty out after a full day and night in my dark bedroom. Waking up on serious "E" was interesting too. Something I may try with intent, fasting.

I carried these tiny things around for a while, kidded myself that I would make them into a book. If they travel anywhere, I promised to sterilize them first. A strong sneeze would blow them away, they are so delicate, eight x four inches?

Then fretted about whether or not this purchase would arrive alive. It did. I went two days without coffee because there was no point in consuming it, but we've gone without power here often. We still have wires strung on poles and a lot of old, drought-ill trees in the area. The current cheap coffee maker is losing its grip on "hot" and I'm sick of shelling out for a new one every two years.  When we lose power,  I will still be cooking with gas and there WILL be coffee!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Fever lifts, circles, then returns.   I miss someone holding my hair.

That was sometime yesterday. I don't remember. Spent Wednesday with Charlie who was home from school due to a stomach virus that had him barfing through the night. He was chipper and back to school the next morning, I didn't fare as well.

It felt like the flu. Symptoms linger a bit today, Friday. I'm sure the worst is over.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


I found a better location in the library. Those are herbs and lettuces in a hydroponic garden. They harvest every so often. Greens going to a food co-op somewhere.

The machine makes a distant gurgling sound, like a brook. It also makes me have to get up and pee hourly. Not a bad thing.

Writing here, ten to one each day. It's going well. I know we pay taxes, but the library should put out a tip jar somewhere for the use of this beautiful place.

Jimmy's friend Donald was still a bachelor when he came to our wedding in June, 1977. He probably stopped off at a grocery store on the way to nab us a gift, a lovely Dieffenbachia which we named Louie. Through the years, I've divided it, cut it back, given away sections - over and over.

This spring I repotted it for the first time in many years. Poor thing was a mess. Way down in the bottom of the pot was this shriveled, hairy, black kernel. I wasn't even sure what it was, but I dropped it in an empty pot and used the end of the potting soil to cover it. Tucked the pot in a dark corner with the Christmas cactii.  Just the other day, I found this. L'chaim!
June 4, 1977