Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.

                                                        –Anton Chekhov

Ya’ll, I am happy to report that for the first time in a long time….I think I may be setting fruit. More later.



Lost in My Mind

IMG_5647Playing catch-up. Always playing catch-up.

How to sum it up to date? Everything seems off. Like life is simultaneously happening at lightening speed as seen in slow motion.

And so a mixtape, per usual, to sum it up. It may not explicitly say FORWARD. But it is there, hidden among the verses. You have to trust me on this one.

There was running, of course, but slower and less consistent then usual. Running nonetheless. And even biking, although that doesn’t have a soundtrack. Drum corps and enthusiasm for annual meetings I have yet to attend. In early spring a sweet wedding in Mexico with a double rainbow, for the sweetest kids, one whom was just a baby when we first met. The one with the singing on the plaza and the fish tacos. Frankly, that one perplexed me the longest and hence the delay. But I figured it out, or at least pushed forward. And, after all, that’s the point of all of this anyway isn’t it? Another wedding, the one with the palm trees and café lights and celebrity attendees, and yet we were all just the same, singing at the top of our lungs to songs we all share as if we went to the same high school.

This was the summer (and spring and winter) of the new car. The one with the satellite radio that seems extravagant yet brings me so much daily joy. Thank you First Wave, for making my commute something to sing about, at the top of my lungs, shades on, sunroof open. There was slow progress made on the Tidy Up. Is it done, I am not sure, but it is close, and there is more space and order than ever. I am open to all that comes from that. That openness allows for reflection. And there is indeed reflection. In the why of it all, in the unfairness of it all, in the high moments and low moments. The lowest of the low. The laughter and joy through the tears. Of the songs without words.

I am ready for something good, I think—-and we’ve made plans for that. A road trip is order, and we’ll be sure to play it, all of it. Shades on, sunroof open, singing at the top of our lungs, moving forward. Watching it all in slow motion.

2015 OLW mixtape

  1. Technologic 4:44 Daft Punk Human After All
  2. Wind It Up 3:10 Gwen Stefani The Sweet Escape
  3. Dance The Night Away 4:23 The Mavericks Definitive Collection
  4. Panic 2:21 The Smiths  The Sound of The Smiths
  5. You’ve Got Time 3:10 Regina Spektor  Orange Is the New Black (Soundtrack)
  6. Turning Japanese 3:46 The Vapors Turning Japanese – Best of the Vapors
  7. 99 Red Balloons 3:51  Nena   99 Luftballons
  8. Heartbeats 2:42  José González  Veneer
  9. The Man Who Can’t Be Moved 4:01 The Script  The Script
  10. The House That Built Me 3:57  Miranda Lambert  Revolution
  11. Somewhere Over the Rainbow 5:12 Israel Kamakawiwo’ole Ka ‘Ano’i
  12. Picture Me 5:18  Yiruma Love Scene (Yiruma Piano Solo)
  13. Your Hand In Mine 8:17 Explosions In the Sky The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
  14. Airstream Song 2:48  Miranda Lambert  Revolution
  15. Lost In My Mind 4:19 The Head and the Heart The Head and the Heart
  16. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) 3:39  The Proclaimers  Sunshine On Leith
  17. Waves  3:49  The Cruise Slowly Drifting After U

So I don’t forget

selfie with pammy

DSC_0083I want to remember her generosity.

I want to remember how welcoming she was. And that first Christmas where I spent hours in her kitchen looking through her cookbooks and noting recipes to copy.

I want to remember that she had long, delicate but agile fingers which she used to do everything from deliver babies and care for mothers, to bake pie.

I want to remember her straight long hair, sometimes in a low ponytail and sometimes not. And the way she wrapped her fingers around it, even when there was none, to pull it from her shirt or jacket.

I want to remember her baby mohawk.

I want to remember that she wore three rings—one gold wedding band, one diamond eternity anniversary band that came after a long search post Italy, and one mixed gold and silver band from Hawai’i.

I want to remember that she always wore “silver ball” earrings, until later when she switched to a silver earing with a dropped crystal, which I don’t think I really noticed until she lost her hair, and then they seemed that much more elegant.

I want to remember the hours she would spend French braiding the “little girls’” hair on the houseboat, carefully threading beads onto the sections.

I want to remember that she hung silver stars in the windows at Christmastime. They are tarnished from time and gently turn in the light of the sun and movement of the inside air.

I want to remember that she started many emails with “Aloha!”

I want to remember that she always lit the candles for dinner. We must remember to do this.

I want to remember her love of hummingbirds. And daylilies. And wind chimes.

I want to remember having music on in the background. And her turning on the music midmorning and entering the kitchen at the ranch(es) to start prep on our next fantastic meal, first using recipe cards kept in a box in plastic sleeves, then her iPad.

I want to remember the wake up song.

I want to remember her garden. And the “night of the frost” last of the season basil harvest and pesto making sessions. And the gnocchi with pesto we would eat in the dead of winter.

I want to remember the special desserts like the “Bombe aux Trois Chocolat” and the more practical but satisfying, perhaps more so, Chocolate Sheet Cake.

I want to remember that when the cake falls in the center, you just “put a little more icing to even it out, and it won’t even matter.”

I want to remember the time she baked me an out of season birthday cake and one of the dogs stole a layer off the ranch kitchen counter while it was cooling. Result=three layer cake.

I want to remember that she sometimes felt that the cost didn’t matter, especially on flank steak and pork tenderloin in Hawai’i. That you just “closed your eyes and put it in the basket.” That some things are worth paying a lot of money for and that gifts sometimes came with the price tag still attached.

I want to remember when she would eat something really delicious she would take a first bite and close her eyes and sit back in her chair with her arms on the arm rests and lick her lips and slowly say “mmmm.” And in that utterance say all the things.

I want to remember that she drank hot chocolate, made from scratch, instead of coffee or tea. That she drank Coke—from a can, with ice. Or from the convenience store fountain with pebble ice preferably. And that her favorite ice was that made from that crusher thing from her childhood home.

I want to remember the “whooish, whooish, whooish” sound she made when she swirled the meringue with her index finger on the key lime pie.

I want to remember that I missed her last birthday because I was in Maine, but that when I came back she said “we missed you” and I said “I missed you too.”

I want to remember that it is important to get in the photos. And take selfies with loved ones. And to smile.

I want to remember the texts about Downton Abbey.

I want to remember that when I asked, she wasn’t afraid, yet I was secretly terrified for her, for me, for all of us.

I want to remember her love for red rock country, and Lake Powell, and Shakespeare. And plants from Cactus and Tropicals, and table cloths from Williams and Sonoma (on sale).

I want to remember her saying “That’s an Instagrammer.”

I want to remember her knowing the Utah Jazz and Real Salt Lake stats. And leaving the dinner table post dessert to watch a DVR’d game with her sisters.

I want to remember that after 29 years of marriage she still sat on Ken’s lap.

I want to remember the menu and shopping lists. She always prepared with a list. And assignments.

I want to remember that she was the organizer, the facilitator, the glue. I don’t know what we will do without her.

I want to remember when Sam was looking at her quilt she resurrected her wit and broke her silence and said “That’s mine!” as if to say “you can’t have it.” Outside it made me laugh, inside it made me cry.

I want to remember thinking that the quilt wasn’t enough to keep her with us, and I was foolish to think it might, but that it did provide comfort (to me in the making) and her (in the using) and wrapped her in love. Not just for her, but for the kids who napped, emotionally exhausted, underneath it on the day they lost their mom. And thus in that instant making it made it again worth it.

I want to remember.

Slow Stitching Reflections



The thing about writing is it doesn’t have to be perfect. Repeat that to yourself again and again. It doesn’t have to be grammatically correct. It doesn’t have to happen in paragraphs. It simply needs to come from your heart.

Ali Edwards

I have just returned from a Slow Stitching retreat hosted by A Gathering of Stitches and to say it was an awakening experience is a gross understatement. Sure there was quilting—some of it tiny, some of it slow, although decidedly better and therefore faster—and I’ll talk more about that in another post, but I wanted to write, before I forget, or rather to remember, that for me, this weekend ultimately became about the people and the experience, rather than the stitching. Continue reading

5 Simple Steps to Becoming a Runner

IMG_4196I have written this post in my head a hundred times while running. It seems every run starts this way as I work to find my rhythm…

I started running when I was 40 years old (in April I celebrated 43 years around the sun). Forty. How did this happen? How does this happen? Why did this happen? How can you make it happen? Touching on all those items is too much for a single post so I hope to spread some of this out over time. In the mean time here are my five simple steps to becoming a runner*:


Step 1. Read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

71OL3GqC4ULI distinctly remember having a conversation with my husband when he was reading this book. In talking about running my response was “I hate running. It makes every part of my body hurt. Even my boobs.” To which he replied, “You’re doing it wrong. Run through the house, right now.” And so as to not sound like a Clydesdale I ran (barefooted) on the ball of my feet. And there it was. He said, “See. You naturally ran on your forefoot, just like you are supposed to. I think you should read this book.” And so I did. And I thought, “YES! I am born to run. I can do this.” And shortly thereafter I started.

Step 2. Deal with the “Girls”

811jJXUojJL._UX385_Critical to my running success, and of utmost importance in my opinion is getting a good sports bra. I am “well-endowed.” Sometimes it sucks; it’s always expensive, and it makes your back and shoulders hurt, but it is what it is. I had a lame, too small sports bra. Very soon into my running journey I knew I would need a better bra. As most of us do I went straight to the internet, and Googled “big boobs running bra.” Bwahahahahaha.

The internet is full of lies.

Don’t for a minute believe the articles you read from the likes of Ms. Magazine or Runner’s World about bras for “large breasts.” A size C is not big in the big boob scheme of things (and that girl in the photo above doesn’t have big boobs, but whatever). And in most cases you are out of luck if you have a relatively small ribcage, plus big boobs. Just do yourself a favor and get the best sportsbra I have ever owned—The Shock Absorber. This bra has the best stability I have ever experienced. It uses a “figure 8” technology in the front combined with eye/hook band as well as a racerback clip in the rear. It is solid and I experience no bounce. I have found the cups to be cut a teeny bit low and I get a little “spillover” (especially if I haven’t been running. Ahem.) but I overlook that for the never-ending support. I would love it if they made it so it came up a little higher. I order up one size in the cup (seems like it shrinks a little in the wash) and I buy mine at Her Room. They have great customer service, selection, and return policy.

Step 3. Tackle the Chub Rub

718yAvc+TjL._UL1500_It’s not pretty, but it’s a fact for many of us, men and women alike. I am not a “skinny” girl (I’m “average” by US standards, which to some means “fat” (whatever), and I’m certainly not a gap-legged girl like that skinny bitch in the picture. I’ve got curves, and frankly sometimes those curves rub. I have had good success wearing either running capris or compression shorts. I use an REI pair that are discontinued, but still. Find something that covers your bum comfortably (who the hell designs low-rise running/yoga/exercise shorts anyway? They should be shot. Same goes for low-rise snowboarding pants. COMEON.) A gusseted crotch with strategic seams is also helpful to prevent chafing, which, afterall is the whole point. I can comfortably run with my chubby thighs rubbing together but it is so slick because of the spandex that I don’t get the chub rub (and neither will you ;)). Happy thighs makes for a happy runner.

When the summer heat really sets in, I like to wear compression shorts (I like these Under Armour Compression Shorts as shown above) and combine them with a sparkle skirt (see #4).

Step 4: Get Your Sparkle On

thumb.phpNot required by any stretch of the imagination, but a sparkle skirt from Sparkle Athletic is a great way to cover-up shortie run shorts. Plus, they are so fun. They make me feel like a superheroprincesssparkleathletethatcanrunfarandfastandstrong.

In short, I really like them.

Step5: Just Start

Sure #2-4 are awesome and/or helpful, but certainly not required. #1 is also not required but, man, it is such an empowering read that even if you aren’t athletic (and I am not particularly) you think–yes, I can do this. I can be a runner. Start slow. But just start. Put one foot in front of the other. And do it again. And then do it a couple days later. And before you know it you will be a runner.

So who’s with me?


*Note: none of these people or companies or product manufacturers knows who I am. These are just things I like or have had success with.



I don’t read very many quilt blogs. Not because I am not interested, of course, but rather because I don’t want to be influenced. Sure we all have quilters who inspire us–those we look up to, those whose work we covet, those that we would love to meet in person, or maybe we have met. And those I check in on regularly and interact with in the various social media platforms. I have been trying to be better about posting comments rather than just lurking.

But I don’t read much from other quilters because I want to remain original in my designs, whether I am relevant or not.

It does not escape me that I want people to read what I write in this space, yet that I may or may not reciprocate. It is what it is.

The world in which we quilt in is a tricky one. It’s a world defined by terms such as “traditional modernism,” “improvisation,” and “minimalism.” And I have a beef with most of those labels. How they are assigned, and defined. And why we need them.

It is not a secret that I do not follow the trends in the latest quilt fabrics. I buy and use fabrics buy the piece, not the line. I mix anything and everything. And in the last few years I have rarely purchased fabric (my last purchase was in January–a little Cotton and Steel, and before that my previous purchase was in March 2014). I have been quilting from my stash. At times it feels great. Other times it feels like a burden. But that is another post for another time.

So where do I get my “quiltspiration?” I read several fashion and street style blogs religiously. It’s twofold really, 1) I am interested in the subject matter and 2) the colors, patterns, and textures are infinitely interesting. I also read design blogs, photography blogs, and travel blogs plus print forms of these as well. I also follow IG accounts of many of the same. And spend lots of time in my own head.

Imagine my surprise this week when I found this on TLo:


Pineapple log cabin. Valentino, via creative direction team of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, you are a man after my own heart. From the Valentino website:

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s stylistic approach is defined by their sense of contemporary nourished by contrasts and love for a mélange of visual, artistic and literary inputs synthesized in a vibrant and distinctive style. A fusion of styles and languages is the key to their method.

That description above sums up quiltspiration in a nutshell. Although in this case the garment is the inverse of quiltspiration, rather it is the quilt. Right?

What do you think? Would you wear it? Would you quilt it? Would you quilt it in velvet? Where do you find inspiration for your quilts?