Saturday, June 30, 2007

Zemyna and Me

This is Zemyna, an earth goddess with a little secret. Her hair becomes a leaf that flows from the crown of her head, over her shoulder, and cups upon her breast. She stands on her own, and she holds water in that cupped leaf. If you like looking at glass pictures, you'll like her pics in my gallery.

Now, if you really, really like glass, you've got to check out the Watch Me Create team blog that features a bunch of bead artists talking about how their art has arrived at the place it is today. It's really cool to go through the archives and read each member's introductory post. Everyone has such a unique style, and they're all sharing peeks at what they're developing.
And ta-da! Guess who gets to play, too? Me! I'm so excited to get the chance to contribute to this group! Hey, I even spent a bigger part of the afternoon than I'd like to admit trying to take a self-snapshot to include with my introductory post. Eeek! Who put that much gray amongst the brown?? The wrinkles around the blue eyes?? Way too many freckles?? And, geez, how could I ever have wondered whether I've got any Irish blood??

And the only reason I'm showing you this pic is that even after I saw all of those marks of age up close and personal, I still liked it. Forty-one is a good place to be, a good place to finally be happy with yourself just the way you are. . . and for some reason, that whole mini-journey this afternoon made me feel a real connection with Zemyna as I wrote about her.
Here's to a little dose of inner peace to each of us as we go about our day!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Moonlit Musings

It's a beautiful full moon. The smell of just rained on dirt is still in the air, even though the last rain was much earlier today. MeatyHead the tomcat is sitting guard on the edge of my patio chair. Cars are passing both directions on the four lane highway about a half mile east of here. Someone across the tracks has some of the "legal" fireworks popping now and again. The insects are humming. Considering how dry it was until the last couple of days, the corn is probably growing an inch even as we speak. I do know it has started tassling, and the very light tassles floating across the top of the sea of green corn leaves made a wonderfully organic and repetitive pattern this afternoon.
It's kind of strange to think that I came outside to look at the moon but brought along my laptop, huh? It's just that this is a peaceful time of the evening, the mosquitoes don't particularly crave my blood type, the air is unusually crisp for the last of June, and I just couldn't stay inside.
Luna is over my shoulder now, peeking through the trees, gently bathing the landscape in light and shadow. The bullfrogs have gotten quiet, or maybe just the biggest ones have gone to sleep and I can't hear the smaller ones from here.
It is a beautiful night, and beautiful to be able to listen to the night sounds singing their lullaby.
Goodnight, and Sweet Dreams

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Go Big, Go Bold. . .or Go Home.

Go Big.
Go Bold.
Just Go Home.

Dang, that sounds arrogant, doesn't it? Not really. It's really just something I need to say to myself. You see, yesterday, I was still struggling a bit with finding some focus at the torch. Part of the quandary was about finding a style that really brings in some $, if you must know. I mean after all, who doesn't want to sell lots of their work so they can support their glass habit? The thing is, I haven't been trying hard enough to sell, haven't been putting up alot of stuff for sale either. Part of it is that the summer is always going to be a time when my M-O-M role is foremost so I made a deal with myself to not worry about it too much until school starts in the fall. . .but you know I'm still gonna be thinking about all this stuff :)
But you know what? This morning I opened a fresh bag of Starbucks coffee beans and got to thinking about boldness. See, I like bold flavored espresso, Sumatra usually, but this time I bought the Gold Coast Blend "Extra Bold". So, I'm sitting here with my sadly already empty cup, reading the blurbs on the bag. "A complex, full-bodied and intense blend-- our biggest and boldest offering." Ahhh, this is good stuff, to me. Now, take my mom, she really can't stand to drink coffee like mine. She prefers her Gevalia, already ground, almost caramel colored, very light and gentle on the tongue. Blech to me, delicious to her. . . but isn't that what makes life interesting? Nobody is the same. My aunt likes tea. My Granddaddy stirred up some Folger's that could've eaten the spoon if he'd left it in the cup. My hubby likes the same stuff, but he fixes his in the microwave. My sister pretty much only drinks coffee if she needs help staying awake for the night shift. Uncle James says he likes that black coffee at the local airport, told me when I went that all the real pilots drink it black. I'll bet Pop doesn't drink it black when he's there, bet he reaches for the sweetener and the creamer with no qualms.
Coffee is personal, buddy.
So is art, don't ya think?

So, instead of trying to figure out how to open glass and insert soul into some Gevalia or Folger's flavor art, I think I need to remember that I'm a Starbuck's kinda girl. That would be why I needed to remind myself:

Go Big. Go Bold. . . or Go Home.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

. . . and the only difference would be the purple hat : )

Oh, truly, I am going somewhere with this , it's just that there are sooooo many possible directions and soooooooo many opportunities to pay my father back for some of his funny verbal jabs. Hmmmmmmmm, what to do, what to do. . .

Okay, first of all, that's my daughter in the purple hat, and that's my dad without a purple hat. If he took off the glasses, the hat or lack thereof would be about the only way to tell these two apart. James may have Granddaddy's name for a middle name, but Katie has the Granddaddy mirror to look in and see her face down the road. Katie has looked like my dad since she was a baby. After her personality started emerging, it became apparent that she looks like Granddaddy but acts an awful lot like his late brother Major. Uh-uh, "Major" was not his real name. Uh-huh, he got that nickname for being bossy. He was also the prankster extraordinaire in the family, the sh--stirrer supreme (and I mean that in the sense that he was the one always "up to something" or planning to tie your shoelaces together when you weren't looking, etc.). Hence, my devilish daughter's appellation: Little Miss Looks Like Stanley, Acts Like Major.

So, if you ever visit here to read my blog, you know you might get beads-beads-beads or you might get family stories or you might get off the wall artsy musings-- you just never know, do ya? Well, the pic of Katie and Pop would be your daily dose of family. I'm still thinking about the whole beads and artsy musings. I just can't lay my finger on the quandary brewing in my mind, but there is one brewing. Actually, you know me, I do know what it is, I'm just thinking about the way to describe it and talk about it.
Here it is. Not really anything new, but it's been bothering me again lately, just in a new incarnation. Now that I have an oxygen tank to use instead of the sucky concentrator, I feel compelled to make bigger and bigger things so that I can turn them into display pieces. When I manage to distill some real emotion into the glass, the result is usually art. . .it really is, because it evokes emotions and responses. These are the things that make me happiest and give me the most satisfaction, even though they are almost never perfect and are almost always crudely crafted because my skills can't keep up with my imagination. I am always, always, always talking about the difference it makes in your work when you are doing what you love. . . so why am I having a problem, why am I worrying about "wasting" oxygen by experimenting at the torch?
Hmmm. . . can you hear all the wheels turning and grinding against each other?

Monday, June 25, 2007

"And everybody was kung-fu fighting..."

Yep, everybody in the house was kung-fu playfighting after watching a Bruce Lee marathon with the daddy. . .everybody except me. I was moping. While watching mouthes move and waiting for the words to come out in another language is entertaining, what I really wanted to be doing was torching. Ah, here we go with the whine, and to tell you the truth, if I get started good, this whine could be just as finely choreographed as those Bruce Lee movies, with all sorts of finely timed details and little extra jabs for maximum effect. Here's what set off the moping: I am most definitely a silent worrier, a closet hypochondriac extraordinaire who hides all sorts of little pains and lets them magnify and insinuate their way into my brain. Then, just when I'm silently convinced that I have thirteen deadly diseases all at once, a new little twitch or pain will take center stage. Okay, so really, I told you I'm a "closet" hypochondriac. . . I know it, I worry, but I also take my overactive imagination with a huge grain of salt, which turns out to be fairly easy since I don't trust many quacks so I only go for checkups, not weekly medical witch hunts. (oops, sorry, but the diatribe about doctors will just have to wait for another blog; they're not all bad, the good ones are really good) Anyway, I broke one of my contacts late Friday night when I was taking them out. Can't be good, but I really didn't worry too much, just wore my glasses all day Saturday to give my eyes a rest. Then yesterday when I decided to put in contacts, that wasn't happening. Argh! I panicked and moped and just wanted the day to pass so I could call an opthamologist and get an appointment. Which is exactly what I'm getting ready to do. And I imagine that while I'm gone to town for that, the kiddos will be enticing the daddy into playing Bruce Lee games :) Oh, and I'm also pretty certain that I'm going to have the snippet of song running through my head most of the day! "And everybody was kung-fu fighting. . ."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

"Katie! Don't Put Swirls on My Boat!"

We'll get to the story in just a sec. . . I put this pic up and couldn't delete it for some reason.Good grief, I do believe I'm getting my pictures and blog entries all mixed up! Did you see this one from my current eBay listing? Hmmm, might as well give ya the link as long as the pic is up, huh?

Okay, now to the story for the day :) My mom and dad came to visit last weekend, and Granddaddy put together the bunk beds for the kiddos while he was here. What's the best thing about buying furniture, at least to a kid? The box, of course! The pieces to the bunk beds came in one extra long box. Maybe it could've been a longboat or canoe of some sort, but it was really too big to fit anywhere, let alone paddle it through a pretend river. The mattresses came in much more usable boxes. The best part was that they each came in their own box. . . one for each kid. First, we had rocketships in the living room. Mommy had to cut out doors and windows, and the rocketships had to lay horizontally, forget about the blasting off. Well, James and Katie both ate part of their lunch in space, watched a little Cartoon Network in space, and surveyed the Garren universe from space. Then, they got tired of being astronauts. Next came a scuffle and a smashed box. Oh, boy, what an argument! James "won" this one since he squashed Kate's rocketship into a lopsided mess. He would have gotten in much more trouble for this if Kate hadn't spent the entire week tormenting him. You know, sometimes those Mommy eyes in the back of my head ignore some of the things they see. But, as with any kids, nothing is ever "evened out", there's always another transgression. James went a little overboard gloating, so I made them share the remaining box. Ah, things settled down for a bit. The remaining box became a boat, and the sailors decided it needed a new coat of paint. Now, everybody knows that evil pirate MOM isn't going to allow actual paint on the carpet, but markers oughtta work just as well, right? And they did. . . until Katie decided to draw one of her favorite patterns just a smidge too close to James' Spiderman sticker: "Katie! Don't! Put! Swirls! on! My! Boat!"

Oh, my, my little artist rocked the boat literally and figuratively with that one! You know I saw deeper meaning, too, don't ya?
  1. For all of you who don't want anything new on your boat-- Lighten up, live a little, and just remember it'll still sail the same whether or not it has a swirl on it.
  2. For all of you who just can't resist pushing the boundaries even when you're supposed to be sharing the boat-- Lighten up, take yourself a little less seriously, and don't forget that if you push too hard to one side you just might capsize the boat.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Building a Better Mousetrap

Well, who knows what this mousetrap discussion will involve? I'm just a little-bitty bit distracted while I'm writing this. I don't usually play the radio unless I'm driving, just never have been the kind of person who flips on the radio as soon as I come in the house. (T.V. noise might be another story, but that's for another day). Oh, I love lots of different kinds of music-- when I remember to turn it on! Favorite? Gotta be the country classics I listened to growing up. Guess what? I just found this free internet radio service that lets you choose an artist you like, then it plays a whole bunch of similar songs. I have just listened to David Allan Coe's "Tennessee Whiskey", Merle Haggard's "I Wonder If They Ever Think of Me", Alan Jackson's "Little Bitty", Waylon's "Theme from the Dukes of Hazzard", and I've sung along to each one. Ohmygosh, how can you beat a morning with Merle and David Allan? So, what were we talking about? Naw, wait a minute, we gotta talk about this a little more. . . just a second,though, Randy Travis is "Diggin' up Bones". Okay, so that doesn't exactly come from my childhood (neither does Alan Jackson), even though it's now new. Geez, once you hit your 40's, you just never know what's going to pop up and make you feel old! "Storms never last too long, baby..." Waylon and Jessie. "You make the stars want to shine..."

Must concentrate. Must turn off radio, or at least tune it out. Mousetrap. We were gonna talk about Mousetrap. Okay, soooooooooooo, yesterday I got the kiddos the game Mousetrap, you know the one where you have to build this contraption and then roll steel marbles through it to set off a domino-like effect that eventually drops a basket over the mouse. We got started playing, I realized it was going to take a looooooooooong time to play the whole game, the sun was getting ready to set and I still needed to go outside and take pictures, so Mommy abandoned the lesson in patience and just put the thing together. "I was drunk the day my Mom got outta prison, and I went to pick her up in the rain, but before I could get to the station in my pickup truck, she got runned over by a damned old train." Oops, sorry, I love that David Allan Coe song. Anyway, I think the lesson in patience didn't get wholly abandoned, since James sat there for at least another hour and a half playing with it. Katie would stop by the table for a few minutes, help supervise, then go do something else, but the little boy was enthralled with tweaking the contraption.

Wondering why you're reading all this in a beadmaker's blog?? Oh, heck, Mommy is definitely my title around here :) I did put together the soulmates beads that I made to go together, and it made a pretty good sculpture. I might even get the chance to write the eBay listing for it today! You can go here to look at the pics of Slipstream: SoulMates Weaving Through Time.

Speaking of which, I need to get a few things done while the munchkins sleep, so Ta Ta For Now!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Aunt Marianne

Sun setting on another day.
Sun putting Earth's cares away.

Aunt Marianne, you will be remembered.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sock Sacrifices and Sock Relocation

  1. Just for your information, dryers really do eat socks! I witnessed this very thing happening in my own home. You know I'm an disorganized packrat, right? Well, I'm always getting dirty looks for leaving a pile of folded laundry on top of the dryer. Worse, this pile is almost always balanced atop another pile of stray socks without mates. That pile of stray socks worries me, but I really don't know where else to put them. So, they lay there, multiplying by some divine will each night when the lights go off in the kitchen. . .or rather, they used to do that. NOW, I have to find another place for them to live. Yep, sock relocation. It's a new trend caused by the horrible things that happen when dryers prey upon the stray sock young. Okay, here's what really happened-- I pushed the top pile of clothes aside just enough so that I could pull out the lint trap to empty it, and in the process managed to shift the pile of stray socks in the opposite direction. Yep, one of Katie's sock took a sacrificial suicide leap straight down that hole!
  2. I unplugged the dryer and frantically tried to reach down into the hole. Eh-eh. Tried gently re-inserting the lint trap in hopes of scooping up the sock. Eh-eh. In a last ditch attempt to recover that sacrificial sock, I bent a little loop into the end of a very long-stemmed fake flower (plastic covering over the wire, making me feel slightly safer than I would using a wire coathanger) and tried to fish out the wayward sock. Eh-eh.
  3. I have been in a contemplative mood the last few days.
  4. Good thing. 'Cause I'm gonna be sitting by the dryer with fire extinguisher in hand while the rest of the clothes dry on a low-temp cycle. . . plenty of time for contemplating!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Uh-Oh, I Got Tagged!

So, who tagged me? SpiderGirl and SpiderBoy?
Nope, Lori Greenberg did it to me!
Now, I'm going to answer the questions in the tag,
and then tag 5 of you!
Look out, bloggers, here I come!

Finally! Told ya procrastination was at the root of all my bad habits, so didya really think I'd get this done last night?
Here we go. I tag these people:

1.Tera "BeadyGirl"
Tera is fun and funny, and I'd love to read her answers to these questions! Just looking at her bright Zuma beads will start your day off right!

2. Sheila "Celebrating Passion"
Sheila and "art" are synonymous in my, she's bound to have some interesting answers to these questions!

3. Deb "All My Beads"
Well, if you haven't seen Deb's website, ya gotta go! She keeps adding all kinds of features, and she's got a great fantasy aquarium ya gotta see. (And I be thinkin' she'll have some fun answers, too!)
4. Teresa "Lavender Creek"
After you check out her bead blog and pics, wipe your drool and click on the Lavender Creek farm blog, too!
5. Anne "AMR Glassworks"
Well, the Detail G-Mama has some of the most detailed bead sets ever created, but right now, I'm thinking how cool her MySpace home page is!

Okay, peeps, I'm off to make sure these cool women all know they've been tagged! Oh, and I have to say I'm not sure how I felt about "tagging" all these busy people with more work. I mean, it's fun to do this but it does take a little time to think about your answers and pick out five other people, etc. . .

Here's what happens when you get tagged-- it's called a "meme" and if you click on this sentence, you'll see the Wikipedia definition.

“What were you doing 10 years ago?”

Big excitement for my summer ten years ago-- learned to scuba dive so I could go along on a dive trip to the Bahamas. Fun? Yes. Scary for a former non-swimmer? Yes. I followed the boys down to get a look at the bottom of a pit in Pinckneyville, couldn't get everything adjusted right for that deep, swam into an old tree limb while fiddling with everything, knocked my mask askew, panicked and swam for the top as fast as I could. Did you know you can blow a lung out doing something like that?? I did, but I still panicked, and you better believe I kissed the ground when I got ashore! It didn't scare me enought to keep me from going diving when we got to the Bahamas (where I swam right over a nurse shark one morning), but nowadays it scares me.

“What were you doing 1 year ago?”

Probably just getting back from a visit to Kentucky to see my parents and celebrate the kids' birthdays. First summer since the kids were born that "we" weren't working at the daycare.

“Five snacks you enjoy:"

1. Graham crackers with peanut butter and chocolate chips melted in the microwave-- don't forget to stir up the peanut butter and chocolate chips to make the fudgy filling

2. Watermelon with lots of salt

3.Lindt's milk chocolate truffle thingies

4. Peanut butter and jelly and BBQ potato chip sandwich

5. Cracked Peppercorn & Olive Oil Triscuits with smoked Gouda cheese

“Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:"

Oh, I suck at remembering who sings what! I also tend mis-hear lyrics... I thought there was a "secret asian man" running around living a life of danger! Most of my songs come from the days when we cousins would stand on the banister of Grandma and Granddaddy's porch and belt out country songs for hours:

1.Delta Dawn, sung by Tanya Tucker. Really like it again, now that I'm 41.

2.Country Roads, sung by John Denver. Yep, I've lived in West Virginia, and it might almost be heaven, especially if you go up to Monongahela State Park (I think that's the one just up the interstate from Morgantown) on a hot summer day... you can feel the air get cool as you drive up the winding road.

3.Long Black Veil, sung by Lefty Frizzell, sung by Johnny Cash, sung by my Granddaddy. . . heard it years later, recognized the snippets he used to sing, and memorized the words as I played it over and over on the way to Kentucky to take James to one of my mom's family reunions.

4.Any song by David Allan Coe. Can't sing an entire one by myself, but I can sing along to an entire greatest hits album. Favorite lines? "But my long hair can't cover up my red neck." "Well, I was drunk the day my mama got outta prison, and I went to pick her up in the rain. But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck, she got runned over by a damned old train."

5.Angie, sung by the Rolling Stones. Another one I can't sing by myself but love to sing along to. Oh, and in case you're wondering, Helen Reddy's okay but I've heard "Angie, Baby" one too many times :)

“Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:”

1. Go to Ireland with any and all family and friends who wanted to come along and explore the place.
2. Do a little bit of gambling on the stock market.
3-5. House, studio, and garage-- all the features we can agree on (and I get the last word on the ones we can't agree on)

“Five bad habits:”

Who me? Oh, I guess the first one would be denying or rationalizing any bad habits!
Next up, procrastination and worrying too much about how things will turn out, instead of just doing them. . . Yep, that would sum them all up in a nutshell.

Five things you like doing:

1. going exploring with the kiddos and hubby
2. hanging out at any family get-together or picnic at my parents' home
3. melting and sculpting glass
4. writing about my glass
5. reading

Five things you would never wear again

  1. highlights in my dark brown hair-- even gray streaks beat any orange accidents
  2. Bass lace-up leather boots with platform sole
  3. vertically pinstriped dress with horizontally striped shirt (hey, I was 6 yrs. old)
  4. permed hair
  5. gauchos
“Five favorite toys:”
  1. Torch (Betta is betta than that Minor, at least I think so after the first go at it)
  2. Drill press or cordless drill
  3. Crayons (gotta have Midnight Blue in them if possible)
  4. Computer
  5. Sigh, this one still hurts-- damn, I still miss my Mustang! Ain't nothing like the rumble of a V8, even if it is in a freakin' old rebuilt dodge :)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day 2007

Lots of love and hugs

Lots of love and hugs

Thank you both for everything you do to make our lives safe and happy and fun!

Friday, June 15, 2007

...and THANK YOU, Starbucks!

Yep, thanks, Starbucks. Thanks for putting those whole beans in vacuum packs to sell to suckers like me, suckers who don't want to pay $4 a pop for a cup of fancy-dancy, gussied up coffee in a pretty little store (well, if we had a pretty little store with Starbuck's on the sign, I might pay $4 for a cup of fancy-dancy, gussied up coffee once every couple of weeks), suckers who make their own cup of espresso right there on the kitchen counter with a cheap but reliable Krups coffeemaker, suckers who love the smell of freshly ground Sumatra or Gold Coast blend. . . yep, suckers like me who will eventually make the mistake of brewing cup #2 for the day at an ungodly hour like 4 in the afternoon. I say "ungodly hour like 4 in the afternoon" because I have reached the age where a cup of coffee anytime after 2pm is likely to keep me up until an ungodly hour like 4 in the morning. Oh, yeah, thank you, Starbucks! (Hey, I know better, but isn't it more fun to blame mistakes on giant corporations??) So, here I sit squirreled away in the bathroom so I won't wake anyone else. No, I am not sitting on the toilet with my laptop. Let's get serious, I do not have a Y chromosome. And if you do, don't you dare tell me you haven't thought of bringing your laptop to the "library". Heck, you read everything else in the bathroom, why not your emails? Oh, wait, though, this started out as a rant against evil Starbucks, guess I shouldn't start another skirmish in the gender wars just because I'm mad at the coffee bean pushers, huh? So, whatcha wanna talk about at 1 in the morning? Well, while I was lying in bed for the last hour, trying to keep my brain from doing burnouts down the track, I came up with a list of potential topics. Let's see what I can remember:
  • First off, I just got blog-tagged by Lori Greenberg, and I owe her a post with answers to a bunch of fun questions. . . and then I get to publicly "tag" five more people who are supposed to post their answers to those questions! The rest of this list in tonight's blog will be crowding my day tomorrow, so I'm giving fair warning to all potential tag-ees: I will be posting my list Sunday or Monday :) Oh, and I'll try to remember to find the address for Lori's "Gal Lori" blog so you can go check it out yourself. However, at one in the morning, if I attempt to close this window, open another window, get that addy, and get back here, well, you know what's going to happen don't you? Ever get you finger caught in a fast-moving,heavy, old-fashioned window that's been greased up and actually works without shoving and squeaking? So, consider me tagged, Lori, and I'll be out to play just as soon as I can get my chores done :)
  • The sanctuary in the bedroom has expanded a little more since the other day. Katie, bless this child's heart, cleaned up their toy avalanche all by herself last night! That little Bubaru went in that room, started with the toys and papers in her corner and worked her way outward until the whole room was picked up! This was totally unexpected and totally appreciated. James, on the other hand, helped me pick up the living room by slowly picking up an action figure, acting out another Spiderman scene, putting it away, talking to Kate, watching Kate work, drinking his chocolate milk, and meandering back to the living room to pick up another action figure. That boy is going to be a procrastinator after my own heart :)
  • Oh, but Grandma and Granddaddy are coming to visit this weekend, and I still haven't cleared out space in the "empty" bedroom for their air mattress. Please note I use the term "empty" verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry loosely. This would be the place with beads, fountains, rubbermaid boxes, and more beads scattered everywhere. Plus, a little-used treadmill and weight bench, an even less-used glider kind of exercise machine, and all the piles of clothes I wanted to sort out and stash away. This would be Katie's source of old Halloween t-shirts. She is still wearing that size 2T Halloween shirt around the house! Won't give it up. It's been in the high 80's and the 90's outside this week, and she wanted to leave the house wearing the following: that black, long-sleeved Trick or Treat shirt + black knee-high boots + blue jeans + a striped knit hat! It was some sort of hippie gone part-way Goth look.
  • Torching? What's that? You say a beadmaker is supposed to melt glass once in a while? Honestly, I did make two things tonight, but I'm not sure how they'll look when they come out of the kiln. You never know about these things! I made a moon sculpture/face about three weeks ago, and it has been on my counter since then, waiting for me to add the other pieces I made for it. Last night, I made another moon sculpture/face, trying to take that idea somewhere again. Guess what? I grabbed both of those moon faces this evening on a whim, took their picture, and it looks like one is kissing the other on the cheek! Pure accident. Who knew that was how it was meant to turn out? You can see those pics here.
  • Dangit, got distracted. That last paragraph was going to be about the used-but-new-to-me torch I bought week before last! Instead of my Minor Burner, I'm going to try this Betta. It betta be good :) It's supposed to eat a little less oxygen and propane, so I got it in hopes of stretching out my oxygen tank refill funds. It might even work okay with just my oxygen concentrator-- less oxy pouring out, but, hey, all ya gotta do is plug it in. I don't know, though, I think I am hooked on that oxygen tank! Anyway, while Pop is here, he's going to fix a new mount for the Betta. The holes don't line up exactly with the ones already there for the Minor. I'll let ya know what I think after I get a chance to try it.
  • **yawn** oh, boy, I really ought to try to get to sleep. Take care, and Sweet Dreams! Goodnight, Ang

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday,
Little Boy!

See ya later, everybody! I've got a little boy who is anxious to open "just one present this morning, please, Mom."
May your day be just as full of anticipation and joy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Sanctuary. It's the new word in our house. We're all four such packrats that we have stuff everywhere, and I do mean ev-er-y-where! Toys that don't fit into toyboxes. Drawings that have to be saved because "that's me as Spiderman, Mom". Barbie clothes and Halloween t-shirts two sizes too small. Shoes and battery chargers and unread newspapers "that I'm going to get to, so don't move them, Bunny." Books stacked sideways and two or three layers deep in the "Chinese" cabinet. It's all good stuff, stuff we enjoy, stuff we can use at some point (except the too tiny Trick or Treat shirt that someone wore when she was 2-- she's 5 now), stuff that's fun or practical or both. . . but it's stuff. Too much stuff. I know I've talked about it many times. Doing the talkin', ain't been doing the walkin' to the trash can or donation center! Sooooooooooo, how does the word "sanctuary" fit into a cluttered home like this? Heck, I'm not sure how I wedged those four extra syllables in the door, but I did it. You probably should stand back just a second while I do a happy dance-- I wouldn't want to accidentally poke you in the eye, it's crowded in here, ya know :)

Okay, done with the happy dance for a minute. The "sanctuary" is the bedroom, and all extra stuff has been banished unless it fits in with the new description of the room. That means the tabletop fountain and a vase with leaves that make an umbrella over it are in, but the Rubbermaid storage chests are out. A few silk lilies and a Ganesh bead sculpture on a round stand are in, but the extra socks and shoes and sundry other things that gravity relentlessly pulled to the floor are out. Grandma's rocking chair and a basket for books are in, but haphazard avalanches-waiting-to-happen stacks of books on the headboard are out.
Now, we have an open, sunny space and the sound of water trickling in the fountain. We have Mommy in the rocking chair (unless Katie beats her to it and makes a cozy bed with pillow tucked behind her back and comforter wrapped around her feet). We have little people who are trying to say "sanc-tu-ar-y" without tripping over the syllables-- they're smart kids but that one was definitely a new word. I told them about how Tibetan Buddhists believe chanting the mantra "Om mani padme hum" brings the whole world closer to peace and enlightenment with every repetition. . . and how I just like the relaxing sound of it. They are really getting into this peaceful sanctuary idea. Last night, Katie arranged her rocking chair spot and sat there singing a lilting little song of made up words. James sat on the bed, grinning and practicing saying "sanc-tu-ar-y" in a melodramatic voice.

Heehee, glad they're in a good mood, because their toy room is next in line for the cleaning up! I'll let you know if we make any progress. . . and if we don't, I'll probably keep my mouth shut about it for a few days. Hey, this un-packratting business is a challenge, ya know ; )

Monday, June 11, 2007

What Would You Keep in This Trinket Box?

Okay, let's get the shameless commercial out of the way, then we can talk :) Actually, she's not listed on eBay yet, but I'm going to try to write and schedule the listing when I'm done here so that she'll show up later this afternoon. You can just click on this sentence to check my auctions :)

So, what would you keep in this trinket box? I've been thinking about this question for a few minutes now. . . walked away, fixed my coffee, started the bacon, and still the same answer: I'd put notes in it. Little notes from people I love. Just like I don't think computers and the internet will ever replace the library and books you can hold in your hand, I don't think emails will ever replace a handwritten "I love you".

While I'm writing this, I'm thinking about the different styles of handwriting of all the people I love. My dad and my husband both print alot. Pop's is very precise, very uniform. You can tell he's done plenty of drafting and adding revisions to blueprints in his lifetime. Ricky's has that same masculine look to it, but it's a little looser and rounder than Pop's printing. . . makes you wonder if there isn't a teeny bit of defiance of authority embedded in his printing. I'm betting that whichever nun taught first grade in 1969, she didn't encourage her charges if they added an extra long tail on the "Y" or a little flip up at the end of a "u" or "d". My mom's handwriting is the most graceful and fluid writing I've ever seen, short of calligraphy. When I was in second grade, I couldn't wait to start penmanship because I wanted to be able to write in cursive like my mom. My handwriting changes depending on whether I've been writing a little or a lot or not much at all, but I think it can be almost as graceful as my mom's. Almost, but not quite. My sister and brother have such similar handwriting that I often can't tell which is which unless I'm looking at writing from both of them. If I can compare them, I can pick out Soupie's rounder letters and Bubby's pointed-at-the-bottom "W"'. Well, sometimes. Soupie might read this and send me an email telling me I got it backwards.

Well, talk about your rambling! I can amble off in just about any direction at any given time! I've finished my coffee. I do love espresso, but it sure doesn't last long for sippin', even when I nurse it along until it's cold. The bacon is done. Actually, the bacon has been done twice. James ate all of the first little batch, so I fixed a bit more for me. Guess it's time to say, "Hey, hope your Monday is a wonderful day, too. . . one with nothing to worry about except whether you can picture your sweetie's handwriting in your mind." Peace, Ang

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I Don't Know What the Answer Is, But the Question is Definitely "Why?!"


You know what? I couldn't even begin to say why. I've just had this idea and its cousins running around my brain for a couple of weeks. A hand, holding a torch and flame. A hand, holding a sword. Morganna, emerging from the middle of the lake to hand Merlin the sword. Then, we took the kiddos to see Shrek the Third, and one of the characters this time is a slightly fried and very loopy Merlin who has retired due to a mental breakdown. Well. Merlin again. Dang it. I haven't read about Camelot since I was in grade school. Shake that off, too many people have done the knights and the fair princesses and the wizards. Yesterday. Coffee shop. Where do they store their life-size, Old World Santa? By the bathroom. My son sees it twice, and each time he calls it something like "Sir Santa-lot".
So, the Round Table it's going to be.
Yesterday afternoon, I googled Morganna and Lady of the Lake because I was getting it all confused in my mind. It has been years since I read all those stories in the library books at Howevalley Elementary School. Well, apparently, there is a reason I was getting it all mixed up-- there are many versions of the stories about the Lady of the Lake and Arthur's sword Excalibur. I stopped reading after the paragraph that said something to the effect that Morganna/Morgan la Fey/Lady of the Lake was Arthur's half sister/mother/aunt.
I also decided to stop reading more because I didn't want to see the pictures. Sometimes, when a theme has been done by so many artists, it's hard to find anything new to add. So, I guess I'm getting closer to answering "WHY?!"

Maybe I just needed to sit down at the torch and experiment with the ideas, and this is what I got. . . and, maybe, that's all the "Why?!" that is required some days?

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Off for Another Day of Adventure!

Hey, everybody, it's 6:15 a.m. here in the house beside the never-ending cornfield. It looks like the perfect day for adventure and exploring.

Truthfully, though, most people wouldn't consider our "adventure" or "exploring" earth-shatteringly exciting, but we are having fun! The mountains we climb are metal and have steps up one side and a slide down the other.

We keep all six of our collective eyes open for real rabbits, deer, squirrels, big birds (i.e. "those big birds that like to eat dead stuff smoooshed on the road"), and the occasional coyote or fox. However, we are also happy to sit a spell with gigantic bunny rabbits that don't mind giving you a ride.

And, let's face facts. The motorcycles we ride have springs to increase the bounce factor, not springs/shocks to absorb the bumps of the road!

Ah, but we have to go exploring every day now that school is out for the summer! Today's "adventure" involves going by Java Joe's Coffee House in Centralia. Then, we might have to go check out some more stuff in the museum. Who knows what we'll find?!

Oh, and the Mommy will be working on another auction listing for AngelinaBeadalina's eBay and adding some new pics in her gallery pages. . . Just had to let you know that the adventuring and exploring are at the beginning of the list :) Peace, Ang

Friday, June 8, 2007

Take a Deeeeeeep Breath, and Just Slide on in There!

Day number 22 or so into summer vacation, and Mom has discovered another playground within a short drive of home! This little playground is by the baseball field in teeny-tiny New Minden, about 10 miles down the road. Two sliding boards, five giant tractor tires partly buried to make a tunnel, two bouncy things on springs, a merry-go-round-make-you-dizzy thing that you have to push yourself, monkey bars, and swings! Can't go wrong there.

Well, maybe, you can do something to scare Mom and put some excitement into the outing. How about standing at the top of the slide, looking around, taking a little hop, and landing on your bottom to get going?? Yep, that would be my son, the former chicken who has discovered Spiderman and daredevil tricks all in one fell swoop! You saw the pic of Spidey pretending he was climbing our living room wall. Now, he's been jumping from the back of the couch, shooting imaginary webs along the way. Even when he's not being Spiderman, he's turned into daredevil boy-- doing boy things like that crazy hop and slide today!

Other than giving his mother pause, this might not be a bad thing, though. This kid is the one who is most like me. The other one gets a lot of her goofiness from the Garren side :) But this one, this one can be alternately scared and worried to death or brazenly fearless-- yep, he gets that from me. So, what did I learn today?? When you are faced with something that might be scary, take a deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breath, hop off the top, and slide right in there-- it'll give you the rush of acceleration you need to defeat the worries! And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go list Puck here on eBay. . . take a deeeeeeeeeeep breath, and just slide right in there :)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Oh, Puck!

Sorry, couldn't resist-- this guy's name really is Puck, as in the mischievous imp who's been the jester in the King of the Forest's court, as in the household helper who causes chaos and does little chores to help out in the still of the night. I think I could use a little household imp, you know? Hey, I'm already used to not being able to find things when I need them, so that shouldn't slow me down any. However, that bit about completing little chores while everyone else sleeps is really intriguing me! Hmmm, wonder if it's just little bitty things like sewing on a button here and there, or if it's bigger things like, oh, say, cleaning out the kitchen cabinets? Maybe just one cabinet?? You know, the one with all the pots and pans stacked haphazardly into a potential avalanche of aluminum, steel, and pyrex? The one that occasionally lets out a tinny sounding burp at night as a pan shifts? You know, I'm getting waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past the need to accumulate things, but I'm just not quiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiite to the point where I can face choosing which things to keep out of all the stuff I already have. I mean, really, how can you throw away something you might need later? I keep mentioning that 10 year old bottle of etching cream that I found last year and used without mishap. Now, how about that? Put something away in the craft stash, and it's like finding treasure years later when you actually do pull it out and use it. Of course, one bottle of etching cream might not be enough to balance all the other stuff that hasn't found a use yet! Oops, better run before this conversation goes any further. . . Hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Know Why They Call These "Suspension" Bridges?

I've driven by this suspension bridge for years, but yesterday we stopped and checked it out. Now, after standing in the middle of that thing on a windy day, I know why it's called a "suspension" bridge-- You have to suspend your belief that it's going to fall, or you would go crazy standing there! HA!! And my sister wants to know if I'd like to go with her and a group of her wild women coworkers when they go to the Grand Canyon, something about a place where you can walk out over the canyon on a glass bottom bridge or some such nonsense?? Um, yeah. If I get to go along, maybe I'll stand a good 10 or 20 feet back from the "edge" and hold the purses. Somebody's gonna have to hold the purses, right?
Well, this suspension bridge also made me wonder about another bridge. See, this one just spans the relatively small Kaskaskia River. Okay, so estimation of distance is another one of my downfalls (nice pun when we're talking about standing in the middle of a swaying bridge, huh?), otherwise, I'd tell you about how long this bridge is. Anyway, I've been to San Francisco, but not on the Golden Gate Bridge. Imagine my disappointment when I saw that bridge and found out it is not "golden". Nowadays, though, I think my bigger concern, should I ever return to the Bay area, would be whether I would have to use that Golden Gate Bridge to get anywhere. . . hey, this little bridge was swaying in the wind yesterday, so how much sway happens on a bridge that's at least ten or twenty times bigger?? Suddenly, John
Anderson's song is playing in my head. "Just a swannnnnnnnng-in'!" Good grief!
As you can see from that picture at the very top of this post, though, the concept of a large, should-be immobile structure moving under his feet didn't phase my son. Know what he's doing? He's bending down so he can look through the cracks to the water below! Let me tell ya, I did take camera and beads along yesterday so I could work, too. I succeeded in taking two pictures of my Pandora's Other Box and Beads----- right smack dab in the middle of the bridge! However, since taking a closeup of those beads laying in the middle of the bridge required me to focus the camera while staring down into the cracks at the water below. . . well, let's just say those pictures oughtta add about $1000 to the price of those beads, just from sheer effort :)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Feather in the Wind

She's a gentle reminder to slow down and listen to nature.
If you'd like to read her story, I included it in the eBay auction.

I'm really having fun with glass, and now I'm getting the writing bug again, too.
I just can't let any of the beadalinas go up on eBay with a stark description of glass, size, and price. . . dang it, I gotta tell you their stories : )
They each have their own story, too.
This one was just a cool goddess when I was torching her. I wanted her to have that full, substantial body to match her regal spirit. So, she had a personality before she even went into the kiln, but her story came while I was trying to take pictures that would reflect that personality.
Oh, I'd love it if you bookmarked my auctions so you could check them for all the new stories as they come out! I'm working on the newcomer today, so there should be another story by tonight.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

If a Beadmaker's Recipe Calls for Everything But the Kitchen Sink. . .

. . .you can bet it's because the sink isn't available since it's full of beads!

That's all I've got to say to you right now because I really need to get the beads out of the sink so I can use it! Actually, the kids are sleeping rather late because they were up late playing and drawing elaborate superhero pictures with their cousins last night. . . and I'm pretty sure there will be requests for pancakes in just a little bit :) Hope your Sunday is a fun one!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Feel Driven Up a Wall? Check out Spiderboy & Spidergirl

Oh, no, they're crawling the walls in the Garren household! Spiderboy has been wearing that costume off and on all day long, but especially in the evenings so he and D-A-D can play superheroes and villains. Spidergirl doesn't require a costume. She seems to be satisfied with all the princess dresses, but woe to the D-A-D villain if he ignores her in these games :)

Sometimes lately, I feel like while we're looking for a house, we should also be checking out potential BatCaves and apartments in the big city. . .hmm, guess the kids haven't yet figured out that there is a Metropolis in southern Illinois. If they do, look out, the lobbying for a move there will be intense!

Hey, there's a thought, though! As if our house-hunting isn't already handicapped by our different preferences and the high prices for not-so-high-end houses. Peter Parker's kind of apartment would get a thumbs down from both of us. Neither one of us wants to live in the city. The rest of the negatives would reveal our differences, though. I wouldn't like that the door sticks, but I'd love the aged, worn-in look of Peter Parker's lair. Hubby would like the fact that the door sticks because it would deter potential thieves, but he'd hate the aged look and be covering everything with plastic lest the creepy-crawlies actually crawl out of some of that furniture. Superman's fortress wouldn't suit, either. Biiiiiiiiiiig power bills to keep me warm in the Arctic, and while he might enjoy a cigar outside briefly, the hubby would go stir crazy if he couldn't go outside to play cars in his garage on the weekends. Hmmmm, I'm guessing the Wayne Mansion and BatCave might meet with agreement from both of us, even though it's in the city. Wonderful old architecture with character, and a mega-garage with a very fast car and gadgets. Gotham City, here we come :)