Gearing Up … Already!

OH, MY. IT CAN’T BE—REALLY? I CANNOT believe that on Monday, it will be May already—where on earth did all the time go?? Yikes.

But, this is an exciting time, too! A dear and fantastically artistic friend, Katie Crawford, has returned to our little corner Katie Crawfordof the world and will be talking about getting back in the saddle artisticly- and creatively-speaking tonight (Friday, 28th of May). The next thing on her agenda will be to teach all that attend her Saturday workshop how to make needle-felted creatures. Oh, you can bet I’ll be there! Then, she’s off—heading back to the East Coast to her husband and studio to paint and create her felted critters (they are so adorable).

But that’s not all … my mystery writer friend and cohort, Joyce Oroz has been working in the background trying to “level the playing field” so our book signings aren’t so lopsided—all of our book signing packed into the last quarter of the year can be exhausting (and frustrating). She’s working on peppering them throughout the year. I really should be helping scout out potential venues (oopsie) …

… and the first two are consecutive weekends in May. A new-to-us event is literally just around the corner on Joyce Oroz and dj jameson smithSaturday, the 6th of May at the Guglielmo Winery Vendor Faire in Morgan Hill from 11am-4pm. There will be arts, crafts, jewelry and more (teehee—I think we’re the “more” …) at this outdoors event. I’m excited to get into a new area and see how well it’s attended. Hopefully we’ll see some of you there!

The next one, held on Saturday, 13th of May, is a well established event—the Aromas Country Garden Tour, showcasing beautiful gardens in the Aromas area with various Aromas Hills Artisan members and their creations stationed within each garden. Joyce and I will have our signed books available for purchase. You start out at the Aromas Grange to get the list of homes on the tours (small fee to help support the event), then make your way to each garden. All I can say is, I believe we’re IN town near the Grange. Each artist is mentioned in the list/map, along with the garden they’re “hosting” on the map, so you’ll know where we are once you have the map in hand.

There is a third (new) event lined up, but not until July, at the La Selva Library. The out- and indoor event (our booth will be indoors), Books and Brew’s La Selva Beach Festival will be held on Saturday, 29th of July from 10am-4pm. There will be Arts, Crafts, Books, Plants, Produce & Flowers Sale … in addition to music, food, microbrews, prize drawing & kids’ activities. Again, this will be a new venue for the two of us, so it will be fun to see how well-attended it is.

After that, things quiet down for a couple months—at least for now, then start to heat up again (for me) in late September … on into mid-December. I’ll keep you in the loop if and when any new events pop up … and when the planned ones are happening. Promise.

May this weekend and the upcoming week be blessed—we’ll finally have some warmer weather (yay) to look forward to. Enjoy your week.

 

What’s Up?

Words.
They can be quite fascinating—individually, or bunched together.
A fun little tidbit was brought to my attention by a writer friend. She attributed it to a journalist, Paul Arcand. I copied and posted it to my personal page, but decided to find out if Mr. Arcand was the originator … or if it was one of those bits of trivia “making the rounds” … research is not my forté, but before I share the piece, I thought I’d share my research.

Since Mr. Arcand (on his personal page) did not divulge his source, I was forced to do my own due diligence … and turned to Google for help. I popping the entire piece (I know, I know … I was simply curious if it would give me different results that way) into the search box yielded me several options. I sought out the oldest entry, from 2013. Not all that old, but a start.

It was a Moravia.com link and the article was attributed to Lee Densmer. In her article, she linked another page as the possible origination—Tysknews.com. It linked directly to the piece in question … but there was no clue as to who wrote it. When I got to the end, I saw additional text—much smaller, and outside of the main boxed text.

It made me laugh. “I gave up trying to determine who is responsible for writing this up.” Yup … on that note, I too decided that this was the end of the line for my research. FYI: If you go to each link, you will see that there are minor tweaks to the Tysknews’ version. I made no corrections—simply copied and pasted. (A heads-up: there is some potty humour at the end (insert eye roll … really??)  Unfortunately, in the pasting process, indentations disappeared, but it really does not change the information. So, my dear readers, it is on that same note that I present you with this bit of funny trivia about a singular word:

This is Interesting and funny all at the same time
A reminder that one word in the English language that can be a noun, verb, adjective, adverb and preposition.
UP Read until the end … You’ll laugh.
This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is ‘UP.’ It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv.], [prep.], [adj.], [n] or [v].
It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?
At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.
At other times, this little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.
To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.
And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.
We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.
If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, the earth soaks it UP. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now . . . My time is UP!
Oh . . . One more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?
U P ! Did that one crack you UP? Don’t screw UP. Send this on to everyone you look UP in your address book . . . Or not . . . it’s UP to you.
Now I’ll shut UP!

So … on that note, I wish all of you a blessed Friday, weekend and upcoming week. May serendipity reign supreme …

Indecision …

I DO NOT WEAR INDECISION WELL … no, not at all. I don’t like seeing indecision in others, but even more so, I truly hate being the indecisive one. Yet, that is exactly what I’m about this month, it seems. I find myself still researching when I should be focused on more important things … sigh—like editing, writing, playing with my camera and creating art.

I know I said I wasn’t going to move … I was going to stay put in my little corner of paradise. Then an offer was dangled in front of my nose, making that decision difficult to keep. I keep doing the math … and say no, but I think of all the non-financial benefits … and scream yes! It’s the one place I love—close to Open Ground Studios, which means I’d be there more frequently (which thrills me!) … plus I’d have a garden to tinker in near by (not at the community I’m considering, but at my daughter’s home). It would mean very little housework, no yard to maintain … just a little patio for a few plants.

I keep expanding my search … and keep coming up with options that are out of my financial realm. If I qualified for assisted living, I could manage it—but who, in their right mind would wish that upon themselves. I am able and capable. And I’m hoping to stay that way for quite some time.

So, though I’m waiting on a reply to an email (answering questions that will put the final nail in the coffin, sealing it off from further investigation—at least for the present), I really have decided to stay in my home. I’ll be making long overdue improvements, painting the whole house (interior), and hiring a groundskeeper (aka: gardener) to tame my yard somewhat. I like it wild, but I absolutely must get rid of the poison oak once and for all. Also, I want to cut some trails (lay some gravel in the paths) in the upper hillside so I can meander, getting some good exercise in without leaving the yard. I’ll make some repairs and upgrades to outbuildings. All for me … but it will also make some good selling points when I do finally need to move out. Maybe I’ll even hire a housekeeper so I can keep the house dust-free, alleviating me of my worst allergen–dust (I am an awful housekeeper. I’d rather be gardening—even editing, rather than trying to clean house).

Funny thing is, I always thought I couldn’t afford those things—the gardener and housekeeper. But after looking at the huge outlay of funds for an apartment in a seniors community … well, it’s a drop in the bucket. It’s still a chunk of money and I’ll need to cut a few things out of my budget to feel comfortable about the added expense, but it will be better than moving into the seniors community (I’ll still have to cook for myself … bummer, right? Insert sheepish grin here).

I’ll eventually make that transition—doing a mega-downsizing, but for now, the plan is to clean up the long-neglected yard and house, get rid of things I have no use for (I’ve been reading articles about all those precious things we keep, to hand down to our children—turns out they don’t want them—so, I’ll check with my daughter to see if there are any items she wants to hang on to) … and begin living as a minimalist in terms of possessions. It’s been a goal of mine for a very long time. It will be nice to have finally achieved it.

With the weight and pressure of “needing to” move gone, I’m back to enjoying life. I’m still working towards purging useless things from my life and I’ve found a renewed appreciation for the beauty of my little corner of paradise. My creative mind seems to be on the move, which excites me. Ideas for the yard—simple but eye catching (for resale)—and the house … and my WIPs are finally begging (should I say pleading?) for attention.

Sniggle … I think I need a schedule so I can juggle all this creativity—a nice problem to have, don’t you think?

My dear readers, I hope your life is filled with blessings and joy that require a little juggling, to keep you buoyed up during the crazy times that creep in trying to pull you under.

Until next week, have a blessed Friday and weekend!

Spring … A Time of New Beginnings

AAAH. SPRING IS HERE AND, ooooh, I’m loving it! Flowers are in bloom, trees are leafing out–brand spankin’ new green growth. And there’s pollen everywhere. Yellow stuff from the pines and oaks

Pollen Abounds

My poor cars … this is my *red* truck’s tonneau, but the whole thing is covered in pollen.

cover my car, the driveway and any relatively flat surface.

My allergies … oooh, they just love this time of year (not). They act up 24/7 … 365 days of the year, but spring is a special time. Sneezing, coughing, puffy and itchy eyes dominate—even with my allergy meds. Ugh. But, because it is such a beautiful time of renewal, I ignore my symptoms as much as possible, throw aside all caution (well … mostly) and revel in the celebration of fresh, vibrant colours and new life that abounds.

Then, there’s the new “batch” of babies–birds,Curious Fawn fawns, chicks … I cannot believe how blessed I am to see all of these things–or have friends that share their precious finds. I live in such an amazing place where I can see ocean, meadows, rolling hills and mountains–all within an hours drive. I can enjoy old and new facades sharing space together–there are three or more California missions within that hours drive plus many historic Birds and Wavesbuildings on the Monterey Peninsula; lakes, rivers and streams that haven’t run much in the last five years because of our drought are now refreshed with the heavy rains and a delight to look at, walk or swim in or boat upon. Lake El Estero, which borders on Dennis the Menace Park Spring Flowers Caterpiller on Lilac(once was a very cool park … until they started—one by one—removing the coolest of the structures for safety’s sake. And the statue of Dennis was stolen!), has paddle boats that I might have to try out–haven’t been on one since my husband, young daughter and I had adventures … so long ago. This Monterey County area holds so many memories … it really is wonderful–my little paradise.

Time for the new beginnings. Just as the first of the year is the traditional time to make “promises of change” (aka: New Year resolutions), I find spring a wonderful time to begin anew in my artistic pursuits–photography (with all that entails), Paper-folding Art Calligraphy Practice Calligraphyart in its many forms—including classes and workshops at Open Ground Studios, gardening (creative ideas to make my yard fun) and writing–since my energy levels are naturally higher Writing ... Editing ...(sniggle … along with my allergies–sigh). My mind is beginning to reel with ideas which gets me excited now, if I can keep the energy high for a while, whilst I wait to I get my body back in shape. Write … right? … and edit!

May this day … this week, and this glorious month have delightful, blessed surprises for you around each corner. Cheers!