Monday, August 25, 2008

Soul Journaling

I've mentioned before that I wanted to make more of an effort to create an art journal for sharing thoughts and images. While wandering the other day I visited one of my usual haunts, 3rdEyeMuse. Found this blog during the One World One Heart Event earlier this year. Lo and behold - she's been working on a Soul Journal as led by Sara Whitmire. So I just tripped over to Caspiana to see what it was all about. Rather than viewing this as a day late and a dollar short, I do believe that I am right on time. No reason I can't just start at day one and work forward! Once I complete the 25 days or so she will get us started out with, I plan to continue on and journal on a regular basis.

Picked up the supplies we needed that I didn't already have on hand (HA! Art supplies I didn't have - what a hoot!) I think that the most challenging thing about this process will be the use of book pages as a base for the art process. I have always held a special fondness for books (so can't imagine getting a kindle...) I love the smell of the paper and the ink, the feel of the pages, the weight of them. Not to mention that books have so often been destroyed for the wrong reasons and so many with a desire to read don't have access to books. I appreciate that I have seeming unlimited access to them. I found a book store in the neighborhood I where I work which is sadly closing down. They are practically giving away used books... found a lovely Latin~English dictionary missing the cover and first section which will do nicely, as well as a few other books who I want to offer a new life... we'll see how it goes!

and now I'm ready to fill the blank pages of my new fire engine red journal...

This ties in nicely with d'Blogala's Art Journal Fridays recently discovered, where-in Dawn provides the thought she's pondering that week to muse over. I may join in on some of the fun over at Michelle Ward's place too. Always something perking there. Eventually I'm sure I'll come up with ideas and directions on my own - but it's fun to play with friends! Watch in the near future for my Art Journal Debut!

Do you know of other blogs that provide journal prompts and such for exploration?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The View From Row K

So before I wandered off in my Twilight Saga induced stupor (I've finished reading them by the way - highly recommended!) The weekend of the sixteenth we went for a typical American Family Outing: The Heavy Metal Concert! The husband, the boy, and I went with friends to Pennsylvania to see The Metal Masters.


Heaven & Hell,

I'm sure Tony is looking for me in this one...

Did you know Ronnie James Dio once kissed me on the top of the head? I was sitting down at the time...

...and Judas Priest. (I'm pretty sure that Glenn Tipton and I are cousins on my mom's side - but he looked at me kinda stalker-feared when I mentioned it... wonder why? Who wouldn't want me for a cousin?)

The new cell phone takes much better snaps than the old one - but there is still much room for improvement!

Isn't that living the American Dream - Head banging with your loved ones? At least it is at our house! A swell time was had by all.

And it was even a full moon!

Stay tuned for Alice Cooper next...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

On the Pipe

Yes... I succumbed to the peer pressure. I'm chasing the dragon.... smoking that crack.... got the chronic. What ever! Call it what you want. Head spinning - no sleeping. (Still have to work though...)

Why did no one tell me of these books sooner? Must have been protecting me from myself.

If you're still uninformed as I was... I'm talking about the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer. Read them - or not. All I care about is finishing this post so I can go back to book two...

I'll be reading now, see you when I come up for air!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hog 54 Where Are You?!

ILLINOIS HOG CALLER [listen to the original radio broadcast for an interview concerning this historic event at the AS IT HAPPENS website]

If the movie Deliverance has taught us anything, it's that when someone tells you to "squeal like a pig", you should head for the hills. Or rather, the city. But one woman, whom one hopes has never seen that film, took that order as a challenge -- and headed for the stage.

This weekend, Doris Probst became the first woman to win the hog-calling contest at the Illinois State Fair. We reached her in Bishop Creek, Illinois...

One of the joys of summer... hog calling! Not sure why it holds such a fascination for me but it does. A secret desire to own livestock? Not likely. My recessive hill genes? Maybe. Most likely it is from memories of childhood. We would travel to the Pumpkin Festival in Circleville Ohio. Now there's a fun trip! Pumpkins big as a house, an even bigger pumpkin pie, and pumpkin flavored delicacies of every kind. The evening festivities centered around the pie eating contest and the hog calling. I always tried to "Look hungry" like the nice man said... but never got picked from the audience for the pie eating contest. Maybe I can convince the husband to go this year. What a blast!

So congratulations to Doris - you rock ma'am! The rest of us womenfolk are seriously proud!

No actual hog calling for the folks in my family... but we do have some 4H kids! And my sister is quite a prolific ribbon winner in the baking, canning, and other home arts categories in Franklin County. I also have a ribbon or two to my credit from years past. Just haven't quite got it together enough to enter in Cuyahoga County yet... maybe next year.

We do have quite a lovely fair here in my new county - the snaps below are from our visit last year. The husband does enjoy the midway games and insists on demonstrating his manly skills at prize winning. I love to see the exhibits. There are so many things I fear we will lose from our culture as the farm and home arts in particular are phased out of our lives. So glad many folks still enjoy them! Speaking of enjoying, there is nothing like the food at the fair. "I'd like a steak on a stick and funnel cake please!" Wish I lived in Wisconsin - I hear the fried cheese curds are to die for!

I hope that you too will be able to visit your local fairs and festivals while it is the season. And may the arts of Animal Husbandry, Farming, Canning, Knitting, and of course Hog Calling live on for many generations to come!

have I mentioned lately that I love the Mosaic Maker from Big Huge Labs?

Friday, August 8, 2008


The Son called promptly at 12:01 am as I was drifting off to sleep last night... waking up The Husband who quickly said "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" thereby beating The Son to the punch. But The Son did get to sing "Happy Birthday, Dear Mommy" to me so it was all good. (But please don't tell the copyright people - I don't want him fined!)

Yes! It is that time again!

08-08-08 a very auspicious day.

My original intention was to spend my birthday at the spa and have a big, blow out, red carpet, champagne bash to celebrate the occasion tonight. After all - there are only twelve days a millennium when you get an opportunity like this. Ask the Chinese - just how stoked are they that the Olympics they wanted so badly would fall on my birthday? I'm pretty sure that they dedicated the massive three hundred million dollar opening ceremony and fireworks display to me this morning, but my Chinese is a bit rusty. Alas, my own extravagant bash was not meant to be, so it was good that they were kind enough to do this for me. Instead, I spent the day working and doing the usual things. I guess that is fine. After all, what is life but a series of small moments? I really need to recognize them more.

Our good friends Tim and Donna had us over last weekend for a small but festive gathering in my honor. Tim even hung the awesome lights you see above so it would be extra special. It was very much wonderful guys... but not as special as you all are! I was sad that my old friend and roommate Mary, who is also Donna's sister, couldn't be there that night too since it is also her Birthday today. We haven't been able to celebrate together since 1991. Maybe next year?

I've been thinking a bit about how to spend my birthday money, That and some of the things happenings around Bloglandia these days.

Item One: The release of "Life is a Verb" by Patti Digh of 37 Days. I very much plan to take my birthday money and spend it on this book. I need an injection of strength and focus lately and I think that this might just do it. Patti's blog features living intentionally: making every day count, celebrating every triumph no matter how small, and making sure that those you love are supported and recognized. Check it out her book - it sounds marvelous!

Item Two: The creation of "Love Squared". I need to get a hold of some chances to win her! This beautiful doll has been a collaboration of so many wonderful people, many of whom have blogs I read on a regular basis. She was pioneered by Monica Magness over at Girl Gone Thread Wild And all for a good cause... As this post will drop down, I've put a link on the side bar as well.

Item Three: An area I keep trying to branch into is art journaling. I can't wait to get a copy of "1000 Journal Pages" gathered by Dawn DeVries Sokol. Again, many of the bloggers I read are in here and they are all an inspiration.

Item Four: I need to find some pink socks and send them to Michelle Ward. Her sister recently lost her 40 year battle with Cystic Fibrosis and she is waging a campaign to bring awareness, friendship, and warmth. Please check out her blog and help if you can.

Item Five: If there are any pennies left... I would selfishly like some more beads to play with. I discovered the bead aisle at Michael's this week. Could be very dangerous! I'm really enjoying this jewelry design thing and can't wait to play again soon.

You may remember that my birthday is also my blogiversary. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to stop in and say hello over the last year. Especially to those who came back a second time! May each and everyone of you find your own peace and happiness today as well.

So I wonder what the next year will bring? I'll keep you posted!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Miss you little girl

"She asked me why the kitten's name was Alice. I said, listen baby... you really wouldn't understand!" ~ Alice Cooper: Be My Lover (slightly paraphrased)

I've posted about our boy cat Geezer, but not much about his sister Alice. Her name was to be Eloise, but The Husband said that was a silly name and said she should be called Alice Cooper. (Noticing a rock 'n roll naming theme here? Recognize the paraphrased song lyrics in the header?) I compromised and made Eloise her middle name. Alice Eloise Cooper Macko. Tiny kitten - long name.

When Alice came to me five years ago, I was recently married, living apart from my husband, and with a very typical (read: grumpy, argumentative, and only moderately well behaved) teenage son. I was kind of a lonely wreck and She was my best buddy. Few things were so special as my relationship with this kitten. For those of you who know what I mean when I say this - we talked to each other on a regular basis. And she understood me.

Went to the pet store with no intention of bringing home a cat. After all they were not allowed in my apartment building! I've never had a furry creature at my house. (Have I mentioned that I'm highly allergic to cats?) We went in for fish I think. But she looked at me and YELLED: "Hey! You! Lady! You need to take me home. Now! I'm only here in this this stupid store for you! I'm a gift from someone up there in charge who knows we need each other!" I managed to escape the store... but came back the next night. By night three, against all better judgment, I brought her home.

She. Picked. Me.

She was a blessing in so many ways. I can't even tell you.

Somehow when I moved to be with John, I allowed her to go and stay with John's aunt. She was an excellent foster parent by the way. It seemed that brother cat Geezer was too delicate with his medical conditions and neurosis to have his sister in the house. To be honest - we didn't even try to see if they might accept each other. It was assumed that it would be a disaster. And John and Geezer were there first. Before she ever came to me. I will never forgive myself for losing something so precious. It isn't fair to have to chose between your Husband and your cat. Your husband should ALWAYS be your choice. But it isn't fair.

That weekend, I moved from the home in which my son and I had spend the last eleven years, he went to a college dorm, I moved in with my husband and mother-in-law, I started a new job, and I gave away my best friend the cat. Honestly I haven't been the same since.

I'm sure she never understood where the world I went or why she had to go away. Baby girl, you never did anything wrong.

I couldn't bring myself to visit her - John even had to take her over to her new home while I was at work. In retrospect this was a huge mistake. Never give away time with something or someone you love because it might be uncomfortable.

Upon returning from my trip to St Louis, John had to let me know that she had become very ill and didn't survive. Bless his heart, I know he's never had to do anything harder in our relationship than to tell me that.

I've been in tears every day since. There is so much bundled with my sorrow in her passing, I can't even sort it all out. But I do need to work through it, so I'm telling you folks so that maybe it will have less power.

At least that's the plan.

We'll see if it works.