Thursday, December 31, 2009

A brighter day

We went to town today to stock up so we can stay home until sometime next week. The intermittent snows of yesterday gave a fresh look to the local mountains, and those blue, blue skies we love so much were back. This photo was taken at about 45 mph, out the car window, with my iPhone. I hadn't planned on a tree and fence ending up in it, but as often happens with surprises, it's far better than what I was hoping for.

Monte told me today that there's a story that says whatever you do the most of on New Year's day will lay the groundwork for the year ahead. I've decided to spin and about you???

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking ahead

It's been a bit since I've felt inspired to blog, I admit. I guess it's that year end reflection stuff...thinking about what was and what may be ahead. This week's news about the Panty Bomber and our never ending tales of government screw ups wasn't any help, I admit. I guess that's just what happens when something gets too big and there are too many people in the loop. Sometimes I think it's a wonder any of it works at all.

I've been spinning some fun stuff this last week...batts, mostly, and turning them into what I hope will be lace weight yarn when all is said and done. I guess spinning tiny yarn is a component of being in this mood, something small that requires focus and gives one a small feeling of control of something.

I took these photos on the morning of Solstice when that first light entered the house.

I wish you all a safe and happy 2010. Thanks for being there.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

A sweet Christmas present

I was talking with my friend Liz a few days ago, and she told me she had found a package on her porch a few days earlier. It appeared to be a gift basket, and she was fearful it was one of those holiday baskets that was full of things like salami (she's a vegetarian). Upon opening it, she found a basket full of memories of her beloved step mother, Rachel, who passed on earlier this year. Rachel's daughter had thoughtfully assembled the following items:

  • 3 rolls of pennies and an old newspaper clipping Rachel kept about "always stop for a penny."
  • 3 skeins of her acrylic yarn and blue knitting (metal) needles
  • crochet hook
  • directions for both knitted and crocheted slippers
  • 3 iris bulbs from her garden
  • Aunt Mary's Sherry wine cake recipe--including a box of yellow cake mix and pkg of vanilla instant pudding
  • 4 of her pretty handkerchiefs
  • 3 of her tea cups
  • her small book of Christmas Carols that the insurance companies used to give out for advertising--this one from Salesian Missions
  • 2 decks of "coca cola" playing cards (she loved to play bridge)
  • thank you notes
I was so taken by this story I asked Liz for permission to share it...I love the idea of such a heartfelt present. Thanks, Liz.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Just this past week, I was honored with an invitation to submit photos taken on Solstice for an on-line photo show that has been created by and for photographers as a way to celebrate the day.

So this morning, I bounded out of bed, well before daylight, to make sure I could caffeinate enough to rise to the occasion when the sun came over Taos Mountain. I actually got out there a
wee bit too early, so I spent some time
crawling around on my stomach (yes, in the snow...what I won't do to try to get a good shot) taking photos of things from that perspective. One such shot is this photo of the little plants that seem to have come to our mountain the same time the aspens were brought in and planted. They never seem to flower, but are out in abundance near the aspens all summer.

Just these last weeks, we had some more solar panels added to our system. Our other panels are now 10 years old, and while they still function fairly well, we decided to take advantage of some spare south facing roof space and add some more. With this installation came a new inverter system, and a now we are helping to provide electricity to someone else in our community when we're not using all we gather each day. It's pretty cool...and it beats the heck out of the years I spent with one 12v light bulb and a back up generator that had to be rewound by hand (yes, it's true...sticking my fingers in there on zero degree nights to rewind that cord left a lasting impression on the electricians who planned the system for this house would tell you).

And now, off to use some of that electricity to watch some TV before hitting the sack. Good Solstice to you.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Back to real life

My friend had to leave yesterday. We had six glorious days of enjoying each other's company. She has lived in India for the last number of years, so she was in dire need of lots of green chile, Dr. Pepper, and good old Ben & Jerry's ice cream. We made sure to cover all those bases each day.

We sat at our spinning wheels each afternoon and watched lots of movies. These are the yarns that we made.

We often talked about our country versus her adopted homeland. I enjoyed hearing about other countries and cultures she has been exposed to. I decided for all the concerns and complaints, it's pretty clear we're still in a good place.

What a wonderful holiday present.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Road trip

I'm in Albuquerque a little more than an hour, one of my dearest friends is arriving at the airport for a one week visit. We haven't seen each other in several years and I am so excited I can barely stand it.

Driving isn't something I enjoy very much, especially in winter. Today was one of those gorgeous days when the roads were clear and you could study the colors in the sky and the snow caps on the mountains. One thing about road time is that it's good thinking time for me...I'm a captive audience and I can't bounce around distracting myself. One of the things I was laughing about today was how I thought moving to NM was going to be "country life" and driving would be slow (my favorite) and carefree. Little did I know what awaited me! Country roads: the yellow line appears to be used for centering your vehicle. Interstate: speed limit is 75 mph, which, if you drive it, puts you in the slow lane as a pokey. Another New Mexico favorite: driving along at the speed limit of 65 mph and suddenly, about 20 yards before a dip in the road, there's a 45 mph sign to keep you from bottoming out. SURE.

I don't know much about Albuquerque except the great international food market and the airport. I visited their visitor site and found these photos to of the tram up to the top of the Sandia Mountains that hover directly over town, and another of the church on their historic plaza. Guess I should be a tourist sometime and come down and poke around.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mariah, was that you?????

The storm that is now history for us could well be dumping on you as you read this. We managed to collect around 4" of snow yesterday and another 8"+ overnight. The real kicker with this storm is the wind. We heard on the news that down around Carlsbad, there was actually a warning for winds that could possibly hit 100 mph. Turns out those same winds blazed through here early this morning and were clocked around Taos at 65-70 mph. Our house is built like a bomb shelter, so I didn't hear it, but other friends had plenty to say about it. Wowzer.

It made me think of this beautiful song:

Away out here they have a name for rain and wind and fire.
The rain is Tess, the fire's Joe and they call the wind Mariah.

Mariah blows the stars around and sets the clouds a-flyin'.
Mariah makes the mountains sound like folks was out there dyin'.

Mariah. (Mariah).
Mariah. (Mariah).
They call the wind Mariah.

Before I knew Mariah's name and heard her wail and whinin',
I had a gal and she had me and the sun was always shinin'.

But then one day I left my gal.
I left her far behind me
and now I'm lost, so gol' darn lost
not even God can find me.

Mariah. (Mariah).
Mariah. (Mariah).
They call the wind Mariah.

Out here they have a name for rain and wind and fire only.
When you're lost and all alone, there ain't no name for lonely.
And I'm a lost and lonely man without a star to guide me.
Mariah blow my love to me. I need my gal beside me.

Mariah. (Mariah.)
They call the wind Mariah.
Mariah. (Mariah.)
They call the wind Mariah.

Be safe, wherever you are.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A day of rest

After spending yesterday photographing and editing photos for new Etsy listings, I'm going to spend today hooking on one of Deanne Fitzpatrick's designs. I've not worked on it in months and it will be good to get back to's almost finished.

Not to beat the topic of cooking to death, but this week I hauled out a cookbook I found in CA earlier this summer. It has recipes for slow cookers that don't involve lots of bottles of ketchup, BBQ sauce, and cream of mushroom soup (not that I don't like these things, I just tired of those recipes years ago). My first meal from this new book was the Jalapeno Corn Chowder. It's a vegetarian soup, but I added chunks of grilled chicken and used masa to thicken instead of regular corn meal. my late friend, Bernice, would have said: it was so good, it'd make you want to jump up and slap your grandma. (Origin of that saying unknown, if you know, please enlighten me.)

For someone who loves to eat as much as I do, I'm not wild about spending much time cooking, so this could be a real find. I love the idea of putting it all in a pot and having it ready to eat at the end of the day, with some freshly baked corn muffins. (NOTE: photo of soup taken before the cup of heavy cream went into it...bliss.)

And to wait for the storm that is supposed to be headed our way.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Seco Weather Report

7:30 a.m.: -10F

Shiver me timbers...

Seco Weather Report

7:30 a.m.: -10F

Shiver me timbers...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


This blog started way back when I barely knew what a blog was. It was created as a way for all of us who worked in my former retail shop to keep in touch with our friends and customers, both near and far. Over time, the other writers dropped off, and it became mine alone. I no longer see it as a marketing tool for my business, but rather a way to keep in touch with friends and afford me a place to capture some of those things that I seem to write constantly in my head.

As it has become more personal than business, I've still kept my family postings few...because I have a level of privacy I like to keep. Having said that, today I'm doing a "Proud Mama" posting about my son and his wife, who together run a sport fishing business in San Diego while raising a lively 4 year old son. If you or anyone you know is interested in fishing, please visit their website at

I'll stop the marketing here and share with you my excitement: two weeks ago, while running a charter in Magdalena Bay in Baja California, they had one of those days that fishermen dream of. The waters were teeming with fish, and everyone on board had a record day. One of the customers caught a 362 lb. (if I recall correctly) yellow fin tuna, a record for the boat. Erika, my daughter in law, caught a 276 lb. yellow fin, after reeling it in for almost two hours all by herself.

Here's where the proud mom stuff comes in. When they returned to the village of Lopez Mateo (a village so small that it has no hotels, motels, or restaurants, to my understanding) my son gave all the fish that wasn't going home with clients to the entire village. Those who couldn't get to the dock had a home delivery by one of his crew. This is the man I admire so much...who chose a hard life and lives his dreams, sharing with others happily, and has been lucky enough to find a strong partner to help him live his dream.

I love you, Cary and Erika. I'm one lucky mom.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The season to give

I love reading other blogs at this time of the year and finding yet more inspiration for charity knitting and donating to those who are less fortunate than I. This summer, when I wasn't feeling well and I wanted to knit but barely could, I managed to (ta da!) get my scarves knitted for the annual scarf donation project for the St. Elizabeth's Shelter in Santa Fe (a project lovingly started and continued by one wonderful Sarah Bienvenu).

On Thanksgiving day, one of my friend's daughters mentioned she donates time twice a week to a really well run shelter in Albuquerque. Yay! I've long been suspicious of where donations really go in our little town (cynic that I am), so here was a chance to get things straight to the folks who need it.

So today I spent a large portion of my day spelunking through drawers and my my dear friend Tracy would say...facing the seedy underbelly of my life. It was worth it...I managed about 5 trash bags of shirts, sweaters, socks, scarves, mittens...and four fists full of hangers with coats and more shirts.

My stepdaughter wrote me this morning, asking what I'd like for Christmas. Think I'll write her back tonight and tell her I did it today.

(Photo courtesy of reminded me of how all my stuff feels on some days.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A bit of heaven

I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one. We had a quiet, cozy dinner at our friend's home, enjoying a delicious dinner and the company of good friends. It doesn't get much better than that.'re talking about desert...yummmmmm...I took a pie, made from the cookbook I purchased at the Turquoise Room at the La Posada Hotel in Winslow, AZ, last time we were there. The Turquoise Room is one of the most amazing restaurants I've ever been to. Featuring a diverse menu at affordable prices, the recipes are out of this world. When we had desert there this fall, I swooned so hard over the pie that after finding out it was in their cookbook, I brought a copy home.

Here it is, or what's left of it. It has a cornmeal crust and its filling is pecans with pinion nuts. They suggest you serve it with Vanilla Bean Gelato, but we toughed it out using Vanilla Taos Cow ice cream (slurp).

If you're looking for a cookbook to give to that special someone this season (yourself, I would suggest), you can order directly from the Turquoise Room. If you're a fan of southwestern cuisine with a really original flair, you won't be disappointed.

PS The rest of this baby goes bye-bye tonight, had to catch it when I could.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The good. The bad. The fattening.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Play day

I have long believed that Sunday should be a day of rest and renewal. I remember when I first started visiting New Mexico years ago, in smaller towns like Taos you wouldn't find much open on Sundays, and many businesses closed early on Saturday afternoons.
Adhering to this belief, I have chosen to ignore the laundry, dishes, vacuuming and other things today and am playing on my spinning wheel. It's my first day with my new (blended) bifocals, so I'm trying to stay put and not feel like I'm in the fun house when walking around. Yesterday I managed to make these batts while down at the shop, so I'm working on one of them today. (Locks are courtesy of

Hope you're resting and enjoying yourself today...the housework will still be there later this week, just ignore it if at all possible.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Slow day

Ever have one of those days when you can't quite get it off the ground? Today was one of those. First, I slept until almost 10:00 (I can sleep 11-12 hours if left to my own devices, shameful, isn't it). Then I did some laundry and decided it was time to get my Etsy shop reopened. I've been circling around it for weeks, being the Princess of Procrastination that I am.

This afternoon I managed to edit some photos of hand spun yarns and get a few new items listed. I plan to do more this coming week. I am going to slowly start bringing home items remaining in the shop that I no longer have use for. Next week I'll be photographing and listing New Zealand Corriedale rovings (dyed) in 4 oz. bundles at a super price. These are from Ashford and are great for adding to your own batts for spinning and even better for felting. If you know of anyone who does a lot of felting, please pass the word along.

And now, a couple of the photos I edited today. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Organized or messy?

When I convinced Mr. Sunflower to let me close the shop, one of his worries was that I'd use that space as some sort of fiber-hell storage facility and he'd never be able to walk in there again. Well, I showed him. I set up this table and the shelves behind it, organizing all my fibers for carding batts. I painstakingly separated each fiber by category and labeled the shelves and all the little baskets and bins on the table. It was picture perfect until I started carding which time the table top looked like some sort of medium sized rodent had piffled through everything in some attempt at making the most colorful nest in Arroyo Seco. It is a constant struggle for me to find a balance between being "organized" (I use that word tenderly) or messy, because of being so spontaneous in my work.

I spent several hours this morning straightening the fibers on this table top and carding two batts. Each little bit of fiber is laid in by hand onto the carder drum, so it took almost two hours to card two 2.0 ounce batts. Definitely a labor of love! Boy, did I have fun spinning one of them this afternoon. I've been spinning so much roving that to spin a batt instead was a real treat.

So how do you work best? Do you do as I do, and go along until the mess gets so horrid you can't stand it anymore, or do you keep it organized as you go? I'm very curious how other people manage this. Please share if you have time. I'm a firm believer we can all learn from each other!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Thursday field trip

It's sort of a sad thing to report, but after moving to NM in 1993, I seem to spend more time close to home than out investigating all the beauty that surrounds us. I knew far more about Santa Fe when I lived in San Diego, and rarely go there now except to drive through on the way to the airport. Shame, shame.

Thursday was different, I'm happy to report. I volunteered to travel out to Georgia O'Keefe country to pick up some weavings for my friend Debra, who lives in Arkansas but belongs to a local weaving cooperative. It was a blast from the past. Once or twice I had my own pieces hanging in that same museum, many, many years ago, and I had forgotten what an excellent venue it is. There are no colors or weavings that don't look absolutely spectacular against those old, adobe walls.

I took lots of photos to share with you. It was a rather dreary day, but you'll get the idea, if you have never been before...or a tickle to your memory if you have. Old Georgia was one smart cookie...she knew a great place when she found one. We were trying to imagine what it must have been like (how isolated) in the days when she lived there (it was her summer home), without all the tourists and fancy roads. Today, the Ghost Ranch is a retreat center and I imagine their website must have listings of classes if you are interested.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A consuming pursuit

Recently an ad popped up on my computer for I took them up on their offer of an introductory period to snoop around and see if I could turn up any info on my father's family (my mother was adopted, so that's a dead end, at least for now).

I started out with my dad's information and within moments I had found a few other family trees that had him listed. I found one tree that had my grandparents and great grandparents by names with birth and death dates, something it would have taken me an age to figure out on my own. Today I found this page from the 1860 census, listing my great grandfather, his wife, two children, and someone else who could have been related to his wife, but I'm not sure I'll ever know. It's all very cool...his name was Edward Baron, born in France, and his wife was Concepcion, born in Mexico. Pretty cool stuff for this writer who grew up in East L.A., loving Mexican food and the French language. Little did I know.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Treasure hunting

Sometime earlier this year, I read someone's posting about finding great deals on rug hooking supplies on the Goodwill website. I had no idea they had a website, so I had to investigate.
Bad move.

Within 48 hours I was bidding madly and purchased an old Singer sewing machine, and for weeks afterward I found myself stalking (I mean, watching) lots of other sewing machine auctions. In between sewing machines, I found a sale for some hand sewn quilting blocks. I purchased them for more money than I probably should have, and after two attempts and double postage cost, they finally arrived.

I washed them and this week, finally finished ironing them. They are all sorts of little odd shapes. I wonder whose work it is. Was it a child, perhaps, or someone's grandmother, sitting in her chair, waiting out the remainder of her years? I love them. I am not sure, at this time, what I will do with them, but hope to honor the maker by seeing them to the finish line.

Have I mentioned how I worry my things will end up in a thrift store one day? Sigh.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Excuse me, is your pig missing?

This morning on KTAO, our local radio station, there was a change in programming so that the morning host could take phone calls to weigh in on the fact that the radio station's beautiful outdoor concert venue has apparently been shut down pending a ruling on a noise complaint by neighbors.

It was all very serious. I listened to it while I was dressing, and then again in the car on the way to town. The calls and opinions were flying fast and furious. Taos is nothing if not a hot bed of opinions.

Suddenly the host takes the next call, which goes something like this:

"Hello, I live out near Three Peaks, and I just saw someone's pig running loose. It's HUGE. Like the size of a BEAR. REALLY. I saw it over near Harmony Drive. It's HUGE. Someone must be missing it by now. It's like a BEAR!"

Somehow, I was able to manage to not have to pull over to the side of the road while I laughed my head off over this welcomed break in all the seriousness.

I've had to stop on the road for cattle and the occasional horse. I have had elk fly across in front of me on the open roads north of here. I remember the year (mid-90s) when some poor moose managed to range too far south and was seen a few miles from our home. One just never knows what one might see in Taos. Truly.

I just love being here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The simple life

Just when I think I'm really getting my life geared down into a more contemplative and quiet place, something like this morning happens.

I sat down to follow Chuck's (our electronics super hero) e-mail instructions on downloading a driver so that my laptop could talk to my new printer without having a USB cable. Turns out the original set up with the printer couldn't talk (wirelessly) to a Mac. To make this tale shorter, the net result was two phone calls and lots of sighs before the

problem was resolved.

I have to always remind myself that my computer is here to make my life easier. Some days I seriously think that all that "man" has done to make our lives easier has just made things worse.

Last Saturday, we had a delicious lunch at my friend Konny's house. She is my shining example of living simply. She has this delightful little cabin in the forest and has bear and elk for neighbors. She has worked hard to keep her life simple. She has only those things she needs for her daily use, no frills. When I visit someone like that, I come home and look at the relative chaos of my many belongings and decide that for now, I just have to live her way in my imagination. It's clear I'm just a collector and feel comforted surrounded by my stuff.

And relative to nothing, while everything was busy upstairs this morning, I found this pastoral scene when I went downstairs. It's hard to see because of the light, but the scene was Meika, our elderly female Rottweiler, sleeping on her blanket while Larry the cat was sleeping on the blanket next to her. I found this rather amusing because when she's awake, she hates Larry more than she hates the hairbrush (we have an understood truce in our home, but she still likes to growl at him to remind him how much she'd like to make sashimi out of him).

Ah, the simple life. Maybe I'll go take a nap now, too.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Good day, sunshine

It's been sort of dreary and grey the last couple of days, so it feels totally joyful to have it be sunny and bright today.

We didn't get as much snow as we had thought we might get, but the ski valley got 12", so that's a good start for them. The temperatures have dropped was 9F this morning around 7:00 a.m.

When it snows, one of the tasks for Mr. Sunflower is to keep the solar panels cleared, so they can operate at maximum capacity. We (the dogs and I) accompanied him this morning as he did this. Along the way I found these little sunflowers wearing snow hats and thought they were pretty cute.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It takes a village

Today is the annual radiothon for Tao's Citizens Against Violence, an outreach organization/shelter that is fervently working to reduce domestic violence in our community. I've heard that domestic violence is up because of the down turn in our economy. I have no problem understanding how that could happen.

Statistics are grim (1 of 3 women will be raped in her lifetime), but if everyone remembers to support these groups, in whatever way you can, perhaps one day we won't have to have these big fund raisers. Remember that some of the worst sufferers of domestic violence are children and pets.

I didn't grow up in a home with physical violence, but there was another, more insidious thing happening: mental abuse. Abuse seems an extreme word to use, but it's the only one I have at hand right now. I saw my mom's end of life be miserable because of it, and I know how it has affected me. I can say my dad did the best he could or knew how to do, but the results linger long after his death. For those of you with children in your lives, I urge you to remember that sometimes what seems like a joke to you can hurt more than a smack, and a little bit of criticism can go an awfully long way (if it's even necessary).

On a lighter note: I've been herding dust bunnies and taking care of Mt. Washmore this week, so my creative time has been in bits and pieces. I've started some more log cabin squares (in front of TV at night) and have been working in my sketch book. Don't recall if I mentioned this before, but this summer I was inspired by my friend Liz to finally get the pencil, the book, and the eraser out and just go for it. Today I'm sharing a drawing I did while eating dinner one night last month. The painting on the wall is actually a copy of a real oil painting I did in class some years ago. I love that I have the freedom to make my world be any colors I choose. May you, as well.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Busy Monday

Today was town day...getting/sending mail, stocking up at the grocery store, other errands. First thing I saw when I went out the door this morning was my lavender bed, looking rather wintry and festive.

Today was my deadline for mailing the afghan made of the log cabin blocks. The blocks ended up being approximately 15" square, so I only needed 12 to make a nice blanket. By Saturday morning I could tell it was going to be a push to get 9 done, assemble them and finish the that's what I did. It turns out it's still large enough for the current campaign for items for the older children (ages 7-14) in Afghanistan, and the smaller blanket, which is one larger log cabin square, will go next month for their campaign for baby blankets. It felt really good to get these in the mail and I've decided I should just keep cranking stuff out so I have it ready to ship when needed. I thought these would eat up a bunch of my stash, but it barely grazed the surface. Gee, wonder how that happened.

Took the pic of the mountains as we drove home from town. I love when the winds are blowing the snow off the peaks.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cloud report

Taken at 6:00 p.m. The colors in the sky did not come through in these photos. It was quite spectacular.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What a trip

We left San Diego early Thursday morning and drove out through the Imperial Valley. If you're not familiar, it's an enormous agricultural scene down there in what would otherwise be a desert wasteland (courtesy of water diverted from the Colorado River). We saw miles and miles of hay, stacked so neatly and high that from a distance, it looked like buildings out in the fields. Part of the drive we were only a stone's throw from Mexico, and saw the border fence that has been built in some places. We also saw pastures of sheep, sand dunes, and a stand of wind mills.

From there we cut through Phoenix and up through Payson on our way back to Winslow. Payson is where the author Zane Grey lived in his log cabin. (The cabin burned down some years back, so I don't know what is there now.) As we climbed out of Phoenix, we started seeing the saguaro cactus, indigenous to the Sonoran desert. Many of us envision the saguaro when we think of a desert scene.

We arrived in Taos late yesterday afternoon and discovered some snow on our local mountains. Traditionally we assume we'll get our first snow on Halloween (down at our elevation, that is) this week is time to get the rest of the firewood up to the house and be ready.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Time to go home

Tomorrow we head back to NM...a drive of almost 1,000 miles. I love to joke about how I had to move 1,000 east to live in The West. Curious.

My friend Liz and I were walking in the last day or so and found these flowers draped over a fence. I'm not quite sure what they are, but they caught my fancy. Note the camera shake. Sorry.

It has been a good trip, but now it's time to go home and jump start my other life again (the one that doesn't include Starbucks every morning and frozen yogurts every afternoon).

Thought I'd share a photo of this little Taos Fixer Upper, just for grins (check out the sign).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Trip project

For this trip, I packed every little bit of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted that I could find in the house. It's fun on road trips, because I can take lots to work with, and my palette is extended.

I'm planning to make 20 of these blocks for a 4 x 5 block blanket for children ages 7-14 in Afghanistan, the current campaign of Afghans for Afghans. Deadline is the end of October. It takes about 3-4 hours for me (including daydreaming time) to make each block. I'll crochet them together and crochet an edging. Putting them together is the most fun for me.

Yesterday I thought I'd go poking around the internet to see what projects are active for donations these days. I found one that particularly interests me, making blankets to comfort wounded and disabled soldiers. This project is called Blankets of Hope. I also found a long list of groups looking for donations on the Interweave Press site.

These are the blocks I've made so far. I have a hard time not being controlling over the colors and find it's best for me to pick blindly from a basket and not think it over too much.