Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Cupcake Mix Recipe

My add-on project for the next month or so won't be a hand project after all, but a table runner using a Cup Cake Recipe.  Without getting all technical, it uses a patterned charm pack, a solid charm pack, and little papers that show you where to sew and cut.  Pretty mindless, as long as you pay attention to the sewing and cutting lines.

A charm pack, by the way, is stack of 42 5" fabric squares.  People enjoy them because they usually have all the fabrics in a design collection in an inexpensive format.

I'm realizing that I didn't show you the beaded snowman I finished, so it will show up one of these days.  It's pretty boring, actually.

The delayed Kentucky primary election was today and it looks like we will set a record for voter turnout in a primary election in the state.  A few things could have gone better, but overall it was ok.  There were a huge number of the no-excuse absentee ballots requested and returned.  No excuse means just that - a voter could request a ballot without having an excuse like being sick or out of town.

We also had early in-person voting as an option, and people who didn't want to mail absentee ballots could drop them off.  Not much of complain about, but some people missed the news that they wouldn't vote in their usual precinct.  In our two largest precinct there were lines.  But still, excellent turn-out with the coronavirus in the background. 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Happy Birthday

And so, I am 75, plus a couple of days.  I love this.

I hope I remember this birthday, when things were out of whack and there was no in-person singing of Happy Birthday, since singing is one way the coronavirus spreads.  No lighting and blowing out of the candle, possibly spreading virus germs on the cake.

My ever-so-stoic grandmother used to say, "Things can't always be the same."  I have this hope, though, that a year from now there will be singing and blowing out of candles and lighter hearts.

A year ago - I wonder what I worried about.  Whatever it was, it wasn't worth worrying about since I can't even remember what it was.  I think that we, as a collective society, will carry the memory of this year's worries in various ways.  So much sickness, so much hurt.  So much longing, so little comfort.

A year from now - I hope we have more unity, more striving for social justice, no worry about a lurking virus.  I hope we can sing with abandon (and I'm not even a singer.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Art Supplies

I'm taking an online class called Five Things from Liz Lameroux.  It includes journal prompts each day, plus inspiration to go with them.  It was part of a birthday gift to my best and only niece and I decided to do it too. 

Of course it took me awhile to get started and most days I don't get my list finished.  I figure I can go back again next month and redo and revise and enjoy the class all the longer.

What I've learned:  it makes me happy just to have the pencils and markers and scissors out and ready to pick up.  That shifts how I think of myself.  Maybe, for me, that is the gift of the class, more than the journaling.

Those of you who who enjoy music and are peace and justice oriented should check out Stephanie Hollenberg's virtual-directed hymn My Soul Cries Out on You Tube.  Stephanie calls it "A cry from Mennonites across the US for an end of white supremacy and police brutality against our siblings of color."  This hymn is in one of our Mennonite song books, not sure which one.  I'll share here just the first verse and refrain.  Written by Darren Morehouse.

My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
And my spirit sings of the wonderous things
that you bring to the one who waits.
You fixed your sight on the servant's plight,
and my weakness you did not spurn,
So from east to west shall my name be blest.
Could the world be about to turn?

My heart shall sing of the day your bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears,
For the dawn draws near,
And the world is about to turn.

And, 6 - 3, you all.  My soul rejoices whenever I think of it.

Monday, June 15, 2020


Hard to believe - Nora has what the kids call her temps - the temporary license for driving with an adult.  In Ohio the minimum age for getting temps is 15 1/2.

Last night she drove my car, which feels just weird.  When I first bought that car Nora and Aaron were in booster seats in the back.  Of course, I've had that car for awhile, but still . . .

An older friend, in her 80's, went to the doctor for her check-up.  All was well, and the doctor told her to wear a mask, wash, wash, wash, and have fun.  She is looking forward to going to the grocery store.  There may be a lesson for me here.

In an effort to get back into quilting, the kind where you follow directions, I joined a block of the week class at my local quilt shop.  The first two blocks arrived together, the fabrics were pretty, and I didn't follow the cutting directions correctly.  I've sent the shop an email asking if I can buy more fabric.  If they don't have more, there is always another way.

In the meantime, since I was slow starting, I can go on to blocks 3 and 4, being really careful with the cutting.  I'd hate to have to admit that I messed up twice.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Lucy and the Mulberries

Meet Lucy, the oldest of the three little brown rescue grand dogs.  The only one who has a passion for mulberries.  When it's time for her walk she heads for the mulberry tree.  Sweet Lucy - I hope she gets her fill before the mulberries are gone.

The governor's press conference is no longer on tv but on facebook.  I get distracted by the comments scrolling from the bottom, even though I know that if I turn my phone the other way I won't see them.  

Where is my unemployment?  White people need health care too.  You have no right to request that the Jefferson Davis statue be moved from the Capital, the people should vote.  Open the pools.  Open nursing homes to visitors.  Etc.

Of course, there are also the comments that say he is doing a good job and thanking him.  The nursing home issue is such a tough one.  (Well, they all are.)  My neighbor hasn't seen his dad in three months.  And yet, there were three nursing home deaths in a neighboring county reported yesterday.  

Last night I woke up at 1 a.m. dreaming of the comments scrolling.  If I"m waking up at night I need to take a break from watching those comments.  Open the package with my absentee ballot.  Quilt something, anything.  Drop off a package for my friend.  Be grateful for my friend/family circles and marvel that they never intersect.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Clematis by the Steps

Clematis - on the railing beside the four steps that go to the street sidewalk.  I need to paint that railing, but then the clematis bloom and everything looks good.

I picked up a curbside pick-up of library books this morning.  Real books.  Well, except for one that I accidentally requested as an audio book.  Monica the librarian said they are opening next week but will still have curbside pick-up.  When the books are returned, they "rest" somewhere for four days before they go back on the shelves.  The pick-up at the library was busier than the pick-up at the grocery store.  Monica was wearing a mask and so was I

Thanks to Winnie and Sarah for the etsy mask they sent.  It is a knit fabric, very easy to slip on and off at the drive-through.  I still have not braved an actual store.  Cases in my state are up, although they are down in my area.

I've finished the beaded banner and have put away the little containers of beads.  Enough.  I'll find another hand-work project.  The little take-out containers from individual sides at KFC are perfect for beads, by the way.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Hand Sewing

A mother-of-the-bride dress that needed a temporary hem for a small outdoor wedding. 

For whatever reason, hand work soothes me these days.  I wonder, what would it be like to have a comfortable chair in my studio for reading and hand sewing.  And yet, there is something nice about sitting on the living room sofa in front of the window with daylight coming in.

Two medical follow-ups for eyes and wrist this week, both went well.  The wrist doctor said that I have good movement, that restarting physical therapy for me now is not worth the risk of virus exposure, just keep doing what I've been doing.  And so I will.

In April when the eye surgeon's office called to reschedule dates, there were eight appointments.  It was a little overwhelming, after all those weeks of being at home.  Now my calendar for the next couple of weeks is empty, and I like to look at the emptiness that I can fill up as I wish.

Today Amazon will be delivering a big container of Tide pods.  I bought a similar container with my grocery pick-up a couple of weeks ago but they have disappeared.  How could I have misplaced a big bright orange container?  When I find them, I can do laundry from now until Christmas.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Green Food

My favorite local restaurant is still doing carry-out these days, although they have started some dine-in as well.  I hope that carry-out will continue for a good long while.  This is a spring salad and pasta with a pesto sauce made with pumpkin seeds and basil.

Usually, back in the old days, they were very crowded, with people waiting.  Tables close together.  It was a scene.  The food is so good, lots of veggies and herbs, pretty cocktails.  They have some cocktail mix for carry-out, but they have added bottles of wine too.

Sarah came again last week for my second cataract surgery.  She did lots of chores around the house and I felt very lazy but grateful.  We had an outdoor lunch at Steph's house, six feet apart, and that felt so good.  

It is weird, just so strange, to be able to see nicely without glasses.  I can't remember when I got my first pair, but I'm sure it was early in grade school.  I'll be getting a bifocal eventually with a little distance correction, but no more putting them on first thing in the morning, keeping a spare old pair in my car for just in case.  

We had a curfew last night in my little city across the river from Cincinnati.  Same for tonight.  At around 11:00 last night I smelled smoke and had a panic moment, but I think it was just wet wood in a neighbor's fire pit.