Sunday, December 12, 2010

Angels' albino dust bunnies play pinochle

Nick doing dishes

We have four inches of--something.

Derrick says it's vanilla ice cream. I said, "no, it's, it's--" whereupon our young friend Marshawn said, "soap!"

I think it's likely that the angels have been sweeping out from under their beds & off the porch steps & we've been showered with four inches of the angels' albino dust bunnies. Whatever it is, it's beautiful. Perhaps I'll go out later & make an angels' albino dust bunnies angel.

I guess I didn't talk to you in November. What a good month. My son Nick & his girlfriend Chloe came for varying portions of the Thanksgiving week. (Chloe just for 3&1/2 days; Nick for twice that.)

We had the perfect turkey day dinner. Cooked a turkey. Cut one piece off to test it. Played pinochle. Decided to go for a walk at the Arboretum. Covered the turkey with foil & shoved it in the fridge. Walked while doing various sorts of work. (Derrick was steadily writing philosophix on a sticky note pad. Nick was lifting heavy objects to make it a real workout: large logs; rocks; at one point, on a steep uphill part of the trail, me. I was taking pictures of them, except during the part when I was being carried uphill.) Then we came home & ripped some turkey off the the carcass with our bare hands. Chloe arrived the next day & she & Nick finished divesting the carcass of its flesh--one container of dark meat & another of white--so I could boil it into soup stock later. I'm so sad I cut that one piece, otherwise it would have been all finger food. Mano a birdo. Next year!

Nick helped me teach people to play pinochle, which was so fun! Jonathan & I beat Nick & Derrick. Chloe & I beat Nick & Derrick. (A couple times.) Did Nick & Derrick care? Not a bit. Nick just loves to play & Derrick was happy to be picking up on the nuances. He has turned into quite the pinochle monster. Grrrrr.

Nick turned me on to this website called which is like morning pages (The Artist's Way) online, so I've been doing that. Lots of fun, except when it's not. Grin. I'm being honest. There was one day when I was writing that I didn't think this sort of journally writing was good for me & voila, in the midst of doing that very thing I got clearer on something. So I continue. The writing is never seen by anyone but the writer & you get points for making 750 words & for maintaining "streaks." I will blow my streak in Montana, because I won't have internet up at Nye, but I'll do the 750 words anyway, on my word processing program. & Nick will do it with me when he's there!

Zach & Tiffany won't be making it to Montana for Christmas but I will see them in Minnesota when I drive back. I'm looking forward to that. Tiff & Zach & Mac & Cheese. What fun!

Okay, I'm ready to be doing something other than blogging, so here it is, what you've been (hopefully not) waiting for, your:

Blog alternative:
194. Figure out how to make a big bubble in your hands while doing dishes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Leaf peepers, the eleventh plague...

the fabric of spacetime, found in a coffeeshop

The good news is
I found my summer clothes.
The bad news is
it's October.
The good news is
it's October
& the leaves are being peeped with great delight,
with highs in the 70s & lows in the 40s.
The good news is
I found my winter clothes.
The good news is
there is no bad news.

Blog alternative:
193. Consider that you make your own news. Make some good news out of whatever olds happen to be around.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hot-wired peach guava eudemonics

I took someone's old red car for a spin...

Last time I mentioned that I was about to enter the end of E, & that--by the time I reached the beginning of A--it would be the first time I'd looked at every page in my dictionary. How fitting that I would mention that before delving into E, because way back when I looked at every E-word & wrote bunches of them down for my then-husband because he'd written a program--unused now at IBM, so I'm cleared to release this information--called ELAPS & he wanted a good E word to start of the name. IBM just LOVES acronyms. I can't remember if Bruce had already decided on Eclectic Logical Analysis Processing System, but he put a bunch of the other E words on the announcement of little baby ELAPS's birth. (Including "egregious." Let it never be said that IBMers lack a sense of humor. One of them, at least, has a very good one.)

I did go through E again & wrote down a few strange & lovely words for your edification.
eutaxy: (rare) good & fitting order or arrangement
euplastic: healing readily
eudemonics: the art or theory of happiness

May you have eutaxy in all things & be well-versed in eudemonics &--should occasion rise that you are injured or unwell--may you be euplastic.

I just purchased a bunch of colored pencils & pastels & various papers & paint brushes & some strange antiquing paste from an art supply store that is going out of business. It was my second trip there, after hearing about it from a barista who is also an artist. I purchased a few strange things to try out at a deep discount. Who knows where it will lead? Stay tuned. No, don't stay tuned--tune into your own adventure.

I am experiencing an increasing state of eutaxy, &--to celebrate--I shall drink some Odwalla peach guava smoothie with coconut juice & take a nap.

Blog alternative:
192. Take someone's car for a spin. Or their motorcycle. Or their trike. Or their RV rollerblades figure skates wheel chair dune buggy etcetera. Hotwire your imagination, rather than the vehicle. You can even take off in a police car that way, & no one will be after you.

(I know, their does not grammatically work with someONE's & there is no punctuation in that list. I did it that way on purpose. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I just wanted my juice & the commas would have slowed me down...)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Perusing pixels & paper play

Shadow, Panel Lift, Shoes

As promised, (part of) the nifty keen panel lift. With bonus shadow. No additional calories. Easy to pack. Take one with you everywhere. Except midnight. Okay, midnight at Reykjavik you could probably get a shadow. Or anywhere there's a streetlight. Grin.

I lied to you last night. Instead of perusing the dictionary, I watched Mel Gibson in What Women Want. Amazing all the things I didn't know I wanted. Grin again.

So the dictionary is still enticing me. I used an E word since that's where I'm dipping my toe in. I could have said entering since that starts with E, but metaphor is more exciting. (There, I got them both.)

I also have to practice a monologue for my acting class. Send out some poetry. Pay the electric bill. Walk. There's a stack of papers with my name on it. But not a big one. I've been better & better at paper play.

Blog alternative:
191. Pick up a paper. Just one. Feel its crispness or crumpled-ness or limpness. Appreciate what it stands for, even if it's a bill. Think about what it means: heat? electricity for when it's dark & you'd rather read than sleep (or would like to see Mel Gibson's pixels dancing on flat glass)? a good meal? toilet paper? After you're done appreciating it, file it or recycle it or toss it in the fire. Repeat. A few times. (Remember the appreciate part.)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Brought to you by the letters Z through F

Self Portrait in Tea Pot

We have a ceiling! Yay! Soon you will see photos of the nifty keen panel lift, but I could not resist the tea pot.

I am going to close now & read the dictionary for a while. (my beautiful 1973 American Heritage Dictionary that I won for getting 3rd place in the Montana state spelling bee when I was in 8th grade) I have a picture book project & am going through the dictionary backwards. I'm about to start with the end of E. So many fine words. I think this will be the first time I've looked at every page...

Blog alternative:
190. Look into a dictionary, just for fun. Open it at random or pick a favorite word or a favorite letter. (Do I have a favorite letter? hmmm, will have to think about it.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back by popular demand: hot pink & her buddies, lime green & purple

fresh clean bedding

When I was a kid, the extra supercool colors were hot pink & lime green, or hot pink & purple. We (girls anyway) wanted everything to be one of those 2 color combinations. You can see by this twirly shot of my laundry that my inner teenager is alive & well.

The electrician has been banging away--we're converting a former tool storage room into an art studio/meditation space/hang-out. It's a fun process & involves a cute little glass block window.

Somehow, in the last couple of days, it has turned into fall. How does that happen? In a few days, my children will be a quarter of a century old. How does that happen? I wonder what their equivalent of hot pink & purple/lime green will be.

After my class this afternoon (Journey Dance) I had another visit with some interesting people who came here from Minnesota. Last week I met the man, doing sudoku while I was reading a magazine article on the rise of women in just about everything. I told him I was from Montana & he asked if I'd ever heard of the Stillwater River. I told him I grew up spitting distance from it (a slight exaggeration, perhaps, but I could see it from the kitchen window) & he said a few years ago he was buying groceries in the one store in some town that started with A... (Milligan's IGA in Absarokee, where I went to high school.) How does that happen?

Blog alternative:
189. Think about some favorite things from your past. How are they showing up now, if they are?

Flirting with the most adorable little backhoe

Hold the handrail...

This resolution to put one photo per blog may cause my brain to explode. I've take nearly 6000 pictures since I got my camera. A bunch of those are deleted before the camera & the computer hook up, but still...

The decisions! A shadow picture? One of the cool bench pictures? More flowers? Bicycles? (Parked bicycles make particularly wonderful twirly photos, as you will see in a future post, I'm sure.) Heavy equipment? (Since my daddy was (& still is, although not as primary occupation anymore) a heavy equipment operator, I have a fond place in my heart for the big machines. Also for the little machines that look like the big machines. I was driving along Chestnut Street a few weeks ago & a couple guys were blocking the road for a while--backhoe issues. Some of the people behind me turned around & went on a different street, but I waited, not just patiently but deliciously. When they'd finally done what they needed to do & got out of the way, I pulled up beside them & rolled down my window. They probably expected a pissed-off-motorist-diatribe, instead I said, "That is the most adorable little backhoe!" They laughed & laughed & off I drove.)

Blog alternative:
188. While you are waiting--a red light, someone slowly crossing a street, a left-turner ahead of you--find something to enjoy. Appreciate the opportunity.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

At the hub of the universe, I got out my tools

hand at the hub of the universe

Rain is falling, gently.

I have learned about creating natural gas in a 55-gallon drum & various other energy things. I have learned some mixed media collaging techniques & created 2 collages. I have walked & taken photographs & tidied up my personal universe a bit. Oh, & done laundry & written poetry & planned a syllabus for a future class & studied expressive arts & acting & journey dance. Sudoku & conversation & grocery shopping. A busy week with plenty of quiet & contemplative mixed in. Played cards. Watched a movie or two. Office-y stuff. Dishes. Refrigerator rearranging.

Blog alternative:
187. Lie down on the floor & close your eyes & imagine your heart expanding past the confines of your body.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chaos invited the trees to the poker game

Elizabeth greeted the tree

I greet you with the same delight.

This photo (& several thousand siblings) was taken in the North Carolina Landscape Arboretum, which was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. I lived in Olmsted County in Minnesota for 24 years, named for the aforesaid Fred & my initials are LAW, so I'm pleased at all the little connections.

Tomorrow I begin 2 new classes at the Reuter Center. (Supposedly the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement, but I like to think of the last 2 words as "Continual ReCreation.") One is called Creativity, Chaos & Consciousness (the necessary supplies are oil pastels & a big blank sketchbook) & the other is Acting Up & Acting Out, which is (surprise) theatric in nature. I am looking forward to them a great deal.

At my semi-regular poker game last Thursday I won 10 cents. Lost my initial $20 on trip nines vs. my pocket aces but built back up in the second half of the evening. I'm still the big winner so far, having taken home an extra $37 the first night & $11 the second. You can see we're a low-stakes, friendly game. But we still like to win. Grin.

Blog alternative:
186. Touch a tree. Deliberately. Lovingly. Wonderingly.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Re-inventing Geometry: One point at a time

Wood Rose

Two points!

I have a line.

Also a confession: I'm blogging because I wanted to post another photo. I'm allowing myself only one photo per blog, to help inspire me. This is the end of a wood pile. (Not all my photos are of flowers, real or created, as you will see in blogs yet to be.)

This will be a short entry because I am about to exchange some movies at the video store. It's a ways & I am going to walk out into the beautiful day & the beautiful world (even if it is a busy-ish road-ish portion of said world) & accomplish errands, exercise & enjoyment. I will let the moment wear many hats.

Blog alternative:
185. Walk somewhere you don't normally walk to accomplish something you want to accomplish. Fait accompli (with feet)

plus, today's quote from Peggy Tabor Millin's
(which you can get 5 days a week by signing up for the writing prompts)
is a Nigerian proverb
"Someone else's legs do you no good in traveling."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Outside Forces vs. the Slacker Babe

Sunflower Flowing

A Blog at rest tends to stay at rest, unless acted on by an outside force.

A Blog in motion--well, we'll see. I don't know if one post qualifies as motion. It takes 2 points to make a line after all.

So, outside forces, I salute you.

First, Ken, for checking on me during a perfectly sunny week on a trumped up hurricane worry excuse just 'cuz I hadn't blogged since March. It's only--ahh--September--hmmm--oops.

Second, Cathy who accepted my challenge to blog by Monday. She also hasn't blogged since March, although her March ended in 2009. (She just did that to make me feel like less of a slacker babe.) If anyone wants to see if she ponied up, or pigeoned up, check out YayPigeons.

I have been having a great deal of fun with my new camera, a Nikon CoolPix that is very easy to use. Playing around with image manipulation just by moving the camera and then deleting A LOT of bad photos--because they weren't blurry enough. Grin. I suppose my "Sunflower Flowing" picture would be better if I rotated it so the stem blur was on the bottom, but I got a little lazy. Hey, you can't reform a blogger slacker babe in one fell swoop, can you? (Apparently not.)

Oh, but my room is looking so clean & organized & the parts that are not yet dealt with are set up so they'll be easier to deal with. Part of my new organizational system, which started with me writing everything I wanted in a system 0n a giant lime green sticky note. Then I posted it on the wall beside my bed & just read it every time I noticed the giant lime green sticky note. Then I realized that the system was already created & just waiting for me to utilize it. Then, suddenly, one day I began to move things around & recycle magazines & do more creative projects & VOILA!

In random order, here are my system desires:
success.full growing natural peaceful genius self.organizing virtuous* essential organic logical loving vital vibrant magic s elf.sustaining true easy reflective mutating cosmic intelligent gnosis based on me rational invisible independent healthy supported true intuitive still wholistic feels good instinctual self.directed simple apt transferable sensible self.centering appropriate energetic fueled intellectual succulent focused in.sourced dynamic fit

*before you get too excited--in a good way or a bad way--about this, consider that at the etymological level, virtue means sap, as in liquid life force. So I probably should have just said "sappy" but that would require the same sort of explanation.

I am really not claiming the title of slacker babe at all. So I haven't been blogging. Plenty of other things (inside & outside of my skin) have been & continue to be accomplished. (For example, exploration of the passive voice. Grin.)

I trust that you have all been doing many things other than reading the Ides of March version of my blog over & over again, yet I feel compelled to give the latest version of the Blog Alternative, so here it is, the long-awaited number

184. Think about the descriptive characteristics of your desired organizational system. Not the number of sticky notes required or the actual time it takes to operate in any given week, but some abstract, feeling-y things. See if your list is substantially different than mine.

Monday, March 15, 2010


So February has slipped past, & half of March. I am here to report that I did indeed send out a batch of poems & a story. More on the sassy SASE horizon. (That's Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope for the non-writers in the audience. One must include a SASE to hear back from the editor.)

Plus I am going to be on TV Wednesday night, St. Patrick's Day, at 7 pm. URTV, Asheville's public access channel. I think you can access it online at I actually don't know when it's going to air, but you might be able to find it on the website. There's a show featuring cancer survivors being filmed at Chameleon Soul Foods where I "just happened" to stop in for the first time. I mentioned to the owner that I had a poem published in the Cancer Poetry Project ("Awkward Friends," which I wrote for my friend L.A.Taylor who was a cancer survivor until she wasn't) & was invited to read it on the show. I'm looking forward to it. (& perhaps to more fried chicken smothered in brown onion gravy. Or some of the wonderful cherry crumble. mmmm. I'm making myself hungry.)

The other fun thing--besides writing & drawing & collaging & walking & etcetera--I've been doing lately is playing no-limit Texas Hold'em at Buffalo Wild Wings. It's lots of fun, & I've started a short story about it. Making my way up the leaderboards--at least for now.

A short while ago I joined the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement, which is located at the Reuter Center on the UNCA campus. They offer classes & workshops and special interest groups, besides which it's a beautiful facility to use as yet another office. (Buffalo Wild Wings is my poker office & for writing & art & such I have offices all over town.) I use the campus itself as a nice walking track. Plus they have a meditation labyrinth to walk & a sculpture garden & all sorts of wonderfulness.

Here I go again, all wonder-fully-foolio. Mmmm. Flavor du jour.

I must briefly review a recently-read book. Talking to Tesla: The Mirror That is the Door: An Artist's Dream Journal by Alex Bigney. This book tickled every tendril of my soul. Alex Bigney is a (very good) artist who began to have a series of dream conversations with Nikola Tesla, whom he'd never heard of before meeting in the first dream. The lessons from Tesla, the insights he brings from a life of painting, the stories of the thoughtful & interesting boy that he was--I am going to read this book again. With underlining! You can find out more about it at or or you can pick the book up (signed) at Malaprops. Just don't ask to borrow mine! I'm re-reading it. Alex Bigney is a warm & accessible man who lives in Utah. I--well-dressed in my what would Tesla do? t-shirt--saw him read at Malaprops. If you get a chance to meet him, do.

Blog alternative:
183. Think about who you would like to meet in your dreams. Nikola Tesla? Amelia Earhart? Hatshepsut? Get all relaxed & cozy before you go to sleep & invite them in. Who knows? It could happen.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wavy Davy rides into the sunrise

Janus is thirty-firsting, so if I am to blog in the month of the 2-faced god, it must be now.

I did indeed venture to the northlands, & in doing so escaped a grand snowfall--12 inches--that shut off power in the house where I live for 4 days. By the time the electrical flow was restored, the temperature inside the house was 34 degrees. So, it was snowier down in the westnorth of the southeast than it was in the states that border Canada when I was there. Go figure.

I am deep in the throes (& sometimes throws) of re-organization. It is not a new year's resolution so much as a seepage (& sometimes eruption) of the new state of cosmic ordering within me into the reflecting surface world we call reality. So much fun!

We just had another snowfall. It was forecast to be 10 to 15 inches but stopped short of that. Still, it is beautiful & crisp & (for some folk) crazy-making. I happen to love it. What else do I love? Pierre Teilhard du Chardin & Carl Jung, slow dancing with Einstein. Maple truffles with smoked sea salt. Envisioning Narcissus falling in love with his own true self, rather than just his pretty face. My new leopard print storage boxes with black diamonds on their magnetic closure lids. An ongoing Star Trek movie marathon--only one left to go! A powerful, personal worldview.

I say goodbye-hello (perhaps aloha would be a better word) to my uncle Dave, who turned into a different version of himself the day before Christmas & to my second cousin Marvin, who did the same the day after Christmas, & my dad's best friend Phil who is no doubt playing pinochle with my friend Cathy's mother, since they both exited/entered the same day in January's first week. I already had a dream visit from Uncle Dave & look forward to more. We scattered his ashes on his dog's grave--13 fenceposts from the corner of the cemetery & 13 paces out into the pasture.

Blog alternative:
182. Celebrate a friend or relative who no longer inhabits a point in the space-time continuum--or at least not a point that you can reach with your physical senses.