Showing posts from October, 2009

halloween in ashland

Well, here we are. A month in Ashland has zoomed by, and it's time to have some Halloween fun. We love Halloween, and this town knows how to throw a holiday bash. Rick and Ron are already downtown, blocking off streets and positioning Kiwanis volunteers for the Fun Run and Kid's Parade this afternoon. This cracks me up. Rick isn't much of a joiner, but he's really having fun tagging along with Ron for some of this stuff. He might even become an Elk... What the heck. It's a good way to meet people and make connections, and you get to use the Elk's primo parking lot downtown. Mitzi and I painted our guys up to look sort of dead and ghastly, but not too scary, since the daytime is for the little kids. Heehee... this is fun. Here are the boys, looking so fine... And even Heidi is dressed up. She's wearing her blue velvet opera dress by Katy George with a pink silk collar and a sparkly bead necklace. Mitzi and I will put together our costumes and head out a lit

boneheads - episode one

I know, I know. I've been missing in action for a few days. So sorry! I've been busy making beads, getting to know a new town, and well, some other stuff... you'll see. The plastic Boneheads I bought a while back have taken on little lives of their own. And Mitzi, being the creative, play-writing, theater person she is, swooped up the Bonehead Project and before we knew it, had us making a video. I'm not sure I want to admit that I did the voice of GOM. I think I might share some personality traits with her... oh dear! And please keep in mind that I have absolutely zero acting experience. As writer/producer/director, Mitz got exactly what she paid for! But anyway... here it is for your viewing pleasure. The first episode of Boneheads Live, or whatever we decide to call it! Be sure to share it with everyone you know. We wanna go viral with it!

there's never a camera when you really need one

I need to get a new camera. There's so much to show you, but I don't want to schlep along my big bead camera everywhere I go, and the little pocket camera died back in Seattle. I guess I should just surrender to getting a new phone, one with all the bells and whistles... and a camera. After all, my phone is crapping out on me too, as I guess it's supposed to after five years or so. Remember when a good sturdy phone came with your house, rugged and dependable and bolted to the wall? I miss that in some ways, but not enough to go back to it. Moving forward, always moving forward. Technology won't wait for the stragglers. In the absence of a camera, imagine three fifty-ish women, setting out on a thrift shopping excursion to Yreka, California, about 45 minutes south of Ashland. Mitzi and Serena both showed up at my door wearing black and white printed tops, which they did not plan. I teased them about it, but blended in well, wearing a plain black shirt with my jeans. We a


I'm sitting in the truck, in front of the trailer, under a canopy of yellowing leaves, with little Heidi sitting beside me. I mentioned before that we don't get internet inside the trailer, but I don't always have to go to the duck pond or Mitzi's house to get online. This is a nice big truck. Not a bad size for an office. I'm having fun in Ashland, and at the same time, feeling sort of fragmented. I have all my worldly stuff pared down to a neat little portable pile, only it doesn't all work in the close quarters we've set ourselves up in. It's OK. I just need to adjust to getting less done than I'm used to. Or maybe I'm getting more done and I just don't know it yet. Email is being answered, orders are being shipped, blogs are being written, beads are being made. This week I've gone "back to the garden", and have made nothing but flower beads. Hm. That's unexpected, and I'm really not giving it too much thought. My tim

lessons from sardinia

I'm not sure yet, but I think maybe I got my groove back. I was watching Anthony Bourdain the other night. (I love his show, even though he regularly jeers at vegetarians.) He was in Sardinia, and the people featured in this episode were simple country folks, doing things the way they'd been done there for centuries. Everyone worked hard, and being a food/travel show, everyone had a hand in the preparation of the food. Someone made the cheese, someone else made the wine. There were ancient looking cooks in the giant communal kitchens, making the same dishes they'd made all their lives, dishes passed down through many generations. And the flat bread that came from the wood fired oven was as beautiful and practical as it has been since it was first made for the sheep herders to carry with them for months at a time while tending the flocks. What struck me was that everyone knew their place, knew their job, and did what they did for the good of the whole. Everybody was importa

nesting... for now

We've moved the good ship Tessie Beau to a new camp site. It's in the same RV park, but it's a much roomier, prettier site, with a little stream running through the back. I can't believe how lucky we are. I've always wanted to live by a stream. Almost can't believe my eyes... And for those of you who are just catching up to us, we completely remodeled our trailer before we set out in July. It took about six weeks to paint the walls, make curtains, make new upholstery, and replace the floor. We even managed to fit our king size mattress in the little nest that is now, literally, the bed room . This is the coziest little house I could ever want to live in. We even have a small electric fireplace. Fake fire is cleaner than real fire, and the dogs love it. So do I. The only slight problem is the internet. The signal isn't very good anywhere in the park, especially if a "big rig" pulls in next door. The solution is to grab the computer and walk over to


It's all my fault. I bought a "dollar bag" of little plastic skulls at the local Dollar Tree the other day, and gifted several of the Boneheads to Mitzi. One thing led to another, and now we have her dining table covered with paints and glitter and beads and flowers, and spend way too many of our waking hours on the Bonehead Project. I had no idea we'd get this carried away, but there's no point in resisting. This little obsession needs to be followed to its natural end, unless of course its only the beginning of something we're not yet aware of. I'm going with my gut these days. If it seems silly and creative and fun, it's probably a good idea. So here are the pics so far. The skulls are about golfball size, and come nine in a bag. Now who wouldn't buy that for a buck? Since Mitzi is a painter, and she's painted Weird Objects before, she knew we needed to spray them with primer. She also had skewers handy, so now we have all these little hea

looking for normal

Have you seen this on Facebook? It's a quick video Mitzi took of our new joint studio adventure. We're both really excited about the possibilities presented by this mingling of fire and water. What I'm not so thrilled about is that creepy roll of fat that's collected around my middle! Oh dear... better do something about that. I'm not at all settled in here yet, and my days are spent sort of banging around, in my head and in town, trying to figure out what to do . New town, same old me. Not that I want to get away from myself, but I would like to make a few changes in what I call "normal". I spent entirely too much time in my studio in Taos. All day, every day, rarely leaving the house. Sometimes I'd go a week or more without setting foot past my own driveway. I became pretty clueless about the goings-on in town, and would always joke about "not getting out much". But it was way too true, and I don't want that to happen here. So far I h

a new studio

My dear cousin, Mitzi Miles-Kubota , has graciously, generously, and hopefully a little selfishly invited me to share her studio space. Can glass and paint peacefully coexist? I think so. She thinks so. We'll give it a try. Yesterday afternoon we shoved around some furniture and hauled in all my beadmaking gear. Before long, Mitzi's painting sanctuary/garage morphed into some kind of crazy artists' co-op. She wants to learn to make beads, and though I generally don't like to teach, this is different. Mitzi is such an absolute artist, in every cell of her body, in everything she does. I just know she'll get the basics from me and run off in her own fabulous direction. I also know I'm creating some tough competition for myself, and I see that as a good thing. I'm going to try my hand at painting too, which is totally foreign territory for me. I don't expect to become a great painter, but I do hope this will stretch my creativity in ways I haven't thoug

don quixote

The production of Don Quixote last night was wonderful. Sets, costumes, acting, all terrific, as one would expect from pros like these. It was blasted cold outside though, and even though we thought ahead and brought seat cushions, warm coats, gloves, hats, scarves, blankets, and even snow boots, we were really uncomfortable out there in that beautiful open air theater. Talk about a test from a new town... If there's anything that can wear me down, it's being cold. It makes me cranky. Then it makes me sleepy and I just shut down. But I decided to suck it up and embrace the damn cold, along with the play, a package deal. We bought coffee and red wine, and huddled together, and laughed, at the fine entertainment presented before us, and also at ourselves, for our silly bravery and determination to love whatever we're presented with. Why didn't we do that in Taos? We did. For eight years. We loved it there. We still love it there. We just knew it was time to move on. Not


A rainy Sunday morning. It's late. I slept late, feeling like I needed to rest and regroup after three months of go, go, go. Three months is usually my limit for being away from home. This time was different though, because I didn't know where home was going to be. I didn't even feel it coming. Didn't get homesick or catch a cold or even start whining... Well, OK, for the last hour of driving the other day I whined a little bit. Are we there yet? I need to get out of this truck ... But I didn't know that once we got here, I'd want to stop and just be here. I guess three months is still my limit. A rainy Sunday is a good day for "Blog Lite". I just want to sit by the fire and do little else. I forget to do that sometimes. The rain reminds me. Thank you rain.


Oh my... I think we're going steady... Yesterday morning, Rick was talking to Ted, the RV park owner, about the possibility of staying longer than just the month of October. We thought maybe until Thanksgiving or so would be good. Ted said he had one long term spot left, over by the creek, but it wouldn't be available for a couple of weeks. If we wanted it, he wanted a commitment until March. March! Yikes! That's a lot longer than we were thinking! But when Rick came back to tell me all this, I took about two seconds and one huge deep breath to say, Let's take it . An unbelievable amount of logic flashed through my mind in those two seconds. For starters, we've had our sights set on Ashland for years. What better way to see if we like it than to go through a winter? Forget the dreamy loveliness of spring and summer. Anybody can love that. Winter has a way of showing you what you're made of. Might as well dig in and get down to it. Also, the constant traveling we

first date

We've been flirting with Ashland for years, watching from afar, perking up our ears for news and tidbits of information, hoping, just hoping for the chance to say hello. And now, at long last, here we are, standing at the door of the party, struggling to come up with a good opening line. Tonight is "First Friday" in Ashland, the monthly gallery walk that everyone who's anyone will surely attend. Fortunately, we have Mitzi and Ron (my cool and talented cousin, and her darling and socially well-connected husband) to show us around and introduce us to some fun people. I feel like tonight is our "first date" with Ashland, and I'm actually a little nervous. What will I wear? Will my hair behave itself? What if, after all this time, we don't like it here? Or if Ashland somehow rejects us the way Taos, with her ever-looming Mountain is known to do? What if, what if, what if .......... Or what if everything works out great ? That could happen too, and likel


In the past, when I've moved to a new place, it was well planned and I knew about it far, far in advance. A house was chosen, and rented or purchased, schools and shopping were carefully considered, and I had a big truck filled with all my worldly goods strapped to my back, giving me a mixed sense of security and encumbrance. That's how a normal person moves, and I tried to be normal for years. Today we're leaving Newport, Oregon, and driving down the coast for a while. At some point we'll take a left and scoot on over to Ashland. I am savoring this name and this day like a bit of deepest dark chocolate with sea salt on top. Ashland... It has been my dream to live there since before we moved to Taos. In fact, Ashland and Taos were neck and neck, and for reasons I've forgotten, the southwest won that particular coin toss. I think we needed to go there. No regrets, and many happy memories. But now I'm smacking my lips at the prospect of maybe, just maybe, actually