Nicole and Her Tiny Painting



My painting buddy Nicole has been working on a little series. And when I say “little,” I mean little. Just look at the photo above. Trust me when I tell you Nicole has perfectly lovely, ordinary-sized hands. And yet you can hardly spot the tiny canvas she’s holding! I admire the heck out of her, but I have no idea how she does it. The woman must have the patience of the Dalai Lama. I just look over at her while she’s working on those little paintings, and my head starts to ache.


Still – she’s inspiring. And while I certainly can’t pull off what she does, I may have to work on some small canvases my own self. I’ll keep you posted.

Not So Loud



I’ve been having some computer issues, but I don’t want my laptop to hear me talking about it. If it does, I’m afraid it will act up even more.


I realize it’s crazy to think like that, but sometimes I do. Be crazy, I mean. I touch wood after saying certain things, just about every day. I caress my old car’s steering wheel after getting the engine to turn over, just to let her know I appreciate her and to try and sway her to keep running. If I paid more attention, I’d probably catch myself doing such things all the danged time.


I don’t know why I anthropomorphize objects. But I’m fairly certain I started as a child. Maybe I saw an adult engaging in such behavior. Maybe not. It doesn’t really matter, though, as I know me and I’m prolly gonna keep doing it. After I log off here, I’m going to close my laptop, and tell it how much I love it and what a good girl she is. Because, even though I have occasional issues, she really is a good computer. And I love her.

Tears in My Beer



Here in America, we have this little election thing going on. Monday night found us witnessing something called a presidential debate. As someone with a teensy-eensy bit of organized, scored debate experience, I use the word “debate” loosely, because the rules to which I was trained to adhere were clearly ignored, if not altogether missing.


Like a lot of voters, we watched the program in its entirety. We had a friend over, thinking there might be greater positivity in unity. I’m not sure I felt the benefits of that idea, but it did help to have another person in the room. I reined in my swearing – if only a smidge – and I didn’t get up to pace the floor, not even once. I was mighty stressed out, I won’t lie. This shit matters, y’all. It does. Honestly, I don’t expect my stress to abate until we get through the election. And then? But I digress…


Now I could go into how heartbroken I am by this entire scene, and how embarrassing this predicament is for my country, but I’m going to let those tears sink in my beer. Instead, I want to share a text exchange betwixt Mister and a buddy that happened immediately following the debate. That friend really captured the essence of The Human Cheeto’s non-substantive words:


Friend: How are you feeling now?…

Mister: Pretty damn good… I just allowed myself to have a celebratory cookie…

Friend: Was it a cookie from Chicago? Because I have some properties there, I love Chicago. But Chicago is ~ it’s like this: Hillary started the cookie birther argument. I forced the cookie to produce its birth certificate, of which I’m very proud, by the way, and now, like in North Carolina, where I own some businesses by the way, businesses which are probably almost completely legitimate tax free endeavors because I was merely using the laws of this country, and we have got to get cookies out of the hands of cyber!


Yep. That pretty much sums it up. It’s good to laugh about it. It is. But it’s still heartbreaking.


I don’t think I can possibly drink enough beer to drown my tears.


I Made a Pretty



The southerner in me is adapting. Out of necessity, mind you, but it still counts.


Here in drought-ravaged L.A., the greenery I love simply cannot survive. So I’m turning to natives, succulents and cacti. What you see above is a planter I put together a few weeks back. I chose these plants for their low water needs and their beauty. So far, it’s hanging in there.


This planter, as well as the few other plants in the same area, are being watered with greywater. And though it’s odd to keep a bucket in my shower (for the purposes of catching greywater), I’m adapting to that as well. It’s what we do here.


I’ve given up on the small azalea by the back door, as it just doesn’t look like it’s gonna make it. (I’m still trying to save the Magnolia trees. Fingers crossed.) These losses are hard to take. And they seem to affect my soul a bit. By making bits of beautiful greenery in the yard, I’m attempting to heal my southern psyche. Honestly, I don’t think it will ever fully take. But it’s the best I can do.


And so I keep trying.

Odd Mail




I don’t know how, but we ended up on a strange mailing list. The photo above is an example of what we’re occasionally receiving.


Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for attending speaker presentations and some of these sound fabulous. But this is a subscription-only series, so the prices are on the steep side. I’m talking up to $660 for 1 reserved seat!


Even though I’m intrigued by some of the featured speakers, I won’t be subscribing. My money mostly goes to bills and booze. I’ve gotta admit, though, one speaker really piques my interest:



When I think date night, I think Petraeus. Don’t we all?

Because It’s Sunday…



Because it’s Sunday, and because you’ve been fabulous all week, I’m giving you a chuckle…



You’re welcome.

Jumping The Gun



We have a week to go in this month, and yet I’m already seeing Halloween decorations on houses.


I get it. A lot of folks reeeaaaaaally get into Halloween. And for them, this is as big as it gets. If they go all out, they may need to pace themselves and get cracking as early as possible. Turning one’s yard into a spectacle can take a lot of time. (I’m imagining anyway, as I don’t turn my yard into anything. It barely qualifies as a yard for cry-eye.) We used to have a neighbor who spent well over a month spooking-out his yard. And I’m not kidding when I tell you that by the time he was finished, there was hardly any space left to walk. I’m also not kidding when I tell you how much Mister and I used to appreciate his handiwork. It was spectacular!


Then again, maybe people are thinking that if they shake a tail feather, Halloween will get here faster. Maybe. I, for one, welcome this coming month. May she bring goblins and cooler weather. I wouldn’t kick a spiced cider out of bed, either. I’m just sayin’.

In Process



This little painting is something I turn to when I need a break from other works. Or when I finish something and haven’t yet decided what to start next. I’ve been dabbling with it for months on end.


Have you ever started reading a book, and you just can’t get into it? That’s sort of how I feel about this painting. The idea was in my mind for a few years, so starting it was good. Joyful, even. But like a book that fails to grab me, this painting is dulling my senses.


My friend DK once told me that if I start a book and don’t enjoy it, I should put it down immediately and start reading something else, as “life’s too short to read bad books.” She’s the most well-read person I know, so I really had to think about her advice. I’ve yet to heed it, mind you, but I’ve not forgotten it.


So I guess I’ll keep plugging away on this little painting, much like I plug away with books that aren’t my keg of beer. Maybe in the end I’ll be glad I finished. I certainly hope so. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Fall on Me. Please!



It’s been hot and muggy and if I lived some other place, I’d swear we were in for a tornado or something creepy like that.


But I don’t live some other place. I live in L.A. and summer has been holding on for dear life, desperately trying to keep autumn at bay. That hasn’t worked, of course, as today is the first day of autumn, no matter how hot it is.


Part of my soul struggles a bit this time of year. I expect signs of fall. Like crisp days and yellow leaves. I expect to need a sweater now and then. I expect these things and I miss them, as they’re simply not part of my Los Angeles experience. I’ve spoken to folks who grew up here, and they’re mostly fine with what passes for autumn in these parts. Sure – it’s warmer than it used to be, but L.A. natives never knew football weather growing up. For them, all is well.


Mister and I have lived here for decades now, and I suppose I should try to let go of my childhood dependency on season changes. If that’s even possible, I mean. Because maybe I’ll always feel a bit out of place when autumn rolls around. Maybe I’ll always feel out of step with nature.


Maybe I should just learn to love the damned palm trees. I can try, but I’m not making any promises.

International Day of Peace



Today is 21 September and that can mean only one thing: It’s the UN’s International Day of Peace.


The very thought of this day’s intentions calms my breathing. My mind quiets and I am still. I imagine all of us going about the business of living. I see us facing trials and tribulations, to be sure, but I also see us dealing with our challenges in a mature, congenial fashion. When I lose myself in this sort of thinking, it’s quite lovely. Even more beautiful are the feelings that accompany those idealistic visions.


If only the world could feel the same.