Monday, August 26, 2019


Someone is wise to the fact that I'm heading out of town. Right after this, I had to pull her out of my half-packed suitcase.

She's going to need some extra coddling while I'm away.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Paying attention

For about a month, we’ve been trying to find a home for a fiberglass truck cap that’s been hanging around outside since, oh, 2001, leaning up against the house, lending that Tobacco Road charm to the place. The truck it came with died and the hope was to transfer it to a replacement vehicle. We paid nearly 300$ to replace the large rear window on the cap, not a week before fatal transmission failure made that expense moot. I’ve had it on various websites under FREE and CURB ALERT. So far, no takers and the weeds are getting tall around it. Good thing we have no HOA here.

I’ve told a couple of people that Jim’s been close these days. Yesterday proved it for me. 

I lolled about in a housedress until nearly noon, doing as I pleased. Something, someone said, “Get your shit together and go get the things you forgot at the store yesterday. Like deodorant, laundry detergent and a hairbrush. The basics of civilization will escape me from time to time.

I dressed with whatever was lying around that was not befrigged with cat cooties, pulled on the non-favorite sandals instead of hunting down the beloveds. Rather than wait for the AC, I opened the roof and windows wide and headed out. Timing was everthing.

I had to wait for a few cars to go by before I could pull out of the community. When I did, I fell in behind a small pickup, black, older. As I got closer I could read that it was a GMC Sonoma, same model, and color as Jim’s. They are very plain so there was no telling the year.

We sat and waited at the train crossing for a freight train to rattle through. Twenty-some cars instead of the usual eighty or ninety and I debated jumping out of my car and running up to speak to the driver. “Hey, mister, does this old truck need a matching cap?’ The gate came up and traffic moved out. I resolved that if he made a right in the direction of the grocery store, I’d follow and engage.

 Just before the intersection, he made a hard, unsignalled right into a different shopping center and parked. I followed. I was committed. Or should be.

He wasn’t an armed madman. A younger Dave Grohl type – dark, hairy and grubby, but I’m sure I gave him pause when I blocked him in, rolled down my window and asked what year his truck was. 1998, just like ours. What were the odds? I felt like Jimmy was in the passenger seat laughing and had to laugh myself.

So I told the kid about the cap, offered it up for free and gave him the address where he could look it over and help himself, or not. He was non-committal, probably relieved I wasn’t the Law.

I tried.

I'll let you know.

It's 5:00pm Sunday. Sad to say, it's still up there. 
Guess he decided he didn't need to accessorize.

PS...Craigslist is dead. Long live Facebook Marketplace. The same day as I decided the cap would be headed for the dump, I listed it on FB marketplace. In an hour I had six people interested. Inside another, two nice men with a small truck came, fitted it to said truck and spirited it away to a life of continued service. I'm so happy. They even scrawled a thankyou on the FREE sign. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Sun chasing

Shifting around in the chair, reaching for the light as the sun gets about his daily transit.

The strong light sifts through the limbs and leaves of the water oak in fits and starts forcing me to pay attention.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

lost treasures

Dug up from the back of a drawer. The whole crew of elders, my bowlegged groom, that Beast, me and my crew. I was keeping a grip on Shag (Jim's dog) so he wouldn't put his nose up under my dress, his favorite pastime, aside from knocking me down and nipping at me to confirm his dominance. I think my Dad was standing on a tree root, but my Grandma in her floral glory was nearly the tallest chick at the party. Bless her genes.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

secret messages

"He watched as she stalked a wide, slow circle that took her all the way around the car. She was wearing something short and black. Magic again? Without taking his eyes off her, he took off his St. Christopher and hung it from the rearview. Gripping the steering wheel, he leaned forward, mesmerized.

She stopped a few paces in front of the car. Her hands reached for the stars, then she crouched low and brushed the wet grass with her fingertips. No candles, no incense. Then she spoke into the darkness like it was listening.

Hear me sisters, Fire, Wind, Water and Earth, in all your names and guises.

Light the watchtowers for us. Hold back the night.

I ask cover from all quarters.

Bless us this circle and we within."

He’d covered the cracked plastic upholstery with a plaid flannel blanket. Like a bird on a wire, she perched on the edge of the seat. He reached under the dash, a motor whirred, and the patched convertible top lifted slowly, folding back on itself.

You got it fixed!” The sky was clear, full of stars, and cooler, less humid air washed over them. They were in some kind of clearing; the grass manicured. “Where are we?”

A golf course.” Jack looked around, pleased with his choice. “Listen. When I called before, I just wanted to make sure you were okay. To talk, you know?”

He was about to light a joint, but she took it from him and tucked it into the ashtray, then put her fingertips on his lips. She couldn’t say ‘fuck’ and wouldn’t say ‘make love’. He sucked her fingers into his mouth, then they stripped each other out of their clothes. The confines of the front seat of the Skylark was nothing to two people hell-bent on taking up the same space.

"Prophets Tango"  by Deborah Lacativa 2021

Sunday, August 18, 2019

good night

embarrassment of riches

This is a deep basket!

I'm going to be putting these up in sets of four and six. Curating is the fun part. I'll post them to the Dirty Threads page as time permits.

If you have any colorway requests, email me.

Now all I have to do is keep my hand out of the candy jar.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

building the moon

 A very old piece of damask that had been dyed, discharged and coveted for years convinced me that, no, the moon doesn't have to be a perfect circle.

How it looks is all in where you are standing the moment you look up. I have some silver and gold metallic threads, but I'm going to hold off on those until the very last minute.

Being mindful that the moon casts no light of its own. It can only reflect.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Night garden at sunrise

The better to actually see what I'm doing.
There's going to be a lot going on in this sky. A lot of handling, moving the hoops around.

To protect the central gardens, I've rolled the bottom two-thirds of the piece up and stitched the roll in place for a while. Hope I don't lose sight while I work in the clouds.

It's easy enough to do, no matter what medium you work in.

While I'm stitching,  I'm thinking through issues my incredible beta reader has pointed out. Places in my writing where I've obsessed over the right word, forgetting the purpose of the passage.

I've done that with stitching too many times to think about.

When it gets down to agonizing over spearing the warp or the weft, I need to put the work down and take a break. It's Friday after all.

Thursday, August 15, 2019


There it is, J. Those greens I've been casting for.

I've always been a sucker for jewel tones. Who isn't.

This lot was outside drying on the picnic table while I was a half-hour away heading into this. A second rinse wouldn't have been terrible, but now I can get back to the Garden.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Not fail away

I finally took about one hundred skeins out onto the dye deck. What a messy disappointment. All I can claim is madness in the midday heat.
I saved maybe a dozen. The rest of the motley crew will get a second chance, but they may have to wait. It was one hundred degrees outside today. 

The green in the foreground below is eluding me.

The rest of today was spent at the wet office with friends. Then, I got to pick up my buddy from aftercare. We chilled with popsicles, cartoons, and tales of kindergarten adventure.

Saturday, August 10, 2019


A little too much time stitching and listening to music.

I need to flip melancholy the bird and get up to no good for a few hours. This house is so quiet. Empty.

Friday, August 09, 2019

the view

My view from the stitching chair.

One of these days, I'm going to yank out that screen and clean the glass.

As for bad pictures, I had one job on Monday and I botched it.

Thank goodness his Mom was on the ball.

On Wednesday, he told me the best thing about kindergarten was No Naps!

"What do you do instead?"
"Right after lunch, we go back to teaching."

I'm so jealous.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

not quite shopkeeping

Working my way up to a dye day, but somehow, pool time keeps taking precedence. It is the wet office, after all. This one at JK's condo rarely seems to have anyone in it but us. I'm pretty sure the water has crack dissolved in it, instead of chlorine.

I'm still adjusting to my new schedule. Sleeping until I wake up, instead of to a 5:15 alarm feels slothful, but I get a lot done before first light. Then, I'm in the stitching chair for an hour or so.

Yesterday, after half the day in the water,  I updated the Dirty Threads and the Fat Baggies pages with the latest inventory and new pictures of the cloth churn.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

late SUNday

The skies cleared and the sun broke through. As I stepped out onto the high deck for these pictures, I almost caught a whiff of fall, like a ghost who runs out of the room the minute you step in.


Between the news of our fucked up world and my changing role in life, for days I've been ready to bawl or brawl, moment by moment. The gray morning dictated action would be a good remedy. The laundry folding, fresh sheets, general cleanup called for some mindless TV.

Years ago, network television could be counted on to deliver up a constant roster of appropriate "background" fare. The Godfather (1 or 2, never 3!), Jaws, Star Wars, Indiana Jones doing get the idea. Something you know so well, it's like your doddering auntie rocking away in the corner, knitting and talking to herself. Company, sort of, while you do stuff like clear of the bathroom vanity and scrub it down.

Strangely, internet cable makes this a little more difficult. There are better things to watch, engaging things that aren't a complete waste of time. Today I decided to run one that I've been hoarding and will now have to purchase 'cause Netflix won't keep it forever.

Springsteen on Broadway was not a good choice because the moment he started speaking, I was once again mesmerized by his storytelling, only getting up to take care of business when he was singing, and even then stopping to listen, watch and be taken away.

I've been having problems with a scene in the book, a critical reunion between the main characters. A very intimate scene. Torn it down completely three times.

After listening to Bruce speak about meeting Patti and what their relationship means to him. Then hearing them perform "Brilliant Disguise" together, I think I've got it.

"I hold you in my arms
As the band plays
What are those words whispered baby
Just as you turn away
I saw you last night
Out on the edge of town
I want to read your mind
To know just what I've got in this new thing I've found
So tell me what I see
When I look in your eyes
Is that you, baby
Or just a brilliant disguise"

Gray day

It's so overcast there really isn't enough light at the stitching chair to keep working. Hard enough to get a good picture.

Colin continues to capture sky majesty at the beginning or end of his shift at the airport.

Friday, August 02, 2019

They fly away

Yesterday was his big day. An outing with his Mom and Dad and best friends to Legoland. They had a grand time.

Kindergarten starts on Monday. I'll be there in a ceremonial fashion, his Mom will be getting him ready and putting him on the bus. I'll take some pictures, grin and make light. Then I'll sit in my car and cry ugly for a while.

Today we proceeded like it was any other Friday. I got up before dawn, drove to their house to hang with him a while. Dress, have breakfast, watch a little Spongebob and then on to the wonderful sitter who watches him when I can't.

What shirt to wear? What toy to take? What music to listen to while we roll, tell stories and jokes? All the while I'm struggling to not cry because summer is over. I did not burden him with my cares. That would have been cruel.

My watch is over

Thursday, August 01, 2019

He's five

People say, "When did that happen? How did that happen?"

Day by day, sometimes minute by minute. They aren't all sweet and holy, but if you pay close attention, and try hard to not let it be about you, you get see them discovering themselves, digging through the layers and finding their way out of the chrysalis of babyhood.

It's so different than it was with my own boys.  A completely different kind of adventure and I am so privileged and grateful to have been a part of his life, to be Nana.