Archive for August, 2013


Double Wedding Ring Quilt

The double wedding ring is a classic pattern of the early 20th Century. My parents had a double wedding ring quilt on their bed, though it was coming unstitched by the time I inherited it. Sadly, it was one of the things I lost in the fire. This one is a slight variant on the usual pattern, in shades of gray.

Double wedding ring with checkerboard alternation of centers.

Double wedding ring with checkerboard alternation of centers.

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Year 8, Day 90

crude basketLittle Gnu and Gazelle may have started it, but I suspect it was Songbird and through her, Rain Cloud, who spread the word to the shamans. The People want to serve me, to keep me placated, I suspect. But a year away from everything they know is a major sacrifice. (Well, it would be for most of them, though I am not so sure of Torch Flower.)

Materials for Rainbow to use in making and repairing clothes and food, however, are a way of showing me honor without much pain to any one person. Surplus tanned hides, furs, sinew, linen thread, tools, fish traps and storage baskets have been pouring in. It’s a good thing I designed my home with a number of extra rooms!

Torch Flower had not taken good care of the building I originally built for Songbird and Giraffe. I had designed it, like my own home, with a warnoff to keep small pests from moving in and multiplying, and both Songbird and Gazelle had kept it clean. Torch Flower had unthinkingly assumed that scavengers would clean up any dropped food, and the place was beginning to stink.

Rainbow took one look, or rather one sniff, and began cleaning. By the time she had the place spotless down to the fused walls and floor, which she regarded with delight, a new sleeping mat had been left on the portico. Then she tackled the roasting pit, and soon had it in better condition than when Songbird initially supervised its construction. In fact, now that people have started to leave for their treks following the herds, we are in the best condition I have ever been in at this time of year.

I will definitely extend my mapping to the area north of the tideless sea this year.

Jarn’s Journal is part of the back story of the Jarnian Confederation, in which my science fiction books are set. Jarn is a human-like alien wo was stranded in Africa roughly 125,000 years ago. His story to date is on my author site.

Flower and Diamond Medallion Quilts

These aren’t quite traditional medallion quilts, but they’re close.

Flower garlands are the theme in this quilt, but each medallion uses a different pattern, and the center differs from any of the surrounding blocks.

Flower garlands are the theme in this quilt, but each block uses a different pattern, and the center differs from any of the surrounding blocks.

This could be described as a single diamond medallion.

This could be described as a single diamond medallion. Note the combination of curved and straight lines.

Quotes from J.R.R. Tolkien

Map of EriadorHere are the contexts of the quotes tweeted from @sueannbowling between August 22 and August 28, 2013. All are from The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Note that the quotes are from the book, not the movie.

“He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.” Gandalf to Sauruman, after seeing Sauruman’s many-colored robes and hearing his explanation that white light can be broken into many colors.

“Even the most subtle spiders may leave a weak thread.” Gandalf, talking of his captivity by Sauruman.

“It is perilous to study too deeply the arts of the Enemy, for good or for ill.” Elrond, speaking of the treachery of Saruman who was corrupted by such study.

“Nothing is evil in the beginning.” Elrond, speaking of the corrupting influence of the ring.

“You may find friends along the way when you least look for it.” Elrond’s words to Frodo as the fellowship is formed.

“It would be well to trust rather to their friendship than to great wisdom.” Gandalf, arguing that the desire of Merry and Pippin to join the fellowship should be accepted.

“There must be enough water on the trail for horses.” Tourist Trap, by Sue Ann Bowling. Amber, trying to decide what to do next after she finds herself lost in the wilderness.

Medallion Quilts

I have three more blog slots open in August, so I’ll show you the rest of the quilts I photographed from the Tanana Valley State Fair. These are both what I’d call medallion designs.

This, with a single medallion, was one of my favorites.

This, with a single medallion, was one of my favorites.

This one uses lots of medallions, each with the same piecing pattern and fabrics, but with the fabrics combined in different ways.

This one uses lots of medallions, each with the same piecing pattern and fabrics, but with the fabrics combined in different ways.

Sorry for last week's photo, but as nearly as I can tell, the herb bed was untouched Saturday night. Sunday? We'll see.

Sorry for last week’s photo, but as nearly as I can tell, the herb bed was untouched Saturday night. Sunday? We’ll see.

The sun rose at 6:14 this morning and will set after 15 hours, 15 minutes and 34 seconds at 9:29 this evening. We’re still losing about 6 ½ minutes a day, and summer is definitely drawing to a close. After a cool, late spring and an unusually hot, dry summer we had our first frost advisory Saturday night. That’s right, frost. It’s not that rare in August up here, but the summer so far did not lead me to expect it this early.

Luckily I don’t think it reached here Saturday night, in spite of North Pole being rather notorious around Fairbanks for low temperatures. But the forecast for Sunday night is mid 20’s to low 30’s, and I’m not feeling up to digging out the begonias, or even getting the floating plant cover over them. I got most of the tender potted plants up against the house wall Saturday night, and I’ll just have to hope. Chemo really hit hard Sunday, and I didn’t even feel balanced enough to look outdoors, except through the windows. I hope the loss of balance is a side effect of the chemo I will get over!

I did manage to pick one oversized zucchini Saturday evening, and to get the cover over that bed, but I don’t have enough appetite to eat much beside yogurt and ice cream. As of Monday morning, I think everything’s OK, but I’m too weak to go out of doors.

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It’s Sunday again, time for Weekend Writing Warriors (click on the logo above) and Snippet Sunday (click on the logo below.) You don’t have to comment, but we all like feedback. If I don’t respond, it’s because I had the third (and last) round of chemo on Friday, and I’m coming down fast.

Cone Nebula detail (Hubble)Roi has managed to stop the stampede just before the panicking herd crossed the road into rough country.

The cyclist — the oldest Bateson girl — had caught up with the grazing herd and circled between the animals and the road.  She stopped next to Amber, her eyes curious as she got a good look at Roi.  “Thanks, Miz Leroy,” she said.  “I dunno how you stopped ’em, but I never ‘spected to get the whole herd back safe.”

“Luck,” Amber replied, which was true enough.  “This is Roi Laian, an old friend of ours.  Can you handle them now?”

The girl nodded, sun-bleached blond pigtails bouncing.  “Thank you, too, Mr. Lane,” she said as she turned her cycle toward the grazing animals, pushing them back away from the road.

 Once again Horse Power is free today on Kindle, as it will be September 15 and September 29. By that time I hope to have a print version and will pull it off of Amazon Select. So get your free copy while it’s available! I hope my snippets give an idea of the problem faced by the colonists in this science fiction story that doesn’t read at all like most science fiction. Look at the reviews, all 5-star except one that wanted it longer!

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Alaskan Quilts

These two quilts have very Alaskan patterns.

Fairbanks is known as the Golden Heart City.

Fairbanks is known as the Golden Heart City.

Quilt 29 8:3:13

This one represents the aurora borealis, though the real aurora doesn’t have this many colors.

I stopped by to watch Rainbow prepare a hide this morning, and found myself wondering what she got out of the relationship with her mate. Her scraper was little more than a rock, and while she used both the scraper and a cutting tool with skill, the tools were scarcely more than chipped pebbles. I could do as well, and I am hardly an accomplished flint knapper!

new arrowOne of the things I have done over the past year is collect various types of stone for Little Gnu, so this afternoon I went by to present him with my finds. I hadn’t intended to bargain, but when I mentioned the state of Rainbow’s tools, he smiled. “Then I will make her new ones,” he said. “It is little enough return for such fine stone, but if she is to make your clothing and prepare your food she should have tools of the best.” He picked up a dulled scraper, and it took him only a few blows to blunt the back and sharpen the edge. “Here,” he said, handing me the resharpened tool. “Give her this for the moment. It is better than what she has, but hardly a finished tool. Have her bring what she has to me, and I will see if any can be saved. If not, her tools will help me design what she can best use.”

“And if she is to prepare your food,” Gazelle said firmly, “she will need tools for that, too. I know you can provide salt and fruit, as well as meat, but she could use a better fish trap. Songbird is still the best at that, and you, Gnu, must make her a good gutting knife. And awls, for sewing. Sinew – who is best at preparing that, I wonder? Perhaps some flax? And porcupine quills for decoration ….

I have a feeling that the whole camp is going to see that Rainbow is better equipped than when she was living with her mate.

Chemo, Hair Loss, and Wig.

I went to the beautician who cuts my hair Tuesday, for advice on how to clean and style my wig. She trimmed what was left of my hair. and showed me how to shampoo and style my wig. The results?

Not much hair left, but it seems to have stopped coming out.

Not much hair left, but it seems to have stopped coming out.

I think the wig helps a little right now.

I think the wig helps a little right now.