Thursday, March 02, 2017

It's really hard---learning to walk THROUGH the empty spaces---rather than AROUND them.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Bayley-Darlin' Shipley Earned His Angel Wings Last Night February 27, 2017

Bayley-Darlin' Shipley April 13, 2009 - February 27, 2017  Our hearts are broken.....  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Brutal and Beautiful

  I 'borrowed' this from Jayne at Journey through Grace blog.  I don't think she will mind.

February is becoming such a 'brutiful' month for us.  Randy and I both have birthdays this month, Badger, and then Dewey, crossed the Rainbow Bridge in the month of February several years back, and now Bayley is dreaming his way to an early adventure to the Rainbow Bridge.  He's not quite ready for this grand adventure just yet, but probably won't be long before he will be romping and running to his heart's content, doing all of the fun running things that he hasn't been able to do here in this physical world.  For now, I stay close by his side, feasting my eyes and heart on his sweet face for as long as I can.

Friday, January 06, 2017

The Holidays have come and gone, and a new year has begun.  We had our first bit of snow this morning.  More predicted for tonight.  Cold and colder for the next couple of days.  We are hunkered down for this Winter blast.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Happy Winter Solstice



"The Guest House"
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
-Rumi ///

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas is One Week from Today

How can a whole year have passed so quickly?  A turbulent, wind-tossed year fraught with angst and calm, of love and hate, of fun and pain, of joy and sadness, and for some, total devastation---as if in the blink of an eye, it has passed like a creek flowing under a bridge.  Sometimes raging as though from a deluge in a storm, other times slowing to a trickle as in a drought.  Life in this human form is a strange thing indeed. 

I must fess up to not feeling the least bit jolly this particular year.  Too many catastrophes world-wide that are wrapped around my mind like a heavy, wet wool blanket on a hot, humid day.  I feel the urgency of time running out, and yet it mires me in place, rather than spurring me into movement and action. 

Winter Solstice is only a couple of days away, a time when the light of the day will begin to increase slowly again each day.  Yet I have drawn inward, and need longer than just a few days to begin stretching for the light again.  I am comforted by the shorter, darker Winter days right now, although I have felt the shorter days weigh heavy at the beginning of the time change this year.

I chose not to put up our traditional big Christmas tree this year.  Saving those spurts of energy for some baking and sewing.  I am enjoying those two things the most this Season.

                   The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry

Saturday, December 03, 2016

This quilt has waited patiently for a very long time for the quilting of it.  This Winter may be the time for some hand-quilting.

Charm Square Trees without their trunks :D

3-1/2 x 6-1/2" Flying Geese made from thriftstore shirts

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Spoils

We're Americans. We came, we conquered, we pushed into the endless West by the sweat of our brow and the fire of our rifles, and even though we ran out of endlessness long ago, we still believe we can bootstrap ourselves into our own individual clean water and roads and schools and self-defense, all 320 million of us. 'S long as we don't get sick or nothin'. No socialism for us!

But oh, capitalism. Why do we love it so, and so uncritically? It's the engine of prosperity, that's the dogma--the idea that the means of production are in private hands, that profit accrues to the victors, that everyone comes out better, that we go on growing forever and together. If only there were any evidence that it's true, and not that a whole lot of people are doing the work and a tiny fraction is accumulating the profits, and that it's not possible to grow forever! Something doesn't add up.

Used to be people did for themselves and traded for what they could, and mostly people were on the same level. Maybe not for the last few hundred years, but for a million more before that. And they managed to thrive. What's happening, now that having far more than one needs has been elevated to a virtue?

Ask my friend Julie. Julie Zickefoose is a naturalist, exquisitely educated in the splendor of this, our first and last planet. She is observant enough to behold the whole fabric, to know what will come undone when the threads are pulled. She knows what sustains us. But she has to pay for that intimacy. Because, more than those of us who allow advertising to instruct us what we should crave, she experiences every day the thumping joy of natural abundance, our true wealth. And with it, the freight of sorrow that comes with knowing what we've lost, and have yet to lose.

She's counting her losses now. She's got eighty natural Ohio acres she calls a "sanctuary," because it's the losses all around it that define it. And just down the road, she is watching a wooded wonder come crashing down, tree by tree, and she knows every creature that depends on it, bird to bat to bobcat. She'll be the one who remembers where the newt pond used to be. She is watching a tapestry being degraded to burlap. Because someone was willing to part with it for a dab of cash to put an oil well in there. Soon the birdsong will be crushed under a constant roar, and a flaming stack will steal the dark from the night.

She and many of her neighbors have not signed away their mineral rights, but a patchwork of natural poverty is blooming all around her, scored by a drumbeat of machinery. When the patches overwhelm the original fabric, the threads can't hold it together.

Lord pity the people who have the misfortune of living on top of something like the Marcellus Shale. When coal is to be mined, or copper, or diamonds, or shale oil, everything that stands between capitalism's victors and their money is called "overburden." That would include your forests, your carbon sinks, your newt ponds, your topsoil, your water, your last planet's own means of production. And all of us: we're overburden too. Coal miners are nothing if not expendable, but so is everyone else who counts on the genius of the living world to sustain us, even if we don't know it. We are to be tossed aside as the money is siphoned to the top and we will be left with less than we started with. Much less.

It's not a coincidence that extraction piracy is so often inflicted on indigenous peoples. In some parts of the world, they are sitting on the last unmolested acres, so they must be subdued. In America, the First Nations were allotted the unloved bits, the pieces with no obvious value to the conquerers, and now that it turns out there's black gold in them there barren hills, why, it's time for them to knuckle under again. In North Dakota, the Standing Rock Sioux are holding their ground against the capitalists. The oil comes from elsewhere, but the pipeline is to be routed in a way that threatens their sacred sites and their water. Life, in other words. Lest these concerns seem quaint and primitive, know this: the pipeline route has already been changed to accommodate the needs of the good white people of Bismarck.

Only a false economy considers the profit of a few to be a fair swap for a devastated, discarded landscape and a ruined atmosphere. The balance sheets are off. The costs have been hidden.

The Standing Rock Sioux understand what is sacred on this last planet, and they're standing against its destruction. Who will stand with them?

Thanks, Murr

Friday, November 11, 2016

Post-Election (November 8, 2016)

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
 Kindness by  Naomi Shihab Nye

Borrowed from another quilt artist's blog---from Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural Address: