Quilt Sale Sailed Along…..

I’ve been wishing, I’ve been dreaming. I want to do that return trip to Crete, Greece next fall. Selling some of my quilts will help finance that dream. The December 2nd quilt sale was quite successful! Many friends shopped and chose a quilt or wall hanging that “called to them”! I got to see women I’d not visited with in awhile. Quilter friends, Lila and Adele, helped with setup and with fielding questions about the quilts. Jeanne handled the record-keeping and money, as well as much of the loading and unloading of suitcases full of quilts.

To attract attention, I draped a bright polyester hexagon quilt top with a “quilt sale” sign by the road to direct everyone to the sale. Many women were there for the 10:00 opening. Each was looking for just the right quilt for themselves or for a friend. Take a tour…..

I pointed out that each quilt had a label and a sleeve for hanging and a price tag. Cash, checks or layaway were the payment options. Women came prepared–several women brought $100 bills! The sale was rather like hours of “show & tell”. It’s fabulous to feel like each quilt will go home with someone who loves it and wants to live with it. They hear the story of what inspired the quilt, and I get to hear what attracts them to it, or what pleases them about the design.

This dramatic log cabin quilt (above) was designed by Lila when she had her quilt shop, Quilt Your Heart Out, where I first learned to quilt. Some of the rich purple fabrics are batiks which were first becoming popular in the mid 1990s. One very happy woman, with a good eye for design (she sews all her own clothes) chose this quilt!

Everyone wandered around inspecting and exploring with enthusiasm which I appreciated. The smaller items were displayed on the enclosed sun porch at the rear of the house (below).

Yesterday’s sale proved to be successful, and it proved to involve a lot of work as I sorted, priced and packed almost a hundred quilts–yes, some were small. Next spring I’m going to offer another quilt sale–this time with more advance notice. Today, should you see something in the above photos that you would like to know more about, please contact me.

I saw a huge double rainbow arching over the countryside, as I drove home south along Highway 16! A perfect ending to a very good day! What a beautiful and awe-inspiring vision. We sighted it for almost a full half hour as I drove along the twisting turns of that highway. I remembered that rainbows are often said to be signs of hope, new beginnings, and transformation. Photographing the double, and lighter, arch proved impossible. But this gives you an idea of all we saw that rainy afternoon when the sun was behind us and the rainbow of color was reflected off the water droplets creating this magical arch of color.

Prequel to the quilt sale:
On Thursday afternoon, I was showing Jeanne the last 29 small quilts I had just priced. As we turned each one over, she reacted to this small chicken quilt I’d done as part of a quilt challenge. She loved the visuals I’d put together next to the stars (the theme of the challenge). I told her it was hers, if she wanted it. She did–especially when she read the inscription on the front, “Respect Yourself, Honor Your Gift” (which is also the name of the quilt). Today, Sunday, we finally had time to hang it.

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Quilts Seeking New Owners! December 2nd at 10:00!

Quilting as a Grand Adventure” was my first blog post in 2013 when I began this blog. http://paulamariedaughter.com/?p=6 I am not abandoning this “grand adventure”. Please know I’m still excited about quilting! I want to share my ideas and my portfolio of quilts whenever and wherever possible! However, my collection of quilts must be trimmed.

Even this large TimeSpan quilt needs to find a new home. I found the vintage signature blocks and made the quilt decades later.

The sale will be from 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. held at a local women’s center adjacent to Gulley Park in Fayetteville. Address is 2610 N. Old Wire Rd., Fayetteville, AR 72703. This rambling house is easy to find and has lots of parking. There is overflow parking at the Gulley Park lot south of the house. Cash and checks accepted. Layaway is possible. Door opens at 10:00 a.m.

Every quilt is composed of three layers: usually the top, then the batting or filler, and the backing. The quilting stitches holding the three layers in place make it a quilt! A quilt can be many things to many people, but a quilt is not blanket. Treated with care a quilt will last many decades.

Your quilt may be hung on the wall, or cover your bed, or drape around you for comfort. I’m grouping the quilts I’m selling by size. The price will reflect the amount of work involved in that particular one especially if it involves hand beading, hand applique or hand quilting. Contact me here with any questions.

Please know that the quilts shown here are only a small sample of what will be at the sale!

Amish-style quilt hand quilted by Valerie Doyle.

Antique quilt top, circa 1890s. A true “library of fabrics” in this huge quilt top from that era! I added a border and a backing and a sleeve for hanging for support.

Huge ‘Oak leaf & Reel’ in style of 1800s large Four Block quilts. Hand appliqued! Now with borders and backing. Not quilted. Needs to be finished by you or by me.

“Paris, Without Jet fuel!” Stating with a Paris-themed fabric, I offer a “slice of life” as imagine it on a Paris street–complete with bicycles.

This class sample from a class I did on pieced circles indicates my interest in circles is long-standing. Photo is suppose to be rotated 90 degrees to the left, but the program will not cooperate–I gave it three tries to fix it!

TimeSpan quilt built around a vintage flour sack, small wallhanging

This large wall hanging features cotton sateen fabrics in a “strippy” vertical setting with a bright border

Titled “Confetti”. This large wall hanging uses the “strippy” vertical setting highlighted by hot colors and a bold border

One fabric cut apart to repeat adjacent designs keeps the eye swirling along the path, large wall hanging or a throw

Large wall hanging with dupioni silk sections and bead work, Some parts are repurpose fabric.


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Backstory for my Quilt Sale begins in 1971!

After I fell and broke my shoulder in Crete last fall, Jeanne and I decided to continue despite the challenges. Jeanne took this photo at a small taverna as our group headed up into the mountains. I was delighted by the unexpected vision of garlands of grape tomatoes strung above our heads. This became my favorite photo. My participation was limited by that broken shoulder.

I want to return to Crete one last time. Fifty-two years ago Mother and I flew to Greece using my TWA employee passes. To turn my current dream into a reality, I’ve decided to sell many of my quilts to finance the trip next fall. I’m hoping to find a good home for each of them.

On Saturday, December 2 (the first Saturday in December) I’ll be selling quilts. They range in size from wall hangings to full size quilts. Included are a variety of styles from Amish, to eclectic, to quilts of my original design. I will still be offering programs which always include a visual feast of my quilts.

The quilts for sale are ones I treasure. Every quilt has a story documented by the label on the back. All have a sleeve allowing the quilt to be hung for display. Each quilt sale will help finance my trip to participate in the Goddess Pilgrimage once again and to work with the new leader. If you are curious about my fascination with the Mediterranean island of Crete, you might be interested in reading my earlier blogs about time there: http://paulamariedaughter.com/?cat=25

The sale will be from 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. held at a local women’s center adjacent to Gulley Park in Fayetteville. Address is 2610 N. Old Wire Rd., Fayetteville, AR 72703. This rambling house is easy to find and has lots of parking. There is overflow parking at the Gulley Park lot south of the house. Cash and checks accepted. Layaway is possible. Door opens at 10:00 a.m.

Please know that the quilts shown here are only a small sample of what will be at the sale!

Antique quilt top, circa 1890s. A true “library of fabrics” from the era! I added a border and a backing for support .

Huge ‘Oak leaf & Reel’ in style of 1800s large Four Block quilts. Hand appliqued! Now with borders and backing. Not quilted. Needs to be finished by you or by me.

Every quilt is composed of three layers: usually the top, then the batting or filler, and the backing. The quilting stitches holding the three layers in place make it a quilt! A quilt can be many things to many people, but a quilt is not blanket. Treated with care a quilt will last many decades.

Your quilt may be hung on the wall, or cover your bed, or drape around you for comfort. I’m grouping the quilts I’m selling by size. The price will reflect the amount of work involved in that particular one especially if it involves hand beading, hand applique or hand quilting. Contact me here with any questions.

“Paris, Without Jet fuel!” Stating with a Paris-themed fabric, I offer a “slice of life” as imagine it on a Paris street–complete with bicycles.

TimeSpan quilt! I found this vibrant top at a thrift store. Valerie Doyle hand quilted it and I did the label and binding–very large quilt.

This class sample from a class I did on pieced circles indicates my interest in circles is long-standing. Photo is suppose to be rotated 90 degrees to the left, but the program will not cooperate–I gave it three tries to fix it!

TimeSpan quilt built around a vintage flour sack, small wallhanging

This large wall hanging features cotton sateen fabrics in a “strippy” vertical setting with a bright border

Titled “Confetti”. This large wall hanging uses the “strippy” vertical setting highlighted by hot colors and a bold border

One fabric cut apart to repeat adjacent designs keeps the eye swirling along the path, large wall hanging or a throw

Large wall hanging with dupioni silk sections and bead work, Some parts are repurpose fabric.

Posted in Crete Pilgrimage | 4 Comments

Rip off!

In 1930 Ellen Church, who is pictured above, was a trained pilot and a nurse. That year she applied to pilot a commercial aircraft for Boeing Air Ways. Church was refused because of her sex. Determined to fly, she persuaded Boeing to hire her as a “sky girl”, the first designation for female flight attendants. Church had convinced the skeptical male executives that using nurses on board would convince the disbelieving public that flying was safe.

Her first flight lifted off on May 15, 1930. That Boeing 80A aircraft was not pressurized. It carried fourteen passengers. Church made thirteen stops as she worked from the Oakland/San Francisco airport to Chicago. She was on duty for twenty hours! In addition to attending to the passengers, the women “sky girls” were expected to, when necessary, help with hauling luggage, fueling and assisting pilots to push the aircraft into hangars.

Little has changed since Ellen Church’s time spent as a “sky girl”! Exploitation of workers is considered “good business practice” or “smart strategy”.

1969, the beginning of the “jet age”, was the year I started flying for TWA. I learned quickly that my employer was exploiting us as workers, and exploiting us as women doing what is now known as”emotional labor”. At the same time the airline companies were trying to convince us how lucky we were to work for them. I became a union activist until I left in 1985.

Here is a statement from another woman, Domenica, who outlines exactly how the current airline companies have managed to steal pay from their employees. You will learn how just compensation for required labor is denied thousands of flight attendants every hour of the day. Please consider signing her petition.

“Being a flight attendant is a hard job, and has only gotten harder since the pandemic. Domenica, a former US flight attendant, is fighting to ensure that the folks who keep us safe while traveling are paid what they’re due. Join the 180,000+ travelers standing with her.

A new video of unruly passengers being kicked off of an airplane seems to go viral weekly. Passenger incidents increased 47% from 2021 to 2022. But while our flight attendants are dealing with difficult passengers so our planes can take off, most of them aren’t being paid. Nearly all major airlines do not pay flight attendants during the boarding process. The clock doesn’t start on their compensation until the pilot pulls the brakes.

Flight attendants schedules were originally built off of railroad schedules. Currently there are no airlines in North America that compensate flight attendants for boarding. We only get clocked for our flight times. When the pilots pull the breaks. Not when we have customers on board or delays or mechanicals. Even though we are required by the FAA to complete specific job related safety procedures and interact with customers.

Since this is “free” time for the airlines, they are able to manipulate us as much as they would like. This makes us work longer hours, keeps us away from our homes longer, and puts significantly more stress on our bodies, and physical and mental health.

I want to leave aviation better than I found it. I know how much money our companies steal from us, and I know how much we deserve it.

It is incredibly challenging to be a flight attendant. I hear it all of the time “I couldn’t do what you do.” We are professionals. Customer service experts. Energy experts. Time experts. We work really hard to keep planes moving on time and customers happy. Just like everyone else at these airlines.

We deserve to be compensated for the times when we are working.
Our hourly rate looks amazing, but at the end of the day we are working under minimum wage for at least the first 5 years of our career. Adding on terrible rest rules, overwhelm from corporate emails, and unpaid time for paperwork, annual and quarterly training or being on airport standby.

In a perfect world we should be paid as soon as you step foot in the airport until your trip ended, but I will settle for pushing the needle to getting paid for boarding.

I would like to note that pilots are also not compensated for this time.

Thank you for your consideration, support and sharing this incredibly important matter.”

Paula asks that you follow this link and sign Domenica’s petition.

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Freezing rain or a wintry mix–not in Miami!

I’m a native Floridian, a rare thing in 1945 when I was born in south Florida! As a girl I lived through a number of hurricanes. My parents prepared by covering windows on the outside with plywood or with metal fold-down awnings. We stored water, extra food—enough for six people. We pulled out the hurricane lamps fueled by kerosene because we knew we would not have electricity, possibly for days. During those storms we would read, play board games like Monopoly, play card games like Go Fish, and sleep, if possible. Most of those hurricanes were not severe. We were prepared, as best we could, in our concrete block house located one block from the Everglades. Snow was a mythical phenomenon.

During my four years at Maryville College located in the Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee I had a chance to actually play in several snowfalls. Students were not permitted to have cars, so I did not have the experience of driving in slick conditions. I’ve now spent the majority of my life in Missouri and Arkansas where we are regularly affected by snow, sleet, and ice storms.

My first experience of driving in hazardous snowy conditions came in Kansas City, MO my initial year of working for TWA. That was 1969. I used public transportation in those early years. To move my possessions to a new apartment, I had rented a car for a day. I recall it as a hazardous move. That nerve-racking day, I learned to respect the limitations of cars when faced with slick pavement and mounds of piled snow.

Winter ramblings from the Boston Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, 2023

Winter may or may not be cold here in Arkansas. How does one characterize winter? Winter weather in Arkansas may draw on cold air from the Arctic, or warm breezes drawn up from the Gulf of Mexico. On Monday, January 23, Jeanne found this mossy rock when she walked in our woods. On Wednesday the lichens, mosses, leaves, boulder, and tiny acorn cups were buried in deep snow. Travel was stalled. Power outages common. Our solar panels were buried in snow until the sun returned.

The following day, Tuesday night, we had a heavy wet snowfall of six inches. The snow covered everything outside creating a new white world in our woods. We had to cancel appointments, and a necessary trip to the grocery store. Had we known that the coming weekend of mild weather was the only option for getting groceries, we would have made that extra trip to town.

Now it’s February 1st, four days later. We’re iced in! We’ve been iced in for days. Living on this mountain for thirty-seven years has given us deep respect for the power of Nature. We are well aware of the limitations of even four-wheel drive vehicles. Until the sun shines we will stay home.

It’s been nine days since we last bought groceries. We’ve made soup and other sustaining meals. Yet, we do long for some groceries we’ve run out of even after careful stockpiling and some recent rationing of preferred foods.

Our house is warmed by the woodstove. Last week we were surrounded by the white reflection of the deep snow cover seen through the five huge windows. Today the thin layer of ice is not visible, but the hazard of falling is quite real. Jeanne wears ice cleats over her shoes called Yaktrax for increased traction. She wears these to do chores including bringing in the firewood.

The woodshed (below) is stacked full of dry wood. Preparing for these cold days is a year-round effort. In Arkansas, shoveling snow is not a yearly job. Jeanne loves the snow and finds the woods gorgeous today as she shovels the snow from the deck.

My Rusty, Rustic shade garden harbors a variety of chairs, tables and other artifacts I’ve gathered over the decades because each “spoke” to me. In these photos each artifact is transformed into sculpture. Wandering through this new version of my shade garden, I see new silhouettes of familiar objects. I savor the sight knowing this is a temporary transformation.

In the second and third photos, look for the hints of brilliant blue hiding under the snow.

Once the blue skies return, the sun begins to melt the snow. The landscape shifts once again into familiar shapes. We discover daffodil leaves poking up through the snow promising spring blooms before long. The “Wheel of the Year” turns promising the excitement of renewed growth.

Yes, all life begins in the dark! Each bulb first sends roots down into the soil to gather nourishment. Only after being well-rooted, will the plant push up the tender foliage to seek sunlight. All that snow is an effective way to provide liquid nourishment to those early blooming plants.

Snow is no longer a mythical phenomenon for me. I do confess that frozen water falling from the sky still holds a certain magical quality for this Floridian.

Posted in Paula's Memoir, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Memories are powerful allies in understanding who we are.

Every day we look forward into our unknown future. At the same time we hold memories from our lived past. We look forward, we look back. Each can be valuable and of use to us in creating our future. I began this autobiographical blog entry nine months ago never dreaming how long it would take me to write this short chapter of my life!

In late September, Jeanne and I will fly to Athens, Greece with one stop in Atlanta, GA. From Athens we take the hour long flight down to Crete. This Mediterranean island is located at the crossroads of three continents. For the next two weeks, we will join eighteen other women on one of the Goddess Pilgrimages begun over two decades ago. This trip, sixty-five years later than the family camping trip I describe below, will likely be my last long distance trip. My stamina at seventy-seven differs from my thirteen year old self, but my enthusiasm and anticipation remain high, so who knows…

In this blog, I’m focusing on 1957 and the first of our many family trips. I write about both family and travel as a challenge, as an education. Both full of life long possibilities.

Every organism, including families, must grow and change as new circumstances arise. My own family of the 1950s adapted to a variety of new developments. In the mid-1950s the woman who raised my mother, her Aunt Duckie died. Duckie left her estate to Marie. She also trusted mother with the full responsibility for the care of Duckie’s disabled son, Noble. Marie had grown up with Noble who was a decade or so older than Marie. After Duckie’s death, Noble lived alone in their house on Miami Beach where mother grew up. This arrangement did not work out. Eventually my parents bought the house next to ours and moved Uncle Noble there. Caring for Noble became a new challenge for my parents.

With her inheritance my parents bought their first new car. That 1957 Chevrolet station wagon could seat nine passengers (though not comfortably). Our station wagon became our “magic carpet” allowing our family of six to take to the highway. That snazzy Townsman two-tone vehicle had a sleek aerodynamic looked which ended in pronounced tail fins–quite a contrast to the car in the first pictures above.

Chevrolet ad men dramatized the 1957 station wagons by claiming they were “born with a wanderlust – eager to go at the drop of a tailgate!” The ad below declared our vehicle to be “the beauty queen of all station wagons”.

That sleek look was enhanced by a variety of dramatic two tone color options rarely seen today. Of fifteen different options, Marie and Paul picked the station wagon with a base color of Sierra Gold with Adobe Beige accents. Outfitted with our powerful chariot, our family was headed for the open road. Family friends had recommended camping as a family-friendly, and less expensive, adventure. That first year my parents borrowed camping equipment and headed for the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. The park straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain.

“All America is Your Playground” pitched other ads from this era. The previous year, 1956, “President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, establishing America’s 47,800-mile Interstate Highway System. As president during the Cold War era, Eisenhower advocated for an interstate highway system, believing it beneficial for military defense operations as well as for the nation’s economic growth.”1

Apparently my parents decided Lea was old enough for us to take long summer vacations. Lea was no longer “Baby Lea”. She “Graduated from Kindergarten” at five, and the next month she turned six. With our borrowed camping gear we six set off to see if, as a family, we’d like the experience of “roughing it”. Mother’s modest inheritance gave us the opportunity to travel and see the country.

Mid summer in 1957 we left the Miami area one early morning while it was still cool. It took at least seven hours to drive north on U.S. Highway 1, or Dixie Highway, to the Georgia State line. It took a total of ten driving hours to reach the Smoky Mountains–the cool haven we were seeking. It was the the middle of a hot summer.

Our fancy new car had no seat belts or air conditioning. Dad smoked Lucky Strikes and mother smoked Chesterfields. All of us breathed much second-hand smoke. That second hand smoke is now known to have similar adverse health effects as smoking. Usually dad drove and mother handled the maps and our prepacked lunches and snacks. For this trip, they now had their first and only credit card–for Texaco gas.

Dad took these photos sixty-five years ago on that first trip. Family friends, Lila and Bob Newbold, had encouraged us to try family camping. They met us in the Smokies that summer. For sleeping our family brought borrowed cots and “jungle hammocks”. A jungle hammock is a sturdy hammock equipped with a frame above to secure mosquito netting and a waterproof layer on top. See me climbing out of my cocoon of a hammock below.

Smokemont was our base camp for that trip. Mother packed several cast iron skillets which worked well over open fires. We also had a small camp stove for quick meals like eggs and bacon before setting out for our day. You can see us on our rented horses and later exploring the rushing creeks where we delighted in “rock hopping”.

Despite all the posted warnings, we were stupid tourists approaching the bears who were looking for handouts. That “photo-op” could have turned to tragedy. Today’s park regulations about protecting the bears from human stupidity are strictly enforced and can include fines. Below are three of Dad’s photos from 1957.

One of my favorite parts of these trips involved visiting homes from another era. Seeing the farmstead setup gave me a sense of what the people created and focused on. By studying the buildings I tried to picture their daily lives. From spinning wheels to quilting rails stored below the ceiling, to split rail fences, to seeing the inside of a smokehouse, I learned about an earlier time period.

We did not learn much about the original inhabitants of the area. The Cherokee, the original residents of the Smoky Mountains, were ignored by historians in those years. I’ll share the basic history of the Cherokee living in the Smokies:

“The Smokemont area was first occupied by Cherokee, who believed the Oconaluftee River was sacred. The tribe roamed the Great Smokies, but archeological findings confirm a large, permanent village existed in Oconaluftee. It is believed the settlement was destroyed in 1776 during the American Revolution”2

*When the first white settlers reached the Great Smoky Mountains in the late 1700s they found themselves in the land of the Cherokee Indians. The tribe, one of the most culturally advanced on the continent, had permanent towns, cultivated croplands, sophisticated political systems, and extensive networks of trails. Most of the Cherokee were forcibly removed in the 1830s to Oklahoma in a tragic episode known as the “trail of Tears. The few who remained are the ancestors of the Cherokees living near the park today.”3

Another distortion of historical reality became evident when I found these pictures my dad took on the day our family visited nearby Fontana Dam. Built in the early 1940s, the immense dam project was unlike anything our family had ever seen! At 480 feet high, Fontana is the tallest dam in the Eastern United States. The structure is overwhelming and the noise of the rushing water is fearsome.

At the time in 1957, we were led to believe that the dam was a “wonder” as it brought electricity to the mountain communities. The truth is more complicated. This gigantic dam on the Little Tennessee River in the eastern part of North Carolina “was built to generate electricity to bolster America’s chances of winning World War II. In order to develop atomic weapons, the Federal Government needed a source of energy to power the top-secret Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Out of that need the Fontana Dam, Fontana Lake, and Fontana Village were born.”4

This true history reminds me of the mixed consequences in 1980s of the seizure of land to create the Buffalo National River here in Arkansas. Many families and communities suffered when their land was seized to create the park. The seizure of land first from the Cherokee peoples, then for Smoky Mountain National Park, and later for the Buffalo National River brings up important questions with complex answers.

As a girl growing up in the 1950s, we were not encouraged to openly ask these questions. To create the future we want, we have to ask “who, what, why and where and when” about nearly everything. That first long vacation in 1957 with my family bonded us with each other. Traveling long distances and encountering new surroundings tested each of us in different ways. That lived experience and the shared adventure into a wider world enriched my life.


For those of you who are interested in learning more details I uncovered about the early inhabitants of the Smoky Mountains, in particular, the Cherokee living along the Oconaluftee River in the vast Chestnut forest, see the notes below. I’m starting this postscript section with continued discussion of the building of Fontana Dam.

“The building of Fontana was not without sacrifice and controversy. Almost 70,000 acres of land were taken through the federal government’s power of eminent domain to support the project. 1,300 families were relocated– some elderly, some widows with children, and many that had never lived anywhere else. Hundreds of homesites, dozens of small communities, and more than 20 cemeteries were rendered inaccessible or flooded by the new lake.

In addition to compensating displaced property owners, the federal government offered a $400,000 payment to the State of North Carolina and a promise to local residents to construct a road giving them access to the cemeteries containing their loved ones.” That road was never built despite the commitment of the federal authorities.5

Learning all these inter-related stories still intrigues me. Read about how logging destroyed the vast Chestnut forest:

Logging transforms the Smokey mountains in the early 1900s

The agricultural pattern of life in the Great Smoky Mountains changed with the arrival of lumbering in the early 1900s. Within 20 years, the largely self-sufficient economy of the [European immigrant] people here was almost entirely replaced by dependence on manufactured items, store bought food, and cash. Logging boom towns sprang up overnight at sites that still bear their names: Elkmont, Smokemont, Proctor, Tremont.

Loggers were rapidly cutting the great primeval forests that remained on these mountains. Unless the course of events could be quickly changed, there would be little left of the region’s special character and wilderness resources.6

The American Chestnut tree thrived, “in the cool, moist, temperate rain forest of the Smoky Mountains. “Trees grew 12′ or more in diameter, and over 100′ tall. The incredible mast production of the chestnut was the primary food for all wildlife and game species – bear, deer, elk, squirrel, the huge flocks of turkey, and was a key food for Passenger Pigeons. In some areas it made up almost 100% of the forest.

Chestnut became an important food source in the fall for the early European settlers and was a key food source for the game they harvested. American chestnuts are small, but have a rich, nutty flavor. Wild trees were tended like orchards and having a grove was a valuable asset on your land. In the mountains, where the chestnut covered mile after mile of forest, the nuts were gathered by families who traded with the stores for goods. The stores then shipped the nuts into the cities. There were not many things in the mountains besides moonshine to sell for cash, and chestnuts were an important part of the mountain economy every fall. 7

Disaster Strikes!

In 1904, a bark fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) was accidentally introduced from China into New York City that killed off virtually the entire population of American Chestnuts from Maine to Georgia. This Chestnut Blight was easily the greatest ecological disaster in American history, though it is almost forgotten today. Over 30 million acres of chestnut forest were killed in 40 years. Much of this loss occurred during the Great Depression, so the impact on both the mountain people that ate chestnuts, and the game that depended on it in the fall was devastating.

“Intervention came when Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established in 1934. The forest—at least the 20% that remained uncut within park boundaries—was saved.

More than 1,200 land-owners had to leave their land once the park was established. They left behind many farm buildings, mills, schools, and churches. Over 70 of these structures have since been preserved so that Great Smoky Mountains National Park now contains the largest collection of historic log buildings in the East.”8

Today the park is choked with visitors.
Now you often need an online reservation to visit the favored sites in the park! Here is an example:
“Laurel Falls Trail is one of the most visited trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with over 375,000 visitors in 2020 and parking is limited. Laurel Falls is 80-feet high and named for the mountain laurel which grows along the trail and near the falls. Parking at Laurel Falls trailhead parking area requires a ticket from September 7th through October 3rd, 2021.”9

Brief history of the Eastern Cherokee, that is, those who escaped the federal government’s “Trail of Tears” forced removal in 1830 under President Andrew Jackson.

“The Cherokee living along the Oconaluftee River in the Great Smokey Mountains were the most conservative and isolated from European–American settlements. They rejected the reforms of the Cherokee Nation. When the Cherokee government ceded all territory east of the Little Tennessee River to North Carolina in 1819, they withdrew from the Nation.

William Holland Thomas, a white store owner and state legislator from Jackson County, North Carolina, helped over 600 Cherokee from Qualla Town obtain North Carolina citizenship, which exempted them from forced removal. Over 400 Cherokee either hid from Federal troops in the remote Snowbird Mountains, under the leadership of Tsali (ᏣᎵ), or belonged to the former Valley Towns area around the Cheoah River who negotiated with the state government to stay in North Carolina.

An additional 400 Cherokee stayed on reserves in Southeast Tennessee, North Georgia, and Northeast Alabama, as citizens of their respective states. They were mostly mixed-race and Cherokee women married to white men. Together, these groups were the ancestors of the federally recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and some of the state-recognized tribes in surrounding states.”10


1 https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/history.cfm

2 https://www.wherethedogwoodblooms.com/the-history-of-smokemont/
3 https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/historyculture/people.htm
4 https://digitalheritage.org/2010/08/fontana-dam/
5 https://digitalheritage.org/2010/08/fontana-dam/
6 https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/historyculture/people.htm
7 https://chestnuthilloutdoors.com/learning-center/chestnuts-worldwide/
8 https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/historyculture/people.htm
9 https://www.recreation.gov/timed-entry/10088009
10 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee

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I hit my first ‘Glass Ceiling’ in sixth grade at age 11!

1956, Miami Springs, Florida, USA I wanted to be a patrol girl!
I was a fifth grader when I watched as the girls and boys from the sixth grade who’d been selected to be “safety patrols” got to leave class ten minutes before school was out to take up their posts. The adults had chosen these students as trusted individuals ready to take on serious responsibilities. Only sixth graders were chosen. I wanted to be a patrol girl next year when I was a sixth grader!

What was a “patrol girl” in 1956?
In 1920, the AAA-sponsored School Safety Patrol program — children protecting classmates from traffic dangers — was established and later expanded nationwide. AAA also introduced traffic safety education into elementary and junior high schools, and pioneered driver education in high schools. AAA’s Responsible Driving textbook, first published in the 1930s as Sportsmanlike Driving, has become the most widely used book in its field.1

As the program standardized, a pledge was added: “I pledge to report for duty on time, perform my duties faithfully, strive to prevent accidents, always setting a good example myself, obey my teachers and officers of the patrol, report dangerous student practices, strive to earn the respect of followers.”2

Initially, only boys could become safety patrols, but this changed over time. Starting in the late 1940s, girls seem to have been added on a community-by-community basis. In Davenport, Iowa, a school principal is quoted in the local paper The Daily Times (May 20, 1952): “We have found that the girls seem to take more interest in their duties,” said Sister Edigna, principal of the St. Joseph School. “They remain at their post and they don’t play while on duty.”

The Sister said that the girls have only one complaint: “When meetings are held for the school patrols, the boys dominate the sessions.”

1986, Nsukka, Nigeria: Chimiamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian writer and feminist, was born in 1977 on a different continent. She experienced a similar rejection for the same reason–she was female. Ms. Adichie described her experience of wanting to be the “class monitor” while in primary school. She tells us about her nine year old self, “I was full of ambition [to be the monitor]”.

Her teacher had told the class that the student with the highest score on a particular test would be the class monitor. Adichi scored the highest, but her teacher assumed it was obvious that the position of class monitor would only be given to a boy. That was 1986 and Adichi wrote about that rejection in her short book We Should All Be Feminists written in 2012.

The continued rejection and negation of the leadership skills of girls and women is a cornerstone of any patriarchal culture. And it starts early! It is clear who benefits and who is harmed by limiting the ambitions, expectations, and possibilities for girls.

I clearly remember that Mother agreed that disallowing girls to be on the safety patrol was unfair. She did what she could to console me. Yet, we could not change the situation. I have no memory of my father’s reaction–this is telling in itself.

A decade later, as a young adult, I learned from my mother that my father had said to her, “If we have only enough money to send one of our kids to college it should be Karl because he’s a boy.” Instead of confronting him directly on his sexist statement, she said to him, “Let’s just take it one-at-a-time.” I’d always done well in school, including taking advanced classes. I assumed I’d be going to college. I was not aware of my father’s attitude. Karl was not a good student. We learned later he experienced dsylexia, a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading. Karl’s dsylexia went unacknowledged throughout his schooling during the 1950s and 1960s.

Karl was an intelligent young man and a talented athlete. However, the unacknowledged learning disability was misinterpreted by the adults in his life. After high school he was sent to military school for a year in an effort to get him “to apply himself” and “learn some discipline”. After that year, basketball scholarships enabled Karl to attend college. Karl and I were close, but I, too, had no awareness of why he could not spell or read. It was a mystery. I’m writing about these two situations to acknowledge some of the debilitating, yet invisible, fractures creating ongoing stresses on our family.

Exploring South Florida as a Family of Six
However, in the mid 1950s we were a family looking to the future. The six of us had many family outings–from picking strawberries in the vast fields of Homestead, south of Miami, to numerous trips to Crandon Park with its zoo, sandy beach, vintage lighthouse and, best of all–the carousel. To get to Crandon Park we would cross a long causeway to reach the park located on a barrier island called Key Biscayne–that long and curving drive over the ocean waves was an adventure itself.

I can still picture the brightly painted carousel located along the beach. We each picked a favorite horse. The carousel started moving with the unique sound of calliope music filling the air. We rode our horses around stretching to reach for the prize of a brass ring.

Seeing ourselves on a “big screen”
All these photos were taken by my dad. He took hundreds of slides! He wanted to keep our family memories alive. Dad used only Kodachrome slide film which continued to be popular through the 1960s and into the 1970s. My curiosity about this film revealed this comment “Kodachrome slides have a particular look, with rich, deep colors and sharp, clean details. But the colors had subtlety, looking bright and vivid without being garish.”3 All these photos were stored for decades by my mother and my sister Marsha.

We could relive our family adventures through dad’s photos. All of our day trips, dance recitals, school plays, athletic events or scouting trips created a strong bond. Using a carousel slide projector and a blank wall as the screen, we’d pop popcorn, then drizzle it with butter and watch our family slide show together. Often laughing at our own antics.

When I look at these family slides I’m remembering all the good times my parents created for us as youngsters, for us as a family.

At the same time, parents are only one influence on their children and cannot protect them from everything all the time. About this time a young girl in our neighborhood was sexually molested by a boy not much older than she was. This violation of the girl traumatized her. The adults were ignorant of how to cope with the violation of trust. Secrets and silence made the situation worse.

Within a year or so the family of the boy moved from the neighborhood. The girl child was still feeling distressed and isolated by that experience and the silence surrounding it.

This all happened in the late 1950s during the time I was coming of age as a young adult. The social forces of strict sex roles and of male domination have not lessened!

A strong feminist, Andrea Dworkin, reminds us “Systems of power are capable of reorganizing themselves, and the fact that things look different does not mean that the hierarchy has changed.” We must take responsibility to protect all our young people from the dire consequences of woman-hating.

I woke today remembering this Marge Piercy poem I first knew in the mid 1970s. Piercy uses poetic language to express outrage at the multiple social forces pressing down on girls and women. Her words, her images, remain potent.

A Work of Artifice

The bonsai tree
in the attractive pot
could have grown eighty feet tall
on the side of a mountain
till split by lightning.
But a gardener
carefully pruned it.
It is nine inches high.

Every day as he
whittles back the branches
the gardener croons,
It is your nature
to be small and cozy,
domestic and weak;
how lucky, little tree,
to have a pot to grow in.

With living creatures
one must begin very early
to dwarf their growth:
the bound feet,
the crippled brain,
the hair in curlers,
the hands you
love to touch.
Marge Piercy, 1970

The unwillingness and inability of patriarchal institutions to nurture and protect girls in childhood, and to treat adult human females respectfully has not changed. The intense backlash against self-determination for girls has become a tsunami! Self-harm and self mutilation is now a common thread on internet sites frequented by girls.

“Artful trickery”, that is artifice, continues to deceive. “Artful trickery” causes us to internalize oppression, to accept all the negative images and values about girls and women. Multiple social forces groom girl to accept, as natural, all the roadblocks used to “keep her in her place”. This was a central part of my own childhood and of my contemporaries in the U.S. We were not encouraged, or emboldened, or directed to seek our full potential.

Without the grassroots growth of the Women’s Liberation Movement I would not be writing this. I would not be the woman I am! My life has been enriched by knowing of all the women and girls, both past and present, willing to challenge patriarchal forces including male-centered academia, businesses, religions, governments, and sciences.

Today, women who advocate for women, especially those of us who are lesbians, are the target of much hate speech from all who oppose us! We are insulted, threatened, deplatformed, silenced in other ways, and even legally prosecuted for our advocacy of our sex and for our advocacy of women’s sex-based legal rights. Our crime: we advocate for women and girls!

Is this the world you want to live in? Is this the legacy you want to leave for future generations? Please consider how your concern for girls and women can make a difference. What action, what difficult conversation, what risk, what voice can you offer? Working together we can succeed! As Susan B. Anthony said in her last public words, “Failure is impossible”.

1 https://americacomesalive.com/school-safety-patrols/
2 https://americacomesalive.com/school-safety-patrols/
3 https://medium.com/people-gadgets/the-gadget-we-miss-kodachrome-color-slide-film-8bd036d4cc5c
4 Andrea Dworkin, Life and Death: Unapologetic Writings on the Continuing War Against Women (1997)
5 Felice Schragenheim and Lily Wust took this photo using a self-timer not knowing that hours later Felice would be arrested by the German Gestapo and they would never see each other again. Interviewed in 2001, the 89-year-old Lily Wust recalled:

“It was the tenderest love you could imagine…. I was fairly experienced with men, but with Felice I reached a far deeper under-standing of sex than ever before….There was an immediate attraction, and we flirted outrageously…. I began to feel alive as I never had before….She was my other half, literally my reflection, my mirror image, and for the first time I found love aesthetically beautiful, and so tender….Twice since she left, I’ve felt her breath, and a warm presence next to me. I dream that we will meet again – I live in hope.”

Learn more about Felice who was a Jewish resistance fighter during World War II when she met Lily Wust. After realizing they loved each other, Lily left her German husband to marry Felice. Information and photos here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felice_Schragenheim

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Carol Christ: Bold Adventurer!

Carol Christ died yesterday July 14, 2021 peacefully in her sleep at her new home in Crete, Greece. One year ago she was diagnosed with a rare stomach cancer and received extensive treatment to extend her life. Jeanne and I had plans this fall to join Carol and a few other women on the scheduled Goddess Pilgrimage on the island of Crete. Last month I wrote “Ancient Crete Pulls Me Back: September 2021!” Now Carol is dead at age 75. Carol, who in Greece was Karolina, carved out a meaningful life when faced with all the challenges women experience in a woman-hating culture.

I was profoundly influenced by the keynote address she gave in 1978 at the Great Goddess Re-Emerging Conference in Santa Cruz, CA. I was one of the 500 women listening to her words “Why Women Need the Goddess”. (You can read it here: https://www.goddessariadne.org/why-women-need-the-goddess-part-1). The impact of her observation about the power of symbol systems on each of us individually and the influence symbol systems have on all of us collectively helped guide my own life.

We did not meet until the fall of 2017 when I was one of ten women on the Goddess Pilgrimage that she had organized. Carol described herself as a ‘feminist and ecofeminist writer, activist, and educator’. Please view this eighteen minute video of Carol speaking at the Harvard Divinity School where she spoke about her life. This was the 2014 Religion and the Feminist Movement Conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwYygffNCAg I’m always moved by women speaking on their own behalf about their lives with no intermediary to interpret their life from afar. You will certainly gain a sense of who Carol was in her world. If you are interested in viewing her formal credentials visit here: https://prabook.com/web/carol.christ/2489386

In the presentation, Carol explained that in academia, despite her credentials as a scholar, she was overworked and then discriminated against because she rejected patriarchal religions. As a result Carol left her position as a tenured professor at San José State University in 1987. She moved to Greece and earned a dual citizenship. She learned to speak fluent Greek as an adult which proved to be very helpful to us many times on our two weeks of adventures and discoveries in Crete.

Her books and lectures have reached women around the world who are hungry for a religion that honors women. With the bold move of creating the Ariadne Institute Carol was able to offer women a grounded-in-history introduction to the Goddess. In 1992 she began offering pilgrimages to sacred sites in Greece containing artifacts of matriarchal religion.

I’ve gathered candid photos of Karolina on some of the earlier Pilgrimages. Carol put incredible energy into each day of those two weeks she escorted us around the various sites that linked us to the ancestors.

Carol P. Christ was an innovative educator!

In 2018 Carol wrote,”One of the things that separates the Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete from other Goddess tours in Greece is the fact that ancient Crete in the Neolithic and Bronze Age precedes the Olympian pantheon. [The Greek pantheon was] headed by the serial rapist Zeus and his warrior daughter Athena, who exonerated a mother-murderer and stated that the father is the only true parent of the child.

Archaeologist Marjia Gimbutas believed that Bronze Age Crete is the final flowering of the Neolithic cultures of Old Europe. According to her, the cultures of Old Europe were settled, agricultural, highly artistic, peaceful, matrilineal and probably matrilocal, and worshipped the Goddess as the power of birth, death, and renewal in all of life.”1

Carol dared to examine the deeply embedded beliefs of our patriarchal institutions including academia and religion. She invented a new life for herself. She ‘shed the skin’ of an academic. Karolina was determined to reach other women like herself willing to look beyond the familiar goddesses of the patriarchy to discover the much more ancient Earth Goddess of our Neolithic and Paleolithic ancestors.

Karolina/Carol earned my respect because she found a profound way to please herself and to educate, inspire, and delight the senses for many other women and men. Her path lead her to the Goddess of Birth, Death and Re-Generation, the Serpentine Path she wrote about. Blessed Be.

1 https://feminismandreligion.com/2018/10/29/goddess-pilgrimage-a-sacred-journey/

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Ancient Crete Pulls Me Back: September 2021!

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One More Lie: The “Equality Act”

As a proud lesbian woman for most of my life I know that every woman benefits from the existence of lesbian women! In a male dominated society every time a woman chooses to direct her life-energy to another woman regardless of the directives of society, she has expanded the possibilities for all girls and women. To defy the normative rules of enforced heterosexuality can be awkward and even dangerous. My long time partner, Jeanne, has noted that the “rubber-band theory” of political action applies here. Example: when lesbian women push the boundaries of accepted behavior, all women and all girls are encouraged to expand their push-back against the multiple pressures on women and girls. We are expected to conform to a narrow path of expectations allowed for females. Lesbians make that path wider and wider.

We are now facing an “Equality Act” that legally declares that a man (via his “gender identity”) can be a lesbian under the law! Passed by the U.S. House, the bill will be voted on soon in the U.S. Senate.

The purported intent of this “Equality Act” is to expand the classes of people and situations specifically protected under federal civil rights legislation. In the bill, three classes of people are named for additional or altered protection under H.R.5:
1. People who face discrimination on the basis of sex.
2. People who face discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
3. People who face discrimination on the basis of “gender identity”.

This bill provides that “gender identity” shall take priority over both sex and sexual orientation; meaning that a man who identifies as a woman is to be treated as a woman under the law, regardless of his sex; and so that a man can be a lesbian under the law. Young (female) lesbians are being lured into surgical and chemical mutilation of their bodies by the lie that they can escape the burdens of femaleness and homosexuality by becoming men.

Homosexual people are now called hateful and transphobic for the very thing that makes them lesbians or gay men; i.e., for excluding people from their dating pools based on sex.

A stealth campaign against homosexuality has been infiltrating much of the so-called progressive wing of politics. In my eyes, the Left has moved to the right and then claims their move to be “woke” politics. I see their political stance as the newest form of misogyny! Neither Left nor Right are reliable allies for women demanding our rights based on biological sex. H.R.5 in its present form would destroy those existing protections by effectively redefining the protected sex class “women and girls” to include men and boys!

The oppression of women and the discrimination against women is based on sex, not gender. Women have been excluded from employment, credit, military service, education, jury service, etc., based on their sex. “Gender identity” reinforces regressive sex-based stereotypes that assign dominance to males and submission to females; federal law should not be doing that.

Please note that is not possible for women to “identify” out of their discrimination by simply claiming to be men. It is biological sex that needs specific protection in the interests of justice. And it is “gender”, i.e., enforced femininity and masculinity, that needs to be questioned and resisted, if equal rights are to be achieved.


The crux of the problem is that the Equality Act enshrines the concept of “gender identity” into U.S. law. Males base their claim that they are women on this concept which was invented by medical professionals in the 1950s and 1960s (Jeffreys) and latched onto by the transgender movement. Using “gender identity” males are able to say they “feel like” women and, with the Equality Act, the recent executive orders issued by Joe Biden and local legislation, PRESTO, their feelings are turned into what we are supposed to believe is reality.

As Tina Minkowitz, one of the authors of the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act, has explained, with the Equality Act our legal existence as women is at stake! Here’s how this works. The Senate bill explicitly defines sex to include gender identity, saying that each of three factors – sex, sexual orientation, gender identity – is a form of sex discrimination. Here is where women are erased! Gender identity is made synonymous with sex. Discrimination on the basis of gender identity is considered to be sex discrimination.

Thus, the Equality Act makes it illegal to deny males who say they are women access to what have always been female only facilities. The Senate’s Equality Act explicitly states that there can be no female only private personal spaces: “[A]n individual shall not be denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.”

Giving any male who wants to the right to claim to be a woman has far reaching circumstances that goes far beyond his entry into female spaces, as is documented throughout the XX Amazons website.
Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act

Feminists in Struggle, or FIST, has proposed Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act protecting women, LGB, and transgender people by cleverly creating two new protected classes – sexual orientation and sex stereotypes – while leaving existing protections for sex in place. Each of the three classes are given clear and uncomplicated protection. The Feminist Amendments eliminate all mention of gender identity, providing protection to transgender people on the basis of sex stereotypes. By focusing on sex stereotypes, gender non-conforming people who are not transgender, including Lesbians and gay men, are also protected when they do not comply with sex role norms (demands).

The Feminist Amendments explicitly protects female only spaces from intrusion by males claiming to be women including “multi-stall toilets, locker rooms, changing rooms, communal showers, battered women’s shelters, refuges, homeless shelters, rape crisis centers, jail cells, bedrooms in residential facilities, hospital rooms, facilities providing intimate services such as massage or intimate grooming, or other places where women are sharing private facilities or are in states of undress and/or where their privacy may be compromised and or their safety may be at risk from male-pattern violence against females.” (p. 17, Feminist Amendments Equality Act) Sports programs, scholarship programs, clubs, political programs are likewise protected.

For more information on the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act, please see:

Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act


Time is Short – Act Now!

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