Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Happiness Jar

A friend's Share on Facebook reminded me of the fun of keeping a Happiness Jar. The one from 2016 is packed - but for some reason (?) I forgot/didn't get around to making one in 2017...
Did both 2015 and '16. Was worth it.

Many people simply use a simple quart jar. Some decorate a lid. Others do not. One friend folds her happy memories into origami stars. I use papers of all sorts and shapes and sizes. Movie stubs are fun to add into the mix.

That's all I've got for now. 

Planning to head back northeast from Colorado Springs this morning. Into "interesting" weather. Once again, thoughts go to pioneers and Native Americans dealing with the rough days and nights and weeks of surviving on the Great Plains or Upper Midwest. Most of us have got it "better" - in whatever way you wish to define the word.

So - on to packing Warm Clothes, and trying to keep the gas tank on the old Buick mostly filled. We have food. We have driven in many below zero days and nights. Whiteouts are a problem I hope not to deal with. They are never fun.

We will not be the only hardy souls trekking our way back to obligations and duties. We are some of the many who got to spend time with friends and family over the holidays. Wonderful surpises and much laughter filled our days. And some sorrows and some hugs. (We are not a hugging family - hahaha.) Too much great food was chomped, and not enough time spent in the Garden of the Gods.

I have to go home and budget time for journaling.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Post for Good Measure

This year has been one of fallowness - 
and amazing surprises.

Perhaps this is as it should be.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

2017 - 200


Yes, a bit of an anti-climax, but there is no arguing
 with the Post numbers.


Many people do more in a year.
And have more to say.
And teach more.
Or show more photographs.
Or write more about life experiences.

I am tired. 
The Christmas party went long.
The Vikings football fans were joyful.
I was a lone Packers fan watching not-good history being made.

I am slightly happy.
A sister-in-law gave me a small portable greenhouse.
Greenhouses somehow equal "hope."

On to 2018 being a Year of Hope.


Typing Just to Type.

This is post Number 199 for the year.

I don't know if any of this typing has been helpful to others, but it has been helpful to me.

If for no other reason than seeing a thing through for a whole twelve months.

Two months and one month are more my speed. Or a day. Or twenty minutes.

So a Year of Doing Something is pretty big for me.

On to figuring out a Something or Two for 2018.

Books and Life

A simple Wanting to Do for 2018:


Not in the surfing the waves of the waves of books here, but to actually take time to slow down and READ BOOKS. For, say, an hour at a time. I used to spend whole days inside books. Now they are more casual pals than serious teachers. Time to get back to school.

Here is a quote from "Steal This Book," by Austin Kleon:

"The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life." - Jessica Hische

I am almost excited!

And, tonight, though it will be in going after an already lost cause, "GO, PACK!!!!"

It's time to feed the flooffy squirrels now. It's a small purpose, but better than none.


This fuzzy one was enjoying a much warmer day 
than the days that are upon us. 

Friday, December 22, 2017


Today I am grateful for

wonderful blue cheese
a free hard boiled egg from Our Community Kitchen
tasty "almost like 'real' bread" gluten-free toast

and the possibilities of another day  - though having gotten out of bed at 8:30 AM, I feel late to the game!


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Adventures at the Co-op

Tuesdays are Senior Discount  days at our local food co-op. No, I don't appreciate the fact that I qualify for that ten percent "off" price of things, but that's the way it goes.

I love fractals. And had seen broccolini used as an example in print and video. But.... never in person.

So, as an easily amused person I was HAPPY to see many bunches of this natural hybrid (broccoli and gai lan) displayed beautifully in the produce section. I don't know if these plants could be displayed any way but beautifully.

No, I didn't buy one. But I shot several - 

Art AND Science! And maybe next week I will buy one to actually eat! Go visit your produce aisles and see what lovelies are waiting for your admiration!


Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Today was a doing day.

Lots of little things.
All the boxes crossed off of The List

And yet.
And yet.

It never feels "enough."

I don't know if this will ever get
figured out.

And now it's time for bed.

A bit of Zen "Ha ha."

Monday, December 18, 2017


My brain has been missing.
I will find it soon.
I hope.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Today's word for Jen Morris' Deliberate December is Gentleness.

Sometimes I think many of us have forgotten what "gentleness" means. No, I do not have the ambition to look up some definitions tonight. 
My head hurts and there is too much to do and it's dark outside at quarter after eight. I have forgotten Summer. 

Bitch  bitch. Moan moan. Not from innermost core. But from shallow surface, and just below.

Time for a bit of Gentleness...
If only we had cats?

We DO have wool bankets. And soft pillows.
I could pour a bit of bourbon into a cup of hot cocoa. And add a dollop of whip cream. (Tinnitus is yowling that this might not be a good idea in my case - but it might be a Wonderful Idea for you.)

Gentle music is pouring lightly from laptop through headphones into ears. Breathing is regular and calm. Too bad I blew out the candle that had been burning all day. I sure would like to sleep. Not yet. There are sentences to type.

A little about daring to be gentle:
I learned many years ago that roughing oneself up never helps, and just adds to the inner bruises one might already have from outside sources.

So - a good solid practice is to be gentle with oneself. To appreciate the parts of us that still work. To try actually liking the person we have grown up to be. Much flawed or nearing perfection. Whoever the person is we are. Now. 

And to move gently toward the person we may still want to become. Stretching... stretching... With effort, but not strain.

Like those sometimes-gentle-but-not-always-gentle magical creatures some call cats? Stretch. Relax. Stretch. Relax.
"R-e-l-a-x" - Aaron Rodgers. (Oh, yes, Aaron Rodgers is cleared to play for the Green Bay Packers against the Charlotte Panthers this Sunday, but I digress.)

Now - back to the bruins for a little while; then gently on to whatever the rest of the evening brings.

Tomorrow's word: Expand (I have NO idea... Though I am glad that there are a variety of meanings for "expand" - other than the one this word brings to mind during this season of often-mindless eating.

Good Luck and Fare-thee-well,
from under the gentle, warm, comforting Hudson's Bay blanket - 

Monday, December 11, 2017



I received a lovely gift from a friend. It is a tote bag illustrated by a large bunch of scribbles - with the quote: CREATIVE MINDS ARE RARELY TIDY.

Hmm... I wonder why she thought of me...

It is not that I do not WANT to be tidy.
And a few parts of Life are.
Many are not.

I know that life would most likely be easier if life was tidier.
Time spent hunting for a particular thing would be spent on something more productive. But then I might not find a thing I'd forgotten about for years. Like that yarn I didn't know existed till yesterday. A hunt for something else flushed it from its hiding place. No, I do not know what will happen to it. Right now it's being used to tie up a drooping plant. And to attach Christmas "greenery" to our surveyor's tripod floor lamp "tree."

If life was tidy I would know where That Book was. Now I just know it exists. The same goes for lots of model horse related things. And journals. And certain art supplies.

Some things are at least semi-tidy:
* business records
* personal records
* art supply ordering information
* real hard-copy photographs
* most books
* most art supplies
* the house plants

And, as with maybe the majority of people in the U.S., I will re-re-re-re-commit to tidying up more "next year."

At present, I will remain one of those "I know it's around here somewhere" about a number of things. At least now, if I find them, there is another tote in which to haul them somewhere else!


Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Day

I wasted most of the day.
The Packers won over a 0-12 team - in over time.
The decorations for the coming days have been hauled up from the basement.
That is all.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


This morning I was in bed too awake too early this morning. Brain got to thinking of bed connected to building connected to Earth connected to Soral System connected to Universe connected to...

Well, you get the idea. And the more people one communicates with - the more connections in common.

Some less-than-six-degrees-of-separation are a wee tad amazing. 
I might go into more detail when more brain cells are capable of thinking.

And all of this is nothing you don't already know.

I just had to type a something.

This is it.


Friday, December 8, 2017


Waiting for something like Spring again...

And more Special Months - 

Here is a page from this April's International Fake Journal Month.
Yes, this IS a Thing for hundreds of odd, interesting folks - 

Some people stay the same Fake Person through the years. I am a different Fake Person every April. And a different Real Person, as well.

Creating a fake journal is an experience open to one and all. You can join in sharing on Facebook. Or not. If interested - Google it.

Now - back to another hour and a day at our last art fair of the year. Today has been a good one at Baraboo, Wisconsin's Very Merry Holiday Fair.


Thursday, December 7, 2017


This is one of the first pieces made in June's "100 Happy Bears" Personal Challenge. It seems oddly in sync with the times right now.

So many woes.
So many reason for dancing.

Not all is horror.
Not all is ecstasy.

Not all.

So we make choices many times a day. Act. Don't act. Act the same. Act differently.

I am not a dancer. At least not in public.
The bears are brave enough to not care.
They will dance just about anywhere.

Another day is here.
It's time again to choose the doings.

I will draw. Bears will dance.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Argh and Sigh and I Don't Want to Cry

Just a seriously silent"loud" bitch about dealing with tinnitus these past couple of days.

I am trying to eat and drink so carefully.
Yes, I took the morning pill.

It might be air pressure. 
It might be stress.
It could be almost anything.

I am trying almost my best to deal with it.
But today it's wearing me down.

Yes, I KNOW that so many others have far more SERIOUS maladies.
No, this isn't particularly Painful.
But there are so many kinds of Pain...

This seriously sucks right now - and I
will quit typing and get back to the day's tasks.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

The day's pleasures? It's hard to tell.
Back to the 1930's version of "Scrooge" on You Tube.

Carry on.
And I will do the same.

Sue the Inside the Petcock of a Steaming Pressure Cooker


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Certain Days - Not Every Day

One seldom knows when or why The Good Day will happen.

Today, though head is knocking, I still feel oddly Good. 
Some Energy. 
Some Joy.
Some "I Can DO This!!"
(Less sugar. More veggies!)

These days are to be treasured.  And remembered. And used to do the deeds - both practical and impractical.

This is not a recent drawing - but one waiting in a small sketchbook, ready to give Hope, Inspiration, and Energy when needed. I do not know why it appeared. I am thankful that it did.

On to the cats, bears, and rabbits of the day.
And that emailing and phone calling stuff. 
I might have to make a shirt like the above to give me power to make calls and answer emails.  Sewing? Uh, that's an adventure I may not be ready for yet!

Heading for Baraboo, WI's Very Merry Holiday Fair - starting at noon this Friday and going through Saturday. Our last art event of 2017.

It is too cold, after super balmy yesterday, for the squirrels and birds to venture out. Food is available, and as the day warms up slightly I am sure a brave few will show up to feed. Backyard looks strange without creatures bopping and flying about.

Roads are seriously icy. I am glad to be able to work from home most of today. Though a venture out to draw at a local assisted care  facility is in the plans. Our road crews have ben busy all night, so this morning's drive downtown to breakfast was uneventful. There have been over 440 accidents reported in the metro area. I called our Public Radio station about something earlier today. The gentleman who answered said his vehicle has been "kissed" by another this icy street morning. No damage to either involved. I am sure many others were not so fortunate.

On that note - 
Fare-thee-well, and stay upright!


Monday, December 4, 2017


Today in central Minnesota it was warm enough for people to sip their coffee shop beverages comfortably while seated coatless outdoors on various patios.

With windchills factored in, tomorrow is forecast to be fifty degrees colder.

Plants are confused, and so are we.

I have mixed emotions.
Life is easier with warm-ish temperatures.
But some plants are already beginning to grow and bud again.
This is not good for these plants.

I somehow have to find motivation to start and finish things.
Perhaps life is too "easy"? Maybe the cold snap will trigger the self-employment survival mechanism that is is stuck in Neutral right now.

December is here! Deadlines loom! Be aware!

So off to an evening of pretending I'm a Night Person.

Is it odd to wish oneself Good Luck?

As to Personal Challenge this month - I am following prompts to live a "Deliberate December." A post on the Jen Morris Creative blog was helpful in choosing. Today's prompt is "Savour." So far, so good. December 5th's prompt is "Create." I think that one will be O.K. December 19th's is "Silence." That one should be interesting.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Tiny Goals and Larger Doings

One goal or challenge for 2017 is to blog at least two hundred times. I don't know why that particular number came to mind as this has headed into - perhaps it was not too much to make the brain anxious in January, but yet enough to be an actual challenge - as the most entries I'd ever made previously was eighty-four, back in 2011. Oddly, this was the year the health "adventure" began.

This morning there are no particularly great inspiring words to be typed. Just - Show Up. Keep Going. You can do it. That sort of thing. To self and whever might be reading. And that "You can do it" is even a tiny lie. Two weeks ago Todd dislocated his right shoulder. There are things he cannot do. He WANTS to do them, but, physically, he simply can not. Or he would reinjure himself if he did certain stuff he would really like doing. So - Show Up, Keep Going?

Or don't? Maybe sometimes it's time to STOP. Or not show up. Our days are made up of all those decisions and choices. 

Yesterday I STOPPED eating sugar - yes, again. Today my noggin feels slightly better, and the tinnitus is less "loud." Why I do not remember  this Sugar = "Louder" Tinnitus (at least in my case) all the time is still fascinating. I will make future self suffer for two days for the temporary JOY thirty-mintues eating  a most excellent white chocolate-cranberry scone at the Buffalo (MN) Books and Coffee shop. 

Today holds an art sale at Roberts, Wisconsin's Color Crossing. There WILL be excellent snacks. Pulling will from the "SuperBetter" book, my epic quest today is "Eat No Sugary Snacks." I am already envisioning NOT putting paw into M&Ms bowl. NOT reaching for a small cookie. Practicing now for real later.

Guessing that's about it. Time to gather stuff together and get the show on the road. It will be another not-Winter day here in the Upper Midwest. Mixed emotions. A friend photographed a confused blooming dandion in her town in southern Wisconsin. IN DECEMBER. Ponder this. Or not. The choice is yours.

On to the day!

Friday, December 1, 2017


I am signed up for Pinterest. But I might visit the site three times a year? I am not a Pinterest Type.

But others' own physical collections...? Whole 'nother thing. Here are some Real Pins!

These are some from a antique dealer's recent purchase. As far as we now, they are all from the 1920's. I covet some more than others. But I won't be buying them, because I do not covet them in that way.

Enjoy? Ponder? Learn? Start/add to your own collection?

My favorites!
(They are actually a bit smaller than shown.)

So many questions.

But "Let's Jazz"! And "Go, to It Kid"!

One more - 

And, another.... Yes, there are many more - 

Enough of this fun.
On to prepping for the art fair at Color Crossing in Roberts, Wisconsin, Saturday, December, 2nd. 
If you are in the Minnesota metro area it will be a great day for a short drive in rual Western Wisconsin! And if you are a weaver, knitter, or such, you might come home with something to bring joy and more color to your own creative efforts!

I will have a few new bunnies mixed in with the bears. Don't tell the bunnies!