Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Let us be mindful

As of tonight we have no combat troops in Iraq.

This is not going to be a political rah-rah post. I don't feel rah-rah, I can tell you that.

As I scanned the email that arrived with the news, the thing that jumped out at me was this phrase, "more than 4,400 Americans have given their lives." I hope we can all let that sink in, deeply, into our souls, into our beings, and never forget what it means.

Over the last seven years we've heard such numbers bandied about by politicians of all persuasions to make whatever point they wanted to make at the time. It's awfully easy to forget those numbers represent people - real people - with moms and dads, spouses, children, brothers and sisters, grandmas and grandpas, cousins, friends, classmates and coworkers.

More than 1.5 million of those real people were actively involved in the war. Expand their circles outward and see how many lives were touched by separation. There are very few of us who can say we don't know someone who was serving - if not in our own family, in that of a coworker or neighbor. Many of us can tick off the names of multiple people.

I'm not going to get into the question of if it was good or bad, justified or not. The time for that is past.

I just hope we can all be mindful that those numbers are not just arithmetic. They represent real people making real sacrifices - ranging from separation and worry to the loss of life. These are not things to be taken lightly.

So, I beg that we all remember that while today may mark the removal of combat troops in Iraq, soldiers are still in harm's way. And they're all real people with far-reaching connections to friends and loved ones. Let us be mindful of that whenever we are tempted to engage in conflict. Let us be mindful. Please. Please, let us be mindful.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Quote of the Day

"I have long considered the creative impulse to be a visit - a thing of grace, perhaps, not commanded or owned as much as awaited, prepared for. A thing, also, of mystery."
- Loreena McKennitt - The Visit

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I've become quieter. I don't talk as much when I'm with people anymore and I'm not seeking to be with people as much either. I've been thinking about why.

Mainly, it has become difficult to have conversation. I'm trying to think of an occasion when there was time for conversation without the end of the lunch, gathering, evening, dinner, or whatever, looming large. Even when there is conversation it doesn't have an opportunity to come to a natural conclusion. Instead, it is regimented by the arbitrary numbers on a clock.

In my world, at least, there seems to be rare opportunity for real conversation. When it does present itself, I'm tentative about trying to engage for fear it will be cut short by the clock, someone's phone, or an interruption to my train of thought. If I'm sharing myself in a meaningful way and you interrupt me or change the subject I feel foolish for having put myself out there in the first place.

If i'm interrupted repeatedly - verbally or non-verbally - I tend to disengage. I'm not saying that's good, just that it's my way. And I'm not talking about only the typical interruptions, but the more subtle ones.

Sometimes people interject a word of agreement into the conversation in order to speed you along, so they can speak. Sometimes people do something that brings the attention to them and changes the focus of the conversation. Sometimes people jump in when you take a breath, so they can talk. Sometimes people quickly change the subject of the conversation or offer a platitude instead of something meaningful. Sometimes it's obvious they are biding their time until you stop talking and they can go on to the next thing they want to do. Sometimes it's a suddenly animated body language that indicates they can barely wait to talk and are just waiting for you to stop.

It simply takes too much energy for me to try and overcome those things. I mentally retreat into my inner world. The only logical assumption is that people take these actions because what I'm saying is boring them. I'm growing acutely aware that what is of interest to me is not of interest to very many other people, so perhaps I bore people more often than I've previously realized.

It's ironic that I'm a person who craves connection with other people and it seems to be more elusive all the time. But, I can't fake interest in other things, and if my interests are boring to others, I'm not sure what options exist other than to expand my circle or retreat. I've tried to work on the former while continuing to live in this community, but find the latter is seductively easier.

I'm reminded once again of William Stafford's last conversation with his son, Kim. Kim was astonished that his dad, who had written daily for 50 years, said he had stories he hadn't told. When Kim asked why, William Stafford said he had been waiting for someone to ask.

Maybe I'm just growing to accept that no one is asking because no one wants to hear my stories or thoughts, so there's no reason to fight to tell them. Maybe they're of no interest or use to anyone but me, so it makes sense to just turn them over in my head instead of trying to share them. Maybe it's yet another reason why I write so much.

I don't know that anyone will ever read the many thousands of pages I've written over the years, but for some reason I feel a need to record thoughts. I would love to share with others, and expand my thought processes with their input, but I find it more and more necessary to turn to books for that. It's one way I can have new thoughts coming into my world that isn't dependent on conversation with others.

It's not as satisfying as having real conversation, but that is something I can't seem to figure out how to do on a regular basis. So, I've noticed that I spend more and more time alone - reading, thinking, painting and writing - instead of trying to connect with other people.

It's not my first choice, but it's the logical choice. I must have stimulation for my brain, and while I'd like that to come, partially, in the form of meaningful conversation, the amount of energy I have to expend for even a chance at that is astronomical when compared to going to the library.

Although I don't think it's necessarily healthy, nor is it my first choice, I find myself retreating into my own world more and more, and being quieter even when I am with people. I'm fighting the concept of learned helplessness, but it has become such a daunting task to create situations where conversation can happen, that I am trying less often.
Question of the Day: Are you having real conversation in you life? Deep, meaningful, conversation?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Now a Weekend

The Starry Night Party is over and was a big success. I'm very tired but glad it all went well. Now I get a day to have a weekend... I wonder what I'll do with my weekend... I'm guessing it might be exciting things like laundry.

I have an art project I must finish tomorrow so that will be on the agenda too.

But, for tonight I think sleep is next on my agenda. This thirteen and a half hour day is coming to a close for this girl.
I'm reminded today of why I love working for someone who's very laid back. I'm so not a fan of "high strung."


You'll notice some changes on the blog in the next few days, perhaps as soon as later today. I'm going to be posting more photos and "blurbs" about my day. It will be some of the things I post to Facebook and Twitter.

I often use my phone to snap a photo and upload it, or make a comment about something happening in my day. Those will now appear on the blog as well.

This is an experiment. If it turns out to be a bad idea, fortunately I have a delete button. Feel free to share your thoughts.

If you read the blog want to connect on Facebook and/or Twitter, feel free to send me a message there. http://www.facebook.com/patsy or http://www.twitter.com/patsyterrell. You can find me on most social networks as patsyterrell. I look forward to connecting with you there.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekend is Here

The weekend has arrived, but I'm working tomorrow so I decided to try and have some weekend fun tonight. On a whim I drove to Wichita to see Avatar. I know, I know, I've already seen it. Repeatedly. Now I've seen it with the new scenese. I'll probably see it yet again.

Tomorrow is the 2nd Annual Starry Night Party. I hope we have a good crowd. I think the weather is supposed to be great. We have a ton of activities planned and it's all free. I hope all goes smoothly.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Occasionally I see my fellow human beings treat each other with extraordinary kindness. I've been privledged to see it a few times recently.

On Saturdays one of my regular stops is The Et Cetera shop, run by the Mennonite Central Committee with fair trade items from around the world and thrift items, too. I'm always on the hunt for items for art, as well as dishes that might strike my fancy.

When I went in a few weeks ago, there was an elderly gentleman at the counter, talking to the clerks about a hat. I was checking the auction items with my back to them but the man wanted them to hold the hat for him until Monday when he'd have the money to buy it.

They were trying to explain they couldn't hold it for him, but he was so hard of hearing he wasn't grasping what they were saying. Another man nearby was trying to help him understand, and that on Monday it would be on sale for half price and only cost $2.50, if it were still there.

I was trying to figure out how to just buy the hat for him, and not embarrass him. While I was thinking this through, with my back still to the whole situation, another woman came from somewhere else in the store and said, "I'm buying him the hat." She paid for it and they explained she was buying it for him. He was thrilled and thanked her. He told her, "I wouldn't have the money until next week." She hugged him and said, "Well, I've got the $5 now. I'm happy to do it. Enjoy your hat."

I went on about my business and headed upstairs to check out the goodies. I was reminded of one of my rules for living - "it's almost always wrong to do nothing."

I did nothing. The other woman took action. The older man was pleased. The rest of us were humbled. It's good to be humbled by witnessing kindness like that.


Last week during Coffee at the Cosmo presentation there was a gentleman attending who was blind. The woman with him - I assume his wife - was assisting him.

During the coffee I'm very busy setting up and managing the food and coffee set up, welcoming people and saying goodbye when they leave. People have an opportunity to get a close-up look at the artifacs after the presentation. Often by the time I'm done with the food and coffee, they're packing things up. But on Thursday there was a mom and a couple of young kids still looking, as well as this older couple.

I went over to get some photos of the collections person talking to the kids about artifacts. It was then that I noticed the CEO, who had done the presentation, had given the gentleman who couldn't see the white gloves we all use when we touch artifcts. The CEO was taking time to pick up different artifacts and letting this man touch them so he could understand them better.

My grandmother was blind, so I know how meaningful that was. It was an amazing kindness to take the extra time, letting this gentleman experience different artifacts. I was touched, and very impressed with Chris, the CEO. It feels good to work for an organization headed by a CEO who shows kindness like that.


Earlier this week I made a call to Westlake Ace Hardware here to ask advice about my weedeater, which seemed to be out of string. The gentleman I spoke with, Larry, said to bring it down and he would show me how to string it. Turned out it was just kinked, and didn't even need string. He showed me how to wind it at no cost.

Was that good business? Absolutely. But it was also a kindness he didn't have to show.

I shop that store regularly, anyway, but he had no way to know that when I called. He was just being kind because it's his nature. What a lovely thing - to be naturally kind.


A couple of months ago I was on the road to visit my family in Kentucky. I'd had the car checked out before leaving. When I stopped in Beaumont, Kansas, I noticed the car was leaking antifreeze. I'd had the water pump replaced, so didn't think there was a problem, but couldn't figure it out.

I raised the hood and was looking at things, as if I'd know something about what I was seeing. The one thing I was able to determine was that it seemed to be coming from the reservoir.

While I was debating what to do, the woman who was there to clean the rest stop, came over and asked what the problem was. I explained and she got on her phone and called her boss, who came over with her husband, to look at my car. They also called a local guy who works on cars, but he didn't answer.

This man looked at it and said he thought it was the cap on the reservoir. He worked with it a little bit and assured me I would be okay. He was absolutely correct. Apparently it was just a little grain of something that had prevented a good seal.

I was astonished at the incredible kindness of all these folks. The couple that came from their home were not upset they had been called as they were getting ready for dinner. They were cheerful and pleasant and eager to help. The woman who was there to clean wasn't thinking that it wasn't her job to help a motorist. She was being kind to someone she had never seen before and maybe wouldn't ever see again.

I'm so thankful to all of them.


Kindess, embodied in good hearted souls who go beyond what's expected, with nothing but good cheer, is a miracle we too often take for granted.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gratitude Journaling

I woke up extra early this morning for some reason and when I couldn't get back to sleep decided to come downstairs and write for awhile. I pulled out my gratitude journal. When I neglect it, I can feel I need it. I needed it this morning.

We know that gratitude journaling makes a person happier. If you start making note of three things you're thankful for every day, you'll be happier in six months. I find myself happier almost instantly.

I'm blessed to be a pretty happy person - one of the great gifts my mother gave me. People comment regularly on how I'm always cheery, positive and upbeat. Truth be told, on the inside, I'm a bit prone to melancholy. But I just learned a long time ago that it doesn't serve me well so I make a conscious effort to be the opposite of sad.

One of the tools that helps me a great deal is a gratitude journal. I have so, so much to be thankful for. And jotting it down seems to make it more real.

I'm fortunate that I've been doing this sort of thing for so many years - although not in the form of a gratitude journal - that happiness has become second nature to me. I no longer have to "train" myself to think that way. But at times it is necessary to bolster myself.

I've been using this same book for 10 years. So, you can tell, I don't do it every day. But as I look back through it I can remember specific days from just the few words written there. At times I write in it for a few days in a row, then may put it aside for weeks or months.

Now when I look back through it there are names of people who aren't in my life anymore. But I was thankful enough for them then that they're recorded on those pages, and now I'm thankful for the experience of having known them. It makes one wonder what names will be in the remaining empty pages by the time they're filled.

That's a wonderful metaphor for life - what will fill the empty pages.

Early Morning At My House

Monday, August 23, 2010

Symbiotic Friendships

This weekend I ran across a box of things from my high school years, including some graduation materials. I didn't remember trading these cards with people, but I obviously did. It was interesting to see all those names from long ago.

One of the things I found was a book where you recorded music, movies and people from that time in your life. About half of the people I listed as friends are people I don't even remember now. I suspect I wouldn't have remembered them two years later.

I think the main reason is that we weren't devoted friends to begin with. Our "friendship" was really only in my mind.

But there's value in everything. And through those experiences I learned what friendship should be and how to create symbiotic relationships. That is a valuable life skill, for sure.

I knew I needed to find people I could connect with. The trick was learning how to make connections. I could debate my success with that, I suppose, but I'm certainly better at it now than I was then.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saving My Past, One Piece at a Time

This weekend I was digging around in some things I've had in storage, including some things from my mom's house. One of the boxes I opened had a collection of things from my childhood.

It was like an archeaology dig. Where else can you find a Barbie hanger, a Mr. Potato head ear, play money and paper dolls? My mom was a dedicated saver. She never threw away any of my toys, or even bits and pieces of my toys. I'm so very thankful. She was always very respectful of my things and as a result I have tons of things from my childhood.

I inherited Mama's tendencies and I have saved every letter I've ever gotten, as well as copies of many I've written. I have ticket stubs and lecture programs and thousands of other things. I have scripts from when I was a TV reporter and audio tapes from my years in radio. I also have dozens of journals and thousands of photos.

I'm not sure what to do with all of these things. I have an extensive record of one life in this time period, but there's nothing extraordinary about it and I don't know that anyone would be interested in these materials. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to keep them. I'm not sure why, but I keep hoping that will become obvious to me at some point. No doubt after I'm dead, and it has all been discarded or dispersed, some historical group will wish they had examples of the very things I have. But no one seems to be able to see that until a sufficient amount of time has passed so that the things are hard to acquire.

Some of the things I've run across are mysteries to me - like a series of these stickers. There must be 30 of them and I cannot imagine why they were there.

Of course, there are also things here that might not have much historical significance, but are fun for me to run across.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A good day in the PR world

When you're a public relations/marketing person, which I am, one of your favorite calls is from a media outlet that wants to do a story about something related to the company or organiation that's paying you to be a PR person.

On Thursday I got one of those calls we all love from the local newspaper. They wanted to do a story about a priest who comes to an event we do every month. He lives in Topeka, about three hours away, and flies down for the coffee.

Fortunately, he was still in the building and I was able to connect them that afternoon. It doesn't always work out so neatly, but it was meant to be. Kristen did some video for the website and then wrote a wonderful story, Travis came and took photos, and it was a great story.

You can see it here at: http://www.hutchnews.com/Localregional/priest-flies-to-coffee-at-the-Cos--2.

Then something even cooler happened - at least in the PR world - the Associated Press picked up the story. That means that any news outlet who subscribes to the AP, which is most of them, could run the story. And many did. By yesterday afternoon it was in New York papers and had been picked up by a company that distributes internationally. We'll see what happens over the next few days.

It made for a good Friday on that front. Every day has its ups and downs, and the work day ended on a down note, but this part of it was spectacular.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Third Thursday at Smith's Market in Hutchinson

Tonight was Third Thursday. I took a ton of photos, but this is my favorite one. This little girl was dancing to the music of Bob and Tammy Colladay in Smith's Market. Great moment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Collecting Handwriting

Tomorrow night is Third Thursday and I've got this little set up in Gallery 7. I'm asking people to leave me some handwriting to use in future artwork.

If you're out and about, stop into Gallery 7 and leave me a note. It can be a favorite word, phrase or sentence, a motto you live by, a quote you love - anything you wish. You can sign your name or not.

I love handwriting and have decided I need to collect more of it. So, please stop by Gallery 7 and share something with me.

Or, feel free to mail me something if you can't stop by Gallery 7 Thursday night.

Speaking of artwork... I gave Mark a piece for his birthday.

He's visiting for a few days and had expressed interest in some art. I decided to just let him choose something he liked from my stash of finished work. He picked this one almost immediately.

I'm glad I let him choose because I probably wouldn't have picked this one for him. I think he likes it!

I love to make people happy.

Quote of the Day

"When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."

— Wendell Berry

Someone posted this on Facebook the other day and if I had ever read it before I had forgotten it. I love Wendell Berry and I love this image of "still water."

I've always returned to the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers near where I grew up in Kentucky to re-center myself. When I read this, it occurred to me how that is the opposite of still water.

Poets have such an amazing grasp of the language. I've become convinced only poets can offer these turns of phrase that stay with us.

I think maybe I need to find more still water in my life.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


This is obviously someone I should know. I think we might become friends.

I spotted this in traffic Monday afternoon on 30th street. Fortunately, I was right behind them and could take a photo.

We need some system in our society for communicating to people we don't know - "Hey, I see you love this thing... and I love this thing too... lets see if we could be friends." But, people would think you're very, very odd - and probably scary - if you did that. Pity, because most of us could use more friends.

If you're not a fan of "The Big Bang Theory" on CBS, it's funny and incredibly witty. This is a reference to what the character, Sheldon, (who I happen to have a major TV crush on, but that's another story altogether) says when he makes a joke.

I've been watching since the first episode and in case you don't know me well enough to know how little TV I make it a point to watch, it's astonishing that I know it's on Monday nights but is moving to Thursday nights in September. It's the only TV show I make it a point to arrange things around when possible. It's intelligent and very witty.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Who Expects You to Be Somebody

I'm reading the book, "Vital Friends" by Tom Rath. In the first few pages a question is posed that I'm still thinking about - "Who expects you to be somebody?"

We all know about self-fulfilling prophesy and peer-pressure. This question seems to embody both concepts.

Maybe this is a key to why some people thrive in life and some don't. Some people are expected to, and they can't imagine disappointing whoever believes they're capable of whatever is expected. That may be becoming a doctor, or getting an electrician's license or being the best baker on the block.

Years ago I was speaking with a woman who ran an agency devoted to helping homeless people. During the conversation about her work, she mentioned in an off-handed way, "Most of our people are homeless because they don't have a support system." I questioned her more about this and she said, "They don't have anyone to turn to - no family or friends - no support system - so they end up on the streets."

This was obviously common knowledge to her. It was well understood and accepted in the field, and known to be a bigger issue than the mental health problems and addictions that many people associate with homelessness. But to most of us the idea that one person who believed in them, one person who cared, one friend, could have changed that is astonishing.

Those of us who have people in our lives who expect something of us, and who we can turn to, should thank our lucky stars.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Diamond W Wranglers

Greg and I spent the day with the Diamond W Wranglers in Wichita, taking photos for them to use on an upcoming CD. We went to the show tonight, and while my number one job was to get photos of the drummer, I couldn't resist this snapshot at the end of the show of all four of them.

It was a very full, and very tiring, day - but I think we got some good stuff. I haven't even looked at the "real" photos - just my snaps I took during the show. Hopefully we got something they'll like.

It was hot, hot, hot, which wore us all out. We didn't do as much as we wanted because we just got too hot to function. So, we'll try to do it again when it's a bit cooler outside.

Surrounded by Grace

I decided to go see "Eat, Pray, Love" tonight on a whim. It started at 7:10 and I left my house at 7:01. I went in to buy my ticket and saw the person in front of me was Jocelyn. So, we sat together and then ended up standing in the parking lot talking about art for almost two hours after the movie.

I enjoyed the movie, but the book was better. Of course, much of the book is about introspection, which is pretty hard to bring to the big screen.

One thing that stayed with me from the movie was when they were talking about being "Surrounded by Grace." That's something we all experience every day, and yet take for granted. I'm going to make a conscious effort to be aware of that.

I'm feeling a little down tonight because I'm missing Kansas Dialogue. I've gone for the past few years and I love visiting with people there. When it was time to register I thought I'd need to be at the Cosmosphere this weekend for the play. But, as it turned out I didn't need to. But, by the time I knew that it was more expensive to register for Kansas Dialogue and I couldn't justify spending the extra money. So, I'm staying home this weekend. I'll just have to enjoy it vicariously.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Space War 2000 at Cosmosphere

I went to see Space War 2000 at the Cosmosphere tonight. My coworker, Michele, is in it. It was funny and the costumes alone are worth the price of admission. It's by the Hutchinson Theatre Guild and you can see it Friday or Saturday. Show is at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $8.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Film makers and birds and computers

It was like a scene out of a Hitchcock movie tonight when we came out of the restaurant. The irony of being with someone who makes films and looking up and seeing hundreds of birds perched on wires was not lost on me.

Steve was up again tonight for dinner. He was here last night, too, but I had creative sisterhood so didn't go out with them last night.

Creative Sisterhood was amazing last night. I had really missed being with everyone. We cancelled last month so it had been awhile since we had gotten together. The conversation left me with many things to ponder. I started taking notes early in the evening. Everyone had something to say that seemed important for me to hear.

Last night after Creative Sisterhood I realized my cable modem had died. I was tempted to just run to Walmart and get one last night but decided I'd wait and do a little shopping.

I called Office Max today to see what they had and they told me they don't sell them any more, to get one from the cable company. Greg had been at Walmart last night and told me what they had. So, after work I went to the cable company and talked to the most helpful woman there.

They're running a deal for modems for a penny for new customers. I appreciate that businesses want new customers, but I always feel put off that they're not as interested in keeping my business. It costs significantly more to gain a new customer than to keep one you already have.

I was very nice, but expressed this to the nice lady I was speaking with and she ended up giving me the modem. She pointed out I'd been a customer since 2002. Needless to say, she made me a very happy customer.

Well, I got home and set it all up and discovered the wireless box was bad, too. So, I went to Office Max to get a new one of those. They had a good one on sale and I had two $10 off coupons. She used both of them so I ended up getting a $99 modem for $59, which was great.

So, finally, everything is all set up and functioning again. I have cables running everywhere. I've never figured out how to prevent that.

In the process of moving things around and setting everything up I found another box of personal business cards. I thought I had more, but couldn't find them. Of course, just this morning I got the email that the new ones I just ordered had shipped. Naturally, it's a new design, so now these seem out of date although all the information on them is correct. I'm sure some purpose for them will present itself.

I'm feeling fun is on the horizon and it's a good feeling. I've been being so diligent about saving money to pay medical bills for more than a year that I've been denying myself. I've decided I simply have to allow myself some amount of fun. To do otherwise is not good for my mental health and as I said at Creative Sisterhood last night, I certainly can't afford that! So, I am going to look for a happy medium. I hope I can find one. "Medium" is not my best thing - I'm pretty much an all or nothing girl. But, I'm going to try and find some middle ground.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

cable modem

I'm blogging from my phone because my cable modem has given up the ghost. Was working right after work. When I came in about 10 it was dead. Tried different cable. Tried reset. Think the only option is a new one. So... no major blogging tonight. Tomorrow I will address this problem.

Monday, August 09, 2010

"The Headlight" - a Singing Book from 1873

This weekend at the flea market I bought this book to tear up and use in art projects.

It's called, "The Headlight : A new and original singing book for the use of juvenile classes, public schools and seminaries including the popular operetta entitled, Grandpa's Birthday." It was published in 1873 by White, Smith & Co. of Boston.

I thought I should search it online before I ripped it up and now I'm not so sure I should. There's one online for $46 and one for $107. Of course, they're both still there, which is also telling.

One of my favorite things about it, and what prompted me to part with my $2.50 was the writing in it. I love handwriting and this is beautiful, old fashioned script.

The owner, apparently, was Miss C A Childs of Burlingame, Kansas in 1874. On the inside front cover are numerous other names and cities. Olathe, Leavenworth, Blue Rapids, ElDorado and Montanau Kansas are all mentioned.

I'm not sure what I'll end up doing with this book, but I'm thinking it was worth the $2.50 I paid for it.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Quote of the Day

Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive that is Youer than You.

---Dr. Seuss

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Steve is in Wichita to see Baseball Around the Clock and came to Hutchinson late this afternoon to have dinner with us. It was great to see him.

Steve is one of those people I never have enough time to talk to. He's a really fascinating person. He loves to travel and most recently visited South America. He thinks in different ways and I really enjoy conversation with him.

Steve reads this blog regularly, which flatters me. He tells me I make him think, which I take as a huge compliment.

He mentioned to me tonight that I'm the most introspective person he knows. Earlier in the day Martha emailed, referencing the same sort of thing.

Of course I only have access to my own thought process so cannot compare it to how other people think. On some level I guess I am pretty much always in an introspective mood. As I take in new information I contemplate it in the context of things I already know or think, and come up with new thoughts.

I spare blog readers from all of that most of the time. But, obviously it slips in more than occasionally.


May your day be blessed by friends who encourage you when you need it.

Thank you, Martha.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Books from 1961, hand crocheted linens and recipe files

Last weekend I ran across this book, "Mike Mars, Astronaut," at a yard sale. It was published in 1961 and had some cool illustrations in it. I bought it, along with some others, with the idea of using them in artwork.

But, before I started ripping that one up I thought I should see if it was something the museum would like. I had to go to the Cosmosphere last Saturday anyway because a newspaper crew was coming in, so I just took the book straight to the office. Monday I looked it up and found out it's the first in a series, and is worth a few dollars. When I say, "few," I mean five or six - not exactly the proverbial goldmine.

I ran into Meredith from collections on Saturday and mentioned it. Monday I sent her the info I'd found on it online. She told me they'd definitely like to have it, so I donated it to the museum.

It's kind of cool that I've had any part in putting something in a museum, but it's not like it was my long loved, dearly appreciated book from childhood. Regardless, it's fun.

This has been a frantically busy week. Monday night I made calls for Trish, Tuesday night I was at the courthouse for the returns. Wednesday evening I went to the library for a scheduled meeting but no one else was there so it was obviously cancelled and I had missed that information. Thursday was hectic all day at work and then we had the Social Media Club gathering after work. Today I worked until 7 tonight and didn't even take a lunch break. Now the weekend is here and there are a ton of things I need to get done here. Tuesday night is Creative Sisterhood so I have to clean up enough everyone has a place to sit! They don't expect much more than that from me.

It's quite odd, really, because I'm drawn to photos and the idea of having a house that's a delight to be in all the time. But my own house is cluttered here and there with projects and books and dishes and other things I collect. Of course I could get rid of all those things, but I like them. There's the rub - finding a way to live with the things I love. I just can't imagine a time when I'm going to pass up a stack of hand crocheted doilies and such. I am most likely going to buy them to bring them home and love them if they're affordable.

I realize that none of these things are valuable to other people, and when I'm gone they'll be in the yard with 25 cents written on them, but in the meantime I enjoy them and love them. Maybe I just have extra love for those sorts of things.

This weekend is the flea market. I was thinking it has been awhile since I've run across a recipe card file box for sale. I love those things, filled with recipes deemed important for that life, and that family. Maybe I'll find one this weekend. Who knows what I'll find, but something wonderful I'm betting.

Interesting Things

I've not been writing as much here lately because I'm writing more by hand. I'm turning a lot of things over in my mind and trying to figure some things out.

I wrote last night about being blessed to have friends who are doing interesting things. This leads to the natural question of what am I doing that's interesting. I'm puzzling over that. Trying to answer that honestly. I fear I'm not too pleased with the answer so far.

Eventually, when I've figured it out a bit more, I'll share here. But at the moment all of these thoughts are in the pen and paper stage.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


I have a real need for newness in my life. Not new things, but new ideas, new concepts.

I realized the other night that art is one way I satisfy this urge. I can experiment with materials and techniques and create something new to me.

I love texture and lately I've been playing with ways to emphasize it like in this piece where I've layered color from different sources.

This weekend I bought a book printed in 1935. The yellowing on it is really distinctive and it will make a nice addition to artwork.

All of it add to my sense of new things coming into my life.

I was thinking last night that I'm fortunate to have friends who do interesting things - from Trish who runs for political office to Greg who contributes to the scientific data on cicadas. I know people who make films and make music and write books. I feel rather dull by comparison, but certainly I'm thankful to have interesting people in my world. I'm blessed.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Judge Trish Rose

My dear, dear friend, Trish Rose, won her bid tonight for District Judge. It has been a battle. Greg took most of these photos, including this one that captured the moment when the celebrating began.

There was much jubilation when she won. You may not be able to tell, but we're all literally jumping up and down.

We alternately went from jumping up and down to double checking the results on the screen.

Trish filed for the position in February, and because she filed so early no Republicans filed against her. Then, at the last minute, another democrat filed against her. So, the position was actually decided tonight in the primary. It's an unusual situation, and certainly in this republican stronghold.

We gathered at the courthouse tonight to watch the returns come in. Periodically we would go downstairs to see how many precincts were yet to be counted. Finally, they told us there was only one precinct left and she had 55% of the vote.

Trish and I have been friends for at least a couple of decades now. She is one of the best human beings on the planet and I'm so thankful the voters recognized that. She's kind and fair - two qualities a person needs to be a good judge.

The newspaper endorsed her opponent saying he was more experienced. I did not agree with that at all. Thank goodness the voters ignored the endorsement, depite her opponent playing it up - as anyone would do.

He's a nice guy, but I wasn't impressed with how he filed at the last minute. Of course, that's perfectly legal and is certainly a strategic move. Nonetheless, I didn't find it very classy - particularly not from someone in the same party that has a pretty small group of involved folks. I suppose if he had been my good friend for 20 years I'd feel differently. And I guess that's how things always shake out.

He was very gracious in congratulating her once it was apparent she had won, and made a quick exit to let us celebrate. I do feel for him and his supporters tonight. It's never easy to lose.

My hat is off to democrats and independents in Reno County who looked beyond the newspaper's endorsement and the letters in the newspaper filled with untruths, and voted for Trish, the person they thought would do the best job.

Tonight we all went upstairs to see the courtroom she will be in. It's a beautiful place.

Her husband, Jim, who has worked very hard on the campaign was relieved too.

Alice, who was working in there trying to clean, but let us barge in and celebrate, was gracious enough to take a photo of all of us.

I've always been honored to call Trish my friend. And I'm thrilled for her that she won this election she has worked so hard for.

Judge Trish Rose. It has a nice ring to it.

This is her new office.

Monday, August 02, 2010

First Generation of Women to Vote

Tuesday, August 3, is the primary election. Please get out and vote.

I'm the first generation of women in my family born with the right to vote. Yes, the first.

I was born late in my parents' lives, and my mother would be 90 now if she were alive. She was born the year before women got the right to vote. Yes, do the math on that - women have not had the right to vote for even a century yet.

My mother, my grandmother and all the women who came before us had no say in the political process. Obviously, it's incumbent on me to take voting seriously, and I do.

We've come so far in one generation. One of my best friends, Trish Rose, is running for District Judge. I will certainly be voting for her and I hope if you're in Reno County you'll consider a vote for her, too.

The polls are open rom 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow. Exercise your right to vote. People around the world are dying for the chance to have a say in their governments. Don't be so frivilous with something people give their lives for. Vote.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Weekend Ending

Had a little time in the studio this morning. I wish I could spend many more hours in there every day. It's one of the things that makes me really happy.

The weekend is ending and, yet again, I didn't have time to do everything I wanted to do while I was off work. I need to squeeze an extra 4-5 hours into every day it seems, and somehow still get some sleep. Or, I need to find a job that pays me a lot more money for fewer hours so I would have more non-work hours during the week.

I think I've come up with a new business card design I like. I want to leave it overnight and look at it with fresh eyes in the morning.

I had three things on my list for this weekend and I finished one, almost finished one and made some progress on the final one. Unfortunately, I didn't get any of the other things I had hoped might get done even started. I'm not sure how to find more hours in the days. I work on something pretty much every waking moment and I still can't get it all done.

And somewhere along the way I'd like to have a social life, too. I know, I've always wanted it all, what can I say? But I like my friends. I'd like to see them occasionally.