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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

My bead pal, Jean Yates, sent me an e-postcard this morning. Grab your broom and fly over to this great website and send all your friends Antique Hallowe'en Postcards! I love Halloween. I even worked extra hard yesterday so I could take off early today to go see all the Taos kids in costume, trick-or-treating on the plaza. I'll bring my camera. Have a Jolly Halloween everybody!

Monday, October 30, 2006


This is a funny little side note to my morning... I was sitting at the table with my coffee, reading French Word A Day on the laptop, and I turned to Lucy (our dog), and said, "bonjour!". She cocked her head and looked sort of hopeful and happy. But when I turned my attention back to my email, she started her funny dog-talk thing. It was something like "roooOwww-ohhh", which generally means she has something on her mind. I thought she was confused because I was at the table, and not on the couch with Rick, where she expected me to be. Maybe she wanted me do go where I belonged and behave in a normal morning sort of way. She kept talking. I kept misinterpreting. Finally I realized that to Lucy, bonjour meant bone-jour. She normally gets a rawhide bone in the evenings, but I'd offered her a bone jour - a day bone, and yes please, she really did want one. Apparently, we have a French-speaking dog!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Food for thought...

After weeks of failed attempts to get together with pals Karena and Jill(and Jill's new amour, Keith)we finally got them all together here last night. The tamale pie was not quite right, but the company and conversation were so good, I don't think anyone noticed much. Lots of chattery catching up at first, and then it all turned to Keith, who we only knew a little bit about. He's an artist, has been a park ranger, spent lots of time at the Grand Canyon, and also just happens to be one of the founders of Food Not Bombs, back in 1980. He's a real live peace activist, and has been arrested many times, beaten and tortured (yes, really) at the hands of US officials, and imprisoned - all because he gives people food. I won't go into too much of it here, but you can check him out for yourself at Food Not Bombs, and Keith McHenry. What I know is this is a guy with strong convictions, and a true calling to do good in the world. He feeds people. Peacefully. And the US government sees him as a threat... silly creatures. One example is Hurricane Katrina. While the Red Cross was hauling in enormous amounts of donation money, and making excuses, Keith was on the phone, rounding up food, and personally distributing it to the people of New Orleans from his blue bus. Soon the Red Cross was giving people the Food Not Bombs toll free number when they called asking for assistance... Keith is like Gandhi with a cell phone and the organizational skills of the royal wedding planner. He makes things happen, and makes no money doing it. I think he's as close to a holy man as I'm ever likely to meet. After all he's been through, he continues his work, with a totally peaceful attitude and a twinkle in his eye. Want to help him? I know I do. But most of us aren't activists. I've never been to a peace demonstration, never gone along with the local Taos folks who march at Donald Rumsfeld's home here, and I'm quite sure I'm not going to volunteer to get arrested and tortured. But our money talks. Where we spend it has great power. Keith has an easy way for us to help Food Not Bombs continue its work for peace and justice all over the world. Check out the website. See what they're about, and then click on the A Dollar For Peace link. One dollar makes a difference. Everyone can do something...

Now if you still want to know about my tamale pie, I'll tell you!
I started with an old recipe from my childhood friend Luann (thanks Lu!). It called for two pounds of ground beef, which is not what we vegetarians tend to eat, so I made a mixture of onions, zucchini, yellow squash, rice, beans, nuts, olives, corn, and tomatoes to replace the meat. I mixed in red chile sauce and cornmeal, and stirred in some beer to keep it from getting too thick. Then I layered it in a baking pan with lots of cheese... and that's where I should have stopped. I made the mistake of adding a cornmeal topping that came out too dry. Should have just added more cheese on top and baked the thing. It was tasty except for the topping. So there you go. You're on your own with this one. You can probably tweak it to make it better. If you do, please leave us some notes in the comments area!
Food Not Bombs, my friends! Carry on!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I woke up late this morning. Darn! Too late to go out and see the balloons launch. But I did see them from my window, the minute I woke up. It's like they were saying - Hey! Get up! Look at this gorgeous day! If you look closely, you can see them way out there by the mountains... (I think if you click on the pictures they get bigger. I don't know... try it!)
...but that was too far away for me, so I threw on my bathrobe and walked down the driveway, and a little ways up the street. Surely the neighbors are used to me by now...
... I zoomed the camera in so I could show you what I saw. Yes, it's a very small balloon "rally", but still... it's a small town, and we like our small events. They're flying again tomorrow morning if the weather holds. I'm hoping for just the slightest breeze to blow them over our house. Wonder what the goats would think of that? I remember the ranchers in Nevada would get pretty upset if balloons flew too low over the cows... poor dears would get freaked out and stop giving milk!
We're having some friends over for dinner tonight. Folks we haven't seen for months, even though we all live here. The busy travel season is over, and now it's that social time of year. We have something going on about every other night next week. I don't know how I'll get my work done too, but I always manage. Tonight I'm cooking. A rare event all by itself! I have a loosely formed recipe in my head for veggie tamale pie. I'm usually a good spontaneous cook, so I'll keep track of what I'm doing, and give you the "recipe" later.

Have a good weekend! Might as well!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Snow on the pumpkin...

Did you hear about the big storm in Denver yesterday? Maybe you saw it first-hand, hopefully from your living room, sitting by the fire, with a nice cuppa hot something in hand. We got a bit of the storm here. We're about a 5 hour drive from Denver, but only 40 minutes from the Colorado border, so we get some of that Rocky Mountain weather now and then. The picture on the top is my view from the torch. It was snowing pretty hard, but didn't pile up much. I actually abandoned a lovely purple stringer-in-progress to grab my camera and get these pictures. I'm a sucker for early snow. Purple stringer happens every day. You can see in the pic on the bottom that there are still a lot of leaves on some of the trees. And there's my pumpkin, guarding the studio from monsters. I don't carve them anymore. No little kids around to insist on that messy project, and a whole pumpkin lasts longer than a cut one. Later, when it starts to get mushy, I'll let the goats eat it.

This morning the storm has passed, and we have a gorgeous, crystal day. The Taos Mountain Balloon Rally is scheduled for this weekend, and I saw a few balloons in town when I looked out earlier. We almost lost our little balloon event this year, so it's good to see that people cared about it enough to gather together and keep it going. We might go out there early tomorrow and join the happy frozen photographers. I used to have balloonist friends in Nevada. We spent a lot of popsicle-toes mornings out there, setting up, chasing, and sometimes getting a ride. There's nothing like it. It feels to me a lot like church feels to some people. Beautiful and calming and somehow centering. And sometimes you get champagne afterwards! We never had that at Saint Christopher's!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

An early BOO...

Halloween is sneakin' right up on us. I don't know how much I'll participate this year. I usually like to dress as my favorite "witch" - a sort of modified Mary Poppins , anything from drapey velvet Stevie Nicks duds to striped socks, to loads of gypsy beads and skeletons, with a big black hat, and bright pink shoes with bows on them. Those were my wedding shoes. Really.... But I'm tired this year - or at least this week. It's like I finally let myself relax after Rick got home, and now I'm just exhausted from holding on so tight for two weeks. What a whiney baby! I have nothing to complain about, but still, tired is tired...

I cleaned out my closet yesterday, in preparation for the arrival of our new bed. Yes, the closet needed to be cleaned, along with the dresser drawers, nightstand, and very scary, dusty, under-the-old-bed. The new one is low, with no room for under-bed storage. I'm good with that, as I've read that it's bad
feng shui to stash your junk under your bed. But moving it out of there meant it had to go someplace... much of it went to the thrift store, some to the kids, and some to the closet... And that's how I know exactly what's available for Halloween Costuming. Lots actually. So if I happen to snap out of it by next Tuesday, I'll be a very well-dressed witch. I know where my striped socks are, and I even have some very stylish nylon "tattoo sleeves" to pull on for extra warmth and shock value. Here's something you might not guess about me. I love tattoos. I have two of them, although I'm the first to admit they are rather small and timid tattoos. I'm working up to a great big lotus or something for my 50th birthday, if I can find a patch of skin that's not too likely to fall to earth in the very near future. That will make three, and most likely enough eternal ink on me...

How to tie this all together? I can't. As I said, I'm tired. But I'll tell you one more secret. I sat here to do the blog thing, with no idea what to write, and I'm please to note that the mere act of fingers on keyboard seems to conjure up a kind of writing magic. Words come out, almost on their own. Maybe it's the season, when the veil between the worlds is thin. And maybe it's simply the reason the real writers of the world tell us to "just write, just write, just write..."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Frosted Goatberries...

...not for breafast! I'm up too early. The sun is still behind the mountains. But I can already tell it's a clear, cold morning, with a thick coating of frost on everything that's standing still... The goats are warm in their little cabin, but their yard is frozen and slippery... including the scattering of "berries" they leave everywhere they go. What great compost they make for us! Rick has been at work out there the last couple of days, raking things up and making nice covered piles of poopy straw - away from windows and neighbors - to simmer until spring. That's one of his jobs I didn't bother with while he was away. A girl has to have limits...

We're getting back into our old routines here, but with a few minor changes. It's surprising to me how quickly I got used to doing things my own way. So we're negotiating a few things. I like a tidy, clutter-free house. Not all pinched up and spotless. Just not like we have bears living with us. It's calmer that way. Everyone is happier, and somehow smoother when living space is cared for just a little bit. So clutter is banished...except in the office... it has to have someplace to hang out, kind of like teenagers.

The other big thing is we need a new bed. It's all clear to me now. I thought my tendency toward insomnia was just because I'm getting close to 50... hormones going whacko, menopause at my doorstep, all that fun stuff. As it turns out, it's really because two big people can't stretch out and be comfortable in a too-small bed. I slept like a baby while Rick was gone, but now that he's home I'm awake half the night and up much too early... Duh! We're going out this morning to buy a puffy new king size mattress. Soon I will be much more cheerful.

Sun's up. Time to get it all moving. Enjoy your day...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My boyfriend's back!

Rick got home Friday evening. Happy me! He was gone for two weeks, and that was a little too long. OK - a lot too long. I missed my sweetie!
We have a "rule" in our family - the one who goes on vacation has to bring back presents. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, but it has to be something. Look what he brought me... Rocks! Look closer... heart shaped rocks!!! He found them on a beach in Oregon. A beach covered with flat, smooth rocks, perfect skipping stones. He took his time and gathered only hearts shaped ones... That's a romantic guy in my book!So we're just enjoying a semi-quiet weekend at home. Lauren and her friend Kristi are here for a quick visit, and Lauren's Very Nice Boyfriend, Tyler dropped in for breakfast. (We love him. He does dishes, and he's good to Lauren.) The girls got here at a good time to help me catch up on a little work I've let slip while I was here alone. So much to do! But Kappas are great helpers, so I put them to work in the studio, sorting things out for me. All better now!
We'll have a little stretch of time to do nothing before our other daughter, Julia, her sweetie, Rick (another Rick - it's a little confusing!), and his son, Jake come over for dinner.

OK, so it's not a quiet weekend at all, but it's normal, and nice, and good to have all of us gathered together again. Sort of feels like Thanksgiving, but no pressure to cook Big Food, or to make it special... it's special all by itself.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I think it's winter

Only a few short weeks ago I remember thinking, uh ohhhh, feels like fall. Even though the leaves are still on a lot of the trees, yesterday the air took another sharp turn, and bit through my clothes, letting me know winter is right around the corner. In years past I might have freaked out and tried to fight it. Ridiculous to argue with weather. It does what it wants. So this time I zipped up my sweatshirt and calmly went out to hang a blanket over the goats' doorway. They like their little house, and huddled together in there, they create a lot of heat. I just thought it would be nice to keep as much of that heat inside as possible. They're so funny. You know, you really can't keep a goat from going where it wants to go, any more than you can keep winter from happening... but for about five minutes after I put that blanket up, they were totally stumped. They ran up to it and stopped in their muddy tracks, as if it were a brick wall. Finally Sam, the runt, the "special" goat, the Holy Goat, we call him... Sam was the one to figure it out. Now they run in and out of there, blindly trusting that they won't bang into anything scary on the other side. Smart goaties. That's the way to handle winter... Trust it. Wander right through it. On the other side is spring.

By the time I got all my beads made, took care of the animals, answered a few phone calls and emails, and thought about my own dinner and evening plans, it was 9:00 already. So I had a little Here Comes Winter Celebration. I brought in some fire wood, split it for kindling, sliced up some peasanty bread and good cheese, opened a bottle of red, built a fire in the kiva fireplace, and then sat down to relax and read a book. No music, no TV. Just a nice little evening in my favorite room. The dining room. Not my favorite because of the dining part, but because it's a cozy little adobe room with curved walls, big windows, a soft little couch, and the welcoming fireplace. We heat the whole house with wood. The stove in the living room is the real heat, but we have two of these small, traditional kivas that warm my soul more than they warm the room. This is how I want to spend the winter. I'll even move over and let Rick sit with me. He'll be home tomorrow! Hooray on so many levels! One of them... he'll split the wood and build the fire... life is good.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

a quick buenos dias!

I'm running late this morning, so no time for a lot of chatter... I just want to thank all of you who have been checking in, reading my postcards, and leaving comments. Wow! I'm thrilled to my toes to know you're out there! I think it would be cool if this became sort of a community where you continue conversations I've started. Please keep leaving your thoughts in the comments section. Talk to each other. You're all such great people! I removed the email option so you'd talk to the world and not just me. But of course if you need a reply, or have something you'd rather not say to the whole world, do drop me an email! The Secret Beadist Emaill Address won't be posted online, but you have it if you're on my mailing list. Otherwise, use the link in my profile or on my website.
Time to feed the goats!
Carry on!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom

I remember the day my Dad took this picture. Mom wasn't thrilled to be sitting in the icy river, but damn, she was beautiful, wasn't she? Today would have been her 72nd birthday. I suspect that the Beautiful Mom in these pictures would have been appalled by that. She was only 55 when she died in 1990, and I don't think she was liking the idea of aging. It's hard to watch one's own pink bikini beauty slip downstream. I'm looking in that same mirror, but I think those of us who are hitting our 50's now have an easier time of it. There isn't quite the same level of pressure to remain Hot For Life as there once was. We can say, naaahhh to the myth of youthful perfection, trading it in for more substance, less glamour. And yet... we also have better face creams that keep us smoother longer... While I like to think how I see the world is more important than how I look to it, I'm still a sucker for Hope In A Jar...

Look at her hands in the picture above. As I type this, I keep seeing an already-older version of those hands sticking out of my bathrobe sleeves. She almost looks like she's typing on the water. This cracks me up. It's like a little neener-neener message from the other side... The one thing Mom begged me for years to do was to learn to type. Being a teenager in the 70's, I resisted, rebelled, refused... I'll bet she's laughing her head off now, watching me flapping around the keyboard, slow and clumsy, loads of mistakes. I can admit it now... she was right about the typing. But maybe more important things were passed from her hands to mine. She was artistic and creative, and always making something wonderful, from food to paintings, to clothes for her three girls. I like to think that I got Mom's creative hands, and Dad's sturdy, stable, practical feet. Everything in between is mine, but the two of them gave me what I needed to keep my balance while creating a life that suits me.
This funny hat picture was probably taken that same summer. The little girl turning to look at the camera is my sister, Linda. The slender hip poking out of the right side of the photo is me. I barely remember living in that skin, but I cherish the proof that I once looked like that! We spent several summers at Royal Pines Lake Club, near Yuba City, California. It wasn't fancy. Just a bunch of moms and kids and trailers. The dads were gone all week, working, while we got to hang out at the lake and play. Doesn't seem fair now, but it was so much fun. I remember this as the Best Summer Of My Life - the summer to compare all others to. I don't know if it was that for Mom too, but I think she had a pretty good time. She had friends there, and they sat around at night, playing cards, drinking, laughing. Lots of laughing. Happy times.

Here's to Mom! Happy Birthday Tessie!
I'm catching up - we're almost the same age now, but still... she'll always be the mom, and I'll always hope she's sitting on a beach somewhere, looking beautiful, and knowing her kids are happy, and finally got a few things right.

Monday, October 16, 2006

and who might you be?

It's Monday, which means I'm posting beads, which means I have a ton to do, and not a lot of free time for chatting. But as I munch my cinnamon toast this morning (yes, it's as good as you remember), I find myself wondering who reads this, if anyone... It's OK if I'm all alone in here. It's good practice. But if I plan to mention things like Pirate Treasure, I want to know if anyone is listening... So, if you read this, do me a quick little favor please. Click "comments" at the end of this entry, and say something, anything, and leave your name if you want to. Don't send an email - I get too much email already! As always, when I start these little places that invite participation, I'd love to see you join in. Halloooooo? Anybody out there????

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Question of the day...

... I woke up late this morning, to the sound of the goats hollering from across the yard. It was almost 9:00 and they were hungry, poor babies. It's been a long, busy week, and I guess I just needed the extra rest. But as their insistent "blaaaaas" crept into my consciousness, they crossed paths with the question that's probaly going to be stuck in my head all day now. Have I done enough? The obvious, off the top answer, is - Yes, of course. You're exhausted. Enough already... But the real answer is - Yes, for the moment. Take it easy today. Refuel. And then do some more... It's that way on our day to day personal level, and also on a World level. Until everyone has what they need, there's more to do.

I was pretty excited to see Oprah yesterday. Did you watch it? She and uber-cool Bono were out on the town in Chicago, promoting the new RED campaign. It's brilliant. Wish I'd thought of it. Wish I had the clout to make something that big work. But they don't need me, and besides, I'm kind of busy here...

The basics of RED are simple. Several large companies have joined together and created special "RED" products - some are actually red in color, some are not. They're available in the US and the UK, and the cool part is, a big chunk of the proceeds goes to buy medication for people in Africa who can't afford it. Thousands of people will be helped, and all we have to do is what we already do best... shop!

I signed up for the mailing list, so I'll know what's available when. My kids like my beads well enough, but I know they really want the newest, hottest stuff for Christmas and birthdays. I'm shopping RED this year! The kids will have what they want, and my consumer-resistant soul will be soothed by the fact thay we're helping someone else in the process. Win win baby!

Here's the link to RED. (Who doesn't somewhere deep in their heart want a red ipod? I do!)
Red is part of Bono's ONE Campaign To Make Poverty History. I signed the declaration, and now I'm telling you, my friends. I hope you'll sign it too, and let me know. If enough of you join in, I'll order a bunch of the white ONE wristbands and share them with you!

I'm really not some kind of wild-eyed activist. I just do what I can, and know that if we all do a little, some day it will all get done. Some day the answer to the question will be, Yes, I've done enough.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Beadist Pirates on the loose!

Hello Beadists! As captain of the Beadist Ship, I've come up with a plan for the MANY of you who try to jump to the front of the bead line each week. It's a Beadist Pirate Pass. It'll get you "in" to buy beads early, but it isn't free... it requires a Good Deed.
All the details are on the Beadist Pirate Pass page.
This week I'm making extra lovely hearts with flowers drifting inside, as well as tab-shaped flower beads, for those of you who "are't heart people"... I'm a little suspicious of non-heart people, but I won't give up on you!
I'm heading back to the studio now. How many beads are "enough"? HaHa! Never enough!

Carry on!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I need a favor

It'll take less than a minute of your time, and won't cost a penny!

There's a wonderful place in Taos, called the DreamTree Project. It's a transitional living program for youth, which provides a wonderful service for our community, and ultimately reaches far beyond Taos, to wherever these kids find themselves as they follow their lives and their dreams. The reasons for their being at DreamTree are as varied as the young people themselves. But more important than why they're there, is the fact that DreamTree gives them a safe, supportive home where they have responsibility to themselves as well as to the community. They learn skills in all areas of life, and eventually leave DreamTree as competent, caring young people, ready to start their lives and to give something back.

Now for the favor. I'm not asking you to send money! Only to click on your computer and help DreamTree win the Volvo For Life Award. The prize is $50,000 and a shiny new Volvo!

Kim Treiber, co-director and co-founder of DreamTree is nominated for the award. All you have to do is click on her name to vote for her! So here's the link to the voting page. Just check the box next to Kim's name, and click "submit". You can also go to the Volvo Awards main page, then go to New Mexico, and Kim Treiber.

Thank you so much! Hooray for Kim Treiber, DreamTree, Volvo, and YOU!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Beans and tortillas and silver earrings...

It's a good thing I'm not trying to make a living doing silver... I don't like beans and tortillas that much... Back in August, I learned a little bit about silversmithing from my good pal Eleanore MacNish. She's so cool. Gave me two days of her time and even took me shopping to help me filter through all the tools and stuff required to make silver jewelry. Last night I finally got the courage to go out and try something on my own. After two hours of measuring, sawing, filing, shaping, soldering, re-soldering, more shaping and hammering... I have these semi-cool, but rather unwearable earrings. I don't know how to make a hinge, so there isn't enough room to put them on without hurting my ears. I know because I did put them on. Taking them off was even worse! But it's a start. And don't get all excited about my success with the hearts. I didn't make those... Kate McKinnon did, and you can buy them too. They're wonderful!

I'm not going to bag the whole idea of silver. Like knitting, I might never be great at it, but I enjoy the doing. Like I say to friends who tell me they're "stuck" and don't know what to do... You have to do something before you can do something else...

For now, I think I'll go back to bangle bracelets for a while. I'm pretty good at those, and hey - you can never have too many bracelets! Lauren told me she used to secretly call me Jangle Mommy because she could always tell where I was by the sound of my bracelets. Here's a picture of one I made back in August for my friend, Karena's, birthday. The five rings represent the five decades of her life, all separate, but connected and interlocked, part of the whole. She turned 49, which puts her in her 50th year - just like me. It's not the most beautiful piece of jewelry in the world, but it does have sort of a Barbarian Chic, don't you think?
And so, onward... silver, beads, beans... another busy day...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


When I looked out the window this morning, I thought I'd woken up to winter in Japan. I've never been to Japan, but this is how I imagine it. The mountains to the south have incredible depth that can only be seen when the sun is just so, or when they're draped in gauzy clouds like they were this morning. This is my view from my writing table/dining table. It's actually the view from the whole front of the house, which faces south and is almost completely floor-to-ceiling windows for terrific passive solar. We never bother to close the curtains, because the daytime looks like this, and the night time sky is a thick soup of stars. In summer we can even see the milky way. I can't bear to block any of it out, so the neighbors get what they get if they decide to peek across the yard into our windows!I zoomed in on the tops of the hills, and sure enough, that's snow. Oh boy... here we go. Too lazy - and in denial - to build a fire, I closed the bedroom window and found my warm bathrobe in the back of the closet...
Then to cheer myself up, I poured orange juice into a gold-rimmed wine glass, put my buttery toast on a yellow Fiestaware plate, and drank lots of coffee while waiting for the sun to come up over the clouds. It was worth the wait. It was even worth finding my coat for the first time in months and herding the goats over to the other side of the yard so they could eat some of the last leaves and flowers of summer.
Meanwhile, Rick is on the coast of northern California this morning - a place notorious for it's gray skies and endlessly drippy days... But it's sunny there this week, and he's enjoying a beautiful drive up the coast on his way to Seattle. I'm so glad! And looking out the window here once more before heading for the office, it looks like the sun might win today, and melt the snow, and give Taos another bit of Indian Summer.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mandalas to go!

My friend Rae has been designing beautiful mandalas for a while now, and has put together a wonderful website where you can buy her images as cards, book marks, buttons, and more! She even has little greeting card-sized altars - altarcitos - which are perfectly portable and fit almost anywhere you want a beautiful focus for your attention.
Visit her fledgling website at You'll enjoy your time there!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

the right tools for the job...

I had a great day. I try to call Sunday my "day off", but usually get sucked into doing some kind of work related thing... Not today though. I woke up to dark rainy weather, and was actually happy about it. If you know me at all, you know that rainy days generally make me want to crawl in the closet and hide until the sun comes out. I'm like a reverse vampire. I need sun. But today was different. The rain was a good excuse to stay inside and bump around the house, doing whatever I felt like doing from moment to moment. The first thing I did was take my coffee back to bed and read a few pages of Writing Down The Bones. When I read the two little words "writing table", I about jumped through the ceiling. Table! I never thought of a writing TABLE! I'd been thinking desk all this time, and wondering where I was going to fit another designated little space for myself in our already-crowded house. Then I realized that we have this big, beautiful dining table that we don't even like to eat at. I smoothed out the pretty French tablecloth with it's pomegranite pattern all red and cheery, and covered it with my laptop, notebooks, pens, books I'm trying to read, and my dusty deck of tarot cards. I haven't looked at the cards for a long time, but have today's picks sitting in front of me for inspiration. It's not a traditional deck. Those are too creepy for me. This has lovely artwork and names like Playfulness, Comparison, Creativity, and Receptivity. I find a lot of intuitive clues to what's really going on in my own head. The next step is to actually do the writing! I spent this afternoon at a poetry reading and a fashion show, followed by meeting with friends at the Taos Inn. A great time the whole day through. I feel a little guilty having so much fun without Rick. But you know, there's a lot to be said for some time to ourselves now and then. Time to do as we please without compromise or negotiation. I wanted to hang my pajamas in the bathroom this morning, and darn it, I did! I wanted to watch Desperate Housewives tonight and did that too. Then TV was too lame, so here I am, at the end of the day, at my Writing Table, pretending for all I'm worth to be a writer, until maybe someday I actually will be. And the funny thing about this - I ate my cheesy eggs and toast right here at the table this morning, grinning at my writing tools, my computer humming away at my side...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Counting the days...

I mentioned before that Rick was going to Seattle for a family and friends reunion. He's driving, so it will be about a two week trip. That's a long time for us, since we spend almost all of our time together. I could freak out and feel lonely right off the bat, but I've been planning to use the solitary time creatively, and possibly even productively. I have that silversmithing set-up that's been neglected since August ... and a lot of reading that never gets done... and writing. I've been thinking for years that I'd like to be a writer, a serious writer, a consistent writer. Ha! said the Universe and handed me beadmaking instead. No complaints about that, but I still seem to have the tug to write, so maybe I'll start one of those books I've been thinking about...

Natalie Goldberg helped me a lot with the getting started phase, years ago, when I read Writing Down The Bones. I still love it. Still have it in the "to read" stack. Natalie used to live in Taos, and talked about it a lot in her books. She's at least a little bit responsible for our moving here. We looked at Taos because she said she loved it. She didn't steer us wrong.

So here I am, in Taos, a self-imposed recluse for a couple of weeks. I'm not nervous with Lucy here with me... she tries to eat our friends, so I know she wouldn't tolerate intruders. She and the goats and cats are good company. And well, so am I. I just never seem to have time to hang out with me. I'm planning some serious frou-frou spa time here. Mud on my face. Pink toenails. Chick flicks. The works. And still... I miss Rick already, and maybe because I'm counting the days until he comes home, I suddenly came up with the idea to create a calendar for you. Something pretty, beady, download/printable one page at a time, and best of all, free to you! Watch for it in December. Then you can count some days of your own.

Lucy is looking kind of sulky this evening, so I promised her pizza. Maybe she'll let me paint her toenails too...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

the HEART of space

I'm not the only one seeing hearts everywhere. Rick has been lining pathways with river rock, and keeps bringing in heart-shaped rocks in to show me. He also "accidentally" made the paths that connect to the labyrinth into a giant heart. Wonderful! I've gotten email from two of my beadist friends, Deni and Michelle, steering me to this beautiful Heart Nebula...

The website is Astronomy Picture Of The Day, and the heart can be found in the archives for October 3, 2006. Guess what I'm going to make today!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Trajectories Catalog

The Bead Museum and the ISGB have gotten together for a really beautiful bead exhibit that spans the glass bead movement over the last 10 years. We've come a long way! The Trajectories exhibition runs through mid March at the Bead Museum in Glendale, Arizona, and will then go on the road, maybe to a town near you! One of my beads is in the show, which I'm quite pleased about. I'm in excellent company! I got my show catalog in the mail yesterday, and it's just beautiful. Order yours by contacting the Bead Museum. You'll find me on page 28! This is my bead...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Queen Of The Roller Derby

Lauren was in town this weekend, just because she missed us. We had a nice visit, and got really silly and went roller skating last night. It was my idea. I really had to twist some arms to get everyone else to go. I hadn't skated in about 20 years, but back in the day, I was the fastest kid on the block. My mom had gone to school with Ann Calvello, who was the Queen Of The Roller Derby. She told us stories about Ann, and we watched roller derby on TV on Saturdays... man, I really wanted to be in the roller derby too! And even though that window of opportunity has been closed and been stuck shut with layers of old paint for a very long time, I still love to skate. What could be better than wheels on your feet and wind in your hair? The rink here is pretty crummy, with a worn out concrete floor that will soon be iced over for hockey season. It's hard when you fall, so I didn't fall. But poor Rick.... he biffed four times - hard. And he's 6'4", so he has so far to fall. He's napping now. Nothing broken but his pride. Before we go to "Roller Boogie" night again, I think I'll get him some padding. I wonder if there's a Senior Roller Derby circuit I could join...

A note to all Beadists on my NEW mailing list... It's October! My Beadist Anniversary Month! I have a gift for all of you - a Virtual $10 Gift Certificate for each and every one of you. You can use it any time this month, one discount per person, only on beads. It's my way of thanking all of you who have kept me going all this time, and also of encouraging those who still don't own a Kim Miles bead to get one now! Thank you everyone. Without you, I'd still be making pizza for a living!