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Showing posts from November, 2009

i'll shop later

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I must be a terrible business woman, and an even worse consumer. I missed Black Friday on all counts. No shopping, so selling. Instead Rick and I were on the road, traveling from Ashland to San Jose for a family send-off for my nephew Kevin, who's on his way to the Coast Guard today. It was a terrific party, and while we're all so darn proud of Kevin, I'm equally proud of his mom - my little sister, Jill. She's raised two great boys, she went all out in throwing this party, and she held it all together with a lot of grace and good humor, which couldn't have been easy when sending her baby off into the big military world. My hat's off to Jill, and my love goes with Kevin. This is new to all of us, and we'll all stick together, as we always do. We're family, after all, and before all else.



We woke up Sunday to one of those glorious California days that come along too rarely, even here. The sun was shining, the air was soft and warm, and the call of the oce…

shower heaven

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The last time I was shower deprived was in 1975. I was 18 years old, just out of high school, and a few weeks into a three-month long road trip to Alaska with two friends. (I'll save you some math - I'm 52 now) We had been driving and tent camping from San Jose through California, Oregon, Washington, and Canada, and while pay showers were available in a lot of the places we stayed, somehow two weeks had gone by with no real means of good personal hygiene. I'm sure I tried to keep the stink down with splashes of water here and there, but I'm appalled now at that kind of time going by without a good steady stream of hot water running over my young hippie body. What can I say... I was different then.

When we got to the Alaskan ferry that would take us up the inland passage for several days, the first thing I did was head for the showers. Word on the street was they never ever ran out of hot water. I peeled off my grimy army surplus clothes and stepped in with a bottle of D…

cranberries

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Today feels like a holiday already. People started arriving last night, and my darling Danny will be here this afternoon. I'll be making beads today, but probably won't get a lot done with all the action happening around me. I don't mind. I'd rather play anyway.

I got up early and made the cranberries for tomorrow's feast. I love making them, and of course I change up the recipe on the bag a bit. I cook them in apple juice instead of water, with some grated orange zest. I used to try to substitute honey for sugar, but now I figure that's kind of pointless. Some days I just go ahead and eat the white stuff.

If you've never made fresh cranberries, I so recommend that you try it this year. They're far superior to the canned ones, and really easy to make. I love how they roll around in the saucepan, and then begin to pop, pop, pop and make a lovely pink foam that quickly cooks down to a rich molten ruby goo that smells just fabulous, and thickens up nicely i…

new inspiration

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I never get tired of pondering inspiration and how it comes to us. It's always so surprising and also so expected when something new pops up. I've known for a long time that if I let the inspiration flow, there will always be more. I know there's not a limit on creativity, except for limits we put on ourselves. People who claim they don't have a creative bone in their bodies drive me nuts. We are creative beings who come from Divine Creativity, and each of us has our own form of creative expression. It's easier to spot in some people over others, but I believe in my bones that everybody, everybody is creative.

I've been looking at the curtains in our trailer for almost five months now, thinking how the crazy flowers in them might lend themselves to a good bead design.


It didn't go any further than the thinking phase until the other day, when my friend Deborah sent me a link to MagnoliaPearl.com.



I spent an entire wash and dry cycle in the park laundry room, …

making do

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Sometimes I forget that this is exactly what I signed up for, this "simple" little life. Sometimes I even go so far as to wonder what the hell I'm doing here. The open road and the mobile life are meant for motion. It becomes a totally different thing once you decide to stay in one place. On the upside, rent is cheap, our diesel bill has dropped off to almost nothing, and we have zero yard work to bother with. On the down side, we live in a really tiny space, the internet doesn't work in our "coach", and I really can't make beads in the trailer after all. It's just too messy and glassy for cramped quarters. Fortunately, I have Mitzi's garage/studio to work in, and equally fortunately, she's in love with making beads now too, so I'm able to repay her for her space by sharing my torch and glass and expertise. It seems like a winning deal for both of us. I use the internet here too, which is also nice and convenient - unless I want to check…

dad, can i borrow the car keys?

I drove today, for the first time in almost five months. There's something pretty wrong with that, isn't there? It's not that I haven't gone anywhere, but when a girl has a driver, might as well let him drive. Rick loves to drive, so I just jump in the passenger seat without giving it a thought. But the poor guy has the flu, some kind of flu.. I don't know which one, but it's got him flat on the couch, which in itself is no fun, because the couch is actually a loveseat, and Rick is 6'4". Poor baby. I mean really. Poor baby.

So I jumped in the big-ass truck this morning to run for provisions, and ten seconds down the road I got a big grin on my face and said to myself, driving is fun. I'd forgotten. Too bad the dear man had to get sick for me to take a turn behind the wheel. But at least I didn't forget how to drive. I don't have a picture for you, for reasons that I'm sure are obvious. Now I need to power through my work day, run Lucy t…

our 17th anniversary

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Rick and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary yesterday. We spent the afternoon in town, repelling raindrops with the black and red polka dot umbrella we bought on our honeymoon in Victoria, BC all those years ago. Ashland is gearing up for Christmas, with lights and decorations going up everywhere. They even put up a seasonal ice skating rink in a small parking lot across from Lithia Park. This place is so adorable. It's such a community. I could get used to this.

We had no success with picture taking all day, so later in the evening, back at home, we decided to try taking one of ourselves. The kids are so good at this. We are not. My new camera even has a setting for "take a picture of yourself". We did a terrible job, but the result reminds me of an old photo booth. Silly and fun, like the rest of a silly and fun day together. After 17 years, we still like hanging out.




first little snow

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You can't see it here, but it was snowing this morning. Too soon, says Mitzi, but weather patterns have been known to change when I come around. It looked so pretty falling in the pond that Mitzi lovingly dug and built with her own little hands. There is nothing my cousin can't do. And now she can make beads too. I'll show you soon, and yes, I will encourage you to buy her beads as well as mine! The snow only fell for a few minutes this morning, but Mitzi has been at the torch all day.

so quiet

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This is weird. I don't have anything to say. Nothing. How very odd. I'm reading "Bird By Bird", in which Anne Lamott assures us that it's important to write. I agree. It's important for somebody to write, but me? I don't know. Still, I want you to get your money's worth, so I'll see if I can find my way back to my old writing obsession. Meanwhile, I have this darling new camera, so I think I'll make use of it. How about if I find something interesting in my little world every day and do some show and tell? If I can't find something worth sharing each day, it's because I have my eyes closed.

Today I looked out the window toward the creek and saw this lovely view. This is my backyard right now. Sure, I live in a little metal box, but I do love our little creek side place in the world. There we go... I feel better now.

a pretty good week

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I don't seem to have enough time to work. There's too much fun going on! But maybe what's really happening is I'm finally finding some balance in my life. For years and years it's been all about work. I guess it would still be that way if I had my own studio, so it's a good thing I'm sharing with Mitzi. This way I have to be out of there sometimes so she can do her stuff. The way it's working at the moment is I do my internet stuff at her house on Mondays, instead of in the chilly game room at the RV park. Mitzi paints and makes beads (mostly makes beads... poor thing caught the bead bug...) on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and I have Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday in the studio. I can't get as many beads made as I used to, but maybe that's not a bad thing. Maybe I can make just enough. I'll find out as I go, like with everything else. I know I sound awefully tentative lately, and that's because everything in my life feels tentative…

my new phone

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I got a new phone yesterday. I've stubbornly held onto my old Samsung for over five years, vowing to keep it until it stopped working, and that's pretty much how it went down. The poor old thing lost its grip on the "5" key, and then started shutting itself off for no apparent reason. I suppose it was tired.

The new phone, also a Samsung, is the snazzy "Rogue" with a touchscreen and all the other expected bells and whistles. It even has a "roll the dice" setting that might be good for a little gambling amusement while I wait in line at the grocery store. I've spent several hours so far just exploring how this phone works, and I'm surprised at how intuitive it actually is. I had to load all my contacts by hand, because the old phone was too old to manage it electronically. I didn't really mind. It's fun playing with new toys. And soon enough, this fun new gizmo will be just another sensible necessity.

My next challenge is to embrace …

wrong number

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I've had the same cell phone number for over eight years, ever since we moved to Taos, and even though we aren't there right now, I keep the number because, well, it's mine. I don't generally get a lot of calls on it. Usually just Lauren and Rick, and now that we're away from a house and a landline, the occasional call from my dad and sisters. That's OK with me. I really don't like to talk on the phone much, and I guard my number like I'm some kind of celebrity or something. If I give it to you, you better not to share it. It's private. It's mine. It's only for people I really like. At least it was until recently.

For several weeks now I've been getting an unusual surge of wrong-number calls. I can't figure it out. Most are from New Mexico, probably Taos, and a few are from Colorado, probably Denver. They're not from the same callers over and over again either. At first I thought maybe some joker had written my number on the bathr…