I’m the bug 3.15.22

You know the saying that goes, some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug?  That’s how the weekend was, thus no post on Sunday.  I was getting tossed back and forth by the windshield wipers of life.

I needed to decompress so that’s what I did yesterday after The Land of Lunch.  Am I the only one who argues with myself about taking the time to go blerg?  My brain would drop hints of things I needed to do and should be doing.  I finished watching Worst Roommate Ever. Not something I’d recommend when in that sort of mood, but I couldn’t help myself. After that, I found Queer Eye Germany.  I love the hosts! The show was just the medicine I needed to help lift my battered mood. The rest of the household didn’t have to walk about on eggshells wondering when my dark side would unleash snide snark upon their undeserving selves.

This post from Safa Samiezadé-Yazd on FB remembering Zitkala-Ša on International Women’s Day.  Native American women were an integral part of the women’s rights movement and that bit of history was erased.  https://www.facebook.com/safasamyazd/posts/10101949729468513

This picture of Penny and Daisy (left to right) on the couch represents how The Hubs and I share the bed.  I’m totally Daisy.
two dogs on loveseat with one on her back
Have you watched Life Below Zero? It made me think of the days when my Mom and Dad were building the Canterbury house.  We’d literally camp on the land for the summer.  I don’t remember who came up with this, but before the house was shelled in, laundry was done in the back of an old black pick-up truck.  You read that correctly.  Water was pumped up from the well into two large clean trash cans.  Dirty clothes were put into one with soap and agitated as the truck was driven to the store or I think on Dad’s drive to work.  A plunger was involved for further agitation. If memory serves me correctly, the rinse cycle was done the same way.  The cleaned clothes were wrung out by hand and hung up to dry.  We had a solar shower set up too.  That water was frickin’ COLD when the 55-gallon barrel was freshly filled.  Those years left an indelible mark.  Today,  I garden and preserve what we grow. I’ve had chickens and ducks living here and would love to see some clucking and quacking about the yard again.  There’s a part of me that longs for a self-sufficient lifestyle out in the wilds.  The other part of me loves the dishwasher, being within 15 minutes to the grocery store, wifi, and other perks of suburban living. Plus, The Hubs isn’t keen on living way out yonder.

As promised, here are a few pics of the finished unicorn.
three quarter view of a dark unicorn made from gourds and mixed media with a scene from the Universe on it's belly Front view of a dark unicorn made from hard shell gourds and mixed media with a scene from the Universe on it's belly  head shot of a dark unicorn made from gourds and mixed media with a scene from the Universe on it's belly
I love alcohol ink-based markers!  I didn’t purchase expensive ones because I want to play with them before making a commitment. So far, I’m liking them, a lot!
from left to right, drawing using alcohol markers, markers and minion cup with pens and pencils
I found a sketch in one of my pads (Canson mixed media Acrylic/Watercolor/Pen and Pencil) and decided to color it in to see how the markers took to the paper.  This didn’t bleed like the sketch above made in a generic sketchbook.  I ordered some special marker paper and will report back on how that works out.
cartoon of one eye peeking gnomes
I’m thinking about making stickers specifically for my style of organization.  I use a to-do list format in a grid-dot journal.  If something doesn’t get done, I move it to the next day.  The days of the week are written as Day of Mon, Day of Tues, or Day of Wednes, etc because it makes me giggle.  In the last journal, I started doing a little drawing for the beginning of the month.  I’m working on one for April.  There’s more learning and practice yet before I’m ready.

As a person born under the sun sign of Sagittarius, this bird is everything.  I introduce you to, the Sagittarius bird who lives in Africa.  Only a Sagittarius could be a member of the vulture family, looking this fabulous using their stylish sexy legs to kill their favorite meal, snakes. #justsaying
African Sagittarius bird walking over green grass Close up of African Sagittarius Bird's head







That’s about all I have to report from The Flatlands of NW Ohio. I hope your week forward goes smooth and clear as clarified butter.

Hogs & Fishes,

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Gathering Wool 3.7.22

Blueberries.  I don’t know what’s in those tiny blue orbs of delight, but I can’t get enough of them. My favorite breakfast lately is oatmeal with blueberries.

This Kitteh BOY!  Hard to believe he wandered into our lives roughly 13 years or so ago, hungry, purring, talking, and so friendly. Of course, he had to stay with us.  As innocent as he looks here, he is a demanding ball of fuzz.  He head bumped my drink as I was taking a sip.  That caused the liquid to spill down my shirt and into my bra.  Maybe he was trying to tell me I needed to relax even more and ditch the bra?

Ijoema Oluo posted this on FB regarding Ukraine. It’s a truth bomb. https://www.facebook.com/ijeoma.oluo/videos/952502508746260 Part of what she says is, “And while we’re at it, we need to ask how we can keep the same energy and care for the people of Palestine, for the people of Haiti, for the people of Syria, for Black Americans, for indigenous people, and so many others harmed by the same imperialist and white supremacist forces around the world.”

Decorating is out of my wheelhouse and comfort zone. This is what I came up with for the window in the Snackroom. Not too bad and I’m looking forward to decorating for Easter. Rubber ducks are a thing in the Land of Lunch.

I can’t wait for the warm tickles of wind teasing my skin with springtime.

This 70 plus pounds of goofiness.  She’s the smartest dumbest dog we’ve ever had the privilege of living with.  If she had opposable thumbs, we would be in trouble.  She got herself trapped under the tarped tractor.  At first, I thought she pulled the ultimate disappearing act.  The gates in the fenced yard were all closed so there was no way out.  I couldn’t figure out where she had gotten to until I heard a strange noise from the tractor.  She was looking for mice, got herself turned around, and couldn’t figure out how to get back out.  Red Tick Coonhounds are something.

I’m looking forward to mornings without alarm clocks. Sitting in the yard swing in the wee hours before dawn wrapped in a blanket, a cup of hot coffee, and a crackling fire.  It’s lovely to watch the sky lighten up as the sun begins its journey, feel the wind pick-up, and the chirps of the early birds.

I find gazing out the window so relaxing.  It’s a moment to just be, daydream, or watch the squirrel shenanigans, and bird hooey.  I’m calmer and less stressed when I allow those relaxing moments.  The rest of the household benefits because I can’t wear my cranky pants when I’m calm.  I’ve tried.  The cranky pants refuse to say up, fall to my ankles, and skulk off to wherever they hide until the next opportunity presents itself.

I still crush on The Hubs.  His love language is touch and through videos or song lyrics that express his feelings in a way that he can’t.  He showed me this TikTok and made my eyes leak.  I am well-loved and cherished.

Things that tickle my funny bone: Bloom County, The Far Side, The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Monty Python, Fluffy, Parks & Recreation, Schitt’s Creek, The Big Bang Theory, quirky, irreverent humor, outtakes, and bloopers.

The birds are back! Holy Cannoli it’s loud out there with all the bird songs. I spotted two robins in the yard. That’s my sign that spring is on the way.

Speaking of spring and robins, that sparked yet another story.

And speaking of stories, I had to admit that I am burnt out on gourd art. That was hard. It had become a part of my identity from being the Domestic Gourdess to The Gourdess to The Black Swamp Gourdess, working artist, etc., etc., etc. ad nauseam. I have been hanging on to that identity in some way shape or form by my fingernails. The signs were all pointing that way, but I refused to see.

What’s that got to do with stories? I was thinking of robins and winter acquiescing to spring when BAM, another story seed popped into my head. And, surprisingly it ties right in with the rest of the stories. That’s 6 or 7 titles now for this thing! Then, it hit me like a random anvil to the head, I haven’t felt this passionate and on-fire about something creative in a long time. I remember how I felt when I discovered gourds. I had no idea where they would take me, but I had to explore it. That’s how I feel about these stories and illustrating them. Oh, how I’ve missed that fire and passion!

Next week, I’ll have pictures of one finished Dark Unicorn taken by my professional photographer. That’s my youngest spawn who is going to college for such stuff.

I leave you with this:

Thanks for popping by! I’d love to know what’s going on in your world. What are you crushing on? what’s making you laugh? What nourishes you in these crazy times?

Hogs & Fishes,

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Drips, Piddles & Ponders 2.27.22

I’ve made a discovery that I wasn’t willing to admit before.  I’m burnt out on gourd art.  So the Gnords will not be a thing except if I get a few wild hairs to create one for funsies.

Here is a WIP of the unicorn.

I am OBSESSED with writing this book.  I’m eager to get back to it. And,  I want to illustrate it too.

We parked in a church parking lot next to a fish store in Fremont.  The church sign proclaimed, “Serious about God!”  That cracks me up.  Then, they named the resale shop, Truth Resale.  Granted, the name of the place is Church of Truth Ministries.  However, it sounds like you take “truth” and re-sell it in some new packaging.  You know this is somehow or someway going into the story.

I’m feeling torn about Facebook these days.  I don’t know if it’s the Alligator Rhythms  (new word for algorithms created by Crys Wood) or what.  I feel that I’m shouting into a deep dark abyss and no one can hear or see me.

This meme is me.

The cycle of nature continues out the window.  The Hubs, your common everyday biped, fills the bird feeder with seeds.  The squirrels gorge on the seed and spill it on the ground. The birds eat the spilled seed and it’s processed out the other end. The doggo girls eat the processed seeds. The cycle continues until the warmer days of Spring when bugs and worms and other birdish food delights emerge.

Feeling the February Blahs hard.

Had a dream about Bob the Vampire.  Bob, your average joe has an aversion to blood.  He faints when he sees it or gets a whiff of it.  That didn’t go away when he was turned.  Now he has a young vampire he’s training (who loves blood and would take blood baths).  I think there is a story here.  I don’t know if this will be part of the Afterlife series or separate.  There are days I love my brain.

JimJim & Mocha have been extra frisky with cabin fever.  Played catch me if you can with Mocha outdoors.  She was warned that if this kept up, the fishing net would be used.  We used it in the past to catch spunky chickens and wayward ducks.

I’m not supposed to have favorite students, but I do.  Two of them offered to buy ducks for St. Patrick’s day decor.  They look forward to the duck-themed window display.  I also have another one who is a HUGE fan of Rupaul’s Drag Race and dining at Hamburger Mary’s.  I have a soft spot for the young ones that dare to walk fully in their own skin no matter what society says.  My youngest is that way.

The Ukrainian people are amazing.  I hope people of the US of A take note because our democracy is under attack from within.  Why are some humans so power-hungry?  As a species will we ever learn?  I can’t wrap my head around people who are praising Putin.  Ever since 2016, the crazy in this world has amped up 1000 fold.  The only good thing to come out of all this is that the blinders are off.

Gov. Abbott in Texas going after the LGBTQ+ community.  Going after parents of transgender kiddos!  Then there’s the Don’t Say Gay bill stupidity in Florida.  How can they get away with this?  Oh, I know, it’s the people that voted them into office, and you have people that don’t see it as a big deal because it doesn’t directly affect them.

I spent the day out of the house with The Hubs.  We went out to eat at a restaurant that looked like someone took a bunch of things, threw them into the air, let them land wherever they may, and called it decor.  The Christmas lights, the bust, and cut-out of Trump made it extra.  The added bonus?  Fox News was on the TV in the background. To to top it all off, the food was meh. I won’t be back.

Finally, the taxes are finished and filed. That feels good.

Today is forecast to be in the mid-’40s.  I’m over winter.  C’mon spring and mud season!

I leave you with

“No Black woman writer in this culture can write ‘too much.’ Indeed, no woman writer can write ‘too much.’” —Bell Hooks


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This Week in The Lair 2.20.22

Hello!  How are you? How has the week been?

It’s been screwier than the normal screwiness that ensues around here.

I wrote more of  The Devil and His Daemons story.  I’m over 13,000 words!  Thousands more words to go yet.  I’m shooting for 70,000 and up.  I can’t state this enough, I LOVE THE RESEARCH part of it.  This week I dabbled in the history of Chutes and Ladders and quantum supposition.  I feel for two of my Sisters-In-Lunch who are on the brunt (or blunt) end of the explosion of ideas that hit while we’re at work.  They tell me that the way my brain works is fascinating.  I’m not sure if it’s that or they like witnessing the wild things my neurons link together.  My head was on fire this week and I swore it made my forehead glow.

There is progress on the unicorn.  I apologize for the picture.  My phone doesn’t take the best pictures and the regular camera is misbehaving.  On Monday I plan to work on the legs and the horn.  I must dig through the eyelash stash, ’cause EYELASHES make everything fabulous.

You can’t tell that it’s covered in black sparkle paint in the picture. BLACK SPARKLE PAINT – I’m swooning!

The weather! Like OMGAWWD. We had highs in the upper 50’s, loads of rain, and with a swoosh, it dropped to below freezing. Then it changed from rain to freezing rain, to sleet, and finally snow.  That meant a day off on Friday from The Land of Lunch. Gotta love a J.O.B. that gives you snow days.

On Thursday, before the freezing swoosh, I saw this in the farm field:

Six Mallard ducks were swimming.  I have a few questions.  This time of year, Mallard ducks are just not seen. Canadian Geese, sure, they are all over the place – ducks, not so much.  Who are these rogue ducks? What ne’er do well business are they conducking?  This picture reminds me of the sort you see of the Lockness Monster. Maybe they’re Lockness ducks?

A well-plumped for the winter season squirrel came inside the fence by the back door.  It was digging in the dirt looking for any stray birdseed that may have been leftover (there wasn’t).  The doggo girls were beside themselves.  Their squirrely senses were tingling and the biped refused to let them outside.

This morning a coyote was nosing around the clump of trees out in the back farm field.  A few hours later, there was a group of four deer hanging out in the same spot.  Lots of wildlife hanging out this week.

Let’s see, what else…

In the Land of Lunch, a student’s brain and tongue couldn’t make the connection to say chocolate chip cookie.  They asked for a brown cookie instead.  I have two shades of brown which prompted me to ask if they wanted the dark brown cookies (chocolate) or the light brown with freckles cookie (chocolate chip).  You can guess my new name for chocolate chip cookies.  No one is playing along.  And, no one believes in the new trend called, color-coordinated snacks. One student’s snacks are (eight times out of ten) color coordinated. Of course, they don’t do it on purpose.  I pointed it out and now I’m trying to suggest students color coordinate their snackages.  No one is playing along with this one either.

I was able to read a free version of this article about Stevie Nicks.  It made my mad respect for the woman go up to incalculable levels.  You can find it here:  https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/stevie-nicks-tavi-gevinson-conversation

This made me laugh because it hits far too close to home.  And, do they? Someone let me know the answer.

Thanks for visiting!  I leave you with this because it’s a thing and I’m having one right now.

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