Monday, October 5, 2009

Tra La it's Fall

Ok, today is the day. I've been reading and getting emails encouraging to get blogging again so here I am. I am giving up my status as voyeur for now. It won't be long but it will be here. I love you all and your dedication to this endeavor which I enjoy so very much. It's funny but the last time I signed on to write my blog the power went off for two hours. I think that is a message of sorts right?

Fall has come to the Rogue valley and there has even been a light dusting of snow on Mt. McLoughlin which is a sure sign that it's getting colder. Leaves are turning and falling into pools of gold and rust and the air is tinged with the crispness that only means one thing . . . Fall is officially here. Yay, my favorite time of year and oddly enough, my DH as well. I don't know why but there is a magic about Fall that no other season holds for me. The temperature fluctuations between day and night makes the air that feels charged with expectation all hold a special aura for me. It reminds me of being a kid and racing around the neighborhood with other kids, playing horses or just running through the yard for no reason other than it felt good.

Yes, there is something about this time of year that is just special and I love it.

So now for your amusement I'm including a picture of our newest addition to the family. His official name is Killian's Red, but here we call him the Red Rocket, himself, or the Red Menace. He is about six pounds of neutered male kitty that is so entertaining and lovey he is irresistible. Some one was telling me that kitties who have a triangular shaped head are full of "it" while round faced kitties are very lovey. I believe this is true. Killian is a true purebread Abyssinian and came to us through an "adopted" family member who raised abbys. We could never have afforded to actually buy him and feel very lucky that he was gifted to us.

The red cat statue we bought in Mexico about three years ago. It looked so much like Killian that I had to put it close by him. Darned if he doesn't choose to sit and lay next to it. Honest, with no encouragement by humans.

OK, that's it, no more, if I write anymore I won't get this published and I want to have something to show for myself!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


There are no other words to describe what it is like today in Eagle Point/Medford area. I just looked at the thermometer on our patio, which is under cover, it read 107F. It leaves me mostly speechless with no adjectives that can adequately explain it, beyond cooking eggs on the sidewalk!

My brain feels scorched and so does my ambition. All our critters and making like rugs and moving very little.

I have been thinking about the recent eclipse and realized that it was almost 10 years ago exactly that we were in Sheffield England and saw the total eclipse there. It was truly an amazing phenomenon. It got really cold and not completely dark, just very gray. We were in Bakewell,where they are famous for their tarts. I didn't think they were that special but I enjoyed the time in the little town and experiencing a new taste.

I am thinking about putting the wading pool in the backyard and sit in it for a bit.

Hope you all stay cool is what ever ways you can find.

Monday, June 22, 2009

What's On My Design Wall

Well, I talked about this being the Fibers of Life but they have not been terribly visible. At the urging of friends I'm going to start posting pictures. I'm not sure where this is going but it's going. I'm so grateful to the wonderful blogs I'm able to follow. Always full of goodness they are!

So this first picture is what is on my design wall at the present time. It includes a wall hanging done with the discharge method. It is waiting for me to decide how I want to quilt it.

The blocks are those I made with a block called Disappearing Nine Patch which is another really clever block I found reading blogs. It has quickly become a favorite. The fabrics were purchased as charm square packet of Kaffe Fassett and I knew when I learned of the pattern I had found just what I needed to make the quilt. I love Kaffe's fabric. He has a wonderful way of putting color, pattern and design together that just makes my creative juices get all stirred up.

The piece next to the leaves is my Convergence quilt also waiting to be quilted and next to that are the practice pieces from a class I took on perfect circles. It was great and I need to get busy doing something about what I learned. I think I love learning new things. Often I think that is what really motivates me is the excitement of learning a new technique or a pattern I found that I really love. It is funny what drives us creative folk. I suspect that when you have found your niche you just keep on going and never look back.

Now what is no longer on my design wall follows. This is a quilt for my step-daughter when she received her Masters Degree in Conducting earlier this month. I felt her accomplishment was worthy of commemorating. It is quite an accomplishment and she has already promised to go on for her doctorate. She is an incredible vocalist as well

While this is not the clearest picture, it certainly shows her at joy and finishing the job. We are proud of her. She has grown into an amazing woman whom I respect and admire a great deal.

The above is the quilt itself and the presentation label I made for it. The quilting was done by a Gammel machine by a friend who has a business of machine quilting. She is amazing and her work just sings. I was so happy to present this to Tuesday. She really likes it and was completely surprized. That made it all worth it.

It has been a month of running around and vacationing and meeting with family in Sacramento and then bringing my uncle back here to EP for a few more days. He is amazing and I'll tell more of what happened in the next posting.

For now, just in case all of you have been sitting there with baited breath waiting to hear from me again, here is your answer. I hope you enjoy reading. I will, I really will try to do much better.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oh Dear, It's been so long!

Well, here I am, I feel so mournful when I look and my last post was January 20. I feel guilty as I've had the pleasure of keeping up with others that I love. I'm sure I'm not the first blogger to hit a wall so soon after starting. I think the issue, in part, is there are just too many interesting and wonderful things, people, and stuff going on out there in the world that I am seduced by them all, hence, a stand still. I love food, the foody blogs are wonderful, but there are really important things going on besides food. Reya's The Gold Puppy is full of really thought provoking things. Things to ruminate over, take out and look at and decide whether this particular idea fits with me or not. I guess that one of the advantages of blogging is that you will ultimately find out what makes you tick.

I'm back at it again. I have spent several hours reading and catching up with the blogs I love. Some have brought me to tears, and some have made me laugh. I will not try to cover all the time since my last post. It's too much and I think just starting from where I am today is better.

Dave and I took a wonderful ride into northern California a week ago and we had fun taking pictures. He has discovered how much he enjoys photography and I'm delighted. I really want him to find a hobby he enjoys besides riding his motorcycle. Since we now have a blue bug convertible it is almost a good and much safer. Anyway, here is a picture I took of a ranch outside Mt. Shasta City. It was late afternoon and the light was just wonderful. There is something about a cloudy sky, that wonderful charcoal gray, that makes colors just pop. The long light on the hills made them look velvety. I was standing at the side of the road taking pictures when a truck stopped and asked my husband if everything was all right. He explained our photo expedition and then just a few minutes later a truck from the ranch drove out the driveway. A woman got out and asked if she could help us. She thought we might be Realtors. So we explained to her what we were doing and told how beautiful her ranch was. She said it had been the family for 100 years. She was single now and also worked as a teacher of special ed in nearby Mt. Shasta City. We had a great time talking about how hard farms/ranches are to keep going. She didn't want to lose it which I don't think was a consideration anyway. I wish now that I had gotten her address so I could send her the pictures I took.

We have actually had several photo ops over the last month which included another trip to the Redwoods. This was a kind of rainy day but still wonderful. I even made a short video of a run off waterfall along the way. The sound of it was grand. I'll post some pictures if I can learn how. For now this will do. Now I have to get back at it regularly.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

January 20, 2009

What follows is my response to the Presidential Inauguration on Tuesday. I was so moved by what I saw and heard I just had to write it down, so, for your perusal here is my poem to our democracy and liberty.

Inauguration of Hope

Did you watch?
Were you there?
Did you feel the celebratory air?

We gathered today to listen
To be inspired and filled with hope
and were not disappointed.

In the cold clear light of noon
A new corner is turned.
We will follow with hopes held high
a million flags waving in the crisp air.

We will move forward,
not worrying
about How,
but saying
Let's do it now

A new leader is before us,
Gathering all our hopes and dreams
into his intention to live true democracy.

But not forgetting that to live our dream
We must contribute all we have,
Pledge to the good of all.

Let us stand tall,
hearing the voices
of past, present and future
and walk forward in expectation,

work to raise this nation
in the sturdy pursuit of peace
within and without our borders,

To inspire those around us
to give
a little bit more for others,
and take
a little less for ourselves.

For, it has always been

and thus will always be

Love each other as we love ourselves,
Being kind to friend, stranger and family.

Our strength lies in our ability to say
I was wrong,
there is a better way.

Take my hand and walk with me
To a better tomorrow
not forgetting all those things

that have gone before,
the hurts,
and the wars,

Draw deep from ourselves,

find a depth we did not know was there.

Let us celebrate and dance
the dance of liberty,

Joyful in the change that has been promised,

to this great nation.

And, I will say yes, yes, yes!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How to Avoid Getting Dressed

I know this is a funny title but think about it, don't you put off doing somethings because you have more engaging things to do? Like, for example, reading others' blogs and then being so sparked by what you've read that you just have to put it into words. I think that reading other's blogs does alot for me. It kindles memories of similar things in my life. For this I am very grateful as there are some interesting things about living that we all share in common.

I have been encouraged by friends to show some of my quilts here so I will be putting something together over the next week or so for you enjoyment (I hope). Having just retired I am finding myself again and reconnecting with those things that make me go and feel alive. Quilting is one of them and I think blogging has taken its place there as well.

Let's see, I have been quilting for about 15 years. That seems like a lot of years but it only feels like yesterday to me. The biggest change over those years has been the fabric. It has moved away from calicos to much more vibrant and exuberant colors and patterns. I like this as I've been drawn to that palette from the beginning. I remember seeing the first art quilt and I knew, I knew beyond anything else, that this was a place I wanted to go. I was drawn to fabrics by designers like Nancy Crow, quilt designers like Rachel Kinsey Clark. I took one of her classes and was so jazzed by it I could hardly calm down. I was sizzling inside by what she taught and the joy of putting fabrics together.

Like most quilters, I have spent much time building "Stash". Its the medium we work in and you just never know when you might need that wonderful, outrageous piece you found in Iowa while on a trip and don't forget that while some people collect memories by buying trinkets, quilters buy fabric. It actually doesn't take up near the space that some of those "trinkets" do and it always has a utilitarian aspect that shouldn't be forgotten.

Then there are those fabrics that we collect as pets. We take them out, stroke them, unfold them, crinkle, fondle and ponder what we will do with them. I had a number of them which, when we moved, found their way to my daughter's mom group. Lovely women with not so much money, but wonderful children and creativity that needed feeding. So Corinne (daughter) came over and together we went through my stash and I succeeded in parting with 6 storage cases of fiber. They were all delighted and so was I. I think my husband Dave was also relieved to have a few less boxes of fabric to move. I felt good because I was doing something for others that they really enjoyed as well.

So, fast forward to our new house, 267 miles away from anything familiar, all our friends and family left behind, and no one we knew waiting for us. Since Dave isn't nearly as social as I am I had a lot of adjusting to do. I love people, their vitality, their friendship and just chatting with them, always looking for that common thread. You know, even 267 miles from anything familiar I found common threads. But I think one of the biggest blessings of all is finding a group of women who share quilting in common, aging and a general delight in life.

I am going to add a photo at this point of the quilt I started fall, 2007, right after we moved here and finished this fall 2008. It's hanging in the spot I had in mind for it and does what I hoped it would, which is hang there and look beautiful, IMHO.

All the leaves that are on the body of the quilt are fused there, each one was buttonhole stitched by hand and then the whole quilt was machine quilted with echo quilting. I loved picking out all the fabrics, and I think I bought all new fabric for this one as it was my first quilt in the new home. It took much longer to finish than planned but that's another whole story for another time. It is interesting to me how much it made our house feel more like home.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Forest Sentinels

Tuesday we decided to take a drive to the coast. I've often wondered why Oregonians call it the coast and Californians call it the beach. To me it does evoke two different images, one with warm sandy beaches and one rocky with very cold water.

On the way home we took a side road in the Jedidiah Smith Redwood park. This road was little more than hardened dirt and gravel but very passable in most places. It was obvious however that the shoulders were still very soft and there were quite a few rutted areas.
One of the delights about having a Volkswagen convertible is that it is easy to put the top up and down. Also, having heated seats and a warm coat and hat helps too. Coming out of the forest with the top down was this scene of the trees that I really hoped to capture. The light was wonderful and colors so rich. It was amazing. So many of the tress began as several trees whose trunks then merged into one huge trunk. Lots of conversation about these giants. There really aren't enough words to describe how humbling and beautiful they are. We forgot the camera so this was taken with my iPhone. It takes very nice pictures but it was somewhat dark so the details are great but you get the idea.

Hopscotch was with us and she was not too crazy about riding in the small backseat. I could feel her stress which made me uncomfortable. I think Dave realizes that long trips - day trips in the backseat for her are not a very good idea. She was a trooper and we had her out often during the day. We also discovered that our 50/60 plus bodies don't accommodate 10 hours in the car very well.

We left early in the morning and got home just before dark. It was, to say the least, a long day for all of us. We were pretty tired when we got home.
There was heavy fog driving from Gold Hill over Hwy 234 to Eagle Point. It was hard to see and we were really happy to see our little casa. One of my quilting friends had just hit an elk about a week ago on the same road, but not with fog. It really did a number on her car but she and her passenger were ok. I was very grateful not to see any of our critters in my headlights too.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Life Very Ordinary

There is nothing more satisfying to me than finishing reading a really good book, a good meal, and any significant piece of communication. I love reading a book that you might call "Slice of Life" in style. I am so grateful to friends who know me well enough to send me these literary morsels. They are gifts in many ways. I've decided I need to keep track of all the books I read and perhaps go back and pickup a few from the past.

It seems to me that an ordinary life is what I have been called to live. I've had my ups and downs but all in all I have loved it all, good and bad, scary, exhilarating and boring. But I find that it is the life I'm drawn to and live. Everyone longs to feel more, to considered really good at something, known for something. I'm happy just going along. I like sharing insights to things with my friends and anyone who wants to listen. If you don't want to listen then you can click off. How about that....just a click away and someone else's life will be there for you to consume.

Many people are lining up to record their resolutions for the new year. I resolve to keep track of what I read; to love my friends and family honestly and deeply and to think about what I say and write. It is so easy to get caught up in rushing here and there that the intention of living is lost in the quest of an illusive idea with no structure.

So for now this is all I will say and I will try to get better at organizing my thoughts and communicating them to whomever wants to listen.
Happy New Year