Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

 We wish you a happy Thanksgiving Day.

I took my own advice. We had pan seared halibut for dinner. Talk about good! Oh, yum, and then some!

 There's a ladybug traversing the length of my keyboard. I wonder if I can talk JC into releasing her into the great outdoors? What if it's one of those spotted cucumber beetles? I'm too full to search for a magnifier. *sigh* Enjoy the rest of your day.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thank You

Thanks for sending Jacob a Christmas card. I like to believe he died knowing we cared.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

I'm in Need of a Little Help from My Friends

Oh boy, do I have a story to tell! You won't believe what happened unless I do. So here it comes, fast and fresh!

I followed these great big footprints through the kitchen. Something had walked in the butter and left a trail of evidence all across the tiles on the kitchen floor, and out the door! I dashed upstairs to grab my spy kit and sped after in hot pursuit. It didn't take long before I bumped into the hind end of something so big I bounced back on my heels, caught myself in the nick of time and avoided landing on my bottom in the big flower pot of jasmine growing on the patio. I sat down so hard I saw stars! 

What quickly came into focus made me wonder-ponder with delight! What I spied did not bring on fright! No indeed! Seeing me, the front end of the hind end took off to catch up with the rest of itself, then the head turned, and, what should appear to my wondering eye but this?

Oh, what to do, what to do? Why I grabbed my camera and took picture after picture after picture until my index finger was sore. The big friendly beast simply grinned and trumpeted a lively greeting before it promptly fainted? Well, maybe not so much fainted as simply vanished in a cloud of stars and petals that whooshed up into the air! I squeezed shut my eyes in amazement and disbelief, then uttered a prayer of innocent wishful belief, "Please let it be more than just my imagination! Oh, let it be real--the real deal!" 

Inhaling while crossing my toes, I opened my right eye for a quick peek, and . . . Whoosh! Everything turned buttery yellow and all softly mellow . . .  just as the elegant elephant went "poof!" Wha-a-at? It was all a spoof? No one would believe me if I told. So. In utter disbelief cloaked in hope, I ran back into the kitchen, did a skid across an ocean's width of tiles, and up the stairs, I galloped. "Move Minuet! Not now!" I hollered. "Mama's on a mission!" And, lickety-split uploaded the images I'd taken. Proof! Not wanting to be from some dream awakened if I had mistaken a fanciful illusion to be true and real, and holding my breath until I saw stars, I saw! A fanciful imagination is quite a big deal! But still. Sometimes, so is the fanciful truth. 

*sigh* Dreams do come true. I remember this pachyderm! Um. From The Simple Life??? I saw it, lost it, and Anna gave it back. Oh, joy! She sent it in a card with lovely things said. I'll forever remember what she wrote; it's inside a card but it's also inside my head. Everything she wrote went to my heart first. Thank you, dear Anna. Lovely people make dreams come true.

The end.

Well, not really the end since I'm working on a reply. But first, just in case you don't believe? Take a look-see at the spot where the elegant elephant went poof! What goes up must come down, and there lay proof that magic can make make-believe real.

Here it is.

And ever since, the spot has been a-buzz with bees. There's enough pollen flying about to make an elegant elephant sneeze!

And a truer mystery cannot follow than this. 

The leaves have the same scent lightning bugs leave on your hands in summer. Or baby wild onions. The little buds look so familiar. There's a baby growing next to it. Patty and I can't figure out what it is. Do you know?

I photograph this almost every day but it hasn't changed in three days now that the weather has cooled. It simply showed up one day beneath the willow--between it, the white rose bush and the fence. The base is turning faintly woody. Could it be . . . No. It can't be that. I'll tell you about the little fairies that might be living beneath. But only if I can catch them with my camera first! Seeing is believing.

Be well. And don't believe everything you see! 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

My Saturday Evening Post

Fifty-eight drafts and I still forget to rig them to post automatically. Burning my candle at both ends might make for a brighter light but all that wax meets in the middle and waxes where and what it will. Then you have to clean up. So that's probably what I should do. I should clean up my drafts and see what happens. Instead, I keep on writing and saving. Perhaps things will change after I run out of reasons to write. Until then . . . I'm still playing catch-up.

Here's to one down and fifty-eight to go. One for the money and another for show. Good Sunday to you.

So, starting from back to front here's what I did. I cut a long strip from my good old workhorse of a drawing pad also known as Canson's and drew a Berd just for Davia. One cool drawing deserves another. Right? The balloons remind me of grapes somehow, although I've never seen a pink or blue variety. Imaginations are so cool. 

I flipped it and did some other stuff too. I wrote a little letter to make it look better. Using colored pencils is a Zen exercise, especially if you color in circles.

My last mamegama (?) eraser is tucked inside. "Gohan mada?" What's for dinner? Hmm. Davia, I hope you learned enough Japanese to know what this means. I've forgotten 99% of all the Japanese I learned.

Scrolled, rolled all nice and tight . . .

A covered roll from the waxed paper I like, 

. . . with each end tucked just right . . . 

And we're off to the races! Well, off to the post office. Thanks to JC. She should have it by now so it's okay to share and tell. Um, show and tell. Be well.

Have a moanless Monday! Sayonara, and goodnight.

Friday, November 17, 2017

They Say That Catching Up Is Hard To Do

They say that catching up on blogging is hard to do. Or am I the only one who says that? Never mind, 'cause now I know--I know that it's true. Well, it might hard on some whom I'm in letter debt to. It's the not knowing if I've died or not, huh? Those of you who haven't heard from me in a while are probably wondering if you should erase me from your permanent address book, or perhaps you have already and I just don't know it. And if it's true, I just know that it could very well be true, but instead of breaking up . . . Well, it's okay. I don't blame you one bit. 

But, on the other hand, if you're like me, and you believe in Letter Amnesty, then you'll always have mail. Surprise mail, that is! And nothing else beats a surprise. I know. Because I get the loveliest "Hey, you!" surprises that letter life can spring on a body when I least expect it. And when it happens I feel like Snoopy does when he's working his happy dance. Heck, I probably look like him too. 

Don't get me wrong. I have my "Good ol' Charlie Brown" moments. And I have me some Lucys. So I keep dragging this 'toon out from the morgue, give it a good dust, and present ad nauseam. *grin* Life is good.

I might cry three times a year. Not from joy. Joyful tears don't count, right? Sometimes there's nothing wrong with a good cry. And Nikki's been in my rowboat for a few years now. She's not there to help me replenish the well-salted Sea of Tears. No way. She's on the opposite shore whispering, "Others have been there too. Come on back home. Welcome to No More Tears, USA." Can you see me paddlin'? No? Well, I am. *grin*

I got to shop for food yesterday. JC's been doing it for a long while now. What did I see? Another penguin. Hey Jacob. Are there penguins in South Africa?

Oh! Sorry. I drifted. Catching up is the topic at hand. And, in keeping with my chosen topic, here's my show and tell:

Ever make envelopes ahead of the letters? This is from several years back. It's finally winging its way through the mail and fingers crossed, I'm catching up. See? Plus I'm doing it smartly. See? In every mail-life, some rain must fall, and we all fall behind. Make some make-ahead envelopes and . . . Make some make-ahead envelopes and you'll be ahead of the catch-up. *groan*

I promise you you won't regret it. Even 9 x 12s are do-able. They'll save your bacon when you run out of store-bought. Use a sheet of Canson 14 x 17, 80 lb drawing paper, arrange some of those old Tim Holtz Salvage Stickers you've been hoarding for far too long, and you're in business. 

What's good to go inside? How about artsy newsprint? Yep! Newsprint for your own personal newspaper. Collaged of course. I bought eleven sets! Eleven!

There's denim.


Le Pen and ink, and other cool writing stuff.

The everyday.

'Hoods and houses.

The place where Little Red Riding Hood hung out. The forest! Wait. If she wore a riding hood, why was she walking? Her Mama let her walk through the woods all alone, knowing there were wolves about? Someone should have called Child Protective Services! 

Each page is a double spread. 

 and etc . . .

The hard part is deciding which set to send and which set to keep. Aargh! 

Old postcards with images of Houston are pieces of local history.

Everyday images that look like alphabets are fun. I bought a bunch at Hobby Lobby a few years back, hoping I'd collect the entire alphabet. It didn't happen. So I'm finally releasing the last of the bunch. And E remains.

I missed my V. D. post but it's okay. I wrote one but didn't post because it wasn't finished until midnight. Houston and the last minute parade didn't make me proud so perhaps I should have. 

I can't explain everything.

And perhaps I shouldn't even try.

On the other hand, some things speak for themselves. On those, I shall not dwell. 

I do like a Flow letter-in-an-envelope. They're good for what ails you when you're ailing too much for a good long, chatty letter. May they never cease to exist. We can all use a little Flow in our lives.

And we can make it up as we go. With a little help from Flow. Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold. Both are precious.

So. Aside from trying to decide which newsprint set to pair with whom, I really have been writing letters, as you've clearly seen.  Between making oversize envelopes, sticking alphabets on, reading other people's letters to other people, writing my own, and weeping with joy, I'm catching up. It isn't so hard to do. And, now that I know that it's true, it's okay to say that this is the end . . . But instead of breaking up I wish that we were inking up again.

I ask you not to say goodbye. We should give our penship another try. Come on, my penfriends, let's start anew. 'Cause breaking up is hard to do. I'm writing as fast as I can! Because I appreciate you writing when I couldn't. Here's to you, Page One. Thank you. Show and tell's coming up soon! 

Write on. Letters do make a difference. Until next time . . . I'ma keep readin' As Always, Julia. And Edna Lewis' The Taste of Country Cooking! And Julia's Kitchen Wisdom. What's on your letter-writing pad? Um. What are you reading? Don't let it keep you from writing when you're up to it. Thinking of you.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Marching to Climb Jacob's Ladder

I'm on an emotional roller coaster, or so it feels. Seems like there are penguins everywhere I turn lately, and naturally, I'm reminded of young Jacob. I wonder how he's doing and I don't want to. He has to be where he is, how he is because that's the way it's supposed to be. So perhaps all the penguin reminders are just that--reminders that all is well. 

I see these guys every day. They've been waddling into the wet since I chose them to appear at random intervals across my Big Mac. The photo is from a few days back--a spontaneous response to a signal from my heart-to-brain--an unconscious reaction done on a subliminal level of consciousness. Right? Thoughts of Jacob may never go away but then that's okay too. So I took a photo of a photo to paste in my journal along with thoughts of Jacob. I enjoy imagining the penguins going to join the boy who sneaked into my consciousness for a reason. Hopefully, they're there by now. Fingers crossed they're not smelly and raucous. They're more like the imaginary vanguard of a special spiritual totem for a little boy who likes penguins. A vanguard for Jacob's journey. That's what I hope anyway. This is what I hope and imagine because the idea makes me feel better. And my heart's in it. And it's as deep and full as the one in the photograph of a photograph from my monitor.

Life in Limnersville has been something else for the longest. But the truth is I'd be worried if everything came wrapped in roses with a side of iced tea every day. I'm training for the Olympics of Life here, so a girl's gotta sweat, fall down and skin both knees, get back up again, refocus and realign. That's what I'm doing. Rehab promises I'll be back in marathon writing form before the new year. I'm good with that. How are you?

Seems I meet more nice people when I'm ill, recovering, or getting a do-over. And I didn't have to kick a can down the street first this time. We met a lovely person, one Rodney, yesterday during my quest to find a new vendor for heel lifts. There will be no more ordering online! I'm back to doing it locally after the bad experience with the company I've done business with for so long I've forgotten how long it's been. The medical supply company we'd used years before that went out of business. If you can't get it on Amazon it can't be gotten, right? Well, I'll be doing my getting from For Your Toes and Feet from now on. 

 Rodney and I talked as much about the chai as we did about my feet, our common ex-employer, heel lifts, and life. The extended conversation started over that little charm--one among many--on the three bracelets I wore. The sound the tinkling silver bits make always make me feel better. How he managed to zoom in on the chai still has me shaking my head. JC said it's not such a mystery seeing as how Rodney's Jewish. But I'm not buying the easy answer. He, Rodney, not JC, wrote the symbol for me in print and cursive. I learned how to do it with a calligraphy brush. Did you know it has a numerical value of eighteen? The marks for chai, not the brush. When numbers are reduced to the lucky number eight, there's a whole other story to tell you. Since I'm feeling better day by day I'll save it for later. I'll tell you about Davia's latest letter first.

Her cursive is impressive. I'm so impressed I cannot help giving her a mental gold star. I wrote like that! Erin wrote like that! Cursive is in good hands again! Thank you, Davia, for restoring my belief in the American school system. You've become my very best penmanship girl. 

Davia's drawing of a koi is lovely. All those perfect scales. Lily pads and lotus blossoms! I watched "The Gift" again the night before last and those koi reminded me of Davia's. To learn more about the fish use this link: Koi Fish Facts. Packed away in a corner of my past life lays a cross-stitched gift of koi in a pond from an old friend, Auntie Stas. Koi in a pond aren't likely to happen here. Koi in a letter from Davia more than makes up for it. Ain't mail cool? Thank you, Davia. You're one of my favorite artists. Don't forget to sign your work, okay? Artists always sign their creations. *grin*

How's your mail flow lately? Good, I hope.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Christmas Penguin Postcard for Jacob

A special Christmas postcard for Jacob. It's the last of the lot. I knew I'd saved it for something special. I know he asked for handmade cards, thinking folded--inside an envelope, but here's hoping he'll like this too.

Merry Christmas Jacob!