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Zenith Yew DeeI really thought I was going to hate this tangle, not being a big fan of border-type tangles, but it was fun. So many different ways to vary it…tho it is still at it’s best as a border, I think. Anyway, aside from a slight miscalculation as to where the center of the tile was, here’s my marriage of Zenith and Yew Dee.

It’s been a quiet week here in the middle of nowwhere except, of course, that the cat had an unpleasant encounter with Pepe LePew. *sigh* When the house filled up with that lovely aroma of uncorked skunk, we went to look for the cat since the smell came primarily from her favorite sitting spot but she must have been cowering under a bush wondering what in the world had just happened to her since she was nowhere to be found. At about midnight there was a plaintive “meow” and there stood the cat, looking miserable and smelling worse…oh, so much worse.

I let her in, trapped her in the bathroom, checked with my daughter (3rd year vet student and my go to gal for animal mishaps), got the recipe for deskunking stuff (and, amazingly, I actually had the ingredients…1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid – should you ever need it). What I didn’t have was another pair of hands since hubby had gone to bed. I debated doing this alone but there was no way I could hold a very unhappy cat and rub her with liquid at the same time…so up got hubby. He held the screeching, squirming wild thing while I rubbed deskunking stuff all over her less than helpful body – both of us trying to avoid the flailing claws. Now, this wonder stuff is supposed to sit on the cat for 15 minutes before being rinsed off. Cat did not think she was going to wait that long before she tore our hearts out and ate them, so we rinsed, dried and let her slink away. She’s still a bit whiffy, but a whole lot better.

Now, see what you miss when you live near good restaurants, cultural activities, museums, well, somewhere in civilization? We don’t have that sort of thing, but most days, the stars, the mountains and the sound of the wind in the trees and the birds singing make up for it…sometimes.

Have a great week everyone. Happy Tangling!


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All boxed upI love the first of the month UMT. It’s almost always something I’ve never used before which expands my repetoire of tangles and forces me out of my confort zone since I haven’t the vaguest idea what it will “go” with. how to shade it, or how to use it. I think we all have our little mental tangle boxes of those tangles we use often enough to feel comfortable with and can then gleefully haul out to fill in whatever odd space needs filling. With the UMT, we get pushed out of that comfort zone ever so slightly and sometimes something magical happens…OK, sometimes something far less than magical happens too, but life’s like that.

I got so wrapped up in drawing this weeks tile that the poor goats had to wait a whole hour past their usual feeding time and at least three of them tried to convince me that they were near enough to starvation as to be almost dead…and it was MY FAULT. Fortunately, although I have a highly developed sense of guilt, I doubted their vercity, especially as most of them – should they happen to trip on a hill – would simply roll down unscathed, being a bit on the chubby side. However, you will be glad to know that, despite my zentangle immersion, not one goat starved today – no matter what THEY say 🙂

Today is a lovely “Cat Day”…you know, chilly, drizzly and grey when the cats curl up on the window seat for the duration, the dog settles into his bed and I can pour a nice cup of hot tea, pick up my pens and draw with no guilt at all about all those other things I should be doing (like feeding the goats on time…) Glorious! It’s also much needed rain, as it was in the upper ninety’s all last week and so humid you could drink the air. I think, if I listen really closely, I can hear the plants sighing with sheer pleasure. A good day for all…except the goats, but they’ll get over it.

Happy Tangling, everyone…Have a good week!

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Diva- UMT Brella

DSCF1718I like Brella a lot since it’s so versatile. It can be a dense, woven backdrop or a light sunshade but I wanted to use it’s darker side.

I really tried to do too much here so it didn’t turn out exactly like what I had in mind but there are no mistakes in zentangle, right? I wanted to play with negative and positive shapes and, then tassels seemed like fun and well, then I added color (way too intense) and it got a bit out of hand. Oh well…I had fun with it and that’s the point.

It’s past the fourth, but I will still give the Star Wars salute…May the 4th be with you all. Have a great week!

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The Middle Ages

Middle age, squished between our children and our parents like the ham slice in a thin sandwich, is not for the faint of heart. The pundits used to scream from the rooftops that if we hadn’t saved at least 20% of our salaries since birth we were doomed to sleep on steam grates with newspapers for blankets. Now that the recession has hit, somehow that’s all changed. Now, no matter what we’ve done, we’re doomed to die in harness in aisle four stacking denture cream. We’re also, it seems, engaged in devastating class warfare with the young who are demanding their chance at aisle four. Probably because it lacks the proper “It bleeds, it leads” rhetoric, no one seems to talk much about how we live our lives rather than the work we do to enable us to live them.
One of the nice things about middle age, at least for me, is that I really don’t care much about all those things that seemed so important when I was younger. I no longer wear a bag over my head if I get a less than ideal hair cut. It’s hair, it’ll grow back. I don’t need to fill my life with stuff anymore and, best of all, I don’t care too much about doing things “right”. Young people believe they have all the time in the world and can do and be anything…until life forces them to make choices and decisions that narrow their lives. Those decisions are agonizing and time consuming and we’re so careful to “do it right” I’ve made my choices. I know there are limits in life and that time is, indeed finite. Now I can just do things that I enjoy, like writing and painting, without having to worry about it being publishable material or saleable art. It’s very freeing actually. For all you guys who were in a band in high school, dreaming of being the next great break out band…pick up those drumsticks again. Go out and find some other guys like you and start a new band. You’ve got your own garage now…play in it. Who cares if you’re not the next “It” band…it’s fun. Who cares if you’re terrible as long as you’re having fun. Give me an address, I’ll bring popcorn and cheer. Dreams don’t need to die, they just need to fit the circumstances. It’s time to dream again without the heavy weight of expectations. That’s the freedom of middle age. It’s our time – time to do all those things we gave up to climb the ladder of success – all the way to aisle four. I’d like to suggest that we start living our lives now, not worrying about how anyone will judge us. Viva the ham slice revolution.

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This is a love story. It starts in our first house – and old 17th century stone farmhouse on a hilltop in a small village in France. The house had six foot thick stone walls, stone floors and a walled garden with fruit trees and roses. The ceiling was oak-beamed and you could roast an ox in the fireplace. It did, of course, lack a few of the mod cons – like electricity, heat and indoor plumbing – but it had so much charm and we were so young…

The renovations were, of course, much more difficult and time consuming than we had planned. We found out I was pregnant, which further slowed things up so that, by the time winter came, we still had no heat in the house. My husband worked fifty miles away and took our only car, so I decided to keep busy and knit something for our child-to-be. Bundled up in just about everything I owned and huddled by the fire, I tried to think of summer and warm things. I decided to knit a little bathing suit. Despite thick gloves and chattering teeth, my needles clicked rhythmically away and I lost myself in dreams of sunny days and my beautiful soon-to-be daughter.

Somehow winter passed and my daughter was born at the end of May. We sold the farmhouse, moved back to the United States, and the little bathing suit was forgotten. When I finally found it the following summer, I couldn’t wait to fill up the wading pool. My daughter, lovingly dressed in her knit swim suit, climbed in as her doting mother watched with pride. There is a reason that no one knits bathing suits…as soon as the fabric hit the water, it started to swell. It floated around her like seaweed and the weight of it, as she tried to get out, was too much for her. I had to lift her, and her glorious swim suit, out of the pool – which wasn’t easy since I was laughing so hard. That was the first and only time that my daughter used her hand knit swim suit.

My daughter is now a senior in high school and about to go to college and start her own life. She has no memories of that little orange swimsuit but, for me, it still holds all those dreams for her that are knit into every stitch and all the love that a mother can give.

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I took my daughter to her university for an accepted students open house yesterday.  It was a VERY long day, filled largely with “Yes, this is the greatest university in the universe and you will be so happy at this most awesome of universities”.

At the lunch break we got a sandwich and headed outside to sit by the pond and soak in a few rays.  There was a young woman with a gravelly voice and a guitar belting out Janis Joplin tunes.  I looked around.  No granny glasses, afros, peace symbols or (thankfully) Nehru jackets were in evidence, but other than that it could easily have been the 70’s…and when my daughter takes her daughter to college she will most likely sit by the requisite collegiate body of water and hear someone singing an ancient tune from 2008 and look around and think, does this place ever change?

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We are all wandering around like sleep deprived zombies lately thanks to a lonely female duck who has taken up residence in our pond. I’m assuming she lacks that “je ne sais quoi” that attracts male ducks, since poor Ugly Betty swims around the pond honking forlornly – and is still alone. Unable to avail herself of ducky liposuction and a beak job, she’s forced to strut what she’s got. If you’ve ever heard a duck call – you know, that really loud “Wack” sound they make? – That, it seems, is what she’s got.

While I pity her plight, I just wish that she didn’t start her search quite so early in the morning. Who knows, maybe the male ducks don’t want to get up that early either.

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