Thursday, June 30, 2005

What's in a Name

The question of the day - what do you think about your name and how did you get it?

My brothers (21 and 22 years older than me) named me. It came down to Delores or Patsy. My mother said "no" to Delores. So, Patsy it was.

My mother wanted a boy and had planned to name me Myron David. Oddly enough, one of my best friends in high school was a boy named MD. At some point, when we were seniors, I asked him what his given name was - Myron David. I have no idea where my mother heard the name Myron or why she was attracted to it.

My middle name is "Ann" - like 95% of the female population between 30 and 50.

I have always wished that they named me with a family name - Maranda Rose was my great grandmother and I've always loved that. Her mother's name was Sarah Emaline, which I also love. On the other side of the family, my grandmother's name was Minda Augusta, which I also like.

I don't mind my name at all. My family calls me "Pat" but everyone else calls me "Patsy." I had an aunt that called me "Patty" her whole life.

I don't get really worked up when people mispronounce my name or anything of that nature. Some people freak out. I just answer. It's not that big of a deal.

A name annoyance thing - when they ask me how to spell my name at a restaurant. I always just want to say - it doesn't matter - write down something you can say in a way that I'll know you mean me. You're not going to send me an engraved invitation, you're going to say my name over a $19.95 crackling speaker - the spelling is immaterial.

Wichita - shopping hell

I spent the day in Wichita, trying to gather up things I need for the house. I decided over the winter that this summer I was going to try and get a lot of things done to the house. I've lived here three years and in some ways it still looks like I'm moving in. I think realizing that I'm working on the last room I've not worked on spurred me even further a couple of months ago. So, now I'm trying to cram everything into the next couple of months.

Shopping is not my favorite activity by a long shot, so this was a long day, but I did get some things I needed.

I'm exhausted and my carpenter guy is coming at 8 in the morning so I need to get some rest. He's going to tear out a closet in the dining room that has to be done before they do the floors. I have a lot of other small jobs but I need to see how much time he has to do things tomorrow. He's a busy guy but I always feel lucky to get him - he does great work and he's very reasonable.

Well, off to bed for me. I won't get a lot of sleep because I need to get up early and clean out the closet Chris is going to destroy tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Ah, the power of a phone call

Today I finally gave up and called another construction person. Not 10 minutes later, my regular guy called back. Wish I'd thought of that sooner. I had no idea a phone call created a ripple that caused action. I'm making a note.

Monday, June 27, 2005

BTK Confesses - Big News Here

I live less than an hour from Wichita, and the BTK serial killer appeared in court this morning, reciting the details of his killings with no emotion. Of course, this is big news here since it's the culmination of a 30 year long investigation - not that it wouldn't be big news anywhere.

Dennis Rader very calmly gave the details of each killing, in response to questions from Judge Greg Waller. Waller needed to make certain that he really is BTK, so the questions were necessary. But people seemed surprised by Rader's delivery of the facts.

Rarely does the general public have the opportunity to see a known sociopath up close. I'm not a psychologist, so please accept my commentary as personal, and nothing more. Rader's behavior is typical sociopathic behavior - detached and emotionless - while talking about things that are horrific to most of us. Sociopath is the old term, but I still think it's understood better, and more descriptive, than anti-social behavior.

The really frightening part, that we don't want to discuss, is that sociopaths are not that rare - Martha Stout suggests in her book that it's about 4%. Much research indicates that their brains are built differently. So what does that mean for the rest of us? It means that it could just as easily be our brains that were built that way.

The governor said it was good police work that brought him in. I'm afraid I have to disagree about that. Good police work would have brought him in a few decades ago. He had to keep "helping" them with clues.

The Wichita police department has had at least one person on this case for 30 years. To those of us outside the loop, it seems that in 30 years one person could have tracked down everyone living in Wichita at the time of the murders who fit the profile.

Rader did, indeed, fall right into the profile and was on more than one of the lists of potentials. They simply didn't catch it. Obviously, no one knows the details except those involved and it's not my place to say that anyone messed up. But, it is also not appropriate to now try and make us believe that exceptional police work brought him in. That may be true at this stage of the game, but there have been decades where it seems not much was happening in that department.

Speculation is that he started giving them clues, wanting to be caught, because Beatty's book was going to take some of his glory.

The judge hearing the case, Greg Waller, is from Hutchinson, where I live. He spoke at a MLK event I went to here in January. He's a powerful speaker, an accomplished man, and an imposing - but charming - figure. Nonetheless, I would not want to meet him in his professional capacity.

The Wichita Eagle did a special edition today. These are incredibly rare these days because of the expense. They sold out all over Wichita in a short amount of time. I'm sure none even made it out of town.

The sentencing is set for mid August. It seems there will be no quick end to this part of Wichita's history.

Some People Play Solitaire

Some people play solitaire on the computer. For me, once you've seen the cards do their thing dancing across the screen that thrill is gone.

The thing I'm addicted to on the computer these days is kollabor8. It's a digital art site where you can add to someone else's artwork. I've been doing it for a month or so, and every time I start I have a hard time stopping.

It seems most people there are using photoshop. I'm also using art rage, which I've recently fallen in love with. Just what I needed - another reason to sit in front of the computer.

However, I haven't been too industrious the last few days. But, I woke up this morning being able to breathe, which is a dramatic improvement so hopefully I've turned the corner.

After it cooled off tonight I did get out and cut some tree limbs and drag them out front. Tomorrow they are going to pick up limbs from the recent storm so I thought it was a great opportunity for me to get those out there too.

I think it's time for me to go back to bed. I've spent so much time there in the last few days. I haven't been able to stay up for a whole day in quite some time. Maybe tomorrow is the day!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Garden Journal

I painted a journal to use for my gardening information for this year. My hope is that many of these things will survive and come back next year and that gardening will be much simpler in future years.

I have taped down in this journal all the plant spike markers that tell what each plant is. Hopefully it will help me to know what to buy next year if I can keep track of what does well.

I do not seem to have a natural knack for gardening like some people do, so I may have to go through some trial and error to get it.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Art Style or Rut

Tonight I have been looking at artwork on the web. I don't know what you call this phenomenon, but I see it over and over again. Some people do only "cute" things, even if their subject is somewhat macabre. It might as well be bunnies and chicks. I think they could make the skull and crossbones look like a duck with a beribboned hat perched on its head. How do they do that? Is it intentional? Or is it just as it is?

I find in my own work, that regardless of what I attempt, what elements I use, the finished product is always "intense" in some way - color, form, whatever. Recently I ran across some art work I had done in college and, although the details are different, the theme is the same now - colors mixed in abstract ways to form their own pattern and form. It seems to be my "rut." It doesn't matter if it's paint, yarn, cloth, pencil or some other medium it always ends up the same basic format.

About a year ago I tried to do "cute" and could not accomplish it. I managed to make a postcard that had soft colors and a rose on it. That softness was a real departure for me. I do like the card, but it did not come natural to me.

Even when I make jewelry or art dolls or something outside the realm of paint, they turn out to rely on color and/or form for their distinctiveness.

I guess you could call it "style" but it's also limiting. We should be able to step outside our norm.

I should be sketching bunnies now...

Friday, June 24, 2005


Well, I'm disappointed I'm not on my way to Kentucky right now. I'd probably be getting there right about now for the reunion tomorrow. I decided to not go since I've been so sick with this cold/infection/whatever.

This is the first Myatt reunion I've missed in probably 15 years. I hated to miss it but it just couldn't be helped.

I do feel better today. The trick is keeping me feeling better. I've felt better a few times in the last week and a half but I can't seem to stay feeling better. I started zithromax today to hopefully that will do the trick. I have a nasty taste in my mouth and a faint smell of mold so I'm guessing that's a little gift from the antibiotics, but I'll live with it.

Teresa and Diana have called today to check on me, which is really nice. I had lunch with Debbie, which was fun.

Well, I think I'll head on upstairs. I worked in the studio a little bit today and have a project I want to finish. I'm starting to get tired so I think I'll try to make an early night of it.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Most Women Want Diamonds, I Want Juice

Most women want diamonds, I want juice. Not just any kind of juice, but electrical juice - power - mmmmm.

Few moments are as exciting in life as today when the electrician told me that I now have TWO outlets in my house that are on their own circuits. Oh... the excitement of it all.

One is a new one where my Christmas tree will go this year in a corner of the living room. The other is in the dining room where there was an old fashioned air conditioner outlet. That has now been replaced with a useable outlet that's all on its own circuit. Oooooh the things I can do with that.

For years, my Christmas trees has blown fuses and/or circuits. Finally, I will be able to run my tree the way I want to, without fear of these inconveniences.

As you may have guessed, the electrician was back today - actually two of them were here most of the day - and many things got accomplished. Very exciting stuff. I'm getting ready to take a trek around the house and see if all the new security lights work.

For reasons I don't understand, I am the only one on our block that leaves my porch light on. The result is that it's very dark here. I now have security lights on both sides of the house and the front. They may not be the most attractive things, but if someone walks on either side of the house, which no one has any business doing, the light will come on. It will also be good for people to see getting into their cars at night when I have friends over.

I also made a trip to the eye doctor today. I need new glasses, which I pretty much already knew. They didn't have any frames that spoke to me, so I'll have to hunt around for something new.

That was after lunch with Trish, which was wonderful. She is such a treasure in my life. That friendship is one that only deepens with time. We have shared broken hearts and the happiness of fresh love more times than we're starting to want to count. I know she is someone I can trust completely, who will be excited with me when a new relationship begins, and commiserate with me when one ends. I also know she would tell me if I did something foolish. How can you ask more of a friend? It's such a lovely, comfortable relationship.

I have felt better as the day has gone on, but spent all morning in bed. I called the doctor for another prescription. I start zithromax tomorrow, after my last amoxicillian tonight. I still sound awful and my ears still hurt. I'm officially very, very, very sick of being sick.

I called my sister in law today and told her I just can't come to the reunion. I hate to miss it. I haven't missed on in probably 15 years at least, but I just cannot drive 12 hours, go the reunion, and then drive 12 hours back in the next few days.

Of course, if I feel great on Saturday I'll be thankful, but also a little sad that I'm not there. But, it just can't be helped. I can only do so much and apparently I'm over my limit.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Still Sick

I am still sick. I get better and feel pretty normal and then I'm worse. I spent half of yesterday in bed and the same today. I just can't seem to shake this and it's a little nothing infection. But it has sure knocked me on my butt. I haven't spent this much time in bed sick in years. My doc is out on Wednesdays but tomorrow I'm calling for more antibiotics - one prescription is not going to be enough, obviously.

I'm supposed to go to Kentucky for a family reunion this weekend, but if I don't feel better I don't think I can drive for 12 hours. I'll just have to see how I feel.

Yesterday I had breakfast with Greg and did some more work on the flower bed. It's looking pretty nice. I think it needs a couple more pink geraniums and then I'm pronouncing it officially done. I bought some mulch the other day. I'm going to use that and hope it keeps the weeds at bay.

I do have a couple of things to plant around the corner of the house, yet, but overall it's about done. I'm putting in some pink honeysuckle to go with the other I planted last year. I know some hate it, but I love it.

I had a board meeting last night and could barely talk during it. Alternately, I sound pretty normal and then the gunk shifts and I sound awful. Greg and I met at Skaets late in the day for moon burgers. For some reason, Greg gets annoyed about me taking his photo a few dozen times while he's eating.

Today has been a frustrating day. I had an electrician here most of the day and very little got accomplished. I need to find someone who deals with old houses, specifically. I also had the floor guy here today. I'm on his schedule so it will be good to get that done. So many things have to happen before then. Sometimes I feel like I can't keep all the balls juggled all the time.

Monday, June 20, 2005

A Day Full of Fun and Friends - and BEADS!

Diana and I had planned a trip to McPherson today. One of the bead stores is going out of business and things were 80-90% off. I got some wonderful Swarovski beads - they were expensive to begin with, and not cheap even at 80% off. They came in packages with quite a few in each and I don't want nearly all of them. So, after I make the things I want to do I may pop the rest of them up on ebay or my webpage. It would take me many years to use them all at the rate I make stuff.

Greg was planning to go up there too to shop for his girlfriend, Mia, who makes wonderful things. She is a SERIOUS bead person. Anyway, we were leaving at about the same time so just all went together. I had offered to get things for Mia, but then I couldn't even figure out what I wanted - much less someone else - so it's a good thing Greg went. We were all concerned about the cost of our baubles, even at 80-90% off, by the time we got to the check out stand.

Hopefully yet this week, Jocelyn, Diana and I will have a jewelry making night together. We'll see if that works out. I've got a family reunion this weekend to prepare for so I'm not sure if we can figure out a time to do it all.

When we got back to Hutch, I couldn't resist stopping by Dillons on the way home and getting yet more plants. I'm not sure why I can't stop myself. I need to try harder. I'm about to run out of room. I need to rearrange the rocks and see what room I have. I'm trying to balance the colors. I'm beginning to discover this is not natural for me to do with plants. Hopefully I'll learn.

Tonight was our Red Hat group. Frankly, I think we should forget the red hats and just go to dinner. None of us seem to care about the hat thing. I've never been a good conformist, what can I say? It was a nice group tonight - Susan K, Debbie, Teresa, Diana, Jocelyn, Susan N and me. We had a good time together.

I think I'll douse myself with deet and put a few more plants in the ground, instead of doing it at 4 a.m., which is what I was doing last night. I was up until 5 and got up at 8, so I should try to get to bed a little earlier tomorrow. Besides, I have a board meeting tomorrow.

I need to finish some house things and I'd feel better. I need to get my handyman over here to do some tasks, the electrician is coming on Wednesday, the roofer is supposed to call tomorrow. I have been putting off a ton of things and it is really time to get them taken care of.

Well... I'm off to get spray myself head to toe with mosquito repellant, although at this point I'm not sure there's any reason - I'm one big mosquito bite already.


Today was the garden tour to raise money for the MHA. We had a dry day, but it was HOT. But, things went well.

This was one of the houses this year - this garden is all geared toward birds and butterflies. It's a really neat place - a little north of town.

She has hummingbirds, which are somewhat unusual in Kansas. We're right on the edge of their migration pattern. She also has tons of butterflies.

Trish was the board member in charge there. I'm so fortunate that my board members are willing to pitch in for such events. When you're a one person staff, you have to have help.

I was just worn out - I guess from all the work getting ready for the tour. Anyway, I've been pretty droopy - not feeling bad - just worn out.

Greg and I went to Chilis for dinner. I'm not impressed with them. I've been four times since they opened and three of those times I've had to send part of my food back because it was cold. I don't mean a little cool, I mean cold. To top it off, the front desk staff rubs me the wrong way - a little too full of themselves. Seem to believe they're really cute or smart or powerful or something. Honey, trust me, you ain't all that.

Tonight I planted more flowers in the front. Goodness knows what this will look like - I've planted half of it in the dark. But, it's too hot during the day to be doing it. I'm close to having in everything I've bought so far. I think tomorrow I'll be able to look at it in the daylight and see what few things I'm missing and maybe get those in. Then, I guess, it's time for mulch - not something I've ever done.

I love being a home owner, but I remember a time when I didn't think about things like mulch or devote internet time to reading about attic vents.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


A simple thought...

Ever heard a serial killer, rapist or someone who "went postal" described as a "social butterfly."


I rest my case.

My Numbers

You enter your name and then it gives you your info... if you wanna do it too...

I have to say much of this is true about me - on the positive and negative side. Maybe those ancients knew a thing or two after all. Who would have guessed?

You entered: Patsy Ann Terrell
There are 15 letters in your name.
Those 15 letters total to 65
There are 4 vowels and 11 consonants in your name.

Your number is: 11

The characteristics of #11 are: High spiritual plane, intuitive, illumination, idealist, a dreamer.

The expression or destiny for #11:
Your Expression number is 11. The number 11 is the first of the master numbers. It is associated with idealistic concepts and rather spiritual issues. Accordingly, it is a number with potentials that are somewhat more difficult to live up to. You have the capacity to be inspirational, and the ability to lead merely by your own example. An inborn inner strength and awareness can make you an excellent teacher, social worker, philosopher, or advisor. No matter what area of work you pursue, you are very aware and sensitive to the highest sense of your environment. Your intuition is very strong; in fact, many psychic people and those involved in occult studies have the number 11 expression. You possess a good mind with keen analytical ability. Because of this you can probably succeed in most lines of work, however, you will do better and be happier outside of the business world. Oddly enough, even here you generally succeed, owing to your often original and unusual approach. Nonetheless, you are more content working with your ideals, rather than dollars and cents.

The positive aspect of the number 11 expression is an always idealistic attitude. Your thinking is long term, and you are able to grasp the far-reaching effects of actions and plans. You are disappointed by the shortsighted views of many of your contemporaries. You are deeply concerned and supportive of art, music, or of beauty in any form.

The negative attitudes associated with the number 11 expression include a continuous sense of nervous tension; you may be too sensitive and temperamental. You tend to dream a lot and may be more of a dreamer than a doer. Fantasy and reality sometimes become intermingled and you are sometimes very impractical. You tend to want to spread the illumination of your knowledge to others irrespective of their desire or need.

Your Soul Urge number is: 3

A Soul Urge number of 3 means:
With the Soul Urge number 3 your desire in life is personal expression, and generally enjoying life to its fullest. You want to participate in an active social life and enjoy a large circle of friends. You want to be in the limelight, expressing your artistic or intellectual talents. Word skills may be your thing; speaking, writing, acting, singing. In a positive sense, the 3 energy is friendly, outgoing and always very social.

You have a decidedly upbeat attitude that is rarely discouraged; a good mental and emotional balance.

The 3 Soul Urge gives intuitive insight, thus, very high creative and inspirational tendencies. The truly outstanding trait shown by the 3 Soul Urge is that of self-expression, regardless of the field of endeavor.

On the negative side, you may at times become too easygoing and too optimistic, tending to scatter forces and accomplish very little. Often, the excessive 3 energy produces non-stop talkers. Everyone has faults, but the 3 soul urge doesn't appreciate having these pointed out.

Your Inner Dream number is: 8

An Inner Dream number of 8 means:
You dream of success in the business or political world, of power and control of large material endeavors. You crave authority and recognition of executive skills. Your secret self may have very strong desire to become an entrepreneur.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Unexpected Treats

Today I had a wonderful, unexpected treat. I got to meet Marge - on the right here - one of the people on my discussion list. We've "known" each other for a year or two on this list - I'm not sure how long. She was in town today for a geneology seminar. She emailed a couple of days ago, asking if I had time in the midst of garden tour planning to get together and - of course - the answer was yes.

We had a lovely conversation. Her friend, Nancy, was with her and I met them after Marge's conference for a late lunch.

Actually, I didn't have lunch because I'd eaten a late one with Trish today, after breakfast with Greg.

I was up until almost 3, and then got up a little after 6 so I could plant more flowers while it was cooler. It was a beautiful morning - cool and breezy. I made some progress.

I wish I had taken pix of the 'before' with all the weeds, but I didn't. But, I've made some improvements. By late morning I had planted some things and moved some rocks around.

These rocks are ones I got last year while visiting my now ex-boyfriend at his farm. They're great rocks. The large one became a joke. When I pointed it out saying it was a great rock he said, "Patsy, that's not a rock, it's a boulder." I said OK, no problem, but he very sweetly went and got the three wheeler and hauled the rock to my car.

He lifted it into the trunk of my car, saying he thought it was about 150 pounds. Then I couldn't get it out of the trunk. Diana's son, Austin, finally came and lifted it out for me. I can scoot it from one place to another, but I cannot pick it up. I had forgotten that I picked up a number of smaller ones at the same time. I'm going to sprinkle them throughout the flower bed when it's done.

I'm also thinking about maybe covering the wooden ties with rock on the front. I'd prefer rock but am just not industrious enough to rip everything out and start over.

I visited Lowes, Home Depot and Wal-Mart garden departments today and bought plants at each one. I'm going with a pink/purple/blue/yellow theme. Frankly, I don't know what I'm going and will just hope for the best. I am sticking with things that like full sun - that's all I know. And I'm using more perennials - I don't want to do this every year. I want this to be THE time I plant the flowers.

The mosquitoes have arrived with a vengenance in the last 48 hours so planting has been a challenge. Even this morning they were out in full force. Do they never sleep?

Well, tomorrow is the garden tour. Hopefully all will go well. I hope so!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Books and More about Gardening

This morning I got up and started producing more things for the garden tour. One of my former board members allows me to copy at his office for free, and since I produce 800, 32 page books for the garden tour, that's a ton of copying. That would be 12,000 actual copies, which at 6 cents each that is sort of the going rate - a total of $720. Because of his generosity, I'm able to do it only for the cost of the paper - less than $50. I did some yesterday afternoon and finished this morning.

Volunteers came this afternoon to help me get the books assembled, stapled and folded. I had asked for six people - had four, plus me - but we got it done. Unfortunately, I had hoped to do some other things while they were doing books so now I'll have to do that tomorrow. But, at least the books are all done.

They are nice - not exactly as I would have liked, but being sick two of the days I had set aside to produce it means it's just not the way I would have had it ideally. But, probably only I will know the difference, and it looks nice - has some good looking ads that I think are probably well-targeted to this audience.

As soon as the books were done, I ran to the bank and to the printers to get some things cut. I stopped in to Diana's to say hi while the printer was cutting my forms - they're on the same block.

Teresa was in Diana's store visiting so I got to see her. And Jocelyn was in the back giving a Reiki treatment. I stayed at the store while Diana and Teresa ran down to Smith's market - a wonderful little fruit and vegetable market we have here.

Greg and I had planned to have dinner, but he was so tired he decided to go on to bed - he had been up all day after being up most of the night. So, Jocelyn and I had dinner with Lauren, her granddaughter.

Lauren discovered for the first time tonight that I have long hair and wanted me to fix it like Cinderella. Unfortunately, I don't know Cinderella's hairdo, so that was a bit of a problem. She played with it a little bit and I'm guessing we'll be doing that again in the near future. She's three - almost four - and about as adorable as they come.

I ran right to Lowes after eating, to get some flowers.I went and looked the other night so I could buy them pretty quickly tonight.

I think the weeds in my front flower bed are finally dead - I hope so - because I just invested some serious cash in flowers to go in it. I planted four of them tonight but it was dark by the time I got home. So, I'm going to try and get up early in the morning and do it. It will be far too hot later in the day to be messing with it.

I can already see that I'm lacking some different kinds of plants - I have purples and yellows and I need some other colors and also some with long, skinny leaves. I know that's not very sophisticated for those of you who are gardeners, but I'm not that knowledgable. I just want it to be flowers instead of weeds.

I have some volunteer morning glories coming up so I need to get strings out for them to climb. I love morning glories. I also planted a honeysuckle last year - had forgotten about that until it started looking like a honeysuckle. I know some people think they're weeds but I love them - viney things going everywhere really appeal to me.

I wish I had taken pix before I started killing the weeds and then with them dead but still in there, but I didn't. So, now I'll just have the flower pix, but so it goes.

I'm going to try and be diligent about keeping track of what is planted where. I have no excuse now that I have a digital camera.

Well, I must go bathe. The mosquitoes have come in full force in the last couple of days. I'm not sure why, but I swear they are the size of small birds. The little blood suckers just love me, so I doused myself in spray before I went outside but now I'm really wanting to get it off of me.

Nose to the Grindstone

I'd had my nose to the grindstone the last few days. The garden tour is Sunday and I've been producing the ticket brochure (32 pages) and such the last couple of days. I copied this afternoon and have to go in the morning and finish. I have volunteers coming to help tomorrow afternoon, but unfortunately, not enough to get the job done, so I guess I'll be finishing it on Saturday - not something I'm especially thrilled about.

It will be curious where they will all park since we have a major construction project going on downtown now. It is going to be nice when they get it all done - it's a beautification project and they're adding in some nice pieces. I snapped this out my office window this afternoon.

I had the camera out because I tried to take some photos of the pendant we're raffling off during the garden tour, but the pix didn't turn out well. It was designed specifically for us by Richard Westphal, a local jeweler, who has won a number of national design awards.

He's an incredibly talented man - very creative - and one of the kindest people you would ever want to meet. His store is right across the street from my office so when I look out the window I can see his store - it always gives me a warm feeling.

We discovered one day when we were just chatting, that we used to live in another town at the same time. I went to school at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky for one year. He was a jeweler there at about the same time. Just funny how those things work out. I grew up about an hour from Murray, and went there for their music program, which is exceptional. I quickly learned I did not have the necessary talent or dedication to be a music major, but I have always valued the experience. Life just turns out the way it's supposed to be.

Dick was instrumental in helping us get the office space we have now and it's wonderful. Greg Payton owns the building and is the most amazing landlord I can imagine. He is so good to me. Very kind and very generous. He owns the optical company that's next door to the building I'm in. He has done wonderful things for Hutchinson and I fear he is under appreciated.

He, and my friend, Martha, were the ones who really got the Fox Theatre restored and we are so fortunate to have it. I could go on at great length about the Fox and how beautiful it is, but it's best to just let you see for yourself. You can see their photos - where this one came from too - from various times over its history at I just pulled this one off to illustrate one small feature. The lights are incredible inside. It is gorgeous and we are so blessed to have it. Martha and Greg really made that happen. My friend, Andrea, was its first Executive Director. It's a wonderful facility.

Greg and another local business man have redone a number of downtown buildings, including the one Greg's store is in and the building I'm in. They are a big part of the reason our downtown is as nice as it is.

Well... I didn't intend to write about Downtown Hutchinson tonight, but I guess I did. And it's a fine subject, really. I will try to snap some more pix in the next few weeks and share them here from time to time. I wish now I had been taking snaps out the window all during the construction project but it didn't occur to me until today. They're making pretty fast work of it.

I'd best turn off the computer and get about other things. We are getting more storms tonight. Again. We had a major storm last night. Hutchinson had 80 mph winds - lots of trees down and some power lines too - some cars crushed by trees - the usual bit. Both my neighbors have tree parts down. Since my only tree is about four feet tall it wasn't a problem for me.

Thankfully, my lawn guy came day before yesterday. My lawn was getting really nasty and it looks like he came just at the right time - between the storms. It's supposed to be nice all weekend, so that will be good for the garden tour.

I have a lot of house stuff I need to get done. I'm sorry to say that the new kitchen ceiling tiles they put up a couple of weeks ago are sporting a new wet spot after last night's storm. So, one of the calls today was to the roofer.

It's a good thing I love my old house.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Doctor - yikes

I gave in today and went to the doctor. I rarely go to the doctor and certainly not for anything minor but the fact that I'm a mouth-breather, and not even good at that right now, prompted me to trot out to his office. Ok, I didn't trot, I ambled slowly and then wheezed from the exhaustion of the block long walk from the car to his office.

My ears and throat are sore but the real problem is that I can't breathe. It's bizarre - it's not my head stopped up and it's not my lungs - it's the bronchial tubes because it's a small little area. I sound pretty nasty. It's a good thing I'm not a radio person anymore - I'd be very bad at it right now.

But, I have some amoxicillian now and with just two pills in me I can tell it's starting to break it up a little bit. I suck at being sick. Some people love the attention. I love feeling normal.

I did call and cancel the electrician for in the morning. I'll reschedule next week but I just wasn't up to it for tomorrow.

I met Susan K for breakfast today and then came home and went back to bed until my doctor's appointment. I have been up and about since then and feeling a bit better but I'm about ready for a nap. Maybe I'll be able to sleep tonight. I hope so.

We had Chicks tonight and I didn't want to miss it. It was our third anniversary. I feel so blessed to be part of this group. Such a great part of my life.

It was part of the reason I started Creative Sisterhood. I had thought about something like that before, but something about Chicks and seeing it work gave me the incentive I needed to follow through on starting Creative Sisterhood.

I did some garden tour things today. I've lost about 2 days and I really don't know how I'm going to get everything done. But I will just have to because it has to be done and there's no one else to do it. So... there you go.

I think a good night's sleep will do me some good. I hope I get one. I really want to go play in the studio a little bit but know that's not the wise thing for me to do tonight.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Corel Painter

On one of my art lists, they've been talking lately about Corel Painter versus Photoshop. I've been using Corel for many years - much longer than Photoshop, and yet I've never played with Painter. This is unusual for me - I'm usually quite the experimenter. But, I've mostly used Corel Draw, not Painter.

Well, at the urging of folks like Karen Winters, who's work I really admire, I took a few minutes tonight to play with it. ( and to see Karen's amazing work)

It just so happened that red was the default and I automatically drew a heart, playing with a variety of brushes and such that you can't see here.

Anyway, I just kept playing around with various things and ended up with this odd - but some reason appealing (at least to me) heart.

Maybe it's because my heart is still broken, maybe it's because it's trying to heal a bit. Whatever the reason I was inspired to draw a heart - it could have been that red was selected because I was working on a logo before that - I thought I'd share it here.

Now, after this little interlude, I must get back to work on garden tour things! Being sick and in bed for a day and a half did not help my schedule at all. Fortunately, I'm feeling better.

Michael Jackson deemed Not Guilty

They're reading the verdicts in the Michael Jackson trial - all NOT guilty. Can we please, please, please, please, please stop having this conversation?

Yes, the man is a freak. We all know that. How could he be anything else given how he grew up? Being a freak is not illegal in this country.

Honestly, I wouldn't have been surprised at either verdict. I'm not a huge Michael Jackson fan, but if police have all this evidence, it would seem they could find some more believable people to testify.

Anyone who sleeps with children is, of course, weird, bizarre and freaky. But, why are the parents of these children who shipped their kids off to spend the night with Michael not on trial? Wouldn't that be child endangerment?

We all have free will. If you think he's guilty then don't send your kids off to Neverland. That would seem to be a no-brainer but apparently bears stating.

I'm so ready to not hear another word about this. Yes, the man is a freak. We all know that. As of today, he's a freak who has been determined to be NOT guilty of the crime they've tried to pin on him multiple times. If he has been abusing even a small percentage of the children who have been to Neverland, it would seem police could find at least ONE credible witness - just ONE. They've been unable to for years. Please, let us all have a rest.


I've been up since 5:11 this morning. I went to bed a little after 11 so that's a normal night's sleep for me. My ear and throat are still a little sore, but neither is as bad as it was so I must be on the mend. I'm still puzzled why I'm sick in the first place, but I seem to be better.

I'm one of those people who is obsessive about washing my hands. I do it multiple times a day. And, as a result, I rarely get sick. I'm pretty careful about touching my eyes or mouth when I've been out with the masses until I scrub my hands, but I must have neglected to do that at some point. I can't imagine how else I would have acquired this - whatever it is.

Fortunately, I seem to speed through the healing process whenever I'm sick too. This is a good thing as sick is not in my day runner for this week.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


I woke up officially SICK today. I am rarely sick and it's a good thing because I'm not very good at it. This is an earache that started yesterday, got worse when I was in the studio last night and was full force this morning. My throat was so sore I could hardly swallow, but it all seems to be coming from the left ear.

I got up this morning and took some psuedafed and realized I'm almost out. I'm sick rarely enough that I always have to go buy more every time because the other has expired and I've tossed it. Well, of course, getting psuedafed is nearly impossible.

I called Walmart - they said I could get it from the pharmacy until 5. It was 5:07. Hello!?!?!? I called Target - yeah, it's on the shelf. Well, they have something called psuedafed on the shelf, but it's a "new formula." I don't want the freaking new formula. I want the crap that works.

Of course, it's because of meth that we can't have these simple things - like cold medicine that works. I understand all the reason. But, I'm sick and I'm grumpy and I want my damned psuedafed. The fact that law enforcement can't do their job is not a good reason for me to not be able to buy cold medicine.

I know... grumpy, grumpy, grumpy. But it pisses me off about every 18 months or so when I go to buy some and it's some huge ordeal to lay my hands on it. You'd think it's the illicit drug. It's an odd situation when I guess I need to buy the psuedafed on the street.

I just want the simple little red pills. It's fine if you only want to sell me a dozen at a time. I'll be well long before I use all those, but it annoys me that I can't buy something that works wonders because other people abuse it and the system that's supposed to stop the people who abuse it doesn't work well. OK... I'll shut up about that.

Greg and I went to Lone Star for dinner and I was hungry, which I take as a good sign. It was pretty funny - they had so many people working they were actually bumping into each other. Our server had someone following him that he was training. I really want two things from the server when I eat out - my drink full and my food the temperature it's supposed to be. At one point my glass was empty and I counted 9 employees in my field of view, none of whom seemed to be doing anything. A manager visited our table three times. I don't need you to be my friend. I need you to fill up my glass. But, you can't help but laugh. It reminded me of going to Fazolis. I love their product, and everyone seems to be working, but no one is doing anything that is related to me getting my food.

I have felt better as the day has progressed. If my ear isn't much better by in the morning I'll go to the doctor - no easy decision for me to make - but it will be necessary. I don't have time to be sick this week with the garden tour a week from today.

Of course, it's pouring rain here today so I hope that is not the case a week from now. That will be very bad for us. The extended forecast is good but it's hard to have confidence when we're under a flood warning now. I'll just hope for the best - obviously I can't control the weather.

Well, I think it's back upstairs for me to rest for a bit. I took my temperature - although I didn't feel like I had any - and I don't. It's 96.5, which is low, as mine normally is. Norm Shealy would have something to say about that.

Guilty Pleasures

I believe television runs people's lives far too much. Now, that's not to say that I don't watch TV. I do. But I don't "just" watch TV. I have it on while I'm doing other things - working on the computer, painting, cooking, etc.

I make it a point to not know when specific shows come on. I catch them or I don't. I don't ever rush home for a show, or schedule around it. That's way too much control for television to have over my life.

OK, all of that said... I have a new guilty pleasure - "Meet the Barkers." I generally eschew reality shows, but this odd couple draws my attention. In case you haven't caught this little gem, it stars heavily inked Travis Barker and his playmate/Miss USA wife. Travis is the drummer for Blink 182 and considered one of the great musical talents of our time - so drum people say - I wouldn't know the difference, myself.

I don't know when it comes on, but whenever I've caught it I've enjoyed it. OK, I've only seen it a couple of times, and I wouldn't want to be best friends with these two, but it's interesting to peek into this world.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Working in Every Direction

I got a lot of Garden Tour things done today and Greg delivered some flyers for me. I also worked on other parts of my life but didn't find time to paint in the room upstairs.

I also worked on my webpage a little bit and put up my Kansas Cookies Cookbook for sale. I've been meaning to do it forever, but just hadn't gotten around to it. Finally, it's done.

I wrote this book years ago as a souvenir booklet. It was sold in various places around the state. It tucks into an envelope for mailing.

I'm a big proponent of cookbooks having more than just lists of ingredients - really, what is the point in that. If the recipes are not put into context then there's no point in bothering.

So, I've tried to follow my own advice. I have a dozen recipes in there and each has a story with it.

I went down to Diana's store today to meet her and Jocelyn. We had a chance to visit a little. An unexpected treat was that little Miss Lily was there. Taylor (her mom) had stopped in so I got to hold the baby for awhile. She is a cuddly baby - you just can't get enough of her. Hard to believe she's already four months old.

Greg and I went to Roy's and Mike (the owner) gave me a bone to take to Petie so I stopped back by the store. He was happy to see me bearing such gifts.

I also picked up my laptop, which has been pronounced officially dead. Two things to say about that - 1. Don't waste your money on the Circuit City warranty plans. You can send the machine back, and they will continue to replace parts, but they won't actually FIX it. 2. Don't expect that Compaq (now HP) gives a flying flip about whether or not their products function. There are a few thousand similar complaints about this machine - even a name for it - GLOB - Green Light On Brigade. The green light comes on but that's it. Anyway, they refuse to accept that it's a "known problem," even though thousands of people have the same problem independently. They refuse to accept it or do anything about it.

I had to make a run to Office Max for more ink for garden tour stuff I was printing and ran into one of my board members there. She's someone I really enjoy so it was fun to chat with her. I had to go get some more ink cartridges, but while I was there I happened to see they had some Pitt Pens on clearance, so I picked those up for myself. I can't wait to try them out in a little bit.

I had my second negative experience with an Office Max cashier tonight. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't pleasant, and this is the second time in a month I've had a similar thing happen. Next time I'm in and see one of the managers, I'm going to mention it to them. They generally have great service and this is an oddity. I want this store to survive and if I'm having bad experiences, other people probably are too - that can't be good long term. I shop there all the time so next time one of the managers is around and not busy I'll mention it to them.

Well, I think I'm headed upstairs to the studio for a bit. I'm working on some new things I'm really enjoying. I paint very thickly sometimes - I love texture - so drying time is always an issue for me.

Me? Travel? Yup... This one seems right on

Your Birthdate: December 23

With a birthday on the 23rd of the month (5 energy) you are inclined to work well with people and enjoy them.

You are talented and versatile, very good at presenting ideas.

You may have a tendency to get itchy feet at times and need change and travel.

You tend to be very progressive, imaginative and adaptable.

Your mind is quick, clever and analytical.

A restlessness in your nature may make you a bit impatient and easily bored with routine.

You may have a tendency to shirk responsibility.

Very sociable, you make friends easily and you are an excellent traveling companion.

Friday, June 10, 2005

End of the Work Week

Well, it's the end of the work week - at least for most people - for me this will be a working weekend as well. With the garden tour only a week away, I have *much* to do.

Just today, thanks to my board president Peggy, we got our final garden. I had one garden drop - well, as best I can tell - the home owner won't return my phone calls or take them - so I assume she has changed her mind. I really wish she had confirmed that for me, but I can only guess. Anyway, it turned out great, so that's all that matters. It's going to be a fabulous tour!

Needless to say, working on the tour is all I've done work wise, but I did have a social life as far as meals today.

I started out with Susan K at Skaets. We had a nice breakfast and then I met Andrea for lunch. We had a really interesting chat. I'm going to plan an art retreat weekend and I was brainstorming with her. Tonight I met Greg at Skaets for dinner. He got home last night from his westward trip and I'm so glad he's back.

I've got a lot of other things going on, aside from the garden tour, so I'm a bit overwhelmed.

We're getting more storms, after last night and the night before. Fortunately, my immediate area has escaped.

I did make arrangements today for the electrician to come next week. I have a number of things that need to be done so I'm trying to make a list.

Terry has popped over for me to make a CD for him of some Tai Chi things. After that I think I'm headed to bed. I got very little sleep last night. I went to bed about 12:30 but at 4:23 I was still awake. At 6:23 I was awake again and couldn't get back to sleep so I got up at 7.

I don't need much sleep - far less than other people - but I do need some... and I've had very little the last couple of weeks. So, I think I need to try and get some rest.

I'm supposed to have Roy's with Jocelyn and Diana tomorrow as a celebration for Jocelyn making a big sale. I'm going to get up early enough to make garden tour flyers so I can get them cut before noon when the printing place closes. Ah... so much to do... I best get these CDs done and get some rest.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Spoke Too Soon

Apparently I spoke too soon that we wouldn't get anything weather wise. I should probably be turning the computer off...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I'm a Great Girlfriend? Hmmmm...

Well, we all know of my little addition for these quiz thingies. This one is about what kind of girlfriend you are. It says I'm great. But I've recently been "excused" from my girlfriend duties. Hmmmm... I guess not everyone would agree.....

You are a Great Girlfriend

When it comes to your guy, you're very thoughtful
But you also haven't stopped thinking of yourself
You're the perfect blend of independent and caring
You're a total catch - make sure your guy knows it too!

Are You a Good Girlfriend? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

Mother Nature's Shows

Tis tornado season in Kansas and tonight looks like it's going to be a long night for some in the area. Hutchinson is not going to be hit tonight unless something strange happens - it's to the south and east of us - but it looks like it will be a doozie.

It's curious the things one becomes accustomed to. Until I moved to Kansas I had never even paid much attention to things like tornadoes. Now, I've been in town when it was hit, although I missed the whole thing. I was on the top floor of one of the taller buildings in town (not very tall!) and missed the whole thing. But, that one decimated Willowbrook, a very upscale "burb" of Hutchinson. I helped cover the aftermath of the Hesston tornado, even though I was no longer doing news. I remember the Andover one - it's the one that the famous footage of Greg Jarret (then working in Wichita, now with MSNBC) under the overpass with the frightened family that we've all seen a few hundred times.

But, it's funny how things just become common place. A little after 9 I drove up to Skaets for a Moonburger, and on the way was listening to the radio where the mobile guy was saying he could see wall clouds and he thought there was rotation. As I was going around the roundabout he said, "There's definitely rotation. We have a funnel coming out of the wall cloud. If you're in the area of blah blah blah, take immediate cover." We accept these things as common place here - even though of us who are transplants - it's just part of the landscape. Of course, we do take cover when necessary, but we toss around words like "wall cloud" as if they're commonplace. (They're the clouds from which tornadoes come - they're straight - just like a wall - very distinctive.)

When I was growing up in Kentucky, we lived near the New Madrid fault line - it's a huge fault line running through five states. (The last really huge earthquake in the early 1800s made the Mississippi river run backwards for three days and rang church bells on the Eastern Seaboard.)

I was in dozens of minor earthquakes. Because they were commonplace, I paid no real attention to them. Of course, we never had a big one - that would have made a difference, obviously. But, it was not unusual to be awakened by the bed shaking, hearing the dishes rattle in the other room. Sometimes a picture would fall off the wall, but there was never anything major where we were - across the river, although the fault line goes under the river.

If you were walking, you wouldn't feel them the same way. But if you were still, you'd feel it. I remember once as a kid being outside playing and I noticed the ground moving. I stopped and stood still and I could feel it then. It was significant enough you could see the sine wave going through the ground - just minor, but noticeable. Because I was on a farm, I watched it go across the field, unencumbered by buildings and such. It was just part of life. We thought no more about it than the fact that the backwater came up every year when the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers flooded.

Of course, it's always the things you don't know about unless you've been in them, that are the worst. Everyone knows about the destruction tornadoes do, flattening houses. What you may not think about if you've not been in one is the hail. Oh my, the hail. The hail comes down in droves - huge pieces of hail - in areas that are far away from wherever the actual tornado may be.

As I was thinking about this entry on my way home tonight I was trying to think about how to describe it. The best I can come up with is a dozen two year olds armed with wooden spoons and pots, doing what's natural, would approximate the sound of being in a car. The first huge hail storm we had after I moved here - my first one, my learning experience - I thought the woman in the upstairs apartment had fallen down the stairs. Nope. Just hail. On the roof a floor above me.

What such things do to vehicles and roofs is not something we like to discuss.

In addition to the hail is the wind and the rain. Tornadoes usually bring flood warnings with them. This is a great time to remind you that flooding is very, very dangerous. More people die from floods each year than any other weather phenomenon. Do NOT drive through that water up ahead. Really. Just don't.

There are the storm chasers, who want to see tornadoes. I have no great desire to do such a thing. If it were in front of me, of course I would look. But I'm not going to seek it.

The lightning is quite amazing - even here - miles away. The golf ball sized hail is falling all over the area, although thankfully not on my relatively new roof.

The real shame of it all is that farmers have just started the wheat harvest. The rain, much less the hail, will destroy some of these farmers for the year.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Creative Sisterhood

Tonight was Creative Sisterhood and it was a wonderful evening. I was thinking this afternoon that it hasn't even been two years since we started gathering every month and it feels an essential part of my life.

I am honored these five women come together with me in my home each month so we can share our lives in a safe, loving environment. The things that happen in our circle are amazing. Truly, we experience miracles sometimes.

This afternoon I snapped a photo of the table with the cake and all on it - even though this was a very casual night and nothing fancy in sight.

I made a new recipe of chocolate cake. I'll post it below. I'm sorry but I don't recall where I got it from. But, it was tasty. Martha says it's definitely a top 5 cake, maybe a top 3 - maybe even number 1. Obviously, I love to cook for Martha - she's so appreciative.

You can also see the jar. Each month we have the opportunity to write something down and it's kept on a shelf in my dining room all year. Then, we open them and share if we wish and keep them private if we wish. We've only done it one year so far - obviously, since we've only been going that long. We opened them in February and it was really interesting. We had planned to do something different but the jar was such a great experience we did it again.

You might also notice candy canes. We always have candy canes - specifically Bob's Candy Canes. I had some the first Christmas and Martha told us a story about Bob's and how they're better than the others. So, I've made sure I have some Bob's candy canes every month since then. So, even when it's over 90 degrees, we have Bob's Candy Canes available.

In other news today I've worked on garden tour things. I'm worn out. I will be glad when this event is done and I can bask in the success (positive thinking!).

Chocolate Cake

1 stick of butter
1 Cup of water
1 cup of shortening
2 tablespoons of Cocoa

Bring to a boil then add
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar

Mix well Add 4 eggs

In a separate bowl mix
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Combine with other ingredients then bake @ 375 in a 9 by 13 pan. Cook until done - about 30 minutes.

6 TBS of milk
1 stick of butter
2 TBS cocoa

bring to a boil then add:
1 box of powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla

Mondays Always Get Me Down

Frankly, I've got so much on my plate at the moment that I can't afford the effort to be down, even if it is Monday.

I've been chained to the computer, working on garden tour stuff today. And I have another day of that ahead tomorrow. I'm growing very weary of these projects that take every ounce of my energy for a few weeks.

I did take time to go have lunch with Terry this afternoon but that was it for fun today. Otherwise, just work.

Tonight I was looking for something in my desk and ran across a postcard I bought in Paris that summed up my world at the moment. This is just part of the card, but it's so very true.

My home is just out of control - as it always gets when I'm working on a big project. All my attention is devoted to that and my life falls apart. I'm in the middle of that now, and I just don't care for it at all. But, so it goes.

Well... I must get back to one of the many tasks at hand. Last night I was working furiously, trying to beat the 3 a.m. pickup at the post office. That's such an insane thing to be doing. Tonight I'm printing 1200 postcards that will go out tomorrow. I still have to do publicity faxes and emails so they're there when people get to their offices tomorrow. I want to do that before I go to bed, although I'll need to be back up and working before most people will get to their offices.

But... it's 1:05 a.m. now... so I should try to finish up a few more things and get at least a little bit of sleep.

Monday, June 06, 2005

New Cards

I've been doing some new business cards. Pretty much they're used when people want to know the address for my blog. I did some watercolor ones a few weeks ago and they're almost all gone so it was time to do something new.

At the moment I'm really into bold acrylics so I decided to work with those this time. I also just did something similar for an address book exchange on an art list. Anyway, I'm infatuated with this concept at the moment.

Next month, who knows...

Leslie's Drawing

I mentioned earlier today that my great neice, Leslie, sent me a drawing she had done. It's of David Bowie as "Jareth" the goblin king from the movie Labyrinth. I've not seen the movie, but I know this looks like David Bowie.

Leslie's mom was always very artistic. Leslie has never had any art training and I'm not sure if Kathy had any either. I do think artistic talent is partially genetic.

However, I do believe anyone can learn to draw, too. It takes lots of practice. But, I know my own "skills" (I say that generously) have greatly improved since I started making an effort to draw regularly. Part of it is that you just have to get past the worrying about it being bad.

I am not nearly as talented as Leslie. I rarely attempt to reproduce an actual likeness of a human being. I prefer to stick with inanimate objects that remain stationery for long periods of time and who's feelings are not hurt when my drawing does not look like them.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Old Acquaintances

This week has been interesting as far as hearing from people I haven't talked to in ages.

One afternoon after lunch I stopped in at Diana's to see her and Lily. While I was in Andrea stopped by and so she and Diana and I were talking about yarn and knitting.

Someone came in and Diana got up. I had my back to the door but Andrea said, "Oh my God!" It was someone we both worked with at the radio station years ago. He had stopped in to ask directions. How odd that we would all be there at the same time. It was great to get to see him, even though it was brief.

Then today I got an email from my great niece, Leslie. She lives in Mississippi and we just don't seem to connect very often. Not sure why - life, I guess. We all get along fine - and think about each other - but just don't make actual connection. So, it was good to hear from her.

She shared one of her drawings with me. It's very good. I've asked her permission to post it here. If she says OK, I'll show it off, even though it makes my own drawing look bad.

These are both just interesting experiences - of hearing from someone I really enjoy - that I didn't expect to see/hear from at all. Quite a lovely week in that way.

At this point, when I'm missing my now-former bf so much, it's nice to make connections with others.

Also this week, Susan N. called for lunch and that was a bonus. And, having a long dinner with Jocelyn and Diana last night was also great. None of them knew about us breaking up so it was just nice that it all worked out.

Brancusi Quote

"Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."
Constantin Brancusi

Altruism in Humans

This has been a quiet Saturday for me. I didn't even leave the house until about 5:30. I worked on garden tour things and painted in the upstairs room some more.

Then I went and met Jocelyn and Diana for dinner. I was ready for a real meal as I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. I just wanted to keep working.

Jocelyn and I had planned to go to Roys at lunch but she had some other things come up so we decided on dinner instead so we could be relaxed.

While I was soaking in the tub, trying to get the paint off, I was reading about some new brain research on altruism.

Many animals demonstrate a form of altruism toward their kin, but only humans extend it far beyond that. Previously, we've known that people will offer kindnesses when they can expect future benefits, but this study tested if people would reward cooperators and punish those who do not to along, even when it costs them to do it.

Altruism would seem to lower the chances of survival since it doesn't provide immediate benefit or gain. In fact, it's costly in resources of many sorts. But, altruism seems to be a firmly ingrained part of human behavior.

Why? Well, it seems to point to the group selection theory, which researchers have always discounted because the conditions for it could not exist. However, in this case, if the altruists populated early communities, and then punished those who didn't follow their ways --- something that seems to be ingrained in us even today --- they would effectively make altruism the norm.

Regardless of how we got here, we seem to be the only animals with a propensity toward selflessness.

I'm continually fascinated by the human.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Prompts - 3

1. ...ridden on a rollercoaster?
no... always hated them... When I was a teenager my friends talked me into riding the one at Opryland. We were in line when it jumped the tracks and three people died. If I had needed any additional proof I was not supposed to ride rollercoasters, that sealed it.

2. ...performed (in any area of the arts) onstage?
yes... plays, piano, singing, chorus, etc.

3. ...planted a garden?
Yes... and as soon as I get all my weeds killed in my front flowerbed I'll be doing it again.

4. ...ever had to reformat your hard drive due to a virus/spyware?
yes... at work... not sure the cause... but watched it being rewritten with 0s and 1s... supposedly had backups on the server but it had "malfuctioned" - it's an ugly, ugly, ugly thing to watch those 0s and 1s

5. ...written a book? A poem? A song?
yes... yes... yes on all three

6. ...sang karaoke?
no... I've sang with a band but never with prerecorded music

7. ...been interviewed by a local tv station/newspaper?
yes and yes... I've also done the interviews for both...

8. ...witnessed a tornado/earthquake/hurricane first-hand?
I've been in many earthquakes, although not major ones. I grew up near the New Madrid fault line which is the HUGE one in the US. If it ever really goes, it will take out about half the country. Last time it really went, the Mississippi river ran backwards for three days.

A tornado hit my town a few years ago and I was in the tallest building in town during it (not tall at all!) and didn't even know until I got home and found my then-bf in the basement with the cat.

I've covered many of them after the fact. I live in Kansas now. Unfortunately they're pretty common.

9. ...participated in a photo scavenger hunt?
no... done scavenger hunts but not photo ones

10. ...traveled to another country?
yes... multiple other countries - my faves are France, Egypt and Guatemala... so far


More prompts from a list...

Sun - What is the one thing you need to get finished this week?
garden tour prep

Mon - What is one item that you own that you really should throw away ... but probably never will?
my shirt Kyle Macy signed in the early 1980s - when he was hot stuff and I was wild about him (Basketball player for those of you not in-the-know about KY Wildcats B ball)

Tues - What are the 3 main influences in your life?
my family, my ex bf (we remain good friends), my faith

Wed - What makes you laugh?
tons of things - love wit and sarcasm - all of my friends are funny - it's almost a "requirement" to be my friend :)

Thurs - What is the most inexpensive, non-valuable thing you tend to collect and hoard?
rocks... love 'em... been picking them up since I could walk.. so... 41 years now... can't resist them... When I was moving it got to be a joke that every purse, decorative box or dish was likely to have a rock inside it.

Fri What do you daydream about?
being able to devote every day to BEING ME and not having to work for a living... and yet having enough money that I NEVER have to think about it... don't want to live extravagantly - just don't want to ever have to devote another thought to money - cannot think of many subjects more dull� I guess it's fine for some people, but I am certain I'm not meant to be devoting much thought to money in this lifetime

Sat What is your favorite Saturday pastime?
varies... do the same things on Saturday I do all week - see friends, go to lunch.... maybe take a little weekend trip.... paint in the studio


Many journaling lists I'm on offer prompts all the time - questions you can answer to the list or on your own. I rarely journal with these sorts of things but I do enjoy just answering them on occasion. It occurred to me I should post them here - just for fun. So... here's one of them...

In your lifetime, have you.....

1. been physically present at a (human) birth?

2. been physically present at a (human) death?

3. eaten raw meat?

4. been forced to eat something that you found
absolutely repulsive, in order to "be polite" or for compelling cultural or
social reasons?

no - I'm NOT an adventurous eater... at all... I covered my head when I was Egypt but I wouldn't drink the tea after everyone else had... sorry... no can do... I have a "germ thing"

5. eaten an entire pan of brownies, an entire cake, or at least half a gallon of ice cream, at one sitting?
no... I've overeaten all of the above but never a whole container

6. ridden in the back of a police car (not under

7. fired a gun?
yes - many times

8. been on a TV or movie set?
yes - many times

9. written a children's book?

10. been somewhere you were DEFINITELY not supposed to be, and escaped without being caught?
yes - many times :)

11. been photographed with a Famous Person?

12. hugged or smooched a Famous Person

Time Keeps On Slipping... Into the Future

We all know that times keeps on slipping into the future. We all know we're supposed to be living every day to the fullest. We all know all that stuff, except how to do it.

I'm pretty good about living in the moment. Trust me, it has positives and negatives. If you're living only in the moment you're likely to have far less saved for the future than you should. Your 401K plan seems like something that's going to make your eyes glaze over.

But, if you're living in the moment, you're probably happy. Because whatever is happening is OK with you.

So, it's a catch 22 in the most traditional sense. If you need anything that will make you feel the urge to get off your butt and stop reading blogs, check this out... A visual reminder that time is slipping... into the future... continuously.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Houlihans and Garden Tour

Houlihans is opening in our revamped Convention Center soon. They had practice runs for the staff today at lunch and dinner and they're doing it tomorrow too. Chamber members could call and make reservations to go for free and try out the menu and give the employees some practice.

So, tonight I met Julie out there and we had dinner. I had the tilapia and she had a chicken salad. Both were really good. I had the cobbler and Julie the mousse, and we both had maragritas. Everything was very tasty. We gave it high marks.

I hardly ever drink and I've had margaritas three times in the last couple of weeks. That's a lot for me - more than I've had in the last three years. I could do without the alcohol in them but I do like the taste. These were really nice and tart, which I like.

I spent all day working on garden tour stuff. The 8th Annual Hutchinson Garden Tour is set for June 19! We have a really interesting mix of gardens this year - from one that's geared to butterflies and birds, to more traditional ones. I'll sell tickets at the Chapman and Masterson homes and have the raffle and drawing at others. We always do refreshments at the Dillon Nature Center. It should be a neat afternoon.

Dean and Kitty Chapman - 405 E. 15th
James and Shirley Masterson - 1711 Wilshire Dr.
Cregg and Diane Lingle - 7206 Holly Way
Stan and Cheryl Wiggins in North Reno County
Guy and Bobbi Gann - 3811 Prairie Hills Dr.
Dillon Nature Center - 3002 E. 30th

Tickets are only $7 for adults and that's good for all the homes. This year I'm doing a raffle for the first time for a piece of jewelry. Dick Westphal designs a piece of jewelry for us and it's always exceptional - about a $500 value. He's a wonderful corporate citizen here in Hutchinson. He has won national design awards - does amazing work. He's very generous with us.

Anyway, I'll be working on that all weekend. I also have to do a little straightening up around my house. It's getting out of control and I need to bring it back from the brink of disaster.

I've decided I'm going to Puerto Rico this summer for a conference so I've got to prepare for that, too. Seems like I'm always trying to juggle more than seems humanly possible.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Slowing Down Time

I've been tied to my computer keyboard most of the day, trying to get things done for the garden tour. It's on June 19 and I am SOOOO behind. So, nothing I can do about it but work harder. So, that's what I've been doing since early this morning until now. I'm headed to bed soon. Otherwise, I'll get a second wind and be up until 4 a.m.

I did take time for lunch today with Susan N. It's always so fun to see her. I also had to go drop off the rent check for the MHA office space. I thought I was being so smart and had mailed it. Well, in my flurry of thoughts about the garden tour I mailed it to myself. I was quite surprised to get it out of the box today. Anyway, I ran that down to their office.

That's the second stupid thing I found out today that I did recently. I also sent a cookbook review to Kansas Country Living that didn't include the ordering information. So, I put a click on my website for folks. I think maybe I'm thinking about too many things all at one time. Apparently even I have a limit and I've exceeded it.

I really need to slow down time just a little bit. I'm behind. That would help so much if I could only do that.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Pass the Potato Game

OK... this is a fun little game... at least I think so... but some people think I'm warped... I think it's pretty cool. :)