Tuesday, June 30, 2009

last call

Today is our last day in Taos. We're up early, enjoying a new view of the world, even though it's only from our own driveway. When we step outside we see the house in a way we've not seen it before, looking back at it from an irregular angle that makes it look quite pretty. Tomorrow morning we'll scurry around, hitching, stowing, securing, and double-checking before we pull out of the driveway like turtles, slow and steady, with our home on our back.

We have one last little party tonight. A dinner at Deborah and Thomas's, with Karena, Kathleen and Kat, and Julia. The core group. The small set of people at the heart of everything we do here. If we're lucky, the rains will stay away tonight so we can sit outside by the fire, drinking maybe a little too much, while we all try to pretend we're not at least a little bit sad.

We keep telling people we're not really leaving, just going a little farther out on the mesa. I feel like we're some kind of traveling circus, with dogs doing silly tricks, a glass blower, hula hoops, the gypsy wagon of course, and Rick and me, the resident philosopher and fortune teller. Maybe we have something to share out there, I don't know. I do know we have a lot to gain, as long as we stay wide open.

For those keeping track, our first stop will be Ojo Caliente hot springs. We need a little rest after all this work we've done. A day to soak our bones seems like just the thing. On Thursday we'll head to Deming, NM to see Uncle Gene. Friday and Saturday we'll be in Flagstaff, AZ, where I hope to find internet again, and then Sunday, the fifth, we'll go to the Grand Canyon. I'm likely to drop out of sight there for a few days, or even the whole two weeks. Don't worry if I do. It won't mean I've gone over the edge. It will mean I'm having a blast with the Canyon and the condors, and not giving much thought to the computer. That will be OK for a little while.

So here we go. One last day here. Better make it a good one.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

endings and beginnings

We just about finished up the house cleaning yesterday. Only a few odds and ends to tidy today before we go out for the evening with friends. With Karena's help, we wrangled our great big king size bed into the queen size room. Now it's truly a bed room. All bed, like a great big bird's nest. Years ago, a Native American woman at the Fremont Market in Seattle gifted me with a golden eagle feather. I've kept it hanging in my various studios over the years, and now I've decided to hang it in the Nest. It fits there, making it all the more bird-like, and adding a little bit of magic somehow. The Nest makes me feel like Michelle Pfeiffer as Titania, Queen of the Fairies, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, all pampered and sparkly. So, so lovely.

I was caught a little off guard last night, when I realized there was no good reason to be in the house any longer. All our stuff is in the trailer. Clothes, food, music, booze... obviously the party had to move too. We had gone to the Guadalajara Grill for a late lunch/early dinner around 3:00 (something we think we might do more regularly; eat a big meal early in the day, and snack at night when we're too tired to cook anyway. Things are changing before we even leave the driveway...) We didn't quite know what to do with ourselves for the evening. The house, while it's clean and beautiful, is no longer welcoming, at least not to us. It's waiting for its new people. It makes me kind of sad to wander around in there now. We've had eight mostly wonderful years here, and the house has played a big part in our Taos experience. It became a gathering place for friends, and a comfortable, personal, friendly home for us. Lauren went through high school here, and bounced back often during college in Albuquerque. We had parties that will be missed by our friends. Soup Nights, the Pirate Party, and countless impromptu evenings on the patio, talking by the fire until late at night. I hope someone picks up where we've left off and keeps the friends together, but it will have to happen someplace else. And then there's my empty studio... it feels particularly cavernous. Hollow. Karena stood musing about the many, many beads that came out of that one little room these past eight years. Thousands, literally. And now... no more Taos beads.

We hit an ending with the house that I've been too busy to expect. It stung a bit. We sat on the patio until it got dark. Then we went inside to take showers in the house, since my kiln is still sitting the the shower in the trailer. And then it was time to begin a new beginning. We rounded up the dogs and settled in for the night in the trailer, camping in our own driveway. We made snacks, and watched half a movie before we just couldn't keep our eyes open any longer. It's nice in the trailer. And soon it will feel like home. We'll keep shuffling our stuff around until its all settled in the right places. We'll become familiar with the cabinets, the stove, all the working parts. The dogs have their own "room" - the bottom bunk, next to the bathroom, which they seem to like a lot, and are willing to share, although Lucy, being the big sister, took first dibs on her space.

Rick and I did all our nighttime things; brushed our teeth at the tiny bathroom sink, set up the mini Mr. Coffee, filled the new red tea kettle, locked the door, and then climbed the three steps up to our nest. Ah... home. Our own familiar bed with our own cool sheets and fluffy pillows and down comforter. The open windows breathed in the soft high desert air, and I knew then that I'd be OK. That I'm not loosing anything. That great adventures are waiting for us. I feel like we're being sent on some kind of mission. This is not a whim or a vacation or a game. It's about to be the next chunk of our life, and we're taking it seriously and lightly all at the same time. Endings are a lot harder than beginnings, and the two are almost always intermingled. For me, having the Nest will make all the difference between insecurity and comfort. It's that familiar thing that will remind me each night that no matter where I am, I'm home. We slept like baby birds last night, and this morning, the silly fears and the sense of loss are gone. I remember now. I'm always home, because I am my own home.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


The work we did yesterday truly kicked my ass... Our house is cleaner now than it's ever been. Almost makes me want to stay in it to enjoy it a while. But on the other hand, I may never want to live in a house again. They're so big and there's so much room for dirt to hide. And in a house like ours, with "vigas" (entire tree poles that hold up the roof), you have to clean those too. Taos is notoriously dusty. We joke about just leaving a thin layer of undisturbed dust on things, because it's useless to clean it. It'll be back in an hour. But we cleaned every speck yesterday, and now it looks just beautiful. Today we'll finish up the last bits, and then do some patch & paint where we took art off the walls. Karena's coming to help us, which is so appreciated at this point. We're about as exhausted as we can get without falling down and just staying there. Two more hands, and someone to cheer us on is just what we need today. We think we'll also move the bed out to the trailer, which means we have to move ourselves out there too. Looks like tonight will be our first night in our New Home. We'll be camping in the driveway! Sounds like a good excuse for a party, like we ever need an excuse. Celebrate everything, that's what we say!

And tomorrow is our actual "going away party", out at the Solar Center. Nice of Dan Hicks to play for us and our friends. We're looking forward to some easy fun for an evening. Thought about having a party here, but that would be more work, and we have plenty of that right now, thank you. It will be interesting to see who shows up, and who thinks fifteen bucks is too high a price to pay to see us. Whatever. Can't please 'em all. We'll get plenty of hugs and fare-wells, do a little dancing, and be on our gypsy way.

Off to clean something... creak, groan, smile...

Friday, June 26, 2009


It's Big Clean day. The house is so empty it echoes. Weird, but not sad. We're ready to go, and now it's just a few days away. Still lots to do, but the last really hard job will be finished by the end of today. So OK... here I go!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

check list number 53...

Every day is a new To Do List. Yesterday went well. The studio has been squeezed into a smaller version of itself, and I figured out that the kiln fits perfectly in the tiny bathtub, perched on a little metal table I've had around here for years. It gives it a grounded plug on its own circuit, and puts it out of the way to ramp down overnight, so I can reclaim the dinette after a day of beadmaking. I'm starting to feel like a friendly Transformer, folding and unfolding from one thing to the next. The only catch with the kiln in the bathtub is that there won't be showers on beadmaking days. We'll work it out. I'm just relieved that I was able to heat the kiln to 1000 degrees without tripping any breakers. It means I can still make a living out there, which is kind of important.

Today is another round of doing, followed by a meeting with the renters and our friend/handyman, Peter, to be sure everyone knows what's what and where it all is. Tomorrow is Big Clean day, with Julia's help. Saturday looks like patch and paint day, and Sunday is party day! If you're going to be around and want to join in, come to the Solar Center Sunday evening to see Dan Hicks. It's going to be some good, silly fun, which is always useful.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I didn't sleep well last night. Today's busy-ness was swimming in endless little circles, around and around in my head. I'm taking the studio apart today, and that's a big job physically, as well as emotionally. I started with the easy part, closing up the BeadShop. I know it's only a temporary intermission, but I worry that my customers will think I've gone for good, and wander off to buy other beads. I need them to stick around, but I can only do so much. I just have to take the leap and trust that the net will be there.

(Buy this print at The Country Goddess)

And once I get the studio cleared out, I can set it up again in the trailer. I should probably do a test run before we leave too, making sure everything works the way I think it will. Going from a large creatively cluttered room full of toys to a small, temporary space that's designed to be set up and torn down the same day is going to be... interesting. But what I'm finding in all of this clearing and sorting, is that down-sizing to less stuff is really wonderful. In fact it already seems like some of what we're planning to take is excessive, and I'm doing further weeding as I'm packing. The rule is, it has to be both beautiful and useful if it's coming along for the ride. In some cases, like with tools and septic tank chemicals, functional is all it needs to be. But with the exception of wall art, if we can't use it in some way, it stays here in storage. Like I always told my beautiful daughter, it's not enough just to be pretty...

OK then.
I can do this.
No more stalling.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I bought a lime green shirt... and a turquoise one too. I usually only wear black. My hair has magically turned a vibrant shade of auburn. My toenails are sparkly pink. I think aliens have taken over my body. Colorful aliens, who paint everything they see. My brain still seems to be my own, but the rest of me is doing strange things like hula hooping all the way in and out of the labyrinth, and asking Rick to buy Orange Crush, because it makes me feel like summer vacation when I was fourteen. Change can be so... changing. I think I hope it lasts...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

come on in

After a small Father's Day feast this morning - just Rick and me, and fresh whole wheat biscuits and scrambled eggs - I ran for the kiln to see what new hatchlings waited for me. The new Chaos Pendants were still talking to me yesterday, so I made a few more. I have to take the studio apart now, but at least I have some idea of where to pick things up creatively once we get going. These new things are noisy in my head. I can't ignore them, and I can't really take credit for them. I'm just following and allowing them to do what they want. If there's such a thing a "bead channeling", I think that's what I'm doing. I've felt that way about other designs over the years. The Lotus mostly, but also a few others. But with most of those, I felt the need to pack as much as possible into the beads. That was probably Ego talking, saying, Look at me! See what I can do, do, do! It's hard to hush that voice, especially when you're trying to get noticed. These days I'm not at all interested in making jam-packed, technically difficult beads. My new focus is on making very simple things that still make my heart sing. Like the Zen Enso paintings, just humble, simple circles that speak volumes. That's what I'm after. Clean design. Simple techniques. Knock-out results. It fits well with the way I'm trying to live my life, clean and simple, as uncomplicated as possible, and still beautiful and meaningful. It's a tricky balance, a work in progress.

The new beads make me happy. The goal is simplicity, but the result is anything but. I'll admit though, these are not hard to make. Everything I put in them is easy. The hard part is leaving things out. Here are pictures of my new favorite. I'm wearing it on a on chain, so I can look at it often and remember what I did right in it. I love the way it flows inward and outward, revealing new things each time I look. You can click these pics to go to full screen, and wander inside...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

the wall

I hit the Bead Wall the other day. It happens every time I have something big coming up, like a show, a vacation, or a major life upheaval. I spent all day Thursday making ugly beads. Absolute crap. There was nothing I could do about it, so I figured that was it. I was done making beads in Taos. It seemed sort of abrupt though, after eight years here in this studio, to just be finished like that. But the Wall sneaks up quickly. It's off in the distance. I know it's there. And then suddenly my face is smashed against it.

On Friday morning I wandered around the house, putting things in boxes, taking pictures off the walls, checking email and Facebook obsessively, and wondering if I was really ready to take the studio apart. I went out to have a look, and my hand reached for the "start" button on the kiln controller. I stowed some stuff in the shed, visited Rick in the trailer while he finished the flooring details, and edged sideways back into the studio. Before I knew it, I was sitting at the torch, wondering what to do.

I had already given myself permission to quit, for a few weeks anyway, so this was just for fun. I couldn't stand the idea of making another prissy, controlled little flower bead, or anything else I've ever done before for that matter. I didn't care if what I made was sellable, or even beautiful. I just wanted to play with fire and melt stuff, two of the main things I love about beadmaking. I was thinking about the cool silver pendant I was wearing, cast from a piece of driftwood. I was thinking about marbles. I was thinking about my cousin Mitzi's painting videos. And then I knew what to do.

I went in the house, grabbed my laptop, and set it up behind me in the studio. My TV and Bose CD player have already moved into the trailer, but I still have Pandora radio on the computer. Out of nowhere, I created a "Dick Dale" surfer music station, and lit the torch. And these are what came out of my hands...

I'm calling them Chaos Pendants. They aren't perfect, but I can see that they have someplace new to take me. I imagine I'll make more. Maybe today, and probably at the Grand Canyon in a couple of weeks. There's room to move in these. Room to wander in and look around, and for me, room to learn some new things about the glass. The Wall came down for a little bit longer, and the torch called me back to the art and play of what I do. That's what I'd hoped Taos would give me as a parting gift, but I didn't dare ask for it. Artists have come and gone from this place for decades, and sometimes they go away empty handed. I'm feeling full today. Full to the top.

Friday, June 19, 2009


When I was in the fifth grade, they used to give kids "IQ" tests. One day they singled me out, took me to Mrs. Roof's little closet office (literally a janitor's closet in the hallway), and eventually proclaimed me "gifted and talented". It was horrible to be separated from the herd, tagged with a number, and sent off to think great thoughts with the geeky kids. In my case, it did more harm than good. I figured since we already knew how smart I was, there was nothing left to prove. I stopped trying, and muddled through the rest of my public school years with as little effort as possible. I was so put off by the system, and its failure to see me for my individual wonderfulness, that I opted out of college, and headed for a life of creative adventure. Eventually I went from feeling like the superior smart kid, to feeling more like the ignorant vagabond hippie chick. I lost track of my own unique gifts and talents, and continued to muddle through life.

I'm thinking of this now, not so much because I'm feeling particularly smart, but because I'm feeling genuinely gifted, but not in the old personal-ability way. This is more of a grateful acceptance kind of thing. I have a little bit of trouble accepting kindness from others. It's much more comfortable for me to give than to receive. I'm working on that, and I'm getting a lot of help with it too. Lately it seems like I'm being singled out again, and asked to go in for another test. This test is much more meaningful, and the office is not a dingy closet, but the whole wide world instead.

I get it. It's true, I am gifted. Gifted to have a husband who adores me and is my absolute comrade in life, gifted to have friends who love me and aren't afraid to show it, gifted with actual tokens of their affection, many of them recently, and gifted, finally, after a lot of muddled years, to be able to open my hands, eyes, heart, and let it all in. Even in the chaos I've willingly plopped myself in the middle of, there's a growing sense of calm, and enormous gratitude for all the gifts that surround me. Gifted and Talented. Aren't we all, in some way or other? We don't need Mrs. Roof to tell us that. We just need to step outside that crummy little office, and take the time to see it for ourselves. Recognition, acceptance, and gratitude are what make it all click into place.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

i'm floored

A few weeks ago, when we were just starting on the Trailer Remodel Project, Rick asked if he could please, please, please put off doing the floor until we got to Seattle in September. It was a huge and daunting job, and he wanted to wait till he had some help. I said, Sure, honey, but I didn't really mean it... As I'm learning though, with so many things these days, letting go can be the best way of getting what we want. With the weight of having to do the job off his shoulders, Rick started to think of ways he could do it all by himself, while we're still here. He's good at figuring things out, and even better if I don't pressure him. It wasn't like he was being stubborn, or didn't want to do it. He just needed the room to do it his own way, in his own time. I just stood back and said, Anything you want, and in the process, I got what I wanted too.

Yesterday was the big day. He got out to the driveway early, before the wind kicked up, and spread out the new roll of imported (from Lowe's in Espanola) vinyl. Using the old floor as a pattern, he was able to cut exactly what he needed and lay it in place without much trouble at all. The only little hiccup was discovering that the toilet was not attached to the floor properly, but that was a good thing, because he was able to fix it before we got out there on the road somewhere. A broken toilet is never fun.

So here are the pictures. First, the naked floor, which I think already looks better than the white stuff that was in there...

Here's the new vinyl, and my ever-so-amazing sweetie-pie...

And the old vinyl, used as a pattern. Brilliant!

This is how it looks now, almost finished, except for the little trim pieces around the edges.

It's beautiful. This last piece makes all the difference. It ties it all together and makes it all look intentional. I love it, and Rick loves it too. The only thing left now is the bed. Once that's done, we'll move all our stuff in, and take another round of "after" pictures. We're just about to that tipping point, where the trailer is more "home" than the house is. Soon we'll just naturally move ourselves out there too, and that will be that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Facebook has just added a new feature. We can now choose a username. Sounds cool, but I don't really know what good that does anyone, except to add another stupid layer of anonymous cuteness for people who like that sort of thing. I was bummed that KimMiles was already taken... shouldn't I have first dibs on that one? I decided on "kimmiles.beadist" instead. Not really sure why I'm even on Facebook, except that a lot of my friends are too. Sometimes I lead, sometimes I follow...

Anyway, if you're on Facebook, and want to be my Friend, I'll probably let you in. If you're not there yet, might as well sign up. All the best people are Facebookin'. It's a fun way to keep in touch with your actual friends, to network and show off your work, and to spy on your kids (unless they block you). But watch out for the little extras... they can eat up your life. Be strong, my friends! We all have better things to do than send virtual gifts to total strangers!

Join here: http://www.facebook.com/index.php?lh=65e9834b4f5e0ee66a27fa55f5297e60& And don't forget to add your picture. It's called Facebook for a reason!

Monday, June 15, 2009


The yard sale was a smash hit. Several families on the street joined in, so it was well-worth coming to our end of town, and I think everyone did well. We worked all day Friday setting things up. What a job. We had no idea we had that much un-needed stuff. Astonishing. I hope we've learned our lesson. By the time Karena came over to help, we were already pretty pooped. I said I thought we were being punished for our gluttony, and I hoped we'd be rewarded for our willingness to let stuff go. We had a Friends Preview on Friday evening, and several friends showed up to haul some of our stuff to their own houses. We love our friends.

Saturday morning started at about 5:30 for me. It was a great day. People showed up, bought stuff, and lightened our load at a steady pace for several hours. After all that satisfying Stuff Redistribution, things quieted down enough that we had time to be silly. Karena played dress-up for a while...

And then we spotted Big Blue, the enormous suitcase no one had snapped up yet. When you're going to Hawaii, and someone says, "Put me in your suitcase", this is the one you need. Sally went in first...

Then Karena...

And then Rick tried it. OK, Big Blue isn't that big...

It was a one day sale, so on Sunday, we re-stacked what was left, and put a FREE sign on it. A lot more went away at that bargain price. Now we have a small stack of leftovers to take to the Re-Store, the used clothing store, and the Free Box, so we're feeling pretty good about the whole event. We do have two large items left that need to get gone... The lovely little sofa-bed from the trailer, and the Big-Ass Display Case. I have them listed on Craigslist. I really want them out of my driveway...

Yard sales are a lot of work, and I still think they're some kind of cosmic thump on the head for our hoardingly human ways. A project like this forces us to dig deep and really "deal with our own shit", on many levels. The process of touching each and every once-precious item can be terribly difficult and emotional. To place those treasures in one's driveway and watch total strangers pick through them and place their own piddly values on them can be humbling and sometimes insulting. But by agreeing with ourselves to do all this, we force ourselves to open our hands in the simple but huge act of letting go. And when our hands are open, and what needs to be set free is gone, those same hands are then open to receiving things we don't even know are out there. It's not easy, but I know it's worth the effort.

Friday, June 12, 2009


We've all been warned for months now. As of today, all TV is HD, and our viewing life will never be the same. We're not big TV watchers, so haven't paid much attention, but I do like to have Ellen and Oprah hanging out in the studio with me in the afternoons, and Rick is loving the Lakers these days. We have two old TVs, so totally expected to wake up this morning to fuzz and static. We tend to be resistant to being told we have to go out and buy some new technical wonder. Boy, there's a lot of money being made on this. I say, Just Say No To Tech-Bullying. But hmmm, for reasons we may never know, everything still works. Go figure. There was some mumbling a while back about this part of New Mexico lagging behind on the switch. Nobody's mentioned it in a long time though, so who knows. Maybe our TVs are more up to date than they look. After all, we are...

No time for TV today though. It's time to haul all of our Fabulous Stuff into the driveway, and set it all up like a hillbilly department store. Doors open tomorrow morning at 9:00. The ad says no early birds, but birds can't really read, so we'll be ready for 'em...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

want some stuff?

Did I mention that we're having a yard sale this weekend? We're nose-deep in stuff, sorting, pricing, piling it up, and preparing to spread it all out in the driveway tomorrow, hoping it stops raining for a few days... It feels really, really good to be sending all these lovely things to new homes. As the load gets lighter, my head gets clearer. Everybody wins, but mostly I'm doing this for me.

I finished the Damn Curtains last night. Worked on the Evil Machine all day in fact. When I got to the last part of the project, the upholstery on the dinette, I realized duct tape wasn't going to work, so I hand stitched the new fabric over the old. I have to say, I'm really quite pleased with me. I'll show pictures soon, after it's all, all done. Rick still needs to put in the new floor, as soon as we can pick it up from Lowe's. Also need to get a couple more curtain rods there, for the bedroom... we looked everywhere in Taos to find them, but alas, Taos Shopping is as lame as it ever was. Local merchants whine at us to shop locally, but they don't stock the things we need to buy. We do what we gotta do, you know? So anyway, after the floor is in, we'll figure out how to squeeze our king size bed into the queen size bedroom. It will literally be wall-to-wall bed, and ever-so-comfy. Then we'll hang some art, and snap some pics for you. I think we have just enough time for all the things we need to do, probably down to the minute.

If you live in Taos, or somewhere nearby, come on over this Saturday and buy some of our wonderful stuff. I'll have beads out too, testing my Traveling Bead Show. They won't be at yard sale prices, but it's always nice to see them sparkling in the sun. Bet you'll want to adopt one or two!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

rain on the brain

Lauren calls me almost every day, to tell me how sunny and beautiful it is in Seattle... Picture this, Mom. - driving across the bridge, sun sparkling in the water, sail boats all around... Yeah, I remember. And I wonder how it's possible that Seattle is behaving this way when New Mexico, you know, the desert, has had rain every day for the last three weeks. Well, that's what I get for making weather so darned important. God loves to say, HA!

I'm on my third cup of Earl Grey this morning, looking out the big windows at the drippy gray sky. I'll get motivated to do something productive in a little bit. But the project of the morning so far has been a sudden obsession with finding a pattern for a crocheted afghan or tablecloth. I have a lovely antique lace tablecloth thrown on the couch in the trailer, and my friend Anne pointed out that we really shouldn't sit on such a thing. She's right. It's much too delicate. But it looks so perfect there, and I really want something pretty and functional and somewhat dog-proof in its place. As so often happens, I'll just have to make it myself. That's OK. I don't have a sticks-and-string project going at the moment.

So after a lot of googling-about, and rejecting dozens of patterns as too hard, too fussy, or too stupid, I fell into the perfect little website. Crochet friends, meet 12 Hour Afghan Patterns.com! I handed over my $3.50, and can't wait to get started on this beauty...

I'm not sure just how the pattern will come to me... download or mail... it's not clear. But patience is one of my Big Life Lessons, so I'll wait, but I don't want to! Today would be the perfect day to watch the rain and crochet. Maybe I'm being told to do something else though... like finish the Damn Curtains, or make a few beads. OK, OK... Here I go.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

farewell old friend

We sold our hot tub today. Very sad. We used it a lot, and I'm pretty sure it kept me from spinning sideways off the planet more than once. But leaving it with renters wasn't a good idea, with liability issues and all, so we found it a nice new home in Abiquiu, land of Georgia O'Keefe. You can visit it at Casita de Chuparosa. Looks like a nice place!

I think some people are confused as to why we're doing what we're doing. I keep hearing references to our upcoming "vacation". That's a good one! Sure, we expect to have a lot of fun and new adventures out there, but this certainly isn't a vacation, and there's not even a glimmer of light at the end of the Retirement Tunnel. I expect to be working till I drop, hopefully at a nice healthy old age. We're putting together the mobile bead studio now, and although I know I have to work, my hope is that maybe I won't have to work as much as I do now.

The biggest reason we're renting our house and hitting the road in a travel trailer (If you're new here, there's the basic plot line. Read older posts for all the dirt.), is because it's just so exhausting and overwhelming and confining being tied to a house. This lovely place we've called home for eight years has become such a heavy weight. We spend all day, almost every day, working to keep a house so we have a place to work... We think there might be more to life. For the last two or three years we've toyed with the idea of downsizing, simplifying, and living a smaller life that feels bigger. It's finally happening, and we're generally giddy with excitement, but the process requires a lot of letting go, not only of stuff (and we have plenty of that to deal with), but also of expectations, fears, and self-limitations. Simplicity isn't necessarily easy.

So we'll be out there, working our way to nowhere in particular, seeing where the road takes us, with a loose plan to find a bit of land someplace in southern Oregon, so we'll have a place to stop and rest when we feel like it. As a Cancerian creature, born in July, I need to have something that feels like home. On the other hand, we're both pretty nomadic at heart, and so the trick is to blend the two. The trailer is becoming more of a "nomad's nest" than a camper. That's what I need, because I really love not camping!

(Anne Taintor)

So anyway, the hot tub is gone, the yard sale is this weekend, and we're up to our eyeballs in Stuff To Do. It's all OK. Good even. It's exactly what we asked for. We will miss the hot tub though, especially these last few weeks, when we're doing so much hard physical work. The substitute will be something like this...

Yes, I do think a dish pan full of hot water and a dash of Tired Old Ass Soak will do the trick, even if it's only my feet that get to do the soaking.

Friday, June 5, 2009

hey seattle!

Taking a break from our regularly scheduled chaos today (remember, chaos is good!), I want to talk specifically to all of you in Seattle! My daughter, Lauren, has recently moved from Denver to Seattle, and she needs a job. I'm hoping someone out there can help! She's worked for the Taos Restaurant Group since she was 15, all through high school, and back for breaks and summers through college. She has a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism with an emphasis in Advertising. She's an organizational wiz, creative and artistic like her mama, great with people (including kids - the boss's kids, and Julia Roberts's kids love her), and just an all around lovely, capable, hard working person. If you own a business in Seattle, or know someone who does, please let me know, and I can send you her resume and put you in touch with her. Thanks for your help!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

cheap trick

We have these faux leaded glass panes in the closet doors. We don't like them, so off with their heads! I have all this curtain fabric, and was thinking of making small curtains to set into the spaces on little dowel rods, top and bottom. But why sew when I can use duct tape! I'm so glad I thought of this.

I had Rick cut pieces of masonite to fit the holes. Yes, I could have done it myself, but I don't care for power tools. I know that's odd coming from a woman who plays with fire and molten glass, but glass can only burn me. Saws can cut me, and cuts so often need stitches. You know how I feel about sewing...

So I took my neat rectangles of masonite, placed them on the curtain fabric on the floor, and stretching the fabric into place, duct taped it all together. It's not pretty on the back side, so I'll sandwich a custom cut mirror on the back of one, and ribbon-wrapped bulletin boards on the others.

(I haven't done the bulletin board parts yet - have to find ribbon somewhere in Taos...) I'll glue the fronts and backs together with Liquid Nails, and hold them in place in the closet doors with little corner brackets. So easy, and no sewing! Yay! And notice the beautiful wood steps Rick built. I'll show them off properly when they have all the Varathane coats finished. He did a great job. He likes power tools.

This will be much better. and by the way, this is my entire closet. Rick's is half this size. This will be interesting!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

one, two, three, floor

With most of the painting done in the trailer, Rick decided to do the Floor Project before we leave, rather than waiting until we get to Seattle later this summer, where he'll have people to help him. I'm really glad this will all be finished before we go. It will make a big difference in how "home" looks and feels. We have to be comfortable in our little nest.

So last Friday we decided to give Taos shopping another try. We spent all day looking at flooring samples, tossing one after the other on the trailer floor, narrowing it down from five to two, to the perfect one. Back at the floor store, we were then told that, oh no, that one is no longer available...

What can I say? In my experience, shopping in Taos has never been a good use of time. The next day we drove down to Lowe's in Espanola, ordered just what we want, and it will be here in two weeks or less. Still not ideal, but at least we can get the stuff in time to install it before July 1st.

Meanwhile, the dirty old mauve pile carpet is just about gone, and clean new wood steps will lead up to the bedroom. The curtains are taking longer than I'd like, but they're coming out nicer than I'd expected, so I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. I go back and forth between calm and on-task, and freaked out and flapping in the wind. Today I am calm... so far. I'm trying to do way too many things at once, and make beads too. I have a feeling I'll hit a point in a week or two, where I just have to stop the beads and concentrate on packing. There will be time for beads again once we get out there. Imagine the new inspirations just waiting for me, at the Grand Canyon, the ocean in Monterey, a city hit in Seattle... There's a lot to look forward to, but it's important to be right here, as much as possible...

Monday, June 1, 2009

one day monday sale

Hey Bead Lovers! I'm having a SALE today!
The not-so-secret Discount Code is: MONDAY.
That's all you need to know to get 10% off everything in my BeadShop!
Pop the code in BEFORE you check out. I will not go back and give refunds if you forget. No time for that!

There are lots of things in the Going, going, gone... section that truly will, poof!, disappear in a few days.
I also need to sell the felted bags! I can't pack them along in the trailer when we leave one month from today. Besides, I'd really like to send that money off to Project Mercy. Come on! Buy a bag!

Off and running... I feel like the Tasmanian Devil, whirling about, stirring up dust, acting just a little bit slobbery and crazy...