Color your world: Denim

prompted by angloswiss

This is the best use of old denim jeans that I have ever seen.

Su's xmas stockings 002

This is the Gent’s stocking my sister in Vancouver made for Christmas one year.It’s all lined and totally hand made. The foot is soft suede.

Su's xmas stockings 001

This is mine, with the front of his, showing the decoration. The lady’s foot is black velvet with lace overlaid and sprayed with ammonia to make the pattern.

She made patchwork ones with ballerina shoe bottoms for her dancer granddaughter.

We have them hanging up year round, on the lava rocks of the fireplace, for obvious reasons. Aren’t they gorgeous?


Whoops, I’ve sinned again!

Remember the seven cardinal sins? You’re given the serious task of adding a new one to the list — another trait or behavior you find particularly unacceptable, for whatever reason. What’s sin #8 for you? Why

<a href=””>The Eighth Sin</a>

Gotta be procrastination!

I wrote this for the Nov. 21 blog-a-day.


Yesterday when I was writing this, I should have been getting everything sorted out and ready to take to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center for the Film Festival this weekend. I have to take all the volunteer t-shirts off their hangers – I used them as my show-and-tell at the TEDxYouthABQ last weekend. And get down the platters, napkins, and sort out the baskets for the green room snacks. But, instead, I sat down at the computer.

I always read the Horror-scopes in the paper, for a laugh. And some of them are pinned to my clippings wall that I told you about.

One says “Your inventive mind is abaze with new ideas. [It has to be in order to keep up the blog-a-day, doesn’t it?] It’s about time you took your intelligence seriously. [I like that part] Get organized.”

So that’s all for today. If I get organized, I’ll write #22 tonight – oh, no. Have to do it this afternoon; we’re out at a lecture tonight.

No wonder I procrastinate – should I do #22 now, while I’m here? or after I organize the IPCC supplies?

Watch this space!

I did get one written – on the same subject:


My mother thought AA Milne’s Old Sailor in Now We Are Six was dreadful. I think she was trying to teach us something, but I never really learned.

The poem tells of a sailor shipwrecked on a desert island who just couldn’t make up his mind about what he should do first to ensure his survival; it ends:

And so in the end he did nothing at all,

But basked on the shingle wrapped up in a shawl.

And I think it was dreadful the way he behaved –

He did nothing but basking until he was saved!


Story of my life!

Happy basking, everyone!

And now I’m putting off writing another Biography blog about my father, Stan Watkins – my real purpose for blogging.

Because first I really must sort out the papers piled on my desk. Unless I….



I just read the Fridayfictioneers post about very young girls being abused.

This is also based on a true story; and how do we explain suicide? (By the way, it wasn’t because of me)


He stopped to talk as I was peeling an orange. “Isn’t it interesting,” I said “that oranges nearly always have nine segments.” “I never noticed,” he said, smiling. He had a nice smile.

The next time our paths crossed I was leaving the party just as he was arriving. He smiled at me. “Oh, are you going? I was wanting to talk with you.” But I couldn’t stay.

And then he shot himself.

And now, it seems, all the oranges have ten segments.

Can’t Stand Me (from the side)

What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?

It’s the reflection in the storefront windows that get me. I often sneak a peek when walking by and then I see my funny posture – I lean forward and my bottom sticks out. And I have my mother’s short torso, so I look all out of proportion.

I immediately try to stand straighter, tuck in my tummy and backside. But it doesn’t seem to help. And is soon forgotten, too.

We look at ourselves in the mirror and admire ourselves; how well these new slacks fit, how nicely I go in at the waist.

But if we turn sideways, there’s that sticky-out tum you try to deny. Even trousers with those inserts that are supposed to hold it in don’t really work.

So I just don’t look at myself sideways, if I can help it, because this is me and I’m stuck with it. I know I could do yoga, or something, but I don’t.

But see a person who is overly fat eating in a fast food restaurant, or whose paunch hangs over the belt, and I suck in those stomach muscles once again, for at least a minute.

And don’t look.

Never mind the pictures, show them the words.

I always read to my three boys from when they were very small. And if we were in a waiting room, magazines helped pass time. Even sports or medical issues will have the odd car, or animal or house to point out- things small children recognize.

Mine grew up on A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh (in the original, not Disney please). It is written to be read aloud; note the Capital Letters pointing out where to emphasize something Important. We were happily following Pooh and Piglet in the snow one day when my small animal wanted to turn the page to see a picture. “Listen to the story and you can see what is happening in your mind,” I suggested. And he did!


Another day I noticed him pick up a paperback with no pictures that I had been reading. He studied it intensely for a bit, and it suddenly dawned on me that we never ‘showed’ our children the words, the punctuation, the spaces between words, capital letters and full stops. Only the pictures in between. We never pointed out a comma, or a question mark, or the start of a new paragraph.

Another time I showed a young grandson the novel I was reading and said “I’ll bet you know a lot of these words already” and he immediately picked out ‘the,’ ‘and,’ ‘to,’ and more and then sounded out the title. It started him reading real books just like that.

Albuquerque Reads has a program where volunteers help kindergarten children to read. For several years (and I should go back) I was a volunteer. We started the hour with a reminder of the format – 1st 10 minutes: read to them, read together, then they read alone; 2nd 10 minutes, help them to write about what we read; final 10 minutes, a word game. We had small books with very simple words. But also many punctuation marks that we were not instructed to teach.

I couldn’t help it; we looked at the title Who Likes Cold? and I’d say “See that little squiggle at the end?” We read a list: penguins, polar bears, Arctic foxes. “What is that little thing separating those animals?”

At Christmas the volunteers were invited into the classroom. I was wearing what I call my Academic earrings. Made by my sister, one is a question mark, the other an explanation mark. “How did you get on,” the teacher asked me and my two students? “We did punctuation,” I said, turning to the little girl. I pointed to my earring. “What is this?” She answered without hesitation,”A question mark.” Then I pointed to the other earring and asked the little boy, “And what is this?” With a deep breath he puffed out his chest and said emphatically “A Excalation Mark!”

Well, he might not have the word quite right yet, but by golly he knew what it meant.

Next time you read to a child, please show them the words as well as the pictures.

Fan Palm > Fabulous

We were going to see the longest waterfall but got side-tracked. Under an awning in the carpark, a Hawaiian elder was busy turning fan palm fronds into gorgeous baskets. The finished one was quickly snapped up and, sadly, we couldn’t wait for the next one to be done. But the camera caught the beauty of the work.

And if you look carefully at the bottom front of the first photo, you will see some fine wires with folded-leaf dragonflies on them. We each went away with one but like dragonflies, they proved ephemeral.

Hawaii 060
The Hawaiian craftsman
Hawaii 065
Close up of base
Hawaii 066
The finished bowl

And we did actually go down to see the waterfall, too.

Hawaii 056

Key Takeaway – daily blog

What to share, what to ask?

I’d remind a new blogger to check out the options in the left hand column. For ages I didn’t realize I could differentiate my blogs between themes and they all went out as Uncategorized. Now I click on ‘Biography’ (Stan Watkins/Talking Pictures) which I am supposed to be concentrating on, or ‘Random Thoughts’ which, I admit, seem to be the ones I post most. Makes it easier for followers to follow what they might be interested in.

To ask? Mainly, to please read my blogs. I just love getting comments, and having a conversation with other bloggers. I’m getting better at checking out others’ blogs, too, which is essential.

But the key to blogging is to love sharing your thoughts, ideas, and information that other bloggers can take away.



writing vs typing 001

Drake Baer wrote a fine article in Business Insider magazine to show how writing makes you smarter. He says:

Typing is fast. 

Handwriting is slow.

Weirdly, that’s precisely why handwriting is better suited to learning.

Read more:

Once I only took notes in shorthand, feeling that I was being the perfect secretary. Every word was there; I could even read them back and transcribe them – on my typewriter.

But I found I always had a lot of unnecessary words, so I changed to writing longhand.

Writing real words made me listen more carefully, and I got the important bits.

So this article really hit home.

And the photo is of my father’s notes about the music recording for Don Juan. He left me not only the information, but his unique handwriting. It is easier to read than the carbon copies faded with time.

Now if only I could blog in longhand, would that work? I think there are electronic pens nowadays.

But perhaps not; there’s only just so much time to say all I have to say. So typing it must be. And reading everyone’s blogs will be how I learn these days.