Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Hope everyone has a great weekend!
A big thank you to all of the men and women who have done and do a job I would never undertake. You are brave and wonderful.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kitty update

Our cat Cleat is like an Iron Horse. She will be on meds for her thyroid, hypertension and heart disease, just like a human, and will be coming home this afternoon. Not sure how much longer we will have with her, but we are glad we could put off the euthanasia decision a little longer.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our Kitty

When my husband got home last night, our 13 year old cat had a massive nose bleed that could not be controlled. We took her to the vet and then got sent to the Animal Emergency hospital where she spent the night. They are running all sorts of tests. She has hyperthyroidism but, they think she may now have hypertension. They are now running more blood panels and doing an ultrasound. We will find out by noon if they found anything else or if she will be taking two pills a day. Aces.
The worst part about this is the cost. Most of us see our pets as family and we will lay out any amount we can to keep them healthy and happy. This does make me why health insurance companies, who, like all corporations are all about making money, don't include pets under our health care plans. They would make serious bank off most of us pet owners. I mean, there are are people who don't use their health care plans for anything other than yearly physicals. So insurance is not making a ton of money off of them, why not use the same approach to pets? I should be able to insure them under my policy like I would my children. I could be reaching here, but again, I am going from a business point of view since that is how Blue Cross Blue Shield would approach it as well.
Anyway, here is to hoping we have a few more years with our awesome girl.

**UPDATE** Apparently our kitty has multiple issues going on. Her kidneys are in chronic failure, adrenal glands are enlarged, there is a mass and nodules on the left side of her liver and there also some serious heart disease issues going on as well. Needless to say, she is staying overnight again so they can try and keep her blood pressure down. We have already discussed that our little kitty may not be coming home again and that makes us very sad. :(


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Religion and Jesus Camp

We had the honor of celebrating our friend receiving his Master's Degree in Religion and Religious Studies. He is someone who really should be out there, preaching to the masses and making people more compassionate and understanding. He chooses to be a Catholic, which I respect because I was raised one but no longer practice. We discussed how Catholics are not taught the bible. I can vouch, I went to Catholic school and I could not quote a stitch of scripture if I tried except for Leviticus, but that is another story. We were taught from the Missal and whatever the priest told us. All other faiths could throw Scripture around like nobody's business, not the one I was raised in. Our friend wants to change that and I think he is on to something. You should know the book your faith is based on and be able to understand it. My favorite thing he told us was what one of his professors said. He held up a bible and said, "There is no science and no history in this book." Amen brother.

Which brings me to the horror I just sat through. I have just watched this documentary and to be honest, I have no words. I am all for people believing in God, following a faith or a spiritual path, but what these people were doing to these kids offended me past my soul. Brainwashing a child to being about a more "righteous government" not for me. I wish it had been more about finding Jesus within them and putting his good works out in the world. Instead, they made kids cry over their "sins", speaking in tongues (which was very disturbing) and pray to make all of a America a true Christian Country. They were yelling out to go to "War for Jesus". Then they referenced Islam and how the "Palestinians start training their kids at 5 so we should do the same. We need to teach children to lay down their lives for Christ."
These children would hate me and everyone I know. Even my friends that are devout church goers, devout believers they would think they are not "true believers".
Radicalism at any level, in any faith is very dangerous and this documentary scared the hell out of me.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Writing and Endangered Places

I have hit the magical number of 70,000+ for my novel. Now, the fine tuning begins. It is almost sad in a way to think I am close to being done with it, of course the next novel is in the works, but I feel like I am sending a child off to school. You will be kept apprised of the query letters and synopsis that go out and all the responses I get. Yay or Nay. The hard part is that you really can only send out one query at a time. Most agents gets back to you within 6 weeks if I recall correctly so it is not awful. Of course I will be on pins and needles every time.

This list in regards to 11 of the Most Endangered Historic Places in the US has been released by National Trust of Historic Preservation. I grew up in Paterson and have been in Hinchcliffe Stadium. Hinchliffe Stadium, one of only three remaining Negro League stadiums in the country, stands vacant and dilapidated. It is a shame because it was an awesome place. The sad thing is Paterson has been struggling like Newark, Camden, Detroit and hundreds of other run down cities that are a long way away from their heydays. Back to the main topic, what angers me is developers, the causers of homogenization, want to ruin places like Saugatuck Dunes. Wal Mart wants to build neat the Wilderness Battlefield. I sometimes wonder how people look at pristine beauty and only see the need for a mall or a condo development. Offensive is what it is and it needs to be stopped.


Monday, May 17, 2010


This weekend, the hubby and I did a lot of major yard work. Between the two of us we ripped up our shoddy front walkway, moved the old mulch and relocated some plants. Went and bought the vegetable plants to put in the vegetable garden, I also put in some Hollyhock, daisy and sunflower seeds since it is fenced in and the evil deer will be unable to get them, I hope. Laid down sod, potted some of the herbs and dug up a mound of weeds to place some deer resistant herbs there as well. My husband looked at me and said, "Now I understand where the term "Country Strong" comes from." I agree.

We did get a quote for having a professional pathway put in going from the driveway to the front door as opposed to how it was from the street to the door. Let's just say it was not cheap. So, we will wait on that for a tad. Which is fine. Houses take time and money and we have time, just not money, but so what? I am not looking to be in House Beautiful anytime soon so no worries there.

I am seriously considering filming our hideous pink bathroom to get on Dear Genevieve on HGTV, but the last few times I watched it, they seemed to only work on serious McMansions or houses that were much larger then ours. One woman was crying in her video so I am thinking if I can get all dramatic and weep over the grout everywhere and the toilet next to the wall, I may get us picked. Fingers crossed!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

I have made a painting for our living room where I sewed a dress onto a canvas. Now I need pages from a decadent book, get them on there and the piece will be complete. I will take a picture once it is done to share. It was a lot of fun to do and if I knew I could make money selling them, I would do more.

We have decided to forgo a built in bookcase in the living room. While I love the whole idea of some accent piece in the living room,I would rather it be the books and art work, not the bookcase/media center that would be holding it. So now we are looking at furniture similar to this console from Ballard Design. Just at a much better price.

This display from the blog Chic Provence makes me want to grow wisteria for the rest of my life and only dine under a fabulous pergola.

Theresa Burger, I love, love, love your resin rings.

Ahhh, one of my favorite all time songs by Dead Can Dance called Indus. It is sublime.

As a former jewelry designer who knew how to work as a metalsmith and with wax carvings thank you very much, I love the Etsy metal blog.

Lynn Latimer did the sculpture below and all I can say is I want it, I love it, yes, mama likes.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Anthony Bourdain, the man who eats everything

My husband and I have been watching the very interesting show, on Netflix of course,
Anthony Bourdain:No Reservations.
The funniest thing about us loving this show is that he loathes, and I mean loathes, vegetarians. This a lifestyle my husband and I adhere to. We are what is called Pesco-Vegetarian, meaning we eat fish, but no pork, chicken or beef.
Perhaps what I find most interesting is his reason for disliking me and others like that lead a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. "Bourdain is also known for sarcastic comments about people who are vegan or vegetarian, feeling that their lifestyle is rude to those who inhabit the many countries he visits. Bourdain has said he considers vegetarianism a "first world luxury.""
Considering India is a huge vegetarian population I don't think of it is a "first world luxury", it is a lifestyle. Millions of Hindus and Seventh Day Adventists are vegetarians on a religious basis. Also, due to it being a choice in America, we get to come up with some incredibly interesting recipes that even meat eaters love. I do not believe in facilitating a war between meat eaters and non-meat eaters. We can all co-exist peacefully as long as we all show respect to our food. I think that sorely lacks in most of the USA because we no longer interact with farmers or butchers. I have no problem watching Inuit people eating seal because they give thanks for the kill and use every single piece of the animal. That is how food should be treated, with reverence.
I knew a bow hunter who would give thanks over the animal he killed. I take no issue with that because lots of hunters feed their family by what they catch. This brings me to another interesting point. A friend recently told me he could not eat meat from a cow he knew. This came up when we were at a friend's farm in PA. I remarked that if I ever chose to eat meat again, I would only buy it from our friends since I know how the chickens are cared for, they are all fat and happy, as well as the sheep and cows. He found it funny that as a vegetarian I would want to know the animal and have petted it and talked to it. I am sure this is odd to most of you, but it makes sense to me. I would rather be connected to my food, not pushed off into industrialization, eating some random numbered animal that was poorly treated and not feed properly.
Joel Salatin is a an awesome man who practices farming principles that I love. He was in the documentary Food Inc and he is another one if I ate meat, I would buy his. Our farmer friend went to go see him lecture and I am jealous. She said it was almost like being at a revival with all these farmers, some Amish, getting excited and chatting about all the ways to practice better farming.
Anyway, back to Anthony Bourdain, while we may not agree with everything he says, though I am on board with his distaste for Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee, he does showcase interesting cultures and places. Catch an episode if you can, Paris was one of our favorites.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


When I took the train into NYC for the Martha Stewart Show I was fascinated that I got to glimpse numerous backyards from my comfortable seat on the train. This got me thinking, what if backyards were metaphors for people's lives? The tidy backyard could mean a control freak, the messy backyard, a busy mind.
What if these backyards showed us the inside of a person? Does the well maintained lawn and garden show pride of place or is it a need to emulate the pages of a magazine or HGTV? Could it be that someone loves nature and Mother Earth so much that nurturing the land brings ecstasy? All things are possible and there is much to be considered here.
A neglected yard could signal depression or in truth, the person just does not care. A backyard strewn with toys and swings shows children at play, but does it also show a property whose sole purpose to entertain? What about those yards with fire pits and built in grills? Extravagant? Not if you use it.
The USA has the most grass, read: sprawling lawns, yet who really sits on this carefully cultivated sign of acreage No one because they are busy on their decks and patios. Perhaps we should all run barefoot through the grass as we did as children. There is nothing that signals spring/summer more then the feel of grass under your feet.
Yards should be tranquil and inviting to everyone who rents an apartment, condo or home. To commune with one's friends and/or neighbors amongst the scents of flowers, grass and barbecues, is a true pleasure. I garden simply because I love the look of flowers and foliage. The idea of growing something and having it be all mine is wonderful. I also like that some of my yard can be viewed, though it is a work in progress right now so it is not camera ready so to speak. Or maybe it is.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Yes, I am an artist why?

Speaking with an artist friend today, we discussed how most people seem to not understand the creative process. If you tell someone you are painting, sculpting, writing, etc. the immediate response is what are you making? How much will you get paid? And all the other expected questions when people are not sure how to peg artists into the every day work force.
Not everyone who writes is a John Grisham nor do they want to be. Painters are not all longing to be Picasso or Goya. Some of us need to create or we will fold up on ourselves and die. Those of us who become lucky enough to make money doing what we love is a bonus.
We also discussed how some people no longer appreciate that at one time, being a chef was an art form as well. You don't need an abbreviated way to cook, yes Rachael Ray I mean you, when many cultures have quick meals they can whip up. Fashion falls under the same realm. Anyone can be a designer if you have backing and "line builders", people who do the actual work. Not that you should be held back by lack of ability, but for those who do all the steps there is a big difference in how you see the world.
My novel will not be done in a week, I could only wish, but the process itself is what makes it exciting. I wish I could explain to someone what it feels like to get an idea of where to take you characters. Instead of writer's block I have writer's hemorrhage lately. Concepts just flow and move about and I am scribbling, typing and making voice notes on my phone with all of them. Were I to get paid for this endeavor that would be a plus, but the novel will get written because I have a story to tell and that is what makes me an artist.

To borrow an exchange from the movie Frida:

Frida Kahlo: I just want your serious opinion.
Diego Rivera: What do you care about my opinion? If you're a real painter, you'll paint because you can't live without painting. You'll paint till you die.