95. Penultimate

Here we are, so close to the end. So soon.

I started this blog with a book and a project, the Bible Sampler Quilt, 96 Classic Quilt Blocks Inspired by the Bible.

I numbered each post to match its corresponding block. I found as my blogging confidence grew, I posted about other things too. Those posts did not get numbered so I could keep the project in order. Lately I’ve been posting more about other things, and I know exactly why.

I’m doing the usual. When I find myself approaching a finish line, I drag my feet. I slow down my reading near the end of a good book. I stay through the credits at the movies. I’m nearly last to leave at parties, because I’m the one who helps clear up, which is sometimes the best part. I sip the last drops of coffee slowly and chew the last bite of dessert like a sloth. I want to make sure I savored it all before it is done.

I think jumping in to the OMG (One Monthly Goal) this year is having a ripple effect on me. It nudged this project into view while I was picking out which UFOs to finish. There is a danger in savoring something too long; it may reach its saturation point, then grow stale. Get done and get out while you’re still wanting more.

Anyways, ready or not, here I am, at the second to last quilt block, number 95. I don’t want this to end. But wait! I’ll not stop at 96! I’ll go for the perfect 100, like Job’s life. This will make a layout of 10 by 10 possible. I love square quilts. It’ll be fun finding four more blocks to create and write about. Surely after 100 blocks, I’ll happily call this DONE.

Here it is, block number 95.

Revelation 22:10-16

And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

The Basket Under My Desk

Here’s the basket I mentioned in my last post.

Yes, I tidied up for the photo, but not in the basket

I have other projects hanging on hangers, folded in tote bags, stowed in bins, and sitting in cute baskets on shelves, lest you mistakenly think this is the sum total of my UFOs. I don’t think you thought that. We find each other showing up in the same places for a reason. If you’re reading this as a link from the Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Challenge, then you too probably have too many projects to count in various stages of development. I’m guessing being in the middle of a project is your favorite part too, rather than starting or finishing. I tend to stretch things out as long as I can.

But I put a few things in this basket that I wanted to complete. In these cases, I’m over it, being in the middle that is. I thought shoving them under my feet and bumping them every time I sat down would annoy me enough to get at them.

But it didn’t. They lingered. And lingered. Ugh. What I needed was a challenge, and Elm Street Quilts has the one that works for me. My plan is to work my way through this heap month by month. I already feel better after January’s finish went away. That basket will be out from under my feet before long. Thank you ladies of the OMG.

My goal for February is a small one, being that it’s a short month, with taxes to prep, and blah blah blah. This crocheted lovely drapes a couch, but I threw it in the basket ages ago because a certain visiting dog (ahem Audrey), clawed it every time she jumped up on that couch (which is not allowed.)

I haven’t counted, but there are a LOT of these to fix

I’ll spend the month quietly stitching it back together each evening as we watch our nightly episode of Heartbeat. I’m looking forward to it.

Woman With a Chicken on her Foot

. . . was just one of many photos I wish I’d snapped last week. She was sitting in her wheelchair, astride a table filled with little tourist gifts. I don’t know what those were, I focused on the scrawny chicken perched atop one wrinkled, sandaled foot. It would’ve been amazing, but also rude, to take her picture. So I didn’t.

We were in Mazatlan watching the divers risk their lives for tips.

Another sight I wish I’d been ready for was seeing big iguanas slither in and out of drainpipes on the sidewalks of Mazatlan. I DID manage to snap a photo on a basketball court.

It was running from us. I wish I had set my phone to video.

I snapped these guys as they walked down the Malecon in La Paz.

The picture I should have taken was when they were dancing and drumming, but I didn’t have any spare change, so it would have been rude.

Can you see the kite surfers? I wish you could see how they flew and spun through the air.

La Paz pier

I took some great photos too. But I have those. I want to remember the ones that got away, so I’m writing about them today. When we were shuttled into La Paz from the ship, I saw a congregation of about six dogs sitting in an empty lot. They were your classic Mexican street dogs, medium sized, short haired, hungry-eyed. They were formed in a loose circle, apart from each other in equal distances, as if someone had arranged them on purpose. Fascinating.

The last photo fail I’m sharing today is this one at Cabo San Lucas. We were on a catamaran and snorkeling. But some humpback whales showed up as well. So much for my timing.

See that blackish lump in the water? Yep.

Oh! I almost forgot – seen on the street in Mazatlan . . .

I didn’t have time to find the shop and check it out.

It’s time to share my finish for the One Monthly Goal Challenge over at Elm Street Quilts.


I have a large basket under my desk with a pile of lingering to-dos. This one was my oldest, on the very bottom of the stack. I needed a reason to finish it, and a good reason finally presented itself. It’s going with three other baby quilts to the Birthchoice center.

Quilting is clouds and hearts
Clouds, hearts, and rainbows: sweet dreams to the little one who will be wrapped in love and promises.

Is It Any Wonder

I made this out of a ripped, stained bureau scarf. But the subject of this post is spinach today.

A little eye candy

Do you do this too? When shopping, I optimistically buy a large package of fresh spinach. Plans of healthy smoothies and salads form in my head. When I unpack the groceries, I place it in the refrigerator right up in front where I can see it.

Despite this proactive tactic, I forget about it. Life gets busy, we eat out, it eventually gets thrown away, slimy and stinky.

Today I actually noticed the current bag of spinach before it was a total loss. I could save and freeze about half of the bag’s contents. As I rinsed and picked out the good leaves, the scent of the slimy ones connected my olfactory nerve with my memory bank, resulting in a vivid memory. I was back in the cafeteria at my elementary school. I was looking down at the portion of cooked spinach in my light green melmac lunch tray. Lifted from its section with a fork, the dripping, clinging pieces of stinky spinach behaved and smelled exactly like the ones I was dealing with now.

Wait, did those hair netted cooks actually use rotting spinach? Did they know how disgusting their side dish was? It wasn’t flavored, salted, buttered, nothing. It was just cooked, but cold by the time I sat down on the long bench.

This wouldn’t be worth writing about, except for this next part. There were lunch ladies, two of them, that had the power to excuse you from the table. Once you had eaten your lunch, you had to raise your hand and wait for one of them to stroll over, inspect your lunch, then allow you to be dismissed. They wouldn’t let you go unless all your food was eaten and your place clean. One of them we nicknamed “Sea Hag”. I know, it sounds cruel, but it was chosen for a reason.

I didn’t buy lunch often, but I did on birthday day. Once a month there was a cupcake included with the menu. That day I was full from the spaghetti, the cupcake, and the carton of milk. I just couldn’t imagine eating that awful spinach. I raised my hand, hoping against hope. Sea Hag walked over, bent over my head, then declared that I had to eat it all before I could be excused. There was no negotiating. Some had tried tears.

I ate the spinach.

So lately I’ve been hearing that the “snowflakes” were created by their parents, the “boomers”. I ask you, is it any wonder? Who would blame us for our attempts to make the world a kinder, gentler place. Our protective actions were motivated by memories like this one.

I guess it’s true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But if I had it to do all over again, I still wouldn’t let my kids drink out of the hose, or play with the mercury from the broken thermometers, or feel guilty for not belonging to the clean plate club.

P.S. Can you fill in the blanks?

“I’m strong to the finich

‘Cause I eats me spinach,

I’m __________ the ___________ ______!”

(Toot toot)

The Reason

I meant to do my work to-day—
But a brown bird sang in the apple-tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand—
So what could I do but laugh and go?

Richard Le Gallienne

My very oldest UFO

Hello everyone,

It’s been a minute.

Why haven’t I been blogging you ask? I answer with a shrug, then point out the window where at this moment several doves are peacefully dining at the feeder. I am that lazy.

I have been simply bobbing along these past months, enjoying the swells and waves of every day life. I’ve been soaking in the sensations, sights, smells, for what they are, without making the effort to direct or interpret the meaning of all the feels. I have put no pressure on no one for no thing, including myself. It’s been wonderful.

But I just now made an impulsive decision. I’m going to join up with the One Monthly Goal challenge over at Elm Street quilts.


I did this a couple of years ago, and it was fun. I’m all about doing things that are fun right now. I met my challenges all twelve months that year. It felt very good. So I declare here and now, on this fifth day of January in the new year of 2023, that I will quilt up my oldest UFO. It will be donated to the Birthchoice Center.

I’ll be back.

94. Overthinking It

I saw something today that gave me a smile. A T-shirt said “practice self care – read the Bible”.”


And if I may add, don’t overthink it. Just open it up, pray before you begin that the Holy Spirit will guide you to the truth, and go for it.

I was a little nervous about taking on the Book of Revelation. We had history, as I listened to all sorts of interpretations when I read it the first time as a teen. Anyone else remember Hal Lindsey? Anyone else go to see “A Thief in the Night” at an old movie theater converted into a church? The teachings were dreadful, foreboding, and all agreed we were going to suffer horrible tribulations before we were rescued by the rapture. Just be sure you’re not left behind. It’s hard to get beyond those memories.

But this time I prayed, and read line by line, verse by verse. I didn’t overthink it. And this time, the gospel showed itself through and through.

Steps to Glory

This next block in the Bible Sampler Quilt was…. Actually, I can’t think of the right word for what it was to make. I tried to see a pattern, a clue in the design that explained why it’s called “Steps to Glory”. But for the life of me, I just couldn’t figure it out. I still can’t. And I think I have it upside down in this photo to boot.

I considered tossing it, to replace with a more appealing block. But no, I’m so close to the end, I don’t want to make the extra effort now. I’ll be making four extra blocks anyways to round up the quilt to an even 100 blocks. All that extra effort wouldn’t amount to much of a difference in the whole scheme of things. I was overthinking it. Leave it be. Put it in.

And maybe THAT’S the message in this block. Our steps to glory don’t cut a clear path. They can’t. We can’t see our own way into Heaven. The steps we take lead us nowhere, to dead ends. We would never make it to those golden streets by our own righteousness. This passage ends with verse 27: “But nothing unclean will ever enter it, or anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Just like this random quilt block, we cannot rely on our powers of reason and judgment to figure it all out. What exactly are, then, the steps we can take to make it to glory? We don’t need to overthink it: Simply repent of our sins to the Lamb, Jesus Christ. He promises to forgive our sins, and write our names into His book of life.

Self-care at its best.

93. Thirsty for Relevance

I think I probably started blogging for this very reason. I thought I was using this site to chronicle my journey through the Bible and the sampler quilt project. But to be honest, I’m sure some motivation came from a need to be relevant. I had just left a profession termed “Hollywood for ugly people”. I had been the teacher equivalent of a rock star in my school community. There’s nothing more affirming than being spotted in the wild by a gaggle of little girls who then drop everything and run at top speed towards you across the mall to hug and say hello. Am I right, my fellow teachers out there? You’re told that you inform and influence the future. You touch hundreds of lives over the span of your career.

Deep down, I believe we all thirst for relevance in our own ways. We’ve been created for eternity, yet exist in a temporal state. We strive to spend our time wisely, even in our hobbies. We wish to create things that last. We hope to leave a legacy, to someday be gone but not forgotten. We label and sign our quilts as we give them away to our loved ones. (I confess I do not label my quilts, but I plan to start with this one.)

Playing with layouts

I’m down to the final row of blocks, and I’ve joined the ones I’ve finished. As the blocks of this quilt are coming together, my hope is that it will be important to someone when I’m gone. But who am I kidding? As I look around me now, I don’t see it happening. My family isn’t into it at all.

But that’s okay. I’m still having fun, and the passage for this next block reminds me that it won’t even matter in the end.

Emerald Block

Revelation 21:15 -20 – “The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. . . The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.”

There’s the old joke about the guy who labored his entire life. When he realized his days on earth were growing short, he consolidated all of his hard earned assets and bought gold. His life’s work was smelted and formed into one gold bar. One solid gold bar. When he died, he proudly brought it with him to St. Peter’s Gate. St. Peter took one look at what the man carried in his arms, and said, “Why’d you bring pavement with you? We’ve got plenty. Here, just throw it into that junk heap over there and come on in.”

There’s also the notion that our good deeds earn us jewels in our crowns. I don’t know where this idea came from. I do know that we are given royal status, as fellow heirs with Jesus of His kingdom. So I suppose there could be crowns involved in that scenario. Maybe those are the crowns the elders laid at the feet of Jesus in chapter 3 of Revelation. And they’re basically just returning what was given to them by Jesus in the first place.

So in the end, anything we have achieved or created in our time here on earth will not matter to us one. little. bit. Instead, we’re going to be overflowing with gratitude for what God achieved for us. He is the One who made us to be thirsty for relevance. He is the One who gives us that relevance. And those jeweled city streets of Heaven sound amazing, don’t they?

92. The Ark

Today I rescued a frog from our freshly chlorinated pool. Whenever I move a frog from a place of danger to a safer location, I think of a movie we were shown in Junior High School.

Safe in the water fountain

I can’t remember the name of that school movie: Eden, Genesis, something like that. It was about a future world destroyed by pollution, by man. The sky was gray with smog, everyone wore gas masks. One man, a scientist? took it upon himself to build a huge greenhouse, a self contained glass bubble in an inhospitable land.

He worked tirelessly to cultivate growth inside, and rescue anything still surviving outside the bubble. So now I’m getting to the frog. The opening scene is of a frog hopping along on the cracked, parched earth. Sounds of the city and industry fill the air with noise pollution. You wonder where in the world this movie is set, and why a frog is out in the middle of that industrial wasteland. Then a man gently picks up the frog, and returns to a greenhouse. The lush sounds of water flowing and birds singing are such a contrast to the world outside. I don’t remember there being any dialogue, just the sounds. But there’s a story line. The movie ends with the outsiders wanting to get in, presumably to exploit the last of what was left of the natural world. This couldn’t happen without destroying the fragile environment the man had so carefully balanced. They press their masked faces to the glass, growing more agitated when the scientist could not let them enter. Someone starts throwing rocks at the glass, soon the crowd joins in, and all is destroyed.

That same year, Earth Day was instituted.

Come to think of it, there were lots of movies and documentaries about the “environmental crisis” as it was called back then. We all sang along to “In the Year 2525” on our transistor radios.

Another movie, Soylent Green, was made in 1972. It made you feel guilty for living, and therefore using resources, thereby destroying the environment. So your patriotic duty was to “give back” what your carbon footprint took. It was outlandish and shocking. And get this, it was set in the year 2022. I kid you not.

So, here we are, in the year 2022. Once again, the focus is on climate change, and we’re told things are winding down, and winding down quickly. And here I am, in the last two chapters of Revelation as I slowly progress through my Bible Sampler quilt blocks.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” Rev. 21:1

Gate Block

The next block looks like an H rather than a gate. No matter, all that matters is that we make it through that gate to the other side. That scientist couldn’t open his doors to let others into his Eden. And for all his efforts, he was unable to save the earth. But it’s all going to pass away anyways, and we have our rescue. Jesus is the gatekeeper to His new heaven and new earth. In fact, he IS the gate. In John 14:6 Jesus declared “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

P.S. I just googled and found the name of the movie, it was “Ark”. Whether ark, or gate, or cross, we have passage through this world to the next secured in Jesus. Amen.


Hi Everyone,

Not much happening around here, besides the never ending record-breaking heat wave. I thought I’d pop in to show you what has kept me occupied as of late:

Here’s part of this morning’s haul. The tomatoes will go to a caprese salad, the hornworms to some chickens.

My morning routine: Make a cup of coffee, pull on shorts and flip flops and go out to the garden beds. Pick the ripe stuff, and pick the bugs off the plants. By the time I’m done, it’s too sunny and too hot to stay outside.

I am seriously growing old looking for these critters. These destructive nuisances hide in plain sight. It takes forever to see them. I follow the frass, but they don’t travel in a clear path. The fact that the numbers are dwindling each day sustains me.

But of course there will be more tomorrow morning.

That is all. Have a fruitful day everyone.

#followthefrass #hiddeninplainsight