Tuesday, February 28, 2012

cookie love.

life is filled with little windstorms and currents.
my son is home from college for a short two week break. 
it is flying by at the speed of sound, 
or so it feels. 
he and his younger sister are having a love-in. 
his younger sister on the precipice of being 15, are taking advantage of their combined power. 
they want me to turn the oven on and bake. 
not usually a problem, yet i am more inclined to think a little about who is really gonna eat what i make. 
uh, that would be me. 
still it is really nice to have an audience for my foodie skills again. 

so with all the ridiculousness that got me baking for crowds originally, i pulled out a fresh recipe. 
one that was not tested by my crowd yet. 
i made these cookies last night. 
and i think they were very well received. 
there is one real downside to them, according to my palate. 
i shall reserve that comment for last though. 

the recipe is undeniably one of the easiest ones to prepare i have run across. 
here goes...

chocolate chip cream cheese box cake cookies
preheat oven to 375 F

1 cake mix... the kind from a box. any flavor, i used yellow cake.
these are on sale at the market so often for around a dollar, that they are worth having in the pantry. my kids like to make them... too bad they are unwilling to make real cakes. still, it is worth the price of not measuring ingredients for nearly immediate gratification. 
8 oz. cream cheese.  the bar kind. in a box, and a silver foil wrapper.  let sit at room temperature.
1/4 c. butter. half a stick for those of you who do not think in butter increments in your sleep. margerine will work too, should that be your preference. also  let sit at room temperature.
1 large egg
1Tbl. real vanilla. since i used a box cake, this is essential. you need real vanilla notes to offset that artificial vanilla flavor. and if you are an accomplished baker/eater, you will need that extra influx of vanilla. 
1 c. of any kind of add-ins... such as raisins or nuts.  i held back, due to the pickiness of my eaters.
12 oz. chocolate chips. in my mind, nestle toll house chips are the way to go. for familiarity if nothing else. 

1. cream together butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. scrape down sides, to get everything mixed completely. 
2. add egg and vanilla. 
3. add cake mix slowly to wet ingredients... only until it starts to come together.  complete mixing will surely make these tougher than you might enjoy. 
4. any nuts or raisins or other add-ins can be added now. as well as the essential chocolate chips. 
i like to do this part by hand, so that the toughness factor is minimized. 
5. using a small scoop or two spoons, place mounds of cookie batter onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets.  bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.  i like to start the baking on the bottom oven shelf, and halfway through, turn the pans and relocate to upper shelf in oven.
these are considered done when they are just browning around the edges. 
6. let cool on pans for a couple of minutes if you can wait that long. 

*the entire prep for this recipe takes around 5 minutes... which is due to the lack of measuring  dry ingredients and need for extra speed. you need to eat these as soon as humanly possible. 
*i also used the yellow cake mix, which is for all purposes, vanilla cake. the makers of the mix use artificial vanilla which is not to my taste, so be ready for this if it that sort of thing bothers you. 
* finally, the cookies do not change shape from when the batter is on the pan. if you want a flatter, more conventional cookie shape, then flatten these down a smidge.  also, i am thinking of making them again with a chocolate box cake  and a little water. i like when there is that more conventional flattening of the cookie which is a byproduct of the baking phase. 

all things considered, these were well received. the recipe gave me an idea about what i could do to my regular chocolate chip recipe ... the venerable Toll House one on the back of the chip bag. 
also, we love rugelach here. since my table is constantly cluttered with mail and other family flotsam, i thought i might try to do a drop version of our beloved rugelach cookies based loosely on this recipe. i will keep you up to date with progress on these experiments. 

this feels like it worked out well enough to try again. i think i may make my own master mix  sometime to take the place of a boxed cake. this is where you take flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt pre-mixed in conventional proportions(like homemade bisquick).  having all these dry ingredients ready in one place, without needing to measure, makes this unbelievably fast to make and generally pretty tasty. 

next, i am going to take on some other holiday cookies that i never got around to making ... 
my show season and my wacky sleep/creative schedule just did not allow for anything extra to be shoehorned in. 
surely you remember those insane postings?

hopefully, you will try these and let me know of your successes?
if not, i understand. 
for now on, these will be my choice for school bake sales. 
too easy to mess up. 
and quick to make. 


Monday, February 27, 2012

it is all right.

one of the best parts of my week, is Monday morning. 
you heard it here. 
i love it. 
it is when the rest of the world seemingly goes back to work.
often groaning with to-do lists and expectations of productivity.
i feel for you all, truly i do. 

here is why i adore it so. 
my husband plays ice hockey with a group of older men and women. 
it is a standing game, unless there is no ice. 
there is only no ice when there are tournaments in progress. 
for these infrequent times there is a child  involved .
so there is representation from the lower age bracket of the house. 
either way, it has something to do with that great disrupter known as:
around this house, it is the thing. 
they seem to love it beyond reason. 
and i am happy about that, really i am. 
it takes them out of my hair for a solid few hours. 
it is usually very inconvenient that they use my car and keep me housebound
for these few hours.
as much as i have to process for my own world, i don't mind too terribly.
there is the big, juicy full figured quiet that is made in the vacuum
of their hockeyness.

the quiet left in their absence has its own particular purity. 
i can count on no one coming and going.
no doors opening and slamming behind.
the sun streaming in the windows is particularly beautiful... if it is sunny out. 
if it is rainy, i can hear its pleasing soft percussion. 
cold and raw? not a problem, it is cozy in here. 
just me and the dog.
 the soft snoring of his equally uninterrupted naps. 
so damned great.

sleeping beauty.

then they come home. 
all rangy from their exercise. 
needy of foodstuffs. 
wound tightly as their muscles react to the recent play. 
conversations about the other players ensue. 
and the eating. 
the need to embellish it all with auditory percussions. 
slurping . 
farting jokes. 
nodding off in front of the now blaring tv... turned on without any regard. 
regard for my precious quiet. 
the inevitable announcement, that there is no gas in the car.
the car i have not driven for days...
and the expectation that my debit card is ripe for the plucking. 
it is all so familiar. 
and full of life. 
and irritating. 
unconscious as all get out. 

i know that i am feeling like Stanley Hudson.
he is a character from the American version of The Office
once a year, all of the employees in the whole building enjoy Pretzel Day
it is a day set aside for each of them to have a pretzel customized to their own specifications. 
they can build it just the way they like their own pretzel. 
and it is free. 
once a year... 
and as Stanley says, 
"Pretzel Day, it is all right". 

Hockey Morning...
It is all right. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

laundry time.

i am groaning. 
it is laundry time again. 
that special place where my husband's helpfulness and reality meet the mat. 
he does the laundry. 
i have whinged on about this many times. 
if i want something really clean, i do it myself. 
and this means actually doing it. 
not sitting around waiting for the last possible moment that i can stall no longer. 
it is a task.. to launder all the blankets and curtains, but they are due. 
so i am gonna go for it. 
the real problem is that i am indecisive and broke. 
it feels a lot like the plot line of the children's book:

in my mind, if i wash the blanket on the sofa, 
then i should look at the exposed sofa cushions below. 
they are so dirty and gross
(use and dog ownership)...
that i need to replace their covers. 
how can i replace their covers, if i need two zippers... extra long...
and some cording to make the cushions' edge trim?
so if i need cord, then i need to get some at the fabric store. 
which is frightfully close to the crafting store. 
where i bought a can of paint that just did not work. 
so i need to return that. 
all this is a few miles away...
so if i am going that way anyways, 
i need two fresh spring loaded rods to hang the curtains in my son's room. 
he is coming home any moment for his spring break. 
if he needs his curtains hung, which i believe he does, 
then i need to rewash them. 
and here i come back to laundry. 
the events of the day, have now added up so high, that i am whipped. 
i want to take a nap on the sofa. 
the beginning all over again. 

but. i will try to make it work out alright. 
it is time consuming, 
but probably well worth it all. 

just one of the many loop-de-doos of my life of distractions. 

that and cookies. 

xo. w. 

self improvement, vacations and randomness

i have been remiss of late, not writing here more than anything. 
my head is not in the game.
it may simply be my annual case of mid-February doldrums in play.
by March, you could kick me to the curb. 
lucky for me, someone who is a little hysterical and extra, over the top 
will be turning 15 on March 1. 
yes indeedy. my baby. she is all kinds of excited about that.

also, it is that special time of year for one of the many run-on school vacations ... 
first the almost 15 year old is sleeping towards the last 
Sunday of her break. 
{i will say it succinctly, her teachers really are not very good. }
too much homework for any vacation ever!!!!
{latin homework.}
{ math homework.}
{ read a book for english. write an essay on book for english. make poster board project for book. }
{read 40 pages of history. write essay on 40 pages of history. }
this is a lot for a kid to do when they are trying to get caught up on their body and mind building sleep deficits from regular school days. 
i am 100% on the kids' side in this argument. 
the boy comes home tomorrow. 
school let out on friday, so he went to "meet the fockers".
his girlfriend's family included him in the exit from school for dinner and a night at their home.
he was given a lift to the bus station and travelled south to boston. 
where he hooked up with his older sister and stayed overnight with her. 
he will be rolling into the 401 around 1pm tomorrow.
this will be just in time to see his baby sister, ms.weisenheimer extraordinaire, play her hockey game. 
i believe he will be here for two weeks. 
{cooking and food bill induced hand wringing here.}
finally the eldest will be rolling in for a week. 
a full house for one week!!!
squeals of joy!!!
yes, that is possible in the light of virtual cohabitation. 
reality will naturally offer many more challenges...
i am gonna try to keep it together though. 
back to my little world.
this blog needs some TLC.
i love the various flowery things that compose the header, the background and the side areas. 
the colors are totally me. 
unfortunately, the conventional looks of sides that are evident on most other folks' blogs are missing. 
when i downloaded a few things to try to get the colors and patterns right, 
i lost my mind trying to get the rest of it just so. 
fixing these issues takes a lot more energy than my yelling at my poor computer. 
it takes someone with skills. 
i have friends who can do these things but they seem way too busy. 
also, my daughter, who is a digital art major at college... 
is doing her college related stuff and i can't get her to help while she is doing her own work. 
so i am bumping along with something that is not what is up to grade. 
i am going to hold steady for a while longer so that i can find someone who gets 'me'
and that can help put what i want back into proper focus. 

this is concurrent with the miserableness of the server that holds all of the contents of my website being so dead, a doornail struck through it, would only make it look good. 
"and darling, to look good is to feel good.'

so i got me some things to take care of. more soon than not.
how this will be possible with a full house... it is beyond me. 
so i am going to simply sweep it to the side for now. 
forgive me please?


the reason i decided to write something tonight is that i have a bone to pick with some people. 
i read a lot of magazines. 
i love magazines. 
i find them inspiring. 
the photography, the text, the ideas shared...
they all come together leaving me wanting more. 
and more and more and more. 
my dream is of no obesity, in spite of unstoppable gluttony. 
yes, this is not real, but it is a dream. 
the closest achievement of this, is pinning like an insane person on pinterest. 

back to my point. 
recycling in the conventional manner of putting lightly rinsed cans and bottles, 
poorly corralled newspapers and cardboard carton into recycling bins is hard to fulfill around here. 
my daughter has this as one of her chores. usually, it is more of one of my chores. 
nagging and other such inspirational tones are used to get it accomplished. 
my kind of recycling is more along the lines of how i can transform junk. 
the stuff no one really wants anymore can be repurposed into very lovable stuff. 
also it can be remarkably gratifying personally. 

that all having been said, 
i read magazines about recycling junk. 
my home is a mess with all sorts of stuff transitioning from one thing into another. 
nothing here is free of dog hair. 
nor is there always dinner on the table at six o'clock. 
i gave that up for a Thursday about 7 years ago. 
no looking back on that front...
a rich and full fantasy life is in play here. 
it is better for rose colored glasses to be worn than slow down to keep cleaning things tidy. 
i just can't do that constant cleaning thing. 
my personal deal with myself is to clean one thing every day. if i should do more, that's great. 
if not, i know i will survive.
it is too great an uphill battle with all the other things that need to be attended to. 

we do not have the option really to vacation. 
too many things are pulling in too many directions. 
generally they are based on developing income. 
so i read my magazines and grow inspired, rested and rejuvenated.
not always does this translate into something that is functional or real. 
what becomes of my dreams is sometimes a mental filing cabinet full of goodies. 
things that  i can mull over and later possibly make real. 

 the meat and spuds of my life are devoted to 
making kind of mundane vintage metal pieces into more palatable components for my jewelry habit.
for example, some barrettes i made this week.  

or some flowers about to become a few necklaces.

or some flowers for a friend that makes other extra pretty jewelry.
(these still need their silver or gold trim and their rhinestone glories)

anyways, i have a pal in cyberspace. 
she is amazing. 
her name is Cathe Holden. 
her blog:

there is virtually nothing that she looks at that stays set. 
her mind is rolling around at a million revolutions a minute. 
her blogging was published in 

also in this same mag, were blogs from other very clever people.
i looked them all up and was taken in by 
Marion Parson's daily blog. 
she can be found at:

the incredible energy, vision and time spent by these two women is amazing. 
i follow them nearly daily... 
anyways, i have been so smitten with what they do, i
 sent each of them a piece i made of their choosing. 

Cathe's choice:
featuring her clever little penny pendant

and Marion's choice:
a brightly colored pink and green bracelet.

you must know how great the pleasure was to make stuff for folks i admired. 
so i was sucking up. 
 sadly, it is one of my great skills... to suck up. 
and i did get some very personal returns on one of these introductions. 
just saying. 
i met some absolutely darling women. 

anyways, i was looking at missmustardseed.com this evening. 
the friday link party was up. 
in other words, i was looking at the posting she had from this past friday. 
usually, it is filled with some of the most amazing transformative furniture makeovers ever. 
i love seeing what everyone is doing. 
all the stuff i seemingly have no time to do myself.

unfortunately i looked at a few random samples, not the usual high standard. 
i was crestfallen. 
sometimes a nice piece of furniture is in sore need of some love. 
it does not always need a combo of annie sloan chalk paint and some oops color paint. 
beautiful pieces of furniture are being repurposed. 
the things that are happening are taking a turn for the badly abused furniture society. 

i would like to say, if you see it on line, it is not always your best choice to try. 
some folks dive in without any of the skills needed to do a good job of things. 
not that i want to display my utter snobbishness, 
but some stuff just needs to be lightly sanded and richly waxed to bring out its original glory. 
it is not always the best case to paint everything turquoise. 
those who know me, must realize what personal sacrilege it is for me to say this. 
please... someone out there. ask folks to look at what they are doing. 
put a little buzz in their ears to ask,
 does this armoire really look better all decoupaged with upside down 
xeroxed copies of old sheet music?
should this piece of furniture truly benefit from unnatural wear patterns scratched into it
with a disc sander? 
would that solid oak, craftsman style dresser truly look nicer in all white?

i appeal to you folks... try to use some design sense. 
look at a magazine or catalog more carefully. 
if not for you, then for me?

my wheels are grinding and slowing just looking at some of these efforts. 
i am sure that you have all the skills to mimic the mustard seed more elegantly. 
it takes looking at your potential with a more discerning eye.
i know later you will be more proud of your work if you do. 
sorry,  i just needed to share that. 
work at things to make a fantastic outcome, no matter what it is. 
mediocre will disappoint in the long run.
if you do enough of any stuff, growth will happen and you will see it. 
leap frog over your own crap to get to good stuff. 
pride in work is good. 
especially when it is well placed. 

time to stop being critical of others.
i have my own stuff to deal with, trying my own hand at doing something better. 


Monday, February 20, 2012


i have said it once and will say it again. 
nothingness can be utterly wonderful. 

so what do i mean?
sometimes i spend time wishing i was a different person. 
you know that wasted insecure stuff...
where you wish you were skinnier,
 but chocolate seems to woo you down to the bottom of your very soul?
or that jimmy choo shoes fit your yabba-dabba-doo feet, elegantly?
or that your garden grows just like the ones in magazines? 

i realize that i am not going to be the girl i once was, ever again. 
it is evident when i look at who i am on my outside. 
too many years and too many oreos have taken hold.

i have a spastic looking curl of hair running down my back, in a matted manner some days. 
it looks like a tar-free macassar.
(the things that sailors used to tar to keep neat and the reason for lace doilies protecting furniture).
it is just because, i have tied it into a bun so many times, it has its own memory. 
one that excludes kempt expression and neatness. 
most of the time, it is perfunctory at best.

once upon a time,
 i had luscious, thick, long locks in a medium to dark brown tone
 with hints of red from summer sunning. 
now i have something that resembles brown at the bottom and
an imitation of Lily Munster's hairstyle.
there are a pair of semi-matching white to mousy grey shocks at my temples. 
i remember when it took a long time to brush this masse. 
now not quite so much, 
since it has also thinned a lot. 
(oh thank you so much to my later-life-lady-hormones!
together we are looking for any kind of balance at all.)
it all bugs me, 
for the most part, i have traded a lot of really great times and world class learning 
to get to this formerly inconceivable hair reality(and all other realities).
i have had a blast getting to this point.  

hair changes have been only one of the many trade-offs made over time. 
it took me a long time to figure it out, but i am just an artist. 
it is inconceivable that i ever denied this part of my persona.
finally, i seem to be in step with this life and style to accept my creative needs. 

i find that sometimes i look at loads of crafted things.
there is a lot of cool stuff out there. 
much of the time i am inspecting stuff to see if i can figure out how it was made.
i feel motes of envy and sometimes a need to crack sarcastic. 
it is just wrong of me to do this. 
in spite of it, i  can still go there.
there are times when i may not understand how some folks get so much attention
 for what i would not really consider as being great.  
my mother always said that my "little green monster" was rearing its head again.
sometimes it was. 
somethings are best not competed with. 
they have arrived for their 15 minutes of fame. 
have my own things? 
well they might more regularly, if i could stop wasting my energies and time  
trying to figure out what that other person has going for them. 
i stand behind the idea, that every time you do something that is rote in nature, 
the more you need it to be the very best ever, 
the greater your chance is that it may be. 
it is a very good thing to feel really proud of your work.
it is even more important to be happy cause it shows.

 i work and watch tv at the same time.
most folks seem to listen to music. i like stories. 
this allows me to think and make stuff.
it is a two bird, one stone policy.  
if i start making something that is a bit daunting, for whatever reason,
and i buy into it's enormity,
i can become overwhelmed and ultimately need to put it aside. 
it is better to just do simple tasks over and over. 

recently, i had a wholesale request for ten necklaces. 
i spent a couple of nights making beady chains and putting them aside. 
i needed pretty pink and pale colored flowers to add to the chains to complete them. 
 about a week was spent  creating a nice palette of colored pastel flowers to go with the chains. 
tonight i sat still and added the flowers to the chains 
thinking that i would be lucky if i got my order done. 
there was some kind of speed-bump stalling going on,
a mental block of some sort. 
in about the time it took to listen to two episodes of the office, back to back, 
i found myself with 20 pretty necklaces that i am very proud of. 
needless to say, not being hung up comparing my own creations to someone else's 
allowed me make just what i wanted to and in double the needed quantity. 

if it was not really late, 
i bet i would be out food shopping and wearing one of my new pieces. 
i can analyze how my creations rate by doing this. 
create things i mean and then get ambient feedback about them. 
it only works however when i am being ME. 
the rest of the stuff that i think is a hindrance and difficult to surmount,
well, it is not really there. 
it is stuff made up and in the back of my mind, 
trying to sabotage my own much more successful efforts. 
pushing through the fake, the non-existent, the fear inducing... 
all in little steps, 
one can make huge undertakings and do well with those. 

it only happens when the nothingness of comparisons is put in the deep freezer
 and i go about my business. 
it is really good to have self confidence. 
this age i am in now,
well it has done in so many things i have taken for granted. 
now i must rely on genuine effort and vision. 
no more fake stuff. 
just the now of it all. 
none of the faking it till i am found out. 
i am old enough to know i am a bit different these days.
in other ways than when youth ruled
sssshhhh. don't tell anyone. 
ha ha. 

here are the necklaces i was bragging about. 
 my ego growing. 

love when these are all hung together.

a pretty mix of unexpected colors...
 might be nice for a baby shower or expectant mum. 

or a st. paddy's day treat

or just a sweet Spring treat.

well, talk to you later...


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

mixed messages

sometimes i have a clear idea about what i want to say. 
i have no clarity tonight. 
now i am spending late night hours doing one of three things, 
or possibly all of them at one time. 
1} watching tv on my computer
2}  eating glazed animal crackers from Target. a buck a bag. tasty and all. 
3} waiting for paint to dry. 

during the thanksgiving break,
my son hitched the family tv up to a free netflix account. 
i still do not know how to use the console for that silly system. 
for unknown reasons, to see anything on the tv, you need to go through an x-box 
or some system for it to work. 
it is well above my paygrade to deal with the console, so computer it is. 

so i have been fully addicted to watching entire seasons of tv normally found on PBS or the BBC. 
if it comes down to it, i use my computer for watching these. 
the show is usually clearer on the computer screen and 
i like how immediate it is to watch there. 

"waking the dead" is one of my all time favorites. 
i was greedy and watched all of seasons 1, 2 and 5. 
what the heck happened to seasons 3,4 and 6 pray tell?
i am in serious withdrawal right now and nobody ought to cross me if they want to survive. 

the deep, gravelly voice with sardonic wit and eye contact  of Mike Rowe, from "Dirty Jobs",
also floats my boat. 
i kind of have a thing for Mike these days... so i needed to lay off of watching him for hours and hours. 
as i need constant entertainment, 
i have been watching "doc martin" episodes. 
he is definitely not charming, nor is he eye candy. 
the show entertains me enormously in spite of what my days are filled with. 
another successful digression into my addictive tv habit. 

what i am truly pacing myself for is the re-runs of 
"Downton Abbey"!!!!
can you hear me squealing with love all the way to where you are?
there was a short little snippet of a top ten list today. 
it was making its way around facebook, 
so i doubt that i would offend its creator if i could post it here. 
let's see if i am capable of some techno-wizardry. 
the real translation of this is letting the blog format do all the heavy lifting. 

{fingers are Crossed }.

here is granny... aka the dowager countess violet, 
played by the inimitable 
Maggie Smith. 
or as i need to dumb down when discussing with my almost 15 year old, 
Professor MacGonagle. 
cripes. gulp. whimper. weep. 
i really have tried to educate her properly... at least to the best of my ability. 
perhaps, she will understand yet who this Dame is?
i have some time and patience. 

i believe that number 8 is my favorite. 
or did i say that wrong?

she is remarkable. 
and a British Treasure. 


i only am eating the animal crackers because, 
hockey is still in season and there are upcoming lacrosse practices etc. to contend with. 
my baby is going to try out for the lacrosse team at her high school this year. 
i am all for that, but it requires more driving to and from practices. 
with all the chaos that her schedule creates, 
i still have not made any cookies this week. 
so there are only the pre-fab ones on hand right now. 
not that i need any extra calories to deal with. 


as for the crack about waiting for paint to dry. 
i am doing all else while i wait. 

part one:

part two

finally, i believe that the raisin will have recuperated from her 3 week chest cold. 
i feel she will be a whole lot more pent up from not having any exercise over the past couple of weeks. 
i have and still she will whomp my butt. 
this is not truly enjoyable. 
and more on this later. 

i am dropping off to sleep. 
must make it time to end today. 


oh yeah, happy valentine's day to one and all! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

st. valentine's day and other stories

i have a lot to say about growing up with my mother. 
equally, i believe she has a lot to say about her own mother. 
 now that i am also a mother, some of it makes sense. 

my experience as a child under these two women has been flawed. 
they loved one another dearly, 
but were flummoxed as to how best to like one another. 
it all started on 

my grandmother Hannah came into the world. 
she was the eldest of three sisters.
they all had really strong personalities. 
she was hannah, the eldest. 
the classical musician. 
she was a rarity on many levels.
when you think back to women in the turn of the 20th century,
sometimes you can grab a glimpse of the suffragettes. 
granted there were a lot of other things going on in those days, 
but it was truly heady stuff for women. 

hannah went to a women's college. 
Hunter College to be exact. 
it was really early in the history of women attending college. 
the education was a life gift... 
a rare one in those days. 
she graduated, continued in school to achieve a Master's degree in Music. 
with all the pluck of an eldest child, she headed to Harlem to teach music. 
eventually, she met my grandfather, had children and found herself
(at least i believe this to be the sequence of events)
more interested in teaching music than parenting. 
all things considered, 
i feel today that she got a bad rap from our family. 
the cousins all consider that she was narcissistic and self absorbed. 
i say, so what. 
she was a woman of a certain age, trailblazing for many of us to follow in her footsteps. 
women should be grateful that there were bellwethers such as she was.
she was also a most generous and kind grandmother in her own way. 
i did nothing  but benefit from her accumulation of experiences.
they were much more useful in her later life where i came in.
crummy parenting is redeemed through better grand-parenting. 

 one of the many things that derailed my grandmother and mother,
 is precisely that which they had in common. 
my mother joined planet earth 

i shall not divulge what year it was... as my mom has been lying about her age for decades now. 
she has been telling everyone she is older than she is, 
so they can tell her how wonderful she looks. 
that and a significantly good gene pool allow her to pull this one off. 
i think it is funny. 
yes again, the legacy of our familial narcissism resurges with a lot of tongue in cheekiness. 

not only had my grandmother given birth to her only daughter on her own birthday, 
but she was then forced to consider taking a back seat to her. 
i am sure that these two had trouble sharing. 
as a mother myself, i know with every beat of my heart,
 my job is to let my kids have front and center. 
it is not always easy to manage, 
especially with my own narcissism to wrangle with, 
but it is the correct thing to do. 
my mom and grandmother never seemed to be comfortable with this. 
i may be unduly biased understanding this. 
slack is cut here. 

my mom liked to make valentine's day special for us three kids. 
she put a lot of her own baggage aside to do so. 
she tried really hard to do the right thing every year too. 
i dreaded a little and loved the day a lot. 
each february 13th mom would tiptoe down the hallway to my brothers'
and my rooms to leave a small, 
pretty, red, cardboard box in front of our doors 
or on our beds. 
they were filled with chocolate treasures nestled into little crimped glassine paper cups.
fragrant, delectable, assorted, tradable, chocolatey treats. 
i remain as i always have been, a night owl. 
so i listened each special birthday, 'love-fest eve',
 for the sound of creaky floorboards. 
mom progressing down the hall to our rooms to improve each of our 
valentine's day experiences. 
i suspect somewhere deep in her heart, 
she knew that there was deep potential for at least one of us kids to be overlooked 
during the dispensing of cut out valentines or home made ones by our peers. 
she was covering the bases with that lovely gift in case our classmates deemed any one of us
i think i worried her the most. 
both of my younger brothers had a nice following. 
i was indeed the quirky odd duck in the bunch. 
all things considered in hindsight...
 i think she was wise to try to cover all the ground she could. 
i really was pretty odd. 
mostly i think, because i was so much like i am now and it was just not in favor with the under 12 set. 
growing and accepting this about yourself is hard... but it seems much harder on parents
who see it. 
 those who identify with it have an even more difficult time. 

anyways, my poor mother 
was stuck between her own mom's brand of crazy
and the need to improve on things for her kids. 
it left her sandwiched between two unreconcilable places. 
an emotional sandwich of discomfort. 
i suppose as i have for a long time now known
that she just couldn't get it all lined up to have a good time for herself. 

luckily, with all the crazy crap that my family has built its legacy upon, 
she married my stepfather 
on the 16th of february. 
i was 12 then as was my newly minted stepsister. 
it started a new leaf in mom's life... 
on a day that no other member of the family or hallmark card had a death-grip on.
i would like to think that mom had the seeds of a fighting chance. 
just getting a piece of the action to share yes, 
but with someone she loved and on her own terms. 

so with two children in college and the generosity of the US postal service, 
i may break out the mixer and bake some biscotti to send north to my own 
deprived darlings. 
they ought to have  their own heart shaped cardboard boxes filled with some chocolate confections.
the sweet maniac that still lives here, should have her own jar as well. 

luckily, all three of the kids all like the chocolate biscotti, filled with chocolate chips and pistachios.
the recipe for these was published in Martha Stewart Living magazines several times over.  

 if i feel unduly gleeful and feel like baking my own 
that were once published in the now defunct 
i will dust off the large pans and do a batch or two of those as well. 
thank you epicurious dot com for warehousing this recipe. 
i will say, i spent a while updating what the test kitchen did to my recipe. 
if you are inspired to trust me on my own directives, 
they can be found in the notes section 
under the actual recipe. 
that can be found here for your own personal test kitchen to give a go. 

there are dissenting ideas and everyone is a critic,  as we all know.
what this recipe will do for any experienced baker is give you an outline. 
change every addition as you like. 
the cookie is tasty. 
nothing is sacred, and that is in its own right, is the magic of a good basic recipe. 
for beginners, there is enough information to make these perfectly the first time. 
that is no small feat. 
use my notes to make it foolproof. 

anyways, i am going to be a mellower mom, 
with a sweet smelling house. 
not one always filled with fumes from drying paint or last night's garlicky pasta. 
back to my own basics. 
things that make my children nostalgic for when i was nicer to them.
not all smart assery as i tend to be nowadays. 


as for the fumes of my metallic garden. 
i plan to perpetuate them yet another day. 
i spent today at a trunk show for a shop in town today. 
i enjoyed meeting new folks. 
i enjoyed leaving even more. 
really, i just wanted to do some more flowers.
the chance to usher SPRING into the here and now, 
in spite of a very mild winter, is too tasty for me to pass over. 
so i was itchy to get home and back to things. 

facebook is where i post photos of my things as i make them . 
there often are a lot of my nice customers from my etsy components shop who visit.
often there is an expression of  an interest in depleting my floral inventory.
these folks seem to need some blooms for their own seasonal creations. 
i am making a second batch of flowers as soon as the winds die down outside and natural light returns.
it seems possible to do yet a third batch, since i need them to fill my wholesale orders too. 
I feel my inner Sally Field ... 
'you like my flowers, you really do!'

i am resistant to answer one of my newer followers. 
i will say it here. 
when i do a lot of flowers, they are done for my own interests. 
you as potential customers should not hold the expectation to get an answer to questions
that are better off not posed. 
today, i received one of those unfortunate ones. 

the least enjoyed question is about how i color my flowers. 
the second most irksome is where do i get them from. 
and thirdly, can i tell them how to put them together. 
the answer is no, i am not going to give you my sources or techniques.

i am not trying to be rude, really i am not, but consider that 
i have those aforementioned children in college to pay for. 
please consider that i am creating my own art to share out as i see fit. 
please do not be rude and ask. 
no matter how nice you think you are being, you are upsetting me. 
thank you for understanding 
(if you do). 
i will sell some of these to folks i know and have well tested relationships with. 
i make these to serve my own needs.
 it has taken me nearly 15 years to do this. 
you would not ask your doctor how to perform surgery. 
you would not ask your lawyer to write your will for free. 
sensitive treatment of artists is often overlooked...
and it ought not be that way. 
we add that  special something to the community at large. 
the softness and mortar of our society relies on what we do as creators. 
show some respect please? 
i believe it is well earned.

anyway, i think i am pooped and need some sleep. 
those flowers beckon in the dreams for tomorrow. 

happy valentine's day 
mom, grandma, halley, graham, tessa, chris, joss 
and everyone else. 


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

some rules i try to live by

sometimes i get happy and other times not quite as much.
it helps if i keep a lot of these things in mind.
they keep me more on the grounded side.
this is a good thing, as martha might say.

{in no particular order}

1} things are not hard if you do them in steps, one at a time.

2} cream always rises to the top

3a} you can not succeed, unless you try 
3b} you cannot succeed unless you fail

4} for every nerd, there is an equal and matching nerd of the same level of nerdliness

5} for every bottom, there is a seat

6}discipline only comes from being disciplined.

7}it always goes darkest before it goes completely black.

8} the golden rule:  do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

9}don't cheat. it lessens you and it is usually only a game.

10} religion is personal. try to keep it that way.

11} be as kind as you can be and then some.

just thought about a lot of these things as they apply to my world... and a list erupted.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

too tired to sleep. or is it excitement?

today was a very nice day. 
as a matter of fact, i was having a great time. 
it was sunny and mild out, so who could resist its ambient vitamin D supplement?

1} i met a store owner who had wanted to sell my jewelry in her cute new shop. 
there will be a "trunk show" next saturday. 
details will be fleshed out in the next few days. 

2} my travels included going to one of my favorite spots around, to look for new exciting components. 
i also made some headway in paying down what i owe on a machine i will be using for work.
i will be the proud owner of a looping machine. 
it is something that helps make loops as you may have guessed. 
these are the ones that are needed to create cool beaded chains. dangly charms and other fun doodads. 
the only thing that will restrain my glee in making cool chain, 
will be the bead selections i am able to use. 
the sky may well be a limit here.
i feel giddy as heck with anticipation.

3} i went the wrong way down a street next to my daughter's school, 
was entreated to supreme sarcasm by a cop, but no $85.00 ticket thankfully. 
quel schmuck. 
at least i won't do that again. 

4} the dog got walked on leash, and was relatively happy about that. 
(he could do with some skwirrel hunting soon...free form woodsy running around with other dogs)

5} tonight's dinner was already made, courtesy of yesterday's efforts. 
some serious yumminess here. 

6} i took a nice long nap this afternoon, it was friday after all. 

7} a necklace started last night was finished and a sister piece was made to go with that. 
i have no post holiday inventory to speak of
 and have just pushed a lot of flowery goodness out the door. 
any additions to my larder are seriously welcome. 
(i will be at sowa winter farmer's market on sunday!)

8} people around me are getting psyched for the joy of Valentine's Day. 
i might have to try to overcome my gazillion problems with that event this year. 
the list of issues deserves its own posting. 
it is a family nexus at the gates to hell i think. 
perhaps a time-link combination lock is opened and the gates are flung open
 for a myriad of personal tests. 

9} i may skip cleaning the kitchen and doing the dishes tonight. 
how's that for thumbing my nose at responsibility?

10} my world has been stretched and reconfigured greatly. 
i am a virtual card carrying netflix fan. 
my new addiction includes watching one or two, 2 part episodes of 
"Waking the Dead". 
not only is it a really well done series by the BBC, 
but it stars TREVOR EVE.
he is amazing. 
the rest of the ensemble is super as well. 
no ads, no dumbing down, swell writing and wonderful acting. 

like i said. it was a nice day. 

tomorrow, will be a day for flowers. 
i am hopeful that next week will be less action packed.

xoxo. w.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

the oscar goes to...

a fresh promise each day. 

my sleep is an elusive gift. 
as i try to fall into the downy softness of slumber, 
sometimes i find it too slow in its arrival. 
with this, my mind continues to go through its paces. 
a check list is created in the modest motes of sloppy consciousness that remain from the ending day.
as my thoughts roll around like a thunderous motor, 
preventing sleep from its natural restorative effects, 
i consider many things. 
one of many of these winds up as a blog posting. 
such is this one. 

i suppose, i am simply overly-tired and
 will edit this into the ground when rest has calmed my edged frayings, 
but i want to try to explain and understand at the same time. 

people irritate the hell out of me. 
i like them lots. 
really i do. 
when i don't, i try to fake it. 
you have NO idea how hard it is to reconfigure the steaming vents invisibly inserted in  my ears, 
the spitting fires of my eyes, 
and worstly, my very naughty mouth.

 i am unsure of why some people are so hell bent on aggravating strangers all around them. 
by strangers, i of course mean ME. 

somehow, in becoming who i am, 
the school of hard knocks  was a good educator. 
it was of course, not the only place where i was taught stuff. 
i also learned all of my child rearing tactics from tv sitcoms... should you ask my kids. 
there is supposed to be humor in sitcoms. 
why else would there be those insipid and false sounding laugh tracks to highlight 
to prompt where viewers ought to be amused?

the reason some sitcoms are actually really funny,
 is that they represent  parts of a commonality of day to day living.
maybe, they are of grinding the human condition into some type of focus?
we feel that we are a part of a collection or
 maybe, we are connecting the dots to try to make some sense of it all?
this is the stuff that makes unsettled philosophy majors in college. 

earlier today:
there was the guy who was one of many perplexed gas station customers near me at the array of pumps. 
he looked at me and no other stupefied customer... and just blurted out...
"what the fuck?"
no one would have ever expected that from him at least by his appearance. 
the credit/debit card gizmo was not working on the gas pumps.
it was inconvenient. 
one was expected to go into the quik-e-mart to contend with a mumbling teenaged clerk. 
i have enough of that in every day of my life as it is. 
i felt his pain. 
and i acted accordingly, both smiling and nodding. 
i also chuckled. 
his delivery of his lines was just right. 
just the right amount of umbrage, humor, eye rolling and connectiveness. 
the other patrons of course spoke little or no english and could not engage in this 
amuse bouche 
of sociality. 

 i enjoy my education via the academy of OPRAH too. 
during one of the two times i actually watched her show, 
(in spite of how annoying all the adverts were), 
she said something that has resonated with me ever since. 
you only get discipline by doing what you need to do.
discipline is achieved only by being disciplined.  
it is a self fulfilling experience. 
without trying to accomplish it, you cannot achieve it.  
so i try daily to face my days with 
the discipline of being purposeful. 

i fantasize that i am a kind of ok-going person. 
i know i am never gonna be a genuinely relaxed one. 
i get it. 
however, i do try to stay my course and move to my own drummer. 
this includes sidestepping the obvious mines that are found everywhere in my life.
over the past few years,
 i have discovered that there are a few things that will really irritate me 
into a stupor of sputtering and cussing. 
here is where i try to harness some discipline...
 and ignore the big ice floes prodding at me. 
they seem small on the surface, 
but pack an emotional wallop underneath the surface where no one can see them. 
and yes, i am fully aware that i am my own worst enemy. 
here is the biggest part of my problem. 
at least as i can say that i see it. 
i have one of those faces. 
everydamnedthing is telegraphed by my face. 
i keep so very few secrets. 
complete strangers get uppity with me. 
and they really piss me off. 
they know it and it seems to fulfill some perverse need on their part.

currently, i am living on the edge. 
i keep feeling the tendrils of rage interjecting themselves into my life. 
my life is filled with bumbling along. 
i need to remain on task to accomplish things. 
staying the discipline course for as long as it is possible.

this week was a super challenging test of how i could get stuff done, since we lost internet service. 
it was the tail end of mid-term exams for my daughter. 
she needed the computer. 
i feel for her. 
we all need the computer. 
mine is the only one that is usable anymore. 
and i neglected to pay the bill. 
not out of spaciness, per se. 
it was out of a lack of an even flowing cash income. 
money comes in and flies right back out of my hands within an eye blink.  
no actual cash is even part of this equation. 
it is all o's and 1's 
bits and bytes.
not real cash tender. 

so i screwed up. 
the kid did get all of her work done. 
it was the primary objective after all.
so things worked out as well as they always seem to do. 

 as much as i wanted to push some jewelry orders out of my door
to stores preparing for the next holiday season
(think, st. valentine's day massacre... more on this very pointed topic in another day's driveling post)
i sacrificed my interests to hers. 
acting one-oh-one.
i tried to stay disciplined, purpose-filled and on task. 

it is not easy being me on any given day. 
tomorrow, i shall explain. 
i will be in my weekly  raquet driven argument with my 
new bff, 
"the raisin". 
she deserves some real time posting all on her own. 
what a wrinkled web she weaves. 

and then there was the woman that called  me a bitch at barnes and noble bookstore. 

and a few other glitchy moments. 
really, i think in general, i am kind and have a drive to please. 
i guess that i am just wrong. 
a lot. 
and so, my acting lessons need to be kicked up a few notches. 
it is good to formulate a plan. 

as for the reality in my life... not the philosophical posturing,
the making of jewelry. 
this is pretty much what i have been doing around the clock for two weeks now. 
filling some wholesale orders to ship out lickety split. 
there is more stuff too, but it is just variation on the theme.

how much quirk and aggravation can any person possibly tolerate?
what would be considered normal?
i have to keep reminding myself that normal is not my best self descriptive adjective these days. 

a re-made necklace,
luckily received with very high marks. 

a custom request from a nice fella for his gal 
(we met at a show last summer)

a second piece for a sweet valentine
or in his case, his anniversary. 

some small brooches 

lots of flowered earrings.
 just waiting for their wires

some beaded chain necklaces

more of the eternally flowering earrings

and then there were rings. 

and some brooches 

and now, i am truly tuckered out. 
tomorrow's purposefulness includes 
a trip to the postal facility. 
which means there is a challenging task ahead. 
finding a box to fit all of these little gals into. 
they need to be transported to their new homes. 
i am wishing them luck 
from the bottom of my cranky little heart. 
i will tell the tale of the entitled granny at the bookstore. 
there are lessons for me here. 
so many stories. 
so many promises. 
a purpose and a future in acting.