Saturday, December 31, 2011

Piecing it all together

As are most of you, I'm trying to figure out just how the heck this last year passed so quickly.  I remember my son saying that to me when he was in his early teens: time just keeps moving faster.  And as my mom would say to me each year, I would reply:  you ain't seen nothin' yet.

So here I sit.  The first part of the year was really rough, with my sister's end of life and subsequent passing.  It is only now, nine months later, that I can even let myself think of her or say her name without bursting into tears.  It's just how life is, fleeting and fragile.  With her passing came a renewed sense of the importance of the everyday things, and family and friends; her final parting gift to those of us she left behind.

Quilting therapy
Balancing the sadness has been the great joy of our grandchildren, much more family time than I've spent in years, more time with old friends, and my new found passion for quilting.  Along the way, my Etsy shop and fiber business has slipped into the closet, but I'm working on a way to work that all out soon; these last two years have been a bit of a sea change and I'm trying to find my new direction without rushing, as I have so often in the past.

Before I left California, I wanted to be sure and make a backing for the scrap quilt I made this fall, so when I return, it's ready to be assembled and quilted.  This is my "memory" quilt, and I've decided it will be fun to make one at the end of each year with scraps from the year's projects, along with scraps from my other quilting friends.  As an old song can transport me magically back to another time, I expect these fabric scraps will have the same effect.  This particular quilt will remind me especially of my quilting friends Liz and Terri, and the many great laughs we had while visiting this year.  That laughter was an important part of my healing process.

Scrapped back
A year ago this past week, I was so down that I thought to end this blog.  I missed you, and came back.  I'm glad I did.  You've been a great support to me this year, through the sad and the happy.  I only wish we could all just hang out for a day and catch up in person.

I wish you all the best for the new year ahead and look forward to sharing 2012 with you.  Cheers!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

Ornaments in San Francisco
It has been a transition again.  We returned to NM about 5 days ago and the days have been spent readjusting to altitude (we're at about 8,000 ft.) and very low humidity.  Naps with the dogs and cats have helped a lot. 

The big storm that raged through NM day before yesterday went everywhere else but here.  We had a beautiful, sunny (albeit cold) day, while the primary E/W interstate 40 was closed from the AZ border to the TX border.  Go figure!  We're fine with it; there's plenty of snow on the ground to feel like the holidays and yet the sun is it should be in the winter here in our little part of NM.

Today some friends are coming for lunch.  It will be a traditional meal (our tradition, anyway): green chile posole, home made tamales with optional red chile sauce, black beans, Spanish rice, and cranberry sauce.  Mr. Sunflower is making apple crisp and Ani is making cherry pie, and I am pretty sure I saw a container of Taos Cow ice cream in the freezer to adorn them both.

So, my friends, I want you to know I'm thinking of you this day.  I wish you and yours all the best this day.  Maybe you be warm and safe and with those you love.


Monday, December 19, 2011

San Francisco

It was a beautiful week in the city.  I did make it to Britex, along with my step daughter Jamie, and we had a good time picking out some fun trims and petting fabric.  Fortunately (or not) this is not a place to look for quilting fabrics, so the impact on the credit card was minimal.

While I spent most of the week in the hotel catching up on sleep, we did do a little walking around the area.  I was just blown away by the beautiful window displays, my favorites being the sewing machines at All Saints and the origami horses at Hermes.

The city is just so alive!  I had forgotten this, living in my two (relatively) quiet cocoons here in Encinitas and then in northern NM.  I think cities may be more fun when you're young and vibrant and the energy in the air is almost palpable, or different, in any event.  It was fun to see young people and their fun hair cuts and fashions.  It brought back so many memories from my twenties and thirties when I spent so much time up there.  We laughed to think we are actually happy these days to have dinner behind us and be back in our room by early evening, about the time we would have been heading out in the old days.  It's all good.  I'm content to enjoy the memories of those days and maybe, just maybe, enjoy these days even more.

And now it's time to wrap up my visit here in Encinitas and prepare to head back to NM on Wednesday.  I hear we're getting another storm there today, so it seems we'll definitely have a white Christmas...yay!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On the road

The historic St. Francis Hotel  in foreground
I woke up in downtown San Francisco this morning. Here's the view from our room.

This trip has been in the works for quite a while, but I've been flat out with my grandkids and sewing and pretty much ignoring this trip until Sunday night, when I had to pack.  An easy flight to Oakland and a BART ride to the city yesterday, and we're here (I met Roger at the airport in Oakland...he had just flown in from NM).

I'd like to tell you about all the great tourist things I did today, but frankly, other than breakfast in the hotel dining room, I slept a large portion of the day.  We're headed out soon to chase down some old memories in places we used to haunt, back in the day.

Tomorrow I'm walking over to Britex to check out their fabrics.  After all these years and countless visits, I have never ever let myself walk in the doors of this legendary institution.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bits and pieces

In spare moments here and there this last month and a half, I've been working on a quilt for my grandson, who turns 6 a few days before Christmas.  For the last year or more he has been enraptured with Johnny Depp's character, Jack Sparrow, of Pirates of the Caribbean fame.  Last summer, Riley Blake came out with a great line of pirate fabrics and I snatched them up. 

I didn't want to cut them up too much and obliterate the graphics, so I chose an easy block pattern.  I was really not liking it much until I got it put on the backing and starting quilting it, and now that it's finished, I like it a lot.  My only concern at this point is whether or not he has outgrown pirates since I started this; I'll find out in another week or so when I give it to him.

I've continued to work on my scrap blocks as I find small blocks of time (no pun intended).  I now have 64 and have put together a top using 48 of them; the remainders will be put into the backing in some fashion.  I hope to have something to show you on this later this week; I'm trying hard to get it finished (up to the machine quilting part) before I return to NM just before Christmas.

While all these other things are going on, I have kept this small stack of Rocky and Bullwinkle fabrics here on the table, trying to decide what I should make with them.  Place mats are one thought; I don't think I have enough to populate an entire quilt without losing them.  Or...maybe losing them a little bit is OK?  Whatever; they are yet another date stamp of my time period and loves.  You're never too old to be a kid, right?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Top Five Regrets of The Dying

Top Five Regrets of The Dying

For some reason, after linking you to this article in the posting I just did, it didn't work when I double checked the link about posting. I am suspicious that perhaps there has been such a large response to this article that perhaps the site has crashed. In any event, I'm using the link from the bottom of the article (which was still on my computer from yesterday, when I first read it) and hoping this works. If not, I apologize. I've saved it in (at least, I think I was able to) PDF format, so if you e-mail me at, I'll send it to you directly.

It's worth the trouble!

In response

Rather than just comment back on each of your comments to my last post, I feel that another posting to discuss your comments might be in order.  First of all, thank you for taking the time to respond.  It was comforting to know I'm not the only one wondering what's OK and what's not to blog about.

Cathy, I love what you said about needing to give yourself permission to say what you really feel.  If you knew me in real life, you'd know that I rarely seem to have a problem blurting out what's on my mind and probably often at the expense of sounding utterly tactless.  For some reason, though, I worry here when I write that I will hurt someone's feelings.  What's that all about????

Kim...I love how you let it all hang out.  A while back you did a posting about someone who cut you off in traffic and I just loved it.  Sometimes it's those things that seem so pointless on the big scheme of things that irritate us the most, and knowing that I'm not the only one who feels like that is comforting.

Courtney and Lesley Ann...yes, it's the honesty of day to day living that is sometimes easiest to report on; our successes, our failures, our disappointments and our delights.  I love them on your own blogs and feel you've all given me permission to be a little more open about my stuff.  I'll try not to take advantage of that.

Ter' crack me up.  Thanks for being who you are, my cyber twin.

Holding hands with Maddy Rose
Grateful Heart...thank you for such a warm and thoughtful response.  I guess, in the end, we all just resonate with certain people and love sharing their worlds.  You are one of the reasons I came back to blogging...your message to me when I thought I was bailing out really meant a lot to me.  Thank you from my own grateful heart.

So now, at the risk of this posting getting ridiculously long, I'd like to share something with you.  It came to me on Facebook this week.  If you have a moment, I'd like to share this list called "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying".  More food for thought going forward.

And now...I'm off to try to gather my marbles into one bag, so to speak.  It has been a gloriously busy couple of months and I've taken the liberty to stake out today and tomorrow as days I will not see anyone, not get in my car and go anywhere, and possibly not even get out of my pajamas.  I need to recharge my batteries!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Stormy sky on a recent morning
While I don't post very often these days, it seems I'm running a continuous dialogue in my head of posts I would make on any given day.  Then I get too busy, or I think you might not really be interested.  Blogging has provided me with a format for sharing thoughts, pieces of my life, and a sense of community beyond my own, but I'm never quite sure why anyone follows along.  This, then,  causes me to think about the blogs I follow, and why.

I have a list of probably 30 or more blogs I try to keep current on.  Within that list I have a hard core group of you that have become friends (as much as we can be, with the miles between us).  There I learn about your days, your projects, your family, your holidays, what you're reading, and much more.  I love those things about your blogs, and that I feel a (corny alert here) closeness with you that has been built over time.   I share your happiness, successes, and sadness.  When I thought I would stop blogging last year, and tried, I realized I missed being part of your circle.

I follow blogs about rug hooking, quilting, dyeing, spinning, knitting and weaving.  With the exception of weaving, which seems to have fallen by the wayside, I am still actively enjoying these other crafts.  I post on some of what I work on and do a lot of things you don't see (like my donation knitting) because I wonder if you would be bored.  I have learned that I dislike (and will not read) blogs that go on for what would be many pages long if printed out.   I am just not a person who can spend that much time reading on line; I get edgy and want to get busy doing something else.

To end this rambling, I wonder:  what DO you really like to hear about?  Why do you follow my blog?  Since my postings don't focus on one particular topic, like quilting or rug hooking, I often wonder who is popping in and what keeps you coming back.  Just nosey.  Indulge me if you feel like it.  If you don't want to leave a comment here, please leave one on my e-mail address attached to this blog if you feel like it.  This is sort of like my own little survey with no prize at the end.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

I love speed

Juki TL-2010Q
When I decided to fulfill my many years long fantasy of becoming a quilter last year, I bought a sweet little Janome Gem 3/4 size sewing machine.  The price was extremely attractive (well under $300) and I know these are the workshop machine of choice for many quilters.  It has beaten its little heart out for me without asking much in return (except a new foot pedal).

Then, earlier this week, I was at the local quilt shop, watching the owner happily sewing a diaper bag, which had many layers of thick fabrics to negotiate.  Her machine just flew right through them like they were butter.  This brought back fond memories of the years I sewed on an industrial machine, which had the ability to crank out thousands of stitches per minute and buzz through multiple layers of thick fabrics without even skipping a stitch.  I found my heart falling seriously in love with Kim's machine and spent one feverish night dreaming about it.

After researching the next morning, low and behold I found the newer version of her machine for a seriously marked down price.  Yay!!! Guess who now lives with me?  Here she is.  I love her madly.  I can free motion quilt at high speeds now.  Oh...and allow me to share with you that the one provision I had to agree to with my DH before buying it was that I promised not to sew through my finger.

I can live with that.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Busy weeks

My works in progress
Things have been flying past on full tilt boogie lately.  I think about posting but it doesn't always happen.  I also admit I'm currently about two weeks behind on reading those blogs I normally check please know that if yours is one of them, I've not forgotten you, and will be back soon.  I have, frankly, just been ignoring my computer for the most part.

One of the things that I've been back to since posting last is sewing.  Last week I spent several nights with my friend Liz at her wonderful home in the mountains (where I was lucky enough to be for their first snow of the season).  While I really love it here on the coast, I found myself heaving a huge sigh of relief as soon as I got out of the crazy city traffic and on back country roads; even better when I hit elevation and saw the forest.  I guess it confirms it...I'm just a mountain woman at heart.

Love the sofas
Anyway...we hung out for three days, sewing from early morning until later in the evenings, punctuated by meals in or out.  It was just a blast.  Liz likes to quilt with the many diverse fabrics being printed for the modern quilt movement, and my tastes are still slowly crawling away from calicos and florals.  Being with her was great for me, to learn from her and expand my horizons a bit.  She generously shared her fabrics with me and I actually came home liking things I would never have dreamed I would.  I've posted some photos of some of these fabrics in action.  The cartoon block will always hold a special memory for me...because after 51 years of sewing, it was while making this block that I got distracted and actually sewed right through the end of one of my fingers.  That's another story I'll spare you...but a lesson hard learned!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Proud mom

The Success
This past week has been spent transitioning...from one house to another (where'd I put that???), to another climate (grey, damp, cool), and a little bit of time difference (OK, so it's only an hour, but any excuse to sleep in).  The best part has been being able to see my daughter in law, who I adore, and the grand kids, who seem to grow hourly.  They fill me with a love that is so special, sometimes I feel I could burst. 

A 132 lb. Grouper
My son is at sea right now, and will be through the end of the year, most likely.  He's the owner operator of a sport fishing boat here in San Diego.  It's darned hard work, one that takes his entire family to support the business.  He is definitely a Pisces; I have long suspected he is truly part fish.  He is a man of the sea and isn't happy for long if he's not connected to it in some way.  One of his great loves is free diving and spear fishing; he does this as often as he can on his days off.  (Please note:  I respect his love for this but not being someone who eats fish, would just as soon they keep swimming out there.)

This morning these photos came my way, via Facebook.    The last few years, he has taken on a second season after San Diego's ends, one that takes him down into Magdalena Bay in Baja California.  Mag Bay is known for being a destination for the whales that head south every winter to calve.  There are some tiny villages there that are literally off the beaten path, with no hotels or restaurants. There he takes charters for both sport fishermen and fly fishermen; they go out for several days at a time. 

My boy, all grown up.
When he headed down to Mag Bay this trip, he took a charter with him: a group of professional surfers and photographers, shooting for an international surfing magazine whose name I don't know.  I guess it was an amazing trip.  Here are some photos I'd like to share of my son and his boat.  It all seems so warm and tropical after having been freezing here for the last week.  I'm thrilled for him to have had some fun along the way. 

Thanks for indulging me.  I couldn't help myself.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Post post script

Sorry I've left some of you hanging on the bear story.  He/she never came back again, which more than surprised us.  Needless to say, we are grateful.  I hope it manages to find enough food to hibernate this winter and grow up to be a strong and healthy bear in another summer...a summer that is more fruitful than the one we've just finished, that is.

I've been busy relocating again these last few days.  I brought two huge suitcases of spinning fiber with me this time; I will post on that soon as I can find my camera.  And to fight the early morning geriatric crowd at the grocery store (that would include me, BTW).


Sunday, October 16, 2011

The morning after report

Well, it seems our little visitor wasn't easily discouraged.  About 10:30 last night, Ani called us from her place and reported he was back, peering in her window.  This morning we've just learned that he/she returned, snuffling on the windows, about every two hours.  At least it didn't try the skylight. answer to your question, Shawn...I don't know what we'll do. Hope it stops on its own, although it's clearly starving.  I don't think it has many options this close to winter.  It's just heart breaking.

I really don't want to call Fish and Game over this and have them "relocate" or worse.  I've heard there have been so many incidences this summer they're just killing them.  I couldn't live with myself after that.  It's a youngster...based on Ani's experience, we guessing about two years old, so I don't know if they even consider relocating youngsters.  Not to mention there is no place better to take it...the whole state is in crisis.

Sad, sad, sad.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Guess who came to dinner

Picture this on your kitchen table!
Because of our severe drought this summer, it's been a horrible year for wildlife having to encroach into urban areas searching for food.  I suspect that the lucky ones (meaning the ones that are tranquilized and relocated, versus killed) don't always have such a great story to tell once they find themselves suddenly plopped down in a new territory, either.  It's a sad scene, all around.  Tales of bears and coyotes killing chickens and pets abound this summer, and no trash can shall go unturned.

This past week, our two dogs have been on hyper alert during the night, barking wildly when they can smell or hear coyotes or bears in the yard.  I'm sure it's as frustrating for them as it is for us.  They want to protect, we want to sleep.  After the first two nights, I stopped catapulting out of bed in hope of seeing a bear out the window.  I'm SO over it.  Until tonight, that is.

After we happily finished watching Part II of the Martin Scorsese documentary on George Harrison, I walked Ani to the door, wishing her a good night's sleep.  Suddenly she started yelling for me...I stepped outside, and from our porch, we could see through the screen door into her room.  There it was, ursus americanus, in living color...climbing around on her kitchen table looking for snacks.

What ensued was probably something that should have been filmed.  Ani and I grabbed pans and utensils to bang on them with.  Roger grabbed an air horn and a monster spotlight.  Together we marched up to her room, unsure of our plan, but knowing we had to do something (it was after 9:00 p.m., and since the sheriff's department is probably off duty on a weekend night or wouldn't respond anyway, what to do??).  As we banged on our kettles, Roger honked the horn and pushed the screen door open with a broom.  After a few moments, we crept up and peeked inside; it turned out it had come and gone through a window that it had accessed by climbing up on the roof of the dye studio.  Our next concern was finding Ani's sweet little cat, Badger Baby...who was hiding in the bathroom sink.  Total loss appears to be a bowl of cat food.  Seems like we caught it early in its exploration.

Meanwhile, back at the horn...Roger was shining the light and blasting the horn around the other side of the building.  It turned out the bear was still hanging out on the roof, so he "guided" it with the light and watched as it took off across the yard and down into one of the big arroyos.  Suddenly I got creeped out...we were all three outside, not knowing who else might be around.  Have I mentioned how dark it is up here at night without a full moon? 

So that's our story, and I'm sticking to it.  Our poor dogs...they missed all the excitement!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

So early!

From the kitchen window
I don't recall ever having snow fall at our elevation so early in the fall.  This is what we woke up to yesterday morning; it is, for the most part, gone here at our place this morning (except for some patches on the ground).  It was a good drill...we learned a thermocouple is out on the water heater that heats our floors, and the firewood has not been brought up to the porch yet.  All fixable, but reminders, nonetheless.
Facing south...the Pecos Wilderness

Facing southwest towards Georgia O'Keefe country

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday, Monday

The sale on Friday was a moderate success, given that there isn't much money floating around for discretionary spending right now.  It was fun to see some of my former customer friends and blog readers (thanks for saying hi in person, that was awesome to know someone has hung with me that long).  Best of all, I got to spend the day hanging out with my buddy Monte (of MyMixMix.Etsy), and Anila (Michelle of Widdershin Woolworks.Etsy) and Monte's daughter Shelley, who is relatively new on the spinning and dyeing scene but is doing some great fiber bundles and handspun yarn that makes me want to lose my cool and starting buying and stashing again (Shelley can be found on HeadleyGrange.Etsy).

So here's the ridiculous thing...I was so tired from the build up all week to the sale, I never even made it the 15 miles down the mountain to attend the Wool Festival.  Boy, I must be getting old.  I also admit to being a little jaded about what I think the festival has become over the years, and, as things often happen, as a result of having been a board member and a vendor there for a lot of years, I think I just got burned out on the political end of it.  So the moral of the story probably is that if you love something a lot, don't look behind the curtain or get too involved or you might end up spoiling your fun.

My photos this morning have nothing at all to do with this posting.  They're from a super lunch my friend Terri treated me to, just before leaving CA last month.  Steamed mussels and clams, sweet potato French fries with Chipolte Ranch dip, and a crab salad.  What isn't shown is the loaf of fresh, hot, sour dough bread we ravaged with lots of butter...all of which is making me swoon right now, because I'm going on week 5 of watching my food again (as in counting points and trying to lose weight) and this is the point where I am starting to lose my resolve.  Ah, for that bread and a plate of pasta...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Starting the new week

I've been far more industrious than usual and can now happily report that I've gotten two sets of book cases emptied, cleaned, purged, and restocked.  If you see a glow in the sky tonight in my direction, it could just be my halo.

The sale is taking my time these next few days.  I've been going through all the books left over from the shop and have been pricing them.  Next will be the needles and notions.  The yarns I want to sell are mostly down at the old shop building, so that will be Thursday's work, sorting and pricing.  This is all priced to sell, well below wholesale; I know there's not a lot of money around right now and I'm more concerned that people who will love this stuff get it sooner than later.

I have a question:  do any of you understand the Amazon book selling system?  I've been selling books (occasionally) over the last few years but have had something happen this time I don't recall happening before.  That is, I price a book, and within a couple of minutes another bookseller underbids me by say, maybe, two cents.  I played with some of my listings yesterday long enough to decide that there's something hinky going on.  My husband suspects maybe these larger sellers have some sort of bots watching to keep underbidding the new listings.  I can find nothing on Amazon that supports this theory, for either the hobby level seller such as moi, or the pros.  It is annoying at best.  I seem to recall something like this happened to eBay sellers long ago (foggy memory based on no particular evidence).  As a result, I've pulled most of my listings for now.  I already don't play well with others, but when I think someone's doing me a dirty, I'll step out of the game for sure.

And now, a gratuitous photo of Bob (in the left corner, weighing in at around 20 lbs.) and Haus (in the right corner, weighing in around 110 lbs.).  My boys; lovers both.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's the economy, stupid

My excuse for not exercising
This 1992 slogan from Bill Clinton's campaign is ringing in my ears these days.  As probably happens to many of you, my stomach churns each evening while watching the national news.  I hear this slogan when I hear stories about my hard working friends who are barely hanging on, and I hear it when I see my friends and family struggling to pay astronomical prices for health care (not to mention the ones who just can't pay for it at all).  I hear it when I hear stories about what's happening to internet sales, and I hear it when I see how many businesses have had to close in our little mountain town the last couple of years (including my own).  I hear it when the homeless people I see now are no longer only disenfranchised mentally ill people and alcoholics who are down and out.  It is, quite frankly, haunting me.  I wonder, sometimes, how things will ever get right, at least in my lifetime.  (Please note: I don't profess to have any big answers, and I try hard to keep my politics off this blog...usually.)

Just a sampling of what's getting purged
So having shared my angst with you, I'll proceed to babble about some other things in progress.  After returning to Taos a week ago, I decided it was time to purge more of my mess; this time starting with knitting books.  When I had the yarn shop, just about every book we ordered came home with me (she said, greedily).  Now that my knitting projects are mostly for donation, and simple patterns, I've decided to clear the shelves.  This week I listed over 20 books on Amazon, sold two promptly, and then this morning, checked my listings page:  all but about 3 of my listings have been plowed under by newer listings, in some cases cutting my asking price in more than half (it's the economy, stupid).  Books that were considered collectible a couple of years ago, and sold for big bucks, are now being dumped for next to nothing (ditto).  I am starting to think that I'd be better off re-shelving the most precious and donating the rest to the library.  My primary concern is that these books end up in the hands of someone who will love them.  What to do???

In the meantime...Monte (, Anila ( and Shelley ( and I have decided to stage a "porch sale" at my former shop location in Arroyo Seco next week.  They'll be selling their gorgeous hand spun yarns and hand painted fibers.  I'll be trying to sell the last of my shop inventory, which includes commercial yarns, needles, books, notions, and lots of free patterns.  If you are in the area or know of someone who might be in town for the Taos Wool Festival, please share this information:

Porch Sale at Taos Sunflower
Friday, September 30 from 9:30-3:00
located in Arroyo Seco behind the Doug West Gallery
(our same old shop location)

Well, back to the shelves.  If you look carefully, you'll see the tiny face of my enemy lying in wait on the floor...alongside my other enemy, the duster.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The face of the enemy

Today is my day to wrap up my stay here in California.  Being the Princess of Procrastination, I always save all the good stuff for the last minute, including house cleaning.

This morning I decided that instead of waiting until mid-afternoon to tackle these tasks (and get all weirded out because I let it wait so long), I'd try something new:  get it done really early while I was still a) partially asleep and b) getting my morning caffeine load on.  It seemed to work.  I had two bathrooms scrubbed from top to bottom, everything dusted, but alas...I fear I have stalled out part way through my least favorite task of all...vacuuming.

Luckily, we have one of those built in systems, so all I have to do is drag a long hose around the house, but I still just hate it.  I've watched those programs on Oprah about people who have OCDs and can't vacuum their homes enough.  Boy, I wish there could be some middle ground here.  Maybe I shouldn't have fired the housekeeper whose only talent seemed to be vacuuming...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Local excitement

Lately the big stories on the local news have included an almost daily sighting of a dorsal fin of a Great White shark recurring in certain areas of San Diego waters, causing a few beach closures this past week.  A couple of days ago, it got a little closer to home (like a few of two of "my" beaches), in the form of this surfing shark.

The photo was caught by a local man who claims he didn't even realize he had captured the image of the shark Wednesday until he was looking at his photos that evening.  Get this:  local lifeguards tried to pass it off as a surfer, merely swimming back out on his board.  Well...I'm no shark expert, but the one they consulted says this was probably a 10-12 foot Great White.  The locals who were out in the water that day and learned about it later thought it was good publicity for the shark..proving that not all of them (indeed, few) are looking for human munchies just for something fun to do.

Score one for the sharks.

Have a good weekend...!

Photo courtesy of KFMB Channel 8 on line

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Another piece of history

Some months ago, my neighbor showed me this quilt that came from her mother in law's home last year.  She has no idea who made it, nor when; another reason it's important for us to put signatures and dates on our work.

I was fascinated by the block design.  I have photographed it today in hope that one of you may recognize it.  My other hope is that perhaps one of you may be skilled at dating based on prints.  The quilt is tied, and was sewn on a machine.  That's about all I can tell.  Any help or suggestions are appreciated!

PS  I've asked Deb Rowden (Thrift Shop Quilts) for help.  If she knows the answers, or if I get them from anyone, I'll let you all know.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another try

OK, I've just spent some time investigating some postings about problems others have been having with Blogger lately.  I am boggled by all the information; it has to do with cookies, third party cookies, blah blah blah.  One thing I could read and understand was this:  I've changed the comments form to the pop up window instead of it just going below my posting.  One site says this should/could solve the problems of being able to leave a comment.  I hope.

Anyone out there with any patience left for this?  If so, please try leaving a comment and see what happens and let me know at if it's still screwy.

I am SO sorry about this.  If it persists, I may move my blog to Wordpress (not my first choice, but in an act of desperation).

Thanks for hanging with me.

Leaving comments on this blog

Lately I've been (just barely) getting word from many of you that leaving comments on this blog is difficult, if not impossible, in some instances.  Needless to say, this is infuriating for me.  I have checked and rechecked my Blogger settings and don't understand why this is happening.  In fact, I recently set Blogger to allow anyone to comment (even anonymous readers) and hopefully, with as little trouble as possible.  It turns out this may have backfired.

This is what I'd like to do to Blogger right now.
As of this morning, I've gone back and tried to re-create what I am trying to recall my settings were before I "opened them up".  Here's where you can help, if you have time:  please leave me a comment on this posting and let me know your experience.  If you are having difficulty, please e-mail me at and if you would be kind enough, explain to me what the issues are that is making it difficult for you, if not impossible, to leave a comment.  I want to try to get this resolved as soon as I can, if at all possible.

I miss hearing from you and appreciate those of you who have already left me word about this problem...thanks for fighting through the tangles to let me know I have this problem!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Staying busy

The days are, as always, just flying.  I'm working on some projects I can't share with you, because they are or will be gifts; some quilting, some embroidery.  I have only spent an hour or so rug hooking since I arrived, and soon I'll be packing up my cutter and shipping it back to NM.

After I left here for NM back in 1993, some changes happened in my neighborhood.  A commuter rail station and a bus transfer station were installed one block over, just up from the coast highway.  At the time, the meetings the residents were invited to got quite contentious, and I must say that few of us were on board for the project.  It turned out, however, to be a wonderful thing, and really didn't disrupt our neighborhood anymore than the increasing automobile traffic has.

Sunday afternoon, I treated my grandson and myself to a train trip to downtown San Diego.  I thought we'd walk around the harbor and visit the ship that was used for some of the filming for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (The Star of India).  However, once we got down there and my grandson discovered his favorite sea food restaurant had a presence down there, the tall ship lost precedence to a kettle of steamed clams and mussels.  He has been eating them since he was a little baby; it always floors the wait staff when he orders them.  I just love it, to see someone so young find so much joy in an unusual meal.

PS:  Don't ask me why I am including the photo of the old lamp post.  I just liked it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


My original logo
I just discovered I now have 50 official followers.  It apparently happened a couple of weeks ago, but I've been pretty distracted (as you know, since I haven't been posting often).  Anyway, I've decided to have a little surprise for number 50:  turquoise moon! 

So...turquoise moon...if you're out there, would you please contact me privately?  I tried to e-mail you from blogger but it wouldn't work.

Happy Sunday to all...I'm off for a day with my grandson!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happiness is...

Watching my five year old grandson leave for his first overnight fishing trip.
Taking a walk to the beach with a sleepy granddaughter.

Appreciating one of the remaining old eucalyptus trees and the beauty of its being.

Having a new grocery store at the bottom of my street where I can find organic products and know that the store stocks as many products as it can that come from local, small owner, businesses.

I am truly blessed.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Studio visit

Yesterday I took the morning to visit my dear friend Monte.  Many of you may remember we worked together all those years in the yarn shop, and have had many adventures together since. 

On the wheel...
Off the wheel!
Time to visit is at a premium these days, between her being so busy with her business and my being gone so much.  Because of this, I knew that while I'd be there, she'd be busy spinning away for her Etsy shop, MyMixMix.  Her yarns are elegant and fun, at the same time.  Many of her skeins are shorter, so they're perfect for embellishing projects, needle felting, and whatever else you can dream up.  They'd also add that perfect little je ne sais quoi to a knitting, crochet, or hooking project.  I have a collection of her yarns I am hoarding for that morning I wake up and have *the* perfect project in mind for them!

If you stop by and visit Monte, please be sure to tell her I was bragging about her and her work!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The countdown

Driving home from town yesterday
Only six more sleeps until I fly back to CA.  The days have been full and happy here, so I'm torn about leaving and knowing it will be fall when I return.  I don't recall if I've mentioned this before or not, but in our little corner of NM, July 4 is considered the middle of summer in many ways.  The aspens in the mountains start turning colors in September, and you can sometimes smell that crispness of fall in the air as early as late August.  I adore fall and think it's my favorite season here in the mountains.

The monsoons are trying hard to give us their blessings.  We've had a wee bit of rain, but not nearly what we should be having at this time of year.  It's just wonderful to see the clouds building over the mountain in the afternoon, hearing a bit of thunder, and smelling the few showers we have had.  It has been enough to cool down our evenings, which is delicious.  This morning it was under discussion to put the down comforter back on the bed...a good thing.

In and around other things the last few days, I've been dyeing up some wool for my next hooking project.  I guess because I've been working with such gaudy colors, the appeal of muted colors was too big to pass up.  It has been slow going, though, doing only a couple of pieces at a time, and maybe only four small pieces in a day.  I have photographed a few to share with you.  I also over dyed some plaids and checks I had hanging around, also fun.  I think I've decided that I should probably wait and not do any more until I actually have my pattern in hand...otherwise I might just get lost in dyeing up lots and lots of colors I may never use.  It's addictive, like making magic, and almost as much fun as dyeing spinning fibers.

And to start packing, so I can spend some time hooking later this afternoon when I'm finished.