Monday, May 31, 2010
A Time For Remembering.....
Friday, May 28, 2010
My Thumb is Greener Than I Thought It Was.....
Two kinds of trouble in this world:
I lost my power in this world
and the rumors are flying--
So I go insane
Like I always do....
("God Insane", Lindsey Buckingham)* Okay, see that crazy looking tomato plant in that well-known and advertised "Topsy Turvy" upside-down tomato plant grower---the one all my neighbors said wouldn't "work out"? Well, behold the pic below---look behind the outer leaves.... Hah! Tomaters!! And look at the pic below---there's little ripening cherry 'maters all over that dang plant! The below is a normal tomato plant and I tied it to the stake with some red yarn a couple days ago and it's still getting taller. I have two of them. And I have so many hopes for them. (I want some big 'maters....) But below is Mystery Flower #1. Can anybody tell me what it is? Our landlord had planted a bunch of seedings and had too many so he gave these to me, along with beaucoup others. But he forgot what they were and I don't recognize them. And below is Mystery Flowers #2. Does anybody recognize them?
Monday, May 24, 2010
Studios, Ghosts, and Bubbles, OH MY!!!
It seems no one can help me now,
I'm in too deep
There's no way out
This time I have really led myself astray
Runaway train never going back,
Wrong way on a one-way track...
("Runaway Train", Soul Asylum)* By the way--- to everybody who keeps writing me and accusing me of being an "angry person riddled with rage" or other similar traits, let me say to you once and for all---you don't know me! And I am definitely NOT an angry person. But I do have some serious character flaws---but let's let the therapists deal with those, okay?
Actually, the best way to figure out my mood at any given time is to read the lyrics to whichever song or poem I put at the beginning (and sometimes at the end) of my blog posts.They are like "weathervanes" to my emotions.... Anyhoo, on to the next subject--- which is my long-awaited craft "studio". I never thought it could happen but it did ---- my "studio" is finished! I still have some art to put on the walls but I think everything else is in place for me to do all my crafts. And I'm so excited because Mumsy is sending me a box on Tuesday full of supplies to make my own pendants and beads with polymer clay! But if you're wondering about the dearth of "good furniture" in our house it is because.....well....I took it all away when I divorced Blaine. I returned to a house near empty, with only furniture that's absolutely necessary (like a couch and all the TV's.....). So since Blaine's not going to buy everything all at once, we spread furniture purchases out. And luckily for me, this time I got some necessary furniture for the studio room. And Blaine built all those shelves in two closets for all the yarn I've got here (I've got another stash at my mother's in Texas). And yes, in answer to some emails, I really DO KNOW that having "real" Persian carpets is illegal. But that's one of the perks about being diplomatic---you don't get your luggage or your mail searched when traveling between countries. Anyhoo, these 2 carpets were made in a village of Iran. When my mother was in the Middle East she mailed about 20 or 25 of them home--all different styles and colors. These ones are Blaine's that she gave him, and he's got two others. All mine are down at my mother's house, in my bedroom and "stash closet" there (it's a large, walk-in little room.) (And I have one that is so beautiful that I want to be buried in it when I die....) (Funny, it's so ironic that I want to be buried in a Persian rug from the Middle East--since that's where I was almost killed in a terrifying anti-American event. Those terrorists would probably sing praises to Allah if they knew an "infidel" had been buried in one of their dang rugs.) Here's a blog post of pictures of my bedroom at my mother's house: My bedroom. And if anybody is interested in the overwhelming beauty and art in my mother's house, here's a link to it, too: Mumsy. Anyway, having the Persian carpets in my studio makes it feel more homey---and reminds me of my beautiful mother, "Mumsy". Actually, everything in that room reminds me of my mother. She helped me pick out that TV when I bought it 2 years ago. And she bought me most of my cowboy boots lined up in there--pic coming. And she bought me almost all of my beading, jewelry-making supplies. And she bought me that brand new sewing machine in the next picture. (But the crocheted tablecloth was made by one of Blaine's grandmothers.) I forget which country I got that above tube pillow from. Probably somewhere in South America. And notice below that I like to keep near my yarn. I love this project table. If I want to use the sewing machine, I simply roll the bottom table underneath the top table. Below is some of the zillions of jewelry-making beads and supplies my mother bought me. I didn't have any good shelves upstairs so I put this tablecloth (from some country I visited but don't remember which one) on some sturdy boxes. (Never underestimate the creativity of we crafters, right?) And there's the cowboy boots line-up....and my favorite pairs are the suede, denim colored Laredo's on the left and the beautiful cut-work patterned ones all the way to the right that Mumsy gave me. Okay, now I'm going to tell you something that happened that's very weird. VERY weird. If you remember, I wrote a blog post once about how our cats stare at the upstairs landing all the time--the top of the stairwell-- and one time I finally got creeped out enough to snap a photograph at the spot the cats were gazing at---and lo and behold I caught something on the photograph. (And many more since then.) Anyhoo, Blaine and I were all abuzz about it for awhile but I finally got tired of whole topic and put it out of my mind. I gave it no further thought and went about my business, not caring a hoot whether the stupid cats were gazing at that spot or not. And then something happened yesterday.... ...when I was upstairs in the studio room putting down the carpets and doing other stuff.... I was standing near the doorway of the room---the doorway which opens up to the stairwell's landing at the top of the stairs (the spot the cats stare at!)---and I was facing away from the doorway, fiddling with stuff..... ...and I felt something touch me on my left hip area... And it was a definite touch... ....and so I turned around... And there was nobody there. And the touch felt like..... like something or somebody just wanted me to know it (or they) were there. Weird. Anyway, below is one of the pictures of the bubbles I frequently caught on a photograph when one of the cats was staring up there... I told Blaine what happened and he told me something that happened after our first cat, Tigerlilly, died. Blaine was sleeping one night and felt.....well, he felt Tigerlilly get up on the bed and lay down to go to sleep near Blaine like he always had when he was alive! It only happened once, Blaine said. Actually, I don't mind the thought of cat ghosts......oh wait.... Little Baby is elderly---and I wouldn't put it past her to haunt me after she dies. I wouldn't like that crochety little idgit bugging me. For one thing, I already have a kitten waiting for me at Rainbow Bridge, a kitten named Little Bunny Foo Foo---and he was the bestest little kitten in the world. And I don't want Little Baby coming up to heaven and trying to snatch Little Bunny Foo Foo bald like she does Leonard here in the present. Oh Holy Hannah! I really must be as crazy as everybody says! Because I'm sitting here talking about CAT GHOSTS for God's sakes! (Must write this down on my damn weekly "checklist of symptoms" I have to take to Jack, my therapist, when we have our weekly 1:1 meeting.....) (Actually, Jack, who's younger than my previous therapist, Fred, seems to be doing well with my insanity. The only time I caught him struggling not to laugh at me was when I gave him my weekly checklist onto which I had, in a fit of OCD, highlighted some key words on my list---and I had actually highlighted OVER some words that he had ALREADY HIGHLIGHTED when he gave me that new weekly checklist sheet!) Sigh.... Where was I? Oh, I was going to tell you about the boas I'm making. Below is a boa with black, red, and gold highlights with black furry yarn. I like it---and it looks better in person than when photographed. I'll make tons of different colored boas to sell at the holiday season. When I sold them in Texas they went like hotcakes. Below is the first boa I've made this season---and although that furry gold yarn is soft to the skin, it overwhelms the yarn underneath it. I won't use that brand of furry yarn again. But I did get 2 boas out of it. Below is the second one---and that gold furry yarn overwhelmed the Christmas colored yarn underneath, the red and green tones. Oh well, it's still pretty. Lookee below! Lookee! Little baby cherry 'maters! They're sprouting all over this plant. But below is a pic of something that is so strange to me. In all the TV commercials I've seen for the "Topsy Turvy" upside down tomato planters, they show the tomato plant aimed at the ground, growing upside down. But this tomato plant REFUSED to do that---and has always strived to grow upright like a proper tomato plant. (Is "strived" a word?) I don't care what the damn thing does---it can grow sideways for all I care--- I just want a ton of homegrown tomatoes. Below it is one of the two regular tomato plants we have. I'm going to have to put stakes in there because those type of tomato plants will have to get higher before they put out blossoms. Below are the snap bean plants. Don't blame me for all these plants that are in containers. I wanted to plant the vegetables and herbs in the ground but Blaine insisted he wanted a "deck garden". Speaking of a deck garden, our landlord gave us an entire flat of annual flower seedings. And they will grow well in containers. One other update and I'm asking seriously.... Blaine's bachelor days buddy and roommate, Jon, has come up to this part of the country to work a construction job and he's staying with us right now. He lives in Texas but the construction jobs have dried up down there. He's desperate for work and has been reduced to traveling up here and even further north to try and find it. He even borrowed $200 from Blaine, and I know that he felt shamed at having to do that. So first off, I told him that as long as he's in this part of the country he could stay with us---forget spending money on motels. I made up the guest room and bathroom for him, and Blaine hooked up my old color TV to the cable outlet in there. What I wanted to ask you guys is that this guy needs prayers so very badly. Like so many thousands in the USA, he is facing foreclosure on his house---the house he's lived in for about 20 years, which used to be Blaine's house but Blaine sold it to him. So please, if anybody could add him to their prayer list, it would be greatly appreciated. Or, if not prayers, could you send good vibes and positive energy his way? Thanks in advance for those of you who do. (You should see this guy---he's a giant. He towers over Blaine. And he has two little Chinese lapdogs. The dogs have not been....uh....accepted very well by the cats, but I'm sure they'll get used to them...) *
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Missouri & Kansas Rivers and Me.....
"We're after the same rainbow's end,
Waiting round the bend,
My huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me...."
("Moon River", Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer)* Okay, the first thing I would like to say is a great big HUGE thank you to those of you who wrote supportive comments on my last blog post. It meant so much to me that I can't find words to describe it----but trust me, it was greatly appreciated. In fact, let me say it again---it's so nice to know that I have friends out there. And I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for their support and understanding. And as unpleasant a task as it was, I think I made my point crystal clear with that blog post--- which I should have done a year ago, so please accept my apologies for waiting this long to write it. (Actually, I was finally driven to it by the unrelenting demands of a lot of doubters. But I think they understand NOW....) And as for you cruel, nasty people who left what can only be called venomous spewing, well, you have to live with your childish selves. Don't leave comments unless you can grow up. And, as Forest Gump would say, that's all I'm going to say about that..... Anyhoo, the above picture is my darling Blaine, putting together the "double table" for my studio. It has two levels (one rolls out when you need it). I'm going to put the new sewing machine on the top and use the bottom, roll-out, level for jewelry making. Above is poor Blaine trying to figure out the table's put-together directions with Little Baby in attendance. I don't know what she is looking for---his beer maybe? (After all, she IS my cat.....) But I don't think alcohol is her problem---what she needs to do is to go to a Tunaholics Anonymous meeting. I think the tuna-obsessed neighbor cat which keeps coming to my door to beg for food could be her sponsor.) Below is the shell of the top part of the table. Blaine is now trying to figure out the innards of the whole thing....and then we'll have to get the damn thing upstairs because Blaine refused to put it together up there. I'm going to try and convince him tonight to finish the rest upstairs so we can carry each piece up there separately. Carrying the whole table would be a big pain in the ass. Men.... As you can see below on the right, I still haven't quite gotten everything that is non-hobby related out of the studio room yet. But trust me, I will. Below is one part of the Magical Yarn Closet in the studio---the part of the yarn closet with a bunch of Lionbrand Homespun yarn, Noro yarn, some kettle-dyed yarn from Uruguay, a few skeins of Opal 6-ply, and God knows what else. I have a whole 'nother side of the closet with about 75 skeins of sock yarn. And the top shelves are crammed full to the ceiling with various yarns as well. And I can't hardly get into there because of UFO bags on the floor. Here's a scarf forming on the floor. It still needs more length, of course, and then a final trimming before sewing down the edges. Then I'm going to put long, luxurious fringe on it. Here below is where I am sticking extra beading and jewelry supplies since the other wall for jewelry supplies if full now. I need some shelves in the studio but I am going to spread out the furniture expenses for poor Blaine's benefit.... So......um..... what do you think of the 2 handcrafted things below---a decorated straw heart and a decorated tissue holder? Um.... do you like them? Because guess what? (heh heh heh....) I made them in craft class when I was a patient in a psychiatric hospital----HEH!!!! Can you believe Blaine saved them all these years? (That damn hospital didn't help me a bit---I was still batshit crazy when I left there. And when I was loading my luggage into my mother's Jeep to leave, she said: "So what did you make me in craft class this time? A birdhouse like in your last psychiatric hospital stay? Or beads again?") When I returned to Blaine after I divorced him and left him for ten years, I found them in my old clothes closet, up on the top shelf, next to a box holding some antique imported Italian ceramic, handpainted kitchen cannisters I loved. (They have cunning little cabbages on the top of the lids.) (Mom wasn't thrilled with the straw heart and tissue holder so I kept them.) Anyhoo, Blaine said this morning that he'll probably finish up the table tonight---yippee! *
"Through a meadowland towards a closing door,
A door marked nevermore,
That wasn't there before....
("Days of Wine & Roses, Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer)* *
Sunday, May 16, 2010
But Where Was Good Ole Bo When This Was Happening????
Friday, May 14, 2010
Back in the Atmosphere...With Drops of Cat Litter in My Hair....
Now that she's back from that soul vacation,
Tracing her way through the constellation,
She checks out Mozart while she does tae-bo,
Reminds me that there's room to grow...
("Drops of Jupiter", Train)* Whenever I catch that idgit Little Baby sleeping in her dish I always holler at the top of my lungs: "Avast, me maties! Look alive, look alive, all those in the kitchen! There's pots and pans to clean! There's dishes to clean! There's grapes fallen behind the refrigerator which need retrieving! Thus, there will be NO sleeping in food bowls on my watch!" It doesn't do any good but what the hell. Today I have risen from my sick bed like an unkempt phoenix but I wish I was still in it. Wednesday I caught some kind of flu (not the Swine Flu--- most probably the The Idiot's Flu) and I was so deathly ill that I had to cancel my appointment with the mobile therapist that day. But there was no way I was going to cancel my two appointments at the Center yesterday. I had both my 1:1 hour-long therapy appointment with Jack, my new therapist---and also it was the first day of our weekly 2-hour DBT group. And let me tell you--- they consider the group a very serious part of your therapy. You actually have to sign a written contract pledging your dedication to the group for its year-long duration--a solid year, folks. You acknowledge on the contract that if you miss so many groups you are removed from the group until it begins again. (They totally don't play around if you're not serious about your need for therapy.) And also delineated on the contract is a place where you pledge your dedication to all aspects of the therapy which supports the group---things in addition to attendance at your your weekly 2-hour group, like your weekly hour-long 1:1 therapy with your therapist, the homework you're given, practicing the things they teach you which will help you bring your chaotic emotions into a healthy balance with your life's goals, and conducting yourself in a serious and respectful manner. So nooooooo.....no way was I going to miss the first day of the group and my 1:1 with Jack. So I dragged my sick self up out the bed and went to the group. You would have been embarrassed for me if you'd seen the state I was in when I arrived at the Center. Yeah, I was a horrible sight to behold. My hair was dirty and I wore it in two "bad hair day" braids--which were plaited unevenly and messy, with lots of stray strands of hair swirling about. I tried to put on makeup but ended up looking like I was one of those corpses that the mortician has to put makeup on to look good for the funeral. And I had on dirty blue jeans with my wildly colored spring rain boots (well it had been raining, okay? And who's to say it wasn't going to re-rain?), and a purple hoodie 8 sizes too big for me (I think it was Blaine's). And after those desperate beauty rituals, I grabbed my folder, homework, and went to group. (Is it "corps" or "corpses" for the plural??....) (And is "re-rain" a word??) Anyway, everything that happened at the Center was great! It was so great that I can't even describe it!! Come to find out, it was the very exact thing I've been needing in therapy my whole life! And now I know why Fred referred me to it. And now I know why he had that secret little smile on his face as I sat there in his office bawling my stupid eyes out when he told me I wouldn't be able to see him anymore since I would have a therapist in this new DBT therapy. The smile wasn't because he was unfeeling. It was because he knew my tears would soon be turned to smiles! And so, these days when I'm driving home from the Center to my home, I gaze dreamily at the scenery of Overland Park and murmur: "Lowenstein...oh, Lowenstein..." (Yes, yes--- of course I know that Fred isn't the psychiatrist "Lowenstein" in the Conroy book "The Prince of Tides" but it's how I remember Fred and what a super perfect therapist he was for me in the last two years. And Fred DID remind me, if you remember that blog post, that someday I would be able to see him again...) "Lowenstein...oh, Lowenstein..." Oh yeah--and a part of my therapy called "Mastery" is that I practice on a daily basis those things which make me feel happy and less depressed. For me that is my art---in my knitting, my jewelry making, sewing funky things, and drawing angels. Hooray! So Blaine is turning the upstairs extra bedroom into a "studio" for me. Notice that it doesn't look like a studio yet. But it will. Oh, yeah---it will. Since I don't yet have a jewelry table (we're getting the sewing machine table this weekend for the wall to the right---and I'm standing against the wall where I put my 42" flat screen TV, heh) I've got all my jewelry making supplies spread neatly out on the floor against the wall which will eventually be the jewelry table wall. Below is the leopard necklace I'm making--but I still have to finish the last couple of inches and put a clasp on each end. (You can click on the picture to make it bigger.) I really love those two "leaf" beads. Below is the progress of the snap beans. Soon they will get tall enough to start winding around the stakes. Pay no attention to the idgity cat below---Little Baby was in one of her attention-seeking "posing" moods. (You can also click on her dang picture to better view her stupid pose but I recommend ignoring her...) Here's the kitchen herbs and the two new tomato plants---all doing well. I'm going to transplant the kitchen herbs into larger pots that Blaine bought me for that purpose. Then the plants can get bigger. But here below is the pitiful looking topsy turvy tomato plant. It had been doing well but now it looks bad, with a lot of yellow leaves and a just-in-general depressed mood. That is because the weather has been bad for it. It's been raining off and on for the last couple of weeks, and on the days it didn't rain it was totally cloudy with no sunlight. Thus, the plant badly needs sunlight and much less water. But I sense a hopeless attitude coming from the roots trapped in that waterfilled dirt vault they're esconced in. So I've put this plant on the "suicide watch" list. I don't want it giving up just because the damn weather isn't perfect. (Maybe I should start yelling "Avast, me maties!" at it ???) And below is that little asshole, Little Baby, trying to find that last tiny little morsel of tuna fish. I say she needs to attend "Tunaholics Anonymous" meetings but she says that a cat wanting tuna fish is as natural as a fish needing water. Little asshole... (I wonder if the phrase "Avast, me idgits!" would work better than "Avast, me maties!" ?) Must go for now---my case manager is due and I look the same as yesterday, but WORSE. Can you believe I slept on my hair braids from yesterday?---and that I haven't changed them AT ALL for his appointment except to try and slather everything down with hair spray? But don't worry---I did change clothes. Oh well. What he sees is what he gets. * *