Friday, August 31, 2012

Blah blah blah part one

I am really hitting the wall again. I have been seriously contemplating ditching the whole blog thing. When it starts to feel like homework, that’s when I think it’s time to pack it in. I know there are one or two people who read my weekly drivel (Gladys, you ROCK! I know you are always there) but for the most part, I feel like my words are going into a black hole. My own kids and husband don’t even bother. But I will struggle on for another week at least…

Amongst my MANY vices is a love of books. I need them around me. Once I learned to read, I was never without some kind of reading material. Growing up, I had lots of books. Lots of comics. I had a subscription to Jack and Jill magazine, too. There wasn’t the vast variety of kid shows on TV that there is now, so I would read. I think I was in the 4th grade when I found out there was a LIBRARY in my school where I could get BOOKS ALL THE TIME. I don’t remember when I discovered that there was a town library as well. The world REALLY opened up for me then. Once in a while I would buy a couple of books at Salvation Army. And slowly, over the years, my collection of books grew. I always checked out the sale tables at book stores. Then I discovered USED book stores. I love pre-read books. They have more soul. Especially if they’ve been written in. Now I have online places to get my books from too.

The picture I’ve posted here shows my idea of a special little haven. I would love to be able to construct one of these in a corner somewhere. I like how the spines are on the inside of the little cave. Gives it more visual interest. I’d need a good light, a comfortable chair and a small table that I could have my cup of coffee or glass of wine on. I’d make it a bit more enclosed so you wouldn’t be able to see much of me from the sides. And I’d have the opening toward a wall. No distractions. Cozy. Maybe a pillow on the floor for one of the cats. Cats and books go well together, don’t you think?

Friday, August 24, 2012


Since school is starting up all over the place, I had it in mind to do today’s blog as a kind of tongue-in-cheek “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” kind of thing, but I realized that pretty much what has taken place in the last few months has been nothing short than a series of blessings.
It’s been quite a while since I did a “thankfulness” blog reflecting on all the blessings the Lord has bestowed on me. So here’s the list in no particular order starting with late June or so.

1. Being able to spend a week at a time with Lia (and family) is always a blessing from beginning to end. No elaboration needed on that. But this last visit was for TWO WHOLE WEEKS. It was like Christmas for me! And not only was this an extra-long visit with Lia, my niece Ellen was with us. That was great for two reasons: I got the chance to get to know Ellen as an adult, and she could spell me with Lia! I think 2 weeks just me alone would have done me in. I just don’t have the stamina. But with Ellen there, I could take a time-out and put my feet up when I started flagging and Ellen could take over. The whole visit was very low-key and easy on the brain. LOTS of crafts! I did more crafts and coloring than I can ever remember! We took lots of little shopping trips to the Dollar Store, Good Will, things like that. Nothing very expensive. Except when we went to the used book stores….OMG OMG OMG. Both Ellen and I were in bibliophile heaven. And even then, what we paid for the books was a fraction of what they would cost new.

2. The Holy Spirit is really moving in our church and it’s a joy to see and experience what is taking place. I feel a freedom in my heart that hasn’t been there for a long time.

3. My beloved mother-in-law is continuing to be an inspiration to me. She is truly someone who LIVES her faith.

4. I am continually blessed by our close friends. Our Bible study group feeds my spirit with wisdom. Our dinner/game night group feeds my soul with love and laughter. Our church family is a blessing without measure.

There are many, many more that I could list; everyday stuff that a lot of people don’t pay attention to. If you really look, there are blessings all over the place. Open your eyes. I need to remind myself to do that as well.

Friday, August 17, 2012

And Her Name Is...

Myrtle!! But she prefers Myrt. My muse, that is. Yes, I finally came up with a name. And a different picture. This one is closer to the actual idea I had in mind. Dame Edna is fabulous, but this gal is closer to the kind of art I enjoy. Recycled/altered art. Although I draw the line at wearing a colander on my head…

Anyway, Myrt did what I talked about in my blog 2 weeks ago. She took hold of me and basically took over the project I was working on. It’s actually 2 projects for 2 people, but they live at the same address, so it doesn’t matter which one I finish first. It’s just that I had the one project already done in my mind and intended to get that one taken care of first. But noooooo. Myrt had other ideas…..

I had mentioned that the second one was going in a different direction entirely, and that was the one that Myrt focused on the last couple of weeks. I could NOT even think of the first project…it HAD to be the second one that filled my thoughts. I pondered. I worked. I pondered some more. I ended up scrapping everything I had intended to do on this particular project in the beginning. I’ve never done one quite like this before and I finished it yesterday. I’m quite chuffed with the results, too. It’s ready to mail whenever I get the FIRST one done now. And so far, Myrt seems content to let that one ride as already planned.

So it’s Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, off to the art mines for me….

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 2012 Book Report

“Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard

Excellent history book! This should be required reading in middle schools. The writing is so engaging that you don’t even realize you are reading history.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“High on Arrival” by Mackenzie Phillips

Sad autobiography. I found it hard to believe this woman did the amount of drugs she claims. I wouldn’t think the human body could survive it. She has a true iron constitution if this was a factual account. Well written, but ultimately a sad story.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“The Preschooler’s Busy Book” by Trish Kuffner

When I was looking on the Internet for a home-made finger paint recipe, I found a blog by a woman who got the recipe from this book. She couldn’t say enough about this book, so I decided to get it myself. I like coming up with new things to amuse Lia when I’m visiting. It’s a little outdated for some of the activities, and some are either too young or too old for her, but that’s OK. She’ll master the ones for the older child soon enough, and the younger stuff can either be amended or ignored. There is a TON of neat stuff to keep a kid busy. Some of the ideas are truly amazing.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“A Touch of Love” by Barbara Cartland

OK. I admit it. I enjoy sappy Regency Romances….(head hanging in shame). One of the best things about the Cartland books is that there is NO sex. Not before marriage anyway. And even then, if it’s a marriage of convenience, the couple doesn’t “get together” until they have truly fallen in LOVE. If your brain hurts, this is the kind of book to read.    

Friday, August 3, 2012

Smacked Upside The Head

I've written before about my muse getting a stranglehold of me at odd times. Sometimes taking over whatever project I’m working on. Lately she has been noticeably absent. I’ve had a couple of projects that I really need to get started on and have had ZERO inspiration.

Then I got a nudge.
Then a shove.
Then a smack upside the head.
She was back!!!

Now one of the projects is almost done in my imagination. I’ve done some of the prep work and have just started to amass the materials I will need. Naturally, it’s also the weekend that Sarah and Lia are here. I also started getting an idea for the second project that is completely different from what I had first planned.
Ms. Muse does that….

In getting the house ready for Sarah and Lia, I had to put my project stuff in a box and set it aside for next week. So I started really thinking about my muse. What does she look like? I had never really thought about it much before, but she seems to want visibility, at least in my mind.

I started getting a nebulous picture, but couldn’t think of how to make it manifest. My other artistic “talents” aside, I can’t draw worth beans. I could probably get Sarah to draw something for me, but it wouldn’t be done in time for my blog post. So I turned to the Internet. I googled a lot of different images without finding anything I could use. Then out of the blue, Dame Edna Everage came to mind. I’d always found the character that Barry Humphries had portrayed to be a real hoot. It’s been years since I’ve seen Dame Edna on TV, so I looked up images of her…
THAT’S what my muse looks like! Dame Edna!! I tried to find an image of Dame Edna in a toga, like a muse would wear, but this is the closest I came. Now I know the basics of the image in my mind and can make it my own.

At least I know what my muse looks like now when she smacks me. And I don’t really mind when she does that. It’s when she takes over a project and sends it in a different direction that she gets mildly annoying. But I can handle her. I have to come up with a different name for her, though. Any suggestions? 

PS—Look up Dame Edna on youtube and have yourself a laugh! J