Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Round Robin

My quilt guild, Vallejo Piecemakers, started another Round Robin last month.

This is my center block, and, after visiting five other quilters, I'll get it back in July or August with five fabulous, exciting, creative, inspired and, hopefully, flamboyant, new borders. I got so uptight the last time I participated in a round robin (my first), I could hardly enjoy the process, but this time I'm very laid back about it. So laid back, in fact, that I haven't even started working on Virginia's center block yet, and it's due back in her hands on Saturday. Guess I'd better get busy. First, though, I need to fix myself a Jack 'n Coke and stare at it a bit longer.

Here's Virginia's block:

Adorable, eh? About as far away from my style as it's possible to get, but then... that's part of the challenge, isn't it?!

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Joy of Rescuing

As most of my friends know, I'm an inveterate rescuer... I'm a schlump for anyone or anything in need. When I was a kid, I drove my parents wacko by bringing home injured birds, lizards, cats, half-dead flowers, broken toys, battered books, etc. As a teenager and young adult, I marched and protested for or against every just cause or unjust social issue out there. I adopted houseplants my friends had all but killed and nursed them back to health; the same with sick fish from their aquariums. Later, my rescue efforts even extended to a couple of good-for-nothing-low-down-dirty-rotten-scumbag men, with the completely predictable, disastrous results. Fortunately, I gave up that vein quickly, but the desire to rescue still burns hot in my soul! I adopt damaged cats, rescue dying plants from supermarket nurseries, save spiders in the bath tub, and throw a few bucks at every animal rights cause that hits my mailbox.

Recently, World Vision found me and now, Goddess help me, I'm even rescuing kids. The number of kids in need of food, health care, clean water, clothes, shoes, love, attention, and other kinds of help, both in our own country and abroad, is staggering and heartbreaking beyond measure. Thanks to World Vision, I'm now making a difference in the lives of two children. Two out of approximately 236 gazillion kids in need ain't much, but it's a start.

AMY lives in Senegal, and is twelve years old.

REKHA lives in India, and is eight years old.

For a small monthly sponsorship fee (auto-deducted from my checking account so I don't even miss it), I, along with other sponsors, can help children with things like health care, education, clothing, better food and clean water, and, in the process, help their entire community become more self-sufficient. It's almost impossible to believe a mere $30 can go so far. I get the pleasure of writing to them and sending them silly little gifts like colored pencils, drawing paper, hair ribbons, balloons and stickers. They write back to me and keep me apprised of how they're doing in school and life in general. All of this I do from the comfort of my own way-too-comfortable lifestyle. Oy... it makes me feel like such a mentsh.

I can't recommend this happy, painless process enough, and urge everyone to adopt a kid and start gathering your own very rewarding warm fuzzies!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Viva, Bach!

Johann Sebastian Bach
b: 21 March 1685 - Eisenach
d: 28 July 1750 - Leipzig

Bach is the absolute hero of my life. His music feeds my soul, and if I were unable to hear another note of music by any other composer for the rest of my life, I wouldn't feel I was missing a thing. His compositional output was staggering, the quality of his music is unparalleled, and the variety of styles is unbelievable. His music is as mathematically complex as it is beautiful, and is the most enjoyable to play of any I've studied (and that's a lot of music, folks!) I was blessed with a piano teacher who started me out on the music of Bach, instead of scales and other boring crap that drives most kids away from piano lessons before they even get a chance to appreciate what music is all about. Sincere thanks, Mrs. Durham - you worked my four-year-old ass off that first year, and for the next twenty years, but it was worth every keystroke! You and Herr Bach gave me a musical foundation upon which I built a wonderful career as a pianist, harpsichordist, organist and singer, and I'm very grateful to both of you.