Thursday, November 21, 2019

Getting Back To Simple

I'm working with pressed flowers today which is really calming and soft and peaceful and perfect considering I'm in one of my retreat moods.

A retreat mood, for me, is what happens when I am feeling particularly disconnected from the world in its current state.

I should be truthful: I'm almost always in one of my 'retreat' moods since I almost always feel disconnected from the world.

As a rule I don't generally care about the things that seemingly the rest of the world cares about.  I won't get into the particulars of that since I am not wanting to be on the receiving end of a barrage of hate mail or worse, so I'll just leave it at that because the world, in its current state, does not like it very much when you don't care about what it wants you to care about.

(I just re-read that paragraph and it sounds kind of harsh and unfeeling and that is not the truth at all.  In actuality, it is the exact opposite of harsh and unfeeling.  I should expound on that paragraph further by saying that that I do care - deeply -  but for the most part only about stuff that matters. About stuff that you might lie there thinking about when it's about the time you become living-challenged.  For example, I don't care much about granite countertops. Or open floor plans. Or the newest iphone. Or politics. You get the idea.)

Because of  the way I think and view things, it leaves me sort of in my own Private Idaho.

I am very, very aware that the more the world "progresses"...the more I seem to regress.

Pretty soon I might be Amish.  😏

I made the ornament pictured to the right in the above picture.  It was really easy.  You mix baking soda, cornstarch, water in a pan, cook until it's a paste, cool, roll out, cut out shapes, then bake in the over for an hour or so.  Easy as pie.

Actually, easier than pie.

There are a ton of recipes for ornament dough on the internet but here's one in case you don't feel like searching.

Also, the act of working with dough will soothe your soul a little bit if you, like me, need to retreat and get back to simple.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Stuck On The Delaware Memorial Bridge

Here we have a picture I took on Saturday afternoon.


I took this pictures because (a) no one would believe we actually got stuck there, and (b) when you are in the middle of a massive anxiety attack you have to find things to distract yourself from your massive anxiety attack, such as taking pictures with your phone.

For the record, I don't do well, in general, with bridges. That is actually a really big understatement.

For one, I get very dizzy on them and avoid driving over them unless I'm the passenger.

For two, I'm severely claustrophobic. Getting stuck anywhere is bad; getting stuck at the very top of a bridge is pretty much my worst nightmare, second to elevators, which I do not ever take.  (Fun fact: I believe the last time I rode an elevator was in 2009.)

So you can imagine how "happy" I was when, just as we started up the southbound side of the bridge,

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Help Me Find A Shop Location

The other day I talked about how we are actively looking for the right location to open a brick and mortar shop.  Or a barn wood and plank shop.

I know exactly what I am looking for and sometimes it's hard for me to describe it but this morning I found it.

And very unfortunately it's in Kansas.
I mean, I've never been to Kansas and I'm sure it's probably a great place...but I live in Delaware and I don't think I can commute to KS or get JP to move there so I can open my little shop.

Also, even if I wanted to commute or move to Kansas, this place is sold.

But I'm putting it out there in case someone out there on the internet has a place very similar to this that they'd like to unload (cheap!) or knows of a similar place.
It does not have to be in Delaware but does have to be on the east coast.  Mid-Atlantic, New England-ish would be best as I do not do well in the heat of the summer in the south.


Help me find the perfect location for Poor Girl Mercantile!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Globe Is Closing

Last night, on Facebook(!),  I found out that The Globe is closing.

For those of you who don't know, I mostly got my art start at The Globe in Berlin, Maryland.

It all started with one little postcard that I sent out to various galleries and places that sold art.
Jennifer, the owner of The Globe, got the postcard with the picture of my artwork on the front, liked what she saw, called me and - long story short - my artwork has been featured there since 2013.  I became the resident artist there about 3 or so years ago, meaning I went from having occasional shows there throughout a year to my artwork hanging there 365 days a year.

To say that opportunities have come my way as a result of my association with The Globe would be a gross understatement.  To this day, I get contacted regularly by people who say things like "I saw your work at The Globe" or "I regularly buy pieces of your stuff at The Globe".

And now they're closing.

Not gonna lie, the news stunned me.  And then I told JP and it stunned him.  Especially since we just installed 20+ pieces there a couple of weeks ago.  So we both sat there being stunned for a little while until one of us said, "OK, what's next?".

This would be one of those pick-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps kind of things.

Oddly enough, just yesterday I updated the PGMerc.com website and wrote that JP and I are actively seeking  a brick and mortar location and that I think it really will happen in 2020.

Then - bam! - hours later I find out The Globe is closing.  I think the Universe might be at work doing some shifting and re-aligning here.

Truth is, I have never been comfortable having all of my artwork eggs in one basket because, well for example, out of nowhere the basket could decide to close.  There's a lesson in this...there always is.

JP says I need to have a presence in the Berlin, MD area because I have a pretty big following there.  I agree, but right now I have no idea what that means.  There are so many people down that way that became near and dear to me all because of my artwork and The Globe.  Maybe I can get everyone to start a petition on change.org for the new owners to keep me as the resident artist?  😉

I guess I'll have to start looking around to see if there is another suitable venue around there that I can send a postcard to while we search for our own shop.  I could also drag out the art show tent and be a vendor at the many different events held in Berlin throughout the year, but that tent thing is not my kind of thing really.

We'll see how this winds up playing out.

In the meantime, there's still a bunch of my framed artwork hanging on the walls at The Globe until around November 30th, their closing date.

Get 'em while the getting's good.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It's September 3rd and Labor Day is behind us which means that summer is unofficially over.

The relief I am feeling is palpable.

Other people's children are back to school, the beaches are uncrowded, traffic is back to normal,
and most importantly, the sun will become less obnoxious while setting earlier and earlier.

It's time to put my summer-induced stupor to rest and get back to work.

Monday, August 26, 2019


Every morning the crows call out to let me know they're here for breakfast. Luna and I head downstairs and out the back door, where I toss out a bunch of dog kibble for them, which they love.

The kibble, though, has to be the kind for small dogs or puppies.  They don't care much for the adult dog size.

Then we sat outside with them for awhile, listening to them talk to us and each other. I adore them and they know it. It's daily magic. 

This morning, we stayed outside for awhile since the terrible heat and humidity we've been plagued with all summer has broken, replaced with glorious cool, soul-soothing air.

As we sat out this morning listening to the crows and the soft breeze through the trees, I noticed that the light has started to changed already.  Fall light is coming.

The harsh sunlight of summer is starting to be replaced by the soft filtered light of Autumn.

I can already feel the rigidity I've been holding inside because of the frenetic nature of summer starting to melt away.  Sweet relief.

Speaking of my crows, I believe I've gotten my first crow gift.
I came upstairs to my office late this morning and opened the window next to my desk. 
Something shiny caught my eye. 

Tucked into the frame where the window screen sets in was this torn topping from a shiny bag. It definitely wasn't anything of mine and there's no way it found its way up there by itself and then tucked itself into the window frame unless we had some kind of mad wind storm or hurricane and I missed it.

More magic.

Yesterday was JP's birthday.  He is not big on his birthday so it was just a low-key day.  It is not in my nature to not make a fuss on anyone's birthday, but I would never do anything he didn't want so we chilled.  I wasn't feeling good anyway, Sherb had a migraine and I didn't want her to drag herself out and over, so it all kind of worked out.

Our new neighbors moved in this weekend so we bought them a housewarming gift of a charcuterie cheese board and a nice bottle of wine.  JP brought it over to them in the afternoon and he must have mentioned to them that it was his birthday. 

Lo and behold, our doorbell rings a few hours later and there are our new neighbors handing JP a big old ice cream cake from Dairy Queen personalized with 'Happy Birthday JP'!  I mean, how kind was that?

Since I wasn't feel well, we put the cake away and now have a date to share it and cocktails with our new neighbors on Thursday for a belated birthday mini-celebration.  So fun.

I know JP doesn't like to make much of his birthday but I saw the look in his eyes yesterday when he carried that cake into the house. 

A little kindness really does go a long way.

Saturday, August 24, 2019


Sick of me talking about the weather yet?


But hope is on the horizon as this dreadfully hot summer with all of its oppressive sunshine and breathtaking (literally) humidity and dew points will soon yield to fake Fall (Labor Day) and then real Fall...when it will still be stupid hot but pumpkins and mums will start showing up everywhere psyching you into not thinking about how the temperature really hasn't changed much at all.

I have been stuck in the house for the past four or five days because it's too hot for me to safely go outside.

My lungs - damaged since they both collapsed 10 years ago - don't take kindly to humidity so I have to stay inside when it's oven-like outside. On the bright side of being forced to be mostly housebound for 3-4 months, you can legitimately call me Homegirl...which I kind of like.

In fact, I was inspired to design a new t-shirt as a result.  If there actually is an upside to being housebound it's tapping into all kinds of creativity so I don't lose my mind from boredom.

HOMEGIRL T-shirt, tanks, mugs, etc.
Get yours HERE.

Introvert that I am, I actually love being at home; it is here that I would rather be than any other place.

I just don't like it when I'm forced to stay there because I'm in Climate Prison.  That's when things get dicey.

However, as I write this - the day after a cold front moved in - it is 58­° glorious breathable degrees this morning.

Halleujah, I have been set free!

At the almost end of August, I can finally go outside and enjoy summer.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

"Cozy Palace"

'Cozy Palace' - click HERE to see ordering info

"Nowadays," she said, "it is almost a sin to stereotype and make judgments on people.
You can get tarred and feathered and given one of a hundred different labels if you say out loud what some people think is the wrong thing.

 Yet all them same people are sometimes the ones who talk bad about where I live.

Well I don't care what they say. I love where I live. This place is my cozy palace.

When I bake cookies in my little oven, they taste and smell just as good as the ones that fancy people make in their expensive kitchens. Maybe I don't have a granite countertop but I have prepared many meals on my plain laminate one that have nourished and given pleasure to me and the people I love. Heck, I could rip out my old countertop and put in a granite one anytime I want to but that's not going to change anything around here except to drain out my bank account for no good reason other than so I can say I got a granite countertop. No, thank you.

You know, this little place holds just as many memories as any other house anywhere on this planet, by God. This place knows our tears and every other high and low that's come our way. It's protected us from every storm that's passed through, too. And every year we set up the Christmas tree with our old ornaments and the twinkle lights right there in front of the windows so everyone can see.

Maybe it ain't much, but it's home.

Yes, it's home."

Friday, August 9, 2019

Old School Goodness

Yesterday afternoon I was on my way to the grocery store when I felt a little bit fuzzy-headed which often happens when I go outside into the bright sun.

Playing it safe, I decided to skip the store and go back home because no one wants to have a dizzy attack in the middle of a crowded grocery store causing all kinds of unwanted and embarrassing attention if, for example, you get so dizzy that you have to maybe sit down on the floor right there in front of the deli or seafood department.

Nowadays, with everyone being on drugs and because I religiously watch Live PD, I know if I get a dizzy attack in public that people will automatically think it's drug related and the police will be called and then next thing you know they'd be shoving Narcan up my nose all because I get dizzy from sunshine. I am fully aware that trying to tell authorities that I am not on drugs¹ but am instead dizzy from sunshine would further convince them that I actually was on drugs because how many people do you actually know get dizzy from sunshine?!

Playing out these kinds of scenarios in my head is actually why I just stay home a lot.  Thanks, anxiety.

Anyway, I turned off the main road into the neighborhood to go back home and that's when I saw the lemonade stand out of the corner of my eye and so I of course made a U-turn at the intersection just past it because no good and decent human being doesn't turn around and go back when you see a lemonade stand even if you're feeling a little bit dizzy-headed.

Can you stand (no pun intended) the cuteness?!
I never have any real money on me much to JP's chagrin who is forever giving me cash "just in case" - I have such a good husband - but I did have a single dollar bill so I bought a small size and told them to keep the change.

Then I drove off feeling bad for only tipping them 300%.  Thanks, anxiety.

Where I live in New Castle County, Delaware, all you ever seem to hear about is terrible crime-y stuff.  Yet here was this Ode To Sweetness and Nostalgia and Fun right there almost in my backyard.
I wanted to stand out on the main road with a big sign directing traffic to this lemonade stand because you know what? We all need more lemonade stands in our lives.  We all need to turn our cars around and stop and get out and smile at and chat with adorable kids being innocent and catch the eye of their watchful mom (sitting out of the picture here but set up watching her babies from the driveway) giving her a "yay you!" look for letting her kids be kids.  That's good parenting, right there.

Actually, it's just a whole bunch of all kinds of good.

I'm going back over there today to see if they're hopefully set up again.

I'm prepared, I have cash.

¹¹(I hate any kind of drug, even the helpful kind. I even have to mull over taking a Tylenol for a good long while before I'll put one in my mouth.)

Wednesday, August 7, 2019


"You’re forgetting one thing, you know, and that’s the spirit of the object, which, 
if you sit long enough, will finally creep in through the back door and grab you.” 
-A. Wyeth

Last Fall, I was lucky enough to spend an entire day wandering the grounds and inside the farmhouse at Kuerner Farm in Chadds Ford, PA. If you are a fan of Andrew Wyeth, you already know about Kuerner Farm. If you aren't familiar, Kuerner Farm is the backdrop of scores of Andrew Wyeth's works, spanning decades.

Andrew Wyeth is by far my most favorite artist. On that day, at that farm, I stood where he stood, walked where he walked, saw what he saw. There are some obvious reasons why I called this piece 'Spirit'.

I took this picture that day. It is the exact spot of Andrew Wyeth's piece called 'Groundhog Day' down to the exact wallpaper. 

I stood there for a long while on that day back in October, in front of that window, and I let all that spirit creep in through the back door of that farmhouse...and grab me.

Storm Patrol + Multiple 10 Year Anniversaries + Blathering

Sitting around the porch this morning on the big yellow couch, writing, Luna and coffee at my side, waiting on and hoping for the big storms that are supposed to pass through some time today.

Luna, watching for storms
Nothing makes me happier than stormy days.  When I was little they terrified me - I used to cling to my storm-loving father's leg as he walked around from window to window to watch any storm that we were having.

Now, they still terrify me when they're bad but storms bring negative ions₁ that have a big positive effect on me so any distress I experience when the storms are strong is mostly worth it.  The best I can describe it is like having exhilarating fear.  A contradiction, like all things with me.
With storms or gray cloudy days and definitely with rain, my mood lifts; I'm calmer, clearer, less bogged down.
I really should consider moving to where it's mostly cloudy - Torshavn, Faroe Islands, for example.
They only get 2.4 hours of sunshine per day, 840 hours per year.

Sounds like heaven. 🌧

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

New Art + Not Living In Tropical Climates

This is my latest artwork, called "Snowbird (In Reverse)".
A coupla things inspired it, the first being that it is 192°F outside and that kind of heat causes me an overabundance of distress so snow pictures calm me down as I hide from the sun and heat inside my wonderfully darkened, air-conditioned house.

The other thing that inspired this piece is that a friend of mine just moved to Florida yesterday...which got me thinking that, although I am happy for my friend whose longtime goal was to move to Florida, I am so thoroughly happy that I do not have to live in Florida.

When people move to Florida, a lot of people will say things like "you're so lucky" and "I'm so jealous".
I know that Florida is the end-all for a great many people.
I used to be one of them.  In fact, for a long time I was a snowbird (someone who winters in Florida) as my parents and I would pack up and head to Miami Beach every January.  I love(d) Miami Beach and when I was younger I was pretty convinced that I would one day have one of those things Florida people called con-do-mini-ums (they hadn't caught on in NJ back in the 70s) when I was old enough.

Then as I got older I realized a few things:

Friday, June 28, 2019

Sharon's Big Police Chase Adventure

I lived in a really safe town for a really long time.
We had crime there, but it was the stolen bicycle kind of crime.
If you forgot to lock your door at night it was no big deal.

Then we moved away from there and every place I've lived since has been very crime-y.

I have not adapted well to this (<--- really big understatement). 

I also have PTSD so you can imagine that living around crime is not the best thing for my mental health.  Hypervigilance is a symptom of PTSD so I am always on guard to begin with; throw in living in a crime-y climate and I'm like this guy, pretty much 24/7:

Friday, June 14, 2019

Thursday, June 13, 2019

It's Okay To Not Forgive

It happened again this morning.

I was on Facebook, scrolling as I drank my first cup of coffee.  One of the pages I follow posted some platitudinal rubbish about for every person you forgive, you heal a wound of your own.

Platitudes are high up on the list of things that are the bane of my existence.
By definition, they are dull and insipid; a banal, trite, or stale remark.  You know, the kind of thing that inspires eye rolls.  The kind of thing that is a blanket statement that is supposed to apply to every single person, no matter the/their circumstance, as if the entire population of the entire world should all be doing the exact same thing all the time without exception and then we will achieve some kind of Stepford Wife-ish nirvana.

Then later, adding insult to injury and also on Facebook, I saw a post that said:

Monday, June 10, 2019

Sitting Still On A Friday

More evidence that sometimes something good comes from something bad:

Last week Sherilyn was not feeling well with a pretty good cough and general malaise and so I got to work making a vat of chicken soup for her.  This is what I do whenever any one of us is sick as a pot of my very garlicky chicken soup has been known to cure most ills.
Then I got the idea to mix up a batch of fresh juice for her and us, too.  The more vitamins, the better, right?  But I didn't want to drag out the juicer because cleaning that thing after usage is a nightmare, so I decided to use the Ninja thing with the big attachment.

This is really boring so far but here comes the good part.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Reverse/Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder - What It Is and Isn't

I have mentioned before but in case you're new here, I am one of the 1-6% of the population who has Summer - or Reverse - Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Yes, it's a real thing and I want to tell you about what it is and, more importantly, what it is not.

When you think of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), you probably picture someone slinking into depression when the cold winter comes along and the clocks get set back, enveloping them in darkness before dinnertime.  The lack of sunlight and the cold temperatures sends them spiraling into despair, counting the days until the clocks are set back giving them more time for their idol, the sun, to shine down upon them again until late in the warm summer evenings.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Bossy BS

So this gem popped up yesterday - International Women's Day - on some government site I follow:

Stuff like this gets up under my skin like nobody's business.

Bossy is not good.
Bossy has never been good.
People don't like bossy people.
Not caring if people don't like you as long as you get to continue being bossy is a really weird outlook.  What's the payoff?

From the time you are little you would recoil whenever anyone tried to boss you around.
You stopped being friends with people because they were too bossy.

I know the bossy thing was a thing awhile back.  It was cool to be bossy; somehow even "empowering".

Beyoncé wanted/wants you to be bossy.
And you know you're supposed to do whatever it is that celebrities tell you to do. ::massive eyeroll::

I used to be a boss. In fact, I was a boss of a lot of people when I ran the freelance and editorial departments of two major publishing firms*. But I was not a bossy boss.  Instead, I was a leader boss.

I was a leader of my people!

A bossy boss is a jerk that no one likes or respects or is loyal to.

A leader boss is well-liked because they lead by example and respect the people who work for them. In turn, leader bosses have a happy, loyal team.

Being a good, non-bossy boss is not hard.  Like all good things, being a good boss is rather simple: you start with a foundation of treating people just the way you would want to be treated, aka the Golden Rule.  See?  Not hard at all, people (I'm looking at you, bad bossy bosses)!

I have had bossy bosses, both female and male. You know what they got from me and the other people who worked for them?  A whole lot of not much, that's what!  When I used to interview people for jobs one thing I always told them was that they would not last long working for me if they were just warm bodies.  A warm body is someone who shows up to work and does the bare minimum so that they can just collect a paycheck.  Warm bodies are the kind of employees that bossy bosses have. I have been a warm body so I know.

Well, that doesn't sound right, does it.  

I have been a warm body for bossy bosses.

Nope, still doesn't sound right.  Forget it, you know what I mean.

Anyway, I really think that quote above by Miss Sheryl Sandberg needs a little makeover.

How about:

I want every little girl to be told she has leadership skills and that one day she can be the boss but she doesn't have to be bossy 
to be effective.
-Sharon O'Brien Huey, COO at Huey Enterprises

Much better.

Take that, Beyoncé!

*Easily verifiable; contact me for list of publications in which my name appears in masthead.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Paddy Not Paddy

Every March I am compelled to dust off and drag out my Irish heritage stuff.

The big one is, of course, is reminding people that it's St. PADDY'S Day, not Patty's day.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Messages From The Universe

This quote has been popping up at me everywhere lately.

Clearly, it's the Universe sending me a message.

Writing hard and clear about what hurts has been on my mind for...oh, I don't know, maybe 30 or so years?  

Did I mention my tendency to procrastinate?  World class.

So it might finally be time to actually start. Today.
But probably tomorrow.

If you are someone who has been nice to me at some point in my life, I will remember to thank you in the Acknowledgements section of my book(s) when I finally write them.

If you are not someone who has been nice to me at some point in my life, I will not be thanking you in the Acknowledgements section of my book(s)...but I do otherwise thank you for all the material you've given me to write about.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Heart > Mind

If you have read any of my previous posts, you will know how much social media gets under my skin but, oh my goodness, it is a treasure trove for ideas of stuff to write about!  It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Today, someone on Instagram posted a lament about how frustrated she felt that posts about her upcoming wedding garnered tons of attention (i.e. likes) whereas her posts about her business or creative accomplishments didn't get as much attention as she would like, or felt she...deserved.

She went into a big thing about how she noticed that posts about engagements, baby showers, birth announcements, etc. on social media resulted in the same thing.  It made her feel uneasy.

She suggested that maybe we should throw business showers instead of  baby showers for each other.

Of course, 153,296,702 women agreed with her. (That number might be a slight exaggeration.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Use Words Not The Like Button

If you read the 'About' page on my photo art website Land O' Make Believe , somewhere in there it says: I needed to find a way to make people see and feel again...to make them slow down, to pause for just a minute. 

That sentence or something similar is also in multiple newspaper articles about me.

For awhile, it worked.
My artwork did make people slow down and really see what they were looking at.  I knew this because they told me so. I would receive messages about how some people would linger on an image of mine and let it sink in, feel it.  Or how it brought up a beloved memory.  That sort of thing.

I treasure those interactions like you would not believe.  My husband will tell you that I get more excited about that kind of thing than I do when I make a sale (but sales are really nice so please feel free to go buy something of mine right now!)

But getting people to slow down and see is not working anymore and the reason I know that is because of LIKES.

Every single time I talk about LIKES I am always compelled to add a disclaimer along the likes of "of course I always appreciate receiving likes" because right after that there is a big old BUT.

I appreciate receiving likes BUT they make me crazy.
I appreciate receiving likes BUT sometimes I don't.
I appreciate receiving likes BUT I wish there was no such thing as the like button.

I'm so frustrated by the epidemic of 'liking' that I am in serious reconsideration of how I do things so that I can not rely so heavily on social media.  Oh I know there are 700 bazillion businesses and people who are A-OK with getting likes but, you know, it just ain't me.  The like button makes me feel hollow.  That's the truth.

A week or so ago on Instagram someone posted a beautiful poignant photograph. She had captured a real moment between two people with her camera - it took my breath away. 
I noticed she had a couple dozen likes for it but no comments.  So I left one.  I told her how it made me feel, that it was the best thing I'd seen on the internet in days. I wanted to show my appreciation with words and I wanted to make her feel good. She never responded to my comment which maybe is her style but I could never in a million years not respond to the kind of comment I left for her.

When was the last time you showed your appreciation with words instead of or in addition to the nanosecond like click?  Why not NOT click the like button and instead leave a comment?
How many times did you mindlessly click the like button as you scrolled scrolled scrolled or swiped swiped swiped?  At the end of the day do you remember what you really saw that day?
I mean, really saw. 

We're too wrapped up in this like thing.  I almost never use the like button because it's so awkward to me + well, I kinda really just hate it.  Sorry.  Still just being truthful.

We're so inundated by images.  I don't think our brains can handle it.  We're rapidly losing our attention spans and that is really, really bad. That's one of the big reasons I have to come up with ways to do things differently instead of posting on social media.  If I sent you an email with my latest art you couldn't click a like button, but you could potentially look at for longer than a second or two because you wouldn't be under the spell of social media. The trance of scrolling and swiping.

Can you imagine walking through a museum really fast saying "like...like...like..." as you walked past amazing artwork?  Hopefully you wouldn't do that.  But you are doing exactly that on the internet.  It's not good.  I think we all should be horrified that we're no longer in awe of...much.  When was the last time you saw something that made you talk about it at the dinner table? 

The following link is to an article that nailed this topic better than I ever could.  I urge you to read it.  Here's a sample from it:

The Like has become the currency of carelessness — a way to show we approve without being deeply invested. In many cases, it covers for a lack of attention. It helps fake news propagate, discourages meaningful conversations, encourages shallowness, and exacerbates the most psychologically damaging effects of social media. 

Yikes, right? 
Here's the link:  Why Facebook and Instagram Should Kill The Like Button

I hope you slow down today and really see some stuff and show your appreciation for it with words.

Saturday, January 26, 2019


I'm spending the morning looking a ton of different locations to resettle and open my eventual shop.
We're pretty certain it's going to be in the SW Virginia area as it seems to be most suitable for what we are looking for.

What ARE we looking for?

Well, the biggest thing is community.

See, I'm not profit-driven.

I know. That sounds crazy. Who ever says they want to open a business and not worry about profit?


I find that I shy away from popular places. I want to live and work in a place where it's quiet and friendly and people know you. I want to be off the beaten path. I want to be somewhere that feels like I belong there.

I used to not be that way. Hard to believe but I used to hang out in New York City on a very regular basis, mostly Greenwich Village.

Haven't been there in years and not really all that interested in it anymore.

I don't care for trendy and I really don't care for overspending on stuff.

The best cup of coffee I've ever had did not cost $8.

I want people to come to my shop not just to shop.

My shop will have comfortable places where you can just sit and visit or read or whatever.
Except for computers and cell phones. I'd like it if you could leave those things at home.

My shop will probably not have free wi-fi. haha

Thursday, January 17, 2019

January, So Far

January is not a good month for me.
No, it isn't because it's the middle of winter; I actually like that part. Winter is cozy and cloudy and you can breathe when you go outside and you can go places and they're not crowded - what's not to like about those things?

The reason I don't like January is because it was in this month ten years ago that I became very, very sick and fought for my life for 10 days in CICU.  Pneumonia, lungs collapsed (pneumothorax). I still can't write all the details because...well...


At the point that this went down, I was already someone with a good deal of trauma in my life which had manifested in PTSD that was, for the most part, manageable. Then this thing happened and while I was ecstatic and grateful to the millionth power that I'd come through it, the episode and all it entailed (no details but you can imagine) manifested in - you guessed it - a more defined and cemented PTSD. Yay.

Long story short, January itself is a trigger. Double yay.

I have to keep really, really busy during this month and avoid being idle at all costs.
Idle = overthinking and overthinking =

Also, humor. I couldn't survive any of all this without it.

There are good things that come from bad things sometimes, though, and one of the good things that came from this event ten years ago is that I quit smoking.  Although my illness back then was not caused by smoking, I still would have had to have been a complete moron to keep smoking after a double lung collapse that almost killed me.

So hooray! I have officially reached my 10 year anniversary of not smoking 😄

Thank you, lungs. I'm so sorry I ever abused you.

I've been keeping very busy with all the new creating I've gone back to doing.
I'm making clothes again...and greeting cards...painting...and still doing the photo art.
This has been loooong overdue. 
I can't do just one thing. I've never been able to.  Even when I was an editor I had to be juggling five other things in addition to editing reference books.  I'm happy and excited.

I had a meeting with a new doctor today.  Yes, a meeting. Like a meet and greet.  Can you imagine?  We sat and talked, no examination. She didn't even sit behind her desk but instead sat in one of the comfortably upholstered chairs alongside me in front of her desk. I guess that was so it didn't feel doctor/patient-ish.  Our knees were almost touching. She wore regular clothes, nothing doctor-like about her.  She asked if I wanted a cup of coffee from their coffee bar, where there were real mugs, not disposable. I told her about my doctor anxiety and she completely understood which was shocking because I'm used to being dismissed. She does everything differently than the way 99.9% of other doctors do things. She told me how she wants to do things the way it used to be done and I said I remembered well how that was...when doctors answered their own phones and made house calls (she makes house calls!), etc.
She asked - wait for it - if "I was even old enough to remember  all of that".
That sealed the deal. She is now my new doctor! 👍

I read about the latest brouhaha that's got everyone all worked up - this time caused by Gillette and their new commercial. I spent some time reading the comments and watching people lose their minds over this. 
All I have to say is that if you're getting your life advice from a corporation, you might want to rethink that.

While I was waiting to meet the doctor today, I was scrolling puppies on my phone.
I'm allergic to dogs but do okay with the breeds that are so-called hypoallergenic.  That's what my Luna is - a hypoallergenic yorkie/poodle mix.
My brain tells me I don't need another dog but my heart tells me otherwise.
I wonder which one will win?

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