Jan 31, 2008

Is this a midlife crisis? ....

OMG OMG OMG .....where do I take this damn blog. I have so many passions in life ....I REALLY need to get focused!

I could only dream of being as talented as Hieronymus Bosch when he painted his hybred creatures in the tryptich The Garden of Earthly Delights...


Still can't figure out what to plant where...

Fine Gardening photo

My Backyard last Spring


This is an entire entity unto itself...

My babies - National Western Stock Show 2008


I have an entire house that needs to be decorated on a shoestring budget with champagne taste - by me, myself, and I (nothings been touched since we moved in 7 years ago because I was on the career path until the babies came).

SIKE!!! I wish this dining room was mine.

Geeze, do you think that order is a Freudian slip? Yikes! I hope not.

Jan 26, 2008

On a more colorful note .....

"Burst" by Jen Stark

Anyone that has a love of paper, texture, and color really needs to check this artists work out. This chick knows how to tweak a 12x12 piece of card stock. I was surfing and rolled on to her website - Jen Stark - and was blown away by her paper sculptures.
Now shame on me for even thinking the word scrapbook with in the same thought of her work but I couldn't help myself thinking that it would be really cool to figure out a way to incorporate something on a small (minuscule) scale into the kids pages of my latest and greatest creation.

" Piece of an Infinite Whole"

But alas, I am so far from this girls creative genius it will never be. I just love to look at her work and salivate at the color and movement in each and every piece.


Not only is she fabu with the card stock and an exacto knife but the girl can draw!!!!

"Microscopic Tangle"

Free handed felt tip pen on paper no less. Some really incredible graphics. I can just imagine a south facing loft style apartment that has been painted white with a collection of her sculpture and drawings hanging on the walls. What a dream come true that would be!

All images from http://www.jenstark.com/.

Jan 23, 2008


Monday night I watched American Experience, The Lobotomist , on PBS and became completely engrossed in finding out more about the history of mental health in the US. What I found was absolutely amazing and I have become obsessed with the history of when mental health care was a government concern before it was privatized. I admit I was naive about this subject having only knowledge of these things from the Hollywood fright movies seen as a teenager.

Two things got to me the most. First, the stories of a large amount of sane individuals that were committed because their behavior was not of the expected social norm. Many of them came to know these places as "home" and ended up staying for life even though there was no clinical reason for them to stay. There is a traveling exhibition created from over 400 unopened suitcases that were found in the attic at the Willard Psychiatric Center in New York. It's looks very touching and poses many, many questions about how these individuals lost control of their lives. Why weren't these individuals allowed to have any of their personal belongings? Photos of loved ones? Clothes? Because they had to be a number .... spend some time on the site. It is truly mesmerising.

image from www.suitcaseexhibit.org

Second, the architecturally stunning state buildings that were built in the mid to late 1800's to care for these individuals were so incredibly beautiful.

Images from http://nysasylum.com/

Binghamton State Asylum for the Chronic Insane - New York

What they look like now and how they are/are not being used in modern times. Many of them have been abandoned and left for the pigeons and unrested souls.

The most magnificent were based on a treatise by Thomas Story Kirkbride , a 19th century doctor who believed in a "moral treatment" approach to care for patients, which centered upon humane and kindly behavior. They are known as the Kirkbride buildings.

Short pictorial history on the Danvers State Insane Asylum outside of Boston. This is only one of hundreds of asylums that something (albeit major deconstruction) has been done to so that it might be brought in to the modern world.

Danvers State Insane Asylum built in 1878

Dannvers State - abandoned 1992

Image from http://www.danversstateinsaneasylum.com/

Shell of Kirkbride bldg at Danvers State 2007 after demolition of compound

Image from http://www.danversstateinsaneasylum.com

Danvers State (shell of) 2008

Image from http://www.danversstateinsaneasylum.com/

Hawthorn Hill AvalonDancer Residences

I believe that I am much better educated in the history of how our democratic system took care of the unfortunate souls that did not have their wits about them. And I thank God that in modern times we have the option of pharmaceuticals. I am very sad that more has not been done to to save these beauties. There is so much info on this that I could easily turn this in to an Asylum blog but I won't since I am by no means an expert - just someone who saw something and wanted to become better versed about it.

I'll let you surf for yourself. Major kudos to the web sites that educated me regarding the loss of these lavish buildings - The Kirkbride Buildings , Danvers State Insane Asylum, and Forgotten Photography.

Jan 16, 2008

Hearts on Fire

Next to Halloween my favorite Hallmark Holiday is Valentines Day. All the romance, flowers, and sparklies. What more could a girl want? Especially if she has a DH that after 14 years of being together still makes her hart go pitter-pat! And 2 little darling angel baby girls that are as girly as it gets.

I know that I am a month ahead of the sappiest holiday of them all,

But I just had to share my Find of the Week!!!

Target dollar section - no kidding. The fiery red glitter on these is amazing. The pictures don't do these justice on the prettiness. Made in China, of course. I wouldn't be able to make this for a dollar tho - the damn glitter alone would be over the $5.00 I spent on the 5 items. I bought 4 of the hearts and 1 of the LOVE banners. The hearts are about 7 1/2" tall by 8 1/2" wide. Good size for a dollar item.

Jan 15, 2008

January Bloom Day

Around here in Zone 5a the only thing in bloom on January 15th is the lonely Christmas cactus. My mother gave me this plant about 5 years ago when it was only 3 little "arms'. It was destined for the trash because it was given to her as an obligatory Christmas gift from a coworker and she really didn't know what to do with it. Trust me it would never has survived in her dimly lit town house. But here at my house it is the only indoor plant life that has ever lived past 2 years. It gets completely ignored but yet every November, like clock work, it starts to put out a TON of buds and continues to bloom until the end of January. The pretty, large, fairy like blooms are almost gone now - so sad!

Go figure. Guess it must have gotten dropped in the right location. Let's hope that now that I'm home all the time and can give it more attention I don't kill it.

And on a more technical note . . .

MAJOR KUDOS to All Things Bright and Beautiful with the tutorials for us New Bloggers. She has so generously offered to assist us getting set up with all the bells, whistles and short cuts that come along with getting up and running in fabulous Blog Land.

Jan 14, 2008

And this is how it goes ...

Walking the dog (ballon)

LOVING the foam pieces

Mom was feeling a little crabby this am

This is how my mornings have been the past 2 months while I try and wrap my head around this not working thing. Not really having any rhyme or reason to it all as far as a schedule goes other than the 2 days a week the girls go to preschool. We get up do some sort of craft after breakfast and Mommy has a big cup 'o coffee.

I have had a job of some sorts since I was 17 and not working has never been an option for me. Even when the little ones came in to my life I only took 6 weeks off. Getting up at 5:30 or 6:00am was something that was just done to get through it all. Now that I don't have that screaching alarm in my ear and can get up when my body is ready or the girls want me to I am in big trouble. Most morning the girls will go in the playroom and play(fight/scream) and not come and wake me up - for some reason the body thinks that sleeping until 9:00am should be the norm.

Ok so I am NOT complaining that I am now a stay-at-home mom, it's just that I had all these visions of all the projects (decorating, sewing, scrapbooking, organizing photos) that I was going to get done when I took the lay-off option. Maybe my brain is just taking a rest from living at warp speed for what seems like an eternity. I seriously don't know where to start it all...

Jan 12, 2008


Ok - wow! I'm finally going to do this. After being a lurker at other blogs for so long I'm actually going public with my musings on life. I have to say I've been on the Daily Blog cruise of some of the best blogs out there and have NO aspirations to be in the upper eschelons of some (most) of the ones I peruse for my addiction. Some of you guys out there blow me away with the talent that you posess and I hope to grow with what I have learned and give back maybe just a little.

Who knew this would be so flipping addicting?????

Feel free to guide, banter, educate, and sway me how you see fit. Just please don't correct, berate, or demean me as it is not productive or positive in any shape or form. I am on a midlife journey to redesign the road I am taveling and do not need or require any toxic assistance. Trust me - been there, seen that, battled with the best and at this age it's just not f***ing worth it.

Check out the links on the blog and you'll see what I'm all about and my life's passions. No promises on daily postings as the 3 and 4 year old surely have other plans for me ......