Nameless Threat (Part 1)

There are some things in life you just can’t control. I’ve come to the conclusion that family is probably the most unpredictable, and old women are the worst. My husband’s mother called last week and told me she was coming to live in Yakima.

I swore silently, decided I wasn’t going to sleep yet and turned on the bedside lamp. Gordon was sleeping open-mouthed beside me, not quite snoring. Envying his ability to fall asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, I padded out to the kitchen in my purple fuzzy slippers.

The same thoughts were swirling around in my head over and over: Why me? Why was she coming to live with me in her cranky old widowhood? My forehead thunked the counter as the teapot began to whistle. I poured hot water over a Sleepy Time teabag and decided I was screwed. Opal and I have always gotten along on a very superficial basis. I love her son and she does too, but living in the same town and living a thousand miles away were two very different things. Continue reading

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Bertie Layman was just trying to find some peace and quiet. That didn’t happen anymore, not since he’d gotten married to the love of his life. He thought his father-in-law’s den would be the perfect place to hide because Maddie said it was repulsive. He liked it, though. It was a man-cave with dark wood-paneled walls and honey leather furniture worn soft as butter. The trophy animals staring at him with dark blank eyes made him feel powerful. Continue reading

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Ecological Home Economist Saves the Day!

Melody was looking down the barrel of a gun into the eyes of a bank robber. She smiled warmly and he looked startled.

Mel was very pleased because her morning had been exactly like all her other mornings and she had thought that today would be like all the other days in her well-planned life. She had gotten her two children out the door to school (a boy and a girl like all well-planned families) and kissed her husband of eleven years goodbye. She drank coffee while she read the newspaper, planned dinner and made lists. She was glad she decided to run her errands before cleaning house today.

“What are you smilin’ at lady?” Continue reading

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Theory of Light

In a gray city just south of the Puget Sound, a girl left school and began walking. The squeak of her rain boots was the only sound she made as she weaved through groups of teenagers. She zipped her green raincoat up to the neck and flipped the hood over her long braid, shielding her face from the incessant drizzle. She walked with her head down, moisture dripping onto the wet gray pavement. Down the sidewalk she swished, crossing at two lights and climbing a flight of stairs. She loved standing on the overpass, watching the cars scream down the highway. The gray road melded into the gray sky. The chain link fencing kept her from leaning too far over, while the rain dripped off her raincoat. She closed her eyes and listened to the rain tap her head, the sound magnified through the rubber hood. Soft flannel lining warmed her skin. Continue reading

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Old Age

I will get old. Should I age gracefully?
Buy creams that make me look young while letting my hair fade?
Traveling the world continuously leaping
from place to place not existing in form but in soul
bringing water to children then shopping at Les Puces
for an afternoon of rest, remaining viable and desired
jetting back to the States on a visit to my grown children
and amaze at all their accomplishments. But then— Continue reading

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Party Hats

My oldest son is 16. I made him his first quilt when he was about 4 years old and it had been worn to shreds. I had a dilemma–how do I make him a quilt that signifies his love of everything outer space, but maintain the dignity of a teenager? I found this pattern called “party hats” on McCall’s quilting website and thought it looked like simple stars. I had not done anything more complicated than squares and strips before, so I was entering new territory. I was surprised to find this block very easy to piece together. He really likes it and always has it on his bed.


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Hourglass quilt

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It all starts with fabric. I love fabric. I wander slowly through the fabric store, touching each bolt tenderly. Continue reading

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