unraveled wednesday |1.30.2019 …

 

 

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Bright sunshine greets us on this chipper and cold (31°), next-to-last day of January…we are grateful for the sun’s warmth and that the furnace is steadily pumping out heat. I have been in this house, in January when there was no power, therefore, no heat. Brrr! I can’t imagine what it must feel like in SD, WI, MN, IL with wind chills in the minus 50°s… I hope the homeless are in shelters and made myself a note: Send a contribution to our city’s non-profit homeless shelter hotline/transport service.

Speaking of heat and sunshine, I listened to What Should I Read Next?’s podcast #168, on my walk one day last week. The guest shared a very ambitious 2019 reading plan…but what really caught my attention was her review of The Warmth of Other Suns. I have that book; it has been languishing on my bookshelf longer than I care to divulge. Given to me by my friend Pat  (who devoured the book over a period of 3-4 days – she’s a binge reader), I decided it’s time to move the book up in the queue. I may also download the audio version to take along as my walking companion – tho’ it’s going to have to get a bit warmer first!

My friend Pat also made the lap quilt in the photo! A surprise Christmas present, machine-pieced and lovingly hand-quilted! Plus the backing fabric comes from OR!

Books, Quilts and a Good Friend are the best! Agreed

Joining Kat and friends for this week’s Unraveled Wednesday!

Cheers~

 

a word or two…

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This photo is of my youngest grand niece, Kayla, circa age 4. Today, she celebrates her 18th birthday!  A family gathering  for dinner at Maggiano‘s was planned; she wanted to celebrate on the actual date. Hey, one only turns 18 once. Well, as luck would have it, today’s weather forecast is calling for rain, snow, cold – courtesy of the Polar Vortex –  to begin around PM rush hour traffic. So, she cancelled and will reschedule. Of course! We all  applaud her for her graciousness in handling her disappointment.  We are all disappointed. Looking at the variations of her name, its meaning and synonyms, I have to say her mother picked the best name for this young woman; she’s going far! Adulting is hard work and I think, know that she will meet the challenge with aplomb!

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Speaking of words: according to quora, the OED – Oxford English Dictionary – second edition contains 171,476 words in current use, and 47,156 obsolete words. The number count varies due to a variety of factors… In my craft and sewing studios are wooden words that have been my guides and touchstones, my one little word/s, over the past nine years… This year’s word, in some ways, has been elusive; it sort of misses a bit of intrigue, verve.  I keep trying out (other) words and find myself coming back to one – habit: Design. Action. Practice.

There are some habits in my repertoire I want to grow, strengthen, refine, cultivate,  curate, and others I am determined to jettison. Watch this space…

Join(ing) Juliann and others on the last Tuesday of the month in sharing our experiences with our word/s. Have you chosen a one little word – OLW- for 2019?

Cheers~

sweet poignant memories …

 

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Thinking about Mama: On this date, fifteen years ago, she died. Loss of a loved one, especially a parent, is always with one… but with each passing day, grief and pain yield to comfort, remembering  the little things, that over the years, become treasured memories…

Giving thanks for our lives and the guidance she and my dad gave to both my sister and me, the grands and their children – some who only know her through photos, our stories, our memories…

Inspired and comforted  being in my sewing studio, which was once her bedroom, especially with the sunlight streaming in. Remembering that my first blog – on blogger – was started as a way to remember and honor Mama and to document my stories …

Feeling warm, buoyed, honored and strengthened. Mama ( and Daddy) always treated us with respect, encouraging us to appreciate and be the very best version of ourselves – to learn … Ancora Imparo. I am still learning ~ Michelangelo

About the picture:

  • The grapevine angel holds dried flowers sent to me by my dear friend Kathy when my mother died. I set them on the angel, never expecting the wreath to live this long. I treasure seeing it every day, many times a day…
  • The statue of a weaver was made by my friend Pat’s mother and given to me by Pat – who knew my mother and that she also wove. The postcard photo of the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico overlooks the area where my mother’s cremains are buried…
  • The quilted fleur de lis I made in honor of my mother two years ago; I shibori dyed  the fabric and hand stitched the iris.

unraveled wednesday | 1.23.19 …

 

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Upon learning the sad news of Mary Oliver’s death last Friday, I pulled out her Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. *  The poems in this 2017 publication, include work from her very first book of poetry, No Voyage and Other Poems, published in 1963, through Felicity, published in 2015. Mary arranged the poems in  Devotions. The first poem I turned to – on page 14 – was this:

 The Gift 

Be still my soul, and steadfast. Earth and heaven both are still watching though time is draining from the clock and your walk, that was confident and quick, has become slow.

So, be slow if you must, but let the heart still play its true part. Love still as once you loved, deeply and without patience. Let God and the world know you are grateful. That the gift has been given.”

Over the past few days I’ve read many tributes to Mary Oliver’s words of peace, quiet, gratitude, encouragement. I am saddened but heartened that we have the gift of  her words to console, guide and inspire us. Thank you Mary.

My reading queue continues to grow – tho’ I must admit that  over the past week, I’ve added more titles than words actually read.  Currently new “to read” includes Tara Westover’s Educated (via Audible) and Wabi Sabi by Beth Klimpton (print ). The back cover says wabi sabi teaches us to find more meaning and inspiration in our perfectly imperfect lives.

Knitting on the stocking, tho’ slow, continues; each stitch brings me closer to a fini! Also, over the past several days, I’ve been true to finding myself in my sewing room circa  9 am, honoring my commitment to stitch on a quilt I’m making for  ???  (name to be revealed at a later date).

Joining Kat and friends for this week’s edition of Unraveled Wednesday! Hop on over to see what others are making and reading.

Cheers~

* Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. Penquin Press, New York. 2017.

weekending | 1.22.19 …

 

… the long awaited MLK and Women’s March on Washington weekend began for me Thurs 17th. The day started with joining my Thursday stitching friends, a quick run to Target and a  quick stop at Barnes & Noble. Yes, I bought a book; perhaps two…tho’ I can only recall the title of one as I type this post…

My friend Linda’ was coming from Portland OR; her flight, scheduled to arrive about 6 PM, was delayed in Denver. A quick check showed her flight’s ETA: unknown. Since I was so close to the airport, I called friend Pat  (she lives about 10 miles from the airport) to see  if I might stop by to while away the time. But of course she answered. About 40 min after I arrived, I checked to see if Linda’s flight status had been updated. On Time arrival! What???! Apparently the flight met up with a tail wind and therefore not only made up time but also arrived ahead of schedule! When I arrived at baggage claim, there was Linda!

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Friday, we lounged, er uh, enjoyed an extended Morning Solitude and Quiet Time. She was getting adjusted to the time change, the all-day before travel. I, well, I never turn down a chance to extend MSQT. Eventually, we got dressed and made a Whole Foods quick run, stopping on the way home at an Ethiopian restaurant for takeout dinner. Linda’s a big fan of Ethiopian cuisine (and  actually prepares it  tho’ she’s not Ethiopian). I hadn’t had Ethiopian cuisine in easily 15 years, so for me, the meal was truly a taste it again for the first time experience…and a yummy one, I might add!

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Saturday dawned early enough – a bit on the cool and dreary side – rain expected but we were ready with rain ponchos and boots, just in case. The March route was changed by the Park Service – we were not allowed to march on the Mall nor by the White House. There were many law enforcement personnel – both federal and city – and barricades: police cars; tanks; trucks; dogs; police on horses, etc.  We marched and chanted and they watched, minding not when marchers stopped to take a photo with mounted law enforcement officers in the frame. At least 100,000 marchers was the official estimate. On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store for pizza fixins… and champagne and Talenti gelato.

Sunday was pamper our feet day (I’d made mani/pedi appointments for us at Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Salon); that took about 4 hours for us both. After, we went to Panera for soup and a sandwich and then to visit Dolly, Chris and Elias. Home, we joined Norman in watching the Super Bowl playoffs,  finished Fri/Sat leftovers and we knitted.

Monday, thus far  the coldest day of the year (would you believe 3 – 13 degrees?) dawned too soon. Linda had an early afternoon flight home to the west coast.  Unfortunately, her layover flight was delayed for 4 hours plus and she didn’t get home til 1 AM-ish PST!

Home, I watched TCM’s showing of A Patch of Blue with Sidney Poitier and then started making a quilt. I sewed until Nightly News came on. We watched more TV and called it a night about 11 pm.

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Slowly today I am resuming normal life… doing laundry and a few other household chores… making a few more quilt blocks … savoring weekend memories … missing my friend.

 

unraveled wednesday | 1.16.2019

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Between Döstädning and Snow (D & S) these first couple weeks of 2019, both knitting and reading have gotten short-shrift:

  • I’m still reading (i.e. listening) Becoming, enjoying and  savoring every word; however because of D & S, daily walks  have been fewer, shorter … I have the print version because pictures  – and also happens to be my preferred way to read.  My next walking companion: Educated by Tara Westover.
  • I did not make as much progress with the stocking as I’d intended but, progress was indeed made! And soon to be finished!  Quite a milestone after all these years!  My  plan for 2019 knitting falls under the category of finish ! More in a future post.

Joining Kat and friends for another week of Unraveled Wednesday!

Cheers~

PS. The clear library book bag in the photo was a birthday gift from friend MT – perfect for both books and knitting/quilting projects on the go!

simply a moment | 1.15.19 …

 

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I realized today that I somehow skipped last month’s  S*A*M – my shorthand for simply a moment, a few moments on the 15th of every month when I pause and pay attention to sensory input: sight, sound, touch, smell, taste. Today, my concentration and solitude were rudely interrupted by a series of three spam calls on our new house phone. The previous one, having been in the house for nearly, if not, 9 years gave up the ghost. I thought I could simply replace batteries and was advised a new phone was cheaper than new batteries…

 

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The ringing phone shattered the peace and quiet I was enjoying as I rotary cut 96 rectangles( of two sizes ) for a new quilt I’m making.

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(quilt pieces I cut yesterday; today, I’m cutting the white fabric)

As I type, I hear Norman rattlin’ ‘roun in the kitchen, making his lunch,  against the background of the television.  Today, there’s more traffic on the streets – roads are cleared and snow-melting is helped by warmer temps; currently, as I type this post, it ‘s 37 degrees…I wonder if it’s safe enough  for a quick walk outside? Maybe I’ll give it a try in a couple more hours.

Time to resume cutting rectangles. But first, I think a cuppa peach tea would hit the spot right about now… What moments stand out in your today?

Cheers~

Simply a Moment is a monthly post on my blog that I’ve done for several years on the 15th of the month.

 

sometimes mondays | 1.14.19…

9c0274dd-4e07-4380-a472-a99a1f6cb1d4…are snowbound! Doubting Thomasina, aka Honoré, is sitting at the table, enjoying the fruits of Mother Nature’s 30 + hours of soft and steady snowfall. The snowflakes were the type that made you want to stick your tongue out and catch a few…and they also reminded me of making snow ice cream; yummy!

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Sunday morning, about 9:30 am, an unscientific count by moi: eyeballing and using a ruler to approximate the ledge of snow on the deck bannister gave me a measurement of 3.5 and growing inches…I’m afraid I’ll be housebound today as I don’t think I can get out of the garage until the snow plow and/or warmer temps come through…

The snow interlude has been very helpful to my Döstädning : Master Bedroom closet cleared! Sewing Studio tackled and completed!  A lot – not that which I’m discarding or donating – of what I removed from the closet made its way across the hall and that  72 square feet was already filled to the gills. Garage here we come – just as soon as I can get out of the house. To be continued…

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~today’s morning sunrise~

We totaled about 9 – 11 inches of snow! Any snow in your neck of the woods? Here’s to a good week.

Cheers~

PS. The first two photos were taken Saturday! I couldn’t get out on the deck this morning!

weekend prep …

 

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This weekend, we’re supposedly  in for our first snow of  the season…so, just to be on the safe side, we went shopping for ice melt and a few food  items to tide us over. I suspect, based on previous experiences, if the snow does come, it’ll be short-lived…but then again, I could be very wrong! Only time will tell.

If it does snow, I  have plenty on my agenda to keep me company. Today, I tackled the clothes’ closet – finally! I feel so much better that I did…now, I need to finish clearing stuff off the bed…because it just might be needed for sleeping .

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The sun is setting, the moon is shining and homeward bound rush hour traffic is on the move. Have a great weekend!

Cheers~