Archive for November, 2018

Greetings Gentle Readers,

I feel compelled to share the magnificence of the moon last night. The moon was a perfect half; the night air so sharp and crisp the outline of it was almost tangible. I want to say the moon was glowing, that it was shiny, or that it was luminous but no:  The moon was the perfect combination of abalone, precious Mother of Pearl, and crystal; a direct and intense light nearly brittle in its beauty. And this was not just any crystal, like the kind from a ball room chandelier or from the fringe of a flapper’s dress; this was a crystal of a hardness and entrancement that you had just dug for hours in the red and ocher soil then realized what a perfectly rare creation of the Earth you were holding in your palm.

And what draws one to the Night with such an intensity that prudence and forethought are mere wisps to the mind? Why does the night inspire such energy and dramatic desires?  I suppose the greatest question is why insomnia is such a stultifying experience when it would be more of a relief to be able to flitter about in the dark hours than staring at the carpet in a stupor. Then when the sun just starts to climb, regardless of having gamboled through the night, slept like the innocent, or sat counting bricks in the wall, all the body wants to do is tether the starting sunbeam around oneself and sleep curled in warmth and soothing light.  We can all simply claim, of course,  imagination and subconscious cultural cues but for a simple moment give credit to the sweet siren song of the Night and let us long to sleep in the sun.

And so we come to the days before Thanksgiving and the rush for the Holidays starts.  The past four days have been a soggy and pallid time.  The sky has been grey, the sun has been grey, and the majority of the icy snow has melted into a wet mess of cold puddles and dead leaves.  It is just cold enough to need shoes for long walks but not to need scarves and wool socks, yet regardless of the rather dreary landscape there is a lovely hustle and bustle starting.  I went to The Goshen Market Butchers shop today and I am pleased to say that while I had no idea where I was I didn’t get lost going to the market.  For those that know my ability to get lost in my own house, take this as a sign of a Seasonal Miracle.  The butchers had a stream of people coming in and out picking up pre-orders yet still finding time to open doors for each other and to talk amiably.  Sure, the merits of old time cola and gooseberries for cooking are not earth shatteringly important but the congenial human contact is welcome on grey days and during the Thanksgiving season.  There are those folks , deservedly or not, that have no close family, are ostracized from cousins, or simply alone in their own skin: I truly send you my love and sympathy:  If you are able then perhaps you can gather the Earth and Sky about you and create a pocket of comfort and love;  may there be some human warmth from a local dinner or the open doors of a church if the esoteric is not your frame of mind;  those brilliantly rare people who take solitude as comfort may the rhythm of your own heart beat be a sweet sound.  For my dearest Mother, who will not even know this blog exists, I send out to you “Happy Thanksgiving”; we are staying home so enjoy your dinner at the cafe ’cause you don’t have to cook.

Glad tidings for those that do struggle or have struggled with small business: I had two sales from my Etsy site within nine days of each other!! I am not exactly the best self promoter in the world so to have this happen is exciting.   I sell a creative variety of items, trying to appeal to the odd artist and the vintage jewelry enthusiast while keeping prices reasonable enough.  The chase for a bargain and the thrill of the discovery drives me, truly, and then I have all this jewelry and odd finds slowly taking over my cabochon machine.  I hear stories about treasures found at yard sales and even know a dear friend we can call LH that found a ring with a metal detector when all the rest of us found were pop top tabs.  A bead stringing professional I know, JB, a friend I miss working stones and gem shows with, found a malachite necklace for one dollar at the Goodwill.  And once I found a vintage dress from 1940’s Japan for four dollars at a yard sale.  With a wry chuckle I am still waiting to find a lost Monet or forgotten Faberge.

Tonight is comfortably above thirty degrees and our sweet rescue dog Sorcha is sleeping on her pad.  She snores.  Tonight she snores with little huffy wheezes and at other times we can hear her rumbling while we are in the kitchen. My husband just sighs, and I must admit I am glad I am not the only one that snores in this house.  In our past apartment in Chicago we had, to politely put it, upstair neighbors that were immature:  There were times that my semi-truck-lumberjack snoring was my best revenge on them, unfortunately the Hubby had to listen to me also.  You know it is true love when ya’ offer to sleep on the couch and your Darling says “but I can’t sleep if you’re uncomfortable.”  It is also a true sign when your lover still kisses you first thing in the morning and you could swear a chipmunk died in your mouth.

Below is our attention mongering, fur shedding, bacon stealing, absolute lovey of a dog.  And yes I said shedding.


(I must explain that we are in the middle of reorganizing our books and I normally do not allow my modest collection of Greek and Roman classics to be so disorganized.  Organizing books is a serious activity in this household and thanks to Ikea we finally have more shelving than books.)

Tonight is Thanksgiving Night and here it has finally dried out somewhat into a lovely, clear, forty-five degree night.  The Moon is full and as lovely and crystalline as it was when it was in half. We had our lamb and sweet potatoes and the dog is the happiest of us because she will get lamb drippings on her kibble and asparagus tonight.  I am thankful that tonight I was able to go barefoot again across the outside ground and have the Earth under my feet, if only for a half hour or so.  For all those far away and having any hollow thoughts:  We are under the same Moon.

Thank You, Gentle Readers,

Be Well


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Gentle Readers, Greetings,

I might as well start this blog out on Halloween night.  The day has been a sublime treat of overcast sky, easy temperatures, and a soft breeze after last night’s midnight-rain.  The Night is quiet and, how shall I say, gentle.  Now the Darkness will be longer than the Light until the blessings of the Winter Solstice come and the Light begins it’s return.  While the leaves are falling into a soft carpet of gold and red the weather is still warm enough to have my bare feet on the ground.  I must give a sigh and a wry chuckle:  We are in the MidWestern Bible Belt but Halloween decorations are all over and the Husband and I were looking forward to gaggles of costumed trick or treaters tonight, but, last night I was laying still in the bedroom with a migraine and my husband had the porch light off: Our city trick-or-treats the night before Samhain and so we still have two huge bags filled with prime candy.

Back down in the South East several MAGMA die hards went to collect fossils at the Pipsico Camp along the James river and their trip was a blazing success. They found tremendous plates of shells and whale bones melded together by time. Video stories a Dearly Adored shared of the deep embankments not only narrated the excitement and awe of fossils but also showed the richness of the trapped strata on the cliff sides. The driftwood was even worthy of picking up for art and home bound decoration. I had to smile seeing the pictures of piles of fossils and ancient whale bones and then the piece of driftwood on the side: These big men who have lifted seemingly tons of stone in their lifetimes, and helped cary many a bucket of mine, were beguiled by fallen branches.  Even the hardiest Lady RockHound fell to the magic of the river worn wood. While I do feel a small pang of loss for not being there I am very happy for my Beloveds.

With the change of seasons our thoughts often focus on family and the need for cozy comforts. So in a maudlin frame of mind I am wondering why Love is a most painful beauty we can have in our lives. You love someone and the site of them across a room makes your heart beat faster, being near them is a poultice for sorrow, and hugging them closely is a cure for pain and grief.  And the thought of never having any of their thoughts of you or their energy around you is terrifying, like fearing a surreal rigor mortis of the soul. Why do we even want Love? Why do we care so strongly when it will only bring pain? Love is terribly similar to Hope: We hope for Love and love to Hope, both leading us onward in a nearly blind trust that what we experience or what we have is meant to be. And yet Love is the most precious gift one can give or receive. Even Agape Love will help one along in times of sorrow and crises. I have never been a loner, have always wanted to be loved, and having found passionate Love I heartedly wish it for others. I can only be in awe of those people that are fiercely single, enveloping themselves in friendships and the pursuit of finding Life.

This is the fourth or fifth day of overcast rain. It’s a chill rain that is dropping the Autumn leaves like a carpet of yellow and bright orange. During the Summer the sun came through the windows here like spears of light and now even the noon day sun light is a soft grey. My work room used to be blazingly bright once the sun passed the mid point but now that there is Winter rain even this room needs a light bulb. I am fighting off the maudlin blues (reference the above paragraph) by cabbing and have finished 15 more cabochons. The ones I have recently completed have not had their bottoms smoothed off yet but they will.  With all the work and polishing my dop pot has been kept pretty and clean only because I forgot to turn it off over night:  Why yes, Gentle Readers, dopping wax can burn to the bottom of the melting pot. With my migraine defunct memory, I am lucky that it can be scraped out fairly easily. But the cabochons are very exciting and have turned out to have amazing patterns once more revealed by polishing. I even have druzy vugs/pockets and varied shapes.  I tend to make a high domed cabochon with a thicker girdle/edge. I simply must share some of the more exciting ones with you while I fix and re-polish about 4 because I am picky.

The first picture is of several of the cuties together. The second picture shows those patches of metallic shine I find frequently as only speckles in other cabs. Then are two cabs; one with a more boitroidal vug and a B&W with a wicked pattern. The last picture has an oval cabochon with stormy rings of grey and a great ‘button’ cabochon with iron stains like flames that jut up from the edge.

And I also sew!!  Why, yes, my skills are numerous and astounding! (Some tongue in cheek right there, even if my Darling Husband can only agree.) I make thick and very nice jewelry bags from scrap cloth that I get from Freecycle and upholstery stores.  (This silky red back drop above comes from Darn Good Yarn.) Fabric and upholstery book samples are a crafters sweet dream:  The samples are often sorted by color or hue and the squares are all the same size from each book. It is the finding these sample books and upholstery scraps that are a tooth and nail hunt now a days for times have changed and they are no longer given away to the asker. For rainy moments and waiting lines at the DMV, sewing these squares into pouches is a life saver and keeps me off of the phone and computer, well, mostly off of the phone to be honest. It is rather a crafters’ conundrum, though, that I can sew and macrame but wire wrapping just gets my knickers in a twist. Truthfully, I need to try wire wrapping for my cabochons again but I feel rather strongly that any decent pictures will be a while in coming.

And thus I come to the strangeness of success. I have been blessed to become surrounded by talented and artistic friends of many kinds, and their success is from the striving and efforts of entrepreneurs and small business. They have and are pushing hard to be recognized and respected in their chosen fields, and they are accomplishing said task:  Oh how I admire them and am in awe of their abilities. I am told I am talented, artistic, smart, and that my ideas and success will explode (rather like confetti and rainbows together?) yet I am held in stasis like Super Glue to your finger tips. I am in this weary holding pattern due to fear, or course, and identity:  My self identity has been a negative black hole for so long I have trouble identifying as anything else.  There is a real fear of losing ‘who I am’ even though I would be terribly grateful for my self image to improve.  This is the very personal burden I bear:  To live in the now without fearing the unknown future and to see myself as glowingly as my friends do. I share this in the hope that this ‘telling’ will help hold me on my path toward blossoming and to salut with admiration those who are making success part of their reality, part of their life. (And I thank you, oh My Best Beloved, for seeing so much inside of me and wanting it to be outside.)

Some of our mountains have already seen snow while the beaches are still growing citrus; rockhounds in Michigan and Wisconsin are wearing coats and rubber boots while Florida collectors are still river swimming for fossils and coral; artists and crafters all over are turning on lights and warming up basement studios as the glorious Grey grows stronger than the mellow Sun:  Power on and strive my Dearest Ones.

Be Loved and Be Well



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