Heritage Quilts

The United States has a beautiful history of quilting, influenced by all of the different ethnic groups that settled here over the years, as well as the necessity of ingenuity and hard work to survive the early days. One tradition was for a young girl to make thirteen quilts before she was married, twelve for everyday use in her future home, and a wedding quilt, her masterpiece which she would begin work on once she was engaged. Friends and family would gather to help her quilt this final quilt. A form of this tradition continues today, every time we make a quilt for a special couple tying the knot. Quilting is our heritage Thanks, Missouriquiltco.com

More Facts About Cats:

Domesticated cats use vocalizations like meowing, purring and hissing – but feral cats are practically silent.

* Cats can pass their body through any space which they can fit their heads through.

* With extra thick enamel, less damaging saliva, less food retention between teeth and a mostly sugar-free diet, cats have better chompers than humans (this doesn’t mean they can’t have dental problems, so pay attention to your furry friend’s teeth!)

* Thanks to their powerful livers, cats can survive by drinking seawater if they have to.

* Cats’ life spans are on the rise – in the early 1980s cats were only expected to live seven years; now they are expected to live 12 – 15!

Independence Day thoughts

 

𝕬𝖘 𝖜𝖊 𝖈𝖊𝖑𝖊𝖇𝖗𝖆𝖙𝖊 𝕴𝖓𝖉𝖊𝖕𝖊𝖓𝖉𝖊𝖓𝖈𝖊 𝕯𝖆𝖞 𝖙𝖍𝖎𝖘 𝖘𝖚𝖒𝖒𝖊𝖗, 𝕴’𝖒 𝖌𝖗𝖆𝖙𝖊𝖋𝖚𝖑 𝖋𝖔𝖗 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖕𝖊𝖔𝖕𝖑𝖊 𝖎𝖓 𝕬𝖒𝖊𝖗𝖎𝖈𝖆𝖓 𝖍𝖎𝖘𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖞 𝖙𝖍𝖆𝖙 𝖍𝖆𝖛𝖊 𝖑𝖔𝖛𝖊𝖉 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖘𝖊𝖗𝖛𝖊𝖉 𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖎𝖗 𝖈𝖔𝖚𝖓𝖙𝖗𝖞 𝖘𝖔 𝖜𝖊𝖑𝖑. 𝕿𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖊’𝖘 𝖆 𝖘𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖞 𝖆𝖇𝖔𝖚𝖙 𝕲𝖊𝖔𝖗𝖌𝖊 𝖂𝖆𝖘𝖍𝖎𝖓𝖌𝖙𝖔𝖓 𝖆𝖙 𝖆 𝖙𝖎𝖒𝖊 𝖜𝖍𝖊𝖓 𝖍𝖊 𝖜𝖆𝖘 𝖘𝖙𝖎𝖑𝖑 𝖆 𝖌𝖊𝖓𝖊𝖗𝖆𝖑 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖓𝖔𝖙 𝖞𝖊𝖙 𝖕𝖗𝖊𝖘𝖎𝖉𝖊𝖓𝖙 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖍𝖎𝖘 𝖙𝖗𝖔𝖔𝖕𝖘 𝖜𝖊𝖗𝖊 𝖌𝖊𝖙𝖙𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖆𝖌𝖎𝖙𝖆𝖙𝖊𝖉. 𝕿𝖍𝖊𝖎𝖗 𝖕𝖆𝖞 𝖍𝖆𝖉 𝖇𝖊𝖊𝖓 𝖉𝖊𝖑𝖆𝖞𝖊𝖉 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖒𝖆𝖓𝖞 𝖔𝖋 𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖒 𝖜𝖆𝖓𝖙𝖊𝖉 𝖙𝖔 𝖌𝖔 𝖍𝖔𝖒𝖊. 𝖂𝖆𝖘𝖍𝖎𝖓𝖌𝖙𝖔𝖓 𝖍𝖆𝖉 𝖊𝖛𝖊𝖓 𝖍𝖊𝖆𝖗𝖉 𝖜𝖍𝖎𝖘𝖕𝖊𝖗𝖘 𝖔𝖋 𝖕𝖑𝖆𝖓𝖘 𝖋𝖔𝖗 𝖒𝖚𝖙𝖎𝖓𝖞. 𝕳𝖊 𝖐𝖓𝖊𝖜 𝖍𝖊 𝖍𝖆𝖉 𝖙𝖔 𝖉𝖔 𝖘𝖔𝖒𝖊𝖙𝖍𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖙𝖔 𝖗𝖊-𝖊𝖓𝖊𝖗𝖌𝖎𝖟𝖊 𝖍𝖎𝖘 𝖒𝖊𝖓, 𝖘𝖔 𝖍𝖊 𝖈𝖆𝖑𝖑𝖊𝖉 𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖒 𝖙𝖔𝖌𝖊𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖗 𝖙𝖔 𝖗𝖊𝖆𝖉 𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖒 𝖆 𝖑𝖊𝖙𝖙𝖊𝖗 𝖋𝖗𝖔𝖒 𝕮𝖔𝖓𝖌𝖗𝖊𝖘𝖘. 𝕳𝖊 𝖔𝖕𝖊𝖓𝖊𝖉 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖑𝖊𝖙𝖙𝖊𝖗 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖘𝖙𝖆𝖗𝖊𝖉 𝖆𝖙 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖕𝖆𝖌𝖊, 𝖇𝖚𝖙 𝖍𝖊 𝖍𝖊𝖘𝖎𝖙𝖆𝖙𝖊𝖉 𝖋𝖔𝖗 𝖘𝖔𝖒𝖊 𝖙𝖎𝖒𝖊. 𝕰𝖛𝖊𝖓𝖙𝖚𝖆𝖑𝖑𝖞 𝖍𝖊 𝖘𝖚𝖗𝖕𝖗𝖎𝖘𝖊𝖉 𝖍𝖎𝖘 𝖙𝖗𝖔𝖔𝖕𝖘 𝖇𝖞 𝖙𝖆𝖐𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖘𝖔𝖒𝖊𝖙𝖍𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖔𝖚𝖙 𝖔𝖋 𝖍𝖎𝖘 𝖕𝖔𝖈𝖐𝖊𝖙 𝖙𝖍𝖆𝖙 𝖒𝖆𝖓𝖞 𝖉𝖎𝖉𝖓’𝖙 𝖊𝖛𝖊𝖓 𝖐𝖓𝖔𝖜 𝖍𝖊 𝖍𝖆𝖉: 𝖆 𝖕𝖆𝖎𝖗 𝖔𝖋 𝖌𝖑𝖆𝖘𝖘𝖊𝖘. 𝕳𝖊 𝖘𝖆𝖎𝖉 𝖙𝖔 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖒𝖊𝖓 𝖌𝖆𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖊𝖉 𝖆𝖗𝖔𝖚𝖓𝖉: “𝕲𝖊𝖓𝖙𝖑𝖊𝖒𝖊𝖓, 𝖞𝖔𝖚 𝖜𝖎𝖑𝖑 𝖕𝖊𝖗𝖒𝖎𝖙 𝖒𝖊 𝖙𝖔 𝖕𝖚𝖙 𝖔𝖓 𝖒𝖞 𝖘𝖕𝖊𝖈𝖙𝖆𝖈𝖑𝖊𝖘, 𝖋𝖔𝖗 𝕴 𝖍𝖆𝖛𝖊 𝖓𝖔𝖙 𝖔𝖓𝖑𝖞 𝖌𝖗𝖔𝖜𝖓 𝖌𝖗𝖆𝖞 𝖇𝖚𝖙 𝖆𝖑𝖒𝖔𝖘𝖙 𝖇𝖑𝖎𝖓𝖉 𝖎𝖓 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖘𝖊𝖗𝖛𝖎𝖈𝖊 𝖔𝖋 𝖒𝖞 𝖈𝖔𝖚𝖓𝖙𝖗𝖞.” (𝖙𝖍𝖆𝖓𝖐𝖘 𝕸𝖎𝖘𝖘𝖔𝖚𝖗𝖎𝕼𝖚𝖎𝖑𝖙𝕮𝖔.𝖈𝖔𝖒)

Immortal Artistry

We humans are artists. And we like to tell everyone willing to listen that we exist. Thousands of years ago, cave painters signed their paintings with the shape of the artist’s hand and left them there for us to see and exclaim over. Really old paint on a cave wall now tells posterity that they existed and were artists, famous in their own time. Kings and nobles, too, left their literal imprint on history. They pressed their personal seals into melted wax with a signet ring when sending messages about wars, love interests, money and practically everything else, and woe to anyone who used their seals without permission! But anyone, even those who couldn’t read or write, could authorize a document by making a cross at the bottom of the document, a symbol of Christian honesty. I like that idea. (Thanks, MissouriQuiltCo.com)

Dark Sky Above

The International Dark Sky Association seeks and encourages darkness. Loves the dark. Believes in night. They encourage communities to turn out more lights at night. Cities that meet their standards for darkness are certified as Dark Sky Places. The whole point is to make viewing the night sky easier and better. Light makes viewing harder. Would those early explorers have been able to navigate around the world if there had been bright lights everywhere back then? Would we even have considered other planets as places of interest? Probably not. One of the largest telescopes on earth – the Atacama Large Array — is located in the Atacama Desert of South America, partly because of the altitude but also because it’s so sparsely settled that the sky is dark – really dark – and they are able to see far into space better. So let’s keep the sky as dark as possible. (Thanks MissouriQuiltCo.com)

How do I identify whether an article has or lacks depth?

Not the usual type of question that I answer because it has nothing to do with the craft of writing fiction. But it’s something that I feel passionately about. So here goes —

There is no definitive way to know if an article has depth unless you are an expert on the subject of the article. Because depth means going into specifics that no one would know unless they were an expert.

You can check as to whether the article is full of specifics. Whether it gives comparisons. Whether it lists pros and cons. Whether it quotes experts. And so on. Whether it contains the things that would seem to indicate actual knowledge of the subject.

What you can’t do — unless you do a whole lot of research — is know if those things are credible or whether the author is simply blowing smoke in your face to make you think he/she knows what the article is about.

So credibility is all up to the reader.

As a caveat, it’s a sad commentary on communication today that so many people are willing to accept any statement that they agree with as fact without checking the veracity of the statement. I suspect that a lot of the divisiveness we see today in the media and elsewhere could be avoided if people would spend the time to actually do a bit of fact-checking.

Tea Bag Anyone?

The tea bag is rooted in the belief that the leaves ought to removed from the hot water at the end of a specific brewing period.

At first, there were infusers — perforated metal containers which were filled with loose leaves and immersed in boiling water, and then removed using an attached chain.

They are still around, though not nearly as popular as tea bags, that are an American invention. Though not an intentional one.

A New York tea merchant, sent samples of tea to his customers in small silken bags and some of them assumed they were to be used in the same way as the metal infusers. So they dunked the entire bag into the teacup and – presto – the tea bag was born.

Of course, it was refined until it became the tea bag of today, complete with gauze-like material, a string to hang over the side of the cup, and a tag on the end with a logo on it.

(Thanks, http://www.UKTeaandInfusionsAssociation.com)

Berries are berry confusing

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As a writer, I know words are important. I also know that language evolves and words change. Still — shouldn’t a berry be a berry? No matter the year, the century, the country or the language, shouldn’t a person be confident knowing that something labled ‘berry’ is actually what the label says?

Nope! Doesn’t happen!

Avacados are technically berries. When I read that, I couldn’t believe it. I looked it up. Then I looked up the definition of a berry. And that’s when I learned that everything I thought I knew about berries was wrong.

According to the scientific definition, a berry is a single, round fleshy fruit with a seed or seeds that’s produced from a single ovary.

So — grapes are berries. So are tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and bananas.

What are NOT berries? Strawberries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Mulberries. In spite of their names, none of them are technically berries.

How did things get so screwed up? Who named everything, anyway? And why didn’t they check (like I did) before getting carried away and coming up with names that were all wrong?

Oh me, oh my! My life will never be the same.

After all, I’m a writer and words are the coin of my business and I just learned that some of those words are — well — wrong.

I’ll bet whoever named those non-berries wasn’t a writer.

 

5 fascinating facts about cats.

I’ve been learning about cats. I’ve had a cat for eleven years now so you’d think I’d know a bit by now. I did end up making one a major character in my novel, A Very Black Cat. But these strange critters never cease to surprise me. Anyway, I ran across a few cat facts and here are five of them:

  • There are over 70 breeds of cats. That seems like a lot of different kinds of cats. And each cat within each breed is an individual with its own personality and its own quirks, which means there are a lot of interesting animals out there. Meet my cat and you’ll see what I mean. 
  • It is estimated that there are 200 – 600 million cats alive on Earth. That’s a lot of cats but cats live everywhere on Earth from the coldest mountains to tropical paradises so I can understand the huge numbers. After all, they are truly adaptable critters.
  • Cats are the second most popular pet in the U.S., second only to freshwater fish. Hey, what happened to dogs? Okay, maybe there are more cats than dogs because often pet owners have only one dog but it’s pretty common to have more than one cat. That’s my guess, anyway.
  • There may have been instances of domesticated cats as early as 7,500 BC – that’s 9,500 years ago! No surprise there, but I wonder whether people domesticated cats way back then or whether it was the cats that domesticated us. I mean, look at us today. We take care of them, love them, give them toys, and what do they do in return? Look cute and that’ s enough and I suspect they were smart enough to figure that out all those years ago.
  • The heaviest known cat weighed nearly 50 pounds. And I thought my cat was big. Wow. That’s all I can say about a 50 pound cat. ‘Wow.’