What I Do:






In 2016 I had the opportunity to travel to United Arab Emirates to teach creative writing workshops at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival. 
I had no idea how that decision would shake up my world. But shake it, it did. It shook out everything I thought I “knew” about a culture...
Imagine my excitement when, in January, I received an invitation to do it all again! It took no time at all for me to respond with “YES!” I asked no opinions. I simply felt the still-warm joy from my experience in 2016 and all the ways it stretched me into a wider-thinking person wash over me.
Today is Monday. I fly on Thursday...

Beryl’s Garden

She made her home of finest silk
threaded intricately between the alliums;
twin batons with dry, brown remnants
of sparkling summer days held aloft
like wisps of the sulfur-scented smoke that hangs
in the humid dusk of a July celebration.
I name the tiny creature Charlotte,
what else;  talk to her as I clear away detritus...

mourning doves, a cardinal, three blue jays
greet the day with songs
an old man with headphones and a lawnmower
bellers a country song out of tune
birds flock on the baseball field by the high school...

"What have you been up to, AnnMarie?" she asked, plopping her suitcase on the kitchen floor and opening her arms for a hug. It had been a year since I'd seen her, and even though I knew her question was sincere, I simply didn't have the energy at that moment to tell her. So I said, "Not much. The usual."

NOT MUCH? THE USUAL? I am not in the habit of telling whoppers, but as I look back over the year just past, I know that she really didn't have time right then to listen to all that has gone on since last I saw her. And don't we all do that? Instead of pouring out the bucket of words that reveal the true answer to "How are you:" or "What have you been up to?" we give trite answers, such as "Fine." and "Not much."

Even now as I look at the date of my last blog post, I see that it has been a long time since I updated. I think it is time, and I'll begin with a review of 2016, which was, without a doubt, one of the most remarkable years I've ever had, and one I could not have ever predicted.



A Nomad at Home

I am a woman who has not fully unpacked her suitcase in a year. Actually, it’s been longer than that, but the past 12 months, in particular, can only be described as nomadic.

These days, if you ask me where Home is, I’m inclined to say “Here.”

“Just be careful.” I heard those words of advice a lot before I left for two weeks on the other side of the world.

We do tend to fear what we don’t know, and my destination was more distant than I had ever gone before. I understood the good intentions, even though I felt none of the apprehension. My only point of hesitation was the long flight since it had been 20 years or more since I’d boarded a plane. But since I was going by myself, and since there was a long list of “unknowns” involved with the trip, I agreed to have a code word; one that would seem meaningless to most people, but which, if I used it, would mean “I’m in serious trouble. Send help!” to my family.

I have been having the same conversation with various people for almost a year. I’d say, “I am going to UAE in April.” They’d say, “Where?” The response was either curiosity or incredulity. Depending on who I was talking to, they either didn’t know where it is, or were alarmed; and to be honest, until a year ago, I had paid no attention. I didn’t have a reason to know anything about that country, or so I thought. 

What a ride this trip has been so far! Diana and I are tucked in for the night here in Missoula, where the outside temperature is 104.
Getting reliable internet has been a sketchy endeavor for the past few days, and phone coverage not always reliable either. Ah, the mountains!
Let's see... where were we?

The day has finally arrived after months of planning, hours of phone calls, pages of emails, days of packing  and unpacking and re-packing... It is time to hit the road.

Not quite a year ago, I released my first solo CD, called Pieces of Time. The songs aren't only for quilters and lovers of quilts, but i admit that they do appeal strongly to those folks. I have been performing all around Michigan for a lot of years, and particularly with these songs over the past year or so. 
So I wasn't exaxtly surprised when I received the invitation to perform on June 27th for a quilt show. I was surprised, however, to learn that it is in Council, Idaho!

RSS feed

Upcoming Events

  • Apr 9
    A Patch of Lakeshore Quilters,  Manitowoc
  • Apr 13
    Chocolate City Quilters,  Burlington
  • Apr 14
    Log Cabin Quilters,  Muskego
  • Apr 15
    Lakeside Quilt Guild,  Oshkosh
  • Jul 9
    Monroe County Quilt Guild,  Monroe