Sunday, May 31, 2009

forward motion


Today...
We have renters! Good ones!
I made more curtains... so-so ones.
Rick made new steps; wood instead of icky carpet. Beautiful ones.

It seems that Mercury is in motion again. Amen to that, sister.

More in-depth coverage soon!

Friday, May 29, 2009

blooming

When the tulips fade, the poppies begin to bloom... sounds like some kind of Ancient Zen Wisdom, but it's actually what's happening in my yard...



Come to think of it, maybe there's a message in this after all. Endings and beginnings... often so painful on this human level. But endings are nature's way of making room for beginnings. I'm sure there's something ponderable, and maybe even comforting in that. (I'm talking to someone close to me today... do you hear me? You will feel better soon. I know you will. Soon you'll start to see the poppies.)

~~~

And - my curtains are finally beginning to bloom too. From a song I heard somewhere... Progress is made, when progress is made...



I just got the sewing machine back yesterday, and after a long day in the office and the studio, I went to the trailer to start sewing. I am not good at sewing, or more specifically, at measuring and cutting and pinning. I don't enjoy those parts. Not even a little bit. But the actual sewing is really kind of fun, when the machine does its job and hums along stitch after stitch, happy to be helping me. It took me almost three hours to make this one little curtain. How embarrassing. I think I'll do one a day, until the job is done. A week - maybe two... And in between, Rick will be installing the new kitchen faucet, and new flooring. That part makes me very happy. The old stuff just doesn't work...



That strange 1990 mauve must go, along with the white vinyl. We're almost done, and almost have a renter, I think. Soon we'll be on our way. Soon. A new beginning.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

hula hop dancer

I want to be her when I grow up...

hoop-de-doo


After all that eating, it's time to start moving. Deborah and I were talking about hula hoops last night. This has come up with other friends recently, so I dug a little deeper, and found some good sites and information. You can buy fancy hoops from lots of places, and these are not your standard kiddie shoop-shoop hoops. The new hoops are made for grown-ups, and the beauty part is, you can easily make your own! Rick is at the hardware store as we speak, buying tubing and tape. Today we're making hoops. Maybe I can't play the violin, but I bet I can re-learn to swing a hula hoop! Care to join me? Check out the video. She's inspiring! And here are some links to get you started...

How To Make A Hula Hoop: http://www.jasonunbound.com/hoops.html

Hooping.org Magazine: http://www.hooping.org/

Hoopnotica: http://www.hoopnotica.com/index.php?cPath=3

Weighted Hoops - The Great Debate: http://www.hooping.org/archives/000531.html

Can't you just see me, out there hooping it up in the RV parks?

Monday, May 25, 2009

everything's just peachy

Two parties, two days, two peach cobblers. This is so good. Mom's recipe, from back before I started trying to make dessert good for me. I only make it when I know other people will help eat it, or I'd eat a whole vat of the stuff myself. Try it with a shot of Reddi-Wip or vanilla ice cream; best served warm, of course. Here's my very old recipe card. I'll clarify below.



Use a 9x13 baking dish, and double the recipe to make the required vat-full. Use two big cans of sliced peaches in heavy syrup (really, you want all the sugar possible here). Drain the juice off of one can, and dump both into the pan. Here is where I sometimes add my own little touch. Last night it was a whole bag of frozen raspberries. Today it's a bunch of dried cherries. Then make double the amount of topping. I now use whole wheat flour, because it's all we have in the house. You can get one called "white whole wheat", which is still whole grain, but nice for baking. Not too gritty and heavy. I mix it up with my hands, because it's kind of dry and hard to stir with a spoon.

Spread the topping - where else? - on top! Melt about a half-stick of butter (what good is a puny little four teaspoons?), and drizzle it all over the top, then bake it till it's a nice golden brown. If you want some to take home from the party, better make two pans and just leave one at home.

Friday, May 22, 2009

shrinky-dink

I've sold my old roll-top desk. The one I use in the studio for all my jewelry making stuff. There's a lot of stuff in there, and somehow, I'm going to move it from here...

...to here...


This is my project for today, along with making some beads and marbles. Wish me luck, and the powers of the "Honey I Shrunk The Kids" shrinking machine...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

beautiful chaos

You should see it around here. There are stacks and piles of things all over the place. Thing To Take Along, Things To Put In Storage, Things To Sell, Things To Donate, Things To Take To The Dump. It's a total mess, and I feel sort of like the hummingbirds we're still managing to feed, zipping from task to task, all day, every day, even in my sleep. It's finally hit me - we're moving. but unlike most people who move , we'll just keep on moving along until we know where to stop. This would be well beyond most people's limits, I know. Chaos is hard to live with, but I think it's gotten a bad rap. After all, Chaos is "where great dreams begin", if you look it up in the I Ching. I believe that. I embrace it. Hell, I even had it tattooed on my arm.

We're making good progress though. Sold the hot tub. Sold the violin. Sold a bunch of studio stuff. We're interviewing renters, and I trust we'll find a good one very soon. And work on the trailer is more finished every day. It's a bigger job than we expected. Isn't everything? The pretty red rose cabinet knobs were a little bit too pretty, so we added some edgy Mexican iron hardware to them, and now they're perfect. Rick is artfully filling and disguising the holes from the old hardware, and the rather funky, grannyish wood cabinets are looking beautiful now.



We also decided to rip out the crummy little night stands in the bedroom, so we can fit our wonderful king size memory foam bed in there. It will be wall-to-wall bed, but that's just fine. We'll be comfortable. It will feel like home. After long days of driving or hiking or making beads in a weird cramped space, a good bed will be a truly wonderful thing. It will be our own little hummingbird nest.



So here I go, another day, another gazillion things to do. It's OK! It's exactly what I signed up for.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

sale away

I'm having a Bead Sale on Monday and Tuesday. Time to clear things out and make room for more! If you're not on my mailing list, or didn't get your Beadist Email for some reason, here's what you need to know...

Monday and Tuesday are the Sale Days. For 10% off everything in my BeadShop, use the Discount Code "MOVE", before you complete checkout. I can't go back and refund the 10% if you forget, so... remember! Happy Shopping!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And now for this week's Bead Give-Away!




The Rules:

One entry per person per week.
You have to enter as a comment to this post, not by email or mail or phone or pony express.
Just answer this week's question, and sign your first AND last name at the bottom.
(You won't be entered if you don't sign your name)
No anonymous entries!
The winner will be chosen by random drawing at the end of the week. Check back here to see if you won!
Have fun, and good luck!

This week's question:

Read any good books lately?

(I'm reading Cesar Millan, "Be the Pack Leader", and Stephen King, "On Writing". Both are very helpful!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Friday, May 22 - We have a WINNER!!!
AsariA! Contact me and I'll get this right to you!

AND...
LAST WEEK's WINNER WAS MARY FREE!
Please claim your prize by next Friday, or it goes back in the stash!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

blind date

We have a WINNER in this week's Bead Give-Away!
MARY FREE, please contact me so I can send you your bead!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday was Heidi's second modeling gig for Katy George. The set-up was a "tail gate picnic", like the ones typically enjoyed in the Santa Fe Opera parking lot before curtain time. It's a wonderful, silly tradition that you probably don't find at most opera venues. New Mexico is... different!

Heidi and Judge agreed to wear Katy's beautiful Doggie Couture for the shoot, and one of the "real" photos, taken by Jaap Vanderplas, will be on display at the Opera House, along with the dog clothes that are available for sale there. We all had a really good time, and polished off the champagne afterwards! Here's my take on "what dogs think"...



Find the larger version here on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=101217644459

(Yes, I'm aware of the typo... To fix it, I'd have to go all the way back to the beginning and do the whole thing over again. Think of it as a "signature mistake"...)

OK now, in case you can't get the slide show to work, I'll do it this way too. Play your own music for full effect!
~~~
Blind Date At The Opera

Another blind date... Why do I let my friends set me up like this?

He'd better not stand me up...

Are you sure this is the right guy?

He's kinda cute, but he doesn't talk much... The cape is sexy though...

I brought all this nice food. Wonder if he'll even notice...

And I'm wearing my best dress. How can he ignore blue velvet and lace?

Hmmm... Maybe he's just shy...
Hey! Giovanni! Snap out of it!

I'm sorry... you're so beautiful... I couldn't speak!

Let me make it up to you. Mind if I get a little closer?

How about a little kiss?

Oh dear... that didn't go so well. Let's just go to the opera and forget about the picnic.

I just want someone to treat me like a lady. Where are all the nice guys in Taos, anyway?

What a relief! I forgot it was just a photo shoot! Can we drink the champagne now, Katy?

~~~
OK! That's it! Another day gone to the dogs... heh heh...

Friday, May 15, 2009

magic gypsy bead chest

Here it is - the Magic Gypsy Bead Chest!



The outside is finished, but the inside still needs a mirror, an earring rack, and of course, beads! I'll be getting to all that soon. Certainly before we head out of Taos, which is now looking like early July. All these little jobs... they have to be done before we ease on down the road. I'll be shifting some things from my BeadShop to the BeadChest, maybe as soon as next week. I think I'll have two separate inventories as we travel. It's just too hard to keep track of what's online when it's also for sale live and in person. I've tried, and something always gets messed up and double-sold. So I hope that the good people who shop my website will be quick and decisive when they see something they want. Otherwise, it might just "get gone".

A few more pictures, and I'm on my way. The beautiful gypsy ladies are my "ancestors". Of course they are! Well, they are now...









Thursday, May 14, 2009

sugar baby

Still no photos allowed today. I can post pics from the internet, but not from my computer. Evil Blogger Demons. They were quick enough to slurp up my money, but ever so slow in delivering the service I paid for. Grrr..... I could take the long way around, by posting my pics someplace else, and then copying them in here, but I really don't have time for that today, so I'll try again tomorrow. Sorry! When I can get them loaded, I have pics of the Gypsy Bead Chest. It is fabulous.

Till then, give this a try. A homemade sugar scrub for your skin! I made some last night, subbing canola oil for the glycerine, skipping the aloe, and adding a few drops of lavender oil. It really works! Rick tried it too, and now we're both as soft as a baby's... anything!

By Annie B. Bond

OK, folks. Get ready for almost unbelievably soft skin (even for those of us with older skin).

The other day I was speaking with Larry Pleasant, CEO of The Vermont Soapworks, and he mentioned that he and his staff had spent the morning testing homemade sugar scrubs, and that everyone was commenting on how incredibly soft their skin felt. Aware that sugar cane produces glycolic acid, one of the natural alpha hydroxy acids that exfoliates the skin, I was immediately curious about his recipes.


Ingredients
50 percent white cane sugar (note that organic sucanat, while the best choice for food, doesn’t work as well for this recipe)
50 percent vegetable glycerin to moisten the sugar (I used avocado oil since I was out of vegetable glycerin and it proved to be a successful substitute)
Small amounts of aloe vera gel, vitamin C crystals, or anything healing that dissolves in water
1 or 2 drops of essential oil if desired (Larry recommends combining orange and lavender)
Enough ground hibiscus powder for pink color (if desired)
Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Scoop some of the scrub onto your hand and massage gently onto your skin for a minute (the scrub will actually tighten onto your skin like a masque). Leave on for 3 to 4 minutes before rinsing.

Let me warn you in advance that you’ll want to use this sugar scrub on your entire body. I started on my face, returned to my desk, and my skin felt so baby soft that the skin on my neck felt like sandpaper, so I needed to use the sugar scrub there, and on and on.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

color swatches

The trailer re-do is well under way. Rick is at it pretty much full time now, while I make beads and keep the cash flowing. He's doing a great job. So am I, for that matter.

Rick thinks he'll be finished painting today. Then there are no more excuses - I have to make the curtains. Well actually... Mom's sewing machine is in the shop, so I can't use it yet. But I do have an ancient black iron singer in a rounded wooden carrying case. It's beautiful, and can sew through plywood... I'll get it out today and see if it still works, and if I can remember how to thread it and wind the weird oblong bobbins... I guess I can come up with excuses not to sew, but that won't get the darn curtains in the windows, now will it?

Here are some pictures of the progress so far...


The main area is sort of a celery green, the bathroom, bedroom, and "bunkhouse" (behind the bathroom door) are the deeper sage green, and the slide-out, which contains the dinette and sofa, is red. Really red, like a gypsy fire. It's kind of bright in the day time, but super warm and cozy at night, which is the only time we want to be indoors anyway. It's the third red room I've had in my life, so it's not a question of "can I live with it". I love red walls, so Rick does too now. The splash of fabric on the left will be curtains all around, and the one on the right will be the upholstery for the dinette. We decided to keep its configuration, rather than replace it with a regular table and chairs, because we need the storage underneath. Besides, when we go to a restaurant, we ask for a booth. Now we have one of our very own.


Rather than re-cover the ugly, uncomfortable, and heavy sofa bed, we took it out, set it in the driveway for a future yard sale, and slid in this favorite loveseat from the house. It will get a nice chocolate brown faux-suede slip cover. Here's another look at the curtain fabric that we found at Cost Plus. Love it! And you can't see it, but Rick switched out the icky, glary, clear overhead dome lights with lovely, softly glowing bronze ones from Lowe's.

I had planned to show a couple more pictures, but I just this minute ran out of photo storage on Blogger. Sheesh! I bought more, but it won't kick in till sometime tomorrow. So I'll show you some more later. Ah well... It's funny, because just last night I went over to Greetings From Taos, to see if the archives still go back to day one. They sure do, and I've posted a lot of pictures since September 7, 2006!

I want to thank you all for telling us about your favorite music! You still have a couple of days to enter the Bead Give-Away. Scroll down to the "what's in your ear" post, and chime in! Someone suggested a "Balkan Beat Box" station on Pandora. Oh yeah, baby! This is just what I need! And speaking of boxes... I'm almost finished adorning my Magic Gypsy Bead Chest. You'll see it soon!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

bodhisattva in metro

I was going to write something else today, but this it too good not to share. Thank you Eric from Switzerland, for sending it to me!

Dare you not to laugh!

Monday, May 11, 2009

what's in your ear?

We've been sorting through our music, trying to get it all condensed down to a travel version of our favorite stuff. We still have records, and the turntable required to play them, but of course those can't go along for the ride. We'll hope they survive a year in storage, while we listen to CD versions of old favorites and new things too. We seem to have something of a theme song for the moment - Van Morrison's "Bright Side Of The Road", from the "Into The Music" album. We have it on vinyl, but also bought it on CD. We need it. It keeps us encouraged when we start to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work and pressure we've willingly signed up for.

Last night we started taking all the inserts out of all the CD cases, and stuffing them into little pockets in a big CD binder. What a great way to save space, and as it turns out, it's also easier to flip through and see what we have. We're grouping them into genres like Girl Singers, World Music, Cool Old Black Guys, Christmas, Old Rock, Classical... you get the idea.

A big favorite of mine right now is anything that might qualify as Gypsy Music, particularly violins. I've decided to sell my violin, which makes me sad, and also makes complete sense. I've had it for a year, and I'm not making any progress at all. I listen to a lot of musician interviews on the radio, and I'm realizing that I'm not actually a musician. That's OK. It was a dream that needed nurturing, and I'm glad I gave it a shot. Now I can free up some space, physically and psychically, take one more thing off my To Do list, and concentrate on finding wonderful violin music to listen to. No regrets. Anybody wanna buy a violin? It comes with this book, and lots of others...



~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And now for this week's Bead Give-Away!


Learn more about this lyrical bead here: http://kimmiles.bigcartel.com/product/2-60-you-make-my-heart-flutter

The Rules:

One entry per person per week.
You have to enter as a comment to this post, not by email or mail or phone or pony express.
Just answer this week's question, and sign your first AND last name at the bottom.
No anonymous entries!
The winner will be randomly chosen at the end of the week. Check back here to see if you won.
Have fun, and good luck!

This week's question:
What music are you listening to these days?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Saturday, May 16
The WINNER of this bead is...

MARY FREE!!!

Mary, please contact me by email so I can send you your prize!

Thanks everyone. You gave me some good musical suggestions!
See you back here Monday for the next Give-Away!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

happy mother's day

I don't have pictures yet, but we did great in Santa Fe on Wednesday. Found all sorts of things we need for the trailer, and had fun in the process. Isn't that what it's all about? Get the job done, have some fun? Throw in a tasty beverage at quitting time, and it's a day well spent.

We're spending a lot of time out there in the driveway, looking at the new paint job, draping various fabrics all over the furniture. I'm a little bit shy about sharing my current decorating tastes with you. This stuff should not go together, but I love it anyway. You'll see, soon enough. And it doesn't really matter if you love it or hate it, as long as Rick and I love it. After all, it's our little home. I guess what confuses me about what we're choosing is that it's not at all like anything we live with now. The colors are much more earthy than I usually go for. I have a theory though... I think we're gravitating toward these grounded tones because we're purposely putting ourselves into a totally ungrounded situation. What could be less stable than a trailer? Maybe a tent, but that's too extreme, even for us. So to have our nest decorated in colors that feel somehow rooted might be just the thing to keep us feeling at least a little bit secure and at home, although I still don't really know what that means.

Mother's Day is coming up this weekend. I don't think much about it, and don't expect my kids to make a big thing over their strange and rebellious mother. I'm not a Hallmark Card sort of mom. I'm the kind who did and does the best she can, and hopes the Power Mommies don't notice that I'm not as good at it as they are. But every year at this time, I think about my own mom of course. I'd send her something if I could, and call her if that was still an option. This year I'm thinking a lot about how she would probably really like what we're about to do. I think she'd approve. I think she does. One of the biggest things I learned from my mom was that life is short, and we'd better get on with it. She wanted to do a lot of things she never got the chance to do, and ever since she took her leave from this side of the veil, I've put a lot of effort into making up for some of that for her. I guess my gift to my mom, for Mother's Day and every day, is to live my life the best way I know how, true to myself, true to my truth, and who-cares about somebody else's little judgements. I've noticed it gets a lot easier after 50!

I have Mom's old sewing machine. She used it to make all our clothes when we were little, and I learned how to sew on it too. I used to make clothes, but for some reason, now I really hate to sew. I need to make all the curtains for the trailer though, so I'll just have to suck it up and do the best I can. It will help that I'll be using Mom's machine. I will certainly call on her for help. You never know. She might show up. When I look at my hands, I see hers now. Maybe these hands will somehow know how to do something hers did so well.




Happy Weekend! Happy Mother's Day!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The WINNER of this week's Bead Give-Away is...
April Nottingham!!!


April, please contact me by email with your mailing address, so I can send you your bead!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

off to santa fe

I have to be quick today. We're going to Santa Fe for some things we need for the trailer. Can't shop in Taos. There's nothing here to buy, unless you're a tourist wanting a t-shirt or a piece of art. Well, there's Walmart, but we don't go there. Ever. I hear we can park our "rig" for the night at Walmart parking lots though. We'll be looking for all the free parking we can get, once we get out there...

Thank-you everyone who sent encouragement about Miss Lucy. We took both dogs to a party at D&T's last night. They did really well. Even Lucy. Our friends are very good dog people, and I so appreciate their willingness to help us socialize our dear beast. I'm taking my Cesar Milan book along for the ride today, to learn how to be a better Pack Leader. I was discouraged yesterday, but I'm hopeful today, and I've never been a quitter.

Back tomorrow with an update on Trailer Decor...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

dog dilemma


Lucy is a skittery dog. She's afraid of things like thunder and fireworks. She hides under the table and whimpers when things go boom. She's also a suspicious girl, and generally doesn't like anyone but us. She's OK with most women, but is snappish with kids and men. She particularly dislikes small boys. We don't know why. Could have been something that happened at the shelter, but we'll never know. I'm always nervous about her when friends come over, afraid someone will reach out to pet her and get bitten. Rick has always said there's no way she'd actually bite someone. I've never been too sure about that.

Of course we want to take the dogs along on our gypsy adventure. They're part of the family, as anyone who has pets knows. Heidi is easy. She's compact and friendly and no trouble at all, except for cutting her nails, which she absolutely won't let us do. I guess being a sorority girl, she prefers a professional pedicure. Lucy, on the other hand (or paw), hates nail cutting time, but tolerates it if there's enough tummy rubbing and treats. We have a little game we play, called "Lemme See Your Foot". She puts her foot up as if to shake hands, and I wiggle her toes, saying "want me to cut your toenails?" She makes a cute snarly-face, everybody laughs, and that's it. Game over.

The other night, Lucy was up on the bed with me for her bedtime snuggles. We were having a nice, calm chat, when I said , "lemme see your foot" and reached for her paw. I guess she didn't want to play, because she bit me. Hard. I was so stunned I just hollered OUCH!, and sat there for a minute before sending her off to her own bed. She didn't break the skin, but she chomped me pretty hard. You can't see it on the surface two days later, but it still feels like it's bruised deep inside my hand.

This just sucks on so many levels. Once a dog bites, the trust is gone. And here we are, planning to take her on this trip, where we'll be with a lot of people a lot of the time. We know we've been remiss about socializing her. She's always been a House Dog, with lots of room to run in the yard. We can walk her on a leash pretty well, but she's as strong as a rhino and hard to control if other dogs are around. Every so often we vow to take her out for a walk in the neighborhood every day, but there are so many loose dogs here, it's super stressful for all concerned. A collar doesn't work. Neither does a harness. She struggles so much with a halti that she gets nose bleeds. A prong collar is the only thing that works, and it seems so mean... It's a good plan, but it never lasts long. Now I'm wondering how we're going to make this whole thing work. If we could give her to someone who understands dogs and has room for her to run around and be happy, we'd to that. But it's more likely that we'll get her a muzzle, and try not to make it too negative for her. We can't trust her with people on the street. Can't take the risk. But we also don't want to give up on her. We love her, but clearly we haven't done some things right.

Poor Lucy is so contrite, as if she knows what's at stake. She looks up at me with sincere "I'm sorry" eyes, and lays her head in my lap whenever she gets near me. I think she really is sorry, but I still can't trust her with other people. At least not yet. This is really hard...

I know when I write something like this, I'm bound to get a lot of advice. So I might as well ask for it. All you dog people, please feel free to chime in. I can use some help, but would rather not be scolded for being a lousy dog owner if you can help it...

Monday, May 4, 2009

bead give-away ~ week of may 4th


Happy Monday! Today we start a new Blog-Bead-Give-Away! Here are The Rules:

To enter, post your answer to the question below as a comment to this post.

One entry per person per week.

You must post your own entry directly to the blog - I can't do it for you. Sorry!

You must sign your FIRST AND LAST NAME at the bottom of your entry. (It was too confusing the way I did it last week.)

Anonymous or incomplete entries will be "canned".

That's it! It's free to enter, and I'll post the winner here on Saturday. The winner will be chosen by random drawing.
Good Luck!

This week's question...

What is your favorite comfort food?

(Mine is homemade mac & cheese. I'm making it for dinner tonight.)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Friday, May 8th
We have a WINNER!!!

April Nottingham, please contact me by email with your mailing address, so I can send your bead off to you!

Thanks everyone, for all your great responses. I loved hearing about your favorite foods combined with some favorite memories. Strong stuff!

I'll start a new Bead Give-Away on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

may day


This is the view from my shower. So nice to see the tulips and daffies in bloom. It's nothing compared to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington, but it's a bumper drop for New Mexico. Good thing I took a picture yesterday... today is rainy here, probably snowy in the mountains. Springtime in the Rockies, or anywhere near them, is kind of schizophrenic. It's OK. We're making progress on the trailer renovations, and all roads lead to Someplace New. Rain or no rain, I'm feeling pretty darn positive. Think I'll go make some beads. They always come out best when I'm happy.

~~~
We have a winner for the Bead Give-Away... Bonnie P! Please contact me!

Friday, May 1, 2009

light and fluffy

As promised...



Even though I plan to (very carefully) make beads in the trailer, with a torch and kiln and molten glass, I'm concerned about having real candles around for soft light in the evenings. I know that sounds silly. But at night, after the studio is packed away and it's time to relax, I want to have a tasty beverage or two and lounge about without worrying about catching the curtains on fire. I'm looking into solar candles, but haven't found anything I like much. Some of the lanterns are pretty nice, and could be used indoors or out. And there's also the option of rechargeable battery operated candles. I've seen them used in restaurants and I think they look pretty good. I found a good selection here at BatteryOperatedCandles.net. Of course you can Google-about on your own too. If you find something good, post it here in the comments for us, won't you?



And now, concluding the Light portion of our program, here's the Fluffy segment...



Meet our house guests, Neruda and Banshee. They belong to our pals Deborah and Thomas, who had to make a quick trip to Arizona to pick up some of Deborah's sculptures. We really don't mind acting as Dog Camp Counsellors now and then. (Remember Sarafina and Mercedes?) I know for sure I don't want to own more than two dogs, but spending a few days watching the friendly pack dynamics up close and personal is really entertaining. These two are wonderful to have around. They stick close together almost all the time, they're quiet and well behaved, and they seem to like us too. Lucy feels a bit put out, and is keeping to herself a lot. (We're giving her extra love and cookies to make up for the inconvenience of having to share us.) And Heidi is oblivious to everything as long as she has a warm spot to sleep, preferable someone's lap. All four of the dogs here today are rescues. I think it's the only way to get a dog. Need something fluffy in your world? Today might be a good day to visit the local animal shelter. After all, adopting someone who needs you adds its own kind of light to the world.