Monthly Archives: July 2014

A Prompt

Things have been insanely busy around here for a few weeks. Saturday will be the culmination of Stage One of a new business venture/lifestyle change. Details about the weekend on Starting Over Designs, more details here as I figure out who I want to be when I grow up. IF I decide to grow up 🙂

In the meantime, The Daily Post put up an excellent prompt today that I feel compelled to participate in after a very late night with Joel Salatin’s You Can Farm.

Handmade Tales

Automation has made it possible to produce so many objects — from bread to shoes — without the intervention of human hands (assuming that pressing a button doesn’t count). What things do you still prefer in their traditional, handmade version?

So many things are so much better when done by hand that I don’t know quite where to start, so this list might get long.

I love to bake bread but haven’t yet tried to figure out the trailer oven for anything more complicated than quiche and now it’s way too hot to even consider! Baking bread or rolls using your own blend of flours for that perfect Toasting Texture is an art everyone should try to master. Home-made pizza with sauce and crust made from scratch is a detectible feast!

I saw a young couple at a craft show back in March who were selling custom moccasin shoes. Having a pair of shoes built just for me was an intriguing proposition and I had them make a duct tape cast of my foot for a future order, which I placed in May. The more I looked at their pictures and dreamed of my custom shoes, the more I became enamored of the idea of doing it myself. A bit of research led me to Bonney & Wills, the school where Dustin learned to make his mocs. If I can swing the funds, I want to take this class in the Fall when work slows down and I can take a week off from my current busy life.*

I much prefer spinning my own wool into yarn and knitting my creations to buying yarn, even locally sourced yarns – the satisfaction of taking a project from raw material to finished product is amazing! I understand that local farms need support, so I buy my raw materials from them and am planning a project that will support my local wool processing facility. You’re going to be hearing a lot more about these projects in the near future as I expose my Green Side…

I’m going to add transportation to the end of my list because walking or biking anywhere is preferable to driving during the heat of Summer. My little town is flat as a board and I don’t have AC in the car. I should be walking more, but the heat has been incredible, making sidewalk and pavement too hot for Sabu’s feet. Neither of us is as tough as we used to be 🙂

Stay tuned for more Crazy Stuff that I’ll be making by hand with a little bit of help from my friends.

Check out the Daily Post for more great prompts!

* I took a pair of riding boots to the shoe repair guy a couple of weeks ago to get new heels put on – I hadn’t worn the boots much, and the foot was fine, but the heels were worn down to the wood, something that has never happened so fast for me in the past. While talking to the guy, he lamented the fact that shoe manufacturers are using crap for soles, whatever is cheapest, because people throw their shoes away instead of having them repaired. He brought a boot out from under the counter that had the sole falling apart and said that European shoes have a life expectancy of 5-7 years from the date of manufacture because they are using materials that biodegrade after that time to save room in their rapidly-filling landfill sites. These brands include two of my favorites, Clarks and Dansko. Grrr! I keep my shoes much longer than 5-7 years (it helps that I tend to favor Classic styles over the flavor-of-the-week in fashion) and that really pisses me off. I take my shoes to be repaired and now that I know I shouldn’t expect much life out of my second-hand, snazzy, European shoes, I feel cheated.


Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Prompts


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Share Your World – Week 30

Is it Hump Day already? Time is flying by this week. Here are this week’s questions from Cee and her Share Your World – along.

List 2 things you have to be happy about.

I am rich with things to be happy about. Too many to list, really, but I’ll say I’m happy to have friends who Get Me and a job that I love.

List at least 2 things in nature do you find most beautiful.

A dog at play in a big field and poppies blowing in the wind.

Show us a 2 of your favorites photographs. Explain why they are your favorite.   If you are not a photographer (serious or otherwise), think of a two favorite scenes in your life and tell us about them.

sabu1This is my favorite picture of Sabu. I took it a few days after she came to live with me, some 5.5 years ago. She followed me around, sitting down every time I stopped and looked up at me this way. She was so happy to have a good home. She still often looks at me this way, but her love is not quite so desperate.

RevyI wish Revy was still this willing to pose for photos. He’s a Grown Up Cat now and has no patience for my antics. Somehow I managed to move all the photos off my work computer – these are what ya get. I have many, many pictures that I love, but this isn’t a photography blog, so…

List 2 of your best personality traits.

I listen, really listen, and I’ll keep your secrets safe.

I love with all my heart. Until you break it and then you’re dead to me 🙂

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week was very busy. I’m grateful for a good appointment at the dentist – no more visits until I save up the money for a couple of crowns. Everything is stable and looking good in there.

I’m looking forward to the weekend – Sabu is going to Sleep-Away camp while Awana, Jeanie and I go to a Fiber Fest. Details later-ish.


Posted by on July 30, 2014 in Share Your World




For the past year and a half I have been physically free of the narc but every single day I have heard his voice in my head. We argue about everything and I always win. I know, it sounds crazy, but I’ve feared that one day I would see him drive by or he would stop by my office and provoke me into causing a scene. Irrational, I know, but he has been so entrenched in my head that there was not much I could do.

Last week I saw that he had a new blog post up – I visit one of his blog friends and he’s in the sidebar. He was back from his epic sailing trip. I read the post. I visited his flickr page. He has found someone new! Her name is Heather and she can drive the boat – he has a short video to prove it!

As the pictures scrolled by I found myself smiling. Really smiling big. He’s found someone new! He won’t be coming after me, slithering into my life, embarrassing me at work or harassing me on the street! He is now otherwise occupied!

OMG I could not be happier! I fairly bounced out of the office (you don’t think I’d waste precious “spare” time at home with surfing the ‘net, did you?) confident that he was at last gone forever.

And you know what? I haven’t heard his voice in my head since then. Thursday, I think it was. Glorious silence! No internal arguments, no debates, no imaginary scenarios playing out day after day.

I think I’m finally free of him.

That evening I was walking Sabu and spied a new neighbor, Stan, walking his dog, Blue. Yowza! What a hottie!

Whatever, you may say, but I haven’t looked at a man and had any impure thoughts since I left the narc. I almost feel like I have a new lease on life. Hard to describe.

And, no, there is never going to be anything between me and Stan – I’m feeling free, not insane 🙂

ETA: Jackie wondered what they look like and I’m feeling just bitchy enough to add this picture and a bit of commentary –

14540483858_8b25b6d7d6_zFrom left to right – Chuck (I’ve mentioned him before) Chuck’s new gal, some really tall dude, Heather and the Narc. There’s a better pic online, but I chose this one so I could tell a little story.

The last time I saw her, Chuck’s wife of 30 years was losing her marbles. She was lucid sometimes, but it was clear she was going downhill fast. I’ve searched for her death notice online but did not find it. There are quite a few pictures of this couple (the narc calls she and Heather “crew” for their sailing trip – two boats, one couple on each boat) that show they are much more than just friends. I find this repugnant – if the wife is no longer mentally present in the marriage it’s perfectly OK for a man to take a lover, but let a woman do the same thing and she gets all kinds of crap thrown at her. Loyalty, ’til death do us part and all that. Hypocrites! Anyway. There ya go.


Posted by on July 29, 2014 in I totally Rock!, Narcissist, Narcland


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Share Your World – Week 29

It’s Hump Day, so we’re posting questions from Cee and her Share Your World – along.

Have you ever been in a submarine?  If you haven’t, would you want to?

No. No way. Let me rephrase: no way in hell would I voluntarily get into a coffin that is then submerged under the sea. Not a chance. Not for money. Not on a dare. NFW.

Are you a listener or talker?

Both. I listen when needed, but I can talk your head off if I’m in the mood. People tend to tell me things they probably shouldn’t, kinda like when a person in authority says nothing and you feel compelled to fill the silence. I don’t feel compelled to run at the mouth and I don’t think people know how to take that.

Do you prefer crunchy peanut butter or smooth peanut butter?   Anything with your peanut butter?

Crunchy, no jam or jelly, thankyouverymuch. I like toast with butter and crunchy peanut butter.

Have you ever been drunk?

I am a child of the 80’s, so of course I have. Never liked it much, though, so it never became a habit. I like a rum & coke on occasion or a really well made Marguerita, but not every day.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that Sabu passed her Home Interview and will be able to go run with the pack at Adventurous K9 while I’m doing a Fiber thing in a couple of weeks. Not only does she get to go to sleep-away camp, but she’ll be treated to air-conditioned shuttle service! She’ll probably not want to ever come home, but it’s a chance I’ll take so she can have a party while I’m doing Boring Human Stuff in the hot sun.

I’m looking forward to receiving some material I ordered today for a Big Project that I’ll reveal in due time, provided it goes well…




Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Uncategorized


Share Your World – Week 28

It’s Hump Day, so we’re posting questions from Cee and her Share Your World – along.

Have you ever been a participant in a parade? What did you do?

Believe it or not, I have! Several people who boarded horses at a barn in Troutdale rode out early one morning to a little town, I forget the name, to ride in a July 4 parade. It was short – the ride over was longer than the whole parade. We waved and marched our horses through town. Total Small Town experience.

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?

Sell them because I have no time to go to the opera.

Why did you start your blog?

I started this blog as a private diary to keep track of the crap the narc pulled. I was doubting my memory and my sanity. I needed to be able to document things as they happened because he re-wrote history on a daily basis and I no longer knew what was real.

What is your favorite tradition? (family tradition, church tradition, whatever.)

Truthfully, at this moment I can’t think of a single tradition in my life. I’ll have to get back to this question another day.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am thankful for a lovely trip to Mom’s and some great bargains and sight-seeing along the way. I’m looking forward to getting new glasses and an interview with the local dog whisperer to see if she will accept Sabu for sleep-away camp. It’s going to be a very busy couple of weeks!


Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Share Your World



Hey, it’s not Cat Blogging…

Behold Amber amongst the daisies –

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAStill doing Alpaca Stuff. While this picture looks all lovely and peaceful, don’t let it fool you – Amber, here, refused to be led to the fence to get her shot on Sunday. No worries, though, she got it laying down and then had to endure the further indignity of having me stare at her while snapping pictures. Here’s Pucheena with her new necklace –

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, hey, no cats!

If you’re interested in RV improvements, head on over to Travels With Towanda for the latest updates.

The Crew and I are off to the House of Mom for the weekend. After that blogging should pick up. Or not. It’s freakin’ hot here and I’ve got a lot on my plate.

Happy Summer, everyone!


Posted by on July 10, 2014 in Alpacas, Farm Life


Share Your World – Catching Up

Now that regular blogging can go on again, it’s time to get caught up with Cee’s Share Your World challenge. Today we’ll be covering weeks 21 – 27, so buckle up!

Starting with the newest and proceeding to the oldest, here we go –

Christopher Wool-exh_ph022

If you were the architect of one existing building, which building would you select?

This is an odd question. Would I be claiming the credit for designing an iconic building? Would I become the architect? What if the building is 300 years old? What happens then? I’m gonna change the wording of this one: if you were a building, which building would you be? Answer: the Guggenheim, because, awesome!

2010-01-guggenheim-2000We toured through back in 2004 when we visited New York and it was a wonderful experience that I would repeat in a hot second.

What is one of your favorite quotes?

EinsteinWhat color do you feel most comfortable wearing?

Shades of brown or gray with pops of color.

What is something you learned in the last week?

You can’t force someone to put on corrective glasses, even when they are not able to perform the job at hand without them. All you can do is resist the urge to strangle and take over the job. This is another “character building” experience I could have done without.

Is your refrigerator organized or a mess inside?


If you could be famous for one thing, what would it be?

My wit.

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? 

Owned a small farm. I could totally make it pay for itself and be self-sustaining if only I had a chance.

Where do you eat breakfast?

Nowhere. I’m not hungry until 1030 and I think that would be called brunch, not that I eat at that time, either. Lunch is at 1130, eaten at my desk during the week, and eaten quickly while batting away cat & dog on the weekend.

What is your favorite type of dog?  (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal, drawing, cartoon or character in a movie or TV show)

I prefer a Good Dog. Breed doesn’t matter. A well-mannered, polite dog is a joy to be around. Not that I would know…

Name one thing not many people know about you.

I’m afraid of heights. I’ll climb an eight-foot ladder, but no higher.

Have you ever gone scuba diving?  If you haven’t, would you want to?

God, no! The idea of being trapped under water when the air runs out is terrifying. Also, sharks.

What was the most important event in your life last week? (anything goes it can be a good nights sleep, finished a reading book,winning the lottery, or getting married)

Pulling the carpet out of the front half of Towanda. Man, that was satisfying! I’m loving the cooler floors and will get the rest of the carpet out this week if all goes well. It’s RV Renovation Month for Awana and I and we have lots of projects in the hopper.

What makes you feel the most secure?

Knowing that I have only myself, Sabu and Revy to care for and knowing that I have the situation under control. Barring a natural disaster, we are doing very well and that makes me feel on top of the world.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?

C40403-568x357_ProfileI am Ordella by BOC. I am practical, comfortable and made of sturdy materials. I am casual but tough enough to Get Some Shit Done at a moment’s notice.

How many languages do you you speak?

One fluently and one enough to understand most of what’s said but no longer conversational. Sigh.

What was the largest city you have been to?  What is the one thing you remember most?

NYC in 2004. I remember how NICE the people were. We heard all sorts of horrible stories about how rude New Yorkers are, but every experience we had was wonderful.

Would you rather be stuck in a small plane with mild turbulence for 2 hours or be a passenger in a car racing the Daytona 500?

The Daytona 500 takes longer than two hours, right? I’ll take the quicker option for torture, thank you.

Would you rather be alone with nobody in the vicinity for one month or never be alone not even for a minute for one month?

I just want to be alone 🙂 I would have so many naps and read so many books…

Would you like to sleep in a human size nest in a tree or be snuggled in a burrowed spot underground?

Underground because it’s impossible to fall out of a burrow.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

I find that I prefer to drive these days, although there was a time I preferred to be driven – that’s guilt-free knitting time, after all.

Regarding animals would you prefer not having them around or having domestics pets, farm animals, or seeing them in nature or the zoo?

All animals, all the time. I don’t like zoos, though.

Are you a collector of anything? 

Wool. There, I said it. I collect wool in its many forms. Wool for spinning, wool for knitting, wool for wearing, wool for insulation.

If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?

What do cats really think? Are they as Zen (and crazy) as they appear to be?

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to?

Long, hot baths.

If you could make a 15 second speech to the entire world, what would you say?

Is this just a message or would I be laying down new laws? I would say that people suck. And are mean. And it Needs to Stop before we are all destroyed.

If you could take a photograph, paint a picture or write a story of any place in the world, what and where would it be?

I would photograph and study Wallachian sheep –

Zackelschaf_1012011Spiral horns, just like a unicorn!

If you had to spend one weekend alone in a single store but could remove nothing, which store would you pick?

I would try out all the furniture at Ikea. I’ve never been, so it would be a busy weekend.

If you were given a boat or yacht today, what would you name it?  (You can always sell the yacht later)

Revenge. I would fit it out with a long, reinforced bowsprit and go sailing in the Salish Sea, ramming a certain sailboat piloted by Captain Bligh, sending it to the bottom of the ocean in as spectacular a manner as possible. If it won’t sink, I’d burn it to the waterline.

Okie-dokie! We’re all caught up. More details about what’s been going on sometime soon. The Crew and I will be OOT for the weekend at Mom’s helping with the neighborhood yard sale. I got a new phone, so there may be some tweeting or facebooking. Stay tuned.


Posted by on July 8, 2014 in Memes, Share Your World



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