Friday, December 30, 2011

On End of Year Blog Maintenance:

Another year comes to an end. Some people are making resolutions. Others are out to ‘party‘.

I do maintenance on my blog first. (Not that I do the other two things anymore. Well not much.)

But still we all have to do it. Even if it is just changing your copyright date to protect your property, its gotta’ be done.

So just a reminder here for the coming year. Have fun, don’t sweat the small stuff, hang in there when times get tough, learn to laugh at yourself and your mistakes because everybody makes them, and be your Gothy self on the inside no matter what the outside is doing. And keep up with your blog maintenance.

Happy New Year Everybody!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

On Ideas for New Years Eve or Most Any Occasion:

(Old picture but you get the idea.)

There is a Wonderful, Generous, Gothy, Gentleman by the name of Ray O’Bannon. Without whom some of my better parties and my latest New Years Eve celebrations would have been a flop.

On his website of he has Gothy scary stories, pictures, music, movies, video games, and paper toys all for free and of his own making.

And you can print out the paper toys and build them for yourself.

Need a skull for a center piece? A skeleton for the door? Or some coffin boxes to put favors in? Some monsters for placemarkers at the table? A mask? A haunted house? A small cemetery complete with hearse, coffin and attendant? Board games? Greetings cards? Magic tricks?

There is ever so much to work with there at Ravensblight toys.

Yes, I should have told you about it before Halloween. Or Creepsmas. But I didn’t think.

I use his Hidden Cemetery playset and his Hearse Playsets together along with a few other pieces to kill off and bury the old year on New Years Eve each year.

I used to go out to a real cemetery and bury a jar with a list of the significant things in the last year and a piece of paper with the old year clearly printed on it with a knife through the center on New Years Eve.

But times being what they are and having guests on some years I’ve changes my method of burying the old year along with our yearly build your own pizza party on New Years Eve.

So whether you spend the afternoon making pizza dough and cutting up toppings for yourself and/or your guests. Or you just make of few play things to Goth up the place. Enjoy the toys and the ringing in of the New Year.

* I have no affiliation with Ray O’Bannon or Ravensblight. I just happen to like what he does for others and Goth, and think that more people should know about it. Lady Euphoria Deathwatch

Thursday, December 22, 2011

On A Wigged Out Blast from the Past:

So today I was cruising on the internet looking for vintage advertising to get some pictures to paste on the Out House’s inner door and a wall or two. Yes, people did that back then.

And I found this Ad link to Vintage plastic play wigs for girls.

(I don’t steal other peoples things so you’ll just have to see them for yourself.)

They are three semi soft plastic molded hairstyles just like the ones that my little sister had back in the day. My friends and I were too old for this stuff but we got to being silly and played with them one day pretending to be singers.

Goofy stuff that young people do, I know. But we were all there at one time or another.

What a rush to be a silly teen pretending to be a 60’s rock star again, while looking at those silly kids toy wigs.

I’m old and I know it, but I still like to have a bit of silly fun every once in a while. I wonder what ever happened to those wigs. I could use one to have a granny Lady Gaga moment.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On A Good Day for a One Seater:

So I’m trying to ease back into making stuff for the dolls and doll houses again.

Yes, I should have made copies of all of the stuff in the envelope folder. Hind sight and all that.

I needed to make something that I had no references to in the missing envelope file. So I decided to make an Out House! (Not done, only a primer coat of paint so far.)

But I hope you find this just right considering the day. It is the first day of the last year of the Mayan Calendar. If you believe it, the end of the world is coming in one year from this date.

So we are in the crapper or out house as it may.

The door is not hinged on yet. So the doll is holding it up.

The catalog TP I spent the day making from reprint old catalogs; copied, resized, printed front and back, cut, folded, pasted together and hung.

Yes, I know it still needs a seat. But for now we will just make believe it is hanging on the wall behind the wood stove keeping warm for later.

It’s the end of the world as we know it and I’m trying to feel fine! Thanks REM.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On Comments:

To the many comments of late:

I know that most of you have been trying to help me, and I do appreciate that, I really do. But there are some people who have made fun of me or used my desperation to promote themselves or something they are selling.

I know most of you are only sharing a joke or cartoon to make me laugh, or a helpful email from a friend.

Still I will not and never do open any attachments unless I know what they are and who they are originally from. I’ve been burned by viruses from well meaning emails in the past and have learned my lesson.

I love most all of your comments and appreciate all the support and encouragement you have given me in the past. Even the corrections have been enlightening and therefore helpful so I loved them too.

I don’t have so many friends that I don’t appreciate any long distant, cyber friendship. And in some ways the cyber friendships have been better and more frank.

So please do keep commenting. But don’t expect me to open your attachments or post the trash that sometimes shows up in my in box.

Oh, I’m glad that you took the time to send it. But I just don’t have the money to keep on having my computer cleaned out from the few viruses that get through. I just can’t take the chance any longer.

So I whole heartedly thank you for your comments, both the ones I’ve gotten and the ones to come. I’ll keep on being grateful to all of them. Because even the bad ones mean I’m not alone.

Have a happy holiday season whether you partake or not. And thank you all very much for just being there.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On In Need of Intervention:

I need a support group for people who have miss laid things and can’t find them again, but can’t let it go.

Just before Thanksgiving, back in mid November to be more accurate, I took an important to me thing and moved it from one place to another ‘better place’ to keep it safe, but easy to get at, while cleaning for the up coming holidays.

This large, multi pocket, brown envelope that I have been keeping all the patterns I have been making for my dolls and all their clothing, plus the measurements for a lot of their other stuff, is no where to be found.

I franticly search day after day. I methodically look as I go about moving my belongings from one place to another in search for it. My husband is also looking.

I repeat this moving and looking daily, getting little else done.

This is 17 years of my work and math that I can no longer do since the chemo messed with my brain.

Without it the project stops dead. The books never see the light of day.
Dolls sit without faces or hair, naked and wanting. Windows and doors never get put into walls. They all collect dust until I die and my husband throws them out into the trash to make more room to actually live in our house again.

I have turned into a crazy woman who thinks of little else. It is just not here any longer. No matter how many times I look over, under, around, and in the things I own. The universe sucked it into a black hole away from me to make me crazy and it is working.

When I’m not looking I’m either depressed about it or franticly searching my brain for another place for it to be in even though I have looked everywhere to the point of moving all my furniture in my search.

I’ve found things I haven’t seen in years. Tossed things I don’t want any longer to make more room for the searching.

And the saddest thing is that I can’t, I’m not ready, or just won’t let it go. It is eating the soul right out of me. And I don’t turn my back on it.

I need help. Its not worth my life but for the past weeks it has been nothing but my life.

I’ve tried to walk away but find myself looking again and again in the places that I know for a fact that it is not. I’ve looked here, there and everywhere multiple times already. It is gone and I can’t let go.

If you can, please help me move on.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

On Happy News:

I spent the last hour making a mega batch of cookie dough for the freezer.

I used up the first batch and then some more. Visitors the past few days came early this season and I am glad that I was cookie ready.

So it looks like I’m mostly done with holiday visitors this year already, unless some come back or new ones arrive.

Now the news! I am to be a grandma times two in late Spring. They are waiting to find out what the baby is until the birth like with the first one. So far all is well and the morning sickness is subsiding.

I have a lot of knitting to get into. New stuff for the new kiddie. Knit toys for the most part. I knitted a hollow log house with some knitted fairy bears (Bears with leaf wings on their backs.), the bears were made in autumn leave colors. The Grand-kiddie loves them and they are part of his good night ritual.

Grand-kiddie is growing in leaps and bounds. Walking and talking now that he is just over a year old. I wish I lived close enough to see him daily. The computer helps us see each other in real time. But it is not the same as hugs and kisses close.

They are a mixed culture family and do a generic mix of holidays. I’m the kind of grandma that has gifts when I see him. I’m not the gifts in the mail kind. But that may change if they move farther away. A possibility in this economy. One must go where the job is.

But for now I’ll take all I can get and hope for the best. Today is a very good, good news day.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

On Getting with the Season:

I’m almost caught up with the blogs I read. Two weeks worth. And a lot of info.

I’ve made a batch of cookie dough and froze it in a log for easy cutting, ready incase company comes over with little advanced notice over the holidays. Pop it in the oven and we’re good to go in only 15 minutes.

I’ve pulled it out of the freezer, cut the log like dough, placed them on the cookie sheet; all while the oven warmed up. And fresh baked cookies were being pulled from the oven as the company came up the driveway.

It helps to make the house smell great for the arrivals too.

Not that we do the holiday thing. But friend and family do and make us part of the round of visits.

I do decorate but in winter theme. Snowflakes and snowmen, icicles and sleigh bells.

The kids (mostly the girls) all (even the adults) like to look at the mini world of the doll houses, dolls and their things. And if there is snow outside there is sledding down the hill past the oak grove.

No gift giving but plenty of love and enjoying each other. No pressure to find the right gift or spending money that I don’t have on something they don’t really want. No gifts that I don’t need or want to find room for.

It was hard in the beginning to make others understand our way of thinking. But now it isn’t as hard. And with the added economy issues others are having a harder time buying extras now and are happy to not have to add us to the gift list.

Winter comes with its holidays even if we don’t indulge in all of them. We all have a good time visiting in spite of our spiritual differences. I have no feelings of ill will to those that follow different life rules or holidays. To each their own, I say.

Happy holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Gall of it All

What a year! It seemed like the harder I tried to blog the more the universe got in my way.

We had a very good Thanksgiving. Mom and her friend had a good time. The food turned out very good. We all ate too much.

This led to a gall bladder attack for me.

Not to worry, my gall bladder is still with me. Though I wish it wasn’t. Back to living on beets and apples again for a while.

I wasn’t the only one to have a gall bladder attack this year, but my younger sister’s was so bad she had emergency surgery and missed her daughters birthday party. My sister is now doing much better.

My attacks are bad, but not bad enough to put me on the emergency surgery list. This means I never do get rid of the offending body part.

Money and a heart problem are in the way of just having the thing yanked out at my bidding.

So life at Deathwatch Manor goes on much the same. Cooking, cleaning, knitting, crafting, playing games and watching DVD‘s.

I did get most of the way through a coloring book while stuck in bed far away from my computer. (I didn’t feel much like knitting while sick.)

There is just something comforting about the smell of crayons while sick.

I may need to get a new coloring book for the grandkid before he comes again, but it was very nice to have it while I was sick.

All in all, life is good. Its just those galling bad parts that get in the way sometimes. I hope next year is better for all of us.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On Dancing with Dust Bunnies:

I am not a great house cleaner.

Oh my dishes and food surfaces are quite clean. My bathroom is clean too. The place is vacuumed regularly. And I keep up with the laundry.

But I’m just not a duster.

You see, I have better things to do than to dust clean surfaces just because it is that day of the week to do so.

And once the dust collects I say to myself, ‘Why bother to move it when it will only be back in a few days anyway.’ And with a wood stove it feels like all worlds dust is spawned at my house.

So now it is a week before my guests arrive for the Thanksgiving holiday. And I am tackling all things dusty and even the might be’s.

Music on and armed with my trusty duster rag I go off looking for my well cultured dust bunnies.

I’ve emptied the hutch, where the better everyday dishes are kept for lack of owning any real china, and wash it and them to a shine.

After that the cabinets for pots, pans, canning jars and other food stuffs get a once over.

I’ve taken down all my baskets on my beams and washed them down too. (Yes, you can wash baskets off with a fairly good spray if you dry them fairly fast afterwards.) I hang mine over the wood stove to dry and put them back after the beams were vacuumed.

I am dusting and cleaning every surface I can reach. (Mountain Man handles the highest ones.)

I’m tired after two days of this dusting mania. And I have only gotten two rooms done.

It is a shame that my older, more interesting cobwebs in the corners have been sacrificed for the good of a holiday. But even I don’t want to have them falling in my food. And with all this cleaning ruckus they have gotten a little shaky on their perches.

And so goes my days of late. When you hear a bit of music just think of me as Dancing with Dust Bunnies.

Monday, November 14, 2011

On …Sometimes the Bear Gets You:

I was got by an allergy attack.

Mountain Man and I crashed into each other in the doorway a few days back. And with a cloud of dust and dirt I was struck down. All would have been well had he not come back from the barn after cleaning out a nasty old corner where the old dusty hay was.

My eyes were all red and swollen (No reading, computer or crafting.), and I was all sneezes and miserable for two days.

I’m good if I get to take my meds first, but I wasn’t going any where near the barn while he was working, so I didn’t bother to take any.

So as the saying goes, ‘Sometimes you get the bear, and Sometimes the bear gets you.’

I did find that I can watch quite a few DVD’s in my head while listening to them. Does that mean I watch them too often or that I’m a TV head?

Friday, November 11, 2011

On Dolling Goth?:

The more that I work with my Victorian Dolls and all their stuff, the more I want to make a Goth doll set. House and all.

Yes, I’m Crazy! Its official! If you know me, you know that I have to have more than one ball to juggle in the air. And all the balls are not balls at all. Some can be almost any object.

Its taken me 15 years to get to this point. And here I am thinking of starting a new project from the ground up.

And I am ‘not’ done with the first project yet!

And, Where would I put it! I hardly have room for the ones I have.

Yes, I’m getting closer to the end of the Victorian Doll project and that makes me nuts. Because, if I’m done with the Victorian Dolls, what would I be able to I put my mind to?

My mind says to me, “You know ever so much more about all this stuff so it shouldn’t take half as much time.”

But the rub is, that some of this stuff has taken me that 15 years long to find, collect and make.

And then there is the money issue. Do I start saving now for all the stuff I’ll need to work with. And the cost of everything has gone up over the years. Things I bought at $1 dollar years ago are $5 or $6 dollars now.

Yet, I can’t let go of the notion that I could in fact do it given the time.

A smaller project, maybe? Apartment not a house?

But then my mind goes to a whole Apartment building of Goths. Or better yet an old Victorian mansion of Goth. With Addams’s visiting for fun…

Stop me now or I’ll never be able to stop myself!

And maybe a Mortuary in the basement… With a Cemetery in the side yard… And a Green house full of strange plant life… And the clothing! Oh so many pieces of Gothy clothing…

Thursday, November 10, 2011

On Its Raining Again:

Mountain Man had been taking advantage of the nice weather to get a lot of things done around here. I’d been helping, but staying out of the sun as much as possible.

For ten days we had rain free days (First time in over a year.) and it is over. Lovely gray and damp again.

Now that Mountain Man is not as busy he has taken to dancing with me in the kitchen again. Something that strikes him now and again.

The dog, of course, wanted to join into the fun and hopped around down by our feet. What he was thinking that we are doing I couldn’t tell you. But if we are doing it… he wanted to play a part. Silly puppy!

Rainy days are not lost on us. They are days of renewal. Watering plants, rest from fast growth, cooler temperatures for the plants outside.

Tea and books, contemplation and inner growth, slowing down from the rat race, for us inside the house.

My run of making a few things for the doll houses each day is still on.

Baking sheets for cookies and baking pans, (A recycle from old toss away aluminum pie plates). Some knife rests from beads and wire (Small barbell type things for keeping greasy knives from touching and staining your pretty table cloths).

And some muffins from those wooden plugs that cover holes in some furniture so you don’t see the screw holes and/or screw heads. (Their called buttons by the way.) I painted them over in watered down brown paint and used some colored markers to add raisins, cranberries, and blueberries to some of them.

I’m thinking that the Thanksgiving holiday just might derail me there. Having guests for a few days changes things as it pulls you off of schedule. But I wouldn’t mind. And I might just get me back to some knitting again.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On Thanksgiving Memories:

Thanksgiving is coming here in the USA in two weeks time.

The Halloween stuff gets toned down a bit and some replaced with ‘Turkeys’ and ‘Horns of Plenty.’

A good family holiday. I like cooking for a group. It is not like it used to be at my Grandmothers house when I was a kid. (There would be up to 28 people at the tables groaning with food.) Family is further a field and the cost of travel is getting greater.

Grandma would be cooking and baking for days. We would go over so early in the morning it would still be dark out. Pealing potatoes and preparing other veggies while the turkey-bird was already cooking in the oven.

We kids would go for a morning nap, and/or a long walk with Grandpa, and/or just watch the only, at that time, ‘Macy’s’ Parade in New York City on the Television while the food cooked and the feast would begin when the other relatives arrived. Some years we kids had a small play or poem to entertain the adults with.

When Grandma gave the word we all crammed ourselves around the lined up tables that went from the dinning room through the arch and into the living room. We ate and enjoyed each others company for hours.

Clean up commenced for the women while the men watched sports on TV and talked. And when the clean up was done we started in on leftovers until it was time to go home.

We were ever so thankful on those days gone by. Family, friends, health and happiness. It was enough for us.

I have to get my shopping done so my little thanksgiving feast will be just as good as my Grandma’s. My mom and her friend will be with us this year. But even if I was by myself I’d be thankful. I have a good little life.

Monday, November 7, 2011

On Please Stand By:

Because I’m not standing at the moment. Nor have I gotten anything of note done.

I hurt my foot. Pulled a muscle in it and my heal hurts like the dickens.

So, I got caught up in video games and trolling the web while sitting around all day.

I did make a few small things for the doll houses, but your tired if hearing about that, Right?

I got through two Farm Frenzy games and played around with a few others.

I hope to be back to my real life by tomorrow.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

On Grandma Candy Memories:

When I was a little girl. Way back in the day. My grandmother had a large conch shell candy dish on a lace doily that she crocheted on the table in the parlor. There was her Ebony Elephant collection on the shelf watching over the parlor and her things therein.

We would try to sneak a piece of candy now and then. She would always know what we were up to and call out from the kitchen to leave the candy alone.

I came across a small conch shell and made it a candy dish for one of my doll houses. It sat empty for months in the middle of the table on a hand made lace doily.

Picture frames, an elephant statue and a crystal ball on a black velvet pillow, along with a card to read palms with ring it.

Today I sifted through my miss matched, broken and malformed beads picking just the right sizes.

I cut up pieces of used, put still useful, tissue paper and cut them in almost inch squares.

Twisting them carefully around the beads I made candy for the dish.

I filled it with the butterscotch candy and left the taffy for another day.

My Grandmother would have like my project if she was still alive. And the fact that my sweet memories of her home are much of what I pull ideas from for the doll houses.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

On Lost in a Little World:

Yesterday I was doing a rewrite on one of the books I’m writing for the dolls and I was at it until the wee hours of the morning. I surprised myself at how the time flew by.

You see, at first there was only one house and one story. Then when I made the other house I felt that whoever got each house after I’m gone should have the story that went with the dolls living there. So I pulled the story apart and did a dove tail thing with them and made it two stories.

The problem was that the story to the house with the older young women was, well I’ll say it, duller. It needed punching up a bit. That was what the rewrite was all about.

And today I was making more doll house stuff. Namely kitchen things. Wooden boxes like you get produce in. Finding old fashion labels on the internet small enough to print, cut out, and paste on the little glass jars and boxes of food stuff. I fixed a handle on a pot that hangs in the one kitchen fire place. And made plans to make a dry sink.

Let me just say that the inventory list for all this stuff is over 20 typed pages and growing. Yes, even I can’t keep it all straight without a list and most all of it came from my head and hands.

I am felling really good about getting back at this project. Too long left to collect dust.

Not that I lacked enthusiasm. It was more of a over whelmed feeling. Kinda’ like ‘Too big to ever accomplish, and that is scary.’ kind of thing.

I mean, who makes the dolls, all their clothing, houses and makes and collects all their stuff… Writes books about their lives… And stages all the illustrations… Plus takes all the pictures for it over fifteen years?

A bit of a dizzy lady that has too much time on her hands and likes to be creative and to keep busy. That’s who!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On Catching Up With Others:

I spent my computer time today in catching up with my emails and reading the blogs I missed.

I’m still not done, but I’m closer. So many blogs, so little time to comment!

Not much going on here. I have a cold, but I’m fighting it. ‘I will not be taken down with it.’ I have things to do.

I’m glad to be back here with you.

Monday, October 31, 2011

On All’s Well This Halloween:

Our computers are home and virus free. They were ‘Networked’ together and what one got the other got also. Apparently there was a programming error in the one computer and poof, both computers down and out! (Not networked any longer.)

It took forever to get them back. But in the state they were in, at the time, they were useless.

Well let’s see what went on while my internet life line was gone.

The grandkid had his first birthday.

Crafting, I knitted and worked on the doll houses and dolls.

I built a doll closet (seperated from the doll houses) for all the dolls clothing. Well half a closet. (The part with the bars to hang the cloths.) The other part will have shelves and box drawers for the loose things like hats, shoes and other frippery. All that stuff that doesn’t go on hangers.

There was an October snow storm, but I don’t think any one missed hearing about that. More people without power and downed trees than hurricane Irene a few weeks ago.

The old ‘Batman’ show is now on ‘ME TV’ and I couldn’t be happier. I just love that show. The height of campy humor. Too bad it is only on, on Saturday evenings, but they are showing the shows in their serialized order and we get two of them a night.

I can’t wait to get back at my video games. I missed them more than I want to admit even to myself. I just got the first 10 of the Farm Frenzy games in one box from BestBuys and I’m chomping at the bit to play them. (Yes, there are more than 10 Farm Frenzy games out there. And they each play a little differently than the others.)

Here’s hoping you are all having a great Halloween too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On Bed Time:

I was going to blog yesterday, but I was busy.

You see the sewing machine needs to be plugged in where the computer is, so the computer wasn’t on at all through the day and into the night.

I had 3 single beds and 2 twin beds to finish. Including mattresses, pillows and bedding.

You see, I have been fudging it. Using shoe boxes with bandannas, handkerchiefs and/or knitted washrags over them for some beds and cardboard mock-ups for others.

They are still mostly cardboard, but the wooden posts and finials helped a lot once the paint dried.

And the bedding was the topper. Real little pillows in crisp white pillow cases and sheets. Blankets and bed throws, comforters and patchwork quilts too.

Thou I’m still working on the covered bed with the curtains all around, now it is feeling so much more closer to done.

Some day I’ll find or make the rest of the bits and pieces I need to take the pictures for the books I wrote. You know, the things that set the scene in the illustrations to match with the story.

Oh! And there is still a doorway I need to make in the one house and a few windows and window dressing too.

Someday! But at least now that day is closer than it was.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

On My Story Blog:

Today I posted a story over on my Story Blog ‘Thrill or Shiver’.

I hope you enjoy it. I went with a Halloween appropriate theme as this is October.

Let me know what you think. Comment here or there.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

On Small Uses for Tooth Picks:

Today is a gray day. I usually love a gray day, but this one is too cold and windy for me. You know, the kind that the cold goes right through you and stays stuck inside. Thus requiring hours of tea drinking wrapped in blankets by the wood stove with a book.

So, wanting to get something done, I hid in the house doing jigsaw puzzles and playing with the doll house.

I made some things for the doll house out of wooden tooth picks. I cut off the small ends of the flat kind of tooth picks and painted them blue for my ‘Ohio Blue Tip’ matches.

And I used the round kind of tooth pick for my dolls knitting needles.

Yes, I did knit that bit of scarf for them using those small knitting needles. I just wanted to see if I could do it.

The dog needs walking so I’ll soon be shivering until properly tea-ed and blanketed, with a book. Agatha Christie, ‘The A.B.C. Murders’ I think. I am thankful for wood stoves on days like this.

Friday, October 14, 2011

On A Poke About a Doll House Kitchen:

(My Camera is back and doing well for the moment. I was told that if it goes bad again to give it up. So here are some more of the doll house pictures I promised you.)

One day I was feeling the need to add an older element to the kitchen and remembered that I still have a an old Pretzel tin. These were from the days when the Pretzel and Chip Man would come around every few weeks and you’d buy a few pounds from his barrels, keeping them fresh in your large company provided tins in the pantry.

And Yes, I do remember the various, regularly scheduled, delivery men coming around and delivering milk, butter, and yogurt, light bulbs, soda, snacks like pretzels, chips, and cookies, meat, and the Diaper service. There were the men that came around calling out that they sharpened knives or fixed vacuums at their truck while you waited. And we can’t forget the Avon Lady and the Fuller Brush Man selling their wares each month.

My ‘Becker’ Pretzel tin is 13 inches high, just for reference.

Anyway, one day I grabbed some pens and started to draw a copy of it for the doll house, just to see if I could. (You can see my version on top of the Icebox in the doll house next to the larger one.)

A closer picture of my free hand version of the tin.

A look into the kitchen shelves.

And peak into the pantry.

I won’t post doll house pictures every day for those of you who don’t care about such things. But there will be more to come here and there until I’m done cleaning and fixing it all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

On Just One Of Those Days:

On Just One Of Those Days:

I tripped. One of those little trips where you don’t fall down, but the things in your hands go flying and you kind of trip over them before you can stop yourself.

I did this with the spiral staircase for the doll house. It took hours to fix it. And I still have to replace a few parts, but it is in one piece and standing again.

And the toilet broke. It needs a new flusher valve and I have to wait until Mountain Man can get out for the part to fix it. So for now I have to use a bucket of water to flush.

And I got a wasp up my skirt while walking the dog. Seven stings later I managed to get it out. I had to limp home as they swelled. A baking soda poultice helped, but I still have red swollen bumps on my legs.

Tomorrow has to be a better day. And knowing that I can look forward to enjoying it, with no reservation, makes me smile.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On Give and Take:

Mountain Man is gone for the whole day today. Don’t worry. He’ll be back by dark. He is off helping a friend.

We are not fused at the hip by any means. But we touch base often living the way we do. And that means little interruptions in the day. Not bad or good, just stopping what you are doing to look up and answer a question or hear the latest news.

Having the day to myself with no interruptions is heaven sent. I have gotten so much done with no one around to take my mind away from what I’m doing. It is wonderful in its own way. Like hearing a piece of classical music through to the end with no one coughing in the audience, or watching a whole movie without the kids asking questions.

But still I feel the aloneness. When the fire in the wood stove gets low he is not around to add more wood without my even having to ask. I miss his minor interruptions.

He asks me how I’m doing. He touches me as he walks past. I help him do things he could do alone, but it goes faster with two. We share the load.

Not that I’m missing picking up after him all day long. Or dropping what I’m doing to do something for him and forgetting where I was and having to start all over again.

It’s a give and take. We do for each other and have done for us. Nice to know someone else is there if you need them, kind of thing.

So, I’m making head way on fixing a few things for the doll houses. I’m a hot glue gun fool today. Loose bits and bobs, table legs that have come off, things that came apart or lost a piece or two.

But I am feeling incomplete. Because there is no one here to take my give.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

On Not So Tick-led:

And so goes my life. The sun started to shine again and other things have to go wrong.

First my camera started to die. (Hence the lack of doll house photos I promised you.) The zoom lens stopped working, then the flash stopped, then the timer. It is now at the shop, but the prospects are not looking good.

Than after a few days of no rain. (What you need to know here is what the local weather forecasters said the other day. 'We have had some form of precipitation every week since mid November last year!') That is right 11 months of mostly rain or snow each week!'\

Anyway the ticks came back with a vengeance once the ground dried out a bit! It was like a plague around here. We were finding them on us and the dog faster than we could pick them off when we came into the house.

So I’ve been spraying, and cleaning, and killing ticks as fast as I can. I like to see them sizzle on the wood stove best. Then I know that they are dead.

I’ll get back to the doll house cleaning, fixing, and making of new things as soon as we have the bugs under certain control.

And hopefully with a working camera in hand.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

On Looking at the Details, Part 1:

Some Doll house bedroom details while I‘m cleaning them up.

Dresser top.

Sewing basket and button box on hope chest.

Jigsaw puzzles.

Some details are better than others, but they all add to the overall reality of the place.

More tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On Time for Cleaning Houses:

For those of you who don’t know, I have a couple of doll houses I made to go with the hand made Victorian dolls I made some 15 years or so ago.

It was one of those projects that just kept going and growing. First the Dolls. Then some stuff (Clothing and a few bits and bobs.) and more stuff for the dolls, houses to put the stuff and dolls into, books I've written about them for my nieces, pictures to use as illustrations in the books… a doll house garden… Yes, I know I’m crazy, but I hope it is a good crazy.

The dolls are 15 inches high. The houses are six feet high.

Mountain Man standing next to one of the houses.

I have two of these large doll houses. A two part, six room, three floored house. Picture above. (7 feet wide and 6 foot high) and a four room, three floored house (4 foot wide and 6 foot high) with a garden.

If you look in the box of matches on the shelf, you will find mini matches. In the jigsaw puzzle boxes are jigsaw puzzles. And there is a block of ice and a drip pan in the icebox. The pantry is full of food stuffs, apples to oranges, crackers in the cracker box, cookies in the cookie jar.

It takes the better part of two weeks to clean it all. I use a paint brush for a broom. And I wash up and down everything I can, bedding to bustles.

All the little fiddly bits, knickknacks, and all. From the tops of their heads and the roof top chimneys, right down to the their high buttons shoes and the foundations of the building all gets a cleaning.

I fix the stuff that got broken, replace the things I can’t fix, and I make a few more things for the houses or dolls each time I give all of it a proper clean out.

I’m a busy doll mommy at this time of year. But I’m having fun doing it. Much more fun than I have cleaning my own house.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On A Door to Convenience:

Life is great when the bad times are over. So I’m going with, If it weren’t for migraines, I wouldn’t know how good life could be.

Of course, I do get to have one little complaint. ‘Another week lost from my life!’ (Rant over.)

On the up side. Now that I’m feeling better, Mountain Man is replacing an old door that his father made with a much better one that doesn’t leak the heat out and the cold in.

It will be so nice not to have to pack insulation in between the screen door and the house door, rendering it unusable all winter long. And it is the door closer to the wood shed making it easier to get wood in the house in the winter.

I hated having to go the long way around to the wood shed when there was a door just feet away that we couldn’t use once the insulation was up for the season. And no more digging through the snow to get there and back either.

Why we didn’t do this years ago I’ll never know. We talked about it. But other things just got done first, second, third…

So, as I watch a little piece of family history (the door his father built) be tossed aside for convenience sake, I’ll be jumping for joy at the prospect of not having to dig a path through the snow and ice to the wood shed any longer.

Convenience is a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On Distractions:

For days I have been trying to find a resolution about 4 video games I bought from the 'Nevosoft' company. Annabel, and My Kingdom for the Princess 1, 2 & 3. I went to 'Nevosoft' because they are the makers of these games and they offered disc versions at a reasonable price. $6.99 each for most of their games and that included shipping.

I really have liked playing these games on line and wanted the discs (Full versions) so I could put them in my various computers without having to pay for the games over and over again for each download, as I moved from one computer to the next.

After waiting for the discs to arrive for weeks without result, I got in touch with the distributor 'RegNow' to find that I was sent an email with the codes for the downloadable versions. And that they never got the word to send backup discs.

I went into an explaination of needing discs to wrap for presents. (As they are a gift from my husband to me.)

There is no place to talk to the 'Nevosoft' company directly. Only a Tech Support email address. I can’t do much right now but let the credit card company try to get my money back.

One of the reasons it is taking so long is that we are in a rain pattern again. I’ve learned the hard way that I need to unplug my computer when a storm comes to call. So I’m lucky if I get a quick email out before I need to unplug again.

I am thankful that the flooding is not hitting my house. But the inconvenience of all this rain is getting on my nerves. And it bugs me when I don’t get what I paid for. Sorry for the rant folks. I do try to keep them to a minimum.

Monday, September 26, 2011

On So Much Info, So Little Time:

I had a really good time listening to my father’s tales of when he was younger.

He used to go the dump where the factories would get rid of miss-made products and regularly get pink pencil erasers for school by the pounds, along with a variety of other things that he and his friends or family could use.

I learned that my grandfather was a professional Roller Derby skater for a time.

And that my uncle, when he was in the navy, was stationed on the aircraft carrier ‘Enterprise’ before and during World War II.

(For those of you who don’t know. The ‘Enterprise’ was the most decorated ship of that war, if not ever. Wikipedia link here. History Channel link here. Battle 360 links here.)

Now I know where my father got all those scars from. My father was attacked by dogs more than once. Most were minor leg bites while delivering news papers.

But the worst one: My father, in his own back yard when he was only about 8 years old, was attacked by a dog and bitten 11 times before his brother managed to hit the dog with a hammer to get it off of him. He has a long, jagged scar that goes from the corner of his eyebrow and over his head, along with others he wouldn‘t talk about when we were kids.

There were tales of misadventure along with childish bad judgment. But he and the others survived those days of not enough to go around. They made it to adulthood and some of the old group still meet a few times a year even though the group gets smaller each year.

He may be the last of his family’s generation. His brothers and sisters are all gone now and his parents died when I was a child.

So he tells the tales that only he is left to pass down to the generations he has fathered and grandfathered hoping that some of those stories will live on when he is gone. It is family history and it should not get lost.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On Busy, Busy Company Coming:

I’ve been trying to help the local flood victims clean up and do my own Autumn cleaning. And on top of that my Dad and Step-mom are coming to visit for a few days.

Yes, despite my long years on this planet all my parents are still alive.

To see them you would not take them for their ages and in some ways you’d think them younger than me. (I’m a bit bent over and slow right now from hauling and cleaning stuff this past week.)

They’ll arrive on Friday and will be staying through the weekend. So I must not just set the air mattress out in the parlor for them like I do for the kids when they come. I give Dan and Step-mom my big, dark, high, ornate, bed so my Dad doesn’t have to get up from the floor in the morning. They just have to use the stool to get into it at night.

This means clearing out my bedroom so as not to scare them to death with my Gothy d├ęcor. Like skulls on the bed finials and such stuff. Not that it is strictly necessary to remove them, but it is an excuse to give the room a good Autumn clean out.

So down comes the well cultivated cobwebs. Banished is the dust too thick to write on in the corners. (Yes, you can have dust too thick. It falls back down into the cleared space where you just tried to write in it and it puffs up in clouds in your face.)

My bottles of spider’s eyelashes and such stuff and my caldron get moved into the closet, along with my dead flowers and plants. My mourning pictures and the ones of the moon through clouds and bare branches come down to be cleaned behind as well and my dead stuffed animals too.

My collective parents, (Mom Dad and Stepmom.) are old school Christian and they love me in their way, although they do not like my life choices. So we compromise and they come when I’m doing my Autumn cleaning so that they don’t have to see all my Gothiness all at once.

I love them so I have some of my stuff down and out of the way for more days than just cleaning would necessitate. I cut back on the face paint and wardrobe too because, why have that time old discussion about style when, we can have a good time doing other things before they are gone. (I’m no kid anymore. Just one of their kids. There are nine of us altogether and why should I be the troublesome one besides the strangest.)

So if you were looking for me I was in my vanilla clothing getting it all dirty and torn, cleaning up Deathwatch Manor and then some. (Boy, I wish I could keep some servants around here. But they will clean things up a little ‘too’ clean for my tastes.)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On Trigger Finger:

I was helping out with the clean up after the storms and flooding.

And well I have blisters on most of my fingers, but the worst one is on my trigger finger.

I was using a trigger sprayer and I’ve never sprayed so much stuff for so long. I think I may have sprained it too.

So my blog will be short and sweet tonight. Do to my one fingered typing.

Tomorrow is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. So shoulder your parrot and break out the crackers and your eye patch. Arrrgggg! Me Harties! Do it of you’ll be walking the plank!

No. All in fun really.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

On Breaking Three Figures:

Yes, I know that there are more of you reading my blog than it shows on my Blogger Follower List, but I have to say that it was a little thrilling to see that three digit ‘100’.

This is my 789’th posting here on ‘Thoughts from a Eclectic Goth Mind‘. For years I’ve blogged. I’ve written my dark stories for my other blog ‘Thrill or Shiver’ also as time went by.

I supported other bloggers. Jumped on to follow new bloggers so they didn’t have to wait for over a year to get that first follower or months for a first comment like I did.

I saw the numbers rise, fast and furious, for some younger bloggers and, yes I felt a little jealous.

No, I am not into popularity contests. I’m not on facebook or any other social network. (They scare me. And I don’t play well with others.)

But here I am with 100 followers on blogger.

So three cheers for the little guy. It took a long time, but I’ve made it to three digits. Another life goal met.

Now I have to put my black thinking cap on and step up to the plate. Bring my ‘A’ game more often. Because I have people waiting to hear from me. And I don’t like to disappoint.

I may even bring back my Epitaph give away. (You send in an Epitaph and I pick one to win a prize.) I still have some prizes left, if I’m remembering correctly. Let me know if you’d like that!

So thank you out there for reading my blog. Thank you for thinking it was worth following. Thank you for being a friend.

I thank you also my long time readers. You kept me going by hanging in there when my time and subject matter was getting thin.

Oh Happy Goth 100 Day!

Friday, September 16, 2011

On Beating that Bad Mood Back:

I beat the bad mood I woke with yesterday with the help of Miss Mousey from Knotty Mouse. She has a blog I read regularly.

She reminded me of our Thankfulness Tea Parties on the web every February. Maybe I should have them more often.

Being an Elder Goth can be a drag sometimes. Others (some vanilla’s I know.) keep wanting me to grow up and stop all this Goth stuff, and the younger generation of Goth’s have no use for me. ‘Old Fart’ being the kindest comment to me of late.

This leaves me without a local Goth community. So I find myself having to tone it down more often than I really want to or I find myself with no one to hang with.

And although Mountain Man tolerates my Gothiness for the most part, he would rather it was not a full tilt daily barrage of the stuff. And he is definitely not into spiders. Meaning, I can only wear my spider jewelry when he is not about. (Marriage is full of compromise on both fronts.)

Some days I don’t want to be all old lady and respectable in my black pants suit, top and shoes when I go out and about. I want to Goth it out like any Goth would. Part of being a Goth is that pushing the ‘limits’ thing.

I have lovely Victorian Mourning clothing that doesn’t see the light of day often enough. And frankly I’d love to be seen in public in it much more than I do.

I spent that vanilla six weeks taking care of that woman. I didn’t have to. But I feel that when I’m ill I don’t want to see nothing but vanilla, and that she didn’t want to see nothing but Goth. In fact she doesn’t like it at all. (But to each his or her own.)

So Miss Mousey helped me by reminding me that I am thankful for any day I have to be my Gothy silly self. Whether in my full Goth regalia or scrubbing the bathroom in some old sweats. The Goth I am can still shine (Or darkly radiate) through. And that makes me happy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

On Trying to Break a Bad Mood:

I woke up in a bad mood today. No reason I can find for it. It just happens some times. I’ve been trying to break it, but nothing so far has worked.

I know that by tomorrow it may be gone just like it came, but I want it out of the way now. I have things to do. I don’t want to be a bear to my significant other. Nor do I want to be short with the dog.

I’ve tried to laugh it off, soothing it away, eating it gone, and to exercise it out by screaming in my pillow. I’ve exercised my body, meditated and tried chocolate. I’ve even bought the makings for a new hat.

I’ve run out of things to try and wondered if you have any ideas. I’ve spent too many days of my life in depression to want to slide back there. So I don’t want to wait it out.

What do you do to help yourself out of a bad mood?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On It’s a Beautiful Potato Day:

It is a beautiful Autumn day here today. The trees are just starting to turn colors and the air is just the right temperature.

We went for a walk with the dog, who ran around so much that he seemed to be going in ten directions at once. Now he is sleeping off his hike.

It’s supposed to rain tomorrow and turn colder. So we were making the best of the day. Digging potatoes and putting them in our make shift root cellar. We have a large plastic bin almost all buried in the shed. After we fill it with potatoes we put the lid on and cover it over with bails of hay.

I just love garden fresh potatoes. Nothing like the store bought. Same with carrots and other veggies. Nothing beats that fresh garden taste. Too bad you can’t get that taste all year round living here. But I wouldn’t give up Autumn or Winter for anything.

I’ll be making a batch of potato salad tonight from the little new potatoes that are bite sized bits of goodness and I’ll be enjoying every bite. With skins so thin and fresh that you don’t need to peel them.

I’m a pinch cook. I don’t generally use recipes. I just grab a pinch of this and a dab of that so I can’t give you a recipe like you’d find in a book. But I can tell you what I put into it.

Sweet Honey-Mustard Potato Salad
Red Potatoes - garden fresh, cooked and cooled, cut into bite sized pieces (Any other potato will do, but the look of the red skins, green beans and yellow sauce looks festive.)
Green Beans - cut into inch pieces, lightly boiled to a bright green, but still crisp then quick cooled (I’ve used frozen green beans in a pinch.)
Mayonnaise of your choice
Brown Mustard
Sweet Onion - minced fine, onion powder will do in a pinch.
Salt - I use sea salt but any type of salt is fine.

I go with 2 / 3 potato to 1 / 3 green beans. I mix it all to taste and serve it as a side dish to franks and beans or burgers and fresh corn on the cob.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On Up In Smoke:

Well I guess my mom is right. I was born under a dark star. This stuff only seems to happen to me.

While watching all the coverage about the flooding around the Wyoming
Valley my computer monitor started smoking.

It was unplugged and thrown out on the lawn, just before it was ready to burst into flame! The plastic casing was melting!

I sat at home for days while we were all under a state of emergency and couldn’t be out on the road to get to the store on the other side of the river. Only one bridge was open for days and that one was for emergencies.

So after some creative math I was able to get a replacement only because I found a clearance sale. A twenty inch screen for $49.00.

So, I am here to say, ‘I’m back again.’ I seem to be saying that a lot lately. Are the planets trying to tell me something?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

On If You Can’t Say Something Nice:

My silence was brought about by lack of good things to say. And not wanting to be a total Gloomy Gus, I just didn’t blog.

So now, the dog is doing much better after a very bad illness from what, we think, was something he found and ate after the lights went out in the Irene storm.

Most of the canning of the crops that were felled from the vine in storm Irene have been dealt with.

Rain, rain go away! We have managed to stop most of the leaks in the roof. When the rain finally stops we will be able to get to the others.

And now we await news of the flooding, brought about by the storms named Lee and Katia, of the Wyoming Valley and surrounding areas. Even if the Susquehanna River stays within the levee system of the Wilkes-Barre/Kingston area, towns up and down both the north and west branches of the river are getting flooded and all the streams and rivers running into it are over their banks. There are of course other rivers flooding, but none as close to my neck of the woods.

Once the river reaches a certain point only pumping stations will be keeping the water on the other side of the levees. Projected level is 39.6 feet. And if the water comes higher than the levees, some 40.7 feet high as it is projected to come very near to, it will over top the levee system flooding miles of residential areas. So the people of the valley are being evacuated as I write this.

The added flood walls and sand bagging are being placed and we all wait it out. Hoping and praying for friends and loved ones to be safe, helpless to do anything to stop what may become the worst flooding in recorded history here in this part of Pennsylvania.

I broke my self imposed silence because if the flooding does happen I will be far too busy helping with the flooded out homeless to write for a while. And I had wanted to let you know that we will be okay where we are, living on top of the mountain.

For those interested here is a link to a local TV News channel with the coverage.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

On Irene, Unwelcome Guest 2:

I did try to blog yesterday. So busy I didn’t even have the time to whip up something chocolate. (I am soooo jonesing for chocolate!)

We have yet to get off of the property to see the damage elsewhere. But the damage here is enough to be getting on with at the moment.

Today’s pictures - Trees: I’ll post just a few. So many out there these days on the web.

Some just came down taking out others. They left craters as the roots were pulled out of the ground.

Some snapped. Limbs and whole trees.

Others lost most of the branches on one side. (Picture taken during clean up of yard. A lot of the branches from our Ash trees had already been removed from the ground just to get in and out of the house.)

We are still canning what we could save of the garden. Food will be short here this winter. But we will muddle on as we always do and make the best of things.

I have only seen a group of 7 crows winging their way through to parts unknown and I haven’t heard a bird, but that one time since Irene started to blow. It would seem desolate here if not for the over abundance of bug all of a sudden.

I had wanted to join in with the Boots - Fashion Theme for the first of the month from the Sophistique Noir blog. But I just don’t have to time to play fashion plate right now. And Mountain Man is out with his chain saw turning downed trees into fire wood for the winter not doing the photographer.

Things will get back to normal and I will have time again to do those jigsaw puzzles and that knitting I haven’t touched since Irene came to call.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On Irene, Unwelcome Guest:

The flooding rain wasn’t bad enough. The high winds took an additional toll. The storm damage came further inland than first thought.

First, I am thankful that we are safe and unharmed. (At last count forty dead and countless injured.)

Second, We now have electricity after over a day and a half of none. And the phone is back now too. (Many others will have no electric for days to come. And then there are the ones who lost their homes.)

Third, Not one of all the trees that came down hit our house or car.

Fourth, the large pumpkins themselves are undamaged, but they will not be growing any further as their vines and leaves have been.

As to the over all damage:

We lost most of the garden. The corn is flat, the tomatoes all dropped from the plants. More than half of the apples and pears have dropped from the trees. A lot of the leaves left on the plants still alive, like the lettuce, have been shredded.

One of the two flattened corn crops.

Some of the many tomatoes we picked up off of the ground.

Most of the food that was in the refrigerator needed to be thrown out. In our 20+ cubic foot chest freezer, the top third of all in it started to thaw out. And some of that completely thawed.

It took almost two days for the birds to come back, but the amount of dead ones found after it was all over was a bit unsettling. (Broken necks, wings or both.) There were also an amount of drowned rodents. Pockets of the smell of death hang about in spots in the woods presumably drowned in their dens underground.

The house lost some shingles from the roof. The wind driven rain came in, under and around through the cracks around the windows and doors. The gutters and down spouts will have to be re-hung.

We are spending every moment we can processing and canning as much of the garden goods as possible to recoup what we can.

After that we have a lot of outside clean up to do.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

On Ready for Irene:

Ditches are dug, hatches are battened. Water is jugged, batteries are fresh, knitting is on standby, jigsaw puzzles are waiting to be pieced together.

We are ready for a blow!

Mountain Man stopped at a yard sale yesterday and got me a multi puzzle box. Eleven jigsaw puzzles; 2-1000 piece, 3-750 piece, and 6-500 piece of scenes from around the world.

All but one of the puzzle packets have never been opened, so I won’t have to guess about missing pieces as I make my way through the box.

I hope that all in the way of this storm are safe and healthy and stay so until all is over and all are back home and on line once again.

Friday, August 26, 2011

On Pumpkin Head Moments:

Really a Grandma moment, but I digress.

I have here a picture of one of our three large pumpkins. The wall is about hip high on me. So the pumpkin is about knee high.

And the pumpkin has grown since I took this picture a few weeks ago.

It was decided back in the Spring that we would try to grow a pumpkin large enough for the grandkid to fit into by his first birthday.

Now the grandkid will be a year old in October.

The trick will be to keep the pumpkin alive and growing through the expected storm, so that when the grandkid comes to visit around about his birthday, we can carve it out and sit him inside.

I now have the need to knit pumpkin hats for all involved.

Where did I stash my orange yarn?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

On Blustery Play Day:

So yesterdays east coast earth quake came and went with little damage, and none to human life, it did shake up a lot of folk.

Now we are looking Hurricane Irene in the face. The air is wild and brisk today. Not cold exactly, but fresh and cool.

I love wild blustery windy days. The kind of wind that comes and goes in all directions seemingly at once. The wind turns the leaves on the trees upside down with a steady hiss as the leaves brush against each other.

These winds are not kind to bumbershoots (Umbrellas or parasols.) or lacey fairy wings and tend to tangle your long skirts and petticoats around your legs. Lifting leaves or papers and things off the ground and throw them about. But still I love them.

They stir me up and give me energy. I want to break out in a run and make loud noises. I feel like I’m chasing and being chased all at once.

I don’t expect to see fairies or even small animals in the woods on days like this. Whorl winds of debris dance about and die in clearings. As children we would chase them, trying to jump into the center and fly away. They were never strong enough for that, but we were children and endlessly hopeful.

When we were older children we thought about gliders and other Icarus type contraptions on blustery days. Running and jumping into the wind with large pieces of cardboard in tow were the game then.

Winds like this are usually followed by rain and lots of it. And tomorrow that is the forecast.

Today it is just such a blustery day. I should be hanging laundry on the clothes line and airing out things for the winter months catching this fresh smell for those months to come. But all I want to do is to take a bed sheet by the corners, go outside and play with the wind.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On Shake Me:

Well, I was going to talk about something else, but I’ll leave that for another day.

The news, ‘small’ as it is, is that we had an earth quake.

Mind you it was some three hundred plus miles away. We felt it here in Northeaster Pennsylvania. (5.9 in Mineral, Virginia.)

I was playing a video game on the computer this afternoon. The house started to shake and my computer screen started to sway. The roof was making odd creaking noises and I felt like I was swaying in my chair. There are now cracks in the ceiling plaster of my house.

The thing about my area of the USA is that a lot of it has old coal mines under it. They evacuated all tall and older buildings and told us all to look out for sink holes and mine subsidence in the hours and days to come. Thankfully no mines are directly under our house.

And there are also nuclear power plants that shut down because of it. Checked out, and restarted.

Also we have more bridges in Pennsylvania than any other state, and they all have to be checked for cracks or failings. I can’t get off my mountain without crossing a half a dozen bridges in any direction.

We will have to monitor the water from our well for a few days also.

The funny thing is that my family members who live closer to the quake center felt it less than we did.

We are fine here. Mountain Man’s stone walls didn’t move fraction of an inch. And no brick-a-brack was lost in the shaking. So all in all a fun time was had by all. Shank me again right down to my big black boots.

Monday, August 22, 2011

On Hopes that Come With Autumn:

As a school aged child the coming of Autumn has always brought a feeling of anticipation for me.

Not just the new school year, learning new things, new cloths, new books, new classes. This was the anticipation of new classmates.

Almost every year brought new families into town. New kids would arrive on the first day of school.

And I always harbored the hope that one day, one of them would be like me, be ‘my’ friend, like me for who I was.

There were times that things looked almost like they might fall into place. But alas it was not to be. The new kid would only humor me until they figured out the lay of the land. Than they would play up to the popular group in hopes of gaining higher status.

I was always left alone, friendless again by Thanksgiving time in late November.

Despite the yearly let down, I never lost that hope. Some day, a friend would come into my circle and like me for who I was, and not for what they could gain from association with me. Jobs held that same allure of possible friendships.

My divorce had its added blow of learning that not one of my so called friends wanted to keep that friendship. And I was told outright that the only reason I was tolerated was because of my husbands standing in the community.

I did find Mountain Man and though he is not a kindred spirit, he does tolerate it well for the most part.

All that aside, I find myself looking out the window these days and hoping for a kindred friend to come my way. Just because Autumn is coming.

On A New Story:

Hi everyone. I have posted a new story called "The Redneck's Car" on my Thrill or Shiver story blog page.

Let me know if you liked it. Or even if it needs something. I'm open to learning how to make my stories better.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

On Back on the Trail:

Or should that be winged horse?

Anyway, I was tired and slow because I was getting sick. I got a nasty sinus infection complete with migraine headache.

I’m well now and back in the pink. That should be black and purple really? I don’t do pink. I'm feeling thankful that I'm well again.

I have traded in my medium sized, neon green wings with black trim for my bat black and silver set this week. The black are a bit larger than the green so I’ll have to be a little more careful when doing house work. My purple set are my biggest wings and I only use them for play.

I also have three small, child size, sets of wings that I use when I’m really busy or only need a small lift. And my branch and leaf wings are for walks in the woods and looking for woodland fairies.

It has been a bit cooler this past week around here. The summer is starting to get that look about it that it gets when summer is on the decline. The smell of the air in the mornings have a hint of autumn. And the evenings have traded fireflies for katydids.

I’m looking forward to Autumn as usual. My favorite time of year. I’m getting revitalized just thinking about it. Harvest, color, nesting, sweaters, longer nights and shorter days. The woods open up and show their secrets when they drop their leaves. The skies have more gray days. The crisp chill that makes you feel alone and the need to hug yourself even on a crowded street.

Well, I’m off to work on the story I was writing when I was interrupted by being sick. I’ll have to see if it is worth anything or if it was just a sick crazed mess. But either way I’ll try to post a new story on my writing blog sometime soon.

Edit: For a look at some really huge wings, take a peek at Travel, Fiber and Threads blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On Slowing Down?:

I don’t know how I use to get anything done.

Once I had more than enough time in my days.

My house was cleaner. My life had more time in it for fun, games and the internet. I wrote stories, made dolls and all their stuff, (Houses included.) played video games, took care of two dogs, baked, cooked, canned, gardened, visited friends and was visited by them, I sewed clothing, knitted, made lace, and crafted.

Yes, I know I have a puppy in the house. But I don’t spend all my time throwing a ball across the floor.

In fact the dog spends a good deal of time outside following Mountain Man around in the woods.

I used to take care of two sick old dogs, 24/7 before the puppy and still get more done in my days.

We hardly go anywhere any more, none of the old friends come to visit, Even family doesn’t get around as much these days.

And still I’m not keeping up with my chores like I once did, I owe my brother a phone call for three, no four, weeks now.

I tell myself that I’ll call or get on the computer as soon as I’m done with the chore at hand. But I move on to the next thing that needs doing and I look at the clock and the day is gone. I’m crawling into bed and telling myself tomorrow I‘ll blog.

I sure hope it’s the summer blahs and not just old age slowing me down. I have a lot of things I want to do!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

On Not too Busy to Blog a Few Time a Week:

Well, I’m taking a few moments out of my busy days to blog.

I’ve knitted half a sweater, made five gallons of lentil soup and 2 quarts of sour apple preserves and canned it all for the winter months. I’ve cleaned out a chest of drawers. Lost a pound. Weeded in the garden. Read a book, fiction, fantasy, just for fun. I did play a few video games also.

I’ve been organizing photos, both old and new. Needed for requests from my daughter. Now that she is a mommy she wants her own copies of her childhood photos and her child’s ‘grandma’s house’ for the kiddy.

I’ve been airing blankets and feather beds. Patched holes in the walls from moved picture hangings. Sewing split seams, missing buttons, patching holes in work clothes, and making doll clothing for grandkid’s snuggly baby toy. (He would have to fall in love with a naked doll at a second hand sale that he won‘t sleep without.)

I’ve also been watching a lot of old TV re-runs while I work. Listening while I work is more to the point. Did I really sit in true belief, watching them for the first time as a kid? Westerns, Burns and Allen, Dennis the Menace, army/navy comedy shows. All in Black and White.

Was I a gullible child or just a bit too innocent back then? Or did I just want to believe that there where ever so many different paths out there for me to choose from? And all of them, though not free if troubles, all troubles could be handled in an hour at the most. (That was unless you fell in love with the leading player. Then you were doomed.)

I wore my green fairy wings one day because the breeze made me feel like flying when I hung the laundry on the cloths line. Funny how wearing wings make the house work lighter.

I’m wanting to write a few stories if I can find the time to sit at the computer long enough. I took notes of story lines that I came to me while I was away. But most of them are book length and I’m feeling short storyish since I came home. Too busy for more at the moment I guess.

That’s it for now. Gotta’ get back to cooking dinner.

Monday, August 8, 2011

On Vacation Timing:

I’ve been busy. More than usual for this time of year. Missing a month or more of a part of my year set me back.

I remember August as a kid. My father always took his vacations in August, so that is when we went. It was the time of year to do day trips, or camping, swimming, and not doing the normal everyday things in life.

When I was the mommy, I’d make our vacation plans for August.

But this year I don’t have a day to spare.

Gardening, harvesting, canning, home repair, visiting relatives for work/repair days at their homes, volunteering, meetings, wood gathering, wood splitting, wood stacking and getting things ready in and outside of the house for winter.

Over scheduling! Calendar Full!

I’m just glad I don’t have kids to get ready for school.

Yes, I know that I can do some of those things next month if I choose to. But next month has its own things to do. So this month I try to catch up so when September comes I’m ready.

I’d rather not procrastinate. I sat for too long last month. Now I want to get things done. No vacation time, but I don’t mind now that I’m back home.

Friday, August 5, 2011

On What I Learned While On My Forced Quiet Time:

Well, I could have just brooded about my situation while being stuck in Nowhere’s Ville, Normal Town, USA.

But I chose a better route. I looked within and found some things that I had been missing. I generally don’t do good with too much time to think. I can work myself up to a panic if I let myself.

I watched the trees in the breeze and found faces.

I hadn’t done that since I was a kid. Its kinda’ like those puzzles where you find the hidden pictures in the larger picture. (Find the hidden cup, bat, phone, and dog.)

I found baby faces, old faces, lady faces, man faces. Faces that looked like they were talking to each other and faces that looked like they were talking to me.

It was like having my own group of friends come to see how I was doing, while I sat quietly waiting for the woman I was helping to finish napping.

I would think up conversations for them. The old fisherman with a beard would say, ‘How’s the day been treating you?’ And the Lady with a hat would answer, ‘Middlin’ good. Just like my friend watch us out that window down there.’ The baby would just smile away.

The older woman, in the next tree over, asked me questions about my self growth. How are you feeling about your life path these days? Are you good with your God? What do you want to accomplish in yourself before you get home? Having busy work doesn’t make you accomplished, does it? (Along with others.)

All good questions and I was glad for the time to listen and think on them.

No panic, no self doubt, no self incrimination. Only finding parts of me that I had lost. Gaining perspective. I’m a better, healthier person for doing it.

I also found some silly parts of me that I just stopped having fun with a long time ago. And you know what? It helps me be a better grandma now that I’ve found them again.

So I didn’t have a half bad time will I was away. And I got some really good self learning in while I was at it. Better stuff than money can buy if you ask me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On Hats:

I missed the ‘Hat’ thing that a lot of you were doing on the first of the month. So here is a belated hat picture of one of mine.

I have more hats, but they will have to wait for another day. My camera is on the fritz and I had to dig through my pictures for this one.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

On 'Helping' Others:

Although I like to help others, I’m no saint. I did go with an eye toward my own comforts and considerations. She had a nice comfortable bed for me in the corner of a home office room. And the paycheck was going to help out. So I packed mostly just my vanilla/normal clothing to work in someone else‘s home for their comfort.

I was once a nurses aid, in three different nursing homes no less, back in the day. So I knew what to expect on the whole. I also knew that this person did not have all the funds or insurance coverage to go into temporary nursing care or be able to take care of herself at home for that time, even with a visiting nurse.

I was ‘hired’ to make and server meals, do a little ‘light’ house cleaning and the personal care and cleaning of this woman until she could resume doing these things for herself again. And I was not offered a large figure for doing this.

She had no computer, DVD player or even a TV, only a radio and some cassette tapes of general oldies pop music. Books of Christian novels. And an anti social cat.

She thought she could rent a computer for me and had no idea that it needed to be plugged into an internet hookup of some kind. (And since Gladys, my laptop computer, died with a thump to the head on the floor one day. I was without my laptop to play with, have my own music, or write on.) And frankly I was hoping that the paycheck would go some way toward buying me new one.

Don’t get me wrong here. I would have helped her without the promise of money. I just would have been happier knowing I was doing it from a point of giving and not as a job. I might have also seen to my own comforts a bit more. And I would have resented the extra time spent there a little less.

She was a light sleeper and I would stare quietly out the window for hours so she would not be disturbed by my leaving the room, for example.

You all know how it is. There are things you would do for money that you wouldn’t do else wise. Or at least you would have a different attitude about it. That was my dilemma after the first few weeks when I realized she couldn‘t pay all her bill much less pay me.

I would have been happy to wash her floors on my hands and knees for nothing given the choice. But to do it for cash and getting none, hurt me more then I’d like to admit.

She is a sweet old thing and I liked caring for her. (It was my choice to leave without serving her a bill for moneys owed. Knowing she didn‘t have it.) But I would have packed some more of my Lady Euphoria clothing and makeup, and been more comfortable in my own skin knowing the outcome.

Monday, August 1, 2011

On Glad To Be Back:

Well, as some things in life pull you around, I was AWOL.

A family friend suddenly needed someone to take care of her after an operation. I was to be paid and told that I would have internet access. None of that came to be.

This family friend wanted to do these things for me, but couldn’t manage it with her meager finances. I didn’t press it. She didn’t heal as fast as expected and time wore on.

I was glad to help, and it was a nice place to spend time in under the circumstances. I did a lot of reading, knitting, and got to see Mountain Man at times, but not much more for myself.

She is doing well now. I’m home and here to say that I missed you all a lot.

I did make a pit stop at my daughter’s house and played a few days with the grandson. He is doing well and is a very happy little boy.

I hope not to have to go anywhere for a while. I’m happy to sleep in my own bed, play with my own toys and hear my own music again. Not to mention eat my own food made the way I like it.

I hope that all is well with all of you. I’ll look in on the blogs of those who have them when I get the time. But know that I was thinking of you even if you don’t have a blog I can read.

Happy day! I’m glad to be back home.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On Being Mickey Mouse Bugged:

I feel like I fell through the cracks.

The last time I got a chance to blog was the day Blogger was off line. What was that, a week and a half ago?

The kids came in and we had a good time visiting. I like this Grandma gig.

I’ve been busy since the kids went back home more then a week ago.

Very busy! Not that I can complain. Some people are homeless from the storms and tornados that have been plaguing the country. Fire, flood, wind and rain. When will it all slow down and give us a break.

With all the rain water on the ground here. No not flooding in my house. I have pestilence. Or I should say my house does. Mice and bugs. They have no where to go in the over wet ground and they find ways into my house.

We are doing all we can to fight back, but as I am out of the house except to clean it, I only have my lap top and it doesn’t like to stay connected to internet. At least not long enough to get my blog out.

I haven’t even been able to read other people’s blogs. Not that I have found the time to.

So I’m out of touch and cleaning critter crap from my things.

I haven’t seen my pretty things in over a week. No long black dresses. No Knitting. No fun. I even missed World Goth Day on Sunday. I forgot what day of the week it was that day, as we continued to clean and re-clean the house.

I even missed going to my cemetery for my son’s birthday last week.

I hope all of you are doing well. Or at least doing better then I am these days. We’ll get this done and over with and I’ll be back complaining about being bored in no time.

But for now we are closing cracks and disposing of vermin.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On Try As I May:

May will always be a hard month for me. Mothers Day has that hard spot of missing my dead son. Looking at the spring weed flowers in the yard and remembering bouquets of them given to me on mom’s days past.

Then his birthday comes along a week or so later. This year I have another week to go.

It is not the same kind of hard that July is. July is the month he died.

Yes it has been years. He would have been 37 years old. But he stopped at 25.

Almost 12 years since his death. I’ve come a long way since the day he died. The first five were the hardest. The next five I created a new normal. Now I just stagnate in a limbo of emptiness on the day he was born.

What do you do on your child’s birthday when he is not there to celebrate it any longer? His sister calls and we talk about him for a few minutes.

I go to the cemetery to visit. Put out new flowers. And people act funny around me, if they don‘t avoid me altogether. Will I mention it? Will I expect them to remember? Will they be caught not remembering why I am so disengaged on that day?

No. This is my cross to bare. Others have moved on. Some others have died themselves. I’m the lone watcher on his birthday.

I remember having him. Natural child birth. He was all wrinkles and red. Beautiful and a part of me.

I remember birthday parties, presents, balloons. Candles on cakes, smiles and giggles. Chocolate on faces. Melting ice cream.

There is no party to look forward to. No presents or balloons. I’ll sit all alone. Waiting for the day to end for another year.

But waiting for the day to come is almost just as hard.