rocket tracking


Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thinking of New Year's Eves past

Tonight I have been thinking about different New Year's Eve celebrations I have attended. Usually, when I was a child, New Year's Eves were spent at home with my older brother and sister. Mom would make eggnogg (which I adored but had to be careful of because I was sensitive to eggs and milk) and we would sit up eating popcorn, cheese and crackers and wait for the ball to drop on TV.

Usually, even in my twenties, it was spent quietly, under similar circumstances. One of the most memorable occasions was in 1988, just after we had moved my husband's parents to their retirement home in Valrico. Carlos and I went down to spend part of the time with them, Christmas with my parents in Lillian, Alabama, then back to spend New Year's with his parents.

Little did I know, they had made reservations at the Tampa Cuban Club for all of us to have dinner and attend the New Year's Eve celebrations. I quaked in my shoes. All I had was a red silk blouse and a grey wool Pendleton suit of very simple lines. Now, when I had attended Carlos' parent's friends picnics in Connecticut and had been told it was casual, I had arrived in shorts only to find all the ladies in smart summer dresses and spiked heeled sandals. I could only imagine what New Years Eve at the Cuban club would be like.

His sisters and I went out to try to find something suitable for me to wear. Although I am the same height as these two, 5' 4", and at the time we all weighed about the same, about 120, they are long boned and long legged. I am long in the torso and short legged and have a smaller waist than they did. They would pull dresses that they would look good in with tiers of ruffles and lapped skirts, and I looked absolutely wretched...something like a Carmen Miranda gone bad. I swallowed deeply and finally bought a pair of rhinestone dangly earrings and decided what I had was just as good as anything that I was trying on...even though I knew I was going to be woefully under-dressed.

Sure enough, when we got there, many of the ladies wore long gowns. I remember one lady dressed in black and white taffetta. They were all glittering with sequins and rhinestones. My husband was in a sports jacket. His father was wearing a light colored jacket (he was still in New England mode and didn't have any darker colored jackets which were light enough for the warmth of a Tampa winter). I felt like a goose in a group of swans.

Some of the Cuban customs I was familiar with. New Year's Eve was toasted in with sparkling cider. The main course was roast pork. But, one custom I was not familiar with. At the stroke of midnight, all these elegant men and women grabbed the grapes and started gobbling them as fast as they could....seeds and all. I was aghast. Later, I found out that it was a custom to eat one grape for each stroke of the clock at midnight --per the Spanish custom and I believe that there was something about the seeds and number you could eat bringing prosperity.

Other memories of New Years include spending wonderful parties with my neighbors the Stankiewicz in Meriden where they would have friends over and we would play card games, Trivial Pursuit and other games until midnight.

Other times, we would go over to the Greniers and spend New Years with them. One memorable time I had to bring Carlos home early because he all of a sudden didn't feel well. He had spiked a high fever. The next night, I realized he was breathing strangely and I realized that somehow he had gotten pneumonia.

Tonight, Meg is spending New Years at a friends house. I am tidying up a few things and will go up and work on a quilt challenge for a bit before I go to bed. Like everyone else, I suppose, I'm thinking of goals for the coming year, and hoping for a more peaceful world and a year with more happiness and good things, and less pain and sorrow. Wishing you all the best in this world. Lisa

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Greening America, planting for the future

When I first moved here in June, 2005 there were 9 trees and foundation plantings across the front of overgrown yews. While off-loading the household goods from the semi, one of the guys made a comment about the plantings, to which I responded, "If you want them you can have them."

At that point, it became a point of honor for the guys to rip out the plantings with their tractor. Imagine the cab of a big rig chaining itself to the base of a yew which we had already dug out as best we could. I think the neighbors were getting just a little taste of what it meant to have me for a neighbor.

Right away, I took out three of the nine trees. I took out two Crimson King Norway maples--they were planted on the south end of the swimming pool (DUMB move, we had just lived with a mature norway maple on the south east side of our swimming pool in Connecticut and fishing out seeds and leaves from that thing was a major undertaking). I admit, I'm also prejudiced against Norways as they are not native and they seed themselves all over. The third tree I took out was a sickly redbud. I love redbuds, but this one was really ill. Not to worry...I'm still digging up seedlings and root stock from that same tree.

The following spring, my brother came to visit and he took out a silver maple which was planted smack in front of the doorway. Silver maples are great trees for swamps.....and native woods. They are not good trees to be in people's yards. They are quick growing and thus tend to be the developer's choice. Then, I hired a blue spruce to be taken down. It was a beautiful tree, but it wasn't in the right spot. People have a tendency to plant really cute baby trees and not to remember they get to be behomoths.

Now, you might think that I hate trees. On the contrary. I love trees. More people should plant trees. In fact, while I have taken down 5 trees, I have planted 32 trees and many understory trees/large shrubs. I'm fairly careful about siting the tree so that when it gets large, it will still be an asset to the property.

I also look for trees which have more than one season of interest. Here's a short list of what I have planted:

2 Parrotia persica --(common names: parrotia or Persian Ironwood) non-native but wonderful bark and fall foliage.

2 Asian Pears

Stewartia pseudocamelia This is a fantastic one, although it is a real water hog for about the first 5 years. It also has a delicate bark which can be easily girdled. I had one in Connecticut and loved it...the first one I planted here croaked because of our late season droughts. I replaced it with a pricier one...and I hope it makes it.

Franklinia alatamaha
This native was found by John Bartram but has been lost in the wild. It has fantastic leaf color while blooming in the fall with camelia like blooms.

Sweet Bay Magnolia
A large tree, and it will provide most of the shade for the house once it gets going. Lovely lemon scented flowers in June and July. Interesting seedpods. The white flower pictured is the one in my garden.

Beni schichihenge Japanese maple. I'm not convinced by this one yet... It likes a little more acid soil than I have and it sort of just looks sick rather than being a presence, but it is small.

Golden full-moon Japanese maple
. This one is very hard to find and is one of the trees I originally had planted in Connecticut. I dug it up and potted it, and brought it down in April, 2005 rather than leave it in Connecticut. Good thing I did too as it would have been cut down like almost all of the other trees I put in there.

2 Coral bark Japanese maples They're little. They also need lots of water to start.

Sourwood This is a native with lovely color and a small, unassuming pyramidal shape. My friend Martha has a lovely one in Connecticut. The one I planted here died back to the base the first year and put up a small secondary growth. I'm hoping I can convince it to grow in the soil likes acid, and mine is alkaline.

2 Styrax japonica--or japonicus (Japanese silver bells). These were seedlings of the Emerald pagoda I had in Connecticut.

Dwarf "Patio Peach" Bonfire. I'm a sucker for yellow, red or variegated varieties. This peach is small, has red leaves and edible peaches.

North Star dwarf cherry. Wonderful cherry producing great red sour cherries when a late frost doesn't get the blossoms.

Weeping Katsura
. This is a largish Japanese tree, and is one in the corner of the first picture. Slow growing. groan.

Cornus mas variegata
Variegated cornelian cherry. Dogwood relative, small yellow blossoms in spring.

4 Korean fir (Abies koreana) Great little tree...I have the "silberlock" variety and it is the bottom photograph. Cool plant which has PURPLE cones at a very young age. Also needs lots of water in the beginning until it gets established.

Shadbush or Service berry (Amelanchier)
Great little native with neat bark, lovely edible berries (if you can fend the birds off). Wonderful fall color.

Weeping Norway spruce. gulp. It's near my goldfish pond...what can I say?

2 red lace Japanese maples

2 limber pines (Pinus flexis Vanderwolf's pyramid) It looks like a white pine, but won't get to be 100 feet tall. :)

Trident maple (Acer buergeranum). This is a cool plant with exfoliating bark as well...but I could only get it on line. When it came it was about 4 feet tall. But a deer came and chomped it down so now it is 1 1/2 feet tall. Slow growing. Boohoo.

Seven son's tree (Heptacodium miconiodes... ok, this is more like a large shrub as it gets to be 15' tall. But it too has exfoliating bark and wonderfully scented flowers. The bracts are actually more interesting than the flowers.

Acer rubrum "Frank's red"

I put this in to replace a Bradford pear which was too close to the house and which blew down last year in a freak "dry huricane."

Quercus "crimson spire." This one I got on sale this year and put in a temporary spot waiting for the time when the other Bradford pear blows down.

There is precious little shade present. I will never see shade from these trees. I plant hoping that perhaps in the future someone will benefit from them. In a way, I'm doing my own little bit to cut down on global warming. I don't know if they will last. The magnolia, American silverbell, Japanese silverbell, Forest Pansy, Sweetgum tree and the sargent crab I planted in Connecticut have all been cut down. The only saving grace is that they cut down the danged Norway maple as well. I hope that the Stewartia is still there...but it probably isn't.

I'm sure you're tired of reading this....and I haven't even started in on the shrubs!

P.s. we have .77 acres in case you're wondering..or is it .68? My brain is stuffed up from my cold. Just shy of an acre at any rate.

A sad time

It has been subdued around here. I've been down with a severe respiratory bug. Then, on Sunday, my daughter came into my room teary eyed. The father of a friend of hers had just died. He had gone to the urgent medical care facility on the day after Thanksgiving and was transferred from there to a hospital in Dayton, and from there to the Cincinnati University hospital.

No one knew what was wrong. He had been exhibiting flu like symptoms and was dehydrated. Then, they diagnosed him with liver failure.

I know I was getting this through the filter of a 16 year old, but I am still stymied. Meg's friend is a senior this year. She won't have her father to watch her graduate and grow up. From now on, Thanksgiving and Christmas will have a bitter edge to it. I am also concerned as her mother is a teacher at a parochial school and he was an engineer at International Engine and Machine (I think that's what its called now...). Her older brother is still in college and I gasped thinking of all the expenses which will now have to be borne by a one income family.

This couple was unique and wonderful. My daughter loved them dearly. I didn't know him very well, I had only worked in the concession stand with him a couple of times. He and his wife, however, seemed to be very much in love, even though they had been married for 25 years.

I thought to myself that he looked ruddy, like someone who had uncontrolled high-blood pressure. I wanted to ask his wife about it, but decided not to as it was none of my business and also I'm not a doctor...I don't have training and I can tend to be a know-it-all. I wonder though, if I should have mentioned it. While the above is very true about me, it is also true that I have an almost sixth sense about things like this and have diagnosed things correctly more than once.

I don't really know what to do for this family. I am going to offer to the mother to make her, and her daughter, a comfort/memory lap quilt out of his clothing when she is ready to think about that. That's about the best I can do. We aren't close, even though Meg is very close to her daughter.

One good thing is that I commented to my husband about it and said that I was concerned about the impact it would have on their finances. Being in the hospital for that long is sure to make a huge dent on the budget and with all the expenses of the senior year and lopping off the major income would be difficult. My husband's comment was that he hoped they had life insurance. I said "sure, but how much? How much do we have?" He looked it up and said $700,000. I looked at him an much would be left after paying funeral expenses, hospital bills, taxes etc.?

How much is it to replace a person? You can't. And my heart bleeds for this young woman.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Red Winged Blackbird composition

The Miami Valley Art Quilt Network is going to have another very small show at the Clark State Community College in Springfield. As if getting ready for Christmas wasn't enough, my entries for the show had to be in by December 21st.

Here's one of the pieces I put in. This is a red winged blackbird which I painted with acrylic paints on plain muslin. I intended to have the pieces be randomly sewn with the center being well....skewed or off center. This is an example of piecing by improvisation.

I would have liked to have had these more off square, but I think I'm just too symmetrical of a person to remember to do this more strongly. I was also trying to stay within a 14 x 18 or so size.

The circular pieces are wooden pendents which I glued on. I originally wanted to sew them on but I found that it was too difficult to sew them on after having quilted it. I think it needs something in the blank space at the top, but I don't know what. Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

I've always liked red winged blackbirds. In the spring, I remember being thrilled to hear them singing in the rushes on our farm. They particularly love to be in areas where there is marsh and tall grass. We had them in Connecticut too as our property backed up next to a field which was fallow for several years. At the east end of the field was a creek.

Unfortunately, they are not common in my yard here in Ohio, although one would think they would be a perfect match for my grasses and the creek at the back of our property.

Since this is the second night of Christmas...just think of this piece as a "colly bird" --which is what they think is the original form of the "Calling Birds" from the Twelve Days of Christmas. So, what's a colly bird? Colly means coal other words, black.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Lights

When I was a child, and gas was cheap, my parents would load the three of us kids into the station wagon (or the VW bug depending on the year) and go into town to drive around looking at lights on Christmas eve...usually before going to the 11:00 service.

Our street is sort of well known for having great Christmas lights....It isn't just one of us, it is almost the whole cul de sac. Here are a few of the houses... of course, I forgot to take a shot of my own! A week ago, one of my daughter's friends came over to work on an English paper and he was quite amazed at the amount of lights on the street.

Tonight is was kind of fun...people were driving slowly by to see the lights.

I hope you enjoy this small light display.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I'm cold. Winter is close by. Tuesday will be the Winter solstice. My thoughts are turning to winter sowing even as the hustle and bustle of Christmas and the various quilts I have to work on breathe down my neck.

There's always hope, and I am the eternal optimist. Poppies are the first things I sow in the winter.

I love poppies of all sorts. This one is an oriental poppy called "Manhattan" or is it "Patty's Plum?" No, I think Manhattan as Patty rotted when I bought her as a bare root. It's too cold to go out now and check...and since is past midnight, I'm not about to.

Winter sowing Papaver somniferum (opium poppies) is the only way I have ever had success with them. Once you get them, in most soils they will come back again from the self-sown seeds. It is such a majestic plant, although it is illegal to sell seedlings I think. I can never remember if it is the seed or the seedlings or the plant. This is one of those plants which has a great deal of mystique as it is handed from one gardener to another.

I think it is sort of silly for us to worry about such things. I highly doubt that any American is going to go to the trouble of growing them for the have to injure the seedhead while it is green. It then will exude a whitish sap which is collected. Far too much work I think for most Americans. We are more likely to save the seed to put on our bagels, breads and muffins than to go to all this trouble. If you notice the fringed one you can get a sense of the great variation which you get with this plant. They go from white to almost black and ever shade of red and lavendar in between.

This photo was taken in the dusk. I love how it glows. This is another oriental poppy called Victoria is a clear watermellon sort of pink, at least that's how the plant catalogues describe it. I think of it more as raspberry sherbet.

I am waiting for the seed catalogs to come. Hopefully, I'll be able to find the seed of Turken Louis, a favorite orange poppy I grew in Connecticut and can't find here. So many nurseries carried it in Connecticut that I didn't think to bring any down here and I haven't been able to find them locally.

In the meantime, near my router sits a plastic container full of seed I have harvested. Soon they will be put in milk jugs outside and they'll start the stratifying that they need in order to sprout. In the meantime, I'll dream of catalogs and the gorgeous flowers which are gathering their power as they sleep in the cold. Just like me.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


While much of the central and northern United States does look like this right now, here in south west Ohio it is drab and rainy. We've had a spell of cold, but snow here is usually dry and of short duration.

I shot this photo in my back yard last January. I love how the light rises in the east and the snow makes stark contrast with the darkness of the shrubs and stalks of the perennials I leave for winter interest. The frost on the remains of the Joe-pye weed glows and sparkles against the fence and shrubs.

I have been frustrated looking at what I think I should do to get ready for the holidays and resenting it and struggling just trying to get some of the regular parts together.

Yesterday, I decided that with putting the lights on the garlands on the staircase and the electric candles in the windows, I'd call it "done." We have a tree. We have stockings by the fireplace. We have the outside lighted and wreathed. There's a wreath on the chimney breast and a wreath on the area above the doorway to the kitchen.

What's missing? Lots. I posted on my facebook page that there would be no porcelain houses this year. My husband's cousin replied "OH NO! The world is going to stop spinning!" For people who knew me in Connecticut, I think that they would agree....and not in the sarcastic tone in which Louie said it. No houses, no Swedish angels. No Santas...(no, wait, I am going to grab the big ones and put them up because it takes no trouble). No huge plates of cookies. No loaves of bread (except the loaf of honey wheat I have presently baking to eat with the bean soup I made for dinner).

You see, in the beginning of the year I said I was going to is absolutely overdue and necessary. I'm struggling to take care of all the orchids and the house plants. The inside and the outside....and still do stuff I'm interested in. I said I was going to stop selling books...and yet, I haven't been able to do any of this.

Old habits are notoriously hard to break. I have, however, thrown out dying Phalaenopsis and gave away Christmas cactus. I recently dumped some African violets.... I'm trying to hoe out things and have made several trips to Goodwill and the Vietnam Vets are coming on the 21st.

And yet...there is still so much to weed out. I am a materialistic person. Not in the sense that most people are...I just love material culture. I enjoy things. I love things with history. I enjoy one of a kind things, beautiful things, things which have been given to me by people who mean a lot to me. I have things which remind me of growing up (paintings with sheep in them). Things which are interesting because of how they are engineered, or just because they are neat.

I think of George Carlin and his skit about "stuff." Part of me laughs. Part of me cringes. I also think that when you own a lot of stuff, it really owns you. So, I stumble along trying to sort it all out. Pass it on and move it out. It takes a long time. Going through papers. Sorting them out. Filing some, throwing out others. It is spiritually draining. Emotionally overwhelming.

I keep on thinking I will not do this to myself again. However, I know, deep on my heart of hearts, it will be very difficult not to.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On Being an American

You never know what you are going to see when you drive down the road. In September, I pulled up to a traffic light behind this truck. The tailgate lift (for a wheelchair) was boldly emblazoned with the American flag. The decal in the corner of the window is the Marine Corps emblem. Here in Ohio, the American flag is ubiquitous, including a mammoth sized one at a local car dealership.

I wondered about this, did the person who was driving the vehicle sustain injuries in the service which resulted in being wheelchair bound?

Sometimes being an American puzzles me. Just before I went to Montana in September, I undertook filling out "The American Community Survey." Sheesh. I don't know how I manage to get the long form from the Census, and now this. There was a lot of information, much of which I had to look up. Not only was there information on how much our house cost how much money we made, and how....but lots of other things too.

I also admit, I'm a procrastinator. Not that I like it. Usually I put off doing what I don't want to do, what I'm afraid of doing, and things which require a lot of thought. Now the American Community Survey is sort of like the Census, but it isn't. It is issued in years that the census is not taken and supposedly takes an average of 38 minutes to complete (that is assuming you have all the information at your fingertips...). Imagine my surprise when I received a second copy (after I had started the first) with big, bold red letters stating that if I didn't fill this out and return it, I was breaking the law. Oh Brother!

Some of the information sort of made me giggle. For instance, "Does this person speak a language other than English at home?" Hmm. Depends on how disgusted he gets with his daughter's conduct...and then it is a muttered Spanish swear word under his breath, and that's quite rare.

One question really gave me pause. "What is this person's ancestry or ethnic origin?" For my husband, that was easy. He was born in Havana, Cuba and his grandparents were from Spain. Easy peasy.

But what about me? Under this question is said "For example: Italian, Jamaican, African Am., Cambodian, Cape Verdean, Norwegian, Dominican, ...and so on." Hm. My mom is of Scottish, Irish, Croatian, Danish, and Welsh descent. My dad is half Swedish. The other half? grandmother, Blanche Mary Reed Broberg is descended from a long line of early settlers. Among her ancestors are English Puritans who came to Massachusetts (from thence to Connecticut and Rhode Island) in the 1630s as well as the Gunsaulis family who were Mennonites who came at least as early as 1698, if not earlier...some records put them in New York with the Dutch settlements. So what am I?

In my veins run the mixed blood of immigrants. The best that could be said of me is that I am Northern European....but then that denies the presence of Mary Majestik Ross, my great grandmother who was my great grandfather's Croatian housekeeper before he married her after his first wife died. Why do I have to be anything?

Then, that also presents the problem of my daughter. She is half Cuban and half mutt. Her surname is Hispanic. She has a Cuban flag hanging in her bedroom. I have always worked hard to educate her as far as her father's family history goes (even so far as to make a traditional Cuban meal for Dia de los tres Reyes (three Kings Day or Epiphany on January 6), but somehow that seems to discredit my part of the family.

When people leave their country and come to a new one, quite often all that they are able to take with them is their language and their food traditions. While I can understand a lot of Spanish, I don't speak it (although I can make myself understood on occasion). At one point in my life, I was fairly fluent in French, even to the point of giving tours in French when I volunteered at the Fortress of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia. However, 30 years of not using it much and the close proximity of the Spanish language means I now sort of speak Sprench.

Traditional foods from my side of the family are sort of non-existent. On Christmas Eve, my mom used to serve Potato soup. I found out later it was because her family (the Scottish-Croatian side) used to eat Oyster stew....which was a no-go with my father. But that's just about it.

I often revel in the fact that Americans, because we ARE such a melting pot, eat just about anything, and combine things in surprising and delicious ways. Sometimes though, I wonder if there is a genetic component in the foods we gravitate to. My husband prefers rice over potatoes....and I prefer potatoes over rice (and I blame that on the Irish and Germanic bits).

So...I'm an American. Not a Swedish American (although I do make a mean Swedish own recipe please, not an inherited one), nor any other nationality...just plain old American. I realize that the Native Americans might have something to say about that, but I wonder if they make a centrifuge to separate out the various strands of DNA to send me back to which ever part of Europe the proportions (long lost in my history) might have originated.

And I did have a chuckle the other thoroughly American daughter, whose accent in Spanish class is deplorable gave me a rare compliment. On Monday, I went to Columbus, Ohio to have a quilt appraised. I brought along my neighbor for company and we stopped in at German Village. I love looking at the architecture there and am amazed at how many early buildings have managed to survive.

We stopped for lunch at Katzinger's Deli and I saw that they had latkes (potato pancakes). My daughter loves potato pancakes and since my husband was away again, I bought one for her for dinner. After she ate it, I asked her how it was. "Well...OK, " she said. "But yours are a thousand times better. Yours are lighter and more fluffy...and yummy." Wow. ....and I don't even follow a recipe! Must have been my Gunsaulis family genes cooking that one!

And for the record? Just call me American.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: .a hodge podge

Today I got an email from Vivien at Seven Pines asking me what had happened to me and saying she had missed reading my blog. What a sweet thing to do! And needed too, as right after Thanksgiving I read something on another blog I follow where someone had dropped her blog as she posted too frequently (once a day).

This gave me pause as perhaps my goal to do as much was perhaps overloading people. After all, do people really want to read my blatherings? Plus....coming back from Thanksgiving in Michigan meant that we were quickly trying to finish up winterizing outside and to put up Christmas decorations. Our street goes nuts and that will be fodder for another blog post, but not this one. Imagine the "Christmas with the Kranks" neighborhood and I think you'll get the idea.

My daughter and I started decorating the inside of the house last night....and it really looks like a bomb exploded in it. I'm also trying to thin some of the things out.

However, today she and I went to the mall to purchase my husband's Christmas present. While my intentions were to dive in and leave, my daughter had other ideas and she now has lots of new clothes, purchased on sale or on clearance. I snarled at her reminding her that Christmas was coming. Some of these things will be wrapped and put under the tree, but I keep on thinking about something that Ben Franklin once said (actually, I think it was BF as "Poor Richard"). Basically, it said that nothing was so costly as something which wasn't needed (a necessity). Trying to drive that concept into the head of a teenager who is in love with clothes is something I'm not able to accomplish.

So, I'm glad to report that all my Christmas presents are purchased. I still have to finish making a couple and I have two quick quilting projects to whip out.

After being "malled", we went to the opening of Fran LaSalle's quilt exhibit at Glen Helen Ecological Center in Yellow Springs, OH. I quilt with Fran and she is also a member of Miami Valley Art Quilt Network. She had a solo show there last year and was asked to show her pieces with a potter this year.

In all, Fran made 21 new pieces for the show and has 31 pieces on exhibition. One of her favorites is the first piece I showed you, a single leaf of a Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) which is also known as "five leaved ivy." This other one is a lovely little piece for the fall.

This last one is a sun print she did with Setacolor paints. All of the pieces are for sale, and even before the opening today, three of her pieces had sold.

Tomorrow, I am driving to Columbus to have the Great Blue Heron at Sunset appraised. The quilt was accepted into "Quilting Natural Florida II" and will be shipped down to Gainesville, Florida in mid-January for the Feb. 6 opening.

Since I had one quilt I had in a show go astray, I have decided that every quilt which is accepted into shows at a distance will be appraised. The cost of appraisal is $40 here for a certified appraiser. If had put in an insurance claim on a quilt which had not been appraised, I would only get the cost of materials. For a 25" x 36" quilt, this wouldn't even begin to touch the amount of work I had put into it. In addition, the more quilts I have in shows, the higher the value of my pieces...something which is not reflected in the "materials only" issue.

In 2005, my quilt "El Ritmo Flamenco" was supposed to come to me here in Ohio. When she was entered her into the Kaufman Quilt Quest contest, I had no idea I would be moving to Ohio. Of course as soon as I found I was moving and had an address and telephone number, I sent that information off. However, the Kaufman people had a computer failure and up-loaded from old information....and sent my quilt to my old address. Fortunately, I was on very good terms with the people who bought my house, but I did have to pay an additional $35 to have the quilt Fed-exed back to me. I have also heard of quilts stolen, lost in the mail, or the ill-fated quilt which got caught in a conveyor belt and was pretty heavily eaten.

Therefore, for the quilts which are special or are traveling quite some distance, I have them appraised. Because it makes a difference, I supply the appraiser with a resume of my work, and the dimensions, photographs and basics of the quilt prior to making the visit. While the appraiser will probably still re-measure and take his or her own photographs, it does make it go a bit more smoothly. So, off to bed before I won't hear the alarm to drive the 1 1/2 hours to Columbus tomorrow.