Sunday, April 24, 2011

American Quilts

Some of the oldest quilted items in museums today are in Egypt and Sicily, these items were created in their entirety. What makes American quilts unique is that women created them out of bits and pieces utilizing scraps which later developed into the American Quilt we know today.

Each quilt begins with a variety of color complimentary fabrics which allows the quilter to imagine patterns and designs to create a unique item. Handmade, each quilt has variations which can be delightfully individual and hopefully pleasing to the eye.

A remnant for the aesthetics movement, quilts are both useful and beautiful. Depending upon the level of detail in the design and the skill of the quilter, quilts can be created in as little as a few hours.

Creating sample miniature designs hearkens back to an era when large Manors were first made in miniature for architectural approval. If approved by the Master then the miniature house was finished and given to the children as a house warming gift.

Small samples of larger items were also created as sales aids throughout the frontier era. A smaller version of large equipment or furniture designs traveled with the sales men by train across the country. Salesmen sent orders back East for the full-size version.

Today, as I completed one section of a full size quilt, I noticed the scraps were large enough to create a miniature just right for a toy-size comfort quilt.

Resources for Dollhouses and Miniatures:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Revolt, uprising, insurgence, upheaval, mutiny, revolution, by any other name it’s still rebellion. For the most part, it doesn’t exist within my home. My spouse, my children and I pretty much get along, with disagreements, sure, but rebellion, no.

We, the parents haven’t created the environment from which our children wish to rebel. The dynamic has created an ever changing and interesting experiment in human development.

Old thoughts: As a youth growing up in a difficult household, I rebelled. While everyone said they were surprised, no one was surprised, there would have been something wrong if I hadn’t rebelled. The dynamics created in that house were of conflict, argument/debate, picking on and putting down. Rebellion was mentally healthy. How it all rolled out, maybe not so healthy. But I've done the work to put it in perspective and correct my errors.

New thoughts: When our three were little. I remember looking at each of them and thinking, I don’t want my children to have all that conflict in their lives that I had growing up. Then I had a thought: wouldn’t it be nice if we had a house where we got along, where we have love and mutual respect.

Matching my actions with my desired goal has provided a space for our kids to be kids without conflict. As young adults, they have a home that is not a battleground, so there is no reason to rebel.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Book Review: Life and Spirit in the Quantum Field

Title: Life and Spirit in the Quantum Field: spirit is real, feelings rule and other adventures in quantum life
Author: Doug Bennett
Publisher: Take Charge Books Brevard, North Carolina
ISBN: 978-0-9815818-1-1
357Pages, Soft Cover
Price: $19.99
Kindle: $8.99

Life and spirit in the Quantum field begins with basic Newtonian philosophy the foundation of our current science structure then builds into Quantum mechanics. From quantum mechanic explanation and the workings of the quantum field Doug Bennett launches into scientific explanation of the unseen world usually the territory of the parapsychologists or religious clerics.

The building blocks of science concepts provide the equations to support the hologram which was an entirely new concept less than a century ago. Holograms are everywhere. How a hologram is and isn’t in time and space lends the mechanism to leap to the quantum field understanding.

The promise of a scientific revolution presents new possibilities for the remedy to the centuries old philosophic schism between the seen and unseen world. Measurable experiments show that light and life are intertwined. The ultra violet rays help the seed sprout. Without light the seed remains inert. Life as a quantum process explains how energy moves into the unseen world to spout the seed in the seen world.

In very scientific language, the practices of faith healing or intuitive experience are explained in quantum energy terminology which potentially can move the open-minded skeptic from their comfort zone into the provable yet scientifically denied realities.

Inner work or psychotherapy coupled with spiritual practice can heal the subconscious to align the conscious analytical mind with the emotional intuitive self.

Putting together the two parts of self in a logical process the science minded can be brought to understanding other spiritual concepts such as the soul, ghosts, heaven, hell and the after life.

Bringing the subject full circle through the final link to religion and the spiritual practices of the ages, the mysteries of unseen world can be explained through scientific methodology. Eastern thought accepts the positive and negative of energy. We have the ability to direct thought to particular ends. Documentation of experiments explain what yogi Masters have known for millennia.

The Life and Spirit in the Quantum Field brings science and philosophy into harmony with both disciplines explaining life from different perception perspectives. The exciting part is that there is no longer the taboo that each field must stay on one side opposed to the other discipline. The promise is the wholeness of understanding life, seen and unseen.

Doug Bennett does an excellent job explaining otherwise difficult concepts for the layperson to understand. Clearly, the scientific audience will be able to move to a whole perspective by following the argument from cover to cover. People familiar with healing energy work will learn about the laboratory language that describes the truth in their daily work.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Review: A Boomer's Guide to Chronic Pain

Title: A Boomer’s Guide to Chronic Pain: The Ultimate Resource for Practical, Effective Advice on How to Live a Full and Active Life While Managing Chronic Pain.
Author: Dr. Michael J. Kaye
Publisher: BookWise Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60645-070-3
Price: $15.95
Soft Cover, 190 pages

Dr. Michael Kaye writes an excellent advice book for people with chronic pain. He eloquently tells the story of impact of chronic pain on the lives of the aging population and provides suggestions for overcoming the most dreadful components of debilitating painful conditions.

All pain isn’t the same. Pain management is different for each person who experiences pain. Some people find that injuries in their teen years come back to haunt them. Other people develop painful health conditions. Dr. Kaye’s step by step approach isn’t just his medical advice; he suffers from chronic pain too.
Readers may take the portions of advice and apply what they will as best they can to improve their quality of life. The advice explains the quickest way to resolve issues as they arise. Preparation and life style changes toward healthful living are essential to come to terms and live with chronic pain.

Gathering trusted health providers and a support network outside your immediate family is essential. While your loved ones do care, they can get burned out. Take your complaints to the proper place and develop a network of helpful professionals and support people who will keep the focus on improvement rather than the suffering.
Subjects covered in the book include: diet, exercise, energy, relationships, money management, fun, sex, work, and education which weaves into a comprehensive plan for individual pain management. Dr. Kaye presents each subject with real people, real life examples from his practice. He offers suggestions that improve life regardless of pain status.

I enjoyed Dr. Kaye’s no-nonsense style of writing. He explained the overall dilemma chronic pain suffers have with the medical system. Increasing pain medication may not always be the answer for patients but it takes most people a long time to figure out they aren’t getting their real needs met.

I highly recommend this book, not only for boomers but anyone who suffers or knows someone who suffers from chronic pain. Buy this book, read it, apply it and live better.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Has It Really Been a Year?

Some call it reflection, others call it inventory: I think it’s just a part of moving forward in life: Review.

Periodically, my mind reviews a particular segment of life: Work, Relationships, Location, Health and Inner Stuff. When I started this process in earnest more than 25 years ago, I followed direction to put it on paper. Through the years the need to put things to paper decreases as the problem to solution or goal to fruition methodology has become ingrained within my neuro-net. So ingrained is this that it would better be described as a continuing stock inventory system rather than a yearly goal setting session.

So it was not surprising when there is a “problem” my brain goes into hyper-drive to find a solution. This trait, call it Type-A personality or liken it to the Rabbit character in Winnie-the-Pooh, is helpful at minimizing situations so that they never become real problems.

The demarcation for this particular inventory came quickly in that it’s been a year since my last cross country move. Logical to look at the state of things/life, as the dust has settled and scramble has turned to routine.

Work ~ this year has marked more regular writing work than ever. With more than 50 ghosted articles sold and a regular technical writing gig, I’m pleased with the quality and the level of output. The downside is the ridiculously low pay. My son said yesterday, “That’s great money for 1856!” and he’s correct.

Relationships ~ really the key to a happy life are the people around. It may be old age creeping up on me hopefully, just wisdom probably a bit of both. But honestly, if it’s difficult, I’m really not interested. Relationships are so much better when they’re easy. Things are easy if everyone is polite.

I’ve noticed there are two kinds of people, probably more but for this example there are two: the kind of person that accepts an apology and the kind of person that continues to tell you how awful you are after you apologize.

Disrespect just leads to hard feelings, or in tough places, mortal peril. Personally, I choose to be polite for social cohesion. It’s easier to navigate situations if everyone cooperates and is forthright. I know, some would say I’m trying to live on Cloud Nine. And I would reply: If Cloud Nine requires manners then, yes. I require good behavior from myself when I make a mistake, I apologize and so expect the same from others.

Then of course, there are the people with whom I have no business being around. Take my ex, please! Seriously, we are ex, we don’t talk, we aren’t friends. If people ask me why? He's my ex, duh... Those who knew us should attest that the world is a happier place for the distance between us. After a number of years, I had a dream where I discovered he was doing really well. I woke really hoping the dream was true that he was doing well. I don’t know if he is or isn’t. It’s none of my business, that’s the ex-part. I consider this segment complete.

I learned a long time ago a relationship takes two people with a similar vision for the relationship for both people to be happy. I remind myself of that periodically as I continue life’s construction.

Location ~ Location, Location, Location… it’s true. Wishing to be somewhere and being somewhere are two entirely different things. Make a decision. Be there.

Health ~ As an issue health has come to the fore in the news as the overweight people outnumber the physically fit. The percentages coincide with the level of poverty and unhappiness, though not by simple equation. A simple way to live is healthfully: Eat right, sleep enough, avoid anger, and love daily.

Health is one of my favorite topics. I’ve been published on this subject more than any other in the last 20 years, probably because I love eating. I love good food. The flavors, spices, and textures of good food made into a fabulous dish is one of the things that make life enjoyable.

Memorable food moments this year: avocado off a tree, orange juice from personally picked oranges, Churro @ Olvera St, Soup in a Bread Bowl @ New Orleans Square, my daughter’s potato soup, ripe jalapeños, my neighbor’s lentil soup, my husband’s veggie burgers, my son’s quesadilla, my son’s rice & beans… I just discovered, the way to make my list of favorite people is to cook a tasty dish.

Inner Stuff (old & new) ~ I have these things called thoughts and feelings. Sometimes they’re old, sometimes their new, sometimes useful, sometimes just clutter… I decided to de-clutter the old and useless, just let it go, don’t beat the dead horse. Life got lighter, calmer, happier.

I liken the inner stuff to a closet. When I started my Fibber McGee closet was full. If I opened the door stuff would tumble out with a crash. Life went from one crash to another. It also made seeing today in reality difficult, if not impossible. Reality is where it’s at baby. Reality is today!

At a moment of clarity I realized I didn’t like the way a bunch of the old stuff felt when it crashed and I set about throwing out the stuff I didn’t want anymore. Some of closet junk I gave back to others, it wasn’t mine to keep. Some of the junk was mine and I had to face it, deal with it and move on. Some of the stuff was useful, some stuff was pleasant so I tidied up and placed those items in a mental file: Things Worth Remembering.

Things Worth Remembering:
Like the Kitty: Allergic to Kitty: Don’t pet Kitty.
Kids, like vegetables, spoil if you put them on a shelf & forget about them.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Share good things, it makes the world a better place.