Sunday, October 30, 2011

30 x 30: Day 2

A day of paper and cloth.
Goodwill is getting a lovely plain black sweatshirt, a pair of never-worn black denim shorts, and re-getting a never-worn navy blue wool Ralph Lauren skirt(yes, purchased for 3.99 at Goodwill). Some day I will be a Business Woman, but I won't be wearing that skirt.....
The garbage can got a small piece of blue denim waved for mended a yet un-mended pair of favorite jeans.

Old business papers - OLD business papers - have been set aside to be destroyed. I did not count each piece of paper as a separate item. That would have been too easy. So each envelope of paper items was The Unit. Still, they added up nicely. Try it!

One Monkey Mask on a stick (planned as a Christmas gift) was tossed.

Stick broke while moving vast amounts of stuff out of small closet in preparation for re-insulating our attic. Woo hoo! New insulation AND forced awareness of closet-y things. The cross-roads of 30 x 30 and moving stuff out of closet - Luck? Fate? Miracle? Now to see if closet is remarkably different when stuff is sorted. All the coats, jackets, and Coach purses are whispering "Don't pick me. You can't pick ME." They are probably right. I am not a Shoe Person. I AM a Cool Coat-and-or-Jacket Person. I semi-hoard Coach purses - all found at garage sales for $4.00 or less. (Sister & I have personal code of Coaches - never pay more than $4.00) (Daughter Tara gave me three she lucked into one day - all in a FREE box) I have too many Coaches, but so far they are safe here. And except for the utilitarian goose-down jackets, all the other garments are too nifty in their own rights to give up right now. Please don't hate me (O.K., go ahead) because of the vintage fur and leather beauties waiting for their chance to warm and charm. Some-one had to love them, and right now that girl is me. And the 1950's Chimayo woolen jacket that Dear Sis gave me, after those few times I got to wear it while visiting here Out West, well, I so don't want to spoil it that it mostly stays unworn. Sad. True. MUST WEAR JACKET MUCH MORE OFTEN.

Calendars? Well, two large art types from 1999 & 1994 are gone. AND the mystery is solved of "Where in the heck is that 2008 Extreme Sports calendar????? Bought and put away, for safe-keeping, in late 2007, of course. For a while my calendar of choice was scary doings by brave people - especially rock climbers. I Am Not a Rock Climber. But that winter I had to settle for people doing other scary things like surfing, snow-boarding, & the like. January 2008 comes around - hmmmm - time to hang the new year. But the paper new year has been disappeared. Forever. Until now. It had slipped into a narrow space between bookcase (doesn't everybody have a bookcase in their closet) & a file box of old journals, & is now pretty darned worthless. I did cut two scary photos from it before adding 'er to the out-pile. Note to self - Hang 2012 calendar immediately upon getting it in house.

Also attacked was a drawer in the work desk - actually an antique kitchen work desk - full of drawers & doors yearning to be peered into and purged. Noooooooo. Yes. O.K. Here, because the 30-per-day challenge had already been reached, I gave the tally sheet the fun of counting each piece of paper. Out went directions to art fairs that no longer exist, directions to folks' homes that I finally remember how to get to, newspaper articles no longer useful (it happens!), etc, etc, and more etc. 30 total right there. Yippee!

Day's adventure: 84
Total to date: 123

Ya can't tell...
- Sue

PS - The NIKE sneakers got sneaked out of trash can - and became useful - at least for one night of usefulness. But I'd not thought of using them unless they'd been tossed out. A minor miracle of the 30 x 30.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

30 x 30:51

Fifty one (plus) things are gone.
You can't even tell.

But I DID find the still-in-plastic Brand New 2008 Extreme Sports calendar. Yup. Found out why I couldn't find it. Closets keep being mysterious beasts.

Ever onward-
Time to watch some college football. Am cheering for Arkansas in honor of Auntie Mck.


30 -32:Hoarding?

To hoard or not to hoard?

"Boxes equal security," a friend told me long ago. I was signing a copy of JUST NORTH ENOUGH for her. If you get a signature you get a bear. Her bear had LOTS of boxes. A hoarding bear or simply a more-secure bear? Perhaps a less secure bar?

Monks and nuns come to mind. Can they be hoarding inward things?

I would tend to hoard paper. Yesterday Tara and I walked to a garage-sale. I bought a book on 1930's Fashion for her, a 1904 receipt journal for me (it was $1.00 for somebody's lived life in 1904....), and then "had" to buy a small un-used receipt journal for fifty cents. However, I passed on buying MUCH more stuff I wanted to buy - just because it was paper. Particularly, types of paper I do not own. Sad ANDProud? You betcha.

The old journal holds information "From May 1st, 1904 to May 1st, 1905."

Hmmm.... just now really checking it out. What's this? A verse written vertically in the margin of the long thin page.

Let us be unashamed of soul
How is it under our control
To love, or not to love?

Along the page noting purchases including
tobacco .25
seeds .15
5 1/2 yds print .27 1/2
wagon grease .25

It's been a really long long time since most of us have bought a bit of wagon grease.

Do you think that folks hoarded a fair share of wagon grease in 1904? Or tobacco?

Folks in the Stone Age probably hoarded rocks. Rocks equalled security.

Off to today's ridding home of 30 things. And then fighting urge to hit the garage-sale circuit in search of more security. But must go visit this morning's Stillwater Farmers Market. Wagon grease? No - caramel roll.


Friday, October 28, 2011

30 - 32: 30 Things - 1

So. Yes. Today was day one of the deciding to sell, toss, or donate 30 things. Things be Gone!

I stayed in the kitchen for the first task -

What left? Actually - OVER 30 things, including, but not limited to:
15 - knives, forks, cups
1 - small capped container for paint
9 - misc. paper items
3 - walkie-talkies
1 - old toothbrush
1 - large jar
1 - gold label
3 - packs of shoe-laces
1 - book (a book!!!)
and misc. bits and pieces of junk-drawer misc.

total: 35+

Yes, I had a few hoardery moments - but they passed. Hooray!

Next challenge? Bedroom closet - woo hoo! Yes, a couple Green Bay Packer sweatshirts might (might) have to make tomorrow's list....


30-31:30 Things Times 30 Days

O.K., here goes.
This might be tough, but who needs an easy challenge?
Today begins the ridding of home of 30 things times 30 days.
Will we notice the going away of 900 things?
I sure hope so.
And where and how does one begin?

I'm heading for the kitchen.

Wish me luck.
And if this challenge inspires you to to do same - Good Luck with the lifting!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

30 - 30: The Doing - Done

Deed done.
Not a great bunch of blogs, but blogs none-the-less.

As in If you write you are a writer.
As in If you paint you are a painter.

Quality is not the issue.
It is simply The Doing.

The Texas Rangers keep doing.
The St. Louis Cardinals keep doing.

The innings and outs go on and on.

On to our Challenges.
Go Texas!!!!!

On to tomorrow.

30 - 29: Tara's Suggestion

Tara's Suggestion.
To type: Go Texas!

Go Texas!!

St. Louis broke our Brewer-fan baseball hearts way back in 1982.
Part's of my heart still ain't over it.

So - to cheer against the Cardinals just comes easy.
Plus, maybe it's just Texas' turn to be great.
I hate seeing athletes lose.

I love seeing athletes DO.

Texas: 7 St. Louis: 4

So far.
On to "God Bless America."
And a couple more innings.


Go Rangers!

30 - 28: The Next Doing

Greetings -

So many possibilities for November.....
Write a letter every day?
Train for a 5-K?

Probably the Challenge is the Ridding from Home 30 Items for 30 Days.
I'm almost excited.
And planning parts of the attack.
And dreaming of empty spaces.
Ready for nothing to begin and everything possible.


30 - 27: The Homestretch?

With this posting, there are "only" three to go in the 30 Day Challenge.
However, today IS the day.
And tonight holds both The Van Gogh Cafe get-together (subject: Winslow Homer) and The World Series. Go Rangers!!
So it'll come down to discipline.
That darned discipline.
And Wanting to Succeed.
And maybe it's already been missed by a day.
I'm not going to do the math.
27 to 27.
That was the plan.
27 possible pitches in perfect game.
How many sentences in perfect blog?


30 - 26: 4

4. Four.
A minute ago it was 4:04. In the morning. I am up and typing. Bleah, as old Snoopy would say.

But, nonetheless, just a short note noting that "four" and/or "4" is my favorite number. Yes, even before Brett Favre.

I don't know why. Maybe because of balance of even-ness? Maybe because I was born in April?

4 was even part of a self-portrait painting we had to do once upon a time in college.

Do you have a particular number that you are most fond of?
Do you know why?

at 4:12,

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

30 - 25: Yup

"If grief deprives us of laughter, we are in trouble."- Clifford Kuhn. M.D.

30 - 24: On To It!

Greetings -
It's time to hunker down and type!
So posts might be boring but they will exist in the universe.
Baby typing steps?
What ever it takes.

Gave beautiful Swiss Chard to a friend this morning.
It is sad to have the garden still hinting at the bountiful green spot it was this summer & fall.
Now it's Swiss Chard and a few struggling brussel sprouts.
Better a bit of green than none.

Better a bit of effort than none?
On to tasks.
And the choosing of the next 30 Days Challenge.
Dare to join the fun?


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

30 - 23: A Little Hike

It's a nippy day, but it's a new day.
It's time to get back into Exercise Mode.
It's time to decide on one mile or three miles.
Walk-man or IPod.

Robert Johnson is singing and blues-guitaring on "American Routes" radio.

Maybe the devil is standing at the cross-roads of Greeley and Pine right now.
That's just a half a mile down the hill.
Hmmm. And on to finding out.

May your day be devil-free,

Monday, October 24, 2011

30 - 22: Another Day - Another Bear

Once upon a time these were the only bears I knew of:

Goldilocks' three
Captain Kangaroo's Dancing Bear
Yogi and Boo-boo
real ones who wrecked our farm's oats crop and ransacked our town's garbage dump.

Then, in October of 1997, I happened to sketch a bad copy of a calm grizzly bear's head done as a woodcut illustration for a 1920's hunting magazine.
Who knew?

May you, too, luck unto the pathway to another of your life's many livings.

It only takes one paying-attention to just one different and possible path.
On to finding invisible trails!

- Sue

30 - 21: Shallow

Yup, I'm shallow.
The Packers beat the Vikings.
(The Husband/Dad team)
It's was almost scary close.
Mr. Ponder will be good.

But the game is over.
Packers are 7 and 0.
Tara & I could drink our beer
& listen to the thre-hour post-game chat
worn out but happy.

And we fans can rest up
in the bye week.

Go Pack!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

30 - 20: Something New

Wow. Twenty typings so far. Ten to go.
This is now almost a habit.
But my habits seem to come and go.
So this must simply be continued.
So it WILL be a habit.

Once upon a time
One habit was
to ride
a bicycle
every day.

6 in the morning
after helping
milk the cows

and the rest
after milking
from about 6:30
till eight
in the Wisconsin
summer evening

the habit
didn't want to be

but the rule was
Get On the Bike
And Start Up the Hill

and by the time I'd gotten to the top
of Gurney Hill the rest of the

- Sue

Friday, October 21, 2011

30 - 19: Baking

Greetings -
Three minutes to two loaves of home-made bread. Hot. Crusty. To set alongside the 24 banana-walnut muffins. Or 22 if some of the family has grabbed onto them.

I am compelled to bake bread. The kneading? The needing? The Thanks from family? The memories of hot ovens long ago? The knowing of the basic recipe? The muffins get made to not waste hot oven. They get timed to leave as bread sits waiting for stove to hike up that extra 25 degrees.

Beep beep beep!

Time's up-

Thursday, October 20, 2011

30 - 18: Sunflowers

Greetings -
Sorry, tiny spiders, and other wispy beings that had been napping cozily in between the sunflower seeds still outdoors on chilly but tough little heads.

This morning was harvest time for the five stalks out by the fireplace. The much larger specimens out in the actual garden dropped their bounty weeks ago. I had no warning and, judging from the empty husks on the ground, the rodents/birds must have eaten their fill. Sigh and oh well. They were grown to be consumed and consumed they were. Some days we have no voice in what happens to our plans. Plan anyway! And plant anyway!

And plant any way. This year we grew garden goodies in real garden, Hansel egg plant in flower bed, sage and basil here and there. Experimented with peppers/tomatoes in some spots where they did not thrive. Sorry, plants. Even now, with frosts all around, one brave pepper is sporting lots of potential blossoms. It's finally hoping to do the growing-produce it was bred and planted to do. Sorry, pepper. Seeded lettuces in large flower pots lorded over by magnificent giant huge red coleus. I thought that the color combos would be fun, plus harvesting salad greens from patio would be fun. No fun. Lettuces didn't have a chance.

What thrived? Basils of several kinds, sunflowers, Swiss Chard, cauliflower, tomatoes. Even the green beans produced well. They just didn't know that I still don't love green beans and thus somewhat ignored their filling plants. Sorry, green beans.

I'd hoped to harvest the huge lovely sunflowers that backed the garden. Sigh. One day the heads were full of plump goodness and soon afterward the ground was covered with empty husks. Why and how? I do not know. Should I have cut the heads off earlier and left them to dry somewhere "safe"? Will have to ask around.

And now the Brussel Sprouts are finally sprouting. It was our first time playing with these guys, and reports all around spoke of no sprouts or late sprouts. I was comforted to know that it wasn't just me as novice sprout gardener. Now the stalks are sporting a number of teeny lumps and clumps, so we shall see. I have the courage to attempt them next year.

Ahhh. On to next year.......
Thanks, sunflowers!
May your day be seeded with sunshine.
- Sue

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

30 - 17: Oct. 27

Hmmm. Home. And with a week to go in the first 30-day challenge.

So far - so good. Kind of.
Must post 13 more times in the coming week. Will any be interesting? I will try. Yoda: There is no try. There is only do.

We have learned that in three days away many things can be seen, learned, accomplished, heard, tasted, eaten, watched, sampled, dreamed of, jotted, laughed over, sighed about.

We have been cold, hot, wet, excited, sad, happy, full, tired, enlightened, and over-joyed.

Through odd circumstance, and a convenient gas-station vacuum hose, the car's interior is cleaner now than when we left home.

And we are now home. To recall happy memories, yet learn that life can become death in one moment. And mourn the passing of a young man we didn't even know, except through news our daughter Tara would report.

Journeys can take many forms and homes many shapes. May you be happy on yours and also in yours.

Ever onward and so it goes.......

30 - 16: Lambeau


It's grey and wet and cold, and breezy in Green Bay, Wisconsin; we are warm and dry and watching reality-TV shows on antiques and junk and estate sales in a motel room spittin' distance from Lambeau Field.

Last night we got some good bar food to go from Stadium Grill. Watched Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed get married. It's fun being shallow now and then.

Hoping to get to Lambeau Field later. First, we must clean out the car, meet RT for coffee, and see what the day brings.

I did a little journaling early this morning - mainly to the point of needing to allow myself to relax and have fun with the images and words again. To not think of "pressure" and "must do" and "should do." When fun goes out of art it shows. Boring starts. And dull, and not-caring. The bears know when I'm trying too hard-not hard enough. I have to give art supplies and themes due respect. And also simply clear the brain to allow fingers to scribble at will. No rules. That's hard these days. Or New Rules. Or Different. When the bears get boring the bears get bad.


On it it-
oh, and of course, GO PACK!
- Sue

Monday, October 17, 2011

30 - 15:Vacation


Not as a concept. As a tiny short happy fact. Weather won't matter. Grey, windy, cold, wet have all been dealt with before. Destination is iffy. We have a map and a general direction. No specific plans. Except to Vacate.

The scary part is dealing with Not Bringing Any Materials With Which to Make Product.
On purpose. Bringing art supplies, A NOVEL, radio headphones, a few tasks, and the hope to learn how to relax - if even for tiny short moments.

Wish me luck.

Fare-thee-well, and may you, too, vacate early and often.
- Sue

Saturday, October 15, 2011

30 - 14: Pencils

Today was a day of getting pencils.

Tara and I went to the Stillwater High School Choir "Garage Sale." She donated clothes and she bought clothes.

I stuck with the art/office theme - buying 4 cardboard mailing tubes, a bunch of Post-It notes, a bundle of new pencils, a journal, 2 books on Scouting, for resale, and a book on the history of knitting in America. I do not knit. By tradition I am a crocheter . However, this was the one book I had to buy. No reason. Left the Tiger Mother book for another buyer. I guess Tiger Moms and Stillwater kids are not a good mix.

Then Todd called from a garage sale out of town. Would I be interested in over 100 pastel/colored pencils for $5.00? Yes, I think so. Actually, there were probably closer to 150 - including charcoal pencils, French pastels, and two different brands of water-color pencils. Heck of a deal? Ya sure, ya betcha. Oh, plus a very good little pencil sharpener.

Gotta go draw?
Pencilly yours,

Friday, October 14, 2011

30 - 13: Wow

This is the time of year that leaves me most with mixed emotions. Spring happened so long ago that if it were not for photos of Spring flooding and young green plants I'd have forgotten it had happened. Summer was a wonderful blur of art fairs, wildly successful (for us) gardening, and a bit a travel and other fun. Days were long, but not long enough.

Now by nine PM the sky has been dark for two hours. Skies seem ominous even when simply Fallish. It's hard to find the ambition for all the Autumn's tasks. The hammock mocks..... I think it get used a total of less than twenty times all summer - combined total by all who live here. That's kind of sad. I want to take a hammock nap NOW. But it's cool and dark and quite breezy outside. Not the warm calm sunny sort of evening that a person has now misses forever. Forever!

One great thing about now, though, is the possibility of The Dramatic Sunset. If you see one appreciate it. That one is a one-of-a-kind. All sunsets are. And all sunrises, and all noons. Dramatic or calmly-not-memorable, each part of every day is the only one. If I don't jot down a bit about the day, that day vanishes - sunset or no sunset. The weeks have been rushing by - the busy ones that should be noted. And, darn, those weeks are the least recorded.

So on to the next posting, the next sunrise, the next drawing. And the next remembering to whisper "Wow" every now and then.


30 - 12: Baseball

I am shallow.

Watched Detriot Tigers win while sitting on bed, sipping tea, and matting bear pastel reproductions. If cheering for a particular team, even as a fair-weather fan, I can get almost as nervous as when "our" Green Bay Packers are in a close football game.

The natural cycle of hits by Tigers was fun to see. Little weird spot of history.

Facial expressions of players, coaches, and fans, are as fascinating as the game. Indifference, anxiety, joy, calm determination, prayer, sadness, anger - all at the same time.

So on to the continuing play-offs. Let the games begin -

Go Tigers! Go Brewers!

- Fare-thee-well,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

30 - 11:

Greetings -
Bread is rising and it's time to sit and think about being Thankful.
Today Thankful for: (go for 30 & in no particular order)
1- friends at coffee
2- 3 Mr. Jade plant are still thriving
3-working computers
4- family getting along
5- beautiful weather
6-rain in forecast
7- apples for baking
8-people wanting to buy my art
9-friends commenting on Facebook
10-Steve Jobs' imagination
11- TED talks
12-Green Bay Packers
13-potential vacation time
14- Stillwater, MN being kind of "cool" again
15- radio stations of many kinds
16 - basil still growing
17- doing a 30 Day Challenge
18- the Lily Lake tennis courts
19 - books in general
20- quantum physics
21- "free" CDs and books from Stillwater library
22 - having "fixers" in the family
23 - not needing to buy fashionable clothes very often - hahahaha
24 - a cleaner studio area
25 - the post office
26 - tea
27 - cookies
28 - ESPN Radio
29 - sunflowers
30 - the ability to walk
31 - chickadees
and so much more.


30- 10: Home

Greetings -
It is good to be home. Spent a big chuck of last week doing the Bayfield Apple Festival. Drove up on Thursday and set up booth. We were a few spaces closer to the gazebo than usual. Didn't have an asphalt park path running through our space this time! Weather forecast was for normal weather, with standable winds. This is always good - though not to be trusted!

After getting things from truck to booth - with only one minor tip-over (the park is notorious for it's subtle ups and downs), I headed up the hill to Eckels' Pottery. Dede and crew were busy selling ceramic goodies and other of their offerings. I picked through a dish of wonderful large ceramic buttons - choosing three for fashion-designer daughter, Tara. Stayed with hues of pale green, blue, yellow, white - all in different patterns. Met a lady who often buys my cards at Dede's shop. We talked about Life, of course - ha! It always comes back to Life.

Will add more about the wonderful weekend later. Now it's time to clear off a few horizontal surfaces. Wish me luck!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

30 - 9: Kinda Cheating

Here is some typing to say that typing's been done.
Off to Lake Superior, Bayfield Apple Fest, and more of The Grand Adventure!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

30 - 8: Failing Up

So sorry to hear of the death of Steve Jobs. He and Apple crew helped bring semi-high-tech to us millions of masses. I draw funny bears for a few thousand folks. And show them off from Apple products. Thank you, Mr. Jobs. Your imagination, far thinking, and making things work for so many "normal" folks.

Today held finishing an acrylic painting on wooden board that, in view of it's creation, is titled "So Bad I'm Almost Good." I'd planned for the bear to be a lovely "portrait" in blue and black tones. Bits of yellow, red, and lots of white. A classy bear. However, through layers of trial and error, he became a laughing stock and something of a wasted effort. Or so it seemed. When I looked into his failed-efforts-of-eyes the phrase came to mind: I'm So Bad I'm Almost Good.

Well then.... stubborn sets it. Back out come the paints - go in with brushes and fingers. Keep mucking about. Touch here, wash there. Hmmm, a bit of life? A little hope? Why, yes, perhaps. Amazingly, after failing and failing Bad Good is turning out O.K. Hooray!

Life lesson? Once again the power of goofing off has paid off. If you have some work that seems beyond hope - paint, paint again!

RIP Steve Jobs.......


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

30- 7: Just a Note

Oh oh. Almost forgot about the 30 Day Challenge!

Ta da!

Back to working on products. Several new black and white card and magnet designs.

Good night -

Monday, October 3, 2011

30-6: Big "Really?"

This large pastel in really titled Big "Really?" Yes. Really. In honor of oldest younger brother, Rick. REALLY.
Traditional in our family now, when listening to almost any tale Rick is telling, is for someone, some time, to note whether, at any point in the story, Rick has stated "really." If not, well, "facts" perhaps, are not to be trusted.

This pastel piece really exists, but I don't know if actual bears ever frolic upright on the shore. Doesn't matter. This one does.

Take some time to have some fun, challenge yourself to a big Something New, maybe even dance on the beach. Now or soon. Really! On to the Grand Adventure.

- Sue

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Greetings -

Sunday is the day I go shallow. Football rules through into winter. KFAN radio allows one hour a week of Packer talk on its station, so the headphones will be on from 8-9 this morning. This weekend we have a booth at the Stillwater Art and Jazz Festival (66), near the banks of the St. Croix River. Weather was perfect yesterday, and is priming for more perfect today. LOTS of ambitious folks will be hoofing the Twin Cities Marathon in fifteen minutes or so. BEST of LUCK to one and all. While you are fighting for your breath and urge to quit I will probably be chewing on a lovely muffin from The Daily Grind and sketching the goings-on in Lowell Park. Listening to pre-game points and plans. Keeping the thousands and thousands and thousands of dedicated runners in back of mind as some bit of life inspiration.

Football is like that, too. Great care in planning, training, effort toward the victory. Sometimes stuff go well, nobody gets seriously injured, plays are completed as planned. But often, well, crap happens. The center muffs the snap, a great player gets carted off the field, "your" team loses. Amazingly, life goes on. Usually there is a next week - practice, get better, don't give up. Love it, hate it? Doesn't matter. Just show up and do the work.

Plus, focusing on one thing for three hours is fun. When possible, I journal the games played by the Green Bay Packers. Every play, my reactions, lots of commentary by radio guys Wayne and Larry, a bit of TV stuff, notes on other day's doings. This is crazy - but also great fun. One must stay focused. Open to action, emotion, and how the ink and paper are holding out (& batteries for radio headphones!). It's not so much about the outcome as the practice of doing. Natalie Goldberg might consider it three hours of Zen writing practice. I consider it a weird compulsion that I freely admit to scribbling. I also curse much more freely on paper than in person....

So, on to the day. Yesterday score: Michigan over Minnesota: 58-0??? Memorable radio comment: "Two Wolverines and a Gopher are tussling by near side-line."

May your day be tussle-free.
- Sue