No, I'm not 50 yet,

although after the birthday I celebrated while on my trip last week,
I can certainly see 50 clearly from here.

In fact, one (used to be?) friend has pointed out to me several times that I am in my 50th year.  Thank you.  You know who you are.

But every birthday surely -- and increasingly! -- beats the alternative, so I will continue to welcome them with cake and fanfare.

No, the 50 to which I'm referring is my current lifestyle.

You see, no one managed to sell my house while I was gone, which leaves me right back where I was way back when I was still 48.


I know, I promised to stop talking about all-things-house, but --

In a Twilight Zone type turn of events, it occurs to me that I have somehow become trapped in the pages of one of my magazines from the 1950's. I don't have anything else to talk about, because it's pretty much all I do.  I feel that someone should have warned me that if I spent enough time hanging around those women, they might begin to rub off on me....

Now that the other half of the team has moved on to sunnier climes, I've no choice but to spend my days in an endless cycle of dusting and vacuuming, punctuated with occasional bouts of weeding.  Someone's got to do it.  And it's enough to make a woman crazy.

Somehow I'm not finding it as easy as the 1950's women did to get excited about it all.  (Which makes me wonder whether they were actually excited about any of it either, but that's another post.)

Instead I just spend my time wondering how long it will last and plotting my escape.

I suppose I could have you all over 
for a lovely summer luncheon . . .

but I am afraid if I did I might be tempted to go full-on 50's and make something really....umm...reminiscent of the nightmare in which I am trapped.

I thought tomato soup jello was the bottom of the 1950's food barrel.  Now I find a recipe in which they actually added ham before putting it all in the blender....mmmm mmmm good!

It could be sort of fun though.  We could swap stories about our ironing and freezer-defrosting adventures while sitting around without air conditioning strapped into girdles that make it so hard to breathe that we're not even tempted to over-indulge in Tomato-Ham Buffet Ring.

We could call it a welcome-to-your-50th-year 
birthday party for me!  

Or we could do almost ANYTHING else.....
Ideas?  Anyone?


Well then.

Never have things gotten quite so completely away from me, so I suppose I should just call it what it is and stop pretending -- I have abandoned my blog.  But you knew that.

But wait!  I have not abandoned it forever, but rather until I find myself again and begin living something that resembles my normal life.  My life at present consists of mopping and vacuuming, dusting and windexing.  I occasionally do stealth laundry -- yesterday it wasn't finished quite as soon as I would have liked so I removed it from the dryer, plopped it in a basket and put it in the truck while we went away for the open house. I can't remember the last time I bought groceries, but that's okay because the kitchen is just for show.

This morning I am leaving to move Hannah out to Utah for her big NEXT STEP.  Exciting times!  Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming?  Less exciting, but I'll be eager to see where my little birdie flies.

But I have plenty I'd love to tell you, Dear Reader!  For one thing, I've almost finished my drawing challenge...4 drawings to go!  I know I stopped posting them awhile ago, but they'll all materialize there eventually.  And there was a very big birthday present this weekend!  Let's just say the mini-van era has ended at last!

And of course, I want to hear all about what's been happening with YOU.

Someday, we'll talk.....sigh*

Right now I have to vacuum my way out the door to the car and drive drive drive.

While I'm gone, if someone would like to buy my house, I'm leaving it in capable hands and my realtor will be more than happy to assist you.  If you want a peek at my (finished) big housing project, you can see some of it here.

Tell your friends!  I'll throw in some free artwork of their choice! And my undying gratitude! And an all-expenses-paid stay in Phoenix next February (provided I ever get there....)

Small Works will return 
Wednesday,  May 30.
Until then, dear friends...!



So it was the best Mother's Day ever.  Also the worst.  We were working like fiends -- even the fix-it man we hired was pressed into service on Sunday! -- trying to get the house ready to be on the market Monday.

But . . . 
the day had some other truly redeeming qualities!

Daughters bearing flowers and handmade cards, and dinner at one daughter's house.  It's always so reassuring to be in your child's beautiful home being served delicious food that they made themselves.  In fact, her applesauce cake was so good, I just about climbed into the pan in an attempt to get as much as I possibly could. 

Makes one think perhaps one's motherhood ain't been in vain for nothin'.  

But I wanted to share with you some paragraphs from a letter Hannah wrote me, not because of anything it says about me, but because of what it says about her

She actually listened!  She actually learned!  (It was a simply beautiful letter, and I admit that the handy-man did catch me crying openly as I read it...but since it was Mother's Day, I wasn't too embarrassed.)  She said this:

"Thank you for teaching me about beauty:  about how to find it, recognize it, and appreciate it, but most of all how to create it.  When I tell people how magical it was growing up on the floor of your studio, watching your hands weave from disparate nothings pieces of art, I am not exaggerating.  You create magic, and always have.  Thank you for teaching me how to see things not only for what they are, but for the potential they have to become a part of something new and interesting.  My ability to see past current conditions and to de-contextualize is all thanks to the imagination you trained me so well to possess and prize.  As a child, I knew that my mother's hands were different, and more important than most other mothers.  You keep your hands unadorned and useful.  They are your tool, and have helped teach me how to see and judge the world.  I learned from your hands to value the abilities, passions, strengths, doings, and disciplines of others.

"Grandpa may joke about the confusion of growing up in a house where Santa Claus may be a woman, but I am grateful every day for your didactic womanhood.  You are 'phenomenally phenomenal'.  I am happy and thankful often that I grew up in an environment where it never occurred to me that I couldn't be and do exactly what I wanted.  There is comfort in the individuality you fostered and I am grateful to have been raised in the understanding that women are strong, important, resourceful, and gentle, and that I should be proud of this inheritance.  You may have spent many of your adult years at home raising us (thank you again), but your existence has not been small.  The saddest thing to me is a woman who lives a small life, and I thank you for teaching me the tragedy of women who make themselves small."

I guess maybe I should stop questioning my career (or lack of) choices.
It seems I did perhaps accomplish something after all.

Thanks, girls.

YOU truly are 
phenomenal women.



I sat down to sew a button 
on a shirt for Russ the other day --

(Note: It was neither a pink button nor a pink shirt...but I came across this dandy little bit of found-wonderfulness while FINALLY cutting apart a bag of old wool clothes that I've been tripping over for about 15 years.  Moving makes you do things you might otherwise never do.)

and realized I have not picked up a needle since the middle of February.  THE MIDDLE OF FEBRUARY!

There's something very wrong with that.

I believe there was an audible sigh as I made the first pass through the cloth...I miss sewing.  But then, I have missed a lot of things.

On the other hand . . . I missed a lot of things while I was busy sewing whimsical wool pictures for 9 years too -- that's been MORE than evident in the past few months as I've been taking my well-earned *gulp* medicine working on this house.

And the end is in sight!  The sign will appear on the lawn later this week, the listing should go live on Monday.  Ready or not!  (And we're not. But I've never missed a show yet...)

So I fear I may continue to neglect you for the rest of the week.
You are not, however, Dear Reader, the only object of my neglect.

My real-life family and friends?  Neglected.

Personal grooming?  Neglected -- on both legs, and all 20 nails.

Health and fitness?  The spare tire tells the story.

Perry Mason?  Sorely neglected. Haven't fallen asleep to one in months. 


I'll have very little to do but vacuum my just-vacuumed carpet.  I won't be able to sit down anywhere in my own house.  There will be no using the kitchen, or anything else.  If I could figure out how to shower at the convenience store I probably would. Even Cooper is getting the boot for a few weeks so that I can mop every 10 minutes instead of every 5.

So it will probably just be me on my computer pestering you no end and waiting for the phone to ring.

CAN'T WAIT??!!  Me neither.

(Miss you all dreadfully 
and hope you're Tuesday-rrific!)



First World Problems.


Yes, virtually ALL of mine.  
At least I know it.  
And I'm not proud of it. 

It's been a busy week around here -- it's a big house to get ready to sell (see title, above).

Today we tackled our closet.  And I'm speechless.


But here's what ended up on the bedroom floor:

the "to go" pile

It looked particularly impressive....or depressing....in the back of the pickup:

I hope none of the neighbors saw that. 

Part of the problem is being a woman and needing a wardrobe in several different sizes.  (And yes, unfortunately I use them all during the course of a normal year.) 

Another part of the problem is that I'm a sentimental fool who can't throw anything away.

"I wore that the time we ____________ when Lindsay (who is now almost 30) was three! I can't give THAT away!"

You can pretty much fill in the blank with anything.

The third part of the problem is I'm really really cheap so I have clothes for about 15 years before I even start to think about getting rid of them. And they're often clothes I bought at Walmart to begin with.

It all adds up.

Of course, in my NEW life it's going to be much simpler.  My closet will be spacious!  My clothing choices will be limited to a few, well-chosen items of good quality from which I can pull together a handful of chic outfits that can take me wherever I need to go. I will hang them evenly spaced, with good air circulation, and sorted by color. I won't ever need to clean out my closet again, because I will practice the "one thing in, one thing out" rule.  In fact, everything I've ever heard about organization on daytime television is going to finally kick in.

It will be a whole new me!

But of course you knew that. 

(Happy Friday)

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