Friday, July 30, 2021

August Approaches

I'm so proud of granddaughter Mila!  She will be working as a creative operator at Meow Wolf Denver.  I have no idea what a creative operator is, but she will start training soon, and I will find out more.  

Incoming Mail

I was so glad to get this postcard today (7.30.21)!  I'd been wondering what happened to  Annie (Scribbling Glue) and it turns out her last letter went astray and I never received it.  Her postcard was checking in, just as I was wondering why I haven't heard from her in so long.

I love the embroidered landscape, 

                                  and Annie kindly included the name of the artist and her website!               


My first August outgoing letter will be to Annie!

Outgoing Mail This Week:

Postcard to Teresa

Postcard to Hester

letter to Hannah

Because so many in our state are unvaccinated, it seems as if the promise of getting out more was only a brief episode.  Like many others, I find it difficult to understand the anti-vaccine, anti-mask stance. Disheartening.

 I've spent some time cleaning up my messy workspace.   Now, that I've cleaned up some, I'll get back to some calm sewing and trying to ignore as much of the unpleasant news as possible.  

Sunday, July 25, 2021


Last week, I sent out 4 packages, a book to Mila (Sophie's World) because she is interested in philosophy, a gift for Max's birthday, a package to Erin, and a package with Myrtle, The Nightmare Catcher to Diana.  They went out on July 22, and I'm waiting to hear how long they take to arrive.  

  We sent an overnight gift in June for Mila's graduation that took a week to get there.  Money was refunded for what was certainly not an overnight delivery.  I don't blame the posties, but I do blame DeJoy for  that slow down and more to come:  "another USPS service cut that could slow down delivery times for first-class mail, shorten hours at some post offices, and increase the price of a first-class stamp."

This morning I realized I had only 1 postcard stamp left.  I ordered more postcard stamps and regular stamps before the price goes up again in August.  Not that I'm against paying a bit more for stamps, but I send a lot of mail and am ready to lay in a new supply.  I have postcards and letters that need supplies right now. :)  I do hope something can be done to save the USPS.


Incoming Mail

postcard from Cate

letter from Hannah

Postcard from Tes (Teresa)
A train station that was still serving trains in 1966.  
She and Ricky had been 
visiting her sisters  in Virginia and ate at a farm-to-table restaurant 
owned by Barbara Kingsolver's family.
Anyone remember traveling by train?
My last train ride was when I was high school, and it was a delight.

Today, I'm writing some postcards and one letter that will (hopefully) go out tomorrow.

or dance to!


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

And a Winner

Yesterday, I didn't get around to drawing the name for the Nightmare Catcher Give Away until late and decided to wait until this morning to announce the winner.

Book of Secrets is the winner, and she requested Myrtle.  I'll get Myrtle in the mail when I have the address.  She's a raggedy little NightMare Catcher, but she's a hard worker and will hopefully dispatch bad dreams with alacrity.  At the same time, she will encourage pleasant dreams and peaceful sleep.
Rain yesterday and cooler temperatures!  Much appreciated.

I found this article particularly interesting as it follows some of my own thoughts:  Has the World Had Enough of the Olympic?  It isn't that I don't appreciate the will and dedication that the athletes put in, I do.  I continue to marvel at that talent and determination, and much seems to have gone wrong over the years.  I'll be watching certain events, but with a more jaundiced eye.

How are you feeling about the Olympics given what we continue to learn about the scandals, expense, abuse of athletes, cheating, and the threat of Covid ?  


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

This and That: more monsters, reading, gardening

More Nightmare Catcher experiments--yes, I'm feeling a little like Dr. Victor Frankenstein.  The experiments have to do with the size and shape of scraps, attempts to incorporate different items or techniques, efforts to create different personalities, etc. 


I've coffee and tea dyed fabric and lace, experimented with time in the dye bath, added some walnut ink to some batches, and left some fabric as is.  I've made a few more paper clay hearts to add as embellishments.  I walk upstairs with an idea, then decide on something else entirely, but they all have their backpacks stuffed with lavender buds and they do smell good!

As I mentioned when I first started making the little monsters in May, the idea came from a K drama in which a character gave a Nightmare Catcher to someone experiencing night terrors.  The little doll reminded me of Junker Jane's monster dolls, and I went upstairs and started pulling out my scrap bags and leftover items from other projects and got to work.  I had no idea just how much I would enjoy using scraps and making friendly monsters.  Some have already been gifted, and my husband suggested I could donate some to a local residence for homeless women and children.   

Give Away.  If you'd like one of the following Nightmare Catchers, mention it in a comment indicating your preference, and I'll put your name in a hat.   On Monday, June 19, I'll draw a winner.  Due to price of postage, U.S. only.  



Of Interest to Me:

Interesting article:  Handwriting Beats Typing and Watching Videos in Learning to Read.  I know I frequently mention the importance of cursive writing in learning, but this article connects handwriting to reading ability as well.

Link on the pleasure of receiving mail:

"There among the bills and dull life admin were things worth opening."


 Incoming Mail:

Postcard from Hannah

postcard from Hester

Outgoing Mail:

These were the best of my recent books: 
Midnight at Malabar House by Vaseem Khan
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewel

Garden:  weeding and thinking about what I'll do different next year. :)  

I was trying to clean the filter on the fountain, when the heavy rock slipped and left me dripping wet.  

Love the diplodenias, although they can't take the sun and heat as well as expected.  Six hours would probably be fine, but all day wasn't working.  I had to move four of them from hanging on the fence to areas where they can get some relief from the sun.   This one is doing much better now.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Fire Resistant Landscapes?

 Climate change and burning landscapes have been a frightening lesson to most of us, especially those recent California fires.  

The terrible Australia bushfires and the California wildfires have been horrendous to watch.  When this episode of Gardening Australia about a fire resistant landscape appeared, it seemed a timely one to share.  

The owners of the property have been working on their property since the 1980s, but in the mid 1990s, increasing temperatures and drought created even more numerous and destructive bushfires.  Eventually, the owners decided their original plantings had to go, and they began looking for ways to create a more fire resistant landscape.

The owners are obviously wealthy, but their new landscaping has still taken time to create.  Nevertheless, while their methods may not be easily available for small homeowners, if future planning, construction (and reconstruction) is taken into consideration, it might be possible for fire prone areas to reduce some of the danger.  California and other states that experience ever more frequent and more devastating fires,  might consider some of the ideas that this couple employed.

Maybe both federal and state governments need to consider implementing some of the ideas around entire communities that have already suffered tremendous loss.  If they have to rebuild, why not consider planning for future fires.  Because it seems they are coming.

I can't seem to embed the video, but this link should take you there.  One of the most interesting things was having aloes, succulents, cactus, and other water filled plants that don't ignite and avoiding plants that burn freely.   It is a different kind of landscaping for many people, but if you live in an area prone to wildfires, it would be beneficial.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Over the 4th of July long weekend, we had a chance to see our Colorado grandchildren. The kids were in Baton Rouge visiting with their father, and Erin flew in from Denver.  So another road trip to New Orleans.   Together with both daughters and all three grands for the first time in a year and a half!  Since Erin and the kids moved to Colorado, it feels like forever since we've seen them.   

We got back home yesterday, and I'm exhausted.  Usually, the first thing I do is wash clothes, but I was too tired yesterday afternoon when we got back, so that is on today's agenda.  And trying to catch up on everything else!


 I love this article:

  "On my old typewriter, I clacked out a letter to Dolly Parton.

I figured she would be the appropriate person for my first letter because she is the appropriate person for everything. Dolly Parton is the de facto first lady of Tennessee, so she deserved to receive the first letter in Tennessee of Project 88. "

 Keith Sharon at The Tennessean typed a letter to Dolly Parton for gardening tips, Taylor Swift about her favorite movie food.  He sent a letter every day in June--to a Nashville council member, singing stars, chefs, a rabbi, an imam, an author--with the hope of a response.  I'm hoping he will get a response, too.  At least one, but hopefully more.



Sunday, June 27, 2021

Sunday Thoughts

 The sunflowers have been such fun.  Throwing bird seed out into the snow during our unusual February freeze has provided the hardy sunflowers a chance to show how determined they are.  I pulled up most of them, when they sprouted--now, I almost wish I'd left more!  Sunflowers really do love the sun and don't seem to mind the heat, and their cheerful faces are good for my attitude.

Incoming Mail

 Outgoing Mail

Nightmare Catchers:  still playing with these little monster dolls.  Finding more "stuff" that never went into projects and trying to see if I can fit them into the Nightmare Catchers.  Aside from finding all sorts of things like prairie points, stray hexies, and embroidered cloth beads that I hope to work into future creatures, the dolls amuse me for hours.  All of them have messages or phrases embroidered on their backs and the lavender "backpacks."  


The Satapur Moonstone, the second book in Suhata Massey's Perveen Mistry series (reviewed here), was my favorite recent read. 
I also enjoyed Martha Wells' Elements of Fire, but not nearly so much as her science fiction Murderbot Diaries series.   

 I've abandoned several books, and some books have been just OK, fine for passing the time, but not great, but I have a bunch more books waiting in my Kindle queue and am hoping there will be some compelling ones to keep my mind engaged when even a little weeding is too hot to contemplate.

 Many of my reading blog friends are participating in the 20 Books of Summer challenge.  I'm not; although I read every day, I don't choose books a bunch of books in advance for a challenge.  What I do, however, is look at my friends' reviews and add books that sound good to me to my list. :)

Have your read some good books lately?  Are there some that you look forward to reading? 

In other reading, this article is something that I've always felt to be true:  IQ Tests Can't Measure It, but Cognitive Flexibility Is Key to Learning and Creativity.  I've known several people who struggled with academics, but over and over again proved to be great problem-solvers.  I also liked this article about fluid and crystallized intelligence.   

Have your read some good books lately?  Are there some that you look forward to reading?  What else is keeping you occupied this summer?

The heat and humidity continue. As bad as it is here, (the humidity doesn't allow sweat to evaporate) the temperatures in the west and northwest are frightening.  The heat dome is another one of those circumstances that are like dominoes waiting to fall.  Drought and dried up reservoirs, fires, crops that won't survive and will be abandoned in the fields, and each of those leading to other dominoes falling: loss of income, wildfire damage in communities and forests, curtailed electricity, shortages, higher prices, heat exhaustion and heat strokes.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Summer Is Here

We've gone from an unusually cool and rainy June to a sauna with temperatures in the high 90's and the heat indexes 106-112 degrees.  In a few days time.  Quite the shock to the system!


Still working on the Nightmare Catchers, using small quilt blocks left over from larger projects, lots of fabric scraps, items made to embellish other projects and never used,  buttons, etc.  I spend half my time trying to find something that I can use and debating on which scraps will work.  


These three will be gifted soon to Mila, Max, and Bryce Eleanor.

I already had these pins to send them, so I added them to the little monsters.

Books/Reading (an unusual assortment for me)



 To Hester

To Teresa


Wednesday, June 02, 2021

June Happenings

Still playing with the Nightmare Catchers. 

Some of them have lavender buds wrapped in black net, then stuffed in their "backpacks" and some have their backpacks sewn shut.  I'm going to go back and get rid of the net and have all of the lavender sewn shut in the backpacks.

Most will be little gifties.  They are fun to make, and for me, they are sort of therapy/meditation dolls because the very act of sewing and embellishing them is calming.  Again, they have been inspired the Nightmare Catcher on the K-drama It's OK Not to Be OK, Junker Jane, and scraps and tidbits I hold on to. 

I have some mail to answer.  


I've reviewed all but two of these on my other blog.

Garden:  The daylilies are blooming!  


Waking up an hour earlier than usual cuts depression risk by double digits! (Source)

A more positive note about graduating seniors being more resilient because of the disruptions and disappointments of this past year.  (The Hechinger Report)

What's in your garden, on your bookshelf, on your creative or crafty agenda?