Sunday, November 22, 2015

Another old girl with a lot on her mind.

Something I didn't post when written: This is my treadle that I love so much.  I love, love,love her sound.  It took me awhile to get in the groove but I did.  It's not as simple as stepping on a foot peddle and the stitches follow.  No. You have to time the stepping of the treadle with the turning of the wheel so as not to have the machine go backward and break the thread  I still need more practice.  But i love it.  Today - like many people - I'm sitting with the attacks in Paris.  Trying to wrap my mind around it but I just can't.  I know there are people who don't like the French, who say they treat American tourists poorly but really? how do we treat tourists? Or international students? Or anyone who looks different than we do?  My brain can't handle this all.  On Facebook there is a quilting group that is having major drama.  really?  quilting? When there are moms and dads, spouses, sisters, brothers across the ocean who have lost an innocent family member for what?  For what?  I know that we are told to look at the big picture.  But how is that working for us?  When we stop looking at the world at a family level, it is easier to point out the good guys and the bad guys. It makes it easier to hurt when the other people are unknown to us.  I am tired. So tired.  I'm afraid of this world.  Looking at the big picture makes it easier to hate.  And I don't want to hate.  All I know is that fellow humans have been hurt and are hurting because of the hate of other humans.  I'm afraid of the hate from unknown people, I am afraid of the hate of people I know.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pretty good for an old girl.

It no secret- I love old stuff.  And not just because I'm old. I think we've lost a lot in the so-called improvements throughout the year.  Granted, many improvements are good - cars are safer, paints are safer, plastics are safer. . . But some things would have been best left alone.  I mean, look at those stitches! Perfect! And that is all she does. Sews. She just sews. And that is all I need for her to do. This old girl has been around for over 100 years and I'd be willing to bet that she'll still be going  strong in another century. 

I think the newness of things is just frustrating because as I've aged, I've noticed how disposable things seem to have become.  Including people.  Sometimes I feel like one of the old Singers - quite old, the surface is not as bright and shiny which seems to put some people off but despite outward appearances, I can be a workhorse.  And lots and lots of experience in its (my) history.  It seems as if when we get older, assumptions are made - that we are not smart enough or strong enough.  But like the old sewing machines, sometimes we are best at what we are meant to do.  
    My old Singer makes a perfect straight stitch and it gets the job done.  I don't really need anything more than that to make a beautiful quilt.  Similarly, I need to accept myself and not measure myself against the newer models.  And that just may be a piece of advise worth sharing.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The final colors of fall.

The last of the colors - I hope not but if so, these last few days have ushered winter in the best way possible!  In fact, on my walk today it was hard to believe that it was November. While not as vibrant as at the end of Spring or early summer, the arboretum was brilliant: even in death the foliage is breathtaking. The colors are quilt inspiring! The leaves of the oak trees were especially beautiful - a mosaic of green, orange, yellow and reds - all in a single leaf! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sin City.

Three full days in Las Vegas was about 2 1/2 days too much.  Don't get me wrong - I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to be able to attend a conference in Caesar's Palace, all expenses paid.  I learned a lot and had a good time presenting at the conference.  But still, I think I would have enjoyed it more at a less hyper location.  The resort was beautiful, the food selection was wonderful, the rooms were comfortable but it is mindboggling to leave a place at which people are gambling tens of thousands of dollars and then, just a few steps away, see people without homes who are asking for spare change, etc.  I'm not naive enough to believe that all the people sitting on the sidewalks were using money they were given toward food and shelter, and I am a sucker - there was a man who had a puppy (a pretty healthy looking puppy) and that was it for me.  I gave the guy all the money I had in my purse, which wasn't much.  And maybe, probably, the guy used the money for something other than food - human or dog - but I decided to err on the side of caution.

I wanted to visit old town Vegas to get a glimpse of what it used to be like - back in the days of Sinatra, Martin, and the rest.  But with the conference, there just wasn't time.  And I have no desire to go back on a vacation.  But I did see some neat things - the statues in Caesar's palace, the living statues, the gondolas in the Venetian and all the bright lights and music.  But the things that caught my eye most of all, was the exhibit of antique sewing machines.  Not sure what the store was - but there rows and rows of all different types of antique machines.

I realize that many people love Las Vegas. The shows, the slot machines, the action are really appealing to some. For me, I guess I'm just more comfortable staying close to home.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


This time tomorrow I will be high up in the wide blue yonder traveling to Las Vegas.  I am not a flier.   In fact, my first flight was to Las Vegas for the same conference about 11 years ago.  Although I've flown 3 or 4 times since, I don't feel any more calm than I did for my first flight.  At least the element of surprise is gone.  But this time I will be presenting at the conference and I'm not feeling overly confident about the presentation which I will be doing with a coworker.  In most areas of my life, I feel relatively removed, uninformed, out of touch.  Which is my own doing but regardless, I feel that way.  As a result, I feel as if this presentation will be seen as amateurish and insipid.  I don't feel as if I can get up there and speak for an hour on the subject matter.  I don't need to - my co-presenter and I will be splitting up - but usually, I feel informed enough that if pressed, I could talk about advising for hours (if someone was beating me with a whip to keep me going).

But I think that feeling this way is having a positive effect on my flight-nervousness.  My partner and I can go over the presentation - and over and over and over it because we will have the time - which should keep our minds off of flying.  And if I'm anxious about the presentation, there really isn't any room in my brain to worry about flying.  So it's all good. And we're going to Vegas.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Full of......spit!

Oh crap.
Not what I wanted to have as a title but…..  the next time some guys spits and it splashes on my toes, I’m going to crap on his feet.  Literally.  Since when is it nice or appropriate to spit?  Has it always been this way? I am so tired of walking behind some guy as he hacks up a lung and then just spits.  Without looking to see if someone might be behind him.  Or beside him.  Or if the wind is blowing.  Whatever.  I’m sick of walking on campus and stepping in spit all along the way.  It is disgusting – disgusting sounding, smelling, looking. 

The crap that gets yacked up?  I don’t even want to know.  But its ok, right? I can’t believe that people complain about kids wearing their pants down around their knees but I’ve never heard a word about all the nasty spitting that goes on.  Seriously, tobacco juice on my feet?  And it’s not just spitting from chewing tobacco.  It is just plain spitting – just walking along and spitting.  Or sitting and spitting.  That is what handkerchiefs are for.  Or spittoons……maybe we should bring back spittoons.  Have one on every corner, by every entrance – since people don’t smoke and we no longer need as many butt receptacles.  Whatever, but the hacking and spitting needs to stop!

Monday, September 28, 2015

An anti-cooking blog.

There is a reason I don't do recipes and things on my blog.  The reason is, I suck at cooking.  But tonight there was a trifecta of cooking disasters..........why, on a Monday evening after work, I think it is a good idea to experiment, I don't know.  But I did.  I made caramel sauce for apples.  I don't really like to dip my apples in caramel sauce but there was something to good, so rich and so autumny about it..........  It turned a lovely shade of amber - which is what the recipe said it was to do.  It boiled, I stirred, I added whipping cream, it frothed.  I set it on the hoosier cabinet to cool. And I couldn't wait to taste it.  
Bleh. It tastes like brown sticky charcoal.  It tastes like that burnt crap you get on the outdoor grill. It is d.i.s.g.u.s.t.i.n.g.  
So trooper that I am, I thought I would go ahead and make a batch of grape jelly.  Out of the grape juice I made last night from the Concord grapes I bought at the wine festival.  What a beautiful shade of deep, deep purple.  I'm not not sure how it will taste but it looks good.  But I used a new brand of canning jars and haven't heard one single ping of the jars sealing.  So I'll check later tonight.  All of the jars may just be going into the fridge.  And my cooking/canning/baking will be done.