the answer



“What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?”

“hmmmm. that’s a good question.  The answer to life, the universe and everything is……………





rice, sports, scraps.

The kids planted the rice at school April 28 (coincidentally, my older sister’s birthday) and it is growing quite well in flats in the school yard.  The seedlings are about 6-8 inches high and we will plant them in the field next week, June 6.

Fine young daughter running to place second…..


fine young son with some friends


finally where would we be without scraps.  My good friend BLOOMING (she’s in my blogroll) was kind enough to send me some scraps from her bag making.  I applied some newly learned FRENCH SEAM awareness…. (like I had never even heard of them until recently) to some patchwork and look what I got!!!!!!!!!









“your beauty is beyond compare

with flaming locks of auburn hair

with ivory skin and eyes of emeral green

your smile is like a breath of spring

your voice is soft like summer rain

And I cannot compete with you, Jolene.”

——Dolly Parton———–

it’s nice to share.

……… from farming friends,

neighbors cleaning out cupboards,

and friends with good taste!!!!!

quilt top in progress

unbelievably beautiful purple and teal batiks.

looks really boring in this photo!!!!


My mom and I used to go in to Bellingham to hear Linda Allen sing.  We’d go to Tony’s Coffee, or to the museum to catch a performance.  She sings about women.  Strong women.  ….

Peace is the feeling you have

when you’re hugged

Then you turn and hug

someone and the feeling is love

When the whole world is hugging,

oh, won’t that be fine?

There’ll be peace for all humankind

—–Linda Allen——–

the merry merry month of May.

23 years ago, on Mother’s day… I graduated from college.

28 years ago, again on a sunday…..Mt. St. Helens blew…while I was deep in the cascade mountains.


ah, the good old days.  Way back when…. High school with dreams and hopes for the future….I was on a high school weekend at Holden Village, an intentional community owned and operated by the Lutheran church, nestled deep in a valley up from Lake Chelan in the Cascade mountains. We were outside waiting for the bell and heard distant rumbling far off somewhere….we wondered if it might be an avalanche. With no phones or radio reception, we wouldn’t know that a volcano had erupted until  the people came in from their trip up lake.  We left that day and stopped at Macdonalds near Wenatchee and wrote our names in the ash piled up on the tables outside…. At this age, I think I was planning on studying forestry in college…

Jump to May, 1985…. graduating from WSU with a degree in Speech Pathology… I had already decided not to go to Grad School…. I drove away that day, with my mom and my dad, with a degree in one hand and  (figuratively) a student loan in the other….. My only plans for the future were to work all summer at the cannery in town and then in the fall to return to Holden Village, this time not as a guest, but as a volunteer cook.   I remember those months as scary and disappointing times, I managed to get myself through college with a decent GPA and found myself on the brink of……………NOTHING!!!!!!

Jump ahead, it’s May, 2008…..I have spent nearly half my life in Japan, employed more often than not teaching English to interested and uninterested folks from 3 to 80.  It turns out that having experience in Speech Therapy comes in handy when teaching ESL, what with all that /R/ and /L/ confusion in Asia….

Which brings me to a song on a Nanci Griffith album….. it sums it all up quite nicely, I think.

I want a simple life

like my mother

One true love for my older years

I don’t want your wars

to take my children

I want a simple life while I’m here.

–Nanci Griffith/Elizabeth Cook–

denim meets peaches and creme.

a patchwork rainbow.

2 photos….minimal commentary.





some stitchin’…….



and there you have, the running stitch post.

muddy olympics

I don’t think even SHOUT will get this mud out….





the kids at school were conditioning the rice fields for planting.

first they build up the sides with mud so that the water will stay in.  After the work is done, it’s time for some races!!!!!!!









Even though none of my kids qualified for the all school relay race for sports day next week…

they were able to run across a muddy field and be the first to get the ball!!!!!!

Way to dig in and get dirty!!!!!!!!


Oh hey… I forgot to show you some blouses I got last week… one fits to wear and one is too small…. perhaps some day I will cut it up and put it into a quilt……










—in a constant search for balance and serenity in my life, I collect (and sometimes read) Buddhist books.  I have a new one, by PEMA CHODRON, called WHEN THINGS FALL APART……. Right now, I don’t think I am falling apart, but just in case, you know… I want to be ready… anyway, I will leave you with this thought……


If there’s any possibility for enlightenment, it’s right now,

not at some future time.

Now is the time.

Japan is a safety country…. *mild profanity warning*

safety first

better safe than sorry

you could poke your eye out.

Sunday morning was grass clearing at the Jr. High School for the all school sports day next sunday.  It’s a big day for students and families and the fields needed clearing for parking.

and HOLY SHIT if they didn’t have men with WHIRLING BLADES OF STEEL working in the fields while women and children cleared up the grass….. with one damn rake and a whole bunch of hand held sickles. Two fields, maybe an acre or 2…. all these damn people and about 10 men walking around with not those fishing line weed whackers…but WHIRLING BLADES OF STEEL.  Not one pair of safety goggles, no safety guards on the damn blades, a field full of tall grass and ROCKS. And not one person thought to , oh I dunno, cut one field first, then send in the women and children to clean up…. HELL NO…. we all worked together…. me thinking the whole damn time that rocks would just be flying poking EVERY eye out.  Or someone walking into a WHIRLING BLADE OF STEEL. Two hours later both fields looked great.  No one had gotten hurt and we were each given a cold drink for our trouble.

Uff da.

oh look.  I got some new plates.  They are antique and I have been wanting some like this FOREVER! My neighbor lady knows that I have been coveting plates like this and each time I nearly purchased some at flea markets that we attend together, she would say… “Oh I will just give you some of mine” and FINALLY FINALLY SHE DID!!!!!!!!  They are from her husband’s side of the family and she gave me 5!!! and I love love love them.  I don’t have anywhere to store them so I just keep them on the table and we use them for dinner.

Oh and I bought some KASURI antique yukata cotton at yet another flea market.  A set of 5 pieces, about 11 x 7 inches….and I could get 4 sets for about 10 dollars.  It is such fabulous stuff that I will probably do nothing with it for a while and just be happy holding it and looking at each piece until I find something *worthy* to make.  I have several great Japanese quilting books and magazines and I will look through them for inspiration. 


Last but not least, a belated HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the mother’s.  I want to thank mine for supporting me and for passing on the fiber love gene…the one that is fed with frequent garage saling and the purchase of blouses made of cool material, the cutting out and stitching together of squares and triangles and general pleasure from fondling cloth that is soft.

I love you mom.

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