Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What might have been

Even if you're not a country western fan, you've probably heard this song by Little Texas -- it was written more about a male/female relationship, but it can be thought about in a broader sense

I try not to think about what might have been,
Cause that was then,
and we have taken different roads.
We can't go back again,
there's no use giving in,
and there's no way to know, what might have been.

No, we'll never know....
What might have been.

so the past few weeks, since I've had access to the Studio Arts Quilt Association website, I've been reading the back issues of their publication -- clear back to 1991 -- (heh, this is not the way I usually do things, usually I just jump in and fake it, but I'm trying to get an education here -- and my $60 worth!!)

in one of those old publications (newsletter number 2, I believe) there was a write up about a huge (14 by 14 FEET) quilt that was being hung in a public building

and there has been some discussion about folks beginning with a book that was written by Ruby Short McKim and using that as a spring board to the new art quilt movement

back in the 1970s I made this quilt for my grandfather

it is based on patterns in that self-same book by Ruby Short McKim

and that 14x14 foot quilt?

it hung in the convention center of the town I was living in back then

I guess it's okay for me to wonder if I had just kept making quilts back then where my art would have gone by now

it's not too often you see clearly what another path could have been

it's even less often, if ever, that you actually get a chance to walk there too

and there's no way to know, what might have been.

no, but I'm happy to see what might be -- taking what I know now and stepping timidly onto the path --

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Beating the system

sometimes it is possible

earlier this week I received our annual analysis of the escrow account that takes care of the property taxes and insurance on our mortgage

their analysis showed that there would be a shortfall, and they wanted me to send along a check to "make up" the shortfall -- or they could just increase the monthly payment

either option is a royal pain, but the increase would be easier to deal with than coming up with a lump sum that was not planned for

and then on Friday I got the paperwork from the insurance company showing that the rates were going up - AGAIN - despite the fact that we didn't even get to put in that claim on the fence

it just hit me wrong -- what the heck?!

so yesterday I called them

why did the rate go up? because there was an increase in claims in the entire state, so they feel justified in raising my rates --

but after some whining on my part the representative on the phone told be that the company has recently started using a new method to determine what rates to charge and that using that evaluation -- basically writing a new policy with exactly the same riders, conditions, etc. -- might lower my premiums

I figured "why not" and told him I'd like to find out if that would help

(oh and while he was putting data in his computer I could hear one of his co-workers tell someone "we don't just automatically reduce a rate -- we wait until the customer asks" -- suspicious confirmed!!)

the bottom line?

the re-write is going to save me $514!

this week I'll be calling the mortgage company and asking them to re-review the escrow with the new rate in there --- I don't think I'll need to worry about the payment going up

I'm feeling good!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

little things

my mother is getting rid of things

in the process, she has been giving some of them to me to sell on eBay

and some to keep

these were Mammy's

I remember them sitting on her desk in the bedroom of the house that served as what we would call an office now days -- her desk was there in the corner, and the sewing machine was right next to it on the same wall

the sewing machine that I learned to sew on in the table that Pappy built for it

there was just enough room to scoot your chair back then there were boxes of items stacked behind -- they didn't have a basement, that room held the trunk with her childhood doll in it (and a lot more, I just don't really remember what)

its officially summer, and there is something about summer that makes me think about Mammy and Pappy

maybe it is because I spent so many summer days with them as a child --

the garden with the corn and okra

the smell of starch and hot cotton when the ironing was being done

the sound of the sprinkler running in the yard and the fan running in the house

the hot concrete of the sidewalks and the cool tickle of the grass on my bare feet

I recognize now the work that summer was -- I am now the age that Mammy was when I was four years old -- I see her in my mind that way, and I marvel that I am now that old and still feel in ways like I am four

yes, it is the little things -- Mammy collected those little vases -- and I had forgotten about them until my mother pulled them out of a box of dishes

and they go well with a collection of little vases I've gathered on my own

full circle

Friday, June 04, 2010

heart broken and enraged

the pictures that are coming out of the Gulf of Mexico are heart breaking

birds being killed by the horrible thick sludge that has been gushing out of the BP well for 46 days now

we've seen devastation on the Gulf Coast before, but that was from the storms and there was something we felt we could do -- like donate to an organization that was working there --

but this?

this is murder most foul -- being done to the wetlands and the birds and the sea animals by a giant international corporation

who most likely will not even begin to do what they have promised -- make the area "whole" again

because they can't

no one knows how, especially those who are responsible for this "accident"

how many miles and miles of wetlands and beaches will be unusable for months or years or decades?

how many species of plants or animals will simply cease to exist because of this

and what of the human suffering?

the financial ruin (as if those folks hadn't had enough of that) and the illnesses that are sure to follow the exposure to all that petroleum and all those chemicals in the water

and the families of the eleven men who were killed by this "accident"

I'm angry, really angry, about this whole mess -- and truly sad that a close look at this through reality's eye seems that there is nothing any of us "mere mortals" can do to make it better