Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday….in the park…think it was…

No, I promise not to sing any more….and it wasn’t a park exactly, but the arboretum.  Took one of the women I work with who moved last fall from Ohio to North Carolina and wants to know a little about the area.  We took a quick trip to the farmer’s market (where I met up with my tomato man…more about him later) and then over to J.C. Raulston Arboretum.


How can you not want to spend some time with sights like these?


and then this…


As we left the Japanese garden area, there was this whole overhanging area….bright orange…it’s a “crossvine”….


And you can’t do without roses.  My only complaint about a Lady Banks rose is they are not fragrant.


But these where….


Even OD had a great time……

R0013964Can you find a better day than today?



Thursday, April 23, 2009

Soul Map to Write-onia

Kathryn, aka Collage Diva, has started a new site, True North Arts.  One of the first items up is making a map.  She has several prompts for several different types of maps and is encouraging others to create their own maps.

So, I sat and thunk about it for a few days and came up with my map to

 WRITE-ONIA.  This is my map to my land of getting to my finished novel(s). 

write map write 2

I had a lot of fun creating the map of my journey to getting my writing done.  And while mine is geared toward writing, I think it also applies to just about anything you want to create.  Right now, I think I am trying to make it past Distraction Depths.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The other 1001 things


For those who are interested in the whole 101 things in 1001 days and my earlier “misunderstanding” about what it was about, here are some of my 1001 things I want to do in my lifetime.

- Take cooking lessons from the CIA or Cordon Bleu.  Or go to another country and take cooking lessons.

- Spend a weekend at a really great spa.  Cover me in mud and massage me down!

- Horseback ride through the Andalusia area of Spain.

- Walk the Inca Trail.

- Walk the Appalachian Trail.

- Visit Alaska.

- Spend time in another country, not just a visit, but stay there several months.

- Have a “year of solitude”.

- Sail around the world with someone special.

- Go on a date…this is the scary one!

- Learn classical guitar.

- Take ballroom dance lessons.

- Spend a day on a nude beach.

- Spend time in Maine on the coast.

- Do a Joan Anderson workshop (woman’s retreat)

- Visit a bazaar in Morocco.

- Do an internship at the John Campbell School of Art

- Be an artist/writer in residence.

- Buy a chaise lounge

- Learn to dance salsa

- Visit the South Pacific

- Ride horseback in the Snowy River area of Australia

- Walk the Mountain to Sea Walkway

- Go white water rafting

- Visit China

- Visit Japan

- Buy season tickets to the theater

- Ride in a century

- Be in France during the Tour de France

- Get a sleigh bed.

- Do a “ghost” tour of New Orleans or London

- Get a pen pal for snail mail

- Create an adventure itinerary and do it.

- Name and honor my creative muse

- Plan a Chinese New Year celebration with the girls

- Create my own green man

- Make a farm quilt for Mom and Dad.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

I want to be……

either a dog or a turtle (can’t be a cat---don’t have the attitude for it) laying in the sun.


Just laying there, nothing on my mind except the warmth of the sun.  You can really only do it in the spring or fall, otherwise, it gets too hot.


See my little “bathing beauties” all lined up on the bank?  And this is from the third floor, so these are not lightweight turtles here.  We are talking TURTLE!

I did try laying in the sun one time, just because a cat made it look so good.  It was inside and on the carpet and it is really “zen-like”.  Only thing is, unless you are alone in the house people tend to walk up and stare, poke you and ask if you are ok and really ruin the quiet, warm moment.  Of course, if you were really hurt and needed help, those same people would not emerge from their rooms for days, living off the candy bars under their beds (yes, I do know where they hide them….it’s genetic.)

And I am definitely not laying on the bank of the pond.   Besides the fact people would walk by and stare, those are some serious turtles and they just might think I was several months worth of food all laid out there for them.  I could be dragged off and never seen again, nibbled away by turtles. 

Actually, this is something of a phobia of mine.  And why I would really, really not want to swim in lakes and ponds.  Snapping turtles will latch on and not let go until (1) the sun goes down or (2) it thunders.  Or at least that was what I was told growing up.  It would be a long time before it thundered when the sun went down and I would be walking around with a snapping turtle on my toe.  It made a lot of sense when I was 4 and 47 years later, still haven’t changed my mind.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Little Birdie Flew My Way

A couple of weeks ago this little birdie flew into my life.


It seems it flew right out of the extremely talented hands of Patricia Mosca and into my house.  My own blue (and purple and red and yellow) bird of happiness!

Since then, it perched in various spots around my bedroom (also known as my art room/computer room) and finally came to roost here.


See it flying over my altar I finally got set up?  It’s on the east side to help represent the element “air”.  Above the large hawk feather I found several years ago.  To the north (left hand side)  is the plant, for “earth”, to the south (right hand side) a lavender candle for “fire” and in front, or west, is a small bowl with a couple of polished stones in it and water for “water”.  Along with a picture I took of the ocean.  In the center are some pottery items the girls made in school for “spirit”. 

On the wall is a green purse, hopefully for prosperity.  But it all makes sense to me and is very peaceful.  My only problem?  It is right by the bed and the cat seems to thing the plant is there to nibble on and to water to drink from.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Texter in Color

Texter was out sick (both of us with sinus infections) and while I was surfing I found the Sharpie marker blog.  And, being the good blogger that I am, I commented on her posts, saying we were a Sharpie household and my youngest, in particular, was addicted to Sharpies.


She emailed me back, asking if Texter would answer some questions and if we had some pictures.  Texter was more than happy to talk about her “passion” and did quite well for a 15 year old in answering her questions.

So go to the Sharpie blog  and check out Texter and her jeans.


102 Things in 1001 Days

In light of the spring cleaning/organizing/decluttering I did, came this item to add to my list…….


I realized I had books which I had leafed through, skimmed over, had on my shelf to read, but had not read.  So over the 1001 days I will actually READ the books.  Although I purged a ton of books before I moved last July, I could probably purge again.  This will help.  By actually saying I have read the book I can decide whether it is a “keeper” or not.

Most of the books which are on my shelf and unread are non-fiction, “how-to”, self-help type books.  I moved my fiction that I keep to a smaller bookshelf in the living room because OD reads them too.

So on December 31, 2011 I should be much more knowledgeable about all kinds of things…from writing to creativity to how to talk to fairies (boy, would I like to talk to the fey in Laurell K Hamilton’s books!)  I have several “page a day” type books I would like to go through.

Of course, in the process of putting the books back on the shelves I am making a catalog of all the books I do have.  That’s for the Virgo in me.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday and Organizing (But not at the same time)

Easter 1961 

Remember those days, when Easter Sunday meant you had a new “Easter dress” and “Easter hat”?  Of course, those where the days when you had “church clothes”, “school clothes” and “play clothes”.  You would never wear school clothes to play in (or you would die when mom caught you) or church clothes to school (unless it was picture day).  And if there was a function, like a potluck, at night or regular church service, you wore your school clothes, not play clothes.

Today it’s much simpler and relaxed, encouraging church attendance.  (For me, the issue was never the clothes, but the church itself.)  But kids these days just don’t get the whole clothes thing, about different clothes for different functions.  Of course, I really can’t text either.

The worse part the whole “church clothes” thing was the socks.  Yep, the socks.  Those thin, cottony/nylon, lace trimmed things.  The ones you only wore to Sunday school and church.  The things you would put on and 2 steps later were down inside your shoe.  I hated them.  I learned early on if you took a rubber band you could hold them up (kiddy garters?) and fold the sock down to hide the rubber band.  By the time church was over you would have rings around your legs and no feeling in your feet because of lack of blood circulation.)

We won’t go into the whole fishnet hose thing today.  I don’t want to scare the Easter Bunny too much!


On a brighter note, figuratively and literally, I saw in the May issue of O magazine an ad for a filing system set up by Peter Walsh.  Now I have a crush on the man, he doesn’t know it however.  I watch the show CLEAN SWEEP and want the man in my house.  So I went to the OfficeMax site which is where you are suppose to be able to buy the “stuff” to check it out.  They have a main page up advertising it’s coming, but that’s it.

So I googled it.  Sure enough, I came across several sites, but selected this site by “another mother” called Reviewsings.  Jo-Lynne does an excellent job of showing each product, what it was for and how she put it to use.  Needless to say, the site is now bookmarked.  Now if OfficeMax would get up to date on their site!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Early Easter Bunny

Seems the Easter Bunny just hopped in early at my house, bringing a basket box of goodies (and thankfully none of them edible).

Marie of Zquilts, who is ssssooooo talented, is also my new journal swap buddy.  What is really funny is how much we are finding out we have in common.  The latest – FOUNTAIN PENS!

I have always loved fountain pens and the girls learned early while I might share the crayons and Sharpies, the fountain pens you don’t touch.  And Marie is a Fountain Pen Diva --- and my Easter Bunny. 


In my box I received a couple of jars of ink (black and green), some mini cartridges in different colors for the cute little green plastic fountain pen (by Pilot).  It’s going to be just the thing to carry to/from work.  And then the beautiful black/silver/amber pen.


If you “enjoy” pens, whether they be ballpoint, gel, fountain or whatever, you know the weight and “feel” of a pen is important.  And when you find one that just fits and feels right you hate to give it up.  The black/silver/amber pen FITS and being a fountain pen, it won’t run out of ink.

I spent yesterday doing some doodling (which I haven’t scanned in yet) to get an idea of what the pens could do.

And when I went to bed last night….they were beside my bed.  Thanks Easter Bunny Marie.



Friday, April 10, 2009

Old Journals, New Pictures

In doing “stuff” yesterday, I realized I am tired of the blank wall over my bed.  I also realized I have a box full of needlework I have never gotten framed.  I pulled out the box and looked through the 2-3 dozen pieces there and while I know my tastes have changed over the years, I wasn’t aware by how much.

This “herb gatherer” is the only piece I really still like.


I put her in a large hoop I have and hung her over my bed.  She’s a little small for the area (I have a whole wall to fill), but there is at least “something” over my bed and I know the artist.

Spent a big part of yesterday going through the past.  My best friend has a project going and wanted to know if I had anything referenced in my journals about her and her husband as she could not remember a lot of the dates.  My first journal was dated 9/2/1972!  Yep, almost 40 years of journals! 

While I am thrilled I have these journals, I am disappointed I don’t have more.  There are big chunks missing, which means they are still packed away somewhere or I didn’t really journal during those years.  But I have a really good collection from about 2000 on.

So I was able to pull about 10 pages of dates and items for her.  One of my 101 things is to catalog my journals with date by date indexing so I know exactly what I have.  It was an interesting retrospective on myself.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

I Was “Gifted” on My Vacation

Received this lovely little package in the mail yesterday, the middle of my vacation.  It was from Carol at Swallowcliffs Art Blog.


A lovely beaded bookmark (can you ever have enough bookmarks?) and a key chain.  However, I think I am going to put the key chain on a necklace.  It is hard to see in the picture, but the key is “tarnished” and it has a lovely filigree piece on one side and on the other is the word “LOVE”.  Just too pretty to put keys on.

Meanwhile, what have I been doing on my “staycation” as they are being called now?  I have watched 3 DVD’s…..Doubt (which is good), Tale of Despereaux, and The Day the Earth Stood Still.  They were entertaining and OK.  None of which just blew me away.

Also have been on the Wii Fit.  Have managed to do 1 hour workouts almost every day.  I have “unlocked” some activities I almost wish I hadn’t, but been going on.  Up to 30 Jack knives at a time and one of my favorites, the Free Step.  But I am exercising!  Check out my MapMyWalk widget to get up on my progress.

Working on my quilt while I was watching the movies.  So getting 2 things done at the same time.  Doing some reading.  Cleaned the kitchen really well yesterday (much to the girls dismay----mom cleans, they clean).  Still have 2 more days.  I am working Saturday and Sunday for people as the Easter Bunny is taking a detour (don’t need the candy) and we need the $$$ too much.

But on a down note……the dog has a date Friday.  It’s sad when the dog has a date and you don’t.  It’s a “play date”.  We need to get her more socialized and OD found a young couple in the complex who has dogs, got to talking, and they like Noel and are going to let her play with their dogs.  Noel has already met one of them and they got along fine.  But still, the DOG has a date!


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Nap Time….or Maybe Not


(Written Saturday, March 28, 2009)


Got this urge Friday night (feeling better from the sinus infection) to “clean/organize/declutter my bedroom.  Since there isn’t really any other way I can move the furniture it was to basically clean up the shelves and try and make things look less “messy”.  Cluttered did even cut it anymore.

Saturday morning, after sending OD off to Ren Faire (I know why it took wagons to move around in those days by the time I packed up garb, food, water, sewing kit in case of accidents and all the other “stuff” needed.  After all, the hat alone occupied it’s own box.  And at the price I paid for it, it had better be protected!

In order to start this project I removed everything off the two shelves.  That involved a strawberry smoothie for breakfast and 2 cups of coffee.  Texter ran and hid.  Actually, she went and took a shower and stated she wanted her hair cut.  So money tucked in pocket off she went to get her hair cut.  She found a picture online the liked, which is much, much smarter than her mother in that regards.  She printed it off so she could show the Great Clips person.

Can you guess nap time is a no-no for a long, long time today?  Besides eventually getting a neater room, something more calm and relaxing, is ….

1.  I am making a list of my books.

2. Will have my altar area set up.

3. Have a ton of ideas for posts.

4. Gather together some possible future giveaways items.

Well, everything is off the shelves and it’s 10:30am.  Better get back to work.



Number of books entered in Goodreads (using that as my database for my books…really easy) about 210.  This is really neat in that all I had to do is enter the title or the author and it pulled all the other info about the book.  I can sort through my list in a number of different ways.  I have about 150 books I have not read yet or at least not read the way I want to read them.

I have about an eighteen inch high pile of knitting/beading/craft magazines which I am going to try and sell really, really cheap at the craft table I want to do at work (another of my 101 things).

I have a small pile of goodies which will be going out to different people as “thank you’s” and some things I put aside for a giveaway here in the future.

While my room is not a tranquil oasis, it is miles better than it was.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Needed….One GIANT Sheet of Paper

I was watching it rain and all the pollen on the pond and I realized I needed a really, really big sheet of paper and I could do some great marbleized paper, thanks to Mother Nature.


R0013871Just lay that big boy down and pull up a huge brown and yellow marbleized piece of paper.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Yellow Tide or Spring has Sprung

Yep….it’s spring in North Carolina and the “yellow tide” is out.


This is the pond (really full from the recent rains) and all that is pollen.  Yellow, grainy pollen.  This is the culprit.


Looks innocent doesn’t it.  But it creates tons and tons and tons of yellow “dust”.  Not only does it affect you if you have the slightest problem with allergies (thank goddess for Benadryl), but if you are like me and want the windows open because it’s nice, you have pollen all over everything.  I have 2 cats and 1 dog and think the apartment always smells, so I try to have the windows open as much as possible.  Pollen, smells (real or imaginary), pollen wins.  I can dust…maybe.


And no matter how pretty the willows look arching over the pond, the yellow scum does take away from it.  You can’t see him in this picture, but we have these huge turtles.  Sometimes they look a little yellow.

But there is a happy side to the springtime.


We have some flowering crabapple trees around the grounds.  Along with redbud and dogwood trees.



I like dogwoods in the woods.  They look so airy and if you look at them through the other trees, since you can’t see the branches, it looks like they are floating in mid-air.

So despite the pollen, despite the 83 one day and 40 the next, spring has sprung and it’s good.



Sunday, April 05, 2009

Mystery of Life No. 513

(from Saturday, March 28, 2009)

Why 513?  It’s her birth date.  But can someone explain this to me?

Why is it the person who normally only graces me with grunts, nods, eye rolls, decides, once I get my room in a state of complete and total chaos, to do a complete hair makeover?  One in which I am required to be more involved in than just handing over money.

I had even announced to her “Run hide.  I’m cleaning my room.  I’m going to pretend you don’t exist.”  I have talked to her more in 3 hours than I have all week long.  And I still have “bonding time” left.

The hairstyle she decided on requires a 2 tone dye job.  On the brighter side, she did clean up the kitchen sink and the bathroom so we could do her hair.  And she now has “Twilight” to watch (sigh and drool over more likely).

Oh, sweet mysteries of life! And of a 15 year old girl!


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Day 1001 Starts

And I’m on vacation too! A week at home with pay. Doing little piddling things. Can’t get much better than that. Well, yes it could. A beach, warm ocean waters, Juan the cabana boy with a huge tropical drink with an umbrella in it….

Anyway, my 101 things in 1001 days starts today. I do have to admit I cheated a little bit and have already done number 26 – the white, gauzy dress.


This is one of the “town gowns” from Old Navy. I bought it about 3 weeks ago while on sale and got it for $17. I have been using it as a new night gown (as all of mine are either old, granny flannel style or old t-shirts) and I love it. It makes me feel good about myself. I also purchased some lavender spray which I spritz on my bedding before I go to bed most nights now. And I have been using a night crème on my face too most nights. Oh, my goddess, I'm taking care of myself!

I also have purchased the first of the towels (number 28). It is a bright golden yellow and soft and it was also on sale, at Target this time. I have it hanging in the bathroom and dare anyone to use it.

I have also started on my garden on my balcony (number 82).


This is one of the basil seedlings I have started. I have some morning glories and moonflowers started. Thyme and chives are also started. I did have a tub with lettuce in it on the balcony, but shut the dog on the balcony…..who promptly dug in the tub of dirt. So I have to restart the lettuce and find someway to stop the dog from digging (like not putting her on the balcony and shutting the door?)

I cheated a little, but it’s ok. Now onto vacation. The girls will be gone for today and I plan on a really long workout on the Wii Fit. I’ll get my basic stats starting today and go from there. Hopefully, by the time my 1001 days are over, I will actually look like the woman in the dress above.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Doublet…..partially done

OD is Ren Faire’ing this weekend.  She has a “brother” this year whose garb is very, very similar to hers.  They had a great laugh about it last weekend.

So for this weekend, “Brother” is getting a surprise.


This is a doublet for OD and it is based on a male doublet.  just like the one “Brother” is wearing.  I did manage to get beads on the front panels.


It’s hard to tell, but there are gold glass beads at the points of the diamonds….all over the front.  Eventually there will be beads all over, but at least for this weekend having the front covered will be fine.

I’m such a beady person! 

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Yes, I have knitted recently……

Before it got too warm, I did knit a couple of fun hats for the girls.


The pattern is from and were a quick, fun, scrap yarn hat.  I have labeled them my blue fin tuna….


which is Texter’s and the stripped bass….

R0013827which is OD’s.

Texter has worn hers a couple of times, but OD wears hers a lot.  In fact, we have walked to/from the grocery store and she has worn it.  She hums the “Jaws” theme and pretends to chew on my shoulder as we walk along.  She also thinks it’s cute because the “special”  students at school wear funky hats and she loves it.


So these are the last of the “winter” knitting.  I need to get my head around a shawl I am knitting for a friend and can’t seem to find my groove on.