Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Politically Knitting for You

One day an army of gray-haired women may quietly take over the Earth.
Gloria Steinem

So judging from comments on Facebook today .... I have a few less friends.

Why?  Because I am knitting these .................

Yes .... I am knitting the extremely offensive bright pink square box of a hat ..... known as the Pussyhat because it forms "ears" on top of your head.

Offensive knitting .... yep, that is me.  In my sweats, fuzzy slippers curled under a blanket in Iowa .... with two days worth of gray bed hair.


If you don't know .... these hats are being worn on January 21st for a large Women's March in Washington, DC and many state capitols.

Why?  Because removing your shirt and ripping off your bra in January .... is risking hypothermia.  And some men would be appalled to see that the bosoms that were bared in 1975 are a tad saggier and far less bouncy now.  Fortunately, my progressive-thinking, loving husband still loves my breasts, even it they do touch my knees.

(For those too young to remember, burning bras werea symbol of liberation in the 1970's fight for equal opportunities for women)

Warm knitted pink hats ... subversive.

Yep ....

Cuz when the new Congress looks over the mall and sees a quarter of a million bright pink hats .... they may think about cutting funds to Planned Parenthood where 2.5 million women find healthcare.

Look around you.  Do you have four women near you?  One of you .... 1 in 5 women ... have used Planned Parenthood sometime in their life .... for PAP smears, mammograms, birth control.

Cuz I want them to realize that each of those 250,000 average women  makes $10,000 a year ($39,621 annually) less than the average male ($50,383)  Each of them work full time.  But a woman's work is considered less valuable to society. 

We have been working for equal pay for FIVE decades!!!  And we are still 21 cents an hour from getting it.

Cuz when they talk about cutting food stamps .... realize that 1 in 8 women are living in poverty.  And since most of those women have children ..... 1 out of 5 children living in poverty.

So ...hungry children don't move you to action?  Their mothers don't work hard enough???  So you say, go out and get another job???

How about your grandmother???? Twelve percent of all women over 65 live under the poverty line.  Let's get a little older ...... 23% of all women over the age of 80 live in poverty.  But let's cut Social Security and Medicare.  (Insert sarcasm font now)

And let's not forget rights for social justice and our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community. That is why we are knitting bright pink wool hats.  A gift of love.  A gift of warmth.  A gift of solidarity.

This .... is about human rights.

To me .... this isn't a Blue fight/ Red fight.  This isn't about the incoming President. Although his infamous statement about the God-given right to grab women where ever he so desires because he is famous .... did in some very small way inspire the bright pink pussyhats!!!!! ;)   (OK ... there might have been some dripping sarcasm there!!!)

This is about a group of politicians that see women as objects.  Less than them.  Not equal. Objects to control by denying them access to healthcare, equal pay and basic needs.  Nothing makes you more dependent that counting on someone else for food.

There are social services that need revamping ..... there are programs that aren't working in the way we hoped.

Then fix them.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

And that is what 250,000 women are fighting for...... with bright pink hats.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Word of the year ...............

Some time, many years ago, I was digging through my dad's veterinary office.

I was looking for .............. stuff.  Cool things.  Old things.  Just stuff.

And I found a scale similar to this .........

It was far simpler than this.  Not as pretty.  Definitely not shiny but you get the idea.  And I enjoyed playing with it ... just trying to get the different weights to balance out.

Balance from one side to another.  Too heavy ..... too light.....trying to find the Goldilocks moment.

Aahhh .... just right.

And there is the total sum of my life .... trying to find balance.

And I totally completely suck at it!

I grow too much .. I grow too little and all the while, I never grow the right stuff.  I can too much .... and then, get sick of another pasta meal with tomatoes.

I teach too many classes in hope that some will "fly" and we get enough students to take the classes.  Then I am over-the-top too busy to enjoy life and the classes because I have committed myself to teaching 4 classes a week.  Yet ... with no classes, I flounder for purpose.

I have too much yarn, fiber, fabric and embroidery floss .... just waiting for the next project.  And although, I do get a lot accomplished .... I always feel like there is too little time in life to make all that I want to make.

And often, I find myself creating ... in hopes that someone will remember that I was here for a brief time.  My gift .... a little thing made by hand.

I crave solitude and silence but I fear loneliness and becoming a recluse. Is my farm a sanctuary or a hiding place?

So it is balance ... I will try to achieve this year.  I am really not sure what it is, what it looks like or how to achieve it.

But fortunately, life is not a 4 inch wide piece of wood, suspended 3 feet above the ground ... expecting a graceful dismount as I try to perfect living.

I would have broken my neck a very long time ago.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Banging my head against the Wall......

Actually, throwing my head against the wall would have been less painful than what I went through yesterday.


Here is the story.

Yesterday, two women pulled slowly up my lane.  I know them. I was shocked as I know how they feel about gravel roads.  Their cars are precious to them ..... objects that show wealth .... and gravel roads tarnish the shine that is oh-so-important.

The first thing out of their mouths was about my barn quilt and who painted it.  They were surprised when I said I had done it.  Then, they looked at another barn quilt as said, "But you didn't do that one."  But I had.

It was my Carolina Lily barn quilt.  The hardest barn quilt I painted and I. Will. Never. Ever. do one on point Again. But I learned that by doing it.  Myself.

They walked through the gardens, pointing out weeds, asking about what we didn't grow.

The Summer Kitchen was unimpressive.  My gardens ... uninspiring.

I showed them my kitchen.  No response.  Yes, it was a mess.  My floor needed sweeping. My counter still had some of my Stringtown purchases. I had freshly made pasta, drying on the towels.

"Did you cut this by hand?"  No, I ran it through my hand crank Atlas pasta machine.  "Oh. I cut my noodles by hand."  Another fail by Miss Eff.

My sewing machine was on the kitchen table, stacked with fabric, ribbon, and elastic ...... as I worked on bowl covers.  The fabric tells me what it wants to be .... a sandwich bag, a small tote,a bowl cover, or maybe an apron.  Sometimes, all the above.  But it was a jumble of color on the table.  And the color inspires me.  There was an uncompleted seam under the pressure foot .... where I had stopped to answer the door.

I had just taken two pints of canned beets out of the pressure canner.  We had thinned the beets and I diced the thinnings for the canner.  And I heard, "No onions? I put onions in mine".  Well .... these were canned beets, not pickled beets.  But again, I was wrong for not pickling them.

They saw flaws and failures instead of joy and progress.

They did not see the new well, the new roof, the new water softener, the new furnace, the custom wood windows. They didn't see the new siding that Honey has to cut to size and prime every side before it goes up.

All they saw were weeds and unpainted wood and failure to produce in the way they would. 

And I cried.

Then through my tears ..... I realized what I do have.

I have a home where people come to cuddle kittens.  I have a farm where people drive directly from Chicago to buy eggs and flowers. I teach children to make hollyhock dolls and how to hold a kitten. We sit on the ground and talk to people from all over the world!  I have a place where Japanese journalists come on a quiet Sunday morning to experience Iowa ..... and call me a quiet and gentle farm wife.  And a place .... where summer isn't complete until they have been to Miss Effie's.

I have a porch with two chairs where we sit every evening, drinking the beverage of our choice, holding hands and discussing the days' events.

I have hens that gift me breakfast ..... and a garden that provides supper.  And the ability and knowledge to keep the pantry full of homegrown goodness throughout the cold Iowa winter.

I have a swing that hangs from a tree that seems to magically erase the sorrows of the day.  And my flowers have seen joy at weddings, tears at funerals and laughter at countless dinner tables.

Wealth may be counted in many ways.  Some .... may count the bottom line on their bank account.

I will count mine in the joy and happiness and love that this little farm brings to others. My wealth is the  happiness, laughter and love that I have under my solid dry roof of my unpainted farmhouse.

I am the richest woman on earth.