Sunday, February 24, 2013

Deck with overheads

My Contractor, Frank Whaley Construction, bolting the overheads together.

When we were trying to find a product that would span the 18 foot deck without central supports we rejected engineered wooden beams as too heavy and too expensive.  Thinking outside the box Frank wondered if we could use Trex under deck steel support system for a decorative but sturdy overhead.  I'm thrilled, it has exactly the look I was hoping for, clean and elegant but with some substance.



Friday, February 22, 2013


I've been on a major rant, haven't I?

Do I write more and better when I'm happy or when I'm not?  I've been sprinkling words on this page for two days now and keep starting and stopping, deleting and re-writing.

What do I really want to say?

I'd give up but there's something in my head that I need say.  Maybe I just really need to organize a feeling into thoughts.  Have you ever heard about people who think to speak vs. people who speak to think?  My Dad is a think to speak sort of person.  He'll cogitate on something for days and then the answer comes on fully formed, or at least his take on it.  I need to throw all my thoughts out onto a big invisible blackboard and then arrange them and re-arrange them in pretty groups and patterns until I get to a final product.  Often the end result isn't even on the board in the beginning.

I need people in my world.
People to listen to.
People who listen to me.
Someone to hug.
Laughing is good.
Bitching is always a plus.
Am I right?
Am I wrong?
Could I do better?  (Of course)
What's the right path?
Someone who cares that I'm alive.
Someone who would know if I wasn't.
A cheering squad of one or many.
Sharing the joy.
Stretching minds.

Not feeling like I live in a black hole.
Spinning around weightless.
Nothing to bump into.
Words and thoughts disappear.

Simple human connection.

Well, I think I'll go and move some things around in the garage.
It's enough for now.


Robin Roundup

The robins are here in mass,
big fat robins,
drinking from the fountain,
eating the red berries,
flitting about,
scratching in the leaves,
being robinish,
welcome back.

And now two Stellars Jays,
inky indigo blue,
keeping track of the robins,
making sure they don't get anything good,
not wanting to miss a handout,
noisy but beautiful.


Monday, February 18, 2013


I'm cranky, crabby, cantankerous, crazed and slightly depressed.

Bad time of year, bad time of life,
trying to find a sunny day in my gloomy weather report.

I just read a withering report of a musical event someone wrote on her blog, it's so damn great I could stand up and cheer.  I'm not as articulate as she is and rarely love or hate anything with quite her intensity but it sure is fun when someone has a bad mood that matches my own.

What's with clothes on dogs?

Why would you bring your stupid little dog into a salon? Worse yet, into the facial/waxing/tweaking part of the salon?  Do Chihuahuas need waxing?

Do not bump me with your cart in the grocery store.  Can you not see that you've parked your cart right in the middle of the aisle?  Does being old make you special?  However, yes do ask me to get things off the high shelves for you, really.

Strollers, ack!  Yes, we know Mommy's precious is hard to carry but at least recognize that you cannot get said GIGANTIC freaking stroller into some places.

Back to dogs.  I'm making my dogs behave while you walk by with yours.  I am not waiting just so you can let your out of control pooch rush over to "say Hi!".  Ask me first please, mostly because my two are going to overwhelm your one and the leash tangles are nuts.

Best Buy, two days before Christmas and she hasn't a freaking clue which Kindle she wants to buy.  How about doing some research before you stroll in and monopolize a sales clerk for 45 minutes being INDECISIVE.  Kill me now.

Merge people, merge.  I know you probably didn't have a CHP father teaching you to drive.  He said, "Find a spot and get in it."  Which means you've got to be going close to 55 before you reach the end of the on ramp.

If you have the red light and want to turn right, stop first, look and then proceed when it's clear.  Do not roll through it and then look surprised when I don't or can't get out of your way.

Flicking your cigarette butt out your window.  Or throwing anything of of your car window.  This more than anything makes me want to shoot out your tires, then grab you by the neck and make you pick up the stupid trash and eat it.

My Dad also said that when you lose your temper you don't make anyone miserable except yourself.  I say that writing it all down makes me feel really good.  And then I feel sort of bad because none of it is really that bad, just sort of annoying.  Except for the trash part, that's bad, really, really bad.  And dangerous in fire country.

Good stuff:

Kisses from Dandy.

Really kind people, those that smile even when they are having a hard time.

A friend who texts R U OK?

Hugs from anyone, unless you're contagious, then back off, because it's only...

36 more days until I get to push that GIGANTIC stroller around.

Having my Dad and Mom stop in to say hi and check out the new deck.

Strapping on a gun belt and blowing holes in things.

A pile of pillows and a really warm comforter.

Smiles and tail wags from Bode.

Remembering this is my bug-a-boo time of year and being ok that my energy level is really low.

And a million other things,

Peaceful dreams.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Kitty girl loves the night

My Valentine present to myself, painted by Sheila Cameron.  Sheila has a unique and beautiful view of the world and how we individually see, experience and process it.  She spent years in the fast moving SoCal entertainment industry and now she lives with us in our small but rich corner in the woods.

This says so much to me on so many different levels, none that I can articulate.  I just knew I had to be able to look at it everyday.  Loving the night, a glowing heart, wildlife and flowers, transformation, love, gratitude, serenity, solitude, thankfulness, beauty, it's all there.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Deck update

So, the deck is getting it's deck, how cool is that?

Now we're planning the railings, which will be made of wire cattle panels.

And finally the steel beams will go up overhead, which will allow me to hang all sort of interesting things, lamps and string lights and whatnot.

And then the couch will come out, all ready for some star gazing.

It's much better than I thought, I'm so lucky.

Better pictures tomorrow.

Today was highlighted by doing some custom work for a really nice lady.  We discovered we both have had major life events that have changed us in good ways.  We celebrate waking each day to living our life on this incredible planet.  It's a good thing, being thankful for today, knowing that tomorrow is not guaranteed in our contract.


Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Deck

Sounds sort of simple but this deck is going to expand and improve my life tremendously.  Our weather is so nice for the majority of the year this becomes another living space, one that is almost twice as big as my living room.  It will have room for a table and chairs and my big sectional outdoor couch.  I will be drinking my coffee out there in the morning and sitting around with girlfriends sipping wine and whatnot and stretching out to do some star watching late at night.  I think it will need a hammock too, why not sleep out there on warm nights?


They call us Makers, people who make things.  Now I get to watch this Maker do his thing, crafting this great space from lumber, it's so much fun.

The old steps are torn off and the footings have been dug and poured.  Bode is helping by annointing everything new, gotta keep him away from the tools.  Dandy wants to help with whatever is in the lunchbox.

That fast the beams go up, way up, gotta have lots of space to put the metal pergola over top.


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Busy Bee


Catching up on a million things that haven't gotten done while I was in Relationship Land or maybe I'm trying to occupy myself so I don't think about Relationship Land, you choose.

Either way, it's really good to get some things done, nothing too terribly exciting but little project victories are really gratifying.

I found a bunch of old picture frames, cleaned them up and painted them white, eventually they will become cork boards to hold gemstones.  It's so much fun to take a mismatched group of old things and unify them with paint.

I realize now that my studio has felt pretty dismal for the last year or two.  I was so lucky to have a fine and beautiful space in Minnesota.  I looked out big windows to lush green lawns stretching out to a thick and beautiful forest.  The flower beds were so wonderful, big, dense clumps of daylillies, iris of every color and masses of purple coneflowers, carpets of creeping phlox and sedum.  It was a heavenly place.  I would take my morning coffee and sit in the hot tub, watch the cardinals and other birds flit about.  The furry boys would hang out, sniff and chase the kitty around on the lawn.

Now the kitty lives in Texas, chasing her chicken friends.  The boys and I are here and up to now I haven't had a really appealing studio space.  I really liked working around a bunch of other artists but the space just wasn't what my head needed.

It needs to be beautiful.

I forgot that.  That's my first requirement for any project, the most important quality for anything that surrounds me.  Taking the time to make the space beautiful means my head is in the right place when I work.  The rest is easy and fun.


Monday, February 04, 2013

Fifty Thousand

Fifty Thousand page views coming up, with 2000 of them coming from other countries, thanks!

I'm in major transition right now, immersing myself in projects both planned and new.  I can't wait to get into my new studio though I'm almost afraid to actually sit down and work.  Of course, I don't have a chair to sit down on, the new bench is taller than I've had in the past, but that will be remedied soon.  I'm itching to tackle some enamel.  I'd like to add some color to my fine silver.  I wish I could just dip the silver earrings into molten glass.  And the flowers and twined silver vines will begin to expand.

The deck will progress tomorrow.  I'm such a Pollyanna sometimes.  The permit process sucks big time and everyone told me to forget it and just build without a permit.  I can't do that, especially since I spent so much time house hunting and saw so many houses with unpermitted improvements, it's just not worth it.  But I definitely understand why people say to hell with it.  The permit cost me over $700 dollars, with another $950 going to the Engineering company that did the site plan, which has to go in to the County for the permit approval.  WTF?  One Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty dollars for bureaucracy?  That's just crazy.

I'm going a bit Grandmother crazy, she's growing and changing everyday and I'm missing it.  I get pictures almost every day and the sweet knowledge that I'm being majorly appreciated makes me smile.  I thought they didn't need me anymore, it's nice to be wrong.

I was walking out of the market last night and couldn't believe how beautiful the night sky was, streaked with pink and yellow and orange blended with popcorn clouds.  The air was cool and clean and I smiled and thought how lucky I am.  For years and years I yearned to live here, to be a part of this foothill mountain community and now that I am here I rejoice every day.  It's ten times better than I ever imagined, so much a part of who and what I am.  Early morning cups of espresso, late night glimpses of starry sky peeking through tall trees, friends and art and laughing in between, it's all good.

Up ahead I start volunteer training at the Empire Mine, then blacksmith apprentice training after that.  I can't wait to get dirty and pound some metal.  Another trip to Texas.  Spring will come after that which will bring the farmers market and river swimming and all the great summer things.

It's good, peace to you and yours.

Saturday, February 02, 2013


My way through way too much.

Joy, intense, all consuming joy.

Too much thinking, about babies and daughters and sons and lovers,

Too many projects, traveling, and the holidays and tearing out and moving my old studio and creating a new studio space that both works and is beautiful, building projects inside and outside.  The big deck finally in progress, holes dug in the ground, anticipation of mornings outside with coffee.

Emotions, crying and laughing and wishing for more time.

Grief, leaving them in one way or another, waking up 2000 miles away and knowing that rubbing my lips on that soft head wasn't going to happen today.

Fear, is it even possible?  Can I?  It doesn't seem so but I keep hoping.

Planning for the future, a new gallery soon, ideas bubbling up, almost there, almost ready.

Security and comfort, gained any way I can, dogs with big soft ears on my lap easing the burning smell of an engine always running too fast.