starfish, innocence and hope

Dear Innocence, I wish you were a starfish. If you lost an arm, it would grow back. In fact, that lost arm might grow back a new body. I thought 420 was something about Earth Day. I love our Earth, it's a spinning rock that's mostly water--what's not to love. No one likes to feel stupid, so I'm glad I like to fact check or I might have said something stupid.   Life is hard. We will all die--we are just human beings, right? But don't make your time on Earth any shorter than it will be. Know why I'm saying this? cause I really  like  beings, especially those humans reading this in the future. This is nothing new. In my laugh-n-learn sessions (aka classes/lectures like Rules for Rulebreakers, Superhero Strategies for Unleashing Your Inner Awesome), I hear "that's how we sewed in the factory, or that's really a clever timesaver, or that's so fun."

Sometimes the basic and simple is just divine.

Back to 420. I fact check, I love to pop in links for you to learn more info. In this case, I will just tell you--someone thought that was the time of day to take drugs, as in smoke weed. Sorry, you don't like that I called it drugs, and lumped it in with worse felons of the hard drugs. Eek, I don't talk about drugs even alcohol very often. But for you I will. In college, my friends and I had a little song "this is what I have to do pretending to be drunk." What I'm saying is, being silly with friends is fun. Staying safe because you have a brain, what's awesome. Now, you don't need to admit to your friends that you are taking advice from TiaTere and staying sober. We had a little story about someone named Dan Garrus.

Dan Garrus?

Was he a code word (yes, for dangerous) or an imaginary person? Either way, he seemed to always pop up in situations that weren't safe. Now please don't think that I want you to lead a boring life. Nope, I want you to get to do amazing things, and live to tell about it, until you die, which we all will, cause we are human. But we really do have a lot to do on Earth, so stay safe, hunger for knowledge, create beautiful experiences and just be awesome. Remember laying in the grass, and I mean on the lawn as kids--watching clouds float by, or just listening to the rain while reading a book--yes, made out of paper--a real book. Unless the future has really changed a lot, you can still do that. If you need to borrow a kid so you don't look like an adult acting silly alone. Or take a furry baby along. There is rain and hail outside as I write this, maybe the big G is giving me applause for writing my truth. Maple, our sweet scared dog, is jumping on my lap, and tucking her petite 80 pounds into the crook of my arm. Maple the dog is scared of thunder and it helps that I'm with her. I don't coddle, sorry, it's not who I am, but I also don't say to her suck it up buttercup. She's a dog, not an adult human, she sees what I do and how I do it. It affects how she behaves and feels. Yes, don't you think that animals feel? Look at them for yourself using your powers of observation. Drink some water, eat good food, smell some flowers until your allergies go bonkers and do good stuff. You aren't alone, we all get that feeling of being human. Be smart, just cause you have a hat that says lion tamer, does not make you a lion tamer. We didn't all have the same experiences in the past, and we won't all have the same lives in the future. I'm tired of the days each being the national day of this or that.  When everything has so much meaning, does anything really have any meaning?

Know what I think is audacious?

Being present, being sober, being real. Yeah, I know that might not seem like your parent's version of cool. Guess what? You define your own cool. Seriously, Tia Tere tells it like it is.

PS--our planet needs to be cared for, and our choices make a difference.

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Speak Softly and Carry a Lot of Love

With the same care and respect as when I shared them with my mother-in-law, I share them with you. Speak Softly and Carry a Lot of Love; the volume (value) of a message is not measured in decibels.
9:57PM April 15, 2013 I wrote: Do you ever find yourself giving advice and realize that the words that you just have said words that are the very ones you yourself need to hear? Today found myself saying "we don't need to understand, we need to trust God, don't worry or be nervous, do your part and trust God, He's in charge". Also without having heard the sad news of the day, I said the following to my mother-in-law we need "good news" reports, then I broke into my very best serious news anchor way "Today 4 tall men visited their mom who they love very much, and breaking news, her daughter-in-law loves to hug her and do silly newscasts" 
Be the good in the world and sometimes it means be the "goof"! love and peace to you all!

Humbly, I say thanks to Facebook for that On this Day memory and the conversation that followed:

Carlos G Parra replied:

Thanks for being you 

Cyndi Zacheis Souder replied:

Yup. The good outweighs the bad; the bad is just louder sometimes. 

Amalia Parra Morusiewicz replied:

Cyndi Zacheis Souder--yes indeed! As I write my Recipes for Teaching, I would love to quote your "The good outweighs the bad; the bad is just louder sometimes." in my chapter of Speak Softly and Carry a Lot of Love; the volume (value) of a message is not measured in decibels. May I have your permission to use that quote? 

Cyndi Zacheis Souder replied:

Absolutely. Thanks for asking.

Praying for all those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013.
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egg-cellent opportunity

Just a year ago, I saw this photo. What's your instant reaction? What do you see?

Oops. #easter #getthemopout #splat

A post shared by Deborah Boschert (@deborahboschert) on

  My first reaction was "wow, cool photo!" My second reaction was to count the eggs, and wonder how this occurred. Seriously, out of curiosity! Look at the eggs at the bottom left, one of those might be intact. Something about human nature to try to put things together and find solutions. What if the solution to these broken eggs is to take the photo and capture the moment? Seems of late, that if there is no photo or video, there is no proof--and if anything occurred before the invention of technology, well forget about that! Although I like me some humor, I'm not writing fiction. Life is funny enough, and stories, well--stories are tools. Blab, blab, blab, and so on Are you still reading? Good, cause I'm sharing one of my first Mom Moments. Laugh if you like, cause I'm not your typical mom. A long time ago, in a universe that seemed like science fiction, but was oh so real--the Kid, broke a glass--not a mug or a cup, but a glass. Shards everywhere, the look on his face of OH-NO was severe. He turned to me expecting words or frustration. Instead, I gated off the kitchen (doggie gates) said to the Kid, "I'm not mad [it was clearly a mistake] but I'm also not going to clean it up for you." I was pretty proud of my Mom Moment, laugh if you like. Yes, cleaning up glass off of ceramic tile, when there are 200 pounds of dog in the house was not a minor activity. Yes, I probably did give it a good inspection before letting puppy paws venture near. I really wasn't mad about the glass, I got mad about an April fools joke--I'll tell you that later. Yes, we would all love to have everything magically cleaned up for us. Ironically, my sister's blog had words of an apron that mom made her. I have no memory of that, and it just doesn't register in my mind as something my mom would make. Funny thing is we all have such different memories of the same experiences. I wonder what Deborah Boschert was thinking when she snapped the cracked eggs photo? I wonder if I would have written this sooner if she was the lone culprit in this egg-sperience? Sometimes a little bit of distance from an event is needed for us to appreciate the yolk of it all.

Chickens, eggs, adventures, oh my!

After many months of rebuilding, Ellicott City is getting put back together. I'm honored that my quilt, Wish Upon a Star, has made some money for my favorite coffee shop. Thanks to my favorite pottery place, Green Bridge and all you who bought a raffle ticket! Click here if you would like to take a chance on a two sided quilt!    stories I owe you... my first cup of coffee April Fools (Not Joking)   later!
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clash, class and sea glass


I was terrified to go back to my high school reunion last summer. Ok, it was a little exciting to see friends on Facebook. Their kids looked a lot like my friends, it was kinda cool. I didn't keep up with high school friends. I'm just living my life.
Me and Mom 2015
I asked Mom if she would go with me. She replied, you aren't supposed to bring your mom to a reunion. She did teach at my school, my friends were in her classes--see I was the epitome of cool. I had left that town to college 3 hours away, then my parents moved halfway across the country, I didn't go back. One dear friend came to visit me in college before she headed off to the Marines, another wrote me letters I still have about her babies and her life. I like the idea of letters, but the reality doesn't alway happen. Maybe that's why I like to blog--it's my letter to the world. Some of my favorite memories of high school aren't what someone might expect: - windsprints in field hockey - lighting bunson burners in chem lab - teaching friends to drive stick shift - picking up pepperoni-mushroom pizza on Friday night on my way to babysit - sweeping the sand out of our pepto-pink beach house in Chance with concrete floors - lighting fires in girl scouts - listening to the Clash for the first time

"Spanish bombs rock the province / I'm hearing music from another time".

I posted an open invite to our class, to meet for a ShoreBirds Game and another for an informal meet up of the Girl Scouts I knew back in the day. At the ball game, I heard "sorry, I don't remember you" and at the reunion another classmate said "your name looks familiar, wasn't there a young teacher with that name?"  Neither of these bothered me, that was the past--I don't live there.  
Photo credit: Everett Howard


Weathered, softened, changed. Who would want to be shiny glass, sharp and dangerous? I prefer the glow of worn glass and these shades of summer that fade away.
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swoosh or clang

My mind travels back in time to a school basketball court. Time flows in one direction--like gravity always pulling us down. Like the ball, swoosh or clang on the hoop at the elementary school, pulling us to earth. There is no juggling. There is throwing, there is catching. That's all. Seriously, juggling is one of my favorite analogies for learning. When we (I mean us humans) go to learn something new--we want to go straight to expert level. We want to juggle fire or swords. We want picture perfect, super complex and we want it instantaneously or sooner.

The idea of slow and methodical is lost on us.

Makes perfect sense, we are living in a sci-fi future. I'm writing this story on a communication device with just my fingertips.  My words travel through space and time, and you read this in your future.

My time travel story

Two weeks ago, with a full tank of gas, and light afternoon schedule, I took my own trip through time. I called my boss to take the afternoon off and drove back to the days of Topanga and Corey.

Take on the World

Yes, feeling small, I started writing about Girl Meets World, and left those words for another day. Someday, I may share, for now I hold them close. Back to my drive... I basically traveled back in time--not so much to reconnect with a friend from long ago. More to honor another friend, and pay my respects to his mother, his wife, his friends, his kids. You know that toy--the metal balls that hit, swing, speed up and eventually slow down. We are mortals, certain things become expected, like growing, getting stronger, adding more skills, activities and stuff to our lives. Losing a child, even an adult child to death has to be one of the most difficult things for a human to experience.

Just love, throwing love out and catching love, that's all.

My heart is full of love. I reach, I stretch and again we start. Peace and love my friends.
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soundtrack of my life

As I click publish, my stove top timer sings to me says it's time to close up that computational device--time to reboot the mind, body and spirit. Yes indeed, you call it sleep, I call it low tech rejuvenation! Slowly simmering in the crockpot is the world's most flammable chili con carne. A soft snore from one of my sweet giant beasts. This is the soundtrack of my life. I'm joyful. I'm humbled and honored. I'm blessed!    

Make it Work

Make Your Mark

Make It FUN


Make It Your Own!

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audacity of asking–mentors part1

I asked. How can I be of assistance? Well, I probably asked it in another way.  But those 6 words transform "can I help you" removing the negative the "you are helpless, you need help, here let me tell you how to do this" completely out of the picture. what is your dream? what is the next step toward your dream? how can I be of assistance? sometimes the answer is "just listen" sometimesCe9vOf6WAAAdgCE.jpg-large we can stitch together our own dreams.   I asked the student panel at the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) conference, what we as SAQA could do to help them out in their art lives.Ce9k2tyWAAAGhkH.jpg-large Instead of just talking about ideas, I thought I would do what I can as an individual to help promote and support the future. so here is a multi-part answer--and yes, this is just my opinion.  There is definitely so much I will reveal on this topic, please indulge me with your patience... I thought about the mentors that I have had.  Ones that I learned from and ones that I learned lessons from--sometimes seeing what doesn't work is more valuable than what does work. Mr. Wilson, my high school trigonometry teacher I totally forgive you, I think that by telling me "don't worry this is the last math class you will ever take" you were not evil, but were approaching this from your perspective, your world, you life.  In the last year, a group of teachers asked  several of us female engineers about early influences that helped us study math and science.  I bucked at the memory that you probably helped influence me, completely unintentionally. You kinda creeped me out a bit too, not so much your greasy hair, dark clothes, and lisp--all that I can ignore--what really creeped me out was your attitude.  Honestly, that might not have been your fault either.  When we talk about privilege, we don't always see that there is a curse to having privilege--a responsibility to go beyond.  Sometimes that can be seen by others, sometimes everyday heroes take that responsibility and do great things, quietly. From you I learned the importance of attitude, the audacity of attitude.  Attitude which needs to be balanced with compassion. Math is not a disease that we are able to tolerate, math is one of the building blocks that gives power and strength. What if we incite a love of mathematics in the world? Lucky for me, earlier in my life, my love of math and science was strongly encouraged--Mrs Raitt in 1st grade with her bouffant hair, snakes and mice in the classroom--mow she was a big part of that influence.  We did math in a physical way--blocks, and actual items in our hands--not just numbers and concepts on paper. Matlide Diego I'm not the first. My mom's second grade teacher scared her with multiplacation tables, so much so that mom ran out of the classroom to find her sister.  Later that teacher and my mom became great friends, in and we used to visit her, and I even named a doll after her.  Remind me to tell you about Tilde my doll and Matilde, my mom's mentor.  Oh, and yes, I'm the kid of 2 teachers--well, one teacher and one engineer who has taught.  I know that mom will have some good corrections to my story, and to my spelling.  I love that!  I welcome the hot pink scribbles on my text from my friend and editor, MKOK.  Why, cause it makes me stronger. Its the heat. Transmuting me (I'm the coal, or carbon) So when times are tough for others, I can't take their heat away, they need that heat to transmute themselves.  But I can be there, sometimes our presence is the best gift we have to share. The audacity of presence. I like the word audacity, with all it's syllables, you can't say it fast, you have to slow down and take your time with it. Yesterday, my mom was looking at her phone and starting to cry--I walked over and gave her a hug thinking that she had just learned of someone's death.  Sorry, but it's the age of my parents friends and family members that brings about that inevitable end to our worldly existence. Transmuted. No, it was me that made her cry. Well, it was my words, the story I wrote of her mom.  I hadn't said those words directly to her before--they were my words for me, and for this journal writing that is my blog.
Empty Stoneware
Mom appreciated my perspective.  We each have our histories, my parents didn't share certain stories when I was a child.  Their job was to raise us to be independent.  When I said it wasn't fair that boys sports got more attention than girls sports, mom didn't agree or disagree--she encouraged me to write a letter to the newspaper.  Wish I could find that article now. Might be available in microfiche.      
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Joyful Glory

Empty Stoneware
Daisy delights--pattern available upon request
me in all my joyful glory--age 5
I love this photo--why? because that huge grin is because my parents entrusted me with holding (just for the quick photo) my newest best friend, my baby sister Maria and I'm sitting next to my longest time best friend, and first sister, Cris.  I'm wearing a dress made by my dad's mom, my Abuela Marta, and Cris is wearing the same style dress in another color. I bet my nails are clean and neat, cause my mom's dad Abuelo Duran would always check our nails, and help us out. My mom and dad at the time were young and working hard to give us what we needed, and they did and then some. Thanks for not having all the money in the world, because if times hadn't been tough, I doubt I would fully appreciate all that you gave us, your time, your energy, your patience, your strictness, your love and the opportunity to make our way on this world.  Like "empty stoneware" you bring so much more with your presence.  Sometimes just being there is all that is needed.  I'm lucky that I always feel my parents are with me. I know I should call more often, but you are always with me.  Yesterday was the anniversary of my mom's mothers's death. I didn't know her well, she was formal and serious, never Abuelita, always Abuela. I didn't know her during her life the way I've gotten to know her since, she lived in a world that was far different than I can imagine.  She was born in Cuba, years ago when women's dreams were (well, I'm not getting that deep today.) lived a life of luxury (sorry, but in my view having 2 staircases, one made of marble, counts as luxury); left her homeland with her husband and her two youngest kids, since my aunt was already away at a GirlScout camp.  Leaving your homeland to protect your family, going from the warmth of Cuba to northern Texas and later to Pennsylvania. She was the quieter, less exciting Grandma. I hope she knows I love her dearly. My mom's parents were more formal, just like my mom is more formal than my dad. So when they taught me to blow the cover off the straws-when were eating at Woolworths or some store that had a diner area--it probably shocked my mom.  My Abuela Margot colored her hair for so many years, finally revealing the most beautiful silvery hair.  Look at her hands below, holding my youngest cousin--that's love--those hands and arms remind me of my mom's too.  I love that in this photo  only 5 cousins are looking at the camera--and the oldest of each family are not, and my Abuela is in a color that almost disappears into the couch.  This is an awesome photo!  Thank God for the days of film, when imperfect photos captured reality.4242_84583281433_3539226_n Abuela Margot was buried in a deep purple (aubergine) dress that she had gotten for my wedding that she would not be able to attend.  She made the everyday special by adding fruit to pudding and making individual cups so we each got to be special.  She had pink Dove soap in her house, and when I smell that I think of her.  Her funeral was the first one that I attended as an adult.  I don't think I understand why my coworkers at the time gave me a stuffed animal when I returned from the funeral.   But I think that she is up in heaven reading all my posts, all my rambling writings and spoken words- with a quiet smile. I think of Abuela Margot often. If you ever find her signature on page 100 of a book--please let me know--I'm happy to have that connection with my past. Double numbers always have been special to me, last night I learned more about double numbers and someday will write that story up. But for now on August 8--I think that I'll just send my love out there to infinity and back. Yes, I love you to heaven and back.
me and my mom
  Peace my friends!         She would say to me, Teresita, stop writing this story now, and go to work.  So I will.  Love you Abuela Margot!  Thank you for being you and being awesome--and for saving all the bits and scraps of words I wrote and mailed to you as a kid--like this one... FullSizeRender 304               Love you to Heaven and Back!  Or like Buzz Lightyear would say "to infinity and beyond" Thinking of Daisies--can you guess why? IMG_0425
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Beyond Words MIB

first cut was Fishing for the Right Words (yes there is no real ending, this is my raw recording)  If you can't handle the raw, then click on the second audio below   Yes, indeed--I have a dream.  My dream is to share my stories in my words with the future.  Maybe my end goal is a podcast, but in my Seams and Dreams concepts, I'm smart enough to know that we each have different strengths and that I can achieve my dreams best when I'm helping others achieve theirs and nurturing and loving.     In my dreams, my words are also transcribed so that they are more inclusive--but this is what I have time for today.   Peace! one needle .003  
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Wesson Lessons and Friday Night Minutes in Between

In my family we talk about Wesson Oil as a coping mechanism.  As far as in real life, it's  just a fable or myth that has not actually been done.  The idea being that to protect your inner soul in life, when you feel like everything is flinging negativity at you - take a bottle of Wesson Oil, open it up and pour it over your head, allow what is flung at you to just slip off.  You don't want to lose sight of your humanity and become callous or bitter like wine turned to vinegar.
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Bucket List – soft sculpture pattern published!

For 7 years I've been secretly designing 3d patterns, knowing that someday I would publish 3d patterns. People from other realms (or at least other geographical locations) will create with my designs. I will be connected to people that I may never meet in real life. Today it got even more real.  At the bookstore, seeing the stack of copies of QuiltingArts Holiday with my three page pattern, I realized just how I excited I am about this milestone.  It's been a long time coming. A recent student asked when did I started teaching?  Well, I've got 2 younger sisters, so probably by age 2!  When my youngest sister, Maria, was in her crib, I taught our middle sister, Cristina, to cook.  I was 5, she was 3. Don't worry, this was a safe cooking lesson and involved no heat.  We cracked eggs and used a 2 handed pounding technique to mash the egg into the dining room carpet of our home.  We sat on the kitchen floor (linoleum) and did our cooking in the carpeted dining room. I know it was "cooking" since that was the answer I gave to "what are you doing?"   My mom definitely helped feed  my creative spirit.  This was only one of the tales of my adventurous art experiments. Three dimensional work is such a great playground and classroom. My designs build or strengthen a skill that can apply beyond the 3d project.  So back to the point of this cactus chat... The secret surprise (shh) .... is that in making the cutest little cactus ever, your French knot skills cannot help but grow with the practice.  The faux ruching has "gathered in" some attention from appliquérs of the Baltimore tradition. Looks like I have 2 left thumbs in this photo! Cacti was inspired by a rodeo themed quilting retreat earlier in 2015.  I can't wait to share with you what other fun ideas have sprouted.   Wish ya the best fun from, a-to-z_logo_7
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The All Star Game is the halfway mark, baseball season, summer, even the calendar year... is it half empty or half full?   Maybe it's the positive vs negative perspective... Isn't perspective great? Eyes will trick you, and you can trick them back. This big blue sky moon over Mike Yastrzemski at the plate is fab - doesn't the moon glow against the deep blue sky?  

Beautiful night for baseball. Mike Yastrzemski at bat #baysox #baseball #funfromatoz

A photo posted by AtoZ Amalia Parra Morusiewicz (@funfromatoz) on

Except it's not the moon, it's just one of the stadium lights in Bowie at a minor league game taken with a cellphone camera.  It's still a beautiful photo, if I do say so myself.  Why do we feel the need to qualify everything?  It's a beautiful photo, on a beautiful night for baseball. Loving the pitching tonight for the All Star game, was 1-1 through four innings, now in the 6th watching my hometown pitcher throw to my hometown batter - yep I claim both Baltimore and Washington as my hometown.  When Harrisburg plays Bowie, I know that my team will win, just not sure which of my teams that will be. 10 pitches, 9 strikes - Nice job Jacob deGrom.  Love seeing the defensive game. However, Mike Trout with your base running you might just make me a fan of the offensive game, especially with the "running game" as he was flying around the bases.  Does anyone else call it the running game?  I know that's a football term, but seems right for base running. Did you know that we almost named our puppy (who is almost 6years old) "Tulo" after Troy Tulowitzki who in 2007 performed an amazing feat of the unassisted triple play. 1936123_1253118365384_6643928_n               We named Rocky after Rocky Colavito, so he did a baseball  name. So back to perspectives... and a great essay on baseball by Bart Giamatti
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