Evening ride to the river

We rode bikes (mine is electric so I don’t have to do much) to the river to get some fresh air. It was lovely! A band was there, maybe a local group like a school? They played old standards and we sung along. I painted this little spread in my Outings 2022 book, which I keep in my bag and fill with whatever I see when I’m out, which isn’t that often (I’ve painted three things so far). I knew I was weak but didn’t realize how much until the ride home. I’m crashing a bit now, will have to take it easy the next few days. 

I haven’t figured out yet how I want to interpret landscapes, my mind flits between “make it realistic” and “make it the usual doodly style” and then I land in this in-between place I’m not particularly fond of, but I recognize it’s a stepping stone to getting better at this and finding my style.

Trip to Costco yesterday


8/4/2022  We needed a bunch of stuff, including the very important DOG FOOD, so we bit the bullet and decided to go even though it was going to be BUSY – and it was. At the end I asked Greg if I could sit at the food tables to rest while he went through the line and he said, “Sure babe, go sit,” because he’s the best. So I did, and I drew these people all in a vast hurry to leave. A giant young guy, probably 6’4″ and the size of a grizzly, asked to sit with his lunch. I said sure, and we chatted about smoothies and Alaska (he was from Juneau). Good Costco day. 

The podiatrist’s office had a boat

I have plantar fasciitis, in inflammation of the plantar fascia. I had it once before, in ’93, when I was the assistant at a horse camp. The director was this tiny lady, barely 5 feet tall. I’m 5’9″, so I got the tallest horse, a young Thoroughbred gelding named Colt, who stood 16 hands high (his withers came up to my nose). Colt and I quickly bonded. I was mama. 

One day on a trail ride, he spooked, reared up, I slid right off his rump and landed (very annoyed) in a giant pile of ferns. Colt panicked because mama was gone, and he backed into me trying to find me, stepping on my left foot. Years later I found out he’d broken my second metatarsal with those dinner-plate feet. I had bad plantar fasciitis all summer. 

Later, Birkenstocks seemed to cure me, but now I have it again! And I can’t even blame Colt. We’re not sure what happened. Living in Track Town USA it was easy to find a good foot doctor, who discovered my tendon is so inflamed it’s over twice its normal size (this explains the 9 months of limping). If the anti-inflammatories he gave me don’t work, I have to get an injection directly into my heel. I’m really hoping that isn’t necessary. 

Small good things

I used to have a habit posting a tweet of small good things. I’d like to get back into the habit. I’ll post the old ones first, put them in a category, and then start the new ones. 


small good things vol. 1

friends who point to random flowers and say, “edible”
bark sloughing off in long ribbons
the crunch of veggie tempura
foam from crashing waves
buying fancy tea
deep voices


small good things vol. 2

the hair stylist who doesn’t make you talk
pens that work in the bulk food aisle
parallel parking like a boss
cherry MX switches
vegetable soup
tile rummy
ear plugs

My fourth and final (for now) Gypsum Skirt

Here is my last (for now) Gypsum Skirt, in a lovely handwoven cotton orange from Stonemountain and Daughter. I’ve been eyeing this fabric on the website for quite a while, and I finally bought some, and I love it. I will be getting some more, in different colors, for a Gilbert Top, probably a Cameron Button Up, and I mean why not an Ashton and  March Dress, and while we’re at it, wouldn’t this be a great Moss Jacket? And yeah, those are all Helen’s Closet Patterns, I’m a bit obsessed at the moment!

So why is this my last Gypsum? Well, there’s nothing wrong with the pattern itself – I think it’s beautiful – but I keep catching the pockets on doorknobs! I’m just the right height (and width, I imagine?) that when I walk through a doorway, the pocket will catch, every third or fourth time. I haven’t ripped a skirt yet but I follow the #gypsumskirt tag on Instagram and this morning someone mentioned ripping her skirts because of catching them on doorknobs. I felt so validated.

The pockets are very much a built-in part of the construction, so it isn’t a real possibility to move or adjust them (or if there is, it’s not a level of engineering I wish to attempt at the moment), so I’m going to try out a different skirt pattern. I’m tempted to use the Gypsum pattern for Skirt B, which is a more basic skirt with side internal pockets. I’m not a fan of internal pockets for the most part, but I think patch pockets could be an easy addition.

But I also really love the Meadow Skirt from Twig and Tale! I think that will be my next skirt attempt.

I always tend to look down at what I’m wearing. I took one where I was looking up, but this Cousin It thing amused me, so here’s the front and back of the latest and last Gypsum.

The Song of Achilles

Wonderful! I loved it. I’ve been wanting to read hard copy books recently, so I bought the hard copy of this and Circe, which is the July book for my book club. Late last night I was in bed, wearing my new red-light headlamp so as not to wake up a sleeping Greg (it worked!) and right when I decided, at 1 am, to just finish the book, even though I knew that this would probably make me cry (and this would probably wake up Greg – so much for the headlamp), the text got weird. I had gone to the next page and just….what was happening here….suddenly I realized that page 312 was followed by page…57? Yes. The pages went from 312, to 57, and then from 57 to 88, and then came page 345. I really was missing 33 pages. This has never happened to me before! 

I could have just turned on the iPad and ordered the eBook, but I didn’t want to, so today we ran to the bookstore and I got another copy, grabbing it off a table (only 2 copies left!) and flipping it open to the end. A salesperson passing by stopped and asked if I was okay, and I laughed and explained what had happened. She said, “Oh no! Do you have it with you? I can give you a refund?” I grimaced apologetically and said, “No, I got the crap copy from Amazon.” She laughed and snorted, “Well THAT was bold of them,” she said. 

At home, Greg’s parents Bob and Julie are visiting. Thankfully they’re both avid readers so they happily put up with my breathless explanations of the book, and why I had to read the end over lunch, even though I was sure to get teary. 

Everyone was laughing at my shock and dismay that Patroclus dies. “It’s a retelling of the Iliad! What did you expect?” 

“I read it in high school! That was 30 years ago! What do you expect?” 

I kept saying Patroclus’ name wrong, as Patrocles. Greg corrected me again. “I know,” I said, “I don’t know why but their names all run together, I can’t keep them straight.” 

“That’s because they weren’t straight,” our queerling snorted without looking up, as they worked on a puzzle in their lap. We all cracked up.  

Gypsum Skirt #2 from Sew Liberated

Tall, chubby white woman with long brown hair and glasses, standing in the corner of her cluttered den looking down, wearing a navy t-shirt and a coral red linen skirt with deep pockets.

I finished my second Gypsum skirt! I love this one!

The first one I made didn’t go so well, I was struggling with a difficult fibro day when I made it, and I had a lot of small mistakes that added up to feeling stressed out by the whole thing. A friend came over and saw the skirt and said, “That’s so cute!” and I said, “Here!” I kind of love letting things go this way.

With this one, I took my time, made notes on the pattern instructions where I got tripped up the first time, and the whole thing went easier. I’ve now made a third blue skirt, will photograph that one next time I wear it. 

Coaster set from Stitched Modern

Five dark red cloths, each with frayed edges because they need to be sewn up into coasters. In the center of each square is a geometric design of white stitches.

Got this stitch-your-own coaster set from Stitched Modern and it was so much fun to work on! I bought a second, blue set as well. There are faint white guide lines on the stitching side so it’s easy to sew crisp lines. I found it very relaxing, which was good because my teenager wanted to watch a horror movie with me while I stitched! This gave me something to look down at while the really tense parts were happening. 

The final step will be to sew them to a backing, but I haven’t quite figured out what I want to use yet. Something from my stash. I’m thinking of adding a little bit of padding to each one as well.