Thursday, January 30, 2020

I Like Thursday #178

Welcome to this week's list of likes!
Let's start with the orchid workshop given at the garden center (Tagawa) last Saturday.
> Milo was not interested in orchids and demanded I take him to the dog toy area to find another SQUEAKY kong ball
>I decided there was a bit too much needed for this lovely blossom to thrive here (and they cost way too much)
> we met and chatted with a lovely woman who also had a S.poo. who moved here from Seattle

mailbox on old building in Cheyenne Wyoming
I like looking at old stuff so we went to a wonderful antique festival last weekend. Want to see some pics?
just a small view
that's what I say about my fabric stash!
can't you just hear lampchop now?
this little piano is just sized for a 6 year old!
I loved talking to so many really cool people there, the display areas were so beautifully decorated, and we had a grand time looking at all the stuff. Such a good time I forgot to take many pictures!
There were some magnificent old quilts, I love a double wedding ring, hand quilted and beautifully bound.
click on any picture to enlarge them
painted on a chair seat
My friend Mary, who moved to Colorado a couple years before us, arranged for us to meet at a quilt store halfway between us. It was a great store, with lovely spaces, and I was tempted to join a group that sews together weekly. I so liked the women but
>it is $80 a month
>it takes 45 min to get there and nearly $20 in tolls each time
>the weather is so erratic here I might not be safe to drive on meeting days (the last snow last year was in June)
so it seems a lot to pay to have a friend

I enjoyed watching the Bachelor this week although DH threatened to throw out the tv because of my yelling at it!  As always I like This is Us, New Amsterdam, The good doctor, Donna Reed Show, and youtube. I found out you can watch very early videos made by Edison thru Library of Congress there. One example to get you started watching how people dressed and moved:

Yum! like an adult sweet tart!

I like the pickled green beans we found at a craft show

I like this cereal from Trader Joes... lots of nuts and seeds in it and I have it with yogurt on top
I hung last year's V-Day quilt on the stairs so I see it when I enter the house
Milo is so bored
Milo's Moment
 Please explain my Mama's obsession with baths? I mean it's like...every month!
Mama: well our blanket was almost at dirty as the bath water Milo. You run and play outside a lot
Milo: and????

anyway..... I got lots of hairs cut, and had my feet touched but truth be told, I like to look good. It gets me lots of petting. One neighbor grabbed my noggin and sniffed me!!! He seemed pleased! 
I like my new squeaky ball and am taking it on walks so it learns the neighborhood. 
now sit! Stay! and visit Mama's friends to see what they liked this week


joining us this week:

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

together tuesday people who make an impact

light up your world
I had a couple of really nice encounters last week and only a few disagreeable encounters.
That makes for a net sum good week.

I listened to this TED talk from a man who did a LONG longitudinal study on the happiness of a group of men over 70 plus years. It's worth hearing

I began thinking about my life and what do I want from it now. Big thoughts. After all I could continue hiding, putting my head in the sand and wringing my hands of a lack of feeling safe in today's world. Just watch an old movie and sew, and believe me, I do that happily most days.

I began to remember who made an impact on my life in a good way. It was not a person rich in gold, or famous to thousands. It was not someone who boasted they were the best because they were humble and had a tremendous impact because of their actions.

I called her Tatee
Myrtle came to work for my mother when I was a baby. My mother saw her as the maid of all work and spoke of her in derogatory ignorant terms much of the time.

I saw her as the shiniest human in my world.
Tatee quietly loved and raised me to be a good human being. She taught me that I was lovable. She taught me about unconditional love while teaching me manners. Every day after school she asked to teach her what I learned that day, standing next to her while she ironed or washed dishes.
She  helped me feel safe in my unsafe family.
certain leaders would dismiss her as unacceptable because she was dark skinned, had little money, and didn't look like a model.

She was beautiful, her smile made me feel important and worthy. Her eyes told me I meant something to her. I wanted to make her happy.
I learned making others feel important is a very good quality to have in life, and that every person has a story that is interesting. I learned that wherever you are in life, do your best.

a sculptor
in my early 20's as I made my way down a career path and searched for romantic love, I met a fellow artist at a gathering.  He had a beaming smile, and was so centered in who he was that he had no need to prove one thing to any other person.
That made him very comfortable to be around.
Again, he was not powerful or rich, or famous, he was who he was unapologetically, talented, and gracious. I still do not know how he did it, but he made every person in the room stand a bit taller, feel like they had a lot to give, and were important.
When he turned to talk to you, he really heard you. For that instant, you were important enough for his total attention.
It didn't matter that it lasted 5 minutes, he left you with an inner glow to sustain the feeling as he moved on to "chat" with others.
I've forgotten his name, but can see his face in my mind and remember how I felt around him.

English teacher
I can count on one hand with fingers left over, the number of good school teachers I had.
One teacher, an English teacher in my senior year, stands out.
She was thin and wiry, expressive and real.
Real in a way that was different from every other teacher I'd known.
She treated us like people, seeing us as people not 30 students whose essays she had to grade.
Our class was special she said, she liked us. She liked us as people and we were as perfectly behaved for her as possible because we liked and respected her. She laughed with us, and encouraged us.
We were reading aloud a Shakespeare play one morning, and she walked around us as we read. She slowed at my desk, lifted my hand, observed the fingernails chewed down to nubs and said gently, "stop that"
I was dealing with an alcoholic and abusive father, an abusive mother, a lack of self esteem at school where I made straight A's, had friends,  but looked a bit chubby(which was decidedly not okay back then) . I slept each night behind a locked door. I lived in books and tv shows and marching band practice. I had no idea what I was doing after high school.

I stopped biting my nails and chewing on my cuticles though.

This woman let a mild curse word fall now and then, she drove a carmen ghia sports car, and had our class come to her home for a BBQ after we graduated.
I love words, and writing, and she showed me how to be unique and strong and myself and I cannot  remember her name but I remember how I felt in her presence.
And long after.

other people have changed the trajectory of my life too, and I might just tell you about them sometime. For now, I want to remember how to make other people fell included and important while I'm here on earth.
I hope it's enough.

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. 
Edith Wharton

Lovely version of  Imagine

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Sunday Stories

THIS WEEK'S WORDS come from "Farm Wife" by R.S. Thomas: clean, sweetly, coaxes, island, apron, humble, corners, daring, seas, body, quiet, embroider


Moira wiped her hands on her apron after cleaning the counter off.  The bread was quietly rising in the warm oven, the soup was simmering on the stove top, and she just cleaned the last of the flour off the old countertop. 


She'd cooked in this kitchen for so long now that she couldn't remember the first time. It must have been with granny, helping her make biscuits. Moira would have been about 3, and wanted to play with the dough like granny did. 


Granny said she learned at that age from her granny, how to make a little dent in flour before pouring in a bit of buttermilk. The secret to  good biscuits was in paying attention to them and how you handled them.  


You had to love them, same as people granny said. You had to coax their best from them too, just like children.

She leaned against the new kitchen island her son had installed in the big open kitchen, and looked around. Her humble farmhouse kitchen now had a new fridge and island but it was the same view out of the same window she had always seen. 


She loved the view, and knew when her great great grandfather immigrated here from Ireland, he had looked out on this corner of the world and seen the future.  He came here hoping to find a better life for his future kids, and their kids. He looked stern in old photos but the stories she heard were of a sweet man who loved deeply and worked hard. He had to endure a long trip across wild seas, wrapping himself in daring visions of the adventure he was on in that life.


The bread was scenting the kitchen with the perfume of abundance, because what is more enticing that the idea of a mouthful of warm bread and butter. One could go to a 5 star restaurant in a big city, but nothing was as comforting as a full tummy of warm bread and butter. It meant comfort and abundance. 


She wiped her hands on the apron again, feeling it's softness of age, looking down at the embroidery along the edge, remembering when she learned how much fun it was to make as a young woman. Her baby asleep in the corner of the kitchen as she kneaded their loaf for dinner.  Stitching that red thread onto an apron had provided a moment in the quiet evenings when things slowed down and she had time to think.

 Her body was old now, and often as not her hands and eyes were tired in the evenings but she remembered other times. 


The soup  was simmering, melding all the flavors from meat and vegetables. She turned on the oven and knew the bread would be perfect with the soup. Her grandchildren would be home soon from school, and walk over to her house across the field. Her granddaughter wanted to learn how to make an apple pie so she would pull up the old stool to the counter for her, the one with the painted rooster on the top. The one her daughter had used.  Things change, but the important things continued to be the connection between people. 


She sent up a silent prayer that her family would remain close and be safe. She prayed for the great great grandfather's soul and for her grandchildren. Then she went to find the stool and pull it up to the new kitchen island.

 Linking to 

all seasons 

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Sewing Saturday working on a V-day quilt

Welcome to this week's round up of sewing adventures.
I wanted to try the quilt as you go hexie idea, and have a big collection of Valentine fabrics...
just a portion
and I make a V-day quilt each year dh and I have been married (26 years this year, time flies when you're having fun) so I just jumped in.
I didn't have the missouri star template so I used my old hexie template, then added 5/8" with another ruler outside each side to cut the backing. I cut batting same size as center piece, layered them folded up each edge to center, then folded that over the center/batting and pinned
I tried various stitches to tack this down, don't like the way any of them look. Even the hand stitched ones don't look cute but the straight stitch and matching thread looks the lease offensive.
I quilted each one differently too.
I think I might do a few more, not sure yet.
the one on the left hasn't been sandwiched and finished yet.
I used black, red and dotted backgrounds to add interest to the back as well as front. I plan to hand stitch them together with ladder stitch for security. Some people zigzag, but it's already pushing my messy meter off the mark and a hand ladder stitch will make them all flat and exact.

when I'm satisfied with the size and content, stitch the hexie quilts together the whole thing is done and dusted! A cute wall or table topper. I'll add some beads, you know how I like bling, and show you when it's finished.

Ha! found you! Are you done yet??? I need grooming!!

Friday, January 24, 2020

paint party friday

welcome to paint party Friday! I'm planning this year's Valentine quilt, and sketched this little family of flamingos.... Maybe it will be the quilt or the challenge quilt for my art quilt group. 

I'm working on a couple of ideas...

Here it is 2020.... I had finished my old sketchbook, filling it to the brim with work so I had to find the one I held in reserve (hoarded luckily for years) 
I am not one who fears the blank page. 
I LOVE a blank page and book. All white, all ready, all mine! I started in by taking a class on youtube with Johanna Basford... a wonderful teacher with a distinct style. I'm loving all my sketches

I fell in love with her, and her lessons on Youtube to go with her many books... 
this is lesson 4 but she starts at lesson one and goes through 10. Lovely voice and technique.
a sample lesson:

I painted a thank you card for my scrap sharing friend Ellen...

the heart is from a card Monika sent me with confetti. I painted it first with KOI paints and a round #8 brush. Then inked with pigma black pen. I originally wanted to put this quote on the front
but it made it too busy and took away from the composition.
the inside is happy too

Look at this cool video showing us how Monet used a flat brush and two techniques


Thursday, January 23, 2020

I Like #177

from inside the train station in Cheyenne WY
Welcome to this week's list of likes.
Let's hope I can figure out dh's computer to write this and show pictures!
I love old homes and architecture.
in Cheyenne
apparently it's been cold for a very long time!
they do boot statues in WY
butterfly bench in children's area of Botanic Gardens
I liked the dragonfly bench at the children's area
hand puppet area
I liked the huge planters for eyes on this wall
this bench is even too small for me!
tree bench
Peacock bench
I liked this quote:
From an English translation of Don Quixote: "All I know is that while I'm asleep, I'm never afraid, and I have no hopes, no struggles, no glories — and bless the man who invented sleep, a cloak over all human thought, food that drives away hunger, water that banishes thirst, fire that heats up cold, chill that moderates passion, and, finally, universal currency with which all things can be bought, weight and balance that brings the shepherd and the king, the fool and the wise, to the same level."

Kansas City library list of fairy tales for adults

this was from a post about their library doing a challenge to read 10 books in different genres.
A little backstory on me:
I spent some time in acupuncture treatments for allergies/sensitivities, and couldn't go home right after so I stopped at the library. I went up and down each aisle pulling a book from each aisle to peruse for a couple hours. It was life changing. I especially liked the big overview books on a topic like castles, or orphan trains, written for kids. I learned a lot in a short time.

I was looking for old movies or tv shows to watch at lunch one day. I started with saying, "old movies" to the remote. Long story and search later, I found the Donna Reed Show on tubi on demand. 
I started series one, episode one and even dh laughs at the show. It was rare that a woman carried the show, it was focused on a woman, it took on topics that are still important, it was funny not silly or slapstick. There were a lot of episodes made to watch too.

I'm looking forward to using these library books!
I know when a bandana goes on, I'm going with my peeps for a rideinnacar. I liked hanging out with them on Saturday. I couldn't go in the art gallery here because the shop dog didn't like other dogs.
hmph. I worried that Mama wouldn't find her way back out to me.
I like to keep my wits about me on walks, and like to keep watch of other people out walking. I made Mama stop while I hid behind this tree to keep an eye on the guy back there. Oh sure, she pulled on the leash and said "come on Milo" which could have given my hiding place away, but I stayed til the guy was well ahead of us.
you're welcome.

now sit! stay! visit mama's peeps also keeping I LIke lists and tell her if you wrote one too! She'll add your name in

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

together tuesdays


I didn't have a lot of interesting meetings this week, sorry to say.
I am in mourning as my computer died. It had been showing signs of old age (as many of us do) but soldiered along. Then one morning, it  wouldn't wake up. It seemed to die peacefully in it's sleep after upgrading it. Oh I tried the usual resuscitation techniques, and it briefly lit up only to finally leave us.

This computer was bright red, and with me for a long time. We shared so much, it brought me to writing in the modern day as the keyboard was great for my hands. I am temporarily using my husband's computer but the configuration is all wrong. I have a very difficult time using the keyboard and need to constantly correct miss hit keys, and it makes my shoulders hurt. The hope is that my husband who saved the contents the day before actually saved the pictures and info I had stored there.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to have one, and to keep moving but I am in serious mourning as the newer laptops all have the keypad like my husbands.
Change is not always good.

1. Gloria and her son.
I met Gloria when we first moved into the neighborhood. Her black lab and Milo love each other, and I liked Gloria from the start. She is very busy however, so we don't see each other enough. She is a breath of fresh air here in this area. For the last two weeks I've been thinking of her a lot, then she called.
I think some people are mentally connected like that.
We got together yesterday at her home, and picked up conversation like we'd just been together instead of it being 6 months. Our lives are so different but we have a grand time sharing them.
I met her 17 year old son, and he was also a bright spot. Instead of being bored and sullen, he was funny and engaging and able to converse with us.
He recently got his driver's license and an older car. I told him I remembered getting my license on my 16th birthday, wanting intensely to be independent of my parents for even an hour, but having to use their car to do it. I felt exhilarated but also frightened to drive that big car alone, like, should I be driving by myself?
He said he feels the same way!
Across the age difference, across gender, across experience, we connected in shared feelings!

2. We finally went exploring a bit last weekend and drove up to the capitol of Wyoming, Cheyenne.

 It was like turning back time, and driving into a Western movie. I am sorry I can't rave about it, because it felt dead like some towns that used to thrive but fell on hard times. The brochure I was reading in the car, said "shopping galore!" and we found a downtown full of closed businesses, with floating trash and cigarette butts.
Apparently the town started in 1867 with the coming of a railroad stop, flashed to life with the cattle business, then 20 years later that fell apart with a blizzard that killed the cattle. All the mansions built with momentary riches fell into disrepair, and the townsfolk tore them down. The lovely historic tour brochure with it's many dots on streets and descriptions, were of places no longer there.

We started our trek at the train station, where there was a rally for women's rights. It was crowded with men and women, in the  nicely restored building. I  thanked the organizers for keeping the dream of equal rights alive. As I looked at a table of pamphlets a young man who might have been developmentally delayed asked loudly, "were you just on stage?
I replied no and smiled.
He snorted with a laugh, and said, well you LOOK like someone who was!A short connection but in that moment I felt something... I don't know what. Maybe I wish I'd been on stage.

The clerk in the gift shop for the station said she grew up in Cheyenne. She looked to be maybe 60-ish, wore very tight jeans, a western shirt, high stilletto heals, and a LOT of make up for 11 AM. She was friendly and talkative about her city when I asked what to see there, "You should come during Western days" she raved!

She said a couple of her many siblings moved away but most of them still lived here like she does, and she LOVES living here. 
after looking around a bit, we wanted to leave and drive the extra hour to Laramie as University towns usually have lots to see, but the road was closed due to snow and high winds.

The art dealer said winter was awful here. His shop was in the old doctor's house and office, for the railroad workers. While I was there it made a lot of noise startling me. He said it was built by drunken railroad workers so...
He had bronze statues out front that cost $120,000 ! I wondered who there would purchase such an expensive statue. Twice the cost of my first house.

We spent the day there, walking around, then went to the botanic gardens for a bit, and to a quilt store and I read up on it's history on the two hour drive home.The town was wild and dangerous when it began and still is one of the most dangerous places to live in the area.

3. the third interaction was with Onyx, Gloria's lab. I took her some rabbit treats as she injured her ACL and is not allowed to run. She is usually a bit wary of people, but she welcomed me and the bag of treats into her home.
 She shares the house with 4 cats, so I gave a treat to one cat who sniffed it. "Sniff..... Sniff.... Sniffsniffsniffsniffsniffsniff...." while Onyx watched. Suddenly mid-sniff, Onyx walked over and ate it. I laughed. Two other cats playfully took turns punching each other. I was kind of amazed that this household with 4 cats, one lab and some fish all lived in harmony.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

sewing saturday... which way do we go?

5 blocks on the design wall
I sewed this week on a couple projects with bright green scraps, for the rainbow scrap challenge.
this means pulling down the stringy mess of that box of leftovers and sorting through to find the lightest and brightest of my scrap greens that are the right size.
I have wanted to try this paper pieced pattern of crazy geese for a long time now, so I went to my old sew precise software, found the blocks and printed them out to finish at 6" square.

It takes a while to sew these, because the angles are all wonky, and when you paper piece then flip the fabric over, sometimes it doesn't cover the area. But I still like doing it a lot.
the back of one block
I finished the susan wiggs book on disc while sewing these.... cute fabrics but very odd and busy with the four blocks next to each other. Not quite what I hoped it would look like.
I'm thinking I should have chosen maybe one or two blocks to repeat. I don't love the skinny ones.
It might look cuter with different colors, so I'll do it another couple months in other colors before abandoning the project.
For now, it was fun.
The other project I made, I  L O V E
I'll show it next week maybe, but it came out so much better than I expected, and it makes me clap my hands when I look at it! That feels nice!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

I like Thursday #176

Welcome to this week's list of likes! I like poodles (don't most people?) so when I saw these on sale at Pier One last weekend, well, one to keep and one to share with my poodle loving friend Diane, who has two white poodles!

I liked being able to take Milo to Pier One too, and he sniffed and looked at every shelf within reach!
All the clerks had to pet him too, so he felt like a very important poodle.
The garden center in a nearby town also had a Christmas sale, so I got this lovely BIG snowflake to hang over the mantel
I like glitter
I also got this winter planter on sale, and plan to corral some stuff on the desk!

Trader Joe's often has the prettiest flowers, and this time they are the most delicate shades of pink roses! Heavenly!
They also had two baked goods I like, that cinnamon bread is moist and yummy toasted with butter.
I love getting mail, and Monika sent me a gorgeous pair of poodle earrings and this beautiful hand painted card, that, ahem, has glitter on it! It's on display next to the Baltimore cow.

Oh what a lovely surprising week it was! My good friend Pat in NY sent cow fabric. She said it called my name, so she had to send it.
Oh my heart! Artsy cows, and cute staring cows! They were still moo-ing my name as they got here! Now how to best use such perfect fabric?
I also loved getting two bags of lovely scraps, including so many half square triangles, of all blues and greens from my Maryland friend Ellen. Out of the "blue"! I felt so rich in friends this week!

I liked TV again this week, the bachelor, two new shows on PBS, a dating show where the two people meet doing a choreographed dance! How fun! This is Us and the Good Doctor are back, yea!
Howard's End is a wonderful period piece, and Sanditon is a Jane Austen work being finished for the show by a current writer. So good!!!

I know tomorrow is all about Painting and drawing, but I loved finding a new drawing class on my alma mater, YoutubeU  lol. I even ordered the book right away, and found a brand new sketchbook to draw in. More tomorrow!
I am so enjoying my current two books. One on disc by Susan Wiggs has characters who are figuring out a family mystery that took them from VA to France. The nightime book is the latest Rhys Bowen spyness book, so delish I can't wait to get to it every night!

this applies to all people, especially artistic souls... wisdom here!

Milo's Moment
I love all these toys equally... the best!
 Mama, I wrote all about my likes on Tuesday, (read about me here) tell all your peeps to go see that. I was highly entertaining as only a poodle can be! Oh, yea, I like all of you guys too!

Now sit! stay! and visit mama's friends who kept a list of likes this week too! And if you write your own list, tell mama and she'll add you in!