Blog Entries

so this is a monsoon?

            our first and second monsoon.  other than the dust preceding the storm these are way less violent than what we were used to.after all the hype and warnings we’ve heard about these storms it was kind of a let down. the rain is serious rain with enough wind to make it side ways rain but it only lasts for a short time. we were expecting hours. the winds are enough to take down shallow rooted trees which seems to be what grows here. 

          there is no drainage along the curbes and sidewalks. all the water is supposed to go to the canals between the traffic lanes. however it floods the streets on it’s way there. drove 3 blocks the other night in about 2 inches of water on the road.  nobody bothers to slow down. the rooster tails cover the cars in the next lane. 

          so my lesson is the patio needs to be re-thought.  cat food was a soggy bowl of guck. Carpet was wet half way across the room. Wednesdays storm came from a different direction so this time the cat box (which has a lid with air holes in it) was a solid mass of wet cat litter.  Louie couldn’t figure out if he was more upset over the wet food or soggy cat box. he was running back and forth between the two making sure i knew his world had collapsed.  for an insecure cat this was a catastrophe. that room needs the carpet ripped out. i’m assuming there is cement under there that we could put a finish over. squishy carpet is nasty. 

          don’t think he’s (Louie) happy with the changes i made either. both litter box and food have been moved to under the window of the arizona room. i watched him last night and he thought about pooping where his box was previously. he did a bit of scratching but reconcidered and moved to its' new location. wasn’t sure how i was going to handle it if he hadn’t changed his mind. 

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          finished two quilts for the club this week. both were scrap quilts and the stitching was easy loop d’loops. the fun thing is i recognized a lot of the fabrics as kid prints i’d donated to the group. 

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          have been knitting in the evenings and this simple scarf is almost completed. have decided to put the knitting needles away for a while and do some bead crochet next. have an idea in my head. 

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          weaving has been coming along. the warp at home has one completed baby blanket and half of another one. first one is a textured fuzzy weft and the second is basically using up full bobbins. not wild about it but sometimes these turn out better than the planned items. the warp at the studio is making circles but not complete ones. am trying to decide if i should cut it from the front and re-thread the heddles with the correct color warp or just leave it and let it happen. there is one row of fairly high contrast that is showing circles well but that’s the only place. the colors all mush together in the rest of it. 

          more house drama. and woke up to hearing water running in my closet. memtioned it to Grrr.  he was totally unimpressed and told me to check back in an hour. in the mean time the neighbor across the street pounded on our door to tell us we have a water problem and it’s running down the street. seems the outside watering system blew apart. Grrr needs to call the landscaper who installed it. that’s when he admitted he didn’t know the guys name or have his number. Duh!  i’m not dealing with it.  so we shut the sprinkler system off completely. the landscape guy is expected sometime this week. i suggested rather forcefully that he get a business card or at lest write down the guy’s information for next time.

         it’s saturday and i’m off to spend the day with Lola. 



Blog 413

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          Hot this week. have a feeling that is going to be my favorite phrase for the next several months. temps have reached 115 and are now going down a couple of notches because the storms are coming. Phoenix had a dust storm (haboob) and it got a little hazy here. and the freeways all stopped for a while until it blew over. 

          Took the towels off the loom and they are hemmed, cleaned up and washed. i don’t need all 8 so will be putting several up for sale. they are heavier than my normal towels. 8/4 cotton. which, if you're a weaver you know as carpet warp. it’s really a versatile thread and i’m currently working an a baby blanket using the same stuff.  like i said versatile. 

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          Have the warp on and all corrections made to the loom at the studio. am not even going to try to correct the errors in the color arrangement. it’ll just have be the way it is. now going thru my stash to find a fine thread to use for tabby that will blend in with the fall colors. searched the house yesterday and will be sorting thru the stash at the condo later today. this warp is out of my color comfort zone. it’s pale oranges, beige, different yellows.  think fall leaves like washington gets. 

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          the bracelet is for daughter in law. while they were here she shopped at all the jewelry clubs.  found a bracelet she liked with copper and rose quartz but didn’t buy it. after getting home she changed her mind and asked me to find it.  checked out all 3 places and couldn’t find it and didn’t know who the maker was to ask for another one -  so i made it. wish i’d paid more attention when she was trying them on. this is how she described it. the challenge was finding rose quartz stones with holes big enough to get 18 guage copper wire thru. i have about 12 inches of strung rose quartz stones left over if anybody needs some. let me know. 

                no new house events. we’ve come up with several things we’re going to do later in the fall when it’s cooler and Grrr gets home from washington. he’sdecided to pug A/C in the garage so he can work out there and i want the patio carpet pulled up and some kind of easy clean finish put over the cement. (i’m assuming there is cement under that carpet.)  the neighbor has a really nice patio floor that you can just sweep.  with the amount of dust, dirt and cat litter Louie tracks thru there we need it.

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          Louie had a rough week. we had another panic attack. between guessing and what the neighbor told me we’ve decided it’s coyotes. they take a short cut from the golf course down the street to between our 2 houses. they pass right next to where he sits out on his cat tree to bird watch. i got up in the morning and couldn’t find him. Grrr hadn’t seen him either. didn’t come out for breakfast. first thing i checked was if there were holes in the patio screen. nope. eventually (with a flash light) found him staring back  at me from between the wall and the platform bed frame. Would not come out even with a bribe.  during the vet visit he used a pheromone spray and it helped. made a pet store run and bought a defuser of feliway pheromones. won’t know if it’s working until the landscapers arrive. they send him into panic mode too. he’s all better today. it’s hard to get a photo of him upright. what you see in the photo is his favorite position. 

           off to the condo. have 3 guild quilts waiting for attention plus a tote of my own.  this week in my internet wanderings i came across something called batting tape. WOW. i’ve needed this for years. don’t think i’ve ever done a quilt without having left over batting. have always butted up the stray pieces and zig zag’d them together on the sewing machine. which is a hassle because i don’t have a sewing machine over there. so i end up hand stitching them together. my local quilt shop knew exactly what i was talking about and 7.00 later my life has been made easier. today i get to try it out. 

enough for now. 


Blog 412 - Quilts

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          not much actual news this week. life is humming along. too hot to spend time outside. not many people hanging out at the pools either. so i’ve been busy at the condo.                      

          none of these are masterpieces but i’m continuing to learn a lot about quilts that are not flat, square, or contain other problematic issues. a really fat batt can hide a huge amount of problems. this first quilt was a panel with lots of borders that had never been measured to fit. or maybe they had but not to this quilt. 

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          this second one was also a panel that had been cut and parts placed in different positions. lots of speed, racing and flames of bright yellows and oranges. again used super fat batting. there were tucks within tucks but some little boy will love it. 

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          this next one is X’s and O’s with a bright print and the black and white racing checks for sashing. it’s one of mine that i’m donating. i just needed to work on a quilt a top that was flat and square with no issues other than threads hanging around. easy peasy. used multi colored bright heavy thread and low loft cotton batting. am having second thoughts about the donation part thou. 

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          i have been weaving. photos to come next week. Cut 12 yards of towels off the loom. these are primarily for my kitchen. Used 8/4 cotton carpet warp for heavy and absorbent towels. the warp was blue but just couldn’t resist doing a couple orange and purple. need to get them hemmed and cleaned up and washed and dried so you can see them next week. 

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          have also been doing some knitting in the evenings. here’s a pix but since then i’ve ripped it out. started this scarf over about 6 times and still wasn’t happy with it. kept changing the position of the colors, the size of the insets, size of the needles, tried adding additional colors. end result was i ripped it out and put the skeins back in the bucket and have moved on. too many ideas.  i need to remember i can’t use them all in one item. Simplify simplify. 

          also visited my ankle dr.  we agreed that it is slowly, very slowly getting better. i’ve been following his instructions and it took about a year to get this ugly and it’ll probably take the same amount of time to heal. he asked if he did surgery to clean up the tendons would he get his name tatoo’d on my body. nope. the ankle is bad but it’s not quality of life bad. i can still hobble around.


Fun Fact



longest & hottest day of the year (so far)

          temps generally over 110. it’s hot!  several days ago i was toting boxes of finished quilts across the black top parking lot into the quilting studio. by the second trip i was cooked.  they weren’t heavy, awkward but not heavy but the heat radiating off the parking lot was overwhelming. next time i’ll ask for a push cart. we still haven’t seen any rain. nobdy here spends much time out doors this time of year. not even the golfers. and the pools aren’t as crowded as i expect. course about 10-15 minutes of direct sun is all i can do even with sun screen. 

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          picked up my new car. looks just like the last one only silver gray. a lot more controls and safety features. and a 6 year warranty.  but actually driving it i can’t really notice any difference.  this one has temperature control. set the thermostat to 65, or what ever you choose, hit automatic and let it do it’s thing.  never have to fiddle with the dials again. i also have to learn that the back hatch door closes automatically. took a bad whack on the head. was off to the side so the camera didn’t see me. my right eye didn’t work well for a couple of hours, had a headache and large goose egg but it never broke the skin. was worried about bleeding all over the new car. 

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          Grrr finished the coffee table. it’s a masterpiece, the focal point in the living room.  the wood on top is Zebra wood and the rest of the table is walnut. it’s also a show place for his police paraphernalia, it’s a place to feature items he actually used while working and different pieces he’s collected over the years. even his dudley do-right wrist watch that i gave him about a million years ago. (And i don’t need any snarky comments about the number of sets of hand cuffs in there.) and no - the gun has no firing pin.  the top comes off so he can change out the display on occasion. he does have a huge collection. 

          been spending weekends at the condo with Lola working on both my own and the clubs quilts. this time they sent 5 home with me plus a huge roll of batting that takes up the entire back seat of the car. have not been in the sewing room. am hoping my portable design wall has reached the top of Grrr’s ‘to do’ list. am kind of stuck getting this current top together until then. but i have been weaving. have lost track of what number dish towel it is i’m working on. When i reach the end of the warp i’m done. and the loom at the studio is all threaded. sure picked a bad pattern to work on over there. so much going on that paying attention and counting ends and repeats has been a challenge. but next week i can start winding on and checking for errors. and there will be a lot of them. from the back of the loom i’m unable to tell which ends are the pattern threads and which are the back ground threads. will have lots of fixing to do besides re-sleying because i deliberately skipped several groups of ends. 

and i mustn’t leave out Louie pictures.   

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He loves feet.  

till next time.


blog #410

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          the large gilmore loom at the studio is now living in it’s new home and the club even made a little $ on it. a gal from Tuscon called Gilmore (Bob) and he assured her it would fit in a Subaru outback without having to take it apart. he was wrong. Maybe it would have fit in a Forrester but they couldn’t get it thru the hatch. so late friday evening we were dismantling that loom out side the double glass doors of the studio. security folks kept walking by to check on us. we’d of made lousy theives. but she and the loom are back home and even beat the rain. 

          MONSOON WARNINGS!  the proper definition of monsoon is:  a seasonal prevailing wind in the region of South and Southeast Asia, blowing from the southwest between May and September bringing rain. 

          so far in my limited experience it’s all fake news. haven't seen a drop.  in washington we describe rain with a multitude of words:  condensed sunshine, rainfall, precipitation, droplets, wet weather, drizzle , shower, storm, cloudburst, torrent, downpour, deluge, storm, flood, torrent, flurry, liquid sunshine, cats and dogs, wet air, water bombs, showers, heavy mist. i’m sure there are move but enough for now.

          Am in the process of buying a new car. 3 weeks past warranty my Subaru has a very expensive problem. the check engine light goes on along with a bunch of others. the eye sight and crash avoidance shut off, the power assist turns off.  drove directly to the dealer and he kept it. Decided that it needed the 30 thou maintance as long as it was here. mileage wise it was early but lets get it over with.  picked it up the next day and on my way home it had a completely new issue. drove right back to the dealer and told them they weren’t done. at that point decided on a test drive  a car with 28 thou miles should not have these types of problems. 

          The 2018’s have a lot more safety features. it’s almost a ‘hands free’ car. not only does it complain when you get too close to the lane lines it actually corrects and puts you back where you should be. i drove down 99 without touching the steering wheel. salesman got a little freeked out. told me this was not a ‘self driving car’ and to please put my hands back on the wheel. and foresters rate excellent on crash tests and in consumer reports so i’m sticking with them. also adding a 6 year warranty to my accessories. with all the high tech in that car there’s more to go wrong. 

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          good news - the quilters are back to meeting in the evenings. thinking enough of us complained that the rcsc board got involved. thank you Merna. guess that means i need to head to the condo and finish their quilts i have there. these are quick photos of ones i need to return. currently working on a panel of the solar system. stitching rocket ships on that one. 

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Later.      Maggie


back to the routine if you can call it that. thou being retired doesn’t seem to have a routine. 

          louie got another cat tree. am in the process of putting it together. with the bar across the screens he’s not able to perch on the ledge and watch the wild life or gossip with the next door neighbor. he’s finally quit asking to leave the house at 3:00 am to spend time next door.  so in protest he’s been steeling straight pins from the pin cushion in the sewing room. leaves them on carpet in the hall so we’ll step on them.  he sits in the window in there and keeps track of the neighborhood. now he sits infront of the closed door and complains.  

          we made a trip to the vet yesterday. he’s not feeling his normal fiesty self today and wasn’t in the mood for breakfast but he’s fine. he handled the trip so much better than i anticipated.  he did poop and loose control of his bladder all over the vet and in his travel case. But . .  no panic attack. he got a ‘cat flu’ shot and an extra rabies. i questioned the rabies because he isnt allowed outside but it was explained that since he bites and breaks the skin if i ever get an infection from one of his hunting attacks the health dept would end up getting involved. 

          i got involved with bats and the health dept when i lived on the island. Gus brought a live bat into the house. while trying to get away from us it got caught in a ceiling fan. once it was on the living room carpet we finished it off.  i called the vet to make sure her shots were up to date. (they were) but the vet called the health dept. they felt that a healthy bat would not have been knocked senseless by a ceiling fan. what a mess. they wanted the dead bat. they actually came and got it out of my garbage can. the next time the cat brought a bat in i never told anybody. just dealt with it. 

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               this is what a japanese maple looks like. the big house we sold had a different color on each side of the drive way. full and lush and i miss them. i miss the rain but am told that the monsoons are on the way. have never experienced those so will let you know. the silly lions guarding this drive way just sit there and look stupid. they just don’t have the ‘class’ those japanese maples did. 

          Ozone layer. not sure exactly what it is or how it all works but it seems to affect my breathing. my sinuses are stuffy and i’m coughing like a smoker. taking cough syrup before going to bed. Aacckk. nasty stuff

          Temps are hot. so far it’s been over 100 every day. next week is supposed to be in the 90’s. what’s surprising is i can tell the difference. 

          and here is Grrr watching glue dry. doesn’t take long living here.  in washington while waiting for glue to dry he’d come in and take a nap. he’s really anxious to get the coffee table finished but he can only work out there for a couple of hours before the heat gets to him. i’m thinking we need to put a/c or maybe a swamp cooler in the garage. 

          on my way to the condo to work on a quilt that has me stumped. have the big white spaces quilted with feathers but the rest of it. . .  keep telling myself there is no wrong but i really like this one and don’t want to screw it up.  it’s been a long time since i was this stuck.  today i’m going to ‘just do it’. 

          have a good week everyone. 



Great Visit

              the kids, after being here for a week, are on their way home.  Daughter in law's goal was to try out every pool in every rec center. didn’t quite make it. out of 6 outside pools in 5 days we spent hours in 4 different pools.  saved Lakeview and Mt View for the next visit. showed them the local sites and visited the clubs they were interested in. 

          it was great having them here and i’m going to miss them. Grrr and i are trying to convince them to move but don’t think it’s working. besides the fact that they’re not able to retire for probably another 10 years. but they do fly so that makes it easy for short stays. and now Grrr has his car here so he’s feeling independent. 

          and i’ve learned that Louie has absolutely no loyalty. he’d trade me in for daughter in law in a flat cat minute. from the moment she walked in the door he worshiped her. the photo is him groveling at her feet for attention. if being petted by her foot is all he can get at the moment he’s good with it. he’s so happy he actually drools on her!  he completely ignores me and when she goes back to the condo he looks for her. 

          and speaking of bad cat behavior!  the next door neighbor came over last week to tell me Louie has been spending nights with her at her house. she doesn’t sleep well so sits on her patio about dawn and they visit. we had tried to block his escape holes but obviously not well enough. And one night when it was time to come home he couldn’t get back in. She opened the patio door for him. he doesn’t seem interested in hunting or chasing and doesn’t wander far. but . . .  he has no clue that he’s considered prey by other creatures out there. 

            so we had a patio screen company here for 2 days installing cat screening all the way around plus he installed a bar that prevents Louie from perching on the ledge. so now he comes in during the night, wakes me up and tells me how much he misses the next door neighor and that she needs him to visit her.  not happening!  get over it. 

          Now daily life will go back to our normal routine. Deciding what to do with my day while i’m drinking my coffee in the morning. it was a vacation for the kids but it was also a great vacations for us. we love having you here.


Ps. Louie needs me to tell you to come back. he misses you. 

Blog 407

          we’re thinking that our internet is fixed. on my 5th call to them i finally got someone who not only listened but understood the problem. he scheduled us with a tech (our 3rd ) who found several problems.  i’d really like to know what the previous 2 techs even looked at. the jacks have now been repaired and rewired, an outside line that was waving in the wind and crispy with age and weather has been replaced.  we’ve have continual service since he left. his name and number on pasted on the frig just in case. this guy (Daniel) gets a gold star. 

          have re-opened my etsy shop.  only have quilts and not many to start with but i have 3 totes of tops lined up for quilting and bindings that will become available as they get completed.  and i’ve ordered a new type of thread for Lola. superior has come out with a new longarm weight and i’m giving it a try. 

          Will be taking some time off from both quilting and weaving. One of the kids plus wife are showing up this week and they’ll be living at the condo. we’re looking forward to spending time and getting caught up on the big changes in their life since they’ve also moved.  Plus they’re delivering Grrr’s car so we won’t have to schedule the car usage any longer. he’s delighted. 

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           we finally took delivery of our new kitchen chairs so now we can seat 4 people. the existing chairs have been moved to the patio with the thrift shop table. these are from American Family Warehouse. i sat in a dozen different chairs and these were the most comfortable. they have some cush and fit the lower back. 

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          and the partially woven towel on the left is the third out of 10.  these are being made to match my kitchen. my current stack of linen towels are all seconds from previous warps. on this warp the first towel got cut off and i re-sleyed the reed to 20 ends per inch. much nicer hand. the problem now is that they are narrow. still usable but not what i started out for. am using different blues as wefts and this one is a purple weft plus my favorite orange stripes. 6 more to go. have also began the process of threading the heddles on the loom at the studio. it’s very slow going over there. too many people, too many conversations and it’s the kind of pattern i have to seriously focus on. besides the fact that i’m having trouble telling the light from the dark layers. i should have known better than to try that pattern over there. but so far nobody is waiting for that loom so i’m ok. 

          We’re in the process of getting estimates to have the entire patio re-screened. what we’ve got now is bug screen and it’s falling down. these places even offers pet screening. Louie thinks parts of the existing screen are just another cat flap like his kitty door into the patio. have only caught him outside once and he came back thru the screen like it wasn’t even there. i was surprised. he’s not a brave beast. still hides from strangers and the landscapers terrify him.  

          one thing i’ve learned this week. Anything metal, hand rails, door handles, steering wheels get hot enough to burn bare skin. can’t see gloves as the answer to this but i need to find one. 



Turning 70

          first of all i want to thank everyone who sent birthday wishes. lots of folks checked in even if it’s only once a year. thank you agian. 

          turning 70 seems to be some kind of wake up call for me. life is change. my priorities are shifting, my body has already shifted. dear friends are made and some are lost. the same for pets who are just as important. 

          am facing the reality of the body wearing out. can’t ignore the fact that i’m not immortal after all. have always been of the belief that modern medicine could repair whatever damage i may have done to myself.  the medical field has yet to find a solution to aging so i might as well try to be graceful about it. 

            i don’t feel as driven as years ago. the energy and stamina of the past are just not there.  since downsizing and moving and downsizing some more i’ve begun thinking about things i want to keep in my life. picking my priorities. just what is it i love? 

          i love the gentle rocking back and forth on the loom bench while throwing the shuttle and watching the cloth grow. i enjoy all aspects of weaving but everything i do is in preparation for being in that position. once the cloth is off the loom i can look at it with satisfaction and am ready to start again.  

          i love the community i’ve discovered here. have read that weavers are rare and as i watch we seem to be growing even more so.  this country seems to be broken. it makes my weaving tribe and quilting friends even more valuable. comfort, fellowship, sharing, call it what you will this is my safe place. 

          and finally i love that dear growly grrr pushed, coaxed and lead me into these changes.  i wasn’t ready to retire, wasn’t interested in being a snowbird, didn’t want to move, wasn’t pleased with buying a house. and here i am. grateful in spite of myself and enjoying every day. 

          off to work on a loom. 



          podiatrist dr had a much better attitude this week after looking at the mri pictures. we talked about possible solutions starting with the worst which would be surgery. i rejected that until we try everthing else. next was therapy - he rejected that. felt it would make things worse. i agree. he’s not sure what is causing the problem. could possibly be arthritis, a tear in the tendon that is growing scar tissue, several other possibilities i’m not even thinking about.  so i’m following his instructions and reporting back in 6 weeks. i’m to wear 2 inch heels, stop using ice. use heat instead. no stairs, no hills, no ladders, avoid extra walking and don’t stretch that ankle. 

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          have made some weaving progress on the loom at the club. it’s  partially warped. people are appaled at the tangled mess but it’ll all work out. on the home front i wove the first cotton carpet warp towel at 17 epi. cut it off, washed and dried on hot. the reed marks went away but it’s not quite right. going to bump it up to 18 for the next one. the plan is a run of towels to match my kitchen. you can see from the photo my kitchen must be blue. i tossed the orange in just cause i like orange. 

          haven’t been to the condo but that’s where i’ll spend today. ordered a new to me thread to try. Read about it online. lola and her software have been working wonderfully. 

          Ahh,  the sad story of the shower rod - had a new tile guy here. this seriosly is 11th attempt to hang that rod. i’ve come to the conclusion that it falls down because the a/c unit is on the outside of that wall. if you’re touching the toilet when the a/c starts up you can feel a slight vibration. that’s my theory. Nobody agrees with it. However since i honestly don’t do pull up on it why does it continually come down. i don’t even hang towels on it. this guy didn’t want to drill into the tile either. he used a glue that he swears will hold a building up in an earthquake. i don’t believe it will work but. . . . .

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          we got a few more pieces of art work up. except looking at in the picture it looks crooked. one of these days when grrr’s not being growly i’ll ask to have it straightened. it has the same curves and colors as the throw rug so i bought it. the room needs more red. one of these days i’ll make a red wall quilt. 

          it’s my 70th birthday next week. as often as grrr tells me it’s just another day some how it’s not. never believed it’d live to be this age.