Friday, December 30, 2005

gonna rock and roll all night...

i call this, "35 minutes in a doctor's exam room."

all the news continues to be good. i am a healthy specimen. i won't go changin' to try and please you...especially when i plan on being 100% healthy this time next year too.

in the new year...

there will be more pictures on this blog. "why?" you ask? because the sweetest boy in the world gave me one of these for christmas. now i just have to figure out how to use the manual settings so pictures like this one...

don't seem so washed out with the powerful flash.

the world continues to amaze and inspire awe in me...the ability to share images and thoughts and my life with the universe through technology is mind-boggling. i plan on harnessing the energy of this form and using it for good in the upcoming year. look for changes and developments very soon!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


as i sat on the couch last night, totally potato-ing out, i realized i hadn't sat still since the end of september. at that "aha" moment, i decided that the remainder of this year (okay, that's really only a few days, but it sounds so momentous) i am going to veg-out. that doesn't mean i'll be doing nothing, just not crafting or creating for a few days. sometimes my brain works better when given a breather. a little white space is just what the doctor ordered.

tonight i'm off to the thrift store for 1/2 off clothing. my budget is in an ardent post-christmas slump so of course that means i will find something i definitely must have--vintage apron, embroidered pillow case, vintage 50's dress or funky lamp. actually, i have my fingers crossed that i find a million things that will inspire me in the new year!

the to-do list for the next few days includes things like, "make prediction list for 2006," and "clean out dining room game closet."

Friday, December 23, 2005

el monstero rocks...

even though pink floyd usually leaves me cold, last night the concert was HOT. loved it!

happy christmas, i know why you lerve the floyd!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

post #100...

"fill in the blank" year in review...idea stolen from hannahbeth

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before? i organized an art show.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? each year, as a family, we write down our predictions/resolutions. so i suspect this year will be no different. my resolutions for this year were to lose 10 pounds and get fit by my birthday, which i almost accomplished by the deadline. i also wanted to be in 5 "big" art shows this year--i did two shows and organized a third, which took an inordinate amount of time, so i think i'm off the hook for that one. i also wanted to carve out more time to make art and i accomplished that BIG TIME!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? my friend, hope, gave birth to mackenzie in may.

4. Did anyone close to you die? thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit? at the risk of sounded trite, and straight out of "miracle on 34th street," i visited the "imagi-nation!"

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005? patience...but i think i'll be wishing for that for the rest of my life.

7. What dates from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
february 14-returned to work after an eight-week, medical leave
march 9-my baby boy turned 15 and got his learner's permit
july 9-bought the most awesome pink vw
september 14-turned 40
september 17-partied with my family and friends
december 3-the saturday monday sale

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? losing 20 pounds and organizing the saturday monday sale

9. What was your biggest failure? wasting time worrying

10. Did you suffer illness or injury in 2005? no, thank goodness.

11. What was the best thing you bought? a 10'x10' tent for outdoor shows

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? kelly's behavior is always a cause for celebration as is nathaniel's...i am truly blessed to have such wonderful men in my life.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? as it has for all the years in office, president george w. bush's.

14. Where did most of your money go? art supplies

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? my big birthday and my first complete year cancer-free.

16. What song will always remind you of 2005? "i will fix you" by coldplay

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a)happier or sadder? b)thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? a)happier b)thinner c)about the same, but richer in spirit

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? relaxed

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? worried

20. How will you be spending Christmas? at my aunt and uncle's with my mom's family

21. Did you fall in love in 2005? every day i fall in love all over again with kelly

22. How many one-night stands? none, but some of my love encounters were as thrilling as a one night stand.

23. What was your favorite TV program? gilmore girls

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? no

25. What was the best book you read? my list is at home...i'll have to check and get back with you

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? the ditty bops

27. What did you want and get? a pink car and continued good health

28. What did you want and not get? a digital camera (but there's still time)

29. What was your favorite film of this year? mad hot ballroom

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? i went to my son's soccer game, witnessed his first varsity goal and turned 40 years old.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? not one single thing

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005? funky fabulous comfort

33. What kept you sane? kelly--he's my rock.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? johnny depp (neverland, anyone?)

35. What political issue stirred you the most? the debacle in the wake of katrina

36. Whom did you miss? my grandpa

37. Who was the best new person you met? do i have to limit it to one? amanda, jennifer and marla are my top three

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005. worry doesn't rid today of its troubles, it robs tomorrow of its joy.

what this blog needs is...

...more pictures!

yes, i know!

the scanner that was hooked up to our old computer doesn't seem to work with our new computer, hence scanning is right out. we're still researching digital cameras so we have yet to be able to upload pics that way.

but here's what i would have posted pictures of if i'd had a digital camera:

***shots of the gingerbread house i made last week. i didn't bake the gingerbread (i tried that last year and my gingerbread was so soft and wobbly, it never hardened up enough to build my structure!) this year i used a kit, because, let's be honest--the real excitement about making a gingerbread house is decorating it! and it turned out GREAT!

***photos from my gumdrop crafternoon ala posie. "what does that mean?" you ask? well, i invited over some gals to make some adorable wreaths from gumdrops. and each and every one of them took home a super cute holiday decoration. i also would show you pictures of the gumdrop tree i made to go with my gingerbread house.

***a picture of nathaniel in a grown up. so handsome.

***i'd show you a picture of my tinsel tree before my boys dismantle it to put up the faux tree we've had since nathaniel was a baby. nathaniel is so sentimental, he couldn't wrap his mind around the silver tinsel one, so i'll save it for my studio and really do it up right next year.

on a side note--tonight we're going to see el monstero, a pink floyd tribute band, at the pageant. although the allure of pink floyd is completely lost on me, kelly is a huge fan. last year, although he and nathaniel had tickets, i was in the hospital. kelly never left my side for 7 days (except when nurse ratchet made him vacate on the very first night), therefore he missed the concert, so this is my christmas present to him. thanks for always being near me, kelly! this 1st year is behind us now...only good things for the future.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

there is no way of knowing....

...which direction we are going.

do you remember those lines from the boat song in "willy wonka and the chocolate factory?" wow, gene wilder was scary in that movie, but, oh so good!

i don't know what direction i'm going this morning. the list for the holiday is growing and time is running out. i still have a number (try 5-7) gifts to finish up before saturday night. this and still work a 9-5 each day. i'm definitely not complaining, but holy canoli, a girl sure can get tired!

last night we went and saw nathaniel in the band holiday concert. it was great. he was in a trio that performed "simple gifts," the quaker hymn, which not only took me back over 20 years to my days at earlham but choked me up a bit. the song is so succinct and melancholy in parts, it truly evoked a bit of the holiday spirit in me. lately i'd started to believe my grinch-y heart had shrunken two sizes.

today is our office holiday lunch. afterwards we're going to play pool at this pool tables. coulda place be any more up my alley? i wore my new trench to honor the occassion! not to mention i switched purses to the new/vintage hot pink patent leather one kelly got for me on saturday.

i truly am living the most wonderful life...and my heart is growing--i can feel it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

best husband pick-up line ever...

"after a long hard day at the nacho stand, you're so good to come home to."

Friday, December 16, 2005

celebrate good times, come on!

tonight is the BIG celebration of this gorgeous couple's holy matrimony! can't wait! should be an amazingly good time.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


there are days lately when all i can do is sit and weep. i'm not putting that out there 'cause i want a big ole pity party. i'm writing it so i can realize how utterly ridiculous it sounds.

monday, december 19 will be the one year anniversary of being cancer-free. again, not putting that out there 'cause i want cards and well-wishes (although i do love random mail!) but because i need to remember how lucky i blessed a life i lead and how special these opportunities are.

the seemingly unrelenting tests and doctors' appointments and examinations were wearing me down. until i read this blog entry, water and i understood that i was putting things in the wrong perspective. andrea always puts her thoughts together so succinctly. it helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. i have definitely been having a "glass is half empty" kind of two weeks. the glass is filling up today. i am physically feeling better and my mental outlook is sunnier too.

besides that, there's a silver tinsel christmas tree in my living room just waiting for a pom pon garland...that HAS to put a smile on anyone's face!

Monday, December 12, 2005

weekend update...

1st--the birthday purse was a big hit! yay! "a" loved it!

2nd--i was the official cake baker for the surprise party cake. two tiers of two layered chocolate-y goodness ended up looking like a cake fit for a princess. it was...a sweet 16 red-headed princess, that is!

3rd--i ate an embarrassment of rich food yesterday. tomorrow is my colonoscopy so i like to bulk up in anticipation of a day and 1/2 without solid food. first watch for brunch and macaroni grill for a late dinner. even had a glass of wine! yummy!

Friday, December 09, 2005

guess who's turning 16 tomorrow...

a special "best" friend of mine whose name begins with "a" and ends with "a" that's who! this is a tiny bit of the purse i made especially for her. below the flower are over 200 handsewn sequins held on with vintage hot pink seed beads. it was a labor of love.

this was after numerous failed attempts at felting first a mis-marked acrylic sweater and then a "washable" wool sweater i had spent considerable time hand dying to get the perfect shade of aqua. in the end, i had to manage with the next best thing...a bold blue sweater that felted into a tiny bit of purse-y goodness. thank you, crafting goddesses, for having pity on me and making this last attempt the best one of the bunch! let's just hope the mystery girl loves it!

Monday, December 05, 2005

saturday monday recap...

well, we all survived, had a great time, spent time with friends, laughed a lot, got to see folks we hadn't seen in a long time, met new people and oh, yeah, sold a bit of our artwork too! denise and becky have pics on their blogs already. me, you ask? well, i took one photo and then was busy dealing with plumbing issues, adjusting the thermostat, thinking about lunch and how that would work out, and oh, yeah, selling a bit of my artwork too.

i had a great time and even in retrospect, am still planning on another event very soon...maybe not even 12 months from now, but sooner. shhhh, don't tell kelly. he'll have my head examined.

Friday, December 02, 2005

bad habits...

recently a friend was asked to reveal her worst bad habit. she said it was interrupting people. all in all, i don't think that's a terrible bad habit. perhaps that is the bad habit she was willing to reveal to a room full of people. did you ever see that saturday night live skit where a man recently deceased, is at the gates of heaven where all will soon be revealed to him. he asks st. peter what was the worst thing he ever ate accidentally. st. peter says, "you are not ready to know what the worst thing was." the man wants to know what the 85th worst thing was and st. peter tells him it was an earwig in a bowl of bread pudding. maybe interrupting people was the earwig on my friend's bad habit list.

but i digress...

of course, introspective sort that i am, i turned the light of self-examination on myself to ferret out what i believed to be my worst habit. and it didn't take me long to realize what it is...

i tend to think the worst of people. (wow, it smarts when you pull an incriminating band-aid off that fast!)

so, i thought, why not push myself to the brink of humiliation and reveal what i believe to my worst habit to the person who knows me best, my husband. now, he really was screwed in this scenario because it's like asking him five minutes before we head out the door to a special event if the outfit i'm wearing makes my butt look big...especially if said outfit DOES make my butt look big. he thinks to himself, "self, i want to be honest, but i have to be kind, and i have to always say she looks beautiful, because that's my job and i'm a terrible liar..."

you get the picture, right?

my dear husband actually asks me this question before we continue our conversation, "is this a conversation where at the end you're going to be mad at me?"

with his words still hanging in the air between us, i lied and said, "of course not."

no, really, he wasn't in trouble, but apparently i DO think the worst of folks and that is not a good thing, i tell you what!

i know, i know--the first step is admitting you have a problem, but no one wants to think they're not 100% perfect. (i know, that's a problem too!) but perhaps i should have started with my 5th worst habit...hoping everyone i meet, likes me.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


there was a light dusting on the ground when i left for the office this morning. as i drove, big juicy flakes fell on my windshield. my heart felt lighter with the sugary stuff coming down from the sky. i love snow! and what a great day for it to fall...december 1!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

i have been remiss...

in the midst of the crafting frenzy, i have completed neglected to post a public thank you to my back tack 2 buddy! she is the best -- generous, on target with the choice of items she sent me and did i mention, generous?

here's a list of what she gifted me with:

a roomy bag...made with shades of sage and aqua with cool knotted handles. of course, it's difficult to describe, and me without a digital camera. the bag has a groovy inside pocket and a gussetted bottom so it will stand where it's set down. great!

stitch and bitch book...i need knitting patterns and this one has some funky, fab, hip ones i can't wait to try out.

knitting pattern a day calendar...when i said i needed knitting patterns, i wasn't joking and now i have another 365!

three lovely, soft, perfectly pink skeins of wool yarn. i think socks, don't you?

a wonderful handmade knitting needle holder, fashioned from hot pink shades and filled with a set of bamboo needles (i hear they're the best!)

a small box of knitting accessories...hand beaded stitch markers and a tape measure and all manner of small items i hope to one day learn the use of :>

a daily meditation book for knitters...hey, i'm not stressed! okay, i'm stressed and maybe some daily meditaions will bring calm to the inner crazy crafter i've been lately.

guava tea!

chocolate and toffee covered macadamia nuts (there will never be a picture of these...they got eaten two seconds after i opened the box).

thank you, thank you, thank you, debbie. you are generous of spirit too! i love each of my gifts...can't wait to use them to knit up something very soon, but definitely after december 3.

Monday, November 28, 2005

good news and a promise...

good ct scan was clear!


i am making a promise to myself to write no more about my health issues here. i want to thank all of the folks who have offered support and love to me because of what they've read here. but i don't want this space to be filled up with my mental hand-wringing and fretting. whether i write here about this stuff or not, the outcome will be the same. i have one year cancer-free under my belt and cannot imagine that 4 more years of worry could be beneficial for anyone. this is what it life--a day-to-day adventure filled with the same challenges and rewards lots of other people are experiencing. what i do want to write about here are the things that i think are different or WOW or artistic or earth shattering.

of course, i reserve the right to change my mind on a whim (and i probably will!)

and on a happier note:

hung about 100 flyers up around town for the saturday monday sale...let me know if you see one!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

i'm a starving artist...go figure...

thanks to denise for the link to this personality test...a mental distraction is just what i needed today.
Starving Artist
You are 14% Rational, 14% Extroverted, 42% Brutal, and 57% Arrogant.
You are the Starving Artist! You are more intuitive than logical, and are primarily guided by your heart and emotions. You are also very introverted and gentle. Of course, this does not mean that you do not have an ego. In fact, you are surprisingly arrogant for someone so emotional and gentle. This is why you are best described as a starving artist. You are very introspective and quite sure of yourself, as any accomplished artist is, yet your views are impractical, guided by feelings, and overly gentle. You probably find math, logic, and similar intellectual pursuits offensive to your artistic sensibilities, and you prefer the open-endedness of artistry because then you know you can never truly have a wrong answer. So really you have no reason to be arrogant, you big doofus, because the skills you value (emotion, spirit, art, etc.) in yourself are valuable only on a subjective level, meaning your arrogance is purely masturbatory. In short, your personality is defective because you are arrogant, introverted, introspective, gentle, and thoroughly irrational...posessing most of the traits needed to be a starving--and useless--artist. So get out there, write a few short stories that are allegories for the spirit, and starve!
To put it less negatively:
1. You are more INTUITIVE than rational.
2. You are more INTROVERTED than extroverted.
3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.
4. You are more ARROGANT than humble.
Your exact opposite is the Capitalist Pig.
Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Haughty Intellectual, the Televangelist, and the Emo Kid.
If you scored near fifty percent for a certain trait (42%-58%), you could very well go either way. For example, someone with 42% Extroversion is slightly leaning towards being an introvert, but is close enough to being an extrovert to be classified that way as well. Below is a list of the other personality types so that you can determine which other possible categories you may fill if you scored near fifty percent for certain traits.
The other personality types:
The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Smartass: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

Friday, November 25, 2005


yes, that's right--3000 unique visitors have come to this blog and read my innermost thoughts (okay, not innermost, because those are probably just boring, but my thoughts) and that is a tad scary.

in other news...the ct scan was uneventful, just as i suspected. the technician was very friendly and only mildly bruised my arm getting the iv in. the dye drink i had to consume was voluminous, medically grape flavored and bright blue. both the injectable and drinkable dyes made me nauseous. thankfully, neither actually made me sick, as was my fear.

i called the oncologist's office from the car on the ride home to see when i could get the results and she said at the earliest monday morning but most likely late in the afternoon. i am seeing my gastro on monday and maybe he can wrangle up some results. thanks to all of you have wished me well both in the comments and in personal e-mails. i believe in the adage that everything will work out--sometimes not the way you planned, but everything will work out. i can feel your good thoughts and prayers all around me and they are making the waiting less painful.

we ate our thanksgiving feast at the cheshire inn. the buffet was not as sumptuous as the ones at the lake, but had all of the essentials. the highlight of the meal was the piano player who serenaded us with all manner of 40s & 50s standards. then, just as we were lulled into a false sense of security, he played "stairway to heaven" and followed it up with side one of pink floyd's "dark side of the moon." nathaniel tipped him twice! and told him he was the best pianist he had ever heard (i think he just likes saying "pianist").

we followed up dinner with a movie outing to see "walk the line." joaquin phoenix and reese witherspoon were fantastic and their voices were quite moving. we went directly home and listened to both sides of johnny cash's greatest hits (on vinyl, of course). my favorite song is "jackson."

the countdown continues...a week and one day until the saturday monday sale. please stop by! i had a nightmare on thursday morning that i forgot to tell people and was running through the streets of webster groves shouting about the show. if i'd been naked and later there was a math test i hadn't studied for, it truly would have been the scariest dream of my life! anyway...hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

the holidaze...

our annual thanksgiving day ritual is in a state of flux this year. usually we go to the lake and eat a sumptuous buffet meal, swim in the hotel pool, go to the movies, and of course, shop at the outlet mall. this year our plans remain, two days before the holiday, up in the air. the lack of plans this close to turkey-day has my bowels in an uproar--literally.

part of the reason we are undecided as to where to go and what to do is that i have been under the weather for the better part of three weeks. i saw my oncologist on friday and she has me scheduled for a CT of my abdomen and pelvis for wednesday morning. my oncologist is not concerned, just cautious...but anyone who's ever had any medical tests performed, the waiting for the results is the very hardest part. since my test is on the wednesday before the holiday, i will, most likely, not know anything until after the weekend.

i have so much to be thankful for this year (as i do EVERY year) but i sincerely feel the need to eat an abundance of turkey, stuffing, cranberries and pumpkin pie to celebrate, this, the first thanksgiving since my surgery. i just wish there was a way to get instant results from my put my mind at settle my stomach in preparation for the feast of thanks.

Monday, November 21, 2005

people are people...

i got a fortune in my dark dove chocolate. it said "don't think about it so much." honestly, how does the universe know me so well?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

a different lifetime...

on the third tuesday of every month, i record the minutes of a meeting that begins at 7:00 a.m. because of the ungodly start time, i must arrive at my office by 6:45 a.m. to ensure that coffee is brewed for the attendees. making the coffee this morning sent my mind reeling back 20 years to a brief period when i worked two jobs. i was desperate to move out of my grandparents' home. they were kind and enormously generous, but i was no longer capable of living with "elders" and felt an itch in my lungs each time they asked me when i'd be home or with whom i'd be.

one of the jobs i worked was for the now defunct (at least, i think it's defunct) ye olde potato chip factory. there was a small store front in the then newly remodeled union station and i had to wear a bright yellow pinafore and yell, "hot homemade chips" for 5 hours every afternoon. it was a fine job and at the end of the evening i got to take home leftover potato chips. believe me, the allure of that bonus system quickly wore off.

the other job i worked was on the early morning shift at mcdonald's. i arrived at 5:00 a.m. after the biscuit lady, but before the pancake maker. i was the counter girl. i took your order for egg mcmuffins and hash browns. i also had to make sure there was hot coffee at all times. the lane behind the counter was narrow. you really only had to take a half a step to reach the sandwich shoot where the biscuits and muffins waited for the next guest. periodically throughout the morning the drive-through guy would run a wet mop up over the tile floor behind the counter. that meant that the grease on the floor, mixed with the soapy water from the bucket mixed to create a recipe for slip and fall disaster. in my short tenure at the mcdonald's on south kingshighway i fell more times than i can remember and i fell holding a coffee pot on at least five occasions. i think it was after the 4th coffee pot explosion that the management decided i was not counter help material. the next morning i was placed on griddle duty.

my new responsibility was to make rounds of bacon and sausage patties. i wielded 3 foot long griddle presses under which cooked the flattened breakfast meats. the presses were heavy...imagine 3 foot long cast iron skillets and you will have a pretty good idea of how heavy the presses were. sometimes i couldn't lift them up to move them to another location on the grill, so i would slide them. one morning i slid one press toward another and a puddle of 400 degree pork grease erupted old faithful style onto my forearm. immediately, blisters began to form. i knew i was going to have to tell my manager.

he took me to the employee bathroom. above the toilet tank hung a medicine chest. from one of the shelves he took down a can of burn spray. he sprayed the now angry red raised blisters with a quick swipe of spray. his duties as nursemaid satisfied, he barked at me, "get back to your station!" i could feel the tears burning in my eyes. i knew that i was not cut out for this job. i knew i was not mcdonald's management material. i knew that i would not be back the next morning.

so this morning, wielding a coffee pot in the employee kitchen, i wondered how far in the future i would have to be to look back on this job and chuckle. how long before my manager figures out i am not legal assistant material?

Monday, November 14, 2005

put it in the books...

completed this weekend:

1. attended fun bachelor/bachelorette party...drank untold number of bloody marys. suffice it to say, "what happens at the phoenix, stays at the phoenix," but do the words "bar dancer" mean anything to you?

2. took my mom to pizzeria uno for her birthday celebration. tried desperately to order the apple crisp a la mode, but was denied by our unfortunately inept waiter, jordan. dude, do you not understand the needs of a woman willing to forsake the south beach diet for a forbidden dessert?

3. made flowy, pearly, sparkly wedding veil for my good friend, michelle (whose bachelorette party i attended).

4. completed 10, yes TEN felted bags for the saturday monday sale. admittedly, i'm in a wooly daze.

5. drank one very delicious, very splenda-d decaf non-fat cappucino at border's last night. that drink and reading expensive magazines while sitting across from my honey brought the weekend to a sweet conclusion.

Friday, November 11, 2005

armistice day...

this evening's activity is a combined bachelor/bachelorette party. as kelly and i have never attended a co-ed celebration of this type, we are wondering what could possibly be in store for us.

we are bringing:

* a bouquet made up of blow pop suckers

* a yellow lunch sack full of slo poke candies

* a hot pink veil embellished with raging purple gerbera daisies (silk)

* a gift bag containing peanut butter crackers

* another gift bag containing a novelty pen featuring a punching fist smiley face

* an underwater camera (???)

* and of course, a twister game

yesterday, i bought a pair of slender jeans and a tiny fit t-shirt. i'll wear the outfit with some of my highest strappiest stillettos. if nothing else, i will look the part of a bachelorette party attendee. when i asked kelly what he was going to wear, he said, "same thing i wear to work--khaki pants, button down shirt and my brown shoes."

men...they have it so easy.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

7 things...

tagged by denise

7 things to do before i die:
  1. get my bachelor's degree in english
  2. write a book
  3. spoil my grandchild(ren) (but i can definitely wait on this one)
  4. take ballet lessons
  5. travel to the orient
  6. finish all of my partially finished scrapbooks
  7. be a fashion model on the catwalk

7 things i cannot do:

  1. whistle
  2. eat a brain sandwich (and believe me, i've tried)
  3. make a tender pot roast
  4. say "no" to a friend in need of a favor
  5. stop eating sweets once i've begun
  6. drive the speed limit
  7. not check my e-mail 10x a day

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex:

  1. prominent wrist bone
  2. crinkles at the corner of the eyes
  3. straight teeth
  4. rock solid thighs
  5. slender, but firm, biceps
  6. deep voice/sexy whisper
  7. has to be able to make me laugh

7 things i say most often:

  1. drive carefully
  2. i love you
  3. awesome
  4. alrighty
  5. just peachy
  6. know what i mean?
  7. does that make sense?

7 celebrity crushes:

  1. johnny depp
  2. george clooney
  3. hugh grant
  4. john travolta (ever since welcome back kotter, i've been his girl!)
  5. viggo mortensen
  6. matthew fox
  7. jude law

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

inner sanctum OR insanity. you decide....

here's a peek at one of the two overcrowded bookcases that live in my basement studio. like so many other multi-media artists, i am a certified pack rat. i never throw anything away because some day that tiny piece of fluff may be the perfect embellishment for a card or an assemblage or maybe just having it in my hand makes me grin.

right now, the items i'm using the most are selections from my vintage button collection. the black flowered tin, the buttery yellow tin and the earthtone paper bowl all hold buttons. once i paid my son to sort all of the buttons into like color families. the results of that employment opportunity are in the yellow tin. since that time, i've collected all of the buttons in the bowl and black tin. when is enough, enough?

and yet, there's more...books, maps, puzzle pieces, a jar of buttons from my late mother-in-law's home, boxes, and bags; these all live on the other book case.

Monday, November 07, 2005

by the numbers...

the top one pictured is my pride and joy...the bottom one is a bit too 70's van, but i still adore it.

these are a pair hung above the bathroom door. got them at a vintage shop on south grand.

how sad can one clown be? these beauties hang above the hallway arch.

the obligatory nautical/beach theme paintings...

the quintessential paint-by-numbers...a horse.

i borrowed a friend's digital camera for a few days. still haven't mastered the camera's settings so these are a bit washed out. the colors are vibrant and pack a wallop in person. i love how they fit the style of my house...built in the 1920s and full of family in the 1950s. i like to think some previous resident of this home might have painted one of these.

thanks, boyz...

to the college-age boys in the dodge p.o.s. traveling northbound on 170 friday afternoon:

thanks for making this 40 year old mother of a teenage son feel 19 again.

i guess it might also have had something to do with the awesome pink car i was driving, but instead, i'll chalk up the honking, winking and waving to my devastating beauty and charm.

that way of thinking does wonders for my self-esteem!

Friday, November 04, 2005

end of the week...

friday is such a glorious word. i'm always hopeful on friday. i spend a lot of time each friday making lists and planning out the weekend. friday is an ambitious day for me. in my head, i picture myself on sunday evening with laundry done, grocery shopping complete, five delicious dinner meals pre-prepared and labeled in the fridge, house sparkling clean, checkbook balanced and all looming art projects tidily complete, supplies tucked back into their cubbyholes.

when the reality of sunday evening does arrive, my heart hangs heavily in my chest. how could the hours between 4 p.m. on friday evening and 10 p.m. on sunday night have passed with so little to show for it?

in indiana, where i grew up, the school year always started on the tuesday after labor day. on the evening of labor day, i would sit with my school box, filled with freshly sharpened pencils and a baby pink eraser and i would vow that this year would be different. i would not bite the eraser off my pencils. i would not mark my newest crushes name on my nubby eraser. i would not pick at the stray threads of my denimn covered three-ring binder.

but by the beginning of june, all my promises had been broken and my tattered school box held two halves of the snubbed eraser and short pencils i had sharpened at both ends. my three-ring binder was covered with blue pen scribblings and classmates phone numbers.

sunday night is my june, but it happens every weekend. it's not fun to be disappointed. especially when the one you're disappointed in is yourself.

it doesn't keep me from promising every friday, though, that this weekend will be different.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


do you remember last week when i posted about what a mess my crafting space (aka, the basement) was? and how it probably wouldn't be cleaned until 2006? well, yesterday while i was talking to my friend, chris, she wondered out loud about how to balance the need and time it takes to clean our creative space as opposed to spending that same amount of time actually creating. so i thought about that and realized that i would be much more productive if my space were straightened up a bit.

last night, from the minute i got home until i was eating my delicious south beach grilled chicken pizza (no, it REALLY is delicious) i cleaned all my craft-y messes up. it felt so good! and it looks so much better. AND if i'd had the time or the energy, i would have actually made something in the newly sparkly space, but alas, all i wanted to do was watch amazing race and eat popcorn.

the bookcases, however, will have to wait for another day...

Monday, October 31, 2005


yesterday i participated in a home show. it was very successful! but there's a good news/bad news component in that felted bags are all but gone. below is a picture of what i'm going to look like until december 3...chained to my sewing machine every evening and all day every saturday and can see the mess and laundry piling up behind me, can't you?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

what a mess...

and i still manage to create in this environment. after december 3 i'll clean up this mess and start to get ready for the holidays. until that time, i will happily create in chaos.

Friday, October 28, 2005

back tack ii-the big reveal...

melissa of two loops, please avert your eyes if you don't want to have the surprise spoiled.

here's a picture of the contents of the "kit" put together to satisfy melissa's secret crafting desire...crewel embroidery.

included are clockwise from top left: tao of tea "refresh", a vintage crewel pillow i unearthed on a not-so-recent thrifting trip, thread for the sublime stitching kit pictured below right, some of my handmade/sewn fabric cards, embroidery scissors inside a scissor keeper i made to match the felted bag, sublime stitching embroidery transfer patterns (i think they're a chinese motif), a vintage little girl dress pattern from my extensive collection (melissa has a toddler daughter), and the much coveted, crewel embroidery kit from wool and hoop!

...and the bag! my newest passion, recycled felted sweater bags. melissa loves earthtones, so i tried to oblige. hope i didn't go overboard with the earthtones?!

i feel like i could have done so much more for poor melissa! i've included things i would want if i were receiving a kit, but then i always think i could do more and should do more. the disease to please afflicts many of us artistic types, doesn't it? i just hope she enjoys it. i liked playing along.

can't wait to see what my secret buddy sends me!


not so confidential note to the woman in michael's yesterday afternoon coercing her five year old daughter that, "she was making halloween not fun:"

i'll tell you what isn't fun--being yelled at about your idea for a costume. if a little kid wants to "junk up" a costume, isn't this the time to do it?

mom, chill out. it's halloween, not a beauty pageant.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

standing on the edge...

she walked into the bathroom and pushed the door closed behind her. from under the sink, she pulled the yellow stool on which were painted the words "to reach the things i couldn't and lots of things i shouldn't." one by one, she lifted her socked feet onto the stool. on tippy toes her fingertips barely reached the edge of the double-sided mirror her mother had hung there. earlier in the day she had watched her mother carefully outline and fill in the shapes of her eyebrows while gazing into the magnifying side of the mirror. she had followed her mother from her parents' bedroom to the door of the bathroom and watched her mother return the mirror to the hook on the back of the door, where it belonged; now nudging the thin metal foot of the mirror minutely higher and finally over the hook, the cool metal frame fell slightly and then was cradled in the crook between her pointer finger and her thumb. she hopped down from the stool and shooshed it back under the sink with her heel. opening the door with one hand, she stopped at the threshold. the tiles were cold under the soles of her socks. she stood as if on the edge of a wide crevasse. her tiny body wobbled back and forth...swaying in an imaginary breeze. holding the mirror out in front of her, she could only see the reflection of the ceiling, she baby stepped down the hallway. she imagined this was what it would feel like if the world turned upside down.

...but she was wrong.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

why, sam, why?

i don't like wal-mart. i've been trying very hard to not use the word "hate", mostly because i believe words are powerful and i have a strong desire to surround myself with the positive forces in life. therefore, i am refraining from using the "h" word when referring to wal-mart, although it is quite tempting. it's not that i don't love a bargain and wal-mart is full of bargains, but when i used to shop there, each time i walked through the doors, i felt like a little bit of my soul was dying.

did you see that tv special about the indian women who sew the track pants for wal-mart? did you see how they work 17 hours per day and still can't afford meat? did you hear the part about how when the owners of the factory asked wal-mart for $.01 more per pair of pants that wal-mart threatened to never use this factory again? and how wal-mart sells these track pants for $12 each after they pay oh, $.33 each to the factory?

this is one of the reasons why i don't like wal-mart. when they claimed to sell only products made in america i didn't dislike them so much. then i just disliked them for overtaking small businesses in rural america and then refusing to pay the workers a decent wage or give them benefits.

someone i used to work with told me to get off my high horse and admire the walton family for running a profitable business that epitomized the american dream. and that statement couldn't have hurt me more than if he punched me in the stomach. it hurt because i know that he was right, in a way. but i had always held the american dream to higher standards than that. apparently, i am naive. lunch yesterday, i went to wal-mart with a friend who wanted to check out their fabric selection. she was looking for blues hockey fabric (don't ask). while we were there she also needed to pick up pictures from the photo processing area. i discreetly wandered around the camera department so she could enter her debit card p.i.n. privately. $79.84 digital camera.

i have been coveting, lusting, strongly desiring, a digital camera for a long time. i NEED one. it's not just that i want one. i NEED one (please note use of all CAPS...i don't like to type in all CAPS...that is how strong the NEED for a digital camera is!) so the good angel on my right shoulder is whispering in my ear, "heidi, do not stoop to the low prices of this greedy conglomerate. you can find an inexpensive digital camera elsewhere...perhaps at the purportedly religiously-owned walgreens store." while the devil on my left shoulder is shouting, "get the damn camera. the indian woman you saw on that tv special didn't sew this camera. grind your liberal axe over something worthwhile!"

just for the wasn't as if the camera was lousy had 3 megapixels and 4.0 optical zoom. why must the universe test my resolve so?

Monday, October 24, 2005


my friend sharon tagged me to list 5 women who have inspired me artistically. so here goes, in no particular order...
  1. martha--come on, she may be a witch, but she is an inspirational one. i've stolen so many ideas from her, i can't even count them all!
  2. karyl--this woman is like the army--she does more before 6 a.m. than most of us do all day. she taught me how to bind a book, and how to fold a box and everything in between.
  3. chris & sharon--these ladies introduced me to the entire world of "art" as i know it. i didn't know nothin' 'bout no embossing powder (why can't i do it over my toaster? or over the burner on my stove?), they gave me my first xyron pen, they've sold me every ink pad i've ever owned and i still cannot leave their FABULOUS store without something in my clutches. i am also lucky to call them my friends.
  4. kate--kate taught me how to properly wire a pearl, how to properly string a bracelet and how to square stitch. she's a dynamo and my role model for artists who are doing it for themselves.
  5. grammie--she taught me how to embroider, sew and quilt and most importantly, how to make fried potatoes. she grew up in the depression and her thrifty ways enabled me to see everyday items as possible art. there's nothing she can't build herself or do cheaper. she was thrift-ing before it was cool. she showed me the value of taking pride in your work. at 84, she's still learning and teaching herself how to do tasks she didn't know how to do before. she's an inventor and an awesome cook. i'm blessed to have learned so much at her knee.

there are so many other women who i have learned so much from and feel inspired by, it was difficult to limit my list to just five. maybe i'll get tagged again and be able to expand my list.

Friday, October 21, 2005


good friends, good times, good from the breast cancer research fundraiser at red lead.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Friday, October 14, 2005


there are people in this life that take the high road when it is so much easier to take the low. my son prefers to take the high road. yesterday he did that very thing. and although it had ramifications that were extremely inconvenient for him, he persisted. i am proud of him. in so many ways he is the adult i hope one day to become.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

time away...

i've decided to take a few days away from my office to reassess, you know all the existential b.s. that people think about after they turn 40!

honestly, i'm not that deep. (i know some of you don't have a difficult time wrapping your mind around that admission.) but there are bunches of projects i want to tackle and complete before the feelings of overwhelm creep in ivy-like and wrap their sneaky tendrils around my spirit. those emotions tend to paralyze me creatively and not spur me on to accomplish more, so i must nip that in the bud.

on another semi-related note...

the reality of planning the saturday monday sale is hitting home. writing two checks for the venue yesterday resulted in a bit of chest tightening, but nothing i didn't anticipate beforehand. kelly accuses me of jumping in with both feet and then realizing i don't know how to tread water. luckily, this time i jumped in with a life preserver! and the water doesn't threaten to go over my head as i have an extensive support network for this undertaking. can't help but feel though, that since i'm responsible for this event, that i have to overachieve, a feat at which i am very accomplished. once again, the support system is there and i must call on it when necessary. i'm not the best at asking for help, so i'm going to try really hard to develop that skill.

on a creativity-related note...

i have had so many ideas floating around in my head that i finally committed them to paper! some of them are: new pearl bracelet/necklace/earring ideas, fabulous back tack ii bag idea (thanks to the new book alter knits), batik ideas ala becky, and more fabric ideas than i can credit properly here. i have my work cut out for me in the next seven days. a week away from the workaday grind will recharge my batteries and get me ahead of the game.

oh, and by the way, go cards!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

iron it out...

last night while i was hanging laundry in the basement, i tripped over the cord for the iron and pulled the iron down, point first, onto my ankle bone. immediately, a bump started to raise and the multi-colored bruising began. i plopped myself on the couch for the remainder of the evening, ate popcorn and watched television. i had every intention of crafting it up, but the ankle that was injured was the one that operated the sewing machine pedal. so no go on the sew.

i've read in a million different places that our bodies manufacture sickness to signal a need for rest. i have not read about our bodies being clutsy on purpose so that we'll slow down.

but you know me...i always have to be different.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

the big reveal...

i'm ready to unveil the double secret project i've been working on and it is (drumroll please!)

the saturday monday sale
saturday, december 3, 2005
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at the monday club
37 south maple
webster groves, missouri

go here for more details and a complete (as of right now) list of artists...more artists are being added every day! please bookmark the site and check back often for more updates. also, please link to the site to get the word out about this unique event!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

red lead fundraiser is TODAY!!!

fronts of two of my atc's for today's breast cancer research fundraiser at red lead
october 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
$10 donation at the door (red lead will match the door donations and make a like donation to the susan g. komen foundation!)
fabulous "kits" at the door for the first 100 attendees
demos begin at 11 a.m.
silent auction for marvelous pieces of art
snacks, fun, friendship and all for a good cause!

...and now the backs!

Friday, October 07, 2005

want ad: must be able to upload...

still can't upload pictures...i'm thinking of bribing other blogger users to upload for me since neither my office computer nor my home computer (that BOTH, once upon a time could upload pictures) are incapable of accomplishing this task...

i was going to show you the fronts and backs of my atc's for the breast cancer fundraiser day at red lead. i could also show you the "greeting" cards i'm making, just for fun. or i could show you the fabulous fabric i'm going to use for my back tack ii projects. but alas and alack, no such luck.

i am almost ready to reveal the details of the BIG project i'm working on. hopefully by monday there will be something to reveal! i can say it will have a website where folks can look for updates on the project...that's not much of a teaser though, is it? i can say we are getting close to the threshhold i wanted to cross before presenting this idea to the world at large. look for more information VERY soon. i am jazzed, but also nervous. but isn't that the way you're supposed to feel before a big change?

Thursday, October 06, 2005


i come up with the most interesting thoughts while i'm showering. it's a very fertile mental time for me, i suppose.

i'm in the throes of developing a big idea, that could turn into a big project involving lots of artists and lots of planning. and all of it came to me while i was in the shower. please wish me well and sanity during this process. thanks to karyl and nancy for their laying of the extensive groundwork and doing so much of the legwork on this project!

i am participating in an odd art show tomorrow at monsanto from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (the art isn't odd, but the time and location are odd). it's on the campus of monsanto. and i guess it's open only to monsanto employees. who knows what sort of turn out there will be? it will be an experience though.

the weather here is finally chilly! yay! yay! yay! i have on a wool skirt, gray tights, a turtleneck and hooded sweater...mmm...toasty warm! i love autumn the very most! i would much rather be cold than hot, chilled than sweaty, wearing leggings than shorts. the white pumpkins flanking my front door no longer look out of place and the yellow-daisy-like mums will not perish in the noon day sun.

this time last year i was battling so many illnesses that i couldn't enjoy much of anything. this year i feel good enough to take on the world and i'm preparing to do so!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

hey you sew and sew...

i've been thoroughly enjoying denyse schmidt's book quilts. i used a technique featured therein to make my atc (artist trading card) donation to the breast cancer fundraiser at red lead. i am also in the process of making a series of note cards with the same technique. for those quilters out there, it is similar to foundation piecing, but instead of a piece of muslin, you use card stock. to me the results are charming, simple, but have a very modern feeling to them. definitely my type of aesthetic. really enjoying the process and that is so satisfying.

per my friend becky's recommendation, i purchased four skeins of yarn from target. the yarn was in their dollar bins and is quite lovely--all eyelash-y in shades of light gold, mauve and blue. in the same spot were bamboo knitting needles. i saw both yarn and needles a few weeks ago and was awaiting becky's thumbs-up before i jumped in and bought them, but as a result only the skinniest and fattest needles were left. i opted for the fattest ones since i tend to be a super-tight knitter. now i have the goods and the desire, but motivation is lagging. i am wont to start another project just to have it languish on my craft table for months (or years. yes, years my dears--i swear i ALWAYS have the best of intentions--ALWAYS!) i suppose it is proper to complete my back tack ii project before undertaking anything new. but when, dear reader, have i ever done what is proper?

which reminds me that today at lunch i am planning a field trip to jackman's fabrics to scope out their amy butler pattern supplies. wish me luck! this is a covert operation.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

still no pics, but other stuff...

it was a quick weekend, wasn't it?

i've come to terms with the challenges of dealing with those in the field of higher education. i rationalize that the difficulties are there to force the student to use their creative problem solving skills. i'm committed to using these stumbling blocks as an opportunity to grow and learn. perhaps the academia are creating "teachable moments."

homecoming #1 was great! the kids ate dinner out (while kelly and i cooled our heels in a nearby used bookstore). the dance was actually fun (i think they were prepared for it to be boring) and after they went to IHOP for a snack. it does my aging ego good to realize that high school dances have not changed that much in the last 25 years. we're now gearing up for homecoming #2.

what's on the horizon seems murky to me these days. i know it's important to have a plan in life, but so often i feel a sincere drift occurring. each january 1st i write a list of goals for the upcoming year, but this year, those were written in the post-surgery manic episode of "everything's okay and now i'm going to take on the world." at the time, i didn't have to wash dishes, fold laundry, make lunches or dinners, vacuum or dust. i read and did art all day--that is, in between naps. these days i am rushing forward and don't know which end of my candle is burning faster. all of this is tempered with the desire to slow WAAAAAY down and watch and notice and document all that nathaniel is becoming. he'll be 16 in a few short months and each birthday marks closer the time he'll leave us and be on his own. having only one child makes the transitions so marked. so along with "watch child grow up" my to-do list says things like "write more" and "make more art" and "read a new book each month" and "clean closets." i love the everyday tasks because they are what ground us as human beings, but i long to live deeper in myself. i yearn to learn all there is to know about emily dickinson or to use every color paint on one piece of art or to finally achieve the ability to meditate.

the question remains, what do i most want to be in this one chance i've been given?

Friday, September 30, 2005

oh, the fun we will have...

folks, there's so much going on this weekend in the world of wallace, it's difficult to quantify.

but first let me update you all on the status of student heidi and her foray back into the realm of higher education. let me begin by saying that dealing with those in academia is a challenge. apparently, i have not yet satisfied my college-level math requirement in lo these 20+ years of higher, i have taken what shall hereafter be referred to as "remedial" math courses. okay, basic algebra at st. louis university was a breeze, but i can assure you that intermediate algebra was no cake walk. so sometime very soon, i will sit in a dimly lit classroom with students less than half my age and take a test whose sole goal is to ascertain if i am prepared to register for contemporary math (glorified check-balancing from what i gather).

the letter i received from the institution (that i sincerely hope will someday grant me a degree) stated that i should meet with my advisor to register for classes. after registering for classes, i would receive a picture student id. BUT before meeting with an advisor to register for classes i had to take my math placement test. however, the flyer included with said letter told me that in order to get proper credit for the math placement test, i had to present my picture student id. i have one question for this highly respected institution--catch-22 much?

and...this is the kicker, i have to take a grammar course. dear reader, please do not look to this blog for concrete evidence of my writing skillz. on my word alone i want to assure you that i am an amazing writer and although i might split my infinitives, i am talented. so my ego took quite a blow yesterday and i almost had to follow in the footsteps of all the authors before me and turn to the drink for comfort, but i did not. no...i held fast my willpower and instead ate a sugar-free fudgcicle.

what other delights does this weekend hold?

  • buying a new pod coffee maker since this morning i found a piece of plastic in the bottom of my cup. apparently the coffee maker shed during the coffee preparation process.
  • homecoming haircut
  • homecoming wrist corsage pick-up
  • driving to and fro for homecoming
  • journal club [karyl, mary lou, jane--anybody out there?]
  • preparing much more jewelry inventory than i have for a weirdo craft show at monsanto on friday
  • eating out--yay, phase 2!
  • trying to find something to spend my $$$ on at borders since i have THREE coupons
  • again try to upload pics...blogger is having difficulties again

what about the rest of you? what are you doing?

Thursday, September 29, 2005


wow! the uploading feature on blogger is now working, so as promised, i present one of the multitudes of cards i made earlier this week using the masterboard technique.
note to blogger users: apparently blogger is having trouble with its servers. some of the servers aren't uploading pics, others are. try signing off and signing back on again. also, i cleared out all my cookies and that may have helped too.
seems like a lot of work for one lousy picture of one lousy card, huh?

here is where there should be a picture...

but i can't get blogger to accept my upload. don't know if it's a blogger-wide thing or not. is anyone else having trouble?

i was going to show you one of the 13 cards i made after trying out denise's masterboard technique. thanks again, denise, for the demo last weekend. i've made two masterboards and they are so much fun. the possibilities are endless. now i know what to do with all of my 12"x12" papers that i feel lukewarm about...jazz 'em up with paint, stamping, molding paste, and glitter and them cut 'em apart to use elsewhere.

i bought denyse schmidt's newest book quilts. there are so many simply elegant and visually appealing projects in this book, i feel a rejuvenated quilting spirit rising up from my toes. some of the ones i must try right away are the cards, bedroom slippers and scarf with matching muff (perfect for nathaniel's chilly soccer games).

i have yet to come up with a salient plan for my back tack ii project. my buddy is a tough nut to crack, but i know i am up to the challenge. i'm not giving too much away, but i know that there is this perfect bit of vintage fabric in my stash that i think she'll really dig.

today is finally thursday! i definitely can make it one more day. can you?

update: see above for cool pic that finally uploaded! yay, blogger!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

nobody likes a braggart...but...

WARNING: I AM GOING TO BRAG ABOUT MY SON. for those readers that don’t dig on the doting mom thang, please direct your browser to another blog.

those that abide in my home (three humans and one very human-like cat) are geared up for the end of the dreaded “FIVE WEEK GRADING PERIOD” (you must say it as if god herself is speaking and the resulting reverberations shake the windows and the walls). tomorrow kelly and i will receive a phone call from nathaniel’s advisor telling us, class by class, what his five week grades are.

as i’ve mentioned before, nathaniel is shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone, kicking it abe lincoln style this school year. he attends a magnet high school and the standards are very challenging. an “A” at his regular public high school would be like a “C” at this school. students earn “A’s,” “B’s,” “C’s” or they fail. sorry charlie, metro high school don’t play that way. so five week grades are very important. it’s a chance to check in and make sure you’re on the right track. nathaniel was so keyed up about it he couldn’t even wait for the phone call home tomorrow. he had to check in with the vice principal to find out what the scoop was. turns out he has 2 “A’s” and 5 “B’s”. nathaniel was so psyched he placed a call at lunchtime to kelly to give him the good news. kelly said he could imagine nathaniel breathing a sigh of relief deep into the receiver of the phone.

did i mention nathaniel plays varsity soccer? and that he’s only a sophomore? and that he’s super cute and cuddly and he still tells me he loves me all the time? and that he was extra special grateful when i found a tie for him that matches his girlfriend’s homecoming dress perfectly and he gave me a buddha t-shirt to thank me?

just let me know if there’s anything you’d like to know about my kid, really anything at all. i’m glad to talk about him. can’t you tell?

Monday, September 26, 2005

programming/art/motherhood is...

please note: i already wrote this post once and sent into the ether, so i think for the "programming is" fill in the blank, i'd have to say, "frustrating."

i didn't manage to fix my blog template this weekend so this morning i am cutting and pasting and checking to make sure none of the stuff i liked gets goofed up. the links list seems much shorter, so if the link to your blog/website is missing, please let me know and i'll edit again later this week.

dang!!! i sure do like this new pink color!

instead of programming this weekend, i did ART! yes, i know it is hard to believe. after seeing my friend denise demo at my fave art place, red lead, this weekend, i was inspired to create. it felt great to get paint under my nails and look at all of my rubber stamps and collage bits and get down to it. scans coming soon of the finished projects.

i also worked and neared completion on a piece i am donating to the breast cancer fundraiser auction at red lead on october 8. it's a fun day filled with demos, snacks, coupons, an amazing auction of fabulous art and lots of friends and laughs--all for a great cause!

in other news, nathaniel is going to two homecoming dances in the next two weeks. guess who's job it is to try to ascertain the correct color of wrist corsages to order? and to order and pay for the corsages? yes, you've got it. how fast would society collapse if mother's weren't involved?*

finally, some cooler weather has arrived in the midwest...sweater weather, here i come!

note: i have also now been charged with buying a necktie that matches nathaniel's date's dress. does the madness never end?

Friday, September 23, 2005

what the h-e-double hockey sticks!!!

so yesterday i was playing around with the idea of changing my template (the way my blog looks to the rest of the world). i decided to wait until this weekend because updating your template on blogger means that you lose all of the tweeks you've made to your page. it was too much to undertake on a workday.

so imagine my surprise when i clicked on my link this morning and "POOF" it's all pink and pretty, but WHOA--there are no links, no counter, no cute quote at the foot of my page. all the parts that were "me" are gone. i swear i didn't do this. it must have been the internet elves. now i have to personalize my page from scratch. i don't know html so i just pick and prod and copy and paste and view edits until i'm not unhappy with the way everything looks.

remember when i alphabetized my links at 3:00 a.m.? i have visions of that happening again this weekend. and i really wanted to work on some art!

so in the meantime, here is another picture from the party last weekend. thanks to my friend, jeff f. for taking pics.

check out the patent leather go-go boots!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

inquiring minds may want to know...

i went to the doctor yesterday, just to have some prescriptions refilled. i spoke with her about the south beach diet and the progress i've made and the successes i've had. (even after the diet detour of "birthday week," i've managed to lose 8 pounds and the waistbands of my clothes are feeling more comfy.)

one of the prescriptions i was having refilled was for my migraine medicine. i told her of what i perceived as a sharp decrease in occurrence and severity of my migraines since being on south beach. i told her i wasn't sure if the two were related; i surmised that perhaps the headaches were food-related, but i never knew which foods were my triggers. she agreed that my migraines were most likely a reaction to high sugars--the consumption of refined carbs and sugars. WOW...if i'd known that i would have stopped eating white bread a long time ago!

she also confirmed that for me, this diet is the most healthy way to eat. especially for those who have had colon cancer, a diet high in whole grains and fiber and low in red meats, is the smartest choice. she also wanted me to try to convince my husband and son to try it out. i just don't think i can wean my 15 year old off pizza and french fries or his daily lunch dose of $2.50 pork fried rice. he's 6'2" and weighs 135 pounds. right now it's just not an issue for him. but if i can work in whole grains into the nightly menu, it would be better. currently, i'm fixing two dinners a night. i don't know how long i can keep that up. not to mention the dishes associated with that undertaking. we don't have a dishwasher, and i really don't want one (i couldn't bear to part with the cabinet space), but it is starting to look attractive.

also, she suggested taking an aspirin a day--not for heart health, but there is new evidence that for those who have had colon cancer or a strong family history of colon cancer, it could prove beneficial. so this morning, i added it to my multi-vitamin, calcium, metamucil cocktail.

could i be any more boring if i tried? i just re-read metamucil cocktail and sighed a low moan. but damn i look good!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

mini party recap...

everyone said how happy i looked, and i was.

all evening i was surrounded by the people that mean the most to me--the people that make me laugh the hardest or have known me the longest or have given me the inspiration to tackle something new. those people were there. of course, some folks couldn't join us in the celebration, but i felt them in spirit.

the food was delish (i hardly got to eat, but the leftovers were amazing).

the band, the orbits, rocked the house with their mellow, perfect mix of swing and cajun and ballroom. thank you guys.

i enjoyed most of all spending the evening dancing with my truest love, gazing into his bespectacled eyes and knowing that i am his forever.

the curse of my dreaded horoscope has been broken and there doesn't exist a better way in the world to slough off the cloud that hung over me recently than to dance, drink and eat with so many kind, wonderful and gracious friends and family.

if this is what your 40s is all about, i am raring to go!

Monday, September 19, 2005

swingin' sixties bash...

what a way-out couple!
the party was great! more later--this is just a teaser!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

40 + 1 day...

here i am in all my 13 year old glory. i remember that day, being so worried about how i looked--was my hair okay, did my make-up look good? if only i could go back in time and whisper into my ear and say, "you'll never be as young as you are right now. you'll never be as carefree as you are right now. you'll never have as much energy as you do right now. enjoy it. revel in it. BASK in it!" would the 13 year old me have even listened or known what to do with all that information?

i'm heeding my own advice from now on. i will never be as young as i am right now, or as energetic. last night i performed an annual ritual--i did a cartwheel and a round-off in the birthday moonlight--legs stretching towards the heavens, hands deep in the dew-y grass.

this is as young as i will ever be.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

this is how happy i am today...

i'm welcoming my 40th birthday with arms wide open. who knows what the day holds for me, but whatever comes my way, i'm ready!

let the celebration begin!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

famous women?

my famous women (?) atc's for red lead's september trade!

Monday, September 12, 2005

just an update...

tried to upload a picture yesterday but was denied. it said the photo was uploaded, but then when i went to look at it, there was nothing.


south beach update: i am in phase 2--i can eat a piece of fruit! i can eat a piece of bread! it seems like so much food after two weeks. i lost 6-7 pounds on phase 1 (my scale is from the 80's so it's hard to tell exactly how much i've lost). one thing i can attribute to south beach diet, though, is a better understanding of how poorly i was eating before. am feeling much more energetic throughout the day and am sleeping better at night. although i still get an occassional mild headache, they have all but disappeared. i don't know if that's related, but i welcome the change.


this is my "birthday week." yes, in my world, i get an entire week of celebration! tomorrow is lunch with some co-workers. then wednesday another co-worker lunch and the actual birthday. thursday, who knows? friday is a pampering day--manicure and pedicure. saturday is the big blow-out of the century. hope i have the stamina!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

art-ful weekend...

this weekend is FULL of art related events.
  • art outside at schlafly brewery in maplewood, missouri. stop by and say "hi" to mary beth shaw
  • clayton art fair--there is delectable food, awesome people watching, and great art
  • bead art at lady bug beads in webster groves, missouri--lots of bead artists and a great outdoor venue

i hope to make it to all or most of these events.

also, tomorrow is a hurricane relief fundraiser at the tap room in st. louis city--bands, food and drink--all for a good cause.

Friday, September 09, 2005


i got accepted into back-tack II! for those of you unfamiliar you can click on this link to learn more. in a nutshell, it is a group of folks who craft for one another, anonymously, a bag and a kit for their secret crafting desire! i am so psyched.

the person assisgned to me is supposed to troll my blog over the next few days to find out what craft i've always wanted to try but have yet to get to. for those of you that know me, there isn't much i haven't age 5 started with embroidery, moved on to sewing, then photography, paper arts (all kinds), watercolor, knitting (but not really purling--i know becky is out there laughing at me right now), but i guess that is my most compelling desire, to REALLY learn how to knit. reading a knitting pattern is so foreign to do i do it? the very first thing i knitted in my entire life was a pair of mittens for a friend in high school as a christmas present. it took me months to finish those mittens, but i did do it and they looked so great i was tempted to keep them for myself. but the process was so confusing to me as i was self-taught, that i think i mentally blocked out the pattern reading skills necessary to do anything other than k1 in a big circle. i wish i could re-learn how to knit well enough (read: FAST) to make a scarf that i could wrap luxuriously around my neck or a capelet or a shrug or a pair of finger-less gloves.

my crafting loves are vintage fabrics, circa 1940-1965 (go figure). i LOVE/LUV/LURVE rickrack. i troll the thrift stores weekly for rickrack. i adore old dress patterns. i love all colors, but mostly pinks and oranges, teals and greens. i'm loving the clean lines of all the japanese design books i've been seeing lately, but my designs tend to lean toward the slapdash but ultimately stylish fashion.

i cannot wait for this trade to begin!

coming foray into creating more atcs.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


the days roll by. sometimes i feel like i'm in a 1940s movie watching the calendar pages flip over to signify the passing of time. although each day is unique and filled with hope and promise, there still lingers a sense of the mundane.

i wake up.
i eat breakfast.
i shower and dress.
i drive to my office.
i eat my lunch.
i drive home.
i make dinner.
i wash the dishes.
i go for a walk.
i make lunches for the next day.
i may plop on the couch and watch a bit of something on PBS or wait for the weather.
i wash my face and brush my teeth.
i change into my pajamas.
i go to bed.

i realize each and every human being experiences the ennui of day-to-day existence. i am not unique or special. the free-time that modern conveniences have afforded us have given us, as a species, or more specifically as inhabitants of the first world, the luxury of self-examination.

and as i've written about here in the past, self-examination is critical. the act of looking deeper into our motivations and feelings about what we experience helps us grow into elaborate beautiful creatures.

so where does that leave me? torn between the daily grind and the notion that the creative life, in my case, is the one worth living.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


it seems i can only devote my energy to one idea/project/distraction at a time.


  • when i get it in my head that my house needs to be clean, i can think of nothing else. what's worse is everyone else who resides in my house with me, must be in total agreement or be banished. yesterday, i 409-d my entire kitchen (including the floor). grease spot, be out! i also gave the cat a bath...yes, i gave the cat a bath. that is how deep the insanity runs when i get this way.
  • today is the celebration of a co-worker's birthday. yesterday i baked cupcakes and knew that on my way to the office this morning i was going to stop by the grocer's floral department to pick up a mylar balloon and some daisies. even though i had a plan in place and a sticky note on the front door to serve as a last minute reminder as i left the house, i still tossed and turned all night and even dreamed of my morning to-do list.
  • in the shower this morning all i could do was think of the evening's plans. soccer practice for nathaniel, vet appointment for tootsie (my now, very clean cat)--what about me? i need to eat and walk and play! all i kept thinking was "is there going to be time for me?!" i'll probably obsess about my after work plans all day.

and all of this is thought in the context of how grateful i am that i have a house to clean, know where my friend is so that i can bake her cupcakes and my loved ones around me that i can cook for, obsess with and care for.

Friday, September 02, 2005

commuting woes...and fulfilling a promise...

i tried to put my money where my mouth was yesterday. i called the metro office and asked them how, using public transportation, i could arrange a route so that i could arrive at my west county office by 7:30 a.m. turns out, you can't get here from there. at least not in a way that would work for a person with a life.

i would have to leave my house well before 6 a.m., travel by bus eastbound into a dicey neighborhood and transfer to the metrolink, then disembark in another compromised area of the city and transfer to a westbound bus. does anyone else see the back-ass-wards logic here? i have to travel out of the county into the city to travel back to the county. how do we expect people to use public transportation when public transportation doesn't work for US? i know it's a catch-22 whereby if more people used the system, the system could afford to add more routes that would enable more people to use the system. but,'s not rocket science, folks. other municipal areas of the country make it work. why can't we?

oh yeah, i promised more art, fun and family in this post, so here goes!

i haven't mentioned it here before, but i have been participating in artvent, a daily art gift exchange involving 34 artists. the exchange began on august 1st and tomorrow is the very last day. i have been so filled with inspiration by the offerings of each of the participants. i cannot believe that the generosity will end tomorrow. thanks to karyl h. for her organization of this event. it has been the highlight of my year!

my son has been working shoulder to the grindstone hard in his sophomore year to keep up with all of his challenge courses. last night we studied a map of the fertile crescent and all its ancient cities (that coincidentally he was just given yesterday) for a test first thing this morning. we had to come up with pneumonics and tricks to help him remember where the rivers, cities, countries and regions were. he just called my dear husband (thank you cell phone!) and said he got 100%! nathaniel, you rock!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

the sky is falling...and miscellany...

i would be remiss not to speak here about the devastation in the gulf coast. i am too overwhelmed with emotion each day to do much beyond wonder inwardly what it must feel like to be a victim of such destruction. it has obviously brought out the best and worst of those affected. i imagine i would be on the "best" end of the human behavior spectrum, but that's only wishful thinking. how would i behave if my child were hungry, thirsty, or in need of basic human services? would i brandish a weapon to help him? would i shoot someone for a bag of ice? to what extremes do people go to when they feel that they or their families are threatened?

i've been pondering where we're headed as a civilization. i've heard the news reports about gas rationing in some states. at what point will we wise up and conserve energy? when will our president take the necessary steps to warn the country of the looming crisis? when will NASCAR no longer be allowed because it is wasting our precious resources? how long before neighbors begin siphoning gas from one another's cars?

do i sound like chicken little? i don't mean to, really, but i cannot believe that there aren't things that may happen in the very near future that will change the very fabric of this nation. in addition, because of the extent of devastation, the refugees from the gulf coast states will be unemployed. those on the public dole will inevitably rise at a time when most of those programs and services have been slashed. this will have a domino effect on ALL of us! food will cost more-clothes will cost more-people will not be able to afford to eat out or shop or go to the movies or pay for new goods. why aren't there more people wringing their hands? why aren't more people looking to the white house for more guidance? why did he just fly over in a plane and not get down to the ground and actually DO something?

it is no wonder that there is chaos in the streets of new orleans. those people have no framework to work within...they have no hope that help is on the way. bush has done nothing. blankets are good to send, george, but we also need a concrete plan. i beg of you, please, for once, do something presidential and inspire this country to come together and accomplish what may prove to be, historically, our greatest challenge.

on a much lighter and self-absorbed note (which is what you've come to expect here at queen for a day, isn't it?)...last night i went and applied to college. after reassessing my voluminous transcripts from institutions of higher education both far and near, i've come to the alarming conclusion that if i were to attend college full-time, i would have my bachelor's degree in 18 months. of course, full-time education is not in my near future, but if not now, when? to be so close to completing my degree is bordering on the passive aggressive. that's to say, once i have my degree, i will no longer be able to blame my underachievement on anything besides sheer laziness and inertia. besides that, i would love to finish my degree 1) before my son gets his and 2) before my husband retires in five years and goes back to school himself.
i promise the next post will be more art, fun and family-filled. just needed to get it all off my chest.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

logorrhea of the typing fingers...

high school etymology class didn't help me on my S.A.T.s, but it did give me a lifelong appreciation for the word "logorrhea."

the teacher would drawl at a student guilty of talking during class, "mr. smith, are you suffering from log-o-rrhea?"

the offender would invariably not know the meaning of her question and offer her a, "huh?"

"are you suffering from diarrhea of the mouth?" she would counter.

sheepish, now, was the side-talker, and giggles filled the classroom every time.

there are days when i feel my blog is suffering from diarrhea of the typing fingers. in an effort to write an entry a day, i'm afraid i often overstep the unwritten rules of self-protection. some would argue it is better to keep things to oneself than to spread our experiences out to the world to be examined and commented on. of course, i belong to the school of thought that the life unexamined is not worth living. some would argue, though, that this school of thought refers to inner examination. so there is a razor's edge to tread here in blog-land.

for example, i haven't shared my south beach diet plans with anyone at my office, but i did write about it here. so, conceptually, at least, i told the entire world (or at least those with internet access). what is it about this space that made me feel comfortable enough to write about what i couldn't verbalize? is it like picking your nose in the car while driving down the road? you imagine you're in an impenetrable fortress and that no one can see you--when in reality all that separates you from the world is a sheet of 1/4 inch glass?

okay, here's a better example...the people on reality tv shows. i sit there on the couch and think, "forever after, this person is going to be known as 'that guy who _______-ed on that reality show.'" how do i want to be remembered? like the typo i made in the e-mail i wrote about...maybe i want to write a piece of mind so i can gain peace of mind.

thank you all to those who help me toward that goal.