Archive for the ‘Totally unrelated to quilting’ Category


Mary Oliver died this week.  I have heard of her before but never was a follower.  I know I’ve read some of her works, but I never really FELT it.  Plus, I’ve never been a ‘poemy’ sort of person…most poems I read and think to myself….”ehhhhh….whatever”.  I’m more a “tell me what you want me to hear and I’ll deal with it” kind of person.  (K2 always says she doesn’t do ‘subtle’ and I think that’s what most poetry is.)

However, so many people have been posting Mary Oliver quotes this week that I’ve become intrigued.  (Similar to Leonard Cohen.  I was a late lover of his music having only discovered him about 15 years ago in a yoga class.  Now I can’t get enough of him.)

It might be time for me to explore the work of Mary Oliver.  Even if I don’t really GET poetry.  It doesn’t appear as if her poetry is the sing-song rhyming variety….more thoughtfulness and reflection type poetry.  (Could you call it stream of consciousness?  Just blurting out what is going through your mind?  I’m not sure.)

This is the latest of her thoughts I’ve run across:

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”
From Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Elizabeth Berg, one of my favorite authors of all times, recently posted on her FB about walking out of a yoga class and then quitting her gym membership on the way out the door (her post is dated the 20th of January if you want to read it and all the thoughtful comments)…all without pre-thought or planning.  It resonated with me.

I have arrived at the time in my life where I can say no.  And I say no fairly frequently and (mostly) without guilt.  I can’t tell you how freeing it feels.

A friend asked me to join her in taking over the local reigns on a fairly large Aussie charity.  It is one of the three charities that I really love and generously support.  In the past, I would have said yes immediately.  Instead, I asked for details.

I’m not sure if I’ll say yes or no – but I will be comfortable saying no.  I no longer feel the need to be a front runner.  I KNOW I can be in charge and get things done, but I no longer want to be that person.  Let me sit in the back row and be a supporter.  I’m tired and I’m learning how to say no and I’m comfortable saying no.

That’s all.



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A month ago or so, I heard about an app called “WeCroak“.  I think I heard about it on Dan Harris’s 10% Happier podcast or maybe it was Sam Harris’s Waking Up podcast .

For US$1 (one time fee), I get up to 5 messages a day that say “don’t forget…you’re going to die”.  It may sound pessimistic, but I find it positive.  It reminds me to take things lightly.  To not stress.  It reminds me that everything and everyone is impermanent.  It helps me live my life the way I want to live it.  It keeps me in the moment instead of the past or the future.

With those 5 messages, you can click to get a quote.  This is one of those quotes.

IMG_2466 (1)

On a quilting note, I’ve agreed to teach a 2 day workshop in August so I’ve started doing a little more prep work for that.  I have the basics of the workshop already prepared as I did two demos last month on the same idea that I will be teaching.  I resisted for a long time – but I really did enjoy the demos so decided ‘why not’?  I’ll be teaching 6 simple improv blocks and then ideas for putting them together.  I’m billing it as a PLAYDATE with your scrap bag.  No stress.  No pressure.  No Quilt Police.  Just hang out with me for 2 days and sew.  I think it might be fun.


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A day of mourning

January 20, 2017

Old church and cemetary in light fog at sunrise

I’m dressed in black and eating orange jello with shredded carrots, ham buns with globs of butter and dry cake.

South Dakota funeral food.

An open letter to Hillary Rodham Clinton LINK

She is an example of grace and style and intelligence.

The orange buffoon has been sworn in.

Hang on to your shorts (and guard your pussy) – I expect it is going to be a bumpy ride.

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help concept, special toned photo f/x, focus point selective

A scary word.  I’m guessing it has touched the lives of most people.

On Facebook one morning – I received a notification that the University of Tasmania was offering a **Free** course on understanding dementia. I have time.  I have interest.  I signed up.

The brain, the disease and the person are the focus.

Here’s their blurb:

What is the Understanding Dementia MOOC?

The University of Tasmania’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Understanding Dementia, is an easily accessible 9 week online course that builds upon the latest in international research on dementia. It’s free and anyone can enrol.

The ageing of human populations across the globe has contributed to dementia being identified as one of the public health issues of the 21st century. The MOOC curriculum addresses this health issue by drawing upon the expertise of neuroscientists, clinicians and dementia care professionals from both within the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, and beyond.

Since 2013, 70,000 people have enrolled in the course from 170 countries.

You can enrol until September 23, 2016.  It’s through an online set-up called MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).

I just finished the first unit and it was excellent.  I highly recommend participating if you have the interest.  You don’t need to have medical background to benefit from this course.


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Pema Chodron is another of my most favourite Buddhist writers and speakers.  I have at least 6 of her talks and many of her books.  I have said for a long time now that it is not safe to be a black man in the USA.  This is what Pema has to say about the current situation.
“It has finally really gotten through to me how dangerous it is to be black in America, especially for black men. It feels like Emmett Till all over again. Even in the case of Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a private citizen, I wonder ‘How could it be that George Zimmerman was not convicted of any crime?’ As this systemic oppression is seen over and over again in full sight with no justice, it is not surprising that there will be violent reactions such as the tragic shooting of 12 innocent police in Dallas.

If parents of black children have to teach them how to behave with police so they won’t get killed, there is something wrong with this picture. This situation is deeply disturbing to most Americans, including most police officers.

In the US, racial injustice has been going on since the days of slavery. But what is different now, is that the videos of the murders are there for all to see, and white people can no longer ignore what is going on. I am one of them. I don’t know what the solutions are. In fact, anything I would come up with I am already hearing from Black Lives Matter, Dallas Police Chief David Brown, and others, but there has got to be a way for us to move toward justice for all these victims of endemic racism.

The root problem is fear and hatred and how this escalates, which is where my kind of teachings could be useful. I am committed to continue to help where I can.”
~Pema Chödrön

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