Saturday Selvage

That would be me!!

And sewing machines in every color . . . . . except blue! I would so definitely have a blue machine in my sewing room. Ah, one can dream!

12 Things I Know For Sure

  1. Every day is a precious gift, no matter how crazy or mixed up it is. Life is wonderful but life is messy.
  2. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. That includes you.
  3. You have everything you need for your own journey. Take care of yourself.
  4. If it’s someone else’s problem, they probably have their own answer.
  5. Everyone is a mess, less than perfect and scared on the inside. Don’t compare your inside to anyone’s outside.
  6. Chocolate is not actually a food.
  7. Real success only comes after dedicated repeated work.
  8. Success can be as damaging as it is amazing. Be prepared. See #3 and #5.
  9. Families are precious and hard. It’s all about compromise and forgiveness.
  10. Words are powerful. Use them with care. They can’t be taken back or forgotten once spoken.
  11. Love is the strongest emotional bond. It can withstand all kinds of hardship and starvation. Nurture it, express it, speak it. It makes everything worth the effort.
  12. We don’t live forever. Be aware of your legacy, the memories you are leaving behind. Be a good example. See #1.

Houston Adventure

Every year there is an International Quilt Show in Houston, Texas, a Mecca for all quilters, and one of my little quilting bees always goes. We travel to Houston (a four-hour ride, not counting any stops) in three cars, and stay in a hotel within walking distance of the Convention Center where the Quilt Show is held.

We bunk two to a room and usually have matching T-shirts, so we look like a small gang. It’s loads of fun! This year Karen and I were roommates and agreed to be the hospitality room, where we all gather to have Show and Tell. We share all the things we have bought that day and talk about all the things we have seen.

We started out very early in the morning to arrive as the show opened. As it was too early to check in at the hotel, they just checked our luggage.

A marvelous day was spent scouting and shopping the vendor aisles. All of our credit cards were literally smoking by the end of the day when we met for dinner.

It wasn’t until 8:30 pm that Karen and I were able to actually check in, which took about 45 minutes because the hotel did not have our names and apparently had no room for us. It seems a person with Karen’s first name and my last name had checked into the room.

Now that seemed impossible to me and I said so. Forty minutes later the receptionist agreed, checked us in, gave us keys and welcomed us to the hotel. Karen and I piled all our day’s purchases (at least 50 pounds!!) on top of our luggage, plus our purses, plus drinks, and headed up to the 11th floor, then down the 1/4-mile hallway to our room at the end.

Karen’s key opened the door and she started in with me right behind her. Karen immediately noticed the bed hadn’t been made. One more step in and she noticed movement in the bed!

Another step in and two heads popped out of the bed! Karen screamed “Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry!” and froze in place. I didn’t see anything but froze right behind her. Karen began slowly backing up with bags, luggage, purse and drink, all the while offering “I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry!”

I, of course, had to back up as well with bags, luggage, purse and drink.

Karen immediately turned back to me with a look of stark terror and whispered emphatically, “There’s someone in our bed!”

My face matched hers and I whispered back, “Oh my god!” By this time, all our pals were coming down the hallway to join us in our room for Show and Tell.

I turned to them and whispered as loud as I could, “There’s someone in our bed!” To which they gave an equally shocked, “Oh my god!” We all stood in the hallway looking shocked, sort of laughing, sort of gasping, trying not to be too loud, but being too loud. The most awkward moment ever!

Then Karen and I realized we had to schlepp everything – bags, luggage, purses and drinks back down to the lobby for new keys. Oh boy!

When we told the receptionist what we found in our room, she said, “Oh, no, that can’t be.” “But oh yes, believe us, we saw it!”

Finally we got keys to a new room and back up we went to the 11th floor with all our belongings. We got to the room and stood outside for a moment. Karen said, “You open it!” So I pounded on the door yelling “Housekeeping!” Hearing nothing, I opened the door to an empty room. Thanks be!

In response to their room error, the hotel gave us each two tickets for complimentary appetizers at the bar, which we decided to use the next day and share with our whole group. All ten of us gathered in the bar after another grand day of shopping and viewing quilts. Since the tickets said “appetizers,” we envisioned small servings that would be shared by all of us. We didn’t realize we were getting twelve orders of servings the size of entrees.

The food just kept coming and coming and coming. We gave two servings to a nearby group, and ordered to-go boxes for all the portions we couldn’t eat. We had to go from there to our reservations for dinner. The amount of food was almost obscene. There were to-go boxes everywhere!

And yet, the next morning, everyone was ready for breakfast. What?! How was that possible?

And the weekend was over – sort of.

We stopped at two quilt shops on the way home because evidently we hadn’t shopped enough.

Oh, and we stopped at a peach farm store because also we hadn’t had enough food.

Tattoos Talk

Throughout history, tattoos have spoken about clan/tribe membership, manhood, remembrance, love, travel, pain, endurance and just silliness. They send messages to all who are able to interpret. And they are often misunderstood.

From prehistoric times, people tattooed themselves to show membership in a clan or family. Although ancient Chinese criminals were tattooed to warn people of their unworthy ways.

Ancient Egyptians used tattoos as decorative art and medical treatment.

Tattooing is an integral part of the Samoan culture and the word tattoo is thought to have evolved from the Samoan word ‘tatau’.

During Greek and Roman times tattooing was done to criminals, prisoners of war and slaves as a mark of their status. Also some soldiers tattooed themselves.

Tattoos were only common in the military and entertainment business during the 20th century. Many sailors had anchors as a sort of initiation right. A turtle would mean he had crossed the equator and a swallow meant a journey of 5000 miles.

Throughout the 1920’s cosmetic tattoos became more popular for women. Common makeup tattoos included eyebrow and lip liner. But mostly still remained common among so-called outcasts such as sailors, circus performers and criminals.

In the 1930’s, social security numbers appeared and everyone was told to memorize the number. Many resorted to tattooing the number on their body to have rapid access to it. But tattoos were still not socially not acceptable.

1940’s saw color added to tattoos. Tattoos were mostly patriotic, nautical and military during those years. The war years saw an increase in tattooing especially in women.

1950’s was the “bad boys” era of tattoos, which added to the negative stigma.

The 1960’s tattoo parlors were blamed, rightly or wrongly, for an increase in Hepatitis. However, there was an increase in tattooed celebrities.

1970’s saw the peace movement, symbols and messages in tattoos become very popular. Tattooing in general became more mainstream.

By the 21st century, tattooing was common with designs getting more colorful, bigger, smaller, more whimsical, more meaningful, on every part of the body.

I, for one, am fascinated by tattoos. I ask every waiter and waitress to tell me about their tattoos. The stories are amazing!

The majority are memorials to a family member or a dear friend. How many grandmothers are remembered in beautiful ink, I can’t even tell you. The tattoos speak of a love and a reverence in such a special way – and no words are necessary.

I’ve seen many love tattoos, some membership tattoos, several religious, a couple birthday but never any hateful or negative tattoos. I’ve never seen any threatening or troubling designs. I have seen skulls, swords and knives but never felt any danger from them or the person wearing the tattoo. It was all art and well done, I might add.

Yes, tattoos speak and they speak to me. They tell me of loves, memories, relationships, faith and joy. I’ve been looking at them and getting their stories for years and years. I’ve been studying and wondering for years and years. I’ve been envious and curious for years and years.

Finally, I’m ready.

Yes, my sweeties.

Granny is getting a tattoo!