Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I have a confession to make.

There was a day last week when I spent an unquantifiable amount of time on the couch watching Ellen video clips.  All day and into the night.  It was absurd.  Roxie was banging her head against the wall in boredom.  I don't know what I was thinking.

There.  Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I've got this:


I've also got this:

Along those lines, I have yet to decide if my latest experiment is a keeper or just a mistake.  It is incomprehensible, for sure, yet not exactly full of deep significance.  Decide for yourself:

I like it, and yet I'm not sure if I like it.  It's good, yet it's bad.  Interesting, but also frightening.  And this is not my original attempt - I had to rip that one apart and start over - so keep in mind this is an improvement.

Fair warning - if I send this to you as a gift, it means I'm not sure if I like you or if I don't like you.  I'm conflicted.  Just sayin'

In conclusion:

Peace out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Think Pink

For the past several years, for my birthday, Eletra has sent me a copy of something called "Year at a Glance for Gemini" from her We'Moon datebook.  This year for Christmas she sent me the whole darn book.  As I was flipping from Sunday, January 18th to Monday, January 19th, I skipped over a page with a long poem.  I told myself I would go back later and read it, but then thought, "Who am I kidding.  I won't remember to go back and read that."  So I stopped.  And I read.  And now you shall read too.

What Are We Waiting For?

I bet there are forests who miss me.  Who wish I were
a squirrel in their trees or a supposedly mythical mermaid
in their ponds.  I bet there are kisses who wish I were
in them too, because they like my technique.  I bet
there are sunrays looking for me even now, not yet knowing
I've gone indoors.  There may also be songs wishing I'd turn them
on, and others who wish I were already dancing to them.
I wonder if there are dresses that wish I were wearing them,
instead of someone else, or left hanging on a hanger.
I bet there are houses that wish I were living in them,
maybe houses that I'll one day move in and dance through,
but not yet, I haven't even yet visited their towns,
and the houses shift and groan their tree trunks and wonder,
Why do I have to wait?
Cuz they want me, see.  Cuz it'll be that good.

And so I ask my future and all my possibilities and all
my impossible perfect fantastical dreams to call for me LOUD,
light road flares, use spot lights, catch me with a stage hook
and reel me in, bring me close.  Because if I want you
and you want me, I tell my future, what are we waiting for?
It's only ellipsis dividing us.
Let us blow them away like breadcrumbs. . .

I love to long for my future, and I love when
my future longs for me.  It feels as good as dancing
to the most kickass song, when my body predicts beats and breaks
and rhythm changes, when it's all tight and suave, like all I've
been waiting for is right here, and I'm drinkin' it down easy.

And really, when life's like that, when I'm drunk on dreams
and slippery with time, nothing can hold me back, not rules or
logic, and beauty breaks all boundaries.  I burst through the seams,
racing my bike down the streets, free in the world:
this wildly improbable.

-- Dawn Sperber

"Cuz they want me, see.  Cuz it'll be that good."  Awesome.  "Because if I want you and you want me, I tell my future, what are we waiting for?"  Double awesome.  "Drunk on dreams."  That's it right there.  I'm going to paint that one.

Speaking of none of that, here's number two:

It is impossible to photograph these buggers without getting a zillion reflections of me.

I had the idea today to take some of these wreath photos and turn them into Christmas cards.  Just not sure a zillion reflections of me would add a festive air to a holiday card.  Oh but dang it, the light bulb just went off:  I should have taken these pictures while wearing my pink and white santa hat.  At least that reflection would have fit the color scheme.

Since the wall the wreath is hanging on is white, that last picture is the most accurate depiction of its true colors.  But I like the look of the warmer ones.  Especially the middle one.

I haven't even begun to make a dent in the ball stash, so next up is ... hmmm ... maybe the brown and red wreath I wanted to make two years ago.  But first -- we paint.  Drunk on dreams.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Bathroom Selfies

The other day poodle and I were over next door.  I was putting all the balls away, and she was playing with one of her babies.  We were live streaming the Turntable Review, which EVERYBODY should do whenever Joe and Terry are on air.  You can find the link right here.

Yeah that's an action shot.

She traded in the baby for santa.

Next thing I know, and I kid you not, Joe and Terry are covering Peaceful Easy Feeling, and JUST EXACTLY when they are singing, "... already standing on the ground" I looked over and saw this:

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  Roxie did that.  Am I the only one who thinks it's funny?  I made her pose next to standing santa.

Good golly that cracks me up.

Anyway.  Moving on.  We went for a walk today wearing our new boots - mom got a good laugh out of it - and when we got home we did this:

And by "we" I mean not me.  What a dork.

And by "what a dork" I mean not me.

Anyway.  Moving on.  Mom wanted to see the creative genius involved in making an ornament wreath.  That's not exactly the way she worded it, but hey -- it's my blog.  I had to explain that a good part of the time involved is really me just staring at the thing, then walking away.  Gluing down one ball, then checking facebook.  It's truly an artform.  Here's the end result - the first wreath from the post-holiday on-sale-ornament-purchasing frenzy:

This is significantly smaller than the ones I made for Ann and Kathy; those were constructed on 16" forms, and this one is a 10" form.  I was testing to see if this smaller size would work.  And when I was taking my usual artsy photos --

-- I accidentally took a selfie:

Then I took a better one:

I look bald.  Bald in a ball.  A bald ball.

Have you ever wondered why so many people take selfies in the bathroom?  I wonder about that all the time.  And then I did it myself.  Damn, I'm so unoriginal....

Friday, January 9, 2015

Christmas explosion

So first we had this:

That was before I went to bed.  And when I got up the next morning:

I think I'd rather be in Montana shoveling three feet of snow.

But that was a couple of days ago.  Today, ...

Whoa.  Do you want to see what that looks like in my living room, added to what was already in there?  Of course you do.

Holy crudballs.  Looks like we are in the wreath business.  Let's see that from another angle:

One more time, because twice just wasn't enough:

In conclusion, this is how Roxie feels about the whole thing:

I agree, baby dog.  I have no words.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Eve all-nighter

Santa wasn't the only one who pulled an all-nighter on Christmas Eve.  Let me tell you, if there were money to be made through procrastination I would be wealthy beyond measure.  Note to self:  there will never be an extra day between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  As it turns out I only had to sacrifice one thing from my to-do list.  Alas, it was the bacon peanut truffles, but since they were not on the original list, that's okay.  I found the recipe cleverly saved in a random box of bits and pieces stored with my Christmas decorations.  I guess I know what I will be doing for Valentine's Day.

So that to-do list.  Cashew Cardamom Balls, Swedish Almond Cookies, finishing the ornaments I made to use as tags for presents, wrapping said presents, packing for a trip to Hinesburg, an emergency trip to the dollar store for more green tinsel, building two wreaths, and other nonsense I can't remember.  My soundtrack of the day was George Winston's December.  Over and over and over again.  Here's a picture of my lovely wrapped presents - I was very proud of my Swedish flair:

And here's the beginning of one of the wreaths:

In the interest of full disclosure, I took this picture today.  I was able to do that because as you can see, I ran out of silver tinsel on Christmas Eve.  A tragic moment, for sure, as nobody in this ENTIRE TOWN has silver tinsel, so I had to make do with bright blue.  And when I say bright blue, I mean Cookie Monster blue.  This change in plan made me change up the color scheme a bit - I added some teal blue ornaments I had leftover from Eletra's wreath.  Here is the finished piece:

My intent was to make this a winter wreath, but in looking at it Christmas morning I realized I inadvertently made a Frozen wreath.  Oops.

The other wreath, the one that necessitated the emergency run for more green tinsel, is here:

Totally impractical gifts, yes I know.  The Christmas wreath went to Ann's house and the Frozen wreath went to Kathy's house.  Some day I will make one for myself.

Oh, also on my to-do list for Christmas Eve was the test-drive of Roxie's present from Derek.

Heh heh.  We didn't go far because it was raining.  I think the weirdest thing for her wasn't the boots themselves but the noise they make.  I can't wait to see what a fashion statement she will make when she wears these boots with her new coat:

When we got home from our Christmas Extravaganza trip, one of the first things we did was assemble and hang this present from the Thomas house:

Roxie was very impressed; that window is the perfect spot:

Today was going to be a day for cleaning house and doing laundry and crossing things off my new to-do list, but I'm not making much progress except with the laundry.  So perhaps it would be fitting to close with a haiku I penned today:

Last year: upheaval
This year: procrastination
Next year: kicking ass

The end.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Solstice

I have maybe one article of clothing that does not have paint on it, so today I dropped a paintbrush and on its way to the floor....

Black shirt, white paint.

Oh yes I did.

Luckily there is a sink nearby and I salvaged it, so I still have one article of clothing that does not have paint on it.

But that's not what I was going to say.  We got a bunch of snow a while back, and I had to shovel off the steps outside my living room door for Roxie, so I shoveled her a cul-de-sac.

She loves this kind of snow - deep and leapable.  Normally I would not post a picture that is so out of focus, but this is the best action shot I could get of my snow bunny:

Leapin' and hoppin'.

Moonshadow, moonshadow.  Go with it.

The snow was tremendously heavy - it took my bird feeder right to the ground.  I'm not sure if that wee tree will recover.

I think my awesomely cool tree in the front yard (which, by the way, I've been told by a volunteer Master Gardener with the UVM Extension Service is an atypical form of a Burning Bush - a species that has been declared invasive here in Vermont) lost a big branch, but it may have been the branch that was held on with packing tape.

Roxie and I loaded up the jeep last Friday with cookie-making supplies and headed away from the only home in my Vermont family that had power to make cookies with my niece and nephew.  Mom's power was out for four days.  Kathy's power was out for a couple of days, then came back on for a night, then went back out for half a day, then came back on, then went out.  She has a generator so they had things like heat and running water, but this was to be cookie-baking central.  Ann, all of three-ish miles from Kathy, only lost power for a couple of hours, so the cookie baking parade moved to Ann's house, but Kathy's van was stuck in her driveway so we packed the jeep to the gills with three people, one dog and about seven thousand pounds of stuff.  I wrote on facebook that it was like a clown car.  Here is Kathy's driveway:

Roxie ran around with Ruby like a mad dog, then put herself to bed on a beanbag.

Exciting news at my house - I found out my slow blower is not worth fixing.  I could spend about $400 having the belts replaced and the carburetor cleaned out and whatever else they need to do, but since it was probably the very first snow blower ever invented and I have no idea of its maintenance history, there is no guarantee the engine won't blow the first time I use it.  So I'm probably going to suck it up and get a new one.  I certainly have no problem spending quality time with a shovel, but there's no way I'm going to shovel two driveways, and I'd like to have the second driveway available in case someone ever comes to visit me.  Plus, with a snow blower I can make a whole neighborhood of cul-de-sacs for poodle in my yard.  Woo hoo!

Speaking of poodle, again, we got a box UPS two days ago and in it was her Christmas present from Uncle Derek.  Here is the initial test drive:

POOR SAD POODLE FACE!  She looks like she's going to cry!  I reminded her that we can't go for walks in the winter because the salt the road crew puts on the road hurts her feet.  We got all four boots on and she very gingerly made her way out to the driveway, while trying to not put any of her feet on the ground.  We haven't gone for an actual walk yet, but that's next.  I think once she gets used to them she will be fine.  And I'm going to invent idiot mittens for dogs and make a million zillion dollars.  These boots are fab and they stay on her feet really well, but she won't be able to do any leapin' and hoppin' with them.  Hence, idiot mittens.  Or some kind of harness so I can make dog garters.  I need a clever product name....

Have I mentioned that I put up a second tree?  It's a wee small one, and today I turned it into a pickle tree.

I found all kinds of things when I unearthed my box of Christmas decorations.

And I have a third tree, too.  Because three is a magic number.

There is a reason I am not a professional Christmas tree fluffer.  That nonsense gets old in a hurry.  I may have to leave my trees up all year.  HO HO HO.