First Weaving Projects

Cut strips from tag board, file folders or perhaps the sides of a milk jug. They should be 4 inches long and 1/4 inch wide. You can also ask the children to do the measuring, marking, and cutting. If you want to be more ambitious, use wide blades of grass, palm fronds, willow, or corn stalks (soak these in water to make them more pliable).

1. Hold four strips in the left hand in a fan shape. Weave in a fifth strip horizontally, alternately over and under. Push this strip near the point where the four end strips for the fan are held together, and put in a sixth so that the strips which were help up before are now pressed down, and fice versa.  Add two more horizontal st  rips in the same way (see figure 1). Trim the ends that stick out. You may wish to tape or glue the edges. Washi paper tape would look pretty.  This can be used as a hand-fan or as a garden trellis in the doll or farm house yard.  Paint flowers or little birds on the strips if desired.

2. This form is called a window.  Make the fan above (no. 1), but then instead of trimming the edges, shift the slanting strips to a vertical position (see figure 2).  Here we get a change in direction, form, position, and repeating pattern of 3 rows of 3 squares each.  Vertical and horizontal oblongs appear when the two middle vertical or horizontal strips in one of the ‘windows’ are pushed near together.
As it is, you can pin this to a bulletin board and hang wire earings over it, or paperclip pictures to the strips.  You can push the strips closer together for a tighter weave, continue the pattern of weaving strips in and out and use it for other projects- glue it to a square of felt for a trivet for houseplants or knick-knacks or hot dishes at the table. Use longer strips to make woven placemats.

3.Make another project like figure 2. With a corner towards you, push it by the right and left corners, into a diamond shape so the little squares become rhombuses. This makes a pretty wall-pocket or rack for autumn leaves, feathers, dried flowers, and other finds.

4. Make the 2nd weave pattern and change the middle strip to stlanting lines, which suggests a gate.

5. Picture frame: Make the window (2) and push the strips outward to as to leave a large open square space in the center. Notch the ends of the strips and put in a few stitches to keep them strips in place, tape or glue a picture to the back (something cut out of an old calendar or card, perhaps, or a picture a member of the family has painted. Use glue, tape, or a staple to attach a loop of ribbon or cord to the back for hanging.   You could make smaller versions for Christmas decorations.

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A few good reads

The problem with Ivy Leagues– ”

The ‘tenacious myth’ of affirmative action: ‘They will instantly catch up’

She denounced the academy for its “aggressive, dogmatic pursuit of equality” of group outcomes rather than its historic “disinterested search for truth.”

The academic gaps that make affirmative action necessary either “may not be mentioned in polite society” or are proof of racism in this view, Wax said. It’s propped up by a “tenacious myth”: that once beneficiaries arrive, “they will instantly catch up” with others, and if they don’t, it’s because of racism.

This view ends up backfiring because it creates social distrust in the competence of the supposed beneficiaries, Wax said. She has relatives in medical schools who acknowledge the “open secret” that the public has less trust in black doctors because of affirmative action.”

1970s Global Cooling Consensus was no myth.  The claim that there was no consensus on global cooling just floors me. It’s beyond mind boggling that it ever got any credence at all.  I am only 56 years old. I was born the final year of the baby boom (my mom as born the first year of it, isn’t that funny?)- so there are a lot of us.  WE WERE THERE.  We aren’t senile yet.  We remember.  This, like the ‘nobody spit on veterans returning from Viet Nam’ lie, is pure gaslighting.

This is a book review, and it’s interesting and deeply thought provoking, which is not something I would have assumed would be true if somebody told me to read a book review about Bronze Age Mesopotamian economics, The Lord’s Prayer, and why Gibbons was wrong about the starting point of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

We live in Huxley’s Dystopia, not Orwell’s.  I think this is self-evident, although both are worth reading.

The problem with discounting all the thinkers of the past for racism or sexism.

{However, the idea that racist, sexist or otherwise bigoted views automatically disqualify a historical figure from admiration is misguided. Anyone who cannot bring themselves to admire such a historical figure betrays a profound lack of understanding about just how socially conditioned all our minds are, even the greatest. Because the prejudice seems so self-evidently wrong, they just cannot imagine how anyone could fail to see this without being depraved.

Their outrage arrogantly supposes that they are so virtuous that they would never be so immoral, even when everyone around them was blind to the injustice. We should know better.”

The Greek marbles were brightly painted, and this is what they might have looked like.  Very cool.

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Ethnocentrism Can Be Funny

I heard a proverb this week that says something like, “if you want to know what living in the water is like, you don’t ask the fish.”  It’s impossible to avoid being ethnocentric at some level. It’s like asking fish what it’s like to live on dry land.

A few months ago we had four 20 somethings over for dinner, 2 Filipinos, 2 Americano.  The Filipinos were asking questions about school shootings in America.  They kept asking how does this happen.  The Americanos tried to explain, but the Filipinos continued to be perplexed and just baffled.   The questions went round and round until somehow, I don’t even remember how, it was revealed that we don’t typically have security guards and walls and fences blocking entrances to our campuses anywhere not manned by security guards.    It hadn’t even occurred to the Americans to mention it, and it had not even occurred to the Filipinos to ask, because to both sides their own country’s practice was so obvious one didn’t even think about it.  When they learned our schools largely do not have armed security at all entrances, they practically rolled their eyes and threw their hands in the air, exclaiming, “Well, no wonder!  WHY NOT?”

From there we went on to mention that American malls, shops, stores, and most other businesses outside of banks also do not have armed security guards at the entrance.  Have I mentioned that here?  There are restaurants we frequent with armed security at the entrance.  There is a convenience store within half a mile of my house with an armed security guard stationed just inside at the door and he may ask to inspect your backpack.  The armed security guards at the malls *will* inspect your backpack and purses and sometimes pat your back as you go in.  At the National Bookstore in a nearby mall there are armed security guards at the entrance just outside the mall, and armed security again at the entrance *inside* the mall, so if you want to browse a bookstore you may have to pass through two armed security checkpoints.

I had forgotten to mention that, and one of the Americanas was in the Philippines for the first time in her life and had only been here a few days.  She was still somewhat stunned about walking past armed security to buy a shirt.

And this is where it got kind of funny- the Filipinos, wide-eyed and equally stunned, both said, “No guards? No security? ,” and they shuddered, “I wouldn’t feel safe!”

The Americano had lived here previously and he kind of agreed.  The Americana said she felt more unsafe with armed security, it made her nervous and anxious and she thought most Americans would agree with her.  And both sides could kind of intellectually understand what the other was saying, but neither of them could imagine how the other could possibly feel safer, not in the least.


I had another discussion with a Filipina friend recently about the cost of living in America.  It’s really hard to explain just how high the COLA is in the U.S. compared to here, and how much differently one has to live.  Our government is wealthier, too, and our social services are much more generous, but we criminalize almost every single way Filipinos in the lower income levels would work to make some extra money. You can’t sell food out of your kitchen, you can’t sell flowers or crafts on a street corner without expensive licensing and permits, you can’t go give massages and perms in people’s home without the same, you can’t build a passenger apparatus wrap around onto your motorcycle and pick up passengers….

“What?” My young friend asked.  “WHY NOT?”

I shrugged.  I said I guessed the government decided those things were not safe.

“BUT YOU HAVE GUNS,” She said.


Third example, and this one is just purely funny. I met with a group of Filipina homeschooling Moms on the island of Cebu.  At dinner they found out I was the grandmother of 14 and they were astonished (yes this is also a humble brag)- I explained that we married at 20, but they still thought I did not look at all my age.

“Usually,” said one of my hostesses, “Westerners just look so much older than they are.”  The hilarious thing about this is that at precisely the same time, I was saying, “Usually Asians look so much younger than they are…”

Of course, neither is precisely true.  A 40 year old Asian generally looks younger than a 40 year old westerner, and vice versa.  But whether that is older or younger than a 40 year old ought to look is kind of dependent on where you live.

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Over Simplification

Cooking it that way uses up too much gas.

Get up.

Clean up.

Put it up.

Turn it up.

Up and away.

Come on up.

Come up and see me.

Use it up.

Eat up.


These all seem like simple and basic English phrases and usages on first glance. But to the non-native speaker, they are bizarre and confusing. I had my earliest inkling of this when a non-native English speaker who often speaks in broken English told me, “Your method of cooking potatoes consumes your fuel much and quickly.”

Consumes your fuel is more precise, specific, definitive than ‘uses it up’ or ‘uses too much.’

Often when we try to simplify our words we only muddy them.  Often when we dismiss, for instance, the King James Bible as being far too complicated for a non-native English speaker to understand, we are wrong because we don’t understand that non-native speakers often have a deeper and wider grasp of vocabulary than native English speakers, it’s our sloppy, imprecise shortcuts that stop them short.


Stop them short…

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K-Drama: Ms Ma: Nemesis

Other title, Goddess of Revenge

This is just incredibly well done.  It’s a sort of an homage, pastiche, reboot of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories.  It’s not a retelling, but I can definitely recognize certain characters and the different stories.  The business man in Nemesis is an aging mob boss.  The Mirror Cracked episode makes an appearance, with some alterations, as do other Marple tales and characters.  Miss Marple is not the elderly spinster living in St. Mary’s village all her life. She is Ms. Ma, a married heiress who was sent to an asylum for the murder of her daughter five years ago, and has escaped and is searching for the real killer while living under the identity of a writer whom she resembles.  It actually works, much like the Sherlock Holmes stories work in the modern retelling.  I love this.

It’s a bit gruesome- a child dies and rather brutally.  They always blur her face, but still.  After all, it is a series of murder mysteries.

This is going to be in my top 20, maybe my top dozen, I feel sure.


I watch it at, with a delay for the recent episodes.  I don’t know if that works in the U.S.


Hangul Titles: 미스 마, 복수의 여신


Lead Actress, who is killing it, and I love her character: 김윤진 –Kim Yun-Jin, who does more movies than dramas so I haven’t seen her much because I do dramas more than movies.


Park Jin Woo, 박진우, is the screen-writer.  Other drama projects:

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