Friday, April 25, 2008

Just another Dance Recital...

...but not the same as usual. Tonight my beautiful dancing nieces performed a sister duet dance to the song "I Hope you Dance" and their yearly dance recital and it was stunning. At least what I saw of it through my tears seemed to be. They almost cancelled, considering the dark news that fell on their doorstep this week, but they wanted to dance for their daddy. Their father had been experiencing weakness in his arms for a while, and after three weeks of exhaustive testing the results were delivered on Wednesday, stage four testicular cancer. He is only 47 years old, with three small children. More tests next week to see if it has spread to his spine, which is the worst case scenario. It has been a week of tears here, and it has certainly put my own small concerns in life into perspective. I pray all the time, and I believe in the power of prayer. So I would be grateful for any and all extra prayers for Lewis over the next few weeks, even if they are small ones.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stuff, Stuff, and MORE Stuff....Garage Sale Fever

Now that the weather is shifting into "Spring Bliss" mode, all the sudden garage sales are popping up like dandelions. Of course not to be outdone, my sisters and I are arranging one too. Generally you can find just about anything at a garage sale in the Midwest, and just wait until they get a whiff of what I'm selling. (LOL) A three foot glass lizard covered in dancing ladies, a 100 year old Tibetan altarpiece, all manner of toys and decorative items that aren't really any use to me presently. It is going to be the monster garage sale I would have killed to attend just short years ago, before I learned for certain I am not my possessions. Don't worry my friends, certain meaningful things will stay with me, but it is time to shed my skin.

These years of attending auctions and selling vintage items have really changed me. I can never explain the experience of going into so many estates, and seeing a life carefully arranged on huge wooden wagons to be picked over and examined by hoards of people looking for bargains. To see how much "stuff" the average American accumulates over a lifetime, most of it not used, is truly enlightening. It is a true window to the soul of the previous owner, as you find what was important enough to them to collect, what they found meaningful to keep, a true timeline of their life. And in the end it is all on wagons sold to the highest bidder, all this careful accumulation. It has absolutely changed my view and habits, but in my sister it has had the exact opposite effect. Sometimes I think her house will sink under the weight of all the "stuff" she now accumulates. I admit, I have looked around at her house and found myself thinking "what an estate sale" all this will someday be.

And me? I like the feeling of being lighter, and the thought of sending "stuff" out into the world to find other willing caretakers. Contentment for me today more and more seems to be found in simplicity.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Big Creative Push

Is it the Spring that pushes new things along with it's fresh perspective on life? Hard to tell really, but my absence here for several days has been due to a great creative push I am experiencing. I am busy working on those purses, and they are morphing into other projects as well. This has always been my process, all projects morph into one another like one pool of water spills into the next. Remember that analogy when we all lived in the big house Roger? Well, it is true of a single artist as well. All artistic projects are born of the core vision came before.

And finally we have weather here condusive to happiness. Warm and sunny, but cool enough to leave the front door and windows open to enjoy the breeze. After the earthquake last week it is as if Hecate decided to give us all a big break from the really weird weather and throw Spring at us in abundance. My favorite season is Autumn, but Spring will do in a pinch. :) Now it is not only my little mechanical birdie chirping, but my "snowshoe" friends who made it through the Winter as well. I was never as attached to nature in my life as I am now, probably a function of the wisdom of age and gratitude.

Steampunk Technology

Wow, this little baby is impressive. My friend Ag linked me to this site, and I have marveled at this laptop computer by Datamancer for several days now. My dream laptop for sure :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Earthquake Aftershocks 5.2, 4.5

Today, one just now, we had a small earthquake and then a healthy aftershock. It was strange, to get that queasy feeling in my stomach again, to feel the rolling of the ground, and hear the tinkling of glass as things swayed. I haven't felt this since I lived on the West Coast, and I knew right away what it was. Just like I was trained (yes, thanks to you Judy), I immediately slipped on my shoes and ran outside. No one there but me so I began to think I imagined it. I do have a healthy respect for gravity- and this earthquake was like an old friend. It just tickled me...earthquake in Illinois! Woo-hoo!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Do they make this in a Walmart Generic Yet?

Thanks Rogie, I could use a dose of this for sure!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Watch the Birdie

On Saturday my niece Crystal, who is very concerned that I do not have a pet, gave me this little Takara (yes, I know...whodathunkit) Blue Bird. He's not your average bird, no upkeep to speak of (except batteries), but he does warble and chirp and wiggle his tail when you pass by his motion detector. Normally I wouldn't find such a thing very attractive, but there is something really cool about forgetting he's on and moving around him to hear a surprise "chirp" out of the blue. No birdseed, no dirty cage, just a nice little Spring birdie. A mechanical pet suits me fine at this stage of my life.

Rained all week, it is a record for this area. All the creeks, rivers, and lakes are overflowing, and it has gotten cold once again. I am sure hoping Spring will "sprung" itself soon. Been working auctions and painting all week; a little group of wooden purses. Keeps me out of trouble thankfully. I like making one of a kind pieces to warm up the synapses for the illustrations to come. I rarely paint in acrylics, so it is a refesher course as such.

That's all for me today, I got nuthin else. :::chirp:::

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

True Confessions of a TERRIBLE Gambler

One of the dubious benefits of the show I did this weekend was it's location at a casino. My sister and I researched our trip...and found they had PENNY slot machines. It has been years since I had been exposed to slot machines, I couldn't believe they actually had machines that would pay out on a penny bet. Gambling is like drinking to me. On the rare occasion I do indulge it is usually "frou-frou" drinks nobody would be caught dead with to the amusement to all present. Usually because I am fascinated by the mini umbrella or Tiki Mug it is presented in. So you as you can imagine, I view gambling in my own "special" way.

Armed with my Sponge Bob coin purse full of pennies I marched on to the Casino floor, searching for machines that called out to me. First there was "Alien Abduction", that had really superior graphics. I played it long enough to see the full range of bonus animations, and when it came to the final abduction I choose that the aliens abduct the dog for a 500 penny bonus. The next machine was based on Sea Monkeys, and I never did get a bonus screen there. It was enough just to admire their little pink-ness. Then on to "Happy Camper"..the bonus screen there was actually in the form of toilet paper (I kid you not)and you chose rolls for your bonus pennies. So far so good..and since I was on a "roll" the next slot machine that called my name was entitled "Double Your Monkey". This is where I got in serious trouble..mainly because this machine squeaked with monkey sounds. It was about this time my sister went bust and was hanging around me, and she encouraged me to keep hitting the Monkey button. I prefer to think because of the terrific monkey swinging on a vine animation and not to help me loose too. (LOL) I arrived with $28.00 dollars in pennies, and departed with $6.27. Two hours experience throwing pennies in machines. Needless to say, I was not offered a free High Roller suite at this casino.

Casinos are really like big flashy churches. All manner of people milling around, some looking bored, tired or desperate. I even saw children parked just outside the casino floor to wait on their mother who was intently button poking, speaking over the dim of machine sound occasionally to keep track of them. It's a strange world, carefully designed to overwhelm the senses in such a way that normal reasoning is overcome. Although I understand the lure of visiting, I sure wouldn't want to live there.

Now, THIS is a LAMP

My sense of interior decoration has always been a little, shall we say, special. I actually squealed in delight when I saw this, I'll admit it. You won't be seeing a lamp like this at Wal-Mart anytime soon. Just my kind of product :)

Thursday, April 03, 2008


The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou
(LOL) Stolen from Cedarflame, who's inspired to be more ladylike...any day now.

Now that is off my chest...

Blog Number 400. Who would have thought I'd ever have so much to say when I stated blogging? Most of the time, even though I can be chatty, I find I am short on words- a simple visual artist.

Been a strange few weeks for me, hard to write about. Change is once again in the wind, and oh how I struggle. Intellectually I know resistance is futile and that change will happen regardless of planning. I am on the verge of acceptance though, so I must be growing.

On a road trip this weekend doing a show. Figure that will excavate me from my thought process and focus on daily minutia. Haunted by several creative projects, one that requires some science to complete. So as we are driving head space will be cleared, at least for a little while. :)

I Swore to Myself...

...that this election I would not involve my blog in my "radical" political views. I broke my silence by uploading the previous Youtube video because I was outraged at the audacity of this blatant "curtailing" of free speech, and couldn't believe it was not discovered and at least mentioned by the mainstream media. We really need to decide what we want in this country, leaders that are human beings with personal human frailties (which are not our business and have no bearing on their ability to legislate) or puppets for corporations. We've HAD the puppet for eight long years... and what we know about the damage this administration has caused is just the tip of the iceberg. We are all on this limping ship of state with the gaping hole in the hull denied by those steering the boat. Just because damage may not be apparent from the first class cabins doesn't mean it will never sink, and that you are any less personally responsible. So in this election while distracted by the flag waving, lapel pin wearing vision of patriotism spoon fed us, it would be good to remember that houses go to foreclosure, forests are decimated, jobs disintegrate and lives are LOST with the stroke of a pen in the wrong hands.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Assassination of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer

Unhappy Democratic voters stating they'll vote for McCain in a fit of spite over the nomination want four more years of this?