Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Waxing toward the new year

Grace in small things
1. That sliver of the moon
2. Finally figuring out directions that are really written in some kind of unknown language
3. The feel of handmade paper
4. Mail!
5. New books

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

100th post! Wind horses coming your way?

When I start to blog more than a year ago, I thought I would keep it light, no navel contemplation, no political statements, only skim the surface, be funny and of course art and only art all of the time. That lasted about a day. I am not a compartmentalized kinda girl. Ya get it all... nothing if not transparent, that's me. Who knew I would (could?) keep it up this long? It's like spitting in the wind, where does it go? Who reads it? Will it have an impact? Do I want it to? What I discovered was that it did matter to someone, to me. It has an impact...on me. It's cheaper than therapy and more available in the middle of the night and then...then this great connection began to happen and grow and strengthen. I was in the midst of a swirl of energy that I loved and I started to learn and to listen to what others were saying and doing and how they took that picture or made that mark on a page or who else they were learning from. I began stretch and grow braver. It is important to me and important enough to mark the occasion. Thank you all for your support, laughing at my weird sense of humor and personal observations, coming back when I didn't post for days on end and making my day many, many times over. And for putting up with too many !!!!! and ... that I am so fond of.
I had so much fun yesterday giving, I thought I would continue the trend to celebrate with you. I've not done a give away before and I need to crowd in as many new things in before the new year.

Just leave a comment and I will figure out some whiz bang way to draw a name on the 1st day of the new year and a string of my wind horses will fly to you! Don't want it to be a long process...hello instant gratification girl here!
And because I am instant-gratification girl - my super powers include a nano second of patience, using my hyper persuasive chatter to cause people to cave and let me have what I want, and I'm cute - I will leave you with a prezzie I found on Rice's blog:'ll enjoy it, I promise!!!!! Big smooches

Monday, December 29, 2008


So let me get this straight as the year ends, I get sunshine, a visit from lots of crows, new art supplies, new books, new jewelry, good company and AWARDS? I'm a lucky girl.
The beautiful Christina, she of amazing pictures, soft words, and soul connections has nominated my blog for not one but 2 awards! And I get to pass them on to others? Good times...good times.

Superior scribbler award
And the I love your blog award
I would like to pass these on to those whose scribbling and beauty touch my life on a regular basis..
First and foremost to my fairy blog mother, Tara, you have been tagged by so many and for good reason! Your encouragement to start my own blog and to keep writing has meant the world to me. And your smart, witty, colorful blog always makes my day. Nobody takes pictures of windows like you do sugar, nobody!
For my daily color and fabulous art fix everyday, I visit both Stephanie (who lives in the small town I went to high school in!!) and EB (I met her through Steph's blog) to absolutely wallow. Love them!
And superior scribbling? Check out my friend Paula who wrote a haiku for everyday in December to match her beautiful pictures! I know!
Chris's post this morning made me spit tea everywhere and while the spitting part isn't always the reaction I have, she always makes me smile!
Miss Allegra, not only has beautiful things to say on her blog, she leaves the best comments on mine...she has a way with words and how could you not love a blog whose tag line is "No drama, just blogging."
Many others come to mind that I read on a regular basis but if they have a sense of humor, great pictures and show some art, I return again and again. So I will add my friend Judith, always loved her art and now that she is blogging again, love her blog!
So now you guys get the opportunity to feel the love and share them with the blogs you love and all those superior scribblers in your blog worlds! Smooches.

1. Reconnecting with an old friend
2. Tofu, lemon grass and pickled ginger
3. Stores without poinsettias
4. Laughter
5. Those silly crows

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Grace in small things today

1. Hardware stores
2. Jasmine tea
3. A friend's voice
4. Bloglandia connections
5. New information to digest

Friday, December 26, 2008

Whew, it's over

Well, it's done, Baby Jesus showed up
the wise guys are on their way
most of the wind horses are in their new homes
and as usual, we gathered yesterday with a few hundred of our closest friends that we just met, learned about happy endings in a charming place and time that was saved from being too Disney by that goofy Adam Sandler and were absolutely mesmerized by life lessons like "ya never know what's coming" with an added bonus of being set in a dreamy New Orleans and scenes of my youth, a beautiful film worth watching and of course there was that whole "Brad Pitt in a white tee shirt and blue jeans on a motorcycle" thing!We enjoyed our traditional Christmas dinner of popcorn, Coke and Milk Duds but added Junior Mints and pretzel bites to keep it from being the same ole' same ole and now it's over and I can put stuff up and stop listening to Christmas music and get on with life. Next year I'll do things differently. The activity scene will be packed away until there are grandchildren to enjoy it and I will sort out only what is important to me and let go of all the rest. Not grinchy or scrooge like, just done. Except for the people and connections, this wasn't meaningful to me this year at all. I don't understand how it got this way. It seems so fraught with expectations, stress and disappointments for so many. Mine was a very simple celebration but still, not meaningful to me. Tangobaby had this quote on her blog a few days ago and I am using it as a guide for the new year.
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken or rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions simply because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefits of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. Buddha

And so, following the lead of Schmutzie, I will post a list of 5 things that have graced my life today.

1. New watercolor pencils
2. Lovely sunrise
3. Art supplies
4. Left over popcorn
5. The small flurry of snow in the sunshine

And let me ask you, has this ever happened to you? I was working with my new watercolor pencils this morning, warm and cozy all wrapped up in my blanket sitting by the heater (hey is was 25 degrees here today!!) and I realized that I had no water or brush to use with my new playpretties. I looked around and noticed that my tea had gone cold....

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lights of Christmas Eve

We'll decorate anything down here

I mean it, anything
light above
light below
obviously a mixed marriage
messages of love
color to light the night
light and dark, equally illuminating
broken pieces making a whole
candles in the grass
light to remember
or amuse
shining bright
each house
making a community bright
my son's smiling face lighting my night
one light in the dark... that's all it takes

Monday, December 22, 2008

Light returning

Love must be as much a light as it a flame.
Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Activity Light Number Four

The fourth light of Advent
it is the light of man.
The light of love,
the light of thought,
to give and understand

And as an added bonus...look what I learned how to do on my camera today! Happy Solstice to you and yours, now the light begins to return.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cabin fever cure

Enough is enough and so armed with Kleenex, cough drops and knowledge of where (and more importantly where not) Poinsettias were, I set out today to find some color. What I brought home from my adventure is in the photo above and here's what I found out in the world beyond my living room...

And I keep forgetting to tell you about my new toy! A while back I stumbled upon a new Polaroid product - an instant printer!! It has a rechargeable battery or a car charger, doesn't quite work as well on the bus. I am all about instant gratification, you can print from your cell phone even without the fancy cord you can see in the picture. It is really small, smaller than my camera even, very cool and wonderfully fun to use and the paper (2x3) has all the ink. Some kinda whiz bang technology and...they are stickers!! The colors are more vivid than they appear here and it is a really good quality print. Photos that become stickers = instant journal subject! Yippee! I may get the hang of this yet... well, maybe a few more toys are necessary...

And this is what I am wondering about today. If you are standing at the bus stop waiting for a bus...why are you surprised when the driver asks for payment? Especially if you ride the bus all the time? It's a whole new world every day for some folks out there, a whole new world.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

99 Things Meme - longest post ever!

No, no, back to me... One of my mother's favorite sayings and I am using it today. My sore throat has now traveled up through my ears and is settled behind my eyes and no amount of hot liquid, Neti potting, Zinc lozenges or positive thinking is making it tolerable so I am now going to just think about me for a little while.
On a bright note, I've been saved by a brush! That's a good thing right? My sink had started to stop up and I mentioned it to my landlord. He sent the handy guy over this morning and he started the whole snake thingy. As he started, he thought there was a pen stuck in the drain and I assured him I didn't do much writing at the sink but ya never know. It then occurred to me that it might be a brush (I mean, don't you have brushes anywhere in your house that you have water? You don't? oh...) and I casually mentioned it to him and sure enough, that's what it was. But because of the brush, he was checking under the sink and discovered that the pipe coming into the house was in pretty bad shape and would have rusted completely out soon, there by flooding my kitchen in the freezing winter! Bonus! He changed it out and finished snakey thing procedures and thanked me for starting his day off with a laugh. Yeah for art supplies. They can save more than one way
And now, I have never done this before but I snagged this from the woman I snapped up the Activity Scene postings from and here is more about me than you ever wanted to know!

99 things meme

Things you've already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things haven't done and don't want to: leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog -after much badgering, a year ago in October
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band - nobody wants that, nobody, I am rhythmically impaired
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower - and I want to experience the Northern Lights
6. Given more than you can afford to a charity- I am a pretty soft touch
7. Been to Disneyland/world - but it was when I was 12 and I am pretty sure all of the rides were coal powered and they lit the fireworks with individual was back in the dark ages!
8. Climbed a mountain-not because I wanted to but gave into peer pressure, just that once
9. Held a praying mantis - and pretty much any other bug that appealed to me and usually brought them home with me and claimed them as pets
10. Sang a solo - Happy Birthday in a restaurant counts, right?
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris - 4 years ago and it is always on my mind and in my soul
13. Watched a lightening storm at sea - I might have 10 years ago but not now, now I am one of the ones cowering in the corner during storms and checking on those I love who are out in them, not my finest hours and then there is that water factor
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch - does scratch mean no written instructions? My son used to tell people that I cooked from "scraps" and couldn't figure out why they didn't want to come for dinner
15. Adopted a child - yep, 2 of 'em and went to a hospital 23 years ago and said, "I'll take that one (Donnie), found out he had an older brother (Dave) and so got a bonus
16. Had food poisoning - over and over again
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - what they don't have elevators?
18. Grown your own vegetables - over and over again, love the feel of dirt under my finger nails, my daddy was the tomato man...
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France - was the only place I could have seen her! And was so surprised at how small she was and how long the line was! Like other things in the Louvre better
20. Slept on an overnight train - New Orleans to Houston, Albuquerque to San Diego
21. Had a pillow fight - do you think there is anyone who really truly hasn't had one?
22. Hitch hiked - over and over again and even picked up hitch hikers until my mother made me promise I would quit
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill - over and over again, but not once I got mental health days at work
24. Built a snow fort - over and over again, even started one day before yesterday with the boys
25. Held a lamb - and helped with the shearing days (dips and shots, no shearing) in my spinning days
26. Gone skinny dipping - and got caught!
27. Run a marathon - are you kidding me? I don't even watch that kind of torment but good for ya to those who have that kind of endurance!!
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice - have seen them at the Venetian in Las Vegas, didn't even want to ride on one of them there - ah water, hello

Are you still here? 99 is a lot of things to know about me!! I'm not really this interesting...

29. Seen a total eclipse - remember those milk carton viewer thingys we made in elementary school so we could watch and not go blind?
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - one of my favorite times a day and one that I accidentally am part of some days
31. Hit a home run - one time and only once... when I was in my twentys I played on a work soft ball team, until I broke my hand when a ball hit the bat... where I was holding it
32. Been on a cruise - no thanks, too much water for me
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - see above, are ya noticing a trend here?
34. Visited the birth place of your ancestors - England, France, North Carolina
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language - but I spoke what my mother called "leau-nese" when I was a child
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. Huh? If I am satisfied, why would I keep trying?
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person - I really don't feel the need to visit Italy, is that weird?
39. Gone rock climbing - real or fake? I don't trust the little ropes to keep me from plummeting to my death
40. Seen Michelangelo's David in person
41. Sung Karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant - but my sweet son does it all the time
44.Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported by ambulance- was in one with Donnie, but never for myself
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing- attempted it only once, never again, in the Gulf on Mexico with my dad so not really very deep, but too deep for me see answers 32 and 33
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris - isn't that the only place it is? And yes, for one glorious day, until they pried my cold stiff hands off the railing and told me it was the last lift down for the day! That's where the picture is, just at dusk, as the bridges were being lit, Magical!
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - ah hello, have you been paying attention? Never, ever, ever do I put my head under water, never, ever
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud - maybe that should say "plays" in the mud to be really accurate
54. Gone to a drive in theater - over and over again
55. Been in a movie - drive in is as close as I want to be, unless Johnny Depp asked me, personal like, to do a scene
56. Visited the Great Wall of China - again not some place I have any great desire to see
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class - I figure I can talk my way out of most situations, they will leave to shut me up
59. Visited Russia- but only with Omar Shariff or not in winter
60. Served in a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies - but I have purchased more than my fair share!
62. Gone whale watching - I would love to do this even more if water wasn't involved
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood - but I have had plenty of blood draws
65. Gone sky diving - better with air than water

Are you still here? Whew! Almost done...

66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check - when I worked at the bank no less!
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial - did you know that his hand are formed in the signs for A and L? It has something to do with Galludet Univ in DC but I can't remember what.
71. Eaten cavier - sorry it looks like fish eggs (bait) to me
72. Pieced a quilt - but I am willing to buy one if you do
73. Stood in Times Square - but not on New Year's Eve, just on a regular day
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job - and to add insult to injury, it was an A&W Root Beer stand in a tourist town! How lame do you have to be?
76. Seen the changing of the Guard in London - didn't make it when I was there but definately want to see those boys
77. Broken a bone - over and over again
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person - I know, I know only one state away, some day. I did go through the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest at night, so I am hoping for a day time visit to the Canyon
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem - I would love to see Israel
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible- hey, I was held hostage by the Baptists for 20 years
86. Visited the White House - well maybe now I might want to, haven't had any desire for the last 8 years!
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - I'm scared to touch most raw meat and fish need to come to me ready to be put into the pan
88. Had chickenpox - even survived my kids having them without getting them! Wonder Woman!!
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury - of a murder trial! as the foreperson!! never again!!!
91. Met someone famous - Leon Russel! How cool is that? And talked on the phone to one, does that count?

Look! we are in the 90s! It's almost over!

92. Joined a book club - not even (especially not) Oprah's
93. Lost a loved one- over and over again
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person - hey I went to college in TX, it was practially a required field trip
96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake - is swum a word? I have been there and stood on the shore but by now you know how I feel about water that is over my head
97. Been involved in a law suit - knocking on wood here
98. Owned a cell phone - is it owning when someone else pays for it?

And YEAH!! this is the last one!!
the 99th thing about me...
Been stung by a bee - when the poor unfortunate thing flew between my hands when I was clapping a pep rally... in Jr High - what did we have to be peppy about I wonder?

Thanks for hanging in there and learning all these most interesting things about me. It's been an adventure to think about nothing but myself for this long. Don't think I'll have to do that again any time soon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Activity Light Number Three

First, my full moon picture. I couldn't get any shots the night of the 12th because of the clouds but bright and early Saturday morning, in between moaning about how sore my throat was, I took this shot out of my upstairs window. I leave the shades open so the moon light can shine in -too much sharing? I'll move on. And so in the freezing pre-dawn with the window open so there would be no screen print, I took about 40 pictures. This one is my favorite.

Don't ya just love it when kids screw up a phrase or word? Many years ago I was at a conference talking to some friends about the raging hormones we were observing in the teenagers we were watching doing their dance of puberty. A young girl was sitting with us listening to the conversation and chimed in with: " My mother is worried about those cursing Mormons that are after my brother too." So in our house cursing Mormons became the watch word for get out of the way. I'm rambling... The other night as I was cruising the net, I came across a blog (and sorry I didn't mark it and have no idea how I got it to, sorry I can't credit the source) where a mom was talking about her small child calling the Nativity scene the activity scene! The perfect combination of Advent and Nativity so that is how this post got named. And what I will be calling my little shrine to the season. Thanks kid!
And on to that activity information. Last week when I read about the 3rd week of Advent and realized there would be animals involved, I knew I knew I had to do something. My set only had one little sheep since 30 years ago that was the only animal I could figure out how to make out of clothes pins and Elmer's glue. I set out to make something resembling animals. I found the old set of clothes pins I made these out of (and you're right, I throw nothing away) and tried to figure out what to do. My inner crafter kicked in and I fashioned a donkey out of an ice wooden ice cream spoon and the legs (?) of 2 clothes pins and 2 more sheep out of the tops of the clothes pins I cut the legs off of. I used wool I had spun in the good old days and some left over felt.
Out of some wooden ice cream spoons (the kind wrapped in paper) and my trusty Dremel, I fashioned 4 birds. A dove, a raven, a sparrow and a blue bird. Not sure they are particularly biblical but why not, they are the ones I like. So here they are with the addition of a yellow candle. Still unlit. Soon...maybe...probably...but that is another story.
The third light of Advent
it is the light of beasts
The light of hope that we may see
in greatest and in least.

I have one of those sore throats that are wicked sore. The kind that makes your whole body cringe at the thought of swallowing. Not only do I have seasonal allergies, I get to have a holiday allergy as well! Yes, the dreaded poinsettia just about kills me and this week I had one to many poinsettia encounters. Having spent the last day and half sitting, sleeping and trying not to swallow or talk, sipping tea with lemon and honey, reading little gems on my tea bags, I finally feel like doing something besides wishing I didn't have to swallow to live and tired of my constant companion, the Neti Pot... so I am posting. Hope it makes some kind of sense. I hear the Neti Pot calling. And maybe, after, I will venture into food of some substance, like tomato soup. Well maybe not. Sounds thick.