Happy National Hat Day

IMG_5197perle in snow 3perle snow 2014 -Happy National Hat Day.

I have many hats. Some are plain functional; some are fashion statements. But whether functional or fashionable, all hats serve a woman living in the South. The southern sun will bake you to leather if you don’t take care.

Functional hats: Most people call them baseball hats. When I lived in Texas, we called them gimme hats, because most of them were free handouts with various company logos – gimme one of those please. I’ve never bought a one and I own many.

Not my favorite hat, but they are useful in my life. They shield me on my morning 5-mile walkabout from the sun’s summer rays, falling acorns and pinecones, and from the errant bird relieving itself from a tree branch or on the fly. I’ve worn them on the tennis court, playing water volleyball, Frisbee golf, gardening and more. They not only shield me from the sun, but just as important, they keep my wild naturally curly hair in check.

Fashion and function: My battered Fedora gets the most compliments, but it serves me well in winter. It keeps my head warm, protects me from the winter sun. And, as I hate umbrellas, it and my London Fog take the brunt of rainy days. Berets and Boggans are for the coldest winter days when the sun rises late and walkabout is over while it’s a hint on the horizon, and when the sun sets early and I have places to go.perle hatted 22

So much of life in the south takes place outside: barbeques, weddings, receptions, fairs, Doo-Dah Days, Art in the Park, Parades, and on and on. So, I have a selection of straw hats for summer wear; my outback vented canvass hat; and I have fancy hats for weddings and dressy parties.

I am grateful to a lady I met when I was very young. I’ve long ago forgotten her name, but not her words, “Take good care of that pretty face. Clean it well, moisturize and above all else, wear a hat to protect it from the sun.”

Yes ma’am. I’ve been hatted ever since.

 

My One Word Resolution

My one word resolution for 2016 is Persistence.

I rarely wait until New Year’s Day to decide what one word I will choose to inform my actions through the coming year.  I begin on Solstice – darkest night. It is when the new year begins to me as we the wheel turns minute into the light and spring and rebirth.  I feel hopeful and full of the possibility that like nature, I too can begin again, be renewed, and choose new paths.

I light my candles, recite my small mantra (aka spell) and sit and sip and ponder the past.  I drew a card from the major arcana of my Tarot deck.  I spoke volumes about my current moment and showed so many possibilities.

Long story short my One Word is Persistence.

Why? Simple as I sat and looked back at 2015 I saw the myriad of projects started but never finished. Paintings in varying stages of completion, but not yet done; Essays – ditto; blogs – ditto; and query letters for a completed children’s picture book – ditto.

And so I chose Persistence.  I’m not going to do everything all at once.  I started by taking the Painting-a-Day Challenge for January.  I will paint one new painting every day of January and complete one unfinished one from my archive.

I will post one Blog a week – that’s easy as I write in my journal on a daily basis and it’s just a matter of transcribing an edited version for publication.

I’ve taken the following quote – one of my all-time favorites and posted it above my desk.  I paired it with a photo I took long ago of a flower growing in the middle of a sidewalk blooming where it was planted.

pic persistence 2016

 

 

 

 

Is Your Cat Psychic

“Cats are kindly masters, just so long as you remember your place.”- Paul Gray.

Jazzmine knows I’m leaving for the day. Don’t know how, but cats seem tojaz waiting 2 have that sixth sense.  I can pass the front door a dozen times a day to place things in my outgoing stack and she does nothing.

But today is Wednesday – Mom’s day out.  We go out all day: we shop, talk, lunch, shop, talk, happy hour, shop.

Jazzmine seems to know, so today my many trips to the front door are watched with considerable interest.  The little cupboard by the door is my staging area for things to take with me when I leave the apt. The top shelf holds keys, change, hats, outgoing mail (there’s less every year in this digital age); the closed second shelf holds 3 purses, business cards, kitty treats; the open third shelf holds books for the library; large jar for mom to decant some canned peppers, umbrella and the bottom shelf is shoes (I usually take them off when I get home).

This morning, each time I pass the front door, she nearly trips me then jumps up on the coffee table and speaks to remind me that I’m not allowed to leave until she is handed at least 4 treats.  I made the mistake of giving them to her early once, but 30 minutes later when I was actually ready to walk out the door, she demanded more.

Treats doled out, and I’m out the door.  One stop to make on the way – Sneaky Pete’s.  One of Mom’s favorite breakfasts (and mine) is a Sneaky Pete’s hotdog and a beer for breakfast before heading out for our Wednesday adventure.  Sort of kicks the day off the day as a celebration.

Today, we’ll head straight to the Summit and work our way back to Hoover from there.

Later y’all and cheers.

Monkey Brain in the Kitchen

Monkey brain: So I had this tad of leftover cornbread in fridge and I thought, hmmm. Crumble it and make a quick cornbread dressing.

But it wasn’t really enough, so I messed up my clean kitchen and made a quick batch of fresh cornbread.

Now having a messy kitchen I decided to deal w jalapeños from potted garden and pulled out the mini food processor, a can of tomatoes and voila hot sauce for later guacamole lunch which was going to be breakfast, but really how could I not have a hot from the oven wedge of buttered cornbread. And it went on from there..

Now to clean the mess.

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Nothing So Certain as Change – a Sad Parting

End of era – for me at least.  I will not be renewing my P.O. Box, and I feel as if I’m losing apo box 1 friend.  Actually, In a way I am.  The people who work there are a friendly helpful crew.  I’ll probably still take them my annual gift of 3-4 tins of cookies as I have for the past 25 years, but alas, it will be the last.

The post office has always been open 24-7 for those of us who have office hours of our own and need access in the wee hours of morning or night.  Now, because of the unwashed who use it as a nighttime squat, leaving their trash and on occasion vomit, the Post Office has announced office hours of its own and the rest of the day the doors will be locked.

po box 2I’m not sure how those who have jobs outside the home will make it work.  Fortunately I work from home and it doesn’t affect me except in principle.  I loved stopping by and picking up my mail after an evening out or on my early morning walkabout (rain, shine, or snow), but they won’t unlock the doors now til 7:30, and I’m home from my walk way before that. Worse still they’ll close early on Saturday and totally close on Sunday.

I’ve had a post office box on Southside since 1990.  It’s always been staffed by a terrific bunch of people that I’ve enjoyed doing business with.  It’s up for renewal and at $33 for six months, it’s a bargain for the security they’ve given me over the years. footprints snow po box

My first 2 apartments on Southside, the one on 15th Avenue (10 years) and then the one on 14th Avenue that burned in 2011 (also10 years), had exposed and unsecure mail boxes easily accessible from the street.  The day I moved in on 14th  in 1990, my neighbor came home to find his mail and an empty box of CD’s rifled and strewn across his front steps.

I immediately went to the Southside Post Office right next to the Golden Temple and got a box, and I’ve used it for 25 years.  My neighbor did, too.  I considered it a business address, but now I wonder if it’s necessary.

I live in a more secure 4-plex now; the boxes are inside; the mailman climbs the stairs to deliver packages to my door; I only have one magazine subscription that’s print; all my bills, bank and credit card statements, etc., are digital; payments from Amazon and other places that owe me money go thru PayPal or digitally credit my a special credit union account set up for such payments – separate from my house account at another bank.

Sad to say, but my PO Box is no longer necessary. I might of kept it just because it’s been part of my routine for so long.  I picked up change of address forms, but opted to do the deed online instead. Later I’ll order new business cards from VistaPrint and probably omit a physical address and opt just for email, as that’s pretty much how people contact me these days.

I waited until the last possible pay by moment, November 10, to let the box go.  I stopped by to say goodbye to the crew.

Up there with the certainty of death and taxes there is change.  Death comes and you’re no longer here to know it on this plane; taxes are a constant and expected, but change, oh change. Of the three, I think change is the more difficult.

To Write or to Paint?

Well NanoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month) is here and I rose early to get my wordcount done (1773 done).  I could write more and will probably do so later in the day, but I’ve been sidetracked.

What is it about me, that I’ve barely touched a paintbrush, pencil or pen to draw or paint all summer long. I blame my ennui on the sweltering summer heat.  But now on this cool rainy Sunday with the Nano challenge of writing 50,000 words before me I’m working on unfinished paintings.

Madness to dilute my time in one of the socially busiest months of my year. What can I say. Here are 4 that are finally ready to post to Etsy unless they disappear via Blog. Acryllic, pencil and/or pen on rescued (I gather wood from construction sites and upcycle it and lessen the burden on our burgeoning waste)

Psykhe (9"x11-1/2")

Psykhe (9×11-1/2)

Meowling at the Moon 1 (3"X9-1/2)"

Meowling at the Moon 1

Sundrenched Village

Sundrenched Village (3″X9-1/2)”

Meow Amour

Meow Amour (3-1/2″x16″)

Do you do errands on Saturday?

Forget walkabout, today was all runabout. 

PepperPlace Farmers market (goat cheese and Kale); Western Market (last 2 marked down pkgs of drumIMG_0387sticks); corner of 11th n 19th on Southside/ checked PO Box (bills, party invites –  no checks – sigh), scored a cozy mystery in a series I’m reading, Rachel Rays new cookbook and 2 mini snickers from trick or treat bowl, returned one overdue book and paid  fine across street at library, picked up mint at Golden Temple on other corner to go w parsley n mint from my potted garden for tonight’s tabouli salad to go w leftover kibbee dinner(courtesy of mom); Kangaroo and CVS for weekend’s cheap beer n wine. 

Whew. Then home to cozy corner of couch with balcony door open behind me aIMG_0389nd new fleece throw and Jazzmine  across my lap against the chill. I will sip and read and pat cat until time to put dinner in oven w side of tabouli.

Tonight @ midnight 01  I’ll begin my 2015 nanowrimo novel. Later y’all.

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