Saturday, July 30, 2005


since it's 4 o'clock in the morning and i can't seem to get back to sleep, i thought i'd spend a couple of hours updating and alphabetizing my "blogs & links" section.

that's a worthwhile use of my time, isn't it?

Friday, July 29, 2005

good for a laugh...

missing nathaniel. he's not even through week #1 of camp and still another week to go.

what will i do when he goes off to college?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

odds beater...

in another of my lifetimes, i lived and traveled in central america. one of my stops was with an ex-patriot hippie family living in the mountains of guatemala. the father of the family, in addition to still using the phrases "groovy" and "outta sight," earned his living by writing horoscopes.

the process for developing someone's horoscope turned out to be quite involved. i had to write a comprehensive list of all the important events in my life--complete with dates and times that they occurred. it was difficult to amass much of a list as i was only 19 years old, but i did what i could. for two days my astrologer consulted tomes and scribbled notes and peered at the stars for guidance. at last i was presented with a multi-page handwritten document that outlined the rest of my life.

i read eagerly all the predictions the pages held. at the end, i was exhausted and shocked because these forecasts told of unhappiness, sickness and an early death.

so in my mind, the countdown to death began when i was just nineteen years of age.

one month later, i would meet my future husband. not long after i met my husband, he counseled me to destroy and discard the negative horoscope. he didn't, and to this day doesn't, believe in astrology (or destiny or fate for that matter). he believed and convinced me, that all those pages did was serve as a roadmap for unhappiness...a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

two years later i married him. three years after that i gave birth to our beautiful son. i was already making inroads to living a decidedly happier life than the one predicted. but still there were lingering doubts.

now, i am counting down to my fortieth birthday...a milestone i was predicted not to live to see. each day i feel a caution creeping in...with less than two months to go, i feel like the proverbial police sergeant going out for one last raid on the morning of his retirement. each time i see a movie like that i want to scream at the the screen, "don't go! don't you know you will undoubtedly receive a fatal wound trying to save your young rookie partner?"

next month i go for my six month screening appointment with my oncologist. i love her--so cheerful and bright and optimistic. and she has every right to be. those who have the type of cancer i had and have it removed at the stage at which i did have only a 5% recurrence rate after five years. so the odds are with me. but i can't help but feel trepidation and reserve.

i know i'll live to see eighty, at least. my grammie will be 85 next spring and my grandfather will be 94 on the same day. again, i'm the odds-on favorite. but i'm holding out placing any bets until september 15...the day AFTER my fortieth birthday.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

depth perception...

the other night i helped a friend re-string some necklaces that had been shoddily constructed. the wire was tight and kinked due to over-tightening. the crimp beads were jammed up against the clasps. the necklaces didn't lay softly or coil easily. the pieces were stressed out and near their breaking point.

we disassembled the necklaces and discarded the wire skeletons. my friend picked out vintage golden yellow seed beads to accent one necklace and vibrant green czech beads for the other. i watched her small delicate hands as she thoughtfully placed each bead on the new supple wire. she was deliberate and careful.

it takes me under five minutes to straight string a necklace and i'm often multi-tasking as i do tv and string a piece...have a conversation and string a piece. my friend was absorbed in her task--mindful of placement, texture and color. when complete, her necklaces popped with color and were smooth against her clavicle.

depth...that's what this is about, i guess. mostly, i'm a surface dweller. i know a little bit about a lot of things. and to top it off, i'm a rusher, which means i speed through life trying to accomplish as much as i can in the shortest amount of time possible. so often, i don't dedicate time to digging deeper into a philosophy or a technique or a vision, i just try to master it and move on without thinking too much about it.

in high school i was involved in a writing program. my teachers' critiques were the same song, but a different note throughout, "heidi, you're rushing your reader." that's how i lived my life too. i couldn't wait to get older, be grown-up, move out, do something else. the thing is, i never thought about what that something else was.

i'm forcing myself to think about the difference between spending a day rushing through a to-do list compared to one spent purposefully committed to the task at hand. i spend plenty of my days disengaged. but there are also days when i enjoy every action i take; love the slippery feel of dish soap between my fingers and the dish i'm washing, rub my nose at the sulfur smell after lighting a match to ignite the oven's pilot flame, watch the rise and fall of my husband's chest as he naps on the couch beside me.

to me, those are the things that make up a happy life. days filled with a multitude of meaningful actions is what i strive for. living in the moment, holding on to each second, feeling deeper than the day before.

Monday, July 25, 2005

i'm back...did ya miss me?

sorry i dropped off the face of the earth! lots of stuff happening over here.
  • on wednesday i picked up the pink beauty above. thanks to patrick, the previous owner, for sending me the digital pics so i could upload them for all the world to see. "gracie" (as she is now called) makes me uncontrollably giggly. every time i drive her, i'm filled with glee and joy! she is just the shot of hot pink goodness i needed! thanks to my sweetie hubby for the most awesome gift in the world!
  • on thursday, i went to the ophthalmologist to rule out poor sight as the cause of my headaches. when i made the appointment, i thought it was a stroke of genius to schedule the eye appointment on the same day as my MRI. what a headcase i am. did i forget about the dilation? did i forget that i would have to drive FROM the eye appointment to the hospital with two pairs of sunglasses on and completely unable to see what was right in front of my face? i could see things at a distance fine, so i was okay to drive, but the speedometer was out of the question. if you happened to see a pink 1965 station wagon creeping eastbound on highway 40 on thursday afternoon, that would have been me!
  • i had my MRI...still waiting for results (will probably know more this afternoon). thanks to everyone who e-mailed me, or spoke to me or sent kind thoughts my way. they did me a world of good. now it's just a waiting game. i'm sure everything is going to be great!

update: the MRI results came back negative, which doesn't mean i don't have a brain but that the test was normal! yay! just say "NO" to cancer people!

  • i spent friday, saturday and sunday in the tutelage of keely barham, artist extraordinaire! i learned so much, got to spend time with wonderful, talented women and left with two complete projects (pictures later) and one almost finished project. thanks to ms. nancy for all her hard work. it was a fantastic event!

now back to work to get some rest!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


thus far, i've steered clear of sharing too much that was personal on this blog. i guess i'm ready to shatter that standard.

i've always adhered to the belief that keeping my fears secreted away only fueled them. once the light of day hit what frightened me, their power was diminished. so in the spirit of squashing my fears, i'm exposing my most recent fear to the harshest light known--the internet.

for over two weeks, i've been nursing the longest running migraine in my personal history. this so annoyed me (and my sweet husband) that i made an appointment to see my physician. i know folks suffer with migraines every day. there are women i know personally who are incapacitated by their headaches. thankfully, i have not experienced their level of pain with this round of headaches, but it was starting to interfere with my day-to-day life. and ladies and gentlemen, that just doesn't fly with the queen!

so i saw my doctor.

here's a brief history before we go too much december i had cancer. it was not the type of cancer that causes the afflicted long-suffering bouts of pain. i had an abscessed perforation in my colon and through the process of removing the infected stretch of bowel, my surgeon inadvertently and miraculously removed a cancerous growth. i did not have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation. i had cancer. it got removed. in effect, i won the lottery.

so when i started to have stubborn headaches that wouldn't go away, i thought maybe somebody should check it out. i saw the doctor and she said that given my "history" she'd like to send me for an MRI...well, let's just say the worry started to work on me a bit.

now imagine that in the course of no less than three days, on three separate occasions and without knowledge of the other offers, three kind people offer to accompany you to said MRI (a test, you have been assured, is quite routine), well, you might worry even a little bit more.

so now i sit here, in a bit of a tizzy with still two days to go before the test.

please, light of day, work your magic.

Monday, July 18, 2005

not quite finished...

so my to-do list was a little ambitious, but here is a list of the things i did accomplish this weekend:
  • went to see a so-so beatles impersonation band at a local community fair on friday night. although the band sang a bit pitchy in spots, they did play their instruments quite well. spending an evening under the stars with my husband was a special bonus.
  • ran to the bakery to test out some cupcakes for a secret event...they were oh-so-cute and delish to boot!
  • finished up another paper arts project related to the secret event in item above.
  • ate an inside picnic with our good friends on saturday night (thanks, k& m).
  • washed about eleventy hundred loads of laundry.
  • made french toast and bacon for breakfast.
  • went to see charlie and the chocolate factory (although i did like the new version, i liked the 1960's one better)
  • made pan-fried chicken breasts and four cheese potatoes for dinner (they were so yummy!)
  • ate a ted drewes dottie sundae at a very late hour before falling into bed on sunday night.

now on with another work week!

Friday, July 15, 2005

tick tock...

my list of art projects is growing exponentially--
  • finish (and start...ahem) hubby's birthday card featuring his adorable kindergarten picture
  • put together my baby sister's accordion book to commemorate her recent move overseas
  • sew up a mini-zipper bag that someone ordered in june
  • put a handle on a cigar box purse that the same someone ordered in june
  • finish my scrapbook pages from my trip to hawaii in march of 2003
  • make my son an envelope book entitled "15 reasons why i love you" to send to him during his two-week stay at camp
  • complete the design phase of my pink lemonade contribution to the tie one on( apron a month project and actually sew the apron
  • make my boss the square stitched bracelet she ordered in october
  • make a card for the wedding we're attending at the end of this month
  • paint vintage wooden knitting bag handles and sew up new bag to go on said soon-to-be painted handles in beautiful cream, acid green and blue upholstery fabric
  • bind dada journal (ala karyl howard's potent inspiration!)

i think i'll get all this done this weekend, don't you?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

to all the mothers...

this one's for funky, fresh and fun hot mamas! keep on rockin' your family!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


not long ago i was talking with one of my supervisors. i had just told her that i had gotten teary-eyed at something my son or my husband had said to me.

understand, i get teary-eyed at all sorts of things. if i hear that large hawaiian man singing "somewhere over the rainbow" with his ukelele, i'm a goner. if i'm so happy i'm about to burst, i well up. so i'm emotional, but hardly ever in a negative context. almost always, i'm excited, elated, jubilant and usually that means i'll cry. but when my boss said to me in response to my admission that i was weepy, "well, you're fragile," it made me feel like i was made of pale pink depression glass. her little tiny pebble words hung in the air in front of me and threatened to break me into millions of pieces that would then later have to be sucked up into the cleaning crew's vacuum cleaner. i carefully backed out of her office.

so, now, when this new bloggie-thing warrants comments (or more specifically, doesn't warrant comments) i find myself feeling fragile. it's as if i'm see-through. the words i've written are the outfit i've wrapped around me to shield the transparency i feel in front of the rest of the world.

who knew i would be the meta-journaler already?

Monday, July 11, 2005

walk right in, sit right down...

on saturday night, we drove to belleville to go to the drive-in.

doesn't the mere act of reading the above sentence seem old school? who goes to the drive-in? well, the wallaces, that's who!

the drive-in protocol here, as compared to indiana, where i grew up, is quite different. in indiana you go to the drive-in and watch the movie from inside your car. here, well, you may be in your car when you arrive, but then you get out of your auto and set-up your lawn chair or blanket of choice and watch the movie from under a canopy of stars. how, you may ask, do you HEAR the movie. gone are the days of the drive-in speaker. the soundtrack is broadcast on an FM frequency that you tune your boom-box to.

when we arrived on saturday evening the line to get into the drive-in was two blocks long. the double feature we wanted to see, fantastic four and mr. & mrs. smith, was sold out. luckily the sky view has two screens so we decided to go ahead and see the other movies. but while we were in line, we witnessed a crazy thing...people walking into the drive-in. a definite "aha" moment! we would pay to park our car for one screen and walk over with our lawn chairs to the other screen. and that's just what we did! yay!

there's nothing that can compare to sitting with my guys by my sides, eating some cherry pull'n'peel licorice and watching a kitschy summer blockbuster movie above my head 50 yards wide. sweet summertime ritual...

Friday, July 08, 2005

travel thoughts...

my travel journal from our recent trip to florida. the trip was less than perfect, but my journal turned out just as i'd hoped!

on a more somber topic, i can't properly process the news from london. i am numb. my thoughts go out to the families of the victims.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

my man, how i love him...

here he man, circa 1973.

i am a hard person to live with, a difficult person to love, but he makes it seem easy.

thanks, babe.

Monday, July 04, 2005

with this ring...

on saturday, we attended the wedding of the daughter of my co-worker. it was an elaborate affair--hundreds of guests, open bar, chocolate fountain, fresh flowers everywhere. it was a wonderful celebration.

in sunday's paper there was an article about the costs of weddings, not for the ones to be wed, but for the guests. in my opinion, any price is small when celebrating the lives and accomplishments of those we love.

there was also a sidebar article by judy cuniberti asking the eternal question, "does the amount of money spent on a wedding directly relate to how long a marriage will last?" "no," say i.

almost 18 years ago, i married the love of my life. i wore a discount cocktail dress and held a silk flower bouquet. my husband to be and i each had one attendant. the ceremony was in the backyard of my grandparents' home. after the brief "i dos" we all went inside to have cake, cookies and punch. the music was a mix tape we had made for the occasion. we didn't have a photographer and asked guests for copies of the pictures they took.

we've gone to a number of splash-y weddings and they are a hoot to be guest at! but sometimes the marriage does not have a happy ending. the wedding day is ONE day! the days that matter are the ones that pile up beyond that--the not so spectacular days--the days the car won't start or the pipe bursts in the basement or you run out of diapers in the midst of a baby bottom explosion. it's how we face these ordinary days that make a marriage memorable.

please don't think that what i am spewing here is sour grapes, quite the opposite. if i had the chance i would have worn a long flowy wedding dress and had hundreds of guests in attendance, but my fiancee and i had a choice to make and we decided to stage this event on the "down low." we drove away from our wedding reception in our 1979 honda civic and ate chinese food at our favorite restaurant. it was ONE of the special days of our lives...not the only special day of our life and that is what i keep in mind when i attend a blowout wedding.

marriage is like a work of art. the layers are what create the depth of feeling and emotion that make it beautiful. beware a magnificent facade, it often belies a papier mache interior not sturdy enough to weather the storms.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


have you ever seen the movie "annie hall"? there's a scene in that movie where annie hall tells woody allen's character, alvie singer, about her grandmother, grammie hall. alvie comments that annie's family sounded like something out of a norman rockwell painting. that's my family--except we're italian and lithuanian and loud and boisterous.

this is my grammie chinnici. she's three years old in this picture. the morning this picture was taken she'd fallen out of a second story window and gotten a huge knot on her head. the year was 1924 and her family wasn't sure if she'd make it through the night, so they dressed her up, let her wear her mother's necklace and took her to have her picture taken. this picture is the inspiration for the name of my jewelry business and this blog...for this one day my grammie was "queen for a day."

Friday, July 01, 2005

this is me, age 3...ala andy warhol.


this whole blog thing has me scratching my head a bit...what in the world to say? how much should i reveal? who will even care to read about my suburban existence?

i love reading other folks' blogs. my "favorites" file is full of crafty girly blogs, blogs about moms trying to find time to create art in between caring for their families, artists' blogs asking themselves the existential questions surrounding the act of producing artwork to send out to the abyss. but do i have anything new or original to add to the conversation?

i guess i should look on this as if it's an test the waters, to try out my voice.

hope it's not too soft...

queen for a day

red lead's sharon shamed me into creating this blog. now there will be no excuse for me not sharing information about my artwork with the world at large.