Monday, January 31, 2011


This is block number 4 in my Aloha Album, its a Taro plant, or Kalo in Hawaiian. Our Neighbor Jerry Carson had a pretty taro patch at the bottom of his garden border. It was where the water collected when his automatic sprinklers kicked in and caused a little stream to form trickling down the slope of his yard making the perfect spot to grow a taro plant. When he thinned it once he gave me a plant to put in my yard and as far as I know it's still there. I like that I planted a taro plant while in Hawaii, it seems the appropriate thing to do. I also enjoyed poi while there. I liked the creamy texture and the faintly yeasty flavor. I loved mixing a little poi with my Kahlua pig, though I was told by someone that its not done...mixing poi with other foods like that...While I do like to respect tradition when I can, I will not let it stand in the way of good eats, so I am an unrepentant poi tainter and will mix again if ever given the opportunity.

This block was a joy to stitch. It had lots of inside curves and points...things that used to give me fits back in my early days, but now that I know a few tricks of the trade they are actually more fun to stitch than the straight parts. I hope the next block is as fun to sew...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Home at Last

Zach Calls New Mexico home now, and I am glad. He is happy there and Oma's house has always been a home for Zach. When he was little, and maybe still now, he loved to come upon Oma's house after dark when the big picture window was glowing golden and inviting him in. He said it always felt very warm and welcoming to come to Oma's house. So I am glad he has that now, especially when he needs it most. But what I needed most lately was to have him here with me for a while. So his trip here was just what the doctor ordered. I had to snap a picture of him as he was flopped out in his bed making what we always called "Zach's room" really his for the first time since we moved here two summers ago. Finally, with Zach in his old bed under his old quilt did I finally feel home at last.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Where the magic happens

This is it, my frog, my sewing room, secret lair. Its where I spend the vast majority of my time. I love having a spacious room devoted to my "doings" Its big enough to have plenty of work surfaces and room on the floor to spread out. There is even room for our exercise equipment up there! I am totally spoiled now and when we go shopping for our next house such a room will be high on my list of priorities!

I have not spent much time up there recently, too distracted by dogs and life to focus on any of my projects. But I feel the need to stitch coming on, so as soon as I get a minimum amount of housework done today I am heading up there for some occupational therapy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another Go

I figured while I was still riding the crest of my blue ribbon wave I should enter another quilt show. The thing is, I never thought I would win a blue ribbon at a State fair, at any quilt show really. It all goes back to my first quilt show I attended. It was a national quilt show that happened to be held that year in Omaha where I lived. The quilts there were tremendous, the best efforts of the best quilters not in the county, or the state, but the whole country! That set the bar pretty high. I thought then if that is what it takes to be an award winning quilter, then I will have to be content with making quilts for their own sake. That notion was compounded by visiting the local art museum at the same time as the quilt show where they had on exhibit the top 100 quilts of the century. You can only imagine the quality and craftsmanship that was on display! Seeing that level of skill was daunting, but also liberating. That was when I adopted the quilting motto " My quilt, my rules" and went about the the next 10 years quilting the way I wanted to, in my lap without a hoop or a frame. If I never planned to enter my quilts in a show, and my sole purpose in quilting was for the joy of it, then why force myself to learn techniques and styles that were not comfortable or natural for me? What I did not realize was happening as I went about making quilts my way was that I was actually becoming good! So winning a blue Ribbon this year was not so much accomplishing a long sought goal, as it was realizing a long abandoned and never fully owned dream. It spoke to the possibility of what I am actually capable of and so with that in mind a few weeks ago I submitted a CD with pictures of my miniature crazy quilt to the National Quilt Society's BIG show in Paducah, KY. Just say the word Paducah to quilters and they will know you mean THE QUILT SHOW in Paducah. I thought it was a little bold, a little ambitious, but why not? Its a juried show, so even being accepted will go down in my book as a win, heck...the fact that I produced something I thought was worth the attempt is a win! I think its ironic how the superlative quilts that I saw all those years ago that made me think I was not up to the task of award winning quilting actually freed me to grow into producing that very thing.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Don't do it!

" Don't do it! they are nasty little things that bite!" That's what my friend Sherry said to me in an e-mail when I mentioned to her that I was thinking of getting a hamster. I have to admit, her warning did give me pause for thought, but it was a little too little and a little too late. I had by that time pretty much decided to do it. I am glad I did. Mr. Humphries is a delightful little thing, and I can say she has never bitten anyone. Hamsters have bad eyesight and so will feel things with their mouths, and she has done that a time or too, and I can see why people might mistake it for a bite, but its not really. She never clamped down and was as surprised to find my finger in her mouth as I and we both withdrew harm, no foul. I have learned to wash my hands before I handle her so she will not mistake them for any sort of food. I imagine a peanut in its shell looks to her blurry hamster eyes not unlike a finger and vice versa, so why confuse the issue with the smell of food on my hands? One of us after all is working with a hamster brain, and so I should always do my best to insure its not me. I read up on hamster husbandry before I got Mr. Humphries and one author mentioned that the one down side to Hamsters is their short life span. That they are gone all too soon leaving a hamster sized hole in your heart. I thought that was a bit much when I read it and thought to myself that their life span seemed just about right to me, after three years or so, I would be tired of cleaning the cage and would be ready to move on. Now that I have had the pleasure of Mr. Humphries company for the past 9 months, I am starting to think there will be a hamster sized hole after all.