Here’s one for the Village Piece Makers, you know, the dedicated quilt-makers who every two years come up with a  lovely handmade spread to be raffled off at the Christmas Walk.  I don’t know how they come up with the patterns—maybe they make them up themselves—but recently  the AB-J ran a cartoon (It’s a regular series called Non Sequitur, usually pretty apt for what they put out there) that might get a rise from out local needlewomen, even Ellie Foster Monroe who does “Quilts for Causes”, contributing to efforts that she supports.

Anyway, the cartoon shows a quilting group—ladies in chairs, mostly with glasses, of “a certain age”–   all gathered around their quilting frame, plying their needles, stitching away at flowers and embroidered hearts, leaves and smiley faces, little butterflies, vines and foliage on large squares of a white or light-colored background, with  implied color accents—your standard sewing circle lay-out.  The speech balloon coming from one lady in the center of the left side(The women on the upper edge are mostly looking over to their left at an individual stitcher in the upper right corner) says, apparently in explanation of the outlying needlewoman, “Well…Muriel never was one to let tradition stand in the way of self-expression.”  So, you look over at the right-corner quilter and she’s working  diligently at a solid black square with a white skull and crossbones (You know, the poison/pirate symbol) smack in the middle.  Ha!

I remember the Ladies’ Aid meeting at my grandma’s to do quilting but I’m pretty sure that  none of them ever did such a thing; it was a church group, after all.  Even Mrs. Brasee, who is the only one whose name I can remember, who had some pretty wild boys, wouldn’t have thought of such a thing.  I’m not sure about Ellie.

And I spotted an article in a news magazine that I am NOT letting the cats see.  It was one of those   “what to get for somebody who has everything” or “a fool and his money are soon parted” pieces and it was about a device a pet owner could purchase to reduce the problem of having a pet—specifically a cat—which “pigs out” on all of the available food, not letting the more delicate among them get enough chow.  It works something like the Invisible Fence, with a chip either on a collar or implanted under the skin which activates an automatic cover on a food dish.  Only the chipped or collared feline’s presence will open the door, making the food available; when the “special kitty” moves away, the cover closes, thereby keeping the contents safe from other animals (Dog s love the cat food) such as the piggy cat or assorted vermin which might find it attractive.  Training the cat to  not be put off by a whirring motor and an opening and closing cover, the directions say, “takes a bit of time and patience”.  Oh.  You don’t say!  I think that it might be a cold day in a hot place before that training could be accomplished.  Either that or mine would decide that it was just the most fun thing in the world to just play at opening and closing the thing, opening and closing, opening and closing, opening and closing…in the middle of the night!  Anyway, this marvel is available for $150 from (They must make pet doors too) and—here’s the kicker—the source is listed as  That’s telling it like it is.

Another tip on how to spend it comes from a mention (Same magazine, different week) of what they call “one of the chicest ways to hibernate”.  It’s an eiderdown (from eider ducks)duvet from Norvegr.  The duvet can be custom-made for each customer—heavy on one side, light on the other, for instance.  Just collecting the down(“some of the coziest in the world”) to go in one is quite a challenge, since the gatherers have to go to the Norwegian island of Svalbard  in late June(Midsummer, not really all that warm in Norway but way bright) to handpick the 15 to 20 grams(on a good day) that one abandoned duck nest might yield; total harvest for one year might be around 100 kilograms—slim pickin’s.  One of these beauties, for a double bed, will set you back $6,714…and counting.

Use it with your stash of sprayable melatonin sleep aid which claims to send you off to the Land of Nod by being absorbed through the skin, “gradually and efficiently”.