Sunday, November 17, 2019

My Goodman

Couldn't let this day slip away without acknowledging that it's been six years since we lost Jimmy.

He was a wonderful father and husband. My very best friend and we all miss him every minute of the day.

What I've missed most about him today was his boundless sense of good humor. I've needed a good laugh and going through the many wonderful photos I have of him was tonic. Nobody made me laugh the way Jimmy did.
Interrogating the baby shower gift.

"This child just loaded his diaper in my ear."

Mugging with Atlanta's Ambassador of Mirth, Baton Bob.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

boy with bubble wrap

Saturdays will be ours, now.

Looks like a classic ballet move, right? The camera will fool us all.

This was a post dash across the room, mid-dervish twirl. He spun around in a circle a few times and I howled that he was going to make me throw up! He dashed into the bathroom and came out with a worried look on his face and the trash can.

I made that hat many years ago from sari silk yarn. Just a crocheted cap, but I'd never worked with that fiber before. In its raw state, it's awful. Coarse, tough almost like jute.

 I washed it for some reason and it came out all stretched and soft. I braided and beaded a dozen braids into the crown so they hang down like dreads.

The hem is tight, inflexible and never fit me. A hat without a home has found one nearly thirteen years later.

here's a better look at the headwear. makes me want to buy more of that yarn.

Friday, November 15, 2019

They persist.

They've been up there since All Souls. Something tried to eat some of the carnations but changed their minds.

This morning I realized that I have been sick since then. Some upper respiratory monkey business that is not pneumonia, per the doctor.

She gave me two prescriptions to take "if I felt like it." Nothing indicated the need for antibiotics so those are in the medicine cabinet. After another night of coughing my self awake, I started the methylprednisolone series. Strange shit, but I recalled that when Jim was taking chemo, the doctor said that the prednisone portion of the cocktail would give him a lift. For him, a false sense of well-being that we both basked in as long as it lasted. For me, it feels like rocket fuel when all I want is to get some real rest. I'm committed now, hoping this particular side effect will fade as the dose diminishes.

I'm spending another day with one astonished ear on the impeachment hearings. Ambassador Yovanovitch is a rock wrapped in velvet. She's been asked several times how she feels about the president's attacks on her character and reputation. I keep hoping she'll say, "Consider the source."

And work gets done, too.

"Where are you, babe? The silence that hung between them made him think of how he felt after he prayed—lost, empty and on his own. In the greenish glow of the monitor tracking her inner tides, a tear gathered in the corner of her eye and slipped into her hair. Giving grief its minute, he put his head down beside her open hand and cried, emptying out his heart, making room for fury."

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


Cold temps fell on us here in the south like a rock. My poor purslane, so hardy through the long drought, was hanging over the side of the big pot like a batch of boiled spinach.

I sat with the river basket while I listened to the impeachment hearings. Taylor's testimony was so compelling. It was hard to keep my attention on the cloth. I gave up and just rolled pieces together.

Cleaned all my favorite needles, dragging them through the little strawberry on the tomato like I was sharpening knives.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

shopkeeping Tuesday

Moving out these dirty threads. Every time I fill an order, I get tempted to snatch one up to keep for myself. But I have to stay my hand 'cause my little stash box is full up. How about yours?

Through the end of November! 
Buy five, get one free!  
That's 28.00 for SIX including 1st class postage inside the US

(sorry to have to exclude international sales. the hassle at the PO and the cost of shipping is just too prohibitive.)

We will not be open on Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 11, 2019

back in the saddle.

Sometime back in early summer I was asked to be the keynote speaker at the Writer Unboxed UNconference in Salem, MA on Nov. 4.  How could I say no?

Of course, I dragged ass about writing the thing all summer, trying to NOT think about the fact that I've never stood at a podium or spoken into a microphone. And the biggie - to say something that mattered. To put a little wind in the sails of the participants. The last time we all gathered here, we woke up to the horror show of the election results. It was hard, but I made and kept a promise to the organizer, Therese Walsh, that I would not utter one political word.

It went well. I didn't die of stage fright. Although I'd brought a case of bronchitis with me, I didn't cough! (Four days prior, I had no voice at all!) After weeks of worrying over how others would take my words, my thoughts, the "what to wear" and "what the hair"? it's finally over.

I was a little sorry I couldn't stay for the conference - a whole week steeped in the nuts and bolts of writing. But there was a very big upside. I got to meet a long-time online friend in real life. How often does that turn out well?

Turns out my hostess is gracious and generous, exactly who she is online, a warm and thoughtful human being.

Instead of a week of hotel rooms, scrounging the town for cheap food on foot, and varying levels of social unease,  I was made welcome, comfortable, and catered to by Dee Mallon, her husband K., and good dog, Finn. My stay a Casa Mallon was the very best part of the trip.

Again, Dee, thanks for the marvelous hospitality. When will your Bed & Breakfast open?

Sunday, November 10, 2019

dipping a toe in. slowly.

I was only "away" away for four days, but the away from here feels like a chasm that I don't have the strength to bridge right now. I will back into where I was, why and how great it was in a few posts.

I stayed with Charlie last night so his Mom & Dad could go out for dinner and whatever. A late anniversary celebration. About 830 he started twisting his forelock with both hands - a clear signal since babyhood that he is tired. He said I was wrong about that so I said, "let's test my theory." Once bundled under covers I found the music playlist on my phone that I started compiling around the time he was born. First up, randomly, was Johnny Mathis singing "Chances Are" followed closely by "Ride Across the River" by Dire Straits (released the year Jake was born!) 

He was asleep before the second song ended.

In an effort to collect my thoughts and decide what I will and won't accomplish in the next 12 hours, I'm doing little stitching first thing in the morning, but gift things that I don't want to reveal here for a while.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloween 2019

I drove to the town park to try and stretch everything a little. It was very dark, cloudy, trees jostling one another. Very Halloween weather. Humid.

Not fifty yards down the trail rain started to patter. I snatched these up from the path and hobbled back to the car just before the weather got serious.

My project is well underway. Some pruning, polishing and practicing still to come.

I had the AC on around lunch because it was so muggy. Now it's in the 40's. Colin helped me bring all the plants in from the deck. They are probably full of hitchhikers so I will sleep with the sheet pulled over my head tonight.

The house is darkened. It's just me and the cat. Happy Halloween. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sweet Sunday

I had company that brought breakfast! We listened to an old radio program. Jazz even. He built some Lego things, we laughed and talked while his Dad worked on his truck out in the driveway.

A good morning given that I've felt like homemade shit all week. The dry cough and the wheezy noises culminated in a night of fever. All of that resolved except the voice. It won't hurt to keep my mouth shut for twenty-four hours. They'll manage without me at work tonight.

It was so gorgeous out today. I spent the afternoon repotting some plants on the deck. That's Louie in the foreground and his parents right behind him. I'm going to need a little dolly for that one.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

coming at it sideways

I'm supposed to be doing something else. Doing one thing while thinking about another seems to be my way. This morning, some marketing, mostly because I've been fidgety and things are piling up around here.

I've never liked the word "reticule". As I suspected it had been sometimes perverted to "ridicule" as if the things we carried couldn't possibly be of any importance. In opposition to that notion, I've decided to call these "Take Me!"

 Take Me #1 and Take Me #2 are available.  Each is crocheted from soft cotton yarn, the same that I've been using to make cusspots for years. I just like the way it handles, turns out and even dyes. (more on that soon).

These are stuffed with cloth and thread. Add your own needles and snips. Sometimes, that's all you need.

Better pictures when the sun comes around.

Monday, October 21, 2019

rainy day roses

Some of the grocery store rescue roses were a bit ripe. I had to assure Sweetie that it was not her fault.

Friday, October 18, 2019

oatmeal cooties

Cleaning out old stuff from the pantry, I found an ancient box of oatmeal that had a lovely colony of cooties living in it. Do you know anyone else who gets excited over buggy oatmeal? I didn't think so.

A large seven-gore skirt and a short sleeve blouse, both white linen, were just waiting in the wings for such an opportunity. I'll see how they look as garments before dismembering them. One of my favorite cotton shirts was born this way.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


I was up early yesterday. It was a beautiful day, everything outside cleaned and refreshed after a day-long rain. I sat in the Birthday Chair. From here, I looked out on the crape myrtle grove he planted for me. Looked at the table he made for me and the window he put in to give me the northern light I wanted.

My habit is to hook my phone up to a little wireless speaker and play music while I work. There are over a thousand songs that the phone shuffles through randomly. Somehow, years ago, all our songs got put into this one place so not everything is to my taste.

The first thing that came up was something loud and rowdy. Linkin Park - I hit the arrow to advance to the next song. It was Jim's voice, saved from his last phone, "This is Jim. Please leave a message." Maybe ten seconds long? I thought the file had been lost. I was shocked, pleased and charmed all at once.
The next song came up automatically. Piano Concerto 2 by Rachmaninoff from the end credit of the film "Hereafter".
I could hear him in my heart, Happy Birthday, Babe.

I sat with those thoughts and threaded a few needles while I listened. My plan was to finish a few things before going out. I'm having second thoughts about that top line.

Then, we met for lunch and laughter. It was a wonderful day. Pizza on the patio with Jake and Charlie, some time at the park. Then later, Chinese with Colin and Sweetie.

I am seventy and want very much to see eighty.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

the starting place

We all seem to have one. All the tasty bits squirreled away. The little toolbox with thread, wax, needles, and scissors.

Everything I need it in it.
Down in the bottom, paper and pencil.

and music to stitch by (if blogger will allow)

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Boys of Summer

I'm still in a small shock over how the season ended for our Braves. This is what I'll remember: the exuberance of giving it all you've got.

And of course My boys of summer roll on.

small lots

Hmm, it looks like the Snappy Naming division of this enterprise is on vacation.

It also looks like batching is the way to go if I'm going to work inside all winter.

Just two colors with a little bit of crossover happening. Within the groups, there is almost no variation.

They am what they am.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019


We are sitting in the grocery store parking lot. Sun warm, breezes cool. Soft music. Let the rest stretch on a little longer.

Monday, October 07, 2019

first day of fall

The first gray day in ages lent itself to indoor stuff. The studio even got (mostly) cleaned. Seeing half the work table, all of the birthday chair and 95% of the carpet...that's lots. Other things got done.

Still up there in my banner,  Revisions has a sleeve and will probably be on a plane in a few days.

My sampler finally became a proper pillow. I found one of the
mates to the cotton dinner napkin I worked it on. Nicely dyed, of course. I think there were originally six of these and I need to track the rest down (somewhere in the cloth closet) they are a strong, dense woven cotton. Soft, forgiving, yet strong and serviceable. I was just telling someone that embroidering text requires unwavering focus, at least for me. There is no walking and chewing gum if you want to come anywhere close to Heather Cameron's excellence.

you can even see my 'maker's mark' discharged on the backside of the pillow.
The cloth has a wonderful hand, grainy. Some kind of warm, old skin, tough, durable and loving.

I also did a small batch of dyed thread on the kitchen table. I really thought the "B" on the container was for brown. I needed blue too. Sone of these will be over on Dirty Threads after I make my stash bigger.

If you ordered over the weekend, your thread will be on a plane by tonight. Unless the USPS has returned to camels and ponies.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

summer's end

We went out early this morning to see where the birds are hiding. There's a big clay dish full of water up there in the grove for them.

Normally the front yard is full of birds busy snatching breakfast out of the grass. For many days there have been none. Creepy scary none. After so long without rain, the ground is hard as a rock.

But there were birds. All we had to do was look up. The canopy was alive with them.

After we went inside I saw a few of them taking a bath in the drinking water. Salut!

It's gone from the mid-nineties to mid-sixties overnight. Rain soon we all hope.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

A change-up

This day turned out differently than planned. Charlie caught a bad nugget or fry and needed a day off from school. We took the sunshine-in-the-park cure once his tummy settled.

Later, I picked up my day where my imagination left it. This pool closes October 1. You'll know where to find me.

My Goodman

Couldn't let this day slip away without acknowledging that it's been six years since we lost Jimmy. He was a wonderful father an...

Play it again Sam.