Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fighting the Pain in My Head

The wind is howling and knocking over my garbage can. The sun is still shining but the negative ions flying around are making me edgy and giving me a migraine. I went to class but didn't get much more done today, unfortunately. This treasury by Blue Moon Rose is a bright spot on an otherwise miserable day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Textile Tuesdays : #1 History

First I have to say a word about my interest in textiles. I have been working/playing with textiles since early childhood. We were a large, thrifty and creative family. We made our own play things out of scraps. We played with tins filled with buttons. When I was 6, my grandmother taught me how to knit. When I was 7, my brother showed me how to use a foot treadle sewing machine and I made my first doll dress. I got crewel embroidery kits for Christmas and I embroidered on my OshKosh bib overalls. When I was twelve, I sold my first dolls that I had made with my older sister. We were at a craft fair somewhere in Pennsylvania. It was the early 70's and everyone was into handwork. I thought it was normal to make my own clothes and home decor.

In the late 70's, 80's, and early 90's, it was not so cool. Some feminist philosophy saw freedom from "women's work" as the goal of liberation. New Wave styles were more glossy and sharp. If I explained to people that I liked to stitch and sew, they would either be disapproving, confused, or they would regard it as a quaint, old-fashioned hobby. I always stuck with it though. I knit my own sweaters. I sewed my own skirts. I learned how to weave. Little by little, I saw the resurgence of the popularity of textile and fiber arts. I studied the history of various crafts and researched current trends.

When I was in England, I realized that I could actually get a degree in textile arts if I wanted to. I could get a certificate of expertise in embroidery. I realized that I was going to embrace my inner stitcher and commit to textile arts in any and every way that I could. There are so many wonderful art forms involving fibers and textiles. There are so many super stars - past and current. There are cultural, environmental, and even political aspects of textile arts. I can't wait to jump in and start writing about a few of them that I know. I will leave it for now though because this is a blog and the material is meant to be digestible. I hope you will come back next tuesday when I will be writing about Embroidery.

(The picture above is what is left of one of the dolls that I made when I was 12. His name is Patrick and he used to have a sailor shirt and pants. Also, one of our dogs tore his body so I had to perform surgery. I didn't know how to hide knots but I still think he has a sweet face!)

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Middle Age

I am middle aged. That means that I am (hopefully) in the middle of my life! It is strange to think that I could live almost another entire life - especially when we think of middle age as a bad thing, like the end of youth.
Lately, I am realizing that middle aged also means that you are in the middle of generations. On the one side I have my children or the young and up-and-coming wave of the future. On the other side, I have my parents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, aging politicians and civic leaders, people on the decline in many ways. After caring for small children and seeing them reach teen years, I realize that the older people in my life are now at a point where they need help or even just moral support. They might be struggling with understanding new technologies like cell phones, bureaucracies like medicare, or even new ways of shopping, eating, living. The young people are old enough that they probably have most of the answers to the above questions but they are entering the world of independence and they don't have the experience, the wisdom, or the necessary cynicism.
The roles in this situation are different and I am not sure how I am supposed to behave. I can't be the omnipotent authority to my kids, and I can't be the deferent youth to the seniors. In some ways, we are all on a par. We are able to have lively conversations, share ideas and set our own agendas. Hopefully, there is mutual respect. But, what is being driven home to me, more and more, these days, is that there are three separate spheres. The people in the middle (like me) are supposed to be the strongest, most reliable, most stable, most responsible, and most giving. At the same time, the younger ones are rebelling and the older ones are digging in their heels.
I hope I can be strong enough to do my bit for others while maintaining and figuring out my own identity. I hope I can be like the bird flying up and seeing the big picture then swooping down and managing the details. I hope I can show my kids how to treat me when I am old and remember how they will want to be treated when they are in the middle.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bird Medicine

No, I'm not talking about medicine for a sick bird. :-) . I don't remember when or where I first heard about Animal Medicine. I never really studied the details of it because I like to just absorb things and let them fit into my own mental map. I like the stories of the mischievous coyote, or the brave warrior mouse, or the spider woman who teaches the people how to weave. If you live in the Southwest, it isn't long before you start to hear about Native American beliefs. Many of these are passed on through legends and stories, and many have to do with animals. Certain animals are supposed to represent certain qualities, and if you have contact with an animal, in a dream or in your daily life, it may be a sign of something related to the qualities of this animal.

[I think it is important to say that I don't want to disrespect Native American beliefs and I don't want to co-opt them. I am looking at this information as an outsider and I don't mean to misrepresent. I am only saying what I have gathered from brief exposure to these ideas and what they mean to me as an independent, somewhat spiritually open person. I actually think that a lot of it is universal and understood on a collective sub-conscious level. Here is a link to more info on animal medicine. I don't know who is running this site, but it seems to have a lot of different easily digestible information.]

Anyway, I have been having an unusually large number of encounters with birds ever since July. David and I were driving to Phoenix to the airport when a bird flew into the windshield. I just had a split second to see it before it smashed. I won't go into detail, but it was horrible, and after the shock that took my breath away, I couldn't help crying. To see a life end like that was very upsetting. I think it was a dove or a desert wren.
Then, when we were in Michigan, I was explaining to the girls that blue jays are different in the Midwest compared to the ones that we have. Later that day, we saw a dead one lying on the grass. I was not happy about that and wondered if it was some kind of omen. I chose to not associate two dead birds with our air travel.
As we were driving from Michigan to Minnesota, we saw lots of birds - red winged blackbirds, which I love, herons, and even two bald-eagles! I have always felt a connection to wild animals when they show themselves to me. I usually talk to them, much to the embarrassment of my children. I wondered if these birds were trying to tell me something. I thought about checking out what Bird Medicine might mean. I had heard people talk about animal medicine, but never looked into it. Then I forgot about it and got back into my day to day life at home.

When I started my class at the university here, I was walking from where I had parked my car the first day. There was a beautiful little finch on a fence looking at me and tweeting away. I was glad someone was there to cheer me on. A day or so later, I was again walking from my car and I saw a little bird on the ground by the front door of a bank. I stopped to see if it was o.k. It was a beautiful greenish-yellow with brown markings. It was too big to be a finch, too small to be an oriole. I think it might have been some kind of wren. Two men stopped to see what I was looking at and one bent down to try to pick it up. He put out his finger under the bird's feet and it didn't move. We thought it must be stunned or injured but then, suddenly, it flew off into the bushes.
I came home feeling like it had been some kind of message for me or at the very least, a kind of gift. It was a chance for me to see and appreciate the beauty in the world. This time, I looked up Bird Medicine when I got home. I found an article on line and I loved what it said. I thought I would write about it but I never got to it. Then, yesterday, I was sitting having coffee on a balcony, with my friend, when a very large hawk flew in and circled around our heads! We could see all its markings from underneath with its wings wide. It was beautiful! A crow was pestering it and trying to make it leave which it eventually did.

The article I found on Bird Medicine said that birds represent a connection between the earthly world and the heavens, between the mundane and the lofty. They represent the ability to look at the abstract, the big picture - to have a bird's eye view. Sometimes they are thought to be messengers between the world of the living and the dead or spirit world. Different types of birds have specific qualities that make them symbolic of certain things. A sparrow, wren or common small bird can represent adaptability and productivity. A bluebird is the symbol of happiness. A crow can represent knowledge and vigilance. There are more details that you can read here.

I tried to think about all the bird medicine that I had encountered, the good and the sad. I immediately thought that they would represent flight/leaving. But I was glad to see that the lesson is really much more profound. I am the type of person that looks at the big picture and wonders what it will ultimately turn out to be. I am concerned with being prosperous in my business, and I could certainly learn to be adaptable.

If you have ever seen the movie, Signs, there is a part where he says "Some people don't believe in signs. Some people see them in everything." Does that make them real or not? I think the natural world has a lot to teach us whether or not we pay attention.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


David came home last night with a bag full of treats from England. It softened the blow, slightly, of our not getting to move there. We all had built up the fantasy in our imaginations of living in Manchester - getting new jobs, going to school there, making new friends, going to museums and parks, walking through city streets on cloudy, rainy days - glorious! We knew we should not count on something that was only a possibility, but we wanted to be positive and imagine it really happening. We tried to "intend" it. But it was not meant to be.

I don't want to pout too much so I am just trying to take care of our lives here and now, and look ahead to other possibilities. I must admit, I am being short-tempered and cranky though. I got pissed off at the language lab computer, I got annoyed with the cat meowing at the door, I am frustrated with etsy, bad drivers, and npr. The wind yesterday just about killed me. It doesn't really work to suppress feelings.

Good things are very touching to me. I got some sweet convoes and comments on my blog that cheered me up. My little daughter auditioning for the part of the bully in a local play, shocking everyone with her shouting, made me laugh and get "chuffed" as they say in England. My dad trying to do disco/pop dancing in the living room with both of my daughters! They loved it. I thought they all looks fantastic!

I have been working hard since June to get back in shape, so I don't want to indulge too much in comfort food but I will enjoy slowly and try to make it last until summer when we go over there and restock. Here is a list of what David brought us: 5 packages of McVitties dark chocolate digestives (THE best cookie in the world for my tastes), 6 small pkgs of Walker's crisps, for the girls, 1 box of M&S rose flavored Turkish Delight, various Cadbury chocolates, Jaffa Cakes, 2 boxes of Nairns oatcakes, a big box of PGtips, M&S luxury muesli, and a Hello, and OK magazine! Pretty good haul eh? It was so sweet of him to shop for all of this for us. Having my family together is the sweetest thing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Be Here Now?

I can't seem to start. I have many profound ideas simmering in my brain but I can't really bring myself to address them. Sorry. Instead, I turn to trivial things that would be fun to talk about, but I am not really up for that either. I could just not write, but this blog is supposed to challenge me to write. So, I am starting and will see what happens.

Yesterday was the first day of autumn. Last night we had the first freeze. It is getting chilly and I am having to think about what to put on my legs with my skirts. I got some leg warmers from Delirium Kredens on ETSY. They are really nice, soft wool. I also have a pair of cute, short, brown, suede boots that will keep my feet warm. I took a class last winter to make hand knit socks. I never got past the heel but now I am going to get help and finish them. I am going to do a whole post on socks and stockings but I have to do some research first.

I have been thinking a lot about place and whether or not we belong somewhere in particular. I wonder if each of us has an archetypal place suited to our unique psyches. The thought of living in the U.K. or Japan gets me energized. But maybe it is just the thought of something new and romantic. I was driving the other day and thought "what if it turns out that this is where I am meant to be?" It is actually a nice place and people come from all over the world to live here or visit. It is just that I love to travel and experience new life situations. Part of it is my desire to see what the future holds for me. Maybe I am thinking that if I can go just around that corner, I will see it. I know the challenge is to live in the moment; to create my own opportunities and happiness. I am grateful for what I have and I am conscious of the good in the present moment.

I am going to start a new feature on this blog - Textile Tuesdays. Every tuesday, I will post an article about textiles. It will cover a wide range of topics that are near and dear to my creative heart. This was one of my goals when I started this blog, so I am happy to be getting to it. Eventually I will address all of my blogging goals, get them into an organized format, and be more web saavy.

For now, I am proud of myself for keeping it moving. I am in Flagstaff, on the computer, in the morning before Japanese class, after my kids have gone off to school, with my cat sleeping next to me and my husband on a plane home from Manchester, England.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

You're Welcome!

I thought I would write about a little idea that I have. It is inspired by a grammatical/social pet peeve of mine. It seems that lately, no one says "you're welcome." Sometimes the response to a thank-you is a reflexive thank-you. That's not so bad. But still, if a person is thanking you, and you thank them back, you have never really responded to their thanks. I hear this on television and the radio all the time.
What is even worse, in my opinion, is when a person responds by saying "no worries," or "no problem." There are times when we really do put people out and they go out of their way to help us and it is not expected. Then they could say "no problem." When a person is working in a service industry such as a sales person or a waiter, and they say, "no problem", I want to say "it shouldn't be a problem because it is your job and you are getting paid for it. Saying no problem or no worries, implies that there could be something to worry about. I want to say, "I am not worried."
But, really, when we give a gift or do something as a kindness, or perform a service that we are supposed to be doing, the correct response is "You are welcome!" or "It is my pleasure!"

I hope I don't sound old and uptight. I realize that language is a living, evolving system, and it is a small thing, but I say, let's try to hang on to You're Welcome. I would very much welcome any comments about this!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


1. I wore the same skirt to school every day this week. It was easy and somewhat liberating to not have to think about wardrobe. No one said anything.
2. I got 102% on my first Japanese quiz. I am happy to have proof that my brilliant children didn't get all there smarts from their dad.
3. I didn't make 5 bags. I did make one that was really more like a work of art in that I had to work it and let it evolve and take chances. I think it turned out really cool. I also made a to do list to keep my business moving forward.
4. So long to Jim Carroll. My friend Mary called me yesterday to remind me of the time we saw him performing at a bar in Santa Cruz. I know that was real. I remember it. But it seems more like a story from someone else's life.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Ring!

My good friend Marilyn made me a ring! I have been wanting a ring for a long time. I would look at them and think about them but I had never been decisive. Marilyn is the kind of person that thinks about doing something and then becomes an expert in no time. I'm not exaggerating. Whether it is going to law school or knitting a cable knit cardigan, she is at the top of her class.
She has been making jewelry and selling it on etsy and she decided to take a silversmithing class. Of course, her work was beautiful. I asked her how she does it and she said she just perseveres. She sets high goals and she doesn't stop till she gets there, which is usually fast, in my opinion.

I love the way this ring turned out. Ever since I saw the stone called Morganite, I was feeling particularly drawn to it. Marilyn found me a stone that displays the morganite colors and qualities perfectly. It is cut beautifully so it sparkles like a diamond but it also has the subtle pinkish, greyish, purpleish colors that draw me in. The silver is textured and so highly polished that the whole thing looks frosty! The pictures are darker than the real thing which is also more pink.

Textiles are my true obsession but I can see how easy it would be to go gaga over gemstones. They don't have the touch factor but they are almost permanent and have amazing colors. I can see why different stones are believed to have different energies. I will have this ring as long as I live and pass it down to one of my daughters. Marilyn even added the sweet personal touch of engraving my name inside the band.

Skirts update: Yes, I am still wearing the 4 skirts. I think I am going to try wearing one for a whole week! So far, no one has mentioned this fashion quirk of mine. Do they not notice, do they think I am a crazy old woman, or, as my daughter suggested, do they think I am too poor to afford clothes? Anyway, I wore Michelle with a pink tank top and beige cotton sweater on Monday. Same skirt, blue and grey striped tank top and old white t-shirt with the word "DIVE" on the front. I got this shirt 5 years ago at the Great Barrier Reef. I thought it looked cute. Today I am wearing the same skirt and a raspberry colored tee also from Australia with a peach polka dot tank hanging out the bottom.

Monday, September 14, 2009

An Amazing Dream

It started with me walking to a parking lot. There were some cars there but also campers, trailers and fenced in rings for kids and animals. I saw my sister's friend Jana with a group of about 4 little kids - two of them boys around 7 years old and two little toddlers. They seemed to be a little unruly, then the two older ones wandered off down towards the beach. It was dark out except for street lights. I told Jana she better go after them. She grabbed the little ones and went calling and looking.
I was standing in the middle of everything when this guy about my age, all dressed in beat up black leather came up and grabbed me and started pulling me into his trailer. I was kicking and screaming "what are you doing?" he said, "I know you have been waiting for me. I saw you looking at me". I said "I don't know what you're talking about", and I pulled away.
I started walking to the beach which was just on the other side of the parking lot. I saw a woman that I knew vaguely. We walked together for a little bit till we got close to the water. It had just gotten pitch dark but we could see a little from the lights of the city behind us. There were tons of people on the beach. It must have been some kind of festival. I could hear the waves crashing and wanted to go in the water. There were flashes of light in the sky and pinkish orange streaks. I said it must be the first rays of morning but this woman said no, that was impossible. But then it gradually got lighter. The hours had disappeared.
Fewer people were on the beach and I saw some large rocks that I wanted to climb on. I climbed up and over one and down the other side towards where it was going into the water. There was a tunnel worn out by water that I climbed down.
At the bottom, just before the waves, there were two very large, beautiful scarves made of soft cotton fabric, painted with beautiful designs. They were folded like pleated waves as if presented for someone to find. I picked up the first one and passed it up to a woman at the top of the rocks. She held it out and it waved in the wind. It had women's faces painted on it and I recognized the artists as one I knew when we lived in Oregon. In a moment of generosity, I said she could have it. I picked up the next one and held it out for myself. It was painted with leaves. I thought with some regret that it was not as nice as the one I had given away.
Then I had to shimmy back up through the tunnel. It was slippery and I had to press against the edges. At the top, someone took my hand and helped me up. Then I went swimming in my clothes and the water was just the right temperature. I saw Jana and asked what happened to the kids. She said they were in jail, the little devils, for stealing a car! She was glad to be rid of them.
Hardly anyone was swimming and the beach seemed deserted. I was on a platform on the beach and I noticed a really cool vintage tricycle. Some people had made the basket into a type of kite and were flying the whole thing. I thought it was really clever and quite a sight to see.

That would have been a good ending to the dream, but they had a little dog, like a Jack Russell, and the dream ended with me inviting these people to stay with me and their dog, stuck in the bathroom, peeing on the floor. I was saying "oh, poor doggie" just before I woke up.

I studied dreams as part of my Psychology degree in college, so the irony and significance of certain things is not lost on me. I know that there are symbols and metaphors, just like a good story. Some are easy, like the tunnel = birth canal = new beginnings or just a desire to become myself. The parking lot is a metaphor for feeling parked or stuck. The desire to go to the beach and in the water symbolizes a desire to be in touch with the sensual, the life force, perhaps even the universal oneness. Some things are personal like me being able to easily fight off an attack is my sub-conscious telling me that I am strong and capable. The textiles are pretty obvious. In the dream I felt like they were a discovered treasure. The designer that I recognized was a Japanese woman so I was linking in my Japanese.
Other bits are not so easy to figure out or they seem random. Why Jana with her kids? Why the tricycle kite? Why the people on the beach at night? I can only explain the dog by saying that the last thing I thought about before going to sleep last night was the possibility of getting a small dog someday. I guess my sub-conscious was reminding me that I would have to clean up the pee.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's all in the Lighting

I live in a place where the quality of the light is as much a part of the environment as the trees and hills. At over 7000 ft above sea level, the air is thin and the sky is almost always a shade of blue that is more aqua than sky. The summertime white puffy clouds change the quality of the light. Sometimes there is smoke from a distant fire that blows in and really changes the light, especially at sunset.
Different lights can change your mood or change your impressions of a situation. I know I am strongly effected by the amount and the quality of light I am exposed to. If I am quiet and not too distracted, I can even notice the differences when I am inside.
This evening the light had a green quality. It was dark and shining at the same time. I thought of a suspenseful murder mystery where everything was still but about to shift. I went outside and tried to figure out what was creating this light. It was almost sunset and there were some clouds but it was not fine or stormy weather. It had been a hot day. I tried to photograph it but was unable to capture it. I hope I have described it well enough to create a visual impression.
I cleaned the house today while David took the girls shopping for new jeans. They are both still growing. I am sooooo ready to throw away everything I own and just live like a monk. I wouldn't want to get rid of my sewing machine or my computer though!
I didn't go anywhere today but I wore my Michele skirt with a dark red cotton cardigan that I got several years ago.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Slowly but Surely

Yesterday I started sewing a new bag and was really in a groove with systematically getting the pieces sewn so I could assemble the whole thing. I think making a bag is a metaphor for accomplishing any goals - First you get an idea then back up to do the little pieces that are the groundwork. Each step, done right brings you closer to the prize. The funny thing is that sometimes the little things are not exciting, they can be tedious and I sometimes wonder at the value of them. But then, I finally get them all done and put together and a beautiful bag seems to magically appear.
When I first started making bags, I would sew the main pieces together first because I was anxious to see the whole thing. Then I would realize that I had to take it apart to get the small things done and in the right place. Thank goodness I got past that, but I still have a tendency to want it to be done faster than I can actually do it.
Anyway, I was working steadily and almost done when I started to feel light-headed. Within two hours I had 101 degree fever. I was useless to do anything but moan in bed. I was thinking about my bag that would never get posted and my Japanese quiz on Tuesday that I might have to miss.
I woke up this morning feeling a little weak but otherwise fine! The fever was gone and I had no other symptoms. It must have been a 24 hour flu or maybe whatever bug was in me got burned out! I slowly finished the last few seams, photographed it and got it posted in my store. I think it came out really cute.
I haven't stuck to my idea of making one item a day - not even close. But, I keep doing what I can, giving meaning to the slow movement. I do wish I could get 40 items in my shop but I can't complain if things keep selling.

Re. Skirts: Yesterday I wore my brown hemp skirt with my brown suede boots and a sweater since it is cooling off. Today, I am sorry to say, PJs.

Friday, September 11, 2009


About 9 years ago my husband was offered a visiting lectureship in London. We jumped at the chance for adventure. We had been living in Flagstaff for 5 years and were ready for some excitement and travel beyond the Southwestern U.S.
I have always been a wanderer. I love to get to know a place and people and then move on and start over. I always feel that there is another place out there calling to me. I don't know why but I think maybe it is in my blood. I read a book once called Migrations by Rebecca Solnit. She talks about a lot of interesting things in that book that have to do with identity and place. But one of the things that stuck with me is the idea that some people are meant to be wanderers.
Anyway, it never occurred to me to say no to the London opportunity. It never occurred to me that things might not work out and we might hate it. I just thought that of course it would be a good thing. And it was. It was hard at times but so rich and wonderful and soul expanding for us and for our girls. We lived there for a year and the memories, friendships, and accents have never left our psyches.
Since then we have lived in Australia, we visited Italy, parts of the U.K., Ireland, Japan and France. We hope to go back to all these places and maybe live abroad again. I would love to spend some months or years in Japan doing textile arts with natural dyes.
If an opportunity came up, I would embrace it but I think now it might be a little more difficult. As I get older I do worry about expenses, health, career paths, education... I do not say no to a challenge but I am not so quick to jump. I think I am just not so quick anymore. But that's o.k. and all the more reason to keep my travel muscles flexed!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Making Lists

I started thinking today about people and things that I admire and would maybe like to write about. Then I thought "I should make a list so I don't forget". Then I thought that I could just print the list. Lists are very popular these days. You can find them on Facebook or iTunes, even on McSweeny's. I could leave the details up to readers' imaginations. I could just make links for more information. I would have one list of profound things and one of guilty pleasures... OMG... it would be the lofty and the lascivious linking lists!!
But then I started thinking that this is a copout in some ways. It relieves me of all the work of explaining what I like about the items, of describing their connection in my mind, of writing a coherent, developed thought! This is what is happening to language, writing and communication in a texting, listing, tweating, linking society! It is getting fragmented and devoid of personal articulation. I will instead make a list in my notebook and then write an entry about each of them. Check back.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Courage is Universal

I got this shirt at the Country Fair in Oregon. The image is of Dorothy Day, one of the founders of the Catholic Workers Movement. She is an old woman sitting in front of two police men with guns on their belts. She is calm but feisty! The back of the shirt says: Courage is Universal. This kind of thing makes me proud to be raised Catholic, to try to be caring, charitable and simple in my daily life, and to be a woman getting older every day.

Walk the Walk

Since I started school, I've been walking to class from where I park my car, about 6 blocks away. I go through the old neighborhoods and try to find something to surprize or delight me. I love old buildings and bits of art. There are murals, alley ways, and strange little quirky things that people have made. It puts me in a good mood to see beautiful colors. There is one little turquoise house that has sunflowers growing in front by a white picket fence. The paint is all pealing which makes it all the more romantic. There is an old store front that someone has bought and made into their home, but they kept the old sign. There is a gigantic crabapple tree spotted all over with little red orbs hanging out over a busy, ugly street like a plea.

Yesterday I walked by a house on a main street near campus and I noticed a strange "barking" noise. I looked into the overgrown yard and saw about 6 ducks scurrying around! They had a little plastic igloo and a small pond. Then I walked by the small white old house that has been turned into the Quaker Meeting Hall - American Friends Society. I love the AFS even though I have never been. When I was doing my undergraduate work I met so many people who were Quakers. They were all so cool, so positive, calm, and genuinely friendly. Recently, I have met a few in Flagstaff, and they are the same way. It must be something about the way they are raised and the doctorine of community, non-violence, and earth stewardship. They made a nice little wild garden space next to the building - presumably for peaceful meditation or social gatherings.

A little further on, I walked past some aspen trees. The wind was blowing gently and the leaves were rustling. Because of the shape of the leaves and the way they stand out on their stems, they are said to "quake". Quaking Aspens - I had to laugh to myself at this little serendipity that my brain or the world presented to me. I love to stumble upon things whether they are small, like what I just described, or immense, like a new best friend, a life changing opportunity, or an idea that starts me down a new road.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Sometimes my husband or children accuse me of being anti-social. I think I am just moody and sometimes insecure. When I am feeling bad I know that spending time with friends doing something entertaining is usually the best thing. It is also the thing that seems the most daunting to me. I just have a little hissy fit in my mind that goes like this: I don't want to see those people, they don't really like me, I just want to be left alone. Sometimes I truly do want to be alone because I have had to give of myself so much and I need to recoup. Either way, my friends have always been very important to me I do love seeing them. When the socializing depends on planning ahead, I am sometimes reluctant since I don't know how I will be feeling.

Last week David asked me to go to a department dinner with him. At first, I said "do I have to?" He tried to entice me with gourmet food and a romantic setting but the only thing that convinced me was the prospect of talking with a friend that I don't usually get to see.

So, yesterday, I worked on my Japanese katakana, worked out to my Masala Bhangra video, sewed one of my bags, and got ready to go out. It was a good day ending with a nice dinner and happy catching up.

I wore Zara with a silk shirt that my friend Maureen Fitzgerald gave me as a cast off.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I slept in today. I was really behind on my sleep. I worked out, cleaned the house a little, sewed a little... I didn't get dressed. I was really glad when it finally started raining this evening. The sky turned yellowy green as the sun dipped below the clouds just before it set. Then it just started to shower and the ground finally looked and smelled wet. I made a curry and had a whiskey and water. Now I am going to watch a movie and go to sleep knowing that I don't have to get up early tomorrow! Hooray for Monday holidays!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Fortnight and the Fair

I've been wearing the same 4 skirts for 2 weeks. Most days it is just like my normal routine since I wear skirts a lot anyway. But, some days I feel like entertaining myself by putting on a different disguise or shell. Then I have to forget that and just grab the same skirt. I guess I have to either find my entertainment elsewhere or get more creative with tops and accessories. As it is I think people will see me and think that I am just another normal person who doesn't care about what she looks like because clearly, my outfits are not well thought out and there is nothing artistically appealing about them. I can't say I have given up on my fashion. It is not that I am so concerned about my "looks". It is more that I view the world as an artistic expression and I want my own presence in it to add to that. Maybe it is like a workout and I have to get over the hump before I get the pay off and the endorphines.

I went to the county fair today and wore my MaryJane skirt and a hippie top that I got in town a few years ago. You couldn't see it though because it was cold and I had on a sweatshirt and hat. The fair is a great place for people watching. Families, couples, kids, farmers, city folk, scientists, carnies ... they are all there. I love looking at the goats and the quilts. It seemed to me that participation was down this year with lots of empty pens and wall space. I hope that it doesn't become a thing of the past. I was thinking I should have invited one of the Japanese exchange students because it would be such a slice of American life for them to see. I wonder if it would seem sweet to them or bizarre?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

BTW it's 13 days!

Regarding the 4 skirts project, today is the 13th day. I have already repeated the outfit I wore on the first day. (see day 1 post). I am starting to get tempted to grab something new to wear but I am sticking with it come what may! When the weather changes I will be able to spice things up with sweaters, tights, boots, and scarves!! I may even go to the Goodwill to get a new/old shirt!

I am Featured on Sweeter Than Me Blog

A while ago, I was contacted by Kristin at Sweeter Than Me to do a promotional giveaway. I had been asked to do this several times before and had always declined. I can barely keep my stock up. But, I liked Kristin's note and was so impressed with her blog and her own work that I decided to give it a whirl. Well, it's up now and I am excited to see how much response it gets and what kind of comments people make about my store! This is a picture of the bag I am giving away and one of a sample of her work. Go check out the link to her store, read some of the posts, and have fun!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The "B" Word

I hate when our whole modern, western, society is like a sea of people all saying "I'm so busy". We are all so busy being busy that we aren't really living the life or really doing the things that we are supposedly busy doing. (I originally heard this idea in a book about Proust which I don't have time to look up now but I will do so soon and put in the link - is this a case in point?). What is it that makes us think that this is a good thing? Are we complaining or bragging when we say it? I have always been one for moderation and balance. Partly because I don't function very well any other way. I am a slow person. I am lucky enough to be able to manage my own time pretty much.
Right now, I am at a bit of a crunch because the school year is started and everyone in my home is back into their school routine. This year, that includes me! Also, I have taken on a few new projects. So, I am still getting used to the added responsibilities. I guess I would have to say, I'm busy! But, I am not complaining or bragging, only making an observation and acknowledging that I have to get a handle on it!
I am getting more comfortable with my hiragana and I am figuring out how to wear the same skirts every day. I know where to park my car and walk to class. I've got a bunch of bags layed out and ready to sew. I have even had time to meet with a few friends for tea. I was surprized when I looked at my blog and saw that I did not make an entry yesterday! So here is something for today.
I wore Penny with a JCrew shirt and yesterday I wore Michelle with a Clancy t-shirt that my niece made me. Monday, I wore Zara with my tourist t-shirt that I got from... you guessed it.

I am also posting a picture that shows me talking on the phone on the treadmill in my garage (full of junk!!!) The skirt is no problem to tread in.