Saturday, December 31, 2005

I was wrong

The cat could get back up in the chimney. And she did. I don't know how - I was SURE she was blocked out because I:
  1. Closed the flue
  2. Blocked off the fireplace opening with a baby gate
  3. Covered the baby gate with a card table
  4. Secured it all with two heavy boxes of books
Yet, after searching the whole house for her, wondering where in the world she could possibly be now, I pulled away all the barriers and looked up to find her little furry face looking down at me.

*I* think someone is playing a joke on me and came into the house and let her back up and then put everything back. My husband of course thinks I'm crazy. I think maybe I am.

Great news

The cat is OUT of the chimney. And can't get back up it. We are all (including the cat) just thrilled.

Friday, December 30, 2005


will this never end??? The other holiday tradition I'd forgotten about because I've been lucky enough to avoid it the past couple of years. The one where I get sick as soon as Christmas is over. This year it's a flu thing that seems to change symptoms every other day - I'm on day 5 now... what will it bring today? I feel like I'm wasting valuable vacation time not getting the new house ready - there is so much work to do there. At least I'm getting some good reading in. Danny Gregory wrote a new book and I'm enjoying it - it's called The Creative License. And then there is a strange but good book called Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman that I'm almost through. I want to paint though... There are some trees and some houses and some birds and some hearts that are calling out to be created - but... ug, it takes all I have just to hold a book up and turn the page every so often. Oh and I signed up for that new Live Journal Embodiment journal project. I'm looking forward to it. Must get well so I can get out and find a new blank journal before the new year.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

I just have to say I LOVE Chukar Cherries. Yum! And Mary Oliver poetry... and my new oil paints and especially my Starbucks gift card - guilt-free mochas!

Here is another happy old girl - her 6 squeaker toy only lasted 10 minutes but she was in pure bliss for the whole 10 minutes.

Luke, of course, was happy all day, even when we woke up to a neighborhood power outage and had to light candles to see to open our stockings.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Did it.

10:42 PM - It all happened - or close enough anyway. Must get these tired bones to bed before Santa comes. Why does HE get all the credit for pulling off a magical Christmas morning anyway??? Doesn't quite seem fair at this hour... ah well, it will all be worth it in the morning.


I'm almost done, but I'm way behind. Think I'll get it all done? Frank has volunteered to do the baking. He even found a corn syrup-free pecan pie that I'll be able to eat - yum!
  1. grocery shopping
  2. bake cookies
  3. bake a pecan pie
  4. bake a cheesecake (bought one)
  5. make a ruby and jade bracelet for C.
  6. make a crystal bracelet for J. (Bought gift certificate instead)
  7. buy a gift for D.
  8. buy some stocking stuffers for F.
  9. make the gingerbread house
  10. clean the house (just a bit, it's not too bad a.t.m.)
  11. hang the stockings
  12. wrap some more presents
  13. cook dinner and celebrate Christmas Eve
  14. put out cookies for Santa and reindeer food for the reindeer
  15. Prep the Baked French Toast to soak overnight
  16. watch Santa's travels on Norad

Here's hoping your list is way shorter than mine and that you have a very magical Christmas this year. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Amber Update

We went up today to see what we could do about the cat up the chimney problem. Discovered she ate all her food... and then jumped back up the chimney. So, she's not stuck, just stubborn and, I'm sure, filthy dirty. "So Pam, why don't you ever have a fire in your beautiful new studio?" "Oh, well, I can't, my cat lives in the chimney."

Happy Winter Solstice, btw. We built our cairn today because it seemed like a very good (calendar) day for it, except it was pouring out and it felt like we were rushing and I really didn't want to rush it. Picture later...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Bad Day For Pets

First, I walk in the door in time to witness Tyger under the table, shaking his head, with a red ribbon sticking out of his mouth. I try to grab it and end up wrestling him to the ground just in time for him to swallow the whole thing.

Then, the girls (dog girls) unwrap my gifts, the ones under the tree that Frank and Luke wrapped - the ones for me... and leave a shredded paper mess and a little boy almost in tears about it.

And THEN, and this tops it all... and you may not even believe this one... and honestly, I wish I were lying... Amber, the cat we pulled in from the cold, the cat we took to the vets and got updated on shots and her ears cleaned out, who then got relocated to the Edmonds house... IS UP THE CHIMNEY. Yes, she really is. Up the chimney. And won't come down.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Love This

I've been looking at this for 2 days now - I just love it. I wonder if I could figure out how to make it - I guess I would need to learn to crochet? Because bead-weaving one would take forever. Or I could just purchase it... I'd like a dress maniquin like this too. (Santa, are you listening???)

Amber In

Frank-the-tender-hearted, (he's such a good guy) snatched up the wild cat we host in our yard - her name is Amber and we feed her and take her to the vet and worry about her when we hear coyotes in the valley or a cat fight in the neighborhood - and he deposited her in the guest bathroom last night at midnight. It was COLD. And she really didn't struggle that much. She curled up in the sink and let me pet her and started purring. She's been around enough to know this happens about once a year if it gets too cold out and this year she seems to actually appreciate it. I wonder if we should just take her up to the Edmonds house and let her get used to life up there... maybe by the time we move in she will have morphed into a tame indoor cat? One can only hope.... besides, she's a good mouser.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Cairns, Crystals, Cuteness

Had my feng shui friend come to the new house yesterday to clear out past-owner energy, detect and redirect geopathic stress streams and do what she could to set up energetic barriers to discourage the rats from living in our house. It was great - the house feels so much better already.

She said 65% of the problems in the house, and what was attracting the rats, was past-owner energy. She removed that. She found 3 little stress streams and redirected them, and then there is a BIG - as in 16-18 foot - magnetic field/band running through our yard and a corner of the house. I'm still learning, but apparently the Earth has many of these bands running around it on the surface, above, etc... and this one just happens to pass through my property. It was the largest one she'd ever seen - they can be physically draining, they can mess with electronics (explains why my cell phone shuts itself off every time I go into Luke's room and why it barely works in parts of the house) and there isn't much you can do about re-directing it... but you can do some things to set an intention that the energy from it on your property and in your house be supportive to human life and not interfere with health and happiness.

So what I have to do is bury a crystal (yes, woo-woo to the max) and then build a granite cairn over it - we went around the yard picking out the granite stones that would be most beneficial for this and there were 4 of them. Now to just find the right crystal and I'll start building my cairn. I would love to build one of these balancing ones... but I doubt that's a good idea with kids and dogs...

The architect visit was fun too - he liked our house a lot - loved the "Old Edmonds" charm and the wood paneled walls and all the windows. He kept comparing it to a house he's working on in Carmel, CA. Now I have to get a book about those old artist homes to see what he's talking about. We should have plans for our new bathroom early next week.

And here is a link - cute animal pictures. I figured with a name like Cute Overload I'd hate it, but it's kind of fun. Baby animals, etc.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hello Moon

It's been wonderful these past few days to have clear skies at night to see the moon going through it's phases. Here it is coming up over the mountains tonight:

A few seconds later:

A little later with the flash on and zoomed in:

And then the show was just about over - going, going.... gone.

good morning sunshine

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

More Lights

My friend Jody sent me this link to a page of holiday lights in her town of Jamestown NY. I really love some of these old houses - I miss East Coast homes sometimes. Frank used to live in Jamestown for awhile - I think he went to college there or something. Things I should know but don't - weird.

Here is a light I love. Tinkerbell Garland Lantern. I think I could just get some metal garland and make it myself - do you think so too? I'm thinking for my covered patio area - but it would be great in the bedroom or my studio even. Maybe I can make a whole bunch of different kinds... maybe I can take some wire and string beads and make my own beaded garland! Hey now...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Some Jewelry for a Change

Hey, check this out - I made something that doesn't have anything to do with house decorating or cleaning or moving! Both of these feature my lampwork beads as a focal - this is the same idea I'm thinking of for my cabinet handles in my new studio - I just can't decide what colors.


Spent the weekend working at the house - got to do some fun things there for a change - lights! Absolutely nothing in my livingroom, but the mantle is festive. I'm happy.

My magic garden lights are up (but I'm going to re-string them when I get a chance).

Speaking of magical lights, check out this amazing Faerie Cottage and Yule Table that one of my livejournal friends made. I love it!

And here is link find for the day: a kind of fun site of celebrity what-not-to-wear.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Holiday Cheer

My amaryllis bloomed overnight:

Luke's room has a Christmas corner. In part because his Meme sent him this wonderful quilted wallhanging that she made for him and partly because he discovered we own colored lights that I refuse to ever use. (This is why when you have a child you should sort through the stuff before you bring it up for all to see.) After two days of "Mom, why don't you like colored lights?" and "Mom, I like colored lights." and "Mom, I really wish we could use those colored lights..." I broke down and bought him this little live tree. And we put the lights on it and there you go - everyone is happy and at peace about the colored lights.

Riddle Me This

What do you get when two big dogs get into the pantry and pull out (of all things) a box of pancake mix and open it up and spread it around and only eat some of it?

Answer: Aside from the white powder mess everywhere, shredded box and plastic bag, you get white paw prints in every room of the house, a thick glue-like substance (think paper mache maybe?) under those piles of white powder and a big old hard white glue stain in the middle of the living room rug. Oh yes, and two guilty dogs faces with little specks of white glue on their snouts.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Better Day

I'm feeling a lot better today. Luke and I went up to the Edmonds house to clean up the exterminator's mess. (Frank is out of town or I'm sure he would have helped... or maybe not - he might have decided to tear down yet another wall or the the kitchen floor or something, which would have made me cranky all over again.) Anyway, we walked in and there were absolutely no signs of rats - none seen, none heard, and best of all, none smelt. It's the first time I've been in the house and it didn't have that funky smell. (Now I know what that expression "I smell a rat" was really referring to.) So - we got busy and started sweeping and mopping and cleaned down the kitchen and vacuumed up Luke's room (which is under the attic opening so his carpet was full of debris). Luke helped - he loves to mop. And he was thrilled to have his room back - emptied of the crap they pulled out of the attic - boxes and boards and stuff... and when we left, the house - or at least the top floor of it - was happy. And so was I.

My Mountains This Morning

After a night of rip-roaring winds and listening to tree branches fall and crash and watching the shadows of the trees dance wildly through the moon reflection in the ceiling of my bedroom, Mother Nature gives me this amazing sunrise:

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My Mountains Tonight

My view tonight, with a thick heavy band of clouds sitting over the foothills. Glad it's not over my hill.

A New Day

I'm trying to have a better outlook today. It's not working very well... I couldn't bring myself to go up to the new house and start cleaning... I'm afraid of what I'll find there this time... so we went to paint Christmas ornaments instead, but that didn't help really... and so I'm trying my old stand-by: I'm making a list - or two or three. Let's see if this helps.

Things I'm doing to make things better:
  1. Made an appointment with my woo-woo energy/feng shui person to come up to the new house and clear the house of past-owner energy, check for geopathic stress and energetically discourage rats from living in our house and property. I told her about the rat problem - thinking she'd want to come out after that was all taken care of, but she thinks she can help. I'll take all the help I can get!
  2. Made an appointment with architect to help us design new master bathroom. This is the same architect who helped us with our Carnation home and I really enjoyed working with him. It will be fun to have a plan and be able to move forward with this.
Things to buy or gather together from here before going back up there:
  1. A good garbage bin with a tight lid.
  2. A shovel or long handled dust bin thing.
  3. Rubber gloves.
  4. Disinfectant spray.
  5. A mop & floor cleaner.
  6. Cleaning supplies.
Things I want to buy, but probably won't:
  1. A Hoover Floormate.
  2. An E.Z Reacher tool.
  3. A pedicure.
Things I'm looking forward to doing once we actually move into the new house:
  1. Starting up with a CSA like Pioneer Organics to get fresh, local, organic, seasonal fruits and veggies delivered to the door. Would love to hear if anyone knows of a better CSA for the Edmonds area.
  2. Starting a dailing walking routine. With or without the dogs and/or Luke. (Yay sidewalks!)
  3. Getting a team of babysitters lined up.
  4. Finding and hiring an affordable house cleaner so I will have time to make art - even if the art only pays for the house cleaner, it's still a win-win situation.
  5. Getting out and meeting Kim from Something To Say for coffee and art talk.
  6. Joining a Stitch n' Bitch group and getting out and making some new crafty friends.

There, that's a start. Will keep at it.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Rats Rats Rats

Ugh. I have had it with the Edmonds house. I don't know what to do. I guess I'll have to give it a little time to see if the exterminators have done a good job or not, but I'm thinking we have not seen the last of the rats. Today Luke and I saw way more than we wanted to - we walked into the house to find one on the living room floor - dying. I don't know how or why... if it got trapped inside, now that the exits are sealed... or if it got injured in a snap trap... or what. I thought it was dead, told Luke to stay away from it while I figured out what to do... but curious Luke... had to get close to see the details (Look Mom - it has little tiny hands!) - and then I saw it wink and one of it's whiskers twitch. OMG.

THIS time I got lucky, the exterminators were there finishing up and cleaning up and so I asked them to remove it. But I know there will be a day when there will be no one to ask for help and I'll have to do it myself. Or what if the dogs find it first... or... Tyger (the rat was half the size of my cat!)... or... yuck - all the scenarios running through my head are too much for me. I figure I need a plan for next time... but I don't have one. Especially if it's still alive. What do I do - chase it with a broom??? Or what if it's (gasp) in the toilet - I just read that they can travel up through the sewer pipes. You are supposed to squirt some dish soap in through the closed toilet (why??) and wait a little (again, why??) and then flush. OMG. OMG. OMG. What if it's not there when you first sit down??? What have I gotten into with this house????

I need some success stories to know that we are not just wasting our time and money here. Is it possible to get rid of them??? I am so grateful that our Carnation house has not sold yet. Only one person has even come to look at it - it's like the Universe knows and is keeping us safe here while we figure out what to do. Which brings me back to.... what do I do???

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Tree Sneak

We got our tree yesterday - we tried to do the cut-your-own, in the beautiful snow, how fun - what a good memory this will make for Luke... but quick - before it starts raining. Except it started raining as soon as we pulled in and the trees were all small and very Charlie Brown and Luke was walking next to me all bundled up with his teeth chattering and after searching around for a good half hour looking for the lot of Noble Firs (can't have been that area with the 2 foot tall trees!?), with my hair dripping water into my eyes, I called it off - said let's go to Home Depot and get a nice tree for half the price of one of these sad trees. And that's what we did - we found a tree in less than five minutes, and five minutes later were on our way home to put it in the house.

Of course Luke wanted the lights on it five minutes later, but that did not happen. Frank decided to take a nap and let the tree relax. Luke just couldn't understand the concept and kept bugging me to decorate it. After a gazillion "No!"'s, he finally seemed to stop asking. And when I came up from the basement after sorting through the Christmas ornaments, I saw why. He decided to get busy all by himself. Here he his, caught in the act.

(Notice my stark white walls - I've been looking at too many home decorating magazines and books and decided to take down all my art and do a "coordinated decor" for the holidays - something simple and natural that is clean and fresh and open and welcoming so that the house wouldn't feel too small when people came to look at it and buy it... (and also because adding holiday colors proved too much to my already colorful decor), but so far the only result I've achieved is bare and cold and discombobulated. Part of my couch is now in my office, art is floating around in the guest room, and I have no idea what to do to make it right. I hope no one calls to see the house today.)

And here is a great link I found - the public can submit digital photos to the news and they post them - there are some great shots of mostly local sunsets and sunrises and the moon, etc.: Komo TV Weather Shots.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Winter Wonderland

This is what we woke up to this morning. You might not think it's a big deal, but we only get snow like this maybe once a year or so. It reminds me of New England and so many winters there...I love it. Especially since it melts quickly and I don't have to shovel or drive in it.