Sunday, September 30, 2018

a plea to change direction

(Note: I publish fiction on Sundays but this week, I have a heavy heart and want to say my piece)

an open letter to the truck driving guy in Aurora on Saturday

I know you wanted to be mean, and degrade us, but it just served to settle me into my desire to change directions.

In fact, I'd be happy to start a movement to change directions.

You honked at us for not turning right fast enough at a red light, then roared past once we did, cutting us off at the entry to the highway. The fact that you continuously gave us the middle finger while we all waited to turn was icing on the cake. I sat looking at you flipping us off, and noticed the big American flag decal on your window. It made me wonder what you like about America? Doesn't seem to be the people here. Or the laws of decency or grace.

Not peace, as you spread seeds of anger and discontent.

Your actions saved you nothing as you sat with us waiting for the light to change. Then you roared ahead of other people, cutting in and out causing others to slow down so as not to hit your truck. You left a trail of people who felt disrespected and upset. All we could do was avoid an accident with you, and stare at the American flag on your truck.


What is it you do like about our land? America is it's people not it's landmass. When I was growing up, pledging allegiance each school morning,  we loved it's  Democratic principles, and human rights to self govern, it's ingenuity and contributions to the world in research and development. America's citizens reached out to other citizens of the world in support.  Integrity was important in it's citizens and leaders,  remember Truman, the buck stops here?

When a strong nation is secure they help others to be so too. When a person is strong inside, and has a sense of self, they have little to prove by bullying others. They are too busy living a good life to try to steal power from others. They don't waste their breath on defensiveness or pretense at being the  greatest, they get about the living of a great life.
They do not need to step on others to go higher. They know sowing the seeds of respect, creates a better world in which to live.

You were in a big truck, and were able to bully all the others on our shared road but you looked small in that big truck. You did not uphold America or it's values or citizens. You did nothing to make the world better, you simply took what you wanted. On top of that you were angry while doing it? All with the symbol I hold dear on your truck window.

Change direction please. And quickly before we all forget why we love each other.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

I Like Thursday 108 flowers, trader joe's, little red wagons, and a poodle

Welcome to this week's list of likes! I love the free wagon the table owners gave me. I move the plants around, and enjoy the view from my computer perch at the kitchen table. Look at that little squash DH's workmate gave him! Adorable.

We made a trip to Trader Joe's last weekend, I love TJ's and it's a long trek from our house now, so we stock up
I haven't installed pull outs in the pantry yet but for now am using turntables to help reach things.

I wanted some pumpkin cookies but they had soybean oil (allergic) and cornstarch (again, allergic) so I got some ginger snaps and some of those really thin meyer lemon cookies I love.

We stocked up on sauces so we don't have to go back for a bit. I also got cut flowers, and they are just so happy! They came in the most adorable bee cellophane wrapping!

I couldn't bear to throw it away!
so cheerful. I haven't had cut flowers for a while

I liked finding Sierra Trading Company near the TJ's and getting some toys for Milo, some birks half price for cooler temps, and some great athletic socks on deep discount. Love surprise deals don't you?

I went to the Quilt-a-Fair with my friend Mary, now in Boulder.

Lots of vendors to peruse. I said I would not buy more fabric...
so I got a little star beading kit, a felt cookie kit for Christmas, a pattern, won a free pattern at a spinner, and the only fabric I got that day was a half yard of batik striped fabric at the "country store" (done by donations). And a book for $2.
 I do not need more supplies, I want more supplies!
I wanted all these embroidery kits, but held my ground. Maybe next time.
I wanted this little pin cushion but it was filled with some stiff stuff
Wanted all this hand dyed wool but have no real purpose for it right now.
Okay, to be truthful, I had remorse at not purchasing a Fall colors hand dyed bundle so I ordered it online after I got home!
It was a fun day. I overcame my reluctance to drive in the Denver area,  with the unmarked roads and construction and sudden off ramps, and am glad I did. Mary and I had a great time chatting and looking together, and talking each other into and out of purchases!

I loved that dh put together my IKEA shelves this weekend
with some help from the snooper-visor
"show me where it says that comes next, Dad"
"I'm not sure Dad is doing it right Mama"
"oh, on second look, he may be doing it right after all"
"oh my dog! Putting together IKEA stuff is EXhausting!"

I put this unit in the small space in the sewing-studio closet but it was still outgassing after three days open in the garage (and wiping down with water) so it's back in the garage to think about what it's done.
Soon it will behave better and be back in the closet to help organize supplies.

Speaking of which, I liked opening the last of the Big Brown Boxes in the studio, but was disappointed not to find all my stuff. I hope it's here somewhere, maybe misplaced in the basement or garage. Now I have a pile of loose stuff to arrange.

I like the new link party on Mondays, and wrote my third post from a prompt at Happy Homemaker this week HERE !

I loved finding all these books at the library this week

I wondered how someone would peg me from the books I checked out, crafting, writing novels, history, afterlife, organization
novels like the latest Her Royal Spyness, and a magazine with a small Halloween quilt I want to make
from QuiltMaker magazine
I sorted through Cole's medical files this week, deciding whether to keep them or not. I kept some of them and put a pile for shredding
I was happy to use my new table and chairs for this task. It is in a large open area, and kept clean of stuff so it's always available to use. I was sad to look back on all the procedures Cole needed, but interested in his statistics like weight over the years. Milo isn't as much smaller than Cole at this age as I remembered.
Cole was around 65 lbs grown but at Milo's age he was only 5 lbs heavier. I found the "baby book" with info about Cole and Chelsea, and added in some Milo stats.
He's 29" from floor to top of shoulder, 25" from base of tail to base of neck, and 54 lbs.
He's a tall rectangle. When Cole passed, my friend Bonnie gave me a plant in his name. I kept it alive in MD, brought it along in the car to CO, and had it inside where it developed some kind of rust. I took it outside, cut away the rusty leaves, and gave it some air
and although it's not thriving, it's holding on. I'm sentimental like that... it means a lot to be given this from a friend, it's a sort of long distance hand holding, a reminder of my poodle son who's in Heaven.

I went along on some errands this week, and played with the usual suspects as well as meeting some new doggies. I liked the Bernese Mt dog I met but he thought it would be fun to jump on my back, and Mama stepped in and said, "oh no you dont" so I didn't have to growl. I've spent a lot of time playing my new game. 
Mama calls it "nuisance" but I love it. It can be played two ways, and is a communication game. 
First you can just sniff. 
It's impawtant to sniff EVERY tree, and bush, and pole. Don't miss one. It might take a few minutes to sniff some of them and decide who'd been there and how they felt. 

You get extra points for stopping dead in your tracks and pulling the pawrents off their feet. Then more points for not moving despite their yanking on the leash, do not even look at them, just continue to sniff as if they aren't there. 

Mama's and Daddys just do not get this part, as they refuse to come sniff.  

The second part of the game is peeing on the right tree/bush/pole. You have a limited supply of pee, so make your decisions well, it's how you win. 
I am now able to squeeze out a few drops even near the end of a walk. 
This part really annoys the pawrents, so be prepared for the yelling. I mean I've never seen either one of them pee on ANY tree in all of my year of life! 

You can't win if you don't play people! 

Now please go visit Mama's friends and see their list of likes this week!

Minou's Minute

Do you tango? We have taken some lessons. It's the most romantic dance ever.
Watch this flash mob tango video...

We visited the Argentine Embassy in DC during the embassy hop one year. In the most glorious elaborate upstairs ball room a tango quartet began to play.

Magically people began dancing... not like TV or competition but real. Very real. Very hot and romantic. It was not planned where they both know the next step, it was like life where you do NOT know what's coming but make something beautiful with what shows up.

The woman follows the man. He is responsible to lead. And protect her. She must relax and let him. There must be trust. watch the clip from Scent of a woman shows a blind al Pacino teaching a young woman to dance. She is fearful of making a mistake. He says in Tango there is no mistake, you dance out of it.

ruby tuesdays
 Free motion by the River Tuesdays    
Our World Tuesday
 keepingitrreal Awe Mondays
sundays in the city
shadow Sundays
Pink Saturday!
sewcanshe Saturdays
off the wall Fridays
can I get a whoop whoop Fridays  
Thankful Thursdays pet parade
myquiltinfatuation Thursdays

Monday, September 24, 2018

looking to the week ahead

on bunny patrol
Welcome to my third Happy Homemaker post!
In looking to the week ahead, I'm also processing the week just done.

The Weather here
so funny that this is always the first topic... "how 'bout that weather??!" The extreme high 90s turned into a storm that nearly blew us off the map, then dropped to 88 yesterday. The promise this week is cooler temps starting tomorrow so fingers crossed that it's true.

Things that make me happy
Thanks for asking. It reminds me there are lots of things that are happy in life, to balance the other stuff that worries me. I have not slept well for over a week now. I wake from disturbing dreams, then fall back into another one, sometimes having to turn on the book light and stop the merry go round.

Last night I woke about 5 times but in between waking is sleep and sleep is restorative. I sure love deep sleep! It makes the whole next day happier.

And having my men folk put together my IKEA shelves, well, there's not much more loving than facing a pile of little white pieces and an allen wrench for the one you love.
Snooper-visor helping the Daddy
 Book I'm Reading
I am often found reading something... I just switched to the latest "royal spyness" mystery by Rhys Bowen, and it's great. I feel like it's a friend now that I've read the whole series, know what I mean?
That's at night (and throughout the night as I mentioned)

The library was relieved I finally finished the last novel, and some books on tape and returned them.
I left with more than I turned in, so typical! I imagine some statistician trying to peg me from my items... novels, felting, How to write, quilting, history, books on afterlife, touring Santa Fe, etc.
Whee! Riches! Treasure chest of fun! I can hardly wait to jump in! especially appropriate right now is this on studio organization. It's fun to peak into other artist studios...

I do interviews on people in their studios but don't know anyone here yet, stay tuned, and check out the ones I've done already.

what's on TV 
We watched  another Brokenwood (made in NZ) mystery this weekend (through ACORN) and another Murdoch Mystery out of Canada. Love them, and hate to approach the final shows of a season. Tonight is one of my faves, Dancing with the stars, except... who are those people????
Not really stars I think, but I am a dancer and just love ballroom as well as ballet, tap and Cajun Zydeco, so I'll watch.

on the menu
this morning I had scrambled egg whites (allergic to yolks) with cheese and chives, and a lovely Trader Joe's english muffin for breakfast. I don't usually have much. DH found a vietnamese sauce to try on our leftover rotisserie chicken and mixed vege and rice tonight.

Looking forward to
We started discussing exploring towns we've heard about and want to see. I've just been spent with the move, and the thought of a car trip was gross, but I'm beginning to want to explore. I think we might start with Wyoming as it's close, or Santa Fe/Taos. I was surprised to see Georgia O'Keefe's house/studio is so expensive to tour.
We're East Coasters so one of the reasons for this expensive disturbing move across country was to explore our American west.

Craft Basket
I attended Quilt A Fair with my friend Mary last Friday, and ahem, purchased a pattern, and two little kits. One is felt sugar cookies, and one is beaded stars. I can hardly wait to open them up and do something creative! I'm still trying to organize my creative world.
On the other hand I did another writing prompt yesterday, which is very creative as the whole story comes from inside me... not sure what part of my brains holds hands figuratively with my imagination to create these. The link to that short story is HERE "a sliver of hope"

Anyway, I'd rather be crafting but should be doing this

fresh flowers on the credenza again... I am not sure what it is about fresh flowers, but they make me happy every time I see them. This is a mix of baby pink, coral carnations, deep gold of sunflower, white daisies, with a green background. Imagine those colors in a quilt or a rug. Pretty.

Lesson learned this week
Many. Usually a week is full of lessons if you pay attention. I'll tell you about one... we went to the Renegade craft show in downtown Denver this weekend. The artists were ALL friendly and open. It was a small-ish affair in a parking lot in the warehouse district. It was blistering hot in the sun. They could have been dismissive or rude but they were instead welcoming and happy and talented and open.

How refreshing! We paid for one hour parking so we didn't dawdle but we enjoyed several conversations and Milo was adored by many which he took for granted! Not me, I took a mental picture of the moment to replay this week of mundane and difficult things to do.

On the way there, we drove past a homeless shelter. At first glance, I saw tarps, and trash, and lots of people crouching on the sidewalk and wondered what the heck? When I realized these disenfranchised people lived like this, I sobered up right fast.

I get tired of many things here that are not what we were told, many problems we didn't anticipate, starting with the expensive housing. We lost one house to a snafu of being owned not by the signers of the contract, but by a trust they wouldn't release. That started 4 months plus, of intense looking for a place, losing bid after bid. Anyway... we took the first one that accepted our bid and are finding out problems with the neighborhood and house that we didn't expect.

All that fell away as I made myself see the people with no place to go. I felt their collective pain just driving past and it was nearly overwhelming. I had to protect my heart from feeling the intensity, which may make me weak but it is what it is.

That moment pulled me up short, and made me realize although I may be exhausted from life right now, I have a home, and food, and a loving mate, and a poodle puppy that loves me.
I won't delay you with my long list of to do this time... I'll leave you with this quote by Mary Englebreit
Image result for life is just so daily mary engelbreit
and a picture of me and my shadow
Please visit the others sharing their real lives with us all at happy-homemaker-monday-

Linking to:
sunday selfie day for pets                                
all seasons
pet parade
pictorial-tuesday- Awe Mondays
all seasons

Sunday, September 23, 2018

writing prompt, A sliver of hope

 my fiction of the week, prompted by Sunday Whirl  

                                  A sliver of hope

A sliver of  light flashed in her eyes as she waited for the red line to take her home. When her train came to a stop, she waited for that group of people to take her place on the platform before squeezing into the car. She tucked her shiny gold chain into the collar of her dress to hide it from would-be thieves.

Her parents had warned her not to go into the city by herself, and were appalled that she was interviewing for a job there. "The crime rate is so high" her mom wailed.

"But Mom, it's the only interview I've gotten in weeks and it's to design the new office buildings going up to revitalize the area" she answered, looking away, "it's a great opportunity for me to get started"

She'd been out of school for nine months now, and being a part time waitress was depressing. She had to feign interest in the owner's stories about his cats every day, plant a smile on her face to hide the worry that her life was not turning out like she planned. She kept a sliver of hope in her back pocket but wondered if she should change direction.

She had always wanted to be a designer, to make homes and businesses look better, function better, so that beauty and function could live together. She went to school despite her Dad's disdain of her chosen career. He thought she should become a lawyer and did his best to encourage that. He took her to his College for interviews, he clipped out wall street journal articles about the future for corporate law, he introduced her to recent graduates at the firm. The root of the problem in her choice of occupation, was money and status.

Her Dad always thought he knew best, what she needed.

He was often right but this time she stood up and expressed herself, she chose design school when she knew he would not be happy with that choice. Each visit home made clear his disdain for the lack of prestige she would have. "Our family has always gone into law" he said, like a decree, like a mandate.
With disappointment in his voice.

That was the worst, his disappointment in her, she felt.

 "If I didn't become a lawyer, I could still marry one. Being the wife of a lawyer might be enough!" she mused. Ha, as if.

Hope is a fragile thing.

 Each day she pulled on hope along with her clothes because the alternative was not good.
 Each day she fed hundreds of strangers plates of food, and felt invisible as if she was not capable of running  a business herself. Each day she poured over the employment listings, and spoke to her headhunter, selling herself before interviews where she could sell her as yet, untried abilities to another stranger.
 Hope was wearing thin.
Was her father right? Just last night at dinner he said, "honey you can still take the LSAT and get into law school you know" adding, " maybe not getting work is a sign..." As if he believed in signs. He believed in the bottom line, and the bottom line for him was her lack of success at the moment.

She wondered how her mother handled the situation at cocktail parties. The polite questions about her daughter after graduation, "so what is Julie doing these days?" Then the "oh, well I'm sure she'll find a position somewhere soon" when her mom answers. Quick change of subject to the DAR event coming up.

As Julie entered the train car, and sat pulling her purse onto her lap, "at least I'm not a meth addict" she thought, wondering if the young man across from her was. I'll find my place, I'll thrive and design famous buildings and show everyone that there is life outside the field of law.

But she worried a little.
Life it like that. It goes on and on, and a person has no idea what is around the next corner. They just see what is there in front of them, and if the road is empty they feel it will always be so.

Until something changes, something just around the next corner.

Her phone begins to buzz!

"Hello, this is Julie" and a smile blooms on her face as she realizes she just turned a corner.

Linking to:
Sunday Whirl 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I Like Thursday #107

Welcome to this week's list of likes! 

Doesn't this look inviting? We love the front porch, with it's little sliver of a mountain view. I like to  sit a moment to cool off from my walks, before jumping back into house jobs. The chairs are from Pier One. Also from that store is this wonderful blue pumpkin
It looks great on the mantel right now!
Monday, I wrote a post about my table purchase and weekly goals (in case you missed it, look HERE
 This bowl is hand painted (not by me although I've painted a lot of pottery over the years), and I've owned it for years but never had a place to display it til now. 
The deep golden color inside glows with the yellow undertones of the new $25 yard sale table! 
The two lovely hand painted pottery candlesticks are from my niece who lived in Mexico for a long time, and I think they look lovely with the bowl!
We have not really set up the living room/dining area/entry yet, the pictures lean against a wall waiting to be placed and there are random boxes still but it's nice to walk in and see it starting to take shape. I love the sunny room, holding a mix of new and antique pieces.
One giant picture is hanging where there was already a hanger in place
 I'll never have a "house beautiful" magazine house, but I like my collections

We have flamingos for the yard, but didn't want to shock the neighbors right away.
 This one, sans legs, found it's way into the bush next to the front steps. I love it lurking there! 
While attending a couple yard sales, we passed this and I asked dh, did they resurface that driveway in colored pebbles? 

he backed up the car, and we saw they were chili's being sun dried on tarps!!!! I live out west!
I saw this sign at the yard sales and had to laugh...
 In case you can't read the bottom, it says, help me get my garage back! 
Tee hee! Poor woman sat in the heat surrounded by stuff no one was taking away. 

The owners of the table we bought gave me this little red wagon too! For free! It's creating a nice scene on the back porch now

I read about Princess Sewing baskets (produced in the 1950's in Ill. ) in a quilting magazine so...
When I saw one at the recent estate sale, for $15 and 50% (so $7.50) off that, well, I got it! It required some cleaning up and I took the long chords off to wash 70 plus years of handling, off, it was surprisingly hard to get them threaded back the right way. It's not rocket science but I had to do it a couple times! 

I love vintage sewing items and have several. This one was in great shape, one of two that I saw there, but in an effort to enjoy not hoard, I purchased only one and am thrilled! It's already worth $45 on ebay so it's an investment, DH. 
I found this at another yard sale. There were brush rollers in it that I didn't want.

 The owner, a kind woman of about age 60, lovingly looked at it, and said she used to roll her mom's hair every night for her, and asked who would buy just the rollers? I wondered did she think someone might actually use them on their hair??! I said, I'm buying the box for the $2 you wanted, but will not use the rollers in case she wanted to keep them (instead of me throwing them out) and she did keep them, but her husband was shocked I would pay $2 but I love items from the 50's and 60's and was too tired to bargain. 
so now I have a lovely pink box for the studio. There is a slight burn indentation on the top, and I wonder if a woman accidentally got her cigarette on it while getting her hair "set" I cleaned it up and who knows what treasures will find their way in! I betcha it was bought at a 5 and dime back then.

Milo's Moment
Hi to my friends! I've had a good time this week playing with new dogs and being with my Mama and Daddy. I played with this guy at one yard sale
and it was all fun and games til he noticed his Daddy put his toy in the sale, and he had to retrieve it and growled at me not to want to buy it! Heck no, Buddy! No way I'd take your toy! First of all you are twice my size, second it has your spit all over it so it's obviously yours! Besides...

I got a new toy and almost have it chewed into shape. 

I liked that Mama held my ears back while I urped up grass this week, nothing worse than getting sick in your curly ears. Good to have a Mama who cares. 

I liked when we LEFT the vet's office. She had to check my ears, and re-dose the right one, and they poked me with a needle what hurt a little but they did it in the room so Daddy held me. (a vaccine booster the vet said would make him sleepy)

I've been just a little tired since then but you can be sure I'll be up and running again real soon so send over the dogs!  

That's it, please visit these nice people also keeping track of things they liked this week. If you want to join us let mama know and she'll put in your link too!

Minou's Minute

Linking to these parties!!

Wednesday around the World

sundays in the city 
can I get a whoop whoop Fridays
Thankful Thursdays pet parade