Friday, June 28, 2013

My Old Dollhouse, part 2

Only a few of my original pieces have survived. Most of these are toys from when my girls were little. I want to spruce it up some more, but my granddaughter won't care about those details. She's going to have a lot of fun with this.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Old Dollhouse

I think FlyLady says something about how you can't organize clutter. If you try, the next time you go to get anything out of it, it just throws up all over the room. She's right. It does.

I spent yesterday sorting through all my craft stuff in the spare room. I would like to turn it back into a spare room instead of a junked up, can't walk into or find anything in room. I am going to set up my old dollhouse (my dad made for me when I was little) in a place that my granddaughter can play with it, where it will still be safe from the dogs (the dogs are not allowed in the back bedrooms). I think she is finally old enough to play with the little pieces without putting them into her mouth.

I hauled a lot of stuff out of that room. Filled a couple garbage bags. Made a pile for Goodwill. Vacuumed and cleaned (can't have her playing in a dirty room). Then my husband called and wondered what time to tell his friend that we could meet for supper. Basically, I had to quit right then, and put everything back in there, to have time to get presentable enough to go out for dinner.

Going out to dinner was a fun surprise, but I'm still not finished with that room. There is room in there now to organize what's left and get it out of the way. I'm going to sit on the floor and sort through the pile of printed out patterns this morning. There is actually room to spread them all out. I bet I don't really need all of them.

My granddaughter is coming over this afternoon. There will be no dollhouse for her today, but there are plenty of other things to do. I'll have the dollhouse ready for her by Friday. I am looking forward to setting it all up tomorrow. Getting all the furnishings out of the box they've been packed in, and making the house pretty again. I will see if I can't maybe get my youngest daughter's input on how to arrange all of it. It will be like playing dolls with her again. I don't think we girls ever get too old to have fun with little bitty dolls and miniature furniture.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tattooed Jeans

 Tattoo your legs
(pretty, but permanent),
paint your skinny jeans
(temporary tattoos)
like I did.

Monday, June 24, 2013

People Say My Husband's Scary

People say my husband's scary.
An opinion I can't dissuade.
He is big and bald and brawny,
but I have never been afraid.

He's my tall polite provider,
playful, pleasant, pertinacious,
protecting of his family,
practical, and perspicacious.

He had to let his hair grow back
and his face fill up with a beard
for a movie roll he landed.
His friends and family all cheered.

I was totally excited.
I'm his greatest supporting fan.
Now my hairy handsome husband,
I see a teddy-bear-ish man.

Alas, I'm told the role he plays
is massive mean mobster muscle
for the movie's leading bad man.
He's not one with which to tussle.

So, whether he has hair or not,
doesn't apparently matter.
He will always scare the strangers.
When I'm with him, they all scatter.

By: Paula D. Nevison

Sunday, June 23, 2013


The biggest full moon of the year. Today, at 7 a.m. EDT, the moon will be the closest to the Earth of 2013, perigee — the point in its orbit bringing it closest to Earth, a distance of 221,824 miles.

Huge moon at moonrise

When the perigee moon lies close to the horizon it can appear absolutely enormous. That is when the famous "moon illusion” combines with reality to produce a truly stunning view. For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, a low-hanging moon looks incredibly large when hovering near to trees, buildings and other foreground objects. The fact that the moon will be much closer than usual this weekend will only serve to amplify this strange effect.

So a perigee moon, either rising in the east at sunset or dropping down in the west at sunrise might seem to make the moon appear so close that it almost appears that you could touch it.

Moon Data
The following information is provided for Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama (longitude W88.1, latitude N30.7):
Saturday:  Moonrise                   7:17 p.m. On 22 June 2013
  Sunday:  Moonset                    6:03 a.m. On 23 June 2013
           Moonrise                   8:16 p.m. On 23 June 2013

If you miss the rise of the supermoon, “you can
watch the lunar event live online with the online skywatching website
Slooh Space Camera. The
Slooh Space Camera will offer a free webcast of the supermoon fullmoon at 9 p.m. EDT on Sunday


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Moby Dick

“Be sure of this, O young ambition, all mortal greatness is but disease.”
― Herman Melville, Moby Dick 

Friday, June 21, 2013

There's Nothing To Do

I'm bored. There's nothing to do.
I'm hungry. What can I eat?
There's carrots,
but they have to be peeled and cut.
There's celery,
but that has to be washed and cut.
Onions, yuck.
Why do I even buy them?
They sit until spoiled, then I throw them out.
but I'd need to peel them,
or the skin will get stuck in my teeth.
they'd need to be peeled or cut,
so I'll get pith stuck under my fingernails, or in my teeth.
but it's big and heavy and messy to cut up.
Last night's leftovers,
but I have to dirty dishes to warm that up.
There's lunchmeat and cheese.
I could make a sandwich,
but there's no bread.
Wait, I don't even eat bread.
It's weird to make a sandwich without bread.
I should put the ingredients in the bread machine
and make some bread.
My kids would like that.
My dishwasher is full of clean dishes.
I should put them away.
The dryer is done.
I should unload that too.
Those clothes need to be folded and put away.
My daughter has two shirts that need ironing,
but then I have to drag out the ironing board.
I could go check the mail,
but it's so hot outside.
I should knit some more on my friend's sweater,
but my elbow hurts.
I could paint that picture that's been in my head,
but then I'd have to clear the table;
sort this pile of mail,
move these library books
(that I should read).
I wonder what's on TV.
Probably nothing.
I'm bored. There's nothing to eat.
There's nothing to do.

By: Paula D. Nevison

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Raining Dogs

Today was hot and sunny,
but now the sun has set.
I'm standing in the backyard
waiting for my dogs to potty.
They disappear into the dark shadows.
I feel a cool breeze.
The sky winks at me, and
grumbles in his low quiet voice.

Here is the beautiful weather
that I longed for all day.
He winks at me again.
Tells me to hurry my dogs along.
It isn't hot. There's a breeze. No bugs.
I hear Maximus howl.
He's not usually the barking dog.
The sky growls back at him.
I call all the dogs in for the night.

My dogs don't like to go out in the rain.
When it rains during the day,
we play a waiting game.
I don't like the waiting game.
Watching, waiting, to catch them
right before the emergency,
and go outside in the rain with them,
so they can potty (not in the house).

The growling sky disturbs my dogs.
They pace the floor,
toenails ticking on the tile,
they bark back, trying to be brave,
telling him to stop
grumbling, growling, winking, pouring rain.
I prefer it to storm at night.
My dogs huddle up tight,
quiet on the floor around my bed.

By:  Paula D. Nevison

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Book Review, Accidental Genius

I have been reading the book called, Accidental Genius, Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content, by Mark Levy. In chapter 15, Levy talks about creating a fictional board of directors in your mind and holding conversations (on paper) with these people to help talk through your business problems. He uses the ludicrous example of Abraham Lincoln as one of the people on the board. Levy talks about how difficult it is for him to imagine these people, and how he must write down a characterization of each of them. Personally, I do not understand why he finds this so difficult. I do not agree that it is a good idea to make up and talk to people (real or fictional people) in your imagination. If this is difficult for you to do, then don't do it. If it is easy for you to do, then you are either a gifted fiction story writer, or one step away from a split personality disorder, or both.

I am a stay-at-home mom. I do not have “work” problems to solve. My “board of directors” is my husband (president), myself (vice president), and my children (employees). It would be foolish to talk to imaginary people when I have the real people around me most of the time.

I do believe that this “free writing” Levy is advocating could help a person come up with a new angle to look at and solve a problem. I liked the section that talks about writing down all the facts you have on a subject/topic/problem (because it is another version of those lists I like to make). I agree that writing things down as you think of them can keep your brain on track. Levy points out that when we just think about something, we tend to digress into something else and are quickly completely off topic. He says to use free writing as a way to keep yourself focused, or as a way to direct your thinking.

Another thing he writes a whole chapter on is that “You Are What You Focus On” (chapter 21). I do believe this to be true. The things you choose to do, and the books you choose to read during your free time make you who you are. (If you spend all your free time practicing the flute, you won't be a very good golfer. Likewise, if you are golfing every chance you get, you won't be very good at playing the flute.) You become what you focus on. If you only focus on your horrible childhood and your abusive molesting family member (like my ex-husband seems to be doing), you will be lucky to escape turning into this same personality you despise. What you focus on is important. “It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.” – Oscar Wilde

In general, I think this book is a lengthy way of saying...Write it down. It was a slightly boring read, but had short enough chapters to keep me turning pages. And with the exception of chapter 15, Levy has some interesting ways to approach business problem solving through writing that I had not heard before. Now I am going to read Moby Dick.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Frozen Yogurt, Not Health Food

This is a link to a post by Vani Hari that gives a good look at the ingredients in frozen yogurt. It is well worth the few minutes it takes to read.

Food Babe Investigates: Frozen Yogurt Gone Bad

“Commercially available frozen yogurt is one of the most processed food products on the planet!”

“...which is outlawed in 27 countries and study after study links it to many forms of cancers.”

She has included a few links to some ice cream and sorbet recipes at the bottom of her article. I have an easy to use little ice cream maker in my cupboard. I'm going to get it out and try some of her recipes.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Child of God

I found this while I was looking through notebooks. It was between a Breakfast ideas list and a Lunch ideas list. Written sometime between February and July 2000. There were menus dated 2/1, 2/2, 2/3, etc before the breakfast ideas and a dentist appointment scribbled in some pages after for 7-6-00. I wonder what was on the missing pages. Probably grocery lists, or a number jotted down and handed off to my husband.

“A child is not a dog
      to fetch you this and that.
A child is not a remote
      to get up and change the TV
      channel at your whim
      because you don't feel like it.
Sometimes a child is scared
      when there seems to be no
      reason at all, but that
      doesn't mean the fear is
      less legit'.
God made each child unique
      and individual and no less
      special than you.
How would you treat someone
      else's child, a guest in your
      house, whose parent was
      standing near?
You consider yourself a child of God,
      but have you considered who
      else in your house is also a child
      of the God who cares for them too?”

Saturday, June 15, 2013


It's June. The year is almost half over. Time to reexamine my New Year's resolutions. Have I done any of them? Am I doing anything that will help bring them about, further them along? What were they? Where did I put that list? It's in one of those little notebooks I write in.

My favorite little notebook is almost full. It contains patterns I've written (or adapted into something else), project ideas, and a note my daughter wrote to me. (She picked up my book when I was busy, flipped to a page past where I was writing, and left me a nice surprise note.) I like that notebook. It's starting to fall apart, but there are no New Year's resolutions in it. There's another notebook with the Advent scarf patterns transformed into afghans. It has other stuff too. So, maybe, but probably not. Another notebook has the daily weather in it for the sky scarf I was making. It has shower and wedding planning notes for my son's wedding. Maybe I wrote my New Year's resolutions in that notebook.

I guess I'm going to go on a notebook hunt. Slightly dangerous thing to do. I start looking through those notebooks and I loose track of time. It's like going through old memories, like old photos or yearbooks without any of the bad. There are only good things in those books, things I like, things I made, things I want to do or make. They contain menus, budgets, family Christmas present wish lists, dated holiday menus and seating arrangements, favorite Christmas cookies. There are lists of things to do in the summer with my kids (when they were little) to keep them busy with fun things, and so maybe I wouldn't hear, “I'm bored. There's nothing to do.” There are even drawings by my children. Since I usually have a notebook in my knitting bag with me everywhere, it is a perfect thing to hand to a bored child while we wait (for our food at a restaurant, or wherever).

Those notebooks are scattered all through my house. Some are in my bedroom, some are on the cookbook shelf, some are in project bags with projects that need them. Some are in the spare room on my bookshelf of craft books. There's even one in my car...They are everywhere.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Write it Down (then tat with blue)

I don't have an epiphany every day, but it is nice to be able to work through things by writing, and through use of verse.

Maybe nobody reads this blog. The reading, or being read, is not important. It's the writing, the remembering, the working through things...that's...yes.

Some years ago my oldest daughter was going through some boy drama. I gave her a notebook and told her to write about, rip it up, and throw it away. It seemed to help her. Last year one of my youngest daughter’s teachers had everyone in class write a letter to somebody they were mad at, or had a crush on, or wanted to apologize to; then throw it away, or burn it, or keep it in a box. The point was to let out and deal with feelings instead of holding them inside. Hmm.

I tatted with variegated blue size 80 thread yesterday.
Blue: Soft, soothing, compassionate and caring, Blue is the color of deliberation and introspection, conservatism and duty. Patient, persevering, conscientious, sensitive and self-controlled, Blues like to be admired for their steady character and wisdom. They are faithful, but are often worriers with somewhat inflexible beliefs and can be too cautious, and suspicious of flamboyant behavior.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tatted Snowflakes to "leave it colder"

I like this song.
Tatted beaded snowflakes
When I leave the world,
it will be colder.
I am not giving in.
I will not bow.
I am not proud,
nor a cold-blooded fake.


Now the dark begins to rise
Save your breath, it's far from over
Leave the lost and dead behind
Now's your chance to run for cover

I don't want to change the world
I just wanna leave it colder
Light the fuse and burn it up
Take the path that leads to nowhere

All is lost again
But I'm not giving in

I will not bow
I will not break
I will shut the world away
I will not fall
I will not fade
I will take your breath away


Watch the end through dying eyes
Now the dark is taking over
Show me where forever dies
Take the fall and run to Heaven

All is lost again
But I'm not giving in

I will not bow
I will not break
I will shut the world away
I will not fall
I will not fade
I will take your breath away

And I'll survive, paranoid
I have lost the will to change
And I am not proud, cold-blooded fake
I will shut the world away

Open your eyes!

I will not bow
I will not break
I will shut the world away
I will not fall
I will not fade
I will take your breath away

And I'll survive; paranoid
I have lost the will to change
And I am not proud, cold-blooded fake
I will shut the world away


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tatted Crosses

Since the Tatter's Guild meeting, I've tatted three cross bookmarks, finally using all the yellow thread that was on two of my shuttles. Now I'm going to wind white thread, thread some beads, and make snowflakes until the next meeting when we will start our Christmas tree angels.

You know...

having a cross (or a Bible)
doesn't make you a good person,

any more than having golf clubs
makes you an expert golfer,

or having expensive cookware
makes you a chef.

I can buy $40 exotic wood knitting needles or $2 aluminum knitting needles. I can't knit any better on the expensive needles than I can on the cheap needles. Having a “thing” is not what makes the difference. What you do with things is what matters.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Inactions Are as Telling as Actions

Things a man acts on, and things he doesn't act on,
like defrauding his Facebook friends of money to pay an attorney to fight an ex-wife,
then not paying the attorney who formally filed papers firing him as a client for non-payment.
He cheated his attorney like he cheated his Facebook friends so she made it public knowledge.
I wonder what he did with the money his friends gave him
because he didn't use it to pay his attorney.
Or not showing up to court with another ex-wife.
Judge called the attorney listed (who was helping him fight her)
found out this attorney withdrew too.
I wonder if it was because he didn't pay him either.
I wonder if same friends gave him money a couple years ago for this too.
Or non-payment of child support, even after the judge says pay.
Or intentionally not picking up legal mail.
Or moving and not leaving forwarding addresses, even though the court told him to.

Looks to me like
What A Man
Doesn't Do
Will Tell You
You Need
To Know

Monday, June 10, 2013

Tatter's Guild Meeting, June

Tatter's Guild meeting was yesterday. I dragged my youngest daughter with me. It's been a while since I brought her. She is growing into a beautiful young lady, taller than me now. She brought her sketch pad, drew a flamingo and a pretty dress while we discussed the annual International Old Lacers, Inc. (IOLI) business.

Familiar faces surrounded the table. Some of these ladies have been in the Guild longer than me. I joined back when my second child was so little that I carried her into the meeting in a car seat. She slept through the whole meeting. To me, nothing has changed. Everyone looks the same. It has been 20 years. 20 years – that never occurred to me until now. Wow. We've watched each others children grow up and get married. I still have 2 of mine at home, but they are not babies anymore.

Starting next month, we are going to be tatting some Christmas tree angels together. Not a required project, but fun, and I am going to join in with them.

We discussed some upcoming local craft shows and fairs. Maybe we will have a booth in the State Fair in Pensacola, FL in November. There is some kind of art fair in Lucedale, MS about that same time. The Greater Gulf State Fair is the end of October, and the Port City Crafters have a craft sale in November. A lot of options.

I was working on a tatted bookmark byJane Eborall. I forgot how to close a mock ring. Good thing I went to the meeting. One of the ladies demonstrated it for me. A couple ladies were working on tatted edgings. One lady brought her bobbin lace. It is so amazing and delicate. She was working on a heart shaped design (almost finished). Another lady was wearing some pretty earrings she had tatted. She has a lot of beautiful tatted earrings, necklaces, and pins, and also tats big projects like shawls, and intricate little dolls. She brought some split ring cross bookmarks she just finished for show & tell. Seeing them made me want to make them too. I'm not going to, but I went home and finished the bookmark I was tatting. Going to the Tatter's Guild meeting is always so inspiring. Now I have dozens of pattern ideas and projects I want to tat swimming around in my head.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Vampires Scare Colors Away

Where do colors go at night?
Everything is black and gray.
All the colors go away.
Beauty stayed back in the day.
Vampires come out to play.

Vampires come out to play.
Imagination is a blight.
Makes everything seem a fright.
Criminals come out and fight,
because there is the lack of light.

Because there is the lack of light,
the colors do not care to stay.
In the sun they want to play,
from vampires to stay away.
Nothing good comes after day.

Nothing good comes after day.
Drug dealers hang out in bars.
Prostitutes walk out to cars.
Vampires drink blood from jars.
Criminals break into stores.

Criminals break into stores.
Buildings must be locked up tight.
Children in safe from the night,
hide with colors of the light.
Vampires fly through moonlight.

Vampires fly through moonlight,
and scare the colors far away
from surfaces adorned all day.
So everything is black and gray,
when vampires come out to play.

by: Paula Dean Nevison

According to Dracula, a branch of wild rose laid on a coffin could stop the vampire in it from leaving (but wouldn't hurt them).

In the visible spectrum, white reflects light and is a presence of all colors, but black absorbs light and is an absence of color.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Vincent van Gogh Painted Yellow Roses

Yellow Roses, my favorite. Maybe his.

Glass with Roses

Vincent van Gogh
Painting, Oil on Cardboard on Multiplex borad
Paris, France: Summer, 1886
Van Gogh Museum
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe
F: 218, JH: 1144

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sherlock Holmes, Hope from Flowers

What a lovely thing a rose is!"

He walked past the couch to the open window and held up the drooping stalk of a moss-rose, looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me, for I had never before seen him show any keen interest in natural objects.

"There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as religion," said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. "It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Naval Treaty

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Look Old Faster

“Lysosomes are cellular organelles that contain acid hydrolase enzymes that break down waste materials and cellular debris. They can be described as the stomach of the cell...Lysosomes are the cell's waste disposal system...”

“Mitosis is the most dramatic event in a cell's life. Cellular structures that have always been there suddenly disintegrate, new structures are constructed, and it all culminates in the cell splitting in half.”

Basically, when a cell dies, lysosomes eat up the dead cell. Another cell divides, and takes the place of the dead cell. Cells, however, only divide a finite number of times before they 'retire'.

“It turns out that each cell has 92 internal clocks—one at each end of its 46 chromosomes. Before a cell divides, it copies its chromosomes so that each daughter cell will get a complete set. But because of how the copying is done, the very ends of our long, slender chromosomes don't get copied. It's as if a photocopier cut off the first and last lines of each page.

As a result, our chromosomes shorten with each cell division. Fortunately, the regions at the ends of our chromosomes—called telomeres—spell out the genetic equivalent of gibberish, so no harm comes from leaving parts of them behind. But once a cell's telomeres shrink to a critical minimum size, the cell takes notice and stops dividing.”

Aging occurs as cells 'retire'.

What about a chemical peel? “In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, which makes it 'blister' and eventually peel off. The new skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.”
Duh! It's new skin. Of course it looks smoother and less wrinkled. But, it's new skin. You've just forced more cell division, speeding up the aging process for a temporary fix. Same thing with those 'age-reversing' retinols.

“...retinoids are still the gold standard in anti-aging for their ability to accelerate skin cell turnover...”

So, in striving to look younger, you are actually speeding up the aging process.

What about laying out in the sun to get that bronzed glowing tanned skin?

“Chronic exposure to the sun also causes premature aging, which over time can make the skin become thick, wrinkled, and leathery. Since it occurs gradually,...premature aging is often regarded as an unavoidable, normal part of growing older. However, up to 90 percent of the visible skin changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun.”

Smoking speeds up aging too.

“And smoking doesn't cause wrinkles only on your face. Smoking also is associated with increased wrinkling and skin damage on other parts of your body, including your inner arms. While the skin wrinkles may not be reversible, you can prevent worsening of wrinkling by quitting smoking now. 

How does smoking lead to wrinkles? The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. This impairs blood flow to your skin. With less blood flow, your skin doesn't get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A. Many of the more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin, which are fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely because of smoking. 

In addition, repeated exposure to the heat from burning cigarettes and the facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — may contribute to wrinkles.”

So grab those cigarettes and hit the beach. It's summertime. Don't forget to wash your face before you go to bed with that special 'anti-aging' crème. After all, you only live once, and you want to get old as fast as you can.

Monday, June 3, 2013

It Shows on Your Face

What's inside,
comes outside,
and shows on your face.
The clock keeps ticking.
Against time,
it's a race.

When young,
you appear
any way you want.
As time passes,
your face,
your soul does flaunt.

As the wrinkles
and lines
appear on your skin,
they tell the tale
of who
is within.

Do you smile a lot?
Do you smoke?
Do you frown?
It's drawn on your face,
like makeup
on a clown.

Your innermost feelings,
thoughts, and desires,
creep through your skin.
They do not,
and will not
stay hidden.

it will show on your face.
Your emotions
get stuck up

on your face.
what mom said,
“Stop that.
It will stick on your face.”
This you should dread.

Your expressions
draw lines.
Your soul wins the race.
What's inside,
comes outside,
and shows on your face.

by: Paula D. Nevison

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Rose, Birth Flower of June

The rose has come to represent June because of its abundance at this time of year. It symbolizes love and beauty. In the “Language of Flowers” each color of rose has a special meaning. This was very important back in the Victorian era when it was considered totally inappropriate to express feelings of love or affection. I found several websites that list the meanings of each color. I personally don't get into this hidden meaning thing. To me, a rose is a flower; flowers are pretty. Yellow is my favorite color. If you bring me yellow flowers, that means you paid attention and remembered that I like yellow; paid attention and remembered “is a good thing” (like Martha Stewart says).

Rose Ripple Potholder

The other main flower to represent June is the Honeysuckle; very fragrant, sweet smelling, much associated with summer, especially June. The Honeysuckle means devoted affection, bonds of love.