The Q Continuum

How, on this precious planet we call Earth, does one LOSE a Q hook??? I've lost--at least temporarily--myriad numbers of F, G, and H hooks. But HOW does one lose a Q(!!) hook? It's like losing a horse!

Nevertheless, I have lost my Q hook, and I am displeased, as I have strips of material cut, sewn, wound, and waiting to be made into rag rugs with a big, fat, Q hook. This is ridiculous.

I've spent a lot of today talking. . .and listening. I visited a friend (and her really cute towheaded son) this afternoon and spent a good amount of time on the phone with various relative and non-relative persons today. I'm thinking that I appreciate friends. The ones who I am very much like and the ones who differ very much from me. It is good to know people, to hold them accountable and know that they will do the same for you. . .that they will stare me in the face and be blunt when I need it. And that they won't think less of me for needing it.

I'm rambling, I suppose. I shouldn't be. . .I'm feeling slightly overly emotional. It's so hard sometimes to watch people make decisions that I know they have to make for themselves and to wish so badly that I could help--even when I don't really have a clue what decisions I think they should make. So it's not that I think I could help; it's just that I want to. This is barely making sense, even to me. Suffice to say that there are quite a few people I like an awful lot. I care what happens to them. And, currently, I'm wildly happy for some, mildly concerned for others, and sadly desperate for others. It's a night for extremes.

And yes, I watch too much Sci Fi.



Below are the two baby quilts I've made in the last six months for the new babies of two good friends. They each have a pocket on the back, so that the quilt folds up into a pillow.

The Chloe Quilt:

The Sophie Quilt:


Chris and Sassi's baby arrived last week, and we went to visit this weekend. We're privileged to be godparents to this beautiful little person.

Proud Parents

Isn't this adorable?

Occasionally, she opens two lovely gray eyes.


Popcorn, Part 2

Serious requests or no, an addendum to the popcorn post:

I used Canola oil, because that's what I buy. . .I think my grandparents buy the same, but I'm not sure.

Step 1: Pour just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Be sure your pan is big enough to contain the popped corn, not just the pre-popped kernals. . .they have this tendency to expand.
Step 2: Heat over medium-high heat until the oil "dances." That is, until it's hot enough that you see waves in it and it moves of its own accord.
Step 3: Pour in 1/4 to 1/3 cup popcorn. Have the lid handy and cover immediately.
Step 4: Shake the pan vigorously on the burner, stopping for 2 second intervals to ascertain if it's still popping. Shaking is what keeps it from sticking and burning.
Step 5: When the popping subsides (note: Subside does not mean cease. When you only hear a couple isolated pops in a 2 second pause, it has subsided.), remove from the burner and empty immediately.
Step 6: Salt.

I repeatedly lift the lid on and off--just a smidgeon, to avoid escapees--as I shake and pause. I'm not really sure if this is essential or if I do it because Grandad does. :-)

Ha. Look at me give instructions like this is my life's carefully acquired skill. How many times have I done this? Yeah. . .that would be once. How quickly we falsely assume mastery. . . .


This poem, by Emily Dickinson, has been running in my head today. Well, to be more accurate, the first line drove me crazy for a while, as I couldn't remember what came next. Then I remembered all but one word--"stops"--of the first stanza. That's all I ever knew, anyway. So I looked it up. . .to see what "stops" was. (I kept thinking "hums," and that just doesn't make sense.) As a general rule, I'm not a huge Dickinson fan. I don't dislike her; she's just not usually my favorite. But this poem is an exception, and I think it typifies Christian life very well. . .and all life, in various seasons. It's a hopeful sentiment, I think, and generally buoys up my own hope. What a coincidence.
HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I ’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


Like Grandad, Like Granddaughter

Whoopee! When I was little (before the popularity of microwave popcorn), my parents had an air popper. It had a little dish on top in which butter melted while the popcorn popped. We used it for movie nights and game nights and more. It made good popcorn, and I remember no complaints. But my grandparents, had something far better. They have Grandad. He always popped corn for us in a pan on the stove, and it was beyond comparison. No butter, just table salt. Healthier than microwave versions, too, I'm sure. In the past couple of years, I've persuaded him to pop corn like this again for various family gatherings. Over the holidays, I watched and learned!

Here is my beautiful stove-top-popped popcorn:

And the pan I popped it in:


On the Evils of Education

from Flannery O'Connor's "The Enduring Chill,"
When people think they are smart--even when they are smart--there is nothing anybody else can say to make them see things straight, and with Asbury, the trouble was that in addition to being smart, he had an artistic temperament. She did not know where he had got it from because his father, who was a lawyer and businessman and farmer and politician all rolled into one, had certainly had his feet on the ground; and she had certainly always had hers on it. She had managed after he died to get the two of them (her two children) through college and beyond; but she had observed that the more education they got, the less they could do. Their father had gone to a one-room schoolhouse through the eighth grade and he could do anything.