The Color (of the Year) Purple

3 01 2018

I am an artist, so things like “Color of the Year” announcements catch my imagination. I know, I know, I just wrote about Benjamin Moore’s Caliente a few weeks ago, but right after that, the venerable color gods at Pantone released their pronouncement:

Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is . . . drum roll and trumpet fanfare, please . . . 

Ultra Violet ( )

Anyone else see that Pantone might have declared 2018 is the Year of the Antacid?

If this ain’t Prilosec Purple, I’ll kiss a (guinea) pig.

It is actually a rather brilliant choice, as our stomach linings can all probably use a few doses of something to help get us through “My button’s bigger than your button” tweets, weather predictions that include the term “bomb cyclone,” and the fact that we’re still not sure when  “Elementary” will return to our television line-up, just to name a few early 2018 challenges.

On a less snarky level (which is really hard for me to find, as C-O-L-D as it is in central PA right now), I like Pantone’s choice for this year because it works so well with Greenery ( )their 2017 choice. See how beautifully they pair in these remembrances of past beauty that promise goodness to come. I hope will soothe what ails you.  It works for me.


So Long, ‘Seventeen

27 12 2017

What a year it’s been, right, kids? We’ve had our ups and downs and now, it’s time for a final accounting before we sail or slog, depending on one’s perspective, into 2018. To wrap this party up, here’s a little snippet from my 2017 Personal Annual Report.

In 2017:

I lost some weight, but I gained some wrinkles.

I (my Washington Nationals) lost a shot at the World Series,  but I saw my favorite pitcher Mad Max Scherzer gain (another ) Cy Young Award.

I lost my sweet Pig Newton, ,

but I gained lovely little Piggy Stardust. 

I lost a nice view when the neighbor installed a pool (and the companion big, white, plastic fence), but I gained a new landscaping opportunity.

I lost my temper. I gained perspective.

I lost a few rules. I gained freedom.

I lost faith in some people. I gained respect for others.

We all lost someone  and some things we love.  I hope we all gained renewed appreciation for the goodness and good people who are still with us.

To start 2018, I’m losing my “should have dones”  and replacing them with a whole stack of “why nots” and “sure, I cans.” I’ll lose some other things, without a doubt, but I will also gain new and lovely things that are not yet even in my imagination.

Whether you plan to kiss 2017 a fond farewell or bid it to kiss your ass, may your New Year be filled with good health, great adventures, loving friends, and at least one laugh-out-loud moment every single day.

I’ll see you in 2018.

All I want for Christmas

20 12 2017

It’s certainly been a rough year for lots of us who are part of mixed families . . . you know . . . ones with both conservatives and liberals.  Don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m guessing that you, like me, have had more enjoyable holidays than 2017’s have been!  We’re either actively avoiding talking anything that could be construed as politics (which includes virtually EVERYTHING right now) or it’s sticks and gloves on the ice for another irresolvable brawl.

I do not like this one bit.

I am NOT saying that we should stop engaging our family and friends in important debate; I am suggesting that the holidays are not the time to do it. Emotions are raised to the surface and rubbed raw by all the “most wonderful time of the year,” “holly jolly” bulls#%t, so adding political debate to the wassail and sugar cookies really makes no sense at all.

This family-gathering-season, let’s remember that these are the people we grew up with; people we lied to our parents with; people who held our hands at the worst moments of our lives; people who have proven, year after year, that we are truly lucky to be related.

Memories of another holiday past.

We may all suspect the others of having lost their minds over some political stance, but let’s just put that aside for now and celebrate the hearts we know and love.

So, how about it?

A Christmas Cease-Fire?

It’s really all I want.

Rescue You? Rescue Me!

13 12 2017

Our guinea pig Rebel (named for the Bowie song because we weren’t” sure if you’re a boy or a girl” until the lovely vets at Boiling Springs Animal Hospital confirmed that she was NOT a good cage-mate for Newt!) has lived a solitary spoiled-rotten life since before we adopted her, but we always felt she’d be happier with a roomie – guinea pigs are social animals.  We were just on the fence because she’d lived alone before we adopted her and had been alone with us, too, so it was with some trepidation that we (I) decided to inquire about a little girl guinea pig who might need a good home. It’s the holidays, after all!

I happened to be at Petsmart, loading up on supplies for Rebel when I noticed her. She was in a tiny lower glass enclosure, under the Syrian hamsters, around the corner from the important (for sale) piggies  (which reminded me of a certain cupboard under the stairs on Privet Drive), so I had to inquire. She was a refugee from Last Chance Ranch where I’d gotten sweet Cedric Piggory.

I knew she needed to get out of there, BUT, there was no documentation as to her sex and it ain’t that easy to determine with piggies, so I took her to the wonderful BSAH vets for the answer, with my husband’s orders that, if she turned out to be a he, I had to return the pig. (Yes, we all – including dear Ken – knew that was not going to happen!)

Dr. Purcell pronounced “It’s a girl!” HUZZAH!  There was great rejoicing by yours truly at this news, of course. I had saved this little creature from becoming snake dinner or some equally awful fate – and had not had to risk my marriage, had she been a he.

 What a wonderful thing I had done. 


As is usually the case when we think we are doing a good deed, when we are acting out of the kindness in our hearts, when we are helping one less fortunate, the wonderful thing is that it turns out to be good for us. 

 I am sure that our new housemate is thrilled to be in a huge cage filled with soft clean bedding, a buddy (Rebel is a little bossy, but she’s coming around), and delicious crisp lettuce on demand.  I am sure, too, that my inner four-year-old’s heart is filled with joy at the sight of her scampering around the cage, munching fresh hay, and snoozing in the corner.

 WIN-WIN. Wonderful.

 Oh, we’ve decided to name her Star, which is short for Piggy Stardust, of course.  Now, if I can just convince Ken to let me adopt the next needy little girl, we’ll call her ‘Gette, (Suffragette Piggy) and we’ll be on our way to a Bowie Anthology.


   Merry Christmas from Piggy Stardust!

   and Happy Hanukkah from Rebel!

2018 Color of the Year is Naughty Christmas Gift Red

6 12 2017

Many of my friends know me as an artist – or, if you will not grant me that title, at least someone who loves to create stuff. Before I came to realize the joy of studio time, though, I spent years in a supremely uncreative job. As I spent hours driving to, sitting through, and setting up meetings and more meetings, I used to think about how much fun it must be to work in a creative field, a fantasy I still believed until this made me think of the potentially darker side of such work:

Now, I LOVE red, so the choice the actual color did not give me pause. No, it was combination of the name and the unfortunate (or was it something else) alpha-numeric code attached.  .  . 

Caliente AF-290 

Caliente AF

I am not bilingual, but I know what “caliente” means.

I am not a millennial (by about 40 years) but I do know what “AF” means.

Caliente AF – the Color of 2018 is as Hot as F#&k!

You know there is a chance that this name and code sequence was coincidence. I prefer to believe that it’s the calculated brilliance of some passive-aggressive designer, hard at work inside the corporate bowels of a creative-adjacent company; who, upon realizing that their soul was about to disappear and take their muse with it, decided to commit a little creative corporate civil disobedience, a little cleverly-disguised graffiti on the walls of the executive wing.

Oh, please, let this be how Caliente got the AF alpha designation! 

That would really be Caliente AF!


A Month of Thanksgiving – Onward

29 11 2017

Sleep eludes me. Last night home in Texas. The house is quiet. Surrounded by pictures of the past. Breathing and feeling wistful for…I’m not sure what. Things lost…things to be found…what lies ahead…what is left behind. Heart is full and at the same time achingly empty.

                                                                                                                                                Janie Womack

These beautiful words by a wonderful musician inspired me to write this on the fifth Thanksgiving Wednesday of 2017.

This is the time of year when we gather to revel in fond memories recalling past glories, great capers, beautiful intimate moments. We smile over old photos, mmmmmm our way through familiar family foods, and sleep under sheets we recognize from less troubed times . . . and then, we hit the wall. We crash from that wonder-filled recollection of all things beautiful and innocent and we find ourselves far too aware of what we’ve lost, forfeited, or just walked away from, in the name of growing up.

On this fifth Wednesday of Thanks in 2017, I am thankful for this swirl of mixed emotion – the heart’s equivalent of cognitive dissonance. As Joni Mitchell so rightly observed, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?” We are wired to need that feeling of loss, melancholy, wistfulness – not to be sad, but to enable us to fully experience other feelings – gratitude, comfort, joy, love.

We have all experienced the nostalgia of the “good old days.” We have all wished for a return to simpler times. I suggest that we can make more good days and create for ourselves simpler times just by remembering all we have, not just all we have lost.

For what has been, what is, and what will be, I am thankful.

The last hurrah of the 2017 garden – cut weeks ago, but still pretty. Thanks!

A Month of Thanksgiving – Clueless in the Best Way

22 11 2017

Here we are, the day before Thanksgiving and it’s the fourth of my five Wednesdays of Thanks in 2017.

Damn, sometimes it’s hard to feel thankful when the news seems to be filled with story after story of people doing terrible things.  It’s especially hard when the people who are being accused are familiar to us as public personalities that we (thought we) liked, trusted, appreciated for their talent, or otherwise held in some degree of esteem.

Yep, hard to find something to be thankful for, but it is not impossible!

This week, I am thankful for “I can’t imagine . . .”

As many women (truthfully all the women) I know can tell you, every one of them has, to one degree or another, experienced unwanted attention from a man. Almost all of us have been insulted by some drunk in a nightclub after we’ve declined an advance, been talked over in a meeting, had to contend with an overzealous date, or worse.  That does not make us man-haters, victims, or crybabies. It makes us aware.

I am thankful that the men in my family and my male friends just don’t get it. I’m not saying that they doubt the reported instances of horrid behavior by men in power. What I mean is that it is just beyond their comprehension that any man would ever think that it would be a good idea to do such a thing!




Just as I can’t understand what would make someone hurt animals or other people – because that would require that my mind work like someone’s whose is clearly malfunctioning on an intensely dangerous level – it makes me happy to know that the man I married, the men who are my brothers-in-law, my nephews, and my friends do not have it in their brains to contemplate committing an act of sexual harassment. This kind of ignorance truly is bliss.

In the face of ugly evidence of uncivilized cruelty in our society, I am grateful for the everyday, unfailing, bright and constant evidence of kindness and respect within my family.  May we all know such good people. May we all be such good people.  Thank you for your goodness.