Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday June 29th

I am waiting and hoping for the next Monsoon to hit this evening. The smell of the rain is very close. I have spent my weekend really concentrating on the kits and handouts for Puget Sound. As of this evening I am done making kits and printing handouts. All I have to do is pack up tools and teaching supplies and I am ready to hit the road. I leave a week from Monday.

I have been writing and writing and writing. So much so that I have been ignoring all of the emails from friends that I have been receiving. So sorry Jean, I will try to never let it happen again!

Choices and decisions concerning our lives are always before us. How we choose to live a life and how we choose to honor that life, stand up for that life is one of the greatest tests that we face as human beings. For as complex and as difficult of a person that can be, I am actually a very simple soul. I have simple requirements as to what will make me happy and fulfilled for an entire lifetime. I desire to be openly honored, acknowledged, cherished, included and occasional be chosen as a priority, in essence to be placed at the head of the line. Those times are so rare but when they do happen they are so real and so necessary.

How we, as lovers or partners of any kind honor, cherish and treat those who are ours to honor and cherish is the truest litmus test of who we are. We succeed or fail as humans by that test. It really is that simple, if we cherish, honor, and truly care and give we succeed of not we need to keep taking that test till we get it right.

We are given tests of honor in our lives. How we face those tests and how we complete those tests is what lets us move onto the next plain of existence. I am always searching for the answers that seem to skirt the edge of my understanding. I crave that knowledge. I know that I see more than most when it comes to the truth in human nature. I consider myself a true observer. I am so very good at seeing things from a distance and feel that I have a unique understanding of the life that whirls around me. But god, I truly suck at it when it comes to the stuff that is right in front of my face. I guess that is my test in this lifetime.

I will continue to search for the answer to my sock drawer dilemma. Somehow, I kind of think that, I need another version of my sock drawer to look at on a daily basis in order to see the status of my life. Only looking in on the drawer after a nine-month absence seems to be a mistake. Solving this dilemma may be a key that can unlock a few doors for me. These are doors that need to be opened.

Friday, June 27, 2008


This is the funniest thing I have seen in a really long time.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday June 26th.

The rains came today and they came with a vengeance. The monsoon is not just rain it is a drenching of the earth. The rains are quenching months of thirst in a mighty dousing. I got out of the grocery store and knew that I had to get home fast to make sure that I could get my food inside without drowning!

I am pleased, I stood outside for 5 minutes and let the rain soak me. My doors are open and the smell of wet desert fills my house. The thunder and lighting are beautiful. It is amazing how this happens like clockwork every year. Give or take a couple of weeks the rains arrive on time to reaffirm and nourish the desert.

I had my appointment with my masseur Carlysle today. As we were talking about all of the funny things we do every week we began to talk about the paths that we were on in this life time and we both just wanted to ask someone like the "Dali Lama" (someone that we knew we could trust) if we were on the right path to the lessons that we needed to learn in this lifetime. Each of us started to talk about how we felt about our own journeys this time around and I discovered something very important.

I have always been able to gauge the disarray that my life was in by the status of my sock drawer. If my socks were paired and in a tidy order I kind of knew that things were on the right track or if the drawer was a jumble of mismatched pairs I knew I had some work to do. Now here is my problem! Since I moved to Arizona I no longer wear socks for 9 to 10 months out of the year. I do not even look in my sock drawer during those months. I realized today that I needed to find a new gauge. I have depended on my socks for as long as I can remember. Maybe my tank tops will do. They are separated by color and neatly folded in orderly stacks. I’ll have to see if that will do for the 9 months that I no longer wear socks.

Here is a link to a really cool local artist Amy Novelli. I met her a few months ago at an open house and we started talking away and soon realized that we had a great deal in common. We both had spent way to many years in Ohio. We both lived and went to school in NYC around the same time. And we both had the same job at the same art store in NYC separated by only a few weeks.

I worked at New York Central Art Supply in the third floors paper department. Now this is no ordinary paper department. They carry hand made parchment that these two really cool Hasidic Jewish men make, hand made watercolor paper, hand made marbleized paper and every conceivable Japanese paper you can think of. There were thousands of kinds of paper. I left that job to go on a National Tour with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre as the Assistant Lighting Supervisor and Amy took over my position at the NY Central. We had a great time talking about all of the characters that worked there.

Well anyway she is now a Tucson artist and has just revamped her website. Take a look her stuff is really interesting to see. Also make sure that you check out her INTERVIEW from a local TV station.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday June 25th

Just wait till you read this!
It has been over a month since the child hit my car in the parking lot of the Post Office. I finally got the approval to drop if off to be repaired. The thing that kind of gripes me is that the insurance people that have to deal with all of this have no understanding that I am loosing hours of my life that I will never get back with phone calls, follow-up phone calls, dropping off my car, picking up the rental car and all of the other things that have added up to over 15 hours of my life.
That is one waking day! Gone Forever!

It reminds me of the time I had an article published and an image was omitted because they had only allotted so much room for the article. I specifically asked that they put the image back in and they said they did not have the room to do so. Because of the missing step I received over 45 calls and more than that number of emails because the instructions were unclear. I kept a log of all of the phone calls and emails and submitted an invoice for my lost time. It came to over 24 hours of my life because of one image on a piece of paper. I though it was a brilliant way of illustrating that a short cut does not necessarily work out for the best.

I am getting back to work right now!!!!!
Have a great Wednesday!

Now this made me smile - Ying & Yang - VW Style!

Should we say it is very Ving & Wang? (sorry! could not resist!)

Chapter 5

The Tao doesn’t take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.
The Master doesn’t take sides;
she welcomes both saint and sinners.

The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.

Hold on to the center.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday June 24th

I actually had 4 inquiries about what Tubing was.
My short explanation;
Your butt is in and inner tube floating down a river with snacks trying not to get sun burnt!

So, tubing down the Salt River is Fantastic. We had a marvelous day of floating and always going down the “rapids” backwards. If you ever go tubing remember the phrase “butts up” when you are floating through a shallow portion of the river. VERY IMPORTANT!

The day was hot and sunny and beautiful. There were birds everywhere and I had no idea that there were Mud Swallows in Arizona. Their nests were all tucked into the most amazing places in the cliffs and as we approached the landing at the end of our journey we had the privilege to see 2 hawks soaring on the thermals. They were so beautiful!

It was a very good idea to drive to Mesa the night before so we did not have to get up at the crack of ass to just drive there and back in one day and since I did the driving it was even a better idea. We had a nice breakfast and got our provisions early and were on the river by 9:30am. Perfect timing!

I had to go old school on photos. I bought a waterproof disposable camera and will have to scan the photos in after I get the photos developed. I cannot even remember the last time I had film developed! YIKES!

I had a productive day from 6am till 5pm then I kind of died! I got loads done for Pudget Sound and then watched as Boston came back in the bottom of the 8th to win a game the D-Backs should have won. Very depressing considering the game that Haren pitched last night for AZ.

Today is short and to the point.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday June 22nd.

If you have ever wondered if you were a geek or not?
If you are wondering, let me be your gauge.
I am a geek!
I am a proud geek!

I love to wonder around the hand tool section at the hardware stores, in junkyards and vintage stores. Here in Tucson, I can be found with great regularity at Gerson's, a local reclamation yard. Got my outdoor claw foot tub from them in exchange my cut up wrought iron fence. I like to tinker with things to find out how they work and I have always been one to tear something apart if it is broken to see if I can fix it.

I collect silly toys, finger puppets, a 6” Pink Panther, a magic 8 Ball, an Etch-a-Sketch, a Slinky, (yes, I can sing the commercial from when I was a child!) a 2” Gumby & Pokey and many other great toys that are located all over my house to amuse me no matter what room I am in.

But the geekiest thing of all that I have done religiously for the past 10 years is collect all of the state quarters and place them in their appropriate location on the cardboard folding US Map. Yes, I will freely admit that I am that much of a geek. I only have to collect Hawaii and Alaska and a 10 year vigil is complete!

What on earth will I collect now? I have no idea!
So, this is a starting point to see if you too are a GEEK. Be proud of your geek-dom. Honor that fact that these little things actually make you happy in those little ways. As my friend Cris says, it is one of the things that we have in common in large quantities.

I am taking the day off tomorrow and tubing down the Salt River. We are driving tonight up Mesa so we can wake up 15 minutes away from the river. If I can safely take my camera on the river I post photos on Tuesday!

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday June 21st.

It was a hot and very beautiful day today. I worked in the back yard for several hours before I had to rinse off the grunge in and dive in the pool to cool off. It got up to 109º this afternoon. The clouds were HUGE this afternoon. I mean, big fluffy and HUGE! Even with the heat you could sense the coolness in the breeze approaching and the faint smell of water.

I am writing up a storm this evening!
Head Down and Keep Your Eyes on the Finish Line!
I keep looking for the Checkered Flag!
That is all I can do at this time!

I went to the theatre last evening to see a production of Tennessee Williams “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” It is such an easy show to over do, Williams’ dialog lends itself to that. I do not necessarily have such a hard time dealing with directorial choices but I do have a VERY hard time dealing with crappy continuity issues. The ones that come to the forefront of my mind is the fact that a VERY RICH woman puts on elastic bound bracelets and pierced earrings. Oh, it’s 1954! Women wore clip-ons and no wealthy southern belle would be caught dead wearing a bracelet strung with elastic. Those are the two that are still bugging me. The rest, like the paper Chinese lanterns in the Deep South, I can kind of forgive!

The acting was fine; the best performance was that of Big Daddy! He stole the show!

I do love this show and we did a production of it when I was in college.
Our opening night was the day that Tennessee Williams died.
He was in the theatre that night, I swear he was and he did not like what we did to his play!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday June 20th

The subtle shift in the weather has arrived in Tucson. The clouds are gathering over the mountains and the temperature is dropping in the evenings to declare that the monsoon season is approaching. There is nothing so beautiful as the smell of the rain on the desert. It is a sweet and earthy aroma that fills your soul with the belief that all can be reborn.

The desert waits so patiently for the rains and when it hits there is a burst of life that has no equal. I remember watching this National Geographic special on the desert when I was a kid and the time-lapse imagery of what a cactus does with all of the water is so cool. The pleats of the Barrel Cactus can be seen expanding as it drinks it fill, and all of the animal life comes out in full force.

I am waiting for that earthy aroma to fill my house. I am waiting to see the plants expand and the life of the desert renew itself for another season. I am waiting for that sound of the rain beating on the ground; it sounds like a steak grilling. I mean it, it actually does sound like that. Just close your eyes and listen to the sound of the water as it hits the pavement. You’ll be amazed! I am waiting to stand outside to be drenched with the first storm. I love it here when the rains come. I wait like a child in anticipation of Christmas Morning for the first lighting flash and the first crack of thunder. My eyes look to the mountains for any sign that the rains are coming and I see it gaining strength as each day passes and I long for that smell and those rains to come down from the distant hills.

There are the dangers that come with the monsoons; that is part of its allure for me. The flash floods are your biggest worry. My first season here was a real eye opener. A friend and I went hiking about a week after we had a huge rainstorm and we were climbing all over the damn and walking in the dry riverbed. As we got back onto the path we both heard a noise that neither of us had ever heard before. In an abstract way it sounded like a helicopter, but without the repetitive rhythm. About 30 seconds after that we saw a WALL of water come rushing down the riverbed from Mt. Lemon. (I think it was Mt. Lemon, that is what the Ranger told us!) Neither of us knew it could take a week for the waters to come. Well we know now and are much more cautious. A very eye opening moment!

Let the rains come; I am ready for them!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Listen to this - Brandi Carlile Rules!

Brandi Carlile - The Story

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true...I was made for you
I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you
Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
You do
I was made for you
You see the smile that's on my mouth
It's hiding the words that don't come out
And all of my friends who think that I'm blessed
They don't know my head is a mess
No, they don't know who I really am
And they don't know what
I've been through like you do
And I was made for you...
All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true...I was made for you

Thursday June 19th.

The concert last night was excellent. I did not realize that I was actually a real fan of Brandi Carlile. I knew her music but did not realize that it was her singing! What a pleasant surprise! She opened for the Indigo Girls and it was awesome. She has these twin dudes that play guitar for her, they were so cute, and a barefooted cello player. What a beautiful voice that she has and she closed her set with a beautiful solo of Hallelujah. Most intense!

On came the gals! Amy and Emily have been favorites of mine since their first album. They played for over 2 hours and instead of just having the two of them playing they added a keyboard playing accordionist into the mix. And to say that she rocked would be a gross understatement; it added a great deal of depth to their sound. But the best part is that they had Brandi join them on at least 8 to 10 songs and both groups came out for the final 3 songs and a portion of the encore.

The addition of Brandi’s voice to Emily and Amy’s harmonies was an inspired choice and she seemed to be having a really great time. When she was on stage and waiting to sing these amazing harmonies that they all came up with she would be singing/mouthing the words of the songs along with either of the girls away from the microphone.

Working away today! I am getting all of the orders in for Pudget Sound and am glad to say that 2 of my classes are beyond sold out. The 2+2 Vertebrae Variant chain class has seats left. Sign up soon, it is a great class and I promise a really fun time.

HEY! I just go the most excellent news that I will be teaching for Interweaves Bead Fest Santa Fe show in March of ’09. It is a brand new facility that everyone is very excited about it. I had a brainstorm of an idea of how to break down the Low-Tech™ class into separate and distinct sessions. Each class is a complete class but if you take all three you will walk away from the show with a completed piece. So, there is a ½ day findings class, a ½ day chains class and finally a full day pendant making class! Take anyone or all three classes. I thought I was very SMRT. We shall see.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday June 18th.

A complicated day is today. This day has been fraught with technical difficulties. I downloaded the new Firefox 3 yesterday evening and the new version does not recognize the program that I use to access YouTube Videos. So my plan for a quick post today has been hampered with trying to regain that ability. Well success has come with a 2-hour price tag. Jeez, it is just one more thing!

I am attending the Indigo Girls concert this evening at the Rialto. I saw them last year and it was an excellent concert, so even though another year has passed I could not pass up an opportunity listen to their music. The beautiful part was that it was just the girls and their guitars. There was so much music out of just 2 guitars. The complexity of their sound is so amazing. I have always found great meaning in many of the lyrics and I have always admired the gals for keeping to their own sound!

Well, I HAVE to get back to work today so I can justify this evening off!
Here is the song that they closed last years concert with.
So bittersweet in so many ways!

Galileo's head was on the block
The crime was looking up for truth
And as the bombshells of my daily fears explode
I try to trace them to my youth

And then you had to bring up reincarnation
Over a couple of beers the other night
And now I'm serving time for mistakes
Made by another in another lifetime

How long till my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light
I call on the resting soul of Galileo
King of night vision, king of insight

And then I think about my fear of motion
Which I never could explain
Some other fool across the ocean years ago
Must have crashed his little airplane

How long till my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light
I call on the resting soul of Galileo
King of night vision, king of insight

I'm not making a joke, you know me
I take everything so seriously
If we wait for the time till all souls get it right
Then at least I know there'll be no nuclear annihilation
In my lifetime I'm still not right

I offer thanks to those before me
That's all Ive got to say
cause maybe you squandered big bucks in your lifetime
Now I have to pay
But then again it feels like some sort of inspiration
To let the next life off the hook
But shell say look what I had to overcome from my last life
I think I'll write a book

How long till my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach the highest light
Except for Galileo God rest his soul
King of night vision, king of insight

How long
(till my soul gets it right)
[til we reach the highest light]
How long
(till my soul gets it right)
[til we reach the highest light]
How long

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday June 17th

Heat; Heat; Heat - Today it will be 110º Right ON!
Work; Work; Work – NON-STOP!
Taking a cue from Jean Yates: Snap out of it Anne! There is work to be done!

Well that sums it up. I have a great many tasks at hand. I need to be a bit more focused than I have been and today is the day for that. I have a great deal to get done and I am quickly running out of time to get all of these task finished.

I have orders to ship, class kits to prepare, articles to write, book outlines to finish, a DVD to make and I have to get next years classes to finish. It is gonna be a long summer!

I keep getting really great photos from people that were at the show.

This is one of Joe Butcher & I. Joe and Debbie are 2 of the sweetest folks and I love having Joe in class. He is a real good sport, not only is he one of the few guys that take classes he has taken several classes with me and I like to tease him just a bit.

I got this one from Cris; this is my first night in Iowa City. I was in the house for whole five minutes and I made a beeline for what turned out to be Paul’s chair. As you can see I made myself right at home. I was bummed to find out that he was going to be out of town as I was on my way to the show but in retrospect I guess it was a good thing that he did not have to evict my from his chair.

Holy Rusted Metal Batman!
I hate it when I am this stupid!

You think that you are doing the right thing; you think that you are on the right track and then you realize that it’s completely wrong and that it has been a complete waste of time and energy. These realizations can be a real bummer. Grrrrrrr! I hate being this wrong and I hate wasting portions of my life that I will never get back. Well, all we can do is look toward the future and start the process over again. Maybe the next time I can be smarter and get it right. Cryptic enough? I am sure! But really, this it is all about the process! It is all about learning from the mistakes that you make not only in work but could even be about the mistakes you make in your everyday life. This past week has been a very frustrating one, I have tried over and over again to get several important tasks right and or righted and I keep failing! I am not one that takes failures well. I can be extremely stubborn and at the same time hopeful, but in my Best Inigo Montoya voice possible;

“I am starting to loosing confidence” on the hopeful aspect. I guess it should not take a genius to figure out when it is time to just start over from scratch and see what new prospects come from the effort.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday June 15th.

I just got this link from my friend Cris in Iowa City! My thoughts and hope go out to everyone who is working so hard for so many. We can all be so grateful for the limited loss of life. I know that is cliché to say that things can be replaced and I am sorry that I am saying it now, but we all need to be so thankful for the fact that so few have been lost in the tragedy!

Aerials of Iowa City and Coralville - 6/14/08 afternoon*

I got up this morning and I clicked my way through the news on my laptop and I turned on my TV to catch up on the sports news for the previous day. It was not until I clicked on to several of the BLOGS that I read everyday did I remember that today was Fathers Day.

To those of us that have lost our fathers it is a rather bittersweet day. I have the most wonderful remembrances of my father. These memories range from going to ballgames, vacations and fishing down in Florida, watching him try to fix the crap Maverick that he drove, to following him with my plastic lawn mower as he mowed our lawn. (I was 4 years old at the time, ok?) I would follow him around as he did all of the tasks that he did. He was and still is one of my hero’s! We did not always have the easiest of relationships as I grew up and hit those rebellious teenage and 20-something years but he always stood by my choices and along with my mom was my biggest cheerleader.

I had a really weird dream a few weeks before I went off to B&B that my mom and dad were both in. It was nonsensical and random in so many ways but as it wound down I found myself walking down a hallway with my dad and I just looked at him and told him how much I missed him. He looked me in the eyes and said that he missed me too. I cherish those moments when I can visit with him in my dreams; it is so real! I know to my core that it is so real!

So Happy Fathers Day Dad! I love you!

I also watched today’s Meet The Press this morning. It was a panel of friends and colleagues who remembered Tim Russert and his career. He is regarded by many as a man of honor and who approached his profession with that rare quality, ethics. I think that the most interesting segment came when several of his colleagues told stories of how he would invite them onto his show so they could express their opposing views to the ones that he had expressed. He seemed to be a believer in the voice of all being heard. I am not one to watch the news on the television and my experiences with Mr. Russert stem from seeing him and his white board on primary and elections nights. What stuck me most was how much he truly loved what he did and his excitement was contagious! His friends and close colleagues had nothing but the highest forms of praise for this man. To see Tom Brokaw tear-up is like watching Walter Cronkite’s emotional responses to the events that he covered. Tom is an icon and to see that type of response gives me pause.

I got a very sage outlook on life from a brand new 21-year old yesterday morning. I took a friend along to pick up my glasses so we could do a Trader Joe’s run afterwards. It was very fortuitous that she did come along, I have a prism in my lenses that takes some getting used to and my vision was rather funky right after I put them on. So being the SMRT gal that I can be, I let her drive. Now to say that she is a cautious and safe driver is the understatement of the millennium. We were driving along and a driver cuts us off and turns into a parking lot in a very dangerous manner. Now this is where I would have laid on the horn and said some very colorful statements to take out my frustration over really bad drivers. I asked how she could keep her hands off of the horn and not get irritated by that person’s stupidity. Her response was classic.

“I want my horn to really mean something, we all make bad choices when we drive, choices that can irritate other drivers, at those times the only thing I can say is.”
“That really did not work out the way that I had hoped it would, sorry!”

Thank you for the wisdom of youth and an intimate look at the patience that I have tried to master for a lifetime!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I have been remiss!

So now that I am getting all caught up I remembered one of the most important events that happened during my trip to Iowa. You all know that there is this amazing thing that happenens as soon as you deep fry anything and pair it with ranch dressing. Deep Fried Mozzarella Cheese, Deep Fried Zucchini, Deep Fried ………Pickles. Yea! I actually ate a Deep Fried Pickle with Ranch Dressing. I was scared and I reluctantly have to admit that it was really rather good. This along with the official convenience store it is all starting to make sense. I loved my visit there and I look forward to going back as soon as possible.

Saturday June 14th.

I have been home since Tuesday afternoon and my thoughts keep going back to all of those people in Iowa. I drove through the state going out and coming back from B&B. The rain and storms started on my arrival and have not stopped since. The restaurant that I had lunch at in Cedar Rapids is under 12 feet of water. I spent an hour on the phone with my friend Cris who lives in Iowa City and she has spent her time since returning from the show sand bagging the levee’s only to see them fail. There are people on roofs with pets and old woman on roofs with oxygen tanks waiting for rescue. The people are banding together and praise be, there are only 2 deaths that are being attributed to the flooding. The other causalities are the Boy Scouts that were caught by the tornadoes in the far west portion of the state. My heart goes out to all of them.

My newly discovered long lost brother Paul has been pulling really hard hours because 2 of the local hospitals had to evacuate. The lucky part for him is that he has a 5-minute walk to work. GO PAUL GO!!! Cris tells me that the National Guard is there in full force and doing a great job. The people Cedar Rapids and Iowa City are banding together and doing all that they can. According to news reports that I just caught seems the say that the water in Cedar Rapids is receding but it will be weeks before the water gets down to flood stage and below. The river crested at 32’, 12 feet above the 1929 flood.

All of this makes my inconvenience of not having my glasses for 48 hours so unimportant. These things bring a new perspective and focus and make us remember what is really, truly important.

My day today is now about really getting back to the tasks that I have before me. I have outlines to write, articles to photograph, orders to fill and mail, a DVD to work on, Pudget Sound to get ready for and somewhere in there I need to find some time for a bit of fun.

The heat is here in full force and I am very pleased by that. I am taking my 20 minutes breaks in my pool and enjoying every moment! I just have to keep my eyes on my goals and try not to get distracted by stupid thoughts or pipe dreams and remember what I have been working for.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday June 12th.

I found my long lost Brother Paul this year at B&B.
This news gave Paul's wife Cris quite a start.
This was the family reunion!
Can you see the resemblance?

I was so wonderfully lazy yesterday.
I did the bare minimum necessary then I took the rest of the day off.

This was my most lazy day!!!

I hung out in the morning
returned the rental mini
dropped of some items that needed to be returned
got new tires for my car! (SO BADLY NEEDED!)
went to see the new Indiana Jones Movie,
brought a light dinner back to the house,
had a long swim
and watched another movie!
went to sleep early!

It is now Thursday morning and I am back at it.
I unpacked all of the boxes from B&B and am now getting started for Pudget Sound. I am getting all of the paperwork in order from the show and making a huge list of all of the things that I need to accomplish in the next month. It is really a rather daunting list. I am sure that not all of the tasks that I have set for myself will get done but I am hopeful that most will.

I do try to set lofty goals knowing 95% of the time that I will not accomplish all of them. Each item that I do check off is an accomplishment and I do love the act of crossing things off of that list. I make it hard so I will not fall into my procrastination phases that I am very prone to.

So I am making my list and I am getting my head back into all of the tasks that I have set before me.

More later as my day progresses!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday June 10th

Repeat three times and click your heals together.

(Unfortunately, my Keen sandals kind of make a squishy thud like noise but the intent is there!)

There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home; there’s no place like home!

Yes Elizabeth B, it is 103º and it IS a dry heat and my bones have never been happier. Right now it is 6:12 pm and it is 104º. I am as happy as a clam. I got to Tucson around 2pm and after quickly unloading the MINI, I dove in the pool clothes and all. GOD, it felt good.

I did it again. I kept driving and driving. I started out yesterday morning in Milwaukee around 7:45am and did not stop driving till I hit the Colorado/New Mexico boarder, 1300 miles and 18 hours later. I stopped at a rest stop, put the drivers seat all the way down flat and slept hard for 3 hours. I drive with a pillow, blanket & eye mask, those are the essentials for hard core driving. Even in the middle of the day you can take a power nap if you need to, just make sure that you can put your seat down as flat as possible or you have a place to lie down.

I started out again at 5am and was lucky enough to find a “Roach Coach” at a service station that was making REALLY GREAT breakfast burritos. YUMMY. I had one and a half!!!!! (Guilty as charged!)

I drive hard on the first day so I know that I do not have another day like that in the car. It is a wonderful feeling to still have a good part of the afternoon when I get home and it was wonderful.

The end of the show is always bitter sweet, I had a wonderful, funny, enlightening, engaging, entertaining, work filled and sad 8 days of teaching and show! I want to thank each attendee who came and helped support all of the artists and instructors that ply their trades.

I have a special shout out to PAT from my Saturday session of Viking Knit. If you read this, know that I am so proud that you hung in there and gave me that last 15 minutes to make sure that you had a good class. It is people like you that make teaching for me such a wonderful experience. Thank you again.

Here are a few shots from Gail L. who was in the 3-day class! Don’t I look really intent fusing with 2 torches? Now that is Rockin’

I have more images to post tomorrow including the reunion with my long lost twin brother!
The things our mothers never told us about!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Night Monday Morning June 7/8

WOW! It is done! The mini is packed up and I am ready to get on the road.

It was a jammed packed ending to a really amazing week. Amazing in more than just a few days. Saturday’s classes went wonderfully, about half way through the morning session I began to loose my voice. I suddenly sounded like Alfalfa from Our Gang’s Little Rascals. It was not much better today.

The major excitement was when security for the Midwest Convention Center placed everyone in “Lock Down” for 45 minutes due to the tornado warning. It touched down 3 miles from us. I was locked in my classroom with several of my students and all of the show attendees were kept on the show floor for

The most wonderful part of the day was when I ran into Elizabeth Bartky in the skyway. I have been out of contact with her husband Scott for a number of months and I was very bummed about it. As it turns out, Scott’s Spam Filter was blocking my emails. I am pleased to say that we have traded several emails over the past days and I could not be more pleased. He is one of the most special people that I have ever met.

It was sad to see Gail, Cris and Paul leave for the day. It is a bittersweet thing to see the end of the show approach. As always, I want the show to start up all over again as soon as it is over. But I am tired and I want to bake for a day or so at home before I have to dive in to start getting ready for the next adventure!

Dinner was a real silly experience. Karen, Stacey and I were to hook up with Donna Mehnert and between the raging waters of the massive storm and mixed communications, we kept missing each other all evening. So Stacey, Karen and I had a beautiful Italian meal at the Calderone Club and then had a bit if desert in the rotating restaurant in the Hilton. I crashed and burned early and slept like the dead till a raging thunder storm woke me just in time to get up and head to my 11th and final class.

After my final class today I got the room all packed up and all in the mini van with so much extra room. What relief. I had a nice quite dinner with the most excellent Susan Nestor and again watched as another huge storm front passed through the downtown Milwaukee area. I am ready for a nice long sleep and I will get in the road after I sleep in a bit.

I had a great week and saw so many people and got to spend some quality time with some very dear friends. I promised all of them that I would drive safely home. I miss my own bed and I miss my girlss big time! I look forward to seeing AZ and to warm up my bones!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday June 6th.

Eight Classes down and 3 to go!

So, how do I explain Wednesday? My day starts off at 5:45am. I get out the door to the lobby Starbucks for my Thermos of coffee and I am off to my first class of the day. I get to my classroom by 6:30 and I get tot teach from 8am to 11pm, 12pm to 3pm and 4pm to 7pm. I then have one hour to pack up my display table and get to the other end of the convention hall so I can set up my display table once again for a 8pm to 11pm “Meet the Teachers” Frenzy. Well, I have to say that it is really wonderful to see everyone and the fact that I sold one of my pieces to an artist that I really admire was a real honor.

Now I do have to back track just a bit. I had just spent 3 wonderful glorious days teaching a class of 14 in a very casual and informal atmosphere. “Hey, I am going to do a demo in about 20 minutes, please be at a stopping point by then. I started teaching on Wednesday and I was talking in a very slow and deliberate manner when the realization hit me that I had to get these people out of here in 3 hours. What the HELL? I felt that I needed to take an extra hit of espresso to make sure that these students got their monies worth. I felt like the evil neighbor lady on the bike in the “Wizard of Oz” as she bikes frantically along. (Hear that music in your head?)

I did have a great day Wednesday! I got to see everyone and I got to stay up for 20 hours. It is really my only extremely hard day!

My Horoscopes continue to humor me this year in so many ways! So,

I LOVE THESE! It took a great deal of restraint not to just go and stir up some trouble just because I kind of felt that I got permission. LOL!!!

My Horoscope for June 6th.
Today you will benefit more from conflicts and challenges than you will from collaboration and agreement. So don’t worry if you feel like making some waves. Your contrary attitude is just what you need to make the most out of this unusual day. Enjoy any turmoil that you may come across, and add your voice to the fray. You certainly should not create arguments just for that sake of it, but you shouldn’t be overly afraid of getting people miffed about what you have to say.

My Onion Horoscope for June 5-11

Despite frantic efforts to retrieve it, your antipsychotic medication will be swept away by a shrieking river of LAVA once again this week.

Thursdays classes were fun with a session of Low Tech™ Fine Silver Findings and a very funny session of chain making with the Single and Double Flower chain. Then is ended up with a some serous wandering around the show floor for Preview Night. Now that was the most interesting night that I have had in a very long time. Really! There was a great many friends that needed to be seen and hugged and well you know the rest of the drill.

Fridays 2 classes were a great deal of fun as well. It was a bit of an easier day teaching wise. I did not have a class where I played with fire. Viking Knit class is always a class where I have to run around alot but I ended my day teaching with an excellent group of students taking the Full Persian Variation. They did such a great job that by the end of the class we were on line reading out all of our daily horoscopes and laughing at how humorous they all were to us in our own ways. I know mine was.

We did have a few tense moments, the tornado alarms went off and there was a tornado that skirted to southern edge of Milwaukee and went out into the lake. I have not had a chance to get to the news to see if there was any local damage. But I will say that the weather here this year has been a bit crazy.

I was supposed to go see the comedian Wanda Sykes evening with Kathy Johnson and a few of her friends and I actually had to beg out of the evening. I hit the biggest wall about 6pm and I knew that I was not going to recover to go out and see a show that started at 9pm. I was so looking forward to spending a few hours with Kathy and laughing my head off. I had an early dinner with a few of my nearest and dearest and then I went out for a cocktail and now I am ready to fall over!!!

I stayed up a bit later than I had anticipated. I have to go to bed to be ready for an AM session of Viking Knit and an afternoon session of Low Tech™ Fine Silver Findings! It is going to be a hard day because they are 2 very demanding classes that require me to really be on my game.

It has been a week of great fun and laughter mixed in with a few days of being very saddened all at the same time. I am grateful that I have had my friends around me and I just want them to know that I love each and everyone of them.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Yup Marlene B.
Very Intense! Very Amazing & Very Beautiful!

Tonight I Can Write

Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, 'The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesday June 3rd.

Wow! Today rocked. I cannot even tell you all how AMAZING the pieces that everyone did. My favorite way of explaining all the accomplishment is in the following way. Look at what you have learned to do in the last 48 hours. I have been doing this for almost 10 year and in comparison you have been doing this for 10 minutes, YOU ALL ROCK! I could not be more impressed! Really!

Everyone walked away with completed pendants and chains and findings and all sorts of excellent items that they can take and create even better things from!
Well Done Ladies! You have my admiration!!!!!

Gail Crosman Moore & Michelle Goldstein are in and Gail was teaching today so we had a wonderful dinner together and did the catching up stuff that is required for not having seen each other in months. It really is amazing that life goes on even when these people are not in our view of consciousness. How can that happen!!!!!

I so remember the EXACT moment that I realized that the world existed beyond the scope of my reality and my little world. I was 8 and my family was in Washington DC for vacation. Our hotel had a view out the window of the highway. As I was getting ready for bed I saw a big-rig truck drive by, he had his interior light on and I could see every detail of his face. He was a blond young man, had on a plaid shirt and was talking on the CB Radio. He drove a Red Perterbilt Bad-Ass truck.

It was at that moment that I realized that I knew this man existed and had an entire life in this world and yet he had no clue that I did. My biggest thought was that I realized that he had friends and had gone to kindergarten and I had hoped that he had as good of a kindergarten teacher as I had had! That moment was the moment in my life that I understood that there was a world out there that had no idea that I was even in it and the scope of the world did not revolve around me!

I love that these wonderful people ebb and flow in my life, that we take the time to catch up and to have a nice meal and to spend time to get re-acquainted! What a life that we all get to have. As soon as the show is over we are all talking about how much we can’t wait till next year! Right now I can’t believe that I have just finished teaching a 3-day workshop. I have been here for 4 day already! WHA?

I want to thank all of the great ladies that were in this workshop. What a joy these past 3 days have been! It has been an honor to have had you in class these 3 days.

I am sorry about photos. I’ll do my best to get them up tomorrow morning! Dinner with Gail and Meesh had to take priority for this evening!

My 19-hour day happens tomorrow. I teach from 8 to 11; Noon till 3; 4 till 7 and meet the teachers is from 8 till 11. I get up at 5:30 am and will get to bed by 1am by the time I get all of the stuff returned to the classroom and wind down. Wish me luck! After that it is all downhill from there!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday June 2nd.

I'll be damed, half of this year is almost over! Can you believe that?

Well I realize that I have some serious catching up do. I love staying at the hotel that I stay at but the Internet connection is not Mac Friendly. So today is the first time that I have bee able to post since I arrived in Milwaukee.

Cris and I had a wonderful drive out to Milwaukee from Iowa City. I love a gal that is ready to go, not just on time but 35 minutes early. God love her! She is a woman after my own heart. We got in early and got all checked into our hotels and then we started the ordeal of loading in the contents of the mini-van. To say it was an ordeal is the understatement of this year. The wind was SO BAD that it literally blew the boxes of all of my supplies onto the pavement. The door that I have loaded into every year for the past few years was LOCKED! Cris was draped over the boxes trying not to let the wind take them over the rainbow. It was unbelievable!

We got the room all set up and were ready in record time. We had a great dinner at Butches Steak House and had a few hours of cocktails and huge amount of laughter for the next several hours. It was so wonderful to see my friends and relax and just kick back like no time had passed sine we had last seen each other.

Yesterday’s first day of class was excellent. Susan Lenardt-Kazmer is my next-door neighbor for the week. It is a real treat to see her everyday. The class dove right in to demos and they all took to the work. Everyone had a great day and made some beautiful parts for the pendants that are to come.

It is great to be here and to see the people starting to arrive and to see the excitement build as more and more attendees arrive daily.

After class Gail & Cris & Karen & I went to dinner at the really good Italian place around the corner and had the lovely surprise of being joined by funny and talented Dustin Tabor and Stephanie Sersich. We had a laughter filled evening and it was totally enjoyable!

Today’s class picked up and everyone was off to the races. I am amazed at how quickly everyone is progressing. I could not be more pleased at the quality of the work that is being produced by EVERYONE! I am so stoked that everyone will have a completed piece by the end of class tomorrow.

I am sitting in my classroom right now and do not have the energy to post the pictures that I have taken. All of those will come tomorrow. I Swear! I have about 20 or so already and I just can’t make it happen for you tonight!

I am excited about the show kicking into high gear on Wednesday with Meet the Teachers, the only thing that I can say is…”LET THE GAMES BEGIN!”