Friday, October 31, 2008


"I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its tone is mellower, its colours are richer, and it is tinged with a little sorrow. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and its content."|
- Lin Yutang

Hocus Pocus

Take a few scarecrows and pumpkins,

Throw in some warts and pointy hats,

A dash of candy,

And you've got a recipe for a scary good time!

Happy Owloween!

ps You've all been Boo-ed! Pass it along!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Here are a few of the ghosts of my Halloween's past.

1950 era Stepford wives

Rachel and me

Bigroller from Las Vegas with her/his fluzzies

Nancy, Teri and me

Hard-working reporter from the Roaring 20s


No! I can't be bought!
Nancy and me

Rachel and my vintage wardrobes are courtesy of my mother's closets. She has a great collection of old clothes, purses, hats and jewelry. My glasses in the first picture were the ones that she wore throughout my childhood.

Next week I'll post pictures of the ghost of Halloween future....after the party Saturday night!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Yearbook Picture

I saw this on Life at Willow Manor and thought it was a hoot. You can go here and insert your own picture into yearbook pictures ranging from 1950 to 2000. The funniest thing about it was that I have real picture of myself looking just like some of these.

My face didn't quite fit this one, but don't I look like my mother in her graduation picture?

Here's one that is from the early 80s.

And here is my own big hair picture from about the same time.

In this one from 1970, I have the same hair do as my best friend had at that time.

Here is me in a 1974 do.

And here I am in my real yearbook picture from 1972.

Check this site out for yourself. It will give you a good laugh. It's funny how much we are products of our times and environment.

Phone Home ET

Some days it seems as though nobody is listening. It is hard to make my point. People just don't hear what I say.

Found this image here.

I drafted this post a while back on a day when I really felt like this.

As of yesterday afternoon, I am the last admin person in my office. My company just went through it's second round of laying off staff. I'm pretty uncertain about my future. It looks like it's time to look for another job, but the industry I work in as a whole is going through hard times. What to do? There's one thing I know for will be a lot quieter at work today than it was 3 months ago. I no longer have anyone to talk to. I am surrounded by empty desks.

Have you had a day like this lately. Talk to me. I'll listen.

ps Here is what I drew yesterday.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I've always been amazed at people who say they remember being a baby or a toddler. I thought my memory started around five, except for the tropical bark cloth curtains that hung in our first home. I've never known if I really remember those curtains or if I just remember them from pictures.

Tonight, while browsing an old photo album I recently borrowed from my mother, I came across some pictures from a Florida vacation we took with family friends. My mother had written 1958 at the top of the picture. That means I had just turned four. And I clearly remember that vacation. I remember the big old car all eight of us drove in to Sarasota. I remember staying in a tall hotel on the beach. I remember a long bridge. I remember getting all dressed up one day. I don't remember why though.

Isn't memory funny? It's so selective. Why do we remember some things and forget others? Perhaps I remember that vacation because the dad of the family we traveled with kidded me for years. Apparently, I had asked for water repeatedly the whole 10 or 12 hour trip. But, I don't remember that.

Here I am looking like a happy chubby boy. My mom liked to keep my hair short and easy to care for.

So how about you? What are some of your early recollections? What triggers memory for you? Is it a smell, a song, a special food or a old vacation photo?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Perception and Memory

Memory and our senses seem inextricably linked. Why else does a gray windy day make me think that it's cold outside even though the temperature might be hot? Why do I think of my grandmother's bedroom when I hear the metallic plink of venetian blinds? How is it that listening to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita takes me straight back to my high school boyfriend's Rambler? Why are mashed potatoes, meatloaf and macaroni and cheese the quintessential American comfort food?

While there are many mysteries our basic senses can not prove, they do provide us with a pretty clear picture of the physical world. I hear, I see, I touch, I taste, I smell, therefore I am. Each of us uses our senses to help us make decisions, to formulate opinions and to navigate through our day to day affairs. We have likes and dislikes, things that make us happy and sad. We laugh when we hear certain things and we remember events that took place long ago when we smell certain aromas. Seeing pictures of loved ones can invoke feelings of warmth, security and love.

What sorts of things appeal to your senses? What are some of your cherished memories? Here are a few of mine.

  • the satiny smooth feel of good paper and soft leather
  • clean crisp air-bleached sheets
  • the dirty smell of rain in the air
  • the ring of church bells on a quiet Sunday morning
  • the Saturday morning sound and smell of grass being mown
  • the earthy taste of mushrooms
  • the fresh apple smell of a baby's breathe
  • golden rays of sunshine stabbing the earth in the early morning
  • the head prickling nose snorting rush you get from egg rolls dipped in horseradish sauce
  • cicada songs on hot summer nights
  • thumb sucking babies
  • the soft enveloping feel of air before rain
  • leaves rustling in the wind
  • a train whistle's lonesome cry in the darkness of night
  • the sky and its many moods
  • the gentle eyes of a kind man
  • a child's smile of understanding and wonder
  • the soft sleeping inhalation and exhalation of a loved one
  • the soul stirring realization of the unknowable immensity of the God of the Universe
photo courtesy of Flickr

Now it's your turn. What appeals to your senses?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Recipe For A Best Seller

Gothic novel: A novel written in a style which emphasizes the grotesque, mysterious, and desolate.

Interviews With The Dead: Unravel The Secrets You Thought Were Lost Forever

What do you do when you have half a day to whip up a novel?

First choose a small second hand French text book with pictures. Second sew 10-15 pages together, making sure that each page has a person's portrait on it. You should end up with 8-10 pages to decorate. Paint the cover and inside pages black. Don't cover the faces with paint, but do dry brush the outer edges of them. Adhere creepy pictures. Paint more black over the raw edges of the glued on images. Dry brush vermilion and chalky white over everything. Affix hardware, keys, and ephemera to the cover and some inside pages. Add the text.

Inside cover: Map of Paris with all the cemetaries circled

Paul investigated the paranormal events that happened in his family mansion.
He died of fright.

Poor Paul. You will be missed.

Marie was always strange. She kept to herself and wrote cryptic poetry that her publisher
didn't understand. She had a cult following of young girls and older men.

Mysterious Marie

Colette's mother was a famous gypsy from whom she learned the art of reading tea leaves
and palms. She often saw love in her client's futures.

Famous fey Colette

Marcel spent most days pondering the meaning of his life.

Consequently, Marcel was plagued by depression

Andre was just plain weird.

Circles fascinated him

Thomas' life was spent looking for the love he lost when
his mother ran away with the cable man.

Thomas, heartbroken and desolate

Robert kept the keys to his cellar on a key chain that never left his belt.
His secrets died with him. But, we still have the keys.

He left us the key to his secret life.

Seriously folks, I don't know why this wasn't a run away best seller. Do you?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Murder Dinner Mystery

A few years ago, some dear friends began hosting their annual Murder Mystery Dinner. At least a month before the event, invitations are mailed to the participants. Everyone is assigned a character to play for the evening. Participants are expected to keep their identities under wraps until that night. Each person arrives at the party in character as well as in costume. Some time is spent getting to know one another over appetizers and drinks.

As each person is seated around the table for dinner, they are given a script and the fun begins. Someone was found murdered before the party began. Now the goal is to be the first to unravel the mystery. Who done it?

The setting for the first mystery dinner was a Mardi Gras party in New Orleans. I played Gothika, a .......wait for it.....Gothic mystery writer. As you may have already noticed, my friends are quite inventive with costuming, I am something of a dolt. After much thought about how to portray my new alter ego, this is what I came up with. (I am also cheap, so I didn't want to spend much money)

My goal was to channel an Anne Rice-ish persona. Being a writer, I felt I should take along some of Gothika's writings. Sadly, her book is out of print at this time, but there will be a short show and tell blog entry tomorrow for those of you who are fans.

The first annual Murder Mystery Dinner was declared a success, as everyone declared they had had a great time. New friends join the party each year. Let me know if you would like to read about other parties. I will be spending a part of this weekend getting this year's costume together. The party will be held November 1st.

(here's a little hint about my identity: this year my best friend is named Polly)

ps I was a little under the weather yesterday, hence no Artober offering. Today's artwork is the new blog banner. Each image is drawn or photographed and manipulated by me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Do You Etsy?

Do you know about Etsy? For those of you who are new to it, it is an online store where all the goods are handmade. The site was launched in 2005 and has quickly grown to have approximately 10,000 sellers and five times that many buyers. At least 90% of the sellers are women. They set up virtual shops. These give small entrepreneurs a chance to market their goods to a varied clientele.

I received my most recent Etsy purchase last weekend and I thought you might like to see it. Geninne lives in Mexico, so I never would have had the opportunity to see her work if it wasn't for Etsy. I plan on hanging this lovely print in my daughter's former room which I have set up for my granddaughters when they sleep over.

Her beautiful business card was tucked into the packaging. It's a piece of art by itself, don't you agree?

A couple of months ago I purchased this fabric brooch from Dog Daisy who lives in the UK. Once again, work I would know nothing about excepting for the internet and Etsy.

Isn't the stitching lovely? It was made to wear but don't you think it makes a nice framed piece of art?

Here is a photo of a print, bought from an Etsy shop of course, that adorns the wall above the granddaughters' bed. Underneath you can see the clay sun made by one of my little girls. LillyMoon is the artist who made this whimsical print. She lives in Corsica.

Art isn't the only thing for sale at Etsy. You can find almost any handmade thing your heart desires there. Some of our fellow bloggers have opened their own Etsy shops, like Alex from My Quill and Pen, Pamela from The House of Edward and Susan from 29 Black Street.

So this year during the season of gift giving, remember to check them out if you don't already Etsy.