Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's good to be home.

I have arrived home. It was good to get off at the Paducah exit and think about home. I'm calling it home.
It's starting to feel like home.
Home is good.
I flew back East last week to pick up my Mom. We were all feeling uneasy about her driving to Paducah (from MA) by herself and the minute she mentioned that she wanted to pick up Artie at college that was it. The day that I heard that bit of news I got online and booked myself a flight to Providence, RI. I called her and much to her annoyance I flew back to accompany her on her trip.
It took us four days mostly of which were just fine. There was that one day of rain that I could of have done without. At times we couldn't even see the end of the front of the car. I would be driving along and suddenly there were be nothing. NOTHING. I just kept thinking to myself that it couldn't last forever and not to try to hard to think about the tractor trailer in front of me or the one behind me. I think that I lost a few brain cells from the lack of breathing that I did.
But we made it! Mom, her dog, Artie, her cat, and I. It's good to be off the road. Artie is full of funny college stories just like any typical college student. Only her stories involve blood and gunk. She insisted on bringing home two sculptures. One that she is working on for a final project and one that is a gift for Michael. My Mom, her dog, Artie, her cat, me, a trunk overloaded, and two sculptures.
I know, I life is a traveling circus. I felt like the clown car hurling down the by-ways to the carnival.
It's good to be home.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

...word of the day for the last few weeks.

Really big changes.
Well, maybe not that big.
As I was driving out of the parking lot of (dare I say it?) Sam's Club. I was struck with the battle I have been having with myself. I am being faced with the art of 'acceptance'.
For example, there are many grocery stores here. None of them are particularly "wow" in what they have to offer. I want my Cabot cheese and my Sabra hummus and my Brookshire Farms turkey sausage. I can get the Cabot cheese and the Sabra hummus at ( I'm gonna say it) Sam's Club The Brookshire Farms turkey sausage is beyond my grasp.
I have shopped more at Walmart here than I have in my whole life. It's the only game in town. We need a dust pan, and waste basket, and coffee maker and pyrex pans. Where are we gonna go? I went online and looked for a Target. I like Target. I feel better when I choose the lesser evil of Target. The closest Target is over an hour away. Not worth it for a dust pan.
We get a magazine called 'Fast Company'. For me it is wildly interesting and I always pick up some nugget of information that feeds my head. Well, last year we were vacationing in Mexico and we had brought along the recent copy. An article in there stuck with me. It was about this guy (name long forgotten) who is a major activist and into environmental rights. If I remember correctly he went from GreenPeace ? to consulting for Walmart (the Walmart part I know is correct). He was getting all sorts of major flack from his peers. His thinking was that Walmart is huge! in America and why not work for one of the giants and teach them about being more environmentally conscious. Seriously, this guy is on a mission from a higher source.
I like to think that he is still helping Walmart. I like to think that by buying my 'need to have's' at Sam's Club and Walmart that somehow I am helping to support him support the greater good.
Or am I just pissing in the wind and there's a tangy taste of urine in my mouth?
As an Abraham follower (and someday I will share with you all about Abraham), I believe that we create our own reality. I have held the belief of the evils of Walmart and have never liked to shop there. And here I am giving over my hard earned money for some Vermont cheese that I just gotta have.
OK Abraham, I am going to change my reality. I am focusing on all the good that Walmart can accomplish. They are a powerful presence in our country and for the moment I am going to give it/them all the appreciation I can muster and hopefully I'll learn a thing or two along the way.'s been my word of the day for the last few weeks.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Much love, The Terra Family

This is a letter that I wrote to some extended family members that are getting married. We were invited to their shower but it's too far away to make it. Instead we found them an old cake plate and made them cookies. We mailed out the package yesterday....
December 4, 2008


There come many times in our life that we truly wish to send the perfect gift. Sometimes this gift is happened upon by the gift giver and when laying eyes upon that certain something they know in their heart that the gift receiver will just love it. They may not be personally drawn to that gift but they just know how perfect it will be for the receiver. Sometimes the gift giver happens upon something that they themselves just love and with a full heart they want to share their love for that gift with the receiver. The receiver may not have otherwise had the opportunity to have been exposed to such a thing.
With that in mind we have happened upon something that we just loved and it took us many trips back to the antique mall and much fondling of this gift before we purchased it for you. We had many heartfelt conversations about how much we wondered if you would like it or be as charmed by it as we are. We gave into our attraction for it and purchased it for you thinking that if you are not drawn to it as we are than we are hoping that everytime you look at it our use it you shall think of us and how this item represents ‘the feel of us’.
We are reminded of the good ole diner days with folks being friendly at the counter sharing stories over pie. We are reminded of good ole hometown hospitality where you can go and knock on your neighbor’s door and ask to borrow a cup of sugar but what you truly want is to visit with a friend for a moment. We love old milk glass and the imprint of the gold is so very ‘Donna Reed’.
We just had to share it and all it makes us think about with you. For you are our family and we love you. We are so thankful to able to cheer along from the sidelines; to pop in every so often and witness the love growing between you both.
So set up your knew cake plate and heap it up with cookies. Grab a glass of milk and sit with each other and share a friendly story about your day. Be reminded of family, friends, and neighbors and be warmed by the generations of cookies, cakes, pies and love that have brought you together in this moment.

You are cherished!

We hope that your Shower party was spectacular. We are sorry to have missed it but we were there in spirit.

Much love,

The Terra Family

Thursday, November 20, 2008

...while working away in the window.

Here it is clay fans Michael's first load of art that he is firing in his kiln. It's up. It's running. And he looks like a happy camper. (Personally I think that he is the own inspiration for his artwork.)We are off to Cincinnati, OH tomorrow for an art show. It feels good. As funny as it may sound there is a comfort in knowing that we are getting ready to go on the road. It's what we do. It's the rhythm of Terra. It feels routine and normal.
This past weekend we set up at the neighborhood coffee bar, Etcetera. It was fun to experience the rhythm of the coffee clutch crowd and we got to meet many new friends. This is a picture of the lovely Johanna. She owns the place with her husband, Allen.They are Paducians who decided to invest in Lowertown and what a grand place they have created. Their daughter, Jean, helped them design the bar. Jean was working and I got to hang out with her. She has a bunch of tattoos and when I was looking at a ring of vegetables going around her arm she explained to me that they were all the vegetables that she thought were good to put in a salad. I'm thinkin' that there is a lot to love about this young woman!!! She even has a tat of a clementine behind her ear. What is not to admire about that?!
It was a heart filled day. With new people to meet, Johanna made us dinner, Allen made us laugh, and Michael got to drink all the coffee that he could possibly hold while working away in the window.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I also have a beautiful neighbor.

Our new rental house is very cozy. It has two bedrooms, a bathroom, an open living room & dining room plan, and an open kitchen. Off the kitchen you can find the back door and washer & dryer. In the living room/dining room there are six windows.
A couple of weeks ago I met one of my neighbors who has this great koi pond (with the mother of all koi in there) and has a green thumb. While I was at her house visiting she casually told me that she had a bunch of plants that needed to separate and would I like some.
I love house plants and had a cat that destroyed them and then we moved into an apartment (in our house in Saratoga) that didn't have great light or room for lots of plants and for years I have not had many plants in my home. Here I have my SIX GLORIOUS WINDOWS and a cat who won't pee in my plants. I can have plants again.
My neighbor calls me up and says that she has some plants for me on her back porch. She has to take off and go to work but I can just come over and pick them up. Sure! We have errands to do and we'll swing by and pick up some plants.
We stop by her house and what do we find on the back porch? We find an enormous rubber plant, a huge spider plant with babies abounding, a succulent, and a peace lily ready to bloom.
All for me.
I was expecting a few plants in some 4" pots and I got the mother load.
I have SIX GLORIOUS WINDOWS with plants and a cat.
I also have a beautiful neighbor.

Monday, November 10, 2008

...the next long conversation.

I have been feeling very still.
The air is still, my heart is still, life is still. I am caught in a moment between arrival and arriving.
I am in mourning for Godiva. Everyday I miss her fat waddle and goofy stare.
I think I have survived the speed bumps and am feeling some of my 'self' return. I just turned around to see Ethel doing round flips chasing her tail. Since Godiva has passed she has been sitting on our laps and purring (a thing that she has not done in the past). Loss followed by a bit of joyous wonder.
We moved.
We have totally lucked into renting a small house that is right next door to our house. Did I tell you that already? It is good to be in our own space. I had an altercation with our landlady and members of her family at our other place and it left me feeling so very misunderstood and frustrated and not welcomed. It was a crummy situation to end up in during my first week here. Dealing with my feelings of being misplaced, not really knowing anyone, loosing Godiva to her new adventures, and then having our landlady being very harsh with me has left me feeling still.
As a child I would sit in my closet and have long talks with ghosts. Usually while sneaking a smoke. Even in my most troubled moments I have known that I am not alone. As an adult I consult with my spirit on a regular basis. Without the smoke.
I have decided (during my long conversations with self and spirit) that it is good to be still and feel all these feelings. To step back and be self-involved and introspective. And even if it is good or not it is what I have been doing.
Today Xan and I shall start homeschooling. Last week we went to two homeschool events here in town and met some very nice people, I volunteered at the Krispy Kreme Donut Fundraiser for Xan's chorus, and on Halloween Xan and I dressed up and gave out cookies shaped liked witch's fingers to our neighbors.
I think that I am stepping out of the closet turning back to tell myself to hold that thought till the next long conversation.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I am here.

I don't know where to start. So I shall start here.
I am here.
I made it.
Michael and Xan flew into Albany late on Thursday night and we spent the weekend packing up the 28 foot 'pup' (as it is called in the biz). We had friends and family there all weekend standing around why Michael's brain considered the complexities of how to fit three 20 foot storage units into this 'pup' and then we all went into action as he directed and pointed about at things and we brought them up for loading. HE DID IT! That amazing man made it all fit and we brought some stuff from the house and made that fit as well. It was a glorious feeling to have to done on Sunday afternoon.
We had our going away party on Saturday evening. Many of our family and friends came to celebrate our time in Saratoga with us. I had a friend make a gluten-free chocolate cake and we bought those disposable cake decorator tubes filled with icing and had everyone sign the cake. We ate the cake in celebration of knowing each other and having all of us together. It was a fun evening. Some relatives on my side of the family had some pre-grumblings about it being a vegetarian potluck but they got over it because there was such a delicious spread!
We packed up the remainder of items from our house and garage, got the cats settled in the van, and we drove off Thursday morning September 25th. We laughed ourselves silly thinking about the 10 hour drive we had ahead of us and how it was the most relaxing thing we had done in weeks. The cats complained for their usual 45 minutes and then settled in. We arrived late at night without incident in New Stanton, PA.
Now it was time to drop off Artie at The Douglas Education Center. We nestled the kitties into our hotel room and made the short drive to Monessen to check Artie into her new house. She was arriving early because of our move and the housing people were making an exception. We arrive get the keys, sign the lease, drive up the ridiculously steep hill to her house, and start the unloading of her stuff. Jeeze, she had a lot of stuff! This kid was set with enough food and kitchen supplies to open her own her cafe. A few boys came out of the woodwork to help and meet the new girl. Her new house is nothing exceptional and her new room is bigger than if she was in a dorm so it's a good trade-off. Michael and I spent the afternoon at Lowe's getting her some muchly needed shelving and went over to the dreaded Walmart and picked her up some hangers and some more pots (I swear she needed them!). She opted to stay the night be herself in the house figuring that she would have to do it sometime and she wanted us to be in close vicinity for that emergency phone call. She was great! She spent three days sleeping all be herself alone in the house before the other kids arrived.
The next day we goofed off in Pittsburgh. We went to this place called the "Mattress Factory" it is a museum that is all art installations. It was very cool and real creative turn on. We then headed over to Trader Joes to do some stocking up for Artie and ourselves. Again we have chosen to live somewhere not near a Trader Joes.
On Sunday we said good-bye to Artie and drove off in rain toward West Virginia and Kentucky.
It was an uneventful drive through hilly West Virginia and into the flatness of mid-Kentucky. We laughed, we listened to a book on tape. We arrived on Monday afternoon.
Home. I am home.
There has been an adjustment period (I'm still in it). I surprised myself that I would feel such a sense of being dis-placed. Everyone is so nice. The air is soft. The sounds are gentle. I am feeling quite out of sorts.
The first few days I moped about. I think it was because I had so much focus and so much to focus on this summer and then I arrive and don't know what to do with myself. The house is coming along nicely. Michael learned that not so much gets done in his absence. I love to walk through and imagine it all done. We are in the process of insulating, sheetrocking, and laying flooring. Our shed was completed one hour before we started unpacking the 'pup'. Michael got some lovely strong burly men to help with all the big furniture and the potter's wheels. Since I have been here we have purchased a fridge, a dishwasher, and a grill. We have acquired a totally groovy antique stove for my Mom's apartment.
This weekend is our first art show since May. I was so looking forward to it but alas I got sick. I am sick with a cold. I think I've working into this tragic cold since about July. It finally truly got me by the balls (so to speak) and I am it's grasp.
And...this past Friday night our beloved cat, Godiva, passed over into spirit. It was a very sad evening and I am beating myself up with not treating her warning signs with more timely concern. We ended up at the Vet's at around 12:30am and Godiva passed over not 10 minutes later. The vet, bless his heart, worked so compassionately and diligently to save her life but she was gone. I still can't believe it. Xan was there and witnessed her first close death. I was there holding Godivan and trying to keep her convulsing legs out of the way of the doctor. We are saddened and heart heavy this weekend. I am so fortunate the universe conspired to make me ill, to keep me home with Xan this weekend (who was going to stay home alone...can you imagine?). The vet seems to think that Godiva has kidney failure. There is a possibility that she got into something toxic. Yesterday Xan and I spent the whole afternoon in our bedroom (where we have been keeping our cats) watching movies and checking Ethel every 10 seconds to see how she is doing. She is doing just fine, by the way.
I am reminded of being a young child and heading off to the vets with a sick pet and having my parent go in there and not coming out with our beloved pet. Now here I am the parent with a child of my own who witnessed the sometimes unpleasantness of passing. I am the parent who comforted my child while saying goodbye to our beloved pet. I am the parent who reassured her that it was Godiva's time and there was nothing we could do. I am the parent who took off Godiva's name tag and told the vet that we need her cremated so that we can plant her in the garden. Xanny lost it in the clinic, I lost it when we got home. Xan stood in the kitchen at 2am saying, "Hey Mom, we switched. Now you are crying."
And I, the parent said, "Well, someone had to drive us home."
I am here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy dance.

This is what I saw as I looked out my window this morning...And this is what I saw as I was outside moving the van...
This is my house.The 'for sale' signs went up yesterday.
My house is 'FOR SALE' and I'm moving in two weeks.
Two weeks.
Two weeks.
Happy dance!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Good Morning.

This morning I woke up at 4:30 when Artie's alarm went off for work. Felt very scratchy and congested so I took some aspirin and Defense Plus and went back to sleep.
Next thing I know is that the phone is ringing so I get up to answer it. "Funny," I think. "It's still dark outside."
It was 5:30 and whoever was supposed to open with Art had not showed up so she had me pawing through her files trying to find a phone number of someone that she would deem useful in this situation. None of the numbers that she had were for anyone of enough authority so I hung up and went back to bed.
The phone rings again. She had decided that the minnow that was of no importance just minutes ago is now a shark and must be called. (Really, I had just climbed back into bed!)
I am so good!
I got her the number and just as I'm reading it to her for the 3rd time (I don't know where she put the earpiece to the phone but it wasn't by her ear while she was trying to write down the number.) John, the assistant manager, arrives sayings, "I'm so sorry!" over and over. I am allowed to stumble back to bed and try to sleep of my congested self.
I awoke with a start. It felt late. I did not put the car in the driveway because I have some big pieces of metal there to go the recycling center.
It was 9am. I haven't slept to 9am since, since, a long time ago.
I grabbed some jeans and race out to the car.
Ah, no ticket.
I move the car across the street and return to the kitchen to make a vitamin C cocktail.
Good morning.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I've been sick. UGH! It's so frustrating to have my momentum been slowed,
s l o w e d,
s l o w e d,
s l o w e d get the point.
When I'm not forcing myself to do something productive I am either sitting on the couch or napping. have come this far just to be congested and phlegmy.
That's it, that's my big news for this week.
Oh, and I did want to tell you all that I had no idea how many antique dishes and tea cups we owned. They came out of the basement and it was a big surprise.
Maybe all this sniffling is due to all the mold and dust I've been dealing with....mmmphhh.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Jeeze, may we all have such memorable anniversaries.

There is a bit of a story leading up to the part about my 21st wedding anniversary. Which is today.
Yesterday I worked at the Farmers Market like usual. When I got home there was a package on the table from our dear friend, Andy. Artie has hopping around in the kitchen desperately wanting to open it and having run out of excited patient for my return home.
"Sure, go ahead and open it honey."
Look what was inside:No wonder she was hopping around the kitchen! She knows that Uncle Andy lives near a Lindt factory store outlet and she was hoping that was what was inside. And she was right.
And not two minutes later but the there is a knock at the door and it's a delivery guy delivering an edible bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries from my sweetie. Look at this:How luscious are these? How thoughtful of my man to send me chocolate covered strawberry flowers. Oh, he knows me well.
Now for my funny story....
This week I was talking to Michael about our anniversary. This is the first time that we have ever been apart. I realized that we hadn't even talked about it and I had just assumed that we would do a 'do-over' sometime this Fall when we are settled in Paducah. It turns out that he had assumed the same thing so all was good. He did mention though that I would know that it was our anniversary when the time came. Ooohh I felt bad. I hadn't done anything for him. I told him how bad I felt and he reassured me that it was no big deal. No big deal?! After our phone conversation I felt awful. he did something for me and I didn't do anything for him. So I got to thinking about it. There is a personal joke between that has to do with poetry that he has written to me over the years. He writes very profound and beautiful poetry and a lot of times I don't get it. It took me years to finally tell him that many times I have no idea exactly what he is trying to say to me. So...I thought that it would be funny to write him a poem that made little sense and he would sit there and have no clue what the heck I was trying to say to him.
I sat for hours composing the perfect piece. I put in bits of personal stuff surrounded by stuff that didn't mean anything. I thought for sure that he would be bewildered. And at the bottom I hand wrote, "Because turn-a-round is fair play. I love you.".
Here is my poem for all to read and be bewildered by:


Your eyes
brown as DUST DEVILS
Whirling, whirly
In the desert of tucson.

Your hair
Black as a raven
Silent as an island night.

Why does the cat meow?

Does the cake whisper to you
As it whispers to me?

IS IT Like being in a dog’s mouth?

Your heart
clear and bright
travels to Glastonbury.

Your hands
Spaces upon spaces

If only I could nibble on your ear tonight.

Mind you my husband does not have brown eyes or black hair.
Well, I call him up in the early evening and he answers by saying that he is reading a lovely poem from his wife and that I should write more. I was struck dumb. I didn't know what to say. He's going on and on about what a nice poem it is.
'You get it?", I ask.
"Yeah, why?", he replies nonchalantly.
"Because I don't even get it, that's why."
We laugh. Even in my most profound I am as simple as apple pie. And I thought that I was being so sassy and funny.
He did mention, however, that he wondered about the brown eyes and black hair.
Jeeze, may we all have such memorable anniversaries.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Because, you know, I am the Dairy Queen.

This is us underground.
Yep. We went on a boat ride on an underground lake.
This was one of our Gatlinburg trip highlights. We went to The Lost Sea. This is one of the largest underground lakes in North America. We went on a tour that took about 1 1/2 hours. First we got to walk down the long yellow tunnel and meet up with our tour guide.We walked through the caverns. This place used to be an underground bar. During the prohibition some smart-thinking local set up a bar down there. Apparently too many people got way too rip roaring drunk and fell up the hand carved stairs one too many times and they had to close the operation down. Later food rations were stored down there. When the current owners bought the place an entire cavern was filled with these cracker rations.And this is when the guide turned out the lights.I have to include this picture because I can't tell which end is up. Seriously I've been flipping the thing around for minutes trying to figure it. What do you think? Did I get it right?This is my artsy fartsy picture of a small waterfall that we saw.This part of Tennessee has many underground caverns. I want to go back and do some more exploring. The boat ride was very cool! A while back the owners wanted to figure out where the lake ran into so they tagged a bunch of trout and stocked the lake. The tagged trout have never been discovered anywhere. They just stay in the lake so now the owners keep stocking it with more trout. They have these big lights that are kept on so that the trout won't go blind and all that they eat is Purina trout food. No kidding.
It was great fun and the only thing that made the day better was our trip to the cheese farm. Because, you know, I am the Dairy Queen.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Procrastination time is over!

I must admit that I am procrastinating this morning. I've got a bunch of little stuff to accomplish before I take off to work at the Queensbury Farmers Market.
I've got two gallery orders to fill and I don't feel like having to pack them up and schlep them off to the post office. And I've got to mail out some overdue graduation gifts. And I've got to get over to Temple Sinai and reserve their function room for our 'going away' party. Like I said..I've got lots of little stuff to do. Oh, and shower. Don't forget to shower.
I am going to be a procrastination enabler to myself and tell you some about my trip to Paducah.
First and foremost...I FORGOT TO BRING MY CAMERA. This is the second time I have been to Paducah and forgot to bring my camera. Jeeze, huh? I don't like to borrow other people's cameras either so I don't have very many pictures of our trip.
Here is a list of anecdotes and some groovy things that we did:
*We went downtown to walk around and went into a store that was going out of business. We bought a Mexican sink for $50 for my mother's bathroom in her apartment. I even have a picture of it. It's not the totally cool Talevera tile that I love but it is sweet.*On that same walk downtown we went into an antique annex and spotted a bureau. This bureau is HUGE. It's made for two people, it's got a large mirror on the top, and it's beautifully carved. It was only $250 so Michael and I bought it for our new master bedroom. Xan was very put out because she wanted it but it is too wide for her bedroom. I don't have a picture of that. I kept meaning to go back and take one but....
*We went to Gatlinburg, TN so that we could go and hang out in the Smokies. That was way fun and very interesting. Gatlinburg is 'cheesetastic'. That is Artie's very own made up word. We all could have done with less 'cheesetastic' but it was a goof and entertaining. We did a couple of small hikes in the early mornings to avoid people and bugs. It was very nice. I would go back for the mountains and skip Gatlinburg. Michael spent a few hours at an art school called "Arrowmont". Very cool and hip place in the middle of cheesetastic-ville.
*We went to Dollywood. Yeah, we did. Been there - done that. Wasn't so terribly impressed. They had a water gun raft ride that we REALLY wanted to go on. When we got to the ride, after having paid to put our bags in a locker, the ride closed because a magnificent thunder and lightning storm hit the park. We hid in an arcade and played a bazillion games of air hockey. We talked a handy man into passing out garbage bags and we made makeshift rain ponchos so that we could get to our car. I was disappointed that we did not get into the Dolly museum. I like Dolly Parton and I was interested. This is a picture of Artie and Xan on one of the rides.
*It was hot, hot, hot! Hot during the day and HOT at night. Ick! Artie asked me why we keep moving to places where the bugs get bigger and bigger. I had no good answer for her.
*I got to see a bunch of transformation on our house. I got to see the addition being torn down and the new one being put up. I got to see the staircase come down, get flipped around, and ready to put up on it's new place. Most of the framing was done so you could see exactly what room was what. It was all very cool.
*Michael and I spent a lot of time making decisions. Picking out flooring, appliances, siding, counter tops, and designing the back yard. I don't like having to make decisions so quickly I had a headache for a whole week! In our new home we will have 3 kitchens. I know, crazy. We have our personal kitchen, the kitchen for the apartment, and the kitchen for the Kookie Bar. We decided that we do not need to go out and buy all new appliances for all of them so we are looking for used everything. That meant a bunch of running around. We did find a good used appliance place and we liked the guy in charge. He seems to like us and he wants us to buy a used Sub-Zero commercial fridge from him for $300. You could have knocked us over with a feather. Sub-Zeros are expensive. Apparently this is one that someone wanted fixed then changed their mind, someone else was going to purchase it then changed their mind, the repair guy just wants his money out of it and get it out of his hair. It just might be ours.
*I met so many delightful people that my head started to hurt. I did mention that headache. By the middle of the second week I told Michael that I just couldn't bear to meet anyone else. I have many years of living there to get to know everyone and to have Michael try to squeeze it into a week was insane.
*I got to have dinner Patience & Bill Renzulli. I adore them! I truly look forward to getting to know them better.
*I got to have dinner with Larry (from the bank) and his wife. Another lovely couple and I look forward to getting to know better.
*I got to meet Kevin. What an interesting man.
*I got to meet Nikki May. She is wonderful.
*I got to meet Charlotte and Ike. What great folk.
*And so many more...I moving into a very rich and vibrant community.
OK folks it's now 9am and I need to get on with my day.
Procrastination time is over!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Transformations of the apartment kind.

I thought that I would post from Paducah but we didn't get great wifi from the apartment.
I thought that I would post as soon as I got back but....
I have no idea what the heck happened! I have no great reason. No great story of how busy I have been. I mean, I have been busy.
I have been living in transformation.
From this:
Now I am going to have a total aside with you. I just spent the last ten minutes looking for the 'before' picture of my bathroom because it is the biggest transformation that I have. Apparently I have thought about taking a picture of my bathroom so much that I thought that I had done it. I have NO picture of my bathroom in its 'before' state. I love my bathroom. Isn't that a weird thing to say? I really do.
Let me describe my 'before' bathroom to you.
In my bathroom we had tan colored wall that are textured like sand. It's because the guy that we bought the house from used shelving contact paper right on the sheet rock. Oh, yes he did! So I gently ripped off what I could and then for some unknown reason my husband had a gallon of this type of paint that you use on cement. It has grit in it. I used this paint to hide all the flaws of the sheet rock because neither one of us wanted to plaster (too much of a pain). The paint was tan in color and I chose a funky blue as a trim. We got a shower curtain of a tropical island beach scene. We painted the sub-floor brown (ran out of money solution...btw most of our decorating in this apartment are ran out of money solutions). I made a back-splash to go on the wall by the old butlers sink that we installed. The back-splash is made of rocks that I collected from Agate beach on Lopez and shells that I would collect on our working trips to Florida. On the wall I hung beaded garland with fish hanging on it. There were local calenders from Lopez surrounding the toilet alcove. There was a painting that Michael did of a crone looking upward in bliss and a batique of a nude woman worshiping the moon hanging by the mirror. On the wall we installed a collection of canning jars filled with fun stuff. It was our way of getting some ambient light into a small dark space. I loved my bathroom!
Now look at this:
And a closer look:I still love my bathroom. It's totally different and just as groovy.

Here are a few more pictures of the great apartment transformation:
This is my new kitchen. I am very pleased with the new colors and vinyl.

This is the studio. No more hard wood floor covered with clay.

Lots of boxes because I am cleaning out the garage and needed to bring this stuff in.

This is the girls' room. No more blue walls and trim. Ethel seems to like it.

Transformations of the apartment kind.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I gave my cats a special hug yesterday.

The movers came to move a bunch of furniture into storage.
I woke up at 5am on Friday and did a few last minute things that could get done to make it easy for them. I felt good. Oh so good. I was so ready for them. There really wasn't anymore I could do to be prepared.
They came.
Everything went along swimmingly well. They were FAST!!! and professional. They moved everything out of the apartment in no time. They moved onto the back porch and got the antique stove and potter's wheel. They moved into the garage and got the two pieces of furniture in there out and then they moved on to the old stove and fridge. They were going to load the fridge right into my van for me so that I could take it over to the recycling center (cool).
Here comes my first hurdle of the day:
As they are moving the fridge there is some sort of problem. Vince (the owner of the moving company) looks at me and tells me that there is something dead under the fridge. Apparently something crawled under the fridge and got caught up in the electrical wires under there, couldn't get out and died. I asked if they wanted a bag for it. They declined (darn) and freed whatever it was and left it there in a pile of leaves and insulation. I'll tell you the rest of that story in a few minutes.
We were done here at the house and we all left to go to storage.
Storage, the second hurdle of my day:
I arrive before the movers and open everything up. Waiting, waiting, ah here they come. Vince takes one look at all my boxes and tells me that I packed them in there in the worst way possible (a bit of an ego deflate, I thought that I was doing such a great job). I explained to them that I wanted the furniture packed in such a way as to leave as much room as possible for more stuff to be packed in there (that would be the garage and basement). So these wizards of speed are moving very quickly and as they are about 3/4 of the way done I realize that they have left a ton of open space in the back and I don't have much room at all to pack the rest of my stuff in there. It was dawning on me rather slowly. The realization was on a stealth mission and I was easy prey. As I am paying the movers I am in a fog of trying to think spacious thoughts. They leave. I loose it. I break down in a sobbing huddle in my car. I am crying like a toddler who just had their favorite toy taken away from them.
I screwed up.
If only,
if only,
if only,
I had been more on the ball and used all the time (there was a minimum of time that I had to pay for) and made them rearrange the boxes from the get-go.
Or I had said something when I realized there was a big open space in the back.
Or I had them pack the boxes in and around the furniture as it was being moved in.
Or If only I hadn't paid all that money just to walk away feeling like a complete dope.
I cried. No, I sobbed. I sobbed most of the afternoon. I sobbed myself to sleep.
I sobbed to Michael (who had the great misfortune of calling about an hour after the incident).
I sobbed, hiccuping sobs, on my way to the recycling center and practiced what I was going to say to anyone who saw me. "Don't worry I may be crying but I am OK. Really I am OK."
I'm not as hysterical about it now, just royally bummed out at myself. I blew it, I really blew it.
I am now off my game and things are not moving along with the ease and grace as before. I've called in two terrific girlfriends to help me today to get ready for the painter. Thank goddess I have enough sense to call in the troops for some girl bonding.
My second hurdle:
I spent the whole afternoon sobbing about the storage unit and totally getting my panties in a twist about the dead animal in the garage. I kept thinking that it might be a cat. We have a lot of cats in the neighborhood and they like to crawl into our garage. So, I kept thinking that it might be a cat. I was having a hard time dealing with the thought that I could have possibly participated in killing a cat. After avoiding it for a day. Artie and I made a plan to go out and deal with it. Artie woke up a sick and it didn't work out. I know that I am extremely high strung at the moment and if I went out there by myself and it was a cat I would loose whatever grip on sanity I have. So I did what every good neighbor does, I went across the street to our neighbor's house and talked to John. I sat in his living room. He had just taken a shower and was luxuriously laid out on his recliner. His young son had guests over and they are all stood in the doorway watching their 'trying to keep it together' neighbor explain to John that she needs a friend to come over to her garage and put this dead (Oh goddess if it's a cat!) animal in a bag. They watch her melt into tears as she explains to John that she just can't do this alone because if it is a cat she will loose it and she just needs another human there. John becomes her saviour of the day and they walk past the gawking youngsters to said garage.
It was a rat and we got it into the bag without incident. It had been dead at least 6 or 7+ years. So now I don't have to have nightmares about rats in my garage. It probably was in there stuck in the fridge when we bought the house.
Yeah John, thank you John!
My first girlfriend will be here in about an hour. Oh it is so good to have friends.
Girlfriends, guyfriends, understanding husbands, and cat friends.
I gave my cats a special hug yesterday.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What is not to love about them?

On Saturday I drove up to Corinth to see the fireworks display with my good friends Linda & Volnay.
This is a conversation they had in the car:

Linda...I wish we had known that there were fireworks on Thursday night at the Harness Track, Honey.
Volnay...I hadn't heard about them either.
Linda...That's OK, we had our own fireworks didn't we honey?
Volnay...Yes we did.
Linda...That's right, Amen.

What is not to love about them?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

...and I still love you!!!!

The kitchen is done!!! (and I just realized that I have a different font because Michael is switching things around)
Oh well...The kitchen is done!!!!(And as I tried to post this picture I realize he changed more than the font. Must I share my bed and my blog space?) ((That's meant to be more funny than bitchy. But it does all relate to the time that said husband used my ebay account to try and sell some stuff and I ended up with negative feedback. I didn't like that!))
Anyway...The kitchen is done!!! I took that picture in the wee hours of the morning.
This is what I have to deal with next.And a view from the other side of the room.You know how it is when you're packing and you come across that thing that you're just not sure what to do with? Well this is the room full of such things. As I have been packing I keep moving things that I don't want to deal with. The only room left after this is the bathroom and it's not big enough so the buck stops here. I'm hoping to get everything packed and the furniture moved by the time Artie and I head out to Paducah on the 15th. I say that with a hint of "Oh, it had better be done or I'll be in a very cranky mood!". Things are just not moving as quickly as I want them to.
I spent a lovely three hours at Lowes' the other day. The first two were spent in the learning curve of purchasing and laying carpet and vinyl (no longer linoleum). The third was spent having to pick out said carpet and vinyl. Here's what my mushy brain has come up with.
Vinyl choices:
Carpet choices:
You should go and check out Michael's blog at
He has all sorts of pictures and videos of what he is doing.
And just to prove to everyone, myself, my husband, that I really do love and cherish that man of mine I ordered him a Utilikilt. Michael used to have one and somehow on our show circuit travels it went 'AWOL'. The other day as I was packing up the studio I found the receipt with all the measurements and style. I called them and got him a replacement. If you read this, Honey, before it arrives...
You mess around with my blogger and ebay accounts and I still love you!!!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

"STUFF, the under rated spice of a marriage"

A conversation:

She..."When does the back building start getting build?"
He..."Well, I've been thinking about that. Since we've added on to the house I'm thinking that we might not need to build it."
She..."So where are you going to put all your stuff?"
He..."What stuff?"
She..."All the stuff you collect."
She..."You have to have a place to put it."
She..."Because we need a place for you to put all the stuff that you collect. You're happy because you get to have your stuff. I'm happy because I don't have to look at it. We're both happy."
He..."Right. If we don't have enough room in the back storage of the house we can always get a shed for a couple of thousand instead of paying twenty thousand for that back building."
She..."That's right."

Bill wrote, "STUFF...the under rated spice of life".
I say, "STUFF, the under rated spice of a marriage".

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

...more fun than me?

Is it possible that anyone out there is having more fun than me?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Michael has started a blog about his adventures renovating in Paducah. Don't know how to do a link in this text so the address is:
And it seems that he hasn't figured out how to get it in his name (and just yesterday i was bragging about what a computer genius he is).
Check it out and eventually I'll get it linked in my sidebar.

Monday, June 30, 2008

...picture of the driveway for you.

Already today I have been to the dump and our cat, Godiva, has peed and pooped in my closet. What a morning, huh? I could really use some suggestions with how to deal with our kitty's anxiety!
Our bus has moved onto another home. We donated 'Big Red' to the Kidney Foundation. Here is a picture before he left.Moving, moving, moving...
and gone!This all happened over a week ago. I have been meaning to post before and after pictures. Well, the truth is I'm embarrassed to show you any pictures of what my driveway looks like without 'Big Red' there. It looks as bad as I thought it would and slowly I have been picking away at the debris that Michael left behind. I know, I know...they really are treasures in his mind. But then again he thinks that I'm beautiful and amazing too. So something is wrong with him obviously.
I hate to think where 'Big Red' is going. I kinda felt like a bad mother sending him off with strangers. He has served us well and even though he never became the hippy RV that we dreamed of. He was surely the grooviest storage unit in Saratoga Springs! So hail to 'Big Red'! He is off to serve humankind in ways I never imagined.
On a brighter note...I can't leave him behind.
If I get up the nerve I'll take a picture of the driveway for you.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Big sigh!

...and this is where I sit as we speak (so to speak). Taking a break from packing at 7am doesn't seem so unreasonable after being awake since 4. I lay there for an hour desperately willing myself to fall back into slumber but sleep evaded me.
I am almost done packing up the studio and office. Shared room, don't do that again. Everything is covered in a fine dusting of, well, clay dust.
I chose the studio first because it is the most daunting. You know, Michael's stuff, lots of real thoughtful decision making to do. Most of my time debating how precision this plaster mold is or is this old glass blender top really something that Michael wants (it was). I was determined to finish yesterday and finally gave up at 8:30 to have some dinner and then I promptly went to bed. No wonder I woke up at 4!
As I pack the office this morning I am filled with burning questions.
*Does Michael really need three hole punches and three 3-hole paper punches?
*How many paper clips can one really use?
*If I put all the rulers and yard sticks together can I reach the moon? Or down the block?
*How is it possible to be so hoppin' mad at someone and still love them? (Survival of mankind I assume. And I'm not really all that hoppin' mad anymore. I'm more in the 'Jeeze, Michael you have got way more stuff than me stage.')
The pile o' stuff that you see on the desk is my not paying attention to mail, estate stuff, and show files. It can wait. Look what I have accomplished:These shelves were chock o' block full of Michael's things. Ceramic bisque ware, molds, files, artwork, and antique treasures.
This is Michael's studio table:All the shelves are gone and all of his supplies are packed up. Now there are my plants (moved from the kitchen window so that we could put in the air conditioner) and ceramic art pieces that I am going to use in a back splash in the kitchen (that is my creative treat for when I am done packing).
Today I will be done packing the studio and office.
Happy dance!
Big sigh!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hey, Happy Summer!

This is a cake that Artie and I decorated for a friend of ours, Linda (again). It's for Linda's friend who is a Yankee's fan and is turning 80 (OK the next day I found out it was 80 and had to change the numbering).
Is it possible that in the middle of having a total brain freeze about what to do with all our stuff that I can be creative?
I am having a brain freeze (squeeze) because I have to decide what to do with our treasured possessions:
A. Does it spend the summer in my garage? (Realtor hates that idea)
B. Does it go over to where we already have storage and get a unit all it's own? (We have accessibility issues there that I think I might have worked out)
C. Pack it now into a moving cube and have it sent off to storage until September and then get another moving cube in September for the stuff that is still in storage and the house? (Can you now understand my brain freeze?)
D. Pack it all now, everything, into a moving pod/cube/thing and have it sent to storage somewhere?
E. Throw it all away and be done with it?
F. Decorate a cake instead and go hide under a pillow?

The cake was fun and a good distraction. And we did a Yankee's logo transfer. It took us a while to figure it out and our dinner company had to leave in the middle of the whole thing (boo-hoo, I felt so bad Laura & Paul!). But Laura got to frost the cake, right Laura? And we got to dip strawberries in Italian Meringue Buttercream, right?
This morning I think that I figured out the stuff issue. I am getting another storage unit and then in September we will get the humongous moving trailer and we will have to Uhaul our stuff to our house. It's the economical way to go.
So, that's that and I have a hefty list of things to do before I go to work at the Farmers Market.
Hey, Happy Summer!

Friday, June 20, 2008

...I'm paying the well muscled professionals.

They are off to our new home.After a weekend full of extended family enjoying Barry's 75th birthday and meeting David's fiance, Kiryn, we sent Michael & Xan off in Mogli (our new-to-us van).Michael had that van packed. Every inch was full of things that he and Xan will need for their summer of renovating. On the roof (as you can see) there were bicycles and ladders. In the rear was packed two 8' long antique butcher blocks (to be used for counters in one upstairs kitchen and one downstairs kitchen), 8 or so antique doors (the van was looking a little weighty by then), one very large double cast iron sink (the van was looking like it was ready to give birth any moment), tools and table saw, clothes, bedding, kitchen supplies, a cot, and Xan's goldfish. (the van was about to rub it's butt all the way to Kentucky). Even the front of the cab was packed.Michael didn't realize until the night before he left that he would be traveling through the Appalachian Mountains. (It seems that everyone had that one figured out but him) The poor guy spent two hours online trying to figure the best way to drive through them. He was trying to find the pass with the lowest elevation because the van was so loaded. The Cumberland Gap it was and he did just fine.
I took the train home from our extended family's place. Xan called to tell me when they were entering the mountain range. "Just wanted you to know that we are goin' in, Mom. I'll call you on the other side." she gleefully yelled into the phone. About 4 hours later she called to say that they arrived safely on the other end. Michael told her to tell me that I would not have liked the shear drops off of the edge of the road. He's probably right.
So, they are there. They have moved into their room in Anita's house. Anita made them dinner on their first night (I love her already!). They have been to every official office in city hall, unpacked the van, met with the electric company, and have met with our contractor Duanne. Pronounced Dew-Ain-Uh (and take your time sayin' it).
I am here in Saratoga packing, packing ,packing. If you need any good shit come by my way because I have got a load of it that I am giving away. I could have kissed the feet of the woman that took that old junky kiln off of my back porch. Thank the gods for the recycling email group here! I post it and people email me that they want. And they will come and take it away. Oh how I love that group right now.
I've decided that this is my last move where I am packing up stuff all by myself. Every move that I have made with my husband (and there are many) I am the packer. From apartment to apartment in NYC, from NYC to Albany, NY, from Albany to Tucson, AZ, from Tucson to Lopez Island, WA, from Lopez to Saratoga Springs, NY, and from Saratoga Springs to Paducah, KY.
The next move (if we ever get our asses back to Lopez full time) I'm paying the well muscled professionals.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Have a peaceful day.

Well, we were at it again.Our good friend Linda, amazing Linda (I really should spend a whole post on Linda and how she gets arrested for us all), asked the girls and I if we wanted to decorate a cake for someone in the Saratoga Peace Alliance. Linda made the cake and brought it over and the girls and I made an Italian meringue buttercream (a new recipe for us and OMG delicious!).
We started off with the idea of doing a tie dye background with a peace sign on the front, that morphed into Xan coming up with a tree that made a peace sign if you turned it upside down, that morphed into Artie creating the tree peace sign right-side up, and that morphed into what we all finally loved...And there are even clouds in the sky...We had such fun creating together!!! And we hope that Jeff did indeed have a peaceful birthday.
By the way...thanks for all the supportive and humorous responses to my ranting post. It's good to feel cared for and things are indeed still stressful but it's good to know that I can be bitchy and still feel like a part of the human race.
Have a peaceful day.

Monday, June 09, 2008

This is the post where she rants.

Well we are in countdown mode.
Five days and counting.
Remember that post about 5 or 6 months ago where I said I wanted to be honest, just be "me" in my blog. Yeah? Good because...
I am ready to knock my husband's block off!!! (that was in my best confessional whisper)
See how happy we look...I desperately need to hold this image in my head as I hear Michael telling people that he is preparing the house so that I don't need to do anything but paint once he is gone for the summer.
Anything but paint?!!!
This husband of mine is like some sort of out of control speed boat leaving a wake of destruction behind him. I am going to have to do so much work this summer to get us packed up and get this house ready to sell.
Yeah, he's doing prep work so that I can paint the apartment but, he is also leaving patches of plaster on the floor that I was only planning on doing touch-up paint work to and now I am going to have to scrape and sand the whole thing.
And when I try to ask him about things that need to get done, I see his head actually rise a few inches in the air. If it weren't for the skin, bone, and tendon thingies in there I know that his head would be hurtling toward space.
OK, he's stressed. We (the girls, cats, and I) got that. Artie is spending as much time as she can away from home. Xan is hiding in computer land. Me?...I have no idea what I am doing. I think I am waiting for the calm after the storm. That summer apart is sounding rather appealing at the moment.
Don't get me wrong. I love my husband and I am in a committed marriage and all that. But (big BUT) he is a miserable, irritable mess right now and when he is stressed he is rather unbearable (diplomatic word choice).
Here is my list of painting tasks:
1. Go to our storage unit and repack all of the boxes that came out of Audrey's house.
2. Clean out the garage (Michael's stuff...treasure? or trash?...he is a pack rat)
3. Pack up the apartment and move it into the garage.
4. Unload and move the bus (was supposed to happen before he left but the title *poofed*)
5. Clean out the basement and pack it all into the garage? or storage?.
6. Clean and sort all of Michael's stuff on the back porch (again pack rat, old kilns, bottles, in my opinion junkie furniture, etc...).
7. Paint the apartment.
8. Get the floors redone in the apartment.
9. Possibly get our driveway paved because right now it is dirt.
And Michael thinks that I am doing this all by myself. I get to stand around and hear about how he is hiring people to help him. He expects me to do this all by myself. And he expects me to get a part time job. And he wants the house on the market in July.
For the time being he is in no space to hear the reality of how unrealistic he is. That conversation will have to wait for later. When he is removed from his own way- behind-schedule packing hell.
I'm feeling very put out and pissy about the whole ordeal at the moment. (I'm sure that is obvious).
Just holding that picture in my head.
Just holding that picture in my head.
And remembering that what we are moving toward is a joyous thing.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

...I'll pack this one up special.

I have been spending the day packing. Sorting and packing. Packing and sorting.
As I was going through the stuff on our buffet I found this note from Xan.

To My Wonderful Mom,

You are the best mom I could ever wish for.
You are strict when you need to be, but so loving.
I know I sometimes get angry but I know when I sat up in the sky and looked down and chose a mom, I made a wonderful choice.
And I thank the gods that let me grace your presence and let me be your daughter.

Love, Xan
It made my day. I think I'll pack this one up special.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

...wish her well on her next try.

Artie set up at a craft show on Sunday.It was the Jazz and Blues Festival here in Saratoga. There was good music and a steady stream of "Oh, how cool is that!" customers.
Art has been making bottle cap jewelry for a while. It's very fun stuff and the burning desire for extra cash is motivating her to get booth space in some small local shows.
Except for the wind,(we were weighted down very well and I was a bit concerned about the 10 or so other newbie tents that weren't) it was a beautiful afternoon to sit outside and sell one's wares.I think that the use of the Saratoga water bottles was a neat idea for displaying her bracelets and necklaces.She didn't make the gobs of money at this show that she wanted but she covered her expenses and proved to herself that she can get out there with her jewelry and face the public. Let's all think good Artie thoughts and wish her well on her next try.