Monday, March 12, 2012

If You Don’t Like The Weather ---

This is a rather disjointed post of random glimpses of my first 24 hours in Little Rock! I tried to find a common theme between these photos to make them flow one into the other, but the only thing they have in common is --- well – it’s Arkansas!

And I have never laughed so hard with such a fun group of ladies EVER! And honestly – I was trying to be on my best behavior.

I have a new mantra that I am finding very hard to live up to:

“Be Above Reproach.” ((Or at least TRY.)

Can you imagine ANY goal harder to obtain than that? I can’t. I’m just a QUILTER. I am not a politician. But is so hard when people are so quick to form opinions, or lose opinions of you when people watch you so closely on EVERYTHING, not just your QUILTING. Try it some day. See what I mean.

This new mantra need came about after airing a "funny situation" that I personally found hilarious, to be called out on it and lambasted every which way with no mercy by a reader for my “uncaring callousness” which was never my intention in the first place. And then one begs to wonder who really deserved the lambasting –Me for thinking a situation was funny, not naming names, keeping things light hearted, or that emailer who said such things as she did to me PERSONALLY to my face, tearing me to shreds in email. Who was the one really doing the judging? There is such a fine line there.

The internet is such an amazing ((!?!?)) place, isn’t it?

((This is when Bonnie gets real because this is LIFE folks. I’m not perfect, I never set out to be --- but I do try to be BETTER. To make apologies when I need to, to always try to learn from a situation. My life is just not hunky-dorey all the time.))

So --- wearing my shiny-new-yet-very-cautious mantra ---I arrive in LIttle Rock to meet Shirley, the sweetest lady ever ---who asks me to dinner ---and I accept ---- and we pull up to:

littlerockAR_2012 009


I am laughing inside by this point! I could have said – oh NO!! Especially after the BAD SUSHI episode last week in Virginia Beach – but you know what? Put a smile on! I didn’t even know for SURE it was the sushi last week, and there is no time to get back on the horse that bucked me like the present! And it was great – and we had a wonderful conversation getting to know one another, and we have so much in common.

And we continued to drive back to my hotel in the pouring rain…..soon coming up behind what looked like a piano in a trailer behind a pick up ----

littlerockAR_2012 010

Wait a minute! It IS a piano in the back of a trailer being pulled by a pick up truck in the driving rain! And it really was waving and bouncing around and looking like it wasn’t tied down at al! Did I mention it was POURING?! So what is that blue tarp doing bundled at the back of the trailer and why is it not covering this gorgeous piano? We were both laughing and shaking our heads.

Shirley said: “Whatddya know?! It’s ARKANSAS after all!”

I laughed and said “Pass this guy..this bouncing piano is making me nervous….” I had visions of it leaving the back end of that trailer, and landing on our hood --so she went fast enough to get around him, but slow enough to grab this picture and howl some more:

littlerockAR_2012 012

The ropes were not even tight! They were flying EVERYWHERE!

**NOTE** Before someone emails me about being cruel and careless and judgemental about the piano in the rain on the back of a trailer – and that I shouldn’t make fun of people who decide to move heavy parlor items in the driving rain ----What I find as funny doesn’t mean you necessarily have to, but I don’t need you to call me out on it in email or any other form, that isn’t your job okay? :cD

It seriously was.....scary funny.

littlerockAR_2012 063

And what a difference 24 hours makes! This evening after returning to my room I had just about an hour before dark so I threw on my running shoes and headed out for a walk. I’m close to the airport..but this didn’t stop me from finding some beauty to share.

What is this white blooming bush? It was so pretty, I could imagine it tucked into a bride’s hair – or in her bouquet. Spring has definitely arrived in Little Rock!

littlerockAR_2012 064

The redbuds are popping…their delicate flowers unfurling each petal to the 80 degree sunshine today. Not a cloud in the sky! What a difference 24 hours makes!

littlerockAR_2012 066

Doesn’t this picture make you smile with thoughts of warm days ahead? This is just before sunset – the branches reaching for the sky – in a mostly industrial area! So that is my reminder for the day that beauty – true beauty – can be found everywhere, you just have to LOOK for it!

littlerockAR_2012 067

I turned around when I reached a stop sign at a T in the road ---shadows loomed as the sky darkened….soon this stand of trees will be shrouded in the green of full leaf cover as we move deeper into spring.

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Good night, Little Rock! You are proving to be quite the gem of a town! I’m looking forward to more adventures tomorrow!

PS -- It's really hard to be above reproach --- can't I just be me?


  1. Anonymous10:18 PM EDT

    Hi, why be beyond reproach ? You are a real live person living your dream. Gotta love it. Pat Hinkle, aka madquill@gmail.com in beautiful Georgia

  2. Just be yourself. God loves you ... and so do we!

  3. Bonnie, some people can NEVER be happy, doesn't matter what you say or do....to bad you don't have a DELETE button for them. Keep being you, and keep making me laugh when I get up in the morning and when I go to bed at night......your doing fine.....don't pay any attention to the grumps. Jan

  4. Anonymous10:27 PM EDT

    Readers always have the option to just quietly quit following. I never do understand when they don't just do that.

  5. use the delete key I hate how some people are so rude! I can not believe some e mails I have gotten over the years also - people do not always think before they leave a comment although over all most all have been nice to me. I can't believe you are only about 80 miles from me right now - I am about 80 west of you going towards Fort Smith. Have fun at your workshop and enjoy Little Rock while you can - one day rain, one day sun, most likely rain again later in the week.

  6. I sure would appreciate you staying as you always have, I've kind of grown fond of you just the way you are. That doesn't mean you get to become staid and complacent, it just means don't turn into something else FOR someone else. And as far as someone judging you, I think they should look in the mirror first.

  7. Why is it that there's always a rotten apple in the basket. Just pitch it out! Wish I were in Little Rock with you. We used to live in the bedroom community of Benton and worked in LR. Be careful out by yourself. You're not in the best neighborhood in the world around the airport.

  8. please don't change, i like you the way you are! :)

  9. That wonderful white bush looks like it just might be Spirea, which is the botanical name for the common name "Bridal Wreath"...you were right on the mark, Bonnie, imagining it tucked into a bride's hair!
    As for the piano, well...that's Arkansas! It's a wonderful mishmash of symphony concerts and "Bubba," with his ubiquitous pickem-up truck! Exotic, ethnic cuisine served next door to the ever available cat fish and hush puppy fry up! I am a Damn Yankee transplant, having lived here for 38 years, and still believe that Little Rock is one of the best kept secrets in the country. Where else can you take one photograph that shows a desolate marsh, with stately blue heron in the foreground, and the dome of the state capitol in the background??? We have the best of city life and the best of country life! Your photos of the lovely, antique piano blithely rumbling down the freeway, in the pouring rain, with loose tethers in the back of a truck, is all part of the charm of our local color! If the Reader's Digest is, in fact right re. "Laughter is the Best Medicine" then Quest Quilters who took the workshop today should consider themselves well dosed! Thank You!!!!

  10. Jeepers... some people need to get a life. If you can't laugh at life, then you'd be simply miserable. A gal told me once that there are two rules in life... 1) don't sweat the small stuff, and 2) it's all small stuff. Just be you, Bonnie. Ride the horse that brought you here.

  11. I agree with the other comments about how much we like you the way you are, Bonnie. One time I received one of those scathing e-mails about the way I had organized a Workshop that I was teaching. I simply hit "Forward" and sent it back to the writer. No explanation. Just sent it back. She sent me another email and said she did not realize how "rough" the language was and that she would think twice the next time. I don't know if she does or not, but I felt better sending her own "stuff" back to her.

  12. Anonymous10:42 PM EDT

    Dear Bonnie, Keep on just being YOU! Life is way too short to waste even a moment on negativism. It also is way too short to worry about the opinion of others. It sounds like you have your head on straight. From what I read in your blog, you try to be the best YOU that you can be. You will never please everyone. Some people thrive on being unhappy and try to make others feel unhappy too. You thrive on being happy and so willingly share your joy of life with us. For that I thank you. I hope that you will keep on sharing with us. from Ursula

  13. Anonymous10:43 PM EDT

    Too funny Bonnie! It made me laugh. You see I'm from PA and a couple of years ago I was blessed(?)w/ the opportunity to live in ark for almost a year. And yes the piano was so arkansas. I thought we were red necks til I got there. Of course they didn't know what cow pie bingo was so they thought we were more red neck than they were. This I will say. The people were great, the country side beautiful. But I will take a snow storm any day over watching the funnel cloud go over head.

    The white flowers, I believe that my gram called that bridal veil. I believe it is some type of spirea plant.

    The most important thing in life is to be true to yourself and be your self.

  14. Anonymous11:06 PM EDT

    Actually I'm a little jealous. My blog is so small I don't even get insults;-}

    What a relief! I'm not the only one with foot-in-mouth disease.

  15. Anonymous11:11 PM EDT

    You are who you are Bonnie. Please don't change a thing.

  16. Print out her email...and cut it to pieces with your old rotary cutter. Maybe it will make you feel better. You have enough of us "weirdly-normal" people who just love you...you don't need anybody putting you down.

    Have fun tomorrow. Wish I could be there. Arkansas is about a month ahead of us on blooming flowers and trees. Bet it's beautiful.

    We had an old upright piano like that---the insides was rotten. Had a guy come and get it...laid it flat on a trailer to haul it off. He makes a sideboard out of it...beautiful piece of furniture..in HIS house!

  17. Ditto to what everyone else is saying! Hit that delete key when someone tries to flame you!!! You are you and we wouldn't want you any other way. I personally enjoy your wit and touch of sarcasm (because I speak that language very well myself!). There are always going to be "haters" and those who are jealous of your talents and accomplishments. Don't empower them to believe that they are right. Send them back an email that says "bite me" and go on with your day!!!

  18. Bonnie, I love your stories and pictures and you always make me smile. You seem like such a likeable person and are always upbeat. Don't change just because someone doesn't get your humor or is easily offended. You will never please everyone so just be yourself.

  19. First thing I said when I saw the Tokyo House sign was "Oh NO!".....so glad you survived it! Whew!

    And I just don't get it! Why are people so harsh! This is quilting, for heaven's sake! Can't we just lighten up and have fun! And I read your blog every day.....I can't remember a time when I thought you had been too 'whatever' about anything! It's always funny (laughed my ass off on that piano....the ropes are a riot!), and you're always goodnatured about everything, including your critics! Sheesh! People need to get a life!

    And thanks for the beautiful pics of springtime, Bonnie.....we are just now losing our snow.....can't wait for some buds on the trees! It was 60+ degrees today.....a fluke! lol

  20. Bonnie, just stay true to who you are and let the negative people go. We love you!

  21. Anonymous11:37 PM EDT

    Absolutely you can just be you because we love you that way. Thanks for all you do, after a bad day at work there is nothing like a good Bonnie story to lighten my mood and to unwind. You just have to pitty those who are so miserable they have nothing else better to do than be negative all the time. Have a great night and a better day tomorrow.

    Diana in Georgia

  22. I am beginning to think that these days there is no such thing as "above reproach" when you are dealing with the internet where people can rip you to shreds without ever having to look you in the eye. There are always going to be people looking for some way to feel important by calling someone out for something pointless.
    Chin up, Bonnie. Thankfully they are the minority--now if they would just be silent.

  23. well,,,you don't have to be above reproach. You just have to be you! A piano in the rain. Oh well. At least it wasn't a sewing machine!

    1. Hah! A true quilter's perspective!

    2. How right! It would have been truly criminal to have treated a sewing machine that way.

  24. I live in Arkansas and cringed when I saw the piano on the back of the truck in the rain. What my daughter would give to have that piano! Hmmmm. . . I do wonder why the tarp is under the paino. lol

    There are many times I see things on the back of trucks, shake my head, and say "only in Arkansas".

    You picked a great week to be in Arkansas. Lots of warm weather and sunshine. Welcome!

  25. None of your bees wax !! That is what some one teach to say !!! Before I learned Inglish !!! Now I'm not so nice !!!LOL.
    Bonnie I like your openness and frankness !

  26. The piano made me laugh! I have two SIL and BIL's who live in Arkansas and we have seen some sights when we visit! They want us to move near them, oh my! ! ! And, you should be yourself and share what you think is funny. If someone else doesn't agree, they can move on to another blog, why should they try to change you, it is YOUR blog?

  27. Bonnie, please don't change a thing about you, your blog or your wonderful sense of humour. Ignore the trolls, hit delete (or I love the forwarding back without comment idea) and keep up the good work!

  28. Anonymous12:38 AM EDT

    Just be you! Send those people instructions on how to remove your sites from their favorites. That should give even the stupidest a hint.

  29. Oh Bonnie--- i am so sorry that you had that experience with the grumpy person. I know we have not meet ( I sure hope to some day) but you have brought joy to my heart. Per your blog you are very warm hearted, funny, and very generous. Not everyone is willing to share their gifts with others as you do. I for one appreciate each aspect of yourself that you share. Please know she was not the majority but a very tiny minority. Please continue the great work you do. I lnow I am blessed. Thank you!

  30. Oh yes by all means just be you and learn to ignore the critics...
    and you know Dear Bonnie there will always always be critics.

    Happy sewing :0)

  31. Bonnie we love you as you are. Your blog is always interesting. Sometimes I read it fast and sometimes I read it slow, but it never gets missed! So much inspiration has been taken from your ideas. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  32. Just be yourself and do the best you can, laugh with people not at them and you should be ok. Always remember that some people are always cranky and want others to join them, but don't go there it isn't any fun. Love you just the way you are!

  33. My moto is focus on the 88. That is there is 12 % of people you can't please no matter what. My new favorite quote is from Bill Cosby - I don't know the secret to success, but the quickest way to fail is to try to please everyone. I so enjoyed yesterdays workshop and am looking forward to another wonderful day. So glad I have the opportunity to meet you in person and take your workshops.

  34. Oh my, that poor piano. I would have been afraid of it flying out too. It didn't look very secure with the ropes flying in the wind. Sure is pretty though. Hope it made it to its new location. Nice and clean too, right?!

  35. Please, please, please....don't be above reproach! I love Bonnie just the way she is. People are funny, and it is OK to laugh about the differences between us. I was hanging at the Mall of America on Sunday. It wasn't quite State Fair for diversity of people, but close (you know what I mean!) I enjoyed giggling at some of the outfits people put together or some of the silly things I saw them doing. Does this mean I was judging them or putting them down....no! I was enjoying things that are different for me. I know that is all you were doing, too.

    I appreciate that you are honest and let us know when these things happen, though. We can all get a bit judgmental at times, and seeing how that can affect you might help us reign it in if we are tempted to send a ranting email :-)

    Enjoy your day!

  36. Anonymous8:39 AM EDT

    So, did you eat sushi?? Had to ask, you know! It wasn't about the sushi, it was about enjoying time with someone with whom you have a common interest. Good on ya, mate. As for the "sniper", I really like the "forward their message" comment, that lady has it together.
    You, Bonnie, just need to ignore these "blog police", they have that job because they are too much like so much of "society" which chooses to pick apart what they read, instead of reading it, laughing, and move on. Just shake your head, hit the delete button and......move on. Be you, we love you for it, and that is what is important. Most of us also laugh at what you think is funny.
    Faye in Maine

  37. Hang in there! Love ya! By the way I had a great time in Chicago this past Sunday. It was beautiful in the city and the Flower and
    Garden show was also beautiful. :)

  38. Anonymous8:58 AM EDT

    Some people amaze me! If they disagree with something in your blog, all they need to do is stop reading it! Seems pretty simple to me. You are a very special lady and I (and so many others) truly appreciate you. You share your life and your talent with us. How very fortunate we are. Stay just how you are. Thank you!


  39. oh, I am sooo jealous - you got to see flowers!!!!

    if that white flower is not Spirea - it might be 'baby's breath' - the flowers look similar.

    Stay the way you are, Bonnie!
    God loves us all just the way we are!

  40. What ever happened to living by the Golden Rule? "Do onto others as you would have them do onto you". Would the critic like to have others pick apart everything that comes out of her thoughts? You don't have to be above reproach for me; I enjoy reading your thoughts and getting your perspective on life. Keep being Bonnie!

  41. Anonymous9:45 AM EDT

    I have had e-mail for work before it was prevalent to all...I found very quickly that it was quite easy to read the wrong "tone" in an e-mail and be offended. One time I read an e-mail and "replied to all" to the whole company! I was probably offended more with how I was feeling and I would have been better to pick up the phone and call the person! That can't always be done with blogs!
    I find when I'm offended by an e-mail I now "sit on it" and think about what bothers me and delay action. That has now saved me many times!
    I know the person that was at the receiving end was hurt and at the time, I really didn't think I had done anything wrong...I reacted/responded and it's probably only NOW that I've realized that I may have had something to account for in the "conversation". The person in question gave me a call an I was able to explain "how I read" her e-mail.
    These accidents/misreads in communication are tough.
    We often think our language is so clear, but feelings, esteem,how we've been taught or how our families respond to comments all affect our reactions.
    May this blow over and I know it's got to be tough to be on the receiving end...I so enjoy all your posts and I guess the only thing I can say is...read them for what they are...and although words have power if you let them, they can't hurt if you don't let them.
    stenbraaten at hotmail dot com

  42. Bonnie, your posts are the best part of my web-day. And I'll bet that bitter blogger would never have even noticed the lovely trees and gorgeous sunset. Keep 'em coming!

  43. In a perfect world everyone would be nice to everyone else and the Golden Rule would rule. BUT, and this is a big BUT, we're all human, and some of us just require extra grace at times.

    Don't change unless you know in your heart you were doing something wrong. Apologizing for hurting someone is always appropriate, and that may be all that was needed. Poor thing, she probably had a bad day or has such tender feelings she is overly sensitive.

    I totally love the piano story. Sounds like it could have been a couple of my relatives -- LOL!!

  44. Please, Bonnie...be yourself...
    and forget the pea-sized brains that don't understand or appreciate you! :)

  45. I have never met you, but I feel like we are best friends. We have talked in emails and I have left comments for you but that is it. You took the time out of your day to help me with my blog and for that I thank you. Who would have done that? Not many people would have. That's what makes you so special to us.
    Nobody better mess with MY BONNIE! Almost all of us love you just the way you are. The rest can just go away!
    Sandy http://sandybeachsewing.blogspot.com

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. You can't please all the people, all the time! Please keep on keeping it real. 99.9% of us think you are just fine, all the time! The other .1% need to learn to 'just move on'!!

  48. Anonymous11:37 AM EDT

    Bonnie, you ARE above reproach --we all ARE! As the kids say -- don't let the "haters' hang-ups hang you up! I love your blog and laugh out loud sometimes, which makes my day. Don't change!

  49. Being above reproach can't be all that easy....and not much fun. You would never be able to say ANYTHING, because there is always someone to take offense. Besides, some people just don't have any sense of humor at all. There was a woman who used to use the library I work at who NEVER smiled that I saw. Not even at her kids. She found fault with EVERYTHING...including the fact that I didn't open the library at least a half hour before the opening time. Why? because she got there way early and had to wait twenty minutes. I sweetly told her the hours were posted and even if I did get there early the door would be locked until then. Duh!! OK, so I'm not above reproach. :))

  50. Just be you, and remember that some people can't be nice, no matter what. That is so sad. We are ALL human.

  51. I think it's too easy for some people to forget that there is a living breathing person behind their computer screen. So they are perhaps a little less careful of what they write and how they write and sometimes tone of voice and body language aren't there to assist us either. But if it bothered her whatever it was, it was reflection of her issues and not yours. Lots of people laugh at those America's funniest home videos, I can't, I see the pain those poor people suffer and don't find it funny. Do I send nasty e-mails to the network, no I choose not to watch. So if you don't like something don't read it!

  52. Anonymous6:44 PM EDT

    I wish both of you Peace, Love, Light, Serenity and Harmony.

    Let the positive energy flow and have a nice day.


  53. I say be yourself! If you were perfect then you could not relate to the rest of us!

  54. Hmmm, reminds me of a Dr. Seuss-ism, "So be sure when you step, Step with car and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. And will You succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) Kid, You'll Move Mountains! from Oh the Places You'll Go.

    1. Ooops, that Step with care!
      You do just fine. As you said you try to do your best.

  55. it is called a BRIDAL WREATH bush
    or snow ball in KY I think-lol

  56. Anonymous10:18 PM EDT

    Bonnie: Sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders, shake your head, and walk on. Most of us consider you a National Treasure of the quilting world!
    I was at your lecture & had the honor of holding your quilts for you. Thank you so much for the inspiration, both at the lecture and on your blog.
    Even the "rednecks" (I hate that label) here in AR respect & admire the craftsmanship of beautiful old furniture, so I have no clue what that piano in the rain was all about!

  57. Bonnie, maybe her shoes were too tight when she emailed you about whatever. You just never know what burdens others are carrying that moment. You are a good person. You have nothing to guard yourself so tightly about. The question is Am I a good person? And the answer to that is YES you are! Stop worrying about it. Smile and have a great time at Little Rock.

  58. Nancy C.10:39 AM EDT

    I always say--"It's in your motives-If you mean well in your heart, you're okay. If not, fix your motives". Some people get too quick on the trigger and email hurtful things. Why do we always focus on the negative comments instead of all the good ones. Please know that, I think, all but that one of us think you're the best!! I had a great time in your classes this week in LR, Bonnie. Thanks so much for ALL your tips, etc. We all loved you!!
    Nancy C.

  59. Bonnie, don't feel you have to be above reproach! Yikes! That means we have to strive to do that too. There is no way, I try harder as I grow older but I never will be without blemishes. Love the piano in the rain. I was thinking maybe it was going to the local landfill? As someone said, there are many folks who would accept it as it. I am getting an Accu cut soon to make cutting my millions of scraps easier. Marilyn in SC

  60. Oh, how funny. If you ever start being always above reproach, you won't be who you are. I would hate that. Anytime you want to forward one of those emails to me, I'll gladly lambast somebody for you. I'm getting real good at telling folks to mind their own business. Lane


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