Masks for an Astronomer

These three masks are going to an astronomer in Puerto Rico, the one who rescued my space cats at Arecibo Observatory.

(Arya is a homebody, which is why you see him pictured in my photos often; his brother Sripati is really happier living mostly outdoors, but comes to visit me occasionally in the evenings. We’re hoping to see more of him as it gets cooler.)

These masks make me laugh, because the blue diamonds one is nice and respectable, and I’m imagining the astronomer wearing them to meetings in formal board rooms. But the rest of the time, happy planets! happy space cats! 🙂

The team at Arecibo continue to rescue cats; if you’d like to support their efforts, learn more here:…/nsr7sn-helping-arecibo…

Good Morning So Far

Good morning so far — about an hour of light gardening, then a couple hours dealing with some work e-mails I’d been avoiding. Paused work to jump on the treadmill for 20 minutes, then eat a little lunch — in the process, had an idea for one of the novels, which I’ve just jotted down so I don’t forget it completely. It’ll probably be a month before I get back to that book, at the earliest — I have two big Wild Cards stories to draft, and various short stories and essays I’d like to get out the door.

Next few hours, more gardening interspersed with story revision, I think. Normally, I’d be doing a lot of teaching work on a Monday, but I’m taking Labor Day seriously as a holiday — told my students to take the day to rest (or catch up), and we’d start the week on Tuesday. I’m a little overwhelmed after the first two weeks of school, and I figure they probably are too.

I spent much of Sat / Sun lying in bed or lounging on the couch, which helped with the tiredness, but there’s only so long I can do that before things start to fall down. Right now, checking things off the to-do list is the best thing I can do for my mental health, I think. If I get enough done, then I’m hoping to take a break around 3 and play Terraforming Mars with Jedediah…

Charmingly Imperfect

I don’t think I ever posted about this kantha quilt I bought, but I’m lounging under it now, lazy Sunday, and thought I’d share it with you. I’m loving the weight of this for summer — two layers of cotton, with a lively print on the front and a solid back, simple running stitches holding the two together. I’m not a quilter (yet), but doing this kind of work is possibly tempting me, though I’d start with something much smaller than a bedspread. 🙂

I don’t know a lot about this quilting tradition — I believe it’s Bengali, from Bangladesh, West Bengal, and Odisha. My impression is that it’s similar in some ways to Japanese sashiko, but less precise. One website I glanced at referred to it as ‘charmingly imperfect,’ which sounds just my speed.

My understanding is that traditional kantha quilts had complex embroidery work, but have been simplified for the Western market and quickness of production. Some are still pieced (the traditional kanthas were pieced together from worn out saris — reduce, re-use, recycle), some are whole cloth, like this one.

Instructions on how to do the running stitch:

This is where I bought mine, on Etsy: