Wildlife in the burbs

Yesterday, Finn and I saw a coyote down by the fire station. He blended beautifully with the landscape such that you can barely see him in the photo (look to the left). Though I’ve heard of many sightings over the years, this was my first.

Finn got very alert. Very still.

These turkeys were on Cypress Street today — a more common sight (along with red tailed hawks). I love how their prehistoric manner offsets all our signposts of civilization. Curbs and cars, fences and houses — and a posse of turkeys! They are not impressed.

Yesterday, the living room was flooded with light and I took a ridiculous number of pictures of this pennant. Today, I filled out the customs form at the post office, all the while wondering how Mo’s last name actually sounds. Off it went — almost a year to the day before the deadline. That must be some kind of personal best.

(My husband has a consonant-rich name so you’d think I’d be better at Mo’s name. But I’m not.)

The FCC did the wrong thing today (by overturning regulations put in place to preserve net neutrality). I don’t think this fight is over.

Did I really hear that the FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said something along the lines of ‘nobody’s watching’ from a live stream of the proceeding? With comments piling up so fast, I could barely read them? With streams of angry face emoji’s so thick, I could barely make out the scene behind them?

At least this deeply upsetting decision did not come on the heels of a whack job with criminal tendencies being elected to the US Senate. I’d been dreading Alabama’s election (who hadn’t been?) — even though I had a feeling in my body that Jones was gonna win.

Official pennant post next.

Apron strings

If there is something to sew on backwards, I’ll sew it on backwards. For this simple project, I lined one of the many woven rectangles lying around the studio to serve as an apron pocket and then stitched the waistband on the wrong side of the opening.

I thought I was so clever to simultaneously stitch the pocket to the apron and stitch the pocket turn-opening, thus making one line of machine stitching unnecessary.

Dismayed and generally averse to ripping out, I sewed the damn pocket shut and called it a day.  So much for feeling clever!

After a pause (the all important pause), I realized It wouldn’t be so bad to fix since I’d only have to rip out the length of the waistband. So I did. Opened up the pocket. Added some hand quilting.

For waistband Round Two, I used a contrasting geometric print instead of the same seer sucker as the apron. I like it a LOT better. The same yellow print lines the pocket.

To my mind, there is only one essential feature of an apron — it must have ties long enough to wrap around the waist and tie in front. That way, I can tuck the essential hand towel into the ties. A dish towel over-the-shoulder is a distant second for convenience.

Prefer 100% cotton, of course.

Pockets and bibs are features I don’t much mind but don’t seem to need, either.

Maybe the recipient of this apron will find good use for a roomy centered pocket. If not, it looks nice!

In case you’re wondering, I am also baking cookies, mailing packages, walking the dog, watching election results, emailing commissioners at the FCC, helping to plot my younger son’s next steps, and WRITING.

PS. Ninety inches (for this waist) affords enough length to tie the apron strings in front.

Christmas trees and taxes

Who among my American readers has the possibility of dual citizenship? Are you thinking about it? Talked to one friend yesterday who is asking her mother to produce papers about Italian forebears.

I feel like wrapping my house in black crepe, but instead I guess we’ll go to Russo’s and get our tree.

On a much lighter note, I met B’s new kitties yesterday. What antics they got up to! In and out of empty boxes, leaping on newly rearranged side tables, snacking on house plants. This little prankster ended up flossing her teeth with my embroidery thread!

Lastly, I just registered for this Global Vigil. I figure if I can spend the first hour of my day (or is it almost two, now) reading awful, demoralizing news that only serves to enrage me and make me feel powerless, then maybe I can do this too. A half hour?

*first photo taken along Charles River near Harvard Square

Nothing is simple

Such a crashing week of news. One terrible revelation after another. I am gritting my teeth waiting for this tax bill to pass. And that might not be the worst thing happening this week. The FCC. Tom Cotton? The hateful, incendiary retweets. Sexual assault wall to wall.

On a personal front, there was also disappointment: a work place slow down for one of my sons. Money and more money flowing out from here to there. Unsustainable.

Good news? Is there any? It could be that the writing is chugging along with a kind of sparking determination. I’m hard at switching the chapters told in third person close narrative to first person, did I say? There’s a lot behind that. Years of thought actually. And it’s happening with a kind of forward movement that is energizing. Lending coherence.

For years, writing the enslaved characters from first person seemed an impossibility. I built in some distance out of respect. I thought. Then it started to seem like cowardly avoidance. Respectful/Cowardly. Back and forth that went. The debate about Sofia Coppola’s remake of the Civil War movie “The Beguiled” (in which she wrote out the black character, thinking she wouldn’t do the character justice) was a tipping point.*

* the specific debate that was most compelling can be heard here on the podcast “still processing“.

Writing this after midnight.

Here, too is a link to It’s Crow Time blog, where Mo posted about my pennant’s progress for the “I Dream of a World Where Love is the Answer” project. How her summary and the comments uplifted! I want them handy for the next time I sail into the doldrums.

Today, I stitched more than twenty red beads onto the walnut-dyed covering cloth. They look beautiful.


A wind that’s cold. A puzzle that’s hard. Already the narcissus stretch toward the sun.

I am thinking of adding lines of red seed beads on the Dreaming of A World Where Love is the Answer cloth. To represent wounds. Unresolved history. The map becoming the body of the world.


One to the other. Season. Place. Ground and sky. A flight back to Colorado later today. Special china’s been put away but the folding chairs — not yet.

I called this patchwork a “whimsy” elsewhere. An unstoppable doodle. Irrepressible play. Now that the pile of these is growing, I probably ought to figure out what to do with them. Maybe make longer panels for the hall double hungs upstairs? Facing east, those windows get blasted by morning light, so the cloth’d be like glass for a few hours a day.

There was a big smudge on my phone camera lens. Ambience or malfunction?

And, after a couple days away, it’ll be back to the story.

PS  Deb Lacativa‘s cloth is playing a star role in this patchwork (from my recent lottery win, blogged about here). Some of my recent walnut dunks show up, as well as older indigo creations of mine.