Friday, March 27, 2009

A Song Cue
From Mushroom:

AS kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme;

As tumbled over rim in roundy wells

Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s

Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;

Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;

Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,

Crying Whát I do is me: for that I came.

Í say móre: the just man justices;

Kéeps gráce: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is—

Chríst—for Christ plays in ten thousand places,

Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his

To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Bob has company

There's an old saying that bad money drives out the good. You take enough hot checks and you'll start demanding cash. Modern religion is a lot like that. There are so many over-zealous and under-sensitive fools trying to convert you to some shallow and superficial fundamentalist sect, and so many fanatical puritans and so many devotees of odd and esoteric Oriental cults- the very words of Christianity have become corrupted and have lost their meaning. God, salvation, Christ, worship, prayer- the counterfeit currency sometimes takes careful examination to distinguish it from the good money, and people are skeptical of it all.

- "Padre", ca. 1975

Please take a moment,
if you would, to pray for this little guy and his family. From a blog Sissy follows.
Thank you.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Is it just me
or is it really heart-meltingly sweet that Bubs refers to his own sister as "Miss O"?

Natural Dyeing
While V. took Bubs to the park yesterday morning and MJ had a nap, Nini and I wound a skein of yarn on the niddy noddy and cooked up a pot of onion skin dye from husks collected from the natural foods mart. She liked tearing up the skins into little bits, but found the one-hour simmer and one-hour steeping steps a little boring. We used the rest of the white fleece spun from my spinning lessons- one large skein and one small. The big one got the whole process, the smaller one and an orphan skein of my eBay fleece got the second go-round.
Remember when I said that that yarn wanted to stay natural? Should have listened- it did NOT like the dye. I'm trying to come up with a Martha Stewart-esque color description for how it turned out. "Dirt Dobber" is about the best I can do.
The others are lovely shades of rust, though.
In Line with the Latest
from Mushroom and the QP on the transcendant qualities of the arts, this always heartens me.
Dedicated young people making music.

Monday, March 16, 2009


'Fan Target's' boyfriend is in town for 2 weeks, so we had Family Dinner on Saturday. She wanted to share the tradition of Marshall's Bar-B-Que with him, so we picked up a couple of family packs. And we ate off the Fort Worth Centennial plates I inherited from my grandmother and which are only used for family and honored guests.

While Sissy, Miss O and I cleaned up the kitchen before game playing and dessert, Marge and Davy fed Morgan Jane her dinner. "Let's just stuff her under our shirts and make a break for it", he said.

They are going to Arkansas this week, so he can meet college friends and see her school. She is a little apprehensive about this because strange things happen on trips to AR, but maybe if he's there, nothing odd will occur.

There is much progress on the toilet-training front, but people have threatened to quit reading if we don't quit writing about poop.

I finished my spinning lessons and have ordered a wheel of my own. Not the Cadillac design, more of a Hyundai, but with the potential for add-on's. I would be going through spin withdrawal, but I have to wind (and/or untangle) all the skeins I've made so far and wind them into balls, which keeps me busy. And I want to catch up on the sewing and clear my decks, to be able to spin guilt-free when it arrives.
Ro has gone to Austin to see the boyfriend in his roomates's movie at South by Southwest. It must be a sign of the times- everyone now has a movie that they edited in their bedroom, instead of a novel. She made them a cake, decorated to look like a wheel of Swiss cheese, a gigantic kitchen-wrecking project, but very cute. It seems the film is about a goat named Artois and goat cheese. As far as I can tell.
She got free show photos from "Rumors" because she was nice to the photographer, who appreciated it. She is 'jus' adorable' as the Tiny Cop. The other actor is about three times her size- no wonder they get a nice laugh.

Turning the back yard into my little mini-farm is one of the smartest things I've done lately. It's practical, it's exercise, it's soothing manual labor, it's meditative and prayerful and it's good stewardship.
Alas, many of the groups you turn to for advice, products, philosophy or fellowship are fanatic ecologists. Even the Catholic Bishops Conference for Rural Living has drunk the 'climate change' kool-aid. So, the winnowing of useful knowlege from hysteria is time-consuming, but worth it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's not the Christmas ham, but still...
Worst dog ever.
(Not really)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Got a new show
to do. Called Sylvia, about a middle-aged couple and the dog that comes between them. One cast member plays three roles: a guy in the dog park, a well-to-do woman and a unisex counselor.
He can manage dog park guy, and probably part of the counselor, but I have to do the lady from scratch.
I've been lucky so far- located a pair of size 12 heels, a size 44D bra and a 2X shape slimmer, aka a girdle, and the right size pantyhose at Marshall's. The dress has to match the shoes, which are an unusual plum suede, but nice. So- I make the dress, to have total control over it, and accesorize with jewelry, purse and shawl from Sam Moon. And possibly a new wig- the theater's collection is in kind of bad shape.
The dog is played by a young woman, who wears people clothes. She needs one sewn outfit: a poufy skirt and a shrug, with a hairpiece and bow, a baggy sweater from Goodwill, a little black dress (Marshall's again), and kneepads. Oh, and pumps for the dress. I wanted to update her a little- give her a graphic tee or some such, but the director likes the original cast photo, so we're going with that.
I'm really concentrating this time on making the decision and sticking with the first suitable materials that click. No hunting the elusive perfect fabric hiding over the rainbow.
A Modest Proposal for the Energy and Economic Crisis
from Tracey at Beyond the Pale.

Monday, March 02, 2009

In Which I Strike Off On My Own

Several years ago, when I first thought of taking up spinning, I bought a sack of roving off eBay. Roving is cleaned, carded wool formed into ropes. I dug it out, postponed my assigned homework, popped an empty bobbin in the flyer and spun it all.

It took about 3 1/2 hours, or one episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, one of The Andy Griffith Show and all of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. (Yes, I don't watch TV during Lent, but stuff you've seen at least 10 times doesn't count. So much.)
Then I unwound it off the bobbin onto something called a niddy noddy, tied it with a figure 8 in four places to make a skein, soaked it in the sink in warm water and a little detergent, rinsed it well and hung it in the bathroom to dry.
It was gone in the morning- brief alarm- but Ro had moved it to the sewing room so she could take a shower.
It looked like this:

I briefly considered dyeing it, but decided it wanted to stay natural. I wound it into a ball and am now knitting a scarf out of it.

I probably shouldn't be impressed by accomplishing something billions of people have done for thousands of years, but I am.

It's a little like being The Magician. There's the same element of effortless concentration- or at least I can see the potential for it- and the transformation of one thing to another form. It's like knitting, but at a higher level.