Saturday, March 6, 2010


I think it is an outrage of constitutional proportions that we of Celtic, specifically Irish, descent have been dissed by American quilt designers by ignoring the design of an appropriate holiday pattern. Such ethnic bias is illegal, isn't it? In this age of hyphenation, those of us who are Irish-English-French-German Jewish-Americans should take to the streets. Herumphhh.

Donna, your wall hanging is great. I wonder if you should publish or at least share the pattern you made. The image is probably copyright(ed?). How 'bout sharing your pattern via email with those of us who ask? I need that wall hanging. Gee, then I guess I'll have to have a St. George wall hanging and then Fleur De Lis, and Star of David. I think that covers it all.

I had a wonderful English teacher in 10th grade by the name of Matthew Murphy his first year at the school. We had a counselor by the name of MacDougall who traditionally decorated her office in lots of orange every March 17 when everyone else, even the numerous Jews and Blacks (oops African-Americans) cheerfully wore green. Someone told Murphy about this woman's annual joke so he turned up after school and took down all her orange stuff and decorated with paper shamrocks, leprechauns etc. She showed her true "colors" when she arrived at work on the 17th, tore down his handy work and swore the prankster would be suspended. We all realized that she had committed the teen age sin of not having a sense of humor. I'm not sure she ever gave Murphy the time of day after finding out that he was the culprit. The student body was highly amused. I love teenagers.

Now I am having a stream of consciousness. Before my public defender days I worked in a small law firm of which two of the partners were grads of Ohio State University. I, being a graduate of University of Michigan, was inspired
before the MI vs OSU football game. DH and I bought the appropriate blue and maize construction paper and paper streamers. Under cover of darkness we decorated the office of the partner who had a sense of humor (the other one wasn't crabby; he just didn't get jokes) and decorated it elaborately with M logos, streamers, Go Wolverines etc. The next morning the victim appeared in my office and threw a pink slip, one of those telephone message papers, on my desk that said on the back, "Your fired!" After lunch he summoned me to his office. He had gone home at lunch time and brought in a little kids' old fashioned victrola and told me to stand at attention forcing me to listen respectfully to the OSU fight song played by the university marching band back in his undergrad days. Everyone laughed except for the stuffed shirt. Very few billable hours were racked up that day.

All this memory stuff is a sign of old age I guess. Have happy memories today.


St Patrick's Day Wall Hanging

Here is a wall hanging I just completed for St. Patrick's Day to hang on the wall at work. I have my own private quilt show each month will a new design. It is rather small so I have one of the center...

I looked all over for a design for St. Patrick's Day and there are none out there. I found something like this in a magazine, so I blew it up and adapted it for my wall hanging... Now I have one for each season and holiday...
Donna, LEH, NJ

Friday, March 5, 2010

We are pack animals after all

My step-daughter said the other week..."Oh, you are an extrovert" and I corrected her and said: I'm an introverted extrovert. I need people around me but not ALL the time. I need much down time, which is why the B&B has been such an unexpected bonus in my life...unplanned, when we moved to the country, a serendipitous moment in church one morning when my pew mate said: I have a friend starting a B&B agency, might you be interested? That was 18 yrs. ago.

With my volunteer work with Telecheck, I am speaking to 'seniors' each week. I hear the problems of loneliness that they face and most with great courage and a sense of humour but sometimes we are the only people who call them in a day's time. Older age is a challenge that is predicated only by good health and the ability to remain independent. I recall many years ago, my late father-in-law, who was a builder in the city, building a large home for three widows, each with their own suites and common kitchen and living room. I thought then that it was an excellent solution to growing older and having companionship. Marion, your idea is most sensible and if it could be worked out financially and with guidelines that meet the needs of each individual, I can't think of a better way to support each other as we age. To me, it's a most sensible arrangement.

We are sitting here on ten acres of land which I greet each day, now, with appreciation of the fact that this will not last, as much and all as I wish it could. And yes, I do keep buying lottery tickets...I would be adding a suite for friend, Margaret, in a flash, to bring her up here from the city. It's a dream which only lacks money to fulfill it.

The weather all over the world seems to be a bit out of whack this year. It's March and our winter has been very light so far yet I know that more snow can come and the worst of it often happens after spring is officially here.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

a tad frustrating...!

After being denied access to the BB for what seems like, many weeks, I was delighted to be connected this morning. I set about writing a long blog about this that and the other and then the whole thing disappeared... This will be a shortened version !!!

First of all, welcome back Tenneh. Sorry to hear about your difficulties and sadness , good to know that you still have your horse and somewhere to ride. All the best for your new direction, good to know that you have a supportive group to work with.

A "Haven for quilters" !! What could be nicer ? For many years I have been trying to convince a chosen group of friends to "down size" their homes and join with us to purpose build a small complex with shared facilities and independent, individual living quarters (for want of a better word ) for each couple. No takers yet, but I think the idea has merit, from many points of view. One couple, who couldn't wait, sold up last year and moved into a small house in town. They are bored to tears and would like to get back out into a rural community. We'll see... I'm not holding my breath ! Many years ago, when young people began "mixed flatting" I thought that we should think about doing the same at the other end of life (with a few refinements !!) DH is 71 today so it's maybe time to start thinking a bit more seriously about it all.

We've had a couple of weeks of very hot weather recently, after a disappointing summer. There is a touch of Autumn in the air now that March has started, I've been out of the country for the last two years at this time of the year so I look forward to autumn this year. The days are usually warm and sunny with little or no wind , lovely....

Well, that's enough ! Hopefully this will get through !
Enjoy the day.


The preceding post went on the BB and I just corrected that situation.

Speaking of good mysteries, especially of an unusual location check out Ron Rash. He is professor occupying an endowed chair in southern Appalachian history and culture at Western Carolina University right here in Cullowhee. He's published several very thoughtful mysteries with very well developed characters which take place right around here. I've just listened to one named Serena on my IPod and it is full of the history of the establishment of the Great Smoky Mtn. Nat'l park. It's a real gripper. I'm going to read more of his work. I will check out Rosey's recommended writer.

Tony Hillerman is a favorite of mine. He lived and worked in New Mexico and all his mysteries take place on a Navajo reservation. The tribe was so pleased with his portrayal of their religion and customs that they adopted him into the tribe.

One more, if anyone is interested is James Lee Burke who writes of a detective in New Orleans who is a very thoughtful and complex character. The Cajun culture is vividly portrayed.

Oh dear, I can't leave out Donna Leon, an American who has been teaching in a university in Venice all her career. Her detective is a philosophical man and the bad guys are interesting as well.

Okay, that's it. Time for the sack.

Jane NC


Rosey, that's the best idea since the creation of rotary cutters. Does that mean I have to start throwing away my money on lottery tickets? Al always referred to them as "voluntary taxation". He enjoyed a good game of penny ante poker or black jack where the skill of the player comes into play but no lotteries or slot machines in which the odds are overwhelmingly against the individual player. Well, keep up the good thoughts. Perhaps aging quilters the world over should participate and pledge to invest the proceeds of any winnings in such an enterprise. The odds would be slightly improved that way. As long as you call the shots and allow us to bring our fur babies with us I'm sure you'll fill the place up in no time. Should we allow men? Why not? If this is to be something like a co-op (a great $ saving approach) we need somebody to do the heavy lifting like snow removal.

I lived in a co-op my last two years at U. Michigan and it worked very well and we saved 33% off the university charge for room and board. That was in the days before c0-ed housing but we had a number of boarders who lived in nearby rooming houses, most of whom were men. They cooked and cleaned with the rest of us, just fewer hours each, and were mighty handy when it was time to hang storm windows and screens. Many a romance, including two of mine, blossomed in the kitchen at Muriel Lester House. The first of which came close to my ending up in Thailand. It was all very social, there was always a music major around to entertain us on an old decrepit upright piano and when I was there a boarder who is (I'm still in touch with him) one of those lucky play by ear instinctively types) who had a combo that played for fraternity parties etc. He could play anything you asked for and would improvise a love song dedicated to whoever asked for one. Great times. We were integrated completely in terms of ethnicity, sexual persuasion, national origin etc. long before the Dean of Women was brought down a few years later by a church group due to her refusal to follow what was then state law in that regard in the mid fifties. Few of us so called crazy liberals mourned her departure. The Dean of Men couldn't have cared less who lived with whom or who dated whom.Enough reminiscing.

Still in my pjs at noon. Said pjs amount to a cheap but adequate Wal-Mart sweat suit. Best for chilly nights by far.Jane

Isolation of older age

Jane, I think it might be a good solution to consider buying a home where 'older' quilters could retire to as life's circumstances require a change in lifestyle. A common room, a common kitchen, individual suites...everyone sharing the load financially and emotionally. I keep buying lottery tickets...who's an idea to dream about.

It's nice to pick up the threads of everyone's life and more interesting given the diversity of where we all live.

Today is a 'food-drop' to daughter, Karen. She suffers from migraines and is teaching piano, in addition to being a mom and wife. I'm 'retired' and have the time to make some extra meals. So, today is delivery hour's drive s/w of the country here...all three Aussies will make the trip with me today. But first, a stop at our local book store. It is the time of One Book/One County, the focus....introducing kids and adults to reading again. The book chosen for children: 39 Clues. Granddaughter, Kirsten, is home today, not well. And the book for adults: Louise Penny's "The Brutal Telling". She is a Canadian author who writes award-winning books if you like mysteries...she doesn't dwell on the gory stuff, more on the inner workings of people's minds. Her stories are set in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, our province to the east in Canada. She's a good author.

And that is my missive for today. Sun is out and shining brightly with the promise of spring in the air. The snow will disappear by this week-end, as will Jane's, I'm sure.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Tenneh, I've missed you and wondered what happened to you. So sorry about the pain you've had these past few years and glad that you are regaining your equilibrium. There is a woman in my guild who has three horses and I've heard her say often what a fine release it is to take a ride to relieve stress. We all love communing with our pets. Yours is just a whole lot bigger than mine. The nursing profession is lucky to have you.

I've been snowed in again! Arrrgh. I might just as well move in with Rosey and become a perpetual B&B customer. About 7 inches of very wet heavy snow accumulated Monday as the temperature didn't drop below freezing until the sun went down. That kind of wet heavy stuff tends to knock down tree limbs that cause power outages. We got lucky among my neighbors. It was up in the 30s and almost 40* today and most of it is gone with, of course, the exception of the shady spots on my driveway. There are still about 3" of wet stuff just waiting to freeze tonight. I can coast down hill but can't get back up. My shopping list is getting longer. I'm about to miss the second Weight Watcher meeting in three weeks. This kind of weather is conducive to hibernation and stuffing oneself with comfort food, isn't it? I have had a couple of demanding half hour or more climbs this week though.

The isolation is conducive to sewing too. I've made a 10" block for the retreat I'm going to late next week. Everyone who wants to participate brings a designated block with fabric the choice of the quilter and there is a drawing for them. I've also made some more wedding quilt blocks. Only about 25 or 30 to go and that's what I'll do at this retreat. There are no classes; just a couple of demos and the rest is UFO time. It's at the world United Methodist Conference Center nearby in Waynesville. The Methodists have nicer facilities and far better food than the Baptists. It's at their conference center in Toccoa, GA where I often attend a quilt retreat in Nov.

My pal Ardelle is joining me this year. She's been fitted for much higher tech hearing aids adjusted for her current hearing which has been deteriorating for some time. She misses so much socially and at 80 years of age, I believe, that can appear to be or hasten any loss of cognitive function. She has pretty much stopped driving more than local errands, much to the relief of a lot of people in Franklin, and is being chauffeured to the retreat by a loyal guild member who is attending as well. We all love her and will take care of her if and when needed.

Well, I just spent the better part of an hour on the phone with tech support at Hughes Net having lost contact with the net last evening. This is the first stop. Now to check the email. More blocks to do tomorrow and hope it gets warm enough to do serious damage to the snow in my driveway.

Jane in NC

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

a stitch in time for a change

Thank you Rosy,
It is lovely to catch up with you all.
Your snow sounds lovely to look at but...rumor has it the Northern Winter comes south, so we are bracing ourselves for what you have! We had a very overcast spring and early summer, so we are pleased to have long sunny days going into autumn, and are keeping our fingers crossed it will last a bit longer! however all the neighbors are busy getting in the firewood, the air abuzz with chainsaws. We have been lucky here as we have had regular small rains thru the summer, further north it is much drier.
I definately LOVE summer, so I have picked the right time of the year to have a holiday! I am just enjoying moseying through my to do list at leisure! It has been lovely to sit on the back step and smock in the shadows of the afternoon and little cat has enjoyed having me home so's definately a world away from work.
I am making up little DDs smocked jersey dress tonight, a relief to get it finished well before her birthday.
happy stitching all,
Tenneh in the valley.


Monday, March 1, 2010


It's good to see you posting and getting caught up with your life again. You and your family have had a very difficult situation to overcome with your husband's accident which unfortunately can have such a serious impact on a marriage afterward. Also, step-children may or may not make life easier in a second marriage...most often not. Teenaged girls can have a manipulative relationship with a male parent in a divorce, in my experience. Not easy to overcome or deal with. You've all had a lot on your plates in the past few years. It is a sadness and I'm sorry to read about it but it is good that you have a job and support from your co-workers. I can imagine you riding your horse into the hills; a relaxing escape that must be so welcome for you at this time.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quilter returns

Hi Everybody,
greetings from Tenneh (not) on the Mt. I have thought of you all often and am trying to catch up with your news reading back through the posts.

Sad to say life has been on the overwhelm the last few years, since my husband lost his leg, and the issues we were having with our death-threat making neighbors. The destructive forces on my family have been too great and my family torn apart by the pressures.
Simply put I am separated from my husband now and it looks irreconsilable. I am living and working in the town where my hospital job is; my DD2 is 6 years old this month and stays at home with her dad while she goes to school, as he is on the farm and not working. My oldest DD starts Uni this week, and the relationship between her and DH is ground zero. I have stayed in work to support my family and nearly burned myself out. Fortunately I have been on holiday these last few weeks and slowly getting it together. I am slowly gathering the tatters of my life back together and getting refocused. I am currently having custody issues with my ex but that will be resolved.

I have been blessed with the awesome support of the team at work over the last 3 years, a great bunch of women! (and men, our drs and our new male nurse). And the wonderful support of my distant family and friends. Life has been in 'cope mode' for so long, now it is time to come to terms with the fact we have passed the point of no return in this marriage relationship, no matter how much an optimist one wants to be, and to get on with life, get IN life again.
Not that I have been a total loss lately! With my marriage disintergrating rapidly I started my Post grad nursing studies and did one paper at the end of last year, using to to pull myself forward out of the morass I was in. I passed, but not terribly well. I am doing anothert in the 2nd semester this year.
So between family stress and work, and studies there was little energy for much else! No serious quilting anyway. But little DD2 picked the fabric and we made a quilt for her doll for Xmas, and that was the litle ice crystal that started the snowball rolling.
I remember now, I have made a hand quilted wall hanging for myself and finally cut into my 'happy fabric' and made a quilt block wall hanging that awaits more handquilting. I have pin basted a large lap quilt together-just want to baste it now, and thats my winter project ready to go, studies allowing (aside from my Mums quilt...)

I made some dolls clothes for DD2s doll, which has amounted to a fairly extensive wardrobe- 4 dresses and 1 pair of overalls, and 1 blouse yet to finish! As well I have madeDD2 2 little dresses and will finish the last row of smocking today on the 3rd, then to get it put together for her birthday! I have ambitions for a few more the fabric was bought long ago and been sitting over the last 2 years. Soon she will br too big for the patters! All that has got me up and running in life again!

Between setting up a new garden here at my rented cottage, and having my horse to ride, life has been pretty busy. As busy as it gets when life is too much, so you slip the saddlepad on the horse and head for the hills (not hard here-this is hill country!), and escape to the solitude among the rabbits in the gullies and the hawks riding the thermals and ignore the fact one could be doing housework back home! Time to soothe one's tattered soul and even better been on holiday for 2 weeks! The first week was a bit gray, then it has been lovely hot ummer days here with just the first trees flirting with gold, indicating it will all end too soon....

So Blessings to all my missed friends, and I look forward to meeting some new ones,
Cheers from Tenneh in the Valley

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