It’s Official. I’m Sixty-Six

The blog title won’t change, but my age did. The big day began with a trip to the dermatologist. She froze the barnacles off my back, and that’s good because those stupid crustaceans itched. She told me their proper scientific name. I then told her their common moniker, “Damned Itchy Barnacles“. 

Then it was home again to open the three cards from Sweet Jimmy.  Always three. Always hidden in plain view. Following that, I spent a happy hour coloring a flat wooden bird, part of the gift from grandkids Deven and Mishri.

Jim pulled out his bird identification book to help me sort out just what kind of chick it was.  As you can see, the designation, while not in the book, is apparent. It’s a “Green-headed, Pink-breasted, Weeki Wachee Warbler.”

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Next, it was off to the primary care physician to go over bloodwork regarding my hormone levels. Good news!  My bloodwork is now routine. Three months ago I had the testosterone of a sixteen-year-old boy.  Having such high testosterone at my age–while great fun–is apparently not healthy.

A quiet afternoon was spent watching Jim do laundry. Yay for birthdays! He does laundry even on not-birthdays. But on not-birthdays, I offer to help. On my birthday?  Not a chance.

Lastly out to dinner. I chose the restaurant based on dessert. Recently we’d eaten there and consumed the most delicious gluten-free, warm-with-chocolate-chunks brownie, topped with vanilla ice cream.

As soon as we sat down, Jim flipped the menu to the dessert section. WHAT!? Wasn’t it listed? I had a moment when I thought I might cry. I nearly turned into six, rather than sixty-six.

Jim, good man that he is, tracked down waitstaff and found gluten-free chocolate cake was a special. Nope, it wasn’t the same as the brownie we’d had previously. However, it was warm, had a pipette of Jack Daniels squeezed into the center, and altogether satisfied this old girl.

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The little hole in the cake is where the booze pipette was inserted.

 

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This is how the bill is presented. Clever, huh?

Today is my second day of being sixty-six. So far it’s been lovely. Stevia-sweetened iced coffee, cottage cheese with almonds–my breakfast of choice which made a friend, Steve, gag when I described it–and a bit of reading.

The following clipping was yesterday’s “born today” blurb.  I liked it.  I wondered aloud if the paper simply prints the same words daily.  After all, who reads “born today” unless truly born on that particular day?  It seems Jim does.  He assured me it’s not a cookie cutter reading.

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Happy to learn my hard work and effort will pay off this year! Bodes well for upcoming Etsy shop.  I’ll learn more on Tuesday when my friend and I visit Psychic Valentina.  Don’t scoff.  Valentina knows my future and next week I will too. How fun is that?!  I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

Adventures with Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley came to visit us for Thanksgiving. If you aren’t familiar with Stanley here is the back-story. Flat Stanley is a series of books by Jeff Brown. The premise? A bulletin board falls on Stanley, flattening him so thoroughly that he’s able to fit into an envelope.

A third grade class in Colorado listened to the book. Each kid then made their version of Stanley. The teacher laminated them, wrote out a letter explaining the Flat Stanley project is a social study undertaking.

A boy named Frankie made our Flat Stanley. So far he’s been to Bainbridge Island, WA, Hana, HI, and here to Palm Harbor, FL. I just mailed him off to friend Jane in Galena, IL. She’s married to a Welshman, so I’m hoping Stanley has a visit to Wales in his future.

Here are the photos we took during Stanley’s visit. We printed them at Walgreens, and they are now on the way to Frankie’s third-grade classroom.

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Stanley drew his self-portrait and was pretty pleased with it.

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Eeek.   Stanley took a terrible tumble to the kitchen floor.  Frankie’s teacher specified adult supervision at all times.  Who was watching him when this accident occurred?

 

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This is just before the turkey went into the oven.

 

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This is just after the turkey came out of the oven.  It was HOT there.

 

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Standing in the ice cube maker helped him to cool down.

 

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One of five pies!  Two were pumpkin with gluten-free crusts, one apple, one bourbon pecan with chocolate chips, and the fifth was banana butter brickle. Bet you can’t say that three times fast.  I was really worried Stanley would get too pudgy to be jammed back into his travel envelope. Fat Stanley, not Flat Stanley stuffed into a shoe box.

 

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Here he is doing some stunt riding!

 

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He rode that cow so far and fast he decided to take on a horse.

 

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It didn’t end well.

 

 

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Here he is confessing his sins to Father Steve.

 

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The day after Thanksgiving, chillin’ with Bronson Dog.

 

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Friday we went out to lunch at Barfly because we hadn’t had enough food and needed to eat more.

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The mail-lady just picked Stanley up and he’s off to Galena, Illinois.  He has a small baggie filled with Spanish moss.  I microwaved it.  When we were kids we hauled home a brown paper bag stuffed with moss.  When we opened the sack it was crawling with insects.  Hopefully the nuking killed any critters.  Note to readers-Microwaving Spanish moss stinks up the kitchen.  I don’t recommend it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful for Dinner by the Pool

We are all ready for Thanksgiving. Table set, flowers arranged, food-except for the bird- prepared.

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I made my friend, Anne’s, “make ahead mashed potatoes”. I fixed them last year, and every single bit was scraped from the bottom of the serving dish.  One guest longed for seconds, but too bad, so sad.

This year I made twice as many. It’s in my 125-pound LeCreuset pan. Tomorrow neighbor Lynda is heating it in her oven. Jimmy may need a hand truck to lug this monstrous pot of potatoes across the street.

Everyone is bringing something, so I’m only responsible for potatoes, green beans, gravy and the turkey. And lots of wine.

I used Ina Garten’s make-ahead gravy recipe and her green beans with shallots.

Martha Stewart gave me some pointers on how to prepare the bird. I’m to drench four layers of cheesecloth with a butter and wine mixture, lay atop the turkey and baste with more of the concoction every hour.

He’s to go into the oven feet first. If he doesn’t fit that way, I’m supposed to turn his pan each time I baste him.

I killed our electric knife when sawing through the tops of pumpkins in which I arranged the flowers. So yesterday found me at Bed Bath and Beyond purchasing a new one. Plus the cheesecloth, kitchen twine, and various cleaning supplies. Lynda and I keep a file of BBandB coupons here at my house. I got twenty bucks off at check-out!

This time tomorrow we’ll be just about to sit down and stuff ourselves. We have a small flat guest, Stanley, joining us this year. I hope I’ll be able to jam him into his envelope after this large meal. Perhaps he will need a shoebox.

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Related blog post:

Keurig Cup Crafting

The War of Art

Counting down the hours until Thanksgiving. The only part I still haven’t figured out is how long and at what temperature to roast an eighteen-pound unstuffed turkey. I’ve thrown the question onto my FB page, and hope someone will have good advice.

Meanwhile here is the latest excellent book I’ve read on how to get the heck out of my way and succeed.

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The author, Steven Pressfield, maintains most of us wrestle with resistance when tackling projects that require a long-term commitment.

In my case, there are two endeavors to which I am devoted.
This blog and my new Etsy shop.

So far I only have ten items listed in my store. I’m determined to fill it to the brim over time. This book gave me exactly the kick in the fanny I needed.

Pressfield included a favorite Goethe quotation of mine:

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

I have a sterling silver pendant engraved with those words. It was a gift from Cynthia, the lovely woman I used to work for. She gave me a shot at product design when nothing in my set of skills would predict success.

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I have the necklace hanging on the light over my drawing table.  I read it just before I begin working each day.  I also say a prayer to my muse.  Another Pressfield suggestion.

Then I get to work.  Which I am off to do right now.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Other somewhat related blog posts:

I used to ask, “Why me?” Now I say, “Why NOT me!”

Travel to China

Dreaming with Tate

Just bounded out of bed following a great dream. It’s already nearly in the wind.  I was holding grandson Tate on my lap and designing a Vanity Tag for my pickup truck (I don’t have a pickup truck.  Dreams provide astonishing gifts)

The coolest part is we were discussing awesome name ideas.  His were, as a rule, better than mine.  He was making me laugh.

It was so fabulous when sleeping.  Details went with the waking but believe me, they were fabulous. Thanks, Tate!

Guided Meditation and the Law of Attraction

I’ve been using youtube for my daily meditation. I find it’s easier to relax deeply when listening to a gentle voice, music, and instructions.  I take out one hearing aid and put the computer right next to my other ear.

Lying on our bed and breathing. It’s delicious the state of relaxation I tumble into.

Think positive, Live positive.

My blog posts will be more infrequent because I am busy creating images for my new Etsy shop.  So far I have a pig, kitten, and cow.  They are all decked out in ribbons and straw hats.

I spend my days’ coloring and smiling at the silly critters flowing out of my colored pencils.

My field of dreams.  Build it and they will come.  And when they come 50% of the money I make I plan to donate to causes important to me.  The other 50%?  Who knows.

 

Awake at O’ Dark Hundred…Why?

Is being up and tossing in the wee small hours simply a byproduct of getting old?  It began with a dream.  I’ll keep this short since other people’s dreams are boring.

I was Courtney Cox.  The formerly vivid bits have been swept into the wind.  But there was a vintage car involved.  And the hitting of a game show type button.

Then my brain began dwelling on ideas for my upcoming Etsy shop.

After that, I began thinking about Tate, my grandson who is about to be two. And how I wanted to be with him for his birthday. And how I hate Chicago in December and why-oh-why didn’t he get born in August?

Usually, if I relocate to the sofa at o’dark hundred I can fall asleep.  I tried to pretend I was on the sofa when still in bed.  My brain wasn’t fooled.

So–off I go.  Hauled my fluffy feather pillow along and onto the sofa.  Sigh.  I will attempt a deep breathing lobotomy.

Reinvention

I’m recreating myself.  In anticipation of the sixty-sixth birthday, I’m opening a new Etsy shop. My former Etsy store was named Beatrice Bee Vintage. It was fun, I sold a bunch of junk and shipped all over the planet.

Then it kinda’ dried up and the magic disappeared.

Recently I thought, “What do people spend stupid money on?” The answer, pets, and babies.

I considered doing custom pet portraits. Then, after Saturday’s meditation, it came to me to create whimsical artwork for nursery walls.

No need to inventory anything. I’ll just do the pictures, save on the computer and print on demand. I called my friend, Richie to discuss printing–what type of home printer does a decent job. The one we now own churns out anemic color copies. Richie owns a print business. His color printer cost over $800,000. I scratched my head, thought about it and decided not to get one of those.

Yesterday I colored my first baby animal. An elephant. I’ll post its picture with a cute girlie hat on her head and name her Emma. I’ll repost without the hat and Emma becomes Ethan. Print out at 8″ by 10″, slide into an 11″ by 14″ matte and mail it off. The purchaser can then buy a ready-made frame.

The competition on Etsy is stiff. One lady opened her shop in 2016 and has already had over 10,000 sales. It will be tricky to get my work noticed. I don’t plan to open until I have about twenty decent images.

The picture below I did some years back. The little pea in the pram was artwork for a baby shower invitation. The mother of that baby boy has since had two more boys. It was fun coloring and planning that party.

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Now, off to color a piglet. Penelope and Payton Pig. I’ll write a little back story for each image. Maybe include it with the purchase. This Etsy shop is an infant. Lots to think about.

 

Somewhat related blog posts:

What I Like About Me

It’s Never Too Late: 10 Writers & Artists That Were Late Bloomers

I used to ask, “Why me?” Now I say, “Why NOT me!”

 

Keurig Cup Crafting

I’ve been “sharked.” It happened on Halloween. After witnessing all of Charki’s over the top spooky creativity, I decided I needed to get crafty for our Thanksgiving party.

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Twelve K-cups, yards of rope, a hot glue gun, loads of paint and hours later here’s what I came up with.

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I also made a trip to Dollar Tree for candle holders.  Then off to Walmart for a bunch of other stuff.  I loathe Walmart.  Was almost disappointed at how well they came through.

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I plan to make the flower arrangements in pumpkins and gourds.  Take that, Charki!  Let’s go toe to toe in a craft-off.

Related blog posts:

The Chihuahua Bites Again

Halloscream! Eeek

 

 

Halloscream! Eeek

When we lived “up north” we got over six hundred Trick-or-Treaters at Halloween. Our street was burnt pumpkin smelling, over the top decorated, and so much fun.

Jim made three tombstones cut out of wood. I painted them.

Ibraka U. Fase
U. B. Kryin
N. Bleedin

It was fun to observe passers-by trying to sort out what they meant.
If you are too lazy to figure it out (I would be) here’s the deal.
“I break your face. You be crying and bleeding.”

We miss our Halloweens! In our new ‘hood we might get a handful of hobgoblins. But, the good news is our friends, Charki and Doug, moved to a wildly busy Halloween neighborhood in St. Petersburg. And they invite us, as well as our former Grove Avenue neighbors, to come there for dinner and spooky stuff.

Charki is arguably the most creative humanoid I’ve ever met. And Doug is onboard with helping put together her over-the-top plans. Plus he comes up with a dozen or so all by himself. Maybe he’s the second most creative person ever.

Check out these scary photos!

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Doug cut all those “waves” out of wood and drilled them to a 2 by 4.

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Charki made this!

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We bought our squid hats last year.
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Hiding behind the bathroom door. Horrifying.

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All up and down the street neighbors hang pumpkins in the trees.

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The best news is we are permanently invited!  Yay!  October 31st plans for a lifetime.