Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving (US) & Happy progressing to the end the week (everyone one)

Dear readers,

If you've been progressing toward the end of the week (Congrats!) the weekend is almost here!

 In the US, we're celebrating Thanksgiving, where the desire to get the perfect turkey and meal, spending time with relatives you may or may not desire to see, and planning crazy shopping the day after.  And, some people chose to give thanks for their lives (we do!).

Yesterday, I went to the paragon of booksellers, and bought three sewing magazines.  One serves as an excellent reference and I learned a couple of  techniques.  The magazine is Teach yourself to Sew by Threads magazine.

Although I am familiar with most of the "getting started" techniques - I have learned a few things (and I'm only 1/3 of the way through).

For example, there are tools to help your presser foot stay level over thick seams!  And, the best way to get sharp points on a collar or tight angle is to make a box type of stitch during the seam instead of a point. . . I never had problems with that but good to know!  I recommend it as a fun reference with lots of good tips.

Finally, on my Kindle 3, thanks dad!, I downloaded Pat Conroy's My Reading Life (which is a love story to writers and readers, really).

He writes, "As an American liberal with impeccable credentials, I would like to say that Political Correctness is going to kill American liberalism if not fought to the death by people like me for the dangers it represents to free speech, to the exchange of ideas, to openheartedness, or the spirit of art itself.  Political correctness has stranglehold on academia, on feminism, and on the media. It is a form of both madness and maggotry, and has already silenced the voices of writers . . . across the land."

I find this so true, even on a minor level, like this sewing blog.  I won't address the larger first amendment issues in America, but I will say that I do write my blog in fear of offending others (not to be confused with tolerance, though).  I am careful to monitor the voice and tone of my blog - really, I want to promote and enjoy home sewing - and encourage others to try (and learn from the legion of experts out there).  I want my blog to be accessible.  And maybe, that is the way of it for writing that is trying to accomplish a goal such as this.   Readers, do you find your voices chilled by political correctness?

Just a few things to think about (and feel free to respond!) - Pat Conroy's book is an easy read if you haven't had the chance yet. . .


  1. Oh, Pammie, you touched a nerve! I wanted to write a post about 2 patients I saw recently - both illegal immigrants with heart problems that were previously known about in their home country; both were children who spoke limited English and their parents spoke none; neither had insurance but both need tests and one needs surgery. I wanted to discuss the hours of work and frustration I've gone through trying to take care of them, but I'm afraid I'll offend somebody! I've gone back and forth on it, and my blog didn't start out as a sewing blog, but that's the majority of my followers now, and so it just doesn't seem appropriate. If it was still just my family reading I'd do it in a heartbeat, but I wonder how international visitors would feel, etc. Do you have this problem too?

  2. Yes, I know EXACTLY what you speak of! I feel my speech is chilled not only because of the idea of political correctness (so as not to offend any readers) - but also because of my professional position. So, I'm right with you. I feel my professional reputation is on the line somewhat too. Now, even if that were not the case, I would still feel somewhat chilled by this idea of political correctness - I'm having trouble overcoming my fear of judgment and criticism of others (couple with the idea not to offend) - I'm not sure if it's healthy paranoia or cowardice on my part.

    With regard to your topic, immigration and health care are hot topics in America. I haven't come to a solution. In Naples, Florida, in private practice, I was part of the fundraising committee for a small hospital that specialized in free care for the lower middle class, and a large immigrant population. It was started by doctors for this purpose - and there seemed to be quite a few issues such as you describe. . . so it's an interesting discussion topic to me . . but I understand your hesitation. . .

  3. Well, now I need to find a hospital like that! The one who needs surgery moved from Florida to Mississippi, and somehow ended up in my office because we didn't ask for payment up front (and then wrote off all charges given the situation). And now I'm told the specialists in his state aren't ALLOWED to write off charges and the hospital doesn't do charity care. And I keep wondering why his mother remains in this situation knowing her son needs surgery! ARGH! I'll shut up about it now.

  4. That sounds very difficult. The hospital I know of is called the Neighborhood Health Clinic (for the working poor) in Naples, Florida. I am sending good thoughts your way!