a Tiny description

a full time artist, stepmother, radio personality, and mom to an energetic Chug dog, tries to get through the days without committing a felonious act. My life is a rickety Zen circus.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

life - so precious

i had planned to spend the morning re-basking in the glow of yesterday's incredible party...eating leftovers, starting in on some of the books i received, and trying to formulate the words to describe the events. it started out fine. then bill noticed he had gotten a cell phone message sometime during the night. just after 2am. from his ex-wife. from what we can put together, his 17-year old daughter went to a concert with some friends. first they stopped at an older kid's house (a grad of their high school who works from time to time at menial jobs and has an apt on the other side of town). there he gave them a bottle of vodka to help enjoy the show. my stepdaughter filled a water bottle with it and throughout the next few hours, drank it, and re-filled it at least once. she got in an argument with the girls she was out with and went out to someone's car and passed out. her brother was at the same concert and was trying to keep an eye on her and was texting her for 2 hours "where are you? answer this immediately." the girls she came with continued enjoying themselves. when brother finally found them, he insisted they go look for her. when they found her, and were not able to wake her, the girls said they were going back to the older kid's house to party and would let stepdaughter sleep in the car. brother insisted they immediately take her to his mom's house, which they did. he can be fierce. mom immediately called an ambulance, which arrived just after the police. she had a blood alcohol level of a person considered comatose, and nearing death. the police interrogated the girls, called their parents to come get them, and an investigation was launched. stepdaughter is home at her mom's this morning, very very hungover, with not much recollection of the events....but alive. she will be required to attend alcohol counseling, which should give her something to do since she will have her phone, computer and car taken away for the rest of the year. she will not be sleeping over at anyone's house. ever. her brother is mostly pissed off at the fact that the deadbeat that gave them the alcohol is a friend of his and now he will probably get in trouble. he feels there was nothing wrong with that, and that it was his sister's responsibility to drink responsibly. i think "luckily" is the wrong word here, but luckily their father is on his way to rochester to attend calling hours of a friend from his former job. otherwise, the county jail would need new construction for the number of family members convicted of crimes today. and the so-called alcohol counseling? well, the girl that was driving (and wanted to leave my stepdaughter in the car) completed that particular offering last year. it appears they need to re-work the class a bit. so although i woke up feeling a little pissed that these kids couldn't make time in their busy lives to stay at the party longer than 20 minutes, after showing up late, i now see they had bigger fish to fry. and in the spirit of what's to come, i will just let it go. so very sad. and so very scary. my husband was between rage and tears, with tears winning out, when he left. his emotions were high enough, given the fact that the friend who had just passed away the day after Christmas was only 57. woke up. heart attack. gone before the ambulance got there. i proposed to him, and now to you, not to put off things....trips you want to take....days spent with a friend or relative....words that need to be spoken...issues that need resolving. especially the last one. "i'm sorry," "i love you," or "you are a special person because..." whispered over a casket is never the same as in person. my husband always says "in 5 years when the kids are out of school, i want to..." What if there is no 5 years from now? yesterday, in the shower, I thanked God for all the incredible things that had happened in my life - good and bad, that had made me become the person I am. and i asked God what He required of me. what is it that He would want me to do with all this "Linda?" one of the first things was to Let It Go. i ask people to see things from the other person's perspective constantly. i gripe that my husband doesn't understand how i feel about such-and-such. at times, i resent and even rage at him for being that way. so yesterday, i secretly tried to see how he might feel in a particular situation. what was his perspective? and i have to say it opened my eyes a bit. yes, we have fundamentally opposite politics, for the most part. yes, we have fundamentally different opinions on most everything, actually. can i accept him without giving up Myself? honestly, i don't know. i'm willing to try, but along the way, rather than harbor seething rage against hurts and wrongs, maybe be more vocal, in a gentle sort of way, about what's bothering me. and also be sure to add in the compliments and kudos. maybe they will be returned. i have come to depend on myself alone in my life, and maybe that's part of the problem. trusting someone else to take care of things has never been in my vocabulary. maybe i need to learn, a little at a time, how to give over some of the responsibility. some of the control. ah ha...maybe now the core of the issue. back to that again. maybe recognizing that my need for control makes it easier for another to give that control to me - the responsibilities of running a budget, a household, the day-to-day things that make a house tick. and instead of resenting the job, know that i applied for it and was accepted. and maybe, just maybe, realize that it's not such a horrifying thing to make out the checks every month. and that maybe all the other parts of couple-hood would be more rewarding if Everything didn't have to be done my way. maybe that blase blase that i get bounced at me is actually a little resentment ....at having choices taken away. when a child misbehaves, they get priveledges revoked. it should have a statute of limitations, i'm thinking. a husband and wife should not continue to lock themselves into that same mindset with one another. hmmmm. l.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

i will try to post more detail tomorrow, but for now....today was the single most amazing day of my life. truly, i cannot think of an entire day that has meant so much to me. my surprise birthday party was absolutely overwhelming. i'm still processing all the emotions. there was such an incredible spirit of love there.....it honestly was amazing (too many adjectives?) (the same one too many times?) there is no possible way to describe it. on a superficial level, the food was beyond wonderful...the cake - oy vey....4 layers - raspberry fluffy stuff interspersed with chocolate cake, all covered with more pink (PINK!) fluffy raspberry stuff and then AND THEN a coating of shiny, smooth chocolate that dripped down the edges. orgasmic. there were people there that wouldn't normally mingle - my art friends, my friend friends, some neighbors, some people i knew through Bill. everyone so enjoyed everyone. and gifts...! i never expected gifts! my neighbor commented to me that every single gift was clearly given with love and thoughtfulness of who the recipient was.....there were no gifts that were "re-gifts" from Christmas, and nothing that someone grabbed at the sale as they grabbed stuff for themselves. honestly, i wouldn't have cared anyway. not that i don't totally love & appreciate every single one! she said "Girl, you are so lucky to have such incredible friends!" (actually she said it a few times). i then reminded her that she was in that same company. and i realized, for the zillionth time, what a great good gift i have been given in my life - the friends i count as dear. and each person there was so very special to me in so many different ways. they probably don't even realize how special, or the things great and small, that they've said or done that have helped me become the person i am. and will continue to become. so to the friends who are reading this - thank you with all my heart. you are the art in my soul that gets expression with my hands. thank you. just a quick side note...now you all know gail? the one with the husband-who-shall-be-worshipped? well, here's a teeny few secrets i have to tell you before i tell you what i'm going to tell you. we met at a "quilt till you wilt" type of event about 16-hundred years ago and caught on instantly. she quilted, i roamed the room and talked incessantly. she, being the only one who can keep up with my talk talk talk, and stream of consciousness-can't-follow-this-conversation style. okay. we realized we have the same wedding anniversary date (different years though), same wedding ring/band, and we dated the same guy 14 billion years ago - although neither of us is checking the date too closely, lest it be at the same time. okay, now, i told you that to tell you this: part of Gail's gift tower to me were some books. very nice, you say. so what? well, we haven't exchanged christmas gifts yet, so she had NO WAY of knowing that i had bought her THE SAME books for christmas. (cue twilight zone music). how bizarre! so tomorrow, gail if you're listening, i will be returning the books i got you and taking a whole different tack. there were some other items that will remain snugly wrapped, but sheesh! so it's a good thing i'm overwhelmed and unable to talk, eh? so goodnight, my friends, and thank you for the most special day....and thank you for making my day-to-day life more specialer still. and i apologize, georgia, for slaughtering the english language. by the way, georgia's new book of haiku (haiku's?) is coming hot off the press at http://www.mainstreetrag.com/store/ComingSoon.php ! whoo hoo! linda

Thursday, December 27, 2007

ooo-ooo that smell

first, a diva update: 2 days and no poo. even at the p-a-r-k, where we carry her at night, just hoping she will - in the words of my neighbor - drop a deuce. no luck. however, she did manage to vomit all over the quilt Bill's grandma made him. she kept trying to point it out to me so i could make it all gone before she got in trouble. amazing...2 grown men who were charged with watching her like a federal witness never noticed it. one of these "men" has been standing in front of the TV next to the quilt ALL DAY for 3 days with a plastic guitar in his hand playing some video game thing where you have to keep up with the video guitar player. nice. it was inches from his feet and he never saw the event. oy. she is getting to the spunky stage where she needs even more careful watching...eyeing the couch like a kid drooling through a bakery window. and tonight i opened the gate at the top of the stairs, leaned down to pick her up, and WHOOSH! she was gone...bounding down the stairs. i almost plotzed. of course it could only have happened to me...my husband has filed that away like an IOU marker in case Something happens on HIS watch. double oy with a side of lox. okay, now back to other stuff. apparently Thanksgiving dinner was soo very entertaining to my cubbyfarm mates that they were squealing in glee to hear how christmas went. today was my 1st day back. even my boss' boss commented that she wanted to come to my house next year. i told her next year "my house" would, indeed, be "MY house," and it would be a quieter, gentler holiday season. y'all need to concentrate REAL REAL hard....i bought lotto tickets for fri (my birthday) and sat. this is the last chance for the Universe to prove the law of attraction a/k/a The Secret theory. no lotto win, then bushwack to the theory. that's my theory. and if i win, i will share with all who post or email me that they promise promise to concentrate. that way it will prove that YOU TOO will be proving your own law of attraction. see how neat and tidy that is? i am currently filled to exploding with spaghetti & meatballs, and don't feel very much like writing any more tonight. in fact, my knees are the size of a Beluga whale head, due to inactivity. just sitting and staring at the dog. i need to power walk or something. maybe just buy larger knee socks. i'm terrified that i'll become this gi-normous caricture of myself that no one will recognize. of course, then i think of my friend from 911 who works out 2 times a day and only has lettuce in her fridge and gets nervous when you invite her somewhere food related. not a bad day today - only 2 people hung up on me, and they were people that i wanted to hang up on anyway. 2 people were exceptionally nice, to the point that they restored my faith in the inherent goodness of people who become so frustrated that they abuse and swear and the hapless customer service person who draws the short karmic straw and answers the phone to their verbal vomit. one of these 2 actually called back demanding MY supervisor. he wanted to say that although he "thought the company and all the medical so-called professionals involved in it sucked the big salami," he thought i was "the best thing that ever happened to them and i should get a raise." now isn't that a heart-warmer? ahh the spirit of Christmas afterglow. so tomorrow is my big 5-0, and i couldn't be happier! i can't decide if i'm going to end up living in the southwest in an adobe house, not shaving my legs, having long grey braids (on my head) with feathers and bits in it and wearing only Blue Fish clothing, or if i'll be one of those women who finally get to dress the way they wanted to in the 70's & 80's.....above-the-knee suede boots (i own some) with tights and a long sweater and a big honkin' canadian hockey player/ lesbian mullet. it wavers. for now, i'll stay disguised as a part time stepmom who can only fit into Bill Blass jeans and tells stories about the glory days of the 60's and 80's to the kids. well, i'm getting that carbo-nod on, and i smell poo somewhere in my studio, so i better go. see ya on the other side of the hill! L.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

survivorwoman...the series

so i have a new idea for a TV series...since "reality" shows are all the rage...take an average, normal, reasonable woman and put her in oh, say, a family holiday situation. make sure the in-laws are coming/not coming/coming after all/coming after all with guests. be sure to give her a fabulous roast to cook - 1/2 her grocery budget roast. but the roast is only big enough to feed the original invitees, which didn't include the in-laws in the first place. what fun! it'll be a hit, in much the same way Thelma & Louise remains, to this day, a classic. it'll be a hoot....a nutty classic! sponsored by Lunesta and Prozac. aaaaanyway. the kids got me a 360-degree swivel vise that suctions on to any flat surface! a Craftsman, no less! and our invisible maid, Consuela, gave me a set of Fiestaware measuring bowls! i love the hell out of them. i am so easy to please. and amuse. i had insisted that my surprise birthday party be my christmas gift from the husband this year. so my friend, RaeLynn, from Houston is hysterical. i keep telling her to get a blog going, but she'd have to hire someone to do it for her. just keeping up with the Society goings-on is a full time job for her. there is not enough pink, frothy fru fru in the world for RaeL. and when she gets "her mad on" about something or someone, best be hitting the door. fast. her annual holiday call..."honey, i am just not sure i can take much more this year..." started off pretty much the same as always. her dream is to be featured in the "Big Hair" edition of Texas Monthly magazine. her husband says he can tell just how angry she is by how big her hair gets. she swears that this year she will need extensions in order to reach the height needed to express her inner rage. it's her way of not knitting her brows together creating an unsightly wrinkle that will further "just doodle up" her schedule by needing a trip to "Dr. Botox." blow drying is her form of meditation, and it sometimes takes a while to reach that inner place that says it's okay to breathe again. we compare in-law stories, and it is beyond her comprehension why i don't just lock the door and let "the help" screen out uninviteds. explaining that I AM the only "help" and that locking the door just doesn't seem like being in the spirit of the holiday, well, it's just a waste of time. she lives differently than most. my most...not her most. how we stay friends is beyond me. nothing in common. not in the same social circle. (hell, my social circle is more like a mobius strip.....the same few people that will put up with me!). and, of course, i hate pink. and especially pink fru fru. i must be her touchstone for how incredibly ordinary things could really become if she doesn't just find a way to cope with all those boring, maddening dinners and events, etc. she certainly is my touchstone, my peek into what happens when excess rules. but she has a heart of titanium, like her AmEx, and is sensitive to truly helping others. and quietly. you will never know when she's greased a wheel, or written a check to help out. it's not about RaeL. at least at those times. so i'm procrasting again...i haven't worked on any art in over a month. i just gessoed a box i want to work on, but that takes, like, 1 second to dry. i can't help but once again be amazed by, and envious of, Gail who calls frequently now....she not only STARTS things, but she FINISHES them...and lots of them. constantly. and works. she must be like Samantha on Bewitched. so my new years resolution? (my new year starts friday).... live life gently but on my terms. take no crap and take no prisoners. neither, make others unhappy with their choices. but don't live by others' choices. that should be enough! oh...and learn how to latin dance. so what's your resolution? share share! L.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

poor boo-boo leg...the stiches are hidden by her fur, but they aren't pretty. we are setting up a coleman air mattress in the livingroom tonight so we can all (hopefully) get SOME shuteye. i work tomorrow, but don't plan to stay the full day. they'll understand. i hope. she has begun her campaign of furtive stitch licking. it's a full time job to keep her away. the nurse at the vet ER said to put a small amt of deoderant near the stitches....it tastes so bad they won't lick. my girl will probably think it's candy. bill has been absolutely wonderful....i actually got out of the house for a few quick hours today. i really really needed to. i don't know how people with kids do it...or those that take care of an elderly/sick parent. i just don't know. if i'm honest with myself, i'd like to think i'd rise to the occasion, but it would be a dice roll. diva hasn't seemed interested in going potty all day. her bad leg is her balancing leg for that activity, so she has to figure it out. so as the year winds down, i have to ask myself....am i pleased with this year? have i grown? become a better person in some way? accomplished any goals i set out? i have to say - for the most part - yes. i have grown in a lot of important ways. in others, not so much, but with the growth in some areas, came the awareness of need for growth in others. that's good all around. i've also come to realize that being self-sufficient to a fault can be tiring and just plain selfISH. respecting others' opinions and accepting advice/help doesn't lesson who i am...it enhances the relationship with the other person and offers opportunity for new insight. thank you, angelfriend, for believing in me with more intensity than i believed in myself. your hand has pulled me up to a new level of vision. i thank all of my friends for walking beside me this past year. for not running past, and not slowing down. i hope i have been as good a friend to you as you have been to me....each of you deserves to have a friend as good to you as you have been to me. (yes - it's hard to follow but you know what i mean). so as i get ready to close out one the most enlightening, magnificent years of my life, i am also realizing what a whining bitch i can be! perfectionist, OCD-ish, ADD-ish....ahh, you go through the alphabet! i guess i have my work cut out for next year! but what a ride, eh? i hope you all understand the magnitude of my gratitude to you. truly...deeply...indebtedly...thankful. blessed. at night, i replay the day (over & over & over!) and try to focus on the Moments. the things said & done, and left unsaid & undone, that have been brought through my day, and i realize more and more that i am one of the luckiest people around, living the best life. not a perfect life, but for me, what is good & right. i expect some changes to come this next year....some very big, some internal, as i continue my journey. i'm nervous and excited, and welcome it all, knowing there's cool water to drink along the way, warm sun on my face, and friends to fill my soul. thank you....to the moon and back, my friends. L

Saturday, December 22, 2007

what day is it???

so much fun we had last night...the palace novelty wore off about 5 minutes after i got all snugly tucked in for the night...short version - i slept (?) on the floor outside the palace door. whenever diva imagined i might be moving to get up, a banshee howl erupted, complete with chin-up full-blown wolf pose. not that i COULD move....i am old...my bones were not made for floor flopping at this stage of the game. so around 1 or 2am, we seemed to need a potty run. the wee-wee pads were not doing the trick. short version (you can tell how tired i am because i am actually telling a short version) - outside...nothing. we played statues. it was a ploy. back upstairs. nothing doing with the palace, so i said fuggetaboutit...there is NO WAY she'd try to jump waaay up on the bed. i'll just stay awake till she falls asleep (which seemed do-able since i had just frozen my nipples off outside. she seemed to be asleep. i did fall asleep. briefly. then my ear told my brain to wake the hell up...there was an Unusal Sound. barfing? possible. nope....licking. stitch licking to be precise. and she was having none of my stern NO NO's...meeting them with a desperate and serious growl that told me it would be at least 2 fingers gone in this battle. i figured if she was growling & staring me down, then she couldn't be licking, so we engaged. who tired first? who knows. she licked my face and oh-so-casually walked past me, then scuttled like a crab under the bed. this was a situation i hadn't planned for at all....unthinkable. she just pushed her battered body under that little area with her good leg, and pulled with her front paws like a friggin little Marine at bootcamp with the devil chasing her. had i not been just standing there gaping, i still wouldn't have been able to stop her, as the only thing available to latch onto was the boo-boo leg dragging behind her. shit. then the nightlight blew out, on cue, as if diva had booby-trapped it and was saying Now Go Away. silence. as i was trying to carefully feel my way to the outlet behind the hamper to plug in the light retrieved from the bathroom, i hear Lick Lick Lick. i don't even KNOW how she was able to shape shift enough to get her little head in position to reach her stitches, but she did. so i made an early date with PetSmart and decided i'd done all a mom could do....i was going to crawl into my warm cozy soft bed for a few hours...did i mention there a wicked draft that comes up the stairs and across the very floor i was sleeping on? did i mention that by the time i decided to catch a few zzz's in the warm cozy soft bed that it was now 6:30am? so just as i was getting to na-na land, scream! howl! armageddon! she wants out from under the bed, but hadn't planned that far in advance. no amount of coaxing would convince her, however (God forgive me) a small piece of bambi liver held just out of reach was just the inspiration she needed. outside again, 4 medicines (to be taken with food, which she won't eat since it's D-O-G food), then i needed a shower. a long hot steaming shower. with a cigarette and a cup of coffee. all in the hot steaming shower. and maybe a christmas cookie. screw it - some rum. balls. no - just rum. i wake the husband up and charge him with watching her every move...."do NOT take your eyes off her for a second. not ONE second. treat her like a federal witness. give me 15 minutes." i hear the dishes being washed a few minutes later, throw on my robe and peek down the stairs to see diva licking her leg with no chaperone. more screeching - this time from me. much pounding of walls and specific and gory threats. i shower. ahhh. dutiful dog & husband sit at the bottom of stairs. so he's out buying a no-lickie lampshade thingie and some Pill Pockets so we can give her the one medicine that's a HUGE capsule....she licks the baby food off and drops the pill. or eats the cheese from around it and leaves a pile of powder on the floor. we have decided that a kitty is in order once she has healed sufficiently. she just loves having something 4-legged around. and she loves kitties. i do too, but was afraid of all the extra work. i'm guessing the playmate aspect of it will outweigh the litterbox aspect. even in her pain & extreme urgency to get out of the vet's office yesterday, she stopped to say goodbye to Perry Perry Pumpkinhead. such a good girl. well, hope for the best & have a cocoa for me tonight. i can get used to the banshee cries (snort - yeah right) but having to be alert for the licking/biting of stitches is just too much. the lampshade will resolve that. although i know in my heart of hearts that she has a way to bamboozle that too. L

Friday, December 21, 2007

we're home

i missed her so much last night! now she's home.....her leg is shaved from the hip down....large, scary stitches the length...her front paw is shaved from the IV. the nurse said she was good...put up a fuss about getting a bath (a bath???) at first, but then just relaxed against her. my girl. she screams in pain whenever she tries to move tht leg and i get all throat-lumpy. she hasn't made an attempt to move from the palace yet (kennel), but i am sure not looking forward to the potty breaks. i suspect she isn't either. i put some leftover wee-wee pads out, in case she'd like to give them a go, but Kita used to avoid them studiously...didn't want to mess up the "new carpet," so he'd go right next to them. the biggest thing is to keep her from licking or biting the stitches. hadn't thought of that. otherwise....lampshade time. and THAT will go over like a turd in a punchbowl. i'm hoping she has a little sleepy meds left in her for a good night's sleep tonight. the surgeon is AWESOME. he is all about the pets. he went over the the aftercare instructions in detail BEFORE the surgery, and made sure he was satisfied that i would be able to after-care for her. he said there was no point to putting her through surgery if the followup wasn't going to be possible. now that is a vet i can recommend. he is totally into Lance Armstrong....his courage, persistance, etc...has posters framed all over the place. he bikes too. so if anyone has connections & can get Lance to call or send an autographed anything to Dr. Bookbinder in Canastota, NY....pls have at it! i've started my connection campaign. so in 2 weeks she gets her stitches out, but still no walks for 10-12 weeks. no up on the couch. no stairs. just r&r. for her. she slept when we got home, and i read my book next to the palace. my hips are screaming from the bend! am taking suggestions for good books...done with one, and 1/2 way through another (paulo coelho...the pilgrimage). so back to nurse duty. my poor diva. she did not deserve this. one bit. L.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

diva update

so today was the big day....surgery. she was not happy about going Somewhere New in the car...that could only mean trouble. yip, yowl, screech in my ear the entire 50 minutes. when we got there, she put the brakes on big time. this vet's practice is primarily a surgical practice. you have an appt time for drop-off, and you are the only one in the waiting room. so much less stress for the dog. while we were waiting (and diva was trying to dig out of the glass door), Perry Perry Pumpkinhead came skulking around the desk to check out the new arrival. diva caught sight, and it was l-o-v-e. of course Perry toyed with her...sitting nicely, then batting diva's nose as she moved in for a kisseroo. then perry hid behind the christmas tree. oh boy. diva just HAD to follow. i let her...after all, she just wanted to be friends. best friends. engaged. she loved perry perry. diva does not understand that cats do not get to know each other in the same manner as dogs...there is no mutual bottom sniffing in the cat world. just a few measured looks, maybe a hiss or 2. but diva thinks she's a cat, living by dog rules. so that was a distraction for a moment. anyway, she got out of surgery around 5pm and was doing good, they said...still coming out of the anesthesia. they have a 24-hour nurse that stays and monitors them. if she seems like a stitch-licker/biter, then she'll have to wear the dreaded lampshade. in which case, i don't know HOW we'll get her in the kennel. oh - the kennel. well, she's not allowed to jump up or down for 12 weeks. and since our bed is a jump up, then a 2am jump down, then a 3am jump up, i figured the best way to protect her from herself was a kennel-cratey thing. so i bought the medium-sized one...big enough for her to get up and move around, but not so big that we need to put an addition on the house. she verbally bitch-slapped me the entire time i was putting it together. once her woobie and b-o-n-e were installed, she waltzed right in, sat right down, and said, "is good, ya?" i left the door and her options open last night, and she preffered her palace. stayed there all night. got up ths morning and went out to tinkle, then came right to the stairs to wait for a carry up, and went right back in. whew! i thought THAT would be a battle. we'll see how she does with the door closed tomorrow. she's a dog who likes options. she may be spending a lot of time ensconsed there, according to the vet. i guess they remove the torn ligament, then use surgical polyester to re-attach the bones. it's actually the scar tissue that holds it all together, so that's why the immobilization....sort of like waiting for glue to dry before you move a part....a very slow drying glue. i miss her so much, and hope she's doped up enough to not miss me or worry. she's a dog prone to worry...her little brows always knit together. anyway, i have to be in very early to work tomorrow in order to make up time from today....and a mtg at 8am no less. yuk. at least our mtgs are productive and fun. and involve food! my butt is getting huge! too much nosh. ok so shower time. thank you all for your prayers - keep them coming...the fun starts tomorrow! Linda

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

hey guys! this will probably be my last post for a week or so...i know, i say that a lot! anyway, i suspect dog duty and holiday fun fun fun will be overtaking my life for the next bunch-o-days, so i wish you all happy holidays, a fantastic, wonder-filled new year to create your life in, and much much treasure-filled moments! i'll try to update soon! hey! 1week and 1 day till my BIRTHDAY! yippee!! linda

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"- Mary Oliver

Sunday, December 16, 2007

it has not stopped snowing all day. huge, gi-normous snow chunks falling from the sky. my diva's path to her favorite private spot has filled in more than once today. shovel shovel grrrr. i'm glad we went to the woods this morning before this all hit. all the green has been swallowed up by white. the plows didn't even make it here till about 6pm. so that grocery adventure yesterday paid off. i just want to get swallowed up in a fluffy down comforter, all cozy cozy tucked in, with a stack of books and a pot of India Spice Honey Chai Tea, and of course - my most excellent cuddler, Diva. she is a wonder of cuddle. somehow, she manages to perfectly spoon you...she'll find the curviest spot, and just snuggle in. of course, by the end of the night (or if you get up for a potty call), she will stretch out east-and-west across the bed, so when you return, you have about 2-feet of space up around your pillow....and she has the rest of the bed. i have a king bed. she is a small dog. the fairies must come and grow her at night. kita used to sleep with his head on my pillow. he had to watch me to make sure i fell asleep. i'd often wake up with his little head tucked under my chin. diva is a very particular sleeper. she needs her space. if you move your feet under the covers, she freaks...barking, growling, biting. she doesn't understand the concept. and she has hot flashes. where kita used to like to be covered by a sheet or blanket, diva dog starts panting and struggling to get out from under. both dogs shared a knowledge of time: at 9pm every single night, diva barks, whines, paws at me, looks pointedly at the stairs. it's nappy time. kita did the same. and it happens at grandma's too. so when i'm in my inspired mode, and up till 2-3am, diva is just beside herself. she can't go to bed without me. usually she'll nap on her studio woobie (pink) under my desk....snoring loudly. this past week has been a test, for sure...carrying her up and down the stairs (and she has to have me in constant line of sight), carrying her to and from the path to the bridge over the pond/lake. she is not getting lighter! i do it gladly, honestly. i hate that she hurts. i just wish the recovery time was shorter than 12 weeks. she desperately wants to play now, and can't understand why no one will play with her. the stairs ....well, to go up, we have to move the baby gate (sounds political) without tipping the christmas tree and while trying to block her from trying to go up. then, carry her up, stopping at the 3rd step from the top so i can set her front paws down gently. then grab the upstairs gate before she decides to go back down and get her Favorite Bone. then i run down to grab my coffee and whatever else. then repeat the whole process to go back down. worrying that i'll slip or lose my feet in space again and crash down 10 stairs with her getting squished under me. at least i have my new contacts, so i can see where i'm headed. mom is going to watch her mon-thurs after her operation. with the kids here for christmas, there will be too much commotion. as much as i will miss her (i pre-miss her now!) it's better for her. well, i'm rambling here and you're probably snoring your head off, so i'll close. try this: www.jacksonpollack.org have fun! Linda

the storm

the weather prophets are predicting a huge storm...10-inches of snow, sleet, freezing rain, etc, today. no such commotion in my CreativeSelf. i haven't felt an inkling, an urge, a call in so long now that i'm hearing those panicky doubtful conversations. you know the ones? they say "you've done your work. it's over." or the ones that start the comparison game - the feelings of fraud, or worse, the overestimation of skill. i know this will pass. it always does. but those brief bolts of lightning that tear into my confidence hurt. i love the work i've done...i feel very connected to it, and know my soul has gone into each piece. i know there will be more. but when? i don't feel any pressure to make & sell...make & sell. but i feel empty when i'm not "in progress" with a piece. i'm not a person who can just "make art everyday" just to keep the gears oiled, and "maybe some fantastic idea will emerge." i work differently. my art is a visual representation of an idea, an emotion, a process in my life. so to just make anything for the sake of getting my hands dirty, well, it just distracts and frustrates me. for the most part, the elements i use are unique. at least in the sense of not being able to replace them from a rack at AC Moore. so to just a grab a few and start gluing and soldering...no. i think because i havent been feeding my soul properly, it's starving ....no good stimulation in, no good art out. my main focus has been diva dog. my poor little fluffer. friday night was the last of her pain meds till surgery on thursday. she has to be off them for 5 days prior. she's been uncomfortable and anxious...laying down for a few minutes, then up and pacing, then needing hugs, and back through the cycle again. it's been bitter snap-your-fingers-off cold, and now the storm, and she refuses to poo in her own back yard. usually i take her down through the woods and that does the trick, but we haven't been able to go in a few days, so she is constipated now too. sooner or later that'll have to end. **so youngblood is home for semester break. so far, we haven't seen much of HIM...his duffle bag remains in the middle of the livingroom floor where he left it as he was telling me what a slob his roommate is. i'll eventually slide it down the hallway where he'll undoubtedly trip over it as he makes his way to the bathroom around noon-ish. so my husband pointed out to me that i've re-developed a potty mouth in the past few days. hmmmm. any connection? the kids have begged me to talk to their grandmother (husband's side) and tell her not to buy them a load of crap at the dollar store for christmas. she always gives them a check, but then fills in with dollar store stuff. usually a day or so before christmas she'll call and ask what they want, and we try to scramble for an idea that she will actually be able to find. they are all on their own this year. i love getting gifts as much as anyone...no, actually way more. however, this whole christmas-as-a-chance-to-get-the-shit-i-can't-afford-to-get-myself ....just rubs me the wrong way. and if it makes grandma happy to buy a few things at the dollar store hoping you'll like them....then by golly act like you're thrilled. you wanted the game, you play by the rules. this year, i opted out. when asked what i wanted for christmas, i said "nothing." really. i mean, i'd love to have some more rusty metal, or some great boxes to schmutz with, but other than that, i feel like my birthday party is christmas present enough. well, i may as well have announced i was shaving my head, donning a saffron robe, and going to live in the airport. "you HAVE to want SOMEthing!" truly nothing comes to mind. and i guess that was my point with the dollar store ramble....if you WANT to buy me something, by all means please do! i LOVE getting presents! but buy me something you want to give me....don't just fulfill my shopping list for me. if that's the case, then you could've spent 5 hours trying to get through the grocery ordeal yesterday. i DID finally get the tree decorated last night! it's way smaller than the usual, and i'm not sure what species, but it's the kind that has the bendy limbs, so when you put an ornament heavier than balsa wood on it....the branch snaps off, or droops till the ornament falls off. perfect. it was an easy task....i went with the white lights, the gold glass balls, and the lighter balsa wood ornaments. now this is funny: my husband has this treetopper angel that his mom gave him the 1st year he was divorced. yes, from the mother of all dollar stores - the christmas tree shop. so anyway, she's all angel-like and swell, (the topper...not the mother in law) BUT... picture this now...she's holding candles (fake) in her hands...her hands are about angel-waist high, and the candles light up....not at the same time, but they blink...left....right...left...right, until they get out-of-sync. then they flash at the same time. so for all the friggin world, all i can think of is the countdown then LIFTOFF! i named her SpockAngel. last year i finally told girlchild why i start snorting every year when the husband puts the angel on the tree. so we both get hysterical when we look at the tree. this year, the tree would tip over if she was on top, so i've begun my retirement of SpockAngel. i may keep her in my studio for a chuckle. although it just feels wrong to laugh at her right to her face. **my printer is going all fubar on me. the thingie that the ink deelies are on will slam back and forth a few times while it decides if it's going to print or just barf black ink all over the paper. like it's going,"oh perfect shit now you want me to print ...what's this? you woke me up for THIS schmaltz?? oy vey." then, if luck is on my side, and it decides to print, AND print nicely, then it makes this tragic grindy groany noise like someone's uncle meyer clearing his throat in the morning. (i'd say "my" uncle "so-and-so" but i don't want to offend). so the odds are slim that I actually get a nicely printed page, and if I do, i just feel so badly about making the printer go through all that work. i'd rather just toss it out the studio window. except i can't because my husband has this innate inbred compulsion to friggin cover our inside windows with plastic. the kids call it ghetto. at least it's the shrink film kind, but help me here. last year i accidentally put a hole in one. for real accident. so rather than leave it there to flap, i took it off the window. lordhavemercy. who knew how important it was! i pointed out to my husband that most of our battles involve air flow....in the winter, it's plastic on the windows, and a fan on the floor to recirculate the air. in the summer, it's this interior door open and that interior door closed to circulate the AC. and a fan on the floor to help push the air. i swear he can see the jet stream as if it really were colored red like on the weather maps. so i pointed out to him the source of our arguments ...air flow...and shared my solution that the biggest air flow issue i had was the way he breathed - in and out, in and out....constantly....and that if i could solve that problem, then it would be easier to just live my friggin life. he was not amused. mostly because i don't take his air flow issues seriously. i turn on the heat, and i wear sweats, NOT SHORTS, when it's cold. oy. **so if you read any back issues of this blog, you should pretty much be aquainted with the other guests at the party ....we haven't heard back from the Dalai Lama yet, and no one's talking on the RSVP from Ty Pennington or Stacey & Clinton. couldn't you just dish-n-bitch with her? but other than that....my toes are tapping! i get to spend some time with the people who are the most important to me. now THAT is truly the BEST gift ever! and for the 2 people who will be out of town....you have to make it up to me. :) L.

Friday, December 14, 2007

i'll probably be posting rather sporadically the next week or so...i'm bushed! carrying diva up and down the stairs and all around the block has me kicked. thank GOD she isn't a Newfie! 19.2 lbs. feels a lot heavier when you're traipsing through calf-deep wet snow on the way back from a too-far poopie walk at 7am. with your mother's armwings. 12 weeks. i do it gladly though...she is my love. it hurts me to see her struggle. suddenly her 4am wake-up calls for a belly rub aren't quite as annoying. tonight is her last night on pain meds till surgery on thursday. i hurt for her. she doesn't deserve this. ** the boychild is home from college. we spend a quality 20 minutes together before he dumped his plate in the vicinity of the sink, stripped down in the livingroom, redressed, and left for parts unknown with friends. 3 weeks. my poor naked Christmas tree still awaits some tarting up in the livingroom. every night i say i'm going to decorate, but by the time i'm done with the cart-and-walk, dinner, dishes, etc ,my holly jolly has taken leave. maybe we'll leave it in it's au naturel state. hang a few rusty nails on it. perfect. ** i can't wait for y'all to meet each other at my semi-surprise birthday party! you'll just adore each other, and if not - FAKE IT ...it's my party. (smile). **why do people tell ME things and then tell me not to tell anyone else??? i am genetically unable to keep a secret without blowing an aneurism or something. my head hurts now with news that someone shared. and i'll bet you anything, someone told THEM and they weren't supposed to tell anyone, but they told me. knowing i wouldn't tell, but not caring that it could cause my untimely death. just before my party. so if i show up with an eyepatch on, it's because something blew. worse still, i CAN tell anyone tomorrow. so, does that mean at midnight i can start calling people and say "GUESS WHAT!!" or is the official start of tomorrow, like, business hours? what time zone?? who's business? 7am? 8..9am?? the pressure is KILLING me. well, just in case that Quantum Faith stuff is for real....it's not killing me...just really really teasing my sensibilities. ** diva dog is very restless tonight...popping up and moving from 1 woobie to the other. i bought a good book at B&N today so i could spend time belly rubbing & reading. so goodnight, and turn off your phone ringers unless i decide that midnight :01 is tomorrow. L. ***oh PS: i returned my glasses - full refund, after some alpha posturing games by the manager. I won. it's the stare...gets 'em every time. oh! and double PS...the girlchild is on birth control....her mom called to tell me today. she has a 20 year old boyfriend, (child, not mother...although...) and it was a good decision. let the games begin! okay bye.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

can you guess?

riddle me this.....what's creepier than a spider dropping down in front of your face at the bathroom mirror? no..no...worse....shriekier than a zillion-legged bug in your shower? hmmm, no - more horrific...think multi-level horror, disgust,outrage, banshee scream-inducing. you guessed it! the "show-and-tell" your shy, quiet stepdaughter left in your freezer in the garage.....left there because her mom said "not in my house." quietly snuck in after you were headed off to dreamland, and forgotten on bio-science day, and now has no purpose, and the show-and-teller has no idea what to do with it so she leaves it there for Someone Else to worry about. a deer head. procured from the deer "processor" across town. i know i need not make further comment. i do not like hunting. i don't buy the whole "thinning the herd so they don't die of starvation" theory. not one bit. i don't eat things that wandered happily through the forest. though how i justify eating nicely packaged, store bought meat is a mystery to even myself. but having to look this literally in the eye, when all i wanted was some Carmel Cup ice cream, is something that may just haunt me through the end of my days. so i guess, despite comments to the contrary, i was not overreacting when i made an urgent call to the princess to Remove It Now. no matter that it was dinnertime at mom's. Now. i do not know this child anymore. and her brother comes home for 2-3 weeks friday! yippee! does anyone have a spare room? L.

Monday, December 10, 2007


this is a quickie...my new glasses are sooo aweful...they put the wrong lens material in, so that extra $200 for the thin lenses....hunh? plus they are really really the wrong strength - at least in 1 eye. plus the frames are about as crooked as a dollar store pair of sunglasses. this has been going on since october, so i think it's definately time to refund and go elsewhere. i like the frames, though, so i'll keep them. just typing this is making me oogy. if i tilt my head to the left, and tip my chin up, then i have some clarity, but i'll run into quite a lot that way. i can't imagine hauling diva up & down the stairs like this. btw, she goes for her 2nd opinion appt wednesday, so say some prayers, cross your fingers, hug a tree, whatever you do to invoke a higher power...pls do! so bye bye for now! L.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


so yesterday i stopped in at the scrapbook store near my house to pick up my finished book from the altered book round robin. the round robin was 2 years ago, but the woman who had mine got busy. not a problem, and actually a blessing...i'd forgotten how amazing the pages were....as i looked at each person's work in my book, it was so moving. my topic was "nature," and i'd written a short story about a walk i'd taken early one morning with my diva, and put that on the inside cover for inspiration. each page was amazing...the interpretation of the story...what each person saw in their minds as they read the lines...the book is one of my Treasures. the woman working at the shop is my favorite...so grounded and certain of herself...a guide to those of us following close behind. we talked about my upcoming birthday and what 50 is all about. another woman was in the store, and it was a conversation between 3 kindred spirits...all nearing or past that milepost...how the approach was worse from a distance - at 45, it seemed that 50 was the end of the road. at 47, we tried to dig our feet in like a Flinstone brake assembly and began to truly fear "getting old." 50! it just seemed that only our mothers were ever 50. now as i am just weeks away, i look back on the past year and all that has happened in my soul, in my spirit, and i am excited. we 3 laughed that after 50, you no longer had to shave your legs. and i realized that there was such a feeling of freedom to just be myself...to just Be...that has evolved this past year. my friend said she felt like she became invisible in society at 50...no longer a childbearer, no longer part of the youthful crowd, an old maid. the invisibilty part - maybe to an extent...to the extent as you let it happen. but with a grain of that in my head, perhaps that's where the freedom comes from. no longer needing to impress/attract a mate (even if i were single), comfortable in my own skin - no matter how stretched and sagging and wrinkled it may be, trusting myself to know my likes/dislikes. it all wavers of course, because i AM still ME! but i feel settled... in a good way. not stuck-in-a-rut settled, but centered-settled. and if it took me 50 years to get here, it was worth the ride. the woman in the shop said people see her grey hair and think that everything she has to say is a pearl of wisdom. except, of course, her kids. they think she's too old to have kept up with the fast-paced new world. just wait, she says. she speaks her mind and doesn't stand on formality. she's had enough years to develop the skills of her interests. i am feeling much the same. do i miss my youthful body and face? sometimes i do. but not to the extent that i mourn for it and buy creams and lotions and doctors to try to reverse the clock. what i have been given inside is far too precious to bother about the wrapping it comes in. i ask for comfortable clothes that keep me warm in the winter, cool in the summer, are moderately stylish. i don't need to wear mini-skirts and things cut down to there or up to here. or uncomfortable high heels. or a 20-minute "beauty" routine. my grandma used to say " beauty is only skin deep, but ugly is to the bone." thanks gram. you always spoke your mind. so i'm excited about the coming year of my life, and feel truly awed and blessed by the gifts i have been given this past year...gifts of knowledge of myself. ahhhh. L

Friday, December 07, 2007


what a great day! I got my contact sheet and CD from the photog (of my artwork) and it is Fabulous!! i can't wait to get the website rolling rolling rolling! then i got my new 24/7 contacts and they are finally the right prescription! what a big difference. i like wearing contacts better than my 3-inch thick glasses, but the extra time it takes to put them on in the morning is time better spent with Diva. then there's the whole extra tote bag filled with cases and cleaners and re-wetters and glasses for reading and glasses-just-in-case...oy...who NEEDS it?? so these stay in for 30 days...day and night. and when you're as blind as i am, it can be a scary thing to think about getting out of somewhere in a hurry at night...an unfamiliar hotel, etc. not that i habitually spend my nights in hotels - unfamiliar or otherwise. but still... i stopped in to work to pick something up, and went down to the cafeteria....the woman who owns it...her father is an artist - he did the statues on 690 at the old train station. he's just getting back into things after a 10 year illness/recovery from arsenic poisoning. he used to work with a lot of pressure treated wood, and that's where it came from. who knew. so that's why they won't cut your lumber at Home Depot. anyway, we've been chatting about doing face casting, and he's offered to teach me the finer points. very generous. ANYWAY i wanted to show him my work, since it's very hard to describe. he was genuinely blown away...in fact, he wants to trade art. now, i would DEFINATELY be on the better end of that bargain, but talk about the ultimate flattery. i love my art...i love making it, despite the frustration at times....i love seeing it in my livingroom...i'm pleasantly surprised when someone wants to buy it. but it's such a solitary thing, the creating, that i guess i never picture the piece leaving me - even when i'm making it as a gift. when i do give a piece as a gift, it truly feels like i am giving a part of myself to that person. quilter's call people "quiltworthy" - those people that appreciate the time and effort and skill that goes into making a quilt...the one's that ooo and ahhh, and don't thank you for the "blanket." the same goes for people that are "artworthy." they may not understand the piece you give them or even like it, but they understand what went into it, and that you are giving them something from your soul. of course, if you know a person well enough to consider them artworthy, then the piece you make for them should strike a chord with them. ** Diva is about the same. she did toe-tap, as the vet calls it, a few times today when i took her out, and put the foot down to tink. so maybe it is beginning to heal. she's getting a little stir crazy...dragging Big Brown Bear around the floor and shaking him a little. she needs more snuggles than usual, which is A LOT. i almost want to buy one of those Snugglies that you carry babies around in. she's gotten heavy! when she first came to live with me, she only weighed 7 lbs and had no fur whatsoever...just a little down. she looked like a plucked chicken. boy has that changed! ** so the glimmer of a thought of an idea is beginning to gel a bit more. i need to rest in it and not try to force it, or it'll get all caught up in my normal chaos of thoughts and get strangled. diva's going to gramma's tomorrow, so i'll have some extended shower/meditation time. geez, either i'm having a heart attack here, or that chicken wing stuffed chicken breast i had for dinner is burning a hole through my guts. it was good...wegmans ready to eat stuff...split boneless breast stuffed with who-knows-what with bleu cheese crumbles, chicken wing sauce, cheese and more unknowns. but hells bells...my lips are burned and chapped and 3 Tums and a soy milk latte later and it still feels like chicken chernobyl going off in my esophagus. yikes. of course i can't drink a regular milk to neutralize it, since i'm lactose intolerant and that would create a whole new set of problems. getting old just sucks. i could eat flaming metal and drink a gallon of milk when i was ...not this age. now...i thank God that my neighbor is a fireman and 1st responder! ** so i gave a bunch of clothes to the Rescue Mission 2 weeks ago. yesterday, i realized that i gave them 2 pair of pants that actually fit. see, i have a pair of blue work pants and a pair of black work pants...classic, all weather, Big Girl Job pants. the 1st pair i got were a size 4. then i got the same pants in a 6. etc till size 10. they go with everything and take the hassle out of getting dressed at dark o'clock. well, i gave away the 10's and no longer wonder why i was sooo very uncomfortable at work yesterday. i almost split the zipper and was fretting about having to buy yet another size, just when i had a closet full of brand new THIS size. (of course at this moment, NO size would be comfortable, as the tummy is expanding by the minute to try and get away from the alien inside it). well, time to stand up and give it room...i feel like the blueberry girl from willie wonka. i bought a stack of magazines at B&N today and am drooling with anticipation! i truly have a magazine addiction. and i do not want a cure. it's bad when the whole staff at B&N knows you by name and asks about your dog and your art. yep. there are worse things. L.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

quick update

diva is making good time in her 3-legged hop...has me out of breath once she gets in motion. she's sleeping a lot...pain meds, no doubt. tonight she put her foot down while she was "assuming the position" which is a good sign. by coincidence, my husband called on a scientist who is also a vet...don't know how that career change came about, but Anyway...his best friend is the top rated ortho vet in the area, so we're getting an audience with him, as well as Wonderful Dr. Holly. and then, my neighbor told us his mother is a vet in some faraway place like Montana or something, and he's going to get info from her on this type of injury. i mean, sheesh! it's all coming at me and it's good. i am exhausted from sleeping on the couch, so mom is going to dog-sit saturday so i can nap and run errands. the salvage yard is having a s-a-l-e!! so i'll be the 1st in line, barring a snowstorm. in order to get into the town, you have to go down this tremendous gi-normous hill that curves halfway through. on the right side....the lake. it is gorgeous any time of the year, but can be treacherous in the winter. it's bigger than a hill, slightly smaller than a mountain, and a white knuckle trip the whole way this time of year. getting back up requires a 4-state running start. so hopefully it'll remain clear sailing. THIS time i'll bring back bona fide pictures! time to snooze.....thank you for your calls and concerns! linda

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

so, if you know me at all, you know i'm completely and totally gone on my diva dog...i believe the earth revolves around her, that her love is absolute and perfect, and that she is the best dog that ever lived ever. so when she started limping suddenly yesterday morning about 1 minute before i was to leave for work thru the snow and cold....that is if i could get through or over the knee-deep pile of snow the plow gifted me with at the end of my driveway.....i became worried. (were ya able to follow that?) husband, of course, was out of town, so grammy was coming to walk her around 1pm. i left an extended message about what to do if she was still limping, and 45 numbers that i could be reached at. the verdict - she has a torn miniscus in her rear driver's side knee. at first the vet said it would require an expensive trip to the expensive orthopedic vet, no doubt followed by surgery (appr $2K). now, this is not to say that i would ever put a pricetag on my diva's wellbeing. it was just a startling thing to hear on my work phone in the middle of the day (especially since he wasn't calling me names that insinuated that i have sex with my mother). when i sounded shocked at the diagnosis and price, the whole scenario backed off a little, and maybe we could give it 4-6 weeks rest and see if it healed itself. and it's a better bet that it would in a small dog like her. So. that is the pinpoint moment i lost confidence in my vet. i've been going to that practice for 20 years, first with Kita, and then Bear & Nikki. there were times when i felt a little uncomfortable with a diagnosis, or test request, or Something. and it seems that when i questioned it (and specifically addressed the cost), there were less expensive alternatives. this is the final straw for me. i don't think they are evil or incompetant. in fact, the vet that i usually see there (the owner) has often done this or that just for his own peace of mind. but what i see here is a new breed of doctoring. same as the place where i work. it's about the ching. i mean, i will admit here that i cannot talk to my dog. and she is not able to tell me where it hurts and if it's serious. so being the concerned dogmom, of course i will do anything for her. and i think there is a certain mindset that will use that concern to pad the "dollars brought in" column. not necessarily evil. but when a doctor tells you that you need a certain procedure, if you trust that doctor, you go ahead with it. in people medicine, as well as vet medicine, there are often required billable amts that the professional needs to bring in if they want to stay with the practice. same as lawyers. so it really does become "buyer beware," but with your healthcare, not just a new TV. anyway...remembering the incredible kindness and concern and straight-talking of the vet who owns the emergency clinic down the road, i will be taking diva for a 2nd opinion. this vet also owns her own practice, and through my previous job, i've gotten to know a number of the people who work for her. all very impressive. she gets a 6 out of 5-star rating from other people that go there. meanwhile, little diva is snoring away in her own private Woodstock. say a prayer for her....i hope it's just a pull or a strain or a Something Not Requiring Surgery. i'll keep you updated...L

Saturday, December 01, 2007

nicho box

I got a few nichos from Helga at Artchix, and decided to play around with them today...here's a reliquary box in it's not-quite-done state...this is a close up of the nicho, with a brooch I got at a house sale...on a piece of copper mesh. The background is not quite as icky blue in person - the box itself is a wooden cigar box that i cut a hole in with my trusty Dremel tool. then I applied a rust solution and a patina solution on it...the patina is showing off here:

here's the inside...the heart came from Absolutely Everything, a store in Topsfield, MA that lives up to it's namesake! I took a workshop from Michael Demeng there (see previous posts) in May or June, and couldn't get out of there without spending the mortgage money! check out their website - some excellent classes coming up:

The bottle inside has a scrap of paper from an old airline ticket that reads: "Retain this and your ticket stub as evidence of your journey." kinda cool. The inside will be finished in maroon leather with some moss. There's a piece of antique lace around the neck, and the stopper has a red jewel on top.

...here's the top...the color is icky...that's patina and rust around the nicho, not robin's egg blue:

so all in all, a lot done. i started this last night, then woke up around 4am and added more layers, then again at 6am, then again at 9am. lotsa layers. the Next Big Thing is still playing cat and mouse with me, but some shower time tomorrow may dislodge it. plus it's flea market day and that always gets my ya-ya's going. will try to remember my camera...it's 3 buildings filled with tetanus and junk! heaven! L.

Friday, November 30, 2007

here it is - breathtaking

got an email from Georgia - she is making the incredibly long journey back right now...i think it's like 3 days worth of planes, trains, connections etc. This is the temple i told you about:

awake & clear-headed

well...at least as clear-headed as usual! i really really hate to take medicine of ANY kind. rather treat the cause rather than the symptom. but i was a whooped unit yesterday. today, not so bad. i woke up at the usual time - 5am - and threw in laundry. Diva went out for a quick tour of the backyard, and to make sure her "outdoor" bone was safe and hidden. then decided it was nap time. she sat on the end of the bed tapping it with her paw and looking at me pointedly, so i curled up with her for a few extra minutes. such preciousness all wrapped up in a bundle....as soon as i put my head onto the pillow, she curled in next to me, making sure she fit into my curves....her back snuggled against my face, my face burrowed into her fur, her paw holding my hand down so i wouldn't sneak away on her. just heaven. just heaven. she is my Best Thing. even though she drives me to distraction sometimes. she has becomes addicted to, and obsessed with, her Greenie bones. she'll paw through the grocery bags till she finds them then make little umphing noises till i give her one. THAT one goes outside immediately. then she comes in and wants another one for her Inside bone. she has to constantly go outside and check, recheck, hide and rehide the Outside bone. and don't even think about touching her Inside bone. she'll carry that one around like a woobie, hiding it in between the times she's chewing on it. she knows exactly where they are at all times, and a person may unwittingly walk near The No Zone where it's hidden. she'll race over and grab it, giving a warning growl. my little Diva. so today i'm torn between working on my coat, and starting (finally) the tabletop i'm doing Post Traumatic Mosaic Assemblage on. i vote for both. maybe messy stuff this morning, then relaxing tonight with embroidery & beads. sounds like a plan. my pictures are done and i get to pick them up today! will post a few as i can. today is also the day i switch all my doctors over! as it turns out, they're all in the same building, right at the entrance to Radisson. And as a bonus, the NP for the gyno is a woman i went to years ago and she is EXCELLENT! so here's hoping! as my body starts giving way on me here, at least there are some good Kings horses and Kings men to put me back together again! so off to the studio and hopefully some accomplishment. a while ago i mentioned i had completion envy in regard to my friend Gail....well, i think it's more like Beginning envy! i need a clone! or two. have a fabulous day! L.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

me and my gallbladder

home today. i feel somewhat guilty, since i only work 3 days as it is, but the pain overrides any of that quickly...yep - i do believe my gallbladder has awakened and is not happy. oy. i did have to go out once - for dog food. and this is where it gets weird....there was a bike parked along the side of my house. a bike. it's fr-eezing out. hunh. now for the even weirder part - it was a bike we sold in the garage sale last summer. (cue twilight zone music). Diva is upset that she didn't get her walk. usually she just sulks and gives me The Eyes, but today she was feeling her muse and engaged in a little performance art. While staring at me intently, she shredded an entire roll of paper towels that has been sitting (untouched) on the floor for a month. it will remain in it's altered and unusable state right where it is - across my studio floor- until i can bend down with the confidence that Something won't explode in my abdominal region and come out my ears. so much for getting art done. this weekend i was planning on making some jewelry and tree ornaments with shrink plastic and some Premo. The Big One is still teasing around my brain and a little mindless creativity may just tick it off enough to show itself. (i always picture Mel Gibson in a kilt from the Braveheart movie..."Show Yourself!"). i just talked to my friend Gail-who- calls- fairly- frequently...with the husband who is to be worshipped? that one. apparently, although i feel quite normal, the percocet is still in full effect....i began telling her the bike story, and she kindly interrupted me to advise me that i Had Just Finished Telling Her that same story. so maybe, just maybe, it's time for another nap. safer anyway. i wonder if i called people today who just listened while i chattered on, and inside they're thinking, "she JUST called here....what is UP with this??" so i'm going to nap and hope for a painfree tomorrow. and if i DID call you today, i apologize - even tho i don't quite remember even using the phone. Linda

Sunday, November 25, 2007

see the pyramids...

...and the eiffel tower and the Forbidden City in China and the Grand Canyon and my very own house! whew! i've been traveling some today! this is so cool..."Google Earth." you can download a free version and pick a place and BAM! there you are. satellite shots zoom in till you feel like you're there, and you can skew the view so you get more of a topographic look. there are dots to click on where people have posted their photos from that spot, and some have a link to click to learn more about the spot. I highly recommend Niagara Falls! you'll want to reach for an umbrella! ***so while i was doing all this virtual travel, the Next Big Thing was rambling around in my head. i'm not sure what form it will take, and i've tried to give it wide enough mental berth to take form. so far, i think it may involve a wearable art piece. a few years ago on the way to Lake Placid, we stopped in this tiny town for lunch. there were some architecturally cool buildings and i went for a short walk down Main St to look at them. i came across an army/navy store that was a treasure trove....this was the real deal, not some yupped-up version with Columbia sweaters and a few camo items. on a rack crammed near the back was a riding coat liner from a Swiss Army (real Swiss Army - not just the brand name) cavalry coat. it's knee-length black quilted silk, and screaming for embellishment. there are rubberized leather patches around the buttons, and elastic around the wrists inside the cuffs. it's glorious in it's naked state, but i'm seeing it beaded up and embroidered somehow. and that's what's been the sticky part. i have too many ideas all vying for attention..PICK ME! so far there's been a hummingbird, a butterfly, an abstract design of my own, a beaded version of Gustav Klimt's serpent woman, Hygeia (which i'm leaning toward. it's part of his Medicine series, and that's so fitting). Then i thought of doing something a la Rise Freeman-Zachery...a stenciled narrative type of thing. but so far, nothing tipping the scales. it also has to end up as a recogizable image, so i'm thinking that although i love the Klimt image, it may not translate well. so on top of that, i have the coolest rusty sphere that's been calling me for a while now. i've put it out on my worktable, and there it sits all lonely and taunting. this is the sweet, delicious, painful groaning part of creating...the birth of the idea. waiting waiting for it to come forth. then deciding on the materials to use. that part can be equal in it's agony. it makes me wish that i was a painter, sometimes.... at least then i'd know i'd be reaching for paints after the idea came. just paints. sometimes the material drives the idea, but usually it's the other way around. my girlfriend asked me today what i want for my birthday, and i said "rusty metal." unfortunately, she'd just passed a rusty tailpipe and muffler in the road and said it was meant to be! (she was kidding) (i hope). my brother (i think it was him) once said i was the only person he knew that could be given a can of rusty nails and i'd like it better than something from Tiffany's! sorry...i've got a real thing for rusty metal. i've had 4 days off and i don't feel like i've gotten anything done art-wise. i think after the fairy wings i needed a break. so the East Coast Art Retreat is really coming together nicely. not too many details to share yet, but i think this may just work. Diva is still moping after her kitties went to their real home. i'd love to get her a kitty but i found out last night that my allergies still persist. maybe i'll just suck it up and take allergy medicine if i need it....her tail almost wagged right off. she was so gentle with them, and after they got a little comfortable, the games began! my stepsister has a kitty that's just terrified to live with her and her 2 pitbulls, 1 collie mix, and 4 other cats (in a trailer). it's declawed, and has no real defense other than to run and hide. it's just starving for affection and i feel like that would be the cat to give a loving home to. i don't want to take on more than i can be responsible for though...when we had all 3 dogs it was just overwhelming. i know cats are less work, but if it's afraid of dogs, and Nikki wants to be it's best friend, then it can only mean double duty in the petting dept... another thought to think. she was just so thrilled last night though. so i should be hemming my pants (duct tape) but don't feel like getting off the couch. lazy lazy lazy. nikki's snoring in the corner, jenny's on her computer, bill's on his computer, and here i sit on mine. ahhh...Norman Rockwell never imagined this! so, bye for now...i've got to get in the shower and see what develops with this Next Big Thing. that's where i do my best thinking. L

Saturday, November 24, 2007


try this! i have spent the better part of the day playing with shrink plastic! can i say...fun fun fun! this stuff is too much! tonight, my stepdaughter brought 2 teeny kitties home for a brief visit before they went to her mom's. diva was out of her natural mind! play with me play with me! she was in l-o-v-e. she would cry and whine when one of them went under a couch or whatever to rest from her chasing. she was so gentle and sweet with them. she will definately sleep tonight. now she's moping and pining because they left. such a good girl. well, off to shrink more plastic - working on a necklace. try it! you'll be hooked! L

Friday, November 23, 2007

bah humbug

you know, this time of year seems to bring out the best and worst in people...on one hand, people seem more generous to others who may need a hand up. on the other side, depression, bad behavior and all that seems to run rampant. today i went to the mall ONLY because i had to - my new contacts were in. (wrong prescription, no surprise). on the way through the mob, there was a guy at one of those red kettle Salvation Army things, ringing his bell and just singing bluesy carols. an older black gentleman. just ringing and singing, and seemingly happy to just be there. i dumped a pocketful of change into the kettle and felt a lump in my throat. all morning i'd been depressed. i read a few blogs that i usually keep up with, and they were all going on about what a fabulous thanksgiving they had, and how their husbands all helped with the meal and cleaning the house, and made them special hot rolls for a snack during the day, and all that. it just seemed so...wonderful. so easy. so, "I want that." i was sad because this is usually the time of year i get sad, missing special people (2-legged and 4-legged), and a very special person to me is dying. and i was sad because my marriage seems to be doing a slow dance of death. i am afraid to love my husband now. there were little moments where i thought my heart would explode with gratitude for his companionship. and then the rug would get pulled out. up and down for 7 years now. to say it has not been an easy relationship, is like saying the Titanic had a problem in the crossing. i'm scared. not of being alone. but of being financially responsible for myself. i've done it most of my life, and am capable of doing it again if need be. but i'm older now. and much more tired on a constant basis. and working part time at my Big Girl job is about all i can handle without melting down. i've learned to take care of my Self, and maybe in this taking care, it has cleared space to see where i'm not taking care so good. plus, my body is having the time of it's life disrespecting me and the rythyms we've set up....don't like having cramps and all that goes along with it, but after the first 20 years or more, you just say "okay, uterus, you've got 1 week...do your worst and clear out." well suddenly we're like a child visitation schedule, my uterus and I - 1 week on, 1 week off. my hormones are swinging like a Cirque du Soleil trapeze act, and my moods are right there in a wrist lock with them. so when your husband travels one week, and comes home during your crampy/bitchy/weepy/die die die week, there is not much fun to be had. so anyway, here i am all feeling weepy and depressed and missing kita and feeling bad for leaving diva home and mad at my mother and my mother-in-law, and this man is standing in the mall with a huge glorious genuine smile on his face, singing christmas carols and ringing the bell. so now add guilt to the list. i guess it made me realize that i do have the power to overcome and go through what is now here and what may be coming. (cue Gloria Gaynor "I will survive") . so i hope i didn't make you depressed...i just needed to vent. i'll probably delete this because it IS the holidays after all. L.

Monday, November 19, 2007

solitude & laundry

my husband's out in the woods...been there with his friends since friday. coming home tomorrow night. i like to think he's just away on a business trip. i know, i know. so i've had some serious alone time in the peacefulness of my home, and am really liking it. i don't know how i ever worked full time. i just don't. even with just 3 days at my Big Girl job, i still feel crunched. diva needs more attention. my art needs more attention. the housework...well, that's always been low on the list anyway. can i tell you how excited i am for christmas this year?? i don't know why. just am. i think last year was awkward...it was the first christmas without Bear & Nikita. every year we'd take a picture of Jenny and the two of them (diva being all Amish about the camera) in front of the tree. last year we reluctantly bought and decorated a tree the day before christmas. no pictures. so saturday i went out and bought a serious load of decorations and this house looks like the Christmas Tree Shop blew up inside it. i even bought a Febreeze air scenter - christmas wreath alternating with cinnamon apple. love it! i can't wait to breathe! then i cleaned the house. yes...i said it. it's different when i do it for myself, alone, without someone checking my work. i feel so grown up! then the laundry. i needed socks, and the next thing you know, i was knee deep in it. as i dusted the bedroom (no comments) i came to my nightstand (actually bed table). on it, still folded inside out, was the tshirt i wore the last time i held my Kita. i'd taken it off when i got home, and turned it inside out to try to save the smell of him. i know after a year, 2 months, and 19 days, that it would probably smell more like the dust that accumulated on it, but it was still, i don't know, i guess the last link. but i guess it was time. every night before i'd go to sleep i'd see it there and feel a little pang. still. so before any second or third or fourth thoughts, it went in with the dark load. i'm glad he doesn't have to face the cold this year...his bones would just protest, and he deserved better. but i do so miss him. still. we used to play hide and seek out back...for real. he'd run into the brushy area and bark, as if to say find me. i'd pretend i was looking all over and he'd bound out of hiding with his whole body wagging. as if a white dog was invisible in the green bushes! then he'd go around the corner and i'd run behind a tree and he'd look in all the usual places, still startled when i jumped out at him. i grew up a cat person. never thought i could love a dog. surprise. diva has a totally different personality...much needier in the love department, yet much more cat-like in other ways. and don't even think about touching her Greenie bone. oh no! uhn uhn! take a finger off. so i'm thinking about getting a tattoo this weekend. something to cover up the other one that was done pretty badly. Rocky The Flying Squirrel. too dark, though, and as the area grew and deflated countless times, it came to look like a large grey birthmark. so, any suggestions? i wanted to do a Phoenix on my lower back area, but can't find a picture of one i like...most look like a screaming chicken rising from a BBQ pit. which a chicken might indeed do if it found itself in that position, and was able. i know i would. but anyway....hmmm. have to give it some thought. my mom gave me the coolest can of tea bags. each tag has a different saying on them about women. i'm drinking, "a grown women should not have to masquerade as a girl in order to remain in the land of the living." made by Bag Ladies Tea. the tea is actually good also! my friend Georgia is in India. we've been following her progress on http://www.scottstours.com/ . i'm saving my nickels. i will go next year. bill hates to travel outside the US, except the virgin islands-type thing. there are so many places i want to see. a lot of them are in the US, but some aren't. i'd like to see Russia, and parts of Mexico, and Alaska (i know), and i'd love to see parts of Saudi. my girlfriend was stationed there a few years ago. said it was like opening an oven and breathing in the heat every time you stepped outside. maybe i'd go in winter when the temps were down a bit...say 100 or 110. i don't know, there are a bunch of places i'd like to see. but looking at the pictures on the website (scottstours) makes me want to BE there. there's 1 picture that takes my breath away....it's a huge temple...all carved wood or stone...all flashing colors...carved faces...oh my God is it the most incredible sight. i'm sure i'd stand there in tears. check it out under the photo section then dare to say it isn't magnificent! well off to play with diva for a bit before nappy time. sleep well y'all, and have the best holiday, if i don't talk to you by then. Linda

Saturday, November 17, 2007


you all know how much i hate snow, right? well it's starting...but so far, the big fluffy flakes aren't annoying. a coating, a dusting, dressing the trees and lawns. the leaves haven't finished falling from my Japanese Maple out front...my favorite tree out of all of them in my yard. this year, for some inexplicable reason, i am absolutely overjoyed about the holidays! i can't wait! last year was dismal...no holiday spirit in the house whatsoever. bill and i had entered a tenuous truce, and were engaged in that silent arguing...i turn the light on, he turns it off a few minutes later, and all that nonsense. i had planned to just set up shop on my own after the holidays, so had no particular bond with anything or any traditional Holiday Spirit. we finally got a Christmas tree a day or 2 before Christmas, only for the form of the thing...i mean, without it, do you just sit around the footstool and hand off gifts? we did it for the kids mostly. well, i'm still here for some reason. and this year, the house WILL look like the Christmas Tree Shoppes blew up inside. i'm headed out for the dreaded garland/ornament/whatever purchases at some smaller shops, and of course the Christmas Tree Shoppe. a scary place. but with the volume of decorations i plan to buy, i need cheap. i'm mentally prepared for battle. little diva won't know where to hide her bones when i'm done. her personality is so different from my Kita...he was laid back, always smiling. she frets over everything. she'll get up in the middle of the night and have to go out to retrieve her "outside" bone (Greenie) and bring it in to hide it. in the morning, she's up and re-hiding it. and God help the soul who tries to come near her when she has the bone. a good way to lose a hand. she always has a concerned fretful look about her. tonight is diva spa night...bath and toenails. i am looking forward to it just slightly less than she is...the nails part. she squirms and struggles and shreiks and tries to whirl around in your grip to get free. for all the world it sounds like i'm cutting her entire paw off. - back to the garland. the fairywing lady overpaid me and refused to rewrite the check. so now, i figure i have all that extra cashola to go nuts with. it just feels so good to have someone buy my art...even fairywings! it's not entirely about the money, either. it's like an affirmation. but more than that. it feels good, really good, to know that something i created touched someone enough to make them want to own it. to have at their home so they can enjoy it all the time. that is such an ecstatic thing in my soul. (art in general...not the fairywings, necessarily, since i probably won't know who bought them from the shop). i debriefed myself on those and if i have to do more, i will welcome the opportunity - i have it all figured out now. i'm actually thinking of doing a huge sunflower, just to have in reserve. so this thanksgiving dinner has all the promise of being Another Family Get-Together of Epic Result. my mother-in-law is still convinced that i hate her (i don't), my sister-in-law has stopped taking her medication, and is convinced people around her are threatening to kill her (note to self: hide Dreamweaver before he tells her I'M trying to kill her), my parents are exhausted, my husband is slipping into his fall-to-winter malaise and going "into his cave." he read that in a book once - maybe Men Are From Mars, or some such crap. about how men retreat into a cave emotionally when they're hurt or some such stuff. he stopped reading there, apparently, having found justification for his moody, brooding, spoiled child behavior when things don't go his way. i told him the next time he goes in, i'm rolling a very large rock in front of it, and he can ask Lazarus or David Copperfield how to get out, but i would not stand at the entry with a brontosaurus burger and Wilma-like dress on trying to coax him out. i have a hard enough time staying on an even keel in these shorter-day months. so anyway...dinner. yep, his mom is already upset that i am making the squash. people, listen...i could give a flea's fart less who makes the squash...i really could care less for family gatherings. i do this for my husband and his kids....mostly for the kids, so they don't grow up hermitized like me. the lone wolf. remember Lenny & Squiggy? the whole discussion over who's bringing what is just so Who Cares, that i can't believe i'm writing it. just bring. or not. just come. or not. but let me know so we don't end up with turkey and 15 bowls of squash. and again, who cares?? well...i'm off to shower and take diva for a quick walk through the woods...she is now refusing to poo in her own yard. i see her point in it all, but it is a Very Cold walk these days. i'll post pics of the decorating when/if i get it done. OH! and i'm buying all new tree ornaments! can't decide a color or theme yet, but will see what strikes me. the ones we have...well, the cheerios have fallen off most of the 2nd grade pics, and they are sweet and swell, but definately need a little sprucing up. so we'll see. maybe pink......... Linda

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

d-o-n-e done

the fairy fiasco is in my past...ahhh! i have to go do something real butch now after all that pink frothy froof! here are some pics...not great ones, but i've been up most of the night, and can't tell whether it's me or the camera that's unfocused. plus, the person who brought the headboard over has conjunctivitis (no, nothing to do with grammar) and was admiring the wings when she arrived. guess who has it now? oy. so enjoy the pics...i'll try to get some once the dread-bed has been set up. now - off to snooze. L.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

what day is it?

friday? saturday? oy. i left my part time Big Girl job early tues to work (well, allegedly to FINISH) the dreaded fairy wings. by that time i was sooo exhausted that i came home and decided to take a quick nap. 3 hours later....what was the point of leaving early??? plus, i now had to make up the time on friday, my day off. so i went in at 1pm, being the overachiever that i am, rather than 2pm as required. i've redecorated my cubby, with Dreamweaver wearing his Chinese coin necklace and a small sculpture i did that includes a small porcelain doll head in a small brass birdcage. just let it rip, i said. the crow apparently creeped out more than a few people, however my very Goth boss thought it looked fine....her husband makes life-sized zombies in their basement, and they have a real, live casket down there that their cat sleeps in, so i guess she would have a certain appreciation. so when i came in friday, despite being underslept, i noticed a few sideways glances. my cub-mate started chortling and filled me in that during the 8am meeting, when it was question time, a new girl raised her hand and asked what the deal was with the crow. my immediate supervisor said "it goes with the voodoo doll by her calendar. it's harmless, but don't piss her off." so by 1pm, the interest was high...the air rife with speculation. and i arrived wearing red cowboy boots *gasp* in the corporate office. my boss's boss's boss (Ms. Big, 3 levels up, mezzanine...ladies handbags and millinery), (who, by the way is the Best Boss i have EVER had and is definately artworthy), (wtf is millinery anymore?), anyway, where was I? oh, so i got to work, noticed the looks, oh yeah, and made my usual rounds saying hello to each and every coworker. i got to HER office, and she asked me to come in, sit down, and close the door. okaaay. so i did what she asked, but left my coat on just in case. "Chicos?" she asked with a raised eyebrow, referring to my red leather jacket which i had just decided i didn't like - too Michael jackson-ish. too late to return-ish. "of course," came my reply, "matches the boots." "ahh. so now...(pause) ..the crow." "Not Chicos," i replied. "alive? ever alive? how did it become not alive, if indeed it is not alive now? i was told your father is a taxidermist..." "father died. He wasn't a crow. Sold shoes. Do you believe the crow is alive?" "do you?" "i asked you first." "not sure...could be...but very quiet...very, umm, distracting. and this voodoo thing..." "no voodoo...i'm a Jew. Jews don't do voodoo. it's an art doll." "ahhh" Meanwhile, this whole thing feels like a verbal duel at high noon, except the combatants are actually friends and are actually trying to square off in a tickle fight. (not that my boss and i are THAT close, my friends...let me make that clear.) she was trying to keep a straight face and thought she could THOUGHT she could make me sweat. i was, but it was the damn jacket. so that started my friday off at work on my day off. about an hour later, despite the frantic hordes of salmon swimming upstream to my phone line just to call me a stupid bitch, i just had enough and logged off my phone. i was sleepy and was afraid i'd let go with some Real Thoughts, which were definately nearing the frontal lobe of my brain. a short trip from there down the sinus cavity and to the mouth. (not a scientific explanation of what may Actually Occur, but ...) the Control Center was hanging on, but barely. and then, and then, i made a fatal mistake. knowing i had a few zillion hours of beadwork ahead of me, and i still had to slog thru 3 more thankless hours of being smacked about like an emotional pinata, i broke down and swallowed my last Concerta. about 30 mins later, with all systems "go," i realized that i would be humming like a machine for about 12 hours more...that put it at about 2-3am saturday. i was supposed to go back to this job at 8am to help catch up with the paperwork. oy. needless to say, i called it a day around 4am, slept till 8am when diva had to pee, then said forgetaboutit to work and (drum roll!) TA DA! finished the fairy wings!!! i had hoped for a more epiphanous moment when i took that last stitch, but done is still done. HOWEVER...in the midst of my midnight frenzy, i had a Thought. a Big Thought. there are a t-o-n of art retreats, art festivals, workshops, etc on the west coast...not so much on the lonely east coast. upper east coast. so i started planning one. i think it's do-able. i'm pretty sure i can do it. much easier than fairy wings by far. (all tasks will now be measured by the fairy wings). so i am setting about planning the East Coast Art Retreat. stay tuned. i probably should use all that event planning experience i never got paid for in radio, right? not to mention the 5 cancelled weddings ( 1 the day before...which is way better than the day after). i've been itching to plan something big, and since i'm still married, it would seem impolite to plan my next wedding. i think that's what bugs me the most about everyone keeping the details of my surprise birthday party a secret...i love to plan these things..in fact, i love the planning almost more than the actual event (where i sweat and worry that Something Big will go wrong). my husband is absolutely wild with glee that HE knows what i don't about the details...the taunting and teasing. i whine and beg and plead for just one stinking detail, like WHERE it will be so i can be dressed appropriately. he says , "okay...it's somewhere with a roof." hardy har har. that isn't even an intelligent ruse of a response. by the time this shindig hits, i'll explode. from the time i was a kid, i always reconned for my christmas presents (always always in the hall closet behind the health & beauty supplies and mom's douchebag. sorry - it's the truth). (you know, i'm from a generation that has seen so many innovative products come and go. i mean, i remember rotary dial phones, and pay phones that cost a dime, and the douchebag. do they even make them anymore? i love the sound of the word. the word "shower" in French is "douche." when i was travelling in Quebec with the band, there were some French-speaking girls with us, and 1 of them put a sign - in French- on the shower that loosely read, "something something something douche something de bain." the rest of us wondered, and certainly wore our flips flops into the stall after that.) back to my point - i'd carefully open them, (the presents, if you remember) peek at them, then rewrap them. it didn't ruin the surprise...it made the anticipation sweeter. and mom thought i was psychic for a while, when we had to go thru the whole, "can you guess what it is" routine as we held the gift, shaking it a little (or one year, riding it around the livingroom...hmmmm...what could it be? a hamster? nooo. a bike? no scratch that - doesn't count bad guess...a bike would never be WRAPPED like a bike and have 2 actual wheels, a seat and a kickstand...hmmm). (and i say christmas, but it was actually Hannukah, which is actually 8 days of christmas when you're a kid). i just COULDN'T stand NOT KNOWING. this NEED didn't diminish as i got older. and as i approach 50, the "need" is joined with this feeling of entitlement. i tell my husband, "so now, if i'm hit by a bus and die before this party, you'll be left with the knowledge that i could have at least gone to my grave knowing that there was a nice party planned for me, and i could at least envision it as i made my way to the bright light through the tunnel." unfortunately, my need to know is overshadowed by his immature need to lord it over a person that "he knows something you don't know." maybe i'll hit him with a frying pan. the ones he got me for christmas last year. lordhavemercy. cookware. i swear. no wonder i pre-shop for myself. i have never been a "thing" person. i love getting a heartfelt gift as much as the next person, don't get me wrong. but it truly is the thought that counts. now look at me going on like i had more Concerta....now look, my angelfriend Georgia is in India...she left today. i went to the grocery store, she went to India. our lives are very different. follow her at http://www.scottstours.com/ ....makes me want to travel. except for the planning, packing, shots, ugly passport pictures, dogsitter, you know, that stuff. so goodnight - pics of the wings tomorrow. you deserve to see what you've been reading about and rolling your eyes over. Linda