Friday, May 27, 2022

The Light The Wood and The Heat

 The heat is upon us and it is hibernation time for me.

Lucky me, I like my hibernation den.

This time of year the light hits the woods in a certain way 

and it makes me so happy.

I am saddened by so much, as so many are,

and the only way that I can absorb the sorrow and

not drown in it, is to be at home;

to love on Walter, check on friends and  

be grateful for my family and my safe space. 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

The weekend

Roasted goodness on Saturday- 
broccolini, tri color peppers, zucchini, multi colored carrots

Roasted veggies added to multi kales, raw cauliflower, radicchio
and topped with dried pear, pistachios and ginger dressing.
Delicious and have enough leftover for Sunday 

When the fan blowing on his mama gets to be too much,
Walter retreats to the floor directly below her on the couch 
and promptly tucks his head under as best he can. 

The heat is upon us and I will be hibernating again soon.
Some of my garden is already struggling, and I am forced
to evaluate the logic of it all; as watering more each day during a drought
to get fresh vegetables, does not balance well against the cost nor the
conservation. Sigh
I rationalize that it is keeping me sane in an insane world.
I will try today to salvage what I can,
by relocating a few items.

The first to go were the cilantro and my sunflowers,
Oh how I tried.
These beauties soften the blow

Also finished up the knob exchange
Loving it


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Don't Just Sit There

Don't just sit there
Experiment, Change, Ponder
I have been unhappy with the 
white knobs in my kitchen for a long time.
Every time I priced in stores and such, I quickly decided
now is not the time $$$
Sunday I checked Amazon and for under 30
 I got 25 knobs and 4 pulls (those are yet to be installed), 
as I have to make template and drill.
They arrived Monday and that night I changed out the 23 knobs .
I had dr appt Tuesday ( good news there) and other errands, so I'll do pulls today.
I am very pleased with the quality and the price!

In case you don't recall here is a bad photo of the before.
Bad in many ways beyond blurry.  Boy I used to clutter up the counter,
and yes, that is a lighter green on the before cabinets.
They are now a much calmer grey green. 

Every day I try to do a couple projects off of my to do list.
Each day always includes purging.
I am running in the opposite direction of many 
of my friends who continue to add and collect.
I have filled two more bins in the garage
for a "maybe" fall sale at a friends or I will get tired of 
the bins and just donate it all.

I do occasionally send out to my local e-mail list
items I am currently selling. There are a few out of state gals on there also.
The gals just buy from me that way.
If any of you are interested in seeing what I'm selling send me
your email and I'll add you onto the list.
With most of you out of state, perhaps only the small things 
will work for you, but who knows?
I am selling lots of jewelry soon - and beads and findings.

Anyhoot- don't let the size of a project stop you.
Just start some where - anywhere.
Even if you just clean out two pantry or fridge shelves.
In a couple days it'll be finished.
Sweep out 1/2 of the garage, wash off one sidewalk or porch. 
Repot one plant. 
Throw out old makeup, unworn shoes.
Life is short-do your chores and then go live a little .

Anyone else sobbing every Tuesday night to This Is Us?
I have a friend across town who watches,
and we count tissues used, and text at commercials.  



Thursday, May 12, 2022

Making Do - Not Buying New

I made these baskets decades ago and couldn't bear to paint, so I rarely used.
Then years ago, I painted them white, in my all white phase,
and they did get used a lot.

When I tired of the all white, they were stored on top of the garage fridge.
I wish I had just stained them from the get go.

Last night I gathered some very old gunky paint and then waxed 
over all with brown. I will re-do the yellow soon making it darker,
or even painting it a dark gray.
I was just using what I had.

I wanted to store them "in use",
so they landed atop the cupboard in the family room.
I brought down from the studio jars of vintage buttons
and re-styled a bit.

You can bet I'll be painting those grey corner brackets soon.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Alice Kae

Update 5/6/22

It's now been 19 years
and I cannot explain it 
any other way.

UPDATE 3/4/14

The rainbows were here again this morning
and I thought of Mom and this post and it is now
11 years she is gone.
So I am reprinting solely for me,
so that they are both consciously with me today...
just like every other day,
but when the rainbows come usually all through March
I know she is really listening.

Alice Kae and David James
I miss you

reprinted from October 2010

I'll be here in 2 months.
Scotty and my beautiful young Mom.

Most of us avoid uncomfortable topics, shy away from pain.
Facing the difficult parts of life is not a joy ride,
however, standing as testimony to our lives is vital.

It is with this intent that I join Char at Ramblings
today as several of us discuss our Life Lessons.
I have given much thought to sharing something
so intimate in such a public manner, disregarding my "normal"
blog fare but obviously have opted to do so.

Life lessons are meant to be shared.


Alice Kae
Mothers bake cookies, read you stories before bed. Mothers teach you the lessons you need to be happy. Mothers get you ready in the morning, and have snacks waiting after school. Mothers are not expected to get severely ill when you are a little girl of eight, and they are not supposed to spend more time in the hospital and bed than they do in the kitchen or even at home.

Becoming chronically ill before the age of 30 and fighting to survive for the next 40 years, changed my mother. We will never know what her life, our lives, would have become had she been well. My father once told me after a very bad period of discord between Ma and I, that he wished I could remember what she was like as a young mother. How she kept their very modest home neat and cheerful, and we were always clean and in fresh clothing.

The type of illness my mother suffered, required many years of steroids and it was not until I was well into my adulthood that I realized much of her erratic behavior was most likely the result of decades of innumerable medications. Although they kept her alive, they altered her, she became her illness. It defined her, enraged her, saddened her.

My mother and I were often volatile, though never estranged for more than a few days at a time. We lived 2000 miles apart for 30 years yet we spoke several times weekly and during difficult times, multiple times daily, as one or the other of us hung up on the other. We shared a lot of wonderful days during infrequent visits, and I bore up through many horrific days, trying to maintain a relationship with someone who I could not reason with, as she vented rage my way for a multitude of reasons.

I spent 30 years after leaving home trying to understand how we got to this place, praying and wishing and begging for a different existence with this woman who was my mother. I never failed to see her through each medical crisis, told her daily of my love for her, and never doubted that she loved me.

Loving someone is no guarantee that you will treat them kindly, with respect or with intent to make their lives easier. I wished, oh, how I wished, that things would change. I wanted Barbara Billingsley, Donna Reed, I wanted the Mom I thought I was entitled to have.

Within a week of my father's passing, and with devastating and cruel timing, my husband left, and I became a single Mom, struggling with heartbreak and fear and not at all prepared for the loneliness and demands of my mother who had miraculously outlived the man who had cared for her 40 years of medical needs. Thus began three years of constant struggle between two women, Mother and Daughter, both suffering such tremendous loss and having little tolerance for the pain of the other.

My hardest adjustment was the loss of what I knew to be true for 16 years; what was to have been my and my children's future. For my mother, who had been told since I was eight that her life was limited and each crisis was a death sentence unrealized, the suddenness of her life without her caregiver was intolerable. At her death bed three years later, gasping each breath in unbearable pain, came the words, "I just want it to be over. After all these years why does it have to be like this, be this hard." My mother had no faith, leaving this world in pain and sorrow, with a lifetime of regret and anger.

Suddenly, came the realization that there was no sense in grieving what never was; that Mother had done what she could, as she could, and from her view her life certainly had not turned out the way she had planned either. Two women united in sorrow for what could have been, should have been, in their own lives and with each other. The anger that I always felt directed at me was more likely misdirected as she railed at the universe, "why me?" Feelings I was all too familiar with. Feelings I now rejected as my legacy.

With intense clarity I envisioned that other young woman, Alice Kae, faced with devastating news that would leave her to become a different Mother than she had ever planned to be. As I sat by her bedside, holding her hand, I knew with absolute certainty that I must release the life I had planned in order to embrace the life ahead.

Seven years have passed and more often than not, joy abounds. I assume no outcomes as absolutes. My mother's lesson on happiness, unintentional though it may have been, was valued beyond measure; granting me peace, with the power of forgiveness, the power of grace.

I love you, Mom.

reprinted from May 19, 2010

Today my Mom has been gone 7 years. I've been struggling with what to write about Mom because our relationship was complicated. That is putting it mildly. I can hear my close friends saying "duh".

I loved Mom and she loved me, but that does not guarantee an easy relationship. I tried to write on Mothers Day but the day came and went. This morning I noticed the date and thought, it's time. Time to pay homage but to do it with honesty.

Still blocked, I stepped away from the computer to get some tea and as I walked through the living room, I was shocked to see the rainbow display. I have talked about these in an earlier post, but I have never had a display this time of year and never to the degree that you see here.
 The enormous rainbows inexplicably covered every wall and surface from ceiling to floor.

It gave me pause. I have been know to wax poetic on occasion, so bear with me here please. Suddenly I felt Ma around. In fact I felt her screaming "listen to me, pay attention. This is for you. Remember me well"....and the tears began to flow. The good tears, the ones the rainbows bring. After the storm, when so much has been lost, appears the rainbow, begging to be followed to a better place.

Suddenly my dilemma was a non issue. I loved Mom, she loved me. Nothing more need ever be explained or hashed out or examined.

Mom, I miss you, I love you. You would be so proud of your grandchildren. Be at peace, I remember you well.


Monday, May 2, 2022

Studio Update

The studio doors are not yet complete, still missing the transom;
but I think Sue's studio is almost there. As Sue begins to use the room, 
a few things might shift, but it's a great start.

Converted living room to studio
This room will get daily use now 
instead of just for holiday dinners.
If ever they need overflow from the large table in the family room,
this table, with leaf added, can still seat another 8-10.

Card making supplies and computer needs
in this corner. The spinning card rack (left on the table) 
is where her computer sits now. 
We hadn't brought it down yet.

Some of Sues' travel treasures

Sue's machines, plates and dies
all tucked away but within easy reach.


A cozy loveseat to rest or visit 

I love when folks are brave enough 
to have their homes work for them and not just set up rooms
that look Blog/IG worthy or that fit a traditional use. 

What changes could you make?

If you missed the BEFORE
See my April 7th post