Reading and Listening

January 28th

Reading

This week I finished reading “The Outsiders.” Do you remember the movie? I remember bits and pieces, and that the drive in movie theater from the movie (in Tulsa) burned down not too long ago, causing a storm of emotion. (And fundraisers to rebuild, apparently.)

The book is an easy, quick read and one I do recommend, namely because it was written by a 16-year-old girl. That amazes me. It isn’t that the story has so many twists and turns I can’t believe a kid came up with the premise, but the character development is superb. And adult. And told from the perspective of a teenage boy, which she seems to get spot on.

Four out of five bananas.

Also, I’m now hooked on Audible. I’ve powered through “Yes, please” and am now listening to “The Heart of Darkness” and “The Hobbit.”

Let’s just say if you need a good reminder how far we’ve come in race relations, listen to Joseph Conrad’s work. Holy hell, this is some racist stuff. I get that it is an important story historically (charting ivory dealers on boats in the Congo), but the way the indigenous people are described and treated will make your ears hurt.

Bilbo Baggins and I, however, are becoming dear friends.

What are you reading?

Posted in
Goals, Media
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A Garden Grows

January 26th

I asked for a garden bed for Christmas. This weekend, we worked on it together.

W Garden

W Garden

W Garden

W Garden

W Garden

W Garden

W Garden

W Garden

W Garden

With rain in the forecast this week, I think this little garden will have plenty of good luck.

Now, off to do something with the trees full of citrus. I’m thinking marmalade. And drafting plans for a pantry to shelve all the future garden preserves.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Earth Mama, Flora and Fauna
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Arizona Dames

January 23rd

I had an event earlier this week at the Capitol and I was wandering around the Senate building when I came upon a series of black and white photographs of former congressfolk.

Well, congressmen. You may see where this is headed. Note the following cast of characters:

Arizona history

Those two ladies at the bottom are listed as “Secretary” and “assistant.” 1953-1954

Arizona history

It pretty much stays this way for a decade. And May Belle Craig is eventually overtaken by her assistant, Louise Brimhall, in a coup:

Arizona history

Or perhaps retirement.

Arizona history

But eventually, 1960 — a woman comes along. Who is that dame in the center row of photos? (Note, the bottom left are still secretaries.)

Arizona history

Well done, Mrs. Thelma Bollinger from Mohave County. Well done. Especially because it seems Mr. Morrow was none too please to have to carpool with you to the capitol. (Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed to Arizona’s state senate to fill a vacancy in 1969. She’d go one to be the first woman appointed to the US Supreme Court.)

I can’t find anything substantive on Ms. Bollinger online, but by the looks of those earrings, I’m going to guess she was badass.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Politico
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Enough.

January 23rd

African Jesus

Have you read this nonsense this week? The silly story from an NYC-based pastor on the 10 types of women Christian men shouldn’t marry. The list is a doozy and of course all based on scripture. (Cliff notes: the older woman, the woman who doesn’t want children, the divorcee, the career-first woman, etc.)

Let’s just call bullshit on this right now, shall we?

You know who Jesus spent a lot of time with? Mary Magdalene. She who is mentioned more than most of the apostles in the gospels. She who stood by Jesus during his crucifixion. And she who was the one who witnessed the resurrection.

Oh, and also? She who was previously, maybe, a prostitute. (Jesus forgave her for being a “sinful woman.” Draw your own conclusions. This point is highly debated.)

That’s right. One of Jesus’ most trusted confidants — the one who sounded the horns of celebration that the son of God had risen from the dead — was a woman of disrepute.

So, before we spend time creating silly lists about the types of people Christians should or shouldn’t marry, just maybe we should spend more time thinking about those cast aside. Is it based in fear? In the ugly within us? Because these sorts of lists are not based on New Testament scripture.

Jesus didn’t walk among the rich and mighty. He spent his time among the poor, the sick and those who had been set aside.

Enough! If you want to walk the talk, enough with the “them vs. us” — regardless of your faith! As my friend Nadia Bolz-Weber says, whenever you draw a line in the sand on where your love and compassion stop, Jesus is on the other side.

 

Signed,

One older, career-driven, childless woman who loves Jesus

(And am created in the image of my maker — exactly the way He wanted)

 

Posted in
Faith
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Healthy eating

January 22nd

Healthy dinner

It was Finny who taught me that if you roast your squash with the seeds in tact, the flesh will be sweeter. Sure enough. We’ve been eating a lot of these stuffed acorn squash. They are easy to prep and versatile. This week, I made them with spicy fava beans and brown rice. (And what isn’t better with a dash of sriracha?)

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art, Recipes
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Hearts

January 21st

Valentines pillow for Rachele

Valentines pillow for Rachele

Valentines pillow for Rachele

Valentines pillow for Rachele

 

The first of many Valentine gifts completed, mailed and received. It is still wonky, but I loved making this.

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art
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Avoidance and Crooked Seams

January 13th

Sew! Avoid the edits!

Sew! Avoid the edits!

Sew! Avoid the edits!

Sew! Avoid the edits!

 

I have other writing projects demanding of my time, so logically I’ve thrown myself into a fairly complicated sewing project. (Why is it we so often avoid what we really want to accomplish? WHY?)

I post these wonky sewn seams to ask the myriads of you who know how to do this better for some help. How do I get the pieces to line up with more accuracy? I’m using a rotary cutter and a seam guide. I’m just not sure on what to do to not have it be a bit off, other than step back and talk it up with a “one of a kind, oddly imperfect perfection!” talk.

Help.

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art
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The Ever Hopeful Gardener

January 12th

Spring 2015 Garden

I’m starting the garden a bit early this year because I am having some construction done at my house in the next month. I need to have the patio wall rebuilt, which inhibits access to my tomato growing beds. So, I’m switching things up and planting in a different area this year. I took Finny’s advice and tested the soil first, made appropriate amendments and got after the planting with mostly seed and a few starts.

Spring 2015 Garden

Spring 2015 Garden

Spring 2015 Garden

The planting couldn’t have come at a better time. Once I was done, it started to sprinkle rain and continued doing so for the next day. Hopefully these little veggies take root and we have a bumper crop of broccoli, leeks, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale and beans. The four tomato plants in the garden were volunteers from last year’s crop. There are a few others over there I may try to rescue and plant in pots before the construction begins.

Spring 2015 Garden

Spring 2015 Garden

Once the garden wall is rebuilt, I’ll plant some of these 72 tomato starts too — from Indie Farms and Native Seeds/SEARCH. And I saved a handful of seeds and plenty of ideas for another garden bed I’m planting in a couple weeks in Mesa too.

There is little that makes me more hopeful or optimistic than gardening.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Flora and Fauna
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Muhammad Wept

January 7th

Clean and Simple Mantle

This week’s attack on a Parisian satirical magazine should make us all irate. What makes someone pick up a weapon and forge forward to kill? What makes someone so full of anger and evil that death is the only option?

I am not sure, but the video of the attackers leaving and allegedly shouting their love to Muhammad is preposterous.

Murder is the coward’s way. It is easy. It doesn’t require intelligence, but simply a weapon. And murder in the name of faith is ridiculously stupid. Whether Christian conquerors, Nazis or the Islamic State — killing to prove your belief system is superior might be the most poorly thought out strategy ever.

How did that train of thought go?

“Hey! They are making fun of us! They are calling us barbarians. They are drawing cartoons about how violent and backward we are! I KNOW. WE SHOULD KILL THEM TO PROVE OUR POINT.”

The only thing this violence has created is more hate, anger, evil and quite possibly more war. (And, of course, fan the flames of the exact source they were trying to extinguish. The magazine’s cartoons are more prominent today than ever. Well done.)

While men in black stormed the offices of this magazine with their weapons, shooting and killing with abandon — an actual storm is ravaging Syria, leaving millions of mostly Islamic refugees in peril. The news wires are full of photos of dead children — those who have frozen to death in the latest weather while hiding in icy refugee tents with their parents.

Healing the sick. Feeding the hungry. Housing the homeless. Loving the orphans and the widows and those who feel cast aside. Letting others you disagree with speak and trying to understand, rather than silence — this is how we should express our faith. This is how we should evangelize.

Love is how we show our character — regardless of who or what you worship.

~K

 

Posted in
Politico
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DPNs? Check.

January 7th

Fingerless gloves

Fingerless gloves

Fingerless gloves

One of my resolutions is to learn several specific new sewing and knitting skills. For example: working on double pointed needles. This fingerless glove pattern was the right fit. With a bit of coaching for Sarah to get that thumb right, these are coming along nicely.

Next up: log cabin quilting squares.

What would you like to learn in 2015?

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art
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