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:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Barter - Sarah Teasdale Poem

Barter by Sarah Teasdale
Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.
Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.
Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

Friday, September 02, 2016

A Hopi Prayer

Hopi Prayer

 Hold on to what is good
even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold onto what you believe
even if its a tree that stands by itself.
Hold onto what you must do
even if its a long way from here.
Hold onto your life
even if its easier to let go.
Hold onto my hand
even when I've gone away from you.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

September 1, 2016

"September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours, but in their lengthening evenings a prophetic breath of autumn.  The cricket chirps in the noontide, making the most of what remains of his brief life.  The bumblebee is busy among the clover blossoms of the aftermath, and their shrill and dreamy hum hold the outdoor world above the voices of the song birds, now silent or departed."
-   September Days   By Rowland E. Robinson, Vermont. 

 "September is Autumn at hand and Summer reluctant to leave; it is days loud with cicadas and nights loud with katydids...It is hot days and cool nights and hurricane and flood and deep hurt and high triumph.  September is both more than a month and less, for it is almost a season in itself.  It is flickers in restless flocks, readying for migration;it is goldfinches in thistledown; it is fledglings on the wing, and half-grown rabbits in the garden, and lambs in the feed lot.  It is the gleam of goldenrod and the white and lavender and purple of fence row asters, with the bright spangle of bittersweet berries.
    September is fog over the river valleys at dawn and the creep of early scarlet among the maples in the swamp.  It is sumac in war paint.  It is bronze of hillside grass gone to seed.  It is walnuts ripening and squirrels busy among the hickories.  It is late phlox like a flame in the garden, and zinnias in bold color, and chrysanthemums budding.  It is the last gallant flaunt of portulaca and petunias defying time and early frost.
     September is the first tang of wood smoke and the smolder of burning leaves.  It is bass and perch revitalized in the chilling waters of pond and stream.  It is the hunter's dog sniffing the air and quivering to be off to the underbrush.
     September is time hastening and days shortening, it is the long nights of Autumn closing in with their big stars and glinting moon.  September is the wonder and fulfillment and the ever-amazing promise of another Autumn."  Hal Borland

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Where Has The Summer Gone

The kids are already back in school.  Seems they have shorter and shorter Summer vacations each year.  When school starts has always signaled the end of Summer for me, but the Summer Holiday used to last until after Labor Day.  My internal calendar is more and more confused.  The heat and humidity certainly aren't paying attention to school schedules.  It has been oh so hot and humid here that we feel like we have moved to a tropical jungle rather than East Tennessee.  I watch through the window as the weeds grower taller and thicker, and long for cooler temps so I can go out and trim them.  I am not aging well, aging---most definitely, but in a very worn and ragged way, and the humidity becomes more and more unbearable for me.  :/  I haven't even spent any time on my kayak or bicycle this Summer!!! ~(  I know that some  of that intolerance is due to the medication that I'm on, but it is oh so frustrating. 

We haven't had much rain this Summer either, and my soul starts to shrivel up without some clouds and rain.  When I do see some drops of nectar falling from the sky, I run out into it, and turn my little wrinkled face up to soak up those drops.  :)

The Fall quilting magazines are coming in now.  I love Fall.  May be my most favorite Season of the year.  :)  Yes, I still get a couple of quilting magazines, I still collect the occasional bit of fabric, I still dream and drool over all the luscious quilts being made and shared out yonder in cyberspace.  I'm still a 'wannabee' quilter.  :D  Maybe this coming Fall and Winter will be my seasons of piecing and quilting.  I'm still obsessing over churn dash and flying geese quilts.  Love the idea of the giant blocks of these made into quilts. 

I have been using a 'special needs' computer for several years now, and it finally gave up the ghost on me.  This new one is a joy to use.  Transferring pictures from my camera to the computer was a major pain.  Now I can transfer them with ease.  The simple things that I am spoiled by...So I will share a few of the scenes from here at Ships Landing from the Spring.  More later.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

An Everyday Manifesto---Something to Strive For


Today, I am alive.

"Today, I choose to believe in myself. To trust the vision of the future I intend to create. To know that I have the internal resources to accomplish my dreams. That in the face of uncertainty and fear, I have only to move forward confidently in the direction of my endeavors and to trust that I can handle whatever comes up along the way.

Today, I face the uncertainty and realize that fear is only an emotion—an emotion that is only one controlled thought away from exhilaration. If I am presented with multiple directions to take, I choose the one that brings the most fear, because the more outside my comfort zone I go, the more I grow.

Today, I choose exhilaration. Today, I wake up with the knowledge that life is finite and that I have no idea where the finish line is. And so, today is beautiful, because time is precious and the only resource that I can’t create more of. I therefore choose to spend it on the people and projects I love, as much as I can. And when faced with unpleasant situations, choose to remember that all is well and that getting through them only adds to my strength and resolve.

Today, I choose not to worry what others may think of me. The opinion of others does not affect the opinion I have of myself. While some may question my choices, they are not intimately aware of what has brought me to this point, where my heart and hopes are for the future, and how today fits into my bigger picture overall. Therefore, any criticism rolls off my back and any praise is met with humble gratitude.

Today, I forgive myself the mistakes I’ve made. Realizing that a mistake is only an opportunity to become aware of a gap in knowledge, and learn for the future. I don’t need to pretend to be perfect and it’s okay to not have all the answers.

Today, I choose to approach life and others with open-mindedness, curiosity and appreciation. I have but one perspective on the world, so the more I learn about others and their journeys, the more I can expand my own viewpoints and horizon; thereby increasing my understanding, compassion and wonder. Today, I appreciate that we all have our own paths and judgement will only limit my own.

Today, I give myself permission to follow my own pace. If I need to rest, I do so—without playing the tape of should-dos and have-tos. If I have the energy, I use it to move things forward. If I feel social, I connect. If I need time to contemplate, I find solitude. There are constraints of chosen responsibilities, but I stay as true to my natural rhythm as I can.

Today, I choose to be authentic. I choose to be happy. I choose to love. To play. To dance. To run. To be afraid. To trust. To cry. To change. To follow my heart, and break it. To challenge myself, and to be easy on myself. To use my talents and chase my passions. To travel. To learn. To grow. To laugh. Out loud. A lot. To not take myself or life so seriously, for death is the great equalizer. Today I live.

Today, I am alive."

Author: Jennifer Sabetti
Editors: Emily Bartran; Ashleigh Hitchcock

Monday, July 11, 2016


“There are things you can’t reach. But
You can reach out to them, and all day long.
The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of god.
And it can keep you busy as anything else, and happier.
I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.
Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around
As though with your arms open.”
― Mary Oliver

Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy 4th of July

Have a safe and wonderful Holiday from all of us here at Ships Landing

Happy Birthday, USA! 

Happy 4th of July

Sunday, July 03, 2016

July is Under Way

And the hot, humid days have already driven me indoors, except for early in the mornings and at dusk.

The wild raspberries came early this year, and the sweet nectar on my tongue makes me long for fields of fruiting raspberry bushes.  Is there anything that compares to the taste and texture of sun-warmed raspberries straight from the canes to the mouth?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Happy Summer Solstice and Family

A small family gathering to spend time with a nephew and his family that are relocating to France for 3 years.  So glad we had the time together.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Mad Hatter March and Vulnerability

I just celebrated one of those Big 0 birthdays the latter part of February.  I have been here now for 60 years, and frankly it is totally mind-boggling.  It has led to some deeper thoughts and questions, hence the following quote, which I love:

"The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability;  how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance,  our choice is to inhabit vulnerability as generous citizens of loss,  robustly and fully,  or conversely, as misers and complainers,  reluctant and fearful,  always at the gates of existence, but never bravely and completely attempting to enter,  never wanting to risk ourselves,   never walking fully through the door."
David Whyte    Consolations

Monday, February 01, 2016

Welcome Fun and Fabulous February

Upon a day that legends say hog shadows can foretell
The ending of the hoary winter season,
A child was born one early morn between heaven and hell,
Between the warmth of spirit and cold reason.
🌿The year was old, the winter cold, yet tiny shoots of grass
Still bravely pierced the hardened frosty rime –
Their shoots unbowed they stood the vow that like the newborn lass
The spring would quickly grow and reach her prime.
☀ For from that start twixt head and heart a small girl bathed in milk
Would grow to be the saint of three great arts –
She would exalt distiller’s malt, weavers craft, poet’s ilk –
All treasures from the soul’s liminal parts.
🌿Our faith is clear in times most drear, when earth is bleak and frigid –
The gods did send a guide, a friend, to all in lovely Brigid. ~Buddy Dawn ☀ 🌿☀ 🌿☀ 🌿☀ 🌿☀

Sunday, January 24, 2016

This past week has been a void in time.  Snow  came earlier than was predicted and we had not done storm prep.  Randy was in Knoxville on Tuesday, coming home on Wednesday but snowstorm on Wednesday kept him in Knoxville until Thursday.  Still couldn't reach our house.  Car stuck in a ditch and someone gave him a ride in on an ATV.  And we have been snowed in ever since.  Intermittent power.  Feeding the woodstove to stay warm.  Conserving cell phone batteries by not spending time chatting on them or on the internet.     Here we are on Sunday morning and it is beautiful outside.  So much bright sunshine, and blue blue skies, and lots of snow.  We are beginning to feel a bit of cabin fever but remind ourselves of our good fortune to be in a place of warm shelter and food when so many others are stranded in cars, on highways, flooding in other places, and many more inches of snow than ours for others.  

When the power is on I'm in a rush to get soup made, and a pot of chili, things that are easier to heat up on the woodstove.  Wash dishes, make sure there's coffee in the thermos.  Water bowls full for pups.  Heaving huge sighs of relief that the tubs are filled so we can flush commodes.  Shovel spots for pups to do their business outside (that they sometimes use and sometimes deem it necessary to go out into the deep snow to try to find their scent.   I'm worn out just from going from window to window, chair to chair to stove to chair to other chair, outside for wood, back to the chair, or the other chair, feed the birds and commiserate with them on how cold it is for them and how hard for them to find food in snow...and so the path of this past week has gone...hard to know with certainty what day it is.  Interesting how at the beginning it always feels cozy and snug and time for reading and reflecting and going at a much more quiet and gentler pace...then the inner restlessness starts to build and the urgent need for fresh air on your skin.  Too restless to settle into hand sewing or quilting. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Day 4 Moon Block Quilty365

Yesterday's block (January 4, 2016)

Quilty 365

January 1, 2, and 3, 2016

These are my first three Quilty 365 circles.  I made one last night but haven't gotten a picture of it yet.  Audry at started this challenge last November (?), making one block with circle (moon) a day for a year.  She has a badge for your wall, which I haven't gotten on my blog yet.  Lots of quilters have hopped on this bandwagon.  They are all so different and unique and lots of fun to look through and meet new quilters.  :)  I waited until January 1 to start mine.  I'm hoping that I can make one a day for this whole year.  A new Ritual?  Already it is something that I look forward to sitting down with for a few minutes before heading off to bed.  :)