"A blog is to a writer what a canvas is to an artist." ~ Colleen Redman
- The following first appeared in the winter issue of About HER, a regional magazine news insert.
Jackie Crenshaw could see sheep from her bedroom window when she was growing up in Yorkshire, a historic county in Northern England known for its wool milling industry. Her grandparents were shepherds in Scotland and her mother, described by Crenshaw as “a passionate knitter,” tested patterns for yarn companies.
It’s not surprising that Crenshaw started knitting at the age of five and that today she is teaching her grandchildren to knit. She has made all of them lace Shetland shawls. “My grandmother did it. My mother did it for all the kids in my family, and now it’s my turn,” she said about passing the tradition on.
Crenshaw, who has lived in Floyd with her husband Woody for more than two decades, is the co-owner of Woolly Jumper Yarns in downtown Floyd. Adjacent to The Floyd Country Store that the Crenshaws owned and operated for ten years, the yarn shop carries more than 100 different yarns in various weights, colors and fibers, along with a selection of notions and knitting supplies, including books, patterns and more.
Yarn shop co-owner Michele Morris started knitting at the age of nine. Growing up in California, she expressed an interest in learning to knit to her mother. The librarian with an undergraduate degree in art, set her daughter up with a knitting lesson, taught by the daughter of a friend. “And it stuck,” said Morris, who was wearing a red infinity scarf that she knitted.
Morris described how her eldest son recently came home from college with several friends from different parts of the world and how they all stood around her kitchen table learning to knit. She has taught knitting to her younger son’s high school Home Economics class. Both Morris and Crenshaw have taught classes at the yarn shop and have hosted other teachers who have had something specialized to share. In 2011, Merike Saarniit, an internationally known designer and instructor who is known in the knitting world as “the Estonian Knitter,” taught a fingerless mitts knitting class.
One thing that makes Woolly Jumper unique is that, although the shop carries a wide selection of all-purpose yarns, it specializes in natural fiber yarns. Crenshaw, who is also a weaver, pointed to a skein of yellow yarn and noted that it was spun of nettles and wool. She pulled out a skein of “special” wool and a pattern book by Rowan, a world renowned design-led, hand-knit yarn company from her hometown.
The shop also carries locally spun and hand-dyed yarns provided by spinners in the area, as well as organically produced, naturally colored and recycled yarns. “We have a huge selection, and we keep adding to it all the time,” said Morris. Some of the yarns listed on the shop’s webpage include Classic Elite, Cascade, Brown Sheep, Manos del Uruguay, Debbie Bliss, Rowan, Louisa Harding, Madeline Tosh, Berroco and more. Handspun yarn provided by local spinners comes from Floyd, Willis, Meadows of Dan, Bent Mountain, Blacksburg, Salem and Ferrum.
Recently the shop participated in Floyd’s first Festival of Trees, hosted by the Jacksonville Center for the Arts. Local businesses, including Woolly Jumpers, decorated Christmas trees that were displayed at the Jacksonville’s Winterfest Art and Craft festival. The lighted show was well received by the public and proceeds from bids made on favorite trees went to support the art center. Morris’s knitted Celestine Star that topped the yarn shop’s tree was eye catching. Some of the miniature sweaters and crocheted ornaments on the tree were made by Woolly Jumper’s customers.
Customers also play a role in helping to provide creative inspiration for beginner and advanced knitters in the area. Clothing knitted by them, along with pieces done by Crenshaw and Morris, is displayed throughout the store, showing the potential of the colorful yarns, stocked in rows on shelves.
Woolly Jumper is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and recently celebrated its fourth year anniversary. “It’s not that easy to keep a yarn shop open,” Morris acknowledged. Even so, she is encouraged by the store’s dedicated patronage, and by the fact that Woolly Jumper is one of five yarn shops in the area that are thriving. She explained that tourists coming to Floyd for its arts and crafts are happily surprised to discover the yarn shop as a welcomed addition to the Floyd artisan community tradition.
Soon Crenshaw and Morris will be gearing up for an area spring Yarn Crawl, which features yarn shops in Roanoke, Blacksburg and Rocky Mount, as well as the Floyd shop. It’s a fun and busy weekend with door prizes, punch cards and a grand prize worth $500. “It makes for a nice selection for visitors and people who live here. We all carry different things,” Morris said.
Meanwhile, Crenshaw and Morris will continue shop keeping, tending to their families and their other professions. Morris is a public relations and training coordinator for Wall Residences, a local company that provides foster home placements for people with disabilities. Crenshaw and her husband are committed to Floyd’s local agriculture movement and are the founders of Riverstone Organic Farm.
Crenshaw and Morris also host a weekly Knit Night at the shop. On Thursday evenings, area knitters come together to share tips and techniques. They work on their latest project, knitting together in sewing-bee style, which is probably the best opportunity for the shop owners to find the time to do something they both love: knit.
_____For more information go to woollyjumperyarns.com or visit them on Facebook.
1. I honestly didn’t get the joke when Academy Award host Neil Patrick Harris went on stage in his underwear, until I read the next day that it was a reference to Birdman, the movie that won best picture this year and opened with a scene of Michael Keaton in his underwear.
2. This weekend was filled with going to a wedding, watching the Academy Awards and reading Tom Robbins’s new memoir Tibetan Peach Pie.
3. For a while in 2007 my writer’s byline was “I like pie.”
4. If you google “Tom Robbins and Oscars” only Tim Robbins comes up, except for one entry in which Tom Robbins’ name appears with Oscar Wilde. I think of him as the Hunter Thomas of novel writing, only more cheerful.
5. The Academy Awards are to movies what the Super Bowl is to sports. I’ve never been to a Super Bowl party, but I attended my first Oscar party this year. Although there were only four of us, there was beer and chips, and halftime performances.
6. I was relieved that Lady Ga Ga didn’t wear a meat dress, or something else that weird, when she performed The Sound of Music songs at the Oscars. Even though on the red carpet her gown was paired with what looked like red dishwashing gloves, she looked beautiful during her performance (and who knew she could sing like that?). The gown she performed in was described as “swan lake-esque,” but I thought it looked more wedding cake-ish and, knowing her, I kept wondering what was under it, half expecting a dwarf to jump out any moment.
7. Speaking of gowns, THESE really validate my description of flowers as flirts in petal skirts.
8. Now that’s an odd ball dress (the black one to the right).
9. On the drive over to our friend’s house to watch the Oscars, Joe and I listened to George Lakoff on PBS’s New Dimensions. Lakoff, who is a renowned linguist and expert on the framing of political discourse, spoke about how facts aren’t believed by some people unless the are framed in a context. “If you hear the word waiter, you’ve got a restaurant, you’ve got a menu, a dish a check. If you hear the word waiter, you don’t expect a herd of elephants.” “Oh, that’s why I like Tom Robbins,” I said to Joe. “His writing has waiters and herds of elephants together in the same sentence.”
10. Robbins first novel, Another Roadside Attraction, was about a mummified corpse of Jesus that was stolen from the Vatican and put on display in a roadside zoo. It was largely dismissed by the critics, with one review saying that the book wasn’t a novel at all but, rather, “a lot of record album titles strung together as prose.” But Robbins maintains that writing about the Day Glo‘60s was to alter the novel form itself. “It became clear to me that I must construct Another Roadside Attraction in short bursts, modeled perhaps on Zen koans, on Abstract Expressionist brush strokes, and on little flashes of illumination one experiences under the influence of certain sacraments.”
11. “I’m always astonished when readers suggest that I must write my novels while high on pot or (God forbid) LSD. Apparently, there are people who confuse the powers of imagination with the effects of intoxication. Not on word of my oeuvre, not on, has been written while in an artificially altered state. Unlike many authors, I don’t even drink coffee when I write. No coffee, no cola, no cigarettes. There was a time when I smoke big Havana cigars while writing, not for the nicotine (I didn’t inhale) but as an anchor, something to hold on to, I told myself, to keep from falling over the edge of the earth. Eventually, I began to wonder what it would be like to take that first fall. So one day I threw out the cigars and just let go. Falling, I must say, has been exhilarating – though I may change my mind when I hit bottom.” – Tom Robbins Tibetan Peach Pie
12. My great-grandfather’s name was Oscar. He came from Sweden, which is why I was surprised to learn that the name is of Irish (of which I am almost 40%) origin. And then I read this on Wikipedia: The name may be derived from two elements in Irish: the first, os, means “deer”; the second element, cara, means “friend.” The name is borne by a character in Irish mythology—Oscar, grandson of Fionn Mac Cumhail. The name was popularized in the 18th century by James Macpherson, creator of ‘Ossianic poetry.’ Today the name is associated with Scandinavia because Napoleon was an admirer of Macpherson’s work and gave the name to his godson, Joseph Bernadotte, who later became Oscar I, King of Sweden. Consequently, at the time many Swedes were named Oscar.
13. “There are only two mantras… yum and yuk. Mine is yum.” – Tom Robbins
Having The Sun magazine around is like having a bottle of wine in the fridge. If it’s there, I’m easily tempted to drink it, even before noon, and even though I know it will make me feel fuzzy.
I don’t keep The Sun around because reading it makes me want to write. I don’t have time to write, at least not like that, because I’m too busy writing what I’m already writing. But someone left a copy on the kitchen table and now I’ll never get the kitchen cleaned, and the question of ‘what am I doing with my life?’ will inevitably come up.
I’d love to be published in The Sun but have never been interested in submitting to the Readers Write section. Somehow I maintain an awkward balance between snobbery and an inferiority complex, thinking I’m above writing for Readers Write (which are more like letters to the editor) while also realizing that if reading The Sun doesn’t make me want to write, it makes me want to give up writing, because I don’t think I’ll ever be that good.
I also have poverty consciousness. When I was younger and my sons were little, I loved Mothering magazine but couldn’t afford the subscription. So I wrote and submitted something that was accepted, got paid and earned a free subscription. Now I seem to think that’s the only way I deserve a magazine subscription.
So I crack the thing open and am soon absorbed in a story about a man who is taking care of his elderly mother, a mother he has unfinished business with. He fights with his brother and freely admits his own shortcomings. It’s raw and revealing and all day I think about it and wonder if it’s true. Even though I know that fiction, like a myth, is a lie that tells the truth, I don’t want to get sucked into someone’s made-up for shock value story. Sometimes I think fiction is too much like lying, a way to keep us from telling our own shockingly true stories.
Now I’m really in the thick of it and already at the computer researching the Ancient Chinese poets, mentioned in an interview, who balanced their lives of political service (trying to make the world better) with a reclusive life, one in which they could meditate, garden, make art, take walks, contemplate mountain landscapes and drink wine with friends.
Everything seems relevant, some like therapy, and I haven’t even gotten to the poetry.
You might say The Sun shines so brightly that I feel blinded after reading for half an hour. I muster my will to put out its light, like a candle, not by blowing on it, but by snuffing out its air, which means burying it in a bookcase for a future day that won’t likely come.
Maybe someday when I’m stranded on island, I’ll indulge in a subscription of The Sun. I’ll read them cover to cover and then wallpaper my hut with the pages. I’ll write my own stories on coconuts and send them floating out to sea.
____Read Happy Birthday Sy Safransky HERE.
- The following first appeared in The Floyd Press on February 19, 2015
Costumes are a main feature at the annual Floyd Mardi Gras. Always willing to parade their glitter, feathers and flair, Mardi Gras goers go all out, and they know how to let the good times roll.
This year’s 6th annual Mardi Gras Costume Ball and Blue Mountain School (BMS) fundraiser was held at the Pine Tavern Restaurant and Pavilion. Dancers (many in coats) warmed up the Pavilion dance floor on one of the coldest nights of the year, making the most of the event’s stellar musical line-up that included Fat Catz, Time is Art, Spoon Fight (with special guests) and Hoppie Vaughn.
Also featured were several the Gyroscopic belly dance performances, light show dramatics, a costume party contest, Gumbo by the spoonful, and other Mardi Gras menu favorites. A silent auction of gifts donated by local artists and businesses was a highlight attraction. Proceeds from the auction – along with sales of drinks, food and masks made by BMS students – go to support BMS’s student scholarship program.
This year’s crowned Mardi Gras King was Gannon Bender, who was honored for his ability to share light and humor in the community, said Jamie Reygle,
a BMS parent and Mardi Gras organizer.
The crowned Queen was Kim Kessler, who has helped to create the event’s carnival-like atmosphere over the years. It was Kessler’s Mardi Gras-themed home parties in the ‘90s that gave the late Tom Ryan the idea for the BMS fundraiser. Reygle took off with Ryan’s idea and has been the event’s primary organizer ever since.
The Floyd Mardi Gras is a community celebration that draws people from all over the area. Judging from the spirited turn-out and the thank-you list posted on Facebook the next day, it’s the community that makes the Mardi Gras such a successful event, one that so many look forward to each year.
Photos: 1. Old friends find each other 2. Spoon Fight. 3. Gryroscopic Belly Dancers 4. Kind Gannon Bender and Shamama 5. Dancers. 6. Hoppie Vaughn 7. Crowd watches Gyroscopic 8. Best male costume goes to Cameron Woodruff 9. Starroot from Time is Art and Mardi Gras organizer Jamie Reygle. 10. Dancers 11. Cole Coates and local trombonist Deb Tome joins Spoon Fight. 12. Mardi Gras Queen Kim Kessler with Katie Lu Philips. 13. Pine Tavern owner Reed Embrey and others serve up jambalaya and gumbo. 14. Bidding at the silent auction. Pictured to the left is the Mardi Gras poster art made and donated by local artist Emily Williamson, who has created themed art for the event each year.
Snow flurries fell like the rose petals tossed by the children on their way to the wedding altar. “For purity and clarity,” our community Priestess, Katherine Moonflower, said about the snow. We turned to the large picture windows and witnessed winter’s wonderland.
“May you blossom in the care of one another,” Katherine told the bride and groom. “May you always feel the support of the friends and family here today, and may the mystical third always be present in your relationship.”
“Through the intention of your hearts and the power of the words that you shared today, through the grace of the universe that flows through me, I affirm that you are wife and husband, partners in life for as long as you both shall live and love!” – Congratulations to Rashmi and Aaron! (Written while eating cake.)
Joe and I were in a foreign country, France I think. We spent the night in a hotel or a B&B room, and in the morning he had to go somewhere, so he dropped me off in the city to explore. I did some half-hearted sightseeing, but, as the day went on, anxiety began to build with the realization that I didn’t know where Joe went or why. I had no phone number for him and I didn’t know how to get back to the hotel.
I began to look for a place to sit down and use my smart phone to find some help. I walked passed many cafes but didn’t want to buy anything, so I picked spot of grass next to a tree and sat. I pulled out the phone, only to discover that Joe had upgraded it, and I had no idea how to work it. Shaking, I pressed the button and desperately tried to ask Siri to get directions for Pat and John in North, Carolina (my first in-laws who I loved but who have both recently passed away and have never lived in North Carolina).
The phone was in pieces like a deck of cards or a puzzle and only played annoying music in response to my request. I stood up, looked around and noticed it was getting dark. Once it was dark I wouldn’t be able to see anything, let alone find the way back to the room, which was more of a car ride away than a walk.
A man in black walked by and asked in a French accent (which is why I guessed we were in France) if I wanted a ride in his car. I knew that would be a bad idea and said, “No.” A sense of complete hopeless came over me with the awareness that we had made no plan, that I didn’t know where I was, where I was going or who I could turn to for help. The stress was overwhelming. My brain wasn’t working right and the harder I tried to think about how to solve the problem, the worst it felt.
Part 2: I woke up for real and was still distraught. I continued to perseverate on the problem and realized I would have had to find a place to sleep outside and try to find an embassy or police station in the morning. But what would I tell them? I took something to calm down and eventually went back to sleep and found some resolution.
Part 3: I was still in France, in a nightclub, and two old friends (who used to be married but aren’t anymore) were there. We exchanged gifts and had some heartwarming words for each other. I met the woman’s new partner, who I thought looked like an old man, but in reality he was probably my age. Then I noticed a couple of people from Floyd in the back. I went over to talk and asked them if I could ride in their car. Someone said there wasn’t much room in it, but that they would squeeze me in. I felt relieved.
Note: The reason I say that the story is true is that on an emotional level, it was. I say it’s the story of my life because it’s part of a series of dreams I’ve been having for years about being abandoned and lost in places I’m not familiar with (probably a reflection of my insecurities formed by being separated from my mother and all family members on two extended occasions before the age of one).
As heavy as the dream was, I felt the gift of the insight into my psyche, and the story gave past emotional trauma a context. I was also able to find some humor in the experience. After telling the dream to Joe in the morning, I said to him, “And the worst part? I never even got to see France or enjoy it.” 2/15
1. The Post in Which I Explain to Six-year-old Bryce What Cupid’s Arrow is and how we spent our Valentine’s Day HERE.
2. I remember when there used to be a Barbie doll in a red dress trapped in a birdcage that was hanging at Oddfella’s Cantina.
3. While dancing myself into a trance at the Mardi Gras on Saturday, I was sure I spotted Ken Burns on the dance floor.
4. Barbie and Ken take notice HERE.
5. Make out, make over, make up, make do, make good time, make love, make my day, make beds and perfect sense – A flashback paraphrase to a poem I wrote in the ’90s.
6. I got caught on camera for a spot that played on channel 7 news. I only wish I hadn’t taken my mask off before it happened. See HERE.
7. Funny how sometimes the pictures most likely to be deleted turn out to be some of the best and end up having names like Mardi Gras Renoir, Mardi Gras Brouha, Out of Focus Hocus Pocus and You Know Who You Are. See HERE.
8. An editor recently had to add periods for something I had written in which I referred to L.L. Bean, which made me wonder what the initials stand for: The mail order, online retail company that was founded in 1912 is named for its founder Leon Leonwood Bean.
9. When I’m dancing to a James Brown song, I break out in a cold sweat.
10. THIS is the best alphabet song that children of all ages love. My dad used to sing it to us (like THIS) and I’ve sung it to many little kids. Most recently I taught it to my grandsons. Most recently, I taught it to my grandsons, and we made up our own words for the letters that needed them.
11. Anyone who thinks the research establishment won’t come to specific, pre-determined conclusions due to collusion between governments and industry probably doesn’t know that 97–99% of medical journal advertising profits come from pharmaceutical companies, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Or that those who masquerade as “independent medical experts” aren’t so independent. – From Bringing Much Needed Sanity to the Vaccine Debate HERE.
12. Teapoet: Spoonful of honey / Bright sun in February / Cream pours / like snow falls
The Whir of Blur Slide Glance of Dance Mardi Gras Brouha You Know Who You Are Pretty Lasses in Glasses Out of Focus Hocus Pocus The Cowgirl Whirl Impressionistic Bliss More on the Floor What Blue Hug is This?
Sometimes the pictures most likely to be deleted turn out to be the best! More on the 6th annual Floyd Mardi Gras HERE and more in-focus shots coming in this week’s Floyd Press.______Our World Tuesday
We spent Valentine’s Day celebrating my son (pictured below) Dylan’s birthday and shooting arrows from his new birthday bows.
I know. It’s a boy thing.
And I was the only one not wearing camo. _________Our World Tuesday
That was the Mardi Gras line I used to encourage people to move away from the heaters in the Pine Tavern Pavilion on what we thought was one of the coldest (and most fun) nights of the year. (Last night was colder).
Eventually everyone warmed up and the dance floor filled for a community sharing of dancing, a language that when used can make everyone a friend.
It was a guessing game of who’s who with so many faces hidden by masks being flashed by stage light show colors.
The musical line-up was stellar.
The yearly Costume Ball draws people from all around the region and benefits the Blue Mountain School.
Look for a story and a spread of colorful photos in this week’s Floyd Press.
In the meantime enjoy these few teaser photos and video clips.
Proof that we all got up dancing.
Maybe you’ll spot yourself there.
1. The finches are at the feeders sunning their feathered coats that have not turned yellow yet.
2. I can’t walk past a stick without sizing up it up and resisting the urge to pick it up for woodstove kindling.
3. I took THIS shot by sticking my camera out the open window of my car while driving and call it a “come as you are” shot.
4. Last week my grandsons went on an adventure walk with Hopa Joe. When they came across a dead rabbit that looked like it had been chewed up by another animal, Bryce (6) responded right away by saying, “That’s sad.” Liam, who is four, said, “I’m not allowed to look at that.”
5. You know you live in the country when you see a message on the Floyd Group Facebook page that says: If anyone sees Barry Rorer, tell him his pigs are loose.
6. I can almost hear the squeak in the word tweak.
7. It wasn’t long before I was wishing I hadn’t sold all my and gypsy shawls and flowing Indian-print skirts at our moving yard sale in Texas. But this was the MTV ‘80s and I was a Mother Earth News wanna-be homesteader in need of some LL Bean work boots and jeans. I read or heard a rumor once that the hippies that came to Floyd in the ‘70s and ‘80s were trust fund beneficiaries, but the majority of people I knew lived at or below-the-poverty-line. That was the trade-off we were willing to make to be home raising our kids, pursuing healthy natural lifestyles, living simply (sometimes off the grid) with land stewardship in mind. – From my contribution to Randall Well’s e-book Floydiana, titled Hippies are from California HERE.
8. Recent google searches: What ring finger do you wear your wedding ring on? When are the Grammys? When can I deposit money to an IRA Roth account? How many have died from vaccines?
9. The recent rhetoric from those pushing measles vaccine compliance has been so divisive and condescending that it reminds me of the Iraq War propaganda, when George Bush said ‘you’re either with us or against us.’ Confusing the measles with diseases like polio is like lumping marijuana with heroin. HERE is something I wrote about the link between vaccines and autism in 2011, after the rate of autism, which was practically unheard of when I was growing up, rose 57% in four years, from one in every 150 child being diagnosed to one in every 110. Now it’s one in 68.
10. Last night I dreamt that Joe and I were home together when we heard someone on the porch near the front door. We both looked at each other, surprised and confused. Did we forget we were expecting someone? Who could it be? A robber perhaps? We opened the door and discovered it was my 89 year old mother (who is currently in a rehab/nursing home). We were shocked! She was thin and frail but was somehow walking and somehow she got from Massachusetts to Virginia. The dream is particularly interesting because she has been telling me she was going to visit again, even though I knew in reality (because she is physically disabled and can’t walk on her own) that it wasn’t going to happen. The dream, which I had after writing THIS poem, made me think about an elder person’s ability to exist in between worlds at a certain point in their life.
11. We went to the gym over the weekend weekend, in other words, to Dogtown Roadhouse. – See HERE.
12. Sign seen on Facebook: It’s a shame that Brian Williams will probably be the only person ever punished for lying about Iraq.
13. THIS really turns me around.
Your room is yellow
quiet with a window
no peanut butter crackers
You love the nurses
but want to go home
You thought your granddaughter
gave you a sponge bath
I laughed when I asked
“How many fingers am I holding up?”
but was really thinking
“How many daughters do you have?”
and, “Do you know which one I am?”
When I was an infant in the hospital
I was separated from you for a month
And now it’s me asking
“What do you need?”
You said, “Bye honey
I love you” three times
But couldn’t manage
to hang up the phone
Just pretend I’m sitting
in the chair by the window
You can forget I’m here
and take a nap”
“I wonder if it’s still snowing”
you said after a long pause
And then “Now you sound gone”
“Are you still there, Coll?”
Holding the phone like a baby monitor
I heard you cough
and your beating heart
that omnipresent sound
a baby’s life revolves around
What kind of voodoo is this?
I wondered if I was intruding
and briefly felt intruded upon
as I remembered the child
who tried not to bother you
Maybe its time to navigate
those faraway connections
those unseen blurred lines
where the dead and living mingle
That’s the story I told myself
as I fixed my lunch and watched
the conspicuous phone on the chair
Until the connection timed out
The silence was deafening
I imagined you
____________Colleen Redman______Real Toads in Imaginary Gardens
______________dVerse Poets Pub
1. I made up a new word after a friend suggested that serious people were probably trying to be sincere: sinserious.
2. Combining a photo and poetry in a post: Phoetry
3. Meditating is a lot like how you view computer generated magic art, except you do it with your eyes closed. Not unlike how to see the hidden picture in magic art, to meditate you have to focus past the thoughts in the forefront of your mind. Once you do, your mind will drop down to a whole new place that you weren’t aware of before.
4. My photos sometimes show up in places I have no idea that they will, like HERE.
5. I’ve was always jealous of Dr. Spock’s Vulcan ability to mind meld. I always wanted to read books that way.
6. Right now I’m reading Tom Robbins memoir Tibetan Peach Pie. Here’s an excerpt: “I’m always astonished when readers suggest that I must write my novels while high on pot or (God forbid!) LSD. Apparently, there are people who confuse the powers of imagination with the effects of intoxication. Not one word of my oeuvre, not one, has been written while in an artificially altered state. Unlike many authors, I don’t even drink coffee when I write. No coffee, no cola, no cigarettes. There was a time when I smoked big Havana cigars while writing, not for the nicotine (I didn’t inhale) but as an anchor, something to hold on to, I told myself, to keep from falling over the edge of the earth. Eventually, I began to wonder what it would be like to take that fall. So one day I threw out the cigars and just let go. Falling, I must say, has been exhilarating — though I may change my mind when I hit bottom.”
7. I call my 6 year old grandson Bryce a “gene yes” because of THIS imaginative work of art, titled “It’s A Good Thing I’m Wearing Earmuffs, Said the Sun.”
8. A tidbit of wisdom mined from a recent dialogue group: Accepting yourself is one thing but facing yourself might be the real work.
9. And sometimes our work is play.
10. Wow. Burlington, VT., recently announced that it now produces or gets more power than its citizens use. And it’s all coming from renewable sources of energy like wind and solar and hydroelectric. Read about it HERE.
11. Hydraulic Fracking for natural gas extraction uses huge amounts of water and chemicals, can contaminate ground water, contribute to global warming and is linked with earthquakes, which is why I was happy to see this new site on Facebook: Frack-tose intolerant. Fracking has been banned in many countries and states, including New York. See a list HERE.
12. When my Asheville Potter Son came how from a trip to England in 2005, he was wearing a T-shirt that said, Mind the Gap, a common phrase heard in the British subway, which translates into American English as “Watch Your Step.”
13. My mind just went blank and then I imagined a T shirt that said “Mind the Lapse.”