Lifting the curtain on my life's third act.

Yesterday’s experiment in dyeing with lichens was, you’ll excuse the expression, a complete wash out. Today we do something constructive and terrifying: edit the closet, and especially the shoe collection. As I am no longer employed outside my home and studio, my wardrobe requirements are meager. It is time for the closet to reflect the new era. Wish me luck.

I Talk to the Trees

Man, that was a stretch, but you try figuring out a rock lyric with the word “lichen” in it. The tree trimmers were kind enough to leave all of the oak tree trimmings with “green stuff” on them in my yard, cut to manageable lengths and neatly piled. When harvested, I had a quart mason jar filled with (primarily) Parmotrema Praesorediosum (I looked it up.) I have a pint jar with about a quarter cup of it marinading in my bathroom, despite it failing the bleach test. (You look it up.) Hope springs eternal and all that.

Today I am about to boil up the rest of it and see what happens.

lichens

In Your Wildest Dreams

We have reached the part of this adventure where we must purchase new appliances. We must decide on what flooring we will be using. Which range/cooktop/oven/double ovens (or combination thereof) will go in the new kitchen. The cabinets. The sinks. The tub. The human-sized lobster pot of my dreams, situated outside in a hidden garden lit by hanging lanterns and overhung with trellises. Or not, because dear Flying Spaghetti Monster, have you seen the price of those tubs? I’m back to the rusted claw-foot tub with a handle pump. But I digress.

I am vacillating wildly. I cannot decide what I want: the gas cook-top and twin wall ovens, or a dual fuel range and a single wall oven. The issue is whether or not I need an oven dedicated to baking. If I do, do I want a stack, or do I want a range that can be a bright color (and there are many that come in colors) and then rest of the appliances in stainless or black or do I want everything the same finish? Matchy-matchy is not my thing, but there is something to be said to having the appliances meld into the background. Even that, the color/finish of my cabinetry is dependent upon another decision I have yet to nail down…what are the floors going to be? Engineered wood, but which engineered wood? A hand-scraped rustic grey with undertones of yellow? That nifty bamboo that looks like it was smuggled out of Thailand from an abandoned temple in the jungle? Or the pale driftwood grey oak?

Tomorrow I head back up to the new house, and I will come to some conclusions. Really. In the meantime, here’s the current view from the back slab.

back yard before

Someday that slab will be a human bird cage, with chunks of Miami Oolite covering the knee-high wall and screened walls and a wooden ceiling. There will be air plants tucked into the coral. The cat will sit on the half wall and gaze out upon the yard. The workshop will be my studio.

But first, we must make choices.

I Dreamed A Dream

This has to happen. This needs to happen.

I was making potato pierogi, and idly thinking about things I’d seen on Facebook today, as one does. This Bruce Springsteen/Jimmy Fallon piece ripping Gov. Christie is brilliant.

I was thinking that Bruce was right in saying that Fallon does a better Bruce than Bruce, when the penny dropped: there was comedy gold to be mined today. Remember Dueling Brandos? I see Dueling Bosses, in a three way with Fallon, Adam Sandler and Bruce his ownself. Someone needs to get on that, stat. People need to call people.

Back From the Shadows

Yesterday I received a letter in the mail addressed to my ex-husband. We have been divorced for 24 years. I never used his name while we were married. When I married the Renowned Local Artist, I changed my name to his. He (the RLA) and I bought this house together in 1993. The ex never had anything to do with this location.

I cannot tell you how hard it was to see the Antichrist’s on a piece of mail addressed to my home. I cannot tell you how violated I felt to have his presence thrust on me like that. Violated. I was crying and shaking. I woke up at 4 this morning with a migraine and spent the next two hours throwing up.

I sorted out the confusion with the owners of the data base that supplied the sender of the letter, but I am still shaken. He is listed on that site (People Finders, FYI) as a “known alias” for me. I find that so hard to understand, seeing as how I never changed my name. It has made me concerned about my credit…the man never paid a bill on time in his life (or his fair share of a dinner tab, or anything else, as far I was concerned) and to have him listed as an alias for MOI???

I may have to go throw up again.

So. Part of this whole third act thing is our relocation to my childhood home, updated to suit our more hipster aesthetic. I’ve spent the last half hour searching for evidence of something I seem to recall from some art history/ethno/cultural exposure: That there was at least one early culture that with some regularity buried the architects of monuments/temples/etc. under their own designs to ensure good hoodoo. The architects’ deaths were arranged to work with the building schedule. No evidence was found, but then, one doesn’t care to search too hard for a string of key words like that, eh? In any event, the reason for the search was my sad realization that I must have been one of those people sending poor innocent architects to their untimely deaths, because my architect karma in this life is batting zero. Over the last 20 years, the RLA and I have engaged 3 architects for three projects. The first was insanely overpriced, showed us no respect, couldn’t be bothered to produce drawings and ultimately delivered a completely unacceptable set of plans for something that was twice the agreed budget. The second round of plans came from an old friend from my home town. Expensive for the likes of us, but the drawings were beautiful and exactly what we wanted. Then the market crashed and there was no way that the beautiful studio could be built. This third go round has elements of the first: the first set of drawings were procured by dint of force. They were priced and whaddayaknow, the first estimate to build came in at exactly TWICE the budget. That was a couple of months ago, and despite emails, pleas and general nagging, nothing.

When I was very young, I used to read whatever I could find in my mother’s library. By the age of ten I was reading James Thurber, I loved The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I loved the movie version with Danny Kaye, but then, I loved Danny Kaye. That there is a reboot currently in the theaters starring Ben Stiller gives me hope that perhaps one of my other favorites from the period will be rediscovered. I refer, of course, to Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, and I fear that this blog will descend to that level. I pray that we don’t end up in full Money Pit.

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