Journal Entry

To Do List, November 20, 2009

Serious List of Get Things Done (take 3, 333, 234) Date: November 20, 2009

  • Dry and style hair (yes, it’s this bad that I have to write this on the list)
  • Clean off computer desk and dust
  • Find Christmas China plates
  • Plan field trip next Friday (Galco’s, furniture place, where for lunch?)
  • Do visiting teaching
  • Decide on Christmas quilt and begin to cut square #1 of 72
  • Stitch one block of above to see if I like it
  • Make the Bday present
  • Mail Keagan’s birthday card
  • Organize calendar pages
  • Plan meals
  • Clear off microwave
  • Find red berry garland for chandelier
  • Do laundry
  • Post Munich posts on travel blog (finish that)
  • Write in Munich notebook (if you can remember any of it)
  • Write in Florence notebook (if you can remember any of it)
  • Stay off the interent unless the “Tea timer” on Dashboard is going–a nifty widget that keeps a timer going for me when I need it.
  • Is there something wrong with me when I look at my house full of stuff, junk, dust bunnies in every corner, the constant hovering of YOU’RE NOT WRITING hanging over me and I’m stretching to find things to put on this list? Time to go back to the internet, or grade something.
Christmas Quilts · Journal Entry

Piecing Equals Writing?

I’ve been working on this quilt for too long.  I’m really tired of it, but I can’t stop now as I spent a gank of money on the fabric and don’t want to just put it up on the shelf.  Besides I know I’ll like it when it’s done.  I hope.

When I was in grad school and slogging through the writing of my novel, it feel like sometimes I was being tortured, one paragraph at a time.  There’s days when even though you are sure you’re writing The Great American Novel, it’s all just too much.  I wanted short stories! Poems! Essays!  Anything that had a page count of less than twenty pages.

And now?  I want to make a baby quilt! A lap quilt! Anything with a block count of less than twenty blocks.

Textiles & Fabric

Commerce, Downtown LA-style

Between Ssexxy Accessory and TU-TU fashion, I knew I’d arrived in the garment district of LA.

Unlike how I imagine NYCity’s district, with racks of clothes being pushed around by runners between showrooms and ateliers, I also knew I was in LA’s district by the smell of grilled onions, fresh for the pupusa take-out lunches. Other tip-offs are the mannequins, neatly lined up, bottoms-out, advertising their wares in a cheeky fashion, pockets and decorative stitching all in a row. There were also extremely fluffy dresses for First Communion, stacks of white T-shirts and colorful socks, as well as hanging garments lapped shoulder to shoulder so they looked like a headless-legless line of chorus girls, flapping in the hot LA breeze.

I was traveling up Maple Street to Michael Levine’s–any sewer’s mecca. I needed large buttons and Jo Ann’s and Hancock’s weren’t offering anything with any kind of style. Getting to LA is half the adventure for those of us out in the sticks.

Most of us on Highway 60 were pushing 70 miles per hour when a small white car suddenly swerved right, overcorrected, swerving to the left, sideswiping the pick-up truck in front of me, then hitting the cement median wall. At that point, the principles of physics took over, scattering the bumper pieces into the faster lanes, and propelling the car back across four lanes of traffic, where it screeched and crashed into the right-hand wall; several cars stopped to help. We all crept slowly around the debris, then like true Angelenos, picked up speed again. A car with the license plates “Ms. Spedy” swept by me on the right. It was a miracle no one was pulled into the accident. The cynic in me supposed, “texting.”

It reminded me of the pick-up truck traveling next to us when Mom/Dad were taking me to the airport last week. A loud explosion, and the shreds of the tire went flying–one right over our windshield. Dad pulled over to the right to give the swerving truck a chance to maneuver, then we slowly moved back into the traffic and on our way.

Back to the buttons. I crept around the block, looking for a meter and found one! Quarters to the rescue, but it wouldn’t accept them. I pulled forward the next empty one. Ditto. The two shop owners brought me out a bag to put over the meter, and said, in a lilting reggae-ish patois: “Some folks park here free all day.” I hurried over to Michael Levine’s, bee-lined for the buttons, where I found what I was looking for. On the way out, I noticed their quilt fabric section. Another day, I thought, until, walking back to my car I noticed a parking lot right next door. One free hour’s parking with purchase from Michael Levine’s.

I’m not dumb. I moved the car, and headed back into the store.

After a pleasant interlude, I headed home, trying to escape the city. It’s common knowledge that if you’re not out by early afternoon, because of LA traffic, you won’t get home in any timely fashion (as reported on the news radio on the way in: most commuters in Los Angeles spend–waste–70 hours per year in traffic, down from last year’s 72 hours).

No mishaps on the way home. I used to do these little jaunts more often, but work, family and church responsibilities had filled my time. So, a sort of an adventure–silly little one–but a welcome respite from the norm.

100 Quilts · Quilt Finish

How I’m Spending My Summer Vacation

  • Some have asked what I’ve been doing lately.
  • First, I did all those things I left undone during the last two semesters of teaching school, even finding some un-read Christmas cards in the basket as I went through them. And one bill.
  • I read the middle third of my father’s memoir, edited it, and went up to Utah to visit him. I read the last third of his memoir, edited it and am headed up there on Sunday to visit with him.
  • I gave a talk in church.
  • I had some home renovations performed.
  • I had the five floorboards replaced where they dropped the counter slab tear-out.
  • I cleaned up after all the workmen (not a sexist term; I promise they were all men).

Steepy Mountains • Quilt # 73 • see post here

Daisy Star Quilt • Quilt #76 • finished June 2009

And a couple of other things, like a skirt (which I have to fix a bit) and stuff.

How’s your summer vacation going?