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connecticut vacation

end of summer jaunt

     We had such a lovely trip to the shore at the end of the summer.  This was Jewel and I at Ocean Beach Park.  What an amazing boardwalk. One of those “turn of the century” beach attractions that you can just picture at one time drew thousands to it’s location with old abandoned rides.  Although the kiddy park was going as was the merry-go-round, you get the impression that it’s now only a former bit of the glory that it used to be.  I miss her.

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for jewel

the quilt that took me all summer to make

love for jewel

I cut cardboard templates for the fabric pieces for this quilt.  I cut each piece of fabric one at a time using the two templates – The design was from quilts I saw on Etsy as well as quilting, sewing and fabric blogs online.  My daughter picked the quilt design and left the fabric choices to me.  I love using what Malka Dubrawsky  terms “low volume fabrics” that allowed me use some vintage sheets, graphic linen fabrics from Etsy sellers, and of course, Malka’s hand-dyed fabrics”   The joy of making this quilt was knowing that my daughter specially requested  it for  her bed at college.  My intent was to have had it completed and ready for start of the new semester but didn’t work out that way.    It took me quite a while to complete, working on it between my job, classes, my granddaughter and League activities.  I am so excited to give it to Jewel because being the “old soul” that she is, she’s one of the people in my life who values hand-made and I can just picture her wrapping herself in it as  she remembers  home.

The Leveraged Life

I’ll try not to make this a gender thing but I’ve been trying to figures out how to describe my own life experience in terms that will not only satisfy me, but help the science.  The need to make your own life of some relevance perhaps for others but it’s more, much more.  I’ve only recently become aware of what I used to know when I was really young – that the world did not make sense the way it had been constructed and that what I was dieing to learn about in school about life I was not getting.

I’ve always been drawn into nature, always drawn to its order, its insistence on being what it was meant to be despite what humans were destroying.  I’ve always felt a connection to it in ways that apparently weren’t shared by others including scientists writing about it.  Humans do a good job at functionalizing the natural world into descriptive groups yet it was always this separate approach that bothered me. 

I’ve been drawn to the sciences for as long as I’ve been alive and remember wanting to be a marine biologist yearning to crew with the Cousteaus and such.  My emotions though led me in a different direction to love, marriage, and family; necessity to work.  I always knew I would go back to college after my kids were through with Highschool and onto their own college careers and here we are.  Major?  The reasoning sciences of course, Anthropology and Sociology to be exact.  A lifetime of experience I have combined with a disability or two that have mellowed my questions and focused my research interests.  I’m ready to apply that experience, my brains, my wit, everything to bring to the discussion what I’m still not seeing or hearing addressed.

I read some great stuff on NPR http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/ yesterday and discovered some great new authors combining sciences with the study of culture.  Biologists and astrophysicists lending their research to their life experience and the experiences of diverse cultures everywhere.  I suppose that when your brain is trained in a very particular way to look at life that you also look to how life hasn’t been designed – what’s been ignored at the expense of other possibilities of reality.

Oh, on my need to create in a differenct realm, the girlie’s quilt is coming nicely, my own version of the blocks and stripes quilts I’ve been finding on Etsy and elsewhere on the web –   I have some pics to post but the Dell Laptop I’m typing on right now does not have a slot for the camera memory disk.  I will have to use my daughter’s laptop to e-mail them to me and then I’ll be posting the pics. 

I’m crocheting as well.  A winter hat for my girl and an extra for her roomate, what fun! I absolutely feel the way of yarn the way I do of fabric, really great fabric.  A hook, a design book, and I’m once again hooked.  I’m using Vogue Knitting Crocheted Hats on the go!  Again, a pic will be in order.

We take Jewel back to campus on August 29 and we’re leaving for our summer holiday tomorrow.  Mystic Connecticut here we come!

u n g t b l o d

Check out the oxford slash sneakers featured in u n g t b l o d ‘s blog today – loving the mixed message.

the spill

If this is not a wake-up call for Americans I don’t really know what else could offer such blatant evidence of our over consumption of Earth. The devastation, most of which I believe is yet to be discovered, represents our misguided belief that our way of living can be sustained. How deep can we dig in, how much can we waste, and how much can we contanimate before the planet’s tipping point is reached? Why are most people so easily convinced by pundits tha twist science to suit their stumps that Earth is doing just fine these days? The stumping that goes on to convince those who call themselves “conservatives” that global warming is some leftist make-believe story while glaciers are breaking off of the ice shelf at a pace never before seen.

We can continue to wash oil from the coats and feathers of downed water foul as dead fish roll up on our beaches and say we’re addressing things just fine. We can cap the deep sea gusher (some estimates put that at one or more years out) and declare that we’ve put protections in place at other drilling sites so that this devastation never again happens. Unless we open our eyes and start becoming part of the process that was meant to prevent this from ever happening, nothing will change. Where is the U.S.’s clean, renewable energy policy? The federal regulatory agencies responsible for reviewing and approving drilling proposals have been cozy with big oil it seems for years-should this really surprise us?Citizen oversight is sorely missing from so many policy decisions and the apathy that results in less than half of 18-25 year olds voting in regular elections means that something very different needs to start happening.

As I’m completing my letter to President Obama requesting that he take a stance and issue a ban on commerical whaling, I’m as convinced as Margaret Mead was that change will only come from regular citizens banding together to bring about the change we wish to see in the world. Big oil, big pharma, big industry, big business seem to be directing our policies- our democracy demands citizen direction and oversight to function properly yet how many of us truly get involved and demand a radically different course? We are paying big time now for our inattention and inaction. Our wildlife is being pushed to extinction by human activity, our fisheries depleted, we allow our ground water and oceans to accept toxic waste, we have a factory-farming system that tortures and abuses animals so we can eat a meat-based diet that is too, unsustainable.

How much time do we have left to change? Being the eternal optimist myself, I believe it’s never to late to start doing the right thing. We can live in concert with nature while protecting our diverse bio-systems for future generations. The alternative is unacceptable. I heard a wonderful quote today while presenting a segment of our community poverty symposium by speaker Debbie Weinstein from the Coalition on Human Needs – it was by Kurt Vonnegut and it goes ” We could have saved the Earth but we were too damn cheap”. What will our legacy on this Earth be? Will we in the end have been too damn cheap and too damn lazy to have saved ourselves? Will we leave a charred barren crisp of a planet devoid of all life and hope? Saving our natural world means saving ourselves – what will we decide to do?

Jewel completed her first year of college.  Now she’s working

her first job this summer.  I’ve been collecting Malka

Dubrawksy’s  amazing hand-dyed batiked fabric to make

her Shoe Fly Quilt my own and sewing for Hanna.  My

own semester ended and I’m working with my advisor to

design an independent study for fall semester.  I’ve submitted

my inital reading list but need to get it paired down to something

I can handle in line with a 3 credit course.  My topic for study?

how supression of self leads to chronic fatigue and other

immuno-supressive disorders.  I’ve located some good studies

linking stress to disease but my approach is more specific and

falls into a psychological anthropological  inquiry.

     The hardest part is deciding on just one topic because my

interests are vast and I have other as interesting topics to

delve into.  Another course, another semester.  My attentions

have been drawn away to summer pursuits – planting, preening,

walking, daydreaming, and sewing.  Danny cuts lovely trails

in our “back forty” so the scottie and I take as many jaunts

as possible.  We’re behind on the cutting though because it’s

been really rainy her for consecutive days.  This weekend though

promised heat that I will be retreating from, only venturing out

after the sun has crested and the temps go down to what my

thermostat considers manageable.

     I was thinking about the fact that I didn’t take pictures of the

other 2 laptop covers I made for Jewel’s friends at school and

admonish myself that I really need to just make a habit of

photographing everything I’m working on even if I don’t post right

away.  I have bookmarked so many projects and recipes that

I’ve been discovering and each new weekend offers a chance

to dive into each creation.  Now, will Donna actually photo

while she’s creating? If she wants to keep her on-line diary what

she desires it to be and keep you all interested in coming back

with your lovely input, she better!

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via DOJ Issues Damning Report Of NY Juvenile Centers.