Monday, November 25, 2013


     Here it is: 4 days before Thanksgiving and I haven't really spent much time being thankful. My kids started being thankful at the beginning of the month, on their blogs and Facebook pages. I don't think they have all kept up with it but I know they have tried.  I should make up for my lack of posting about how thankful I am. I posted a blog about being grateful earlier in the year but, truly, is that really enough? Don't get me wrong; I am thankful every day. I just haven't written about it and probably without putting that out into the universe in writing, it's just not worthy. So I suppose I could catch up or...wait a the whole month today! So here goes...Let's see if I can make this happen, although not writing it every day kind of takes away from the whole thinking about it everyday, which I suppose is the point of this exercise. But it couldn't hurt to see if I can come up with 30 things I am thankful for...
     I am thankful for:
     1.   My husband: Doug. It goes without saying that I would not enjoy the life I have now without him.
     2.   My children: Jennifer and David. Who could have imagined they would make such a wonderful addition to my life?
     3.   My children's spouses: Joscelyn and Paul. Without them my children would not be happy. And isn't that all a mother wants?
     4.   My house. A little small, a little bit of a money pit. But charming with age and 10 blocks from the ocean.
     5.   My health. It has been a struggle the past two years, but I think I am winning.
     6.   My bestest friend: Nancy. Through the years...going on 35 could I not be thankful?
     7.   My car. I love the stereo system. On long drives, it makes the difference.
     8.   My education. Just so fortuitous to have been able to go back to school.
     9.   My job. I am so lucky to be a teacher.
     10. My circle of friends. they make me feel cared for.
     11. My quilt guild. It gave me an outlet to be social at a time when I needed it, and now has turned into an important part of my life.
     12. My sewing room. Where I get to create at will.
     13. The ability to read. Because there are so many books out there. Such good ideas to share and ponder.
     14. The ability to write. To be able to express myself and tell stories.
     15. My cat: Jerome, who is the most loving animal I have ever owned.
     16. My computer that allows me to write.
     17. T.V. I know...but I grew up watching television. It is the great relaxer.
     18. The wisdom I got from my mother. I wish I had known her longer.
     19. The lifestyle I got from my father. Without his dedication to his country, I would not have had all the experiences that shaped me.
     20. Good shoes.
     21. Excellent and easily accessible fabric stores.
     22. The ability to quilt.
     23. My acupuncturist.
     24. My phone. Seems silly, but it really does make my life easier.
     25. Having my family visit on holidays.
     26. Christmas. How could one not be thankful for Christmas?
     27. Mechanical pencils. Never need sharpening.
     28. Star Trek. Come know you're thankful for that!
     29. Natural history professor. Without him (even though I can not remember his name) I would never be able to know when I hear  a hummingbird.
     30.  Cameras. And phones with cameras that capture all the beautiful and wondrous of life's moments.
     I could probably go on. There are so many things to be thankful for but this will do for one day.
For all the people who don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I am hoping this list will inspire you to think about being thankful for your own reasons. And if you are in America, Happy Thanksgiving!    

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


     Tigers have stripes. Zebras have stripes. Flags have stripes. These are all signs pointing to the affirmation that God wants us to have stripes, too.
     Well. Maybe that is stretching the point a little. All I really know is that I need stripes in my life. No, I am not planning on getting tattoos of stripes on my body but I do love my stripes. On clothes, that is. But let me make my selection clear: not true animal stripes. Although those are lovely to look at on the animal, in my opinion, humans shouldn't wear animal stripes or any other animal prints.
     If you were to look in my closet, I have striped tops in just about every color. My eyes are drawn to them in catalogs and if I try on a garment in the store and something is just not right, my first thought always is,"Wouldn't this look cute if it was striped?" A year or so ago I purchased a grey and white colored striped "French Terry" top from LL Bean. I liked it so much I immediately bought a blue and white stripe and a red and white striped one. I have a sapphire blue and white striped hoodie, and an orange and creme, wide-striped tee shirt. I have a pullover that is dark grey with tiny black stripes and a tee shirt that has equal width black and grey stripes. You get the picture.
     For most of my adult life I have loved and bought striped pieces of clothing. I must admit; there have been some mistakes (like the primary colored vertical striped jumpsuit I bought in the 80's that was sooo cute. What was I thinking?) I have always bucked the age-old wisdom that horizontal stripes make you look fatter. Solid colors, preferably black, makes people look thinner. Posh. I have never been rail thin anyway, and I soon came to realize that one should wear what makes one feel good (within reason, that is). Wearing black all the time would just depress me. I know people who wear nothing but brown, taupe and grey. Blah. Blah. At least if you're going to wear a solid color, let it be a color with depth or brightness.
     When my daughter got old enough to choose her clothes (which she did from a fairly young age) she decided that I shouldn't wear stripes. They made me look heavier (how nice of her not to use the word fat? I brought her up right!) Just not the right choice. Patterns and prints were fine, just not stripes. Of course, being older and wiser, I ignored her. She would shake her head as if to say, "I try. she won't listen. What are you gonna do?" "But Jen," I would say, "I like stripes, and I am heavier. No amount of black or un-striped clothing is going to change that."
     This little battle went on for years.
     A couple of months ago, she and her husband came over one Saturday for dinner. I noticed. I didn't say anything. Finally, with a big grin on her face she asked me, "Aren't you going to say anything about my new top? I thought sure you'd give me all kinds of grief about it!"
     I just smiled. "It's cute on you."
     It was striped.


     Here's the deal. Facebook is a time hog.
     I put off getting involved with Facebook as long as I could. My goodness. I felt way behind the times. I had this nagging feeling that I had to catch up; that I was lagging; that I was missing out on the world.
     Well. It turns out that I am not missing out on much. Since I have been on Facebook I have seen a couple of cute cartoons, had a few pictures sent from an artist friend that were amazing, a friend sent me an interesting article on a WWI quilt, someone had posted a link to a good recipe (although unless I can convert it to be gluten free and dairy free, and oh yes: sugar free, it may not turn out to be such a great link anyway). There is a lot going on in the world, being posted on Facebook, that I have discovered I am not really interested in. Especially the political stuff.
     I am adult. I know I should be interested in politics. But most of the time I limit my interest to local issues. I vote. I vote on issues that will directly affect me and my family and my community. Other than voting for our representatives (who continually disappoint me) and the President (which, at this point, is a joke thanks to the Electoral College) who doesn't really hold any power over anyone or anything, I find I am left cold by Washington politics. On a whole I find the entire system to be broken with too many people (from both parties) spending too much money, taking too many perks and buy offs and acting like spoiled, demanding children, who think it is permissable to be immoral and that they are above the law.
     OK. Now that I got that little rant out of my system, back to Facebook...
     I decided to join in the fun early last month. I had been told by a mentor author friend of mine that I was going to have to get involved in social media if I want to be successful in the self-publishing world. I put it off as long as I could. It was one of those thoughts in the back of my mind that repeatedly said, "Do you realize how many people in the world use Facebook? Do you know how big of an audience you could have for your writing? Do you think about the potential for books sales that are out there on Facebook? What? Don't you want to be successful?"
     The answer to all of those questions is, "Of course I do!" so I finally succumbed to the pressure and the possibilities and joined in. But I have discovered that it takes an enormous amount of time and energy to be "active" on Facebook. The pressure is killing me. I need to read. I need to sew. I need to blog, because after all this is the heart of what I like to do.
     So I will continue on Facebook, but my heart isn't really in it. You can bet I won't be enlarging my circle of friends any time soon. I have more than enough "friends" to keep up with now (especially those that post their every movement and thought every day, all know the kind...) I just can't handle the pressure.