Monday, August 17, 2009

Lights Out

Seaweed and Gardenias has officially turned off its lights.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Going Out Honestly

I've been at The Ranch with my bros (all three of 'em) and my Ciera Beara and My Lovely Mother since Friday evening, which is why I was able to post yesterday, and again now.

I read all the comments and I feel humble and also ashamed. I pretty much lied a lot (to myself, to you) in my farewell post. The truth is that I feel embarrassed to say that hell no, I wouldn't stop blogging totally if I had the money to run right out and replace my laptop. This (bloglandia) is where my only friendships exist outside of my mom, my family. It's taken me all my lifetime to feel a part of something I always wanted: A GROUP OF DIVERSE, CREATIVE, INSPIRING WOMEN ... and not only that, but a group of women who enjoy ME as much as I enjoy them.

Then my laptop takes a shite and I get drop-kicked out of my soul community. I can barely stand it. It's like all the times my Dad moved us, just when I'd finally settled into some friendships and a sense of belonging. I'm heartbroken. I'm in dire financial straits. I'm completely shamed by that and didn't want to say it out loud because I'm not looking for sympathy or rescue but had hoped to be in different circumstances by this time in my life.

And I just emailed Holly that the biggest blow of all, out of this, is that I've been quietly maneuvering myself toward actualizing my own dream, at the encouragement of so so many of you, to 'write a novel'. Only it was going to be a new blog called The Weight of Me, to be a home to my creative writing: poetry, prose, thoughtflows, journal entries, in my very own unique TRUE style ...

so I can't honestly accept the 'hero' kudos because they aren't deserved, although I intended to back off Seaweed and Gardenias and edge over to The Weight of Me much much more ... but I do accept the love and wanted to return it by telling the true story -- how I feel about this, how much it feels like an amputation, how damn angry I am, how afraid I am of becoming, for the umpteenth time in my life, The Outsider. Again. Of being forgotten because I've had to forcibly move on.

Thank you to all of you for what you've said, in comments and privately. I will definitely be in touch via email.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What I Did on my 2nd Blog Anniversary

I awoke to rain rain rain ... sweet good morning. This inspired me to take my Daddy-O Cam to work with me and take puddle pictures.

At home, after work, my youngest male child enlisted MOM to help him make tacos -- meaning he wanted to go buy the fixins and have ME do it, but I wasn't in enabler mode ... I stood close and gave instructions in my best Julia Child voice, and also took photos of him chopping onion, greasing the shell pan, stirring in the taco sauce ...

after, he and I sat to do some on-line work related to his financial aid (first class is the 19th) ...

and then we received ....



and the laptop happily shut itself down, with an 'in your face' whistle.

My male child and I looked at each other, eyebrows knit together, both of us clearly thinking our individual versions of WTF?

So I booted it back up AND had a message waiting for me: SYSTEM HAS EXPERIENCED A FATAL DISC ERROR. And the damn thing blue-screened and shut down again.

I have not paid the IT guy fully, yet, for the last go-round to repair the sucker. Best Buy can replace the hard drive but you know? I've already paid MORE to try to fix the thang than I originally paid to purchase it. Given our current home repair and Two Sons In College situation, and the fact that I got no raise for going into my 3rd year ... I'm not feeling a laptop replacement as a priority. At all.
What that means, though, is that my blog anniversary was also my blog farewell. I have, in the past, managed the occasional covert blog post from work, but relying on posting from the office is a truly BAD idea, completely unrealistic. Anyway, I can't download the driver for my Daddy-O Cam or any other software without alerting my boss, who is adamantly opposed to anything extraneous (or personal) by way of programs on the company server.

Truth is, for the last year I've been straddling the fence on whether to continue blogging or not. I love it, yet I resent it (time suckage). I've become more and more BORED with myself -- i.e. posting journal backgrounds ... and I've wanted more time to read, to hang with my boys and watch movies, to get OUT of the studio more, to start walking and weight training with my Double BB, to approach a personal creative writing project I've been piecing together in a goal book/dedicated journal for over a decade.

I've been talking to the Universe for 3 months about all this, unable to reach a decision. When in England, I was LOVING not having any laptop, no email, no blog posting at all, no reason whatsoever to be on 'Laptop Lockdown' ... just to realize I had been referring to it that way ... pretty indicative. So ... I'm taking this as the Universe's answer to my querying and pleading and ranting and agonizing and vacillating. A dead laptop and financial lockdown are a pretty non-negotiable lockdown of their own.

Those of you lovely people out there who want to stay in touch ... even though I'm on Facebook, I hate that venue so don't visit much at all. Emailing me is still the most direct way to contact me. Feel free to do so!

Lights out. True story. Love to all.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Two Scoops & No Skimpin' on the Whipped Cream

I'm fiddling with my blog -- colors, fonts, borders, 'About Me', banner, EVERYTHANG! -- because tomorrow is my two year blogging anniversary and I wanted to do something perky in honor of that. I want to open it up in the morning and be 'blinked' (as my bro, the Bobfather, says when something sooprises him -- 'hey that blinked me!') I like this EXCEPT that I can't get the cream background color of the posts to change to a soft lilac. Oh well, at least I got my chocolate pawlet girl in the banner ... YES!!!! I took several shots of her and she chose the one above. She did, true story -- she chewed on the corner; that's how I knew. Plus she said she looked cute all mellowed out like that. (Personally, I think it looks like she's been hitting my Coors Light, but hey, it was her call!) You probably recognize Ian's marigold (my heart), although my ink cartridge is down to 'sputter and maybe', so it's not that gorgeous shimmering GOLD in this print out. [One of Zoe's shots that didn't make the cut, but which I happen to really like. Neener, Pawlets!]

All the bits in the banner (not including photos) came from my darling Beth! She gives GOOOOOOD care packages, that woman! She even somehow sent me the red flocked vintage wallpaper in the banner -- Patty at The Tuscan Rose sent me a supply of that a LONG time ago, and I used it up a LONG time ago, too!

Happy two years to my blog, if I do say so myself! Think Javier will join me for ice cream and ... and whipped cream? I'm sending out an S.O.S.!

Dead Slow Hoot

[All photos mine, from Chatsworth]

Playing catch-up at work so sharing images today and nothing else. Ms. Holly, you are welcome to the Buddha image(s) if you like them.

Don't ask, cuz I have NO idea!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Salt Spring Island

This post's title was borrowed from River Garden Studio, the incredible Roxanne's most recent post. I just recognized it when I read it, because everything today has made me cry. Everything! I'm home sick for the second day, some wicked combination of migraine and a virus, ache ache ache and shivery. Blind in my right eye from the migraine. I tried to ward it off yesterday by mad cleaning, but this morning I awakened to a sink full of dishes (from the lovely dinner I found the energy to prepare last night), and yet another stack of laundry (after I washed, dried, folded & put away 11 loads yesterday). And now I can't figure out how to make the DVD player work on this stoopid new TV my bro-in-law gave us. Hysterical crying out on my patio roost (which, by the way, does absolutely NOTHING to help alleviate a migraine). It's all due to lack of energy and feeling so flattened. I know that, in my head. My heart? I don't know. We bought this (our first) house 11 years ago, in fix-er-up condition because it's all we could afford. And we've done a gynormous amount of fixing up, but it seems it's multiplied exponentially. Fix one thing, 5 more appear. And you know what the economy is like. And you know I've now got TWO boys in college. And you know what that does to money for things like starting, let alone finishing, projects. I'm so sensitive to my environment, too, it doesn't help matters. I like serenity and order with just a LITTLE chaos thrown in. Relatively clean rooms, relatively MOST of the time. A little light gleaming off a pretty (clean) table vignette ... but not the kitchen table living in the living room, and kitchen shelves & cabinet doors lined up against a wall and all over the patio, forever it seems, and our roof project still undone after three years and KNOWING how pressed for time Double BB is. I want a wand, so I can wave it and have a home that's 'done', that isn't an embarrassment or a financial burden anymore. Not saying fancy, not saying stainless steel appliances, not saying walk-in closets or three kinds of molding on the ceilings. Just FINISHED. Our way. But today I'll just cry at how little Ciera is in her kindergarten picture, her backpack almost as big as she is, and at Roxanne's gentle painting and the picture of the grasses on her post, and at the dirty dishes in the sink (that I can't muster myself to wash, just yet), but especially out of gratefulness to my little feline, Zoe, because even though the door to my studio is open, she has elected instead of 'freedom' to curl up in my lap, blinking at me with contented emerald eyes, purring so loud and hard my belly is vibrating, and making chocolate pawlet dough on my left leg while pushing her head against my left arm for more pets and chin-scratching. [Photos from Gallivant Saturday]

Third Grade

This in from my bro, Chris, yesterday: "Ciera is OFF to school! Wow. 3rd Grade already.

She is half-excited and half-scared.

I made sure she got a good night's sleep and a big breakfast."

Monday, August 10, 2009

'Come On Baby, Let's Get Away!'

'I wanna take you on aBe ... Dream ... Play ... inspired escapade.' loosely quoted Janet Jackson lyric!

This is a tribute post to Ms. Elizabeth Bunson, to whom I shall very soon propose marriage, if for no other reason than to have her photographs and journal pages in the family! I spent all weekend reading her blog, start to finish, not once, but twice. So I'm modeling this post, this once, after her way of posting (photos, a little chatting, close-ups of pages, then the pages themselves) -- with a huge thank you and confessions of true love. Ian's marigold, Ian's photo, which kick-started this entire day/attitude for me. Here she comes, my partner in gallivanting! Tootsie huddle. Zen shimmer. No way, too hot for yard work! But aren't rakes photogenic? especially these wooden-tined babies! Like a vintage post card.
Been a long time since I rock and rolled THIS stuff. Tempting, I must say -- but I'm today's designated driver. Sassy gloves for suds-diving. Lemons, the current theme of my kitchen. Gleaming copper ... mmmmm (or pot tails?)
Eye candy everywhere! Really got us working up an appetite. Oops! How did THAT get in here? MOTHER?!!!! Waiting for the doors to open. Waiting to order. No waiting HERE! Key lime cheesecake for My Lovely Mother; Kahlua Cocoa Coffee cheesecake for moi. (Julie, please note that ALL the whipped cream ended up on my saucer, and down my hatch. Ahhhhh ... whipped cream - not just for the bedroom or the cafe latte!) A feathered friend, table top. Swirly wine-bottle tops in a rainbow of colors. Golden shimmers in clear vases.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Evidence of Escapades

In this morning's post, you saw one of these backgrounds bare. In the style of Elizabeth Bunson ...
I have 'Be ... Dream ... Play' 'd my way over top of the backgrounds with ephemera and photos from My Lovely Mother's and my escapade today. Wish you all could've been there!

'Ya Don't Tug on Superman's Cape ...'

'ya don't spit into the wind
ya don't pull the mask off the Ole Lone Ranger,
& ya don't mess around with Jim'.

**Jim Croce, of course**

Heard this song coming home from work last night, wrote it in my journal, then dreamed it, so while it has veritably nothing to do with this post, I wanted to share. Do you all have it in your brain now? (Hey, it could be worse, I coulda done like Double BB does to me, waking me up with TV theme songs, especially Green Acres -- then I go about humming the thing all day!!)

Yes, of COURSE I've been journaling since I got back -- started a brand new journal, in fact, upon my return -- talk about grand timing there! What will all the England picture posting (and I'm not done yet), journal backgrounds kinda got pushed to the side. I've missed posting them, though, and since I'm under an entire barrage of new ideas/influences/techniques, I decided to make them my focus this morning. Later this morning, My Lovely Mother and I are going gallivanting - our first escapade since our return -- moseying through such as Pottery Barn and Borders, lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, and much much kvetching about jobs (mine AND hers). We've both 'had a week' and she called a lunch forum. From Anthropologie -- this photo kicked off my call for kitchen pics - just wanted to share. Many many pages done like this in the last few weeks, under the 'England' influence, using my own photos as the basis and accents. Does everyone else already know about this blog? Be ... Dream ... Play ... because I didn't, until I saw it linked on Beth's sidebar and went exploring. Elizabeth Bunsen is her name, EB; she is my new journal page inspiration of all inspirations -- she does exactly what I have been trying trying trying to do -- a delicious, colorful, exuberant melding of visuals with words, and photographs to make my CRY!!! with response ... all I can say is GO LOOK: here. and here. and here. So last night I did a serious attempt at modeling my layout after her pages. Side 2. Long way to go, but I GET it, how a single word or phrase is enough, just like in my travel journal from England. All images from an Anthropologie catalog. Glue down images, sand entire page, then Bombay ink color washes. Love the etched, aged feeling I get doing that. My new obsession: color blocks, with an image peeking through. This is an exercise designed by Juliana Coles, to use 'repetition' in images (sizes, the image itself), to create visual journal pages reflective of somethin' goin' on in me. I used a few images of myself, and several others I already had punched out. Side 2, larger images but still repetitive in size. I did this exercise in my current journal, but I think I'll separate them into another book going forward.

I'm off to peruse EB's blog a WHOLE lot more/longer ... it's a place in which to get lost, true story!