Christmas Tree Skirt, Part I

This is our Christmas Tree Skirt –



In 1992, on the day after Thanksgiving I had the clever idea to make this tree skirt. The skirt has a decorated panel for each member of our extended family. At that time I needed 19 panels. How did I ever do the math to figure out how to divide a circle into 19 even slices?

Looking back on the calendar, I see that I completed this project in less than 29 days. In 1992 I had a full time job and a young daughter. The skirt is a combination of machine and hand sewing; lots and lots of hand sewing. I worked feverishly to get this thing finished – every spare minute.

Somehow in my creative fervor, it absolutely never, not once, occurred to me that the family roster would change. But of course, in the intervening 26 years there have been changes. We’ve had marriages and  births, divorces and deaths.

This tree skirt is just a snapshot, a moment in time when I was filled with creative enthusiasm to celebrate my family.



Max, Our Little Pied Beauty


Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise Him.
            ~Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins
I’m not positive that Max is technically “pied”, but I liked this poem and it made me think of his little odd-ball self.

That’s Steep

While Paul and I were out and about today we ducked into a neighborhood we’d never explored before and were greeted by this sign:



That’s a very steep grade! For comparison, Teton Pass has a maximum grade of 10%.

In Paul’s words “That’s why they call it the Hill Country”.

Christmas Stocking

Yesterday I saw this “vintage handmade Christmas stocking” in an antique store in Comfort, Texas. The handwork is very sweet. And I love that fruit-festooned trim.  Why didn’t I think to move that price tag out of the photo?


The National Archives

I’m spending this weekend visiting Abby and Willie in Washington DC. Today Abby and I made a trip to the National Archives.  It’s such a beautiful building.


Later, I learned that four years ago (2014) the National Archives got together with the Academy of American Poets and created a program called “We the Poets”. Together they published several original poems inspired by the holdings of the National Archives.

Here is one of those very inspiring poems…

The Documents

By Terence Winch

The Documents are weeping, fading,
fearing the worst.

They are the messages
that keep coming.
They are promises, dreams, hymns,
i.o.u.’s. Proclamations.

They are word-flags.
security blankets.

You could wrap yourself
in their giant pages.

They want to tell us who we are
or who we should want to be.

They are sails made of speech.

You could navigate
the vessel of your inner life
with their words propelling you along to the horizon.

The Documents tell their stories
over and over, even when you’re asleep,
even when the dark government temple
where they are entombed has shut
down for the night. The Documents never
tire, never shut down. They never expire.

They keep up their endless arguments,
hoping to be heard. Take heart, they insist.
Resist your worst impulses. Fight on,
even against invincible power. Listen
to what we have to tell you, they say, ancient,
faint, yet stronger than a wall ten miles thick.



Seen at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Had it not been 7AM I might have tried the Tres Leches or Red Velvet funnel cake. Also the Agua Fresca on the far left is labeled “cheery lemonade”. Very hard to pass up.