Sunday, June 27, 2010


One fun thing about being in a new house is that I keep discovering new things, especially in my yard.   I've found tiger lilies, and pretty blue-belled flowers I don't recognize, and forget-me-not.    I also have two, maybe three, clemantis growing up the side of my shed.   One is purple.  The other, I discovered, is this plum color.   Really pretty.   And the other day, as it got dark, I looked into the yard and saw bunnies and fireflies.    Magical.    Years ago I wrote a '50 Things to Do Before I Die' list, what they call a "Bucket List" these days.   One of the things on that list was to live in a pretty house.    I can check that one off now.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Time to think

I've got another cold or virus or other unnamed coughing-sneezing-body aching awful.    I don't feel like driving out for food and, of course, there is no canned/frozen stuff in the house since I don't usually need that stuff.    I need to stock up, especially since I've had a million viruses up here; I think all my immunities were to viruses local to my old home, I have a million new germs to face up here.

Meanwhile, slowly, I've been sewing my hodge-podge of towels and washcloths for Craft Hope's "Project 8", which is collecting materials to help clean the oil drenched wildlife who have been affected by the BP oil spill in the gulf.   I found some old quilting cotton in one of the boxes we packed away after my mother died, and some old tattered towels I'd set aside as rags, and I am cutting them to size (10"x10" for the cloths, and 14"x27" for the towels).    I am machine-stitching a zig-zag around the edges to prevent fraying, even though I could probably just pull the threads until the cloths seem secure.   They are going to be used to wipe oil from seabirds and turtles and dolphins and then thrown away, so they don't have to be fancy.   Good thing, because I've had lots of frustrations with my machine's tension, and I'm using odds and ends of bobbin thread, so my finished product is very unfinished, indeed.   I will be sending them this weekend, along with some Dawn dishwashing liquid, to Kimberly Davion, c/o IMMS Oil Spill Relief, 1700 East LaRua Street, Pensacola, Florida 32501 

Making these simple cloths is mindless work so, as I am sewing (in between coughs and sneezes), I'm thinking a lot about the oil spill, and the damage it will do for years to come.   I am happy where I live; the weather is generally temperate, with few really hot or really cold days (although I could do without the snow).  Michigan is lush and green, open water or wooded land is always a short drive away, and we don't have hurricanes or serious earthquakes.  But I realized that, aside from family, there is probably nothing that has brought me more pleasure than the Gulf of Mexico.   I love to walk the beaches, hear the waves, watch the birds feeding on the shore, see the pelicans dive and the ospreys fish, and find the magical shells that wash right up to me as I'm walking.   I love seeing a flock of roseate spoonbills take flight, and watching the white pelicans bob along like giant marshmallows.   The Gulf of Mexico is where my favorite Michigan birds spend their winters, and where much of the world's seafood spends its infancy. 

But the Gulf of Mexico isn't the only place being destroyed by our appetite for oil.    Check out what has been happening for years behind the scenes in Nigeria, where people live and suffer in an endless oil spill.     No matter how many birds and turtles we save in the gulf this time, this disaster will be just the tip of the proverbial iceberg unless we commit ourselves to cleaner energy and a simpler way of life.    I'm mad at BP, no doubt about it, but we all need to find ways to conserve energy so that greedy goons like BP don't have the leverage they have now.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Project 8

I am joining in a group undertaking called "Project 8," working to support the clean-up of animals affected by the gulf oil spill.   Project 8 is one of many charitable projects promoted  by a group of crafters I discovered on Facebook called Craft Hope.    They are calling out for people to make cotton clean up cloths (10"x10") and towels (14"x 27") that will be used to wipe oil off damaged wildlife.   Because it is a crafters' project, they are asking for handmade items, but they can be crocheted or knitted or made of recycled sheets and towels.    The link to Project 8 contains the guidelines.   The cloths and towels will be thrown away after they are used to clean birds, turtles and dolphins, so they're not looking for anything fancy.    People from all over the world are participating.      You can too.    Pack up your cloths or towels in sets of 10 and mail them to: Kimberly Davion, c/o IMMS Oil Spill Relief, 1700 East LaRua Street, Pensacola, Florida 32501