Tuesday, November 21, 2017

First Tree for 2017

This tree has three sections but was too full at the bottom
for the space so I only used two tiers. Never thought
to do that before now. It worked just fine.
Then I boosted it up a bit by placing it on a small bench.
New size and I tried a different spot.
24 years in this house and trees, real and fake,
small and giant have been 
everywhere but here.

 Those glittered black stars at the top
 were Halloween decorations,
I believe Wendy Addison's. I don't decorate 
for Halloween anymore so I ripped
off the spooky fronts and replaced with pewter snowflakes.
Lots of my homemade pinwheels on the tree.

You can almost pick out one of the glittered moons
that received the same treatment as the stars.

The tree took about an hour start to finish.
Add in about 15 minutes as I figured out the 
stars and moons.
So we're at 1 hour and 45 minutes.
and no mess.
Tonight I wrap the gifts I have so far.

After nagging my daughter to remember
 to thaw her bird, (and yes I had nagged)
I almost forgot mine Saturday!
Kiddos having a friendsgiving in CA.
I was asked to come down,
but since they'll be home soon, I'm 
waiting until January to visit. I can stay longer
and avoid the horrible traffic
 that happens between CA and Vegas during holidays.
Also they're already having nine with additional dogs,
but that meal with Ben in charge will be amazing!

I'll be doing my deep fried turkey again this year.
CANNOT wait.
See here for the story.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Favorite Things #3

This Bowl

Spring /Summer



I spent another 5 minutes
removing the fall foliage
 and putting it into the tub 
that contained the other seasons.
Then very unceremoniously plunked
winter in. I see I need to adjust a hanging pine cone.
I truly do mean plunk, and it seems 
to all come out OK in the end. 
If you look closely you can see that spring/summer
 shares a lot of the same foliage as the autumn.
That switch is even easier.

The burlap bags for the chair backs
 are stored as is, and 
so are the cones for the hutch.
These are not used every year,
but are ready to go when I do a burlap
black and cream plaid living room,
as I am for 2017.

I have a box marked mixed greens,
so I headed to the porch and 

Think I'll add a ribbon here later.

The stars and vintage ornaments
were in 1 of a box of 2 marked "Misc Christmas".
I can just open those two small boxes
 and pull accent pieces to add to greens as I go along.

So let's see - bowl switch, and removing
bags/cones from bin
 and hanging them in Dining Room, then 
more plunking on porch maybe another 20 minutes?
So currently at 30 minutes total.
How am I doing?


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Nighty Night

I'm trying everything to get more
 and better sleep
(on 6 hour timer)

Nighty Night

Friday, November 10, 2017

My Favorite Things #2

This old tote has been used in more ways
 and more places than I can remember.
Up until a few minutes ago it held a bunch of 
dried materials in a small display.

This is five minutes of effort,
  which entailed me shoving all the dried pods
 into ziplocks,
and then plunking these greens down into the tote.
One of my House of Hatten figures peeks 
out from the far side.

So far I've invested 10 minutes total.
BTW the ziplocks go in the box where the greens 
came from so I can easily plunk them right back into 
the tote post holiday.

Of course all of this is made uber 
easy with my box system in the garage. 

I don't have to dig through dozens of
 mixed bins and boxes of holiday decor. 
A printer's box or a single bin
holding decor for a specific area,
or specific greens,
comes into the house
and then goes right back out in it's place.
no muss no fuss

Totes- one of my favorite things

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Few Of My Favorite Things #1

Christmas done easy with my
favorite things.
I always say that I just "plunk " 
more often than not in decorating.
I'm going to prove it this holiday.
Decorating done the Z way

Take what's already there and embellish a bit.
I remove the naturals that are 
in these jars most of the year and 
replace with winter themed items.
I also have shells and sands for a summer look. 
I store swap outs in ziplocks 
in the cabinet right below.

The whole thing takes about 5 minutes,
unless it's time for a good cleaning 
of the vintage jars.
These jars are not reproductions
and are a few of my favorite things.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

John, Margaret and Helen

I highly recommend - once again

Because I've been struggling with 
health stuff I've resorted to politically related 
info that is comedy based.
The heavy stuff was too much for me right now.

John Oliver, Margaret Schmechtman, and Helen Philpot
are getting me through.
Also made donations to the Guardian 
and my local PBS this week.
Positive action feels good.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Be Kind To Yourself

Treating myself gently
The past months have taken their toll.
Frustration at my limitations is a constant.
Not yet finding a medical voice that I trust is
distressing and infuriating.

I was able to visit a vintage market show
on Friday with pal Sue and make it all around and back
with limited discomfort. Progress!

We shared a great lunch, at one of my favorite spots,
Public School (first discovered in Culver City near Hannah),
 then back to her home
to peel sacks of lemons to begin making
limoncello gifts for the holidays.

I found these delightful star lights
that have a 6 hour timer so I am installing
them in many rooms. These in the family
room greeted me when I returned on Friday and
the mood in the room instantly calmed me.
I set them to come on at 6 pm and they shut off at midnight.
The next 3 sets are going in my bedroom canopy.
I cannot imagine a better welcome for slumber each evening.

Be Kind To Yourself


Friday, October 20, 2017

Death Cleaning

I have never called it that, but all my clients will tell
you the topic comes up in every job
that I work on.

I guess I should have written the book on it
 cause some gal has and will make money


The idea being that you clean your home - de-clutter,
before you die so as not to burden loved ones 
with all your crap.

I have clients that have saved furniture
 and mementos for decades 
"to leave for the kids".
Guess what?
Most of those precious to you things, your kids don't want,
and will sell or trash in the few weeks after your death.
and you will have made them miss work, 
travel far distances in some cases, and spend 
weeks sorting through your stuff because 
you did not do your job.
Several of you are shaking your heads thinking "not my kids."


So you wish to burden your loved ones so the cycle drags on
through the generations and you not only leave them, but leave 
them burdened with guilt over your china poodle figurine 
missing a leg that you adored when you were five.

SO here is the shortened version
of what I have been saying for years
 to all clients and friends.

1. Give your kids what they want and need now and
watch them enjoy it. If you are still using it ok fine,
but don't abuse the term "using" for just not letting go.
Why make them wait for it? 
Do they have to earn the right to have it now?

2. If you don't wish for me to pop you up side the head-
Have a will, a trust, medical and financial power of attorney
 and discuss everything with your loved ones. 
There are no excuses - It is cruel to NOT do this.
You're going to die- deal with it 
BECAUSE you love your family.
Get your papers in order, clearly marked.
Trash all unnecessary papers.
If you have set up trusts, 
you'll reduce the labor by about 80%
and more money goes to heirs.
oh one more-
please if you can, give generously to charity.
If your family is well financially, give to others.
Put wishes in binder.

3. If it is important to you, it deserves respect
 and a place in your home. NOT in a storage unit, 
or a box in the basement or attic. 
Storage should be holiday decor and seldom used, 
but used items like once a year turkey fryers. 

4. When it comes to saving kid's things, 
have them decide what they wish to keep. 
I had my two go through childhood keepsakes
 at the end of high school and shortly after college.
There were so many things I would have chosen
 that they cared nothing about, and the reverse,
 but these are their memories not yours.
I am storing for them a few childhood toys
that they selected,1 bin each and their childhood
 books in 4 small printer boxes.
Storing only because they live in wee apts in LA.
Once married - I'll deliver to them and they know it!
 If you're kids have families of their own,
why the heck are you storing their stuff?
If you demand they come get it,  
at least 50 % of them will say just toss it.
They don't care enough to store it.
Time and time again I've seen it, parents (usually the moms) 
"want" their kids to want stuff they don't give a damn about.
Also see kids who will not be honest with that same mom,
so as not to hurt her feelings.
If you think the stored stuff is soooo valuable, 
sell it and take the entire family on a paid vacation and 
make memories that matter.

5. Live with today's reality:
When my mom passed, she and dad had
 already downsized 4 times in 4 moves. 
Yet when clearing out the house I came across 24 
still in their plastic, Christmas tablecloths. All of them
were clearance priced, never used.
My folks entertained a lot, big neighborhood parties.
They always had scads of paper plates, cups etc
 all bought on sale for the next event. 
But dad had been gone for three years, not one guest
in all those years, yet she still bought "the good deal" 
out of habit, not reality. There was also a pallet of toilet paper.
sigh, that was dad

what NOT to do below
just so you can have a visual.
If you have anything remotely like this
get on it. Need help, ask friends and family.
But unless your fortune teller told you the date
for your tombstone, get cracking.
I'm a tough cookie- no excuses.

6. Have all your important papers
in one location preferably a binder,
and show your executor where it is and go over details.
Have a current DNR
Update everything if you make changes.
Consider how you would like to be faced with this job.
Every few years I review with my kids.

7. Make a list of friends your children might not know 
that should be informed of your passing privately.
Think blog friends? 
I discovered a few blog friends had passed
via a brief blog announcement which was shocking
and most upsetting.
I also once received a Christmas card with a note.
"BTW Greig died last Feb, not sure you knew that."
During so much grief, they may not remember that
work out buddy, or HS chum you still chat with.
Include phone numbers and addresses and keep in binder.

8. That brings up another vital task.
Your passwords - so that your loved ones 
can shut down your on line accts like blog, FB IG etc
and close up business dealings on line easily.
Go buy a cheap address book and  go
through alphabetically and list EVERYTHING - then 
show executor where it's hidden. 

9, If you don't want anyone to know something about
your past now is the time to go through it, 
deal with the memories and shred it.  
Again ticking clock..
If you have some things "uh.. personal"
you'll keep up until the very end, ask your best friend 
to quietly remove/destroy these items from the home
 right after your demise.
No sense shocking your in laws, siblings, or kids 
as they go through your belongings.  

This is also the time to write love notes to your loved ones.
Tell them every day of course, but 
receiving one last loving farewell from you 
may bring them comfort in those horrible first days.

10. Do not be shy about death wishes
Describe in detail your funeral wishes.
Do NOT make them have to decide.
If it is written down no one can dispute or argue,
(and many have and will) what is to occur.
The executor can simply flash the sheet and say
"Her wishes are to be respected."
My kids know who is to be invited ,
and who is NOT to be invited
to "Z's post existence" final sale.
That was assuming I went earlier than usual
as my friends are all my peers, so if I go late,
none of them will want anything or maybe even be around. 
There are a select few who have earned "first dibs rights."
Honestly there's a list and they know about it.
I smile every time I think of these few gals
 getting together with my kids and deciding what they 
want from the sale. 
I told Ben to have Rolling Rock on ice.
home town beer

NO this is not morbid.
It is life's reality. 
None of us gets out of this alive.
Talking about it will not make it happen
any sooner or jinx anything.
I wish to live as long as I possibly can,
and I refuse to burden my kids with my life's 
flotsam and jetsam. 

Celebrate my life and my love for you.
and yep there's even a playlist I made, but I also told Ben 
to make a playlist of what he thinks is appropriate,
it will be hilarious and meaningful I'm sure.

hybrid of words death and cleaning

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Everything Old Is New Again

Began thinking about the holidays coming up
 and in that spirit I set
the family room back to the way
 I had it for years, 
with a small table smack in the middle
 and chairs in the corners
 to accommodate extra bodies.

(that largest bread board was in sale this weekend, no one bought
and look it's perfect here in new arrangement! kismet)

It worked well then, and will again.
This small table under the window 
can hold my real tree
 again like last year.

When you catch yourself standing in
the corner with a smile on your face, 
you know it's right.

I hung out with gal pals at a garage sale 
cross town on Saturday.
Came home with two less tubs of stuff.
Some of you who I "council" via email,
keep at it, bit by bit like I am - you'll get there.

I also DRASTICALLY  opened up
the den/computer room.
Removed carpet, large chair etc.
Placed larger table in here for desk, much better!
Breath of fresh air. 
LOVE it this way.
(btw not lifting anything, sliding all across floor)

(Howie says who dat?)

It's funny how folks are dismayed by my
obsession with less. 
But I have a plan and goals to reach,
and it has only been exacerbated by the
lunacy/treachery of 45.

 Didn't feel like packing up my trees
 and then unpacking in a month, 
so I left them sitting here on the left wall of the den.

it's good

Saturday, October 14, 2017

"Come Saturday Morning" Or 2:00 am Upchuck

2 a.m. Saturday
and for a change I am actually asleep.
Yesterday I fell asleep at 6 am this morning.
(follow that?)
Anyway I come slightly awake to the bed moving
 and a strange sound. 
I assume it is Howie dreaming, and drift back off.
After a bit he jumps down off the bed. 
A little later he jumps back up and comes very close to my 
face, and climbs onto my head,
and I awake knowing something is wrong. 

Turn on the light 
He has been sick all over my bed.
My best linen bedding.
My favorite of all time bedding.
Down through three layers to mattress cover.
Then proceeded to throw up in five more places
around the room.

SO I have been spraying and cleaning
and running the washing machine with fingers crossed
that my linens come out OK.
2:10 now
I LOVE these sheets.
My carpet will be a work in progress for tomorrow too.

Supposed to be at friend's garage sale tomorrow morning.
Wonder when I'll get back to sleep, if...

Hannah once threw up all down my back when 
she was a wee thing.
Ben pooped all over my lap. Twice
What we do for the ones we love.

See? thank heaven my knees are a little better 
or what would I have done?

Anyone else remember the 
Come Saturday Morning song?

"...and we will remember long after Saturday's gone"
Yep, bet I will.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Butt Face and Small Things

What appears to be a mound of pillows 
for Howie's repose is actually my hip bone
 as I was lying on the couch
day after day, 5 weeks, unable to do anything.
Butt right in my face, snores included.

After 5 weeks of major discomfort
and multiple tests their conclusion so far?
I have severe inflammation in my body.
They don't know the source.

After weeks of messages, 
 I eventually reached a kind hearted 
Nurse Practitioner Tuesday who
got a Dr to order some anti-inflammatories that
I was allowed to take with my new BP meds.
(It might have been my quiet weeping that did it.)
I have never taken meds except for the rare antibiotic
so I'm having to adjust to the new reality.
After 4 weeks of being unable to walk even a few feet,
I am having pain free hours and 
sleeping longer than 3 hours.

I am so grateful.
Still have a long path to figure it all out,
but in the big life scheme I am blessed.

Ben has learned to make fresh pasta,
and sends me proof.
The holidays will have some 
fresh culinary ideas I'm sure.
Cannot wait till they're home.

Visiting a friend this weekend during her community
garage sale. I will be in repose myself just observing
for a change and visiting with a couple pals.

Our weather has turned.
I'm giving myself one more week of healing,
and then I'll be out back trying to rescue 
the mess that has developed, and I'll be back in
the studio, pedal to the metal sewing. Huzzah!

My world is small.

Good things come in small packages.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dear Hate

Monday, October 2, 2017

And Now It's My Home

Now it's come home.

It's a numbness that has become
far too familiar.
The rounds after rounds of gunfire 
 played on a loop on every channel
 hour after hour.

Because of a connection, I knew last night
the numbers were far higher than were 
first being reported.
I want to go give blood but cannot.
I want to scream for this all to stop.
It will not.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Addicted And The Rapture

Perhaps not so much addicted,
 it's just one of the few things I can do right now.
So I continue to make trees.
I've morphed on into green ones now.

More tests and discussions today.
It is not what they thought,
or what I feared, though now I wish it was,
 as a surgery could fix and eventually less or no pain.
Seems I have a sudden onset of an autoimmune issue
which has left me well, damn uncomfortable.
Thankfully I have always had a high pain tolerance.
The biggest issue is inability to sleep,
and I've never slept well to begin with.

To top it all off I have to live in fear of 
what this means to me with my insurance, as the crap bills
they are trying to lie their way into 
will certainly have me losing coverage,
for a pre-existing chronic condition.

I make trees
and feel sick about my country, 
and heartsick for the refugees,
and for those displaced by the storms,
and for those mourning the loss of loved ones.

Today supposedly is The Rapture.

"Good morning and in case I don't see ya
Good afternoon, good evening and good night"
the truman show

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Bloom Where You Are Planted

These three were 1.79 - 4"pot 
babies I bought at IKEA last Christmas.
I have repotted them three times since then,
and will need to do again by the end of the year.
They're 2 - 3 ' already.
This is a southern exposure window.
They obviously love it right here.
First thing each morning,
I raise this blind and pour out Howie's dog food
and then push the coffee maker to begin.
The one to the left? 
It's called a Z plant.
Imagine that

Bloom where you are planted.