Friday, December 28, 2012

Coloring book archives

A long time ago there were two little boys who had a cushy job advertising seed corn for their grandfather...

I will admit it: the main purpose of this post is to exceed last year's total. Grin.

My mom is getting a haircut & I am doing the wi-fi thing & then we shall visit my great-uncle Jim & my great-aunt Ellen & then I shall get back to my latest "project." I usually try to do a project or two for my folks--it assuages my guilt for making them sit around & play pitch (I think we've played 55 games so far) when they no doubt have plenty of other things to do. (I predict that they'll die working or playing cards.) I already cleaned out the closet that had the toys in it, setting up the little kid table & putting the toys (neatly categorized) underneath it, leaving the table surface as the perfect suitcase holder. I promptly put my suitcase on it.

Now I'm cleaning drawers that hold coloring books (none of which can be thrown away because they are an awesome historical reference with the colorers' names & ages & dates on the pages) & crayons & markers & things to glue on paper (like lentils & macaroni) & markers that have half a use left & a few that are brimming with color. I'm trying to get all that stuff into one big drawer & 2 little drawers so there will be one big drawer & one little drawer empty for guests (like me) so there doesn't have to be so much stuff just scattered around the bedroom. I also threw out an old clock/lamp that my parents had previously given my paternal grandmother, who died the year before I got pregnant with my 27-yr-old twins. (Which was sad, because she had twins & it would have been fun to share that with her.) The lamp part still worked, but the digital clock had begun to keep some other planet's time. I didn't know a digital clock could do that. We probably threw away a historical oddity that was worth serious bucks. I stuck a floor lamp that wasn't being used beside the bed & put a little nightlight bulb in one of the fixtures so now there's good reading & good getting-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-to-pee illumination. I'm big on proper illumination.

Better finish this off, because my mom should be coiffed by now.

Blog alternative:
247. Clean out a drawer that has some stuff you don't really need anymore & leave it empty. (Or neatly organize some things that you do need.)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dear Me, Can't wait to spend some quality time...

kinda looks like baby's riding piggyback

The guy at Carter's Camp just turned the music on. "We don't need no education..."


Christmas was a thing of beauty & laughter & food. What a fantabulous family I have. I do have to say that the highlight was a visit with my son Zach who drove from Minnesota & spent 1 full day in Miles City with the Winter side of the family & 1 day in Nye with the Hjelvik side of the family & then turned around & drove right back to Minnesota. He & I managed a bit of mom & son time when he first arrived & then I shared him with everyone.

I hope your holidays have been splendid to date & that this New Year's Eve ushers in the best year of your life to date. But if it turns out to just have jewel moments sprinkled in randomly, I count that a great success as well.

Blog alternative:
246. Write yourself a letter, wishing you a great year & pointing out some of the great moments of the year that's coming to an end. Congratulate yourself for making it to this point. Make a date for some fun activity--& don't bail on yourself. Show up, with bells on.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

2 nights in Tunica

in honor of the solstice & the end of the world
(both yesterday)
here's a picture of some god blowing the fires of the world to a frenzy
(either that or Zach in his backyard when we were out for his wedding in June)

Greetings from Carter's Camp, the local watering hole at Nye, Montana, which has high speed wi fi. Cool that. I've had spotty internet coverage on my travels--& travels I've had. I left Asheville the afternoon of December 11th & stayed with my friend Beth Gwinn in Nashville. Check her out at

The next day I drove to the Horseshoe Casino at Tunica, Mississippi (pretty near Memphis) with a stop at the West Tennessee Regional Art Center in Humboldt, Tennessee. Really lovely exhibit of Mildred Jarrett's work, which has since come down, but you can see her work at 

At Tunica, I played in a couple poker tournaments. The first night I got great cards & played pretty well & I'm not sure where I placed because I forgot to check when I got knocked out. The second night I got pretty good cards & played super & made it to 12th place out of 38. Not in the money or anything, but I wouldn't have played much differently. A bunch of strategic all-in bets that worked for me--until my last one when my trip kings got beat by a straight. Had to play it that way... 

I am definitely going to plan a poker junket across the U.S. sometime. Cheap rooms. Free drinks. Reasonable food. Fun entertainment for not much investment. (Each tournament cost me $60, for hours of entertainment. Plus I already improved from night 1 to night 2, so imagine how good I'd be when I got across the country.)

One night at a mom & pop motel in Perryville, Missouri & one night at my friend Suzy's place, the Home Motel in Salem, South Dakota. We hit it off as great friends on my way out to Montana after Zach's wedding & I now have a regular room there. She is just fabulous.

& now all things Montana. Lots of pitch with my folks. A bit of casino with Mom. A nice turn-around-&-come-back road trip with my dad to do things like drive a 4 wheeler onto long teeth of a forklift, lift it to the level of the tailgate of a pickup, back it in, climb out & move the forklift away. My dad's 78, but you'd swear he was 40.

I'm having a Guinness here at Carter's. (Just had lunch, so I can afford one beer.) I had to get my emailing done, because a mother/daughter book club in Massachusetts is featuring Growing Wings for their January selection, so I came up with a list of discussion questions for them.

Blog alternative:
245. Surprise someone with a holiday card, especially if you don't usually do them. I used to do a very clever one, but haven't yet this, umm, millennium... So someone is about to be very surprised.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Modigliani haunts Machu Picchu, wearing a tiara

at Machu Picchu, where I didn't
work on Suzuki England

So I'm kinda sorta doing this Next Big Thing blog tour, which is a bit like a chain letter (I hate chain letters) in that you're supposed to get 5 more writers to do it & they're each supposed to get 5 more writers & pretty soon there will be world domination of all blogs as people who didn't even know they were going to be working on a book quick began to write one so they could get in on it. Grin.

Except I don't have 5 writers, because I checked with about 7 of them & a bunch of them didn't get back to me & of the ones who did only one wanted to do it & since it wasn't fun for me to try to get people to take over the world 5 blogs at a time I quit trying to get other people to do it. So, Cathy Tenzo & I will do it ourselves & whoever else Cathy gets to play, if anyone. It was just fun for me to fill out the questions for my books. If anyone wants to play & would like to be announced on my blog, let me know. I won't insist you have other conspirators.

So, here goes:

1) What is the working title of your next book?

The Secret Life of Suzuki England

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was driving toward between Pueblo and Denver on a road trip (I love a great road trip) and there was a lot of construction. Ahead of me was a little 4x4 with Suzuki written on the spare tire cover driving the way I like—safe following distance, not speeding in the construction zones and speeding just enough when we could—so I was hanging with it. Then we all ground to a dead stop. We were in the left lane, and there was one of those trucks that says “England” in fancy font on the shiny back door next to my pet 4x4. “Suzuki England,” I mused. (We were stopped for quite a while, so I had plenty of time to muse.) “That sounds like a good name for a character.”

Many years earlier, I had an idea for a character who writes poems on the soles of her shoes. I’d been waiting for the right character to show up and I decided Suzuki England was definitely it. That was all I knew when I started. I wrote a few hundred words, killing Suzuki’s mother in the process, and then started brainstorming some possible things about her, settling on “three quarters elf.”

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Fantasy set in the here-and-now world—and a world beyond

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Chloe Grace Moretz (from Hugo) would be Suzuki England. Her mother: Anne Hathaway. Her father:  maybe Hugh Jackman. First and Second: Shia LeBeouf. (Perhaps he’s a tiny bit short for the role, but I really like him.) The scary aunts: Cate Blanchette. Nicole Kidman. Julia Roberts. (How often does she get to play a less-than-good character?)

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

After her mother is killed by a swarm of yellowjackets, Suzuki England heads into the world with the ability to render herself invisible and a mysterious map that leads her to the knowledge that she is three-quarters elf—and may not survive the encounter with her newly-discovered elven family.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Hopefully the latter. I have a revision request from an editor I’ve worked with before and definitely need to get on with it.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Six months. I invented the 2-sentence-a-day rule at about the time I was beginning to write Suzuki (if I am recalling correctly…) and only missed two days in that whole period, both when I was in Peru, seeing Machu Picchu and such. (I give myself a pass for that.)

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle has the same sort of traveling-between-worlds energy. War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, perhaps a bit.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Suzuki England herself inspired me, as she appeared and evolved on the page. Her journeys inspired me. Wondering what would happen next inspired me.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

Suzuki England is one of my favorite sorts of characters, the kind who accomplishes more than she otherwise would because she doesn’t know she’s not supposed to be able to do that sort of thing. Poetry as a plot element is something different.

Ta da!

To see how Cathy Tenzo answers these questions, go to

on Wednesday, the 5th of December, 2012.

To completely change the subject, did anyone else notice the Modigliani painting in the new Bond movie, Skyfall? It got quite a lot of screen time.

Blog alternative: (which, in case anyone is wondering, is a suggestion for people to do other than reading or writing blogs & other web stuff...)
244. Wear a crown around the house--or even around town. You might have to make your own, if you don't have a tiara handy. A paper grocery bag has pretty good crown consistency. Burger King, of course, has crowns aplenty. Also, you can get plain brown crowns at craft stores. I got one at JoAnn fabrics that I'm going to collage.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Adorable author picks a winner (no pomegranates harmed in the making of this post)

I thanksgivitated in a most beneficial way, with walking & talking & a modicum of eating. Way more than walked the calories away. Yay, metabolism. Bought some rotisserie chicken that turned out not to be done. No damage from eating a piece, but we did boil the heck out of it to increase enjoyment & health benefits.

Last night I won $18 playing poker. Fun was had. More fun today, at a vitamin-ish store: I chose my stuff & asked the clerk if it was likely that I had a discount home on my email, which I'd forgotten to check. He said he could take care of it at the register, his words, "I'm only doing this because I think you're adorable. You have really good energy." I told him he did, too. Plus he was about 20 years younger than me. Nice to get confirmation from the universe that you're not the only one who thinks you're awesome. Grin.

Tomorrow I'm doing a blog based on a writing project, so I shall go put away some more papers & escort this cute little stinkbug outside & play with art supplies.

This blog celebrates the wonderfully-diverse 20-somethings I know, a couple of whom are related to me: big screen TVing, little target plinking, over-ripe pomegranate knife-throwing, poker-playing, head-shaving, healthifying, great energy beings.

Also found out that Brad Parks, the one mystery writer I've sent fan mail to, has a book on Kirkus Review Best Fiction of 2012 List. Yay for my good taste. Read his novels in order. (I believe there are, sadly, only 3 so far...) (I know, I only have 1 so far. My bad.)

Blog alternative:
243. Write a fan letter, whether it's to your child or the author of a new literary find or a potter who made a great morning coffee cup. You can even write an appreciative letter to your dead uncle or perhaps to Modigliani.

p.s. yes, I know. Q-tips. I could pretend I was avoiding trademark infringement because "cotton swab" just doesn't have the same ring to it but actually--in 2 separate blog posts--I brain-farted.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cue tips, dental floss, vinegar: plumber's alchemical secrets

x marks the spot where the light floods in

A few weeks ago I had a couple of compulsory baths. Not that I don't like a bath, but it's nice to have a choice & the little lifty thing (technical term) that determines whether the water goes up to the shower head or down to the tub faucet was firmly stuck in down position.

Derrick tried to fool with it & peered up into the mechanism with the help of a flashlight & decided calcification was the issue. Ah, I thought, remembering my mom's techniques for cleaning her shower heads in the Montana mountains with a baggie of vinegar tied up all around it. One sandwich bag, one twist tie & about a cup of vinegar later, we were soaking.

The next day, I removed the solution & Derrick put a towel in the tub to lie on & I hovered nearby, ready to swiftly act. "Cue tip, stat." "Cue tip." (We went through several cue tips.) It was getting pretty good, but then he asked for that plumber's staple: dental floss. He cleaned off the last bits of calcification & voila! we have showers & baths at will.

We have been having a fabtastic time with Nick. He's been doing a bit more work here than he planned to need to do, but some bugs cropped up after a recent Skritter release & he was also behind in work time because he did a whole bunch of romantic preparation to ask Chloe to marry him. Yes--I went to the grocery store to get broth & bread & a mop & came home with a daughter-in-law to be as well. (Nick called me with the news while I was in the mop aisle.) Speedy little characters, they have already set a date for next June. We are all very excited.

Blog alternative:
242. Use vinegar to clean something. Bonus points if you also use dental floss...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Eating off the walls

Yesterday I vacuumed the ceiling. Then the walls. By the time I was done, the walls were clean enough to eat off, if you had food that would stick to them, which would have meant that they weren't clean any more...

The walls would definitely pass the white glove test--because sheet rock dust is white. Grin. Vacuuming only goes so far, as a shop vac is not exactly a hepa filter device.

We'd just done a little sheet rock sanding in the Cockpit, a room that used to be a dirty ole tool storage room & is now an awesome lil meditation space/art studio/guest quarters. The next guest to be thus quartered (so far the only guest to have the honors) is my son Nick. This will be his third installment in the Cockpit, which has progressed slowly & is now about done. We didn't get it painted yet, & we don't want to fume him out, so it shall not occur before this visit. Maybe later in the season. More likely in the spring. Who knows. I'll drape a sheet against the wall where Nick's head shall be so he doesn't end up as a cue tip.

Yay Nick! Fun shall be had.

I've had a song running through my mind for the last whiles. "Garden Party" by Ricky Nelson. (I have a particular affinity for Ricky Nelson, because my aunt, Ellen Louise, who is only 5 years older than I am, has always said I have Ricky Nelson lips. It is true!) Anyway, I show up at poker on Monday night & what comes up on satellite radio but that very song. So fun. I give you the chorus & invite you to listen to the song.

"But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself"

Chairs I bought at an auction a while back
(Not the most comfortable chairs in the universe--
UNTIL I added little lumbar support mesh thingies
from Goodwill. Now they rock. 
I'm guessing they originally came in a set of 8,
based on the shape.)

Blog alternative:
241. Look up the lyrics to an old song that runs through your mind. Maybe play it on Pandora. You can use my song if you'd like.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vision question market place material girl

Greetings from a forest friend

Yes, I have been successfully Octobering. The above portrait is one of the many denizens of the arboretum. Most visitors to the domain of the tree folk do not see all there is to be seen. Of course, I am sure that I did not see all, but I did see this fine being.

I've been madly prototyping & designing & dreaming up & up & uppity. So much fun. So useful. What a great combination.

One of the more interesting pieces of October occurred on the 10th. I woke in the wee hours to pee & instead of leaping right up (it wasn't urgent) I lay for a moment, hypnogogically basking. An image formed in my wide awake field of vision, something that looked like the bottom of a spinner, with numbers around the edges. Two of the numbers were highlighted, with the pointer pointing straight down at the number 10. Makes sense, I thought, since today is the 10th. The next number, the only other one that stood out visibly, was 22. Also made a certain amount of sense to me, since my birthday is April 22nd.

So, I go through the day, many fabulous things happening, of which I shall speak more later, & then I went to the f/32 photo group meeting. They have this raffle they call 50/50: buy 1 ticket for a buck or 5 for $3. I've bought 1 ticket before, but today I said I was feeling lucky & was going to buy 5. My 2nd ticket was called, so if I'd just bought a single I'd have been out of luck. They counted up the dollars & I got half the pot, which totaled--insert eerie twilight zone music here--$22. Cool, huh.

Another superb portion of the day was closing on the vacant lot next to the house. So much relaxation flooded in. So much potential is activated.

Lots to do, so I shall leave you to your own Octobering.

Blog alternative:
240. Look up into the trees. Find a face somewhere & say hello.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Conservation of Ampersands--Keptin, she's gonna blow!

Okay, so I don't know how to rotate yet...

but I have a camera! 

I've imported the pictures that were stuck on the old camera, & the new ones, like this little guy, who will soon be a wire thing that will then have cool things like fruit hammocks attached.

& my friend Ellen Klages is coming tomorrow!

& a bunch of us are going to play poker!

& it's October the 5th, which means my boys have twenty-seventhed as of yesterday!

& I'm wayyyy over-quota on ampersands & (oops) exclamation points. (see my reserve! oops.)

Anyway, just want to Octoberate

& celebrate.

Blog alternative:
239. Do a little itty bit of one of your goals. (I took a walk around Circle Street to check "walk" off my list. Hey, it was better than no walk at all, & I've been very busy doing all sorts of cool & important stuff today. Do you have any idea how much energy it takes to generate so many ampersands? I didn't think so.)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Buckminster Fuller vs. the Dragonfly

After the Buckminster Fuller conference (actual title: ReViewing 4:Looking Forward at Buckminster Fuller's Legacy) at UNCA, I arranged a rendezvous, walked the maze, drove home, made Hamburger Helper, watched some Texas Hold'em (Poker Superstars Invitational, disc 1) & now am writing this to you.

I am willing to bet I am the only one from Buckyville who consumed Ultimate Cheeseburger Macaroni following the seminars on tensegrity & synergy & such. But it worked for me...

I have my eye on a camera, a Lumix. I'm going to decide by the end of next week or so, because I have an extra $5 (yay!) coupon from Best Buy. (Wow, does this post feel like product placement central. Don't you wonder who is paying me? Could it be Best Buy? Hamburger Helper? But no, it is the ghost of Buckminster Fuller. He is paying me in jitterbug polyhedrons, in translational rotational transformation.)

Or perhaps I am sponsored by this dragonfly...

September has been an amazing month. Organization. Creation. Great weather. Investment success. Cosmic visions. Sweet walks. & now, Bucky's buddies. What will October hold? Enough & a feast.

Blog alternative:
238. Pick a sponsor, corporate or otherwise. You can even make it a reverse sponsorship, where you sponsor a business or a tree or send a positive psychic message to someone else's baby. (How do you sponsor a tree? Give it a glass of water or tie a ribbon around a branch or the ever-popular hug.)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Queen Faraday's new daughter, Princess Whatchamacaller

Adieu, sweet princess glasses

Yesterday was the Tangerine Ball, a benefit for the Arts Council, which provides funding for art in the schools. I wore a dress that has splashes of tangerine & fuschia, with a couple scarves & a peach sari liner that Susan Paul bought me in India. Then, the piece de resistance, my Cracker Barrel tiara glasses that proclaim "Queen for a Day." You may recall that these very glasses inspired my alter ego, Queen Faraday. I even read a biography of Michael Faraday, who instantly became my new hero.

Last night, at Aloft, a new hotel downtown that used to have a fabulous martini (what were you thinking, Aloft, to take the muddled cucumber & sour apple martini off your menu?) a young woman (possibly named Melanie? Melody?) asked to buy them off my face. She was willing to give me $20 but I told her $10 was sufficient.

How could I sell those pivotal glasses, you ask? I am Queen Faraday. I need no glasses to prove it.

We were at Aloft--even though we already knew they had abandoned the beloved martini--because the Tangerine Ball had no seating. Zip. (Unless you were wearing glitter & lingerie & doing burlesque poses.) Derrick helped build the set--a very fine set--so he had a free ticket. Mine was essentially free, because--along with $10 from the new princess--I found $40 in the little seafoam green purse I chose to carry my accoutrements in. Woo hoo!

Anyway, a fun time was had. Princess glasses were sent on their new quest.

Blog alternative:
238. Give away some meaningful possession. Know that you still possess the meaning.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon

Tonight is a blue moon, the second full moon in a month, a rare occasion. It is also my parents' 54th anniversary. They went out to Carter's Camp, Nye's only eating/drinking establishment. I wish them many more good years.

I'm taking (slight) advantage of my last opportunity to post in August. A lovely month it has been, full of creativity & growth.

So many things I've done & so many things I haven't. Grin. Isn't that the way of it? (Don't ask my son, Nick, that question. You will get an answer of things chosen & done, with a book written about the doing to boot.

Blog alternative:
237. What would you do, once in a blue moon? Come up with an idea or two. Maybe even do it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Emperor of your own life

It is August twenty-oneth. Oops.

I mean, "Hi everybody--hope your August has been going well. Hope you're doing a good job being the emperor of your life." (More of a Vespasian or a Trajan than a Caligula.)

I'm writing an essay for Real Simple magazine's fifth annual Life Lessons Essay Contest. Having a great deal of fun, although the theme is "If you could change one decision that you made in the past, what would it be?" I'm not a big regretter, but I have come up with a cool spin on the topic that gives me juice.

I'm heading for poker soon, so I won't make this a long post, but I did want to mention a lovely artist encounter with a woman named Brit J. Oie. We were speaking about the mountains in her art, something I appreciate, having grown up at Nye. She said they were inspired by the mountains in Norway, where she was born & raised. "Oh!" I said. "I'm five eighths Norwegian and there's a little town in Norway that has my family name." She looked it up on her iPad & found out that she grew up less than 2 hours away from Hjelvik, Norway. How cool is that?

I'm tired of not having pictures, even though my camera has broked & I haven't figured out how to get the photos that I have taken into my new computer, so here's an older one of this cool stand I bought at a place that was going out of business for about 6 months or so. The owner kept claiming that this was perhaps the last day. It's the same place I bought the trumpet...

Anyway, I was carrying the stand home & got tired of it, so I called Derrick up & found that he & his pickup were not far away. I parked the stand & hung the top sideways so I could look through it to the construction on the jail.

Blog alternative:
236. Think about a decision you made in your past that might not have been one you'd make today--or even would have made then, if you weren't drunk or hormonal or peer pressured or somesuch. Go to & see if you want to write it up & give me some competition. The deadline is September 13th.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mica harvest season

So, back to some old tricks of not blogging until the wee hours (wee days?) of the month. I have been doing stuff: walking, sudokuing, movie watching, pokering, reading, meditating, poeting, festivaling (Bele Chere was this weekend; I saw a tiny bit of it), cleaning & organizing, inventing, prototyping (in the wee scale), arting, etcetera-ing. (This program is weird--it thinks I'm not typing real words. grin.)

I know this doesn't count as a real blog post. (But perhaps we can average the word count with my last massive missive & call it a wash.)

My camera died--the day AFTER its service contract expired. No lie. I'll get a new, different camera in a month or 2. I liked many things about my Nikon Coolpix; however, the time (just short of forever) before you could take another picture was not one of them.

I may speak to you before July has taken off her lovely green costume, scattered with thunderstorms.

Blog alternative:
235. Make a list of what you've been doing. Celebrate. (Make sure you count things like naps & walks & appreciating--oh! I harvested a bunch of mica on my walk today. That should definitely make the list.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Jury Duty Shuffle

On Monday I had my first experience with jury duty.

Actually, it was more like my second experience, or first experience deferred. I'd received a summons directing me to show up in the midst of my planned road trip time, with the date to be potentially recused by the judge 2 days after I was due to leave.

I wrote up a plea, saying I wasn't trying to get out of this, since as a writer I craved new experiences, complete with a dated google map route showing where I would be (I was wrong) on my jury duty date & took a copy to that local, so-exclusive hotspot, "The Jury Lounge." (Jurors Only) Would I even be admitted, as I was not yet a juror?

Heart pounding, I entered the sanctum & presented my case to the woman at the desk. "No problem," she said, as I began to present my case. "We'll just reschedule you."

"You don't need this?" I asked, indicating my carefully-crafted letter with all my reasons why I needed to be where I was going to be when I was going to be there & my clever map.

"No," she said.

I was disappointed. "At least look at my map," I said.

She dutifully looked at my map, agreed it was very clever, & rescheduled me for the ninth of July.

Monday. I showed up, as directed, at 8:45 a.m. Who am I kidding -- I was there by 8:30.

I wore layers, brought knee socks in case it was cooler than bare ankles preferred, brought a magazine & a bottle of water & some roasted almonds. I brought along my library books & movies to return, in case I got excused early.

Eventually the jury lounge filled up, every seat. I watched some home makeover shows on HGTV & read a few magazines from the massive pile. The woman in charge -- "just Beverly" -- (which was kind of cool, now that I think of it, in terms her leading us into the service of justice) showed us a video & administered an oath. There were tons of people & not that many Bibles so I held my left hand on my heart (my true Bible) as I raised my right hand & swore to uphold justice.

Then there was more waiting, more HGTV. We were instructed that we couldn't take food, water, books or magazines into the courtrooms, so I piled all of that under my chair. There were 2 trials needing jurors, a criminal case & a civil case. When they called the names of the potential jurors for the criminal case, mine was not among them. (Non-alphabetical, so you didn't know if you were going to be called until the last name was announced.) More waiting. Then the civil case. Name after name & then "Laurel Winter." I gave my verbal affirmation (you'd be amazed how many people forgot to do that, even though she repeated the name until you acknowledged your assignment) & joined the scramble to line up at the door.

She led us to a big elevator -- even so, there were 2 batches of us -- & we went to the 7th floor, where we were seated in the back of a large courtroom with lovely furnishings & bad acoustics & were introduced to the members of the court. The judge -- who looked a lot like a cardiologist friend of mine back in Minnesota -- told us some stuff, including that we were NOT to talk to the lawyers or plaintiff or defendant or indeed anyone but the bailiff & then they called off 12 names, mine not included. The judge told all of us still sitting in the chilly seats at the back (I put my knee socks on, & my long-sleeved shirt) to pay attention to what was said, because we could be called up in the event that some of those jurors were cut. The plaintiff's lawyer then instructed those in the box & questioned them. It was fun to hear how even in the questions & instructions he had begun to try the case. 5 jurors got sent away & 5 new names called. Not mine. A couple more of those were weeded out & then the defense attorney got to have his turn. He spoke up much more clearly than plaintiff's lawyer had, which I'm sure made a good impression. He spoke to every juror, at some length, but didn't get rid of any.

Then it was lunch time. We were told to be back by 5 minutes to 2. I went back to the jury lounge for my books & movies. The jurors who hadn't been called were lined up at the desk getting their "excuses from the court" slips for missing a morning's work. "Do you have to go back?" one of them asked me.

"I get to go back," I said.

Took the stuff back to library & went to the Jackson Underground Cafe, with every step down (for they are indeed underground) thinking "please let it be gazpacho" because I so love it (theirs is cilantro-free, because the proprietress feels the same way I do about cilantro) & it was!

Back well before 2 but then was told we were not going to be in the same courtroom, but rather on the 9th floor. Dilemma, because our nice big elevators only went up to 8. Milled around a little. Saw the lawyers & their charges & remember NOT to ask them where we were supposed to go. Went back down to the jury lounge. Eventually all of us got there, well after 2. Turns out the judge had told the bailiff that the jurors should go to the jury room on the 9th floor since the 7th floor jury room was being used by the grand jury, but he didn't mean for the entire trial to be moved, so he had to go back down to the 7th floor & collect his stuff. Then the lawyers approached the bench & the judge instructed all of us that if the lawyers appeared abrupt in not responding to "hey, do you know where we're supposed to go?" questions that they were just doing what they were supposed to do, which was not to talk to jurors.

One alternate's name was called. Guess who it wasn't. That's right. Me. So I got to go back to the jury lounge & get my magazine & my water & my almonds & find out that my check for $12 will be mailed to me. A good day's work. I considered having just Beverly write me a slip excusing me from working for myself that morning, but I knew I'd get at least a poem (& a really long blog post) out of it, so claiming to have not been working would have been a lie. Wouldn't want to perjure myself.

So, that's my dance. The jury duty shuffle.

Blog alternative:
235. Imagine being a juror, perhaps on a famous trial. (O.J. anyone? Or a glass of Watergate?) I suggest you bring your knee socks. But no hat. Hats are not allowed. Neither, I imagine, are hoodies.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

She's got legs--& knows when to walk away...

Hi from Babb's Coffee House in Jamestown, North Dakota.

Hi from my (first ever!) Mac.

I've happily owned a PC since November of 1981. That's a very long time. My little Thinkpad, which I've had for 6 years or so, maybe more, was feeling a little slow & the 80 gig hard drive was a little crunched by the number of photos. Still, it worked--

--then I dropped it out of my backpack onto Zach's driveway & crunched the corner of the housing. Pretty badly. So, new computer on my horizon & I decided, after thinking about it & talking to various people, to buy a MacBook Pro at the BestBuy in Billings, Montana.

("Montana?" you say. "I thought you were just going to hang in Minnesota?" Well, more about that later. Meanwhile, back to the computer.)

Of all the people I talked to, my favorite conversation was with my son Nick, who said, "You should get a Mac because you don't know how to use it." Or words to that effect. Essentially--hurray for the learning curve. Hurray for brain plasticity. Hurray for the adventure, the uncharted territory, the new you in all its fumbling discovering glory.

So, now, here I am, with a bigger screen than I've ever had in all my laptop life. 15.4 inches, or something like that. All these cute little symbols across the bottom. There is a little bit of learning curviness going on, as I can't quite figure out how to get my photo booth shot of me in front of the Babb's replica Eiffel Tower into this post, but there you go. Adventure for the next post.

I was going to just hang in Minnesota, visiting friends & working on my novel (I have a rewrite request!) but I found myself, after the science fiction convention & the wedding & all the visiting, mostly sitting in the Winter house after Zach & Tiffany left for their honeymoon, playing hearts on Zach's computer & checking to see if there was yet another episode of Law & Order on the television.

I even decided not to go to my science fiction poetry meeting, with dear friends. Talked to my friend Debbie over a burger at Newt's (the new Newt's, up near the the Winter house) about my case of the inertias & said, "Maybe I should go to Montana." We both lit up with a zing. Yes. Montana. That was it.

I threw stuff at the car, except for my computer, which I first threw at the driveway & left for Montana, round about 5 pm. Now I've had experiences of summer trips across the Dakotas, trying to get a motel room after dark. Not a great experience. So, when I saw the sign for the Home Motel in Salem, South Dakota, I decided to go for it. Am I glad I did!! (That was accidentally 2 exclamation points, but it was worth it, so I shall not delete.) Hit it off with the proprietress instantly: Susie Buck, Inner Light Engineering. Omigoddess. I gave her son Dakota a copy of Growing Wings & Susie & I danced around in the parking lot & she came over to my room at 7 am with coffee & we talked & did readings for each other for an hour & a half.

On the way back from Montana, I stopped for gas & a windshield wash in New Salem, North Dakota, & then stayed at the Tops Motel in Sterling. Not quite as cool as the Home Motel, but still more fun than just staying at a chain. Plus I got the craziest compliment from an extremely drunk 40 year old biker at the bar next to the motel when I popped over for a beer: "You have great legs for an old lady." (He'd already asked my age & expressed disbelief.) I thanked him for the compliment, drank down my beer & politely declined when he offered to buy me another.

Much fun was had in Montana, but this post is already WAAAAY long, so I shall defer the details, except to say that I bought my dad the cutest picture book for father's day: Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. If you want to give yourself a treat, at least go peruse this in a bookstore.

Blog alternative:
234. Stop & think about something you're planning to do. Does it give you a zing of hell yes? If not, search for some other alternatives & test them out in your heart. You might find yourself heading for Montana, or the library. You might write a card to an old friend.

Monday, May 21, 2012

In the nice time

Oh my my May, oh my May.

I have not been taking pictures this month, yet, so I shall be a word girl rather than an image girl. & a few words girl, rather than a many words girl.

I admit it -- I just wanted to blog. May is almost may not & I shall hit the road sooner rather than later. Wiscon. Zach's wedding. The McKnight Artist's Fellowship party. Much fun.

Maybe I shall write again tomorrow.

In the meantime. (Or the nicetime, rather...)

Blog alternative:
233. Think about a great road trip. Where might you go? Check out an atlas.

Monday, April 30, 2012

A-A-A-pril, go she will

April, go she will,
May, she won't stay.
That eternal now keeps on nowing,
keeps on gnawing a path into the new.
I've been reading some Lao Tsu,
which is spelled a bunch of different ways,
but you've all heard his words at one now
or another:
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step."
"To know another is knowledge;
To know yourself is wisdom."
(That sort of thing.)
Anyway, since April is one of those petite months,
we must bid her adieu & say hey to May.

Blog alternative:
232. Read a philosopher, even if it's just a bumper sticker or a fridge magnet, & think about how to apply it to your own living.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Easter bunny for breakfast. Yummy!

I'm going to do a little time travel & then fastforward into the more recent past.

Imagine that it's easter sunday morning. I have just had a late breakfast. I hesitate to tell you about it, especially you on the east coast. Maybe it was late enough. Maybe the deed was already done. Maybe you got your easter basket full of goodies & were able to find some hidden eggs. I hope so.

I had rabbit stew for breakfast--& very fine it was. Now, if you ask me, "which came first, the rabbit or the egg?" I must answer that it was the egg, for I wrote "egg horror poem" when my boys were nine & a half. Yes, two eggs were harmed in the making of that poem. (It was too long; I had to write "continued on next egg.")

Is there no end to my perfidy?

Now we shall fastforward to earth day, 22 april, which, many of you already know, is my birthday. Yesterday I became laurel version five point three. I am now a full deck with one wild card. (Either a wild card or one of those silly cards that tells you how to order your own personalized poker chips, or the ranking of poker hands...)

We drove down to IKEA in Charlotte for my birthday. I meandered through & saw pretty much everything. (Hah! I defy you to see everything in IKEA in a single visit. By the time I got to the lighting section, which always interests me, I was fried. Err, shocked?) Made it out with less than $20 less in my wallet, which is pretty amazing.

Anyway, a good birthday was had by me & mama earth. She's a bit older than I am, but so frisky & dynamic you'd never know it.

Blog alternative:
231. Play a game of solitaire. With actual cards. Count 'em first, to make sure you won't be "playing solitaire 'til dawn, with a deck of fifty one."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Watching paint dry

Oh, my my my

what a fabulous day.

(We needed a little white space there for emphasis.)

I got up this morning after a great night's sleep & had some coffee & read some Reinventing Fire & jotted & doodled some innovations. Then I took a shower & walked to the post office & looped back to the Castell Gallery to hear Roger Ricco, one of the 2 artists on display this month, speak about photography & painting (he does both) & art in general & the value of constraint. Very inspiring. I came home & started building a box for a photography project, a little set that shall hold my magnifying glass "people." Then I gessoed a canvas & watched paint dry for a while -- I recommend it -- & glued down a couple of my found art supplies on said canvas. (Really it's a canvas board, but who's quibbling?) Plus, while doing that, I soaked my feet in green tea water & had a nice beverage, also containing -- but not limited to -- green tea.

I'm about to get back to doing all of the above, so I bid you adieu. There's a song that's been running through my head today: it's the most wonderful time of the year... So true. You know why? The most wonderful time of the year -- indeed, the only real time -- is now.

In case you want to look up the mentioned folk: (doesn't that spelling just give the nicest pronunciation?)

Blog alternative:
230. Watch paint dry. Or water boil. In other words, rather than multitasking during a task that requires no further input from you (boil, boil, water! you can do it!) simply be there. Stand or sit & watch the process. Listen, if there's a sound. (I defy you to find the sound of paint drying, but water boiling will give you a nice song.) Be there, in your own body, with the idea that the most important thing to do is just to be there in your own body.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Poet reinvents fire -- will no longer burn books

"Today, class, we learn how to climb DOWN the ladder."

Happy April. Not the cruelest month at all!

We have been having a splendid one, with a great downpouring thunderstorm today & a sweet summery evening last night & some sunny walking weather & some cloudy walking weather & supposed to be cool & stormy for a couple days & then back up to warm. All in all, a perfect spring.

I've been doing a fair amount of healing energy work recently, both scheduled sessions & the occasional poker-buddy-with-a-headache who is skeptical & then pleasantly surprised when the headache is gone sans medication. Lots of fun.

The room is in uber-fabulous shape (& of course can get better). Derrick was so impressed by my WonderFile (as seen on TV) that I picked up one for him as well.

We've also seen a couple stunning -- in ENTIRELY different ways -- movies. The first one was Away We Go, co-written by the brilliant Dave Eggers & his wife, the apparently also brilliant Vendela Vida. I loved the quirky movie & also the special features, including one on green movie making.

The second was Attack the Block, a low budget & completely charming alien invasion in South London, where the young gang members turn out to be the guys you want on your side. We watched with the subtitles on, because the combination of strange slang & the various English accents would have made it unintelligible. Pest was my favorite, but they were all good.

What else? Oh, saw a Scottish tinker wagon made by a guy who's Scottish & Cherokee. Checked out a book called Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era by Amory B. Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute (a think-and-do tank). Way awesome, positive, poetic, detailed, practical view of the energy opportunities ahead of us. I've barely started reading & I'm in love.

Oh, yeah, the trumpet shadow photographs. Err, umm, well -- I was so underwhelmed that I've decided not to inflict them on you. One of these sunny days (which would not be today) I will pluck the trumpet from its perch on top of the cello & take some good photos for you.

Blog alternative:
229. Reinvent fire. (just kidding.) (although it could save you billions of dollars.)
229. Have a tea party with an imaginary guest. (This is not a political suggestion, but rather a pretending exercise.) You can use real tea if you'd like, but for sure use real cups. Remember to stick your pinky out. Perhaps wear a hat, or a feather boa, or a bow tie.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Incognito Genie plays catch & release with the stink bugs

a little marker drawing
I did around a blob of paint...

Got the camera back. It's charging now, so I can check it out & show you some pictures, but I think I'll be going to bed before it's done charging & I wanted to blog again, so here I am, trumpet shadow less again. (You are going to be so disappointed after all this build up. Grin.)

In my continuing organization evolution, I have purchased a new product: The WonderFile portable workstation! As Seen On TV. Turns Any Space into an Organized Workspace! (I got the red one. Very cool looking. I shall report on its efficacy. I've actually made great progress with a much more low tech system, which involved organizing things into stacks & then -- instead of just stacking the stacks -- placing each stack into a catalog or magazine so it wouldn't re-mingle with its buddies. Segregation, in a word. & then some new stuff turned up that wasn't in any of the stacks & I just put it away in its proper places. Wow -- what a concept. I should do that more often. Grin.

It is an extremely beautiful week here. I've been walking a lot. Oops, gotta go, a crazed stink bug is flying around the room, bouncing off the mobile. If it stops somewhere I can reach it, I will catch it & give it a little ride in the palm of my hand out to the deck.

Blog alternative:
228. Pick up 3 somethings that are not in appropriate places. Put them where you think they should really go, whether that's the trash or a drawer or a recycling bin. (I even pounded a nail into the bathroom wall & hung a picture that I bought in Black Mountain the day I took the needle felting class.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Zombie football team takes up needle felting

In case you tuned in specifically to catch a glimpse of my trumpet -- or its shadow -- I say to you "Flee with all haste." My camera is currently in the hands of the geek squad. Or, rather, enroute from wherever the geek squaddies were working on it to the local Best Buy store. Perhaps it is my camera, if it was fixable. Perhaps it is a new one, if it was not. I shall find out soon. Anyway, if you haven't fled yet, Hi!

An oldish picture of my newish closet,
still in the process of being organized

I've been art-ing & finding marvelous free art supplies just lying on the ground. cedar boards, cut into thin strips, near a sawhorse at the side of a local pizza joint called The Mellow Mushroom. I asked if I could have them & the answer was yes. The very same day I was inspired to go into a yarn shop & saw 3 little scraps of yarn on a counter & when I asked if I could have them the guy gave me a purple plastic bag full of little yarn scraps.

This is my second fortuitous visit to a yarn shop. Derrick is taking a clay class in Black Mountain & I rode along with him & meandered the town a few weeks ago. Went into a yarn store & they had a class in needle felting coming up not 2 hours later. I checked in with Derrick & arranged for later transportation (since we'd come together in my car) & signed up for the class. Oh, joy. Needle felting sounds like squirrels nibbling on wood, or perhaps an attack of wild termites, as the uber-sharp barbed needles go through the combed wool & into the foam block & back up again & it's way fun. I have quite a knack for needle felting, it turns out. Later (with the old fixed camera or the new replaced camera) I shall show you.

I just took a Tumbleweed Tiny House work shop in Asheville. Very fun. I learned some things, one of which is that I already know quite a bit, which was fun to confirm. Met some great people. Got rid of someones's headache & helped someone else with some persistent shoulder pain -- she has less pain & more range of motion than she's had in years. Yay, energy!

I've also watched some fun dvds lately. We Are Marshall, about a college football team that crashed & died & the coach who helped rebuild it. (No, not a zombie movie.) If you watch it, check out the great coaches special feature. I think I watched it 3 times!

Blog alternative:
227. Imagine living in a house that's only 120 square feet. (Or 350, if 120 is too small a leap.) What would you for sure have to find space for & what could you begin to let go of?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Eye candy can do what you do do well, boyz & girlz

I bought a trumpet today. It's been eye candy-ing me every time I walked past the antique store that windowed it. The antique store that's going out of business here & being reborn in another form in Charleston. The antique store that drew me in today on my way to & from doing some other work & the asking price -- cash only -- was $1 less than I had in my wallet. (The reason I had that particular cash in my wallet anyway was because I'd already gone to the bank to get cash to buy a display shelf for $20. Now that was a great deal, too.) So, now, I have $1 & a trumpet. (Okay, I have far more than $1, but now I have a trumpet, too.)

So funny, because the trumpet was the one thing Derrick wanted from that store, although he had only walked past it when it was closed. (I'll let him use my trumpet. He actually kinda sorta from grade school days knows how to play.)

I was going to show you my trumpet -- or at least its shadow, for I took pictures of me carrying it home -- but I don't see, in this very second, the cord that hooks my camera up to my computer, so the trumpet picture will have to wait. To stay with the musical theme, though, I have a picture of an old piano that lives in an art gallery that is attached to a wine bar.

I've been having fun with still. Here are my Frequently used words from 27 February 2012 (see, I do do dates that way).

already also art back car cool could derrick door ex go going got he just little might mirror my not now paper piece show somewhere still stuff trumpet up

Blog alternative:

226. Think about some eye candy you've seen in a window. Imagine a place for it in your home or office. Or, imagine it displayed in a restaurant or coffee shop that you frequent.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Warm-alicious, do the dishes

dandelion & little blue flower

February has been warm-alicious. Things are blooming & popping up. The birds are happy, if confused. Today it is a bit more seasonal, with wind & a high of 46, but that's still warmish rather than conformish.

I shall art today, of the visual sort. Walk, at least a bit. Perhaps play a bit of poker at Buffalo Wild Wings. Straighten up things. Do laundry. Maybe even some further closet cleansing. (The urge to purge.) Assemblage. Collage. Photographage.

So many things. Time to get to 'em. &--throwing in the kitchen sink--I've already smoothified some fruits & vegetables & imbibed the resulting elixir & washed up the dishes.

Blog alternative:
225. (Which is fun, because it's 2/25, if you happen to do dates that way. I don't. I like to go from most changing-y thing (day) to medium changing-y thing (month) to least changing-y thing (year) as in 25 February 2012. The other great thing about doing it that way is that it gets rid of commas in dates.) (But, I digress...) Ahem, 225. Search for signs of spring, even if it's just the idea for spring cleaning in your own space.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hub Cap Champagne

in the kitchen, a bag of light

This is where I explain that I've gotten back into habit & somehow that feels "write-y" enough that I blog less. Perhaps I will find the balance soon. Also, as you may see if I don't catch them all, I have the habit of not using capital letters (except for I) as I merrily type away on my daily 3 page equivalent. Ah well.

The spelling bee this month was an informal affair that involved dollars not at all, as the only participants (I shall not even call us competitors, as there was no eliminating) were myself & my ex-doctor-pilot friend Joe (from Buffalo Wild Wings, where he watches sports & has a drink or 2 while I play poker & have a beer) who is a very good speller & Mary, who has fun with it while she bartends at Olive or Twist. We just sat around & spelled. Joe is definitely going to give me a run for my money if we end up in actual competition mode.

The other new news sort of thing is that we had our first ballroom dance class on Monday night in Black Mountain. Very stimulating. Plus you get incredibly tired just moving your feet in the same step pattern over & over. Although it was billed as a four-session beginning waltz & swing class, there were quite a few people there who had taken it one or more times & the instructor moved pretty quickly from one thing to another. We looked at each other & moved back into practicing the basic box. That was enough. Get at home inside the basic box & THEN you can move out into the world of turns & such. It was fun & also included an exploration (solo & tandem) of various Black Mountain shops.

I believe I shall pop out for another bag of light soon. Return a movie to the post office (The First Olympics: Athens, 1896 -- part 2 to Blockbuster Online) & one to the library (Coco Before Chanel). Life, she be so good.

Blog alternative:
224. Pick up some free art supplies from the ground. Yesterday I found pieces of a broken cup, several mardi gras feathery boa bits with grass & mulch & dirt added, & who knows what all else. Use them in a collage or even just put them in a wine glass in a sunny window. (Unless one of your art supplies was a hub cap, as I found a couple of days ago. I do not recommend putting a hub cap in a wine glass.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Kudzu Wrangle rides off into the sunrise

the "before" picture of my closet
after the closet shelf had fallen down, with all inhabitants

The end of February's first week. Feb is excited (we're close friends, so I get to call her Feb) because she gets an extra day this year. She's a little sensitive about her duration -- it's called "short month's syndrome" -- so she tries to pack things in. Snow. Warm spells. Valentine's Day. When none of the other months were interested, she even bid on (successfully!) Groundhog's Day.

We have groundhogs here. We call them beavers, because that's what the little boy who used to live here called them (his last name is Beavers). The little ones are so cute. They are eating machines, which is good, since there's a ton of kudzu around. Kudzu is a very underutilized creature. I'm thinking of adding Itinerant Kudzu Wrangler to my job description & wandering around into people's yards, offering to train their kudzu into a gazebo.

Time for coffee & a shower & trying on a bunch of clothes. I bought a Groupon for Picture People in the mall & am going to be photographed.

Blog alternative:
224. Make up a strange job from bits & bites of your life, or the life around you. Imagine the resume.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bloggy the Gremlin strikes again

Howard rears his ugly head
(looks almost classy in sunglasses
& a hat from the Solar Decathlon winner
(Appalachian State!
We saw it in person before it got disassembled
& shipped off to DC for the competition))
Floppy looking cute

A quick little post just to remind myself how easy this is. (Plus it's the last chance to blog in January...)

So, the closet. Much good work done today on it. Not that much more to do. & it's been fun. Even better.

The other thing I've dealt with recently is my car, which started making LOUD mufflery noises when I was pulling out of my parking space at Home Depot during one of my closet parts forays. I took it to the dealership (Harry's on the Hill--I'm telling you the name because they rocked!) & the guy said I could get a new muffler system (it wouldn't pass the NC inspection, which is due for me) for $1100+ or--& he actually recommended this--I could take it to a little muffler shop & have a piece of pipe cut out & a new one welded in. So I took it to this great little shop in Candler I went to for catalytic converter work last year (Budget Muffler, in case you need a shop) & they did in less than half an hour & charged me--get ready--$25.

Okay, so that's bloggy enough for today. The weather is just too too amazing for the end of January in the mountains. High of 60 degrees today, with 63 (my favorite temperature) expected tomorrow. I'm going to go walk in it again now. I do have more to say, so expect another post soon. I'm standing at my computer, which is on a lap desk perched on top of the printer. Me & Hemingway...

Blog alternative:
223. Think of some business that gave a great deal or great service or good advice & recommend them to someone.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fortuitous Disaster, the creamy underbelly

Little-horned Bighorn Sheep
(not) swimming in tailings pond
Nye, Montana, at the mine

It is now almost the last of the first of the current. I tell tales of fortuitous disaster: it begins during the last of the previous.

During December, prior to Montana-ing, I got my bedroom/office/art studio spiffed & spick & spanned. The art supplies were organized on the closet shelf & on the book shelves in the little secret room created by placing my pencil post bed at a diagonal & draping a sheet (& some decorative elements) over the posts at the head of the bed. Oh, how lovely & ready for art action!

Then, at the end of week the first, year current, I returned home & began to leisurely use said supplies. During one of my recreation breaks, I was watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine downstairs, catching up with the episodes watched during my absence.

I heard a crash.

You probably know what I'm going to say. Ah, yes. I went upstairs to find I had exceeded the load-bearing capacity of my closet shelf & all my art supplies & all my clothes were galumphed together on the floor of the closet.

I went back downstairs to finish my episode. (Alas, now all the episodes are watched...)

After some research at Lowe's & Home Depot, we chose ClosetMaid, the new superhero, to take on the duty of holding all. I tried to use their online design tool, but it doesn't work with Chrome, only Explorer, so I did it the old fashioned way, with lengths of pink string & bits of masking tape to represent shelves. I measured some clothes to determine hang-length. I decided how many clothes I was going to permit.

I call it a digital closet, an upgrade from analog, for I decided to hang clothes in the little slots at the edge of the shelves, rather than let them slide together on a closet rod. The clothes are particles, not waves. In, or out. No maybes. No scrunching. I still have some evaluation to do & some clothes to eliminate, but it's a lot of fun--& the shelves for supplies! Calloo, callay. I am indeed chortling in my joy.

My firm nothing-on-the-drafting-table-but-active-art-&-a-beverage (okay, the cell phone gets to occasionally park there, but nothing else!) has worked so well I am extending it to my desk system. One shelf in the closet will be my staging area for papers. Another new rule is this: chairs are not tables. A chair should be a useful place to sit things on, not set things on. We'll see how well that one goes...

I'm still sorting & organizing, but I have come far in this first of the current. As I progress, I shall share details--& even a picture of the closet. It has already spawned an art project idea. Fortuitous disaster indeed.

Such a long saga. More to talk about, but another time.

Blog alternative:
222. (what a lovely number) Count the pants in your closet. I am pretty sure you have more shirts than pants, so that would be a lot more work. In the counting, it is possible you will find you have an embarrassment of riches that cover your ass--err, mmm, assets. You may find that you have pants you do not wear, or cannot wear, or do not want to wear. Consider de-pantsing yourself.