Popcorn Is My Therapy and Vladimir My Entertainment

Let’s face it. I talk about Vladimir more than I do Lucy, but I love Lucy just as much as I love Vladimir. Lucy is quieter. She is shy. She likes to sleep UNDER the couch. Vladimir RULES the couch. Lucy does not eat as much. She’s a big 12 pounds. But Vladimir… Uh… He is about 16 or 17 pounds. He was 16 at last visit, but he feels heavier to me now. Think you’ll put him on a diet? He will claw the carpet up outside the closed bedroom doors until he gets a few more kibbles. I’m telling you, he is pretty much in charge.

Vlad sits atop the cat tower, scoping things out.
When I come near, Vlad takes notice.
Vlad grabs the back of my head with one paw and bites my hair. Maybe this is love?
Air-popped popcorn with real butter and salt.

Anyone who knows me knows that there are a few things I LOVE! Coffee. Popcorn. Slaw. Yes. Not necessarily in that order. I have been enjoying a bowl of air-popped popcorn every afternoon. I try not to put too much butter, but with real butter and salt, oh my goodness, what a yummy snack.

Here I go, running into the weekend. I have several new items to take to the shop this evening. I am preparing for tomorrow when the shop will be open all day. I have a few projects to work on this evening: an art book, some jewelry items. Jason and I have some rehearsing to do as well.

Do you have favorite snacks or drinks?

Enjoy this day!


Vladimir and the Dress

Vladimir was not in a dress.  So don’t think that!  Vladimir does indeed like to get in the middle of whatever is going on, but no, he was not in the dress.  Actually, yesterday I got some really good photos of Vladimir sitting in the window, the sun making his eyes look like beautiful yellow-green marbles!

The temperature was good out — not too cold, so I opened a window. Vladimir went directly to the screened window to look out and listen to the sounds of neighbors coming and going.

The dress came later in the day, when I got out during my lunch break and stopped into a little antique store. It is an adorable altered piece of clothing, but the down side is that there is no way to actually wear it without putting in a zipper or buttons. It is completely closed at the bust/waist, as in no way to put it on, and too narrow to slip over the head. I did consider buying it and altering it more, but since I already have several projects under way, I will work on my own. I was told this was made specifically for a window display in a little consignment shop. It is indeed lovely, and I hope we can all get some inspiration from it!

Enjoy this day!


A Bit of Vintage and Some Weekend Fun: Oyster Bake

Oh, Happy Monday! Right? And Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! My favorite MLK quote:

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

Over the weekend, Jason and I were invited to an oyster bake.  What a fun and delicious time!  It was actually a little get-together to celebrate the life of Pouncy, the beloved neighborhood cat who recently had to be put down.   The neighborhood is full of cat and dog lovers.  As fate would have it, the owners of Pouncy were traveling during Pouncy’s acute flare which led to him being put down.  Several neighbors had been watching out for Pouncy during the owners’ time away, and they all came together to get Pouncy to the vet and take care of a sad situation.  That was the main reason for the celebration: so many had loved and cared for Pouncy.

I love the way this photo captures the darkness beyond the firelight and people shucking oysters by the light of an iPhone.  They were so good!  Shuck one, pour the contents into your mouth, repeat.  I am not a big oyster fan, generally speaking, but these were amazing.  You could taste the salt water!  And I guess just being outside and taking them right out of the coals.  Just awesome.

I also found some very nice vintage items over the weekend. One is an old tablecloth. Even though it had a couple of stains, I washed it and placed it folded across a tall storage cabinet. The bright flowers are staring at me when I look up from my desk.

I also found four amazing lamps! A couple of them need cleaning and harps, and they all need shades. A couple will probably go into the shop, but a couple will come home with me!

Well, Mars has a new album.
Amelia and Mars cozy up.
Gravel-punctured tire. Really?

I went into the weekend pretty tired but it all ended up being okay. After all the snow and ice finally melted, I went out to run some errands and had a flat tire. What are the chances of running over a piece of gravel that perfectly wedges in the tread and punctures the tire? And, wouldn’t you know? I had just purchased four new Dunlop tires for the Element five weeks ago. I had to drive on a spare for a day while they ordered a new one, and I got a good discount since it was so new. I had originally refused the roadside hazard warranty at 20 dollars a tire!  Maybe I should get it next time?

Enjoy this day!


Sarah Bernhardt Pink Peony: Blooms on a Mosaic Wall

I am not sure I will find a prettier picture tonight.  So here is my offering to you for this day: a gorgeous peony bloom from The Little Wild Garden.

For anyone who has just tuned in (thank you to my new visitors!), The Little Wild Garden was the name I gave to my beloved garden of 23 years, mostly because I let some wild natives (pretty weeds?) grow with the more cultivated plants of this world.  I no longer have that garden, but I am building a new garden in a wooded setting with my dear friend Jason.  Sometimes places and things must be traded for peace of heart and mind.

Perhaps some day I will have another mosaic covered border around a garden bed.  Do you think?

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”  ~Emerson

Enjoy this day!


Decked out in Skulls and Gray: “The Fashion Stump”

Today is a brighter, happier day! The snow is melting outside. I feel I have been unable to run errands or get out on the roads for days and days. I thought perhaps we needed a “fashion” post from The Fashion Stump, not that this is fashion at all. This is called dressed way down in loose leggings, a dress covered in skulls, and a soft gray sweatshirt with darker gray roses all over it. But still, it’s the thought that counts, right?

The camellias that were so white and soft and beautiful last week are now frozen brown. There is something so beautiful about them. They look like they have been tea stained, still shaped perfectly. It makes me want to press them for a project of some kind. Hmmm. Maybe I will.

Out in the edge of “Lynnwood,” my woodland garden, the mushroom statue is pretty against the snow.  Lynnwood: my little magical forest that grows and changes very little at the time, while I heal and make decisions and think about things past and future. Mostly I try to just stay in the present moment. Just in this day. That is a safe thing to do. I believe too much worry shows we are in the past. Anxiety may prove that we are too much in the future. It’s best to stay in the right-now. All we have is today.

I am still looking for greenhouses at local shops and on Amazon. I want something small and simple that I can build around with wood and old windows. If I can dream it, I can do it.

Enjoy this day!


Therapy: Journal Pages

When I am sad.  When I hurt.  When I have trouble just being still and letting go of things,  I make a journal page.  I have a small stack of papers, all the same size, all from the same type of paper.  I pull out the glue or Mod Podge and scissors, and I make a page with a theme of thought or color.  It helps me.  Every time.

Yes, I did, thankfully.

Tonight, particularly tonight, I just ache. Emotionally, I hurt. If I could only just pour my story out. But I will “go high” as they say, and not pour it out. I long for a wand to help those I love. I long for some magic dust to right the wrongs in this world. To help the underdog. To heal those who have been treated unfairly. I just hurt.  For everyone.  For everything.  For myself.  For others.

I guess art is a very safe thing to do, and I am sure it is healing. I am sure. Music is art, and it does the same thing for me.  My guitar, cradled in my arms, it helps.  What do you do when you feel restless? It is very easy, frail human beings that we are, to “act out” when we are restless. That might mean getting up and going somewhere. It might mean making a decision. (Probably not a good idea, that last one.) It might mean turning to a vice of some kind. Maybe it means raging or sleeping or crying.  It is very hard, in this frail state we exist in, to simply be still. I am really working on that. I think it is a lifelong process.

Enjoy this day!


A Study of Contrasts

This morning I was at my craft desk. I pulled an old magazine from one of the shelves.

I recognized it immediately as one that used to be my mom’s. She and I have both taken many gardening and homemaking magazines through the years, so sometimes we have traded a few or donated to each other. This one was hers. I flipped through the pages and found this:

Only it was not finished. I saw my mom’s handwriting. She had done about half the puzzle, or maybe a bit more. I got the sweetest feeling knowing that my mom had worked on this, probably standing at her kitchen counter. Mama, I finished this crossword for us.

Looking at these pages made me long for springtime! And yet it is in the single digits outside with snow on the ground. Perhaps it will do me good to get online and search for small greenhouses.

I would even dream of a clothesline if I thought I’d ever again have time for one! But I know my mama loves things like laundry on the line, even now.

Be still my heart!

Meanwhile, in real life…

Actually, I have enjoyed being extremely lazy during this snow. I have napped. I have snacked. Tonight I hope to practice my guitar. A lot! I have helped with a friend’s dogs, which has been more of a treat than a chore. I am thankful for every single day. For healing and for all that we have!

Enjoy this day!

North Carolina Snow and Walking the Dogs

Well, the weathermen were right about snow…in some areas of North Carolina!  This was one of those storms that dropped nearly a foot of snow in some places, but then not far away only dropped rain.  There are some frustrated NC residents, folks who bought sleds and milk and bread, but then only got rain.  We got about half a foot of snow around here, maybe a little more.  It ended up being a mix of sleet and snow.  It sure is pretty, but baby it’s cold outside!

A friend of ours is snowed in as a nurse where she works. We agreed to walk her dogs for her. We sent her some sweet pictures to let her know that her babies are happy and cared for!

Bailey is white. Little Guy is black. They have their bright Christmas sweaters on and are ready to go see the fluffy white stuff!

Once outside, they did their business and ran for home! Did not take long for their little paws to get cold! I do think they enjoyed it, though! They jumped through the deep snow and ran ahead, making us run to keep up with them.

In other news, something very, very sweet, I know you remember that Michaela and I were raising bunnies, way back when, at the old house. It is heartbreaking to give away animals. It is heartbreaking to see what it does to your children. Some of the families in our homeschooling group adopted our bunnies when I left the old house. Three or four of them took a bunny apiece. One family that I had only known from the internet took several of them.  I am happy to report that we keep up with two of the bunnies. Sadly, Basil is gone now, but he was loved and well cared for the duration of his life. Anyway, check this out! Below you will see Gingersnap, the bun-bun that was born with somewhat splayed legs, a deformity that bunnies can have. Can you believe that Gingersnap is now a spoiled indoor bun-bun who lives and sleeps with a beagle, and runs and jumps in the snow? Be still my heart.

Yes, this is Michaela’s little Gingersnap, now cared for by owners who have a wonderful loving home. It warmed my heart to see this.  Gingersnap looks to be doing pretty good with his hind legs.  It was not as bad a deformity as it could have been, but he always did hop a little funny and slow.

That is all for now, but stay tuned for snow photos! Enjoy this day!


Good Results

I had a medical test today, routine, and got good results, so I am so happy about that.  I am drawn to many things about the past or old way of life, but it sure is nice to have our current medical care that allows us to screen for things that have killed others (unnecessarily) at an early age.  Colon cancer comes to mind.  My mother lost her sweet brother way too young; I lost an uncle.  Anyway, I am counting my blessings today for good results.  You can probably guess I had a colonoscopy.

After we left the medical facility, I was told to name wherever I wanted to go to eat my first meal in 36 hours.  No problem.  Foster’s Market!  OMGOSH!  I had a Jammin’ Turkey sandwich on gluten-free bread, hot coffee WITH cream and sugar, and a bag of sour cream and chives potato chips.  OMGOSH (yes, I am saying that again!) it was so good!  I felt like a Survivor contestant who had won a rewards challenge!  I could actually only hold half of the sandwich, but the other half was heartily consumed later, after a nap.

Jammin’ Turkey Breast:  herb roasted turkey breast, Foster’s own Seven Pepper Jelly, thinly sliced red onions, herb cream cheese and romaine on sourdough $7.50


In other news, Mars has a new album out.  This is his third album. 

This album was heavily influenced by Mars’ love of traditional Swiss music, but he wanted to infuse it with modern electronica and some synthesizer effects. It has been well received I’m told.

I guess I have found my place to take fashion photos.  I know some of you out there think fashion photos are ridiculous, or at least I think I have gathered that, but to me it is fun!  It is an art form, and I realize a great frivolity in some ways, to be able to use clothes to express our feelings.  I never take for granted that I have what I need; I don’t forget that some people don’t have what they need.  I have never spent a lot on clothes in general, but I do not mind paying appropriately and a lot (what is due) for handcrafted things, if you know what I mean.

Pink Rose sweater dress (thrifted); Christopher & Banks cardigan (from my sister); Target tights (new); Merona boots (new).
Pretty blue pot sits on the potting bench, waiting for spring.
Used an app to get a sketch effect. Anyone see the eyes watching over me from the trees? Or the fierce dog face in my hair?

That’s all for now. I am truly enjoying getting back to blogging and having hosted space. Another form of expression that some think is a waste of time. I guess it depends on what it does for the author and what it does for the readers.

Oh, I have added a new page.  The link is in the sidebar:  Artist’s Book: Coffee Table Cat Book

Enjoy this day!

The Constancy of Change

One thing we can always count on: change.  I am always aware that I am hoping for good change.  Life can bring about slow change or quick change, bitter change or sweet change.  Thankfully, I think most days for many of us are filled with subtle, pleasant day-to-day life changes of things like new clothes or furniture, decluttering to make room again, seeing old buildings come down or get revitalized, trying a different restaurant, slowly aging, and so on.

I mentioned getting a new (to me) baker’s rack for our dining room, and when I say “our,” it usually means with Jason, at his home.  We spend a lot of time cooking together or playing music.  My apartment is tiny and is only a transitional spot for me right now.  I have been in transition since the day I walked away from my old house where my children grew up.  My children are all grown now.  The youngest are learning to make their own way.  I am divorced and healing from abuse and adoring the friendship and love of someone who makes me laugh every day.  So, yeah, I have reached a point where I am okay with dragging home one of my “finds” to Jason’s to organize a few things.

It is change.

When I took this picture I did not hide anything or try to make anything look perfect. I find that I am not really great at making everything look like a magazine. I always have a dash of utility thrown in. Actually the bottom shelf of this rack houses a huge bottle of vinegar and some kitty supplies. The framed Marilyn nearby is an extra from the shop that is just hanging around right now. She is waiting for change as well. I love a mix of the deliberate staging of decorative things and LIFE.

What better place for this framed kitty in a pot than behind a large stock pot?
We love hot sauce. My recently purchased ornament hangs from one corner of the shelf.
The framed rooster print is a recent gift.
I find that between the two of us, kitties and cats are everywhere. One goal this year is to work through my Somerset Studio magazines and actually do some things described within the pages!

We have had a sad change of late. A very sweet, very friendly neighborhood cat has had to be euthanized due to mast cell disease. Pouncy loved being outside, and especially loved sitting on cars or trucks in the ‘hood. Pouncy was pretty high up in the Meowfia around here, and there is a vacuum of a power struggle as the neighborhood cats try and put someone else in power. For sure, Amelia and Mars will miss Pouncy, though Amelia and Mars were only allowed to view Pouncy from the windows of their own indoor abode. Ahhhh, the limitations of being an indoor cat.

Enjoy this day,