Zibaldone|28 November 2022

November brought 1- Congressional elections; 2 – spectacular color courtesy Mother Nature; 3 – old, new and many-paged books in my reading stack; 4- delightful morning walks, although for about ten days, the temps hovered in the low to mid 30s. 5- birthday celebration: floral bouquet for my 80th birthday trip around the sun and 6 – my great grand nephew, Elias’ 5th. AmaZing! 7 – The photo that shows a doll on my path caused me to think how sad it got lost. 8 – I was intrigued by the painter capturing the autumn scene in watercolors… 9 – I walked to the Franciscan Monastery Saturday and was delighted to see the Koi pond filled with fish.

I am also delighted with this quilt-let, approx 12” x 12.” I made it after my trip to Sisters OR in July. I call it “I Left My Heart in Sisters…” and am embarking on a new and exciting “slow stitching” program.

Stay tuned for December’s magic. And thanks for joining me on my journey.

Cheers~

zibaldone | 10.26.22 …

  1. Ten. 10. X : Over the past month or so – and occasionally throughout the past several years – I’ve attempted to document the day by creating/documenting ten things that have inspired (or sometimes annoyed or encouraged ) me throughout the day. My aim is to create this list as my nearly “last action” of the day. I don’t always succeed – but that’s OK. I enjoy the process and am finding it is a good way to capture and review the day.
  2. I first ran across the inspiration for the list from Alisha Sommer’s blog, finding it both fascinating and intriguing. She created the blog inspired by an interview she heard Krista Tippet conduct with author, Marie Howe. This overview from Good Reads is a great intro, if Maria is new to you as she was to me.
  3. Lately, since my July trip to Sisters OR, I’ve been enamored by and re-engaging with slow stitching – stitching by hand. I find it relaxing, inspiring and rejuvenating. The seasonal switch to autumn: changes in temperature and colors and slower pace invite this type of activity.
  4. To that tune, I saw a class, offered by the Sisters OR Stitchin’ Post featuring Rosalie Dace, a quilt instructor, from South Africa. Autumn, 2017, I attended a week long class in Sisters with her. This current class is also being offered via Zoom this weekend. I wish I’d known this sooner and was free for I’d have seriously contemplated signing up for a Zoom seat…
  5. I’ve made considerable progress with my AmaZe writing project; to date, I’ve digitized nearly 230 vignettes- I’m not a typist. My plan is to make a photo storybook.
  6. The other day I had a grand surprise: I discovered 62 stories that I wrote in 2012 that I also need/want to include. More typing practice for my M- F…
  7. The London Writers’ Hour, offered 4 times a day. I join the M-F, 8 AM EST Zoom session; it has played a big role in helping me focus on the AmaZe project.
  8. I am a big fan of Gretchen Rubin and her weekly Wed podcast, Happier, with her sister Liz, is my fave morning walking companion. Their October 19 episode was the 400th. I suspect that since winter’s soon to arrive, I’ll be switching to PM walks…
  9. I received a mug I’d forgotten I’d ordered and it makes me “happier, ” indeed. I’ve yet to indoctrinate it for my MSQT (morning solitude and quiet time) and Writers’ Hour sessions. I’ll start in November.
  10. A thought: perhaps I’ll choose Happier for my 2023 word; hmmm…

Zibaldone | 9.26.22…

My former Virtual Assistant and Forever Friend sent me a package that arrived today… its contents, in the photo, are perfect. Laura’s husband, Jeff, made the word. The wood is red cedar, oiled with lemon oil and is signed by both. The inscription reads “what a great word, Honore.” To which I reply: “What a great rendition, Jeff and Laura. A Zillion Thanks! Love it! ” The book is by Natalie Goldberg – her name is obscured by the word.

Laura painted the rocks; the other side of the grey rock with the words ancora imparo has the translation: “I am still learning,” attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and was my first one little word from 2010, I believe. Over these past 12 years, I have acquired quite a dictionary of words made by Jeff…they are a treasure and remind me of so many moments of learning and growing I’ve experienced ~ thanks to the word and its visible and physical presence in my life.

Thank YOU, Laura and Jeff!

Zibaldone| 8.26.22 …

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It’s Fall, Y’all!

Perhaps you are like me: Autumn/Fall is my absolutest favorite time of the year…and has been since I started school at age  4 years, 10 months. I remember telling my mother (whom I called Lilly – that’s what her close friends called her, not Mama) on my 3rd day of school: “You don’t have to walk me to school today, Lilly. I’m a big girl now and I can go by myself.”  Years later, my mother shared that a) her heart sank and b) even tho’ she let me venture on my own, she discreetly followed me to school. When I think about that, I have to smile …tho’ I never caught sight of her, I fully appreciate what she did!

Each year there after, “back to school” meant a new plaid dress and shoes – oxfords, usually burgandy in color to which my father gave the first-class United States Army shine – and, drum roll: a new box of crayons and a ream of newsprint. Nirvana! My heart still quickens at the memory.  Of course, as I matriculated to higher grades, 3, 4, 5, plaid book bags were also a part of back-to-school regalia (backpacks came well after I was out of high school, if not college).

Now that my school days are loooong gone, my excitement, plans (wishes?) for the season include the completion of my AMAZE – About ME A-Z – project: telling my life stories. I began this project six years ago and it has been off/on. In February of this year, I resumed it in earnest; I am now at the point where I’m ready for the next phase: Determining the final project format/s – it will be a book, either a scrapbook album or printed photo book or both.

I am also developing a slight itch to stitch: knit, quilt, and learn to embroider.  And, of course, my TBR list continues to grow – which is a good thing and content for the next blog post.  Stay tuned…

Cheers~

*Despite the very summery looking photo ~ the subject of another post – someday…

simply a moment|august 2022 …

 

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On my walk today, I noted more  leaves, in various stages of turning color, on the ground. Autumn, according to the meterological calendar is September 1 – just 16 days away! I feel the excitement building in my mind – despite the fact that I have no special plans on the agenda.

Thus far, weather this week has been ideal and is much appreciated! Today, since Sunday past, I’ve been able to go for a walk to and through the park, just 3 – 4 blocks from my house. Round trip, my walks are at least a mile long, take about 35 minutes and include a few hills to “climb.”  Weekdays are especially fun for the littles – children from a couple local day care centers are in the park: playing on the jungle gyms, swinging; toddlers, practicing their walking and the older ones, learning how to “get along.”  “Oh no, you can’t snatch that toy from someone ‘just ’cause you want it,” or push someone out of the way, just ’cause you can, etc… I smile as I observe these interactions. Ah life!

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I arrive home and note just how lovely is the crepe myrtle – another treat of the summer-to-fall season’s glory. I am ever grateful for these morning walks.

zibaldone | 7.26.22

 IMG_5668    sunset over Sisters’ Mountains

Earlier this morning, at the end of The Writers’ Hour, 8:59 am, ESDST, I wrote: “Time for the monthly blog wrap up/weigh in … I have an idea to share and best get busy with the post … it’s the 26th, after all… just not feeling it … too many distractions. Too many! Not supposed to rain til the afternoon … so, I think I’ll get dressed, rewrap my foot – it looks less swollen and go for a stroll in the park.” And that I did.

T’was nice to resume this AM practice after having been away for two weeks – on my trip to Sisters OR,  my favorite place on the planet (of all the places I’ve visited over my lifetime, Aruba, Hawaii, and Austria come in 2nd, 3rd and 4th, respectively).

I hadn’t been to Sisters since the Fall of 2017. I’d not planned to stay away that long but as we all know, life took a totally – can’t even think of a proper word – unanticipated turn the Spring of 2020. The world shut down!

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July 9! The day of the 49th annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show finally arrived. Over 1200 quilts from around the world had arrived and were hung on the outsides and insides of buildings, from trees, in parks, etc.

These were three of quilts made by instructors. The butterfly quilt was designed and stitched by Tula Pink. I tried to register for the two day class but hah! T’was sold out within the first five minutes of registration in February! Classes were limited to 20 people! Covid, you know… I did not take any classes.

But, I had a wonderful visit with my friends, was treated like royalty and made some new friends, too. The next best feature of my trip was having my desire to resume quilting, specifically mark making using bits and pieces of fabric and primarily hand – stitching, nothing as elaborate as the butterfly, rekindled. I’ve been away too long.

Initially, I’d planned to go to Washington but had to revise those plans. My intention is to return soon – in the not too distant future – all things considered.  In the meantime, I have several ideas for stitchin’.

 

Zibaldone|OLW – June 2022 …

 

 

Today has been frustrating … Internet connection issues. Heat. Making Decisions about what to do next … or not!  This, on top of the dreadful SCOTUS ruling on Roe vs Wade. I haven’t had much to say ’cause I just don’t know what to say! Because nothing I say is going to make an iota of a difference. I’ve lived through times when there was no Roe vs Wade, when there was and now, we’re back to the future or  I guess more appropriately described as back to the past. What I want to understand is why women have this burden to carry?

So, I’ve decided that my challenge, chore, task, is to seek answers to my questions, to try to understand. And I’m sure this quest is going to take me back to the beginning, perhaps to places and thoughts and attitudes that I had once encountered as I read Greek and Roman myths, history, the different worldwide religions (ways of life), watched salacious movies – remember Peyton Place? Had friends, accquaintances who found themselves pregnant and nowhere to turn. Visited young teenage girls in homes for unwed mothers.

In the early ’90s, I wrote a grant proposal for women in the county detention center. Most were in jail for possession of marijuana – then illegal. Now, very much legal as states have discovered the wealth they can amass from legalizing and selling cannabis. The proposal – directed to these women, separated from their children, age 5 and younger – gave those mothers, while incarcerated, skills and resources to “parent” and read stories to their children.  Many of these mothers were still very much children, themselves.

I remember how women have been ridiculed  – and still are – for being on welfare; accused of “beating the system…” Hah!

Mother to Son*

Langston Hughes – 1901-1967

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare;
But all the time
I’se been a’climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners, 
And sometimes goin’ in the dark, 
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back;
Don’t you sit down on the steps, 
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard;
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

 

*This poem, in the public domain, is from the website: https://poets.org/poem/mother-son

zibaldone| may 2022 …

 

The news this week, in addition to the Russian-Ukraine war; the continued Covid- 19 variants; and now Monkey Pod – has been overlaid with yet again a tragedy: the mass shooting of 19 elementary school aged children and two teachers in Texas!  Totally innocent people going about their lives; for sure this event was not on their agenda. And of course, the law makers and so called law keepers are appropriately remorseful and angered … Sadly,  in a few days, “normal” life will resume until the next time… rest assured there will be a “next time.” We must also be cognizant of the atrocities that take place daily in life…  In the meantime, the Republican Senatorial response, according to the Washington Post: “our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

I sit here, at the table the spot where one can find me most mornings, looking out at the vista:

  • the sky’s overcast, grey;
  • birds and squirrels forage;
  • a slight breeze, barely perceptible via the slow movement of leaves on the trees;
  • grass needs cutting…badly;
  • my tea needs replenishing.  I can’t cut the grass but the tea, I can replenish.

Writers’ Hour.  I’m currently engaged in Writers’ Hour, 50 focused minutes of writing, a free Zoom event, offered four times a day – in the world’s different time zones. We set and share our intentions and write together,  in our “little Zoom boxes” on/off the screen.  I joined the 8AM EST Writers’ Hour on March 9 of this year and for the past two months since, have written in DayONE,  65 consecutive days daily – a streak – and counting…Go ME! 

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Cybrary … a what?  Recently, while driving through the University of Maryland’s campus, I saw  a building with this sign… naturally, being a retired librarian – public- my curiosity was piqued.  And so what does one do but a ‘google’ search…Go here: https://www.cybrary.it/about/     for the answer to my and your question.

And that’s a snippet or two of my May… Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

Peace.

 

April One Little Word – Zibaldone

Z- 26th Letter of Alphabet /Zibaldone

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Also known as a commonplace book,  Zibaldone, the word/concept seem to be gaining in popularity and mention in the digital/print world, most commonly known as the Internet news, information sites.

Over the years, I’ve kept my own and several versions of a commonplace book, or a Zibaldone: “ a strange melange of diary, ledger, doodle pad, and scrapbook …” three volumes along with similar “hodgepodge’s” and “commonplace books” – served as a pattern for interior life from the 14th C onward, bringing comfort and inspiration to everyone from Thomas Jefferson to Lewis Carroll.”

In this, the 21st Century, we have the contemporary version, the Internet and “Zs” – in the form of blogs, tweets, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, bullet journals – both paper and digital, etc.  All are curiosities. Medium Daily Digest,  a website that is a forum for new, upcoming writers to share their takes on the various and numerous apps, along with tips for maximizing one’s productivity (there are as many as ten such links on any given day) usually has several articles a week about Zibaldone and/or commonplace books.

Over the past waning winter months and these, promising spring, I’ve created any number of Z-style records and/or journal entries, ranging from mind maps to photos to quotes: “this is it” to “no it ain’t” to, to, to ???  These exclamations and questions leave my brain and travel down my arms to write words, draw doodles on a piece of paper or  occasionally type on my iPad:  

  •  I rarely documented a quote or idea that hadn’t sparked another idea …
  •  Life presents too many invitations and opportunities – promising nirvana for the taker and all designed to earn some ducats for the offerer…
  •  I (may) have too much idle time on my hands, increased for sure by months of Covid…
  • FOMO?

I’m just undisciplined — or perhaps, creatively curious?  I rather like creativelycurious. I see something, I like and think: “hmmm, let me try this.” In many ways I do and I may even go so far as to purchase the ingredients for a bigger project … tho’ sadly, move onto the next bright shiny object before I even give the current one a whirl. I’m thinking that perhaps I’ll break that habit if I play/experiment … If I do, great or if I don’t, perhaps even better. Whichever, I can include the outcome in my Zibaldone and these two quotes are going in:

“But the practice of commonplacing has something to offer that current practices of creating a Pinterest board or blog post do not: it allows us not only to find and arrange information, but also encourages us to remember what has inspired us. I think this has to do with the tangible nature of assembling a commonplace book.” Source: https://verilymag.com/2021/02/keeping-a-commonplace-how-to-bullet-journal-hobby

“Unlike a journal, which is chronological and usually contains personal reflections, a commonplace book is a compilation of external information that speaks to us, written down as we come across it. And unlike a notebook that you keep for a class or for a job, it usually covers multiple subjects, bound together by the thread of our personal interests.” Source: https://www.thepapermouse.com/blogs/whats-new-at-the-paper-mouse/keeping-a-commonplace-book

This I know to be true: I know myself well enough that I don’t always say NO to a bright shiny object. Better that I flirt a bit, in my Zibaldone/Commonplace book and see just how enamored I am. If I am, then I continue and if not, I don’t. Everyday, life is an experiment. Some days are good, others not so. The sun shines and then it rains…the rain stops, clouds move on, flowers bloom.

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I’m currently in the “let’s see if the flowers indeed do bloom.” Ideas, Inspiration and “YES! This is It!”