Thursday, February 28, 2008

Real Life

On the way to school and home again........
Azaleas are beginning to bloom around town.

..and grass is turning green

Construction work is blooming too...

Here's the art center at the college....

More night pines after class. The campus was a beautiful forest of pines before Hurricane Ivan.

I found my pendant pieces. They still need to be polished, riveted together, and an attachment for hanging added.

My work bench at school - would be nice to have one in the kitchen at home!

The dreaded solder - notice the solder (silver) pooled in the bottom of the ring. I figured it out today, had a successful solder, now I have to work in real silver - that's kind of scary.

All the pieces - the ring at the end of the day had the extra copper sawed off, making an edge on the ring.

Home again, and who would think housework could be so much fun? Recent photo minus 30 pounds, still have that much to go, maybe more. Can't open my eyes for new camera as I know it has a super bright flash.

That's that for today!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Desire (Clothes!)

Since we aren’t feeling too well, I’m doing lazy stuff. One of those “lazy stuffs” is looking up fashion trends for winter with the delicious prospect of being able to wear some of them. I picked (above) what I would buy right off the runway. (In real life, I mostly wear jeans.) I can't remember the marketing enough to remember when the new styles make it to the store - maybe six months to a year for fall fashion to hit the general market from the runway. I’m kind of sad; I really do like the tunics and the baby doll tops, and the sleek empire waist dresses with the refined 60’s-70’s prints, but they are going bye bye.

I love to watch the runway shows as the whole show is another form of art, the theme, the way the show is put together, the design of the clothing, the makeup and hair, the music! Someday maybe I’ll get to see the real deal!

Here’s my thoughts on what I’m seeing:

It appears that bare legs are out, at least for winter – that will be a relief for girls everywhere who have been freezing their legs off to be in style, although it was a marvelous freedom to be free of “having to” wear something on the legs, especially when dressed up or wearing dresses to work. What kind of fiend invented those sheer stockings anyway, always too short for tall girls and expensive for working single moms? Tights are back in--black, red, and one designer used fishnet stockings with everything elegant – it worked!

Gray seems to be a great color for next winter. Dolce and Gabanna seem to be working with some rich fabrics and playing around with menswear for women.

Pucci had puffed up everything – I like the bright colors, but too much cloth I thought and everything centered in the middle of the female figure. There were some sleek pants and I loved the little ankle boots. Pants seem to be sitting above the ankle which is leg-shortening for shorter gals, not much if boots and socks are same color of pants, but present opportunity for some fun mixtures for taller gals.

Dsquared2 showed a lot of black, black and white, some red thrown in, and the fashions are geared toward a “librarian with a serious wild streak.” How fun is that!

Dell’Acqua came up with beautiful jewel tone shiny fabrics, form fitting dresses and wonderful flowing pants.

That's my daydreaming/inspiration. Have fun!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Cowboy Junkies

Margaret Timmons of the Cowboy Junkies has a voice like creme brulee. Smooth as silk and not your everyday voice. It cracks the surface of your heart with sweetness and is not without some angst. I was downloading new tunes to my Zune tonight and plugged the thing into my ears and the silken voice of Margaret came through reminding me of........

I was introduced to the Cowboy Junkies by my first childhood (Jr. High) sweetheart. We were friends in late grade school and in Jr. High. Well, ya, that's the time the hormones start to ramble around a bit, and boys no longer looked so icky. The boys that age in our group all had these little motorcycles, and since my folks both worked in the daytime, an anomoly in those days, the kids hung out at my house. Getting caught by an overly strict stepdad with a basement full of kids dancing and kissing in corners added to the excitement of our new found puberty.

Lonbo had strong arms. He was nicer than the other boys. We would tell our parents we wanted to go to the ballgames and then the kids that were "couples" would go to the cemetery to "make out." It was scary, or the girls would pretend it was, and that gave the boys an excuse to put their arms around us. After a summer of cemetery love, Lonbo and I faded away to 10th grade, consolidated with a huge number of other kids. By then I was having a hard enough time keeping my sanity, let alone worry about boys.

A couple of years before I left for Wyoming, Lonbo found me through email. He sent apologies and I asked him, "What on earth for?" He felt like he had taken advantage of me - now, what a guy - after all these years! He continued to write once in a great while and send music to me. (I've never been one to discover music, all my music has been introduced to me by friends and my kids.) Four years later, Lonbo was dead. Maybe he even subconsciously knew the dark horseman was near when he first contacted me.

I found out Lonbo could not live life without being stoned on grass and he drank way too much. So many of the kids in our crowd had very painful lives, but we never thought beyond ourselves at that age, how could I know what situation he lived in? As an adult, he managed to be successful in his business and live in one of the most desirable places on earth. He bought a huge painting from me - of zebras on an African veld. I'm sure that fit in his office in the wild west, ha ha. Was it a guilt purchase?

Time passed, then in Wyoming I received an email and he said he had cancer and was going to another state to see a specialist. He mentioned he might just show up on my doorstep. I hoped he would come, so I could just hold him against me, like a brother and maybe some life would flow into him. I had bad feelings about the situation. I didn't hear again until three months later.

He had cancer all through him and had five months left according to the doctors. He said he would not go the way of cancer. His pleasure was extreme snowmobiling through the magnificent Tetons, he never played things very safe. Two more months and a mutual friend emailed and said Lonbo was dead. I don't know if it was the cancer or if he hurried on.

I couldn't erase his email off my address book. Still can't.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Night Pines and Endless Thoughts

Night pines, for me, are reminiscent of sleepless nights. While in the midst of one of these sleepless nights at 4:30 a.m. this morning, I decided to get up and have a Cappucino. As I limped through the kitchen, I thought, "My back hurts, maybe that's why I can't sleep." "Coffee is not too smart if one wants to go back to bed and fall asleep." I went on a search of night pine pictures - whew, that brings up some interesting results.

What do you think of as you lay sleepless in bed at night?

I thought of:

"I wonder if all the grandkids are ok, the I need to pray, what do I need to pray for them?"

"Damn cats, rumbling around so early making noise." The thought then drifted off ..."Are pets given to us to teach us kindness?" "They wake us up at night doing ridiculous animal things, they crawl on us, they make noise, and messes." "Do animals have souls?"

"My mother is so mad at her grandson because the dogs bark at him at night." (The dogs bark at everything all night and all day at her house.) "Why doesn't she make the dogs quit barking, since that is the only thing she actually could control?"

"Why is there absolutely no communication in our marriage?" "Why does who he is have to remain so tightly hidden and held away from everyone, but it is not personal, its not just me." "Isn't he lonely?" "Do I care anymore -- no, I am forced not to care."

"The lawn needs fertilized and the weeds killed, how will I get those heavy sacks into the spreader?"

"If I had a bed, I bet I would be more comfortable with my back." "Stupid, (to myself) if you hadn't bought a TV for the living room, you could have bought a bed"

"Why does the little boy prefer to slip in under the down comforter on the too thin piece of foam on the floor with Nana?" "Is it security--loneliness?" "I could redo his room for myself, but then he would move in there with me I think." "He's like glue, but that's ok." "Someday, he'll fly away like the big ones."

"Why do two of the cats poop on the floor by the litter box - is the litter too sharp on their feet -- no, they pee in the box."

"How can I get those chess pieces to look uniform and not all lopsided?"

"Will the six shrimp I ate tonight in addition to diet rations show on the scale tomorrow?"

"Did Rebecca decide to say 'yes' to the adoption of the baby?"

I envision some new clothes I wish I could buy.

"Is it too cold for grandson in here?"

"Why is my family so messy, how can I teach the little boy to put away his things when others won't?" "Why is the cleaning lady doing less and less of her job?" "I need to talk with her."

"The boy needs more fruit and vegetables."

"I need to call Susan and ask her if I can do anything for her since I was unable to access the portion of her website that would allow picture size changes."

"I need to throw away more paperwork in the study and buy a new shredder."

And more, so much more.

G'night - I've bored myself and probably you into sleepiness. Going back for another try.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Romantic Life of Gardenia

The paths of life! I don't regret taking this one, even though I sit here with my eyeballs feeling swollen, lungs burning, and my temperature up to searing. Had to bring the boy home early from baseball practice as he was also burning up with fever. This a.m. he is set up on the couch coughing, not even asking for cartoons ..... oops, an interruption there to put a cooling jell pack on his know a kid is sick when they aren't running around or asking for cartoons.

In the meantime daughter had a late date last night and is sleeping - grrrrr - I want to put ice cubes in bed with her to wake her up to take care of both her son and her mamma.

I guess I will be waiting on the boy today, perhaps stewing a chicken with onion, celery, herbs and brown rice in hopes it will make us both better. Perhaps reading, perhaps dozing. It is rainy, windy, and gray today. Coming home from 'Bama last night the rain was like a white out in the northern states. It was such a relief to pull into the driveway.

Everything is turning green though. The fields in 'Bama as we drove to the indoor batting cages last night were totally green and beginning to flood which is not good. It's been a tradition with us for the last 20 years to drive over the line for the magnificent strawberries that become ripe in March. Now they are really at a premium with too much water, and a much smaller planting. Last year the amount being sold was rationed to customers.

I've noticed lately that when going to the supermarket that certain items I take for granted are not available anymore. Our crippled economy seems to have us going backwards. I enjoy being spoiled - if I want to make an exotic recipe, I'm used to having the ingredients available. Its been a long, long time since the shelves in stores have been so limited. The large mega chain store up the road that I keep swearing I will not shop at anymore (but its so close to the house!) has many bare shelves. Our gas prices are inching up toward $4 per gallon -

The economy in NW Florida in this particular area has always been crummy - I wish I had a dollar for every time I've been told wages are low here because the cost of living is lower. That is ridiculous - a person works just as hard here at the same job as one does elsewhere. Yet there are many, many homes in the area that are in the millions-of-dollars bracket. I wish I knew where that money was coming from, because there are no jobs. Condos that are built one after the other - 10-15 stories tall or more with units selling for millions. Again, I wonder where all the money is. In the meantime, average middle class homes are sitting all over the place with "For Sale" signs on them. This year and next are going to be some interesting years to watch.

Well, taking these eyeballs to rest for a while, checking on the boy, and it seems the cats are even sick as I have some barf to clean up. Romance? Yeh. Don't tell Fabio about my secret life at home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fishes, Soldering, Ranting, and Picture Posting

This is the member of the family no one has met yet. His name is Fishie. (Yes, we have original pet names here.) He was a tiny fish won at the fair, but is now about eight inches long including his tail. He'll splash in his aquarium to get attention or food. The cats take turns watching him. (Poor thing.) He's in an aquarium with a lid so they can't go fishing.

I had to think of something to write after the dazzling post of plant songs. Now that I've posted U Tube's videos of plants channeling their wisdom through human beings, I'll move on. (I have a weird sense of humor, I know.) Partially that was all about being fascinated with the power of music and sounds to manipulate brain waves......there is some research out there on the fact I think many people groups are aware of this - but in the west we prefer the use of medications instead. Anyway, I could go on with hypothesis, but won't.

Cold here at night, its great! The sun is warming in the daytime between tornadoes. The new batch was close enough, but not in town, thankfully.

The jewelry class is getting better - I made a copper ring last night, first attempt to solder anything, as a test project before cutting into my piece of silver for the real thing. The silver ring will have a pyrite oval stone. The pyrite looks quite elegant on the silver. I'm nervous about starting it, considering the cost of silver. I never did find my pendant pieces, they must be gone for good. Obviously severe clutter continues to be a thorn in my side here.

I keep dabbling at the parrot painting, but have lost my passion for it, thus it is hard to move along.

My computer is getting sluggish - does anyone know if the photos are removed from the computer, if old posts will be minus their photos? I've moved some photos to new file folders and lost the photos before, so I suspect that is the case. Input would be appreciated.

I have a couple of rants, but won't get deep into them - but how about the tainted meat from the California packing plant of horrors? Mostly I hear about the poor animals, and yes, definitely I agree - it was a horror - but what about the thousands of school kids who have ingested the meat in school lunches - and where are our inspectors - they say only 1% of the imported foods into the U.S. are inspected. I don't know about our own packing plants, but obviously there aren't enough inspections in these plants judging from all the recalls of meat products in the last months. I say, Mr. President, keep my tax refund and hire an inspector. Oh, excuse me - its only enough for a fourth of a year's health insurance premium? If that much?

Then a meatcutter I know tells me that some meat markets in stores pour blood in the hamburger to freshen it back to red when it starts to turn. I knew there was a reason I don't care for hamburger as a rule.

Well, have a great Weds. everyone.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Plant Songs

Especially for Candy and any other esoteric visitors to my blog (Candy I can't find the original U Tube I told you about - it was by far the best, with plants providing rythmic background sounds):

I've a long time now been interested in music, song that can manipulate our sense of "reality" for lack of a better word - I have a CD somewhere that is a prime example, will see if I can find it.

Not sure, but I believe the Icaro songs are actually songs of the plants themselves. I find interesting references in the Bible - about the rocks worshiping God, the trees of the field clapping their hands, the ground crying out because of blood spilt on it. There are mysteries far deeper than the eye sees, yes? Perhaps all creation is alive - but we've been trained for generations not to hear it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Temple Repair

No clothes! I've hit the 25 pound mark. All my Wyoming working woman clothes are too large. Basically I have two pairs of jeans that dutifully shrunk, two capris my older daughter gave me and a few shirts. Even my shoes are getting "baggy" on my feet. I put on a pair of underwear this a.m. that slid up my cheeks, not having enough cheeks to fill them. I'm think, oh dear - I just dumped a bunch of clothes ten years and older (yes, that's terrible, isnt' it?). I have to make a second round through the closet. Then, shudder, I have to go to the store. I hate going to the mall. I hate going to "the store." It takes too much time. I love getting new clothes. Love it! I love clothes. I just hate the search and acquisition stage!

Years of being a single mom, and then years of being married to someone who only believes in spending money on books, always left me scrounging for clothes. Especially for work. I did't mind so much what I wear around the house - but I'm getting so I do - I'm thinking - yes, its time for pretty underwears, gorgeous underwear and no more shirts with bleach spots to clean house in - and at least a couple of dressy things, and a couple of sleek pants and tops. And I'm getting rid of the too big stuff because I'm not gonna go there no mo'. I been a yo yo mamma. No mo'.

It is hard - I've always hoarded clothing - and recognize fear that I'll not have enough money for more when needed. Another enemy to be defeated....fear of lack.

Actually having fun on that elliptical, setting new challenges and meeting them. A mile and one-half a day isn't that much - but when I started I could only go .2 miles without losing my breath.

Its interesting that when one goes on a health program that it seems like satan himself hates it. Things will happen to make you want to reach for rice pudding. Anger at others or oneself is nicely drowned out with food. Its like putting a gun with slow acting bullets to the head. Those who love you (in their own weird ways) will bring you chocolates and fattening food and try to talk you into eating it. Will fill the freezer with sausages so you can't get any of your food in. Spouses will get insecure and not be so nice. Some friends will drop off. Oh well - Temple Repair I call it. I'm reminded that when Nehemiah rebuilt the wall, he had to fight as he built. Its an interesting story.

I quit the Prozac - was a way low dose, but am still experiencing dizziness. It will go away. I haven't had any "electrical currents" of anxiety pounding my body so it has done its job. I will welcome the clarity rather than the warm "fuzz" I felt enveloped in. The only bad thing is I seem to be waking up after 3-4 hours of sleep again. Fighting off the specter of death has been interesting, I'm thinking of writing about it. I'm still under the care of the hematologist who is still convinced I'm bleeding internally, so I have to have more tests. Some things you know that you know. I am not. I haven't yet figured out why my body won't hold iron, which is critical in making red blood cells, but that can be overcome by taking the supplements.

So, one year later, I feel as if I am actually winning. Whenever something bad hits, I always try to focus on solving it and finding out what I am supposed to be learning from the experience. Sometimes I figure it out - sometimes I don't. I hope I don't have to go around this mountain again.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Come Away with Me to the Rain Forest

This time of year in Wyoming is known as "cabin fever" time. Maybe its because I've been raised in Wyoming.....Cabin Fever is in my mind and blood. It's late February, its cold, and I want to sleep in a hammock on the porch in the rain forest, in the warm mist, with the monkeys playing overhead and the birds singing loud inharmonious songs. I want to hop the bus to Quepos to shop for fresh vegetables and walk the beach and pick up mangos to take back to the villa and eat with limes and salt. I want to watch the brightly colored blue and orange crabs carry about their social business. I want to be there before it becomes so "civilized" that the ecosystem there takes a plunge too. I want to get brown, dance the salsa until one in the morning and, over some delicious mango and rum drink, watch the sun rise and set.

Today, I paint the background jungle for the parrot. I have to.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Is Valentine Day supposed to be a day of love or romance? Or both? Or friendship? In grade school I looked forward to that day more than any other. I would take my hoard of valentines home and look at them over and over. With luck there would be a few candies too. Kids would scan the valentines for anything that looked like "love" - then there were hoots and giggles.

In other countries and other times, Valentine Day has been for friends as well as lovers, for children and for religious reasons.

Can romance and love be different? I think......yes! Its best when combined though!

Wouldn't it be awesome to have both?

But when I think of romance, I think of the movie "Dr. Zhivago," Frieda Kahlo and her lovers Trostsky and the man she married who devastated her with his affairs - Bogart & McCall - most of the time romance doesn't turn out so well.

Then - is it love that kicks in for the long haul? Who knows?

This is most absolutely awful - but I have to confess the most romance in my life occurred when I was not married. The exotic foreigner who wrote me tons of love letters, extolling my virtues and beauty. So he said. Romance in the forest on the reservation filled with the scents of woodsmoke and sounds of birds. Romance with the wild Irishman. The professor whose smile was dazzling and lit my days. The artist who wanted me to come with him to an artists' commune in Canada. Would I have married any of them - no. They were wildly romantic but poor long term prospects. Or am I afraid and have been afraid for a long time?

Why is it that often those that one should be most intimate with - those are the very ones one a person will avoid such intimacy with. Yeh, bad sentence.

The wild Irishman is dead. He wanted to marry me. I looked at his ex-wife and five kids and thought, "You've got to be kidding." That kicked in some reality for me. We split. A few years back, "H" came home from Iowa and told me, "Faber is dead." Then watched me closely for my reaction. I guess we are a piece of everyone who has loved us. That was my secret. That piece was tucked far away in my heart. I just said "That's too bad."

I remember:

The days with thoughts consumed by the object of romance. The waiting by the phone - (when we didn't have cell phones). The thought of meeting soon...........
of hearing a song and every word belonged to the romance....wouldn't it be nice if this could stay in marriage?

Is it possible to be in love with romance?

What is it all about anyway? Remember being consumed with the thoughts of someone? At least for a while never being able to see their flaws nor they yours. The heat of passion - the sweetness.

Valentine Day can have as much disappointment for some as any other holiday because of expectations. Anyway, I hope you have a Valentine to share with today - or you have a good book to curl up with, maybe a box of fabulous chocolate (yeh, just go buy some yourself if you haven't a box!) - have a good romantic read or movie or music on your agenda tonight! Fond memories. Or someone in your past, present or future. Or, grab someone, and MAKE a good Valentine Day! Might be the cat or dog....sorry, just joking!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Fog, Long Needles, and White Flowers

We have had a lot of fog lately. I like it. It is still and quiet and adds another dimension to just being alive for the day.

I dropped the boy off at school and pulled into a Long Needle Pine Preserve. Like too many beautiful things on our earth, these southern forests are disappearing. Remember the two trees in my yard that disappeared, but everyone denied they were there...and I found the photo which established the fact that I was not insane, the trees were actually there--they were long needle pines.

I found the fog alluring and walked far back into the Preserve. The palmetto palms were twice as high as I had seen them anywhere. I hoped to run into an alligator - no, I mean I wanted to see an alligator in the wild. The only wildlife I encountered was the sounds of singing birds. I will go back in the summer when the pitcher plants bloom. These are also disappearing at an alarming rate. I want to paint them. When I first started painting, I had a period of painting endangered species of animals and earth.

I remember living in the woods In Alabama a few years back - I would go out and lay on top of the picnic table in the night, sometimes pulling a shawl over me for the night, and look up at the long needle pines against the deep blueness of the sky and wish with all my heart I could paint them: the deep night colors, the angle of looking up. I felt as if I were in another earth somewhere with these pines. My son died during that time and I bought his paints home with me. I still owe him that painting. I wish I had purchased that little mobile home out there in 'Bama on the bay. There were trails to walk, possums living under the shed, the smell of wet leaves and the bay within short walking distance.

When I drove to Mobile to see Dr. Lovely I encountered more fog. The horizon disappeared in fog, and the bridges I crossed disappeared into the fog. Another other-worldly experience it was.

Last night the birds sang all night--another reason I love Florida. I laid in a half slumber listening to them. Their song was absolutely heady.

Yep, I'm in an esoteric mood where I want to plant white flowers, moon flowers with blooms as big as dinner plates and a scent like no other, so I can sit on the patio at night with a bottle of wine, good music, and look up at the mystery of the two majestic long needle pines in my yard, watch the stars play off white blooms and inhale their scent and listen to the birds sing in the night. I would pick a bloom and hold it against my lips and be drunk with the sensation of petals. I could feel white with my lips, I would inhale white with my nose!

I think that surely there must be some place for me some day, a place of green, of moonlight and sunlight, tall pines and wild animals that come to the porch for food, abounding with nature and peace and the time to paint and create. Someday.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Dream Dancing in the Sun

Well, I still don't feel like blogging, but ok, I'll tell ya why. Stress from relationship problem. I'm so tired of living with so much anger, denial, and control. Even if you refuse to participate, it wears ya out. An analogy is the atomic bomb - it blows up, but not just the impact site is damaged - the fallout goes for miles and miles.

There - its out of the closet so to speak. But................

Today the sun was out and it smelled like spring. Like the first days when you head for the beach to get tan and hunker between sand dunes because the breeze is still a bit chilly. I've lost one dress size - another couple of months and I'll be ready for that tan - for long, luscious hours in the sun and sand with ice cold grapes and ice water in the cooler. Of course, I'll have little tag-a-long fellow with me - but he makes friends with kids there and plays happily close to shore.

So anyway, life has its fun areas!!!! I love my class - spent 3 hours today riveting two pieces of metal together with an 18 gauge wire that was an eighth of an inch long. Over and over and over. About 15 rivets later, I think I sort of have it. But compulsive character that I am, I enjoyed the challenge of proving to myself I could do it. (Do not drink lots of expresso before attempting this.)

I lost the three pieces of metal that I cut and needed to rivet. Took them to Mobile when I went to see Doc Lovely Tuesday. I showed my daughter what I'd done and she was her always encouraging self. I bought them home and then lost them. They were in an envelope - I fear it may have been thrown away.

Next we make a ring.

I need to get back to painting, (yes, that is a refrain) and also to send photos of the hibiscus as requested to a prospective buyer.

Spring is here - although its chilly, its time to trim all the winter dead off, get some good top soil down and plant cool weather flowers. We've had some days in the 70's - but today it didn't get much above 61 F. Yesterday I was scared to death we were going to get tornadoes - parts of the sky were absolutely black. Fifty people were killed in States around us.

Youngest grandson has started baseball (for the first time) and I'm so proud of him, he was scared to death, but decided he wanted to do it and is giving his all. I admire him for doing new things. However I've a lot more work now getting him to practices.

The political machines drone on and on and will until after November. We have too many TV's in the house - I love it when I'm the only one here and they are all turned off - no news of this candidate and that one. I will admit it is one darn interesting political race. Mitt bowed out today. Lots of speculation on how his supporters will vote now. Mention was made of a "deal" with Huckabee - wonder what that's all about?

Mardi Gras, the big days anyway, is over and I didn't go to one parade. Didn't eat King Cake, no moon pies, didn't catch any beads nor show my boobs to a single soul.

Well, the goal tonight is to make it to all of your blogs and see what I've missed.