Friday, November 30, 2007


I found this neat advent calendar in the Pottery Barn catalog. All the ornaments are for sale and the board itself is 36 by 48, covered in linen and for $129 they send the board and the tags. Maybe even the numbers. I have some scraps of foam insulation on my dining room table that need to be cut to the same size--probably 30 inches by 48 and then wrapped in batting and then some linen from a dress I can't wear anymore. My daughter gave me tags. My husband has menu board numbers which I can use.

I'm thinking I will make ornaments each day or find something in the attic to use for that day. By Christmas I will have a nice little display. Re-useable. And if I win the lottery or have extra $$$ some day-- I can call Pottery Barn and order a "real" one.

I actually doodled in my journal yesterday. And today I visited a web site where an Iraq artist made collages from burnt and destroyed Iraqian library books (from the riots/looting after the Bush victory). I loved the way they looked. So I began one of my own which you will see tomorrow along with the above mentioned website.

I think the "creative blockage" may be clearing. Anyway, I intend to keep making things, even awful things, everyday. I'm going to suffer for my art. And if I post--you will too. LOL

This week Dr House said something profound (and cruel) to a musician/drug addict:
If you're going to do something: Do it good. Or learn to do it good. Or don't do it at all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Push Forward

My horoscope for today:

Push through self imposed barriers. Widen your horizons. Remind yourself that the world is full of people who are just doing their best to be happy.

Yesterday I was responsible for turning a "good lunch" into a "not so fun lunch". An art friend and I meet to eat lunch and then to share our work and discuss life and art. I whined about my art blockage. And my friend threw up her hands and said "make bad art then." "Suffer! Isn't that what artists do?"


I guess it IS what artists do. They WORK. And only a fraction of that WORK is any good in the beginning. How on earth did I expect to get past this? I think I was hoping for a good work to just FALL into my hands. DUH!

So. I will be WORKING. Making awful, horrible stuff. And then making MORE. Suffering. Pushing forward.

Doing my best to be happy, also. How about you?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A New Look

Yesterday my daughter and I sat and worked on the new template for 2 hours. Choosing styles and colors was very stressful. I am having trouble making up my mind. Usual for me. I always know what I don't like. More difficult knowing what I DO like.

We lost the Artful Quilter's Ring button and my Sitemeter. Will have to re-install those someday soon. The links button works so great. Even I can do it.

Riley is a bit out of sorts today. Sleepy. Whiney. Unsocial. I wonder if he ate something weird. Weirder than usual. You just never know what he scoops up. Cigarette butts. Plastic bags. Mushrooms. Deer Poop. If he doesn't perk up tomorrow we'll check in at the Vet.

I am experiencing a major artistic block. I haven't made any art for awhile now. Not even my favorite little paper collages. My paper and pen journal is just pages and pages of writing since July. Not even one little picture pasted in with all the words.

I did make a little "rip off" of someone's work. I can copy. Not proud of this talent but if the design is simple enough I can make a duplicate. Takes time to get it right. And all the decisions have been made by someone else.

Tomorrow a friend and I will pack up my dearly departed friend's fabric, books, and quilting supplies. I miss her more than I thought possible. Perhaps all this is grief. Something I have never experienced before. I hope the packing of the boxes will complete this grieving process. And I can move on. My friend would want me to move on.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Here's Looking At You!

Only took a couple dozen tries but I got a decent picture of the "new" me. Of course I've been eating like a sailor on shore leave this week so I may not look like this for long. I think this year's turkey was the best one ever. And the pumpkin pie is so good! I get a tiny sliver but it's so rich, I can barely finish. But I soldier on.

All this weight loss has come at a price. Wrinkly skin. Like on a balloon that was blown up really big and then sits around in a warm room loosing air for a week or so. You know how it looks all wrinkly? Puckery? Crepe-y. What I need is big rubber bands to hold up all that loose skin on my thighs. Pull it all up to my hips and sort of hold it there. So my legs look fantastic. Or else keep it all covered. I carried most of my weight from the waist down. I did look like a Weeble. Now all that skin is empty.

My shoulders are wider than my hips. Or it just looks that way to me. When I walk and my shadow is in front of me-- I look straight up and down. I used to look like the food pyramid. Little pointy head and big big bottom.

I had three hours this afternoon and I spent it reading art blogs, writing in my journal, taking those dozens of pictures of myself, trying to get that smoky fire going and filling the house with black stinky smoke instead. I did get the purple pair of size 10 J Jill cords hemmed. I have no idea why they fit, but it's a real diet booster. No art.

Tomorrow I plan to go to the grocery and get lettuce for lots and lots of salads. And fruit and yogurt. Maybe skip Chinese Lunch. Wear the size 10 pants. Oh, yeah!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

I know why they call it this, but still, it seems not so correct. Today we had Thanksgiving Part II for lunch. I re-roasted the wings and legs of that turkey to get them "crispy" and loaded up plates with mashed & sweet potatoes, stuffing and gravy and we pulled chairs up to the table and crunched away.

My walking partner is still in town until the 27th so we had another delightful walk in the 30 degree, brisk, weather this morning. Riley just loves to start his day with a three mile walk and then a nice nap.

The fire in the woodstove was very smoky yesterday and kept going out. ( I swore, cussed and even kicked the stove, but it refused to work) Today is much the same problem. The wood is dry. This is why I really do not enjoy using the woodstove. When it works correctly, the heat is nice and soft and warms the entire high cathedral ceiling-ed room. When it doesn't work-- the whole house stinks of smoke and fire. We had four perfect, hot fires in a row and now, two terrible cold and smokey fires. I wish I had a gas woodstove. The only reason I'm using the woodstove this winter is the price of heating oil. We have plenty of wood piled up-- free, sort of. (purchased it 16 years ago and never burned it) At this rate, the whole house will need interior cleaning and painting to get rid of the smoke. And the smell.

Riley needs his dinner. So I will post this and get back to "dog duty". G is working till 11:30 tonight--Black Friday. When I worked retail, I loved the holiday season and all the customers. But that was long ago and I was younger and not quite as "poor" at customer service. :-)

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Today I am thankful for my life just as it is right now. How often are we "just right" with ourselves? No changes necessary.

Riley and I walked the empty streets of our little neighborhood. No cars, no people, no dogs. I speculated that everyone was having a late, family breakfast. Riley thought about it. Decided he wanted a cheese fueled run. So G and I teamed up to get him running and soon he was a foam splattered black dog. Happy dog.

I baked my pumpkin pie yesterday and made a batch of no knead bread with additions. One tablespoon of honey, wheat flour and three tablespoons of GrapeNuts. I let it sit around for 24 hours and now I have it in a 12 muffin pan making it's last rise. I ALWAYS forget dinner rolls on Thanksgiving so this will be a family event.

The turkey needs to be ready to eat at 6pm so I have time to fool around. My daughter, our only guest, is eating with friends at 1 or 2 and then with us at 6. So G and I will have lunch and then make dinner.

Brussels sprouts from our garden, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberries and baked acorn squash. No green bean casserole. It turns out that I have always been the only member of the family who loved it. And I no longer eat large piles of food. So there is too much of it leftover. In fact, we really have trouble finishing leftover food now.

I'm the same weight I was 25 years ago. Amazing Theory: If I gained only 3 pounds a year for 25 years I would have weighed exactly what I weighed last year at this time. Seventy five pounds more than I do now. And in those 25 years, I lost weight occasionally. Like 5, 10 or 15 pounds. So there were years when I regained that much. Unbelieveable. It happens when we just aren't paying attention.

I am so very thankful that I started on my "healthy eating plan" in January and stuck with it and walked nearly every day and counted every calorie and weighed and measured every portion.

I am thankful my family is healthy and happy. I am thankful for G. And for my dog. And for Tivo. And now I'm going to finely chop celery and onions and peel potatoes and love every second. I do LOVE prep work with a knife. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Moving Along

My walking buddy is back in Maine with her Florida sunshine tan. She looks great! We bundled up and walked this morning (24 degrees). It is SO much nicer to walk with someone! As to the art above. You've seen this before but now with some leaves. Salvaged pieces from when I "altered" my favorite sweatshirts to fit the "new me". I added three blue buttons.

Another piece we have seen before but with an added strip torn off of something green wrapped around the fringed piece of red satin. It needed some relief from all the red. I may add some buttons to this as well to repeat the dots in the fabrics.

I used one of the prepared Pamela Allen workshop backgrounds for this and just built it up with whatever prepared and unused bits I had on the work surface as I had only a few moments to work. This is progressing but needs a "punch". I think something stronger for the leaves which are darker in real life, but I can see that the contrast is not enough.

I am finding that I enjoy the adding of unmatched scraps to a piece. Not thinking too much. Just trying things repeatedly and finding the solution to be surprising and not what I would have thought. Taking a chance. I just need a few hours to load some threads in the machine and topstitch and quilt these to actually get a feel for the surface.

The last and most successful in my humble opinion. The piece was made horizontal but I kind of think it should be vertical with the "kite" (from my favorite red sweatshirt). The additions of green scraps to the left is very exciting and because they are batiks and velvets, there is a nice tactile thing going on. With some stitching I think I can see what happens to the surface. When this is horizontal the little peaked shapes looked like houses. They still could be houses as my viewpoint could be from the sky looking down.

I don't think I would have made anything like these four if I had lots of time in the work room. The ones above are legal pad size. I'm finding I like smaller work. I have a pile of different fabrics to make into leaves for a larger piece. Corduroy pants, velveteen, batik and if time allows today, I plan to paint some of my own fabric for the leaves also. Some color and texture I can't find in my fabrics or in my clothes.

I went to the library yesterday to find some reference materials for my Expressive Books challenge. I don't think I will be going in the direction of the research but it was good for the brain cells to contemplate the subject matter. And it is amazing where one "thought thread" will lead. I may just make a series of separate pages in fabric, paint and paper and then lay them out and see what fits and what is needed. I think a subject or theme will come out of the work rather than trying to get the work to co-operate with a set idea.

I'm interested in painted fabric, textural surprises, transfered images and the use of recycled fabrics (waste). I'm also increasingly drawn to large, graphic images. Perhaps lino or wood cuts printed on fabric. The Japanese books from the library are making me want to cut into some lino or speedball sheets.

Time to start a fire in the wood stove. Pizza for dinner tonight with pepperoni, mushrooms and pineapple. Whole wheat crust for me and regular for G. A new brand of prepared dough balls at the grocery store today which looks much better than the store brand. The wheat looked "wheaty". Turkey is thawing in fridge and all the sides are ready to be prepped. I even remembered pie ingredients and whipping cream. I didn't get dinner rolls.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Blog Evaluation- Needs Improvement

I want to change my blog name. I want to change my blog.

I had low expectations for this endeavor when I launched. I had been writing in a pen/paper journal for many years. Jotting down ideas, drawing things, copying recipes, craft ideas from television programs, pasting in "art" from magazines. Anything I liked or wanted to try was recorded. These journals, and there are four or five bulging books now, are completely entertaining. To me.

What I wanted was somewhere to TYPE. I love the typed word. So fast. Deleteable. And my pen/pencil journal is slower (penmanship) and the only way to delete is to tear out pages. And those pages are really sewn in tight.

I also wanted a place to write opinions and ideas and embellish the truth and tell lies. I wanted to WRITE. And of course, I wanted it to be ALL about me. Problem is: My real life is completely dull, even to me. In the beginning, I wrote some really good stuff about my past, about days and times that meant alot to me. And the emotion came through in the words. Lately, not much.

I've signed on, in the past few days, for a challenge. To make a book. A creative exploration of an idea, method, or technique. Mapped out. Like an expedition into uncharted territory. Like an explorer looking for the edges of the known world. Afraid he might fall off that edge. Into what? I'm terrified. Excited. Have no idea yet what I will explore.

I want this blog to be a factual record of this exploration. With side trips into the mundane. Explorers wrote about daily life along with the adventure. Samuel Pepys's Diary was a unique look at daily life and intimate thoughts. An exploration of his life. So mine will still detail walking the dog and weeding the garden and forgeting to plant the daffodils until the snow starts falling.

In the "needs improvement" department, I will try to be more entertaining. More of a writer. Telling a good story. Beautiful descriptive writing. I may even take a stab at dialogue, which is a weak point for me. I do like a bit of good repartee. (Editor's Note: Two detours to the encyclopedia and dictionary in this one post!)

In order to have time to write this post I had to sacrifice one of my slippers to the puppy. He is busy ripping it to shreds while I am typing away. A fair trade.

So how shall I change my blog name? I can't even begin to be clever about this. I was stumped when it came to naming my children. And the puppy. Help!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just DO Something

Remember when I wrote that I would be dedicating 2 hours a day to art? The only thing I am dedicating 2 hours to is dog walking. My whole day is walk the dog/do household chore/feed the dog/do household chore/walk the dog/feed the dog/do household chore/walk the dog/feed the dog/read the paper/go to bed.

You'll notice there is no time spot for personal cleanliness. I sometimes spend the whole day looking exactly like I did when I rolled out of bed and into dog walking clothes. Now that I can wear a "cold weather" cap, I don't even have to worry about bed head.

Today was a new low. I went to an appointment with the eye doctor in dog walking gear. Only because I got back from the morning walk too late to shower and change clothes. The upside, if there can be one, I didn't have to change clothes for the afternoon walk.

When my husband got home from work, the dog and I had been in the house 3 minutes (after a 3 mile hike). Riley was ready to go again. So we both took him out into the 4 acre unfenced yard (woods) and whistle trained him. We use a whistle to get his attention and call him and he's supposed to "come". This is tricky. Riley is 7 months old and thinks he is the boss now. So he RUNS. Away. We are trying to make coming to us when we call a "lot of fun". We attached the 20 foot lead to his collar so we would only have to get within 20 feet to catch him if he ran. He ran alright. Back and forth across the yard. To me. Then to G. He ran until he was foaming at the mouth. Then he had water, dinner, and was crated for a nap. G and I went out to eat. Cozy little restaurant. Wine, pate, lamb, cheesecake, coffee. G ate most of those things. I drank the wine.

I just need to DO something other than what I have been doing. It's all very nice. I do like clean clothes, good food, vacuumed floors. But I need to do something creative before I forget how. Reading would even be nice.

It WAS really nice to sit in that cozy restaurant with candles and wine and white napkins and have a nice chat with my husband. Should try for more of that, also.

Well, I think I'm going to take a much needed shower, brush my teeth and watch Project Runway. Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday- November 11

The bits and pieces of my friend's unfinished quilt top. My dilema: Leave the blocks as they are or use some of the new fabric she bought just before her death, (washed and ready to use) to make the blocks that are weird look prettier. Like the one in lower left. the floral purple with the peach. and the new fabric which looks lovely. I don't think my friend was actually going to take the blocks apart. I need to go over to the house and see if there is any more of the blocks building fabric around. Obviously I did not get everything I needed.

My second attempt at No Knead Bread. 500 degree oven. More flour. While it was better looking the taste element was only fair to middling. I guess I like a dense and tasty loaf. This one was airy and tasteless. G and I finished it off today. Toasted.

I truly do not know how Mrs Mel goes through 3 baked loaves. This one loaf lasted all week. And we had it for sandwiches, oh so thin Parmesan toasts with salads, breakfast toast and I was going to make croutons if it made it through today. But we toasted the remainder. I mixed up a new, replacement loaf for the coming week. One cup WW flour along with the white, sugar and a touch more water than necessary. It's sunning on the window sill. I'm only going to bake this one at 450. And I may knead it a bit to increase the gluten. Third time is the charm?

Weighed myself this morning. Didn't gain and lost a bit. So that's good news. Back to writing everything down in the food diary. I had gotten away from that and that isn't good. I need to make sensible decisions ALL day long so that dinner is a good meal and not a handful of salad. Canned soup for dinner yesterday. Ick! Organic maybe, but still tasteless. How can they mess up SOUP???? Chinese Lunch today. Yum.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Road Trip

We (man, woman and dog) were all getting a little frayed at the edges, so I decided we needed a change of scene. So we got into the car early on Thursday and drove south. On the way out of Maine we dropped Riley off where he was born and he had a day of "Doggie Daycare" with free play. He had his packed lunch with him.

G and and traveled into New Hampshire and Mass with the quilt show in Nashua as our destination even though it's a pretty stodgey show. I saw the sign for Cracker Barrel and we pulled in and had *breakfast*. Oh, it was heavenly. Two eggs, 3 crispy thick slices of bacon, grits, hashbrown casserole (and whatever is in that) and one biscuit. Two cups of coffee and a couple games of golf pegs in a triangle and I was happy. Cracker Barrel was all decked out in Christmas and glitter. I purchased one little Santa suit on hangers for a little quilt I want to make with fabric I have had for YEARS. I left behind the tiny toddler Halloween costume of orangey gold satin, black netting and sparkles. 70% off. Adorable.

On to Nashua, New Hampshire. I should have saved my $9.00 entrance fee and just roamed the vendors and gone home. There were about 50% of the usual quilts and they were all traditional. Lots of gorgeous hand quilting. The room looked half empty. Of quilts and people. The vendors were doing okay and the lunch room was packed when we got there.

I overheard some conversation about where a group of quilters was going next and heard Trader Joes. I barged right over and got directions. I've been wanting to have a peek at a Trader Joe's since I've been reading blogs. None in Maine which seems pretty ridiculous now that I've been. Seems like a perfect fit with Mainers. But we always seem to be at least a decade behind the country.

I shopped Trader Joe's and got Peach Salsa and four packages of dried Mangos. Only the mangos have sugar listed as the first ingredient and they are WAY TOO SWEET. So I washed one package off this morning to see if I could remove some sugar. I may have to throw them away. I like my fruit a bit tart. I had 2 pieces and can feel my heart beating. Way too much stimulation.

We did NOT try for a day pass at Costco. That would have been too much culture shock. We did visit a giant Barnes and Noble and I got my annual Mary Englebreit 7 inch square 2008 calendar. This year's theme, "You Can Do Anything". Pretty good.

Riley is up from his "after breakfast" nap and I will be taking him for a walk now. When we get back he will have his "after walk" nap and luncheon will be served. Then some play, a few visits to the potty and time for another 2 mile walk, dinner, licking the kitchen floor, and some "stay" with cheese incentives and he's asleep by 7 pm. Of course, I am required to participate in all dog activities. Riley and I are a "group". So much for free time.

I do try and crate him for 2-3 hours each day, if it works out for us. He doesn't mind. Gives him time to work on the fine motor skills of unsewing his dog bed. He is meticulous. Zipper removal was delicate and complete. Seam binding is coming off in one continuous strip. And now we are removing the polyfil. Just a tiny bit at a time. In the top left corner. The rest of the bed is in perfect shape.

Riley is ringing the door bell. Time for potty.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Today Can Be The Beginning

Of Anything. Or Nothing. I'm in a sort of "Is That All There Is?" kind of mood. All this work on the "Healthy Eating Plan" and all the walking and it's all overwhelming me.

Who am I now? Who do I want to be? Eight weeks till the END of this one year commitment to change. On January 5th I will have the opportunity to make a new commitment.

The weight loss has changed me. I smile. I feel like the "inside" person and the "outside" person match. I was always surprised, before, to catch a glimpse of myself, unawares. Who is that? Oh, gosh it's ME!!!! No. It can't be. It is. And I would want to run and hide. At one point in time I remember standing in front of a floor to ceiling mirror at Gap and seeing a Weeble looking back at me. All round in the middle with a little head bump and little feet bumps. A Weeble.

Now, I look like a regular person. Most times. A regular person who is ridiculously happy about fitting into the jeans she has on or the tiny spandex shirt. Tiny for me. Not you. And all that ridiculous happiness plays havoc with the past. Being a judgmental Virgo and all. I see faults and I pick away at them. Yours. Mine, certainly. Why was I so wrong for so long?

I can't just stand there looking into today's mirror and be happy. I have to wonder about all the years of Weeble. Why was I like that? What happened to make me want to change. Why was the change so easily accomplished. Yes. I said easily. I never struggled. I was never hungry. I never, until this month, was counting the days till January 5th. I just kept moving along, one day at a time and really, am just as shocked that it worked as everyone else is.

When asked, about how I did this, I say "I was ready to change". As simple as that. I was tired of carrying 100 pounds extra of guilt, sadness, failure, low self esteem, unworthiness, history and whatever else had been dumped onto me, around anymore. It was too heavy to carry. The weight came off but so did the baggage. Years of it. A lifetime of not being what anyone wanted. I've been unpacking that baggage as the weight came off.

Now it's time to unpack the last 30 pounds of baggage and I am dragging my feet, eating a cookie, not counting my calories, not weighing and measuring everything I eat. Being self destructive. Because the last of that baggage is the most toxic and the most familar and the hardest to face up to. Because to get rid of that last 30 pounds, I have to face up to what I am.

And I would guess, to do that, I have to admit, to my own self, that I am a failure. I never finished college. I never had a proper career job with a salary. I don't have professional credentials. I never tried hard enough to get any of these things. But they are what I always wanted. A profession. A job. To be able to support myself.

Wow. So today can be the beginning of unpacking that baggage. I can certainly go back to school and finish college. And a degree will probably get me a job. I was going to say that I might be too old. But a classic Ann Landers line came to mind. When a guy said "I'll be fifty in the 4 years it takes to finish college." Ann replied "So how old will you be in four years if you don't go to college?" But what do I want to be when I grow up? How do I discover my true calling? Can anyone light the way?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Dedicate Two hours a Day to Art

More painting was done to this flower. I don't think it's done yet. But I did try and sign it just in case it's done. I think I will paint over that. For sure.

What I like about this one is the limited amount of paint on the surface and the fact that it looks just as good upside down. Could hang it either way. Change it with your mood. While I was painting, I was thinking--House On Water. It does have a watery feel.

A fabric flower (my signature tulip) and my newly painted flower. They look like distant cousins. I need to figure out how to add more depth of color. The large spaces aren't all that interesting. And the acrylic paint dries so fast. I got a book on acrylic technique and it wasn't helpful. Maybe this is why I have never painted.

As to the title. I have a list of 15 things to do to become a better artist. I will be tackling one each week. This week. Two hours a day dedicated to ART. So far today, I unrolled the unfinished quilt I am finishing for my friend who died on October 21. I spent time trying to SEE what she was working toward. There are 23 incomplete blocks. Her color combinations are odd to me but could be significant to her style or signature "look" (or stroke impaired brain) so I don't want to impose my artistic vision onto her work too much. Doing this for an hour or two was very tiring but oddly very creative. Like learning a new language. I took pictures of the blocks with the digital camera to put some distance between me and the work. One block is 85% done and that's the one I'm going to use to finish the others. Use it as a road map.

G has done all the dog walks today. I just didn't want to. So now, while the football game is on, I plan to go down to my workroom and make something. Maybe some pieced fabric to cut big leaves out of. My old green wide wale cordoroy pants pieced with a green napkin. Or not. Two hours a day is long. I have been dedicating zero hours for weeks.

Tomorrow I need to snap out of this funk and get back into walking and doing art while the dog naps in his crate. Enough of this "I'm tired" whining.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Progress Report

So much blank wood. Can you believe it? I can't. The covered areas all belong to me. Down there past the big floral lamp. The situation: I have to clear a spot in another room for the things that need to leave this room. And in doing so need to find another spot for----- etcetra.

I did find a few clean, starched napkins for this photo. To set the mood for where I'm going with the long, empty table and the napkins and candles. I got this flatware in Denmark back in 1980 or 81 when the entire family went to Europe with Daddy. To see where he worked. When he was gone for two weeks every month for three and a half years.

My newly restored bookcase. Only books I actually read are still here. The others have gone to the book sale. Decorating, Cooking, Gardening, Journals in the lower left. There is a matching bookcase on the other side of the curtains. That is in the process of being loaded with magazines I NEED to keep. When I have absolutely nothing to do, I look at old magazines. It's comforting. Last night I looked through a year or more of House &Garden and they are now ready for the Magazine Exchange at the library. I found one thing of interest. A list of 25 ways to contain clutter. They suggested piles of magazines, neatly stacked under coffee and end tables. Does that sound "uncluttered" to you?

From the latest Mary Englebreit magazine. A French General styled bedroom. So for Christmas I will need a wreath and a red and cream striped pillow. Doesn't that look serene?

I went to the grocery store yesterday and actually found Tide with Bleach in Original Scent. The only kind I will buy or use. In liquid. I prefer dry. I can't imagine why people want their clean clothes to smell (stink) like Ocean Breezes. Have you smelled an ocean breeze? Smells like stinky ocean mud and rotting seaweed. Fishy. Nice at the ocean. Not so nice in your closet.

I also purchased a large bottle of Clorox so I coud bleach all my old napkins. They are blinding white now! I know the bleach will rot them eventually but until then-- go white!

Which reminds me-- Riley and G have gone to cut a tree limb off a power line-- yes, they did--- and I should take this opportunity to wash Riley's bedding. Tide with Dog fragrance wouldn't be a winner either.

Friday, November 02, 2007


I moved furniture. Emptied and rearranged cupboard contents. Moved dishes. Took a small load of things to Goodwill. Took a bigger load of things to library for the book sale. Took wine glasses and mugs to my daughter's office for distribution. Took a hanging wall cabinet (white bead board) to daughter's house and hung it up on her wall in kitchen (actually had husband do this). Still need to find home for displaced contents of said wall cabinet.

G and I will be drinking our juice and water from lead crystal rocks glasses now. Instead of them sitting in the cupboard waiting for a special occasion. Like the Queen of England coming to visit.

We will be using the Polish pottery dishes for dinner, breakfast toast and assorted other everyday uses. Along with the silver flatware. I'm 61. Enjoy it now. My kids don't want it.

I can actually SEE the wood top of the dining room table in SOME areas. Not the entire top as yet but we are moving in that direction. When it's clean, I will stain it a nice walnut. French.

And I have decided to paint one whole very large long wall in this dining room with chalkboard paint and define the chalkboard area with a faux (French) picture frame treatment. I can then write menu descriptions, make holiday drawings, and post wonderful quotes on my chalkboard. The top edge can be decorated with faux holiday garland and twinkly lights for a warm and cozy ambiance. The table will be plain (and empty) except for white starched napkins and candles down the center. I love clean surfaces. Which you would never guess with all the s**t I have piled on top of each and every one around here.

When I told my friend K about this uncluttering she said "It's about time!"

I didn't walk yesterday and ate bread and pasta and little steamed dumplings with spicy peanut sauce and am ever so sorry about falling off the wagon but it all just GOT to me. And now I hope I'm past all of this and can just move right along. I wrote in my pen and paper journal for nearly 2 hours this morning so I'm feeling unburdened. So much conflict in my emotional life right now. Dreams of being abandoned and left behind.

Grocery shopping later for pineapple (I need some daily fruit), chicken for soup and detergent and bleach for all the dingy white cotton napkins I pulled out of the napkin drawer. Right now Riley and I are going out for a WALK!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Yesterday's Pictures

Riley standing around looking for something to do. Well, once it got to be Trick or Treat time, things got pretty interesting for the pup. Doorbell ringing. Small children with sticky substances to lick off them. Other dogs coming for treats--wearing costumes. I have a "dog rule". No clothing on dog. But I did hand out candy "eyeballs" to all the humans and dog biscuits to all dogs. I think Halloween candy should be "icky" in a delicious way. Eyeballs.

I changed the sheets yesterday and all this fresh white linen was so delicious looking. I am spoiled completely by 100% linen sheets. They are so expensive, even at the Cuddledown Factory Store in Freeport, but they feel cool in summer and warm in winter. And they don't catch your bed clothes like flannel does.

One meal to the next with Riley. He does do an excellent job of cleaning all the bowls. Not a speck of anything in either of them. The little spots on the bottom are water drops. Labs drink and then carry water in their jowls all over the house. Riley likes to share his water with my pant legs, shoes and socks. So refreshing.

G says today is "my day". We can do whatever I want to do. But. He is making a list of chores next to his breakfast dishes. I think I may ask him to walk with me this morning. I miss my walking partner very much.

Eggplant Parm was delicious last night. I was going to invite the neighbor to eat with us but realized there was no free table space to put a third person. Piles of books, magazines and newspapers everywhere. Ugh. It's not as bad as those homes where you can barely walk through the house because of the piles of "things" but no flat surface is clear. Except for the kitchen island which I cleaned off so I could prep the eggplant last night. Still flat and empty! So perhaps "my day" will be devoted to a flat, clean, blank dining room table. If it happens, I'll take a picture to remember the "moment".