Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Summer winding down

Cool nights and mornings and warm afternoons work perfectly for me. September in Portland is good. I spent some time sitting on the deck and stitching on my next Twelve by Twelve challenge quilt yesterday and wished I did that more often.

Unlike most of my work, this one has a lot of hand stitching on it. I decided to try something quite different from my usual style for this round. The color challenge of rust and patina colors spoke to me. I am not sure how well I will like it or if it will really be very exciting. Right now I am thinking it reminds me of things I have seen on the walls of hotel rooms. Nice hotels, but still ...

You can see a corner of our garden in the background. While the rest of the country was burning up, we have had the latest, coolest summer here. We have one tomato. The deer ate the rest. (The white cages went over the tomatoes after the deer were here.) We have a couple of teeny tiny eggplants. We have parsley and we have basil. And we have a mystery, volunteer vine with interesting pods on it. I hope aliens don't hatch out of them.

Today I took my Mother's Day gift, a giftcard for Powell's Books, and spent it. Powell's, as you may know, is the famous Portland Bookstore that occupies an entire city block and is several stories high, packed to the rafters with books. It is the seventh wonder of the modern world. It is also an expedition. Parking, alone, is tremendously challenging. I usually end up driving around and around the surrounding blocks, for 20 or 30 minutes waiting for someone to vacate a parking space. They do have the scariest parking garage in the world, but I did that once and that was enough for me. (For starters the up and down ramp is one and the same and only wide enough for one car—) Lucky for me, there is a Beaverton store. Much closer to where I live and it is on one level and has a huge, free parking lot. Smaller, of course than the seventh wonder, but still a respectably well-stocked and pleasant store. That's where I went today. I had nothing in mind when I went in, but came out with the Quilting Arts Gift issue, a novel from the sale table and a copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style. Remember how I said I was trying to be a better writer. I thought Strunk and White might help. I have never owned a copy. Or so I thought. Ray came home this evening and pointed out that we have quite an old copy right under my nose in the bookcase. I think it was at his office for years and I didn't even know about it.

Now we have two—a 1979 edition and my new 2000 edition. You may be able to see that the old one cost $1.95. The one I bought today cost $9.95. I am reading it from cover to cover.

I also went to the library with Sofia today. We go every Tuesday and she gets 3 books. Today I got a book for myself too. It is The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. I really liked her book, The Secret Life of Bees. So I am well-stocked with reading material.

I must mention the lovely comments that were left on my post about trying to do better. So thoughtful and eloquent. Leigh left a quote from Martin Luther King, that sums up, beautifully, what most of you wrote.
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
Here's to walking in the light.


  1. Terry, you are already a lovely writer. However, Strunk & White makes for very interesting reading, even if you're not trying to improve. I'd be interested to know if there are many changes between your two editions ... I would bet, "Not!"

  2. Hear hear!

    I think hotel art gets a bad rap. Your stitching looks lovely. Is the black felt?

    You are a beautiful, thoughtful writer. I'm sure S&W will prove interesting reading. I see the switched up all the fonts on the new version.

  3. You are the best story teller. I can't imagine you needing this book, but perhaps, you will become a stellar story teller.

    Can't wait to see what you are doing with rust.

  4. I agree with the others, you are a wonderful writer. The book takes me back to English 101. It is a fun read and I do remember some of it. Enjoy the sunshine!

  5. QA Gifts issue is out!!! I have a meeting tonight - I'll have to wait until tomorrow darnit!

    S&W - good to re-remember the rules before breaking them in the name of art. :) I also would like to know if there is much different between the old and new versions.

  6. I've bought books that I already had in my bookcase.
    My Elements is from 1959
    (3rd printing 1963) -- perhaps I need a new one.
    I received a used book I'd ordered from Powell's yesterday. I've almost finished it. It is by Sara Hoskinson Frommer. All of her books are out of print so one has to buy them used.

  7. Martin Luther King was such an eloquent and insightful man. Too bad most people find the path of selfishness to be so much easier to follow than that of light (I know I fall into that far too often). Speaking of eloquence, I've enjoyed reading your blog for many years so I'm certain that any S&W influence will only increase my enjoyment. I like your hotel art too. The colors are wonderful.

  8. I agree that S&W has little to teach you, though it should be fun to read through (again?).
    I'm also in total agreement about the scariness of Powell's garage, and have the bumper scrapes to prove it. fwiw, I can almost always find parking on Davis opposite the Contemporary Crafts Museum, or on the adjacent North Park Blocks.