Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Triumph! A Clean Craft Studio!

I cleaned my studio!


It’s not perfect, but I can actually create stuff now.  Sometime, it will be beautifully organized.  But for now, I’m happy to see usable space.

For your own inspiration....

BEFORE


 AFTER
Makes me happy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

And Centuries Later.... A New Whitman Novel

Isn't scholarly detective work COOL?

Or maybe I'm just a first-class nerd with the doctorate to prove it, but I thought this story was exciting.

A graduate student searching the archives of the Library of Congress discovered an anonymously published novel by Walt Whitman.  How did he know the novel was by Whitman if it is was published anonymously?  Read the New York Times article here to find out.

I worked on the Walt Whitman archive in graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  I bet my old colleagues were pretty excited by this news.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Book for Later

This book is on sewing using pillow cases, but it ends up being "how to make stuff without a lot of yardage."  Aprons and skirts are included, but I can see myself making more of the other stuff: hats, slippers, bracelets, and scarves.

Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Pillowcase
by Suzanne Tourtillott

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Currently Reading....

Secret Diplomacy: Espionage and Cryptography 1500-1815
by James Westfall Thompson and Saul K. Padover

It is fascinating stuff!  Can you imagine trying to break the cypher on a medieval document that could be in Latin, French, Italian, or who know what language?  And there is enough raw material for more than a few great novels and movies in here.

In fact, I am reading it as research for a book I'm writing someday.  (There are two others I want to write first, but I want to set them all in the same era, so I need to pick the right era.)  I already have my plot, but maybe I'll find a subplot or two....

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day!

This photo was on the front page of our hometown newspaper in January.  (The photographer was literarily wandering the street looking for people stupid enough to be out in the icy, dangerous weather and found us.)   I think its a nice shot for Valentine's Day.

Thank you to my husband for joining me on all of my adventures, crazy and otherwise!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday Thoughts: Persistence and St. Hyacintha

"A saint is just a sinner who kept trying."

I don't know who said that, but I think it's important to remember.  One of the hardest parts of living the Christian life is dealing with constant failure.  "Oops, I did it again" is not just a Brittany Spears song.  We want to feel we are making progress, but then we go to Confession, squirm at little, and say: "Um, pretty much the same as last month."  (No, that doesn't work--you have to say your sins.  Sorry!)

It's hard.  But persistence is so crucial!  (And it's not like God isn't helping.  He is.  More than we know or realize.)

I usually invoke the Pathetic Principle.  It goes something like this: "See, God, I totally screwed up at the slightest provocation.  Clearly, I am pathetic.  I need more grace.  Lots more.  You're pretty much going to have to pick me up and carry me because I've met rocks with more will power."  Then He says something along the lines of, "Ok, my beloved one, but let's try and do things my way instead of your way for a change...."

We want to avoid two extremes reactions to sin:
One extreme: "Meh.  Oh well."
The other extreme: "I give up.  I am never going to be a decent human being, let alone a good Christian."

I know I am weak and I don't pray enough, so why am I surprised when I sin?  I try to embrace the humility that comes from knowing I'm a sinner, gratefully embrace the love and forgiveness God gives me, and then move on.  When you sin, don't be surprised, don't be blasé', don't be discouraged, and don't dwell on it once you have been forgiven.

Here is the story of a St. Hyacintha, a saint who kept falling off the bandwagon just like we do.

Happy Sunday!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

What I've been up to lately....

I've been working on Grandma Rose's obituary.  For work I often write or edit text that multiple people have conflicting edits on, so I'm very much on home turf.

We've started arguing about planning the new garden shed.

Here's a nice snap from a recent visit to our dear friend Anne M.


We also visited my dad's grandmother on that trip.


And finally: a great triumph!

I finished a novel for my sister Rachel!


(I'm pretty sure it has been at least 5 years...)

Have a good weekend, everyone!