Museum of Me | May 2023

Museum of Me | May 2023

There is always one moment in childhood when a door opens and lets the future in.   — Graham Greene

I have spent a good bit of time contemplating this post. Then versus now… 10 year old me versus 62 year old me.

I looked for photo’s, but… sadly, there are few photos from my childhood. I could find my 6th grade photo… but not one from the year before. But perhaps my memories will be enough… and by leaning in to authenticity… perhaps I will have some success telling a story that is hard to tell.

Ten year old me was an avid reader… books, you see gave me the greatest escape. I could settle into a book and suddenly be miles away. But, really… the only hope I had for my childhood was to simply survive. The “open door to my future” did not come until my sophomore year in high school, when I moved in permanently with my grandparents.

I’ve never spent any time then… or now… immersed in self-pity. Do I wish things had been different for me? Some days yes… (especially, when I have to figure out how to unpack the past and talk about it in any fashion…sigh) but most days not at all and though it has taken me a long time to say this… I very much like the person I am today… a person who still loves to read and most definitely is a survivor!

I think that 10 year old me would love what I am today… a confident, independent woman. I think that 10 year old who had no confidence for so many things, herself included, has found the confidence to say yes to things, and, perhaps more importantly, to say no to things as well..without worries of repercussions. I think that 10 year old me would love that I make myself a priority for some part of each day. I think 10 year old me would love how I am working through this year learning how to be more authentic with myself… a big part of which is learning to temper my inner critic. I think 10 year old me would be amazed that I am like myself…lots! And that I am learning to nurture those moments like the treasure they are!

But there are fun then and now things as well… I think 10 year old me would be shocked at how I now have an entire wardrobe made by me… that I wear regularly and LOVE! (10 Year Old Me thought ready-to-wear clothes that were not “second hand” were a wonder!)

I think 10 year old me would really wonder how I can like to read books that aren’t about horses…(for the longest time 10 year old me thought that Black Beauty was the be all, end all of books!)

I think that 10 year old me might wonder why I don’t spend time outdoors galloping around… or singing silly songs… (10 year old me could belt out all the “jingles!” and I still have perfect recall of all the words of this ditty as well as practically perfect recall of every episode of Schoolhouse Rock!)

I think that 10 year old me who struggled mightily with math would be in awe of my mad math skills today!

All in all… I am so grateful to that 10 year old girl who knew that escape and survive was the best solution then…and to the me now who realizes that it is okay for the past to stay in the past. That while that past made me what I am, it does not make up the minutes of my day today. And that makes then and now so much better!

Thank you for visiting this month… I will be. back on Wednesday with some Skirt Knitting updates!


Museum of Me | April 2023

Museum of Me | April 2023

Welcome, welcome!

This month’s prompt asked about what old, worn out thing can we not part with… I have thought long and hard about this post… and I am twisting it about a bit. Rather than worn out, I have found the well-worn… as in well-worn memories. (and it is especially relevant this month!)

Most exhibits in the Museum of Me all exist in the deep pools of my memories… well-worn and much loved memories, but not memories that I reminisce over regularly. But then something triggers those memories and they float to the top of the pool when they shimmer on the surface, lingering in the most wonderful way.

This month is one of those Memory Triggers for me…always in April my thoughts turn to my maternal grandfather… who loved poetry. He did not just love poetry, he memorized poetry and recited it often. He loved to talk about poetry, he loved you to ask questions about the poems he read and recited.

When I was a little girl, I can remember him reverently reciting Joyce Kilmer’s Trees and wondering if he was praying. My grandpa especially loved two poets… yes, Joyce Kilmer but also Carl Sandburg. He read other poets, but he memorized the poems of Kilmer and Sandburg.

My grandpa frequently quoted Sandburg poems, Fog and When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d. I did not realize until I looked up Lilacs how long it was and I am not sure if my grandpa knew the whole thing, but I remember hearing many of the verses.

Like Kilmer, my grandpa was a man of profound faith and later in life when MS ravaged his body, his recall of Kilmer’s Prayer of a Soldier in France had new meaning for him. I remember many discussions with him about how MS might defeat his body, but it would not defeat his attitude… and it would never take his faith.

Now my days start with poetry… and I can hear my grandpa asking “what took you so long?” Reading poetry is something that I have come to love and it is something that connects me to my memories of him… and occasionally, those memories rise to the surface and I feel that connection even more.


My grandpa… in the back… the only one looking at the camera!

Thank you for stopping and reliving some of the memories of my grandfather with me!

See you all back here on Monday!

Museum of Me – Science For Real Life | 3.10.23

Museum of Me – Science For Real Life | 3.10.23

If I look back on my school days… which I do with some regularity in my 60’s… and I note two key things:

  1. If I was good at something, I wanted to do it all the time. 
  2. If I was not good at something, I found ways to avoid doing it at all costs. 

Those two things sum up my educational life… very succinctly.

I think you can imagine how those two key things have influenced my life… or rather, how I have used those two things to influence my life!

I was late to reading… believe it or not! When I was a child they taught reading phonetically and that just did not make sense to me at all. I learned to read linguistically. But once I caught on, there was no stopping me… I always had a book with me.

Math was a similar struggle… throughout my entire school life. Not once was math ever taught in a manner that made any sense to me. I had the misfortune to being in the “guinea pig” group for a concept school for 3 years in middle school. The thought behind this concept was that if children are allowed to choose what to do, they will always choose to learn. Ha! Enter wee Kat… who finished all the reading “requirements” for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade in 6th grade. That same person did not do one lick of math in 3 years. True fact. Suffice it to say, I was not the only one and they had to implement “remedial math” classes for a large group of us when we moved on to high school.

I was, however, fascinated with science in middle school. I had an amazing science teacher… Mr. Meppelink. Mr. Meppelink made science a wonder! And science remained fascinating until I reached a big stumbling block… the one where science and math merged… that was when I “fell out” a bit with science. There was no chance I was ever going to be a scientist with my poor math skills. I wish I had some nice while-I-was-in-school-aha-moment where it all clicked but there was never one while I was in school.

But, the science story did not end when I finished school!


Some many years later…I realized that science is part of my daily life when I discovered the “how’s” of baking! The science of flour, water, yeast, and salt to make something that is edible! Bread! And if you really want to get further into the science of baking… sour dough! (Which, to date, I have never been successful at achieving! But I have tried!)

So though I was never a good science student, I managed to bake my way into being a fairly good scientist in the kitchen! Even with all the Sour Dough failures I have had! And those math skills? Well, I am happy to tell you all that I am a very happy percentage baker.

While I was not the best student… I am happy that science found a way to move it self from thing two to thing one!

Thanks to Kym for making sure these memories keep percolating to the forefront of my brain!

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend everyone!


Museum of Me | Stardate 2801.13

Museum of Me | Stardate 2801.13

Greetings Gentle Visitors!

As a younger person, I truly loved Star Trek and this month our exhibit is one that has us traveling into the future… the near future, but the future nonetheless. Never fear though, the journey will be delightful! Dear Old Scotty is the best transporter operator this world has ever know and he is eager to beam us to our destination! So get in and we will be whisked off to the year 2028! Let’s see what Kat’s future might hold!

First, a little mood music for this journey…

It is January 2028 and Kat is again spending the month getting to know her OLW: Eventuality. Yes, this is her Eleventh Year with a Word… and this year it all about the idea that the Future is our Eventuality. So this year she is thinking about that eventuality every single day. And she is very cognizant about time… she has lived 3496 weeks thus far and each of them has been such a blessing.

She continues to be a maker… of course. And last year, Steve finally got Kat her very own, stand alone She-Shed – The Maker’s Annex – and it is the perfect making place! There are large, bright windows where she can see her year around cactus gardens…hint, Global Warming really took off in 2024 so Pittsburgh is now the perfect climate for them to grow and flourish!

The Maker’s Annex has the perfect painting space, which is a very good thing because she has been busy painting for an upcoming watercolor show later this year. I know! She is so happily surprised at this as well! All those lessons indeed fueled the spark of her painting.

Kat is, of course, still a knitter and her Gnome Gang has continued to grow over the years. But she now mainly knits BSJ‘s for the local Midwife Labor and Delivery Center. She has organized a group of knitters to join this effort. A wool sweater is a necessary thing in the World of Air Conditioning and, yes, sheep are still producing wool, thank goodness!

The reading of books has not waned either, but now she has a ReadingKindleBot that reads ebooks aloud to her. Sadly, paper books are a thing of the past with trees being so important to helping in the efforts to turn around Global Warming.

Sewing also continues, but has likewise seen such perhaps the most dramatic changes! There is a sewingbot! Agnes is the most wonderful thing. It speeds through those parts of the sewing process that Kat never really loved… the pinning out and cutting. How lovely to just gather up the pieces Agnes has cut and sit down and sew (although, Agnes can sew as well as cut!!) Making a muslin is a thing of the past, Agnes knows exactly what adjustments need to be made for the pattern to fit perfectly. Agnes really is the most incredible thing! Even better is the fact that so many pattern makers have joined the idea of zero-waste making! Agnes is so very good at “puzzling out” a pattern layout to utilize every bit of the fabric!

Agnes and KindleReadingBots are not the only things that have gotten incredible technology boosts! That’s right the combustion engine is a thing of the past, and thanks to some incredible work in congress in 2025… we now have the most amazing mass rapid public transportation – nationwide. That’s right! This eliminated all domestic air travel. The best part? Weekends to visit kids are now a very regular occurrence!

The other really amazing thing has been the renewal of travel to the moon. Weekend trips are very affordable thanks to an incredible grant provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation! And those MoonBnB’s are just so much fun! The views are stunning and the gravity free environment is so nice on creaky old bones! You can jump with joy… literally!

There, of course, remain the not so great things….

  • We are on the 4 millionth iteration of COVID, but vaccines remain the gold standard for protection. (thank goodness for those incredible scientists!)
  • There are still vast political differences… but the GOP vanished from the political scene just before 2024. In its place is a small, but very vocal, group – The Contrary Party. Yep, they vote NO on everything. Fortunately, the tide of young voters that began in 2023 has not ebbed at all and they are the very best check on those obnoxious naysayers!
  • And, as I said… Global Warming is a thing that impacts the daily lives of every person on this planet, but Greta Thunberg is now the leader on combating climate change. She heads the largest group in the UN and under her direction, things are slowly beginning to turn around.

And there you have a glimpse into the Future of Kat! When you are finished looking around, Scotty will be ready to beam you back to 2023. Thank you so much for your visit today!

And, as always, I’d like to thank Kym for inspiring this bit of creativity! We usually look back, but this peek in to the “what might be” has been so much fun!



Museum of Me | December 2022

Museum of Me | December 2022

The prompt this month is to talk about the best Christmas gift we ever got.

First, how about a bit of Christmas Gifting Music? And nobody recites a Christmas List better than Eartha Kitt!

Now, I could spend some time talking about the puppy my sister and I got one year. Mitzi, the Miniature Schnauzer. I remember getting up in the middle of the night and discovering her under the tree. I also remember her not going back to sleep and getting in loads of trouble for getting up in the middle of the night!

Miss Mitzi… The Christmas Pup all grown up! You’ll notice she is ever alert…listening… ready to let loose with all the barky-ness she could muster! And boy could she muster the barky-ness! 

Perhaps I could talk about the sledding saucer I got as a child… gosh, I loved it and it got lots of use, until I was ‘too old for saucer sledding.’ Although, after sitting lonely for years in the garage a desire to go saucer-ing returned in 1978 thanks to the blizzard of the century (or at least in my limited memory! lol) Anyway, while the saucer did not work well, it indeed did see some trips down the dune…more than enough for me to enjoy the volumes of snow we got that year!

Me, on my way to the ‘sledding dune’ through the deep, deep snow… happy that saucer was still around!

But instead I am going to fast forward a couple of decades to Christmas 1994. It has been a very rough autumn into winter…we had been having a Step-Throat-A-Rama in my house. As in, Rachel, Heidi, and Sam all had constant strep throat… or should I say Constant Stages of Strep… one getting better kid, one super sick kid, and one coming down with strep kid. It was riotous fun…not. And all this strep exposure made me super sick… multiple times super sick and by December that year I had pleurisy. (Which was not the best Christmas Gift ever!)

Now why would I remember all of this, you must be asking yourself. I mean weren’t a new puppy or a sledding saucer much better memories?

Not really, because you see that year…

Santa put a mixer under the tree… for me!!

Yes, it was the year that I got my KitchenAid mixer (this is the closest I could find to what mine looks like!) I remember being entirely awestruck at such a wondrous gift! (and if it had not been the greyest, rainiest, darkest week ever in Pittsburgh, I would have a photo to share of my Much Loved Mixer!)

That mixer has helped bake an endless number of cookies. It has mixed countless batches of bread dough. It has whipped egg whites, whipping cream, and even made more than her fair share of homemade marshmallows!

She is the mixer that keeps on mixing… yes, still going strong 28 years later! I have an inkling that she just might outlast me! And so, I look forward to continuing to use her for years to come! And that, gentle readers, makes that mixer one of the best gifts I have ever received!

A huge thanks to Kym for inspiring all our memories! But inquiring minds want to know… what was your best Christmas Gift?





Museum of Me | November 2022

Museum of Me | November 2022

I have been thinking about this exhibit for some time now (since last month, actually!!) and it has been one of the most enjoyable exhibits to put together!

Come in and consider the Unsung Hero… or Sheroes as is the case for me. As you all know, I frequently sing the praises of my sweet Nana, and my grandpa’s (maternal and paternal)! But do I have an Unsung Hero lurking about in my past?

Indeed I do! And not just one, but a dozen! And today I would like to share a bit about these amazing women.

First, we have to go way back in time to the late 80’s… I was living with my soon-to-be-husband, who traveled most of the month for work… so I had volumes of alone time. And back then, I was a very regular church attender and I remember vividly the Sunday that the ladies quilting group completed an altar cloth for very special occasions. It was stunning… the work was just incredible. And I remember talking with these amazing artists (all of whom I had known for most of my life) and asking eleventy-billion-questions! And the women said these magical words… why don’t you join us? And so I did! They generally met once a week for several hours – cutting fabrics, sewing, making the “quilt sandwiches”, tying the sandwiches, and then binding the quilts. Oh… and there was always a potluck for lunch (which might have been the best part of the entire day!)

Not only did this group occasionally make gorgeous altar cloths, each year they sewed dozens of quilts for Lutheran World Relief.

And so I joined… a non-quilter, but one eager to learn. I never became as proficient as some of the ladies in that group, but I could cut squares and sew a straight line with the best of them!

But the Very Best Thing Ever, and my favorite part, was was the making of The Tulip Time Quilt Show Quilt! This quilt would be entered in the Tulip Time Quilt Show in Holland, Michigan. It was a Big Deal and they were all hand quilted. There are not enough superlative words to describe how wonderful it was to be sitting around the quilting frame with the dearest of friends as we stitched, talked, and in general… just loved the heck out of each other! We shared joys, sorrows, struggles, heartaches, frustrations, fears… and even the dreaded meal planning wall that we all have hit!! You know the one… where you don’t feel at all creative and are sick of everything you have recently been cooking. Pre-internet days, there was not a vast well of ideas… unless you were sitting around the quilting frame, that is! Some of my best meal ideas came from that group.

The things I learned from those ladies extended far beyond sewing quilts. They knew the importance of supporting each other… in all things. I am a better friend because of them… and my life is certainly richer for all the things they shared with me.

A true friend encourages us, comforts us, supports us like a big easy chair, offering us a safe refuge from the world. — H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 

Those ladies were all that… and so much more.

Thank you so much for visiting today! I hope you can send some time this weekend thinking about the unsung heroes in your life!

See you all back here on Monday!


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