Monday, February 2, 2009

A Young Hare

I may never finish this piece - especially if I spend the infrequent 'leisure' minutes available with blogging rather than stitching! There are 77,910 stitches in this piece (although I have stitched some pieces with more stitches, I've not really spent the time I would wish with this one). My resolution: be more disciplined with any free time I have!

This cross-stitch piece is patterned after the artist Albrecht Durer's watercolor (1502) - "A Young Hare."

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Luther Standing Bear
Oglala Sioux

"The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the land that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belonged just as the buffalo belonged..."


Poet Elizabeth Bishop:

"All my life I have lived and behaved very much like the sandpiper - just running down the edges of different countries and continents, 'looking for something"."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Red Boots and Sunflowers

A VERY early piece that just seemed to be a cheery piece of stitching. Not complicated but fun.
The actual origin of the cowboy boot is impossible to pinpoint, as horsemen have been protecting their feet since the fifth century, in the times of Attila the Hun and his band of warriors. Yet somehow, when the world sees a cowboy boot on display, they immediatly think of the American Cowboy. The cowboy boot is as American as apple pie.
"It was just some cowboy boots..."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Spring at the West Gate

I think this piece had a thousand different thread colors (well - that may be an exaggeration - but there were MANY different colors). This piece was given to my husband's brother and wife and as is obvious, the snapshot was flood-damaged.


A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.
~ Robert Frost

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Love of Stitching

" A stitch in time would have confused Einstein."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch

Each Fall our Church has a Pumpkin Patch set up on the lawn - complete with scarecrows, story-telling time (the school children will come at scheduled times to be regaled with stories by a marvelous Scarecrow - former teacher - who has been doing this as long as and before we have lived in Seguin).
Thousands of people visit the Pumpkin Patch during this time. A couple of years ago we were eating barbecue at what we jokingly refer to as the Belmont Social Club (just a great barbecue place that doesn't look like any kind of club). Anyway - when we were there with some friends, a couple came into the cafe wearing the FUMC Pumpkin Patch tee-shirts and mentioned that they lived in London, England and just happened to be driving down Austin Street when they saw the hundreds of pumpkins and folks all over the place, having such a great time - and they had to stop! This Pumpkin Patch has been great for the community!

Quaking Aspen

by Edward Thomas

All day and night, save winter, every weather,
Above the inn, the smithy and the shop,
aspens at the cross-roads talk together
Of rain, until their last leaves fall from the top.

Out of the blacksmith's cavern comes the ringing
Of hammer, shoe and anvil; out of the inn
The clink, the hum, the roar, the random singing -
The sounds that for these fifty years have been.

The whisper of the aspens is not drowned,
And over lightless pane and footless road,
Empty as sky, with every other sound
No ceasing, calls their ghosts from their abode,

A silent smithy, a silent inn, nor fails
In the bare moonlight or the thick-furred gloom,
In the tempest or the night of nightingales,
To turn the cross-roads to a ghostly room.

And it would be the same were no house near.
Over all sorts of weather, men, and times,
Aspens must shake their leaves and men may hear
But need not listen, more than to my rhymes.

Whatever wind blows, while they and I have leaves
We cannot other than an aspen be
That ceaselessly, unreasonably grieves,
Or so men think who like a different tree.

Casa de los Meros

It has been so long ago since I stitched this piece. I *think* it is the "House of the Pure." There was just this rather dim snapshot in my box of photographs and it is difficult to read the inscription on the wall. It is a simple piece, but I always thought it held a story.
Near The Wall of A House
by Yehuda Amichai

Near the wall of a house painted
to look like stone,
I saw visions of God.
A sleepless night that gives others a headache
gave me flowers
opening beautifully inside my brain.

And he who was lost like a dog
will be found like a human being
and brought back home again.

Love is not the last room: there are others
after it, the whole length of the corridor
that has no end.

A flower for you

To pick a flower is so much more satisfying than just observing it, or photographing it ... So in later years, I have grown in my garden as many flowers as possible for children to pick.
- Anne Scott-James

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stately: dignified and impressive; majestic, lofty

Why Your Great Grandmother Wasn't An Indian Princess:

Excerpted from Vine Deloria. Jr..
"Indians Today, the Real and theUnreal," from Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, New York. Macmillan, no. 1-27. 1969.
"During my three years as Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians it was a rare day when some white didn't visit my office and proudly proclaim that he or she was of Indian descent."
"Cherokee was the most popular tribe of their choice and many people placed the Cherokees anywhere from Maine to Washington State. Mohawk, Sioux, and Chippewa were next in popularity. Occasionally, I would be told about some mythical tribe from lower Pennsylvania, Virginia, or Massachusetts which had spawned the white standing before me.
"At times I became quite defensive about being a Sioux when these white people had a pedigree that was so much more respectable than mine. But eventually I came to understand their need to identify as partiallyIndian and did not resent them. I would confirm their wildest stories about their Indian ancestry and would add a few tales of my own hoping that they would be able to accept themselves someday and leave us alone.
"Whites claiming Indian blood generally tend to reinforce mythical beliefs about Indians. All but one person I met who claimed Indian blood claimed it on their grandmother's side. I once did a projection backward and discovered that evidently most tribes were entirely female for the first three hundred years of white occupation. No one, it seemed, wanted to claim a male Indian as a forebear.
"It doesn't take much insight into racial attitudes to understand the real meaning of the Indian grandmother complex that plagues certain whites. A male ancestor has too much of the aura of the savage warrior, the unknown primitive, the instinctive animal, to make him a respectable member of the family tree. But a young Indian princess? Ah, there was royalty for the taking. Somehow the white was linked with a noble house of gentility and culture if his grandmother was an Indian princess who ran away with an intrepid pioneer. And royalty has always been an unconscious but all-consuming goal of the European immigrant."
"The early colonists, accustomed to life under benevolent despots, projected their understanding of the European political structure onto the Indian tribe in trying to explain its political and social structure. European royal houses were closed to ex-convicts and indentured servants, so the colonists made all Indian maidens princesses, then proceeded to climb a social ladder of their own creation. Within the next generation, if the trend continues, a large portion of the American population will eventually be related to Powhattan."
"While a real Indian grandmother is probably the nicest thing that could happen to a child, why is a remote Indian princess grandmother so necessary for many whites? Is it because they are afraid of being classed as foreigners? Do they need some blood tie with the frontier and its dangers in order to experience what it means to be an American? Or is it an attempt to avoid facing the guilt they bear for the treatment of the Indian?
"The phenomenon seems to be universal. Only among the Jewish community, which has a long tribal-religious tradition of its own, does the mysterious Indian grandmother, the primeval princess, fail to dominate the family tree. Otherwise, there's not much to be gained by claiming Indian blood or publicly identifying as an Indian."


Missed stitches! Another early piece and I missed a couple of stitches and thus have a lopsided pot!

Interesting Seguin facts: In 1857 John McCamey Wilson, a Presbyterian minister and educator, established the first Wilson pottery. Wilson was not a potter, so the initial pottery operations were probably conducted by his slave potters, Hiram, James, George, and Andrew Wilson.

At various exhibits and talks in Seguin, I've seen some of the pottery (and photos of the pottery and early site).

The following is copied from Magazine Antiques, December 2002 issue

"One of the most important Texas potters was John McKamey Wilson Jr., who, about 1857, established the Guadalupe Pottery in Guadalupe County near Seguin, Texas. Wilson was a clergyman, lawyer, teacher, and planter, but had never been trained in pottery making. Clearly his slaves were adept, for it was they who labored in his pottery works. Pottery in Texas was fired in a groundhog kiln, so named because part of the kiln is buried in the earth. As in Edgefield, potters at Guadalupe initially used alkaline, or ash, glazes. These were common to potteries in the Deep South and are notable for the variety of colors they produced, from yellow and green to reddish and dark brown. Later Guadalupe potters used salt glazes. After emancipation the former salves became employees of the pottery, and, after the Civil War, Wilson took on a partner, Marion J. Durham, to whom he sold the pottery in 1869.

"At this point a group of former slaves, Hyrum, James, Wallace, Andrew, and George, all having taken the surname Wilson, decided to establish their own pottery in a region called Capote. H. Wilson and Company, as the pottery was known, produced only salt-glazed stonewares and, rather unusually, often marked their products. Another distinguishing characteristic of their output is the horseshoe shape of the handles on their jars and jugs in contrast to the crescent-shaped handles used almost everywhere else in the South.

"A booklet with the same title as the exhibition has been published by the museum. It is written by Michael K. Brown, the curator of the Bayou Bend Collection in Houston, and may be obtained by telephoning 713-639-7360."

Ms. Laverne Lewis Britt, the great, great granddaughter of Hiram Wilson is the author of the In Praise of Hiram Wilson The Story of a 19th Century Guadalupe County Potter. Copies can be purchased by writing to the Wilson Pottery Foundation at: P.O. Box 681802, San Antonio, TX 78268. Her book tells the in depth story of a man who owned a pottery business and later became a Reverend among many other accomplishments.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Life is . . .

The Life we have is very great
by Emily Dickinson

The Life we have is very great.
The Life that we shall see
Surpasses it, we know, because
It is Infinity.
But when all
Space has been beheld
And all
Dominion shown
The smallest
Human Heart's extent
Reduces it to none.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


At the time I stitched this piece (one of my earliest pieces), I had no idea my father had a Cherokee heritage. It wasn't until the death of my mother when I was sorting through her effects that I found an envelope with a check stub indicating a Cherokee allotment payment to my father. Thus began my search for my Cherokee ancestors. I was lucky. There was a great deal written about my particular ancestors. Richard Foreman was a Scotsman from Pennsylvania who was listed in records as being 'an Indian trader.' One of his daughters married Cherokee Chief Bushyhead (so called because he had a shock of red hair as did his father). There were many records regarding my direct ancestor, Richard Bark Foreman, who was a physician and published The Cherokee Physician or Indian Guide to Health in 1849.

The original title is:

The Cherokee Physician, or Indian Guide to Health, as Given by Richard Foreman, a Cherokee Doctor; Comprising a Brief View of Anatomy, With General Rules for Preserving Health without the Use of Medicines. The Diseases of the U. States, with Their Symptoms, Causes, and Means of Prevention, are Treated on in a Satisfactory Manner. It Also Contains a Description of a Variety of Herbs and Roots, Many of which are not Explained in Any Other Book, and their Medical Virtues have Hitherto been Unknown to the Whites; To which is Added a Short Dispensatory. This book was published by Edney and Dedman, Ashville, North Carolina in 1849 and written by Richard Foreman and James W. Mahoney.

My Foremans were leaders on the very sad Trail of Tears.

Richard Bark's half-brother Stephen Foreman attended Princeton Theological School and was a Presbyterian minister. He also worked with Elias Boudinot on the first Cherokee newspaper, The Cherokee Phoenix, first printed in 1828 in New Echota, Georgia.
A nephew, Edward Wilkerson Bushhead partnered with William Jeff Gatewood to establish the first newspaper in San Diego, California: The San Diego Union.

An aside: a relative on my maternal side was the lawyer hired by the Cherokee Nation to bring suit against the State of Georgia for properties lost when the Cherokees were forced from their homes. Another relative on my maternal side was given land in Florida "for driving out the Cherokees" at the time of the Trail of Tears. As William Least Heat Moon wrote in his book Blue Highways, my material and paternal families have been skirmishing ever since!
While digging into my Cherokee roots, I learned that the humorist Will Rogers is also related to my Foreman family and lived for a time with a g-g-g (or maybe more greats!) aunt and uncle.
The research is fascinating and I love all of the puzzle-solving.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tending the Geese

The Goose-Girl
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Spring rides no horses down the hill,
But comes on foot, a goose-girl still.
And all the loveliest things there be
Come simply, so, it seems to me.
If ever I said, in grief or pride,
I tired of honest things, I lied:
And should be cursed forevermore
With Love in laces, like a whore,
And neighbours cold, and friends unsteady,
And Spring on horseback, like a lady!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Rooster

by Elizabeth Bishop

At four o'clock
in the gun-metal blue dark
we hear the first crow of the first cock

just below
the gun-metal blue window
and immediately there is an echo

off in the distance,
then one from the backyard fence,
then one, with horrible insistence,

grates like a wet match from the broccoli patch,
flares,and all over town begins to catch.
Cries galorecome from the water-closet door,

from the dropping-plastered henhouse floor,
where in the blue blur their rusting wives admire,
the roosters brace their cruel feet and glare

with stupid eyes
while from their beaks there rise
the uncontrolled, traditional cries.

Deep from protruding chests
in green-gold medals dressed,
planned to command and terrorize the rest,

the many wives who lead hens' lives
of being courted and despised;
deep from raw throats

a senseless order floats
all over town. A rooster gloats
over our beds

from rusty irons sheds
and fences made from old bedsteads,
over our churches where the tin rooster perches,

over our little wooden northern houses,
making sallies from all the muddy alleys,
marking out maps like Rand McNally's:

glass-headed pins,
oil-golds and copper greens,
anthracite blues, alizarins,

each one an active displacement in perspective;
each screaming, "This is where I live!"

Each screaming"Get up! Stop dreaming!"
Roosters, what are you projecting?
You, whom the Greeks elected

to shoot at on a post, who struggled
when sacrificed, you whom they labeled
"Very combative..."what right have you to give commands and tell us how to live,

cry "Here!" and "Here!"and wake us here where are
unwanted love, conceit and war?
The crown of red set on your little head

is charged with all your fighting blood
Yes, that excrescence makes a most virile presence,
plus all that vulgar beauty of iridescence

Now in mid-airby two they fight each other.
Down comes a first flame-feather,
and one is flying, with raging heroism defying

even the sensation of dying.
And one has fallen but still above the town
his torn-out, bloodied feathers drift down;

and what he sungno matter. He is flung
on the gray ash-heap, lies in dung
with his dead wiveswith open, bloody eyes,

while those metallic feathers oxidize.
St. Peter's sin was worse than that of Magdalen
whose sin was of the flesh alone;

of spirit, Peter's, falling, beneath the flares
among the "servants and officers."
Old holy sculpture could set it all together

in one small scene, past and future:
Christ stands amazed,
Peter, two fingers raised

to surprised lips, both as if dazed.
But in between
a little cock is seen

carved on a dim column in the travertine,
explained by gallus canit;
flet Petrus underneath it,

There is inescapable hope, the pivot;
yes, and there Peter's tears
run down our chanticleer's

sides and gem his spurs.
Tear-encrusted thick
as a medieval reliche waits. Poor Peter, heart-sick,

still cannot guess
those cock-a-doodles yet might bless,
his dreadful rooster come to mean forgiveness,

a new weather
basilica and barn,
and that outside the Lateran

there would always be a bronze cock on a porphyry
pillar so the people and the Pope might see
that event the Prince

of the Apostles long since
had been forgiven, and to convince
all the assembly that "Deny deny deny"

is not all the roosters cry.
In the a low light is floating
in the backyard, and gilding

from underneath
the broccoli, leaf by leaf;
how could the night have come to grief?

gilding the tiny floating swallow's belly
and lines of pink cloud in the sky,
the day's preamble like wandering lines in marble,

The cocks are now almost inaudible.
The sun climbs in, following "to see the end,
"faithful as enemy, or friend.

Peaceful Moments

Flowers are the sweetest things
God ever made
forgot to put a soul into.

- Henry Ward Beecher, Life Thoughts

Nobody Loves Me

A Sad Child
Margaret Atwood

You're sad because you're sad.
It's psychic. It's the age. It's chemical.
Go see a shrink or take a pill,
or hug your sadness like an eyeless doll
you need to sleep.

Well, all children are sad
but some get over it.
Count your blessings.
Better than that,
buy a hat.

Buy a coat or pet.
Take up dancing to forget.
Forget what?

Your sadness, your shadow,
whatever it was that was done to you
the day of the lawn party
when you came inside flushed with the sun,
your mouth sulky with sugar,
in your new dress with the ribbon
and the ice-cream smear,
and said to yourself in the bathroom,
I am not the favorite child.

All Lined Up

Little Moccasins
Robert William Service

Come out, O Little Moccasins, and frolic on the snow!
Come out, O tiny beaded feet, and twinkle in the light!
I'll play the old Red River reel,
you used to love it so:
Awake, O Little Moccasins, and dance for me to-night!

Great Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked in his moccasins.
Dan Stanford Quotes

Monday, January 12, 2009

Teddy Bear

In America, the teddy bear, according to tradition, got its start with a cartoon. The cartoon, drawn by Clifford Berryman and titled "Drawing the Line in Mississippi," showed President Theodore Roosevelt refusing to shoot a baby bear. According to this often told tale, Roosevelt had traveled to Mississippi to help settle a border dispute between that state and Louisiana, and his hosts, wanting to please this avid hunter, took him bear hunting. The hunting was so poor that someone finally captured a bear and invited Roosevelt to shoot. Roosevelt's refusal to fire at such a helpless target inspired Berryman to draw his cartoon with its play on the two ways Roosevelt was drawing a line—settling a border dispute and refusing to shoot a captive animal.

The cartoon appeared in a panel of cartoons drawn by Cliffored Berryman in The Washington Post on November 16, 1902. It caused an immediate sensation and was reprinted widely. Apparently this cartoon even inspired Morris and Rose Michtom of Brooklyn, New York, to make a bear in honor of the president's actions. The Michtoms named their bear "Teddy's Bear" and placed it in the window of their candy and stationery store. Instead of looking fierce and standing on all four paws like previous toy bears, the Michtoms' bear looked sweet, innocent, and upright, like the bear in Berryman's cartoon. Perhaps that's why "Teddy's Bear" made a hit with the buying public. In fact, the demand was so strong that the Michtoms, with the help of a wholesale firm called Butler Brothers, founded the first teddy bear manufacturer in the United States, the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.

[Source: The History of the Teddy Bear by Marianne Clay]

Grandson Number One

Grandchildren are the best!

The 5:00 A.M. Crew

Some say he's from Georgia,
Some say he's from Alabam,
But it's wrote on the rock at the Big Ben Tunnel,
That he's an East Virginia Man,
That he's an East Virginia man.
John Henry was a steel drivin' man,
He died with a hammah in his han',
Oh, come along boys and line the track
For John Henry ain't never comin' back,
For John Henry ain't never comin' back.

Our bucks came from trucks

What can I say?
Trucks paid for the college (and one law school) education of two sons and a daughter and my continuing (ever continuing!) education at a university everywhere we lived (except now in Seguin and I'm certainly thinking about some classes at TLU!).
God blessed us . . . and continues to do so.
"It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, Oh Most High."
Psalm 92:1

Sunny Day Laundry

I gave this piece to my husband's secretary when we lived in Denver. She, like I, loved the smell of laundry that had been kissed by the sun - especially the sheets and throw rugs! Bringing the outdoors in . . . in mile high Denver!
Zen Proverb: "After enlightenment, the laundry."
"By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class." ~ Anne Morrow Lindberg

Granddaughter Number Three - Joy Continues!

Baby Face
by Carl Sandburg

WHITE MOON comes in on a baby face.
The shafts across her bed are flimmering.
Out on the land White Moon shines,
Shines and glimmers against gnarled shadows,
All silver to slow twisted shadows
Falling across the long road that runs from the house.
Keep a little of your beautyAnd some of your flimmering silver
For her by the window to-night
Where you come in, White Moon.

Indian artistry in woven rugs

We lived for many years in the Four Corners area and my admiration for the Navajo weavers is immense. My father was once paid 'in kind' for work he did at Hustler Press; the publisher/owner Orval Ricketts gave him a Two Grey Hills rug. It was so very lovely.
The Two Grey Hill's rug became known for its all natural wool colors blended to various shades of tan, grey, brown, black and white. The other distinction was the weavers carded and spun the wool to a fineness rarely found in the other regional styles. The Two Grey Hills style rugs and tapestries are one of the best know, most sought after and expensive patterns, a fact still true today. One challenge of the Two Grey Hills style of weaving is the making of a rug that is very large in length and width. Due to the extra time and effort to produce the finely woven and intricately designed Two Grey Hills rugs, they are generally smaller in size and more suited to wall use. A 5' by 7' would be considered large.

Flowers abound

For some reason, I 'connect' to this very simple piece. The pattern was designed by a cross-stitch artist from a sheet of wallpaper. I just love it although as you can tell, it is not an intricate design and the design is repeated throughout.
I could have stitched forever and made a very large piece
but wanted it small.
I plan to (one day!)
have it framed and hung in the guest bath.
This was one of my first attempts at stitching, also.

Flowers -- Well -- if anybody
by Emily Dickinson

-- Well -- if anybody
Can the ecstasy define --
Half a transport --
half a trouble --
With which flowers humble men:

Anybody find the fountain
From which floods so contra flow --
I will give him all the Daisies
Which upon the hillside blow.
Too much pathos in their faces
For a simple breast like mine --

Butterflies from St. Domingo
Cruising round the purple line --
Have a system of aesthetics --
Far superior to mine.

Cowboy in sunset and The Last Cowboy

This piece was given
at a family reunion (if
I remember correctly) to the oldest person at the reunion (nearing 100!).

In honor of all of the cowboys in my family!

Note: The Last Cowboy written by Davis Ford is about my uncle Leroy Webb - who is still 'cowboyin' in New Mexico.

Butterfly Beauty

Again, this was one of my early pieces. Gave this butterfly to hubby's oldest sister, who does it all! She quilts beautifully. She is a marvelous cook. She is a great grandmother and a special sister-in-law.

Panda and Eucalyptus

The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), sometimes called the black-and-white cat-foot, is a kind of mammal from the family of the bears (Ursidae). The Ailuropodinae is the oldest family of the most primitive lineage of bears and the fossils of the oldest ancestral panda, Ailuropoda lufengensesis, which are found in southern China, are about 8 million years old. Comparative blood-protein tests and molecular-genetic investigations of the recent research has also indicated that while the giant panda branched off independently on the evolutinary tree, it is indeed closer to the bear family than to the raccoon. Thus the large Panda is to be arranged now clearly in the family of the bears, as an only well-known living representative of the family Ailuropoda.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

A boy's toys

Dutch saying:
"It's not about the marbles, it's about the game."

Stephen Wright: "When I was a kid, I went to the store and asked the guy, 'Do you have any toy train schedules?'"


by George Eliot

You love the roses - so do I.
I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush.
Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!

Little Girl Blue


The daisy follows soft the sun,
And when his golden walk is done,
Sits shyly at his feet.
He, waking, finds the flower near.
"Wherefore, marauder, art thou here?"
"Because, sir, love is sweet!"
We are the flower,
Thou the sun!
Forgive us, if as days decline,
We nearer steal to Thee, --
Enamoured of the parting west,
The peace, the flight, the amethyst,
Night's possibility!
Emily Dickinson

New Mexico Chile

Ah, New Mexico, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: The sunshine; the dry, light air; the cultural diversity; and, oh yes, THE CHILE!

The Chile is actually a fruit. By definition, the chile pepper (also chili or chilli; from Nahuatl chilli via Spanish chile) is the fruit of the plant Capsicum from the nightshade family. The chiles we are talking about are grown in New Mexico, mostly in the Mesilla Valley. These chiles most likely originated in Bolivia. Chile with an "e" at the end is the correct spelling in Spanish. Chili with an "i" at the end is the Americanized version.

The Nineteenth Annual Wine and Chile Festival in Santa Fe will be held September 23-27, 2009.


Of all the pepper (chile/chili) centers in the world, Hatch, New Mexico stands the tallest. Hatch plant breeders and botanists are most unique. The Mesilla Valley farmers tailor-make chilis.

Indian Woman - Shawl

In that wind, I pulled my blanket in to me,
The edges of it beat against my legs.
Above, clouds germinated over
Grey-grass hills, hiding the land line.
The finality of a grave is hard to see.
Dirt piled on wood and bones.
I wished to see a sapling, budding blue,
Or even a prairie fire in all that space.
~ by Marlon Footracer

Marlon Footracer grew up on the Navajo reservation in Arizona.

Footracer and Tanaya Winder, a Duckworth Shoshone from the Southern Ute reservation in Colorado, met in 2004 and now tutor undergraduates in the Native American Cultural Center on Sunday nights, and they have launched the Stanford Native American Poetry Society—SNAPS. In spring quarter they are co-teaching Since the Pulitzer, a student-initiated course about the work of Native American writers Sherman Alexie, Joy Harjo, Simon Ortiz and N. Scott Moma­day, MA ’60, PhD ’63.


If I were a butterfly, Lord, I'd thank you for my wings.


The butterfly obtains
by Emily Dickinson

The butterfly obtains
But little sympathy
Though favorably mentioned
In Entomology --

Because he travels freely
And wears a proper coat
The circumspect are certain
That he is dissolute --

Had he the homely scutcheon
Of modest Industry
'Twere fitter certifying
For Immortality --

A Very Simple Piece

This is a very simple piece. There are no complicated stitches. No blended threads. Not a great many counted stitches or thread colors.

I've not yet framed this piece, but plan to do so, because the thought of the railway station in Durango, Colorado brings such pleasure. I have many great memories of the town and surrounding country. If you have never ridden the Narrow Gauge Railroad from Durango to Silverton, Colorado, do! It affords absolutely spectacular scenery.

This is the land where the western writer Louis L'Amour lived. Veteran western movie actor Harry Carey, Jr. lived in Durango. An aside: at a Friends of the Library book signing in Seguin, we met a couple who have become dear friends who are good friends with Harry Carey, Jr. and still keep in touch with him since Carey's move to California. It is a small world.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was filmed in this area. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell lives in Ignacio, near Durango. Canyon de Chelly National Monument is nearby (where our high school senior class would trek a week before graduation). I learned to waterski on Vallecito Lake (so happy when I could slalom on one ski!).

A group of us would go up to snow ski (although I watched from the lodge) when one wore what one had to ski (levis and heavy sweaters) - no expensive fancy ski clothes for us. In the evening we would grill steaks, drink beer and soft drinks, sing silly songs, enjoying it all with youthful enthusiasm - and then drive back home in time to grab a few hours sleep before going to work. Many happy memories!

We would go to the Strater Hotel to view a melodrama and then eat the most delicious fried chicken and sopapillas filled with honey at the Silver Spur restaurant.

December 1960: Hubby and I (two weeks after we eloped) drove to Durango in a snowstorm for our honeymoon (driving back home that same night!). It was on a Sunday and we saw the movie Never on Sunday, starring Melina Mercouri.

Our daughter attended Fort Lewis College (which affords a great education with professors who taught at Princeton and Harvard or perhaps other Ivy League schools or major universities, but in their later years wanted to enjoy all that Durango offers).

I realize this is what my youngest granddaughter would say is TMI; after telling me this about a story she was relating, she patiently enunciated "too much information," in the event I didn't know anything about TMI.

So although the stitched piece is very simple, the memories and the experiences of Durango are multiple and varied.

It is worth a visit!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


In Flanders Fields
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" remains to this day one of the most memorable war poems ever written. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915.