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Friday, December 17, 2010

End of 2010

To those of you who notice when I post an occasional update, I want to say "Thanks for your interest and enduring friendship." After all the changes and relocations over the past year or so, I haven't had the energy to write much.
The hilly countryside in western NYS is covered by a fluffy white blanket of snow. Blue skies are rare, sunshine infrequent and it's only the beginning of a long siege, but that's life in the northeast. Hibernation mode presses in, too alluring to resist. Maybe some holiday baking is in order, if I can give most of it away and not eat it all myself!
I wish for you good health, peace of mind, blossoming creativity, warm friendship, prosperity, joy and love this Christmas Season and all through the New Year ahead. To quote the motto of an acquaintance, "Never Give Up!" Blessings to All.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Two Quilt Shows in 24 Hours

I just returned from a jam-packed trip east, taking in the 24th Annual Northeast Quilts Unlimited show in Old Forge, NY (heart of the Adirondacks) and the 30th Annual Juried Quilts=Art=Quilts Unlimited show at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, NY the next day. I only ran into freezing rain once.
I took lots of pictures under low-light conditions (no flash allowed) at the first show, no picture-taking allowed at the second. I found both shows invigorating, a visual feast, lots of eye candy. Might even take up quilt-making again (and finish some UFO's). The main commonality in the Auburn show was printing on organza and painting on silk. Some bead work. Vivid colors: bright pinks, lime greens, oranges, aqua blues. Yummy! One side-trip yielded pictures of Fort Hill Cemetery entrance/gate:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Beads n' Things

One of my pleasant pastimes in Tennessee was arranging glass, metal, stone & shell beads on wire. I was pleased to figure out how to finish off my new necklaces which matched several outfits. Is it possible to have too many baubles? Perhaps...


On a group hike to the Walls of Jericho near the Tennessee/Alabama border, I stopped beneath tall canyon cliffs to soak my feet in the cold water gushing from holes in the rocks. While I basked in the late winter sun, a butterfly landed on my socks, presumably to suck on the salt. I reached out and it climbed onto my fingers. Fortunately I had the camera in the other hand. I can't express the feeling as this delicate wild creature willingly chose me for its temporary perch.

Butterflies seem to personify freedom. "Butterflies are free to fly... fly away!" As a child I used to catch them in improvised nets with the intention of starting a collection. It never happened. Now I regret killing them.

One clear autumn day I sat mesmerized on the garage roof while scores of migrating monarchs floated overhead, their gossamer wings glowing like orange silk backlit by the sun.

Many can relate to the concept of being "in limbo," wrapped up in a symbolic chrysalis, waiting, stuck in a metamorphic holding pattern. I have kicked against the cocoon walls with impatience, even groaned in despair, and sighed with resignation to the 'permanent darkness.'

To you and to myself I say- Take heart. Hold on. Consider the butterfly and its humble beginnings with hope of something better, much much better yet to come. The One who fashioned this fragile yet strong and graceful insect surely has a good plan for those who love Him.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Testing, testing, are you still there?

Long-overdue greetings to those who may still be watching this blog. I've been away from it for a very long time, and in that time have moved again twice. I have driven a moving truck four times more than I thought I ever would.

Living with one's aging parent is a good test of character, and I admit I failed the test from time to time. It's the struggle even a two-year-old experiences when he declares, "I can do it myself!" Although I was there to help her, I felt the danger of slipping into a dependent role, if only in my mother's eyes.

We did enjoy going out to Chinese buffet dinners quite often, to the movie theater several times, and even attended the local writers' guild meeting together- once. Scrabble challenges kept us sharp.

Besides riding my bike (even on Christmas Eve!) I found many opportunities to soak up the southern sun while searching the red clay fields for fossils. The best part of fossil collecting was donating one-of-each specimens to a museum and many boxes to someone who puts together educational programs for children in the schools. The latter expected hundreds, if not 1,000 participants in the 2010-2011 school year.

Joining the hiking club gave me access to some gorgeous territory I never would have found by myself, and the rock hounds group afforded a visit to an area rich with preserved seashells from another age.

And now, where do I find myself? In western NYS starting a new chapter of my life. I have spent hours in the creeks, finding more fossils. I am also tumbling and polishing quartz pebbles found in Alabama, with hopes that some jewelry crafters will be interested in the colors and textures accentuated.

No promises, but perhaps I will be able to bring this blog back to life with a little effort. Leave a comment or message if you want to.