Sunday, February 27, 2011

Birthday Boy!

Today my little one, the terror of the house, noisy, bossy, pushy, Mr. Happy, tail whirling, always laughing, never stopping, always willing, smarter than a whip, funny, sweet, beautiful, big hearted Bode turns two years old.

I have to admit that if he'd been my first Cardigan I never would have gotten a second one, luckily he was second, so there won't be a third.  He keeps Dandy on his toes and sometimes tortures him unmercifully, until Dandy climbs in my lap for safety. He sticks his nose into every tree and bush and invariably comes home with every tick in the forest, gazing at me sweetly from the back seat with several crawling around on his nose, blech.  He's also the one to come up and lean in for a scratch and he loves to sleep at my feet and under my bed at night.

He's quite a handful but we like him.



Food and Future

I love to cook.

I love to cook for people who like to eat.  Which pretty much means I love to cook for men, bless them.

This week is was Chicken Soup, Chicken Piccata, Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter and Broiled Pineapple with Whiskey Caramel Sauce.

Oh man, what fun.  The soup takes a long time and is worth it, but the others were pretty fast and very yummy.  This time of year I start craving things with vitamin C, lemons, oranges, clementines and tangerines, pineapple, and more lemon just for fun.

Luckily I have darlings who are willing to let me experiment on them and so far have had no great disasters, which makes me more brave and willing to try new stuff.

It's another gorgeous sunny day.

Unfortunately a lot of my friends are still digging out from our last snow and many still don't have power, the heavy wet snow brought down more trees and power poles.  I take time to think about them and also the people of Christchurch, NZ who have been devastated by an earthquake. These disasters have turned my thoughts to my future.  I am feeling a need to become involved and may revive my medical skills so I can become involved with disaster response.  It feels right...we shall see.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Heavy Weather

It's coming and it makes my head hurt, dark, gloomy, wet right now should turn to snow later.

I'm gonna take a nap and think about making some good food later.

I heard this CD today and had to buy it.  Great music, makes you want to move.  I was almost dancing through the store.

Angelique Kidjo featuring Joss Stone.


It's a start anyway...

To get me out of my mini crisis of confidence and start writing again...

But, what a mess.  Late night (or early morning) ramblings are sort of like the great ideas we used to have when we were, ah, chemically impaired, they didn't make sense the next day.  However, there was some value in the post, especially the thoughts about trusting.

Trust -  It's one of the things I've been working on the most, trying to learn to trust not only the world but most importantly, myself.  And I did start from practically zero but that's changing everyday.

It seems to me that trust is tied in pretty closely with control.  Not trusting means you can't allow anyone else to take over, which becomes so incredibly exhausting.  It makes you a hard person to live with, controlling, suspicious, exacting and not exactly warm and fuzzy.  So, as I've said before, I've been working hard on giving up control and in the process have seen my ability to trust improve.  Feels good too.

Things that I couldn't control:
Airplanes - I practically quit flying, which is sad and silly and kept me from many great adventures.  Enough of that, when I want to go I go, let the pilots worry about it, after all, he or she doesn't want to die either.  I still hate cramming my long legs into dinky seats but whatever, let's go!

Weather - Yeah, sometimes it's dangerous to drive in the wet or icy stuff, but I also trust my vehicle and my ability to drive.  Though I still look out for everyone else, that's not lack of trust, it's defensive driving.

People - This is a big one. Not trusting means you block yourself from some amazing relationships.  I still whine to myself that I should never have trusted that person, look how much he or she hurt me, phooey.  If I line up the hurts side by side with the joy and the laughter and the loving and the hope it's not even worth mentioning, so I let it go. All these interesting people in my life make me feel alive.

Myself - This is the ultimate.  I've got the skills, the knowledge, the background, the mind and the heart to make good decisions about who and what to trust.  It's time to use them, to trust them, to let go of stupid control and just enjoy the days, hours and minutes I've got left.  I can do it.

Recently I've been having a crisis of trust with someone I think is going to become very important in my life.  It was making me crazy.  So over a nice bottle of  Brut Rosado I decided to let it go and try some trust.  It changed my whole view, made the possibilities open up and gave me back myself.  As he says, relax and enjoy the process, it's easy.

I should get it tattoed on my arm, right next to the happy face...

Peace to you and yours from me and mine.

Miss me?

Yes, and I miss you too!  Sometimes you've got to give yourself permission to rest, to draw in and find the place inside you that needs to be restored and listen to it complain for a while.

Sometimes, it becomes necessary to quit listening to yourself to survive. I get so wrapped up in the day to day necessities, things that have to be done, people that need attention, animals who have to be walked, paperwork and deadlines and all that shit.  And then I'm surprised when I've got nothing to say.  I think I started a dozen different posts and none of them were worth finishing.  So I stopped...and said I wouldn't write more for a whole week.  And everyday I stopped in and looked around, touched the letters and stroked the words and wished very hard that they would consent to go back to work for me soon.  Because I love them...

So here I am.  Those of you who really know me know that most of what I think gets said pretty quickly, it's all out there, sometimes it's thoughtful, sometimes it's hasty and stupid and hurtful.  Which is the last thing I want to do, ever.  There's that Christian thing about the meek inheriting the earth and so on.  For me it's more like what you don't do, if you're smart and have anything of substance in your soul. You don't spread hate and fear and pain but the exact opposite, knowing how badly you needed someone to help you.

Those who love have felt unloved.
Those who know how to cherish have felt the pain of abandonment.
Those who seek to soothe pain have experienced deep hurt.
Those who laugh have lived without joy.
Those who listen with understanding have been ignored and rejected.
Those who care have been forgotten.
Those who do right have been mistreated greatly.

My point is we make the choice to create a better life for ourselves and for others.  Sometimes we forget that first we have to take care of ourselves. I've been talking a lot lately about listening to the inner voices.  We each have one or more of those that we need to re-connect with.

There is one voice I cannot come to grips with. Trust. I can say with almost complete certainty that I don't trust anyone.  It's one of those strange things that you can't find a person you can trust because you have to trust them to find them.  You have to put trust out there and see if it gets stomped on and chewed up.

I'll start again with Trust, it's too late now and my brain is scrambled.  If this doesn't make any damn sense tomorrow morning I'll delete it and start again.

Snow is coming.  I've got a new snow shovel, enough supplies to make chocolate chip cookes, asparagus with browned butter and maybe some Chicken Piccata (which I've never made but Cooking Light says I can).  And chicken soup, need that too.

Love you!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Break time...

Life is good and moves along but right now I need a short break and some private time.  Think of me on vacation or having some plastic surgery or being abducted by pirates or just being a bit burned out.

Look for me again next Sunday.

Here's a good quote:

 “To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread.”


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Moving on...

Life is good in Suzanne Land!  The Holbrooke was lots of fun last night, even if a big group of people insisted on standing in our dance space.  So we danced around them!

Snow last night, snow today, mostly slushy crap at this altitude.

Everything happens for a reason.  In retrospect it's good when my heart starts throwing the good china, smash some stuff up and start fresh.  I always have to remember to check in with my self worth, that little place down deep inside that stays pretty quiet.  It doesn't say much either way, either suffers in silence, starts to go gray and cold and eventually takes the rest of me with it.  On the other hand, if I'm paying attention and doing the right thing, that place becomes warm and bright and fuels my life with good things, makes everything MORE.

Peace to you and yours from me and mine.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


When in doubt, shoot.  I needed some extreme focus combined with a splash of violence so I went to The Range and shot lots of holes in blue targets.

Last time I went I bought a nice pair of ear protectors that have electronic voice assist and also have a plug in for my Ipod, how cool is that?  So I cranked up the music (Steve Earle) and spent a very happy hour trying to be better.  The self defense pistol is light, draws hard and long and has a short barrel so it's the most challenging to be accurate with.  It's not impossible but it is challenging.  The big .357 Magnum makes you feel like a bad ass and shoots easily and accurately.

For some reason I feel much better, what's with that?

It's all good.  I only think I'm in control.  Which makes me do stupid things. But in my own defense I think I get most frustrated when I feel undervalued.  That's when my heart starts to hurt, takes over, shuts down my brain and starts throwing the good china.

Music tonight at the Holbrooke, yeah!  I need it.  See you there huh?


Grab it before it's gone...Part Two

Seems that it's easy to say you want to make time for your lover, that this time your relationship is more important than the day to day things.  However, it's harder to actually do, or you forgot what you wrote in the beginning, or maybe you don't really care that much.

I don't know.  It doesn't really matter.  What matters is that my willingness to be a lesser part of anyone's life is limited. The hard part is knowing how good that relationship could have been and letting it go.  To let go of a dream and to allow a passion to cool.

So today my mood will match the weather.  I'll start up the fireplace, curl up with a blanket, drink some coffee and feel as grey and cold on the inside as it is on the outside. There's rain dripping down my windows and it seems to be inside too.

Tomorrow I'll shake it off and start again.  Today is for grieving..

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

WINTER is back.  It's wet and coolish and there is some snow expected this week.  Several inches of snow for my elevation, 5 to 10 above 2500 feet and up to four feet above 7000 feet, woot!  More snow means more water in the spring to fill up the reservoirs, excellent.  I may have to take the boys up for some snow play soon.  You haven't laughed hard until you've seen the little bulldozers plowing through deep snow.

I'm going to retreat into my studio with some hot tea and see if the muse wants to play.  I'd like to get a couple of resin pieces going, finish up the Corvette themed necklace I started...

Back to wet, stinky dogs, luckily I can keep a hose connected outside through the winter and do an underbody spray on them.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Lovers Day!

What could be bad about a day devoted to flowers, chocolate, champagne and other decadent things?

Oh, I know, missing that perfect person to share them with.  I'm practicing patience, not one of my strong qualities.

I'm thankful for the love I've received from my beloved friends, you bring me joy every day and make my life so much richer knowing you.

I wish you peace.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hello Crazy City!

The good new is I haven't lost my ability to drive in the big city.  I'm not sure what the bad news is as it was an outstanding weekend all around.  Maybe the bad new is I've gotten a bit cynical so I'm waiting for the bad news to arrive, which it does in direct proportion to how much you've enjoyed yourself and I enjoyed myself in huge amounts on this trip.

Here's the view from my hotel room.  Yeah, that's the skyline of San Francisco.
I was questioning myself on the way home today.  Why did I spend a huge amount to stay in this hotel?  In my old life this would have been something I barely thought about.  In this life it was a lot for me to spend.  Basically it was just fun to go back to that life for a couple of days. It was fun to have a huge staff of very attentive professionals wanting to please me.
This is the Claremont Resort and  Spa in Berkeley.  I took this picture this morning, it was foggy and grey.

It's quite the place.  And it was worth it.


Friday, February 11, 2011

New Adventure

I'm heading down to Berkeley for a big adventure.

Out of ten today I would say I'm four parts jazzed, two parts apprehensive, two parts curious, one part hopeful and one part scared to death.

I'm going to be staying at a beautiful hotel and resort in Berkeley.  Pictures to follow.


Thursday, February 10, 2011


"Thus nature has no love for solitude, and always leans, as it were, on some support; and the sweetest support is found in the most intimate friendship."
- Cicero

Once again I find myself trying to do things the hard way.  I'm damn stubborn.  I'm so lucky that my impulsive attitude hasn't damaged a good thing.  Though I do believe that a friendship that can withstand ups and downs and still endure only becomes richer, stronger and more soul satisfying.

Speaking of friendships - Wednesday night is music night at the Holbrooke.  It was most excellent fun.  I'm just not accustomed to going to bars but I'm learning to pace myself.  The challenge is to have enough fun without risking a serious conversation with the local policia.  So, couple of beers, lots of water and some dancing seems to be a good mix.

Simple things, music, friendship, dancing, a sleepy dog, a heartfelt conversation, a beloved voice, all these make life sweet. 

Peaceful dreams...

Monday, February 07, 2011

Name that Necklace

I've got some good suggestions coming in:

Hearts Afire
Falling Hearts
Pleasure Hearts
In your dreams
Dream on!
Wishful thinking
Blind Screaming Chaos
River of Hope
Chain of Love

Thanks!  The necklace along with the matching earrings is now installed at Art Works Gallery.  Plus about 50 other pieces.  I'm ready to Party!  I put my application in last October and I still can't believe it's happened.  I've got a bottle of sparkling wine and some beer and JD, come on over and help me celebrate!  I'm so happy I could hug myself!

I named the necklace Heart Throb.  Not half as creative as Blind Screaming Chaos and Anti-Chastity but it will do.

Love and Laughter to you!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Art Works Gallery

Tomorrow I move my jewelry into the Art Works Gallery on Mill Street in Grass Valley.  I'm so pleased to be joining this talented group and feel honored that they have selected me.

To celebrate the day and prepare for the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday I've been working on a very special piece.  It still doesn't have a name, though I was thinking of calling it Wild Sex and offering a money back guarantee.  Who the hell says I have to be politically correct?'re no fun.

So if that won't work give me some suggestions please.  It's a stunner, lays delightfully on the chest and drips suggestively into the decolletage.

Laughter is good for the soul.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Friday, February 04, 2011

Good morning World!

It's a great day!  I've been enjoying myself too much and not working enough, oops!  Which is totally going to bite me in the A** but oh well, tough.  Life is short, eat dessert first.

I forgot to say how awesome Wednesday nights are at the Historic Holbrooke Hotel in downtown Grass Valley.  It's open mic night, the band allows all sorts of guest artists to participate.  This week we had some fine talented people, one or two damn fine singers, a sax player and other assorted musicians.  I'd be more specific but it's that alcohol thing, one or two leaves me on my feet dancing but not really paying much attention beyond the crush of lovely men and women around me.  I do know that by the end of the night the music was HOT and that I'm looking forward to next week.

And I'm going to keep enjoying myself.  The weather is terrific, the nights clear and starry, the days warm and sunny.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Grab it before it's gone...

I've crossed the great divide between being a person in a relationship to a person seeking for one.  I feel like there is a secret code that is only revealed to us after we become single.  It's pretty simple really and if everyone actually paid attention to it there would be far fewer splits.  Unfortunately we don't bother until it's too late.

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER!  What do they need?  Are they getting it?  Can you provide it? Are you listening?  Do you even care?

Over and over I've heard the same thing, "This time I want us to remember that we as a couple are more important than the day-to-day things."  Why is that so hard and why do we only find it important when it's too late?

Nothing is more important than the bond between two people.

Yes, children are important.  Yes, jobs and making a living are important.  But the most important thing is that connection to the person you want to spend your life with.  The person you first chose.  And if you did it right your head didn't choose them, your heart did and it's far wiser.  That bond will carry you through anything that life throws at you, cherish it.

Quote for the Day -

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.

Erica Jong

Peace to you and yours from me and mine.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Perfect Day!

We headed down to one of our favorite spots, the Yuba River at Bridgeport for some mental and physical R&R.  It was well worth it, lots of sun, soul satisfying water noise and my two funny companions.  Now you can see why I found it so urgent to get back home and away from mass quantities of snow dumping on my friends East of here.
I love this shot of Bode, well, both of them actually, he's such a merry sort.
And a little video I made so you can hear the roar of the river and hopefully feel the sun on your face.
On the way back I saw these beautiful little masses of tiny plants growing on a rock face. (Make sure to click the photos to see them bigger.)
Outdoor therapy at it's best.  I don't know how I ever lived for 23 years in dreary Minnesota, bitter cold and frozen for months on end.  Oh yeah, the friends and family made up for it with their warmth and bright, sunny smiles.  Which is the thing friends do best, make our days brighter and warmer and worth living.  I'm badly missing many people I love with my whole heart.  Flying into Minneapolis always tugs at my heart.

The rest of the day was filled with mundane tasks.  I am trying madly to get things in order so I can disappear into my studio for a few days.  My muse hates messes and won't put up with my mind half attentive so first pay the bills, clean the house, unpack the bags, attend to the dogs, buy groceries and for pity's sake make some decent food (brown rice and veges tonight).

Well, time for food, more laundry, rest and a day to look forward to tomorrow.

Peace - fragile, hard won, easily lost, forever a hope in our heart of hearts.


Well, it took me 17 hours from the time I left my hotel in North Carolina to my arrival to my Treehouse but I did stand on my deck this morning, cold feet and hot coffee and two sweet, sweet furry boys cavorting around my feet.

The whole trip was this incredibly urgent and pressured adventure, trying to find a way out of there before a huge storm hit today.  A delayed plane made the Washington DC route impossible but I managed to find a fare to Detroit.  I barely made the connection there but once that was done it was all good.  I've never landed on a snowy runway before, seeing 20 snowplows lined up with lights flashing at the Minneapolis airport is quite impressive.  The rest of the flight to Sacramento was fine. I will admit that baggage claim was not as welcoming as a previous trip and the drive home used the last of my mental reserves.

This morning we are headed to the River.  I need some water to wash the travel fog from my brain and body.

Peace to you.