September 25, 2017

AN ALDER


The Alder next to the house.

When we first moved here, this Alder tree had giant, beautiful leaves.  Within a few years, the leaf size began to shrink.  Two years ago, all the trees began dying. 

This condo complex was planted throughout with Alders with two or three kinds of simple flowering shrubs below them.  The shrubs keep going but the alders do not.  

We used to get very upset with this tree when it filled our patios and driveways with its leaves.  Now I mourn its loss in advance.  The plate size leaves are only tiny gestures now.  They will take it down over the winter as they did the giant out in front last year.

 Who knew I would mourn this messy old tree.
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  • Himself:  Doing his best with a giant queue and a talkative me.
  • Herself:  Found Grumpy’s battery drained.  A wire shorted perhaps as G was working in the dash.  Today groceries, laundry, and staring at that crow quilt center.  Is it too big?
  • Reading:  Ruth Reichl and I find I lived much like she did.
  • Captain Poolie:  Perky.  We found her talking with her sister yesterday.  No visit today.
  • Gratitude’s:  That I can do my Monday mountain of stuff even while I complain about it.


  • September 24, 2017

    PICKING UP AFTER A SLOB


    Once a dining room.  Now a studio.

    I confess, I’m the slob.

    I get started on a project and my neatness factor falls off the chart.  Worst of all, it isn’t just in the work area.  I feel no guilt about unwashed dishes, un-hung-up clothes, and messy floors either.  Look at that floor…where did those books come from?  Why is my purse and hat on the ironing board?

    I’ve finished the center portion of the Crow quilt, and slowly I go through the house cleaning up after myself.  I might do it faster if I weren’t quite so embarrassed by it all.  There’s fabric bits everywhere.  Magazines waiting to be read.  Ditto newsletters…they slip and slide so easily.  Cough drop wrappers look like snow near the trash can. 

    Worst of all are the books.  Have I read them?  Why are they not shelved?  They live seven deep here next to my computer.  There’s piles waiting next to my side of the bed and next to my chair.  I suppose I have to do something about them.  Did I tell you that the bed got made this morning.  Perhaps it’s a sign of mental reconstruction….the slob is retreating. 

    Just for a moment.  Next I go out to Rosies Quilt shop to look for a dark, dark purple fabric.
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    • Himself:  He wants to feed his birds after some computer time.  Shower later.  Imagine poor G has to live with a slob like me.
    • Herself:  I want to check on that quilt center before anything else.  I want it long and narrow not big and unwieldy as it is now.
    • Reading:  Ruth Reichl.
    • Captain Poolie:  Much better yesterday.  More brain seeding this coming week.  She has effectively lost September tho.
    • Gratitude’s:  That we can take her a root beer float every day.


    September 22, 2017

    THE GOOD LITTLE THINGS



    Every morning, I grumble, moan, and groan about going to the pool no matter the weather.  To keep my life simple, I have to get there before 0630 on work days.  This morning, it was 63F, 16.6667C.  Just a little nippy out there.

    The first good thing…I was greeted by warm "good mornings," and news that a friend had done well with an aortic valve replacement.  Then as I started my laps, the sky started turning a rich peach….later a brilliant gold  The clouds all had silver linings.  Lately we have had dark clouds filling the sky.  This morning, the world was beautiful.

    One friend invited us over to meet her new cat.  It is so good to make new friends.  Another delightful person told me that George was the OB Oracle…with a big grin.  The pool temperature was warm.  The shower was hot.  And I came home to my lunch already made.

    What more could one want.
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    • Himself:  Keeps saying that it’s Friday.  Gym, work, meeting, Poolie, home.
    • Herself:  Pool, work, cook, meeting, Poolie, Home.
    • Reading:  The book on restaurant reviewing…I’m too lazy to go in the other room to get the title for you.
    • Captain Poolie:  Went to the museum, went to a movie, and wanted a vanilla Frostie.  She also had a double dose of PT and OT.  Today she says she wants a float.
    • Gratitude’s:  That I survived a four hour endless work meeting yesterday afternoon.


    September 20, 2017

    THE CLUB SANDWICH RANT


    Photo: Michael Ruhlman

    This afternoon in Michael Ruhlman’s blog, “The Turkey Club Sandwich,” he wrote, “I worry when we become this careless about standard preparations. If we are thoughtless with what is known to be excellent, what is already a given, how will we be thoughtful and innovative with the unknown? All great craftsmanship begins with a clear understanding of standard preparations.”

    I burst into laughter.  My friend Bobbie and I have been discussing just this for another artistic media for years.  If you cannot draw, if you cannot put an educated and trained line on paper, how can you push your work into new dimensions.

    Most art schools no longer teach traditional drawing and painting techniques.  Bobbie and I are believers that you cannot be a good artist in any media unless you can actually draw.  Drawing teaches you to see.  From schools like Art Center School in LA, Brooks, and The Rhode Island School of Design came expansive new art based on the standard techniques for photography, painting, and drawing

    These schools taught their students new ways for artists to think in color and passion in any dimension.  As an example, in the 1960’s Lorser Feitelson, one of the Art Center instructors, and four others, started the Hard Edge movement.   After working in classical techniques, Feitelson first adapted his work to the WPA norms of the 1930’s.  Widkipedia says, later his work changed to “the ‘Magical Space Forms’ series of the 1950s and 1960s and culminated in the elegant figurative minimalism of the ‘Ribbon’ paintings in the 1970s; “pure gesture that engages the viewer with the intimacy of an embrace” said a reviewer.

    I went to one of the first shows of his Ribbon series.  It was magical.  It was electric.  Feitelson continued to draw and teach traditional techniques until his retirement.  He too believed you had to crawl before you could walk.
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    • Himself:  Gym, work hard, Costco hard.
    • Herself:  Pool early.  Dishes, few books on book day…I don’t think people are buying books right now, home to write and go to Costco.  Tomorrow training at work til 5. 
    • Reading:  A book on Restaurant Reviews.
    • Captain Poolie:  Very daring today.  Work to meet with her board.  She needs clothes.  Tidying her house.  Movie out tonight.
    • Gratitude’s:  That I discovered that my days go better if I take two Tylenol at bed time.


    September 19, 2017

    SCRAP QUILTING



    That’s what I make, scrap quilts.  Each piece of fabric is a little bit from a source like a dress or from a friend.  This is a crib quilt for a granddaughter.  Yes, there are two major errors in it, but I didn’t see the errors until the quilt was finished.   Finished means that it’s all together and quilted.  I’m not about to take a finished quilt apart to fix a couple of mistakes.

    Right now I am making a king sized quilt, and so far there are no errors in it.  Why…because it’s an abstract piece.  The last strip of the center panel is almost done.  I spent hours on it yesterday and can tell you that it’s not at all boring.

    I joined a Facebook group, “Scrap Quilt Enthusiasts,” this week.   These folks are really a creative and inspiring bunch.  I’ve made so few quilts since I began in 1989 that hesitate to share many with them…each is filled with errors.  I’m sure learning lots from the folks in the group tho.  I have hopes their presence in my life will push me into more quilting.
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    • Himself:  Gym, work, meeting.
    • Herself:  That bad tooth has gotten worse.  My dental insurance is maxed out, and if we can keep it all together until January I can see a specialist.  (No specialist.  Tooth too far gone to save.)  Dinner with Camille and her husband tonight.  Visit Poolie later.
    • Reading:  Katherine Graham’s Washington.
    • Gratitude’s:  That I have a dentist.


    September 16, 2017

    KHAKI PANTS




    1991: 50th Birthday with Bobbie.  Me wearing khaki pants.

    This last Sunday I wore my Jones of New York khaki’s to the Speaker’s meeting.  I knew they were tight and the fabric tired.  Jones always picks odd fabrics, and this pair must have been an early example of stretch fabric.  Yes, they still stretched to fit my now far larger middle, but by the time we got home the zipper seam had ripped out.  Oh misery.

    Several days later I mended them and put them in the wash.  They will go to the Rachael’s Center for homeless women.  Someone far thinner than I will get more use out of them.

    I immediately I began a determined search for a new pair of khakis.  As you can see in the 91 photo, I’ve been wearing “they-go-with-everything-khaki’s” for years.  There were none at several Ross Dress for Less stores.  They had them in 13, 14, 16, and 18.  None in 20 or 22.  Ditto Marshalls.  Ditto Tarjay.  One in my store, but it was an 18.  There is just enough difference between an 18 and 20 to make fit impossible.

    One shop a day for each day this week.  Finally last night after a visit with Poolie…who stayed up for 8 hours, We did what I thought would be a quick stop at JCPennays.  He found me a pair then told me he needed a khaki and grey pair too.  He shops with more resolve than I checking out everything.  I found him a pair of each color like lightening, and we were out of there far poorer in the pocket rapidly.  “That will have to do,” Duck used to say.
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    • Himself:  A lazy morning with “Game of Thrones, haircuts, and breakfast out before work.  Take out dinner with Poolie.
    • Herself:  Ditto minus the “Game of Thrones.”  Came home and tried on ALL my pants.  Learned that several people I knew well at the towing company have died, and one is out there on downers.  They were all so young.
    • Poolie  If she can stay up for 10 hours, she will qualify to enter a special study.
    • Reading:  The last of a Cadell trilogy.
    • Gratitude’s:  That we found a pair of khaki pants.

    September 15, 2017

    THOSE LEMON COOKIES



    One of those fabric fish came through the store this week, and I got it for Poolie.  She so loves it that she’s even posed for pictures with it.  Every day we try to bring a little something…usually it is a root beer float from Wendy’s….a fast food place I boycott.  She loves em. 

    This day the https://thecravory.com/>Cravory sent us a post offering a free cookie.  George braved traffic and bought a whole dozen which included my two favorites, the lemon and chocolate truffle.  Why brave traffic?  Right before rush hour, the main giant water main that runs along side the freeway 8 East burst creating a nice sized sink hole in 8 East.  We take 8 East to Poolies house.  That blow out caused three more water main breaks on nearby Morena Blvd.

    We got the cookies and float with a bit of traffic struggle.  Every road out of here was blocked.  We tried to get on 5 South to get around it, but we found ourselves on 5 North.  Endlessly Balboa, to Convoy, to Aero Drive, to Sand Rock, to Gramercy, to Poolies street.   An hour and a half drive instead of 15 minutes.   I considered it an adventure.

    She flat out loved the lemon cookies.
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    • Himself:  Work, dinner, meeting, Poolie.
    • Herself:  Ditto…LOL
    • Reading:  Rereading an old Cadell that I hadn’t seen in years.
    • Gratitude’s:  Finding the Foo da Fish.


    AN ALDER

    The Alder next to the house. When we first moved here, this Alder tree had giant, beautiful leaves.  Within a few years, the lea...