Wednesday, October 30, 2019


    We woke up to slushy snowflakes this morning and Facebook was all abuzz with it.  You'd think we've never seen snow on Halloween before.  We have.  It doesn't stick because the ground is still too warm, but if there was ever anything to scare the tuna salad out of you, it's the forboding that snow on Halloween brings. 
     Orange isn't my favorite color.  I can take it only in small doses but this time of year even I have to admit it's pretty.

But never fear, Christmas is near!  Last night we met friends for dinner at a tiny neighborhood dive bar in the city that goes all out for the holidays, especially Christmas.  This place starts booking spots in March for December.  We, being old now, got there early last evening and it's a good thing because we were there 3 hours.  When we get together with Friends Richard and Marilyn we all can't talk fast enough and all together at once and punctuated with laughter.  If you were at the next table watching us you'd need a stop watch and a score card.
Now, this place might look like they're done decorating since it appears to the novice that every wall and ceiling surface was covered, but we were assured they were still in the process and had much more to go.  In fact, this year they skipped decorating for Halloween because so many people book to see Christmas decorations the workers said they had to keep pushing Christmas bookings earlier and earlier.   Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Catching up

Hopefully, now that I am hearing  that people do indeed read this blog but are just not able to comment, I'll try to do better about posting more often.  I missed it, but really felt like the Lone Ranger out here. It would be nice if Blogger would just leave us alone.

The big news for me is that I've joined the world of smart phone owners. I've never had one so while learning to use it I've been taking stock photos of what's happening around lately.  Not much in earth shattering news, though, and on one level, that's good news.
 The forest looks like this and it's glorious.  The gold is so gold it makes the inside of the house glow, too.  PH and I stand at the back door and stare into the forest.  All too soon the ground will be white.
 We had a beautiful weekend, warm and windy and if you stayed indoors you missed what may be our last really warm one.  We took a drive to the lakeshore and had a nice lunch and watched this out the restaurant window.  Brian, we decided you would have loved this!
 After a summer hiatus we've begun our monthly stitch days again.  Once a month Friends Marilyn and Jan and I get together to stitch and visit. Marilyn is working on big stitching her latest project.  Marilyn quilts with the stab stitch method.
 Jan is trying to learn a different technique for casting on stitches for a hat.  Apparently there are different cast-ons for hats to make them easier to stretch.   Who knew?
And I am still dragging the stars around with me.  They get worked on only as a portable project so it's slow going.  But slow is good sometimes. 
 When the days turn colder it's time to bake - these are lemon curd pecan rolls.  Oh, my.
And if you aren't baking and eating pumpkin bread in October and November then when are ya?

 And finally, last night PH and I had my brother and sister (seated) and in-laws over for dinner.  Nibbles and wine and we didn't get farther than the kitchen for the first hour.

Slow cooking, slow quilting, slow reading, slow days.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

We Were Enough

   I didn't mean for so much time to lapse between posts but things started happening and then it was retreat time so I waited to show you some things we did together.
   First of all, our together was greatly diminished this fall.  We kept telling ourselves, "we are enough," but we did miss three of our group.  One was nursing her husband who was in a catastrophic accident a few weeks ago.  She did manage a little R & R for herself and joined us on Saturday evening for a couple of hours.   One had family/work/stress obligations.  One, our dear Friend Vicky was diagnosed with a brain tumor and the outlook isn't promising. 
    One of the things we did was make banners for a prayer flag for her.  Something to her from us so she knows we are thinking of her.   I made mine at home because, you know, I don't travel with a machine.  But the others worked as we kept Vicky forefront in our minds.

 Friend Marilyn was tracing a sailboat pattern because Vicky lives near the lake and recently made a stunning sailboat quilt.

 Some wool work
There were twelve flags, Friend Barb strung them on a cord and she and Friend Sally will deliver it to Vicky.  And we know when she can focus she will know we are thinking of her.

We also had a pottery challenge to return this fall.  Last fall we exchanged a bit of pottery and the receiver was to make a small piece that was inspired by the pottery, come back this year and give back to the owner.  Well, because we were missing three people, and by Saturday night, a fourth because Nancy took a very large piece of her finger off when she maneuvered a chair and so went home, a few of us didn't receive theirs - hopefully soon.

 I had Vicky's little red truck pottery piece and so did this.  I delivered it to Vicky in the hospital before retreat so only had this picture to share.
 This is Friend Nancy's piece, she's trying to smile but was in pain. Marilyn made this for Nancy.
 Friend Jan did this for Lisa, who wasn't there, and Jan's partner wasn't there so Jan didn't get hers...yet.
 Sally gave this little bell from Switzerland and the colors are reflected in this piece that resembles a snowflake in blues.
 Barb gave a piece of blue splatterware and received this piece.
I gave a Polish Pottery bird scoop - I like birds and I like blue - and Joyce made this piece and included as the focal point a replica of the bird.  It's beautiful and perfect!

So, once again we had a wonderful five days and while we were a smaller group, we were enough.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Cilka's Journey

Cilka's Journey: A Novel  Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris

Have you read yet The Tatooist of Auschwitz?  It's the story of Lale and Gita Sokolov's survival in Auschwitz. Of course, to survive many other people needed to be trusted and included.  One of those people involved with Lale and Gita was Cilka. Cilka was just a teenager and she was beautiful so of course she attracted the attention of the commandant. Cilka was made his mistress and given unbelievable power over the other female prisoners.  But, when you are in her position, you do what you need to do to survive.  These things you do are not easily forgotten.
     When the war was over and the camp liberated by the Russians Cilka's journey was not over.  She was accused of collaborating with the enemy and forced to exchange one prison for another, she is sent to Siberia along with anyone else the Russians didn't trust. 
     But Cilka already knows how to survive.  You dig deep. And even though she is once again forced to be someone's mistress and work and live in a cold that can only be imagined she knows she has brains and spunk and heart and you keep your head down.  A female doctor in the camp sees this and takes Cilka into her world of healing, however that can happen in a place like this. Healing can happen in many ways.  Cilka forms friendships,  shows heart and compassion to the sick and injured and eventually she discovers she has even more strength than she ever knew. 
    The Tatooist of Auschwitz is a true story and so is Cilka's.