#Weekend Coffee Share – 16 October 2020

Hiya! Hoke’ ! Good to see you this week. Is it cold where you’ve been hiding out this week? It is here. At noon yesterday it was 71F… by 3 pm it was 51F. Brrr…what a fast drop. Usually, this kinda rapid drop results in some thunder-boomers. Not so, but we did get a very chill rain. Sun’s out today. It’s nice an warm at that table by the window. Grab a cuppa coffee, hot tea, cocoa, or a sasspirilla (root beer) if you’d like. I’m reusing an old picture this week, it should tell you that I’m back to writing again. A great thing! A great escape from current world events, eh.

So, this week, I managed to haul out the holiday bin which was clear at the back and all the way at the bottom of the storage closet. Always happens that way, doesn’t it? I went looking for it to get out the fall/autumn/halloween decorations… Turns out I didn’t have much, just a garland of leaves, a couple of little figurines, and a set of halloween kitchen towels/pot holders. I don’t really see much of a need as we don’t have children or tricker treaters in our neighborhood. Still, I put them out… place feels a little festive. I picked up a small (one pie size) pumpkin at the store to add to the table.

It’s about time to rearrange the living room. Not sure why, but there’s an odd thing here in fall and spring. The television goes beserk and decides that it simply must change walls if I want to continue watching the evening news. It’s bizarre, but it’s been that way since we moved to this state. I moved an acccent table to the dining area so we can set the crock pot there, more convenient to a power source. Then, well, I decided to send the bookcase (that’s been on it’s side with the tv on it) upstairs and use the little endtable I got at the thrift to set the tv/dvd player on. The new tv is so light that it sits just fine on top of the dvd player; takes up less of a footprint that way, too. I took my sewing upstairs, where it’s supposed to be to begin with, and was almost ready to move furniture and small rug out to vacuum and shampoo the carpet. I clean that way… taking everything down to the bare. The old recliner, held together with duct tape is making it’s last journey across the room and out the door tomorrow. YEAH! It will put us down to two wicker chairs again, but at least those are movable so I can clean the way I like to clean. I’m on the lookout for a coffee table. A simple, 4-leg model that you can put your legs under! So far, I’ve found a few, but they weren’t in the best condition and way over-priced for the condition they were in at that. So, in the morning, first thing, I’ll shampoo the carpet before we set out for our “fall leaf drive’.

About that… every year, it’s been our tradition to take a day trip through southeast Ohio… down through the Hocking Hills region. The leaves are always beautiful this time of year, hence our name for it. We usually stop somewhere along the way and grab a ‘picnic’ type lunch, go hiking, and stop somewhere on the trail to eat. Not sure how that is going to play out tomorrow. To start with, we’ll pack the cooler so we don’t have to stop at a store that may/may not be open (covid). We hope our fave trails are open for hiking, but if they aren’t we’ll stop and eat in the car. I’ll take the camera, of course. Still grumbling that I don’t have a working zoom lens anymore. Really cramps my photoging of wild things and insects. grrr… I looked at a new lens, but the cheapest price new is over 600 with taxes. Insanely expensive, especially right now. If the old lens would only hold focus… sigh…. Anyway, hoping the leaves are in full color. This past week’s frost should have them popping out their brightest this weekend.

Writing… Oh, maybe you better refill your cup and grab you a cookie or two. They’re fresh, baked this morning before the sun rose. Peanut butter today… hubby’s fave for the “leaf drive”. There’s plenty so have your fill. I’m writing again, as you can see. Toying with a couple of plotlines that I want to flesh out next month during NANO. Do you, or are you, going to Nano this year? Like I said, I have a few things on the burner. I want to get back to “Spirit Trails”, it’s important to me to continue that journey. I’ve just started playing with something that I wrote quite a long time ago (Thank you to my son who found all those old letters that he actually saved, and then sent them to me. Wow, I read them and think “Girl, you were way too young…”. It is interesting to see how I matured over the years in both reality and in writing. ). I’ve also got two other stories that have been started and are just hanging out waiting for that last chapter or three. So, I’m thinking that it’s going to be a “catch me all” year with Nano. We’ll see.

Not much else happening in my neck of the woods. Ballots are cast, covid is still alive and beating up everyone it comes into contact with, and another season is passing through. Hope you have a great week! Take a moment to bask in the beauty of autumn, hug a loved one. Tell those you love that you love them. Be good to yourself and others.

God Bless, Bear

Is it a Sin?

smart

Is it a sin

to step from the beaten path to asphalt

to exchange one’s moccasins for hard sole shoes

to lift one’s feet from the earth,

suspend and spin them mere inches from the ground?

Is it a sin, I ask you

to step from one society to another

to exchange dance for stoic worship

to set aside the drums,

and lift one’s voice in a language so foreign

Is it a sin?

B.S. McQuinn, 2020

10162020 – 1457

wc: 74

This short little fiction is written for Friday Fictioneer ‘s , a 100 word writing challenge hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. A hearty thank you to C.E.Ayr for this week’s photo. If you would like to read more short fictions, or am in a mood to participate, then please, follow the link and come to join us around the table. We’d love to have you!

Authors Note: I really struggled with this one this week. Jotted down different things, nothing spectacular. Today, as I was driving up into the mid-Ohio area (home), I was thinking about “Spirit Trails” and needed to get back to writing it (My goal for next month has appeared!). I thought of the juxtaposition between tradition and modern life, the ‘old way’ versus the ‘new age’. And how, trying to keep to her journey as close as I can, I find the modern world a constant temptation… like riding a bicycle instead of walking, wearing shoes instead of moccasins… even to the differences in worship. It’s been one of those kind of thoughtful days as I drove up the interstate and back.

Pandemic Needles…

Some have asked what I’ve been doing since being furloughed from work in March, and lockdown isolation for the next few weeks. To be honest, it’s been several things. Mostly, though, it’s been sewing. I ran out of art supplies pretty early on, but still had a partial bin of scrap materials, and lap quilt projects that have been sitting and waiting for me to get motivated to work on them. Funny how being virtually locked up within ones home leads one to do things like thoroughly clean beyond clean… but that only lasts for a few days before it’s just insane to clean as much. Then, there’s cooking… but it’s hard to free oneself to cooking when the stores are closing, food is scarce when they are open… etc. So, then, one turns to ones hobbies. I ran out of art supplies early on. Sketchers were filled to brimming, journals were packed with writings on about every topic known to mankind. That left the closet wherein resides my “toy boxes”… aka 50 qt bins… with half-finished projects, projects yet to be started, and small scraps of cloth left over from any number of sewing projects. Ach, but that bin was nearly empty with only a few started lap quilts (that were supposed to be presents last Christmas). Hard to do with only a partial spool of thread left.

May I take a moment to thank profusely those wonderful individuals who sent me things to do… like the mini greenhouse that afforded many hours of fun and consternation, but mostly fun. Oh, the tears when I accidentally ripped it while putting the final parts and pieces into place. Thank you also to my international sewing friends who sent me cloth, thread, lace, etc. Your generosity is not forgotten and greatly treasured as I am cutting out hexagons and stitching them into flowers. Ach, but I forgot to take pics of those “textile art” hexagons that I’ve been slowly building. There was the mini quilt top, too… Oh, how I enjoyed sewing each and every block… I’ll have to post those later.

Just one of the three lap quilts I’m working on at the moment.

So, as I was saying in my #weekend coffee share post, I am currently building a jacket with repurposed linen tablecloths. I made a “muslin” (old bed sheet) pattern from a printed one in a booklet that I found in clearance at Half Price Books (totally surprised to find it open the day we did! 🙂 ) It’s an off-white, kinda creamy color. I have to say I’m a little off my game in the stitching… only 7 stitches average to inch. I usually do 10.

7 stitches to the inch….

Hubby thought it quite the lark this morning when I hung it up to photog and the skeleton head was positioned just so for a good laugh. It was totally unintentional, though. LOL! I’m working on the sleeves and lower sections at the moment. The material is good and sturdy. I’m sure it’s going to be a warm jacket.

Hexagons… Oh, it seems I can’t get enough of them at the moment. LOL! I’m working in several sizes. The 5.5 inch ones I’m reserving out for the “textile art” thing so I’ll post those pics separately. I’m focusing on the little 1.5 inch hexies at the moment as their small, and quick to sew up. Good project when you feel like you need to accomplish at least one thing. These are the first ones, made up of left over hexies. I have been cutting them and stacking them with on center and 6 of same print. These little leftover piece ones I might incorporate into a different project, like a pillow or something. Then, there’s the 3.5 ones. I’ve only sewn one so far. Takes a wee bit more time. Don’t have so many of those as I do the wee ones. Still, I’ll sew and pack away. Love this kitty material sent to me from Canada. Made great hexies! The puppy one, too.

1.5 inch hexagons
3.5 inch hexagons.

I’ve crocheted and knit until my footstool bin where I keep my yarn is empty save for the yarn I picked up this week. I’ve got an unpictured (want to wait until it’s finished) winter set with scarf, hand warmers, hat that I just started in a varigated goldish, blonde, pale gray combo. Reminded me of bees and honey. Anyway, I’m also working on prayer shawls. I’ve donated a few during this pandemic. I started a new one last night. A simple pattern but in that divinely soft velvet yarn. I made a baby blanket a few weeks ago with it, loved it, and decided to do a prayer shawl with the skeins I have left over. Again, thank you to a friend who sent me almost a dozen skeins of this divine yarn! It’s sooo soft!

first 10 rows. It will be 6 ft long, by about 2.5 feet across.

I’ve also been doing what I call “Sabbath Sewing”… working on a sampler featuring our favorite verse from Isaiah 40:31. This August was our 25th Anniversary and we didn’t get to celebrate it in the way we had planned due to covid. We did have a nice surprise visit at a little railroad museum that we just happened upon coming back from Mammoth Cave which was a total bust. Even the unguided tours were closed. UGH! Anyway, I found this sampler pattern back before the world tanked, and thought it would be a nice one to do. Hubby commented that it had our verse on it, and I agreed. So, for once, I’m stitching a sampler for my own wall. I’ve done many by commission over the years but don’t have one of my own…. so, off I went to gather materials. One of those projects from my bin that was waiting to be done… by then, the stores were closed so I had to order the floss and cloth online. A new thing for me, and something I’m not fond of doing. But I did, with Hubby’s tech help, of course. And, as of today, this is where it stands… about 2/3 finished. I only sew on it on Sundays, hence the term “sabbath sewing”. I don’t usually sew commissions, clothing, or useful things on Sunday. I reserve that day for rest and enjoyment. I’ve taken to listening to church on the radio while sewing this. Our church is closed, but thanks to radio I can pick up chapel service from back home…. they’re reruns (because, of course, the college is closed), but a good sermon is still a good sermon, eh!

I know it sounds like a lot to have on my plate, but I’m a short attention span person. I work on one project for an hour or two, then change it up and work on another. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for paint to come in to continue work on my Doll’s house. I’m at the point that I just might say “screw it” and choose a different color. I’m anxious to get the walls together before the holidays hit.

Thank you for sharing in today’s edition of “Short Attention Span Theater”… we will now return you to your customary activity… Oh, look…. SQUIRREL!!!!

Brought to you today compliments of Pixabay.com

Eyewitness #4

Disclaimer: This is FICTION!

Chapter Two

The lives of the people began within the fiery lands of the desert where water was a scarce commodity. The tribal leader who could manage the water for his people to last through the dry season was considered a great leader. And so it was with the Emperor Kolon. He was wise to dig his wells deep, and to cover them to prevent water loss due to evaporation. He rationed water to his people year round. Citizens who used , or stole, more than their share were punished. Repeat offenders were executed.

Emperor Kolon was known not only for his wisdom and strong justice; but equally for his mercy and compassion. His people considered him a benevolent leader who truly cared about his people. Under his rule, his people did not fear for enough water to survive. He created elaborate systems for water storage and distribution and hired men whose primary purpose was to maintain those systems. Later, he created greenhouses which fed the people. To say he was well loved by his people would be an understatement of the grandest.

And so, Emperor Kolon raised up his son during this time of prosperity. His son, Prince Bom know no wants, no depravities. Prince Bom never tasted the harsh realities of hunger or thirst. Perhaps it was that early luxury that formed the benevolent nature of the young prince. There was one such situation where the Emperor Kolon attempted to teach his son the merits of wisdom, prudence, justice, and mercy. The story has been passed down through the generations, so it’s only fitting to record it here.

Not far from a small sun, on the other side of an asteroid belt which marked the edge of the Centaurian binary system, there was a dismal little planet. The planet is called by its inhabitants, Edam.

The planet’s main continent was also called Edam, as was the most populated province. When you are alone in the universe, you can afford such luxuries as using a single name for your world and its only habitable continent. Ah, but that was in the time before first contact with the interstellar community. Such simple and generally peaceful times those were. Their belief that they were alone was unfortunately soon to be shattered.

In the palace of Edam province, the young Prince Bom stood at the bottom of the royal dias in the throne room. He looked up to the empty throne with the envy of a child hungering for something sweet. Bom sighed, reaching down to pet the dragon who slept curled up in her wagon. The dragon opened her eyes and blinked up at her master.

‘Kite,’ Bom spoke. ‘ When is my Father ever going to step down and let me sit there?’

Kite blinked in response and stretched a small iridescent wing.

‘You are not ready for the throne, yet, my son.’ Emperor Kolon, holder of the throne, spoke as he stepped through a side door.

Prince Bom turned with an exasperated sigh. ‘But, Father, I know all there is to know about being a ruler. I know how to count the treasury, take a census, and make public appearances. I can even use a blaster.’ He thrust his chin up.

‘These things you mention; they are good to know. Bom, my son, there is much more to being a ruler. You also must know how to care for the land and the people. You must learn the cost of war and how to wage peace.’

‘I could do it.’ Prince Bom pouted.

‘You’re too young, Bom. But, maybe it is time to start teaching you the finer points. Come, ‘ Emperor Kolon held out his hand, motioning for Bom to follow. ‘Today, you will stand court with me and learn what it means to care for the land and its people.’

To Be Continued….

Weekend Coffee Share: 9 October 2020

My fall table from last year

Good morning! And, Welcome! Come on and and have a seat at the table. I was up early so I baked a Dutch Apple Crisp pie. Don’t you just love that apple-y cinnamon smell. I’ve got fresh coffee beside the Kuerig, hot water for tea or cocoa, or there’s some warm cider on the stove. It’s chilly this morning so something warm is just perfect. There’s pie, of course and your choice of vanilla ice cream or Cool Whip to go with. Personally, I like mine just plopped on a plate.

So, what to chat about? As I look out the window, I see that the Maple trees are now starting to grace us with brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows. The Oaks will follow soon, no doubt. We had our first frost a few nights ago. Brr… how could it be autumn already? This year has flown within the miasma of isolation, shutdowns and such. That reminds me that I haven’t done any writing on “Spirit Trails” in months, and that is somewhat depressing as I’d hoped to be at least halfway through that journey by now.

While I’m on that subject… I was at a point where I was (literally) sitting on the river bank and trying to imagine what it was like for my Gr. Grandmother. I was asking myself questions like how did she deal with the overwhelming losses, the endless days of walking, the constant nagging hunger in her gut; and the fear that she, too, could die at any moment. What was it like for her trying to live under the constant guard of the soldiers who took advantage of the women whenever they took a mind to. All deep water questions, for sure. Then, I was hit with covid… “sick unto death” I felt. Yet, I had to continue on, getting hubby to work, caring for our elderly neighbors, etc. Then, July came, and the death roll in my bible grew. As of July 1, I had 23 living godchildren under the age of 18. By the end of July, only 9 remained. At present, only 1 still lives. As unfortunate as this is, and believe me, it is. I can now say that I somewhat understand the overwhelming losses of my Gr. Grandmother in a way that… well, I guess you’d call it a ‘been there, done that’ type thing. Very sad. I haven’t picked up “Spirit Trails” quite yet, though I am still pondering the journey. The literal part is now on hold for obvious reasons. The walking… well, I’m just getting back to having the strength to do so.

Enough of sadness. Let’s focus on the good. I am happy to say that I feel like I’ve accomplished quite a bit on my Hexagon quilt project. I’ve been using the scraps from making myself some masks (gotta have variety, right?) to cut varied sizes of hexagons. The smallest being 1 1/2 inches across, up to 5 1/2 inches across. I have 4 sizes in all. I start with a fat quarter 18×22, and cut out the mask pieces. Then I can get 2-3 of the largest size, then I work down the template sizes. A few of the fat quarters I had in the closet just wouldn’t make good masks so I am able to get 7 (5.5), 4 (3.5, 3 (?size), and several 1.5 inchers. My shoebox is filled, so this week, I’m sewing up the flowers as I call them. Starting with a solid color in the center and adding patterned pieces around each one. I manage about 2 a morning of the wee ones between morning prayers and when Hubby rises. Ach, looking in my bin, I realize I really ought to get some more cloth for scrapping. This lockdown has caused my “stash” to become almost non-existent.

I’ve also finally managed to cut out the “muslin” for a new jacket. To explain, I cut the pieces of a pattern out of muslin, or in this case an old sheet, and keep it as the pattern. I adjusted some of the seams for my personal size, too. Then, I have a pattern that will last for years. Material lately has been pretty scarce… at least affordable material. So, I wanted a nice poplin, linen, or such base for this jacket as I plan to do some patchwork on it. Couldn’t find it at the store. But, what I did find at the thrifty (when it finally opened) was some buffet size heavy linen table clothes in a nice cream color. I said to myself, I said, this would be a nice base fabric for a jacket… warm, sturdy… and the color would look good under the sari silks that I intend to patchwork with. So, I bought all 5! Ach, heavens to betsy, what was I thinking??? Still, I cut out the jacket using my “muslin” pattern and now I’m starting to put it together. I said I was going to patchwork it, but at the moment, it’s looking so nice that I just might keep it the way it is, and make another in patchwork… I have plenty of material to work with. LOL! And, I’m using the scraps to make hexie centers for the quilt, so doubly good.

I’m writing a new bit of something at the moment. Something I’m calling “Eyewitness”. A different perspective. I recently listened to “The Testaments” by Atwood, the sequel to the “Handmaids Tale”. The perspective fascinated my curious nature and I wondered if I could write something that way. So, I gave it a go. It’s making for a nice secque (sp?) for a very old story I wrote many many decades ago. Something else I’ve revisited since this pandemic started. With libraries closed, very few books in the house, I’ve been forced to read my own writing to fill the time. If you’ve never done this, I highly suggest it. Start with your oldest writing and move forward…it’s quite enlightening to watch your skills and maturity grow.

Oh, look how I’ve babbled along. Why don’t you tell me what you’ve been up to lately? What have you been doing during lockdown that is different from your regular? Have you taken up a new hobby, revisited an old one? Curious minds need input! LOL! Have a great week, friend, and thanks for stopping by for coffee and pie. It’s been nice to chat.

Just a little additional note. I received a library notice today (libraries have been virtually closed since march) that I have not picked up my “surprise hold” materials in 3 months so I shall be removed from program. My question: How can you pick up things when Library is closed (except for about 3 hours a week (10 to 12) a different day each week and in the middle of the day when most of us are working. Last time I went in to ask about holds, I could get no understandable answers. I have hearing issues and read lips. With masks, it’s impossible to understand what’s being said if I even hear any of it. When asked (and they are behind plexiglass) the librarian refused to lower so I could read lips. With this kind of bull, why even bother….

Eyewitness #3

Disclaimer: This is FICTION!

Chapter 2

I, the invisible one. I saw it all and did nothing. I could have stepped up and stopped it at any moment; yet, I did not. To say that I did absolutely nothing might not be entirely true; for in fact, I did save an individual life here and there. But, what is one or two lives compared to 80 billion? It is an insignificant nothing. I could have stepped up and saved them all. I did not. Saving lives is not what I do.

I did nothing, when I could have done something. That something could have stopped the war long before it began. I will live with that guilt for the length of my existence. I was apathetic, and that apathy led to the events that decimated the world. It was I who inadvertently brought forth the agent within this world. It was I that allowed it to spread across the very soil and air.

How was I to know that it would spread so quickly, so destructively? How was I to know that such a miniscule and utterly harmless element would wreck such havoc? There was no way to know, of course. Still, the guilt remains. I could have prevented it all, and I did nothing.

Eyewitness #2

Disclaimer: This is FICTION!

Photo prompt: Pixabay.com

Chapter One

Where shall I begin? What was the key event that led our world to its own destruction? Many have and still do ask. Yet, the answer isn’t an easy one. No, it is a multi-faceted miasma wherein several elements come into play.

Some say it began with the crash of a proto-type spacecraft. Where I’m sure that was one element, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that was the sole cause. For in truth, there was already discord among the people. Others say it was the birth of the Emperor. Yet, the birth itself seemed to unite the people and a time of great peace and prosperity followed. Some say it was the death of the ruling Emperor and the placement of his young son to the throne that was the pivotal moment in time that defined the destiny of war. A few still claim that it was the death of the young Emperor’s beloved dragon that truly drove us to war.

The cause doesn’t matter. It never does in the grand scheme of life.

The truth is that war resides within each and every individual. Equally, peace also resides alongside; both sharing the entirety of our souls. It is up to us to decide which we will choose in the end. So, we must be asking ourselves what would drive us to fight for our very survival? What would we be willing to acquiesce to in order to live for another day, hour, minute? What reality would bring us to the brink of murdering another? Hard questions? Yes, the hardest question of all when you’re faced with your own mortality.

To Be Continued…

Eyewitness #1

Disclaimer: This is a work of FICTION!

For my Friday Fictioneer friends… this has more to it, maybe it will help what I wrote make sense….

Prologue:

As one of the few survivors, it is only right and fitting that I make a record of all that I witnessed. Why? At the moment, I’m unsure. Still, it must be done. How else to preserve the lives of those innocents that fell; those heroes who died.

Allow me to begin by saying that biological warfare is a double-edged sword. It knows no boundaries; respects no class, caste, or socioeconomic status. It sees no species, race or genome. Biological agents destroy with equanimity. No greater evidence to that then the present reality set before us. We few have survived, but for how long?

Those of us who do survive are few in comparison to the 80 billion who graced this world before the release. We survivors have nothing in common save for a very rare genetic marker, a protein of unknown origin. How or why this gave us the element of survivability is far from understood. At least a million or so of us worldwide still live. A far cry from the 80 billion, mind you, but we do survive.

Eyewitness…

https://rochellewisoff.com/#jp-carousel-11806

Sorry, I’m still trying to get the image to work. The final solution is that the new webp format for photos is not compatible with my OS. So, I won’t be able to copy/paste pictures from the Friday Fictioneers site to mine… or even down to my laptop and then back up to WP. It will not download as a jpg, and even if it says it does, the computer sees it as a webp image when it trys to upload it. So, I’m out of luck to post photos with the stories. Sorry. I’ll try to continue to post link to it.

As one of the few survivors, it is only right and fitting that I make a record of all that I witnessed. Why? At the moment, I’m unsure. Still, it must be done. How else to preserve the lives of those innocents that fell, those heroes that died.

Allow me to begin by saying that biological warfare is a double edged sword. It knows no boundaries; respects no class, caste, or socioeconomic status. It sees no species, race, or genome. Biologic agents destroy all sides with equanimity. No greater evidence than the present reality set before us. We have survived, but for how long?

WC: 104… sorry, short as I could get it, Rochelle.

This short little fiction is written for Friday Fictioneer ‘s , a 100 word writing challenge hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. A hearty thank you to Sandra Crook for this week’s photo (That will not transfer so I can share it here. Please visit the link to Friday Fictioneers for this week’s photo. If you would like to read more short fictions, or am in a mood to participate, then please, follow the link and come to join us around the table. We’d love to have you!

If you’re interested in the unedited version of this (approx 200 words) you can find it here: https://jellicoswritingnook.home.blog/2020/10/07/eyewitness-1/

The next serial to it is found here: https://jellicoswritingnookhome.wordpress.com/2020/10/07/eyewitness-2/