Monday, April 20, 2015

Pre-Birthday Musings

It's about a month before my next birthday.  The big 53.


When I was younger, I never thought about being 53.  Which means anything is possible, right?

Iris Arpel
I find myself thinking a bit about time.  What time is left and how I'd like to spend it.  How I'd like to feel as fabulous as Ms. Arpel appears to.

Maybe clothes is the place to start.  To be fearless with my wardrobe and see what happens.  Easier said than done, here in the conservative Midwest.  But maybe that's part of the problem - worrying about what others think.

From the blog Advanced Style
And then I remember that poem, "When I am an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple" and think, why not?

Except, I don't think of myself as old.  

More from Advanced Style.  Can you imagine how much fun this would be, so get all dressed up like this and go on parade?
I have too many plans, too much left to do.  Which reminds me that I have to get busy on that stuff that I don't want to leave undone.

Before my husband died (at 50), we talked about the things he regretted doing.  I regretted not finishing school.  Well, I'm close to that now.  And I'm not sure where it will lead.  I do remember that my main goal in going back to school was to learn to write better.  One of my PhD committee members, a man I consider my mentor, commented in his last review that I'm an accomplished academic writer.  (I do love my theory.)  But he hoped that I hadn't forgotten how to write for fun.


I think that's part of why I love blogging.  I can break those damn writing rules.

So, writing for fun = something I don't want to leave undone. Travel is another.  I do love a good road trip.  J and I have declared this summer our Michigan bucket list summer.  Mackinaw Island, Up North, petoskey stones, fudge.  And art.  Always art. Making art, living art, teaching art.

You know what shuts down the plans?

My fear of ending up old and homeless.  Sigh.  Fricking money.

Gotta work on this.

Friday, April 17, 2015

It's all about the view

Or the viewpoint.

Sometimes this is a struggle to remember.  It's so easy to get caught up in what everyone else wants or expects.  Or demands.

A view out the back window.
I have a pretty extensive collection of these "witches" balls.  Maybe 40 or so.  They used to hang in the back window.  Until carpenter ants played us a visit and we had to replace the window.

This collection of glass always inspires me.  It's the colors, yes.  And the sparkle.  But also the magic of how glass is made.  Heat and sand and fire and magic.

Can you tell I'd love to learn to blow glass?

I think it's time to dig these balls out of their box in the garage.  

I miss having them hanging as a reminder to slow down and enjoy the beauty.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Stopping to smell the roses

Well, maybe not roses. 
But Rhea is really getting into the spirit of spring,
sniffing the fabric flowers.

Cute (blind) kitty.
She's got the right idea.

(And yes, my circa 1950s black linoleum is really that ugly.)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Yes. Please.

During my spring break trip to Kansas, my wonderful sister-in-law Donna made me start thinking about tiaras.

Here's her favorite tiara clip:  Amy gets a tiara.

I admit, I've never been a princess girl and I really don't understand the need/want/desire.  But I might/could/maybe wear a tiara.  If it sparkled.  Or had flowers.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Dangers of an Overworked Mind

Early this morning, I dreamed that I had Charlie Sheen as a student.

In a Gender and Women's Studies class.

banner from University of Dearborn

He sat in the front row.

Unfortunately, Mr. Sheen kept getting up to leave the room.  I assumed to check baseball scores on his phone.  Apparently he respected my strict "no phone in class" policy.  But every time he left the room, it disrupted class.  And it made other students think they could get up and walk around.

stock photo of glove
I waited until everyone was back in their seats before announcing that I would treat any further disruptions by the rules of strip poker.

Students laughed and cheered.

Until I told them to look around the room.  And to think about what they had on.  When they realized it wouldn't be so funny or so cool, many looked very nervous.  Mr. Sheen included.

And then, instead of going on with a lesson, I made them all take out paper and pen and write a paper on the essay that they were supposed to have read.

While my students are quite a bit older than this one, this is their general reaction to paper writing.
Did I mention that I'm working on the revision of my last PhD exam?  On Feminist Theory.  A field with lots of big words and complicated sentences that run on for a page and a half (no joke).

I might be overworking my brain, just a bit.

This is approximately half of the books I've read in the past year,.  Well, it feels that way, anyway.  Of course, this is a stock photo.  I do NOT look that sane.  Or relaxed.

Friday, April 10, 2015


I've been collecting ribbon and trim and embroidery scraps for years.  Years!  I'd tuck 'em away in a bin in the garage and every spring, when I cleaned the garage, I'd pull out the bin(s) and think, some day.

ribbon and yarn
Some day is apparently here.

In the doldrums of this past winter, when it felt like spring would never come and bring happy color with it, I pulled a few of my bins into the house, to live in my bedroom.

MORE ribbon
Since I started making the felted belts, I needed decoration.  Right?

would you believe MORE ribbon?  and some lace.
I have pretty good luck finding ribbon and lace at yard sales and estate sales.  Apparently I am not the only trim junkie on the planet.  It's the texture, I think.  And the patterns.

My favorite scraps - from old pillows and saris.  Most of these are just a few inches big, perfect for small accents.
Or maybe it's the history.  I am, after all, a historian.  

Yikes!  They multiply!
Here's where the tribbles come in.  Did you know that fabric and trim multiply?  Really.  If you don't do anything with them or only play with them occasionally, they reproduce.  In fact, they procreate so fastly that they'll take over a room!

See that thing draped in white?  It's my new sewing machine, the one I got for Christmas but haven't even threaded yet!  Partly - no time.  Realistically, no room!

It's nice when the tribbles get organized.
Now that spring is officially here, I can move these tribbles back out to the garage.  Once I clean the garage.  Trust me, there will be NO photographic proof ever of the condition of the garage.

Of course, there are more bins of tribbles to be in the garage.  A friend closed her vintage clothing store and gifted me with a BIG bag of goodies to cut down.  (A future blog.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Good Medicine

A friend posted this artist on her Facebook page the other day and now, I am obsessed.  Love the message.

Nahko and Medicine for the People "Black as Night"

I believe in the good things coming.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Easter Sunday always reminds me of my Grandma Mejeur.  She had this "theory" that if Easter Sunday was warm and sunny, the next six weeks would be.  Not sure she had any scientific evidence for that.  More likely, she judged the spring season by how plentiful the bulb flowers were.

Daffodils, the happiest flower
As I do walk-abouts in the garden, I can see it coming to life.  Tulip tips are showing.  Hyacinths are coming up.  We'll have daffodil blooms in the next few days.  Even the robins have returned.  They woke me up this morning, as a matter of fact.

Spring = plenty.  Plenty of warm, sunny days ahead.  Plenty of creativity, as the garden is a continual inspiration for color and texture and growth.  

In less than two weeks, I'll be done with a major assignment.  Finally.  And, I'm almost scared to say it, but it looks like my summer is fairly free to play with beads and felt in the garden.  NO FRENCH all day every day this summer!  Oh, the joy.  Minimal teaching.  Also, joy.

I have big plans about pulling the work tables out into the yard, where I can roll out nuno scarves.  

Big plans.  

Like those bulbs just beginning to adventure out into the world, I'm watching out for any sign of frost that will nip those plans in the bud.  New life.  It's fragile.