Monday, January 31, 2011

Going, Going, GIVEAWAY!

Here it is January 31, 2011. I blogged every day for a month - go moi!

It's -40C here this fine, frigid morning. A little free-motion association.... cold.... housebound... quilting! Not a big quilt, but a little quilty-something. Fabricky, at any rate. Something for YOU!

So leave a comment, and tell me what you're spending your day with. I'll leave the post up for a few days, let's say three, and after that, I'll pick a lucky winner. Whatever I make, it won't be big or heavy, so I'll ship to anywhere on the planet.*

Don't delay!
Leave a comment today!

*the same one I live on.

(Earth, ya smart-ass!)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Photo credit: wax115 from

-33C. Brrr.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nightmare Test

I wrote my midterm yesterday.


After seeing that beast, I'm about ready to withdraw from the course. It was, if anything, worse than I imagined it would be, and what I was imagining was pretty bad. For the first time in my life I was faced with an exam in which I didn't even recognize the questions. I don't know what the hell they were asking of me.

This was not due to a lack of preparation on my part. I have never studied so hard or so thoroughly in my life. I'm interested in the material. I want to do well. I've invested. And it's still quite possible that I'll fail that test.

Interesting. Not a good feeling, but a learning experience in itself. I get to watch my reactions, and watch my self-worth plunging around like a wild horse. I get to have long, serious talks with myself about what it means to learn, and how that isn't the same thing as doing well on an exam, and to be on the other side of the coin. Usually I have to deal with it from the sense of having done well but not seeing the value in that either. Now I'm experiencing what it's like to feel incompetent in spite of my best efforts.


And I'm really confused, too. I honestly don't know how I could have prepared any better than I did. On the 6-page assignment I got back a few weeks ago I was given full marks, so I assumed that was the level of comprehension they were looking for, and thus that I was ready to take this exam. Apparently not.

I'll probably find out next week sometime whether I passed. It was all multiple choice, so if I did pass, it's because I'm a good guesser. And from there? We'll see...


I just spoke to my friend, who has a master's degree in psychology, and is taking a distance neurophysiology course through the same university I am. She's rarely had anything below a 90%, and she says the way they're testing is absurd compared to how the other universities she's attended conduct their exams. At this point, she's hoping for a 50%, and she'll never take another course with them.

She also told me that in another course she took once, statistics, the prof was so poor that everyone in the class failed, and he somehow "curved" the marks so that everyone "passed", and her 34% became a 93%. What on earth is that?! She's speculating that perhaps they do the same thing with this science department.

I'm feeling a little better about it all now. This is my first university course, and I was beginning to think that perhaps I just wasn't cut out for this level of study. Hopefully I manage to pull off a pass, and then I won't be taking another course with them either. Eesh.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cards On The Table

Growing up in a Mennonite milieu, so to speak, tarot was definitely of the devil. No two ways about it. They were over there on the unmistakable far extreme of badness, exceeding even the sinfulness of drink and Star Wars movies. I, goody-two-shoes first-born by my own lights, subscribed to this entirely. I wouldn't touch 'em, wouldn't look at 'em, and prayed for my hell-bound friends who played with these things without due regard for their flammable nature.

And then there was this night, pretty tame by most people's standards I'm sure, when I went out driving about town with a bunch of theatre-people and found myself seated at a table in front of a deck of tarot cards. Right there in front of me! I was having a good time being rebellious and tossed caution to the winds. The dealer dealt. I really have no idea what the cards said, but I do know that no one at the table spontaneously combusted. Not even me. I figured if God was going to smite anyone it would be me, since I was well aware of the sinfulness I was indulging in, unlike the heathens I'd surrounded myself with. But I didn't even smoke at the ears. Apparently there was a little less "fraught" required concerning tarot than I'd imagined.

Still, I didn't want to take any unnecessary chances, so for the next couple decades I gave the tarot a pretty wide berth.

Last year while I was researching some artistic works, I tripped over a very artsy tarot deck. Honestly, at this point I couldn't tell you which one it was, but I was very impressed at the time. I started looking up other decks to compare. Several of them were extremely beautiful. Some were superfluously strange. Many were "mystic" of the purple flowing robes and glowing green eyes variety. I was surprised at how many decks there are, and how much work goes into the design.

I don't know the deck well at all. I'd recognize a few of the cards, I guess, but most of them are too far removed from my everyday stories to lodge in my head. I know nothing of their significance or how they're dealt. I'm very curious though. I wonder how people use these, and why, and if they find it helpful. I'm not particularly drawn to them myself as an aid to getting through life, but I've had several clients mention that they use them, or go for readings with someone else.

What really surprised me was to find out that in Europe they were also used as game cards! Huh! The prohibition against card-games in evangelical circles made a lot more sense when I read that.

It's a strange old world. There are many things I know not of.

There you go. I just blogged about tarot cards. If I go up in flames in the night, don't expect a post tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Great A'Tuin

Photo credit: clarita from

You can't trample infidels when you're a tortoise. I mean, all you could do is give them a meaningful look.

-Terry Pratchett

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kindness Counts

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

Sometimes I get so bogged down in my own mundanities that I begin to think I've got a pretty hard row to how, but then I'm given the gift of being allowed to be present in another person's life. It unskews my perception.

This happens a lot with my clients. As I work with their bodies, listening to their cells and their words, it's possible to step into a realm of reverence. Holy pain. Without any lack of compassion or blindness to the reality of physical dysfunction, I can say that pain truly is a door to the underworld of self-knowledge. When people attend to their pain, they begin to walk the strange paths of mysticism, in whatever form arises from their depths.

This is something I'm working on in my life, trying to be awake and mindful (at least momentarily) in all situations. When I start telling myself the painful story of how I'm "starving", I stop and ask myself if that's true. If it's not true, why do I think it's true? What does "starving" mean to me, and what has such power over me that my head begins to spin and I feel faint and only a chocolate chip muffin (or six) has the power to save me? It's actually pain of some variety. Heart pain.

What is that feeling of exclusion and the searing pain of rejection I can inflict on myself through a perceived slight from a near-stranger? Heart pain. When I'm can't sleep for wheezing some nights, but other nights I'm breathing easy, and nothing in my physical environment has had a significant change, what grief am I holding in my lungs, what clouds of pain obscure my heart's sight?

And what do I really want from life, so much that I'm willing to ride even pain to get there?

But Lord, it's such hard work sometimes. It's hard when it's just a continual harnessing of the wayward mind. Harder when it's intractable physical or emotional pain that you can't expect to dissipate anytime soon. Burns. Ruptured discs. Death. Pain is not a comfortable traveling companion.

It's not easy, but we're up to it. We are truly so tough, and so fragile. We deserve respect, and we deserve recognition of our pain. We deserve kindness. We need to give this to ourselves, and give this to each other.

Life can be difficult. Sometimes we are fighting a hard battle. Kindness is a balm, and should be applied liberally. There is no shortage, no rationing - it can be given with an open hand.

Monday, January 24, 2011

...but it pours.

Photo credit: lazy_lobster from

More sad news today. Kate, who authored the blog "In This Quiet Life", passed away suddenly yesterday afternoon of a brain hemorrhage from a falling injury. We'd only become acquainted in the past year.

Kate loved her family, birds, flowers, cooking. She was thoughtful, and kind, and looked for the unexpected. A lovely, quiet life.

Anytime we weave our lives together, you notice the thread when it's unraveled.

All the best as you travel on, Kate. I'm sorry to see you go.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Through The Looking Glass

Photo credit: anitapatterson from

Yesterday morning I sent a link to my friend, Jim. I can't post the picture here, but you can go have a look at it. I love it. The woman reminds me a lot of his wife, Peggy, and I thought the play of it looked like something Jim would be tickled by.

He never replied. And he won't. Yesterday Jim stepped into another... well, who knows, really? World? Reality? It could be anything. He's gone beyond. He died.

I know people die. They do it all the time. And in my sensible and mythical minds this makes sense. ( I have several minds... cerebral multitasking.) Just in the practical sense, we need to die to make room since other people keep being born. And things do wear out, after all. And the part of me that lives mythtically knows that we live and die in mystery, and the dying is just another part of the living. Maybe the greater portion. My sense is that what comes after this is so expansive that we just can't take these old cells with us. They'd just explode with the hugeness. Someday each of us will know.

But in the mind of me that still appears able to form attachments, it hurts like hell and is WRONG WRONG WRONG. I didn't want him to go so soon. Someday, in 20 years, I would have accepted this. Maybe. Maybe a person never gets used to it. Maybe that's why you see so much immobility in the faces of the elderly. Frozen grief.

Damn it! I was planning to visit someday. You promised me a hand-made basket this year. I was making you a quilt. I WASN'T READY.

Your family. I don't know what to say. That much pain... there's no holding it. You just bow down and let it keep waving over you. Someday the waves diminish, become a river, and then a stream. Someday it's a pool, and you look into it and watch the reflections and touch it with your finger to see the ripples spread on the glassy mirror.

When I step through that glass myself, I hope Jim will be there to stretch out his hand and help me through. Jim and many others. Those met, and those unmet. Worlds and worlds and worlds.

Until then, Jim, I MISS YOU. Safe journey, lots of love. You were a wonder, and I'm proud to have been your friend. If you can, stop by and inspire me now and then.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I love the images on this blog!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lap Dance?

Today we got a laptop. It's currently in my lap.

NOT impressed with either the function of the keyboard or the "mouse". I DO like the portability. Will adjust, I'm sure.

Pardon me while I fiddle around!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

For Kate

I saw your photo of an Australian magpie, and I was struck by how similar and yet different they are from the Alberta variety. This isn't my own picture, but it really caught the iridescence of the wing and tail feathers.

Ours just make a terrible shrieking racket, very little mimicry at all. But they're very handsome!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior?

This article distracted me this afternoon. Obviously this woman is extremely competitive.

Hopefully more on this tomorrow. For now, I'm off to bed!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Night Vision

Photo credit: clarita from

Dreams are an enormous part of my life. I don't remember my dreams every night, but at least a couple times a week I have a memorable dream, and several times a month I have a dream that I really listen to.

Sometimes I dream for other people, too. At least, that's my interpretation of it. These dreams feel different, like I'm removed from them and watching rather than participating. Sometimes I tell the person about it, sometimes I don't. It's a little uncomfortable. I don't want to come across like I'm attention-seeking.

I had a series of dreams like that last week. They were beautiful, very mythological. Mountains, caves, subterranean rivers crossed by a barge, golden oars, enchanted sleep, a small dragon right out the pages of the Book of Kells.

I'm sure I'll tell her about it, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to lose myself in this story for a while.

Do you dream?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Another Public Health Racket

You know how there are some things that simply get up your nose? "Tummy Time" is one of those for me.

Have you heard about "Tummy Time"? Apparently the latest wisdom is that you're supposed to put infants on their bellies for a certain amount of time every day so they'll develop properly. I've only had this information from mums of newborns, so I'm guessing, but I suppose the target muscles must be the pectorals.

The underlying plan is that this will save otherwise neglected infants from weak arms. Yes. Well, I can't stop myself from obsessing about this.

Really? Do they really think that a parent so disengaged that he/she will allow the baby to go unheld and unstimulated, will put the time and care into "tummy time"? Honestly! Any baby that's being held and talked to and played with is definitely using those muscles, focusing her eyes, practicing to hold her head up. So WHY do public health officials waste their time preaching about "tummy time" to parents of parented babies, rather than looking for the flattened heads of the neglected?

Neither of my kids had "tummy time", and they have neither flat heads nor flabby pecs. Pfft. I wonder whose brain-child this was? I suppose I should go and look it up, huh?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Messing About With Words In My Head




So to incorporate is to incarnate, more-or-less. Except that it has more of a phagocytic overtone, like something being engulfed.

Pac-Man, Inc.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Toast To Holism

Photo credit: keyseeker from

I've been stuffing my head with eight physiology chapters in preparation for my midterm exam. This is my first course evaluation of any sort, and it's worth a fairly biggish chunk of my final mark. This is also my first university level study. I'm spooked.

It's so crazy! I know I'm learning, and I'm pretty sure I'll pass. The mark shouldn't matter, but oh, it matters so much! Less than 90% is such a blow to my fragile academic esteem.

Things were so messed up for me that by the time I was in my teens, I was actually convinced that I was mentally handicapped, and everyone around me was covering it up by giving me passing grades at school. Really. I was really in that space. And I think I've never really, truly pulled myself entirely out of that pit. I have this double bind going on, whereby if I get 90%+, it's because the exam was too easy, or they asked the "wrong" questions, or I had some other big fluke. But if I don't meet the 90%, it's because I'm deficient and stupid.

Either way, it doesn't matter. I'm screwed.

The things we do to ourselves, huh?

So here I am, wrestling like Jacob with the Angel of Physiology, dislocating my brain in the process. I know it's a tough course by any standard, and I'm doing my damnedest to be sane in the midst. Trying to talk myself into good sense.

During these internal discussions I have flash-backs to high school. In particular I keep remembering a Home-Ec incident. We were making toast, for goodness' sake - toast! And at the end of the class I got my evaluation sheet back and she'd docked me 10% for not spreading the butter all the way to the very edges. I was staggered. Not only was she making us use butter (which I'd managed to equate with the devil and his minions, thanks to health class and living with a nurse in the 1970's), but she was insisting that I use a LOT of butter.

It wasn't really about butter, mind you. The central issue for me was the subjectivity of it all. She thought the butter should go to the edge, and I didn't. It shouldn't have been a matter for judgment. But she was the one with the power over my grades. What she said, went.

Somehow, over the course of years, I've completely internalized the rationale behind the marking system, and accepted the "grade" as a valid evaluation. But I know it's not. I KNOW that.

What I'm really learning isn't physiology. Or even acupuncture. I think what I'm really learning is how to be whole and not let other people steal bits of me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Last Stop

I said I'd post daily, and by jingo, I'm going to do it. But glory - I'm thrashed tonight. Four clients back to back, just finished half an hour ago, and there's still a messy kitchen that needs tending to.

I'm so glad to do what I love. I'm so thankful that my wrists and hands are doing so much better with that nifty little gadget. I'm so happy to be in a warm house when it's -30 out there.

But I'd be alright if it warmed up too. Really alright.

And that, is that.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This Morning I'm a Classy Broad

Thinking more about class this morning. We feel it, and know it when we encounter it, but what is it?

I've been reading a website called "Class Matters". In it, I found this quote: "In my neighborhood everyone can spot the class differences between women: the working-class women wear make-up and styled hair even when watering their gardens, and the professional women wear no make-up and loose hair even to work, and sometimes even at weddings."

There's something to that, at least around here. I guess you'd call my town a very working class town, in a very working class province. Women here (in general) are EXTREMELY conscious of always having their make-up done and legs waxed. Every single workday I'll have a client apologize to me because she hasn't waxed her legs recently enough. Since I've never had it done, I don't know what that time frame would be. I always assure them that I didn't shave for their appointment myself, so they mustn't worry.

But where does that put me? If prickle-legged, wild-haired, and make-up-less is an indicator of "professional", I guess most days I'm squarely in the middle of it. On the other hand, living in a small bungalow with ancient peeling siding and the skeleton of a burnt-out motorhome in the back acres probably doesn't impress most of my neighbours with my classiness. We have an average income for the area (at least, that's my guess), but a lot less toys. My kids don't have cell-phones, and that's a bizarre anomoly here. It's de rigeur to take your children on monthly shopping sprees for $200 hoodies and the like.... ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Take my 14 year old daughter for a $75 nail job every month? Not happening.

We have a lot of books ourselves, and I pump the library for all I'm worth. That's not the norm. We self-educate, all of us. See previous. We eat well - at home. When I look at our life, all I can see is that we live very high indeed on the global hog. Extreme Upper Class. And when I look at the carefully made-up faces and omni-present cellphones and shiny SUVs and pedigreed pets, it all seems very gauche. I'm a snob.

It's so relative, isn't it? I tend to look at myself compared to an entire world, and see how incredibly priveleged I am. And that's about choice. I can choose so many things. It might be a little squeeze for a while, but I can choose to go to acupuncture school, or take an advanced bodywork class. I can choose to open a clinic. I can choose all sorts of things, because I've had and continue to have exposure to a very wide world.

I don't know how much of that is privelege, and how much is personal endowment. A big part of our cultural mythology is built on people pulling themselves up by the bootstraps, but what if your bootstraps are on the small side, or non-existent? It seems like some people just don't have much raw material, you know? I met someone like that recently; he's quite bright in a lot of ways, but something vital is definitely missing. His choices are limited. What's free will in a situation like that?

And maybe there are people who would say the same of me, poor thing. Who knows? I've only got this one set of eyes!

Anyway, lots to think about...

Monday, January 10, 2011

More Joe

I've been snatching quick reads from the Joseph Campbell biography that I posted about yesterday, in between kitchen patrol, clients, laundry, studying, running herd on kids, etc. etc. etc. He's very, very inspiring and rather electrifying in his quick mind; ever curious, had an amazing capacity for forming connection between people and ideas. It's terribly interesting and thought-provoking, and I'm only in the third chapter or so.

But even at that, what I'm struck with most is how much his life and career were formed by the class he was raised in. From my viewpoint, the Campbells were rather wealthy. There were nannies. Servants. Trips to Europe and Asia in the days before cheap air travel. These were people with money, and a lot of free time. Or at least, the mother and children were. The father seems to have spent a lot of time in business pursuits.

So yes, he had a prodigious mind, and an endless curiousity. But he could follow his interests and even finish an entire thought through without jumping up to hang the laundry, feed the kids, and all the other whatnots of usual life.

In some ways I'm jealous, and I think, "Boy, I could sure make hay with those resources behind me, too." But then on further reflection, probably not. I work best under pressure. If everything was handed to me, I'd probably just fall into a coma on the couch.

Maybe that's the most impressive thing about him - that in spite of the wealth and opportunity, he could discipline his mind (and body, he was an excellent athlete too) to accomplish all these things.

More reading tomorrow, I hope.

Life keeps getting busier! That must mean I'm increasing in capacity!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Mind's On Fire!

No time to blog. I told myself that I get to read my book after putting a decent study interval, and this book is extremely motivating. Joseph Campbell biography.... I think I've got a crush!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A bit of a stretch.

Now, I want you to guess before reading more. G'wan. Guess.


You really want to know? It's an Extensorciser! This will probably salvage my career as a massage therapist, because lord knows I needed something.

The problem is that the muscles on the palmar side of the hand and forearm, the flexors, are always activated. Every time you grasp something, there go your flexors. So they overdevelop, and overpower the extensors on the back of the hand and arm. I mean, when you do get a real workout in extension, huh? Rarely. Couple that situation with improper muscle firing due to injuries and whatnot, and Hey Presto! You've got a muscle-stress disorder!

And if you're a massage therapist with distressed extensors, you'd better find a solution right quickly.

My darling chiropractor came through for me with this gadget. It's reversible, and causes the extensor muscles to work differently, strengthens them, and apparently breaks down adhesive patches in the connective tissue that surrounds them. It's been a week now, and I'm noticing a significant improvement in the stability of my thumb joints and the pain in my forearm and elbow.


It's just a cosmetic bonus that I get to look like a Transformer to boot!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Happy Scribblings of a Lone Woman

My house is quiet, dark, cool. I am alone. At least for a little while longer, until the kids wake up. And oh my Lord, do I love this. I LOVE having time alone, and my own routine, and space for my own thoughts without hearing anyone else's. The older I get, the hermit-er I get.

And that's not wrong.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how society is still so structured around what women "should" be. We "should" be hospitable, and love to cook big, nurturing meals for company, and take in the wayfarer, and give of our time, talents, and energy with a smile. Until we drop in our apron-strings. This is how it's supposed to be right? That's what all the big holiday traditions are based on, and the stereotypical happy childhood - that mama and grand-mama don the ruffled apron and go all out in nurturance.

If a man holes up in his rooms, needs his clearly defined space, wants quiet, and devotes himself to learning and practicing what he loves, he's a devotee, or a scholar. He's respected.

If a woman does the same, she's an anti-social cow, and quite possibly a bit off-her-head. I mean, women are supposed to be available, aren't they? Isn't that the definition of woman? Available.

I know I still have this dichotomy in my head. When I'm evaluating relationships, I use different criteria for judging according to whether the subject is male or female. I have different expectations, and I'm pretty sure the same is happening in the opposite direction.

But I'm making myself less available, and talking to myself sternly about expecting less availability from other women. Our time is a gift to others, not their right. Those of us with a strong introversion need a lot of time alone, alone, alone, even just for the ability to think in a straight line without being distracted by someone else's voice.

And right now, I'm so alone, and so at rest, and so happy to be in the midst of it. Later, I'll have clients all afternoon, and I'll be happy to see them too. I love what I do. And I love the clearly defined 1 hour space. Good-fences-make-good-neighbours.

It's not that I don't have it in me to take up that nurturing stereotype from time to time. It's just that I won't give it on demand.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm melllllllttttinnnggg....

We've been informed that even at a tropical 67F our house is "cold" (I'd pushed it up from 63F), and it's now up to 70F. And I feel like I've been catapulted into menopause! Our Lady of the Perpetual Hot Flash.

One more night. I can do this.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The In-Between Time

I thought I was going to be writing about something else today, but Events Have Dictated Otherwise. I'm in a brief interlude between clients and going to the city to pick up a relative.

We all know we're getting older, but every now and then there's an event that really gets your attention. Like a heart attack. Chive's oldest brother had a heart attack, possibly secondary to pericarditis. It's a bit of a wake-up call for the whole family and you can hear the thoughts about aging ticking away under the surface. Suddenly the future looks a little different.

This makes me part of the sandwich generation, doesn't it? Sandwiched in between the generation of my children and the generation ahead of me, responsible for both. It's a funny feeling, almost as if I'm not only looking ahead for deer on the road, but in the rear-view mirror too. What's going to crash on either end? Hopefully both sides don't crash at the same time...

I guess I should get off the computer and hit the road. He's going to stay here for a night or two before going back north, and I'll be picking him up from the hospital in a few hours.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In the Mailbox Today

And it seems some of us never learn to read the fine print...

I saw this compelling dragon print on the website of one my favourite online quilt-stores, and I couldn't talk myself out of it. I had visions of colourful little four-inch dragons in the centres of quilt blocks, maybe a bright log cabin? I wasn't sure how it would go, but I had a lovely three weeks waiting for it and fantasizing.

This morning the package came in the mail. I bundled out to the van and ripped the envelope open - - - and my hair exploded! (See picture above.)

Holy Roly Guacamole! I never dreamed they'd be LIFE SIZE!!! What on earth am I going to do with this? Talk about a challenge!

Now that I'm over the shock, I think there's a plan bubbling deep in the cranialities. But if you're struck with an inspiration on my behalf, please feel free to share.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Why I Don't Work on Family

"One 'ungh' means 'hurts'. Two 'unghs' means 'hurts more'. I would have thought you'd have picked this up from your other clients by now."

"Where'd you get your license, a cracker-jack box?"

"I'm only saying what your other clients are afraid to say."

Suffer, buddy. Your file is CLOSED!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What Studying for Mid-Terms Looks Like Around Here

Often it looks a lot like this...

I think I've come to the realization that where the academics are concerned, I work better under pressure. How to create more pressure? Add more to the mix. Obsess over the cross-word puzzles I found in my Christmas stocking. Commit to daily blogging. Find must-do quilt projects. You know - just the daily necessities, really.

There's an counselor I see once or twice a year for a check-up, and one of the most helpful things he ever told me was that I'm not serene. No kidding, eh? But really. I'm NOT serene, and I'm NOT passive, and I don't need to aspire to those things. It helps to hear it from the outside sometimes, you know? And to hear it presented as a good thing, rather than as something that needs to be fixed. We are what we are, and it's best to go with the grain.

Picture especially for Alecto.

In the spirit of "you show me yours, I'll show you mine", (re Alecto's tree quilt) here's my latest quiltiferous project.

Post-quilting, pre-binding. I've been practicing with different machine-quilting patterns lately, and I settled on a loop that's both easier to do and more pleasant to look at. At least, my eyes think so. Just preference. Maybe I'm simply over-exposed to the stippled effect. Anyway, here we are in a loop-de-loop, and a few fabric close-ups. I only did one small practice-project before undertaking the quilt, and I was amazed how quickly I fell into it!

It's for a 5 month baby girl I recently found out about. Her mother and I lost touch over the past couple of years, but I just heard from her again over Christmas and ta-diddly-da, she's put on an addition! Between my dragonish fabric-hoard and the need to avoid studying for my physiology mid-term, a quilt is born!

When I look at it I know it's really over-the-top, but there you go. I can't help it. This is what I like. My particular favourite is that Martha Negley fabric in the lowest photo, the terra-cotta and fuschia flowers on a purple background. Woo-hoo!

Oh, and the pattern is Disappearing 9-Patch. Easy-squeezy, but lots of visual interest.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Rhinotically Healthy New Year

My resolution for 2011 is to blog daily for the month of January. Somehow all this blog business has drifted away on me, but I think it's still a voice I need to exercise, so here I go. No matter how mundane, or inane, I'll blog something every day.

We're ringing in the New Year with a neti pot. I heard about them a couple years ago, but the prospect of pouring water in my nose was too horrifying to contemplate. I mean, really. Water is NOT supposed to go in your nose, is it? That leads to drowning.

But the allergies have been gaining ground, and between that the perennial dryness of the country I live in, I finally started seriously considering neti practice. Yesterday, when I was at the health-food store taking advantage of their year-end sale, I took the leap and bot-the-pot. To all appearances it's the same pot the young woman above uses. Don't expect a homegrown picture of this endeavour. There are limits.

So how was it? Well, after a few false starts and near-drowning moments, I finally caught the wave and it went in one nostril and out the other. I think it helped. I haven't sneezed since, and that's quite a news item. It certainly left me with a well swept out feeling in my sinuses, like a good house-cleaning. Maybe a house-cleaning and a fresh coat of paint, too. They're throbbing a little. Not used to that kind of hydraulic action.

According to the literature with the packaging, on an energetic level it's supposed to enhance communication between the left and right side of the brain and body. That's something I'll have to wait on. Do you think neti could render me more mathmatically inclined? I'd settle for just being able to sort out my own accounting. Or even just making an accurate approximation of how much fabric I need for a quilt back, so I don't have so many leftovers.

Speaking of quilts... I have fallen. Oh, I have fallen. I actually made a cat-quilt. A quilt for the cats out of the cut-down remnants of a baby-quilt. I'm not only a mad quiltress - I'm the mad cat-lady quiltress of Gawdswallop. Ichabod, ichabod. That's how hard I'm working to avoid my studies.

Light a candle for me. I've been enslaved by the feline mind-masters.