Tuesday, March 31, 2009

rude awakening

this morning i was woken up by a pair of plastic legs falling on my head. they belong to the wangly, dangly, glow-in-the-dark, plastic skeleton that hangs from a string on the dragonfly sconce above the bed. it seems that gravity had got the best of it and with a plop, the legs dropped and ricocheted off the headboard. from there they slid and skid and plopped atop my head. i had been laying there in that cool morning haze where you know you need to get up and shower otherwise you may sleep the day away. and i knew i had to get up and shower soon as the construction crew would arrive shortly and they are still working in the bathroom next door.

i'm not sure what startled me more, the pop of the plastic hitting the headboard or the dangly drop of bony feet on my head. either way, i startled awake to begin my day. the sound the legs made as they dropped reminded me of an alarm clock. many years before the mister, i was involved with a fella who professed a fondness for marvin the martian (among other things). not long after we started dating i gifted him with a marvin alarm clock for his birthday. it was shaped like his spaceship and when it was time to alarm, a small modeled marvin would shoot out of the top and bellow:

"wake up Earthling, we havn't got all light year!"

now, this voice was loud and echoey and loud and wouldn't shut up until you whacked him back into his spaceship. as loud and annoying as marvin was, his voice isn't what woke you up, it was the sound the plastic mechanisms made to shoot his little body out of the top of the ship. that clickity-clackity pop of a clack would startle the sanity right out of you. for a long, long time, we continued to set the alarm and wake-up with this insanity and after a while, our bodies developed a rhythm of sorts and we could wake-up seconds before the startling clack. our eyes would open and marvin would clackity clack up out of the ship and holler his good morning. with a satisfied smirk, one of us would then wallop him back into the ship and thus our day would begin.

Monday, March 30, 2009

the week in review: mar 23-29

the week was spent in the busy dizzy throes of sick and ick and funk and junk. let's hope this week is better.

Friday, March 27, 2009

words and pictures: cozy

even in the middle of this funk, i am loving the weather change here. people who are not from l.a. refuse to believe we have seasons, but we do. they may not be as showy and colorful as most but they come when most needed to carry us through until the next change. spring in los angeles can be hot, very hot. it can be gray and moody. it can be crisp and clear. it can be windy as all get out. spring days in los angeles are funky and odd and can feel like any other funky and odd day here in lalaland. it's the mornings that are magical.

this morning i was too comfortable, too cozy to get up and out of bed. it wasn't the funk that kept me in my cocoon or the vintage soft caress of the floral bedding that wrapped me up in sixties love. it wasn't exactly the amber sunlight that peeked through the ugly cracks in the hideous plastic shade pulled down over the window.* it was a combination of all these things that rested a cozy crown upon my head as my toes searched for a new patch of cool to tickle under the covers. this is the best kind of cozy. the kind where the day feels like vintage paper flowers and fresh brewed lavender tea. where the light is just so and whispers of spring. it's the kind where your eyes flutter shut for a moment or two while you revisit that dream full of southern bohemian spirit. it's the kind of cozy where no matter where you stretch your limbs under the covers you are at once slightly chilled and cozy, warm all at the same time. it's the kind of cozy where the birds and their twittering, their chittering and chattering drown out all traffic, even the muffferless cars. it's the kind of cozy that you gather up about you, that you knit into the most lovely of memories and carry with you for the rest of the day.

it's my kind of cozy and i hope it stays.

*we really need to replace that shade!

check out more posts about cozy over at meet me at mikes!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

like clockwork

i've been in the funkiest of funks lately. my head is cloudy, foggy and i feel sad, sad, sad. i want to pick up and start over somewhere where no one knows me and i can be the odd quiet lady up on the hill who never comes outside and just may very well be a witch. i ache. i ache for the me i am not, for the me i could be if i just got my act together, for the me that i want to be. i ache. school is tough, this session around. the workload is overwhelming and with the funk, it feels heavier and almost impossible. the construction all around me doesn't help. my health doesn't help. the mister's own funk, doesn't help. the cloudy, foggy mess that is my brain simply doesn't help. i am aware that life isn't all doom and gloom. i am aware that i am quite lucky and i think that makes it worse. who am i to feel such a funk? i've got a good thing going here. i am loved by my mister and my nifty, lovely friends and i am lucky. i am, i know this yet, like clockwork, i feel the funk. it's mania. it's wretched. it's confusing as all get out.

for a few weeks now it has been difficult waking in the morning. it has been difficult sleeping through the night. the bad brain has been pretty active and things simply slip, slip, slip away. the ups and downs make me dizzy and crazy-tired all at the same time. i feel out of control and incapable and slightly crazy to be feeling any of this in the first place and then the guilt shoulders its way in. i feel up, i feel down, i feel good, i feel wretched. i want to disappear, i want to pass out flowers on the street. it's mania. it's wretched. it's confusing as all get out.

i've caught a cold that has morphed into something else and it has thieved away my newly recovered sense of smell. i am mourning this loss like there's no tomorrow and i feel stupid for it. yet, at the same time, this loss keeps me disconnected from the world. there is a foggy, silence of scent all about me that makes me feel flat and two dimensional and unreal and disconnected. the tears, the sobs, the silent sadness. the smiles, the guffaws, the small bursts of inspiration. it's mania. it's wretched. it's confusing as all get out. and then i see the calendar, i see what day today is and i get it. i hate it, that it effects me like this, but i get it.

i think this year is so difficult because of last year. last year was really trying and sad for me. this year hasn't been a hardship at all but the memories of last year threaten to steal it all away. today is my mother's birthday. she has been gone for ten years and still, i am sad. still, i miss her so i have to remind myself to breathe. today is her birthday and she isn't here. today is her birthday and my grandmother isn't here. today is here birthday and i have nothing left of her to carry me through, not even the hope of a daughter i could tell her stories to. it's mania. it's wretched. it's confusing as all get out. i miss my mother, i mourn my grandmother and i ache for a daughter i will never have. i think then, that it is okay to feel this way. it will pass. it's mania. it's wretched. it's confusing as all get out, but it will pass.
my mom as a teen

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


don't you love it when you do something odd in the moment and it works? i received a lovely surprise package from a lovely lady and she tied it all up with an assortment of orange yarn. i didn't want the yarn to disappear in the mess that is the casa so i jetted to the living room to wander through the chest of drawers to see what i could find. this is what i found. isn't she grand?

Monday, March 23, 2009

the week in nreview: mar 16-21

spent most of the week at home noodling around and reading for class, with a weekend drive up to visit family thrown in. what i didn't do was write, write, write. this week? i have to write, write, write. and now mr. a-go-go and i both have colds. crikey!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

like a rubberband

it seems as if tiny evil rubber band imps have snuck into my mouth as i slept. what workable jaw hinge i have been playing with as of late has been wrapped tightly by invisible threads. not fun. if there are any aetna file reviewer types out there please note that i need to get my mouth fixed and it would be best for you to cover it firstly. i need a review of my review.

thank you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

happy go lucky pin tutorial

this morning i couldn't decide if i was going to go all out and wear green from head to toe or do what i usually do and put a smidge of green on but with impact. if it ain't broke, don't fix it, so i went with a black dress and green footless tights. the green tights weren't quite as green on as they were in the drawer so i rushed about the tiny casa looking for something i could whip up into something.the chaos goddess was with me when my eyes spied a happy stack of felt squares. i'd make a shamrock brooch! but then i thought i needed something more than felt so frantically tossed craft supplies willy-nilly looking for scraps of green fabric. wouldn't you know it, the fabric scraps had decided to hide from me so i was frantic, i tell ya! frantic! i swooped in and picked up a zipper pouch and found a treasure inside. fabric yo-yos hand-stitched by my mamos from my old clothes and such. there were green yo-yos! happy green gingham yo-yos about the size of a quarter. so i made happy yoyo shamrock pins. check it out! i stitched my yo-yos to the felt square and glued on the ribbon and pin-back. i had about ten minutes to whip up a trio of them before the more-than-fabulous stacey (the lovely model above) arrived to whisk me off for a thrifting adventure. you can of course whip them up however you will or you can turn them into flowers or other such happiness, either way, they are quick, they are easy and they are happy. have fun!

Monday, March 16, 2009

the week in review

today i feel like Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. no real reason, just a series of icks. looking at this week in review makes it only slightly better and then i think of all the things i didn't get to. aack! the week was spent taking care of all those things you have to take care off. important phone calls, school work and deadlines (one of which i have failed so i need to log off...now!) hope you all have a most pleasant and dazzling of weeks. over and out for now!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

words & pictures: school lunches

Pip over at Meet Me at Mike's has started a nifty blog along inspired by Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. Since I have oodles of papers for school to write that I am so very good at putting off, I thought that maybe adding another assignment would help get those words out. All you have to do is post a picture and write a little somethin' somethin'. I almost went with a haiku for my first post but I couldn't figure out where to start so you get the ramble, ramble.The kick off theme is school lunches, here we go!

I was a free lunch kid. In grade school they would put our little white cards up on the lip of the blackbird to collect just before lunch time. The cards were white with red and black writing and had little boxes on them that got punched out with each meal. My school served breakfast and lunch and if you had a white card you got it for free. Most of the kids in my class got a card so it wasn't too big a deal but man oh man, did I envy those kids walking out to a separate lunch area with brown bag lunches and those fabulous metal lunch boxes shaped like school buses and such. Pizza day be damned, I wanted desperately to have a lunch box with a peanut butter sandwich and ding-dongs tucked away inside. I think my mom was able to pack me a lunch only once and I had to brown bag it but I didn't care, I got to sit with the kids with all the variety. It didn't matter that the jelly on their sandwiches had seeped through the sticky white bread. It didn't matter that their apple juice got warm or their zinger got squished. This was the life and I wanted to be a part of it.

Eventually I ended up working in the cafeteria for my free lunch. Free lunches by way of the meal plan were awkward by the time I reached fifth grade and if you worked in the cafeteria you got a free lunch and it was cool. Sometimes, you even got a special lunch if Roberta the cafeteria lady liked you and you didn't really dig the burritos. If you were fast, you got to do trays which involved pulling down a tray and adding a plastic wrapped napkin and spork combo. Sporks! My cousin & I started a spork collection there were so many different colors. Each spork came numbered and we made it a competition to see who could get as many in sequence as possible. I liked the blue sporks and kept my collection in a sticky-tacky yellow tupperware container small enough to cart around with me but large enough to house my growing collection.

By the time junior high rolled around, I was selling my lunch tickets for half the cost of a hot lunch and using my dollar to buy a carton of milk and the best frosted brownies ever! I can still recall that flavor if I close my eyes and breathe in slowly. When I got to high school, I made my cousin bring me brownies home they were that good! Don't think too poorly of me, after my first semester in junior high, I formally quit the free lunch program and managed to sustain myself with sandwiches from home. I didn't have any friends to eat with in seventh or eight grade so I got a job working in the library at lunch time. It was easier pretending to be busy than being lonely and odd. Ninth grade got much better as I found a small group of girls willing to hang out with me and I even managed to maintain those friendships once we went to high school.

In high school I bogarted my friend's G.I. Joe Lunchbox. She had altered it to be a snarky commentation on the military and I loved it. Then my brother picked me up an old Scooby-Do box and I scored a Hardy Boys box in perfect condition for fifty cents. I was finally one of the cool kids with a lunchbox. Granted, I was seventeen at this point and considered quite odd but I didn't care. Every lunch period we would sit in our small cluster and eat. That is unless it was Pizza Day when I would have my mom order us a pizza from Hungry Howie's and we would have it delivered to our spot. Two for the price of one. All the leftovers were passed along to my cousin or the nice guy on the basketball team that I had been in school with forever. One of my gals and I would switch off who made lunches. Sometimes I would make our lunch, roast beef sandwiches on toasted whole wheat toast with american cheese, mayo and lettuce. And sometime she would, turkey. It was a nice system and then I got addicted to carrot sticks and ate so many I turned orange. Literally.

For a long time after that, people would get me lunchboxes and I still love them but have nowhere to put them. Inside, I tuck (stuff) away mementos (junk) and put them up on a shelf. When I got this box down to photograph it for the post, I realized I hadn't peeked inside in years. Here's what I found:

*wooden nickel celebrating the centenial of Rockford, Ill.
*picture of my highschool buddy, Margie who I miss dearly
*photo of me back when I lived with the Jimi fanatic
*1992 newspaper clipping on Nick Cave
*letter from my favorite pen-pal, also missed, Amuah if yer out there, Hello!
*real Nottingham Lace edged hankie, in package
*1980's pic of my cat with a comic bubble on it
*an even earlier pic of my mom in a fabulous bathing suit & sunglasses

Lidsville really IS the kookiest!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

spring sprang sprung

spring is sprunging away outside the tiny dusty casa. we now wake up to the chirp, chirp, chirping of tiny birds out in the garden. there are house finches, mockingbirds, mourning doves, hummingbirds, linnets and starlings that snap, crackle and pop for the first few hours of sunshine. those starlings make such a funny clamor and then i am over it because they never seem stop! seriously, they snap, crackle and pop.

the early morning sunlight streams in through the teeny tiny kitchen and i feel inspired even if only for a moment. it was bright enough and warmish enough this morning to fix myself up a breakfast smoothie but now of course, as i sit here type, type, typing away, i have pulled my hoodie up over my head and gathered the couch quilt about my shoulders. even the witch-baby is trying her best to sneak into my lap for something warm to lay upon until my fingers, dancing over her head irk her enough to bite then hiss so that she pushes off with a claw to my leg and huffs herself to the dining table where she will stick her pink nose out the cracked open window and watch the hummingbirds zoom by. this is how the mornings flow in the tiny casa until the workmen arrive and the saws begins their work. soon enough, the morning song of the birds will be replaced by the cacophonous orchestra of nail guns, hammers, saws and the cranberries as one of the crew seems to really like them. so for now, i huddle in my quilty cocoon drinking up the coldest of fruity smoothies flickring away, catching up on blogs and planning my escape which just may be an episode or two of Gilmore Girls with the volume turned up or I may camp out in the teeny tiny kitchen and whip up some shortbread or play with the cookbooks until dinner is planned. either that or a visit to school to be good and do schoolwork. it is hard to take care of business when the noise drowns everything out. may your day be filled with song and laughter and may you accomplish more than i. happy tuesday!

Monday, March 09, 2009

the week in review: march 2-8

it was our anniversary week! four years hitched, six years together and what did we do? why, we jumped of course! click here for more info on the week cause you know you wanna know all about that little orange house there...

Friday, March 06, 2009


i'm in a funk. it's been a very long, not so fun and kinda boring funk. it's the kind where i have to zip it up and let fester or i end up whine, whine, whining about everything and anything. it's the kind where any unkind word is not well received, the kind where the unhappiness of others and their funks spins me into tears. there may or may not be valid reasons for this funk. there are actually, quite a few, but i'm not going to go into them. all i can say is, i'm in a funk and i'm ready for it to go away. each time i think it is on its way out, the hammering (or sawing or nail gunning) from next door drives it right back in. it is unpleasant and i don't like it. but i am doing my best to look outward for tiny, happy, colorful things to crack this ickiness. so, here is a wee bit of story that used to have a photo to go along with it but got lost in one of my great flickr purges..

may it bring you out of you funk or may it partner up with mine so that we can have a party when the time comes...in the tiny casa there are many drawers that the mister had set up for things to be stored. each drawer has an actuall assortment meant to be nestled inside. if you remember the scissors post, you may remember that i am not exactly the most organized person and getting things back to where they belong is just not my strong suit. one of these drawers is for glue. it rests atop the drawer set aside for tape. you may wonder why we don't combine them and have a single drawer for adhesives. in their defense, the drawers are small and i, well...i have alot of adhesives. currently, i have been dabbling in projects (and thinking of dabbling in projects) that are best friends with mod podge. normally, the mod podge (matte if you really want to know) is often being removed from the glue drawer and brought into the kitchen or dining nook or living room floor, it all depends on where i have eeked out some room to play. the play, may or may not happen and if the mod podge does not find its way back into the drawer it may go missing in this tiny messy casa and i may feel a need to go out and get more. the problem with that is that while it seems to be inexpensive, it isn't really. i tend to buy the larger size which sits around $8 or so buckaroos...eight buckaroos can get me milk, butter, eggs and bread which i can then turn into a all sorts of yumminess. the other problem is that we all know it is quite impossible to cruise into a craft store for mod podge and not come out of with $73 of i-don't-know-what that you just HAD to have. so, for the sake of being honest. the going out and purchasing of mod podge can be quite dangerous to your handcrafted pocketbook.

to keep me from purchasing more mod podge, i am currently keeping it on the kitchen sink. i tell the mister that it is there so i won't lose it and that it also looks quite pretty next to my 7-up soap dispenser (the one i have had since my very first apartment from almost two decades ago). he gives a grrr and an eye roll and tells me that if i put it back in the glue drawer i wouldn't lose it. for me to put it back into the glue drawer would require moving the ironing board out of the way which would shift the many piles of crafty, um, stuff and then i would have to make sure to hold Billy's foot and body in place while i opened the drawer so that he wouldn't shift and fall much later on freaking out both the mister and the cat. Billy, if you are wondering is a vintage life-guard dummy about the size of a four year old. he sits atop the tiny chest that houses the adhesives (and a bottom drawer of dolls and junk). upon his head is piled an assortment of hats and paper crowns. he wears a harley davidson t-shirt with a leather fringed jacket and a pair of saddle shoes. i have never known him to wear pants and keep meaning to buy him some at the thrift but always manage to decide that another vintage pillowcase set is much more important than his pants. poor Billy. i even drove around with Billy in the back seat of the car for a good year there when i had brought him to the photobooth but then parked too far to feel like carrying him home. he sat in the backseat all buckled in and sometimes i forgot he was there until i caught his face in the rear view mirror whilst driving home all alone in the late, late hours causing me to scream, heart hammering and such. more than once i would come out of the supermarket finding a circle of people around the car with cell phones out calling child services. very angry people. while i appreciate them doing their duty and looking out for the little ones, i was always amazed because Billy does not look real if you really. really look. but this is a story of mod podge and i'm not even sure why. i guess it is because of the picture up there. it makes me happy, it makes me smile and with the hammering up that has started, quite literally about four feet from my head, i need little things to make me smile.

i think it's time to head out and run away from the noise. maybe i'll go to school and work on some papers. maybe i'll take a walk somewhere and take pictures of yellow things or maybe i'll hit the thrift store and finally get Billy a pair of pants. whatever i do, i'm going to take the funk with me and if i'm lucky maybe it will find a new home with a squirrel or something.

Monday, March 02, 2009

the week in review: feb 23-mar 1

it was my birthday all week...whee! this week will be a bit less fun-filled but today is our anniversary so there has to be some fun involved. happy march!