Cha, Cha …Changes!

Thank God for the young people because in them is our hope. And they are getting it.

Bla Bla Bla... Act Now!

Image: Inside Climate News,

Plant any land you have with flowers, trees and food.

Little Old Red-Haired Girl

The main goal for Ms. SpoolTeacher is to take care of her Little Old Red-Haired Senior Girl and make sure she is as happy as can be….Take care of little Doggies changes we must all make

Changes. They begin with us. We have the power to change the world. Want the beautiful things in life; relationships, nature and love of all things living. Forget about wealth other than the wealth of a wonderful friend and what it means to share time peacefully with them.

Or the beauty in petting behind the ear of a beloved animal and the pleasure they assure you with their eyes. They are grateful for your care.

They know they depend on you. They may wish they had more control and maybe even thumbs. But they know you have them and they submit to waiting on the love you will deliver.  And Gertis The Mertis Too For the birds Ahhh Little Old Red-Haired Senior Girl Little Old Red-Haired Senior Girl Plant Food Ms. SpoolTeacher’s favorite tomato, Black Krim…

Ms. SpoolTeacher's favorite tomato

Seed Savers Exchange is a go to place for these seeds. Click picture to go right to them.

Change the paradigm. Change yourself. Plant food. Live slow. Hang out your washed clothes in the sun. Love animals. Love each other.

We can do it. We have to take away the power of things that are bigger than we are. If everybody does it, just Imagine….


Busy As The Bees

Product development is ongoing at Ms. SpoolTeacher’s house every day.

These yo-yo’s someday want to be a quilt like the one below this image. Someday to be a Yo-Yo Quilt


Image: NewVintageOldSkins on Etsy

These twills and corduroys someday want to be a patchwork purse with fringe…

twills and corduroys

seams as fringe

…with these as inspiration:

image from Barbara Vaughn’s Etsy shop:bvaughanhandbags

image from Barbara Vaughn’s Etsy shop:

View on: honeybeepollen on Etsy

View on: honeybeepollen on Etsy

Lately she got hooked on T-shirt yarn and got carried away making things…

how to make t-shirt yarn graphic

Where did she get this image?  She’s like to give credit where credit is due.

The first step is to cut off the hems and the top, under the sleeves. Save those though. The tops can be cut for strips and the hems used for other projects.

product development, making t-shirt yarn, tarn

The collection of hems from the rolls below

There is one step missing in the graphic above…stretching it after it is cut. It curls in on itself and gets much longer. There are lots of things to do with just the un-pulled fabric as well; but for yarn, seems best to stretch.

T-shirt yarn, tarn, pulled to stretch and elongate

The turquoise failed to turn in on itself and was used for a project you will see below.

Here is the pile she started with. All from shirts she had on hand and planned not to wear any longer.

collection of t-shirt yarn, tarn, rolls

This was her first project using the “Tarn”. You can see the details here:“Throwing a Tarn Bowl”, (though it is more of a basket).

Wabi-sabi tarn bowl, 21st century, thrown on an "artists" lap

Wabi-sabi tarn bowl, 21st century, with handles and a touch of purple


Wabi-sabi tarn bowl, 21st century, thrown on an "artists" lap

Bottom up!

Wabi-sabi tarn bowl, 21st century, with handles and a touch of purple

Strings have since been woven in.

And then she started braiding….
Braided rug fom t-shirt yarn.

…and braiding,

T-shirt yarn, tarn, braided for a rug

  and braiding…

T-shirt yarn, tarn, braided for a rug

She will try to post a tutorial of sorts to describe how efficient she got at braiding with rolls. The best rugs are made with “continuous-cut” tarn/yarn that is then rolled into balls, but the braid gets tangled if you don’t have a technique. And then when you do run out of the longest strips, there is a great way to splice a new run in.

There are several ways she has seen others splice pieces; but by far, the best way she has seen is to do it like it is done with bias tape. Click this picture to go to a how-to if you like. It’s for bias tape, but use the same method for the tarn.

Be sure to put the right sides (the original right side of the t-shirt) of “tarn” together when doing this as you want the seam to be inside the curling of the t-shirt yarn.

She did this herself and it worked like a charm; no lumps, bumps or knots (though that could be a design decision and even desirable, you be the judge).

As for how she braids…she can’t figure out how to tell you so that it will make sense, so maybe someday a video. Don’t hold your breath.

The main gist is to pick one ball to be the one to pull through the other two strands every two laps. Otherwise, you get a second braid forming below and it’s a tangled mess. If you get in a rhythm, it goes like the wind.

Lots of sellers on Etsy are stitching the braids together with zig-zag stitches on their machines. Ms. SpoolTeacher thinks they look nice this way. She hasn’t mastered (let alone even tried) this technique yet. She keeps hoping the braid will sew itself together.

Meanwhile she surfed the internet looking for that tutorial for joining the ends, didn’t find it, but found this Adirondack lady, Helen Condon, who makes some awesome rag rugs the old fashioned way. You can view a video of her working here. There is nothing like authentic craft, but Ms. SpoolTeacher likes modern adaptations as well… as seen here in a rug that inspires her:

For the old fashioned, lacing way of doing it, here is a great tutorial video, (Poor quality video, but useful for the information).

So as for that darned piece of t-shirt yarn that would not curl….she just used it as it was and imbedded it within this cotton macrame cord and made a few rows in single crochet with it as well as she went along. Pretty pretty, eh?

100% cotton macrame cord and t-shirt yarn crochet basket

100% cotton macrame cord and t-shirt yarn crochet basket

100% cotton macrame cord and t-shirt yarn crochet basket

There just aren’t enough hours in a day to do all the wonderful things she wants to do. She doesn’t understand how anyone gets bored.

She stays as busy as the bees…

busy as the bees

they say bees like green water…check out this blog:


Imagine knowing your baby will be secure for life?

Imagine knowing your baby will be secure for life?

“Imagine you are being born and society tells you ‘Welcome, you will be cared for, and asks you what you want to do with your life, what is your calling? Imagine that feeling, that’s a whole different atmosphere “ – Daniel Straub, Co-founder, Basic Income Initiative

Switzerland may start paying every adult (whether they work or not) a salary of over $2000 per month, based on the idea that their citizens will have more time to devote to things they are intrinsically interested in, instead of spending the majority of their time worrying about how they are going to survive, as many individuals with entry level positions find it hard to meet their needs. The income initiative promises every Swiss citizen a living wage , so they can always survive without basic financial worry.

Read the article here to consider pros and cons.

Ms. SpoolTeacher has always thought that as citizens, we own the commons. That means that the resources in the ground, air, water, nature, etc. belong to the people who inhabit the land.

Inhabitants of the land, the commons

Inhabitants of the land, the commons

She doesn’t believe that Corporations own them. She knows that it takes capital, small “c”, to make these resources viable for the citizens and that those engaged in making that happen deserve a “living wage” and their expenses paid for doing it.

Corporate Feudalism: The End of Nation States

“Corporate Feudalism: The End of Nation States”. Click picture to read the post by Steve Lovelace

She believes that any investment in research and development is an expense and should be funded by “the commons” who will benefit by the progress. If the commons won’t be benefited, it shouldn’t be being done. Period. If it does harm to the commons, it shouldn’t be being done. Period.

She doesn’t believe that those managing resources as profit making Capitalists should recover money for the investments that “the commons” provided initially; i.e., monies our government has already funded for research and development that is done before profit making Capitalist do what they do. You know, like all the work our government did to bring the internet into viability for Silicon Valley to further improve and develop. And that those same profit making Capitalists owe the commons a portion of the wealth they extract from the commons. It is, after all, our resources that they are given the privilege of “harvesting”.

The whole world is askew. There seem to be two basic camps of thinking…

Precision Nutrition. Click image to read post

two camps of thinking image courtesy of Precision Nutrition. Click image to read post (about food)

Will the chocolate cake be put to the Right use on the Left, or will the Right leave the Left with no chocolate cake at all? The cupcake is pink, so it must be of no use at all or maybe, just maybe Left on it’s own, the pink cupcake has all the Right ingredients after all. Right or Left, Left or Right? Maybe we should be thinking Pink?

Ms. SpoolTeacher believes with her whole heart that all new parents want the best possible for their babies. They don’t want their babies to spend their lives worrying in excess or unnecessarily. The right kind of stress is a good thing. Being in a chronic state of stress with survival worry is not.

They want their children to be free to grow into the beings God intends for them to be.

Well, the most important thing is that we all have food. So let’s quit worrying about all that other stuff and get out there and at least 1% of us plant some food.

White House garden

White House garden: Image courtesy of One Green Generation. (click image to read post at )

This looks like a pretty good plan, don't you think?

This looks like a pretty good plan, don’t you think?

And live a little more simply, and want a little less in material goods, and start wanting more for each other?

Are you planting this year? Are you helping someone else plant? Are you buying from someone who grows in your community?

That’s where imagining a better future starts. At least Ms. SpoolTeacher thinks it is.

Imagine. Just imagine.

What to Eat Don’t Eat

Eat Don't Eat on FacebookMs. SpoolTeacher has started a page on Facebook, Eat Don’t Eat, where she hopes to coagulate all the tornado of advice being whirled at us for what to Eat Don’t Eat? That is the question.

Check it out and give her your 2 sense! (yes she meant to spell it that way).

She has been doing her level best to produce her very own organic food, (formerly known as food) because she lives in an organic food desert.

And being in a literal desert poses lots of great challenges.

Aside from that confusion and continual learning curve, she is very often confused as to what to Eat Don’t Eat in the first place and therefore, what to plant. But she has pretty much concluded that if it can be grown, it should be eaten, save poisonous things and strictly ornamentals. So very many conflicting “facts” and figures.

The two videos at the bottom of this post she found lately. They seem to sum up the gist of it all very well and she encourages you to have a look see. They are great and informative short enough videos. They are also posted on the Eat Don’t Eat page on Facebook.

permaculture gardeningShe very much wants to garden Permaculturally, but she knows that it will be a very gradual process and is willing to go the distance. She found this lady who has some awesome things to say about it. This was the first of her posts Ms. SpoolTeacher read and will continue to stalk her for advice: “Why Permaculture Inspires and Motivates Me”

She also found this video of a man in Quebec, Canada who has it all together: Miracle Farms, a 5-acre commercial permaculture orchard in Southern Quebec…

Twenty years ago, Stefan Sobkowiak bought a commercial apple orchard with the intention of converting it to an organic orchard. He did just that, but eventually understood the limitations of the organic model originating from monoculture. He then decided to tear out most of the trees and replant in a way that would maximize biodiversity and yield while minimizing maintenance. Inspired by permaculture principles, the orchard now counts over 100 cultivars of apples, plus several types of plums, pears, cherries, and countless other fruits and vegetables.

Don’t miss this “miracle” of nature (oxymoron?) Nature is in itself a miracle, don’t ya think?

He likes to share his abundance with the insects and animals, (as well as his customers), because they did a lot of the work to accomplish this awesome feat; “They’re working day and night to take care of your orchard for you.”

“Problem with these plums is that you can never eat just one”, he says.

Ms. SpoolTeacher knows that problem well…  Period of Stagnation Period of Stagnation

What’s wrong with what we eat? – MARK BITTMAN

How to live to be 100+ – Dan Buettner
And here’s a great one of how mushrooms are going to save the world. Awesome video. Awesome. Talk about permanent culture…

and if all that doesn’t blow your mind, what about this… “tomato tree”. Is it possible? Is it a perennial tomato? Is there such a thing?tomato tree How could it possibly grow this much in one season?

Leave your 2 sense/cents in the comments below if you will. This SpoolTeacher wants to know. And be sure to visit and like Eat Don’t Eat on Facebook, if you will please. Thank you. (Happy Face)

Fall Here. Not to be Eeyore-ish! fall here. that's a lie. monsoon season.That’s a lie. This was taken during Monsoon Season…??? (Sporadic throughout summers here).

Raining sometimes just over your house (and only your house) like a cartoon image…

picture link: Click on picture for source

“I don’t know what I’m gonna do.”, did he actually say that or is that just how Ms. SpoolTeacher remembers it? She got lots and lots and lots of rain this Monsoon Season. She couldn’t catch it all.

Not that that would make one sad. You know Eeyore, though, he seems to like to be sad. Maybe he just needs a little more lovin than most?

Nufty rain water retrieval system gardening

Above is her nifty rainwater retrieval system.

She used everything she could find that didn’t have a hole in it…

Some eventually did. Have holes. Now they are leaf/debris collectors or something to wash something out in and drain on its own without having to turn it over….

Fall Here at Ms. SpoolTeacher's house

Fall Here at Ms. SpoolTeacher’s house

Fall is coming-back-inside (as much as one might dread it).

Even more than spring, it is a time to make home livable so that the cold, sometimes dull days of winter don’t leave you feeling Eeyore-ish.

(It’s time to relearn how to use a camera.) (inside)(or try to get a new one).

Period of Stagnation

There’s one more little Cantaloupe hanging on the vine. This little one was perfect. Tiny, but deliciously sweet and juicy. Ms. SpoolTeacher is saving the seeds!

She’s trying to get to planting clover that she can turn into the soil for nutrition later…Time, it’s such a thief. 005

Fall is the shadow of the house falling farther and farther into the raised bed..the marigolds still hang on and look so, so…Orange!

The one last little Cantaloupe dangling (way back about in the middle), actually resting on a stake on the wire mesh fencing it grew up on to.

She did pretty good getting after the weeds and everything she could into compost heaps..or strewn about where she hopes they will “volunteer” next year… 006

Zinnias. She loves Zinnias. 004. succulents. frost. evacuated

And all the succulents and tenders are creeping closer and closer to the places they can be evacuated in to should a frost appear to threaten.

Little Red-Haired Girl

It all goes by so fast.

Not to be Eeyore-ish!

Eat Don't Eat on Facebook

Ms. SpoolTeacher has started a page on Facebook, Eat Don’t Eat

where she hopes to coagulate all the tornado of advice being whirled at us for what to Eat Don’t Eat? That is the question.

Check it out and give her your 2 sense! (yes she meant to spell it that way).

Happy Face!

Okee Dokee, OCDC

OCDC/ Obsessive (Fabric) Collector Designer’s Challenge.

Ms. SpoolTeacher used to be a procrastinator.

“to voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay.”

Actually, she now thinks it wasn’t so much procrastination as that she got bored once she had “caught on” to how to do whatever it was she was trying to learn and she wanted to learn everything! So, she would stash one half-finished project and go on to the next learning curve.

On the other hand many regard procrastination as a useful way of identifying what is important to us personally as it is rare to procrastinate when one truly values the task at hand.

Who knows, but some of the psychological implications fit with her memory of her growth experience early on:

procrastination is strongly connected with lack of self-confidence (e.g., low self-efficacy, or learned helplessness) or disliking the task (e.g., boredom and apathy)…

Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations.

She had to work very hard to become capable of efficaciousness.

Below are three project that are not so much being procrastinated as are being run interference with by actual paid wages for labor, time stealing activity. Plus the projects are all in design mode. Though some would say the inspiration/perspiration factor is at play and only when Ms. SpoolTeacher realizes that perspiration is 90% of the equation and stops procrastinating will the inspiration see it’s fruition. Money being money and essential to staying in house that allows her to create…well you get the picture. She has to do it. Paid labor.

But still. When there are those slots available for perspiration, what does she do? She fights with The Mouse.

Not all time-wasting activities are created equal.

People who occasionally veer off track with inventive, clearly defined diversions before getting to a necessary chore (like working on a crossword for a half hour before writing a speech) may actually be moving closer to their goal, says Rita Emmett, author of The Procrastinator’s Handbook (Walker & Company).

So many distractions in a day…focus, focus, focus. Darn those paid wages. They really mess things up. It’s the fun stuff like chasing The Mouse that clear the cobwebs from her mind and help her find the answers floating around her, uncongealed, under-defined.


One of the above projects is (going to be) the prototype for her “instant success” plan. It doesn’t look like much laying there all folded up looking just like fabric, but you just wait.
Haute Handbags

And then there are the Haute Handbags she started as one that became two..Haute Handbags.that are waiting for the right lining fabrics to surface and inspire Ms. ST to fruition.

Haute Handbags

Wackedy Ann and Andy

click to view available ensembles at Spare Shelf on Etsy

Or the Wackedy Ann and Andy ensembles that are many, waiting for something to be done with them…

Or the cut off pants that are becoming a skirt and lace-up leggings…Used to be

What Used To Be

Or the “Scrappy Designer Pillow” that is being made from things that used to be.

That’s the challenge. Which one to complete. Which one to advance. Which new idea to put these all in another pile and start anew.

It’s a challenge alright.

She thinks she’ll watch this video again while she decides. And then she’ll go to bed because ” I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow”, Scarlett O’Hara.

Make yourself smile. Watch this ↓

And then this one below to see how the above video was accomplished:
Very cool.

Do you procrastinate/play/put off till you get inspired?

Well Okee Dokee then.

The Mouse Made Her Do It – or She Failed Pepper Class

Bell Pepper

Some things seem like they should be so simple.

For two seasons now, Ms. SpoolTeacher has tried to get Bell Peppers to flourish. Last year she got a few to progress to the end but they acquired soft spots along the way. She managed to nibble around the soft spots (which might have been sunburn?) to at least get some of the fruit of her labor.

This season, she had many seedlings, but not many made it through transplant into the raised bed.

She had one little one that struggled all summer and amounted to one teeny tiny bell drooping on a stem. She thought it was at least pretty enough to bring in and admire laying on her kitchen counter while she contemplated how to do better next year, (that was the least she could do for all the valiant efforts the little plant made to survive).

It laid on the counter for a time until Ms. SpoolTeacher discovered that The Mouse thought well of it too. So she put it in a little vintage plastic pink vase on her shelf in the bathroom with all her pretty vintage-ish perfume bottles.

Vintage Pink Vase with Pepper PlantThe Mouse Liked It Too

You can see The Mouse nibbles on this side.

She hates to kill any living thing unless it scares her to the point of fight-or-flight lack of composure. Then it’s every man or tarantula for him/herself.

Well the mouse got pretty brazen (1. Marked by flagrant and insolent audacity. See Synonyms at shameless.) He crawled to the edge of underneath her toaster oven sitting on the counter next to her while she was typing like now and stuck his big ears out with his little pink nose and beady eyes and said, “Hi, Ms. SpoolTeacher. Catch me if you can!”

Once eye contact was made, there was no chance she could force him in to a spring loaded trap that might or might not kill him. There would have to be a better way. She DuckDuckGo’d it.

She thought she had him cornered and was standing silent with a towel but turned her head a fraction of a second and he scurried over the towel and back into the stove. (The stove only had one working burner and Ms. SpoolTeacher had wanted to rid herself of it anyway).

“I’ll fix you”, Ms. ST thought.

So she went about to shimmy the stove out to the back yard and at least get the mouse on the run, outside…

Elephant and The Mouse

Picture “stolen” from: Nothing Worth Stealing

Shimmy, shimmy. The whole time wondering when she might have to jump up on a chair like an elephant. He did peak his head out from the bottom and she thought he might run back in the house. She banged and banged trying to scare him back up inside. (She has a dolly but didn’t want to leave him long enough to get it, trying to outfox the fox/mouse.)

Well, she got the stove outside and hasn’t seen hide nor turd of him since. It’s lookin guud (as Jim Carey would say).

Now to rearrange the kitchen that was torn up in the process. Gosh what it takes her to get anything done.

The Mouse Made Her Do It. Thank you Mouse.

She failed Pepper Class this year, but look out next year. That’s a pretty brazen statement, don’t ya think?

Is This Info ©’d


This is pretty cool. ↓
Everybody should know this yes/no? ↓


Alt + 0153….. ™… trademark symbol
Alt + 0169…. ©…. copyright symbol
Alt + 0174….. ®….registered  trademark symbol
Alt + 0176 …°……degree symbol
Alt + 0177 …±….plus-or -minus sign
Alt + 0182 …¶…..paragraph mark
…See More….smiley face
Alt + 2 ……☻… smiley face
Alt + 15…..☼…..sun
Alt + 12……♀…..female sign
Alt + 11…..♂……male sign
Alt + 6…….♠…..spade
Alt + 5…….♣…… Club
Alt + 3………….. Heart
Alt + 4…….♦…… Diamond
Alt + 13……♪…..eighth note
Alt + 14……♫…… beamed eighth note
Alt + 8721…. ∑…. N-ary summation (auto sum)
Alt + 251…..√…..square root check mark
Alt + 8236…..∞….. infinity
Alt + 24…….↑….. up arrow
Alt + 25……↓…… down arrow
Alt + 26…..→…..right arrow
Alt + 27……←…..left arrow
Alt + 18…..↕……up/down arrow
Alt + 29……↔…left right arrow

And then there is the question, “How do I copyright?”. ← that link will take you to a government website with lots of info.

Ms. SpoolTeacher went on a mad hunt for symbol images she could use for graphics/pictures to spruce up “the blog”. While looking, she found this ↓ and it was ♪ ♫ to her ears. Poor little Smiley has no ears. Maybe that is why he is so u+2639, (oops it didn’t work), unhappy, (she needs the alt version)….

Unicode smiley characters :
U+263A or alt(+)1 White Smiling Face
U+263B or alt(+)2 Black Smiling Face
Unicode also contains the “sad” face:
U+2639 White Frowning Face

Have A Nice DayMs. SpoolTeacher grew up in the sixties and remembers ←that guy more than the one Wikipedia says “Smiley” had his/her “first appearance” in “1963” ↓

Smiley 1963

Of course the symbol she remembers the most from that era is ↓

The Peace Symbol←The Peace Symbol

and of course ↓ …Twiggy

…who needs no description for those who lived at that time. Of course there was black and white houndstooth, pocket T’s and the Mod Squad.
Hello, is anybody out there?

Houndstooth chair

Photo courtesy of Le Home Brooklyn who has an “upcycled vintage chair section!!!

Back to Copyrighting/Patenting/etc.,etc….

She thinks she has invented the “one thing” she was meant to invent/do. The thing that is/was her passion. Her “Do What You Love, The Money Will Followthing.

So she is investigating patenting it and of course the wheels started turning and she has developed her own marketing scheme and “value-added” products and, and…. the book deal, and and…

and she thinks this will be her instant (40+ years in production) success story.

So what if it’s not, thinking so is probably waaaay less harmful than not thinking so…eh? Think?

Why not. You have to have a dream.

She had a rough week. Her car broke down while far away from home. It took her most of the time since to recover from the emotional tole she experienced for realizing more acutely/again how daunting a task it is to navigate life sometimes.

She realized how important keeping relationships healthy is.

She saw a little more clearly what it is she really wants of her life. She had a moment of clarity and felt liberated at the thought of selling EVERYTHING SHE OWNS AND RUNNING ON DOWN THE ROAD.

Suddenly all the STUFF that seems like a noose around her neck was loosened and she felt like she could ruuuuuuuun!

Then she came back to reality, or at least to this version of the dream, and decided that she just needs to let all the dust of recent losses settle around her feet and turn to fertilizer from which she may grow a little stronger.


“♫Car 54 ♪ Ms. SpoolTeacher…Where ♪ ♫are you ♪?”…

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”—Romans 8:28

“Consider it pure joy, … whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”—James 1:2-3, NIV

The Bigger Scheme of Things

DowntownBusiness duties called Ms. SpoolTeacher in to the big city, near 50 miles west of where she lives (way out in the “boonies”). It’s always at least 10 degrees cooler out there, in her boonies. Not so much concrete and asphalt and the elevation is higher. The tow truck driver mentioned it as he came up over the crest and started back down the decline.

Tow Truck Driver! Yep.


Ms. SpoolTeacher almost didn’t stop at Trader Joes to gather some supplies, unavailable in the boonies, she was so anxious to leave the congestion and get back to her rural life; but it is a seldom trip, so she forced herself to do it.

So glad she did. She put the groceries in the back seat and started the car. It responded with a shimmy. A very big shimmy and the engine light was on.

It’s probably been two years ago now that she had her engine rebuilt. She’s not a mechanic (Jackie of all Trades that she is) and she has a (so called) friend who checks fluids and things for her regularly. She had even asked said friend to go with her that morning as she was having a notion she didn’t want to go alone for some reason. He declined.

She’s not blaming, mind you. People are free. She is a big girl now and she should check her own fluids. She just hates cars. Wishes she didn’t have to have one. Would like to live where rapid transit is available or get her bike fixed for local maneuvering and just plain forget big cities exist.

The cost of the car, the fuel, the registration, the insurance. Ever more reasons to have to spend time working labor for wages instead of digging in dirt or sewing.

Yesterday, she was beside herself with angst and dread. She let herself worry. Yesterday. While it was happening. But even while it was happening, she was sitting there in the shade running scenarios through her brain of how she would remedy this dilemma. Thinking that “This is a good thing. This will make me make the changes I have been thinking I want to make.”

No cell phone, no towing (she momentarily, in her panic, forgot she had ordered a policy a couple months prior thinking of such a time as this. She almost hadn’t, due to more labor $$$, but she had thought…”hmmm, me thinks I better”), the manager at Trader Joes was very reluctant to let her use the phone to call her so called friend (exactly why she abhors working for corporations, they are so not about anything except profits), “I’m not supposed to let you”, he said. She said, “I will tell you, I just spent $40 in here.” To which he snarkily replied, “I’m not doubting you, we are just not supposed to let people use the phone.” “WE”. Couldn’t he make a managerially nice decision to help a fellow person out of a crisis without the mouse in his pocket squeaking up. She was dressed nice. She looked professional. She didn’t look like a beggar. Not that a beggar shouldn’t have been helped as well….he wouldn’t even look her in the eye.

Her new cell phone

Her new cell phone

Pay phone. No where to be found  and she just happened to have a bag full of quarters for the meters downtown at the courthouse. 50 people walking the parking lot watching the water with coolant drain out of her water reservoir helpful, not. One girl asked. One GIRL. By then, Ms. SpoolTeacher had calmed down from being denied help by her so called friend and had remembered about the roadside assistance she had been so clever to imagine she might surely need this day.

Since Trader Joes was so demeaning, she thought she’d now ask Verison (surely they have phones) if they had a land line she could use for a toll free number. “Land line, no.” The young man didn’t quite know how his boss sitting in the back office was going to take to his letting her use one of those chained in Smart Phones of which she knows nothing of. (Hopefully it had unlimited long distance). Anyway she (with lots of help from the young man) made the call, thanked them profusely, offered to pay for the call, and went back out to think of what she could do next.

She thought, “Maybe it just overheated and needs water.” So while she was waiting for the driver, she took her Ms. SpoolTeacher/Jackie of all Trades/Cleaning Lady empty giant Fabuloso jug to see if the beauty shop could help her fill it up with water. There was a cascading fountain she thought about using, but it was trickling too slow. By this time, she was reluctant to ask for help, people seemed so unfriendly. But the girl at the beauty shop was lovely and together they filled it up, emptied all the bubbles left from soap residue and got some clean clear water.

The car started up without rumbling, but the engine light was still on. “How would she get home.” She couldn’t call so called friend again after hanging up on his rudeness. “You’re just upset, you can figure this out.”

That was the second call. The first one was giving her instructions.

“You know why I’m upset? If it was you calling me, I would say, ‘Where are you, I’ll be right there’. I wouldn’t be qualifying whether or not I would come.”

As it turned out, the tow truck driver was a people person. He got on the horn and found out that he could, in fact, tow her the 46 miles home. The fee came in $2 under her policy limit. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow”, was the song filling up her heart.

Today, she felt a strange calm. “Well if she had in fact, let some level of fluid lapse in replenishing and she had in fact ruined her car for good, so be it. In must be in HIS plan.”

“Hand me the next dilemma, Lord”, she said in her newly calmed mind.

She’s been trying to get off the grid, “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow“, become a “farmer’s wife/farmer”, live “The Good Life”.

It always seems that she has to be backed up into a corner for what she wants to really happen.

Bookmans Project EducateShe forgot to mention that after the Trader Joe manager’s attitude and her so called friend’s rejection, she felt a need to traipse her severely paining lower back with her giant water jug across 8 lanes of traffic to get over to Bookmans to sit in one of their wing back chairs and stair at books, eat a banana, think and cry for a spell.  While there in their lovely atmosphere of friendliness and ambiance, she got a new spark of an idea to try calling her nephew to see if he could come to her rescue. No answer. But for the record, the Bookmans associate, smiling the whole time, plopped the land line phone on the counter, gave her a pen and paper and phone book, told her to just dial direct and walked away for her to have privacy, never asking if it was long distance or not. A big, big, big shout out to Bookmans. BIG!


Bookmans understands that everything we do as a business has an impact. Thirty years in, we remain dedicated to being a positive influence in our community. We believe in making the effort to interact with and understand others, being involved with and contributing to our community, speaking out against censorship and promoting freedom of expression at every turn, offering a diverse mix of merchandise with broad price ranges, and always exceeding expectations.

And little did she know that all these years of loving buying used books at, Bookman’s has a presence there as well. and there own online selling at AbeBooks.

So, car is home. The registration is due and just in time she has this breakdown. Maybe, she needn’t renew. She’s still drumming up ideas of how to get all the way out of this dilemma. Sell/scrap the car, fix the truck. After all the truck has made it 30 years. Back to “The Good Life” (tongue in cheek) with no air conditioning. It just keeps getting better.

With her new calmed down mind, she saved her back this day and didn’t scrub any toilets. She started determining to sell all her stuff on Etsy but didn’t start digging things out just yet, back still needs healing; but she did do some research for the values of things. While surfing in the cool waters of the interwebby, she ran across a blog about “Permaculturing in Portugal, One family’s attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way”. A family  that reminded her about what really matters in the bigger scheme of things, it’s the little things.

Solar Hot Water Heating

Hot Water Heating

It’s about The Simple Life and making things ever more simple and uncomplicated.

Yes, you might think you have to have a cell phone. But that is like insurance. “Insurance is for pessimists.” As Karen Dinesen (Meryl Streep) says when the plantation burns to the ground in Out of Africa.

Ms. SpoolTeacher is just a little glad that she was a pessimist for a moment in time and bought that towing policy. Not her usual persuasion, but sure glad she had it none the less. Things work out. Just the way they are intended.

At least that’s how she feels.

Insurance if for pessimists

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow…

Rag Doll2The Sun will come out tomorrow, but there will be nothing new under it.

Ms. Jackie of all Trades SpoolTeacher says this all the time. Every time she thinks she has a novel idea, not so much. < Click the image left to see what she means (maybe after you have read the rest of this story).

When she had her Lollipops & Polka Dots Variety Store, she would always be working on a project of some kind while waiting for clients.

She had managed to get her hands on all kinds of fabric remnants that a local Thrift owner was selling from her collected personal stock.

Many moons ago, she had made a 25″ Raggedy Ann doll and “accidentally” gave it as a Christmas gift. She never could figure out what possessed her to do that. She’s wondering now if it was a girl and boy. Time diminishes the pain, but not so much. So she, all these years later, finally got out her pattern and decided to make herself one to keep. After doing so, she remembered why she had waited 30 years to do it again. It is a tremendous labor of love.

Purple-Haired AnniePurple-Haired Annie became the mascot of the store.

Then people started asking “How much are you selling her for?”

Not happening. But she tried to concoct an amount in her head of if she would what would the price be. She didn’t count the time it took her, but she is sure it was over 40 hours. At $10 an hour, $400. She imagined she might get away with $150, but that would mean $3.75/hr not including fabric, stuffing, embroidery floss, love.

So, she got the bright idea to cut “ensembles” out and offer classes or just sell the sets. She cut out body parts as well and marked them separately. Differing colors of skin, so customers could invent their own identity. Build-A-Bear, nothing new under the sun!


The kit she liked the most The kit she liked the most One young high school girl came in to take sewing lessons. It was about her third project that she decided she wanted to tackle an Ann Doll. So, she picked out the kit she liked the most and she and Ms. SpoolTeacher sat side by side for hour upon hour, making their dolls.

The young high school girl was so enamoured with the project, that she took it home to work on her own.

That same young girl took a few sewing lessons and is now making Haute Couture quality items. Totally amazing work she does and is still excited to show Ms. SpoolTeacher her masterpieces. She’s a genius.

IMG_8630High School Student

Ms. SpoolTeacher’s  project was a labor of love for a friend who had a granddaughter going off to College and she wanted to give her something special. How could she refuse. The granddaughter was mixed race Hispanic/Anglo, (is that PC?) So, Ms. ST tried to oblige the theme. BFFsMachita Ann being discovered

Machita Ann's EnsemblePurple-Haired Ann could hardly wait for Machita to become real. Their story of becoming BFFs is told in the “The Spooling of Two Hearts”.

Machita Ann  Machita was adopted. But they remain friends at heart.Dressed and Ready In the Spool Bus going to new home

So, Ms. SpoolTeacher thought she had a novel idea. Not so much. She did end up bringing her operation to her Home Studio and closing that real(ity) shop. She now offers the ensembles (some of them) for sale on Etsy.

Today she was updating a “Treasury List” from which several items had dropped out from/of?. She started searching Etsy for “rag dolls” when she stumbled upon another verification that there is NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN,

    What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.

    Ecclesiastes 1:9

and that inventing a novel idea is near impossible; but that sounds glass half empty and she is not of that persuasion, so she just tries to tweak the idea to it’s novel-ist best. The doll at the beginning of this post is made one-of-a-kind by this wonderful lady, Shae Bailey who sells them on Etsy. Check her out.

The Spooling of Two Hearts

Spooling Around

In the mean time, Ms. JoaT SpoolTeacher thinks she might win the lotto. That’s a novel idea. Say.

Her mission for Food Security made baby steps, like “the dent that a baby spider makes on the surface of water”, in progress this summer. She thinks she will start taking the advice of Markam Farm’s, Brett L Markham, from his post Planting Nature’s Way where he says, “Nature is pretty savvy. Plants and seeds in the wild just seem to know what to do and when to do it.”

Gigantic CantaloupeAfter all her massive efforts to grow seedlings, transplant, compost, weed……and on and on and on and on…tomatoes failed to set, though the plants thrived, squash got aphids this year, cucks were new but did fair well, pumpkin about six, cantaloupe one giant that she plucked a little too soon…beets nil, pepper, one teeny tiny still struggling to grow up, beans, ( supposed to be easy) all died…clearly not enough to feed herself. But she learned a lot. After all that, when the season started coming to a close, massive amounts of cantaloupe volunteered, a few tomatoes too. What up? Nature. It does it’s best if left to do what it does. We are just stewards and lovers of it.

Yummy Cucumber