Weeds, Water, And Words

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.  ~A.A. Milne

Dirt Man and I hiked a trail at Back Bay today and returned via the beach. It is off season so pets are allowed. Wylie was thrilled to be allowed to accompany us. For some reason I seemed to be focused on weeds today. Through many of our hikes, Dirt Man has pointed out weeds and declared some of them to be invasive or a nuisance. I always seem to try to correlate nature with human relationships. I started thinking about how we can be intrusive or invasive into the lives of others, especially in the lives of those we love. Each of us has probably felt that our parents have behaved in this manner at one time or another. And if you have children, you have probably stepped over the boundary a time or two, not out of nosiness but purely out of concern. We always want what is best for the people we love, and we seem to think we know better than they do.

This looks like Cousin It to me, but Dirt Man swears it’s called Weeping Love Grass. I tend to trust his knowledge more than mine, and as far as I know the Adams haven’t put out a missing persons bulletin for Cousin It.

Grasses, weeds, and reeds overwhelm the marsh areas. They offer a layer of protection for duck and other waterfowl. Often things in life that appear to be a nuisance do offer some sort of comfort on other levels whether we like to admit it or not. I suppose the question is whether the comfort outweighs the annoyance. 

These cattails appears to be sloughing their velvet coating which I assume distributes its seeds. Cattails are must be restrained as they can easily grow out of control. They are fast growing and invasive. However, they are also considered the most useful emergency food source. Personally, I’ve always held a special affection for cattails. The deep earthy brown tone and the velvet smooth surface stuck on the end of a reed with sharp crisp grassy leaves has always held my attention. I find it one of the most beautiful yet complex plants in the marsh areas. And really, maybe it just stills my heart because it is native to the soapstone quarries where I grew up.

Whether we decide our “weeds” to be irritants or security, it will all reflect back on us. We will see its value in how we live.

As always in the most common of all things, beauty shines. It reaches out and pulls us in. We all want to be a part of it. Though many consider the reeds and grasses to be pests, they also have the ability to be harvested for food and fiber if needed. There is potential in almost everything; the choice is in how we use them.

I’m not sure if these are snow geese or swans in the background. They were too far away to get a good visual. Dirt Man wasn’t wearing his glasses, and you all know I can’t see jack crap. Still, we were soaking in all we could see. What we couldn’t see wasn’t all that important because we could feel the moment. A soft wind carressed us and a trickle of sunshine warmed us while we listened to the many calls of the various waterfowl.

I took one last lovely shot of the marshlands before we veered onto the beach access.

Seeing the wave formation across the sand dunes really helped me understand how some of those mountains we hiked out West were created through time and weather. It looks lonely yet content and hopeful.

While the dunes appear to be a barren wasteland, it thrives with vegetation. Even when we lack abundance, we still seem to get all that we need.

Sea grass and a feather constitute the simple debris that has washed upon the shore. These appear to be cast offs, trash, un-needed items, yet they might just become part of a nest or something equally useful.

Wylie patiently waits for us to finish picnicing and takes a little rest before heading down to play on the beach. She appears to be absorbing the moment through all of her senses, though her nose usually rules.

Though it was cloudy, the temperature was perfect, about 65. It wasn’t overly bright and sunny and there was a gentle breeze, not too chilly. The roar of the ocean and crashing of the waves reminded us that we were not alone, though we had not seen a soul for the first four miles of our hike. The solitude was heavenly, fabulous thinking atmosphere.

This was the last beach scene before heading back through the dunes to the parking lot and into the real world again. I love the composition of wood, sand, water, and sky all in one picture. We walked in awe of all of the power surrounding us, and still we felt we somehow fit into this picture.

I love the texture of the ripples across the sand and the waves in the sand dune. I am always amazed that vegetation can flourish in the sand. It reminds me that even in my times of drought, I can survive.

Earth and sky join hands on the last dune as we end our hike.

What is a weed?  A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fortune of the Republic, 1878

How We Move

What road do you travel?

Get to know two things about a man. How he earns his money and how he spends it. You will then have the clue to his character. You will have a searchlight that shows up the inmost recesses of his soul. You know all you need to know about his standards, his motives, his driving desires, his real religion. ~Robert James McCracken, D.D.

Some people move with motive. Others move with purpose. I see this unfold on a daily basis.

You might see motive and purpose as the same, but I see them entirely differently. I see motive filled with “selfish” desire while I feel purpose is a “selfless” direction one takes.  I think manipulation for a personal payoff is the means behind motive while purpose marches for the greater good of mankind.

I am skeptical of those who function with motive. They seem to have agendas. They always want to know what is in it for them. They plan strategies and carry them out with the goal of a reward. They are the focus of what they do. It is an ego thing.

Those who live with purpose seem to be following an inner calling, a knowing. They appear to be on a mission to help others while not expecting a payback. They are driven to do what they do from their hearts. It is often their destiny, not a stop on the journey. They carry out their duties with concern for others.

I used to think that desire and longing were the same. I now feel that desire is selfish while a longing comes from something much deeper. I think desire is more of wishful thinking while longing is an ache or craving that can not be relieved with material means. Maybe, motive stems with desire while purpose originates with a longing to fulfill providence.

I am not impressed with people who must brag incessantly about themselves. When they tell me how indispensable they are, I wonder if they are trying to convince me or themselves. I much prefer humbleness to superiority. I am of the school that actions speak louder than words. It is usually what remains untold that tells the tale.

I have always been a people watcher. I often wonder what makes them tick. I question why they choose to do and say the things they do. It’s often clear whether they operate from a place of love and compassion or anger and greed. I could be misinterpreting this entirely. I am voicing what I am watching in the world today. What is your operation of movement? What do you see and hear? Do you think there is a difference between motive and purpose? What about desire and longing? Am I reading too much into this? What are your thoughts?

Beauty Within

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

photo courtesy of Diane White

When we hear the word “beauty”, we think of things we see. We think of beauty as we are conditioned to perceive it. Few of us consider ourselves to be beautiful. We forget that not all beauty is visual. We paint the world in rainbows of love, generosity, and kindness. Sometimes, beauty is found within us.

A thing standing alone might seem simple, but place them together and they can become an expansive view, beauty that you actually inhale. You feel the sacred of it in your bones. The breath of life brushes against your skin as you become a dot of paint on the painter’s canvas. Sometimes, we live within a moment of beauty.

We are confronted by beauty every day. Beauty that is ordinary. We take it for granted. Sometimes we fail to see the extent of something quite so extraordinary because our own perception is distorted by the conditions of daily living.

Often we hear beauty speak in the silence around us. It is a state of being. It drifts across the sky, rains upon the earth, and springs forth in new life. Sometimes beauty rests in possibility. It is the hope of what is to come.

Beauty powers all that ever was and what it is ever changing to be. It whispers to us and calms us but has the power to pull us under. So while they claim beauty to be a seductress, it is actually a sustainer. Sometimes it’s all relative.

Beauty emerges when we think all the usefulness is gone. We know what was given, what was sacrificed, and what was birthed because of it. Petals fall and fuzzy tendrils catch onto the tail of the wind. They touch down here and there and the world becomes a better place. Sometimes we can be the beauty that caresses the earth.

If we don’t clearly identify beauty, we think it is hidden, perhaps beneath the stone. Or we think that maybe it doesn’t exist at all. Sometimes beauty can’t be seen, but we know it’s there because we feel it. Nothing short of beautiful can make us feel loved, full of life, and hopeful for the future. Sometimes beauty is a combination of belief and trust.

On Brokenness

The prayer that prevails is not the work of lips and fingertips. It is the cry of a broken heart and the travail of a stricken soul. ~Samuel Chadwick

We have all broken something entrusted to us or have been the recipient of a broken item, tangible or not. We have dealt with broken appliances and broken alliances. We’ve nursed broken limbs and broken wings, whether our own or those of a loved one.

I hate to admit that I have broken the spirit of my children a time or two and have had my own broken many times. Every time it was devastating, resulting in broken sobs.

Each of us have experienced broken promises and broken trust. Most of us have even had our hearts broken. Unfortunately, many of us have been the ones who caused others to suffer those very afflictions of brokenness that we inflicted on others.

I remember growing up and hearing the term “broken home” and not having any idea what that meant. My mother explained that a certain child was a product of a broken marriage. I still didn’t quite get it. To me broken meant something like my dolls head falling off.  I could understand a broken mirror because I could see it. And because people warned me, I anticipated bad luck. Like any child, I broke plenty of glasses while growing up. Breaking things was simply a part of life,and very much a learning experience. I never knew that so many things could be broken in a lifetime. I got married and broke the chains to my family. Throughout the years I’ve broken ties with people in my life whether it was family, business, or personal. I met people who spoke broken English. I experienced broken health, and was witness to broken terrain. I’ve often thought life to be a mosaic.

Though I had experienced the breaking of things in my life, I still had not experienced “brokenness” until much later. It wasn’t just a defeat, a disappointment, a loss, or a painful experience. It was a downright crushing of my soul on a level I’d never felt before. It came in the aftermath of a holdup. It came with vulnerability, the loss of confidence, a void in my life, excruciating emotional pain, and a total lack of direction or guidance. I suffered. I cried. And I reached out to the only One I knew to be greater than all things. Only then was I able to begin healing.

When I was broken, I only knew of two choices. I could have deemed myself wasted and given up (which I did for a while) or I could surrender to what was higher than me (which I finally did and will never regret) and allow myself to be restored. We often feel hopeless and accept defeat. When we allow love to enter and meet us in that dark and lonely place, we begin to heal.

Currently, I am experiencing what I first thought was brokenness again as I was helpless and hopeless. I could not see the bigger picture, and I still struggle with understanding. However, I see His hand placing the pieces of mosaic. Though many of us in this situation feel pain, ultimately He is taking away the suffering. So often in circumstances where we are key players though not the main player, we focus on our feelings and how things affect us. Though we might be involved, there is often someone else whose struggle is much harder and more painful than ours. We need to focus on the person it is about and offer love and support any way we can. We have to surrender to Him to guide us as we are not in control nor do we see the whole picture. I’m not saying we have to give up hope. I am saying sometimes the hope is not at all in the outcome we choose. There are often bigger issues that we don’t have the capability to understand. Ultimately, we have to trust.

So as I am in this dark place, I am not lonely. I know that I am supported. I am surrounded by love and lifted in prayer. Though I hurt, it is not about me. I choose to focus. I choose to accept His plan. I have hope in Him.  And mostly, I trust that He will heal us all.

Questioning Life And Death

I ponder the questions to which I have no answers. So, I do the only thing that helps me when I’m hurting with no answers. I walk. Dirt Man grabbed our packs and loaded them and leashed the dog, We headed for the woods. I needed to stomp the earth and inquire the universe. I needed to fill my pores with the beauty of nature and hopefully find a bit of wisdom along my way. I felt angry. I felt helpless. I felt hopeless. And damn it, I wanted answers!

Why do people get sick?

Why must life be followed by death?

Why is life so short?

Why must there be pain in living and dying?

What is the purpose?

How can the heart let go?

I grapple to find reason in the midst of chaos. I grasp for answers in a sea of uncertainty.

There are times that we are but shadows that reach out and spread across one another’s paths. We don’t always know why our lives intersect. We don’t always know the impact someone has had on us until much later, and often we never know quite how we’ve touched someone else.

We might never know our true purpose. We are never ready to be used up and hollowed out. No one wants our time to be over. And there never ever seems to be enough time.  Just maybe using all we have is the purpose after all.

There are times that we lean and sway. In those times of instability, it helps to have connections that lean and sway right along with us. It comes with love and support.

When the body is too weak to hold itself up, it’s important for there to be another to slide beneath and be strong enough to hold them both. Life is meant to be shared through the good and the bad. Relationship gives meaning to every thing we say, do, or even think.

Who are we to know when our time has come full circle? And who are we to complain of the size of our circle? It is the depth of what is packed in the circle that matters. It is the accumulation of all we’ve touched, those we’ve taught, and the lessons we’ve learned that completes the process of which we have no control. Though I have no understanding of why some circles are completed before others, I know I must accept it and be thankful that I was a part of that circle.

Still, I have no answers. Other than knowing it is the process of life and death, I fail at any deeper understanding. I remain helpless. I might never understand the purpose. I hold out hope to what is greater than I am. I hope that even through our losses we will all love as long as we live.

Mother Nature Takes A Ride With Father Time

We are the banks that hold the rivers flow in check. We sit there quietly waiting. If called upon we will step forth with all our strength to protect all that we call ours. Sometimes, it takes the greatest courage to do nothing.

We are the ground in which life forces attach and flourish. We nourish and sustain. We strengthen roots and empower with wings. Sometimes, we have to get out of the way for them to find their way.  

We are the sky of hope and possibility. We are the ones that build confidence. We encourage talent. We teach them to soar and reach for the stars. Sometimes, believing in someone else is the only lifeline they need.

We are the water that reflects the accomplishments of the years. We have absorbed the tears, ridden the rapids, and kept everyone afloat. Sometimes, we have to accept that our job is done.

A Segment Of Sometimes Series

Feeling At Home

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.” ~Anthony J. D’ Angelo

Having a sense of community is a feeling of comfort. We all like to feel like we belong, whether our connection is neighborhood, work, church, organizations, charity work,  or a circle of friends. It’s almost like a membership to a special group. We feel valued that our welfare and opinions matter to those around us.

I come from a small town where a sense of community is strong. Everyone is related to someone within a two mile vicinity. Everyone knows everyone’s name, and their business. Everyone waves at every car that passes by, whether they know who they are or not. When I did something I shouldn’t have chances were fairly high that my parents would know about it by the end of the day.

Back then, we didn’t think twice about “dropping in” on someone. And most of the people we were close enough to that we walked right in without even knocking. Times have changed and trust has all but vanished in this day. Now we call first. We knock. And we always keep our doors locked. Well, maybe not always, but it sure isn’t like it used to be. Besides, we seemed to have so much free time back then…how’s that?

We looked out for one another. We watched each others kids. We shared dinners. We took care of one another when sick. We ran errands for neighbors, relatives, and friends. Shopping was an all day outing. Nothing was convenient, yet it was wonderful.

I think the sense of community we feel strongly correlates with our involvement with that particular group. I still have ties to many groups that I am not currently involved with. I don’t feel like a total outsider, yet I don’t feel like I quite fit in anymore. I think that also is a part of growth in our own lives. We move on, get involved with new endeavors, and build other communities.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Maybe not, but the child who has the village involved is usually better off because of it. I remember when my boys were young; it was the law (and a requirement by us as the parents) for children under twelve to wear a bike helmet. My son would get around the corner and pull his helmet off, and I’d get a call from a neighbor down the street. When he arrived home wearing his helmet, I’d ask him when he decided to put it back on. He’d complain that someone was always “tattling” on him. Then they became teenagers. I’d get a call from a friend or church member asking if my child was supposed to be at a specific location because the car had been spotted there, not that these were bad places, but because they just weren’t sure if they had my permission. Sometimes, I already knew where they were and other times they were supposed to be somewhere else. One such time, one of my kids was helping a friend whose car wouldn’t start.  These truly weren’t significant instances. My kids thought these people were just nosy. And maybe some were. They were usually not close friends, just casual acquaintances. My “real” friends would have stopped and asked my kids if they had permission to be where they were or most likely they would not have to ask because they knew me well enough to know what my kids were allowed to do. The “interference” used to drive my kids crazy. I was thankful that people did tell me things, yet at times I felt like they were questioning my judgment. And sometimes, I wasn’t quite sure whether the motive was for the benefit of my children or not. There were few instances that my friend’s kids were involved in things they shouldn’t have been. Instead of telling on them, I called the kids out on it. I gave them time to remedy the situation with the option that if I heard it again I was going to tell my friend who was the parent. I never knew if I’d made the correct decisions in doing it or not. Maybe, I betrayed my friend by not telling. I don’t feel like we as parents need to know everything our kids do, even though we might want to. If they’re in danger then it’s important to steer them in the right direction and for the parents to have ample warning. It’s a matter of personal decision.

At the same time, I understood the frustration of my own children. Involvement from people we don’t consider our community can feel like an infringement. I suppose what it came down to is a generation thing, maybe an “us” verses “them” mentality that severs the sense of community. Even though people step over the line at times, I prefer that over no sense of community at all. I think most of us have clear boundaries of who we consider our community to be, our own responsibilities, and expectations of others.

I don’t feel like we have the same sense of community that we did while our kids were young. We were involved back then. Most of our neighbors are in the same situation as us. If they need us, we’re here, and vice versa. Of course, there are many people in the neighborhood that we don’t know. I don’t make it a point to go out and meet people. I do say hello to people who walk by if I happen to be in my yard or if I walk by them in theirs. I guess the difference is that our sense of community used to be a large one. Now, it is a limited group of people. Small and closed comforts me. I don’t stay involved in groups that I “try to fit in”. I want the freedom to be accepted for who I am. If that is not extended I move on. To me a sense of community is actually feeling a connection to those around me, and that can only happen with acceptance on each of our parts.

Though, I haven’t lived in my hometown for almost thirty years, I still feel a sense of community. Though I seldom recognize the locals these days,  I still get that giddy feeling when we roll in town and pull up to our favorite places I still have a soft place in my heart for the people I grew up with and for those who looked out for me when my own judgment was not always sound or my safety was in danger. They are the ones who encouraged and guided me, and seem happy to see me even after all these years. It’s always good to have a place to call home…and even better if you can call both your childhood town and current town “home”.

The Great Escape

“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we’re afraid. ~Richard Bach

To a degree, denial is a coping mechanism. As long as we don’t face whatever the ugly truth is, it doesn’t exist in our minds. We deny truth because we don’t know how to deal with it. Or maybe, we just don’t want to deal with the situation.

We often have an inkling that something is amiss, but avoidance is much easier than dealing with issues head on. If the consequences are life-altering, we’d rather stay within our comfort zone as long as we can. It might be a problem at work or home or a situation involving someone we love. We might not want to experience the pain or discomfort that confrontation can bring. Most likely we are afraid of the changes that will happen in our lives. We tend to think life is simpler when we continue as we are. Sometimes waiting makes things worse as tension builds in the relationship and time accrues damages. 

We want to stick to our own agendas, not what we think life is throwing at us. We’re afraid of what others might think. We are not ready to see things for what they are. Maybe, we don’t have faith that we will get through the consequences. When we deny truth we do not live in reality, we live in a fog, a haze.

Denial seems safe when we don’t know how to cope with truth. We are overwhelmed with possibilities of what might happen.  We alter, exaggerate, or disregard facts. We don’t  want our lives to be disturbed or disrupted from our normal routines. We feel threatened by confrontation. We are insecure for our futures. We repress our feelings. We act as if nothing is wrong, and it eats away at us.

I have snuggled up to and held steadfastly to this thing called denial. There have been times that I haven’t wanted to face facts about other people, but I also have not wanted to admit my own motives for choices I have made. I”m not sure if it’s harder to find that someone close to you is not at all who you thought them to be or to acknowledge your own fallacies. I have also known people to deal with obstinate circumstances and come out stronger than ever.

It is human nature to try to escape reality at times. The safetly of denial is short lived. Benerally, the longer we wait to confront reality, the more difficult the situation becomes. The upside is we usually prove to be more resilient than we give ourselves credit.

“Sometimes denial has a way of sneaking up and biting us in the ass. And when the dam bursts, all you can do is swim. The world of pretend is a cage, not a cocoon. We can only lie to ourselves for so long. We are tired, we are scared, denying it doesn’t change the truth. Sooner or later we have to put aside our denial and face the world. Head on, guns blazing. De Nile. It’s not just a river in Egypt, it’s a freakin’ ocean. So how do you keep from drowning in it?” ~Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anantomy

The Sun Still Shines

In my little corner of the world, warm and cold fronts have moved in and out like my moods. A week ago it was thirty degrees on Wednesday, seventy on Thursday, and back down to thirty-five on Friday. And today it is a sunny sixty-five! What a beautiful day! As it turns out, I feel too rotten to go out to play. I wonder if I can blame my sickness on the tremendous shifts in temperature.

From my picture window, I am watching the wind tickle the leaves of the Azaleas. I wish I could feel the warm breeze skirt across my face and the warmth of the sun shining across my shoulders. I can feel the heat of the sun on my face…or is that fever?

This weather reminds me of the “Indian Summers” we experience in the fall, just enough to tease us before it turns bitter. It seems our spirits go up and down, swaying to the tune of the weather. I’m hoping that winter really is over. I look forward to walking along the beach, hiking through the woods, and biking some trails. I’m tired of being cooped up in the house. Yes, I have gotten out some, but not nearly as often as I do in the other three seasons.

I see the green shoots thrusting from the earth in my gardens, and I hope an unexpected frost doesn’t arrive to wipe them out. I am ready for all the beautiful green hues of grass and leaves. I look forward to the fragrance that walks hand in hand with the colors of the flowers. I want to hear the birds sing, the bees buzz, and the crickets chirp.

I don’t see any clouds of uncertainty hanging over us today, only a bright and beautiful sun in an azure sky. It is surely the weather to put smiles on faces and a kick in ones step.

Weather changes like my mind, finding the rhythm of life. And yes, there is a purpose for the rain and the sun. Today I am thankful for the sun.

The Fine Art Of Unlearning

Entry for Living Out Loud Volume 25, Always Learning

In this new age of technology, it seems that whenever I want to learn something new I must first disregard any information I have on the subject. I have to dump all previous knowledge in order to process the new because it usually no longer pertains. Much is done in newer, faster, and more interesting ways.

Even something as simple as driving has changed…seriously. When I took drivers education (many eons ago), hand positions on the steering wheel were 10 and 2. Due to the possibility of breaking ones wrists when the air bags explode, it was changed to 9 and 3 when my kids took drivers ed. For all I know, it might have even changed again.

Have you ever thought about how difficult it is to unlearn something? It’s akin to brainwashing. I don’t know about you, but the more I try to forget something the more I think about it. I always consider how every bit of new information I take in will correlate with what I already know. I have a difficult time starting fresh when it concerns an area that I feel I am somewhat educated. I am only comfortable in learning shortcuts if it feels like a familiar process.

I once thought it would be fun to learn to play a ukulele. Not because I have a single musical bone in my body, but simply because I thought it was a cute miniature guitar. I soon got over the urge.

I’ve considered learning pottery or stained glass. While I think it would be fun, and I do love creating things, I would probably end up cluttering my house with useless objects.

And yes, I’ve always wanted to dance. Since I look like the energizer bunny on crack, I’d probably flunk dance class. I could try clogging, but I’d probably hurt someone or myself.

While I’m always up for learning new things, there are only two that really have captured my interest lately. The first I’d like to learn is how to renovate my kitchen cabinets. I don’t want to have them replaced because they generally use laminates. I have solid wood cabinets that are currently inflicted with water stain. I realize attempting this will require power tools…and most likely a visit to the emergency room. Good thing I have both AFLAC and homeowners insurance!

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit the second thing I’d like to learn because it’s rather shocking that I am not knowledgeable in this area. I need to learn how to create a spreadsheet on my computer. Yes, I know how to use one that is in existence, but I have no idea how to set the cells in the columns (are those even the correct terms?) to create one from scratch. And yes, my home business requires these for my year end taxes. Thus, I must depend on my hubby to recreate it for me. Yes, he could teach me, but he gets aggravated at me which in turn makes me aggravated at him, kind of an endless cycle. I think I might just get off my rump and sign up for a computer class at the local adult learning center. It seems that as soon as I learn how to do something on my computer, a new program comes along and all my newly acquired knowledge becomes obsolete. The bright side of learning to create a spreadsheet is that I don’t have to unlearn anything because I know nothing!

And then of course, there are the things that I have taught myself only to find out later that I’m doing it all wrong. I have taught myself to bead, needle punch, and crochet. I am a self-taught quiter. I’m not great but I get by. I usually give credit to my wonderful sewing machine. However….You see my husband bought me an incredibly smart (and expensive) computerized machine nine years ago. Did I bother to read the manual? Well, I might or might not have, I plead the fifth. Let’s just say I’ve made incredible things with it, but have had diffiuclties at times. Yesterday, I decided to start another art quilt. I pulled out my quilting foot, and decided to read the instructions since I’d had difficulty using it in the past. I learned you’re supposed to lower the feed dog when using it. Hmm, who knew the feed dog could be lowered? Obviously not me! Wow, could that be why the stitches kept clumping and puckering when I used it? I read on. Seems I’m supposed to lower the good old feed dog when using the button holer. Could it be that my buttonholer actually does indeed work? I deemed it useless years ago! Also seems I was supposed to use a different spool holder when using metallic thread. Gee, I thought my machine just didn’t like me! I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I actually read the manual after nine years, and even though I knew the gist of the machine, I now have to scrap most of the knowledge I’d carried over from my old machine. So last night, I started a new art quilt. With my machine manual right beside me! I am learning the fine art of “unlearning” and “relearning”.

Oh yeah, I’ll get back to that spread sheet…just as soon as I finish fighting with the feed dog.

This is the very first art quilt I ever attempted.


This is an art quilt I made for my sister.