Thursday, March 31, 2005

Month of Softies..

I absolutely love the idea of doing a self portrait of myself as a child. However, my execution is quite the opposite of my vision. I blame it on several things: 1. I didn't do any preliminary sketches 2. I did the pattern freehand for my doll and her dress 3. I had an unusual amount of stress with our roof being ripped off and leaking when we had massive amounts of rain (flooded in several areas around neighboring cities) 4. I have a migraine.

Anyway, even though I had all these things happening and then some, I got my doll finished

and though she is not exactly what I imagined, she's pretty cute. Now about my doll: She is tallish, meant to be about 10 or 11 years old (though she looks older to me for some reason). She has yarn hair and each piece is sewn on. This was the most tedious and rewarding aspect of my doll. When I was this age, I had a lot of hair but nothing like this. The dolls hair reminds me of Mariah Carey's hair. I would have loved to have hair down to my ankles when I was a kid but being tall, it never happened. Well, now it did! I guess having long hair is a childhood fantasy of mine. :)

When I made the pattern for the doll, her legs were quite a bit shorter than her arms (I realized this after I had sewn them to the body. Does anyone else make their own patterns?). But you can't tell too much with her long orange polyester dress. Then again, maybe you can. Anyway, I did a zig zag stitch to make the design and heart shape on the front. It's supposed to have a 1970's feel as I am a child of the 70's....though a quiet child of the 70's.

I feel like the face has an ethnic feel, which makes sense I suppose, since I am Bulgarian and have a whole fleet of countries on my mom's side. So, this isn't to unreal. The face is embroidered and the doll is made from white cordoroy I got for free at a swap meet. Actually, the only thing I bought for this doll was the yarn and I had left over embroidery floss from previous projects. The polyester material I got from It's an exchange group where you post what you want to get rid of or what you need and people contact each other. Pretty cool and a nice way to reduce those landfills. Find one in your part of the world! :)

And the legs are stripped stocking materials in honor of one of my favorite little girls, Pippy Longstocking. I was very much like Pippy, climbing trees (in my case a grapefruit tree) in the backyard and feeling truly invincible. I remember at one time thinking if I could try hard enough I could fly and tried to jump off the back steps and for a moment I felt like I was flying and then I'd land hard on the concrete and dust. Even though my knees would be stinging and my hands would smart from falling on the concrete, I felt I did fly...even if for but a moment.

My doll is entitled "70's Child". (In the background of this pic, you can see a pink blanket. This was crocheted by my adopted grandmother when I was a little girl. When I use this blanket (and I have it out daily) it reminds me of her. Her blanket is one of the reasons I learned to crochet too).

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


The weather people where wrong! No rain and it was another absolutely beautiful day! I took the girls out to the post office and did some errands. It was such a good day and I feel like I had an energy burst from all the sunlight. Our roof is officially done and it looks so great, I can hardly believe it. Now we are going to get some other things done on the house and I hope, hope, hope new windows. The windows we have are terribly old and 1 window pane of glass. We still have plastic up on them from the Winter. I may leave the plastic up until the old windows are removed (if they do it from the outside, which I doubt). There is a frightening amount of lead chips from the eves and I vacuumed as much as I could. I'm thinking of spraying a solution of soap on the ground (the kind you use for dishwashers) and neutralizing it that way. We're also going to be putting in new top soil and many bushes. So, it should be safe. It's very worrying as this is a big problem with old homes, lead. It really makes me so angry that the government allowed companies to put that crap in the paint back in the 1970's (or was it earlier) even though they knew it was toxic. So much for protecting the people.

Well, I'm going to do my best to keep things safe for my girls, dog and family. It's so great to have warm weather again. Now, I can start painting (with safe paint) all the worn out from Winter steps and porch. Yah!

Home repair...!

Well, it is now a few days later and between the roof being shingled and down pour of rain (which caused flooding in some parts!), we have survived. Our roof leaked and all the bedrooms have been stained with what looks like tea. Annoying to say the least. But the roofer guy is going to paint it all up, so that is good at least.

I have a bit of a headache. I think it's sinus pressure related and housing stress. I feel all puffy faced and I can hardly wait until the roof is finished. They're putting a lot of stuff on the roof, new things, I guess to protect it and weather proof it. Having a new roof makes the rest of your house look really, really shabby. I can't believe how bad our windows look upstairs and we're going to get safety and facia for under the eves. There is lead paint all over and unfortunately it's sprinkling down everytime they hammer. We're going to have to clean up as much as possible and I'm thinking we're going to have to do some major landscaping (clean dirt over the old dirt). Very frustrating.

So, this is my latest entry. Not too exciting. I'd get some snaps of the guys working, they look like characters...but I have a feeling they'd get all shy and annoyed. :)

Easter was rainy and the discovery of leaking bedrooms at midnight. The roofer guy came out at 1 in the morning and covered and patched. He's a good roofer.

The girls are doing good and we went for a little walk around the neighborhood and stopped at grandma and grandpa's for a visit. My eldest didn't want to leave but eventually poor grandpa got her down. Lydia can be a bit head strong, like me.

I hope I'm not getting the flu from the grandparents. I'm pretty sure I gave it to them in the first place. It was an awful flu and one most people feel like they can hardly survive but do.

I actually watched television last night and they had this program on PBS about the tsunami of Sumatra in the 1800's. Very interesting and devastating.

Yesterday was so beautiful with absolutely perfectly blue skies. I almost forgot what the sun looked like and how gorgeous this area really is. I hope we get a few more like that. It's supposed to rain for 3 days but I hope it's not as serious.

Mr. Nelson is getting used to the roofers and isn't barking as much. This is a relief to say the least.

This Saturday we're going to the humane society and volunteer with our UU group. I'm annoyed because Jon's work said they need people to do over time work on Saturday. He's going to try and get out of it. I want to volunteer (it's only for 3 hours) so, we'll see. Plus, Jon's folks are having a concert (they're in choir) later that afternoon. I just hope they'll watch the kids for a few hours in the morning. It's going to be tricky. So much is happening. Plus, Lydia's birthday is on Tuesday and I haven't gotten anything really ready for that. I do have the cake materials ready to make and I have to make it in the shape of a totoro (she loves the film "My neighbor, Totoro). It was this or Wallace and Gromit (a claymation film we watch quite often). I think a totoro will be easier. :)

That's it for now.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Illustration Friday...

Okay, I'm cheating with this one too. I made this about 2 or 3 months ago. I did it after certain events which caused me to spiral into a mild depression (thankfully) and doing this painting helped me to get by these feelings. I'm going to try and do one specifically for the word of the week, Crowded, later during the weekend. But for now, this is my entry:

I believe I called this one "Inner Thoughts". It was about the outside world seemingly trying to crush us. This was my response to that feeling of being crowded out.
I decided to darken the image with photoshop. Which one do you think is more interesting?

art blog/site...very cool

Just found this little
  • gem and thought I'd share it with yah. My, oh, my! I love this site. It has all the feel of art with a purpose and meaning. Would I be brave enough to do something as the great
  • Bansky of Britain? I love the concept, the action and the outcome. All were innovative if not a touch arrogant (feels he will inevitably be in the museum, so why wait...this makes me smile). I love it!

    My hubby and I had one such inspiration for an installation at LACMA in Los Angeles, CA. There was this installation by
  • Mike McMillen that dealt with Americana. It was a walk in garage that was like walking into a tomb from Egypt. Very intense and hauntingly poignant. We thought of adding a small squirrel statue, dropped by "accident" perhaps behind some jars or what not. However, we never did do that. We did see various graffiti works (was it part of the original artist concept or was it added later? We do not know) on the walls and other places. This didn't seem so out of place, coming from Los Angeles, graffiti central. In some ways, it's like youth and the people with less voice reaching out to the people who control such arena's like LACMA and most of LA. It felt right.

    Anyway, that was our little bit of least in ideas, anyway.

  • sad...

    Opt out

    Check out this link:
  • Military Free Zone

    If you have teenagers, or know of any or have kids about to go to HS, you had better read this. Pass this on to other kids. There is a silent draft happening.

    Also, I am sad to report that my cousin (who was finishing up his last year of college) was tricked (believed whatever lies they told him) into joining the Marines. My prayers go with him and especially his mom and dad and family. He didn't even tell his mom he was thinking about enlisting, let alone that he was going to do it.

    Now my youngest brother is thinking about joining. Fortunately, even if my family is rather dysfunctional, we do talk (even if it's yelling). So, my mom is encouraging him to go and be a fireman.

    Man, these are crazy times...
  • bloggie, a short one

    I had to laugh at my title for this entry...I seem to have a way of stretching out blogs until my fingers hurt from typing. But I will try to keep this short, if I can. Several things I feel complied to write about such as the robin sittings I have been having. I saw a robin in branches of a tree, yesterday and heard it's funny warbly song as it flew off. This made me very happy and then today, I look into the neighbors yard and there hopping within several feet of each other are two robins. Oh, they are so sweet and cute...with their wide hop, hop, hop. I didn't realize I missed the creatures so very much. It really is a joy to see them hunting for worms and insects.

    We had a snow storm come in just after the garage was reroofed! Wow! That was exciting to say the least. The roofs are all white and our yard, of course, is covered with snow. It is perfect snow for snowmen and snow ball fights. In fact, I made a snowman to which my daughter started to hit it with a stick saying "I'm melting the snowman!" I guess she's ready for Spring too.

    Today's list of things I want to get done: Clean up all the dog poop and dog pee from the newspaper in the dining room (it's really stinking up the house, our dog is paper trained...mostly), wash as many dishes as I can (I hate washing dishes), maybe think about cleaning out the refrigerator (I've been thinking about this for quite some time...thinking about cleaning out the refrigerator...hmmm), and hopefully have some time to do some artwork between caring for my gals. Oh, my what a treat! I looked out the window and saw more robins just now! Beautiful.

    It is so wet and drippy outside. Even with snow there are puddles and it's like living in the world of a children's melting popsicle. Are those buds I see on the lilacs? I keep looking out the window. Well, I've got to go clean up dog poop. I hope my tulips will start to come out. I'm still worried about them...

    I just checked on my tulips and there is still no sign of them. darn it.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2005

    Illustration Friday and doggy surprises!

    I'm really glad that Illustration Friday has started on Friday and ends on the following Thursday. It's so much better because you just have more free time on weekends to work on your illustration or just think about the topic. I really like it. Well, here is my submission:

    Titled "What a surprise"

    This is actually from a dream I had about 2 weeks ago. Being an Eastern person you really start to think/desire the Spring and all that it entails...pollen and bugs, etc.

    About this illustration. I planted about 6 tulips in the front yard and I have been waiting impatiently for them to start sprouting. I fear the worse...that they didn't make it through the winter. However, I will be planting more. I will keep trying until my yard is full of tulips and other bulb plants. Last year, our neighbors tore out tons of bulbs and rose bushes. I was so sad as this, I thought, was the most beautiful yard on the block. They had just moved to that house and didn't see the beauty. So very disheartening. Plus, they said they threw all the flowers away and if they had known would have given them to us! Talk about salt in the wounds. Ah, well...

    Now, I will tell you an odd story that happened to me and the stuff I found today. This is what happened. About a 4 or 5 weeks ago, I went for a walk with my dog, Mr. Nelson, in the pouring rain. I mean it was pouring and I had my big old umbrella and poor Mr. Nelson didn't have anything but his soggy fur (I have to buy or make him a little dog raincoat). Anyway, we were trudging through the rain for our daily duty. Mr. Nelson meandered around his favorite haunts, sniffing and marking as we went along. He walked onto this little piece of grass and sniffed the bushes like usual. We were walking on, when I heard this buzz. It's pouring rain and I hear this woman's voice buzzing. I look up and around and start walking thinking it's someone else. Then all of the sudden there is this woman shouting at me, "MA'M, Don't let your dog run around on my grass..." I couldn't make out what she said after that. So, I said, he doesn't do anything (meaning poop) and then she starts shouting at me and I can't understand a word she is saying so I say, "I'm sorry, but I can't hear you!" and walk away. The odd thing is she was wearing rollers and shouting from behind her fence on her covered porch. It was odd and I was very insulted. For one thing, if Mr. Nelson did poop, I'd have cleaned it up. Second, I felt like she was blaming me for something Mr. Nelson would never do. So, I avoided this area like it was the plague for the following weeks.

    Now, this brings us to today. I was walking my gals and dog and as we approached the alley and started down, I see something like 50 turds on the ground. It's like dog poop was sprinkled all over! Certainly, the thought of putting dog poop on her grass patch (it's smaller than 6 feet by 6 feet)did cross my mind, but this was incredible! Poop was everywhere. So, I guess this nutty lady probably has quite a few people she "blames" for deposits on her lawn. The sad thing is she does have a dog and I'm 100% sure she has had it's vocal cords cut. It NEVER barks, for any thing. It definitely looks like somebody dumped the poop there.

    Another annoying bit about this person is she and the people across from her are buddies. The guy in the other house has a bunch of crazy bumper stickers about guns and stuff on his car and they both give evil eyes to us. They act like we have the plague or something. So much for love thy neighbor...

    My husband just confirmed that the stuff I saw on the alley is indeed, poop. This makes me laugh for some reason. It looks like a parade of dogs pooped in the front of the alley by her house. Looks like she swept it into the alley...

    Monday, March 21, 2005

    Ah, Monday...

    Things are a bit on the wild side today. The roof is being started on and as I write they are tearing off the old, decayed shingles and they are doing a great job. Wow! Exciting!

    I was a bit annoyed yesterday as I forgot to save my blog I was working on and lost it when I tried to access it (my computer tends to shut down...rather the internet shuts down and then I have to reboot the thing and it gets ugly). Anyway, I had this great blog/essay I was working on and I lost it. I guess that's a sign to work on it offline first and smooth out the coarse spots.

    I notice when I just type a blog out and don't really think about it, I tend to use a careless writing style. I vow to change this! :-)

    Yesterday, we, as in I, finally got to the Unitarian meeting. It was the first one I've been to and the 3rd Jon has attended. It was very nice...I was late with the girls. The alarm didn't go off and I had a strange nightmare in the middle of the night. I'll have one every now and then and it will make falling back asleep nearly impossible. I'll have to do something until I either forget or talk about it to Jon...which he usually will put up for 5 minutes before I hear snoring.

    Anyway, the dream was about my mom-in-law. It figures. Nothing to horrible just feeling like she's judging me...or rather my inner self is judging me. It's funny how dreams work. I guess I'm my own worst critic. Somehow, writing that makes me feel more relaxed. I sometimes think people are judging me, but I guess it's mostly my self. hmmm

    In other news, here's a great website called

  • Are for housewives
    . I love it and check it out when I have a few minutes. There are all sorts of interesting ideas, inspirations and everything. And no, it's not just for housewives, but househusbands, people that are interested in art, etc.

    My sis-in-law came over last night and we had a nice time. She made these grilled cheese sandwiches with sour kraut and roast beef. I think they are called Reuben sandwiches. Very tasty. I didn't realize how nice it is to have someone cook for you. Jon and Julie did the cooking and I fiddled around picking up a few things here and there. Then I confessed to them I hate, hate, hate cleaning! I think it's the worse job in the whole world. Not that I don't appreciate people who have to do it. But if given the choice, I'd most likely not do any cleaning, ever. Just enough to move freely,not get my allergies in a dither and let my kids wallow in filth. That's because I do most of the cleaning. I even told Jon not to stress out too much about finding a decent job, as long as he helped with the house chores, I'd be content. I'm even looking into getting a person to clean for 2 hours a week. Mopping, dusting, bathroom cleaning, etc. I hate it. I feel sorry for people who have to do it. Nobody wants to clean unless they've been really converted into it.

    I'll stop writing about this or else I'm going to defend my slovenly ways. I like being messy and I like keeping things to make things out of. I do throw out stuff on occasion... and there is where you can give things you don't want to people who do need them. It's a good group to recycle stuff and not fill those landfills.

    Also, I'm part of a new co-op in Altoona. A co-op is a group of people who get together to buy foods in bulk (usually organic and healthy foods) and spilt it among each other. We're working with a local PA company called It should be interesting.

    One of the best things about the Unitarians is they are firm believers in deeds not creeds. Actions not just words. We're volunteering at the humane society in April and then there is river cleanup a few times through out the next months. Exciting stuff. I wanted to do some of this in LA for this Creative writing group I was involved with. But I never got the chance as I was without wheels or having a partner work nights, you tend to work nights if you're not diligent. So, I'm happy to get together with this group.
  • Friday, March 18, 2005

    It's Friday!

    I'm happy it's Friday as it means Jon doesn't have to work and he'll be home!!! It's nice being home with the kids all day but it's so much nicer to have an adult to talk to and chat with... especially your best friend.

    Last night, I worked extra hard (I got 2 hours to work alone in my mini-studio) on my wee-ones artwork. I feel good about this and I think it's coming out really sweet. I don't know if others have this situation...I use pencils to sketch as lots of folks do, but then when I add pen, it transforms the piece (sometimes really good, other times blah). Should I stick to pencils or work with markers? That's my question. I did, however, discover that sharpie has a nice mix of colored pens (sharpie quality) and have been trying them out. At Sam's I got about 25 pens (something like that) and there are various colors. I love the light purple and light blue. It gives my work a softer edge. It's lovely.

    I feel like this old house of mine is starting to really feel like home. Jon fried up some shrimp and we had that for dinner with a casserole. It was a really late dinner but it was fun too. Lydia actually likes shrimp...Or rather she likes the fried part. We'll be going for a walk today, I think. Norrie chowed down on the casserole. I liked it but it was a bit too cheesy for me. Actually, I love cheese but some things upset my tummy and I get a mild lactose feeling. Awful. I personally think it's the ingredients in those prepackaged casseroles. They all effect me in such a nasty way. But if the casserole is made from scratch I don't feel sick at all. It's the same way with regular soda. I think it's some sort of preservative actually. I've given up regular soda all together and have only diet caffeine free soda, if possible.

    I found this new butter that has no trans fat. And it's so good, it has palm fruit in it and tastes so rich, smooth, and a slight sweetness that is surprising in a good way. I love it.It's called Smart Balance. Plus, I learned that trans fat is a preservative and is the most awful fat out there as it stays in the body and is the hardest to loose. When you think about it, maybe that's why so many people have problems with weight. If they are putting junk like that in food, that's so wrong. Then we get those commercials about being thin (not necessarily healthy). Boy, they play us like a fiddle.

    Apparently, there is a law that now all foods have to say whether or not they have trans fat. This is what trans fat is "Trans fat (which means trans fatty acids) is the worst kind of fat, far worse than saturated fat...The process is used to make an oil more solid; provide longer shelf-life in baked products; provide longer fry-life for cooking oils, and provide a certain kind of texture or "mouthfeel." Oreo cookies is one that has this mouthfeel texture and uses this preservative. No more Oreos...until they change (I'm a little sad, as I like Oreos).
    I obtained this from
  • Transfat It's amazing. I, for one, am never going to go to McDonalds again or any fastfood place that doesn't say whether they have trans fat or not. I feel like I was poisoning my kids and my self! It makes me so annoyed that businesses can do these things. Thankfully, there are people out there fighting against this immoral practice. It burns me up to think they are promoting foods to children that are not good for children! I knew this before, but now I know why.

    When you think about it, when someone does something lousy to your car, you have them fix it. Unfortunately, it's harder to show the cause and effect on ones body (in terms of heart damage)by the food industry. No wonder serving sizes are so small! Did you know that if you eat something with no trans fat, you can eat a lot more of it? My sister bought a bag of baked chips and it said serving size, 1 bag as opposed to a trans fat bag with serving size of 3 chips. Amazing.

    Last shopping trip, I bought lots of fresh foods and if the label said no trans fat, that won over other brands. Also, it saved me a some money this way too! :-)

    In other news, I actually hear some song birds outside! This means Spring is on the way! Hurray! Though it also means allergies in my case, I have my Claridon and should be fine. Well, I've got to go walk the dog. I can see his fresbe that was lost in the snow. Things are warming up!

    Here is a practice image I created using my wacom.

  • I woke up to darn early (5:30am)to see my hubby off, and now a wave of dizziness is coming over me...I feel tired. wah! I need to do my aerobics but if I feel too tired. Will I be able to over come this feeling? To be answered sometime later this weekend. I'm running on 5 hours of sleep. I think I'm going to lay down...sorry Mr. Nelson and my chubby arms. Sleep is a good thing.

    Thursday, March 17, 2005

    Illustration Friday...again!

    I've been inspired!! I got my new wacom in the mail today and have been drawing out various ideas and inspirations. I love my wacom! A very good tool to use if you have a desire to be a serious illustrator or if you have some spare cash and want to try a new tool.

    Well here is #2 illustration for Fragile. It's called "Piano Nocturne".

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    I have been debating whether or not to do some radical action. It involves Mr. Nelson and green tempera paint. However, I don't want to stain his lovely white hair permanently with green. That would be awful. So, I think I'll have to stick with this illustration instead. :)

    The sad thing is if I did this, he would think I was being affectionate. I shall resist putting green on my dog...maybe a green collar.

    In other news, there has been a new discovery of the link between autism and coal burning power plants that emit mercury into our
  • air.
    This is quite interesting and obvious, really. If you put chemicals into the air heavy in pollutants of course there are going to be effects to our health and wildlife. The fish have been poisoned with man-made mercury and now unborn children are being sickened before they are even born. Ridiculous. According to the article, Bush's team wants coal burning plants to cut emissions by 50%. Why not cut it totally? If it's hurting people, esp. children and babies, why are we allowing some pollutants? This is quite ridiculous when you think about it. It's like saying to a smoking adult with children, you can smoke in the car only if you hold your cigarette outside the window. I've seen this many times, and I always feel so sorry for the kids in that car (let alone people who drive next to this car with their windows down).

    Of course, a class action suit against companies like these big polluters would be the right course of action. However, Bush just passed a law banning "frivolous lawsuits" such as these. Hmmm, I wonder if there a reason why these companies get such gold card status. Maybe it's because they gave so much money to Bush's campaign? Of course, we already knew that. Shucks, it's not calculus or anything.

    If it were me, if I had a child with autism, I'd be so mad right now. I'd be absolutely sick to my stomach made. It makes me angry even thinking about parents who have to see their child be ill because of some company putting junk in the air. This is so wrong and the companies only get a pat on the hand from Bush. Shouldn't there be massive fines or something?

    Still, here we are with children with autism because we allowed companies like this to continue to pollute our air. Now, the Alaskan Animal Refuge is under attack (we just allowed drilling for oil). Maybe we should stop this and focus on energy efficient cars, natural power solutions like solar, wind, etc. And people don't tell me wind power is going to hurt the birds. Because it was tested and it didn't hurt a single bird. What it did effect were bats. Apparently, they couldn't detect the wind turbans blades. However, this can be corrected with sonar. What's even worse for bats is coal mining. The blowing up of countless caves and land were bats exist.

    If we took that power focused on coal and applied it to clean energy, can you imagine the possibilities? Not only would we be creating new jobs in areas where it's depleting, we'd be making our environment cleaner, become leaders of a new era and by God stop autism and various other illnesses caused by pollutants. Is this far fetched? Heck no! There was a time when acid rain was a big thing and people changed their ways and it was lowered and is gone in most places. However, these things do still exist. We need to solve them and quick.
  • Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    Illustrations Friday: Fragile

    I was curious about this word, fragile, and thought what could I possible draw/paint. A word like this is hard to illustrate. At least it's hard for me to illustrate this. Then I started to read today's news and I started to feel really sad because there are plans at this moment to allow drilling for oil in the last protected areas for
  • wildlife. It's amazing how fragile this bit of animal refuge is and how we are ready to go there and destroy it for a little bit of oil. This week has been full of realizations of how fragile life is and the amazing ability to hurt the people who need help the most. Here is my submissions for this week's submission:

    It's also interesting how, if you ask pretty much anyone, they will say there's no reason to do the drilling. Every person out there knows this is wrong. The only reason people are doing this is for greed and lies. How can we trust someone who told us there were WMD's, killed 1,500 American soldiers, injured at least 50,000 soldiers, killed over 100,000 men, women and children for lies... Am I angry and upset? Yes. And a lot more people should be too. Now, these same people want to invade protected areas of wildlife. For what? For oil? I don't know. I thought some things were sacred. But if we are willing to rape our own soil and people for lies...that's wrong.

    Many people will try to justify actions but in the end you have nothing. What happens when the oil in Alaska dries up? I'd like to know what happens then? Do we start more wars?

    Here's a novel idea. Let's get on the high road. Let's start industry with a huge environmental edge. Let's become the biggest producers of cars that are electric or half electric and oil. Let's create and support these industries.

    Is this possible? Of course it is. If we can go do space travel, we can do anything. There are nay sayers but look at what they are hiding from you. We need to look past the sheep skin.
  • Sunday, March 13, 2005

    Sunday, knowing who the Wolf is...

    I feel like if I make it to Sunday, I'll be all right. Boy, have I been having an odd, emotional week. Jon interviewed about 3 weeks ago for a Penn State job. He was 1 of 4. But we found out on Friday, he didn't make it. So, we are sad. The only part of this position that I was not feeling right about was the fact it was involved heavily in weapons/rocket creation. So, morally, I am very relieved about him not getting it. If he had gotten it, I would have been happy (for we need the benefits and it paid well) but I would have been really quite sad too. I believe there is a better job somewhere in the Penn State world for my Jon. :-) It's amazing the odd sense of morality vs need. I wish I could be like one of those figures of morality from days of old but it ain't gonna happen. When you need basics, you need it. Not that I would do anything creepy, but I would work in a video store to help make ends meet, etc.

    I get angry at people who blame people who work at places like Wal Mart. It's not like they want to work there. If given the choice most people would work in places that paid well and they could have a decent health plan. But where are these jobs? Gone with the wind. These jobs found it easier to move off shore and hire people below Wal Mart standards. Perhaps, it helps people in those countries, a little. I can assure you they are not getting fair pay or treatment as Americans used to. It's wrong and it's immoral. A lot of people don't realize how immoral it is. It's like when people talk about work it's something totally abstract from them. Why is that? There are many reasons why, as the Phil Ochs song goes, but we need to ask and answer these questions.

    I honestly think it's about a wolf in sheep's skin. We've been taken over by people wearing the guise of everyman, the facade of spirituality and good old snake oil salesmanship. It's almost laughable except when you realize how truly devastating it is to your way of life. That's a big concept to think about. Your way of life is being jeopardized by basically the most heinous car sales people out there. I recently read that the US infrastructure is in great need of repair. This is stuff like bridges, roads, etc. It's going to cost a trillion dollars. I also read there isn't enough in the budget to support our firemen, police, and feed the poor. What is wrong with this picture? Kindergartens in California are closing down. Children left behind and forgotten. Schools are closing down because of budget cuts.

    You know what? These are all manufactured cuts. There is a freeze on taxing wealthy people because "Tax" is a dirty word to some. I don't think it's a dirty word. In fact, it's a word that makes us all see how responsible and how patriotic we are. Were is this money going? It's going to our policemen, fire departments (hey, remember 9/11?), to aid the
  • poor, to build our schools and roads.

    Some people think we are independent. We are free to make fortunes. But you know what? People wouldn't be able to make a penny if they lived in, for example, Samolia. You'd have warlords taking everything. In the US, you have a certain amount of freedom to create but with that freedom comes responsibility. It's called taxes. Only the greedy and ignorant will tell you otherwise. A true individualist wouldn't even live in a city. They'd be in the woods or roughing it on Survivor or some silly thing like that. If you are a US civilian, you are dependent on the US. Can you imagine if there were no roads and highways? It would be so hard to move around, let alone your shock absorbers would be totally worn out. Man, I'm glad for roads and bridges.

    Can you imagine what it would be like if we didn't have public education? I didn't go to a private school. I went to public schools all my life! I would not even know how to write or drive or create a poem or read War and Peace or the bible or any book. Scary. Yes, we need these basics.

    Can you imagine what it would be like if we didn't have immunization? There are a few rebels out there who don't vaccinate their kids for fear of getting infected immunization. But only a few years ago people were coming down with polio and whole areas were dying from simple fevers. Crazy. And it still happens, but not in the US. These things are a bit of what makes/made the US strong. And you know how you live for the weekends? Guess what. At one time people worked all week long, kids worked in factories...I'm not talking about teens, I'm talking about children under 10. People would die from black lung (that's what killed my great-grandfather who worked in the coal mines) and people would get killed in factory fires because there were no safety laws. Crazy. Of course, some would argue there aren't very many factory fires now a days because there are little to no factory jobs. Sad but true.

    The point is we need to have a system. That system is taxing and seeing how it really does make your life easier. There are companies that left the US because they get tax breaks. In other words, they don't have to pay the taxes they would have paid in the US. Is this right? No. Made in China is different, far different than made in the USA.

    Anyone who says we don't need to support or be supported by the US, is hiding something. They're hiding the truth and all the history of the US. They are saying don't look at all the money pouring out to Iraq. Don't look at how much we are SPENDING on a lie (no WMDS) and on killing people who have nothing to do with terrorism. They are saying hey, don't look at the money were stealing out of Social Security because it is one of the strongest programs in government because of countless generations of people putting money into it. Don't look at the unfair, imbalance of tax breaks to companies and the ultra rich.

    Will we wear our blinders until we only have rags? Will we fight and say no and vote with our hearts and minds? This is a question we need to keep in the foremost of our minds.

    We need to realize our enemies are not the working people in Wal Mart or the Baptist Church down the street. The enemy is ignorance. We need to talk to people and let them know and see it doesn't have to be this way.

    I saw this film many years ago called
  • Matewan It's about a town that is bought,sold and destroyed by a mining company. There is a great line from this film (actually, there are quite a few lines that are good),"They got you fightin' white against colored, native against foreign...when you know there ain't but two sides in the world - them that work and them that don't. That's all you got to know about the enemy."

    Another interesting aspect about this film is how involved the church is. The church knew who was being hurt and who was in the right. They knew who the wolf was. There is a deception with a lot of churches in America today. A lot of church's are blinded and quite the opposite of moral. There is a whole world of falsehoods, oil sleekness in this area and political manipulation. At the same time, there are grassroots church's that are quite in the know and need to be supported and worked with. It's funny for me to even broach this subject as I'm not a big believer of any religion. I'm a fickle Unitarian, if anything! But I do believe these are the areas that could be effected with positive change. People who go to church's are the same people who should be voting with their future and children's future in mind instead of having wool pulled over their eyes or the teeth of wolves in their sides.

    It's going to be a rough 4 years and we are going to have to learn to fight (through volunteering, writing to our Congress rep., voting and so much more). I'm an optimistic. I believe we can do it if we try. Hell, we thought of space travel and have seen the moon, we create complex computers, use lasers to operate on people, etc. Of course, we can make a difference. Of course, we can change.

    There was a time when Los Angeles had the worse smog. Now, with a few changes it's going down and slowly getting better. We can do the same in other areas of the US. I'll leave on a positive note. There are people fighting right now for the poor and for aid to programs that help their
  • cities. These are signs and actions that we are not giving up and we can make a difference.
  • Thursday, March 10, 2005

    Another post...

    Things I'm enjoying right now:

    Gourmet Jelly Beans. I bought this huge, I mean huge bag from Sam's Club and the flavors, OH THE FLAVORS!!! Too much. I've made my husband into a Jelly bean monster. Everyday I seem to have a new favorite. At first, it was coconut and butter popcorn. Then I got sick of that and now it's strawberry and root beer. I feel like a kid from Willy Wonka's factory. ugh...

    A bouquet of red roses my hubby brought home to me. We must have a telepathic link, I fall down and get a big owie and here is a beautiful bunch of roses! :-) How lovely. It's so cute how they wrap up roses or flowers in the winter back East. They wrap them in tissue paper (this one had hearts) to protect them from the cold. Isn't that sweet?

    Music, Rufus Wainwright. I love his last CD. It's so poetic and at the same time fun to listen to.

    I've been reading various web pages related to art and such, and it makes me feel so good to know there are beautiful works out there to inspire me! I wouldn't feel like this if I wasn't doing my own thing, so it's good to balance observation with creating.

    Plus, I'm happy to know my mom is doing well, my dear friend in Ohio is doing great with her new baby and just a sense of balance, really.

    Illustration Friday...

    Boy, this week really snuck up on me. This week is "Ancient". My interpretations:

    If I should live to be an older person, I hope I'll always find happiness in my art.

    About my week:

    I did a ton of stuff this week and I see how it slipped by. Monday I had errands to run and an appointment that I met. Then Tuesday was doctor for Norrie day...shots, poor baby. Then Wednesday I got an intense headache/weakness. I thought it was allergies from all the wind that has been blowing. But it turns out it was pressure from a cold. As I have a cold now. I felt bad because there was a Unitarian meetings at El Campasino and I had to miss it. That stinks. Later on, I felt a little better but I was annoyed I couldn't go.

    Today, I took the girls out, after rushing off a painting to a customer. We went to Denny's and they actually have a kids menu that is decent! They even offer fish crackers. I was impressed as were the girls. Let me say this now. I will not be going out to eat, by myself, with two toddlers, again. It wasn't that they were so bad it's just Norrie kept wandering off once she was out of the high chair. Very annoying. I'd be paying at the register and there she was behind the counter! It was stressful. We went to K-mart afterwards and I found a lot of good stuff...kid shoes, curtain rods and shower curtain that I needed. Plus, I got a few toys for the girls. I made the mistake of getting only 1 ducky toy and then Lydia fell apart because it was really "hers" and she needed to have all 4 pieces (it was a set of 1 mama and 3 baby ducks). So, that went to Lydia and Norrie was content with the chickies, thankfully.

    Then I got them to bed and naps and I did some art. Then I felt guilty about having Mr. Nelson all alone in downstairs, so I brought him up on a leash to my studio. It was the first time he was up there. He peed in my box of scrap paper. I was very annoyed and then he found some color pencils and tried to snap them in, downstairs he went. Then I felt guilty for leaving him downstairs again and took him outside to play. Then while outside, I noticed all this trash that had collected around our yard, so I started to clean up. Then I remembered the mulch I wanted to throw on the frozen muddy patch. So, I started to do that. Mr. Nelson got excited and tangled him self on my snow boots. I thought I wasn't tangled up and much to my embarrassment, I fell. I nearly strangled poor Mr. Nelson on my fall and felt like I broke my hip, but we are both all right. I'm sore but will live. It's the same spot of earth I fell on sometime last year. It must be my fall zone or something.

    It was one of those days, I guess. Now, I'm sore all over...

    A good thing about having to sit is I got a lot of eBay auctions up yesterday. I'll probably have more up tonight and tomorrow.
  • My webpage I know, shameless plug...:-)

  • eBay!
    Take a look. Plus, they are very affordable too! Original Emily artwork! :-) I'm terrible...
  • Tuesday, March 08, 2005

    Tuesday, March 8th 2005

    My Goodness, the wind, the wind, the wind! "Beware the ides of March" Shakespeare. For some reason I always want to say the eyes of March. I know that sounds silly but it just seems to fit better for some reason. What are ides anyway? I looked it up at and it appears to mean the 15th of March, May, July and October and the 13th day in all the other months. Apparently, this was big to the Romans. Funny how things like this get lost in the centuries.

    Ides of March, beware the 15th of March. Hmmm The eyes of March... I like that better...or rather the winds of March. I thought I or one of my little ones was going to blow away. I really did. Do you remember that scene either in the book or the Dizney movie of Piglet tied to a string like a kite and Pooh holding the string? That's what I felt like today with my girls. Then I went out with Mr. Nelson and played ball. All the snow melted yesterday because it got to be 64 degrees. I was a bit annoyed as we finally had snowman worthy snow and Jon and I made this 5'8 snowman and it melted into a little boulder. We got pictures so I will post them eventually. But today it got cold again 22 and this is good as the ground was not so muddy. It was really bad yesterday...yuck.

    Mr.Nelson had a blast running around and used up all his energy by chasing his various sticks, balls and Frisbee. He was a very happy dog. I ordered him a new leash with his name embroidered in the collar. It's going to be purple and a matching purple leash. Right now, he's going crazy trying to get left over sour dough bread from dinner. He can be a bit he's jumping at me. Very annoying...and he knows it too.

    Anyway, we are removing old wallpaper from our hallway. There are 5 layers and 7 under the border. The bottom layer of wallpaper is this embossed wallpaper and looks like catherdrels. In fact, the hallway has a Church like feel. I don't care for this as this is my house and not a church. I do have crucifixs but they are purely ornamental. I have some Buddhist "charms" (I don't know the actual names for this so I call them charms) on the wall too. They have a beautiful, artistic look to them. My favorite is the icon from Bulgaria painted in the style of Russian icons. My husband got that for me. I'm half Bulgarian and like to collect a few things from my father's country.

    Anyway, we got half the wallpaper off and it's starting to look all right. It needs to be painted, of course, and the other half of the wallpaper needs to be removed (that's next Saturday). It's neat to see the previous owners writings on the wall, so to speak. Apparently, the family before us lived here for over 70 years and I believe they even built the house. There's a signature of the owner as a child "Daniel" on the wall and various children's writings. The family sold to us after the brother had to be hospitalized (he passed away already) and there is one brother in the area. The three sisters are spread out across the country. It's interesting to hear the history of your home if it's an old one.

    They were an Irish family and I found this ancient Irish newspaper in the basement. Most of it is about agriculture which is interesting and the sale of sheep and local politics. Very interesting. I hate touching it because it's so fragile. But it's neat to look at occasionally. Plus, I found tons of religious crosses, icons, books and various Catholic merchandise. I guess the people around here are pretty Catholic.

    Okay, Mr. Nelson is going crazy again. He's attacking me like I'm food or something. He can be pretty aggressive for a little dog. I try the paper thing (you shake a paper at him and he's supposed to act like it's getting swatted). But he gets angrier instead and then attacks the paper. Annoying. I try holding him, and sometimes that works. Mostly, he acts crazy. All right we just made up and he's calm. Silly dog... :-/

    I've started to do this aerobic tape. It's a good beginning tape and I like it. It looks easy but the other day I was so sore. So, I'll stick with this for now. You have to do something if you're always snowed in. It's terrible. Thank goodness the fireplace works. I love that fireplace.

    Well, I actually have an assignment for the Wee Ones magazine! I'm excited about this so, I'm working on that right now. Does anyone know where I can submit to some other paying magazines? I do a variety of work and am very professional, get the job done asap, plus I will make changes if need be. I want to build up my portfolio and get some paying gigs too. Thank you! :-)

    Thursday, March 03, 2005

    Illustration Friday...

    Wow! I cut this one close. This week has passed by in a blurr for some reason. Perhaps it's all the snow or somthing. I don't know. Anyway, I got my concept here for Jazz. It's not actually what I'd have liked to submit as my Jazz idea but it was meant to be done quickly. It's a take on one of my favorit songs "Stars fell on Alabama" sung by Ella. If I have time, I'll do another entry for Jazz. For some reason this one really stumped me...Oh, well.

    Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    Just reading...

    some Joan Chittister and I'm moved again and again. She says it like it is. If you've never heard of Sister Joan Chittister here is her link

  • Sister Joan Chittister
    There is an archive button where you can view previous writngs.

    Honestly, if a lot of Christians were like Sister Joan Chittister, I'd have no problem joining that church. That's how she makes me feel. Not only is she compassionate, questioning in her writings she is logical. This is a big aspect I appreciate. Few people can capture truth and she does is in an excellent way.

    For example, the article she wrote about the inaugration for Bush. She wrote from her perspective, she was in Dublin at the time and there was a little blurb about Bush. What most papers showed and around the world (however, not in the US as I never heard of the situation until now) was a photograph of a young Iraqi girl covered in blood screaming. It was the blood of her parents that US soldiers had just killed because they were "suspected" of being suicide bombers.

    If this happened in America, that the police would shoot first and ask questions later (though it does happen on occasion) every time, I think we would laugh at the notion we were a type of Democracy. It makes me absolutely sick to think about how we are probably behaving in Iraq. Phil Ochs once wrote a song called "Cops of the World" and the lyrics still hold true and are especially relevant for today.

  • Phil Ochs

    "For also knowledge itself is power."
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