For some reason I can add sidebars, but not new posts. Please check back later. I have been working on a variety of things including switching my blog soon from this one, which was set up with my now-defunct West Wisconsin Telcom account. I hope to have my new blog through Gmail up soon. I will provide a link and announcement when I've got everything straight. 7/2/11

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mile Head Move: house-hunting continued

Big Dog and Little Dog greeting each other last weekend

I’m off to Golden again tomorrow for two full days of house-hunting with our realtor, Sheila Weaver. To avoid having each of us rushing between airports and title companies, Carl and I will assign each other Power of Attorney for Property in both Colorado and Wisconsin. Sheila has lined up a notary, gotten the Colorado form, I’ve got the Wisconsin form, and we’ll take care of that bit of business this weekend as well. I’ll report back next Monday!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Recently read: Carol Lea Benjamin’s The Hard Way

This is the second book I’ve read featuring New Yorker Rachel Alexander. A dog trainer turned private investigator, Alexander combs the haunts of the city’s homeless to find information on the death of a clothing designer. Hired by the man’s daughter, the more Alexander learns, the more she, too, is convinced that Gardner Redstone’s fall onto the subway tracks was no accident. Helped by a homeless Iraqi War vet, Alexander and her dog track down the truth.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Art for Patti Digh’s upcoming book

Backgrounds and photos I’m considering for my paper collage

My friend Heidi and I are both fans of Patti Digh’s books and her blog, 37 Days at Last fall, Heidi and I submited our requests to have our art considered for inclusion in Digh’s book scheduled to come out in 2010 titled Four-Word Self Help, to be published by skirt! Books. We got our assignments this week. We must submit our art by February 3, and we’ll learn later if either of us is chosen to be included in the book. I’m so excited. Even if neither of us is selected, it is still fun to try a new challenge.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Recently read: Jean-Claude Izzo’s Total Chaos

A new author to me, Izzo writes of the grimy side of Marseilles. This book is the first in what is known as his Marseilles Trilogy. I will be tracking down the other two books. The Mediterranean city is itself as important a character as the detective Fabio Montale. In this book, a childhood friend is murdered and another childhood friend returns to avenge the death. The novel gives us a tantalizing glimpse into a side of the city I’m pretty sure most of us will never see.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Overwhelmed by art supplies

Last summer, I started to set up a separate art studio upstairs in one of my father’s rooms. I had (and still have) all my teaching materials and reference items, my writing, and my art all crammed into my main office with computer equipment, household files, and everything else. Before I finished moving my art materials completely, we got word that Carl was definitely going to Golden. So I stopped my redoing of my art studio, and began using that room as a holding area for packed boxes. As a result, instead of a well-organized art studio and a more spacious office in which to write, my original room is still jammed packed, I have to search in two crowded rooms to find any specific supplies since I can’t remember what I moved upstairs, and I’ve taken over the end of a kitchen counter since I have NO workspace in either my office or my art studio cum storage room.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Recently read: John Harvey’s Cutting Edge

In this installment of Harvey’s excellent police procedurals set in Nottingham, England, the medical staff of the hospital seem to be being targeted by a slasher, who leaves them barely alive. Detective Inspector Charlie Resnick and his team show their usual talent for noting the subtle inconsistencies that lead to the resolution and arrest. The subplots are also intriguing, as a jazzman down on his luck moves in with Resnick and the public defender is especially obnoxious. As ever, worth reading.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Networking to help a former student

It used to be the Old Boys Network, but the concept works for everyone.

Last month, I received an email from one of my students from my early days teaching at the Menomonie campus of the Chippewa Valley Technical College. Joy told me that because of my class, she changed her career goal from real estate management to working for nonprofit organizations. Now the executive director of a local nonprofit, she is looking for new ways to increase funding. She asked me to be her mentor in grant writing, which I would have loved to do if I wasn’t moving to Colorado. So I sent out requests to my network of friends, writers, and nonprofit directors asking if anyone would help. And, not surprisingly, all agreed! So Joy has a wealth of mentors, and again my belief in the efficacy of networking is proven true!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Recently read: Laurie R. King’s The Art of Detection

I had read several of King’s books years ago, liked them, and forgot about them until a friend reminded me. This one featuring San Francisco homicide detective Kate Martinelli charmingly weaves a group of serious Sherlock Holmes fanatics, a long-lost story that may be by Arthur Conan Doyle, a modern-day murder full of Doyle-like convoluted clues, and life in contemporary California into a suspenseful thriller. Well worth reading, and I’ll be looking for more of King’s books.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Still searching for a palace for our little Prince

The Prince was briefly interrupted by an admirer while he was surveying his domain last summer.

Back from my quick visit to Golden, where Carl and I and our realtor, Sheila Weaver, saw a lot of houses. Many were lovely, many were tempting, but we’re going for perfect here! In the meantime, I’m continuing to review possibilities online (I can’t even remember how one EVER bought a house before the Internet), and handle the increasingly urgent moving chores as we near our closing date of March 1. Not to mention running out of wood (I invoked the Wood Gods, which turned up five Wood Guys—one of whom delivered six cords of wood this afternoon), being contacted by my credit card company that someone tried to buy a car online using my account number (EEK), and keeping up with all my projects.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Off to Golden to house hunt!

View of NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) from Carl’s apartment.

I’m heading to Colorado to spend the weekend with Carl house-hunting, eating, drinking and getting to feel at home. Sharpie’s Auntie Tamie will move in for the weekend to cater to his every whim. Every human’s mission in life should be to excel at that, and Tamie does.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Recently read: Sean Doolittle’s Burn

This book by an author I’d never heard of before (who has several other books that are definitely on my reading list) was excellent. Wildfires are burning around Los Angeles, a mysterious beach bum is trying to keep a low profile, and a body is found in a convertible. Well written and gripping, I like the unusual protagonist (a likeable arsonist) and the rest of the vivid characters.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ricochet the Dog finds her purpose in life

This video takes about five minutes to watch and is five minutes well spent at the start of this New Year. Plus it meets my “cute quota” for inspirational videos. May we all find what we do best, and spend our time doing it! Here is Ricochet's new web site And if you feel moved, as I did, to donate, you can do it here, too. Ricochet's new website is
Paw’abunga, Rip Curl Ricki!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Recently read: Jill Badonsky’s Awe-manac

I love Badonsky’s art, writing, and humor. Last spring, I bought her Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder, and have been reading a page a day. So, technically, I haven’t READ this book yet, since I won’t have finished my reading till June, but given the start of the new year, I decided to write a Recently Half-Read review. Love this book! Badonsky’s illustrations are delightful, she has components of traditional almanacs such as famous birthdays and quotations, and she also sprinkles her own gems throughout the pages. Her writing and art prompts (referred to as Aha-Phrodisiacs) are varied and fun with categories like Title Wave, Word Pool, Repeated Completions, Starter Fluid and Viewfinders. And who can resist starting each day with such wisdom and advice as Daily Soul Vitamins, “I Get To” spells, Journal Juju, and Words from FOOOF.