Monthly Archives: December 2012

Everybody knows that crime pays, and everybody loves it…*

*Lyrics from Bear HandsCrime Pays song off their album Burning Bush Supper Club. Jeff’s been telling me about these guys for a while now, and this song, well, it seemed relevant to the current mood in the world. At least some pockets of the world. (And it’s a great album – every song of theirs that came up on Pandora I ‘liked.’)

The smell of freshly baking anything is pretty much a guaranteed mood elevator.

I’ve been thinking non-stop about the events in Newtown (who hasn’t?), and considered joining the conversation. And then I heavy-heartedly sighed. So then, I thought, ‘maybe I should just bake something instead?’ Right? Much better idea. For as many legitimate discussions are cropping up due to the madness (and the sadness), and as opinionated as I am about it all, I think I’ll leave it, just as I’ll leave the emptiness alone. Sometimes, talking about something (or sharing countless images, or names, or candlelight vigils, or articles, or opinions) makes it worse, even when intentions are good.

So, for the latest installment of Kitchen Monthly (which I should really re-rename Kitchen Wheneverly), Pumpkin Pecan White (and Brown) Chocolate Chip Muffins, anyone? read on…

You’re every thought, you’re every thing, you’re every song I ever sing…*

*Lyrics from All I Do Is Dream of You from Singin’ in the Rain. Easily my favorite musical, and my go-to for an enjoyable bit of movie watching (especially when recuperating from several minor ailments). Plus, the lyrics can easily go non-romantic when you think about painting. Which I constantly do.

Quick and dirty, this painting gave me an outlet, whether or not the result was worth the paint.

A few weeks ago, I was absolutely out of my mind, bonkers, needing to paint something. Anything. I was like Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain running around yelling, ‘Gotta paint!’ Seriously, it was becoming a problem. So I pulled out a small canvas I’d gotten on sale ages ago at Michael’s, and just went for it. We had limited time – had to get the house ready for a showing, and had to prepare to head back to the pied-à-terre – so I just barreled through. Crashed through my burning desire to build something, to witness that change, and to have something (besides muffins, brownies, or cookies) to show for it.

Close-up of my handiwork.

Rough draft. I think that’s what I’ll call it. read on…

And what we knew, that life is gone and it’s hard without you…*

*Lyrics from Lavender Diamond‘s song I Don’t Recall from their 2012 album Incorruptible Heart. This song captures the melancholy, introspection, and grief that this time of year brings up in many of us. It’s not all Black Friday tramplings, and Cyber Monday identity thefts, you know. Some of us care about more than that. 😉 Ok, and I miss the doggie.

January, 2011. Snowstorm, streetlight, and a little bit of bundling up.

The diminishing sunlight, the chilling temperatures, the influx of cold and flu season, the pressure of holiday hoopla, the inevitable changing of the calendar (and in my case, aging, as my birthday falls in late November) all makes for a reflective and challenging time of year. It’s when we all take stock of who we are, what we’ve done, what we haven’t, and why. It’s when we try to express our love for our friends and family in impossibly small increments of time, with gifts that cannot measure the gratitude we have for each other, with traditions that sometimes don’t mean much, but feel supremely important in our near hibernative states (let’s not forget that cold and flu season is gearing up, too). With all this pressure to look forward and backward simultaneously, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and a bit, well, unprepared.

That’s why I’m making a list. Not of gifts, not of groceries, not of resolutions, but of simple tasks to keep my brain (and spirit) moving forward. Not selling the house this year was a time-consuming setback, more emotionally than anything, but I’m refusing to let that keep me down. My list will include minor upkeep on the house, mini-projects to keep my creativity flowing, and simple tasks (like hanging art, changing paint colors, or clearing out junk drawers) to remind me that even when the big things don’t go as you’d hoped, you can still accomplish little things that will bring you joy. I’m after you, joy. You can’t escape me. I’ll grab ahold of you whether you like it or not.

read on…