.....and other random stuff......

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


When I was 16 I was going to conquer the world! (Weren’t we all, LOL?)

 I had huge plans and ambitions.

One day I looked at my mother and felt so sorry for her.

She was very smart but never went to college. She (at the time) didn’t work outside the home. She was ‘just a housewife’ as the saying goes.

But at 16 I thought, isn’t it too bad that she never did anything important.

And being 16 I said that to her.

Her reply startled me.

She said: “But I did do something important. I had you!”

I remember thinking, oh that is so sad! To have such low aspirations!

But now, all these years later, I completely understand what she meant.

I just read this statistic the other day: Ninety two percent of the people who lived and died on this planet left no trace of their life.

How sad.

But I don’t think it’s true.

Because we’ve left a part of ourselves in our children.

And that’s an ENORMOUS trace of my life.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Is It Wrong To Toot My Own Horn?

Months ago I was interviewed by a small local “what’s happening around town” newspaper, Florida Weekly.
They have a little column about local artists.
Yesterday I got an email from the publicity department saying I was in the paper this week!
How nice! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Little Toe Calling robin’s Brain

Why do you hate me so much?  :(
I did it AGAIN! Same toe! Same chair!
Maybe it’s time to rearrange the furniture. 
Ya’ think? LOL
only a SLIGHT exaggeration of the real thing (the color is pretty much accurate!)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Look At Me, I Made A New Word! (Neologism)

You know those nonsensical words you have to type in order to leave a comment on someone’s blog?
Well, one day in my blog travels this was the word I had to type: “IMING”
This is my definition:
Im-ing; verb, \ím-ing\ 1. The act of doing what makes your heart sing. Forward movement, growth, expansion, evolution, accomplishment.
I think it’s a cool word.
When we paint/draw/sew/cook/write/garden/etc. we’re ‘I’m-ing’.
Chances of it ever moving into the lexicon are slim, but it’s still cool! LOL

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Everyday Objects

Everyday object that I use WAY too much!  LOL

Friday, August 26, 2011


This term was hung on my better half.
Husband, you see, has a very keen and slightly ‘off center’ sense of humor.
And it often comes out when we are in public.
Which causes people to look at us as if we are……….strange.

So began the family joke “Dad is being a ‘Spectacle’”.

The other day, he was kneeling beside the pool, using his hand as a scoop. Reaching for something that I couldn’t see. 

I didn’t think much of it. 

Small creatures are always finding their way into the pool and Husband or I frequently rescue them.
But he kept reaching and scooping, reaching and scooping and coming up empty handed. 
Then he started to laugh out loud.

Okay, he is really losing it this time! What is so funny?

Between guffaws of laughter he tells me he was trying to rescue one of the tiny newborn snakes that come onto the lanai but it kept moving so fast he couldn’t grab it! (This is very unlikely for a baby snake.)

After several minutes of unsuccessful attempts he finally realized there was nothing there! 

It was a ‘floater’ in his vision and that’s why he couldn’t grab it!

Growing old is going to be hysterical!
Oh, wait, it already is! LOL

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Love the Water

I love to be near it, I love to be on it, but I don’t really like being IN it. 

Unless it’s chlorinated.

I tend to be regarded as a large piece of bait by sea creatures.

Case 1: I was about fourteen and was invited to a friend’s cabin on a lake. We decided to swim to a neighbors for a visit. As we were swimming I felt something ‘brush’ up against my foot. I climbed up onto the dock and there, jaws clenched firmly around the side of my foot, was a large fish! Needless to say I freaked! It never broke the skin, but it creeped me out. I WALKED back to the cabin.

Case 2: Ocean City Maryland—As I pop up out of the surf and try to wipe the water from my eyes I realize it’s not just water but a gelatinous blob of JELLYFISH on my face! EEEEk and ouch!

Case 3: Fire Island, NY----It’s a hot day so I go to sit in the water to cool off. I sit down in about six inches of water. (Seriously, it was barely deep enough to get wet, much less support any wildlife!) As I sit I feel something pinch me! I managed to find what was probably the last surviving scallop in the Great South Bay! (There hadn’t been scallops in the Bay for years because of salinity changes.)

So now, the only water I immerse myself in is chlorinated!
(To the best of my recollection, this is what the fish looked like that attached itself to my foot, lo those many years ago!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Cat Is A Cat Is A Cat

Ever since Sammy, our golden retriever died, Husband has been trying to turn our cat into a dog.
And I have to admit he isn’t doing half bad!
He’s managed to teach her how to beg at the dinner table, including standing up on her hind legs to ‘sniff’ at what’s on the plates. (Much to my chagrin!)
She meows loudly when we’re having fish to let us know she expects her fair share. (She’s also partial to filet mignon, just like Sammy!)
She sits on Husband’s lap and nudges his hands to pet her while they both watch TV (Just like Sammy used to. The nudging part, not the lap part. LOL)
So he has succeeded (mostly) in turning Fluffy into a dog.
Except when she decides she’s had enough of the stupid humans and reverts to proper cat behavior.
And totally ignores us!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Wicked Witch of Westchester

a.k.a. The Azalea Lady of Brookdale Drive

            When I was growing up in Westchester, circa 1950’s, the hard and fast rule about eating Halloween candy was—you never, ever eat anything that isn’t wrapped. And even then you have your parents check to make sure it’s okay. Then you check it again to make absolutely sure.
                Also in Westchester, at least in my neighborhood, we had a resident witch. We all knew she was a witch because she never came out of her house. She just peeked through the curtains at us when we played kickball in front of her house. 
She had a very different looking house from everyone else’s, but what made her really different was her garden. She had a very large azalea garden, which covered her entire property. It was quite a showcase.
Every spring the Sunday paper would run a feature story about it and people would come from miles around to see. They would close off the street to cars and what seemed like thousands of gawkers would traipse down our street to look at the witch’s gardens.
Frank was her gardener. Every day Frank worked in the gardens, weeding, feeding, hoeing, and doing whatever it is that gardeners do in the garden. We would play in the street in front of the witch’s house and Frank would talk to us and tease us. More than once he threatened to “plant me in the garden, head first!” I knew he was just teasing, but I rode my bike extra fast when I passed by Frank.
One time our ball got kicked up into the gardens when we were playing. Frank said he would get it for us, not to go after it ourselves. As he was getting ready to throw it back to us, the witch called to him from the window and said, “Frank, you bring that ball here to me! Then I don’t have to worry about it hitting my azaleas!”
We knew then for sure she was a witch (she even looked like the Wicked Witch of the West!)
Several weeks later, I was peddling extra fast past the witch’s house, she came out onto the porch and called to me! ME! I didn’t know what to do. She said to come up onto the porch, she had something for me.
Well, if I had any kind of brain I would have kept on peddling. What could the witch possibly have for me? But I thought that if my parents ever heard that I had been rude to the witch I’d be in big trouble. (You know how grownups are about manners and all.)
So, I put down my bike and walked up onto the porch. I was careful not to go into the house, (pictures of Hansel and Gretel kept running through my mind!) She came back to the door with a small brown paper bag and said, “Here, this is for you. I’ve been saving it for you. Share it with the others. And I’m sorry about the ball.”
I took the bag, mumbled something polite, and ran down the stairs. Now I had proof! She really was a witch and here was the proof. I was holding a bag of unwrapped candy that she wanted me to share with all the other kids in the neighborhood! SHE WAS TRYING TO POISON US!
I peddled as fast as I could all the way home and ran into the house calling for my mother. Out of breath, and as best as I could, I told her about the witch and what had happened.
Now, the parents all knew that we thought she was a witch, and of course, they all told us she wasn’t. Just and eccentric old widow who was lonely and never had children, so she didn’t know how to act with us. But I knew better. (They don’t tell us all those fairy tales for nothing you know!) I can recognize a witch when I see one! And she was one if ever I saw one! Nothing my mother said could convince me otherwise.
Finally, so exasperated with my insistence that this harmless old woman was a witch, my mother said she’d prove it to me and popped a piece of the unwrapped candy into her mouth!
I stood there breathless, watching my mother, waiting for her to drop to the floor and writhe in all consuming agony foaming at the mouth as the poison worked its way into her system.
……..She kept dusting the furniture. No dropping, no foaming, no writhing. Just dusting. 
Okay, so it’s a slow acting poison. That makes more sense. Can’t have all the neighborhood kids dropping dead at once, it would look too suspicious.
So how long exactly does slow acting poison take to act?
I’m still waiting.   

Monday, August 22, 2011

Carla Sonheim’s Junk Mail Book Class

Week three at Carla Sonheim's summer camp was a ‘junk mail’ book.
Once again I learned a lot from Carla! Techniques I might never have tried on my own.
Not sure if I like the finished product but I totally enjoyed the process.
Maybe I just need some distance from it for a while to truly appreciate it.
You collect junk mail, gesso it, then add some pizzazz  with watercolors.
You put the 'book' together with pages that are uneven and overlap one another, then draw so that one page flows into the next. (It's kind of difficult to see in the pictures.)
It was quite challenging, and I'm afraid I wasn't very imaginative. LOL
I used packing tape to bind my book.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Father Never Cursed

Well, except when he was wallpapering. Then a strategically placed “Shit!” used to escape sporadically.
But other than that, never.
He was fond of saying, “Only small minds use small words.”

Now I admired my father (mostly, LOL) and he was a smart man, well educated, definitely.
But in this particular instance I heartily disagreed with him.

It has nothing to do with intelligence, or education. It is purely emotional.
There is nothing more satisfying than a well placed “F” bomb now and again.

I have searched the English language high and low for something that would give the same satisfaction in any given situation, and contrary to my father’s beliefs, nothing else will do.

There are certain instances that just cry out for expletives!

For example, stubbing your toe.
This calls for a very precise string of words in order to describe the full intensity of the circumstances.

Try it. It works.
It won’t make your toe hurt any less, but it will occupy your mind for those first excruciating moments when you think you might just pass out from the pain.

(BTW, my toe was broken.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Art Saves

This is an Ovarian cancer cell.

This is what I turned it in to. 

Art really does heal. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Baby Steps, Baby Steps

I’ve been trying to eat more healthfully lately. Not for any earth shattering reasons, like to be healthier, or to slim down.
Mostly because my body is revolting against the food I’ve been putting into it.
But, OMG it’s HARD.
Have you read the food labels lately? Even things I thought were healthy…..not so much.
A normal person would think, ‘What could possibly be bad about a skinless, boneless chicken breast?’  Read the label. It’s not just chicken any more. They add broth and a ‘preservative’.
Why, you may ask?
 Because after they ‘dress’ the chicken they dunk it into a sodium bath to kill any bacteria (the ‘broth’.)  And what’s IN that ‘broth’? Who knows? They don’t have to put THAT on the label!
On the one hand I feel totally vindicated about telling my family that we can no longer eat like our grandparents did because the FOOD isn’t the same.
On the other hand we are preserving ourselves with our food (and not in a good way!)
Recent studies have shown a slowing in the rate of decay among human corpses due to the presence of preservatives from processed food.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Navel Will Never be the Same

Disclaimer: Son2 said this was kind of creepy and I shouldn’t post it. You be the judge.

Do you believe in Karma?

The reason I ask is because I think I’m getting some Karmic retribution for something I did in my youth.

It’s kind of a long story so get comfy. I’ll wait.
All settled in? Good.

I was called for jury duty. It was for a malpractice suit. The woman was suing her plastic surgeon because………. (wait for it………) after her tummy tuck, her belly button was 1cm off from where it was before the surgery!


Okay, when I stopped laughing, the attorney had several questions to ask me, but he didn’t dismiss me.

THEN he said her husband was ALSO suing the doctor for…… (wait for it……..) 

After they picked me up off the floor, tears streaming down my cheeks, they dismissed me.

Fast forward to present day.

I had surgery last summer.

And…….you got it, my navel is not what it used to be!


Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m going to model bikinis or anything, but I find it just slightly ……… funny…… ironic…… 
no no wait, I have the perfect word…….

I guess this is my punishment for my unsympathetic laughter all those years ago!

To the woman whose misfortune I laughed at, I am sorry.

But I stand by my laughter at the conjugal rights suit!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Snail

Every night the snail comes out of the tall grasses where she lives and crosses the walkway.
S-L-O-W-L-Y she makes her way across the path.
She is going to eat my impatiens in the garden.
I know this.
And yet every night I watch her cross the great wide expanse of my front walk.
And I don’t have the heart to kill her.
The impatiens are dying, only one lone plant left. 
I hope it’s enough to keep her alive.

Ain’t Life Grand?

I had no idea when all this started I’d essentially be illustrating my life. 
I had no idea I could illustrate! 
If you had asked me I would have said “I can’t even draw a straight line!”
But here I am, drawing and sketching!
Ain’t life grand?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Glaring Realization

Several years ago I came to a glaring realization.
I am now the matriarch of the family!
Did you feel that?
I think the earth just shifted off its axis. LOL

Friday, August 12, 2011

Carla Sonheim Online Art Camp

Faces 101
The lesson was to use chalk pastels with only your fingers and a kneaded eraser.
I found it interesting and very serendipitous.
You’re not always the one in control! LOL

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Grandpa Chair

My father lost a leg due to cancer, so he had issues with balance.
My mother bought him a beautiful leather wing chair. Very straight backed and with enough stability for him to maneuver in and out of on his own.
It became known as ‘The Grandpa chair’.
This chair is one of the things I’ve kept from my parent’s house.
My father only lived long enough to know Son1.
And the only picture I have of them together is in ‘The Grandpa Chair’.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Like Stories

I like stories. Other people’s stories. I even like to watch other people’s home movies! LOL
I don’t know why. But it intrigues me. I guess it’s voyeuristic in a way. To peek into someone else’s life.
I wonder, does this say more about me than the story to which I am listening?
Am I seeking something, filling a void? Do I like to live vicariously through other people’s lives?
Or is it a way to validate my own life. Sort of a comparison exercise?
As a kid my mother and I would go for drives in the evening and make up stories about the people we saw in the windows of the houses we passed.
I think that’s where it started.
Or maybe it started with the stories my parents told us about their childhoods.
What is it that drives us to chronicle, to record and categorize our experiences?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Carla Sonheim’s ‘Summer Art Camp’ Classes

Week two...Silly Faces.
This is WAY too much fun for one person to have! LOL

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Everyday Objects

The SLOWEST toaster on the planet! You can put in the bread, go take a shower, dry your hair, put on makeup, get dressed and by the time you get back into the kitchen, it STILL hasn't popped! LOL

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I Don’t Fit

“Doesn’t fit our needs at this time….”
The ubiquitous rejection phrase.
Once again, I don’t fit. (Can you say: square peg in a round hole?)
My fiber faces were rejected, again :( (This time from Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine.)

I could get a complex!  (LOL)

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge—Everyday Objects

I can’t seem to make up my mind what to sketch!
Do you ever have times like that? When you can’t make a decision even on the most insignificant level?
Something as silly and inconsequential as what to sketch for ‘everyday objects’!? (keyword here is EVERYDAY!)
I look around me and there are tons of things, but none of them seem to pique my interest.
So until I deem something worthy of immortalizing (LOL) I just sketched what was in front of me on my desk.
I know, dull, dull, dull.
But as the younger set is fond of saying,

Thursday, August 4, 2011


As much as we have a penchant for naming inanimate objects in our family (such as Wilson, our bountiful lime tree) the boys never had names for their stuffed ‘friends’.

There was a wolf puppet they called ‘Wolfie’, a hedgehog that was just ‘Hedgehog’, and a small stuffed Dalmatian Son1 simply called ‘Puppy’.

All at the ready to listen to a trouble or to keep a secret.

At nighttime, after putting Son1 to bed, we would hear him talking over his day with all his friends.

‘Puppy’ was his favorite.

To this day ‘Puppy’ is special.

(A girlfriend once tried to get him to give it to her but, no dice.)

Puppy is still with us, a little worse for wear, not quite as white as he once was. He sits patiently with a handful of other friends, always at the ready to empathize with a problem or hear a confidence.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Carla Sonheim’s ‘Summer Art Camp’ Classes

Imaginary Creatures Summer Camp.
One liner warm ups.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I’m not much of a coupon clipper.
I don’t comb the Sunday papers looking to save 25¢ on a can of beans or end up paying 12¢ for two carts of groceries because I had a coupon for every item.
But when it comes to craft coupons I’m a hoarder!
The problem is I already have enough supplies in my studio to start my own store!
It just KILLS me to see these coupons go to waste!
I get them in the mail, I get them online, and since I have several emails, I get more than one!
They are for 50% off! 
Not just a piddling 20% or even 40%.
And if you use a competitor’s coupon they tack on an extra 10%! 
60% off!
But I don’t NEED anything!
I’ve been tempted to stand out front of the store and give them away.
But that would require a trench coat and a fedora and it’s too darn hot for that!

Pssst! Hey lady, need a 50% off coupon?