July 23, 2014
I am reading Hitchhiking with Larry David.
It’s dreadful.
Synopsis: This guy breaks up with his girlfriend of 2 years (big deal) and runs to Martha’s Vineyard where his elderly parents have a summer house – (he tries to say it’s a lousy cabin but is anything on MV lousy?). He’s middle aged and once owned an entertainment marketing company or something and made a heap of money but gave it up for happiness. He hitchhikes all over Martha’s Vineyard wasting time going out for coffee and pizza and gets picked up by Larry David as well as other rich/famous people. He connects with one homeless woman to show he’s just a regular guy. He also gets picked up by a woman with a little girl who is going to see her pony and she shakes his hand solemnly and says something exceptional that amazes him.
 He easily falls into conversation with all of these folks and they in turn get philosophical and Dr. Phil-ish about love and happiness and it goes nowhere. The conversations are contrived, pointless and boring. I don’t care about his ex. I don’t care about the bird that shit on him. I don’t care about the moment he had with a horse.
Pretty, pretty, pretty bad.

Brown etched egg

February 19, 2014


This is a brown etched chicken egg. I like the simple design and the rich colors. I don’t quite remember how I got the gold, but it was after the blue. A light acid wash after the blue, then a dip in lemon yellow or maybe golden wheat? That sounds about right.

Dyes are tricky – at least for me. And I don’t visualize the colors very well in my head so it’s all sort of a crap shoot.



Lily My One and Only

February 8, 2014


Look at those eyes! Oh Lily.

Tomorrow will be 2 months since we said goodbye. We miss you every day – your silly ways and your loud, steady purr.

You were in the shelter for four months before we adopted you. Animal Control picked you up right here in town and at the shelter they named you after the street you were found on, Jordan. The description they had written about you said “I’m not pretty but…” No accounting for some peoples’ taste because you were a beauty both inside and out. Everyone loved you because you loved everyone.

The volunteer that pointed you out to us said you were a really, really sweet cat. So I picked you up out of the cage and you put your paws around my neck and in that  moment I fell in love with you.

So much character, so much charm. The poop horn, the little following game you played with Zelda when I was getting your food, the higgledy piddledy way you ran, your many and varied nap spots and always the purrrrrrr. Your purr was the remedy for many lousy things that happened over 13 years.

Love you and miss you Lulubell.

In which I dress up like a barrista for Halloween

November 1, 2013

I’m reading some Thomas Merton these days and thinking maybe it will somehow rub off. Maybe I’ll become a nicer person – more at peace – less pissed off.

And there’s a sweet little old lady waiting for her ride in the lobby. So I say “Can I get you anything? Would you like a cup of coffee?” And she says she would – she’d like half a cup. Can I do that? So I say “I can make a full cup and pour half out!” And I say it with enthusiasm too, like I really am excited to do this for her. I say it as if I’ve been waiting all day for someone to ask me to do just this.

As I head back to the kitchen she says “And I like it weak.” And I’m all like “What the fuck?” What’s the point of weak coffee? Just drink tea then, or water. But then the ghost of Thomas Merton floats before me because after all it’s Halloween.

I look in the cupboard where someone has successfully been hoarding K-cups. I see dark bold, donut house, half caf, vanilla biscotti, chocolate donut. I pick the least offensive one, a mild roast, brew it up and take it to her with a little napkin and she says again how she likes it weak.

“Well, we have a Keurig,” I say.  She says “I hate those. I got rid of mine. That coffee is too strong.” I say “Well you might not like this then. ” She tastes it and says “Wow! That will put hair on your chest. The way my son makes it is he makes the coffee and adds hot water to it.” And instead of throwing the scalding coffee in her face, the ghost of Thomas Merton makes me say “Do you want me to do that? I can add hot water to it. ”   “Oh would you? Do you like coffee? I like coffee.” But of course really she doesn’t. She likes water mixed with a little coffee.

I take the coffee back to the kitchen, pour half of it out and add hot water. It still looks like black coffee but I know it tastes like water dredged up from the bottom of a river.  I take it back to her and she’s still being all tiny and sweet and I notice she can hardly even move because she’s so old. I smile and laugh a lot and say she’s lucky to have a son who knows how to make perfect coffee the way she likes it (God bless him).

A little while later she leaves. I go  pick up the cup and it’s still half full of coffee. And it was only half full to begin with because she specifically asked for only half a cup. She didn’t drink any of it. I’ll never know if it’s because the coffee was still too strong and not watery enough, or it it’s because her son came before she had a chance to drink it. And I guess it doesn’t really matter.


September 14, 2013

zelda cool

I dreamed about you the other night. I heard you meowing. You always were a great conversationalist. In my dream, I went to the kitchen and there you were, standing on the tile floor looking tiny and peevish. I picked you up and cuddled you and buried my face in your fur. I could smell you and feel the silkiness even in my dream. I woke up happy that I’d dreamed of you and sad that it was only a dream.

This afteroon I went out to get the mail  and I kind of looked for you when I came back into the house. Old habits and I guess I wasn’t really thinking. It’s just that you were always waiting at the door for me, even if I only went out for a minute.

I miss you when I change my sheets. One of your favorite games was to race under the sheet and start kicking and spitting while I was trying to tuck it in. You were so tough, so feisty and yet such a fraidy cat around strangers.

I’ve been baking. Today I made key lime muffins. There’s no butter in them, but I think you liked to lick the crumbs anyway. Silly kitty and her sweet tooth.

You were my stalker. You always made me feel loved.

My dee. I miss you.





June 2, 2013


…busy feathering my nest and being Springy.

In preparation for breaking up with the bedroom carpeting I weeded out a bunch of stuff and made multiple trips to the library, Humane Society Thrift Store and Goodwill. I just couldn’t work up the energy to have a garage sale. It’s so much work and so much easier to donate stuff.

Although I loved my cheery yellow bedroom I wanted a change. This time around  I painted my bedroom a lovely soft greenish-greyish-blue (Valspar Belle Grove Valley Fog). It was nice not to have to coordinate the wall color with the now faded blue carpeting.

Around this same time my daughter was moving into her first apartment – or at least the first one she is renting alone, without itinerant, filthy roommates. I planned a day off  for an Ikea Adventure which quickly turned into 2 days off because how can you buy all of Ikea in 1 day? And who cares about work? Not me.

Day 1 of the install, the crew of 2 arrived, the cats bolted,  and furniture was piling up  in my bathroom before I’d had a chance to gather what I’d need for the Great Ikea Adventure. I grabbed a couple of tshirts, and my toothbrush and took off for Winter Park. I admired the apartment then we snacked on chocolate croissants and coffee.

Ikea! I know everyone else has been shopping at Ikea and eating the meatballs for like 15 years, but what can I say? I live in that part of Florida with those kinds of people – the ones who shop at Beall’s Outlet and Rugs As Art. There are only 3 Ikeas in all of Florida, which is part of the allure.

I actually got a scratchy throat from oohing and aahing over everything. I know it’s geared toward young people who don’t have a lot of money. Well I fit that description except for the young part.  I’ve always liked doing things like shoving my furniture around and painting rooms and hanging things on the walls and just attempting to make life prettier.

We bought a bunch of stuff and then bought some more. All the stuff I should have had when I was a newlywed in my first apartment but didn’t because I had the hand me down gold fake french provincial chairs and the refrigerator with rooster decals on the front. What? Yeah. That’s another story.

We carried boxes – the ones that would fit in my car that is. Some things had to be delivered. We assembled chairs and a table and a dresser.We MacGyvered something that wasn’t quite right. We hammered and allen wrenched.  We made nouns into verbs. I bought a few things for my home too, and woke up early the next day to assemble the POÄNG chair I’m sitting in right now.

In other news, my cats have intentionally been pooping on the new floors. Guess they aren’t impressed with my eye for design.

Lawn flowers

April 6, 2013


Spring. Lovely Spring.

These wildflowers are from my lawn.  Don’t correct me and call them weeds. They are delicate flowers that I didn’t plant so that qualifies them to be called wildflowers.

Somewhere in suburbia a woman with fake nails and capri pants is harping at her husband to cut the damn lawn already. But not at my house.


March 26, 2013


When I was little we used to go visit the relatives in Pennsylvania at Easter.  We’d always get big coconut eggs but we didn’t get our real Easter baskets until we got home.  There were usually flowers blooming in PA. It was a lot more spring-like than where we lived in upstate NY. We had Easter hats and dresses.

I knew the Easter bunny was real. Mom and Dad were with us in Pennsylvania. The door was locked and no one was home but the Easter bunny got in anyway. Because he was Magic.

I wasn’t suspicious when Dad had to go inside the house first to check to see if the bunny had come.  Childhood innocence  is a wonderful thing.

Here are two festive eggs to go along with that touching story. I had some trouble with the bunny egg. There must have been a crack or pin hole because after the first few dips in the dye it  developed little white spots. I got a tip from other Pysankers  to unplug the hole, let the egg dry out, then freeze the egg for a few minutes and quickly reseal the hole. The cold air gets trapped inside the egg and is forced out through whatever tiny crack there is keeping the dye from seeping into the egg.  Speaking of magic…Yay science! Yay Pysanky Nerds! It worked.

4 out of 5 men say childbirth was relatively painless

January 14, 2013

Here’s something else I find  annoying – men sharing their expert opinions on pregnancy and childbirth

Example: “Oh – 8 pounds 10 ounces? Well that’s not bad. At least it’s not a gutbuster.” Really? And you’ve pushed out how many 8 pound 10 ounce babies?

Example: “Epidurals are standard.” Your wife had one epidural out of 4 deliveries – so that makes them standard?

Example: “I only went through it once and that was enough.” You went through the experience of your wife having a baby once. You didn’t actually go through it so you’ll never know what it’s like.

My advice to men? Stick with nonjudgmental comments like “I’m so happy that mom and baby are healthy and well,” or “She was a trooper.”

Use qualifiers to present your confident uncertainty. “It didn’t seem like the pain of  labor was excruciating. ”

Don’t act like you have first hand knowledge about what it feels like to be pregnant and give birth  unless you want us to go around talking about what it feels like to get kicked in the balls.



November 18, 2012


Where is the list of things I’m thankful for? The shelter, food, family, job, darling kitties. Check, check, check, check and check The butterflies. Moss on a post. Kind strangers. I am thankful  for many things yet overwhelmed by the burden of recalling them. I think the word is despondent.  I feel like an old work horse, not quite put out to pasture and not quite good enough to be of real value.

I’m standing, frail and battered.

Sometimes that’s all you can do.