Saturday, March 31, 2012

Born To Run

A couple of months ago, I read Born To Run, a fantastic book (and no, not about Bruce Springsteen) which opened my mind to the idea of really becoming a runner--not an ultra-runner as the book mostly talks about, but just a better runner, one who enjoys getting out there for the pure joy of pushing my body to its limits. My limits happen to be in the three-mile range, not the 50 or 100+ range. But there are runners who push themselves to great distances, in terrain that is less than hospitable. One of these runners is Micah True, featured in Born To Run by his nickname, "Caballo Blanco."

True has gone missing, while out for a run earlier this week. This is a man who knows the trails he was using, and though New Mexico is mild by day, it's been below freezing at night.

My thoughts are with True and I'm hoping for a good outcome to this story.

UPDATE: True's body has been found this evening. A sad loss for the running community.

Friday, March 30, 2012


It's been a fun week. A busy week. A teensy bit stressful (the guy who reinstated my unemployment benefits forgot to file the paperwork and it took me nearly a full week to find this out because getting a real human being at EDD is next to impossible, and they also don't like to listen to their voice mail, apparently. All's well that ends well, however, and my money is safely in my account now, so I can pay my bloomin' bills).

Anyway, I had some time for fun this week. Wednesday was a crazy day of getting Keane tickets (got 'em! They're MINE ALL MINE) and giving M. the Reasonable a Keane CD (ask and you shall receive...). No word yet on what he thinks, as I haven't seen him since then.

Wednesday evening, I met Meghan for dinner and a pint at Kinnee O'Reilly's Irish Pub. She had told me to "dress hot," so I wore my size 6 jeans and a red tank top.

My pendant says "Mischief Managed." Mischief is managed, indeed.
I had a pint of Magner's cider and it was awesome. Cali Swimmy approved:

It's always lovely to catch up with Meghan, and we spent several hours just chatting and enjoying our food and pints.

Yesterday, one of Dad's long-time military friends, Barry, came to visit. He lives in Arizona these days, and was in California for a funeral. He stopped by to see Dad and another old friend of theirs, Vern. Vern and his wife Clare live here in Lincoln and are quite good friends of my parents.

All of these people were in each others' weddings and whatnot--Dad, Vern and Barry go back to nav school in the 60s. These are friendships that run very deep.

I absolutely love Vern and Clare, and I know so many stories about Dad and Barry that I felt like I knew him even though I hadn't seen him since I was a kid. It was fun to sit around chatting with him and my parents. I tagged along with all of them to a lovely dinner and loved watching the guys banter and bullshit back and forth. Mom said this morning, "What you saw last night--that's how they've always been with each other." It's marvelous.

It was a great evening out, and I offered to snap a picture of all of them. Military friendships run deep, and for many, many years.

Barry, Vern, Clare, Mom, Dad
Even if Dad did once throw a firecracker in the bathroom while Barry was in there. Yes, Dad was the "little fart" in the group, according to Barry. This does not surprise me.

Oh, and according to Barry, I not only look like my dad, I have his mannerisms, as well. I'm both flattered and frightened by this!!

So it's been a good week. There are some hopeful developments starting to appear on the job horizon, so I'll be asking for crossed fingers, good juju, prayers, or whatever else you have for me in the coming month or two. I'm working hard to find something.

For now, however, the gym beckons. I have my weekly assignment to complete, and two nights of cider and wine to burn off!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I posted this picture on Facebook last night, and as of this writing, it has 40 "likes" and 27 comments.

Highlights include:

"W.O.W. OMG Meg - look at those legs!"

"D*mn, you look AWESOME!"

"phew phuw..............How do you whistle on facebook ?!"

And my personal favorite, from Maayan:

"Dude. I am THIS close to making this my Desktop image. Amazingly gorgeous!!"

Yes, those are size six jeans. I weighed in yesterday at 147, an astounding 75 pounds from where I started in February 2009. Last night at choir rehearsal, one of my fellow sopranos remarked that I'm looking great. When I told her how much I've lost, she started telling all the other ladies around us. I got a ton of compliments, and I love knowing I'm one of the successful people. 

Suddenly, the 130s aren't so far off. Another five pounds, and I'll have lost 80. It's so amazing, getting to that point where I'm about to arrive at my goal. And, you know, having a waistline. And awesome muscles. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

There She Goes Again...

I woke up this morning to news of Keane's North American tour--they are coming to Oakland on June 30!! Excited? Me?

For those who may be newer readers of my blog, here's a little back story:

In 2009, I was looking to go to some gigs and hear more live music. I love concerts. I heard that Keane was coming to town, and I was interested in hearing them. I knew exactly one song--"Somewhere Only We Know," but it was one of my favorite songs in my iTunes library, and the 2nd most-played behind a Maroon 5 song.

Anyway, I walked into that gig expecting a nice evening out and walked out a super-fan. These guys are the real deal--talented, with great songs and stage presence. It was love at first note. Since then, I've collected every possible song, read tons of interviews, and watched a lot of YouTube videos.

In July 2010, I got to meet Tim and Richard after another gig they did in Oakland. Both were lovely, and in the time since that gig, I've interacted with Richard a lot on Twitter.

My first response from Richard. I nearly squeed myself.

Wishing me luck on a job interview.

Yes, he took a sign pic just for me.

Our most recent interaction; Keane was in Texas recently for South
By Southwest.

Now, here's the thing. I'm aware that I am a 30-something woman, but allow me to have one band obsession. I just love these guys--for their music, for their philanthropy, and for how they treat their fans. They don't take their success for granted...and they keep putting out quality music. What's not to love?

Today, I had an appointment with M. the Reasonable, and I was a little chagrined, but I had to ask--could he possibly see me at a different time on Wednesday? The pre-sale is happening and I want to get my tickets. (I'll add here that once again, Summer is accompanying me...yay!!!) I said something about being a dork and M., the sweetie, simply said with a completely straight face, "I don't think it's dorky. I know how important they are to you."

(We talk about music a lot, and I talk about Keane a lot.)

In fact, he's asked me to share some songs with him so he can check them out for himself. Excellent. I always love to educate people on how awesome Keane is!

So bear with me--the next few months will see a building crescendo of excitement and fangirliness from Yours Truly.

Richard Hughes and a very giddy Yours Truly.

Tim Rice-Oxley, who was so gracious to the dork who said, "Oh, my God,
you're so tall!"
Keane's a'coming!!!!

Monday Music: Styx

I am featuring this song because it just came on my iTunes as I sat here and wondered what to feature for Monday Music this week. I've had all kinds of blogging mojo this weekend, and then it came time to schedule Monday Music and I draw a big blank. Go figure.

At least it's not more Keane, right? : P

Anyway, this is a terrific song.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Run, Meggie, Run!

This is me lately...feeling like something that has
held me back is breaking off and giving me freedom.
That girl is a running fool.

On Thursday, I didn't set out to set a new best time on my running route. I was just glad to get back outside, far, far away from the "dreadmill." This morning, I set off for my Sunday morning run with a happy smile; a break in this weekend's rain storms gave me a nice window to do my full warm-up walk, 2.5-mile run, and "active recovery" walk home without risking my Mizunos.

Again, I did not set out to set a new best time.

When I arrived at my normal starting point, I broke into a run, starting my stopwatch and immediately setting the iPod screen to show the "now playing" option instead of my time. I thought I might be going a little faster than usual, but my legs felt good and everything else was copacetic, as well. So (to quote Forrest Gump), "I...just ran."

All was well.

Then I got to the 2-mile mark. At two miles, I turn off onto a main road, and thus begins the hardest part of my run--the last half-mile. It's not particularly difficult. It's mostly flat, but mentally, that part of my run is always a killer. It's where I'm most likely to walk. It's where I always have to push myself. And today, as I rounded the corner, it's where I got a horrible stitch in my side.

I continued running, and refocused my breathing, taking deep breaths all the way down to my belly and puffing them out as I've been taught. The stitch would not subside. So I walked for a moment, until it started to go away, then I gamely began running again.

It immediately returned.

At this point, for some reason, I did something I usually don't do--I checked my time. I guess I figured that if I wasn't gearing towards a new best time, I'd just walk the rest of the way, by now somewhere between one-quarter and one-half of a mile. I was jogging pitifully, resisting the urge to hold my side, when I realized that the clock was nearing 24 minutes...definitely faster than usual.

So I decided to push. Three years ago, quitting time would have come long before this. Today, I wanted that best time. I ran harder. The stitch in my side remained, and as I pushed myself, my stomach started to feel a little queasy. I grimly thought that I'd rather be fast and get sick at the end than give up now.

When I reached my stoplight-pole/finish line, I looked again at my stopwatch, figuring anything faster than Thursday's 28:28 would be fantastic. Imagine my complete surprise when I hit the stop button and realized my time was 26:53--a whopping minute-and-a-half faster.

Taking heaving breaths and willing my angry stomach to settle down, I started my long, uphill recovery walk home. I gasped out loud, a few quick "Oh, my Gods" and some huffs of laughter. My shirt was drenched and my hair dripping. It was so very, very satisfying.

Runners are a special breed. We get to that point where we'll risk throwing up in public and many other indignities (I have read blogs about people wetting and/or soiling themselves, spending a good portion of the race in a Porta-Potty, and all kinds of things) all in the quest of a new best time, or even just finishing the race. One of my fellow running fools on Twitter just posted this blog post tonight, Crawl. Watch the video he shared--you may not understand why anyone would put themselves through the misery and discomfort of a140.6-mile race (I surely don't have any grand dreams of doing that, ever, or even a marathon. I love my running, but I'll stick to 5Ks and maybe eventually 10Ks). You may not understand why anyone could do that to their body. But I dare you not to tear up watching these two women crawl. That heart, that desire, is what pushes runners along. It's what makes me, the former fat girl, now a running fool, ignore a stitch in the side and an angry stomach, all in the quest to shave some time off of a daily two-and-a-half-mile run.

It's a runner thing.

Paying It Forward

About a month ago, I went to San Francisco for a day to clear my head and take copious amounts of sign and architecture pictures. It was a lovely day out, with lots of walking in the sunshine, enjoying San Francisco's unique vibe, and window-shopping.

But what stands out from that day is something that happened as I returned home that evening. Traveling along Interstate 80, I came to the toll booth at the Carquinez Bridge, and pulled a five dollar bill out of my purse to pay the toll. When I reached the toll booth however, the toll collector smiled and informed me that the car ahead of me had paid my toll.

Confused, I tried again to hand him my fiver. He just smiled and said, "No, you're fine," while waving me through.

A total stranger had paid my toll for me!

This random act of kindness brought a smile to my face, and I vowed I would pay it forward. Then, as happens, life got busy and stressful and I put the idea on the back burner...until this weekend.

I went to Oakland on Friday afternoon to see Summer, and attend her Friday night choir concert. I spent the night, but in the back of my mind while I was there was the fact that again, I would find myself on the Carquinez Bridge on Saturday afternoon. I had a ten dollar bill in my purse, and I made the decision that it was the perfect opportunity to pay it forward, finally.

Money has been tight of late, but Friday morning I learned that my unemployment benefits, recently suspended until the EDD could determine what I'd meant by "started training" on my claims form (ahh, bureaucracy...), would be reinstated, so giving up $5 to pay a stranger's toll on a bridge isn't a big deal. And that's just what I did.

I have no idea how the car behind me reacted to being waved through the toll booth without having to pay. I have no idea if it made them smile--I hope it did. All I know is that for several minutes afterwards, I smiled, and felt good that I finally had a chance to pay forward the kindness someone else bestowed on me a month ago.

I'm writing about this here not to toot my own horn or to ask the universe for good karma, but simply to remind anyone who reads this that sometimes, the best thing to do for yourself when life has been stressful and things look kind of impossible, is to give something to someone else. It doesn't have to be a big something. A bridge toll. A smile. A compliment. But just give something--in the end, it doesn't cost you anything, really, but the dividends are huge.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Breakfast At Saul's

I went to Summer's choir concert in Oakland last night, and to avoid the two-hour drive home at 10:00, I stayed the night at her place (she and Ben are so hospitable and welcoming). This morning, after Ben left for work, Summer and I headed out to get some brunch. Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe in Emeryville was packed to the gills, so we ended up at a fantastic Jewish deli that Summer knows of in Berkeley.

Of course, I texted Maayan that I was getting latke, and felt the need to take a picture of the ever-present Cali Swimmy on said latke.

The lady at the table next to us did a double-take. Summer said, "It's a long story." I giggled and mentioned that the duck has four other ducky friends around the world, one who is Jewish. The lady loved it, though she did point out that it was a first for her, seeing someone take a picture of a duck on a latke.

And this, my friends, is what I love about my silly little duck.

Whole wheat toast, spinach-feta omelet, latke, applesauce and sour
cream. I ate about half of that and walked away FULL.

Friday, March 23, 2012


As I walked up to the trainer area with M. the Reasonable today, after another great workout, I motioned to the dog sled and said, "There's a blog post about that." (M. knows that I blog, and that he makes appearances in the blog under the nickname M. the Reasonable--he loves his nickname, too, for the record.) M. laughed and asked what I'd written, and I gave him a small outline of what I'd said.

"Funny," I told him. "I don't really share my blog with you much. I used to show posts to G. all the time...but then, I wrote a lot of snarky stuff about him."

This got another laugh, so I went on. "Thing is, I don't have anything really snarky to say about you. You're not very snarkable."

And so, dear readers, a new Megism is born. M. just laughed and said, "Snarkable! I like that word!" What can I say? I'm creative.

Fitspiration Friday


Be strong! Get out there this weekend and do something good for your body!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I've always loved rainy days--there's something so lovely about hunkering down indoors with hot tea and a cozy blanket and a good book.

Then I became a runner.

I was spoiled this winter, as November and December passed us by with hardly a cloud, and the unseasonably warm temps in the 60s graced each day that I went outside to pound the pavement. This continued through January and much of February, punctuated with a day or two here, a day or two there of half-hearted storming. As I found my running mojo, I was able to rely on Mother Nature to allow me to run outside, instead of forcing me into the gym and the dreaded treadmill.

Then came March. 

We finally got some much-needed rain, and honestly, I don't mind it. However, as I walked into the gym on my non-training days, I was so against getting on that treadmill. M. the Reasonable helped me find suitable alternatives, so for the last two weeks, I've run outside a grand total of maybe three times.

With my recent career and financial stress, this just won't do.

Twenty minutes on the rower does not make up for two-and-a-half miles of pounding the pavement, breathing the cold, fresh air into my lungs and feeling my feet connect with the ground before rebounding and propelling me forward.

When did I start to like this?

And what's with that stupid grin on my face each day when I hit my stride?

Anyway, with all of this rain and indoor cardio and career and financial stress, my running has suffered. My official 5K time for the Shamrock last weekend was a dismally slow 38:46. I walked more than I would have liked, and felt tired and sluggish (that can be attributed to career stress and a lack of sleep the night before).

Today, finally, I had a chance to set off on the mean streets of my neighborhood for a run. It wasn't sunny out, but the clouds weren't threatening rain and the wind was low. I wore long sleeves and strapped on my Mizunos. After my normal walking warm-up, I set the stopwatch on my iPod and started off at a reasonable pace, thinking it might be silly to time myself today.

Surely I'm not going to set a great time today, right?

The run was pretty easy-going. No pain, no discomfort. My legs felt good, my breathing was steady. I was so happy to be out there running that I stopped caring about my time--fast or slow--and just enjoyed pushing myself through my normal two-and-a-half-mile route.

I ran the whole way today--no walking--and as I neared the end, I switched my iPod screen view from "Now Playing" to stopwatch. As I came to the big light pole that I use as a finish line, I glanced down at the time.


Hey...that's...that's good!

It wasn't 'til I got home and checked my records that I realized this was actually a new personal best, by ten seconds. Not bad at all, if I do say so myself!

After the stress and craziness of the last few weeks, it's hard to put into words how incredible it felt to get out there and just run. I can't believe that a few short years ago, I wasn't a runner, that I didn't know the joy of watching my worries eat my dust.

There's nothing like it in the world.


After a strangely exhausting week, I thought it might be nice to just share some random beauty that I've encountered in the world. All of these pictures are mine. Enjoy.

Sunrise at a rest stop on Interstate the heart of my beloved California.

Hallowed halls of learning--California State
University, Chico.

Gorgeous red leaves at High Hand Nursery in Loomis, California.

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe (on the California side).

The wild and rocky Pacific coast just south of Monterey, California.
The Pacific is always, always calling to me.

Fall pumpkins at Apple Hill, near Placerville, California.

My favorite California icon, the incredible Golden Gate Bridge.

Even a normal day at work can have unexpected moments of beauty.
This was taken from the playground of my school in Stockton, California.

I love the bright pink flowers set against the neutral stones of Mission

One never let's rain keep one from traveling in England--there's always a
tiny chance the sun will peek through, and Bath Abbey looks incredible in
the sunshine.

The River Crouch, as seen from the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in English home.

Cupid and of my favorite pieces in the Louvre in Paris.

At the Louvre.

There is even beauty in sacrifice. The men who rest
at the American Cemetery near Omaha Beach prove this.

Monet's water lily pond in Giverny on an overcast April day.

A lonely bench on the Atlantic shore of Ireland.

The Emerald Isle, as seen from above.

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome. I thought I was getting a glimpse
of heaven, right there.

A bright, happy flower at an old Mill in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The heartbeat of the Puget Sound is definitely provided by the famous
Washington ferries.

Sunrise on the Puget Sound.

Seattle's famous Space Needle.

The Empress Hotel, stately and grand, greeting arriving visitors to the
beautiful city of Victoria, British Columbia.

Spring in Victoria means tulips. Lots and lots of tulips.

A mosaic whale and Victoria's Empress Hotel, on the gorgeous Inner

Fall in the Napa Valley. The air smells of wine grapes,
and there is no way to convey in pictures how glorious
that is.
Half Dome...someday, I will conquer my self-doubt and climb you.

From Glacier Point, Half Dome is impressive. But all of Yosemite National
Park is impressive.

California's government is not beautiful, but our capitol building certainly
is, especially at sunset.

This picture is not remarkable--just a 747 taking off at one of the many
runways at San Francisco International...but to me, nothing is more
beautiful and sexy than the power of an airplane bursting down the runway
and leaving the ground.

Even Oakland, California, has its beauties.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I met with M. the Reasonable today, as usual. I hadn't seen him since last Wednesday, so I was looking forward to a good butt-kicking. M. never lets me down.

My Turkish Get-Ups are getting very good (they are such a fantastic workout), and even my kettlebell swings were looking great today--I've been struggling with those but M. was very pleased and excited to tell me how great they looked. I was sweating, swigging water between sets, and feeling very, very good. Then M. said, "Let's go get the sled."

The what, now?

We went to the trainer desk area, and before long, it all became clear. The gym has a new toy. It looks sort of like the sleds in the picture below, except that it has a place for someone--say, a trainer who acts all reasonable and nice but has a slight sadistic streak--to sit.

It isn't heavy, but it took both of us to carry it and maneuver it through the various cardio machines to the aerobics room. It comes complete with a harness. As we set it on the floor I muttered, "I think I should probably start feeling frightened now." M. just smiled at me.

Then he sat down. "You're going to push me across the room and back."

It wasn't that hard. M. isn't a heavy guy, and while it took some effort, I managed to get him across the room. As we neared the opposite side I said, "If you say, 'MUSH!' so help me God..."

Laughter. "I wouldn't do that!" He got up to turn the sled around and said, "But maybe I should stand on it, facing backwards, yelling in your face: "GO! GO! PUSH HARDER! FASTER! GO!!!"

"I'd have to hit you."

"I'd be mad at you if you didn't!"

I gamely pushed him back across the room.

For the rest of the session, I alternated between pushing and pulling the sled in various ways. I put the harness around my waist and pulled it with about 80 pounds piled on it. It's a great tool for working out, even if there is some indignity in feeling like a sled dog.


Push just one...and down they go. Opportunity abounds.

I slept like a baby last night. I hadn't been sleeping well, the last couple of weeks, being plagued by brief 3 a.m. wake-ups and various other issues. It's been a stressful time, you see.

Several weeks ago, I made the decision to work for a company. In the time since then, I have gone back and forth--wildly--between "Yes, I can!" and "Oh, my God, what the hell am I doing?" More and more, I began to believe that this was absolutely not the right move. But I passed my insurance exam last week (by the skin of my teeth) and because I was already up to my eyeballs in all of this, I knew I needed to go for it.

I started on Monday. My gut was telling me that this path was not right, but I went to the office and started the training. When my team leader was in a brief meeting with his boss, I escaped to the ladies room and watched my hands shake. But I gave him my time and attention that morning and vowed I would give this career a fair shake...even when it started to become apparent that it would be longer than expected before I saw any money come in, despite all of this time spent training.

Financially, I just can't accept that. I have bills to pay, and obligations to fulfill. I can't wait 'til May to start making money. And I also could not escape that feeling, deep in my gut, that Meg the People Person is not Meg the Salesperson. And much as it pains me to admit it, I am not savvy enough to manage a business of my own, which is what I would have been doing. The thought of the tax obligations, and putting more money into this before I had any was just too much.

My unsuitability for this career was proven yesterday, when my team leader and I went out "in the field" for some of his business. I was so uncomfortable "cold calling" businesses, walking in and opening conversations about insurance.

Finally, I voiced my doubts to my team leader, and my financial concerns. We had a candid discussion and it ended with him giving me an option to think about things and let him know. But I think he knew which direction I was going. I apologized for wasting his time--he said, "You didn't. I'd rather you figure this out two days in, rather than two months in. Then I'd feel like I'd wasted my time."

Why did I go so far into this? Even knowing I was stressed and miserable and unhappy? The first word that comes to mind is desperation. It is not easy being an unemployed American in this economy. And this particular company talks a good talk about the earning potential and how great it is. It's a fantastic company, but it's not a company for everyone.

The next word is duty. On my own, I decided that I had some sort of duty to my family to do this. For the record, my parents are awesome at acknowledging that I am an adult, capable of making decisions and knowing what is best for myself. It was not their fault that I got it in my head that not proceeding with this would be letting them down...and I admit that as I continued to feel miserable, I almost blamed them, and felt that they saw me as a child. That's not fair. I have to own that I got myself into this without their assistance. Now that I have some clarity, I own it completely, and I am incredibly grateful that my parents accept my decision.

So...I walked away. I was not under contract. Various conversations with a few close friends on Monday helped me find some clarity. Nothing is worth the anxiety, the lack of sleep, the stress I was feeling about my finances and my future. In the immediate future, I need a job in which I can earn money for the work I put in. So I walked away.

It was one of the hardest decisions I've made in a long time. While I absolutely knew it was the best decision I could make, it was still very, very difficult to do. I felt like I might be letting my parents down. I worried they'd be mad (they're not. Confused, perhaps, but they trust me to know what is right for me). I worried that their friend, who works for this company and who has been quite supportive of me, would think I'm a complete flake or moron or both. The good news is that no one thinks I'm a moron. Even the friend, when I called her today, said, "I understand completely."

Yesterday, after I left the office, I wrote to my friends Shae and Nicki about what I'd done. They congratulated me for following my gut and then Shae said, "Things are about to change." I asked her what she meant.

"You have certain moments where you stand up for yourself or make a tough decision and its the first domino."

She was absolutely right. Within a few minutes, I had an interview set up with another company--selling insurance, but more to existing clients or to people who walk into the office. The job has a base salary, with opportunities to earn commission. It's not a sure thing--I got an interview because the man knows my friend Summer (connections matter!). But it's something. The first domino fell.

I went to teach my weekly piano lesson--I have one student currently--and towards the end, my student's best friend came to the door with her mother. The mother saw that I was teaching and immediately asked, "Are you taking any more students?" They live across the street and she wants piano lessons for her two children.

Another domino.

I have spent a lot of time yesterday and today applying for jobs at places like Raley's, Safeway, Home Depot, Whole Foods. I'm going to wear this town out with my job applications and find something to make money. There are careers to be had at some of these places. Careers I can do, and even find satisfaction in.

So there you have it. My financial stress is not over yet--I owe money on my taxes this year, etc. etc. But I know that I can find something and make this work. If anything, this whole debacle has lit a fire under my butt to get serious about finding a job, rather than wistfully staring at Ed-Join every day, wishing for music jobs to open up.

I'm going to knock the dominoes over and watch my life resume the course it was on before I lost my Stockton job.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I don't sew, but if there's one thing I've learned from living with a quilter, it's that you never through away a usable scrap of fabric. For a while, Mom had various boxes and bags of scraps, until one day when her brilliant daughter (*ahem*) had the brilliant idea to use that old laundry hamper that was about to go to the local charity shop...for the scraps.

Now, when Mom needs a scrap, she can dig through her laundry hamper. Which is exactly what I found her doing a few evenings ago...happily sitting on the floor sorting colors from her scrap hamper.

Sorting by color.


Millie came exploring.

This is what Mom is working on--she made this awesome block, but it's
1/4 of an inch too small! Ack!

Mine! Cats have no boundaries.