Thursday, December 27, 2018

Here there be dragon...

My furniture is a little odd & eclectic. Instead of a regular couch, I have a green damask (with roses) chaise lounge from Home Decorator's Collection that I assembled myself. My dining room table is a turquoise bistro table from Target, which isn't big enough (not to mention that if you spill something it drips right down onto your cool octagon rug) so I got a big circle of tempered glass to put on top. The bad thing about that is that one tends to run into the edge that doesn't have a chair parked by it.


A dragon, of course. It actually belongs to my son Nick, but he only has 99 (max) things not to mention my grandchildren Max & Clark, who could potentially be hard on a ceramic dragon that graced Nick's room in middle school & high school. So, I am guarding the dragon that is guarding the edge of the table.

Win, win.

Blog alternative:
314. Adopt a dragon. Or bring some keepsake that used to belong to a child out into the light of day.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

No prob taking the Senior discount...

On Tuesdays, I play 55+ cribbage at the Senior Center. One of my writer friends said he wouldn't go to a "Senior Center" because he doesn't want to be labeled a senior. I think he's a year older than I am. My theory: if being called a senior lets me save money at restaurants or at Goodwill or gets me in to play cribbage with a bunch of kick-ass players (One of my favorites is Earl, who is 93, unless he had a birthday I don't know about, & the sharpest tack on the bulletin board. Also cute. I told him if he wasn't too young for me, I'd go after him, & he said, "Back atcha.") then call me a senior. I know people who are younger than I am who don't have a youthful bone in their bodies. & I know that I adore this age that I am. I care so much less about what other people think about me, or about anything else. Why? Because we all get our own opinions. If I want to have mine, then I guess I'd better let everyone else have theirs.

Another mishmash of coolness, including a clock
(no batteries, cuz I can't stand the ticking sound)
from my deceased cousin Aeron & a pencil drawing
by moi, along with various found or purchased items.

Blog alternative:
313 . Do something youthful. Blow a straw wrapper at someone (you know) in a restaurant. Skip down a sidewalk. (I didn't learn to skip until I was 9...)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mapping Tomorrow

Here's a short post from my morning pages the other day after I realized I was just writing a description of the day before:

This doesn't need to be a diary of everything that has just happened in my life. How about a map (tentative, of course) of tomorrow, of next year? How about a map of my heart, a delineation of desire? I can feel my breath deepening, the expansion of my soul & my cells as I think these thoughts, write these thoughts. Yesterday? Done. Gone. Use the banked sparks from it to kindle today's fire. Use the memories to kindle new thoughts. Use the map you've walked to set you on the new new new path.

A path marker in the Arboretum,
Asheville, North Carolina
Blog alternative:
312.  Write a letter from an imagined future to you here & now.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Make room for monsters...

The Face of the West Wind
watercolor & pen
Little Thing Thursday brings you another blog. I just spent a lovely long weekend in San Francisco, first hanging out with my son Nick & my daughter-in-law Chloe & my two grandsons, Max (3 & 1/2) & Clark (turned 1 at the end of July). Much fun was had. I helped decorate the Christmas tree, which is inside a baby corral to keep it away from toddler fingers. A very wise decision. I read lots of books with Max, including some from when my boys were little. I Spy Christmas was a huge hit with Max. He & I pored over the pages, looking for (some very hard to find) items. He had so much patience. Clark was only semi-convinced it was a good idea that Grammy was hanging around. I could only read to him when he was on Nick's lap beside me. We did have lots of fun at the playground, playing peekaboo in the play structures. I think it's really important to let kids guide the level of interaction. To an extent. When Max was being put down for a nap & didn't want a crying Clark outside his door, I picked Clark up & let him cry in the living room. Unhappy either place & that helped Max get settled...

Then I spent a couple lovely days with good friend Ellen Klages & her trusty cat Winston. Again, much fun was had. We took Madeline Robbins out for an early birthday dinner & played a bunch of poker & hot tubbed. I helped out with some errands & was rewarded by good food & great company.

Still, it's nice to get home, back to my routine. Easier to write & read. The well is fuller & we'll see what spills out of the bucket when I dip it in...

& tomorrow I'll set up my new bedframe, which came when I was away. 18 inches of storage underneath. Enough space for plastic bins of books & a medium-sized monster.

Blog alternative:

311. Look under a bed or in a closet. Make a little space for at least a tiny monster to have sanctuary.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lilies of the Pond

Here is a picture of a water lily in Asheville, North Carolina. Consider the lilies of the pond, they neither toil nor spin, but I defy anyone--Solomon included--to look purtier.

This reminded me of a short video I saw on Facebook recently, a nattily-attired gentleman who spoke of his rich aunt, with all her pretty things that she was saving for a special occasion. Then she died. He decided (age 9? I don't remember exactly) at that time to always dress for a party.

I like party clothes. Anyone who's seen me at science fiction conventions may remember my extensive collection of what I call "prom dresses." I've since trimmed my closet down, but I can still glam up with the best of them. (As long as I'm wearing comfortable shoes. No high heels for me!)

But over the years I started wearing mostly jeans & T-shirts, although I love silk & ruffles &--be still my heart!--fringe. So, in the last few weeks, I've been wearing more fun stuff. Leopard print bell bottom jeans. Silky green shirts. Necklaces. Fun clothes. A bit of glam, with the only event being "Hey, It's Today."

Blog alternative:

310. Finger through your closet. Pet some pretty clothes you haven't worn in a while. Don something fun. If the fun clothes don't fit, take them to a thrift store or a consignment store or give them to someone skinnier or fatter. Then pick up something fun for you. (My velvet black & zebra-print jacket was $6 at GoodWill...)

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Goodness Creep

My kitchen window, with bubble wrap, plastic
things & glass things & tambourines & pure fun.
Sun protection & privacy & lots of daily joy!
You know how it happens, things are in pretty good shape & you do one little thing that's a little messy. & then you let something else slide, just a little, & wham bam, no thank you ma'am, you've got a mess. Badness creep.

It can happen the other way, too. Goodness creep. Like when my friend Terry Garey planted flowers in her front yard on a block in South Minneapolis that had its share of degradation & crack houses. But her flowers tipped the scale & pretty soon people were painting their Victorian gingerbread & planting their own flowers & the crack houses were on their way out. Goodness, creeping bud by bud by blossom.

So, I decided to just put a couple things away & that led me to a couple more & pretty soon the place was spiffed up again.

Blog alternative:

309. Pick up something that's been bugging you. One little thing. Give yourself credit for contributing to goodness creep. (Even if you've been dancing with badness creep up until then...)

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Deliberately Delicious Decades

So far, every decade has been my favorite. Not every year & certainly not every moment or every week. But a decade is a long enough span to allow the years & weeks & moments to average out & show the broader trends--up & in & deeper & more & less--more peace, less fussing about what other people think. Deeper understanding of who I really am. Yeah, a decade is a fine thing.

I start my decades on the "zero" years, so my next birthday will commence a new decade. I am anticipating great things. It is nice to end the 50s with a surge of creativity & house-in-order.

Blog alternative:

308. Think about your current decade. What could you do to bump it closer to the top fave list? More self care? Less "news" watching? More hanging out with good friends? Less hanging out with "habit" people who drain you rather than fill you? (Just say NO!)

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hoorah, Oura (with a side of Pixel dust)

Hola from Thursday. Here's my little thing, another blog! I am the happy owner of a new phone, which I will have to use less than my old phone, because I carried my old Samsung S5 around as a fitness tracker, counting steps.

At the end of July, at Clark's first birthday party/Winter family reunion, I got an Oura ring, when Bruce & Helen got upgrades & passed theirs along. My old phone's bluetooth was not cool enough for Oura, so there it sat. But, I now have a feisty little Google Pixel 3. Apparently its bluetooth is copacetic, because the ring works just fine, telling me I sleep pretty darn well & I should get more exercise. Grin. Anyway, the phone can just sit around & wait for me to check in with it, since I don't have the compulsion to be reachable at all times...

I'm heading for my monthly poetry open mic (without a mic) tonight, reading a couple of the dozens of new poems I've written in the last few months & also a poem by Matthew Dickman, from All-American Poem, which is a completely delightful book. It was also a source of synchronicity for me, because my page-a-day quote calendar had stated: "More than putting another man on the moon, more than a New Year's resolution of yogurt and yoga, we need the opportunity to dance with really exquisite strangers." Lovely, I thought, setting that page aside to read again, rather than chucking it into the recycling bag. A few days later, I chose a book at random from the poetry section in the library, because I was almost done with the current poetry book I was reading for the Bradbury Challenge. Grab a book, open it, read part of a poem to yay or nay it. The Yays had it. Second poem in the book: "Slow Dance." More than putting a man on the moon... How cool is that!

Blog alternative:
307. Get out some sidewalk chalk & make an ephemeral mark.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Newvember! Little Thing Thursday! Yee Haw!

I was going to post a different picture, but can't figure out how to find the actual camera pictures recently stored on the computer. Another time...

Instead, we have this lovely little spy I discovered keeping tabs on a neighborhood from a secure location which I will not disclose.

Yes, it's true, I'm back in the blogging biz, thanks to Keeper of the Tomes, who made a point to let me know my lack of posting since 2016 had been noticed. I could blame Facebook, since my cessation of blogging closely paralleled my (almost nonexistent) interaction there, but, no, it's all on me. & here I am.

Life is good. I'm still doing the Bradbury Challenge I started in January, which involves reading a short story, a poem & an essay every day & writing a short story a week. I am a little behind but wrote a killer story yesterday. Literally a killer story. Appropriate for Halloween.

This is Newvember & I am planning to blog on a weekly basis when possible.

This post is brought to you by
Little Thing Thursday
a creativity & productivity tool developed by
Yours Truly

Almost forgot the blog alternative, what you could be doing instead of reading a blog. Imagine all the time I've saved you by not blogging for a couple years. Grin.

306. Read a short story, a poem & an essay. Writing a story of your own would be the cherry on top.