Monday, November 19, 2012

Rajasthan and the Pushkar Camel Fair

Photo from
I am off to India tomorrow.  This is a long dreamt of trip and I am very, very excited.  Nonie and I won't be home until mid-December.  While we are away we'll be visiting Delhi, the Pushkar Camel Fair,   the Taj Mahal, Jaipur and Ranthambore National Park, among other places.

I have completed my Christmas gift buying, wrapping and posting.  I've made, addressed and stamped my Christmas cards so I can come home and just pop them in the mail.  I have finished and delivered my newest grandchild's Christmas stocking.  In other words, I have actually gotten all my big Christmas chores finished so I can go off to exotic India and not have to think about what I should be home doing because---I've done it!

That, Dear Readers, is a first.

I won't be posting while away, so please come back in December for some new photos and tales from our sojourn to India, and a very short visit to Nepal....

Saturday, November 17, 2012

An Unexpected Visitor

 I spent last weekend at my cabin.  Saturday morning I was padding about inside, early, drinking tea and enjoying the peace and quiet when a movement outside caught my attention.  I just barely saw the back end of the beastie pictured and ran for my camera.  I finally spotted the lynx again out the dining room window. This is not the best photo, but considering I took it with a point-and-shoot through the dining room window and the lynx was about 50 feet from me, I think it's not too bad, either!  It wasn't afraid of me, just cautious.  We held the stare for a bit then it turned and sauntered off.  This is the second time I have seen a lynx right outside the cabin.  The first time was in November, also.  In fact, it was Thanksgiving morning and I was cooking a turkey.  I've always suspected that the aroma of roasting bird is what brought the cat to investigate.  But now, having seen another one, perhaps I just have a resident lynx.  It's a lovely thought.  I hope it's true.

We often call this critter a bob cat.

Big leaf maple -- Acer macrophyllum

We are full into autumn now.  Cold nights, lots of rain, some frosts (but not too many yet) and wind.  The leaves have turned and have mostly fallen.  It's the dark, gray days of November.  As I am leaving for a three week plus trip to India and Nepal next week and will be enjoying hot weather there, I am trying to enjoy the damp and the dark of autumn in the Pacific Northwest.  The old "bloom where you grow" thing, I guess.

It's a little easier to really enjoy it when the sun shines, but that doesn't happen much....

One good thing about losing all the leaves off the big leaf maples is that my view of the Stillaguamish River is more extensive.

Callicarpa Americana

It was a bumper year for my beauty berry shrub.  It's loaded with the most amazing purple berries.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I'm Just a Beading Fool

I have made Christmas stockings for each of my children and have carried that tradition on to include the grandchildren.  As Reid was born at the end of July and his first Christmas is fast approaching, I have been working on his stocking.  Late (LATE) last night I finally finished it.

I made a very similar stocking last year for Reid's sister, Rawlings.  Hers sports a mouse in place of the squirrel on this new one, but both have the same lining and backing and over-all design.  I found Christmas stockings printed on fabric panels last year and thought what a great jumping off point they would be for something a little different than my usual stocking of felt and sequins.  The hand beading was lots of fun and something I hadn't done before until last year.

It is my opinion that a Christmas stocking requires a bell on the toe.

Reid's stocking has been boxed up and sent on its way to his mother.  I hope it is well received.  It was lots of work, but very much fun---except the part where I had to use the sewing machine to put it all together.  I have no great skill with a sewing machine and they all, apparently, hate me.  They fling bobbins at my eyes, trying to blind me.  The machine last night spewed miles of thread at me, rather like a python trying to strangle me where I sat.  The lights on the infernal contraption flickered, the tension was all overt the chart, the pressure foot seemed to have a mind of it's own and all in all, the machine sewing part was lengthy and fraught with difficulties.  I did, in the end, get it assembled.

Once I finished the beading on Reid's stockings I couldn't bear to stop.  I have had this turtle fabric hanging around for a while now as I wanted to use it to cover a travel journal for my next trip to Hawaii.  I decided to bead just one turtle for the front cover.  I got that little turtle beaded rather quickly and have now attached the fabric it to the journal, front and back.  

Then I put all the beads away.  Neatly.  (An unusual step for me, that neatly part....)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Woman We must sit down
                          and reason together.
We must sit down.
Men standing want to hold forth.
They rain down upon faces lifted.

Man We must sit down on the floor
on the earth
on stones and mats and blankets.
There must e no front to the speaking
no platform, no rostrum,
no stage or table.
We will not crane
            to see who is speaking.

Woman Perhaps we should sit in the dark,
In the dark we could utter our feelings.
In the dark we could propose
and describe and suggest.

Man In the dark we could not see who speaks
and only the words
would say what they say.

Woman Thus saying what we feel and what we want,
what we fear for ourselves and each other
into the dark, perhaps we could begin 
to begin to listen.

Man Perhaps we should talk in groups
small enough for everyone to speak.
Woman             Perhaps we should start by speaking softly.
The women must learn to dare to speak.

Man The men must bother to listen.

Woman             The women must learn to say, I think this is so.

Man The men must learn to stop dancing solos on the ceiling.
After each speaks, she or he,
will repeat a ritual phrase:

Woman It is not I who speaks but the wind.
and Wind blows through me.
Man Long after me, is the wind.

Marge Piercy