Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

May 30, 2010


Thought I'd check in with a 'real life' update since I haven't done one for awhile:

Nothin's new. Nada. Nil. Nuffink. Squatski.


OK, just kidding. But nothing really is new. Work's still nuts, trial on Wednesday, boss working all weekend (3-day in the States to observe Memorial Day), my desk will be a horror show on Tuesday. Brian's still trying to find work but it's been almost 2 years now. I have given up on trying to fight the change in everything because this is clearly going to be 'the new normal'. There's no point in fighting it anymore. It's either adapt or die from the stress. That's why I've been a crafting maniac over the past few months. I've probably done more crafts & jewelry making since January than I did in all of 2008 & 2009 combined.

During our last year in Fairfax, when things with the horrid neighbor from hell were hitting a crescendo, I was making complex beaded Christmas ornaments (the kind on the silk balls using pins, sequins, ribbon & beads) like a madwoman. It was the only way I could cope with the miserable 'always-waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop' weekends we endured. I made nearly 20 of them in less than a year. That's how stressed I was. I'd work on them for hours and hours and hours to distract from the dance music she insisted upon blasting all weekend long so that we couldn't even hear the fucking TV. It was either that or find myself arrested for assault because it was getting to that level. So, I figured I'd better throw myself back into crafts to cope w/ the current stress before I find myself in the hospital.

I took Friday off in order to have a 4-day weekend and have tried to make the most of it craft-wise. So far I finished the last 4 pages of a mandala colouring book I started in January, 2009. I did at least 1 to 3 pages per week, every week. I finally got around to shooting all the jewelry that I will list on Etsy and segregating them from pics of my personal necklaces, which are not for sale. Also restrung the last couple of chokers to a longer format. Try as I might, I just cannot get used to be strangled by them. I don't wear turtle necks either. Today I made 10...count 'em....10 necklaces! Mostly of natural stone beads. Unfortunately I forgot the names of some of the stones, but they are coming out pretty good. I have another necklace designed on my board and can't decide if I am too tired to make one more or if I should just do it. When I have a craft ready for assembly, I obsess over it. I'll be thinking about it all night. After the natural stone ones are done, I will delve back into the crystals and sparkly Czech glass that I love so much!!

At least we've been having a fabulously cool and rainy last few days, with more to come. Wednesday's forecast apparently also qualifies as a 'winter storm' because the snow level is dropping, but we won't see any at our house.

Not that I mind, or anything. I'm proud to be a mossback. I figure, the longer it stays cool and cloudy, the shorter the summer. It's bad enough that I have to suffer through the goddamn neverending light this time of year. At least when it's cloudy, it helps dull the brightness, so that you don't walk into the kitchen and have your retinas burned to a crisp. I could not deal with living in Alaska. I'd kill myself if the sun never went down. Many of my most disturbing dreams seem to be set in the middle of the night, yet the sun is up in these dreams, and it creeps me out. I can't imagine actually having the sun up in the middle of the night. Still, it's really hard to keep up with the lawn mowing with weather like this. It took Brian about 4 days in a row to chip away at it, since we really can't afford Mr. Vu's yard service to come here on a weekly basis.

Oh, before I forget, I was visiting over at Silkie Sue's blog yesterday and I encountered one of those Asian language messages in the Comments. I've seen them from time to time around the blogosphere and assumed it was just some stupid spam. And I was right, it's definitely spam. But last night for the first time, I noticed a 'translate' box at the top of my screen. I don't know if that is a new Blogger feature or Google Chrome feature (my preferred browser) or what, but I'd never seen it before. So I clicked on it and and it translated the message to English. My jaw dropped and eyes bugged out as I read an ad for 'Japanese sluts' and other unsavory Japanese-themed hardcore porn. The internet sure is full of a lot of dark places...

I'm still playing on Facebook but not as often. I jettisoned all but 4 games. I still enjoy Pet Pupz the best. Here's my little guy, Sirius' World. I've decorated more since the last time I posted his scene. Sirius turned 2 on April 29, and has a whole bunch of shiny badges for all of the different daily contests & achievements. Ya gotta click on the pic to get the full effect. The brightest stars in the sky form the Canis Major constellation and the Sirius star is the top center brightest one. He's such a cutie. I can't believe how attached I am to a virtual dog.

I am so sad that Dennis Hopper passed away. I have been a fan of his since I was a kid. I remember him being a guest star on a lot of shows, like "Bonanza" among many others. When I was in high school & in love w/ James Dean, I spied Dennis in both "Rebel w/o a Cause" and "Giant". He also had an uncredited bit in the The Monkees Movie, "Head". Of course his big break came with "Easy Rider", which I really enjoy watching till the unexpected and very grim ending. His turn in "Blue Velvet" scared me so bad that I've only seen it once. He was in some of my fave alltime movies like "River's Edge", "Hoosiers" and "Flashback" which if you haven't seen, you MUST. It's just a hilarious and sentimental look back at the late 60's with a cast of thousands. Dennis & Kiefer play off each other really well. Kiefer loved working with him so much, that he asked Dennis to play the uber villain in the first season of "24". "River's Edge" is an excellent movie too, very dark and sinister, yet you find yourself adoring Feck, the one legged, former biker, uber paranoid, pot dealing lowlife who is in love with his girlfriend Ellie. Did I mention that Ellie is a blowup sex doll? Dennis Hopper is one of the only people who could pull off that role. Then he goes on "Saturday Night Live" and spoofs the blow up doll in a very memorable skit.

I knew Dennis was sick and that his death was imminent, so it didn't come as a complete surprise. I was glad they got him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last month. He deserves it. Should've gotten it long ago. R.I.P. Dennis. You were one of my fave actors for nearly 40 years.

And R.I.P. to Gary Coleman too. He was a troubled soul and he's finally at peace. Sad how all 3 kids from "Dif'rent Strokes" had their difficulties transitioning to adulthood. Todd Bridges seems to have his act together now though.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. When I was a kid, there was a parade in downtown Sandwich. I marched it in the first time with my Bluebird Troop when I was about 7. After that I was a spectator for most years, then marched in it again as the color guard for the SHS band. The parade stopped at 2 war memorials & library for the gun salute (blanks of course) and moment of silence/taps. My friend Marybeth's dad was one of the Honor Guard, and she and I would scramble to pick up the warm, spent shells from behind the line. They weren't really good for anything, but we liked picking them up. Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like a hometown parade in smalltown America. It's cool now, but in the 70's.....well, it was just quintessentially American. For one thing half the town was marching or participating in it, the other half were friends & relatives taking pictures of their loved ones.

This is Exit 4 of the Mid-Cape Highway (Rte. 6) in East Sandwich on Memorial Day 1978. Traffic would get backed up 15 or more miles from the Sagamore Bridge, trying to leave after the long weekend. It was a popular past time to go to the overpasses and wave goodbye to the tourists. These poor bastards are 6 miles from the Bridge, and the back up stretches for many miles to the east, well into Barnstable and Yarmouth. Dig those classic gas guzzling American boats.

Memorial Day Parade 1979, Jarves Street, Sandwich. In the top left pic are my friends Sandy, Holly & Lisa, top right is Renee, bottom left is Marybeth, bottom right is the Lions Club and my dad and Uncle Dick are marching w/ them.

The meaning of Memorial Day has been lost with travel plans and mattress sales, but we should take a moment to remember our vets. Here's my dad and Uncle Dick, taken in Yonkers in the 40's.
I'll soon post some pics of my new creations, and all the chokers I restrung, for those of you who haven't seen them posted on Facebook.

Well, I'm going to try and hit the hay somewhat early tonite as I'd like to get up early tomorrow. As much as I love sleeping till 8 or 8:30, I do not want to waste my last precious day off sleeping!! So many crafts, so little time!

May 28, 2010

A Recentish Pic of Me.

Taken in 2005. Now that we have Sagieboo, we need to have new pics taken! The photog is a client, and we went there to have a formal shot taken for Brian's mom's birthday gift. They told us they'd just gotten this amazing tie dye back drop and wanted to use it, and asked us to also dress in our hippie clothes. I spaced on wearing one of my old skirts b/c they are packed away.

May 26, 2010

Pics of me I actually like

I loathe having my pic taken. But I was less self conscious about it in the 80's and here are a couple pics of me I actually like. They were taken in the summer of 1987, at my friend Peggy's condo in Mashpee (the next town over from Sandwich). The party was mostly people who worked at Channel 58 in Hyannis.

My friend Nigel posted this one on Facebook. Left to right are Nikki Atkins, Nigel Atkins, Paul Shea and me. Nikki and Nigel were still dating in '87 and married in the early 90's. I've known Nigel since the summer of 1983 when I worked at radio station WOCB, in Yarmouth. Nigel was the engineer there and also at Channel 58. He's from England and one of my fave people in the world. Nikki had interned at Channel 58 in the summer of 86, which is when I was hired (although I interned there in 1985 too). And from the "small world department", Nikki went to an exclusive boarding school in Western MA with one of my best friends from Sandwich Elementary School, and is best friends with her to this day. Paul also worked at Channel 58 in the advertising dept. He was like a big brother to me. Really great dude.
This is one of my pics from the same party, of Paul & me. The one thing I remember the most about this night is Paul and I talking about how crazy he was about one of the news reporters at 58, Nina. He wanted to know if I thought she'd be interested in him and I was all, "go for it dude!". So he did. And they've been married since the late 80's. Man, I look freakin wasted. I know I was wasted b/c I remember that the hangover I had the next day was in my top 5 worse hangovers ever. My friend Jack & I had Red Sox tickets for the next day up in Boston, and neither of us was in any shape to go. I think I woke up at Noon or later.

Good times.

May 24, 2010

A Touchy Subject and I Make No Apologies for My Opinion

At the risk of pissing off all of my leftie friends, and violating my own policy about not discussing politics or religion, I feel I must speak out about the illegal immigration problem in the USA.

I am catching holy hell from people who I thought were friends, because I happen to support the new law in Arizona. One guy unfriended me from Facebook, then refriended me, then forced an anti-Arizona law email down my throat, and when I tried to enlighten him about the problems in South Africa, not even the illegal immigration issue, he requested that I remove him from my email list. Fine. Removed. And blocked. From both email and Facebook. Fuck off and die asshole. But I digress.

I was having an email chat a couple of weeks ago w/ BBG1, and I told her why I support the new Arizona law. She very astutely pointed out that I'm looking at the issue from a viewpoint that most Americans don't have because I am a first generation American on my dad's side, and a second generation American on my mom's. My family entered through the front door, legally and with appropriate papers and sponsors. OK I know we really can't compare the Immigration Wave of the early 1900's who passed through Ellis Island to the scores of illegals jumping the USA/Mexico border, but I am doing it anyway.

My Italian family came here in 1911, learned to speak English, assimilated quickly to their community in Yonkers, became citizens, worked damn hard and paid taxes. They didn't sneak in and have baby after baby, and then suck off the government year after year. They didn't even want to take handouts during the Great Depression, but did so out of necessity.

My father came from British Guiana, South America. He arrived at age 19, legally, and the first thing he did after receiving his citizenship was join the army and fight with the Allies in WW2, where he was badly injured in Italy and received a Purple Heart. My dad was proud to serve his new country.
My dad, his brother and sister were orphans in BG. Dad was able to sponsor Uncle Frank to come to the USA, where he also became a very successful businessman, in Wisconsin. My Aunt Stella, the eldest, moved from Georgetown, BG to London in the 50's, and then to Windsor, Ontario, Canada in the 60's. The plan was for her to get permission to come to the USA, become a citizen and live with Uncle Frank in Wisconsin. That's why she chose Windsor, because it's right across the river from Detroit, Michigan, and only a day's drive to Milwaukee. Her application for citizenship languished in limbo for a long time. My dad did plumbing work for people who had connections in Washington DC, but despite their best efforts, Aunt Stella was never granted permission to move here as a citizen. She was allowed to visit us of course, but had to return to Canada each time. She met a man in Windsor, and they enjoyed a few years of marital bliss before he died from cancer in the early 70's.
Aunt Stella was diagnosed with colon cancer in the mid-70's. She came to visit us for about 3 weeks in the spring of 1976, but sick as she was, she returned home. Do you know how easy it would have been for Uncle Frank or my dad to have said, "Just stay! Who cares? We were going to take care of you anyway, so just move here and don't worry about it." She could have lived in Uncle Frank's large home, or at my house. However, that was never an option, nor was it ever brought up as a possible option. My father and uncle would not break the law, and my aunt would never ask them to either. Aunt Stella died in early 1977, as a citizen of Canada.

So am I pissed off about the illegals? You bet your bippy I am!! Why should everything be in both English AND Spanish? Why do we allow non-citizens to have babies here and grant the babies citizenship? We have to close that loophole ASAP! Last week, the Everett Police caught a man in the middle of raping a woman. He had been deported back to Mexico FOUR TIMES. What the fuck is he doing here? Now that woman has to go through psychological and emotional trauma, both from being raped (as if that isn't bad enough) and also because the bastard should never have been here. The Mexican gang problems are on the rise, esp. in the border states. Why are illegal immigrants able to have access to welfare? Or have their health care visits paid by the state when my husband can't even get fucking health insurance? And he's an American? I received an email last week from one of my friends, that talked about how Bank of America is giving credit cards to illegal immigrants by waiving the requirement of having a Social Security Number. When an American calls, they request your SSN as additional ID. When an illegal calls and opts for the Spanish language person, no SSN request is made. Um, WHAT THE FUCK? So when those illegal fuckers default on their balances, MY rates go up?

I realize that the new Arizona law is a slippery slope, and reeks of 1930's era Germany, "YOU VILL SHOW US YOUR PAPERS!!" But I don't care. Other people are complaining that it opens the door for racial profiling. Again: Don't care. If you are in my country ILLEGALLY, get the fuck out. Do I care whenever a vanload of illegals perishes in the hot desert during the summer? Not even a teeny, tiny little bit. They want to come to America so bad, but the first thing they do is disrespect the USA by entering illegally??! GET THE FUCK OUT! Go back to Mexico and apply for legal citizenship and wait your turn. Besides, as I understand it, people cannot be asked to show their citizenship papers in Arizona unless and until they are stopped for good cause/reason. It's not like the cops are going to be stopping every person they see and demanding to see proof of citizenship. So if you are caught breaking the law, then I guess you need to pony up the proper ID. If you cannot do so, then your ass gets bounced back across the border where it belongs.
Here are some photos of the Sonoran Desert National Monument in Arizona. I got these in an email from one of my friends, whose brother lives in Arizona and is as disgusted with the illegals as I am.

Nice garbage dump eh? This is an Illegal Immigrant Super Highway, in a dry wash, located south of Tucson, Arizona. Fortunately they don't get much rain because if they did, it would wash this shit right out to the Pacific Ocean.
Clothes, backpacks, thousands and thousands of used diapers....pails of human waste.

You may live like this in Mexico and treat your environment like this, but Americans do not.

Disrespectful pigs.

This is a quote, from the email:

"The trash left behind by people illegally crossing our border is another Environmental Disaster to hit the USA. If these actions had been done in one of our Northwest Forests or Seashore National Parks areas, there would be an uprising of the American people.....but this is the Arizona-Mexican border. You won't see these pictures on CNN, ABC, NBC..... Nor will they mention the disease that comes from the uncovered human waste left in our desert. However, with respect to CNN, ABC & NBC, they do offer us "Special Reports" on cheating celebrity spouses....This information needs to be seen by the rest of the country.

It's not about Right vs Left, Liberal vs. Conservative, Republican vs. Democrat. It's about supporting the US Constitution."

How about this picture? An illegal demanding Free Everything, or else they will shoot more Arizona police. "You owe us America!" We do? We owe them for what? I don't have free health insurance, I don't have a free home, I can't walk into Safeway and not pay for my groceries. GET THE FUCK OUT! Do you think that Mexico tolerates illegal immigration to their country? No, they most certainly do NOT. Their laws are way more strict and harsh than Arizona's new law. So it's OK to break our laws but not OK to break theirs?

I actually do have a solution for this problem. And I think it's a damn good one too. If people want to come to the USA and are unwilling or unable to wait their turn for legal citizenship, then they are more than welcome to enter the United States through the Military Recruitment Office. Come here, enlist immediately, go for English language immersion (I'm sure there are plenty of Spanish-speaking people in the military), go through basic training and put in the four years. Our poor troops are on their 3rd and 4th, or more, tours over in the Middle East. Military enlistment is way, way down. At the conclusion of their military service, they will be citizens of the USA. This goes for both men and women. I'd also like to see large fines levied upon those employers (mostly agricultural) who hire illegals to work for them under the table.

I make absolutely no apology for how I feel. I consider myself social liberally (but fiscally conservative), but this is one socially liberal issue on which I refuse to budge. My family, on both sides, came here through the front door, and that fact shapes how I feel on this issue. I support the US Constitution, not the rights of illegals who treat my country like a toilet and commit horrible crimes upon arrival. If you want to brand me a racist against illegal Mexicans, then that's fine too. If you are truly my friend, then you love & accept me, no matter how divergent our opinions might be. But I could not stay quiet on this issue any longer. When I got those photos in my email last week, I decided to blog them.

That said, if something realistic isn't done about this problem soon, I predict more and more of a divide in this country, which is something we can ill afford.

May 20, 2010

Pretty Flowers

Dogwood tree in our front yard.

Mountain laurel


Unfortunately the lower blooms on the mountain laurel rarely get full-on sun, even in the afternoon, so these pics of the busy bee aren't as light as I would have liked.

Have a great weekend!

May 15, 2010

Sumner's "Big Yellow Taxi"

Isn't this a pretty fall scene? This is the pumpkin patch in Sumner, just down the hill from Bonney Lake.
Beautiful wooded ridge with a field of pumpkins and corn.

The pumpkin patch as seen from Highway 410, going back up to our house. These were taken in 2001.
And here's the same property, as of May, 2010.

Trees are being torn down to build MORE houses with million dollar views. As if we don't have enough empty homes sitting around as it is. That's right, keep destroying the land. I hope we have a good, wet winter that causes mudslides.

That's where the red barn used to be.
"Don't it always seem to go,
You don't know what you've got till it's gone.
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot..."

May 11, 2010

I've Decided to Consider It "Art"

Some artists work in oils..........Others in watercolours.....
Sagan works in couch stuffing.

At least he's a minimalist.

May 8, 2010

Saturday Afternoon's Craft

I was going to do yardwork today, since it's finally sunny and dry, but I had a new papercut design I wanted to try, so guess what won out? ;-)

I printed this pattern off the internet. It was actually supposed to be a dual sided design, with the trees being reflected below, as in water. But I decided to make it a winter sunset scene instead, without the reflection. I started cutting a little after 12 Noon. After it was cut, I coloured the entire design with a black sharpie, both front and back, to hide the white paper that was still showing around the branches. Then I used spray adhesive to stick it to this pretty multicoloured paper. I finished at 2:30.

May 5, 2010

Wook at da widdle puppehs!!!

I can't seem to stop babbling sappy baby talk at this picture becuz dey so coot!!! Siwwy widdle happeh puppehs! Who's a good boy? I fink you is! Oh yes you is!


May 2, 2010


I've been wanting to try Scherenschnitte, or paper cutting, for a long time now, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not get the scissors to do what I needed. They weren't sharp enough or small enough, and I couldn't use the tips for fine snipping. I finally sucked it up and bought a $45 pair of paper cutting scissors and I'm glad I did.

I photocopied the designs onto the back of patterned scrapbook paper, and cut from that side.

These are my first attempts since getting the new scissors. The one on the left is a folded cutting, and the one on the right was just cutting out of large sections.
Then I went through all of my different scrapbook papers to find suitable backgrounds for the cuttings. I used spray adhesive on the back of the cut piece and adhered it to this surreal mountain sunset scene, as if you are looking through a fancy window.
For this one, I'd envisioned a night time snowy winter scene before I even started cutting. I used light blue card stock and fancy cardstock for the snow and night sky.
Now I'm on the hunt for more patterns at Papercuttings by Alison!!