Tuesday, March 28, 2023

More March Happenings

 A few amaryllis are blooming to add some color after the azaleas made their brief but spectacular showing. Saddened by the devastating tornados that hit north Mississippi, I am grateful to be on my porch in the sun with Rahrah. 

Rahrah in the sunshine on porch steps
Some University Baptist Church friends and I enjoyed a tour of the African American Military History Museum in the Sixth Street Museum District in Downtown Hattiesburg led by Colonels Sheila and Fred Varnado, retired. They shared their personal experiences in the service and told the rich history of some of Hattiesburg's residents. Col. Sheila began her military career as a WAC and rose to the rank of colonel, serving in Washington and the Middle East. Col. Fred taught at USM after retiring to Hattiesburg. They both are active as civic leaders in our community. The museum is housed in the former USO building, built in 1942 for African American soldiers training at Camp Shelby, the only surviving USO building of its kind in the US.

Hattiesburg Hall of Honor

Col. Sheila Varnado describing an exhibit

Map showing where local personnel served

Colonels Sheila and Fred Varnado
While eagerly awaiting the publication of Quiltfolk Issue 26 Mississippi, I spent an afternoon in a Logs and Ladders Zoom class with Brenda Gael Smith of NSW, Australia. Her colorful work has always fascinated me. It was a fun afternoon's play.

Quiltfolk #26 Mississippi, due April 2023

I'm looking forward to teaching a Pine Belt Quilters Postcard Workshop next week. Here are a couple of examples.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth keeps me company at the computer.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

March Ups and Downs

 Life is so complicated, full of surprises and ups and downs.

Speaking of downs, there were two falls, one on my booty and one on my face. I take the blame for poor decisions and resolve to be even more cautious. I lost the small wallet where I keep some cash and my most-used credit card and a bank debit card for withdrawing cash. I tapped the credit card in CVS, loaded my car, and drove home. Later that day I was texted asking about charges on both cards; when I looked in my purse the small wallet was gone and I figured I had dropped it leaving the store. I'll get all the money back, but the little wallet was a handmade leather zipper purse--a treasured gift. 

Among the ups, Granddaughter Kelsey Boone in Waxahachie, Texas had her third-grade students send me Valentines and then later I got to read (by Zoom) The Llama's Pajamas by my late dear friend Carol Vickers. Here are the front and back covers. 


I made a Fidget Quilt to be given to the Alzheimer's unit at Forrest General Hospital and quilted a top that Bonnie Bolt had planned and Linda Ginn had pieced. 

It's not for pretty, but to give a patient something to hold and handle

Elizabeth thought it was for her

I'm eagerly looking for the arrival in April of Quiltfolk Issue 26, which features Mississippi. My good friends Charlotte Timmons, Julia Graber, and several MQA officers are also pictured. In addition to a subscription and a couple of back issues, I ordered the Dogs issue, where Charlotte Timmons and my SAQA friend Holly Cole are featured. You can read about the photo shoot here.
Issue 26, Mississippi

Martha with Elizabeth, Mississippi Orange Peel on couch
I had a delightful surprise last weekend when some youth from Crosspoint Community Church visited me and demonstrated living out the gospel message of helping where they saw a need. My yard looks so clean and neat after this eager crew picked up limbs, bagged up pine straw from the roof, and many other tasks. I baked a pound cake and enjoyed their cheerful and helpful work ethic. They had so much fun pruning with my cordless clippers we had to direct where to stop. I don't get to see my great-grands in Texas very often, and just being around these lively teens was a special pleasure.

Grayson Hinnant entertaining with a little Scott Joplin on my piano
L to R, Joey Hutchinson, Kaden Leslie, Archie McGee, Todd Jackson, Mason Shivers

The pine straw was thick on the roof

Scraping moss off the paving stones

A mountain of limbs and pine straw

The City truck picked it all up two days later

Grayson planting elephant ears

Saturday, March 4, 2023

My Musical Week

This week has been extra-special because it has been packed with music! The USM Symphony Orchestra and Choral Union thrilled the audience on Tuesday night with the Verdi Requiem. I've sung this before but this time I got to enjoy it without the sacrifice of aching feet, knees, and back. The participants obviously had an experience they will never forget.

The spring Meistersingers concert, An American Portrait, will be this Sunday, March 5, and we have had Sunday, Thursday, and Saturday rehearsals, so this week has been rich with music. 

Spring is coming on with azaleas blooming profusely. This is the view from my front porch, and it gets more beautiful every day. The trees are still bare, but the azaleas are really eye-catching.

Inside, the cat tree is now Elizabeth's favorite spot. She window watches, scratches the posts, fights the dangling mice, and takes long naps. She is a tight fit, but seems quite comfortable. Rahrah is happy to sleep somewhere else, so there's no jockeying for position.

There is a little quilting going on, mostly experimenting with solid colors in Brenda Gael Smith Dreamlines project.