Friday, June 30, 2006

there's no place like home...

It started with new towels I'd washed, and when I cleaned the dryer screen the lint looked like clouds (and thus it became). Earlier this afternoon I was trying to organize a bit and came across the flower buttons, before I knew it I had started a sewing project (and now the room is even more of a mess)! The whole thing is a bit quirky, including the scan. Should have taken a picture but I am getting tired and my camera is way upstairs, in my purse I think. So - it is what it is. I sort of like it.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

true friend

This is one in a series of eleven ATCs (which was to have portrayed "The Real Me") I made yesterday for a swap being hosted by the darling Anita Webster. It has taken me alot of time to get to this, have to say procrastination was in force big time. I think I was actually a bit nervous to do them, I haven't created with paper I don't believe since I made my christmas card the beginning of December and there have been - again - so many changes in my life during that time. It felt good, and hope I now am back on the horse so to speak I'm over whatever the heck it was that has prevented me from attempting to create much art. Three cheers!!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

and the point, is?!!

Woke up at 7:15am and took Ernie out to potty - things are easier now I accessed the side door out of the garage this weekend (did a bit of organizing and clearing out of that space) and I don't have to worry about how just out of bed I look with messy hair and wrinkled pjs as it always seems all the neighbors get in their cars and drive by my house the minute I walk outside at that time of day which I've had to do since the landscaping project started. I'm sure I've made a lovely first impression on some.

Felt way too hot when I came back in so closed up all the remaining open windows (rained sprinkles all day yesterday) and turned on the air conditioning to 70 degrees. Realized the minute I got back into bed this was ridiculous and got back up and turned it off, I doubt it is even 65 degrees outside but the air really wasn't moving - still, not. Actually it is this blood pressure thing that makes me so hot alot of the time. Tried to fall back asleep but did not so got up again at 8:15am.

Gave Ernie his breakfast and had mine. These days, in fact for the last few months it has been the exact same thing - Great Grains Crunchy Pecan cereal and vanilla soy milk, which I eat siting in one of my new chairs watching a few minutes of The Today Show. Not into The Today Show much in the summer so then turn it off and go down (here) to check email. Not a very popular person it seems as there are only six emails, three from yahoo group digests and three unsolicited. Delete all.

Took a shower. Need to note here this involves trekking across the house to another bathroom as even I now have the shower doors installed in my bathroom they leaked. Then were "fixed". Then leaked some more. Finally got sick of said "fixer" coming over so just told him there was no leaking and plan on fixing it myself. However, I've been told I should remove all the caulking on the doors now - and there is alot - and start from scratch. But I keep forgetting to buy a caulking gun and new caulk. For the record: I guess they are all my bathrooms and anyone who has four and lives alone should be embarrassed of that fact. And quit complaining.

After the shower the usual thirty minutes of "getting ready" which includes brushing teeth again, "doing" hair, mascara, and the clothes thing which today involved getting the iron out and ironing a skirt. This is a dangerous maneuver which resulted in my getting a black eye the first time I attempted to do so in this house. Have been extra cautious since as it hurt like "heck" and lasted three weeks - not an attractive thing although it illicited attraction - people could not help but stare at it.

Ok, waited for the landscaper to show up as he said he'd do around 10 or 10:30am to bring two pavers he needed to finish the back patio. I have a few patches in the yard not getting watered from the sprinklers and wanted to tell him first as thought he may be able to adjust them without having to get that guy over here again. Realizing he most likely would not show (correct) I called and left him this message.

Then came down here and packaged up some stuff for the mail, one to my sweetie as it is coming up on 35 years from the day we met and I've made a little something to commemorate the occasion, and another to a friend in the hospital. Printed labels, swaddled in bubble wrap and they were ready to go. Also had some stuff to return at the mall, a very cool lantern from Pottery Barn which was a house warming gift but which my friend Pam said was crooked (she is more anal than even me) and made me vow I'd replace, and a pair of pants that both my sisters warned me not to buy as they said looked like pjs (well, I like pjs) and should never have bought in the first place. Just because I did buy them, but have reconsidered (see previous post as to not wearing pjs before 9pm). And, as the landscaper did not show - I packed the car and hit it.

First the PO, this is such a pleasant task compared to my time in NC. I go the one in Jenison which is teeny, friendly and today no line whatsoever. Then did the mall thing with the returns, decided I instead wanted a skirt when I returned the pants but they didn't have a size 10 so another store was called and they did so I'll have to swing by there on my way home. I also bought two pair of shorts from Old Navy as I liked the ones I bought before going to FL. A stop at B&N for the new Somerset (why don't I just renew my subscription again already) and a book which is actually for teens called something like The Notebook Sisters. Can't resist a journal and it is an interesting look into today's teenaged girls.

The car was on empty so to the gas station where I can get 10 cents off per gallon if I get a car wash. Forget to put car in neutral in car wash, attendant has to knock on window as I had cd player blaring new Red Hot Chili Peppers. Get home, no landscaper. Remember I was to have gone to the other store for the skirt so leave again after taking Ernie out again and giving him another cookie. Try on skirt, one dress and a pair of shorts. Buy the skirt and a top. Also see a Secretary of State office in this mall so go in to get the booklet to bone up on the test to get new license - they tell me I don't have to take a test!! In Charlotte this whole process took me five hours and my DL picture depicts a lunatic as I was so happy to almost be sprung from there I look like a goon in the picture. Needless to say this is why I haven't gone to get the Michigan one and my new plates yet, still too fresh on the mind, so this is great news and will go back when I locate four pieces of ID they require out of three different categories. Drive home a different way as I like to find shortcuts - this wasn't one.

Change my clothes into more comfies and eat lunch. This will be the end of my eating today, although not eating totally the right things I have been cutting way back as I really am not hungry most of the times I eat and therefore the last week or so feel better. Had a roast beef sandwich and sweet pickles and a diet coke. Quickly perused Somerset while eating, need to tell Lisa G I again love her stuff she had published.

Again with checking the emails, again with boring. Go out to get the US mail - even more boring. Throw in a load of wash. Check on how my new rug I bought for my bathroom friday which is dry clean only which I didn't realized until I not only dropped a toothbrush on it but also a mascara brush so had to wash - the second day I owned it - and see if I could do that without totally ruining it as I didn't want to go to the dry cleaners - it is drying. It's been damp outside so it is taking a year and a day as it has to stay inside.

Saw that Luke called but did not leave a message. He does not get good cell phone reception at his camp counselor job in northern Washington so did not call him back. Just remember he said when he called the other day that he can get email so will write him when done here. Also remember I need to call Joe to see if he is going to be able to bring the power washer over here. Now the stuff is done outside I'd like to clean up a bit of the house before I paint the doors (I bought a lucious deep shade of teal, actually called Gypsy Teal).

Read some of the new book, and somehow I am here doing this. I need to get a job, and a life. Also need to really evaluate and contemplate on why I can't seem to get myself doing any art. Other than the room only being half unpacked and organized (I have two rooms to use and was going to use the unfinished one for the messy stuff - I AM going to use...) I seem to only do it when I want to specifically make someone something. I have procrastinated on the one project, an ATC swap, I need to have in the mail no later than thursday. This is causing me anxiety.

Time to go walk the dog. It will be very nice to have grass at some point in time. (addendum: also must have taken the time to write two other blog posts but unless I check on the time guess it must have been a high point and I lost track)!

one of the best

Bob Haggard is one of the best people you'd ever hope to meet, a fantastic singer and entertainer as well. He recently suffered a stroke which has affected his right side and speech but from what I gather not his spirit. He is currently in a rehab hospital here in town working towards recovery. This quilty and my very best wishes are winging their way to him.

spending some time with the sisters

(Something strange seemed to be happening to my last blog entry, I had to delete and started over).

This photo is from the 80's, must say I am feeling brave to post it - that was a brutal decade! From L to R me, Peggy, Cathy. I spent last week doing stuff with them.

Cathy and I went out for a yummy chinese dinner one night last week and then on to a play at Circle Theatre, tickets compliments of my friend, Deb. It was a delightful Mitch Albom comedy, Duck Hunter Shoots Angel. Very well done, lots of laughs. Really enjoy Mitch Albom, I read he was here for the opening, he resides in Detroit.

The three of us went shopping and out to lunch another day, then back here to watch my nephew's wedding videos and view proofs of their pictures and looked at their honeymoon snaps from their trip to Mexico. Seems they had a fairy tale start to their married life, best of luck to them! Went from here then to have pedicures, a nice and relaxing way to end the day.

Saturday Cathy and I went to the beach, laid around reading and contemplating the next phase of our lives. I seem so often to be up shit creek without a paddle, out on the water without a sail. Something's gotta give, and we decided to start we'd get out and do more as the play proved it to be a good thing, at least vowed no more pjs before 9pm - the sun doesn't even set by that time for god's sake!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


...and in about 30-45 days I will need a lawn mower, cross my fingers! The sun even has come out, it's been cloudy with intermittent rain all day. One more thing crossed off the list, this the last major hurdle - I hope!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

happy father's day!

This photo of my dad and me was taken in the fall of 1974, it is as we were getting ready to go to the football game during my high school's Homecoming weekend. Tradition dictated the dads escort their daughters of the court to this game and we sit on the sidelines to watch it together, then we were introduced with them at half time. He was one proud father, ditto me as his daughter. (From what I remember - it was absolutely freezing, however! My gawd, this photo sure looks vintage, doesn't it?!!)

Thursday, June 15, 2006


This deck has no access to the yard or patio below, something I thought I might not like at first and would therefore need to add stairs as the only way out to it is through french doors in the kitchen/great room. However, it keeps this little guy out of the way of the workmen and the black topsoil being strewn about down below this week yet he gets to watch (this one of the few times he was looking relaxed - they must have gone into the front or on a break!). And on days he's had a bath - well, ditto, a nice place to take a nap!

The sprinkler system is in, tomorrow they need to get into the basement to connect pipes - progress!!


After getting all the usual routine things of starting my day accomplished, I took a cup of coffee outside on the deck, along with my pile of stuff, to enjoy some solitude. Is there anything like a morning in June, one full of bird song, the hiss of sprinklers, and the visual delight of butterflies on newly planted flowers?? (this butterfly very much intrigued Ernie)!
And to explain, my "pile" is something that I seem to gather together in the morning off the nightstand or floor near my bed, the part of the things from the night before I either never got to or hadn't fully gone through. I usually take it to the place I have my coffee - today that being outside on a chaise lounge, where I begin looking at it and periodically throughout the day will browse through it some more or just add to it depending on what I'm doing, if I'm busy or not. The first layer is usually some art books and magazines, and the current book or two I am reading. Later the mail gets thrown on top, possibly another magazine or two if I've been out at the store (wicked addiction), bits and pieces of stuff off the internet, the newspaper, etc. (Let me interject here that GR is the weirdest place for perusing a newspaper - it arrives around 5pm, yes you read that right, PM. Most the news you've already heard on The Today Show, caught a bit of on CNN Headline News, even the local and national evening news most days. I don't understand it and wonder, are there other places in the US who do this? I mean this isn't just the late edition, this is the edition! Yet I love newspapers, in fact seek them out when in other cities or towns as it really is where you can get an idea of what's going on and what a place is all about, and can't imagine not having the actual tactile thing in my hands each and every day). Living alone now I gather up the pile at night (Ernie's cue we are heading to bed and he now beats me in there each evening) where I watch tv or movies and it gets strewn across the bed as I go through things until there's barely room for the poor dog, before it lands on the floor or nightstand. And then the whole rigmarole is repeated day after day after day. My name is Mary and I am addicted to printed matter. I admit it but I won't be giving it up!

Today's pile started with Teesha Moore's latest edition of ART & LIFE, Tracy Bautista's new book, COLLAGE UNLEASHED, a Lake Michigan SHORELINE publication, and the atlas I grabbed out of my car. The latter so I could see the route Luke took from Ohio to Everett, WA, which he embarked on this past saturday and where he arrived last night as he'll be starting his camp counselor job this morning (still a bit farther north I see). He is such a social kid, although excited about getting there for the job and stopping along the way to see some amazing things such as Mount Rushmore and having the opportunity to ride his mountain bike through a couple national parks before turning in a couple of the nights, I could tell he was looking forward to being around people again after this interlude. I hope he has an amazing summer and meets some neat kids in his fellow counselors.

Anyway, a bobcat just drove by my window - some action outside in the yard, yeah!! I'm going to go investigate.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

take two steps forward, one step back

No work done on the yard today, bringing me more frustration than I should allow, but when I am asked if I will be home all day as this person needs to get into the house to run copper pipe to extend a water line - I guess that's the general gist of what he was telling me - why wouldn't I be called if in fact he was not going to show up?!! And where were the other guys with my bushes, trees, plants?!! I've taken a few deep breaths, and even a short nap during the afternoon - not worth stressing over in the scheme of things, I know. I know. I know...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I got a fun package in the mail yesterday from fellow bibliophile and art buddy, Mary Walmer, who also ~conveniently~ owns a stamp store called Morning Sun Studio. I had ordered two sets of clear stamps from Autumn Leaves, both done by Rhonna Farrer - the Nature and Flourishes sets. I am all over birds these days, probably as with anything else due to be overdone any minute, but lovin' them now (Marie Otereo also puts out a stamp sheet that has one of my all time fav birds). There was an extra goodie slipped in the envelope, some Christine Adolph rub-ons, so sweet - thanks Mar! She keeps a store blog where customers are updated on the latest she has in stock or on order, check it out:

Speaking of books, I started a good one last night titled, The LAKE, The RIVER, and The OTHER LAKE by Steve Amick. This is a book about a loosely veiled fictitious resort town "up north" here in Michigan. I'm only into it by 83 pages but I have to say, having spent many summers in and around such a town and intimately knowing someone from one, this is not only right on but quite a hysterical comedy, so far a wonderful summer read (you'd really like this one Mary). Also in the middle of Cesar's Way by Cesar Millan, the national geographic channel's dog whisperer. Already picking up some good tips, he really understands dogs. Tips I'll be needing as poor Ernie is now so confused about not being able to go out in his backyard he had one of the only accidents he's ever had in the house here last evening. We're working on it, lots of walks!

Landscaping update: the entire site was excavated yesterday and I am really beginning to be able to visualize my new yard! Waiting on the guy who will install the sprinkler system today, and then the work will continue with planting, etc. I am told this will be completed by week's end, I am crossing my fingers that to be the case, I mean it's after 10am already?*!*$$$$

Monday, June 12, 2006

I got the help I needed with the dvd players, and the whiner in me has departed, whew!

The landscaper is here!!! Finally, after being in the house since the beginning of March, I am going to have a yard - plants, grass, a place for Ernie to romp without coming back inside covered in burrs! To say I am excited is really a bit of an understatment today (I sure run the gamut of emotion from day to day, guess if I'd have to pin one on myself to encompass it all it would be that of s t r e s s e d o u t ).

Friday, June 09, 2006


I hate being incompetent. I had Luke hook up the DVD players on two tv's last weekend and I guess should have had him prove out they worked or showed me how so I could actually watch a movie - because I can't get either one to let me do so. There's power and on one I can even hear the movie but can't get the picture on either - and yet these are the same players I've had and used at the other house, could it have something to do with the cable box? I actually doubt that as it doesn't plug into it and what am I saying, I had one in Charlotte and it/they worked fine. Who do you call when you are an idiot and cannot even work these basic machines?!! How did I get them to work before? I'm losing my mind, something I cannot afford to do as at this age I need all the brain cells I can hold on to.

I feel very frustrated, don't think I am cut out to be a single woman, I am so ill-equipped to function in this world very well at all and it's just not fun. Weekends are not what they used to be, that's for sure. Friday night, 11pm, guess I'll go to bed.

i am

I am Willing. © Margaret Dubay Mikus I am willing to change what doesn’t work for me in my life.I am willing to listen with an open heart, without judging.I am willing to plant seeds that take a long time, if ever, to grow.I am willing to feel and let go.I am willing to make mistakes and learn from them. I am willing to live in the present.I am willing to forgive and forget in my heart.I am willing to love as much as my endless spirit will allow.I am willing to be seen in all my radiance.I am willing to be fearless. I am willing to be powerful.I am willing to be peaceful.I am willing to stand tall. and walk gracefully.I am willing to sing with my stunning, full voice.I am willing to allow. I am willing to let go.I am willing to change.I am willing to see and be seen.I am willing to hear and be heard.I am willing to feel and be felt.I am willing to heal and be healed.I am willing to love and be loved. I am willing to change what doesn’t work for me in my life.I am willing to listen with an open heart, without judging.I am willing to plant seeds that take a long time, if ever, to grow.I am willing to feel and let go.I am willing to make mistakes and learn from them. I am willing to live in the present.I am willing to forgive and forget in my heart.I am willing to love as much as my endless spirit will allow.I am willing to be seen in all my radiance.I am willing to allow. I am willing to let go.. I am willing to be fully human.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Pam, one of my best friends from jr high/high school was in town yesterday, a quick visit from Chicago to attend a black-tie affair honoring a family member. I was very happy she planned to take the time to meet me for lunch and then was able to come over and see my new house - the time was too short but we managed to talk and laugh nonstop for the couple hours we had. It was great to catch up, hope now I am closer (it's just a three hour drive to that wonderful city) I will have the opportunity to see her more often. It has been almost two years since she and my other two 'bestest friends' Annette and Chris, flew down to Charlotte, we have so much fun together. It is so true, you can go for a very long time without seeing some people yet as soon as you are back together in their company it seems like no time at all has passed - the truest of friends. These three have definitely had influence on who I am today, I just love them to bits!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Oh, what a feeling!

Nothing better than kicking off the flip flops and putting bare toes into the warm sand on the beach! Absolutely gorgeous 80 degree day today at Holland State Park on Lake Michigan which is less than 30 minutes from my house. Also a very interesting day as the beach and, from what I gathered campground, are both filled with high school graduates. Overheard ALOT, and have to say, not only did it bring back my own memories, but made me thankful my kids are past that stage of life, and we all survived it (and do not doubt for an instant my parents said the same back in 1975)!

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Such a delightful day at my nephew's wedding saturday. This is Luke, me and dad at the church. So nice to spend time celebrating family!