Sunday, May 3, 2020

Coronavirus Duck Tales

I always said that I could stay at home and never leave my house, and be perfectly happy and never run out of things to do. But I must admit that the last month or so have really put me in a rut. I've had to read the books I already own instead of browse the bookstore, and pretty much the same thing with fabric and yarn and other such colorful supplies. Not that I'm running out, mind you, because I'm not. I just didn't realize that I counted on the pick-me-up I could get standing in the aisles of certain stores from time to time.

Now I've probably mentioned that we have a small flock of ducks, 5 females. We've had them a couple of years and we're down to about two eggs a day now, but that's enough for me at least, and usually we can save up easily enough for bread or even a quiche. We live on the main thoroughfare in our neighborhood, on a large corner lot directly across from an elementary school, and there is a bus stop bench and awning actually just outside our fence. So everybody around here has heard the quacking at some point.

Last night about dusk a knock at my door alerted me to a duck wandering down the street. Was it mine? a very polite teenage boy asked. Well I went to look, and it wasn't. But this boy, two of his friends, and I decided that the lost duck needed to be housed for the night in my duck yard. 

For nearly two hours, the four of us herded this poor animal up and down the street, underneath and then out from under cars and up into yards and finally, all of us --including the duck-- were worn out! We actually caught the duck a few times and it scratched us bloody and escaped under another car. 

Fine. We gave up and all returned to our homes. I was overheated and sweaty and ELATED. It was the kind of fun I remember having on summer nights with all the other neighbor kids. Just doing a thing for the sake of doing it. I was almost giddy from the ridiculous, fun activity of it all. 

So this morning I was SORE. Too sore to be running downstairs over and over, answering the door and explaining that the duck -- still wandering around the neighborhood -- was not my duck. But that was my morning. Because hubby was on duty last night, he came in about 7:30 a.m. so I just stayed in bed (except for the interruptions at the front door) until around 1:30 p.m. I'm so old!

I was kinda bummed again thru the day. I'm SICK of watching TV. There's no positive place for news, because basically the news is full of illness and assholes, giving the impression that the whole world is made up of just illness and assholes right now. I don't find entertainment very entertaining right now.

I stayed up until after dark to put our ducks in their pen, and then something told me to go out front and see if the Muscovy was anywhere around. I discovered that it was in MY driveway, under MY truck. I freshened up the water in the dishpan I set out last night, and put out more duck food. And I don't know what tomorrow holds but I feel like the duck is here to tell me or show me something, and I've got nothing better to do right now than just pay attention and learn.

God bless, stay well, and STAY HOME if you're able.

Duck Mom

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Masks, masks masks! {{please see edit!}}

Did you receive a mask made by me? Here are a few things I want to say. First, thanks for whatever you do that puts you around people at this time. If you're a nurse or delivery driver or any other one of the heroes we are counting on these days, I want you to know that I appreciate you!

Also, don't microwave your mask to "sterilize" it. It has a bit of wire over the nose to help shape it to your face, and I have it on good authority that it will catch fire in the microwave. 

EDIT: Today I threw mine in the washing machine and that little piece of pipe cleaner got all twisted up and actually pushed itself through the fabric and out, so I believe it's best to hand wash in hot soapy water and live dry. I'm sure hanging it in the sunshine and/or ironing will finish off any nasty germs. Use whatever you have handy as a filter.

I make and donate the masks, and am not selling a single one of them. But if you'd like to donate, you can do so via Paypal ( or the Cash App ($TammyHanley). Any donations go just to keep me in supplies -- thread, elastic, slide adjusters and O-rings, sewing machine needles, seam rippers to replace the ones I keep losing, and postage, as I do send quite a few by mail. Any amount is appreciated.

Finally, I'd really love to hear your feedback about the masks, along with any ideas you might have on improvements to the design or just ways to meet different needs. Special requests can be made by a private email ( and will be considered. Unfortunately, I cannot take on large-batch orders because it's just me and my poor little sewing machine chugging along by ourselves.

Stay well! Blessings from my family to yours,
Tammy Hanley

Monday, October 14, 2019

FINALLY something new from me!

Today I FINALLY put together listings for the tarot bags I've been making for my shop on Etsy. You can click the Etsy button in the top right-hand corner to look at my shop, but here are a few pictures here. Tell me what you think!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A Thing to be Grasped

As an adult who grew up in a very Bible-y place, verses fly through my head in response to nearly every situation I come across. And, of course, these verses were originally taught along with their "accepted" interpretations, a la various, basically fundamental, Christian churches. I say this because although I grew up in the Church of Christ, as soon as I was old enough to dare I began studying in other variations of Christianity, such as Baptist, Catholic, and Assemblies of God. Most verses have the same "accepted" interpretations, except a few used to validate or denounce certain practices singular to one denomination versus others.

So the other day I was contemplating the outright GREED that has overcome our lives -- yes, the whole world, but especially here in the United States. As a City on a Hill that Cannot Be Hid, we are radiating GREED to the rest of the world. In the name, by and large, of Christianity. In contrast, we are lighting our lamps and then hiding them under bushels. Yes! We're the best place to live! We have more, promise more, ARE more! But...we don't want you. Especially if you are actually in need and might drain us of our resources. Please drain elsewhere. We don't have enough.

Well, we DO have enough for luxurious airplanes and expensive entourages for golf outings. Political campaigns. Huge parades and celebrations of ourselves. Yay! Aren't we amazing? Wouldn't you like to be us? Well you can't. You weren't born here. Or maybe your ancestors were but we drove them out and that's just too bad.

Then there's this little verse in Philippians. Always brought up to demonstrate just how much Jesus loved us. But it carries so much more weight when we look at ourselves, as Christ's representatives here on earth. Here in America.

Have this mind AMONG YOURSELVES, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who -- THOUGH HE WAS IN THE FORM OF GOD -- did not count EQUALITY WITH GOD a THING TO BE GRASPED, but emptied himself, taking the form of a SERVANT. ....Philippians 2:5-11, edited and emphasized by me.

What if this were applied to us? To each American? To our leaders? Who, though being in possession of wealth and power, did NOT count that as a thing to be GRASPED, but emptied ourselves, taking on the form of... Servants? Immigrants? Criminals? Hungry? Homeless?

While Christ was in the form of God and WAS God, we are NOT. We should count ourselves BLESSED, not ENTITLED. And figure out exactly what it is we are considering a thing to be grasped, so that we can empty ourselves of that and take on the form of servant. And serve those in NEED not those who can in return serve our needs. I'll scratch your back, you ... enjoy it. You feel appreciated. Your betterment is not only my reward, it is my JOB.

What is it YOU count as a thing to be grasped? What would it take to empty yourself of it? Are you brave enough?

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

It's been a year. The world has moved on but I am, in a lot of ways, still tied to the deaths of Adri and Brann. Adriana's family and friends hosted a 5k in her honor to bring awareness to domestic violence. One of the guest speakers was from a battered women's shelter here in San Antonio, and she said something that I felt like a punch in the chest. I don't remember it word for word, but it was something like, "when a person must live in fear of someone who claims to love them."

As I was there to honor Adriana, and show support to my orphaned cousin, I would never call any attention away from the purpose of the gathering. But it hurt so bad, knowing that Brann had grown up living in fear of someone who claimed to love him (his father, my grandfather). While Brann's extreme and final actions were.... extreme and final .... they did not come from nowhere. I remember hearing him scream as my grandfather beat him and his wife pleading with him to stop. His wife, my step-grandmother.

I've had to go back and censor [this very large part] of the story because saying the words out loud brought some hell down on my head. I can handle a LOT of hell, but I have literally exhausted my emotional strength with very little time for recouping. So to give myself a little of that, I redacted part of the story. Which in no way changes the truth under the black marker.

My aunt Murray shared with me a quote a long time ago. It was this:

What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open.

So when the time came for me to honor my uncle Brann, I did so by telling a truth. And by God, the world indeed split open. Then, in the wake and fallout of the world-splitting, in this age of #metoo and telling our truths bravely, I actually acquiesced by removing the post, and then further by actually APOLOGIZING for saying out loud what was already visible through the rift. I had a very, very good reason for doing so. But at the same time I'm FUCKING PISSED at myself for letting ME down.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Reblog: Guns Are the Problem

The article below is worth the read. Even if you are a gun owner. Especially if you are a gun owner. Not because you should be convinced to give up your guns. But because as a gun owner you should be open to promoting and demanding responsible gun ownership. My dad, a true gun enthusiast, throws this one out whenever the subject comes up, "There's a loaded shotgun on my front porch. It's been there all week. And it hasn't gotten up and killed a single person." I've been listening to that sort of rhetoric for years. But the truth is, it's dangerous rhetoric. It's flippant. It's not even true! My dad would never leave a gun out in the elements! But if it were true, some idiot who heard him say it could go swipe it and use it to commit a crime.

Attitudes about guns are changing. People are using them to win (get the last word in, so to speak) arguments. To "express themselves," as it were, in mass shootings in schools and places intended for recreation! And those who don't use them that way, those who own them and don't use them in bad ways, are starting to use these types of flippant responses that show just as much lack of respect for the guns they claim are so important in their lives. These attitudes are promoting and perpetuating the misconceptions about what guns should and should not represent, and how they should be used.

Here is the reblog I want to share: Guns Are the Problem, Guns Are the Problem, Guns Are the Problem … | Erin Wathen