Monday, January 24, 2022

The money pit

I have been working and worrying days trying to get ready for the fence guys to get here today. Everything had to be moved away from the fence ... tons of old wood, I ended up moving most of that yesterday ... hence, I can hardly move my back is so sore. Then I cut down more than half of my climbing hydrangea. I planted that so many years ago with the promise that a trellis would be added to accommodate it and that never happened. So it grew huge and took over the fence. I won't mention any names WHO made me that promise. The purpose of the hydrangea was to hide our trash cans from the neighbors view from their back porch. Anyway, I still may need to cut it completely down, will find out when the fencing guys get here in the 27th. Oh, and  they are building a trellis into that part of the fence now ;) Maybe I will plant a new one? 

In the meantime, we have NO FENCE with four dogs. They fashioned a temp chicken-wire sort of thing on the newly installed post. Should be fun.

I sawzalled my Snowball Bush Viburnum, the Privet (I call it a Texas Bush) that has grown out of control. It smells so heavenly and reminds me of my childhood, but grew out of control. So after sawing my way through the backyard, it is a complete mess. Between that, the kids toys everywhere and Murphy turning the entire backyard into a mud pool, I fear it will never be back to normal. I love Murphy, but he is too big of a dog to live here.

It cost around $8,500 for two sides of fence. Matt had built the other last year when it fell down. He still needs to add the trellis for the clematis that did NOT bounce back after being severely trimmed. I had about 10 fencing companies out for a couple of months giving me estimates. They were anywhere from 12k-8k. I really don't know how people afford to own and repair houses. Last summer it was 12k for a new torch down roof. And I still have a long list to check off of my repair list.

Our plumber retired years ago. You know, we just had his number memorized and I would call and say "Hey, Bill, so and so has gone out can you make time for me?" ... He worked on our house for years. And then I did not have anyone, didn't even know of any local plumbers, so I called around today and got some quotes, prices, hourly rates. Man, I went into the wrong business, plumbers make a killing these days. The first hour is $250 and $220 every hour after that, $85 for the first 15 minutes. We have a toilet that keeps running and running and now we have to "jiggle it" to get it to stop. I paid an ungodly water bill one month and replacing that toilet is high on my list. Apparently you can not get a certain replacement part for this toilet (it isn't that old), planned obsolescence. AND the  kitchen faucet is close to falling out of the  counter, and the soap dispenser "dispensing end" has been disabled.

The family room TV just went yesterday morning. The day of all the big football games and David ran out to Best Buy and got another. I have never seen him make a purchase and get it home so quickly. We cleaned where the old one was and reinstalled, re-attached all of those confusing cable cords, and the port cable connectors for who knows what ... RGB and HDMI ... whatever all of that is. We got it back up and running before David's beloved Chief's game was on.

It was also our baby-sitting day. Mason is in school most of the day so it is just Noah. She is very funny, she likes to pack her backpack for "school" and then comes in the family room and says "Hi, Teacher" and I have to respond, "hello student". I managed to get clothes on her but that only last about 2 hours then she was naked again, trying to go outside to say hello to the workman.

The one thing making me happy tonight is the promise of a something good on HBO, The Gilded Age.

And life goes on in the crazy Miller household, time for wine.


Edda Gimnes' fantasical scribbles

Edda Gimnes draws a pretty picture of clothes. Her Instagram.  

Designer for Tomorrow 

Sunday, January 23, 2022


Don't you hate it when you have typed and loaded an entire post then it vanishes in thin air. Well, that just happened and I am too tired to go and hunt all the links down again. 

So I am going to post photos of Noah as a princess last night. We are getting ready for the fence guys to show up in the morning. I cut and clipped and bent over until I can hardly use my hands today. Still have a little left to clean up before in the morning.


I love these skits over at SNL showing the ridiculous. 

Friday, January 21, 2022


While we were being distracted by the joke of trump, this was happening


Thursday, January 20, 2022

I love Fran

Fran is so real, and irreverent. Judgemental and funny in a very dry-sense-of-humor-way. But I LOVE HER. I don't know what in her personality strikes a cord in me but it does in the most profound way. And when I start listening to her, I can not get enough. I would LOVE to be her best buddy!

Fran's Biography




Stars and stripes

The history of the American flag Design Turnpike
USA flag made from pennies
Flag from Lowes
This does not seem right, Bullets of Freedom?
"Flag" (1954-1955) by Jasper Johns, image courtesy of
"Untitled (Flag)" (1979) by Jean-Michel Basquiat, image courtesy of
"Deconstructed Flag" (2012) by Brian Kenny, image courtesy of
Fritz Scholder, Indian at Crow Fair This striking zig-zag flag was painted by street-art collaborative FAILE for the Underbelly Project, held at an abandoned Brooklyn subway station in the summer of 2010. FAILE was one of 103 street artists from all over the world who participated in the unusual art exhibition American Flag Sticky Window Collage & Suncatcher

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Trumpy stuff on Etsy

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Alli Conrad

Alli Conrad is a self-taught, Chinese American cosmopolitan artist and muralist currently residing in Los Angeles. She is a visual philosopher, specializing in contemporary modern art. Conrad has taken inspiration from several global cultures and countries such as Israel, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Los Angeles. Her work is best described as a confluence of eastern and western aesthetic traditions. A selection of her paintings are currently on display at Arushi Arts Gallery and Alma Lledo, as well as in several private collections globally.

Conrad’s works manifest in varied forms, including: paintings, drawings, and large scale murals. Through each medium, Conrad’s art is her own; a linear, whimsical world that she has created from her mind and experiences. She has always painted from self-experience, using men, family, and her cultured childhood as the inspiration. The typically painful and personal subjects in life. The painter’s work reveals an inhabited freedom, rightly unsymmetrical forms, chaotic streaks, vibrant hues and intentional imperfections in her compositions that allow Conrad to express her reality of the imperfect beautiful world. As Conrad’s dad always told her growing up, “to thine own self be true”. If you look closely, you’ll see it…dot dot dot. Each piece is her identity, using her fingerprint on each dot that covers across a majority of her works.

Little gift tags of love left behind

Spent yesterday getting Christmas trees packed away. Now trying to get the trees down, "unfluffed" and packed away. Doing all of this around a Barbie house. 

I have always done this on purpose. I leave gifts tags in the boxes I store ornaments. When I unpacked them, then wrapped them up again, I run across these sweet gift tags from friends and family. It always makes me so happy.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Collecting sand on our road trip

It was not too crowded with other visitors there the day we visited. Entering Arches National Park, thank you Mike Carpenter for sharing your video. 


Sand Dune Arch


La Sal Mountain, Fiery Furnace, Delicate Arch Park Avenue Trailhead, and Balanced Rock.

Petrified Forest, do yourself a favor and check out the map before you go into the Petrified Forest. We did not do that and we were very sorry. 

I mapped out where I collected sand the the route we took on our road trip. I am starting to put it all in vials. Will take photos later.

Sand locations:

Hwy 165, Placitas NM-  fine, side of road, reddish, brown

Hwy 165, Placitas NM- fine, side of road, yellowish, brown 

Tiponi Point, Pertrified National Park, NM - fine with white flakes,  dark red

Crystal Forest, Pertrified National Park, NM  

Giant Logs, Rainforest Museum, Pertrified National Park, NM - fine,  dark  brown grey  

Hwy 89, Near Cameron, AZ

Hwy 89, Near Navaho Nation, Cameron, AZ

Hwy 89, Navaho Nation, outside Cameron, AZ - side of hwy, light yellow beige  

Hwy 89,  Navaho Nation, Tuba City Unified District, AZ -  fine, off road, dark red  

Hwy 160, Red Bluffs, Kayenta, AZ   

Hwy 163, Monument Valley, AZ - very fine, road side, dark red  

Hwy 163, Monument Valley, AZ - very fine, road side, dark red  

Hwy 163, PhotoPoint, Monument Valley, AZ - road side, dark red  

Hwy 2161, Mexican Hat Rock, AZ - fine, road side, dark red  

Hwy 191, Twin Rocks, Bluff, AZ      

Arches Scenic Dr., National Arches Entrance, AZ -  fine, road side, very light beige  

Park Avenue Trailhead, National Arches Park, AZ   

La Sal, National Arches Park, AZ - very fine La Sal viewing very dark red  

Balance Rock, National Arches Park, AZ - fine viewing area light orange  

Delicate Arch, National Arches Park, AZ - fine viewing area #1 light brown  

Delicate Arch, National Arches Park, AZ - course viewing area #1 light brown with blue copper rocks  

Fiery Furnace, National Arches Park, AZ - fine viewing area med red  

Sand Dune Arch, National Arches Park, AZ - very fine, inside arch med red   

Hwy 191, near the entrance National Arches Park, AZ - fine, road side, dark red  

Hwy 191,  greenish color by the blue mountains - fine, road side, greenish  

Hwy 191, leaving Moab -  fine copper mine ridge bluish green  

Hwy 6, Tie Fork Rest Area, Utah - fine, rest area, dark grey  

Hwy 191, Gateway Hotel, Moab Utab - fine, road side, light tan


Today I realized I am really starting to hate children's puzzles and playdoh. LOL

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Voting in America

A new blog post from I COULD BE WRONG 

"Since the Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation we have had people trying to figure out how to suppress minorities mainly Black people but other minorities as well. It is almost 160 years later and from what I see things have not changed very much. White people are still trying to figure out how to suppress the Black vote. Right now it looks like the bigots are winning. I do not know a single person that admits that they are a bigot but I do know people that are. It takes a lot of soul searching to try and change. Slavery is not dead in America. It has just taken on a new form. That form is called the minimum wage. You keep wages low for the people that actually do the work while the people with money just keep making more money. We have become what we fought a revolution against. We now have a system of nobility and serfs. We have our “lords” that want to rule over the masses just because they are rich. They use their money and their influence to buy politicians. They use their money and their influence to control the media. You don’t think the real purpose of Fox News is to report the news do you? Their purpose is to tell you what to think. Presidents like Teddy Roosevelt took the “lords” on, but they just keep on buying up our government. It is almost like when a person gets elected to Congress a big for sale sign goes up, and, the bidding begins. You want the corruption to end in Washington that is what you have to end, the buying of politicians. Buying politicians is profitable for the buyer and for the one that is being bought. The temptation that that money brings is just too much for many to resist. The money has flowed into Washington for a long time. It used to be so you could buy favors from politicians for your favorite projects. So you could influence policy. That was bad enough and cost the American people dearly but now I think that they buy politicians so they can rule without being elected. They always say “follow the money”. That is truer now than any point in our history. How must money does it take to buy a Congressman. I bet it takes even more money to buy a Senator. I bet that buying of a Supreme Court Justice is less than a Senator. No matter what the price is there are people out there willing to buy and there are people out there willing to be sold. That is what money has done to our country and that is what we have to work to stop. I have always felt that a lot of the money coming in is money from overseas. Could some of it be coming in from China? I don’t know but it would not surprise me. Could some of it be coming from the Middle East? I would be willing to bet on that one. Could some of the money be coming from Russia? I would be willing to bet on that one too. Are today’s billionaires more citizens of the world and not really a country? Aren’t they more multinational than we would like to admit? Can a Saudi Prince get away with murdering a journalist because he has the President ear? Can a politician be bribed by natural resource companies so they can keep on destroying our planet for profit? When the majority of the American public knows that climate change is real and that we should be doing more could you see the suppression of voting so that their voices are not heard? I fear for our Republic. I don’t fear of a revolution. There may be another attempt to over throw of our government but a revolution no. I think that our lawlessness will get worse and worse. The violent talk of the far right of the Republican Party that is calling for people to take up arms will not lead to a civil war. What it will lead to is more lawlessness that will eventually have to be dealt with and when it is it will not be pretty.

Star-Spangled artist

Ryan Carrington's vision of the American dream. Find him on Instagram. Art includes flags made of carpentar's pants, hospital scrubs, lab coats, really makes a powerful statement. 

"San Jose-based artist Ryan Carrington’s practice often references the philosophies of his family upbringing: if one is true to their work, true to others, and true to oneself, then true greatness is attainable. In the last decade, Carrington has created large-scale installations of fiber art and multimedia works inspired by American industry with a focus on how the country spends its work and leisure time. Juxtaposing tools and materials of white and blue collar workers, Carrington prompts questions about how our country values labor and class divisions, and how workers strive for the American Dream"


Took Pixie to the vet this morning. She has lost her hearing. Breaking my heart. 

Pixie today

The day we brought her home

Rajiv Surendra

I truly love this guy!  

From ‘Mean Girls’ to Artist: Rajiv Surendra Opens Up About New Creative Project 

"Amid the ongoing pandemic, Surendra has turned to a new passion project: letter writing. In partnership with the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City, the self-taught calligrapher has created tutorials on the lost art of hand-written correspondence." 



Families displaced

Detained Denied Displaced created by Gloria Daly

"During WWII, the Japanese people living in coastal British Columbia were forcibly moved inland to Japanese Canadian internment camps: cold, unfamiliar places where families were separated, mothers were lost, and possessions disappeared. Despite this, these displaced people formed communities and survived."

Gloria S. Daly - Detained Denied Displaced from Studio Art Quilt Associates on Vimeo.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Colorful coral

Courtney Mattison is amazing

Ferry Staverman

The whimsy of Ferry Staverman

Thursday, January 13, 2022

My day

Woke up very late after staying up until 3am with David while he suffers through last minute edits on the magazine. The sun is shining!

Drank my coffee and lost my shit over Kevin's spineless decision to decline congressional subpoena (listening to and reading BBC, NBC NEWS, AP news, while commenting out loud and listening to David comment out loud to news shows.

Finished my vacation sand list of locations, sand descriptions, map. I started this yesterday. 

Ate a plate of leftover chicken and ranch dressing for brunch. Remembered to take my morning meds. All the time Noah is playing Princess with me at my desk, I have to call her "beautiful Princess" and give her presents of stuff that she is giving me to give back to her. Murphy has his head planted on my desk while I eat.

Started a blog post, saved, will finish later. Researching a little about dulcimer I saw last night Craft in America 

Let Muphy out.

Responded to the 10-year avatar challenge on Facebook and posted a bunch of political stuff which all my followers ignore.

Let the cat out.

Noah just sneaked out to the backyard and stepped in dog poop, crying, David carried her to bathtub, I washed her up.

Had a small chocolate and caramel candy.

Let Pebbles out.

Bri dressed Noah, she, and Murphy going to dog park.

Took an outgoing letter to box, missed the postman, emptied box. Saw my crazy, agoraphobic neighbor who calls Bri about the cats being out all the time, and tried to avoid her. 

Let Pebbles in.

Thinking about cleaning family room and vacuuming, but first going to do dishes.

Did the morning's dishes and last night's pots and pans. Swept the dog dirt from muddy paws in kitchen. The dried up clumps of Playdoh and packing peanuts from dining room. Picked up all used towels "dropped around the house by kids", picked up dishes around the house. Thinking to myself, what could I manage to make for dinner? And what can make that is chocolate? I found a Ghirardelli Brownie Mix. David's suggestion was "Lobster Thermodore", I said was thinking more sloppy Joes and tater tots.

I need a shower. Desperately. 

To be continued ...

Let the cat in

3pm and I managed to do a quick shower. Jesus, I looked down at my toenails and had a little scream. Must risk a visit to the nail salon this weekend. Have a vet appointment tomorrow, Pixie has lost her hearing and has been a little sick to her stomach. She is sleeping a lot. David and I am quietly preparing ourselves. 

I has thinking more about that internal dialog when I walked to the mailbox. I saw my neighbor, "Jesus, I thought she was staying with her mom, I hope she does not see me, I am so dirty and I really don't want to listen to her today". Then I saw my neighbors to the right, they just had a baby. Looks like they changed their brand new white vehicles for brand new black vehicles and I don't think they work. I think his granddad (who I had a run in with about 20 years ago) gave him the house when his grandson suffered some sports injury in college. He doesn't even mow, they hire that out. I don't think he or his wife work. I have had one encounter with him, The kids say I am to harsh. He is 30-something and the only thing I have seen him do is play corn hole in his backyard. I am not really this bitchy, only in my head and internal thinking.

Bri, Murphy, kids just came home. Noah needs a nap and is melting down because she wants to play a game. Mason had a good day at school. Murphy had fun a the dog park but smells like dead fish. Bri and I are making a shopping a list. She is mad because I suggested Sloppy Joes, she doesn't like it, I was kidding, I know she doesn't like it.

I am going to venture out, Bri is making fun of me because I never leave the house.

4pm, going to grocery store and to fax a letter to the unemployment office. I all ready mailed a letter but I thought I would fax it too. They are telling me I was overpaid 10K because I turned down one job at  Home Depot about 40 minutes away on the busiest highway around here. I was stupid enough to be honest about it. I thought the dispute was settled but I received a letter the other day asking for 10k. I know so many of my friends who got thousands of dollars for their "business" that they were not even working at. But, you can't argue with the government so if they find me in the wrong, I will pay it out monthly.

To be continued ... 

Bri and I had a lively discussion about the Pandemic before I was off the store. I know the young folks are tired of all the rules and regs of a pandemic. Bri said she won't be boosted again. I said, I will be boosted as many times as they want. I said that I take a different version of the flu vaccine every autumn. She says she does not. I said, 2,400 Americans died last night and the same number the night before. She said she read they were only the comorbidities dying. And I said, that has always been the case. But they also included cancer patients, cancer survivors, her grandparents! Bri is very smart, so I don't worry about her, she has loads of common sense. We can yell at each other without actually being mad.

Got back home around 5:30p. Grocery store was pretty busy and well-stocked. One of the things that seems to be missing, my Campbell's Tomato Soup. (comfort food from my childhood). The check out woman said, buy it when you see it, because you never know. Bought way too much, but really needed milk, chocolate syrup, cucumbers, radishes, bell peppers, lettuce and whatever else we needed for dinner. Bake potatoes and brussel sprouts. QFC butter on sale for $1.97! 5 bags later, off to my home. The Puget Sound was beautiful, reflecting a pink, purplish sunset while having heavy, dark, rain clouds looming overhead. I never get tired of seeing the sound, the Olympic mountain range, the lights from downtown Edmonds and the outgoing ferry reflecting in the water.

Matt pulled up at home the same time, helped me bring the groceries in. He is cooking steak. I did buy makings for sloppy Joes for David and me tomorrow for lunch.

And guess what, time for a glass of wine, 5:43p! Off to trim brussel sprouts. More later ...

Sofie wanted in. 

Put away most of the grocery. All cereals in their appropriate containers. Apparently I can not put veggies in the drawer until I clean it after dinner. Cut up my radishes in slices and put in water. Matt started the smoker and is running back and forth cooking steak.

Almost 7, helped Matt prep dinner. Clean and cut up brussels sprouts, grease the potatoes,  mixed the brownie mix (Bri and I agreed it tasted a little old, is that a thing? But cooking it anyway. Washed up all dishes I have dirtied and about to watch recorded Rachel. Matt is listening to a great Earth, Wind and Fire playlist on Spotify in the kitchen. Blood is boiling listening to Lawrence about Sinema. Who the F does she think she is, God, I hope they vote her ass out of there.

Murphy wants out. It is trash night tonight. Murphy wants in.

Grandkids have been in the tub, have been great up until now. It could be reaching meltdown mode. Everyone trying to get dinner finished and cleaning off table. 

ME: reading Twitter. Listening to Rachel. Also going through Netflix to see if there is anything new to watch. Also got an email about an graphic designer position near me and applied for it. Pretty sure it is junk mail, not getting my hopes up.

Kids out of bath. Apparently bathroom floor is a watery mess. Kids trying to get their pajamas on. Sophie barking, she wants in. Someone has started a fire in the front room, sounds wonderful. Brownies have gone into the oven.Noah wants my iPhone. She keeps it almost all day.

Noah hurt her big toe the other day and it is all bloody. "Dr. Mommy" was just fixing it with lots of BAND-AIDS. Good news: Noah is not crying. (I think she might be losing her nail). Dinner is almost ready, I have lost track of Twitter. 

9pm: For some reason the fire is filling the front room with smoke. Finished my dinner. Ate a big bake potato with all the toppings and a little piece of meat. Not really into meat anymore. The kids are all at the table, eating and talking about "potty words" and other topics. All pretty funny. Cleaned up most of the kitchen. Took brownies out of oven ... will see how those taste. There is a new THIS OLD HOUSE, woo hoo! All dogs need food and new water. 

Now the kids are all screaming about something. Can't make it out, the shrill is too high-pitched. 

David is working on his corrections. 

All chaos has let loose in the kitchen. The kids are chasing the the cats. The dogs want the meat. Bri won't let me feed Murphy the leftovers until she has finished her dinner. Noah has developed this devilish loud laugh. I am asking myself, what time is bedtime? 

OH, GOD, I just heard the magic words: it is time to brush your teeth.

Mason just announced she is a vegetarian now. I hear feet running in circles around the house and I hear one kid digging in the candy door. It is 9:30pm. David is finally eating dinner.

Took nightly meds. Mason just said she had seen me dip my Oreo into my wine :) Did more dishes. Thinking it might be time to take off my shoes, get in my chair and watch some TV. There is a Midsomer Mystery repeat playing right now. I have probably watched it 10  times. The kids are arguing about brushing their teeth. Almost 10pm.

It is escalating into a war over brushing teeth with Mason in the bathroom. I can hear her crying and Matt saying something like "I will brush them for you" ... 

Okay, the brownies taste old to me. I am going to leave judgement up to someone brave enough to try them.

Apparently Pebbles go locked out in the dark, I didn't do it. It is very quiet back there, I think the kids are in bed, having a book read to them.

Shoes coming off. David eating dinner, has some sports report one.

Mason has wandered back into the kitchen. 

Shoes off, in my chair, landed on PROJECT RUNWAY. Kids are asleep! Murphy just wanted out.

There was some kid screaming for a minute. Now, when I go to the kitchen, the dishwasher has started, kids are all asleep, even Matt and Bri. David and I watching the end of Project Runway. This day is winding down.

All is quiet. We have moved on to Antiques Roadshow. I hate that Steve Colbert is not on on Friday nights. What is up with that??? Is Jimmy Kimmel off on Fridays too? David says he thinks he is done for today. Our day might be winding down. Good night. Thanks for sharing my day, thoughts, with me. 11:58pm. xoxox

 When we sat down to watch TV, I was complaining about Friday night, Colbert and Kimmel. David said "what are you talking about? It is Thursday."  OOps

Pebbles wants out. ;0