Monday, April 28, 2014

I nearly died...

As an FYI...if you see some odd grass clippings piled up in your garden, don't stick your hand in there to clean it out.

Yeah, this happened to me this weekend. I stuck my hand into a nest of mice. MICE! EEEEEK! I hate mice! I'm scared of mice! And I stuck my hand into a nest!!!!!!

When was the last time you freaked yourself out, scared yourself to death, or otherwise shortened your life by a few years??

Monday, April 21, 2014

Rag Quilts!

Pinterest. Are you on Pinterest? I browse the pictures of food and crafts and decor, and while I'm wowed and often times inspired, I also know that a lot of what I see is beyond both my budget and my capabilities. Still, it's fun to see what's out there.

This past week, a lovely friend of mine, Kelly Prosch, introduced me to rag quilts by posting a tutorial on her Facebook page. I quickly went to Pinterest to see some other examples of rag quilts. It's so counter-intuitive, and yet brilliant!

I was intrigued. I had never heard of this kind of a quilt. I have done some quilting before. I made a Red Cross Signature Quilt embroidered with all the names of the Dodge County MN World War One Veterans. (You can find out more about that project by reading some of my blog posts on the subject by clicking HERE.) And I like quilting, as much as I've done of it.

And I've had a hankering to make some baby quilts. Smaller projects, fun fabrics, relaxing work. And here is a great pattern/plan that I can do. :)

I'm psyched to get started! :)

Here's the tutorial I liked the best from Pinterest. Click on over and see how to make these cool quilts.

So, have you heard of a rag quilt done in this fashion before?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Words Make Us Feel

Words make us feel. As a word-lover, the thrill of a beautifully composed sentence, stanza, verse, satisfies something deep in my soul. This weekend, I was watching an episode of the tv show Numb3rs, and at the end, one of the characters quoted a few lines from the poem below. I had to look it up again and read it again and savor once more the beautiful picture painted by Siegfried Sassoon in his 1918 poem The Death Bed.

I especially love the last two stanzas. 

Would that I had this same power of words.

34. The Death-Bed 

HE drowsed and was aware of silence heaped
Round him, unshaken as the steadfast walls;
Aqueous like floating rays of amber light,
Soaring and quivering in the wings of sleep
Silence and safety; and his mortal shore
Lipped by the inward, moonless waves of death.

Someone was holding water to his mouth.
He swallowed, unresisting; moaned and dropped
Through crimson gloom to darkness; and forgot
The opiate throb and ache that was his wound.
Water—calm, sliding green above the weir.
Water—a sky-lit alley for his boat,
Bird-voiced, and bordered with reflected flower
And shaken hues of summer; drifting down,
He dipped contented oars, and sighed, and slept.

Night, with a gust of wind, was in the ward,
Blowing the curtain to a glimmering curve.
Night. He was blind; he could not see the stars
Glinting among the wraiths of wandering cloud;
Queer blots of colour, purple, scarlet, green,
Flickered and faded in his drowning eyes.
Rain—he could hear it rustling through the dark;
Fragrance and passionless music woven as one;
Warm rain on drooping roses; pattering showers
That soak the woods; not the harsh rain that sweeps
Behind the thunder, but a trickling peace,
Gently and slowly washing life away.
    .    .    .    .
He stirred, shifting his body; then the pain
Leapt like a prowling beast, and gripped and tore
His groping dreams with grinding claws and fangs.
But someone was beside him; soon he lay
Shuddering because that evil thing had passed.
And death, who’d stepped toward him, paused and stared.

Light many lamps and gather round his bed.
Lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live.
Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet.
He’s young; he hated War; how should he die
When cruel old campaigners win safe through?

But death replied: ‘I choose him.’So he went,
And there was silence in the summer night;
Silence and safety; and the veils of sleep.
Then, far away, the thudding of the guns.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Running on Empty

One of the things we've taught our kids as they became drivers is that in Minnesota, especially in the winter, they need to keep the gas tank full. When the gauge gets near the half-full mark, head to the gas station.

This works great with the gas tank. There are dozens of gas stations in our city. A fill up is not far away.

But what about when your energy tank, or your creativity tank, or your spiritual tank is running low? It's not like you can pull up to a Sinclair station and fill up your energy tank. (Wouldn't that be nice?)

Here are a few things that I do to recharge the batteries:

  1. Get some sleep. I operate best when I manage my sleep time.
  2. Read a good book. Remind myself of the beauty of language, and how much I love words.
  3. Alone time. I enjoy being with people, but I need time to be alone, time spent in my head, in order to be 'right.'
  4. Remind myself to be grateful. Gratitude lifts the spirits.
How about you? What do you do to recharge your batteries?

Today I'm guest blogging at  Please stop on by and join the conversation! 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Blowing off the Dust

In honor of spring, I'm doing a little cleaning up around here on the blog, sprucing things up to begin posting again. The hiatus was needed and enjoyed, but I'm ready to get back into the swing of blogging. 

It's been a long winter of a lot of writing, though at the moment, I've nothing to report re any more contracts. I've got manuscripts in with various publishers, and lots of story ideas brewing, but for the moment I can only write and wait.

In other news, I've been asked to be a contributing blogger over at Coffee Cups & Camisoles, the place for Historical Romance, Friendship, Book Reviews, Devotionals, and Coffee. (They're allowing me entrance even though I don't drink coffee. I'll bring tea for those of you who don't care to imbibe the java.) You can find Coffee Cups & Camisoles at I'll be posting on Wednesdays and the occasional Throwback Thursdays. I hope you'll hop on over there tomorrow for my first post. 

As for here, the goal is to post on Mondays. 

For today, since it's April, and I'm dreaming of spring and green and new flowers, I'd love to know your favorite color or kind of flower.