I love "list poems" not only because they are quick and easy, but because they reveal so much in a very tight space. Here is a simple one I wrote this morning:
in the top drawer of my desk?
100 "Forever" postage stamps.
postage stamps marked 39 cents.
12 custom postage stamps with White Kitty's photo on them marked 37 cents.
Number bibs from my two 5K races.
A wireless mouse I can't find the USB thing-y for.
CDs of sermons by Dr. Steven Koski at First Presbyterian of Bend.
Two $2 bills I received in change from the Bainbridge Island ferry on my honeymoon.
A paper bag full of vintage buttons I've been meaning to mail to @lorilyg for [gulp] two years.
What do the contents of my desk drawer reveal to you about me?
You can generate your own list poem here by typing answers to a question in this web-based form. You can also use a pencil and a paper! Below is a list of possibilities. Pick one to help you get started. You don't have to share with me, but you know I'd love that!
1) Things you are afraid of.
2) Jobs you've had.
3) Things you do every day, without fail.
4) Lies you've told yourself.
5) Grudges you can't let go of.
I Have Always Loved You (2008) Heidi Rettig. Encaustic on panel, 8" x 8" x 2".
Consider the Hands that Write This Letter
after Marina Wilson
Consider the hands
that write this letter.
The left palm pressed flat against the paper,
as it has done before, over my heart,
in peace or reverence
to the sea or some beautiful thing
I saw once, felt once: snow falling
like rice flung from the giants' wedding,
or the strangest birds. & consider, then,
the right hand, & how it is a fist,
within which a sharpened utensil,
similar to the way I've held a spade,
match to the wick, the horse's reins,
loping, the very fists
I've seen from the roads to Limay & Estelí.
For years, I have come to sit this way:
one hand open, one hand closed,
like a farmer who puts down seeds & gathers up
the food that comes from that farming.
Or, yes, it is like the way I've danced
with my left hand opened around a shoulder
& my right hand closed inside
of another hand. & how
I pray, I pray for this
to be my way: sweet
work alluded to in the body's position
to its paper:
left hand, right hand
like an open eye, an eye closed:
one hand flat against the trapdoor,
the other hand knocking, knocking.
Postcard to I. Kaminsky from a Dream at the Edge of the Sea
I was leaving a country of rain for a country of apples. I hadn't much time. I told my beloved to wear his bathrobe, his cowboy boots, a black patch like a pirate might wear over his sharpest eye. My own bags were full of salt, which made them shifty, hard to lift. Houses had fallen, face first, into the mud at the edge of the sea. Hurry, I thought, and my hands were like birds. They could hold nothing. A feathery breeze. Then a white tree blossomed over the bed, all white blossoms, a painted tree. "Oh," I said, or my love said to me. We want to be human, always, again, so we knelt like children at prayer while our lost mothers hushed us. A halo of bees. I was dreaming as hard as I could dream. It was fast—how the apples fattened and fell. The country that rose up to meet me was steep as a mirror; the gold hook gleamed.
It's National Poetry Month, by the way.
"There is nothing like a doorbell to precipitate the potential into the kinetic. When you stand outside a door and push the button, something has to happen. Someone must respond; whatever is inside must be revealed. Questions will be answered, uncertainties or mysteries dispelled. A situation will be started on its way through unknown complications to an unpredictable conclusion. The answer to your summons may be a rush of tearful welcome, a suspicious eye at the crack of the door, a shot through the hardwood, anything. Any pushing of any doorbell button is as rich in dramatic possibility as that scene in Chekhov when, just as the Zemstvo doctor's only child dies of diphtheria and the doctor's wife drops to her knees beside the bed and the doctor, smelling of carbolic, takes an uncertain step backward, the bell sounds sharply in the hall."
Wallace Stegner, in Crossing To Safety
Random, I know, but I signed up for a booth at my local Wiener Dog Races 2010. I'm going to sell Wiener Dog themed crafts. This will be my first craft show. Any advice for me? The organizers told me about 200 people attended last year, but they expect even more this year, since "a guy will be bringing about 40 wiener dog owners from [Southwest Montana]." How much should I make/bring?
some rules and hints for students and teachers
by John Cage
RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.
RULE TWO: General duties of a student - pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.
RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher - pull
everything out of your students.
RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.
RULE FIVE: be self-disciplined - this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.
RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There's no win and no fail, there's only make.
RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It's the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.
RULE EIGHT: Don't try to create
and analyze at the same time. They're different processes.
RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you
can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It's lighter than you think.
RULE TEN: "We're breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities." (John Cage)
HINTS: Always be around. Come or go to everything.
Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at
movies carefully, often. Save everything - it might come in handy later.
written by John Cage
Change me. These words first came into my mind about a month ago after a friend shared this woman's story with me. I have nothing in common with her, but I heard and understood her desperate prayer, "Change me."
While visiting friends last weekend, I spent some time in their old claw foot bath tub, watching the pine branches brushing against the window and smelling the wonderful breakfast being prepared downstairs. Floating, I had the very same thought: My life has to change.
Meaning: I need to change the way I am within the wonderful life I already have. My house needs to be like that. It needs to be a place that people come and feel the warm embrace of friendship, within the presence of generous time. I need to re-think the way I approach my work. I need to spend time every day in my art studio. I need to replace the floating sofa that was eaten by my Yard Bear a couple of years ago.
I am aware that an unconscious process of sorting is going on in the background. Returning home from the visit, that sorting was fueled when I learned that my mother received a confirming diagnosis of dementia.I have to change. And like you, I'm not really sure what I mean by that yet. I just know that things are happening within, and I'm asking myself many, many questions.
One of those question, is, Why are you here? I mean, you, Two Kitties reader. What brings you back here? Why do you read me? What do you want to read about? Who are you? What do you look like? Those are questions I need answers to.
I want your photo emailed to me so I can keep it in an album on my desktop. Yes. I do. I can't explain it, I just know it will help me sort.
P.S. The Jacques-Louis David painting has a really interesting story behind it. You can read about it here.
When was the last time you changed the needle on your sewing machine? I'm guessing that mostly people only change the needle if it breaks. I'm guessing that my sister, who uses my Mom's 1960's nightmare Singer, has *never* changed the needle. I'm guessing that my Mom never changed the needle either.
If you have a newer machine, chances are they provided a small envelope of needles, each with a different color tip. Some brands might use a letter, like Q for Quilting, and some might have a number. Find your machine's manual and look up what it has to say about needles - your machine's needle system will never change, so get to know what makes your machine happy! (If you can't find your manual, this chart may be helpful for you to look at.)*
And you will be much happier with your machine and your sewing if you choose the right needle for the task. Use the wrong one and you could wind up pretty frustrated with your project. For general sewing, the best place to start is, again, your machine's manual. It will tell you which needle works best for the weight of the fabric you are working with.
I made this little needle keeper out of a fabric scrap and some quilt batting and I keep it close to my machine. Once you've changed the needle a few times, it's really not a big deal - so long as you can find your needles close by!
Even if you stick to sewing fabrics of similar weight, it's important to change the needle from time-to-time to keep it straight and sharp. I like to think of the needle as the "underwear of the sewing machine." You really want to put a fresh one on about every eight hours of sewing.
* I have two machines, and their parts are not simpatico. I learned this the hard way, and had to make an expensive repair.
I hesitated - vintage Ferragamo is for old ladies - but when I tried them on? They actually looked pretty cute. I'm not going to get all emotional and age-crazy on you, right now, going on and on about how I'm now old enough to wear old lady shoes. There are plenty of other posts on that theme in the "What's On My Mind" section, if you're in the mood.
Instead, I want to share some of my thrift store wisdom with you. Because I'm so good, that people follow me at Douglas Gardens to see what I'm putting in my cart. You think I'm joking, but I'm not.
Now, the first thing I want you to do is to put two fingers up and make the "peace" sign. Now turn those fingers and point them straight at your eyeballs. That's the way I want you to approach thrifting. Like a hawk, circling in on a kill.
Next. Start in your favorite section. For me? It's shoes. I love shoes. I scan the terrain like a hawk, to see what I can see. I look at every pair, in every size. Why?
Because people don't take things to thrift stores one item at a time. They take them in boxes and bags. . So my theory is, if you find one precious jewel, chances are that there are other items in the store that day that are worth searching for. When that happens, it's like a thrift detector antenna automatically extends itself from the top of my head, boop boop boop-ing until I lock and load on my treasure.
Por ejemplo, the day I found a pair of perfect, vintage 1950's pumps, I also found four perfect, vintage 1950's cashmere swing coats from glamour Chicago department store I. Magnin. Some woman dies, and her best clothing falls into the hands of someone who doesn't see its value. The things she loved, saved, and protected all of her years wound up in a thrift store in rural Montana. But it all works out o.k., because it was obviously God's plan that I give all these vintage coats a home. I think I have about 30 vintage coats in my collection.
Shop at regular department stores and know your brands. Today I saw worn t-shirts from Old Navy selling for $5. Why would I pay $5 for a used Old Navy T-shirt when I can get a brand new one for $5? A pair of wool Nanette Lepore trousers in perfect condition? Worth $6. A blue silk blouse by Worthington? Nope. Worthington is JC Penney. Not worth $9 to me.
Know your fabrics. I can identify cashmere just by looking at it, can you?
Don't be afraid to buy something for "re-purpose" purposes. A friend bought a great suit jacket just for it's vintage bakelite buttons. Today I found a gorgeous men's Scottish cashmere sweater with a tiny hole in it. I don't care about the hole because I'm going to use the cashmere. I plan to make myself a gorgeous "Origami" wrap from this free pattern that I saw on Creative Kismet.
Before you check out, go through your cart and sort it again. Is it rare? Do you have a place in your house or an immediate purpose for the item? If you leave it here, and it's gone tomorrow, will you regret not buying it? If it's clothing, does it fit you? Will you wear it? If you won't wear it, is it worth keeping as a 'museum' piece? If not? Put it back.
What's your best thrift score of all time?
Coyote. I love his natural "camo!"
M. upgraded my digital camera at Christmas, but this was the first weekend I've really had time to play with it. I'm shooting with a Panasonic Lumix FZ35 - 12 megapixels and 18x zoom.
We took a long walk in fresh snow this afternoon - and there was nature. The heron shot is amazing - he did me a favor by standing like a statue until I got my stuff together.
At the beginning of this year, I started keeping a food journal over at livestrong.com A very handy platform for the internet obsessed. I exercise regularly, and actually work pretty hard at both cardio and strength training, but I never lose much weight.
"They" tell you that your metabolism slows down after menopause - I've read that women burn 500 calories less each month after the change. Let me tell you - it's really more like 500 calories less each day. And yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I'm strong and healthy, but I still want to see my muscles, know what I'm saying?
So, I bit the bullet, got on a scale, and set a goal of 1500 (net) calories each day, with a maximum of 150 grams of carbohydrates. (This was the carb/calorie goal my doctor set for me two years ago so I just went back to it.) I continued with exercise program and hoped for the best.
After one month? I haven't lost hardly anything. But I've learned an incredible amount by keeping a food journal:
- I have inappropriate feelings for Lance Armstrong. He's the last, shirtless, thing I see when I log in my calories at the end of the day, and, well...I've decided to break up with him and take my food and fitness journal over to dailyburn.com
- I need to take my medicines. My doctor prescribes a diuretic and a pill for the insulin resistance that was brought on by an ovarian condition I have. Taking the ovaries out didn't take the problem away, even if I wanted to imagine it was so. Within two days of taking my medicines, I noticed my heart rate dropped twenty bpm during workouts, and I was two pounds lighter.
- Most days, I don't eat enough and I very rarely feel like eating. On average, I finish the day on about 800 calories, and about half of that comes from the milk I put in my coffee.
I could see the 'not eating' pattern right away in the journal, and so I spent the rest of the month thinking about the drivers.
- I hate my food. I don't want to eat the foods, namely meat, that keep me within the carbohydrate guidelines I'm supposed to follow. Chicken breast is healthy, but when I bite into it, I'm thinking, "I'm eating a bird! I'm eating a bird!!" Eggs make me sick. Cheese I can do, but then...large amounts of cheese aren't really very healthy. I don't want anything processed (but I don't want to make anything, either. See below.) Watching Food, Inc. did not help at all.
- In a city, I could figure this out with vegetables. But the selection in my rural grocery store is pitiful. Pitiful. There is a sign above the door that says, "Welcome to Freshness"; my sister and I laugh because everything in there is pretty old and pretty expensive. (The only exceptions are the red meat and the wine.) I play a little game with the manager and turn all the past-due expiration dates to where everyone can see them. The closest decent grocery is a forty minute drive from my house. There are no CSA boxes, salad bars, healthy prepared soups, salads, or entrees at a local whole foods market. Zero convenience.This is hard on me, after years in Scotland where I could buy wonderful produce one block from my door.
- Planning meals is really important - for keeping a healthy diet and organizing my drive time to grocery stores. But when it comes down to it, I feel like everything relies on me - planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, exercising, plus just doing my job. And planning and preparing meals when the store is far away and you can't rely on ingredients being fresh or available is a whole different ballgame. Forget organic. Two weeks ago, I couldn't even find a grapefruit for a Moroccan salad I wanted to make. So, the only things I feel like I can drop are the "taking care of me"-type activities. And that's a whole different therapy moment in and of itself. How did that happen? I was never that way when I was single. It's crazy.
- And so, I wind up making up the calorie deficit with whatever is at hand. I say yes to eating at restaurants that serve sh*tty food I really don't enjoy, just because I don't have to cook. I make things with ingredients I have on hand, namely dry staples, often cookies. And the process of baking is something I really enjoy. And then I balance that out with some cottage cheese, maybe a protein shake, and a spinach salad. It's not good.And it's a kind of stress eating. The days my husband was stressed out, or my work wasn't going very well, the desire to eat chocolate was overwhelming.
I had a chance to catch up with an old friend HW last month, and she's lost 70-some pounds since the last time we saw one another. Naturally, we wound up talking about food, and how easy it is for women to decide not to care for themselves when there are so many other pressing family needs.
HW asked me a question, "If you knew you were going to die in a month, that your weight or health issues didn't matter, what would you eat? Would it really be 30 days of ice cream? Or would it be a wonderful dish you once had in France? A soup made from scratch? Focus on taste. Enjoying your food. See how you can bring that experience into your every day."
And that's where I'm at. Trying to sort out what it is I do enjoy, putting taste and the threat of death in 30 days as my criteria. One day, it was a chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven. But I've been surprised how many other things have satisfied my deep hunger. Last week? A pumpkin-lemongrass soup. Last night, it was a roasted beet and arugula salad.
If you were going to die in a month, what would you eat?
Life has a soundtrack. The songs we remember aren't always just our favorites. We write memories to the songs that come on the radio, and years later, when we hear them again, they remind us of who we were, way back, when. Tell me where you were when these songs were on the radio, and then I'll tell you what I was doing.
1. Kiss of Life by Sade
2. Coming Around Again by Carly Simon
3. Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones
Which one hits you the hardest? Me: Number 20. Number 19. Number 2. Number 9. Number 11.
ONCE UPON A TIME, a long time ago, a man took off his jacket and put on a sweater. Then he took off his shoes and put on a pair of sneakers. His name was Fred Rogers. He was starting a television program, aimed at children, called Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. He had been on television before, but only as the voices and movements of puppets, on a program called The Children's Corner. Now he was stepping in front of the camera as Mister Rogers, and he wanted to do things right, and whatever he did right, he wanted to repeat.
And so, once upon a time, Fred Rogers took off his jacket and put on a sweater his mother had made him, a cardigan with a zipper. Then he took off his shoes and put on a pair of navy-blue canvas boating sneakers. He did the same thing the next day, and then the next... until he had done the same things, those things, 865 times, at the beginning of 865 television programs, over a span of thirty-one years.
The first time I met Mister Rogers, he told me a story of how deeply his simple gestures had been felt, and received. He had just come back from visiting Koko, the gorilla who has learned--or who has been taught--American Sign Language. Koko watches television. Koko watches Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and when Mister Rogers, in his sweater and sneakers, entered the place where she lives, Koko immediately folded him in her long, black arms, as though he were a child, and then... "She took my shoes off, Tom," Mister Rogers said.
AGAINST HESITATIONIf you stare at it long enough
And there is lightning in me still.
Some years ago, I visited the Butterfly Conservatory in Arenal, Costa Rica and was inspired by the fly-thru butterfly "restaurants" hanging throughout the garden.
I noticed my yard squirrels are buzzing around today, so I made them a special snack to celebrate the sunshine.
Over the weekend, a high school friend of mine turned 40. We just had a good chortle remembering the stuff we used to wear. Jeans pegged with safety pins? They're back. Pegging instructions (for your kids) can be printed right here.
Personally? I was devoted to my high-waist, ankle zip, Guess jeans back in the day.
I loved to wear them with one of my Forenza sweaters from The Limited, and a pair of pink reeboks just like these.
I was devoted to Mary Kay super-pink super-frosty lip gloss. I'd pick up my makeup order from Martha, who sold cosmetics while she wo-manned our home town's Pizza Hut drive-thru window.
I failed my driver's test twice before passing. I never had a boyfriend in high school and didn't get asked to my senior prom. I could still drink full-sugar cokes without gaining a pound.
This weekend we received a tetch of snow.
I love snow days. They open up uninterrupted time for all the things I love to do - reading; writing; sewing; baking; making art. I threw on the perfect, vintage 1950s, $99 mink coat I bought in Duluth and walked the dog down to the beach.
1. There are people in the world who deliberately set out to ruin your day. There aren't many, but they do exist, and I never fail to be amazed by that. No doubt I've offended many in my time, but I promise you, I've never sat and thought about how to do it. (My bad behavior finds its source in thoughtlessness, not deliberation.)
2. On that same note, how am I supposed to respond to said offensive person(s) when it is later determined that I might be useful to them? If our last conversation, two years ago, was you telling me that I'm not worth the money I get paid, do I need to return your friendly phone call asking how I'm doing? Do I act, as you do, as if that conversation never occurred? Can I return your call just to ask you why you said that rude thing? Or would that be considered rude, on my part? If you don't do your work for me because it is "beneath you" and then later decide I can help you get a job somewhere else, what am I supposed to say, in that situation?
3. No matter how much experience you have, there will always be someone to come along and tell you that "you don't know [anything]." This was true twenty years ago when I was just getting out of school, and it is true now, that I have a Master's degree, run my own business, worked for some of the most difficult people on the planet, have lived in big cities, little cities, foreign cities, and, finally, an Indian Reservation in rural Montana. It's true now that I've been married twice, am a step-grandmother to five, and experienced more change and sadness than I could ever share with you on this blog. Even if I wrote about it every day. It was true when I had $70,000 in student debt and its true now, after it's all paid off, and I live the cash-flow life of a small business owner. But unless someone knows you well, it's difficult to smack them back with any response that captures all that life experience neatly, in one sentence.
4. In life, I think (except for God) we are truly alone. We share our lives with people, and that love and friendship - though genuine - is never exactly what you need, 100 percent of the time. The question is, why do we never stop yearning for that perfect confidant? Is that the search for God? Or just plain old self-centered emotional wandering?
Something in my life has changed - I've reached my retail saturation point. It isn't that I don't need anything, it's that I don't want anything. I don't even want to try on the things that I need. I look and can't be bothered to try it on. I look and decide I don't really need it. I look and intend to return to it later and then never do.
I went shopping on "Black Friday" with the girls and decided to look for a couple of things I really do need:
As I cruised through the stores, I put these things in my basket. After looking at the long lines at checkout, I put these things back:
These were things I did buy:
At least I replaced my wallet.
What does it all mean? Why is it worth blogging about? There must be some deeper commentary that needs to be made about consumer wants, needs, and the gap between them, but that just isn't coming to me. There is something there about buying before you think too hard - if you have to stand in line, what is truly "worth it" becomes immediately obvious.
I just don't want to Christmas shop any more. I don't want to send cookies this year, or do my special photo cards. I'm not depressed, I'm actually looking forward to the holidays, I'm just trying to think of things that will make it a good Christmas for me. Top of that list? A massage.
And that's what is on my mind this morning.
I've just finished a great book titled How To Put More Time In Your Life by Dru Scott, Ph.D. To prevent procrastination, Scott recommends that you identify what motivates you. The key to your motivations can be found, apparently, by making an inventory of unmet childhood needs.
What did you want in childhood that you didn't get enough of? Naturally, I assumed my list would be long. Dru Scott recommends that you imagine yourself at five years old and jot down a few things you wanted more of when you were five. The trick, according to the book, is to figure out how these early unmet needs can be turned into motivation that helps you finish what you need to do NOW.
Huh. I closed my eyes and came up with only one thing: play money. Not monopoly money. Play money. Fake, green, large-size bills to play with. With a silver, plastic, dollar-sign money clip. An image of my mother wheeling me through the grocery store and saying, "No."
Exactly how can I use play money to motivate myself to do the things I don't enjoy? Any ideas? The only thing I can think of are some stacks on my desk, turn myself into a ganster with a toy gun and some big, fake, diamonds.
I've been quiet this week because I'm in the art studio. I'll tell you all about it in a few days. It's kind of exciting stuff - Cynthia Treen and Debra Tomson Williams are here working with me! In the meantime, if you'd like to learn more about the history of my "art cabin", I've written about it here and here.
When I sponsored my friend Trevor in the Washington DC AIDSwalk, I requested he do it in honor of Gene Anthony Ray, the actor who played "Leroy" in the original cast of FAME.
The show was a favorite of mine growing up - I still love the Debbie Allen intro. "You want fame? Well, fame costs. And this is where you start paying. In sweat."
My scars are a kind of road map to my body. A head-to-toe accounting of injury, accident, illness, or just plain bad luck.
Over my left eye, there is a small white scar that makes a hole in my eyebrow. Chicken pox. I remember sitting in front of the television. I remember my mother telling me that if I kept scratching the pox would scar my face forever. Aged five, I was incapable of imagining the consequences. I scratched. Each morning, I fill in the hole with a Guerlain pencil, "Blonde", and re-think the decision I made.
On my left wrist there are three. The largest two, a skin biopsy to determine the cause of a chronic case of hives. At the time, my friend Mary Anne joked that it would look like I tried to kill myself. Years later, my cat scratched me deeply just above that same scar. The hives cleared up when I moved back to the US. It kind of does look like I attempted suicide.
My right breast has a one inch scar left by a lumpectomy. The lump they removed was just about a centimeter in diameter. It's absence has changed my breast, just as the doctor told me it might, but it wasn't what I imagined. I thought he meant smaller, which would have been fine by me. Instead, my right breast spills over the side of my bra, like rising bread dough over the edge of a pan.
My belly is marked with evidence of naievete. I thought that because I didn't have children I'd be able to keep my figure. Four inches below my belly button a long scar crosses my abdomen and then, on the right side, looks up in a smirk. The skin all around it is slack and numb. Three smaller scars are its constellation - one at the belly button, one where my left ovary was located, and one toward the center. They tried. Too many times. At 3M, my first job, we had a saying, "Right the first time, saves time."
On my left knee, something I will never forget, a massive bicycle accident, aged 9. I wiped out on the pavement in front of my then-house, 961 Absequami Trail, Lake Orion, Michigan. Red Schwinn Three Speed. Just about the time it was healed over, I did it again, re-opening the wound. It would become the small, bumpy, white triangle I still see today. I didn't regain bicycle confidence until I visited Versailles in 1998.
And finally, the inside of my right ankle. A flat, white, one-inch scar left by a shoe when I nearly drowned at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Aged 11. My foot was caught on a rock and the weight of the water pushed me forward and then face down. My sister saw it and came to my rescue. Our parents, barbecuing down the river, didn't believe it happened until they saw my foot.
I'm 38, and I've never broken a bone.
Image credit: Jonathan Rosen
It's never good to come home from a business trip and find one of these in your driveway. First of all, how much does it cost to rent one of these pups? If you're thinking, "mmm...Might be better left unsaid...", then you know exactly how Mike responded when I asked the same question.
Like an idiot, I asked him if he'd driven it yet. He hadn't, and I was pretty surprised. During our remodel, he was notorious for taking the workers' machines for joy rides over the weekend and burning up all of their gas. I must have planted the seed. Not twenty minutes later, I heard the sound of the engine firing up. There must be something on the roof that needs urgent attention!
1. Historical re-enactments of any kind.
3. Gas Station Hot Dogs.
4. Beautiful museum buildings that display bad "art" with "deep" titles. This piece is called Samsara. [eye roll] Artist's name withheld.
5. Manufactured creativity. Here is a cardboard playhouse for sale at Costco for $19.99. So your kids don't have to make their own out of an old box.
What's on your list?
Our cherries are ready but this year we don't have a buyer. We belong to a cooperative that agreed to an exclusive with the Monson Fruit Company.
But it's only "exclusive" if Monson wants the fruit. They can decide at the last minute that they don't need it, usually the week before harvest, and leave the entire Flathead Valley scrambling to find buyers at the last minute.
And they do. Two out of five years we've had the orchard this has happened to us - 10,000 pounds of fruit fell to the ground. But we're actually on the lucky side - we only have 150 trees. Some folks have almost 2,000.
So this will be the year everyone gets a bottle of my famous cherry vodka for Christmas. And next year, we've decided to go organic - better prices, more buyers.
I found out the other day that, in the State of Montana, ordinary citizens [like ME] can performing legal wedding ceremonies. If anyone asks me, I'm definitely going to do it. And I'm definitely going to make it a stage show. Here's a little something to lighten your morning - just because.
It used to be that when we talked about haute couture we were talking about one-of-a-kind pieces, hand tailored under the personal supervision of a designer. If you've seen the film, Valentino: The Last Emperor, you know what I'm talking about. Five seamstresses all crowded around one mannequin, hand sewing sequins for eight hours a day, complaining about the "poor" quality work of the expert seamstress standing right next them.
Not anymore. Designers like Alexander McQueen are using innovative technologies to enhance their collections. McQueen'sSpring 2009 spine suit, pictured below, is a favorite of mine.I like the way the structure of the suit brings out the dimension of the spine print.
This wood grain jacket is another good example of how McQueen is using digital prints on fabric.
McQueen has also been experimenting with digital laser cutting machines to create a series of elaborate leather pieces like this bustier.
Couture Carrie has assembled an excellent portfolio of laser-cut lattice wear from other designers.
It takes a lot of time and money to keep Paradise Ranch up and running. It takes even more time to get on the schedule of local contractors who are overwhelmed with business in this small town. Today, after two years of waiting, we are at the top of the list for concrete. The guys showed up yesterday with no warning, built the forms, and returned today, with no warning and started pouring.